Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 30, 2017

Venezuela Coup "Could Blow Up Huge In Many Nations Of The Region"

by Debs is Dead
lifted from a comment

I see somebody has been blathering about the lack of 'democracy' in Venezuela as if it was the Chavezists who were to blame.

The president was elected by the people in a fair election and Chavezists also won the majority in the parliament/constituent assembly, the moment that happened the elitists financed opposition coups pushed out propaganda that was no more than libelous lies and began a programe of overt subversion.

They have continued this for the last 19 years and the irony is of course that if they hadn't done so and instead conducted themselves democratically they may have had a look in at government or coalition by now, but they chose what they thought was the easy way to gutting Venezuela's economy.

The result of the corporate capitalists activities has been the same as it always is when they push illegal acts of insurrection to try and force a reactive oppression - people lose and get hurt.

It is interesting to note that when the coalitions of street kids angry at everything and the sons and daughters of the once protected bourgeoisie hit the streets in their tiny bands to throw rocks and Molotov cocktails the police are very muted in their response - police in Venezuela don't normally carry sidearms but the riot police carry weapons that can only fire anti riot projectiles that are designed to hurt but not main or kill, they also have plastic shields but their actions have been much less violent than those of say the amerikan police - especially when you consider that more than 20 police have been killed in these riots.

I didn't get this info from RT news or any other oppositional news service I got it from the BBC who were desperate to find a shock horror story. They found a kid who had been arrested for throwing bricks at the police and he said that while he was locked up his interrogators demanded that he tell them the leadership or they would rape him "Did you tell them?" says Mr Beeb, "No" says the kid "so did they rape you?" asks Mr Beeb "NO but one of my cellmates had a black eye!" the kid responds.

Yeah right horrible oppression by those commies eh! The fact the beeb were in there trying on this story and running it on englander TV last night suggests that b may be correct when he says amerika is about to try and kick something off. The shots of protesters were all filmed up close - no wide views lest viewers see how few people were protesting, the entire piece could be regarded as a farce except that there is an undercurrent of amerikan violence.

As for the military - yes Cubans were brought in to train the army at the start of the Bolivaran revolution because the army was recruited from the ordinary people - not the usual younger sons of the bourgeoisie so outsiders were needed to train them. Some Cubans liked it so much they elected to stay on but the vast majority of Venezuelan military are local and if they seriously wanted to stage a coup it would be trivial to round up Cubans in a night and go in hard, but the military don't have any such intention, they are loyal to the head of state they swore an oath to.

I really hope that Trump and co don't decide that Venezuela be the victim of his need to divert attention away from his own travails - the result will be much worse even than the bloodthirsty contras of Nicaragua. The war will be long and bloody and it is highly doubtful that amerika could win without terrible violence. Even though the current governments in Central and South America are more 'sympathetic' to amerikan imperialism than those of a decade ago, it is highly unlikely that many if any will openly assist amerika because their own populations will go ape-shit if they do.

This (amerikan interference) could blow up huge and destroy the fragile agreements in place in many nations of the region.

For what? So that rich arse-holes can get richer?

Posted by b on July 30, 2017 at 06:39 AM | Permalink

Comments
next page »

Anxiety is growing in Latin America – the United States and the United Kingdom are preparing a « Spring » for them on the model of the « Arab Springs ». Of course, this time, it will not be a case of spreading war and dividing the populations along religious lines – Latino citizens are practically all Christians – but by using elements of their local identities. The objective will, however, be the same – not to replace the governments with other governments, but to destroy the States in order to eradicate any possibility of resistance to imperialism.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article196335.html

Posted by: Bertrand | Jul 30, 2017 6:46:10 AM | 1

The trouble is that the market for US wars is shrinking by the day, so they need new combat zones to perpetuate the scam of the military expenditure allegedly aimed at "countering threats" & "spreading democracy™ ".
Russia is heavily armed, the same goes for nearly all the BRICS countries, North Korea has nukes, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia are not enough to quell the thirst for profits of the US MIC, Syria is coming to an end, Iran will be a no-no given its Russian backing, what does it leave? Africa and South America.

Maduro will have to get a bit tougher on his opposition, which is the opposition to the will of the Venezuelan majority. His country cannot afford to devolve into a "civil" war, because a long and bloody war is what Amerika wants.

Posted by: Lea | Jul 30, 2017 7:43:43 AM | 2

I am getting to old to keep trying to sort the bullshit from the floor litter of world (and domestic) events anymore but am now the grateful grandfather of a two month old boy. So I now have a very special reason to keep trying.

Again so many thanks to you b, and of course you also Debs. This site is the one place where I feel 99% sure I'm getting solid facts and information from an ethical and moral source.

Best,
John

Posted by: juannie | Jul 30, 2017 7:48:58 AM | 3

There is still a hole in this account - the 2015 parliamentary election which the right wing opposition won - decidedly.

You have to take Telesur's word for it - from 2015.

But, while the opposition has attracted some of the less politically aware social sectors to its anti-Chavismo discourse, the government has also lost some ground from conscientious and solid revolutionaries, partly due to its lack of a solid response to the "economic war." Although it’s easier said than done to combat a rentier state, capitalist system, historical corruption, and opposition and big business economic sabotage, Maduro has only announced things like national commissions to deal with the situation. While people spend up to seven hours a week lining up for food, and while many of them understand that the government isn't directly responsible for the situation, the lack of a serious response and significant measures hasn't helped support for the government.

...

For PSUV politicians, there will hopefully be some reflection, and the government will now be in the difficult position of having to compromise with the opposition — with Maduro and his ministers still in power, but unable to allocate extra income (beyond the budget for 2016, passed Dec. 1) or modify laws or approve bilateral and multilateral treaties. After the referendum loss in 2007, Chavez moderated his discourse and policies for a while, and Maduro may be forced to do so even more. It’s hard to know if in these circumstances Maduro will turn to the grassroots for more support, or will distrust them even more after loosing some of their support, and if he will see the outcome as a need for reflection, or purely the consequence of opposition sabotage.


The country is split. It is as simple as that.

Again - Telesur

Blaming Socialism, US Media Distorts Venezuela’s Food Crisis

A new study released by researchers from three Venezuelan universities reported that nearly 75 percent of the population lost an average of 19 pounds in 2016 for lack of food. The report, titled, “2016 Living Conditions Survey,” added that about 32.5 percent of Venezuelans eat only once or twice a day, compared to 11.3 percent last year.

Moreover, 93.3 percent told the researchers that their income was not enough to cover their food needs.

Telesur is on the side of the government blaming the opposition for sabotage - they are likely correct.

But if politicians cannot ensure food security they should pack up and go.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 30, 2017 8:10:18 AM | 4

"But if politicians cannot ensure food security they should pack up and go."

Who controls the food distribution chain? None other than the pro-US oligarchs. They can easily just stop deliveries from leaving their central warehouses even though they are full.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 30, 2017 8:30:50 AM | 5

I'm not too worried. From what I have been reading the violence is mostly in the rich neighborhoods of the country and in the poor areas people are going about their every day business. Whenever the violent protesters threatens an area/neighborhood that supports the government, those people ban together along with the police/military to protect it. And they have been pretty successful at it. The true people are taking back the corporate businesses that were shut down and operating them, developing more agriculture and are starting to import foods from Russia. Not going to hear this on any western media. I not think but know that Venezuela is ready for the US to try a coup. Go to Telesur English which covers news from the Venezuela, West Indies and throughout the world.

Posted by: NewYorker | Jul 30, 2017 8:37:51 AM | 6

5

Chavistas have been in power for - how many years? Enough for being responsible for what happens in the country.

The state - any state - distributing subsidized food and fixing prices simply does not work. It was tried in China and in the Soviet Union with much more state power than Venezuela ever had and it resulted in starvation and scarcity.

A bureaucracy - any bureaucracy - is just not clever enough to deal with all the unintended consequences.

Like importing and subsidizing food puts your own food production out of business. Subsidizing food means it is cheap for everyone, including well off people you could afford to pay more .... and so on.

Socialism works when the state gives cash to the people who need it to buy what they want to buy.

To compare - this here is Iran's oil subsidy reform of 2010

Posted by: somebody | Jul 30, 2017 9:49:40 AM | 7

The war will be long and bloody and it is highly doubtful that amerika could win without terrible violence

is this an epitaph in search of a tombstone?

John Zorn has a soundtrack,

and Basquiat got filthy rich off of it,

albeit mostly in the 29 years since he died of a heroin overdose.

Posted by: john | Jul 30, 2017 9:54:29 AM | 8

6)

Yep. Russia agreed to begin to send wheat in August.

This will cut business of US and Canadian farmers

Posted by: somebody | Jul 30, 2017 9:58:40 AM | 9

i hope it's okay to post this, b, but there are some good links to follow here for live updates (both telesur and CIA.com...opps, i'd meant CNN.com and twitter accounts.

'Voting Underway in Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly Election', july 30, café-babylon.net

http://alturl.com/nsgaf

Posted by: wendy davis | Jul 30, 2017 10:34:23 AM | 10

¨There is still a hole in this account - the 2015 parliamentary election which the right wing opposition won - decidedly.¨ Yes, but what have they done to fix the economy or the country? - NOTHING. All they want is to get rid of the chavistas if it means destroying the country first, but most people are aware of this and the fact that the opposition is composed of murders and fascists.

Posted by: Victor J | Jul 30, 2017 11:01:08 AM | 11

Anyone can argue, to the cows come home, about protesters this, government that, but, the real story remains, how can ANY country organize their affairs while an external force, such as the historical interference by the U$A continues?

Great article Debs, thanks.

And all for the sake of ever increasing profits for a small segment of humanity.

" It's just business, get over it."

Posted by: ben | Jul 30, 2017 11:03:48 AM | 12

A trusted colleague wrote THIS for NACLA.

Posted by: Maracatu | Jul 30, 2017 11:09:13 AM | 13

Chavez was aware of the shortcomings of the ¨revolution¨ and wanted to bring real power to the people (direct democracy) and away from representatives that were becoming corrupt ( as always happens). He was murdered before he could accomplish anything.

Posted by: Victor J | Jul 30, 2017 11:09:31 AM | 14

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/may/19/jean-michel-basquiat-skull-painting-record-1105m-at-auction
Sale in New York of painting that depicts a face in the shape of a skull sets a record price for an American artist at auction
• Basquiat $110.5m sale proof of art’s growing attraction to super-rich

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 30, 2017 11:41:17 AM | 15

Venezuela's probably down the list of priorities. But it's good to point out the somewhat tepid response to massive and in some cases violent protests with actions of US allies. The ones that come to mind are Saudi, Bahrain, and other violent responses to protests. It's a distinct myopia.

In Venezuela, maybe the US friends are not successful in regime change efforts (like against Chavez) and may push more for civil war Libya/Syria style efforts. Back to global chessboard antics of Brzezinski/Kissinger to not let any state rise in any region.

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 30, 2017 11:55:00 AM | 16

Nation States formed by republican type of constitutions seek to divide and conquer their population in order to control them. For example a population of 20,000,000 people is divided into group A (400 or elected, salaried persons) and Group B (everyone else).
Group A is given all of the power and paid a salaryGroup B is given none of the power and is never paid a salary group A... Persons inGroup B must somehow convince a majority of those in Group A to do something or to refrain from doing something, Otherwise persons in Group B are rendered silent, ignorable or intolerable.

Posted by: junia | Jul 30, 2017 12:17:45 PM | 17

Good move Venezuela to Investigate Food Giant Kraft Heinz for 'Sabotage'

Posted by: ProPeace | Jul 30, 2017 12:19:42 PM | 18

thanks debs is dead! it is interesting you mentioning bbc, as i just finished reading a few off gaurdian posts on the topic of venezuala on the previous thread... for anyone who missed them they are here
and here.

Posted by: james | Jul 30, 2017 12:43:42 PM | 19

The answer is yes, so that rich arse-holes can get richer.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Jul 30, 2017 12:51:32 PM | 20

Venezuela was doing tolerably well until oil prices collapsed.

The government response was to set prices for goods.

If they set prices too high there will be an abundance of supply with a lack of customers. If they set prices too low there will be and abundance of customers with a lack of supply.

Central planning can never adjust for all the factors involved. Only customers and producers in each location can do that. Such a system is called a market system.

===

Can the government make Kraft sell at prices the government wants? Well they can expropriate what Kraft owns. Then what?

The proof of bad economic management is the rapid inflation of the currency.

Posted by: MSimon | Jul 30, 2017 12:55:11 PM | 21

NewYorker 6
USN&WR tends to support what you're saying. Most of the country is calm. It's interesting that polls show 50% of respondents don't support the government OR the opposition.

MSimon 21
When Saudis dropped oil prices, they claimed they were after market share. Of course, Russia, Iran, and others were targets. But was Venezuela one, too (and US approved)?

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 30, 2017 1:19:31 PM | 22

Again, I have contributed plenty to the subject in the last thread and was being ridiculed for it. If people here quote TeleSur and think it's an impartial source I start to question their coherence. TeleSur being financed primarily by the Venezuelan Government (other governments such as Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador also support it). I mean how can you form an opinion about a domestic matter from a state owned/controlled news channel? It's not like you believed CNN in the US, I wouldn't either, but TeleSur is the equivalent for Maduro. In a country that had its media all brought in line with the official narrative of the government a long time ago.

Today it is reported that more students have been injured by massive reprisal attacks from the military police. Though, why exactly is this Constituent Assembly being voted on today? Considering the government could have easily held the referendum on revoking Maduro last year since it claims to hold a vast absolute majority, they should have won easily? Given these circumstances why wait all this time and accept massive demonstrations instead? Why imprison opposition lawmakers, several of which still remain in prison? Why seek excuses and delay the election of state governors this year? Critical thinking in this forum should not turn off, just because you want Maduro to be the good guy and think any chaos is somehow automatically inflicted from the outside.

A few facts. Chavism has controlled Venezuela for the last 19 years. Not just recently - no, a long time. In this time the government failed to diversify the economy away from oil but far worse it actually made it more oil dependent by destroying the few industries that existed through a vigorous nationalization policy. This has led to a near 100% dependence of oil revenues for government revenues (It was always too high even before Chavez). In the meantime the government stopped investing in oil well development and maintenance of refineries. This in turn led to a gradual drop in oil exports starting way before the demonstrations in the late H. Chavez years, but accelerating in recent years.
Today is the culmination of how the military has been trying to gain supreme power making it de jure, not just de facto which it has been for a while now. The Assembly which while true shows up as an option in the Chavista constitution in Article 347/348 should have only been launched after a national referendum on it. Something that was of course not done as it would defeat the purpose.

Maduro tried to vote today with 'his' 'carnet de la patria' the guard every Venezuelan needs according to the government in order to obtain subsidized food (that is often unavailable), when he proceeded to vote the system read 'This person does not exist or the card has been annulled'. Quite obviously it wasn't 'his' card as it's a card only meant for the poor, he was quickly able to get one to "vote". It is this card that the government claims though makes this voting so legitimate and so 'bullet-proof'. The whole show though is nothing more than that a show, to legitimize the move to a totalitarian system. Sadly too many people somehow think this is a battle for Venezuela's independence when in reality it is not.

Posted by: Alexander P | Jul 30, 2017 1:32:03 PM | 23

@21
Sorry but you are living in a world of myth. It was the US were prices have been often regulated, all prices CONTROLLED during WWII when no bomb fell on continental US. For legal monopolies and oligopolies like utilities government directly and indirectly set the retail prices. Intermittently retail prices for food and energy were set by government while wholesale prices were manipulatec by gov almost always be means of sibsidies or entering market operations and buying or selling to manipulate the price, look at oil and grain national reserves.

And what is the policy of continuous manipulation of prices is manipulation of a sales or other taxes, as well as regulations but most of all tariffs and border tax adjustment arbitrage.

As far as long term centralized planning does nor work, ask any of board of directors of huge TBTF corporations, almost monopolies, their plan for decades ahead, they plan their capital deployment fixture demand, supply and even employment for 5,10, 20 years ahead, industrial or banking no matter long term centralized planing they themselves call key to success. It is the apple that tells you what you will want in next decade. Not the other w ay around, they shape your wants, as government does in the US and elsewhere.

What happening in Venezuela is sabotage economy via manipulation of FX and if Chavistas are to blame it is that that did not detached themselves from US financial system and stop sending their oil to US , A CORUPTING FACTOR , which is nothing but a noose around the neck of any nation that refuse to be American bitch.

Posted by: Kalen | Jul 30, 2017 1:33:41 PM | 24

Good comment. Some background on how the current destabilization effort got started is useful, though:

The basic mistake Chavez and Maduro made was betting that high oil prices were a permanent fixture of the global economy. That's what they based their economic plan on - if instead they'd bet that prices would drop to $50 a barrel, and kept all the revenue above $50 as emergency reserve funds, they'd have been able to weather the oil price collapse. In addition, they should have focused all their efforts on diversifying the Venezuelan economy away from oil. That would have blocked the current plan - i.e. use the economic downturn as a pretext for regime change.

Here's a good prediction on Venezuela's current situation from 2011:

While revenue from petroleum exports has swelled national coffers and allowed the expansion of public programs and the extension of aid to foreign countries, bolstering Chavez’s popularity at home and abroad, the volatility of petroleum prices and the neglect of other export industries have the potential to render Chavez’s--and Venezuela’s--power tenuous.
https://muse.jhu.edu/book/17645

That was another mistake Chavez made, spreading all that oil money around the region in an attempt to become a regional power player, instead of conserving it for a rainy day. However, if Venezuela's wealthy aristocratic families had controlled that money instead, they'd probably have blown it all on private jets, dumped it into luxury condos in London and New York, and ended up in the exact same place in the end - broke and begging for a bailout from the IMF, likely with austerity conditions attached. Of course, none of this justifies overthrowing a legitimately elected government.

It's Syria all over again, really - Chavez didn't go along with the U.S., just as Assad decided that Iranian economic deals were a better option than getting in bed with the corrupt Saudi-Israel axis, so he must be overthrown. It has nothing at all, zero, to do with "democracy and humanitarian concerns."

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jul 30, 2017 1:40:56 PM | 25

22
Low prices and higher market share are against Saudis' long term interest as their reserves are not endless.

So it was a political decision. Of course Iran, Venezuela, Russia were targets.

US got their shale production commercially viable at low oil price, by the way. They are now third in market share.

plus

U.S. shale oil boom is actually ‘OPEC’s friend,’ says Goldman’s Currie

After the initial slump in production following the 2014 oil crash, U.S. producers have slimmed down and are now competitive at prices in some cases below $30 a barrel. That’s lower than for many other oil producers, putting the U.S. and OPEC in a joint sweet spot to squeeze out other competitors in the current oil-price environment, said Jeffrey Currie, global head of commodities research at the firm.

I think they meant Saudi Arabia not OPEC in the above quote.

But oil changes its price all the time depending on the world economy, so the Venezuelan government has no excuse to have no long term strategy.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 30, 2017 1:57:35 PM | 26

The other mistake - I am not economically knowledgeable to know - but I believe Maduro's monetary policies must be doing something wrong that they could correct to make the inflation manageable. Especially since they nationalized the oil production and oil is sold in dollars. Thus the government should have control of the major inflow of dollars into the economy. I am sure the US is doing everything it can to make Venezuela's inflation worse (Remember before Chile 9/11/72, "we (the US) will make the economy scream.")- along with the Venezuelan aristocrats that own much of the rest of the economy. Other people more knowledgeable than I have pointed out areas to change but I haven't noticed Venezuela's economics ministry doing anything effective - Correa (ex-president of Ecuador) is knowledgeable enough - they should get his advice
Maduro and company must know what is in store - I know its hard to think of effective countermeasures.

Posted by: gepay | Jul 30, 2017 2:29:23 PM | 27

Please, somebody, you are spewing an incredible amount of nonsense. The Saudis oil producers didn't want low oil prices anymore than Venezuela or Brazil or Russia or Iran or Canada did. In reality, there's lowering demand for crude oil due to increasingly efficient technology and the rise of renewables. You can blame that on China, Germany and Japan if you like. The big American mulltinationals don't seem to care too much as they're making their money by keeping the prices of refined products and petrochemicals high while buying crude oil at a loss. The split, it's called. Whatever.

The point here is that this about regime change, Syria-style, the latest CIA/State Department game, aimed at keeping their bloated bureaucracy relevant during the Trump era, just as with Obama and Libya and Syria:

In the ideology of the national security elite — especially its Democratic wing — regional alliances are essential building blocks of what is styled as the U.S.-sponsored global “rules-based order.” In practice, however, they have served as instruments for the advancement of the power and prestige of the national security bureaucracies themselves.

Replace "Democratic wing" with "Republican wing" - i.e. Mattis/McMasters/Pompeo vs. Clinton/Carter/Nuland/Morell etc. and its the same BS.
https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/29/how-obama-fell-into-the-syrian-trap/

It's all clear if you consider how the U.S. could use the drop in oil prices and it's effect on the Saudi economy to overthrow the House of Saudi - finance the Shiites in Saudi Arabia with arms and weapons, try and get the technocrats and junior military officers to rebel against the Royals, run non-stop corporate media stories about the humanitarian abuses of the Royal Family and its squads of torturers (let alone financing terrorism). The House of Saud would collapse overnight if the CIA ran such an operation, wouldn't it? Sure, low oil prices and economic problems help such agendas. But that's not who is driving it.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jul 30, 2017 2:43:38 PM | 28

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jul 30, 2017 2:43:38 PM | 28

The Saudis oil producers didn't want low oil prices anymore than Venezuela or Brazil or Russia or Iran or Canada did.

1) Saudi/Opec do try to/and succeed in influencing oil price by curbing/stopping or increasing output. That is political as much as it is economic. Plus US by filling/depleting their strategic oil reserve

The world's oil consumption is continuously on the rise. Simply by more and more developing countries industrializing.

Oil consumption and recession/crisis do not explain the fluctuating price.

It is futile to argue if attempts to influence markets are political or economic - there is not separation.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 30, 2017 3:10:41 PM | 29

27)

I am not sure the Venezuelan government relations with the US are as bad as everybody pretends.

This here is a Goldman Sachs loan ensuring the government can survive. Plus US lobbying firms working for Venezuelan oil company Citgo.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 30, 2017 3:51:19 PM | 30

About TeleSur...

Yes TeleSur is bias so am I, reserve the right whom to believe or telling the truth and always cross checks with other sites which I deem reliable since first start surfing back in 1994. My only criticism of TeleSur very slow servers.

I visited TeleSur at least once a day to checks out the latest News from the South. I never go to MSM and have no desire to read fake News. I like Ali Tariq and Abby Martin and absolute not 100% in agreements with them but more or less in general like their honest analysis and reporting..

Venezuelans Pack Streets to Cast Vote in Constituent Assembly

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/multimedia/Venezuelans-Pack-Streets-to-Cast-Vote-in-Constituent-Assembly-20170730-0020.html

"Polling stations for the National Constituent Assembly in Venezuela opened early Sunday, despite threats from the U.S. and protests from the foreign-backed anti-government opposition.

President Nicolas Maduro was among one the first to cast his vote at a polling station in the west of the capital city of Caracas.

The ANC was proposed by Maduro on May Day, with a view to reviewing and rewriting the 1999 Constitution to break the current gridlock that has paralyzed the normal functionings of the country. A popular referendum will be held on the new constitution after it is drafted.

teleSUR takes a look at the Venezuelan people's eagerness to move forward to a new era of peace, social justice and popular power....."

Posted by: OJS | Jul 30, 2017 4:07:59 PM | 31

31) They have to write that don't they ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 30, 2017 5:02:19 PM | 32

"Democracy" is just a fine term for tyranny of the majority. But that is beside the point. When has any government really worked for the average person or for those in the minority? And by minority I don't mean ethnicity or religion but those who just disagree with the political elite on principle or the policies of the government.

The problem with any "socialist paradise" when the government takes over all productive capacity is that it fails to deliver. You can see that in Venezuela where every business that the government nationalized has failed to increase production at lower cost. It just becomes a venue for patronage jobs. The Soviet Union collapsed economically because the top communist party officials lived high on the hog whereas the proletariat got scraps. You can see that in the performance of state owned enterprises in China. Its not about efficient production its all about patronage. Whenever there is high government interference then the skill most valued is those with the connections and ability to take advantage of government.

The oligarchs in Russia were all formerly well placed communist party officials who took advantage of the collapse and were well connected to the Yeltsin officialdom.

In the US, the government intervened to bailout the Wall St financial class who speculated and lost. They got the government to socialize their losses because they control all the key positions in the US government. Its why it is known as the revolving door. Matt Stoller has a very important set of of tweets today showing that the Wikileaks disclosure of Podesta's emails showed how the Obama administration was staffed well before he was even elected. A Citi executive who was Bob Rubin's chief of staff had sent Podesta who became co-chairman of Obama's transition organization an email with subject line "Lists" with the names of the people who would staff the various positions. In fact it was those very people in that email that were appointed after Obama became president.

A simple natural law is that the bigger the government and the more interference by the government the less personal liberty and the more elites benefit.

Posted by: ab initio | Jul 30, 2017 6:34:49 PM | 33

@13 Thank you for the article.

and thanks for the original article also, b and debs.

Posted by: LindaJ | Jul 30, 2017 7:39:55 PM | 34

Not all oil is the same. Venezuela has very large reserves of very low quality oil - relatively cheap to recover by current standards but expensive to refine. The primary markets were for heating and ship propulsion-- bunker fuel. Lack of environmental enforcement at sea made dirty Venezuelan bunker a viable product, at a low price. But the collapse in shipping - consider the Baltic Dry Index- broke the market. China was going to build the canal in Nicaragua to carry crude and bunker from Venezuela via supertankers too big for Panama. The project has been abandoned. Venezuela has been slow to see that it has a product of dwindling significance in the market. Libya and Iraq are now selling extremely high quality oil -- by some measures the best -- at attractive prices. In a prolonged buyer's market for hydrocarbons, venezuela must retool, so to speak, from the ground up. They do grow the world's best cacao, and if they can stay organic and continue to plant, it might just put them back in viable condition. In a generation.

Posted by: mireille | Jul 30, 2017 8:21:49 PM | 35

Enrique Mendoza @ 23:

I see you reincarnated.

You have been ridiculed because you made ridiculous claims. As you are doing now.

Posted by: estouxim | Jul 30, 2017 8:39:28 PM | 36

#33. The Soviet Union did not collapse. It was sabatoged by the US puppet Gorbachev and party members who realized that the elites in the West had it much better than they did. Low oil prices that Reagan helped bring about that helped devalue the ruble helped convince more of them

China under Deng was coming to the same conclusion at the same time but chose a different path, paying lip service to socialism and keeping intact authoritarian rule to prevent looting by the neoliberal hawks in the West.

In Russia it was simply a free for all with the top party members carving up the wealth among themselves while the drunken Yeltsin pretended to be a force for Democracy and let the West run all over the economy. If not fir the US intervention in the elections he would have been a one term President

Putin has helped reverse some of the carnage but the damage was done and not totally reversible since the neoliberals had a hand in writing the constitution. Many Russians today look back on Soviet rule as the good old days despite its shortcomings. The same is true in much of Eastern Europe

Russia’s recovery from the disaster of the 1990s came about with the reorientation of the economy to one centered around public control of its oil and natural gas resources — much like Venezuela. Putins crackdown on a number of “oligarchs” helped. The smarter oligarchs compromised to keep much of their wealth and control and some are waiting to return to the good old days , so he has to be cautious. Putin reestablished a strong state to control the economy and Russia’s gross domestic product increased by 70 percent during the first eight years of Putin’s administration. From 2000 to 2008, poverty was cut in half, and incomes doubled. Of course, oil price increases helped in this period sanctions plus lower oil prices have reversed some gains

Venezuela was an absolute mess under IMF neoliberal edicts in the 90's and is why Chavez was Democratically elected. His policies improved the standard of living tremendously , helped along by high oil prices.

Privatizations mandated by the neoliberal controlled IMF made life in Venezuela almost unlivable during the 1990s. Garbage wouldn’t be collected. Electricity would go off for weeks.

Chavez took office on a platform advocating a path between capitalism and socialism, much like China. He restructured the government-owned oil company so that the profits would go into the Venezuelan state, not the pockets of Wall Street. With Venezuela’s oil exports, Chavez funded a huge apparatus of social programs.


In 1998, Venezuela had only 12 public universities, today it has 32. Cuban doctors were brought to Venezuela to provide free health care in community clinics. The government provides cooking and heating gas to low-income neighborhoods, and it’s launched a literacy campaign for uneducated adults.


Between 1995 and 2009, poverty and unemployment in Venezuela were both cut in half.

“Housing Missions” have been built across the country, providing low-income families with over 1 million modern apartment buildings being constructed by the end of 2015.

The problems plaguing the Venezuelan economy are not due to socialism, but to artificially low oil prices and sabotage by neoliberal forces. Sanctions have exacerbated the problem.

At the same time, in Venezuela private food processing and importing corporations in the hopes of reinstating neoliberal policies have launched a coordinated campaign of sabotage. This has resulted in inflation and food shortages. The artificially low oil prices have left the state cash-starved, prompting a crisis in the funding of the social programs. Again, not an accident


Starting in 2014, the US puppet Saudi Arabia flooded the market with cheap oil. This was a calculated move coordinated with U.S. and Israeli foreign policy goals. Despite falling deep into debt, the Saudi monarchy continues to expand its oil production apparatus. The result has been driving the price of oil down from $ 118 dollars per barrel.

The goal is to weaken these opponents of the US which is controlled by neoliberals and Israel. These are primarily Russia, Iran and Venezuela whose economies are centered around oil and natural gas exports.

The problem is not big government and the evil is not socialism. The problem is government who cares more about
the neoliberal and elites interests than the general welfare of its people . The evil is the elites religion of neoliberalism and those who blindly follow this ideology -like parrots repeating words it can not understand

Neoliberal Economics is a tool of the elites to increase their wealth and power and has led to the corruption of Capitalism , turning the US and even the global economy to one controlled by monopoly (cartel) power from its ideal based on competition.

In a a perfect world you have a good blend of socialism and also both forms of capitalism (monopoly and competitive). The neoliberal ideology as turned this into a world looking more like 1984. An Orwellian dystopia.

Look at some of the countries which have embraced neoliberalism. Mexico, a mess of drug cartels and poverty. Nigeria, where oil exports are massive but the population remains in dire conditions. Already mentioned most of Eastern Europe.

Bangladesh, Honduras, Guatemala, Indonesia, and the Philippines have done everything they can to deregulate the market and accommodate Western ”investment.” Their populations have not seen their lives substantially improve as promised by neoliberals.

The hope of the West and World was that the Social-Democrat policies in Europe would a spread. Alas, they have been infected with the neoliberal virus and terrorism sponsored by Us-Israel and Saudi Arabia has cowed them into following the madness in the US. They are already doomed but its progression to US levels of dystopia will always be a step behind unless the merchants of death bring another World War to the continent



.

Look at some of the countries which have embraced neoliberalism. Mexico, a mess of drug cartels and poverty. Nigeria, where oil exports are massive but the population remains in dire conditions.

Bangladesh, Honduras, Guatemala, Indonesia, and the Philippines have done everything they can to deregulate the market and accommodate Western ”investment.” Their populations have not seen their lives substantially improve as promised by neoliberals

If one compares the more market-oriented economy of the U.S. with more social-democratic governments, the inferiority of the “free market” can also be revealed.

The U.S. is rated 43 in the world in terms of life expectancy, according to the CIA World Factbook. People live longer in Germany, Britain, Spain, France, Sweden, Australia, Italy, Iceland — basically, almost every other Western country. Statistics on the rate of infant mortality say approximately the same thing. National health care services along with greater job security and economic protections render much healthier populations.

.

The US has sold a bill of goods that fuels the perception that socialism or government intervention automatically create poverty, while a laissez faire approach unleashes limitless prosperity. Its Orwellian.


#33. The Soviet Union did not collapse. It was sabatoged by the US puppet Gorbachev and party members who realized that the elites in the West had it much better than they did. Low oil prices that Reagan helped bring about that helped devalue the ruble helped convince more of them

China under Deng was coming to the same conclusion at the same time but chose a different path, paying lip service to socialism and keeping intact authoritarian rule to prevent looting by the neoliberal hawks in the West.

In Russia it was simply a free for all with the top party members carving up the wealth among themselves while the drunken Yeltsin pretended to be a force for Democracy and let the West run all over the economy. If not fir the US intervention in the elections he would have been a one term President

Putin has helped reverse some of the carnage but the damage was done and not totally reversible since the neoliberals had a hand in writing the constitution. Many Russians today look back on Soviet rule as the good old days despite its shortcomings. The same is true in much of Eastern Europe

Russia’s recovery from the disaster of the 1990s came about with the reorientation of the economy to one centered around public control of its oil and natural gas resources — much like Venezuela. Putins crackdown on a number of “oligarchs” helped. The smarter oligarchs compromised to keep much of their wealth and control and some are waiting to return to the good old days , so he has to be cautious. Putin reestablished a strong state to control the economy and Russia’s gross domestic product increased by 70 percent during the first eight years of Putin’s administration. From 2000 to 2008, poverty was cut in half, and incomes doubled. Of course, oil price increases helped in this period sanctions plus lower oil prices have reversed some gains

Venezuela was an absolute mess under IMF neoliberal edicts in the 90's and is why Chavez was Democratically elected. His policies improved the standard of living tremendously , helped along by high oil prices.

Privatizations mandated by the neoliberal controlled IMF made life in Venezuela almost unlivable during the 1990s. Garbage wouldn’t be collected. Electricity would go off for weeks.

Chavez took office on a platform advocating a path between capitalism and socialism, much like China. He restructured the government-owned oil company so that the profits would go into the Venezuelan state, not the pockets of Wall Street. With Venezuela’s oil exports, Chavez funded a huge apparatus of social programs.


In 1998, Venezuela had only 12 public universities, today it has 32. Cuban doctors were brought to Venezuela to provide free health care in community clinics. The government provides cooking and heating gas to low-income neighborhoods, and it’s launched a literacy campaign for uneducated adults.


Between 1995 and 2009, poverty and unemployment in Venezuela were both cut in half.

“Housing Missions” have been built across the country, providing low-income families with over 1 million modern apartment buildings being constructed by the end of 2015.

The problems plaguing the Venezuelan economy are not due to socialism, but to artificially low oil prices and sabotage by neoliberal forces. Sanctions have exacerbated the problem.

At the same time, in Venezuela private food processing and importing corporations in the hopes of reinstating neoliberal policies have launched a coordinated campaign of sabotage. This has resulted in inflation and food shortages. The artificially low oil prices have left the state cash-starved, prompting a crisis in the funding of the social programs. Again, not an accident


Starting in 2014, the US puppet Saudi Arabia flooded the market with cheap oil. This was a calculated move coordinated with U.S. and Israeli foreign policy goals. Despite falling deep into debt, the Saudi monarchy continues to expand its oil production apparatus. The result has been driving the price of oil down from $ 118 dollars per barrel.

The goal is to weaken these opponents of the US which is controlled by neoliberals and Israel. These are primarily Russia, Iran and Venezuela whose economies are centered around oil and natural gas exports.

The problem is not big government and the evil is not socialism. The problem is government who cares more about
the neoliberal and elites interests than the general welfare of its people . The evil is the elites religion of neoliberalism and those who blindly follow this ideology -like parrots repeating words it can not understand

Neoliberal Economics is a tool of the elites to increase their wealth and power and has led to the corruption of Capitalism , turning the US and even the global economy to one controlled by monopoly (cartel) power from its ideal based on competition.

In a a perfect world you have a good blend of socialism and also both forms of capitalism (monopoly and competitive). The neoliberal ideology as turned this into a world looking more like 1984. An Orwellian dystopia.

Look at some of the countries which have embraced neoliberalism. Mexico, a mess of drug cartels and poverty. Nigeria, where oil exports are massive but the population remains in dire conditions. Already mentioned most of Eastern Europe.

Bangladesh, Honduras, Guatemala, Indonesia, and the Philippines have done everything they can to deregulate the market and accommodate Western ”investment.” Their populations have not seen their lives substantially improve as promised by neoliberals.

The hope of the West and World was that the Social-Democrat policies in Europe would a spread. Alas, they have been infected with the neoliberal virus and terrorism sponsored by Us-Israel and Saudi Arabia has cowed them into following the madness in the US. They are already doomed but its progression to US levels of dystopia will always be a step behind unless the merchants of death bring another World War to the continent



#33. The Soviet Union did not collapse. It was sabatoged by the US puppet Gorbachev and party members who realized that the elites in the West had it much better than they did. Low oil prices that Reagan helped bring about and devalue the ruble helped convince more of them

China under Deng was coming to the same conclusion at the same time but chose a different path, paying lip service to socialism and keeping intact authoritarian rule to prevent looting by the neoliberal hawks in the West.

In Russia it was simply a free for all with the top party members carving up the wealth among themselves while the drunken Yeltsin pretended to be a force for Democracy and let the West run all over the economy. If not fir the US intervention in the elections he would have been a one term President

Putin has helped reverse some of the carnage but the damage was done and not totally reversible since the neoliberals had a hand in writing the constitution. Many Russians today look back on Soviet rule as the good old days despite its shortcomings. The same is true in much of Eastern Europe

Russia’s recovery from the disaster of the 1990s came about with the reorientation of the economy to one centered around public control of its oil and natural gas resources — much like Venezuela. Putins crackdown on a number of “oligarchs” helped. The smarter oligarchs compromised to keep much of their wealth and control and some are waiting to return to the good old days , so he has to be cautious. Putin reestablished a strong state to control the economy and Russia’s gross domestic product increased by 70 percent during the first eight years of Putin’s administration. From 2000 to 2008, poverty was cut in half, and incomes doubled. Of course, oil price increases helped in this period sanctions plus lower oil prices have reversed some gains

Venezuela was an absolute mess under IMF neoliberal edicts in the 90's and is why Chavez was Democratically elected. His policies improved the standard of living tremendously , helped along by high oil prices.

Privatizations mandated by the neoliberal controlled IMF made life in Venezuela almost unlivable during the 1990s. Garbage wouldn’t be collected. Electricity would go off for weeks.

Chavez took office on a platform advocating a path between capitalism and socialism, much like China. He restructured the government-owned oil company so that the profits would go into the Venezuelan state, not the pockets of Wall Street. With Venezuela’s oil exports, Chavez funded a huge apparatus of social programs.


In 1998, Venezuela had only 12 public universities, today it has 32. Cuban doctors were brought to Venezuela to provide free health care in community clinics. The government provides cooking and heating gas to low-income neighborhoods, and it’s launched a literacy campaign for uneducated adults.


Between 1995 and 2009, poverty and unemployment in Venezuela were both cut in half.
“Housing Missions” have been built across the country, providing low-income families with over 1 million modern apartment buildings being constructed by the end of 2015.

The problems plaguing the Venezuelan economy are not due to socialism, but to artificially low oil prices and sabotage by neoliberal forces. Sanctions have exacerbated the problem.

At the same time, in Venezuela private food processing and importing corporations in the hopes of reinstating neoliberal policies have launched a coordinated campaign of sabotage referred to above. This has resulted in inflation and food shortages. The artificially low oil prices have left the state cash-starved, prompting a crisis in the funding of the social programs. Again, not an accident


Starting in 2014, the US puppet Saudi Arabia flooded the market with cheap oil. This was a calculated move coordinated with U.S. and Israeli foreign policy goals. Despite falling deep into debt, the Saudi monarchy continues to expand its oil production apparatus. The result has been driving the price of oil down from $ 118 dollars per barrel.

The goal is to weaken these opponents of the US which is controlled by neoliberals and Israel. These are primarily Russia, Iran and Venezuela whose economies are centered around oil and natural gas exports.

The problem is not big government and the evil is not socialism. The problem is government who cares more about
the neoliberal and elites interests than the general welfare of its people . The evil is the elites religion of neoliberalism and those who blindly follow this ideology -like parrots repeating words it can not understand

Neoliberal Economics is a tool of the elites to increase their wealth and power and has led to the corruption of Capitalism , turning the US and even the global capitalist economy to one controlled by monopoly (cartel) power from its ideal based on competition.

In a a perfect world you have a good blend of socialism and also both forms of capitalism (monopoly and competitive). The neoliberal ideology as turned this into a world looking more like 1984. An Orwellian dystopia.

Look at some of the countries which have embraced neoliberalism. Mexico, a mess of drug cartels and poverty. Nigeria, where oil exports are massive but the population remains in dire conditions. Already mentioned most of Eastern Europe.

Bangladesh, Honduras, Guatemala, Indonesia, and the Philippines have done everything they can to deregulate the market and accommodate Western ”investment.” Their populations have not seen their lives substantially improve as promised by neoliberals.

The hope of the West and World was that the Social-Democrat policies in Europe would a spread. Alas, they have been infected with the neoliberal virus and terrorism sponsored by Us-Israel and Saudi Arabia has cowed them into following the madness in the US. They are already doomed but its progression to US levels of dystopia will always be a step behind unless the merchants of death bring another World War to the continent.




Posted by: Pft | Jul 30, 2017 8:46:10 PM | 37

@33 I think you sum it up perfectly. It is really quite a thing to read complaints about big and corrupt government on this site, but then when it comes to Venezuela suddenly this all ceases to be a problem as supposedly the regime is working "for" the people. While any neutral observer may able to discern that the regime is like any other, it works to preserve itself and its rent. Maduro's military regime is no different in that regard. Which is why it needs to come up with this Constituent assembly to change its own constitution that still contains too many liberties in them.

@37 Your massive outflow, a veritable oral diarrhea, blends out simple facts: Highest inflation in the world, lack of basic consumer goods or if available at prices unaffordable to the majority of the poor, spike in violent crime and homocide rates, non-convertible currency abroad and no access to it, decline in oil output, shortages of gasoline, medical goods such as drugs and the trend continues... This is reality and most Venezuelans suffer from it, which is how Chavism lost its support base. It depended on ever increasing oil prices to maintain its ever expanding corruption and bureaucracy.

Posted by: Alexander P | Jul 30, 2017 9:11:34 PM | 38

BBC has been showing a video all day of a column of cops in Caracas being blown by an IED. The shot was very well framed and steady by someone who knew what was to happen and where. BBC dismissed it as a demonstration of "how angry young people are"...

Can you imagine a similar act being explained as a demonstration of the understandable anger of Arab young people? My God! An American city would have been shut down--24/7 coverage--and the bomber and his cameraman would have been tracked to someone's backyard and probably extinguished in a hail of bullets...

Venezuela is toast.

Posted by: chuckvw | Jul 30, 2017 9:21:44 PM | 39

Again, I have contributed plenty to the subject in the last thread and was being ridiculed for it.
...
...
Posted by: Alexander P | Jul 30, 2017 1:32:03 PM | 23

Huh? What are you blathering about?
There are no comments from Alexander P in the last thread.
And the only ridicule in that thread was directed at a Fake Venezuelan troll who was doing what you're doing - listing perceived problems whilst studiously avoiding even a hint of a solution.
Absent positive proposals, "Maduro must go" isn't a solution; it's a difference without a distinction.

Apart from the dishonest nature of that approach, it makes you seem lazy and stupid because, IF the Opposition had actually compiled a long list of Positive Policy Proposals, it would be a simple matter for you (and/or the troll in the last thread) to cut and paste it here. But you haven't. How come?
Is it because there isn't one, and the "Opposition" is fraudulent?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 30, 2017 9:34:47 PM | 40

@33 ab initio quote "A simple natural law is that the bigger the government and the more interference by the government the less personal liberty and the more elites benefit." what happens when the corporations take over a country such as the usa? they get rid of any government type agency that offers safeguards - i guess that is bigger gov't to you, lol... the problem with these simple breakdowns and they fall apart quickly upon closer inspection..

Posted by: james | Jul 30, 2017 9:57:50 PM | 41

33

Depends. Some stuff is better run by the state. Some stuff is better done by private enterprise. The better the mix, the better off the country.

Better done by the state: Security, prisons, education, health, railways, consumer protection, safety regulation, environmental protection - anything that is important for society as a whole and should not be done for profit.

Some stuff should never be owned privately: water.

Better done privately: Agriculture, services, industrial production ....

But when you have a roughly 50/50 society split you have to compromise as no side will be able to win a civil war.


Posted by: somebody | Jul 30, 2017 9:57:57 PM | 42

Hoarsewhisperer 40

Yes, by the style he is the troll that posted as Enrique Mendoza, the expert on Ven. economy thanks to 4 years of intensive study...

Posted by: estouxim | Jul 30, 2017 10:09:11 PM | 43

Chavez came into power nattering away happily about the new socialist state. He ran off the competent oil producing management as well as Exxon, and then did his nationalization thing. Much the same as Castro in Cuba, but without all the murders.

Venezuela then began its descent into bankruptcy.

Maduro is nothing but an amplification of Chavez. Sure, lower oil prices have hurt, but that's to be expected in a place where domestic production of marketable exports have never been initiated. It's a one-horse rodeo. For Venezuela to have a balanced budget to pay for all the subsidies, oil would have to sell for around $140 a barrel. Trouble is, that's the price for light, sweet crude, not the tarry junk in the Orinoco.

It's silly for the US to do anything in Venezuela. Why bother? When those in power try to make socialism work, the effort is doomed to failure.

And sure enough, Bubba, they've run out of other people's money.

Y'all are aware, aren't you, that Venezuela's low-grade crude is shipped to Corpus Christi, Texas, to be refined and the gasoline shipped back to Venezuela?

Light, sweet crude provides about 20 gallons of transportation fuel per barrel. Venezuela crude provides about six gallons per barrel.

Posted by: Desertrat | Jul 30, 2017 10:21:10 PM | 44

Funny how folks use the Soviet Union as the shining example of awfulness - yet majorities still miss the soviet union twenty years later

Posted by: paul | Jul 30, 2017 10:26:45 PM | 45

Desertrat :

You should get some real news. I know nothing about oil therefore I have no idea about the veracity of your 2 last paragraphs. All the rest you wrote is false.

Posted by: estouxim | Jul 30, 2017 10:30:18 PM | 46

@40 Well look up the last thread I always post under the same name. If you are too lazy to do so then it's not my fault. As for policy proposals again why don't you just look them up? Why do I need to list them here? You cannot delegitimize my claims by just calling me troll if anything it shows your own lack of argument. The opposition has many sensical and rational policies laid out which unlike Chavism actually have helped countries prosper. I'd be interested what has Maduro done these last few years other than isolating the country, destroying its currency and letting state bureaucracy rot? Because the results of which can be seen daily in the country, the achievements of his government, where are they?

The 'Maduro must go' slogan only arose since the military junta hasn't allowed free or fair elections like in other democracies. They brought this onto themselves by constantly disregarding the constitution and controlling the Judiciary of the country, thus undermining any semblance of a rule of law. Had they actually implemented but one law of Venezuela's Congress or listened to their state attorney things would be different and we could talk about policy.
Stop the currency controls that have led to the huge inflation and gradually transition to a more sustainable economic model that does not rely solely on oil. Invest money in infrastrcuture instead of wasting it on corruption, start importing much needed drugs and medicine. The list goes on and on and on.

@44 Current Venezuelan break-even prices needed are < A HREF="http://graphics.wsj.com/lists/opec-meeting">117 USD a Barell to balance budget, considering how much oil has been pledged to China for loans already consumed this number may well be higher. People here supporting the corrupt junta seem to blend out all their failures and focus on some imaginary golden socialist epoch Venezuela has entered, totally disregarding the bitter reality the country has been suffering from these last years.

Posted by: Alexander P | Jul 30, 2017 11:26:29 PM | 47

Don't feed the troll...

Just out, 41,53% participation in the election.

Posted by: estouxim | Jul 30, 2017 11:57:42 PM | 48

@ Alexander P who continues to spew anti-Maduro BS

It seems clear from your comments that you believe that the economic slavery provided by global private finance is preferable to any attempts at socialism that don't succeed continually in spite of continual financial bitch slapping by the debt vampires.

Do you get paid well for your BS or are you being protective of your "entitled" position in our society?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 31, 2017 12:04:16 AM | 49

48)

yep, just over eight million people from 20 million voters.

Opposition vote against the constitutional assembly claim 7 million.

Neither side has the legitimacy to do anything.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 31, 2017 12:21:35 AM | 50

@psychohistorian, 49

b should exposes all fakees and trolls, but dun banned them.

Well done Sherlock Holmes (psychohistorian) :-)

Posted by: OJS | Jul 31, 2017 12:23:18 AM | 51

49

I always thought the basis of socialism is materialism but what do I know ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 31, 2017 12:24:10 AM | 52

@48 The large numbers of near empty polling station circulating Twitter yesterday speak a different language.
But of course numbers can be conjured up out of thin air. Especially since the bullet-proof voting system did not even recognize Maduro when he tried to vote with 'his' card.

@49 It's not about spewing BS it's about genuinely wanting a well functioning Venezuela. Who is to say it should be chosing between two evils? What about wanting a well-functioning state that is also independent of the global bankers? I mean Rusia's economic system shares similarities in that it exports ressources and look where its inflation is, where its economy is? If they and China can do it, so can others. Quite clearly you think socialist communist totalitarian misery is preferable to misery via neo-liberal banking slavery. When there are plenty of examples of countries following neither one. I hate to break it to you, but Venezuela's debt slavery has reached new heights under Maduro and Chavez! You chose to not see facts because you don't want to, that's ok, but refrain from labelling others with different views as trolls or paid shills. I'm neither one.

Posted by: Alexander P | Jul 31, 2017 12:26:36 AM | 53

53) The interesting thing is that both sides reported a number that is kind of likely.

45) Russians don't vote their nostalgia - the Russian Communist Party gets some 19 percent - how come?

Posted by: somebody | Jul 31, 2017 12:35:44 AM | 54

@ Alexander P who wrote: " What about wanting a well-functioning state that is also independent of the global bankers? "

Pray tell what sort of "ism" is this well-functioning state you write about?....and further to your BS, doesn't China, who you said Venezuela should emulate, has the term communist in its name....clouding your BS further.

I read you as another purveyor of agnotology........are we sure, we are sure, we are sure, we are sure, that smoking causes cancer (in this case expressed as.....private global finance causes social stupidity)

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 31, 2017 1:04:45 AM | 55

53
You most definitely are one. Post the links to your claimed contributions to the last thread, let's see who signed them. Otherwise you're just a reincarnated troll. You want your drivel to be aressed, proove your good faith.

Posted by: estouxim | Jul 31, 2017 1:11:22 AM | 56

@55 If you truly still think China is a communist run country then that says a lot about your understanding of world matters. Venezuela as resource exporting country should look up more to Russia than China. Other than ridiculous statements you fail to impress even with the slightest of argument in favor of the Venezuelan regime, no links just empty statements about evil empire and global finance blabla...

@56 I don't know what posts you refer to I commented on a thread b posted roughly one week ago and now this one. How about you start posting some links to back-up your claims of the wonders and miracles of Maduro's government these last 4 years. I'm eagerly waiting...at least I've been providing links in my comments which you conveniently chose to ignore.

Posted by: Alexander P | Jul 31, 2017 1:35:22 AM | 57

@ Alexander P

You are right in that your ongoing screed with conflicting statements (are global bankers good or bad?), your refusal to "name" your "ism" that is better than Maduro can produce at this moment and worse/better than the global bankers question does not deserve to be paid for as a troll/shill.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 31, 2017 2:50:45 AM | 58

The Guardian is reporting that "Venezuela heading for dictatorship after 'sham' election, warns US amid clashes". The US would know all about that given the number of times that it's supported sham elections to ensure that its candidates are elected and the US has never had a problem with dictatorships but always on the understanding that the dictator's nose is very deeply embedded in Washington and Wall Street's arse.

And they finish off the article with a little white lie:

Under Maduro, elected after Chávez’s death from cancer in 2013, the once buoyant oil-based economy plunged into crisis crippling the social programs Chavez had set up for Venezuela’s poor majority. Price controls brought widespread food and medicine shortages and spiralling inflation, as well as unbridled violence, driving millions of Venezuelans to leave the country.

Alexander P/Whoever - I might have some sympathy with your position if the Washington-backed turds of the opposition hadn't resolved to take down the democratically-elected president in a putsch/coup before his term had expired. If you really supported democracy as you claim, you would not support the opposition. It's the same with Ukraine - the regime there might be backed by the Americans and their arse-licking poodles but that doesn't mean it should be regarded as the legal government of Ukraine.

Posted by: Ghostship | Jul 31, 2017 3:11:43 AM | 59

chuckvw | Jul 30, 2017 9:21:44 PM | 39 "Venezuela is toast"

From what I have read, the military will back the government. US paid 'activists' may well be toast if they try a maiden.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 31, 2017 3:13:33 AM | 60

Again, I have contributed plenty to the subject in the last thread and was being ridiculed for it

That's your 1st sentence in this thread. Do you know what last means? or what again means?

There is no Alexander P in the last thread, there is no Alexander P in the thread before that.

So either you post the links to your "contributions" or be recognized as a troll. It's very simple.

Posted by: estouxim | Jul 31, 2017 3:15:25 AM | 61

@59 Thanks for this comment. I never said I fully supported every- and anything the opposition does or did. But the opposition is not just one group, they have different camps with different opinions, a comparison to Ukronazis is not warranted. Some have close links to Wall Street and the usual suspects of the DC deep state (Radonski and Borges I don't like) I do not deny that. The MUD tried several democratic approaches to promote change, it entered talks mediated by the Vatican in 2015-2016. The link just shows the last effort after previous rounds had broken down and caused friction in the oppposition. The revocatory referendum of the presidency is mandated by the Venezuelan constitution and could have easily gone ahead if the military junta had felt they had a majority but they are so insecure that they obstructed the process in every way possible and closed that road. (Chavez himself on many occasions asked the opposition to hold the referendum if they dared as he was so convinced he would win it.)
It was also Chavez himself that said that if a national constituent assembly was to be formed it could only be done by holding a referendum beforehand asking the people. Of course times have changed and no referendum was conducted before holding the vote on the assembly, as a majority opposes it. This is just to show how little the junta cares for the rule of law, to cement its power. Western media as usual potrays only the extreme as it fits their narrative, but calling young protesters all paid US tools is equally biased. Most demonstrations take place in poorer neighbourhoods unlike what the propaganda of TeleSur likes to claim.

@61 Estouxim when I wrote this I was unaware b had posted another article on Venezuela right before this one. I referred to an article on Venezuela he had posted around 7-10 days ago, where I commented extensively. I did not comment in the last article. As you can see in this thread I try to underline my statements with links.

Posted by: Alexander P | Jul 31, 2017 3:44:40 AM | 62

Desertrat @ 44
Your comment missed the point that US fracking production were meant to collapse the oil price and with it the Russian economy in tandem with the Ukraine coup that resulted in the failing rump state of “Nuland”. This was meant to be a repeat of the US/Saudi conspiracy to drop the price of oil to $10/barrel and collapse the Russian economy so that “Harvard could do Russia”. Venezuela was just useful collateral damage in this effort as were Middle East producers, Mexico and even Canada (tar sands oil was recently sold at $10/barrel). http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/26/us-fracking-has-totally-devastated-canadas-energy-industry/

Furthermore, the fracking for “tight oil” was even a losing proposition for US producers and their backers (derivative issuers) until recently. Currently North Dakota says the average cost per barrel in America’s top oil-producing state is about $42 at the wellhead. This cost apparently doesn’t include transportation to the refineries. At best, fracking is still a break-even proposition but should start making money once the price of oil rebounds.

Fracking for “tight oil” still has serious environmental and health costs that are socialized as any profits are privatized. Often off-loaded costs have what system dynamics people call a delay loop and this is likely the case with future earthquakes from deep injection of fracking liquids. Further issues are addressed in:
https://ourfiniteworld.com/2014/12/07/ten-reasons-why-a-severe-drop-in-oil-prices-is-a-problem/

Actually, fracking doesn’t yield much of what is called oil (API less that 45). Fracking produces what is called condensate which has an API of 45-70 and is currently a glut on the market, or as one analyst stated: “We don’t want any more stinkin’ condensate.” https://rbnenergy.com/dont-let-your-crude-oil-grow-up-to-be-condensate
The “Venezuela's low-grade crude is shipped to Corpus Christi, Texas, to be refined” is necessary as a feed to blend with the fracking condensate so that the refineries can treat it at the refinery as if it were WTI. http://939b242a0c1dcba2ebb1-33bd59151fcc31b2d22880ac80898160.r32.cf2.rackcdn.com/WHOC/library/Offshore-devel/7.%20WHOC12_435.pdf

The US is dependent on Venezuela and other foreign producers as it still imports about 7 mbd while producing 9.3 mbd: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil

US tight oil (condensate) production comprised about 50% of US output and is currently at about 4.7 mbd:
https://www.energyindepth.org/national/eia-and-iea-agree-shale-will-shine-in-2017/

Unfortunately, the US fracking mania is a short term “boom/bubble” (like the current economy), as the wells have a high depletion rate of about 80% in the first 2-3 years of operation. In the end the US deep state will still have to acquire the oil resources of countries such as Venezuela in order to delay economic collapse in the US hydrocarbon based economy.

See the following links for a sobering look at growth mythology of current economic models:
http://www.albartlett.org/presentations/arithmetic_population_energy.html
https://theminskys.org/doughnut-economics/
https://www.kateraworth.com/animations/

Pogo was right…

Posted by: Krollchem | Jul 31, 2017 3:47:56 AM | 63

it entered talks mediated by the Vatican in 2015-2016.
No, it didn't.
He said that opponents of President Nicolas Maduro decided they would not go to Vatican City without a prior commitment from the government to accept some of their demands, such as the holding of early elections.
Just like the Syrian religious-nutjob tossers who wanted the US to hand over Syria on a silver platter.

Posted by: Ghostship | Jul 31, 2017 4:31:22 AM | 64

Venezuelans Pack Streets to Cast Vote in Constituent Assembly
IN PICTURES: People are turning out in large numbers to cast their vote for peace, democracy, prosperity and a deepening of the Bolivarian process.
Polling stations for the National Constituent Assembly in Venezuela opened early Sunday, despite threats from the U.S. and protests from the foreign-backed anti-government opposition.
President Nicolas Maduro was among one the first to cast his vote at a polling station in the west of the capital city of Caracas.
The ANC was proposed by Maduro on May Day, with a view to reviewing and rewriting the 1999 Constitution to break the current gridlock that has paralyzed the normal functionings of the country. A popular referendum will be held on the new constitution after it is drafted.
teleSUR takes a look at the Venezuelan people's eagerness to move forward to a new era of peace, social justice and popular power.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 31, 2017 4:55:35 AM | 65

Ghosthip
Yes they did. "The opposition delegation said in a statement that it would "demand an end to the repression and persecution of democrats and the people, and will walk away from the dialogue if the demands are not resolved in the short term." Which sadly is what happened at that time all the opposition demanded was to upheld the revocation referendum mandated by the Venezuelan constitution.

That is why I specifically pointed out that this was the last attempt by the Vatican to reconcile between the two in the above link. These days the Vatican has changed position as it realized the military junta would never make concessions and is now demanding new elections also.

Really if you follow the events step by step year by year it's been a slow degradation, a slow grinding train-wreck leading to today's situation. Quite unlike the radical Maidan/Arab-Spring revolts that happened almost overnight.

Posted by: Alexander P | Jul 31, 2017 5:13:07 AM | 66

An open secret? CIA admits overthrow attempt;
https://sputniknews.com/military/201707261055890332-us-venezuela-coup-latinamerica/

Far from the first attempt; surely not the last...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jul 31, 2017 5:52:33 AM | 67

Those who are pointing out the foolishness of socialist governments relying on food subsidies are basically right. The big problem with implementing social democratic reforms, let alone socialism in Venezuela, is that these require and efficient tax system to subsidise social services. If you can not do that, you can try to rely on oil revenues as Venezuela was able to do until recently, but this, in the absence of effective taxation of higher incomes tends to lead to inflation.
I was asked to go to Venezuela ten years ago to speak on socialist economic policy, and the government had my book on the subject translated, but as far as I can see the ideas I advocated had no impact. On my return I posted the following review of the situation which is, I think, still relevant to understanding the limitations of the Bolivarian economic policy. http://21stcenturysocialism.blogspot.co.uk/2007/09/venezuela-and-new-socialism.html

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Jul 31, 2017 6:16:19 AM | 68

The US will have subverted any mediation attempts by telling the opposition not to budge.

As the opposition is very likely dependent on the US and directed from Miami, that's it.

When the Chavistas lost the parliamentary election they should have accepted the stalemate and the likely defeat in the presidential elections and let the opposition try to solve things, same way the Sandinistas did. Reflect on their mistakes and return to power when the time is rife.

It is very likely that not only the US is involved in the lack of mediation, but China and Russia, too.

I am not sure Chavistas could legally do the latest China mining deal without consent of parliament.

They might not be able to do it with the new legislative assembly either which will be interesting to watch.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 31, 2017 6:23:25 AM | 69

@68 It is a very valid point you are raising here somebody. Actually opposition voices said part of the reason why the government pushed for the election of the constituent assembly was to be able to bypass the National Assembly and ratify international mining/oil treaties. It is also a struggle about the sale of Citgo to Russia, which the US is trying to prevent with the latest round of sanctions. That in turn led Rosneft to wanting direct access to Venezuelan oil-wells, that are more attractive for it anyways.

Still in an anctual democracy the Chavistas would respect the National assembly's decision and not push ahead with these treaties. If the junta does fall the opposition is likely to not honour agreements signed without the consent of the national assembly, which constitutionally it is in the right to do. Another reason the government is in urgent need for cash are large PDVSA bond payments due in October/November, several international financial analysts question whether the company with 45 billion in debt can still make these payments. Financially the military is with its back to the wall, this constituent assembly and bypassing the legislative body is their hope to get new cash injected.

Posted by: Alexander P | Jul 31, 2017 6:50:25 AM | 70

69 It is the oil curse, Venezuela might be nice, poor and peaceful without oil.

The opposition's/CIA's strategy is vile by the way, producing enough death for Western media to claim there is a humanitarian crisis that needs intervention.

There are also the images of burning barricades that are easy to produce with minimal manpower.

However, Venezuela's government might be able to wait it out long enough for oil prices to rise. They go up as well as they go down.

The danger is that Venezuela's government will have learnt nothing from the experience.

Nor the opposition. As long as they threaten Chavistas with death and annihilation, Chavistas won't be relaxed enough to consider different points of view.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 31, 2017 7:44:53 AM | 71

aha I change my email address from the BS one I have been using for the past 15 years to a new BS one & it seems to work lets hope the board will now hold a post that has been bounced off for the last 12 hours.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jul 31, 2017 8:25:09 AM | 72

67

It is likely that Chavistas intended to break the private monopolies by subsidized products.

It is a self inflicted wound. You fight monopolies by opening the market for competition not by creating state monopolies.

All this has been tried and failed in Europe, China, Russia before. Chavistas were foolish to try again.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 31, 2017 8:25:25 AM | 73

The stupid western MSM (also the brain-dead "leftist" MSM) spread its propaganda again, this time against Venezuela, the stupid western populations needs to be stimulated for economic sanction and possible other warfare by the peace loving Nato.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 31, 2017 8:27:04 AM | 74

@somebody 7, 68, 70

I agree with most of your points, but not all.

"The state - any state - distributing subsidized food and fixing prices simply does not work...
A bureaucracy - any bureaucracy - is just not clever enough to deal with all the unintended consequences...
Socialism works when the state gives cash to the people who need it to buy what they want to buy."

Don't forget that most of the EU budget goes into agriculture subsidies, and some internal prices are controlled & different from world market prices. A centralized bureaucracy tends to be inflexible & eliminate 'incentives', yes. What you need is a form of 'macro management' which leaves producers some freedom and incentives (which can be other than money).
Btw, the rich in Venezuela usually don't queue for 10 hours to buy subsidized food.

It sounds reasonable to let the opposition have a try and work towards a 'chavist renewal' while in the opposition. But I'm afraid the oligarchy would search/ find ways to prevent their ever losing power again. Anyone decrying police brutality today has no idea what Venezuela looked like before Chavez - it was much worse, and those times could well return (just look at Brazil).

And if they want to wait for oil prices to rise, they'd better pray for a massive war in the Middle East which is the only possible reason for that to happen.

Posted by: smuks | Jul 31, 2017 8:27:26 AM | 75

hey b, I just dropped by on my (nearly) daily MoA visit, and am gratified to see my post made the main board - thanks bloke.

Anyway I have read a great many of the posts in that thread and sadly believe a few have missed the point.
It should be no suprise to anyone familiar with my views that I do prefer the Bolivaran revolution espoused by President Manduro to the oppressive ambitions of the "only wealthy people count" opposition, but that isn't the issue.

Interfering in the domestic politics of Saudi would be equally unconscionable, but of course amerika runs that joint anyhow.
The issue isn't about what the government of a sovereign nation stands for, it is about the right of all to be free of outside interference and manipulation.

Some claim that the problems of Venezuela are down to big government and Manduro should fix this. The only thing that happens when large state entities are privatised is that abuse ceases being the problem of the state and becomes worse as it is conducted by private profiteers who are free of any control by the elected representatives of citizens.
Mostly as I have said many times, the problems ordinary people despair over are largely caused by overly centralised control of organisations that have been allowed to grow past the point where there are only a few degrees of separation between the population and the central controllers.

Very few citizens have had any personal contact with any of their national politicians and that enables the type of sociopaths who currently dominsate the political world everywhere.

Speaking of one such vast entity who are responsible for much of the horror in Yemen, that same entity ExxonMobil, is a driving force behind Venezuela's problems.

In the thread on Yemen I suggested that things in Yemen were truly dire and if we felt that way we could put our money where our mouths are and organise local boycotts of ExxonMobil.
Last time I looked there was no response. Hmm

I am correct in my belief that the number one big cheese at ExxonMobil is currently amerikan Secretary of State aren't I?
Does anyone else find it interesting that in all the many 'actions' against the amerikan president, the democrat party and the fronts it controls haven't made any action against the major beneficiary of Trump's efforts?

The recent sanctions against Russia which will do huge damage to both Germany & France's economies have been designed to benefit ExxonMobil even though the dems claim they are instigated against Prez Trump. Yeah yeah I know that the previous sanctions created obstacles for ExxonMobil, but the newest sanctions ones will prevent Germany & France from using Russian oil & gas meaning that they will have to pay a lot more for gas supplied by ExxonMobil, sourced from elswhere- say a newly subjugated Venezuela.

My personal view is that a boycott against ExxonMobil in support of the humans living & dying of cholera in Yemen is likely to be more successful than a boycott in support of Venezuela but I can see others will believe differently.

This is a greedy corporation whose egregious behavior has been ignored by politicians and the media alike. They are killing thousands around the world every week, and the time has come for all of us to be made aware of this.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jul 31, 2017 8:30:12 AM | 76

addendum:

What you write about opening up monopolies only works if there is a will to compete. But in Venezuela, all private capital 'colluded';-) against the govt to thwart any such plans.

@Anonymous 74

'leftist MSM', lol - on which planet?

Posted by: smuks | Jul 31, 2017 8:34:49 AM | 77

Wow, major fuckup in the posting section...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jul 31, 2017 8:57:19 AM | 78

Posted by: Desertrat | Jul 30, 2017 10:21:10 PM | 44

Y'all are aware, aren't you, that Venezuela's low-grade crude is shipped to Corpus Christi, Texas, to be refined and the gasoline shipped back to Venezuela?

That's not any truer than the rest of what you wrote. All lies.

Venezuela's state owns and runs various local oil refining facilities. Plus, the Corpus Christi, Texas facility that refines the Venezuelan oil bound for the US market belongs to CITGO, which in turns belongs to PDVSA, i.e, the state of Venezuela.

See book 'Venezuela Energy Policy, Laws and Regulations Handbook Volume 1', page 52, for confirmation.

Posted by: Lea | Jul 31, 2017 9:07:10 AM | 79

Venezuela Energy Policy, Laws and Regulations Handbook Volume 1 Strategic Information and Basic Laws (World Business and Investment Library) Paperback – 10 Mar 2015
by Ibp, Inc. (Author)

See all formats and editions
Paperback
£66.34

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 31, 2017 9:45:48 AM | 80

78
Collusion is the definition of monopolies. You have to break them up. You cannot do it by creating state monopolies.

EU agriculture subsidies go through red tape directly to the farmers in cash to do what they wish to do (and survive in lots of cases). Farmers are enabled that way to compete with imported products that are produced with much lower wages. Quite a few farmers have decided to compete by (Bio) quality for high prices and it works.

The EU partly even subsidizes farmers to produce less (milk), simply to keep them in business if prices get too low because of overproduction.

When Venezuela subsidizes the price of the product, they buy for high import market price to sell to anybody cheap who needs it or not. The subsidy goes to trade not to the producer.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 31, 2017 10:10:49 AM | 81

78 smuks

There is alot of MSM that call themselves leftists, sorry but this is the truth these days in case you didnt know.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 31, 2017 10:38:06 AM | 82

@Somebody I completely agree with you. Yet this is exactly what the Chavistas did, all the while expanding bureaucracy that was already large and inefficient before they took power making it even larger and more inefficient after they took power. People on PDVSA's payroll more than doubled under Chavez to 115.000 while during the same period its productivity declined by at least 25%. State monopolies expanded rapidly into different areas that had been nationalized under Chavez.

It is these inefficiencies that over the years have only grown worse and are making the country suffer today and are reflected in the disillusionment of most people. Price controls have meant that a lot of producers in Venezuela have been forced to produce at a loss and shut down completely. In no system will one find people working for free, and not being rewarded for it. Instead of making use of the high oil revenues and invest in both infrastructure and the establishment of new industries to diversify the economy, the money disappeared in dark channels. Proof of which are unfinished projects such as this Bridge over the Orinoco River the photos are from 2010 but the bridge looks now same as then.

While this generation of Chavistas remains in power things won't change, state monopolies offer too many opportunities for corruption and the top military brass have been making a fortune. The country needs a desperate change, sadly I don't see anyone holding power willing to move even one jota. More violence and clashes will continue and Chavism will become more totalitarian with it.

Posted by: Alexander P | Jul 31, 2017 11:01:06 AM | 83

Which Way Out of the Venezuelan Crisis?
https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/13271

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 31, 2017 11:05:50 AM | 84

Alexander P = Enrique Mendoza

This person is brainwashed by right wing propaganda or a US gov sponsored poster

Posted by: Alaric | Jul 31, 2017 11:15:30 AM | 85

Alaric@86 - I disagree - he makes many valid points. The situation in Venezuela is complex enough without distilling it down to an issue of simply opposing the latest US hegemony/oil theft scheme. You can still do that and criticize Maduro for his ineptness, mismanagement, dictatorial leanings and outright theft, all the while criticizing the opposition for demonizing Maduro rather than fixing anything.

In fact, I find the attacks on Alexander P posts and accusations about multiple IDs rather disturbing for MoA.

And he does NOT work for the CIA. I just walked up and down the aisles and checked if any other agents were assigned to MoA lately aside from yours truly. They're all on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram duty for Venezuela. The boss says nobody is assigned to MoA but me. He swore on his Cheney bobble-head figurine, so there's no way in hell my boss is lying.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 31, 2017 12:07:02 PM | 86

anyway you look at it, there is a diversity of views on the topic of venezuala... i like debs latest post, even if it was quadrupled! so yeah -rex tillerson, ceo of exxon from 2006-2016 - no one is going to give him any flak!!!! meanwhile it's just a coincidence this issue of oil being so front and centre in so much that is going on around the globe, including venezuala... having an ex ceo from of one of the biggest corps in the world ( the biggest oil corp?) is nothing to concern oneself with, lol.... it is a dumbocracy after all! you have this idea of corporatocracy all wrong.. remember it is the trickle down effect.. a little bit is going to trickle down to you at some point, lol..

@paveway, lol... stop cruising down the aisles and get back to work...

Posted by: james | Jul 31, 2017 12:41:38 PM | 87

if i was way more america centric, with blinders fully on, i could say some of the things i read on this thread... forgot to add that.. that was what i was thinking reading some of the comments on this thread... wow, one would have to be really attached to what i refer to as an america centric viewpoint..

Posted by: james | Jul 31, 2017 12:45:53 PM | 88

US Vice-President Pence Telephones Venezuela’s Leopoldo Lopez

By Rachael Boothroyd-Rojas
U.S. sanctions
Caracas, July 29, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) - US Vice-President Mike Pence had a telephone conversation with the convicted right-wing Venezuelan politician Leopoldo Lopez Friday, the White House has confirmed.
 
In an official press release, the office of the Vice-President said that the two politicians talked about the “dire situation” in Venezuela, while Pence expressed solidarity with the Venezuelan people on behalf of the Trump administration.
Right-wing leader Lopez is a controversial figure in Venezuela. In 2015 he was given a 13-year nine month jail sentence for his role in leading violent anti-government protests the previous year which led to the deaths of 43 people.
 
He was released on house arrest in July 2017 on health grounds, but has since called for more protests to remove the elected leftist government from office. 

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 31, 2017 12:50:43 PM | 89

Venezuela Sees “Historic” Turnout in National Constituent Assembly Elections

By Lucas Koerner
Philadelphia, July 31, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s national electoral body announced Sunday evening that 8,089,320 people had participated in the day’s National Constituent Assembly (A
Shortly before midnight, National Electoral Council (CNE) President Tibisay Lucena revealed that turnout in elections to choose delegates to the body tasked with rewriting Venezuela’s constitution was 41.5 percent.  
“The balance of the day is extremely positive, because as we always say, peace won out, and when peace wins, Venezuela wins,” she declared on national television. 
Speaking from the Plaza Bolivar in Caracas shortly after the CNE announcement, President Nicolas Maduro hailed the large vote total as indicative of the new body's legitimacy. 
"The National Constituent Assembly is born with a great popular legitimacy," he affirmed. 
According to CNE records, the total number of votes for the ANC surpasses the 7,587,579 votes received by Maduro in his narrow 2013 election victory and comes in as a close second to late President Hugo Chavez's 2012 reelection triumph with 8,191,132 votes.
Sunday’s turnout likewise exceeds the participation in the 1999 consultative referendum on whether to convene a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution, which stood at 37.65 percent.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 31, 2017 12:56:08 PM | 90

@ Alexander P 40

”I'd be interested what has Maduro done these last few years other than isolating the country, destroying its currency and letting state bureaucracy rot? Because the results of which can be seen daily in the country, the achievements of his government, where are they?

Despite the drop in oil prices, and the depredations of the oligarchy who try to overthrow the government through engineered food shortages, the Bolivarians have made some real progress:

Achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution 1998 – 2014

The Bolivarian government has spent significantly more on social services than did governments in the previous 15 years:

Nine times the total invested in health;

Nine time the total invested in participation;

Six times the total invested in education;

Ten times the total invested in science and technology

Six times the total invested in culture

Six times the total invested in housing;

Twenty-eight increases in the minimum wage;

Twenty-one times the total invested in social security.

All this despite the US major efforts at subversion, and attempting to “make the economy scream.”

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jul 31, 2017 1:23:28 PM | 91

@88 We may have to move paveway back to the Syria file. Syria has congratulated Venezuela on a successful election which makes Maduro officially evil.

http://sana.sy/en/?p=111009

Posted by: dh | Jul 31, 2017 1:30:06 PM | 92

@somebody 82

Ok, but how do you break them up if all the business elite is hell-bent on making sure that you fail? If there's no company willing to undercut it's competitors? Basically once you start socializing the economy, you have to go all the way, and create a system in which various state or community controlled producers compete in a different form of 'market'.

What you write about EU agriculture policy is precisely what I meant: You can have subsidies & controlled prices without a centralized bureaucratic system, if you 'do it right' (which the EU *mostly* does).

@Anonymous

Yeah, and there's dictatorships calling themselves 'democracies'.

Posted by: smuks | Jul 31, 2017 1:40:17 PM | 93

@93 dh - spoke like a true commie, lol.... " the importance of respecting its sovereignty and independence..." now, if that ain't commie thinking, i don't know what is!! well, i thought assad was a dick tator, as opposed to a po totar, but now i realize syria is just a bunch of commies saying shit like that..

Posted by: james | Jul 31, 2017 2:51:53 PM | 94

smuks

Yeah sure but thats why I said MSM leftists, same of course goes for europ-leftists parties today.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 31, 2017 3:15:02 PM | 95

James @87

"it's just a coincidence this issue of oil being so front and centre in so much that is going on around the globe, including Venezuela... having an ex ceo from of one of the biggest corps in the world ( the biggest oil corp?) is nothing to concern oneself with..."

And just now U.S. is sanctioning Venezuela oil. So that makes Iran, RF, Syria, Yemen, and any other oil nations and at least one non-oil nation out there that are not down with dominance by U.S. Iraq oil being sold on black market. And Afghan opium epidemic on U.S. streets. It is all contrived and made up on the fly. Personnel fallout and firings run rampant. Loss of twitter would bring ruin to the nation. And the U.S. calls this governance. Whose zooming who?

Posted by: thecelticwithinme | Jul 31, 2017 3:51:55 PM | 96

...In an official press release, the office of the Vice-President said that the two politicians talked about the “dire situation” in Venezuela, while Pence expressed solidarity with the Venezuelan people on behalf of the Trump administration.
Right-wing leader Lopez is a controversial figure in Venezuela...
...
Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 31, 2017 12:50:43 PM | 89

When a US leader expresses solidarity with (unspecified) "people" in another country it's a virtual Death Sentence.
Taking the experience of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen as a guide to the outcome of having Yankee 'solidarity', vandalism and mass-murder imposed on them, it's time for large numbers of Venezuela's "people" to kiss their asses, and their country, Goodbye.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 31, 2017 4:29:02 PM | 97

Having visited the country several times, it always struck me as magic that they do not have circa 20m tourists per year, a thriving import substitution economy, vast downstream sector and enough sense to promote 'made in Venezuela' products to cover say 50-70% of domestic demand for just about everything. They should have copied the best parts of ASEAN models + China ... and kept the rabid socialist stuff running without imploding the country.
It is a magnificent country, but destined for another 10-20 years of torture, if not all out war.

Posted by: Marco | Jul 31, 2017 4:37:49 PM | 98

I get the feeling, from DW News, that the Germans are on the cusp of telling the Yankees to shove their Russia Sanctions where the sun doesn't shine. Imo, they're in bigger trouble if they don't than if they do.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 31, 2017 4:43:57 PM | 99

Alexander P 62 - 23

Simple, wasn't it?

I retract the troll qualification, and try to address the nonsense.

You start with a straw-man accusing your critics of claiming Telesur impartiality. The overwhelming majority of MoA commenters are adult enough to know there is no such thing as an impartial media. Neither does Telesur claim impartiality. They are open and transparent about their aims.

Next you falsely claim that all media in Venezuela was "brought in line with the governments narrative" and link to the 2006 RCTV non-renewall of broadcasting licence as evidence.
Falsely because the majority of venezuelan media is not "in line with the governments narrative" and never has been. A glimpse at El Nacional, El Carabobeño, Venevisión or Globovisión, to name just a few demonstrates it without doubt.
The fact that the western media painted the RCTV case as the ultimate crime against the "freedom of the press", that immaculate unicorn, does not make it true. Recently The Macri regime in Argentina, through it's media regulator, has recently stopped the airwave transmission of Telesur. I haven't seen any criticism of that decision by those that described the RCTV case as outrageous censorship.
That you take as true western media lies, when it is in fact very easy to contrast them, allows me to conclude that you are either intellectually lazy or have an agenda.

You continue by spreading more media lies, namely the fate of poor, one presumes very peaceful, "students" who suffered the revengeful wrath of the cruel military police. Straight out of the colour revolution media campaign.
Then you ask rhetoric questions for which you probably know the answer, but I'll refresh it for you. No revocatory referendum because it's promoters failed to gather enough legitimate signatures, recurring to fraudulent ones. Why imprison lawmakers? Because of fraud and calls to violence, violence that caused deaths.
And you have the nerve to appeal to critical thinking, while you exercise none!!!

Should I continue?

Posted by: estouxim | Jul 31, 2017 5:10:15 PM | 100

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