This is Trump’s daily briefing on the coronavirus on Wednesday by way of: ‘A bold muscular/kinetic deflection’.
RT.com provides a partial transcript:
‘Not letting Covid-19 crisis go to waste? US ramps up war on drugs… focusing on Venezuela’s Maduro’, 1 Apr, 2020, RT.com, April 1, 2020
“US President Donald Trump has announced a massive naval deployment in the Caribbean to prevent drug cartels from ‘exploiting’ the Covid-19 pandemic, with the military singling out Venezuela as a major threat to America.
“We must not let the drug cartels exploit the pandemic to threaten American lives,” Trump said at the outset of what was scheduled to be a daily Covid-19 task force press conference.
Raising the specter of a national security threat, the US military officials warned Americans of a growing menace from “criminals, terrorists and other malign actors,” but called out only Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro by name.
“The Venezuelan people continue to suffer tremendously due to Maduro and his criminal control over the country, and drug traffickers are seizing on this lawlessness,” said Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
Also present for the announcement was General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who declared three wars in a single breath – on the coronavirus pandemic, terrorists and drug cartels – distracting from the fast-accelerating health crisis gripping the country.
Attorney General William Barr was on hand as well, to announce the action. The Department of Justice indicted Maduro on “narco-terrorism” charges last week, accusing the socialist leader of conspiring with Colombian militants to “flood” the United States with cocaine. Apparently short on evidence, however, the State Department on the same day issued a $15 million reward for any “information related to” the Venezuelan president.”
Earlier the State Department had offered a reward of $15 million for ‘the arrest of Maduro’, as in: Wanted Dead or Alive
‘Beyond Chutzpah: the Hypocrisy of US Nacroterrorism Charges Against Venezuela, this latest escalation of the US hybrid war against Venezuela takes place amid a global pandemic, which the US apparently sees as an opportunity to further attack a people made more vulnerable by the health crisis’, Roger D. Harris, mintpressnews, March 30, 2020 (CC w/attribution)
“U.S. Attorney General Barr’s indictments on March 26 against the government of Venezuela for narcoterrorism go beyond chutzpah. For starters, William P. Barr was chief counsel for the CIA airline, Southern Air Transport, implicated in the 1980s for running illicit drugs and related narco-terrorism during Iran-Contra.
The U.S. charges of drug trafficking against Venezuela are the height of hypocrisy. The world’s leading source of heroin is U.S.-occupied Afghanistan and the U.S. is the world’s largest cocaine market.
The president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH), is the latest in a line of corrupt presidents since the 2009 U.S.-backed coup there. JOH was identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in October by a US federal court for smuggling millions of dollars worth of cocaine into the U.S.
Colombia is the chief regional U.S. client state, distinguished by being the largest recipient of U.S. military aid in the hemisphere. Hillary Clinton called Plan Colombia a model for Latin America. Yet this model is the planet’s largest supplier of illicit cocaine. And that’s only scratching the surface of U.S. history of complicity in international narcotrafficking.”
[Colombia is ‘Under NATO’s Umbrella’]
“The false criminal charges by the U.S. government against fourteen high-ranking Venezuelan officials are for alleged involvement in international drug trafficking. The U.S. government has, in effect, put a $15 million bounty on Venezuelan President Maduro and bounties of $10 million each for the head of the National Constituent Assembly and other leading officials and former officials.”
“Yes, some illicit drugs do flow through Venezuela – a minor amount compared to those emanating from U.S. client states – but the culprits are criminal gangs that the very indicted officials are fighting. The coca is grown and manufactured into cocaine in neighboring Colombia, not Venezuela. While supporting U.S. government actions to undermine Venezuelan state institutions, WOLA recognizes: “Venezuela’s state institutions have deteriorated…In this environment, armed groups and organized criminal structures, including drug trafficking groups, have thrived.”
Yet WOLA’s conclusion is: “US government data suggests that, despite these challenges, Venezuela is not a primary transit country for US-bound cocaine. US policy toward Venezuela should be predicated on a realistic understanding of the transnational drug trade.”
CamilaTelesur quotes graphs, texts, and charts from a review of the DEA’s latest annual reports for 2018 (released Oct. 2018) & 2019 (released Dec. 2019). Venezuela is not mentioned once in the sections on cocaine. Bolivia does not appear once in 2019 report; click her Tweet to stand alone and read her related SubTweets.
“The indictments against the government of Venezuela are a ramping up of a policy of regime change. Ever since Hugo Chávez was elected president of Venezuela in 1998 and launched the Bolivarian Revolution, the hostile U.S. government has floated consistently unsubstantiated accusations of narcotrafficking.
More recently the Trump administration has sought to replace the democratically elected president of Venezuela with a U.S.-chosen and groomed security asset. Juan Guaidó, the man anointed by Trump to be president of Venezuela, had never run for the presidency, nor served as president. He was unknown to 81 percent of the Venezuelan population at the time of his self-declaration as president. Besides these dubious qualifications, Guaidó collaborated with the right-wing Colombian drug cartel and paramilitary group known as Los Rastrojos and even posed for pictures with some of their operatives, which were posted on Twitter.
The ever-tightening unilateral coercive measures on Venezuela by the U.S. have created a blockade, costing Venezuela over 100,000 lives. Sanctions are not an alternative to war but an economic form of warfare and just as deadly. As such, unilateral economic sanctions are an explicit violation of international law under the charters of the United Nations and the Organization of American States and even under U.S. law.”
You may remember that the IMF had refused Maduro a paltry $5 billion loan to help the nation during the coronavirus pandemic on the grounds that the Money-Lenders wouldn’t know who should receive the check, but perhaps Juan Guaido.
How much blood is on their various hands by now? Buckets and Buckets-full. Roger Harris had also written:
“Unfortunately, Venezuela is not alone. The rogue empire’s sanctions now blight a third of the world’s population in 39 countries.”