What is happening in Venezuela?

BittyBug

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Yes you are right, @topaz. My response was simplistic because I don't care to write a tome to make my point. Yes, the oil industry was nationalized in the '70's under Carlos Andrés Pérez (the 1st time he was president), but they initially retained foreign talent and expertise and later entered into what were effectively joint ventures with multi-nationals. The important point in all of this is the continued presence of business knowhow to manage development and production. Then Chavez eliminated all foreign interests, hence the complete nationalization, and that's when all the knowledge went out the window.

As for the rest of your theory, that Venezuelans preferred to sabotage their own country rather than see Chavez succeed - that is simply ludicrous. There was more than enough money in Venezuela to build a solid middle class without encroaching on those who were already prosperous. It's not a zero-sum game and it's not about continued oppression of the poor. It's about a leader who took power and started to seize assets - from companies, from individuals - to give to the lower class, with no plan to create sustainable growth for financial independence. He was a Robin Hood. And when he had taken all there was to take, and oil money stopped flowing in, the economy imploded.
 
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Peaches LaTour

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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.
:2faced:

Where, of course, the Russians never do.
 

Jot the Dot Dot

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In addition to nationalizing major industries, Hugo Chavez began the disastrous policy of implementing price controls while increasing the money supply. Either of these is destructive, price controls lead to shortages, and the deliberate inflation that was begun under Chavez was continued unabated under Maduro to the point where it is expected to reach 1,000,000 percent! (And may I remind skeptics that there is only one body with the power to print all that paper currency as if it were junk mail - the Venezuelan Treasury!). Whoever still delusions themselves that Maduro (or Chavez) were acting in the interests of Venezuela's poor, has still got to explain things like this: the waste of 120,000 tons of food gone to rot! https://www.huffingtonpost.com/thor-halvorssen/a-rotting-chicken-in-ever_b_666805.html (And this was 9 years ago when the country was still under Chavez).
 
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topaz

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14,668
Yes you are right, @topaz. My response was simplistic because I don't care to write a tome to make my point. Yes, the oil industry was nationalized in the '70's under Carlos Andrés Pérez (the 1st time he was president), but they initially retained foreign talent and expertise and later entered into what were effectively joint ventures with multi-nationals. The important point in all of this is the continued presence of business knowhow to manage development and production. Then Chavez eliminated all foreign interests, hence the complete nationalization, and that's when all the knowledge went out the window.

As for the rest of your theory, that Venezuelans preferred to sabotage their own country rather than see Chavez succeed - that is simply ludicrous. There was more than enough money in Venezuela to build a solid middle class without encroaching on those who were already prosperous. It's not a zero-sum game and it's not about continued oppression of the poor. It's about a leader who took power and started to seize assets - from companies, from individuals - to give to the lower class, with no plan to create sustainable growth for financial independence. He was a Robin Hood. And when he had taken all there was to take, and oil money stopped flowing in, the economy imploded.
And you're naive if you think that people within their own country wouldn't sabotage their economy in a means to regain previously held power. There have always been people in Venezuela that do not want a middle class. Do you think those who were in power and financial well off were happy about their assets being seized? Hello to the no.

As an example the 1953 Iran coup orchestrated by forces outside the country who coordinated with forces inside the country was no anomaly. This tactic has repeated many times latin america.

This is the position that I am coming from.

Eta the republican party in the US has been sabotaging governmental policies for decades and then declare the policies don't work.
 

BittyBug

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And you're naive if you think that people within their own country wouldn't sabotage their economy in a means to regain previously held power.
Yes I'm sure that all of those professionals willfully helped bring down the economy so that they would first starve and then would be forced to flee to other countries to hope for work as a janitor or waiter.

I don't know what your information sources are but it's clear that you and I will never have the same view on what is going on here so let's call it a day.
 

oleada

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42,544
And you're naive if you think that people within their own country wouldn't sabotage their economy in a means to regain previously held power. There have always been people in Venezuela that do not want a middle class. Do you think those who were in power and financial well off were happy about their assets being seized? Hello to the no.

As an example the 1953 Iran coup orchestrated by forces outside the country who coordinated with forces inside the country was no anomaly. This tactic has repeated many times latin america.

This is the position that I am coming from.

Eta the republican party in the US has been sabotaging governmental policies for decades and then declare the policies don't work.
Yes, no one wanted to have their assets taken. But saying that professionally educated people (and newsflash, many professionals in Latin America are not wealthy or powerful. Ask a doctor in Latin America sometime) who were forced to leave the country were deliberately trying to sabotage the economy is beyond unreasonable. Do you even know how unbelievably difficult it is to remake your life somewhere else?

Yes I'm sure that all of those professionals willfully helped bring down the economy so that they would first starve and then would be forced to flee to other countries to hope for work as a janitor or waiter.

I don't know what your information sources are but it's clear that you and I will never have the same view on what is going on here so let's call it a day.
I agree completely.
 

BlueRidge

AYS's snark-sponge
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I'm concerned about US intervention in Venezuela, especially by this incompetent administration. I'm afraid of them making the situation worse.

But I have to wonder about the far left people who say they are opposed to US involvement and claim its a coup. None of them apparently give a good god damn about Russian interference which has been ongoing and is immediate right now.

Russia, which has offered to mediate between Maduro’s government and the opposition, has warned the United States not to intervene. Russia recently deployed two bombers to Venezuela, leading Pompeo to accuse both countries of “squandering public funds, and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer.”
ETA: also from the Washington Post "On Friday, Reuters reported that roughly 400 Kremlin-linked forces were in Venezuela to aid in Maduro’s protection."

Russia has propped up Maduro and made it very difficult for people in Venezuela to pressure Maduro to give up his hold on power. Just speaking against US involvement pretty much unmasks the far left for its complete lack of concern for human rights. And speaking the words provided by Vladimir Putin about a coup is not impressive.

“If anything represents a threat to peace and security, it is the shameless and aggressive actions of the United States and their allies to oust a legitimately elected president of Venezuela,” [Vasily Nebenzya, Russian ambassador to the U.N.,] said, accusing Washington of an “attempt to engineer a coup d’etat.”
Tensions between U.S., Russia surface at Security Council meeting on Venezuela (Washington Post)

The international community should be concerned with powerful outsiders whether Russia or the US intervening to prolong Venezuela's suffering. It is wrenching to see the world backsliding to the kind of great power proxy fights that harmed so many people during the Cold War. And as one who tends toward the left I see the display of unreconstructed Leninism (the people be god damned, any dictator against the capitalists should be supported) from the far left as very distressing. (Open Letter by Over 70 Scholars and Experts Condemns US-Backed Coup Attempt in Venezuela)
 
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BlueRidge

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Pressure mounts on Venezuela’s Maduro as European [countries] demands new elections (Washington Post)

President Nicolás Maduro faced increasing international pressure to step down on Saturday, as European governments warned they would recognize his chief opponent as Venezuela’s leader unless a date for new elections is called within eight days.


The statements from Germany, France, Spain and Britain came as the U.N. Security Council was meeting at Washington’s request to discuss the economic and political crisis in the South American country.
 

ballettmaus

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I'm concerned about US intervention in Venezuela, especially by this incompetent administration. I'm afraid of them making the situation worse.
I'm mostly afraid because Russia is involved and has warned the US not to get involved. But if past actions are any indication, that should mean that the US won't get involved, right?
 

BlueRidge

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I'm mostly afraid because Russia is involved and has warned the US not to get involved. But if past actions are any indication, that should mean that the US won't get involved, right?
Which past actions? :eek:

Trump administration just named Elliot Abrams as the special envoy :yikes: He was horrible in the 1980s during the Reagan administration's reprehensible interventions in Nicaragua and other Central American countries.

But if you mean militarily, no I'm pretty certain the Trump administration won't risk military intervention in Venezuela. OTOH, you've got some scary hawks like Bolton up there. :yikes:

Hopefully Putin will have a few words with Trump regarding military intervention. This is one case where I wouldn't mind. Seriously though I don't think Trump has any stomach for military adventurism. The US will use economic and political leverage.
 

Vagabond

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I'm mostly afraid because Russia is involved and has warned the US not to get involved. But if past actions are any indication, that should mean that the US won't get involved, right?
It depends on what you mean by "involved" and "past actions." The United States is already "involved," inasmuch as Trump has already imposed sanctions on Venezuela. And Trump was responsible for initiating the United States' first direct military action against the Russian-backed regime of Bashir Assad.
 

ballettmaus

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It depends on what you mean by "involved"
Military action.


and "past actions." The United States is already "involved," inasmuch as Trump has already imposed sanctions on Venezuela. And Trump was responsible for initiating the United States' first direct military action against the Russian-backed regime of Bashir Assad.

But that didn't do any real damage as, if memory serves, they knew it was coming and were able to clear out. I remember thinking that this was a complete farce and cooked up to make Trump look strong and like he's still Putin's adversary and not to harm the Assad regime.
Getting involved and/or initiating a military coup would be a different matter altogether.
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
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I agree with BR that I don't trust the Trump team not to cock it up. I would also like to see the evidence of voter fraud because overthrowing an election without election fraud does not sit well with me.
 

Vagabond

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Military action.
Although the U.S. does have a history of sending its military into Latin American countries, it's hard to see why it would do so now. AFAIK, there is no armed insurrection, and Venezuela is large in both area and population. Also, one reason Trump appealed to his base is that he promised not to get involved in any "stupid wars." Sending in troops would be a good way of alienating that base.
 

ballettmaus

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Although the U.S. does have a history of sending its military into Latin American countries, it's hard to see why it would do so now.
You never know with Trump.


Also, one reason Trump appealed to his base is that he promised not to get involved in any "stupid wars."
Well. :shuffle:


(And, if the past two years are any indication, if, for some reason, he wanted to get involved in a war, he'd invent a reason and his base would eat out the palm of his hand).
 

BlueRidge

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Looks like the Trump administration is escalating its efforts to force Maduro out. This seems very risky. I'm with the Pope on this, about all we can do is pray it doesn't devolve into violence.

Trump administration announces sanctions targeting Venezuela’s oil industry (Washington Post)

The Trump administration escalated its efforts to force Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from power Monday, blocking all U.S. revenue to Venezuela’s national oil company and calling on members of its armed forces to switch their allegiance to the man the United States now recognizes as Venezuela’s head of state.


Any attempt to harm remaining U.S. diplomats in Venezuela, or violence against the newly recognized president, Juan Guaidó, “will be met with a significant response,” White House national security adviser John Bolton said.
Sanctions could end up making the situation worse for the people of Venezuela:

Such a blow to the government’s revenue stream could deteriorate an already dramatic scarcity of food and medicines. Crippling hyperinflation has broken the socialist nation, fueling widespread hunger, spreading disease and prompting a historic wave of Venezuelan migrants. In Venezuela, the government is responsible for a large portion of imports, meaning shortages of food and medicine could deepen as the government loses access to cash from oil sales to the United States.

“There’s no way the population won’t be affected in the short term,” said Luis Vicente Leon, head of Datanalisis, a Caracas-based polling and political analysis firm. “If this strategy isn’t successful quickly, the effect on the people will be devastating.
 

oleada

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I just wanted to give a plug to Caracas Chronicles which is an independent Venezuelan news source who reports on the grounds from Caracas (where many larger journalists won't even go anymore), in English. They're also on Twitter.
 

topaz

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https://theintercept.com/2019/01/30/donald-trump-and-the-yankee-plot-to-overthrow-the-venezuelan-government

Mike pence called Guaido personally and stated THE Trump administration would support his effort. Its looking more like its business as usual in regards to the US installing a puppet government leader in a latin america country.
Https://grayzoneproject.com/2019/01...ge-laboratory-created-venezuelas-coup-leader/

John Bolton stated on fox news that the coup would allow a huge economic development for US oil corporations.
Also Pompeo named Elliot Abrams as US envoy to Venezuela has long history of creating and overseeing massacres in latin america ( Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua). Abrams is a convicted felon in the Iran Contra deal.
 
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BlueRidge

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https://theintercept.com/2019/01/30/donald-trump-and-the-yankee-plot-to-overthrow-the-venezuelan-government

Mike pence called Guaido personally and stated THE Trump administration would support his effort. Its looking more like its business as usual in regards to the US installing a puppet government leader in a latin america country.
...
There's no question that the Trump administration has intervened aggressively in Venezuela. But the far left view that this is nothing but a US created and directed coup completely erases any agency for people in Venezuela. That's not surprising though since the root of these views is authoritarian and hierarchical in a way that mirrors their adversaries.

Here is a column from one of the most left-wing members of Congress. Rep. Ro Khanna doesn't call it a coup and he recognizes the devastation created by the Maduro government but writes against US military intervention and warns of the dangers of the neoconservative world view behind John Bolton and Eliott Abrams actions.

Why I strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Venezuela

To be sure, Maduro is an authoritarian leader who has presided over unfair elections, failed economic policies, extrajudicial killings by police, food shortages and cronyism with military leaders. But before we intervene in another nation, we must, at the very least, pause to ask whether our efforts will make a bad situation even worse.

...It is theoretically possible that our gamble to recognize Guaidó will shift the military’s allegiances and begin an orderly transition to a new regime that will improve life for Venezuelans. But there is also a strong likelihood that foreign aggression will lead to chaos and bloodshed.

...
Congress must also make it clear to the Trump administration that military action in Venezuela requires congressional authorization. If Trump does take military action without congressional authorization, I am prepared to invoke the War Powers Act to remove our troops from the conflict as I have done in the case of Yemen.


The United States should lend its support to diplomatic efforts to find some form of power-sharing agreement between opposition parties, and only until fair elections can take place, so that there is an orderly transition of power. Mexico and Uruguay have already proposed a “new process of inclusive and credible negotiations” to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
 

oleada

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THIS IS NOT A COUP :wall:

Not wanting US military intervention and thinking that Maduro is illegitimate and must go; are not conflicting positions.

Joanna Hausman (popular YouTube personality from Venezuela) posted a good, brief explainer video on her page:

https://youtu.be/bEvHwiJWgAY
 

BlueRidge

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The New York Times published a column by Juan Guaidó

Venezuelans, Strength is in Unity

Here is how he explains his claim to legitimacy:

I would like to be clear about the situation in Venezuela: Mr. Maduro’s re-election on May 20, 2018, was illegitimate, as has since been acknowledged by a large part of the international community. His original six-year term was set to end on Jan. 10. By continuing to stay in office, Nicolás Maduro is usurping the presidency.

My ascension as interim president is based on Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution, according to which, if at the outset of a new term there is no elected head of state, power is vested in the president of the National Assembly until free and transparent elections take place. This is why the oath I took on Jan. 23 cannot be considered a “self-proclamation.” It was not of my own accord that I assumed the function of president that day, but in adherence to the Constitution.
 

topaz

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There's no question that the Trump administration has intervened aggressively in Venezuela. But the far left view that this is nothing but a US created and directed coup completely erases any agency for people in Venezuela. That's not surprising though since the root of these views is authoritarian and hierarchical in a way that mirrors their adversaries.

Here is a column from one of the most left-wing members of Congress. Rep. Ro Khanna doesn't call it a coup and he recognizes the devastation created by the Maduro government but writes against US military intervention and warns of the dangers of the neoconservative world view behind John Bolton and Eliott Abrams actions.

Why I strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Venezuela
BR - however are the issues with Venezuela solely the result of Maduro's government? We know that the US has intervened in the Venezuelan government for decades. US foreign policy has had a hand in manipulating the economy Venezuela through economic sanctions, deceased access to financial markets, manipulating the oil prices(making sure oil prices are deceased), supporting the opposition monetary and through training(politically and militarily). All of these things were done to destabilize the country and the region.

Also, I'd like to point out that intervention can be militarily and it can be indirectly by supporting those within the country to want to destabilize the government by sabotage.

I am not saying the Maduro is perfect nor that he has not made costly mistakes. However, I think that situations in Venezuela have been manipulated for decades by US foreign Policy to destabilize a nation/government that is socialist based.
 

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