What is happening in Venezuela?

oleada

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Yeah, it was definitely the US government that caused the Venezuelan government to nationalize and politicize its main source of income; that caused the rampant corruption among Chavez/Maduro officials, that caused the price controls and inflation and violence and starvation . :rolleyes:
 

topaz

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@topaz, do you think that US involvement de-legitimizes the opposition in Venezuela?

To a certain degree yes. Because both go hand and hand. The US has supported the opposition in many ways to overthrow the current the government. This support has absolutely nothing to do with the welfare of the Venezuelan people, in my opinion. It is strictly for the sole purpose to restore a neoliberal governing body in Venezuela that would allow the exploitation and access to the largest if not one of the top oil reserves in the world.

John Bolton said it last Thursday on Fox News. He stated Gauido presents an opportunity for US companies inside of Venezuela to access the largest oil reserves in world for US corporations for economic growth.

There was no way US foreign policy would allow a prosperous socialist democratic country exist in the west.

Also, I am not sure if you recall the NY Times article regarding Trump Admin's proposing a coup in Venezuela last fall.

Also, yes I feel horribly for the Venezuelan people. They are pawns in a larger end game that the majority of them will not economically benefit from. From what I've read, it appears that Gauido will be another puppet president in latin america history.

ETA:
Diego Sequera, a Venezuelan journalist and writer for the investigative outlet Misión Verdad, agreed: “Guaidó is more popular outside Venezuela than inside, especially in the elite Ivy League and Washington circles,” Sequera remarked to The Grayzone, “He’s a known character there, is predictably right-wing, and is considered loyal to the program.”.
Guaidó spent his career in the most violent faction of Venezuela’s most radical opposition party and his party has been widely discredited inside Venezuela.
 
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topaz

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Yeah, it was definitely the US government that caused the Venezuelan government to nationalize and politicize its main source of income; that caused the rampant corruption among Chavez/Maduro officials, that caused the price controls and inflation and violence and starvation . :rolleyes:

I know you have a personal stake in issue. However, corruption exists in all countries. The US initiated economic, financial sanctions on Venezuela. They have monetary supported several opposition parties who have led violent protests and committed violence. The sanctions placed on Venezuela have contributed to inflation and economic strife that has lead to starvation.

For example, it's a known fact that the 2002 coup against Chavez by Venezuela’s right-wing opposition was supported by US support and recognition. Also, guess who was part the US Foreign policy during the Bush admin at that time? Elliot Abrams who is new US envoy to Venezuela.
 

BlueRidge

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@topaz do you see anyway for people in Venezuela to take control of their destiny and get out from under Maduro and the US?

Is there no hope for the world between US neoliberalism and authoritarian socialism? Or is the only way forward to choose one or the other?
 

oleada

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To a certain degree yes. Because both go hand and hand. The US has supported the opposition in many ways to overthrow the current the government. This support has absolutely nothing to do with the welfare of the Venezuelan people, in my opinion. It is strictly for the sole purpose to restore a neoliberal governing body in Venezuela that would allow the exploitation and access to the largest if not one of the top oil reserves in the world.

John Bolton said it last Thursday on Fox News. He stated Gauido presents an opportunity for US companies inside of Venezuela to access the largest oil reserves in world for US corporations for economic growth.

There was no way US foreign policy would allow a prosperous socialist democratic country exist in the west.

Also, I am not sure if you recall the NY Times article regarding Trump Admin's proposing a coup in Venezuela last fall.

Also, yes I feel horribly for the Venezuelan people. They are pawns in a larger end game that the majority of them will not economically benefit from. From what I've read, it appears that Gauido will be another puppet president in latin america history.

ETA:

Guaidó spent his career in the most violent faction of Venezuela’s most radical opposition party and his party has been widely discredited inside Venezuela.
Guaidó is center left. But this is also not merely a right wing/left wing debate.

The violence in Venezuela is not coming from the opposition. It’s the political party in control that trying to control your protests that have led to violence. It’s the police ( in Maduro’s hands) that perpetrates the violence.

Corruption exists in all countries but it much worse in some than others and Venezuela is currently one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Take a look at how Chavez and Maduro are living when common Venezuelans are literally starving.

And no one in this thread is saying they want military involvement or saying that US involvement in Latin America hasn’t been harmful. It obviously has been. But we can’t also ignore the regional crisis and rampant human rights abuses.

On a domestic US note, I think that mishandling this issue is potentially a way for Democrats to lose Hispanic votes. Many Hispanic votes (especially Colombians, Cubans and Venezuelans) are, understandably, really not fans of socialism at all. People like Ilhan Omar are defending the regime on Twitter and that’s really not going to play well with our community.
 

BlueRidge

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On a domestic US note, I think that mishandling this issue is potentially a way for Democrats to lose Hispanic votes. Many Hispanic votes (especially Colombians, Cubans and Venezuelans) are, understandably, really not fans of socialism at all. People like Ilhan Omar are defending the regime on Twitter and that’s really not going to play well with our community.
Are there any other Congressional Democrats saying anything like this? Khanna is far left for Congress yet he is not. I don't think Omar can be made out to be speaking for Democrats.

I hope she will listen to others in Congress and move towards Khanna's views.
 

topaz

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Guaidó is center left. But this is also not merely a right wing/left wing debate.

The violence in Venezuela is not coming from the opposition. It’s the political party in control that trying to control your protests that have led to violence. It’s the police ( in Maduro’s hands) that perpetrates the violence.

Corruption exists in all countries but it much worse in some than others and Venezuela is currently one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Take a look at how Chavez and Maduro are living when common Venezuelans are literally starving.

And no one in this thread is saying they want military involvement or saying that US involvement in Latin America hasn’t been harmful. It obviously has been. But we can’t also ignore the regional crisis and rampant human rights abuses.

On a domestic US note, I think that mishandling this issue is potentially a way for Democrats to lose Hispanic votes. Many Hispanic votes (especially Colombians, Cubans and Venezuelans) are, understandably, really not fans of socialism at all. People like Ilhan Omar are defending the regime on Twitter and that’s really not going to play well with our community.

So the assassination attempts on Chavez and Maduro were initiated by whom? So MUD has not participated in violent protests with government supporters in the past few years? Because I recall several stories of opposition lead beatings of unarmed police a few years ago.

My point is that we know US via many avenues supported the opposition to several governments in latin america in order to get a more favorable outcome for US economic opportunity. It's never been about helping the people or the human rights abuses. Heck, we have human rights abuses in the US going on right now(children being detained indefinitely in detention camps all over the US).
 
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BlueRidge

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And Russia has supported the Maduro government.

Should the only legitimate governments be those that have no interactions with larger powers? How many of those could really exist?

In the real world, political forces look for support elsewhere. The opposition in Venezuela has looked to the US, the Maduro forces have depended on Russia. What makes the latter more acceptable? Is Putin benign?
 

topaz

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And Russia has supported the Maduro government.

Should the only legitimate governments be those that have no interactions with larger powers? How many of those could really exist?

In the real world, political forces look for support elsewhere. The opposition in Venezuela has looked to the US, the Maduro forces have depended on Russia. What makes the latter more acceptable? Is Putin benign?

No Putin is not benign. But it makes sense that Maduro would not reach out to the US for any support considering the multiple attempts to destabilize his government and the assassination attempts he believes the US had a hand in.


My question is why has the US foreign policy supported the opposition in latin America, especially in Venezuela?
What are the motives? What has been the objective all along?
 

BlueRidge

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@topaz, like Rep. Khanna I am opposed to US aggressive involvement in the situation in Venezuela and I have no lack of knowledge of the history of US intervention in Latin America. Nor do I need to be educated about people like Elliott Abrams and John Bolton. As I've been saying the aggressive US intervention is very frightening and is all too likely to lead to worse conditions in Venezuela.

But I do not, never have, and never will be persuaded to support authoritarian governments, one party states, and or dictators as if supporting the oppression of countries by anti-US regimes was somehow a way of struggling against US intervention. Cuba, Chavez, Maduro, these are not people and regimes that recognize human rights and democracy. Rather they actively violate human rights and oppose democracy. Often the US does as well. I'm not choosing between two bad options and I don't think the people of Venezuela should have to either.

Here is another column opposed to US intervention in Venezuela which does not write off opposition to Maduro as just US neocon scullduggery:

The US Needs to Stay out of Venezuela (NY Times)

the United States has no constructive role to play in Venezuela’s political crisis. Regardless of how one feels about Mr. Maduro, it’s clear that Washington is not a trustworthy partner in pushing for regime change. The Trump administration’s actions — and its personnel — recall the long and sordid history of United States intervention in Latin America.

...But if Mr. Maduro is eager to wear the mantle of the aggrieved leftist menaced by American imperialism, it fits him poorly. Millions of Venezuelans have left the country in recent years, creating a regional refugee crisis. People are suffering from hunger and a lack of access to medicine and basic goods. The economy has shrunk by half in five years, and inflation in 2018 reached 1,000,000 percent. Opposition to the Maduro government extends to all classes of Venezuelans.

...Even if Mr. Guaidó did coordinate his declaration with the United States, the popular discontent that he channels is real. Many Venezuelans are eager to find help wherever they can, even if that means a Trump administration that is hardly known for its hostility to dictatorship or its commitment to human rights.

...United States intervention would also undermine the prospect for the thing that Venezuela needs most to achieve a peaceful transition to democracy: national reconciliation. A government that owes a debt to Mr. Bolton and Mr. Abrams will not only be viewed with suspicion by many on the left in Venezuela; it could be forced to abide by constraints imposed by the neoconservatives in Washington about which political actors are considered acceptable partners in a reconciliation process.
 

topaz

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ererence
@topaz, like Rep. Khanna I am opposed to US aggressive involvement in the situation in Venezuela and I have no lack of knowledge of the history of US intervention in Latin America. Nor do I need to be educated about people like Elliott Abrams and John Bolton. As I've been saying the aggressive US intervention is very frightening and is all too likely to lead to worse conditions in Venezuela.

But I do not, never have, and never will be persuaded to support authoritarian governments, one party states, and or dictators as if supporting the oppression of countries by anti-US regimes was somehow a way of struggling against US intervention. Cuba, Chavez, Maduro, these are not people and regimes that recognize human rights and democracy. Rather they actively violate human rights and oppose democracy. Often the US does as well. I'm not choosing between two bad options and I don't think the people of Venezuela should have to either.

Here is another column opposed to US intervention in Venezuela which does not write off opposition to Maduro as just US neocon scullduggery:

The US Needs to Stay out of Venezuela (NY Times)
I am sorry if you and others feel that my statements are an attempt to persuade your views. I am simply stating that things have gray areas and US Imperialism is real(which you have acknowledged in previous threads/posts). I'm simply stating that outside influences have contributed to the crisis we have seen Cuba and Venezuela.

We just have a fundamental difference on how to view these things. I will always be skeptical of US foreign policy in developing countries and socialist countries because 99% of the time it is US Imperialism. US imperialism is and has always had an extremely racist history.

I only take issue with the statement "the aggressive US intervention is very frightening ..". It sounds like this statement is meant to represent new developments or a recent interference. Not a prolonged systemic history of intervention for decades.
 

BlueRidge

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ererence

I am sorry if you and others feel that my statements are an attempt to persuade your views. I am simply stating that things have gray areas and US Imperialism is real(which you have acknowledged in previous threads/posts). I'm simply stating that outside influences have contributed to the crisis we have seen Cuba and Venezuela.

We just have a fundamental difference on how to view these things. I will always be skeptical of US foreign policy in developing countries and socialist countries because 99% of the time it is US Imperialism. US imperialism is and has always had an extremely racist history.

I only take issue with the statement "the aggressive US intervention is very frightening ..". It sounds like this statement is meant to represent new developments or a recent interference. Not a prolonged systemic history of intervention for decades.
No you are not the only person here who has studied the history of US intervention nor the only person who has been involved in movements to oppose it. I was for a long time and marched against the Contras, and against intervention in Grenada and Panama and other not even remembered by a lot of people.

The difference between us is that I do not give dictators and authoritarians a pass because of leftover 20th Century wrong-headed far left politics . They have murdered millions and mismanaged economies to cause people to starve and flee. Venezuela is only the latest instance.

I've stood up to leftist authoritarians who would ignore genocidal dictators like Slobodan Milosevich while I was opposing US bombing and military intervention.

If it pleases you to believe everyone who doesn't share your views is just unenlightened so be it. I am sorry you will not fight all injustice, only that from the United States.

Also, study the history Castro's Cuba was racist. Homophobic. Misogynist.

Why are people fooled in the 21st Century into believing that authoritarian demagogues are somehow fighting for the people. Putin, Maduro, Bolsonaro, Ortega, Trump. There is no left and right these days, there is democratic and and the opposite anti-human rights regimes that are tied together even where they appear not to be.
 
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topaz

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The difference between us is that I do not give dictators and authoritarians a pass because of leftover 20th Century wrong-headed far left politics . They have murdered millions and mismanaged economies to cause people to starve and flee. Venezuela is only the latest instance.


If it pleases you to believe everyone who doesn't share your views is just unenlightened so be it. I am sorry you will not fight all injustice, only that from the United States.
I never said that nor implied any of that in my post. That you're perception. I implied that those within our government are just as if not more ruthless and corrupt. Also, by any means necessary are willing to destroy a country of innocents for the sake of power and economic prosperity. I stated Maduro has made mistakes but I also stated that US and along other countries implemented economic policies that exacerbated the financial/economic development of some nations.
[/quote]

Also, study the history Castro's Cuba was racist. Homophobic. Misogynist.

That is true. It is Castro's legacy that he could and did not liberate AfroCubans as part of the revolution. It failed to address racism for everyday Afro-Cubans. But, so does Western Democracy(address institutionalized racism).


Why are people fooled in the 21st Century into believing that authoritarian demagogues are somehow fighting for the people. Putin, Maduro, Bolsonaro, Ortega, Trump. There is no left and right these days, there is democratic and and the opposite anti-human rights regimes that are tied together even where they appear not to be.
Why are people believing that western democracy is not steeped in racism and anti human rights regimes, i.e presidents and prime ministers.

But I'd like say again that was not my intent to persuade you and others.
 

BlueRidge

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Sanctions that are not very tightly targeted at individual oligarchs kill. Generalized sanctions like these are war.

U.S. Sanctions Are Aimed at Venezuela’s Oil. Its Citizens May Suffer First (NY Times)

“I’m not sure the U.S. has a Plan B if this doesn’t work in getting rid of Maduro,” said Francisco Rodríguez, a Venezuelan economist at Torino Capital, a brokerage firm. “I’m afraid that if these sanctions are implemented in their current form, we’re looking at starvation.”
Mr. Rodríguez forecast that sanctions would cut Venezuela’s exports by two-thirds, to just $14 billion this year, and lead to a 26 percent reduction in the economy’s size. The economy has already shrunk by about half since Mr. Maduro came to power in 2013, causing millions of people to flee the country or skip meals to survive.

Many Venezuelans worry that while the reduced revenue streams may allow Mr. Maduro to remain in power, they will drastically worsen the already dire shortages of food and medicine and shutter the few remaining private businesses.

“If these sanctions don’t force the endgame soon, they will cause a lot of pain for the people,” said Jose Bodas, an anti-government oil union leader in Puerto La Cruz. “The rich will not stop getting richer, it’s the workers who will shoulder the cost of these measures.”
 

Vagabond

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Sanctions that are not very tightly targeted at individual oligarchs kill. Generalized sanctions like these are war.
Is that how you feel about the sanctions imposed on South Africa in the 1980's and '90's?

"War" it may have been, but I don't remember reports of widespread death as a result.

ETA; Venezuela gutted its agricultural sector with import subsidies. I don't think South Africa did anything of the sort.
 

BlueRidge

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Is that how you feel about the sanctions imposed on South Africa in the 1980's and '90's?

"War" it may have been, but I don't remember reports of widespread death as a result.

ETA; Venezuela gutted its agricultural sector with import subsidies. I don't think South Africa did anything of the sort.
Sanctions are war. They kill.

Killing the people to get the government out is not an answer. And blaming the government for causing the sanctions doesn't work.

There are alternatives to sanctions just like there are alternatives to military war. We need the US and international community to pursue those.

I am anti-war. If you are pro-war, we simply will not agree. It is not easy either way, people die. But at least the pro-war/sanctions forces should own up to what the implications of the policies are.

I believe there are alternatives to killing.

If you want to talk about a difficult situation, talk about Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait in 1980. Do you launch war? Do you starve his people? If you don't do you just allow dictators to invade and annex other countries?

There are no easy answers. But in Venezuela diplomacy and international actions have not yet been exhausted in concert with the opposition and protests from people in Venezuela. More starvation is not the answer.

(and just to add Maduro can evade the impact of the sanctions, if you read the article, by relying on help from Putin's Russia. The sanctions will starve people but not Maduro. It is possible to think these things through but not when Trump, Bolton, and Abrams are running the show, sadly)
 

ballettmaus

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Yes he is.

But that doesn't mean the policies of the US government should make things even worse.

True.
Crazy world we live in though: they send food trucks and at the same time implement policies that are harming the same people they're sending the food trucks to first.
 

Vagabond

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Sanctions are war. They kill.

....

I am anti-war. If you are pro-war, we simply will not agree.
You are evading the issue. Do you believe that sanctions on South Africa killed people?

It is one thing to say that (any, more, or broad) sanctions on Venezuela are inappropriate. It is quite another to say that (broad) sanctions kill people.

I have no idea how you felt about sanctions on South Africa at the time or how you feel about them now, but I don't think the argument that sanctions inevitably kill people has any basis in fact. And the common consensus among people who have analyzed what happened in South Africa is that they did achieve their intended goal, even though many pundits at the time said that sanctions would be ineffective or counterproductive.
 

BlueRidge

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You are evading the issue. Do you believe that sanctions on South Africa killed people?

It is one thing to say that (any, more, or broad) sanctions on Venezuela are inappropriate. It is quite another to say that (broad) sanctions kill people.

I have no idea how you felt about sanctions on South Africa at the time or how you feel about them now, but I don't think the argument that sanctions inevitably kill people has any basis in fact. And the common consensus among people who have analyzed what happened in South Africa is that they did achieve their intended goal, even though many pundits at the time said that sanctions would be ineffective or counterproductive.
I don't know anything about the sanctions on South Africa.

I will retract my blanket generalization, so you may breathe easier.

I don't think any of these issues is has quick answers. Too often people think that they are supporting an alternative to war when they support sanctions. Targeted sanctions can achieve a purpose without too widespread damage, generalized ones are often very harmful. I do not think that if the South Africa sanctions were ones that work, anyone should simply ratify sanctions in other situations with a "they worked in South Africa."

To my knowledge the Venezuela sanctions are on oil, not generalized, but the NY Times story details the possible impacts if Maduro does not quickly leave.

I don't trust anything Trump/Bolton/Abrams do in Venezuela. This is not a trio with a good record on concern for human beings.
 

MacMadame

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In South Africa, sanctions were accompanied by embargoes and boycotts. I think the sanctions were the smallest part of that package though I could be wrong. They were hardly mentioned though when talking about the issue.
 

BlueRidge

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Rep. Omar's challenge to Abrams was absolutely heroic.

I'm reading now the neocons like Max Boot saying that Abrams was a fighter for human rights! That so many are defending him is indicative of what the foreign policy establishment continues to deem acceptable and things like the El Mazote massacre in El Salvador and the genocide under Rios Montt that occurred in Guatemala and which Abrams denied and covered up are just considered collateral damage in a larger battle for US supremacy. Its unconscionable and it takes an outsider like Rep. Omar to have the guts to stand up to it.
 

BlueRidge

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The visible disdain that Abrams had for Omar was revolting.
It was revealing. He expects to be able to go to Congress and not face any blowback from his past. He was outraged that she didn't follow that precedent.

Its unbelievable that someone who lied to Congress in basically the same kind of capacity he is now undertaking again would be treated as an acceptable appointee.
 

MacMadame

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I read those comments that Abrams was a fighter for human rights and it was really wtf.
 

VGThuy

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She kicked ass. Some are arguing her she bad intentions or that her questions weren't substantive or whatever, but you know, when you have a war criminal in a position of power, you gotta go back to basics.
 

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