End the Failed Regime Change Campaign in Venezuela

Presidents Trump and Biden share the same regime change strategy

  • After Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s death in 2013, then-Vice President Nicolás Maduro succeeded the late socialist leader, consolidating power amid rampant economic mismanagement and increasing violence and deprivation.
  • Venezuela’s authoritarian slide accelerated under Maduro’s rule. Electoral fraud, crackdowns on opposition figures, and human rights abuses hardened U.S. resolve to apply pressure to change Caracas’ policies.
  • President Trump reportedly discussed using US military force to oust Maduro in 2019 but pursued non-military regime change instead, increasing economic and diplomatic pressure in the false hope the Venezuelan leader would vacate his office.
  • President Biden has continued this policy. The US objective remains: (1) to delegitimize and push out Maduro as the country’s leader and (2) put pressure on Venezuela’s economy to force Caracas into reinstituting democracy.

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Conflicts of Interest: Corporate Press Weaponizes Fictional ‘Havana Syndrome’

On COI #176, Kyle Anzalone discusses the so-called “Havana Syndrome.” Since 2017, the supposed ailment – which has so far not been proven to exist as its own discrete illness – has been invoked repeatedly by deep state and corporate media pundits to demonize US “adversaries.” The Havana Syndrome has no known cause, and its alleged symptoms range from migraines, dizziness, nausea and vertigo, among other symptoms common to countless other existing diseases and disorders. Initially, the Trump administration used the issue to roll back Obama’s diplomatic gains with Cuba. As scientists increasingly suggested the Havana Syndrome could be psychosomatic – or largely a psychological problem rather than physical disease – the MSM spun the Trump administration’s lack of interest by tying the narrative into the broader Russiagate craze. Now, the deep state and corporate press are deploying the unproven theory again to demonize Russia and China, suggesting they are somehow behind the mysterious syndrome. 

Kyle breaks down recent news about Facebook after the Intercept released the social media giant’s ‘blacklist,’ which includes some 4,000 groups and individuals deemed “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations” on the platform. Among the blacklisted figures were politicians, writers and various other people of influence. The list helps explain how Facebook suppresses independent reporting on the empire, ensuring certain voices are never heard while elevating others as go-to ‘experts.’ 

Kyle updates recent missile tests by North Korea. As with many previous launches by Pyongyang, the corporate media treated the test-fire as an act of aggression and allowed subsequent coverage to retain the same framing. Washington’s regular joint war games Seoul –  effectively simulating an invasion of the north – as well as its own periodic weapons tests are seldom mentioned in mainstream coverage.

Kyle argues that the US should meet North Korea’s missile tests with diplomacy, noting that South Korean President Moon Jae-in – a vocal proponent for improved inter-Korean ties – is giving Biden an ideal opportunity as he continues to push for an official end to the Korean War, which is formally still underway despite an armistice pact signed in 1953.

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Conflicts of Interest: Is Antony Blinken Pushing Phony Diplomacy?

On COI #175, Kyle Anzalone breaks down Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meetings with the Israeli and Emirati foreign ministers. In the meeting, Blinken and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid threatened Iran. Tehran has signaled that it is willing to return to JCPOA talks, and the threats are sure to deter Iran’s openness to dialogue. Blinken suggested the US should encourage more deals like the Abraham Accords to create a pact between Israel and Palestine. However, the Abraham Accords were not peace deals, but rather US payoffs to Muslim states to end their objection to Israel’s apartheid against the Palestinians. 

Kyle discusses Congress considering a bill that transfers legislative war powers to the president. The proposed law would allow the president to determine if the US was to go to war with China over Taiwan. The bill is based on a false understanding of US foreign policy and military strategy. 

Kyle updates US intervention in the Horn of Africa. Tigrayan forces in Ethiopia recently claimed the central government opened a new offensive. In response, the US is considering sanctions against Ethiopia. Biden has also invited the head of neighboring Kenya to the White House. President Kenyatta’s visit came as the World Court decided on a major territorial dispute with Somalia, with the judges largely ruling in favor of Mogadishu.

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‘No Tech for Apartheid’: 40+ Groups Demand Amazon and Google Ditch Israeli Military

A day after hundreds of Amazon and Google workers condemned their employers for complicity in Israel’s human rights violations against Palestinians, over 40 grassroots groups on Wednesday announced a campaign to amplify the efforts of activists around the world working to stop apartheid profiteers.

“As the Israeli military bombed homes, clinics, and schools in Gaza and threatened to push Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem this past May, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud executives signed a $1.22 billion contract to provide cloud technology to the Israeli government and military,” the campaign noted. “By doing business with Israeli apartheid, Amazon and Google will make it easier for the Israeli government to surveil Palestinians and force them off their land.”

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How Feminists Can Support Afghan Women Living Under the Taliban

Since the Taliban took control of Kabul and Afghanistan’s central government on August 15, efforts to support Afghan women have become extremely challenging. According to some prominent US feminists with strong ties to Afghan women, the Taliban “has no legitimacy beyond the brutal force it commands,” and governments, the United Nations, and regional actors should not recognize or work with it. For some, this means isolating the Taliban by continuing to freeze Afghan funds held overseas and suspending any assistance that is coordinated with a government agency.

But does that position actually help Afghan women?

There’s little question that gains made by Afghan women over the past twenty years, particularly urban women, have been rolled back since the Taliban returned to power. The Taliban said girls would be allowed to go to school, but in some parts of the country, girls are being kept out of grades seven to twelve. While female students have continued to attend private universities, most women enrolled in public universities have not been attending classes due to fear, canceled classes, or Taliban restrictions. Even though Taliban spokesmen insist that women can continue to work, there are frequent reports of Taliban militants ordering women to leave their workplaces.

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