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Who’s Behind the Pro-Guaidó Crowd Besieging Venezuela’s D.C. Embassy?




The intimidation tactics by the pro-coup embassy besiegers not only failed to deter the peace activists around the embassy, they left Venezuela’s D.C.-based opposition with a serious PR problem. After a week of hateful outbursts, a handful of marketing strategists emerged as de facto spokespeople for the mob.
By Jeb Sprague and Alexander Rubinstein
MintPress News | May 17, 2019.

After a rough and revealing start, the reins of the campaign to seize Venezuela’s embassy in Washington are being taken over by a group of well-connected marketing and online strategists.
 
In this article, we will examine the backgrounds of these individuals, the platforms they use to disseminate their message, and the tactics they have employed to clamor for an embassy seizure that violates international law. We will also address how they may stand to benefit directly from an escalation of Washington’s hybrid war and a potential regime-change scenario in Venezuela.

Washington serves as a magnet for many elite and upper-middle-class professionals from countries that have been targeted by U.S. regime-change efforts. In their home countries, some of these elements may function as the shock troops or intellectual beacons of empire, forming the front lines of American-backed color-revolution-style destabilization campaigns. In the U.S., some upwardly mobile members of the diaspora also become lobbyists for regime change. They position themselves as the true voices of “the people” of their nation, while the poor and working class majorities of those countries are left behind, ignored by the corporate media and unable to travel north.

 This sensibility is perfectly reflected by the crowd of pro-coup Venezuelan exiles and diaspora members that has besieged the Venezuelan Embassy in a bid to starve out the American activists who have staged a round-the-clock protest inside.
 
In early April, peace activists were invited by Venezuela’s government into its embassy in D.C., after the Trump administration ordered the country’s diplomats to depart. Over twenty wound up taking up residence in the embassy, hoping to prevent an illegal seizure of the building.

On April 30 – the same day self-proclaimed “president” Juan Guaidó staged a failed military coup – pro-Guaidó Venezuelans initiated their siege of the embassy. As they converged on the premises, some unleashed a wave of violent, misogynistic, and racist attacks on peace activists both inside and outside the building. 

Some of the pro-Guaidó militants are believed to have since carried out physical attacks, made death threats, and harassed the family members of embassy defenders. Some are also believed to have committed acts of property destruction, wrecked the tents of activists, and ransacked an embassy office while promoting ultra-Zionism and praising President Donald Trump and the police. TeleSUR’s correspondent Alina Duarte has faced a torrent of threats from some of the pro-Guaidó extremists, returning home one night to find that someone had attempted to break into and enter her apartment.


The intimidation tactics not only failed to deter the peace activists around the embassy, they left Venezuela’s D.C.-based opposition with a serious PR problem. After a week of hateful outbursts, a handful of marketing strategists emerged as de facto spokespeople for the mob. They are now delegated for interviews with national media outlets, deploying a combination of liberal-sounding language and identity politics to deflect from the presence of violent, sociopathic elements within the mob, some of whom will also be identified in this article.

The well-groomed spokespeople for regime change

 

Dilianna C. Bustillos (also known as Dillianna Bustillos Vivas) has become a poster child for the pro-Guaidó mob. A senior manager at Oracle, she previously worked for MarketBridge and for the advocate marketing firm Influitive. Oracle, a computer technology corporation and one of the largest companies in the world, also works closely with aerospace and defense companies. In 2018 it had global revenues of $39.83 billion.

Bustillos previously volunteered with Visión Democrática, a pro-opposition Venezuelan lobbying outfit in D.C. that claims to focus on “democracy promotion” — code for regime change. Francisco Márquez, the executive director of Visión Democrática, is the political advisor to Juan Guaidó’s fake ambassador in Washington.

A fellow of the “Democracy in Hard Places Initiative” at Harvard’s Ash School for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Marquez has held meetings with Vice President Mike Pence and is a key figure of the pro-coup Venezuelan lobby in Washington. Visión Democrática also employs Carlos Figueroa, who attended a recent Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) meeting in Washington on the potential for a military invasion of Venezuela.

In her media interviews, Bustillos never reveals her top-level corporate marketing position nor her support for political groups that advocate for sanctions and U.S. intervention.

Rather, she has presented herself as just another concerned Venezuelan citizen, with nothing special to gain and no agenda beyond saving her country from the evildoers. In a media interview outside of the embassy, Bustillos claimed that she was “not for U.S. intervention.” Such claims have been accepted at face value by the New York Times, which wrote: “Mr. Guaidó’s supporters insist they are not making a case for American military intervention in Venezuela, but only want the Americans to leave a building that does not belong to them.

 A screenshot from the Vice video featuring Dilianna C. Bustillos (AKA Dillianna Bustillos Vivas)


However, Bustillos’s Twitter timeline reveals that she has openly advocated for U.S. sanctions, which we now know collectively punish the country’s population. She also openly supports Guaidó, who himself has suggested he would support a U.S. attack on his own country. Guaidó’s fake ambassador, Carlos Vecchio, has asked the head of the U.S. Southern Military Command to begin strategic and operational planning” towards intervening in the country. Support for a U.S. invasion has also been voiced by many other pro-coup/pro-Guaidó Venezuelan-Americans outside the embassy including one of the leaders of the crowd, Robert Nasser.

Some in the pro-Guaidó crowd have claimed that they want to see the embassy seized by Guaidó’s forces simply so they can renew their passports. However, an embassy for a government that does not exist and holds no territory in Venezuela would clearly have no ability to renew a passport. 

In fact, seizing the embassy is aimed at setting up a parallel government and pushing for U.S. invasion or civil war, but under the guise of diplomatic officialdom. This is where the contradiction of those who express themselves as the authentic voices of “the Venezuelan people” is exposed, as they support the collective punishment of Venezuelans through sanctions, internal destabilization, and U.S. intervention, while demanding that their countrymen and women be delivered from economic crisis. 


On cue, the pro-coup lobby tells people to follow the hashtag #AskAVenezuelan. Caracas Chronicles, a U.S.-based blog popular with anti-Chavista Venezuelan-Americans, has also promoted the hashtag. This hashtag and the website under the same name (www.AskAVenezuelan.com) have quickly become a marketing mantra for the pro-Guaidó lobby in D.C. 

Advanced marketing strategies have also been used by others seeking to escalate conflict, such as with the professional Syrian-American activists who called in recent years for U.S. military intervention in Syria. Some Nicaraguan-American groups in D.C. have also successfully promoted the financial strangulation of their country by the U.S. empire through the NICA Act.

#AskAnUpperClassVenezuelan

 

So who owns the website www.AskAVenezuelan.com? According to a search through godaddy.com, the website is owned by Nelli Romero, a computer repair consultant who also owns a company called MyTeks.com. On Twitter, Romero goes by Nellie Belén Izarza. The company’s site on Zoominfo claims it has an annual revenue of $4.2 million.

On her Linkedin page, under the name Nelli R., she describes herself as an expert in “political and social media engineering” in Washington, D.C.

Romero has also worked as a consultant and lobbyist with the liberal Sunlight Foundation non-profit. Yet, in old social media posts, Romero supported and hyped up the violent guarimba protests that resulted in numerous deaths. One tactic familiar to the guarimbas was the guaira, where pro-coup militants tied razor wire across streets that then resulted in the deaths of motorcyclists and passersby, some by decapitation.

 A screenshot of the LinkedIn page of Nellie Romero (AKA Nellie Belén Izarza)


In March of 2019, in apparent outrage that Washington had not yet authorized a military invasion of her homeland, Romero tweeted out (in Spanish): “With no U.S. Marine Corps there is no paradise.”

The pro-Guaidó spokespeople often insist to reporters that the group is neither right-wing nor left-wing in its political ideology, and that they do not want war or intervention. However, a quick glance over the “Ask a Venezuelan” website shows that it has repeatedly promoted Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) calls for U.S. intervention and brutal sanctions. Both Romero and Bustillos have often retweeted and praised Rubio, a neoconservative considered one of the most militaristic members of the U.S. Congress.

In a testament to how astroturfed the #AskAVenezuelan campaign is, the website admits that it was only started in response to a massive mobilization of anti-war activists in Washington who were protesting against Trump’s sanctions and intervention. In the “About” section, they say they “witnessed first-hand the high levels of misinformation about the situation in Venezuela.”

 A screenshot from the AskAvenzuelan.com website


With the Republican Party in the U.S. already fully invested in the coup, ensuring support for regime change within the Democratic Party establishment, along with favorable coverage from liberal-leaning media outlets, is at the top of the opposition’s agenda. This is where Romero and Bustillos enter the picture, as both describe themselves as liberal Democrats, even while they support the ultra-militarism of Marco Rubio. Romero has taken on an important lobbying role, meeting recently with Hillary Clinton’s former 2016 running mate, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA).

For her part, Romero advocates for LGBTQ rights even while apparently controlling the #AskAVenezuelan brand. She is clearly not happy with those in the pro-Guaidó mob that have unleashed tirades of vitriolic homophobia against their political foes across the street and in the embassy. Together with Bustillos, she is appearing to do all she can to repackage the angry, entitled roar of a largely right-wing mob into a bipartisan message that appeals to a war-weary U.S. public.
Beyond the PR strategy that governs the embassy siege, D.C.’s pro-Guaidó lobby appears intent on consolidating a new status quo where Caracas is permanently isolated both diplomatically and economically, and an escalation of the conflict is just over the horizon.

The D.C. regime-change crew 

 

Besides the marketing strategists, a number of well-connected Venezuelan exiles and diaspora members from the D.C. area have mobilized alongside some demonstrably violent figures each day outside the embassy. 

One pro-coup activist seen on embassy grounds is Emerson Hevia, a Senior Principal Architect at the arms manufacturer Raytheon. The company is considered one of the biggest war profiteers in human history.

Also present at the protests has been Moises Rendon, a fellow at the hawkish Center for Strategic and International Studies. Backed by NATO, defense contractors, and Gulf monarchies, this D.C. think tank was exposed by The Grayzone for hosting a private roundtable of Trump and Guaidó advisors to discuss the use of military force against Venezuela.

Alejandro Perez Barrios — a former employee of the World Bank and currently a senior manager at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group — has also taken part in the embassy siege.

Another prominent pro-coup activist is Carlos Alaya (also known as Carlos Alfredo Ayala Quintero), a marketing strategist at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). One of Washington’s most important international financial institutions (IFIs) promoting neoliberal austerity across the hemisphere, the IDB recently hired a key architect of the coup in Venezuela, Ricardo Hausmann. The son of the President of the Venezuelan Association of Constitutional Law, Alaya has berated peace activists with vile epithets. 

In fact, it has been common for many of the pro-coup activists to verbally assault female CODEPINK members, hurl racist invective at black anti-war activists, anti-Semitic slurs at reporters, and play jingoistic Trump speeches on loudspeakers.


Another character known as “Mohamed” has aggressively attempted to rip food away from embassy protectors and briefly broke into the embassy, where he ransacked an entire room. He was then allowed by Secret Service police to walk freely among the mob outside, where he was seen providing private security to Guaidó’s faux ambassador Carlos Vecchio.  


Cathy Caminero is a consistent participant of the pro-coup mob. She has been seen openly in public making threatening gestures against embassy defenders. 

Her partner, Cesar Caminero, has also taken part in the pro-coup siege. On his Linkedin profile, Cesar Caminero states that he is a senior level IT Engineer with an active Department of Defense (DoD) secret clearance. DoD secret clearances are provided only to either DoD employees or approved employees of a DoD associated contractor. Caminero currently works as a senior Windows engineer team leader for Navstar Inc., a firm that provides IT and other services for U.S. intelligence agencies and the Department of State. Video on Twitter shows Cesar together with Guaidó’s fake ambassador Carlos Vecchio.


A screenshot of the LinkedIn page of Cesar Caminero


Perhaps the most prominent non-Venezuelan supporter of the embassy siege is a neighbor of the embassy. He is Jim McCarthy of CounterPoint Strategies. According to its website, CounterPoint has “specialized in an aggressive, combative style of crisis management.” Earlier in his career, McCarthy is said to have “handled a variety of Fortune 500 and foreign government accounts” for two major public relations agencies in Washington. With a slew of wealthy clients, his company has been said to be “often at odds with Greenpeace” while “McCarthy helped pioneer the practice of using Google ads to target journalists.” On Twitter, McCarthy has denounced Venezuela’s elected government and promotes an interventionist position.

Many in the pro-Guaidó mob appear to work for either international financial institutions, hawkish D.C. think tanks, or arms- and military-oriented contractors.

Candid audio of members of the opposition recorded surreptitiously and obtained by MintPress News expresses fear of revealing their identities linked to their professions (including one opposition protester who describes herself as being involved in “national security”).

Hailing from affluent backgrounds and overflowing with entitlement, the regime-change crew besieging the embassy does not mind brutalizing the anti-war activists that stand in their way. As numerous media reports show, the so-called “peaceful” and “pro-democracy” mob enjoys blaring 120 dB air horns just inches away from the eardrums of anti-war activists, and flashing bright strobe and scuba lights directly in the eyes of embassy defenders, even the elderly. Secret Service officers coordinating with Trump’s Department of State have stood by and done little to nothing. Violating international law, electricity has been cut off to the embassy and recently D.C. police themselves began to actively stop food and water from getting to those inside.


One anti-coup activist often present outside the embassy wondered if the fake ambassador, Vecchio, had hired a top-flight PR firm to control the messaging of the pro-coup mob. He explains: 

Between Tuesday and Wednesday [May 7-8] there was a huge, concerted shift. People were seen coaching young Venezuelan-American women on how to cry and to wave their passports. They removed some of the more vitriolic opposition and dressed up some golpistas [coup supporters] in rainbow LGBTQ flags to downplay their rampant homophobia.”

On May 7, oppositionists wrapped themselves in at least a dozen pride flags, but the following day, the flags had totally disappeared.


As national media focuses its lenses on the delegated spokespeople of the pro-coup mob outside the Venezuelan Embassy, the voices of millions of working-class Venezuelans who voted in large numbers for their elected government, or even just those who do not want to see an escalation of the conflict, have been wholly ignored. Instead, Americans are instructed to consult a carefully conceived “Ask a Venezuelan” campaign that was designed by corporate marketing strategists. It is the brainchild of elite members of the diaspora with ties to the U.S. government, the military-industrial complex, and the Guaidó coup administration. And, as with a number of other PR campaigns, it is designed to distract Americans from the deeply unsettling reality unfolding in the heart of their nation’s capital.

Feature photo | Carla Bustillos of Alexandria, Va., carries her son Carlos as she yells into a bullhorn with supporters of US-backed self-declared president Juan Guaido during outside of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, April 30, 2019. Andrew Harnik | AP

Jeb Sprague lectures at the University of Virginia and formerly taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Globalizing the Caribbean: Political Economy, Social Change, and the Transnational Capitalist Class (Temple University Press, 2019) and Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti (Monthly Review Press, 2012), and is the editor of Globalization and Transnational Capitalism in Asia and Oceania (Routledge, 2016). He is a founding member of the Network for Critical Studies of Global Capitalism (NCSGC)

Alexander Rubinstein is a staff writer for MintPress News based in Washington, DC. He reports on police, prisons and protests in the United States and the United States’ policing of the world. He previously reported for RT and Sputnik News.


#TrumpUnblockVenezuela: US Sanctions, Violations Against Venezuela.

Sputnik International | 20 May, 2019

US-imposed sanctions against Venezuela are a part of a bipartisan campaign to obstruct the Latin American nation's independence, both financially and politically, and have grown into a full economic blockade, according to a list of actions and executive orders documented by Caracas.

18 December 2014: Under the pretext of cracking down on protesters during opposition rallies in February, the US Congress passes Public Law 113-278 to outline the blueprint for sanctioning Venezuela, including the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) and state oil firm Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), which generates 90 percent of revenues for the South American country. 

The bill unilaterally blocks and freezes assets, funds, goods and properties owned by Caracas, as well as suspends entry to or revoked visas and documentation for Venezuelan public, military and diplomatic officials, sparking the current economic, financial and commercial embargo on the Latin American country. 

8 March 2015: Former US president Barack Obama converts Public Law 113-278 into Executive Order 13692, also known as the "Obama Decree", which designated Caracas as an "unusual and extraordinary threat to US national security", increasing his power to implement coercive measures used to intervene in Venezuela's internal affairs, and was renewed in March 2016.

May 2016: German financial firm Commerzbank concedes to pressure from the US and closes accounts for the PDVSA and other Venezuelan public banks and institutions. 
July 2016: US bank Citibank stops issuing foreign currency accounts to Venezuelan institutions in the US, affecting the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV), placing Venezuela with the highest financial risk in the world at 2640 points, despite Caracas paying off 63.6bn in external debt obligations. 

August 2016: Portuguese bank Novo Banco ceases dollar operations with Venezuelan banks amid pressure from the US. The Portuguese bank would later suspend $1.2bn in funds transferred by the US in February 2019, at the request of US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaidó. 

September 2016: The Venezuelan government agrees to exchange 7.1bn USD in PDVSA bonds to restructure its finances, with three major US risk rating agencies later announcing they will default Caracas if investors enter Venezuelan markets.

November 2016: US finance firm JP Morgan alleges that Venezuela failed to make payments on PDVSA debt of roughly $404m, which was instead caused by a "technical mistake", according to Torino Capital.

July 2017: Delaware Trust, the PDVSA's bonds payment agent, states that US-based PNC Bank refused to take funds from Caracas, with Citibank later refusing to receive funds used to import 300,000 insulin doses. Swiss bank Credit Suisse would later ban clients from conducting financial transactions in August on behalf of National Assembly president Julio Borges. 

24 August 2017: The US imposed additional sanctions on Caracas via EO 13808 which prohibits direct or indirect purchases of securities from the Venezuelan government, including bonds, loans, credit extensions, and others, officially legalising the blockade. 

August 2017: Bank of China in Panama announces that it cannot conduct financial transactions in foreign currencies for Venezuela amid pressure from the US Treasury Department and Panama government. The news comes amid a China-Venezuelan oil-for-loans deal struck in May aimed at restructuring the country's finances. Russian banks issue warnings for similar reasons.

October 2017: The US blockade prevents Swiss bank UBS, Pfizer, Novartis and others from accepting Venezuela money deposits used for vaccines and medicines by the Revolving and Strategic Fund of the Pan-American Health Organisation, causing a four-month delay in receiving vaccines.

The block follows a 2015 US probe into alleged ties to Venezuelan "money laundering" schemes, forcing 18 Swiss banks to turn over records to the US Department of Justice, despite Venezuela arresting five Citgo officials accused of funnelling money to accounts in the US.

November 2017: Deutsche Bank, the Venezuelan BCV's main correspondent, closes its account. 23 Venezuelan financial operations used for food, medicines and supplies totalling $39m are blocked by international banks. Standard and Poor (S&P) later declares a "selective default" after accusing Venezuela of missing a payment. As the blockade further damages Venezuela's economy, US bond manager Wilmington Trust alleges state electric company Corpoelec of not cancelling $27m in debt interests. 

December 2017: European banks return $29.7m in transactions used by the Local Committees for Supply and Production (CLAP) food programme, with JP Morgan delaying $28.1m in funds used to pay for food vessels transporting supplies to Venezuela. Product shortages surface in several states across Venezuela after US banks close a further 19 bank accounts, causing 471,000 vehicle tyres to be retained abroad.

January: 2018: The Venezuelan government cannot repay 11 debt and PDVSA bonds worth $1.2bn due to sanctions. 

February 2018: The US Treasury Department extends powers of EO 13808, blocking the restructuring of state and PDVSA debts issued on 25 August 2017. 

March 2018: The Trump Administration renews Obama-era EO 13692 and EO 13808 for a year, and imposes six new measures aimed at blocking use of the Petro via EO 13827, Venezuela's state cryptocurrency, aimed at blocking the repatriation of dividends from Citgo Petroleum. The order would also prohibit citizens or institutions from using the Petro.

April 2018: The Peruvian Foreign Ministry, acting on behalf of the pro-US Lima Group, announces during the Summit of the Americas that it would launch a group aimed at studying political and economic measures against Venezuela (original statement in Spanish). The US and Colombia agree to increase measures against Caracas. 

21 May 2018: The US issues EO 13835 after Venezuelan president Nicholas Maduro is re-elected by 67 percent of the electorate (9m citizens). The order expands the blockade against Caracas and sanctions 20 Venezuelan companies for alleged drug trafficking ties, and blocks the purchase of debt of Venezuelan companies, including the sale, transfer, or granting guarantees to shares of capital owned 50 percent or more by the Venezuelan government, in the US.

The Trump Administration later blocks $9m in supplies for 15,000 hemodialysis patients, with Bogota blocking shipments of 400,000 kilos of food for Caracas' Clap food subsidy programme. 

November 2018: US president Donald Trump issues a measure blocking US citizens from trading Venezuelan gold. 

January 2019: President Trump approves sanctions against PDVSA which freezes $7bn in Citgo assets, in addition to roughly $11bn in exports. The UK's Bank of England later announces the extrajudicial seizure of $1.4bn in gold deposited in London as reported by Bloomberg, four days after Venezuelan gold holdings spiked following a swap deal with Deutsche Bank. 

January — April 2019: The US blocks Venezuela's MINERVEN gold production and seller via EO 13850, targeting operations in Bandes, including Uruguay Banco Bandes Uruguay SA, Banco de Venezuela SA and others. The measure also blocks PDVSA and over 30 of its oil tankers from 28 January to 12 April, legalising the seizure of assets from Caracas in nations friendly to the US.

Relations have soured between Caracas and Washington since the Trump Administration recognised opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president against international law. Mr Guaidó, the US and its allies urged Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro to step down and seized billion in Venezuelan assets. Maduro has slammed the US, accusing its North Atlantic neighbour of violating international law and orchestrating a coup aimed at seizing Venezuela's natural resources. The Venezuelan government has been backed by China, Russia, Cuba, Bolivia, Turkey and others, all whom have stated Mr Maduro is the Latin American country's only legitimate president. Sanctions have led to the deaths of nearly 40,000 people from 2017 to 2018, and cost the Venezuelan government $30bn in state revenues, according to a scathing April 2019 report from the Centre for Economic Policy and Research. SOURCE



Zakharova: US Inconsistent! Sanctions Venezuela .. Continues Buying its Oil.


Uploaded by Vesti News | Published on May 23, 2019.

Canadian Doctor Timothy Bood on Venezuela.


Uploaded by TeleSUR English | Published on May 23, 2019.

Failed uprising: What happens next in Venezuela? | Conflict Zone.


Uploaded by DW News | Published on May 21, 2019.

Ms. Neumann is the official representative of Venezuela's "interim president" to the United Kingdom. On May 17, Al Jazeera's Mehdi Hasan also interviewed Ms. Neumann on "Up Front" and posted the following excerpt on Twitter.


Uploaded by The Majority Report w/ Sam Seder | Published on May 20, 2019.

Interviews From Caracas: John McEvoy.


Uploaded by TeleSUR English | Published on May 22, 2019.

On today's "From Caracas", The Canary Journalist John McEvoy came to Venezuela to witness the impact of the U.S. economic sanctions on the Venezuelan people firsthand. SOURCE

Venezuelan Military Deserters adrift in Colombia.

Orinoco Tribune | March 18, 2019.


Uploaded by TeleSUR English Published on Mar 18, 2019.

After a group of military deserters from Venezuela denounced the abandonment by the Colombian authorities, the right wing Venezuelan politicians and the Agency for Refugees of the United Nations (UNHCR), the supposed “ambassador” appointed by the deputy Juan Guaidó in Colombia, Humberto Calderón Berti, spoke about it.

Through a statement, Calderón Berti caught up with the statements and claims of the troops and said their problems will be addressed. He even stressed that these “have been given temporary assistance consisting of accommodations and food.

This Monday, March 18, a multidisciplinary meeting will be held with national and local authorities (from Colombia), as well as with the Embassy of Venezuela (that means him), to advance in the search for a definitive solution for the needs of these young soldiers and their families”, details the letter.

The Venezuelan defector in question, let’s remember, told the media of the neighboring country that they were given a maximum period of four days to exit from the facility they have been using in the border area, specifically in Cúcuta. They also stressed that in exchange they were offered 350 thousand Colombian pesos (US$ 112), a mattress and bed-sheets for each one.

We are adrift, we do not have the support of anyone. We want Juan Guaidó to come face-to-face”, said the Venezuelan Army’s second sergeant Luis González Hernández, who served as spokesperson for the group. SOURCE

The Venezuelan military and police personnel who had transferred their loyalties to the "interim president" in February and had crossed the border into Cucuta, Colombia, were being hosted in hotels there at the expense of the insurgency and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Several of these defectors were accompanied by their families. Some days ago they were evicted from the hotels because according to some sources, no funds were forthcoming to continue paying for their accommodation. The complaint by some of the deserters is that they have been used by the "interim president" who has ruined their lives. Others express a continuing willingness to support the coup.

“You must go. Leave in 3 days. Here are 350 thousand pesos and a mat for each one,” 
this is what they said today to the Venezuelan military deserters in Cucuta. 
They no longer have any use. The time of your scene is over. The curtain goes down.”

Meanwhile the Colombian Government, in agreement with the "Interim Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela," has devised a plan to integrate these persons into the civilian life of Colombia.  A translation of the the official communication on this matter from the Colombian National Unit for Disaster Risk Management is presented below.

UNGRD
Unidad National para la Gestion de Riesgo de Desastres
Disaster Risk Management in Colombia
Sistema Nacional de Gestion del Riesgo de Desastres.
Bogotá,
05/14/2019

Translation
Colombia establishes service plan for ex-servicemen and ex-Venezuelan policemen who are in the national territory.

The Government of Colombia, through a memorandum of understanding with the Interim Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, established a scheme for addressing former members of the Venezuelan Armed Forces and Police located in the Colombian territory, in order that they can develop a life as civilians and in complete normality while the conditions in their native country allow them to return to exercise their functions in the public force.

In this regard, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as a representative of the Government of Colombia headed by Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo and the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Colombia, Humberto Calderón Berti, a memorandum was signed, where they will coordinate inter-institutional way, between the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management, Chancellery, the Ministry of National Defense, Migration Colombia, the National Service of Learning -SENA-, the Ministry of Education and other entities considered necessary, the actions for the attention

Thus, under this memorandum, the Colombian National Government will determine the beneficiaries based on the information collated with Migración Colombia, which will include its family nuclei, this with the purpose of determining the total number of people who are under these conditions in the country.

Later and after the process of validation and updating of the information, the former members of the Military and Police Forces of Venezuela who are in Colombia and who meet the conditions set forth in the memorandum will have access to the PEP, a support for basic assistance, training. Appropriate efforts will be made to find quotas in the education system for minors who require it.

Under this line, the basic care actions will be coordinated with the support of the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management.

Also, through the National Service of Learning, SENA, complementary training will be done according to the institutional offer in each region.

Migration Colombia, for its part, will issue a work permit for up to two years, which will authorize them and them families to be able to exercise a remunerated work activity that allows them to maintain and support them while they remain in Colombia.

Finally, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs inter-institutional efforts will be made to include infants in the education system depending on the quotas in each of the regions.

It is important to clarify that because of the quality and training of former members of the Armed Forces and Police of Venezuela and for reasons of national security for Colombia, they require special attention, which also indicates that these people cannot exercise military functions, nor police or security or defense, they cannot carry their weapons or wear their uniforms, and after benefiting from the benefits implemented by the Government of Colombia they will assume the status of civilians. SOURCE



Guaidó Out of Gas. Parts 1 & 2




Uploaded by The Real News Network | Published on May 23, 2019.

"After several US backed failed coup attempts, Juan Guaidó sends envoy to Oslo to join opposition for talks with the Government. Former Chief of Staff to Nicolás Maduro, Temir Porras joins Sharmini Peries for analysis." SOURCE