Venezuela: Economic Warfare Brings Nation To Its Knees

Featured article from Mint Press News.

Which is mightier; the pen or the sword? In the case of the recent upheaval in Venezuela, the pen is the obvious answer.

The bankers fight using the pen — the pen that signs the paperwork to impose the sanctions that incur mass starvation, dissolve order, hike prices, and bring nations to their knees — Venezuela is in the crosshairs this time.

Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a determination that singled out Venezuela for failing to adhere to counternarcotics obligations. The accusation came – perhaps not so coincidentally – on the same day that Venezuela declared it would no longer participate in the U.S.’ petrodollar trade system.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro made his position clear, he had stated earlier in that month that the country would look to “free” itself from the dollar within a week’s time, following the U.S.’ sanctions against the embattled nation.

The decision is similar to that once made by former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who dropped the dollar in favor of the euro a few years prior to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, we all know how that ended.

International markets thus far have failed to noticeably react to the policy shift, despite the threat it presents to the petrodollar system. The system, created in the 1970s, calls for OPEC nations to sell their oil in dollars in order to create artificial demand for the U.S. currency, a fiat currency based on thin air — held together by force.

Venezuela, home to the world’s largest oil reserves, is likely to exert some effect on the demand for dollars through its new policy, though the extent of the potential damage remains unclear. What is clear is that it means enough for the U.S. to declare a financial soft war in retaliation.

Millions of Venezuelans have seen their living conditions vastly improved through the Bolivarian process which shifted the focus away from compliance to the Western Banking Cartel.

The problems plaguing the Venezuelan economy are not due to some inherent fault in socialism, but to artificially low oil prices and sabotage by forces hostile to the revolution.

Starting in 2014, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia flooded the market with cheap oil. This is not a mere business decision, but a calculated move coordinated with U.S. and Israeli foreign policy goals. Despite not just losing money, but even falling deep into debt, the Saudi monarchy continues to expand its oil production apparatus. The result has been driving the price of oil down from $110 per barrel, to $28 in the early months of this year. The goal is to weaken these opponents of Wall Street, London, and Tel Aviv, whose economies are centered around oil and natural gas exports.

Venezuela is one of those countries. Saudi efforts to drive down oil prices have drastically reduced Venezuela’s state budget and led to enormous consequences for the Venezuelan economy.

At the same time, private food processing and importing corporations launched a coordinated campaign of sabotage. This, coupled with the weakening of a vitally important state sector of the economy, has resulted in inflation and food shortages. The artificially low oil prices have left the Venezuelan state cash-starved, prompting a crisis in the funding of the social programs that were key to strengthening the United Socialist Party.

Corruption is a big problem in Venezuela and many third-world countries. This was true prior to the Bolivarian process, as well as after Hugo Chavez launched his massive economic reforms. In situations of extreme poverty, people learn to take care of each other. People who work in government are almost expected to use their position to take care of their friends and family. Corruption is a big problem under any system, but it is much easier to tolerate in conditions of greater abundance. The problem has been magnified in Venezuela due to the drop in state revenue caused by the low oil prices and sabotage from food importers.

Venezuelans told of how the privatizations mandated by the International Monetary Fund made life in Venezuela almost unlivable during the 1990s. Garbage wouldn’t be collected. Electricity would go off for weeks. Haido Ortega, a member of a local governing body in Venezuela, said: “Under previous governments we had to burn tires and go on strike just to get electricity, have the streets fixed, or get any investment.”

Chavez took office on a platform advocating a path between capitalism and socialism. He restructured the government-owned oil company so that the profits would go into the Venezuelan state, not the pockets of Wall Street corporations. With the proceeds of Venezuela’s oil exports, Chavez funded a huge apparatus of social programs.

After defeating an attempted coup against him in 2002, Chavez announced the goal of bringing Venezuela toward “21st Century Socialism.” Chavez quoted Marx and Lenin in his many TV addresses to the country, and mobilized the country around the goal of creating a prosperous, non-capitalist society.

In 1998, Venezuela had only 12 public universities, today it has 32. Cuban doctors were brought to Venezuela to provide free health care in community clinics. The government provides cooking and heating gas to low-income neighborhoods, and it’s launched a literacy campaign for uneducated adults.

During the George W. Bush administration, oil prices were the highest they had ever been. The destruction of Iraq, sanctions on Iran and Russia, strikes and turmoil in Nigeria — these events created a shortage on the international markets, driving prices up.

Big oil revenues enabled Chavez and the United Socialist Party to bring millions of Venezuelans out of poverty. Between 1995 and 2009, poverty and unemployment in Venezuela were both cut in half.

After the death of Chavez, Nicolas Maduro has continued the Bolivarian program. “Housing Missions” have been built across the country, providing low-income families in Venezuela with places to live. The Venezuelan government reports that over 1 million modern apartment buildings had been constructed by the end of 2015.

The problems currently facing Venezuela started in 2014. The already growing abundance of oil due to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, was compounded by Saudi Arabia flooding the markets with cheap oil. The result: massive price drops. Despite facing a domestic fiscal crisis, Saudi Arabia continues to expand its oil production apparatus.

The price of oil remains low, as negotiations among OPEC states are taking place in the hopes that prices can be driven back up. While American media insists the low oil prices are just the natural cycle of the market at work, it’s rather convenient for U.S. foreign policy. Russia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and the Islamic Republic of Iran all have economies centered around state-owned oil companies and oil exports, and each of these countries has suffered the sting of low oil prices.

The leftist president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, has already been deposed due to scandal surrounding Petrobras, the state-owned oil company which is experiencing economic problems due to the falling price of oil. Although much of Brazil’s oil is for domestic consumption, it has been revealed that those who deposed her coordinated with the CIA and other forces in Washington and Wall Street, utilizing the economic fallout of low oil prices to bring down the Brazilian president.

The son of President Ronald Reagan has argued that Obama intentionally drove down oil prices not just to weaken the Venezuelan economy, but also to tamper the influence of Russia and Iran, Trump has continued this foreign policy.

Writing for Townhall in 2014, Michael Reagan bragged that his father did the same thing to hurt the Soviet Union during the 1980s:

“Since selling oil was the source of the Kremlin’s wealth, my father got the Saudis to flood the market with cheap oil.

Lower oil prices devalued the ruble, causing the USSR to go bankrupt, which led to perestroika and Mikhail Gorbachev and the collapse of the Soviet Empire.”

Read more here.

 

Hungary Becomes First European Country To Ban Rothschild Banks

Hungary have become the first European country to officially ban all Rothschild banks from operating in the country. 

In 2013, Hungary began the process of kicking out the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and agreed to repay the IMF bailout in full in order to rid the country of the New World Order banking cartel.

Neonnettle.com reports:

A kindly worded letter from Gyorgy Matolcsy, the head of Hungary’s CentralBank , asked Managing Director, Christine Lagarde of the International Misery Fund, as some have fondly nicknamed it, to close the office as it was not necessary to maintain it any longer.

The Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, seemed keen to ease off austerity measures and prove that the country could go it alone. It in fact issued its first bond in 2011, borrowing off the global markets.

Hungary borrowed €20 billion loan to avoid becoming insolvent during the economic crisis in 2008. But the debtee debtor relationship has not been smooth sailing.

Many criticised the Prime Minister as making an ill-advised decision in order to win an election, which was due in 2014. He also wanted to refrain from having too many foreign eyes on their economic policies, as many reforms were criticised as being undemocratic.

Paying the loan back early has meant Hungary have saved €11.7 million worth of interest expenses, but Gordan Bajnai, leader of the electoral alliance E14-PM, claimed that they had actually lost €44.86 million by March 2014 because of the early repayment as all they did was replace the loan from the International Mafia Federation (another nickname, we’re still talking about the IMF here) with a more expensive one, labelling the stunt as Propaganda .

And what made further nonsense; another loan at high interest rates was signed to finance a nuclear upgrade, which will mean not only higher repayments but also high electricity costs. But they do have economic sovereignty now.

Many have claimed that the IMF AKA ‘Imposing Misery and Famine’, are owned by the Rothschild group, the biggest banking group in the world, having their fingers in almost every central bank in the world. This means that not only do they make money off usurious interest rates at the misfortune of crumbling economies, they also literally own Governments and people of power – I mean they have considerable influence.

Escaping the banking clutches is therefore, iconic. Iceland joined Hungary in 2014 when it paid back its $400 million loan ahead of schedule after the collapse of the banking sector in 2008 and Russia, of course bowing down to no Western puppeteer, freed itself in 2005, one wonders what other strings are attached though — and how long it will be before the international bankers wheedle their way back in.

The return of these three countries to financial independence has been said to be the first time a European country has stood up to the international fund, since Germany did so in the 1930s. Greece is anxiously trying to make payments but missing them as we all stand on the sidelines routing for them to stick two fingers up to the ‘International M***** F******’.

The Growing Threat of War and the Critical State of the Global Financial System

Three developments are shaping the current world situation: an increase in social tensions, the intensification of international political conflicts and the increasingly undisguised preparation of the Western alliance for war against Iran.

The mainstream media try to miss no opportunity to tell the international public who will be friend and who will be foe in this coming war. Time and again, Iran’s allies Russia and China are depicted in the most negative light possible, while there is almost no mention of Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s crimes in Yemen and against the Palestinians.

At the same time, the media are doing everything they can to conceal the most important reason behind the drive for the war – the critical state of the global financial system. Journalists are bending over backwards to convince the public that the global economy has completely recovered from the 2007/2008 crisis, that we are witnessing a global economic boom and that the dangers in the system are under control.

In fact, none of these claims are true. The simple reason is that they all ignore the historic importance of the cross-border manipulation by the central banks, which was necessary to save the system from collapse after it nearly broke down in 2007/2008, and which still keeps it alive today.

The global financial system would no longer exist without manipulation

This manipulation has set in motion a development that can be compared to the fate of a patient who survives a severe crisis only through an injection of addictive drugs and who would be killed by a subsequent withdrawal treatment because of his poor state of health. In other words, without money injections and low interest rates and without the purchase of government and corporate bonds by central banks, the global financial system, as we know it, would no longer exist.

The world’s leading central bankers are well aware of this. This is shown by their futile attempts to turn the wheel. Even the most timid announcements to contain the flood of money and significantly increase interest rates send such shock waves through the financial community that it is already clear: there can be no return to a normality in which no excess money is printed, interest rates are raised to a level that was once considered normal and no more bonds or shares are bought by the central banks.

So what will happen next? Will central banks simply continue the policy of the past ten years? After all, nobody can stop them from printing unlimited amounts of money and lowering interest rates – along the lines of the Swiss Central Bank – into negative territory…

In fact, nobody can stop them, but the consequences these measures would bring with them are foreseeable: A further increase in speculation, even greater volatility in the markets, an even stronger inflation of the bubbles, which are almost bursting already, the complete destruction of the classic banking business (lending against interest rates), the disintegration of traditional commercial banks and savings banks, the complete takeover of markets by investment banks and hedge funds, the collapse of pension systems – to name but a few of the expected consequences.

The biggest danger is the loss of confidence in the monetary system

Worse than any of these consequences is the creeping loss of confidence in the entire monetary system, which has not been tied to any real value since the decoupling of the US dollar from gold in 1971. It can be assumed that at some point it will affect the entire system, lead to a panic in the markets and cause the global financial card house to collapse.

How close we have already come to this point was shown by the dramatic price fluctuations of the US stock index Dow Jones in February of this year. It appears that this was a test run in which the US Federal Reserve, which is permanently on standby to prevent major price crashes, only intervened at the last second. These fluctuations were the strongest that the Dow Jones has experienced in its more than 100-year history.

This may have been a serious warning to the world’s financial elite. In any case, both the Skripal affair in Great Britain, the trade war instigated by the US against China and the recent hostile reaction towards Russia by most EU states are strong indications that the elites have decided to seriously consider an option that the German economist Ernst Winkler in 1952 described as “the best means put off the final catastrophe of the entire capitalist system over and over again” – the option of waging a war.