‘Humanitarian Aid’ tipping point or flashpoint point in VZ?

(6 minutes, and a map with the bridge)

Venezuelan military blocks bridge as ‘aid’ arrives, CNN  From cnn.com Feb. 6:

“The Venezuelan government, led by embattled President Nicolás Maduro, blocked a bridge connecting the nation to Colombia as humanitarian aid, called for by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, was due to arrive.

(Could someone tell those Spanish speakers that it’s not CoLUMbia, but Colombia?)

Oddly, earlier today no one else had ‘the story’, neither Telesur English nor RT, come to that: nor the Tankie Twittersphere.  But by noonish MST it’s rather ubiquitous at the corporate news sites: the Grauniad, WaPo, Reuters in general, and the Telegraph UK. their coverage is a bit more expansive:

” The Colombian Foreign Ministry says a second crossing in the northern department of La Guajira has also been blocked.

Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, reacted angrily to the blockade, tweeting: “The Venezuelan people desperately need humanitarian aid. The US & other countries are trying to help, but #Venezuela’s military under Maduro’s orders is blocking aid with trucks and shipping tankers. The Maduro regime must LET THE AID REACH THE STARVING PEOPLE. #EstamosUnidosVE”

[Here’s the CoupCalling Mob Boss’s Tweet in person.]

John Bolton, the US national security adviser, echoed his comments, and lashed out at Mr Maduro for seeking only to look after himself.

Maduro and his cronies live lavishly in Europe and enrich their Cuban patrons while plundering Venezuela’s wealth,” he said. “Meanwhile, they are physically blocking the Venezuelan people, including the military rank and file, from receiving humanitarian assistance.”

He said the US would protect any senior military official who accepts Mr Guaido’s legitimacy.”

But that’s been part of the ‘Humanitarian Aid’ delivery plan all along: to turn the military by hoping they can call to their ‘consciences’ about their hungry families.  At the same time Guaido, Trump and his team are virtue-signaling their ‘help to The People’ and hoping for some false flag even that well lead to a true R2P invasion.  But more Bolton Bombast:

“The US will consider sanctions off-ramps for any Venezuelan senior military officer that (sic) stands for democracy and recognizes the constitutional government of President Juan Guaido,” he said. “If not, the international financial circle will be closed off completely. Make the right choice!”

Most of the rest is by way of Guaidoista innuendo against Maduro, but there are a few exceptions, one that notes both the Int’l Red Cross and the UN have called out the ‘aid’ for being politicized; neither organization likes it, nor will be involved in distributing it, and this:

“And the aid delivery represents the latest attempt by Mr Maduro’s political rival, 35-year-old national assembly president Mr Guaido, to weaken the Venezuelan regime by forcing members of the military to disobey Mr Maduro’s orders.”

In his Feb. 7 ‘Washington issues ultimatum to Venezuela over “humanitarian aid” ploy’, wsws.org  7 February 2019, Bill Van Auken again smacks the hell of the bourgeois Mauro government, but does add some salient details, some already known:

“The Venezuelan people desperately need humanitarian aid,” Pompeo tweeted. “The US & other countries are trying to help, but #Venezuela’s military under Maduro’s orders is blocking aid with trucks and shipping tankers. The Maduro regime must LET THE AID REACH THE STARVING PEOPLE.”

The sudden concern for the “starving people” of Venezuela comes from a US government that has systematically worked to strangle the Venezuelan economy, imposing a financial blockade in August 2017 and an oil embargo last week. The embargo aims to block all sales to and from the state-owned energy company PDVSA, threatening the country with the loss of its main source of foreign exchange and its ability to import food and medicine.

Washington’s intention is unmistakable. It seeks to starve the Venezuelan population into submission, render the country ungovernable and carry through a regime-change operation to install a right-wing puppet government.” [snip]

“The right-wing governments of Latin America, along with Canada and the major European powers, have followed suit in what amounts to a criminal and predatory scramble for control over Venezuela’s oil reserves, the largest of any country on the planet.

Guaidó and the Venezuelan right, working in close collaboration with the CIA and the State Department, have launched a noisy public campaign over the aid promised by Washington ($20 million), Canada (US$40 million) and the European Union (US$5 million), demanding the opening of a “humanitarian corridor” and declaring that supplies are on the verge of arriving in the Colombian border city of Cúcuta and must be brought into Venezuela under the right-wing opposition’s control, without hindrance.

The Twitter account of the National Assembly led by Guaidó has kept as its lead message: “Now is the time, soldier of the fatherland! Are you going to deny humanitarian aid to your mother?”

Van Auken calls that paltry amount of food and medicine ‘aid’ a pretense, a Trojan Horse, given the scale of the profound social and economic crises are absurd, and not about alleviating suffering, but instead provoking either a military coup or armed confrontation.

Oddly, the Telegraph story had named ‘tents’ in the humanitarian aid sitting in warehouses in Bogata, yet to ‘cross the bridge.  Tents?  But more from Bill:

The US president reiterated his recognition of the “legitimate government” of Guaidó in his State of the Union address Tuesday, to applause from both Republicans and Democrats, whose principal leaders have endorsed the US coup attempt.

The American corporate media, meanwhile, has fallen into line behind Washington’s regime-change operation in the same manner as it did in advance of the US wars in Iraq, Libya and elsewhere. On cue from the State Department, the White House and the CIA, it is broadcasting reports on hunger in Venezuela and casting Maduro as a villain for failing to throw his borders open to the US “aid.”

Now this wasn’t the flashpoint I’d been imagining in the title, but:

“Underlying this intransigence is the determination of US imperialism to assert its hegemony over the most oil-rich country in the world and to roll back the influence of China and Russia, which both have extensive economic and military ties with Caracas.

The threat of Venezuela becoming a flashpoint for a major confrontation between the world’s principal nuclear-armed powers is real and growing. The New York Times published an editorial Wednesday generally supporting the overthrow of the Maduro government, but expressing the nervousness that exists within sections of the US ruling establishment over the extremely bellicose policy being pursued against Venezuela.”

Venezuelan troops blockade bridge to stop aid from Colombia; Opposition uses humanitarian shipment to test army’s loyalty but government sees it as prelude to military intervention’, the Guardian/Grauniad, Feb. 6

“Mejía denied that the opposition hoped to provoke a military incident which some fear could be used to justify international intervention to unseat Maduro. “That’s not our goal. That is not what we are looking for. Basically, the strategy … is to show people that humanitarian aid is real, [that] it is not only a discourse … and it is close and it can be here soon.”

Mejía added: “We are a non-violent movement. We do not have weapons and we do not want to have them. We are absolutely certain that violence benefits the government and we cannot win a violent struggle against the government.”

[But with help from Colombia and Brazil they sure could.]

“On Tuesday, Diosdado Cabello, another top Chavista, depicted the aid effort as part of a hostile foreign military intervention that would be rebuffed.

“Our territory must be respected. As our brother President Nicolás Maduro has said: any military unit that tries to penetrate our territory will be repelled and our Bolivarian national armed forces will defend our territory. There should be no doubt about it.”

‘Venezuela as the pivot for New Internationalism?’, Feb. 6, 2019, michael-hudson.com, Michael interviewed by the Saker.  As had Hudson’s Feb. 1Trump’s Brilliant Strategy to Dismember U.S. Dollar Hegemony’, it put me in mind of Percy Bysshe Shelly’s:

‘Wake the serpent not—lest he
Should not know the way to go,–
Let him crawl which yet lies sleeping
Through the deep grass of the meadow!
Not a bee shall hear him creeping,
Not a may-fly shall awaken
From its cradling blue-bell shaken,
Not the starlight as he’s sliding
Through the grass with silent gliding.

(cross-posted at caucus99percnt.com)

2 responses to “‘Humanitarian Aid’ tipping point or flashpoint point in VZ?

  1. addenda: RT still doesn’t have this story, but has this WTF weirdness: ‘Pompeo: America ‘obligated’ to fight ‘Hezbollah’ in Venezuela to save ‘duly elected’ Guaido’,

    “Straining to explain Washington’s eagerness for regime change in Caracas, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Cuba was already occupying Venezuela, misunderstood how democracy works, and claimed Iran had a presence in the country.

    After making the expectant accusations of Russian and Chinese interference in Venezuela, Pompeo decided to mobilize his go-to excuse for US meddling – Iran!
    “People don’t recognize that Hezbollah has active cells — the Iranians are impacting the people of Venezuela and throughout South America,” adding that “We have an obligation to take down that risk for America.”

    found it:

    in my last diary on the coup in galloping in progress, i’d mentioned that bill van auken had claimed that maduro had death squads killing protestors and strikers, iirc, and hadn’t found it a bit credible.

    Also Feb. 6 at the Guardian, ‘‘They are murderers’: special forces unit strikes fear in Venezuelans; Activists suspect Nicolás Maduro has tasked Faes with pacifying the city’s barrios in bid to snuff out protest in areas once considered the cradle of Chavismo.

    and i simply don’t find it credible, do you?

  2. other morning additions:

    ‘US commander says Pentagon prepared to intervene to defend Venezuela embassy’, Bill Van Auken, 8 February 2019

    “Amid rising tensions generated by the US-backed coup in Venezuela, the head of the US Southern Command, responsible for the Pentagon’s operations in Latin America and the Caribbean, told a Senate panel Thursday that the US military is prepared to intervene in defense of Washington’s embassy in Caracas.

    The phony pretext of defending US personnel from alleged threats was used as justification for the last two major military invasions carried out by US imperialism in the hemisphere: Grenada in 1983 and Panama in 1989.
    SOUTHCOM commander Admiral Craig Faller, who appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee alongside his AFRICOM counterpart, Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, made clear the active involvement of the US military in the ongoing regime-change operation in Venezuela, launched on January 23 with the US-coordinated self-swearing-in by a previously virtually unknown extreme right-wing legislator, Juan Guaidó as “interim president.” Washington immediately recognized him as Venezuela’s head of state, while declaring the government of President Nicolas Maduro illegitimate. A number of right-wing Latin American governments, major European powers and Canada followed suit.”


    there’s a lot more, but i did dig up a lot of what he’d reported on twitter:

    this hypocrisy pissed me off, and it’s also not true.

    well, you get the hegemonic command-and-control drift…

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