It's going down in Venezuela

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Utumno, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    You tell me I have lofty goals for people to reach, you don't even allow the entire worlds interactions outside of your extremely narrow economic trend data. lol

    not allowed to talk about the US wanting to overthrow the governments, this is obviously the fault of communism, not at all weird groups like MEK who pay people like rudy giuliani and john bolton, or the lima group funded people, or the atlantic council which is funded by Rafik Hariri, the father of Saad Hariri of Lebanon who's funded by Saudi Arabia

    yeah this is all just communism's fault

    see what you're experiencing is people who can see past your stupid line that you draw in the argument stating this is where the fact lays, you don't get to decide that, dumb dumb
  2. AgelessDrifter

    AgelessDrifter TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    I'm sure this will be a deep and meaningful exchange that will leave all participants better informed and better able to grapple with the harsh realities of global politics and the subtle nuances of macroeconomic theory :smiley:
  3. Utumno

    Utumno Administrator Staff Member

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  4. Red

    Red TZT Neckbeard

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    Searyx really dropped the ball on this one. His TS% is in the shitter.
  5. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    im always right
  6. globally banned

    globally banned TZT Abuser

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    i've never had palestinian chicken, how is it?
  7. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    chicken shawarma is that
  8. kliop

    kliop The Admins are dim witted plagiarists.

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    The new discoveries are the first since Exxon Mobil abruptly halted in late December some of its seismic data gathering activities offshore of Guyana - but nearer to the Venezuelan border - when a contracted vessel fled after being confronted by the Venezuelan navy.

    More than five billion barrels of oil have been discovered to date off the Guyana coast in an area called the Stabroek Block which is internationally recognized to be part of the South American country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). But its western neighbour – Venezuela – has heightened its claim to large swathes of this territory ever since US oil major ExxonMobil made its first discovery at the Liza field back in 2015.
  9. globally banned

    globally banned TZT Abuser

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    oh i have had that, it's pretty good
  10. Velox

    Velox TZT Abuser

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    For the third time, how can sanctions that happened 2017+ be responsible for an economic decline that started years before that?

    Pages of tangents and specious arguments later, you still fail to answer that simple question.

    There is another person that lives in his own "truthiness" bubble, rambles incoherently, and insults his opponents while being unabashedly self-congratulatory. Donald Czer, is that you?
  11. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Your brain inhibits you.

    I made two points, both the sanctions and the western corruption.

    You dont comprehend how the world works so we are talking past each other

    I provided information with sources for over a decade of geopolitical corruption, you provided trend data that matches it precisely, thanks
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  12. Agrul

    Agrul TZT Neckbeard Lord

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  13. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Guaido Nears Return to Venezuela With Potential Arrest Looming
    March 3, 2019''

    Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guaido again said that he’ll return home in the coming days and called for supporters to take to the streets to join him in ousting President Nicolas Maduro, who much of the world now considers illegitimate.

    “I announce my return to the country and call on marches across the country for Monday and Tuesday,” Guaido said on Twitter late Saturday. “We call on people to be attentive to the next steps that we’ll announce.”

    He hasn’t said when when, or how, he intends to return. Guaido, who laid his claim as rival president on the grounds that Maduro won a new term in fraudulent elections last year, secretly left Venezuela last month in violation of a travel ban.

    He has since overseen a failed attempt to push food and medicine across the border, met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Bogota, then traveled to Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Ecuador to meet with the leaders of those countries who are backing his push to depose Maduro and organize free and fair elections.

    While Guaido has said he needs to return to lead the resistance from the ground, he runs the risk of being detained just as his political mentor Leopoldo Lopez was in 2014 when he called for street protests to oust the government.

    While the 35-year-old opposition leader had received an invitation to visit Peru as part of the regional tour, he told reporters in Ecuador on Saturday he would instead return home.

    Since taking an oath in front of supporters on Jan. 23, Guaido has received the backing of more than 50 countries. A quick flip of the military hasn’t materialized, but the U.S. has doubled down on financial and oil sanctions that will crimp Maduro’s access to hard currency.

    The socialist regime has kept the political backing from allies like Russia, China and Turkey but any future financial support from those countries remains a major question mark and will be key to Maduro’s staying power.
  14. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    ‘Losing support by the hour’: Venezuela’s Maduro will be out of power soon, Colombian president says
    March 3

    Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, Colombian President Iván Duque and Vice President Pence pose for a photo after a meeting of the Lima Group concerning Venezuela at the Foreign Ministry in Bogota, Colombia, on Feb. 25. (Martin Mejia/AP)

    BOGOTA, Colombia — Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s “days in power are about to end” because of growing international and domestic pressure on his “mafioso” government and increasing desertions by his military troops, Colombian President Iván Duque said Sunday.

    “Maduro is facing his last days, whether that’s one month or two, or one week, or one day,” Duque said in an interview at a military base in Bogota. He said Maduro’s power has declined precipitously in recent weeks: “Nobody has seen Maduro weaker.”

    Duque’s country has directly felt the impact of Maduro’s years of corrupt government, which have turned one of Latin America’s richest countries into an economic and humanitarian catastrophe.

    Colombia, itself still recovering from decades of guerrilla violence, has accepted more than 1.2 million Venezuelan refugees across their shared border amid a deepening disaster that has left much of the Venezuelan population starved for food, water, medicine and power.

    Duque said he felt a moral urgency to help lead the opposition to Maduro. He likened the situation to that of people who can hear their next-door neighbor beating his wife and children every night.

    “What’s the moral duty?” he said. “Wait until the next morning and pretend that everything is okay and say hello to your neighbor in the elevator? You have to denounce. And you have to do something so that abuse does not continue.”

    Maduro insists his government is legitimate and has the support of the Venezuelan people. He has said the opposition efforts against him amount to an illegal coup, and he has accused Duque and President Trump of working out “war plans” against him.

    Duque, 42, a center-right lawyer educated at American University and Georgetown University who took office last August, has emerged as one of the leading voices against Maduro’s failed socialist government and calling for international sanctions.

    He said he was certain that Maduro would be forced to leave power soon as his public support dwindles to a small base of hardcore supporters, including armed groups known as colectivos.

    “He is using terror to preserve power,” Duque said. “He is losing support by the hour.”

    Duque’s optimism about Maduro’s ouster stands in contrast to analysts who fear that Maduro, who has been in power since 2013 and was reelected last year in balloting widely seen as tainted by fraud, has proven to be remarkably resilient in the face of an opposition that has long been disorganized and fractured.

    A recent international effort to take humanitarian aid, much of it supplied by the United States, from Colombia into Venezuela ended with Maduro’s loyalists shooting activists at the border and setting truckloads of aid on fire.

    While that was widely viewed as a momentum-busting setback for the opposition, Duque, who was at the border with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó that day, said he believed the movement to oust Maduro was gaining strength rapidly.

    It is possible, Duque said, that Maduro could be forcibly removed by Venezuelans as more and more military officers desert him in a “domino effect” and pledge allegiance to Guaidó, the leader of the National Assembly. Duque said more than 600 Venezuelan military soldiers have taken refuge in Colombia and desertions in Venezuela are growing “exponentially,” even among high-ranking officers.

    Duque said he hoped Maduro would leave without violence: “It can be prevented and should be prevented.”

    He said he would not send Colombian troops into Venezuela, and he said he believed the United States would not, either. U.S. officials have downplayed the idea of any U.S. military involvement, but Trump and Vice President Pence have said “all options are on the table” as they have called for Maduro to go.

    Duque, whose presidential office features a bust of Abraham Lincoln that he bought in a Georgetown antique shop, said the Trump administration has acted with “values and principles” in its stand against Maduro, and he praised bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress. He met with Pence in Bogota last week and with Trump in the White House last month.

    Duque said Maduro is being squeezed hard by a growing “diplomatic blockade” from the United States and countries across Latin America and beyond, including new U.S. economic sanctions Pence announced last week in Bogota.

    The U.S. sanctions have targeted the assets of Maduro and his allies. Washington has also imposed strict sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, known as PDVSA, which has cut off a key source of revenue to Maduro’s government. Washington and other nations who recognize Guaidó’s government have called for the transfer of any state assets from Maduro to Guaidó.

    While Duque said the economic consequences of sanctions could mean even more refugees flooding into Colombia, he said it was worth it to end “the most brutal dictatorship we have seen in Latin America in recent history.”

    Maduro “does not want to accept any humanitarian aid for the people that are dying in Venezuela, and that is a crime against humanity,” Duque said.

    Sanctions and military defections, Duque said, have boosted Guaidó, who has emerged as the charismatic young face of efforts to chase Maduro from power. Most Western nations now recognize Guaidó, 35, a civil engineer turned legislator, as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.

    Defying a Venezuelan government travel ban, Guaidó has spent the past week touring Latin American countries to build support. He announced over the weekend that he would return to Venezuela, where Maduro has vowed he will “face justice,” raising fears that Guaidó could be arrested or even killed.

    “If he arrests him, the world pressure will pull him out of jail pretty soon,” Duque said. “But if he decides to do something nasty, nobody inside of Venezuela would support him. It would be like Nero burning Rome.”

    Duque said he believed Guaidó could pressure Maduro to leave peacefully because he had consolidated power enough among the Venezuelan opposition, military defectors and disillusioned former supporters of Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chávez.

    “If this happens without any military action, it would become a very important precedent for humanity,” Duque said. “The world should keep the accelerator on so that this happens sooner than later.”

    Duque said he believed Maduro, if he left Venezuela, could find sanctuary in Cuba, which has long had a close relationship with Venezuela and helped build Maduro’s security and intelligence agencies.

    “I think he would be very happy there; he has a lot of friends there,” Duque said.

    It would also be important to Maduro, Duque said, that Cuba is not a party to the International Criminal Court and has no extradition agreement with the United States.

    Along with Cuba, China and Russia have maintained their support for Maduro. Duque said countries aligned with Guaidó, particularly the United States, need to persuade China and Russia that it is in their interest to reject Maduro.

    “If they want to have relationships in Latin America, I think they should evaluate why most of the countries in the hemisphere have denounced what’s going on in Venezuela,” Duque said.

    Duque worked for 13 years in Washington at the Inter-American Development Bank, then returned to Colombia and spent four years in the national senate before becoming president last August.

    He said Maduro’s treatment of his own people and corrupt links to drug cartels and armed guerrilla groups in his country and Colombia mean that “the Venezuelan dictatorship today is the biggest threat to regional security.”
  15. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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  16. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    U.S. presses India to stop buying oil from Venezuela's Maduro: envoy
    MARCH 10, 2019

    (Reuters) - The United States is pressing India to stop buying oil from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government, Washington’s top envoy for Venezuela said, as the Trump administration this week threatened more U.S. sanctions to cut off Maduro’s financial lifelines.

    “We say you should not be helping this regime. You should be on the side of the Venezuelan people,” Elliott Abrams told Reuters in an interview.

    The Trump administration has given the same message to other governments, Abrams said, and has made a similar argument to foreign banks and companies doing business with Maduro.

    Abrams described the U.S. approach as “arguing, cajoling, urging.”

    The talks with India come as the United States and its regional allies, who back Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, threaten more sanctions to cut off revenue streams to Maduro’s government and force him to step down.

    Washington views Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader and has imposed sanctions on the country’s oil sector and announced asset freezes and visa bans targeting top government officials.

    The Indian market is crucial for Venezuela’s economy because it has historically been the second-largest cash-paying customer for the OPEC country’s crude, behind the United States, which through sanctions against Maduro has handed control of much of that revenue to Guaido.

    Washington wants India to do the same.

    Oil shipments to China, another major importer of Venezuelan oil, do not generate cash because they go to pay off billions of dollars in loans made to Caracas by Beijing.

    The talks over Venezuela come as trade tensions rise between Washington and New Delhi, and when the United States is also pushing India to cease buying Iranian oil.

    The United States is planning to end preferential trade treatment for India that allows duty-free entry for up to $5.6 billion worth of its exports to the United States.

    U.S. sanctions typically block American firms from doing business with specific foreign governments or companies.

    Any move by the United States to prevent purchases of Venezuelan crude would be part of a strategy known as “secondary sanctions,” in which Washington applies penalties to companies not based in the United States.

    That strategy, and even the threat of using it, was vital in Washington’s pressure campaign to cut off revenue to Iran, which eventually helped force Tehran to negotiate a nuclear deal with six world powers in 2015.

    But it has drawn criticism from some foreign governments that argue that the United States should not be able to force its policy decisions on firms in other countries.

    U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton this week put foreign banks “on notice” that they risked U.S. sanctions for hiding Venezuelan assets.

    “If that leads to people to cooperate voluntarily, we’re glad,” Abrams said.

    Asked whether India had agreed to stop buying oil from Maduro’s government, Abrams said: “I don’t want to characterize the discussions, which continue.”

    The issue will be discussed on Tuesday during U.S.-India diplomatic consultations in Washington, an Indian official said, adding that India “was very cognizant of the U.S. position” on Venezuela.

    Abrams said there were no signs that Maduro is open to negotiations to end the political impasse with Guaido, emphasizing that any talks would need to be reached among Venezuelans.

    Manuel Quevedo, Venezuela’s oil minister, attended a conference in New Delhi in mid-February seeking to “double” the country’s crude exports to India while boosting Venezuelan imports of Indian refined products. He also said he was open to barter payments.

    But Venezuela’s exports to India remained relatively stable in the month since the Trump administration slapped sanctions on Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA , meaning shipments were not nearly enough to make up for the fall in U.S. sales.

    Venezuela directly exported 297,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude to India in February, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, which does not include barrels first shipped to other ports such as Singapore or Rotterdam. India imported 342,000 bpd of Venezuelan crude in January, and an average of 340,000 bpd last year.

    That was well off the more than 400,000 bpd India used to import, on average, and not nearly enough to make up for the drop in U.S. imports to 104,800 bpd in February from more than 500,000 bpd before the sanctions hit.

    India is also being pressured by lawmakers from both major U.S. parties. Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted on Feb. 13 that Indian refiner Reliance Petroleum’s purchases of Venezuelan oil would undermine Guaido’s “legitimate government” and “lead to calls for secondary sanctions on Reliance.”

    Albio Sires, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, wrote to India’s ambassador in Washington on Feb. 12 expressing concern about what Sires called Venezuela’s “attempts to work around U.S. efforts to hold Maduro accountable and approach one of our strongest partners in the process.”

    Venezuelan oil made up just 4.2 percent of India’s total imports in January, data show. Venezuela is also not a top foreign policy priority for India, as it is for other major buyers like Russia, said Moises Rendon of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

    “The U.S. has enough leverage to get India to pull away the relationship with Venezuela,” Rendon said. “That’s why the U.S. role here is key.”
  17. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Venezuelan opposition aide is seized, US and allies protest

    CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s top aide was taken away in the middle of the night by masked intelligence agents who broke down his door early Thursday, drawing condemnation from the United States and other countries pushing to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

    Washington demanded the immediate release of Guaido chief of staff Roberto Marrero, whose whereabouts after the raid on his Caracas home were not immediately disclosed.

    Marrero was detained as part of an operation against a “terrorist” cell, Interior Minister Nestor Luis Reverol said. Weapons were confiscated from Marrero and a bodyguard was also arrested, according to Reverol.

    Guaido’s top aide is being investigated for crimes including an alleged plot to kill Maduro, the chief prosecutor’s office said.

    Maduro indicated there could be more arrests, saying on national television that his government is dismantling a broader “terrorist” network.

    The arrest represented a sharp increase in police pressure on the opposition after a period of relative calm. Guaido, however, characterized the operation as a sign that Maduro is losing his grip on power in a country suffering from years of economic hardship and political polarization.

    “Either he doesn’t dare to jail me, or he’s not in charge,” Guaido, the leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, said during an appearance at a school. He also said some Venezuelan intelligence chiefs called him to say they weren’t involved, in what would suggest a split in their ranks.

    The United Nations expressed “concern” about Marrero’s detention and renewed a call for all parties “to lower tensions and refrain from any action that could lead to further escalation,” while U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted: “We will hold accountable those involved.”

    Guaido contends that he is the rightful leader of Venezuela and that Maduro’s re-election last year was illegitimate because major opposition figures were not allowed to run. The U.S. and about 50 other countries have sided with Guaido, and Washington has imposed sanctions to try to push Maduro from power, but the international pressure has not succeeded. The U.S. had warned the Maduro government not to act against Guaido.

    In Washington, President Donald Trump’s special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, said he believes Maduro’s government is concerned about the international reaction if it tried to arrest Guaido and instead may be targeting Guaido’s aides.

    He repeated Trump’s statement that “all options are on the table,” but said “we’re not thinking” about a military option at this time.

    Maduro and his ally Russia have said they are concerned that the U.S. could be planning military intervention in Venezuela.

    The Lima Group, an association of about a dozen Latin American countries and Canada, also condemned Marrero’s detention.

    Marrero reported the raid in a telephone call that was recorded and circulated on social media. As he described how a large number of intelligence officials were entering his home, heavy thuds could be heard.

    The security forces broke through a screen door and a wooden door to get inside the house and left drawers open during their search, said Carlos Berrizbeitia, an opposition lawmaker who later visited the home. Dozens of security officers were involved.

    The neighboring home of another opposition lawmaker, Sergio Vergara, was also searched. Vergara said that he was woken up by heavy banging at his door and that agents pointed weapons at him.

    Venezuelan prosecutors say Guaido is under investigation for alleged links to violence as well as the nation’s severe power outages. Maduro alleges the blackouts were caused by U.S.-directed sabotage, while American officials and the Venezuelan opposition blame mismanagement and corruption.
  18. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Could Venezuela Crisis End Hezbollah's Presence There?
    March 22

    As the political and humanitarian tumult in Venezuela unfolds, analysts say illicit activities by Lebanese militant group Hezbollah in the South American country could be disrupted.

    Since the beginning of the crisis in January, many observers have been wondering about the future of the Lebanese militant group and its activities in Venezuela, particularly with growing U.S. sanctions on the Venezuelan government.

    For years, the government of embattled President Nicolas Maduro has maintained a close relationship with Hezbollah and its benefactor, Iran, which has empowered Hezbollah financially, analysts say.

    U.S. officials have been warning about Hezbollah's growing presence in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America.

    "People don't recognize that Hezbollah has active cells — the Iranians are impacting the people of Venezuela and throughout South America," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a recent interview with Fox Business Network.

    "We have an obligation to take down that risk for America," he said.

    U.S. sanctions

    Hezbollah, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, has been increasingly targeted by U.S. sanctions in the past few months.

    In October 2018, the Department of Justice named Hezbollah as one of the top five transnational criminal organizations in Latin America.

    In an attempt to step up efforts to prevent Hezbollah's illicit activities in the Western Hemisphere, the U.S. hosted a conference last December. It was attended by senior officials of 13 U.S. partners across the Americas who discussed threats posed by transnational terrorist groups.

    Analysts charge that recent U.S. sanctions against several key Hezbollah figures could ultimately harm the group's financial operations in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America.

    Hezbollah's financiers "have integrated themselves into [the Venezuelan] government in a variety of different ways," said Phillip Smyth, a research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "Everyone is kind of getting a cut from the apparatus.

    "So, it wouldn't shock me if there are reverberations down to Hezbollah's finance network. The way [the U.S.] Treasury has done this is they've targeted certain individuals that are kind of key brokers of the Hezbollah money, so it will have its effect," he told VOA.

    Analysts say the relationship between the Venezuelan government and Hezbollah is largely centered on a strategic partnership between Venezuela and Iran, which provides Hezbollah members, facilitators, financiers and fixers with the ability to covertly move people, money and material.

    Iran's "proxy Lebanese Hezbollah maintains facilitation networks throughout the region that cache weapons and raise funds, often via drug trafficking and money laundering," U.S. Southern Command's Adm. Craig Faller told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing last month.

    The convergence of Hezbollah's networks in Venezuela has created an environment that enables the Shiite group to move large amounts of money in illicit revenue, using gold refineries in the Middle East and financial hubs in Central and South America and the Caribbean, according to the Center for a Secure Free Society, a Washington-based research organization that has extensively researched Hezbollah's activities in Latin America.

    Vast network

    Some experts believe that Hezbollah has built a vast network that is made up of mostly underground Syrian-Venezuelans who facilitate movement for the group's members in the Middle East and Latin America.

    "Hezbollah is already helping Maduro through an established transregional network between Lebanon, Syria and Venezuela," said Joseph Humire, executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society.

    "The main reason for Hezbollah supporting the Maduro regime is the same reason it protects the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria — to protect the logistical network Iran needs to export its revolution," he told VOA.

    Since the outbreak of Syria's civil war in 2011, Iran and Hezbollah have been playing a major role defending the Syrian president against the rebel forces.

    "In the case of Syria, it's for the land bridge to Lebanon, and in the case of Venezuela, it's the air bridge to Latin America," Humire added.

    Smyth of the Washington Institute echoed a similar analysis of the entangling relationship between Venezuela and Hezbollah.

    "If you look at certain representatives that Venezuela has put in the Middle East as diplomatic staff, a lot of them are full-fledged Hezbollah supporters and are linked in a variety of ways to Hezbollah networks," Smith said.

    The role of Hugo Chavez

    Hezbollah's activities in Venezuela flourished during the term of former President Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013 and was succeeded by Maduro.

    "The presence of Hezbollah expanded during the time of [former Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, who opened the doors for Iranian and Lebanese businesses [and] facilitated trade for them in Venezuela through a cemented friendship he developed with Chavez," a Tehran-based journalist, who worked in Latin America for years, told VOA. He requested anonymity for security reasons.

    He added that many multimillion-dollar business ventures were established in those years.

    "Lebanese businessmen work with Hezbollah because it's a lucrative business, but some of them do it because their business interests in Lebanon could be under threat if they refuse to cooperate with Hezbollah in Venezuela," the Iranian journalist added.

    With growing pressures on Maduro's government, some analysts say it is unlikely that he would sever ties with Hezbollah.

    "Ideologically speaking, [Maduro] has thrown his lot in with groups like Hezbollah and with the Iranians. They have the same motivations, which are anti-American," analyst Smyth said.

    "These are the allies [Venezuelan government officials] have. I seriously doubt that they would cut [these allies off] as a signal to the U.S. ... I think they're in this for good," he added.
  19. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Russian planes 'carrying troops' arrive in Venezuela
    RUSSIAN jets carrying troops have reportedly touched down in Venezuela.
    24th March 2019

    Two Russian Air Force reportedly planes landed in Venezuela's main airport on Saturday carrying a Russian defence official and around 100 troops.

    One flight tracking website shows two aircraft left a Russian military base for the Venezuelan capital Caracas on Friday, with a further jet leaving on Sunday.

    The arrival of the military jets was confirmed by Javier Mayorca, an independent journalist, who said an Antonov-124 cargo plane and a smaller jet touched down late on Saturday.

    He said approximately 100 soldiers – led by General Vasily Tonkoshkurov, who is head of the Mobilization Directorate of Russia's armed forces – was also seen, as well as 35 tons of equipment.
  20. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Russian air force planes land in Venezuela carrying troops: report
    MARCH 24, 2019

    CARACAS (Reuters) - Two Russian air force planes landed in Venezuela’s main airport on Saturday carrying a Russian defense official and nearly 100 troops, according to a local journalist, amid strengthening ties between Caracas and Moscow.

    A flight-tracking website showed that two planes left from a Russian military airport bound for Caracas on Friday, and another flight-tracking site showed that one plane left Caracas on Sunday.

    The report comes three months after the two nations held military exercises on Venezuelan soil that President Nicolas Maduro called a sign of strengthening relations, but which Washington criticized as Russian encroachment in the region.

    Reporter Javier Mayorca wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the first plane carried Vasily Tonkoshkurov, chief of staff of the ground forces, adding that the second was a cargo plane carrying 35 tonnes of material.

    An Ilyushin IL-62 passenger jet and an Antonov AN-124 military cargo plane left for Caracas on Friday from Russian military airport Chkalovsky, stopping along the way in Syria, according to flight-tracking website Flightradar24.

    The cargo plane left Caracas on Sunday afternoon, according to Adsbexchange, another flight-tracking site.

    A Reuters witness saw what appeared to be the passenger jet at the Maiquetia airport on Sunday.

    It was not immediately evident why the planes had come to Venezuela.

    Venezuela’s Information Ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

    Russia’s Defense Ministry and Foreign Ministry did not reply to messages seeking a comment. The Kremlin spokesman also did not reply to a request for comment.

    The Trump administration has levied crippling sanctions on the OPEC nation’s oil industry in efforts to push Maduro from power and has called on Venezuelan military leaders to abandon him. Maduro has denounced the sanctions as U.S. interventionism and has won diplomatic backing from Russia and China.

    In December, two Russian strategic bomber aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons landed Venezuela in a show of support for Maduro’s socialist government that infuriated Washington.

    Maduro on Wednesday said Russia would send medicine “next week” to Venezuela, without describing how it would arrive, adding that Moscow in February had sent some 300 tonnes of humanitarian aid.

    Venezuela in February had blocked a convoy carrying humanitarian aid for the crisis-stricken country that was coordinated with the team of opposition leader Juan Guaido, including supplies provided by the United States, from entering via the border with Colombia.