Trump Admin Weighs Options in Venezuela, Including Military

By Franco Ordoñez and Tara Copp, McClatchy – Re-Blogged From Liberty Headlines

‘All options are comprehensive but there is a lot of water nearby…’

Venezuela Offers Free Return Flights to Citizens Who Fled Socialism

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (CC)

In the aftermath of a faltering opposition uprising in Venezuela, the Trump administration is looking at imposing new individual sanctions against the Maduro government and also scrambling for ideas that can have a greater impact on the ground, including military options.

The White House is calling for relevant departments to produce more options for the president to consider on Venezuela. The National Security Council is pushing the Defense Department for military ideas, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seeking ways to entice Russia to pull away from Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro.

 

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Venezuela’s Guaido Says Troops Join Him to Oust Maduro

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said on Tuesday he had begun the “final phase” of his plan to oust President Nicolas Maduro, calling on Venezuelans and the military to back him to end Maduro’s “usurpation.”

A Reuters journalist later saw security forces firing tear gas at Guaido and around 70 mostly young armed men in military uniform outside the La Carlota air force base in Caracas. Hundreds of civilians also joined the group.

But around two hours after Guaido tweeted his announcement, there was no sign of any other military activity, and the government dismissed any suggestion of an insurrection.

Ivan Alvarado/Reuters

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Venezuela Returns to ‘Middle Ages’ During Power Outages

By Maria Lorente – Re-Blogged From Yahoo!

Walking for hours, making oil lamps, bearing water. For Venezuelans today, suffering under a new nationwide blackout that has lasted days, it’s like being thrown back to life centuries ago.

El Avila, a mountain that towers over Caracas, has become a place where families gather with buckets and jugs to fill up with water, wash dishes and scrub clothes. The taps in their homes are dry from lack of electricity to the city’s water pumps.

A man carries drums with water he collected from a stream at the Wuaraira Repano mountain, also called El Avila, in Caracas

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US Pulling Last Diplomats from Venezuela Amid Power Crisis

By The Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

The U.S. said late Monday that it is pulling its last remaining diplomats from Venezuela, saying their continued presence at the country’s embassy in Caracas had become a “constraint” on U.S. policy as the Trump administration aggressively looks to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

The announcement came from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a tweet shortly before midnight comes as Venezuela struggles to restore electricity following four days of blackouts around the country.

The U.S. has led an international effort to replace Maduro with opposition leader Juan Guaido, who vows to hold a new presidential election. Guaido is backed by some 50 countries, while Maduro maintains support from countries such as China, Russia and Cuba.

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Wall Street is Chasing Ghosts

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Pento Portfolio Strategies

Wall Street’s absolute obsession with the soon to be announced most wonderful trade deal with China is mind-boggling. The cheerleaders that haunt main stream financial media don’t even care what kind of deal gets done. They don’t care if it hurts the already faltering condition of China’s economy or even if it does little to improve the chronically massive US trade deficits—just as long as both sides can spin it as a victory and return to the status quo all will be fine.

But let’s look at some facts that contradict this assumption. The problems with China are structural and have very little if anything to do with a trade war. To prove this let’s first look at the main stock market in China called the Shanghai Composite Index. This index peaked at over 5,100 in the summer of 2015. It began last year at 3,550. But today is trading at just 2,720. From its peak in 2015 to the day the trade war began on July 6th of 2018, the index fell by 47%. Therefore, it is silly to blame China’s issues on trade alone. The real issue with China is debt. In 2007 its debt was $7 trillion, and it has skyrocketed to $40 trillion today. It is the most unbalanced and unproductive pile of debt dung the world has ever seen, and it was built in record time by an edict from the communist state.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #347

The Week That Was: February 9, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week:On specific energy and climate issues I’m guided by what the data tell me, not by claims made in the scientific literature. This is why you will find me disagreeing with most of the ‘consensus’ views on climate change but not all of them. My main concern for the future of my three grandchildren isn’t climate change, but that the misguided efforts of the people who want to save the world from it will leave them freezing in the dark.” – Roger Andrews, RIP.

Number of the Week: 1.4 million barrels per day (b/d)

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