Venezuela - coup d'état?

More violence at the Brazilian border. Clashes renewed at Venezuela border as aid stalled on Brazilian side | CBC News
Protesters threw rocks while Venezuelan security forces fired back with tear gas and (reportedly) shotguns. The news report is saying "buckshot", but no evidence is offered for the reporter going out and measuring the actual shot size, so I would take that bit with a grain of salt. They may be actually using riot rounds or even rubber bullet guns.
Dozens of Venezuelans who had come to the Brazilian border city of Pacaraima began throwing rocks across the closed border at Venezuelan troops, who responded with tear gas and buckshot.
Brazilian officials are reporting "dozens" of injuries, while a supporter of the Venezuelan opposition is claiming 4 deaths and 300 injuries.
Local officials say dozens of people were injured in more violent clashes on Saturday as Venezuelan forces blocked aid shipments from crossing the border.

(...) Former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet focused her criticism on excessive use of force by the Venezuelan security forces, as well the involvement of pro-government groups. She said that has led to at least four confirmed deaths and more than 300 injuries over the previous two days.
The Brazilians were apparently trying to get the protestors and journalists to move back from the border where they were confronting the Venezuelan security forces.
Globo television broadcast images of a Brazilian soldier advancing to the border line on Sunday to appeal for calm on the part of the Venezuelan soldiers and to urge protesters and journalists to move back.
 
U.S. asks U.N. Security Council to meet on Venezuela - diplomats | Reuters
UNSC meeting called tomorrow by the US. Their submission has led to a counter proposal by Russia. It's unsure which, if either will be voted on. The US apparently wants a rerun of the Presidential election:
The United States has asked the United Nations Security Council to meet to discuss the situation in Venezuela on Tuesday, said diplomats after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s troops repelled foreign aid convoys at the weekend.

The United States has been pushing the 15-member council to formally call for free, fair and credible presidential elections in Venezuela with international observers, a move that prompted Russia to propose a rival draft resolution. It was unclear if or when either draft text could be put to a vote.

Moscow and Washington have been at loggerheads over a U.S.-led campaign for international recognition of Venezuelan opposition leader and head of the country’s elected National Assembly Juan Guaido over Maduro. Guaido last month declared himself interim head of state.
Venezuela hit with new U.S. sanctions after aid clashes | Reuters
Meanwhile, the US has hit four Venezuelan state governors with sanctions and called for all of the Lima Group (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru) to freeze PDVSAs assets:
The United States targeted Venezuela’s government with new sanctions on Monday and called on allies to freeze the assets of its state-owned oil company PDVSA after deadly violence blocked aid from reaching the crisis-hit country during the weekend.

The United States also took its pressure campaign to the United Nations Security Council, asking that body to discuss the situation in Venezuela, diplomats said.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s sanctions were imposed on four Venezuelan state governors allied with the government of embattled President Nicolas Maduro, blocking any assets they control in the United States.
Pence also says more are on the way, with Guaido calling for a moment of silence for those killed during the protests to get the aid through:
“In the days ahead ... the United States will announce even stronger sanctions on the regime’s corrupt financial networks,” Pence said. “We will work with all of you to find every last dollar that they stole and work to return it to Venezuela.”

Guaido, sitting next to Pence at the meeting, asked for a moment of silence for those killed in what he called the “massacre” of the weekend.

At least three people were killed and almost 300 wounded during the protests and clashes on Saturday as U.S.-backed aid convoys attempted to enter Venezuela to deliver food and medicine.
 
A US based Spanish language television network Univision and the Venezuelan government gave conflicting versions of what happened during an interview with Maduro by the network. Univision say that the interview was cut short when Maduro didn't like the questions, and they were detained for a short while before being released and their equipment confiscated.
Univision anchor Jorge Ramos detained while interviewing Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro | CBC News
Spanish-language U.S. television network Univision said on Monday a news team led by its anchor Jorge Ramos was released Monday evening after being detained at the presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, while interviewing President Nicolas Maduro.
"They were interviewing @NicolasMaduro but he didn't like the questions," the network tweeted.
(...) The Univision team left after two hours without having their equipment returned.
The Venezuelan government have denied that account and said they welcomed journalists, but the story does not give details on just what the government's side of the story is other than that the interviewers and Maduro apparently did not get along well with one another.
In response to Univision's claims, Venezuela's information minister, Jorge Rodriguez, tweeted that the government had in the past welcomed hundreds of journalists to the Miraflores presidential palace, but it did not support "cheap shows."
Venezuela's government denied Ramos's account and accused him of trying to stage an international incident.
 
U.S., Russia fail in rival bids for U.N. action on Venezuela | Reuters
Russia and China both vetoed the US Resolution to hold free and fair Presidential elections again in Venezuela. Meanwhile, the Russian offering only achieved four votes, so failed to meet the required number. The Russian bid was to recognise Maduro’s govt as the primary coordinator of international assistance efforts in the country:
Russia and China vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a free and fair presidential election in Venezuela and unhindered aid access. The U.S. text garnered a minimum nine votes - forcing the double veto, while South Africa also voted no. Three countries abstained.

“By voting against this resolution some members of this council continue to shield Maduro and his cronies and prolong the suffering of the Venezuelan people. This man-made crisis has extended well beyond Venezuela’s borders and threatens to destabilize the region,” U.S. special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams told the council.

The council then voted on a rival Russian draft that aimed to express support for a political solution and back the Venezuelan government as the primary coordinator of international assistance efforts in the country.
 
Venezuela coup linked to Bush team
Washington's involvement in the turbulent events that briefly removed left-wing leader Hugo Chavez from power last weekend resurrects fears about US ambitions in the hemisphere.
It also deepens doubts about policy in the region being made by appointees to the Bush administration, all of whom owe their careers to serving in the dirty wars under President Reagan.
One of them, Elliot Abrams, who gave a nod to the attempted Venezuelan coup, has a conviction for misleading Congress over the infamous Iran-Contra affair.
The Bush administration has tried to distance itself from the coup. It immediately endorsed the new government under businessman Pedro Carmona. But the coup was sent dramatically into reverse after 48 hours.

so there's that :rolleyes:
although it might just be trump level competency grabbing an "expert" on Latin America without regard to what it looks likes:(
 
Venezuela coup linked to Bush team
Washington's involvement in the turbulent events that briefly removed left-wing leader Hugo Chavez from power last weekend resurrects fears about US ambitions in the hemisphere.
It also deepens doubts about policy in the region being made by appointees to the Bush administration, all of whom owe their careers to serving in the dirty wars under President Reagan.
One of them, Elliot Abrams, who gave a nod to the attempted Venezuelan coup, has a conviction for misleading Congress over the infamous Iran-Contra affair.
The Bush administration has tried to distance itself from the coup. It immediately endorsed the new government under businessman Pedro Carmona. But the coup was sent dramatically into reverse after 48 hours.

so there's that :rolleyes:
although it might just be trump level competency grabbing an "expert" on Latin America without regard to what it looks likes:(
None of that was in the link you posted: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Venezuelan_coup
 
The US has extended sanctions to cover certain senior Venezuelan government officials - the usual. U.S. imposes new sanctions on Venezuela to squeeze out leader amid humanitarian crisis | CBC News
U.S. sanctions block any assets the individuals control in the U.S. and bars American entities from doing any business or financial transactions with them.
The list includes National Guard Cmdr. Richard Lopez and five other police and military officials based near the Colombian or Brazilian borders.
There's not much else in the news story which is new.
 
Guaido is returning to Venezuela after visiting Ecuador where he held a meeting with the Ecuadorian president.
Venezuela's Guaido, in Ecuador, says next stop is home | CBC News
"I'm announcing my return home from Ecuador," Guaido said after meeting its president, Lenin Moreno.
He wants more protests in Venezuela. This is apparently the start of Carnival in Venezuela, so it is possible that a lot of people may be out on the streets anyway. If so, then the amount of protest may ramp up naturally.
He also called for protests in Venezuela on Monday and Tuesday, days that coincide with the country's Carnival season.
The president of Ecuador said that he supports the overthrow of Maduro.
Moreno, who met Guaido in Ecuador's coastal city of Salinas, said he supported the opposition leader's attempt to bring "democratic change" to Venezuela.
 
Guaido is back in Venezuela after his trip abroad, urging his supporters to overthrow Maduro.
Juan Guaido, risking arrest, arrives back in Venezuela after regional trip | CBC News
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido returned to Venezuela on Monday after defying a travel ban last week and urged supporters at a rally to intensify their campaign to topple the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
He arrived at the main airport in Caracas, passing through immigration checks without apparent incident, according to the news report.
Guaido tweeted that he was heading back to Venezuela ahead of planned anti-government protests in Caracas, and video footage captured him arriving at the Simon Bolivar International Airport about 40 kilometres from the capital around noon.

He said in a tweet he successfully passed through immigration checks.
The news report notes that there were also attempts to overthrow the Venezuelan government through the use of street protests in 2014 and 2017, but those failed. One of the leaders of those earlier attempts was Leopoldo Lopez, who remains under house arrest.
The government has jailed dozens of opposition leaders and activists for seeking to overthrow Maduro through violent street demonstrations in 2014 and 2017, including Guaido's mentor, Leopoldo Lopez, who remains under house arrest.
 
In several minor developments, the German ambassador has been kicked out of Venezuela, and a US journalist is leaving Venezuela after being briefly arrested. It is not clear from the story if the latter has been officially expelled or not. He will not have been the first journalist to have been expelled recently.
U.S. journalist released after arrest in Venezuela, one of his employers says | CBC News
Venezuela considers it unacceptable that a foreign diplomat would take on "a public role more appropriate to that of a political leader," the government statement said. It gave Kriener 48 hours to leave the country.

(...)
Venezuelan authorities released American journalist Cody Weddle on Wednesday evening following his arrest in the morning, Miami television station WPLG Local 10 reported.

WPLG, one of the outlets for which Weddle worked, added that he was at the main Caracas-area airport waiting for a U.S.-bound flight.
The Germans have responded to their ambassador being expelled by, err, recalling their ambassador "for consultations".
After the expulsion order, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he had decided to recall Kriener to Berlin for consultations.
Meanwhile Guaido said that Maduro is ignoring him and waiting for things to blow over.
Guaido has said Maduro has effectively been ignoring him since his return to Venezuela in hopes that his political momentum will fade. On Tuesday, Maduro belittled his opponents as "opportunists and cowards," but did not mention Guaido by name.
 
There is a widespread electric power blackout in Venezuela. Huge power outage in Venezuela raises tensions amid crisis | CBC News
Much of the nation of 31 million people was still without electricity as the blackout stretched into a second day and patience began to wear thin.
Reportedly it reaches across 22 of 23 states to some degree.
The blackout hit 22 of 23 states by some accounts. It struck Caracas, which until now has been spared the worst of a collapse in the nation's grid, at the peak of rush hour late Thursday.
Power is reportedly starting to come back on in parts of Caracas.
Pro-government state broadcaster VTV around 2 p.m. local time on Friday reported that electricity had been restored to 16 neighbourhoods around Caracas.
That account could not be immediately verified, though some Venezuelans on social media began reporting they had power.
The electric utility described it as the result of "sabotage" at their main hydro-electric generating plant at Guri Dam, but there were no details on this in the news story. The communications minister further described it as the result of a cyber warfare attack. While such a thing can't be ruled out, I'm not prepared to assume that is the case without more confirmation. I would also point out that the utility's description of "sabotage" could quite easily cover a wide range of much simpler causes.
State-owned electricity operator Corpoelec blamed the outage on act of "sabotage" at the Guri Dam, one of the world's largest hydroelectric stations and the cornerstone of Venezuela's electrical grid.
Rodriguez described it as a "cyber" attack intended to derail the whole system. He said electricity in Venezuela's eastern region had been restored within two hours.
I was present when a large scale blackout hit part of Canada and the US. The cause was poor maintenance on the part of an electric utility in the US who had been cheese paring their maintenance budget in an effort to cut costs and improve financial returns. The blackout cascaded from their network across multiple neighbouring utilities (and into Canada). As each generating plant tripped out, that threw more load on other plants, tripping those out as well. It took a week or more to restart everything and restore electric power to everyone, and even longer to return things to normal. The number of people affected was far larger than is the current case in Venezuela.

It is quite plausible that tripping out one of the big hydro-electric generating plants in Venezuela would knock out most of the country, and that getting everything up and running again could take a while.
 
I would also point out that the utility's description of "sabotage" could quite easily cover a wide range of much simpler causes.
Absolutely agree. Failure of big, complicated electric power system can be triggered by quite simple cause. But as a rule there are some more serious system causes. (In)famous blackout in Moscow when 6 mln. were voided electric power for a half day started 21:00 25 May 2005.
It was caused by explosion of overheated current measurement transformer in Chagino 500kV substation (btw, just a few km from my home). The transformer itself is relatively cheap and the substation could function without it. But the transformer was filled with oil that leaked and caused the fire that in turn damaged other equipment. As a result the whole substation was turned off and big 22d Moscow power plant directly linked to the substation was also switched off. Chagino substation is a part of 500kV power ring and an entry point for big Kashira power plants located to the South from Moscow.
It still was not a catastophe. During the night when load is only 40% of daylight one it would be possible to restore power system, to repair equipment, to reconfigure (if needed) power grids. But it hadn't been done and the cause was system one (I will tell about it later). The next morning due to disbalance in the power system 6 critically important lines 110kV were overloaded. Voltage dropped to 85kV and they were automatically switched off. It in turn caused overload on 220kV power lines with the same effect. Some power plants in Moscow region also were automatically turned off. At evening 26 May the system was mainly restored but it could be done much easier the previous night.
The main cause as I have said previously was system one. It is wide campaign of privatization in power energetics in Russia happened in 90's. If you remeber the saga about privatization of British rails then you would understand why the blackout in Moscow happened. Coordination between state run and private companies was lost. Many key position were occupied by just 'economists' absolutly ignorant in electroenergetics.

Ruturning to Venezuela, I suppose that due to severe economic crisis, to hyperinflation and apparent problem with salaries many high class specialists left Venezuela. So remaining personnel were unable to handle even not so difficult hardware failure.
 
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Ruturning to Venezuela, I suppose that due to severe economic crisis, to hyperinflation and apparent problem with salaries many high class specialists left Venezuela. So remaining personnel were unable to handle even not so difficult hardware failure.
Venezuela power flickers after worst blackout in decades | Reuters
After nationalisation in 2007, there’s been major blackouts in 2008 and 2013 with local power outages being common in some areas:
Venezuela suffered major blackouts in 2008 and 2013 that affected significant parts of the country, but they were resolved in less than six hours.

Local power outages continue to be chronic, particularly in the sweltering western state of Zulia where residents complain of days without power or with limited electricity and voltage fluctuations that damage appliances.
 
According to Venezuelan officials the blackout was caused by cyber attack instigated by Washington.
Jorge Rodríguez insiste en que el apagón fue “sabotaje” y acusa a Marco Rubio
The minister of Communication and Information Jorge Rodriguez accused the United States of “sabotage” of the electrical system which “we have recovered in record time in the East and South of Venezuela, and soon we'll all over the country.”
“They made a cyber attack against the System of Automated Control”, noted the spokesman of the regime of Nicolás Maduro.
Of couse such a cyber attack can not be excluded.
Venezuela blackout caused by 'US attack', defence minister claims
Venezuela’s defense minister has accused the United States of masterminding a crippling power cut that has left virtually the entire South American country without electricity and stirred fears that its crisis could be entering a volatile new phase.
In a televised address from the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Vladimir Padrino López claimed the “North American empire” was behind a “criminal aggression” designed to “disrupt and attack” Nicolás Maduro’s beleaguered administration.
There is another point of view
Gedan, a senior adviser at the Wilson Center’s Latin American program, said he doubted ordinary Venezuelans would buy into claims the US had caused the blackout.
“Venezuela’s infrastructure is in a shambles, and people suffering from the blackout are unlikely to blame outside actors.
The blackout originated in huge Guri hydro power plant and quite reliable Japanese made equipment is installed there. It is not critically old.
Guri Dam - Wikipedia
We see that maintenance of the hardware in the power plant is made or supervised by
- Hitachi affiliate company HPC Venezuela C.A (or VHPC)
- Alstom Hydro Venezuela S.A.
- Mitsui de Venezuela, C.A. (for Toshiba)
In 1985 Hitachi installed computer based control system that no doubt was modernised.
The system could be a target of alleged cyber attack.
 
(...) Ruturning to Venezuela, I suppose that due to severe economic crisis, to hyperinflation and apparent problem with salaries many high class specialists left Venezuela. So remaining personnel were unable to handle even not so difficult hardware failure.
The news story I quoted mentioned this loss of experienced technical staff due to the ongoing economic problems as a likely major contributing factor.
 
According to Venezuelan officials the blackout was caused by cyber attack instigated by Washington.
Jorge Rodríguez insiste en que el apagón fue “sabotaje” y acusa a Marco Rubio


Of couse such a cyber attack can not be excluded.
Venezuela blackout caused by 'US attack', defence minister claims

There is another point of view

The blackout originated in huge Guri hydro power plant and quite reliable Japanese made equipment is installed there. It is not critically old.
Guri Dam - Wikipedia
We see that maintenance of the hardware in the power plant is made or supervised by
- Hitachi affiliate company HPC Venezuela C.A (or VHPC)
- Alstom Hydro Venezuela S.A.
- Mitsui de Venezuela, C.A. (for Toshiba)
In 1985 Hitachi installed computer based control system that no doubt was modernised.
The system could be a target of alleged cyber attack.
A senior US politician who is involved in dealing with the current Venezuela situation made a "joke" about the US being responsible for the blackout. This may contribute to some people in Venezuela believing the US was behind it.
 
Well, this could be a little embarrassing.

'The narrative seemed to fit Venezuela’s authoritarian rule: Security forces, on the order of President Nicolás Maduro, had torched a convoy of humanitarian aid as millions in his country were suffering from illness and hunger.

'Vice President Mike Pence wrote that “the tyrant in Caracas danced”as his henchmen “burned food & medicine.” The State Department released a video saying Mr. Maduro had ordered the trucks burned. And Venezuela’s opposition held up the images of the burning aid, reproduced on dozens of news sites and television screens throughout Latin America, as evidence of Mr. Maduro’s cruelty.

'But there is a problem: The opposition itself, not Mr. Maduro’s men, appears to have set the cargo alight accidentally.'


Footage Contradicts U.S. Claim That Maduro Burned Aid Convoy
 
Or was the protestor in fact a fifth columnist, working for maduro.

Now where's me tinfoil titfer...
1tinfoil.gif
 
Well, this could be a little embarrassing.

'The narrative seemed to fit Venezuela’s authoritarian rule: Security forces, on the order of President Nicolás Maduro, had torched a convoy of humanitarian aid as millions in his country were suffering from illness and hunger.

'Vice President Mike Pence wrote that “the tyrant in Caracas danced”as his henchmen “burned food & medicine.” The State Department released a video saying Mr. Maduro had ordered the trucks burned. And Venezuela’s opposition held up the images of the burning aid, reproduced on dozens of news sites and television screens throughout Latin America, as evidence of Mr. Maduro’s cruelty.

'But there is a problem: The opposition itself, not Mr. Maduro’s men, appears to have set the cargo alight accidentally.'

Footage Contradicts U.S. Claim That Maduro Burned Aid Convoy
There were apparently no medicines in the trucks either, despite what had been claimed.
 

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