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Obama authorizes covert economic war against Venezuela

Obama authorizes covert economic war against Venezuela

Wayne Madsen
Online Journal
January 21, 2010

WMR’s intelligence sources have reported that the Obama administration has authorized an economic war against Venezuela in order to destabilize the government of President Hugo Chavez.

After a successful coup against Chavez ally, President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras, and the very thin 51-49 percent electoral win by Chile’s billionaire right-winger Sebastian Pinera on January 17, a buoyed Obama White House has given a green light for political operatives in Venezuela, many of whom operate under the cover of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to set the stage for massive street demonstrations to protest Chavez’s devaluation of the bolivar, Venezuela’s currency.

Chavez devalued the bolivar by 50 percent to make Venezuelan oil exports less expensive, thus boosting revenue for his country. However, the devaluation has also seen price rises and inflation in Venezuela and the CIA and its subservient NGOs have wasted little time in putting out stories about consumers rushing to the stories ahead of an increase in consumer products, with imported flat-screen televisions being the favorite consumer item being hyped by the corporate media as seeing a huge price increase and long lines at shopping malls favored by the Venezuelan elites.

The state has exempted certain consumer goods such as food, medicines, school supplies, and industrial machinery from being affected by the bolivar’s devaluation through a different exchange rate and price controls, but it is the price increases on televisions, tobacco, alcohol, cell phones, and computers that has the anti-Chavez forces in Venezuela and abroad hyping the ill-effects on the Venezuelan consumer.

To battle against businessmen who are trying to capitalize on the devaluation of the bolivar, Chavez has threatened to close and possibly seize any business that gouges the consumer by inordinately raising prices. The first target of a temporary closure was a Caracas store owned by the French firm Exito.

International investment analysts praised Chavez’s decision to devalue the bolivar and said the decision was overdue considering the fall of oil prices worldwide. However, the CIA and NGOs, many aligned with George Soros’s Open Society Institute and the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy are planning large street demonstrations against Chavez’s handling of the economy.

National Assembly elections are scheduled for September but the Obama administration has decided that if Chavez can be removed now, his allies in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and some Caribbean island states will quickly abandon Chavez’s alternative to American-led Western Hemisphere financial contrivances and free trade pacts, the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA).

The Obama planners then see Cuba, once again, being isolated in the hemisphere and ripe for increased U.S. political pressure. Cuba was placed on the list of 14 countries requiring additional airline passenger screening as part of the policy to pressure and isolate Cuba. There is a possibility that with the outbreak of U.S.-inspired violence in the streets of Venezuela, that nation could join Cuba on the list as the 15th country.

The Obama administration’s assault is two-fold: economic and political. Pressure is being applied against the gasoline chain Citgo, which is owned by the Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA, and Venezuelan investment favorability ratings. Politically, the U.S. is overtly and covertly funneling money to anti-Chavez groups through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and groups affiliated with George Soros.

There is also a small military component to Obama’s strategy of undermining Chavez. U.S., P-3 Orion overflights of Venezuelan airspace from bases in Aruba and Curacao are designed to intimidate Chavez and activate Venezuelan radar and command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I) systems to gather electronic and signals intelligence data that would be used by the United States to jam Venezuelan military networks in the event of a U.S.-inspired uprising against Chavez by U.S. loyalists embedded in the Venezuelan military, police, PDVSA, and media. The U.S. is also stoking cross-border incursions into Venezuela by Colombian paramilitaries to gauge Venezuela’s border defenses. Last November, Colombian right-wing paramilitary units killed two Venezuelan National Guardsmen inside Venezuela in Tachira state. Weapons caches maintained by Colombians inside Venezuela have been seized by Venezuelan authorities. Venezuela has also arrested a number of Colombian DAS intelligence agents inside Venezuela.

Obama signed a military agreement with Colombia that allows the United States to establish seven air and naval bases in Colombia. An additional agreement by Obama with Panama will see the U.S. military return to that nation to set up two military bases.

It is estimated that some 25 percent of Venezuelans are likely Fifth Columnists who would take part in a revolt against Chavez. Many of them based in the Venezuelan oil-producing state of Zulia and the capital of Maracaibo, where successive U.S. ambassadors in Caracas have stoked secessionist embers and where the CIA and U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency have concentrated much of their efforts. In November, Venezuelan police arrested in Maracaibo, Magaly Janeth Moreno Vega, also known as “The Pearl,” the leader of the right-wing United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), which has been directly linked to Colombia’s pro-U.S. President Alvaro Uribe and members of his government, including former Colombian Attorney General Luis Camilo Osorio Isaza, appointed by Uribe as Colombia’s ambassador to Mexico.

U.S. Provoking War With Venezuela

 



Russia, Iran And Latin America Admit Talks of Dumping Dollar

Russia and Iran Now OFFICIALLY Talking of Dumping Dollar for International Trade

Washington’s Blog
October 18, 2009

After the Independent reported that Middle Eastern oil producers, plus China, Japan and France have all agreed to start trading oil using a basket of currencies – instead of the dollar – starting in 9 years, spokesmen for those governments denied it.

The Independent’s reporter explained why the governments were denying the rumor.

But now the governments themselves are starting to admit that they are switching out of the dollar.

For example, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia is ready to consider using the Russian and Chinese national currencies instead of the dollar in bilateral oil and gas dealings. As Russia’s newspaper RIA Novosti writes:

Russia is ready to consider using the Russian and Chinese national currencies instead of the dollar in bilateral oil and gas dealings, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

The premier, currently on a visit to Beijing, said a final decision on the issue can only be made after a thorough expert analysis.

“Yesterday, energy companies, in particular Gazprom, raised the question of using the national currency. We are ready to examine the possibility of selling energy resources for rubles, but our Chinese partners need rubles for that. We are also ready to sell for yuans,” Putin said.

And Iran’s Press TV reports that Iran wants to completely drop the dollar from its foreign exchange:

Since October 2007, Iran has received 85 percent of its oil revenues in currencies other than the US dollar and Tehran is determined to find a substitute for the US dollar for the rest of its 15 percent of oil revenues, the report added.

This story is confirmed by the Tehran Times, which notes:

As I have repeatedly noted, many countries have been moving out of the dollar for years. The process is simply accelerating.

In line with this plan, Iran has informed Japan that it should use the yen instead of dollars to pay for the oil it buys from the Islamic Republic.

In addition, Iran has decided to open a bourse for oil and gas transactions in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, especially the euro.

 

Latin America plans US dollar replacement

Press TV
October 17, 2009

Leftist Latin American leaders have agreed on using a new intra- regional trading currency, dubbed as Sucre, instead of the US dollar.

Bolivian President Evo Morales, who hosted leaders of the Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean (ALBA), said that the “document is approved.”

During the seventh ALBA summit, the leaders agreed on the currency reform as well as approving plans to impose economic sanctions against the coup leaders in Honduras, AFP reported.

The currency, Sucre, is named after Jose Antonio de Sucre who fought for Spain’s independence alongside Venezuelan hero Simon Bolivar in the early 19th century.

Sucre is scheduled to be rolled out in 2010 in a non-paper form.

The nine members of ALBA, conceived by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, are Cuba, Dominica, Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Saint Vincent and Antigua, Bolivia and Barbuda.

The bloc also agreed to replace the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, which is in charge of arbitrating international disputes and has probed a large number of contract disputes between Western energy firms and members of ALBA.

ALBA, which has already lost many of its members, including Ecuador, is echoing the moves of the European Union and its introduction of euro.

World Bank and IMF Join Global Attack on U.S. Dollar

U.S. Dollar Will No Longer Be World Reserve Currency

 



Honduran President Victim of U.S. Coup: I’ve Been Gassed

Note: Is there a possibility that military weapons such as the A.D.S. radiation device and L.R.A.D. sound cannon were used on the Honduran president at the Brazilian embassy?

Honduran President Victim of U.S. Coup: I’ve Been Gassed And They’re Torturing Me

Miami Herald
September 24, 2009

It’s been 89 days since Manuel Zelaya was booted from power. He’s sleeping on chairs, and he claims his throat is sore from toxic gases and “Israeli mercenaries” are torturing him with high-frequency radiation.

“We are being threatened with death,” he said in an interview with The Miami Herald, adding that mercenaries were likely to storm the embassy where he has been holed up since Monday and assassinate him.

“I prefer to march on my feet than to live on my knees before a military dictatorship,” Zelaya said in a series of back-to-back interviews.

Zelaya was overthrown by the U.S. military at gunpoint on June 28 and slipped back into his country on Monday, just two days before he was scheduled to speak before the United Nations. He sought refuge at the Brazilian Embassy, where Zelaya said he is being subjected to toxic gases and radiation that alter his physical and mental state.

Witnesses said that for a short time Tuesday morning, soldiers used a device that looked like a large satellite dish to emit a loud shrill noise.

Honduran police spokesman Orlin Cerrato said he knew nothing of any radiation devices being used against the former president.

“He says there are mercenaries against him? Using some kind of apparatus?” Cerrato said. “No, no, no, no. Sincerely: no. The only elements surrounding that embassy are police and military, and they have no such apparatus.”

Police responded to reports of looting throughout the city Tuesday night. Civil disturbances subsided Wednesday afternoon, when a crush of people rushed grocery stores and gas stations in the capital.

Israeli government sources in Miami said they could not confirm the presence of any “Israelis mercenaries” in Honduras.

Zelaya, 56, is at the embassy with his family and other supporters, without a change of clothes or toothpaste. The power and water were turned back on, and the U.N. brought in some food. Photos showed Zelaya, his trademark cowboy hat across his face, napping on a few chairs he had pushed together.

“Look at the shape he’s in — sleeping on chairs,” de facto President Roberto Micheletti told a local TV news station.

Micheletti took Zelaya’s place after the military, executing a Supreme Court arrest warrant, burst into Zelaya’s house and forced him into exile. The country’s military, congress, Supreme Court and economic leaders have backed the ouster, arguing that Zelaya was bent on conducting an illegal plebiscite that they feared would ultimately lead to his reelection.

Micheletti said he was prepared to meet with Zelaya and a delegation from the Organization of American States, but only to discuss one topic: November elections.

On Wednesday, the U.N. cut off all technical aid that would have supported and given credibility to that presidential race. Conditions do not exist for credible elections, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

“I proposed dialogue, and they answered with bullets, bombs, a state of siege and by closing the airport,” Zelaya said.

Zelaya told The Herald that Washington should be taking a stronger stance against the elite economic interests that “financed and benefited” from the coup that ousted him three months ago.

If President Barack Obama hit Honduras with commercial sanctions or suspended free-trade agreements, the coup “would last just five minutes.”

The Obama administration suspended economic aid to Honduras and withdrew the visas of members of the current administration.

About 75 percent of Honduras’ commerce depends on the United States, Zelaya said. And because powerful economic forces were behind Zelaya’s ouster, Obama should hit those forces where it hurts most, Zelaya said.

“I have told this to Obama, to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to the U.S. Embassy here and anyone else who will listen,” Zelaya said. “They know how to act. Until now, they have been very prudent.”

With Micheletti showing a new willingness to talk with the OAS, and the U.N. Security Council set to meet to discuss the embassy situation soon, it isn’t the moment for more penalties, the U.S. State Department said.

“Right now, when there are openings for dialogue, is not the time to announce new sanctions,” a State Department official said.

Dates for the OAS visit, which could include emissaries from 10 countries, are being worked out, the official said.

Spokesman Ian Kelly said the U.N. Security Council meeting came at the request of the Brazilian government. No date has been set for the meeting.

“In general, we continue to work with our partners in the U.N. and the OAS to come up with means to promote a dialogue and defuse the tensions, of course with the ultimate goal of resolving the crisis,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said at a media briefing in Washington. “And we’re continuing our consultations with our partners in the region, and enlisting wherever we can their assistance in this process.”

The U.S. Embassy here spent the day denying rumors that Zelaya planned to move to American grounds. The rumor may have started because U.S. Embassy vehicles were used to evacuate Zelaya supporters who left the Brazilian Embassy willingly Tuesday.

“The embassy has been turned into a bunker for Zelaya,” Assistant Foreign Minister Martha Lorena Alvarado de Casco told The Herald. “He’s turned it into his headquarters, and he is using it to call for insurrection.”

Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told CNN en Español that his government asked Zelaya to tone down his rhetoric while he remains an embassy guest.

“The word `death’ should not even be mentioned,” he said.

Rioting broke out in various parts of the capital Tuesday night, and lines hundreds deep formed at supermarkets when desperate shoppers scrambled to buy food after a round-the-clock curfew was briefly lifted.

“I have no food in my house,” said Patti Vásquez, a housewife who, after two hours, still had not reached the front doors of a supermarket in an upscale shopping mall. “I need to get milk and juice and eggs.”

Zelaya says he has no plans to leave the embassy anytime soon.

. “I am the president the people of Honduras chose,” Zelaya said. “A country can’t have two presidents — just one.”

U.S. Military Kidnaps Honduran President

 



U.S. Planning Coups in Latin America

Morales: U.S. Planning Coups in Latin America

Press TV
September 14, 2009

The Bolivian president has accused the United States of planning coups in Latin America after Washington reached an agreement with Colombia over military bases.

“In Latin America, where there is a US military base there are military coups,” Evo Morales told Bolivian immigrants living in Spain on Sunday.

Morales along with his allies in South America have repeatedly criticized the deal between Colombia and the US that would give the US military access to seven Colombian bases for a 10 year period.

“To the social movements of Europe and the world: Help us put an end to military bases in Latin American,” he said, citing the Bolivian constitution that bans foreign bases on its soil.

According to US officials, American troops will continue to be involved in helping Colombia in counter-drug operations and in supporting its fight against leftist rebels.

However, Latin American governments believe that the US uses the regional war on drugs as a pretext to boost its regional military presence.

Meanwhile, Morales claimed earlier that the United States was involved in a military coup in Honduras that ousted President Manuel Zelaya in June.

Later, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez presented a document from the US Air Mobility Command which according to him showed Washington’s future plans for the region.

The Venezuelan leftist leader claimed that the US wants to use Colombia as a power base, from which to dominate South America.

 



U.S. Military Kidnaps Honduran President

Chavez Says The U.S. Toppled The Honduran President, Taking Him To A U.S. Air Base


Hugo Chavez

aangrifan
August 20, 2009

It looks like it was the CIA that toppled Manuel Zelaya, the president of Honduras, on 28 June 2009.

Diana Barahona, at Global Research, 18 August 2009, tells us that Zelaya was taken to a U.S. air base during the kidnapping.

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has revealed that Honduran President Manuel Zelaya told him that the military who kidnapped him transferred him by plane to a U.S. military base, in Honduran territory.

According to Chavez: “They put Zelaya in the plane and landed at Palmerola with the president a prisoner and the Yankee officials appeared and knew that the president was there, they had a discussion with the Honduran officials.

“Then the Yankee military took the decision there to send him to Costa Rica.

“That is a very serious matter, the the president of Honduras was in a Yankee military base…

“The Yankees overthrew Zelaya…

“From the Yankee base, which is at a place called Palmerola, they carried out all of the operations and the dirty war and the terrorism against Sandinista Nicaragua, against El Salvador.

“It wasn’t long ago that the Yankees turned Honduras into a platform to attack its neighbors.”

“What we are asking is that he (Obama) withdraw the Palmerola base, that he withdraw the Guantanamo base where they torture…”

Chavez also said that Venezuela rejects Obama’s policy of setting up U.S. military bases in Colombia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAYwcRnyxJw

 

Honduras: Military Coup Engineered By Two US Companies?

John Perkins
Information Clearing House

I recently visited Central America. Everyone I talked with there was convinced that the military coup that had overthrown the democratically-elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, had been engineered by two US companies, with CIA support. And that the US and its new president were not standing up for democracy.

Earlier in the year Chiquita Brands International Inc. (formerly United Fruit) and Dole Food Co had severely criticized Zelaya for advocating an increase of 60% in Honduras’s minimum wage, claiming that the policy would cut into corporate profits. They were joined by a coalition of textile manufacturers and exporters, companies that rely on cheap labor to work in their sweatshops.

Democracy Now! covers the Honduran coup.

Memories are short in the US, but not in Central America. I kept hearing people who claimed that it was a matter of record that Chiquita (United Fruit) and the CIA had toppled Guatemala’s democratically-elected president Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 and that International Telephone & Telegraph (ITT), Henry Kissinger, and the CIA had brought down Chile’s Salvador Allende in 1973. These people were certain that Haiti’s president Jean-Bertrand Aristide had been ousted by the CIA in 2004 because he proposed a minimum wage increase, like Zelaya’s.

I was told by a Panamanian bank vice president, “Every multinational knows that if Honduras raises its hourly rate, the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean will have to follow. Haiti and Honduras have always set the bottom line for minimum wages. The big companies are determined to stop what they call a ‘leftist revolt’ in this hemisphere. In throwing out Zelaya they are sending frightening messages to all the other presidents who are trying to raise the living standards of their people.”

It did not take much imagination to envision the turmoil sweeping through every Latin American capital. There had been a collective sign of relief at Barack Obama’s election in the U.S., a sense of hope that the empire in the North would finally exhibit compassion toward its southern neighbors, that the unfair trade agreements, privatizations, draconian IMF Structural Adjustment Programs, and threats of military intervention would slow down and perhaps even fade away. Now, that optimism was turning sour.

The cozy relationship between Honduras’s military coup leaders and the corporatocracy were confirmed a couple of days after my arrival in Panama. England’s The Guardian ran an article announcing that “two of the Honduran coup government’s top advisers have close ties to the US secretary of state. One is Lanny Davis, an influential lobbyist who was a personal lawyer for President Bill Clinton and also campaigned for Hillary. . . The other hired gun for the coup government that has deep Clinton ties is (lobbyist) Bennett Ratcliff.” (1)

DemocracyNow! broke the news that Chiquita was represented by a powerful Washington law firm, Covington & Burling LLP, and its consultant, McLarty Associates (2). President Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder had been a Covington partner and a defender of Chiquita when the company was accused of hiring “assassination squads” in Colombia (Chiquita was found guilty, admitting that it had paid organizations listed by the US government as terrorist groups “for protection” and agreeing in 2004 to a $25 million fine). (3) George W. Bush’s UN Ambassador, John Bolton, a former Covington lawyer, had fiercely opposed Latin American leaders who fought for their peoples’ rights to larger shares of the profits derived from their resources; after leaving the government in 2006, Bolton became involved with the Project for the New American Century, the Council for National Policy, and a number of other programs that promote corporate hegemony in Honduras and elsewhere.

McLarty Vice Chairman John Negroponte was U.S. Ambassador to Honduras from 1981-1985, former Deputy Secretary of State, Director of National Intelligence, and U.S. Representative to the United Nations; he played a major role in the U.S.-backed Contra’s secret war against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government and has consistently opposed the policies of the democratically-elected pro-reform Latin American presidents. (4) These three men symbolize the insidious power of the corporatocracy, its bipartisan composition, and the fact that the Obama Administration has been sucked in.

The Los Angeles Times went to the heart of this matter when it concluded:

What happened in Honduras is a classic Latin American coup in another sense: Gen. Romeo Vasquez, who led it, is an alumnus of the United States’ School of the Americas (renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation). The school is best known for producing Latin American officers who have committed major human rights abuses, including military coups. (5)

All of this leads us once again to the inevitable conclusion: you and I must change the system. The president – whether Democrat or Republican – needs us to speak out.

Chiquita, Dole and all your representatives need to hear from you. Zelaya must be reinstated.

 



San Fransisco’s Sanctuary Status for Illegal Alien Felons

San Fransisco’s Sanctuary Status for Illegal Alien Felons

http://youtube.com/watch?v=RVI9sybgJ5A

San Fransisco Protects Illegal Immigrant Crack Dealers
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/..migrant_policy/UPI-84581214782811/

 



San Fransisco Protects Illegal Immigrant Crack Dealers

San Fransisco Protects Illegal Immigrant Crack Dealers

UPI
June 30, 2008

San Francisco juvenile probation officials are protecting Honduran youths caught dealing crack cocaine from possible deportation, federal officials say.

Citing the city’s sanctuary city status for illegal immigrants, probation officials have even given some offenders a city-paid flight home, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday.

Rather than have young drug offenders deported, probation officials have recommended that Juvenile Court judges and commissioners approve city-paid flights home to Honduras for the offenders with the aim of reuniting them with their families.

Officials familiar with the case said the city is being investigated for systematically circumventing federal immigration law.

“Our job is to uphold the nation’s immigration laws,” said Greg Palmore, spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Although San Francisco is a sanctuary city, it’s a problem whenever someone attempts to evade the law. … Our law does not allow us to turn a blind eye to any individual who has come into this country illegally.”

City officials say they are trying to balance their obligations under federal and state law with local court orders and San Francisco’s policies aimed at protecting the rights of the young immigrants, who they say are often victims of exploitation.

Read Full Article Here