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As I have made clear, I am not any sort of fan of Maduro/Caballo’s regime. When you have the empty shelves of the late Soviet Union, the inflation rate of Zimbabwe, and the murder rate of Honduras, it’s safe to say that things have gone wrong somewhere. Nor am I blaming the US for it. Iran has avoided going down this route, despite much harsher and longer US sanctions, because its leaders avoided waging war on Economics 101. Heck, probably not even Cuba collapsed as badly after the withdrawal of Soviet aid in the 1990s.

However, the current farrago with the aid trucks getting set on fire is obviously a complete scam that is meant to either create room for total sanctions at the minimum, if not military intervention.

Venezuela, like any country, has this thing called borders and customs. I seem to recall that Trump is big on them, or used to be, anyway. Presumably, neither Colombia nor Brazil are launching an invasion of Venezuela. So why the universal expectation on CNN and Le Reddit that Venezuela is legally obliged to let them through?

Yes, procuring food is not trivial in Venezuela (though it is far from famine). It would be much better off under free markets than the crazy nationalizations of supermarkets and rationing through biometric cards. However, half a dozen trucks carrying 100 tons of food (or whatever) are not going to make the slightest difference to material welfare in a nation of 32 million people. So the humanitarian argument is also a total scam. Especially when these token aid declarations are accompanied by the THEFT of billions of dollars worth of Venezuelan gold held in foreign bank deposits.

Yes, I’m sure that a majority of Venezuelans disapprove of Maduro. Possibly a large majority. I don’t have the country expertise, or even the language skills, to offer a very qualified opinion (neither, of course, do 99% of US politicians and journalists). However, just a couple minutes’ worth of Internet searching found that as of mid-2018, a quarter of Venezuelans were still describing themselves as “chavistas”, versus another quarter that identified itself with the opposition.

25% is not an insignificant figure, so I think it is reasonable to assume that not all of the people depicted above were public workers forced to go to those rallies.

It’s clear that this is just another neocon attempt to foment a color revolution.

 
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  1. Renoman says:

    Plain old fashioned theft, plain old fashioned item – OIL, Same old Colonial assholes doin it – USA!

  2. neutral says:

    I still don’t know how the neocons got Richard Branson of all people involved in this. Here is an interesting story about his 200,000 attended concert:
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-24/wapo-secretly-deletes-bransons-venezuela-concert-article-after-fake-attendance

  3. And let me mention the Russian aid convoys to Donbas, which were retardedly assumed to be military equipment by the MSM. It’s interesting how different these two are treated.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin, WHAT
    • Replies: @Not Raul
    , @Avery
  4. songbird says:
    @neutral

    Putting aside the ZOG aspect of neocons, they are just globalists. And Branson is a globalist, so his concert is not very different than Live Aid.

  5. Dmitry says:

    borders and customs. I seem to recall that Trump is big on them, or used to be, anyway.

    I don’t see logic of the argument here.

    If Trump doesn’t believe about customs regime of his enemy, why does that imply he doesn’t believe in customs regime for America?

    There’s no “law of reciprocity” in politics, especially for powerful country for which reciprocity in a lot of occasions would be an indication of idiocy.

    The rational behaviour for countries, as the Classical Athenians would say, to “help friends (including yourself) and harm your enemies”.

    So if Trump believes in customs protocol for America, then he should reject customs protocol for Chavez/Maduro’s Venezuela.

    On the other hand, if he rejects customs protocol for America, then he will be happy if there are customs protocol for Chavez/Maduro Venezuela.

    by the THEFT of billions of dollars worth of Venezuelan gold

    How is this theft? If government deposit gold in England, then will be some English contract or legal system, that allows them to hold or release gold according to their regulations and political relations at the time. That will be implicit in contract or legal regime, when you deposit gold in England.

    That is how deposits operate.

    For example, if country A deposit gold in country B, then deposit of A’s gold follows law of country B. This law will have provisions for political relations of the time (if country A is at war or bad relations with country B, then B will obviously have some provisions in its law to not release the gold).

    English are not using Venezuela’s gold to buy themselves beer or something. (I doubt it is to be used like “Moscow gold”).

    a quarter of Venezuelans were still describing themselves as “chavistas”, versus another quarter that identified itself with the opposition.

    If you use oil money and expropriated money, to give free stuff to the uneducated and stupid part of the population (while government officials can take the main part of the money) – then you should have stupid parts of the population supporting you. This is exactly the problem – that parts of Venezuela’s population supported Chavez/Maduro.

    Chavez is the reductio ad absurdum of populism – he was giving things for free in exchange for popularity. That some people support him is not a sign of “legitimacy”, but an illustration in support of why many educated people in South American culture were still sceptical that democracy is practical for their continent.

  6. Trump and his scumbag Neocons want to steal Valenzuela’s oil. Not to say the Chinese and the Russians are pure in their intentions. But it’s Trump imposing sanctions, fomenting a coup and threatening invasion.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  7. Not Raul says:
    @reiner Tor

    I think that it would be reasonable for Maduro to worry that the aid convoy might contain weapons, or that the axis of compradors and neocucks might stage a Gulf of Tonkin type incident in order to justify more overt military intervention.

  8. Anonymous[351] • Disclaimer says:

    However, half a dozen trucks carrying 100 tons of food (or whatever) are not going to make the slightest difference to material welfare in a nation of 32 million people. So the humanitarian argument is also a total scam.

    What if they send more trucks? Is there some threshold level of aid that would make Maduro’s actions unacceptable?

  9. Mr. XYZ says:

    Are color revolutions always a bad thing, though? I mean, the color revolutions in Kyrgyzstan don’t appear to have particularly hurt it–though Kyrgyzstan has always suffered from having extremely low human capital.

  10. Avery says:
    @reiner Tor

    You don’t understand: “This is our hemisphere,…”, as that whats-his-name senator recently warned Russia. And of course, nothing near Russia is theirs. Even what goes on inside Russia is of vital interest to US. Everything anywhere in the world is of vital US interest.

    So so-called “aid” trucks carrying who knows what are to be allowed into Venezuela, because of US vital interests. Or human rights. Or women’s right. Or something.
    But aid trucks openly and demonstrably carrying humanitarian aid to Donbas must be blocked, because they are clearly against US vital interests.

    These people are truly insane.

    Some warmongering nutjob from the State Dept recently threatened little Armenia (!), because Armenia sent a small contingent (83 troops) of deminers and medics to Syria upon their invitation, and in support of Russian peacekeeping efforts there.
    The State Dept fascists hate peace and normalcy in Syria, so they have become hysterical and are lashing out at anything and anyone that helps bring that about.

  11. songbird says:

    Anyone want to make a prediction on how long the regime will last? I believe they must be several years overdue, in a historical sense, but there is a different dynamic today than in the past.

    There’s been a clear trend towards regime stability, however one wants to explain it. I’d put it down firstly to better communications, and secondly to demographics. Saving external involvement or a snafu that prevents the army from getting paid, Maduro seems to be fairly safe. Not sure about a successor.

    MbS seems to have lasted longer than I would have predicted. I put that originally as a test of who controls who in the Saudi-US relationship. But it could be that neocons have just used up their allotment of regime change in recent years.

  12. Philip says: • Website

    While I agree whoelheartedly with most of this piece, especially its conclusion about another color revolution, I take issue with the opening paragraph:

    “When you have the empty shelves of the late Soviet Union, the inflation rate of Zimbabwe, and the murder rate of Honduras, it’s safe to say that things have gone wrong somewhere. Nor am I blaming the US for it. Iran has avoided going down this route, despite much harsher and longer US sanctions, because its leaders avoided waging war on Economics 101.”

    And how does it substantiate the reason given for Iran avoiding “this route”? It doesn’t. Simply asserts it. I’d suggest more obvious reasons. One, Iran had thoroughgoing theocratic purges which, for all their horrors, eliminated the wellsprings of opposition. It simply was not possible for threatened elements within Iran’s former ruling elite to play economic havoc as the Venezuela elites continue to do. As Castro said of Venezuela, Chavismo didn’t go far enough. It left intact the comprador classes without which the USA would be less well placed to do such damage.

    Two, Iran’s economy did indeed nose-dive after 1979. Since then it was able to recover somewhat. I suggest that’s because (a) it has friends close by and (b) the USA is not as close to Tehran as to Caracas. I may be oversimplifying here – but not to the absurd degree this opening paragraph does!

    The article goes on to claim that Venezuela “would be much better off under free markets”, thereby showing zero understanding of how capitalism works in the age of imperialism. So called ‘free markets’ work very well for imperialist powers, and relatively well for strong capitalisms (BRICS) able to resist imperialism, and for the ‘little tiger’ economies of the Pacific Rim – Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapor, S. Korea – which were early to switch from raw materials dependency to manufacturing. Even the skewed IMF data of the past twenty years show imperialised economies – which absolutely include Venezuela – at the raw end of the law of supply and demand, leaving the global north able to dictate the terms of globalised division of labour.

    That the article concludes with the correct observation that “this is just another neocon attempt to foment a color revolution” does not excuse such ignorance. Now is really not the time to be kicking the legitimate government in Caracas on such ill informed bases.

    Economics of Imperialism

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  13. @neutral

    Richard Branson was the star of the XTC anti-war video GENERALS AND MAJORS……Go have a look on YOU TUBE….Go figure…….

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  14. @Dmitry

    We know the kind of socialism you like:using US Working Class Tax $$$ to overthrow the Venazulean Goverment….Using White Working Class Canon Fodder too boot…another Socialist Program….

    Your hypothesis is going to be tested very soon….and we will soon find out how much support the Mauduro Goverment has….

    Perhaps we can use our tax dollars to napalm the Socialist US Senior Population that overwhelmingly supports Medicare…..there is always enough money for Israel though…including a Wall…and the Palestinian Torture Program

  15. @Philip

    You are correct that Venezuela left its elites intact; Chavez-Maduro are extremely nice and fluffy, by the standards of 20th century Communist dictatorships.

    I made that point in my last post on Venezuela: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/venezuela/

    I would say that Iran was much more isolated. Who, exactly, were its friends? I can’t think of any in the 1980s; since then, it has acquired China and Russia, but they are *extremely* fair weather ones, who constantly stab it in the back. In contrast, until very recently, Venezuela had plenty of more moderate leftist sympathizing governments throughout Latin America, including Brazil.

    I don’t buy any of your premises about imperialist economics, etc. Instead of torturously fitting differential national outcomes into the particularities of imperialism, exploitation, etc. that supposedly acted them, I find a human capital based theory of economic development to be much more succinct and plausible. Here is a summary: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/stupid-people/

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Hibernian
    , @Philip
  16. Matt Forney says: • Website

    I support intervening in Venezuela purely on the basis of the Monroe Doctrine: there is no reason why the U.S. should tolerate a Russia/China-aligned hostile state in its backyard. (Of course, there’s no reason why Russia should tolerate U.S.-aligned hostile states in ITS backyard; hearing the same people who are gung-ho on Venezuela/Iran intervention whine about Russia occupying Crimea or aiding South Ossetia and Abkhazia is always funny).

    However, the Venezuela intervention is going to accelerate the crackup of the present global financial/technological system.

    In trying to oust Maduro, the U.S. has crossed a number of red lines: pressuring the U.K. to steal the country’s gold reserves; pushing Facebook and other tech companies to verify Guaidó over Maduro as president; now this. I’m surprised they haven’t cut Venezuela off from SWIFT yet.

    These systems operate based on the premise that they are neutral and exist outside of politics. How can you trust the global financial system if the U.S. can simply cut you off from your property and deny you access to banking if they don’t like you? How can you rely on American-run tech sites if they will manipulate your access to data and keep you from speaking freely? (Another example of this is how Facebook banned János Lázár—a Hungarian government minister—last year after he posted a video about how Vienna had been taken over by Muslim migrants, meaning that an American tech company has veto power over what the Hungarian government is allowed to say online.)

    I predict we’re going to see an acceleration towards Russia, China, and their vassal states developing parallel systems to insulate themselves from American financial and technological warfare. Was it Anatoly who stated that China’s “social credit” system is designed to make color revolutions impossible? I expect the worldwide deployment of those to accelerate as Belarus, Iran etc. seek any solution they can get to protect themselves from being Maduroed.

    As an aside, right-wingers who are wondering why President Trump has done nothing to protect freedom of speech online—despite his supporters being disproportionately targeted by censorship—now have their answer. Trump doesn’t want to end online censorship because he wants to use it against his and America’s enemies, Maduro being a case in point (IIRC, Ramzan Kadyrov also got the boot from social media on the State Department’s say-so). If his supporters get caught up in the net, he doesn’t care, because he’ll coast to reelection next year regardless (since the Democrats are on schedule when it comes to infighting).

  17. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Well, even before the comments appeared, I was put off by your first paragraph, too. You could have allowed for the impact of other factors, including the Venezuelan government’s economic policies, without effectively whitewashing Uncle Sam’s longstanding efforts to undermine that country’s sovereignty. As written, the paragraph reminded me of the obligatory, opening disparagement of Putin, Assad, Gaddafi, etc., we see in Establishment-tolerated criticism of the Empire.

    • Replies: @216
  18. @Matt Forney

    Jack Ryan

    You initially posted this on Occidental Dissent…..

    How many body bags containing the bodies of NATIVE BORN WHITE WORKING CLASS TEENAGE MALES returning back from Venezuela to grieving White Mothers in the White American Heartland will it require to keep your whore-puss-in-the-twat “White” Venezuelan girl friend happy?

    • Replies: @216
  19. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Matt Forney

    “I support intervening in Venezuela purely on the basis of the Monroe Doctrine: there is no reason why the U.S. should tolerate a Russia/China-aligned hostile state in its backyard.”

    So, right-sized imperialism? Reminds me of Mr. Buchanan.

  20. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry

    How is this theft? If government deposit gold in England, then will be some English contract or legal system, that allows them to hold or release gold according to their regulations and political relations at the time. That will be implicit in contract or legal regime, when you deposit gold in England.

    It is okay to steal your money as long as it is done legally.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  21. @anonymous

    Jack Ryan’s comments are so divorced from reality that they reside in dimension delusional…

    The real world:Invade the World…Invite the LA RAZA RACE POWER!!!! Ocasio Ortiz’s Voting Bloc…..

  22. songbird says:
    @Matt Forney

    The Monroe doctrine seems to have been overwhelming harmful to American interests.

    First there’s PR which was annexed largely to give the US a base in the Caribbean – utterly disastrous. Enormous direct costs. Not to mention the social and political costs of immigrants and of blurring the Euro identity of America.

    What was it good for? Keeping Euros out of Latin America. May have seemed smart back then, but with hindsight it was absolutely dunderheaded. European involvement would have encouraged European settlement. Not allowing it has cut our numbers and made America more of an economic magnet for Hispanics than we would have otherwise been.

    • Replies: @Matt Forney
  23. utu says:

    Is it possible that the visit of the two Tu-160’s two months ago was Putin’s invitation for the regime change in Venezuela?

  24. Hibernian says:

    “When you have the empty shelves of the late Soviet Union, the inflation rate of Zimbabwe, and the murder rate of Honduras, it’s safe to say that things have gone wrong somewhere. Nor am I blaming the US for it. Iran has avoided going down this route, despite much harsher and longer US sanctions, because its leaders avoided waging war on Economics 101.”

    “Venezuela, like any country, has this thing called borders and customs.”

    The former is the reason that the latter is illegitimate.

    A stopped clock is right twice a day and the neocons are right about Maduro.

    As with Cuba, there is a cloud of witnesses to the brutality of the Maduro regime.

    • Replies: @216
    , @anonymous coward
  25. Hibernian says:
    @Mitleser

    When the depositor is a brutal dictator whose power rests on his brutality with the most extreme of sham elections as a cover story, it’s prudent to freeze the accounts until a legitimate government claims them. The gold belongs to the people of Venezuela, not to Maduro or Guaido or anyone else individually.

  26. 216 says:
    @War for Blair Mountain

    A joint operation with Colombia and Brazil would minimize some of the consequences.

    Assembling the task force of Marines needed to carry out the invasion would take several weeks and be hard to disguise.

    The left is currently getting some cheap grace by pretending to be anti-war here. On that reason alone any talk of war should be dropped.

    Any grant of TPS is a de-facto amnesty, as the courts have ruled that any deportation of permiso holders is “racism”. So that’s another point against war, as a TPS declaration, or worse an act of Congress would formalize an amnesty. Invade/Invite

    Russia/China may force out Maduro for another Commnist Party leader, as they did in occupied Rhodesia. That’s probably the best course of option.

  27. 216 says:
    @Hibernian

    Any war means a TPS grant. That’s an amnesty of potentially 1 mln. Add in chain migration and it becomes several mln.

    California is our Alsace-Lorraine, I don’t see Xi or Putin offering me help to make it a GOP-dominated state again.

    Venezuela voted this government in, only they can remove it.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  28. Hibernian says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    “Chavez-Maduro are extremely nice and fluffy, by the standards of 20th century Communist dictatorships.”

    Yes, to the elite, for whatever reason. (Which is a weakness to be exploited.) To the middle class and increasingly to all but a few selected loyalists among the poor, not so much.

  29. Hibernian says:
    @216

    As to your last sentence, they are. They need a little help from their friends.

  30. 216 says:
    @anonymous

    No Mexican government has ever respected gringo sovereignty, while Mexico insists on a furious protection of its own sovereignty.

    Hugo Chavez was sponsoring leftist subversion across the hemisphere, he was even organizing inside the United States itself.

    If you want to talk about the lack of sovereignty, I will point to the US Right having minimal presence in major corporations and academia, despite, oh I dunno half of the electorate.

  31. Hibernian says:
    @War for Blair Mountain

    He’s supporting a genuine nonviolent humanitarian movement.

  32. Hibernian says:
    @WorkingClass

    The Venezuelan oil industry was nationalized in 1978, long before Chavez. Sure, they need foreign markets and foreign supplied technical services. Almost every nation’s oil industry does.

  33. Matt Forney says: • Website
    @songbird

    Allowing European powers to invade and take over fledgling Latin American countries would have quickly led to the U.S. being enslaved by those same powers. The U.S. nearly lost the War of 1812 and would have been ripe for invasion—or at bare minimum economic colonization—if France or other powers been allowed to gain a foothold in the Americas. Note that the second the U.S. was unable to enforce the Monroe Doctrine (during the Civil War), the French swooped in to take over Mexico.

    Additionally, even if the Monroe Doctrine had not formally been declared, the British would have likely enforced a de facto version of it; they were big supporters of it because their Western Hemisphere colonies were the only ones that weren’t revolting. The Monroe Doctrine allowed the U.S. to carve out a dominant position in the Americas when it would have otherwise been relegated to a subservient role.

    Moreover, contra to your claim that “European settlement” would have occurred in Latin America without the Monroe Doctrine, there was very little white British settlement in their colonies outside of Canada (not many whites in Belize, Guyana, Jamaica etc.).

    Agree on Puerto Rico, that place is a boat anchor dragging the U.S. down.

    • Replies: @songbird
  34. There is a report from Caracas here with photos of supermarket shelves full of produce..
    http://thesaker.is/reporters-diary-from-venezuela/
    And insight into why the US is attacking Venezuela here ..
    https://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2019/01/why-must-venezuela-be-destroyed.html
    It’s also worth noting that the crisis has been deliberately created by the US which started exporting oil after a 40 year ban in order to drive the price down …
    https://money.cnn.com/2016/01/29/investing/us-oil-exports-begin/index.html
    Which is why Venezuela is in dire straights
    From OPEC ..“Venezuela’s oil revenues account for about 98 per cent of export earnings. “

    • Replies: @DreadIlk
  35. AP says:
    @Matt Forney

    (Of course, there’s no reason why Russia should tolerate U.S.-aligned hostile states in ITS backyard; hearing the same people who are gung-ho on Venezuela/Iran intervention whine about Russia occupying Crimea or aiding South Ossetia and Abkhazia is always funny).

    Ukraine is a lot closer to the West than Venezuela is to Russia or China; it is as much the West’s backyard as it is Russia’s, so the situations are not analogous.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  36. Since Venezuelans fell from a better quality of life—and since the USA, too, could go down the hyperinflation road, I feel kind of sorry for them, but if the photos all over the Internet are real, most of the Venezuelans do not look like they are anywhere near starvation……Maduro apparently kept his country’s own food trucks running.

    That said, people who poo poo the need for oil are not realists. You could realistically say that military intervention is not what Deplorables voted for, and it probably would not produce the desired access to workable oil-purchasing business channels.

    Some are true believers in the shale oil miracle. Some heretics say all the easy-access shale oil has been pumped, with no resulting profits to show for billions in shale oil debt. Some say now that the shale oil start-up costs are behind them, those debt-laden shale oil companies will preside over another oil boom @ USA.

    Either way, US politicians will always try to keep a Plan B for oil. That is just realism. It does not require regime change, though. The people of Venezuela need to do that themselves….in-house. Non-home-grown regime change never goes as planned. It just generates more hatred of the USA and, despite all of that hatred, more foreigners beating down the doors of the un-walled US border.

  37. @Hibernian

    brutality of the Maduro regime

    And that is bad exactly why again?

  38. Tyrion 2 says:

    There’s a performative aspect to this border clash for both sides.

    Indeed, for ages I couldn’t understand why Maduro wouldn’t let the food through. It is free.

    Then I realised that most of his legitimacy derives from gibs, and that he can’t have a competing source of gibs to his base of gibmedats.

    Also, I don’t see why America has to forgo American interests in its behaviour towards Venezuela. America is not in a polity with Venezuela. There is no deeper understanding that Maduro would ignore his interests were the shoe on the other foot.

    There are nations that can be said to be in community. That is, they have a mutual set of values and sympathy. Perhaps even Venezuela is on that with America on the most basic of levels – no open, industrial genocide? But certainly not in there being a shared assumption that both will respect the other’s absolute national sovereignty.

    I appreciate that this type of discourse can lead to childish “they started it” type arguments, but that’d be irrelevant to my point – either they’re in a polity that precludes this type of behaviour and Trump is reneging on centuries of mutual respect in a move of great disloyalty or they were were never in such a relationship – and it is all quite reasonable.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  39. @Tyrion 2

    Chaos in Venezuela will lead to greater Latin American migration to America, furthering the demographic dispossession of pure laine Americans. Victory in Venezuela will also encourage the ruling class in America to continue with their diplomatic brinkmanship in various international arenas, which increases the chances of a disastrous great-power war breaking out.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  40. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Hyperborean

    Chaos in Venezuela will lead to greater Latin American migration to America

    Maduro’s administration has seen a vast number of refugees leave Venezuela. Maduro going would likely lessen that.

    But really, tying foreign interventions or lack of foreign interventions to immigration is an unconvincing way to argue for or against them. Immigration is a separate issue that depends entirely on US domestic law and its proper domestic enforcement.

    Victory in Venezuela will also encourage the ruling class in America to continue with their diplomatic brinkmanship in various international arenas, which increases the chances of a disastrous great-power war breaking out

    Hubris is always a danger of success, but talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater…

    • Agree: Hibernian
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  41. @AP

    … it is as much the West’s backyard as it is Russia’s

    This is incorrect from Russia’s perspective, at best only half correct from the Ukrainian perspective (as proxied by pre-Crimea polls), and almost entirely incorrect from the Western perspective with the partial exception of Poland (most everyone was identifying the Ukraine with Russia until 2004… and despite all the beseeching the Ukraine has done, Western support has been mostly rhetorical).

    • Replies: @Hibernian
    , @AP
  42. Hibernian says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    About 30% of the city I live in speaks (along with English in the vast majority of cases) the same language Venezuelans do. Seems there are cultural/linguistic commonalities as well as geographic proximity in both cases.

  43. @Tyrion 2

    Maduro’s administration has seen a vast number of refugees leave Venezuela. Maduro going would likely lessen that.

    By turning the country into a warzone?

    But really, tying foreign interventions or lack of foreign interventions to immigration is an unconvincing way to argue for or against them. Immigration is a separate issue that depends entirely on US domestic law and its proper domestic enforcement.

    In the present political climate two are certainly interlinked. “Invade the world, invite the world” is a position held by many people in power.

    Hubris is always a danger of success, but talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater…

    Encouraging the generals and other influential figures who sabre-rattle against Iran or the DPRK is rather risky.

  44. ‘the crazy nationalizations of supermarkets’ was done for the same reason as the crazy nationalization of PDVSA: the elites shut both down as soon as Chavez was elected and have used sabotage and created fake shortages ever since.

    • Agree: Digital Samizdat
  45. anon[209] • Disclaimer says:

    How long does one keep on arguing with a convicted killer for another chance of roaming free in country sides? MarconRubio should be asked to recuse himself from using not only Twitter but also using Latin America for his electioneering . He has crossed a line that would have put someone in jail if were directed against any presidential hopefuls . Why is he still roaming free? In a court of crime,his reference to Ghadafi would be a ground to reopen the case and possibly indict him or start a Muller type investigation to catch the psychopaths in State department .

    America’s obsession with Venezuela reminds of the Iraq war followed by sanctions . Our tendency to exonerate US in relation to Venezuela is reminiscent of similar attitude to Iraq. Back then , people would be blaming mostly Saddam for the effects that accrued from sanction. Today the reaction is same- it is socialism . But let that country go through the election cycle and elect the alternative if they chose so. Socialism of Iran , Russia, Venezuela suffer from one big problem – they don’t have reserve currency – neither the capacity to create or legally acquire . Today’s type of capitalism is foisted on the rest of the world . It is not embraced by the majority but is forced on them . It is planted by force and maintained by force .

    Let’s see how American shelves stay fully stocked once the militarily manufactured reserve position of the currency is knocked down like the statue of Saddam or Lenin.

    Until the interference is stopped , any reference to the shortcomings of Venezuelan system should be put in the back of the line for any analytical attention

  46. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I was referring to the geography. Kiev is closer to Warsaw than it is to Moscow.

  47. @216

    Venezuela poses 0 threat to the Historic Native Born White American Majority Working Class Majority. Whatever comes out of the mouth from Trump…Bolton…Pompeo….known psychopathic liars should be considered a lie……

    The demonization of Chavez-Maduro are based upon lies…..Chávez-Maduro commited two fatal “sins”:1)economic nationalization….2)not joining up with the Israeli Firster Club

    My NATIVE BORN WHITE AMERICAN RACIAL INTERESTS and having a moral code that is incompatible with the neocon moral code……I oppose the overthrow of the Maduro Goverment….This is Neocon Socialism Trump Oligarch Socialism-overthrowing Goverments on behalf of Jew only Israel and Exxon with the tax $$$$ of the Working Class-not my kind of Socialism….

  48. @Hibernian

    Venezuela poses 0 threat to the Historic Native Born White American Majority Working Class Majority. Whatever comes out of the mouth from Trump…Bolton…Pompeo….known psychopathic liars should be considered a lie……

    The demonization of Chavez-Maduro are based upon lies…..Chávez-Maduro commited two fatal “sins”:1)economic nationalization….2)not joining up with the Israeli Firster Club

    My NATIVE BORN WHITE AMERICAN RACIAL INTERESTS and having a moral code that is incompatible with the neocon moral code……I oppose the overthrow of the Maduro Goverment….This is Neocon Socialism Trump Oligarch Socialism-overthrowing Goverments on behalf of Jew only Israel and Exxon with the tax $$$$ of the Working Class-not my kind of Socialism….

  49. A modest proposal:

    If Venezuela gets to be bombed and napalmed….by the principle of moral symmetry….Israel gets to be bombed and napalmed also……10x as much napalm for being the enabler of ISIS and AIPAC…ADL…And SPLC…

  50. John Bolton is in charge of Trump’s Venezuela Policy….

    This is like having psychopathic serial killers Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacey in charge of US Foreign Policy…….

    The stench of rotting corpses flows up to nostrils from the floor-boards in John Bolton’s home…

  51. Philip says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Anatoly

    I suspect we’re too far apart on some of these matters so will make three brief points in reply.

    One, on the main issue of the hour – the predatory nature of this latest Washington/Wall St “humanitarian intervention” – we are entirely in agreement.

    Two, a couple of points on the specifics of your Iran comparison. The Iranian economy – in 1979 Asia’s second largest but, like Venezuela’s, dangerous oil dependent – is in lousy shape. This past six months oil output has fallen from 2.5 million barrels to less than 1 Similar plunges have been in the steel and auto sectors. More important though is the fact that the theocrats’ ruthless liquidation of enemies within makes the comparison with Chavism meaningless.

    Three, I realise of course that you “don’t buy” my understanding of the way the world works. But you throw out the unsubstantiated suggestion that I am “torturously fitting differential national outcomes into the particularities of imperialism, exploitation, etc. that supposedly acted them”. I actually linked to my review of a book, Imperialism in the twenty-first century, whose approach is decidedly bottom up and empirically based. It draws on vast amounts of data not hitherto accessible to show that imperialised economies can not escape the trap of shifting to manufacturing entirely on terms set by the global north. You are of course entitled to find fault with either that data – largely the product of IMF and WTO compiliations – or the analysis of it, but first you need to engage with it.

    That’s it for me. I’m back to doing what tiny bit I can to promote awareness of the shafting we both agree is threatening the Venezuelan people. Thanks for engaging with me.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  52. regime-change.txt: “The dictator is killing his own people!”

  53. DreadIlk says:
    @Stevelancs

    Report from saker’s website is both illuminating and confirmatory. Fucking crazy world out there.

  54. songbird says:
    @Matt Forney

    I think there is a distinction to be made between areas with very low numbers of Europeans and those with higher numbers, which already had urban communities with European culture. The latter would have been more attractive targets for settlement.

    The US had a large demographic lead, making a real challenge from European powers in Latin America no more likely than one from Canada.

    • Replies: @216
  55. Re the Venezuelan stores with the full shelves … Was reminded of Israeli propaganda showing similarly well-stocked stores in Gaza … which most Gazans cannot afford to shop in

    What seems to be little discussed, re the main reason Venezuelan people are suffering – hyper-inflation and a near worthless currency, so you can neither sell what you produce nor buy what you need

    This type of very rare hyper-inflation (58 documented cases, defined as inflation > 50% for 1 month plus, Weimar, Zimbabwe etc) is one thing not caused by ‘sanctions’ or other foreign attack, this is only internal incompetence / corruption regarding money-note-printing, as happened with Mugabe in Zimbabwe

    And it is easily fixed by technical means – See Steve Hanke, advisor on the ‘currency board’ that instantly ended Bulgaria’s hyper-inflation in the 1990s etc

    Russia, China, plus IMF etc all know this … So why are China, Russia etc not giving Venezuela sound advice on how to set up a currency and end hyper-inflation, so their people can have normal commerce?

    Which leads one to ask – Is Maduro himself a ‘Trojan horse’ to de-stabilise his own country, via the hyper-inflation stupidity?

    Is Venezuela one more ‘show’ put on for us, to put the reforms of Hugo Chávez in the grave along with him, after Chávez’ ‘mysterious massive cancer’ killed him at age 58?

    Regarding the lorries with aid for Venezuela, set on fire at the Venezuela-Colombia border crossing – the US claiming Maduro is burning aid for his own people

    Here is a 21 second video, showing someone apparently throwing a molotov cocktail from the Colombian side, toward the Venezuelan border police … it seems to hit the lorry
    https://twitter.com/graffitiborrao/status/1099540683575185408/video/1

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
  56. 216 says:
    @songbird

    The limit on European settlement has more to do with the losses caused by the Napoleonic Wars and the World Wars, which removed large numbers from the population and their prospective descendants.

    Argentina and Brazil had to subsidize passage for European immigrants, while historically the UK underwrote passage to Australia. The hacienda system of cheap labor in Latin America obviated the appeal of either industrialization, or the Homestead Act.

    Would Spain/etc have had interest in subsidizing passage? Historically they were the last to industrialize.

    The other component to the Monroe Doctrine is the Good Neighbor Policy, which historically has been ignored. It is an important part of the traditional American foreign policy that should be revived.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  57. @216

    The Good Neighbor Policy was an innovation of the criminal Franklin Delano Roosevelt regime rather than a traditional component of the Monroe Doctrine.

    In exchange for sacrificing America’s real material interests in Latin America, Roosevelt got Latin American governments to pay lip service to his demented anti-German foreign policy.

  58. @Brabantian

    So why are China, Russia etc not giving Venezuela sound advice on how to set up a currency and end hyper-inflation, so their people can have normal commerce?

    They are.

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