Information operations · Information Warfare · Venezuela

Venezuela Meltdown Update (11)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

The major question is how far will Russia back up Maduro.  Once Russia lets down their support, Maduro will vanish. Russia also depends on backing up Maduro, Venezuela owes Russia a reported $18 billion.

Also related to Russia is the reputed and reported presence Wagner Group PMC in Venezuela.  Reuters reported their presence, the report has since been refuted, but several news reports still say they are present.  This, after Prigozhin denies their very existence, ‘Putin’s Chef’ Denies Existence of Mercenary Group Wagner

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The regime continues to block aid shipments, while a major effort appears to be underway to convince the military to defect to the Opposition. Venezuelan embassy websites hacked by anti-regime activists. Colombia increases pressure on regime supporters. Calls for more pressure on Cuba to abandon the regime. Oil industry problems escalating.

Guaido Not Ruling Out Intervention Amid Alleged US Contacts With Venezuelan Army – Sputnik International

The development comes just a few days after US President Donald Trump said that Washington’s military intervention in crisis-hit Venezuela was “an option”. Earlier this week, WH National Security Adviser John Bolton tweeted that the US would consider lifting sanctions on top Venezuelan military officers if they back opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Ex-UK Envoy on Pompeo’s Remark: Сuba, Venezuela Have ‘Extremely Close Links’ – Sputnik International

The EU and most of the bloc’s member states have thrown their weight behind self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido, following the US’ suit. Speaking to Sputnik, former Ambassador Paul Webster Hare, a British diplomat for 30 years, shared his views on the controversy simmering around the Venezuelan political and economic crisis.

UAWire – Russia believes US is planning to invade Venezuela

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a press conference that the US is working on scenarios to invade Venezuela, thereby violating the UN Charter. “Signals keep coming from Washington on the possibility of using a forceful scenario in order to overthrow the legitimate government, even through a military invasion,” she said, claiming that the White House has been speaking about this openly. Zakharova emphasized that such statements contravene article 2(4) of the UN Charter, according to which all members of the organization must “refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state”. Earlier, US President Donald Trump told CBS in an interview that Washington will consider invading Venezuela if necessary. During his annual address to Congress, Trump said that the US stands with the Venezuelan people “in their noble quest for freedom”.

Is Russian support for Venezuela’s Maduro waning? | The Independent

The symbolism of aid lorries, halted by barricades on the Venezuela-Colombia border, would have been familiar enough for anyone watching from the Kremlin. It told the story of an outmanoeuvred regime, a default defensive response, and terrible PR.

Venezuela’s self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido won’t rule out authorizing US intervention

Earlier, Maduro vowed not to let in “fake humanitarian aid” and claimed Venezuela’s crisis has been “fabricated by Washington” to justify intervention.

Venezuela’s Guaido won’t rule out authorising US intervention – Channel NewsAsia

Venezuela’s self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido refused to rule out Friday the possibility of authorizing United States intervention to …

Venezuela’s Guaido won’t rule out US intervention to force Maduro’s hand

Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido refused Friday to rule out authorizing US intervention to force President Nicolas Maduro’s hand in allowing in humanitarian aid and leaving power. Earlier, Maduro vowed not to let in “fake humanitarian aid” and claimed Venezuela’s crisis

Juan Guaidó interview: ‘Our cry for freedom will soon sweep Maduro’s regime away’ | World | The Times

“So, how should I address you,” I ask Juan Guaidó as we sit down in the library of the Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas. He hesitates.“President?” I suggest. That, after all, is how the governments of the leading democracies in the western world are referring to this lanky 35-year-old man

A Visit With Venezuela’s Interim President – WSJ

‘I personally don’t believe that Russia and China are on Maduro’s side,’ Juan Guaidó says in an interview.

‘Our only enemy is fear’: Guaidó calls on Venezuelans to continue protests | World news | The Guardian

Opposition leader said regime ‘has already started to fall’ but Maduro shows no sign of budging

Guaido calls on Venezuelan military to let humanitarian aid into country – YouTube

Global News Published on Feb 8, 2019 Venezuelan interim president Juan Guaido once again urged the military Friday to let humanitarian aid into the country and said those who don’t are “wretched.” Guaido previous accused the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro from preventing aid from entering the country. Maduro on Friday said the aid should be distributed to poor Colombians as Venezuelans are not “beggars.”

Venezuela: Anti-Maduro Dissidents Hack Embassy Websites

A group of Venezuelan anti-government dissidents successfully hacked into the websites of nine of the country’s foreign embassies on Thursday.

Trump administration in ‘direct contact with Venezuelan military and urging defections’, says White House official | The Independent

Donald Trump’s administration is holding direct talks with members of the Venezuelan military and urging them to abandon president Nicolas Maduro, according to a new report.

Report: U.S. in direct contact with Venezuelan military, urging defections – American Politics – Jerusalem Post

At the same time, the Trump administration is readying further possible sanctions on Venezuela, the official said.

Exclusive: U.S. in direct contact with Venezuelan military, urging defections – source | Reuters

The United States is holding direct communications with members of Venezuela’s military urging them to abandon President Nicolas Maduro and is also preparing new sanctions aimed at increasing pressure on him, a senior White House official said.

Maduro Calls U.S. Aid Convoy an Attempt to ‘Humiliate the People’ – WSJ

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, at a news conference interrupted by power outages in the crisis-hit nation, lashed out at U.S.-led plans to deliver humanitarian aid after the first cargo trucks with food and medical supplies arrived at the Colombian border.

Venezuela: Maduro rejects humanitarian aid as nation starves | News | DW | 08.02.2019

“We’re no one’s beggars,” Maduro said as supplies were being stockpiled along the Colombian border. He has rejected calls from Europe and the Americas for fresh elections.

Venezuela Crisis: Maduro Clings to Power, But Diplomacy Can Work – Bloomberg

The longer President Nicolas Maduro remains in office, the greater the risk of civil war and geopolitical conflict.

US-backed aid package filled with ‘poison of humiliation’ – Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro rejected attempts by the opposition to bring US-backed aid into the country. He made the remarks during a press

Humanitarian Aid Is Blocked Amid Venezuelan Political Crisis : NPR

The military, which backs President Nicolás Maduro, has barricaded a bridge from Colombia. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, along with the U.S., is demanding that the aid convoy be allowed to pass.

Volunteers ready US aid for Venezuela, Maduro vows to block it | Venezuela News | Al Jazeera

Volunteers prepare assistance packets as Maduro describes the aid as ‘fake’, part of coup attempt.

Aid trucks arrive at Venezuela border as Maduro tries to woo security forces – video | World news | The Guardian

Humanitarian aid trucks supplied by the US have arrived at the Colombia-Venezuela border as part of an effort to peel away Venezuela’s military from the embattled president Nicolás Maduro

Colombia’s border becomes center stage in Venezuela crisis

Colombia’s border city Cucuta has become the center stage of a power struggle between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the country’s opposition that is supported by Colombia and the United States. Trucks carrying humanitarian aid from the US arrived in Cucuta on Thursday, one day after the Venezuelan military blocked the road that would allow this aid to cross the border.

Colombia Revokes Passes Maduro Allies Used for Shopping Trips – Bloomberg

More than 300 Venezuelans connected with the government of President Nicolas Maduro had their migration cards revoked by Colombia, as part of an international effort to isolate the Caracas regime.

Why Fleeing Venezuelans Should Be Recognized as Refugees

Venezuela is crumbling as a result of the disastrous policies of Presidents Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro. Since around 2015, 2.6 million Venezuelans have poured into neighboring Latin American countries such as Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Peru as conditions at home have become unbearable. Many of them lack basic documents such as a passport, which makes it difficult for

Venezuela crisis: Desperate citizens ‘selling hair on border’ as thousands flee poverty-stricken country | The Independent

Desperate Venezuelans have reportedly been driven to sell their hair at the Colombian border as their troubled nation slips further into political crisis. Trucks carrying humanitarian aid arrived in the Colombian border city of Cucuta on Thursday after the country’s embattled president, Nicolas Maduro, ordered his military to barricade a bridge between the two nations with a

Colombia cancels entrance cards for 300 Venezuelan Maduro supporters | Reuters

Colombia’s migration office on Friday said it canceled over 300 daily entrance passes for Venezuelan politicians and their families who support President Nicolas Maduro.

John Bolton: FBI raid on Puerto Rico bank aimed at cutting off funds to Venezuela’s Maduro – Washington Times

A top White House official said Friday that an FBI raid on a bank in Puerto Rico is an example of the administration using all available “tools” to pressure Venezuela’s socialist leader, Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela’s Maduro should FLEE to Russia or Cuba as US claims time for ‘END GAME’ is now | World | News |

VENEZUELA president Nicolas Maduro should resign and flee to Russia or Cuba, the US believes.

Sanction Cuba over Venezuela

Recognizing its integral role in sustaining Nicolas Maduro’s despotic regime, the U.S. should sanction the Cuban government.

Rick Scott says “Cuban thugs” are at heart of Venezuela crisis – CBS News

On &quot;The Takeout&quot; this week, Florida Sen. Rick Scott argues that Cuba is providing military support to defend Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro

Romania recognizes Guaido as Venezuela interim president | Fox News

Romania’s president has officially recognized Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president almost a week after other European Union countries recognized him.

How Washington Funded the Counterrevolution in Venezuela | The Nation

Self-declared president Juan Guaidó comes from the right-wing, US-backed student movement that tried to subvert Hugo Chávez’s government.

UAWire – The USA seeks evidence of Russia’s special forces in Venezuela

On February 7th, Admiral Craig Faller, head of the Southern US armed forces command stated during the hearing of the Armed Services Committee of the US Senate that the United States is familiar with reports that “Russian security forces” allegedly were transferred to Venezuela. The American authorities are trying to confirm this information. “I am not aware of the details of this situation, but we are closely monitoring it. We saw media publications that the Russian security forces have been deployed (to Venezuela), and we are looking for evidence and exploring how this can turn out,” said Faller. On January 25, Reuters, citing its sources, claimed that allegedly PMC Wagner fighters arrived in Venezuela to enhance the security of the president of the South American country Nicolas Maduro.

Exclusive: Kremlin-linked contractors help guard Venezuela’s Maduro – sources | Reuters

Private military contractors who do secret missions for Russia flew into Venezuela in the past few days to beef up security for President Nicolas Maduro in the face of U.S.-backed opposition protests, according to two people close to them.

Oil Workers Exodus Could Complicate Efforts To Reverse Venezuela’s Collapse |

Oil workers are fleeing Venezuela, reporting that their colleagues that are still working for PDVSA are doing so under dangerous circumstances

Venezuela’s oil clock is ticking…again | Fox Business

Venezuela lost out on one of the biggest oil price rallies in history.

No Sleep, Frantic Calls: Maduro’s Oil Team Scrambles to Survive U.S. Ban

Working around the clock, employees are calling dozens of traders, some little known, in a search for new markets for its crude, according to people describing the atmosphere at Petroleos de Venezuela SA. Some are barely sleeping. PDVSA employees are also working furiously to entice vendors to sell

Venezuela crisis: French oil giant Total evacuates staff from Venezuela amid US sanctions | World | News |

FRENCH oil and gas giant Total has evacuated all of its staff from Venezuela, where its accounts have been frozen due to US sanctions, the company’s chief executive announced on Thursday.

Beginning the Endgame in Venezuela | Center for Strategic and International Studies

A version of this article was originally published by Global Americans on January 30, 2019. As the crisis in Venezuela has deepened over the past week, a mysterious transformation has occurred. What started out as U.S. diplomatic support for the new, constitutionally legitimate government of Juan Guaidó has come to be treated in the international media as a possible U.S. military intervention.