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 The court, one day later, rescinded the decision due to criticisms from both opposition and government ranks.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!”
“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
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.