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Take the oil!

Written By: - Date published: 6:23 pm, January 28th, 2019 - 87 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: , , ,

Before he was elected President, Donald Trump’s approach to United States illegal attacks on Iraq and Libya was that their only mistake was that the US didn’t “take the oil.”

After becoming President, his approach to oil-rich Venezuela was “can’t we just invade them?” Persuaded out of that course by the “adult” advisers Rex Tillotson and HR McMaster, Venezuela is once again in the firing line. It holds the largest proven oil stock in the world.

Rania Khalek provides an excellent overview,  antidote to the sort of stuff we are fed by the BBC and others. The standard first step to regime change is to foment internal division.

There’s been a lot of talk from the US, Uk, Australia and Canada about the “rules-based order” we are supposed to subscribe to. International law doesn’t seem to be one of the rules involved.

I am very glad that New Zealand does follow those rules, and is not joining the latest “coalition of the willing” in an illegal regime change coup to ‘take the oil.’

Update: John Bolton confirms its about the oil.

87 comments on “Take the oil!”

  1. Siobhan 1

    I’m still trying to get my head around how ‘the West’ is able to simply bring about regime change by deciding who they think should be a countries leader,. Has this ever happened before? Or is Nicolás Maduro so beyond the pale, worse than any other leader of any country ever that we need to make this ‘executive’ decision?
    It seems like a whole new level of ‘Introducing Democracy’ at it scariest. I’m waiting for the “coalition of the willing” to decide Trump and The Russians stole the election and just deal with Hilary. Ah, but then maybe not, because ‘we’ seem to think Trump is very wise and reasonable and able to take the lead on this issue, plus, you know, he’s also a fan of privatization so he’s not really‘The Enemy’

    https://grayzoneproject.com/2019/01/25/venezuela-us-coup-leader-juan-guaido-state-oil-company-imf/

    • Gabby 1.1

      Humble beginnings but yanker education. Wonder if he moonlighted in ‘security’ work while in yankistan.

    • DJ Ward 1.2

      But that’s not true. Tens of thousands marched in protest resulting in the Guarido declaring himself leader, then Trump supported his cliam.

      Trump didn’t organise the people to come together on mass to get rid of Meduro. Trump didn’t announce Guarido leader for him to then declare himself interim leader.

      How could have Trump organised that. Maduro has imprisoned the media and the Internet hardly works if at all. This is a self generated regime change.

      Not surprising.

      Maduro helps the poor?
      Reduced minimum wage by 90%
      Nearly tripled unemployment.
      Next to no healthcare.
      Restricted petrol supplies, subsidised at 1/50 of cost.
      Introduced tolls.
      Closed boarders to trade and movement.
      Nationalised supermarkets.
      Forced fire sales of electronics, halting the market.
      Import costs and regulation triple goods prices.
      Introduced ID cards system for food that failed.
      Railway system failing due to unpaid bills.
      Huge government spending on propaganda.
      Imprisoned opposition media.
      Imported large amounts of military equipment while children starved. To control protesters.

      • Adrian Thornton 1.2.1

        Here is one for our resident Trump/CIA/IMF puppet DJ Ward…

        Confirming US Orchestration, Report Details Pence’s Key Phone Call to Venezuelan Opposition Leader
        “The U.S. had been planning this coup in Venezuela. It was the Trump administration that told the little-known opposition leader Juan Guaidó to declare himself (unelected) ‘president.'”

        https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/25/confirming-us-orchestration-report-details-pences-key-phone-call-venezuelan

        Oh and by the way who do you think Juan Guaidó is talking to for funding his Right wing paradise…The IMF of course.

        Venezuela’s US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company and Requests IMF Money
        https://consortiumnews.com/2019/01/25/venezuelas-us-backed-coup-leader-immediately-targets-state-oil-company-and-requests-imf-money/

        • DJ Ward 1.2.1.1

          I’m nobody’s puppet so some opinions.
          IMF. Many nations in desperate need have been rescued by the IMF. The unavoidable offset is the increase in debt or behavour change. So they act as a necessary evil.
          CIA. An entity with a long history of acts that deserve prison terms for the people involved. Not much different to its equivalents like the French, Russians, Isreali. They also do good work with organised international crime. So we hear the bad but the vast amount of legitimate stuff doesn’t get news. So they act as a necessary evil.
          Trump is brilliant. It’s hard dealing with corrupt Dems living in a swamp.

          As for the oil company. What do you expect him to do. The company looses $12.5 billion dollars a year. Production has dropped 13%. It needs investment but the nation is nearly bankrupt. It brings foreign exchange but is so badly run and politically manipulated that it’s presently a disaster. As long as ownership remains with Venuzuela what’s the issue. He seems to be looking for investment in infastructure. Which after years of socialism and negligable investment needs help.

          Imagine if NZ was oil rich but the taxpayer had to pay $12.5 billion each year to keep it running.

          • Adrian Thornton 1.2.1.1.1

            My first thought was that I was going to put together an informed rebuttal with supporting neutral links to your crazed and quite twisted depressing world view, then a second thought occurred to me…why bother? going with that second one, good night.

            • Gosman 1.2.1.1.1.1

              “neutral links ”

              LOL!

              • Adrian Thornton

                True neutral might be a bit of an exaggeration , as the great historian Howard Zinn stated “You can’t be neutral on a moving train”
                So I will rephrase that, neutral as in nonprofit news outlets/reporters generally funded by many small donations from individual citizens in the countries concerned as opposed to the links you will provide that would often be either purely for profit new sources or news outlets that are funded directly or indirectly by arms of government or international corporations/their proxies or wealthy individuals/families…so if we are talking about what information is more in the interests of most citizens, I would say one funded by them directly would be….don’t you think?

                • Gosman

                  You mean news organisations that support your preconceived bias on the World.

                  • Morrissey

                    Go away, troll. It’s clear to everyone here that you have read neither seriously nor at length about politics or history or probably anything else for that matter.

                    You’d be ideal as a host at Radio Sport. Have you approached them? They used to have a bloke called Bill Francis, who made a point of hiring “non experts” and “know nothings” like Martin Devlin and Larry Williams because he reckoned the mouth-breathers who listened in could identify with them.

                    Please apply for a job there. But don’t keep on polluting this site.

                    https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/01/daisycutter-sports-world-cup-special.html

                    https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/01/daisycutter-sports-rugby-world-cup.html

                    • Gosman

                      You are so smart Morrissey. Just a pity that even fellow left wingers tend to disagree with your take on various topics such as Venezuela.

                    • Andre

                      How about you spare us your public self-pleasuring?

                      There really is an argument about how much of Venezuela’s current distress is due to Chavez/Maduro screwing up and how much is due to US and other western meddling.

                      Gosman actually is arguing the case to sheet it home to Chavez and Maduro.

                      Almost everything you’re contributing is pointless abuse and linking back to your own wankery.

                      Frankly if the mods do get involved, I’m hoping it’s going to be a swat the mozzie instead of cooking the goose.

                    • Morrissey

                      There really is an argument about how much of Venezuela’s current distress is due to Chavez/Maduro screwing up and how much is due to US and other western meddling.

                      Of course there is. Like any government, the democratically elected government of Venezuela has made some terrible errors. Does that mean it should not quell a violent insurrection instigated and funded by the extreme right?

                      Gosman actually is arguing the case to sheet it home to Chavez and Maduro.

                      If in fact that was what Gosman was doing, I would have no problem. But he, like you and several other so-called “liberals” here have gone far, far beyond that, and echoed the harsh and violent rhetoric of Trump, Bolton, Pompeo, and Abrams in calling for the democratically elected government to be overthrown.

                      I’ll skip the rest of your pedestrian exercise in abuse.

                  • rata

                    Your lucky Gosman as the NZ news media has been
                    right wing for the last 150 years.
                    Reading and hearing right wing all day all night
                    all your life must be heaven.
                    It has made you impervious to any other point of view.
                    The NZ news media has been so dependent on money
                    it has had to always favour the right who have the most money.
                    Like listening to the Nazi party in the 1930’s Germany.
                    Terrible for the Jews great for the rest.

                • Gosman

                  It is incredibly difficult to determine if these “citizen” news agencies are composed of a representative selection of society or just a bunch of fringe nutters obsessed with wacky conspiracy theories or far left or right politics.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    I don’t find that very difficult at all, read a story, follow their links and sources…are their links and sources credible?
                    Who are they asking for opinion to support their positions are they credible? what is their history?
                    What has the person who has written the piece you are reading done before, who did they write for previously etc..
                    It is pretty straight forward, every now and then you get caught out, but that is good, it just makes you more vigilant to check credibility in the future.

                    Once you have established the credibility of a news source and the writers you like, then of course you don’t have to check their shit all the time because you have done your home work and can be pretty sure that they are legit.

                    Maybe you should try this method?
                    But I know you won’t, because as you well know, all your sources will expose your views as being as compromised and flimsy as we all know they are already.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    Media bias
                    Common Dreams;
                    Factual Reporting: HIGH
                    Overall, Common Dreams produces solid journalism and sources their information well. The only fault is they sometimes source other to far left sources rather more neutral ones.

                    So in other words Common dreams is a reliable news source that gets it’s fact right but has a left lean.

                    Anyway I have had enough of this, but now going forward, how about when you comment on this site you start putting up your supporting links instead of all the time just spouting off shit.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    Enough already, you just put up links to your sources that confirm and/or establish the credibility of your views in future.

                  • Blazer

                    How do you like…dem apples?

          • Ed1 1.2.1.1.2

            A company that looses $12.5 billion dollars are year – whether that is by dividends or donations or support for the country – is certainly not costing taxpayers, it is a valuable asset, especially if the country is as you claim nearly bankrupt. What are you talking about?

          • ropata 1.2.1.1.3

            Excellent points DJ, but that doesn’t fit the simplistic “US evil empire” narrative that others like to peddle. There are no simple answers to the suffering of the Venezuelan people.

            The Guardian: Life’s a struggle as Venezuela inflation heads for one million per cent

            Organisation of American States denounces Mr Maduro’s election as non-democratic: OAS:: Resolution on the Situation in Venezuela

            Federica Mogherini, EU high commissioner for foreign affairs, calls Maduro’s election non-democratic: Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the situation in Venezuela

            The Lima Group (via DW): Lima Group refuse to recognize Maduro mandate and urge him to revert power to the National Assembly

            It’s not just a CiA plot…

      • rata 1.2.2

        @DJ Ward
        “Reduced minimum wage by 90%
        Nearly tripled unemployment.
        Next to no healthcare.
        Restricted petrol supplies, subsidised at 1/50 of cost.
        Introduced tolls.
        Closed boarders to trade and movement.
        Nationalised supermarkets.
        Forced fire sales of electronics, halting the market.
        Import costs and regulation triple goods prices.
        Introduced ID cards system for food that failed.
        Railway system failing due to unpaid bills.
        Huge government spending on propaganda.
        Imprisoned opposition media.
        Imported large amounts of military equipment while children starved. ”
        Look the ACT party made mistakes but Roger Douglas and Derek Quigley
        just needed more time.

        • DJ Ward 1.2.2.1

          Yes it’s one of the ironic things about left wing dictators. They end up being what the left cliam the far right wants.

          • rata 1.2.2.1.1

            @DJ Ward .Yes it’s one of the ironic things about right wing dictators. They end up being what the right claim the far left wants.

          • Adrian Thornton 1.2.2.1.2

            No the real irony of the Right, is they couldn’t manage an national economy to save themselves, their economic ideology is so flawed that even one of it’s modern guru’s admitted himself that it doesn’t work, and he has no idea what human think, or what motivates them…and then the Left wing get voted in and have to clean up all the lack of maintenance, mismanagement, destruction and chaos caused by you Right wing nutters and get the country back on some sort of even keel again…and then comes the most mind numbing irony of all…you idiots blame the Left for spending to much, which is of course parroted verbatim by most corporate/millionaire owned MSM…right wing economics are such a joke.,unfortunately for most people a very bad one.

            I Was Wrong! Alan Greenspan

    • Morrissey 1.3

      Has this ever happened before?

      “The West”, i.e. the gangster states of the U.S., U.K. and France, aided and abetted by vassals like Canada, Australia and New Zealand, has actively “intervened in” (destroyed or deterred) democracy in Spain in 1936, Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Vietnam in 1956, Brazil in 1964, the Dominican Republic in 1965, Indonesia in 1965, Chile in 1973, Grenada in 1983, Panama in 1989, Haiti in 1993, and (for three days until massive civil disobedience defeated the U.S.-backed coup) Venezuela in 2002.

      What we are witnessing now is nothing new. The tortured and murdered people of South America have experienced U.S. “intervention” many, many times before.

      • DJ Ward 1.3.1

        What crack up. The Dems wanted to give them more guns.

        So what about all the Russian guns. It was the Cold War but your implying it was something else?

        • Morrissey 1.3.1.1

          It was the Cold War but your [sic] implying it was something else?

          Your ignorance and arrogance—one goes with the other—are exceeded only by your illiteracy.

    • Richard McGrath 1.4

      Hillary got in first while Secretary of State, by selling the Ruskies a fair chunk of the US stock of uranium. Apparently Bill did very well out of some speeches he made in Russia just after that.

  2. joe90 2

    And things went okay for Nixon too, after he helped overthrow Allende.
    /

  3. DJ Ward 3

    But the US already gets there oil. There has never been a halt to there exports and imports to the US.

  4. Adrian Thornton 4

    I put this important link up on another thread, it is good piece on the report by Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, an independent expert of the United Nations on the real situation in Venezuela in 2018…please read.

    http://misionverdad.com/mv-in-english/exclusive-report-summary-of-the-report-by-alfred-de-zayas-independent-expert-of-the-un

    Some interesting passages…

    “Alfred de Zayas noted that his time in
    Venezuela was accompanied by an atmosphere of intimidation aimed at forcing him to settle in “a predetermined mold”. In this context, “I received letters from some NGOs asking me not to continue (with my work) for not being the ‘relevant’ rapporteur and almost dictating what I should include in the report.”

    “risk rating agencies, mainly Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch, have permanently issued a negative rating on the Republic’s capacity to make external payments, which essentially has closed its possibilities of access to the financial market.”

    Venezuela crisis: Former UN rapporteur says US sanctions are killing citizens
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/venezuela-us-sanctions-united-nations-oil-pdvsa-a8748201.html

    https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/24/former_un_expert_the_us_is

  5. timeforacupoftea 5

    We should be doing this, New Zealand needs a cheap supply of oil.

    It seems to me the US is streets ahead of us poor pacific islanders.

    • DJ Ward 5.1

      Nah. We are still living in the age of exploitation. The bright thing to do is buy other people’s cheap oil. Then in the future when the oil producers have exploited there resources and production nose dives, our resources will be worth a genuine fortune. The problem with that is market forces due to price will embrace alternatives. Like plant derived plastics, electric cars.

      What makes you think our oil will be any cheaper. The market decides the customer and the price. Unless you like Venuzuelas model.

      • Ed1 5.1.1

        Well It seems you agree with the current governments decision not to issue new exploration permits at the end of last year, and to potentially not issue any this year either. But it could be even more profitable to do what you appear to support the USA doing – the clip of Bolton above suggested they will try to get USA companies extracting Venezualan oil; left less defined is what would happen to Venezualen companies selling oil products in the USA. Is that the sort of respect for contract and the sanctity of property ownership that you support, DJ Ward?

    • Richard McGrath 5.2

      Er, our PM hates the oil industry and has shut a lot of their activities down in Taranaki. So won’t be producing any cheap local oil any time soon.

  6. Poission 6

    us democrats stick oar in.Greens state the obvious.

    • Adrian Thornton 6.1

      @Poission +1
      A very good point from Stein, also exposing just how weak the Dems have left themselves with all their unresolved baggage from the last election…all just waiting to come back and haunt them.

      Because of their internal corruption Trump could well win next time round..unbelievable that some good people on this site still aggressively defend them…strange, very strange.

  7. IMHO don’t like trump at all. Especially it refers to his statements. HE looks so unprofessional when he does that.

  8. JO 8

    This article provides more historical background than the usual, unsurprising supporters of intervention choose to recognise. Oil is like carrion, it attracts vultures. Winston Peters was a sane international voice in saying our government will not take sides.

    Oscar Guardiola-Rivera teaches human rights and philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London:
    ‘There is plenty to criticise Maduro for: late or misguided economic measures, corruption, power-hoarding. But these criticisms cannot disguise a coup or justify an intervention that, if and when it comes, would engulf us all.’

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/28/venezuela-coup-trump-juan-guaido

  9. joe90 9

    Bolton lets the cat out of the bag – ..and Iran’s interest in Venezuela’s uranium deposits..

  10. esoteric pineapples 10

  11. rata 11

    To be fair the USA and New Zealand are very similar.

  12. DJ Ward 12

    Re the update.

    Bolton is as psychopathically anti Russian as McCain.

    This is a power play. Meduro, who sells off oil production to the Russians and buys its weapons with the money. Or a pro US person who intends to open things up to competition.

    Who said the Cold War is over.
    Trump anti Russian? Quick close this discussion down.

    https://www.americasquarterly.org/content/russia-beating-china-venezuelas-oil-fields

  13. Kevin 13

    Ramping up the pressure.

    Of course the US doesn’t interfere in other countries economies…

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/28/trump-venezuela-sanctions-oil-pdvsa-maduro-guaido

  14. Gosman 14

    A question to all the dendeders of the Venezuelan regime.

    There is a lot of criticism directed against sanctions and the impact of them on the economy but why should Western Capitalists support a regime that is trying to replace Capitalism with Socialism? It would be like expecting Turkey’s to support year round Christmas.

    • Andre 14.1

      I’m not a defender of the Venezuelan regime, and at best a luke-warm defender of capitalism.

      What I’m mostly interested in is that people get to exercise their right to self-determination. From what I can see, that right to self determination is getting fucked with by the Maduro regime and by the US government (such as it is at the moment) and by other regional governments and quite possibly by rooskies and other further away powers. I’d be a hell of a lot happier if all the meddlers just fucked right off and let the venezuelans sort things out themselves, except for maybe a modest UN intervention to ensure the will of the population got heard.

      As far as I’m concerned, if the venezuelans as a whole want socialism, we should support them in that even though our dominant structure is capitalism. I really don’t give a shit what economic structure people want to organise themselves by, what I care about is that it’s their choice and not someone else’s.

      • Morrissey 14.1.1

        Your views match mine, Andre. So why all the abuse before?

      • Richard McGrath 14.1.2

        The Venezuelans ARE sorting things out. That nice Mt Maduro just tried to load 20 tons of gold onto a plane that his ever-helpful Russian friends provided. I wonder if he was going to give the people of Venezuela a dividend from all that wealth generated by the fabulously successful socialist economy.

    • DJ Ward 14.2

      If we are not carefull the tradition might spread to NZ. The Christmas hams might be happy at the change.

    • Thank you for the implicit recognition that western countries are run by their capitalist ruling classes, and that these capitalists have interests they’re unscrupulous about protecting. It’s very refreshing.

    • McFlock 14.4

      wet lunch, was it?

      Anyhoo, nobody says that the US needs to support anyone other than the UN. It would be nice if they stopped trying to destabilise other nations, though, regardless of political or social orientation.

    • Poission 14.5

      The argument best postulated is not against capitalism,but against corporatism and finacialization.

      https://ideas.repec.org/p/uma/periwp/wp153.html

      and the anti democratic outcome of globaliztion.

      https://www.globalpolicy.org/globalization/defining-globalization/27669-the-collapse-of-globalism.html

    • Sabine 14.6

      It is up to the people of Venezuela to care about Venezuela.

      The rest of the world can but out and care about its own business, about its own poor people, about its own homeless people, its unemployed people, its handicapped people who are neglected, its old people who are neglected, its falling apart and underfunded school etc etc etc.

      As for the US, they are the least to lecture anyone on democracy, democratic principles, democratic elections, democratic anything.

      Expecting the ‘western regimes’ to bring anything good to Venezueal via regime change and the likes is like believing that Turkeys support Thanks giving Day.

      • ropata 14.6.1

        Unfortunately the Venezuelan people do *not* get a say in their own government, as Maduro is following the playbook of Robert Mugabe, “Socialist” in name only, while importing arms from Russia, rigging elections, and stealing the nation’s oil revenues for the private profit of himself and his cronies.

        • Sabine 14.6.1.1

          and it is still not on us to fuck up their country even further, it is up to the Venezuelans to fix their country.

          The US and ‘allies’ should keep their grubby fingers of that country and its resources.

  15. Ad 15

    Here’s a nice ready-reckoner on how United States oil dependence has continued to shape its foreign policy.

    https://www.cfr.org/timeline/oil-dependence-and-us-foreign-policy

  16. Sabine 16

    Of course it is about hte oil.
    Did anyone here believe it is about the people and democracy?

    As for the orange turd, he showed and he spoke very clearly who he is, what he is about, and how he would go about getting what he wants.
    Might it be time to believe the turd and his spoken work and his written word and his actions? Or would that interfere with daytime dreaming about stuff that could be if only …………?

  17. Poission 17

    From the couldnt make this stuff up file .Bolton takes pad with OPSEC troop movements to press conference.

  18. Dennis Frank 18

    “The Trump administration sanctions stopped short of banning U.S. companies from buying Venezuelan oil, but because the proceeds of such sales will be put in a “blocked account,” PDVSA [Venezuelan state-owned oil firm] is likely to quickly stop shipping much crude to the United States, its top client.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-usa-sanctions/u-s-imposes-sanctions-on-venezuelan-state-oil-firm-pdvsa-idUSKCN1PM2DP

    So the USA has finally deleted itself from its long-held status as Venezuela’s favourite trading partner. Poor Maduro will have no choice but to sell more product to the Russians & Chinese. Gosh the yanks are such meanies, eh? But wait, the Chinese seem to be heading in the opposite direction: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-venezuela-oil/venezuela-oil-exports-to-china-slump-may-hit-lowest-in-nearly-8-years-sources-data-idUSKBN1JB0YI

    Looks like PDVSA can’t even get oil extracted sufficiently to supply customers: “GlobalData also forecast that Venezuelan crude oil production would fall to around one million barrels per day by the end of 2018. This is a steep decline from the three million barrels per day that Venezuela produced in 2011.” https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2018/06/08/venezuelas-oil-exports-are-headed-toward-zero/#3895cf976876

    Hard to see how Russia & China can rescue Venezuela from state-imposed suicide, despite their promise to try…

  19. greywarshark 19

    Why jis it that no-one can take male reporters and commenters seriously unless they are in shirts and jackets and probably a tie. Yet women like Rania can wear any old thing, just as if they were out socialising, and everything they say is accepted. It seems sexist against men to me. I think women should dress more formally as if they take the news and its reporting seriously.

  20. Tiger Mountain 20

    What part of US Imperialism, and its grisly South American historical record, do various commenters at The Standard not get? This American coup is from the playbook that gave us Chile 1973 and all the other interventions covert and clandestine, that Morrissey refers to.

    Petty bourgeois moaning about a left govt in trouble, while the Yanks prepare an oil heist and takeover of a sovereign state.

  21. Infused 21

    Venezuela needs some freedom bombs

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  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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