Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

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The Romulan Republic
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Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-24 04:00pm

https:/www.cnbc.com/2019/01/24/venezuela-davos ... untry.html
Venezuelan soldiers take part in a ceremony with Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (not pictured), after his swearing-in for a second presidential term, at Fuerte Tiuna military base in Caracas, Venezuela January 10, 2019.
REUTERS | Adriana Loureiro
Venezuelan soldiers take part in a ceremony with Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (not pictured), after his swearing-in for a second presidential term, at Fuerte Tiuna military base in Caracas, Venezuela January 10, 2019.
Venezuela is on the brink of a lasting change, according to Latin American leaders gathered at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

The South American country is embroiled in fast-moving political crisis, after an opposition leader stood in the streets of Caracas on Wednesday and declared himself as the rightful interim president.

A flurry of world powers, including the U.S., immediately backed Juan Guaido, prompting a furious response from President Nicolas Maduro.

The socialist leader broke diplomatic ties with President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday, ordering all U.S. diplomatic personnel to leave the country within 72 hours.

"There is no doubt that the behavior of guys with guns will define much of what will happen in the coming days and shape politics in Venezuela."
-Moises Naim, Former Venezuelan minister
Maduro also dismissed Guaido's claim to the presidency, saying it was part of an American-led conspiracy to orchestrate a coup from afar.

"There is no doubt that the behavior of guys with guns will define much of what will happen in the coming days and shape politics in Venezuela," Moises Naim, a former Venezuelan minister now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said during a WEF panel session on Thursday.

Naim described Venezuela as a "criminalized country," rife with local and transnational gangs "maybe even more lethal and more dangerous" than the military.

'It feels different this time'

Guaido's declaration takes Venezuela into uncharted territory, with the possibility of the opposition now running a parallel government recognized abroad as legitimate but without control over state functions.

Growing unrest in Venezuela follows years of economic mismanagement, repression and corruption.

As a result, millions of people have been driven out of the country amid hyperinflation, power cuts and severe shortages of basic items — such as food and medicine.

Juan Guaido, President of Venezuela's National Assembly, reacts during a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government and to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the end of the dictatorship of Marcos Perez Jimenez in Caracas, Venezuela January 23, 2019.
Carlos Garcia Rawlins | Reuters
Juan Guaido, President of Venezuela's National Assembly, reacts during a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government and to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the end of the dictatorship of Marcos Perez Jimenez in Caracas, Venezuela January 23, 2019.
What happens next in Venezuela appears to hinge on the actions of the country's military.

For now, high-ranking officials remain supportive of Maduro's government.

Guaido, who is calling for free and fair elections to be held in Venezuela as soon as possible, urged the military to disobey the government.

Political analysts told CNBC on Thursday it was certainly possible that escalating pressure from the international community could encourage lower-ranking officials to turn against Maduro's government.

"One month ago, I would have said this was not possible. But it feels different this time," Gabriele Saade, a research and project coordinator with La Mejor Venezuela Foro, a political think-tank based in Caracas, said Thursday.

"I think the costs of supporting the government are higher and higher every day," she added.

Military intervention

At the start of the month, Maduro was sworn in for a second term.

The election, which was boycotted by the opposition amid claims of vote-rigging, prompted a fresh wave of protests.

Since the start of last year, 14 people have died as result of the demonstrations against the government, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflicts rights group.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro
Marco Bello | Reuters
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro
Maduro has presided over Venezuela's spiral into its worst-ever economic crisis, with hyperinflation forecast to reach 10 million percent this year.

Venezuela's stock market index was the worst global performer in U.S. dollar-denominated terms in 2018. The crisis-stricken country saw its IBVC index collapse more than 94 percent.

Ongoing political and economic turmoil has also rendered its bolivar currency practically worthless.

Some 3 million Venezuelans have fled abroad over the past five years to escape worsening living conditions.

When asked whether international military intervention would be the best approach to solve the crisis, Jose Valencia, Ecuador's foreign minister, replied: "We disagree with that option."

"We think it would have mostly negative impacts," he added.
Now, I'm no fan of Maduro. I honestly don't know enough about the other guy to say whether he'd be an improvement, or has greater democratic legitimacy, but I wouldn't shed any tears over Maduro's removal. But I am very disturbed by the sequence of events here.

While its pretty much standard for dictators facing revolt to blame it on US/Western meddling, Maduro might have a point here. Trump has repeatedly threatened war with Venezuela, and the speed with which world governments have moved to recognize his opponent certainly suggests collaboration/foreknowledge, at least to me. At the very least, Trump's war-mongering posture towards Venezuela has done nothing to ease tensions or ally suspicions. So now we have Maduro ordering US diplomatic staff out, the US refusing to withdraw them because they no longer recognize him as President, and a very real possibility of armed intervention- one which would be opposed by Russia, which IIRC recently moved forces/weapons to Venezuela.

Now, if Maduro were to attack US diplomatic personnel or something, that might justify intervention- but we would still have to ask: would the situation have ever arisen if Trump had not maliciously tried to engineer a conflict? And why is he doing so? Out of concern for Venezuelans? From the man who portrays Latinos as criminals? Or for profit, from oil and weaponry? Or maybe for the PR benefits (at least in his head) of being a war time President, and a chance to deflect from the Mueller probe?
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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by aerius » 2019-01-24 04:48pm

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That is why Venezuela has been shitting the bed for the last 5-6 years. This is why its economy has fallen apart and resulted in mass poverty, social unrest, and government instability. People who follow the energy sector have known about this for years. This isn't some evil oil companies or Trump made it happen kinda deal, this is what happens to a country which is reliant on a single sector when said sector shits the bed.

What happens next depends on China, so far they haven't said anything but along with Russia they're one of Venezuela's key partners in trade, finance, and various other things.
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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by LadyTevar » 2019-01-24 06:05pm

What's this about the Bank of England holding several millions dollars of gold that belongs to Venezuela, but won't give it back? Or is that just Facebook nonsense?
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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by Mr Bean » 2019-01-25 12:49am

LadyTevar wrote:
2019-01-24 06:05pm
What's this about the Bank of England holding several millions dollars of gold that belongs to Venezuela, but won't give it back? Or is that just Facebook nonsense?
Close it's very complicated, it's more like real Venezuela gold but no one is willing to underwrite shipping it back to Venezuela because there's a very strong belief that said gold would never reach Venezuela banks for three reasons

1. Pirates (seriously)
2. Corruption
3. Debitors

Once the gold is outside the Bank of England's vaults it's very possible for many of the countries Venezuela owes money will have it seized by court order as payment for service rendered which were never payed for.

So the instant you take one little gold brick outside the Bank of England vaults the lawyers are going to be all over you.

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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by Elfdart » 2019-01-25 03:13pm

LadyTevar wrote:
2019-01-24 06:05pm
What's this about the Bank of England holding several millions dollars of gold that belongs to Venezuela, but won't give it back? Or is that just Facebook nonsense?
$1.3 billion in gold.

Venezuela used part of their gold reserves as collateral for loans from Deutsche Bank to buy food, etc. Given how hastily May recognized the coup, this is just one way the British government hopes to help themselves to some of the spoils if the coup works.
"One way we recognize a mass hysteria movement is that everyone who doesn’t believe is accused of being in on the plot. This has been going on virtually unrestrained in both political and media circles in recent weeks."

--Matt Taibbi

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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by Elfdart » 2019-01-25 04:01pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-01-24 04:00pm
Now, I'm no fan of Maduro. I honestly don't know enough about the other guy to say whether he'd be an improvement, or has greater democratic legitimacy, but I wouldn't shed any tears over Maduro's removal. But I am very disturbed by the sequence of events here.

While its pretty much standard for dictators facing revolt to blame it on US/Western meddling, Maduro might have a point here. Trump has repeatedly threatened war with Venezuela, and the speed with which world governments have moved to recognize his opponent certainly suggests collaboration/foreknowledge, at least to me. At the very least, Trump's war-mongering posture towards Venezuela has done nothing to ease tensions or ally suspicions. So now we have Maduro ordering US diplomatic staff out, the US refusing to withdraw them because they no longer recognize him as President, and a very real possibility of armed intervention- one which would be opposed by Russia, which IIRC recently moved forces/weapons to Venezuela.

Now, if Maduro were to attack US diplomatic personnel or something, that might justify intervention- but we would still have to ask: would the situation have ever arisen if Trump had not maliciously tried to engineer a conflict? And why is he doing so? Out of concern for Venezuelans? From the man who portrays Latinos as criminals? Or for profit, from oil and weaponry? Or maybe for the PR benefits (at least in his head) of being a war time President, and a chance to deflect from the Mueller probe?
The US government has been trying to overthrow the elected governments in Venezuela from the time Chavez was first elected. They're resorted to all the dirty tricks they used against Guatemala and Chile and other victims. This "opposition" is largely made up of, and led by a bunch of fascist thugs, like the gang that burned Orlando Fugueroa to death chanting "Black guy, see what we do to Chavistas!". If they take power, we'll end up seeing the usual outcome ever time Uncle Sam overthrows the elected government: torture, rape, lynchings -all of which will be glossed over because the ones doing the torture, rape and murder will hold a fire sale where the few remaining valuables are sold off for pennies.

I can't help but wonder where the McResistance is. I mean, some stolen e-mails and a few thousand dollars worth of Facebook ads and it's full-blown hair-on-fire hysteria ("OH NOES! TEH RUSHINS!") for two years and counting. But here you have outside interference against a duly elected government, from bribes to sanctions to cold-blooded murder with a promise of more to come and what does the McResistance offer?

Crickets.
"One way we recognize a mass hysteria movement is that everyone who doesn’t believe is accused of being in on the plot. This has been going on virtually unrestrained in both political and media circles in recent weeks."

--Matt Taibbi

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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by aerius » 2019-01-25 04:25pm

Elfdart wrote:
2019-01-25 04:01pm
I can't help but wonder where the McResistance is. I mean, some stolen e-mails and a few thousand dollars worth of Facebook ads and it's full-blown hair-on-fire hysteria ("OH NOES! TEH RUSHINS!") for two years and counting. But here you have outside interference against a duly elected government, from bribes to sanctions to cold-blooded murder with a promise of more to come and what does the McResistance offer?

Crickets.
Let's be honest here, what's going on in Venezuela right now is simply a continuation of US policies in Central & South America which have been in effect since my parents were kids. The US has spent all that time sponsoring coups and overthrowing governments in that part of the world because they were Socialists who refused to bend over and take it in the ass for Uncle Sam. What, you mean you don't want to sign away your water rights to Coca-Cola? Well I guess we're just gonna have to find a more co-operative government if you know what I mean.

Let's be serious here, the McResistance only cares because Trump is doing it, where were they in the last 40 years? Where they gonna be when Trump's gone? Oh. Yeah. Crickets.
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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by Elfdart » 2019-01-26 02:42am

Oh I know. It's why the plot to Quantum of Solace was so silly. Why would some shadowy organization like SPECTRE bother when the US and its allies do all this skulduggery on their own already? Who needs Blofeld when Elliot Abrams (Trump's newest recruit) is on hand to organize Einsatzgruppen, coups and assassinations? He works cheaper and has almost 40 years of experience at this kind of evil.
"One way we recognize a mass hysteria movement is that everyone who doesn’t believe is accused of being in on the plot. This has been going on virtually unrestrained in both political and media circles in recent weeks."

--Matt Taibbi

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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-01-26 04:45am

Elfdart wrote:
2019-01-26 02:42am
Oh I know. It's why the plot to Quantum of Solace was so silly. Why would some shadowy organization like SPECTRE bother when the US and its allies do all this skulduggery on their own already? Who needs Blofeld when Elliot Abrams (Trump's newest recruit) is on hand to organize Einsatzgruppen, coups and assassinations? He works cheaper and has almost 40 years of experience at this kind of evil.
I always actually saw SPECTRE as a metaphor the US / First World shadow government, basically the international oligarchy behind the curtains. Further reinforced in 007 Spectre during the meeting, where they are gathering for updates on their stuff in that palace. Down to the supercentre for data mining in the desert - stand-in for NSA...
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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by Coop D'etat » 2019-01-26 12:34pm

aerius wrote:
2019-01-25 04:25pm
Elfdart wrote:
2019-01-25 04:01pm
I can't help but wonder where the McResistance is. I mean, some stolen e-mails and a few thousand dollars worth of Facebook ads and it's full-blown hair-on-fire hysteria ("OH NOES! TEH RUSHINS!") for two years and counting. But here you have outside interference against a duly elected government, from bribes to sanctions to cold-blooded murder with a promise of more to come and what does the McResistance offer?

Crickets.
Let's be honest here, what's going on in Venezuela right now is simply a continuation of US policies in Central & South America which have been in effect since my parents were kids. The US has spent all that time sponsoring coups and overthrowing governments in that part of the world because they were Socialists who refused to bend over and take it in the ass for Uncle Sam. What, you mean you don't want to sign away your water rights to Coca-Cola? Well I guess we're just gonna have to find a more co-operative government if you know what I mean.

Let's be serious here, the McResistance only cares because Trump is doing it, where were they in the last 40 years? Where they gonna be when Trump's gone? Oh. Yeah. Crickets.

I think this is a lazy ill-formed take on the situation.

Guaido isn't being backed by Trump in particular, the bulk of the Americas are recognizing him, including a large number of countries not inclined to do Trump favours and with pretty sensitive anti-American Imperialism reflexes. Most likely because they have to deal with the flood of refugees that are coming out of the self-inflicted humanitarian disaster zone which is late-state Chavism. Mexico is the notable local exception, but that's likely more over the traditions of the Estrada doctrine rather than anything else.

For another matter, the whole thing was far to quietly and competently executed to be a Trump initiative at all, it more looks like he's trying to involve himself after the fact out of in character narcissism and ham-fistedness.

More to the point, the whole affair is the inverse of old-school US Latin American policy that you are referring to. Gauido has a fairly respectable legal claim to the interim Presidency under Venezuelan law. He's a moderate social democrat with widespread support, particularly from the more legitimately elected representatives of the Venezuelan people.

Maduro on the other hand, is the military backed strongman who has destroyed Venezuelan democracy here. Any claim that he's the real elected President is a bad joke considering what happened in the last election. At this point, he's the leader of a military junta, not an elected president and he's presided over the total collapse of Venezuelan society. The residual support he's getting from Western leftists is frankly embarrassing. They shouldn't be excusing a incompetent thug whose policies have produced a completely foreseeable disaster because 10 years ago they thought Chavez was building "21st century socialism"

From a more cynical perspective, what is there for the American's to want to loot after a regime change in Venezuela anyways? Their oil industry has imploded and wont be of any real value until expensive re-investment is made. Meanwhile America doesn't have the incentive to secure oil-supplies like they did in the Carter through Bush II era any more. The North American energy market is self-sufficient these days. If anyone has the incentive to oppress the Venezuelan people for geopolitical benefits these days, its the Chinese for their sweetheart oil deals and the Russians for a place to showboat their military.

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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by aerius » 2019-01-26 01:37pm

Coop D'etat wrote:
2019-01-26 12:34pm
Guaido isn't being backed by Trump in particular, the bulk of the Americas are recognizing him, including a large number of countries not inclined to do Trump favours and with pretty sensitive anti-American Imperialism reflexes. Most likely because they have to deal with the flood of refugees that are coming out of the self-inflicted humanitarian disaster zone which is late-state Chavism. Mexico is the notable local exception, but that's likely more over the traditions of the Estrada doctrine rather than anything else.

For another matter, the whole thing was far to quietly and competently executed to be a Trump initiative at all, it more looks like he's trying to involve himself after the fact out of in character narcissism and ham-fistedness.
Everyone likes to think Trump is a complete bumblefuck, this is the same kind of thinking that got him elected in the first place.

This was planned well in advance, and surprisingly competently too I might add.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-call-fro ... 1548430259

Excerpt:
The night before Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president of Venezuela, the opposition leader received a phone call from Vice President Mike Pence.

Mr. Pence pledged that the U.S. would back Mr. Guaidó if he seized the reins of government from Nicolás Maduro by invoking a clause in the South American country’s constitution, a senior administration official said.

That late-night call set in motion a plan that had been developed in secret over the preceding several weeks, accompanied by talks between U.S. officials, allies, lawmakers and key Venezuelan opposition figures, including Mr. Guaidó himself.

It culminated in the 35-year-old Mr. Guaidó’s declaration Wednesday that Mr. Maduro’s government was illegitimate and that Mr. Guaidó, president of the country’s National Assembly, was assuming power in accordance with the country’s constitution.

Almost instantly, just as Mr. Pence had promised, President Trump issued a statement recognizing Mr. Guaidó as the country’s rightful leader. Soon after came similar pronouncements from Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and others.

But Mr. Maduro, who refused to step aside, nearly as quickly drew statements of support from Turkey, Russia, Mexico and Bolivia, setting into motion a tense international faceoff over the future of Venezuela.

The gripping sequence of events presented a rarely seen side of Mr. Trump’s foreign policy, one that was preconceived, tightly coordinated and carried out swiftly and efficiently.
Coop D'etat wrote:
2019-01-26 12:34pm
More to the point, the whole affair is the inverse of old-school US Latin American policy that you are referring to. Gauido has a fairly respectable legal claim to the interim Presidency under Venezuelan law. He's a moderate social democrat with widespread support, particularly from the more legitimately elected representatives of the Venezuelan people.

Maduro on the other hand, is the military backed strongman who has destroyed Venezuelan democracy here. Any claim that he's the real elected President is a bad joke considering what happened in the last election. At this point, he's the leader of a military junta, not an elected president and he's presided over the total collapse of Venezuelan society. The residual support he's getting from Western leftists is frankly embarrassing. They shouldn't be excusing a incompetent thug whose policies have produced a completely foreseeable disaster because 10 years ago they thought Chavez was building "21st century socialism"
South American politics is a goddamn mess that I don't pretend to fully understand.
From a more cynical perspective, what is there for the American's to want to loot after a regime change in Venezuela anyways? Their oil industry has imploded and wont be of any real value until expensive re-investment is made. Meanwhile America doesn't have the incentive to secure oil-supplies like they did in the Carter through Bush II era any more. The North American energy market is self-sufficient these days. If anyone has the incentive to oppress the Venezuelan people for geopolitical benefits these days, its the Chinese for their sweetheart oil deals and the Russians for a place to showboat their military.
The North American energy market is nominally self-sufficient but it won't be for very long. The recent increase in production comes from fracking shale oil fields which has a major issue, oil production at a given well or oil field falls off a cliff really fast compared to conventional oil production methods.
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/T ... -Long.html
Oil companies know this, they're looking to lock up their future reserves before current ones run out.

Which brings us to Venezuela. Their government for the last while has had friendly deals with China & Russia for oil & other resources. Both countries have a financial stake via all their loans and China most definitely wants to keep the oil flowing to feed their industry. If the US can topple the regime and install a friendly puppet, they can cut of oil exports to China or threaten to do so in order to secure concessions elsewhere, remove Russian influence from the country, and remember those loans? Those can be voided by the new Venezuelan government which will be a nice PR coup.

And of course we want their oil. Will it require large investments? Absolutely. And since we're such nice folks, here's a new set of loans and we'll even let you pay it off with oil. Or we can do the good old Iranian model where you sign over all the rights to US oil companies and we'll give you 10% of the royalties. Probably won't be able to get away with that one, but who knows?
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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by stormthebeaches » 2019-01-26 04:13pm

This was planned well in advance, and surprisingly competently too I might add.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-call-fro ... 1548430259

Excerpt:
The National Assembly announced that Juan Guaidó would be the Interim President on the 11th of January. The 23rd of January was when he was officially sworn in but it had been public knowledge that he was going to be taking the role of Interim President for a weeks. This wasn't some sort of covert op.

http://www.asambleanacional.gob.ve/noti ... -350-y-233
The president of the National Assembly called the citizens for a "great national mobilization" on January 23

Juan Guaidó: I adhere to articles 333, 350 and 233 to achieve the cessation of the usurpation and to call for free elections with the union of the people, FAN and international community

(Caracas, 11.01.19). - "We have, adhering to the Constitution, adhering to the element of 233, 350, 333 assume clear responsibilities of the office of a Presidency of the Republic because our Constitution says", in this way the President of the National Assembly (AN), Juan Guiadó called on Venezuelans, the National Armed Forces and the international community to chart the route for the cessation of usurpation in the Presidency of the Republic.

This request was made during the celebration of the Open House held this Friday at the headquarters of the United Nations (UN), where deputies of Parliament, students, unions, unions, former followers of Chavism and civil society, expressed their support for the AN.

In his speech, the deputy recalled and clarified that there is a usurpation by Nicolás Maduro because the presidential election of May 20, 2018 was plagued by irregularities and its results were rejected by Venezuela and the world.

"We then invoke all the people, assuming as president of the legitimate National Assembly of the people of Venezuela, the powers in representation of the people, of the State of Venezuela, of course. Now, is it enough to stick to the Constitution? Is it enough to stick to the Constitution in a dictatorship? Then it must be the people of Venezuela, the Armed Forces, the international community that leads us to clearly assume the mandate that we are not going to run, that we are going to exercise. "

For his part, the deputy, Miguel Pizarro, recalled that the country was not in the moment of pressure that is today, had it not been for the road that has been travelled for years.

"We are at the most dangerous moment in our history for those in power, but those of us in the National Assembly understand our responsibility to history and that is why we have to go several ways simultaneously to achieve the transition. I call on the National Armed Forces to join this struggle to achieve the transition and fight from the hands

The deputy, William Barrientos, said that "Juan Guaidó is openly recognized as President of Parliament by the international community, but that is not enough: the struggle of the National Assembly is not enough, it is also necessary to include the citizens to achieve the transition" .

Students present

In the Cabildo Abierto, the student movement had a right to speak, represented by the president of the Student Federation of the Central University of Venezuela (UCV), Rafaela Requesens, and Marlon Díaz.

"The Venezuelans are saying that Nicolás Maduro is not our president and not only Venezuela says it, but that 14 countries in the OAS say it and the European Union says so, now we tell the deputies, those who are here and the that are outside, as well as the national leaders that we have to unite in a single political line, "said Requesens.

The leader and member of the Frente Amplio Venezuela Libre, Nicmer Evans, assured that the Maduro regime will not be able to dissolve the National Assembly because it is the representation of the Venezuelan people.
"We must accept that the revolution failed and never happened, but be careful if their actions generate a true popular rebellion, never seen in Venezuela."

Meanwhile, by the Confederation of Workers of Venezuela (CTV), José Elías Torres, read a manifesto which summarized the situation of the country and called for unity to support the Venezuelan Parliament and its president, Juan Guaidó. "All struggles must be united in a single struggle to achieve national protest."

Finally, on behalf of Venezuelan women, Belsai Yánez, said that "Only with popular support and social prominence can the country be defended, which is why it called for rebellion to accompany the process that is taking place in Venezuela. the organization, so you have to generate citizen assemblies in each corner ".
The article is in Spanish but I used Google Translate on the first four paragraph's. You can use Google Translate on the rest of the article if you wish.
South American politics is a goddamn mess that I don't pretend to fully understand.
This video from the Vox is a year old but it explains the situation in Venezuela quite nicely.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1gUR8wM5vA[/youtube]

And for all the people talking about a coup, I would like to point out that Juan Guaido has a legitimate claim to the presidency. Under Venezuela's constitution, if the Presidency and Vice Presidency are both vacant (or deemed illegitimate because the election that was illegitimate) the head of the National Assembly (which is Juan Guaido) is to become the Interim President.
The North American energy market is nominally self-sufficient but it won't be for very long. The recent increase in production comes from fracking shale oil fields which has a major issue, oil production at a given well or oil field falls off a cliff really fast compared to conventional oil production methods.
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/T ... -Long.html
Oil companies know this, they're looking to lock up their future reserves before current ones run out.

Which brings us to Venezuela. Their government for the last while has had friendly deals with China & Russia for oil & other resources. Both countries have a financial stake via all their loans and China most definitely wants to keep the oil flowing to feed their industry. If the US can topple the regime and install a friendly puppet, they can cut of oil exports to China or threaten to do so in order to secure concessions elsewhere, remove Russian influence from the country, and remember those loans? Those can be voided by the new Venezuelan government which will be a nice PR coup.

And of course we want their oil. Will it require large investments? Absolutely. And since we're such nice folks, here's a new set of loans and we'll even let you pay it off with oil. Or we can do the good old Iranian model where you sign over all the rights to US oil companies and we'll give you 10% of the royalties. Probably won't be able to get away with that one, but who knows?
If US oil companies haven't show much interested in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge, let along a politically unstable country like Venezuela.

http://time.com/5011486/anwr-arctic-nat ... -drilling/


I would also like to point out that Venezuela has to sell most of their oil to the USA because the USA is one of the few countries that can refine Venezuelan oil. That won't change no matter who is running the country.

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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by Elfdart » 2019-01-26 10:46pm

Coop D'etat wrote:
2019-01-26 12:34pm
I think this is a lazy ill-formed take on the situation.
I can't wait to see what furballs you're about to cough up.
Guaido isn't being backed by Trump in particular, the bulk of the Americas are recognizing him, including a large number of countries not inclined to do Trump favours and with pretty sensitive anti-American Imperialism reflexes. Most likely because they have to deal with the flood of refugees that are coming out of the self-inflicted humanitarian disaster zone which is late-state Chavism. Mexico is the notable local exception, but that's likely more over the traditions of the Estrada doctrine rather than anything else.
Don't kid yourself. Those countries are mostly run by right-wing stooges. Columbia and Brazil are governed by death squad regimes that gleefully murder their own citizens. So the idea that they want to install a death squad regime in Venezuela because they're so concerned about refugees is absurd.
For another matter, the whole thing was far to quietly and competently executed to be a Trump initiative at all, it more looks like he's trying to involve himself after the fact out of in character narcissism and ham-fistedness.

There was nothing smooth or quiet about this putsch. It is true that Clinton and Obama were somewhat more coy about backing the overthrow of the lawfully elected head of state, but this scheme is a step by step copy of the one used to overthrow Allende in Chile back in 1973.
More to the point, the whole affair is the inverse of old-school US Latin American policy that you are referring to. Gauido has a fairly respectable legal claim to the interim Presidency under Venezuelan law.
Bullshit. He and his flacks in the media keep citing Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution (which is awfully rich, like if American Tories in 1812 had cited the US Constitution to try to justify the overthrow of James Madison). But there's no provision for removing the elected president without the approval of the Supreme Court and even then it's for "permanent physical or mental disability certified by a medical board designated by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice with the approval of the National Assembly".

That great outlet for Bolivarian propaganda, Bloomberg News admits (after some throat-clearing about how much Maduro sucks) that Uncle Sam's quisling has no legal claim on the presidency:
The official State Department declaration of recognition for Guaidó cites Article 233 of the Venezuelan charter, one of the world’s longest. Beyond that, it doesn’t give much legal justification.

In fact, Venezuela’s constitution doesn’t allow for impeachment by the National Assembly, of which Guaidó is the leader. Instead, it specifies that the president can be recalled by popular vote.

Article 233 doesn’t say that the assembly can remove the president. It just says that the president of the National Assembly can fill the office of the presidency for 30 days if the president “shall become permanently unavailable to serve.” It lists the bases for permanent unavailability, which include removal from office by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, physical or mental disability, or abandonment of office.

None of those conditions has been met. In an op-ed article in the Washington Post, Guaidó offered the brief argument that “there’s no legitimately elected president,” presumably because Maduro’s election was tainted. But nothing in the constitution says that that decision is up to Guaidó or the National Assembly.

Guaidó also cited two other articles of the constitution, 333 and 350. The first calls on citizens to restore the constitution if it isn’t being followed. That’s more a nice sentiment than a legal duty. The second calls on the people to reject a government that violates democratic values and human rights — ditto.

The State Department didn’t consider these other constitutional arguments even worth a mention, which tells you something about their weakness.
He's a moderate social democrat with widespread support, particularly from the more legitimately elected representatives of the Venezuelan people.
I'm sure Quisling was "liberal on some social issues" too. :wanker:
Maduro on the other hand, is the military backed strongman who has destroyed Venezuelan democracy here. Any claim that he's the real elected President is a bad joke considering what happened in the last election.
Let's take a look at what happened in the last election, shall we? Maduro asked for international election observers like the ones they've had in every Venezuelan election since Chavez was elected. It was the "opposition" who shrieked that they didn't want or need them. Then they forfeited by boycotting the election and Maduro won handily. I mean, even Hillary Clinton would have been hard pressed to lose an election against opponents who didn't show up. They had no intention of participating in elections because they knew that no matter low oil prices get, no matter how many sanctions strangle the economy and no matter how much Maduro fucks things up, there's no way on earth a majority of Venezuelans would ever vote for an opposition that among other atrocities, firebombs a maternity ward at a public hospital and burns black people alive (Nothing shows concern for the plight of Venezuelans quite like attempting to burn pregnant women to death).
At this point, he's the leader of a military junta, not an elected president and he's presided over the total collapse of Venezuelan society. The residual support he's getting from Western leftists is frankly embarrassing. They shouldn't be excusing a incompetent thug whose policies have produced a completely foreseeable disaster because 10 years ago they thought Chavez was building "21st century socialism"
Stop lying. He was elected fair and square.
From a more cynical perspective, what is there for the American's to want to loot after a regime change in Venezuela anyways? Their oil industry has imploded and wont be of any real value until expensive re-investment is made. Meanwhile America doesn't have the incentive to secure oil-supplies like they did in the Carter through Bush II era any more. The North American energy market is self-sufficient these days. If anyone has the incentive to oppress the Venezuelan people for geopolitical benefits these days, its the Chinese for their sweetheart oil deals and the Russians for a place to showboat their military.
Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador and other countries raped by Uncle Sam didn't have oil at all. It didn't stop Washington's predatory acts against them. The US establishment hates the idea that poor people at home or abroad -especially the dark-skinned ones- might try to better their lot in life rather than hoping the rich and powerful drop a few crumbs here and there. Jon Schwarz summed up US foreign policy very concisely:
Everything You Need to Know About U.S. Foreign Policy in One Short Paragraph

This is from the March 10, 1919 diary entry of Cary Grayson, Woodrow Wilson's personal doctor:

…the President said…that if the present government of Germany is recognizing the soldiers and workers councils, it is delivering itself into the hands of the bolshevists [sic]. He said the American negro returning from abroad would be our greatest medium in conveying bolshevism to America. For example, a friend recently related the experience of a lady friend wanting to employ a negro laundress offering to pay the usual wage in that community. The negress demands that she be given more money than was offered for the reason that "money is as much mine as it is yours." Furthermore, he called attention to the fact that the French people have placed the negro soldier in France on an equality with the white men, and "it has gone to their heads."

That one paragraph truly contains everything you need to know about U.S. foreign policy:

1. It's built on a foundation on upper class twit urban legend. Who knows what really happened with the "friend of a friend" of Woodrow Wilson. But I think we can be certain that, if the "negress" actually did exist, she didn't ask for more money than usual because she was inspired by bolshevism to say "money is as much mine as it is yours."

This reminds me of the time shortly after the 1992 Los Angeles riots when the nephew of a huge Hollywood producer told me he'd heard that all the black people in Compton were making plans for next time, when they were going to come burn down the three B's: Brentwood, Beverly Hills and Bel Air. Sure, you bet.

2. The terrifying danger that the U.S. upper crust perceived in 1919 wasn't that the lower orders were going to stage a Bolshevik revolution. It wasn't even that they were going to try to get the right to vote and have a voice in the government. It was that they were asking for a raise.

(Also, worker councils were not a good idea that made workplaces run better, but pure revolutionary bolshevism. If you paid attention to the right-wing freakout over the UAW trying to organize the VW plant in Chattanooga, you saw nothing whatsoever has changed.)

3. The terrifying danger wasn't coming from just any part of the lower orders, it was from the teeming non-white masses who want to take all our money.

4. What was the the natural response to the threat of a slight change in political and economic power within the U.S.? It was to invade another country (in this case, the nascent Soviet Union), together with the other main white powers, the UK and France.

You can draw a direct line from this diary entry to every foreign policy action taken by the U.S. in the past 95 years.
Indeed. Guatemala has nothing but bananas, yet that didn't stop the US from helping to carry out genocide there. Countries like Haiti and Nicaragua have nothing worth stealing, yet the US government went to great lengths to foist tyrants on them. The fact that Venezuela has oil is a bonus, but their real crime is that they dared to inconvenience the rich for the benefit of the poor.
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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-27 02:21am

Sigh. It would be nice, just once, if we could criticize an ill-advised US intervention without pretending that (insert dictator here) is some noble champion of the downtrodden.

You can oppose US intervention without pretending that the Maduro regime is some sort of Robin Hood fantasy.
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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-27 03:32am

Its the National Post, so take it with a big grain of salt, but...

Looks like it might not have been the US behind the uprising in Venezuela:

https://nationalpost.com/news/world/qui ... -venezuela
OTTAWA — The politician Canada and its allies recognize as Venezuela’s real leader stood in a Caracas plaza Friday and exhorted his supporters to “stay the course” if he winds up behind bars.

Juan Guaido’s defiant pronouncement against President Nicolas Maduro — whom Canada has branded a dictator who stole an election — marked the latest dramatic development in Venezuela’s political crisis. It followed Guaido’s decision two days earlier to declare himself his country’s interim leader, two weeks after Maduro’s contested inauguration.

But emboldening Venezuela’s opposition has been a labour of months, The Canadian Press has learned. Canadian diplomats in Caracas, with their Latin American counterparts, worked to get the country’s opposition parties to coalesce behind the one person who emerged strong enough to stand against Maduro: 35-year-old Guaido.

The turning point came Jan. 4 when the Lima Group — the bloc that includes Canada and more than a dozen Latin American countries — rejected the legitimacy of Maduro’s May 2018 election victory and his looming Jan. 10 inauguration, while recognizing the “legitimately elected” National Assembly, sources say.

“They were really looking for international support of some kind, to be able to hold onto a reason as to why they should unite, and push out somebody like Juan Guaido,” said one source.


The Canadian Press interviewed senior Canadian government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the crisis in Venezuela. They detailed Canada’s role in aiding democratic forces to rescue the once oil-rich country from the economic and political spiral that has forced three million Venezuelans from their homes.

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Venezuela now has two presidents: Juan Guaido and Nicolas Maduro duel for control of country
Canada anticipated this week’s developments because its diplomats have been keeping in close contact with Guaido and other opposition figures in Venezuela. “We listen to them. We listen to the diaspora in Canada and elsewhere in the world, and we do what we can,” said one source.

The quiet Canadian diplomacy was conducted in tandem with Lima Group allies such as Chile, Peru, Colombia and Brazil. It was part of a Canadian diplomatic tradition that included efforts in the 1980s to shield Chilean dissidents fighting the Pinochet dictatorship.

And in 2000, foreign-affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy led a multilateral mission to Peru that ousted strongman Alberto Fujimori, said Canada’s former ambassador to Venezuela Ben Rowswell.

“The tradition here is that Canada believes in the principles of human rights and democracy and takes pragmatic measures on the ground to unblock political situations,” said Rowswell.

Rowswell said he drew on that tradition while he was in Venezuela, hosting a high-profile award party at the Canadian Embassy to honour a local civil-society leader. The annual gathering sent a message that the world was watching pro-democracy efforts in the face of Maduro’s growing authoritarianism.

After Rowswell’s 2017 departure, the Lima Group was born and Canada began working within that coalition — which does not include the United States — to further human rights and democracy in the hemisphere.

Maduro’s May 20, 2018 election victory galvanized the Lima Group’s efforts. The group denounced the vote as illegitimate and downgraded diplomatic relations.

The diplomats who remained focused on building bridges with a fractured opposition that was as much at odds with itself as it was with Maduro.

In a November report, the International Crisis Group documented the divisions and urged the groups to set aside their “personal and political rivalries.”

The top contenders to lead the opposition were long-time leaders Leopold Lopez and Julio Borges, but there were problems with both. Lopez has been under house arrest since 2014, while Borges is living in exile.

Borges put forth Guaido as a contender, said one source.

Guaido made a clandestine trip to Washington in mid-December to brief U.S. officials on his strategy for dealing with Maduro’s Jan. 10 inauguration. He secretly crossed his country’s border with Colombia so Venezuelan immigration officials wouldn’t know he’d left and prevent his return.

As talks among Venezuelan opposition factions progressed, one source said, they began to set aside their differences. A key realization set in: “This is not about us. This is about the country.”

The source said the opposition groups deserve full credit for getting to that point. But it helped that Canadian diplomats “could facilitate conversations with people that were out of the country and inside the country” with other foreign diplomats.

On Jan. 5, Guaido assumed the presidency of the National Assembly, which the Lima Group regards as “the only remaining democratically elected institution in the country.”

Four days later, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland telephoned Guaido to “congratulate him on becoming president of the National Assembly and his work on uniting the opposition,” said another source.

The next day, Maduro was sworn in as president with support of countries such as Cuba, Russia and China; Freeland said “the Maduro regime is now fully entrenched as a dictatorship.”

On Wednesday, after Guaido declared himself to be the interim president, Venezuelans took to the streets in protests across the country. “It’s an important day for Venezuela,” Freeland said in Davos, Switzerland.

On Friday, Maduro told a news conference he’d be willing to talk to the opposition to settle the question of who leads the country, but he defended his presidency. He also called Guaido’s declaration “a desperate act” backed by the U.S.

Canadian officials said that while U.S. leaders such as President Donald Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have also denounced Maduro, there has been no direct co-ordination between the Lima Group and Washington.

As for this week’s rallies, the Venezuelans have full ownership of those.

“It was completely done by the opposition and their people on the ground in Venezuela,” said one official. “We couldn’t have helped them get to this point if they weren’t willing and really putting their necks out.”

– With files from the Associated Press
Seriously, what the fuck Trudeau? Since when did Canada try to engineer revolutions in third world countries like it was a major power? Granted, it sounds like their role was primarily diplomatic, not military, and Canada has a proud diplomatic tradition. But seriously? At least when the US pulls this stuff, it has the muscle to back it up.

If true, I am both appalled at Trudeau for attempting something so risky, and genuinely impressed that he could do it and have it fly almost completely below the radar while everyone focusses on the US.

I'm starting to wonder if Pretty Boy Justin has a lot more foreign policy savvy (and ambitions), and a lot more nerve, than he's generally given credit for.
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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by stormthebeaches » 2019-01-27 08:16am

Don't kid yourself. Those countries are mostly run by right-wing stooges. Columbia and Brazil are governed by death squad regimes that gleefully murder their own citizens. So the idea that they want to install a death squad regime in Venezuela because they're so concerned about refugees is absurd.
The government's in Columbia and Brazil were elected into office. Columbia's President negotiated a peace treaty with FARC, ending the decades long civil war in Columbia. Brazil's President is too right wing for my tastes ("Trump of the Tropics") but he was legitimately elected. As for "death squad regimes" I would like to point out that millions of Venezuelan's are fleeing to other Latin American nations, including Columbia and Brazil, not the other way round. Over a million Venezuelan's have fled to Columbia. It seems that the people who live in this region disagree with you and are voting with their feet.
Bullshit. He and his flacks in the media keep citing Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution (which is awfully rich, like if American Tories in 1812 had cited the US Constitution to try to justify the overthrow of James Madison). But there's no provision for removing the elected president without the approval of the Supreme Court and even then it's for "permanent physical or mental disability certified by a medical board designated by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice with the approval of the National Assembly".
The problem is, Maduro has packed the Supreme Court with cronies (often illegally) and effectively turned it into a political weapon. The Vox has a good article about it. I quoted the relevant part but I strongly recommend and people read the whole article as it goes into detail about Supreme Court rulings.

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/5/1/1540 ... urt-crisis
Two weeks after the 2015 election, the outgoing government-controlled legislature appointed 13 new justices to the supreme court in the lame-duck sessions (the court has 32 in total). Never mind that there were no actual openings on the court; instead, 13 of the existing justices decided to “voluntarily” retire. Never mind as well that the ruling party’s bloc in parliament lacked the constitutionally mandated two-thirds vote to appoint justices; the supreme court ruled they could do without it.

At the time, it seemed odd that the government felt the need to replace those 13 justices, since all of them were government loyalists. That was by design: In 2004, the government gained control of the supreme court by modifying the law that regulates it, allowing the government to increase the number of sitting justices from 20 to 32 and fill those jobs with political cronies.

Canova, along with three co-authors, published a book in 2015 that analyzed 45,000 of the court’s rulings in cases tied to the executive branch between 2004 and 2013. They found that in all those years, the court never ruled against the executive. Not once.

The International Bar Association and the International Commission of Jurists have criticized the Venezuelan courts for their lack of independence and said the rulings pave the way for human rights abuses by the government. The two groups have joined other watchdog organizations in raising these issues at the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
Packing the courts with cronies is Dictator 101.
Let's take a look at what happened in the last election, shall we? Maduro asked for international election observers like the ones they've had in every Venezuelan election since Chavez was elected. It was the "opposition" who shrieked that they didn't want or need them. Then they forfeited by boycotting the election and Maduro won handily. I mean, even Hillary Clinton would have been hard pressed to lose an election against opponents who didn't show up. They had no intention of participating in elections because they knew that no matter low oil prices get, no matter how many sanctions strangle the economy and no matter how much Maduro fucks things up, there's no way on earth a majority of Venezuelans would ever vote for an opposition that among other atrocities, firebombs a maternity ward at a public hospital and burns black people alive (Nothing shows concern for the plight of Venezuelans quite like attempting to burn pregnant women to death).
I read that article and it seems that it was the action of a group of protestors, there is nothing to indicate that the leaders of the opposition ordered it. Your acting as if the protestors are some sort of army with a unified chain of command. As a counter balance, perhaps I should bring up the systematic abuses by the Venezuelan security forces?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... rotesters
no matter how much Maduro fucks things up, there's no way on earth a majority of Venezuelans would ever vote for an opposition that
Err, the majority of Venezuelans DID vote for the opposition back in the 2015 Parliamentary elections. They voted the oppostion into two thirds of the National Assembly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Vene ... y_election

Maduro responded by stripping the National Assembly of most of its power, effectively making a mockery of the election and the will of the people. This would be on par with Donald Trump deciding to strip the House of Representatives of its power simply because he didn't like the results of the 2018 mid term elections.

As for the 2018 elections, numerous opposition leaders were banned from running or locked up. That it why the opposition called for a boycott. Even Hillary Clinton would be hard pressed to lose if her opponents were banned from running. And even if (and I stress IF) you assume the elections in 2018 were legitimate, Maduro's reaction to the 2015 elections and the way he has packed the Supreme Court with cronies show him to be an authoritarian. And that is before we go into his economic policies, from letting Venezuela contract the "Dutch Disease" to awful price controls. Since 2013, Venezuela's oil production has almost halfed GDP has contracted at a rate greater than the USA during the Great Depression. Shortages of food and medicine have been ongoing since 2010, the murder rate is the highest in Latin American and three million people (10% of the population) have fled the country since 2013. These are screw ups of historic levels. It's not surprising that many in Venezuela would take to the streets after such a drop in living standards. And I know that someone will try to blame it all on Trump's sanctions, which is nonsense. Trump didn't put sanctions into place until August 2017. The Venezuelan economy was collapsing years before then. And Trump's sanctions were limited financial sanctions, there are no sanctions against Venezuelan oil. This is significant because most Venezuelan GDP comes from its oil industry, it's over dependence on oil exports is why the economy crashed when oil prices fell.

Finally I shall repost this video from The Vox. It's a year old but it still explains what happened in Venezuela very well.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1gUR8wM5vA[/youtube]

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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by Elfdart » 2019-01-27 03:28pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-01-27 02:21am
Sigh. It would be nice, just once, if we could criticize an ill-advised US intervention without pretending that (insert dictator here) is some noble champion of the downtrodden.

You can oppose US intervention without pretending that the Maduro regime is some sort of Robin Hood fantasy.
I realize you have the attention span of a gnat, but this attempted coup isn't just about Maduro or the recent nosedive the economy took. How can you tell? Because the very same people ginning up this putsch were involved in the other attempts to overthrow the government, including the 2002 coup, when the economy was booming. So whether it's Maduro or Chavez, whether the economy is waxing or waning, whether the "opposition" is led by this quisling or that one, the US government is still hell bent on turning American-trained death squads and torturers loose on the people of Venezuela and laughing all the way to the bank if and when their stooges take power and "privatize" the country.
"One way we recognize a mass hysteria movement is that everyone who doesn’t believe is accused of being in on the plot. This has been going on virtually unrestrained in both political and media circles in recent weeks."

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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by Vympel » 2019-01-27 06:17pm

Extremely glad to see The Resistance take a break from hyperventilating about Russian facebook memes to come together and support a coup in a foreign country.
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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by Elfdart » 2019-01-27 07:30pm

stormthebeaches wrote:
2019-01-27 08:16am
The government's in Columbia and Brazil were elected into office. Columbia's President negotiated a peace treaty with FARC, ending the decades long civil war in Columbia. Brazil's President is too right wing for my tastes ("Trump of the Tropics") but he was legitimately elected. As for "death squad regimes" I would like to point out that millions of Venezuelan's are fleeing to other Latin American nations, including Columbia and Brazil, not the other way round. Over a million Venezuelan's have fled to Columbia. It seems that the people who live in this region disagree with you and are voting with their feet.
I guess you missed the part where Venezuela was put under sanctions, right? Columbia has been a human slaughterhouse for decades, yet not only did the US government refuse to impose any kind of sanctions, they supported the Colombian government.
The problem is, Maduro has packed the Supreme Court with cronies (often illegally) and effectively turned it into a political weapon. The Vox has a good article about it. I quoted the relevant part but I strongly recommend and people read the whole article as it goes into detail about Supreme Court rulings.

Packing the courts with cronies is Dictator 101.
Once again, we have someone claiming an action is legal (Guaido's crowning himself) or illegal (appointment of judges) without citing the actual law. I'm not the only one to point out how the latest quisling's claim to making himself president was bullshit. As it turns out, Maduro was following procedure, which allows for candidates who have been previously rejected to be confirmed by a three-fifths majority, which Maduro's party had -and used:
El Pais wrote:If the judges do not get enough votes in the first three sessions, Venezuelan law enables parliament to appoint the judges who receive three fifths of the vote in the fourth round. The Maduro regime holds the 99 deputies necessary to meet this requirement. That last voting session will likely take place on Wednesday afternoon, two days before Christmas.
Now before you start squealing like Ned Beatty in Deliverance about how "unfair" it is for lame duck politicians to make law or appoint officials, keep in mind that the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery was passed by a lame duck US Congress.
Maduro responded by stripping the National Assembly of most of its power, effectively making a mockery of the election and the will of the people. This would be on par with Donald Trump deciding to strip the House of Representatives of its power simply because he didn't like the results of the 2018 mid term elections.
According to the article you linked, it was the courts, not Maduro. Not that it matters. If Pelosi had anointed herself president after getting the approval to do so from high-ranking foreign government officials that are openly hostile to the US, I'd imagine he or any other president would seek redress in the courts or possibly with a Constitutional Convention if he thought he had the votes.
As for the 2018 elections, numerous opposition leaders were banned from running or locked up. That it why the opposition called for a boycott.


As well they should have been when they took part in the coup of 2002. If that seems harsh, remember that when Timothy McVeigh tried to carry out the violent overthrow of the US government, he wasn't just barred from running for office, he was executed.
Even Hillary Clinton would be hard pressed to lose if her opponents were banned from running.


Considering she lost to a white supremacist game show host, I wouldn't bet on her to beat anyone OR no one. I figure she'd find a way to choke against a dead person, too.

And even if (and I stress IF) you assume the elections in 2018 were legitimate, Maduro's reaction to the 2015 elections and the way he has packed the Supreme Court with cronies show him to be an authoritarian. And that is before we go into his economic policies, from letting Venezuela contract the "Dutch Disease" to awful price controls. Since 2013, Venezuela's oil production has almost halfed GDP has contracted at a rate greater than the USA during the Great Depression. Shortages of food and medicine have been ongoing since 2010, the murder rate is the highest in Latin American and three million people (10% of the population) have fled the country since 2013. These are screw ups of historic levels. It's not surprising that many in Venezuela would take to the streets after such a drop in living standards. And I know that someone will try to blame it all on Trump's sanctions, which is nonsense. Trump didn't put sanctions into place until August 2017. The Venezuelan economy was collapsing years before then. And Trump's sanctions were limited financial sanctions, there are no sanctions against Venezuelan oil. This is significant because most Venezuelan GDP comes from its oil industry, it's over dependence on oil exports is why the economy crashed when oil prices fell. [/quote]

You can keep quoting a dubious source like Vox and I'll cite that great Chavista organ, The Independent:
Independent wrote:The first UN rapporteur to visit Venezuela for 21 years has told The Independent the US sanctions on the country are illegal and could amount to “crimes against humanity” under international law.

Former special rapporteur Alfred de Zayas, who finished his term at the UN in March, has criticized the US for engaging in “economic warfare” against Venezuela which he said is hurting the economy and killing Venezuelans.

The comments come amid worsening tensions in the country after the US and UK have backed Juan Guaido, who appointed himself “interim president” of Venezuela as hundreds of thousands marched to support him. European leaders are calling for “free and fair” elections. Russia and Turkey remain Nicolas Maduro’s key supporters.

Mr De Zayas, a former secretary of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and an expert in international law, spoke to The Independent following the presentation of his Venezuela report to the HRC in September. He said that since its presentation the report has been ignored by the UN and has not sparked the public debate he believes it deserves.

“Sanctions kill,” he told The Independent, adding that they fall most heavily on the poorest people in society, demonstrably cause death through food and medicine shortages, lead to violations of human rights and are aimed at coercing economic change in a “sister democracy”.
On his fact-finding mission to the country in late 2017, he found internal overdependence on oil, poor governance and corruption had hit the Venezuelan economy hard, but said “economic warfare” practised by the US, EU and Canada are significant factors in the economic crisis.

In the report, Mr de Zayas recommended, among other actions, that the International Criminal Court investigate economic sanctions against Venezuela as possible crimes against humanity under Article 7 of the Rome Statute.

The US sanctions are illegal under international law because they were not endorsed by the UN Security Council, Mr de Zayas, an expert on international law and a former senior lawyer with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said.

“Modern-day economic sanctions and blockades are comparable with medieval sieges of towns.

“Twenty-first century sanctions attempt to bring not just a town, but sovereign countries to their knees,” Mr de Zayas said in his report.
"One way we recognize a mass hysteria movement is that everyone who doesn’t believe is accused of being in on the plot. This has been going on virtually unrestrained in both political and media circles in recent weeks."

--Matt Taibbi

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Elfdart
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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by Elfdart » 2019-01-28 01:25am

Vympel wrote:
2019-01-27 06:17pm
Extremely glad to see The Resistance take a break from hyperventilating about Russian facebook memes to come together and support a coup in a foreign country.
I'm curious: If Trump is really Putin's bitch, why is he trying to overthrow a pro-Russian government in Venezuela?
"One way we recognize a mass hysteria movement is that everyone who doesn’t believe is accused of being in on the plot. This has been going on virtually unrestrained in both political and media circles in recent weeks."

--Matt Taibbi

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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by aerius » 2019-01-28 08:57am

Elfdart wrote:
2019-01-28 01:25am
I'm curious: If Trump is really Putin's bitch, why is he trying to overthrow a pro-Russian government in Venezuela?
Same reason he tried to overthrow a pro-Russian government in Syria. Look guys, we're playing 3-D chess here.
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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by stormthebeaches » 2019-01-28 09:14am

I guess you missed the part where Venezuela was put under sanctions, right? Columbia has been a human slaughterhouse for decades, yet not only did the US government refuse to impose any kind of sanctions, they supported the Colombian government.
Columbia has been in a state of civil war for decades with atrocities committed by all sides, that is true. However, the Columbian government has been democratically elected for decades. Furthermore, Columbia's current President (who you called a right wing stooge) has successfully negotiated a peace treaty with FARC, finally bringing the conflict to an end. I'll get to the sanctions later in my post.
Once again, we have someone claiming an action is legal (Guaido's crowning himself) or illegal (appointment of judges) without citing the actual law. I'm not the only one to point out how the latest quisling's claim to making himself president was bullshit. As it turns out, Maduro was following procedure, which allows for candidates who have been previously rejected to be confirmed by a three-fifths majority, which Maduro's party had -and used:
So I read the article you posted. It was informative, however it was written before the fourth round vote actually took place. I have quoted the relevant bit:
By law, two-thirds of the National Assembly must approve the appointment of each new Supreme Court member. Given that the government lacks this much leverage in the chamber and has been locked in a 17-year political battle with the opposition, the two sides are not likely to reach an agreement.

If the judges do not get enough votes in the first three sessions, Venezuelan law enables parliament to appoint the judges who receive three fifths of the vote in the fourth round. The Maduro regime holds the 99 deputies necessary to meet this requirement. That last voting session will likely take place on Wednesday afternoon, two days before Christmas.
Did Maduro get enough votes to confirm his appointments? The article was written before the last voting session so it doesn't say.
Now before you start squealing like Ned Beatty in Deliverance about how "unfair" it is for lame duck politicians to make law or appoint officials, keep in mind that the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery was passed by a lame duck US Congress.
Ramming judges through during a lame duck session, in isolation, is not that big a deal. Having thirteen sitting justices "voluntarily" retire so make room for this new appointees is problematic. The issue is that this is part of a long running effort by Maduro (and Chavez before him) to turn the Supreme Court into a political weapon. This goes back to 2004 when the government increased the number of sitting justices from 20 to 32 in order to fill it with cronies.
According to the article you linked, it was the courts, not Maduro. Not that it matters. If Pelosi had anointed herself president after getting the approval to do so from high-ranking foreign government officials that are openly hostile to the US, I'd imagine he or any other president would seek redress in the courts or possibly with a Constitutional Convention if he thought he had the votes.
Maduro has packed the Supreme Court with cronies during the lame duck session. Basically, Maduro responded to the opposition getting elected into the National Assembly by ramming cronies onto the Supreme Court during the lack duck session so the Supreme Court could strip the National Assembly of its power. Some (but not all) powers were returned to the National Assembly after protests broke out but Maduro himself ordered the creation of a new legislative branch called the National Constitution Assembly and had it assume the National Assembly's powers. All to undermine the results of the 2015 election.

Also Guaido was appointed President by the National Assembly on January 11th 2019, before Trump recognised him as the ruler on January 23rd 2019, and after Maduro packed the courts in 2015 and stripped the National Assembly of its power in 2017.
As well they should have been when they took part in the coup of 2002. If that seems harsh, remember that when Timothy McVeigh tried to carry out the violent overthrow of the US government, he wasn't just barred from running for office, he was executed.
Not everyone who was banned form running took part in the 2002 coup attempt.
You can keep quoting a dubious source like Vox and I'll cite that great Chavista organ, The Independent:
It's mentioned in your article that the director of Crisis Group, heavily criticized that report. Not surprising when we look at the sanctions that were mentioned and see that they are actually fairly limited. Calling them an economic blockade, and likening it to medieval town siege's is just strange. Let's take a look at Obama's 2015 sanctions:

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nati ... /24647561/
The sanctions target seven specific Venezuelan government officials who are involved in "violence against anti-government protesters," or the "arrest or prosecution of individuals for their legitimate exercise of free speech," said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

The United States is not seeking to punish the people of Venezuela or its overall economy, said Lew and other officials.
In announcing the new penalties, Earnest called on Venezuela's government to release "all political prisoners," including dozens of students, political opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, and dissident mayors Daniel Ceballos and Antonio Ledezma.

The sanctioned government officials will have U.S. assets and property blocked and frozen, according to the new executive order, and will not be allowed to travel to the United States. U.S. citizens are prohibited from doing businesses with these individuals. The group includes five current and former generals, a police official and a prosecutor, but not any particularly high-ranking government officials.
Obama's 2015 sanctions were aimed against seven mid level government officials. Not the whole country, or even the government, just seven individuals. There is no way that could impact the economy, let along cause such a massive economic collapse.

Trump's financial sanctions were much broader and did target the Venezuelan government more directly. However, they weren't put in place until August 2017, when the economy was already in freefall. Here is an article written in August 2017, short after Trump used executive order to put his sanctions in place, explaining why Trump's sanctions would have little economic effect and that if Trump wants to hurt the economy he should impose oil sanctions.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstal ... 6f42270740

Calling the US sanctions an economic blockage and likening them to a medieval siege when they won't go after the industry that is responsible for over 90% of Venezuela's GDP is silly. I would also like to point out that countries like Iran and Russia have faced much bigger sanctions than the ones the US imposed on Venezuela (sanctions against their oil industries, for starters) and they did not have such a massive economic collapse. The power of US sanctions is vastly overrated, me thinks.

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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by stormthebeaches » 2019-01-28 09:17am

I'm curious: If Trump is really Putin's bitch, why is he trying to overthrow a pro-Russian government in Venezuela?
Maybe he's trying to distract from domestic issues like his defeat over the wall. Plus, Trump might flip flop a few months down the line. This is the same guy who said that he was going to "completely destroy" North Korea, only to act like he and Kim were BFF's a year later. Consistency is not a strong point of Trump's foreign policy.
Last edited by stormthebeaches on 2019-01-28 09:27am, edited 1 time in total.

stormthebeaches
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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by stormthebeaches » 2019-01-28 09:25am

Same reason he tried to overthrow a pro-Russian government in Syria. Look guys, we're playing 3-D chess here.
You are aware that Trump ended the CIA program to topple Assad, right?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_Sy ... hasing_out
In July 2017, anonymous officials stated that President Donald Trump, in consultation with National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, had decided to phase out support for anti-Assad Syrian rebel forces, possibly redirecting resources to fighting ISIL, to offering rebel forces defensive capabilities, or to other operations in the region.

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Re: Shit hits the fan in Venezuela.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-01-28 03:04pm

Vympel wrote:
2019-01-27 06:17pm
Extremely glad to see The Resistance take a break from hyperventilating about Russian facebook memes to come together and support a coup in a foreign country.
Nice to see you haven't taken a break from carrying water for Putin and his fellow dictators.

Russia isn't the topic here, but to dismiss Russian intervention as just "hyperventilating about face book memes" in spite of the overwhelming evidence that has been accumulated over the last two-plus years is simply dishonest. If you pulled this shit in defense of 9/11 Trutherism, Obama Birtherism, or Flat-Eartherism (which I consider comparably ludicrous denials of evidence), you would be laughed off this board- or at least you would have been once upon a time.

I'd ask you to back up your claim that "the Resistance" (whatever that vague term means) collectively supports a coup in Venezuela (I know I sure as hell don't, and I can quote my posts right back to you to prove it if need be), but I know it has nothing to do with facts. Its just you highjacking this topic to paint all opponents and critics of Trump as hypocrites in the interests of some convenient Whataboutism.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

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