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