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Old 02-22-2019, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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The next couple days are going to be telling. Russia and China support Maduro. The U.S., Europe, etc. support Guaido. This is important on several levels - first, for the people of Venezuela. Second, for ongoing tensions between US., China and Russia. This is part of the chess game being played by China and the U.S. for international footing and influence.

Maduro refuses to step down and there will be a standoff tomorrow at the Colombian-Venezuelan border as they try to pass food and aid across the border.

Guaido was flown this evening to Cúcuta by a friend of my family who's a pilot in the Colombian military. Attached photo taken by him today. I have cropped his face out as it could be a security risk.
Attached Thumbnails
The next couple days - Colombia and Venezuela-img-20190222-wa0010.jpg  
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Old 02-23-2019, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Pereira, Colombia
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I'd heard a while back that China had established some contact with the opposition, in this case Henrique Capriles. They probably want to hedge their bets just because above all else there is a MASSIVE debt to be mindful of between those two countries. That being said, China is still in the Maduro camp for now. Russia, with all of its arms sales since the Chávez days to now, seems a little more sworn to Maduro. There was also talk of letting Russia build permanent military bases as well. Maduro has also been reaching out farther and farther away...who would have ever thought that Kim Jung Un and Tayyip Ergodan would be voicing their support for Maduro? That's where we are in 2019.

Certainly most of the left-leaning presidents of the region have backed off, and at best are simply calling for dialogue between the two sides. The suspension of Venezuela from Mercosur says a lot. If only we had more Pepe Mujicas and Evo Moraleses and less Nicolás Maduros and Daniel Ortegas.

We watched the concert last night; I certianly was not expecting to see both Guiadó and Capriles on Colombian soil. That was a bold move...I hope it ends well for them. I fear any day now that they'll be thrown into jail and added to the long list of political prisoners being held. I wonder Leopoldo was jailed and not these other two.

My far left friends on social media of course have begun to suggest that the trucks full of aid are actually carrying American-made weapons and it's only a matter of time before the Yankees turn Venezuela into another bloodbath...proof that the most outlandish conspiracies of Maduro hold sway with some here. Of course none of these people have even been to Venezuela or probably care to even talk to the Venezuelans here about what they've been through.

This is a pivotal moment.

Last edited by aab7855; 02-23-2019 at 06:29 AM..
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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To arrive in Colombia yesterday, Guiado made a secretive journey consisting of two parts: one by land, and the other by air flown by our pilot friend whose cropped bald head you see the in photo. That photo was taken literally about an hour before I posted it here.

Regarding China and Russia, here's the thing: Russia is trying to make a comeback, they're trying to reestablish some of their pre-Berlin-Wall power and influence, so they're fortifying old alliances, undermining elections in the U.S. and Europe, poisoning spies in Britain, etc.

China on the other hand is already the biggest #1 contender on the international stage and they are simply (and effortlessly ) doing things to increase their power in the world: Trump decides to anger countries south of the border? No problem, China steps in and starts doing more and more business with countries from Mexico all the say down to Chile. You see this nowadays on international flights between the US or China and South America - every day there are more and more Chinese people on these flights, it's all for business. Chinese people have been buying up entire shopping malls in Colombia - in Cali, Bogota, Manizales. And doing the same thing in all the other South and Central American countries. We have friends/family who own retail businesses in Colombia and they come up to Los Angeles a few times a year to meet with Chinese people to negotiate shipments of goods (Los Angeles being a huge port, some of those containers will get split off for a further journey down to Colombia.)

So, Russia and China are aligned right now on this Venezuela issue for the same goal of weakening the U.S. position, but for different reasons. Russia is trying to get back in the game, and very worried about China in the process. so they're piggy-backing on China's power to boost themselves up. China, on the other hand, has nothing that can stop them. They have all the money they need, it's just matter of deploying it to different parts of the world.

The sad thing, though is: yet again, the superpowers are toying with South America. In this case the end result within a few months might benefit the Venezuelan people if it topples the dictator and stabilizes the economy, which it probably will because that's the tipping point that's already been crossed. As I said last year, when the populace is ready for revolution, nothing can stop them. But the sad fact remains the South American countries are pawns on the chessboard of the superpowers. Not something I like to see.

Last edited by 80skeys; 02-23-2019 at 10:46 AM..
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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I know left leaning people, including Caucasian Americans. I've noticed the same mentality with all of them. The only thing that matters to them is the label "Left" or "Socialist." That's all they see. They don't look at actions or results, they just look at the label. For them, anyone carrying a "Left" label automatically has their support. This is a very naive approach. They don't see dictator for who he or she is.
Dictators, of course, can be using any label, even a Democratic one like Trump. Just to be clear on that point.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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The situation is happening right now. They have successfully passed some food and aid from Brazil. Currently attempting to do it on puente Simon Bolivar in Colombia, with some presidents in attendance and support of the Colombian military. Latest news some of Maduro's soldiers on the border there have given up.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Pereira, Colombia
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Yeah man, this isn´t a good situation. RCN just broadcast an army major walking across to defect by himself, the poor guy had such a dazed look on his face and he was barraged with questions from the media. The Venezuelan singer Chino (who played last night with his old groupmate Nacho, also Venezuelan) met him on the Colombian side and told him that the exiled community doesn´t think of the armed forces as cowards but rather from the same thread as them, doing what they can to survive as one Venezuelan pueblo.

I haven´t seen hardly any Chinese here in Pereira (outside of restaurants, many of which have been around a long time), but in the bigger cities here I know it´s a thing...in countries like Ecuador and Perú they´re coming by the droves and investing heavily. I can´t blame some of these countries down here for not trusting the US and turning to new economic partners.

My best friend here is from Caracas, and he came over in 2014. His parents are in a particularly bad situation, in that they´re too old to find work here (they´re both pushing almost 70 years old); they have a house back in Venezuela, and a pension down there that does rise with inflation, but it´s practically worthless here once converted to pesos. It´s heartbreaking. My buddy feels luckier because he got here in his early 30s, and while starting over hasn´t been easy, he´s doing it and making a life for himself. He´s really a model immigrant in every sense of the word. Some bad apples have come over here too, but all the Venezuelans I see employed in restaurants, gas stations, etc. are some the hardest working folks I´ve ever met, and they give amazing customer service to boot.

Hats off to the Colombian government for being so flexible with this entire thing. Not everyone agrees with the policy, but most Colombians have been very kind and understanding given the whole situation.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Pereira, Colombia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
I know left leaning people, including Caucasian Americans. I've noticed the same mentality with all of them. The only thing that matters to them is the label "Left" or "Socialist." That's all they see. They don't look at actions or results, they just look at the label. For them, anyone carrying a "Left" label automatically has their support. This is a very naive approach. They don't see dictator for who he or she is.
Dictators, of course, can be using any label, even a Democratic one like Trump. Just to be clear on that point.
Agreed. I´m also talking about a small but pronounced group of guys, university students who think that even people like Gustavo Petro are "capitalist imperialist fascists" in disguise, really out there beliefs if you ask me. Nothing will ever suit them with a situation like this, it´s all some sort of Yankee capitalist plot.

People who are actually somewhere on a sane political spectrum might think that the US only cares because of Venezuela´s oil, and I only hope that when all this is over they can be proven wrong just a little.

Maduro is on the wrong side of history.
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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About a dozen of the Venezuelan military have defected so far today. Not suprising. They know they're on the wrong side, and they are tired and hungry (figuratively and no doubt literally).
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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FYI, for those of you who don't know, the guy in the photo is President Guaidó of Venezuela.
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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Maduro's people have burned to the ground two of the trucks carrying aid at the border.
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