What is happening in Venezuela?

BittyBug

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The guns seem to be out for Omar on more than one front. The establishment does not seem to like the new wave; I say, you go ladies! Ruffle some feathers and shake things up. :kickass:
 

BlueRidge

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The guns seem to be out for Omar on more than one front. The establishment does not seem to like the new wave; I say, you go ladies! Ruffle some feathers and shake things up. :kickass:
Omar is by far the most threatened of the new members. It is not unrelated to her wearing the hijab. The right wing is heavily Islamophobic and have been targeting her from the moment she won election.

What is disappointing is that Democrats have not had her back. They are guilty of bigotry as well--the assumption that any Muslim is anti-semitic until they prove otherwise (and do so over and over and over...)

ETA: I do want to add that I do not agree with some of Rep. Omar's views on Venezuela, but I admire many elected political leaders with whom I have disagreements.
 
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BittyBug

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She's got three strikes against her - she's a woman, she's of color and she's Muslim. And agree that the Dems' willingness to throw her under the bus was disappointing, no matter the political calculus that may have underpinned that decision.
 

skatingguy

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What is disappointing is that Democrats have not had her back. They are guilty of bigotry as well--the assumption that any Muslim is anti-semitic until they prove otherwise (and do so over and over and over...)
But it's not an assumption based on her religion, it's not an assumption at all. She has a history of making comments that are anti-Semitic.
 

BlueRidge

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But it's not an assumption based on her religion, it's not an assumption at all. She has a history of making comments that are anti-Semitic.
She made one tweet in 2012 that seemed to use an anti-Semitic allusion. Its not clear she had any idea that it was. It was about Israel, not about Jews. That's the entire history.

Her more recent tweets were not anti-Semitic they were about how money influences politicians in Washington and they were twisted so that bigots and people with ulterior motivations could attack her. There is an ongoing internal fight in the Democratic Party over what positions are allowed regarding Israel and Omar's tweets were used by some in that battle.

Omar supports BDS. There are those who claim that is anti-Semitism. I think that the abuse of claiming antisemitism for political convenience is dangerous. Anti-Semitism is hated of Jews, it is not about positions regarding the policies of the state of Israel.

Omar has been targeted by the far right for months with them claiming many things she said are anti-Semitic. If you want to side with the far right, be my guest, but given the anti-Semitism and islamophobia on the far right, I'd be careful with that.
 

skatingguy

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Omar has been targeted by the far right for months with them claiming many things she said are anti-Semitic. If you want to side with the far right, be my guest, but given the anti-Semitism and islamophobia on the far right, I'd be careful with that.
I'm pretty comfortable calling out the antisemitism on the far left, and the Islamophobia on the far right.
 

Vagabond

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Her more recent tweets were not anti-Semitic they were about how money influences politicians in Washington and they were twisted so that bigots and people with ulterior motivations could attack her..
Ilhan Omar stated in her recent apology, " Anti-Semitism is real, and I am grateful for Jewish friends and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole...."

The most indulgent way of interpreting this is as an admission that while she was not consciously being anti-Semitic, she was nevertheless being unwittingly anti-Semitic, not just commenting on how money influences politics.
 

Domshabfan

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If criticising Israel's policies makes you antisemitic, then why is criticising Saudi Arabia's not Islamophobia... It just seem one is acceptable and the other, even a small hit is deemed unacceptable. Both Israel and Saudi deserved to criticised for their behaviour.
 

BlueRidge

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Ilhan Omar stated in her recent apology, " Anti-Semitism is real, and I am grateful for Jewish friends and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole...."

The most indulgent way of interpreting this is as an admission that while she was not consciously being anti-Semitic, she was nevertheless being unwittingly anti-Semitic, not just commenting on how money influences politics.
She was commenting on how money influences politics. Others saw something else and she apologized.

The fact that this will dog her forever doesn't tell you anything about her.
 

BlueRidge

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Sorry for going off on a tangent that's not about Venezuela here but read this article:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/loca...a5b113ecd3c_story.html?utm_term=.d4df2437e699

Republicans are trying to use claims of anti-Semitism for politicians criticisms of Israel to say that it is the Democrats who have a problem of racism and bigotry. This is real and happening and if Democrats grovel and cower before it we're all screwed.

On this particular politician who is running for VA state delegate, they dug up old tweets he made in anger over Israeli violence against Palestinians. Now they are trying to force Democrats to disavow him and are claiming Republicans are the ones who believe there's no place for racism. These are the people who put Donald Trump in office and continue to support him. Are we fools?

ETA: A little context: I support Israel and I oppose BDS. I oppose attempts to equate Zionism with racism and I also no doubt disagree with politicians like Rep Omar and Rep Tlaib on positions they take on these subjects. But I do not want to sit here and watch the Democrats fall for Republican perfidy aimed at dividing the Democratic party from its new voices, younger voters, and more left forces. There's a reason Republicans are doing this and its not because it will help the Democrats and the causes they espouse.
 
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topaz

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https://www.democracynow.org/2019/2/13/venezuela_accuses_us_of_secretly_shipping
A North Carolina-based air freight company has halted flights to Venezuela following a report by McClatchy linking it to possible arms smuggling. Last week, Venezuelan authorities claimed they had uncovered 19 assault weapons, 118 ammunition cartridges and 90 military-grade radio antennas on board a U.S.-owned plane that had flown from Miami into Valencia, Venezuela’s third-largest city. The Boeing 767 is owned by a company called 21 Air based in Greensboro, North Carolina. The plane had made nearly 40 round-trip flights between Miami and spots in Venezuela and Colombia since January 11, the day after Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was sworn in to a second term.


https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/24/former_un_expert_the_us_is
Alfred de Zayas, joining us from Geneva, Switzerland, former U.N. independent expert, visited Venezuela in 2017 on behalf of the United Nations.

And another thing that I think it’s important to notice is that the mainstream media has always presented the opposition as peaceful demonstrators. Now, there are ample videos, photographs of the violence committed by the so-called guarimbas in Venezuela in the years 2014, especially 2017. I had the opportunity of interviewing not only victims of police brutality in Venezuela, but also victims of the guarimbas—persons who were just trying to go from point A to point B, and there was a barricade somewhere, and then they were either killed or they were seriously injured or burned. I interviewed them when I was there.

So, I must say, audiatur et altera pars, let’s listen to both sides, and let us not just concentrate, as the mainstream media does in the United States, on the arguments of the opposition. You also have to take into account the 7, 8 or 9 million Venezuelans, who are human beings, who have democratic rights, who have expressed those democratic rights in their ballot box. And you simply cannot shove them away.
/QUOTE]
 
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Vagabond

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Venezuela crisis threatens disease epidemic across continent - experts

Experts have warned of an epidemic of diseases such as malaria and dengue on an unprecedented scale in Latin America following the collapse of the healthcare system in Venezuela.

Continent-wide public health gains of the last 18 years could be undone if Venezuela does not accept help to control the spreading outbreaks of malaria, Zika, dengue and other illnesses that are afflicting its people, experts have warned in a report published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Venezuela was once a regional leader in malaria control, but as healthcare has collapsed there has been a mass departure of trained medics, the report says, creating a public emergency “of hemispheric concern”.
A regime more concerned with its own survival than that of its citizens or those of its neighbors. Shameful.
 

topaz

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I'm puzzled by the MSM's coverage because the UN and The Red Cross ARE currently providing aid(medical) to Venezuela. They both have turned down assisting with the Washington's USAID organization because they believe it politicized.

The International Red Cross has declined to participate in Washington’s controversial humanitarian aid plan to Venezuela, it was announced this weekend.

“We will not be participating in what is, for us, not humanitarian aid,” stated Colombia’s International Red Cross (ICRC) spokesperson, Christoph Harnisch.
“Humanitarian action needs to be independent of political, military or other objectives,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York last Wednesday.
/QUOTE]
 

Vagabond

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I'm puzzled by the MSM's coverage because the UN and The Red Cross ARE currently providing aid(medical) to Venezuela. They both have turned down assisting with the Washington's USAID organization because they believe it politicized.
The real issue isn't foreign aid, it's what Venezuela has done to render itself dependent on it.

Plus, the aid what the Venezuelan government is accepting is plainly inadequate.
 

BlueRidge

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The current situation with the US aid at the border sure looks like the creation of a pretext for US military intervention. :yikes:

Trump, in risky gambit, ratchets up pressure on Venezuela as tensions flare at the border (Washington Post)

Elliott Abrams and other State Department officials accompanied an airlift of U.S. humanitarian aid to the Colombian border in a provocative partnership with Maduro’s political rival as tensions rise over the internal power struggle in Venezuela. The Trump administration has not said whether it will attempt to deliver the aid by force Saturday, the day when opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who is supported by the Trump administration, has said the relief supplies will cross into Venezuela.

Trump has repeatedly said that military action is an option, including in remarks Monday to Venezuelan exiles in Miami, setting up a paradox for a president who has argued that the United States wastes money and lives when playing global policeman.

...Having leaned so heavily into the conflict, Trump risks looking weak or ineffective at home and abroad if the Maduro regime survives in the face of U.S. opposition.
 

topaz

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The real issue isn't foreign aid, it's what Venezuela has done to render itself dependent on it.

Plus, the aid what the Venezuelan government is accepting is plainly inadequate.
But why is USAID not attempting to work with INRC and the UN?
 
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BlueRidge

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The Guardian reports:

The first shipment of humanitarian aid has successfully crossed the border into Venezuela from Brazil, opposition leader Juan Guaido says in a tweet.

“This is a great accomplishment, Venezuela!” he said.
This is good news if the government is not going to use force to stop this.

The Guardian has live updates today here.

ETA: well it turned out the trucks technically crossed the border but didn't actually make it across the actual frontier. They will be unloaded there and attempts made to walk the aid across. :eek:

The convoy of trucks carrying humanitarian aid to Venezuela from Colombia will be unloaded on the Colombian side of the Simon Bolivar Bridge and transported by human chain across the border, Colombia’s migration agency told Reuters.
 
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Buzz

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Caracas was a favourite vacation spot for Trinidadians while I was growing up. Almost everyone I knew had been there at least once. It is so sad to see what has happened to that beautiful country.
 

BlueRidge

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The Guardian reports four people killed as National Guard open fire on protesters in one border town. Aid trucks on fire, doesn't sound like any have gotten through, but there haven't been all-out attacks from the military either, sounds like a stand-off mostly.
 

topaz

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Really sad news. Some reports show oppossition participating in the violence that seem lack empathy for suffering.
https://twitter.com/AlbertoRodNews/...naza-intervencion-militar--20190223-0041.html

Also Red cross issued statement that members of an opposition group were posing as red cross workers as they participated in violence.

I wonder if the humantarian USAID contains more than medicine and food. Is this the reason why THE UN and Red Cross declined to take part in the way this crisis is being handled.
 

DELTA

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https://www.rt.com/news/452317-journalist-hurt-defectors-venezuela/
They attacked civilians, they're not heroes: Journalist recounts tramping by Venezuela defectors

In one of the most violent incidents in a day full of them, camerawoman Nicole Kramm was inches away from two hijacked army vehicles as they sped through a crowded border crossing between Venezuela and Colombia.
The three men inside were among the military personnel who defected from the government side on Saturday.
 

BlueRidge

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Is Venezuela lurching toward war?

“There is no question that a military intervention to resolve the Venezuela crisis is more plausible than ever,” Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based think tank, said to The Post. “Guaidó’s insistence that ‘all options are on the table’ echoes President Trump’s words, first uttered in August 2017 and widely interpreted as serious consideration of military action.”

Amid a flurry of tweets, Sen. Marco Rubio (R.-Fla.), a particularly vocal critic of Maduro, posted an image of a bloodied Moammar Gaddafi — seemingly linking Maduro’s fate with that of the Libyan strongman who was toppled and killed in 2011.

It was a conspicuous and perhaps unfortunate parallel to draw. Gaddafi’s ouster required a lengthy U.S.-led bombing campaign, and Libya has since been riven by political instability and feuding militias. It also sends a curious message at a time when Trump officials are about to meet with the North Koreans, who have cited what befell Gaddafi as justification for their pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
How remarkably stupid is Marco Rubio? He can't be unaware what has happened in Libya since Gaddafi was murdered. He wants this for Venezuela?

Unless some of the other countries in the Lima group can exert any pressure the US is going to push Venezuela into civil war. And these warmongers, despite Iraq and Libya, still believe that sunshine and roses inevitably follow military action to remove a dictator. We didn't start having delusional leaders when Trump took office, we've had them for a long time and of course Trump brought two monstrous ones back in Bolton and Abrams.

I don't see how this disaster is averted. :(

ETA and its worth adding it hasn't just been Republicans. Obama's insistence that nothing short of Assad being removed from power was acceptable in Syria left his administration with no options to work with the international community to avert that most horrific civil war.
 
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BlueRidge

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Trump's Venezuela policy may get him a few short term gains in Florida with Venezuelan Americans but his policy is going to go one of two ways: 1. nowhere with Maduro remaining in power or 2. military action that makes things worse.

In the longer term this won't help him with anyone but fans of Marco Rubio.
 

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