Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 28, 2017

Countdown To War On Venezuela

On Sunday Venezuela will hold an general election of participants of a constitutional assembly. Half of the representatives will be elected from regular electoral districts. The other half will be elected from and by eight special constituencies like "workers", "farmers", "employers", etc. The second part may be unusual but is no less democratic than the U.S. system which gives voters in rural states more weight than city dwellers.

The new assembly will formulate changes to the current constitution. Those changes will be decided on in another general vote. It is likely that the outcome will reinforce the favorite policies of a great majority of the people and of the social-democratic government under President Manduro.

The more wealthy part of the population as well as the foreign lobbies and governments have tried to prevent or sabotage the upcoming election. The U.S. has used various economic pressure points against the Venezuelan government including economic warfare with ever increasing sanctions. The opposition has held violent street rallies, attacked government institutions and supporters and called for general strikes.

But the NYT propaganda pictures of opposition rallies in the capitol Caracas show only small crowds of dozens to a few hundred of often violent youth. The opposition calls for general strikes have had little resonance as even the feverish anti-Maduro Washington Post has to concede:

In the wealthier eastern half of the city, most businesses closed to support the strike called by the opposition, which is boycotting the vote and calling for its cancellation.

The main highways of the capital city were largely closed down in the early morning, and reports surfaced of national police lobbing tear gas at strikers in the center. In the poorer neighborhoods in the west, the strike appeared less pronounced, with more businesses open and more people on the streets.

(Translation of the WaPo propagandese: "Not even the rich opposition neighborhoods of the city closed down completely. Attempts by the opposition to block central roads were prevented by the police. In the poorer parts of the city the opposition call for a strike was simply ignored.") The opposition is only active within the richer strata of the population and only in a few big cities. The poor rural areas have gained under the social-democratic governments and continue to favor it.

In an op-ed in yesterday's New York Times the "regime change" lobby of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) laid out the steps towards an upcoming war in Venezuela:

Since the plebiscite, Venezuela’s opposition has taken steps toward establishing a parallel government. This might remain a symbolic initiative. But if the opposition continues down this road, it will soon be looking for international recognition and funding, and will at least implicitly be asserting the parallel government’s claim to the legitimate monopoly on the use of force. After that it will seek what every government wants: weapons to defend itself. If it succeeds, Venezuela could plunge into a civil war that will make the current conflict seem like high school fisticuffs.

(The WOLA was also involved in Hillary Clinton's coup in Honduras.)

The CIA is quite open about the plans:

In one of the clearest clues yet about Washington’s latest meddling in the politics of Latin America, CIA director Mike Pompeo said he was “hopeful that there can be a transition in Venezuela and we the CIA is doing its best to understand the dynamic there”.

He added: “I was just down in Mexico City and in Bogota a week before last talking about this very issue, trying to help them understand the things they might do so that they can get a better outcome for their part of the world and our part of the world.”

The piece notes:

In Venezuela, [the U.S. government] has sought to weaken the elected governments of both Mr Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez, who was briefly ousted in a 2002 coup. Some of the effort has been in distributing funds to opposition groups through organisations such as the National Endowment for Democracy, while some has been in the form of simple propaganda.

In May 2016 unidentified US officials told reporters in a background briefing that Venezuela was descending into a deepening “crisis” that could end in violence.

We can conclude that the upcoming violence in Venezuela is not a spontaneous action of the opposition but the implementation of a plan that has been around since at least May 2016. It is likely to follow the color revolution by force script the U.S. developed and implemented in several countries over the last decade. Weapon supply and mercenary support for the opposition will come in from and through the neighboring countries the CIA head visited.

The vote to the constitutional assembly will proceed as planned. The opposition will attempt to sabotage it or, if that fails, proceed with violence. Weapons and tactical advice and support have likely already been provided through CIA channels.

The Venezuelan government is supported by a far larger constituency than the U.S. aligned right-wing opposition. The military has shown no sign of disloyalty to the government. Unless there is some unforeseeable event any attempt to overthrow the government will fail.

The U.S. can further hurt Venezuela by closing down oil imports from the country. But this will likely increase U.S. gas prices. It would create a some short term inconvenience for Venezuela, but oil is fungible and other customers will be available.

To overthrow the Venezuelan government has been tried since the first election of a somewhat socialist government in 1999. The U.S. instigated coup in 2002 failed when the people and the military stood up against the blatant interference. The "regime change" methods have since changed with the added support of a militant "democratic opposition" fed from the outside. The use of that tool had negative outcomes in Libya and Ukraine and it failed in Syria. I am confident that the government of Venezuela has analyzed those cases and prepared its own plans to counter a similar attempt.

The U.S. just ordered the relatives of its embassy employees out of the country. Such is only done when imminent action is expected.

Posted by b on July 28, 2017 at 05:52 AM | Permalink

Comments
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let's pray for the Venezuelan people. be strong against CIA proxy ops!

El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido.

Posted by: Bebert | Jul 28, 2017 6:13:37 AM | 1

b. The problem with your narrative are the parlamentary elections of 2015 where the government decidedly lost.

To go to civil war from there shows what is at stake in an oil rich country and how irresponsible the players are.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 28, 2017 6:20:54 AM | 2

What really happened in Venezuela

Posted by: nmb | Jul 28, 2017 6:58:15 AM | 3


http://misionverdad.com/mv-in-english

Posted by: hemendik | Jul 28, 2017 7:01:44 AM | 4

More on Syria, please.

Posted by: timotheus | Jul 28, 2017 7:05:31 AM | 5

I noticed the an article in Reuters on US evacuating embassy families and took it to mean a US coup was underway.
Hopefully Venezuela has some countermeasures in place.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 28, 2017 7:21:34 AM | 6

b, I don't see any mention of Russia's involvement in Venezuela.
It's my understanding Russia has some arm's agreement with the government.
Any information on that?

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jul 28, 2017 7:38:57 AM | 7

RT has an interview with Nicolas Maduro here:

https://www.rt.com/shows/rt-interview/397785-nicolas-maduro-interview-rt/

The sound is annoying, but it is worth a listen. Maduro also makes the Ukraine-case.

Posted by: E | Jul 28, 2017 7:59:26 AM | 8

"The Russian state-owned Rosneft holds a 49.9 percent stake in the Venezuelan-owned, U.S.-based refiner Citgo [...] If Rosneft decides to up that to 51 then all of a sudden Citgo because subject to Russian sanctions."
link

Posted by: Hal C | Jul 28, 2017 8:09:11 AM | 9

3

Yep, the problem Venezuela’s Minister of Economic Planning describes is that they fund subsistence goods and fix prices. So people smuggle stuff out of the country and make money on the difference to the market price.

They can't just print money and expect to get Dollar for that. That is not economic war. You seem to be able to make counterfeit dollars from Venezuelan currency though - that is the only explanation for the smuggling of currency out of the country.

It is futile to try an economy like that in a country like Venezuela. It kind of worked in the Soviet block with a tightly controlled iron curtain.

People reverted a lot to exchanging goods directly there, as the planned distribution did not work.

The only socialism that works is to hand the people the money to afford the market price (and to tax it from people who own more than they can spend).

Venezuela's countryside will be ok via subsistence farming. The problems in the cities must be huge.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 28, 2017 8:28:30 AM | 10

A couple of months ago that Brazilian far right parasite called Temer invited the US military to his country that borders Venezuela to the north.

Brazil Invites US to Use Amazon Military Base

Posted by: xor | Jul 28, 2017 8:35:17 AM | 11

The Venezuelan gov't probably still has a large portion of 100,000 aces up their sleeves. 100,000 Kalashnikovs sold to Venezuela in the late 2000's and a licensed factory to produce more near completion. And a significant number of Russian helicopters and other arms. I think the US-backed "opposition" knows an attempted Maidan-redux will end with a lot of dead rich Venezuelan collaborators. The gov't police are containing the "youth gangs", which will not provide the type of large scale "protester" cover the US/NATO "special forces" snipers used to kill both police and protesters in Kiev. The US/Zionist regime-change script is well known to average Venezuelans, tough to recruit dupes to march/riot on behalf of US-paid agitators.

Whoever the Venezuelan Porkyshenko and "our man Yats" are, they better look to their own safety rather than thinking the US will be able (or willing) to protect them when the SHTF. The US "diplomatic" (read CIA/black-ops command) corps pulling out means the "opposition" leaders are on their own. Funny thing about bully-cowards the US backs... they all all tough guys as long as there is a lot of dupes between them and the gunfire, but are sniveling weaklings when confronted without their CIA-paid thugs.

Posted by: A P | Jul 28, 2017 9:06:31 AM | 12

Drat, if I did not know better, I would concluded the Americans are interfering in another sovereign country ... as usual. Coming soon to Venezuela, an American ass kissing oligarch
stealing natural resources? Is Ukraine II in the making!? Around the word the same plan has worked well as government after government has been collapsed only to be resurrected to serve their imperialist masters .....the world oligarchs that have no country but control the world's largest military. A military to protect the .1% from the 99.9% that are the new slaves of the empire.

Posted by: ger | Jul 28, 2017 9:35:19 AM | 13

12

agree

Venezuela signs mining deal with China

A First: China and Russia Will Jointly Host International Army Games

China, Russia, Angola, Iran, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela will participate the competition.

Russia will bring its own military equipment, but the other countries will use Chinese military equipment.

New York Times: Wider U.S. Sanctions on Venezuela Risk Biting Both Countries

And this here is a very hostile article but tells you something of the likelihood Venezuelan armed forces will defect

Maduro, like Chavez before him, depends on thousands of Cuban military and intelligence officials who are in Venezuela to prop up his regime. Many of those Cubans are embedded in the Venezuelan military, working as snitches and hampering chances the armed forces could splinter and support the opposition’s efforts to end Maduro’s dictatorship.

The Sino Venezuelan strategic partnership

There is more.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 28, 2017 9:48:53 AM | 14

Most people are ignorant about the opposition:

The Violent Past Of Leopoldo Lopez, Poster Boy For The Venezuelan Opposition

In 2002, while still serving as mayor, López participated directly in the U.S.-backed coup attempt aimed at removing democratically elected President Hugo Chávez from power. López specifically participated in the illegal detention of then-Minister of the Interior and Justice Ramón Rodríguez Chacín, as well as violent attacks against Caracas’ Cuban Embassy that saw a group of protesters try to violently enter the building. When they could not force their entry, they cut off water and electricity to the building and smashed windows and vehicles.

Chávez pardoned López for his role in the coup in 2007 and López was only barred from holding political office from 2008 to 2014 following the revelation of his past corrupt dealings at PDVSA, as well as the discovery of his misuse of public funds while mayor.

If Lopez did this in the United States or any European country do you think he would be out of jail?

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Jul 28, 2017 10:26:49 AM | 15

ger @13

The US is getting its ass handed to it in Syria, Iraq, iran, Turkey, the Philippines, CHina, North Korea. It is acting just like its owner - whenever Israel is frustrated it takes out its frustrations on the poor Gazans. The US takes it out on some usually hapless and defenseless country.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 28, 2017 10:45:47 AM | 16

@14 somebody,

I'm don't know a whole lot about the current situation in Venezuela, but I do know that the sources you reference are not going to provide independent reliable information about the sitution there; what you're linking to looks more like propaganda for domestic consumption.

If we compare and contrast Venezuela and Russia, however, it seems clear that the difference in their economic situation is largely due to the fact that Russia got rid of oligarchs with ties to foreign interests (Berezovsky, Gusinsky, Khodorkovsky etc.) and made sure the remaining ones couldn't interfere in domestic politics; Venezuela didn't manage to do this.

In addition, Venezuela over-relied on high oil prices to finance social programs and economic growth, so when the oil price collapsed, so did their domestic economy; Russia was much smarter about this and has managed to successfully weather the oil price collapse; this is also because Venezuela has "extra-heavy" oil (full of sulfur, acids, salts, heavy metals, etc., requiring much higher processing costs to convert to usable fuel), so it was hit hard by the fall in oil prices. Failure to diversify the economy, in other words. Putin, in contrast, constantly talks about the need for Russia to diversify and continue technological advancement.

The US State Department / CIA game is pretty obvious, their goal is to work with the Venezuelan plutocratic families to overthrow the government, after which the state-owned oil companies will be privatized and a controlling share >51% will be offered to Exxon or Chevron, and they'll then be called a model of humanitarian and democratic values by the State Department (now conveniently headed by Exxon's agent, Rex Tillerson). Same old repetitive bullshit, in other words. If you want more details, see Steve Coll, author also of Ghost Wars (on Afghanistan and the rise of the Taliban, Al Qaeda and bin Laden in the 1980s and 1990s):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvPobwco-AE

This kind of crap doesn't benefit the average American citizen in any way; all the proceeds go to Exxon's executives and their billionaire shareholders. All the money wasted on these neoliberal projects would be far better spent building out our domestic infrastructure at home.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jul 28, 2017 11:02:53 AM | 17

b
Excellent analysis. I'm up to date another regime changes in Venezuela as I was in Ukraine (2013).

Abby Martin was in Venezuela last week interviewed the oppositions (TRNN and Telesur). Russia and China
seem to be the only major players supporting Mr Maduro for now. Thanks

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/

Posted by: OJS | Jul 28, 2017 11:06:14 AM | 18

After the failure of the 'regime change' in Syria, the CIA and the neo-cons are itching to get one in Venezuela where Russia can't intervene easily. Hopefully it will fail again.

Posted by: virgile | Jul 28, 2017 11:19:52 AM | 19

I heard Iran and Hizbullah have a huge underground presence in Venezuela helping Maduro. Just kidding, but I wouldn't be surprised to see that in the WaPo and NYT.

Posted by: DW | Jul 28, 2017 11:28:53 AM | 20

17) None of the information is independent, reliable. All claims are based on reality, the difference is the evaluation.

You can't compare a huge country like Russia, with a new post-soviet oligarchy, and a small country like Venezuela with heavy dependence on the United States (and new dependence on China) with an old traditional oligarchy.

But whatever, Venezuela is in a constitutional crisis, a parliament opposed to the government. To solve that on the street means civil war.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 28, 2017 11:30:14 AM | 21

Just another day at the office. Meanwhile Wasserman -Schultz and the DNC get exposed with more shenanigans with the Pakaistani IT guys . Further more to find out that Wasserman -Shchultz brother is overlooking the case. Talk about an inside job.
The Congress has just extended its act of war on Russia,Iran and North Korea but hell to quote Hitler in Drag (Hillary) What difference does it make.
How western history repeats itself as we enter this age of absurdity. We are entering a period very similar to the build up of WW1 . Is humanity that blinded?
This is all going to end very badly. Will Europe finally come out of its vassal like slumber to these vile anglo-zionist whom have poisoned western civilisation from the assassination of Lincoln and McKinley to the greatest theft of them all the 10nth crusade on the ME.
Are we all that blind. Look at Temur in Brazil knee deep in government fraud and Rouseff gets impeached on trumped up accusations along with Lulu. Are we that ignorant and self absorbed that we the sheeple not c the writing on the wall.
Chile all over again this time with boo Kissinger to lead the way.
How Ironic that Kissinger and Obama both recipients of the Nobel peace prize never get challenged on their crimes against humanity.
Sorry no its not related to the Venezuela imbroglio but they are connected to this evil BY DECEPTOION YOU MAY WAGE WAR just to coin the famous moto of the Rothschild secret service.

Posted by: falcemartello | Jul 28, 2017 11:33:21 AM | 22

@21 somebody. Civil war? That's not civil war, anymore than Syria was civil war - it's regime change supported largely by foreign powers based on economic agendas. All that business about Venezuela doing business with China, that's no different from Syria doing business with Iran - making economic deals that are in their citizen's best interest.

And this is the problem with US foreign policy these days - rather than being more competitive than China or anyone else, rather than saying we'll give you a better deal if you do business with us, it's always "do business with us on our terms or we'll stage a coup and plunge your country into civil war." You know this perfectly well, as do all the owners of the sources you reference, like the NYTimes, (notable cheerleader for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, with all the BS about WMDs), etc.

It's called the Tonya Harding model of economic competition - rather than being the best, the goal is to kneecap anyone who gets in the way. Second rate, isn't it?

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jul 28, 2017 11:39:56 AM | 23

"Democratic opposition" is impossible under the rules defined by this website. Any attempt to oppose the policy of a favored government is inherently branded "violent" or "terrorist".

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Jul 28, 2017 11:48:18 AM | 24

@24 Inkan1969

Sure, taking a helicopter and strafing government buildings as a means of "political opposition", that's not violent, that's not terrorism. Pfffffttttt... cn you imagine what people would be saying if a Muslim member of some domestic U.S. police agency did that???? FFS. Did the US State Department condemn that action? Not at all.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jul 28, 2017 12:01:34 PM | 25

20 :-)) of course. Venezuela is part of the resistance axis.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 28, 2017 12:20:30 PM | 26

thanks for keeping up with this, b. may i add that the misionverdad link at hemendik 4 is key to the emergency speed at which this is progressing now. this has both the misionverdad.com english exposé, but also news of an even larger Exxon 'discovery' field off the coast of VZ that's claimed by guyana. as far as i can make out, the UN case hasn't been settled yet, but you know that Tillerson's attorneys, nikki haley, et.al., w/ a bit of help from all the compromised NGOs will get it done.

will the military keep supporting the chavistas? so far they have, and have even written open letters to Trump, Pompeo, with their collective middle fingers extended.

https://cafe-babylon.net/2017/07/27/exxon-is-already-occupying-venezuela/

Posted by: wendy davis | Jul 28, 2017 12:22:00 PM | 27

Maduro Calls on Trump to 'Stop Aggression Towards Venezuela'
Maduro mused that he'd cherish the opportunity to “extend (Trump) a handshake and to tell him that we're in the 21st century.”
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reiterated that his country wants to live in peace during an interview with RT Spanish Wednesday.
Faced with a new round of U.S. sanctions against 13 Venezuelan senior officials, Maduro urged U.S. President Donald Trump to exercise reason and halt his administration's interventionist policy in Venezuela.
“As president, I appeal to him, to President Donald Trump: Stop aggression towards Venezuela. Venezuela is a fundamental basis of stability in the whole Caribbean Basin,” Maduro said.
Contemplating an eventual meeting with Trump, Maduro mused that he'd cherish the opportunity to “extend (Trump) a handshake and to tell him that we're in the 21st century.” He added that U.S. officials should “dismiss the Monroe Doctrine” because times have changed and these times required an acceptance of “diversity and new, more advanced relationships.”
Venezuela's head of state noted that U.S. foreign affairs strategists should deliberate with greater rationale and end their aggressive stance because “Venezuela wants to live in peace, it wants to live quietly.”
He emphasized, however, that if the situation deteriorates beyond the harmonious confines of dialogue and peace, something that the people of Venezuela desperately want, “the Bolivarian Revolution will have to take up arms and, once again, we'll be fighting under the same flag.”
Confronted by an emboldened opposition which has been documented to work closely with sanctions-wielding Washington, Maduro recalled that he'd spent almost the entire month of May “seeking direct dialogue” with them in order for Venezuelan society as a whole to “become members of the Constituent Assembly, but they refused.”
Adding that his political adversaries have ventured to “the radical right,” skirting even traditional allies “who voted for them,” Maduro admitted that his greatest error as president was to “underestimate the opposition, their capacity to inflict damage, their malice, their capacity for violence.”
Maduro also announced that Venezuela will sign new gas and oil agreements with Russia, as he emphasized the importance of maintaining good economic partnerships with major powers.
“For the second half of the year, important documents will be signed to expand bilateral investments between Russian oil and gas companies and our PDVSA,” Maduro told Russia Today.
The announcement comes as the United States increasingly threatens and enacts sanctions against Venezuela. On Wednesday the U.S. Treasury Department made good on Trump threats to impose sanctions on the country if the National Constituent Assembly vote went forward on Sunday, July 30.
Maduro confirmed that despite U.S. attempts to rattle Venezuela's economy via an “indirect blockade,” the country is equipped to meet all challenges. The end game of such obstruction, as was attempted in 2015 and 2016, Maduro argued, is to force Venezuela's economy to default.
Despite these attempts, he said that the country has always “paid its bills, met its obligations.” In the event of a complete cutoff between Caracas and Washington, Maduro assured that “the roads leading to the west, to the south, and to the east, fortunately, will stay open for Venezuela.”
Maduro explained that it is essential to maintain good relations and strong partnerships with major global economic powers like Russia and China, and that he was thankful for the solidarity expressed to Venezuela by these nations.
The president said that Russian-Venezuelan relations are “advancing at a good pace,” particularly in the realm of oil, considering the significant investments that Russia has in the Orinoco oil fields.
In addition to oil trade, the two countries share a broad range of mutual cooperation encompassing over 200 agreements in fields ranging from medicine to tourism, agriculture, and mining.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 28, 2017 12:32:42 PM | 28

thanks b.. i hope you are wrong, but 60 years of usa bullshit intervention suggests you are right! these fuckers just can't stop it.. all in the name of exxon or whatever other kleptomaniac they have yanking their strings...

many good and informative comments... thanks everyone..

i agree with @17/23 nonsense factory viewpoint.

@ 24 Inkan1969... huh? are you trying to suggest the venezuala opposition is the new improved version of the '''moderate rebels''' the usa and it's buddies support in syria? give it up.. this colour revolution, moderate rebel, opposition crap is stale..

Posted by: james | Jul 28, 2017 12:50:38 PM | 29

@ okie farmer with the report from Maduro

Thank you for that. His words are such a contrast in style with those coming from the petulant man-child the US currently calls president. I wish more Americans could see their country for the latest projection of private finance empire that it really is.

Thanks b for the depth and breadth of the journalism that you share.......I am happy and impressed that you don't just report on Syria as an earlier commenter would have you do......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 28, 2017 12:52:01 PM | 30

Venezuelan here!

Hope Maduro leave the country soon or least let us to have the peace he can't provide. It is a nightmare in here, and most of it has been caused by economic policies applied by him and Hugo Chávez that basically destroyed the country economy, its productivity, while being reliant on high oil prices that didn't last enough to make a good transition towards communism but instead created the perfect storm to let people know that we don't want to elect another socialist president never again in our life.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable."-JFK

Thank you for posting this article!

Posted by: Enrique Mendoza | Jul 28, 2017 1:06:32 PM | 31

Can't the US stay out of any other people's business?
Humanity must sanction the US before it brings on even greater disasters.
I wish millions of Americans would march on Washington to end its nonsense.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Jul 28, 2017 1:20:06 PM | 32

@ Enrique Mendoza who claims to live in Venezuelan

Thank you for your comment. Please share with us your social and economic background.......America is still propped up by those that think they stand to "lose" with socialistic economies....are you one of those, is my question?

i believe that the perfect storm that you are referring to was caused by the world of global private finance and not through the fault of Chavez or Maduro. And that perfect storm is now being writ large all over the world.....we will see how it plays out.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 28, 2017 1:24:26 PM | 33

Good, somewhat long, article on Venezuela is Greg Grandin's "Down from the Mountain." Grandin argues that the working class will remain loyal to the government:

Marches and countermarches are usually a signal that history is on the move, that change, of some kind, is coming. But Venezuela is in stasis. Negotiations between the government and its opponents are announced, and then called off. The Vatican says it will mediate and the Organisation of American states says it will intervene, but nothing happens. Both sides, it seems, are waiting, tremulously, for the barrios populares,filled with working-class people, to render their verdict. Anti-government forces have called on them to join their protests, and have even encouraged them to loot and riot. These calls, for the most part, have gone unanswered. As the historian Alejandro Velasco has pointed out, Chávez acknowledged these people on a primal level, recognising them as citizens with legitimate demands and fundamental rights. In exchange, they turned out again and again on the streets and at the polls to defend the Bolivarian revolution. In contrast, anti-government forces want them as shock troops to break the deadlock. Maduro may have lost their goodwill, but social gains won in the heyday of Chavismo – schools, food distribution centres, health clinics, daycare – are still functioning, however stressed, in these neighbourhoods, and while their residents may not be actively supporting the government, they aren’t yet ready to overthrow it. Meanwhile Chávez, in death as in life, continues to transcend the polarisation. According to a recent poll, 79 per cent picked him as the best president the country has ever had. A slightly smaller but still large majority say he was Venezuela’s most democratic and efficient leader.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jul 28, 2017 1:34:37 PM | 34

I strongly hope a war can be avoided in Venezuela, but if not it will be as difficult for the u.s. to ram through a regime change as in Syria. If they insist this will be another humilation for them.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jul 28, 2017 1:51:06 PM | 35

@psychohistorian

I'm recently graduate myself in high school but I'll start studies in the School of Economy in here, therefore I've been studying the economy of Venezuela by at least 4 years with the resources I have (internet mostly), its history and also political science to understand the crisis in my own country, knowing that I'm prepare myself to improve my country in the future.

I believe every country always must a balance between socialism economic policies and capitalism. The thing is that every economy in the world does have capitalism as its main socioeconomic system where they use "socialist" policies published as state welfare only to improve what capitalism can't. In other words, these countries use welfare policies to improve their capitalist system, totally avoiding the philosophic and behavioral implications of having a socialist economy; they don't try to abolish the state to implement better healthcare, or abolishing the money to create foods programs.

Only Cuba and Venezuela don't have capitalist economies because the economic system was replaced by socialism.

Chávez and Maduro caused this nightmare. Both worked to destroy capitalism, they then had to afront the consequences of that; the difficulty to have commercial relations with other countries that aren't socialist at all. This wasn't a problem for Chávez at the beginning because Venezuela has the biggest oil reserves, I'd say oil market is the biggest in the world, and he used strategically to make the entire country economy reliant on oil while Venezuela oil passed to be controlled by the executive power when he nationalized the oil industry in 2003-2004. He used this economic power to replace non oil productivity with imports which caused less productivity in Venezuela, lack of investment in our industries.

This lack of investment now has its roots for the crisis happening now. Hugo Chávez and Maduro got into massive debt Venezuela can't pay back because oil income isn't enough. Imports decreased massively and there wasn't any replacement due lack of internal productivity. There you have the food and medicine shortage.

What was Maduro and Chávez problem's? They never foreseen the oil glut. They thought China economy would grow indefintly and they also thought that the US could never increase its oil productivity for energy independence. They also failed at replacing peacefully the production method because the economic crisis started before they could achieve the transition towards communism.

Posted by: Enrique Mendoza | Jul 28, 2017 1:54:48 PM | 36

Of course the irony-adverse WaPo ignores the fact that we are again "meddling in a foreign election"

Posted by: Bart | Jul 28, 2017 1:56:03 PM | 37

Re: Enrique Mendoza

"It is a nightmare in here, and most of it has been caused by economic policies applied by him and Hugo Chávez that basically destroyed the country economy"

This is nonsense. I have family in Venezuela and I've traveled there a bit. Venezuela has always been a disaster and the country has been overly reliant on oil for a looooong time. What changed is that the small, formerly privileged middle class that is primarily composed of white people living in the nicer parts of Caracas are now suffering whereas they used to live quite well. Some of the suffering is real due shortages of certain things (corn flower, etc) but a lot more is a rollback of privilege - " oh no we can't travel to the US to shop or travel to Europe." Still more of the suffering is imaginary and simply a regurgitation of right wing Venezuelan media. The Gabby Martin Telesur video touches on this but speak with Venezuelans of the middle class and you'll hear the exact same script, a small amount of which is true but most can be debunked easily.

Posted by: Alaric | Jul 28, 2017 2:00:47 PM | 38

It's silly and unnecessary that there be any CIA involvement. Chavez began the downward path toward economic failure and Maduro threw gasoline on the ensuing fire.

When your outgo exceeds your income, economic failure is inevitable.

Like Brook Benton sang, "It's Just A Matter Of Time".

Posted by: Desertrat | Jul 28, 2017 2:28:17 PM | 39

@ Desertrat who seems to have strayed into the wrong bar

Thanks for stopping by.

I don't think you are going to find too many patrons at this bar who believe the song you are singing......don't let them doors hit you on the way out.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 28, 2017 2:43:07 PM | 40

@Alaric "Venezuela has always been a disaster and the country has been overly reliant on oil for a looooong time"


Venezuela has never been in the edge of a humanitarian crisis. You can read the government responses to the crisis, they have admited several times that food shortage is real and that medicine shortage is a real danger affecting even the highest govenrment officials and their family members, like the ex wife of Hugo Chávez who has needed to ask for donations for medicines that can't be found in any part of Venezuela.

You can watch all you want the telesurtv video, but that doesn't change nothing because you can talk on internet with any venezuelan and you will know the truth.

I'd suggest you to stop spreading misinformation and government propaganda if you really want to have a discussion about Venezuela.

Posted by: Enrique Mendoza | Jul 28, 2017 2:46:19 PM | 41

It sounds like the empire is going to war with itself.

t is not just Venezuela’s political stability that is at stake either. The Russian state-owned Rosneft holds a 49.9 percent stake in the Venezuelan-owned, U.S.-based refiner Citgo following a $1.5 billion loan from the Russian company. Some lawmakers say they are concerned that Russia is in a position to own a substantial stake of the U.S.-based company.

On Thursday, Treasury officials fined ExxonMobil $2 million for signing business agreements with Igor Sechin, the chief executive of Rosneft. Exxon responded by filing a legal complaint against the Treasury Department.

"This is more than just the U.S. and Venezuela," said Juan Gonzalez, a deputy assistant secretary of state under Obama. "Let says PDVSA is in a situation where it defaults, which would affect Citgo. Then Rosneft has a 49 percent stake in Citgo. If Rosneft decides to up that to 51 then all of a sudden Citgo because subject to Russian sanctions."

Posted by: somebody | Jul 28, 2017 2:53:04 PM | 42

Thanks, b.
This latest Yankee Regime-Change Plot in Venezuela comes complete with the tr-r-aditional pre R-G contradictions which, as usual, the disgusting Jew-controlled Western MSM (led, predictably, by the Jew York Times (and Zio-Jazeera!!!)) is 'mysteriously' reluctant to explore, or even mention.

Venezuelan Democracy is either on its last legs, or it's not.
-If it is on its last legs then why not just wait for the Govt to collapse and let Venezuelans solve the problem? Why does AmeriKKKa feel obliged to take sides and interfere? How does political unrest in Venezuela suddenly become AmeriKKKa's problem? And why promote civil war as the only possible outcome/solution?

Funnily enough, BBC wasn't reporting on Venezuela today. They're using infantile MI6 NK-hater/liar Rupert Wingfield-Hayes to promote the Alternative/Fake News story from AmeriKKKa about North Korea's latest missile test on Friday "thought to have landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone" and blaming China. So NK missiles are shaping up to be the MSM's Talking Point to get Venezuela out of the Headlines when Christian Colonialism needs some time out to fine-tune the Venezuela horseshit it feeds to the MSM.
Funnilier, the early BBC report about NK missiles began with "AmeriKKKa has detected a missile launch.." with some half-assed SK & Japan confirmation drivel; but a later report begins "SK & Japan have detected a missile launch.."

Apologies for the long meandering comment but the Western MSM should be Crucified for its toxic lack of curiosity.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 28, 2017 3:11:02 PM | 43

@Enrique Mendoza

If you just graduated from high school you are probably too young to know the darker side of how the world works. I highly recommend you read John Perkin's "Confessions of an Economic Hitman".

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Jul 28, 2017 3:18:52 PM | 44

#31: If you define doubling GDP and reducing extreme poverty by over 2/3 as destroying the economy then yes, Chavez and Maduro are 100% to blame for 'destroying' the Venezuelan economy.

This claim of destroying the economy is frequently used by US media hacks and the opposition in Venezuela, but the numbers are completely against you.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Jul 28, 2017 3:19:57 PM | 45

@45

Or that Venezuela was ranked the happiest country in South America in 2013:

You Probably Didn’t Hear that Venezuela Was Again Ranked the Happiest Country in South America

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Jul 28, 2017 3:30:13 PM | 46

45 Venezuelan GDP reflects the oil price - that is the problem.

GDP per capita is still quite good compared to other Latin American countries, but people must feel things are getting worse.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 28, 2017 3:41:51 PM | 47

@Enrique Mendoza

I would suggest you read The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein to get a glimpse of how the global money folk have R2Ped most of South America.

You need to consider your values around private ownership of property, inheritance, public commons and other concepts. I encourage you to keep clear what is concept (all those "...ism"s) and what is real (private ownership of global finance) Good luck!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 28, 2017 3:45:17 PM | 48

@44

You are probably too ignorant about Venezuela.


____________


#45: GDP per capital has decreased to levels as in 1960, Venezuela Central Bank figures show.

Denying the crisis won't work to argue Venezuela economy is doing well. What you say may be true UNTIL 2012 or possibly until 2013, but times have changed. Poverty index has increased a lot since then because everyone is reliant on government aids, and now the government is cutting budgets everywhere to pay back foreign debt instead of applying default on such debt to avoid cutting budgets. It isn't that difficult to see the obvious crisis.


____________

@46

Yeah, you said it. In 2013

Posted by: Enrique Mendoza | Jul 28, 2017 3:46:51 PM | 49

@psychohistorian

Can you bring a updated table showing 2016 GDP decreasement? It is estimated that Venezuela's economy fall 19 percent in 2016. Your graphic only show information until 2015.

Posted by: Enrique Mendoza | Jul 28, 2017 3:54:16 PM | 50

Re: Enrique Mendoza

"Venezuela has never been in the edge of a humanitarian crisis. "

Nor is it now. Again, this is right wing propaganda. More Venezuelans than ever are eating despite shortages in some staples sometimes in some parts. Your perspective is entirely that of the smallish middle and smaller upper class in Venezuelans. People are starving yet restaurants are open in the chic parts of Venezuela? Oh sure.

Look: I don't necessarily agree with every decision made by the chavistas and I agree that mistakes were made in regards to foreign currency availability and even price controls and in creating a more hostile environment to businesses but most of these actions were attempts to deal with problems some of which do look like economic warfare to me. The market share concentration in certain consumer products (corn flour) segments (see Empresas Polar) is ideal for economic warfare.

Venezuela has long been a net importer of goods and that dependency has grown for 50 years, long before Chavez. Control of dollars is why the Chavistas have been able to control inflation on average better than their predecessors but yes it's still high. Venezuela is a small economy which sells a lot of oil in dollars. Converting said revenues to bolivares creates inflation. The country's GDP has been overly reliant on oil for long before Chavez. The steep decline in oil prices is due to economic warfare against Russia mainly by Saudi/america and friends. Problems water flow of Dams that produce power? Chavez' fault..nah

Venezuela has lots of structural problems which it long had but the only humanitarian crisis is the one being created by the right wing protesters

Posted by: Alaric | Jul 28, 2017 4:45:43 PM | 51

@Enrique Mendoza

You are probably too ignorant about Venezuela.

You might be right, I don't follow South America very closely. But I know enough about empire and propaganda to sniff out bullshit when I see it. And based on what you have posted, it's not like you are arguing from a position of knowledge.

There is no data for 2014, but in 2015 they were second, fifth in 2016, and last in 2017. Yet in 2017 they still ranked higher than some European countries. In 2011 they were ranked 9th in the world. My Venezuelan friends, like yourself, don't seem to like it when I mention these figures.

If you want to know a contributor to the decline, and if you are not afraid of information that challenges your narrative, read "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" or "The Shock Doctrine" mentioned by psychohistorian.

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Jul 28, 2017 4:51:52 PM | 52

@47

The Happiness Index doesn't take GDP into account, but I get your point. Here is how it's calculated:

How is the Happy Planet Index calculated?

Posted by: Tobin Paz | Jul 28, 2017 4:57:20 PM | 53

Oil prices are down 50% on average compared to prices in the Chavez era, at least last I looked. Therefore, Venezuelas GDP has contracted and the government has less money and fewer foreign reserves. Last I read the oil sector was 1/3 of GDP. In boom years I recall it being circa 3/4 of GDP. This
is economic warfare, pure and simple.

Venezuela has suffered every time oil prices have fallen and that includes during the 80s when the CIA/ZUSA used oil as a weapon to destroy the USSR via Saudi and the gulf monarchs.

PS: please see Yemen, Libya or Syria to see a real humanitarian crisis.

Posted by: Alaric | Jul 28, 2017 4:57:44 PM | 54

Venezuelan here!
...
Enrique Mendoza | Jul 28, 2017 1:06:32 PM | 31 + + +

How does Venality make you Venezuelan?
Don't you understand what AmeriKKKa's Swamp wants to do to Venezuela?
If you really believe it will make things better, please put our fears to rest by listing the anticipated improvements?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 28, 2017 5:01:58 PM | 55

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable"

said the counter-revolutionary, terrorist-supporting hypocrite....speaking of freedom whilst actively backing tyranny and bloodshed all over the place.

Posted by: Nick | Jul 28, 2017 5:15:40 PM | 56

@Alaric "Nor is it now. More Venezuelans than ever are eating despite shortages in some staples sometimes in some parts. Your perspective is entirely that of the smallish middle and smaller upper class in Venezuelans. People are starving yet restaurants are open in the chic parts of Venezuela? Oh sure"

Yeah, you can see restaurants are open JUST in chic parts of Venezuela, while in your video you mentioned, they only manage to cover ONLY some parts of Caracas, and only some stores. The GOVERNMENT itself have admited the food shortage, that's why they need to distribute bags of food street by street in every town of Venezuela, because reality is that you can't buy food in the stores because there is none. I have myself doing lines for hours to buy bread that barely is produced to supply the needs of some portion of the inhabitants doing the same line I'm doing; some of them aren't even able to buy food because it runs out before the line is finished.

Again: You can watch all you want the telesurtv video, but that doesn't change nothing because you can talk on internet with any venezuelan and you will know the truth.

People is starving. The government have admit it. There is a severe shortage of medicines, kids are dying because of that. Child mortality have increased a lot, sadly. Poverty index has also increased.

Posted by: Enrique Mendoza | Jul 28, 2017 5:23:27 PM | 57

@Tobin Paz

But I know enough about empire and propaganda to sniff out bullshit when I see it

Yet, your own source state that Venezuela is indeed in crisis, but then I ask, why is such crisis?

I do know that oil prices have decreased along with Venezuela oil production, that Venezuela productivity has also decreased, that economic policies applied by Maduro and Hugo Chávez have created a nocive business environment that both of them didn't knew how to replace to make a successful transition towards communism. It isn't hard to understand. Even the most leftiest followers of Chávez have admited the crisis in Venezuela, some of them arguing economic warfare, others arguing poor management of the economy blaming Maduro for the crisis, but I think the last one is the most certain to be happening in here. You don't even know the contributors of this crisis.

I've already posted some information you can check by yourself, you will realize better how Venezuela's economy became this disaster.

Posted by: Enrique Mendoza | Jul 28, 2017 5:47:35 PM | 58

@54

This is economic warfare, pure and simple.

How come other oil producers countries haven't suffered like Venezuela?

Posted by: Enrique Mendoza | Jul 28, 2017 5:53:33 PM | 59

@55

Don't you understand what AmeriKKKa's Swamp wants to do to Venezuela?

Well, I know that Maduro will keep paying them money from bonds debt Venezuela acquired during Hugo Chávez era, instead of going to default and protect the people, how other countries have already done in history. It jus contradictory, defend Maduro and attack the fascist in Amerikkka

Hope Maduro leave and another revolutionary leader comes in to solve this crisis once for all, instead of making it worse.

Posted by: Enrique Mendoza | Jul 28, 2017 5:57:21 PM | 60

@Nick

said the counter-revolutionary, terrorist-supporting hypocrite....speaking of freedom whilst actively backing tyranny and bloodshed all over the place.


He was right!

Posted by: Enrique Mendoza | Jul 28, 2017 5:58:43 PM | 61

60

Statistics are amazing stuff - Venezuela debt to GDP

It is pretty low, much lower than Germany's

Posted by: somebody | Jul 28, 2017 6:26:00 PM | 62

Telesur on the food crisis - yes it exists

due to fixed prices that make it possible to reexport with a profit.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 28, 2017 6:39:28 PM | 63

nf @ 23 said:"@21 somebody. Civil war? That's not civil war, anymore than Syria was civil war - it's regime change supported largely by foreign powers based on economic agendas. All that business about Venezuela doing business with China, that's no different from Syria doing business with Iran - making economic deals that are in their citizen's best interest."

ger @ 13: "Drat, if I did not know better, I would concluded the Americans are interfering in another sovereign country ... as usual. Coming soon to Venezuela, an American ass kissing oligarch
stealing natural resources? Is Ukraine II in the making!? Around the word the same plan has worked well as government after government has been collapsed only to be resurrected to serve their imperialist masters .....the world oligarchs that have no country but control the world's largest military. A military to protect the .1% from the 99.9% that are the new slaves of the empire. "

Worth repeating thanks. Both statements are relevant and truthful based on the empire's historical facts.

Gee, here come the trolls...

Posted by: ben | Jul 28, 2017 6:48:37 PM | 64

New York Times - Venezuelan import fraud

More financial fraud with Venezuela

Posted by: somebody | Jul 28, 2017 6:48:58 PM | 65

@ 65: Good sources, taken from a source that told all the American people Iraq was a real and present threat to world peace. Seriously?

Posted by: ben | Jul 28, 2017 6:57:32 PM | 66

66

In this case the New York Times says the same that the Venezuelan government says - that they are cheated.

As long as it is Venezuelans fighting each other it is civil war - that is the definition of it.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 28, 2017 7:09:52 PM | 67

@55
Don't you understand what AmeriKKKa's Swamp wants to do to Venezuela?
...
Hope Maduro leave and another revolutionary leader comes in to solve this crisis once for all, instead of making it worse.
Posted by: Enrique Mendoza | Jul 28, 2017 5:57:21 PM | 60

Spare me the rhetoric and drivel.
I posted my #55 because you were beginning to sound like a visionless (Neoliberal) twerp.

"Hope Maduro leave..." is a miserable substitute for a National Recovery plan. I asked you a question and you're deliberately evading it.
Here it is again...

Please put our fears to rest by listing the anticipated improvements?

Until you answer, I'm winning the bet with myself that Enrique, would be utterly clueless when asked to articulate a positive vision for Venezuela's post-Maduro future.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 28, 2017 7:14:36 PM | 68

@54 enrique mendoza
"How come other oil producers countries haven't suffered like Venezuela?"
Nigeria, Iraq, Syria, Libya. They have all suffered from the curse of being rich in oil. The ones that haven't suffered, like Scotland and Norway are peopled by people of European ancestry and therefore off limits to the predatory USA , Saudi Arabia is suffering except for a wealthy elite and is probably the model the USA has in mind for Venezuela and Russia is strong enough to resist.
To all you people who hold up the marvels of capitalism. How come any country experimenting with socialism must be destroyed? The answer is really that capitalists want a free hand to pillage any developing countries economy

Posted by: Ike | Jul 28, 2017 8:04:57 PM | 69

Wow. you surely must be missing the fact that people are being killed on the streets, dying from a lack of medicine, there is little food to be had. Lots of people leaving the country to be refuges in Brazil and Colombia.

Venezuela is going through a coup, simple as that, and Maduro and Chavez are/were no heroes. The fact that other countries tried to mess with them in the past does not change that.

Posted by: Alves | Jul 28, 2017 8:47:38 PM | 70

next thing ya know i will be reading that the butcher/tyrant maduro is murdering/starving his own people thanks the Venezuelan regime... the usa is going to or already are sending money to support the '''moderate rebels''' and on and on as the stomach turns.. i learned everything i know from the western msm, and a few stooges hanging out in an internet they claimed was located on the streets of caracas..

Posted by: james | Jul 28, 2017 9:21:48 PM | 71

enrique mendoza :

You claim Chávez nationalized the oil industry in 2003-2004. For someone that claims having studied Venezuela's economy for the last 4 years that statement proves you're either a liar or incapable of learning it's most basic facts. Oil nationalization in Venezuela occurred in 1976 - 40 years ago.

Go back to school and spare us your ignorant drivel.


I don't remember a single day in this century when the so called venezuelan opposition was not barricading roads and city quarters or threatening to do so. Not a single day. Neither do I remember one single day in this century when the USA did not threaten Venezuela.
And I vividly remember that Maidan was a rerun of the 2002 Caracas coup. From the barricades to shooting both sides.

What never ceases to amaze me is how patient the bolivarian government has been all this time. Those "peaceful" demonstrators in Caracas and elsewhere wouldn't last 24 hours in any of our western liberal democracies - as Hamburg just eloquently demonstrated.

As i write this I'm watching the Maduro interview in RT. I highly recommend it, as I would recommend the interviews of bolivarian leaders available in Telesur. Then compare them with the likes of Leopoldo López and draw your own conclusion.

Sorry for the tone but the lies about Venezuela get me going.

Posted by: estouxim | Jul 28, 2017 10:11:05 PM | 72

Good Doggy Canada Calls on Venezuela To Cancel Constituent Assembly
http://ow.ly/wkpu30dWzoj

"Canada welcomes and supports the important actions taken today by the United States to target leaders of the regime." - Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Global Affairs

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jul 28, 2017 10:11:50 PM | 73

e @ 72: Your tone is highly warranted..

Posted by: ben | Jul 28, 2017 10:16:45 PM | 74

@69 Exactly. And what of the Central bank and Gold reserves..

Posted by: Lozion | Jul 28, 2017 10:49:54 PM | 75

RE: 72

"You claim Chávez nationalized the oil industry in 2003-2004. For someone that claims having studied Venezuela's economy for the last 4 years that statement proves you're either a liar or incapable of learning it's most basic facts. Oil nationalization in Venezuela occurred in 1976 - 40 years ago."

The interesting part about this is that most of our friendly Gulf Arab Monarchs FULLY nationalized oil in the 70s. Chavez originally renegotiated contracts with foreign oil companies in which he just reduced their ownership levels in exploration projects but they still had ownership. You don't get ownership if you drill for Saudi and that probably holds true for UAE, Kuwait, etc. You are hired as a contractor but everything is owned by Aramco. So Chavez was offering more ownership than pretty much anyone in OPEC to foreign oil companies. I don't believe that oil exploration (drilling rights) is fully nationalized in Venezuela even today because exploration contracts were over decades and many companies agreed to renegotiate on Chavez's terms.

Posted by: alaric | Jul 28, 2017 11:39:35 PM | 76

Here is another little factoid:

When i went to Venezuela in 1991, slightly over 50% of the population was below poverty. I remember this well because my Colombian relatives were there telling me yeah its bad but Colombia is worse.

According to the CIA World Factbook (not a friend of Chavez), 19.7% of the population is below poverty today.

If you believe the CIA (which is lead by chavez haters by the way and which has ridiculously anti chavista explanations all over their Venezuela entries), then Chavistas have indeed helped the poor quite a bit and i suspect they will fight for Maduro or least against the very white and in their eyes privileged minority that constitutes "the opposition."

Posted by: alaric | Jul 29, 2017 12:00:34 AM | 77

This Enrique Mendoza sounds like is being assessored by Cuban Welfare Collectors from Miami !! This is no CNN and third class propaganda BS has a contrary effect to what you want. The Venezuelan thing is an Upper Class Rebelion that will end like the Cuban Exile Saga : 60 yeard of Anti Castro-Communism, a "political" sort of notion" that even Wikipedia refuses to define because it really became a Bussiness or a "Way of Life" like Skiing. The sad truth is that not even a 20% of the Venezuelans supports the rich who are "hungry". And is just like the Cuban case, 12 million Cubans with the Government an 1 million against (the Miami Welfare Collectors). To me, this justifies a new Joseph Stalin in Venezuela. A new Joseph Stalin to clean that nation of the garbaje called opposition and also a new Joseph Stalin to teach them what a dictatorship is, since it seems the opposition does not know or, are not aware of what happens when you are hatefull to the point of sprading silly lies.

Posted by: opereta | Jul 29, 2017 12:39:31 AM | 78

alaric: If I remember correctly Chávez inversed the profit sharing agreements of the joint-ventures, and yes, allmost all the companies agreed to it. Which means that the first 30 years of nationalization were to the benefit of the foreign companies and the PVDSA establishment. His crime was how he used PVDSA, both internally, as a tool to empower the venezuelan majority of olvidados , and externally, as a tool to promote inter-american solidarity - Petrocaribe and bilateral agreements.
As b mentions above the government's economic policy is social-democratic in nature - that is, in the true sense of the word, not in it's present neoliberal western version, or as like Fernando Henriques Cardoso presidency in Brasil.
The question therefore is neither privatization or economic policy, both are trivial in nature, and, as you point out, much stricter in the Gulf.
I would say the question is the capacity and willingness of the bolivarian government to empower inter-american solidarity at political, social and economic levels, creating new decision mechanisms that exclude Washington. That is the revolutionary aspect and so far, quite successful, the one that enrages washington, Madrid, Brussels and of course Miami...

The venezuelan "opposition" are hopeless, they have only one thing in mind - revenge and reversion - as they showed clearly in 2002. That's why they will be eternal losers.

Let's see what happens on Sunday, maybe the gloves come out - with this sort of people at some point they must.


somebody 63

I would suggest you reconsider your choice of words - diference of prices made it possible for colombian businesses to reexport cocain with a profit - would you say that accurately describes smuggling?


Posted by: estouxim | Jul 29, 2017 1:57:39 AM | 79

opereta, my feelings exactly, they cry wolf, very well, give them wolf!!!

Posted by: estouxim | Jul 29, 2017 2:04:03 AM | 80

@73 john gilberts - Chrystia Freeland, Minister of propaganda for canada..

Posted by: james | Jul 29, 2017 3:12:04 AM | 81

Enrique Mendoza | Jul 28, 2017 5:53:33 PM | 59
How come other oil producers countries haven't suffered like Venezuela?

Apparently you've not heard of Nigeria.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jul 29, 2017 3:25:38 AM | 82

79 ?


There are no fixed prices for cocain.

Let me explain.

1) The ruling Chavistas fix essential goods plus petrol at a lower price than bordering countries.

2) So that you can buy stuff in Venezuela and sell it at the higher market price in the bordering countries.

1 is well meant but makes it hard to earn money with trade. So people stop doing it or revert to 2

Same for printing currency.

There are some very old people in Germany who remember the hunger after the war in Germany and the empty shops plus their amazement that from one day to the next with the new currency shops were full (and then people did not have much money in their pocket to buy).

You don't win an economic war with economic stupidity.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 29, 2017 5:25:03 AM | 83

somebody | Jul 29, 2017 5:25:03 AM | 83
There are some very old people in Germany who remember the hunger after the war in Germany and the empty shops plus their amazement that from one day to the next with the new currency shops were full (and then people did not have much money in their pocket to buy).

Interesting; my Russian, ex-father-in-law, hated the Jews, because they had bread; but would only accept gold in payment.
This was in Germany, 1945; he was a POW of the Germans and was in Bremen at war's end.
Not many in the U.S. have a clue, about much of anything...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jul 29, 2017 6:31:37 AM | 84

@Enrique Mendoza

Kennedy, like most modern US Presidents, was little more than a slick used car salesman. Americans seem to fall for the same old propaganda about "freedom and liberty" time and time again. Trump is another great example of saying one thing and doing the opposite. Hillary's mistake was that she didn't hide her evil well enough.

Posted by: Nick | Jul 29, 2017 6:42:07 AM | 85

Ike @ 69: I would amend your answer to the troll Enrique Mendoza to say that Venezuela is sufferingly uniquely not just because of the joint Saudi-US attempt to crash oil prices (which incidentally is hurting the Saudi economy badly at a time when the KSA is stuck in a losing war against Yemen) but also because food importers in Venezuela (who support the anti-Maduro opposition) are withholding food supplies deliberately to increase food prices and turn people against the Maduro government.

Can't say for other oil exporters but if Norway is relatively unaffected by the oil glut and the drop in oil prices, that's probably because the country can rely on a huge sovereign wealth fund which it established decades ago when North Sea oil began to be exploited. Britain on the other hand did not establish a similar fund but as Scotland is subsidised by rest of Britain I suspect the country is faring about as well as it can under Theresa May and austerity rule.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 29, 2017 7:17:08 AM | 86

somebody

The price of gasoline in Russia is about one third of that in Norway, Russia's neighbour. Acording to your smart economics a whole lot of "exporting" should be taking place. The same happens between Germany and Poland, with a smaller diference, about 20%. One should be seeing interminable "exporting" tanker queues crossing the border.
Is that what happens? Why not?

Posted by: estouxim | Jul 29, 2017 8:04:54 AM | 87

@Enrique Mendoza

Welcome to the Whiskey Bar. Your questions and views are appreciated by this reader. There are numerous very well informed people who visit. One of the things I find unique to Moon of Alabama and b, is their apparent philosophy of developing, not condemning visitors who have differing views. People with agendas are quickly recognized and responded to accordingly in a civil manner. There is no 'herd' here to follow.

Moon of Alabama Blog is single handedly responsible for Hillary Clinton's defeat, and it was not done by wasting space quoting untruths.

I think you are young, and there is a whole lot of eye-opening coming to your future.

Just off the top of my head, I can recall during the Bush II era when Chavez was giving free heating oil to Northeastern Americans during the winter months. The United States government had a problem with that program. It was cancelled, but I would need to use the google to get the details.

I purposely buy gas at Citgo whenever the opportunity presents itself in order to in some small way, have my opinion be heard, and I tell people at the pump why I buy gas at Citgo while there.

Much of what I was taught in school was incomplete, untrue, slanted or designed to instill a false belief in a system in which I am merely a target.

Hold on to your hat, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

b4real

Posted by: b4real | Jul 29, 2017 8:17:56 AM | 88

@V. Arnold | Jul 29, 2017 3:25:38
---
Enrique Mendoza | Jul 28, 2017 5:53:33 PM | 59
How come other oil producers countries haven't suffered like Venezuela?

Apparently you've not heard of Nigeria.
---

Or Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya - all oil producers...

Posted by: ProPeace | Jul 29, 2017 9:52:26 AM | 89

The Guardian’s propaganda on Venezuela: all you need to know’, Off-Guardian, July 27, Ricardo Vaz http://alturl.com/ckhzq

(a helpful deconstruction)

Posted by: wendy davis | Jul 29, 2017 9:58:11 AM | 90

86
Norwegian Petroleum Tax?

Norway taxes petroleum i.e. makes it more expensive. It might be worth (probably not because of transportation costs/risks) to smuggle petroleum to Norway and sell it on the black market but not vice versa. Norway will always have enough petroleum, smuggling or not, and Norway is too small to threaten Russian oil deposits.

There are no public subsidiaries for petrol in Russia so even if petrol is smuggled or Norwegians are driving across the border to fill their tanks, the state does not suffer.

But if you smuggle oil out of Venezuela and get the market prize, the state is paying, especially should the oil be subsidized below the cost of production.

People do cross the borders in Europe and Switzerland to profit from differences of taxation and currencies. It is bad/good for businesses at the border but not worth it when transport routes are too long.

Black markets thrive when official prices are fixed. There is a huge black market for labor in Europe but not for oil or food.

Venezuelan goods are simply cheap for its neighbours, it would be good for the economy if products were not subsidized but had a profit. With subsidies smuggling means robbing the Venezuelan state.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 29, 2017 10:45:34 AM | 91

87 Here is the link - they did

Venezuela brings free heating oil to poor in NY.


Big business is making a bet that Venezuelas government will survive.

There are strong rumors that President Nicolas Maduro has reached a deal with Venezuela's government opposition that would stop the vote this Sunday. Hedge-fund traders are betting that if the rumors are true, they will get a windfall on their holding of this PDVSA bond.

If Sunday's vote is called off, the bond could rise dramatically on Monday, reflecting the market's view that the oil company would be able to make the November payment. And those who bought the bond on Friday at 76.5 cents and held it to November, if the principal payment is made, could recover 100 cents, a 30.7 percent return.

But if the rumors aren't true, and Sunday's vote is held, traders think it means more sanctions from the United States, and possibly the EU, and a likely default of the PDVSA bond by the Venezuelan government.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 29, 2017 10:56:43 AM | 92

"The US empire threatens Latin American countries in its effort to overthrow Maduro"

http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/

And the beat goes on...

Posted by: ben | Jul 29, 2017 11:36:36 AM | 93

what will happen, when Germany commits suicide?
The USA Parasite thgat hosts in Germany will need another host.
Will USA find anoyher host?
or USA Has to die altogether. Merkel threatens USA with death. Trump panics and threatens the whole world.
any opinion?

Posted by: az | Jul 29, 2017 12:35:15 PM | 94

If the U.S. Revolutionary War was the most important even in U.S. history, then the Constitutional Convention in 1787 comes in second. Since then, the US has never approved of another constitutional convention - the basis for a true(r) participatory democracy. All laws and changes to the constitution in the US must go through the established broken-voting produced, oligarch-bribed Congress.

Somewhere in all the other reasons the US chooses to meddle in Venezuela's affairs is the abject horror of the Venezuelan people to determining the terms of their own constitution. There's simply not enough time to blackmail or bribe everyone involved to bend to US interests. The US can't stand the thought of Venezuelan little people putting themselves first, and calls the vote for a Constituent Assembly on Sunday "a coup"!

One can argue ad nauseum about what's wrong with Venezuela and who's to blame - I'm sure there have been plenty of polls. But the only poll I'm interested in seeing is the one that asks all Venezuelans IF their government is seriously broken and if it needs to be fixed. Leaving out the 'how' part, I'm sure most would answer 'yes'.

The US lawmakers' paranoia about ever allowing another Constitutional Convention is that all their carefully-crafted, power- and money-sucking 'deals' over the years would collapse. Worse yet, the little people might enact harsh provisions for Congress doing so in the future. Heaven forbid!

The last thing the US Congress wants to see is some other country giving the 'little people' in the US the notion that they own the country and its laws, and Congress are merely contract employees of the little people. Such dangerous thought must be snuffed out wherever it arises. Venezuelans must not even be allowed the possibility change their constitution, laws or government policies - that's what bribes and sanctions are for.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 29, 2017 12:41:49 PM | 95

@94 paveway.. thanks.. that is a good angle for seeing all that.. i can't imagine the usa ever stopping its perpetual meddling and worse in others countries.. the only way it will end is the complete breakdown of the usa as a country..

Posted by: james | Jul 29, 2017 12:59:02 PM | 96

I read some news of a tariff-free trade deal between Mexico and Venezuela that will cost US farmers billions of dollars.

Anybody got details on that?

Posted by: ralphieboy | Jul 29, 2017 1:43:23 PM | 97

97

Looks like Venezuela imports quite a lot of food from the United States

A collapse of the state in Venezuela is worrisome not only from a humanitarian stance but also for the rice industry, as nearly 10 percent of our exports end up there,” Brian King, USA Rice chairman and chairman of the USA Rice Western Hemisphere promotion subcommittee, said. “This week, President Maduro called for an assembly to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution; things could spiral out of control quickly.”

There is more. The US is close to a trade balance with Venezuela.

I doubt there is a deal with Mexico.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 29, 2017 3:53:10 PM | 98

why are you writing such shit.are you commies ?

Posted by: yesno | Jul 29, 2017 4:10:05 PM | 99

@ 90, here is another Off Guardian piece:
https://off-guardian.org/2017/07/29/venezuela-under-siege-by-u-s-empire/

Posted by: spudski | Jul 29, 2017 4:38:52 PM | 100

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