Monthly Archives: January 2019

Maduro, Guaido, USA and the FANB: The Unspoken Power Broker of Venezuela Today

The Power Broker of Venezuela: The Mexican Transnational Trafficking Organisations (MTTOs)

The model presently being utilised in Venezuela by the US deep state is the Chilean 1973 model where you utilise street protests and all other measures to cripple the economy and then apply the coup de grace with a coup d’état of the armed forces. In Venezuela presently Maduro and his kleptocracy mafia and the Boligarchs have done everything in their power to loot and destroy the economy so there is simply nothing left to destroy. You have public transport buses without tyres and telephones in homes without copper cable connecting them to the exchanges. Whilst there is no opposition to Maduro you have oppositions perpetually fighting amongst themselves and never bothering to present to the electorate an alternative discourse to Maduro’s for they have none. They have long walked away from elections because of their public displays of crab in a barrel syndrome choosing instead to call on America to solve their problem for them thereby ignoring the electorate and the constitution. There is only one common aim that binds all the disparate oppositions together and that is seizure of power through a US made coup and immediately set about the task of re-creating the power of the blanco oligarchy of the Punto Fijo politics of Venezuela crippled by Chavez and his politics. They then intend to write on the present political landscape of Venezuela a return to racist apartheid rooted in austere neo-liberal neo-colonial capitalism thereby marking all the living products of the Chavez Experiment with literal, physical death. Guaido is just a face, an Afro-Mestizo face deliberately chosen as the mask for the blanco oligarchy and their US overlords calling the shots. The fact that that face had to be chosen for this political action at this time illustrates the power of Chavez today in spite of his death.

Maduro and his cohorts have since Chavez’s death potently signalled that they are willing and capable of dismantling the Chavez platform replacing it with crony neo-liberal state kleptocracy capitalism to the benefit of the Boligarchs and the detriment of the masses. There is then no fundamental difference between Maduroismo and anti-Chavismo on the ground in the daily management of the Venezuelan state, the structure of the social order and the power relations between the masses and the State. Under Maduroismo, Chavismo is now a memory and no one in the oppositions has publicly articulated the plan to dismantle Chavismo that matches the record of Maduroismo in erasing Chavismo on the ground in Venezuela. Why then in the face of a blatant incompetent oppositions who can only generate a civil war in Venezuela the US political elite refuses to make the deal that Maduroismo has worked so hard to attain?  Explaining this refusal of the US swamp is like explaining the sustainable hyperinflation in Venezuela that baffles wester neo-liberal economic theorising to this day. They simply don’t have the mental furniture to see the deal and make the deal for all they can see is the expression of US power regardless of the blowback on the US thereafter. You call it white supremacist absolutism.

The Afro-Mestizo Guaido has no option but to call and work for the FANB seizing power by a coup making promises he hopes will be backed up by the US as he apparently does not read US history of its imperial interventions. Maduroismo has no choice but to call for and to make promises to avert a coup but with the track record of Maduroismo in keeping promises such as the pernil and the ham for Christmas 2018, the living wage, medicines and electricity it is obvious that Guaido and Maduroismo are in fact the expression of a political reality in Venezuela where they are supposedly mortal political enemies but all with the same identity: corrupt, vassals to the west, anti-masses, elitist and most importantly vassals of the Mexican Transnational Trafficking Organisations (MTTOS). Which means that whatever the outcome in the war of the clones the MTTOs win and are in charge.

In February 2004 the MTTOs through their Colombian and Haitian affiliates executed the overthrow of the presidency of Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti using the instrument of a drug funded and manned militia headed by their minions in Haiti. In the aftermath of this political action in 2004 to 2019 every single aspect of Haitian life has been criminalised making the most potent criminal state in the Caribbean basin today. One indicator of this reality is the growing power Haitian organised crime is exerting on the ground in the Dominican Republic as no longer are Haitians vassals of Dominican organised crime groups. In the DR, Haitian organised crime controls the ganja trade such is their power today which flows from the post 2004 reality. Presently Venezuelan trafficking is dominated by the MTTOs and their affiliates and deep links exist between the politicians, state officials, the oligarchs, the Guardia Nacional and the FANB. Guaido has to literally seek the permission of the MTTOs to literally persuade the FANB to do the coup on Maduroismo. Will the US deep state be part of these negotiations? Maduroismo already dancing with the MTTOs must stave off this bid by deepening the ties with the MTTOs and tackling the issues that are hindrances to effective trafficking as: greedy officials, an unreliable supply of quality fuel and the degradation of the infrastructure necessary to effective trafficking. Whoever captures the state is then the captive of the Washington swamp and the MTTOs but Washington is absent of the ground whilst the MTTOs and their affiliates are on the ground and constitute daily reality for hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans as was the case with Haiti. In the aftermath of any action, coup, counter coup and civil war the MTTOs will criminalise the daily life of Venezuelans first of the urban ranchos which will form the basis of the destabilisation of the neighbours of Venezuela and the Caribbean island chain bringing the blowback to the soft under belly of the US.

The signs of the process of the bid to exert power over spaces towards hegemony and criminalisation is already apparent in the ranchos of west Caracas as Petare and Catia. In the swath of ranchos across the hills of wester Caracas where the armed gangs who have been engaged in a protracted battle with Maduroismo’s instruments of power as FAES for control of these ranchos are now utilising political protest as the new means to seize control of these spaces. The media of both sides of the same coin simply cannot see nor admit that the gang protests are a battle for gang control of space towards the criminalisation of this space. The gangs intend to be the power brokers of these spaces where either side of the supposed political divide will have to dance with them if they intend to wield state power.  There are also indications that the process is well advanced in the Venezuelan states that border with Colombia where the criminalisation of spaces now impacts electoral and other political behaviour. The Zulia, Táchira and Barinas model is now being applied to Caracas. The clone wars will then accelerate the process for the transformation of Venezuela into a clone of the Mexican model sitting on the north shore of the Caribbean basin with T&T just across a very small pond and the island chain so very close. Recognizing Guaido or Maduro is simply childish propaganda attempting to mask the complexity of a geo-political reality that cannot be reduced to slogans which has the explosive capacity to make our lives in this region even more violently difficult. I wonder what deal the art of the deal would make outside of the swamp?

Learn the Lesson from the US Trial of El Chapo Guzman

The Potent, Primary Lesson for the Caribbean from the Trial of El Chapo Guzman

In the trial of El Chapo Guzman presently ongoing in the Federal Court of Brooklyn, New York, USA the US Department of Justice (DoJ) produced Chupeta who testified against El Chapo. Chupeta was the face of the El Valle Norte Cartel that dominated the Colombian cocaine trade from the decade of the 1990s to the first decade of the 21st century following the collapse of the Medellin Federation and the Rodriguez Orejuela organisation. The Valle Norte Cartel brought a new business model to the cocaine trade 180 degrees distinctly different and apart from the model of Pablo and the Orejuela brothers as they were willing to sell kilo bricks to persons for cash at the wholesale level leaving the trafficking task to the purchaser or passing them on to trafficking outfits the cartel controlled where they were paid in cash or kind to traffic the kilos bricks to the US and Europe. Chupeta and his new business model unleashed a tsunami of cocaine trafficking in the decade of the 1990s that changed trafficking in Mexico and the Caribbean Basin. In the Caribbean island chain from the decade of the 1990s Chupeta’s business model gave birth to the super rich traffickers of the Caribbean who are citizens of Caribbean island states, live in the Caribbean and now dominate the oligarchies of these Caribbean island states. In 2007 the US got its hands on Chupeta and he has been locked away from the public gaze for 12 years until he appeared in the Federal Courtroom in Brooklyn to put down the wuk on El Chapo one of the oligarchs he created who then took it upon himself to use his allies in the Mexican state to make him the Don of Mexico and see where it got him. Chupeta has the goods on the Caribbean oligarchs and he can do the same job on them that he did to El Chapo. All it takes is the will of the US deep state to make a deal with Chupeta in return for his testimony to the grand jury and in the trial. I wonder if they haven’t already made the deal with Chupeta? Then the extradition warrants arrive for 2 or 3 traffickers from a Caribbean island nation targeted by the deep state for various reasons which all circulate around the projection of US power to protect US interests. This has to be a calculated move for such extradition requests will destroy the legitimacy of the state especially its political order already in tatters for the legitimacy so long questioned by the poor masses of the decent and respectable elite will be destroyed. But deep state actors have in the past warned of the blow that is about to be delivered and the potential expanse of its kill zone in order to enable face saving compliance or servility with plausible denial. There is no reason to think that such a tactic will not be deployed. What must be noted in the terrain of this operational action is the possibility of strategic action in this threat horizon by the Mexican Transnational Trafficking Organisations (MTTOs). The MTTOs have discarded the Chupeta model by laying down an intensely policed and disciplined Pablo model under which there is no need for the Caribbean oligarchic traffickers. The MTTOs have a policy of dropping dimes on traffickers they intend to get rid of to the US agencies, as exemplified by what happened and is happening in Guatemala and Honduras. Maybe at this juncture dimes will begin dropping as this is a very cost effective way to purge an illicit order that is now marked for extinction/death. Only time will tell.


Murder in Trinidad and Tobago 2018-pushing the Bolsonaro effect

Murder in T&T 2018-what the statistics illustrate and do not illustrate

According to the statistics published in the daily printed media from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) there were 516 murders in 2018 some 21 more than in 2017 (495). The murder toll for 2018 is the second highest murder toll ever with 2008 at No.1 with 550 murders. When the monthly murder toll for 2017 and 2018 is compared it is apparent that the flow of killing in 2018 was different to that of 2017 on a monthly basis.

The changed nature of the monthly murder toll for 2018 is revealed by examining the top five murdering months of 2017 and 2018 respectively. In 2017 the top five months were: January, 52 murders, May, 49 murders, December, 49 murders, September, 48 murders and August, 43 murders for a total of 241 murders (48.68% of total murders in 2017). In 2018 the top five months were: January, 60 murders, May, 60 murders, November, 47 murders, July, 46 murders and June, 44 murders for a total of 257 murders (49.80% of total murders in 2018). The murder toll of the top five months of 2018 exceeded that of 2017 by 16 murders whilst the grand total of murders for 2018 over that of 2017 was 21 murders. When the top five months of 2017-18 are compared a change in the flow of killings in 2018 is clearly apparent where January and May remained the top two murder months (No. 1 and No.2 respectively) with the number of murders in 2018 in both months increasing appreciably in 2018. The third, fourth and fifth place months in 2018 all changed in 2018 compared to 2017 which potently illustrates the change in the terrain of crime in T&T in 2018 which generated the murder toll. In 2017 the third, fourth and fifth placed months were: December, 49 murders, September, 48 murders and August 43, murders for a total of 140 murders. In 2018 the third, fourth and fifth placed months were: November 47, July, 46 and June, 44 for a total of 137 murders or three murders less than 2017 which indicates the decline after August 2018. In 2017 after January and May the killing period ran roughly from August to December but in 2018 after the surge in killings in January and May the next phase was in June and July and then a spike in November which indicates that after the June to July surge the trend was now downwards until the surge in November and the decline thereafter which was not of the required volume to surpass the peak of 2017 in the period August to December. In the aftermath of the second wave of killings in June 2018 to July 2018 the trend was again in decline until the surge of November 2018 which disturbed the trend of decline. In spite of the fact that the new Commissioner of Police appointed in August 2018 inherited a murder trend of decline compared to 2017 there was a surge in November 2018 (47 in 2018 to 35 in 2017) under his watch which eclipsed the 2017 November total by 12 murders. A comparison of the top five murder months of 2018 with the murder toll of each of these month in 2017 potently illustrates the changed trend in 2018 compared to 2017 as follows: January 2018, 60 murders and January 2017, 52 murders, May 2018, 60 murders and May 2017, 49 murders, November 2018, 47 murders and November 2017, 35 murders, July 2018, 46 murders and July 2017, 30 murders and June 2018, 44 murders with June 2017, 33 murders. The obverse picture of the top five murdering months of 2017 compared to the murder toll for each month in 2018 is as follows: January 2017, 52 murders and January 2018, 60 murders, May 2017, 49 murders and May 2018, 60 murders, December 2017, 49 murders and December 2018, 34 murders, September 2017, 48 murders and September 2018, 37 murders and August 2017, 43 murders with August 2018, 41 murders. In 2018 the murder toll of January and May set the tone for the increase on a year to year basis but by August the escalating trend was now winding down appreciably until the trend exploded in November 2018 and then quickened its decline in December 2018. In 2017 after January and May there were peaks in September and December with the momentum increasing appreciably in August 2017.

This illustrates the reality that the terrain of crime set the tempo of killings in T&T in spite of who was the Commissioner of Police for the spike of November 2018 was on the watch of the newly appointed Commissioner of Police which appeared during a trend of decline that commenced in August 2018. To present the murder statistics aggregated on the basis of quarters of the year hides the spike of November 2018 in the overall trend of decline seen in September, October, December and August thereby generating faulty analysis for answers must be forth coming for this November 2018 surge in the midst of a trend of decline which falsifies the position articulated publicly that this was the product of the new leadership of the TTPS since August 2018. Clearly, the murder toll in 2018 was driven by realities in the terrain and landscape of crime not by the policies of the leader of the TTPS where the TTPS was in fact a passive responder to this crime reality not a pre-emptive agent of change.

For 2019 the questions are then legion. Will the months of January and May continue to be No.1 and No. 2 murder months of T&T? Will the third, fourth and fifth place murder months continue to be the new model of 2018, revert to that of 2017 or a whole new model of murdering months will emerge? What is clear is if the TTPS intends to impact the terrain/landscape of crime that is driving the murder toll per month it will have to rapidly move from search and seizure to dismantling organised crime groups in T&T which it presently has no track record of successfully doing on a sustainable basis. You search and seize the ganja in North Valsayn and Westmoorings but the organised crime group was not dismantled and is still in business simply a game of backs and forwards. This reality is perfectly illustrated by the movement of retail ganja prices for imported Kush in 2018. In the midst of the killing run from January to July the price of Kush was escalating eventually crossing 600 TTD per ounce in the period. But from August and thereafter when we had those “huge” ganja busts the retail prices started falling where in December Kush was now selling for 400 TTD per ounce. Seizures made then no difference to the supply side of the market in a market where demand outstrips supply by a factor of 3 to 1 conservatively as retail prices fell dramatically which indicates that the trafficking pipelines are pumping ganja into T&T and can afford the “spectacular busts” made. In other words, ganja like dirt to burn. Transnational organised crime has sent a most potent message with the appreciable drop in the price of Kush which is simply: “We run things.” We await the reply from the Commissioner of Police in 2019 on the ground! The public relations campaign of the Commissioner has provided a stark lesson for T&T as to the existence of a hierarchy of criminal action where those who simply don’t have the wherewithal to counter the surveillance assets of the State are grabbed with great fanfare and much press play but when faced with the apex criminals well trained, disciplined and capable of unleashing countervailing measures to blunt the surveillance assets of the State you simply stay away from these cases, far, far away and have others face the music. This strategy has plainly indicated to all of us the existence and potency of this criminal hierarchy in T&T which begs the question of what happens if a member of your family and/or you is/are grabbed by these apex criminals? Let the Bolsonaro effect release you from the clutches of this apex crew.

January 4, 2019