Nicolás arrived late to the event the government improvised for Monday in Miraflores and, as usual, there were more freshly-made signs, flags and banners than people, unless you count those in uniform and public employees forced to attend.

Angry at MUD’s “truly miserable” response to Donald Trump’s statement, he urged the ANC to prosecute them for treason and asked the Truth Committee to call dissident protest leaders to testify, and to find them and “put them behind bars” if they didn’t comply. Encouraged by his token audience chanting “Jail them, jail them, jail them,” he ratified that he wants punishment for each and everyone of those responsible for violence, as if the State had no responsibility for all the people wounded, arrested and killed during these months of protests.

In prison, but thanks

Oddly enough, after this show of avenging might, he once again turned to rabble-rousing, thanking some opposition leaders by name for registering their candidates for gubernatorial elections, which, he assumes, is a sign that they recognize the CNE and its head, Tibisay Lucena.

He claimed that the ambassadors of Guatemala, Japan, Vietnam, Syria, Spain and France will be witnesses in October’s “electoral celebration.”

Prior to that, however, on August 26th and 27th, he’ll launch a military drill with tanks, planes, missiles and rifles, calling on the whole world to watch “the empire’s shock” with such a patriotic display.

But of course, regarding the man who inspired this new-found sovereign zeal, he repeated:

“I want to talk on the phone with you, Trump, because you’re being deceived.”

Nicolás also said that he’ll announce “important economic measures,” and asked us to support them.

Baduel’s whereabouts

Relatives and lawyers of Raúl Isaías Baduel denounced his forceful disappearance at OAS headquarters in Caracas. Lawyer Guillermo Rojas explained that after Baduel was transferred from Ramo Verde prison on August 8th, and since they were unable to verify his current detention center, they denounced his forceful disappearance before the Prosecutor’s Office.

This happens on the same day that OAS chief Luis Almagro condemned the persecution against Omar Lares, mayor of Campo Elías municipality, Mérida, demanding the immediate return of his son, Juan Pedro Lares, who disappeared on July 30th in a joint operation performed by the National Guard and SEBIN.

A totalitarian government

The ousted prosecutor general, Luisa Ortega Díaz, denounced that the government extorted public employees into voting for the ANC, which she said was “common practice in the regimes of Hitler and Stalin,” remarking that the Prosecutor’s Office received complaints from employees of 25 State institutions that prove they were threatened into voting.

Ortega announced that she’s working on a website where she’ll upload all the information on criminal matters and the Prosecutor’s Office, since many investigations are at risk now. “This is a totalitarian government, ” she said, adding that the ANC can’t operate above the Constitution.

She’s considering going to The Hague with evidence that would allow her to denounce severe human rights violations.

Menacing or delirious?

Defense minister Vladimir Padrino López claimed that the Armed Forces condemns president Donald Trump’s statements:

“We think his is a delirious, menacing attitude, and the threat of arms is madness (…) we won’t tolerate imperialists from the American government.”

He said he won’t accept ambivalent stances and demanded everyone who hasn’t condemned the threat yet to do so, because “this is about the survival of our territorial integrity.”

Once again, he accused the American government of financing violent groups inside the country.

Sadly, he didn’t talk about the GN captain who was arrested while stealing wires from Corpoelec in Paraguaná, the sublieutenant who declared herself in open rebellion or the government’s red alert on Interpol against Nixon Moreno, Patricia Poleo and Roderick Navarro.

Pence in Colombia

Yesterday, president Juan Manuel Santos asked US vice-president Mike Pence to disregard a military intervention in Venezuela because neither Colombia nor the rest of America Latina would agree with that:

“America is a continent of peace. Let’s keep it that way.”

Santos shares Pence’s concern for Venezuela where “citizen liberties and the institutional order are being destroyed.”

Pence met with thirty Venezuelans who settled in Calvary Chapel, Cartagena.

He said that he heard heartbreaking stories about food shortages and that they’re “not going to tolerate seeing Venezuela collapse into dictatorship,” as he remarked that this is a failed State that poses a threat to the safety and prosperity of the entire hemisphere, and that a greater influx of victimized families and a rise in illegal immigration that could compromise the Colombia’s borders, economy and security is expected.

The U.S., he declared, is “absolutely determined to bring the full measure of American economic and diplomatic power to bear until we see democracy restored in Venezuela.”

Abroad

CIA head Mike Pompeo said in an interview that Venezuela postes a danger for the U.S. due to the alleged presence of Cuban, Russian and Iranian cells in the country, as well as members of Islamic group Hezbollah:

“This is something that has a risk of getting to a very very bad place, so America needs to take this very seriously.”

Yesterday, the German government condemned the breakdown of democratic order in Venezuela with the de facto dissolution of Venezuela’s Parliament. Steffen Seibert, spokesman for the German administration, urged Nicolás to clear the way for a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the crisis.

English prime minister Theresa May called for the suspension of licences for controlled exports of military equipment from the United Kingdom to Venezuela, after closing deals worth over two and a half million pounds in the last decades, including military radar components, weapon scopes and engines for military aircrafts.

Mexican Foreign minister Luis Videgaray said that Venezuela’s suffering an extreme, regrettable and very painful situation with the ANC, which is an assault on democracy, ratifying that they don’t recognize it.

It was moving to see the image of farmers from Northern Santander collecting vegetables and fruits to take them to the Cúcuta diocese, for those Venezuelans who go there looking for food. In our circumstances, solidarity is invaluable.

26 COMMENTS

  1. “CIA head Mike Pompeo said in an interview that Venezuela postes a danger for the U.S. due to the alleged presence of Cuban, Russian and Iranian cells in the country, as well as members of Islamic group Hezbollah” – Is this common knowledge (speculation) in the streets of Caracas?

    • There are about 15000 (known) Cubans in the Venezuelan armed forces and intelligence services. Luis Almagro recently described them as an army of occupation.

      The Iranians have been covertly mining uranium in Venezuela since 2008, although the news went internationally public only in 2010. They facilitated the connection with Hezbollah, and Venezuela has provided documentation and money-laundering services to Hezbollah since that time. Try googling Ghazi Nassereddine or follow up on Tarek el Aissami’s Hezbollah connections.

      There is a large non-covert Russian presence in Venezuela although I would not have used the term “cells”.

      Yes, I guess you can say that this is all common knowledge.

    • People in the US have been talking about Hezbollah being in Venezuela for years although what the alleged connections are has always been foggy. It made for an enjoyable and over the top episode of Homeland a while ago, where Caracas seemed to be filled with the sounds of the call to prayer and minarets dotted the skyline.

      Iran, Cuba and Russia are long standing allies of the Venezuelan regime, and Cubans have played a significant advisory and oversight role in the Venezuelan government and military for many years. Anyone who works in government or the military knows this: there’s the boss, and then there’s the Cubans.

      What Pompeo is saying is nothing new from what has been the subject of statements from US governments for years, from what I can see. I guess coming from the head of the CIA, at this time, the message being sent to Maduro is that these things matter now.

      • The PLO was in Caracas pre-Chavez too, even when they were known for their terrorist acts:

        On one of my pre-marriage trips to VZ in 1988 (those were the days), my future nephew drove me around town one night, can’t remember where. And he innocently took me by their headquarters, which looked like a fucking palace, and many (obviously armed) guards outside.

        Anyone here know about this place?

        He was surprised by my reaction, my disgust, but he understood it. He was just caught with his pants down and didn’t realize that as a Jew, what my severe reaction to this would be.

        This is a pretty common theme in Latin America, with some exceptions. Hiding ex-Nazis, anti-Israel, and creating hostile environments for Jews to live, a la Chavez and Maduro.

  2. Sounds like typical “clear and present danger” BS or ” weapons of mass destruction” nonsense we hear before the U.S. decides to meddle.This regime is many things but a threat to th U.S…..No.

    • Think again, this regime is nesting terrorist cells from Hezbollah, and that’s just one group, which could mean that there could be very well more cells from other more dangerous and violent groups in Venezuela too under the care of the chavista regime.

      Also, the chavista regime tries to send hundreds of tons of drugs each month to USA, which could be seen as an act of war.

      Don’t forget the massive exodus of people that could end depleting about 10% of the total population of the country soon.

      There are many who oppose any sort of intervention because they swallowed the idiotic chavista propaganda of planes carpet-bombing the country, but there are many more who are openly willing to endure that just to see the chavismo out of power.

        • chaveco propaganda paints it that way, carpet bombing and every civilian as charred corpses, while the marines come and kill the rest, and then they tos the children and babies into wells, if they don’t eat the infants first.

      • Who thinks there will be carpet bombing?

        In my opinion a coalition of countries (mostly Latin American) with the US providing air, naval, and other support has the best chance of success and limited carnage. Hopefully that outcome happens sooner rather than later.

        • “Who thinks there will be carpet bombing? ”

          Everybody whose brains have been scrubbed by the chavisto-communist brainwashing.

          That’s the sole idea that plays out in most venezuelan minds when they hear anything coming from USA related to Venezuela.

  3. If Vz does go the way of Cuba, those of you who see the evil need to be prepared to have the “left” of the world cast you as the evil villains…..

    The “left” is very good at positioning and marketing.. No matter how bad Vz gets, the “left” will always be able to put forth an argument (“Inequality”, “4th republic was worse” etc.) to excuse/distract from what the government is doing.

    About five years ago, I had one of my friends who is Cuban (Parents fled in the sixties) came by my office. On my floor were several Vz businessmen trying to build a new life in FL. We go down the hallway to get coffee, and he greets the Vzs, with “hey, now we are all guasanos together”.. Plenty of people in the USA think Castro is just great, they will excuse the misery of Cuba with “it was worse under Batista” “100% free health care” “all the fault of our blockade” etc. My buddy was accused in the past of being from a Mafioso family, which is why his family left Cuba. (after all only crooks and worms would leave paradise) In other words the “left” is very good at framing who is a good guy and who is a bad guy.. After all prior to Chavez, how many Vzs, thought Castro was great standing up to “great satan”

    They don’t have to fool everyone, just enough to paralyze into inaction. This why the Marines are not coming.

    Cuba is a miserable place, one of my very liberal relatives just got back from a trip to Cuba and mentioned that Cambodia was better. Cuba has lost over 10% of it’s population, has suffered horrible economic decline etc.. Sadly Vz seems to be following right along to hell.

    And when it does, be prepared to have your children taught that you were/are the bad guys

    • Well, I’ll take issue with your main point, or rather, just steer it in a different direction.

      For this discussion, re Cuba, non-Cubans don’t matter, and certainly, the views of those Cubans still living there are dubious. These current “real” Cubans have to be divided into two parts:

      Those older who lived through the “revolution” (what is it with Latinos’ fascination and adoration of that word?)…and the younger generations. Much of the older generation just can’t admit they were wrong–that’s too painful a truth to live and soon die with. And the vast majority of the younger generations certainly want to live in a real democracy, and live like the REST of the free world. The rest of them have simply been brain-washed and coerced (jobs, fear of imprisonment, loss of benefits), and I think the evidence for this is pretty abundant and crystal-clear.

      As for Cuban-Americans, yes, there is a growing number of younger who want to “make peace” with current Castroism, to make things “better” for the people there. They favor dialogue, accommodations with Castroism, etc. This is not a bad or evil motivation, but it’s certainly not the path to democracy. They’re just wrong.

      I also think they haven’t learned their history very well, but who can blame them? The kids grew up with years and years of their parents yapping on about the past, and that can get pretty annoying, you know? It starts to seep into your DNA. (Just ask any Jew under 60 about this, their parents and the Holocaust.)

      But I still think the majority of younger Cuban-Americans DO know their history, they won’t forget it, and will never accept the “Castro was/isn’t so bad” line of thinking. If free education (you call that education?) and free health care (yes, advances have been made) is the best Castroism can answer to the world to justify a repressive, totalitarian regime, it’s a pretty weak answer. The world is filled with more highly developed, happy and free democracies which offer free health care and education. (As if anything is free in this life in the first place.)

      So being painted by liberals worldwide who don’t matter doesn’t matter to ME. Paint me any way you’d like–my rabid anti-Castroism comes from the only people who DO matter. Cubans themselves.

      As does my anti-Chavismo blood. It comes from Venezuelans themselves, both the intelligent and stupid.

      Who really gives a shit what some Communist shmuck in Paris has to say about this?

    • I really admire the patience of those venezuelans after being mocked that way by that cuban bastard.

      I swear that if he would have called me worm I would have broken his teeth with a punch.

      • Ulamog:

        Before you start breaking people’s teeth with your punches, be advised that “gusano” (worm) is the name given by the Cuban regime to those that emigrated, because if they didn’t want stay and support the revolution, then they were lower than worms.

        • My problem is that the same people whose lives got screwed by the regime are happily accepting the insult that their enemy is using to dehumanize them.

          chavismo unsurprisingly has used similar terms to make non-chavista people into sub-human garbage in the eyes of its followers: Escuálido (squalid), apátrida (fatherland-less), pitiyanqui (pitiyankee) and some more colorful insults have been used as key part of the hatred speech that chavismo used to exert control over the masses.

          As well as the cubans in the example that think they have “adopted” the moniker as a way to name their community, they haven’t realized that they’ve actually done what the regime wanted, that was accepting the insult used to designate them, making it appear as the regime was “right” on calling them that way, it’s the same thing when some opposition people in Venezuela calls themselves by the same terms chavismo uses to insult them, which would be like some muslims calling themselves “pigs” or some chavistas calling themselves “chaburros”

      • I would say you are incorrect. Go to web sites like Huffington Post, Democratic Underground or Daily Kos and you will find mass adoration for Castro, Chavez, Che Guevara, Marx and Lenin. That Maduro is trampling democracy is forgivable so long as it keeps any right wingers from having power. In their logic, people have to suffer because they are too stupid to know what is best for them.

  4. Michael, from your post it seems your worldview is rather Manichaean: right vs left; good guys/ bad guys. Also, who or what is this ‘left’ you refer to? Are they the bad version of an international good ‘right’? Venezuela is not a Western with good and bad guys, some in white while others in black. What we have there is a dystopian, narco-klepto-military-dictatorial regime that after the ANC sham is viewed and is illegitimate. Our children likely get that already and will not need further explanations as you suggest.

  5. From a geopolitical standpoint Venezuela (Cuba) are indeed a threat to peace, freedoms and prosperity to the rest of the continent.
    It is intrinsic part of the Castro-communist cancer to invade as wide as they can, peacefully(Trojan horse) or by force and to oppose the US in every way.
    This is a anti democratic and anti american force that needs to be destroyed before it continues to grow.
    Castro will keep meddling in every latin american contry elections as long as they stay in power.

    It is high time already for USA to deal with this issue that has been casting a shadow over the continent for too long.

    It is quite conceivable that the Latam leaders “opposing” the intervention publicly might be just diplomatic rhetoric for political reasons but in reality are 100% behind US on this.

    A quick look at the social networks to gauge the opinion of Venezuelans regarding a possible US military intervention, it shows about 80% approval, and that is what really matters.

    • Toro, I was thinking the same thing. Other LatAm nations’ voicing objection while being complicit about American military intervention. But then I thought:

      Nahhhhh.

      We know the Latin mindset on this, and it leans 90% more in this anti-Gringo direction on this than the other.

      It seems that even LatAm leaders still want to leave that door open to good old-fashioned dictatorship. It’s in the blood.

    • “It is quite conceivable that the Latam leaders “opposing” the intervention publicly might be just diplomatic rhetoric for political reasons but in reality are 100% behind US on this.”

      Pretty much, no reason to burn political capital for now, but when the time comes, and it will come, the same governments will return without any kind of embarrassment and say that the situation has ‘totally changed’ since Trump’s statement’ and that, now, they fully support a multinational military intervention, which — miraculously — has already been planned for several months in advance.

      Trump’s ‘military option’ comment was directed to Maduro and his cronies, not to Venezuelan comeflores, and Maduro/Cabello know this. It’s like saying: “It’s your last chance, jump ship now, or deal with the ‘militay option’!”

      Maduro and Cabello, dumb as they are, got the message faster than anyone else. They must be truly desperate now.

    • “A quick look at the social networks to gauge the opinion of Venezuelans regarding a possible US military intervention, it shows about 80% approval”

      Please provide source.

    • Very well said Toro. Marc and Ira have an interesting speculation.
      Reading Juan Manuel Santos remarks, all I could think is that if he is so sure that dialogue and political pressure will remove this regime, why doesn’t he eat of the garbage until this regime is gone. he could truly show his resolve by not accessing any medical care for himself or his family.
      Perhaps his perspective would change.

  6. Sweet. NM threatens Oppo leaders with treason for not condemning Trump’s threat more, as MM (TSJ) calls for ANC approval of 50 yrs. prison for treason. I guess HRA/HF/MR/FG/et.al will be really old when they finally get out, especially being even more vulnerable after losing the Regionals, or, even if winning, after being thrown out of office on some trumped-up charge–collaborators tend to have a very short shelf-life.

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