US televangelist preaches bloody war on Vuvuzela … err… Venezuela

This 12 April 2019 video from the USA is called Pat Robertson Recommends Droning Vuvuzela.

As fundamentalist televangelist Pat Robertson does not know the difference between the South African music instrument vuvuzela and the oil rich country Venezuela, which is in the crosshairs of Robertson’s fellow Republican Donald Trump.

To help the bloodthirsty ‘reverend’ Robertson, here is a video about vuvuzelas.

The 14 June 2010 video shows vuvuzelas played by football supporters during a Netherlands-Denmark international match.

The Pentagon has been ordered to draw up military plans “aimed at deterring Russian, Cuban and Chinese influence” in Venezuela, CNN reported late Monday: here.

Trump’s hunger war on Venezuela

This 10 April 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

More Sanctions on Venezuela: Operation Florida 2020 (Pt 1/2)

Senators [Robert] Menendez [a warmongering Wall Street Democrat, accused of corruption] and [Republican Marco] Rubio introduced a bipartisan bill to the Senate to intensify US and international pressure on the government of Venezuela. Mark Weisbrot says this is largely possible because members of Congress are unaware of the suffering the sanctions are causing in Venezuela.

This 10 April 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Pompeo: Sanctions Increase “Pain and Suffering” in Venezuela (Pt 2/2)

[Donald Trump‘s] Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently openly admitted that the sanctions are causing pain and suffering and that this would accelerate the process of toppling the Maduro government. Mark Weisbrot discusses the approach and what Democrats and progressives could do to stop this.

Trump-Bolsonaro war on Venezuela?

This 24 March 2019 video says about itself:

Is Trump building an alliance with Jair Bolsonaro to attack Venezuela? John Iadarola and Hassan El-Tayyab break it down on The Damage Report.

Brazil’s fascistic President Jair Bolsonaro winds up a five-day trip to the US today after signing a US-Brazilian military pact and discussing with US President Donald Trump the escalation of the drive for “regime change” in Venezuela: here.

‘No Trump war for Venezuelan oil’, demonstration

This 17 March 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

“No War for Oil” as Thousands March Against US Intervention in Venezuela

As part of an international day against US intervention in Venezuela, a mobilization in Washington, DC with speakers Daniel Ellsberg and Jill Stein emphasized that Trump is only interested in Venezuela’s resources, not in its human rights.

OIL EXECS CHORTLE OVER ‘UNPRECEDENTED’ ACCESS TO TRUMP Participants at a meeting of oil industry executives and lobbyists can be heard laughing uproariously at boasts related to “unprecedented access” to key Trump administration officials in a secretly recorded tape. The recording was made as some 100 executives of the Independent Petroleum Association of America gathered at a hotel in Southern California in the summer of 2017, and has been obtained by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. [HuffPost]

Ban Sanders for insufficient Venezuela warmongering, corporate Democrat says

This 5 March 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Wasserman Schultz Threatens Kicking Bernie Out Of Party Over Venezuela

Ms Wasserman Schultz had to resign in 2016 as Democratic party chair, because of her scandal of sabotaging Bernie Sanders’ campaign to help the Hillary Clinton campaign. Now, she helps Donald Trump’s war for oil plans.

Report reveals that armed troops were mobilized to force through US aid provocation on Venezuelan border: here.

While much of Venezuela remains without power due to a blackout that President Nicolás Maduro claims is the result of US cyber attacks, the story surrounding the Venezuelan military’s supposed burning of a “humanitarian aid” truck on the bridge from Cúcuta, Colombia on February 23 has completely unraveled. It is now clear that the accusations of Marco Rubio, John Bolton and other US officials that Maduro ordered the burning of the aid shipment were lies aimed at drumming up support for the US government’s efforts to foment a right-wing coup: here.

U.S. TO WITHDRAW DIPLOMATS FROM VENEZUELA The U.S. will withdraw all remaining diplomatic personnel from Venezuela this week, the State Department announced. [Reuters]

Washington announced late Monday that it is withdrawing all of its embassy personnel from Caracas in what may signal preparations for a direct US military intervention to consummate the protracted regime change operation unleashed against Venezuela: here.

THE TRADE Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA), which represents more than 55 million workers on the continent, expresses the following in respect of the new threats and imminent conflict in Venezuela: ‘We condemn the unilateral decision by a group of governments of the region, notoriously led by the USA, to ignore the legitimacy of the government of President Maduro and to recognise the self-proclaimed “president of the transition”, representative Juan Guaidó, president of the National Assembly, who seized such investiture without the recognition of the other branches of government, violating the national constitution and usurping powers: here.

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]

Dutch disagreement with Trump on Venezuela

This 19 February 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

President Trump called for regime change in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua on Monday, in a major speech urging the Venezuelan military to abandon its support for President Nicolás Maduro and to support self-proclaimed Venezuelan president Juan Guaidó. During the speech, Trump said the U.S. seeks a peaceful transition of power in Venezuela, but that all options remain on the table.

This comes as a new book out by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe reveals Trump privately discussed going to war with Venezuela in 2017. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro responded to Trump’s speech in Miami by accusing him of engaging in Nazi-like discourse.

We speak with Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodríguez, who headed the Venezuelan National Assembly’s Economic and Financial Advisory Office under Hugo Chávez. We also speak with Vijay Prashad, director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and chief editor of LeftWord Books. He is the author of several books, including “The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South.”

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Parliament: Kingdom of the Netherlands should not be sucked into military conflict in Venezuela

Major concerns in the Lower House about the consequences of the escalating crisis in Venezuela for Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. The government must “dp everything in its power” to prevent the Kingdom from “being drawn into a military conflict”.

That say, eg, [government parties] D66, VVD, [opposition parties] GroenLinks and Socialist Party. The parties believe that the Netherlands should make it clear that humanitarian aid is being provided and that it does not want to be involved in a military intervention. According to GroenLinks, the Netherlands should therefore not “be too much on the side of the US Americans”.

US President Trump does not exclude a [military] intervention in Venezuela. …

Venezuela is the largest neighbor of our Kingdom, according to a concerned parliament. Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are near: Aruba even 30 kilometers away. The MPs believe that our country should not politicize the situation, like the US Americans do.

The European Union on Monday (Feb 25) urged countries to avoid any military intervention in Venezuela. “We must avoid a military intervention,” Maja Kocijancic, the spokeswoman for diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini, told reporters: here.

This weekend’s attempt by the US to deliver “humanitarian aid” to Venezuela was a staged provocation, with flatbed trucks serving as US imperialism’s modern equivalent of the Trojan horse: here.

Canadian, African trade unions against Trump’s Venezuela coup

This 13 February 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Secretly Shipping Arms After Weapons Found on Plane with Possible CIA Ties

A North Carolina-based air freight company has halted flights to Venezuela following a report by McClatchy linking it to possible arms smuggling. Last week, Venezuelan authorities claimed they had uncovered 19 assault weapons, 118 ammunition cartridges and 90 military-grade radio antennas on board a U.S.-owned plane that had flown from Miami into Valencia, Venezuela’s third-largest city.

The Boeing 767 is owned by a company called 21 Air based in Greensboro, North Carolina. The plane had made nearly 40 round-trip flights between Miami and spots in Venezuela and Colombia since January 11, the day after Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was sworn in to a second term.

The flights ended after McClatchy first reported on them. Venezuela accused the U.S. government of sending the arms as part of its attempt to topple the Maduro government. While no definitive links between 21 Air and the U.S. government have been established, McClatchy reports the chairman of 21 Air, Adolfo Moreno, as well as another employee at the company have ties to Gemini Air Cargo, which was involved in the CIA’s rendition program during the administration of George W. Bush.

We speak to McClatchy reporter Tim Johnson, who broke the story. Johnson was part of a team that shared a 2017 Pulitzer Prize for its investigation of the Panama Papers.

Transcript: here.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Wednesday, 13 February 2019


CANADA’S postal workers union, the CUPW, has condemned the government of Canada’s decision to recognise Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela, over the elected president Nicolas Maduro.

‘It is deeply disturbing that the Canadian government has chosen to support this US-backed coup, which is in direct violation of international law,’ said the CUPW in a statement.

The union’s national president Mike Palecek wrote:

‘By following the US agenda in Venezuela, Canada has aligned itself with the right-wing regimes of the Lima Group and Donald Trump, who resemble past US governments who intervened and disrupted democratically elected governments in the Americas and elsewhere in the world. This is unacceptable.

‘Venezuelans created their Bolivarian Constitution from the ground up and have held several democratic elections. Venezuelans are capable of running their country without interference and harassment from the United States and its allies, including Canada.

‘Venezuela is currently facing economic difficulties, many a direct result of economic sanctions levied against Venezuela by the United States, in hopes of triggering a change in government.

‘On January 23, 2019, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido swore himself in as interim president. He was quickly (and illegally) recognised by Canada, the US and other US allies. What is happening in Venezuela is a usurpation of the democratic process.

‘The presidential elections of May 20, 2018 were free, transparent, reliable, secure and in accordance with the law, according to observers from around the world, including a CUPW delegate, who travelled to Venezuela to observe the elections.

‘President Maduro won with nearly 67.84% of the vote. None of the candidates who participated in the electoral process contested the results. Canada and the US are claiming that the electoral process was not legitimate, despite assurances from numerous observers that it was.

‘What they are really saying is that the latest elections did not garner the outcome they had hoped for.


”Let us not be fooled. The US support of this coup is about one thing: oil. Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil reserves and US National Security Advisor John Bolton has publicly stated that the US has a lot at stake in Venezuela’s political crisis, specifically citing the country’s oil and the benefit it could bring to the US.

“It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela”, said Bolton.


‘Meanwhile, Canada continues its relations with horrific regimes like Saudi Arabia. CUPW maintains solidarity with the Venezuelan people and its postal workers. Under the Bolivarian Constitution, Venezuelan government worker rights, health and safety, and rights to health care were vastly improved.

‘We stand with our sisters and brothers in their fight to protect their rights and democracy from foreign governments who are intent on dismantling them.

‘In Solidarity, Mike Palecek, National President.’

Meanwhile, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) has also issued in statement in which it ‘strongly condemns the attempt by the forces of international capitalism to instigate a regime change in Venezuela and urges all workers to join the international protests now being organised.’

SAFTU stated last Thursday: ‘US president Trump, Brazilian president Bolsonaro and Argentinian president Macri, along with other right-wing governments, have backed and recognised the self-appointed “interim” president, the right-wing opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

‘This was clearly part of a pre-planned, coordinated intervention, led by Trump and US imperialism to carry through a coup and remove incumbent elected president Nicolás Maduro from power.

‘This brazen intervention by Trump was followed by European governments, arrogantly demanding that Maduro call fresh elections within eight days. Trump has “ruled nothing out” and hinted at military intervention if Maduro refuses to step down.

The bloody nature of Trump’s intervention is made clear by appointing Elliott Abrams as special envoy to Venezuela.

‘Abrams was convicted for his involvement in arming the “Contras” – paramilitary forces in Nicaragua – in the 1980s. These western imperialists condemn the Maduro government but have collaborated and supported brutal regimes in Asia, Africa and Latin America, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and military dictatorships in Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

‘It is possible that the attempted coup will not succeed in forcing Maduro out, because it is reported that Trump has failed to secure the first elementary requirement for a successful coup: ensuring the military is on your side!

‘The military high command are said to be remaining with Maduro, though this could change, or divisions could rapidly open up, if it appears that the regime faces the prospect of being overthrown or imploding.

‘Should these forces succeed in Venezuela, the repression and attacks that workers and socialists are currently suffering will dramatically worsen. Any right-wing regime coming to power to replace Maduro will enact revenge on the working class and socialists.

‘It will mean privatisation, austerity and frontal attacks on the workers and the poor.

‘If Trump does carry out his threat to intervene militarily it would mean even greater repression of workers. An economic and social catastrophe is engulfing Venezuela.

‘GDP collapsed by 35% between 2013 and 2017, a greater collapse than in the US depression between 1929 and 1933, when it fell by 28%. IMF predictions indicate that hyper-inflation will soar to up to 10,000,000% this year, making wages worthless.

‘This economic collapse has wiped out the gains in healthcare, education and other areas introduced by the Hugo Chávez-led government. An estimated 90% of Venezuelans live in poverty.

‘Hunger and starvation have returned, and the crime rate is soaring in the major cities.

‘An estimated three million people have fled the country – about 10% of the population – in the largest refugee crisis in Latin American history!

‘This catastrophe has enabled Guaidó to mobilise not only the middle class but also sections of the working class and poor who had previously supported Chávez and, until recently, were prepared to “give Maduro a chance”.

‘Now, out of despair and desperation, some workers from former Chávez strongholds have joined pro-Guaidó protests. This extremely explosive and unstable situation, against the background of a social collapse and disintegration, has provided the ruling class with a weapon to try and discredit socialism.

‘But it is not socialism that has failed but the attempt to introduce reforms in a top-down bureaucratic manner, while remaining within a “mixed” capitalist economy, in which economic power remained in the hands of the capitalist class who are now plotting to reimpose their dictatorship.

‘This has important lessons for South Africa, where workers are faced with an economic and social catastrophe because of the failure of the ANC government to transform the ownership of the economy but to leave economic power in the hands of the white, monopoly capitalist exploiters.

‘SAFTU fully agrees with NUMSA’s view, that: “It is our duty to do all we can to defend the gains of the working class majority and the poor of Venezuela. “We call on all our comrades locally and abroad to give their full support and to do all they can to defend democracy.”

‘Zwelinzima Vavi, SAFTU General Secretary.’

ILHAN OMAR SCORCHES ENVOY OVER U.S. WAR CRIMES Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) raised questions about Elliott Abrams’ dubious past when the controversial diplomat, currently envoy to Venezuela, testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Omar questioned how Abrams, who has a history of lying to Congress and abetting war crimes by U.S. allies, could be trusted. [HuffPost]

TRUMP RAILS AGAINST INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM President Donald Trump branded his efforts to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro as a crusade against international socialism, using a speech in Miami to reignite rhetoric of the Cold War. “We’re here to proclaim a new day is coming in Latin America,” Trump said. “Socialism is dying and liberty, prosperity and democracy are being reborn.” [HuffPost]

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.

Facebook censors post against Trump’s Venezuela coup

This 2 February 2019 video from the USA is called Twitter Censors 2,000 Venezuelan Accounts.

From the site The Red Phoenix in the USA on February 3, 2019:

The Article Facebook Doesn’t Want You to Share: Venezuela Is Not Alone

The following article from the Cuban newspaper Granma is being censored by Facebook, and is not shareable on the platform with the original link. We present it here.

National March on Washington, Saturday, March 16: HANDS OFF VENEZUELA.

Twitter suspends Venezuela’s British Embassy’s account one day after attempted coup: here.