In Spain, after the failed Coup d’etat of February 23rd, 1981, the Chamber of Deputies made a conscious decision not to repair the bullet-holes the golpistas had made on the chamber’s ceiling as they burst in shooting into the air.

Those holes stand there, even today, as a silent reminder to any Spanish politician who cares to look up of just how fragile democracy is, how it is always one violent attack away from destruction.

I learned that today, reading José Ramón Morales Arilla’s Facebook TL  Like he says, we need these tokens of the past to be preserved, because we know we’re prone to forgetting, and forgetting can be deadly.

And he’s right. Which is why the blood stains from this morning’s cowardly attack on the National Assembly should be preserved. Right now. Forever.

Future generations of leaders who walk into that place long after this nightmare is over cannot be allowed to forget what the fight for democracy has meant to this generation.

But these stains should do more than just warn future generations of Venezuelans. They also serve as impossible-to-miss warning signs to this generation of hemispheric leaders.

Right now, National Assembly member Americo de Grazia —one of the National Assembly’s most committed, hardest working and most effective members— lies gravely injured by the fascist (is there any other word, really?) mob invited into the National Assembly grounds by the government this morning.

The democratically elected majority in Venezuela’s National Assembly is under actual physical attack, in its own chamber, by violent mobs plainly supported by the government. Just stop to let it sink how serious this is.

The hemisphere as a whole needs to take a moment and weigh what’s at stake here.

The time for MUN-style maneuvers at OAS is over. The alarm bells for civil conflict and atrocity crimes could not be ringing any louder.

How much clearer does this need to be? What does it take to actually focus the minds of the continent?

Let me spell this out for you in the simplest of terms:

It’s not yet too late to prevent a major civil conflict in Venezuela.

(But that statement may not remain true much longer.)

88 COMMENTS

    • Maybe he realized the optics are so awful even he has to say something?

      Or simply this was done without his permission?

  1. Those photos with captions have to be spread far and wide on social media et al. Maduro already telegraphed this punch by saying he would fight with arms any thread to the survival of his loony path, and he can’t diss the collectivos having armed them and make them part of his crew. All of this needs to be clearly stated so this attack is seen for what it was: A government sanctioned attack on democratically elected officials. That unnoficial vote on the constituente has got the whole government squirming. It might get uglier soon.

  2. Quico, repeat with me:” The Government is going ahead with the ANC”. Until you realize that these guys will stop at nothing to stay in power, you will not stop getting surprised by this and worse things that I am afraid are ahead of us.

  3. Or let me put it a different way: would most criminals currently locked up kill their guards or anybody in order to get out of prison? I think most of us agree that they would. Well, the thugs currently in power are willing to kill anybody (in its literal meaning) in order not to go to prison, which is where they know they will end up if they surrender power.

    Once you understand the above, you will understand most of their actions.

  4. The main responsible for the inaction of the international community is the Pope.
    Why? Because despite saying, albeit too late, that he supports the CEV his personal words about Venezuela have been double speak.
    His language is loaded with “impartiality” and he sustains the dialogue alternative although he knows well that it did not work and will not work.
    This Pope has failed to denounce the dialogue as a trick played by Maduro.
    Please read what Almagro said in this piece of news:
    https://panampost.com/sabrina-martin/2017/02/07/oas-wont-apply-democratic-charter-to-venezuelan-regime-while-the-vatican-is-mediating-dialogue/

  5. Unfortunately, with Trump on the verge of tweeting the world into war, will anyone outside of Venezuela and those with some connection to Venezuela even know or care. That is the terrible context in which this occurs.

    • Trump tweeting or not, there is enough grave disasters and tensions (North Korea, Syria, etc) going on in the World to keep Venezuela out of the minds of most moderately informed people in the non-latino West.

    • Can’t resist, gotta drag Trump into it, right? I guess that’s appropriate after Obama took time off from his apology tours to do so much for Venezuelan democracy.

      • Look i’ll be honest. I read that statement by the State Dept. and it was all over the map. It lacked the requisite force of the moment while blandly reciting the entire laundry list of diplomatic to-dos, lessening the impact of this specific outrage and the crie du coeur it should be creating.

        I asked myself who would write such artless drivel? I know Trump has been slow to fill State dept positions, so I just as well assumed it was some Obama era hack muddling through.

        No, it wasn’t. It was a Trump hire. An inexperienced journalist that he hired from Fox and Friends no less.

        Used to be if you wanted a position in the State dept, you’d pass an FSA exam.

        Time for some hard truths. It doesn’t exactly help Venezuela either if Trump keeps hiring numbskulls.

        • My point is that since Venezuela long ago fell to #46 on the USA’s to-do list, trying to lay blame at Trump’s feet is lame and obviously politically-motivated.

          Of course, Maduro et al would love to see the US more actively engaged as it would lend credence to their claims of meddling in a soverign country by the imperialists.

    • Don’t you have your own Supreme Leader in Canada to worry about, without concerning yourself with another third party? What exactly has Trump to do with anything in Venezuela that Obama didn’t?

  6. I know it is easy to get caught up in all of this. However we have to look at the evidence. I honestly think this is an act of desperation. In the age of cellphones, social media and instantaneous communication, how could you actually think you can get away with something this absurd. Que Chimbo!! Absolutely pathetic.

    Just looking at the evidence: most of the colectivos looked like they were coming to terrorize and intimidate. They wanted a punch up. I have heard reports that “journalists” of Zurda Konducta were inside. Must follow up on any leads. This is obviously a planned event and we have to get to the bottom of this!! Just understanding this event is enough to put 350 into practice. Gloria Bravo Pueblo!!

    Journalists, citizen journalists, whoever, we have to investigate what went down and who is responsible.

    Justice is coming to Venezuela. 90% of the people want Justice now. We cant live any longer in a government run by malandros. We have suffered far too long and are fed up with these scum. Justice is coming and the people have to have faith.

    Quico is right..However, this will only happen if people are ready to stand up for Venezuela in defiance of Maduro and his merry band of malandros.

    Yeah, they put on a good show at the AN today for their “Planton.” But this was not a good strategic move. I think they played the wrong card here. End result, more pressure to the pressure cooker. They dont hold a monopoly on ARRRRECHOOO any longer and are greatly outnumbered. They really do not want to have a fight this time.

    Keep marching forward. Dont back down. Victory is near. Tic Toc Tic Toc Tic Toc Tic Toc Tic Toc

  7. Maduro is testing the response of the international community.
    If it continues as it is now Maduro will take the AN for good.
    Wait and see!

        • Mio culpo (joke). This is apparently making news all around the world, drawing official protests (see Maduradas). Even Mercosur is on board against.

          Maduro et. al. are smart. This is what they’ve been seeking to avoid, knowing whatever they know about the international scene lining up against them. No surprise that I couldn’t dope it out before, but now it seems they will try to “opt out” of government in favor of a chance to escape. That’s a better option. It’s really weird … a non-violent oppression was their goal – maybe. I.e. There won’t be army mobilization and machine guns. The age of the internet and cell phones, and – YES, YES!! – TWITTER!!

          And if it all went ballistic: a) risks of fractures in the FAN, and b) urban warfare doesn’t necessarily favor an army. The rest? Who knows.

          And there’s always Agent 007.2.

          • Just a hopefully theory of the moment. I take it back. I can’t dope out what’s happening. I see that socialism leads to disaster. I get excited every time I think there’s a solution at hand.

          • Keep a close eye on this. Padrino Lopez and Mikel Moreno are denouncing the violence at the AN. Front page news in El Universal today (and that is a centrist news paper).

            Good cop bad cop.

            Perhaps they are preparing the golden parachute at the moment for Maduro, Diosdado, Tarek and the VTV crew.

  8. That moment when you fell ‘sadly happy’ because (1) the building was not set on fire, (2) no one has been killed. That’s what I’m celebrating these days.

  9. In Quico’s defense re the ANC possibly not happening, if Maduro is seeing the same piss-poor and glum crowds I’m seeing attending official ANC promotional events, he may opt to just scrap the idea by staging some crisis that requires a call for martial law. The potential of the 16 July event may have him scared shitless.

  10. From Chupacabra’s vid post below, it looks like GNB stepped in – at what point is not clear. Looks like no security was there when the fireworks were being shot.

    • I think the GNB were caught by surprise. Allegedly they are supposed to be apolitical. However, from uptop the order was to stand down. Or they were given the order to stand down from one of the VTV thugs while this was going down once it reached a certain point. Not to tell these GNB monkeys what is really going on is smart because this gives you “plausible deniability”.

      • So the invasion of that beautiful building’s grounds was “too late to stop”, the GNB didn’t know what was going on, but when the violence reached a certain point, someone gave the order to stop it before any fatalities, because the GNB is under standing orders to not cause fatalities …. That’s plausible. I didn’t read of arrests, just promises of investigation and prosecution, and the siege apparently was seven hours, which sounds a lot like “payback” for the trancazos. Maybe the simple fact is a balance of power equation, strengths and weaknesses on both sides. The regime is clearly using force, while the oppo remains peaceful (rocks are not going to hurt PNB). Too complicated for me, and I don’t have any idea what the political infighting might be – none.

  11. El Aissami invited “el pueblo” to go the AN.
    The diputados resisted the taken of the AN.
    Maduro is going to present the diputados as the aggressors. That is what he meant he wants to know “toda la verdad”.

  12. This what the State Department said:

    “Nos unimos a las naciones a través del hemisferio e invitamos al gobierno de Venezuela a cumplir con los compromisos que hizo en el proceso de diálogo facilitado por el Vaticano el pasado otoño para celebrar elecciones libres, justas y creíbles de inmediato, respetar la Constitución y la Asamblea Nacional, La liberación inmediata e incondicional de todos los presos políticos y atender las necesidades humanitarias del pueblo venezolano.”

    This is also what the Pope should say.

    It is up to the CEV to confront this Pope and demand from him to say that. They should remind the Pope that who does not say all the truth is a liar. His words up to now have been idle words.

    Matthew 12:36King James Version (KJV)

    36 But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

    • That bitch in red must go down. Yeah, Mario as well. And then they show the pics of fidel and maduro at the end. So whoever shot this video and leaked this video must have a bone to pick with these scum. We always have to look at the evidence.

  13. Jim, I talked to your brother William, and he thinks: no doubt: that the AN assault was Govt. sanctioned/supported; VPL was in agreement, attending the early AN Red meeting with TEA before the assault; the Criminal Regime could care less about international opinion, as the AN delegates were virtually held hostage along with tens of press reps for 10 HOURS until 6:30 pm; the ANC will go forward, and the MUD 7/16 consulta will be bloody. All the previous, of course, if the military doesn’t fracture first (low probability today).

  14. The only way out of this crisis is to begin assasinating chavista leaders. They are never going to give up power peacefully and every day that goes by they are preparing for the INEVITABLE civil war.

    The sooner it starts the sooner it can end before more people starve and die of disease.

    You aren’t doing anybody favors by sticking your fingers in your ears and pretending that a peaceful solution is possible, you are just a fool wasting time and putting more at risk.

    It’s not ring wing fanaticism to prepare for civil war when you know it’s going to happen anyway, it’s common sense.

    • I’m sorry, no, I don’t think arbitrary executions are any solution. It demeans the future that Vz has got to hold on to. Fury is rightly raging, but assasination does not hold the guilty to account, does not hold up their crimes to a transparent process. As another post has said – evidence is what’s needed. Name, shame, and hold the guilty to long, punishing sentences. ‘Closure’ is an over-used dismissal, but without it, resentments will fester.

      Be the strength of your ideals. Do not become the rat in a corner. You have strength in numbers, grant them courage to keep fighting.

  15. Of course today’s event was government-sanctioned. The IguanaTV film showed several times that the gate was locked but mysteriously missed how it was breached by the chavistas.

    BTW, where’s Jorge Rodriguez? Last time we saw a similar assult on the AN, he came to the rescue. Haven’t seen the needle nose liar for several days. Has he fallen from grace?

  16. It pains me to say it. I hoped it would never come to this.

    But after this, I don’t see how a peaceful solution is possible.

    This can only result in war.

  17. It has been too late to stop the civil war in Venezuela for over a year now I’m afraid. The last chance was the NA election, if the government adhered to the popular will then the conflict could be averted.

    Avoiding it now is just postponing the inevitable.

  18. Absolutely nothing, much less this corrupt. criminal and above all, incapable regime, can stop millions on the street. This- getting millions on the street – was the goal all along. Hundreds of thousands are impressive, but that does not do it.
    The Venezuelan version of the Arab Spring officially starts on July 16th. There will be at the very least 12M nationwide in the street against Maduro. This will be a defacto national court hearing (and sentencing).
    The GN, PNB, paramilitary “colectivos” and chavista scum might try to disrupt but they are greatly outnumbered and the army will NOT support them. Unfortunately, there will be casualties.

    t appears the MUD leaders are starting to grasp that If you want to live in liberty, you have to be brave. And It is way past time they start packing heat.

    We’ll have our own Nuremberg.

    • Well said, I long for the day that Venezuelans will take their ‘Tahrir Square’, and not return home until the government is ousted. That followed by a general strike, the government coming to a total standstill, and all media in the world covering it. But to take it by the millions!!! The country is already in the mood for that for ages, but the leaders were not. Let’s see now. It’s either that, or being a concentration camp prisoners like the political prisoners already are forever.

    • FGB, you hit the nail on its head. If you live in Venezuela, you know we want one thing and one thing only: Justice!! These malandros are going down.

      What this means now is that ALL Venezuelans have to stand in solidarity.

      The 16J plebiscite will take place in churches THANK GOD!!! What you will see is the moral majority of Venezeula stand up to the malandros. We are sick of impunity and we are no longer going to let this country be dragged into the gutter any longer.

      Every Venezeuelan, in Venezuela or abroad: This is our time to stand up and put the final nail in the coffin of Chavismo.

      BTW: Padrino and TSJ shedding crocodile tears and calling out the violence at the AN…Golden Parachute for Maduro and Co.

      http://www.eluniversal.com/noticias/politica/padrino-lopez-califica-como-inaceptables-hechos-violencia_660097

      http://www.eluniversal.com/noticias/politica/presidente-del-tsj-llamo-barbarie-los-actos-violentos-asamblea_660096

      Obviously something is going on behind the scenes…

  19. The key necessity of a Rule of Law regime is the existence of a strong autonomous cohesive institutionalized army apparatus ………..it has risks but without it democratic processes are too easily destroyed thru demagoguery , fraud and partisan violence ………this is the one big lesson we are getting from what is happening in Venezuela ………forming and protecting this army should be one of the primary objectives of any regime that wants to secure a Rule of Law system ,

  20. I was just reading this article on Reuters about the escuderos:

    “Drawing inspiration from Ukraine’s 2013-14 revolt, Venezuela’s young protesters are donning Viking-like shields in battles with security forces and eagerly watching a film on the Kiev uprising.

    In both countries, protesters have opposed presidents they consider repressive, and the clashes turned increasingly violent. But differences abound, too.

    While Ukraine’s protesters endured freezing conditions day and night, Venezuela’s thin out quickly when rain starts, and they go home in the evening and enjoy balmy Caribbean weather.
    The Venezuelans point out that criminal gangs make the streets dangerous at night. And with their economy in meltdown, they are often short of medicine, food and other needs, whereas the Ukrainians had a good supply line.

    Hans Wuerich, who became famous for stripping in front of an armoured car with a Bible in Caracas, said “Winter on Fire” made him think Venezuela’s Resistance needed to escalate tactics.
    “It’s time to take the protests to another level,” the 27-year-old reporter said in Caracas’ Altamira Square, a focus of the demonstrations. “But we need to be organised if we’re going to take the streets day and night, if it’s really about a point of no return.”

    https://widerimage.reuters.com/story/venezuelas-shield-bearing-protesters

    The point about lacking a good supply line might complicate the marcha sin retorno… !

    Also, I thought this action was pretty great:

    “Bravo Perú! Rechazan acto de la embajada venezolana en pleno acto y piden que declaren al emb persona no grata! Latinoamérica seguid el ejm” – @TAMARA_SUJU

    https://twitter.com/TAMARA_SUJU/status/882714120281260032

  21. This past 4th of July (Tuesday) I was attending an event at the American Legion that I have been a member of for over 35 years. A group of us got talking about the Crisis in Venezuela. I am still amazed at the people that are ignorant to this humanitarian and political crisis. These are people that are more informed than the average American.
    It is possible that the battle for Mosul, N. Korean missile tests, Syria, allegations of Russian meddling in the election and replacing Obama Care have overloaded people’s ability to absorb any more news, but I think the answer is much simpler.
    The mainstream media is much more Liberal than many other organizations. Chavez was the darling of many Liberal reporters and Liberal politicians. Jeremy Corbyn’s eulogy of Chavez could make someone think that Mother Teresa’s mentor had been the Venezuelan President. Whether deliberate or not, there is a bias that impedes the media from giving this disaster the press coverage that many smaller events have received. The silence from Liberal political leaders is just as shocking. They refuse to condemn the Maduro regime. perhaps in their mind they think it is the same as condemning Chavez and his Socialist legacy.
    The Pope is in this same category. He is a product of Argentina’s raucous Liberal politics. He has failed as a moral leader and I believe that his intervention has caused more death and suffering.
    An example that comes to mind is Somalia.
    When George H W Bush was President, the situation in Somalia was the lead story on all national network news programs and front pages of major newspapers for weeks on end. This relentless reporting and accusations of US government indifference forced the administration to intervene and try to avert the certain death that the famine was bringing to so many Somalians. The press conveniently left out all the news of the warlords that were using food as a weapon to starve opponents. The fact that there was no effective way to distribute aid and that we were dropping our troops into anarchy only came to light after our soldiers had been attacked and murdered.
    The one thing it did prove was the power of the media to create political policy. No matter how misguided the policy is.
    If Chavez, Maduro and company were a right wing regime that was aligned with the US, every violation of international law, crime against humanity, attack on protesters and murder of anyone opposed to the regime would be front page news and lead stories on major networks.
    Even though the government is using food as a weapon, supporting collectives that are similar to warlords, murdering civilians and allowing the infrastructure to crumble.
    It is just a shame that they are called Socialists.
    The moral high ground that the media claims to occupy, has been lowered significantly by their own bias and refusal to report the truths of this regime with the same fervor that other similar events would demand.

    • 1. Yes, for most people, even those more informed than the average person, who limited understanding of Venezuela. It’s so far down the list of important news, and the truth is most Americans just don’t care that much and never will, short of a genocide or war or terrorism directed at the US will change that. In my experience, the people who know most about the situation are Latinos.

      2 Liberal leaders are not condemning Venezuela? This is just not accurate. Just because old Trotyskites like Sanders (who isn’t a liberal, and only joined the Democratic party in 2016) were openly sympathetic to Chavez for many years, doesn’t mean the vast majority of mainstream left leaning politicians in the US and Europe were doing the same.

      And I agree on Corbyn, he’s a bona fida marxist dinosaur who hasn’t changed his view on anything since the 1970s. He’s not a liberal, he’s not a progressive, he’s basically a marxist even if he tries to hide it. How he is leader of the Labor party is beyond me, but hey, if Trump can be President, I guess he can be Prime Minister one day. We live in a strange world.

      3. As for the media, the WaPo and NY Times, two papers with liberal editorial lines, have been condemning Venezuela and Chavismo loudly for years. The Guardian, the UK’s mainstream left wing paper, has had some the best and most critical reporting of Chavismo for many years. CNN Espanol has had plentiful and great coverage of Venezuela, even though they have been kicked out by the regime. (I’m not sure what it says when Trump and Maduro both hate CNN and accuse it of fake news…)

    • John,

      You’re spot on. However, as the Venezuelan march to the abyss became too evident for anybody to ignore, most of those same mouthpieces in American media have tried to step aside and denounce chavismo as if they never had anything to to with it.

      A couple of people largely quoted -and trusted- by Venezuelan opposition come to mind. One is Patricia Janiot from CNN en Español. She never missed a chance to give Chavez the benefit of the doubt. The other is Juan Forero, who was a raucous cheer-leader for Hugo and filled the Washington Post pages with praise for the defunct dictator.

      It’s up to us to hold these people accountable and never forget that they were chavismo enablers. They are the Luisa Ortega Diazes of journalism.

  22. PL and MM denouncing yesterday’s violence don’t move the needle for me. I think this is just another government “see, we condemn all violence”-moment that they can parade before the international press while still sendind a clear message to the opposition that heads will be split.

  23. Let’s be real here people, it should be evidently clear by now, as demonstrated by today’s assault on the National Assembly, that the only way this regime is going out is through force of arms. Since the civilian population does not have arms then we have to ask for foreign intervention. Yes call me crazy but the opposition leaders should be having meetings with Trump and with the executives of the big oil companies and they should reach an agreement. Trump supports an invasion and the future government agrees to grant all the oil wells possible to American companies. Yes it would be selling the country out, but we are already owned by the Cubans and Chinese. The common folk do not care about the bs of sovereignity, They only care about their survival. ‘El pueblo’ would welcome the U.S. marines as liberators. And a foreign invasion would last less than a week, the army that Venezuela has is ridicolous and there would be the perverse pleasure of seeing all these ‘generals’ go hiding in two seconds because they are utterly useless. Sometimes you have to make a deal with the devil to win.

    • A US military intervention that would last for less than a week? Not. A. Chance.

      A good rule of thumb for military interventions is to take the estimated amount of time needed and multiply by 5, then take the estimated $ needed and multiply by 10. Do our generals say it can be done in a couple of years for around $100b or so? Count on 10 years and a cool trillion dollars (cough, cough, Iraq).

      Anyway, there is currently zero popular support in the US for such an action, zero int’l support, and ugly implications galore: inevitable collateral damage, US combat fatalities, billions in expenditures, universal condemnation from even our allies, having to disarm 100,000 civilian militias, maintain public order, and ultimately be responsible for putting Venezuela back together again? Not to mention possible escalation of tensions with China and Russia?

      Unless the CIA discovers ISIS training camps in Venezuela, this is not happening

      • Ah yes another one who loves pointing out problems but offers no solutions.

        Since you mention ISIS let’s take it as an example. ISIS is all but finished. Did it take billions and billions of dollars? No simply coordinated air strikes and helping the Syrian rebels and the Iraqui forces for a couple of years. The U.S. could do the same with Venezuela. Yes it could lead to a civil war but at this stage it’s armed conflict or endure chavistas for another 40 years. Having chavistas for that amount of time would put far more people in the grave than a painful but relatively quick foreign intervention. In addition Venezuela’s army is ridicuolous. They allowed a helicopter to traverse the no fly zone of Caracas for an hour. Oscar Perez could have thrown a bomb in Miraflores if he had wanted to. As soon as Maduro is deposed the militias will drop their guns.

        Also, the US military industrial complex is always looking for an excuse to intervene somewhere, so I’m not too particularly concerned about not this having political support in the US, specially if oppo leaders offer the US a big prize.

        In my opinion the US has been really stupid regarding Venezuela. They have left the country with the world’s highest oil reserves and at their doorstep be controlled by China and Russia while fighting all the time in the Middle East. This is the type of arguments oppo leaders would have to sell Trump on.

        • Just for clarity’s sake, the great majority of Venezuela’s oil reserves lie in the Orinoco Belt and consist of oil that basically is the consistency of tar. That’s to say, it’s heavier than water and difficult and expensive to extract.

          Again, with fracking booming in the states, Venezuela is now only an afterthought to US policy makers. Russia and China would be wise not to get mired in this colossal cluster fuck of a country.

          • Giving it a little more thought, the drug war angle could spark US interest, even if the oil does not. Trump’s AG Jeff Sessions (a Keebler Elf that was time-transported from the 1930s) would love to go back to full scale drug war. So maybe (just maybe) the Trump would be willing to do a Noriega-style extradition of El Aissami – at least in the event of Maduro being replaced by El Aissami. Trump loves to call “drug lords” bad hombres and use them as convenient bad guys when talking walling off Mexico. And El Aissami is already under scrutiny, so maybe not much of a stretch. Just thinking outside box, here ….

          • @MRubio – China is already balls deep with all the oil that Venezuela
            owes them. And Venezuela has a lot of minerals besides oil. Surely there’s something we can negotiate.

            @ Another Gringo

            Thank you sir. This is exactly the type of thinking that we need at this precise moment. Trying to come up with solutions. I will continue beating a dead horse, but if we don’t receive some type of military support we are doomed.

          • Hi MRubio, indeed, geopolitically venezuela is a backwater more so than we were in the past with fracking etc.

            However, and I am not sure if these discussions are going on, but if you are Marco Rubio you might hahaha

            Nevertheless, if you take the reds out of Venezuela, you deprive Cuba their gaspump. Cuba will crumble without Venezuela. So if there is a grand strategy, to accomplish something big in Trumps Administration, it will not be in the Middle East, it could be in Latin America.

            If there is a grand strategy, Venezuela still is an important piece on the geopolitical chessboard regionally.

        • Pardon me Kike, but if you want to criticize me for pointing out problems, you should at least deal realistically with the problems I’ve pointed out.

          In a democracy, popular domestic support is ALWAYS mission critical for a major military intervention. The US is war weary and people are definitely not anxious to spend billions and send soldiers into a situation that doesn’t have anything to do with terrorism. Sure Venezuela’s hands aren’t completely clean on that front (ties to Iran, the Ven-passports-for-terrorists scandal, etc) but this is not comparable to ISIS or AQ setting up terrorist training camps and bases of operation in Venezuela. Air strikes? On what, exactly?

          Venezuela is not Panama. Venezuela is bigger (353,000 sq mi to 28,000), more populous (30mm to 4mm), and has a much more advanced military. Yes our military is obviously superior, but the bad guys will still shoot back and that means US combat fatalities.

          Perhaps most importantly, getting out quickly would not happen. Intervening would not be worth it unless we were very confident that a profound transformation of Venezuelan society would result. Extract a few high value targets and leave? What would that change? We would have to dismantle and then somehow help re-form the GNB, SEBIN, etc. We would have to oversee the restoration of Venezuela’s institutions. Who would maintain basic public order while all that is happening? How many troops would that require? How long would it take? We can’t just remove the order-keeping power and then leave.

          An oil embargo would seem to be a simpler and less expensive approach.

          • Your points are valid. But since 80% of the country wants Maduro out you would have 80% support of civilian population Thus you would have all the support to for the establishment of a new government.

            Trust me Venezuela society IS ready for a change. The ongoing protests should be a testament to this. The majority of people even those who are poor, ignorant and dependent on the government have realized what chavismo really is. But we need help.

  24. So has anyone been arrested for the AN invasion yesterday? This in itself would be very telling. I suspect no one will suffer besides the AN.

  25. For those who think millions of Venezuelans will take to the streets, think: Venezuela’s Petro-State Peons literally depend, for the most part, on Govt. jobs/largesse for day-to-day survival: 5mm Govt. jobs at different levels; millions of Misiones/pensiones recipients; a million/more PDVSA/military/milicia/Govt. corporation/CLAP/subsidized food/now even “Chamba Joven” recipients. And their family members. And the Colectivos/bachaqueros. Yes, this is largely extreme poverty existence, but openly complaining risks losing even this, not to mention being gunned down by Colectivos/military. The Pueblo may well eventually rise up, but they will have to be protected by military force….

  26. If you look at the way the Secret Service operates when they have politicians to safeguard – well, you can’t get away with a sideways glance without someone with a gun and a headset asking you what’s up. The idea that the GN were “caught off guard” means they weren’t on guard in the first place. The attack was orchestrated. These people have operated for so long with impunity that it’s going to be interesting with the bottom falls out completely. It won’t take much. If nothing else, with an few billion in bond payments soon coming due, Maduro will be sans Bolos if nothing else in a matter or weeks.

    We still hear about 10 million in gold reserves but has anyone see that oro? My sense is they have been secretly pawning off their reserves for a couple years. One wonders how and with what money is food even getting to the security forces. What’s sustaining this madness?

    • You see the size of those generals? Besides the alta-chavistas, it’s obvious where the scant food supplies are going.

    • It seems hard to believe that the regime would be offering a $5 billion bond at an 80% discount if they had $10 billion sitting in their vaults.
      Dolar Today still shows $10 billion in foreign reserves on their site. I find it hard to believe.

  27. I’m amazed that any gordito is brash enough to make a public appearance when people are rooting though trash cans to eat and scarfing their pets for food. Man, there’s gonna be hell to pay some day soon.

  28. Regarding whether people in the US are informed about what is happening in Venezuela, for some time now “Venezuela” is the poster child example that US conservatives will retort to proggies pushing for “free stuff.” “Move to Venezuela (or Cuba) and see how that works out for you.” That sort of thing. And most US conservatives probably believe Venezuela is just another example of failed socialism/ communism, as opposed to the result of massive criminal corruption, although central and south America have a reputation for that sort of thing.

    Proggies on the other hand, if confronted with the reality of Venezuela will fully embrace this is all because of evil US imperialism/racism or Trump or Bush (but not Obama), or maybe is due to climate change, or cultural appropriation, or whatever. Or the old “socialism works great, just needs to be done right for a change” line of non-reasoning.

    But, I don’t see there being much if any support by either side of the divide for US military intervention, despite of (or maybe because of) the oil. Too many way more pressing concerns out there, as has been pointed out many times in the comments on this blog. Plus, no good deed goes unpunished.

  29. Consider what our friends at Telesur had to say on the matter. Venezuelans Explain What Actually Happened During Congress Spat.
    On Wednesday, a group of government supporters entered the building of the National Assembly and confronted opposition lawmakers.
    Venezuelans who were outside of the National Assembly on Wednesday when a group of government supporters clashed with opposition lawmakers and security personnel have spoken out about their experience.

    The clash, which occurred during an event to commemorate Venezuelan Independence Day, left eight people injured and property damaged

    Those who were “outside of the National Assembly” and were thus unable to view the “spat” inside the National Assembly, “Explain What Actually Happened During Congress Spat.” Talk about double speak!

  30. You are right, and I will amplify it. The US will never invade Venezuela.
    My friends and family, doctors, engineers, lawyers, only have a vague idea of where Venezuela actually is. If I could describe our hemisphere based on what my American friends and family know, it would sound like this:
    Mexico. Borders some of our states, maybe Texas, probably New Mexico, maybe a couple others. Dangerous. Excellent finger food.

    Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras. Depends…some of my friends and family might say, “American Fruit Company,” or “Banana Republics.” They are the smarter ones. Some of the others would be as interested as if I asked them to name important lunar craters. The rest might say, “…And Aruba, and, and Kokomo!”

    Costa Rica. Everyone knows Costa Rica here and they will lecture you about Switzerland South. (And a bit west)

    Panama. A canal, Panama! Noriega. Mosquitoes. One of the skinnier counties.

    Colombia. The capital of South Carolina, maybe spelled differently. Drugs. Medellin. Keep the fuck out.

    Ecuador. It means Equator in Spanish. Isn’t that awesome? It’s actually on the Equator. Get it?

    Brazil. Big as hell. They don’t speak Spanish. They had one of the Olympics there….Rio, oh yeah, Rio day Jan-ay-ro. Amazon jungle, DANGER…cow-eating fish.

    Argentina. Evita. They have steak, or steak restaurants, probably both. Nude crime beaches all over.

    Chile. Too long for a wall map. We rescued their miners. Funny name.

    Uruguay. Plane crash cannibals. You’re-a what? Probably related to the next one…Pair-a what?

    Paraguay. Nazis and one hot Olympic Javelin competitor. (From a country called Paraguay, go figure)

    Tierra del Fuego. Not a country.

    My bad.

    VENEZUELA!

    They have oil, right? Some guy, Shavezz is in charge…

    No, he’s dead.

    Oh. Didn’t know. He did some good things? He helped the poor.

    No, he made them poorer.

    ….A few awkward moments … elejercitodelebroaycarmelaaycarmela…Iwonderwhocarmelawasshemusthavebeen

    You know, I know generally where Venezuela is…but tell me, where is it EXACTLY? Like, where is it in reference to Chile?

    It’s on the north coast of South America.

    I see. Like…around Panama?

    Yeah, sort of. Somewhat east.

    Fascinating. Don’t leave, I’m going to the bar; let me buy you a drink…

    Do you think we’ll invade…you know, to try to set things right down there…?

    Invade who?

    Venezuela

    Invade Venezuela, hmm. Let me get you a drink? A beer, they have awesome IPA’s. We can talk more about Venezuela…

    Vivalaquintabrigadarumbalarumbalarumbala…igualquecombatimosrumbalarumbala…

    24 Year old Scotch! Smoky. Delicate. How do you say delicate in Venezuela?

    “Rumbala.”

    RUMBALA! Drink up!

    You might not have heard, but motorcycle gangs invaded the Congress, the Venezuelan Congress, and beat them up, elected guys, Congressmen …Imagine if that happened here?

    Venezuela again…?

    • Heheh, good description of the countries.

      I guess we tend to expect too much from Americans due to the incredible relevance of their country, but they probably have only 5-10% of the population aware of the world outside their borders, and that figure is very likely what we have in any other country. From Japan to Ecuador, people are mainly concerned with their immediate needs, their families, their neighbourhoods, their cities, then, their states, their countries. To have feelings about a ‘remote’ place like Venezuela, Venezuela would have to have any sort of impact on them. The civil war spilling outside the Venezuelan borders, engulfing South America, prompting boats of refugees to flock to Florida, for example.

      Notice that Europeans didn’t care that much for Syria in the first years of the war either.

      Nevertheless, responsible governments shouldn’t wait for their population to cry ‘fire’ to act. The US is obviously monitoring the situation closely together with other countries in the region, and will halt the situation when it gets out of control. After all, we tend to downplay how close Venezuela is from US soil, and how detrimental a major civil war in South America would be to US interests, especially economically.

      • Good counterpoint, let’s not wait until we have the raging fire next to our backyard before we “clear the brush”.
        And why is the U.K. Leaving the EU? We can zig zag all you want but in the end, the answer is clear: Because of the immigration/refugee and terrorist mess brought by the conflict in Syria.
        And while the Cuban is friendly with Gangnam NK regime (but can not even dream of housing NK mass destruction toys “on consignment”) what prevents Masburro & Co. from striking a desperate deal, in exchange for weapons, protection, retirement housing, whatever? That could have the whole of the US at risk.
        No, it won’t happen……yeah, I have heard that before.

        • My friend FGB. Good point about orudaM striking a desperate deal. But, he has to have something to put on the table, and he doesn’t have much left.

          None of the non-Islam bad guys want to die in flames; they want to rule. All of them love living. Kim Jong Un gets it, I am sure. I throw a rocket at the US and I die within the hour. He’s not nuts, just weird/cruel, and he likes being the fd up demigod of the DPRK, compared to what he’d be if the ROK (South Korean) army ever snagged him.

          Britain left the EU out of a badly managed referendum. People vote, and emotional people vote wrong. (wrongly?) Britain is NOT under attack, they are just in a damn tight spot, and their world is changing and they are anxious. I relate to it.

          The US takes a vanishingly small part of the Syrian refugees in….to our shame, I believe. Syrian culture, values, cuisine, history, they are all being kept away from us by political pandering. I want Syrians here. They have an incredible history; back in Biblical times they were the Kingdom of Aram.

          I assume you live in the US, as I do. Let’s welcome EVERYONE.

          Exclama ella, con labios silenciosos,
          “Dadme tus cansados, tus pobres,
          Tus masas amontonadas gimiendo por respirar libres,
          Los despreciados de tus congestionadas costas.
          Enviadme a estos, los desposeidos, basura de la tempestad.
          Levanto mi lámpara al lado de la puerta dorada!”

          When I was a kid, I was blood-proud of the US. We can take a punch, mi amigo. Let’s do it again. Y….

          Viva venezuela.

  31. A few well-placed cruise missles during the military events we’ve been subjected to over the last few days would pretty well do the trick. The prez, Tibisey, Saab, Galindo, and every swinging dick military man, including the ministers of toilet paper and yellow corn have been in attendance.

  32. […] While the Ibero American Association of Public Prosecutors convened an extraordinary assembly to discuss Luisa Ortega Díaz’s situation on Thursday, July 13th, the Prosecutor’s Office summoned National Guard colonel Bladimir Lugo Armas for questioning next Thursday at 10:00 a.m., accusing him of human rights abuses committed during the assault on the National Assembly. […]

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