Petromoneda

From MoA on January 23:

The U.S. has been intervening in oil-rich Venezuela since at least the early 2000. Several U.S. backed attempts to oust the elected socialist government, first under Chavez and then under Maduro, failed. But the economic sanctions by the U.S. and its lackeys have made the life for business and the people in Venezuela more difficult. With access to international financial markets cut off, the government did its best to work around the sanctions. It, for example, bartered gold for food from Turkey. But the Bank of England, which is custodian of some of Venezuela’s gold, has now practically confiscated it…

Juan Guaidó, the self declared ‘opposition leader’, is just a telegenic stand in for the right wing leader Leopold Lopez, who in 2014 was jailed after inciting violent protests during which several people died. Lopez, now under house arrest, is a Princeton and Harvard educated son of the political and financial nobility of Venezuela, which lost its position when the people elected a socialist government. Lopez is the man the U.S. wants to put in charge even while he is much disliked…

The socialists, first under President Hugo Chavez and now under Nicolas Maduro, used the profits from oil exports to build housing for the poor and to generally lower their plight.

From MoA on January 24:

More than 300 billion barrels of oil, the biggest oil reserves in the world, are at stake…

In a speech to the Senate on Jan. 15, Mr. Rubio said that designating Mr. Guaidó as president would allow millions of dollars of Venezuelan government assets frozen in the United States to be at the disposal of opposition lawmakers, who could use them to fund new elections or humanitarian assistance…

The opposition in Venezuela will probably use access to that ‘frozen’ money to buy weapons and to create an army of mercenaries to fight a ‘civil’ war against the government and its followers…

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – have already de-recognized the official Maduro accounts…

While the Bolivarian movement under Chavez and now Maduro still has a large backing, it lost some support from the poor due to the economic malaise after the fall of the oil prices.

From the comments:

The big external stakeholder is China with claims on half the oil output for repayment of prior loans…

Chavez’s dream is over. It died with him. The rest, the hope for social justice, is now going to be crushed because Maduro had no skills or intellect to be the successor…

Guaidó evokes former US President Barack Obama in his presence and movements, and also may have deliberately used the same “rallying cry” as Obama: “Sí, se puede!”, Spanish for “Yes we can”…

The bottom line is that people of Venezuela have been screwed for a very long time. Under both Chavez and Maduro their incomes have evaporated and their economy has literally collapsed.

From Sputnik News:

Guaido has “been in hiding since his self-declaration” Wednesday afternoon. “No one’s seen him since; he hasn’t made any public statements since; we’re not quite sure where he is. It’s a very strange attempted coup d’etat, really.”

From Venezuelanalysis:

Merida, January 9, 2019 – Venezuela has assumed the presidency of the world’s oil-exporting alliance, OPEC, starting this month and lasting for one year…

Venezuela is due to promote in its new position as OPEC president is to push for oil payments in non-dollar currencies or in cryptocurrencies, such as Venezuela’s oil and mineral-backed Petro. As part of efforts to break dollar hegemony of the oil market, Venezuela now prices its oil in Chinese Yuan.

Likewise, Caracas will try to use its OPEC position to counter US-led financial sanctions which block Venezuela’s access to credit, debt restructuring, and other financial dealings, as well as prohibiting the return of over US $1 billion of profits a year from PDVSA’s US subsidiary CITGO. Independent analysts have estimated sanctions as costing the country over US $6 billion in lost oil revenue whilst President Maduro claims that they cost the country more than US $20 billion in general during 2018.

From Craig Murray:

Every revolution will always displace an existing elite who are by definition the best educated and most articulate section of the population…

Chavez did not solve this problem in the way Robespierre, Stalin, Trotsky or Mao would have done. He embraced democracy, let them be – and largely left their private offshore billions, and thus their power, untouched…

But that Maduro has stepped off the democratic path I fear is true. He has, bluntly, gone wrong, however difficult the circumstances.

The Master List of U.S. “Regime Changes”

From MoA:

Article 233 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (pdf) is not a valid legal basis for Guaidó himself or for the Venezuelan National Assembly to declare him president. It regulates the procedures in the case that the elected or sitting president “becomes permanently unavailable” which Maduro is obviously not. To cite Article 233 for this is a scam that no court will accept.

From the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova:

The Maduro led government conducted the elections when the opposition wanted. Specifically, these elections were held at the time when, according to polling, the opposition had the most support…

The only constitutional way to get Guaido or any other U.S proxy into power, failing an actual election, is if the president is permanently unavailable.

From Ron Paul:

Just four months ago President Trump said at the UN: “I honor the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs, and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.”

Before Venezuela: The Long History of U.S. Intervention in Latin America

1973: A U.S.-supported military coup overthrows the democratically-elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende. He is replaced by General Augusto Pinochet, who imposes a brutal military regime and embarks on a U.S.-guided program of extreme economic privatization and de-regulation. It is later seen as the laboratory of what became known as neoliberalism.

From MoA on January 28:

Every U.S. administration since George W. Bush introduced additional sanctions on Venezuela

Who are these smugglers? regime figures, their relatives & their friends. The sanctions allow them to amass wealth in amounts they never dreamed of…

Broad sanctions against a country make the people more dependent of their government. They allow those in charge to increase their power.

From the comments:

Not only are the unilateral sanctions levied by the illegal; they are also unconstitutional…

Essentially, any interference in the activities of a sovereign state is against the UN Charter and thus International Law…

In the case of the US, having what’s known as the Supremacy Clause within its constitution which incorporates the UN Charter into its constitution, any such act by its government is unconstitutional.

From Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal of Grayzone:

After a single phone call from from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Guaidó proclaimed himself as president of Venezuela…

CANVAS is funded largely through the National Endowment for Democracy…

CANVAS “turned its attention to Venezuela” in 2005 after training opposition movements that led pro-NATO regime change operations across Eastern Europe…

Venezuelan economist Luis Enrique Berrizbeitia, one of the top Latin American neoliberal economists, is a former executive director of the International Monetary Fund…

Milton Friedman was the godfather of the notorious neoliberal Chicago Boys who were imported into Chile by dictatorial junta leader Augusto Pinochet to implement policies of radical “shock doctrine”-style fiscal austerity…

Leopoldo López is a Princeton-educated right-wing firebrand heavily involved in National Endowment for Democracy programs and elected as the mayor of a district in Caracas that was one of the wealthiest in the country…

Elliott Abrams is notorious for overseeing the U.S. covert policy of arming right-wing death squads during the 1980s in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.

From MoA on January 31:

The Bolivarian movement in Venezuela has millions of supporters. Most are poor people who would lose out under a new rightwing government.

From the comments:

This will not be a jungle war. And as one might guess, the economic activity belt overlays the population belt…

Syrian warehouses are overflowing with the sophisticated weapons the Outlaw US Empire provided its terrorist proxies. I’m certain Assad will be more than happy to supply them to Maduro–there’s probably close to a billion dollars worth of TOWs alone! Plus they’re light and not too bulky which is perfect for shipment via airplane…

For the US shock and awe to work, it loses domestic support. For it to rely on proxies alone with no scorched-earth preliminary, it loses the battle…

What’s most peculiar to me is the start day for this affair as it was an extremely important national Venezuelan holiday–Day of Democracy–celebrating civil society’s massive revolt against a Gringo-backed dictator whose 2019 celebration was heavily promoted by Maduro and government at all levels as usual, thus the massive numbers of people in the streets of Caracas surrounding Maduro as seen in many videos. It’s so blatantly clear Gringo Golpistas–again–failed to do their homework, thus setting themselves up to fall flat on their faces.

From Venezuelanalysis:

Pressure is growing on Guaido in Venezuela, with the country’s Supreme Court issuing a travel restriction on the National Assembly Deputy following a request from Attorney General Tarek William Saab, as well as ordering the freezing of his local bank accounts whilst an investigation continues into his recent actions…

Peru’s Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio, speaking on behalf of the regional right wing Lima Group which is backing Guaido, explained that the countries which conform the bloc will not support military action against Caracas.

From REN TV:

In December 2017, Venezuela announced the creation of its own cryptocurrency called Petromoneda

The transfer of the oil trade to cryptocurrency undermines the foundations of the dollar…

Therefore, the American financial groups immediately applied the entire set of technologies in order to undermine the authority of the new settlement instrument at the start. As a result, after Venezuela began to issue Petromoneda in February 2018, an inflation mechanism was launched against cryptocurrency. The US could use it freely, because they were the main buyers of Venezuelan hydrocarbons. By the end of the year, the cost of Petromoneda fell by 1300000%…

The entire gold reserve of Caracas was in the custody of the Bank of England and Deutsche Bank, and they flatly refused to return it to the legitimate authorities of the country…

In addition, a pool was formed of countries that agreed to operate in trade with Venezuela using Petromoneda: Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, South Africa, North Korea, Cuba and others. This gave Maduro a reason to declare that from 2019 “all oil products of Venezuela will be sold for Petromoneda”…

On January 19, 2019 Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced plans to create a joint cryptocurrency, which also “will be provided with their oil resources”.

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