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Forum nameGeneral Discussion
Topic subjectRE: WTF is going in Venezuela right now?
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=4&topic_id=13309042&mesg_id=13309488
13309488, RE: WTF is going in Venezuela right now?
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Fri Jan-25-19 03:07 PM

>Speaking as a Dumb American, it sounds like:
>-A guy who wasn't elected president (Guaido) is declaring
>himself president (which Venezuela's constitution kinda
>allows, at least on a temporary basis)

Yes, that is correct, and now the U.S., EU and Lima Group have all recognized him. Mexico, Uruguay, Spain and Portugal have been dissenting voices encouraging negotiation and diplomacy.

>-Maduro was elected president in what almost certainly was NOT
>a legitimate election

His initial election was legitimate, his most recent was not and probably the recall he survived was not either. He has rigged the electoral system, suppressed dissent, stripped the opposition of power, gutted the Supreme Court, neutered the legislature and created a kleptocracy without any institutional mechanism for regime change other than an outright coup. He would have faced a military coup already if he didn't create chaos that allowed top and mid level military officials to be bought off cheaply.

>-There seems to be genuine anti-Maduro sentiment from the
>people of Venezuela

YES, anyone telling you otherwise is FULL OF SHIT. I am upset to see people on the left marginalizing this. At this point the luster of Chavismo is but a faint memory and the majority is in favor of regime change. The mere declaration of opposition was met with enthusiasm, the fact that this guy was not assassinated or thrown (permanently) in a dungeon drew more and the affirmation from other powers has people excited. There is a push to paint this as a fringe position or neoliberal meddling or whatever other buzzwords obfuscated by past examples or condemnations of Trump. I hate imperialism, I hate Trump, I do not hate this, though I admit it's highly unusual and not exactly a boost to the concept of sovereignty. Like I said, there is no internal mechanism for regime change. In my opinion and that of many inside Venezuela, there is no diplomatic solution because this regime has shown a flagrant disregard for the well-being of the country and its people. There is no rational thought here whatsoever, just naked corruption that has drained talent, intelligence, youth and sheer numbers from a country left without food, means to use its resources or any sort of hope under this buffoon.

>-It's also being stoked by a foreign government that generally
>fucks things up horribly whenever they get involved in Latin
>American countries

Yes, and that's a big problem/cause for concern, not only have we backed coups throughout Latin and South America (hello Panama, Nicaragua, Chile, etc etc etc), but in Venezuela itself our meddling spans the majority of the country's history and there is deep anti-American sentiment there. HOWEVER, the fact that this move is being embraced by a heretofore anti-American populace should set off bells and whistles. This is an awful situation that needs remedy. Because of the debt to and ties with Russia, I don't think regional powers alone can facilitate change. It's got to be big hitters like the U.S., Germany, etc.

>-There's not an actual civil war going on yet, and we still
>don't know if Guadio will ultimately succeed in his effort to
>take power
>-Trump's saying everything is on the table wrt to American
>involvement down there (presumably including an invasion)

No, there is not a civil war, they were inches from one in 2017 but Maduro temporarily filled a few bellies and of course imprisoned/killed a lot of dissenters. There was also nearly a military coup last year, to the point where the leaders met with U.S. officials seeking some technology and possibly munitions. It is imminent, the only reason it hasn't happened yet is that the regime is very firmly entrenched and outside forces haven't been willing to supply any muscle thus far.

>This shit sounds bad and outside of "stay the entire fuck out
>of this," there don't sound like any good solutions for the
>US. Trump's already making noise by saying they won't
>recognize Maduro's request for US diplomats to leave the
>country, so if a civil war does break out, they'll be trapped
>there. Good chance some of them could get killed, which Trump
>can use as an excuse for invading and occupying the country.

I have heard this theory widely and I think it's a little early to be thinking about Iran, Bay of Pigs, etc as historical contexts. I think the diplomats have been advised not to vacate as a means of a power play, not necessarily a pretext for invasion or anything like that. My concern here is the plan for transition, but at this point there are not a lot of options. Even an exploitative system that was more sustainable than the current exploitative system they have now would be preferable. The situation is much more dire than it appears.

I wish I could write more here but I really don't have time now, maybe next week.