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Secretive meeting on US ‘military option’ in Venezuela reveals key figures of invasion push

‘Military options in Venezuela’ discussed at US secret meeting – docs obtained by Grayzone reveal.

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Via RT…


A hawkish US think tank has hosted a secretive meeting on Venezuela, bringing together American and South American officials to discuss the “use of military force” in the country, investigative journalist Max Blumenthal told RT.

The exclusive piece shedding some light on the secretive gathering was published by the Grayzone portal on Saturday. Blumenthal has obtained a check-in list of a private roundtable dubbed ‘Assessing the Use of Military Force in Venezuela,’ which was hosted by the DC-based think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

The roundtable was held on April 10, yet its check-list was misleadingly dated as April 20. The fact the meeting had actually taken place was confirmed to Blumenthal by its participants, whom he has reached for comment. They were not very eager to talk, though.

“We talked about military… uh… military options in Venezuela. That was earlier this week though,” research associate at CSIS’s Americas Program Sarah Baumunk said. She promptly grew nervous, adding that she didn’t “feel comfortable answering these questions” and hung up on the journalist.

Another listed attendee, a research associate with international strategy firm Hills & Company, Santiago Herdoiza, simply said it was a “closed meeting” without providing any details.

“They were extremely nervous that somebody in the media knew about the existence of this event. It was a very high-level meeting with basically the main people in Washington involved in making the sausage of Trump’s Venezuela policy and they wanted to keep it as private as possible,” Blumenthal told RT on Sunday. “It really does show that military options are being seriously considered at this point, after all other mechanisms that Trump has put into play seem to have failed.”

The list of participants is surely impressive – the roundtable has brought together former and incumbent military and civil officials from the US and South America, representatives of USAID and Organization of American States (OAS) as well as analysts from various think tanks. Several figureheads ‘appointed’ by the self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido were also in attendance.

Arguably the most high-profile participant of the gathering was Admiral Kurt Tidd, who until recently used to head the US Naval Forces Southern Command. Another listed participant – Roger Noriega – is basically Elliott Abrams-lite. Noriega is a veteran US meddler, with his activities dating back to the notorious Iran-Contras affair. He did not get the notoriety of Abrams and quietly held senior positions within the US administration throughout the years, focusing on Venezuela and coordinating the OAS.

Last October, he urged US President Donald Trump to appoint former Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield to lead the plans for a military invasion. The latter, also known for his involvement into murky meddling schemes against the country, participated in the roundtable as well.

The meeting was also attended by self-styled officials of Guiado’s “government” – public policy advisor Daniel Sierra and ‘ambassador’ to the US Carlos Vecchio. Participation of said “officials” sounds ironic given their previous efforts to advertise Guaido’s so-called ‘Plan País’ to reconstruct the country’s economy.

When the plan was officially unveiled a month ago, the two have spoken a lot about “reestablishing Venezuela’s democracy,” protecting “individual economic rights and freedoms” and ensuring “citizen security.” Given the topic of the CSIS’s discussion, the figureheads of Guaido’s “government” don’t actually mind to bring this ‘prosperity’ to their homeland through a foreign invasion. It should not be surprising, though, since even the Plan País itself was unveiled at the Atlantic Council – the US and NATO funded think tank.

While the closest supporters of Guaido are pushing for foreign intervention, Blumenthal believes that regional partners of the US are quite reluctant to partake in it.

“Any US invasion of Venezuela would be contingent on the consent from the Colombian and Brazilian governments and its very unclear that they’ll get that consent,” Blumenthal said.

“Both governments are extremely worried about increasing the migration crisis, they are deeply worried about destabilizing the entire region and that’s absolutely what this would entail. And they are also worried about a counterattack from the Venezuela military, which is very competent.”

While talking of the “use of military force” in secrecy, the US continues to tempt Venezuelan citizens and officials with promises of lavish aid – which, of course, would only be possible if the legitimate President Nicolas Maduro is ousted. On Saturday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Washington will lead the effort to salvage Venezuela’s economy – which it has so far been strangling with sanctions.

“We’re going to be working on trying to put together a consortium of about $10 billion of trade finance that would be available for the new government to spark trade,” Mnuchin said.

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Olivia KrothNorah DeanFood for ThoughtContemplate the templateHmph Recent comment authors
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Sally Snyder
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Sally Snyder

As shown in this article, the war in Syria is also likely a template for a war in Venezuela:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/04/syria-template-for-war-in-venezuela.html

At the very least, it appears that the current civil unrest in Venezuela is following the pattern set by Syria back in 2011 and that it is part of America’s new template for starting a regional war which will allow it to meet its global hegemonic agenda.

Contemplate the template
Guest
Contemplate the template

All copies of MS Word supplied to Washington have multiple regime-change and wars of intervention templates included. It’s specified in the GSA licensing agreements.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Venezuelan national militia to become part of armed forces — Maduro World April 14, 6:24 UTC+3 The Venezuelan president earlier called on people to join the national militia to defend the country CARACAS, April 14. /TASS/. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has sent a request to the Constitutional Assembly to integrate national militia into the Bolivarian Armed Forces. “I am asking the Constitutional Assembly and the General Staff to review the main charter of the Bolivarian Armed Forces, in order to grant a constitutional status to the Bolivarian national militia, to make it a part of the Armed Forces,” Maduro said… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Is all of this scaremongering really necessary?

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Constant pressure by scaremongering, that’s all it amounts to.

AriusArmenian
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AriusArmenian

What is left of ‘western civilization’ except for its vile elites that plot more plowing and plundering at the cost of immense suffering, death, and destruction.

Food for Thought
Guest
Food for Thought

Did God just punish France for its multiple sins today? If so, then what awaits the rest of us?

Norah Dean
Guest
Norah Dean

The problem is that not a lot of people get it, and if we’re to baldly state what is obvious to us about the worst of these ‘ elites ‘ most people think you are crazy or a conspiracy nut. The worrying thing now is that these so-called elites don’t seem to care that a small percentage of the public know the score, they don’t believe that they can be stopped in their desire to totally dominate the World. The US based World military / financial Empire is almost certainly going to make a move on Russia within the next… Read more »

George A. Wrigley jr
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George A. Wrigley jr

The US needs to be Taken out. It should be a world decision; the world has to grow some balls and charge the US with all of the war crimes it is guilty of for the past 70 years.

Norah Dean
Guest
Norah Dean

The US needs to be broken up like Germany was after WW2. The powers-that-be in the US, Rothschilds and Rockerfellers need to be held to account and neutralized.

Hmph
Guest
Hmph

Never hankered much to Chavez. Never hankered much to turning Venezuela into another Algeria under French occupation either. Wouldn’t much want to be a newly installed ‘democrat’ walking the streets of a Guaido Caracas.

The Venezuelans could always say ‘It’s a mess but it’s our mess.’ No more of that, looks to me.

And don’t kid yourselves, even pre-Chavez, Venezuela was always an oil-rich basket-case. Two-Pence and Pompey just shinin’ folks on.

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Peace on Korean Peninsula within reach, if only Trump can remove Pompeo & Bolton (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 152.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the results of the Putin-Kim summit in Vladivostok, Russia, aimed at boosting bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries, as well as working to contribute to a final peace settlement on the Korean peninsula.

Putin’s meeting with Kim may prove to be a pivotal diplomatic moment, as North Korea continues to work towards normalizing ties with the U.S. amidst ongoing denuclearization talks with the Trump White House.

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Via the BBC…

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un needs international security guarantees if he is to end his nuclear programme.

Such guarantees would need to be offered within a multinational framework, he added, following talks near Vladivostok in Russia’s far east.

Mr Kim praised the summit as a “very meaningful one-on-one exchange”.

Mr Putin said North Korea’s leader was “fairly open” and had “talked freely on all issues that were on the agenda”.

The meeting followed the breakdown of talks between the US and North Korea in February, when Mr Kim met US President Donald Trump in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

Those talks reportedly stalled over North Korea’s demand for full economic sanctions relief in return for some denuclearisation commitments – a deal the US was not willing to make.

Speaking after the talks on Thursday, Mr Putin said he wanted to see full denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.

But he said this could only be achieved through respect for international law.

“We need to restore the power of international law, to return to a state where international law, not the law of the strongest, determines the situation in the world,” he said.

Mr Kim greeted Russian officials warmly when he arrived in Russia on Wednesday.

The North Korean leader was entertained by a brass band in Vladivostok before he got inside a car flanked by bodyguards, who – in now familiar scenes – jogged alongside the vehicle as it departed.

What do we know about the summit?

According to the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin believes the six-party talks on North Korea, which are currently stalled, are the only efficient way of addressing the issue of nuclear weapons on the peninsula.

Those talks, which began in 2003, involve the two Koreas as well as China, Japan, Russia and the US.

“There are no other efficient international mechanisms at the moment,” Mr Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

“But, on the other hand, efforts are being made by other countries. Here all efforts merit support as long as they really aim at de-nuclearisation and resolving the problem of the two Koreas.”

What do both sides want?

This visit is being widely viewed as an opportunity for North Korea to show it has powerful allies following the breakdown of the talks with the US in February.

The country has blamed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the collapse of the Hanoi summit. Earlier this month North Korea demanded that Mr Pompeo be removed from nuclear talks, accusing him of “talking nonsense” and asking for someone “more careful” to replace him.

The summit is also an opportunity for Pyongyang to show that its economic future does not depend solely on the US. Mr Kim may try to put pressure on Moscow to ease sanctions.

Analysts say the summit is an opportunity for Russia to show that it is an important player on the Korean peninsula.

President Putin has been eager to meet the North Korean leader for quite some time. Yet amid the two Trump-Kim summits, the Kremlin has been somewhat sidelined.

Russia, like the US and China, is uncomfortable with North Korea being a nuclear state.

How close are Russia and North Korea?

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union (of which Russia is the main successor state) maintained close military and trade links with its communist ally, North Korea, for ideological and strategic reasons.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, trade links with post-communist Russia shrank and North Korea leaned towards China as its main ally.

Under President Putin, Russia recovered economically and in 2014 he wrote off most of North Korea’s Soviet-era debt in a major goodwill gesture.

While it is arguable how much leverage Russia has with the North today, the communist state still regards it as one of the least hostile foreign powers.

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Putin meets Kim for the first time (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at the historic meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the city of Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

The meeting marks the first ever summit between the two leaders.

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Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Via RT…

Leaders of Russia and North Korea sat down for a historic summit in Vladivostok, expressing hope it will revive the peace process in the Korean Peninsula and talks on normalizing relations with the US.

The summit on Russky Island, just off Vladivostok, started a little late because President Vladimir Putin’s flight was delayed. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had made the trip by train, arriving on Wednesday.

In brief public remarks before the talks, the two leaders expressed hope the summit will help move forward the reconciliation process in the Korean Peninsula. Putin welcomed Kim’s contributions to “normalizing relations” with the US and opening a dialogue with South Korea.

Kim said he hoped the Vladivostok summit would be a “milestone” in the talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but also build upon “traditionally friendly ties” between Russia and North Korea.

The North Korean leader also made a point of thanking Putin for flying all the way to Vladivostok for the meeting. The Far East Russian city is only 129 kilometers from the border with North Korea.

The historic summit takes place less than two months after Kim’s second summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi fell apart without a breakthrough on denuclearization. The US rejected North Korea’s request for partial sanctions relief in return for moves to dismantle nuclear and missile programs; Washington insists on full disarmament before any sanctions are removed.

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the main subject of the Kim-Putin summit, but there will also be talks about bilateral relations, trade, and humanitarian aid. The first one-on-one meeting is scheduled to last about an hour, followed by further consultations involving other government officials.

Following the summit, Putin is scheduled to visit China.

 

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Kim And Putin: Changing The State Of The Board In Korea

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


Today is a big day for Korea. The first face-to-face summit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un takes place.

At the same time the 2nd annual Belt and Road Forum kicks off in Beijing.

This meeting between Putin and Kim has been in the works for a while but rumors of it only surfaced last week. But don’t let the idea that this was put together at the last minute fool you.

It wasn’t.

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

I know that sounds bold. But hear me out.

And while no one seems to think this meeting is important or that anything of substance will come from it I do. It is exactly the kind of surprise that Putin loves to spring on the world without notice and by doing so change the board state of geopolitics.

  • Russia’s entrance into Syria in 2015, two days after Putin’s historic speech at the U.N. General Assembly
  • 2018’s State of the Union address where he announced hypersonic missiles, embarrassing the U.S. Militiary-Industrial Complex which accelerated the Bolton Doctrine of subjugating the world
  • Flying 2 TU-160 nuclear-armed bombers to Venezuela, creating panic in D.C. leading to the ham-fisted regime change operations there.
  • Nationalization of Yukos.
  • The operation to secure Crimea from U.S. invasion by marines aboard the U.S.S Donald Cook during the Ukrainian uprising against Viktor Yanukovich.

Both Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping are angry at the breakdown of the talks in Hanoi back in February. It was clear that everyone expected that meeting to be a rubber stamp on a deal already agreed to by all parties involved.

In fact the two meetings between Kim and Trump were only possible because Trump convinced them of his sincerity to resolve the ‘denuclearization’ of North Korea which would clear a path to rapid reunification.

It’s why they went along with the U.S.’s increased sanctions on North Korea as administered through the U.N. in 2017.

That John Bolton and Mike Pompeo destroyed those talks and Trump was unwilling or unable (who cares at this point, frankly, useless piece of crap that he is) to stop them embarrassed and betrayed them.

They are now done with Trump.

He’ll get nothing from either of them or Kim until Trump can prove he’s in charge of his administration, which he, clearly, is not.

And they will be moving forward with their own agenda for security and Asian economic integration. So I don’t think the timing of this meeting with that of the Belt and Road Forum is an accident.

And that means moving forward on solving the Korea problem without Trump.

It is clear from the rhetoric of Putin’s top diplomat, the irreplaceable Sergei Lavrov, that Russia’s patience is over. They are no longer interested in what Trump wants and they will now treat the U.S. as a threat, having upped their military stance towards the U.S. to that of “Threat.”

If Bolton wants anything from Russia at this point he best be prepared to start a war or piss off.

This is also why Russia took the gloves off with Ukraine in the run up to the Presidential elections, cutting off energy and machinery exports with Ukraine.

To put paid Putin’s growing impatience with U.S. policies, he just issued the order to allow residents of Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics to apply for Russian passports.

This will send Bolton into apoplexy. Angela Merkel of Germany will be none too pleased either. Putin is now playing hardball after years of unfailing politeness.

It’s also why Lavrov finalized arms and port deals all over the Middle East in recent weeks, including those with Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and India.

Bolton, Pompeo and Pence are ideologues. Trump is a typical Baby Boomer, who lives in a bubble of his own design and believes in an America that never existed.

None of them truly understand the fires they are stoking and simply believe in the Manifest Destiny of the U.S. to rule the world over a dim and barbaric world.

Putin, Xi, Rouhani in Iran and Kim in North Korea are pragmatic men. They understand the realities they live in. This is why I see Putin willing tomorrow to sit down with Kim and flaunt the U.N. sanctions and begin the investment process into North Korea that should have begun last year.

Putin would not be making these moves if he didn’t feel that Bolton was all bark and no bite when it came to actual war with Russia. He also knows that Germany needs him more than he needs Germany so despite the feet-dragging and rhetoric Nordstream 2 will go forward.

Trade is expanding between them despite the continued sanctions.

Putin may be willing to cut a deal with President-elect Zelensky on gas transit later in the year but only if the shelling of the LPR and DPR stops and he guarantees no more incidents in the Sea of Azov. This would also mollify Merkel a bit and make it easier for her politically to get Nordstream 2 over the finish line.

There are moments in history when people go too far. Bolton and Pompeo went too far in Hanoi. He will pay the price now. Putin and Kim will likely agree to something in Vladivostok that no one is expecting and won’t look like much at first.

But the reality is this summit itself marks a turning point in this story that will end with the U.S. being, in Trump’s transactional parlance, a “price taker” since it has so thoroughly failed at being a “price maker.”

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