America Is Not Ready for Exploding Drones

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Venezolana de Television via AP

 

An apparent assassination attempt in Venezuela shows how technology is moving faster than governments can counter it.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was intoning something about economic renewal, flanked by his wife and a handful of high officials, in a country gripped by poverty, starvation, and shortages. Then, in a moment broadcast live on television that has since gone viral, his wife’s face changed. For an instant she seemed to duck as she reached for the official next to her; Maduro glanced up with apparent concern. The camera panned to the National Guardsmen in formation on the street before him as dozens suddenly started running. According to the government and witnesses, they had seen explosions in the sky. Continue reading

Questions surround claims of drone assassination attempt on Venezuela’s Maduro

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Screen grab from video shows security detail shielding President Nicolas Maduro after what was reported by the Venezuelan government as a drone attack assassination attempt.

 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is likely to use what he said was an attempt on his life to purge his socialist government of disloyal officials and further restrict liberties, an analyst said.

Maduro’s government said the president survived an assassination attempt on Aug. 4, claiming explosions heard during a military event that was broadcast on live TV were drone attacks.

Three officials who spoke on condition of anonymity say the incident was actually a gas tank explosion inside a nearby apartment building, The Associated Press reported. Continue reading

Maduro admits failure: ‘No more whining . . . We need to make Venezuela’ (great again)

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During a speech in which the power went out while he was on live television, Venezuela’s socialist president admitted his economic model has “failed.”

“The production models we’ve tried so far have failed and the responsibility is ours, mine and yours,” President Nicolas Maduro told his ruling PSUV party congress on July 30. 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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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

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

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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Oil Rich Venezuela Stops Accepting Dollars

Source: The Burning Platform

 

  • President Maduro ‘ Venezuela will create a basket of currencies to free us from the dollar,”
  • Oil traders ordered to stop accepting U.S. dollar in exchange for crude oil
  • Order comes following calls from Russia and China to find alternatives to current reserve system
  • U.S. Dollar accounts for two-thirds of global trade
  • Venezuela has over ten-times more oil than United States
  • Super powers are gradually turning to gold to avoid using world’s main reserve currency
  • Are we seeing the beginning of the end for the U.S. dollar?

The oil-rich country of Venezuela has stopped accepting the U.S. Dollar as payment for oil.

Last week President Maduro warned that the country would this week ‘free’ itself from the US dollar. Continue reading

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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Venezuela quells attack on military base, two killed

VALENCIA/CARACAS, Venezuela, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Venezuelan authorities quelled an attack on a military base near the city of Valencia by soldiers and armed civilians on Sunday, killing two of them in a dramatic escalation of unrest in the protest-convulsed South American nation.

The pre-dawn raid coincided with a video circulated on social media showing more than a dozen men in military uniform announcing an uprising to restore constitutional order following the creation of a pro-government legislative superbody on Friday, condemned internationally as a power grab by President Nicolas Maduro. Continue reading

Colombia: Venezuela Crumbles Into Uncertainty

While Venezuela is drifting towards mass starvation, government collapse and civil war Colombia has managed to avoid all that and then some. What Colombia did was not easy. It required nearly two decades of effort to reach the point where a peace deal was agreed to and succeeded in disbanding the major leftist rebel group FARC. With that accomplished (as of the end of June) the second largest leftist rebel group (ELN, a third the size of FARC) now wants to talk peace as well. All these leftist rebels got going in the 1960s but by the 1990s were rapidly losing popular support. It got worse after 2000 because by then the drug gangs and leftist rebels had merged in many parts of the country, and the war was increasingly about money, not ideology. A new reform government took advantage of this and organized an offensive that sharply reduced crime and gave the economy a chance to become the most successful in South America. Continue reading

“All I Have Is Hunger” – Many Venezuelans Too Weak To Protest Despite Maduro Misery

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While tens of thousands of angry Venezuelans turned out for the ‘mother of all protests’ yesterday, facing an increasingly hostile military/police state, the numbers could have been significantly larger but for the fact that legions of poor Venezuelans are simply too frail from starvation to protest.

Some say they are intimidated by armed pro-government militias who scour the slums for signs of dissent. Others say they are afraid to lose the few food handouts the cash-strapped government still provides.

“We wear our protest on the inside for the fear of losing our bag of food,” said San Félix resident Luisa Gutiérrez, a single mother of three. Continue reading