The ever-escalating most recent iteration of a Venezuelan coup; will it succeed?



The ‘protestor shield art work’ above comes from ‘Venezuela’s shield-bearing protesters – in pictures; Drawing inspiration from Ukraine’s 2013-14 revolt, young protesters in Venezuela carry Viking-like shields as they battle government security forces during protests against President Nicolás Maduro, the Guardian.  (the shield below.)

In other words, ‘The Guardian pimps a fashion show of anti-Chavista violent protest art’.  Aren’t they awesome and adorable?  These, of course, are examples of good violence, not fascistic whatsoever.

As was, of course, the referenced oh-so-necessary violence depicted in the agitprop film Winter of Fire  that the opposition MUD acolytes screened for protestors;  those poor folks were just fighting for their freedom! (implies the Guardian.)

The Guardian had labeled the second one: ‘Miraflores on fire’ is written on the front of this shield. Miraflores Palace is the president’s official workplace

From the Trump administration, a Warning!

OTOH…some US oil refineries aren’t so happy about this threat of additional sanctions…

The background capsule on ‘Maduro’s evil power grab of the Constitutional Assembly’: ‘Venezuela’s Maduro Calls for National Constituent Assembly to End Political Impasse’, By Rachael Boothroyd Rojas, May 2, 2017, venezeulanalysis.com

“May 2, 2107 Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro officially called for a National Constituent Assembly to be convened this May Day, in a bid to bring an end to the political crisis between the national government and the opposition-held parliament.

Speaking to the hundreds of thousands of government supporters that took to the streets of the nation’s capital for International Workers’ Day 2017, Maduro explained that he would invoke article 347 of the constitution to trigger the assembly, which will be responsible for re-drafting the 1999 Constitution. 

“I convoke the original constituent power, a national constituent assembly with the people, with the working class! It is time and it is the path forward… They [the opposition] have left us with no alternatives,” he said.  

“I invoke the original constituent power to achieve the peace necessary for the Republic, to defeat the fascist attempts at a coup, so that the sovereignty of the people may impose peace, harmony, and true national dialogue,” he continued.  

The president explained that there are nine areas in which the assembly will work to reorient the current Constitution, such as incorporating the social programs of the Chavez and Maduro governments as well as the communal councils and communes as new expressions of local government into the Magna Carta. He also said that orientations towards building a “post-petroleum” economy in Venezuela and stopping climate change should be institutionalized. In statements to the crowd, the head of state promised that the assembly would be one of the “people, workers, feminists, communards, campesinos and young people”. 

The MUD opposition party had called for continuous street demonstrations, street and highway closures for the two weeks ahead of the July 30 vote, and a nation-wide general strike to cripple life for Venezuelan citizens for today’s #Zero Hour.

“The 24-hour strike planned for Thursday, issued on Monday, was part of what the opposition called a “final offensive” aimed at forcing Maduro out through early elections, before his term ends in 2019.

“We are calling all the country to take part in a massive and violence-free protest through a nationwide civic strike for 24 hours,” said one leader in the opposition coalition, Freddy Guevara.

He said the stoppage was a “mechanism for pressure and to prepare for the definitive escalation to take place next week”.

In order to rally the international community against the Maduro government, the opposition held a plebiscite on July 16, no matter that the ‘hand-picked by Maduro’ Supreme Court called it illegal and non-binding.  The opposition claims that 7.1 million citizens voted in the vote to prohibit the Constituent Assembly.  On the same day, pro-government supporters engaged in a dry-run vote for elections of delegates to the Assembly; millions participated, no final counts given as far as I’ve read.  This author explains the variances on journalism coverage of the two votes.

Flipping the bird at Trump and international pressure:

‘Venezuela Armed Forces Reject Interference in Internal Affairs’, The minister also denounced opposition street actions that set people on fire, attack medical and educational centers and attempt to destroy cities, telesur english, July 19

‘The FANB categorically rejects the alliance of governments operating against the nation and repudiates as firmly as possible the statements of (U.S. President Donald) Trump who, in an affront to Venezuela has dared to threaten the Venezuelan people with imposing economic sanctions on the government if it goes ahead with its Constituent Assembly. It is a shameless and vile statement that represents clear meddling in the internal affairs of the country.”

The minister also denounced the opposition that calls its supporters into the streets, leading to violence that “sets people on fire, attacks medical and educational centers, and attempts to destroy cities.”

Stating the firm anti-imperialist character of the armed forces, Padrino called on the military to close ranks against these interventionists’ attacks.

The military official also described how forces will be deployed starting Friday to distribute electoral equipment to the over 14,000 polling centers in the country ahead of the CNA vote on July 30.

Vice President Tareck El Aissami also denounced Trump’s interventionist plans, stating that the civic-military alliance will be activated on July 21 to ensure the safe and free participation of the Venezuelan people during the vote.”

Wsws.org has covered the new round of impending sanctions by Herr T against Venezuela, and somehow blithely reported:

“The private intelligence agency, Stratfor, also claims that Cuba is the nexus for indirect talks between Russia and the United States, in which former Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has been a key figure. Stratfor also noted that it “has received persistent reports that he [Maduro] has considered asking for refuge in Russia or Cuba.”

Cuba, Russia and China all have substantial economic interests in Venezuela and would be hurt significantly by being cut out entirely were the Maduro government to fall. By taking part in negotiations in which Maduro exits the scene, they hope to ingratiate themselves with the right-wing MUD and maintain their present relationships for as long as possible.”’

Curious, I used my single permissible click into Stratfor: global intelligence files to find: ‘The U.S. and Russia Almost See Eye to Eye on Venezuela’

“However, reports from Stratfor sources indicate that Maduro has also explored seeking political asylum. For more than a year, Stratfor has received persistent reports that he has considered asking for refuge in Russia or Cuba. He may have sweetened his request to Russia with offers of mineral concessions. But even if Maduro eventually secures an exile deal with Russia or Cuba, other military and political officials at risk of arrest in Venezuela or extradition to the United States will rely on the constitutional rewrite to improve their chances of political survival.

The talks on asylum appear to be part of larger discussions in which the interests of the United States, Cuba, Russia and China converge. According to a Stratfor source, Cuba is a key part of indirect talks between Russia and the United States on Venezuela. The government of Raul Castro conveys Russian and Chinese positions (as well as Maduro’s) to the United States. And former Spanish prime minister and mediator Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero represents U.S. interests.”

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but if that report isn’t a psyop that could completely flip out Maduro supporters, and cripes. the military (FANB) and suggest to the opposition that it’s all over but the shouting…  I say ‘weird on ya’, wsws.

Oh, and after the Supreme Court made its decision, ‘Protesters Attack Venezuela’s Supreme Court Office; Venezuela’s Supreme Court rejected a motion that would prohibit the altering of the country’s constitution. Protestors reacted by attacking a branch of the court in Caracas., thedailybeast.com

Oh, those peaceful protestors of the opposition party; they seem to have borrowed a lot of wood to create more of their fire blockades (guarimbas) to stop traffic and create chaos.

Empire Files: Abby Martin Meets the Venezuelan Opposition’, July 3, 2017   (the transcript)

In case this diary wasn’t quite long enough, arrgh, I’ll offer a few other tangential links…

Why can’t the left get Venezuela right?’, Shamus Cooke, Counterpunch, July 13, 2017  Cooke nails the cool fake left kids on the block ina long explanatory essay of what’s really afoot in VZ.

“As Venezuela’s fascist-minded oligarchy conspires with U.S. imperialism to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro, few in the U.S. seem to care.

Instead of denouncing  rightwing violence that aims at regime change, many on the U.S. left have stayed silent, or opted to give an evenhanded analysis that supports neither the Maduro government nor the oligarchy trying to violently overthrow it. Rather, the left prioritizes its energy on lecturing on Maduro’s “authoritarianism” and the failures of “Chavismo.”

This approach allows leftists a cool emotional detachment to the fate of the poor in Venezuela, and clean hands that would otherwise be soiled by engaging with the messy, real life class struggle that is the Venezuelan revolution.

A “pox on both houses” analysis omits the U.S. government’s role in collaborating with Venezuela’s oligarchs. The decades-long crimes of imperialism against Venezuela is aided and abetted by the silence of the left, or by its murky analysis that minimizes the perpetrator’s actions, focusing negative attention on the victim precisely at the moment of attack.”   (the rest is here.)

‘Time for the “International Left” to Take a Stand on Venezuela’, Gregory Wilpert,  counterpunch, July 17, 2017

Perhaps partially in answer to this?  ‘Jacobin magazine attacks Venezuela, Cuba and TeleSUR’ lierationnews.org, Jordan Woll, Jul 12, 2017

Sure, Telesur is biased, but not, I repeat not, like the New York Slimes and the Guardian, WaPo, truth-tellers to the world.

 ‘U.S. blocking food shipments to Venezuela, says minister’, Xinhua

“The United States is blocking food shipments to Venezuela, a country struggling with shortages of staple goods, Venezuelan Minister of Urban Agriculture Freddy Bernal said on Wednesday.

Bernal said U.S. threats of sanctions against companies doing business with Venezuela was interfering with the country’s supply of imported foodstuffs.

“The United States pressures shipping companies that if they make purchases, sales or transactions with Venezuela, they will be sanctioned,” Bernal said in an interview with Caracas-based Union Radio.

Bernal has coordinated a government program to deliver basic goods to families, which was put in place after Venezuela’s political and economic crises led to shortages.  That aid includes both domestic products and tons of grains and meats imported from Nicaragua, Panama and Mexico, said Bernal, adding U.S. interference was impeding the national distribution of the foodstuffs.” and so on.  Only too believable.

Zo; how is today’s general strike progressing?

So far the only coverage I’ve found in close to real time is from the Guardian: Venezuela crises set to escalate as general strike begins’

Venezuela is bracing for an escalation of the confrontation between the government and the opposition as the country awoke to near paralysis on Thursday at the beginning of a general strike.

Caracas, the capital, was littered with roadblocks of burning rubbish and tyres, and wires stretched from lamppost to lamppost to stop traffic, as opponents of the president, Nicolás Maduro, try to block his plan to consolidate power.

Near Plaza Altamira, in the upscale eastern part of the city, young men manning the barricades turned away any cars that tried to pass, including a bus stamped with the logo of the government tax agency.

“We are seeing empty streets and most shops closed,” said opposition leader Henrique Capriles while touring the city on foot.”

Oopsie; they forgot to mention that Capriles has a long history of arranging violent coups against the Bolivarians, especially…Chavez.  But why would a wealthy aristocrat want to put up with a socialist government, even a mixed economic one?

Stay tuned, as they say…

Just in: ‘Caracas: A Tale of Two Cities as Opposition ‘Strike’ Begins’, telesur

“Opposition supporters in the more affluent east side of Caracas set up road blocks, while normal life goes on in the working class west.  In the working class areas in west Caracas, Venezuela, where the large percentage of the population lives, public services have not stopped, buses and public transportation are still running as people rejected the opposition call for a 24-hour “strike” Thursday.

Meanwhile, in some parts of the mainly affluent east side of the city, right-wing opposition supporters proceeded to block some of the main roads, preventing transportation from moving normally.

Pensioners were forced to walk for miles from Petare to stand in line to collect their checks. “This has to be fixed, we can’t live our lives this way, blocking here, blocking there, they’re blocking the streets to their same people,” an elderly man told teleSUR.

Right-wing violence continued as there were reports of a man being set on fire by an explosive thrown from a rooftop, suffering burns over 27 percent of his body, along with another man suffering injuries to his neck when caught on an opposition wire blocking the road as he rode his motorcycle. Both men were transferred to hospitals.”, etc.

49 responses to “The ever-escalating most recent iteration of a Venezuelan coup; will it succeed?

  1. maybe no one hipped the russian foreign ministry deputy spox to the ‘US, china, and roosia are all on the same page’ psyop, but: ‘The Russian government has called for an end to violent right-wing protests that have left nearly 96 people dead‘, telesur

    Russian Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesman Artyom Kozhin said Thursday that “the steps taken by the opposition to create parallel government structures at an early date, in particular, to launch the procedure for appointing new Supreme Court judges by the parliament are extremely dangerous.”

    Kozhin instead has called for dialogue and an end to violent right-wing protests that have left over 96 people dead. The Russian diplomat argued that international interference was not a useful way to solve the crisis in Venezuela.

    “It is impossible to reach consensus considering destructive outside interference, pressure and the threat of sanctions,” he said. “The responsible world community should unite rather than provoke. The diplomat also criticized Donald Trump’s support for the opposition plebiscite as “strange.”

    “Statements made by the leaders of some countries, including U.S. President (Donald) Trump, which described the voting as the expression of will of the entire Venezuelan people calling on the government to cancel the elections to the Constituent Assembly scheduled for July 30 and threatening to impose sanctions, seem strange,” he said.”

    woot! good on him/them.

    there’s also a nice, short video up w/ it that i can’t find on youtube called ‘vz votes: will the world’s media ever get it right?’

  2. The US has been against Bolivarian revolutions ever since, er, Bolivar. Seems that he did not want to be little brother to the plantation guys running US foreign policy.

    That resistance to US empire erupted in the Eisenhower administration in the egging of Richard Nixon’s car in his foreign policy foray in the run-up to the 1960 election. ….Le plus change.

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to round up this coverage. Sounds like part of the issue is Maduro’s shifting petroleum policy to “Keep it in the ground.” So much of US policy now is aimed at having a huge burn of petroleum and partay…partay.

    Must have been more difficult for the Chavistas when there was a larger middle class. (Yes, when was that?) Interesting how sanctions backfire. (Wars too. Destroying infrastructure does not increase the numbers of affluent people who might support austerity.)

    • thanks for reading and adding, thd. but i need to shut down again due to the convergence of electrical storm wars from the north an south. awesome display lat night, both sheet lightning and bolts over the la platas.

      this wifi doesn’t take kindly to massive jolts of electricity. more tomorrow, i hope. sleep well.

      • Definite echo of THD’s thanks from me as well WD – I know VZ is there and I want to know what’s happening but don’t want to spare the time and aggravation of digging through the corporate media’s knee-jerk coverage that smells like unclean and rotten tripe.
        One thing I know about VZ is that the Bolivarian revolution included something that appears to hard for US: universal tertiary education. Twenty years ago (before Chavez) Venezuela was the most unequal country in the Americas with the upper 10% living like US and the other 90% mired in dire poverty. With widespread social investments (clinics, roads, schools, homes…) and massive expansion of tertiary education the inequality has faded and the flow of uni grads in VZ is like that of a developed country. I believe the opening of the universities is the primary motivation for the [formerly] advantaged youth to hit the streets and take to violence as their class privilege erodes in a forseeably permanent way.
        VZ has been suffering various forms of ‘capital strike’ throughout this entire century.

        • you’re welcome, lemoyne, as well to thd whom i’d forgotten to say the same. yep, and a couple years ago those privileged U graduates began burning down the colleges, while blaming it on… i really am aware that folks must get tired of me blogging about the forces allied against bolivarism/chavismo, now maduro, but for so many reasons, i care strongly.

          and yes, this is counter-revolution has been going on for this century, and as long as the military was in support, chavez was brought back to power, but this time…we can only hope.

          i wish i had more energy to respond but oy, i’m feelin’ so rode hard ‘n put up wet from another long day (RL takes more and more time and effort these days as well), so perhaps more tomorrow. but for tonight, dream of all of us going to higher ground, higher consciousness.

  3. July 21, 2017 ‘Venezuela Under Siege by U.S. Empire’ by David W. Pear, counterpunch
    “It is about the oil. What we see happening in Venezuela is another tragedy unfolding on the world stage. There is bloodletting, and it will get much, much worse. Venezuela is approaching the edge of a civil war between the haves and the have-nots. It is class warfare. The rich and upper middle class want a regime change and an end to socialism for the poor. The rich want lower taxes, and ending social programs for the have-nots, and they want the privatization of vital government enterprises so that they can loot the country. And most of all, they want the privatization of the oil in their hands. They want to be billionaire oligarchs just like oligarchs in other oil-rich countries.”

    July 21, 2017 ‘Venezuelan Opposition Now Opposes the People’ by Maria Paez Victor, counterpunch

    “The leaders of the violent protests -that for 3 months have violated the peace of Venezuelans- are the very same who in 2002 supported the coup d’etat against President Chávez. During those tense 48 hours, one of the very first things they did was to abolish the Constitution of 1999: the one they now purport to defend.
    During 18 years, the opposition has denigrated the Constitution. So intense has been this revolt against it that even after winning the majority at the National Assembly they insisted the government was illegitimate, ignored the rule of law, disregarded sentences of the Supreme Court, refused to legislate, and declared the main purpose of the Assembly was to “get rid of Maduro”.

    These paragons are now pretending to be arbiters of democracy and opposing any constitutional amendment by an elected Constitutional Assembly. They are now opposing, not the government, but the people themselves.”

    (gene sharp anti-commie style, with bullet point steps that have been followed to a T)

    Venezuelan workers defend state-run milk factory from violent attack’, telesur

  4. I was reading this very late last night with not much to offer, wendye, so I went instead to moonofalabama’s previous piece on the issue. After reading your analysis it was very helpful to go back to b’s with comments – there are two pages back and forth with a well spoken devil’s advocate who rather lost it towards the end, so by the time I was done it was very late indeed, but thanks to you both for giving me excellent insights into the serious situation there.

    I was particularly glad to hear from you the Russian minister’s assessment and commitment, also to have insight early in b’s comments from Piotr Berman (at #8 I think) as to the difference between Russia’s oligarchical situation and Maduro’s. Even Putin had to tread lightly though firmly, and it looks as if Maduro could take a page from Russia’s book, though the opposition looks to have the bit between its teeth at the moment.

    I think it will enormously help that Russia can and has provided wheat to the food-deprived masses, something that should settle the stomachs of rightminded citizens. Fingers crossed.

    Stupid, stupid Trump!

    • thanks for advising me to read berman’s #8, and i just did, but its meaning has escaped me, esp. w/ your ‘maduro could take a page out of putin’s book’. sorry if i’m just being a thick-wit again.

      oh, willy2; i believe i know him from another website. last i knew, it was in 2016 that putin said he’d supply enough wheat to stop the food wars, and also help w/ farming equipment and know-how…to diversify. i remember maduro was very proud of what they’ve accomplished in that area. but the commodities keep being sabotaged by the opposition, warehouses looted (some say by hired colombians), fire, etc.

      i was elated by the deputy foreign minister’s words of admonition, not to mention knowing who was committing the violence (always blamed by western media and puppets on the ‘pro-Maduro activists’. pffft on stratfor’s rubbish, eh? i’ll have to hope that the vz military hadn’t seen all that.

      ‘The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power.’
      ~malcolm x

      thanks for sharing the café link, ww. a couple of items b has seem a bit different than here, but they’re small. so glad he’s covering it! as ever, most of the alleged ‘left’ really isn’t, even while claiming they want an egalitarian world. go figure.

    • Just briefly on ‘taking a page out’ wendye. I was thinking that Putin was able to preach national pride to his oligarchs, winnow out the ones that were in it for profit alone – sure Russia still has them but what I’d call the criminal element had to cut bait as it were in order to still be in the country. So, he’s still walking a tightope but he got that done early on.

      Thanks for your counterpunch links this morning – I also found a great article by Frank Scott from yesterday that is right up my alley – my monks in Cambridge, NY consider Dorothy Day a saint, have her in their iconography, good for them. The article is “America’s Trump, not Trump’s America” if it has slipped off the front page – oh goodie, I still have the link – short and packs a punch:

      https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/20/americas-trump-not-trumps-america/

      • while recognizing that your glass is always (more than?) half full, not half empty, this counter-revolution in VZ has been going on since the turn of the century, and afaik, appeals have only emboldened the opposition, even down to ‘appeals to the pope’, etc. and sigh, after my last telesur announcement on a parallel scotus, this: ‘Supreme Court Declares Opposition’s Naming of Judges Invalid’, telesur, breaking

        “The move is intended to block the call for a National Constituent Assembly, which aims to ease political tensions in the country.
        Venezuela Supreme Court ruled that the naming of 33 judges to form a “parallel Supreme Court” by the opposition-controlled National Assembly is null and in direct violation of the Constitution.

        “They committed crimes of treason to the country,” Supreme Court judge Juan Jose Mendoza said on Friday, reiterating that it was unconstitutional and could result in criminal charges.
        Opposition supporters gathered in a public plaza in the east of Caracas, where members of the legislative branch conducted a public parliamentary session to appoint the 13 principal judges and 20 substitutes.
        “We will maintain the pressure, we will appoint the judges and on Saturday return to the streets,” opposition lawmaker Freddy Guevara said before the session began.: [big snip]

        “Venezuelans will vote for 545 assembly members to reform the Magna Carta, in a constitutional and open process dubbed “Constituent for Peace” by supporters of President Nicolas Maduro.”

        but a well, over the past decade the us has funded all sorts of ‘projects’ aimed at destabilizing the VZ bolivarian govts. (as per wikileaks), plus the many cia fronts, usaid, NED, etc. who knows how many spook operatives are in thee ‘resistance’ protests by now?

        but i’d meant to remind prince munchkin that already oligarchic henrique capriles, borges, and leopoldo lopez will earn some healthy lucre if they trounce chavismo/bolivarism in VZ in the end. maybe even guevarra; i dunno who he really is unmasked.

        dorothy day sounds like a liberation theologist on a brief scan. is it so? an i hope your painting’s going well, and that you’ll photograph them plumb and square so we can feature them here. (hint: wordpress only accepts jpegs, not tiffs, most cameras shoot one of each.)

  5. I did give a ‘heads up’ to any still following b’s thread for them to visit here. Better late than never.

  6. prince munchkin

    I just found out George romero died. he knew something about pus heads like john McCain, who will shortly be buffet for worms, allah be praised.

    the nyt today has an article about the bright shiny new hospitals the Zionists are building from their hearts’ goodness…inside Syria in the Golan Heights.

    let Mosul be the lesson. they’ll manufacture an ISIS-like opposition & then bomb Caracas into rubble in order to “save” them & their oil from their own undeveloped, undemocratic pobrecito selves. w/all the death squads, drug runners, & US military running around that neck of the woods, how hard is it to manufacture armed opposition?

    the indifference to human life, even to that of their nominal right wing allies in VZ, like Islamists in ISIS, AQ, etc., is absolute. The US will waste the equivalent of every drop of VZ oil just to fight over VZ oil to make sure no one else has it or derives any benefits from having it, if Uncle Sam can’t just steal it for the likes of Rex Tillerson.

    the greatest number of refugees since ww2 is not enough. we need to have the greatest number of people starving since ww2 also. nice catch on the psy-op about Russian involvement in VZ. those pesky reds keep sticking their fingers in the borsht.

    • From wendye’s links at counterpunch, prince, I’d think this is the Venezuela opposition’s last gasp attempt to avert the Assembly. One poster pointed out said opposition had been actually opposed to the Constitution they now pretend to support – a fact that can’t be lost on Venezuelans. And don’t forget China. They have undercut the US in Syria, non-confrontationally and can do the same for Venezuela even without a Silk Road link.

      Hospitals in the Golan are fine as long as they don’t get bombed to smithereens when the shoe is on the other foot. Sure, build hospitals Israelis – you should have been doing that yesterday instead of gunning down kids throwing stones.

      • Build some in Yemen too, while you’re at it.

      • prince munchkin

        sorry I don’t think Israel is capable of acting w/even neutral much less benign intent. these hospitals are likely for “moderate rebels.”

        http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2017/07/george-will-conservative-is-saying-what.html
        George Will, the conservative, is saying what American liberals are not saying: the slow-motion US invasion of Syria

        “Hundreds of Marines are manning fire bases in northern Syria. This intervention resembles a slow-motion invasion.”
        ———-
        there is also a some kind of US presence among the Kurds. covert funding of “rebels” in Syria may or may not have ended under Trump, as is being reported, but other options are still in play. lessons for VZ: lots of cards are in the deck.

        • some of your comment items rang a bell, prince, and seem to be referenced in this vanessa beeley piece i’d stuck in the most recent open menu ‘US Expands Military Footprint in Syria to EIGHT Bases, ‘Modifies’ Kobani Air Base’, July 5, 2017, 21st century wire, partially in hopes that some of you might explain the kurdish questions to me, as in: US/israeli funding, ypg, autonomous regions, federalizing syria, etc. but one excerpt of a verrrry long piece, map, videos, and quotes from sharmne narwani, etc.:

          With very little fanfare from the western media, the US is quietly creating a hostile military footprint inside Syria.
          By establishing a chain of airbases, military outposts and missile bases inside Syria, the US is illegally, stealth-occupying a sovereign nation. The number of US military installations in Syria has increased to eight bases according to recent reports, and possibly nine according to one other military analyst.

          We should also not forget the malevolent presence of Israel in the criminally annexed southern Syrian territory of the Golan Heights. This could just as easily be included in the list of US military outposts inside Syria.”

          but then…i’m pretty geographically challenged, so…there is that. ;-)

    • i’d had to check to find that romero did ‘night of the living dead’; is that the context re: mccain?

      and yes, david pear above preached the same gospel, prince munchkin: the imperium doesn’t give a fart for even its capitalist supporters and allies in VZ, nor for ‘democracy’, human rights, tra la la. they are all fodder for the control of oil, but i’d add: against anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism. can.not.have.that. former colonies must be re-colonized…or else. and to me, that’s a big part of obomba, then trump, trumpeting that VZ is an existential threat to the USA.

      ay yi yi on the shiny new hospitals in the golan heights. how…humanitarian of them. did i see a headline reading that ‘40,000 civilians have died in mosul’?

      telesur is reporting that ‘the opposition’ has just created a parallel supreme court to moot the constituent assembly. (haven’t read it yet.) not enirely off-topic, but dagnabbit, i did spend some time on wikileaks twtter account, and wished again that i knew more tech talk, but this sure did catch my eye.

      “What did the CIA’s covert assistance program for Syrian rebels accomplish? Bizarrely, the biggest consequence may be that it helped trigger the Russian military intervention in 2015 that rescued President Bashar al-Assad — achieving the opposite of what the program intended.
      Syria adds another chapter to the star-crossed history of CIA paramilitary action. These efforts begin with the worthy objective of giving presidents policy options short of all-out war. But they often end with an untidy mess, in which rebels feel they have been “seduced and abandoned” by the promise of U.S. support that disappears when the political winds change.”

      ‘the demise of the syria program (by herr hair) is blocked to me now, pffft on the wapo.

      • prince munchkin

        yes, was it in one of Romero’s zombie flicks he coined the memorable term, “pus head”? sounds like a good description of McCain. it took 12 years before desert storm 1 & d.s. 2. I doubt these killers have that much patience any more, but waiting & letting the witch’s brew churn & stew is part of the recipe for the concoction. thanks for the update from 21st c. wire. the maximal infliction of every imaginable suffering on a populace is just a game of snakes & ladders w/these people.

        • anything you might teach me on the 21st century link? tall order, if not. and not to beat a zombie horse, but on the right sidebar was ‘john mccain and the cancer of conflict’, starts easy, then hits hard.

          and…‘SYRIA: The Myth of the Kurdish YPG’s Moral Excellence’ (chase the link if you care…

          • The 21stCWire gives McCain a right thorough flogging, from the turn all the way through to the conclusion:

            Once again, we implore the Senator to do the right thing by the American people and for those innocents around the world who have suffered at the hands of an arms industry whose interests John McCain represents. Please retire.

            Alas, a scion and proprietor of American hegemony by force of arms can not easily retire. We will see what the time left to John McCain brings… Even his name speaks of destiny of destruction because greed, but we’ll see, brain cancer treatment can result in stark changes in personality.
            It seems the sensible thing for him to do is to retire, but I expect McCain to leave the Senate feet first.
            Even SpongeBob has it sussed…

            • ‘a right thorough flogging’: how elegant, lemoyne. fitting sponge bob/black sabbath, too. a pre-epitaph? but oh, no, the hero served!

              fuck, though, he and john kyl also waged interminable battle against the indigenous in AZ, water grabs for bidness oligarchs, especially, but hi-ho uranium mining, copper (oak flats)…dayum, The Rings of Power he’s grabbed and kept. guess we’ll see how noticeably his personality changes, eh? (i tried to find the tv funhouse of mccain stumping for bush, undressing, and banging his head on the wall…, but failed. quite illuminating, and yes, ‘another right thorough flogging’.)

          • prince munchkin

            oh thank god the wsws covered that for us. who even heard of the kurds until the US started arming them? suddenly they have gorgeous commie Amazonian not Zionist fake Wonder Women warriors kicking ISIS ass in the desert, and who doesn’t want to be a Kurd? the one time in my lifetime on CNN when being a commie was neutral, understandable, maybe even admirable. I hope to tell my grandkids about this moment w/these James Bond masturbation material heavily armed calendar pinups from Kurd pink (j/k. I mean *I* learned of the Kurds when Poppy told them to revolt back when. and then hawk turned chicken. a theriomorph. see how informed I am? war is the greatest educator after all.)

            ahhhh…wsws. the severity of their infection w/Plato/Hegel can be seen in their sparse use of sarcasm, as in the article today on asset forfeiture, right next to the one on the diminishing sperm count of a certain population in a certain White County, TN. it’s partially their commitment to the contrivances of “objective journalism,” and a “scientifically-neutral” voice. to which let me quote Juvenal, difficile est saturam non scribere.

            Their insistence that the origin of the Holocaust & all the attendant horrors w/in The Reich was Nazi imperialism has considerable merit. That is, crimes against the Jews et multi alii started w/crimes against peace, i.e., war. *not the other way around.* The state by the Nazis was converted into a platform with one purpose: crimes against the peace. the war against the peoples of Germany flowed from that. the domestic population may be sacrificed to achieve the goals of “the nation,” the owners of the nation.

            suddenly US policy begins to make a lot more goddam sense, don’t it? asset forfeiture, sterilization of criminals, mass deportations, scapegoating religious minorities, general austerity, hyper-exploitation of all resources, ineffable levels of financial fraud, population-wide medical & scientific experimentation (Pfizer & Monsanto), the generally atrocious state of the health of the population, etc., etc. the war state is in a constant state of civil war, the labor of the populace is valued at the rate of a slave, existing to be consumed by a master class. what is non-productive may be killed at a whim.

            to greater or lesser degree, Uncle Sam has always been a war state, but that greater or lesser has some significance. the current assault on social welfare is equal to the increase in militarism abroad and is itself warfare against the domestic populace. at this moment, the USG exists to do one thing and one thing only: commit crimes against the peace. war is its peace.

            it had of course slipped my mind in my silly blather about McCain that he would be another in a long line of Jacksonian assholes toward the indigenous of AZ. what was it Pink Floyd said about the worm getting into your brain? well, they et his heart long ago, so…maybe he’ll get to find out if there is a worm that dies not? in any case, the manifold efforts perfected over the years to preclude certain spirits from coming back from the dead, well, a rather elaborate litany of these ceremonies might be worthwhile to employ at McCain’s funeral. fuck, i’ll pull a Falstaff & stab this Yankee Hotspur bastard in the thigh before burial if need be. and then finish the job if necessary. the state can pay for the garlic & holy water. only fair w/the buckets that will be needed.

            when Terry McAuliffe shows up to give his personal touch to the state execution of a mentally-ill man, following both his mentor & protégé, Count Bubba, the hangmen are breeding. like miraculously prodigious castrated rabbits. like Feste’s coins in 12th night, rubbing them together makes them breed, the frottage, the congress, that only men who’ve thrown certain switches can ever know. oh the bliss of that day when you go from being just another run-of-the-mill capitalist pimp to being an authorized executor of the will of the State.

            I have been an unlawful bawd time out of mind. I will turn lawful hangman. there’s more forgiveness in it-pimp Pompey, M4M. all the cases at court are capital and the winner is the better hangman. (maybe there is an element of this kind of mentality in, e.g., the ravenous glee w/which every dumb awful thing trump says or does is wolfed down? sadism. which my spock-like brain also informs me is masochism. reading trump’s twitter as an expression of ambition? fuck that).

            rambler’s gotta ramble…

            • prince munchkin

              how to breed enemies: the external enemy breeds the internal enemy. or is it vice versa? anyway, the way we talk about Nazism is generally to mean that Nazis killed Jews b/c of Anti-Semitism, and so invaded Poland, not imperialist crime against Poland (& co) bred & fed anti-Semitism, and thereby manufactured the internal enemy. different ways to talking about the same phenomenon, but one is capitalist mystification, and one ain’t.

            • ha, comment of the day, prince; wish i could grok all of it. ;-) guess i’d have to read more of those stories from the trotskyites. i especially loved ‘kurd pink’ though; you should © it, swear to goddess! but you’ve forgotten perhaps, that like lucy with the football, the charlie brown kurds allowed themselves to be manipulated into revolting twice, not just once, and were sold out, rug pulled out from under them, pulling away the football, kersplat! right?

              i enjoyed your mocking of wsws, though, but i admit i’d found those paragraphs helpful, as so few seem to realize who funds the ypg and why, and even…maybe…why the cia is being pulled from syrian warring, if indeed it’s even true. most of the op-edges at RT right now are about the news; even al jazeera has ‘an opinion’. m4m? men seeing men?

              yeah, is there any other communication more attended than putin’s or trump’s? guardian piece is: ‘putin says he may never stop being president’. yeah, inside they admit he was teasing kids at a sochi school, but oh, for click-bait capital! fearless investigative journalism, please consider contributing a few shekels, just like the intercept….

              be back after a few more RL obligations. oh, and i saved this for you.dunno if you’re out of free clicks there, but you’ll find out, eh wot?

              • prince munchkin

                oh, sarcasm. we criticize b/c we love. who else was saying back in 1991, the fall of the soviet union will see an eruption of US imperialism that will threaten ww3 and all the rest? those “scientific historians” at the wsws. if the science value of something is measured by its accuracy in predictions…well, shiite, marx or one of them commie fellers was a prophet of some kind or other.

                this from the asset seizure article:
                “Legal cases of civil forfeiture have names such as U. S. vs. $15,000 or State of Florida vs. AK47. The inanimate objects do not often win their cases, which must be fought for at the expense of their owner.” me likey.

                I am never sarcastic about other people doing the hard work of trying to accurately parse the ins & outs of multi-ethnic conflicts. the KLM is from Crobosnia, right? Serboslavia or something? the kurds have been kissed & betrayed twice, have they? the corruption & perversion of people’s natural desires, like autonomy/freedom from Turkey, is the whole game. control thru manipulation & deception. in every capitalist deed & utterance: the lie. robbing people of the possibility of autonomy and agency by lying to them is a first step on the path to murder.

                the goal of committing crimes against the peace, i.e., warfare, foreign policy, drives domestic policy, not the other way round. to prioritize the crime of anti-Semitism over the crime of imperialism is to rationalize imperialism. which is partly why “the [insert bogeyman du jour] as hitler jr.” trope is effective. hitler’s real crime was irrational jew hatred, you know, “evil.” after all, what “great power” doesn’t invade Russia, amirite? Russophobia is admirable. and Poland is just asking for it. it’s all charge of the anti-red brigade all the time. but stirring up “ethnic hatred,” gassing your own people…tsk, tsk, that’s just awful. maybe if we bomb enough people, we can finally save those poor jews from that ghastly Nazi moustache? as for all the not-jews hitler killed, well, anyone could do that, right? Churchill for instance. or Truman. but as Nietzsche unsuccessfully tried to convince Wagner, anti-Semitism is gauche. the blond German beast should know better. have some self-respect.

      • wsws has kindly covered the wapo internal link from ignatius page i couldn’t access. ‘Trump pulls plug on CIA’s Syrian “revolution”, 22 July 2017

        hysterical comments from mcccranky pants from AZ, michael gerson at the wapo, etc. and van auken calls bullshit on their ‘it’s a gift to putin’ meme. his in depth analysis of the reasons T pulled the cia plug i’ll leave to your reading. but this stood out to me:

        “The ending of the CIA’s arming and funding of the largely spent Al Qaeda-linked “rebels” signals not an end to the conflict in Syria or any significant rapprochement with Moscow, but is rather part of the preparations for a wider war.
        The Pentagon is continuing to train and arm its own proxy forces, both the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces—comprised primarily of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia—in the north, and Sunni militias in the southeast, near the US special forces base established at al-Tanf near a strategic Syrian border crossing with Iraq and Jordan.”

        and then the new string of bases beeley had written about. but in the comments section came “Of course, Prof Bomb Libya Cole reaction to this move was “Trump hands Putin gift, cancels Support for Syrian Rebels”.
        I have to admit, that to me Prof Bomb Libya Cole is even more disgusting than McCain – at least the last is not pretending to be “progressive”.

        and yes, i went over and grabbed the link at cole’s ‘informed comment‘ place. but ooof and OMG, this related mess of a mess? hard to know whether to laugh or cry….at the idiocy.

  7. i’d apparently found the guardian’s fashion show of the VZ (and maidan) fascist protestors more despicable than you all, but my favorite tankie has this this morning. now she does give the ‘resistance’ a couple raps on the knuckles, but they’re not very visible, and the subtext may have been: ‘necessary actions to subvert tyranny’. dunno why the slimes let me in, but the photos are arguably mind-boggling.

    @cordeliers ‘Equivalent of running a photo of a KKK lynching with the caption: “Vigilantism has occurred.”’

    • prince munchkin

      ok, after wasting a click today reading M Dargolis’ review of “Dunkirk,” I spent one on this link. pix only. I like how the catholic parade is “anti-gov’t,” not anti-violence, esp. when not a sign is visible to even indicate this is a protest of any kind. the use of striking images to falsify reality with fairy tale captioning…I can think of a movie that did just that. it was called “Dunkirk.” why are barely 3 sentences spoken in the movie (yes, I saw it) about *why* Churchill is abandoning 360,000 British troops to certain death on the coast of France? maybe the subject is not that important? germany bad, france cowardly, british good, americans late. what else is there to know? nothing when compared w/images of contentless, non-ideological, not-politically motivated “epic heroism” and “self-sacrifice.” why w/Churchill running the planet, the only images we’ll ever see: noble self-sacrifice in contests of epic heroism. and occasionally Churchill boozing it up, not unlike O’Brien with his glass of wine in “1984”. where’s the pleasure in all this sacrifice & heroism? in the homes of the rich, that’s where. the palaces & pleasure gardens of those producing noble stories from minds & bodies unsullied by any of the struggles they so lavishly & deceitfully praise. hard to imagine a movie being less informative about ww2 than “saving private ryan,” but here’s a good candidate.

      speaking of misdirection, ms zero dark hurt locker, former squeeze of James Cameron, she who bro’t us the original “Point Break,” is releasing a movie called “Detroit.” about 1967 Detroit. (why not 2017 flint? or today’s Detroit?) some systemic racism, violence on “both” sides which is equally wrong, tears all around, but hey in the end it’s a few bad apples and look! it’s mlkj marching the arc of history. the end. I will be happy if my plot prediction is wrong. I may be underestimating the pantingly breathless awfulness of this yet to be released movie. it could end on the happy note of the obamination taking the presidency.

      • to say i’m not following you would be an understatement, prince munchkin. take two good dream pills or tokes, and i’ll see you in the morning. ;-)

      • prince munchkin

        sorry. I looked at the NYT article, focusing on seeing if the captions to the photos could be derived from the photos themselves. the images are very striking. what about the prose attached?

        that led me to thinking about the movie Dunkirk. part of the movie experience is the previews, one of which was for the movie “Churchill.” something tells me this instance of actual noblesse oblige at dunkirk won’t feature in the hagiography of that bloated smokestack, that genius of strategery eager to sacrifice 360k men to follow his plan of “protecting England.” (why did the germans lose again? Russia is missing, so why did they lose?) the silence in the movie Dunkirk shouted above the tiring, bloated Hans Zimmerman score. *why* are these people here fighting? silence. the movie lacked the plot complexity of an Itzshie und Schkratzshie episode. the use of the image to overwhelm & batter the senses into unquestioning acceptance of absolute banalities (germans bad, british good) and outright falsehood (as in the NYT in VZ.) if we don’t to call the movie fascist art, b/c, boohoo, fascism is overused, how about…Riefenstahlian? Triump of the Leni?

        another preview was for Kathryn Bigelow’s “Detroit.” thus those comments. again, overwhelming imagery in the service of falsehood.

        • then why in the name of sweet aunt fannie adams hadn’t you put it in plain english for those of us (er, me) who don’t have your mental agility to free associate from pillar to post to literary quotes and on? no but thanks for the translation. bigelow, then, must be cameron’s squeeze?

          of course russia is still missing from all the WWII commemorations; why do ya suppose that is?

          did you ever read the accompanying prose in the slimes photo essay? cordeliers had it juuuuust right, imo. ‘Riefenstahlian? Triump of the Leni?’ work for me, even if just imagining i know what you/they mean.

          i’m wore out to the Nth degree, these mr. wd 3-day weekends are killin’ me! j/k. hope to have a new cheater post up tomorrow, but did want to add this to the thread for the sake of posterity.

          ‘Opposition Violence Responsible for 23 Venezuelans Burned Alive’, telesur, July 23 May they rest in Power…

          “At least 23 people have been burned alive — one of the worst deaths possible — by opposition supporters targeting Afro-Venezuelans and working class people, including innocent bystanders, government supporters and officials, according to Red58.org.

          http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Opposition-Violence-Responsible-for-23-Venezuelans-Burned-Alive-20170723-0010.html

          yeah, pffft hero mark ruffalo, solar hero of standing rock camps.

          • prince munchkin

            tired? from dancing w/the goblins. yeah, that’s my excuse.

            I tho’t everyone knew bigelow & Cameron were a TMZ/E News! kind of True Hollywood item back in………1991 or whatever.
            I never saw Point Break but…it gets alluded to, parodied, etc. a lot. I think it’s funny that superseria deep clunker spelunker academy a word winner k biglow made this movie back when.

            pop film student quiz! is hurt locker or zero dark thirty more or less silly than point break?

            now, read any of the wsws reviews of “the hurt locker” & then answer that same question again. the answer is point break is an exercise in cinema verite hyper-realismo compared w/those two other dull products straight from dod/cia fantasy island. the b.s. “gritty realism” & “gut-wrenching accuracy” is there to obscure political, moral, historical, legal, economic, etc. issues. (does oil figure at all in bigelow’s imaginarium? nah. too marxy, too materialistish. the gut-wrenching psychological drama is more important than why these people are even doing any of this awful shit in the 1st place. and so voila, “Dunkirk.” same thing.)

            http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/03/acad-m09.html

            so yeah i’m prejudging, prejudiced against, bigelow’s “Detroit.” most decidedly.

            • i’ll have to beg off and say goodnight, & sweet enuff dreams.. i know zip about any of these films, allusions. sorry to disappoint you once again, prince munchkin. you’re outta my league w/ all of this, srsly.

              p.s. on edit: i don’t even know the simpsons, the show w/ the smart dog named brian our son talks about, nothing of pop culture. guess what? i don’t even feel deprived, lol. hurt locker? zero dark thirty? glad some of you parse them for what they are.

              • prince munchkin

                no apologies. I can dig it. why would I want to pollute my beautiful mind w/hurt locker or zero dark bullshit? I want to see point break b/c it sounds funny, unlike the other two.

                here’s a gre analytical writing sample question me and a student are about to discuss:
                “A nation should require all of its students to study the same national curriculum until they enter college.”

                i’m going to be a grammar Nazi & focus on the word “its”. how nations stop being women & start being…things? not “her children,” but its children. and when did a nation ever have a child? how does a nation even acquire its own possessive pronoun, much less bunches of children?

                • tangential, but we just watched ‘suffragette’ and were blown away to find that after british women getting the right to vote, it was years before women had parental rights over their own bairn. i just wasted too much time trying to find how long, and if it were true for USian women post-1920. but at least prior to that, a nations males owned/birthed ‘its’ children.

                  fancy: amerikan black males got suffrage before women; guess that sorta puts things in context, eh?

                  cripes, i’d never even heard of prodigy. but i will say that it was nice last night to crawl in bed an watch robert downey, jr. as sherlock w/ super-powers. ;-)

                  • prince munchkin

                    why at the end of Twin Peaks do two of the sub plots (the not Agent Cooper plots) center on the question: who is the father?

                    for the child already born, it is the question of origins, the past. for the unborn child, it is the question of the future. who am I and where am i going are intertwined w/the question: who owns the child?

                    “…I loathe
                    A woman who thumbs, and recites from, Palaemon’s Grammar,
                    Always observes the laws and rules of speech”…Juvenal 6

                    the battle of the sexes has its grammatical side. who does the possessive suus/eius refer to? (or son/sa in French, su in Spanish, etc.) that tiny little tadpole from the “y” side makes all the difference don’t it? who’s your daddy? clearly “ownership of one’s labor” is BS when males & nations steal children from women. the invisible hand of the free market rips ’em right out the womb, don’t it?

                    “Hardly any woman who sleeps in a gilded bed will lie there in labour,
                    Such is the power of the arts and drugs, of that woman who procures
                    Abortions, and contracts to murder human embryos in the womb.
                    Be grateful, you wretch, and offer your wife yourself whatever she has
                    To take, since if she had chosen to let vigorous boys vex and stretch  
                    Her belly, you might have been father to an Ethiopian!” ditto

              • prince munchkin

  8. boatloads of chores and rl obligations today. on edit: i’ll read those comments again, but on breaks this a.m i red a kinda review of the flim at RT, but i just couldn’t get thru it. seems that winnie, with his patriotic prose, turned the massive fukkery of dunkirk into an heroic ‘win’.

    but this is kewl:

  9. from david pear’s ‘VZ is on the edge of civil war, today at CP, a couple things new to me:

    “Shortly after Tillerson resigned from ExxonMobil, wouldn’t you know it, ExxonMobil hit one of the biggest offshore oil and natural gas fields in the world. It so happens that the water it is in is claimed by Venezuela. ExxonMobil says that the water belongs to Venezuela’s neighbor Guyana.
    Tillerson had his ExxonMobil bags all packed and ready to go visit Guyana’s president David Granger, when Trump called.”

    “The possibility of civil war in Venezuela is real and growing every day. The country is badly divided between the wealthy haves and the millions of poor have-nots. The U.S. is egging on the conflict. Hugo Chavez brought social services, healthcare, education and housing to the poor. The U.S. Empire and ExxonMobil have declared war on democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro. He is in the Empire’s crosshairs. Trump has said that all options are on the table. Time is short.”

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/25/venezuela-on-the-edge-of-civil-war/

    the US has also threatened sanctions on nicaragua and bolivia for supporting the maduro government. yesterday was Simón Bolívar’s birthday, born in 1783.

    but hey, at least russia and north korea will get their ‘due’:
    ” The House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly to pass new sanctions against Russia, and require congressional approval before US President Donald Trump can ease or remove existing ones. The bill also includes sanctions against Iran and North Korea

    Lawmakers voted 419-3 to approve legislation is seeking to punish Russia over a host of issues, including its alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election, its support for the Syrian government and alleged support for the rebels in Ukraine, as well as Crimea’s accession to Russia.” (the senate already did the same; will herr T sign the bill?)

    • I bet we won’t be hearing too much about that gas field in the MSM. nope, it’s all on level of abstractions, ontologies, essences: “democracy,” “human rights,” etc. no material concerns at all are the prime motivator of policy. all goodness & love, sweetness & light. what are the body bags for again?

      from wsws today on the Russia sanctions.
      “However bitter the divisions within the state, the American ruling class is driven by a relentless logic. The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 brought with it not an “end of history,” but a quarter century of unending and expanding war, in which the ruling class has sought to reverse the decline of American capitalism and maintain its global economic position through the use of military force.”
      as true as anything should be in real life & perfectly phrased. its succinctness, clarity, and obvious truth guarantees something like this will never, ever be said in MSM.

      • Mein Gott, bed of nails! (and yes, i’d had to look it up, including the fictitious album the dude was holding aloft in some scene.) the msm will cover the new liza field soon, some have already, but are totally down w/ guyana’s owning it. more on that soon, as popular resistance sent a piece about it, and i’ve been poking about ahead of pasting a stand-alone diary soon as i can. (it’s Big Bread Day again, so while i let the sponge rest n rise, i’ll start it.)

        jeezum crow, that is the perfect truthful analysis, isn’t it? why don’t you reckon the mainstream media will say such a thing, nagelbett? ;-)

        and thanks for not making it seem like i’m the only one commenting here after my last 19 comments or something, lol.

  10. sorry that it’s easier to embed alt-journalism tweets than type the titles, capsules, dates, yada yada, but updates:

    holy hegemonic hardball hypocrisy, batman! from the OAS:

    yesterday the opposition (MUD, et.al.) had called for a 48-strike ahead of the Constituents Assembly on July 30. i doubt any of the oppos signed up as candidates, of course….

    i’ll never be able to finish the contracts w/ exxon/guyana piece by the end of day, so slow and in the way i yam… and my propensity for digging and digging, yanno?

    • and who is that sitting next to Ocampo? Nicolas fucking Christ-turd.

      • god speaks to kristoph in his dreams, yanno? (really, i’d thunk it was he, wasn’t sure.) ‘the (librul/progresive a la wiki) moral voice of the new york slimes’, the paper of record.

      • i’d often wondered about wsws coverage of venezuela, and had thought many posts were almost…snotty/dismissive …towards the chavista government. the most recent from andrea lobo was illuminating at the end:

        “The pseudo-left parties in Venezuela have moved to seek to contain growing opposition behind either the efforts by MUD or to underpin the Maduro government. The Venezuelan section of the Morenoite International Workers’ Unity (UIT-CI), PSL, is one of a number of organizations that has moved from defending Maduro to calling for his ouster. “Protest until the government falls,” it insists, while calling to vote in the MUD-sponsored referendum and participate in MUD’s “strikes.”

      • OK… this is quease inducing.
        Strange the way people in the US want to push a largely twisted narrative of shortages of essential goods as proof that VZ is a failing state. Capital selectively goes on strike and the socialists get blamed. Essentially the US critics attack Chavismo for not being socialistic enough to take over the food distribution networks and get them to work. At this point, with embargos in place … the last step before actual violence is to criminalize the socialist version of the Bolivarian revolution for inherited conditions it has not solved, the effects of a seditious media, a huge amount of guns and a failed juridical system.
        Looks like very hard times ahead for VZ (& I presume Cuba as well). There really haven’t been a great many deaths in these protests relative to the size of VZ and its background murder rate… yet. iirc, the deaths are fairly evenly split across the police, the public, the protestors and the undetermined [murders within a block or along the trail of the mob or unrelated street crime or vigilante machavismo or accident or ???]. The distribution says most likely the protestors are killing more than the police. Either way the total is a small fraction of the murders in VZ.
        I saw a poll that had VZ public at 80% wanting the violent and fiery protests to stop (Abby Martin?TRNN?) so duh most people want peace. Rexxon Drillerson is our SoS and Trumpolini needs a win so US still couldn’t hear that even if it were blasted into their ears with loud speakers. Of course, the general VZ public is ignored… at least outside VZ.

        • you’ve got it right and in a nutshell, lemoyne, although of course the ’empty shelves, no food, no medicines’ is great agitprop that prove maduro is a dictator, although quite incompetent to boot…

          abby’s parsed the ‘100 killed’, but i’ve forgotten the actual math, and some deaths are still under investigation. fair enough. but the chavistas burned alive…no, no one can hear about that, can they? but cripes, i clicked into the guardian’s boilerplate a bit ago. yes, they name the new sanctions list, quote leopoldo lopez asking the military not to guard the national assembly, and quote ‘the Venezuelan Observatory on Social Conflict’ on twitter. i looked em up, and they’re really an arm of the OAS; brilliant.

          but look at this fukkery:

          “Anyone elected to the national constituent assembly should know that their role in undermining democratic processes and institutions in Venezuela could expose them to potential US sanctions,” said the US treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin.”

          thanx for rexxon drillerson. good gravy, i’ll try to get the guyana piece up, partly cuz it can serve as a vehicle for reports on the turnout for the constituent assembly…er…i mean ‘rewriting the constitution power-grab’. today’s strikes are gonna be Huuuuuge! the guardian reports. it all makes me sick, too. i got to wondering how many governments the US and UK have toppled for oil, i guess starting with mossadegh. i let my fingers do the walking for about five minutes, and did find that William Blum (Anti-Empire Report), author of ‘America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy’, has compiled this ‘master list’ of governments the US has toppled or attempted to overthrow. yes, it’s a long list; asterisks denote which were permanent.

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