Trump’s oil war on Venezuela?

This 2 February 2019 video is called Spanish Activist Denounces Brutal Attack Against Venezuela.

By Eric London in the USA:

US issues new threats of war for oil against Venezuela

4 February 2019

President Trump, Vice President Pence and National Security Advisor John Bolton escalated threats to launch a war against Venezuela, as large pro- and anti-government demonstrations filled Venezuela’s streets on Saturday.

In an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” program that aired before the Super Bowl yesterday, Trump reiterated that military intervention “is an option”. Pence assured a crowd of far-right Venezuelan exiles in Miami on Friday that “this is no time for dialogue, it is the moment for action, and the time has come to end the Maduro dictatorship once and for all… Those looking on should know this: all options are on the table.”

Bolton, who helped author the playbook that was used to launch the 2003 invasion of Iraq, issued a blunt threat Friday that the US would kill or jail and torture Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro if he did not resign. Comparing Maduro to Nicolae Ceaușescu and Benito Mussolini—both of whom were killed—Bolton told right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt: “The sooner he takes advantage of that [i.e., resignation], the sooner he’s likely to have a nice quiet retirement on a pretty beach rather than being in some other beach area like Guantanamo.”

Self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaidó, the US and their allies in South America and Europe are preparing a new provocation aimed at forcing the Venezuelan military to abandon Maduro, with Guaidó announcing that the US will deliver aid at three locations along the Venezuelan border in the coming days.

While Maduro and the Venezuelan military leadership have said they will refuse the aid, the US hopes that images of crowds gathering to receive food and medication will either provoke the military to defect to the opposition and help distribute the aid or provide valuable propaganda footage justifying the need for a “humanitarian” intervention.

Over the weekend, hundreds of armed Colombian soldiers dressed in battle fatigues deployed to one of the three “aid distribution” centers, Cúcuta, on the Venezuela-Colombia border. Colombia’s far-right President Iván Duque issued a statement proclaiming, “Few hours remain to the Venezuelan dictatorship.” At a press conference last week announcing Washington’s moves to topple Maduro, Bolton held under his arm a note pad with the words written in plain view: “5,000 troops to Colombia.”

Guaidó also announced that one of the “aid” locations would be on the border with Brazil, which deployed troops to the border last year, while the third would be on an island in the Caribbean.

The stepped-up pressure produced an initial crack in the Venezuelan military, which remains the backbone of the Maduro government. Over the weekend, one Air Force general and a small group of mid-level Air Force officials defected and issued public statements calling on their colleagues to join them.

The US is imposing blanket sanctions on Venezuelan oil that amount to a blockade on oil exports. This act of economic war is intended to increase social misery.

Shannon O’Neil of the Council on Foreign Relations told a conference call of bankers, government officials and oil executives last week that the sanctions will lead to “more deprivation, even given the low base we’re at, more among the population.” The sanctions will force thousands to flee the country, she added: “You’re going to see more refugees pouring into countries throughout the hemisphere and elsewhere around the world.”

The Brookings Institution explained that the present stage of the coup operation is aimed at “building an off-ramp for the Maduro regime.” In the parlance of US imperialism, countries whose leaders do not take the “off-ramp” are, like Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Gaddafi in Libya and Assad in Syria, subject to a hailstorm of bombs and missiles from the air and US troops or proxy armies on the ground.

As the Council on Foreign Relations’ O’Neil told the corporate conference call, “If it [sanctions] doesn’t work in dislodging this regime, then there’s not a lot left in the toolkit besides things like military intervention.”

A military intervention in Venezuela—population 30 million—could kill hundreds of thousands or millions of people and transform Latin America into an imperialist slaughterhouse.

The geopolitical intelligence think tank Stratfor recently noted, “A military intervention could quickly snowball into one of the largest worldwide military operations since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.”

Francisco Toro, a Washington Post columnist and anti-Maduro think tank analyst, told the Council on Foreign Relations gathering that a military intervention would lead to “a kind of Syrian civil war” and confrontation between nuclear-armed powers.

He said: “There is this definite threat that if a military operation takes any amount of time in Venezuela, that other countries then start to move in too. And you can imagine, easily, Brazil moving into the southeast, Colombia into the southwest. You can imagine Russia trying to defend its oil interests, because Russia has big oil investments in Venezuela. You can imagine China doing I don’t know what. And Cuba has already intelligence penetration into the Venezuelan armed forces.”

Maduro rejected the demand of several European imperialist powers that he announce by February 2 the holding of new presidential elections. As the deadline passed, European governments—including the UK, France, Spain, Austria, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany—officially joined the US in recognizing Guaidó as president.

Maduro will now participate in large military exercises scheduled to last from February 5 to February 10. His government has also reportedly armed tens of thousands of members of a civilian reserve force with World War Two-era bolt-action rifles in anticipation of a possible invasion.

At its roots, Washington’s intensifying efforts at regime-change in Venezuela are part of a “pivot to Latin America” aimed at eradicating Chinese and Russian influence and transforming the whole Western Hemisphere into the exclusive cheap-labor and primary resource platform for US imperialism.

In November 2018, when Bolton announced the “Troika of Tyranny”—Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua—he was elaborating the strategic view that the US cannot successfully conduct operations against Russia in Eastern Europe, against China in South Asia, or against both Russia and China in Central Asia, without eliminating their presence in “America’s backyard” and freeing up the region’s resources for the US war machine. The establishment of a US-ruled “Fortress Americas” was a central foreign policy component of the “America First” movement in the early 1940s.

In a March 2018 document published by the US Army War College titled “The Strategic Relevance of Latin America in the US National Security Strategy,” the Army notes that in the aftermath of the fall of the dictatorships of the 1970s and 1980s, “most democratic societies in the Western Hemisphere” are “feckless and unconsolidated, thereby representing a threat to the national security of the United States by external actors (such as China and Russia) opposing US interests in the region.”

The strategy document indicated another reason for possible military operations in Venezuela: the need for the US military to test its operating capacities in heavily populated urban areas.

“Latin American megacities are also a laboratory for the US Army in cooperation with its strategic partners in addressing another important issue, or, perhaps, an old issue in the post-Cold War international system: how to fight a conventional war in an unconventional environment,” the document states. “Megacities are the new arena for conflicts in the 21st century. Therefore, the US Government and Army cannot afford to be caught off guard when called upon to exercise and accomplish its mission.”

Venezuela’s US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company and Requests IMF Money: here.

After the major European powers recognized far-right politician Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s “interim president,” Paris is stepping up threats and calls for regime change in Caracas. Reprising the methods of the Trump administration, which recognized Guaidó as president via Twitter, Paris and the other European powers are resorting to utter lawlessness, trampling Venezuelan sovereignty underfoot in a bid to plunder the strategic and oil-rich country: here.

Washington issues ultimatum to Venezuela over “humanitarian aid” ploy: here.

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: here.

African Nations Condemn Intervention, Interference in Venezuela: here.

52 thoughts on “Trump’s oil war on Venezuela?

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    • Friday, 8 February 2019

      ‘Give Venezuela back its gold!’

      ‘No Blood for Oil’ chanted a lively picket of the Bank of England demanding the bank returns $1.3bn worth of gold to Venezuela

      ‘BANK of England you’ve been told – Give Venezuela back its gold’ chanted a 60-strong picket line outside the bank yesterday lunchtime. News Line spoke to Venezuelan journalist Carolina Graterol at the picket who said: ‘This act by the Bank of England to hold 31 tons of Venezuelan gold worth $1.3bn is an act of piracy.

      ‘It is outrageous that such a “respected” institution as the Bank of England acts in this way. If they really want to help the Venezuelan people they should return this gold immediately.

      ‘The whole farce of the coup d’etat organised by Trump and his group of white supremacists in the White House is falling apart. ‘It is illegal and morally unacceptable. For England it is the biggest blunder since holding a vote for Brexit.’

      Alberto Torres, also on the picket said: ‘We have had enough of imperialist governments taking away the resources of poorer nations. ‘The gold belongs to Venezuela.’


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