5 Reasons NOT to buy US real estate

http://nomadcapitalist.com/2014/04/01/five-reasons-buy-us-real-estate/

Five reasons not to buy US real estate
by Andrew Henderson | Apr 1, 2014 |

The future of US real estate investments?
Dateline: Tallinn, Estonia

I frequently talk about my five magic words for enhancing your freedom and prosperity: “go where you’re treated best”.
This is based around my idea that no one place is perfect for everything. For instance, the country with the world’s safest banks… but that charges you $80,000 to register your car if you dare live there.
In my mind, the US real estate market has been propped up by a bunch of people who don’t follow that rule. How many Americans do you see buying foreign real estate? The insular nature of American culture means that, unlike wealthy Russians or Chinese who gobble up overseas properties at lightning speed, few Americans look beyond their own borders for opportunities.
Worse, the US government’s fascination with thrusting homeownership on the public – complete with unsustainable tax deductions that makes every homeowner a crony capitalist – distorts the marketplace.
Back in 2005, I was just starting my business in the broadcast infomercial industry. I was living in Phoenix, Arizona at the time and real estate was hot as a pistol. People were camping out in front of new developments to pay insane prices for plots of land with little cookie cutter homes on the edges of the desert.
For me, this was good business. The real estate industry in California, Arizona and beyond was spending money like water. Everyone with a pulse wanted to produce radio infomercials for ego and profit. But as much as I enjoyed the success, I knew one thing: buying some tract house at an inflated price was a recipe for disaster.
Back then, my clients were shouting at radio listeners that “mortgage rates would never get any lower!” The idea that you could finance a house for 6% interest was unheard of at the time, and every bartender-turned-mortgage guru was making sure you knew all about it.
Of course, they were merely salesmen, not economic prognosticators. I later purchased a house not only at a fire sale price, but a 3.75% interest rates.

The point of this is simple: I benefitted from the mortgage frenzy in a way that benefitted me, without having to deal with the bad parts (such as buying a home that would plummet in value).
When I decided to travel full-time rather than just six months a year, I made the long-term decision to sell that house. And when the real estate agent told me I would earn a 60% return on a short-term holding, I knew something was wrong.
Yes, my conscious decision to wait until the bottom fell out of an obviously exuberant market paid off handsomely. But it paid off handsomely in large part because prices got so low that every hedge fund was buying up properties to rent out, drive up prices, and eventually dump. I believe that the nice price drops are well on their way in places like Arizona as cash buyers exit the market.
Five reasons not to buy US real estate
All of this got me to thinking about all of the reasons not to buy US real estate. I came up with five reasons not to buy, and I’m open to your comments below.
Poor rental yields
The average gross rental yield in the United States is a measly 4.2%, narrowly beating yields in Canada. Of course, Americans and even some foreign investors can get mortgages with as little as 10-20% down, making leveraged yields higher. Of course, the amount of leverage in the US real estate market is a large part of the problem.
Anyone with $25,000 lying around can become a landlord, often having no clue what’s involved. When he or she realizes they should actually have a few bucks stashed away to fix a leaking roof, they could lose the property and effect the entire market.
I saw this firsthand during my regrettable seven months living in California, where a guy earning $80,000 a year (in Los Angeles, mind you) not only had a highly-leveraged primary residence valued at $1 million, but owned four new construction condos in the suburbs that he paid $400,000 each for.
I can’t say I was surprised when I started getting foreclosure notices in my mailbox one day.
If you have no money and want to gamble in the US real estate market, go ahead. What do you have to lose when not putting up your own money? If you actually have some money, though, you shouldn’t settle for a 4.2% yield – nor the likely possibility that your fellow investors will crash the market.
Many of the places I’ve been in Asia offer yields of 8-9%. In Nicaragua, I saw a few properties with gross yields as high as 13%! (That’s why I’m offering anyone who joins The Nomad Society this month gets a free ticket to a three-day investment tour in Nicaragua.)
As a lifelong investor, I understand the power of leverage. However, the fundamentals of the US market are weak and don’t allow for much growth without leverage. This forces a bunch of ill-advised investors into the market who may ultimately increase your yield merely by causing the value of your property to plummet.
If you don’t have a lot of money to invest, there are plenty of properties in frontier markets like Cambodia for around $30,000 – the same as an investor’s down payment on a starter home. And because fast-growing markets like that actually have fundamentals for their price increases, you can actually do fix-and-flips that are based on real value, not bubbles.
Speaking of fundamentals..
The US real estate market has weak fundamentals.
What will drive US real estate going forward? One of the world’s lowest birth rates? The country’s declining status as a “wealthy” country? Most Americans would be surprised to learn that Singapore, not their homeland, is the richest country on earth. Next up: Luxembourg, Qatar, and Liechtenstein.
Americans who understand how bankrupt the western world is likely wouldn’t want to invest in Italy. The average salary in Italy is only about 18,000 euros. However, salaries in the United States are declining, as well.
On top of that, while there is a trend on “onshore” some jobs back from places like the Philippines, I believe further anti-business government policy will cause a long-term elimination of jobs due to further offshoring, companies moving their operations overseas, and technology replacing positions.
If real wages are decreasing, who will buy your real estate for a future appreciation gain, or rent it for a good rental yield?
Very little growth in the US is truly organic. It’s all on paper. In Southeast Asia, growth is very simple. People are getting better educations and higher paying jobs as their countries experience more entrepreneurship, more tourism, and more of other things that allow wealth in the country to increase.
The US, on the other hand, has just about hit a brick wall. Compare the number of people getting MBAs who would have dropped out of high school thirty years ago to sell gum on the street. In the US, the number is very low. In Cambodia, it’s very high. That is good for emerging markets real estate, but not so good for US real estate.
On top of that, governments can vote to keep investors out on a dime. Canada recently torched its Immigrant Investor Program, which attracted thousands of Chinese millionaires to buy high-end real estate in Toronto and Vancouver. Now that the government cancelled the program, real estate experts in Canada are bracing for the worst.
A single act of jingoism could send the value of your real estate tumbling.
Governments can (selectively) increase taxes on a dime.
Sure, this is true of any jurisdiction. It’s the same reason I wouldn’t be in a rush to buy real estate in Spain even with their offer of second residency.
But among “gotcha” tax jurisdictions, The Land of the Free must take the cake. This is a country whose President claimed his Obamacare wasn’t a tax… only for the Supreme Court to later rule it was to avoid having it overturned. The US government is the master of playing both sides of the coin.
Let’s say you’re doing well and you buy a nice home in the US. Your local or state government, which is likely drowning in red ink from decades of fiscal imprudence, realizes it needs more revenue and decides to append a “luxury property” assessment to your home. After all, you’re not living in a trailer park with the 99%, so you ought to be the one to bear the burden, you greedy fat cat.
While there are laws in states like California that purport to cap property taxes, there’s nothing stop almost any government from imposing “special fees” or something similar to wring more money out of you. In jurisdictions with no caps on property taxes, governments can simply raise rates. If you think they won’t, remember that “it’s for the children” is the easiest way to get voters to approve a new tax on you, and property taxes are part of what funds schools.
American voters will gladly raise your cost of property ownership in two seconds.
If you’re buying US real estate as an investment, you could be equally vulnerable. In a country where success is demonized and the rich are viewed as being deserving of punishment, it’s not inconceivable that local governments could impose special taxes on rental property. After all, owning a house you live in is one thing. Renting it is another.
The US government has proposed taxes and fees on investors from Wall Street to Main Street, and they’d be all too happy to curb your already mediocre rental yields by making you pay for their fiscal waste.
US real estate is denominated in US dollars.
An obvious but an important point. As the value of the US dollar declines and countries like Russia seek to wean themselves off of the global reserve currency, the global value of your real estate assets in the United States will decline. Sure, you’ll be able to buy locally made products (how ironic, right?), but imports will cost a fortune.
Remember what happened when Iceland’s economy totally collapsed several years ago? It cost a fortune just to go to McDonald’s. I suppose some American investors don’t ever intend to leave the United States to begin with, lessening the blow of a US dollar collapse on their lifestyle, but everyone will feel the pain.
Courts can seize US real estate, even if it’s held in an offshore trust.
We talk here about the benefits of using an offshore trust to protect your assets, not only from creditors and angry ex-spouses, but from future government confiscation. However, the entire point of an offshore trust is to be offshore.
If the government where an asset is located wants that asset badly enough, it will get it. Governments have repeatedly shown they don’t respect even their own rule of law.
One recent example of this involves infomercial king Kevin Trudeau, who is currently serving a ten-year sentence for “contempt of court”. While Kevin rented his primary residence in Chicago to avoid asset confiscation by a government that was constantly at odds with him, he did own a property in California through an Isle of Man corporation.
When the government imposed a $37 million fine on him, it eventually got around to forcing the sale of the house. Had it not been encumbered by a mortgage, the government would have sold it and pocketed all of the profits. That’s because some nut job on a California court could easily circumvent any provision of an offshore trust he likes. It may not be “legal” according to the laws of the trust, but what does a bankrupt nation care about other countries’ laws?
After all, the United States has been busy enforcing FATCA on as many other countries as possible, forcing banks in other countries to PAY for the privilege of tattling on Americans who bank with them. The United States doesn’t respect other countries’ laws, and if they ever claim you owe them money, no amount of asset protection will save you from the wrong court.
Of course, some of these reasons to avoid real estate investments in the US could be applying to other bankrupt western countries that have a kleptomaniac streak. When it comes to investing in real estate, “go where you’re treated best”.
http://nomadcapitalist.com/2014/04/01/five-reasons-buy-us-real-estate/

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Question EVERYTHING!!!

Question Everything
By Jeff Thomas

From Internationalman.com

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The average person in the First World receives more information than he would if he lived in a Second or Third World country. In many countries of the world, the very idea of twenty-four hour television news coverage would be unthinkable, yet many Westerners feel that, without this constant input, they would be woefully uninformed.

Not surprising, then, that the average First Worlder feels that he understands current events better than those elsewhere in the world. But, as in other things, quality and quantity are not the same.

The average news programme features a commentator who provides “the news,” or at least that portion of events that the network deems worthy to be presented. In addition, it is presented from the political slant of the controllers of the network. But we are reassured that the reporting is “balanced,” in a portion of the programme that features a panel of “experts.”

Customarily, the panel consists of the moderator plus two pundits who share his political slant and a pundit who has an opposing slant. All are paid by the network for their contributions. The moderator will ask a question on a current issue, and an argument will ensue for a few minutes. Generally, no real conclusion is reached—neither side accedes to the other. The moderator then moves on to another question.

So, the network has aired the issues of the day, and we have received a balanced view that may inform our own opinions.

Or have we?

Shortcomings
In actual fact, there are significant shortcomings in this type of presentation:

The scope of coverage is extremely narrow. Only select facets of each issue are discussed.
Generally, the discussion reveals precious little actual insight and, in fact, only the standard opposing liberal and conservative positions are discussed, implying that the viewer must choose one or the other to adopt as his own opinion.
On a programme that is liberally-oriented, the one conservative pundit on the panel is made to look foolish by the three liberal pundits, ensuring that the liberal viewer’s beliefs are reaffirmed. (The reverse is true on a conservative news programme.)
Each issue facet that is addressed is repeated many times in the course of the day, then extended for as many days, weeks, or months as the issue remains current. The “message,” therefore, is repeated virtually as often as an advert for a brand of laundry powder.
So, what is the net effect of such news reportage? Has the viewer become well-informed?

In actual fact, not at all. What he has become is well-indoctrinated.

A liberal will be inclined to regularly watch a liberal news channel, which will result in the continual reaffirmation of his liberal views. A conservative will, in turn, regularly watch a conservative news channel, which will result in the continual reaffirmation of his conservative views.

Many viewers will agree that this is so, yet not recognise that, essentially, they are being programmed to simply absorb information. Along the way, their inclination to actually question and think for themselves is being eroded.

Alternate Possibilities
The proof of this is that those who have been programmed, tend to react with anger when they encounter a Nigel Farage or a Ron Paul, who might well challenge them to consider a third option—an interpretation beyond the narrow conservative and liberal views of events. In truth, on any issue, there exists a wide field of alternate possibilities.

By contrast, it is not uncommon for people outside the First World to have better instincts when encountering a news item. If they do not receive the BBC, Fox News, or CNN, they are likely, when learning of a political event, to think through, on their own, what the event means to them.

As they are not pre-programmed to follow one narrow line of reasoning or another, they are open to a broad range of possibilities. Each individual, based upon his personal experience, is likely to draw a different conclusion and, thorough discourse with others, is likely to continue to update his opinion each time he receives a new viewpoint.

As a result, it is not uncommon for those who are not “plugged-in” to be not only more open-minded, but more imaginative in their considerations, even when they are less educated and less “informed” than those in the First World.

Whilst those who do not receive the regular barrage that is the norm in the First World are no more intelligent than their European or American counterparts, their views are more often the result of personal objective reasoning and common sense and are often more insightful.

Those in First World countries often point with pride at the advanced technology that allows them a greater volume of news than the rest of the world customarily receives.

Further, they are likely to take pride in their belief that the two opposing views that are presented indicate that they live in a “free” country, where dissent is encouraged.

Unfortunately, what is encouraged is one of two views—either the liberal view or the conservative view. Other views are discouraged.

The liberal view espouses that a powerful liberal government is necessary to control the greed of capitalists, taxing and regulating them as much as possible to limit their ability to victimise the poorer classes.

The conservative view espouses that a powerful conservative government is needed to control the liberals, who threaten to create chaos and moral collapse through such efforts as gay rights, legalised abortion, etc.

What these two dogmatic concepts have in common is that a powerful government is needed.

Each group, therefore, seeks the increase in the power of its group of legislators to overpower the opposing group. This ensures that, regardless of whether the present government is dominated by liberals of conservatives, the one certainty will be that the government will be powerful.

When seen in this light, if the television viewer were to click the remote back and forth regularly from the liberal channel to the conservative channel, he would begin to see a strong similarity between the two.

It’s easy for any viewer to question the opposition group, to consider them disingenuous—the bearers of false information. It is far more difficult to question the pundits who are on our own “team,” to ask ourselves if they, also, are disingenuous.

This is especially difficult when it’s three to one—when three commentators share our political view and all say the same thing to the odd-man-out on the panel. In such a situation, the hardest task is to question our own team, who are clearly succeeding at beating down the odd-man-out.

Evolution of Indoctrination
In bygone eras, the kings of old would tell their minions what to believe and the minions would then either accept or reject the information received. They would rely on their own experience and reasoning powers to inform them.

Later, a better method evolved: the use of media to indoctrinate the populace with government-generated propaganda (think: Josef Goebbels or Uncle Joe Stalin).

Today, a far more effective method exists—one that retains the repetition of the latter method but helps to eliminate the open-ended field of alternate points of view. It does so by providing a choice between “View A” and “View B.”

In a democracy, there is always an “A” and a “B.” This illusion of choice is infinitely more effective in helping the populace to believe that they have been able to choose their leaders and their points of view.

In the modern method, when voting, regardless of what choice the individual makes, he is voting for an all-powerful government. (Whether it calls itself a conservative one or a liberal one is incidental.)

Likewise, through the modern media, when the viewer absorbs what is presented as discourse, regardless of whether he chooses View A or View B, he is endorsing an all-powerful government.

Two Solutions
One solution to avoid being brainwashed by the dogmatic messaging of the media is to simply avoid watching the news. But this is difficult to do, as our associates and neighbours are watching it every day and will want to discuss with us what they have been taught.

The other choice is to question everything.

To consider that the event that is being discussed may not only be being falsely reported, but that the message being provided by the pundits may be consciously planned for our consumption.

This is difficult to do at first but can eventually become habit. If so, the likelihood of being led down the garden path by the powers-that-be may be greatly diminished. In truth, on any issue, there exists a wide field of alternate possibilities.

Developing your own view may, in the coming years, be vital to your well-being.

 

Has America gone over to the collectivists completely?

What follows is a recent article by Nick Giambruno, one of the excellent writers over at internationalman.com. I suggest that you subscribe to their excellent updates and learn about internationalization, asset and privacy protection, and how to enjoy what freedom remains in the world. It’s time to start thinking here, people. Can you really stomach what is happening to the land of your birth? Is it time to ask yourself if staying in the US is the intelligent thing to do?

 


 

 

You’d Have Better Luck Converting Them to Become Jehovah’s Witnesses

By Nick Giambruno

internationalman.com

 

I’d bet that many of you have thought about or discussed the following question: “What are the chances that the political situation might improve in the US?”

I know I have.

Unfortunately, I have long concluded that the chances are slim to none… and slim is out of town.

The reason for this is simple: a growing majority of voters in the US has deeply ingrained collectivist impulses in some fashion or another. In other words, they’re addicted to the heroin of the failed policies of the welfare, warfare, and nanny state.

Speaking of the nanny state, New York City is perhaps one of the most infamous incarnations of it. The bureaucrats in the Big Apple have a particularly strong affinity for regulating every aspect of the personal lives and businesses of its residents. It’s all done “for your own good,” of course—the standard catch-all justification for big government.

The latest example of which is Mayor Bill de Blasio’s absolutely ridiculous “Vision Zero” plan. This plan seeks to reduce traffic deaths to zero by drastically increasing police enforcement.

It’s delusional to think that fatal accidents could ever be fully eliminated, no matter how many police officers or enforcement cameras there are on the streets. It’s not unlike trying to totally eliminate bathtub falls by putting a police officer or a camera in every bathroom.

Jaywalkers in particular have been singled out for extra attention by the police in “Vision Zero.”

Consider the story of Kang Wong, an 84-year-old man who was recently stopped for jaywalking near Broadway and 96th Street at around 5 in the evening. Wong, who apparently didn’t understand what was happening or why he was being stopped, tried to walk away from the police. The situation escalated, and the police ended up arresting and bloodying him.

Few New Yorkers question why the money extracted from them via taxation—to pay for the police—didn’t instead go towards dealing with real crimes (aggressions against people and property). Nor did many question the disturbing absurdity of the bloodying of an 84-year-old man spurred by the increased enforcement of jaywalking in the name of the “Vision Zero” fantasy.

This whole ordeal underscores why I’m not particularly optimistic that a significant number of Americans will change their views on collectivism and personal freedom anytime soon.

Many have been force-fed since a young age the notion that democracy is the most sublime form of government. I believe the reality, however, is quite different—especially once a society loses respect for the rights of individual. In other words, when the majority or the collective trumps all.

Then it only takes 51% of the people to agree to restrict the rights of the rest of the 49%—which amounts to nothing more than mob rule dressed up in a suit and tie.

If 51% of the people vote to elect a guy who wants to turn their city into a police state in pursuit of the delusion of totally eliminating traffic deaths, they can. (Note: NYC mayor Bill de Blasio won in a landslide, with 73% of the vote.)

If 51% of the people vote to elect a guy who wants, in the name of the greater good, to force you to buy health insurance you don’t need or want, they can.

If 51% of the people deem it “fair” that the top income tax bracket to be 75%, then so be it. It’s already happened in France.

Or suppose that gold explodes to the upside (another way of saying the currency crashes) and 51% of the people demand, in the name of fairness, a precious metals windfall profits tax.

These are the kinds of possibilities that can occur in a democratic society with collectivist leanings.

It brings to mind the words of H.L. Mencken: “Democracy, too, is a religion. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses.”

Granted, the US has not arrived at some of these destinations yet… though I believe we are on the path toward it—and there’s no turning back.

The reason is simple: a growing majority of Americans are financially dependent on the government.

It’s estimated that around 47% of Americans are already receiving government benefits in some way.

But I believe 47% is not an accurate reflection of the situation.

We also need to consider all government employees as well as those in the nominally private sector who make a living off of the warfare state—like defense and other government contractors who win huge no-bid contracts.

Those involved in the military industrial complex are living off slops at the government trough just as much, if not more than those who collect food stamps and other traditional forms of welfare. Yet they aren’t counted in the statistics. So we need to include them to get a more complete picture of who is financially dependent on the government.

Anyone who exists off of political dollars instead of free-market dollars should be counted.

When these people are included, we’re well north of 50% of the American population (a solid majority and growing) that’s financially dependent on the government in some form.

This means the US has crossed the Rubicon.

It’s not good news for those opposed to collectivism.

This built-in majority of welfare recipients and government employees guarantees that there will be a solid voting block to continue—and accelerate—these policies. It would be foolish to assume that a meaningful number of these people would vote to stop the government from giving them benefits or otherwise vote to break their own rice bowls.

The notion that a significant number of people living off of government largesse will be brought around to an individualist or libertarian way of thinking is a pipe dream.

You’d have better luck converting them to become Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In other words, there is no hope for positive change to come from the political system.

Therefore, I believe your time and energy are best spent preparing for and protecting yourself from the effects of a collectivist system that eventually collapses under its own weight… like all of them eventually do.

Once you’ve realized that it is futile to stop this collectivist tsunami, the next logical question becomes “How do I protect myself and my savings?”

The answer is: the same way you would with a regular tsunami… get out of the way!

The good news is that thanks to internationalization, you don’t have to be a passive victim.

Moving some of your savings abroad in the form of offshore bank and brokerage accounts, foreign real estate, and physical gold held in safe jurisdictions, will go a long way toward protecting yourself. Obtaining a second passport is an important part of the mix as well.

It’s not all doom and gloom; the world is your oyster, and there are very attractive jurisdictions that are cause for optimism. And that’s what International Man is all about—making the most of your personal freedom and financial opportunity around the world.

If you are not already a member, you can click here to join here for free to get all the latest news and information about internationalization. You’ll also get access to other stuff like our very popular free special reports. Be sure to pass this on to your friends and family so they have access to this crucial information too.

IRS creating new tax LOLs for BTC

Simon Black reports IRS dreaming up new ways to tax BTC holders. On the one hand, the government denies BTC is a currency. On the other, they are trying to tax them. Not that any of us are suprised that the government is greedy or hypocritical.

 

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Latest “Report from the Field” by Simon Black

I highly recommend Simon’s “crash course” and, if you are serious about protecting your assets and freedom, subscribe to his services.

 

http://www.sovereignman.com/

March 26, 2014
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

Well the IRS has certainly had a busy week.

1) Yesterday, the service released brand new rules pertaining to the taxation of Bitcoin. 

And particularly for anyone who was an early adopter of the digital currency, the new tax rules are a major blow.

In short, the Treasury Department has chosen to tax Bitcoin as ‘property’ rather than as a currency. 

This means that all those ‘Bitcoin millionaires’ out there who traded the Bitcoins they purchased for $0.01 for a shiny new Maserati will actually owe beaucoup bucks in back taxes.

More importantly, though, I think these rules set a rather dangerous precedent for gold.

You can see what I’m talking about here.

2) Last week, the Criminal Investigative Division of the IRS released its annual report, highlighting all sorts of lovely statistics about how many people they put behind bars.

To be fair, there are definitely some lowlifes out there. Corrupt Congressmen and thieving banksters were all nailed to the wall by the CID last year. 

Unfortunately they only get it right about half the time, according to their own statistics. 

And the report shows a rather disturbing trend– they ‘seized’ 1.7 million gigabytes of data last year from individuals under investigation, more than double the volume of data seized in 2012.

But since almost half of these people are innocent, you can just imagine how much these investigation turn people’s lives upside down.

The CID report is a perfect example of the ‘multiple flags’ strategy that I advocate. 

If you use a cloud service like Google Drive or Dropbox, for example, you are making it incredibly easy for the government to freeze you out of your digital assets, even if you’ve done nothing wrong.

By shifting your assets to a similar service based overseas, especially one that’s encrypted, you can save yourself this risk. 

And best of all, it costs you absolutely nothing.

You can read more about it here.

Venezuela arrests three generals for alleged coup plot

"I sleep like an infant at night"

“I sleep like an infant at night”

Once again the dangerous antics of Saint Manure-o Hacia la Izquierda. Like all dictators, he sees plots within plots all around him. He distrusts the people and his own.
 
Venezuela arrests three generals for alleged coup plot

By Sofia Miselem (AFP) – 2 hours ago 

Caracas — Three Venezuelan air force generals accused of plotting a coup against the leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro were arrested Tuesday, amid a widening crackdown on the opposition.

The unidentified generals were in contact with opposition politicians and “were trying to get the Air Force to rise up against the legitimately elected government,” Maduro told a meeting of South American foreign ministers.

“This group that was captured has direct links with sectors of the opposition and they were saying that this week was the decisive week,” Maduro said.

The stunning disclosure — the first known significant threat from within Maduro’s government — comes amid a growing crackdown on the president’s opponents after more than six weeks of street protests that have left at least 34 dead.

– Betrayed by loyalists –

The generals have been summoned before a court martial, Maduro said, adding that the plot was uncovered because other officers come forward to say they were being recruited.

Asked for details about the generals, a senior source told AFP that the information is “being handled only through Maduro’s office.”

It is the first time in 15 years of socialist government that generals have been arrested for alleged coup plotting, said military expert Fernando Falcon, a retired lieutenant colonel.

Massive protests in April 2002 resulted in Maduro’s predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, being briefly ousted — before he was restored to power for another decade.

Maduro and his government have been the target of near-daily protests fueled by public anger over soaring crime, hyperinflation and shortages of such basic goods as toilet paper.

Demonstrators are also angry at oil-rich Venezuela’s close financial and political ties to Cuba, the only Communist one-party state in the Americas.

Maduro earlier had said he fended off a coup bid aided or supported by the United States and other “fascists.”

Protests have mainly taken place in middle-class opposition strongholds. Maduro still enjoys support among Venezuela’s larger, poor population, allowing him to weather the weeks-long protests.

– Machado defies Maduro –

On Monday, National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello announced that a prominent opposition deputy, Maria Corina Machado, had lost her seat and parliamentary immunity, and could be arrested at any time.

At a news conference in Lima, Peru, a defiant Machado said she would return to Caracas on Wednesday, adding she feared she would be arrested on her arrival.

She said she was returning “because I am a Venezuelan deputy and I will enter Venezuela as such to continue fighting in the streets without rest until we achieve democracy and freedom.”

Machado angered the government by going before the Organization of American States last week as a guest of Panama to discuss the crisis in Venezuela.

Panama’s representative to the OAS, Arturo Vallarino, said the move to take away Machado’s seat was “proof of the arbitrary acts being committed in Venezuela.”

Last week, two opposition mayors were arrested, and another prominent opposition leader has been in jailed for a month, accused of inciting violence.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gSirjRFXHLSoOSkswXUh6h7INUrA?docId=7b182785-7233-417d-a3c4-0ce535daa7c1&hl=en

 

The coming collapse of the international monetary system with Simon Black and Jim Rickards

I suggest signing up for Simon Black’s updates at Sovereign Man. Also subscribe to Nomad Capitalist, International Man, and Capitalist Exploits.

It’s time to start thinking about getting your assets and your ass somewhere safer. The US is like a heavily armed bully, desperately broke and with a serious drug problem.