Below you will find our translation of an article from RIA Novosti on the difficulties the US empire is having keeping Venezuela in line, with commentary and notes [in brackets] by Vince Dhimos.
For us, it is all déjà vu. Back in 2017, New Silk Strategies was predicting that the euro would be used to edge out the dollar. Sure enough, the European Instex system was later devised to use non-dollar currencies, notably the euro, as a means of bypassing US sanctions.
In June 2019 we wrote an article entitled “US bullying fuels the wordwide anti-dollar movement,” showing that as the US steps up its use of the US dollar as a bludgeon, other countries are finding ingenious ways of sidestepping its economic restrictions. As usual, we were prescient.
Robert Robb recently wrote in April 2019 for azcentral:
“One day, other countries will devise ways to conduct international trade independent of the U.S. banking system. Indiscriminate use of access to it as a weapon will hasten that day.”
By then Russian, Chinese and European efforts were well underway to bring down the dollar. As mentioned above, Europe had already designed a SWIFT alternative that it called Instex, for use in circumventing US detection of transactions in euros and other local currencies. The under-the-table transactions between Venezuela and the Russian oil giant Rosneft, as described below, are another such attempt, and despite the US’s pin-prick sanctions on the partners involved, this has not succeeded in slowing down the Venezuelan oil trade. We remind the reader that none of these transactions is illegal. The US has no authority to write international law, despite all the noise suggesting otherwise.
American media: "How Putin outwitted us in Venezuela"
American experts and journalists are sparing no efforts to figure out the reasons for the US defeat in Venezuela: the failure of the "Venezuelan president" Juan Guaido, recognized by the State Department, turned out to be a very painful blow to Washington's pride. The defeat “in the backyard of the United States” – and many overseas [meaning mostly American] experts perceive this to be the whole of South America – is doubly painful. The main culprit in the American troubles in Caracas has already been identified, but the journalists of the leading US business publication, The Wall Street Journal, went further and discovered something terrible: it turns out that a whole coalition of countries has worked against Washington’s plans in Venezuela, and some of them are, at least formally, faithful allies of the United States.
The diagnosis from financial journalists looks like a verdict on the foreign policy developed by Washington Hawks.
"How Putin outwitted Trump in Venezuela. The Trump administration underestimated the support President Nicolas Maduro would receive from Russia and Cuba, as well as from US allies," wrote analysts who carefully studied how the legitimate power of Venezuela was able to withstand stifling economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure from the western world.
In addition to the faithfulness to Venezuelan security officials, unexpected for Washington, which we have already written about and American experts have repeatedly complained about, the formula for saving Caracas from a colour revolution and economic collapse, according to the Wall Street Journal, suggests several key ingredients: Russian assistance in organizing oil exports to bypass sanctions, Cuban assistance in organizing the work of special services, Turkish willingness to work as a financial intermediary, and the desire of two American allies in Asia to buy Venezuelan oil despite the sanctions and the State Department’s anger.
It is difficult to determine where the real analysis of financial and commodity flows ends and where the virulent anti-Russian and other propaganda begins, but we can say with confidence that in the mainstream segment of the overseas [US] information field, a version will now be adopted that everyone, except perhaps the faithful London bankers who "froze" the Venezuelan gold reserves, is working against Washington. The most interesting thing is that the Venezuelan crisis is not a "matter of life and death" for a notional Turkey or India, which means that the Americans could come to the conclusion that their efforts in the South American direction are subjected to decisive sabotage by the allies not because they do not have another way out, but because they no longer harbour their previous fear of the “world hegemon.”
The Wall Street Journal provides a fairly impressive list of (unproven) allegations against a wide range of geopolitical players.
"According to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal based on the Import Genius database, nearly half of the crude oil exported from Venezuela to India nine months after the imposition of US sanctions was acquired by an Indian joint venture with Russian oil giant Rosneft.
According to Venezuelan trade reports, the United Arab Emirates has imported about one billion dollars in gold from Venezuela since the introduction of the “gold sanctions” at the end of 2018. U.S. intelligence officials say the actual amounts are much higher based on evidence that Venezuelan gold is leaving the country disguised as gold from Colombia, Uganda and other countries.
"The Turkish Embassy in Washington denies any trade in oil or gold with Venezuela, carried out in violation of US sanctions." These allegations do not reflect the facts, but are mere assumptions and rumours," the representative of the embassy said. The Russian Embassy in Washington declined to comment. The embassy cited past Foreign Ministry statements criticizing the US for interfering in the affairs of Venezuela. Officials from India and the UAE are not responding to requests for comment."
It would seem that for all the Americans’ problems a simple solution is emerging: impose sanctions against all countries and companies that prevent the US from “strangling” Venezuela, and then Washington will succeed. Experts from the State Department and Donald Trump’s administration, it appears, strongly doubt the effectiveness of the “sanctions bludgeon,” which no longer works as a foreign magic wand. Despite the fact that there are indeed supporters in Washington of the most severe sanctions against all Venezuelan partners (and this is not surprising), opponents of this approach note that without the support of the European Union, which refuses to impose similar restrictions, nothing will work. Moreover, attempts to put pressure on American allies who are buying Venezuelan oil and acting as financial intermediaries for Caracas behind the State Department’s back, will result in harm to American interests in other regions, for example, in Iran and the Middle East as a whole. From these discussions of high-level sources of The Wall Street Journal, a rather amusing picture emerges: the State Department can still put pressure on a notional India so that it does not buy oil from Iran, but it is no longer possible to make sure the notional India does not buy oil from both Iran and Venezuela. Similar problems arise with other countries, which are considered to be quite loyal partners of Washington. At this point their loyalty is mostly declarative.
It is not for nothing that one of the Venezuelan dissidents, who now works as an analyst in one of the foreign [US] think tanks, complains to journalists that "changing the regime without using military force is difficult," and although Trump has repeatedly hinted at the possibility of a forceful solution to this South American problem, the chances of really starting military intervention are relatively small. There are too many image-building and even military difficulties (such as guerrilla warfare in the Venezuelan jungle, for example) that will doom any attempts to solve the problem in this way.
However, an analysis of The Wall Street Journal provides reasons for optimism. But only for optimism on the part of US adversaries. Amazingly, the best financial and political analysts of the American media field do not notice perhaps the most important aspect of the failure of the pro-American coup in Caracas – and it is very likely that Washington politicians are also not ready to admit their main problem. The technologies of manipulating politics and public opinion with the help of social networks were so effective in terms of organizing colour revolutions that gradually dominance in the media field and social networks became a key and, by and large, sufficient condition for overthrowing any government that does not suit Washington. In the Venezuelan case, this looks especially clear. From the standpoint of media and social networks, Juan Guaidó is doing great, and his selfies and videos against the backdrop of a rally of thousands of supporters, published by Reuters, look really impressive, but there is a nuance that no one hides and which for some reason does not bother anyone: this rally and these shootings took place in Madrid, and not in Caracas. This is a very strange sort of political victory.
At the same time, Bloomberg reports (citing its own sources) that the Caracas government is preparing the sale of oil production projects to foreign companies that are ready to work in Venezuela, that is, companies from Russia, Italy and Argentina. If this is really accomplished, it all of Washington’s efforts and investments in the colour revolution in order to gain control over Venezuelan oil will prove to have led to a paradoxical and most humiliating result for the United States: The Americans won’t get any oil, but the Department of State can rejoice at a very expensive and absolutely useless a set of selfies and thousands of likes for the fake "Venezuelan president."
If this continues further, the planet’s “anti-democratic dictators” will simply laugh at future attempts by the Americans at colour revolutions.