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Thread: Trump-tied businessmen met NSC officials, Bannon over Venezuela sanctions

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    Thumbs up Trump-tied businessmen met NSC officials, Bannon over Venezuela sanctions

    Folks, this is THE most corrupt administration in US history.

    https://mic.com/articles/172936/trum...say#.UB3ZYiumx
    Fascism begins with a central argument that the world is broken .. everything is a mess -Unknown

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    waltky (05-19-2017)

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    Cool

    The Donald sanctions Venezuelan Supreme Court...

    Trump administration sanctions Venezuela Supreme Court
    May 19, 2017 -- President Donald Trump's administration on Thursday imposed sanctions on eight members of Venezuela's Supreme Court, accusing them of undermining the nation's democratic process.
    The sanctions punished the justices by freezing their assets held in U.S. jurisdictions. The 32-judge Supreme Court has helped President Nicolás Maduro consolidate his powers in a country mired in economic crisis and violent protests.

    The court dissolved the democratically elected National Assembly, allowing Maduro to rule by executive authority, a move it later reversed. That sparked protests that have left more than 40 people dead. "Members of the country's Supreme Court of Justice have exacerbated the situation by consistently interfering with the legislative branch's authority," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. "By imposing these targeted sanctions, the United States is supporting the Venezuelan people in their efforts to protect and advance democratic governance in their country."


    President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia (L) speaks at a joint press conference with President Donald Trump in the East Room at the White House in Washington, D.C.

    On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council held a closed-door session over the deteriorating situation in Venezuela at the request of the United States. "You sort of have to wonder: Why is that happening? How is that possible?" Trump said earlier Thursday. "Hopefully that will change and they can use those assets for the good. Because right now what's happening is really a disgrace to humanity."

    He discussed Venezuela's problems during a joint news conference at the White House with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. They pledged to work together to help the Venezuelan people. "It is really in a very bad state ... like nothing we've seen in quite a long time," Trump said. "America stands with all of the people in our great hemisphere yearning to breathe free."

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-Ne...&utm_medium=18

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    Red face

    Uncle Ferd says, "Yeah, dat's what Trump needs - a new Congress...

    Venezuela prosecutor decries Maduro's new congress plan, deepening rift
    Mon May 22, 2017 | Venezuela's state prosecutor has panned unpopular President Nicolas Maduro's plan to create a grassroots congress, deepening a rare public split among the ruling Socialists as two months of massive protests show no sign of abating.
    Chief State Prosecutor Luisa Ortega had stunned the crisis-hit nation in March when she lambasted the Supreme Court for annulling the powers of the opposition-led National Assembly. Since then, she has been a wild card within the publicly homogenous Venezuelan government, the foes of which accuse it of seeking to dodge elections by creating a parallel assembly with powers to rewrite the constitution.


    Demonstrators hold a banner that reads 'MEDICINE RIGHT NOW' during a rally called by health care workers and opposition activists against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela

    Socialist Party official Elias Jaua, in charge of the "constituent assembly" project, confirmed on Monday that Ortega had written him to express her discontent in a letter that was previously leaked on social media. "It is my imperative to explain the reasons for which I have decided not to participate in this activity," Ortega's two-page missive reads. "Instead of bringing stability or generating a climate of peace, I think this will accelerate the crisis," she said, mentioning it would heighten uncertainty and alter the "unbeatable" constitution launched under late leader Hugo Chavez.

    Jaua acknowledged receipt of Ortega's letter, but quickly said she was merely expressing a "political opinion," without any power to change the situation. "We consider that the only organ the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela's constitution empowers to interpret the constitution is the Supreme Court's constitutional chamber," he said at a news conference, in reference to the pro-government top court.


    A demonstrator holds a banner that reads 'VENEZUELA WANTS JUSTICE' during a rally called by health care workers and opposition activists against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela

    Venezuelans are scrutinizing Maduro's government and the armed forces for any cracks as protesters take to the streets daily to demand early elections, humanitarian aid to alleviate food and medicine shortages, and freedom for jailed activists. While there are no outward signs of major fissures that would destabilize 18-years of 'Chavista' rule, demonstrators have been cheered by Ortega's public dissent and by some public denunciations of officials by their relatives.
    UNREST DEEPENS
    See also:

    Maduro slams protesters for setting a man alight
    Tue, May 23, 2017 - ESCALATING VIOLENCE: In six weeks of anti-Maduro rallies, 47 people have died, with both sides quick to publicize and condemn violence from the other side
    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday excoriated opposition protesters for setting a man on fire during a demonstration, accusing them of targeting him for being pro-government. “A person was set on fire, beaten up, stabbed... They nearly lynched him, just because he shouted out that he was a ‘Chavista,’” Maduro said, referring to the ruling socialist movement set up by his predecessor, Hugo Chavez. Witnesses to the incident on Saturday afternoon, including a Reuters photographer, said the crowd had accused the man of being a thief.

    About 100 people, who had been participating in anti-Maduro protests, surrounded him, doused him in gasoline and set him alight in Plaza Altamira in east Caracas, the witnesses said. Though some in the crowd said he should die, others helped him and the man survived. Showing a video of the incident on state TV, Maduro identified the man as Orlando Figuera, 21, saying he was being treated in hospital for severe burns.


    Demonstrators set an alleged thief on fire during a protest against the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas

    Images from the scene showed him running near-naked with flames on his back. “Burning a person because he seems a Chavista is a hate crime and a crime against humanity,” Maduro said on his weekly TV program, also showing another video of someone being beaten up, as well as images of protesters throwing Molotov $#@!tails. The 54-year-old president says protesters are seeking a violent coup against him with the US’ help and are increasingly persecuting “Chavistas” at home and abroad.

    Earlier this week, he compared it to the Nazi treatment of Jews. “Venezuela is facing ... a coup movement that has turned into hatred and intolerance, very similar to Nazi fascism,” he reiterated on Sunday. The Venezuelan opposition says Maduro has become a dictator, wrecked the OPEC nation’s economy, caused desperation by thwarting an electoral exit to the political crisis, and unleashed repression and torture on protesters. “Maduro, Murderer,” can be seen daubed on roads and walls in many parts of Caracas.

    MORE
    Last edited by waltky; 05-22-2017 at 01:35 PM.

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    Angry

    It's a mess in Venezuela...

    Rubber Bullets Fired on Venezuelan Protesters; 1 Killed
    June 22, 2017 - Venezuelan security officials clashed with protesters again Thursday, firing rubber bullets at demonstrations in Caracas. One protester was killed.
    David Jose Vallenilla, 22, died after arriving at a hospital in Caracas' Chacao municipality, where the protest happened. His death brought the toll to at least 76 fatalities since April. There have been almost daily protests against the government of President Nicolas Maduro for the past three months. The unrest was set off by an attempt by Maduro's government to nullify the opposition-controlled congress in late March. But demonstrations have escalated into a vehicle for airing grievances against the government regarding triple-digit inflation, food and medicine shortages, a rise in crime and Maduro's attempt to rewrite the constitution.


    An injured opposition supporter is helped by volunteer members of a primary care response team during clashes with riot security forces at a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela

    The opposition blames the bloodshed on state security forces using excessive force. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday urged the international community to take action to deal with the worsening crisis. "The tragic situation in Venezuela calls out for action. The Venezuelan people are starving while their government tramples their democracy," Haley said in a statement in which she complained about the lack of action from the U.N. Human Rights Council and the Organization of American States.

    Maduro has repeatedly rejected such calls for action by the international community. On Thursday, he praised the country's police and national guardsmen for their "heroic'' efforts to maintain public order without the use of firearms. He condemned any excessive use of force while also criticizing the opposition for not renouncing violence and for allegedly using teen demonstrators as human shields. The United States organized the first-ever U.N. Security Council consultations on Venezuela on May 17 to spotlight the worsening crisis. The U.S. mission to the United Nations said Thursday that it had no immediate plans for additional U.N. action.

    https://www.voanews.com/a/rubber-bul...s/3912677.html

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    Red face

    Granny says, "Dat's right - dey's riotin' in Venezuela...

    Venezuela burns: Opposition leader placed under house arrest, calls for more protests irking President Maduro
    Monday 10th July, 2017 - Hours after being released from prison and being transferred to house arrest, Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez urged the opposition to press on with more protests against Venezuela’s socialist government and President Nicolas Maduro.
    Irked at the opposition leader’s statement, the president of the troubled country, Maduro accused Lopez of being a terrorist, while urging for peace. Debilitated by months of deadly anti-government protests, a failing economy and shortages of food and medicine, rising crime and a social unrest that refuses to die down, in recent weeks, Venezuela has suffered more escalation of violence. On Saturday, Lopez, who is the country’s most prominent jailed opposition leader, was transferred from military prison to house arrest by orders of the country's Supreme Court, that cited health concerns. Court President Maikel Moreno said that the court would re-evaluate Lopez's case due to "serious signs of irregularities."

    Jailed in 2014, the 46-year-old leader of the Popular Will party face allegations of inciting anti-government protests that left more than 40 people dead and many more injured. Lopez was sentenced to 14 years in prison, following which, human rights groups and the opposition accused the ruling to be politically motivated charges. For months now, opposition and world leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump had called for Lopez's release. Upon his release on Saturday, fellow opposition leader Henrique Capriles said on Twitter, “We are thrilled that Leopoldo Lopez is at home with his family. They should give full freedom to him and all the political prisoners.” Subsequently, Lopez addressed a crowd of people waving a Venezuelan flag and shouting, “Yes, we can!” from outside his house.


    Lopez vowed to keep fighting against the Maduro government and said in a statement read by a party leader, "I maintain my firm opposition to this regime. I reiterate my commitment to fight until we win Venezuela's freedom." Later in the day, Maduro responded to Lopez in televised remarks, calling for the released leader to give a message of "peace and rectification." Maduro added that he respected the Supreme Court's decision to release Lopez and hoped the move would lead to reconciliation "because the nation wants peace." Meanwhile, on Saturday, a White House statement commented on Lopez's release and said, “We welcome Leopoldo Lopez's release from prison, however his confinement under house arrest and continued denial of basic human rights is unacceptable to the United States. All Venezuelans should be able to express their political beliefs freely and the United States continues to call for the immediate release of all political prisoners held by the Maduro regime.”

    Meanwhile, Lopez's release comes at a time when Venezuelans have intensified their protest that have been ongoing for three months. So far, over 90 people have died in the anti-government protests and many more have suffered grave injuries. The opposition continues to call for early elections to oust Maduro from office in order to save the country from an economic and political downward spiral. Maduro meanwhile has reiterated his plans to form an assembly tasked with rewriting the constitution that opponents say is designed to entrench dictatorship. Voting for the constituent assembly is scheduled for July 30 and the opposition is planning to stage a boycott. However, according to analysts what has kept Maduro in power is that he still has the loyalty of military top brass.

    MORE

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bo-4 View Post
    Folks, this is THE most corrupt administration in US history.

    https://mic.com/articles/172936/trum...say#.UB3ZYiumx

    Not hardly. Having a successful international businessman as POTUS is something new to people. Trump can't refuse to conduct foreign policy in places where he has had business ties in the past.


    Just because some hard line partisans don't approve of something, doesn't make it a crime.
    Last edited by Tahuyaman; 07-10-2017 at 01:47 PM.

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    MisterVeritis (07-23-2017)

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    Maduro gonna flee the coup?...

    Venezuelan President Reportedly Considering Asylum as Pressure Grows on Regime
    July 20, 2017 – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is actively considering asylum in Russia or Cuba as international pressure grows on his embattled regime and the country’s political crisis worsens, according to an international risk consultancy. Texas-based Stratfor say its analysts have “received persistent reports” over the past year that Maduro “has considered asking for refuge in Russia or Cuba.”
    Cuba is playing a key role in “indirect talks between Russia and the United States on Venezuela,” the consultancy said in a recently released report. “The Russian or Cuban governments would be willing to accept the president and his wife, Cilia Flores, but not other political figures,” the Stratfor report said, citing an unnamed source. Cuban officials were also involved with Spain in “months of negotiations,” that resulted in a decision by Maduro to release opposition Leopoldo Lopez from prison earlier this month. The release of Lopez, was “an apparent concession to the United States,” according to Stratfor. Maduro is facing intensifying pressure from the administration of President Trump, who this week called the Venezuelan president a “bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator.”


    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

    Trump threatened “swift economic sanctions,” if Maduro moves forward with plans to form a Constituent Assembly on July 30. “The United States once again calls for free and fair elections and stands with the people of Venezuela in their quest to restore their country to a full and prosperous democracy,” he said. Maduro’s push to form a Constituent Assembly, rejected by a majority of some 7.1 million voters in a non-binding referendum held last Sunday, would “disrupt the constitutional order in Venezuela,” according to Moises Rendon, associate director of the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. “This new and handpicked assembly will claim it has the power to change and select new institutions and authorities, implement different private property laws, and rewrite the Constitution,” he wrote in a column that appeared this week on the center’s website. “Venezuela is rapidly becoming a failed state,” Rendon told CNSNews.com. “The institutions are not functioning, the police, the judiciary, the health sector are in a shambles.”

    Narco-trafficking

    A failed state, Rendon said, would pose significant security risks for the U.S. because Maduro’s government and the military are deeply involved in drug trafficking and other illegal activities. In February, the Treasury Department named Maduro’s executive vice-president, Tareck El Aissami, as a “specially designated narcotics trafficker.” El Aissami’s associate, Lopez Bello, was also “designated for providing material assistance, financial support, or goods or services in support of the international narcotics trafficking activities of, and acting for or on behalf of, El Aissami.” The vice-president has also been accused of running an illegal immigration scheme while head of Venezuela’s National Office of Identification, in which he issued “identity and travel documents to suspicious Arab and Iranian operatives,” according to a report released this month by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The same report said elements of Venezuela’s government ““directly manage and support drug trafficking, money laundering, terrorism financing, support for guerrilla movements, and international corruption.”

    According to one of the report’s authors, visiting fellow Roger Noriega, officials within Maduro’s administration and the military involved in drug trafficking, “are pushing 20 years evading accountability.” “The U.S. judicial system is the only thing that most of these people fear,” Noriega said. Many would prefer to negotiate deals with US law enforcement “to avoid prosecution” for international drug crimes rather than be left exposed if the Maduro regime loses power, he said. “There are very important figures in the government’s security apparatus who have decided to cooperate with U.S. investigators to protect themselves.” According to the State Department’s 2017 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Venezuela is “one of the preferred trafficking routes for illegal drugs, predominately cocaine, from South America to the Caribbean region, Central America, the United States, Western Africa, and Europe.” The U.S. has indicted a former national guard commander Gen. Nester Luis Reverol Torres, and Edylberto Jose Molina Molina, former assistant director of the country’s anti-drugs office, for conspiracy to traffic internationally in cocaine, it noted.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/...e-grows-regime
    See also:

    Why even foes of Venezuela's government are wary of US oil sanctions
    July 23,`17 - It’s the “nuclear option” against Venezuela — a U.S. oil embargo that would hit the government of President Nicolás Maduro where it most hurts: the wallet.
    As the crisis in Caracas intensifies, that lever has never been closer to being pulled. The Trump administration confirmed this past week that “all options are on the table” — including a ban on Venezuelan oil — if a July 30 vote aimed at changing the constitution isn’t called off. The political opposition is portraying the ballot as illegal, as well as a pivotal step on the path to turning Venezuela into a dictatorship. It has promoted demonstrations nearly every day for the past three months. The United States has imposed sanctions on Venezuelan officials before. In February, the Treasury Department froze Vice President Tareck El Aissami's U.S. assets over his alleged involvement in narcotics trafficking. (El Aissami denies the charges.) But an oil embargo is a far more powerful tool.


    A demonstrator walks behind a fire barricade while participating in a strike called to protest Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela

    The Maduro government, despite its anti-American rhetoric, depends on its oil trade with the United States to survive. With the collapse of much of the country's industry during its socialist experiment, oil now accounts for about 95 percent of the value of all Venezuelan exports. Most important, many of its other clients aren’t paying hard cash. Exports to China are largely to pay off Chinese loans. Those to Cuba are made in solidarity with a socialist brother-state. That mostly leaves the United States, which takes in roughly a third of Venezuela’s production of about 2.1 million barrels a day. Since Venezuelan crude is rough and thick, the South American country also counts on imports of light crude from the United States to process its oil for export — making its trading relationship with the United States even more vital.

    Those are all reasons, hawks argue, to go for the economic jugular, hurting Maduro and compelling the government to open a serious dialogue with the opposition over early elections. People familiar with the talks say some in the Trump administration are favoring a tough stance, potentially including an embargo, while officials at the U.S. State and Energy departments are urging less dramatic options. In Venezuela, though, even some of Maduro’s foes are being cautious, warning that an embargo would come with serious risks.

    Here are their concerns about an embargo:

    It’s too blunt an instrument
    Last edited by waltky; 07-23-2017 at 10:47 AM.

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    The place is falling apart.
    Alea iacta est

    Check out the blog.


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    Moral of the story: Socialism fails again.
    "An army, great in space, may offer opposition in a brief span of time.
    One man, brief in space, must spread his opposition
    across a period of many years if he is
    to have a chance of succeeding"

    ~RZ67~

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    Red face

    Venezuelans Prepare for the Worst Days Before Maduro Tightens His Grip on Power...


    Venezuelans Stockpile Food and Water Ahead of Maduro Power Grab
    President says Sunday vote will go on as opponents set strike; Proposal runs risk of drawing sanctions, international scorn
    Venezuelans are stockpiling scarce food and water as tensions mount ahead of a widely criticized Sunday vote that President Nicolas Maduro has called to elect an assembly of supporters to rewrite the constitution and strengthen his grip on power. Maduro -- who’s presided over an increasingly autocratic regime that has imperiled the country’s six-decade democracy and left the economy and society in shambles -- is showing few signs of backing down despite growing pressure. He’s broadcast a deluge of propaganda supporting the assembly even as outraged opposition leaders called a general strike Wednesday to forestall it. And opposition is international: The Trump administration was set to sanction more than a dozen senior Venezuela officials Wednesday. The head of the Organization of American States has called for elections and Spain’s former prime minister is trying to broker a deal.



    An opposition sign reads "The Constituent (Assembly) Is Not Happening” on a street in Caracas


    The Venezuelan president has been vague about goals for the so-called constituyente, although he’s said the body will convene Aug. 3 and sit atop all other branches of government. It alone will determine how long it should stay in power. While some analysts speculated that Maduro called the convention as a negotiating tactic to quell opposition protests and violence that has claimed more than 100 lives, others say Maduro will use the body to delay indefinitely elections he can’t win.


    Chavismo Revisited


    “People tend to consistently underestimate Maduro," said Raul Gallegos, an analyst at consultancy Control Risks. “What we’re seeing is now is a government showing its true colors.” “This is a government that has absolutely no incentive or intention to let power go,” he said. In calling for a constituent assembly, Maduro is taking a page from his mentor and predecessor, the late socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez. But unlike Chavez’s assembly in 1999, which rewrote the constitution to the delight of millions of his supporters, Maduro’s initiative seemingly has little popular support.


    Shutting Down Caracas


    The opposition coalition says its 48-hour strike is a last-ditch effort to persuade Maduro to cancel the vote. On Wednesday, while some main roads were barricaded on the east side of Caracas, motorcycles and bikes cruised through side streets, hopping curbs and ducking under ropes and chains. Some small shops and supermarkets remained open, but the sound of birds chirping replaced the routine din of traffic. “This is just the start,” Janeth Santana, a 36-year-old educator manning a roadblock Wednesday morning. “If they impose the constituent assembly, the real fight begins.”



    A person shops for groceries at a supermarket in Caracas
    The opposition is urging supporters to take to the streets of Caracas on Friday and have promised further actions for the weekend. “The constituent assembly would be the coronation of the coup,” said Juan Guaido, an opposition lawmaker. “It would mark the formal start of a dictatorship.” At the barricade, Santana said that violent clashes could break out Sunday. “Sometimes you have no other choice,” she said. “Many have already lost everything. It’s a fight for our future.”


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