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Tag Archive: Venezuela


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One killed in rockslide triggered by earthquake in Venezuela

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Nov. 23, 2015 at 1:50 PM

A rockslide similar to the one pictured caused two vehicles to crash in Venezuela, killing one man. The slide was triggered by an earthquake. File photo by GCRO Images/Shutterstock
CARACAS, Venezuela, Nov. 23 (UPI) — One person was killed in Venezuela when a rockslide was triggered by a 5.1-magnitude earthquake in the state of Mérida, causing a traffic collision.The Venezuelan Foundation of Seismological Research, or FUNVISIS, reported the epicenter of the earthquake was located about 18 miles southeast of the town of El Vigía at 4:08 p.m. at a depth of about 3 miles. Multiple aftershocks were recorded in the region.

Blas Federico Méndez, 41, died immediately and his son Emmanuel Méndez, 32, was injured after their vehicle made a frontal collision with an SUV. Both vehicles attempted to evade debris from a rockslide, but collided in the process. Two people inside the SUV were injured, El Universal reported.

 

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National Endowment for Democracy

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The Stealth Destabilizer

The National Endowment for Democracy in Venezuela

 

 

by KIM SCIPES

As protests have been taking place in Venezuela the last couple of weeks, it is always good to check on the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the US Empire’s “stealth” destabilizer.  What has the NED been up to in Venezuela?

Before going into details, it is important to note what NED is and is not.  First of all, it has NOTHING to do with the democracy we are taught in civics classes, concerning one person-one vote, with everyone affected having a say in the decision, etc.  (This is commonly known as “popular” or grassroots democracy.)  The NED opposes this kind of democracy.

The NED promotes top-down, elite, constrained  (or “polyarchal”) democracy.  This is the democracy where the elites get to decide the candidates or questions suitable to go before the people—and always limiting the choices to what the elites are comfortable with.  Then, once the elites have made their decision, THEN the people are presented with the “choice” that the elites approve.   And then NED prattles on with its nonsense about how it is “promoting democracy around the world.”

This is one of the most cynical uses of democracy there is.  It’s notable even in what my friend Dave Lippmann calls “Washington Deceit.”

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THE WRONG KIND OF GREEN 

Capital-driven Civil Society

john-d-rockefeller

Originally published on State of Nature, May 19, 2008.

Republished by Michael Barker with additional links.

by Michael Barker

“It is the more subtle support that democracy manipulators provide to progressive activist organizations that are the most important yet least understood part of their activities.”

According to, the once progressive, now neo-conservative commentator, David Horowitz, Professor Stephen Zunes is a member of a select group of leftist activists that he refers to as The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America (2006). Horowitz is infamous for co-founding the Center for the Study of Popular Culture – which has been ominously renamed as the David Horowitz Freedom Center. More recently though, in 2005, this Center launched DiscoverTheNetworks, an online project that has been accurately referred to as “Horowitz’s Smear Portal”. The relevance of this background is found in the fact that I have also assessed Zunes’ connections to the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (where he chairs the board of academic advisors). While both I and Horowitz have criticised Zunes’ background and affiliations, needless to say Horowitz’s “Smear Portal” attacks Zunes for very different reasons than my own. [1] Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that DiscoverTheNetworks approach to investigating Zunes is very similar to my own, as it identifies the “individuals and organizations that make up the left and also the institutions that fund and sustain it”. The crucial difference, between these two parallel analyses, however, is that I criticise the Left in an attempt to strengthen it by causing it to reflect on the elite manipulation and co-option of civil society, while DiscoverTheNetworks simply aims to undermine the Left. [2]

Unfortunately, my attempts to produce reflection did not bear fruit from Professor Zunes who, rather than addressing the substance of my criticisms, ‘responded’ with accusations of “absurd leaps of logic”, concluding that he “wonder[ed] whose side Barker is really on”. This was disappointing as the criticisms of Zunes’ connections with the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict had been explicit and my intention had been to promote this vital critical reflection amongst the Left, especially with regards to their reliance upon funding from The Power Elite. [3] Such funding questions are especially relevant with regards to the work of the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict, as their work is funded by Peter Ackerman and his wife Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, whose work has anti-democratic aspirations.

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By Jens Glüsing

Photo Gallery: Venezuela Erupts Photos
REUTERS

He was hand-picked by Hugo Chávez, but Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has lost control of the country’s economy. Vast protests have been the result, but the government in Caracas has shown no signs of bending.

 

The smell of smoke wafts over Caracas. A group of young women have built a barricade of wooden pallets and garbage bags and lit it on fire on the main street running through Bello Monte, a middle-class quarter of the Venezuelan capital.

 

 

ANZEIGE

A petite university student named Elisabeth Camacho fiddles with a gas canister and clutches a stick bristling with nails. She is wearing a white T-shirt and a baseball cap in Venezuela’s national colors, a kind of uniform worn by many of the demonstrators. She appears relaxed and ignores the curses coming from drivers struggling to turn their cars around. “We demand security,” she says. “The government needs to finally stop the violence.”

Students have been protesting in Caracas for days, building barricades on city streets and occupying squares. The movement began two weeks ago in San Cristóbal, in the state of Táchira near the border with Colombia. In just a few days, it spread across the entire country.

 

The students are protesting against inflation, shortages and corruption. Mostly, though, they are taking to the streets in opposition to the violence meted out by the country’s paramilitary shock troops. “We are going to protest until the government disarms the colectivos,” says Camacho.

 

“Colectivos” is the name given to the brutal militias that even late President Hugo Chávez supported. Now, the government of his successor, Nicolás Maduro, is sending the thugs after opposition activists, with masked men on motorcycles speeding through the streets, firing on demonstrators and, sometimes, following students all the way back to their universities. At least 13 people have died in the unrest, with 150 having been injured.

 

Last Tuesday, government toughs terrorized the quarter of Altamira, a hotbed of opposition in Caracas. For hours, some 150 motorcycles sped through the central square with thugs firing guns into the air. A handful of passersby were wounded by the bullets.

 

 

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Students and police clash in Venezuela protests

Published time: February 28, 2014 09:23

Student protesters have clashed with police in Caracas, prompting officers to use tear gas to break up the crowds. It comes after almost two weeks of massive street demonstrations that the government has condemned as an attempted coup d’état.

Students marched through the Venezuelan capital on Thursday, demanding the release of their peers who were detained during the last two weeks of protests. The demonstration descended into violence when a group of masked protesters attempted to block a road in central Caracas. The police used tear gas to break up the crowd, while demonstrators pelted officers with stones.

 

Opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro clash with riot police during an anti-government protest in Caracas on February 27, 2014. (AFP Photo/Leo Ramirez)

Opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro clash with riot police during an anti-government protest in Caracas on February 27, 2014. (AFP Photo/Leo Ramirez)

 

“[President] Maduro, tell us when and where you are going to release the prisoners. Tell us when there will be justice for our dead,” the head of the student protest movement, Juan Requesens, addressed protesters on Thursday.

Over 50 people have died in the mass protests that have gripped Venezuela over the last couple of weeks, according to government figures. President Nicolas Maduro decried the unrest as an attempt at a coup d’état orchestrated by fascist elements in the Venezuelan opposition.

 

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– Jon Queally, staff writer

Student protesters in Venezuela shout anti-government slogans. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano) As street protests continued in Venezuela this week, President Nicolas Maduro has called for a “peace conference” on Wednesday in order to defuse the violence, though it remains unclear which, if any, representatives of his opposition will agree to attend.

Maduro has said that he supports the right of his opponents to take their message wherever they like, but said the accompanying violence—especially given repeated efforts to undermine the democratically-elected Chavista government from within, including a U.S.-backed coup attempt in 2002—would not be tolerated.

“I guarantee you the liberty to do it,” Maduro said. “But if you’re going to go out and burn and destroy, I won’t permit that.”

Provincial Governor Henrique Capriles, who lost to Maduro in last year’s presidential election and remains a key member of the opposition, has yet to declare whether he will accept the invitation to join talks. On Monday, however, Capriles refused to attend a larger meeting where Maduro met with the nation’s other governors to discuss the ongoing political crisis.

On Tuesday, in what seemed like retribution, the U.S State Department announced the expulsion of three Venezuelan diplomats from the country. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Venezuelan envoys First Secretary Ignacio Luis Cajal Avalos, First Secretary Victor Manuel Pisani Azpurua, and Second Secretary Marcos Jose Garcia Figueredo have 48 hours to leave the U.S.

“Venezuela needs to show seriousness for us to be able to move forward,” Psaki said referring to relations between the two countries.

“Recent actions,” she said, “including expelling three of our diplomats, continue to make that difficult.”

Also on Tuesday, Maduro signaled that he was prepared to move on that idea by appointing a new envoy to the U.S., though it was not clear who that might be or whether much traction could be made under the current circumstances.

As most western media continued to the paint the situation in Venezuela as one in which President Maduro used security forces to put down a populist revolt, more cautious analysts say that though the Venezuela government is far from perfect and that the financial troubles and earnest critiques of many citizens are not to be ignored, the mainstream U.S. media coverage is no place to look for nuanced perspective.

As Lauren Carasik, a law professor and Director of the International Human Rights Clinic at Western New England University, wrote at Al-Jazeera America on Tuesday:

Headlines in the United States broadcast unchallenged narratives of widespread discontent with mounting economic woes and denounce the ensuing repression by an unpopular and discredited administration barely clinging to power. But the reality in Venezuela is far more complicated and nuanced than what the media and the U.S. government spin suggests.

According to Rebecca Hanson, who lives in Venezuela while studying the nation’s politics as a graduate student, one of most notable things about the protest movement is where it is not occurring. Writing on the blog  of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), Hanson explains:

These protests have not engulfed the entire country or even the entire capital, despite coverage and photographs that might suggest otherwise. Recent articles in Ultimas Noticias have declared the western side of the city, which normally grabs headlines for its high homicide rates, as tranquil and quiet in comparison to the east.

I live and conduct research in Catia, a massive grouping of working and lower-class barrios in the western section of the city that have long been considered a Chavista stronghold. Though I had heard about the violence that erupted on Youth Day, when clashes first came to a head in Caracas, I had to go into the city center to find evidence of protests: A grouping of National Guard and National Police officers blocking the Avenue Francisco de Miranda in Chacaito, looking bored and tired by 8 o’clock at night.

The next day I walked down to the National Security University’s location here in Catia, where zooming motorizados (motorcycle taxis) on the main avenue were, as usual, the gravest danger that I encountered.

None of what she says, writes Hanson, “is to say that protesters do not have legitimate grievances that the government has ignored.” However, “these grievances are not ones that tend to generate support or ire” of a large portion of Venezuelans.

What’s lost in most U.S. coverage, according Carasik, is the fact that Maduro and the socialist government policies he and his party represent have won consistently at the election polls for nearly twenty years. And she concludes:

Venezuela, to be sure, is not a utopia. Like many of its Latin American neighbors, including close allies of the U.S., it must confront crime, impunity and corruption. The country’s economic troubles are causing real hardship and palpable anxiety, though they are inseparable from the global recession. Despite these challenges, Venezuela has registered tremendous gains in elevating millions of people out of grinding poverty and democratizing a postcolonial country — developments that predictably alienate the country’s elites. However imperfect, reducing Venezuela to a failed socialist experiment run by a repressive autocrat who should be overthrown is a callous dismissal of its laudable progress.

If the Venezuelan people genuinely reject the Bolivarian revolution, they should engender peaceful transition through fair and free elections, independent of interference by external forces, including a U.S. government that is more concerned with promoting its own interests than the economic, political and social advancement of Venezuelans.

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Opposition supporters march protest against Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela, Feb. 22, 2014.

Opposition supporters march protest against Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, Feb. 22, 2014.

 

 

VOA News

Supporters and opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro held rival marches Saturday in Caracas as he summoned all sides to what he described as a peace conference in the coming days.

Opponents of Maduro began marching earlier this month against his government. They say they are tired of out-of-control crime and shortages in supermarkets in an oil-rich nation.

Thousands of Maduro backers held a counter-demonstration, saying he is the democratically-elected leader. His wife, Cilia Flores, described the opposition as “fascists.”

Meanwhile, Maduro is calling on all sides to join him for peace talks Wednesday.

Late Friday, Maduro invited U.S. President Barack Obama to meet him for talks and condemned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as “arrogant” and “insolent” for criticizing the Venezuelan government’s use of force against opposition protesters.

In a statement Friday, Secretary Kerry called on the Maduro government to step back from “its efforts to stifle dissent through force” and respect basic human rights. He also said every government has a duty to maintain public order, and all sides, including the opposition protesters, must refrain from violence.

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Venezuela’s Maduro Vows to Protect Revolution as Crowds March

Photographer: Meridith Kohut/Bloomberg

Protesters clash with riot police during an anti-government demonstration in Caracas,… Read More

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro vowed to protect his government and keep National Guard troops in the streets as pro-government and opposition groups rallied in Caracas in the 11th day of unrest in the capital.

“I’m going to keep protecting the Venezuelan people with the National Guard,” Maduro said before supporters at the presidential palace in Caracas today. “If fascism eliminates me, I authorize you to take to the streets to defend the homeland.”

Maduro, who spoke shortly after opposition leaders including Governor Henrique Capriles rallied in eastern Caracas, said he would not permit protesters to blockade streets and remained willing to exchange ambassadors with the U.S. Capriles, who in April lost the presidential election by the thinnest margin in 45 years, today said he would accept an invitation by Maduro to hold talks Feb. 24.

Struggling to rein in 56 percent inflation and a shortage of basic goods and medicines, Maduro this week announced plans to import $1 billion in food and medicine and to unveil a new currency auction system designed to help companies and individuals have more access to dollars.

U.S. President Barack Obama, on a visit to Mexico Feb. 19, condemned the violence in Venezuela. His secretary of state, John Kerry, issued a statement last night accusing Maduro’s government of using force against peaceful protesters.

Photographer: Leo Ramirez/AFP via Getty Images

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro holds a flower during a march in Caracas on February 22, 2014.

‘History’

“I’ve never seen another foreign ministry send a statement at 10:30 p.m. in the night,” Maduro said. “Obama, do you want to go down in history as George W. Bush and Richard Nixon or Jimmy Carter?”

Crowds of government supporters dressed in red chanted “strong hand” as Maduro spoke today. Loud bangs could be heard this evening in the Altamira neighborhood of Caracas that has become a focal point of demonstrations.

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Venezuela opposition’s Leopoldo Lopez hands himself in

The moment Leopoldo Lopez handed himself in amidst the crowds

A Venezuelan opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez, has handed himself over to the National Guard after holding a speech to thousands of his supporters.

He said he hoped his arrest would wake up the country to its “unjust justice”.

It comes as several thousand of pro- and anti-government supporters took part in tense rival rallies in the capital, Caracas.

Mr Lopez was wanted on charges of inciting violence during recent street protests which left at least four dead.

Speaking before thousands of his supporters wearing red, President Nicolas Maduro said Mr Lopez would be brought to Justice.

‘Sedition’

“He must answer before the prosecution, the courts, the laws his calls to sedition, his unawareness of the constitution,” Mr Maduro told the crowd.

Tensions have been running high in the deeply polarised country.

Three of the dead – two anti-government protesters and one government supporter – died of bullet wounds sustained during demonstrations last Wednesday.

Another student died after being ran over during a march on Monday night in the eastern city of Carupano.

Before handing himself over to the authorities, Mr Lopez denied the charges against him.

“I present myself to an unjust judiciary. They want to jail Venezuelans who want peaceful, democratic change,” he said.

Ahead of the rallies, Caracas Mayor Jorge Rodriguez warned that he had not authorised Tuesday’s opposition march.

General view of a march following Leopoldo Lopez in Caracas on 18 February, 2014 Supporters of Mr Lopez turned out in force in Caracas on Tuesday
A man holds a banner reading "24,763 violent deaths in 2013 - we are more than just figures" Anti-government protesters are angry about Venezuela’s homicide rate, one of the highest in the world
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures to supporters during a rally in Caracas on 18 February, 2014 President Nicolas Maduro called on his supporters to join a rival rally

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Venezuelans clash as jailed opposition leader sits

 

Photo by:

The Associated Press
A opposition protester holding a Venezuelan flag yells at Bolivarian National Guards blocking the path leading to downtown Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez emerged from days of hiding and surrendered to police before thousands of supporters on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Carlos Becerra)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

By:

CARACAS, Venezuela — Violent clashes flared up across Venezuela on Wednesday as the nation waited to learn what charges jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez will face for organizing mass protests that have breathed new life into the movement challenging socialist rule in the oil-rich nation.

Gunfire echoed through downtown Caracas as President Nicolas Maduro spoke on live TV for more than two hours Wednesday night denouncing what he calls a “fascist” plot to destabilize the country. Elsewhere, protesters set trash fires in streets or threw rocks at National Guard troops, who fired tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets.

There was no immediate word on whether there were any new casualties, after a week of demonstrations and clashes that have resulted in at least six deaths and more than 100 injuries.

Lopez, who dramatically surrendered to authorities before thousands of cheering supporters Tuesday, was supposed to appear before a judge inside a military jail to learn what charges he might face for organizing the protests that the government has blamed for the violence.

The hearing was closed and the outcome had not been announced by late Wednesday, but Maduro suggested in his speech that Lopez would remain in custody and face criminal charges.

“I said, ‘Send him to jail,’ and that’s what happened and that’s what will happen with all of the fascists,” Maduro said.

The government has accused Lopez, a 42-year-old former mayor and the leader of the Popular Will party, of attempting to foment a coup in the South American nation and authorities had said he could face charges that include homicide and causing grievous bodily harm.

Before the president’s speech, a judicial official told The Associated Press that prosecutors were leaning toward discarding homicide and terrorism charges, opting instead to pursue less serious counts such as arson and incitement to commit crimes. That would allow the possibility of Lopez being released pending trial, according to the official, who agreed to discuss the matter only if not quoted by name because the decision had not been made public.

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US diplomats given 48 hours to leave Venezuela

Published time: February 17, 2014 22:41
Edited time: February 18, 2014 05:21
Students take part in an anti-government protest in Caracas on February 17, 2014. (AFP Photo / Juan Barreto)

Students take part in an anti-government protest in Caracas on February 17, 2014. (AFP Photo / Juan Barreto)

Venezuela has given three American diplomats from the US Embassy in Caracas 48 hours to exit the country after President Nicolas Maduro leveled accusations of conspiracy and meeting with students to incite anti-government sentiment.

Following days of opposition protests, three unnamed diplomats were declared persona non grata by Maduro during a televised address on Sunday night. On Monday Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Elias Jaua announced that the US diplomats in question were vice consuls Breann Marie McCusker and Jeffrey Elsen, and Kristofer Lee Clark, who holds the rank of second secretary at the US consulate.

Jaua said during a press conference that the three officials had assisted “groups that seek to generate violence in the country,” and that they had 48 hours to leave.

As evidence, Jaua cited email correspondence from US embassy officials in recent years that supposedly call for funding from Washington to support Venezuelan student groups, AP reported.

He added that the diplomats sought contacts “for the training, the financing and the creation of youth organizations to foment violence.”

“It’s a group of US functionaries who are in the universities. We’ve been watching them having meetings in the private universities for two months. They work in visas,” Maduro stated Sunday in a nationally televised broadcast.

Venenzuelan President Nicolas Maduro ( AFP Photo / Presidencia / Handout)

Venenzuelan President Nicolas Maduro ( AFP Photo / Presidencia / Handout)

Last Wednesday, over 10,000 people poured onto the streets of Caracas to peacefully protest their growing worries, such as the country’s high murder rate and a record-breaking 56 percent inflation.

At the end of Wednesday’s opposition protests, a group of students battled with security forces and pro-government militias, leaving three people dead. Maduro’s government blamed the violence on Harvard-educated opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, whom Maduro accuses of leading a US-backed “fascist” plot to oust the socialist government.

“There is a fascist group that abuses public freedoms and democracy to play politics and prepare to overthrow the government,” Maduro said.

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Venezuela gears up for more violence as Leopoldo López plans march

Opposition leader, who is wanted for arrest, calls on supporters to join him for anti-government demonstration in Caracas
Anti-government students in Caracas

Anti-government students shout slogans during a protest in Caracas on Sunday. Photograph: Leo Ramirez/AFP/Getty Images

Venezuela is braced for fresh confrontations as a firebrand opposition leader rallies supporters to march with him through Caracas in defiance of a protest ban by President Nicolás Maduro.

The government has issued an arrest warrant for Leopoldo López, who is accused of “terrorism” for his alleged role in violent anti-government demonstrations across the country last week that left three dead.

Maduro says López has been conspiring to overthrow the government with the connivance of university students and the backing of the US, three of whose diplomats have received expulsion orders from Caracas in the past few days.

López – a former mayor of one of the capital’s districts – has denied the accusations but says he will come out of hiding on Tuesday to face the charges.

“I have nothing to fear,” the Harvard-educated politician said, in a defiant video address released on the internet. “I have committed no crime. I have been a Venezuelan with deep commitments toward my country and my people.”

He has called on supporters to wear white as a symbol of peace and to stop short of the last part of his journey to the ministry of justice and interior, which was the focus of much of the worse unrest last week.

By 11am, many thousands – mostly clad in white – had started to gather on Avenida Francisco de Miranda.

There are fears of a repeat of the deadly clashes between opposition protesters, police and “colectivo” militia groups loyal to the Chavista government.

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Could Prepping Become Illegal Here Too? Venezuelan Govt to Detain “Hoarders”

Posted by: | on October 4, 2013

could prepping become illegal

As people who spend a lot of time focusing on preparedness, we can learn a lot about our future by watching as the economies and civilizations of other Western countries crumble.

Today’s lesson is that when times get tough, the government can and will persecute those who have planned ahead.

The Attorney General of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz, called on prosecutors to target people who are “hoarding” basic staples with serious sanctions.

She called on prosecutors to seek their detention.

The attorney general called on people to remain calm, not to fall for provocations, and not to be afraid of the “alleged” food shortage.

Based on the figures provided by the Central Bank of Venezuela, shortage hit 20% in August; in other words, 20 out 100 items are missing from the shelves.

According to a press release, the Attorney General Office has designated an ad hoc group of prosecutors to work nationwide with other authorities and cope with the threats against food security and, consequently, against the State. (source)

So basically, the Venezuelan government intends to treat those who prepared ahead of time like domestic terrorists…sound familiar?

Last February the South American country responded to soaring inflation with some crippling economic strategies.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner responded to her country’s sky-rocketing inflation rates by freezing prices on food, a move Forbes magazine says will soon lead to widespread corruption in the business community and government.

In Venezuela, where President Hugo Chavez has attempted to control all aspects of his country’s economy, price freezes instituted on essential goods like diapers and cleaning products over a year ago failed to curb soaring inflation which registered at over 22% last year. In response, with their quiver out of arrows, the Venezuelan government announced today that they are devaluing their national currency, the Bolivar, by over a third. The announcement had the immediate impact of increasing the price for a US dollar in Bolivar by nearly 50%. (source)

There’s Already an Executive Order in Place

The game pieces have already been moved into place to ban “hoarding” in America.  In 2012, our Fearless Leader signed an executive order that gives the federal government authority over every resource and infrastructure element in the United States.  Mac Slavo of SHTFplan warns:

It should be clear from the laws that are already in effect that the government has given itself a legal pretext for confiscating anything they so choose in the midst of an emergency.

Should an emergency befall the United States, the military, national guard, and local police operating under orders from the Department of Homeland Security will have carte blanche to do as they please.

In a widespread emergency where supply lines have been threatened and millions of Americans are without essential resources because they failed to prepare, the government will swoop in and attempt to take complete control.

They will enter our homes and search them without a warrant. They will confiscate contraband. And they will take any ‘excessive resources’ that you may have accumulated. This includes food, toiletries, precious metals and anything else emergency planners and officials deem to be a scarce material. (source)

The Importance of OPSEC

By all means, don’t stop preparing.  But be aware that everything you do online leaves a trail. Every purchase you make that is not a cash transaction can be traced right to your doorstep.  It is vital to practice OPSEC (Operational Security) by keeping your preparedness related activities on the down low.  Preparedness and self-sufficiency author Tess Pennington warns that in a crisis situation, things you said months or years ago could come back to haunt you.

A person should think twice about telling others about any prepping investments they have made.  If a SHTF scenario occurred, anything said previously can be used against that prepper.  For example, if you tell your neighbor you have silver coins stashed away, if times were desperate enough, that neighbor could turn on you.  Keeping quiet about what one does is second nature to some.  But for others that are new to the idea of prepping, they do not see the whole SHTF picture.  If one person tells another about their preps, one person could tell another person about what preps their neighbor has.  Then, the word spreads throughout; especially when a severe situation occurs.  People will remember what you have told them, and come to you for help (if they are unprepared).  Helping a neighbor or family member in need is a noble deed.  However, those preparedness items are an investment for you and your family; and therefore, no one outside of the family should know what you have (unless you want that person to know). (source)

Time is short.  Our economy is collapsing before our very eyes.  We’ve been blatantly warned about the potential for total grid failure. If you aren’t prepared, there is little time left.  Maintain your freedom by becoming self sufficient. Get started now to put together a one year food supply – but be discreet because you just don’t know when that supply may make you an outlaw.

The following links are to articles on OPSEC:

http://americanpreppernation.ning.com/profiles/blogs/prepper-opsec-operations-security-or-opsec-is-an-important-topic-

http://graywolfsurvival.com/how-to-be-a-prepper/opsec/

http://readynutrition.com/resources/mums-the-word-using-opsec-with-preps_21032010/

http://uscrow.org/2013/05/24/opsec-for-preppers-and-survival-groups/

http://reluctantprepper.blogspot.com/2012/07/opsec.html

http://stealthsurvival.blogspot.com/2012/02/importance-of-opsec-for-preppers-when.html

http://readynutrition.com/resources/prepping-on-the-down-low_23082013/

Thank you to NinaO for the links!

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Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, where this article fist appeared,offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca
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Bolivian president to sue US govt for crimes against humanity

Published time: September 20, 2013 04:50
Edited time: September 20, 2013 06:27

Bolivia's President Evo Morales.(AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales.(AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

He has decried the US for its intimidation tactics and fear-mongering after the Venezuelan presidential jet was blocked from entering US airspace.

“I would like to announce that we are preparing a lawsuit against Barack Obama to condemn him for crimes against humanity,” said President Morales at a press conference in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz. He branded the US president as a “criminal” who violates international law.

In solidarity with Venezuela, Bolivia will begin preparing a lawsuit against the US head of state to be taken to the international court. Furthermore, Morales has called an emergency meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to discuss what has been condemned by Venezuela as “an act of intimidation by North American imperialism.”

The Bolivian president has suggested that the members of CELAC withdraw their ambassadors from the US to send a message to the Obama Administration. As an additional measure he will call on the member nations of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas to boycott the next meeting of the UN. Members of the Alliance include Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Saint Lucia.

“The US cannot be allowed to continue with its policy of intimidation and blockading presidential flights,”
stressed Morales.

The Venezuelan government announced on Thursday that President Nicolas Maduro’s plane had been denied entry into Puerto Rican (US) airspace.

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Syrian army may use kamikaze pilots against west, Assad officer claims

US warplane F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft

An American F-16 Fighting Falcon warplane, flying in Jordan during 2007. Photograph: Wolfram M Stumpf/AFP/Getty Images

The Syrian air force is considering using kamikaze pilots against attacks by western forces, a Syrian army officer operating air defences near Damascus has claimed in an interview with the Guardian.

The officer said 13 pilots had signed a pledge this week saying they would form “a crew of suicide martyrs to foil the US warplanes”.

The Assad loyalist, in his 30s and serving with the Syrian army’s air defence section 10 miles from the capital, said: “If the US and British armies launch a single rocket we will launch three or four, and if their warplanes raid our skies they will face hell fire.

“If we are unable to shoot down their warplanes with artillery, we have military pilots who are ready to attack these foreign warplanes by their own warplanes and blow them up in the air.”

The Guardian has been unable to verify the information. The officer has been in contact with the paper on several occasions over the last 12 months during which time he provided reliable information about battles between the troops of Bashar al-Assad and rebel groups. He has declined to provide accounts of events where he has not served.

He claimed: “We have more than 8,000 suicide martyrs within the Syrian army, ready to carry out martyrdom operations at any moment to stop the Americans and the British. I myself am ready to blow myself up against US aircraft carriers to stop them attacking Syria and its people.”

Speaking about the chemical attack last week on the outskirts of Damascus, he denied the involvement of government forces and said news of the gassing had come as a shock.

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Assad’s Newest Ally: Venezuelan Congressman Goes to Syria to Fight Rebels, the U.S.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez delivers a speech during a visit to Sweida city, south of Damascus, in Syria, on Sept. 4, 2009.

Khaled al-Hariri / REUTERS

Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez delivers a speech during a visit to Sweida city, south of Damascus, in Syria, on Sept. 4, 2009.

“Syria needs full support against these criminals,” wrote Venezuelan lawmaker Adel el-Zabayar in a letter to his country’s National Assembly this week. He was requesting indefinite leave from office in order to fight alongside the Syrian army, having arrived in the country two weeks ago to visit his ill mother. With the upcoming threat of military attack by the US, he has decided to stick around and fight. “Without doubt, I’ll have a weapon,” he told TIME by telephone early on Friday morning local time from a site he said was around 50 miles south of Damascus near the city of Sweida. “I’m on the battlefield now.” Zabayar has no formal weapons training and is currently carrying out more administrative tasks on the battlefield, he says, alongside government fighters.

The 49-year-old congressman, who is of Syrian descent though was born in Venezuela’s central city of Ciudad Bolívar, seems to have put himself in the firing line in accordance with his own government’s long-standing policy of friendship with the world’s pariahs. Former President Hugo Chávez, always keen to be a thorn in the side of Washington, made a point of overt friendliness with leaders despised by the West: Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He supplied diesel fuel to Syrian authorities as the unrest escalated into a full-blown civil war last year. Echoing the doctrine that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend,” Zabayar, a member of Chávez’s socialist party, insisted that he was “not fighting alongside the Syrian government. I’m fighting against the government of the United States.”

Zabayar expresses no remorse about the violence and casualties of the war in Syria—which has claimed more than 100,000 lives so far—and blames the US for inciting hostilities as well as engineering the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack that has pushed Washington toward launching missile strikes against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. “This is a war fabricated by countries outside. All of this was planned… The opposition launched a chemical attack in order to accuse the Syrian government of doing it.”

Zabayar appears to see Syria through rose-tinted glasses. “Despite this great international campaign against Syria, I can assure you that the Syrian people are very tranquil and getting on with life as normal,” he says. “There is total confidence in the Syrian army and government. Assad is going to survive.”

The congressman harped on the hypocrisy of US foreign policy. “They’ve used chemical weapons themselves in Vietnam and other places,” he says. “There is no sincerity in the fight against terrorism on the part of the US. Al-Qaeda is good for the US in Syria but bad in other countries,” he says, referring to the presence of extremist militias amid the Syrian opposition. He gestures to the American experience in Iraq following its 2003 invasion: “They know how to start a war in Syria but don’t know how to end it.”

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If the shadow of Tony Blair — the former Prime Minister who led the U.K. into the Iraq war — influenced proceedings Thursday in the British parliament, the ghost of Chávez still presides over Venezuela’s current foreign policy. Chávez’s successor, President Nicolás Maduro, has spent the week decrying American plans for intervention in Syria, after his government said it thwarted an assassination plot against him. “The plan is to eliminate me as they attack Syria,” he said speaking on state television. “Enough already of these imperial wars of conquest,” he added on Twitter. “The conscience of the world must wake up and stop this war!”

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