Information operations · Information Warfare · Venezuela

Venezuela Meltdown Update (7)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Toros has, indeed, written a very good article, as recommended by our anonymous expert.

I also recommend Clifton Ross | The Bolivarian God That Failed – Quillette, but there is a deeper question that should be asked. Why would a journalist not tell the truth? Why is there even a question? My assumption is that there is an agenda by a journalist, perhaps many, but it must be embraced by the editors, publishers, and owners for this bias to survive. Therefore, how widespread is this bias?  To whom are they responsible? Who ensures journalistic integrity, professionalism, and standards?  

</end editorial>

The deluge of propaganda and nonsense from Muscovy continues, while the stand-off in Caracas persists. Tankers full of Venezuelan crude queue up in the Gulf. Concerns the Chavista militias may go on a rampage. More nations recognize Guaido as the legitimate president.

Most interesting analysis essay is by Toro – pointing out how Western media become complicit in promoting bad regimes by broadcasting their propaganda and deceptions without any thought or qualification. Pity the guiltiest in this camp will not read his essay.

Venezuelans Should Go Through Crisis on Their Own – Kremlin Spokesman – Sputnik International

BISHKEK (Sputnik) – Venezuelans should decide how to settle the crisis in their country on their own, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

Venezuelan Govt Ready to Consult With Population on Snap Elections – Caracas – Sputnik International

CARACAS (Sputnik) – Venezuelan government is willing to hear the opinion of the country’s population on the issue of holding snap parliamentary elections, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said on Sunday.

Make Latin America Great Again? On the REAL chances of a US invasion of Venezuela — RT Op-ed

Speaking on the crisis in Venezuela, US President Donald Trump said that “a possible military option” is on the table – but is the US really preparing to attack?

Six European Countries Recognise Guaido as Interim Venezuelan Leader – Sputnik International

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reaffirmed on Monday his rejection of European states’ ultimatum to hold a new presidential vote in Venezuela, emphasizing the legitimacy of the recent election.

France to Recognise Guaido as President If Election Not Declared Sunday Evening – Sputnik International

PARIS (Sputnik) – European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau said on Sunday that France will recognize Juan Guaido, the head of the Venezuelan National Assembly who proclaimed himself Venezuelan interim president on January 23, as the country’s president if the election is not announced until Sunday evening.

Russia’s foreign ministry: help Venezuela, but don’t meddle – Ifax | Reuters

Russia’s foreign ministry said on Sunday that the international community should focus on helping to solve Venezuela’s economic and social problems and refrain from any “destructive” interference, Interfax news agency reported.

Kremlin Claims European Moves To Recognize Venezuela’s Guaido Are ‘Foreign Meddling’

The Kremlin says that moves by some major European countries to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president amounts to foreign meddling and that Venezuelans, not foreign forces, should resolve their own domestic political issues.

UAWire – Caracas promises to expand economic cooperation with Russia amid crisis in Venezuela

The Venezuelan government does not plan to reduce cooperation with Russian companies but will, on the contrary, increase it despite the …

Venezuela crisis: Russia FURIOUS at UK and allies as it recognises Guaido as president | World | News |

RUSSIA raged against the UK and its allies’ decision to recognise self-proclaimed Venezuelan President Juan Guaido as the legitimate interim leader of the South American country, arguing European nations should think about their own political issues rather than meddling in foreign politics.

Iran news: Rouhani RAGES at Trump for trying to topple Venezuela’s Maduro | World | News |

IRAN has accused Donald Trump of seeking world control in a scathing attack which denounced the United States for its attempts to oust the Islamic Republic’s ally, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela sends more troops to Colombia border – Defence Blog

Colombia media on Sunday reported Venezuela had mobilized forces to the country’s Eastern border fears a foreign military intervention. Some source reported that Caracas deployed more troops to Colombia border and steps up armored deployment to “guarantee law and order” amid an ongoing crisis. On 4 February, the Twitter account of ELINT News posted a video of what appears to be Venezuela’s army BTR-82s and military trucks with soldiers driving through San Antonio del Táchira near the Colombian border. A source in Caracas said that Maduro feared that U.S. troops be withdrawn from Afghanistan and Syria, they could be well-suited for redeployment in a Colombia-based conflict with Venezuela.

In Venezuela, the colectivos’ threat to Juan Guaido is growing

As pressure builds on Nicolas Maduro to vacate his office, Venezuela’s actual president Juan Guaido faces growing physical threats from the so-called “colectivos,” a thuggish force that has long acted as an enforcer for Maduro’s regime. As pressure builds on Nicolas Maduro to vacate his office, Venezuela’s actual president Juan Guaido faces growing physical threats from the so-called “colectivos,” a thuggish force that has long acted as an enforcer for Maduro’s regime. The colectivos are organized militias that use criminal extortion and other mafia-esque activities to enrich themselves. Blessed with Maduro’s support and a free rein from law enforcement, the colectivos have pledged themselves to defending Maduro’s rule at all costs. That takes us to the growing threat against Guaido. Because while Guaido is threatened by Maduro’s intelligence services and military, those elements fear U.S. retaliation if they act against Guaido. U.S. national security adviser John Bolton has warned that any attack on Guaido would lead to serious U.S. reprisals — a perceived threat of U.S. military intervention. The colectivos, on the other hand, offer Maduro an alternative means of deniable action. Would they follow an order to attack Guaido? Yes. As the BBC notes, the colectivos see themselves as the heirs of the great Latin American revolutionary, Simon Bolivar. Vested with Bolivar’s ideological dedication to total war in defense of the revolution, they view Guadio as a stain to be eradicated. And as Guaido continues paring back Maduro’s power by undercutting his support bases, Maduro is more likely to unleash the colectivos against him. Remember, here, that Maduro’s mental state is questionable. He may act in irrational ways. President Trump or a senior official such as John Bolton should clarify the situation for Maduro and the colectivos.

Armada of tankers with Venezuelan oil forms in U.S. Gulf: sources, data | Reuters

A flotilla loaded with about 7 million barrels of Venezuelan oil has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, some holding cargoes bought ahead of the latest U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and others whose buyers are weighing who to pay, according to traders, shippers and Refinitiv Eikon data.

Venezuela Struggles to Pump, Ship Oil After U.S. Sanctions – WSJ

Venezuelan crude exports are declining sharply as new U.S. sanctions push the country’s oil industry closer to collapse, threatening a bigger impact on global markets than many experts anticipated, people familiar with the matter say.

Ukraine recognizes Guaido as leader of only one legitimate public authority of Venezuela

Ukraine has recognized head of the Venezuelan National Assembly Juan Guaido as the leader of the only one democratically elected public authority in Venezuela and believes that he will be able to organize the democratic elections in the country. — Ukrinform.

John Bolton on Twitter: “Answering the call of President Guaido, the U.S. is mobilizing & transporting humanitarian aid for the people of #Venezuela. I applaud the hard work of USAID, the State Department and their partners in preparing critical supplies to move forward this weekend.…”

Venezuela’s Maduro says Trump making mistakes that will ‘stain his hands with blood’ – CNN

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has warned US President Donald Trump that he risks staining “his hands with blood” should he pursue military action in the crisis-hit South American nation.

Venezuela’s Maduro Offers Talks With Opposition Leader Guaido

President invites self-declared interim president Juan Guaido to sit down with him and have a ‘face-to-face conversation’

Dashing Around Caracas, Guaidó Steers Venezuela to a Perilous Crossroads – The New York Times

The young lawmaker Juan Guaidó, in perpetual motion as he fields calls from world leaders and visits ordinary Venezuelans, sees a clear, if daunting, path to ousting Nicolás Maduro.

Venezuela’s Guaido urges military defections amid protests

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s opposition leader called on more members of the military to abandon the country’s socialist government following the defection of a high-ranking general, while President Nicolas Maduro proposed holding early National Assembly elections that could potentially oust his challenger. Maduro’s call for early legislative voting is likely to intensify his standoff with rival Juan Guaido, who heads the opposition-controlled National Assembly and is demanding a new presidential election. Guaido declared himself Venezuela’s legitimate ruler on Jan. 23, and has the support of Washington and most South American nations.

Venezuelan opposition leader urges China to abandon Maduro | World news | The Guardian

Call from Juan Guaidó comes after Beijing hints support may not be everlasting

Venezuelan opposition targeted by internet censors

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Opposition leader Juan Guaido’s calls for Venezuelans to abandon Nicolas Maduro’s government are booming across the world outside, but the self-declared interim president is having a harder time delivering his message at home. Watchdog groups in Venezuela and abroad say Guaido’s efforts to reach citizens via the internet have been hindered by the dominant provider — state-run CANTV — in a country where critical newspapers and broadcast media already have been muzzled.

VOA Interviews Juan Guaidó – YouTube

VOA News Published on Feb 3, 2019 Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who last month was recognized by the U.S. as the acting president of Venezuela, talked to VOA’s Spanish service on Feb. 1. Guaidó told VOA Noticias he is reaching out to military leaders in Venezuela as well as nations such as Russia and China who support Nicolás Maduro, whom Guaidó called a dictator. Originally published at –

Venezuela’s Maduro leaves voicemail for rival Guaidó – YouTube

Guardian News Published on Feb 3, 2019 In interview with reporter, embattled president gives two messages. In the first, he tells Donald Trump he will leave the White House ‘stained with blood’ if he pursues a military intervention in Venezuela. In the second, after the reporter calls Juan Guaidó’s phone and it goes to voicemail, Maduro tells his challenger he ‘should stop this coup-mongering strategy’ Maduro: White House will be ‘stained with blood’ if Trump invades

Donald Trump says deploying US troops to Venezuela ‘an option’ | The Independent

Donald Trump has said sending troops to crisis-hit Venezuela is “an option” as western nations increase pressure on socialist leader Nicolas Maduro to hand power over to self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido.

Donald Trump: Sending US troops to Venezuela ‘an option’ | News | Al Jazeera

US president intensifies pressure on socialist leader Nicolas Maduro to hand over power to opposition leader Guaido.

Venezuela crisis: Juan Guaidó backed by Lima Group – BBC News

A group of Latin American nations and Canada urge Venezuela’s army to support the opposition leader.

Juan Guaidó Recognized as Venezuela’s President by Major EU Countries – WSJ

A raft of European nations recognized Venezuela’s opposition leader as the country’s interim president, piling western pressure on authoritarian incumbent Nicolás Maduro as the EU continued to push for fresh presidential elections to end the political crisis.

France to recognise Guaido as interim president if Maduro doesn’t call elections by Sunday night | Euronews

France will recognise Juan Guaido as interim president if Maduro doesn’t call for presidential elections by Sunday night.

Maduro refuses Europe’s ultimatum to call new elections in Venezuela, and threatens a White House ‘stained with blood’ if Trump intervenes | Business Insider

The beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro refused to call new elections in response to demands from several European countries.

Crisis Mounts in Venezuela

Guaido said Saturday the opposition would start collecting humanitarian aid in Brazil, Colombia and an unnamed Caribbean island and called on the military to allow the aid into the country

Venezuela crisis: Gold seen as all-important to Maduro’s government

Gold is fast becoming indispensable to those clinging onto power in crisis-stricken Venezuela.

Washington’s offer to Maduro isn’t a new one – Axios

The issue is Maduro doesn’t live in reality, where he’s despised around the world and opposed by 80% of his own people.

UAE firm says it bought 3 tons of Venezuela gold

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — An investment firm in Abu Dhabi says it has bought some 3 tons of gold from Venezuela amid that country’s political…

Mystery Deepens Over Venezuela’s Gold 

Kremlin may have helped Venezuela’s embattled socialist leader Nicolas Maduro swap gold for cash, according to Russian media

Turkey says countries supporting Guaido fuel Venezuela crisis | Reuters

Turkey’s foreign minister said on Sunday countries which have recognized Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido were fueling Venezuela’s troubles and punishing millions of its people.

Francisco Toro | Stop parroting the propaganda of Maduro’s regime in Venezuela – The Washington Post

Stigmatizing its opponents as American stooges is the last line of rhetorical defense available to a regime that has crossed every red line imaginable — it has artlessly rigged elections, stripped the elected legislature of all its powers, imprisoned its opponents, run torture chambers and set up death squads. The regime doesn’t have very many good lines it can use to rally its left-wing sympathizers abroad. The one line it can always fall back on, no matter how bad things get, is the U.S.-backed coup line. Venezuelans may, by now, be deeply inured to the Maduro regime’s propaganda lines. Americans, for their part, need to play catch-up. Venezuelans long ago caught on that when you parrot the regime’s propaganda lines, you do the dictator’s work for him. America’s dark history in the region has nothing to do with the reason these lines are being trotted out today. And so, when you find yourself about to repeat a line conceived by the Venezuelan dictatorship to help keep itself in power, just stop a second and realize what’s actually happening. You are on the verge of turning yourself into an ally of Maduro’s torturers, of his death squads, of the people who have looted Venezuela and forced millions to flee for their lives. When you parrot Maduro’s propaganda, you become Maduro’s ally. Don’t.

Felix Salmon | America’s resurgent hegemony – Axios

This is not diplomacy.

Clifton Ross | The Bolivarian God That Failed – Quillette

The day after Venezuela’s National Assembly voted to declare its president, Juan Guaidó, interim President of the Republic, I received a text from a former friend. “If the U.S. topples Vz [Venezuela],” he wrote, “I will hold you responsible.” I would have been happy to accept this responsibility had I done anything important enough to deserve it. But the idea was absurd and he knew it. If the Venezuelan regime falls—and I hope that it does—it won’t even be possible to credit (or blame) the United States. It is the Venezuelan people who finally are taking their destiny in hand and rejecting an intolerable status quo. The message was not a serious attempt to apportion responsibility for Venezuela’s current upheaval; it was an attempt to shame me for my treacherous betrayal of the Bolivarian cause. An early supporter of the Revolution, I had traveled to Venezuela in 2013 to cover the April presidential elections. By the time I returned to the US, I was disillusioned and depressed. I decided I needed to start writing and speaking about what I had seen there. In an article I wrote for the radical magazine Counterpunch around that time, I argued that “the so-called ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ is bankrupt: morally, ideologically, and economically,” and I asked what we, as leftist solidarity activists, should do in response. “Should we continue to make excuses for incompetence, corruption, and irresponsibility and thereby make ourselves accomplices?” I asked. “Or should we tell the truth?”

Clay R. Fuller, Ryan C. Berg | Untangling Venezuela’s authoritarian web – AEI

Recognizing Guaidó as the President is a bold strategy, but the United States will need to untangle the networks of criminality and corruption propping up Maduro.