Information operations · Information Warfare · Venezuela

Venezuela Meltdown Update (19)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Russia and the US, both, submitted draft resolutions to the UN. Both are likely to fail. 

Russia appears to be increasingly a non-player, perhaps better phrased increasingly insignificant.

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No major developments on the ground since the civilians were killed by Chavista troops and aid trucks torched. Political gatherings held to agree on strategy, the Maduro regime reported to be removing gold by the truckload from the central bank. UNSC sees mutual vetoes. Proposals to shut down the flow of Venezuelan POL to Cuba. Reports that hundreds of troops have deserted, which media are misrepresenting as defections.

While the regime will eventually wither and collapse under a de facto or actual blockade, this could be months away and civilian suffering will continue.

Venezuela vote: UN Security Council fails to agree – CNN

The bitter differences between the world’s most powerful nations were on full display in New York on Thursday, as the United Nations Security Council weighed two equally hopeless resolutions on Venezuela.

Juan Guaidó, Venezuelan opposition leader, says he’ll be back in country by Monday – CNN

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó said Thursday he will return to his country by Monday, and that a dialogue with President Nicolas Maduro won’t be possible without discussing elections.

Any US military intervention in Venezuela will be counterproductive | TheHill

The Venezuelan military must render itself to its own people, not to a foreign power.

Keep up the pressure, and Venezuelan socialism will fall

As a Cuban American who survived the horrors of communism and went on to work on Latin American policy issues for many years, I was moved when I watched Vice President Mike Pence bring hope to the Venezuelan people during his Monday meeting with the country’s interim president, Juan Guaido.

The stakes are high in Venezuela | TheHill

Venezuela has become essentially a failed state held together by force, with assistance from China, Russia and Cuba.

Hundreds of Venezuela’s military defect in four days as country spirals into further chaos | Fox News

Since just the weekend, more than 300 Venezuelan soldiers have defected in the largest show of defiance by the military as the country plunges deeper into chaos.

Exclusive: Venezuela removed 8 tons of central bank gold last week – legislator | Reuters

At least 8 tons of gold were removed from the Venezuelan central bank’s vaults last week, an opposition legislator and three government sources told Reuters, in the latest sign of President Nicolas Maduro’s desperation to raise hard currency amid tightening sanctions.

U.S. Urges New Venezuela Elections. One Obstacle: Russia. – The New York Times

An American resolution at the United Nations, which could be put to a vote on Thursday in the 15-member Security Council, is likely to be vetoed by Russia.

UN Resolutions By U.S., Russia On Venezuela Both Likely To Fail

The UN Security Council is expected to vote on February 28 on rival draft resolutions presented by the United States and Russia on the crisis in Venezuela.

Diplomats shun Venezuelan envoy’s speech to UN rights body

GENEVA (AP) — Dozens of European and Latin American diplomats abruptly walked out of the U.N.’s top human rights body on Wednesday to protest an address by Venezuela’s foreign minister, where he floated the idea of talks between President Nicolas Maduro and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Cuba’s Reliance Upon Venezuela for Cheap Oil Looms as Potential Threat – WSJ

The potential collapse of President Nicolás Maduro’s regime poses a threat to Cuba, which relies on Caracas for about 28% of the island’s oil needs.

End Nicolas Maduro’s regime by blocking its oil supplies to Cuba

The time has come to cut off Maduro from his Cuban enablers.

Seize the assets of the Venezuelan generals at the border

Responding to Venezuelan regime attacks against civilians, the U.S. should identify those commanders responsible and seize their assets.

What’s Good for Maduro Is Bad for Chavismo – Foreign Policy

The more atrocities Venezuela’s dictator commits, the less likely his regime is to survive him.

Senator Rubio Press on Twitter: “At Foreign Relations hearing I warned about the destabilizing political/humanitarian crisis Maduro & cronies have created in #Venezuela & our hemisphere, threatening America’s national security. U.S. & world must support Guaidó & Venezuelan people’s efforts to restore democracy.…”

US flying more reconnaissance flights off Venezuela, military sources say – CNN

The US military has flown an increased number of reconnaissance flights in international airspace off the coast of Venezuela during the last several days to gather classified intelligence about the embattled government of President Nicholas Maduro, according to two US defense officials.

Venezuelans find alternate routes to get across Colombia border | Miami Herald

Colombia Venezuela border remains closed amid political tensions

At Venezuela’s border with Colombia, women suffer extraordinary levels of violence – The Washington Post

Most international media outlets are focused on the humanitarian aid blockade — and missing the rampant violence against women.

Venezuela’s Guaido to visit Brazil in bid to keep pressure on Maduro | Article [AMP] | Reuters

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido was due to arrive in Brazil on Wednesday night to meet with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro as part of a tour of several nations to ratchet up international pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to step down.

Pence lets Guaidó down easy on use of military force. | Bradenton Herald

Cold War-Style Accusations Fly as Security Council Meets on Venezuela – The New York Times

The Trump administration’s special representative for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, jousted with Russia’s ambassador, though nothing was resolved.

Trump’s anti-socialist strength could turn Venezuelan-Americans into Republicans for decades

MIAMI — Ernesto Ackerman watched the horror play out in Venezuela this weekend on a large screen on the stage of a rally he had helped organize in support of the country’s opposition leader, Juan Guaido. The event was initially meant to bring Venezuelans in the city together to coincide with the protests back home. It ended up being something very different.

In Venezuela, Guaido Has Time and Maduro Doesn’t – Bloomberg

His hold on power will only get weaker as he fights both international sanctions and the popular will.

Guaido’s return to Venezuela to mark brazen defiance of Maduro | Reuters

First he declared a rival presidency. Then he made a play for Citgo. Last weekend he flouted a court travel ban. Now, Juan Guaido says he is headed back home to Venezuela in another challenge to President Nicolas Maduro.

Bob Menendez ‘surprised’ by Bernie Sanders’ soft Maduro stance – POLITICO

Menendez took issue with Sanders’ unwillingness to characterize Maduro as a dictator.

Marco Rubio on Twitter: “After discussions tonight with several regional leaders it is now clear that the grave crimes committed today by the Maduro regime have opened the door to various potential multilateral actions not on the table just 24 hours ago.…”

Attacked and powerless, Venezuela soldiers choose desertion

CUCUTA, Colombia (AP) — The simple house on a street ridden with potholes in this town on Colombia’s restive border with Venezuela has become a refuge for the newly homeless — 40 Venezuelan…

Venezuela crisis: Guaidó treads carefully to keep pressure on regime | World | The Times

Has Juan Guaidó found himself on the wrong side of the Venezuelan border? That appears to be one consequence of a weekend in which the rival president’s plan to deliver hundreds of tonnes of humanitarian aid into Venezuela ended in stalemate.Last month, Mr Guaidó was formally banned from leaving t

Venezuela’s Guaido meets Pence in anti-Maduro strategy talks

United States Vice President Mike Pence told Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido that Donald Trump supports him “100 percent” as the pair met regional allies on Monday to thrash out a strategy to remove Nicolas Maduro from power after the failed attempt to ship in humanitarian aid. The

‘Nicolás Maduro Must Go,’ Pence Says After Violence Over Venezuela Aid Shipments : NPR

“The struggle in Venezuela is between dictatorship and democracy,” U.S. Vice President Pence said in Colombia. He was there to support Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself Venezuela’s interim leader.

Venezuela crisis: US turns focus on henchmen keeping Maduro in power | World | The Times

The Maduro regime was being propped up by a group of 30 or so “henchmen” and would soon be deposed, the American vice-president said yesterday after meeting regional allies in Colombia. Mike Pence condemned what he said was the “unspeakable brutality” that was seen at the weekend, when Venezuelan ar

U.S. Imposes New Sanctions on Venezuelan Regime – WSJ

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on allies of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and urged regional governments to isolate his regime, but played down the prospects for military intervention.

Brazil will not allow U.S. use its territory to invade Venezuela: vice president | Reuters

Brazil’s vice president, retired general Hamilton Mourão, said on Monday that under no circumstances would his country allow the United States to intervene militarily in Venezuela from Brazilian territory.

Inside the violent battle on the Venezuela-Colombia border – VICE News

Venezuelan troops are firing rubber bullets at protesters hurling Molotov cocktails and rocks.

Venezuela Neighbors Push Back Against Use of Military Force

The U.S., the Venezuelan opposition and governments from across Latin America and Europe are meeting in Bogota today after a failed attempt to deliver humanitarian aid to the hungry nation led to a weekend of violence on the Colombian-Venezuelan border. President Nicolas Maduro’s security forces repelled

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, team detained, released in Venezuela, network says | Fox News

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos and five members of his team were detained and later released in Caracas, Venezuela by President Nicolas Maduro on Monday during an interview in which the embattled president “didn’t like the questions” he was being asked, the network said.

Maduro walked out of interview when showed video of people eating trash

The Univision news crew briefly detained in Venezuela Monday angered embattled President Nicolas Maduro when they showed him a video of young people eating from…

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro accuses US government of fabricating a crisis to start war in South America – ABC News

The embattled Venezuelan president sat down for his first American interview in years.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s defiant interview with Tom Llamas: TRANSCRIPT – ABC News

The embattled president said he’d be open to a summit with Donald Trump.

A peaceful ploy against Venezuela failed. That doesn’t make force the answer. – The Washington Post

Washington must sustain pressure on the country’s armed forces to turn on Mr. Maduro.

US hypocrisy on Venezuela sanctions | Letters | World news | The Guardian

Letters: Guardian readers Dr Kevin Bannon and Martin Quinn share their perspectives on Venezuela

What’s Next for Venezuela? | The National Interest

The citizens of Caracas face unpleasant choices.

Trump in Venezuela is learning that regime change is hard

Saturday was supposed to be a turning point in Venezuela. U.S.-backed interim president Juan Guaido was supposed to heroically usher aid into his country as the military abandoned their posts and joined the opposition. Ideally, Maduro would have stepped down, new elections would have been called and Vice President Mike Pence would have been congratulating Guaido during his speech in Colombia on Monday.

Citgo formally cuts ties with Venezuela-based parent company: sources | Reuters

U.S. refiner Citgo Petroleum Corp is formally cutting ties with its parent, state-run oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA, to meet U.S. sanctions imposed on the OPEC country, two people close to the decision told Reuters on Tuesday.

Venezuela Has $500 Million of Crude Sitting in Ships | Fortune

With land-based storage space running low, Venezuela has transferred 8.36 million barrels of crude onto an armada of 16 ships

Telemundo reporter abducted in Venezuela | TheHill

A reporter covering the crisis in Venezuela for Telemundo was abducted Tuesday by a group of armed men, according to the network.

Maduro really didn’t like being asked if he’s a ‘dictator’

An enraged Nicolás Maduro freaked out and had a prominent journalist detained because the reporter dared show the Venezuelan president video of young men scavenging discarded food from the back of a garbage truck.

U.S. Journalists To Be Deported From Venezuela After Upsetting President Nicolas Maduro | TIME – YouTube

TIME Published on Feb 26, 2019 A six-person team of journalists will be deported from Venezuela after upsetting President Nicolas Maduro during an interview at the presidential palace in Caracas, Reuters reports. Subscribe to TIME ►►

Univision anchor arrested in Venezuela saw ’emboldened’ Maduro | TheHill

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos said Wednesday he saw an “emboldened” Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro during the 17-minute interview that led to Ramos’s own arrest and deportation from the South American country.

There’s nothing humanitarian about politicized aid to Venezuela | TheHill

We have to be skeptical of the president’s matrix for deciding which dictator deserves a diplomatic option and which deserves a military one.

New Cuban constitution gets 87 percent approval | Fox News

Cuban authorities say a new constitution has been approved by nearly 87 percent of voters, a relatively low figure for a country where official proposals routinely receive higher than 90 percent approval.

Cuba sees high turnout at polls for constitutional referendum |

Cubans flocked to the polls on Sunday in a vote expected to approve a new constitution that institutes modest economic and social changes while maintaining the one-party socialist system.