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Shocker: “Humanitarian Aid” Stunt Used To Escalate Against Venezuela

I know it sounds crazy, but might it just possible that all this Venezuela business is actually about resource control and regional dominance in a strategically crucial location.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com:


So, you might want to sit down for this, but believe it or not it appears that the US government is using the fallout from its “humanitarian aid” performanceto justify further sanctions against the Venezuelan government.

I know, I know. I’m just as shocked as you are.

“This action, taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13692, targets six security officials who control many of the groups that prevented humanitarian aid from entering Venezuela, thereby exacerbating the humanitarian crisis that has left millions of Venezuelans starving and without access to medical care under the Maduro regime,” reads a statement from the US Treasury, if you can imagine such a thing.

“Those who continue to support a dictator that violates human rights and steals from the starving should not be allowed to walk around with impunity,” tweeted US National Security Advisor John Bolton of this latest escalation, to everyone’s breathless astonishment. “The United States will continue to take appropriate action against Maduro and those aligned with him.”

“The United States urges all nations to step up economic pressure on Maduro and his corrupt associates, as well as restrict visas for his inner circle,” US special envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams told a room full of stunned, slack-jawed reporters, adding, get this, “Now is the time to act in support of democracy and in response to the needs of the Venezuelan people.”

Let’s all take a moment to collect ourselves after receiving this shocking, shocking, astonishing news. If you are hyperventilating, I recommend breathing into a paper bag and envisioning yourself strolling on a tropical beach arm in arm with a Berlin-era David Bowie.

As it turns out (and who could have predicted this?), all that posturing by the United States government about “humanitarian aid” seems to have been a cynical ploy to further escalate against the Venezuelan government, which has been a longtime CIA target for regime change ever since President Hugo Chávez took office in 1999. It may be time to face the cold, stark possibility that, as hard as it is to fathom, the government of the United States of America is interested in Venezuela not for humanitarian reasons at all, but because it has the single largest proven oil reserves of any nation on the entire planet.

After all, if the US were so keen on getting its $20 million of humanitarian aid to the people of Venezuela, it could simply have given that shipment to one of the many nations that Venezuela is currently accepting aid from like Russia, China, India, Turkey or Cuba to deliver instead of instigating a hostile stand-off on Colombian and Brazilian border towns. Or, rather than demanding that a literally besieged government passively allow large, unexamined shipping containers to be delivered by the government orchestrating that siege into the hands of the Venezuelan faction that is collaborating with it, they could simply have given that shipment to the UN or the Red Cross for delivery. But rather than taking those extremely easy and diplomatically simple measures to deliver its relatively small amount of humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people, the most difficult and provocative path was deliberately taken instead, with some extremely suspicious activity leading to the delivery being set fire to by anti-Maduro protesters.

Could it be (and just bear with me here while I spitball) that the Trump administration officials who engineered this media-friendly humanitarian aid performance like Elliott Abrams, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo knew all along that the Venezuelan government would necessarily turn away the delivery under the spotlight of international news media? Could they have known that Abrams’ already established history of using humanitarian aid as a pretext to ship weapons to oppositional militia groups would make it impossible for Maduro to permit such a delivery? Is it possible that they knew that the official US State Department narrative about this rejection would be uncritically regurgitated verbatim as absolute fact by the news media outlets of the US-centralized empire, as such events consistently are?

I know it sounds crazy, but might it just possible that all this Venezuela business is actually about resource control and regional dominance in a strategically crucial location which might otherwise favor US geopolitical opponents like Russia, China and Cuba? What if the US government and its tight empire-like international alliance uses its massive power advantage to bide its time slowly squeezing noncompliant nations into submission using economic sieges and covert disruption operations by intelligence agencies, while manipulating the public narrative to ensure the complicity of the international community, until those noncompliant governments collapse under the pressure and either join the empire-like alliance or plunge into chaos which can be easily capitalized upon? Could it be that this is all just a ploy to shore up control of world affairs by a dominant group of extremely powerful corporate and financial manipulators who exert immense control over political and financial systems, markets, non-government organizations, opaque government agencies, and media around the world?

Nahhh. Perish the thought.


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American GraffitiRegulaOlivia KrothYou can call me AL Recent comment authors
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You can call me AL

Very good Ms / Miss/ Mrs Caitlin Johnstone, I enjoyed that and strangely enough, it will serve its purpose in getting the truth out. Very good indeed, thank you for the smile.

Olivia Kroth
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I am glad that Venezuela has friends around the world: Cuba, Bolivia, Mexico, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, China, Turkey.

Venezuela does not need “humanitarian aid” from the criminal US regime.

Regula
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Regula

According to photos showed by the Venezuelan rep to the UN, the aid convoys that burned down and were left behind, contained barbed wire and nails in addition to aid, making it clear beyond doubt that the US wanted to force the aid in as a means to start a civil war that would then bring the Maduro gov. down. As to the primary cause, you are right, Caitlin, that it has to do with getting control over Venezuela’s oil and natural resources in a frantic effort to shore up and make permanent the petrodollar as world reserve currency. That… Read more »

American Graffiti
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American Graffiti

This Aid gambit was clearly a devised ruse (at the minimum) in order to ‘justify’ more sanctions. If anything, watching decades of US Foreign Policy Inc. at work has taught more than a few of us that in DC’s labyrinthine halls, history does indeed rhyme. How many is it lost on that if aid were the true motivation, it would have simply been channeled through the Red Cross? How many is it lost on that the US position of the EU being too dependent on Russian gas as pretext for shutting down Nord Stream II, while the same volumes would… Read more »

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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