Trump government arrests journalist for Venezuela reports

After lack of press freedom in Australia and in the Netherlands, now the USA.

This 3 November 2019 video says about itself:

Journalist Max Blumenthal arrested on false charge in DC

Pushback with Aaron Maté

The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal speaks out on his arrest months after reporting on Venezuelan opposition violence at the DC embassy. Blumenthal was seized from his home by a group of officers and held for two days in cells and cages. His arrest warrant labels him as “armed and dangerous”. Blumenthal says the charges are false and a retaliation against The Grayzone’s journalism on the US-backed coup in Venezuela and corrupt members of the right-wing Venezuelan opposition carrying it out.

Guest: Max Blumenthal, Editor of The Grayzone and author of “The Management of Savagery.”

ACLU SUES TRUMP FOR DETAINING JOURNALISTS The American Civil Liberties Union announced Wednesday that it is suing Trump’s administration for tracking, detaining and interrogating journalists while they were reporting on U.S.-Mexico border conditions. [HuffPost]

Venezuela alarmed at Trump-Bolsonaro summit’s ‘preparation for war’: here.

Donald Trump’s navy invading Venezuela?

This 19 February 2019 video says about itself:

Arturo Lopez Levy discusses Trump’s Venezuela address

Arturo Lopez Levy, an Assistant professor of international relations at Gustavus Adolphus College, discusses the Venezuelan political crisis with CGTN’s Sean Callebs.

By Andrea Lobo in the USA:

US commander says navy ready for Venezuela intervention

24 August 2019

On Tuesday, Adm. Craig Faller, head of the US Southern Command, made the most explicit threat so far of military intervention against Venezuela, while reaffirming efforts to consolidate US neocolonial control across Latin America.

While overseeing the UNITAS maritime military exercise in Rio de Janeiro, which included forces from nine Latin American countries, Japan, the UK, Portugal, and the US Navy and Marines, Faller declared that the event “sends a message to [Venezuelan president Nicolás] Maduro and other partners that don’t share the same values.”

“I won’t speak of details of what we’re planning and what we’re doing, but we remain ready to implement policy decisions and we remain on the balls of our feet,” regarding Venezuela, he said. “The United States Navy is the most powerful navy in the world. If a policy decision is made to deploy the Navy, I’m convinced that we’ll be able to do what needs to be done.”

The statements follow the August 5 decision by the Trump administration to freeze all Venezuelan government assets in the US, ban all transactions with US entities, and extend a threat of secondary sanctions against foreign firms or governments that “support” Caracas. At the same time, recent reports have revealed that US President Donald Trump has repeatedly advocated a full-fledged naval blockade of Venezuela’s Caribbean coast.

After the August 5 measures, which amount to an economic blockade—an act of war—Maduro was compelled to pull his government out of negotiations in Barbados with representatives of the US-backed Venezuelan opposition.

Even as Faller was making his statements, however, both Trump and Maduro confirmed that US and Venezuelan officials have been holding direct talks.

Trump told reporters that his government is talking to “various representatives of Venezuela … I don’t want to say who, but we’re talking at a very high level.”

A few hours later, Maduro indicated in a televised address that “for several months” he has authorized “secret meetings in secret places” with Washington. “I reaffirm that we are looking for all means of dialog so that President Donald Trump hears the truth of Venezuela and the voice of the Bolivarian Revolution. We seek to normalize the conflict that exists with the American Empire. I believe in dialog. I believe in peace”, he added.

The escalated threats and “secret” talks reflect the impatience in Washington regarding its regime-change operation in Venezuela after the failure to pressure the military and state bureaucracy to overthrow Maduro through economic sanctions and to install a puppet regime led by the self-proclaimed “interim president”, Juan Guaidó.

The AP reported Wednesday that opposition leaders also continue to hold meetings in Washington, which has become the new setting of the talks.

After news of the talks broke, US National Security Adviser John Bolton insisted, in a tweet on Wednesday, that “Maduro must go.” Even though Maduro had acknowledged involvement in the talks, Bolton added: “The only items discussed by those who are reaching out behind Maduro’s back are his departure and free and fair elections.”

Last month, in a meeting with Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had noted that “it seems incomprehensible that you could have a free and fair election with Maduro still in Venezuela on the ground” …

Then, earlier this month, Faller had declared in Colombia that the Southern Command was preparing for “the day after Maduro”, which he described as “a point in time where a legitimate government, not a Maduro government, has asked the United States and others to come in to Venezuela to help.”

After the shrinking of the economy by a third, the plunging of the majority of the population into poverty and the displacement of millions of Venezuelans abroad, any future bourgeois government will deepen the suffering of Venezuelans to service its $150 billion debt with the international financial elites and to hand over control of its oilfields to the US-based energy conglomerates.

Only a brutal police-state dictatorship could advance these policies against mass opposition …

At the same time, Washington’s efforts to roll back Russian and Chinese economic influence in Venezuela and the region poses the threat of a military conflict between nuclear-armed powers.

In fear of US sanctions, the Russian state-owned firm Rosneft has been directly managing a growing share—66 percent this month compared to 40 percent in July—of Venezuelan oil exports, and shipping them to refineries in China and India, according to Reuters.

Rosneft also owns 49.9 percent of Citgo, state-owned PDVSA’s branch in the US, which has been taken over by Washington. Any claim made by Russia could lead the Committee of Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) “to block this on grounds that Rosneft owning half of Citgo threatens US national security,” wrote Forbes earlier this year. “It would be a compelling standoff between Venezuela, Russia and the US.”

Venezuela and Russia signed a deal last week agreeing to send warships to each other’s ports. On Wednesday, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov held talks with Venezuelan vice-president Delcy Rodriguez in Moscow. Lavrov vowed to defend Venezuela’s “right to independently choose its own development paths and to oppose any illegitimate unilateral methods of blackmail and pressure.”

Earlier this year, giving a glimpse of the broader strategy of US officials, Hector Schamis, a professor at the US School of Foreign Service, wrote in El País, “Without American troops [Yugoslavian president Slobodan] Milosevic would not have gone to the diplomatic negotiating table. Much less would he have died as a prisoner in The Hague in 2006.”

After the brutal NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in early 1999, Milosevic agreed to call for early presidential elections to be held on September 24, 2000. He won the elections against the Western-funded Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOC), only to be overthrown on October 5 in a “political coup organized by the United States government and the European powers to ensure their undisputed control of the Balkan peninsula,” as reported by the WSWS at the time.

Since the turn of the century, the efforts of US imperialism to counter its crisis of economic hegemony globally through military means have only become more aggressive, with Democrats and Republicans both supporting the campaign against Venezuela and competing with each other on who is more militaristic, especially in the face of a renewed global economic downturn.

In Venezuela, the United States, Russia, China and all over the world, millions of workers are entering into struggle against attacks on jobs, wages and social services. This movement must be consciously united across borders and independently of all bourgeois parties… in the fight against colonial re-subjugation and imperialist wars and to abolish their source, the capitalist system.

US escalates regime-change machinations against Venezuela: here.

Uruguayan Defense Minister José Bayardi warned in an interview with Sputnik this past weekend of the “possibility” of “a military conflict in Venezuela.” “Tensions surrounding a military conflict are permanent,” he said. “Even some Latin American countries keep baiting or agitating about the eventuality of a military solution,” he added, describing this as “irresponsible.” He then said that Washington was “recklessly” heightening tensions through “unilateral” economic sanctions against Venezuela and by turning the opposition parties into a “military spearhead”: here.

Pompeo admits Venezuelans don’t support regime change

This 11 June 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Mike Pompeo Insinuates the US is Willing to Meddle in UK Elections

From daily News Line in Britain:

Pompeo admits US-organised uprising in Venezuela has ‘no popular support’

14th June 2019

US SECRETARY of State Mike Pompeo had a secret meeting last month … in which he spilled the beans on the manoeuvrings of US imperialism to effect regime change in Venezuela and he outlined the determination of the Trump administration to block any possibility of a Corbyn-led Labour government in the UK.

This was revealed in a clandestine tape of his speech leaked to the Washington Post. On Venezuela, Pompeo admitted that the official US narrative, that it is supporting a popular pro-democracy movement against the elected president Nicolas Maduro is a complete fiction.

He admitted that there is no popular movement to oust Maduro, saying that there was no movement ‘worth talking about’. In fact, Pompeo was scathing about the so-called opposition and its leader, the self-declared ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido, admitting that Guaido does not have any popular support amongst the Venezuelan people.

Pompeo went even further when he lamented that the handful of bourgeois ‘oppositionists’ cobbled together by the US are nothing more than a rabble fighting one another over who will grab the spoils if regime change is achieved.

He said: ‘Our conundrum, which is to keep the opposition united, has proven devilishly difficult. The moment Maduro leaves, everybody’s going to raise their hands and say, “Take me, I’m the next president of Venezuela.” It would be forty-plus people who believe they’re the rightful heir to Maduro.’

The complete failure of US imperialism to orchestrate the overthrow of Maduro was exemplified in the humiliating debacle of a military coup attempt on 30 April led by Guaido which fizzled out before it even began.

Pompeo also candidly admitted that US efforts to conjure up an opposition had been going on long before Maduro was overwhelmingly re-elected as president last May. He said: ‘We were trying to support various religious … institutions to get the opposition to come together … since the day I became CIA director. This was something that was at the centre of what President Trump was trying to do.’

Pompeo made it clear in his speech that the Venezuelan people are not alone in being the subject of attempts at regime change. The Trump administration is also determined to prevent the election of a Corbyn-led Labour government and intends to try and stop Corbyn from ever becoming prime minister.

Pompeo was recorded saying: ‘It could be that Mr Corbyn manages to run the gauntlet and get elected. It’s possible. You should know, we won’t wait for him to do those things to begin to push back. We will do our level best. It’s too risky and too important and too hard once it’s already happened.’

His remarks surfaced after Trump’s three-day visit to London where he contemptuously … saying Corbyn was ‘somewhat of a negative force’ while going out of his way to endorse Boris Johnson as his pick for next UK Prime Minister.

Trump, as Pompeo confirms, will mobilise the US resources, being Labour right-wingers, to dump Corbyn before any election – this is the meaning of Pompeo’s pledge of a ‘push back’ against the Labour leader. …

Trump’s rampaging around the world attempting regime changes while waging trade wars with China and the EU is a product of the acute weakness of US capitalism.

In the face of a rapidly developing banking crisis, a crash in industrial production and a US working class taking mass action against low wages and poverty, Trump is forced to fight it out with his capitalist rivals to either destroy them or turn them into servile client states of US capitalism through regime change.

Pompeo’s speech has established that the enemy of the Venezuelan people is the same enemy of the British working class. The only way forward is for British workers to carry out their own regime change by organising a general strike to bring down the Tory government and go forward to a workers’ government and socialism.

No to Trump military invasion of Venezuela

This 13 May 2019 video by United States congresswoman and Democratic party presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard says about itself:

Military Intervention Won’t Help the Venezuelan People

Throughout history, every time the US topples a foreign country’s dictator/government, the outcome has been disastrous. Civil war/military intervention in Venezuela will wreak death & destruction to Venezuelan people, and increase tensions that threaten our national security.

On Thursday at noon, United States law enforcement officials, some of them helmeted and wearing flak jackets and carrying battering rams, forced their way into the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C., detaining four anti-war activists who had been residing there. The activists, Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers, Adrienne Pine and David Paul, part of a group calling themselves the Embassy Protection Collective (EPC), had been invited to stay inside the Venezuelan embassy over a month ago by the elected and internationally recognized government of President Nicolas Maduro. The raid against the embassy was carried out in flagrant violation of international laws governing diplomatic relations between states and is of a piece with the reckless and illegal actions taken by the Trump administration in an effort to force a regime change in Venezuela, home to the largest proven oil reserves on the planet: here.

Events that transpired Thursday at the Venezuelan embassy in the upscale Washington neighborhood of Georgetown expressed in microcosm the criminality and contempt for international law that characterize US imperialist operations the world over. US Secret Service agents, Washington’s Metropolitan Police and agents of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, hundreds of armed men, stormed the building to evict four peaceful antiwar activists, part of a larger contingent that had been staying in the embassy for the last month at the invitation of the Venezuelan government: here.

New York Times Stoops to New Low in Venezuela Coverage: here.