The U.S. Dollar: A Victim of Its Own Success

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America’s most powerful weapon of war does not shoot, fly or explode. It’s not a submarine, plane, tank or laser. America’s most powerful strategic weapon today is the dollar.

The U.S. uses the dollar strategically to reward friends and punish enemies. The use of the dollar as a weapon is not limited to trade wars and currency wars, although the dollar is used tactically in those disputes. The dollar is much more powerful than that.

The dollar can be used for regime change by creating hyperinflation, bank runs and domestic dissent in countries targeted by the U.S. The U.S. can depose the governments of its adversaries, or at least blunt their policies without firing a shot. Continue reading

Coup Attempt in Caracas

 

CARACAS/BERLIN (Own report) – Serious allegations are being raised against a partner cooperating with Germany’s Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FDP) in the context of an attempted putsch: The US Bloomberg news agency has reported that opposition officers had planned to storm the presidential palace in Caracas, capture President Nicolás Maduro and stop the May 20 presidential elections. The conspiracy was discovered and several putschists were arrested in mid-May. According to Venezuela’s military prosecutor’s investigations, an opposition politician María Corina Machado was involved in the attempted coup. Machado, who is said to be very popular within the military, denies the allegations. She is the leader of the “Vente Venezuela” party, which joined the “RELIAL” network last fall. The network was initiated and is backed by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FDP) and includes several parties who, in the past, have overthrown or attempted to overthrow democratically elected governments, for example in Honduras (2009) and in Paraguay (2012).

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U.S. withdraws from ‘self-serving’ UN Human Rights Council

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U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley

 

The United States on June 19 said it withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council after an unsuccessful effort to reform the council.

When a so-called Human Rights Council cannot bring itself to address the massive abuses in Venezuela and Iran, and it welcomes the Democratic Republic of Congo as a new member, the council ceases to be worthy of its name,” U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said.

Haley said the “self-serving” council “in fact, damages the cause of human rights.” Continue reading

Iran-Backed Terrorists Infiltrate Latin America

 

Terrorists and other criminals are laundering $43 billion a year in the Tri-Border Area.

An Iranian-backed terrorist group is laundering money in the Tri-Border Area of Latin America, according to a report published Tuesday. Such illicit activities in the region straddling the intersection of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay have long been a source of concern for United States security officials. Continue reading

‘Breathtaking homicidal violence’: Latin America in grip of murder crisis

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An activist paints the silhouette of a murder victim at the Coque slum in Recife, Brazil. The report’s authors fear voters may look to strongman-style populists to solve the crisis. Photograph: Eraldo Peres/AP

 

Region has experienced 2.5 million murders since 2000 and report paints bleak picture of extreme violence and deteriorating security

Latin America has suffered more than 2.5m murders since the start of this century and is facing an acute public security crisis that demands urgent and innovative solutions, a new report warns.

“The sheer dimensions of homicidal violence are breathtaking,” says the report by the Igarapé Institute, a Brazil-based think tank focused on security and development issues. Continue reading

Turkey Will Repatriate All Gold From The US In Attempt To Ditch The Dollar

 

After VenezuelaGermanyAustria and the Netherlands prudently repatriated a substantial portion (if not all) of their physical gold held at the NY Fed or other western central banks in recent years, this morning Turkey also announced that it has decided to repatriate all its gold stored in the US Federal Reserve and deliver it to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, according to reports in Turkey’s Yeni Safak. It won’t be the first time Turkey has asked the NY Fed to ship the country’s gold back: in recent years, Turkey repatriated 220 tons of gold from abroad, of which 28.7 tons was brought back from the US last year.

According to the latest IMF data, Turkey’s gold reserves are estimated at 591 tons, worth just over $23 billion. This makes Ankara the 11th largest gold holder, behind the Netherlands and ahead of India. Continue reading

Meanwhile, in Mexico, the murder rate set records but compared to Venezuela it’s a safe haven

Venezuela has been hit with violent protests over food shortages and the region’s highest murder rate.

 

The arrival of a new year is accompanied by new murder statistics from the previous year in Mexico. It is a grisly tally, to be sure. One can always hope it will be lower than the previous year. Sadly, that didn’t occur this past year.

As reported by CNN, “Soaring levels of drug-related violence made 2017 Mexico’s most murderous year on record, according to government statistics released Sunday [Jan. 21st]. There were 25,339 homicides in Mexico last year, a 23 percent jump from 2016 and the highest number since at least 1997, the year the government began tracking the data. Continue reading

Iran and Russia Just Revealed How They’ll Upend the Petrodollar

 

Iran and Russia just took a page out of Venezuela’s playbook.

Like Caracas announced on Dec. 4, Moscow and Tehran are looking into cryptocurrencies as a means of upending the U.S. petrodollar’s reign over the global oil market, Cointelegraph reported on Dec. 11.

For its part, crypto’s rise in popularity of late does make for an enticing investment choice, especially with Bitcoin’s 150% surge over the past month. Continue reading

Russia May Turn To Cryptocurrencies For Oil Trade

Putin

 

Russia may be looking to use cryptocurrencies for oil trade to avoid payments in U.S. dollars and limit the impact of the U.S. sanctions, Russia’s government-backed outlet RT reports.

The bitcoin mania—on which the jury is still out whether it will be the biggest bubble in history or a success—could be a “fresh catalyst” for countries that want to ditch the U.S. dollar in oil trade, according to Stephen Brennock, an oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates. Continue reading

Maduro to Create Venezuelan Cryptocurrency ‘To Overcome the Financial Blockade’

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro / Getty Images

 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro wants his own version of Bitcoin, announcing Sunday that his socialist government will create a cryptocurrency.

Maduro said on his television show that the new “petrocurrency” will be backed by reserves in oil, gas, gold, and diamonds, Bloomberg reports. Bitcoin, the world’s largest digital currency, hit new highs last week, and Maduro declared that his plan will counteract the economic disaster that is befalling the Venezuelan bolivar, which has experienced hyperinflation as the country’s economy has collapsed. Continue reading

CNN’s Undisclosed Ties To Fusion GPS

Neil King is seen on the left, in a photo posted by CNN reporter Evan Perez. (Screenshot/Facebook)

 

CNN’s reporting on the Trump-Russia dossier has left out at least one crucial fact: the close ties between the network and the opposition research firm at the center of the dossier controversy.

CNN’s reporting on the dossier, led by justice correspondent Evan Perez, has been favorable to the firm, Fusion GPS, and hyped the dossier’s credibility. Left out of Perez’s reporting, which has relied largely on unnamed sources, is his personal closeness to Fusion GPS’ operatives. Fusion has repeatedly been described in Senate testimonies as a smear-for-hire operation that manufactures misleading or false media narratives for its clients.

Glenn Simpson, the Fusion co-founder most often associated with the dossier, is used to working on stories with Perez. As reporters at The Wall Street Journal, Perez and Simpson regularly co-authored stories on national security.

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Cracks in Dollar Are Getting Larger

 

Many Daily Reckoning readers are familiar with the original petrodollar deal the U.S made with Saudi Arabia.

It was set up by Henry Kissinger and Saudi princes in 1974 to prop up the U.S. dollar. At the time, confidence in the dollar was on shaky ground because President Nixon had ended gold convertibility of dollars in 1971.

Saudi Arabia was receiving dollars for their oil shipments, but they could no longer convert the dollars to gold at a guaranteed price directly with the U.S. Treasury. The Saudis were secretly dumping dollars and buying gold on the London market. This was putting pressure on the bullion banks receiving the dollar. Continue reading

Venezuela Publishes Oil Prices in Chinese Yuan, Snubbing the ‘Tyranny of the Dollar’

 

Could this trend lead to the erosion of the dollar’s reserve-currency status?

On September 15, Venezuela began to publish prices for its oil in the Chinese yuan rather than in United States dollars, following President Nicolás Maduro’s promise earlier in the month to rid the South American country’s economy of the “tyranny of the dollar.” News emerged on September 13 that Venezuela was telling oil traders that it will stop receiving or sending payments in dollars.

The Venezuelan Oil Ministry published a statement about the decision to publish prices in yuan, saying, “This format is the result of the announcement made on September 7 by the president [Maduro] … that Venezuela will implement new strategies to free the country from the tyranny of the dollar.”

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Russia, China Playing Major Role in Keeping Venezuela Afloat

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro / Getty Images

 

The countries ‘have provided capital, goods, services, and political backing’

Russia and China have played a major role in keeping the dictatorial Maduro regime in Venezuela afloat, according to expert testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday.

Evan Ellis, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a professor at the U.S. Army War College, appeared before the Western Hemisphere subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee for a hearing on the malicious influence of state and criminal actors in the Latin American nation’s ongoing breakdown.

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Talks in the Chancellery

BERLIN/CARACAS (Own report) – Chancellor Merkel will meet one of Venezuela’s leading government opposition politicians today in the Chancellery. Julio Borges, who, according to reports, supported the 2002 putsch attempt in Caracas, will discuss the political development in Venezuela with the chancellor. Fierce power struggles are being waged in that country. The opposition, mainly composed of representatives of the traditional wealthy elites, has ties to Western powers und is also supported by Berlin. With its operational assistance, for example in advising Borges’ Primero Justícia (Justice First) party in “political communication,” the CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation has been playing a special role. Primero Justícia had also participated in the 2002-attempted putsch. Berlin is pursuing an approach similar to that used in other Latin American countries, wherein it regularly supports the traditional elites. This resembles the German authorities’ interventions in the run-up to the putsch in Ukraine.

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