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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:20 pm 
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JANUARY 31, 2019

People Who Care About Democracy Don’t Plot Coups Abroad

by PETER CERTO


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For some months now, Venezuela’s socialist government has lurched through a series of escalating crises — hyperinflation, mass protests, political violence — while both the government and its opposition have flirted with authoritarianism.

It isn’t pretty — and to hear the right wing tell it, it’s the future the U.S. left wants for our own country. As if to prevent that, the Trump administration is now fomenting a coup in Venezuela.

They’ve publicly recognized an unelected opposition leader as president, discussed coup plans with Venezuela’s military, and sanctioned oil revenues the country needs to resolve its economic crisis. They’re even threatening to send U.S. troops.

They’ll tell you this about restoring “democracy” and “human rights” in the South American country. But one look at the administration officials driving the putsch perishes the thought.

Take Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who recently spoke at the United Nations calling on countries to stand “with the forces of freedom” against “the mayhem” of Venezuela’s government.

This fall, the same Pompeo shared a photo of himself beaming and shaking hands with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince — just as the prince’s order to kill and dismember a U.S. resident journalist was coming to light. The same prince is carrying on a U.S.-backed war in Yemen, where millions are starving.

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Does this sound like a man who gives one fig for democracy, or against mayhem?

Or take Pompeo’s point man on Venezuela, the dreaded Elliott Abrams. Pompeo said Abrams was appointed for his “passion for the rights and liberties of all peoples.” More likely, it was Abrams’ history as Reagan’s “Secretary of Dirty Wars” (yes, that’s a real thing people called him).

A singularly villainous figure, Abrams vouched for U.S. backing of a genocidal Guatemalan regime and Salvadoran death squads in the 1980s. And when a UN report cataloged 22,000 atrocities in El Salvador, Abrams praised his administration’s “fabulous achievement” in the country.

Abrams was convicted of lying to Congress about U.S. support for Nicaragua’s brutal Contras, but that didn’t prevent him from serving in George W. Bush’s State Department — which backed not only the Iraq war but an earlier coup attempt in, you guessed it, Venezuela.

“It’s very nice to be back,” Abrams told reporters. I bet!

Finally there’s National Security Adviser John Bolton, who recently took a cute photo with the words “5,000 troops” written on a notepad. Bolton still thinks the Iraq war was a good idea, and he’d like one with Iran too. Do we think it’s bread and roses he wants for Venezuela?

For all its faults, Venezuela achieved tremendous things before the current crisis — including drastic reductions in poverty and improvements in living standards. Mismanagement and repression may have imperiled those gains, but that’s no justification at all for the U.S. getting involved. In fact, U.S. sanctions have worsened the economic crisis, and U.S. coordination with coup plotters has poisoned the country’s political environment even further.

The future of Venezuela’s revolution is for Venezuelans to decide, not us. All that can come of more intervention now is more crisis, and maybe even war.

Instead of regime change, the U.S. — and especially progressive politicians (looking at you, Nancy Pelosi) — should back regional dialogue and diplomacy. While Democratic Party leaders appear to back Trump, a few representatives — like Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) — are bravely backing a diplomatic course.

For all the right’s warnings that the left wants to “turn the U.S. into Venezuela,” we should pay careful attention to what the people who gave guns to death squads and destroyed the Middle East want to do with it. Because unlike the left, they’re already running our own country.

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"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory." - Howard Zinn


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:22 pm 
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Yep I was right in the Patrick Cockburn thread. Left-wing apologia for the dictator Maduro knows no boundaries. Defend him to the death because SOMEHOW the US is behind everything, EVERYTHING right? Right?!?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:41 pm 
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Doesn't that mean you are supporting the Right Wing Dictator, Juan Guaido?

Maduro won an election that was as fair and square as the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.

Guaido just announced that he wanted to be President, because he didn't think Maduro should be.

The United States immediately recognised Guaido as Venezuelan Head of State, even though U.S. Law is very clear about providing funding to countries "whose duly elected leader of government is deposed by decree or military coup".

The U.S. is *NOT* allowed to fund or recognise foreign governments that assumed power via a coup d'etat.

But that didn't stop it immediately recognising the leaders of the coups d'Etat in Ukraine (2014), Egypt (2013), Honduras (2009) and so on and so forth....

The Government of the United States is the prime mover behind this attempted coup in Venezuela, just as it has been the prime mover behind two previously attempted Venezuelan coups (1998 and 2002).

Because Venezuela has the World's largest amount of proven oil reserves.

It's got fuck all to do with "Left" or "Right".

It's got everything to do with whether the People of Venezuela benefit from their Nation's Oil Reserves; or whether a small clique of Venezuela's powerful elite, working hand-in-hand with Washington, D.C., to are allowed to prevent that.

By any metric: *ALL* of the justifications the U.S. Government is coming up with for trying to take control of Venezuela, apply ten-fold to a Nation like Saudi Arabia.

Why is Saudi Arabia good, and Venezuela bad SG?

:-?

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"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory." - Howard Zinn


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:58 pm 
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Venezuela is clearly falling apart, and none of the recent elections there have been “fair and square” - they are a complete farce. People are starving to death.

I do hope the “right wing coup” succeeds, because it’s the best hope the people have right now. Having said that, I agree with the main premise that the U.S. and others should stay the fuck out of it - any military involvement will only make things worse.


Also, read this piece from October.

Venezuela’s Suicide: Lessons From a Failed State


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:10 pm 
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I guess it's a bit like when a Government wants to privatise the profits of a social utility (whilst keeping losses socialised).

The trick there is to defund the utility whilst it is publicly-owned, then use the inevitable service deterioration as justification for privatising it.

Since Chavez came to power in Venezuela in 1998, the U.S. has been terrified that the Bolivarian Revolution would sweep through South America.

That would mean South American Governments prioritising policies that benefit South America's citizens, rather than U.S. corporate interests.

So that has to be stopped.

But how do you get a population tired of its Government's failed attempts at Regime Change in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Honduras, Ukraine, Libya &c., to support yet another coup?

By doing everything in your (not inconsiderable) power to destabilise and de-legitimise the Regime you want rid of.

OP Hands-Up those who have ever visited Venezuela?

OK: hands-up who has visited Venezuela in the last three years?

Alright: hands-up if you have a comprehensive and contemporary understanding of the current "Situation on the Ground" in Venezuela?

Hmmm... OK, last attempt:

Hands-up if all the information you are using to form an opinion about the current situation in Venezuela, was obtained from non-Venezuelan politicians and Media outlets? (I.e. your own nation's politicians and media).

That's more like it.

Now then... The current situation in Venezuela could be exactly and verifiably the way that Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton et al say it is.

It *COULD* be exactly as bad as they say.

It could *ALSO* not be as bad as they, and they could be exaggerating in order to win popular support for a twenty-year old mission to bring Venezuela's oil reserves properly back into the Neo-Liberal Economic Order.

('Cos can you imagine what disruption a Venezuelan Government could do the economies of oil-exporting nations, if it decided to give its oil away for free again? Like Chavez did after Hurricane Katrina?)

Can't be having that, can we?

So I'm not suggesting that your perspective on Venezuela is definitely inaccurate Mullet.

Just suggesting you carry out a thoroughly qualitative assessment of the information sources you are basing that perspective on.

If Venezuela truly is now a failed state, how can that be blamed exclusively on Bolivarian Social policies, when we have ample documentary evidence to show that the U.S. has been actively opposing those policies, and persistently trying to oust the Venezuelan Government?

If no outside parties had been actively trying to undermine Venezuela's Bolivarian Experiment, and Venezuela was in the state it appears to be in (with all due exaggerations necessary for effect), then we could confidently conclude that those Bolivarian Ideals are shit.

But it is impossible to make that judgement, because we know that the U.S. has been actively and repeatedly trying to depose the Chavistas.

Let's have the U.S. promise to not interfere in any way, for a period of 20 yeaes, with the manner in which a majority of Venezuelans choose to govern their own Nation.

If after those twenty years, Venezuela is still an Economic basket-case, then sovereignty over Venezuela and all its oil, passes to the U.S. Government to do with it what it pleases.

Can't say fairer than that, can I?

:-??

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"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory." - Howard Zinn


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:28 pm 
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I don't think this is spin or "fake news" - Venezuela really has collapsed.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevehanke ... 42cd694572

Remember when Maduro decided to lop off a few zeroes? They are completely fucked.


Surely you trust al-Jazeera? https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/ ... 06119.html


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:46 pm 
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If the US were really "afraid" of a Bolivarian type revolution in Venezuela, we would have dealt with it covertly or overtly many years ago. Not 20+ after the paranoid idiot first takes power.

Venezuela has never been powerful in the context of the Americas. Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, all have been more powerful politically, economically and/or militarily in South America compared to them at one point or another. In North America Mexico, the US, Canada, even Cuba have all held better hands.

So to think Venezuela is so powerful that we are "afraid" of some revolution happening there? Poppycock.

The real reason we play so concerned is Venezuela is doing their best (and perhaps overshadowing) impression of Somalia and it's happening practically next door to us instead of halfway around the world. If Venezuela falls to civil war and/or (even more of) a failed state, it'll have direct impacts on us because we have territory in the region.

Maduro is a textbook tinpot banana republic dictator, it's hard to find a more textbook example than him right now. Jailing dissidents and reporters, prohibiting political opposition legally, seizing everything by force, ruling by decree, all hallmarks of a textbook dictator. The only thing he hasn't done widespread yet is pull a Pinochet and start randomly killing or disappearing people. That he now flees to the safety of the military because the ENTIRE WORLD now turns against him because of his illegitimate "re-election", only further cements the idea he's a dictator.

If you have any care about democracy, Maduro and his regime must go.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:15 pm 
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Move aside, international norms! The spice must flow.

I've been to Venezuela - that place could use a good revolution.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:47 pm 
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I haven't been there but I've partied with people who have been to Colombia, which is pretty close.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:55 pm 
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I know a guy from there. He's still in my contacts. 5 years ago we were shooting the shit at the Keg and he said the place is fucked. True story.

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Last edited by tgrant on Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:27 pm 
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Venezuela is kinda like bitcoin... it sucks.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:38 am 
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Holyman wrote:
I guess it's a bit like when a Government wants to privatise the profits of a social utility (whilst keeping losses socialised).

The trick there is to defund the utility whilst it is publicly-owned, then use the inevitable service deterioration as justification for privatising it.

Since Chavez came to power in Venezuela in 1998, the U.S. has been terrified that the Bolivarian Revolution would sweep through South America.

That would mean South American Governments prioritising policies that benefit South America's citizens, rather than U.S. corporate interests.

So that has to be stopped.

But how do you get a population tired of its Government's failed attempts at Regime Change in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Honduras, Ukraine, Libya &c., to support yet another coup?

By doing everything in your (not inconsiderable) power to destabilise and de-legitimise the Regime you want rid of.

OP Hands-Up those who have ever visited Venezuela?

OK: hands-up who has visited Venezuela in the last three years?

Alright: hands-up if you have a comprehensive and contemporary understanding of the current "Situation on the Ground" in Venezuela?

Hmmm... OK, last attempt:

Hands-up if all the information you are using to form an opinion about the current situation in Venezuela, was obtained from non-Venezuelan politicians and Media outlets? (I.e. your own nation's politicians and media).

That's more like it.

Now then... The current situation in Venezuela could be exactly and verifiably the way that Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton et al say it is.

It *COULD* be exactly as bad as they say.

It could *ALSO* not be as bad as they, and they could be exaggerating in order to win popular support for a twenty-year old mission to bring Venezuela's oil reserves properly back into the Neo-Liberal Economic Order.

('Cos can you imagine what disruption a Venezuelan Government could do the economies of oil-exporting nations, if it decided to give its oil away for free again? Like Chavez did after Hurricane Katrina?)

Can't be having that, can we?

So I'm not suggesting that your perspective on Venezuela is definitely inaccurate Mullet.

Just suggesting you carry out a thoroughly qualitative assessment of the information sources you are basing that perspective on.

If Venezuela truly is now a failed state, how can that be blamed exclusively on Bolivarian Social policies, when we have ample documentary evidence to show that the U.S. has been actively opposing those policies, and persistently trying to oust the Venezuelan Government?

If no outside parties had been actively trying to undermine Venezuela's Bolivarian Experiment, and Venezuela was in the state it appears to be in (with all due exaggerations necessary for effect), then we could confidently conclude that those Bolivarian Ideals are shit.

But it is impossible to make that judgement, because we know that the U.S. has been actively and repeatedly trying to depose the Chavistas.

Let's have the U.S. promise to not interfere in any way, for a period of 20 yeaes, with the manner in which a majority of Venezuelans choose to govern their own Nation.

If after those twenty years, Venezuela is still an Economic basket-case, then sovereignty over Venezuela and all its oil, passes to the U.S. Government to do with it what it pleases.

Can't say fairer than that, can I?

:-??





tldr

However,

I assume this is some blame the U.S. for hugo chavez and cohorts destroying Venezuela..... :-?

Meanwhile China as part of its belt and road initiative has spent years giving billions of dollars in loads to Venezuela to build fake and questionable infrastructure projects, to put them in debt and gain leverage....China was able to force Venezuela to pay back loads in oil. (Luckily oil prices dropped and China got fucked, lol....but still)

That and both China and Russia have been arming the current regime to help them stay in power and dig the pit even deeper.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:38 am 
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PBFMullethunter wrote:
Venezuela is kinda like bitcoin...


That....is actually a fairly accurate analogy mate. When oil was at record highs a few years ago, Venezuela was THE hot shit on the market to invest in (alongside Russia), everything seemed to be going right riding high on oil profits. Just like bitcoin a year or two ago.

Then, the bottom fell out of the oil market and Venezuela has been broke and impoverished (and dysfunctional) ever since. No longer hot shit and everybody's dream, now they're just shit. Just like bitcoin now.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:15 am 
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I think we may be missing the point here, my friends.

You’re only holding “firm” (-ish) opinions on the current situation in Venezuela, because you’ve been instructed to; and the opinions you are holding are based on the information supplied to you by those doing the instructing.

I don’t have much of a clue about what’s going on in Venezuela at the moment.

I know what the BBC is telling me is going on in Venezuela. I know what Donald Trump is telling me is going on in Venezuela. I know what any number of Western TV/Press corporations are telling me is going on in Venezuela.

I do also know what the person who appears to have been re-elected President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, is saying.

He is saying that he won an election that was as democratic as any others in the Developed World; and he doesn’t see why he should ignore the will of a majority of the Venezuelan People, just because the United States doesn’t approve of his policies.

Oh… And since I figured I better get a little more informed on the topic, as I write this gently chiding post, I thought I’d spend 5 minutes with Google to see if I could find any more detail about the legitimacy of that Venezuelan Election…

…Because whilst we *OBVIOUSLY* all know that it must have been a hopelessly rigged and corrupt affair (because that’s what we’ve been told); it’s always worth peeking beneath the headlines.

Turns out that the accusations of impropriety in the 2018 Venezuelan Election, were first aired in a declarative statement from the EU, which was immediately and heavily criticised by the team of International Observers who *ACTUALLY* monitored the election:

Quote:
Dear Ms Mogherini,

I was a member of a roughly hundred-strong core of observers of the May 20 Venezuelan election. We met senior representatives of all the candidates, and questioned them closely. We met with the president and two vice-presidents of the Supreme Judicial Tribunal. We examined the electoral system in detail and, on election day, observed voting procedures across the country.
We noted, in particular, not only the sophistication of the voting system which, in our collective view, is fraud-proof, but also that every stage, from the vote itself to the collation of returns, their verification and electronic submission, was conducted in the presence of representatives of the contending parties. As for “reporting irregularities”, we would be interested to hear of examples, since the reporting system is exceptionally rigorous and tamper-free. We doubt you have any evidence to back up the EU’s claim of “numerous reporting irregularities”.
We were unanimous in concluding that the elections were conducted fairly, that the election conditions were not biased, that genuine irregularities were exceptionally few and of a very minor nature. There was no vote buying because there is no way that a vote CAN be bought. The procedure itself precludes any possibility of anyone knowing how a voter cast her or his vote; and it is impossible – as we verified – for an individual to vote more than once or for anyone to vote on behalf of someone else.
In short, the claims in your press release are fabrications of the most disgraceful kind, based on hearsay and not on evidence and unworthy of the EU. It has not escaped notice that the EU was invited to send observers to the election and declined to do so. NONE of the criticism in your EU press release is, therefore, based on direct EU observation in the field.
I would be happy to discuss this further with you and to put you or your colleagues in touch with other observers – among whom were senior politicians, academics, election officials, journalists and civil servants from many different nations including: Spain, UK, Northern Ireland, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Honduras, Italy, several Caribbean countries, South Africa, Tunisia, China, Russia,and the United States (sic).
Yours sincerely,
Jeremy Fox, journalist / writer
Jospeh Farrell, Board of the Centre for Investigative Journalism
Calvin Tucker, journalist MS
Dr Francisco Dominguez, Latin American Studies, Middlesex University


Nothing gospel there… But another perspective to consider.

But… But… But… Venezuela is an economic *BASKET-CASE*!!! That surely proves how terrible the Venezuelan peasants are at governing themselves; and why we should all support the rich Venezuelans that the U.S. Government supports!!

Because, you know, what with Trump, Brexit, Gilets Jaune &c., we are *ABSOLUTELY* in a position to be telling other Nations how they should be governing themselves.

*ESPECIALLY* when that nation has the World’s largest proven oil reserves.

Of course Venezuela is an Economic basket-case.

But so is every other nation in South America.

What makes Venezuela stand-out?

The United States owns Columbia outright; and has recently taken out a long-lease on Brazil. Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador all have Right-Wing authoritarian governments that were installed at the behest of Washington, D.C.

As for Venezuela – and this to address your comment about covert and overt U.S. actions against Venezuela – the U.S. *HAS* been trying to destabilise and depose the Populist Left-Wing Government of Venezuela, since 1998. And if you’re not aware that the U.S. tried to depose Hugo Chavez with an attempted coup in 2002, and has been actively sanctioning, destabilising and threatening Venezuela ever since, then you’ve no real business participating any further in this thread.

This isn’t about Left v. Right. It’s not even about the U.S. v. the World.

It’s about how and why we form our opinions.

Why do any of us have an opinion on Venezuela? It’s just another Banana Republic, isn’t it?

It’s not threatening anyone outside of its own borders, is it?

It’s economy is in better shape than Argentina’s or Brazil’s; and whilst Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince has been doing a solid job of tanking his nation’s Economy, no-one seems to mind so much.

So where’s the beef exactly?

You can’t criticise Venezuela for mismanaging its Economy, because nobody else is managing their Economies effectively either.

You also can’t separate Venezuela’s current Economic situation from all of the predation it has endured at the hands of the human nation that completely controls the global oil trade by demanding it all be transacted in U.S. Dollars.

You can’t throw shit at someone’s house for twenty years, then evict them because their house is covered in shit.

But like I say, not about Left v. Right: this is about common sense, and not trusting our own politicians.

Common Sense:

A country with the World’s largest proven oil reserves should have one of the World’s strongest economies, right?

So what gives?

Well, there are two different opinions within Venezuela, regarding oil revenues.

One opinion is that the profits from the sale of Venezuelan oil should be distributed amongst the Venezuelan People.

The other opinion is that those profits should be directed towards private corporations, who will more effectively manage those profits, in a way that more greatly benefits the Venezuelan People.

That’s what is at the heart of the situation in Venezuela: no more, no less.

Now we don’t have to decide which of those two opinions we favour ourselves, because we are not Venezuelans. Why do we give a fuck?

But what we very much should do, is consider what degree of support, and which areas of Venezuelan Society support, which of those two opinions.

Now Venezuela has a large rural population, with a high degree of poverty, and not terrifically high educational standards. (Though still higher than most of its Central and South American neighbours.)

So let’s test your Common Sense:

During the Election Campaign, Venezuela’s Left-Wing (Populist/Bolivarian) politicians would have been telling those peasants that Venezuela’s Right-Wing (Authoritarian) just wants to give all the oil money to Venezuela’s corrupt elite, who will take the capital out of country (or never bother to convert the U.S. Dollar profits back to Venezuelan Bolivars).

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s Right-Wing politicians will have been telling Venezuela’s Metropolitan Middle-Class that the reason why Venezuela is in such a dire Economic State, is because the Bolivarian Government is incompetent and corrupt.

And then they have the Election.

Which way is the Venezuelan majority most likely to vote?

I mean, we in the “Developed” West have now woken up to the bankruptcy of the Neo-Liberal “Trickle-Down” Voodoo. Why would we castigate a majority of Venezuelans for doing likewise?

But if you really want to know which way the political winds are blowing in any South or Central American Nation: look to the Military.

Venezuela’s Military won’t support Juan Guaido, because they know he doesn’t have the numbers. He can only be maintained in power by a return to an authoritarianism that can only be supported by the Military; but the level of Populist opposition to Venezuela’s Oligarchs is such that keeping them in power would basically require a Civil War.

And Venezuela’s Military knows full well that would count as a win for the U.S.

Look… What’s happening within Venezuelan Society is no different to what’s happening in the UK with Brexit, or in the US with Trump. Polarised societies destroying themselves with self-righteousness.

Why is Venezuela top of the Shit-List?

Why Venezuela and not Saudi Arabia?

Why not any number of other Central and South American nations that are in at least as poor a shape (but with a lot less oil…)?

Is there anyone here who still doesn’t accept that the United States of America has been destabilising and destroying foreign governments it doesn’t like, for as long as it has been able to?

So what’s the fucking mystery here?

The U.S. Government has very much been trying to covertly and overtly depose the Populist Left-Wing Government of Venezuela for the last two decades.

Because of Venezuela’s oil.

That’s all.

Why do I feel like I’m the only one with his Learning Head on..?

:-?

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"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory." - Howard Zinn


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:35 pm 
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Holyman you sound like this.

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Maduro can't claim to be voted in by the "majority" of Venezuelans. Not after an "election" with widespread irregularities and problems as stated by the UN AND on top of that pretty much banning all opposition from running in the first place.

What kind of democracy bans all opposition? NONE. What kind of dictatorship does? EVERY LAST ONE.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:51 pm 
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Venezuela is top of the shit-list because it is a train wreck, and soon every single person will leave and be flooding the borders of neighboring countries (and the U.S.)

Not a healthy situatiion at all. If Saudi Arabia were in the same sorry state, of course the U.S. and everybody else would want someone to kick it over and start again. Dictatorships are tolerable, but not completely failed ones.

FFS even the commie EU is recognizing New Guy.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:13 pm 
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How accurate is the information on which you are basing your opinion?

:|

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"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory." - Howard Zinn


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:20 pm 
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Holyman wrote:
How accurate is the information on which you are basing your opinion?

:|


More than yours. There's no conspiracy here, no plot just yet another dictator trying to cling to power as his country descends even further into a wretched cesspit of poverty, squalor and abuse.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:22 pm 
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You didn't know that the United States backed a coup to try and oust Chavez in 2002.

:-??

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"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory." - Howard Zinn


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:33 pm 
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Didn't ol' Hugo try the whole coup thing himself? Probably backed by..."the other side".

They're all cunty douchebags. Pass the beer nuts.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:34 pm 
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Holyman wrote:
You didn't know that the United States backed a coup to try and oust Chavez in 2002.

:-??


III/O

=))

You really think we can keep a secret like that? Mate, the US is one of the leakiest places on Earth when it comes to keeping secrets. We're terrible at it, especially in the past 10 years. You can't keep a call for pizza delivery secret in DC politics, let alone details and/or attempts of a coup in other countries.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:40 pm 
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Thing is, everyone is playing the Blame Game here, and everyone knows who to blame, right?

But let's deconstruct that:

There is currently an attempt to oust a legitimately elected government in Venezuela.

The speed with which the U.S. issued diplomatic recognition to the "alternative" government, indicates the degree of support it has for the politicians who lost the election.

No evidence has been produced to support the allegations that the election was fraudulent.

Both the E.U. and U.S. have issued diplomatic statements declaring the results of the election unreliable. But neither the E.U. or U.S. had observers present during the election.

International observers from the U.K., Germany, Spain, and a whole bunch of other interested parties found no issues with the way the election was conducted.

So if there's any blame to be used in the Blame Game, surely it should be who is to blame for maintaining the current destabilising factors in Venezuelan society?

'Cos you can't play the Blame Game with Venezuelan Government policies and competence.

FTR: I don't know a great deal about Bolivarianism..:

Quote:
Bolivarianism is a mix of pan-American, socialist and national-patriotic ideals fixed against injustices of imperialism, inequality and corruption named after Simón Bolívar, the 19th-century Venezuelan general and liberator from the Spanish monarchy then in abeyance, who led the struggle for independence throughout much of South America.


Fair enough. Whatever floats your boat.

Point being that I have no idea how effective or purposeful Bolivarianism has been for Venezuelan Society over the last twenty years.

And nor do you.

No-one does.

Because Venezuela has not been left alone for the last twenty years.

Saying that Venezuela's popular policies are more shit and useless than the amazingly-fantastic policies governments in the U.S., Canada and Europe implement, is an assertion that is impossible to support.

*IF* Venezuela had been left to its own devices these last two decades, say in the same way that the U.K. and U.S. haven't had to deal with a great deal of external attempts to destabilise (why would any external feel that the internals need any help with that..?), then you could take a proper measure of how effective Venezuelan policies have been.

And if after 20 years of no attempts by the U.S. to depose any populist governments, Venezuelan Society was not a consumer paradise, with every single Venezuelan driving a Ferrari or Porsche, and living in multi-gated mansions, then the Rest of the World would be within its rights to crush those useless Venezuelans, for failing to create the kind of Paradise of Opportunity and Fulfilment we all enjoy, thanks to our own politicians.

Can't say fairer than that, can I?

:-??

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"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory." - Howard Zinn


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:44 pm 
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SomeGuy wrote:
Holyman wrote:
You didn't know that the United States backed a coup to try and oust Chavez in 2002.


You really think we can keep a secret like that? Mate, the US is one of the leakiest places on Earth when it comes to keeping secrets. We're terrible at it, especially in the past 10 years. You can't keep a call for pizza delivery secret in DC politics, let alone details and/or attempts of a coup in other countries.


I'm not saying that the U.S. did keep it a secret, or even attempt to keep it a secret.

Anyone and everyone who pays attention would have read the information in all mainstream media outlets.

It was very well reported, outside of the United States.

So I wasn't suggesting that the U.S. was secretly behind the 2002 attempted coup in Venezuela.

I was just stating that *YOU* didn't know that the U.S. was (very publicly) behind the 2002 attempted coup in Venezuela.

Can you see there's a difference?

:-?

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"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory." - Howard Zinn


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:47 pm 
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Holyman wrote:
Thing is, everyone is playing the Blame Game here, and everyone knows who to blame, right?

But let's deconstruct that:

There is currently an attempt to oust a legitimately elected government in Venezuela.




When the opposition boycotts the election because the results are obviously predetermined, I wouldn’t call that “legitimate.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/0 ... elections/


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:57 pm 
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I wouldn't call an opposition that had boycotted an election legitimate either.

When you say the "results are obviously predetermined", what do you mean?

Predetermined because the opposition boycotted the election, so the result was a foregone conclusion?

Or predetermined because the bulk of Venezuela's rural population is always going to vote for Left-Wing Populists over Right-Wing Authoritarians?

Again, full disclosure: I've really not been following Venezuela of late.

But experience has taught me that the U.S. Government never met a brutal Right-Wing Latin American Authoritarian they didn't like; nor a Left-Wing Populist they didn't hate.

I mean... Cuba anyone...?!

I neither know nor particularly care what's going on in Venezuela at the moment.

But I reckon so long as I steer clear of supporting whoever the U.S. Government is supporting, I won't end up with egg on my face.

>*^*<

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"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory." - Howard Zinn


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