What is happening in Venezuela?

BittyBug

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I'm reading that the U.S. has endorsed opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president and that Guaidó has sworn hismelf in as president,butI haven't read that Maduro was actually ousted. Massive protests, tear gas and some people killed - anyone seeing other updates?

ETA: There are apparently coordinated protests against Maduro around the globe.
 

BlueRidge

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I hope the Maduro forces will fold quickly, I don't like to think what the alternative may be.
 

BittyBug

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I hope the Maduro forces will fold quickly, I don't like to think what the alternative may be.
The one thing I wonder about in all of this is the connection Russia. Russia had some joint military exercises Venezuela a few months ago, and they also bailed out Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA with an enormous loan. So tangling with Venezuela has the possibility of creating confrontation with Russia.

But given the mass exodus underway by Venezuelans to other Latin American countries, which has created a refugee crisis, I would imagine that this is one time in which some of the otherwise more leftist governments might at least secretly welcome U.S. pressure on the situation.
 

ballettmaus

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They just reported on the radio that the Venezuelan minister of defense announced that they will stand behind Maduro.
 

topaz

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Although the situation in Venezuela is dire, the US has supported coups in this country before because of Venezuela oil.

Our government has interfered and influenced several components of the Venezuelan government over decades for the interests of a few billionaires.

This was a coup.
 

BlueRidge

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I'd suggest not giving Trump so much credit as to see him as the power behind what is happening in
Venezuela. His administration isn't capable of that. He'd love for people to make him into someone stronger than he really is, though. Perception makes a lot of difference.
 

oleada

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I'd suggest not giving Trump so much credit as to see him as the power behind what is happening in
Venezuela. His administration isn't capable of that. He'd love for people to make him into someone stronger than he really is, though. Perception makes a lot of difference.
I agree. This has been (internally) brewing for a really long time. The situation in Venezuela is horrific; and the entire region is having a major refugee crisis. Maduro has very little public support at all. I think it will hinge on who the army backs.
 

rfisher

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I agree. This has been (internally) brewing for a really long time. The situation in Venezuela is horrific; and the entire region is having a major refugee crisis. Maduro has very little public support at all. I think it will hinge on who the army backs.
Is there any concern this will spill over into Colombia?
 

oleada

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Is there any concern this will spill over into Colombia?
I mean, who will right wing Colombian politicians use as a boogeyman if Maduro falls? Won’t any one think of them? :drama:
I’m really not well versed enough to say but Colombia has taken in millions of refugees with (until recently) relatively open arms. After all, Colombians used to migrate to Venezuela all the time not too long ago. But services are very strained and can’t keep up with the constant flow of migrants; health care systems along the border (not a wealthy area to begin with) are reaching a breaking point; and there have been protests again migrants in several areas. People feel bad for the refugees; they’re seen as victims but at the same time blamed for increasing crime and violence. There’s been an increase in xenophobic attacks against Venezuelans, too.

I don’t think the solution is to stop receiving refugees; but it’s true that social and medical services really can’t cope right now.
ETA: this was to me a good, well rounded article: https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/01/14/heres-why-colombia-opened-its-arms-to-venezuelan-migrants-until-now/
 
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PRlady

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Venezuela has gone from the richest to the poorest South American country and thousands of doctors and other skilled professionals have left. I’m well aware of the history of Yanqui imperialism but people are literally starving. I hope they put Madura out ASAP.
 

BlueRidge

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Venezuela has gone from the richest to the poorest South American country and thousands of doctors and other skilled professionals have left. I’m well aware of the history of Yanqui imperialism but people are literally starving. I hope they put Madura out ASAP.
Maduro has already de-legitimized the government of Venezuela. There isn't a legitimate government and there is a humanitarian crisis.

I don't think the US should intervene but I also don't think Russia should be there propping up Maduro, which it is.

Its a tragic situation. And it can get worse if the Venezuelan security forces back Maduro and he cracks down on protesters. :(
 

topaz

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It looks much more like a revolution to me, inasmuch as it seems to be driven by the people and not by the military.

Even with the horrible conditions in Venezuela over the last few years, the US has always mettled in Central/South American politics. Heck, Trump Administration last fall were seeking options to topple Maduro with a coup. I'm sure the National Assembly President would not have declared himself president without approval and aid from the Trump Admin.

I don't for a second think that the US Government for decades has sought ways to destabilize the region. It's happened in every single South American Country - US interference for strategic(oil) and exploitive purposes only.
 
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topaz

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That actually started with Chavez, who while duly elected initially, promptly set about to change the constitution and install a firewall of cronies.
The constitution of Venezuela has been changed several times. However, Chavez improved several conditions in his country before dying of cancer.

Institutional racism and classism has played a huge role in how leaders and elected presidents of Venezuela have governed.
 

BittyBug

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The constitution of Venezuela has been changed several times.
True, but the changes Chavez made were a power grab. He extended the number of terms he could serve and IIRC he also completely took over the judiciary.

However, Chavez improved several conditions in his country before dying of cancer.
That is highly debatable and whatever good intentions he may have had did not prove to be sustainable. The country is in a shambles, and while Maduro is incompetent, he is merely continuing the policies of Chavez - the complete and total gutting of Venezuela's infrastructure and economic stability happened under Chavez.

There is no question that prior to Chavez's assent, there was a tremendous amount of inequity between rich and poor, and for a country with such wealth that needed to be addressed, but the end result was not what was promised.
 

topaz

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There is no question that prior to Chavez's assent, there was a tremendous amount of inequity between rich and poor, and for a country with such wealth that needed to be addressed, but the end result was not what was promised.
No it's not but to solely place this on Chavez plate is not the whole truth. Venezuela politics have long been influenced by some of the rich people who lost alot of control during Chavez' years. Those rich people along with outside influences such as the US Foreign Policy worked hard to destablize the country too. The rich and outside influence has and will be the winners in situation. A destabilized and unequal Venezuela where the oil can be exploited only benefits a few and restores the status quo.
 

BittyBug

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No it's not but to solely place this on Chavez plate is not the whole truth. Venezuela politics have long been influenced by some of the rich people who lost alot of control during Chavez' years. Those rich people along with outside influences such as the US Foreign Policy worked hard to destablize the country too. The rich and outside influence has and will be the winners in situation. A destabilized and unequal Venezuela where the oil can be exploited only benefits a few and restores the status quo.
That is a very simplistic view. Chavez chose to completely nationalize the oil industry, which drove out all of the foreign talent and expertise that was driving the business. Chavez chose to implement price controls for basic goods that created scarcity of necessary items and a black market. Etc.

There is no question that wealthy interests were exploiting the country (and frankly, that is true everywhere, including in the U.S.). However, Chavez's ideas for how to correct these injustices simply did not work, and it wasn't because of U.S. foreign policy.
 

Vagabond

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Entire post
A coup supported by outside forces is still a coup, not a revolution. A revolution supported by outside forces is still a revolution, not a coup. A good example of the former is the December 13, 1981 military coup in Poland, which was supported by the U.S.S.R. A good example of the latter is American Revolution, which was supported by France, Spain, and the Dutch Republic.

There does not seem to be any indication that the insurrection against Maduro is supported by the Venezuelan military or similar domestic forces, so there is no basis other than wishful thinking for calling it a coup.
 

oleada

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That is a very simplistic view. Chavez chose to completely nationalize the oil industry, which drove out all of the foreign talent and expertise that was driving the business. Chavez chose to implement price controls for basic goods that created scarcity of necessary items and a black market. Etc.

There is no question that wealthy interests were exploiting the country (and frankly, that is true everywhere, including in the U.S.). However, Chavez's ideas for how to correct these injustices simply did not work, and it wasn't because of U.S. foreign policy.
Not to mention rampant corruption, as well as no diversification of the economy, which meant the economy completely crashed after the oil prices dropped. There was no planning for the future. None of the programs that were created (and some did good) were sustainable in that environment.

The scarcity of basic products has been going on for a long time. When my father and cousin still traveled to Caracas for work, my Venezuelan aunt and cousins would ask for them to bring basic supplies: rice, sugar, lentils. This was at least 10+ years ago. And my cousin was a college professor who was solidly upper middle class.

(Thankfully, my family was able to get out years ago)[/quote]
 
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ballettmaus

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I'd suggest not giving Trump so much credit as to see him as the power behind what is happening in
Venezuela. His administration isn't capable of that. He'd love for people to make him into someone stronger than he really is, though. Perception makes a lot of difference.

I've seen comments that suggest that Pence is behind the US' Venezuela policy, for whatever reason.
 

topaz

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That is a very simplistic view. Chavez chose to completely nationalize the oil industry, which drove out all of the foreign talent and expertise that was driving the business. Chavez chose to implement price controls for basic goods that created scarcity of necessary items and a black market. Etc.

There is no question that wealthy interests were exploiting the country (and frankly, that is true everywhere, including in the U.S.). However, Chavez's ideas for how to correct these injustices simply did not work, and it wasn't because of U.S. foreign policy.
I could say the same about your examples, ie being simplistic. President previous to Chavez, Carlos Perez is the one who nationalized oil industry. PVDSA were Venezuelan companies but they were owned by the state. Chavez removed PVDSA from power.

You express Chavez's ideas to correct the injustices simply did not work is simplistic. Corruption in Venezuela existed long before Chavez became president. Again, they were many who did not want Chavez's ideas to grow and to improve the lives of poor Venezuelans. They wanted him to fail even it meant sabotaging their countrymen( by means of propaganda, causing unrest with rhetoric, corruption, etc). Also, countries like the US did not want a prosperous or improved Venezuela. They couldn't not and continue to do many things to prevent a socialist nation from prospering. Remember that when you read some of the journalism and stories. Propaganda is not restricted to "certain" countries, all countries have propaganda.
 

oleada

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I’d take your own advice re: propaganda. Certain circles have a really romanticized idea of Latin American left wing/socialist movements that have no relation to reality, and I say this as someone who is generally left wing.

No one is saying Venezuela didn’t have issues with corruption or inequality prior to Chavez; but he certainly didn’t make those go away and in many ways made it infinitely worse in the long term.

PDVSA was nationalized prior to Chavez but it operated mostly independently while Chavez made it an arm of the government. PDVSA workers no longer had a right to their own political opinions; they had to support the party; the company had major loss of talent and innovation; lack of upgrades and innovation, failing infrastructure and increased safety concerns. Important positions went to political appointees and cronies rather than who was actually a better fit for the job/position.
 
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