Tag Archive | Guyana

CARICOM Deals a Blow to U.S. Plans for Regime change in Venezuela*

CARICOM Deals a Blow to U.S. Plans for Regime change in Venezuela*

By Gerald A. Perreira

Before U.S. diplomats offer any criticism or advice to Venezuela or any other state on issues of democracy and human rights, they should first examine the behavior of their own government in relation to their undemocratic practices and policies, both internally and around the world, and their endless list of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodriguez, recently tweeted that the “U.S. State Department deployed its ambassadors in the region to attack Venezuela. We come with renewed vigor to defeat them at the OAS.”

So said, so done. The U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, spewed the U.S. false narrative regarding Venezuela in our local newspapers. US ambassadors in a number of other Caribbean countries did the same. It was a coordinated attempt to mislead the people of Guyana and the region about what is really happening in Venezuela, and to apply pressure on members of CARICOM (Caribbean Community) and the OAS (Organization of American States) to succumb to U.S. calls for intervention, with the aim of overthrowing the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro.

U.S. diplomats in Guyana, and for that matter throughout the Global South, are not diplomats in the strict sense of the word, and can be better described as political activists. They are constantly meddling in the internal affairs of the country they are stationed in, giving directives to the compliant neo-colonial regimes and actively undermining and destabilizing independent and anti-imperialist governments, such as the government in Venezuela.

This latest U.S. psych-ops came just after the May 31st meeting of the OAS in Washington DC and just prior to the June 19th OAS meeting in Cancun, Mexico, where CARICOM member states took a firm and united anti-interventionist position in relation to the current situation in Venezuela, delivering a resounding defeat to the interventionist approach advocated by the U.S., Mexico, Peru and Panama,

Following the June 19th OAS meeting, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodriguez, said:

“Today we come with the strength of our people who took to the streets to denounce the interventionism of the Organization of American States, we come with the force of the rain of our commander Hugo Chavez. Independence and sovereignty triumphed today over the United States of America, with its brutal pressure, with its gross extortion, with its maneuvers…”

She added that the call for intervention encourages the “most violent, anti-democratic factions in our country,” and she thanked the Caribbean nations for their “deeply principled stand.”
In his letter and articles, U.S. ambassador, Perry Holloway, had the temerity to lecture Guyana and other member-states of the OAS about their obligation to democracy and human rights. He stated that:

“The diverse family of nations in the Americas recognizes democracy is a part of our collective DNA. Sixteen years ago in Peru, we underscored this principle with the adoption of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, affirming the right of the peoples of the Americas to democracy and obligating our governments to defend that right.”

I suggest that before U.S. diplomats in the Caribbean and the Americas offer any criticism or advice to Venezuela or any member-state of the OAS on issues of democracy and human rights, they should first examine the behavior of their own government in relation to their undemocratic practices and policies, both internally and around the world, and their endless list of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Trump lays bare sham democracy

The only positive aspect of Trump’s presidency is that it is exposing, once and for all, the sham that parades as U.S. democracy and concern for human rights. The entirely undemocratic nature of U.S. internal and foreign policy is clear to all in 2017. Even that minority of citizens on this planet who still held out some hope that the U.S. resembled anything close to a democracy, have now seen through the façade. American political philosopher, Sheldon S. Wolin, in his brilliant work, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, renders a devastating critique of US democracy and is a vital read for anyone who wishes to understand the latent fascism that underpins the politics of this Empire.

Former U.S. Attorney-General, Ramsay Clark, had this to say:

“We’re not a democracy. It’s a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we’re a plutocracy, a government by the wealthy.”

He compared President George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler, and is on record as saying at the outset of the US invasion of Iraq, that it “will be genocide again,” adding that “the greatest crime since World War Two has been U.S. foreign policy.”

As I watch the hue and cry over Trump’s actions, it reminds me of Adolph Hitler’s response to Europe’s criticism of his policies. He told them: “I am only doing out in the open what you have been doing behind closed doors for centuries.”

A meme that was circulated at the end of Obama’s presidency said it best:

“Only in shallow, self-absorbed, privileged America could a leader drop 26,000 bombs on seven countries in a single year, and have citizens mourn the end of his term because he looked and sounded classy while doing it.”

The illusion highlighted in this meme picks up on the public relations stunt that has become a hallmark of the U.S. establishment, and which Sheldon Wolin identifies as a major feature of the “inverted totalitarianism” that exists in the U.S. today. He describes “inverted totalitarianism” as a state of affairs where a small ruling elite (the 1%) have established an authoritarian society which benefits them exclusively. In this society, corporations have corrupted and subverted democracy, and natural resources and labor are seen as mere commodities to be exploited for huge profits.

This status quo is maintained by a sophisticated propaganda machine that lulls the majority of people into apathy. Central to reinforcing this hegemon is a tightly controlled corporatized media, a mouthpiece for the establishment, that is constantly spinning fake news and false narratives, and emphasizing rabid consumerism, individualism and the politics of personality and sensationalism. Wolin, like Clark, compares modern day USA to Nazi Germany, pointing out that the form is different but the essence, that is, fascism, is the same.

Friendly fascism

Thirty-seven years ago, political scientist, Bertram Gross, coined the term “friendly fascism” and predicted the Orwellian reality we are witnessing today in the U.S. His thesis converges with the conclusions reached by Wolin, Clark and others.

In his farewell address at the end of his presidency in 1961, Republican Dwight Eisenhower, warned the American people about the dangers of the “Military Industrial Complex”, the control it exerted and its ability to, in his words, “weaken or destroy the very institutions and principles it was designed to protect.” This has surely come to pass.

So, before U.S. diplomats such as Perry Holloway attempt to discredit the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, initiated by one of the most revered freedom fighters in the Americas, the late Hugo Chavez, and led today by President Nicolas Maduro and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela with the support of the majority of the people of Venezuela, they would do well to take a long and hard look at the crisis of democracy in their own country.

Let Mr. Holloway explain to Guyanese and the citizenry of all member-states of the OAS why, in 2017, Africans in the U.S. continue to be gunned down in the streets on a regular basis.
Let him explain to us why the U.S. has the largest number of persons imprisoned per capita in the world, and why the prisoners are disproportionately made up of Africans, Indigenous and other people of colour, before he points the finger at a revolution that has lifted African and Indigenous Venezuelans out of debilitating discrimination and poverty.

Let Mr. Holloway address the situation of U.S. political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jamil Al-Amin (formerly Rap Brown), Leonard Peltier and so many others who are languishing in U.S. prisons before he speaks of Venezuela’s human rights record.

Let the U.S. Ambassador focus on the shocking poverty and illiteracy statistics emerging from his own country, before he points the finger at the Bolivarian revolution which has made unprecedented gains in eradicating poverty and illiteracy amongst the masses of Venezuela’s poor. Anyone who visited oil rich Venezuela prior to the Bolivarian revolution can testify to the abhorrent conditions and the repressive measures used to subjugate the majority of Venezuelans, and in particular, African and Indigenous Venezuelans.

Does the Ambassador truly believe that his letters and articles, full of the usual delusional and empty rhetoric, would convince any of us that his government is concerned about democracy and human rights in Venezuela, or anywhere in the world for that matter, after we have witnessed the apocalyptic events in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and the list goes on?

Does Mr. Holloway think we have forgotten our own history in the Americas and the Caribbean, including the U.S. orchestrated coups that overthrew the democratically elected governments of President Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala, President Salvador Allende in Chile, Prime Minister Maurice Bishop in Grenada, President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras and the constitutional coup against President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil? What about the removal at gunpoint of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide by U.S. military personnel in Haiti?

There is not the space in a single article to even list the U.S. crimes in our region. Just to chronicle them warrants a book. If we were to list U.S. crimes against the whole of humanity, we are looking at a library of books. The U.S. Empire and the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch Empires that preceded it, have been without doubt the worst examples of terrorism in all of human history.

In his letter and article, Mr. Holloway advises that “when a government breaks with democracy, we must act in solidarity with its people, not through intervention or interference, but with diplomacy and mediation among all parties to help find a peaceful, democratic, and comprehensive solution.” Tell us Mr. Holloway: Are the examples listed above your idea of diplomacy and mediation?

These governments were not removed because of their lack of democracy or abuse of human rights. They were removed, like countless others throughout the Global South, because they were attempting to free their country from the clutches of the Empire, and liberate their wealth and resources so that they might benefit the masses of their people. Our own founding fathers in Guyana, Cheddi Jagan and Forbes Burnham, were subjected to the same destabilization tactics at the hands of the U.S. government and it’s CIA.

Empire loses its grip

The U.S. and its diplomats need to understand that with the advent of the internet and the availability of information in this day and age, the Empire has lost all credibility. There is no one left on earth who can be misled by their hollow and hypocritical rhetoric. Do not be fooled by those who dare not speak openly — they are afraid of losing their visas and even worse reprisals. Regardless of their cowardice and silence, everyone knows that the Emperor is naked. Behind closed doors, even those satraps who publicly profess their allegiance, such as the Saudis, snigger and jeer at the hideous state of affairs in the United States of America.

As the U.S. Empire crumbles, its vampires, who have sucked the blood of the sufferers for so long, are in panic mode because, despite their descent into blatant authoritarianism and fascism, they continue to lose their grip on the terrifying world they have created, as it spins more and more out of control. The ugly death squads such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, the very Frankensteins of their own making, are turning right back on them. As Malcom X observed so long ago, the chickens must come home to roost. One cannot keep up with the number of attacks in the US and Europe.

One of the vampires, largely credited with creating Al Qaeda, a former U.S. National Security Advisor, and founder of the Rockefeller-controlled Trilateral Commission, Zbigniew Brzezinski, in a speech to British elites at Chatham House in 2008, spoke volumes when he said:

“…new and old major powers face still yet another novel reality, in some respects unprecedented, and it is that while the lethality of their power is greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at an historical low…I once put it rather pungently, and I was flattered that the British Foreign Secretary repeated this… namely, in earlier times, it was easier to control a million people than physically to kill a million people. Today, it is infinitely easier to kill a million people than to control a million people.”

The majority of CARICOM countries are governed by neo-colonial political outfits and even they voted against U.S. plans for regime change in Venezuela.”

The current U.S. administration, like its predecessors, whether Democrat or Republican, is involved in just that, killing millions of people all over the world in its bid to control, and trying desperately to convince us of the absurd notion that that they are doing this in the name of democracy and human rights. Trouble is, no one is buying it? The majority of CARICOM countries are governed by neo-colonial political outfits and even they voted against U.S. plans for regime change in Venezuela. The playbook is old and tired. Donald Trump just tied up an arms deal worth 350 billion U.S. dollars with the corrupt and entirely undemocratic regime of Saudi Arabia, a regime that is without doubt the main proliferator of the ideology of Wahhabism and the movements intent on imposing this ideology worldwide, such as Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Nusra Front and ISIS. All these weapons to a government that is funding terrorism worldwide and committing genocide in Yemen.

And, when the power struggle between the Saudis and the Qataris surfaced, Trump paid lip service to the manufactured war on terror by publicly condemning Qatar’s support for terrorism, and days later sold the Qataris U.S. military hardware worth 12 billion dollars. In light of this hypocrisy and blatant disregard for the victims of these rogue states and their global terrorist network, can you really expect us to believe that your concern with Venezuela is about lack of democracy and human rights?

No shame

Finally, to Mr. Holloway and his cohorts throughout the region, your expressed shock and horror about the so-called spillover from Venezuela’s current predicament was perhaps the most shameful part of your missive: “The spillover effects from Venezuela’s crisis are serious and growing, whether it is irregular migrant flows to countries in our region or the increasing flow of arms and criminal activity that affect the Caribbean in particular.”

This is rich coming from the people who illegally invaded Libya, murdered the Libyan leader and freedom fighter, Muammar Qaddafi in the street, and in so doing, destroyed the most prosperous and democratic nation on the African continent, causing a migration crisis of a magnitude never seen before. Your government handed over the nation of Libya to a conglomerate of thugs, criminals, terrorists and reactionary warlords, and this spillover continues to wreak havoc throughout Africa and the Arab Region six years on. Before you concern yourself with any spillover in the Caribbean, please deal with the spillover from your criminal invasion of Libya, a spillover that only this month reached Manchester, England.

In Guyana, the Americas and throughout the Global South, the masses of people are sick and tired of the same old playbook — the one that is in fact the cause of the current situation in Venezuela. But then, that is part of the devil’s own script, cause the problem and then come to us as savior, with a solution. It plays like this: the U.S., through its infamous web of security agencies, NGOs, Aid Agencies, think-tanks and other Trojan horses, destabilize, sow confusion and do everything in their power to overthrow any government and subjugate any people that refuse to obey Empire. Recently, more than 300,000 Venezuelans took to the streets in support of President Nicolas Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution.

The opposition held a demonstration that attracted 50,000. Of course, in your United States, the corporate media is reporting just the opposite. By the admission of your own president they are the purveyors of fake news and this is just another example of your country’s lack of democracy. The bottom line is this Mr. Holloway: your country and its government is no way fit to point the finger at anyone when it comes to infringement of democracy, democratic values and human rights.

In your letters and articles you ask:

“If these things were happening in our own countries, would we not want the rest of our American family of nations to speak out, and reach out, to help restore fundamental democratic freedoms and respect for constitutional institutions?”

In your own words you proclaim that: “The Organization of American States has for decades provided a forum to discuss our greatest challenges and take action together to address them. The challenge before us today is the death spiral of democracy in Venezuela.”

What you say in the two quotes above is correct except for one thing, the challenge before us today is not the death spiral of democracy in Venezuela, it is the death spiral of democracy in the United States and an evil Empire spinning out of control.

You are right — the OAS should take immediate action to prevent further terrorism and turmoil because the spillover worldwide from the crisis in the United States is serious and growing.

Source*

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Route of Coup against Venezuela Begins at ExxonMobil*

Russia Helps Venezuela Fight Opposition’s ‘Economic War’*

The Strategy behind Washington’s Destabilization of Venezuela*

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Guyana President joins Muslims for Ramadhan Iftar*

Guyana President joins Muslims for Ramadhan Iftar*

President David Granger (seventh from right), British High Commissioner Greg Quinn (second from right) and members of the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana during prayers

 

 

By Ray Chickrie

President David Granger joined the Muslim community of Guyana on Sunday to break the Roza or fast that the Muslim community in Guyana is observing because it is the month of Ramadhan.

The British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn and his wife also joined Granger at the Iftar dinner.

Granger spoke at the Ramadhan Iftar dinner, which was held at the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana’s (CIOG) headquarters in Georgetown.

“Guyana is a multi-cultural country. We can be proud, however, of our religious tolerance and social cohesion. Guyanese must do as we are doing this evening; we are eating dates and breaking bread to acknowledge one another’s differences and to share our common humanity,” the president said.

Since coming to office, Granger has heaped praise on the Muslim community of Guyana for its charitable work and community activism.

He said that Ramadhan also promotes the virtues of fellowship and friendship.

“Service to God strengthens relations with others through acts of compassion and sympathy,” the president said.

Speaking on the significance of Iftar, Granger noted that, when shared with persons of other faiths, it represents the importance that Islam attaches to the acceptance of differences and promotion of religious tolerance according to a press release from the ministry of the presidency.

The CIOG’s director of education, Sheikh Moeen ul Hack, praised the leadership of the country for the respect it has afforded the Muslim community of Guyana. Muslims make up about 12% of Guyana’s population and they are Sunnis from the Hanafi, Turkish School of Islam.

“We will continue to play our role as Guyanese and as Muslims and we see our role as complementing that of the government,” the director assured the president.

He thanked Granger for supporting the CIOG’s education drive, noting that “education is the enemy of prejudice and, for us to move forward and to develop our country, our people will definitely have to be educated.”

Source*

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The Strategy behind Washington’s Destabilization of Venezuela*

The Strategy behind Washington’s Destabilization of Venezuela*

Venezuela represents everything that the U.S. opposes in the region: socialism, anti-imperialism, economic independence via energy exports and a viable ally for China, Russia, Iran and other countries that oppose the hegemonic designs of Washington.

By Eric Draitser

An anti-government protester wields a shotgun taken from security forces during clashes in Caracas, Venezuela, May 8, 2017. (AP/Ariana Cubillos)

 

The corporate media continues to churn out endless stories detailing repression, state violence and socioeconomic collapse in Venezuela. Conspicuously absent from their stories, however, is the fact that much of the turmoil in the Bolivarian Republic is a result of an economic and psychological war being waged against the country by right-wing elements inside Venezuela and their backers in the United States.

Naturally, this charge has been dismissed out of hand by the imperial stenographers at the New York Times, Washington Post and The Economist, who continue to insist that there’s nothing at all nefarious going on in Venezuela aside from the “corrupt dictatorship” led by President Nicolas Maduro.  Of course, were there real journalists covering Venezuela, they’d make note of the fact that a campaign of economic and psychological war, targeted assassinations, and corporate intrigue have helped plunge the country into an existential crisis.

Rather predictably, none of those factors are incorporated into a well-rounded analysis of the situation in Venezuela; instead, it is sensationalist headlines and narrowly defined issues that grab the media spotlight. And perhaps no concept is more taboo within elite media circles than the strategic imperatives of the U.S.-led system of global political and economic hegemony that dominates the world. No, for the yellow journalists employed by the likes of Newscorp, Comcast and Amazon, Venezuela is just another wayward child in need of a stern rebuke and hand-holding back to the path of the good little oil colony.

Ultimately, the empire’s beef with Venezuela is two-fold. First, it is a country that has attempted to free itself of the architecture of neo-colonial domination that the U.S. and other global powers use to control the Global South.  Secondly, Venezuela represents everything that the U.S. opposes in the region: socialism, anti-imperialism, economic independence via energy exports and a viable ally for China, Russia, Iran and other countries that oppose the hegemonic designs of Washington.

Regime change is the ultimate objective in the destabilization of Venezuela, a bringing to heel of the rogue state in order to serve Washington’s global objectives. The U.S. thirsts for the reversal of the Bolivarian Revolution and the legacy of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Target: Venezuela

A mural featuring an image of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was defaced in the Bronx borough of New York, Tuesday, May 9, 2017. (AP/Seth Wenig)

 

There is a misconception spreading through the Beltway like an airborne virus, infectious in its obliviousness to reality: the idea that the administration of President Donald Trump is so bogged down by scandal and controversy that it cannot achieve any geopolitical and strategic objectives. In fact, the opposite is true. Like a cornered animal, Trump and his team are exceedingly dangerous, both in their unpredictability and, strangely enough, also in their predictability.

And when it comes to Venezuela, their strategy is transparent.

Oil reigns supreme in the minds of Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the rest of the administration. In the case of Venezuela, oil remains the lifeblood of its economy.  So in a very real sense, the White House and State Department’s interests converge with the economic imperatives of corporate America in the Bolivarian Republic.

Tillerson represents perhaps the perfect embodiment of U.S. government attitudes toward Venezuela. A slick oil man through and through, Tillerson has long sought to destabilize Venezuela in an attempt to reassert ExxonMobil’s supremacy in the country.

Venezuela’s recent rocky history begins with Chavez’s nationalization of the oil sector under the state oil company PDVSA in 2007. The Chavez government offered ExxonMobil book value for assets that it intended to assume control over, while the Tillerson-led company demanded market value, which they priced at roughly $15 billion.  Eventually, the World Bank’s arbitration court ordered Venezuela to pay $1.6 billion to ExxonMobil.

But ExxonMobil’s anger at Caracas was certainly not assuaged with that settlement agreement. In fact, the following decade saw ExxonMobil step up efforts to destabilize Venezuela’s socialist government using a variety of tactics.

None have been more potent than Venezuela’s border dispute with Guyana. At the heart of this border dispute is energy and the billions of dollars in profits likely to be extracted from the offshore territory. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), “The Guyana Suriname Basin [is] 2nd in the world for prospectivity among the world’s unexplored basins and 12th for oil among all the world’s basins – explored and unexplored.” The basin, which stretches from eastern Venezuela to the shores of northern Brazil, is one of the major prizes in the world for energy corporations and governments alike.

Indeed, the USGS estimates that roughly 15 billion barrels of undiscovered oil and 42 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves lie under the basin, just waiting to be extracted. Such staggering economic potential has made the territorial waters off Venezuela and Guyana highly sought after, especially since contesting border claims make legal obstacles to exploration far more surmountable, as they allow companies to deal with a compliant government in Georgetown, rather than an independent one in Caracas.

So it should come as no surprise that Tillerson and ExxonMobil have been backing the Guyanese government. Venezuelan officials say their support has included providing financial support to Guyanese President David Granger’s election campaign in 2015. Of course, ExxonMobil has denied these claims.  But the company cannot deny the fact that, as the Huffington Post reported:

“Under Secretary Clinton, the State Department set up a program called the Energy Governance and Capacity Initiative. The program aims to both promote fossil development and prevent the ‘resource curse’ by providing ‘independent oversight’ of the oil and gas industry in nascent oil states. The program is currently helping the Guyanese government write profit sharing agreements, environmental regulations, and develop a strong rule of law to counterbalance corporate power.”

An effigy representing Judas Iscariot, with a sign that labels it also as “Mr. Exxon”, referred to the Texas-based Exxon Mobil oil corporation, is burned during Holy Week in Caracas, March 23, 2008. (AP/Howard Yanes)

 

In other words, the U.S. State Department oversees the program that is literally writing the regulatory and financial architecture that will govern energy extraction in Guyana. And Tillerson, the former CEO for ExxonMobil, is the top official at the State Department. The conflict of interest is clear as day.

Indeed, ExxonMobil has effectively made Guyana into a subsidiary.  As the Washington Post noted:

“…countries such as Guyana that have no existing oil industry are considered ‘frontier’ locations, and typically offer the most lucrative terms to foreign companies willing to invest.  Guyana’s foreign partners stand to earn 60 to 65 percent of profits… a far larger share than what more established nations are willing to offer investors.”

Does anyone really believe that the State Department is not going to target Venezuela when it is led by a man who has fomented conflict with Venezuela, is raking in billions from Venezuela’s neighbor and has a long-standing vendetta against the Bolivarian Republic?

In fact, Tillerson’s oil goons have already uncorked the champagne numerous times this year, having announced multiple oil finds off the coast that are worth billions. Naturally, this is as much political as economic. For Tillerson and Trump, every barrel of oil extracted from Guyana is a thumb in the eye of the Venezuelan government.

Oil as a geopolitical weapon

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro fist bumps a worker of the state-run oil company PDVSA during a visit to the Orinoco oil belt in Venezuela in 2013. (Photo: Miraflores/AP)

 

However, it would be a mistake to assume that U.S. policy toward Venezuela revolves exclusively around the profits to be made by ExxonMobil and other oil companies. While that is undoubtedly a factor, ultimately it is about political leverage and strategy vis-à-vis rival powers and power blocs.

Consider the fact that Venezuela’s oil reserves alone account for roughly one-quarter (24.8%) of all proven crude oil reserves within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). This makes Venezuela hugely influential when it comes to decisions about oil production and, consequently, global oil prices. And when you couple Venezuela with Iran, a key ally of the Bolivarian Republic, both countries together account for nearly 40% of OPEC crude.  Add to that non-OPEC member Russia, which accounts for 12.4% of global crude production, just behind Saudi Arabia and the U.S., and you begin to see just how significant these three countries are to global oil prices and production.

One must also consider Saudi Arabia, which closely trails Venezuela in terms of proven crude reserves (22% of OPEC reserves). The centrality of Venezuela should be immediately apparent. Installing a right-wing, pro-U.S. government in Venezuela would mean that the U.S. would effectively control, or at least have significant influence over, nearly 85% of OPEC production (Venezuela and the Gulf monarchies), thereby isolating Iran within the grouping. Put differently, Venezuela is the only thing keeping OPEC from being a plaything of Washington and Wall Street.

Russia and China also figure centrally in this calculation. With Venezuela under Washington’s boot, Moscow and Beijing would be significantly weaker, as they would have no influence over OPEC. Nor would they be able to satisfy each other’s needs alone – Russia needs consumer goods and imports far beyond what China can provide, and China needs energy and other raw materials far beyond what Russia can offer.

In effect, regime change in Venezuela would cut the legs out from under Moscow and Beijing.

An instructive example can be found in Venezuela’s neighbour, Brazil.  An oil exporter almost as large as Venezuela in terms of production – Brazil accounts for 3% of global crude production, while Venezuela accounts for 3.1%  – Brazil saw a quick political transformation in the form of a coup against the democratically-elected government of Dilma Rousseff, a coup that was orchestrated by right-wing elements in the country and their backers in the U.S.

And with the takeover of the government by the right wing and Goldman Sachs, Brazil’s oil exporting potential flipped overnight from a liability to an asset for Washington and Wall Street.  Trump and Tillerson seem to have a similar vision for Venezuela.

The Sino-Venezuelan partnership

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, right, chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. (AP/Andy Wong)

 

For decades, corporations in the U.S. saw Venezuela as little more than an American possession, an oil colony whose dependence on U.S. exports made it little different from a true colony in the traditional sense of the word. However, with the ascendance of Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution, Venezuela ceased to be a dependent client of the U.S., and instead became a political adversary.

One key aspect of Venezuelan economic relations with other countries that has undoubtedly rubbed strategic planners the wrong way has been its ongoing partnership with China. Under Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela has signed countless deals with Beijing, many of which are based on an oil-for-credit framework wherein Venezuelan oil underwrites Venezuelan borrowing from Chinese banks. The Chinese cash has been used to stave off default and pay the financial obligations of the Venezuelan government.

Beyond that, Venezuela and China have inked agreements in the areas of energy, mining, finance, infrastructure and agriculture. There is also the Joint Chinese-Venezuela Fund, which finances infrastructure projects and economic development in the Bolivarian Republic.

In February 2017, China and Venezuela signed a raft of agreements, including the construction of a refinery in China that will process 400,000 barrels of crude per day, 70 percent of which will come from Venezuela. The deals totaled $2.7 billion.

China has also become one of the leading manufacturers of transportation in Venezuela, with taxis and buses being purchased or manufactured by the Chinese for the Venezuelan market. This tangible example of the Venezuela-China relationship illustrates the importance of Beijing to the daily life of Venezuela.

Unlike China, Russia has little need for Venezuelan oil.  However, the one other area of Russian economic might is critical for the Bolivarian Republic: weapons.

According to Rostec, a Russian state corporation involved in the sale of military hardware to Venezuela, the estimated value of Russia-Venezuela arms contracts is roughly $12 billion. From 2005 to 2013, Venezuela was the largest buyer of Russian weapons in Latin America, with roughly $11 billion in purchase contracts.

But Russia’s ties to Venezuela are not simply about mutual enrichment, there is also a somewhat predatory aspect to the relationship, one that is likely making observers in both Washington and Caracas wary.  Russia’s $1.5 billion loan to Venezuela in November 2016 came with the condition that the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA pledge a 49.9% stake in Citgo, the U.S. subsidiary of PDVSA, as collateral for the loan.

This means that Russia’s state oil company Rosneft, run by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s close friend Igor Sechin, could control much of Venezuela’s economic clout. Translation: Russia wants Venezuelan oil to use as leverage against the U.S.

Venezuela has become a geopolitical flashpoint in recent years. As the country has moved forward on the path of socialism and anti-imperialism, it has increasingly been targeted by a wide range of destabilization tactics, as well as the collapse of global oil prices in 2014 and 2015 that crippled the Venezuelan economy.

The future of the revolution?

A government supporter holds an image of Venezuela’s late president Hugo Chavez, during a march in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, April 19, 2017. (AP/Fernando Llano)

 

Now, with Trump and Tillerson at the helm of the imperial warship, it seems that the target on Venezuela’s back has grown larger still. And with the right-wing resurgence throughout Latin America, strategic planners might feel that it’s only a matter of time before they achieve their objective: the destruction of the Bolivarian Revolution and a return to Venezuelan dependence on the U.S.

But while it seems that the U.S. is in control, there’s just one small issue – chavismo, the political ideology associated with the ideas and governing style of Hugo Chavez.

While Washington won’t officially admit it, there is a fear that any direct intervention in Venezuela could trigger a mass outpouring of anti-U.S., pro-Chavez sentiment.  The U.S. government hopes that Venezuela will collapse from within, thanks in large part to the millions of dollars spent by USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy to fund the right-wing opposition and other anti-government interests.

The trouble is that, despite the economic instability and destabilization, tens of millions of Venezuelans have made it clear that they’ll never accept being put in colonial chains again. And as the right wing demonstrates and demonizes, defenestrates and destabilizes, the revolution continues.

The question in the coming months will be whether China and, to a lesser extent Russia and Iran, will recognize that relations with Venezuela are not simply about money and profit, but about gaining leverage against the U.S. Will Venezuela be seen in its proper context as the frontline in the fight against the U.S. empire? Or will it be left to fend for itself as the imperial dogs of war howl for the blood of the Bolivarian Republic?

Source*

Related Topics:

No Surprise – U.S. Behind Violence in Venezuela*

Venezuela Oil Union Workers Back Maduro’s Constituent Assembly*

Tensions on the Rise As U.S. Announces Military Drills Near Venezuela*

Venezuela’s Opposition Activists Confess Being Paid to Promote Violent Protests*

U.S. Cries ‘Power Grab’ Following Venezuela Supreme Court Ruling*

Venezuela Maintains High Human Development Despite U.S. Engineered Economic Crisis*

Evo Morales Defends Venezuela against ‘Treacherous’ OAS Head*

World Bank to Reduce Venezuela Payout in Exxon Case*

The Caribbean Supports Venezuela against U.S. Interventionism*

Venezuela’s Supreme Court Blocks U.S. Regime Change*

One Way for U.S. to Keep More than an Eye on Guyana’s Oil*

The World Protests on Behalf of Vaccine-Injured Children*

The World Protests on Behalf of Vaccine-Injured Children*

By Christina England

Around the world, parents, grandparents and caregivers are protesting in anger against the dangerous vaccinations they believe are killing their children.

One such protest, spearheaded by Sallie O. Elkordy, is taking place on Sunday, March 5, 2017. Ms. Elkordy explained in her blog, brightfuture83, that this walk, aptly named the “Empty Stroller Walk” because protesters have been asked to walk while pushing an empty stroller, was originally the idea of a grieving grandmother, Sherry Frady, who tragically lost her granddaughter, Bella, following her eight-week routine vaccinations.

Speaking live on The Mary and Sallie show, Mrs. Frady told listeners about the death of her granddaughter in the hope that others may learn from their experiences.

Mrs. Frady began the show by explaining to listeners that before her granddaughter’s eight-week vaccinations, Bella was a healthy baby girl. Sadly, this was about to change.

She stated that:

“Bella had eight vaccinations on that day, including the Prevenar and the hepatitis B. We took her home and she ran a slight fever. 

We gave her Tylenol; the nurse never told us that you shouldn’t give a baby Tylenol for fever, as a fever actually is their way to fight off the toxins from the vaccines, but we gave her Tylenol and after that she felt fine. 

There was no indication to any problems, she never had a runny nose, she never had sniffles, she never had any signs of being ill, until October 3, and on that night she was more fussy and wanted her mom. 

I sat up with her ’til 2am, rocking her, singing to her, watched TV. She was a co-sleeper, how do I broach the subject, um, but I laid her in her spot on the bed and about an hour later I got in bed beside her and she was fine. Her mom was still up with her grandmother. 

So, I went to sleep and about two hours later I woke up and I could feel something was wrong but I didn’t know what. I always wake up before she does to get her bottle and automatically I went to fix her bottle and after I fixed her bottle I came back to bed and by that time my daughter was already in bed asleep on the other side of her and I tried to wake her up and she wouldn’t wake up and it was just a horrible, horrible experience to realize that she wasn’t breathing.”

According to Mrs. Frady, the family was informed by the hospital that Bella had died of double pneumonia and extensive brain damage, caused by encephalitis, a common side effect of vaccinations. Angered by the tragic events of that day, Mrs. Frady wanted to warn others about the dangers of vaccinations. She explained that encephalitis was one of the many adverse reactions listed on the vaccination inserts, which she explained are never offered to parents before vaccinations.

Please join Mrs. Frady and Ms. Elkordy on Sunday, March 5, 2017, and on the first Sunday of every month, on your local Main Street at any time throughout the day, in memory of the many children who have died or have been injured following routine vaccinations.

Similar Protests Have Taken Place Worldwide

England

In 2009, a mother, Ms. Allison Edwards from Shropshire, U.K., whose son became autistic after receiving the MMR vaccine, was granted permission to demonstrate outside the House of Commons, in protest of MP’s (Members of Parliament) expenses

She told the BBC:

“My son is severely autistic, he is doubly incontinent, he has very little speech, if any at all. He can’t feed himself, he can’t dress himself, he is really going to need to be led around by the hand for the rest of his life … I had to fight for his nappies, the most basic need for his disability and I can’t get what I need and I saw an MP put an expenses claim in for nappies; that is appalling, absolutely appalling.”

On the Age of Autism, she explained her plight in more detail and explained why she felt the need to protest. She wrote:

“You see I have been virtually screaming for the past five years for help through our National Health Service to provide my poor, speechless, doubly incontinent autistic son with the right amount and type of pads. When he turned 5 years of age I was allowed 3 free per day that figure never budged. He is now 12 years old and uses 8 per day. I have to supplement the extras out of my own pocket. In fact he wouldn’t wear the hot and uncomfortable, rustly yellow poly-backed type he was provided with and frequently ripped them and ate the contents causing major distress. How I have dreamt of an MP’s face in front of me when clearing up those night-time messes!”

It is easy to understand her anger and frustration and she is not alone.

Belgium

In 2012, a group of parents from Belgium whose children had died following vaccinations placed a row of tiny white coffins outside the Ministry of Health. They demonstrated their anger by attaching two vaccine syringes in the sign of a crucifix onto each coffin, symbolizing the death of a child snatched cruelly by vaccinations

One coffin, inscribed with the words RIP Notre Fille Stacy, meaning Rest in Peace Our Daughter Stacy, stood out from all the rest. Underneath, carefully placed, was a photo of a baby girl dressed in white. What message could be stronger and more poignant than this, to demonstrate the anger felt by grieving parents on the first day of the World Immunization Week, arranged by the World Health Organization.

World Immunization Week is an annual event organized by WHO to unite countries worldwide for a week of vaccination campaigns, public education and information sharing with the idea of promoting vaccination awareness. It is doubtful this was the kind of vaccination campaigning or vaccination awareness that WHO had in mind, as these parents gave their own interpretation of vaccination awareness by distributing leaflets on the dangers of vaccination demanding vaccination freedom for their country.

Mr. and Mrs. Sirjacobs, parents who organized the protest, said that they were outraged that so many babies and children were being injured and killed after vaccinations. They had organized the protest in memory of their own daughter Stacy, a premature baby who had died just days after receiving nine routine vaccinations at just eight weeks old.

Read the story in full on VacTruth.

Guyana

In 2015, News Guyana reported that another parent whose baby had died as a result of vaccinations had protested outside the clinic to demand justice for her baby boy.

They wrote:

“The mother and a group of other women protested the clinic as they cry out for justice.

She explained that her son was given a vaccine, which was intended for a 5 – year – old child, after the nurse mixed up his clinic card with that of his cousin.”

They continued:

“K. Critchlow was written on both cards and that’s why she mix them up. He was a very healthy baby when he attended the clinic to get his four-month vaccine, the nurse wrote down all the vaccines in the clinic card before administering the vaccine, and then she go and take out all of the vaccines and put it there and give my son the vaccine for a five year old baby.”

She further noted that she woke her son up to nurse him when she saw him bleeding through his nose.

“When I took him to the hospital they said that he was dead … they said his had brain haemorrhaged and they took a sample … so when we went to ask the nurse if she given him the right vaccine they said it was a mistake.”

Critchlow said the nurse confessed to administering the wrong vaccine; however, they are now trying to cover up the matter and were trying to retrieve the toddler’s clinic card in an attempt to make changes to their record chart.””

The protests continue when parents in China also felt the need to protest on behalf of their vaccine injured children.

China

In 2016, the South China Morning Post reported that approximately 70 parents of vaccine-injured children had protested outside the health commission in Beijing amid a heavy police presence. They stated that:

“The parents gathered at the main gate of the National Health and Family Planning Commission along with about 10 children who were fit enough to join the demonstration.

They wore blue caps and white masks bearing short slogans, urging justice and awareness about their children’s plight.

According to photographs provided by parents, they held up white T-shirts that read “compulsory vaccines lead to disabilities in children.”They were prevented from wearing the shirts.”

The report continued:

“The protests came after mainland authorities sacked and demoted 357 officials and arrested 202 suspects for their alleged involvement in a scandal in Shandong province, where a racket involving illegally traded vaccines worth 570 million yuan (HK$683.3 million) had thrived since 2010.

After nearly three hours of peaceful protest at the commission, the parents were told to address their grievances to the commission’s petition office.

Parents said they came from across the country but met each other while seeking medical treatment for their children in Beijing.

Yi Wenlong, 47, from Shanxi province, said 67 families signed a petition to take legal action against the commission for “turning a blind eye to poor monitoring of children’s vaccines”.

“The victims developed problems as early as eight years ago, while some were afflicted only recently,” Yi said.”

There are currently 134 new vaccine bills being introduced throughout the U.S., threatening to either limit or completely eradicate vaccine exemptions.  As a consequence, it is likely that the number of protests similar to those I have outlined will increase in number as more and more children become vaccine casualties.

For evidence-based research on vaccinations, visit the GreenMedInfo.com Research Dashboard.

Source*

Related Topics:

Pennsylvania Bill SB 217 Takes Away Parents’ Right to Object to Child Vaccinations*

30 States Move to Enact Vaccine Bills Including Tracking and Mandatory Vaccines*

CDC Commits New Vaccine-Autism Crime*

13 Year-Old Boy Permanently Disabled from Chicken Pox Vaccine Wins his Case in Vaccine Court*

400% Spike in Vaccine Injuries, Flu Shot Wins Top Honors for Biggest Payout*

Parents Pressured into Donating Organs of their 4 Month Old Baby After Receiving 7 Vaccine Doses*

Maryland Schools ban Thousands of Students without Government-mandated Vaccinations*

CDC and the Policed State: Quarantine and Vaccination for Suspicion of Infection*

One Way for U.S. to Keep More than an Eye on Guyana’s Oil*

One Way for U.S. to Keep More than an Eye on Guyana’s Oil*

At least fifty Guyanese are expected to benefit from a series of oil and gas related courses that will be offered by the University of Texas – Petroleum Extension, in association with the Caribbean Learning Portal, and schooladviser.org.

The first course which is part of a total of four short courses will begin on the 13 February 2017 and will conclude on the 10 March, 2017.

The initial course will provide an insight into the foundation aspects of oil and gas exploration, and is intended to be part of a series of courses that will equip participants with some working knowledge of petroleum exploration.

A certificate from the University of Texas – Petroleum Extension, will be issued to all participants upon successful completion of each course.

While major job opportunities are widely expected to become available in the local oil and gas sector when commercial export begins, Guyana does not have a qualified workforce in oil and gas to deal with such an impending demand.
This is largely due to the fact that the sector is relatively new, compounded by the fact that Guyana do not have an internationally recognize training school that is catered for the oil and gas sector.

And while several efforts are being made by local stakeholders to develop an oil and gas training program, Guyanese have been somewhat reluctant to endorse this move citing issues with international recognition.

But with the University of Texas being a leading international trainer in the field of oil and gas, the training and certification that is being offered to Guyanese by that institution would certainly address such concerns.

All of the courses will be conducted via distant learning, while local registration and facility support will be provided by schooladviser.org (A subsidiary of Caribbean Learning Portal).

According to the program’s local representative, Ms. Malika Callender, registration for the first batch of oil and gas trainees will commence on Wednesday 18 January, 2017.

She advised that interested registrants can make further inquiries by contacting her during office hours at telephone number: 226-4738, WhatsApp: +592-610-2273 or email: info@schooladviser.org.

The initial registration fee is pegged at: US$25, while each of the four certificate courses starts from around $180 and upwards.

However, five scholarships are available for qualifying students who may not be in a position to subscribe to the required course fees.

With each course averaging at about four to five weeks in duration, and being done mostly online, she suggested that all four of the oil and gas programs can be completed within 3 to 4 months.

Source*

Related Topics:

Guyana Internet Users Blacklisted Over Cyber-Security Concerns*

The Secret Agenda Behind the Venezuela-Guyana Conflict*

Yellow Journalism, and the Truth Behind the Jonestown Massacre*

Spirituality in the New World Order is a One World Religious Authority*

The Oil-Gas War Over Syria*

U.K. Taxpayers Subsidising World’s Largest Oil Companies to Exploit Its Own Natural Resources*

A Sea of Oil Tankers off the Coast Of Singapore*

The Secret Oil War Has Begun*

Shell Oil Faces Second Lawsuit in Five Years over Spills in Nigeria*

Guyana Internet Users Blacklisted Over Cyber-Security Concerns*

Guyana Internet Users Blacklisted Over Cyber-Security Concerns*

591f5-aa-internet-computer-outlet-being-plugged-into-world-good-oneBy Dennis Adonis

Residents of Guyana who rely on the internet to handle online banking and online payment processing with a number of US banks and payment gateways, may soon be unable to do so after several US-based payment processors have decided to blacklist a number of internet protocol (IP) ranges that are being used by Guyanese to handle online transactions and general internet usage.

The Guyana Guardian was reliably informed that the IP blocking is occurring because several of the IP addresses that are owned by local telecommunications company GTT were discovered to be (possibly inadvertently) involved in large-scale spamming and other internet security incidents that can compromise the security of a company’s online systems.

As such, several U.S. companies including PayPal, Bank of America and Google Pay have already implemented an outright ban on several GTT-owned IP ranges, thus making it almost impossible for persons to access any online payment system that is operated by those American companies.

Several other U.S., Canadian and U.K. companies are also expected to automatically add the blacklisted Guyana IP ranges to their cyber-security watch lists.

While the banning of the Guyanese IP ranges will have a negative impact on hundreds of Guyanese households and businesses whose internet connections are tied to the blacklisted IP ranges, Michael Denny, a former cyber security expert at Microsoft, told the Guyana Guardian that the actions taken by the U.S. companies such as PayPal are generally automatic and are often reversed once certain security elements in relation to the affected IP ranges are addressed and reported.

He noted that internet users in Guyana are probably being bundled into one set of IP ranges because the internet service provider (GTT) might be experiencing a possible IP address exhaustion crisis.

This option can, however, be problematic once one computer on the shared IP address is infected by a spambot, a hacker or a virus, which can then compromise the security and safety of other computers on the network.

And though this is nothing new, he explained that it is often disadvantageous for consumers and companies who might be relying on ecommerce for their personal and corporate use, since even a single network security breach can potentially harm an entire network.

Outside of the international financial services sector, the internet search giant, Google, has also implemented an automatic spam security check whenever a search query is made during peak periods from any local computer or phone that is tied to the blacklisted IP address range.

This security feature by Google would now require Guyanese web searchers to enter a specific spam check code or go through an image select security process aimed at verifying that the search entry was not from a spambot that might be present on the same IP range.

And once the correct security response is entered, only then would Google’s systems process the search or usage request.

However, several local individuals and businesses that are familiar with virtual private network (VPN) tunneling have been retaining the technology from various U.S. service providers, so as to ensure that their online transactions are not caught up in the IP blacklisting debacle.

Efforts to solicit a comment or an explanation from Guyana’s GTT about the issue proved to be futile.

On the other hand, communications staff from PayPal told the Guyana Guardian that a public statement on such an issue is not a necessity since its online payment systems would generally blacklists and whitelists of IP ranges from various countries automatically every day.

And since the IP blacklisting scenario with Guyana is not a unique occurrence, a public statement is not a necessity.

Guyana, like practically most Caribbean countries, does not enjoy the presence of cyber security engineers, and is also suffering from a severe lack of real professional IT expertise to address issues such as IP blacklisting.

Source*

Related Topics:

Here it Comes – Internet Tax Beginning with Hungary*

Congress Deliberating on Tax for Your Internet Access*

Global Governance and Internet Control*

South America and another U.S Invasion*

U.S. and U.N. Power Hand-Over or Hostile Take-over*

The Secret Agenda Behind the Venezuela-Guyana Conflict*

The Secret Agenda Behind the Venezuela-Guyana Conflict*

Isn’t it amazing how the U.S. feels it has a right  to what is on somebody elses land and it poses a threat to U.S. national security if they are deprived of that ‘right’.

By Eva Golinger

It all began in 1835 when the British Empire sent a German-born naturalist and explorer to conduct geographical research in the South American territory it had colonized and named British Guiana. In the course of his explorations, a map was drawn that well-exceeded the original western boundary first occupied by the Dutch and later passed to British control. Sparking the interest of the Empire’s desire to expand its borders into the area west of the Essequibo River that was rich in gold, the British government commissioned the explorer to survey their territorial boundaries. What became known as the “Schomburgk Line”, named after the explorer, Robert Hermann Schomburgk, usurped a large portion of Venezuelan land, and provoked the beginning of a territorial dispute that has remained unresolved to this day.

In 1850, after decades of arguing over the boundary line dividing Venezuela from its colonized neighbour, both sides agreed not to occupy the disputed territory under further determinations could be made, but as the demand for gold and other natural resources grew in the region, the British again tried to claim the territory declaring the Schomburgk Line the frontier of British Guiana, in clear violation of the previous accord with Venezuela.

Ironically, Venezuela appealed to the United States government for help at the time, using the Monroe Doctrine as a justification to prevent further colonization by the British Empire in the hemisphere. US President Grover Cleveland eventually declared the matter of U.S. interest and forced Great Britain to sign a Treaty of Arbitration with Venezuela in Washington in 1897.

Two years later, the Arbitration Tribunal, which had no representatives from Venezuela but instead two arbitrators from the United States said to be acting in Venezuela’s interest, ruled in favour of Britain. Venezuela rejected the decision, alleging there had been political collusion and illegal pressures in favor of the other side. These claims were supported by a letter written by Severo Mallet-Prevost, the Official Secretary of the US/Venezuela delegation in the Arbitration Tribunal who revealed the President of the Tribunal, Friedrich Martens had pressured the arbitrators to decide in favor of Great Britain.

More than half a century went by until the dispute was re-introduced on the international stage, this time at the United Nations. Venezuela denounced the corruption that had led to the arbitrators decision in 1899 and reiterated its claim over the territory known as the “Essequibo”. In February 1966, at a meeting in Geneva, all parties to the conflict – Venezuela, British Guiana and Great Britain – signed the agreement to resolve the dispute over the border between Venezuela and British Guiana, known as the Treaty of Geneva. They agreed neither side would act on the disputed territory until they could resolve a definitive border, acceptable to all parties. Months later, in May 1966, Guyana achieved its independence from the United Kingdom, further complicating matters. On subsequent maps of Venezuela and Guyana, both countries claimed the territory as part of their sovereign land.

Despite minor disagreements since 1966, the dispute did not become the source of escalating regional tensions until 2015, when a large oil discovery was made by Exxon right smack in the middle of the Essequibo, and claimed by Guyana.

Oil

The Cooperative Republic of Guyana is the second poorest country in the Caribbean, only surpassing desolate Haiti in per capita income. The country’s main economic activity is agriculture, specifically rice and sugar production, which account for over 30% of export income. Despite being surrounded by vast oil and gas reserves in neighbouring Venezuela, which has the largest oil reserves on the planet in its Orinoco River Basin, and nearby Trinidad and Tobago, up until recently Guyana had no known oil reserves within its territorial boundaries.

Enter Exxon Mobil, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, and a declared enemy of Venezuela. Until 2007, Exxon had a significant investment through its Cerro Negro Project in Venezuela’s Orinoco River Basin. Initially, U.S. oil and geological experts had classified the oil-based substance found in mass quantities in that area to be bitumen, a thick black tar-like asphalt, therefore rendering it not subject to the 1976 Hydrocarbons Law in Venezuela that nationalized oil and gas reserves. After President Hugo Chavez suspected the area actually contained huge oil reserves, he had his own research done and was proved right: the Orinoco River Basin was certified with over 300 billion barrels of heavy-crude petroleum.

On May 1, 2007, Chavez officially declared all hydrocarbons in that region subject to the prior nationalization laws, legally binding any foreign companies operating there to engage in joint-ventures with the Venezuelan public oil company, PDVSA. The law required a minimum of 51% ownership by the Venezuelan state, with a maximum of 49% for foreign companies. Only two companies refused to cooperate with the new laws. Both were from the United States: ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil. Both sued Venezuela over the nationalizations.

ConocoPhillips’ claim was significantly smaller than Exxon’s, which demanded over $18 billion for the expropriation. Venezuela offered market value and the case went to an international arbitration tribunal that eventually ordered the Venezuelan government to pay Exxon $1.6 billion, a mere fraction of what the US oil giant had expected.

In an apparent act of revenge, Exxon found a way to get Venezuela’s oil without following Venezuela’s rules, albeit through illegal and potentially dangerous channels.

Exxon-U.S. Agenda

As the Obama administration was amping up hostility against Venezuela, declaring it via Executive Decree an “unusual and extraordinary threat to U.S. national security” and imposing potentially vast-reaching sanctions on government officials, Exxon was making a deal with Guyana to explore oil deposits in the disputed Essequibo territory.

In May 2015, just as Guyana was swearing in a new president, the conservative military officer David Granger, a close U.S. ally, Exxon was making a huge discovery in the Atlantic Ocean near the Venezuelan coast. According to reports, the deposits found by Exxon in the ’Liza-1 well’ hold over 700 million barrels of oil, worth about $40 billion today. The find could be a major game changer for Guyana, representing more than 12 times its current economic input, that is, if the oil actually belonged to Guyana instead of Venezuela.

On January 26, 2015, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden hosted the first Caribbean Energy Security Initiative, bringing heads of state and high-level officials from Caribbean nations together with multinational executives in Washington. The stated goal of the new initiative is to help Caribbean nations “create the conditions to attract private-sector investment”, but Biden made the true objective clear when he declared, “…whether it’s the Ukraine or the Caribbean, no country should be able to use natural resources as a tool of coercion against any other country.”

Without mentioning it by name, Biden was referring to Venezuela and its PetroCaribe program that provides subsidized oil and gas to Caribbean nations at virtually no upfront cost. PetroCaribe has been fundamental in aiding development in the region during the past ten years since its creation. And clearly, its perceived as a threat to U.S. influence in the Caribbean, and an affront to traditional corporate exploitation of small, developing nations.

In addition to the Obama administration sanctions aimed at isolating Venezuela in the region and portraying it as a ‘failed state’, the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative takes a direct stab at Venezuela’s lifeline: oil.

In the U.S. Senate Report on the Department of State’s Foreign Operations Budget for 2016, $5,000,000.00 was recommended for “enhanced efforts to help Latin America and Caribbean countries achieve greater energy independence from Venezuela”. Falling oil prices have already done damage to Venezuela’s economy, but forcing it out of the regional oil trade would hurt even more.

The main conundrum of figuring out how to replace Venezuelan oil in PetroCaribe was resolved with the stroke of a pen by Guyana’s new president, a former instructor at the U.S. Army War College who made a secret trip to the United States just three days after taking office in May. Hours later, Exxon’s oil exploration rig, Deepwater Champion made its first major lucrative discovery in the large Stabroek Block in the disputed coastal territory.

The Venezuelan government warned Exxon to leave the area, citing its claim over the Essequibo territory and the ongoing dispute with Guyana subject to UN mediation. But Exxon paid no heed to Venezuela, following President Granger’s lead in openly defying the Geneva Agreement and Venezuela’s calls to solve the conflict through diplomacy, involving the UN Good Offices in the resolution of the centuries-old dispute.

UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon has pledged to send a commission to both Venezuela and Guyana to seek resolution for a problem that now, as Washington hoped, is dividing the region. President Maduro and his Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez have been making their case before regional leaders, encouraging other Caribbean nations to support their claim over the Essequibo, or at least approve the involvement of the UN to arbitrate the dispute. In the meantime, Guyana continues to aggressively push forward with Exxon to pursue what could become the largest oil theft in the Americas.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.S. Interfering in Venezuela Again*

Obama Visit to Jamaica, an Attempt to Break-up the Regional Alliance*

The U.S. Coup against Venezuela has Served to Strengthen Caribbean Unity

Speech by Raúl Castro at the Summit of the Americas*

Yellow Journalism, and the Truth Behind the Jonestown Massacre*

Tanzania Stands to Lose US$1 billion Annually in a Exxon Mobil-Norwegian Gas Deal*

Exxon Mobil-Norwegian Tanzanian Gas Deal Stopped in their Tracks!?*

Chevron and Exxon: The Criminals Behind Katrina*