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Coup Attempt in Venezuela: What You’re Not Being Told

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Venezuela Coup Attempt
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As self-proclaimed “Interim President” Juan Guaidó attempted to stage a military coup in Venezuela, the country’s U.N. ambassador declared President Nicolas Maduro victorious and called the United States a “rogue nation.”

The turbulent situation that has been unfolding in Venezuela for the last few years reached new heights on Tuesday as opposition leader and self-declared “Interim President” Juan Guaidó attempted to wrangle power away from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in what many are calling an attempted coup. Early Tuesday morning, Guaidó gave a press conference declaring that he has the support of the Venezuelan people and military, and demanded that Maduro step down. Guaidó also called on Venezuelans to take to the streets and call for an end to Maduro’s reign as president.

During the day’s events, cameras caught armored vehicles, reportedly belonging to the Bolivian military, running into crowds of protesters. Human Rights Watch (HRW) tweeted that 25 peopled were detained and dozens were wounded. HRW also noted that Venezuelan authorities shut down two international television channels and censored one radio station. “The regime should know that it will be held accountable for these abuses,” tweeted José Miguel Vivanco, Executive Director of HRW’s America Division.

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s U.N. ambassador Samuel Moncada held a press conference stating that President Maduro has “defeated” opposition leader Juan Guaidó and his supporters. Moncada stated “the country is right now in a situation of perfect normality.” Moncada criticized U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for not supporting Maduro’s government against Guaidó.

Moncada also attacked the United States for what he said was another example of their interventionist policies, singling out President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their support of Guaidó. “This is one of the most strange and weird situations we are in now, which the superpower of the world is the main rogue state going around, without care, destroying countries, invading countries, and threatening with the use of force,” Moncada stated.

The Ambassador to the UN also noted that the United States’ use of sanctions amounts to an act of war and only hurts the Venezuelan people. “Sanctions kill, as simple as that. Sanctions are criminal sanctions, are weapons of mass destruction. You don’t see the smoke, but you see the effect, you see the deleterious effect of killing and suffering,” Moncada said. “The sanctions use banks sanction, sanctions use ships, sanctions use insurance companies, and financial blockades. They cannot just say that they are concerned about liberty or freedom or the children in Venezuela, and then exercise a ghastly, nasty policy of calculated cruelty. They are acting like torturers, it is a collective punishment.”

Indeed, the Washington D.C.-based Center for Economic Policy Research published a report last week which determined that U.S. sanctions against Venezuela were likely responsible for 40,000 deaths in 2017-2018.

The harsh reality is that Maduro is by no means a perfect leader and his support of censoring media, use of the military to suppress protests (whether engineered or authentic), his suppression of the opposition, and other despicable acts do need to be called out. However, Ambassador Moncada is also correct that the United States does act as an imperialist “rogue” nation, using force on any nation that does not follow the Western Imperialist agenda. Unfortunately, it seems that the Venezuelan people are caught between a leader who is unpopular in some circles and an even more unpopular self-proclaimed “Interim President” with multiple connections to the Western Empire.

Of course, if our readers are unaware of these connections, it is because the corporate media (CNN, WaPo, The Hill, and others) have been running non-stop coverage of why Guaidó should be accepted as the leader of Venezuela while ignoring any bit of evidence that the “uprising” might be less than genuine.

Despite the round the clock support of Guaidó, on April 13 the Grayzone exclusively reported that a who’s who of Trump advisors, right-wing Latin American officials, and Venezuelan opposition figures met to discuss “Assessing the Use of Military Force in Venezuela.” The meeting was hosted on April 10 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington-based think tank. This meeting included current and former State Department, National Intelligence Council, and National Security Council officials, along with Admiral Kurt Tidd, who was until recently the commander of the US Naval Forces Southern Command, overseeing operations in Central and South America.

The truth is that the Western Empire has been attempting to use Guaidó to install a puppet government in Venezuela. There is also evidence that the U.S. government and its intelligence agencies have attempted to take advantage of electricity blackouts in order to dethrone Maduro. In addition, there are a number of corporations and special interests who stand to benefit from the overthrow of Maduro and the crowning of Guaidó.

Although the American media has failed to report any of the above conflicts, there are still some Americans who are standing against the Venezuelan coup. A group calling itself the Embassy Protection Collective was invited by Venezuela’s government to protect the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington D.C. from illegal seizure by the U.S. government or opposition supporters. The group—which includes members of CODEPINK, Popular Resistance, the Answer Coalition, MintPress News and more—has been working to raise awareness on the attempts by the Western oligarchy to install another puppet government in Venezuela.

The reality of the situation in Venezuela is much more complicated than the likes of CNN would have the American people believe. Only by dissecting the lies from the American media, the Maduro government, and the Guaidó contingent can we hope to get to the truth and support the people who really matter: The Venezuelan People.

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WATCH: Video Shows Bullets Fly as Armored Car Crew Narrowly Escapes Brutal Heist

Elias Marat

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Dramatic dash cam footage from Pretoria, South Africa, shows the moment that the crew of an armored car narrowly escaped an attempt by armed robes to stage a heist.

The shocking video shows a pair of private security officers transporting cash in a bulletproof Toyota truck on April 22 before they suddenly come under attack by armed assailants.

For the first minute of the roughly three-minute-long video, the security guards can be seen routinely driving down a highway.

The vehicle then comes under fire as bullets can be heard slamming into the driver side of the car, with the window by the driver’s side shattering.

The driver, who maintains his calm and composure during the attack, manages to escape amid the traffic. He also seems to slam into one of the two vehicles belonging to the attackers.

“They’re going to shoot. They’re going to f**king shoot,” the driver then says, urging his colleague to pull out the rifle and prepare to defend their lives.

As gunshots continue to ring out, the two drive silently as the tension builds. The driver then shouts to his colleague: “Phone Robbie, phone Josh! Ask them where they are.”

As the video ends, the driver can be seen stopping the vehicle and grabbing his colleague’s rifle. At that point, it becomes clear that the assailants have realized that their attack was futile they had already fled the scene.

The suspects fired several shots at the [Cash-In-Transit] vehicle in an attempt to stop it during a high-speed chase,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo , reports News24. 

“The driver of the CIT vehicle managed to evade the robbers for a while but later stopped in wait for the robbers,” Naidoo added. “The robbers fled without taking any money. No arrests have yet been made.”

Online users have praised the steel nerves of the armored car’s crew in navigating what could have been a deadly attack.

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After Strong Backlash, NYPD Kicks Robotic Dog “Spot” to the Curb

Kenny Stancil

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The New York City Police Department decided this week to stop leasing a robotic dog from Boston Dynamics following a sustained outcry from residents and lawmakers, who denounced the use of the high-tech, four-legged device in low-income neighborhoods as a misallocation of public resources and violation of civil liberties.

When the NYPD acquired the K-9 machine last August, officials portrayed “Digidog”—the department’s name for the camera-equipped, 70-pound robot—as “a futuristic tool that could go places that were too dangerous to send officers,” the New York Times reported earlier this week.

Inspector Frank Digiacomo of the department’s Technical Assistance Response Unit said in a television interview in December: “This dog is going to save lives. It’s going to protect people. It’s going to protect officers.”

Instead—thanks to strong backlash from critics, including people who live in the Bronx apartment complex and the Manhattan public housing building where the robotic dog was deployed in recent weeks—the department is returning “Spot,” as Boston Dynamics calls the device, months earlier than expected.

According to the Times:

In response to a subpoena from City Councilman Ben Kallos and Council Speaker Corey Johnson requesting records related to the device, police officials said that a contract worth roughly $94,000 to lease the robotic dog from its maker, Boston Dynamics, had been terminated on April 22.

John Miller, the police department’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, confirmed on Wednesday that the contract had been canceled and that the dog had been returned to Boston Dynamics or would be soon.

Miller told the Times that the police had initially planned to continue testing the K-9 machine’s capabilities until August, when the lease had been scheduled to end.

The robotic dog came under increased scrutiny in February, after it was deployed in response to a home invasion at a Bronx apartment building, as Common Dreams reported at the time.

“Robotic surveillance ground drones are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with under-resourced schools,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted in response. “Please ask yourself: when was the last time you saw next-generation, world class technology for education, healthcare, housing, etc. consistently prioritized for underserved communities like this?” 

And earlier this month, as Common Dreams reported, footage of the robotic dog walking through a Manhattan public housing building went viral, sparking additional outrage and prompting a city council investigation.

“Why the hell do we need robot police dogs?” Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) asked at the time. 

While there are “people living in poverty, struggling to put food on the table, keep a roof over their head, take care of their kids, afford child care—all this going on, and now we got damn robot police dogs walking down the street,” Bowman lamented.

Bill Neidhardt, a spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who urged the police department to reconsider its use of the robot following objections from residents and lawmakers, said he was “glad the Digidog was put down.”

“It’s creepy, alienating, and sends the wrong message to New Yorkers,” Neidhardt said.

Republished from CommonDreams.org under Creative Commons

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Senate Intelligence Leaders Say Mystery “Sonic Weapon” Attacks on U.S. Officials Increasing

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After it was revealed Thursday that US intelligence is investigating at least two potential “directed energy” sonic attacks on White House personnel – one of which is alleged to have happened just off White House grounds – the US Senate Intelligence Committee weighed in on Friday, saying such mysterious incidents appear to be happening with greater frequency worldwide.

Senators Mark Warner (D) and Marco Rubio (R) agreed that such microwave energy attacks have gone on for “nearly five years” and have targeted “US government personnel in Havana, Cuba and elsewhere around the world.” In a joint statement the two ranking members said, “This pattern of attacking our fellow citizens serving our government appears to be increasing. The Senate Intelligence Committee intends to get to the bottom of this,” according to Reuters. 

As with the late 2016 into 2017 ‘Havana Syndrome’ attacks in which some 50 diplomatic personnel reported experiencing strange symptoms from vomiting to concussions to extreme nausea to chronic headaches, which was believed the result of some kind of undetected ‘directed energy’ weapon, the most recent incidents saw media reports speculate that Russia or China might be behind them. 

It was starting last week that the mysterious incidents returned to national media spotlight after defense officials said they believe Russia is likely behind microwave energy weapon attacks on US troops in northeast Syria. Apparently some US troops occupying the country began reporting”flu-like symptoms” which caused the DoD to investigate possible linkage to microwave or directed energy weapons on the battlefield of Syria. Politico reported that “officials identified Russia as a likely culprit, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.”

Despite instances of strange symptoms and even head injuries experienced by diplomatic personnel or troops abroad, no “energy weapon” has ever been found or uncovered that’s believed to have caused any of these alleged attacks. Most often US personnel report the symptoms enough time after the alleged attack took place for the “plot” and culprit to remain undetected. Naturally this has resulted in immense skepticism and pushback.

One deeply critical response to all the reporting late this week quipped: “Another day, another mostly anonymously sourced story about unidentified assailants supposedly assaulting U.S. government employees around the globe. This time, according to CNN, federal agencies are looking into something closer to home: symptoms suffered by a White House employee in Virginia and National Security Council staffer near the south lawn of the White House.”

“Although a government report later concluded the most likely cause was instead some sort of ‘directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy’ (i.e. a microwave weapon), that conclusion was primarily based on a lack of evidence for other causes and received strong pushback from many others in the scientific community.”

The commentary in Gizmodo pointed out further that “No hard evidence of any kind for the technology has ever been publicly presented by the US government. Reports citing government officials who suspect Russian intelligence to be involved have largely been anonymous and buoyed primarily by rumors the Russian government may have resumed Soviet-era research into experimental weapons.”

Republished from ZeroHedge.com with permission

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