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Black-Ops in Venezuela
By London Yank and Eva Golinger
Venezuela means little Venice. Christopher Colombus named the country after venturing into lake Maracaibo and seeing a huge metropolis built entirely on the lake. (I mention this because Maracaibo, the capital of Zulia, is the second largest city in the country and Zulia is the oil richest state in the nation) You can visit this former city and see how the people still live. These people were decimated by the Europeans. Unlike the nomadic Guajirans they were an easy target and not nearly as fierce.
Venezuela is the world's 5th largest oil exporting nation and they are turning off the taps. Venezuela has been phasing out the old oil contracts which allowed Texas oil companies to operate fields and pocket the revenues. Instead they adopted a policy in which Petroleos de Venezuela operates joint ventures in which it has the majority stake with state-owned developers from nations such as Russia and China, posing a direct threat to US dominance of Venezuelan fields.
Venezuela has been using its rapidly escalating oil revenues to introduce universal healthcare, state pensions and social housing for the 80 percent of the population living in poverty. If you go to a public hospital or clinic in Venezuela, you pay nothing no matter what your income.
America's attitude seems disrespectful to the Venezuelan people who elected Mr. Maduro. We might have thought that economic imperialism was over. Guess again. The people of Venezuela--the majority--not just the wealthy--deserve their own government.
Venezuela has been using national natural resources for national social programs. What an idea! I think Washington hates this more than just losing some oil. They fear, no, dread strong examples of functional socialism because it makes other countries think about doing similar things. And that ain't good for business.
Neocons are obsessed with China, and have consistently whacked the North Korean hornet' nest at every point where peace looked imminent. A "victory" over North Korea would allow them to "send a message to China" and set up a base right on the Manchurian border. To use Trumps own words, "these guys are fucking nut-jobs". I wouldn't put anything past them.
The explanation for the war in Iraq that makes the most sense to me is simply that Iraq dared to begin to move its oil trades into Euro denominations in November of 2000. (Note, the oil for food account was also Euro denominated.)
There is no greater danger to the US economy than the threat of the dollar being the unit of international trade. Every dollar tied up in trade outside the US is effectively an interest free indefinite loan to the US. It is why the US can support massive trade deficits and governmental debt.
Other countries that I am aware of having moved to at least partial denomination in Euros are: Iran, Libya, Indonesia and Russia. Of course, the two largest (Western) European oil producers are the UK and Norway, they are also the two pre-expansion countries that did not join the so called EuroZone.
Remember, "reserve currency" and "would you still like to have the U.S. dollar be..." came up in the Condi Rice hearings. Mr. Biden brought this up. But went ahead and voted for her confirmation to go forward. Odd fellow, Joe is.
Colombia has been eating up Venezuela territory for many years now. There are two maps of the area, the Venezuelan version, which still uses the traditional boundaries, and the "other" version. The US started backing Colombia on the border issue in the eighties with our "war on drugs". This is the area of Venezuela/Colombia populated mostly by indigenous populations and guerrillas.
The reason for this seems fairly obvious, the area is rich in oil, and the Colombians have given the US free reign which is something the Venezuelans withdrew from all foreigners when they nationalized the oil fields.
CIA & FBI PLOT TO KILL VENEZUELAN OFFICIALS
A key witness in the Danilo Anderson murder trial, Giovani Jose Vasquez De Armas, has identified FBI and CIA agents as being involved in the preparations to assassinate the Venezuelan State Prosecutor. Speaking on behalf of Vasquez De Armas, the Attorney General's office said that those planning the killing, "all discussed the plan with the help of the FBI and CIA."
Danilo Anderson was a Venezuela Prosecutor killed by a car bomb in Caracas on November 18, 2004. He was murdered while investigating those who were involved in leading and organizing the April 2002 coup that briefly overthrew President Chavez and abolished the constitution and the National Assembly. Vasquez De Armas, a member of Colombia's right wing paramilitary group called the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) has said that he was in charge of logistics for the plot to kill Danilo Anderson.
According to the Attorney General, Vasquez De Armas said that during a meeting in Darien, Panama, on September 4 and 6, 2003, an FBI Officer called "Pesquera" and a CIA agent called "Morrinson," attended a meeting along with two of the plot's alleged organizers, Patricia Poleo and Salvador Romani, as well as two of those who actually did the killing, Rolando and Otoniel Guevera.
An official from the Attorney General's office, speaking on behalf of Vasquez De Armas, said that in Panama the FBI and the plotting Venezuelans agreed, "to take out Chavez and the Government." He said, "the meeting's final objective was to kill President Chavez and the Attorney General." Vasquez De Armas said it was at the next meeting in the town of Maracaibo, Venezuela on March 3 and 4, 2004, that a "dramatic change" of target took place. At this meeting, attended, amongst others, by Retired General Eugenio Añez Núñez, "They decided definitely to change the objective and chose Danilo Anderson as the victim."
As yet the FBI or CIA have not responded to these further allegations of their involvement in plots to kill Venezuelan officials.
CIA & FBI CAUSE PANIC & SHORTAGES
Hundreds of tons of food and other consumer products have been hoarded or sold as contraband by private distributors and businesses in order to create shortages, panic, discontent with the government and justify outrageous price hikes.
These examples are just a snapshot of increasing, systematic negative and distorted coverage of Venezuelan affairs in U.S. media, painting an exaggeratedly dismal picture of the country’s current situation and portraying the government as incompetent, dictatorial and criminal. While this type of coordinated media campaign against Venezuela is not new – media consistently portrayed former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, elected president four times by overwhelming majorities, as a tyrannical dictator destroying the country – it is clearly intensifying at a rapid, and concerning, pace.
REGIME CHANGE BY THE NEW YORK TIMES
The most effective tactics the FBI used against the Black Panther Party and other radical movements for change in the United States were infiltration, coercion and psychological warfare. By inserting agents into these organizations, or recruiting from within, that were able to gain access and trust at the highest levels, the FBI was able to destroy these movements from the inside, breaking them down psychologically and neutralizing them politically. These clandestine tactics and strategies are thoroughly documented and evidenced in FBI and other US government documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and published in in Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall’s excellent book, “Agents of Repression: The FBI’s Secret Wars Against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement” (South End Press, 1990).
Venezuela is suffering from the sudden and dramatic plummet in oil prices. The country’s oil-dependent economy has severely contracted and the government is taking measures to reorganize the budget and guarantee access to basic services and goods, but people are still experiencing difficulties. Unlike the dismal portrayal in The New York Times, Venezuelans are not starving, homeless or suffering from mass unemployment, as countries such as Greece and Spain have experienced under austerity policies. Despite certain shortages – some caused by currency controls and others by intentional hoarding, sabotage or contraband – 95% of Venezuelans consume three meals per day, an amount that has doubled since the 1990s. The unemployment rate is under 6% and housing is subsidized by the state.
Nevertheless, making Venezuela’s economy scream is without a doubt a rapidly intensifying strategy executed by foreign interests and their Venezuelan counterparts, and it’s very effective. As shortages continue and access to dollars becomes increasingly difficult, chaos and panic ensue. This social discontent is capitalized on by U.S. agencies and anti-government forces in Venezuela pushing for regime change. A very similar strategy was used in Chile to overthrow socialist President Salvador Allende. First the economy was destroyed, then mass discontent grew and the military moved to oust Allende, backed by Washington at every stage. Lest we forget the result: a brutal dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet that tortured, assassinated, disappeared and forced into exile tens of thousands of people. Not exactly a model to replicate.
Obama approved a special State Department fund of $5 million to support anti-government groups in Venezuela. Additionally, the congressionally-funded National Endowment for Democracy is financing Venezuelan opposition groups with over $1.2 million and aiding efforts to undermine Maduro’s government. There is little doubt that millions more for regime change in Venezuela are being funneled through other channels that are not subject to public scrutiny.
Washington is employing the same dirty tactics it always has against its neighbors.
Eva Golinger is the author of The Chavez Code. She can be reached through her blog.