Connect with us

News

Five Reasons Why the US-Led Crusade Against Venezuela Will Probably Fail

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

Events in Venezuela shook the world on Wednesday, with many left wondering if January 23 was the beginning of the end for the government of President Nicolas Maduro and the beginning of a new chapter of U.S. interventionism.

Here are five reasons why it’s unlikely that this latest drama in the South American nation is the “endgame” that the mainstream media is hyping up.

1. “Interim president” … who, what?

On Wednesday, amid massive anti-government mobilizations, the U.S. and a number of Latin American states – along with Canada and some regional organizations such as the Organization of American States – all recognized National Assembly leader Juan Guaido’s self-proclamation that he would thereby be the “interim president” of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

A relatively unknown 35-year-old member of the opposition-held National Assembly can’t simply snap his fingers and assume the presidency, even if he has the diplomatic nods of some powerful countries in the region or across the globe.

To illustrate the absurdity of the move, a comparison would be like Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responding to “not my president” chants at a Women’s March by declaring herself “interim President of the United States of America Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces” – with the consecration of Russia, Turkey, Iran and El Salvador. Such a move to recognize an unelected president as the legitimate leader of the country would fly in the face of the Constitution as well as international law – and such is the case in Venezuela as much as it would be in the U.S.

Guaido only entered the fractured world of opposition lawmakers – who’ve seen a carousel of leaders come and go – in 2015, and was only pulled from relative obscurity into the national and international limelight in the past couple months.

The man has shown few signs that his declaration of a coup and appeals to the military will be any more successful than the opposition’s many failed attempts to take power since the U.S.-backed coup in 2002.

2. Foreign alliances

Venezuela remains far from alone on the international arena, and a number of powerful countries have refused to fall in line with the United States-led refusal to recognize elected President Nicolas Maduro as the country’s legitimate leader.

Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and regional heavyweight Mexico, as well as a number of other smaller countries, have each signaled that despite the wishful thinking of Maduro’s opponents, business-as-usual will proceed with their Venezuelan counterparts.

And while a united position from Europe may have the potential to hedge in Venezuela’s government even more – with Britain, Germany, Spain and EU bureaucrats signaling their support for the opposition – Brussels is yet to make its move official.

Such divisions show that Venezuela is nowhere nearly as isolated as the U.S. would like to think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1XNezadxJc

3. The Venezuelan military is well-armed, organized, and ready to fight

Despite a few flare-ups of rebellion within the ranks of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces, the country’s military leadership remains firmly at the side of President Maduro.

On Thursday, Defense Minister Padrino Lopez addressed the nation and blasted the U.S. “criminal plan that flagrantly threatens the sovereignty and independence of the nation” and urged Venezuelans to avoid opening the door to civil war while stressing that he stands beside “our commander-in-chief, the citizen Nicolas Maduro.”

Venezuela’s large and very well-armed military will play the decisive role in this drama. It enjoys modern Russian attack helicopters, jets, armor and the latest AK-103 assault rifles from Russia, and in addition to its 120,000-strong armed forces, there are a number of armed militia among the ranks of the citizenry.

4. The opposition is large, but don’t underestimate Maduro’s support from the population

While President Maduro has his detractors in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, the controversial former bus driver and elected leader has supporters in at least equal numbers, if not more.

Were it not for such support, he would have been gone long ago. Yet, through various legal maneuvers, the leader has maintained popular support and has used it to neutralize the massive opposition at every turn and amid skyrocketing inflation and recession.

Yet throughout it all, Maduro’s popular touch – and the enthusiasm that the Chavismo brand of socialism continues to inspire among the country’s poor, despite its problems – has allowed his government to win the battle of hearts and minds among some of his most jaded and weary supporters. Despite his flaws, most Venezuelans would never imagine siding with a U.S. threatening war over their own government.

If there’s one thing that will unite a fragile and nationalistic country, it’s the aggression of a foreign enemy.

5. The United States is being aggressive, but may not have the appetite to wage another massive, ruinous long war

After the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, is the U.S. really willing to risk a so-called “humanitarian intervention” against a country that’s bristling with arms, is twice the size of Iraq, and whose disintegration would unleash social instability across the hemisphere?

Witness the below video, where enthusiastic members of the Venezuelan military promise Washington a “Latin American Vietnam” if the U.S. chooses to invade:

The danger of the U.S. stepping into a trap that they can’t escape is real, and Washington hardly has an appetite for such pain – especially not while rivals like China are rising and the world curiously witnesses the ongoing shutdown debacle.

And while the U.S. may choose to “lead from behind” and let regional countries like Colombia and Brazil do the fighting, Colombia’s President Ivan Duque has shown little willingness to intervene militarily while the tough-talking new Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro appears to be more bluster than bite.

The United States may be able to talk big and apply sanctions with reckless disregard for international law, but it remains highly doubtful that it would be willing to incur the military, political or financial costs of an all-out war on the people of Venezuela.

Washington must know by now that it’s one thing to start a war, but quite another to finish it.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Corruption

Chris Cuomo “indefinitely” gone from CNN after his deep role in brother’s sex scandal is revealed

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was suspended indefinitely by CNN on Tuesday after it was revealed by the New York Attorney General’s Office that the star anchor, the most popular on the news network, was deeply involved in assisting his scandal-embroiled brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, amid a flurry of sexual harassment allegations that ultimately led to him resigning.

While Chris Cuomo had apologized in the past for advising his brother’s senior aides – effectively shattering the wall typically standing between policymakers and journalists – the thousands of pages released by Attorney General Letitia James show that the anchor played a deeply intimate role in damage control efforts stemming from the accusations.

The network and its top leadership, including president Jeff Zucker, had backed their star anchor to the hilt in recent months despite accumulating info showing Cuomo’s breach of basic journalistic standards. The anchor also had apologized for advising the governor while simultaneously downplaying or omitting the extent of his direct involvement in the scandal.

Late Tuesday, the network released a statement acknowledging that “the documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions.”

“When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly,” the statement explained. “However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”

Text messages show that Chris Cuomo clamored to play an increasingly direct role in the scandal, ranging from offers to draft statements for his brother to demands that he play a commanding role in strategic matters. Cuomo also looked into potential angles for news reports and researched the women who accused his brother of sexual misconduct.

“Please let me help with the prep,” Cuomo wrote at to his brother’s top aides as evidence damning the governor mounted.

The move to indefinitely suspend the argumentative and charismatic anchor came as a shock to some anchors, who were aware that he was dear to CNN management. CNN president Zucker also declined to discipline him as reports poured in about his misconduct, reports New York Times.

Chris Cuomo had long admitted that for him, the matter was about “family first, job second.”

“I can be objective about just about any topic, but not about my family,” he said on May 20. He also played down his fervent role in the scandal, claiming that he had been haplessly “looped into calls” with the governor’s inner circle, which he claims was a “mistake” that spilled over onto his work life and placed his CNN colleagues in a “bad spot.”

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Corruption

Jeffrey Epstein’s pilot testifies: Clinton, Trump, Prince Andrew among “Lolita Express” passengers

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime pilot took the stand on Tuesday, the second day of Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial, and detailed the names of famous passengers who rode in the private jet of the disgraced financier who has been accused of a range of crimes, including sex trafficking minors.

Testifying at the trial of Maxwell, who was Epstein’s girlfriend and alleged co-conspirator, pilot Larry Visoski explained how he met a number of notable and powerful people. The names included Prince Andrew, Donald Trump (before he was president), former President Bill Clinton, Chris Tucker, Kevin Spacey, George Mitchell, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and astronaut John Glenn.

The pilot explained that he met the celebrities over the course of decades while flying Epstein’s Boeing 727 Gulfstream jet — often referred to in media as the “Lolita Express” — as well as helicopters.

“I certainly remember President Trump, but not many people associated with him,” the pilot said during cross-examination by Maxwell’s defense team, adding that the future head of state flew on the plane before he became president in 2016.

Clinton was mentioned as Visoski testified about a meeting with a female singer in the cockpit of the jet before flying off from an airport in Palm Beach, Florida. Visoski claims that he remembered the singer, identified as Jane Doe in the courtroom, by her “piercing blue eyes” and that she didn’t appear to be young at the time.

“You’ll forgive the question, Mr. Visoski, but I think you’ll remember that at the time you saw her, you also remembered she had large breasts. Isn’t that right?” asked Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen Comey.

“Uh. She was a mature woman,” Visoski answered in response.

According to prosecutors, Jane was 14 years old when she was essentially “recruited” by Maxwell in 1994, not long before Visoski met her in the cockpit.

“I can’t visualize her sitting in the passenger compartment like I would, say, President Clinton. It was so long ago,” the pilot said.

“Jane Doe” also testified on Tuesday and explained how she was eating ice cream at a youth summer camp when Maxwell and Epstein approached her in a friendly manner.

Before long, however, Maxwell allegedly began training her on how to “massage” Epstein.

Eventually, she explained, she took part in orgies involving both Maxwell and Esptein at the late financier’s massive homes in Palm Beach, New York City, and New Mexico.

Prosecutors have depicted Maxwell as the mastermind of a sadistic sex trafficking gang that preyed on young women and underage girls. The U.S. government has alleged that over the span of at least 10 years, from 1994 to 2004, she “assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse” the girls and young women.

The British media heiress has pleaded not guilty to the six felony counts.

Epstein, 66, died of apparent suicide during his incarceration at a federal prison in Manhattan while facing a likely prison sentence of up to 45 years on charges of pedophilia and sex trafficking.

According to Visoski, from 1991 until 2019, he regularly flew Epstein to his private island in the Caribbean, Little St. James – an island popularly referred to as “Pedophile Island.”

“Every week to every 10 days if we weren’t elsewhere in the world, but, you know, it was a regular destination,” Visoski said.

Visoski also noted that he remembered Maxwell, a one-time girlfriend of Epstein, as an employee of the late sex criminal – albeit one whose specific role was unclear.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Corruption

Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins as Epstein’s shadow looms large

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

On Monday, opening arguments began in the widely anticipated federal trial of accused sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, the notorious British socialite who allegedly helped disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein commit a dizzying array of abusive and exploitative acts toward multiple women and girls, including one as young as 14.

Epstein, 66, died of apparent suicide during his incarceration at a federal prison in New York City while facing a potential prison sentence of up to 45 years on charges of pedophilia and sex trafficking.

The Maxwell trial could be a last-ditch opportunity for the government to secure a conviction for the crimes of Epstein, in effect making this the trial that he prevented from ever occurring.

“The shadow of Epstein is going to loom large here,” former federal judge Moira Penza told the New York Times. “The case is obviously going to be about Maxwell, but he’s going to be right at the center of it as well.”

Early Monday, jury selection drew to a close.

The trial won’t be broadcast on television or online, while attendees will be prevented from broadcasting or photographing the trial, reports NPR.

Maxwell, 59, faces charges of grooming multiple minors to engage in illegal sex acts with Epstein, her ex-boyfriend, and sex-trafficking a minor. The indictment accuses the British media heiress of conspiracy, including recruiting one of her partner’s victims to help recruit other girls to be paid to undergo abuse at the hands of Epstein.

On Monday, prosecutors depicted Maxwell, who circulated in wealthy and powerful circles in the U.K. and U.S., as the mastermind of a sadistic sex trafficking gang that preyed on teenage girls. U.S. Attorneys have alleged that over the span of at least 10 years, from 1994 to 2004, she “assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse” the girls and young women.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges, while her multiple attempts to be released from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, have all been shot down.

Prosecutor Laura Pomerantz said Monday that Maxwell was a key component in Epstein’s “pyramid scheme of abuse” and criminal sex acts carried out under the color of respectability, reports BBC.

Pomerantz noted that one accuser befriended by the pair was promised bright opportunities in the future.

Prosecutors will call on witnesses including four alleged victims and experts on sexual abuse and those who can inform the jury about the credibility of the couple’s victims, including those who may not have been aware that they suffered abuse at the time.

Experts say that the prosecution will have their work cut out for them and must refrain from making the trial center too much on Epstein’s crimes rather than those of his alleged co-conspirator Maxwell.

Maxwell’s defense will also have to convince the 12-person jury that she was an unwitting player in Epstein’s game, likely by delving into the details of the deceased criminal’s dealings at the top levels of philanthropy, academia, politics, and high finance.

On Monday, the defense protested Maxwell being held liable for Epstein’s crimes and depicted her situation as being one where “memory, manipulation and money” play crucial roles.

However, federal attorneys have pushed back at the idea that she was a victim of Epstein, as opposed to a willing accomplice.

“The government’s yearslong investigation has not developed any evidence that the defendant was victimized in any way by Jeffrey Epstein,” read court papers that were recently filed by the government.

Prosecutors are expected to draw on Maxwell’s so-called “black book,” which meticulously recorded the friends and contacts of Epstein. The FBI gained possession of the book in 2019 when Epstein’s former butler tried to sell it. The government is confident that the book contains “compelling evidence of her guilt,” according to court filings.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Trending

The Mind Unleashed