In a sign that the Trump Administration remains convinced that an influx of aid into Venezuela is the key to imposing regime change, special envoy Elliott Abrams and a government delegation will be heading to Colombia, along the border with Venezuela, to oversee the buildup of aid there.
The delegation is expected to depart Saturday from Miami. The US has been building up large amounts of aid at the Colombian border for awhile, but has been unable to force Venezuela to accept it.
Venezuelan officials deny that the shortages exist in the first place, and see the influx of aid as an attempt to interfere in the ongoing power struggle between President Maduro and US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido.
There seems to be little question that the aid is intended in great part to bolster Guaido, and US officials continue to insist that Maduro must step down unconditionally. President Maduro has threatened to close the border with Colombia to prevent the shipments reaching Guaido supporters.
Adding to signs the US is trying to escalate the Venezuela situation, John Bolton has reportedly canceled a planned South Korea visit over the weekend because the administration wants him to focus on Venezuela. Bolton is still expected to travel to Vietnam next week for the summit.
44 thoughts on “US Envoy Elliott Abrams Heads to Colombia to Oversee Aid Delegation”
The “humanitarian aid” is a blatant excuse for an invasion from Columbia and Brazil to overthrow Maduro and install Guiado. Elliott Abrams and Bolton will be coordinating the move. We saw this modus operandi in Chile in 1973, and Iran in 1954 and many countries in Latin America in the 20th century. US led regime change without direct involvement of US troops. In Iraq 2003 the excuse was WMD’s, Saddam’s non-existent support for al-Qaeda and poison gassing his own people, in Libya the invasion was allegedly to protect civilian demonstrators, in Syria the humanitarian crisis justifying US and allied intervention was chemical weapons. In Venezuela US sanctions created the humanitarian crisis the US and its allies are using as an excuse for a regime changing military intervention. Bolton has been openly calling for a military coup.
Meanwhile the formerly great Justin Raimondo proclaimed on February 8th “U.S. Regime Change In Venezuela: Fake! Fake! Fake!” – ” I’m talking about the fake invasion of Venezuela, a project assigned by the President to the neocon faction in the administration.” In Justin’s Bizarro world there is a peace loving president named Trump heroically fighting against the warmongers entrenched in Washington. Justin proclaimed that the unfolding US led Venezuelan coup is a brilliant four dimensional chess move designed by Trump to fail to discredit the Neocons and advance Trump’s master plan to end US foreign wars. I am not making this up, you can read Justin’s column at:
To follow Justin’s logic, LBJ should have gotten the Nobel Prize for starting the Vietnam War because it was really a brilliant plan to engender the biggest peace movement in the USA since WWII. It is no wonder readers are no longer permitted to comment on Justin’s sycophantic columns glorifying Trump as the Prince of Peace.
“The ‘humanitarian aid’ is a blatant excuse for an invasion from Columbia and Brazil to overthrow Maduro and install Guiado.”
Interesting assertion. Any evidence for it?
So far, my perception of the “humanitarian aid” move is that it’s intended to bolster Guaido’s credibility with the Venezuelan people, not e.g. smuggle US arms or soldiers in. If the US wanted arms or soldiers in Venezuela, that could be made to happen in 72 hours without any ruses needed.
If the US government was concerned about the welfare of the Venezuelan people, the USA would not have created the shortages and inflation through sanctions. The “aid” project is designed as an excuse to create a military confrontation with Colombia and/or Brazil. If the Venezuelan military stays loyal to Maduro, I look for the Columbian and/or Brazilian military to cross the borders to “deliver” the aid. The incursion may be the precursor for an invasion.
We will see how this unfolds.
That’s another interesting assertion:
“If the US government was concerned about the welfare of the Venezuelan people, the USA would not have created the shortages and inflation through sanctions.”
According to Maduro — and to a lot of his defenders — there are no shortages, everything’s just hunky dory, it’s all just made up by the American media.
So which is it? Are there no shortages, or are the shortages caused by US sanctions?
There is shortage of money to buy goods, but interviews in supermarkets have shown there is not a shortage of food, and the people certainly are not starving. Whatever the situation there is no excuse for the USA and certainly nothing humanitarian about the action of men like Elliott Abrams, Donald Trump and John Bolton, even of they were invited in!!
“Shortage of money”..more like terrible inflation, which according to a recent Counterpunch article is a result of sanctions. The author found what you say, goods, but very high prices. The US aid is being considered a propaganda tool, and perhaps a violence instigator.
How would sanctions force Venezuela’s regime to print outlandish amounts of currency until each unit becomes, for all practical purposes, worthless?
As if socialist Maduro would understand currency vs. money…
Because sanctions are an attack on currency, not the commodity. See “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”.
It’s an interesting book, but Venezuela seems to be its counter-example. Instead of faux-“privatization,” Chavez/Maduro went with nationalization and socialization. And then when the bottom fell out of the Venezuelan oil boom, to hyperinflation.
Venezuela has been “off the reservation” since Chavez was elected. The book illustrates how economies are attacked when such an event occurs. So called “privatization” is what happens when the right puppet is installed. No doubt Venezuela, as many nations, made bad decisions concerning their economy, but, you see a struggling man in the water, you a) walk on, b) help him, c) push him underwater. Pretty obvious what choices were made.
I’m not disputing that Venezuela was under economic attack by the US.
The fact remains that it was Maduro, not the US, who made the decision to hyper-inflate Venezuela’s currency.
Was that decision made in response to the economic attack? Perhaps. But when Hitler stuck a pistol in his mouth because he expected that otherwise the Russians would have captured him and killed him in some different way, it was still him, not the Russians, sticking the pistol in his mouth.
Right, and I am not disputing that Maduro hasn’t made decisions to screw his own economy. We live in a dependant/trade world. If I run a nice tight company store region, and a community within decides to create their own currency to trade outside of mine, it wont be difficult to fail their currency, as long as there is even one product they need that has to go thru my region, coming, or going. In Venezuelas case, the oil commodity is such a weak link. That nations use currency manipulation as a temporary substitute for war is old as sail. I think they called them “privateers”.
The sanctions are illegal and have had deadly consequences:
Former UN Expert: US Sanctions in Venezuela Largely Responsible for Crisis, Possible “Crime Against Humanity”
Thanks for this info. An interview with DeZayas (an official independent researcher, not a has-been!) can be seen on RT Going Underground a few days ago, and he explains why his report is given little coverage ie it does not follow the US line of frantic fudging of facts!
“According to Maduro there are no shortages”? What news are you reading, Maduro asserts daily that Sanctions have caused harm to Venezuela.
Interesting…. you know the time line of the’plan’ already… and that the plan would work…
When a country that has been convicted in an international court …
Nicaragua v. United States
… for doing something similar …
Abrams Denies Wrongdoing In Shipping Arms to Contras
… puts the same convicted criminal in charge and arms start showing up …
US Air Freight Company that Smuggled Weapons Into Venezuela Linked to CIA “Black Site” Renditions
… interesting is not the appropriate word to use.
You might think that Maduro is a dictator, but the Venezuelan people are not stupid.
Even the Fourth Reich needs to make itself seem respectable.
All very well and good. I asked if a poster had any evidence at hand for a specific claim, though.
If you read the neocon rumsfeld-cebrowski doctrine. A planned Latin American war to smash sovereignty and bring latin America into the NWO pan pacific block. It was written back in “which path to persia “days . It was a military program that stated it may take decades and to start after the middle east wars. Maybe look into that to see the planned future
“Justin proclaimed that the unfolding US led Venezuelan coup is a brilliant four dimensional chess move designed by Trump to fail [, in order] to discredit the Neocons and advance Trump’s master plan to end US foreign wars. I am not making this up,…”
Okay, fine. You have your point of view, and your “attitude”. The same “attitude” of all those on your side of the issue. Ho hum.
But do you have crystal ball? I think not. So your assessments and predictions come from where? They come straight out of your perspective/bias, from the “attitude” of the “side” — pro-Trump or anti-Trump — that you are on. In this time of extreme polarization that’s common to the point of being boring. “Trump bad! Trump bad! Justin Raimondo crazy!” We get it.
The situation is highly dynamic, … fluid. The various players are in conflict. One side makes their move, the other side responds with a counter-move. Will the outcome be a bloody civil-slash-regime-change war in Venezuela, or the frustration of the regime-change effort?
Your certitude is understandable — it comes straight out of your “attitude” — but unpersuasive, precisely because “attitude” is not reality, and because the process is so dynamic, each move and counter-move unpredictable, so that the final outcome, well, … who really knows?
You may be right. Or you may be wrong. We’ll just have to wait and see.
I am hoping to be wrong. But the aid crisis is being orchestrated by the Trump administration which has publicly proclaimed the US goal of regime change in Venezuela. This looks like an excuse to provoke a military confrontation between Venezuela and its neighbors to further destabilize the Maduro government.
I hope the socialists prevail in Venezuela. But if they do it will be in spite of Trump, Abrams and Bolton, not because Trump set up a regime change intrigue in order for it to fail. But I agree with you, we will have to wait and see.
Trump may have miscalculated; a bloody Venezuelan war could impact him at the polls in 2020, costing him the Latino vote.
Raimondo may not be inaccurate; neocon schemes fail all the time. However, whereas Obama cut failures down from the rope they hung themselves with and let them carry on, Trump turns failures into a pinata before firing them.
The neocons may realize their pattern of fail and hope to redirect blame against Trump. All Trump has to do is let Maduro do all the shooting, if he can restrain Bolton, Pompeo, and Abrams, while presenting himself as the champion of Venezuelan freedom to anti-Chavismo Latinos in the U.S..
As a bonus Trump gets to annoy the heck out of socialists like Sanders and AOC, who are resoundingly silent about the fate of their Venezuelan comrade.
If Clinton had won and the events had unfolded the same way, Skywalker’s “attitude” would have been the same while Justin’s would be completely different.
Check out the new sanctions put in place since the Dems won the House-people like Debbie Wasserman Schulz and other kind helpers continue the Obama cruelty of previous years.
Heck, this is a carbon copy of Gadaffi in Libya, Maidan in Ukraine or Assad in Syria.
Assad proved, though, that staying can be an effective option.
The only thing missing is a tag colour and Soros. Between Bolton and Maduro one could call it the dueling moustashe revolution.
– Four Venezuelan military personnel deserted and crossed the border into Colombia for asylum. A quick Google search seems to indicate that the US military averages around that many desertions per day.
– Regime troops allegedly fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a crowd. Not a crowd trying to bring aid in, a crowd trying to leave the country. If so, that’s a violation of, among other things, the Article 13 of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country”).
Who knows why the troops left. Maybe the crowd was acting in a threatening or illegal manner. Who knows, with zero context.
Naw, they just don’t want to fight.
Maybe Maduro can ask Colombia to pay for a “beautiful” wall.
1. This is NOT aid, it has already been rejected by the Venezuelan government on the advice of the Red Cross.
2. Colombia remains a US “ally” and may have little choice in this forced shipment.
3. The sanctions of the USA since 2012 (Obama and the Dems are as bad as Trump) plus the reduction in oil prices have suffocated Venezuela- lift these, do not have fake “aid” not wanted or needed.
4. This interference, with the shameful support of some EU members plus the Canadian-controlled Lima group, is completely illegal, and the pretence that the election last year was not legitimate is a lie.
First you say: “The sanctions of the USA since 2012 (Obama and the Dems are as bad as Trump) plus the reduction in oil prices have suffocated Venezuela”
Then in another comment five minutes later, you say: “There is shortage of money to buy goods, but interviews in supermarkets have shown there is not a shortage of food, and the people certainly are not starving.”
So which one is it?
It is possible to have plentiful goods, without the monetary system to distribute those goods.
The greatest arb trade ever, according to Zero Hedge. If its not nailed down, the Venezuelans are selling it across the border for hard currency. 1000% profit.
https://www. zerohedge. com/news/2019-02-12/will-trumpguaido-kill-worlds-greatest-arb-trade
All that ‘aid’ the U.S. is offering would probably be smuggled and sold right back into Columbia for hard currency, undermining Maduro’s position as a supplier.
Regarding moves and counter-moves. Maduro rejects the “humanitarian” assistance as unnecessary, and part of the regime-change effort. But if the US with its sanctions has created the “humanitarian problem” — shortages et al — then shouldn’t the US be held accountable, and required to pay for the damages? So that aid, now being massed on the border with Colombia– in trucks presumably — mightn’t that aid be seen as part payment for the damages inflicted. I mean, attacking a country with bombs and bullets, … that’s a time tested strategy for conquest/”regime change”, whereas “attacking” with foodstuffs and medicine,…? How precisely does that work?
Jason writes: “…the Trump Administration remains convinced that an influx of aid into Venezuela is the key to imposing regime change,…”
Call me crazy, but trucks crossing the border in an orderly fashion, unless accompanied by troops, seems an almost comically weak “coup” strategy. What’s to stop Maduro from just letting the trucks cross; taking possession; putting military truck drivers behind the wheel; smiling, saying “Thank you.”; escorting the (presumably) Colombian truck drivers back across the border; and driving off with the aid?
With Venezuelan military border personnel massed at the border, dug in, prepared, and in charge of port-of-entry activities, they will “own” the situation. It’s laughable to imagine that Guaido’s people will be allowed anywhere near this action. The area will be cordoned off, and any mass opposition protest stopped miles away. Meanwhile, a vast crowd of Maduro supporters would be assembled at the crossing, and for miles down the road. They will laugh scornfully at feckless Yankee humiliation, dance and cheer and celebrate, while simultaneously taking possession of the “reparations”. Trucked off to be distributed to Maduro supporters. Where’s the problem?
Or they can just shut the border down? Again, where’s the problem?
Absent the use of force — Trump won’t send troops, and the US Congress will hide from any responsibility — how is this business anything except a circus?
It is a cynical tactic to strangle an economy then offer “AID” but I suppose that after 15 years of brutal sanctions they needed a new trick.
Hardly a new trick. “The Mouse That Roared” (1959) was based on the premise of promoting U.S. aid as something benign. The movie was funny, though.
http://www. tcm. com/this-month/article/240894%7C143187/The-Mouse-That-Roared.html
Lift sanctions and if anyone wants to give aid give it to Russia or approved allies and they will distribute it.
RT also reports the U.S. may have staged the burning of at least one of its aid trucks.
https://www. rt. com/news/452285-jorge-arreaza-comments-clashes/
Let’s see, Trump supporters clutching their pearls over HRC’s inhumanity to man after Saddam Hussein’s brutal murder, check.
The same hypocrites being ok with Abrams, the enabler behind those lovely American-trained Central American right wing death squads infamous for the murder and rape of thousands of innocents in the 80s, suddenly appearing on the scene of another leftist-run Central/South American country, check.
If even people like Bolton, Abrams, Rubio and Trump can do things motivated by humanitarian concerns then there is still hope for humanity!
They’re motivated by money, power, and prestige alone.
Maybe everyone forgets that maduro is already a captured NWO puppet. He signs of with “see you in 2030” . Agenda 2030 for those that don’t know. Latin America is planned to be absorbed by the usa , a given. Just like China will absorb asia. Short of invasion this progression of carving up the pieces will continue. So this whole thing is distraction from the main game here
You can’t make this crap up. I am saddened that people in my country are blind to these tactics.
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