Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Nobody's Backyard

I do not trust for one second the people who have now made regime change in Venezuela the official policy of the United States. Given their track record, nor should you.

Trump was quick to congratulate Erdogan on "sweeping constitutional reform" in April. But there are three billion barrels of reasons why Venezuela is different.

We have been here before, and from exactly the same people. Don't fall for it.

Listen instead to the man who was right about Kosovo, right about Afghanistan, right about Iraq, right about Libya, and right to oppose going into Syria in support of what subsequently declared itself to be the Islamic State.


  1. This is going to split on straight party lines, and Labour MPs on the wrong side will need to consider their positions. All of 15 Tory MPs opposed the Iraq War, most of them aren't there any more, and all of one opposed the war in Libya. None, none at all, voted against the war in Kosovo. But a man who voted against all of them is now the Leader of the Labour Party and the cultural phenomenon of the moment.

  2. Who are these "opposition leaders" being rounded up? CIA-backed Far Rightist terrorists, in best Latin American fashion? If not, then who? That is the default option, it is up to Maduro's enemies to prove anything else.

    1. That's them, at least unless anyone can produce incontrovertible evidence otherwise. They are the people who pulled off the only murder of a British MP in the present century. But they are "brave freedom fighters" in Venezuela, because the old Hang Mandela boys, who undoubtedly knew Thomas Mair but who now run the British Government and its official media, say that they are.

  3. Recent comments show the CIA is still working for regime change in Venezuela and encouraging the right-wing governments of Mexico and Colombia to do the same. In a Q&A session at the Aspen Institute think tank, CIA director Mike Pompeo said he was “hopeful that there can be transition in Venezuela” and that he had recently been in Mexico City and Bogota “talking about this very issue, trying to help them understand the things they might do so that they can get a better outcome for their part of the world and our part of the world.”

    The remarks — which are strongly suggestive of collaboration between the CIA and the governments of Mexico and Colombia to remove the elected President of Venezuela — have been condemned by supporters of Venezuela both at home and abroad.

    Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, in a televised interview, denounced the comments and called for explanations from the Mexican and Colombian governments.

    In a meeting with reporters in Washington, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada accused the CIA of a secret operation “to split up a democratically elected government,” and Venezuelan charge d’affaires Carlos Ron said: “What this group is trying to do with Venezuela is basically divide the government, recognise other leaders and foment a conflict with the Venezuelans. This is absolutely unacceptable.”

    Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research in Washington and critic of US foreign policy in Latin America, said attempts to get rid of the Venezuelan government dated back 15 years.

    US interference in Venezuela takes many forms, including not only political pressure, sanctions and propaganda, but also funding of right-wing opposition activity through organisations such as the National Endowment for Democracy. In 2016 alone more than $1.6 million (£1.2m) was channelled to opposition groups for dozens of projects thinly disguised as efforts to promote political awareness or participation.

    For example, over £26,900 was given for a project to “promote citizen engagement in the development of innovative alternatives to address Venezuela’s democratic challenges” and over £37,800 for training youth groups in “critical thinking, democratic principles, human rights, cyberactivism, and leadership skills.”

    One of the first major actions supported by the US was the temporarily successful coup to unseat former president Hugo Chavez in 2002 by a combination of industrialists, businessmen, media owners and conservative military officers.
    The coup was unsuccessful thanks to popular support for the government.

    Since then opposition groups have persisted with undemocratic efforts to topple the elected government, including a management lock-out of the oil industry, aided and abetted by US-linked IT staff who sabotaged computer systems, and multiple incidents of street violence and attacks on government institutions and public services, which are still continuing today.

    Universities have been ransacked, health clinics set on fire, bus stations wrecked and food delivery vehicles attacked.
    In the streets, masked protesters throw Molotov cocktails and set fire to barricades as they try to provoke the security forces into retaliation.

    Maduro has repeatedly called for dialogue with opposition groups, but has been rebuffed.

    When challenged about the CIA chief’s comments, the US State Department claimed to support democracy in Venezuela, but called for the cancellation of the elections for the Constituent Assembly — which over eight million people (41.5 per cent) participated in on Sunday despite right-wing opposition calls for boycotts and violent protests seeking to derail the elections — and threatened to intensify sanctions against Venezuelan citizens.

    These latest revelations confirm that the US is stepping up intervention and hostility against Venezuela aimed at regime change.

  4. At least this might knock you out of your strange indulgence of Peter Hitchens, who has only ever been right about anything when he has happened to agree with Jeremy Corbyn. When it comes to things like this, we have his Walter Mitty fantasies about his role in the British trade union movement's approach to Polish Solidarity and the decision of the Thatcher Government not to end the trade union levy to the Labour Party, both of which happened when he was in his early thirties but both of which apparently centred on him. And then we have had his predictions that the Coalition would not last the full five years, that there would never be another Tory government, that both main parties would collapse, the list goes on. You have treated him as a serious figure for far too long, Mr. Lindsay.

    1. The Mail on Sunday is now so socially liberal and so pro-EU that I was thinking of inviting him to become a columnist on The Weekly Standard, where, by the way, everyone will be paid the same.

      But then, he is now so socially liberal and so pro-EU (see that he probably feels perfectly at home where he is.