What is happening in Venezuela?

BlueRidge

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Good:

...the European Union and other countries that have recognised Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate leader warned against the use of military force.

...A spokesperson for the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said: “We need a peaceful, political and democratic and Venezuelan-owned resolution of this crisis. This obviously excludes the use of force. What we want to see are free, transparent and credible presidential elections.”

...Colombian opposition senators co-signed a letter calling on the government to not allow their country to “serve as platform for the invention of American forces in Venezuela”.

Spain – whose prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, was among the European leaders who recognised Guaidó at the beginning of February – also spoke out pointedly against any use of foreign force.

“Not every option is on the table,” the country’s foreign minister, Josep Borrell, told the Spanish news agency Efe on Sunday. “We have clearly warned that we would not support – and would roundly condemn – any foreign military intervention, which is something we hope won’t happen.”

Borrell repeated calls for fresh elections in the South American country, adding: “The solution in Venezuela can only be reached through a democratic solution agreed by Venezuelans and the calling of presidential elections.”
It seems to be there is a choice between pushing for new elections and pushing for Maduro to be overthrown. No elections are going to be possible under the circumstances of a violent push to remove Maduro.

Pence declared "Maduro must go." That is a line in the sand of the kind we've seen before. It leaves the US administration with little room to maneuver. Its a very big mistake and one the US has repeatedly made with destructive consequences.

'Maduro must go': Pence bids to ramp up effort to oust Venezuelan leader
 

oleada

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Venezuela’s having a nation wide power outage since Thursday night. Maduro is blaming the US (apparently organized by Marco Rubio :rolleyes:) and the opposition blames Maduro.

The reality is that Venezuela has been having blackouts for a long time, and the electrical grid has had very poor upkeep.
 

Jot the Dot Dot

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Same excuse they made under Stalin, Mao et. al., it's impossible for the government's economic bamboozilry to be wrong, therefor it must be Sabateurs!
 

clairecloutier

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Sobering article foresees a danger of widespread famine in Venezuela. Apparently many Venezuelan farmers have been unable to obtain seeds and fertilizer for planting crops this spring. And the import/export market is collapsing due to a shortage of cash resulting from U.S. sanctions. Maduro is also supposedly cutting off humanitarian aid from the U.S. gov't. :cry::cry:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/worl...c5d0999c21e_story.html?utm_term=.536ffafb7f6d
 

Vagabond

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There has been another massive power outage. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/venezuelans-survives-through-more-blackouts-hardships-n987596

And here is a recent article from the New York Times: ‘It Is Unspeakable’: How Maduro Used Cuban Doctors to Coerce Venezuela Voters

Anyone still supporting Maduro should read this:
One added that, on the day Mr. Maduro was elected to his first term, she witnessed officials opening ballot boxes and tampering with votes, including destroying ballots that chose the opposition. Another said she and others were asked to vote with false identification.
 

topaz

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The crazy, horrible situation in Venezuela is sad. Overall, the news coverage from main stream media has not told the whole story and seems to be from the same talking points from US Government. As the saying goes, the truth lies somewhere in the between.


When the IRC and UN declined to participate in the humanitarian aid from the organization USAID because they felt the aid was "politicized" was telling in my opinion.

The Trump Admin and many in US government could care less about the plight of the Venezuelan people, it's about economic opportunity for them.

I've read articles that show the Obama and Trump Admins. have purposefully imposed sanctions and other economic barriers on the Venezuelan people in an attempt to increase pressure for a coup that is beneficial to US' gains.

A Trump administration official bragged that US sanctions on Venezuela are “like in Star Wars when Darth Vader constricts somebody’s throat.

A senior US government official bragged at a briefing on March 22, “The effect of the sanctions is continuing and cumulative. It’s sort of like in Star Wars when Darth Vader constricts somebody’s throat, that’s what we are doing to the regime economically,” according to a report by Univision.

US sanctions have bled Venezuela of many billions of dollars. Venezuelan civilians have suffered gravely, as Washington’s explicit campaign of economic warfare has prevented Caracas from importing medicine and medical equipment.

Economist Mark Weisbrot, a co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and leading expert on Venezuela’s economy, told The Grayzone in a recent interview that the Trump administration’s 2017 sanctions on Caracas established a de facto “financial embargo.”

Weisbrot added that the sanctions on Venezuela that were expanded in early 2019 “are very definitely among the worst sanctions ever imposed by the US on any country, if not the worst.”
I have read articles from Alfred de Zayas over the two months that are truly sad.



Sadly, the Venezuelan people will continue to suffer if/when Maduro is out of office. With the likes of Elliot Abrams, Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence and Ricardo Hausmann heavily involved with the ousting of Maduro: I can't see any of these folks having the best interest of the Venezuelan people in their thoughts.
 

BlueRidge

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Reports are Guaido is leading an attempt to get the military to overthrow Maduro today. I'm afraid this is going to be very bad. :(

ETA: Secy of State Pompeo:

Today interim President Juan Guaido announced start of Operación Libertad. The U.S. Government fully supports the Venezuelan people in their quest for freedom and democracy. Democracy cannot be defeated.
:yikes:
 
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BittyBug

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Tsk tsk, @ilovepaydays. U.S. imperialism does not wait to be invited, especially when there is oil involved.

Having said that, Guaidó has asked for support (generally) from the international community - how far that goes is probably classified at this point.
 

BlueRidge

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Pompeo today:

“The president has been crystal clear and incredibly consistent—military action is possible—if that’s what’s required—that’s what the United States will do,” he told Fox Business Network on Wednesday. “We are trying to do everything we can to avoid violence… We’d prefer a peaceful transition of government there where Maduro leaves and a new election is held.”
 

Vagabond

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The latest uprising appears to have fallen short of its goal.

Meanwhile the New York Times has just published an article about Venezuela's own intelligence agency's investigation of current industry minister and former Vice President Tareck El Aissami, "one of Mr. Maduro’s closest confidants."
The dossier, provided to The New York Times by a former top Venezuelan intelligence official and confirmed independently by a second one, recounts testimony from informants accusing Mr. El Aissami and his father of recruiting Hezbollah members to help expand spying and drug trafficking networks in the region....

Mr. El Aissami and his father, Carlos Zaidan El Aissami, a Syrian immigrant who had worked with Hezbollah on return visits to his country, ... pushed to bring Hezbollah into Venezuela, according to the dossier.

Informants told intelligence agents that Mr. El Aissami’s father was involved in a plan to train Hezbollah members in Venezuela, “with the aim of expanding intelligence networks throughout Latin America and at the same time working in drug trafficking,” the documents say.
Why do Maduro's apologists keep defending him and his regime?
 

BlueRidge

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While the US is occupied with Iraq/Iran...

Venezuela’s last democratic institution falls as Maduro stages de facto takeover of National Assembly (Washington Post)

CARACAS, Venezuela — The government of President Nicolás Maduro staged a de facto takeover of Venezuela's legislature on Sunday, swearing in its own candidate as head of the National Assembly in a move apparently orchestrated to rob international credibility from Juan Guaidó, who had led the body and has staked a rival claim as head of state.

...security forces loyal to Maduro formed a cordon around the assembly building in central Caracas, blocking opposition lawmakers — who control the chamber — from entering. Lawmakers who back Maduro — including several allegedly involved in a government plot to buy votes — were allowed to pass. At one point, Guaidó sought to scale the spiked wrought-iron fence surrounding the assembly, trying to force his way in.

...At the same time, Luis Parra — a former opposition politician who was one of several lawmakers accused last month of accepting government bribes — announced his surprise candidacy against Guaidó on Twitter on Sunday morning. Hours later, his swearing-in was suddenly shown on state television.
This presumably will be hailed by the totalitarian left.
 

Vagabond

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Thanks to the socialists in power, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. That's what's happening in Venezuela.

Venezuela’s Capital Is Booming. Is This the End of the Revolution? https://nyti.ms/2uWEd5j

Thoughts?
 

Jot the Dot Dot

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While the US is occupied with Iraq/Iran...

Venezuela’s last democratic institution falls as Maduro stages de facto takeover of National Assembly (Washington Post)



This presumably will be hailed by the totalitarian left.
Nah. As usual, they first go through their 'Honeymoon' period, lauding the new regime. Then, the 'Defensive' period, where the new ruler's despotism is in plain view, and the left engages in all source of 'Whataboutism-ry', or implies all sorts of ill motives to critics. Now they will keep saying what they've been saying for decades: "But That Wasn't Real Socialism" , putting their erstwhile support into a memory hole. There was a saying I heard decades ago that still applies: "A good Soviet historian is one who can predict the past". This has always been the case: https://imgur.com/a/DlThHaI
Thanks to the socialists in power, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. That's what's happening in Venezuela.

Venezuela’s Capital Is Booming. Is This the End of the Revolution? https://nyti.ms/2uWEd5j

Thoughts?
A 'New Economic Policy', like what Lenin implemented in 1922 following three years of 'War Communism'. But the Bolsheviks were still in power, and would not reform for another 63 years.
 

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