Look Out Venezuela, the Usual Suspects are Comin’ after You (and your oil)…Again


VZ as seen thru MSM

I won’t blame you if you’ve grown tired of my tirades against the constant siege against VZ, Bolivarism, and Chavismo for the past ten years, but this coup, soft or otherwise (R2P, perhaps?) just may succeed.  There’s no doubt that Nicolás Maduro has taken a lot of wrong steps to get to this point, but many of those missteps were the results off panic, imo.

‘Abby Martin: World Ignores Opposition Violence at Venezuela Protests’,  Empire Files host Abby Martin just returned from Venezuela where she saw first hand how violent opposition protesters attempt to intimidate reporters and thereby give a false impression of what is happening, TRNN

(the transcript is here.)  If you read nothing else in the diary, please read Abby’s account; she and her partner Mike put their lives on the line to bring us her non-Imperial and compromised ‘human rights NGOs’ reporting.

Two pithy passages:

Abby Martin: “Yeah, and to give some context to this, I mean, to really explain the violence that the opposition is carrying out and the complete absence of commentary on this violence from these watchdogs, Sharmini, I mean, we’re talking about these protestors that have attacked hospitals, burned down government buildings. They burned down the Housing Ministry, which has provided 1.6 million homes for poor people over the last decade. Political assassinations. I mean, directly assassinating Chavistas, attacking communes. We visited one building that was, all the windows were broken. It was just simply an art commune that gave out free dance lessons and music lessons to local kids. I mean, it’s kind of sick when you see on the front lines what is being attacked and why, what is the political motivation behind these lynch mobs. Before I get into the story that happened to us and what’s going on to journalists, I mean, you mentioned that young man, Orlando Figuera, that was burned alive.

This is the third Afro-Venezuelan who has been lynched, attacked by a mob during these protests, black, and the clip with his family being interviewed, and even him before he tragically died from his severe burns. He said that they said, “Hey, black guy, are you a Chavista?” And they threw a Molotov cocktail on him. I mean, they have pulled bus drivers out of the buses and torched the buses. They, throwing explosives at people, so it is just quite astounding not only is that happening, but then when you look at what happens to journalists there. Before we went, of course, we heard even Reuters journalists had been attacked by these people, but we know how dangerous it is to be a state-run journalist there, Sharmini, which is why we didn’t say that we were openly with teleSUR.”

The comment section is being heavily trolled by a man named ‘Carlos’.

Ah, but Matt Taibbi might fight the Vampire Squid well, but now he’s also fighting  for the Empire:

Two Vile Names, One Sweetheart Deal: Goldman Bails Out Maduro’; The Vampire Squid rescues an infamous autocrat, matt taibbi, rolling stone

“Who says two amoral and corrupt institutions with diametrically opposing ideologies can’t collaborate to sink even lower together?

Maduro’s authoritarian government has been rocked by protests this spring thanks to widespread economic and political devastation. (Maduro blames his country’s problems on an “economic war” waged by Washington.) The most shocking statistic is that 75 percent of Venezuelans are said to have lost at least 19 pounds from food shortages.

The Goldman deal was a win-win for the bank and the dictator. Goldman bought $2.8 billion worth of oil bonds for 32 cents on the dollar, according to the Times of London. Maduro’s regime, in return, immediately gets to stock its coffers with about $865 million.

Julio Borges, president of the National Assembly and a leading opposition figure, denounced Goldman for “aiding and abetting” the goblin of Bolivarian socialism:

“Goldman Sachs’ financial lifeline to the regime,” Borges wrote in a letter to Lloyd Blankfein, “will serve to strengthen the brutal repression unleashed against the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans peacefully protesting for political change in the country.”

Borges added that he believed Goldman “decided to make a quick buck off the suffering of the Venezuelan people.”

Well, you get the drift.  But given the fact that Maduro thinks that it’s his and VZ’s duty not to default on payments to the IMF for past loan shark loans, that may be where the money went…not into his pocket, Mattie.  And F, you, Taibbi, by the by, for not checking into what’s been up in VZ for a decade or more, but just parroting the same old MSM bullshit.  Forbes?  OMG; aren’t you just adorable?

He even quotes past-putsch leader Henrique Capriles via the Miami Herald:

“”Why do they need this money?” Capriles wondered. “To buy bombs and war supplies that are running out? To finance a fraudulent electoral campaign?”

‘A Response to Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi on Venezuela’, Joe Emersberger, venezuelanalysis.com, June 7th 2017   (Embersberger attempts to educate Taibbi, and at least one commenter under Taibbi’s hit piece brought the link.)  Well, sure, let’s hear from Bloomberg again, while we’re at it…

From April 3, 2017: ‘Bloomberg’s Hit Job on Venezuela – and Me’, michael hudson

“I just had a disastrous and embarrassing interaction with Bloomberg, and feel that I was ambushed and sandbagged by having my comments taken out of context in a hit piece Bloomberg’s journalists wrote on Venezuela – evidently trying to distort my own views in a two-for-one job.”

After narrating the bizarre opacity with ‘journalist’ Christine Jenkins at length, especially having told her that he really wasn’t up on circumstances in VZ but had commented often as to inadvisability of nations perpetrating austerity on citizens due to bonds held by foreign investors, nor had he ever been in contact with Maduro, he writes:

“I was appalled to find the article a hit-piece on Venezuela, and to make me appear to criticize President Maduro by implying that the country is not helpable. I never said that I was not “a fan of the socialist leader.” I applaud his attempts to maneuver as best he can within the corner into which Venezuela has been painted. I did indeed repeat the headlines of the day – that the country “has entered a period of anarchy.” There were riots going on, and a constitutional crisis led to the Supreme Court suspending its congress. That wasn’t a criticism, just my “umm-hmm” comment on what the reporter was telling me about the situation.

Venezuela has made herculean efforts to pay its bondholders in recent years. This has been a political decision to avoid the even deeper problems that default would cause. I’m in no position to second-guess President Maduro or other Venezuelan policy makers. They’ve probably steered the best course available to them – bad as the choices are.”

Will we be hearing hits on Maduro’s ‘dictatorship’ soon from George Clooney and his pals at CFR soon?  I just checked; a very reasonable-sounding (at the top) hit piece with even some truth in it.  ;-)  And of course, Zimbabwe is on their ‘concern-trolling interventionist cuz ‘that’s our job!’ list.

‘US Begins Military Exercises off Venezuelan Coast’, telesur english, June 7

“In April, Kurt Tidd, US Southern Command chief submitted a report to the senate warning that Venezuela could be a “destabilizing” element for the region.

The United States Southern Command began military exercises Tuesday with 18 other nations and about 2,500 soldiers on the island of Barbados, 670 miles from Venezuela’s coast.

According to the Commander of the U.S. Southern Command Kurt W. Tidd these military maneuvers ensure the security of the region. However, the military force has been accused of intervening and threatening governments in the region, such as Venezuela.

In April, Tidd submitted a report to the U.S. Senate warning that Venezuela could be a “destabilizing” element for the region. The official’s statements have been denounced by the Venezuelan government amid other actions by the U.S. to put pressure on the South American country, including OAS attempts to apply the Democratic Charter against Venezuela, led by Secretary General Luis Almagro.”

But in case you might have doubted that #TradeWinds was just practice for emergencies, US Southern Command retweeted this generous USian largesse today:

‘Washington Eyes More Sanctions for Venezuela’, telesur, 14 June 2017

“U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that Washington is working on a “very robust list” of individuals in Venezuela to target in expanding U.S. sanctions against the country.

Tillerson said the State Department was working with the Department of Treasury to sanction the South American nation for what he said were human rights violations. The former ExxonMobil head spoke during a U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Tillerson responded to Republican member of Congress Ileana Ros Lehtinen, who asked him to include more “human rights violators” in the sanctions against Venezuela as months of violent protests in the country have left more than 80 people dead.

The official recalled that last month the Treasury already imposed sanctions on several members of Venezuela’s Supreme Court after declaring the National Assembly in contempt.”

Ileana Ros Lehtinen was born is Cuba; did her family repatriate to Miami post-Castro?  She’s fervently anti-Maduro, as are many, if not most of her constituents.  “U.S. businesses should be avoiding deals with Maduro like the plague,” Ros-Lehtinen said.” (with video from the House floor)

‘White Helmets” in Venezuela’, Wrong Kind of Green, May 10, 2017, tagged Avaaz, Humanitarian Agencies, Purpose, USAID, etc.

Editorial Comment by Internationalist 360:

“As the dirty war against the Venezuelan people unfolds at a swift and ruthless pace, the best accounts and analysis are not available in English. The report below is an example of critical information that we need today.  I am confident that readers can both understand what is said and make allowances for the fact this is run through a translator.

A new star has been born on the scrawny firmament

Investigative Report by Misión Verdad

It’s very long, and it includes photos and videos, but it’s again a bullshit psyop like the ‘award-winning’ Syrian White Helmets.  The exposé urges readers to follow the funding, the desire for  ‘heroes’ in a story narrative, the political ties shaping the message, the public’s need for spectacle…but if you’re so inclined, click in to see which bolded headings might prick your interest.

And finally, save for a few Tweets: ‘As violent right-wing protests continue in Venezuela, jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez openly called for a military rebellion’ telesur, June 14

“Jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez has openly called on the military to rebel, continuing a longstanding trend of right-wing coup mongering in the South American country aimed at forcing the government of President Nicolas Maduro out of office.

“To the soldiers who are on the streets today I want to send a very clear, calm message framed in our constitution,” Lopez said on a video published on his Twitter account. “You also have the right and duty to rebel, to rebel against orders that seek to repress the Venezuelan people. “

Lopez recorded the video inside the Ramo Verde prison where he is imprisoned since 2015 for inciting violence in the street barricade protests, known in Venezuela as “guarimbas,” in 2014 that led to the deaths of 43 people. He was sentenced to 13 years for his involvement in planning and promoting the violent blockades which injured hundreds and caused billions of dollars in damages to public buildings and infrastructure.

“Say no, say it is not your duty or even an order that you must comply with,” Lopez said.”

He (Lopez) had also participated in the attempted coup against Chavez in 2002, including being caught on video illegally detaining then Minister of Interior and Justice Ramon Rodriguez Chacin during the failed ouster.”  there’s more, of course.

Meanwhile, Nicolás Maduro has appealed to the Pope to help negotiate…peace  (?)

The Chavista’s  organization’s  attempts to counter Imperial propaganda:

24 responses to “Look Out Venezuela, the Usual Suspects are Comin’ after You (and your oil)…Again

  1. We need only look to the nation of Venezuela to see what happens when democracy is undermined,” Pence told the gathering of leaders in Miami. “That once-rich nation’s collapse into authoritarianism has pushed it into poverty and caused untold suffering for the Venezuelan people.”
    Stepping up Washington’s war of words with Caracas, Pence added: “We must all of us raise our voices to condemn the Venezuelan government for its abuse of power and its abuse of its own people, and we must do it now.”

    “Pence was at a conference to discuss improving security and economic prosperity in Central America, specifically in the violent nations of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.” (The Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America in miami in the DHS tweet.)

    maduro told the US to keep ‘it’s nose out of venezuela’.

    O/T, but only slightly, i loved putin’s offer of asylum to comey. re really is quite the witty one.

  2. re G Sax & the Maduro gov’t, are they able to do those things w/o authorization from someone? SEC? Treasury? as the target nation/gov’t, Maduro’s options are limited and being more limited all the time. someone offers what maybe a lifeline, looks like one, as you are drowning, what do you do? maybe it was a mistake, but the real question is what is G Sax up to. they are all about cashing in on crises they help manufacture, a la Greece and are really part of the weaponized financial arm of the war state. they may expect to make a buck by propping up the Maduro gov’t in the short term, to keep stoking flames of tension until Uncle Sam is ready to pounce. maybe.

    • i agree it’s by was of goldman sach’s shock doctrine, as they did in libya. the central bank must have put the shares up for sale goldman sucks claims that it was a blind purchase. sure, VZ was over a barrel, and maduro had made so many mistakes, actually creating a new currency to moot the black market for bolivars and prevent capital flight.. bit him in the ass, so he had to renege on all of it.

      depending on who you listen to, VZ has $77 billion in gold, and may have monetized some of it by the oil bond sales w/ gold as collateral. opposition julio borges claims that it was illegal to sell the bonds cuz congress hadn’t voted for it, and now the opposition is either suing or investigating before suing…goldman. i’m a bit murky about how much VZ oil companies are still nationalized, as there *may* be some subsidiaries that are privately owned.

      but all the rhetoric about ‘maduro wants to rewrite the constitution’ is b.s. he and his comrades had decided that holding a constitutional convention with delegates voted on…might satisfy the opposition. ‘he won’t leave office!!!’ his term’s not up until 2019, iirc, but as the opposition controls their congress, they’ve tried to amend the constitution to make prez terms 4, not 6 years. the supreme court blocked it, or said it couldn’t be retroactive, anyway. ‘maduro owns all the judges!’ well, that may be so, i dunno if they have to be confirmed, how, and whatnot. but a few of his former allies have turned against him, and that fact provides even more strident opposition in the media. chief state prosecutor luisa ortega is the biggie. and she’s allegedly attacking him from the left, as in ‘he’s ruining chavez’s legacy’. beats me.

      bout the only western journalist i trust on VZ is mark weisbrot of cepr. poking around the biz websites i found one dude saying close to ‘you don’t believe mark weisbrot? har har, w/ this link. hard to believe the guardian published him, but i guess dean baker gets published there, too.

    • fyi, from wsws: “The more high-profile contest was in Virginia Tuesday, where Lt. Governor Ralph Northam defeated former congressman Tom Perriello for the nomination, winning 55.9 percent of the vote to 44.1 percent, an unexpectedly wide margin.” the author didn’t seem to know that perriello IS avaaz. ;-)

      and ooof. full tilt, no holds barred: from marxist.com:Venezuela: Our programme for the Constituent Assembly’, june 16

      g’nite. i have a date w. ‘a man for all seasons’. (orson welles, thanx for the rec.)

  3. Three’s (Ukraine, Brazil. Venezuela) Company (CIA) :

    • how great to hear harry again, bruce. but yes, cia has been so involved in the coups and softish coups in the three, mainly in the form of usaid/cia. i don have a category for VZ, so i had to think how to access some of the wikileaks on VZ more easily, and oh, yes, eva golinger who used to get published at CP. here’s one on the first tranche, and z has related essays and videos on the right sidebar.

      Wikileaks: Documents Confirm US Plans Against VenezuelaEva Golinger, Dec. 19, 2010, comm.org

      added on edit: i’d looked on youtube for a short interview w/ philp agee i’d included in one VZ diary, but couldn’t find anything but long versions w/ the same interviewer. but i’ve found an oldie:

      How United States Intervention Against Venezuela Works’, Pt I of III, By Philip Agee – Venezuelanalysis.com, September 6th 2005 (agee authored ‘inside the company: CIA diary in 1975)

  4. a surprisingly (considering) even-handed take on herr T’s new cold war cuba policy from the atlantic:

    “One of the most depressing things about President Donald Trump’s decision to roll back elements of the Cuba opening is how predictable it was. A Republican candidate for president makes last-minute campaign promises to a hard-line Cuban American audience in South Florida. Senator Marco Rubio and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart hold him to those promises. The U.S. government announces changes that will hurt ordinary Cubans, harm the image of the United States, and make it harder for Americans to do business and travel somewhere they want to go.”

    and of course, O’s rapprochement was largely about bidness, but still.

    • I guess there’s a fair amount of historical fiction in A Man for All Seasons. or a simplification of More’s character. just how standup a guy was the king’s inquisitor for the faith? I never read anything but the first couple of paragraphs of Utopia, but they are awesome. and maybe the sob got what he deserved. I don’t know. I’m not personally too keen on standing up for *Roman Catholic* principles, but you know…still lots of great stuff in the movie.
      ——-
      “girls, there’s nothing like total ego collapse and dark night of the soul to help one discover one’s self & realize one’s dreams. let’s all reach for that rainbow!” shorty katy perry in NYT, but it needs to be put in a song…w/some mayan imagery or whatev. she can explore the astrological influences on her chart toppers.

      she is so meta. the US had an “extreme makeover” w/Trump’s election (“election”?). in some huge ways, that’s about it. no more blackface on stage. the iran deal, cuba, paris accords, etc., etc., were all things designed to be wiggled out of. and there’s no need for blackface or anything to be wiggled out of for so much of trump’s agenda (Afghanistan, VZ, mass deportations, economic policy in general [w/some b.s. fine-tuning on particulars.] Trump’s fully on board w/what the gang at wsws & elsewhere rightly said was the agenda of ACA: privatizing medicare/Medicaid. let’s privatize all the schools while we are at it. I mean, how many Palestinian-Israeli, US-N Korea, etc., “peace” deals can there actually be before, you know, peace? just how continuous is Trump policy vs. China w/Black Reagan Super Jesus (sigh. not my description of Obama)? oh wait, tpp is dead. darn.

      the purpose of NATO is “confrontation” w/Russia. maybe something about trump’s version of the “pivot to asia” pissed off a bunch of people and so the conflict w/in the state? I tho’t these people were supposed to be smart. nope. they’ve got lots invested in crushing Russia. for decades. but maybe trump is all like, well, what if we fuck up china’s shit royally first, which is the plan anyway, and then do Russia? (maybe via someone w/fewer biz deals to Russia? i don’t want to get into that.) doesn’t that work too? it is not beyond possible that a Lockheed or the like w/help from other state parties, initiates a “palace coup” b/c Lockheed stands to lose a few billion from a “pivot to asia” strategy. i wouldn’t put that kind of shit past any of these people for one second.

      but who knows? our oil is still under their soil. that ain’t changed in the slightest.

      and don’t these navy boats have radar & shit?

      • i hadn’t read utopia since senior year of HS, but i did pull up several pages of quotes, enjoyed the hell out of em. i like his humor well, and i guess in his case i don’t even mind that he believes that his duty is pleasing god rather than his king. as he told his interlocutors, it doesn’t matter if what i believe is right or wrong, it’s just…what i believe, and i will not sign the oath, but i will and have…stayed silent.

        my favorite quote from the film was: Cardinal Wolsey: ‘You’re a constant regret to me, Thomas. If you could just see facts flat-on, without that horrible moral squint… With a little common sense you could have made a statesman.’

        but yeah, i’ve seen lots off versions of henry the 8th, and woolsey, more, and cromwell are a bit different in all of them. opps, i hear mr. wd’s truck comin’ in from the big town. ;-) more later.

      • nutbar alert: when i’d read your comment and you’d jumped from utopia, thomas more to “girls, there’s nothing like total ego collapse and dark night of the soul to help one discover one’s self & realize one’s dreams” etc., at first id’ thought you were quoting form the film arrgh.

        but hold on, was katy perry at the NYT just a jest? gotta go look. OMG. too long 2 read, but this is the newly ’empowered’ singer (?) and her back-ups who used to wear poofy skirts and grab their loins? no more frothines, just total star power sexual liberation! great parody, thanks and lol.

        or fuck up iran’s shit first, drag in qatar as a red herring (pipelineistan). is there a plan? or just so random? the gcc nato is already comin’ back to haunt him, isnt it? our oil’ under their Sand.

  5. What I gather from the history and current goings on.

    1. Bad things happen to societies that don’t privatize their natural resources, especially fossil fuels. Especially when the US Secretary of State is a fossil fuel CEO on leave.

    2. Venezuela is obviously forgetting what the Monroe Doctrine was really about–not the protection of Bolivarism (the original one) but the extension of US plantation slavery.

    3. There are at least 18 nations that think that Maduro can be rolled. Is there a list of the nations participating in the military exercises.

    4. The threat of instability has to do with the scramble for Venezuela’s oil reserves. Without a big brother a lot of aspiring owners might decide to take it directly, which could be very destabilizing. Just ask the Iraqis how destabilizing it can become.

    It is easy to think through how to stabilize Eurasia; an alliance among Germany, China, and Russia (the Odd Fellows) would do it.

    It is easy to think through how to stabilize Africa, a little more difficult for the Middle East.

    But stabilizing the Americas as long as Uncle Sugar, Auntie Fruit, and the Oil Magnates are setting policy is very difficult to imagine. And that instability is exactly where Herr T is deporting all of the people ICE picks up (likely the Detroit-area Iraqi Christians as well).

    Thanks for reporting the latest actions of Southern Command.

    Gah!!!

    • yes. my comment just got eaten. Germany told the US to piss off re the new Russia sanctions. lots of instability.

      an invasion or even perhaps, depending on how it’s stage-managed, a “coup,” in VZ may only scare US ” ” “allies” ” “.

      there’s shenanigans afoot, cockamamie shenanigans afoot. S.A.’s ghawar oil field is clearly on some kind of time frame to run out of oil, but hey, Aramco is worth $200 billion in its IPO? uh huh, sure. now what can the Saudi royals do w/200 billion? diversify their economy away from al q. and weapons deals? sure. are they gonna? nope. what kind of derivatives etc. can be derived from Aramco’s IPO? how much fun will the “free market” have w/ this $200 billion?

    • egad, amigo. think how many words i couldda saved everyone if i’d just done your capsule narrative! now here are the nations and islands in the SoCommand #tradewinds 2017 boogie: “….”multinational exercise of security and response to maritime disasters in the Caribbean,” with the participation of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana , Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as military personnel from the US, Canada, France, Mexico and the United Kingdom.’ but when i’d peeked in a bit ago, i chortled to see:

      the biggest deal of supporting nations against VZ is the oas, fairly universal condemnation. mark weisbrot again:

      “The OAS has no positive role to play in resolving the political crisis in Venezuela, any more than would Senator Marco Rubio or other Florida politicians who seek regime change there. At this point, it should be clear to any informed observer that the organization is currently an instrument of those who simply want to use the current crisis to topple the Venezuelan government.

      I say this without exaggeration or hyperbole. People who want to avoid escalating violence or civil war in Venezuela should not pretend otherwise, no matter how much they hate the current government or want to see the opposition in power. They should not try to support a process that is so blatantly illegitimate, ill-intentioned, and dangerous.

      In Washington bubble circles, the large media outlets and US government are the ultimate arbiters of political legitimacy. Since these actors and their allies are all willing to pretend that the OAS is currently neutral, some well-intentioned people may want to also pretend that this is the case. They may believe that such intervention as the upcoming May 31 OAS meeting of foreign ministers, despite being controlled by partisan actors, would increase pressure on the Venezuelan government to negotiate.”

      “Americas as long as Uncle Sugar, Auntie Fruit, and the Oil Magnates”; bellisimo! yeah, in that long philip agee piece he also said one of the historical pre-cursors was nicaragua. i’d saved a link from a couple years ago on china/DRC, but i can’t find it on this cluttered word doc. my firefox may remember how i got to it…

    • here t’is: ‘INSIGHT-China’s ‘infrastructure for minerals’ deal gets reality-check in Congo’, via reuters

      “* Sicomines due to start copper production around September,* Chronic power shortages, bureaucracy dog project,* Expert says Sicomines will make Chinese hesitate on Congo, * Campaigners say infrastructure is poor and overpriced, and of course:
      Some Congolese activists say the man tasked with implementing the contract, Moise Ekanga, a close ally of President Joseph Kabila, runs what amounts to an opaque shadow government answerable only to the head of state from his yellow offices near the banks of the Congo River in Kinshasa.
      “Even the minister of mines cannot ask Mr Ekanga a question about that project,” said Jean Pierre Okenda, an adviser in Katanga to the Dutch-based development organisation Cordaid.”

      sorry, j; i can’t find any pending comments.

  6. Apologies for getting here late, wendye, and a happy Sunday to all. This is an important diary, and thank you for calling attention to that real news network piece. I’ll just add the following to your excerpts:

    “…And this one woman, Angie Perez, a quote unquote Emmy award-winning journalist from Miami, was tweeting out coordinates where Mike was going to be speaking in LA when we got back, and about 20 right-wing anti-communists came out with giant signs saying that Mike and I were spies for the dictatorship, and narcotraffickers, and … So you see this actually being translated into real life, where now we’re getting harassed in person by the same people who are inciting people to lynch us, so we have to have security now…”

    This and your following examples took me first to a book I read several years back written by a women who had married into a ‘high born’ family in Venezuela and consequently barely escaped with her life. And it all ties in with a piece I was beginning to formulate hopefully for posting here, which I’ve entitled “On Becoming a Goddess”. You will get the allusion here, wendye, and how your gentle comment to me recently stirred my creative urge.

    At the risk of saying this, I have the feeling that all horrific impulses in the world’s history stem from enforced inequality between man and woman – enforced because it is not the natural, emancipatory manner of worldly being. Women are weaker than men physically speaking – you can see that so well in the video frame above of Abby armed with her microphone standing so frail in the midst of chaotic events. She’s spiritually strong, stronger than what is happening around her, and that’s the theme of what I wanted to present in my piece.

    I say it is a risk because the ‘system’ has exploited this, most memorably in Afghanistan when ‘women’s rights’ became one of the propagandistic themes and excuse for the invasion. They aren’t talking about that in Venezuela, but that’s because there’s such fury there, a cancer on the country, in terms of male chauvenism. Chavez could overcome it, but not eradicate it. It seems Maduro has more of a struggle, perhaps because, ironically enough, he is not the man Chavez was.

    Well, enough. Thank you, wendye.

    • not a bit late, juliania, and i do love the clip from abby you’ve brought. i’d add that there are even some women who’re physically stronger than men, but that’s a very minor quibble. i was one of those amazons back in the day, and i was voted by the men’s coffee group at the local P&D store as ‘most likely to succeed in a post-apocalyptic era’; that tickled me pink.

      but yes, abby and so many women among us are so spiritually strong. oh i do hope you’ll post your piece once it forms in your mind and soul. the subject sounds wonderful, and you write so beautifully, as well. and speaking of women, i’ll stick up a storify of the @banthebomb marches nationwide, and the women’s march as well.

      yes, ‘save the women’ was the fifth reason to stay in afghanistan, wasn’t it? now, there doesn’t even seem to be a reason needed, as the occupation and corrupt puppet approved by the US are enough to keep it self-perpetuating. 16 years now? and more troops being deployed there?

      on edit: why do you think that ‘interem’ prez of brazil michel temer’s cabinet has zero women in it (no people of color, either)?

      on edit: to me, part of the inequality is due to macho-posturing due to the truth that women can bear children…bring forth life, and some men fear that power, and need to subjugate it a ‘weakness, hysteria’ when women bear testimony to evil and/or other miscreant inequality. similarly for the oppression/re-colonization of people of color: they must be seen as weak, shiftless, criminal in order to be treated as the US and world treat them w/ such impunity.

    • gender equality conscripted for empire. join the club women, as long as you are willing to pull the trigger (but don’t expect your participation to lessen your chances of being raped & the like. oh no. just ask the IDF.)

      • havin’ a bit of a dark day, amigo? sigh. yes. and didn’t some israeli judge recently say that some young girls like being raped?

        • Back in the day, way way back, wendye, as a college freshman I wrote a piece on strong women in classical Greek literature – focussing on Aristotle’s edict in his ‘Poetics’ that the main character in the ideal format for a play ought to be a man. (Might have been when my inclination to favor Plato over Aristotle was born.) In any case, yes, I was indeed considering the exception to my rule about physical weakness that you noted, even back then – the examples I used were Clytemnaestra, Medea, Penelope and the like (the latter not being a character in a play as far as I knew but I stuck her in anyway as an example of the positive aspect of female strength of character. We don’t need to go far to explore for ourselves the negatives – Thatcher and the like.) Another positive I should have put in but didn’t is Athena at the end of the Orestes trilogy.

          Thanks for the encouragement. The theme dovetails with my own current explorations of church history, so it will take a while to find the balance and make it interesting to all. I will try. Basically, I want to find some truths that will assist in the further development of iconography, which is currently more archeological than as foreward-moving and creative as it ought to be. The place of women in the church might be what will move it along. I won’t be as radical as that sounds, being me, but I hope I’ll make a wee bit of sense, building on what I’ve put heretofore.

          • Artemisia in Herodotus.

            supposedly at the premier of Aeschylus’ Oresteia, at the end, all the pregnant women of Athens spontaneously auto-aborted.

          • no, we don’t have to go far for the negatives of of female ‘strength of character’, lol. but i was reminded that thd had given a few more titles of joseph campbell’s oeuvre, and on was on goddesses. now whether he knew it was a posthumous collection, i don’t remember, but i did collect a couple links w/ excerpts that might wet yer whistle a bit:

            an excerpt from ‘Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine

            and this from laura K. kerr (hrooom, hrooom), ‘ph.d’

            “Rossi identified three dominant themes Campbell associated with goddesses and the feminine divine:
            1.Initiation into the cosmos and nature. Especially through the elemental constructs of time and space, goddesses have been a primary way of revealing the ideas of immanence and eternity, and thus existing outside the bounds of ordinary, lived experience;
            2.Transformation, most notably as guiding the life cycle from birth to death; and
            3.Energy consciousness, and developing a deep, felt sense of the aliveness of all life.

            Campbell explores these themes, beginning with images of the Great Goddess from the Old Stone Age over 10,000 years ago, and continuing his exploration into the Renaissance and the portrayal of The Graces.”

          • oh, and juliania, i dunno if you just click into the café thru emailed comments or what (i wonder that about other folks as well), but i did put up a ban the bomb protests diary.

            you won’t be that radical? ;-)

  7. Venezuela Slams Twitter for Closing 180 of Its Accountstelesur english, june 17

    “Ernesto Villegas, the Venezuelan Minister of Communication and Information, wrote on social media that the @MIRAFLORES_TV account was suspended after re-tweeting replies from Maduro concerning belligerent statements made by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

    Villegas argued that the arbitrary mass account suspensions, including the accounts of Radio Nacional de Venezuela, Radio Miraflores and others, amounted to an “ethnic cleansing” of former President Hugo Chavez’s revolutionary message.

    Prensa Latina reported that no notification was given prior to the accounts being deactivated and that Twitter, part of an international social media matrix, attempted to present the Venezuelan government as being the author of violence and repression directed at opposition demonstrators.

    Villegas emphasized that the master plan of fomenting disinformation aims to provoke an extreme response from government allies and Bolivarian revolutionaries to justify a coup, similar to what occurred in April 2002.”

    remember when hero to himself deray mcKesson proclaimed: ‘twitter IS the revolution’?

    both ‘hands off VZ’ and VZ solidarity are still up, perhaps cuz they’re in english? can’t say i’m buying O’s policies were so bloody great, though…

    i gotta go help mr. wd in the garden for a bit; back later.

  8. wsws covered the puddle-luscious DHS conference on security and prosperity in miami this a.m. worse than i’d imagined, but how telling that the conference was held at the southern command hq. guess i should have known that john kelly is a *former* southcom chief. she doesn’t mention it, but when i’d clicked into the conference a few days ago, within the only linked i’d clicked, kelly at least admitted that it’s the need for drug in the u.s that’s driving the narco bus.

    but look at the list of heavy hitters who were there.

    ‘Conference on Central America outlines plans for militarization and escalating assault on immigrants’, andrea lobo

    “The US and Mexican governments co-hosted a Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America at the end of last week in Miami in which the Trump administration laid out a regional agenda of escalating attacks against Central American migrants, while heavily militarizing the region in preparation for “global” challenges.

    Leading the meeting was US Secretary of State and former Southern Command (Southcom) chief John Kelly. Also participating were Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin and Vice President Mike Pence, along with officials from Mexico, the Central American nations, Colombia, Spain and the European Union.

    Building upon the Obama-era Plan Alliance for Prosperity aimed at stopping the surge in migration from the socially-devastated Northern Triangle of Central America (NTCA)—Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras—the Trump administration has cast the migrant crisis as a question of “national security,” to be countered through the use of military force, on the one hand, and private capital investments, on the other.” [snip]

    “Discussion of the desperate social conditions in these countries was virtually excluded from the summit, mentioned only in passing as a lure for investments. The TPS was only addressed in deferential private conversations with Pence, during which the Honduran President conceded that, in the end, “it’s a sovereign decision of the US.” the depressing, too bidness-as-usual rest is here.)

    on edit: i peeked into southern command on the twit machine, a retweet:

    not much about ‘investment’, mainly drugs, but small wonder, this:

    “Though several of the conference’s Thursday sessions on economics were open to the news media, almost all of Friday’s meetings — which concentrated on transnational criminal gangs that smuggle drugs, guns and people — were closed.

    During a brief closing news conference, Kelly and Mexican Interior Secretary Ángel Osorio Chong (who oversees his country’s law enforcement and internal security agencies) said some agreements had been reached during the meeting, but they didn’t offer any details

    “The countries involved made commitments,” said Kelly. “And these agreements will go a long way to improving conditions in our neighborhood.” Osorio Chong added that all five countries agreed to work “in a comprehensive fashion from a regional perspective….It is paramount that we generate joint solutions.”

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