View Full Version : Venezuela (2019 onwards)

01-26-2019, 05:16 PM
Temporary separate thread, since this might fall outside the bell curve of the pre-existing thread on Venezuela.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is holding an emergency meeting to discuss the situation in Venezuela. The political crisis in the country flared up as Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the interim president.

Addressing the UN Security Council, the Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza demanded the proof of the election fraud, the United States and its allies claimed. He repeatedly recalled that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is a legitimate head of state.


Presenting the Trump administration’s case on Venezuela before the United Nations Security Council, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo minced no words calling out Cuba as the foreign power meddling in Venezuela and propping up what Pompeo called the “illegitimate mafia state” of Nicolás Maduro’s regime.

Noting the protracted humanitarian crisis that has forced more than three million Venezuelans to flee the country and relegated those who remain to starvation — without basic utilities and services and no hope for economic prosperity — Pompeo posed an ultimatum for the UN’s member nations.

“Either you stand with the forces of freedom,” he said, “or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem.”

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused the U.S. of a long history of meddling in other nations’ politics, citing as examples the U.S.-financed Nicaraguan rebels and the Iran Contra Affair, the failed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, and the overthrow of Chile’s former Marxist leader, Salvador Allende.

“Venezuela is just another chapter in the U.S.’s long history of meddling,” Nebenzia said.


nb: Another barometer reading on the situation.

Bernie Sanders acknowledges 'economy is a disaster' in Venezuela, urges US not to intervene too strongly
Fox News

Vermont Independent and self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders acknowledged on Thursday that the 'economy is a disaster' in Venezuela, but cautioned against U.S. involvement in the socialist county's affairs and condemned what he called "inappropriate" previous interventions that some have blamed for the country's crisis.


01-26-2019, 05:19 PM
From the 23rd -

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday, winning over the backing of the Washington and many Latin American nations and prompting socialist Nicolas Maduro to break relations with the United States.

Speaking to supporters outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, socialist leader Maduro said he would give U.S. diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave Venezuela, which is suffering from a hyperinflationary economic collapse.

U.S. President Donald Trump formally recognized Guaido shortly after his announcement and praised his plan to hold elections. That was swiftly followed by similar statements from Canada and a slew of right-leaning Latin American governments, including Venezuela's neighbors Brazil and Colombia.

And despite the nation's economic crisis, Maduro welcomed the deployment of two Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers. The Russian aircraft, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, landed in Caracas last month in a move designed to show Moscow's support of Venezuela's socialist regime. The Pentagon swiftly criticized the Russian deployment of warplanes to Venezuela.

01-26-2019, 05:22 PM
Interesting writeup on the other players at the table.

Maduro has as well as other allies in the Region as well as outside. Cuba, already under Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chávez, a close Partner, said the autocrat of his support.

Venezuela’s biggest creditor is China. Since 2008, the leadership invested in Beijing in infrastructure and oil Projects. Official Figures are not available. According to estimates, China will have invested more than 70 billion dollars in Venezuela. The country pays its debt to the industry intelligence Bloomberg, mostly with oil Supplies, tens of billions should, however, be still open. In September of last year, the governments of Maduro and China’s Xi Jinping signed new contracts.

Vladimir Putin (R), Russian President, Xi Jinping, President of China

The Kremlin supports Venezuela’s military as well as billions of credits. The reason is the geo-strategic importance in the Western hemisphere, as it were, “on the doorstep” of the USA, country located. Russian state companies have invested heavily in the mineral-rich country and no interest in a change of government that could interfere with your business relationships.

Moscow sent in the past, several long-range bombers to Caracas, most recently in mid-December, two nuclear-capable Tu-160 supersonic bomber. Under Chávez, Venezuela’s armor had sourced goods from Russia and this, in part, with Oil paid. Maduro has difficulties to pay the approximately $ 17 billion in debt to Russia. In search of money and protection, has made Venezuela from Russia and China.

Turkey and Iran: Erdogan holds up to Maduro, Tehran

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made his admiration for Maduro never tried to hide. And in the current situation of solid he is linearized with him. “Maduro, brother, stay strong, we are with you,” he said. “We are Maduro”, which became a Trend on Twitter in Turkey. Erdogan and Maduro, a similar policy combines understanding: Both of them are in the West, as autocrats decried that have undermined the Opposition press and the rule of law.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Under Maduro’s predecessor, Chavez has been Venezuela’s closest foreign policy ally of Iran outside of the Islamic world – and has remained so until today. Ideologically, both regimes share an aggressive Anti-Americanism. Quite handy they have a common interest in high Oil prices, both economies are largely Petro-exports.

Both governments have closed in the past 15 years, hundreds of bilateral agreements, including on military cooperation. In addition, both countries established a joint Bank, which is suspected to serve Tehran in the circumvention of international sanctions. Also, the Iran-financed and highly armed Hezbollah militia have long been set in Venezuela and the country, among other things, money laundering.


01-27-2019, 03:39 AM
More bad guys, courtesy of Hollywood's central casting.

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Private military contractors who do secret missions for Russia flew into Venezuela in the past few days to beef up security for President Nicolas Maduro in the face of U.S.-backed opposition protests, according to two people close to them.

Yevgeny Shabayev, leader of a local chapter of a paramilitary group of Cossacks with ties to Russian military contractors, said he had heard the number of Russian contractors in Venezuela may be about 400.

But the other sources spoke of small groups.


Benghazi Redux?

As a standoff hardens in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas between U.S. diplomats and the country’s “illegitimate” president, Nicolas Maduro, experts say security at the American Embassy may become a critical issue if the situation in the streets goes from bad to worse.

“The U.S. embassies are considered U.S. enclaves, so the biggest impact could be the jettison of local foreign nationals who work inside could probably be forced to leave,” he said. “Along with the perimeter guard force. U.S. personnel in the embassy are likely allowed, or limited to travel, to and from the embassy, but are probably not permitted right now to travel outside Caracas.”

Rasmussen also highlighted the security risk 'definitely increases” with demands and threats like those issued by Maduro. “And from the perspective of the Venezuelans, they will suffer because consular services will be either be eliminated or cut back, so trying to get a visa or seek asylum could be next to impossible to achieve,”

Caracas-based journalist Noris Argotte noted there is always a group of Marines and military attaches guarding the compound, but noted all embassies in Caracas also use a team of local Venezuelan police and military officers to “support the security.” That's typically the case with diplomatic missions around the world.

01-27-2019, 11:07 AM
Even The Guardian has an opinion piece that says enough. Plus a summary of what has happened. Venezuela does get some news coverage, often with rejoinders that Jeremy Corbyn is a fan of Maduro.
Link:https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/27/no-pity-for-corrupt-maduro-who-has-broken-his-country-democracy-must-have-its-day? (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/27/no-pity-for-corrupt-maduro-who-has-broken-his-country-democracy-must-have-its-day?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0d1YXJkaWFuVG9kYXlVS19XZ WVrZW5kLTE5MDEyNw%3D%3D&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayUK&CMP=GTUK_email)

01-27-2019, 11:14 AM
I have closed the previous Venezuela thread (90k views) since 2006. This thread was in the Whole News arena and has been moved here, with a new title.
The old thread was:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?2294-Venezuela-(2006-2018)


Bill Moore
01-27-2019, 08:37 PM

After their incursions into Georgia and Crimea for non-humanitarian purposes, Russia can take its warning and shove it. That China, Russia, and Iran's leadership support Maduro reinforces the statement in the U.S. National Security Security that today's competition is fundamentally between those who support a free and open internal order and those who seek to impose authoritarian models (China, Russia, Iran, ISIS). Unfortunately, during the early years of the Cold War, the CIA engaged in activites that undermined our credibility as a nation that stood for democratic values and human rights in Latin America. Although the U.S. has learned from those misadventures, distrust lingers on, which will hamper our ability to dominate the narrative if we intervene. Obama's don't do stupid stuff was not a strategy, but it was prudent guidance that should frame future actions. In simple terms, maintaining the high moral ground equates to greater freedom of movement. We have the high moral ground, but are somewhat limited by immoral actions that occcurred decades ago. Step one, regain legitimacy to act with the people in the region by pushing the narrative that this is really is based on promoting freedom, human rights, and averting a humanitarian disaster that China and Russia willingly support.

02-11-2019, 12:49 PM
Fireball IED Engulfs Police Motorcycle Convoy In Venezuela


03-08-2019, 04:22 PM
(Bloomberg) -- Late last month, as U.S. officials joined Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido near a bridge in Colombia to send desperately needed aid to the masses and challenge the rule of Nicolas Maduro, some 200 exiled soldiers were checking their weapons and planning to clear the way for the convoy.

Led by retired General Cliver Alcala, who has been living in Colombia, they were going to drive back the Venezuelan national guardsmen blocking the aid on the other side. The plan was stopped by the Colombian government, which learned of it late and feared violent clashes at a highly public event it promised would be peaceful.

Almost no provisions got in that day and hopes that military commanders would abandon Maduro have so far been dashed. Even though Guaido is back in Caracas, recognized by 50 nations as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, the impromptu taking up of arms shows that the push to remove Maduro -- hailed by the U.S. as inevitable -- is growing increasingly chaotic and risky.


03-11-2019, 05:14 PM
Six-month old video on Caribbean piracy via Venezuela.

03-14-2019, 04:18 PM
Caracas (AFP) - Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido vowed Tuesday to take Nicolas Maduro's place in the presidential palace "very soon," as thousands of people took to the streets of Caracas to protest.

Venezuela's state prosecutor, Tarek William Saab, told reporters he would place Guaido under investigation for "his alleged involvement in the sabotage of the Venezuelan electric grid."

It is the first government move against the US-backed Guaido since his return to Venezuela last week after defying a travel ban to visit several allied South American leaders.

- 'Electricity war' -

Maduro has blamed a devastating multi-day blackout plaguing Venezuela on Washington, and declared "victory" in what he called an "electricity war" triggered by the Pentagon.


03-17-2019, 09:55 AM
Socialism at work.

Infectious Diseases Spike amid Venezuela’s Political Turmoil
Scientists say the rise in illnesses is due to a combination of government suppression of research, a lack of disease data and climate change

Venezuela was once a leader in vector-borne disease prevention and control. In 1961 the World Health Organization certified the South American nation as the first in the world to eliminate malaria from the majority of its territory; in fact the WHO used the malaria-eradication program Venezuela developed in the 1950s as a public health model. That and other efforts reduced the prevalence of many vector-borne diseases to manageable levels through the 1990s. But in recent years a confluence of events—some political and economic, others environmental—has reversed these gains.

Here's the take-away.

The review co-authors warn the crisis could spark an epidemic in neighboring countries, as Venezuelans are emigrating by the millions. The authors say Venezuelan migrants suffered 45 and 86 percent of malaria cases in the bordering northern Brazilian municipalities of Pacaraima and Boa Vista, respectively. But it is difficult to ascertain how many migrants may have brought disease with them, and how many were infected after they reached host countries. Co-author Martin Llewellyn, an epidemiologist at the University of Glasgow, acknowledges this uncertainty, and adds his team plans to conduct molecular epidemiology studies to determine the origins of infection.


03-25-2019, 12:54 PM
CARACAS (Reuters) - Two Russian air force planes landed at Venezuela's main airport on Saturday carrying a Russian defense official and nearly 100 troops, according to media reports, amid strengthening ties between Caracas and Moscow.

A flight-tracking website showed that two planes left from a Russian military airport bound for Caracas on Friday, and another flight-tracking site showed that one plane left Caracas on Sunday.


03-27-2019, 09:11 AM
In the second city of Maracaibo, the crippling blackout sparked a terrifying rampage that police seemed unable to control
Some liken the damage wrought on Venezuela’s second city to a natural disaster. Others suspect satanic intervention.
“El demonio,” says Betty Méndez, a local shopkeeper, by way of explanation for the wave of looting and unrest that convulsed Maracaibo earlier this month.

Most, however, describe the mayhem in psychiatric terms: a collective breakdown that shocked this lakeside city to its core and offered a terrifying glimpse of Venezuela’s possible future as it sinks deeper into economic, political and social decline.

“Horror, fear, despair,” said María Villalobos, a 35-year-old journalist, weeping as she relived three days of violence that many here call la locura – “the madness”.

“I thought it was the start of a civil war.”

Her husband, Luis González, nodded grimly in agreement as they recalled watching hundreds of looters – some wielding axes, sledgehammers, machetes or even pistols – move into nearby warehouses, shops and even a church to begin a frenzy of wrecking and theft. “It was as if they were possessed,” the 39-year-old driver remembered.


Maracaibo’s “madness” began on the night of 10 March – three days after a catastrophic blackout plunged almost the entire nation into darkness. But it had been long in the making thanks to years of economic and political neglect.

The 1.6 million residents of Maracaibo – an oil capital once celebrated as Latin America’s answer to Houston – complained of shortages of water, electricity and fuel and a worsening public transport system even before Venezuela’s crisis began to accelerate in 2016, with the onset of hyperinflation.