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Ian Greenhalgh is a photographer and historian with a particular interest in military history and the real causes of conflicts.

His studies in history and background in the media industry have given him a keen insight into the use of mass media as a creator of conflict in the modern world. His favored areas of study include state sponsored terrorism, media manufactured reality and the role of intelligence services in manipulation of populations and the perception of events. He is now a contributor in Military News Report and World Events Analyst for Global News Aruba.

'Hugo Chavez Documentary – The Background to Today’s Situation in Venezuela'

By Ian Greenhalgh Military News 

Global News Aruba

United Kingdom

The late 1980s, Venezuela was impoverished by a corrupt government that had sold out to the IMF, the people were literally starving and by 1989, they could take it no more, there was an eruption of violence born of sheer desperation. The paramilitary police forces put done the nascent uprising with murderous force, but the winds of change were blowing and 3 years later, a man came, as if from out of nowhere, to topple the corrupt government and end the nation’s long period of being raped and abused by the big global banks, that man was Hugo Chavez, at the time a lowly colonel commanding a unit of paratroopers and completely unknown to the people of Venezuela or the rest of the world.

Chavez was the real deal, a true patriot, a true socialist revolutionary, unlike so many other supposed national heroes that rose to power elsewhere, such as Castro and Gadaffi, Chavez was not a creation and puppet of the CIA. That is why his regime was so bitterly opposed and why he had to be killed, he survived multiple attempts on his life and at least one coup attempt, but finally, he was felled by a particularly aggressive cancer that literally ate him alive in just two short years, no doubt this was a weaponised form of the disease created by the CIA.

With Chavez gone, the CIA must have expected Venezuela to fall into their grasp, as so many other nations had before, but Chavez’s appointed successor Maduro, proved to be almost as tough and smart as Chavez had proved to be. It is only after many years of being starved and impoverished by the global banking crime cabal that the Venezuelan people are finally weakening in their support for Maduro and the Chavez socialist movement that freed the nation from the grasp of the banks and intelligence agencies.

The documentary below gives a good insight into how Venezuela came to be where it is today, it doesn’t enough of course, that wouldn’t be , but it provides a good starting point to learning about the subject at least.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-lhLVUlTcw


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'Russia, China And Turkey In Support For Maduro As They Warn Washington Not To Intervene'

by Ian Greenhalgh Military News Global News Aruba 
United Kingdom

The reason for the troubles that have beset the nation are not the fault of it’s government, which, like that of Assad in Syria, is democratically elected and enjoys strong popular support of the populace. The finger of blame should be pointed at the United States, which has secretly interfered in Venezuela affairs for decades, especially since the rise of former president Hugo Chavez and now his successor Nicolas Maduro.

The US is attempting to repeat the policies and practices it employed during the 1920s and 30s when big US corporates like the Dole Fruit Company and Coca Cola exploited and impoverished the nations of central America with the US Marine Corps as their enforcers – see Smedley Butler’s ‘War Is a Racket’.

The US wants to control and exploit Venezuela’s natural resources, particularly it’s oil reserves, it also wants to install a puppet regime that will be all too happy to allow the US to rape the nation of it’s wealth and brutally oppress the people in order to prevent the rise of the type of liberal socialism that the US has crushed many times before in regional nations such as Guatemala, Grenada and Nicaragua – te US does not want a socialist, anti-capitalist Central America, it wants a compliant, enslaved region that can be readily exploited by it’s corporate criminals.

However, the days when the US could act with impunity in te Americas, using it’s military and intelligence services to overthrow any regimes it doesn’t approve of, are coming to an end, no longer can a CIA regime change operation be carried out without causing other world powers to react and should the US attempt to use military force, as it did in the past, it now faces the prospect of an alliance of world powers forming to stop them.

With the US-controlled Colombia and the Israel-controlled Brazil surrounding Venezuela on the west and south and the British controlled Guyana to the East, Venezuela is virtually enclosed in a ring of US-Israeli proxy forces, the Caribbean sea to the North is totally dominated by the US navy and the long Venezuelan coastline is ripe for invasion by US Marine forces.

That said, it is far from a certainty that the US and it’s proxies could easily conquer the troublesome nation, this is largely due to the threat of intervention by Russia, China and Turkey, raising the prospect of a Central American Vietnam, a disastrous and costly conflict that destabilised the US itself as the bodybags arrive home and the American people turned on their government as they have little appetite for yet another foreign military adventure in order to enrich the oligarchy.

However, with Trump in the White House, a childish cretin with severe personality disorders who is surrounded by Judeo-Zionist handlers, the prospect of common sense overriding the desire for war for profit is not as great as in the past when more independent and stable personalities were incumbent in the Oval Office.

Thus, we are faced with the disturbing prospect that Trump will ignore the international pressure and go ahead with the plans to use force to effect regime change in Venezuela, thus igniting a regional conflict that holds the possibility of exploding into a global conflagration as the other global powers act to rein in the American mad dog. Ian]

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Mercopress
Russia, China and Turkey in support for Maduro as they warn Washington not to intervene

Russia on Thursday accused the United States of trying to usurp power in Venezuela and warned against a military intervention by confronting Washington and the European Union, which backed protests against one of Moscow’s closest allies, Venezuelan partial recognized President Nicolás Maduro.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself interim president, based on country’s Constitution, on Wednesday and won recognition from Washington, prompting Maduro to break diplomatic relations with the United States.

The prospect of an overthrow of Maduro is a geopolitical and economic headache for Russia that, together with China, has become a lender of last resort for Caracas, to whom it has given billions of dollars amid the great crisis who lives his economy. Moscow has also supported its military and oil industry.

Russia accused Washington of being behind the street protests and trying to undermine Maduro, whom he called the country’s legitimate president.

“We believe that the attempt to usurp the sovereign authority in Venezuela contradicts and violates the basis and principles of international law,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

He also indicated that Russia has not received a request for military assistance from Venezuela, while declined to specify what his response would be if he did so. Maduro, who met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow last month, is the legitimate president, Peskov said.

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry asked Washington not to intervene militarily, warning that outside interference opens the way to a bloodbath. “We warn against these adventures, which can have catastrophic consequences,” he said.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan also backed the Venezuelan leader. “My brother Maduro! ”We are by your side!” Said the leader, quoted by presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on Twitter.

China also said it supports efforts to protect Venezuela’s independence and stability.

Meanwhile, the European Commission – the executive arm of the European Union – avoided making an explicit recognition of Guaidó as the interim president of the South American country, and urged to carry out a political process leading to new elections.


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'Fintan O’Toole: It Is Not Just The Economy, Stupid – Brexit Is About Belonging'
by Ian Greenhalgh Military News Global News Aruba 
United Kingdom
Irish Times

Before Christmas I was talking to a middle-aged man in Magharafelt, Co Derry. He was from a Catholic background and was active locally in the SDLP. Inevitably, the talk turned to Brexit and the economic harm it would do. But he pointed out that in the 1970s, the Republic was an economic “basket case” while standards of living were much better north of the Border, even for people like him.

“And yet,” he said, “if someone had given me the chance to vote for a United Ireland, I’d have done it in a heartbeat. I’d have taken the hit. So I understand where people are coming from in England. It’s not all about the economy, you know.”

He was right, of course, and there is no chance of escaping from the current crisis for these islands until we all recognise that economics arguments will not change many minds.

In the 1990s every wannabe politician or spin doctor in the settled democracies watched the brilliant fly-on-the-wall documentary on Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992, The War Room. In it, the campaign manager James Carville sticks a sign on the wall, intended to focus the minds of the staff: “It’s the economy, stupid!” It became, of course, conventional wisdom. In his gripping book on the Brexit campaign, Unleashing Demons, David Cameron’s chief strategist Craig Oliver writes that “Our campaign was based on the simple proposition that electorates don’t vote against their own pockets. That view is summed up best in the closest thing to an iron law in politics, James Carville’s realisation when running the first Clinton presidential election campaign, ‘It’s the economy, stupid!’”

Political attitudes

The big problem is with the “stupid” bit. It is, of course, never not the economy: people’s economic conditions and expectations will always shape their lives and those lives will always shape their political attitudes. But it is not “stupid” to vote for other reasons too. Some people are indeed ignorant or deluded or misled about the economic consequences of their votes. And some people know very well that they are risking their own economic wellbeing but feel it is a price worth paying anyway.

Ireland is a perfect case in point. For about the first 70 years of Irish independence, the decision to leave the United Kingdom was – on a cold calculation – a mistake. Most ordinary Irish people were worse off than their UK counterparts – that’s why so many of them emigrated to Britain. And yet very few of them would have voted to go back into the UK. We should remember this when we look across the water and wonder at the obvious willingness of so many people in England to trade economic self-harm for an idea (however misplaced) of national independence.

One of the fatal flaws of progressive centre-left politics as it developed under Clinton and Tony Blair was its contradictory attitude to all of this. On the one hand, the centre-left knew very well that it was not all about the economy – it embraced the importance of race, gender and sexual orientation. On the other, it came to believe that identity politics stopped where economics began. As the old working class was dismantled and the power of labour unions diminished, it was convenient to forget that economics and identity are and always have been deeply intertwined.

So it was easy to understand that a sense of belonging might be more important than money to minorities, but less and less understood that the same might be true for white working-class communities. Black pride or gay pride were good things, but the old forms of working-class pride – being in a union, for example – were outmoded and the people who clung to them would just have to get over themselves.

Far-right politics

Brexit – like the election of Donald Trump and the rise of far-right identity politics in Europe – is a consequence of this contradiction. The anti-Brexit campaign rigidly obeyed the “iron law” that, in the end, people do not vote against their pockets. And most of the arguments against Brexit still come down to dire warnings about jobs and living standards. Those arguments are necessary but they are not sufficient.

There is a long-term crisis of belonging in the UK. Brexit is its most lurid symptom, but it is not a cure. Theresa May’s appeal to the “precious, precious union” is mere denial about the rise of English identity. The hard Brexiteers, under the cover of nationalism, want to unleash an even more virulent form of globalisation that will destroy what is left of working-class communities.

And yet these liars and fantasists have been allowed to own the most potent political emotions – collective pride, identity, belonging. The willingness to sacrifice economic comfort for a sense of the greater good or a higher ideal is not innately self-destructive. Nothing noble or decent is ever accomplished without it. The Right has turned it into a sharp blade and told people to cut themselves with it. Those people think they are making a sacrifice when they are merely being sacrificed. The Left has to speak, not just to their rational desire not to make themselves poorer, but to the bigger reasons why they don’t think it’s all about money.


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(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

"Declaring a national emergency to build the wall would be an abuse of emergency powers."

By Ian Greenhalgh 
Historian and Military News
Global News Aruba Contributor

Speaking outside of the White House on Friday as the government shutdown continued with no funding agreement in sight, President Donald Trump threatened to declare a national emergency to build his “border wall” if he doesn’t receive the more than $5 billion in funding he’s demanding from Congress.

“I can do it if I want,” Trump proclaimed in response to a question from a reporter. “We can do it. I haven’t done it. I may do it. I may do it.”

Trump’s threat to give himself emergency powers to construct what critics have described as a “monument to racism” came shortly after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the president warned during a Situation Room meeting that he could “keep the government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years.”

“Declaring a national emergency to build the wall would be an abuse of emergency powers,” Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, wrote on Twitter following Trump’s comments.

“If you needed more evidence that we have a pure autocrat in the White House: Trump is now considering declaring a national emergency in a disgraceful attempt to get funding for his racist border wall,” Public Citizen added.

But, as Goitein wrote in The Atlantic recently, the decision to make such a declaration is “entirely within [Trump’s] discretion”—and would make “more than 100 special provisions” available to him.

“For instance, the president can, with the flick of his pen, activate laws allowing him to shut down many kinds of electronic communications inside the United States or freeze Americans’ bank accounts,” she wrote.

“This edifice of extraordinary powers has historically rested on the assumption that the president will act in the country’s best interest when using them,” Goitein continued. “But what if a president, backed into a corner and facing electoral defeat or impeachment, were to declare an emergency for the sake of holding on to power? In that scenario, our laws and institutions might not save us from a presidential power grab. They might be what takes us down.”


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'Venezuela Foils Uprising By National Guardsmen; 

Massive Protest March' 

by Ian Greenhalgh Military News Global News Aruba 

United Kingdom

Mercopress

Venezuela plunged deeper into turmoil Monday as security forces put down a pre-dawn uprising by National Guardsmen that triggered violent street protests, and the Supreme Court moved to undercut the opposition-controlled congress’ defiant new leadership. Socialist party chief Diosdado Cabello said 27 guardsmen were arrested and more could be detained as the investigation unfolds.

The mutiny struck at a time when opposition leaders have regained momentum in their efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro. They have called for a nationwide demonstration Wednesday, urging Venezuelans — especially members of the armed forces — to abandon Maduro.

The uprising triggered protests in a poor neighborhood just a few kilometers from Venezuela’s presidential palace. It was dispersed with tear gas as residents set fire to a barricade of trash and chanted demands that Maduro leave power.

The military said in a statement said that it had recovered all the weapons and captured those involved in what it described as “treasonous” acts motivated by “obscure interests tied to the far right.”

It said at around 2:50 a.m. (06:50 GMT), a small group of guardsmen took captive a captain in charge of a police station in western Caracas and then moved across the capital in two military trucks to the poor neighborhood of Petare, where they stole a cache of weapons from another outpost.

Officials said 25 soldiers were quickly caught at the National Guard outpost 3 kilometers from the Miraflores presidential palace, and two more arrests were made at another location. A few hours earlier, a group of heavily armed national guardsmen published a series of videos on social media saying they won’t recognize Maduro’s government, which has come under increasing domestic and international pressure over a newly begun second term that the opposition-controlled congress and many nations consider illegitimate.

In one of the videos, a man identifying himself as 3rd Sgt. Alexander Bandres Figueroa, addressing the “people of Venezuela,” urges his compatriots to take to the streets to show support for their rebellion.

At daybreak in the adjacent neighborhood of Cotiza, a group of shirtless young men, some with their faces covered, built a barricade across the street with a burning car, heavy sewer grate and a large chunk of concrete.

Hours later, the government-stacked Supreme Court said it was throwing out recent measures by the National Assembly that declared Maduro’s presidency illegitimate, deepening a standoff with the opposition-controlled legislature.

The justices ruled that the new leadership of congress itself is invalid, and urged the country’s chief prosecutor to investigate whether congressional leaders had acted criminally in openly defying the nation’s constitution.

Juan Guaido, a 35-year-old newly seated as president of congress, shrugged off the court’s warning and reiterated his call for people to take to the streets Wednesday — a historic date commemorating the end of Venezuela’s military dictatorship in 1958 — to demand Maduro abandon power.

“The National Assembly is the only institution elected by the people of Venezuela,” Guaido said at a press conference at the legislature.

Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said on Twitter that those responsible for the incident would be punished with the full force of the law.

Cabello, Venezuela’s powerful socialist party leader, said the opposition demonstration expected Wednesday doesn’t worry him, because the government will flood the streets with its own loyal supporters.

“It’s the right that stirs up violence — not us,” Cabello said. “How many marches do we hold here every week without a single act of violence?”