Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

VENEZUELA: Open letter to President Nicolas Maduro

Dear Mr. President Maduro, You have the overwhelming support of the peoples of the world.

Published

on

1,750 Views

On 25 August President Trump signed an executive order slapping Venezuela with the most sweeping economic sanctions ever. They practically paralyze Venezuela, threaten to plunge her into famine. It’s an economic coup of the worst kind. It’s outright financial warfare. For all those western nations for which such unilateral actions by the Zionist-led Washington regime has become the new normal – it is one of the highest criminal assaults a nation can impose on another nation.

To be sure, this is an act of highest treason of international law. It is a war crime, as it endangers and threatens the lives of the Venezuelan people. Furthermore, Donald Trump, has the impunity to threaten Venezuela with an overt US military invasion. ‘Overt’ – because military and secret services, i.e. CIA personnel and their proxies, trained, funded and armed, are already for years fomenting unrest and death in the streets of Caracas and elsewhere in the country.

Justifying the measures, the White House said, “[they] are carefully calibrated to deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing to maintain its illegitimate rule.” The subsequent statement by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin explains literally that these sanctions are aiming at ‘choking’ Venezuela into submission; however, that “exceptions will be made for a 30-day phase-in period and for certain transactions between the US and Venezuela, including petroleum exports and imports involving Citgo, PDVSA’s American unit, as well as financing for humanitarian efforts.”

How ‘human’ can Mr. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs partner – still be called? How human is the entire Trump military entourage? How much humanity do such people have left? Three generals are calling the shots on Trump’s presidency. How more proof is needed for the world to see that Washington is run by the Pentagon – is a pure military-police state, with the populace stripped of 95% of their civil and human rights – by ever enhanced successive versions of the Patriot Act and related legislation? Humanity at its worst.

The venom and evil of our western society never stops to amaze me. How did we get here? The beginning may date back some 5000 years. But that’s a different story. We are living now, and have to eradicate this egocentric, blood-thirsty pathological greed society, greed economy, NOW – meaning now to spare as many lives as possible.

Trump’s stated reason for slamming Venezuela with sanctions – of course a lie, like everything coming out of Washington – is the recent popular vote for a National Constituent Assembly – ANC – Asamblea Nacional Constituyente (http://www.globalresearch.ca/venezuela-the-national-constituent-assembly-is-in-place-but-the-fight-for-sovereignty-isnt-over/5602402 ). It’s the utmost form of democracy – a National Assembly voted by the people. The opposition which vigorously boycotted the July 30, 2017 vote, are now complaining of having no seats on the ANC. Of course not. They presented no candidates.

According to both Jimmy Carter, former US President and head of the Carter Institute on monitoring international elections, as well as Noam Chomsky, MIT Professor of Linguistics and reputed scholar of geopolitics, Venezuela has the most thorough democracy in the Americas and arguably in the world. Obviously, this does not please the world’s Dictator – cum – Assassin-in-chief, the United States of America.

The largest tyrant in the world calls for atrocious ‘suffocating’ killer sanctions on a sovereign, oil- and gas rich nation in “Washington’s backyard”, under the pretext that it has gone from democracy to dictatorship which the tyranny of the north cannot tolerate, but in a gesture of generosity it grants Venezuela temporary ‘humanitarian’ relieve. What a sham!

The Trump administration, or any of his predecessors, couldn’t give a hoot about democracy and human rights in any of the countries they want to dominate. Quite to the contrary, what they want is installing chaos to be able to exploit the country’s natural resources; and that is what they consistently do. In the case of Venezuela – the world’s richest nation in hydrocarbon reserves – the objective is to retake the riches and put them back to where they were before President Chavez took over in 1998, namely under firm control of US petrol giants.

Venezuela will never tolerate this.

Curiously, it looks like Trump has been dictated to adopt a new doctrine of ‘the loots of war’. His recent declaration of increasing troops in Afghanistan – without time limit – clearly has to do with the mineral riches of that central Asian country, copper, cobalt, iron, barite, sulfur, lithium, lead, silver, zinc, niobium, and an estimated 1.4 million metric tons of rare-earth elements (REEs). The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) estimates the total resources in the Afghan grounds in excess of US$ 1 trillion. Never mind that the US has already spent between US$ 1 and 2 trillion in the 16 years of illegal war in Afghanistan, resulting in massive killings, in tens of thousands of deaths.

In the case of North Korea, it’s iron ore, the US wants, plus, of course, strategic access to China and Russia. In Syria, it’s the infamous Qatari pipeline that would allow western petro-giants shipping trillions worth of oil and gas to Europe to the detriment of Russian’s European gas contracts. Bashar al Assad has refused the pipeline ever since the CIA approached him in 2008, and so did
his father already in the early 2000s. This refusal sealed Syria’s fate. In Venezuela, the intended theft is, of course, oil and gas.

It is of little importance that Trump is contradicting himself royally. His adamant and firm pre-election promises – no longer interference in far-away countries, no longer creating ‘democracies’ US style; in the future, the US will respect other countries’ lifestyle. “We will no longer use our force in foreign lands – these days are now over”.

Wonderful. Maybe he meant it. Like perhaps he really meant making peace with Russia. This is most likely the reason why he was elected. But, would Trump be so naïve, not to know that the military industrial complex wants – no, NEEDS war? This diabolical lot wants natural resources for eternal wars.

The vast majority of people want peace not war. They want to respect Venezuela’s sovereign democracy – not interfere with it. It’s their fascist puppet leaders (sic-sic) and those who make up the Latin American regional organizations that feel obliged to submit to the demands of the naked emperor.

The extractive industry, hydrocarbons, minerals has skyrocketed exponentially since the ascent of neoliberalism in the eighties like never before in modern history. The reasons are wars and conflicts. It is estimated that today almost two thirds of the plunders of worldwide extractive industries – an unspeakable calamity to human health, local communities and the environment – goes to the international military industrial complex, with the forerunner, the US of A.

———–

The new sanctions on Venezuela have become “common staple”, for all those vassals around the western globe, who for some obscure reason – for fear or for earning kudos? – bend over backwards to lick President Trump’s boots. Donald Trump, the megalo-psychopath, is a mere caricature of the American electorate. Trump’s opinion and policies dance in the wind as only an immature master can muster. Hence, the world is kept confused and on her toes, never quite sure when another bomb shell will be dropped.

Dear Mr. Maduro, this act of war can only be committed by the United States of America, because it commands our western dollar-based totally fraudulent, privately run, debt and usury based, monetary system – for profit of the FED and Wall Street banksters. Period. The western world is still enslaved to it – though on a steadily declining scale, but still not free. The east, Russia, China and the entire Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is rapidly detaching themselves from the dollar hegemony.

Venezuela – in my humble opinion – has to do likewise, as soon as possible. There is no time to ponder: detach from the dollar, with whatever implications of asset and monetary loss this may have; and it will, but it will whether you do or whether you don’t. The rabid dog of Washington never lets loose, it bites to the end, and it will never release confiscated assets. Proof is time and again all through the world, just look at Iran.

Venezuela may want to cut her losses and starting from scratch, linking closely with the economies of Russia and China, as she is already doing – but may need to move on a more rigorous and radical basis. No more deals in dollars. Stop all dollar / bolívar manipulations from Miami. The dollar has to become a banned currency for the public in Venezuela, strictly enforced by law, only to be used by government authorities. This is still the casein in Cuba, and Cuba has survived 60 years – and counting. No euros either. The euro is in the same league with the dollar. It has been created as the foster child of the dollar – fiat currency, no backing whatsoever.

New transactions are to take place only in local currencies and / or the currencies of Russia and China – through respective Central Bank swaps – and international payment systems, outside of the privately-run FED, Wall Street, BIS (Bank for International Settlement) and SWIFT, for example through the Chinese International Payment System (CIPS). Russia is about to launch a similar scheme, detached from the western-dominated financial transaction modes, like SWIFT. Once the new Russian international transfer system is in place, together with the Chinese CIPS, the western monopoly on international payments – and sanctions – will be completely upset. International trade will be reset to function outside the dollar hegemony. Russia’s, as well as China’s economies are fully backed by gold.
——–

Under these massive and sweeping financial sanctions, imposed on Venezuela thanks to the western monetary system, Venezuela is basically barred from any international financial transactions. There is a total banking blockade directed against the Venezuelan national oil and gas company, PDVSA- Petróleos de Venezuela SA, making direct hydrocarbon transactions impossible.

It is a stranglehold on Venezuelan’s economy – a recipe for starving a country and its population into submission, weakening it to be taken over – for plundering its resources. Venezuela will NEVER allow this to happen. Citgo, PDVSA’s US subsidiary, can no longer send back dividends to Venezuela – another blow to Venezuela’s foreign exchange earnings. There is a tacit threat, Citgo’s profits in the US may be confiscated – what else than highest treason of international law is this?

Venezuela has never done any harm to another nation. To the contrary, Venezuela has stood by other countries, helping them out with low cost credits and loans, with hydrocarbon at favorable prices, when the ‘market’ was abusive with artificially driven high prices, i.e. US$ 120 / barrel and higher, with the purpose to bleed developing countries into submission. Today, crude has dropped to US$ 47 / barrel, less than half of what it was 2 years ago. The same speculators are behind this drastic drop, another willful, ill-intended manipulation. Yes, by the Saudi vassals, but even more so by Wall Street and its chief executive mobster – Goldman Sachs, to hurt especially Venezuela, Iran and Russia.

This, Mr. Maduro, is an Economic Coup. It is outright financial warfare. It is criminal, illegal and punishable according to war crimes, if there was any international court in the world not yet ‘prostituted’ by the United States and its Deep Dark Zionist handlers. Blocking bank transactions with Venezuela / debt and equity swaps with creditors / debtors is a crime. Blocking Venezuela national oil company from selling hydrocarbon abroad is a crime.

Russia’s Rosneft bought a US$ 6 billion stake in in the Venezuelan PDVSA and acquired 49.9% collateral share in its US-based CITCO. This corresponds to about a 13% of Venezuela’s total production, almost the entire contingent is resold mainly in Latin America by Russia to Venezuela’s customers, despite US ‘sanctions’.

Venezuela might want to consider negotiating concession agreements or outright sales of larger portions of PDVSA to Rosneft and other Russian and Chinese petrol giants, to be repurchased once the crisis is over. Sweden has made such arrangements, nationalizing the banking sector to overcome their banking crisis in the 1990s; an elegant alternative to bailouts. It worked. Banks were later re-privatized. Russia might sell Venezuelan petrol throughout the world, with focus on honoring contracts with Venezuelan customers. No sanctions to be expected from the White House. Who could be sanctioned if transactions took place outside of the dollar economy?

Notwithstanding Trump’s threat of a direct military intervention in Venezuela, there is also a strong possibility of a US naval blockade of Venezuela’s ports. However, today, the US is no longer the sole master of the universe. Russia and China may be invited to form a counter-blockade and even to bring troops into Venezuela.

Russia’s intervention in Syria, at the behest of President Bashar Al-Assad has worked wonders; in fact, it has liberated Syria from the siege of NATO, the US, France, UK, Germany. All criminal nations, dancing to the tune of the dying emperor. Russia’s recent air force parade over the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea, with nuclear-capable Tupolev-95MS bombers in the midst of the massive and provocative US-Japan-South Korea military exercises off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, has prompted Japan and South Korea to scramble jets to escort Russia’s Tupolevs. The Russian demonstration has had an impressive impact of respect. – Why would it not be a deterrent for a US navy blockade? Or to forego Trump’s threat of direct military intervention?

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

Latest

EU and Japan ink free trade deal representing over 30% of global GDP

The free trade agreement represents a victory for free trade in the face of growing protectionism

Published

on

In a bid to preserve free trade and strengthen their trade partnership, the European Union and Japan have finished a free trade zone agreement that has been sitting in the pipeline for years.

The present global economic outlook provided the needed spur to action to get the ball rolling again and now it has finally reached the end zone and scored another point for free and open trade against the growing influence of protectionism, which has been creeping up with alarming rapidity and far reaching consequences in recent months.

Under the deal, Japan will scrap tariffs on some 94% of goods imported from Europe and the EU in turn is canning 99% of tariffs on Japanese goods.

Between the European Union and Japan, the trade deal impacts about 37% of the world’s GDP, making it one of the largest and impactful of such agreements.

The Japan Times reports:

Top European Union leaders and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed an economic partnership agreement Tuesday in Tokyo, a pact that will create a massive free trade zone accounting for 37 percent of the world’s trade by value.

European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker hastily arranged their visit to Tokyo after Abe was forced to abruptly cancel plans to attend a July 11 signing ceremony in Brussels in the aftermath of flooding and mudslides in western Japan.

Japanese officials said the signing is particularly important to counter intensifying protectionism worldwide triggered by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Negotiations on the pact between Japan and the EU, which started in 2013, had stagnated for a time but regained momentum after Trump took office in January 2017.

“We are sending a clear message that we stand together against protectionism,” Tusk said at a joint news conference with Abe after they signed the agreement.

“The relationship between the EU and Japan has never been stronger. Geographically we are far apart, but politically and economically we could be hardly any closer,” Tusk said. “I’m proud today we are taking our strategic partnership to a new level.”

Tusk stressed that the EU and Japan are partners sharing the same basic values, such as liberal democracy, human rights and rule-based order.

Abe also emphasized the importance of free and fair trade.

“Right now, concerns are rising over protectionism all around the world. We are sending out a message emphasizing the importance of a trade system based on free and fair rules,” he said.

The pact will create a free trade bloc accounting for roughly 30 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. Japan and the EU hope to have the agreement, which still needs to be ratified by both parties, come into force by March.

Under the EPA, tariffs on about 99 percent of Japan’s exported goods to the EU will eventually be eliminated, while duties on 94 percent of EU’s exported items to Japan will be abolished, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The EPA will eliminate duties of 10 percent on Japan’s auto exports to the EU seven years after the pact takes effect. The current 15 percent duties on wine imports from the EU will be eliminated immediately, while those on cheese, pork and beef will be sharply cut.

In total, the EPA will push up domestic GDP by 1 percent, or ¥5 trillion a year, and create 290,000 new jobs nationwide, according to the government.

“The world is now facing raging waves of protectionism. So the signing ceremony at this time is particularly meaningful,” a senior Foreign Ministry official said earlier this month on condition of anonymity.

“The impact for Japan is big,” the official said.

Fukunari Kimura, an economics professor at Keio University, said the EU is now trying to accelerate the ratification process.

“This is a repercussion of President Trump’s policies. They will try to ratify it before Brexit in March of next year,” he said in an interview with The Japan Times last week.

But the deal has raised concerns among some domestic farmers, in particular those from Hokkaido, the country’s major dairy producer.

According to an estimate by the Hokkaido Prefectural Government, the EPA will cut national production in the agriculture, fishery and forestry industries by up to ¥114.3 billion a year, with Hokkaido accounting for 34 percent of the predicted losses.

“The sustainable development of the prefecture’s agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries is our top priority. We need to make efforts to raise our international competitiveness,” Hokkaido Gov. Harumi Takahashi said during a news conference July 10.

Japan and the EU had reached a basic agreement on the EPA in December.

Tokyo also led negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact after Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal in January 2017.

In March, 11 countries including Japan signed the so-called TPP11, or a revised TPP pact that does not include the U.S.

“The Japan-EU EPA is another important step for Japan to strengthen its trade relationship with key trading partners, and demonstrate that trade liberalization is alive and well, even if the United States is taking a different stance,” wrote Wendy Cutler, a former acting deputy U.S. Trade Representative, in an email sent to The Japan Times last week.

“The EU deal also reduces Japanese dependence on the U.S. market and thus increases its leverage to resist unreasonable trade demands by the United States,” she wrote.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the EU, which accounts for 22 percent of the world’s GDP, was the destination for 11.4 percent of Japanese exports in 2016. In the same year, the figure for the U.S. was 20.2 percent and 17.7 percent for China.

In 2016, Japan’s exports to the EU totaled ¥8 trillion, while reciprocal trade was ¥8.2 trillion.

The deal provides tariff relief for both parties and can improve the quantity of trade between them, expand the economy and create many jobs. It also helps to further diversify their trade portfolios in order to mitigate the prospect of a single global trade partner wielding too much influence, which in turn provides a certain amount of cover from any adverse actions or demands from a single actor. In this way, current trade dependencies can be reduced and free and diversified trade is further bolstered.

Continue Reading

Latest

The man behind Ukraine coup is now turning Greece against Russia (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 57.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

On July 11, Greece said it would expel two Russian diplomats and barred the entry of two others.

The Duran reported that the formal reason is alleged meddling in an attempt to foment opposition to the “historic” name deal between Athens and Skopje paving the way for Macedonia’s NATO membership. Moscow said it would respond in kind.

Nothing like this ever happened before. The relations between the two countries have traditionally been warm. This year Moscow and Athens mark the 190th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the 25th anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Hellenic Republic. They have signed over 50 treaties and agreements.

Greek news daily, Kathimerini says the relationship started to gradually worsen behind the scenes about a couple of years ago. What happened back then? Geoffrey Pyatt assumed office as US Ambassador to Greece. Before the assignment he had served as ambassador to Ukraine in 2013-2016 at the time of Euromaidan – the events the US took active part in. He almost openly contributed into the Russia-Ukraine rift. Now it’s the turn of Greece. The ambassador has already warned Athens about the “malign influence of Russia”. He remains true to himself.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris connect the dots between the Ukraine coup and Greece’s recent row with Russia, and the man who is in the middle of it all, US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via Sputnik News

Actions similar to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Greece do not remain without consequences, said spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova.

“We have an understanding that the people of Greece should communicate with their Russian partners, and not suffer from dirty provocations, into which, unfortunately, Athens was dragged,” Zakharova said at a briefing.

“Unfortunately, of course, we are talking about politics. Such things do not remain without consequences, do not disappear without a trace. Of course, unfortunately, all this darkens bilateral relations, without introducing any constructive principle,” she added.

On July 11, the Greek Kathimerini newspaper reported that Athens had decided to expel two Russian diplomats and ban two more from entering the country over illegal actions that threatened the country’s national security. The publication claimed that the diplomats attempted to intervene in a domestic issue, namely the changing of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to the Republic of North Macedonia, the agreement for which was brokered by Skopje and Athens last month.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has vowed to give a mirror response to Greece’s move.

Continue Reading

Latest

Russia just DUMPED $80 billion in US debt

The US Treasury published a report naming those countries that are the largest holders of US bonds. The list includes 33 countries, and for the first time Russia is no longer in it.

Published

on

Russia has stopped “inching towards de-dollarization” as I wrote about on July 3rd, and has now energetically walked out of the list of largest holders of US government bonds, hence this update. For the two months ending in May 2018, Moscow has offloaded more than $80 billion in US Government debt obligations.

Support The Duran – Browse our Shop >>

The $30 billion “minimum” listing Rubicon has been crossed by Russia.

As of the end of May, Russia had bonds worth only $ 14.9 billion. For comparison: in April, Russia was on the Treasury list with bonds totaling $48.7 billion. Even then it was offloading US$ debt securities as Russia owned in March over $96 billion. At the end of 2017, Russia had US treasury securities worth $102.2 billion. It is anyones guess what Russia will own when the June and July figures are released in August and September – probably less than today.

This simply serves as a confirmation that Russia is steadfastly following a conservative policy of risk diversification in several areas such as financial, economic, and geopolitical. The US public debt and spend is increasingly viewed as a heightened risk area, deserving sober assessment.

So where have all the dollars gone? The total reserves of the Russian Central Bank have not changed and remain at approximately the equivalent of $ 457 billion, so what we are seeing is a shift of assets to other central banks, other asset classes, just not US$ government bonds.

During the same time (April-May) as this US$ shift happened, the Russian Central Bank bought more than 1 million troy ounces of gold in 60 days, and continues.

For comparison sake, the maximum Russia investment in US public debt was in October 2010 totaling $176.3 billion. Today it is $14.9 billion.

The largest holders of US government bonds as of May are China ($ 1,183.1 billion), Japan ($ 1048.8 billion), Ireland ($ 301 billion), Brazil ($ 299.2 billion), Great Britain ($ 265 billion).

Using the similar conservative metrics that the Russian Central Bank has been rather successfully applying through this geopolitically and economically challenging period with the US and the US Dollar, it may not stretch the imagination too much that other countries such as China may eventually follow suit. Who will finance the debt/spend then?

Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Advertisement

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement
Advertisements
Advertisement
Advertisements

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!

The Duran Newsletter

Trending