This happened

91

We’re still reeling. More to come soon…

(Marco Rubio, call me 🙂 )

 

91 COMMENTS

  1. A populist asshole put her husband in jail and now she’s asking another populist asshole for help. Dissapointing, but I can’t judge being desperate after 3-4 years with her husband in jail.

  2. The fledging independence(the movement of the 13 colonies once sought the help of an absolute monarch (The French King) to gain is independence from another monarch (The King of England) , Democratic Britain and the US almost two centuries later made an ally of a totalitarian Regime( Stalins) to pursue its struggle against Nazism, history makes for strange bedfellows ……!! (by the way bedfellow has the same meaning as comrade ) .

  3. I would guess that Maduro, once he wakes up sometime later this afternoon, will go off the deep end accusing her of being a traitor.
    He may even think about throwing her in jail but that would be a really dumb idea.

  4. So, how will Maduro react? Will he fly off the rails with invective aimed at Trump personally, as he would have with Obama or Bush? Or will the fact that Trump can actually hurt them and has shown signs of being temperamental (not to say batshit nuts) give them pause? Will he delegate the response to Delcy (as he should) or will he respond personally to not appear as though he is sending a woman to defend his honor. Pass the popcorn… This is just starting to get interesting.

  5. I’ve googled “Hillary” “Obama” “Tintori” and got zero results.

    Isn’t it absurd that in eight years in office they had never met with Tintori? I think it’s unbelievable! Why did so many Venezuelans support those folks that couldn’t care less about the fate of Venezuela and Latin America as a whole?

    I guess only stockholm syndrome or a very deep desire to be “accepted” by their Democrat friends in the US MIGHT explain what they did! MIGHT!

    • An excellent point! Well Done. One could also ask where was the Vatican all these years? What did this new S. American Pope do to help alleviate the suffering? Why did he personally intervene with calls for “dialogue” last November, and thus allow this government to sidetrack new elections? Why did the Pope not use his power to demand that the government take action when he saw hunger and famine spreading throughout the country? He did nothing but make the situation worse, much worse. We live in a very strange place and time.

    • Marc,

      Let me shed some light. It isn’t cognitive dissonance, as someone else stated, it’s simply judging a government or leader based on what he represents said country.

      Donald J. Trump is fantastic news for Venezuela. He is pushing back on the Chinese puppet that Venezuela has become and stirring them away from having something keen to Soviet Union & Cuba in the old days.

      They are pro-energy and Venezuela’s oil industry is in shambles. PDVSA is for the taking if there’s a government change. Chances are PDVSA will be privatized. Rex Tillerson focus probably being around those lines. Trump’s focus being pushing the Chinese out.

      These are all good things for Venezuela and it thrills me to see action being taken against the regimen.

      On the other hand, Trump was elected to serve the American people and his first couple of weeks haven’t been very promising, to say the least.

      I totally happy that Trump is intervening in Venezuela and I’m totally appalled at recent actions taken by his administration, like his Immigration-related executive order, Michael Flynn’s involvement, bullshit like “Alternative Facts.”

      The way Trump tweets like a 10 year-old.

      That’s not cognitive dissonance, that’s putting rational thought into what’s happening and not a condemning someone in totality. People are incredibly complex.

      Hitler was a very progressive leader regarding environmental laws and treatment of animals.

      So please, put the

  6. You wanted war, madroga? Well, start clenching those buttcheeks, you wretch.

    Also, check your toilet everytime you use it, lest you might find a drone waiting for you there.

  7. And to think that there was a lot of “blonde Chávez” comments on this blog.

    So sad!

    That out of the way, with Putin saying “not my problem” and Trump wanting to kick the Chinese, the drug traffickers and the terrorist cells out of the continent, things are going to get a lot more interesting from now on.

    • Yes – indeed. An every time we got singled out like right wing extremist radicals.

      I am very interested to see how the tropical Obama/Hillary supporters (which are plenty in the comments section) react when their vision of the world completely falls apart by one single image. Tough one to swallow.

      The truth is that, bearing certain basic principles, things are not black and white. That is what the tropical Obama/Hillary supporters want to make people think. And now they are in shock.

      • You mean Quico who rushed to pen op-ed for Wapo riddled with half-truths and lies about Iran Air B747SP? Quico who has no problem making shit up for Wapo….way to go FT.

  8. So, it is refreshing to see someone actually doing politics. Lilian Tintori is worth more than all the MUD politicians put together. It is sad to see how she is attacked constanly by the very same people who thinks the so called dialogue is a good idea and anything but an act of corruption. It takes real courage to do what she did.

      • ¿Por qué es que Lilian puede entrar y salir del país cuando quiera, pero a los parlamentarios le quitan el pasaporte negandoles el libre tránsito?

        The twilight zone

      • She has been attacked several times. Sometimes by the politicians themselves, sometimes.by the MUD crack-heads and propagandists. I don’t even have to look for evidence. Everybody has, at some point, read or heard some serious Lilian Tintori bashing. She has even been called an idiot. It even became a regular joke in certain circles.So good luck trying to convince everyone I am a troll, as you always do.
        I give it just six months before some MUD leaders are sanctioned or at least theathened to be sanctioned just like our VP. Maybe that way they will be motivated to actually do something. Eventually, we will learn a lot about who is who, and why some invested so much time and resources in keeping the status quo.
        The photo is already a veiled threat to the MUD corrupt leaders.
        Good luck also sitting with the Pope, I am sure he will defend you when the time comes. If he doesn’t save you, maybe God will.
        MUD crack heads must be dealt with absolute contempt at this point. They have nothing to offer to anyone anymore, so their influence will wane

  9. OK, this is a very shallow comment: She could’ve dressed more appropriattely for the ocassion. After all, she might one day be a first lady …… or president.

    • Charlie,

      My guess is that the photo op with the president was sudden and unexpected. Lilian Tintori would have dressed more appropriately had she had the opportunity.

      • She was at the White House, or at least meeting with US government representatives. It’s not like she was walking down the street and happened to run into these people. That doen’t require a $5000 dress, but I feel something else would’ve looed better and more along the lines with what she was doing in the US. Again, it’s a shallow comment on my part, but I think it matters. I guess I’m old fashion.

        • Again, I understand that the occassion would have used a more formal clothing, but again, maybe she isn’t that rich.

          Or seeing it with a mind full of malice one could think that she’s dressing in a semi formal manner because that’s what an image advisor could have told her, as it would undermine the possible chavista hate-campaign against her, which usually depicts opposition people as filthy rich, snobbish and spoiled daddy’s kids.

          In the case of chavismo, they try to hide their money from the poor folks in the base because they know those poor-ass don’t like seeing the boliplage’s riches rubbed in their faces.

  10. Trump isn´t playing metras with Maduro! Second shot across the bow in two days. As venezuelans we should be grateful, that after 16 years of Bush and Obama the US is finally getting it´s act together.

    • Exactly. To all the caracas chronicles group thinked idiots here: FU.

      They went out of their way to bash potus in Wapo…..fucking idiots.

      You dont understand America and gringos.

  11. Give the man (Trump) a chance!. I believe that the Russian lobby plus the secret man crush between all autocratats will bring some kind of undrestanding between the US and the Maduro regime. If Venezuela is of any interest to Trump it is for the potential oil deals, forget democracy or hunan rights

        • The Venezuelan oil infrastructure is such a mess that I doubt many American companies want to get involved in it.
          Off shore drilling is expensive. Venezuela’s heavy crude comes from aging wells that require continuous maintenance.
          There is money to be made, but Venezuela is not the most attractive place to invest in oil. Long term investments require the trust that there will be long term stability. The old saying “Once burnt. twice shy” comes to mind.
          When the OPEC production agreement expires later this year, oil prices may collapse again. The US rig count has increased significantly from the lows of the price collapse. Increased productivity in drilling techniques, fracturing, and multiple wells from a single pad have significantly lowered the break even price of shale oil exploration and production. In many instances the break even cost has neared $40 per barrel. Compared to close to $100 not too long ago.
          When the criminal Maduro regime is forced from office, Venezuela will still be facing many challenges.
          Eliminating the criminal gangs that terrorize the country, the lack of foreign reserves, coaxing foreign investment to return and reopening foreign owned factories, rebuilding the agricultural sector, rebuilding the medical sector and feeding the Venezuelan citizens all come to mind.
          All of these challenges will need to be addressed without any significant foreign reserves, a large national debt and a worthless currency.
          This is going to require the commitments of patriots that put the success of the Venezuelan nation ahead of their own personal political careers.

  12. I feel this is nothing more than political pandering. Theres a lot the US could do if it wanted to, to help the opposition in Venezuela. Not sure this helps.. at all… its a “feel good” picture. Or is it more than that?

        • Fabiola, a Obama y a los demócratas no se les vio el culo pero ni cagando a menos que te refieras a besarle las pelotas a los Castros. Trump será un misógino y todo lo que quieras, pero los demócratas no tuvieron solidaridad con Venezuela ni con Cuba. Y eso le costó a Hillary en la Florida. Hay que dejar de ser hipster y pensar en los intereses de Venezuela y te darás cuenta que los demócratas son pro chavez

          • I think your suggestion that the Obama administration’s decision to open up relations with Cuba cost the Democrats Florida is very much open to debate. Certainly, for Cuban Americans over the age of 65, it was not a popular move. What you see however, is a political shift that coincides with, among other things, age, levels of education, and experience living in more socially diverse areas.(i.e. a group that encompasses the Hipster, hence your hostility to the Bearded Ones).

            https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/changing-their-minds-on-cuba/474612/

            Your notion of popular opinion is outdated and simplistic, I think. So is your appeal to Venezuelan patriotism under the flag of the US Republican party.

            The idea that Americans can rescue Venezuela, or somehow should engage in some sort of decisive intervention, strikes me not only as misinformed and naive, and contrary to all historical experience, but is also not easily squared with the idea of “los intereses de Venezuela”.

            Look at it this way: when LL spoke to the crowd that last time and submitted to arrest by a criminal regime, do you think that gesture was (a) intended to rally Venezuelans to his eventual liberation along with the liberation of Venezuela, by Venezuelans, or (b) was it rather, an act intended to provide a justification in support of intervention by the gringos?

            It is in fact the Chavistas who argue (b), and Trump is (inadvertently, because he knows nothing) playing to that script.

            As someone else here said, I cannot put myself in Lilian Tintori’s shoes, nor her husbands, and I maintain that what they have done is heroic and was done in good faith. But bystanders should not use that heroism, which unfortunately has not been followed closely by a massive and decisive civic uprising against the Maduro regime, as a means to lecture others about what is “in the interests of Venezuela” when it comes to asking for favours from Donald Trump.

          • “It is in fact the Chavistas who argue (b), and Trump is (inadvertently, because he knows nothing) playing to that script. ”

            So the only “smart” thing according to your logic would be doing what Obama and Bush’s administrations did: Nothing at all, leave Venezuela to rot and be annihilated by chavismo, even when its regime has been directly assaulting USA for the last decade and half, because if government-sanctioned drug smuggling isn’t considered an act of war, then it should be.

            Bush’s fight against Al Qaeda served to skyrocket the oil prices, doing chavismo the best favour they could receive ever, and then Obama simply said “that’s not my problem”

            Venezuelans alone CANNOT get rid of chavismo, simple as that.

            And why?

            Because chavismo has the money and the guns, stop deluding yourself about a “pacific and electoral coexistence” because for chavismo this is either total annihilation of the people they hate or lose all the loot they’ve stolen.

  13. I reckon, this is a crack high for a small number of people, skewing to either the far right or the far left. Much like Alvaro Uribe gives people a crack high in those constituencies. For many others, this probably just reinforces their understanding of what the Venezuelan opposition is about, and which Venezuelans the gringos go to bat for.

    In other words, this is a purely symbolic gesture, with all the wrong symbolism.

    • Caring about what the Cool Leftie People ™ think has done shit for us in the last two decades.

      And what “wrong” symbolism? That the Venezuelan oppo is talking with “Mecha Hitler 2.0”? Hah, politics get made while people are hysterical. Because, if I have to choose, rather have the eeevil right wingers than the damn Chinese.

  14. Key is who else was there. This is very positive because the RIGHT people where in attendance beating out many locos and opportunists (Martin Rodil, et al) striving to get access with the new admin and looking for a teta que chupar.

    Still waiting for the details but can assure everyone the right people where there.

  15. I would like to applaud Trump for appearing to support Venezuela against the regime. I would really like to… but this somehow feels like “grasping at straws”. I am not sure that there is anything that the U.S. government can realistically do that won’t make the situation worse. What it should be doing is working the diplomatic channels like crazy to organize a coalition of LatAm countries to publicly condemn the regime and work through the offices of the OAS to impose sanctions to pressure the regime to free the political prisoners, and allow new elections to go forward. On the other hand, perhaps Trump starting to get involved might provoke the LatAm countries to do what they should before Trump messes it up.

    Either way, I am feeling a tectonic shift coming in the political winds of Venezuela. Whether it is for the better or worse remains to be seen.

    • Tillerson already gave a few hints in that sense last month:

      “I think we are in full agreement as to the calamity that has befallen Venezuela, largely a product of its incompetent and dysfunctional government-first under Hugo Chavez, and now under his designated successor, Nicolas Maduro,” Tillerson wrote. “I would urge close cooperation with our friends in the hemisphere, particularly Venezuela’s neighbors, Brazil and Colombia, as well as multilateral bodies such as the [Organization of American States], to seek a negotiated transition to democratic rule in Venezuela.”

    • Tillerson lost big money to Venezuela when ExxonMobil was expropriated —- do you really think that any (if any) assistance he might push for will come for free???
      that the reasons for “helping” are clean?? that the WAY he will “help” will actually have the clear intent of helping??
      isn’t that, at best, naive??

      I also think that the US will only worsen our situation — will only inflate their deranged anti-imperialistic rhetoric and persecution of oppo !

      the US president is dangerous because his impulsiveness can totally destroy societies !

      • Does it really matter at this point if they raise their anti imperialistic rhetoric even more? I mean, they will do this anyway. They don’t need a photo of Tintori and Trump together to fantasize about marines subiendo la carretera Caracas – La Guaira. This is their MO and it has been for the past 17 years.

        I don’t really care what reasons are behind Tillerson’s motives. Anything is better than what we have right now.

  16. Trump is truly indicating a different stance vis a vis Venezuela, and, probably, Cuba to come, and he’s just recently taken office, with many seemingly higher priorities on his table….

  17. I can’t possibly go against the message of the tweet by Trump, but really, a tweet and a photo opp? When I see some policy change, I will reassess.

  18. super Hitler cares more about the plight of venezuelans than lord and savior Obama has over the last 8 years. That should be hard pill for the lefties to swallow.

  19. Come on! At least he met with her! That is much more than any other administration has done. A tweet from the president (which is how he communicates) IS something.

  20. Nobody in the world wants to mess with Trump , he is a loose cannon and easy on the trigger and could in a moment of quick anger use the inmmense means at his disposal to make life very difficult for you , so best not to antagonize him if you can , this cautious stance I suspect is shared by Castro and Maduro ….he is not as measured and predictable as past US presidents.

    Maduro’s speech was unusually tame and conciliatory compared to his customary rants, he wants a ‘balanced relationship’ with the US , and warns Trump not to allow himself to be pushed by OTHERS into an anti regime posture , clearly avoiding to blame Trump personally for the shot across the bow…… !!

    The reservations over the suitability of Mr Trump’s personality to exercise the powers of the US presidency stand , but this is not to say that all that he does will deserve our condemnation nor that from time to time his decisions might not be the best for the interests of the US and Western Values

    Clearly his administration is taking a position vs the Venezuelan regime which is more directly aggresive than others in the past , having his picture taken with Mrs Lopez, saying that the regime should free LL inmmediately , The sanction taken against Tarek , announced by the Secretary of the Treasury on his first day in office via a White House press Conference , the suggestion that other measures are being considered , the way the US Ccs embassy called Tarek a Druglord withour any mention of other protocolar titles , send a strong message that the Trump administration is willing to take a very frontally adversarial approach towards the Venezuelan situation .

    Why is Trump doing this…..I speculate for two reasons , he is not an ordinary President , he is very sensitive to maintaining a public image which makes his political base happy, he has been bashed for many things recently so he needs to take on some topic where he appears unassailably as the battling warrior in defense of democracy, which he senses can play to the passions of his constituency and not antagonize his many enemies , also he needs to attract the support of the Republican Congressmen who have staked a claim to defending Venezuelans from its Tyranical rulers , Senator Rubio for example , so for him this is low hanging fruit …..not controversial inside the US and something he can easily profit from.politically . Putin making the declaration he did is extremely revealing , it points towards Putin seeing that Trump is moving in Latin America and wanting to tell him that he will not stand in his way , Putin has bigger fish to fry in Europe and the Middle East and his stake in Latin America in Cuba and Venezuela is not worth fighting Trump for ….something is brewing , we all expect with the collaboration of those many other Latin American govts that have lost their qualms about designating the Venezuelan Regime as a Tyranny to be fought and denounced…..

    This opens a door in the struggle against the totalitarian ambitions of the regime which might prove very important…time will tell!!

    • I’d speculate that someone promised Rubio some Trump love in exchange for Rubio’s vote in favour of Tillerson. In any event, I’ve got to hand it to Marco Rubio- he knows how to get under Trump’s skin, and he knows how to mollify him and get what he wants.

  21. Meaningless.
    1. The Putrid Pumpkin did the photo op as a favor to Little Marco.
    2. The Putrid Pumpkin has no idea where Venezuela is.
    3. The Putrid Pumpkin only cares about his ratings and those are not influenced in any manner by VZ.

  22. El Pais mentions Trump making simultaneous calls to 3 latin American presidents and inviting them to visit him in Washington, he was reported to have talked to at least one of the them about the Venezuelan situation. Those presidents are Macri of Argentina who is currently president of Mercosur , an organization composed of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay , The president of Peru and Santos the president of Colombia , the first 2 have made themselves very clear about their low opinion of the Venezuelan regime and the last although more prudent (because of Venezuelas now marginal role in the pacification of Farc) is part of a political establishment which is very hostile to the Venezuelan Regime and whose designated successor , the vicepresident of Colombia has been pilloried by the Venezuelan regime recently for some comments he made .. These calls and invitations to these three particular presidents are suggestive of some scheme forming in Mr Trumps mind which targets the regime for some collective action against it …., don’t think the motives behind Mr Trumps thinking are of any importance , do believe however that whatever intiative he takes on the international front with the collaboration of other big players in the latin American political field can be important !! Something is brewing and Maduro wont be happy about being presented to the finished product !!

  23. An article reporting on a interview given to former US ambassador to OAS Noriega by a Spanish Language Paper has him say that the sanctions were ready to be applied before Obama left the presidency , that Obama decided to pospone the announcement to give chance for Maduro and the Opposition to engage in Dialogue , that lots of people inside of the Treasury Dept and the State Dept were opposed to delaying the measure ….

    From somewhere else inside the whale the information that oil exports to Cuba have fallen to the 40kbd level (down from 90kbd) and from yet another source that there is talk from within the diplomatic Corp in Cuba that the Castro regime is either considering or already proposing to people with links to the new administration, that they will cease any effort to support the Venezuelan regime if the status of Cuban American relationship is left untouched ….

    There is further information from someone who knew Tarek from his university days (and now lives abroad), that tarek is not only a drugtraficker but someone who habitually took drugs himself.

    There is more stuff but will leave that for another day…

    • I find it striking that one of the first acts of the new Trump administration has been the elimination of a rule requiring disclosure of large payments by resource companies to foreign governments, a rule under Dodd-Frank which received strong opposition from the American oil industry lobby. Apparently transparency in the financial relationships between American business and rogue regimes is a job killer.

      In any event, given this kind of turn, it may be that the Trump administration’s approach to rogue regimes like Venezuela’s is ultimately going to be more carrot than stick, and that making America great again means operating more like the Chinese when it comes to dealing with resource extraction in politically dodgy jurisdictions. Everyone here knows how that goes.

      In a way it makes sense. $100K plus in the hands of a chavista, or a Cuban communist party official, will go a long way in building bridges of understanding and cooperation. It may not help the Cubans or the Venezuelans, mind you, but then those priorities are not strictly speaking, putting America first, if America is more narrowly understood in terms of the needs of its large corporations.

      I just throw the thought out that the new Trump administration may be talking a tough game -talk being cheap, as years of talk between Chavez and Bush to zero effect demonstrated- to obscure what might be exactly the opposite: a policy of rapprochement with shitty petro dictatorships which are not Iran.

      It would not be the first time that a narcissist president invited desperate people to entrust to him their hopes of change, only to then use that trust as a photo op on the way to screwing them even further. Everyone familiar with Venezuela knows how that goes as well.

      http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/31/politics/oil-industry-regulations/

  24. There are countries where an honest business will find itself locked out if it isnt generous to certain people , these demands for generosity are actually forms of extortion . Some business see the payment of these extortions as equivalent to the payment of an enthrance fee . where this is the case , a business has the choice of letting its rivals benefit from an opportunity which principle doesnt allow them to pursue ….!! This is more common in certain lines of industry such as in oil and mining . specially in third world countries ……!!

    Knew someone years ago who was a transnational employee responsible for collecting bills payable in a Latin American coutnry , if the customer was a private enterprise he could get paid, if the customer was a govt entity then a demand was made which if not met , would imply that the bill would never get paid!! The transnational in question was a very principled company so his job collecting bills owed by govt entities was very frustrating .

    Knew of a transnational trying to sell a new product in Asia , they sent a team of marketing people to visit each asian country , everywhere they went they were asked for some kind of informal contribution, with ONE exception …Singapore…!! in all others they faced officials who needed to be venally persuaded to let the product be sold in their respective countries ……!!

    • I think there is a compelling case to be made that corruption of this nature is common but, maybe like torture, it has diminishing returns, and it has a growing negative upstream effect on the business environment that makes things less competitive and less efficient for everyone the more pervasive it becomes. Without transparency, there’s going to be cheaters, and they are going to spawn more cheaters, and pretty soon, your industries are producing more graft than anything useful, and shareholder value, not to mention human values, are eroded.

      You can be honest and work in the third world in resource industries and be very successful, I know for certain, but you have to know when to say no, you probably have to know that when they ask once and you give it, they will only come back again and ask some more, and it will never stop. But additionally, a little transparency and a few rules that reach out from home, where everything is *normal*, probably help our transnational corporate leaders make the right calls.

      Or instead, we can gut the rules, more toward less transparency and disclosure, and see how good old human nature left unchecked gets things out of the ground and sorted out. And while doing that Tweet things like: release the political prisoners!

  25. In countries were corruption is systemic , part of the culture , corporations (unless they trade in some scarce and irrepleceable type of service or commodity) can do little to scape the demands of corrupt officials if they want to do business in that country. The fight against corruption can only be waged from within the political life of the country , by political players with the clout and the will to cull corruption from govt organizations , this means being more selective and demanding in choosing whom to appoint to an official job or position , carefully monitoring their activities , not protecting corruption even if it rises from people within ones own political camp, organizing govt activities thru rules and procedures that make corruption more difficult (rigurous enforcement of contracting thru competitive bidding procedures) , relentlessly prosecuting and punishing those who are discovered engaging in corrupt activities etc. I fear that corruption is inerradicable , because the inclination to venality is inborn in a great number of people , and changing deeply rooted cultural mores is a very difficult proposition , but it can be controlled so that its effect on the life of society is minimized , to where it causes no meaningful harm to the healthy operation of govt and those who depend on it to carry on their lives…..!!

    • You are a wise man Bill Bass. Well said. I’ve often fantisized about using computers and the internet to stream line the whole political process. EVERY family has a responsibility to get involved in the issues that affect them.

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