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Topic subjectWTF is going in Venezuela right now?
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=4&topic_id=13309042
13309042, WTF is going in Venezuela right now?
Posted by Marauder21, Thu Jan-24-19 01:49 PM
https://www.vox.com/world/2019/1/23/18193533/venezuela-maduro-protest-guaido-pence-trump-23-enero

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)
-Maduro was elected president in what almost certainly was NOT a legitimate election
-There seems to be genuine anti-Maduro sentiment from the people of Venezuela
-It's also being stoked by a foreign government that generally fucks things up horribly whenever they get involved in Latin American countries
-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)

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.

Am I missing something else?
13309046, was just texting some friends about this
Posted by T Reynolds, Thu Jan-24-19 02:09 PM
Chavistas like Maduro because that's his boy

IN reality, Maduro is like Trump. Attacking the free press, delegitimizing the branch of government that holds opposing views (which Guaido heads) and making an entirely new one that he used to rewrite the constitution.

On top of that there are huge economic problems. The IMF expects the 2019 inflation rate to be TEN MILLION PERCENT.

Right now only Cuba and Bolivia support Maduro, ten other Latin American countries support Guaido
13309055, RE: was just texting some friends about this
Posted by Marauder21, Thu Jan-24-19 02:36 PM
>Chavistas like Maduro because that's his boy
>
>IN reality, Maduro is like Trump. Attacking the free press,
>delegitimizing the branch of government that holds opposing
>views (which Guaido heads) and making an entirely new one that
>he used to rewrite the constitution.
>
>On top of that there are huge economic problems. The IMF
>expects the 2019 inflation rate to be TEN MILLION PERCENT.

Yeah, I'm certainly not one of the people defending Maduro. While he was elected, nobody believes that was a legit election. But does Trump immediately recognizing another unelected leader help anything? There are so many ways additional US involvement could fuck this up worse, even if we don't invade.

>Right now only Cuba and Bolivia support Maduro, ten other
>Latin American countries support Guaido

Didn't Mexico and Uruguay both propose maintaining talks between Gauido and Maduro's sides? Though I don't think Uruguay is actually recognizing either of them as leader right now. I don't know, Trump and Bolsonaro immediately leaping out to be Team Gauido doesn't really make me feel better about that.
13309057, Yes Uruguay and Mexico were not named as countries favoring
Posted by T Reynolds, Thu Jan-24-19 02:47 PM
one side or another. And I agree, having Bolsonaro and Trump back your administration certainly should not be cause for a huge amount of faith to be put in the opposing party.

I absolutely think the last thing the USA needs to do right now is to take an interventionist stance in South America. We need to leave that behind us because our global credibility is at an all time low at the same time our national security is on yellow alert (not to mention the immorality of it)
13309596, Uruguay, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, the Vatican. Short but significant list
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Sat Jan-26-19 04:29 AM
It would take considerable economic incentive, most if not all of which Maduro and his cronies would just steal. It would be lifted sanctions, paid debts, failed investment and simply kicking the can down the road. That, to me, would be the best-case scenario of negotiation. This is a guy who has turned away *unconditional* help for the purpose of control and wild ass nationalism. I respect those countries bringing a diplomatic voice to the table, but there's a region they are in the minority on this.
13309050, 45 is lazy. He needs his war to be closer to home.
Posted by FLUIDJ, Thu Jan-24-19 02:27 PM
13309051, RE: WTF is going in Venezuela right now?
Posted by Marbles, Thu Jan-24-19 02:29 PM
Also, Russia has warned the US about getting involved in Venezuela.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/venezuela-and-us-locked-in-tense-standoff-as-russia-warns-against-americanintervention/2019/01/24/00bf8716-1f66-11e9-a759-2b8541bbbe20_story.html?utm_term=.f404724bcd91

I saw this earlier. It provided a short summary of what happened.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/01/24/venezuelas-crisis-how-did-it-get-so-bad/?utm_term=.ee55be5e52af






13309058, This helped
Posted by Marauder21, Thu Jan-24-19 02:47 PM
The thing with the diplomats has me stressed.
13309052, A coup
Posted by bentagain, Thu Jan-24-19 02:29 PM
They've got oil.
13309059, Always with the oil
Posted by Marauder21, Thu Jan-24-19 02:47 PM
13309088, Staging ground for Iran?
Posted by bentagain, Thu Jan-24-19 03:38 PM
All of the Bolten bluster...strange that hasn't happened yet

Putin must not approve

We'll see how Trumpster proceeds, as I believe Putin has already showed support for Maduro and warned against US intervention

If he's really pulling the strings, I doubt this escalates...like N Korea
13309597, That's hard to say, really.
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Sat Jan-26-19 04:33 AM
Russia is a pretty mysterious force as usual. They revoked some investments (mainly a military base) in Venezuela recently, and Venezuela has quite a tab with them. Publicly, it would seem Russia has supported Maduro. Would Putin butt heads with the U.S. over it? Doubtful, I think. And if he is really pulling the strings within the White House and perhaps elsewhere in government, perhaps this arrangement would be favorable for him. Again what countries make exploiting an undeveloped Venezuela pales in comparison to what they could make first creating the infrastructure and second exploiting a place with oil refineries, better transportation and better agricultural conditions. So maybe Russia gets its cut, and of better action. This is all speculative, just trying to look at it from all angles.
13309095, Fuck socialism is what's going on
Posted by j., Thu Jan-24-19 03:50 PM
We (I'm Venezuelan) have had enough of Chavez (glad he's dead) and Maduro's socialist bullshit

What has socialism brought Venezuela?

Hyperinflation
world's highest murder rate
chronic food and medicine shortages
a drug cartel masquerading as a government
a migrant and refugee crisis (I now have family members in 7 different countries)

A country with the world's largest oil reserves should be at Arab gulf country GDP levels
Instead PDVSA (state oil company) is flat broke and Venezuela now IMPORTS OIL

Socialism destroys countries and lives
May Maduro's days be numbered in low digits (c)
13309098, Is tr socialism or corruption?
Posted by legsdiamond, Thu Jan-24-19 03:54 PM
13309102, or competing factions using VZ as a battleground for their ideaology?
Posted by GOMEZ, Thu Jan-24-19 03:58 PM
13309116, Both, capitalist countries don't have corruption
Posted by Marauder21, Thu Jan-24-19 04:19 PM
/casm
13309132, Both.
Posted by Shaun Tha Don, Thu Jan-24-19 04:58 PM
13309504, *Soundwave voice* Bias detected
Posted by Dr Claw, Fri Jan-25-19 04:20 PM
Credibility of response diminished.
13309527, Whatever, pinko.
Posted by Shaun Tha Don, Fri Jan-25-19 05:01 PM
13309926, because 'socialism' and not a bungling authoritarian
Posted by Dr Claw, Mon Jan-28-19 01:29 PM
+ a history of US sanctions and interference is the problem... OK
13310303, just let him play in his weird little right-wing misogynistic corner
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Tue Jan-29-19 06:28 PM
13309502, in this context, does it matter?
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Fri Jan-25-19 04:19 PM
any leftist that succeeds him will come from the same crew of thieving cronies.

obviously we see socialism implemented without this level of state domination and corruption. it isn't socialism as a concept but how it's been implemented here and the through-and-through corruption of the state.

no one is arguing we need to remove socialism from the universe, just that this particular country is in need of radically different leadership
13309119, So Guaido's capitalist?
Posted by Marauder21, Thu Jan-24-19 04:24 PM
Because everyone's being really cryptic (or just don't seem to know) what he actually supports/doesn't, like he's more an avatar of general anti-Maduro sentiment. I'd like to know more about him and what he actually wants to do. Which might not matter if he actually turns over power as he said he would (we'll obviously have to see if he does.)

Would you support an American invasion of Venezuela to remove Maduro if he manages to outlast this?
13309123, Those the same questions I wanted to ask
Posted by T Reynolds, Thu Jan-24-19 04:41 PM
But I don't know any Venezuelans
13309126, Guaido is an interim/caretaker President
Posted by j., Thu Jan-24-19 04:46 PM
The Venezuelan constitution calls for the president of the national assembly (Guaido) to assume the powers of head of state when there's a rupture of the constitutional order (Maduro's last election was a sham fraud on some Cuba/North Korea 99.9% of all votes shit)

Guaido is a placeholder until new legit elections are held

The military high command (all of whom are cartel capos) is sticking by Maduro. So there needs to be more international pressure, but it can get sticky since Russia and China have major investments and have bailed Maduro out before. And of course a drug cartel masquerading as a government isn't just going to give up power peacefully

If Maduro gets cute with the American embassy that's all she wrote. Don't think he's that stupid, plus his Cuban handlers should have warned him

The people are out in the streets putting their lives on the line
13309248, But is he ACTUALLY a caretaker?
Posted by Marauder21, Fri Jan-25-19 10:16 AM
We've seen plenty of caretaker/inerim administrations who just never leave power throughout the world. I don't think that possibility should be dismissed.
13309367, No crystal ball but for now we just go by his statements
Posted by j., Fri Jan-25-19 01:15 PM
You're right, anything can happen
For the moment being that he has no military backup it's highly unlikely he'll go the strongman route
13309506, Guaido put in work during the manifestaciones b/w embassy is safe
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Fri Jan-25-19 04:21 PM
Maduro needs the U.S. as a boogeyman (a role we play readily often), he isn't dumb enough to do anything more than cast blame and shake his fist. I still haven't stopped laughing since his moron of a son said "the rifles of Venezuela will reach New York, and we will take the White House." Good times.
13309125, You're a Venezuelan who's lived in the US for... how much of his life?
Posted by Hitokiri, Thu Jan-24-19 04:45 PM
I'm not saying Chavez was perfect, but the people I know in Venezuela, poor people (ie not like you and yours) had their lives greatly improved under Chavez. Even the vox article in the OP which although it falsely positions democracy and socialism as opposing forces, says as much.

"Chávez is a legendary figure in Venezuela who transformed the country’s political and economic landscape by nationalizing industries and funneling enormous amounts of government money into social programs. Under his rule, Venezuela’s unemployment rate halved, income per capita more than doubled, the poverty rate fell by more than half, education improved, and infant mortality rates declined."
13309136, Congratulations, here's your first world armchair socialist medal
Posted by j., Thu Jan-24-19 05:09 PM
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61RmPB%2Bo91L._SY450_.jpg

Have never lived under a socialist regime (I lived in Caracas at the height of Chavez rule 2006-2007)

Have never dealt with lack of basic infrastructure (no water for days and blackouts)

Contrary to your romantic "class struggle" college freshman Communist Manifesto cliff notes, my family wasn't wealthy. Raised by a single mom who joined the military to get us out of the barrio (The worst American hood is a middle class neighborhood with all the amenities in Venezuela)

First world armchair socialists love to defend Chavez because he gave away oil to the Bronx and a bunch of other countries while staying silent as he sent the police and military to kill unarmed protesters

First world armchair socialists also get real quiet when statistical facts point out that a nation with the world's largest oil reserves is now the poorest in the western hemisphere

They have nothing to say about "the people" when they are now literally eating from the garbage because hyperinflation and currency controls installed by Chavez have made the Bolivar worthless (the socialist remedy to unemployment: print more money! subsidize everything!)

Why would first world armchair socialists say anything? they enjoy all the comforts and privileges of living here but would never dream of moving to Cuba, or Nicaragua, or Venezuela, the 3 closest socialist paradises.

Fuck Chavez, Fuck Maduro, and Fuck socialism
13309146, Great job at countering what the article said
Posted by Hitokiri, Thu Jan-24-19 05:37 PM
That's funny that you bring up Cuba and Nicaragua though. Poor countries. Socialism doesn't make poor countries not poor countries. But since you bring them up, Cuba especially. Please compare it to similar countries. Compare Cuba to Honduras, to El Salvador, to Haiti, to the Dominican Republic, to Guatemala. Please compare those countries and tell me who's people are doing better. Please. Look at the life expectiancies, literacy rates, rates of crime, homelessness, infant mortality and tell him how Cuba compares to those countries.

*also got you out of the barrio kinda means you weren't poor, huh? Because in Venezuela in the actual barrios with actual poor people who couldn't get out, everyone I met was overjoyed to have a leader who finally gave a fuck about them.
13309239, I'll buy your plane ticket if you agree to move to Cuba
Posted by j., Fri Jan-25-19 09:48 AM
you know, since it's so great and all

First world armchair socialists love to point out Cuban free health care and free education

What they don't love to point out is how it was all subsidized by the USSR until it's self-inflicted collapse and then by Venezuela (who to this day provides FREE OIL which Cuba turns around and sells on the open market)

That's the socialist way: it's all good as long as it's someone else's money

When the money runs out?

it's an "imperialist conspiracy"
a "bourgeois plot against the proletariat"
a "counter-revolutionary attack"




13309335, Still ducking the assertions of the article.
Posted by Hitokiri, Fri Jan-25-19 12:04 PM
And now you're ducking the comparison of Cuba vs similar capitalist nations.
13309341, yeah he really hasn't responded to you even, just name calling
Posted by Stadiq, Fri Jan-25-19 12:24 PM


And you actually know people there, so you definitely aren't an armchair socialist or whatever.

You have actual stories that can counter his stories.


Wish he would respond to that. I don't have a dog in this fight, other than it just seems he is chalking every terrible thing up to "socialism"...while some of the shitty things he references also happen in capitalist countries, glossing over the success of other countries with socialist models, AND ignoring your own person stories from his home country.

Not very effective.
13309351, The pushback to your point is obvious. How'd VZ get from the gains
Posted by Buddy_Gilapagos, Fri Jan-25-19 12:52 PM
you describe, to where they are today?


Someone at least has to make the case that it wasn't his fault.

Because if he is responsible, then who gives a shit that there was a momentary blip rise in the quality of life of poor people if the end result is folks eating from trash cans?



>And now you're ducking the comparison of Cuba vs similar
>capitalist nations.


**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"
13309354, Absolute power corrupts absolutely
Posted by T Reynolds, Fri Jan-25-19 12:55 PM
13309386, And the answer to that is multi-fold
Posted by Hitokiri, Fri Jan-25-19 01:51 PM
Not nearly as simple as "fuck Chavez" and "fuck Socialism" Some of it is his fault, depending so much on oil revenue to fund... everything. He can be criticized for lots of other things too. But as far as what's going on in Venezuela right now, there is plenty of blame to go around.

Venezuela's economic elite have to take blame as well, an article from 2010 states "While it’s true that there is awful inflation in Venezuela, much of it has been caused by business owners, large-scale private distributors and producers, import-exporters and the economic elite that seek to destabilize and overthrow the Chavez administration. They sell dollars on the black market at pumped up rates and speculate and hike the prices of regular consumer products to provoke panic and desperation among the public, all with the goal of forcing Chavez’s ouster. And despite ongoing economic sabotage, the economy has still grown substantially in comparison to other nations in the region. In fact, according to the neoliberal International Monetary Fund (IMF), Venezuela is the only South American nation to forecast economic growth this year."

US policy toward Venezuela shares some of the blame. Despite the fact that Chavez was an overwhelmingly popular president the US funneled millions of dollars to opposition groups, then decreased their importation of Venezuelan oil because the "politicial instability" they were funding. Again, the US spent a decade+ funding political instability in the country.

Maduro shares some of the blame. Lots of the blame. So much more complicated than "Fuck Chavez, Fuck Socialism". Honestly though I'm getting tired of typing and sourcing things. What I will say is that US media coverage toward Venezuela has been biased as fuck since before the first time I went to the country back in 2005. And it's hard to find good sources to really understand what is and has been going on. venezuelaanalysis.com is one of the better sites for information.

https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/5384
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/17/opinion/contributors/a-tale-of-three-presidents.html
https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/896
13310307, RE: And the answer to that is multi-fold
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Tue Jan-29-19 06:41 PM

>Venezuela's economic elite have to take blame as well, an
>article from 2010 states "While it’s true that there is
>awful inflation in Venezuela, much of it has been caused by
>business owners, large-scale private distributors and
>producers, import-exporters and the economic elite that seek
>to destabilize and overthrow the Chavez administration. They
>sell dollars on the black market at pumped up rates and
>speculate and hike the prices of regular consumer products to
>provoke panic and desperation among the public, all with the
>goal of forcing Chavez’s ouster. And despite ongoing
>economic sabotage, the economy has still grown substantially
>in comparison to other nations in the region. In fact,
>according to the neoliberal International Monetary Fund (IMF),
>Venezuela is the only South American nation to forecast
>economic growth this year."

A *lot* has happened since then. Without nitpicking too much I will say that some of this is true, however at that time there was panic about the dollar reaching 200 Bolivares one day. It was into the millions when they lopped the zeros off the exchange to simplify currency. So you had inflation but not hyperinflation, now you have unprecedented hyperinflation, the likes of which only two other countries have seen in history.

>US policy toward Venezuela shares some of the blame. Despite
>the fact that Chavez was an overwhelmingly popular president
>the US funneled millions of dollars to opposition groups, then
>decreased their importation of Venezuelan oil because the
>"politicial instability" they were funding. Again, the US
>spent a decade+ funding political instability in the country.

That is also true and the U.S. was a useful boogeyman for Venezuela because they went beyond pointing out usurping sovereignty and imposing sanctions and rather turned them into a scapegoat for every imaginable domestic problem. Again you have very justified anti-American sentiment there, and then you have the stuff of urban legends, old wives' tales and myths. Also, again, you can draw a pretty directly line between Maduro administration policies to many of the current problems. Being tethered to resource profits has always been an issue, even if it accelerated under Chavez. American meddling has always been an issue, even if it has been on the uptick under the last two regimes there. So what changed? We now have someone completely incompetent and uncaring running the country. There is a lot of blame to go around but as far as changes go, we have to start somewhere. The same way marginalizing the influence of the FARC was a big step toward a stable partnership with Colombia, regime change here is the first step to doing the same with Venezuela.

>Maduro shares some of the blame. Lots of the blame. So much
>more complicated than "Fuck Chavez, Fuck Socialism". Honestly
>though I'm getting tired of typing and sourcing things. What I
>will say is that US media coverage toward Venezuela has been
>biased as fuck since before the first time I went to the
>country back in 2005. And it's hard to find good sources to
>really understand what is and has been going on.
>venezuelaanalysis.com is one of the better sites for
>information.

You also have Russia's sticky fingers all over the region and they are deep into Venezuela, China plays a role, and generally Venezuela is isolated to where those two nations and Bolivia (isolated even more unfairly by the U.S.) are their only real allies. Not exactly a triumvirate of strong, stable existence.
13309375, From the article
Posted by j., Fri Jan-25-19 01:29 PM
"Under his (Chavez) rule, Venezuela’s unemployment rate halved, income per capita more than doubled, the poverty rate fell by more than half, education improved, and infant mortality rates declined."

The very next paragraph explains how he was able to do this:

"A massive oil boom in the early 2000s that brought roughly a trillion dollars into the country’s coffers — making Venezuela Latin America’s richest country — helped Chávez remain in power until his death in 2013."

No sustainable investment in the future, in infrastructure, in creating jobs
Just good old socialist populism in the form of government hand outs and subsidies
Again, when the money ran out (oil price crash) then the good times were over

Was Venezuela a paradise before Chavez? hardly. I was born there. I remember the corruption scandals of the previous ruling parties

The same president Chavez led a coup attempt against in 92 was removed from office for corruption a couple of years later.

That's why he won a landslide in 98: people were tired of the status quo and desperately wanted change (he also claimed in an interview at the time that he wouldn't follow the Cuban model and wasn't a communist)

Also from the article:

"Inflation now hovers above a million percent, and could reach 10 million percent this year. Food and medicine is too expensive for many to purchase. And since 2015, over 3 million Venezuelans have left the country in search of better opportunities elsewhere, primarily in Colombia. (It’s expected that another 2 million will become refugees in 2019 alone.)

Care to address that part?
13309478, My response is yes that's true, yes that's happening. Life in Venezuela
Posted by Hitokiri, Fri Jan-25-19 03:48 PM
is hell right now.

Now invite you to think about how we got there. In addition to Chavez's failures (making the Bolivarian project a more sustainable one being cheif among them, though some of the things you referenced had been in the works before his death, most of them fell apart. And he died before the oil crash btw), and Maduro's ineptitude (among plenty of other things), there's at once the issue of the United States directly funding political groups who were against Chavez (and are now against Maduro). Directly funding them. For years. There's also as posted above the role of Venezuela's economic elite in trying to destablize the government and economy in order to produce regime change. And I invite you to read the following from Democracy Now today.

"The sanction that prohibits Citgo from remitting profits to Venezuela is a very important measure. It means that the Venezuelan government is being deprived of approximately $1 billion a year. But in addition to that, the sanctions also stipulate that Venezuela practically cannot refinance its foreign debt, which is something logical that any country facing a difficult economic situation would do. The sanctions prohibit U.S. financial institutions from having any transaction, any interaction with the Venezuelan government and the Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA.

But, Juan, in addition to that, there is a major impact in terms of discouraging commercial and financial interests throughout the world from any kind of transaction with Venezuela. There is a list of 70—approximately 70 Venezuelan officials who are being sanctioned. And that translates into a situation in which the U.S. government, and specifically Steven Mnuchin, the secretary of the treasury, has undertaken different investigations, workshops with representatives of Japan, Europe, Latin America, in order to find out where the shell companies are. In other words, he has created a situation in which commercial interests throughout the world are afraid to have anything to do with Venezuela. That amounts to virtually a block—an economic blockade."

The US has made it impossible for Venezuela to refinance it's debt, and has prevented it from working with other commercial interests (including countries) from working with the nation to solve it's problems. Let's think about those things together.

Actually you should read or watch the entire interview from Democracy Now today. Here are all 4 parts.

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/25/how_washingtons_devastating_economic_blockade_of

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/25/venezuelan_foreign_minister_the_us_interferes

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/25/historian_venezuela_is_staging_ground_for

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/25/codepinks_medea_benjamin_disrupts_pompeo_speech
13309226, that oil reserve stat is surprising as hell
Posted by Amritsar, Fri Jan-25-19 09:22 AM
at least to me it is.


but the largest reserve in the world? Only one reason why a country with that great of a natural resource would be so poor ..

13309497, they have never built the infrastructure to capitalize on it is one issue
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Fri Jan-25-19 04:15 PM
13309492, Typical socialist dictator dynamic. It was good until it wasn't
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Fri Jan-25-19 04:11 PM
The state grew too big and too power hungry, the people at the top of it were the driving force in that. Chavez led a populist revolution with short-term benefits and long-term consequences. It's funny to me that we condemn divide-and-conquer along lines of race, religion or tribe, but not along lines of education or class, with the former being particularly troubling. Also let's not overlook that Chavez hand-picked Maduro. The vision for the country Chavez presented and pursued initially was, for lack of a better word, noble. The means through which he pursued it were not, and the end result was a nightmare. They can point the finger outward all they want, that's a long-standing tactic and of course the U.S. legitimizes through their actions periodically. But U.S. meddling has been a fixture of Venezuelan politics through much more prosperous times than these. This administration is robbing the country blind with a total disregard for even the sustainability of their own greed. This is buck and grab, not a long con, and if they stay in power much longer, there won't be anything or anyone left to protect.
13309347, Isn't this a result of the US sanctions?
Posted by bentagain, Fri Jan-25-19 12:35 PM
RE: A country with the world's largest oil reserves should be at Arab gulf country GDP levels
Instead PDVSA (state oil company) is flat broke and Venezuela now IMPORTS OIL
13309361, Man, they refuse to even look at the role the US plays in this
Posted by Hitokiri, Fri Jan-25-19 01:06 PM
When Venezuela nationalized industries that the US had a hand in (or owned), the United States (and Venezuela's wealthy) threw a fucking fit. But if you're a poor country with massive inequalities that need to be addressed, nationalizing of private entities makes tons of fucking sense. Why should millionaires/billionaires be getting rich and hoarding wealth while so many suffer?

And don't even get started on Cuba. The US has tried to strangle that island at every turn.

It's incredibly difficult for small and/or poor socialist nations (and we should also look at WHY some nations are rich and some are poor) to succeed in a vacuum. They usually do need support from other nations, because they're poor nations with limited resources. They have to trade with other nations, they have to have allies. And the US does everything it can to isolate them from the rest of the world so their system fails. What reason is there for the Cuban embargo to exist except for to strangle the socialist path of the nation? Because of political prisoners? But we still do business with Saudi Arabia, with Israel, with a host of other countries with serious human rights violations happening at every juncture. There's been a UN resolution every years going back decades for the US to end the embargo and almost every country in the UN approves, minus 3 nations. The US, Israel, and usually someplace like Guam.
13309365, Shhhh, it's all the socialisms on its own
Posted by Marauder21, Fri Jan-25-19 01:12 PM
US sanctions can never hurt a country, they can only be hurt by other countries.
13309366, Sanctions against gov officials implicated in drug trafficking & corruption
Posted by j., Fri Jan-25-19 01:13 PM
https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm583

Here's the full list

https://www.state.gov/e/eb/tfs/spi/venezuela/

Not against the country as in Iran

In fact, the US is Venezuela's largest oil buyer

Citgo is owned by the VZ government. US hasn't seized it like they did Iranian assets in the US.

No Cuban style embargo either.

13309368, RE: Sanctions against gov officials implicated in drug trafficking & corruption
Posted by bentagain, Fri Jan-25-19 01:19 PM
"The sanction that prohibits Citgo from remitting profits to Venezuela is a very important measure. It means that the Venezuelan government is being deprived of approximately $1 billion a year. But in addition to that, the sanctions also stipulate that Venezuela practically cannot refinance its foreign debt, which is something logical that any country facing a difficult economic situation would do. The sanctions prohibit U.S. financial institutions from having any transaction, any interaction with the Venezuelan government and the Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA."

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/25/how_washingtons_devastating_economic_blockade_of
13309384, VZ gov makes more money from running drugs than Citgo
Posted by j., Fri Jan-25-19 01:48 PM
A mafia state refers to a state that has effectively been criminalised. Here, criminal entities have successfully infiltrated and compromised government institutions at all levels. Currently, more than 100 Venezuelan government officials – ranging from but not limited to individuals in the ministries of the vice president, defence, foreign affairs, intelligence and the national guard – have been implicated in criminal activity.

The clearest example of the complex nexus between criminality and the Venezuelan state has been the emergence of a powerful Venezuelan drug trafficking organisation known as the Cartel of the Suns. The organisation’s name is a reference to the gold stars on epaulettes of military generals but is more generally symbolic of the direct links between serving government officials and the drug trafficking organisation.

Former Vice President Tarek el-Aissami and former President of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello, are allegedly involved in the Cartel of the Suns and are among a litany of Venezuelan officials who have had sanctions imposed on them by the United States.

Venezuela’s first lady, Celia Flores, is also implicated by association. Her nephews have been convicted of trafficking cocaine in the United States, and according to Insight Crime, Ms Flores’s son is also under investigation in relation to drug trafficking activities.

http://theconversation.com/venezuela-is-fast-becoming-a-mafia-state-heres-what-you-need-to-know-109887

LOL @ assuming any profits from Citgo will benefit the Venezuelan people

I personally boycott Citgo and urge everyone I know to do so as well. I know it means nothing to Cabello and the other traffickers but that's one practical action I can take.
13309512, Got it
Posted by bentagain, Fri Jan-25-19 04:34 PM
I appreciate the complexity, even if I don't fully understand it

13312815, You said the sanctions were only against individuals
Posted by spirit, Sun Feb-10-19 05:51 PM
Citgo isn’t an individual. Either your earlier statement was incorrect or there should be no sanctions which effect Citgo as an entity and its ability to send money back to Venezuela as a corporate entity, from its overseas sales. Which is correct?

Peace,

Spirit (Alan)
http://wutangbook.com
13309371, do you have a recomended news source for what's happening?
Posted by makaveli, Fri Jan-25-19 01:24 PM
13309500, Now just wait for a bunch of Americans and Europeans to argue w/you
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Fri Jan-25-19 04:17 PM
They will tell you they know better and denounce their own countries in the process. The debate over this is becoming laughable. One can argue a lot of potential pitfalls and subtleties, but yes, there has to be a severe change and soon
13309200, some perspective.
Posted by A Love Supreme, Fri Jan-25-19 03:28 AM
https://youtu.be/YJ7xzWumQTc
https://youtu.be/vnH_cV-FWOg
13309349, Oil.
Posted by Castro, Fri Jan-25-19 12:36 PM
13309923, ...i mean, we should know the pattern by now, right?
Posted by kayru99, Mon Jan-28-19 01:21 PM
13313053, people on here still surprised by the grammies.
Posted by Castro, Mon Feb-11-19 08:36 PM
***shrugs***
13313063, we have liberal access to their oil as it is. more about regional control
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Mon Feb-11-19 10:56 PM
there was an overall shift left at which venezuela was at the fore, and they and bolivia are pretty much the lone holdouts as the rest of the continent has recently seen a shift right (brasil, colombia, etc).
13315660, Imperialism isn’t about access. It’s about total control.
Posted by spirit, Sun Feb-24-19 11:04 AM

Peace,

Spirit (Alan)
http://wutangbook.com
13315708, they were attempting to switch the currency they use for oil
Posted by Castro, Sun Feb-24-19 11:36 PM
transactions.

Thats an automatic regime change invite.
13309387, WSJ is reporting that Pence called Guaido the night before
Posted by Marauder21, Fri Jan-25-19 01:51 PM
and told him that the US would back him if he took power.

THIS is what scares me. Because that could mean everything from being generally supportive of him to actual military intervention. If the US is the one shaping this whole thing, that's a problem, even if the anti-Maduro feelings on the ground are legitimate.
13309404, and Pompeo is giving them $20M
Posted by bentagain, Fri Jan-25-19 02:10 PM
probably devolve into a civil war
13309595, breh they ain't need to tell me that
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Sat Jan-26-19 04:25 AM
if that weren't the case, dude would be in a cell or a grave already.

rebels within venezuela's military were trying to coordinate with u.s. forces, that's a fact. the u.s. passed. could they have regrouped and formed a new plan? absolutely.

now, of course, it's easy to meet that with a side eye and think the worst.

but again, consider that a country that has been inculcated with anti-American sentiment and conspiracy theories (as well as actual facts) about America ruining their country is now *largely supportive of American intervention*.

this is more complicated than some ideological lens or drawing on past examples. there is a real crisis here, not just a resource ripe for pillaging.
13309454, This post makes me think we all need to read more books
Posted by GOMEZ, Fri Jan-25-19 03:10 PM
Things i take to be true in this situation

Capitalism vs. Socialism is not the ideal framework to view this discussion

The US has a history of malevolent interference when governments don't bow down and kiss the ring (espeically in South America and especially in oil rich countries), and I'd love to better understand our role here.

Oil is fucked, and if you're dependent on oil for your economy, the success of your government is largely based on the whims of OPEC.

Maduro seems like a genuine piece of shit.

Chavez i give a little more leeway to, his most obvious fault seems to be having no great succession plan or ability to affect sustainable long term change.

Corruption is a motherfucker, no matter what your main system of government is.

Last but not least - people are suffering and i don't see any great end in sight.





13309481, ^^^ I agree with all of this
Posted by Hitokiri, Fri Jan-25-19 03:54 PM
And would like to add that OPEC did play a role in Venezuela's crisis. When the oil crash happened in 2014 (demand for oil suddenly dropped), they did not decrease the production, which would have kept prices at roughly the same level they had been from 2010-2014, which is what normally would happen. Instead they decided to keep producing at the same rate, meaning supply was much higher than demand forcing the prices lower and lower.

I don't say that to say that Venezuela has no fault in the issue. They certainly do. Have an entire economy based on one thing is never a good idea. But as I've stated, the situation is much more complicated than other folks in the thread would have you believe.
13309490, I don't see anything wrong with any of this
Posted by Marauder21, Fri Jan-25-19 04:09 PM
13309495, good synopsis but fatalism is not an option here
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Fri Jan-25-19 04:14 PM
there needs to be some sort of intervention here and soon. who does it, by what means and transitional plan ensues are all very important factors.
13309505, I don't mean to be fatalist. I think Maduro has to go, but what's next?
Posted by GOMEZ, Fri Jan-25-19 04:21 PM
that's the part that has me stuck. Straight up, the international vultures are circling. I don't see a ton of good actors from the international community lining up to improve the situation. They're going to ask whoever's next to make a devil's bargain.

To be fair, i'm really ignorant on the actual forces for change that are in place on the ground in VZ. Hopefully there is a route for VZ citizenry to come up w democratic solutions to the issues that their country has.
13309509, The forces on the ground are not equipped in any way, shape or form
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Fri Jan-25-19 04:29 PM
They aren't equipped militarily for a coup, they aren't equipped economically for a recovery and politically they have been stripped of all power essentially. This won't happen without external backing and once you get into the international dynamics (specifically Russia's involvement), it won't happen with the U.S. becoming involved in some way, frankly.

Best-case scenario here we are looking at an international coalition that exploits the country in a way that is sustainable as opposed to the current looting. It isn't an ideal situation but a group that wants to come in, create infrastructure, cultivate resources and create a basic level of stability while they reap the profits is far preferable to the current situation. I'm not one of these people opening this sort of meddling with open arms or pretending there are good actors on the international stage. But I do think there is a chance for Venezuela to be on par with its neighbor, Colombia, who has shitty but sustainable deals with foreign powers that have taken it from a century-plus of violence and civil war to a relatively stable place. Let's not forget that while a million Venezuelans are in Colombia today, it was Venezuela opening its arms for Colombia 25-30 years ago, even more recently, in fact. I don't mean to tout Colombia too highly--on a national level it's still corrupt and internationally it has been exploited to a significant extent--but the two countries today are night and day. I am pretty plugged into the Venezuelan community in both the U.S. and Colombia as well as a lot of people who are still there. They are fucking thrilled about these developments. Part of that is the level of desperation the country has reached, no doubt, but they are not blind to the pitfalls. It's definitely a lesser of two evils situation, but the Maduro regime has established itself as a pretty great evil.
13309544, that's a dark best case scenario.
Posted by GOMEZ, Fri Jan-25-19 05:21 PM
but i guess you gotta stop the bleeding before you can take on the larger task of thwarting corporate imperialism. There does seem to be some grave injustice to that solution, but also you have to play with realistic outcomes. Is that fatalist?

13309559, It's gonna be fine, we've got an Iran-Contra guy working on it
Posted by Marauder21, Fri Jan-25-19 06:48 PM
https://twitter.com/RobbieGramer/status/1088910786485989379
13309563, yeah, even the 'good' options for VZ come w/serious catches
Posted by GOMEZ, Fri Jan-25-19 07:37 PM
13309593, +1 huge problem. We have the least competent and well-meaning group
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Sat Jan-26-19 03:54 AM
in charge here in the U.S.

That is probably the scariest part, the freedom from a disorganized group of robbers is an organized group of even larger-scale thieves. But I'd compare the options, and pardon me if this is grim, either being shot for your wallet or having a chunk of your pay check embezzled. Neither sound great but one keeps you alive. It is that bad. Economically, they have the worst inflation in the HISTORY OF SOUTH AMERICA. Wrap your mind around that, just recently Argentina, a relatively prosperous country, had massive inflation and the region is basically a history written by instability. They blew the other countries out of the water. At the end of last year, the annual inflation climbed over 80,000%. I shit you not, when I first saw anything with their currency, we were talking hundreds, then later *millions* of Bolivares. They ultimately lopped off zeros, but the spiral continues, it can literally rocket 30% in a day.

Purchasing food, for the average family and the lower class that Chavismo championed in particular, is simply out of the question and the government rations are barely enough for a day--given for a month. Medical care is largely inaccessible and even sending it from outside the country is quite complicated. I am not talking some right-wing weirdo shit, I am talking people I know and whom colleagues have seen personally as well. These rulers have rejected humanitarian aid. Famine and inadequate response to it are the stick and carrot of this regime.

I know some people with money who are living well there but they are few and far between and still not safe. The bulk of the country is in a tough spot, even middle class people who have homes or land. You have a massive fleeing of the country, over 3 million people already about 8% of the population inside of two or three years, with the pace quickening. They've also taken measures to disrupt departures and many are too poor to travel, plus getting a passport has ranged from difficult to impossible. If not for those factors, probably twice as many people would have already left. The country will soon have its population decimated (10% is around the corner) and the people leaving are its skilled, educated, wealthy, attractive, young and otherwise halfway desirable people, along with opposition figures. It is a surprisingly bad situation that has already become unmanageable for many and will soon be for all.

What I meant earlier by "fatalist" was to basically just say "well the situation's fucked and not much good will come of it." Yes, that's true. But a lot of the timing and, in this case, urgency that happens now will hopefully shape things in the future.

Basically I will acknowledge that there are mostly shitty options but it's a shitty situation. I think your interpreted it correctly when you said stopping the bleeding is what needs to happen very soon here.
13309998, damn.
Posted by Dr Claw, Mon Jan-28-19 04:46 PM
reading this makes me even more furious about what went down back in 2016 hereabouts.

because even if the US could help in good faith... the ones we got now are absolutely the worst people at the helm for the job.
13309488, RE: WTF is going in Venezuela right now?
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Fri Jan-25-19 04:07 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.
13309519, Socialism is not the problem. Maduro is the problem.
Posted by rorschach, Fri Jan-25-19 04:41 PM
Maduro was corrupt from the start and now he's tanking the entire country with his effort to retain power.

That other guy, the one who just elected himself president, looks like a plant (don't know if he actually is) and is really just going to make things worse.

Either way, the US (and other countries) need to stay out of it. This is Venezuela's problem and we shouldn't be tipping the scale either way via sanctions or clandestine operations (alleged).
---------------------------------------


---------------------------------------
13309594, Agreed on the title and first paragraph for sure.
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Sat Jan-26-19 04:21 AM
>Maduro was corrupt from the start and now he's tanking the
>entire country with his effort to retain power.

Let's not act as though Chavez didn't get the ball rolling fast but yes Maduro has neither the charisma nor leadership capacity that Chavez did.

So, if he is the problem, why shouldn't he be removed? Installing one of his stooges will change nothing. There are no free elections by which an opposition coalition member can take power. There is no chance of the Supreme Court is means to mount a successful challenge. The legislature is, effectively, all Maduro's party, and the local level is only slightly better. Maduro has done many of the things Trump toys with, for example states and cities with governors or mayors from the opposing party do not receive funding, services, etc (or it should be said that they receiver much less, which is practically nothing considering that supportive areas also get very little). He doesn't give a shit if the country rots, if his people die or if Venezuela never recovers.

As far as an alternative to intervention, the country might collapse on its own and descend into civil war. That sounds like something worth avoiding.

It's not "Venezuela's problem and we should stay out of it." Even the voices of reason and diplomacy would disagree with that assessment; they just hold out hope that negotiation can solve the problem. As we've already seen, Venezuela's problem is also very much Colombia's problem, as well as that of Ecuador, Peru, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Curacao and even countries outside the region. You have a million Venezuelans living in Colombia, a developing nation in its own right with low wages, high unemployment and shitty labor protections. So far they have weathered the storm and returned the favor from years past, but triple the number and see what happens. That's just one example.

Venezuela is on the verge of being a nation of refugees, and it's a larger, nearer country than Syria. We are talking as many inhabitants as Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua combined. If we leave this to Venezuela (or we might include their allies like Russia and Bolivia), things will become untenable and extremely violent. It will take the rest of my lifetime and beyond for it to recover.

>That other guy, the one who just elected himself president,
>looks like a plant (don't know if he actually is) and is
>really just going to make things worse.

What do you mean by "a plant?" He and his family have established history in Venezuela. I do suspect there were overtures made in support of him before his declaration, otherwise he wouldn't be free and probably not breathing. You can read about him, the Vargas disaster, his leading a student protest against government censorship, etc. He put in work during the protests in 2017 and 2018 as well, plus his family was in the Venezuelan military. He did some graduate study in the U.S. as an engineer was like 10 years ago. I can't say for certain what he is about, but I am not entirely skeptical.

>Either way, the US (and other countries) need to stay out of
>it. This is Venezuela's problem and we shouldn't be tipping
>the scale either way via sanctions or clandestine operations
>(alleged).

We're already sanctioning the fuck out of them and if we sever ties completely (direction it's headed) then inflation will be exponential, overnight. *Survival* will become unaffordable for even the upper middle class. Assassinating Maduro will just put someone equally reprehensible in charge, and of course not lead to any sort of democratic solution to the problem.

I get the repugnance here. We have stuck our dicks where they don't belong too many times to count. But this goes beyond the U.S. and its stubby, sticky fingers. This is something being embraced in South America, Europe and, significantly, Venezuela. I just hope it's a fair, multilateral effort, though that might be asking way too much.
13309815, I can confidently say
Posted by Rjcc, Mon Jan-28-19 03:33 AM
I don't understand the situation in venezuela at all.

I know the facts, but I don't get it.

www.engadgethd.com - the other stuff i'm looking at
13309912, If only Fox News & conservatives
Posted by isaaaa, Mon Jan-28-19 12:52 PM
would admit as much, shit a few liberals too.


Anti-gentrification, cheap alcohol & trying to look pretty in our twilight posting years (c) Big Reg
http://Tupreme.com
13309930, RE: WTF is going in Venezuela right now?
Posted by upUPNorth, Mon Jan-28-19 01:38 PM
I definitely don't have any answers, but I came across this in an okp's retweets that seems kind of relevant and illuminating of a specific aspect in all of this.

https://twitter.com/chittlins/status/1088254741405143042
13309949, it's not like the US has ever done something like that before...
Posted by GOMEZ, Mon Jan-28-19 02:23 PM
so many layers to this, but the 'US as a benevolent capitalist saviour' narrative is hard to swallow.

I don't say that in support of Maduro, either. mostly, just.. fuck.
13309940, Curious - what is Kamala's stance on Venezuela?
Posted by Vex_id, Mon Jan-28-19 02:00 PM
Can't find anything on her perspective.

Tulsi is clear:

https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1088531713649713153

-->
13309947, that thread is gold
Posted by isaaaa, Mon Jan-28-19 02:19 PM

Anti-gentrification, cheap alcohol & trying to look pretty in our twilight posting years (c) Big Reg
http://Tupreme.com
13310308, I am honestly scared to read more about Tulsi
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Tue Jan-29-19 06:42 PM
because what little I hear from her she seems like "loud and wrong guy" transformed into a female politician.
13310741, RE: I am honestly scared to read more about Tulsi
Posted by Vex_id, Thu Jan-31-19 12:14 PM
>because what little I hear from her she seems like "loud and
>wrong guy" transformed into a female politician.

What is she loud and wrong about?

-->
13310159, i don't see how anti-interventionists can truly justify that stance here
Posted by MiracleRic, Tue Jan-29-19 11:57 AM
there is no moral win here other than saying "our hands could be clean"

there's a power struggle at the top and there are no good actors there

VZ is fucked with or without our intervention bc a ton of our intervention is based on blocking the other bad actor's intervention

yes, it makes us self-interested hypocrites because that's what we are

Doing nothing gives us the moral superiority we feign but basically just passes the reins to folks who will leverage it in ways to fuck us at every turn

i'm not suggesting it can't be done more competently...i mean...this administration is a joke but i honestly can't sit here and say...doing nothing is fine

it's obvious who we're backing and why...and i even get the sanctions...i don't think this helps VZ at all though...

China and Russia are basically taking their oil in exchange for their already crippling debt so with the sanctions...they're pretty much fucked on any liquidity coming through

But if VZ seems ill-equipped to fix the issues, Russia and China just sitting back piling on the interest fees while it collects the oil...just doing nothing is basically subbing those 2 in at every turn. I view our intervention as a pandora's box type of issue...that box can't be unopened...i'd prefer we set our sights on the important victories and cede the ones that we can afford to
13310309, let em know.
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Tue Jan-29-19 06:51 PM
>there is no moral win here other than saying "our hands could
>be clean"

Yeah, and the counter-argument would be that our hands are filthy as fuck because we have a Syria next door just like we have a Sarajevo next door in Colombia 30 years ago. Our involvement there was not pretty--touched off a human rights crisis and we continue to neglect lighter touches that would help immensely--but in the end the country is in a much, much better position today. Whether or not we intervene isn't even a question in my mind, it's *how* we intervene. A boots on the ground war seems unlikely in any case but that's just the most basic thing to be avoided in the interest of both sides, particularly Venezuela.

>there's a power struggle at the top and there are no good
>actors there

Exactly, now the problem, again, is if there are good actors on an international stage and if they will be the ones to get involved. I am pessimistic and I feel like the pueblo is as well, but at this is reaching a breaking point to where damn near anything would be preferable to the situation continuing to deteriorate.

>VZ is fucked with or without our intervention bc a ton of our
>intervention is based on blocking the other bad actor's
>intervention

Shades and degrees of fucked vary though.

>yes, it makes us self-interested hypocrites because that's
>what we are

Sure, I mean we haven't changed overnight and much less with the Boltons and Pompeos of the world in charge. But can we give them something sustainable, livable and with some possibility of growth? Maybe. Unequivocally, Maduro cannot.

>Doing nothing gives us the moral superiority we feign but
>basically just passes the reins to folks who will leverage it
>in ways to fuck us at every turn

I don't even think it gives us moral superiority. We stood by and did nothing. That doesn't seem moral to me. I am not an interventionist overall, in fact my first instinct is repugnance, but we also have to learn from our lack of involvement on rigid, isolationist rationales in the past.

>i'm not suggesting it can't be done more competently...i
>mean...this administration is a joke but i honestly can't sit
>here and say...doing nothing is fine
>
>it's obvious who we're backing and why...and i even get the
>sanctions...i don't think this helps VZ at all though...
>
>China and Russia are basically taking their oil in exchange
>for their already crippling debt so with the
>sanctions...they're pretty much fucked on any liquidity coming
>through

Yup, they are trying to get gold out to Russia now and we know how cut-throat the Russians are. That's another issue, the longer we let this go, the more likely Russia is to exploit the fuck out of them for economic and military protection.

>But if VZ seems ill-equipped to fix the issues, Russia and
>China just sitting back piling on the interest fees while it
>collects the oil...just doing nothing is basically subbing
>those 2 in at every turn. I view our intervention as a
>pandora's box type of issue...that box can't be unopened...i'd
>prefer we set our sights on the important victories and cede
>the ones that we can afford to

Really wanna thank you for this post, best one in the thread so far, I hope people who really want to know read it. Touched on a lot of key points in succinct terms and in a colloquial tone.
13310651, Guaido in The NYT b/w LMAO @ calling dude a plant
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Thu Jan-31-19 01:36 AM
Here you can read that dude has stripes and for anyone suspicious of him, he almost certainly won't become the president once Maduro is removed (the swipe does not discuss that, that's from Venezuelan sources). The interim label is very unlikely to come off him, most likely outcome will be an election where someone higher up in the opposition party gets elected (e.g, Leopoldo Lopez, who, like many opposition leaders, is currently on house arrest).


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/30/opinion/juan-guaido-venezuela.html?imp_id=963806974&action=click&module=trending&pgtype=Article®ion=Footer

13310665, holy shit. reading this now
Posted by T Reynolds, Thu Jan-31-19 08:35 AM
13310734, This makes me feel a bit better about him
Posted by Marauder21, Thu Jan-31-19 12:03 PM
While still terrified that John Bolton is going to make everything 1000x worse.
13312614, Venezuelan officials accuse the US of sending a cache of high-powered rifles on a commercial cargo flight from Miami so they would get into the hands of 'extreme right fascist' groups looking to under
Posted by bentagain, Fri Feb-08-19 12:50 PM
rifles on a commercial cargo flight from Miami so they would get into the hands of 'extreme right fascist' groups looking to undermine Maduro's regime

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6674105/Venezuelan-officials-large-cache-weapons-hidden-airport-delivered-Miami.html

Officials in Venezuela have accused the US of sending a cache of high-powered rifles and ammunition on a commercial cargo flight from Miami so they would get into the hands of President Nicolás Maduro's opponents.

Members with the Venezuelan National Guard and the National Integrated Service of Customs and Tax Administration made the shocking discovery just two days after the plane arrived at Arturo Michelena International Airport in Valencia.

Inspectors found 19 rifles, 118 magazines and 90 wireless radios while investigating the flight which they said arrived Sunday afternoon.

Monday's bust also netted four rifle stands, three rifle scopes and six iPhones.

The Deputy Minister of Public Security, Endes Palencia, told reporters during a Tuesday afternoon press conference that the weapons were destined to reach the hands of 'extreme right fascist' groups looking to destabilize Maduro's government.

The Venezuelan leader has continuously accused President Donald Trump's administration of helping to organize a coup.

Venezuela's Deputy Minister of Public Security, Endes Palencia (first from left), reveals the shocking discovery of a cache of weapons that was delivered on by a commercial cargo plane from Miami on Sunday. Without offering any evidence, the government has blamed the United States government of organizing a coup +3
Venezuela's Deputy Minister of Public Security, Endes Palencia (first from left), reveals the shocking discovery of a cache of weapons that was delivered on by a commercial cargo plane from Miami on Sunday. Without offering any evidence, the government has blamed the United States government of organizing a coup

Venezuelan officials uncovered a hidden shipment at Arturo Michelena International Airport in Valencia which contained 19 rifles, 118 magazines and 90 wireless radios. President Nicolás Maduro's regime said the warlike artillery was destined to reach groups looking to topple the government +3
Venezuelan officials uncovered a hidden shipment at Arturo Michelena International Airport in Valencia which contained 19 rifles, 118 magazines and 90 wireless radios. President Nicolás Maduro's regime said the warlike artillery was destined to reach groups looking to topple the government

Video playing bottom right...
Click here to expand to full page
In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Trump reiterated the United States' support for opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

'We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom,' Trump said.

Palencia, without any proof, claimed the weapons were to be used by factions looking to carry out terror activities bankrolled by the 'extreme right fascist' groups and the government of the United States.

The Deputy Minister of Public Security stood behind a table flaked by two government officials while the seized weaponry was displayed during a press conference.





Let the beacon of freedom and democracy rang out with...blaaaat blaaaat blaaaaat

SMH, seriously though, I couldn't find a US/MSM reference...?
13312818, lol not even 20 guns
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Sun Feb-10-19 07:38 PM
on one hand the radios are kind of significant because that is what rebel factions within the military requested in earlier talks with the U.S., which didn't amount to anything. on the other this sounds like a pretty small and mundane amount of weapons and tech, hardly enough to mount a "coup" lmao. maduro's own family has run guns and drugs so this isn't exactly a smoking gun.

let's also not forget that under chavez and maduro literally everything has been blamed on the u.s.a. and/or right-wing latinos (usually colombia). recently there have been allegations that they have stopped food and medicine from entering the country, even while maduro has abjectly rejected aid in that form from ngos and governments alike. recently they shut down the border into colombia again (the one that reaches cucuta) and instantly there were nut jobs throwing up pics saying that colombia had closed the border on behalf of the u.s.a., only to have the venezuelans announce right after that they shut the border down so nothing could get in.
13312963, RE: a commercial cargo flight from Miami
Posted by bentagain, Mon Feb-11-19 01:50 PM
how many of those flights do you think there are daily?
13313026, you're acting like it was tulsa to roquies or something
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Mon Feb-11-19 05:01 PM
i have no idea how many of those flights there are but there is a ton of traffic from miami to venezuela, both commercial and passenger. miami is the main hub from the u.s. to venezuela, colombia, etc. valencia is a big city. so i don't know the answer to your question but imagine a few at least.

again this seems small-potatoes and sloppily done for backing a coup. also there'd be no real reason to be covert about it now that so much is already there over the past year.
13313473, RE: reply 94
Posted by bentagain, Wed Feb-13-19 01:35 PM
The reports are tying this air charter firm to W's rendition program and obviously, Elliot Abrams was involved in Iran Contra

https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/national-security/article226011940.html

"The denials only added to the mystery of the alleged shipment — a mystery compounded by perhaps coincidental ties between the chairman and a key employee of 21 Air with a company that Amnesty International says once took part in a CIA program to whisk suspected terrorists to “black site” jails around the world, a procedure known as rendition.

The chairman and majority owner of 21 Air, Adolfo Moreno, has set up or registered at least 14 other companies in Florida over the past two decades. Among the people brought on to 21 Air when it formed in 2014 was Michael Steinke, its director of quality control.

Both men appear to have either coincidental or direct ties to Gemini Air Cargo, a company that Amnesty International described in a 2006 report as being among more than 30 air charter services believed to have taken part in a CIA program of rendition in which suspected terrorists were abducted abroad and taken to third-country secret “black sites” for interrogation.

Steinke worked for Gemini Air Cargo from 1996 into 1997, years before the rendition program got off the ground, according to a 2016 Department of Transportation document that gave a summary of 21 Air’s operations as an air cargo carrier."
13312809, Chomsky, Boots Riley et al: The following open letter—signed by 70 scholars on Latin America, political science, and history as well as filmmakers, civil society leaders, and other experts—was iss
Posted by bentagain, Sun Feb-10-19 01:52 PM


The following open letter—signed by 70 scholars on Latin America, political science, and history as well as filmmakers, civil society leaders, and other experts—was issued on Thursday, January 24, 2019 in opposition to ongoing intervention by the United States in Venezuela.

The United States government must cease interfering in Venezuela’s internal politics, especially for the purpose of overthrowing the country’s government. Actions by the Trump administration and its allies in the hemisphere are almost certain to make the situation in Venezuela worse, leading to unnecessary human suffering, violence, and instability.

Venezuela’s political polarization is not new; the country has long been divided along racial and socioeconomic lines. But the polarization has deepened in recent years. This is partly due to US support for an opposition strategy aimed at removing the government of Nicolás Maduro through extra-electoral means. While the opposition has been divided on this strategy, US support has backed hardline opposition sectors in their goal of ousting the Maduro government through often violent protests, a military coup d’etat, or other avenues that sidestep the ballot box.

"Actions by the Trump administration and its allies in the hemisphere are almost certain to make the situation in Venezuela worse, leading to unnecessary human suffering, violence, and instability."

Under the Trump administration, aggressive rhetoric against the Venezuelan government has ratcheted up to a more extreme and threatening level, with Trump administration officials talking of “military action” and condemning Venezuela, along with Cuba and Nicaragua, as part of a “troika of tyranny.” Problems resulting from Venezuelan government policy have been worsened  by US economic sanctions, illegal under the Organization of American States and the United Nations ― as well as US law and other international treaties and conventions. These sanctions have cut off the means by which the Venezuelan government could escape from its economic recession, while causing a dramatic falloff in oil production and worsening the economic crisis, and causing many people to die because they can’t get access to life-saving medicines. Meanwhile, the US and other governments continue to blame the Venezuelan government ― solely ― for the economic damage, even that caused by the US sanctions.

Now the US and its allies, including OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro and Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, have pushed Venezuela to the precipice. By recognizing National Assembly President Juan Guaido as the new president of Venezuela ― something illegal under the OAS Charter ― the Trump administration has sharply accelerated Venezuela’s political crisis in the hopes of dividing the Venezuelan military and further polarizing the populace, forcing them to choose sides. The obvious, and sometimes stated goal, is to force Maduro out via a coup d’etat.

The reality is that despite hyperinflation, shortages, and a deep depression, Venezuela remains a politically polarized country. The US and its allies must cease encouraging violence by pushing for violent, extralegal regime change. If the Trump administration and its allies continue to pursue their reckless course in Venezuela, the most likely result will be bloodshed, chaos, and instability. The US should have learned something from its regime change ventures in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and its long, violent history of sponsoring regime change in Latin America.

"The US should have learned something from its regime change ventures in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and its long, violent history of sponsoring regime change in Latin America."

Neither side in Venezuela can simply vanquish the other. The military, for example, has at least 235,000 frontline members, and there are at least 1.6 million in militias. Many of these people will fight, not only on the basis of a belief in national sovereignty that is widely held in Latin America ― in the face of what increasingly appears to be a US-led intervention ― but also to protect themselves from likely repression if the opposition topples the government by force.

In such situations, the only solution is a negotiated settlement, as has happened in the past in Latin American countries when politically polarized societies were unable to resolve their differences through elections. There have been efforts, such as those led by the Vatican in the fall of 2016, that had potential, but they received no support from Washington and its allies who favored regime change. This strategy must change if there is to be any viable solution to the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.

For the sake of the Venezuelan people, the region, and for the principle of national sovereignty, these international actors should instead support negotiations between the Venezuelan government and its opponents that will allow the country to finally emerge from its political and economic crisis.

Signed:

Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus, MIT and Laureate Professor, University of Arizona 

Laura Carlsen, Director, Americas Program, Center for International Policy 

Greg Grandin, Professor of History, New York University 

Miguel Tinker Salas, Professor of Latin American History and Chicano/a Latino/a Studies at Pomona College 

Sujatha Fernandes, Professor of Political Economy and Sociology, University of Sydney 

Steve Ellner, Associate Managing Editor of Latin American Perspectives 

Alfred de Zayas, former UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order and only UN rapporteur to have visited Venezuela in 21 years 

Boots Riley, Writer/Director of Sorry to Bother You, Musician 

John Pilger, Journalist & Film-Maker 

Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research 

Jared Abbott, PhD Candidate, Department of Government, Harvard University 

Dr. Tim Anderson, Director, Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies 

Elisabeth Armstrong, Professor of the Study of Women and Gender, Smith College 

Alexander Aviña, PhD, Associate Professor of History, Arizona State University 

Marc Becker, Professor of History, Truman State University 

Medea Benjamin, Cofounder, CODEPINK 

Phyllis Bennis, Program Director, New Internationalism, Institute for Policy Studies 

Dr. Robert E. Birt, Professor of Philosophy, Bowie State University 

Aviva Chomsky, Professor of History, Salem State University 

James Cohen, University of Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, Associate Professor, George Mason University 

Benjamin Dangl, PhD, Editor of Toward Freedom 

Dr. Francisco Dominguez, Faculty of Professional and Social Sciences, Middlesex University, UK 

Alex Dupuy, John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology Emeritus, Wesleyan University 

Jodie Evans, Cofounder, CODEPINK 

Vanessa Freije, Assistant Professor of International Studies, University of Washington 

Gavin Fridell, Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor in International Development Studies, St. Mary’s University 

Evelyn Gonzalez, Counselor, Montgomery College 

Jeffrey L. Gould, Rudy Professor of History, Indiana University 

Bret Gustafson, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis 

Peter Hallward, Professor of Philosophy, Kingston University 

John L. Hammond, Professor of Sociology, CUNY 

Mark Healey, Associate Professor of History, University of Connecticut 

Gabriel Hetland, Assistant Professor of Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latino Studies, University of Albany 

Forrest Hylton, Associate Professor of History, Universidad Nacional de Colombia-Medellín 

Daniel James, Bernardo Mendel Chair of Latin American History 

Chuck Kaufman, National Co-Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice 

Daniel Kovalik, Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh 

Winnie Lem, Professor, International Development Studies, Trent University 

Dr. Gilberto López y Rivas, Professor-Researcher, National University of Anthropology and History, Morelos, Mexico 

Mary Ann Mahony, Professor of History, Central Connecticut State University 

Jorge Mancini, Vice President, Foundation for Latin American Integration (FILA) 

Luís Martin-Cabrera, Associate Professor of Literature and Latin American Studies, University of California San Diego 

Teresa A. Meade, Florence B. Sherwood Professor of History and Culture, Union College 

Frederick Mills, Professor of Philosophy, Bowie State University 

Stephen Morris, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Middle Tennessee State University 

Liisa L. North, Professor Emeritus, York University 

Paul Ortiz, Associate Professor of History, University of Florida 

Christian Parenti, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, John Jay College CUNY 

Nicole Phillips, Law Professor at the Université de la Foundation Dr. Aristide Faculté des Sciences Juridiques et Politiques and Adjunct Law Professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law 

Beatrice Pita, Lecturer, Department of Literature, University of California San Diego 

Margaret Power, Professor of History, Illinois Institute of Technology 

Vijay Prashad, Editor, The TriContinental 

Eleanora Quijada Cervoni FHEA, Staff Education Facilitator & EFS Mentor, Centre for Higher Education, Learning & Teaching at The Australian National University 

Walter Riley, Attorney and Activist 

William I. Robinson, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara 

Mary Roldan, Dorothy Epstein Professor of Latin American History, Hunter College/ CUNY Graduate Center 

Karin Rosemblatt, Professor of History, University of Maryland 

Emir Sader, Professor of Sociology, University of the State of Rio de Janeiro 

Rosaura Sanchez, Professor of Latin American Literature and Chicano Literature, University of California, San Diego 

T.M. Scruggs Jr., Professor Emeritus, University of Iowa 

Victor Silverman, Professor of History, Pomona College 

Brad Simpson, Associate Professor of History, University of Connecticut 

Jeb Sprague, Lecturer, University of Virginia

Kent Spriggs, International human rights lawyer

Christy Thornton, Assistant Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University 

Sinclair S. Thomson, Associate Professor of History, New York University 

Steven Topik, Professor of History, University of California, Irvine 

Stephen Volk, Professor of History Emeritus, Oberlin College 

Kirsten Weld, John. L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, Department of History, Harvard University 

Kevin Young, Assistant Professor of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst 

Patricio Zamorano, Academic of Latin American Studies; Executive Director, InfoAmericas

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

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Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor (retired) at MIT. He is the author of many books and articles on international affairs and social-political issues, and a long-time participant in activist movements. His most recent books include:  Who Rules the World?(Metropolitan Books, the American Empire Project, 2016); Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire (with interviewer David Barsamian); Making the Future: Occupations, Interventions; Empire and Resistance, Hopes and Prospects; and Profit Over People: Neoliberalism & Global Order.Previous books include: 9-11: 10th Anniversary Edition, Failed States, What We Say Goes (with David Barsamian), Hegemony or Survival, and the Essential Chomsky.

Laura Carlsen  is director of the Americas Policy Program in Mexico City, where she has been an analyst and writer for two decades. She is also a Foreign Policy In Focus columnist. Email: (lcarlsen(at)ciponline.org)

Miguel Tinker Salas is professor of history at Pomona College. He is the author of The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture and Society in Venezuela (2009)

Greg Grandin teaches history at New York University and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His most recent book is, Kissinger’s Shadow: The Long Reach of America’s Most Controversial Statesman. His previous books include, The Empire of Necessity:  Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World and Fordlandia, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history.

13312820, saw that and also this well-informed piece in the NYT
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Sun Feb-10-19 07:41 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/05/opinion/venezuela-guaido-trump-united-states.html?fbclid=IwAR0TZRJpWwVK23ZQ0OpJ4c-HJUpeq0H1MyqxXuLHt-0vSWVQ8CPbisr7l0s



The ideal solution would be a multi-lateral group--something like the UN but that actually works--to oversee fair elections and economic relief. As it stands either the U.S. will use this to shift the region further right or Russia/China will dig their claws in deeper with more predatory lending and exploitative commerce.

The problem is that el tiempo es oro, for Venezuela and, generally speaking, for the U.S. also. So U.S. intervention is probably the most immediate solution. Throwing the country into civil war is fairly big risk with any solution but I think now most of the population is actually receptive to intervention of some form.
13312824, When has U.S. intervention led to positive results?
Posted by Vex_id, Sun Feb-10-19 08:53 PM
<So U.S. intervention is
>probably the most immediate solution. Throwing the country
>into civil war is fairly big risk with any solution but I
>think now most of the population is actually receptive to
>intervention of some form.

You "think" most of the population is receptive to outside intervention - but there better be more than just a hunch to validate such drastic measures. Any intervention should be solely to officiate and adjudicate neutrality that empowers the Venezuelan people to self-determine their present and future.

Our intervention (regardless of administration) has yielded tragedy, but the notion that one would advise for *this* U.S. Administration to intervene anywhere is about as misguided as it can get. Donald Trump & the Bolton Boys are not capable of intervening anywhere with positive effect.

Further, when has U.S. intervention yielded positive results (for the local region)? LatAm? Mid-East? Our record on successful intervention is abysmal, because we intervene to serve U.S. geo-political interests (or in some instances, Saudi & Israeli interests). We don't have a record of serving the interests of the local people, so insisting that "U.S. intervention is the most immediate solution" is a reckless statement that clashes with historical record.


-->
13312959, No, I don't "think" it.
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Mon Feb-11-19 01:45 PM

>You "think" most of the population is receptive to outside
>intervention - but there better be more than just a hunch to
>validate such drastic measures. Any intervention should be
>solely to officiate and adjudicate neutrality that empowers
>the Venezuelan people to self-determine their present and
>future.

There is a lot more than just a hunch, the bigger question is if their receptiveness should be taken as affirmation given the desperate situation they are in.

>Our intervention (regardless of administration) has yielded
>tragedy, but the notion that one would advise for *this* U.S.
>Administration to intervene anywhere is about as misguided as
>it can get. Donald Trump & the Bolton Boys are not capable of
>intervening anywhere with positive effect.

Read above where I said the problem is that we have a lack of good actors regionally and globally, and in particular the least competent and more venal set of boobs ever to set foot in U.S. office.

>Further, when has U.S. intervention yielded positive results
>(for the local region)? LatAm? Mid-East? Our record on
>successful intervention is abysmal, because we intervene to
>serve U.S. geo-political interests (or in some instances,
>Saudi & Israeli interests). We don't have a record of serving
>the interests of the local people, so insisting that "U.S.
>intervention is the most immediate solution" is a reckless
>statement that clashes with historical record.

Military intervention has seldom (though not never) yielded positive results however diplomatic intervention (and in some cases backed by limited military intervention) has. Obviously I would personally advocate for a very different solution, but on the list of imminent situations this ranks pretty high and anyone telling you "THIRSTY FOR OIL!" is mostly full of shit, as we already get plenty from them. This is a humanitarian crisis, even if our motives to intervene are to shift power and politics in the region at an opportune time.
13315691, bolton said recently oil is (obviously) a major want
Posted by rawsouthpaw, Sun Feb-24-19 07:24 PM

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/29/headlines/us_imposes_sanctions_on_venezuela_in_latest_challenge_to_maduro

"It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela. It’d be good for the people of Venezuela. It’d be good for the people of the United States.”
13315731, they are obvious about thier intent. not even trying to hide it
Posted by kayru99, Mon Feb-25-19 08:25 AM
dude already asking the IMF for a loan to a country he don't run.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/venezuela-politics-guaido/venezuelas-guaido-considering-request-for-funds-from-imf-sources-idUKL1N1ZP0TH

shit's a coup.
13313046, RE: Elliott Abrams
Posted by bentagain, Mon Feb-11-19 07:28 PM
https://www.laprogressive.com/venezuela-myth/?utm_source=LA+Progressive+NEW&utm_campaign=0d4e4c05a3-LAP_News_4_15_April_17_PC4_15_2017_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_61288e16ef-0d4e4c05a3-286932137&mc_cid=0d4e4c05a3&mc_eid=02a754d7f0

Although Venezuela is not technically at war, it is suffering from foreign currency strains triggered by aggressive attacks by a foreign power. US economic sanctions have been going on for years, causing at least $20 billion in losses to the country. About $7 billion of its assets are now being held hostage by the US, which has waged an undeclared war against Venezuela ever since George W. Bush’s failed military coup against President Hugo Chavez in 2002. Chavez boldly announced the “Bolivarian Revolution,” a series of economic and social reforms that dramatically reduced poverty and illiteracy and improved health and living conditions for millions of Venezuelans. The reforms, which included nationalizing key components of the nation’s economy, made Chavez a hero to millions of people and the enemy of Venezuela’s oligarchs.

Nicolas Maduro was elected president following Chavez’s death in 2013 and vowed to continue the Bolivarian Revolution. Like Saddam Hussein and Omar Qaddafi before him, he defiantly announced that Venezuela would not be trading oil in US dollars, following sanctions imposed by President Trump.

The notorious Elliott Abrams has now been appointed as special envoy to Venezuela. Considered a criminal by many for covering up massacres committed by US-backed death squads in Central America, Abrams was among the prominent neocons closely linked to Bush’s failed Venezuelan coup in 2002. National Security Advisor John Bolton is another key neocon architect advocating regime change in Venezuela. At a January 28 press conference, he held a yellow legal pad prominently displaying the words “5,000 troops to Colombia,” a country that shares a border with Venezuela. Apparently the neocon contingent feels they have unfinished business there.

Bolton does not even pretend that it’s all about restoring “democracy.” He said on Fox News, “It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.” As President Nixon said of US tactics against Allende’s government in Chile, the point of sanctions and military threats is to squeeze the country economically.

Killing the Public Banking Revolution in Venezuela
It may be about more than oil, which recently hit record lows in the market. The US hardly needs to invade a country to replenish its supplies. As with Libya and Iraq, another motive may be to suppress the banking revolution initiated by Venezuela’s upstart leaders.

The banking crisis of 2009-10 exposed the corruption and systemic weakness of Venezuelan banks. Some banks were engaged in questionable business practices. Others were seriously undercapitalized. Others were apparently lending top executives large sums of money. At least one financier could not prove where he got the money to buy the banks he owned.

Rather than bailing out the culprits, as was done in the US, in 2009 the government nationalized seven Venezuelan banks, accounting for around 12% of the nation’s bank deposits. In 2010, more were taken over. The government arrested at least 16 bankers and issued more than 40 corruption-related arrest warrants for others who had fled the country. By the end of March 2011, only 37 banks were left, down from 59 at the end of November 2009. State-owned institutions took a larger role, holding 35% of assets as of March 2011, while foreign institutions held just 13.2% of assets.

Over the howls of the media, in 2010 Chavez took the bold step of passing legislation defining the banking industry as one of “public service.” The legislation specified that 5% of the banks’ net profits must go towards funding community council projects, designed and implemented by communities for the benefit of communities. The Venezuelan government directed the allocation of bank credit to preferred sectors of the economy, and it increasingly became involved in the operations of private financial institutions. By law, nearly half the lending portfolios of Venezuelan banks had to be directed to particular mandated sectors of the economy, including small business and agriculture.

In an April 2012 article called “Venezuela Increases Banks’ Obligatory Social Contributions, U.S. and Europe Do Not,” Rachael Boothroyd said that the Venezuelan government was requiring the banks to give back. Housing was declared a constitutional right, and Venezuelan banks were obliged to contribute 15% of their yearly earnings to securing it. The government’s Great Housing Mission aimed to build 2.7 million free houses for low-income families before 2019. The goal was to create a social banking system that contributed to the development of society rather than simply siphoning off its wealth. Boothroyd wrote:

. . . Venezuelans are in the fortunate position of having a national government which prioritizes their life quality, wellbeing and development over the health of bankers’ and lobbyists’ pay checks. If the 2009 financial crisis demonstrated anything, it was that capitalism is quite simply incapable of regulating itself, and that is precisely where progressive governments and progressive government legislation needs to step in.

That is also where the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is stepping in in the US – and why AOC’s proposals evoke howls in the media of the sort seen in Venezuela.

Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution gives Congress the power to create the nation’s money supply. Congress needs to exercise that power. Key to restoring our economic sovereignty is to reclaim the power to issue money from a commercial banking system that acknowledges no public responsibility beyond maximizing profits for its shareholders. Bank-created money is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, including federal deposit insurance, access to the Fed’s lending window, and government bailouts when things go wrong. If we the people are backing the currency, it should be issued by the people through their representative government.

ellen brownToday, however, our government does not adequately represent the people. We first need to take our government back, and that is what AOC and her congressional allies are attempting to do.

Ellen Brown
Web of Debt
13313510, RE: Elliott Abrams
Posted by bentagain, Wed Feb-13-19 02:35 PM
https://twitter.com/JordanUhl/status/1095763653532487682
13313518, Elliot Abrams involvement negates any arugment for US intervention
Posted by GOMEZ, Wed Feb-13-19 02:41 PM
13315372, libya redux
Posted by naame, Fri Feb-22-19 01:24 PM
the pentagon really loves this whole scenario.

America has imported more warlord theocracy from Afghanistan than it has exported democracy.
13315382, They're bringing Abrams to the Colombian border
Posted by Marauder21, Fri Feb-22-19 01:38 PM
To help "deliver humanitarian aid?"

Can't leave the war criminal at home?

https://twitter.com/Abs_NBC/status/1098719175235854337

VENEZUELA: @StateDept announces Elliott Abrams will lead a US delegation traveling by military aircraft to the Colombian border to deliver humanitarian aid for Venezuela.
13315394, Maduro defenders: please comment
Posted by j., Fri Feb-22-19 02:08 PM
Venezuelan soldiers shot and killed a woman Friday in a standoff with a local indigenous community over international aid entering the country from Brazil, according to a local mayor.

Emilio Gonzalez, mayor of the Venezuelan town of Gran Sabana, near the Venezuela-Brazil border, said the military opened fire on an indigenous group trying to facilitate the passage of aid into Venezuela. The military was blocking the assistance from entering the country.

"Instead of mediating, the military started shooting," Gonzalez told CNN.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/22/americas/woman-killed-venezuela-aid-scli-intl/index.html
13315407, Is Guaido that popular in Venezuela?
Posted by bentagain, Fri Feb-22-19 02:24 PM
I'm not sure who you are inferring is a Maduro supporter...?

But since this story has been making headlines

I'm hearing alot of things about Guaido

mostly about him being a US puppet

Sincerely asking, is his campaign the will of the Venezuelan people or the result of US interests?
13315415, Has a socialist dictatorship ever been popular?
Posted by j., Fri Feb-22-19 02:49 PM
Sure, ruling through fear and killing unarmed civilians is one way to maintain power

but OKP is fixated on "US Intervention" while Maduro denies humanitarian aid to a starving population

What are we gonna do? seize the oil fields like we did in Iraq?
oh right, 4k Americans died there and the oil still belongs to Iraq
(we're also so interventionist that Iraq is now basically an Iranian puppet state)
Where's the coup to install an American puppet in Baghdad?

Guaido was president of the Venezuelan national assembly a month ago
Backed by the Venezuelan constitution, he assumed interim presidential powers due to the power vacuum created by Maduro's illegitimate sham election

(A parallel situation exists here: If 45/Pence were found to have committed crimes in the election, our constitution says Nancy Pelosi would become president)

----

Maduro still has supporters, and they staged a counter-demonstration Saturday in Caracas, but a new poll said they're in the minority.

After years of economic decay, corruption and violence, the poll showed 82 percent of Venezuelans want Maduro to quit.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nicolas-maduro-venezuelan-presidents-supporters-hold-rally-amid-first-major-army-defection-2019-02-02/
13315812, The Making of Juan Guaido (swipe)
Posted by bentagain, Mon Feb-25-19 12:19 PM
This is what I was referring to

There is a timeline here that has its own implications

But to play along with your Pelosi analogy

Imagine if she was a month into her 1st term...and installing herself as the POTUS

That wouldn't raise any validity or motive questions for you?

That's all I'm asking...in the US the MSM has presented him as some sort of savior

There seems to be conflicting reports...I'm getting School of the Americas vibes

Also, IRT humanitarian aid...how does that work with a country you are imposing sanctions on...?

Wouldn't lifting the sanctions be aid in and of itself

While we bomb Yemen and prop up Israel's genocide...why is Venezuela the priority?

https://www.mintpressnews.com/the-making-of-juan-guaido-how-the-us-regime-change-laboratory-created-venezuela-coup-leader/254387/

The Making of Juan Guaido: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela’s Coup Leader
Juan Guaidó is the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington’s elite regime change trainers. While posing as a champion of democracy, he has spent years at the forefront of a violent campaign of destabilization.

by Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal

GrayZone Project — Before the fateful day of January 22, fewer than one in five Venezuelans had heard of Juan Guaidó. Only a few months ago, the 35-year-old was an obscure character in a politically marginal far-right group closely associated with gruesome acts of street violence. Even in his own party, Guaidó had been a mid-level figure in the opposition-dominated National Assembly, which is now held under contempt according to Venezuela’s constitution.

But after a single phone call from US Vice President Mike Pence, Guaidó proclaimed himself as president of Venezuela. Anointed as the leader of his country by Washington, a previously unknown political bottom dweller was vaulted onto the international stage as the US-selected leader of the nation with the world’s largest oil reserves.

Echoing the Washington consensus, the New York Times editorial board hailed Guaidó as a “credible rival” to Maduro with a “refreshing style and vision of taking the country forward.” The Bloomberg News editorial board applauded him for seeking “restoration of democracy” and the Wall Street Journal declared him “a new democratic leader.” Meanwhile, Canada, numerous European nations, Israel, and the bloc of right-wing Latin American governments known as the Lima Group recognized Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.




While Guaidó seemed to have materialized out of nowhere, he was, in fact, the product of more than a decade of assiduous grooming by the US government’s elite regime change factories. Alongside a cadre of right-wing student activists, Guaidó was cultivated to undermine Venezuela’s socialist-oriented government, destabilize the country, and one day seize power. Though he has been a minor figure in Venezuelan politics, he had spent years quietly demonstrated his worthiness in Washington’s halls of power.

“Juan Guaidó is a character that has been created for this circumstance,” Marco Teruggi, an Argentinian sociologist and leading chronicler of Venezuelan politics, told the Grayzone. “It’s the logic of a laboratory – Guaidó is like a mixture of several elements that create a character who, in all honesty, oscillates between laughable and worrying.”

Diego Sequera, a Venezuelan journalist and writer for the investigative outlet, Mision Verdad, agreed: “Guaidó is more popular outside Venezuela than inside, especially in the elite Ivy League and Washington circles,” Sequera remarked to the Grayzone, “He’s a known character there, is predictably right-wing, and is considered loyal to the program.”

While Guaidó is today sold as the face of democratic restoration, he spent his career in the most violent faction of Venezuela’s most radical opposition party, positioning himself at the forefront of one destabilization campaign after another. His party has been widely discredited inside Venezuela, and is held partly responsible for fragmenting a badly weakened opposition.

“‘These radical leaders have no more than 20 percent in opinion polls,” wrote Luis Vicente León, Venezuela’s leading pollster. According to Leon, Guaidó’s party remains isolated because the majority of the population “does not want war. ‘What they want is a solution.’”

But this is precisely why he Guaidó was selected by Washington: he is not expected to lead Venezuela towards to democracy, but to collapse a country that for the past two decades has been a bulwark of resistance to US hegemony. His unlikely rise signals the culmination of a two-decades-long project to destroy a robust socialist experiment.



Targeting the “troika of tyranny”
Since the 1998 election of Hugo Chavez, the United States has fought to restore control over Venezuela and is vast oil reserves. Chavez’s socialist programs may have redistributed the country’s wealth and helped lift millions out of poverty, but they also earned him a target on his back. In 2002, Venezuela’s right-wing opposition briefly ousted him with US support and recognition before the military restored his presidency following a mass popular mobilization. Throughout the administrations of US Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Chavez survived numerous assassination plots before succumbing to cancer in 2013. His successor, Nicolas Maduro, has survived three attempts on his life.

The Trump administration immediately elevated Venezuela to the top of Washington’s regime change target list, branding it the leader of a “troika of tyranny.”Last year, Trump’s national security team attempted to recruit members of the military brass to mount a military junta, but that effort failed. According to the Venezuelan government, the US was also involved in a plot codenamed Operation Constitution to capture Maduro at the Miraflores presidential palace, and another called Operation Armageddon to assassinate him at a military parade in July 2017. Just over a year later, exiled opposition leaders tried and failed to kill Maduro with drone bombs during a military parade in Caracas.

More than a decade before these intrigues, a group of right-wing opposition students were hand selected and groomed by an elite, US-funded regime change training academy to topple Venezuela’s government and restore the neoliberal order.



Training from the “‘export-a-revolution’ group that sowed the seeds for a NUMBER of color revolutions”
On October 5, 2005, with Chavez’s popularity at its peak and his government planning sweeping socialist programs, five Venezuelan “student leaders” arrived in Belgrade, Serbia to begin training for an insurrection.

The students had arrived from Venezuela courtesy of the Center for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies, or CANVAS. This group is funded largely through the National Endowment for Democracy, a CIA cut-out that functions as the US government’s main arm of promoting regime change; and offshoots like the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. According to leaked internal emails from Stratfor, an intelligence firm known as the “shadow CIA,” “ may have also received CIA funding and training during the 1999/2000 anti-Milosevic struggle.”

CANVAS is a spinoff of Otpor, a Serbian protest group founded by Srdja Popovic in 1998 at the University of Belgrade. Otpor, which means “resistance” in Serbian, was the student group that gained international fame – and Hollywood-level promotion – by mobilizing the protests that eventually toppled Slobodan Milosevic. This small cell of regime change specialists was operating according to the theories of the late Gene Sharp, the so-called “Clausewitz of non-violent struggle.” Sharp had worked with a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, Col. Robert Helvey, to conceive a strategic blueprint that weaponized protest as a form of hybrid warfare, aiming it at states that resisted Washington’s unipolar domination.

Otpor | Protest
A fence covered with posters of Slobodan Milosevic behind bars, titled “When?” and “People’s Movement Otpor” in Belgrade, Serbia, March 30, 2001. Darko Vojinovic | AP

Otpor was supported by the National Endowment for Democracy, USAID and Sharp’s Albert Einstein Institute. Sinisa Sikman, one of Otpor’s main trainers, once said the group even received direct CIA funding. According to a leaked email from a Stratfor staffer, after running Milosevic out of power, “the kids who ran OTPOR grew up, got suits and designed CANVAS… or in other words a ;export-a-revolution’ group that sowed the seeds for a NUMBER of color revolutions. They are still hooked into U.S. funding and basically go around the world trying to topple dictators and autocratic governments (ones that U.S. does not like ;).”
Stratfor revealed that CANVAS “turned its attention to Venezuela” in 2005 after training opposition movements that led pro-NATO regime change operations across Eastern Europe.

While monitoring the CANVAS training program, Stratfor outlined its insurrectionist agenda in strikingly blunt language: “Success is by no means guaranteed, and student movements are only at the beginning of what could be a years-long effort to trigger a revolution in Venezuela, but the trainers themselves are the people who cut their teeth on the ‘Butcher of the Balkans.’ They’ve got mad skills. When you see students at five Venezuelan universities hold simultaneous demonstrations, you will know that the training is over and the real work has begun.”



Birthing the “Generation 2007” regime change cadre
The “real work” began two years later, in 2007, when Guaidó graduated from Andrés Bello Catholic University of Caracas. He moved to Washington DC to enroll in the Governance and Political Management Program at George Washington University under the tutelage of Venezuelan economist Luis Enrique Berrizbeitia, one of the top Latin American neoliberal economists. Berrizbeitia is a former executive director of the International Monetary Fund who spent more than a decade working in Venezuelan energy sector under the oligarchic old regime that was ousted by Chavez.

That year, Guaidó helped lead anti-government rallies after the Venezuelan government declined to to renew the license of Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV). This privately-owned station played a leading role in the 2002 coup against Hugo Chavez. RCTV helped mobilize anti-government demonstrators, falsified information blaming government supporters for acts of violence carried out by opposition members, and banned pro-government reporting amid the coup. The role of RCTV and other oligarch-owned stations in driving the failed coup attempt was chronicled in the acclaimed documentary, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

That same year, the students claimed credit for stymying Chavez’s constitutional referendum for a “21st century socialism” that promised “to set the legal framework for the political and social reorganization of the country, giving direct power to organized communities as a prerequisite for the development of a new economic system.”

From the protests around RCTV and the referendum, a specialized cadre of US-backed class of regime change activists was born. They called themselves “Generation 2007.”

The Stratfor and CANVAS trainers of this cell identified Guaidó’s ally – a street organizer named Yon Goicoechea – as a “key factor” in defeating the constitutional referendum. The following year, Goicochea was rewarded for his efforts with the Cato Institute’s Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, along with a $500,000 prize, which he promptly invested into building his own Liberty First (Primero Justicia) political network.

Yon Goicoechea | Venezuela
Yon Goicoechea receives the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, May 15, 2008. Seth Wenig | AP

Friedman, of course, was the godfather of the notorious neoliberal Chicago Boys who were imported into Chile by dictatorial junta leader Augusto Pinochet to implement policies of radical “shock doctrine”-style fiscal austerity. And the Cato Institute is the libertarian Washington DC-based think tank founded by the Koch Brothers, two top Republican Party donors who have become aggressive supporters of the right-wing across Latin America.

Wikileaks published a 2007 email from American ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield sent to the State Department, National Security Council and Department of Defense Southern Command praising “Generation of ’07” for having “forced the Venezuelan president, accustomed to setting the political agenda, to (over)react.” Among the “emerging leaders” Brownfield identified were Freddy Guevara and Yon Goicoechea. He applauded the latter figure as “one of the students’ most articulate defenders of civil liberties.”

Flush with cash from libertarian oligarchs and US government soft power outfits, the radical Venezuelan cadre took their Otpor tactics to the streets, along with a version of the group’s logo, as seen below:

Otpor | Venezuela


“Galvanizing public unrest…to take advantage of the situation and spin it against Chavez”
In 2009, the Generation 2007 youth activists staged their most provocative demonstration yet, dropping their pants on public roads and aping the outrageous guerrilla theater tactics outlined by Gene Sharp in his regime change manuals. The protesters had mobilized against the arrest of an ally from another newfangled youth group called JAVU. This far-right group “gathered funds from a variety of US government sources, which allowed it to gain notoriety quickly as the hardline wing of opposition street movements,” according to academic George Ciccariello-Maher’s book, “Building the Commune.”

While video of the protest is not available, many Venezuelans have identified Guaidó as one of its key participants. While the allegation is unconfirmed, it is certainly plausible; the bare-buttocks protesters were members of the Generation 2007 inner core that Guaidó belonged to, and were clad in their trademark Resistencia! Venezuela t-shirts, as seen below:

Juan Guaido | Protest
Is this the ass that Trump wants to install in Venezuela’s seat of power?

That year, Guaidó exposed himself to the public in another way, founding a political party to capture the anti-Chavez energy his Generation 2007 had cultivated. Called Popular Will, it was led by Leopoldo López, a Princeton-educated right-wing firebrand heavily involved in National Endowment for Democracy programs and elected as the mayor of a district in Caracas that was one of the wealthiest in the country. Lopez was a portrait of Venezuelan aristocracy, directly descended from his country’s first president. He was also the first cousin of Thor Halvorssen, founder of the US-based Human Rights Foundation that functions as a de facto publicity shop for US-backed anti-government activists in countries targeted by Washington for regime change.

Though Lopez’s interests aligned neatly with Washington’s, US diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks highlighted the fanatical tendencies that would ultimately lead to Popular Will’s marginalization. One cable identified Lopez as “a divisive figure within the opposition… often described as arrogant, vindictive, and power-hungry.” Others highlighted his obsession with street confrontations and his “uncompromising approach” as a source of tension with other opposition leaders who prioritized unity and participation in the country’s democratic institutions.

Leopoldo Lopez | Wealth
Popular Will founder Leopoldo Lopez cruising with his wife, Lilian Tintori.

By 2010, Popular Will and its foreign backers moved to exploit the worst drought to hit Venezuela in decades. Massive electricity shortages had struck the country due the dearth of water, which was needed to power hydroelectric plants. A global economic recession and declining oil prices compounded the crisis, driving public discontentment.

Stratfor and CANVAS – key advisors of Guaidó and his anti-government cadre – devised a shockingly cynical plan to drive a dagger through the heart of the Bolivarian revolution. The scheme hinged on a 70% collapse of the country’s electrical system by as early as April 2010.

“This could be the watershed event, as there is little that Chavez can do to protect the poor from the failure of that system,” the Stratfor internal memo declared. “This would likely have the impact of galvanizing public unrest in a way that no opposition group could ever hope to generate. At that point in time, an opposition group would be best served to take advantage of the situation and spin it against Chavez and towards their needs.”

By this point, the Venezuelan opposition was receiving a staggering $40-50 million a year from US government organizations like USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy, according to a report by the Spanish think tank, the FRIDE Institute. It also had massive wealth to draw on from its own accounts, which were mostly outside the country.

While the scenario envisioned by Statfor did not come to fruition, the Popular Will party activists and their allies cast aside any pretense of non-violence and joined a radical plan to destabilize the country.



Towards violent destabilization
In November, 2010, according to emails obtained by Venezuelan security services and presented by former Justice Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres, Guaidó, Goicoechea, and several other student activists attended a secret five-day training at the Fiesta Mexicana hotel in Mexico City. The sessions were run by Otpor, the Belgrade-based regime change trainers backed by the US government. The meeting had reportedly received the blessing of Otto Reich, a fanatically anti-Castro Cuban exile working in George W. Bush’s Department of State, and the right-wing former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

At the Fiesta Mexicana hotel, the emails stated, Guaidó and his fellow activists hatched a plan to overthrow President Hugo Chavez by generating chaos through protracted spasms of street violence.

Three petroleum industry figureheads – Gustavo Torrar, Eligio Cedeño and Pedro Burelli – allegedly covered the $52,000 tab to hold the meeting. Torrar is a self-described “human rights activist” and “intellectual” whose younger brother Reynaldo Tovar Arroyo is the representative in Venezuela of the private Mexican oil and gas company Petroquimica del Golfo, which holds a contract with the Venezuelan state.

Cedeño, for his part, is a fugitive Venezuelan businessman who claimed asylum in the United States, and Pedro Burelli a former JP Morgan executive and the former director of Venezuela’s national oil company, Petroleum of Venezuela (PDVSA). He left PDVSA in 1998 as Hugo Chavez took power and is on the advisory committee of Georgetown University’s Latin America Leadership Program.

Burelli insisted that the emails detailing his participation had been fabricated and even hired a private investigator to prove it. The investigator declared that Google’s records showed the emails alleged to be his were never transmitted.

Yet today Burelli makes no secret of his desire to see Venezuela’s current president, Nicolás Maduro, deposed – and even dragged through the streets and sodomized with a bayonet, as Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi was by NATO-backed militiamen.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Pedro Mario Burelli
@pburelli
.@NicolasMaduro, jamas me has hecho caso. Me has fustigado/perseguido como @chavezcandanga jamás osó. Óyeme, tienes sólo dos opciones en las próximas 24 horas:

1. Como Noriega: pagar pena por narcotráfico y luego a @IntlCrimCourt La Haya por DDHH.

2. O a la Gaddafi.

Escoge ya!

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10:09 PM - Jan 16, 2019
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The alleged Fiesta Mexicana plot flowed into another destabilization plan revealed in a series of documents produced by the Venezuelan government. In May 2014, Caracas released documents detailing an assassination plot against President Nicolás Maduro. The leaks identified the Miami-based Maria Corina Machado as a leader of the scheme. A hardliner with a penchant for extreme rhetoric, Machado has functioned as an international liaison for the opposition, visiting President George W. Bush in 2005.

maria corina machado | george bush
Machado and George W. Bush, 2005.

“I think it is time to gather efforts; make the necessary calls, and obtain financing to annihilate Maduro and the rest will fall apart,” Machado wrote in an email to former Venezuelan diplomat Diego Arria in 2014.

In another email, Machado claimed that the violent plot had the blessing of US Ambassador to Colombia, Kevin Whitaker. “I have already made up my mind and this fight will continue until this regime is overthrown and we deliver to our friends in the world. If I went to San Cristobal and exposed myself before the OAS, I fear nothing. Kevin Whitaker has already reconfirmed his support and he pointed out the new steps. We have a checkbook stronger than the regime’s to break the international security ring.”



Guaidó heads to the barricades
That February, student demonstrators acting as shock troops for the exiled oligarchy erected violent barricades across the country, turning opposition-controlled quarters into violent fortresses known as guarimbas. While international media portrayed the upheaval as a spontaneous protest against Maduro’s iron-fisted rule, there was ample evidence that Popular Will was orchestrating the show.

“None of the protesters at the universities wore their university t-shirts, they all wore Popular Will or Justice First t-shirts,” a guarimba participant said at the time. “They might have been student groups, but the student councils are affiliated to the political opposition parties and they are accountable to them.”

Asked who the ringleaders were, the guarimba participant said, “Well if I am totally honest, those guys are legislators now.”

Around 43 were killed during the 2014 guarimbas. Three years later, they erupted again, causing mass destruction of public infrastructure, the murder of government supporters, and the deaths of 126 people, many of whom were Chavistas. In several cases, supporters of the government were burned alive by armed gangs.

Guaidó was directly involved in the 2014 guarimbas. In fact, he tweeted video showing himself clad in a helmet and gas mask, surrounded by masked and armed elements that had shut down a highway that were engaging in a violent clash with the police. Alluding to his participation in Generation 2007, he proclaimed, “I remember in 2007, we proclaimed, ‘Students!’ Now, we shout, ‘Resistance! Resistance!’”

Guaidó has deleted the tweet, demonstrating apparent concern for his image as a champion of democracy.



On February 12, 2014, during the height of that year’s guarimbas, Guaidó joined Lopez on stage at a rally of Popular Will and Justice First. During a lengthy diatribe against the government, Lopez urged the crowd to march to the office of Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz. Soon after, Diaz’s office came under attack by armed gangs who attempted to burn it to the ground. She denounced what she called “planned and premeditated violence.”

Leopoldo Lopez | Juan Guaido
Guaido alongside Lopez at the fateful February 12, 2014 rally. Photo | PanAm Post

In a televised appearance in 2016, Guaidó dismissed deaths resulting from guayas – a guarimba tactic involving stretching steel wire across a roadway in order to injure or kill motorcyclists – as a “myth.” His comments whitewashed a deadly tactic that had killed unarmed civilians like Santiago Pedroza and decapitated a man named Elvis Durán, among many others.

This callous disregard for human life would define his Popular Will party in the eyes of much of the public, including many opponents of Maduro.



Cracking down on Popular Will
As violence and political polarization escalated across the country, the government began to act against the Popular Will leaders who helped stoke it.

Freddy Guevara, the National Assembly Vice-President and second in command of Popular Will, was a principal leader in the 2017 street riots. Facing a trial for his role in the violence, Guevara took shelter in the Chilean embassy, where he remains.

Lester Toledo, a Popular Will legislator from the state of Zulia, was wanted by Venezuelan government in September 2016 on charges of financing terrorism and plotting assassinations. The plans were said to be made with former Colombian President Álavaro Uribe. Toledo escaped Venezuela and went on several speaking tours with Human Rights Watch, the US government-backed Freedom House, the Spanish Congress and European Parliament.

Carlos Graffe, another Otpor-trained Generation 2007 member who led Popular Will, was arrested in July 2017. According to police, he was in possession of a bag filled with nails, C4 explosives and a detonator. He was released on December 27, 2017.

Leopoldo Lopez, the longtime Popular Will leader, is today under house arrest, accused of a key role in deaths of 13 people during the guarimbas in 2014. Amnesty International lauded Lopez as a “prisoner of conscience” and slammed his transfer from prison to house as “not good enough.” Meanwhile, family members of guarimba victims introduced a petition for more charges against Lopez.

Yon Goicoechea, the Koch Brothers posterboy and US-backed founder of Justice First, was arrested in 2016 by security forces who claimed they found a kilo of explosives in his vehicle. In a New York Times op-ed, Goicoechea protested the charges as “trumped-up” and claimed he had been imprisoned simply for his “dream of a democratic society, free of Communism.” He was freed in November 2017.

View image on Twitter
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Yon Goicoechea

@YonGoicoechea
Hoy, en Caricuao. Llevo 15 años trabajando con @jguaido. Confío en él. Conozco la constancia y la inteligencia con la que se ha construido a sí mismo. Está haciendo las cosas con bondad, pero sin ingenuidad. Hay una posibilidad abierta hacia la libertad.

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David Smolansky, also a member of the original Otpor-trained Generation 2007, became Venezuela’s youngest-ever mayor when he was elected in 2013 in the affluent suburb of El Hatillo. But he was stripped of his position and sentenced to 15 months in prison by the Supreme Court after it found him culpable of stirring the violent guarimbas.

Facing arrest, Smolansky shaved his beard, donned sunglasses and slipped into Brazil disguised as a priest with a bible in hand and rosary around his neck. He now lives in Washington, DC, where he was handpicked by Secretary of the Organization of American States Luis Almagro to lead the working group on the Venezuelan migrant and refugee crisis.

This July 26, Smolansky held what he called a “cordial reunion” with Elliot Abrams, the convicted Iran-Contra felon installed by Trump as special US envoy to Venezuela. Abrams is notorious for overseeing the US covert policy of arming right-wing death squads during the 1980’s in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. His lead role in the Venezuelan coup has stoked fears that another blood-drenched proxy war might be on the way.

View image on Twitter
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David Smolansky

@dsmolansky
Cordial reunión en la ONU con Elliott Abrams, enviado especial del gobierno de EEUU para Venezuela. Reiteramos que la prioridad para el gobierno interino que preside @jguaido es la asistencia humanitaria para millones de venezolanos que sufren de la falta de comida y medicinas.

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Four days earlier, Machado rumbled another violent threat against Maduro, declaring that if he “wants to save his life, he should understand that his time is up.”



A pawn in their game
The collapse of Popular Will under the weight of the violent campaign of destabilization it ran alienated large sectors of the public and wound much of its leadership up in exile or in custody. Guaidó had remained a relatively minor figure, having spent most of his nine-year career in the National Assembly as an alternate deputy. Hailing from one of Venezuela’s least populous states, Guaidó came in second place during the 2015 parliamentary elections, winning just 26% of votes cast in order to secure his place in the National Assembly. Indeed, his bottom may have been better known than his face.

Guaidó is known as the president of the opposition-dominated National Assembly, but he was never elected to the position. The four opposition parties that comprised the Assembly’s Democratic Unity Table had decided to establish a rotating presidency. Popular Will’s turn was on the way, but its founder, Lopez, was under house arrest. Meanwhile, his second-in-charge, Guevara, had taken refuge in the Chilean embassy. A figure named Juan Andrés Mejía would have been next in line but reasons that are only now clear, Juan Guaido was selected.

“There is a class reasoning that explains Guaidó’s rise,” Sequera, the Venezuelan analyst, observed. “Mejía is high class, studied at one of the most expensive private universities in Venezuela, and could not be easily marketed to the public the way Guaidó could. For one, Guaidó has common mestizo features like most Venezuelans do, and seems like more like a man of the people. Also, he had not been overexposed in the media, so he could be built up into pretty much anything.”

In December 2018, Guaidó sneaked across the border and junketed to Washington, Colombia and Brazil to coordinate the plan to hold mass demonstrations during the inauguration of President Maduro. The night before Maduro’s swearing-in ceremony, both Vice President Mike Pence and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland called Guaidó to affirm their support.

A week later, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rick Scott and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart – all lawmakers from the Florida base of the right-wing Cuban exile lobby – joined President Trump and Vice President Pence at the White House. At their request, Trump agreed that if Guaidó declared himself president, he would back him.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met personally withGuaidó on January 10, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, Pompeo could not pronounce Guaidó’s name when he mentioned him in a press briefing on January 25, referring to him as “Juan Guido.”

Embedded video

Dan Cohen

@dancohen3000
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just called the figure Washington is attempting to install as Venezuelan President "Juan *Guido*" - as in the racist term for Italians. America's top diplomat didn't even bother to learn how to pronounce his puppet's name.

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By January 11, Guaidó’s Wikipedia page had been edited 37 times, highlighting the struggle to shape the image of a previously anonymous figure who was now a tableau for Washington’s regime change ambitions. In the end, editorial oversight of his page was handed over to Wikipedia’s elite council of “librarians,” who pronounced him the “contested” president of Venezuela.

Guaidó might have been an obscure figure, but his combination of radicalism and opportunism satisfied Washington’s needs. “That internal piece was missing,” a Trump administration said of Guaidó. “He was the piece we needed for our strategy to be coherent and complete.”

“For the first time,” Brownfield, the former American ambassador to Venezuela, gushed to the New York Times, “you have an opposition leader who is clearly signaling to the armed forces and to law enforcement that he wants to keep them on the side of the angels and with the good guys.”

But Guaidó’s Popular Will party formed the shock troops of the guarimbas that caused the deaths of police officers and common citizens alike. He had even boasted of his own participation in street riots. And now, to win the hearts and minds of the military and police, Guaido had to erase this blood-soaked history.

On January 21, a day before the coup began in earnest, Guaidó’s wife delivered a video address calling on the military to rise up against Maduro. Her performance was wooden and uninspiring, underscoring the her husband’s limited political prospects.

At a press conference before supporters four days later, Guaidó announced his solution to the crisis: “Authorize a humanitarian intervention!”

While he waits on direct assistance, Guaidó remains what he has always been – a pet project of cynical outside forces. “It doesn’t matter if he crashes and burns after all these misadventures,” Sequera said of the coup figurehead. “To the Americans, he is expendable.”

Top Photo | Venezuela’s self-declared interim leader Juan Guaido, center, greets supporters after a rally at a public plaza in Las Mercedes neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela, Jan. 26, 2019. Fernando Llano | AP

Dan Cohen is a journalist and filmmaker. He has produced widely distributed video reports and print dispatches from across Israel-Palestine. Dan is a correspondent at RT America and tweets at @DanCohen3000.

Max Blumenthal is the founder and editor of GrayzoneProject.com, the co-host of the podcast Moderate Rebels, the author of several books and producer of full-length documentaries including the recently released Killing Gaza. Follow him on Twitter at @MaxBlumenthal.
13315763, fear that the opposition will commit genocide
Posted by naame, Mon Feb-25-19 10:42 AM
might be one of the reasons elliot abrams has been brought in

America has imported more warlord theocracy from Afghanistan than it has exported democracy.
13315765, Brazil? they have their own 'Maduro' over there
Posted by Dr Claw, Mon Feb-25-19 10:43 AM
Bolsonaro's "humanitarian aid" might come with a side of guerrilla rapists, Elliot "Iran Contra" Abrams style
13315890, Inside Trump's Venezuela pivot
Posted by j., Mon Feb-25-19 02:54 PM
His senior advisers universally support unseating Maduro. And people close to Trump say he takes a markedly different view of Venezuela than Middle Eastern war zones.

He sees Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq as beyond help, a waste of American lives and money. Venezuela, in his view, is different: It's a neighbor, and a crisis there directly affects the U.S., via trade and migration. Trump thinks Venezuela should be rich and peaceful.

"Venezuela is not anything like the Middle East; it is a western country, with western institutions and western cultural leanings," said Rubio, a key player in Trump's Venezuela policy.

"The president sees this country with extraordinary economic potential, which has been run into the ground," Rubio told me. "I think he believes some of these issues in the Middle East are intractable and just can't be fixed. But he actually thinks Venezuela and the western hemisphere can ."

"He also takes some of this stuff personally. The fact that Maduro and others have reacted the way they have ... Ultimately there comes a point, for this president, where he become personally invested in it...he becomes an enemy and then he goes after you pretty hard."

Political opportunism also plays a big role. "It's a real-life example of the failure of socialism and there's an appeal in that," a senior White House official told me.

Trump and his advisors see their approach as a way to court Venezuelan expats, who may be friendly to the American right-wing because of the failure of Maduro's leftist government.

The fact that the bulk of those expats live and vote in Florida, of all states, is not lost on Trump and his political team.

https://www.axios.com/venezuela-donald-trump-foreign-policy-strategy-7f04c3da-fd30-4038-8fd1-e057b15c7f83.html

---

For the record I did not and will not vote for 45 but
the enemy of my enemy is my...
Apologists for Maduro and socialism in general are playing with fire in Florida when it comes to 2020 elections
We hear it all the time: "how can some Latinos vote repug?"
This is one of the reasons why
Just like there's white single issue voters (abortion, guns, supreme court)
there's a single issue voter among Latinos as well (socialism and anything that smells like it)

Cubans (Castro)
Nicaraguans (Ortega)
Colombians (FARC/ELN)
and now Venezuelans (Chavez/Maduro)

To put it bluntly, the hard line Cuban movement was on its last legs in Miami
You saw it this last midterm: Ros-Lehtinen and Curbelo got the boot
A Dem (Shalala) now represents Little Havana (which is barely Havana these days. It's a majority Honduran/Salavadorian neighborhood now)

When Obama opened relations with Cuba, much of Miami supported it
a clear majority supports lifting the embargo

Along comes the Venezuelan humanitarian catastrophe
What Max Blumenthal doesn't mention in the article above is that Venezuela is a Cuban puppet state
So Cuba, that paragon of an open society with multi-party democratic governance, is now the model?

Marco Rubio, a do-nothing absentee senator, gets re-elected AFTER complaining about his job (thanks to FL Dems nominating a complete ass clown) is now a rock star and main cheerleader of 45's policy

We're now right back where we started: the Cuban hard right wing is back from the dead and setting the agenda

Thanks a lot, Dems
13315895, RE: Inside Trump's Venezuela pivot
Posted by bentagain, Mon Feb-25-19 03:05 PM
http://www.whitepeoplewontsaveyou.org/
13316048, fresh video interview with venezuelan foreign minister. link.
Posted by A Love Supreme, Tue Feb-26-19 11:05 AM
https://youtu.be/7dim9uOsDuI
13316080, Pence announces more sanctions on Venezuela
Posted by bentagain, Tue Feb-26-19 12:21 PM
SMH, can't believe people are falling for this humanitarian aid BS

I believe that clip references an exact scenario that unfolded in DR 1965

Also, folks really forgot Trumpster was using war with Venezuela as a deflection from the Russia investigation...July 2017

WTF

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/colombia-vice-president-pence-announce-clear-actions-against-venezuela-s-n975621

LATINO
Pence hits Venezuela with new sanctions, promises 'even stronger' measures ahead
The new sanctions target four governors in Venezuela for "endemic corruption" and "blocking the delivery of critical humanitarian aid."
Image: Venezuelan migrants plead for aid as they protest in Cucuta, Colombia, on Feb. 24, 2019.
Venezuelan migrants plead for aid as they protest in Cucuta, Colombia, on Feb. 24, 2019. A U.S.-backed effort to deliver foreign aid to Venezuela was met with resistance from troops under President Nicolas Maduro.Fernando Vergara / AP
Feb. 25, 2019, 6:08 AM PST
By Carmen Sesin
MIAMI — Vice President Mike Pence on Monday announced new sanctions against Venezuelan government officials and called on allies to freeze the assets of the state-owned oil company after a deadly weekend in which U.S. aid was blocked from entering the crisis-stricken country.

Pence was in the Colombian capital, Bogotá, meeting with Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, and members of the Lima Group — a 14-nation regional coalition that includes most Latin American countries and Canada.

The sanctions announced Monday target four governors in Venezuela for "endemic corruption" and "blocking the delivery of critical humanitarian aid," according to a statement by the Treasury Department.

Pence called on Lima Group nations to immediately freeze the assets of Venezuela's state oil company, PDVSA, and transfer ownership of the assets in their countries to Guaidó.




Pence on Venezuelan opposition leader: 'We are with you 100 percent'
FEB. 25, 201902:14
Pence said the U.S. will stand by Guaidó until freedom is restored and promised tougher measures against the oil-rich nation soon.

"In the days ahead ... the United States will announce even stronger sanctions on the regime's corrupt financial networks," Pence said. "We will work with all of you to find every last dollar that they stole and work to return it to Venezuela."

Pence also said the U.S. is sending another $56 million to Venezuela's neighbors to help them cope with the influx of migrants from Venezuela. Over 3 million Venezuelans have fled their country's turmoil in recent years. The U.S. has already provided $139 million to the neighboring countries.

Pence's appearance before the Lima Group comes two days after U.S.-backed aid convoys attempted to enter Venezuela to deliver food and medicine. The resulting protests and clashes with forces loyal to Maduro left at least two people dead and 300 wounded.

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The U.S. and regional allies had sent emergency food and medical kits and positioned them on Venezuela's borders weeks in advance. Maduro has rejected most offers of humanitarian assistance and has said the aid efforts are part of a U.S.-orchestrated coup against him.

During Monday's meeting, Guaidó, who was sitting next to Pence, asked for a moment of silence for those who were killed over the weekend. The room they were in was decorated with a large painting of Latin American independence hero Simon Bolivar.

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“It’s time to do more,” Pence said in a speech to the group. “The day is coming soon when Venezuela’s long nightmare will end, when Venezuela will once more be free, when her people will see a new birth of freedom, in a nation reborn to libertad.”

Pence reiterated that "all options are on the table" — a phrase that has been repeated by Trump administration officials since the U.S. recognized Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela in January.

Guaidó has adopted similar language and urged the Lima Group to consider "all options" in ousting Maduro.

But both Guaidó and Trump administration officials have stopped of calling for U.S. troops on the ground.

Maduro still controls institutions, including the military, which experts think is instrumental in maintaining Maduro in power. Maduro has the backing of Russia, China, and Cuba.

Guaidó, has been recognized as interim president by the U.S. and 50 other nations who say the re-election of Maduro last year was a sham.
13321252, Guaido's chief of staff arrested
Posted by Marauder21, Thu Mar-21-19 08:30 AM
They're going to use this as a pretext to invade

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/21/world/americas/guaido-Roberto-Marrero.html

PUERTO ORDAZ, Venezuela — Venezuela’s intelligence police detained the chief of staff of the opposition leader Juan Guaidó early Thursday, a significant escalation of the country’s political crisis and one that could provoke fresh punitive measures from the United States.

The chief of staff, Roberto Marrero, a lawyer and confidant of Mr. Guaidó’s, was taken from his apartment in southern Caracas around dawn to an unknown destination by armed intelligence officers, said Sergio Vergara, an opposition lawmaker who is a friend and neighbor of Mr. Marrero’s.

Mr. Guaidó and the National Assembly confirmed the detention in posts on Twitter.

Mr. Vergara said that Mr. Marrero told him as he was led away that the police had planted two rifles and a grenade in his house as a pretext to charge him with terrorism. Mr. Vergara, who is a member of Mr. Guaidó’s party, said that armed intelligence officers had also broken into his apartment and searched his house for several hours.

His claim could not be independently verified, and the country’s Information Ministry did not immediately respond on Thursday to a request for comment. But the government has used similar tactics in the past to jail other opposition figures.

The detention of Mr. Marrero is President Nicolás Maduro’s most serious attack yet on Mr. Guaidó’s camp. Mr. Guaidó drew international support from the United States and about 50 other countries when he declared himself Venezuela’s interim president in January.

The Trump administration has said that any repressive measures against Mr. Guaidó or his inner circle would be punished.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Twitter: “The United States condemns raids by Maduro’s security services and detention of Roberto Marrero, Chief of Staff to Interim President @jguaido. We call for his immediate release. We will hold accountable those involved.”

Mr. Guaidó has enjoyed an unusual freedom of movement and operation since directly challenging Mr. Maduro’s increasingly embattled government and wresting control of Venezuelan state assets, bank accounts and properties abroad. Mr. Guaidó was briefly detained on a highway in Caracas in January, but was almost immediately released, with one Maduro administration official calling the arrest an “irregular procedure” by rogue agents.

This month, after a tour of South America to rally support from regional allies, Mr. Guaidó returned to Venezuela and was met by jubilant crowds. He had faced arrest, having defied a court-imposed order not to leave the country.

In the past, Mr. Maduro’s government has quashed challenges to his rule by jailing opposition leaders, forcing them to flee the country or disqualifying them from elections.

“There are certain lines, and Maduro knows what they are,” Senator Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican who advises President Trump on Venezuela policy, said last month while touring Venezuela’s border with Colombia. “The consequences will be severe, and they will be swift.”

By detaining Mr. Marrero, Mr. Maduro is trying to undermine Mr. Guaidó while raising the government’s bargaining power in any future negotiations over the transfer of power, said Luis Salamanca, a political scientist at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas.

“The government feels cornered and they are responding with the only way they know: with repression,” he said. “They are trying to stay in power, but at the same time they are preparing escape routes if their ability to govern deteriorates further.”
13321260, Happy 16th birthday, Iraq War
Posted by Walleye, Thu Mar-21-19 08:44 AM
I can't think of a better way to celebrate.
13321274, Our baby is old enough to drive into a wedding, killing everyone
Posted by Marauder21, Thu Mar-21-19 09:35 AM
13321359, Forreal, America has to stop interfering with Venezuelan politics
Posted by Kira, Thu Mar-21-19 12:18 PM
Getting Chavez should've stopped it.

Instead neocons had to keep it up. Neocons have ruined America dating back, recent history, to the Iraq war. This is what happens when white men and women elect a monster to office that is woefully unqualified for the position.
13321366, Sociatal collapse if I'm not mistake n
Posted by Atillah Moor, Thu Mar-21-19 12:23 PM
13321373, SMH@the WH reception for Bolsonaro
Posted by bentagain, Thu Mar-21-19 12:28 PM
But we're going to invade VZ on the premise of a sham election

Meanwhile, Lula is still in jail

SMH

US humanitarian aid to VZ = taking out the power grid
13332556, this part:
Posted by kayru99, Tue May-14-19 01:25 PM
>Meanwhile, Lula is still in jail
Corporate interests just debo'd a massive ass country

>
>SMH
>
>US humanitarian aid to VZ = taking out the power grid

The fact that people even remotely entertain the idea of a "humanitarian invasion" is fucking nuts to me
13329411, I guess they're getting the coup going
Posted by Walleye, Tue Apr-30-19 09:30 AM
Looking forward to watching the United States be a force for peace and security in the world, just like we've offered in Yemen and Libya and Syria and Iraq and Haiti and Nicaragua and El Salvador and Russia and Indonesia and like dozens of other places in just the last fifty or sixty years.
13329415, I feel like there are zero good outcomes here
Posted by Marauder21, Tue Apr-30-19 09:42 AM
Just for the inevitable fighting to kill as few people as possible, I guess.
13332496, Oh now it's crickets?
Posted by j., Tue May-14-19 10:21 AM
what happened OKP?

People are still starving in Venezuela and Maduro is still pushing more migrants out

OKP got real quiet when there was no threat of actually removing Maduro

We can now go back to cheerleading socialism while ignoring the narcotrafficking regime he leads as he starves his own people

but in case you forgot

FUCK SOCIALISM
THE ONLY GOOD SOCIALIST IS A DEAD SOCIALIST

13332498, I think you are in Venezuela right?
Posted by Buddy_Gilapagos, Tue May-14-19 10:33 AM
If so I can't imagine how angry and frustated you are but I think when people argue about Socialism they are ususally talking about two different things.

The Soviet system of Socialism, which is undemocratic and totalitarian, and the Western socialist parties which are both democratic and non-totalitarian.

One described it as “a system of government that provides citizens with health insurance, retirement support, and access to free higher education.” The other characterized it as “a system where the government controls key parts of the economy, such as utilities, transportation and communications industries.”


So before you start wishing people dead, you should at least make sure we are talking about the same thing.

Here is a primer I found helpful in making the distinction for discussion purposes.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2019/05/13/socialism-a-short-primer/





**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"
13332503, He ain't in Venezuela
Posted by Hitokiri, Tue May-14-19 10:50 AM
And he's somehow a fan of Dr. King and Malcolm X while apparently having absolutely no knowledge of what the actual politics of those men were.
He loves medicare and doesn't see how it's a fucking socialist program.
Good luck with what you're trying to do though.
13332512, Do you have family in Venezuela? I do
Posted by j., Tue May-14-19 11:09 AM
Have some of your family members been forced to leave because there's no food on the shelves?

Mine has

Have you had to send money and packages because there's no medicine for a family member?

I have

So fuck your defense of the indefensible



13332555, Sounds like your beef is with Maduro, not Socialism at large.
Posted by Buddy_Gilapagos, Tue May-14-19 01:06 PM

**********
"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"
13332559, That's like: sounds like your beef is with 45, not racism at large
Posted by j., Tue May-14-19 01:36 PM
There is no distinction. They are one and the same
Maduro IS socialism

There is no "benevolent socialism" or "compassionate socialism" or anything of the sort

It's an inherently authoritarian oppressive ideology that destroys countries and lives

It's always the same song with first world socialist plea coppers:

USSR
Eastern Europe
North Korea
China
Vietnam
Cambodia
Cuba
Nicaragua
Venezuela

"None of them applied true socialism! just wait until the REAL socialist system is in power!"
13332565, Not family, but friends, yes. And yes, to everything except packages
Posted by Hitokiri, Tue May-14-19 02:17 PM
But, that's actually not relevant to discussion at all. But you've already shown, in this very thread, how you're incapable of any meaningful, nuanced discussion beyond your frat-boyesque "fuck socialism, pinko" bullshit.
13332573, of course human suffering isn't relevant to the discussion
Posted by j., Tue May-14-19 02:36 PM
Instead, let's sit in a cafe like good first world armchair revolutionaries and discuss the bounties of the great socialist experiment as my family members and countless others flee for their lives

We're done here. May you and yours never fall victim to a socialist regime.
13332582, I thought you were buying me a ticket to Cuba?
Posted by Hitokiri, Tue May-14-19 03:03 PM
"We're done here" says the dude who bumped the thread.


13332497, Inside the secret plot to turn senior Venezuelan officials against Maduro (link)
Posted by Marbles, Tue May-14-19 10:25 AM

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/inside-the-secret-plot-to-turn-senior-venezuelan-officials-against-maduro/2019/05/13/5ad022a8-737e-11e9-8be0-ca575670e91c_story.html?utm_term=.18cf65f3d0e3