Photo: AP, retrieved


Luis Almagro opened the 8th Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru. He spoke of how close the corrupt and the oppressor are; of how essential it is for the hemisphere to recover freedom and democracy; he spoke of remembering political prisoners, the families of the victims of repression, those who suffer from hunger and disease and those who can’t vote, “Because looking the other way is also corruption,” he said.

But the world turned and the summit lost notoriety when president Donald Trump announced an attack operation against Syria coordinated with the United Kingdom and France, to reduce chemical weapon capacities of Bashar Al-Assad’s regime. Vice-president Mike Pence left the opening of the Summit, while Trump explained that Russia “failed to keep its promise” about the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria, restating that the goal of this operation was establishing “a strong deterrent against the production, propagation and use of chemical weapons.” On social media, most people wondered if Russia would retaliate against this military action, while others mused about how it would affect the celebration of the World Cup and some others discussed on this attack’s impact on oil prices, although Venezuela, with its dwindling output, wouldn’t be much affected.

Yesterday morning, before the UN Security Council, António Guterres cautioned about the risks of a military escalation in Syria, explaining that this country is the greatest threat for peace and security in the world.

A tweeted attack

Several journalists reported from Damascus the long columns of smoke in the east of the city. United Kingdom prime minister Theresa May said that there was no alternative but the use of force in Syrian territory. The attacks hit military bases and research centers. Emmanuel Macron said that the attack was motivated by the chemical weapon capacities of the Syrian regime. After the attack, Defense secretary James Mattis said that they avoided wounding Syrian civilians, urging “civilized nations” to unite and end the civil war in Syria, remarking that they’ve sent a strong message to Al Assad. Aside from chemical weapon development centers, they attacked places for storage of those weapons, claiming that they’ve stripped the Syrian regime of years of chemical weapons development. General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the attack was not coordinated with Russia and that they have no plans to attack Syria again. The Syrian President’s Office tweeted: “God’s souls will not be humiliated.” Later, Anatoli Antónov, Russian ambassador to the U.S., warned that these actions will have consequences.

And since we’re talking about soldiers

During the events commemorating April 13, 2002, Nicolás offered to broaden the reach of militias to fulfill the goal set by el finado and have a million milicianos for 2019, because “if we want to guarantee peace, we need the militia to keep playing its role.” Reasonable, huh? Nicolás claimed that “the right” keeps conspiring to implement a new Operation Condor against Venezuela, a statement which he’ll surely revise after the action against Syria. To reduce risks of sabotage in the May 20 election, he offered to deploy 300,000 National Guardsmen to guarantee peace, because according to him: “Venezuela wants more Revolution, more socialism.” Additionally, Defense minister Vladimir Padrino López headed a meeting in the Higher Bureau of the Sovereign Supply mission, to discuss plans to regulate the supply and distribution of food products that we’re neither producing nor importing. Without giving any details, Padrino López said that the government is preparing measures to overcome shortages and he had the nerve to claim: “Never had the country been so well-stocked in raw materials than in 2018.”

Broad powers

Nicolás granted “broad powers” to the Oil minister, so he can enact the changes in the industry and see if PDVSA increases its productive capacities with them. The minister will be able to create, suppress or made modifications to public sector companies, under a “Special Regime” effective until December 31, extendable for a year to manage and administrate the oil industry; and he will also be able to establish special staff recruitment rules and procedures by categories of products, goods and services. The decree also authorizes PDVSA to contract the purchase of crude and derivatives, work execution and ship freights using the price consultation scheme, “regardless of amount.” It also establishes direct contracts for the purchase of spare parts for oil drills, well services, pumping facilities, production stations, electric power systems, oil pipelines, gas pipelines, poliducts, and to build infrastructure.

By the way, the decree doesn’t mention current minister Manuel Quevedo, huh?

Abroad

  • Ecuadorian president Lenín Moreno confirmed yesterday the death of the journalistic team from newspaper El Comercio, kidnapped by FARC terrorists. He also ordered the restart of military and police operation in the border. The team of journalists was composed of Javier Ortega, photographer Paúl Rivas and the driver Efraín Segarra, and they were in the Ecuadorian province of Esmeraldas, reporting on the living conditions of the area’s inhabitants, highly affected by criminal gangs at the border.
  • Roraima state governor Suely Campos asked the Federal Tribunal of Brazil to temporarily close the border with Venezuela because the migrant crisis has overwhelmed their capacities and available resources. President Michel Temer replied that the closure is inappropriate because Brazil isn’t a country that closes its borders and he expects the Supreme Tribunal to decide based on that criteria.
  • Venezuela decided to request Guatemalan citizens for a tourist visa, as a measure of reciprocity. Guatemala replied that they respect the decision because: “Each country has the right to act as they see fit to guarantee their security, sovereignty and commerce.”
  • Airport authorities in Argentina arrested Venezuelan citizen Isabel Rangel Baron with 90,000 euros in cash. Rangel is a contractor for the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security (IVSS), co-owner of a group of companies benefitting for more than 10 years from Carlos Rotondaro’s management at the IVSS. She was barred from leaving the country and the money was confiscated until the Prosecutor’s Office investigates.
  • U.S. vice-president Mike Pence said that he’ll use his speech and his meetings at the Summit of the Americas to ask Latin America and the world to harden sanctions against Venezuela and to help keep the humanitarian crisis at bay.
  • After meeting with members of the opposition, Pence also announced $16 million in humanitarian aid for Venezuelans who have left the country, a contribution that will benefit UNHCR’s program in the region and the communities of Venezuelan refugees in Colombia and Brazil.
  • The Inter American Press Association expressed the “historic obligation” that American nations have to take concrete measures to accomplish a fast and irrevocable democratic transition in Venezuela and Cuba. The IAPA detailed that all the region’s governments have witnessed the “complete collapse of the freedom of expression and press in both nations”; they denounced the reiterative human rights violations committed by their governments and asked the development of “more drastic measures that prevent” Nicolás Maduro from holding on to power.

Several professional sectors expressed their support for the national protest called by doctors and health workers, set for next April 17 in all hospitals and healthcare centers in the country.

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Nicolas just needs some Russian military advisors close by and he’ll be fine. Unfortunately that’s the lesson he’ll take from Syria.

    I like the idea of sanctioning Russian oligarchs. That gets their attention.

    • Seriously, what would you have him do? If you follow the comments here you know I am no fan of Pres. Trump but what other options are there? Do nothing, of course that is an option but it may give Putin the idea the Caucasus are wide open. Full on invasion and invite direct confrontation with Russia? Seriously, how about instead of your sarcastic comments you tell us where you stand. Life is not black and white it is often times lived in the “glorious” shades of gray.

  2. The press today is full of speculation about why Assad chose to use Chem. weapons in this instance. The rebels he used the gas on were already on the ropes, surrounded and about to surrender. It appears that there was no tactical benefit to Assad or to his Russian sponsors.

    Is it possible that the distraction of the U.S. President from the subject of Venezuela at the Summit of the Americas WAS the strategic objective?

    • Trump didn’t stay home to deal with Syria. He stayed home to battle the former FBI director, compare notes with his long time fixer who is now facing potential fraud charges and who knows what else, instruct counsel on a hapless defense of solicitor client privilege in Federal Court, and grant a pardon to a guy who was convicted under a previous administration of obstruction of justice. In other words, Trump stayed home to work on Trump.

      Mission Accomplished!

      Take it away, Ira and co.!….

      • As much as you would like to invent reasons for Trump pulling out of the Summit, that doesn’t make them true.

        Seriously, dude. Cut back on the back bacon and Molson beer:

        You are, with a straight face, claiming that the Syria crisis was just an “excuse?” That the U.S., U.K. and France coordinating a strike was all a ruse to detract attention from Trump’s domestic political foibles? That the Summit was more important than what was immediately happening in the Mideast?

        You’re actually claiming this, right? With a straight face?

        I rest my case.

        • Ira, please buy some reading glasses. Then go back and read what I wrote. I actually don’t know if Trump’s motivation for destroying two empty building complexes in Syria was distraction. I tend to think, given it wasn’t screwed up, that the Pentagon recommended, planned and largely directed it, and not the White House. What I know is, Trump stayed home from the summit because he was caught up in other banana-republic-President-wanna be like things that had nothing to do with Syria.

  3. Bombing people is what the US does…Trump did it, Obama did it, Bush did it, Clinton did it. It drops bombs on other countries. Bombing countries – and supporting friendly dictators – is the roll America plays in the world.

    • First off you are a dick and a homophobe. And since you are so opinionated about the USA.
      Please tell us of your opinion of the USA’s Bombing targets?
      1. Osama bin Laden
      2. Assad
      3. Kaddafi
      4. ISIS
      5. Taliban

      • I may be a dick but not a homophobe.

        I would type the list of tyrants, despots, and dictators that the US has supported but the list is too long. As far your list..The US created ISIS, by overthrowing Gadaffi and supporting the “moderate rebels” against Assad.While those two may be evil it is no business of The US. I am also pretty sure the CIA supported Bin Laden against the Soviets.And as the British and Russians failed in Afghanistan so will the US.Count on it.

        • So your name is Ira and you are gay. My apologies.

          I agree, the US has supported many questionable characters. The argument is what is the alternative? Your position like many seems indicate a pacifist view. Do nada. Let them rape, pillage, and plunder. BUT by all means “We’ll give’em good tongue lashing in the UN.

          The US is by no means perfect, and I am all for criticism of our government policies (Dems or GOP). But to simply do nothing EVERYTIME, I do not think is in the DNA of most Americans. Evidenced this time, by overwhelming silence on the matter by our congress.

          “The US created ISIS” is BS. Yes we overthrew Hussain and in hindsight it (probably) was a mistake to exclude everyone associated with the Baath Party, which created the vacuum that “created” ISIS, but if you want to go down that logical path, then it is the Russians who created the Taliban by invading Afghanistan, (by the way the year after I hitchhiked through in 1978) which created Osama, which created ISIS.

          • Yes we overthrew Hussrin and in hindsight it (probably) was a mistake to exclude everyone associated with the Baath Party, which created the vacuum that “created” ISIS

            So basically no overthrow of Hussein=no ISIS pretty much means we created ISIS unintentionally.And I do agree that the Russians had no business in Afghanistan.

            I just think the US should play a different role because they have completely fucked up the Middle East with their adventures.I believe in non intervention unless agreed on by a majority of the countries and the security council.Not just unilaterally doing what they please.

          • The overthrow of Hussein certainly didn’t create ISIS. ISIS is a logical transition of Taliban, Al Qaida and other extreme Muslim ideologies that have been around for a long time. The Iraq chaos just gave them an opportunity.

            But considering Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the fact that Hussein was a murderous dictator…

            I make no apologies for the U.S taking him out.

  4. What will it take for Americans to realize America has become a mercenary army for tyrants? What will it take for them to realize Washington is spending trillions and sacrificing American lives for the interests of Saudis and Zionists because they’re all fucking bought and paid for?

  5. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where the Myramar govt slaughters the Rohingya, the Syrians gas its own people, ISIS rapes the Yazidi, the Sudanese burn villages, the Boko Haram rapes and kidnaps children, the taliban tosses acid on girls, while burning their schools, or Russian separatists shooting down airplanes over the Ukraine, and annexing Crimea with no recourse.

    But THE WORLD will TALK and TALK and TALK…..

    You are correct that the USA has in a sense become a Mercenary Army (Paid for by blood and treasure)

    I always ask those with comments like yours to close your eyes and dream of a world where, the superpowers of the world (there will ALWAYS BE 1 or 2) are the likes of RUSSIA AND CHINA.

    To me that would be frightening, but to you, I can only imagine it is nirvana

    • Must we be sure it will make things better? No. Must it be legal? No. Bombing is just something we do in these situations, please do not criticize our traditions.

  6. Explain to me yet one more time how the CC comments sections have been taken over by right-wing American Trump supporters.

    • We went from 10 straight months of “…my buddy Rex is going to bring the hammer down on Kleptocubazuela…”, to more equivocal gibberish translated as: Venezuela can rot in hell. So I don’t know. It is hard for a Trump troll to get excited every day about saying Venezuela can rot in hell.

      Maybe Quico needs to do a piece on how he was wrong, and how it is now abundantly clear a year and a bit in, that Trump IS EXACTLY LIKE Hugo Chavez. Maybe lay Alberto Barrera Tyszka’s “Chavez sin uniforme” down beside “A Higher Calling” or whatever, and pull the near identical descriptions of authoritarian, crooked and pathological behavior…

    • I have seen them do this when an article or comment strikes too close to the truth. When this happens, they increase the trolling priority in order to deploy a cloud of obscuring smoke over the real subject.

      In this case, I think that the real issue is the collaboration of Syria and Russia to take the international focus off of Venezuela. Putin probably told Assad that he had to take one for the team.

  7. “U.S. vice-president Mike Pence said that he’ll use his speech and his meetings at the Summit of the Americas to ask Latin America and the world to harden sanctions against Venezuela and to help keep the humanitarian crisis at bay.”

    Pathetic. This is all that the MUDtards are asking again. More useless “sanctions” and more “humanitarian help”, (which is denied by the Regime, or simply comes back as Remesas, perfect for Chavismo) . And it’s not even the same same “sanctions” Cuba has endured for decades. No. Only personal sanctions to a few Chavistas. Zero Oil/Gas blockage. Nothing. That’s how smart the Mudcrap clowns and many “observers” are: They figure that with less sanctions than Cuba or Iran have gotten decade after decade, Chavsimo would soon fall. As if there aren’t Hundreds of ways to steal and hide millions these days. As if the criminals thugs in power gave a shit. More “sanctions”, and only to a few Chavistas. Brilliant.

    They’ll be talking about more “sanctions” in 2050, when Cubazuela will also have full-blown European and Canadian Tourism kicking in, just like Cuba does. They’ll be celebrating Cuba’s glorious first Century under Castro-Chavismo, with or without these ridiculous “sanctions”, still begging for “humanitarian help”.

  8. When will all the leftist cunts here start to understand that Trump has done and will continue to do SOMETHING against the Cuban-Narco-Socialist Dictatorship in VZ. Unlike that spineless piece of Shit called Obama. I couldn’t give less of a fuck about Trumps lawyer, Russian influence in the past elections, FBI directors or which Ho Trump did or didn’t fuck. HERE we discuss VENEZUELA not US internal affairs. It’s called Caracas and not Washington Chronicles FFS.

    • When will you understand Mr. Socialism is the world’s cancer, that Trump will not save Venezuela.Venezuelans must save themselves.HERE we discuss whatever the person writing feels like discussing.Unfortunately US foreign policy is very influential in the world so pointing out the mistakes of the past by the evil empire has a lot to do with the main topic of Caracas Chronicles.

      • Where did I state the US is going to safe (with an “f”) VZ??? I have been saying for almost 2 years it’s up to Venezuelans themselves, that a civil war is THE only way out. My point is that wayyyy to many leftists cunts here rather attack Trump every single chance they get and that this blog is called Caracas Chronicles and thus should be discussing VZ affairs. Furthermore what you call “the evil empire” (i would call it the good old US of A) has a president that at least is doing something, contrary to his predecessors who was a piece of shite lefty without a spine. Obama didn’t do ANYTHING to try and put a stop to Chavismo. He even had the guts to go and shake Castro’s bloody hand, a dictator FFS. As for discussing US foreign policy here, if it isn’t concerning VZ CC is not the place to do so, imho.

  9. If this comments section is to be useful, it will have to be moderated with comments by trolls and fanatics of all stripes censored and removed.

    I don’t like censorship, but this anarchy is not useful as a forum for healthy debate. CC take note: This is your website. It is not a democracy in which everyone’s opinion is equal. You have every right to set the rules of participation as you wish and to judge comments inappropriate.

    • “It is not a democracy in which everyone’s opinion is equal”

      If you’re not living in VZ you should absolutely do so bcuz you’ll fit right in with those chavista fucks (y)

    • Roy, I agree that CC can do what they wish, and they have up to now let the comments flow without censorship, which I am quite ok with.
      My only beefs are
      1. FAKE names – I rarely read a word of what is invariably worthless dribble.
      2. Profanity – Coming from me that is funny, as I have a very colorful way of expressing myself, but on a comments section, I do not think it is proper.
      3. Long rants – are again skipped.
      I think the biggest problem of late with CC, is the dearth of relevant articles.
      Which leaves most of us without much to comment on, and when we do, it tends to be off-topic, and leaves the trolls a blank page to copy/paste the same old crap over and over.
      learn to skim and move on. censorship is NOT the answer

  10. Americans aren’t bullies; we are victims.

    If the Japs hadn’t bombed us, and the Germans and Italians declared war on us, we would have been happy minding our own business, watching the rest of the world evolve into a perfect, peaceful, beautiful, Commie paradise.

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