April 4: Thousands of Venezuelans March Against Imperialism, OAS Interference


Venezuela’s current Bolivarian government’s under the Imperium’s gun… once again.  Events are outpacing the focus of my  original diary, which was attempting to chronicle some recent events and MSM ‘news’ items that seemed to leading to coup plotters (golpistas) getting President Maduro to (at the very least), call for new elections immediately; his term’s not up until 2019.  At the very most, who can say?  My original intent was to provide both recent and past historical context to the Imperium’s having had VZ in their cross-hairs since 1998, but re-organizing all of this would take more time than I have just now, especially with the largest celebration of Amerikan Crime coming up: tax day.  Not knowing who knows what about the history, I’m sure I’ve included too much, but then, few may care about any of it.  Sorry it’s so long, but it needed to be, imo.   I’ll try to work backwards in time now, instead.

From Telesur, the most complete overview:

Meanwhile, the opposition coalition rallied its supporters in a bid to further solicit the application of the OAS’ so-called ‘Democratic Charter.’

Young people seemed to dominate the numbers at an anti-imperialist march, early on Tuesday in Caracas, Venezuela. This, as thousands pounded the streets, expressing a sense of fatigue at constant right-wing attacks on the country’s sovereignty.

The march was a direct counter for opposition marches, as Venezuela’s MUD coalition rallied its supporters in a bid to further solicit the application of the Organization of American States’ (OAS) so called ‘Democratic Charter,’ which could see the country suspended from the regional bloc.

From a podium just outside the opposition-led National Assembly building, PSUV Vice President, Diosdado Cabello, gave a powerful speech that garnered huge rounds of applause heard for blocks around. The top socialist leader slammed moves by opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly to remove of Supreme Court judges.

This comes after the court’s decision, last week, to assume temporary authority to approve mixed enterprises – a function that court acknowledged as territory for the National assembly, which the court says is currently in contempt for allowing unauthorized people to serve as lawmakers. The court, one day later, rescinded the decision due to criticisms from both opposition and government ranks.

“We are here, fighting like every one else,” said Mayin Sequera, a member of the youth group, Juventud Rebelde(Youth Rebellion). “We are fighting to uphold the Bolivarian Revolution. We are here to tell the world that we are an independent people. We are a democracy, and we have autonomy over our own affairs.”

On Monday, the OAS held a controversial, extraordinary meeting where a partial group of member states adopted a resolution which listed three points of action against Venezuela following the Supreme Court decision and subsequent reversal. The resolution said the events “constitute an alteration of the constitutional order of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” and threatened “further diplomatic initiatives to foster the restoration of the democratic institutional system.”

At the OAS’ Monday meeting for the resolution, Venezuela’s representative and various other countries stormed out of a session of the 35-nation bloc, calling it an institutional “coup d’etat” after Bolivia was summarily removed as council president so the states who proposed the motion could continue with the meeting.

Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, reacted to the meeting, saying that the OAS “has surpassed itself in its aggression against Venezuela”, and that it “is truly a court of inquisition with all the abuses and vulgarities.”

The move by the OAS is unlikely to help resolve the country’s problems, nor the tensions between the main political factions.

For many Venezuelans, especially those in the streets, the response is resounding: “Leave Venezuela in peace!”

The Reuters coverage seems…confusing at best…especially the claims that the anti-Maduro protestors were accosted by the po-po.

From the LA Times, April 1: ‘Venezuela‘s opposition emboldened after top court reverses decision to strip congress’ power’:

“The high court’s sudden turnaround seemed to defuse the latest political crisis to shake the South American nation. But the protracted battle between the opposition and the Maduro government showed no signs of ebbing, and may intensify in coming days.

“…late Friday, after an emergency meeting with his his security staff, Maduro appeared on television and asked the court to review its decisions. The president pronounced the issue resolved and invited his opponents to sit down in talks.

“I insist that the Venezuelan opposition return to the road of dialogue, return to the road of sovereignty,” Maduro said.

But emboldened opposition leaders said there would be no dialogue until the government met some of their longtime demands, such as moving forward presidential elections scheduled for next year.

“The only possible dialogue is the vote,” declared Julio Borges, president of the National Assembly, or congress.

Maduro’s opponents said they would proceed this week with an effort to remove members of the Supreme Court, a pro-Maduro body that has consistently blocked congressional measures. That effort seemed certain to ignite more political fireworks.

While calling for dialogue, Maduro also returned to his frequent assertion that Venezuela is the victim of “dark” forces orchestrated from the United States, longtime adversary of the socialist leadership in Caracas.”

Ya thin?  An interesting bias, and of course their Constitution prohibits the legislature ‘removing’ Supreme Court justices.

NYT, April 1: ‘How Does Populism Turn Authoritarian? Venezuela Is a Case in Point’

“When Hugo Chávez took power in Venezuela nearly 20 years ago, the leftist populism he championed was supposed to save democracy. Instead, it has led to democracy’s implosion in the country, marked this past week by an attack on the independence of its Legislature.

Venezuela’s fate stands as a warning: Populism is a path that, at its outset, can look and feel democratic. But, followed to its logical conclusion, it can lead to democratic backsliding or even outright authoritarianism.” 

Thank you, again, #fake news, agitprop scribes to the Imperium.  Nice to know that Maduro is just another thuggish tyrant who deserves to be…deposed in the name of neo-liberalism.

Oopsie; out of time order, but I just spotted this from my favorite tankie (I haven’t made the time to read it):

File under: and the Hits just keep on comin’: ‘Bloomberg’s Hit Job on Venezuela – and Me’, by Michael Hudson, April 3, 2017 via CP:

“I just had a disastrous and embarrassing interaction with Bloomberg, and feel that I was ambushed and sandbagged by having my comments taken out of context in a hit piece Bloomberg’s journalists wrote on Venezuela – evidently trying to distort my own views in a two-for-one job.

On Monday, March 27, I received a message from a Bloomberg reporter asking me about a very nice compliment that the President of Venezuela and Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement, Nicolás Maduro, had said about me.”

The reporter, Christine Jenkins asked him if he could speculate about which of his writings Maduro might have liked, so Hudson speculated on a few possibilities.  He also told her that he hadn’t followed VZ’s economy closely in years, although he’d written a lot about his belief that in Greece and Argentina had been subjected to austerity for not being able to pay down foreign debt, and that no nation should deprive its citizens to pay foreign bondholders.

“That has indeed been the problem confronting Latin America for decades, and is a central theme of all my books since Super Imperialism in 1972.

And to cap matters, of course, U.S. foreign policy has mobilized the World Bank and IMF to back creditor interests, foreign investment and privatization – while isolating countries from Cuba through Venezuela (and now Greece) to demonstrate that neoliberal diplomacy will make such a country a pariah if it makes a serious attempt to oppose austerity and financialization.”

Long story short, he’d hmmm-ed in quasi-assent to some of Jenkins’ characterizations of the VZ economy, noted that he’d advise, if asked, that:

“If you are inevitably going to default on sovereign debt, it’s best to stop paying now and keep what foreign exchange you have, and try to renegotiate the debt to bring it within the ability to be paid. Otherwise, you will end up suffering the legal tangle of default, but be stripped of funds needed by the domestic economy to survive”, and ‘renegotiate the debt’.”  When he’d asked for a copy of her article prior to publication, she said (to the effect) :we don’t do that”.

When he received a copy post-publication, here’s what she’d written: ‘Maduro’s Favorite Economist Says Venezuela Is a ‘Real Mess’’, Bloomberg.com

  • “Economist Michael Hudson responds after Maduro lauds his work
  • Says he knows little about Venezuela but sees a ‘real mess’

“Last week, Nicolas Maduro, the embattled president of crisis-torn Venezuela, veered a bit off course during a rambling, hour-and-a-half speech to business leaders in Caracas to heap praise on a somewhat obscure U.S. economist.

“I don’t know if you know him, but I recommend his writings,” Maduro said of Michael Hudson, a professor at the University of Missouri who specializes in subjects including international finance and debt. “He’s one of the greatest U.S. economists.”

Yet, Hudson, it turns out, appears to be no fan of the socialist leader. When contacted a few days later, he had harsh words about the state of the Venezuelan economy since Maduro replaced the late Hugo Chavez in 2013, saying it seems to have “entered a period of anarchy” so profound that he doesn’t know if he could help the country much even if he were asked. Which, by the way, he hasn’t been. He’s no Venezuelan expert, he stressed, but he did have one tentative suggestion for the president: If a debt default looks inevitable, as many analysts believe is the case, it’s best to get it over with as soon as possible.

“If they realize they can’t pay later, they should stop now,” Hudson said. “You might as well keep what you have and say ‘it’s obvious we can’t pay, they made us a bad debt and they should take the loss.’”

Small wonder she didn’t let him see it pre-publication.  Jenkins also labeled Hudson an ‘obscure economist’, and brought alleged evidence that Caracas had bristled against a similar suggestion earlier.  Hudson names many of the ‘non-obscure’ venues he’s been published in his pissed off piece.

But hey!  Blooomberg provide video, so their charges must be true, no?  Ahem, however, the OAS and the Imperium’s lackeys and compromised NGOs have definitely been supporting MUD: Capriles, Lopez, et.al..

But yes, VZ should have diversified earlier, and since has, especially in agricultural production and  distribution.

In her March 21 oped at CP, Maria Paez Victor ‘Fake News: Venezuela Upholds Rule of Law, But Press Calls It Dictatorship’ describes the reasons that the VZ SC decided that the Nation Assembly was illegitimate, given that three newly elected members were under investigation for buying votes, leading to their initial ruling that the legislature would be suspended and the court would assume their duties until the three were removed, as per their Constitution.  In describing the OAS, she writes:

“This is the same OAS that kept silent about the parliamentary coups d’etat in Brazil and Paraguay, the coup d’etat in Honduras,  that has kept silent on the hideous assassinations of students and journalists in Mexico, and the multitude of human rights violations of labour unionists in Colombia.”

“Venezuela should be lauded for defending the rule of law, not tarred with malicious fake news. But its government is sitting on top of the Hemisphere’s largest oil reserves and it repudiates the policies of cannibalistic neo-liberal capitalism. So for the USA State Department and its supine allies and greedy corporations, Venezuela must be defied, deposed and defamed.

From telesur, April 1:  ‘Venezuela Top Court Reverses Ruling on National Assembly Powers; The news comes hours after President Maduro called on the court to review the decision, promoting dialogue as the solution’

Re: OAS, from Juy 2016: ‘OAS Needs New Leadership’, by Mark Weisbrot; one paragraph of a longish piece:

“Luis Almagro, the current Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) has abused his position and authority more flagrantly and outrageously than any predecessor in recent years. In his lack of judgment and disregard for political and diplomatic norms he resembles Donald Trump. And like Trump, he is increasingly seen as an embarrassment within the organization for which he is the standard bearer.

The OAS has been manipulated by Washington many times over the years in the service of regime change. Twenty-first century examples include Haiti (2000-2004, and 2011), Honduras (2009), and Paraguay (2012). It was in response to Washington’s manipulation of the OAS, in the process of consolidating the 2009 military coup in Honduras, that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was formed. It includes all countries in the hemisphere except the United States and Canada.”  (the rest is here.)

Compromised NGO Human Rights Watch’s page on Venezuela: agitprop much?

Further back in time: ‘A Policy of Non-Intervention in Venezuela Would Be a Welcome Change’, also Mark Weisbrot, July 9, 2016

“The best thing that the United States government could do with regard to Venezuela, regardless of political outcomes there, would be to end its intervention there. 

Washington has caused enormous damage to Venezuela in its relentless pursuit of “regime change” for the last 15 years. In March, President Obama once again absurdly declared Venezuela to be an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” and extended economic sanctions against the country. Although the sanctions themselves are narrow, they have a considerable impact on investment decisions, as investors know what often happens to countries that Washington targets as an unusual and extraordinary threat to U.S. national security. The sanctions, as well as pressure from the U.S. government, helped convince major financial institutions not to make otherwise low-risk loans, collateralized by gold, to the Venezuelan government.

Washington was involved in the short-lived 2002 military coup against the elected government of Venezuela, and the U.S government acknowledged providing “training, institution building and other support to individuals and organizations” who carried out the coup. Afterwards, it stepped up funding to opposition groups and has continued to this day to give them millions of dollars. In 2013, Washington was again isolated in the region and the world when it refused to recognize the presidential election results (even though there was no doubt about the outcome); the U.S. thereby lent its support to violent street protests that were seeking to topple the government. Washington gave political support to similar efforts in 2014.”

All this is well-documented and well-known to journalists covering Venezuela, but try finding one at a major news outlet who has the courage to write about it.”

No, instead there are continual and hysterical hit pieces from the MSM, of course the WaPo, the Atlantic, and NYTimes are among the worst.  These headlines are mainly from the Atlantic, and oh, the photos essays: “this single plate of yech is all Marta has to eat”; “see the empty grocery shelves?”; “There is no toilet paper!”

In 2015 VZ, Eva Golinger at CP chronicles some of the NYT’s hysteria in: ‘Venezuela: a Coup in Real Time’.

“These examples are just a snapshot of increasing, systematic negative and distorted coverage of Venezuelan affairs in U.S. media, painting an exaggeratedly dismal picture of the country’s current situation and portraying the government as incompetent, dictatorial and criminal. While this type of coordinated media campaign against Venezuela is not new – media consistently portrayed former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, elected president four times by overwhelming majorities, as a tyrannical dictator destroying the country – it is clearly intensifying at a rapid, and concerning, pace.” 

I’d been trying to find an easy way to demonstrate how WikiLeaks had shown how many efforts, how many dollars, how many CIA-linked organizations had gone into toppling leftist governments in VZ since 1998, and remembered  a ‘Look out, Venezuela…’ piece I wrote in March, 2015,

“Golinger, by the way, was the first I’d known to break the WikiLeaks revelations on US efforts to destabilize Venezuela via deep state NGOs like NED and USAID, US NatSec, and State Department BigWigs.  She also likens the current strategy to the ‘destabilize, then overthrow’ that Chile and the Allende government was treated to in 1973.”

This is one of the most illustrative paragraphs:

“In a secret document authored by current Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Craig Kelly, and sent by the US Embassy in Santiago in June 2007 to the Secretary of State, CIA and Southern Command of the Pentagon, along with a series of other US embassies in the region, Kelly proposed “six main areas of action for the US government (USG) to limit Chavez’s influence” and “reassert US leadership in the region“. 

Psyops, carrots and sticks for other regional nations to oppose Chavez are featured, as well as this sort of “In one cable from December 2007, the US Ambassador in Colombia recounts a meeting between Uribe and a delegation of US congress members, including Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. According to the text, Uribe “likened the threat Chavez poses to Latin America to that posed by Hitler in Europe”.  And in yet another report summarizing a January 2008 meeting between Uribe and the Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, Uribe is quoted as recommending military action against Venezuela.”

Oh, and according to this, ‘Dominican Republic, Haiti & El Salvador Reject US Threats To Vote Against Venezuela’, via popular resistance, April 3

earlier:

Things will get more ‘interesting’ in Venezuela, no doubt.  Now when Chavez was the recipient of numerous coups, the military stood staunchly behind him.  In this time and environment, who can say?  Guess we’ll just have to ‘stay tuned’ and hope for the best for a continuing leftist Bolivarian government.

9 responses to “April 4: Thousands of Venezuelans March Against Imperialism, OAS Interference

  1. wonder how reuters will present this?

    ‘Venezuela Calls for Investigation into Right-Wing Violence’, telesur

    “Since Tuesday, anti-government demonstrators have been attacking National Guard and police officers in Caracas.

    Venezuelan Interior and Justice Minister Nestor Reverol on Tuesday called on the country’s judicial branch to investigate ongoing acts of violence committed by the right-wing opposition in Caracas.

    Since Tuesday, anti-government demonstrators have been attacking National Guard and police officers with sticks, rocks and trash cans in the socialist country’s capital. The riots were organized in protest against a recent decision by the Supreme Court to temporarily assume some responsibilities of the National Assembly as long as the legislature continued to be “in contempt” of the constitution.

    Even though Venezuela’s top court has since reversed the decision, the right-wing opposition continues to incite violence, echoing mainstream media claims of a “self-coup.”

    “A group of opposition leaders led these actions that border on the most repudiable and condemnable anti-democratic conduct,” Reverol said in a VTV broadcast, adding that they should be investigated for “behaviors violating Venezuela’s constitutional order.”

    on the right sidebar: ‘Former Uruguay Defense Minister: OAS Head Coordinating with US Against Venezuela’

    ya think?

    i’m out for tonight; dream of an egalitairian and just world if you can.

  2. ‘Lawmaker Diosdado Cabello presented evidence of a coup attempt planned by the opposition with terrorist acts and looting’, april 6 telesur

    “During his program “Con el Mazo Dando” broadcast on state television, Cabello presented audio recording that he said provide evidence of a coordinated opposition destabilization plan that included violence in the streets and military attacks in Caracas, with the aim of creating a political scenario that would favor military intervention by the United States and the ultimate removal of the Maduro government.

    The evidence Cabello presented included a conversation between security agents that mentions opposition figures including Julio Borges, president of the National Assembly; Roberto Enriquez and Oswaldo Alvarez Paz from the Copei party; Eduardo Vetancourt, former agent of the DISIP, an old intelligence organization in Venezuela; Colonel Zomacal Hernandez and U.S. senator Marcos Rubio.”

    Maria Paez Victor: “And what is Venezuela’s real sin? Has it invaded another country? Has it declared war against a neighboring country? Has it expelled the 5 million Columbians that have sought refuge in Venezuela? Has it not eliminated illiteracy? Has it not provided full free public education to its people? Has it not established free health care through the country? Has it not been lauded by the UN for meeting the Millennium Goals for social welfare? Has it not dramatically decreased poverty and malnutrition? Yes, but it, ridiculously, clings to the idea that it is a sovereign country and that its petroleum is not an asset for Exxon Mobil, the USA or any other foreign entity – it is the property of the Venezuelan people.”

  3. US Southern Command Warns of ‘Response’ to Venezuela ‘Instability‘, april 6, telesur
    “The statement to the Senate Committee also warns of the Russian, Chinese and Iranian “influence” in the region.
    The U.S. military’s top official for Latin America presented an ominous report to the Senate Thursday warning that Venezuela could be a “destabilizing” factor in Latin America.

    “Venezuela faces significant instability in the coming year due to widespread food, and medicine shortages; continued political uncertainty; and a worsening economic situation,” said Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, the commander of the United States Southern Command in his report to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
    “The growing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela could eventually compel a regional response.”

    The U.S. military leader also said that the relationships fostered by Russia, China and Iran with countries in the region pose a threat to U.S. interests.”

  4. are you surprised to learn that Hezbollah is in latin America? i’m not. i’m grateful. finally, a threat worthy of…something or other…jeeeezus.

    • thing is, Africom’s stated mission is to be alert to instability, and fight to bring security, democracy, whatever… but they don’t admit to cia, et.al. helping to create the destabilization, so they can…ride to the rescue. guess i’m afraid now that chavismo is about done in VZ, or will be soon. i forget how many assassination attempts chavez survived, but i’ll bet maduro has to have that in the back of his mind now.

      but look at this; think you’ll ♥ it:

      “Members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have encouraged their followers to exploit the pathways leading directly into the United States to move weapons of mass destruction, he told the panel.

      Addressing the Challenge

      “To address this challenge we’re changing our approach to better understand and disrupt the immediate threats,” Tidd said.
      Southcom is working with partners to reduce vulnerabilities that allow the networks to exist and to expand information sharing and build the capacity of partners to better secure their territory against these challenges, the admiral explained.

      Other issues include extremist networks like those of ISIS that are radicalizing and recruiting individuals to conduct attacks on the United States and on partner interests in the Southcom.”

  5. Another good round-up. Thanks for the prompt in the War Porn Rides Again thread about this.

    Seems that some in US policy and military circles thinks the slavery-extending Monroe Doctrine still applies to South America especially. With the US in Russia, Ukraine, and Western Pacific, seeing Russia, China, and Iran in South America shouldn’t be a surprise, n’est-ce pas?

    The DAESH/ISIS/ISIL trolls seem to be poking the US’s very stated fears. And the US military finds it very convenient to quote them. The US framing makes one wonder…

    • thanks, amigo. but explain, please? “The DAESH/ISIS/ISIL trolls seem to be poking the US’s very stated fears. And the US military finds it very convenient to quote them. The US framing makes one wonder…” ya lost me.

      but i love your framing of the monroe doctrine applying to well, ‘our backyard’. daniel ortega says nicaragua is under congressional threat of restoring the ‘nica act’….”which will aim to slap Ortega’s government with financial sanctions for alleged human rights violations and an erosion of democratic standards. The 71-year-old Ortega, a former Sandinista guerrilla who won with 72.5 percent of the vote in his November re-election, has been in Washington’s crosshairs since the 1980s when President Ronald Reagan was in office”.
      (well…yes. hello, gary webb.)

      “Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo labeled the move to reintroduce the act “reactionary and interventionist” and sought to “undermine the right of Nicaragua to continue developing the socialist model.”

      in this case the oas apparently agrees. hmmmm.
      http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Nicaragua-Condemns-Proposed-Imperial-US-Sanctions-as-Irrational—20170407-0006.html

      • Your quote:
        Other issues include extremist networks like those of ISIS that are radicalizing and recruiting individuals to conduct attacks on the United States and on partner interests in the Southcom.”

        My reaction:
        Those networks purported operate by internet recruitment. And the storyline used also plays into the US narrative about scary terrorism. And the Trumpista story line about Latin America being a entryway for terrorists.

        The way that the US frames the narrative makes it vulnerable to information that plays that story line to confirm a counter-productive reaction by the US.

        Of course, any anti-corporate (regardless of ideology) regime will violate the Monroe Doctrine’s protection of the extension of slavery by other means. All in the name of “democracy” of course.

        • thanks for the explanation of online recruitment; guess i hadn’t known that was so, but the fear/supposition seems to be why new visa applications require turning over laptops, smart phones, with all their social networking passwords now, doesn’t it?

          yes, and the meme also gives more incentive to…”the wall”. meanwhile, more from the neo-colonialist CFR (behind a paywall): ‘Getting Venezuela to Behave; What Trump Can Do’ Ernesto J. Sanchez, CFR

          to say it’s full of bias would be putting it mildly; pro-opposition agitprop would be closer. george clooney was given a lifetime sinecure on da board, remember? an example:

          “Moreover, Trump noted his concerns about Venezuela’s worsening human rights situation during phone calls with Presidents Mauricio Macri of Argentina, Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, and Pedro Pablo Kuczysnki of Peru.

          Trump’s condemnation of the Maduro regime comes at a time when Venezuela has fallen into an economic and humanitarian crisis, and at the same time that it has, as Freedom House put it, “fully shed its democratic façade.” Although opposition parties won control of the Venezuelan National Assembly in December 2015 and promised a presidential recall referendum, the Venezuelan National Electoral Council indefinitely suspended the vote in October 2016.”

          https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/venezuela/2017-04-07/getting-venezuela-behave

          fox news, or course, is countering local coverage of the dueling protests last night magnificently. the opposition is setting up those roadblocks like the ones they did in when…2013, burning chairs and desk from schools, plus burning tires, etc. even the national guard tried to stop them this time.

          more dueling protests to come over the weekend.

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