The Coup against Nicolas Maduro Intensifies

US announces sanctions against Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA’, via RT, Jan 28, 2019

“Washington has imposed sanctions against the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, seizing $7 billion in assets, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. The US is trying to force recognition of Juan Guaido as president in Caracas.
Munchin said that the move is to “to help prevent the further diversion” of assets by “former president Maduro.”

Sanctions will be lifted upon the “expeditious transfer of control to the interim president, or the subsequently democratically elected interim government,” he added.

“We know what the legitimate government of Venezuela is, and it is our mission to make reality what the people of Venezuela want,” National Security Adviser John Bolton chimed in, standing next to Mnuchin during the briefing at the White House on Monday.

In addition to $7 billion in PDVSA assets in the US, the sanctions will affect $11 billion worth of exports over the coming year, Bolton said.

Over the weekend, the US called a special session of the UN Security Council on the situation in Venezuela, claiming it represented a threat to international security.”


‘UNSC should look into US attempts for coup in Venezuela – Russian envoy’, 26 Jan, 2019 RT

“The United States are trying to organize a coup in Venezuela and the UN Security Council should look into the threat to Caracas, the Russian envoy to the international organization said.

The council gathered on Saturday to discuss the situation in the Latin American country where the opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the head of Venezuela with the support of the US and its allies.

Russia and three other countries opposed discussing “situation in Venezuela” saying that saying that the internal situation in the country does not represent a threat to the international community, but Washington’s actions do, yet nine out 15 members voted to put it on the agenda.

The whole UNSC meeting is nothing more than “another element” of the US’ strategy, and an “unethical ploy” by Washington to involve the international body in its regime change campaign, Russia’s envoy to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said.”  (with an epically hypocritical [‘Restore Democracy! screeds]4 minute unembeddable video that TRNN covered, 13 minutes)

Venezuela, Many Nations, Reject US-Led Interventionism at UNSC Session’, telesurenglish, Jan. 26

“China, Equatorial Guinea, South Africa, Russia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia, Saint Vicent, the Grenadines, Barbados, and Suriname, were among the countries that expressed their recognition of the legitimate and constitutional Venezuelan government, led by President Nicolas Maduro.

“The United States is the one that should be evaluated (and not Venezuela) for its permanent disrespect and interference in external political affairs,” Foreign Minister Arreaza said in his statement before the Security Council. 

“How is it possible that the president of the United States, Donald Trump, who militarily threatened Venezuela, has not been questioned by the world?”

Arreaza also talked about the situation of the illegally and unconstitutionally self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaido, asking, “how can it be possible for a lawmaker to proclaim himself president and for international governments to recognize him?”  Stating and warning that in Venezuela “force is being imposed on the law. That is dangerous and we must stop it here from the United Nations.”

‘Good for business’: Trump adviser Bolton admits US interest in Venezuela’s ‘oil capabilities’, RT 28 Jan, 2019

“Bolton isn’t the only one to admit oil is a primary factor in US actions in Venezuela. Florida’s Republican senator Marco Rubio tweeted last week that refining the much-sought after heavy crude from Venezuela already “supports great jobs” for Americans in the Gulf Coast.”

‘The Vultures of Caracas’, 26 Jan, 2019,

“We are frequently told that people in Venezuela have no food, clothing or toilet paper, and that popular discontent with the left wing government is driven by real hunger. There are elements of truth in this story, though the causes of economic dislocation are far more complex than the media would have us believe.

But I ask you to look at this photo [the featured photo at the top; click for larger] of supporters of CIA poster-boy, the West’s puppet unelected “President” Juan Guaido, taken at a Guaido rally in Caracas two days ago and published yesterday in security services house journal The Guardian. Please take a really close look at the photo. Blow it up as big as you can. Scan individual people in the crowd, one by one.

These are not the poor and most certainly not the starving. As it chances I have a great deal of life experience working amongst seriously deprived, hungry and despairing people. I know the gaunt face of want and the desperate glance of need. Look at these Guaido supporters, one by one by one. This designer spectacled, well-coiffed, elegantly dressed, sleekly jowled group does not know hunger. This group does not know want. This is a proper right wing gathering, a gathering of the nicely off section of society. This is a group of those who have corruptly been siphoning Venezuela’s great wealth for decades and who want to make sure the gravy train flows properly in their direction again. It is, in short, a group of exactly the kind of people you would expect to support a CIA coup.

Those manicured hands raised in the air will never throw rocks, or get involved in violence unless against a peasant strapped to a chair for them. It is not this crowd which will suffer as public disorder is manipulated and directed by the CIA. These wealthy ones are immune, just as Davos serves as nothing but an annual reminder of how very poorly God aims avalanches.

There is real suffering in Venezuela. The CIA is working hard to stoke violence, and the genuine poor will soon start to die, both in those egged on to riot and in the security services. But do not get taken in by the complete nonsense that this is a popular, democratic revolution. It is not. It is yet another barefaced CIA regime change coup.”

Murray also mentions Trump’s appointment of ‘front man on VZ’ Eliott Abrams telesur english had featured on Jan. 25:

‘US Appoints Elliott Abrams, Mastermind Behind Anti-Chavez 2002 Coup, to Lead New Venezuela Coup’

“Elliott will be a true asset to our mission to help the Venezuelan people fully restore democracy and prosperity to their country,” Pompeo said in announcing Abrams’ appointment.

He said Abrams would accompany him to the United Nations on Saturday for a Security Council meeting on Venezuela where the U.S. will press other countries to support opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim head of state.

Abrams, appearing with Pompeo at a briefing for reporters, described the situation in Venezuela as “deep, difficult and dangerous.”

Pompeo said that Elliot’s first task would be to travel to New York and push the United Nations’ Security Council to recognize Guaido as the new president of Venezuela on Saturday. His following duties, said Pompeo, could take him to Latin America.” [snip]

“But Abrams’s record is not limited to Venezuela. His first high profile position started with the Ronald Reagan administration in the 1980s, when he assured military aid to the Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt, who came to power after a coup in 1982 and was later sentenced for genocide against the Mayan peoples in the Central American country. He was also convicted in 1991 on two misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal. However, he was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush.”

I’ll freely admit that I was startled when I saw this title and author, as Eva Golinger, although being a champion of Hugo Chavez back in the day, had recently been vitriolically opposed to Nicola Maduro, but:  ‘The Dirty Hand of the National Endowment for Democracy in Venezuela’ January 28, 2019,, subtitled: Written in 2014 during the Obama adminstration, this article by Eva Golinger gives insightful background to the current crisis in Venezuela and Washington’s role in stirring it up, originally published at

She opens with:

“Anti-government protests in Venezuela that seek regime change have been led by several individuals and organizations with close ties to the U.S. government.

Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado- two of the public leaders behind the violent protests that started in February (2014) – have long histories as collaborators, grantees and agents of Washington. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have channeled multi-million dollar funding to Lopez’s political parties Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, and Machado’s NGO Sumate and her electoral campaigns.

From my favorite tankie on Twitter: @cordeliers  “Predictably, the Grauniad stands ready to manufacture propaganda on behalf of US imperialism.”:

‘Juan Guaidó: Venezuela has chance to leave chaos behind; Exclusive: self-declared interim president tells the Guardian he is set on forcing out Nicolás Maduro’

“The opposition leader who last week declared himself Venezuela’s rightful interim president has played down fears of a possible armed conflict and claimed his economically devastated nation was living through an “almost magical moment” in its newly revived quest for democracy.

In one of his first interviews since last Wednesday’s surprise move, Juan Guaidó told the Guardian he was set on “getting the job done” to force Nicolás Maduro from power and ending a humanitarian emergency which has fuelled the largest exodus in modern Latin American history.

Guaidó said a combination of international backing, opposition unity and a reinvigorated grassroots support meant Venezuela now had a unique chance “to leave the chaos behind”.

He also announced on Sunday that he will step up his push for power by holding rallies on Wednesday and another on Saturday, when the ultimatum from leading European countries is set to expire.”

‘Venezuela Rejects EU Ultimatum ‘Befitting Old Colonial Powers’, Jan. 28,

“The Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza responded to a statement by the European Union which issued an ultimatum to the Venezuelan government to hold elections within eight days. He asked them to drop the measure that would recognize Juan Guaido, opposition leader for the Venezuelan National Assembly, in contempt since 2016, who unconstitutionally declared himself “interim” president, as Venezuela’s leader.

Arreaza repudiated the European Union and said its declaration put them in the same camp as the United State-backed coup that has been in progress, most forcefully since Jan. 23, but which has been ongoing for years, since the Hugo Chavez administration:  

“The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela expresses its most forceful rejection of the declaration by the European Union of Jan. 26, through which it has demonstrated it’s signing on to the coup d’etat orchestrated by the United States government, and which has the intent of giving an ultimatum to the Venezuelan state, which is befitting of the old colonial powers it represents.”

Via the Popular Resistance newsletter, Zeese and Flowers offer: ‘Venezuela: What Activists Need To Know About The US-Led Coup

I’d advise taking special note of:

  1. Truth: President Nicolás Maduro is the legitimate president.
  2. Truth: The opposition is violent, not the Maduro government.(referencing wee, brave Abby Martin on TRNN June 18, 2017 w/ this accompanying 14+ min video):


  1. Truth: The National Assembly acted in violation of the law and is in contempt of court…all three of which explanations run counter to the conventional wisdom MSM talking points like this:

“The Maduro government has waged a violent crackdown on Venezuelan civil society, violated the constitution by dissolving the National Assembly and was re-elected last year in an election many observers said was fraudulent.”

It’s all excellent, although their lists of Guaido supporters and opponents are a bit out of date.

Bonus: ‘The History – and Hypocrisy – of US Meddling in Venezuela;
Author and activist Brett Wilkins looks at the history of US meddling in Venezuela,, Jan. 28, 2019

(cross-posted at

18 responses to “The Coup against Nicolas Maduro Intensifies

  1. Thanks, wendye. I am posting this before reading your piece, having just skimmed through. I can already see you have given us information we need, and probably my addition is not going to add much, but in the context in which I swim, I am very glad Winston Peters has gone a little bit against the tide, though indeed not all the way. Some of his statements appear to be misinformed, but not recognizing the usurper is huge. At least to the extent he has demurred, I still say bravo. It may be an area where, if they can hold to this statement, some further light can be thrown to prevent further carnage, which is what we should all wish.

    • thanks, juliainia. i had added it over yonder as we’d been making tallies of nations for, against, and neutral on recognizing guaido the seditionist. the ‘free and fair elections’ actually mirrors others who are demanding ‘new free and fair elections’ in eight days, or else’ as w this from voice of america on jan 26:

      Three European governments said Saturday they would recognize Venezuela’s opposition leader as president if no election is called within eight days.

      Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and French President Emmanuel Macron each said their countries are set to acknowledge Juan Guaido as the leader of Venezuela. German government spokeswoman Martina Fietz said on Twitter that Germany would also recognize Guaido if Venezuela fails to hold a new election.”

      but the election was legitimate, so maduro said hell with you.

      58 comments over there, if you care to, click thru. brett wilkins, author of the Bonus link stopped by, too.

  2. The contrast is amazing between that first photo of the dude (as b called him) with his clean cut supporters, and the gangs barricading streets in the dark, setting hapless young men on fire and destroying buildings – the two sides of the coup, much as there were two sides when Ukraine exploded. Then, the coverage highlighting what really was happening was in its infancy. I remember how difficult it was to untangle what was staged from what was not.

    Similarly when Egypt erupted. Places unfamiliar to most of us, and who is a legitimate protester, who is not? Who has grievances and who is simply taking advantage to promote chaos?

    Through the charades of false accusation, the Toyota parades and behind the scenes supplies of guns, the white helmets…we have begun to be educated. The Jack Nicholson character sneers, “You can’t handle the truth!” Well, we have to. We have to.

    You have done well to present both sides of the one coin in this thread. Thank you again.

    • it is hard to tell protestors from the guarambistas (CIA provocateurs?) save for on the street reporting such as abby’s. but even then, if they’re biased, and report by lying, that makes it even more difficult, as we’ve seen constantly, and yes, from libya to ukraine to now VZ.

      you’ll love this addition, though, reports say that russia is helping maduro abscond w/ VZ’s gold: ‘Venezuela Has 20 Tons of Gold Ready to Ship. Destination Unknown’, bloomberg news (as it’s quite long, i’ll paste in a little of it)

      ““Venezuelan lawmaker Jose Guerra dropped a bombshell on Twitter Tuesday: The Russian Boeing 777 that had landed in Caracas the day before was there to spirit away 20 tons of gold from the vaults of the country’s central bank.
      The claim set off a welter of social media speculation and outrage. When asked how he knew this, Guerra provided no evidence.

      Just another outlandish comment from a lawmaker trying to draw attention to the plight of crisis-torn Venezuela? Perhaps not. For one thing, Guerra is a former central bank economist who remains in touch with old colleagues there. For another, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News Tuesday that 20 tons of gold have been set aside in the central bank for loading. Worth some $840 million, the gold represents about 20 percent of its holdings of the metal in Venezuela, the person said. He provided no further information on plans for those bars.”

      and from the Twittersphere:

      @cordeliers · “Strategy is to commit acts of violence forcing the police to respond. Necessary measures to preserve order and save lives will then be spun by media lapdogs as an “authoritarian crackdown.”

  3. lol. is there a DSMIV designation for ‘addicted to unnecessary quotation marks’? well, i suppose it’s not a totally crazy surmise, esp. given that the port of maracaibo in in zulia, but i’d think that whatever invasion scenarios are being discussed, guaido’s BFF jair bolsonaro would be large part of them.

    an e-friend had sent me a different op-ed by korbyko that was wide of the mark, as he’d asked ‘why would the US want vZ’s oil’ as the US has plenty?’ or close to that. well, simply to keep any of it away from china and russia, i.e. ‘to control it’.

    the withheld money is growing larger every day, although some of the statements by bolton and mnuchin might be ‘future’ as in the other $11 billion, but gawd’s bloood, it’s all so brazen now: a coup out in the open, and almost all the western world is backing guaido. guess we’ll see what pops w/ uruguay and mexico…if maduro survives that long.

    and okey-dokey on checking w/ your web master, whatever that means. ;-)

  4. The EP is in!

    EU parliament urges member states to recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president

    The European Parliament voted to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate interim president of Venezuela and urged EU leaders to do the same.

    The resolution, voted on Thursday, called on the EU leadership to adopt “a strong, unified stance,” and recognize Guaido as the “only legitimate” interim president of the South American nation until new elections are held to “restore democracy.”

    he MEPs also pledged “full support” for Venezuela’s opposition-controlled parliament, the National Assembly, urging the EU states to “accredit” the envoys appointed by the opposition.

    The document was adopted with 439 votes to 104, with 88 MEPs abstaining.
    86% of Venezuelans Oppose Military Intervention, 81% Against US Sanctions, Local Polling Shows

    This poll was conducted before the Donald Trump administration launched a political coup in Venezuela on January 23, attempting to replace its government with a right-wing opposition that has made it clear that it seeks to impose neoliberal capitalist economic policies.

    If you’re in London! There’s a demonstration tonight…

    • guess they dinnae feel as though they needed to wait given that maduro had essentially told them to suck it; the elections *were* free and fair, even tho the opposition had boycotted them. man, it’s a coup on the gallop by now. bless the folks in london who go; kinda like the invisibility of the vigils for julian assange. no effects save for the folks who reckon they have no other choice to attend if they’re able.

      and in a twist of truman’s: the buck stops here.
      the bucks stop at guaido’s door. billions and billions of them.

      gawd’s blood, what an ugly sod he is….

  5. time for me to close down.
    my offering tonight is that if you’re awake before first light, as we are, there’s quite a celestial show to behold in the east! the crescent moon aligned with both venus to the northwest, jupiter to the southwest of la luna bella, reminding us that planet earth is just a speck in the greater universe, and that we’re all made of stardust.

    nanci griffith’s cover of julie gold’s song, from a distance, please, please listen and/or read!:

    g’night all. there could have been a better world out there. who will stop us? …those who can.

  6. morning additions: in his ‘US escalates threats against Venezuela’ today, Bill Van Auken, wsws brings us up to date on military options among other dark arts afoot.

    “Among the schemes floated by US officials is the opening of a “humanitarian corridor” into Venezuela for the ostensible purpose of sending in food, medicine and medical supplies. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced last week that the US was appropriating a paltry $20 million for that purpose, but Washington is also attempting to shift all assets and bank accounts that it can lay hold of into the hands of Guaidó.

    The Trump administration’s newly appointed special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, the veteran US war criminal who played a leading role in defending the near-genocidal repression by US-backed dictatorships in Central America and in organizing the illegal CIA “contra” terrorist war against Nicaragua, floated the “humanitarian corridor” proposal Wednesday, declaring that “it is something we are looking at.”

    Mauricio Claver-Carone, the right-wing anti-Castro activist elevated to the position of senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council, was somewhat more explicit, telling reporters that Washington was looking for “the best peaceful way” to deliver aid to Venezuela, but was “exploring many options” and would not rule out military intervention to open up a “corridor.”

    but telesur english is reporting today:

    “Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, confirmed that Guterres responded to a letter, which was sent by Juan Guaido asking the agency to send humanitarian aid to Venezuela.
    Guterres reiterated his concern about the impact of the current Venezuelan crisis on the people.

    However, regarding Guaido’s request, the secretary-general requested to communicate with the Government of Venezuela, which is headed by President Nicolas Maduro.”
    does he mean ‘only with maduro’s govt.’s permission’?

    would the proposed humanity corridor be by way of a ‘no fly zone’, or by water? here are VZ’s ports including the one at zulia:

    or would those 5000 troops (psyop or not) on bolton’s notebook come by air?
    again, psyop or not, telesur’s reporting: US military planes soar over colombia land in bogata‘ [for four hours] some remarks are from VOA, so there’s that.

    “The C17 aircraft have capacity for 102 special assault forces or 134 soldiers,” Colombian news outlets said.
    Amid international pressures, U.S. military aircraft have been spotted over Colombia, local media outlets report.
    For the second time in two days, several U.S. military planes were seen soaring over Colombia. The most recent sighting, reported by Aircraft Spots, is a EO-5C N177RA PLOMO27 spy plane.”, and more.

    and just another day in Imperial censorship: ‘Twitter takes down hundreds of accounts linked to Venezuela amid US calls for regime change’, rt feb.1 (well, over 11 hundreds)

    “Host of the Empire Files, a documentary & interview series, Abby Martin lamented that amid Twitter censorship of pro-government supporters, “pro-coup Venezuelans & right-wing exiles dominate the media sphere.”

    afternoon edit:

    and as he’d promised: ‘Elliott Abrams: A Human Rights Horror Show in Three Acts’ by Brett Wilkins, February 1, 2019,

  7. From the don’t know whether to laugh or cry department we have Mark Ames referring to this Max Blumenthal piece in which he interviews those haunting the halls of power:

  8. yeah, RT had it up, and my favorite tankie had a screen shot of @aoc up with the yellow banner across it. but she’d said the same shit in some guest op-ed at the cia waPo, iirc. ‘on the one hand…but on the other hand…’ doin’ her tevyah schtick. it was pretty funny for show-boating, but i think he’d asked the wrong Q, myself. (i’ll try to embed it for you.)

    wish they’d identified all those critters…

    oh, and i think you’ll appreciate the irony of this additional CNN job for GG:

  9. Eduardo Bolsonaro has teamed up with Steve Bannon. Awesome.

    • ha; same son. what.a.shock. i looked up wyllys, and he left the country due to death threats about being gay. thanks for the RT piece, i’m (sigh) building a whole new diary there’s so much afoot, might use it, but for sure the bannon. eduardo kinda looks like varoufakis, doesn’t he?

  10. Maduro proposes early Parliamentary elections in Venezuela.

  11. Does this kind of critique serve any purpose? I don’t agree with those who agree with me.

  12. my theory is that No One should ever agree with those who agree with one. thanks for the chuckles. sure it helps, although i’m glad she’d said:
    ‘Those words “Pyongyang as we know it” are key, though.’ now her analysis on maduro as analagous i’d have to read again later, but she’s on the right track, as whitney webb has been.

    thanks, and i’m glad i was able to grab the link, not being on facebook and all.

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