Will Putin Help Turn Venezuela into Another Syria?

After a series of bombings in Russian apartment complexes in several cities in September of 1999 - ones in which around 300 people died and about a thousand Russians were wounded - Vladmir Putin began his final ascent to the Presidency of Russia.

American journalist David Satter, who was in Russian and who spent a considerable time in the country, in an interview with Business Insider about a year ago:

"Putin came forward as the savior of the country. He was put in charge of a war in Chechnya. The bombings were blamed on Chechens without any evidence whatsoever, and as a result of the successful prosecution of that war, against all odds he was elected the next Russian president. The apartment bombings appear to be the keystone of a plot to confuse Russian public opinion, to create terror, to distract the Russian public, to redirect their anger away from the corruption that had flourished under Yeltsin, and toward the Chechens who had had for a number of years a semi-independent government in Chechnya and in that way create the conditions for the Russian people to vote in what they absolutely consciously did not want, which was a successor to Yeltsin who would protect Yeltsin."

Putin is not merely a ruthless authoritarian who has helped spread death and destruction wherever he feels he can gain an advantage. He's also a wily spymaster who manages to do outrageous things without ever getting explicitly blamed for it in the end, even as his record over the last 2 decades is truly bloody and even horrifying at times. Consider this by Tom Rogan in the Washington Examiner talking about Putin's strategy in Syria:

"So, why are the Russians bombing hospitals? It's not for the sake of being brutal per se. It's because Russian strategy views civilian harm as a mechanism for compelling adversaries to compromise. Put simply, Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that if his forces kill enough civilians and create enough imagery of that suffering, it will induce a speedy cease-fire. That's why the hospitals targeted are all in major rebel-held areas or along rebel supply routes. Alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Russians want to seize Idlib. While Putin signed an Idlib cease-fire agreement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2018, that deal was never going to last. Since January, Putin has wanted to act."


"Equally important here is how civilian suffering will foster international calls for a cease-fire. Putin knows that the European Union and the United Nations will surrender to Russian demands in order to stop civilian loss of life."

20 years later, he's just as ruthless and just as hungry for power as he ever was.

Now we have what appears to have been a failed uprising in Venezuela, with what looks like some American coordination that wasn't effective enough because of timing issues and the unwillingness of a majority of security forces to switch sides and force Maduro into a waiting flight to Havana. Secretary of State Pompeo blamed Russia for convincing Maduro to resist the easy way and board a flight to a retirement in Cuba. The Guardian - a left-wing paper born in England and one that in its own way has helped Jeremy Corbin rise to the top of the Labour Party with the disastrous results that have since followed - has some sneering commentary on the so-called fizzled uprising in Venezuela:

"The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, claimed that Maduro's plane had been on the tarmac waiting for takeoff, but that he had been persuaded not to leave at the last moment by the Russians, a claim the Russians denied."

"Donald Trump himself went on Twitter to rail against Cuban support for Maduro. And the US envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, a veteran of Reagan-era US covert operations in Latin America, appeared on a independent Venezuelan television channel, giving a detailed account of the 15-point document the defectors were supposed to have signed."

"So while the official line was that the uprising was the work of the Venezuelan masses, everything the administration did reinforced the message that it had been made in Washington."

"'It's idiocy. I don't know what they think they are doing but they are undermining the efforts of the opposition to achieve their goals,' said Eva Golinger, the author of several sympathetic books about Chávez."

Venezuela has slipped beyond being a basket case, thanks in part to support from real idiots like Eva Gollinger, and now risks becoming another Syria with Putin gladly creating as much death and destruction as necessary to gain him a firm foothold in South America. A foothold that the Soviet Union was never really able to achieve, thanks to some ugly, and yes, very dirty tactics that America's local allies engaged in, with some support from Washington and the Pentagon as well.

Will Putin succeed in turning Venezuela into another Syria? That is a legitimate question to ask and it depends on whether Maduro gets on a plane or not and whether the drug-running generals can be convinced they won't be lynched and ripped to pieces along with the colectivos (the armed paramilitary groups) in the streets and plazas of the country after Maduro goes and a transition government takes his place.

How to make that happen against an opponent who is both a spy master and a bloody autocrat is shaping up to be a very tough challenge. One has to be glad it's not Obama in the White House making those decisions, as much as the media loves to ridicule this administration.

Posted by Keeley at May 8, 2019 5:08 PM
Comments
Comment #443083

What a silly article by Keeley2 alleging there was a “failed uprising in Venezuela”. No such thing happened. Pardoned criminal Abrams and fool Bolton tried to get a lot of Venezualans killed, but they didn’t fall for the attempt to start a civil war. ( January 25 Abrams was appointed as Special Representative for Venezuela by Pompeo. Abrams was a key architect behind the Iraq War. Previously advocated for aid to Guatemalan mass murdering dictator later convicted of genocide.)

“Real idiots” like Pompeo still haven’t figured out that “a spy master and a bloody autocrat” is the master of the moronidiotimbecile that hangs around the white house. He cannot refuse a call from putain. He cannot refuse a meeting with putain. He has been publicly subservient to putain. He takes orders from putain even through surrogates like Lavrov. “Bloody autocrats” are Tr-mp’s favorite people in the world, and some are even learning methods of becoming more autocratic from his example.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 8, 2019 6:47 PM
Comment #443084

And the moronidiotimbecile even imagines putain smiling at him through the telephone line. What a POS.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 8, 2019 6:50 PM
Comment #443085

Let me get this straight:
We want to overthrow the President of Venezuela because of a fraudulent election, and replace him with the Speaker of the House from the opposition party?

Uh huh. So irony is still alive.

The Neocons never forgave the Venezuelans for not letting Big Oil take the oil from their country. The Venezuelans committed the unforgiveable sin of nationalizing their oil, and using the money for the benefit of poor Venezuelans, providing terrible things like medical care. Truly, these people are monsters.

The Neocons tried to overthrow them early in the Bush administration, and failed. Recently the Trump administration declared Venezuela a state sponsor of terrorism, which is just bizarre.

Under Obama, oil prices declined dramatically, to the mid $40’s/bbl. Now the price is back to the low $60’s. It’s a toughie for the Trump administration. Low oil prices hurt Venezuela, but they hurt Russia, too. If the Trump administration can just create enough tension over Iran to jack up the price, Vladimir would be very appreciative. Trump is compromised by the Russians and has his marching orders…

Posted by: phx8 at May 8, 2019 6:58 PM
Comment #443086

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-organization-sold-property-to-shell-company-linked-to-maduro-regime-says-report

The Tr-mp Organization sold a luxury ocean-view property in the Dominican Republic to a shell company that appears to be tied to figures from Venezuela’s Maduro regime, the Miami Herald reports. The property was sold to Venezuelans who are reportedly linked to a Diosdado Cabello, the second most powerful man in President Nicolás Maduro’s government. Cabello is now under U.S. sanctions for alleged drug trafficking and money laundering but, in April 2015, the Tr-mp Organization sold the property to a Costa Rican company that has been linked to a Venezuelan woman named Marlene Coromoto Arenas Colina. She’s married to Pedro Fritz Morejón, the former Venezuelan tourism minister under late President Hugo Chávez, both of whom have been linked to Cabello, who is vice head of Venezuela’s Socialist Party.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/13/donald-trumps-worst-deal

According to the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, Azerbaijan is among the most corrupt nations in the world. Its President, Ilham Aliyev, the son of the former President Heydar Aliyev, recently appointed his wife to be Vice-President. Ziya Mammadov became the Transportation Minister in 2002, around the time that the regime began receiving enormous profits from government-owned oil reserves in the Caspian Sea. At the time of the hotel deal, Mammadov, a career government official, had a salary of about twelve thousand dollars, but he was a billionaire…. Ziya Mammadov, in his role as Transportation Minister, awarded a series of multimillion-dollar contracts to Azarpassillo, an Iranian construction company. Keyumars Darvishi, its chairman, fought in the Iran-Iraq War. After the war, he became the head of Raman, an Iranian construction firm that is controlled by the Revolutionary Guard. The U.S. government has regularly accused the Guard of criminal activity, including drug trafficking, sponsoring terrorism abroad, and money laundering. Reuters recently reported that the Trump Administration was poised to officially condemn the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.
Posted by: ohrealy at May 8, 2019 7:14 PM
Comment #443087

The Miami Herald article from two days ago

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/venezuela/article230070829.html

Posted by: ohrealy at May 8, 2019 7:22 PM
Comment #443089

Wow, it did not take long for the bullies to descend on Keeley again.
Ohrealy is spounting his usual bullying, and incomprehensible, hateful jibberish (again).
phx8 acts like he is an economics expert (despite numerous mis-predictions over the years; such as the prediction of a depression after Trump was elected).

phx8 stupidly wrote: The Neocons never forgave the Venezuelans for not letting Big Oil take the oil from their country. The Venezuelans committed the unforgiveable sin of nationalizing their oil, and using the money for the benefit of poor Venezuelans, providing terrible things like medical care. Truly, these people are monsters.
Yeah, and how is all of that medical care and providing for Venezuelans working today, eh? phx8 doesn’t seem to understand the obvious hypocrisy and lunacy of his statement.

As usual, phx9 and ohrealy are spewing more hateful nonsense and non-stop hatred about Trump. Nothing new there.

At any rate, many thanks to phx8 and ohrealy for being the gift that keeps on giving! Keep up the good work!

Posted by: d.a.n at May 8, 2019 8:10 PM
Comment #443104

Russia’s meddling in Venezuela is bad news.
Everyone (including the U.S.) should try not to interfere.
The people of Venezuela need a chance (first) to fix their own country.
Also, IF Russia wants to dabble in nation-building, they may be sorry, because it can be costly, and it may be more than Russia can afford:

  • Rank ___ Country _Military Spending ___ %ofGDP
  • 1 ______ United States _ $649 Billion__ 3.2%
  • 2 ______ China China ___ $250.0 _______ 1.9%
  • 3 ______ Saudi Arabia __ $67.6 ________ 8.8%
  • 4 ______ India India ___ $66.5 ________ 2.4%
  • 5 ______ France France _ $63.8 ________ 2.3%
  • 6 ______ Russia Russia _ $61.4 ________ 3.9%

Posted by: d.a.n at May 8, 2019 11:05 PM
Comment #443132

The stalker calling others a bully! Have you no decency D.? True to conservative/nationalist populist/fascist/neo-Nazi/authoritarian ideology you bully and stalk then try to convince others it is not you but the other side that is the problem. Proof positive in my book of your guilt. I hope,like your idol Trump, you understand your narcissistic behavior is a mental health issue.

Angry and bitter that someone would criticize Trump after spending 8 years using myth, misinformation half truths and outright lies to criticize Obama is typical of Trump worshipers it seems.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 9, 2019 7:59 AM
Comment #443133

j2t2 asks others “Have you no decency?”, but has called others all has the following:

    Nazis ! , Racists ! , Fascists ! , Brown Shirts ! , Beastialists ! , White Nationalists ! , Sexists ! , Misogynists ! , Xenophobes ! , Anti-Semites !, Bigots !, Hypocrites!, Repub F**ktards !, F**king Fascists !, as*hats !, ignorant F**ks !, or tells others F**k you !, or Go F**k yourselves !, or “And you guys on the right support using babies for your own s*xual gratification…”, etc., etc., etc.!, then denied having called people Nazis, while simultaneously claiming to be proud of all of those comments).
Yep, that makes a lot of sense, eh? Then j2t2 asks others “Have you no decency?”.
Yes, I guess we should all take “decency” lessons from j2t2, eh?

j2t2 wrote: Angry and bitter that someone would criticize Trump after spending 8 years using myth, misinformation half truths and outright lies to criticize Obama is typical of Trump worshipers it seems.
Lies? Oh, like all of these lies, corruption, and weaponization of the DOJ and FBI ?
Posted by: d.a.n at May 9, 2019 8:20 AM
Comment #443134

By the way, I did not vote for Trump in 2016.
However, I most likely will be voting for Trump in 2020, because the Demcorats’ platform and goals are despicable.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 9, 2019 8:25 AM
Comment #443141

According to the stalker affordable college education, affordable healthcare, living wages, Rebuilding a middle class in America is despicable!

Posted by: j2t2 at May 9, 2019 9:56 AM
Comment #443142

By the way, here is the proof that ohrealy is lying about never having the website: ohrealy.blogspot.com

  • (1) This is a screen-shot from ohrealy’s website on 31-AUG-2006.
    ohrealy had a habit of cutting-and-pasting his and others’ comments to his ohrealy.blogspot.com website (from WatchBlog.com).
  • (2) Here is the clear connection between that screen-shot and ohrealy’s comments on WatchBlog.com.
    Notice the words in the screen-shot are also the same words (i.e. “I keep track of everything I write, and you evidently do not, since you …”) appearing here Watchblog Comment #178654.
    Also notice that ohrealy misspells his Representative’s name (Jan Schakowsky) in the same way in both (c is missing), the screen-shot from his ohrealy.blogspot.com website, and in his WatchBlog Comment#178654.
  • (3) Ohrealy was complaining about scrolling past long comments (as he often does), and I had sarcastically posted a comment and the screen-shot (back when Watchblog.com allowed images) of the ohrealy.blogspot.com website, about how to use the mouse-wheel to scroll quickly (i.e. see WatchBlog Comment: www.watchblog.com/democrats/archives/004142.html#178796).
  • (4) All of this information is in the WatchBlog.com archives. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure these things out.
    IF you’re going to lie about something, it would be wise to make sure the truth is not in the archives, making you look like the liar you are.
So, there’s the slam-dunk proof that ohrealy is lying (or does not remember?) about owning ohrealy.blogspot.com.
ohrealy will get no apologies, and IF ohrealy does not like seeing his own nasty, racist, hateful comments “quoted”, then perhaps ohrealy should refrain from making such comments.
At any rate, many thanks to ohrealy for being the gift that keeps on giving. Keep up the great work!

Posted by: d.a.n at May 9, 2019 10:33 AM
Comment #443154

“The Neocons never forgave the Venezuelans for not letting Big Oil take the oil from their country. The Venezuelans committed the unforgiveable sin of nationalizing their oil, and using the money for the benefit of poor Venezuelans, providing terrible things like medical care. Truly, these people are monsters.”

Wow, is that really phx8 promoting Communist propaganda?

Venezuela should have followed the Norwegian model of using oil to help its people.

Posted by: Royal Flush at May 9, 2019 4:29 PM
Comment #443155

How’s nationalized oil helping the people of Venezuelans now phx8?

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at May 9, 2019 6:06 PM
Comment #443158

Thanks Royal!
Yeah, the Norwegian model would have been better (the Norwegian north-sea oil fund has been, so far, administered adequately) to benefit both current and future generations).
Excessive socialism, government incompetence, and government corruption is what doomed Venezuela (a common problem all throughout South and Central America).
Some people don’t want to admit that, so they look for other reasons (i.e. drought and low agricultural yields, low oil prices, hyperinflation, failing water systems, failing electrical generation power systems, etc., etc., etc., like dominoes).

Rich KAPitan asked: How’s nationalized oil helping the people of Venezuelans now phx8?
Good question. It’s a shame to be sitting on an ocean of oil, but to have such an incompetent and corrupt government, that people can’t even get clean water and electricity.
By 2017, hunger had escalated to the point where almost 3/4 of the population had lost an average of over 19 lbs.
Posted by: d.a.n at May 9, 2019 6:46 PM
Comment #443213

ohrealy and d.a.n. Let’s move on! We’re not removing either of you. You’ve both been long time participants in this community. Let’s move forward.

Posted by: Liz at May 10, 2019 11:09 AM
Comment #443215

I’ll second that.

Posted by: kctim at May 10, 2019 11:50 AM
Comment #443218
ohrealy and d.a.n. Let’s move on! We’re not removing either of you. You’ve both been long time participants in this community. Let’s move forward. Posted by: Liz at May 10, 2019 11:09 AM

I apologize for reading d.a.n.’s posts and trying to make sense of them. d.a.n. is unlikely to move on. He’s complaining about imaginary posts from 10 years or so ago. I tried to find some of the posts he claims I wrote and I couldn’t even find them at all, except on his own pages. I will continue only reading the posts of j2t2, phx8, and any other new poster that come along. It’s always a mistake to read the posts of any of the others.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 10, 2019 12:53 PM
Comment #443229

LOL ! In any debate, a person’s own comments are fair game, and far more appropriate than resorting to nasty, vulgar, hateful, racist name-calling, and bullying.
Therefore, “quoting” others’ comments, which reflect upon their positions and arguments, is integral to any debate, and IF people do not like seeing their own comments, then they should refrain from repeatedly writing such comments (which will live on in the archives and the Way-Back-Machine for a long, long time).
In any debate, a person’s comments are part of the debate, and it relates to the credibility of the person’s comments.
Many debates deal with lying, hypocrisy, and/or delusion, and it is natural that a person’s contradictory comments will not go unnoticed in a debate.
Persons who repeatedly engage in lying, hypocrisy, nasty, vulgar, and hateful rhetoric should not be surprised when their comments and contradictions are scrutinized and compared.
Therefore, moving forward, in any debate, a person’s own comments will continue to be fair game.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 10, 2019 3:18 PM
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