Sunday, February 3, 2019

Venezuela Imperialist Coup Attempt -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos January 27 - February 3

This week's list of articles, news items, opinion pieces and videos that I see as a must if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

This list covers the week of January 27 - February 3.

In addition to a general overview of news and opinion, this week's installment begins with a large section devoted to the ongoing attempts of the United States with its lackeys in Canada and Europe to overthrow the legitimate government of Venezuela and install a regime beholden to imperialism and global capital.


Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance

Two things stand out about the US coup in Venezuela. First, it is unusually open. Typically, the US tries to hide its coups. Second, the coup is built on a series of obvious falsehoods, yet the bi-partisans in Washington, with a few exceptions, keep repeating them.

2) What has happened in Venezuela is a coup. Trump’s denial is dangerous

Oscar Guardiola-Rivera, The Guardian 

The picture shows him in the act of swearing himself in as “interim” president of Venezuela. His right hand raised to the heavens, as is proper of one who, having no popular mandate, proclaims himself in the name of God like the kings of old. Only this is no kingdom, but a revolutionary republic born of a people’s war. It has since protected its right to self-determination by means of people power and persistent anti-colonial struggle.

3) Bank of England Refuses to Return $1.2B Venezuelan Gold


The latest developments in Venezuela's attempts to prevent a coup d'état by the U.S. has seen them unsuccessfully attempt to withdraw their gold, currently holed-up in the Bank of England.

4) Venezuela crisis: Former UN rapporteur says US sanctions are killing citizens

Michael Selby-Green, The Independent 

The first UN rapporteur to visit Venezuela for 21 years has told The Independent the US sanctions on the country are illegal and could amount to “crimes against humanity” under international law.

5) Canada joins with imperial ‘Mafia’ to threaten Venezuela

Yves Engler

Most Canadians think of their country as a force for good in the world, but recent efforts by Justin Trudeau’s government to overthrow Venezuela’s elected government have once again revealed the ugly truth about the Great White North. We are an important partner in imperialism, willing to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, up to and including the use of military force, to benefit the perceived self-interest of our elites.

6) Venezuela Will Not Be an Easy Win for Donald Trump

 Betty Purcell – The Irish Times

Juan Guaido’s self-declaration as Venezuelan president last week, following a call from Mike Pence (according to the Wall Street Journal), and his swift recognition by the United States, does little to heal the fractured country that is Venezuela today. Most of us will have seen the march of a million people in Guaido’s support last week. Less widely covered was Wednesday’s march of three million people in support of President Nicolas Maduro. The mobilisations are part of a fomented civil war, where the people of Venezuela are the abject losers.

7) Why the Black Alliance for Peace opposes U.S. intervention in Venezuela

Workers World

We, the members of the Black Alliance for Peace, uphold our political stance in the face of aggressions waged by the United States. Two of BAP’s core principles are an unwavering commitment to self-determination for peoples and nations alike and opposition to imperialism in all its varied and brutal forms. Therefore, unlike so many who are confused about Venezuela, we say without equivocation that we oppose the illegal and immoral attempts by the United States and their Organization of American States (OAS) allies to interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela.

8) Venezuelan President Maduro: All of Europe Kneeling at Trump's Feet


In an interview with CNN Turk, President Maduro rejected the ultimatums presented by European countries to his government and did not rule out talks with Washington.

9) Uruguay "Will Never Support Militarized Intervention": Rosselli


Uruguay will never support an armed intervention as a means to solve an international crisis, Uruguayan ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Elbio Rosselli said Saturday.

10) The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela’s Coup Leader

Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal, Gray Zone Project

Before the fateful day of January 22, fewer than one in five Venezuelans had heard of Juan Guaidó. Only a few months ago, the 35-year-old was an obscure character in a politically marginal far-right group closely associated with gruesome acts of street violence. Even in his own party, Guaidó had been a mid-level figure in the opposition-dominated National Assembly, which is now held under contempt according to Venezuela’s constitution.

11) Trudeau Pushes Trump’s Regime Change in Venezuela

The Real News Network

Why is Canada violating the UN Charter and leading the way for regime change in Venezuela? Paul Jay and Yves Engler join Sharmini Peries

Watch Venezuela's foreign minister owning French President Macron over his crocodile tears for Venezuelan protesters while the Yellow Vests are being repressed by his government.

12) NCP denounces the coup attempt in Venezuela, Expresses solidarity with President Maduro

Global Times

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has denounced the US intervention in Venezuela and expressed its solidarity with the people of Venezuela and President Nicolas Maduro.

13) Venezuela's slow coup continues

 George Ciccariello-Maher, Al Jazeera 

No other day is more emblematic for Venezuelans than January 23. It was on this day that Venezuelans rose up and overthrew the dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez in 1958. Thus, it was no surprise when the Venezuelan opposition chose January 23 to launch their most recent offensive, with the relatively unknown opposition benchwarmer Juan Guaido declaring himself president. The opposition's desired message was clear: Nicolas Maduro is a dictator and "the people" have had enough. But metaphors only stretch so far. Maduro is no dictator, and the opposition - much less Guaido himself - do not speak for "the people".

14) Venezuela's Maduro Says Oil, Resources Behind US Intervention


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro assured Wednesday that the main reason for the growing pressure exerted by the United States against his government is the desire to seize its oil and mineral resources.

15) Allan Nairn: Trump’s Venezuela Envoy Elliott Abrams Is a War Criminal Who Has Abetted Genocide

Democracy Now

In an ongoing effort to topple Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Vice President Mike Pence met with members of the Venezuelan opposition at the White House Tuesday alongside Trump’s new special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams. Elliott Abrams is a right-wing hawk who was convicted in 1991 for lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal, but he was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. Abrams defended Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt as he oversaw a campaign of mass murder and torture of indigenous people in Guatemala in the 1980s. Ríos Montt was later convicted of genocide. Abrams was also linked to the 2002 coup in Venezuela that attempted to topple Hugo Chávez. We look at Abrams’s track record with prize-winning investigative journalist Allan Nairn, who has closely tracked Abrams for over three decades. Nairn is two-time winner of the George Polk Award and a recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award.

People from #USA, I ask for your support in order to reject the interference of Donald Trump's administration which intends to turn my Homeland into a "Vietnam war" in Latin America. Don't allow it!

16) Trump’s Coup in Venezuela: The Full Story

Eric Draitser, Counterpunch 

The US-sponsored coup in Venezuela, still ongoing as I write, is the latest chapter in the long and bloody history of US imperialism in Latin America. This basic fact, understood by most across the left of the political spectrum – including even the chattering liberal class which acknowledges this truth only with the passage of time and never in the moment – must undergird any analysis of the situation in Venezuela today. That is to say, the country is being targeted by the Yanqui Empire.

17) Sorting through the lies about Venezuela

Systemic Disorder

Challenging United States hegemony is never an easy course. A county need not be socialist — it is enough to either voice aspirations toward socialism, or merely demonstrate a pattern of not doing as Washington dictates.

18) Canada Labour Congress with 3M Members, Denounces Trudeau's Support for Intervention in Venezuela


“The CLC vehemently rejects a militarized solution to this crisis; the people of Latin America have not forgotten the brutal history of military rule in the region.”

19) Opposition Protests Flop As Chavista Marches Surge


Protests called by self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido for Jan. 30 were much smaller and calmer than anticipated, and limited to the upper-class neighborhoods in the east of the capital of Caracas. Meanwhile, supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro came out to protest intervention by foreign actors.

20) Activists Urge Panama to Leave Lima Group, Support Venezuela


Social organizations are demanding Panama leave the Lima Group and align itself with proposals that promote unity and peace in Venezuela.

21) Right position for NDP on Venezuela is a left one

Yves Engler

What should the leader of Canada’s left wing party say about what’s happening in Venezuela? Here are a few suggestions: “Canada should respect international law in its dealings with Venezuela.” Or, “Canada shouldn’t select the president of Venezuela.” How about, “The US has a long history of overthrowing governments in Latin America and Canada should never take part.”

22) Your Complete Guide to the N.Y. Times’ Support of U.S.-Backed Coups in Latin America

Adam Johnson, Common Dreams

On Friday, The New York Times continued its long, predictable tradition of backing U.S. coups in Latin America by publishing an editorial praising Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. This will be the 10th such coup the paper has backed since the creation of the CIA over 70 years ago.

23) The ‘Venezuelan People’ Are Whoever Agrees With Donald Trump

Alan MacLeod, FAIR

There has been a great deal of coverage (CNBC, 1/23/19; New York Times, 1/23/19; Fox News, 1/23/19) of the “Venezuelan people” protesting for Guaidó, but very little of the counter-protests in support of the government that complicate the picture. This continues a longstanding media policy of treating “the Venezuelan people” as a term that exclusively means “anyone who agrees with US policy.”

24) Nicolas Maduro Visits Navy, Gives Message of Unity And Strength


The President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro said Sunday that the Bolivarian Republic is the cradle of Latin American freedom and dignity," while addressing troops at the Naval Apostadero de Turiamo, in the state of Aragua.

25) Brazil’s Vice President Favors Torture, Admires Dictatorships


"Torture is a matter of war… War is war,” said the right-wing vice president of Brazil who also believes that the Venezuelan military will go against President Nicolas Maduro.

26) Colombia Witnesses Murder of 17th Social Leader in 2019


Another social leader was assassinated in Colombia making this the 17th death in 2019, study shows the killing of social leaders is systematic.

27) ‘We've dug ourselves a really deep hole’ – David Neiwert on the rise of the far right

Jason Wilson, The Guardian

Neiwert has reported on the US far right for decades and watched as the conservative movement has steadily adopted its outlook and ideas.

28) Government revokes charity status of Canadian Jewish group that supported ‘foreign armed forces’

Stewart Bell, Global TV

A Canadian Jewish organization has been stripped of its charity status following a government audit that found it had provided support to “foreign armed forces,” according to documents obtained by Global News.

29) Judge issues stay in case of Adam Capay, who spent years in solitary confinement

Patrick White, The Globe and Mail

A Thunder Bay judge has issued a stay of proceedings in the case of Adam Capay, releasing the 26-year-old Lac Seul First Nation man who spent 4½ years in solitary confinement – much of that time in cells illuminated around the clock and covered with sheets of Plexiglas.

30) 50 years later: How racism allegations against a Montreal professor turned into the greatest student riot in Canadian history

Douglas Quan, The Ottawa Citizen

On Jan. 28, 1969, The Georgian, the student newspaper at Sir George Williams University in Montreal, published a special edition in conjunction with the Black Students’ Association. In it they blasted the school’s administration for failing to adequately respond to charges of racism a number of black Caribbean students had made against a biology professor, Perry Anderson. Among the allegations: that Anderson graded them unfairly and addressed them using honorifics, such as “mister,” whereas he would address white students by their first names. Anderson voluntarily stepped aside from teaching while the university set up a committee to investigate the complaints. But the students opposed the makeup of the panel and said the process amounted to a “kangaroo hearing.” “Should this travesty of justice continue,” an editorial warned, “the university could very well find itself the centre of an international storm.”

31) Fifty Years Ago: The Birth of Black Power in Canada

John Riddell, Socialist Project Bullet 

January 29 this year marks half a century since Black students at Sir George Williams University in Montreal led a bold occupation of the campus computer centre. Their two-week action marked the dramatic arrival in Canada of Black Power, a term used to describe the militant mass struggle for Black freedom that shook the United States during the 1960s.

32) Canadian artists, academics, business people call on Toronto to declare state of emergency over homelessness

Mira Miller, The Globe and Mail

Hundreds of Canadian artists, academics and business people are calling on Toronto city council to declare a state of emergency over homelessness.

33) Toronto’s Shelters Are Now Consistently Above 90% Capacity – And That Is Extremely Dangerous

Press Progress

Data from the City of Toronto shows occupancy at local shelters and overnight centres has been above its 90% limit for years.

34) RCMP on sidelines as TransCanada bulldozes Wet’suwet’en land

Emilee Gilpin, The National Observer 

A subsidiary of Calgary-based energy company TransCanada bulldozed through traplines and personal property from two different clans of the Wet'suwet'en Nation last week, while the RCMP enforced an interim injunction requested by the company so that it could proceed with construction. Some Wet'suwet'en members said the RCMP illegally prevented them from entering their own territories, violating the nation's rights.

35) South Africa's SRWP Fights ANC’s Privatization Agenda

Irvin Jim, Telesur

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) has been fighting the ANC’s nefarious agenda to destroy and to privatize Eskom and all other state-owned enterprises. This week, members of NUM and NUMSA staged a lunchtime picket at Eskom’s headquarters in Johannesburg, to protest against looming retrenchments at state-owned enterprises, and to reject the Independent Power Producer program.

Police Repression In Honduras

Protesters have suffered brutal police repression, but the international media keeps quiet. One of the reasons is because President Hernandez is backed by the U.S. government.

36) Bill Gates says poverty is decreasing. He couldn’t be more wrong

Jason Hickel, The Guardian

An infographic endorsed by the Davos set presents the story of coerced global proletarianisation as a neoliberal triumph.

37) Ecuador 'Rebuilds' Relationship with Neoliberal IMF


Ecuador maintained a cold relationship with the neoliberal body during the decade of the government of former President Correa, who had accused the IMF of violating the sovereignty of countries by imposing harsh austerity conditions.

38) How climate change is behind this week's extreme cold snap

Nicole Mortillaro · CBC News

With wind chill values, it could feel like –51 C in some parts of Canada and U.S.

39) Scientists Have Detected an Enormous Cavity Growing Beneath Antarctica

Peter Dockrill, Science Alert

Antarctica is not in a good place. In the space of only decades, the continent has lost trillions of tonnes of ice at alarming rates we can't keep up with, even in places we once thought were safe.

40) Ottawa may have overpaid for Trans Mountain by up to $1B, parliamentary budget officer says

John Paul Tasker · CBC News

The federal Liberal government may have overpaid for the Trans Mountain pipeline project by up to $1 billion, the parliamentary budget officer estimates — and there's a risk its value could decline further if there are any other delays in the construction timeline.

41) Leaked document reveals PC government’s plan to privatize health services: NDP

City News

The Ontario NDP says it obtained a leaked internal document Wednesday night that shows the PC government is aiming to privatize health services, including hospitals and family doctors.

42) The Socialist Party wants free public transportation in Brussels by 2024

Christopher Vincent, The Brussels Times

Lofti Mostefa recently suggested that the STIB, Brussels public transport network, offers free transportation on Friday evenings and weekends.

43) How Did Israeli Elections Get So Racist?

Elizabeth Tsurkov, Forward

A disturbing new trend has emerged in the political ads of the Israeli elections. Campaign ads seem to be competing over which candidate has killed the most Palestinians.

44) Nearly 5,000 garment workers sacked over Bangladesh strikes


Nearly 5,000 low-paid Bangladeshi garment workers stitching clothes for global brands have been sacked by factory bosses for joining strikes over wages this month that turned violent, police have said.

45) Joma: Communist peace consultant's murder ‘act of state terrorism’

Jofelle P. Tesorio, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria ‘Joma’ Sison has said the killing of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Randy Malayao was a “horrible act of state terrorism.”

46) Ontario government plans to axe program that helps people with developmental disabilities build a life

Johanna Weidner, Waterloo Region Record

Program that helps people with developmental disabilities build a life in the community has been put on the chopping block by province.

47) Ford government says full-day 'learning' will stay, but it won't necessarily be kindergarten
Social Sharing

CBC News

The Ontario government is trying to quell speculation about its stance on full-day kindergarten, saying it is committed to keeping "full-day learning" in place for four and five-year-olds.

48) ‘An invisible class’: former Filipino temporary foreign worker shares story of employment fraud

Ross Lord, Global News

Joven Ednalaguim is working hard to build a better life for himself and his family.

49) Communists Against the Mafia

Marta Fana, Jacobin

The battle against the Sicilian Mafia wasn't won by cops and judges — it was won by communists and labor militants.

50) Major western brands pay Indian garment workers 11p an hour

Rebecca Ratcliffe, The Guardian

Most consumers don’t think twice about the buttons on their shirt, or the sparkles on their dress. But these finishing touches are sewn by some of the world’s most vulnerable women and girls.

51) European colonizers' mass killing of Native Americans caused change in climate: study

Aris Folley, The Hill

European colonizers who arrived in the Americas caused death and disease to the point that it sparked what some have called the first major human-induced change in the Earth's climate, a new study has found.

52) Rebel Labour MPs set to quit party and form centre group

Toby Helm, The Guardian

A group of disaffected Labour MPs is preparing to quit the party and form a breakaway movement on the political centre ground amid growing discontent with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership on Brexit and other key issues including immigration, foreign policy and antisemitism.

See also: Imperialist Attack on Venezuela -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos January 20 - 27

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