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The Fact Sheet on the EO from the White House offers no clues as to why that is, but I reckon they don’t really have to, because: Empire.
“President Obama today issued a new Executive Order (E.O.) declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela. The targeted sanctions in the E.O. implement the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014, which the President signed on December 18, 2014, and also go beyond the requirements of this legislation.”
One might be forced to believe it’s cuz of…their vast oil resources, and the fact that they were nationalized, eh? And that socialism is indeed ‘a clear and present danger’ to a capitalist hegemon. Emergency! Emergency!
Interestingly, this Al Jazeera video with similar news is ballasting the Empire’s take on the subject, buying the ‘Maduro is firing on grassroots protestors’ lies, and with film footage!!!
Yes, Maduro answered him this morning; not the title EuroNews gave it: ‘Venezuelan president launches verbal tirade against Obama’.
Oh, damn those nations’ leaders ‘who engage in public acts of corruption, and individuals who have violate the rights of citizens. You should be like the US of A, and by gum ‘we’re not sanctioning Venezuelans as a whole, oh no. We’re just looking out for your freedoms and democracy; if Maduro just happens to be overthrown, the Bolivarian system unwound, that’s not on us!’
Now this most recent iteration of the propaganda war against Maduro started at the end of January, when the Big News sites like the NYTimes began concern-trolling the nation’s financial woes due to the huge drop in oil prices of late.
“Some investors fear Venezuela will default on billions of dollars in bonds, but Mr. Maduro has said the country will pay its debts.
Typically, in an election year like this one, when voters will choose a new legislature, the government showers supporters with goods, like refrigerators and washing machines, or other benefits, like free housing. But now there may not be enough foreign currency to import appliances and construction materials.
In interviews, shoppers did not say they were going hungry. Rather, many said the economic crisis meant eating canned sardines instead of chicken, or boiled food instead of fried because vegetable oil is so hard to get. Many said they ate meat less frequently because it is out of stock or too expensive. Fresh fish can be harder to find, in part, fishermen said, because they find it more profitable to use their boats to sell subsidized Venezuelan diesel on the black market in a high-seas rendezvous instead of hauling in a catch.
But social media in Venezuela is full of urgent pleas from patients trying to find prescription medicine. [snip]
He said the shortages stemmed from the government’s foreign exchange controls, which have kept medical importers from getting access to the money they need to make purchases abroad.”
Yes, the last is indeed true, but had been deemed understandably necessary; capital flight was seen as very disadvantageous and inflationary.
The Times and other major propaganda outlets make no mention of the deep state NGOs like USAID, NED and their offspring that have been helping to foment the rebellion of the middle and upper classes since Hugo was elected. Nor did they mention that (ahem) past coup plotters were stealing commodities from warehouses and trucking them over the border into Colombia to help create further shortages. Many of the Maduro hits by the MSM cite the shortage of toilet paper to har har about. (Failed state!)
Nor do they mention the fact that the alleged grassroots rebellion against the Maduro government is being fomented by the same opposition leaders who staged a short-lived coup against Chavez in 2002: Henry Capriles, Leopold Lobez, multi-millionaire Maria Corina Machado, nor that NED, USAID funneled millions to them in their efforts to unseat Chavez in 2004. Their efforts failed, but have continued apace, if using different tactics, including street blockades and fighting, burning schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure and blaming it on the current government.
Yes, some of them have been arrested, as have been the ‘blue coup plotters’ discovered just weeks ago.
“Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro revealed new evidence on the coup plot against his administration Tuesday during his weekly televised show, revealing that much of it was planned in the United States.
President Maduro played the audio of a conversation held between Carlos Manuel Osuna Saraco, a former Venezuelan politician living in New York, and a soldier, in which Osuna dictates the statement that the rebel soldiers should read out during the coup. [snip]
According to information the government had previously released, the coup plotters had a four-stage plan to oust the president, which would begin with economic warfare and finish with a violent military uprising. [snip]
Maduro also showed a copy of a new “100-day Plan for Transition”, designed by the coup plotters and the opposition, which stipulated a series of measures which would be implemented by the planned governing junta.
The plan would take effect immediately after the coup, calling for early elections and the privatization of all public services.
The transitional government would request all of the current Venezuelan officials to turn themselves into the police within a period of 180 days. It also requested every Cuban worker within the government to turn themselves in unarmed to their local police station. The plan also contemplated a role for the IMF, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank to intervene in the Venezuelan economy.”
Lest you think this current effort is anything new, you might want to take a gander at this long piece in which Eva Golinger lays out the timeline of the efforts to dislodge the duly elected socialist governments of Chavez and Maduro here in ‘US Aggression Against Venezuela, Fact Not Fiction’ from 2002 to present (stunning work). She also destroys the claims that Jen Psaki, Obama, et.al. that “The United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means” with many of the most known and egregious examples of US/CIA coup d’etats, from Mossadegh in Iran in 1953 onward . One would have to have been living incommunicado in Antarctica for several decades to swallow that rubbish. Golinger, by the way, was the first I’d known to break the WikiLeaks revelations on US efforts to destabilize Venezuela via deep state NGOs like NED and USAID, US NatSec, and State Department BigWigs. She also likens the current strategy to the ‘destabilize, then overthrow’ that Chile and the Allende government was treated to in 1973.
The ever-obliging-to-the-Empire Human Rights Watch has been claiming that VZ has “criminalized dissent” (sound familiar?) and “perpetrated violence on its citizens”, etc., but quotes “a network of 18 Venezuelan human rights organizations” for their statistics and claims. One might wonder if the ‘18’ are friends of Lopez, Capriles, et.al.
You’ll remember reading about the bogus ‘Cubano’ Twitter accounts that USAID had set up. It’s likely that #SOS Venezuela began that way, but it indeed has proved far more effective than the Cubano ones. Hollywood stars populate it, and rant and rave about the many ways in which dissent is stifled, grassroots protestors are fired upon, jailed, and whatnot. Seriously, one can even buy #SOS Venezuela T-shirts to prove how much one cares for the benighted brown people in “our backyard” (h/t Joe Biden). Many states have these accounts; this one’s in New Yawk; this message was Tweeted by MissUniverseUSA:
And yeah, the economy is in rough shape, and inflation is crazy high. Maduro wasn’t able to diversify the oil economy as Hugo had planned, so there are indeed long lines for imported food and other commodities/appliances, etc., though it’s not altogether the government’s fault. And Maduro has made mistakes, for certain, and apparently just took out some very high interest loans to get by (18%, iirc). He’s considering raising gasoline prices from the equivalent of 40 cents a gallon, iirc. But meanwhile, the standard of living for the peasant class is still rising, as i the literacy rate. Hola!
Maduro’s also been abroad looking to strengthen economic ties with (and likely hoping for cheaper loans), asking the Saudis to pump less oil, and in late January, traveled to the CELAC conference in Costa Rica an organization of Latin American and Caribbean states that Chavez created as an alternative to the OAS (mentioned by Obama in his Emergency Declaration).
From Mintpressnews: ‘CELAC Conference Aims To Thwart American Meddling In Latin America By excluding U.S. and Canadian participation, a bloc of Latin American and Caribbean nations maintain autonomy in their decision-making processes toward finding solutions to issues plaguing the continent — particularly U.S. intervention.’ by Ramona Wadi:
“BELEN, Costa Rica — The 3rd summit of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) was characterized by a sharp message to the United States: Stop attempting to infiltrate in the region.
Held in Jan. 28 and 29 in Belen, Costa Rica, the 33 member states forming CELAC approved the “Political Declaration of Belen” which, among other things, rejects U.S. intervention in the continent, the Cuban embargo and recent sanctions imposed upon Venezuela.
According to Venezuelan Analysis, the “Political Declaration of Belen” states, “We reiterate our most profound rejection of the implementation of all coercive and unilateral measures and once more call on the U.S. to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade which it has imposed on its sister nation for over five decades.”
The declaration affirms CELAC’s responsibilities in areas such as sustainable development and equality, global development, climate change and global warming, as well as making contributions to peace in order to boost sustainable development, strengthening ties with other organizations, and cooperating to achieve the outlined aims.
CELAC host and President of Costa Rica Luis Guillermo Solís insisted upon expanding the organization by establishing ties with other countries and entities, such as China, the African Union, the European Union and BRICS – the bloc made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa that is challenging established policies at a regional and international level by providing an alternative to existing institutions, as outlined in the BRICS Declaration.
Unlike the Organization of American States (OAS), which was founded in 1948, CELAC has Cuba as a full member and does not invite U.S. or Canadian participation. By reserving the group’s decision-making to Latin America and the Caribbean, the organization retains its autonomy from imperialist dictates. Yet its effectiveness will be impacted by allegiances to the U.S. among several countries, such as Colombia — a country Colin Powell once described as in line with the American notion of human rights.”
Why yes, Colin Powell; a bastion of human rights is Colombia, as is our (NAFTA) ally…Mexico.
Now whether or not all of this might be signaling the electoral end (or even by successful coup) depends on whose opinions one reads. Some supporters of the administration are noting that there seem to be more citizens wavering in their hopes that this grand experiment will work long term, and rumors are floating that the military that always supported Chavismo are showing internal cracks. Can this latest calumny by the Imperium cause enough pushback to re-solidify popular support? I sure do hope so.
Late last night I discovered a post-Obama-executive order hashtag: #ObamaYankeeGoHome. It’s apparently trending on Twitter across Latin America (yes, the ‘opposition’ has already discovered it), it’s Glorious Fun!
This one is from 12 minutes ago (9:24 a.m. MST):
So many are so creative, so clear in message, knowledge, and strength, although ‘oil’ as ‘the’ issue predominates, not Bolivarism itself.
Long live Bolivarism! ¡Viva la Revolución!
Holy hell; I just found this at Telesur: Obama Praises Venezuela’s Right-wing Opposition Leader; His remarks come as new videos reveal the full extent of the Venezuelan opposition’s violent plans.:
“U.S. president Barack Obama praised the right-wing opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez on Tuesday during his speech at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York.
Lopez, a prominent opposition leader, was jailed after leading the violent protests which took place in Venezuela in February this year, resulting on 43 deaths. He was a part of a group of opposition radicals which launched the campaign “The Exit” against President Nicolas Maduro.
During his speech, President Obama compared Lopez to other jailed opposition leaders such as Ahmed Maher in Egypt and Liu Xiaobo in China.
Obama’s remarks came the same day that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said at a meeting in New York that he wanted mutually respectful relations with the U.S. but stressed that these must be based on the U.S. ending its interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs.
Obama’s comments on Lopez come as, in Venezuela, three new videos have been released showing violent opposition radicals planning terror plots including arson and the murdering of civilians.”
For further reading:
US and Venezuela: Decades of Defeats and Destabilization, by James Petras
What Is Happening in Venezuela?, By Greg Grandin- The Nation, March 3rd 2015
Venezuela recalls top envoy from Washington following US sanctions; Diplomatic row intensifies after sanctions targeting seven top officials