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Venezuela’s Maduro to visit Russia in October

Embattled Venezuelan leader looks to Moscow for continued support

Alexander Mercouris

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Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s embattled President, faced with threats and sanctions from the US (in which Canada has now joined) and savage criticism from US President Trump, is intending to travel to Moscow in early October to attend Russia’s Energy Week.

It is a certainty that during his visit to Moscow Maduro will meet with top Russian officials, including almost certainly President Putin himself.

A little noticed fact is that over the last few months, as the economic crisis in Venezuela has deepened, Russia has quietly emerged as Venezuela’s major foreign investor and financial backer, with Russia’s state oil company Rosneft positioning itself to become a major investor in Venezuela’s oil industry.

Rosneft’s investments in Venezuela, though providing Venezuela with desperately needed foreign exchange, are not uncontroversial both in Venezuela and Russia.

Inevitably there have been complaints in Venezuela and elsewhere that Rosneft is taking advantage of Venezuela’s economic crisis to achieve a preponderant position in Venezuela’s oil industry – potentially one of the biggest in the world – whilst in Russia, given the unstable political situation in Venezuela and the certainty that any oil concessions granted to Rosneft will be set aside if the Venezuelan opposition comes to power, there have been questions about the long term wisdom of Rosneft’s investments.

Igor Sechin, Rosneft’s powerful CEO, however remains personally committed to Venezuela, whilst for Maduro and his embattled government financial and technical support from Russia and Rosneft, including to keep the oil industry going – which by some accounts is otherwise heading towards breakdown – is essential if a total economic and political collapse in Venezuela is to be avoided.

Maduro’s trip to Moscow in October is obviously intended to put a seal on the relationship.

At this point I would add a personal view, which is that supporters of Maduro’s government both within Venezuela and elsewhere consistently underestimate the extent to which Venezuela’s current economic crisis has been caused by the government’s fundamental errors of economic management.  By contrast there is far too much emphasis on Venezuela’s alleged external economic destabilisation.  Quite apart from the fact that before the Trump administration’s latest sanctions there was actually scant evidence of this external destabilisation, in my opinion this has had the bad effect of providing the Venezuelan government with an alibi, enabling it to excuse itself for its fundamental economic and political mistakes.

The result is that those mistakes – such as the government’s ruinous insistence on using its scant foreign currency resources to pay Venezuela’s external debt on time, instead of using these resources to pay for essential imports whilst seeking a restructuring – have been perpetuated.

These mistakes the government has been making have a variety of causes, but not the least of them is the absence of properly trained and experienced technocrats within the government, with the result that economic policy has been made emotionally on the hoof in an amateur way, often with disastrous consequences.

Russia by contrast has an abundance of highly qualified technocrats.  If Russia really wants to help Venezuela out of its crisis – which given the size of Rosneft’s planned investments in Venezuela it should do – arguably the single most useful thing it could do is provide Venezuela with the technical advice and support it desperately needs in order to stabilise its economy.

The fact that Venezuela has now apparently asked Moscow for help to achieve a restructuring of its debt may be a sign that this is finally happening.  This – as well as Rosneft’s investments in Venezuela’s oil industry – will no doubt be the subject of Maduro’s talks with the Russians in Moscow.

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seby
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seby

Looks like the hegemon is decaying quickly from a multipolar order.

ecald12
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ecald12

Excellent, and and correct, analysis in my humble opinion. Economic mismanagement has been pervasive, and is a major factor in Venezuela’s current economic quagmire. This situation goes back to the Chavez days. Also to be added is that rife corruption and nepotism, inherited as well from Chavez, is a problem which must be tackled if popular rule is to receive a solid footing.

Gonzogal
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Gonzogal
Voltaire
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Voltaire

If the United States provides lethal weapons to Ukraine…

Russia should position nuclear armed submarines in Cuban and Venezuelan and Iranian territorial waters…

And arm the Taliban to kill as many US troops as possible as quickly as possible…

Guy
Member
Guy

I don’t agree with Alexander on this one.The Americans have been destabilizing Venezuela ever since the formation of the socialist party under Chavez and the oil resources were transferred to the state .The US administration has done this through their proxy state of Columbia and also through their big corporate ownership of the food industry by holding back food shipments in order to starve the citizens thus have them consider the alternative politicians for a win in the next election . Venezuela is a democratic country for those that do not know but it socialist ,and ideology that the West,especially… Read more »

Wayne Blow
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Wayne Blow

Yes to my shame as well, Trudeau needs a good kick in the “nuts” if he actually has any !!!!!!??

scanfish
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scanfish

That’s right. Mercouris is totally wrong on that point. Chavez and later Maduro’s main opponent has been Henrique Capriles, whose Justice Party is sponsored mostly by the NED and USAID, both CIA fronts, plus Soros’ OSF and US mega-corporations. The fact that Capriles is Jewish doesn’t hurt especially where it matters in having influential US zionists and neocons in your corner. Mercouris writes well but seems to have a blind spot for the not so obvious submarine political influence of sinister US forces and their imperialist agenda. In Venezuela, the US wants to revert to US control of its oil… Read more »

Guy
Member
Guy

The world has gone a bit crazy hasn’t it.Lets hope that some level of sanity returns to this planet , the propaganda is overwhelming .
Cheers.

scanfish
Guest
scanfish

The darkest hour is always before dawn. The sane of this world will not only overcome the selfish greed that seems to overwhelm the planet, but they will prosper. Cheers.

Constantine
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Constantine

Mistakes, even gross ones, may have been committed by the Venezuelan government and Maduro is no Chavez. But Mercouris is deeply at fault here in underestimating himself the extent of subterfuge in the country by the US government and local compradores. Much of that has been documented and it beggars belief that the obsessively interventionist neoliberal establishment in the US would tolerate an anti-US American, socialist government in Latin America that sits on top of huge oil reserves. I would definitely add that Venezuela is one of the few countries that have recognized the Crimean referendum and the unification with… Read more »

Barry Graham
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Barry Graham

I thought the Duran had informed people, but now it is clear that they do not.

Tommy Jensen
Guest
Tommy Jensen

Has Maduro got permission from Obama to visit Putin? Maybe, maybe not.

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Russia’s economy continues to outperform as gold takes center stage (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 118.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine how US and EU sanctions have continued to provide a huge boost to Russia’s economy. Russia’s food sovereignty has practically been achieved, as the Russian central bank continues to buy gold and lower its exposure to western financial markets.

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Via TASS…

Outside pressure in the form of sanctions has become an incentive to resolve various issues of Russia’s economy, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stated in an interview with the Izvestiya daily.

He noted that through introducing sanctions against Russia, “the West aims to destabilize Russia’s economy and to create social and political tensions in society.”

“But during the difficult times, Russians have always stuck together and mobilized their resources in order to ensure the country’s sovereignty. This is what is happening now – the outside pressure has become an incentive to resolve many problems in Russia’s economy,” he said.

“Before the sanctions, it seemed that we would never be able to feed ourselves and that we are doomed to be dependent on Western import. However, right now, Russia’s food sovereignty in crucial sectors has practically been achieved, and in some areas, Russia has become the leading exporter,” Patrushev noted.

Those who apply the sanctions “can see that they (the sanctions – TASS) are ineffective and often achieve the opposite goal,” the Russian security chief concluded.

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US Neocon Foreign Policy and the War Waged Against Serbia

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign.

Richard Galustian

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The ‘witch-hunt’ against President Trump over Russian collusion has officially ended, following the submission of the Mueller Report, enabling us to now focus on the real problems of America that effects the whole world.

In the hope of a waining of the Russophobia in America, let’s look at the US’s recent war history by starting with the 20th anniversary this month of the NATO war on Serbia in 1999 which amounted to almost 100 days of bombing of historic cities and infrastructure.

Firstly, these problems are, in the main caused by the Neocons, or Deep State, whatever you wish to call them, and the continuing promotion, by the US Military-Security Industrial Complex, of wars and regime change and secondly, Trump’s unreserved support for Israel, regardless of war crimes they may continue to commit against the Palestinians.

Incredibly after that one sided unjust and illegal war that NATO executed, NATO has the audacity to invite Serbia to join it! Something that will never happen. What do they smoke in DC, in the Pentagon and Brussels based NATO?

To compound these overall problems, the US Military and Israeli Defence Forces collaborate on these US regime change policies on all continents evidenced most recently by the arrival of crack Israeli troops last month in Brazil, prepared to support an attack potentially by Brazil and Columbia on Venezuela.

As, has now come to be expected, America pursues its Venezuelan regime change with full main stream media (MSM) cooperation, using well proven sophisticated propaganda techniques along with a variety of pretexts.

From Serbia to Iraq to Libya, where does it end? Observe that Trump is now seeking a ‘NATO alliance’ offering NATO status, to President Bolsonaro of Brazil to back the invasion of Venezuela.

So it is important to remember, as an example, that after a long war of economic and financial destabilization ended with the bombing of Serbia.

Serbia was previously a part of Yugoslavia, a country which had successfully evolved after 1945 to solve the old rivalries of the 19th and early 20th Century Balkan ethnic animosities which was, prior to the advent of power of President Tito, its past history.

The United Nations, instead of supporting, in effect, so called ‘humanitarian wars’ and ‘regime change wars’ by the US, using NATO, helped and relentlessly driven home by MSM outlets like CNN and FOX NEWS into people’s heads, must finally take a stand.

So too, Yugoslavia, once the envy of many in the world, given its then ‘non-aligned’ status under President Tito, was destroyed and broken up; ‘Balkanized’ in the early 1990s.

The Serbian assault began first by a ‘financial war’; by sanctions and finished off by an aggressive unprovoked incessant NATO bombing campaign. That’s what we can expect in Venezuela next.

This ‘Balkanization’ strategy similarly applies to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria et al. It serves US Neocon interests to dismember States in the world and create smaller more ‘manageable’ countries.

‘Regime change’ runs against the intent, the very words contained in the US Constitution. No one in MSM ever reminds us of that fact. Nevertheless America’s ambition to overthrow other States continues, which they arrogantly now make no secret of. The next States will probably be Nicaragua then Iran to name but two.

A very noteworthy most recent outrageous unilateral declaration was made by President Trump, not yet formally agreed by US institutions, ‘giving’ something he has no authority to give; Syrian territory, the Golan Heights to be precise, to Israel. Something that one day could trigger a full scale Arab-Israeli War.

This is of extreme importance yet no real outcry comes from world leaders; well not so far.

The main reason for that decision given by senior US Administration figures is that “God anointed Trump to save the Jews”.

Not forgetting Trump’s need (which we the people don’t understand exactly why) to support Prime Minister Netanyahu in his difficult upcoming elections in Israel – in part because both countries failed to ‘regime change’ Syria – but more importantly to help the ‘financial terrorists’ who formed a company jointly that has already started drilling for oil in the Golan Heights. You might like to know who owns such oil drilling company which should answer a plethora of questions in one go that you must be asking yourselves.

The shareholder’s names tells us everything; Dick Cheney; Baron Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch. The titular heads of neocons, bankers and media on the planet.

In ending there is no more evidence required for us, the people of the world, to rise up against the globalist dark forces wherever they exist, be it in Brussels, London, France or Washington. We must demand democratic elections or start revolutions, the latter has already begun in France in the form of ‘the yellow vests’. And Brexit, by definition, is a rejection by the British people of globalism and American Hegemony.

The pattern of US destabilization and destruction of States to loot them of their sovereign resources is the unseen history of the last 100 years, not taught in any university, anywhere in the West.

As far as Ukraine is concerned, its government was taken down by the CIA and replaced by an ultra fascist regime that has full backing from America. This is no secret. But the MSM simple don’t report it.

US led NATO is ‘the transnational war machine’ of the world, devouring almost all free countries wealth. It can extort to terrorize all into conformity to the global ‘carcinogenic’ US Neocon imperialistic strategy.

A total estimated 20m people around the world have died since the end of WW11 at the hands of US Forces. Think about that for a moment.

One of the most famous sayings attributed to America’s great President Abraham Lincoln is about deception: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

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‘Dark day for internet freedom’: EU approves controversial copyright reform

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

RT

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Via RT


The European Parliament has voted to adopt the highly controversial Article 13 provision which would govern the production and distribution of content online under the auspices of increasing copyright protections.

Tuesday’s move will update the EU’s 20-year-old copyright rules and will govern everything from audiovisual content to memes, much to the dismay of many social media users who have already begun outpouring their grief online.

MEPs passed the legislation by 348 votes to 274 Tuesday. Opponents had hoped for last-minute amendments to be made but their efforts were in vain.

Julia Reda, a German MEP with the Pirate Party, described it as a “dark day for internet freedom.”

Article 13 or ‘The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market’ makes all platforms legally responsible for the content hosted and shared on their platforms.

The process of updating the bloc’s copyright laws began in the European Commission two years ago, ostensibly to protect Europe’s publishers, broadcasters and artists and guarantee fair compensation from big tech companies.

By essentially forcing companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to pay artists and publishers for the reproduction of their work online, include in meme format, the EU is effectively clamping down on online memery.

The onus will now be on tech companies to clamp down on content-sharing on their platforms, which will likely ensure yet more draconian policing of speech and content.

EU member states now have two years to pass their own laws putting Article 13 into effect.

Tens of thousands marched in protest across Germany ahead of the vote, decrying what they viewed as severe online censorship.

Tech giant Google said that while the directive is “improved” it will still lead to legal uncertainty and will damage Europe’s creative and digital economies.

Critics have argued that the only way for Article 13 to be effectively enforced would be through the use of upload filters which automatically check content to see if it’s copyrighted or not, at least in theory. However, the exact mechanics of such a system have yet to be fully debated and the potential for abuse is immediately clear.

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