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.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.