Venezuela beset by American dirty tricks

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For those wishing to peer into the heart of darkness, the nexus between big oil and big money is a good place to start. Those who control the energy market and the financial markets control the world.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media following a United Nations Security Council meeting which was requested by the United States to offer a statement on the situation in Venezuela. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)For the last 70 years that has been the United States, which has possessed the world's reserve currency, the US dollar, and has maintained control over oil markets. They have done this either through alliances, with countries such as Saudi Arabia, or through war, as with the Iraq conflicts, which led to the killing of over one million people, mostly civilians.

The latest victim of this brutal intersection of big oil and big money is Venezuela, a country that has made the mistake of having the biggest oil reserves in the world, which are also of a very high quality.

The undermining of Venezuela by American dirty tricks has been going on for a long time. But now the lies and propaganda are being ratcheted up. Just as in the Iraq war or the wars with Libya and Syria, mindless media outlets are blaring out a narrative in which the 'bad guys' have to be taken out with extreme prejudice so that America and its allies can rescue the long-suffering people of that nation.

In essence, the argument (if one can call it that) is that to liberate these people we have to turn their country into rubble — and then they will have peace and democracy. A bit like bashing someone on the head with a baseball bat in order to improve their health.

Such horrible illogic, which dresses up extreme violence as the 'right thing to do', is now being used by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. He has said of President Maduro that 'his regime is morally bankrupt, it's economically incompetent and it is profoundly corrupt. It is undemocratic to the core.'

It seems to scarcely matter that these claims are largely false. Yet it is worth pointing out that it is the US that is the country that is morally bankrupt — as has been seen with the series of aggressive, illegal wars they have fought this century. There was never any apology, for example, for invading Iraq on a false pretext, even though it was a crime of aggression. Venezuela, meanwhile, has invaded no-one.

 

"It adds up to a callous bid for control of the energy resources in the Caribbean Basin designed to gain more influence over the world energy markets."

 

Venezuela has experienced economic problems, and the nation's leaders could be described as economically incompetent to a degree, although that was largely because their attempts to redistribute wealth were not as successful as they might have been. But how, exactly, does this constitute a reason to destroy the country?

Venezuela has corruption, especially after the sanctions were imposed, but most countries are corrupt, at least to some degree. That is no reason to destroy them.

In America there is a $US21 trillion hole — 'unsupported adjustments' — in the accounts of the Department of Defense and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015 (that is not a typo). Total US government debt is only about $US16 trillion; it is more than the US has spent on its military in its entire history. So should we start bombing the US to teach it a lesson about the need for government to be transparent and accountable, the absence of which is an invitation to corruption?

Some of Pompeo's lies are so blatant one wonders how this self described 'evangelical Christian' can look at himself in the mirror. Venezuela is not 'undemocratic to the core'. Maduro won an election less than a year ago.

The west's thievery is intensifying. The Bank of England is refusing to hand over $US1.2 billion of the country's gold, while the UK foreign office urges the bank to give it instead to the opposition leader Juan Guaidó. America has confiscated all the Venezuelan money it can get its hands on.

It adds up to a callous bid for control of the energy resources in the Caribbean Basin designed to gain more influence over the world energy markets. The aim is to grab hold of Venezuela's oil in order to establish a competitor to OPEC, which is dominated by the Saudis and the Russians.

Much will depend on which side the Venezuelan military sides with. At the moment, that looks to be Maduro. His efforts to get around the sanctions using a Petro cryptocurrency have also had some success, although it represents a threat to the hegemony of the US dollar, which will only make America more aggressive. Two other superpowers, China and Russia — both also targets of America — have an obvious interest in developing some alignment, if only to provide new markets.

America's greed and appetite for self righteous, astoundingly hypocritical violence — to date, mainly through sanctions in Venezuela — will not go away any time soon.

Yet amidst all the lying, there is an occasional glimmer of truth. John Bolton, America's National Security adviser, explained what it is really all about. 'It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.' Goodness, there is a buck to be made.

 

 

David JamesDavid James is the managing editor of businessadvantagepng.com. He has a PhD in English literature and is author of the musical comedy The Bard Bites Back, which is about Shakespeare's ghost.

Main image: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media following a United Nations Security Council meeting which was requested by the United States to offer a statement on the situation in Venezuela. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Topic tags: David James, Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, Iraq war, oil

 

 

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It’s disappointing to see David James absolve yet another socialist failure simply by claiming “their attempts to redistribute wealth were not as successful as they might have been”, and blaming the perennial bogeyman, the USA. He evokes the writing of Eva Golinger, a former advisor to Hugo Chavez, described by the New York Times as part of “Venezuela’s expanding state propaganda complex”, who even blamed the US for Chavez’s cancer. Chavez destroyed the private sector by nationalization. Corruption was rampart. Chavez and Nestor Kirchner of Argentina allegedly made US$50 million each by exploiting the distortions in the exchange market they themselves created, and Chavez died a billionaire. With 3 million refugees fleeing starvation, Maduro’s fix was to make it illegal to list “starvation” as the cause of death of a child. I’d like to see David James take up on a radical shake up of the banking sector proposed by The Australian’s economics editor, Adam Creighton, on Tuesday. Creighton says the explosion in house prices “has far more to do with the banks’ ability to create credit than population growth or negative gearing” and he suggests a different tax for banks. His proposals might bring widespread benefits for us all.
Ross Howard | 30 January 2019


The people of Venezuela are protesting. There is no food, no money for essential services, no wages for government workers, no money to run educational facilities. It is a desperately sorry state and like Chavez, Maduro has been mudering or incarceration his opponents. No international agencies respected the last election - or the one before. Maduro is an illegitimate leader holding onto power through violence. Finally, we can see that he will fall and the USA and Britain are taking action to accelerate that process. The people of Venezuela will seek vengeance for the many muderous crimes and Maduro and his cronies know it. A familiar pattern of leadership change for despots... that’s a fair incentive to stay in power at whatever cost... David, this is not an unforeseen outcome. Rather, this is the result of corruption and theft dressed up as ideological righteous belief for the common good. The result of course is that corruption and ignorance has sent this once wealthy nation to the brink. External agencies estimate 3 million people have left the country because of the conditions. Protestors have been murdered in the street. As an aside, when the Euro came to pass the Middle East countries started to sell oil for Euro’s and the USD no longer became the influential currency it had been on oil. A diversification of rust for the Middle East and for the world.
Patrick | 31 January 2019


Ross, I beg to differ on your response to David's analysis. Sadly the US track record is to say the least absolutely shocking since the end of World War II. The US came out of that conflict as the most powerful nation on earth, militarily and economically. Sadly their polices have become hypocritical since then. Vietnam ,Laos Cambodia, the illegal attempted invasion of Cuba (Bay of Pigs) Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, the illegal overthrow of the Government of Chile, support for right wing paramilitary groups in Central and South America and overt support for repressive right wing dictatorships etc etc. ; the list goes on. Of course OIL is the major driver of many of these adventures since the end of the 2nd.Indochina War. The US and other western powers have NO right to intervene in the affairs of a sovereign state, anymore than the Russian interference in the Ukraine!
Gavin O'Brien | 31 January 2019


Acknowledging my small amount of understanding of this tragedy, this article does not have the ring of a balanced assessment. I don't think any independent observers have considered the reelection of the governing body to be fair and legitimate.
John Tobin | 31 January 2019


Whenever an American person in power condemns another nation's leaders I immediately have my suspicions. Sure there are issues in Venezuela and sure they do need addressing. But I would think the last nation to take the high moral ground (with incidentally 800 military bases on other people's ground throughout the world) would be the USA. Corruption is central to the government of the USA. If you have a chance to see Michael Moore's latest film on the USA might I suggest a look.
Tom Kingston | 31 January 2019


David James is correct to point out how the US has interfered in the situation in Venezuela and the hypocritical posturing of the Trump administration, which as many have pointed out, has been involved with the overthrow of many democratic governments for the profits of its corporations and to extend its global power and agenda. There is no doubt that Venezuela is having dire problems with its economy, but having interference from the US sand its obedient allies is going to worsen the situation. The Chavez Government did much to improve the living conditions and social services at a time when oil prices were high - about $120 per barrel. After that, the price per barrel dropped to $9, but has now increased to $40. It is not expected to improve. Claims that the Maduro Government is not a legitimate one are untrue. He was elected by a majority at the last election, but the voter turnout was very low. Attempts by the Maduro administration to remedy the situation have been undermined by the very wealthy Venezuelans, the US and the extreme right wing Latin American nations. it should be noted that the Morrison LNP Coalition has supported Trump's interference and to make it worse so has the "me too" opposition leader, Bill Shorten and foreign spokesperson Penny Wong. Australians who truly care about democracy and justice should demand that our leaders: * oppose this blatant and undemocratic interference in Venezuela by the US * call for US sanctions to be dropped and for US military and naval presence to end * call for the end of all financial and other support to the extreme right wing Venezuelan opposition * call for the abolition of all Venezuelan foreign debts held by the US and European banks, the World Bank and the IMF.
Andrew (Andy) Alcock | 31 January 2019


David James is right at what has happened to Venezuela over the years.The worlds richest reserve of oil .It has gold and drugs.Too close to the exploitation of both America and Russia.Too close to the Catholic church.Seeing the poor people like many South American countries and the extermination of their rain forests and native people, shows you the lack of empathy of so called first world nations.One Venezuelan born.
marlene bracks | 31 January 2019


Thank you David for a superb article. It is about time someone in the media wrote something accurate about the situation in Venezuela. You make your points succinctly and candidly. The parallels you draw are spot on. I was in Cuba in 2003 and heard about the Cuban Five. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_Five) - a massive injustice perpetrated by the USA upon Cuban nationals who were investigating terrorist activity in Cuba. This blatant injustice completely failed to be reported in the Western press at that juncture. And even now very few know of it. The USA isn't alone, of course, in riding roughshod over weaker nations - they are following a long tradition by superpowers in that endeavour. However, this century they are undoubtedly the worst.
Martin Killips | 31 January 2019


James has missed most of the key truths about Venezuela. Forget the US for the moment. The core issues in this sorry country are not about ideology, political sides or coups (there is none). The Venezuelan people just want their democracy back. The interim President" is there illegally, is corrupt, and propogates violent human abuse. 5,000,000 have fled, creating huge problems in neighbouring countries. Inflation is gigantic. Tomas Guado is not "self-appointed" but is the constitutionally correct interim President in the absence of a democratic election. Watch this 5-min articulate outline of the Venezuelan situation by a New York based Venezuelan (a woman comedian, but not joking here): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEvHwiJWgAY
Mark Dohrmann | 01 February 2019


Thanks David for a rare look behind the MSM's parroting of US propaganda. For the sceptics here, you might recall (?) that the US tried to instigate a coup against Chavez very soon after his election to power (nobody came and it fizzled). It is clear the US has heavily interfered all along. Unfortunately Chavez' claim he was poisoned by the US is credible because the US has plenty of form on assassinating democratically elected leaders and overthrowing democratically elected governments.
Geoff Davies | 01 February 2019


It’s a pity that the editor publishes rants like this. It undermines Eureka Street and its objects. At least some of the responses provided some facts that threw some light on the issues. Citizens fleeing from a country always raises questions about the regime
JL Trew | 02 February 2019


The proof, in such a deeply divisive issue, is in the pudding. Where are the photographs of emaciated people and especially children to prick the consciences of those who would normally take no sides? Both Colombia and Peru, recipient nations of the flow of refugees from Venezuela, have a free press and neither country's administrations have taken sides in this debate, presumably because of their fear of being dragged into the US-Venezuelan conflict, which has been protracted for years. The Pope has urged Maduro and Guardo to meet with the objective of bridging the humanitarian chasm resulting in the astronomically high refugee efflux. Not much attention is paid here to the immensely wealthy Right-wing in Venezuela, which is out to seek revenge for its being deprived of its 'right-to-rule' privileges, borne of Monroe Doctrine foreign policy expectations long imposed by the US. In the Seventies I taught English during my summer holidays at Oxford to an immensely wealthy and privileged group of Latin American students, mainly from Mexico but also from Venezuela. It was not hard to see the power they wielded and the privilege they expected to exert. They scoffed at any mention of Chile, Cuba and liberation theology.
Michael Furtado | 05 February 2019


How many times do we have to run this Marxist experperiment to accept the fact that it simply does not work. Easy to comment from the cheap seats and yes of course, if you were in charge utopia would surely follow. .
James | 04 March 2019


David, the one thing I don't see in your article is the topic and action of money printing. This is what has led to the very high inflation rate in Venezuela. Have a look at history and a good economic text book or book such as Keynes V Hayek by Nicholas Wapshott. Socialist countries are noted for printing to much money and hence hyper inflation. Chavez did some good stuff but economics was not one thing he was good at. He did a good job with health and education sure. Please note the new monetarism theory states that debt issued in ones own currency doesn't matter, very very scarey
terry | 11 July 2019


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