What If?

Sean Mallory looks at the Trump problems confronting Venezuela.

Trump in order to distract the American public from his stand against the Senate over who will pay for his Mexican border wall, his withdrawal from Syria after another American defeat, his ever encroaching impeachment on an eclectic bundle of indictments ranging from election rigging to outright racism and his guileless efforts to inflate his already enormous personal fortune while sitting in the oval office, openly declared Juan Guaido (after Juan declared himself that is) as the de facto President of Venezuela and not the elected Nicholas Maduro.

Maduro's Venezuela is suffering from catastrophic economic problems that have led to extreme high unemployment levels, severe shortages in basic food stuffs and medicines, mass emigration, wide spread malfeasance and social injustice.......though mostly contrived by America and Her murderous CIA!

Maduro rightfully responded to America's direct interference in his country's internal affairs by asking America to close its embassy and leave. America refused as it claimed he wasn’t the president!

And as in prior situations the usual suspects fell in behind the USA – Britain being first in and in dire need of a trade agreement followed by Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala and the Organisation of American States – quite a few extreme right wing and dubiously elected ‘el presidentes’ in that bunch!

Just as Field Marshall Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil El-Sisi did in Egypt and also in response to Egyptian peoples protests when he overthrew the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood leader and Egyptian president, Mohammad Morsi on July 2013.

A month later El-Sisi's security forces under his orders carried out the Rabaa massacre in which hundreds of Morsi's supporters protesting against his removal were brutally slain. I suppose it depends on what one is protesting about but all achieved with the full support of the Obama administration, although initially quietly expressed support.

Russia, China and Turkey stood by Maduro as did his military who ignored calls from America to overthrow him.

Now let us consider, what if now, what if Trump were to declare Jeremy Corbyn the de facto Prime Minister of Great Britain? How would the world react? More importantly where would the EU stand?

After all:

• The current government does not have the support of the majority of the people – Theresa May was elected with a minority government.

• Malfeasance is rife within government – May bribed the DUP with 1 billion pounds to support her minority government and she has handed out British national recognition awards to those MPs willing to forego ethics for knighthoods in order to secure her Brexit agreement, and fraudulent expenses claims matched with unreported holidays that warrant lobbying in return.

• The current British government has been found in contempt of Parliament.

• Tax avoidance and off shore accounts are the norm for the rich and powerful.

• Cabinet ministers have been found to be liars – Johnson and his £350m in the Brexit referendum.

• Cabinet ministers have been found to be inept – Chris Grayling, the current transport secretary after due diligence awarded a multimillion pound contract to a company (Seaborne Freight) to provide ferry services after Brexit to ease the potential logjams at Britain’s ports – the company has no money, no experience of providing such services, no staff qualified in the provision of such services and on top of it all no ships!

• Due to consecutive Conservative government’s austerity policies there are now millions living in abject poverty.

• Malnutrition among children is pervasive among those most affected by Austerity.

• Psychological problems among those employed have increased dramatically due to the adoption of zero contract hours (modern day slavery to the man on the street).

• Basic food stuffs and medicines are being stock piled to ward of potential shortages after Brexit.

And so:

As Maduro struggles to evict the Americans from his country and as the British establishment, away from the public gaze centred on Brexit, like its brutal and murderous role in Kenya, agrees to pay compensation but does accept blame for crimes of torture by its colonial forces against Cypriots during the Cypriot push for Independence in the late 1950's, we can make a rational judgement that Maduro's Venezuela and Mays’ Great Britain,

Not much difference really when you analyse it!

Sean Mallory is a Tyrone republican and TPQ columnist 

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

41 comments to ''What If? "

  1. Sean

    Yes one should always be sceptical about US intentions and calls for regime change in Latin America bearing in mind the history of US interference in the region since the promulgation of the Monroe Doctrine but whitewashing the responsibility of the Maduro regime for the catastrophe that has befallen Venezuela in the way you seem to be is just not on.

    The basic reason for the disasters that have befallen Venezuela was the fall in the world price of oil in 2015. On top of this has been the massive mismanagement of the state oil corporation PSDVA by regime cronies who have enriched themselves and their followers rather than using oil reserves to fund infrastructural development.

    US sanctions have not helped but they alone cannot explain the six digit inflation figures, the disappearance of food, toilet paper and essential medicines from supermarket shelves and the flight of 3 million people into neighbouring countries. You ignore the serial violations of human rights, the attacks upon the judiciary; the shooting dead of protestors; the muzzling of independent media and the homicide rate (the highest rate in the world). To say nothing of the appalling conditions in which mental patients are virtually incarcerated.

    Yes, the lack of democratic credentials of some of the governments who are calling for Maduro to stand down are glaringly obvious but so are those of the regime's backers - Russia, China, Turkey, Iran and Syria. You fail to mention that the EU are also calling for free and fair elections.

    The tragedy is that Chavismo (which did deliver good social redistributive programmes under Maduro's predecessor) is a failed social experiment and has degenerated into a Mugabe and Ceausescu type dystopia whether Corbynistas wish to acknowledge it or not.

    A pertinent comparison between Britain and Venezuela would be the criminal wastage of oil revenues in both; in the former to pay for unemployment benefits that resulted from the Thatcherite ravaging of British manufacturing in the 1980s.

  2. Sean Mallory says:

    Barry - I suppose one could be slightly sceptical about America's involvement but when you look back at for instance, Iran and the murder of Mosaddegh and the regime change that that brought, Allende in Chile, Nicaragua and the Contras, I can’t help but remove the scepticism and face the reality.

    The point is not to absolve Maduro of blame but by drawing similarities with the UK we can see the hypocrisy of people who live in glass houses.

    1. Sean

      But Maduro is no Allende, Arbenz or Mosaddegh. They didn't massacre protesters in the streets or strip their countries of their wealth and serially abuse human rights.

      The European Parliament which has voted by a a majority in excess of two-thirds to recognise Juan Guaido as President (a member of a party affiliated to the Socialist International, Jeremy Corbyn take note) hardly live in glass houses.

      Human rights are meant to be indivisible and support for them should never be contigent on whatever side of a geopolitical divide the perpetrators or who their wealthy and powerful backers are.

  3. Rest assured the draft dodgers (Trump, Bolton, Abrams) won't be running point.

  4. Barry, and Maduro is no Trump, Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Nixon, etc.

    Chomsky on crimes of US Presidents:

    All of whom have massacred people in the streets…

    Stripped or tried to strip countries of their wealth and abused human rights.

    Maduro doesn’t even drone people to death like Obama did.

    Therefore, human rights can only be contingent upon who really supports them.

    Because war criminals by definition certainly don’t even when they say they do.

    But nice to see effete European liberals like you getting into bed with Trump.

    You should all now just watch this video of him:

    CrossTalk: Venezuela Targeted

    Then go take a bath.

    So, will the European Parliament recognize Nancy Pelosi as the new US President?

    1. Eoghan - how did you manage that? Never saw videos on the comments section before.

  5. They seem to have disappeared again

  6. it's alright Eoghan - my wife explained it

  7. It is highly ironic that the good leaders of the EU and NATO are so roused as to back a coup against the legitimate leader of a nation due to alleged concerns about human rights etc etc and yet again these same good leaders are not as roused to interject into the plight of the folk of Yemen nor indeed interfere upon the dictators of Arabia etc. Even more ironic is that they are cheering on this coup that is sponsored by 'Russian agent' Trump, who seems to be ignoring Russian policy and targeting Venezuela! Has Trump been turned? Lmao

  8. Anthony, I don't know, but I am glad your wife could explain.

    I am still in the computer Triassic Age and not yet at the Jurassic.

    Anyway, here is a video link from THE JIMMY DORE SHOW that I wanted here:

    Jimmy Dore Show on Trump & Venezuela

    In it Jimmy Dore, Irish-American Comedian from Chicago, plays Trump video.

    Kind of says it all really.

  9. Wolfe Tone

    What "legitimate leader of a nation" shoots demonstrators in the street (does that remind you of something). Legitimacy of any leadership is surely vested in the consent of the governed; today's mass demonstrations against the Maduro regime in Caracas indicate that little such consent exists. Or is legitimacy vested in a regime's capacity to use brute force secure in the knowledge that such capacity will be guaranteed by powerful patrons with vetoes on the UN Security Council e.g President Assad.


    Your ranting is indicative of arrested political and intellectual development. Yes, i am aware of crimes committed on the watch of successive US Presidencies but those do not justify the the rigging of elections, the detention of political opponents, the violent repression of street protests and the ravaging of Venezuela's economy.

    As an "effete European liberal" (I am wondering about the male insecurities that such language betrays), I condemn human rights abuses and acts of censorship by any authoritarian regime be it of the far right or far left something which your hero Chomsky with his track record of excuse making for the Khmer Rouge and Serb nationalist ethnic cleansers during the Balkan Wars can hardly claim with a straight face.

    As someone who does not support externally imposed regime change, I am "not in bed with Trump"

    And one final word to the wise; do not cite a propaganda organ of a criminal and kleptocratic regime which poisons its opponents abroad as a reliable information source.

  10. Eoghan - with things teccie I am no better. Once phoned my daughter when she was holidaying in the US and got instructed over the phone how to put a DVD in. Maths is something else I am useless at

  11. Barry,
    Maduro may well be a cunt. However his people chose him, in 2002 similar accusations of shooting protesters were proven to be actions of anti government actors. So well see. Jimmy carter institution called the elections the fairest in the world, two years later they're corrupt. Out of curiosity how does this and the annulment of the nuclear treaty tie in with your Trump is a Russian agent theory?

    1. David - I think that is right but the problem now is that so much popular opposition has built up against him that he is essentially fighting a war on two fronts, internally and externally which I doubt will allow him to prevail.

    2. David

      The evidence for Trump collusion with Russia lies in the business interests including real estate that he has had in Russia in 1987 and the resultant paper trail. It is no secret that the Kremlin hacked into the Democratic National Committee servers to obtain these celebrated 33,000 emails. If Trump is innocent why did he encourage Putin to continue digging? For more information read Luke Harding "Collusion. How Russia Helped Trump Win The White House." Faber 2018. Trump's mercurial foreign policy pronouncements do not alter the mounting evidence of how a seriously compromised Trump was helped into the White House which Robert Mueller is patiently compiling.

      On elections in Venezuela, the Jimmy Carter Institution is the only international body to pronounce them free and fair.

    3. Don't believe everything the media wants you to hear I.e there may well indeed be opposition building to Maduro within his country, as demonstrated by images of the coup leader rallies, but what the media are ignoring is the even bigger rallies in support of Maduro. A kind of conditioning of the public is happening much like the conditioning that paved the way for NATO hijacking Libya for its own selfish interests. Btw, John Bolton was on US tv declaring that ' bringing "freedom"(no laughing at the back) to Venezuela would result in economic freedom in which the US would benefit'. And yet NATO supporters still think it's all about a 'dictator'? Jesus wept.

  12. Barry, heal thyself.

    US Presidents often impose violent regime change for other countries they want to control.

    They rig elections, detain political opponents, violent repress opposition and ravage economies.

    See Italy, Greece, Iran, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Panama, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam…

    All to the tune of "What we say goes!" --George H.W.Bush

    Just see that video of Trump I posted above here from The Jimmy Dore Show.

    And typical effete European liberal that you are…

    You condemn human rights abuses and acts of censorship by any authoritarian regime…

    But without blinking you ride with the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.

    Trump, Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams.

    That said, the word effete means lacking in wholesome vigor; degenerate; decadent.

    As a word choice it simply speaks to your feline support for American imperialism.

    Because it’s clear to me you're just a prison bitch for empire.

    Afterall what has Maduro done that Abraham Lincoln didn’t’ do in the US Civil War?

    Lincoln too was elected in 1860 & 1864 by pluralities.

    Yet you write here:

    As someone who does not support externally imposed regime change, I am "not in bed with Trump"

    And when have you only been part pregnant?

    That said I generally do not cite the BBC.

    Since it is as you say a propaganda organ of a criminal and kleptocratic regime…

    Which poisons its opponents abroad as a reliable information source.


    1. Eoghan

      It is clear that you are a "prison bitch" for the Russian Empire; its lackeys and for thuggish organisations such as the Provisional IRA and successors.

      You may dispute what I have just said but if you choose to direct personal insults at me without ever having met in lieu of reasoned, evidence based arguments then do not be surprised if if I repay your compliments with interest.

      As an "effete European liberal"; I support liberal representative democracy; rule of law; freedom of expression; separation of powers; independent judiciary; strong civil society; gender and sexual equality and protection of minorities. I generally believe that each society should work out its own path to democracy. External, UN mandated interventions should only occur in extremis e.g. in the case of an impending Rwanda-style genocide or when oil soaked dictators massacre their own people (Libya) or when regimes use internationally forbidden chemical weapons in the course of wars against their own citizens (Syria).

      There is no point in me trying to refute the travesty of my alleged "feline support for American imperialism" as the big lie is what characterises your juvenile sloganising, one line screeds. Gloried corner boys like you do not deserve to be engaged with.

      Other sites have a "play the ball not the man" code; this site may need to adopt the same.

  13. Am
    I don't think he will, maybe he doesn't deserve to. It's almost funny to watch progressives convince themselves that this time, this time the slaughter is justified while convincing themselves they're moral superior to past empires

  14. Barry,
    You've some insight into Putin and Trump's conversations. It doesn't really bother me if Trump's guilty i've no agenda in American politics. Democrats, Republicans all one to me. It amuses me though when people like you scoff at conspiracy theories while trumpeting your own with just as little evidence

    1. David

      Well I am bothered because a pathological liar, sexual predator and dangerous narcissist who is tearing up arms control treaties, climate change agreements and talks about attacking other countries on a whim occupies the highest office in the world's second largest democracy because of assistance from a gangster, kleptocratic ex KGB operative who is dedicated to bringing about the end of the international, rules based order.

      Trump's financial links with Russia are well documented as is Donald Trump Jr's meeting with Russian officials in June 2016. The resignation, arraignment and imprisonment of successive Trump operatives: Flynn, Mannafort, Cohen and Ford are yet more grist to the mill.

  15. Barry:

    What’s your proof that Chomsky made excuses for the Khmer Rouge and Serb Nationalists?

    Or is this just something you have to say to get hired somewhere?

  16. Does personal abuse ever enhance the quality of a discussion? It detracts from the quality of the exchanges.

    1. AM

      I totally agree. I far rather prefer vigorous debate based on evidence and good research (Venezuela a prime example) rather than descending into personal exchanges which I acknowledge my culpability in. But because I have been subject to quasi-racist, quasi-homophobic insults and false assumptions about my supposed academic tenure when the truth is so painfully different, i will take no prisoners in my responses until certain contributors learn the principle of agreeing to disagree.

    2. Barry - that is fine: I accept that you were provoked but we prefer an exchange of ideas rather than an exchange of infantile names.

  17. Barry,
    Was Clinton not a pathological liar? Did she not attack alleged rape victims, stand by an alleged rapist Christopher Hitchens did good investigation work on this. Are you saying Trump was the first to attack on a whim? Oiver stone did great work exposing that history. Rachel Maddow cnn, etctell us daily about collusion but with no proof. Buisness meetings are not proof. Where in the Flynn, Stone indictments is Russia mentioned. We'd all like to see politicians held to account but so far it's a conspiracy theory. An illogical one, who benefits? Trump's policies hinder Russia where's the endgame?

  18. Anthony, yes, I think well-placed insults can leaven analysis and argument.

    Especially when dealing with defenders of dominant imperial narratives.

    They are almost always proto-fascists and so why not call a spade a spade?

    Because they are generally impervious to contrary reason and evidence.

    Notice Barry has not answered my questions or bothered with the Trump video here.

    That video proves beyond a doubt what Trump is really up to in Venezuela.

    Because he himself expressly says so in the video!

    Yet if you defend Trump’s Electoral College election then you’re pro-Russian.

    And if you attack Trump’s interference with Venezuela then you’re pro-Russian.

    Worse, if you simply ask for evidence of claims, then you’re a Putin tool.

    I can still remember this kind of Cold War paranoia of a commie-behind-every-tree.

    Lucky for all of us it is being rightfully insulted and lampooned:

    Rachel Maddow Russian Fear Mongering Goes Off Rails!

    As you yourself once observed for free speech and jesters everywhere…

    “The sacred gods of today are the cartoons of tomorrow.”

    10/1/18 - 11/1/18 | TPQ - Blaspheme In The Name Of The Unicorn

    So, ridicule has its place in political exchanges.

    As such I wonder if Barry’s ward nurse knows he is playing on her computer.

    Because if he is not nuts then he is just dishonest like Rachel Maddow.

  19. Eoghan - if you wish to insist on personally abusing Barry none of your future comments will feature here. If you do wish any comments to feature from here on in you are free to send us your full name and contact details. Once we verify, your comments will appear. It is our mechanism for protecting named authors against the bullying of monikers.

    1. Anthony, you talk a better free speech game than you play.

      You have my full name and contact information.

      Eoghan is not a moniker, it is my name, and you know this.

      You have even published my full name and what I do for a living in the U.S.

      And apparently you are now protecting Ted Black too.

      If you'd like we can carry on this conversation via email.

      Recall you also have my email address.

      You got it when we exchanged our business cards in Drogheda.

      And you have emailed me as I have you with suggested articles...

      For The Blanket and here until now.

      So what are you running scared of?

  20. Eoghan - all you have to do is reply to the email verifying that you got it and we will know it is the same guy who we have no problem with by the way. In fact we have a very good relationship.

  21. Eoghan - that is fine - as the email explained to you, we were not aware that the Eoghan was in fact the TPQ Eoghan who we have a long established relationship with. The problem was compounded by you not being able to post your comments for a while and getting me to do it for you using your full handle. As you have never had a desire to conceal your identity and work from behind a moniker, none of the above applies to you.

    We still don't want you dishing out personal abuse - but, hey, if you are up front as is Barry, then you can fight it out. Neither of you are children. But debate should be more about providing clarity than character assassination.

  22. I am sorry to interject but yer man whose name I dare not mention is permitted to label anybody and any group whatever his heart desires, for eg labelling the provisional IRA as "thuggish" is deeply offensive to some people and yet he is given a bye? Me thinks he likes to provoke but doesn't like it back at him. Cringeworthy stuff; I wish I was a brave as him by not 'hiding behind a moniker' and then some parity might be bestowed upon thee.

  23. Wolfe Tone,

    Ideas have no protection from offence. People can think whatever they want of the Provisional IRA regardless of who it offends. People should be protected from personal abuse. Barry G is entitled to offend any opinion he chooses. And people are free to offend any opinion of his. He should not be free to personally abuse people. There is no parity here between those with the courage to stand over their convictions and those who do not have it. Invisible people having invisible rights is a long established practice here. And it will continue.

  24. Anthony, glad we got that cleared up!

    And I generally agree that debate should be more about clarity than abuse.

    However, we should never give imperialists or their amen chorus an even break.

    Gore Vidal explains this in his classic magazine article he wrote in 1969:


  25. Eoghan - people often characterise others as imperialists so they can easier get away with calling them names. It is the abuse that attracts them not the politics of the other. The buzz put down today is "racist". People are labelled racist for merely expressing a concern or having an opinion that the great and the good do not approve.

    I rarely if ever follow links recommended in a comment. The read what I read and watch what I watch crowd use links to mould you in their image. But not being remotely like them is where I want to be, as far removed from the image they project as possible. But I took a quick glance at this one. It seems to me fine to call somebody a Nazi if their politics can be described as Nazi. In fact I think we can make the ethical argument that it is wrong if we avoid calling them Nazi if we believe they are Nazi.

    It is another matter to personally abuse the other person as a "bitch" - that strikes me as personal abuse. It gained you no advantage, in fact for me it lost whatever point you were trying to make as I no longer remember anything from the exchange other than the bitch comments. A while back Barry made a lot of points which I thought were wrong and easily enough refuted: yet he came out ahead in the discussion because rather than dismantle his argument his detractors took to calling him names.

    And we keep returning to the point which is a key tenet of this blog: ideas are so vitally important that their seriousness should not be undermined by failure to stand over them. Being by now an ageing veteran of these freedom of inquiry debates (my real interest in free speech) I know how little attention is paid to ideas that people do not stand over. And in order to promote the freedom of ideas we have to discourage the freedom to bully people out of expressing ideas. People in my view generally resort to bullying when the other idea is too strong for them and they lack the mind to attack it so fall back on muscle.

  26. Anthony,

    Generally speaking I think you’ve made some fair points here.

    But why too isn’t it fine to call somebody an Imperialist if their politics can be described as imperialist?

    And doesn’t it also follow that we can make the same ethical argument that it is wrong to avoid calling them imperialist if we believe they are imperialist?

    And don’t people often characterize others as Nazis so they can more easily get away with calling them names for merely expressing a concern or having an opinion?

    At what point does description become merely name calling?

    Because I didn’t call Barry a “bitch”.

    I called him a “prison bitch for empire”.

    It is a metaphor that I think aptly describes his call for Trump’s regime change in Venezuela.

    I find it shocking that supposedly educated people can go along with this criminal enterprise.

    i.e. Ted Black, Rachel Maddow and Barry Gilheany (all Ph.D.’s from British universities).

    How many piles of dead bodies does it take for them to reconsider their support?

    To the extent I lose people by the use of such metaphors is on me.

    That all said though I only follow links recommended in any comment if they look interesting.

    It’s how I found your website!

    I was referred to it by “the read what I read and watch what I watch crowd”.

    After all, aren’t we all in the moulding of opinion business?

  27. Eoghan,

    But why too isn’t it fine to call somebody an Imperialist if their politics can be described as imperialist?

    It is perfectly fine.

    And doesn’t it also follow that we can make the same ethical argument that it is wrong to avoid calling them imperialist if we believe they are imperialist?


    And don’t people often characterize others as Nazis so they can more easily get away with calling them names for merely expressing a concern or having an opinion?

    All too frequently.

    At what point does description become merely name calling?

    At the point where you did it.

    Because I didn’t call Barry a “bitch”.

    Do you remember Danny Morrison stating he had taken an offer into the hunger strikers only to deny saying he had taken an offer into the hunger strikers?

    I find it shocking that supposedly educated people can go along with this criminal enterprise.

    The Einsatzgruppen were led by highly educated people - one had a double doctorate and was known as Dr Dr. Education is no guarantee of immunity from pernicious ideas.

    To the extent I lose people by the use of such metaphors is on me.

    Which means you would rather score a point than make one.

    It’s how I found your website! I was referred to it by “the read what I read and watch what I watch crowd”.

    We get them occasionally - so it is no surprise we feature in their links. They told people we preached the gospel. That is how I came to know never to follow their links.

    In your defence, you never sought to call Barry names while hiding behind a moniker and I am sure he has been called worse. And there was never an issue of you being prohibited from calling him silly names giving that you were not hiding and were putting your own jaw out to be punched just as you wanted to punch his. But if you only succeed in persuading me that your real issue was an intolerance towards being disagreed with rather than the substance of the disagreement, then it was a pretty futile comment to make. Failed on all counts other than perhaps satisfying some need on your part to call him a name.

    And yes, we probably have all done it - but most of us realise later the inanity of it.

    But overall, no big deal. The real issue for us is whether the person has the courage of their convictions to stand over what they say. You obviously have. The rest is secondary.

  28. Anthony, for the most part, all fair points except you comparing me to Danny M.

    I never lied or denied here, I simply clarified or tried to.

    1. Eoghan - Barry would rather be compared with Morrison than with a prison bitch. You and I would not because we have a very different insight into what the man actually is.

      I was comparing the persuasiveness of your explanation with his not the man with the man in the hope that you might see the paucity (not the dishonesty) in your explanation.

      But yeah, it would cause us many sleepless nights were people to see a resemblance!!


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