How Maduro Has Clung Onto Power In Venezuela (HBO)

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has had a tumultuous 2019.

He’s been locked in a power struggle with 35-year-old Juan Guaidó since January, when the young opposition leader declared himself Venezuela’s rightful interim president with the backing of 50 countries, including the U.S. He’s faced several rounds of sanctions that have crippled the country’s oil sector and sharply exacerbated an already disastrous crisis, making an economic recovery all but impossible any time soon. He’s overseen one massive power outage after another, leaving entire neighborhoods without running water for days or even weeks at a time.

In spite of all this, Maduro has managed to hang on to power. He’s done so in part by maintaining control of key political institutions, especially the military, through a combination of patronage and intimidation. But he also counts on a hard core of support among the population, which has less to do with Maduro himself than with the legacy of the man who was president before him: Hugo Chávez.

Over his 15 years in power, Chávez became a national hero of near-mythic proportions by lifting millions out of poverty: He reduced hunger and extreme poverty by half, nearly wiped out illiteracy, and transformed Venezuela’s barrios by supplying them with proper housing and basic goods and services, organizing them politically in the process. And while the catastrophic economic breakdown Venezuela is currently suffering has badly weathered support for Maduro among the poor, many still have faith in the larger chavista project, and don’t see the U.S.-led opposition as a viable alternative.

“Yes, people are disappointed, but even though they’re disappointed, they’re not with the opposition — they’re passive,” said Olga Andrade, a resident of a Caracas barrio. “Because what exactly does the opposition have to offer? How long have they been fighting for this or that, and what have they accomplished? They haven’t done anything.”

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US urges anti-IS coalition to step up

Foreign ministers and senior officials from the 79-member, U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition are meeting in Washington to develop a way ahead after President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw American forces from Syria. (Feb. 6)

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CrossTalk Bullhorns: Syria attacked (Extended version)

The U.S.-led attack on Syria is a gross violation of international law. Furthermore, western publics still have not been presented with evidence the Syrian state used any chemical weapons. A new phase of the Syrian proxy war has needlessly been opened up. Another war of choice.

CrossTalking with Mark Sleboda and Dmitry Babich.

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Pentagon: US Strikes Hit Every Target

The Pentagon says that the U.S.-led airstrikes on Syria “successfully hit every target.” (April 14)

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CrossTalk: Hypersonic War

Both the United States and Russia have announced their nuclear weapons posture. Both countries are entering a new age of war – the age of hypersonic weapons. We are told Russia’s hypersonic weapons can render U.S.-led missile defense system ‘useless.’ Can Washington allow this to stand? Are we now in a new arms race?
CrossTalking with George Szamuely, Daniel McAdams, and Mary Dejevsky.

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DOD: US Forces Acted in Self-Defense in Syria

Department of Defense officials say actions by the U.S.-led coalition in Syria was in “self-defense,” citing a major attack on its allied forces and U.S. advisers in Deir el-Zour province. (Feb. 8)

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Blazing row: Hundreds of Palestinians injured as IDF use tear gas, rubber bullets

Clashes between protesters and Israeli police have been seen across Palestine. In Jerusalem, people have been gathering near the Damascus Gate – where there is a massive Israeli security presence.
Palestine says it will now reject any U.S.-led peace negotiations.

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City of Corpses: RT visits Mosul to witness shocking aftermath of liberation

Months under a barrage of bombs the Iraqi city of Mosul has been almost leveled. The U.S.-led operation to liberate the city from ISIL has been declared a success, but the human cost is inconceivable. It was once home to around two million people.
Murad Gazdiev is in Mosul to witness the aftermath.
You might find the content of the following report upsetting.

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‘Illegitimate coalition’ must pay for destroying Syria – Damascus to UN

Syria has written to the UN’s Secretary General demanding a halt to U.S.-led coalition air strikes. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8ig7

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20 civilians reportedly killed in US-led airstrikes on Syria

As many as 20 civilians were reportedly killed when the U.S.-led coalition carried out air strikes in Syria’s Raqqa province on Saturday. The coalition has recently intensified its bombing campaign in the area, in an attempt to retake the city of Raqqa from Islamic State.

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‘Threat to US partner forces’: US-led coalition airstrike targets pro-govt convoy in Syria

The U.S.-led coalition has carried out a bombing raid against forces fighting for the Syrian government, in the south of the country. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8c1s

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‘Why would Assad attack civilians not military? It’s simply irrational’ – U.S. Senator

More than 80 people were killed in the incident in Syria, but a few weeks ago in the Iraqi city of Mosul, a U.S.-led coalition airstrike reportedly killed more than 200. In both cases government officials claimed terrorist munitions had been targeted. The Syria attack sparked immediate reaction – both in the media and from Western officials. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/87v8

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Mainstream media largely ignores Mosul death toll in anti-ISIS ops

More than 200 civilians are feared to have been killed during the latest anti-ISIL offensive in Mosul, which is supported by the U.S.-led coalition.
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MSM silent on civilian suffering during anti-ISIS op in Mosul

Iraqi forces, backed by the U.S.-led coalition, are pushing deeper into the densely-populated areas of western Mosul, to rid the city from Islamic State. The UN says more than 150-thousand residents have fled, as the latest anti-terror offensive goes into its second month. However, the plight of civilians in the bitter struggle to repel the terrorists, seems to be going noticeably under-reported in much of the mainstream media. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/86g5

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Civilian Crossfire: Iraqi army pushes further into Mosul in anti-ISIS op

Iraqi forces, backed by the U.S.-led coalition, are pushing deeper into the densely populated areas of western Mosul, in a bid to liberate the city from Islamic State terrorists. The UN says more than 150-thousand people have fled the conflict there, as the latest anti-terror offensive goes into a second month. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/86g5

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‘They’re bombing indiscriminately’: Mosul residents suffer from coalition airstrikes

The U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition in Iraq, says Islamic State fighters in Mosul are now completely surrounded – with the last road out of the city cut off. But many of the civilians who fled the battle say it’s not just ISIS they’re running from, but air strikes as well. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/85kn

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Fiercest ISIS offensive: Islamists cut off Syrian Deir ez-Zor airbase

Islamic State has launched a large-scale offensive against a key government air base in the Syrian province of Dier Ez-Zor. It’s believed the terrorists entered Syria from the Iraqi city of Mosul – where they had been fighting against a U.S.-led operation. Despite the Syrian army’s efforts, ISIL fighters have been making steady gains in that province, and have now effectively cut-off the strategically important government base there. RT’s Lizzie Phelan filed this report from Syria. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/80l7

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‘Time for victory has come’: Iraqi military launches Mosul operation to retake city from ISIS

The bid to retake the city follows reports in recent days, of sporadic outbreaks of violence on the outskirts of Mosul. Overall, 30-thousand soldiers will be involved in the operation. The assault will be backed by the U.S.-led coalition, which is providing air and ground support, along with Kurdish Peshmerga troops. But the Red Cross told us that it’s concerned the offensive could cause a new humanitarian crisis. Read More: http://on.rt.com/7s2o

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British War Veterans Demonstrate Against Syria Airstrikes: VICE News Quick Hit

A group of war vets threw their medals at the gates of Downing Street days after the country opted to join the U.S.-led bombing campaign in Syria against the Islamic State.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – September 24, 2014

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The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Syrians inspect damage of first U.S.-led airstrikes against the Islamic State, Ukrainian troops fight pro-Russia separatists around Donetsk airport, journalist freed in Somalia after being held captive for almost three years, and dozens of Egyptians go on hunger strike in support of political prisoners.

SYRIA (annotate to: https://news.vice.com/article/us-leads-airstrikes-against-islamic-state-in-syria)
Beginnings of Air Campaign Against the Islamic State
Monitoring group says dozens of militants were killed in the first round of airstrikes carried out by a U.S.-led coalition.

UKRAINE (annotate to Russian Roulette 44: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtdVVFhjdqA)
Ongoing Fighting in Donetsk Casts Doubt on Truce
The city’s airport has become a flashpoint ever since soldiers recaptured it from rebels in May.

SOMALIA (https://news.vice.com/article/journalist-michael-scott-moore-released-in-somalia-after-nearly-three-years-as-a-hostage)
Journalist Released After Nearly Three Years in Captivity
Michael Scott Moore was abducted in January 2012 while he was conducting research on piracy.

EGYPT
Dozens Begin Hunger Strike in Support of Imprisoned Activists
​​The trial of hundreds of people charged with breaking a protest law has been postponed to October 1st.

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