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Gibson writes: "United States foreign policy can be summed up as hard power vs. soft power...An example of the US's soft power is the current situation in Venezuela."

Nicolás Maduro, shown as he cast his vote, has been named the winner of the presidential election in Venezuela. (photo: Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images)
Nicolás Maduro, shown as he cast his vote, has been named the winner of the presidential election in Venezuela. (photo: Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images)


How Washington Is Playing Venezuela Like a Fiddle

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

21 February 14

 

Una version en Espanol de este articulo aparece debajo de la verison original.
(A Spanish language version of this article appears below the original version.)

nited States foreign policy can be summed up as hard power vs. soft power. An example of hard power is the US backing the unsuccessful 2002 military coup d’état against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, when businessman Pedro Carmona Estanga briefly took power. An example of the US’s soft power is the current situation in Venezuela.

A leaked document from November of 2013 shows that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) collaborated with the Colombian government and Venezuelan opposition leaders to destabilize Venezuela and stoke massive protests. The document, obtained by journalist and attorney Eva Golinger, was the product of a June 2013 meeting between US-based FTI Consulting, the Colombian Fundación Centro de Pensamiento Primero Colombia (Centre for Thought Foundation of Colombia First), and Fundación Internacionalismo Democratico (Democratic Internationalism Foundation). The third tactic outlined in the 15-point strategy document openly called for sabotage:

"Maintain and increase the sabotage that affect the population's services, particularly the electricity system, that puts blame on the government for assumed inefficiencies and negligence.”

Coincidentally, during one of Nicolas Maduro's televised speeches outlining his economic plan in early December, the power went out for 60% of Venezuelans for several hours. Maduro blamed the act on sabotage.

The current situation in Venezuela is eerily reminiscent of 1950s Iran. Democratically-elected Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh threatened to nationalize the country’s vast oil supply. President Eisenhower sent Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of Theodore Roosevelt and the CIA’s near-east and Africa division leader, to Iran to oust him.

After sustained protests and civil unrest engineered by Kermit Roosevelt, Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi took power. What followed was 25 years of cruel brutality and fear for the Iranian people, and sustained energy trading with the United States. It was the CIA’s first successful overthrow of a foreign government, and it wouldn’t be the last.

Since Hugo Chavez died in Spring of 2013 and Nicolas Maduro was elected last Fall, Venezuela’s economy has been spiraling downward, as has Maduro’s political legitimacy. Once a top-ten economy, Venezuela’s wealth is based entirely on the oil industry, and the continued success of a finite resource. One large source of the economic malaise has been the mismanagement of oil money – Venezuela energy czar Rafael Ramirez recently admitted that 30 percent of oil revenues were diverted from their original purpose. And while a few corrupt individuals at the top are skimming the nation’s oil money meant for social programs, Venezuelan currency is rapidly declining in value as inflation rates skyrocket.

Mass protests organized largely by students have started erupting all over Venezuela. A brutal government crackdown has resulted in the deaths of dozens of protesters and the injury of hundreds more. While tragic, the deaths harken back to the leaked strategic document:

“Whenever possible, the violence should cause deaths and injuries. Encourage hunger strikes of numerous days, massive mobilisations, problems in the universities and other sectors of society now identified with government institutions.”

Several photos of supposedly Venezuelan protests and police response that went viral on Twitter have recently been found to be taken from other protests, in other countries, years ago.

The charismatic opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez, has succeeded in uniting the country’s indignant citizens behind him. Lopez is the former mayor of Caracas’ Chacao municipality in 2008, but was banned from running for future elections until 2014 amid allegations of misusing public funds. The Inter-American Court on Human Rights ruled in favor of Lopez and said he could run, but the Venezuelan government vowed that even if he won election, he wouldn’t be allowed to serve. Now in the wake of mass protests, Lopez has even taken to Twitter, taunting the government to arrest him. However, there is more to Lopez than meets the eye.

Emails released by Wikileaks as part of the Global Intelligence Files reveal that Lopez has ties to and has met with corrupt, neoliberal regime leaders like Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe, Brazil’s Fernando Cardoso, and the sketchy Paraguayan Congress. In 2011, Lopez met with Uribe to court his support in his efforts to unseat Chavez. While Uribe was president, he maintained a friendly relationship with George W. Bush, and was later embroiled in scandal when it was found that he used his family farm to train death squads. He also used the DAS – Colombia’s domestic intelligence entity – to spy on his own citizens, and fed that information to death squad leaders.

In 2012, Leopoldo Lopez met with former Brazilian president Fernando Cardoso while touring South America to forge political alliances. Cardoso is best known for privatizing over 100 state entities and implementing mass austerity measures like budget cuts and public sector layoffs to combat growing inflation. The economic effects of Cardoso’s privatization measures are still debated within Brazil, as inflation rates rose by 25 percent within a month right after Cardoso’s austerity programs took effect.

Lopez also met with Paraguay's Congress and vice president, in an attempt to enlist their support for his cause. Paraguay’s Congress effectively staged a coup against democratically-elected Fernando Lugo, calling for impeachment proceedings against the president and giving him just 24 hours to come up with a defense. Lugo says his ouster was a "paramilitary coup" done in retaliation for his efforts to help Paraguay's poor.

The Wikileaks emails also reveal a 2010 document prepared by CANVAS (Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies) that names Leopoldo Lopez as an asset in the organization’s efforts to oust Hugo Chavez. As my colleague Steve Horn and I wrote in November of 2013, CANVAS is an organization specializing in manipulating social unrest in countries where the US government has an interest, shaping the political landscape to favor regime change and the installation of US-friendly, capitalist autocrats.

With the help of $65 million from the US government, CANVAS was behind the Orange Revolution of Ukraine in 2004, which led to the ouster of president Leonid Kuchma. Newly-installed president Viktor Yuschenko, a former central banker, quickly implemented IMF-style austerity measures that angered Ukrainians and cost him the very next election after he unsuccessfully tried to dissolve parliament.

CANVAS’s leader, Srdja Popovic, also has close ties to Michael McFaul, the US ambassador to Russia, attended National Security Council meetings in Washington, and worked as an informant for the private intelligence firm Stratfor, based in Austin, Texas, feeding information from his trusted activist contacts on the ground directly to Stratfor.

When looking at all of Lopez’s connections to US-friendly, capitalist leaders in South America, his economic platform catered toward the private corporations and investors who back him, his possible connections to CANVAS operators, and the fact that the US government allocated $5 million toward funding opposition activities in Venezuela in the 2014 budget, it isn’t hard to connect the dots. While the anger of Venezuelans is genuine, and the Maduro government is openly corrupt, any regime change in oil-rich Venezuela appears to be orchestrated by the oil-hungry United States.

If Lopez succeeds in ousting Maduro, it will be a dream come true for Washington and the wealthy western investor class. And it will be the beginning of the corporate conquest of Venezuela.


Como Washington juega con Venezuela como si fuera un Violin

a política exterior de los Estados Unidos puede ser resumida como poder duro vs. poder suave. Un ejemplo del poder duro es los EEUU apoyando el fracasado golpe de estado del 2002 en contra del presidente Hugo Chávez, cuando el empresario Pedro Carmona Estanga tomo el poder brevemente. Un ejemplo del poder suave de los EEUU es la situacion actual en Venezuela.

Un documento filtrado de Noviembre del 2013 demuestra que la Agencia de Desarrollo Internacional de los Estados Unidos (USAID) colaboró con el gobierno Colombiano y líderes de oposición para desestabilizar Venezuela y causar protestas masivas. El documento, obtenido por la periodista y abogada Eva Golinger, fue el producto de una junta que se llevó en el 2013 entre FTI Consulting, basada en los EEUU, la Fundación Centro de Pensamiento Primero Colombia, y la Fundación Internacionalismo Democrático. La tercera táctica descrita en la estrategia de 15 puntos abiertamente llama para el sabotaje:

“Mantener e incrementar los sabotajes que afecten los servicios a la población, particularmente al sistema eléctrico, que permitan culpar al gobierno de supuestas ineficiencias y negligencias.”

Coincidentemente, durante uno de los discursos televisados de Nicolás Maduro en el que detallaba su plan económico en el principio de Diciembre, la electricidad se apago para más del 60% de Venezuela por varias horas. Maduro nombró el acto como sabotaje.

La situacion actual en Venezuela es inquietamente recordativa a Irán en los 1950s. El democráticamente elegido líder, Mohammed Mossadegh amenazó con nacionalizar las inmensas provisiones petroleras del país. El Presidente Eisenhower mando a Kermit Roosevelt, nieto de Theodore Roosevelt y lider de la división de África y el Cercano Oriente del CIA, a Irán para expulsarlo.

Despues de promulgadas protestas y disturbios civiles ingeniados por Kermit Roosevelt, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi tomo el poder. Lo que siguió fueron 25 años de cruel brutalidad y temor para la gente Iraní, y promulgado comercio de energía con los Estado Unidos. Para el CIA, era el primer derrumbamiento exitoso de un gobierno extranjero, y no seria el ultimo.

Desde que Hugo Chávez murio en la primavera del 2013 y Nicolás Maduro fue elegido en el otoño, la economía Venezolana a estado en un espiral hacia abajo, así como la legitimidad política de Maduro. Una vez entre las diez mayores economías, las riquezas de Venezuela estan basadas totalmente en la industria petrolera y el continuo éxito de un recurso finito. Una gran fuente del malestar económico de Venezuela a sido la mala administración del dinero petrolero - el czar de energía en Venezuela, Rafael Ramirez, admitió recientemente que el 30% de los ingresos petroleros fueron desviados de su propósito original. Y mientras unos cuantos individuos corruptos en la cima estan robando el dinero petrolero de la nación destinado para programas sociales, la moneda Venezolana cae rápidamente en valor, mientras la inflación se dispara hacia arriba.

Masivas protestas organizadas en gran parte por estudiantes han empezado a eructar sobre todo Venezuela. La brutal respuesta del gobierno ha resultado en la muerte de docenas de protestantes, así como cientos de heridos. Aunque trágicas, las muertes se relacionan con el documento filtrado de estrategia:

“Cuando sea posible, la violencia debe provocar muertos o heridos. Incentivar huelgas de hambre de varios días,movilizaciones masivas, problemas en universidades y otros sectores de la sociedad ya identificados como en instituciones gubernamentales.”

Varias fotos de supuestas protestas Venezolanas y respuesta policial que fueron virales en Twitter, recientemente fueron descubiertas como tomadas de otras protestas, años atrás, en otros paises.

El carismático líder de la oposición, Leopoldo Lopez, a logrado unir a los indignados ciudadanos detras de el. Lopez fue el alcalde de la municipalidad Chacao de Caracas en el 2008, pero se le prohibió participar en elecciones futuras hasta el 2014 por alegaciones de mal uso de fondos públicos. La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos declaró en favor de Lopez, y dijo que podía correr, pero el gobierno Venezolano prometió que aunque ganara la elección, no se le permitirá servir. Ahora a raíz de las protestas, Lopez a entrado a Twitter, retando al gobierno a que lo arresten. Sin embargo, hay más a Lopez de lo que se parece.

Emails publicados por Wikileaks como parte de Global Intelligence Files, demostraron que Lopez tiene relaciones y se a juntado con corruptos, y neoliberales líderes regimentales como Alvaro Uribe de Colombia, Fernando Cardoso de Brasil, y el corrupto congreso Paraguayo. En el 2011, Lopez se reunió con Uribe para cortejar su apoyo en su esfuerzo para desbancar a Chávez. Mientras Uribe fue presidente,mantuvo una relación amistosa con George W. Bush, y después fue envuelto en escándalos por usar su hacienda familiar para entrenar escuadrones de la muerte. El también uso el Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad - la entidad de inteligencia doméstica de Colombia - para espiar a sus propios ciudadanos y pasarle la información a los líderes de los escuadrones de la muerte.

En el 2012, Leopoldo Lopez se reunió con el antiguo presidente Brasileño Fernando Cardozo mientras recorría Sudamérica para formar alianzas políticas. Cardozo es mejor conocido por privatizar más de 100 entidades estatales e implementar masivas medidas de austeridad como recortes presupuestarios y despidos en el sector público para combatir la creciente inflacion. Los efectos económicos de los métodos de privatización de Cardozo aún son discutidos dentro de Brasil, ya que las tasas de inflación se elevaron por 25% dentro de un mes después de que los programas de austeridad de Cardozo tomaron efecto.

Lopez también se reunió con el congreso y vicepresidente de Paraguay, con el intento de obtener el apoyo de ellos para su causa. El Congreso de Paraguay efectivamente organizóo un golpe de estado parlamentario contra el elegido democraticamente Fernando Lugo, llamando para el proceso de destitución contra el presidente y dandole solo 24 horas para formar su defensa. Lugo dice que su despido fue venganza por sus esfuerzos de quere ayudar a la genter pobre de Paraguay.

Los correos electronicos de Wikileaks también revelan un documento del 2012 preparado por CANVAS (Center for Applied Non Violent Action and Strategies) que nombras a Leopoldo Lopez como un recurso en los esfuerzos de la organización para expulsar a Hugo Chávez. Como mi colega Steve Horn y yo escribimos Noviembre del 2013, CANVAS es una organización que se especializa en manipular disturbios sociales en países donde los Estados Unidos tiene un interés, configurando el paisaje político a favor de un cambio de regimen y la instalación de autócratas capitalistas que favorecen a los Estados Unidos.

Con la ayuda de $65 millones del gobierno estadounidense, CANVAS estuvo detrás de la Revolución Naranja de Ukraine del 2004, que llevó a el expulso del presidente Leonid Kuchma. El recién instalado presidente Viktor Yushchenko, un antiguo banquero central, rápidamente implementó metodos de austeridad al estilo del FMI que enfureció a los Ucranianos y le costó las siguientes elecciones cuando fracasó en su intento de disolver al parlamento.

El líder de CANVAS, tambien tiene relaciones cercanas a Michael McFaul, el embajador de los EEUU en Rusia, atendió a juntas del Consejo de Seguridad Nacional en Washington, trabajaron como informantes para la empresa de información Stratford, pasando información de sus confiados contactos activistas directamente a Stratford.

Cuando viendo las conecciones de Lopez con líderes Sudamericanos favorecientes a los Estados Unidos, su plataforma económica hecha para las corporaciones privadas e inversionistas que lo respaldan, sus conecciones con los operadores de CANVAS, y el hecho de que el gobierno estadounidense aloco $5 millones para financiar actividades de la oposición en Venezuela en el presupuesto del 2014, no es difícil conectar los puntos. Aunque el coraje de los Venezolanos sea auténtico, y el gobierno de Maduro sea abiertamente corrupto, cualquier cambio de régimen en el Venezuela rico de petróleo, parece ser orchestrado por el siempre deseoso de petróleo Estados Unidos.

Si Lopez tiene éxito en expulsar a Maduro, será un sueño hecho realidad para Washington y la clase inversionista occidental. Y será el inicio de la conquista corporativa de Venezuela.



Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+41 # REDPILLED 2014-02-21 20:29
Regime change by whatever means "necessary" is still the U.S. playbook, as in Venezuela, Ukraine, and Syria. U.S. corporate media is doing its usual propaganda job for the U.S. Empire by not reporting on U.S. involvement in the conflicts in these countries, let alone the JSOC missions in more than 100 countries.
 
 
+13 # wantrealdemocracy 2014-02-22 11:13
I am in favor of "regime change by what ever means necessary" in the United States. We are a terrorist nation and the horror of the growing wealth and power of the powerful eleite can be seen in every city is our nation. Who are all those homeless people? Are they not our citizens and deserving of a share of the wealth of our nation? We must change our government for the sake of saving the ability of our planet to support life. Those greedy rich don't seem to understand that they will die too. Guess if they die rich they will be happy but I hope there is some truth in the old belief of hell for the evil. Let them burn and have time to face the fact of their level of selfishness and greed.
 
 
+52 # reiverpacific 2014-02-21 20:46
I've been kind of waiting for something like this since Chavez's passing.
The US/CIA just CAN'T STAND the idea of having lost most that vast continent to the south -but it's got it's work cut out this time with such anger and inequality at home and the likes of Brazil rising to the sixth biggest economy on the planet -and having pissed-off Wilma Rousseff with it's NSA poking into her cell phone. They're not dealing with a bunch of under-the-thumb banana republics now.
I hope that they all circle the wagons down there -especially as Ecuador is one of my four choices for final settlement when I depart these shores (or get deported).
I remember cracking up on seeing UN meeting where Chavez crossed himself and said "The Devil (Dimwits Bush) was here today -I can still smell the sulphur" -got a good laugh and applause too.
He presciently followed this with, "The American empire is doing all it can to consolidate its hegemonistic system of domination, and we cannot allow him to do that. We cannot allow world dictatorship to be consolidated".
Watch it Mr Obama -you don't want to get dragged into this too (although maybe you already are)!
 
 
+14 # Even 2014-02-22 05:58
Of course he is and I don't think there was any dragging involved.
 
 
+13 # Granny Weatherwax 2014-02-22 10:28
Suggestion for your retirement: don't pick a country with natural resources.

(I live in central America in such country: although Costa Rica does have some petroleum and is more or less controlled by the US, there is no real reason for interference by the big northern neighbor so life remains pretty good.)

As for the parallel drawn in the article between current events in Venezuela and the 1953 coup against Mossadegh, how about the three years of turmoil 1970-1973 in Chili ending on September 11th 1973 by the death of democratically elected Salvador Allende and his replacement by Pinochet?
The articles written then could apply now by just replacing 1973 by 2014, Venezuela by Chile and copper by petroleum.
 
 
+1 # reiverpacific 2014-02-22 13:56
Quoting Granny Weatherwax:
Suggestion for your retirement: don't pick a country with natural resources.

(I live in central America in such country: although Costa Rica does have some petroleum and is more or less controlled by the US, there is no real reason for interference by the big northern neighbor so life remains pretty good.)
As for the parallel drawn in the article between current events in Venezuela and the 1953 coup against Mossadegh, how about the three years of turmoil 1970-1973 in Chili ending on September 11th 1973 by the death of democratically elected Salvador Allende and his replacement by Pinochet?
The articles written then could apply now by just replacing 1973 by 2014, Venezuela by Chile and copper by petroleum.


I get to that in my later response to "Even". There's an almost annual succession of them.
I've actually worked on a project in Costa Rica too (Loved it) an it was one of the countries I considered but Ecuador won out. I especially love the Andean region and it's Arts, Music, food and general culture and people, including the descendants of the Incas (Cuenca is my fav' city) and I don't see the US pulling it's crap there as it once did, being a former top CIA station, even after Correa's final term.
Actually, it's more likely to be Europe (Scotland, Spain or France) but Ecuador was my Southern Hemisphere choice; even considered Australia, which i also loved.
Glad you like C.R.
 
 
0 # economagic 2014-02-22 21:19
Australia?!
 
 
0 # Johnny 2014-02-22 23:02
The difference has been that so far the Venezuelan military has been loyal to Venezuela. Pinochet and his goons were loyal only to U.S. dollars, and were traitors to Chile.
 
 
0 # RLF 2014-02-27 07:12
THis has been the South American playbook at least since I became sentient in the 70's. It is really disappointing that Obummer lets it continue...but it is what I have come to expect of this dumb ass president...jus t more right wing crap. the CIA must have film of him sleeping with boys or something.
 
 
+44 # Shorey13 2014-02-21 21:47
The real question, as always, is: What does Obama know about this ? Are we supposed to believe it is happening without his knowledge and approval? One more question: will we ever have a President who represents us instead of the economic elite? Obama's passionate support of the TPP leaves no doubt whose side he's on, and it ain't ours.
 
 
+7 # geraldom 2014-02-22 18:44
Quoting Shorey13:
The real question, as always, is: What does Obama know about this ? Are we supposed to believe it is happening without his knowledge and approval? One more question: will we ever have a President who represents us instead of the economic elite? Obama's passionate support of the TPP leaves no doubt whose side he's on, and it ain't ours.


Please, Shorey13, stop giving Obama the benefit of the doubt. Have you forgotten so soon the coup d'etat that took place in Honduras under the auspices of the Obama administration. The Obama administration and even his Secretary of State at the time, good old Hillary Clinton, helped instigate and support the overthrow of the Manuel Zelaya government. By the way, there was also a coup d'etat that happened to take place in Paraguay under the auspices of the Obama administration.

Imagine making a person like Hillary Clinton president in 2016 when she is an accomplice in these illegal acts of overthrowing democratically- elected governments?

Obama is just as evil as G.W. Bush. The only difference is that Obama is very good and very skilled at making wonderful and inspiring speeches. The only problem is that Obama, for the most part, doesn't exactly practice what he preaches.
 
 
+23 # darthvadersmom 2014-02-21 23:39
Shock Doctine instead of Monroe Doctrine. Getting old 1%. Getting old.
 
 
+1 # darthvadersmom 2014-02-21 23:40
DoctRine!
 
 
+20 # Radscal 2014-02-21 23:51
Thanks to RSN for posting this article.
 
 
+33 # geraldom 2014-02-22 00:16
Let me list those nations where there is unrest and instability and they're in the news:

o Venezuela
o Honduras
o Syria
o Ukraine
o Iraq
o Afghanistan

And, what country do they all have in common? The United States of America.

And what event has occurred or looks like it could very well occur in all of these nations? Regime change.

And, by whom? The United States. Iraq and Afghanistan had regime change by an illegal invasion and occupation of their country by the United States.

There was a coup d'etat in Honduras in 2009 instigated and fully backed and supported by the United States.

There are three ongoing coup d'etats taking place in Syria, Ukraine, and in Venezuela all instigated and directly supported and backed by the United States.

In almost all cases here involving Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria, a tremendous number of people have died and more have been rendered homeless and countryless because of the United States, and more innocent people continue to die everyday in these three countries as a result of U.S. intervention.

People have died in Honduras as a result of the coup instigated by the United States in 2009, and people are still dying there as a result of government assassinations.

People are beginning to die in Venezuela as a result of this current coup that is now taking place there and was instigated by the United States, and, before this is over with, there will be many more deaths.
 
 
+5 # FDRva 2014-02-22 02:45
Let the record show that President Obama is impotent in this situation.

But his Wall Street allies could be criminally liable.
 
 
+13 # Even 2014-02-22 06:00
"impotent?" The President of the United States is the chief of the CIA.
 
 
+11 # ericlipps 2014-02-22 08:27
Quoting Even:
"impotent?" The President of the United States is the chief of the CIA.

Quoting Even:
"impotent?" The President of the United States is the chief of the CIA.

No, he isn't. That's been a problem for years. The CIA is supposed to be answerable to the president, but its "chief" has is own authority and often his own agenda. In 1961, then-CIA Director Allen Dulles was among those who tried to sucker President Kennedy with the claim that if only the Cuban exiles of "Brigade 2509" could be gotten to the island, the populace would rise up against Castro. The plan was that once that didn't happen--as it didn't--Kennedy would be told he had no choice but to send in U.S. troops.

JFK pulled back instead, and has taken a lot of crap over the years for doing so. But the point is that Director Dulles was trying to puppet the president of the United States, evidently not seeing that president (perhaps because he was a Democrat) as his "chief."
 
 
+3 # Granny Weatherwax 2014-02-22 10:31
Read James W. Douglass' "JFK and the unspeakable - why he died and why it matters" to inform your comment.

It turns out that Mary Shelley wrote a prescient parable re: POTUS vs. CIA.
 
 
+4 # Cassandra2012 2014-02-22 13:46
One needs to remember that the elder Bush was also head of the CIA.....
 
 
+1 # geraldom 2014-02-24 20:09
ericlipps, I can assure you that if Cynthia McKinney had won the presidency back in 2008, if she would have become president, that she would have done whatever was necessary to reform the CIA and to stop the crap that going on today in the world as a result of U.S. illegal intervention everywhere.

She may not have lived very long if she pushed the envelope, but she would have tried, and, as far as I'm concerned, I believe that the president has the legal power to fire people in the CIA if they do not follow his orders.
 
 
+8 # reiverpacific 2014-02-22 10:24
Quoting Even:
"impotent?" The President of the United States is the chief of the CIA.


Wrong actually.
Their "Black Budget" is NOT accountable to the President and this unrest + the recent Honduras coup, is right up the alley of this further nefarious squandering of our taxes without even the need to tell us.
Look what happened to JFK, RFK, MLK, Allende, Mossadegh, Arbenz and so many others who tried to bring peace and stability to their respective countries.
Check out late former agent Phillip Agee's "Inside the Company -A CIA Diary" if it's available in the US, for which he was pursued relentlessly by his former bosses, finally finding succor in Cuba where he lived out his days.
 
 
+16 # tm7devils 2014-02-22 02:55
And these actions by our government, and the 1%, are only the tip of the iceberg.
"God Bless America"...if God does, then God is the devil incarnate and patriotism to the US government should be treated as a felony.
If the American people don't wake up this country is on the road to ruin.
 
 
+3 # Kootenay Coyote 2014-02-22 09:55
US Soft Power: soft like a slug or a gob of snot. But hard enough that people die.
 
 
0 # Kootenay Coyote 2014-02-22 09:55
US Soft Power: soft like a slug or a gob of snot. But hard enough that people die.
 
 
0 # Jingze 2014-02-22 17:36
Yes, crush Venezuela. The USA doesn't want another Chile. Let the CIA do its good work. After all, that place is just one of those banana republics down there. Know what I mean? They don't count.
 
 
-5 # Rain17 2014-02-22 20:23
It still never ceases to amaze me how so many on the far left remain apologists for Chavez and Maduro. I guess that, as long as it's a left-wing leader, the fact that Chavez and Maduro both have stifled civil liberties and cracked down on opposing media doesn't matter. That even Human Rights Watch criticized the Chavez regime says a lot.

But I guess that the fact that Venezuela has very high inflation and crime means nothing. I guess that, to some people on the left, Chavez and Maduro are above criticism because, in their views, the ends justify the means. If Chavez and Maduro instead presided over right-wing governments, why do I have a feeling that no one here would be making excuses for their authoritarian tendencies?
 
 
+3 # marxmarv 2014-02-22 21:39
Quoting Rain17:
It still never ceases to amaze me how so many on the far left remain apologists for Chavez and Maduro. I guess that, as long as it's a left-wing leader, the fact that Chavez and Maduro both have stifled civil liberties and cracked down on opposing media doesn't matter. That even Human Rights Watch criticized the Chavez regime says a lot.

But I guess that the fact that Venezuela has very high inflation and crime means nothing. I guess that, to some people on the left, Chavez and Maduro are above criticism because, in their views, the ends justify the means. If Chavez and Maduro instead presided over right-wing governments, why do I have a feeling that no one here would be making excuses for their authoritarian tendencies?


American Exceptionalism has absolutely no credibility outside the bourgeoisie. Why are you bringing such neoliberal apologetics here? On a topic where the very legitimacy of neoliberal values and of the "meritocracy" is contested, to even put forward this utterly failed American Exceptionalist religious nonsense is to commit the fallacy of begging the question.

The right to be some richie's poster child is not preferable to having a right to having most basic needs satisfied without private coercion. As a US resident for most of my life, I can promise Venezuelans that they won't want one bit of the namby-pamby aristocratic rule the US is offering them.

Why are you on the side of the aristocrats, #Rain17?
 
 
-5 # Rain17 2014-02-22 21:47
I'm not "on the side of aristocrats". I just don't see Chavez and Maduro as good leaders or examples to follow. They both have demonstrated authoritarian tendencies, stifled opposition media, and even shut off the Internet. If Chavez and Madura were right-wing I suspect that those of you defend them here on this board would be attacking them both.
 
 
+6 # Johnny 2014-02-22 23:09
Sad that Rain17 believes everything he sees on TV. No evidence is necessary for the true believer to hate whomever the media tell him to hate.
 
 
0 # Johnny 2014-02-22 23:09
x
 
 
+8 # Helen Marshall 2014-02-23 10:44
Why is it the job of the US to determine which governments are authoritarian and overthrow them? Name a country where the US has intervened to bring about "regime change" (beginning with Guatemala on behalf of the banana companies, and Iran on behalf of the petroleum companies) where the outcome has benefitted the citizens of that country.
 
 
+2 # David Starr 2014-02-24 11:02
@Rain17: Sides are taken. That is a political fact. But it's a matter of figuring out which side is more sincere than the other.

I'm willing to bet that Chavez and Maduro are more sincere with regards to Venezuala's interests than other leaders who were U.S.-backed. The latter reminds me of the food riots that occurred in Venezuela in the 1980s.
 
 
0 # RLF 2014-02-27 07:19
Media is all owned by a small group of plutocrats...so und familiar? We are what we create!
 
 
0 # RLF 2014-02-27 07:17
Chavez and Maduro have their limitations and the only thing worse is the rich right wing. My wife was teacher for the pre-Chavez president's kid... when he was in jail, they were living in NY like kings..literall y!
 
 
+6 # Archie1954 2014-02-22 22:41
On the surface it may look like the US is winning in destabilizing various independent regimes around the World that do not pay abeisance to the decaying and degenerate American empire but in reality the US is creating millions of more enemies. These new enemies will some day make the US pay for its evil deeds and unfortunately the payment will be steep, much too steep for many Americans to survive. You might say truthfully when that day comes, that the payment was definitely "Made in America"!
 
 
0 # RLF 2014-02-27 07:21
That will be the only thing made in America!
 
 
0 # softwaricho 2014-02-26 18:43
ARE YOU CCOMPLETLY INSANE??!!!
Haven't you see the people videos? not the media, the people in fact here's a little web example http://www.difundir.org/

Oil is above blood in your mind? that's all you can think of? look for who is trying to protect the people, who is trying to crush the people and who is doing nothing about it. While you are talking about canvas, there's a zombie apokalypse.

We feel left alone. No country has take a step forward to stop the no sense. to tell them, hey you can't do that to the people. ok madonna made a video, cool. The problem is over. you can sleep well at night.

this is not about right-wing or left-wing, about bannanas or oil. this is btutallity in the streets, not only over the roits, always. This is a fight between violence against reason. and you are talking about conecting the dots. This is about doing the right thing. I'm not in favor of any religion or democrats, or anything alike. I'm in favor of human rights, in favor of a decent life. It is always about power, and money, but if you can't get yourself together and do the right things. Don't get judgy.

The US people wish to have the courage to fight the government like we are doing right now.

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

I never lost the temper when reading news, but you won this one. Before talk conect the brain and see the whole picture.
 

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