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Maduro says Venezuela is breaking relations with US, gives American diplomats 72 hours to leave country

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.


https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/23/venezuela-president-maduro-b...

Keep your head down Denny.

Steve
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Anti Maduro marches back on

X-post at NPI

https://boards.fool.com/anti-maduro-marches-back-on-34116640...


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.

I wonder how long before he winds up in jail. I think the above is backwards, he probably did not "win the backing of" but "plotted with" Washington and many Latin American nations. That has been in the air for months.

A U.S.- Latin American military intervention in Venezuela? It’s a long shot

One of Venezuela’s most prominent intellectuals, Harvard economics professor Ricardo Hausmann, has just published an article that is raising eyebrows across the hemisphere: He is calling for a military intervention by the United States and other countries as the only way to end Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis.

In his Jan. 2 syndicated article, “D-Day Venezuela,” Hausmann proposes that Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly impeach dictator Nicolás Maduro and appoint a new constitutional government, which in turn could request military assistance from other countries.


https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/an...

Isn't this just what happened? A repeat of Grenada's Bishop 1983? One year ago...

D-Day Venezuela
Jan 2, 2018 RICARDO HAUSMANN

As conditions in Venezuela worsen, the solutions that must now be considered include what was once inconceivable. A negotiated political transition remains the preferred option, but military intervention by a coalition of regional forces may be the only way to end a man-made famine threatening millions of lives.


https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/venezuela-catas...




Around here it's quiet and everything seems normal. Tomorrow I'll be going out and will report.

The Captain
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Tell me this was not planned!

Trump formally recognized Guaido minutes after the 35-year-old president of the Venezuela National Assembly declared himself the head of state. Countries including Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Panama quickly followed the U.S. lead.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-23/trump-sai...


While the leftist government crushed violent protests two year ago, this time poorer areas of the capital are leading angry demonstrations over failed public services, food scarcity and rising prices. Local press showed crowds gathering in major cities.

Maybe this is why there were so few around my middle class area.

The Captain
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Maybe this is why there were so few around my middle class area.

The Captain


Isn't this the point where you read about all military barracks emptying out and heavily armed military start motoring throughout the city, blocking intersections, major highways, take over of all TV and radio broadcast facilities, etc?

Hope you're able to keep safe, and still give an on-site report of what it looks like 24 hours from now...

Seems more than a little ironic to know that such as this is happening right now, in the 21st century, in the Western Hemisphere, in a country that has such a wealth of natural resources?!
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Hope you're able to keep safe, and still give an on-site report of what it looks like 24 hours from now...

Will give it a try. Life goes on.

Twenty years ago I was telling the optimists that Chavez would be a huge failure. I based my prediction on history, even the Chinese finally gave up on Communism, keeping only the party dictatorship.

Fifteen years ago I was telling the optimists that it would not be easy to get rid of the Chavez. I based my prediction on history, most dictators have died of old age while still in power. Dictators are only voted out of power when they turn soft.

Like him or not, Chavez was hugely charismatic and loved by his followers. I have tales of his charisma from people who were in contact with him. The popular adoration was palpable on the streets. The giant protests against Chavez were largely by middle class. Maduro, on the other hand, was despise by Chavistas from the start. I recall a conversation on the Metro, a loyal Chavista saying that Maduro would be a failure. On TV he tries to mimic Chavez but falls flat, he just does not the magnetism Chavez had. But he had the backing of the military or was a puppet of the military, which is what counts.

Maduro became vice president and later president only because he was the most servile, least threatening lackey Chavez could find. I'm not convinced he has the power, I believe he is a puppet of the military. I have long held that Venezuela's democracy is by the consent of the military. Our newly self proclaimed president has asked for military backing. Will he get it? I don't believe these events are spontaneous as I pointed out in my previous post. I would bet that there have been talks with the military. They have a lot to lose, they are the world's largest drug cartel! Against local opposition they have little or nothing to fear. Against an international coalition things get dicy for them. But the regime is backed by Russia and China who have huge economic interests here. With Citgo the US has a huge role to play.

If the poor, who are the majority, have truly turned against the government, then there is a chance for change. Stay tuned!

The Captain
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Background on Juan Guaidó.

I had never heard of him. He has good schooling. Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración (IESA) is a top notch school. One reason I had given up on the opposition was because until recently it was mostly the old guard who had mismanaged the country so badly that Chavez could get himself elected. At 35 Juan Guaidó is definitively new guard. He gives me hope!

Juan Guaidó
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Guaidó

The Captain
 


Vargas tragedy

The Vargas tragedy was a natural disaster that occurred in Vargas State, Venezuela on 14–16 December 1999, when torrential rains caused flash floods and debris flows that killed tens of thousands of people, destroyed thousands of homes, and led to the complete collapse of the state's infrastructure. According to relief workers, the neighborhood of Los Corales was buried under 3 metres (9.8 ft) of mud and a high percentage of homes were simply swept into the ocean. Entire towns including Cerro Grande and Carmen de Uria completely disappeared. As much as 10% of the population of Vargas died during the event.[2]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vargas_tragedy

A friend of mine who lost his home in Vargas told me they recognized the place only by the floor tiles, that's all that was left. A teenage surviver of this tragedy must be marked for life.
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denny

Thank you for your valuable insights.

The speculative historical perspective you give -- viewing the Venezuelan military as a drugs and petrol cartel that has held real power for a long time and obviously intends to continue to do so, Maduro or not, popular sentiment or not -- is potent.

I know you'll stay out from under the grinding wheels of changing times, but do be careful. Those wheels crush a lot, but the thrown pebbles of the wheels can be shockingly unpleasant.

david fb
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Thanks David. What can I say? Venezuela is a lovely place and a lovely people who took us in and let us prosper through hard work. Venezuelan politics, on the other hand, is quite something else, no different than the swamp in Washington and the system of government not as resilient as yours. This would be my seventh or eights coup or revolution! 1946, '48, '58, '89, '92 (2), 2002, 2019. During the first 1992 failed Chavez coup I went up to the roof to watch the action. I saw one plane being shot down. During the '58 coup I was in the US.

The Captain
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A U.S.- Latin American military intervention in Venezuela? It’s a long shot

You do realize, I will be insufferably pleased with myself, for at least a week, if that happens?

Of course, Venezuela is being set up. The US sanctions are making things worse for the Venezuelan people, turning up the heat. Why? Venezuela hurt Exxon.

The thing to watch for is the Russian military getting out of the way.

last month:

Venezuela welcomes Russian bombers in show of support for Maduro

Russia’s defence ministry said the strategic bombers – used during the country’s campaign in Syria – were part of a larger fleet also including an An-124 military transport plane and an Il-62 passenger jet that had flown more than 10,000km to Venezuela.

Venezuela’s defence minister, Vladimir Padrino López, said the arrival of the aircraft for joint manoeuvres was not intended as a provocation


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/10/venezuela-russ...

Were I about 5% more cynical, I would suspect that the US' precipitate withdrawal from Syria, leaving that company firmly in the Russian sphere of influence was a trade off for the Russians getting out of the way in Venezuela.

Steve
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Were I about 5% more cynical, I would suspect that the US' precipitate withdrawal from Syria, leaving that company firmly in the Russian sphere of influence was a trade off for the Russians getting out of the way in Venezuela.

That's what I call backyard diplomacy. The Back Sea is your backyard, the Caribbean is mine. Very feasible with someone who understands Realpolitik.

But Venezuela owes Russia money. Will the US hand over Citgo? Messy!

This is what Churchill might have called "A well prepared impromptu action."

The Captain
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Were I about 5% more cynical, I would suspect that the US' precipitate withdrawal from Syria, leaving that company firmly in the Russian sphere of influence was a trade off for the Russians getting out of the way in Venezuela.


Why not - isn't it customary for every US pres to start "his" war. The current one hasn't yet... trade wars and intergovermental power struggles presumably don't count.

</cynicism>
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Why not - isn't it customary for every US pres to start "his" war. The current one hasn't yet... trade wars and intergovermental power struggles presumably don't count.

</cynicism>


PERK

https://globalnews.ca/news/4881934/venezuela-oil-sanctions-n...

January 23, 2019 11:54 pm

U.S. mulls oil sanctions on Venezuela, rejects Maduro’s move to cut diplomatic ties

By Matt Spetalnick and Roberta Rampton Reuters


Many Gulf coast refiners use Venezuelan 'Heavy', great for making diesel and higher margin than the 'Light' stuff mostly used for gasoline. Only other large source of heavy is stuck in Canada waiting for a pipeline 'Keystone XL' to get built.

https://www.transcanada.com/en/operations/oil-and-liquids/ke...

Overview
The Keystone XL Pipeline offers a safe, reliable and environmentally responsible way to deliver crude oil to markets in the U.S. The project, which will run from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb., will play a central role in promoting North American energy security, create thousands of jobs and provide economic benefits to many communities along its route.

Learn more at Keystone-XL.com.

Why is Keystone XL needed?
The pipeline has been deemed to be in the United States’ national interests, in large part, because it will provide the U.S. with a dependable source of crude oil from a stable nation a reliable and trusted trading partner, Canada.

Currently, the U.S. imports about 7 million barrels of oil a day from countries such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Venezuela.

...

How many times has Keystone XL been studied?
This is the most studied cross-border pipeline in the history of the North America. It has been studied three separate times by the U.S. Department of State and has been studied by the environmental departments of all three states along the route. Every federal and state study has concluded that this project provides the safest and most economical means to transport crude oil, with no significant impact on the environment.

...

When do you plan to build this pipeline?

TransCanada is in the process of refining its construction schedule, but the plan is to start construction in the spring or summer of 2019. Pre-construction activities have begun in Montana and South Dakota this fall (2018) and includes grading and preparing sites for pipe storage and our expected workforce camps.

...

How long will it take to build?
About two years.


Anymouse <owns a significant to me position in TRP>
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Why not - isn't it customary for every US pres to start "his" war. The current one hasn't yet... trade wars and intergovermental power struggles presumably don't count.

I think this "US pres" is more isolationist than many of his predecessors. Syria was bequeathed to him, he finished the job and left.

This might be wishful thinking as I don't want bombers and fighters over Caracas but I think this will be resolved by negotiations many of which will not be made public. Individuals will be asked to cease and desist letting them keep their illicit gains. Except for the most power hungry, most will accept. So I hope.

The Captain
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But Venezuela owes Russia money. Will the US hand over Citgo? Messy!

Depends on whether the Russian creditors are friends of Putin. Of course, we probably could assume that anyone capable of providing a significant amount of credit, who isn't already dead or in prison, is a friend of Putin. Lets see who else the POTUS goes to bat for to get a waiver from the Congressionaly approved sanctions against Russia.

Big oil has it's eyes on Citgo. When Chavez nationalized foreign holdings in the oil industry, he offered compensation. Everyone took it, except the US oil companies: Exxon and ConocoPhilips. Those two companies have been in court ever since making huge money claims against Venezuela.

Remember, when the US invaded Iraq, the US voided all Iraq's existing oil development contracts and put everything up for rebid. It wasn't lost on some USians when US troops left Iraqi hospitals, museums and office buildings open for looting, but quickly put a ring of troops and tanks around the Oil Ministry building.

Very feasible with someone who understands Realpolitik.

That's what I was thinking as I typed that, "how Kissengerian". Did you know that old bugger is still alive? Wouldn't be surprised if he is being consulted on this, along with Otto Reich.

Steve
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Except for the most power hungry, most will accept. So I hope.

The Captain


Which side is the army on?

Commentary on our news this morning was they are in wait and see mode.

I don't think anyone is in a mood for an invasion? There are also about two million expats that might want to come home if things settle down?

Anymouse
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I think this "US pres" is more isolationist than many of his predecessors. Syria was bequeathed to him, he finished the job and left.

The POTUS spelled out his criteria for intervention a while back.

Calls Syria ‘Sand and Death,’ Says ‘We’re Not Talking About Vast Wealth’

https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-syria-sand-death-12774...

No "vast wealth" in Syria, so we leave. No "vast wealth" in Afghanistan, so we draw down. There is "vast wealth" in Iraq, so we stay.

Does Venezuela, with huge oil reserves close to the US, meet the "vast wealth" test?

Steve
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The POTUS spelled out his criteria for intervention a while back.

Calls Syria ‘Sand and Death,’ Says ‘We’re Not Talking About Vast Wealth’


Does change the odds. :(

The Captain
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Many Gulf coast refiners use Venezuelan 'Heavy', great for making diesel and higher margin than the 'Light' stuff mostly used for gasoline. Only other large source of heavy is stuck in Canada waiting for a pipeline 'Keystone XL' to get built.


Wow, just to add to the excitement both Saudi and Alberta have cut heavy oil production recently. A novel writer couldn't have come up with a better plot!

The US currently imports about half a million barrels of heavy crude a day from Venezuela and many of the refiners that use it (sometimes to blend with lighter oils) are in panic mode. Refiners are usually optimized for a certain blend and changing it is not as easy as it sounds.

Anymouse <who has a Canadian Crude Oil index ETF>

https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/energy/wester...

Canadian crude prices retain strength as Alberta production cuts kick in

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-01-06/saudi-...

Saudis Slash Oil Output. Get Ready for Trump Tweets

The kingdom is already doing what it said it would at the OPEC meeting last month — by reducing flows of crude to the U.S.

By Julian Lee
January 6, 2019, 2:00 AM AST
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Tell me this was not planned!

Trump formally recognized Guaido minutes after the 35-year-old president of the Venezuela National Assembly declared himself the head of state. Countries including Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Panama quickly followed the U.S. lead.


I agree that it probably was planned.

But not necessarily.

I'm sure that Venezuela is in some special category that - no matter what it is called - can be summarized as "an area of concern". As such there are people watching what's happening there 24/7, with designated ways to get the President's attention on very short notice. As well as people trying to predict all the reasonably-likely* possibilities of what's going to happen and how the US should respond, etc. And these plans, figuratively, sit there in labeled envelopes ready to be opened if the events predicted occur.

* For a very broad definition of "reasonably likely". It's known that a group of military planners, as a training exercise, mapped out what to do about a zombie apocalypse. And that the resulting plan is kept on file.
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I agree that it probably was planned.

But not necessarily.


I defer to Winston Churchill: "The best impromptu address is the one that is well prepared."

Formal or not, there was a lot of planning going into it as you yourself acknowledge.

The Captain
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captainccs
Tell me this was not planned!

Trump formally recognized Guaido minutes after the 35-year-old president of the Venezuela National Assembly declared himself the head of state. Countries including Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Panama quickly followed the U.S. lead.


Reminds me a lot of back in the late 40's... less than 24 hours after Israel declared itself independent, they were recognized by USA's President Truman...

(Maybe that's why to this day the Jewish vote goes heavily to the Dimms, in spite of the cr@p they routinely get from folks like the head Dimm Obama and others???)
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Which side is the army on?

Well they have just declared that Maduro is the rightful leader, Russia Warns US. So now we find out how much Putin has on bonespurs?

Could get messy?

Anymouse <hates popcorn>

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/24/world/americas/venezuela-...

Venezuela Military Backs Maduro, as Russia Warns U.S. Not to Intervene

By Ana Vanessa Herrero and Neil MacFarquhar
Jan. 24, 2019


Leer en español
CARACAS, Venezuela — The leader of Venezuela’s armed forces declared loyalty to President Nicolás Maduro on Thursday and said the opposition’s effort to replace him with a transitional government amounted to an attempted coup.
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The United States also offered $20 million in emergency aid to Mr. Guaidó’s side

USians would have an apoplectic fit at foreign governments financing a dissident faction here, but it's OK for the "exceptional" master race to undermine foreign governments.

The article says, while Venezuela is into Russia for $10B, they are in to China for $65B. How much is it worth to Putin to have the US drop it's challenge in Syria?

Then there is the body language. Look at Putin in the pic in that article where Maduro is speaking, compared to Putin with certain other heads of state.

Steve
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Steve, looks like Trump and Putin are in a standoff re Venezuela. I thought I heard they were buddy-buddies. Which is it?

While the Venezuelan military are backing Maduro (their puppet), the US is not pulling out the diplomats ordered to leave by Maduro and are backing Guaidó. Showdown time in NOT OK CORRAL.

According to backyard politics, Putin should back down the same way the US backed down in Georgia but that does not guarantee a US armed intervention. More sanctions? They don't really work.

The Captain
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Steve, looks like Trump and Putin are in a standoff re Venezuela. I thought I heard they were buddy-buddies. Which is it?

Ever watch the WWF?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWE

As in other professional wrestling promotions, WWE shows are not legitimate contests, but purely entertainment-based, featuring storyline-driven, scripted, and choreographed matches, though matches often included moves that can put performers at risk of injury if not performed correctly.
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Ever watch the WWF?

About a million years ago I used to watch the Venezuelan version but it got stupider and stupider. Believe it or not one of the IBM Sales Reps used to come to work limping on occasion and we figure he performed as a masked wrestler. He was Dane and quite a character. ;)

The Captain
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About a million years ago I used to watch the Venezuelan version but it got stupider and stupider.

Replace Politics with wrestling.

Cheers
Qazulight
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Steve, looks like Trump and Putin are in a standoff re Venezuela. I thought I heard they were buddy-buddies. Which is it?

We haven't withdrawn from Syria yet. A piece on the wire yesterday said the US is actually putting more combat troops in Syria, to act as a rear guard.

Steve
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