Trump’s deputy Pence threatens war on Venezuela


This 25 February 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

The Coup Has Failed & Now the U.S. Is Looking to Wage War: Venezuelan Foreign Minister Speaks Out

Venezuela’s opposition is calling on the United States and allied nations to consider using military force to topple the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is heading to Bogotá, Colombia, today to meet with regional leaders and Venezuela’s self-proclaimed president, opposition leader Juan Guaidó. The meeting follows a dramatic weekend that saw the Venezuelan military blocking the delivery of so-called humanitarian aid from entering the country at the Colombian and Brazilian borders. …

The United Nations, the Red Cross and other relief organizations have refused to work with the U.S. on delivering aid to Venezuela, which they say is politically motivated. Venezuela has allowed aid to be flown in from Russia and from some international organizations, but it has refused to allow in aid from the United States, describing it as a Trojan horse for an eventual U.S. invasion.

On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Maduro’s days in office are numbered. We speak with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, who has recently held secret talks with Trump’s special envoy Elliott Abrams.

By Eric London in the USA:

Pence threatens war in Venezuela at Colombia summit: “There is no turning back”

26 February 2019

US Vice President Mike Pence delivered a bellicose speech before representatives of 14 Latin American countries at a meeting of the Lima Group in Bogotá, Colombia, yesterday. The remarks were timed to coincide with the US-orchestrated provocations at the Venezuelan border over the weekend, resulting in clashes that left several people dead.

Pence rehashed phrases plagiarized from speeches given by George W. Bush in the run-up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, combining them with denunciations of socialism.

“There is no turning back,” Pence said. “All options are on the table.”

“A new day is coming in Latin America,” he continued. “In Venezuela and across the Western hemisphere, socialism is dying and liberty, prosperity and democracy are being reborn before our eyes.” Pence issued an ultimatum to the Venezuelan military, threatening that if it did not overthrow Maduro, “You will find no safe harbor, no easy exit, no way out. You will lose everything.”

Pence announced that the US would place added sanctions on officials in the Venezuelan government and called on the right-wing governments of Latin America to “transfer ownership of Venezuelan assets in your country” to the government of US puppet Juan Guaidó.

In other words, the US is conducting cross-hemispheric highway robbery.

In his speech, Pence gave several justifications for intensifying US war threats against Venezuela. Venezuela exploits indigenous tribes, damages the environment through oil exploration and impoverishes its population, Pence said.

These claims would be laughable were it not for the seriousness of the threats. The United States is the world’s worst offender in each of these departments.

Particularly disgusting was Pence’s attack on Venezuela for refusing “shelter for those displaced” immigrants along its border.

The Washington Post wrote that Pence “embraced a sobbing elderly man,” an immigrant waiting to enter Venezuela. The Post reporters, tears welling in their eyes, wrote that Pence “told the man in English, ‘We are with you.’”

The Post report made no mention of the thousands of immigrants currently sleeping on the streets in Mexican cities along the US-Mexico border after the US barred them from entering the country to apply for asylum.

Simultaneous with this weekend’s planned confrontation, the US military escalated its war plans. CNN reported that “the US military has flown an increased number of reconnaissance flights in international airspace off the coast of Venezuela during the last several days to gather classified intelligence” in possible preparation for a military intervention.

On Saturday, Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló reported that the Venezuelan military threatened to “open fire” on an American ship that entered Venezuelan territorial waters without permission. Though the ship was registered in Vanuatu, it was flying under a US flag in violation of international maritime law. US officials claim the ship was carrying 200 tons of “humanitarian aid.”

Venezuelan officials allege that US “humanitarian aid” includes weapons shipments to Colombia. Last Wednesday, Colombian armed forces leader Maj. Gen. Luis Navarro Jiménez traveled to Florida, where he met with leaders of US Southern Command.

The Washington Post wrote yesterday that behind the scenes in Bogotá, Guaidó “sought assurances that the United States could use force if necessary.” Venezuelan right-wing opposition leader Julio Borges tweeted Sunday that the opposition “will urge for an escalation of diplomatic pressure and the use of force against the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro.”

President Trump has long privately expressed his interest in waging war on Venezuela. In his recently published book, former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe reports that Trump once brought up Venezuela in his presence, saying, “That’s the country we should be going to war with. They have all that oil and they’re right on our back door.”

The bellicose mood in Washington was exemplified by a reckless Washington Post opinion article published yesterday by Francisco Toro, who leads the think tank “Group of 50”, founded by a former World Bank official with the backing of the imperialist Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Despite the article’s title, “With US military action, Venezuela could become the Libya of the Caribbean”, Toro makes the case for pushing the region to the brink of war. Last weekend’s border confrontation “moved military action to dislodge the Venezuelan regime from fringe speculation to serious policy discussion,” Toro writes.

The Venezuelan military, he continues, is “unlikely to rebel against Maduro unless they calculate US military action is genuinely imminent… The best solution now, then, is a strategy designed to convince Venezuela’s generals that, unless they topple Maduro in short order, they’ll be bombed out of existence—a message that should be delivered by people who understand actually bombing them out of existence would be a disaster. What the United States needs to do, in other words, is bluff, by taking further steps that raise Venezuelan generals’ perception of a threat.”

The article concludes: “God help us all.”

This incendiary strategy has the bipartisan support of the US political establishment. As former Bush administration official José Cárdenas wrote in Foreign Policy:

“US policy toward Venezuela has enjoyed a bipartisan consensus in Congress through successive administrations. Democrats such as Sen. Bob Menendez, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Rep. Eliot Engel, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, have been active critics of the breakdown in Venezuelan democracy over the years.”

It is not certain, however, that the US will be able to line up its allies behind its threats of military intervention. The increased threats of war have deepened divisions between Washington and its allies in the region and in Europe.

While the Lima Group declaration called for the immediate resignation of Maduro, it also noted that “the transition to democracy should be conducted by the Venezuelans themselves peacefully… by political and diplomatic means, without the use of force.”

Brazil’s vice president, Hamilton Mourão, said Monday from Bogotá that “a military option was never an option” for Brazil, and that “we advocate for no intervention.” The foreign minister of Spain, Josep Borrell, told the Efe news agency on Sunday, “We have clearly warned that we would not support—and would roundly condemn—any foreign military intervention.”

Despite support from the governments of the region and in Europe for the US regime-change operation, these statements reflect concerns that the US is proceeding with a degree of recklessness that risks throwing the entire hemisphere into an unprecedented level of chaos.

The Trump administration has called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, now scheduled for Tuesday. The US will likely use the opportunity to denounce Russia and China, which are likely to exercise their veto power as permanent members to block a pseudo-legal international fig leaf to US imperialism’s machinations in South America.

As the political crisis in Venezuela deepens, the leading role that Canada and the Trudeau government are playing in the ongoing US-orchestrated coup becomes ever more evident. Like its US counterpart, Canadian imperialism covets Venezuela’s vast oil resources and is determined to prevent Russia, China, and other “strategic rivals” from expanding their influence in the Americas, even if this naked pursuit of predatory interests threatens to unleash a bloody conflagration: here.

PENCE TO CELEBRATE HIS IRISH ROOTS, FOLKS NOT HAPPY Vice President Mike Pence faced calls to cancel his upcoming visit to Ireland after he confirmed the official trip on Twitter on Thursday. Some users declared Pence was “not welcome” in the country, from where his grandfather Richard Michael Cawley immigrated to the U.S. (via Ellis Island) in 1923. [HuffPost]

PRESIDENT: PENCE ISN’T GOING ANYWHERE Trump said he was “very happy” with Vice President Mike Pence and planned to keep him as his running mate in the 2020 election. “I think Mike Pence has been an outstanding VP,” Trump told reporters. [HuffPost]

27 thoughts on “Trump’s deputy Pence threatens war on Venezuela

  1. Global Mobilization in 150+ Cities Sets Back U.S. Plans

    NEXT STEPS to defend Venezuela

    The threats against Bolivarian Venezuela by U.S. imperialism and their junior partners in the Lima Group and the European Union were definitively answered by a mobilization of people power in Venezuela and across the world on February 23. The trojan horse ‘aid’ never made it across the Venezuelan border. The number and wide diversity of united solidarity actions throughout the weekend had an impact on the course of events.

    Actions were held on six continents, across Australia, the Philippines, India, Guinea-Bissau, Germany, Spain, England, Costa Rica, Barbados, Canada, upwards of 70 cities in the United States – 153 actions globally – united in the rallying cry: No U.S. war on Venezuela!

    View photos, videos, and read reports from this tremendous international mobilization here, and be sure to send in pictures from your demonstration to info@nowaronvenezuela.org if you’ve not already done so.

    While the weekend was an important victory in the struggle to defend Venezuela, the fight is far from over. On Monday, the so-called Lima Group convened in Bogota, Colombia, where U.S. Vice President Mike Pence stood alongside Juan Guaidó and promised a new round of devastating sanctions and ‘even stronger’ action to attempt to overturn the Bolivarian Revolution.

    The struggle to defend Venezuela pushes forward! Here’s what you can do:

    IN THE EVENT OF MILITARY INTERVENTION IN VENEZUELA – HIT THE STREETS & SHUT IT DOWN! If the U.S. or its allies take military action against Venezuela, we must immediately help step up the militancy and take our resistance to the streets. Grassroots acts of civil disobedience, student actions, strikes, shut downs, sit ins and blockades are being discussed. No business as usual! Help become a global voice to demand NO WAR! Make preparations in your city for emergency actions the day after any military action. Discuss plans now on times and places to gather in case military action against Venezuela occurs.
    Gather signatures on President Nicolás Maduro’s ‘Open Letter to the People of the United States.’ People in Venezuela and across the world are collecting signatures on this letter as an act of solidarity and resistance. Organize groups in your community to gather signatures, using the formatted letter and signature sheet on the website. This is also a great opportunity to talk with people about the reality of the situation in Venezuela, using the fact sheets and other materials. You can also sign and share the petition online.
    Join the ‘No U.S. War on Venezuela’ contingent at March 16 and March 30 demonstrations in Washington, DC. On March 16 and March 30, major demonstrations are planned in DC to demand U.S. & NATO Hands off Venezuela. March with our contingent and join us to deliver many thousands of petition signatures on the ‘Open Letter’ on both days to the White House. More info on time and location coming soon.

    Our efforts to broaden international solidarity are critical. Venezuelan President Maduro sent a message of thanks to the solidarity demonstrations. Film maker, musician, Boots Riley denounced U.S. plans for intervention as he accepted an award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

    Do you have ideas, or other activities planned you’d like help organizing or promoting? We want to hear from you! Get in touch at info@nowaronvenezuela.org

    Help us continue to broaden efforts to build as broad of a solidarity network as possible to demand NO U.S. war on Venezuela! Please consider making a donation today.

    147 W 24th St 2nd Fl
    Solidarity Center
    New York, NY 10011

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  3. Confront the NATO War Makers March 30!

    Demand: No War on Venezuela!

    The week of March 30 to April 7 is a gathering of war makers in Washington DC. They must be opposed!

    No to NATO, War & Racism! No War on Venezuela! Join a major demonstration in front of the White House on March 30

    US generals and the war planners of NATO are gathering for a “Summit Meeting” April 4.

    NATO is the aggressive US commanded military alliance responsible for massive death, destruction, homelessness and waves of refugees in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Syria and Libya.

    At past NATO Summits of the war makers, people around the world have organized massive protests: in Chicago (2012), Wales (2014), Warsaw (2016), Brussels (2017 & 2018) There were mass protests at the Washington DC Summit to expand NATO in 1999.

    Now in 2019 at this NATO Summit we must denounce NATO’s continuing wars and the coming war on Venezuela.

    Join ‘No War on Venezuela’ contingents in DC at the March 16 Hands off Venezuela and the March 30 No2NATO mobilizations. We will deliver signatures on President Nicolás Maduro’s ‘Open Letter to the People of the U.S.’ directly to the White House.

    For the last 5 months across the US activists have been making plans to confront the NATO Generals and demand: Stop the Wars! Say No to NATO, War and Racism!

    The No2NATO2019 mobilization helped to organize the February 23 Global Day of No War on Venezuela in 153 cities around the world. Now international activists are coming to Washington DC on March 30.

    WHY? Because a new US war is on the horizon – on Venezuela

    First the US imposed drastic sanctions and economic destabilization on Venezuela.
    Meanwhile Colombia was ominously accepted as a global partner of NATO. This brings a foreign military alliance with nuclear capability into Latin America.
    Then on January 23 the Trump Administration attempted a coup to overturn the elected government in Venezuela.
    All the members of the NATO military alliance rushed to immediately recognize the self-appointed US puppet Juan Guaido.

    In Venezuela and around the world this past month millions of people have been in the streets opposing a new US war.

    As Trump declared that: “all options are on the table”, demonstration organizers were unanimous in immediately centering the demonstration opposing US/NATO wars on the escalating war threat on Venezuela!

    We invite you to Washington DC to confront the War Makers Summit and to raise a united demand: No to NATO, War & Racism! No War on Venezuela!

    We urge you to support all protests and actions against US/NATO wars.

    Join us on Saturday March 30 in the streets and join a week of meetings, conferences and street actions from March 30 to the April 4 Black Alliance for Peace meeting on the anniversary of the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King.

    Find organizations and activists mobilizing near you here

    We invite you to add your, and/or your organization’s name to the list of supporters of the anti-NATO, Anti-War and Anti-Racism mass actions in Washington DC.

    The Steering Committee for the March 30th Anti-NATO Mobilization:

    Bahman Azad, Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases
    Ajamu Baraka, Black Alliance for Peace
    Leah Bolger, World Beyond War
    Alison Bodine, Mobilization Against War and Occupation
    Gerry Condon, Veterans For Peace
    Miguel Figueroa, Canadian Peace Congress
    Sara Flounders, International Action Center
    Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance
    Rev. Graylan Scott Hagler, Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ
    Larry Hamm, People’s Organization for Progress
    Madelyn Hoffman, U.S. Peace Council
    Tarak Kauff, Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases, Veterans For Peace
    Cassia Laham, People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism (POWIR)
    Marilyn Levin, UNAC
    Joe Lombardo, UNAC
    Tamara Lorincz, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
    Jacqueline Luqman, Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality
    Jeff Mackler, West Coast UNAC
    Alfred L. Marder, U.S. Peace Council
    Sarah Martin, Women Against Military Madness
    Diane Moxley, Green Party of New Jersey
    Nancy Price, WILPF-US Section
    Paul Pumphrey, Friends of the Congo
    Cindy Sheehan, March on the Pentagon
    Paki Wieland, CODEPINK
    Phil Wilayto, Virginia Defenders
    Ann Wright, Veterans For Peace, CODEPINK
    Rev. Bruce Wright, Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign and Refuge Ministries
    Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance

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