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Shock and awe strategy being employed in Venezuela regime change (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 71.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the financial and media war being waged in Venezuela, as John Bolton employs the usual U.S. weapons of regime change to tighten the screws on Maduro and his embattled government.

Will Maduro survive the US onslaught to emerge in tact, or will Venezuela slide quickly into chaos and civil war or slowly drift into a frozen quagmire of a nation state?

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“Venezuela in Flames. Washington Is Working Hard for Regime Change,” authored by Philip M. Giraldi:


There is a familiar smell about what is taking place vis-à-vis Venezuela. The official US government line is that the sanctions against the country and the decision to recognize the head of its national assembly Jose Guaido as interim president is based on a flawed election won by populist Nicholas Maduro last May. Guaido was reportedly promised US support for his soft coup by no less than Vice President Mike Pence in a phone call the night before he declared himself acting president while the American State Department is oddly proclaiming that it is intervening to support the Venezuelan constitution. Unfortunately for that argument, a quick perusal of the document itself does not seem to reveal an article empowering the United States to appoint the Venezuelan president.

Indeed, politics in Venezuela have long been particularly incendiary. There may or may not have been electoral fraud, regarding which little in the way of actual evidence has been presented, but the entire affair smacks of a pretext to initiate regime change in Caracas, an objective of the United States government ever since Maduro’s predecessor Hugo Chavez was elected president in 1998.

The thuggish Chavez, a populist who set out with an agenda to dismantle the oligarchy that had been running Venezuela for decades, certainly wound up doing extreme damage to the country’s economy while also further polarizing the existing class and political divisions. Corrupt and venal, he was emphatically not a modern Simon Bolivar, the “Libertador” that he sought to model himself on, but his views might conceivably have moderated if he had not been subjected to relentless US pressure from the git-go, to include a successful coup that ousted him briefly in 2002. Chavez’s successor Maduro has been embroiled in a worsening crisis that his policies have exacerbated, with food shortages, massive unemployment, hyperinflation, political rioting and a regional refugee problem caused by the departure of possibly as many as three million Venezuelans.

One might observe that if supporting foreign constitutions against electoral fraud were actually a vital interest for the US Washington would be intervening in more than 100 countries. In this case, the Trump Administration is also declaring that it is intervening to restore democracy and liberate the Venezuelan people, but the reality on the ground is quite different. As the sanctions do not hurt the rulers of the country, nor the military which benefits greatly financially from the status quo and supports the leadership, all that occurs is the infliction of more pain on the ordinary people, who have no say in what occurs. It is similar to what is taking place vis-à-vis Iran. The expectation of ideologues like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo is that the people in both Iran and Venezuela will eventually rise up in revolt and depose their governments, replacing them with something more acceptable to the United States.

Ron Paul has observed that there is a certain irony that a White House which has for two years been “fighting charges that a foreign country meddled in the US elections would turn around and not only meddle in foreign elections but actually demand the right to name a foreign country’s president!” Dr. Paul also notes Trump’s appointment of “a convicted criminal Elliot Abrams as his point person to ‘restore democracy’ in Venezuela,” observing that “Abrams played a key role in the Iran-Contra affair and went on to be one of the chief architects of the disastrous US invasion of Iraq in 2003. His role in helping promote the horrible violence in Latin America in the 1980s should disqualify him from ever holding public office again.”

The argument that Washington is responding appropriately to the current developments in Venezuela is deeply flawed, in part because President Donald Trump has several times raised the issue of possible military intervention even before last May’s national election. Another more recent report linked to John Bolton suggests that there is a plan for dealing with Venezuela that appears to include the insertion of 5,000 US troops.

Attacks on Venezuela’s government and leader were common both under George W. Bush and Barack Obama and it is plausible to suggest that the CIA has been active engaged in subverting the country’s government for the past twenty years. Mike Pompeo, when still head of the Agency, spoke at an Aspen Institute security conference in July 2017, saying that he was “hopeful that there can be a transition in Venezuela and we the CIA is [sic] doing its best to understand the dynamic there.” Pompeo also said that Mexico and Colombia were also discussing with him options for “change” for Venezuela.

Pompeo’s comment was particularly interesting as CIA is not exactly an organization that seeks to “understand…dynamics.” One should assume that the CIA Station in Caracas is possibly half of the remaining forty or so diplomats and other officers assigned to the post. They would have been spending their time funding the opposition to Chavez and then Maduro, recruiting officers in the army and other security forces to make them coup-able, and paying journalists and other opinion makers both in Venezuela and in neighboring countries to write articles attacking the country’s regime. If Venezuela is experiencing a crisis, it is at least in part attributable to American covert action.

If the United States persists in a new dose of “regime change” in Latin America and gets away with it, advisers like Bolton and Pompeo will be empowered and will demand more of the same. In his UN speech earlier this week Pompeo warned that “…now it’s time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem.” It all sounds a bit like George W. Bush in 2001, and “success” as seen from the White House perspective could mean a reversal of the withdrawal from Syria and even more pressure on Iran, to name only two “hot spots.” That an American administration will once again see itself on steroids, as a global arbiter, the “leader of the free world,” is the real danger that comes with what is going on in Venezuela.

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Olivia Kroth
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Not to worry! The coup attempt has failed. Russians and Chinese are helping Venezuela. President Maduro still is doing his functions as elected President, the opposition impostor is forbidden to leave the country, his accounts have been blocked. All is in place. Adelante, Venezuela!

Olivia Kroth
Guest

The Workers Party of Hungary supports President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela. Its leader scolds US aggression against democracy in Venezuela.

Twitter:
Partido Obrero de Hungría @Munkaspart liderado por su Presidente @thurmergyula rechazan la agresión internacional de los Estados Unidos y sus países aliados contra la democracia en Venezuela #ElMundoConMaduro

Olivia Kroth
Guest

The British Labour Party criticizes US aggression against Venezuela.

Twitter:
Jeremy Corbyn
@jeremycorbyn
The future of Venezuela is a matter for Venezuelans. @Jeremy_Hunt’s call for more sanctions on Venezuela is wrong. We oppose outside interference in Venezuela, whether from the US or anywhere else.
There needs to be dialogue and a negotiated settlement to overcome the crisis.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

In Spain people protested against the coup in Venezuela.

Twitter:
Sergio Rodrigo
@SRodrigoteleSUR
#ESPAÑA Manifestación frente a la delegación del Gobierno de #España en #Granada #Andalucia contra el Golpe de Estado en #Venezuela y críticas al presidente Pedro Sánchez y la #UE

Olivia Kroth
Guest

In Argentina there were demonstrations of social movements in front of the Venezuelan Embassy to show their support for President Maduro: “VIVA MADURO”. “EL MUNDO CON MADURO”.

Twitter:
AHORA | Movimientos sociales argentinos se concentran frente a @EmbaVen_Arg para ratificar su pleno apoyo al Pdte @NicolasMaduro: “Desde Argentina decimos VIVA MADURO” #ElMundoConMaduro #LealesSiempreTraidoresNunca @JuanJoseValero @CancilleriaVE @jaarreaza @laradiodelsur

Olivia Kroth
Guest

In the University of London a conference was held against the US coup in Venezuela: “Hands off Venezuela”.

Twitter:
VenezuelanEmbassyUK
@VenezEmbassyUK
Conferencia de la campaña “Hands Off Venezuela” en el SOAS de la Universidad de Londres, denunciando el golpe de Estado auspiciado por el imperialismo de EE.UU, con Alan Woods y la Embajadora Rocío Maneiro. @NicolasMaduro @CancilleriaVE @jaarreaza @yvangil @planwac @HOVcampaign

Olivia Kroth
Guest

The Governments of Bolivia and Cuba are calling on all Latin American nations to help President Maduro and keep up the dialogue with the elected President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro.

https://www.telesurtv.net/news/cuba-bolivia-venezuela-llamado-dialogo-america-latina-20190202-0027.html

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Press TV:

UN rejects Venezuela’s Guaido, will only cooperate with recognized government of Maduro

The United Nations (UN)’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has rejected an aid request by Venezuela’s self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaido, stressing that the body only cooperates with the country’s recognized government led by President Nicolas Maduro.

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/02/01/587387/UN-reject-Guaido-cooperate-Maduro

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Jorge Arreaza, Chancellor of Venezuela, thanks the world for their help and assistance, “China, Russia, India, Iran …. and all the Latin American states, from Uruguay in the South to Mexico in the North” ….

Telesur reports:

Olivia Kroth
Guest

PRESS TV:
Oil workers march in Caracas in support of President Nicolas Maduro

Olivia Kroth
Guest

“shock and awe” the Russian way:
Russia sent Speznaz forces to Venezuela for President Maduro’s personal protection

Olivia Kroth
Guest

…. more “shock and awe” à la russe:
The Government of Venezuela has been stocking up for quite a long time modern Russian arms and military hardware to encounter a possible US invasion. Russian military training personnel is stationed in Venezuela, helping the soldiers to use these weapons:

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

Imagine – if like Zimbabwe – that Venezuela had no oil!!

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Maduro calls for early parliamentary election in Venezuela

CARACAS, February 2. /TASS/. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for an early parliamentary election in the country at a rally of his supporters in Caracas on Saturday.

Maduro pointed out that Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly was considering this proposal and later the people of Venezuela would be asked to enter into discussion.

The term of the current parliament, National Assembly, expires in early January 2021. Currently, the overwhelming majority of seats in that legislative body are won by Maduro’s political opponents.

More:
http://tass.com/world/1043015

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Shock and awe ineffective! Neither Venezuela nor Iran care about US threats.
Iran expresses solidarity with its “brother nation” Venezuela.
Telesur:

https://www.telesurtv.net/news/iran-apoyo-venezuela-rohani-maduro–20190202-0010.html

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Bolivia also not impressed by US shock and awe. Evo Morales travels to Caracas to assist and support his friend Nicolas Maduro.
Telesur:

https://www.telesurtv.net/news/evo-morales-nicolas-maduro-reunion-venezuela-20190202-0003.html

Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

Never gonna work – the world has wised up to that cowardly perverted deceitful ZioYank skank-hoe sick-sh!t.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

North Korea lambasts attempts to topple legitimate Venezuelan president
North Korea believes that the Venezuelan crisis “should be resolved in a peaceful way”
PYONGYANG, February 3. /TASS/. A spokesperson for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry has condemned the attempts to oust legitimate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, calling for resolving the conflict by peaceful means, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported, citing the statement.

More:
http://tass.com/world/1043040

Ugh...
Guest
Ugh...

why…why…why…did such a beautiful lady have to stand next to the disgraceful Guaido… ugh…

Platon
Guest
Platon

Achtung! My drinking buddies have agreed that I should appoint myself Emperor of the USA. From now on, send all tax payments and bill payments to my bank account:
679302999229919999
Jersey, C.I.
34980

All US laws are rescinded and Congress and the Senate are disbanded.
Trump! You badger-headed fool! You have until sundown to leave town… or else!

Stay tuned for further notices, my fellow Americans.

Latest

The conclusion of Russiagate, Part II – news fatigue across America

The daily barrage of Russiagate news may have been a tool to wear down the American public as the Deep State plays the long game for control.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Presently there is a media blitz on across the American news media networks. As was the case with the Russiagate investigation while it was ongoing, the conclusions have merely given rise to a rather unpleasant afterbirth in some ways as all the parties involve pivot their narratives. The conclusion of Russiagate appears to be heavily covered, yet if statistics here at The Duran are any indication, there is a good possibility that the public is absolutely fatigued over this situation.

And, perhaps, folks, that is by design.

Joseph Goebbels had many insights about the use of the media to deliver and enforce propaganda. One of his quotes runs thus:

The best propaganda is that which, as it were, works invisibly, penetrates the whole of life without the public having any knowledge of the propagandistic initiative.

and another:

That is of course rather painful for those involved. One should not as a rule reveal one’s secrets, since one does not know if and when one may need them again. The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, it should be a big lie, and one should stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.

If there has ever been a narrative that employed these two principles, it is Russiagate.

A staggering amount of attention has been lavished on this nothing-burger issue. Axios reports that an analytics company named Newswhip tallied an astounding 533,074 web articles published about Russia and President Trump and the Mueller investigation (a number which is being driven higher even now, moment by moment, ad nauseam). Newsbusters presently reports that the networks gave 2,284 minutes to the coverage of this issue, a number which seems completely inaccurate because it is much too low (38 hours at present), and we are waiting for a correction on this estimate.

Put it another way: Are you sick of Russiagate? That is because it has dominated the news for over 675 days of nearly wall-to-wall news cycles. The political junkies on both sides are still pretty jazzed up about this story – the Pro-Trump folks rejoicing over the presently ‘cleared’ status, while of course preparing for the upcoming Democrat / Deep State pivot, and the Dems in various levels of stress as they try to figure out exactly how to pivot in such a manner that they do not lose face – or pace – in continuing their efforts to rid their lives of the “Irritant-in-Chief” who now looks like he is in the best position of his entire presidency.

But a lot of people do not care. They are tired.

I hate to say it (and yes, I am speaking personally and directly), but this may be a dangerous fatigue. Here is why:

The barrage of propaganda on this issue was never predicated on any facts. It still isn’t. However, as we noted a few days ago, courtesy of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, at present, 53% of US registered voters believe that the Trump campaign worked with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

That means 53% of the voting public now believes something that is totally false.

Many of these people are probably simply exhausted from the constant coverage of this allegation as well. So when the news came out Sunday night that there was no evidence of collusion and no conclusive evidence, hence, of obstruction of justice by the Trump Administration – in other words, this whole thing was a nothing burger – will this snap those 53% back into reality?

Probably not. Many of them may well be so worn down that they no longer care. Or worse, they are so worn out that they will continue to believe the things they are told that sustain the lie, despite its being called out as such.

C.S. Lewis wrote about this peculiarity of human nature, in particular in the seventh book of his Chronicles of Narnia. After a prolonged and fierce assault on the sensibilities of the Narnians with the story that Aslan, the Christ figure of this world, was in fact an angry overlord, selling the Narnians themselves into slavery, and selling the whole country out to its enemy, with the final touch being that Aslan and the devilish deity of the enemy nation were in fact one and the same, the Narnians were unable to snap back to reality when it was shown conclusively and clearly that this was in fact not the case.

The fear that was instilled from the use of false narratives persisted and blocked the animals from reality.

Lewis summarized it this way through the thoughts of Tirian, the lead character in this tale:

Tirian had never dreamed that one of the results of an Ape’s setting up as a false Aslan would be to stop people from believing in the real one. He had felt quite sure that the Dwarfs would rally to his side the moment he showed them how they had been deceived. And then next night he would have led them to Stable Hill and shown Puzzle to all the creatures and everyone would have turned against the Ape and, perhaps after a scuffle with the Calormenes, the whole thing would have been over. But now, it seemed, he could count on nothing. How many other Narnians might turn the same way as the Dwarfs?

This is part of the toll this very long propaganda campaign is very likely to take on many Americans. It takes being strongly informed and educated on facts to withstand the withering force of a narrative that never goes away. Indeed, if anything, it takes even more effort now, because the temptation of the pro-Trump side will be to retreat to a set of political talking points that, interestingly enough, validate Robert Mueller’s “integrity” when only a week ago they were attacking this as a false notion.

This is very dangerous, and even though Mr. Trump and his supporters won this battle, if they do not come at this matter in a way that shows education, and not merely the restating of platitudes and talking points that “should be more comfortable, now that we’ve won!”

The cost of Russiagate may be far higher than anyone wants it to be. And yes, speaking personally, I understand the fatigue. I am tired of this issue too. But the temptation to go silent may have already taken a lot of people so far that they will not accept the reality that has just been revealed.

Politics is a very fickle subject. Truth is extremely malleable for many politicians, and that is saying it very nicely. But this issue was not just politics. It was slander with a purpose, and that purpose is unchanged now. In fact things may even be more dangerous for the President – even risking his very life – because if the powers that are working behind the people trying to get rid of President Trump come to realize that they have no political support, they will move to more extreme measures. In fact this may have already been attempted.

We at The Duran reported a few months ago on a very strange but very compelling story that suggested that there was an attempted assassination and coup that was supposed to have taken place on January 17th of this year. It did not happen, but there was a parallel story that noted that the President may have been targeted for assassination already no fewer than twelve times.  Hopefully this is just tinfoil-hat stuff. But we have seen that this effort to be rid of President Trump is fierce and it is extremely well-supported within its group. There is no reason to think that the pressure will lighten now that this battle has been lost.

The stakes are much too high, and even this long investigation may well have been part of the weaponry of the group we sometimes refer to as the “Deep State” in their effort to reacquire power, and in their effort to continue to pursue both a domestic and geopolitical agenda that has so far shown itself to be destructive to both individuals and nations all over the world.

Speculation? Yes. Needless? We hope so. This is a terrible possibility that hopefully no reasonable person wants to consider.

Honestly, folks, we do not know. But we had to put this out there for your consideration.

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Parliament Seizes Control Of Brexit From Theresa May

Zerohedge

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Schaeuble, Greece and the lessons learned from a failed GREXIT (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 117.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine a recent interview with the Financial Times given by Wolfgang Schäuble, where the former German Finance Minister, who was charged with finding a workable and sustainable solution to the Greek debt crisis, reveals that his plan for Greece to take a 10-year “timeout” from the eurozone (in order to devalue its currency and save its economy) was met with fierce resistance from Brussels hard liners, and Angela Merkel herself.

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Via FT

“Look where we’re sitting!” says Wolfgang Schäuble, gesturing at the Berlin panorama stretching out beneath us. It is his crisp retort to those who say that Europe is a failure, condemned to a slow demise by its own internal contradictions. “Walk through the Reichstag, the graffiti left by the Red Army soldiers, the images of a destroyed Berlin. Until 1990 the Berlin Wall ran just below where we are now!”

We are in Käfer, a restaurant on the rooftop of the Reichstag. The views are indeed stupendous: Berlin Cathedral and the TV Tower on Alexanderplatz loom through the mist. Both were once in communist East Berlin, cut off from where we are now by the wall. Now they’re landmarks of a single, undivided city. “Without European integration, without this incredible story, we wouldn’t have come close to this point,” he says. “That’s the crazy thing.”

As Angela Merkel’s finance minister from 2009 to 2017, Schäuble was at the heart of efforts to steer the eurozone through a period of unprecedented turbulence. But at home he is most associated with Germany’s postwar political journey, having not only negotiated the 1990 treaty unifying East and West Germany but also campaigned successfully for the capital to move from Bonn.

For a man who has done so much to put Berlin — and the Reichstag — back on the world-historical map, it is hard to imagine a more fitting lunch venue. With its open-plan kitchen and grey formica tables edged in chrome, Käfer has a cool, functional aesthetic that is typical of the city. On the wall hangs a sketch by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who famously wrapped the Reichstag in silver fabric in 1995.

The restaurant has one other big advantage: it is easy to reach from Schäuble’s office. Now 76, he has been confined to a wheelchair since he was shot in an assassination attempt in 1990, and mobility is an issue. Aides say he tends to avoid restaurants if he can, especially at lunchtime.

As we take our places, we talk about Schäuble’s old dream — that German reunification would be a harbinger of European unity, a step on the road to a United States of Europe. That seems hopelessly out of reach in these days of Brexit, the gilets jaunes in France, Lega and the Five Star Movement in Italy.

Some blame Schäuble himself for that. He was, after all, the architect of austerity, a fiscal hawk whose policy prescriptions during the euro crisis caused untold hardship for millions of ordinary people, or so his critics say. He became a hate figure, especially in Greece. Posters in Athens in 2015 depicted him with a Hitler moustache below the words: “Wanted — for mass poverty and devastation”.

Schäuble rejects the criticism that austerity caused the rise of populism. “Higher spending doesn’t lead to greater contentment,” he says. The root cause lies in mass immigration, and the insecurities it has unleashed. “What European country doesn’t have this problem?” he asks. “Even Sweden. The poster child of openness and the willingness to help.”

But what of the accusation that he didn’t care enough about the suffering of the southern Europeans? Austerity divided the EU and spawned a real animus against Schäuble. I ask him how that makes him feel now. “Well I’m sad, because I played a part in all of that,” he says, wistfully. “And I think about how we could have done it differently.”

I glance at the menu — simple German classics with a contemporary twist. I’m drawn to the starters, such as Oldenburg duck pâté and the Müritz smoked trout. But true to his somewhat abstemious reputation, Schäuble has no interest in these and zeroes in on the entrées. He chooses Käfer’s signature veal meatballs, a Berlin classic. I go for the Arctic char and pumpkin.

Schäuble switches seamlessly back to the eurozone crisis. The original mistake was in trying to create a common currency without a “common economic, employment and social policy” for all eurozone member states. The fathers of the euro had decided that if they waited for political union to happen first they’d wait forever, he says.

Yet the prospects for greater political union are now worse than they have been in years. “The construction of the EU has proven to be questionable,” he says. “We should have taken the bigger steps towards integration earlier on, and now, because we can’t convince the member states to take them, they are unachievable.”

Greece was a particularly thorny problem. It should never have been admitted to the euro club in the first place, Schäuble says. But when its debt crisis first blew up, it should have taken a 10-year “timeout” from the eurozone — an idea he first floated with Giorgos Papakonstantinou, his Greek counterpart between 2009 and 2011. “I told him you need to be able to devalue your currency, you’re not competitive,” he says. The reforms required to repair the Greek economy were going to be “hard to achieve in a democracy”. “That’s why you need to leave the euro for a certain period. But everyone said there was no chance of that.”

The idea didn’t go away, though. Schäuble pushed for a temporary “Grexit” in 2015, during another round of the debt crisis. But Merkel and the other EU heads of government nixed the idea. He now reveals he thought about resigning over the issue. “On the morning the decision was made, [Merkel] said to me: ‘You’ll carry on?’ . . . But that was one of the instances where we were very close [to my stepping down].”

It is an extraordinary revelation, one that highlights just how rocky his relationship with Merkel has been over the years. Schäuble has been at her side from the start, an éminence grise who has helped to resolve many of the periodic crises of her 13 years as chancellor. But it was never plain sailing.

“There were a few really bad conflicts where she knew too that we were on the edge and I would have gone,” he says. “I always had to weigh up whether to go along with things, even though I knew it was the wrong thing to do, as was the case with Greece, or whether I should go.” But his sense of duty prevailed. “We didn’t always agree — but I was always loyal.”

That might have been the case when he was a serving minister, but since becoming speaker of parliament in late 2017 he has increasingly distanced himself from Merkel. Last year, when she announced she would not seek re-election as leader of the Christian Democratic Union, the party that has governed Germany for 50 of the past 70 years, Schäuble openly backed a candidate described by the Berlin press as the “anti-Merkel”. Friedrich Merz, a millionaire corporate lawyer who is the chairman of BlackRock Germany, had once led the CDU’s parliamentary group but lost out to Merkel in a power struggle in 2002, quitting politics a few years later. He has long been seen as one of the chancellor’s fiercest conservative critics — and is a good friend of Schäuble’s.

Ultimately, in a nail-biting election last December, Merkel’s favoured candidate, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, narrowly beat Merz. The woman universally known as “AKK” is in pole position to succeed Merkel as chancellor when her fourth and final term ends in 2021.

I ask Schäuble if it’s true that he had once again waged a battle against Merkel and once again lost. “I never went to war against Ms Merkel,” he says. “Everybody says that if I’m for Merz then I’m against Merkel. Why is that so? That’s nonsense.”

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