Venezuela: Resistance or disintegration?

Alejo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Hi everyone,

I have been conversing with friends over this issue and have realized that it has become very difficult to see clearly and wanted to bring it up here for discussion.

As many if not all of you know, Venezuela went through a transformative phase back at the turn of the century. Hugo Chavez came in and had a message and a direction for the country that resonated with millions. Tired of the oligarchs in power taking control of all the resources and leaving the great majority of the population of a rich nation in poverty was unacceptable.

After a failed attempt at a military coup in 1992 and spending sometime in jail, Hugo Chavez would run for president in 1998 to be reelected in 2002 and in 2006. He would win these in a landslide with over 60% of the votes. Nationalizing industries and using the high oil revenues of the 2000's to invest back in his people he changed Venezuela for the majority of the population. His heart was in the right place and his actions were in fact quite revolutionary. This resonated with several other countries in the region: Ecuador and Rafael Correa, Bolivia with Evo Morales, Brasil and Lula/Rousseff and Argentina and the Kirchner era.

But, sadly as we all know and specially in Latinamerica being the backyard of the empire, this could not be allowed to happen. From the very beginning he was the target of propaganda and coup attempts. In 2002, there was an attempt at a coup in which the media along with several generals and politicians conspired against him. He was ousted but, thousands of people would reject this and they literally broke him out of prison. The one thing the reality creators did not calculate was that people actually wanted him in power.

He was a great leader that inspired millions, charismatic and human. He himself was a working class boy and so he was able to sympathize with the majority of the population of the country. in 2011 he was diagnosed with cancer (funny that this would be a trend for social leaders in the region). And would not make it past 2013, at this stage he would declare Nicolas Maduro his sucesor.

He served the remnant of the presidency of Chavez after his passing and he would afterwards win an election himself on very tight margins. Ever since then (and throughout) Venezuela has been falling into a very difficult economic situation. There is scarcity of very basic products, protests that are getting more and more violent.

Venezuela has been attacked on all fronts, there's a very real attack on its currency, on the regional stage his neighbors (previous allies such as Brasil, Paraguay, Argentina) have been calling for foreign intervention in the country. They have been sabotaged in the Mercosur, in the OEA. Not to mention the never ending propaganda against them. In Spain and the US (and allies in the region) the official narrative is that Venezuela is Syria/Libia/Iraq. A country with a dictator that violates the human rights of its population and is too incompetent to do anything right and something has to happen.

That is the context in which I would like to have the following conversation. Because as I am aware of all the above and do not deny its influence on the situation in the country. I also know that Nicolas Maduro is not a clever strategist. He seems to rule mostly from an emotional standpoint in which he simply seeks to hold on to power. This could have created opening for pathological individuals to infiltrate the authority positions in the country.

Recently the information coming out of Venezuela is rather chaotic, there is the degradation of the society at large where the crime seems to climb to even crazier lengths (acid attacks, stealing women's hair, kidnappings and so on). Also there seems to exist an uptick in black magic practices. People in general seem to not trust one another and seem to be looking out for only themselves.

On the other hand, we hear stories of secret police kidnappings and killings, torture and clamping down on dissenters.

I personally find myself rather sad and confused, I must admit I had a special place in my heart for the bolivarian revolution. But as I see the situation it stands in either of two cases (or a mixture of both):

1)Venezuela has been infiltrated by agent provocateurs that pose as government agents to create the perception of cruelty and so on. This is extremely likely considering the powers that stand to profit from Maduro leaving office, these are the same powers in charge of creating scarcity and a devaluation of their currency.

2) Maduro and his government are not only incapable of responding to the attack they're presented with but incompetent at running the country (and industries they nationalized), They are holding on to power for the sake of holding on to it, for instance they prevented elections from being held last year for governors as well as a referendum that would call for the destitution of the president.

So, here's where I find myself. Looking over the last pillar of progressive movements in Latinamerica.

Argentina fell from Kirchner to Macri who essentially has been selling the country for cheap to foreign interests (specially the UK and US) and doubling and tripling basic utilities. Brazil has fallen from Rousseff to Temer (goodbye BRICS) and Petrobras, which would be their solid backbone for social programs and autonomy has been little by little been reduced to an incompetent competitor. Ecuador has remained idle and Bolivia has received the treatment of dirty propaganda to prevent Evo from running for president again.

And now, Chavez/Maduro seem to be inevitably headed for the same fate and the region would once again fall on the whole of being an obedient backyard.

Thanks for reading, and sorry for the lengthy post.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I have not read a lot of information on Venezuela and Nicolas Maduro but from the few articles that have made the American press, it seems Maduro has tried to keep Venezuela "stable" - only to have his reforms blocked from outside interference. The food situation has been the most visible in the news and Venezuela's financial situation. He's being pressured from all sides? Maduro needs to Clean the Swamp , in the opposition-controlled parliament? Unfortunately, Canada has been backing the U.S./OAS in all this, probably due to Venezuela's oil deposits?

I just came across an article that features "the Organization of American States (OAS)" which I never heard of before but definitely shows where the outside interference is coming from. I think, it is a smart move, on Maduro's part - to separate from the OAS?

The Venezuelan foreign minister announced the country will withdraw from the Organization of American States (OAS) after it voted to call an emergency meeting of foreign ministers without Caracas' approval.
Venezuela Announces Withdrawal From Organization of American States
https://sputniknews.com/latam/201704271053044441-venezuela-oas-withdrawal/

Venezuela will trigger the process of withdrawing from the Organization of American States (OAS) after the bloc voted to call an urgent meeting on it, Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said Wednesday.

"At the order of President Nicolas Maduro, we will present tomorrow a letter of denunciation to the OAS and begin a [departure] process that will take 24 months," Rodriguez said in a televised speech broadcast by a state TV channel.

The OAS Permanent Council voted earlier on Wednesday to call an emergency meeting of its foreign ministers over the crisis in Venezuela despite Caracas' objections. The decision was passed by 19 votes to 10, with four abstentions and one nation missing from the meeting of OAS’s one of the two main political bodies.

Earlier this month, the OAS voiced concern over Venezuela limiting the power of the opposition-controlled parliament, calling the move a breach of democratic norms, while OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro Lemes said he considered this to be a coup.

Venezuela has been rocked by opposition protests demanding fresh presidential elections with President Nicolas Maduro facing an opposition-controlled parliament that has sought his impeachment. The latest mass anti-government protests started in early April after Venezuela's Supreme Court decided to take on the legislative functions of the National Assembly. The court’s decision was later reversed, but protesters remained on the streets and demanded the judges' resignation. Over two dozen people have been killed in the unrest.


The war on Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution continues, amid claims of a “self-coup” and allegations that the National Assembly was dissolved.
US-Backed Right Wing 'Paralyzed the Rule of Law in Venezuela'
https://sputniknews.com/politics/201704051052302433-venezuela-supreme-court-ruling/

Author and activist Dr. James Cockroft, the founder of the Network of Intellectuals, Artists, and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity, told Radio Sputnik's Brian Becker that the threat of a coup in Venezuela comes in fact from the right wing, not the country's socialists.

A coup sponsored by the United States in 2002, a military coup against Chavez, has continued to accelerate different types of pressures to bring about either a soft or hard coup in Venezuela, and that's the context of what's happening now," he said during Becker's Loud & Clear broadcast.

The country's supreme court ruled in January that the opposition-controlled National Assembly was in contempt of the constitution, citing its failure to remove three lawmakers securing the domination of the right-wing, who were temporarily suspended over fraud charges.

​A recording shows the then-secretary of the government of Amazonas illegally offering taxpayer money to citizens, encouraging them to vote for opposition candidates. When the court ordered the National Assembly to hold elections to replace corrupt leadership, the legislative body refused.

"It was discovered, with evidence and proof, that those three delegates had bribed the voters and engaged in threats against those who didn't vote for them," Cockroft said.

"The National Assembly has paralyzed the rule of law in Venezuela and it's done that in contempt of court, that is in contempt of the supreme court of the nation. It has been passing resolutions to depose the president, Maduro, and resolutions to go against the foreign policy that has been conducted by Venezuela all these years during the revolution."


On Thursday, the supreme court, comprised of loyalists to President Nicolás Maduro, seized legislative powers from the National Assembly, citing that the body continues to be in contempt of the constitution.

"As long as the disrespect and invalidity of the proceedings of the National Assembly persists, this Constitutional Chamber will ensure that the parliamentary powers are exercised directly by this Chamber or by the body it has in place to ensure the rule of law," the ruling read.

Critics say the move effectively gives the government license to write its own laws, taking the country a step closer to a dictatorship. The move was sharply criticized by the opposition, the US and the Organization of American States (OAS).

"The sentences from the supreme court… are the final blows with which the regime subverts the constitutional order of the country and finishes with democracy," OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro said in a statement.

Cockroft pointed out that it was the US and the OAS, "sometimes called the Ministry of the Empire," that ruled against dialogue.

"In fact, the president of the OAS declared some time ago that he wrote to the opposition in Venezuela to not engage in dialogue, whatever you do. Now there's a reason why they don't want a dialogue," he said.

"Oil is why the Empire wants to take back Venezuela. And the United States also wants to take back Venezuela because it has become such a powerful force in the last 17 years for integrating the rest of Latin America, even to the extent of forming a new organization in place of the OAS called The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, which includes all the governments of Latin America but excludes the United States and Canada."

According to Cockroft, it is only natural that the US is not fond of this independent foreign policy in the region being stimulated by the Venezuelan revolution.

"That's why you have to go all the way back to 2002 and the coup against Chavez, and take it right up to the present to see the constant attempt by the United States to overthrow the democratically elected government of Venezuela," he claimed.


After South American trade bloc Mercosur called on Venezuela to ensure separation of powers in the county amid unfolding institutional crisis, Caracas stroke back, claiming the alliance is exceeding its powers.
Venezuela Accuses Mercosur of Meddling in Country’s Internal Affairs
https://sputniknews.com/latam/201704021052203289-venezuela-accuses-mercosur-meddling-affairs/

Venezuelan authorities regard South American trade bloc Mercosur’s statement on the situation in the country as meddling in its internal affairs, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said.

That is a new act of meddling into Venezuelan affairs, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela expresses strong resentment over the meeting of [Mercosur] foreign ministers in Buenos Aires, who exceeded their powers and competence insisting on illegal violation of Venezuela’s status as a Mercosur member state. They made a decision that is beyond legal and institutional powers of this organization and international law,” Rodriguez said on saturday, as quoted by the Globovision broadcaster.

Earlier on Saturday, Mercosur called on Venezuela to ensure separation of powers in the country during an emergency meeting devoted to the Venezuelan Supreme Court's decision to assume the functions of the country’s parliament.

The decision on assuming parliament's powers was announced by the court on Wednesday, and triggered sharp criticism around the world. Such countries as Colombia, Chile and Mexico expressed their concern over the court's decision, while Peru recalled its ambassador from Venezuela.
Early on Saturday, the Venezuelan Supreme Court decided to return legislative powers to the National Assembly, and immunity to its lawmakers.

Venezuela is currently in the state of economic emergency, announced by country's President Nicolas Maduro in January 2016 amid widespread food shortages, high inflation and anti-government protests.

Mercosur, founded in 1991, is a sub-regional economic bloc that includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela and is aimed at promoting free trade. Venezuelan membership was suspended in 2016 due to its alleged failure to fulfill economic, human rights and immigration requirements and presidency in the bloc was handed over to Argentina.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday he had initiated an immediate pullout from the Organization of American States (OAS) in protest over the regional bloc’s pressure on Caracas.

Venezuela's Maduro Starts Immediate Pullout From Organization of American States
https://sputniknews.com/latam/201704271053048664-maduro-venezuela-oas-pullout/

The OAS Permanent Council voted in favor of holding an emergency meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the political crisis in Venezuela, angering its government and prompting it to trigger a two-year process of withdrawal.

"Enough of interventional abuse and lawbreaking, Venezuela is the birthplace of liberators and we will be respected. As the head of state vested with exclusive powers in accordance with the constitution, I have ordered an immediate withdrawal from the OAS," Maduro tweeted.

Huge protests flared up in Venezuela after its top court tried to take over legislative powers from the opposition-controlled National Assembly. The court reversed the ruling but this did not prevent anti-Maduro demonstrations from taking place across the country. At least 28 have people died since early April.


Venezuela's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez stated that the United States tries to destabilize Venezuela's institutions and statehood by using mechanisms of hybrid wars.
Venezuela Unrest Caused by US Hybrid Warfare - Defense Minister
https://sputniknews.com/latam/201704271053062659-venezuela-oas-exit-us/

The United States used hybrid warfare to fuel unrest in Venezuela in an effort to ultimately destabilize the country and subjugate it to US interests, Venezuela's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said at the VI Moscow Conference on International Security on Thursday.

"The United States tries to destabilize our institutions and statehood by using mechanisms of hybrid wars… Over the course of history the United States always conducted a policy subjugated to its own interests and they want also to subjugate the South American states towards their goals as well," Lopez said.

"The United States tries to destabilize our institutions and statehood by using mechanisms of hybrid wars… Over the course of history the United States always conducted a policy subjugated to its own interests and they want also to subjugate the South American states towards their goals as well," Lopez said.

With the help of different organizations like the OAS or the IADB these kind of policies were pursued for dozens of years. We have been affected by this policy and, as President [Nicolas] Maduro said, we had to defend our dignity and independence and to counter all attempts of intervening into our home affairs, that is why we made a decision to withdraw from the OAS," he said.


The unrest in Venezuela is a coup driven by right-wing forces, Bolivian President Evo Morales said.
Morales: Unrest in Venezuela is 'a Coup Driven by Right-Wing Forces'
https://sputniknews.com/latam/201704261053028552-morales-venezuela-unrest-coup-right/

Unrest in Venezuela amounts to a right-wing coup attempt in the country, Bolivian President Evo Morales said in an interview with RT Wednesday.

"This is a coup which is driven by right-wing forces. And it is deeply regretful that the Organization of American States [OAS] is carrying on its tradition of overthrowing governments," Morales said.
 

msante

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Hi, I just would like give my opinion as a latin american citizen about about all this issue.

First I'd like to say that as true as exist propaganda in favor of western imperial interest, there is a kind of propaganda in favor supposedly "leftist" and "progresist" governs. I know that it is obvious for most of you that there is not black and white things in our reality, that there is not sides totally good or bad. What happen in Venezuela fall into this same logic.

IMO it is important to understand that whom are ruling Venezuela now is just an echo what was the begining of the revolution that started Hugo Chavez.

IMO Maduro is a leader that seems not to rise to the occasion. As strategist he and his team seem to be clumsy and reckless. During the years at power they have had an inflexible, rigid, and agressive attitude toward outside, and a almost totalitarian style toward inside (ideologic persecution, censorship, and nowadays a increasing violence). Please take in account that what I am telling you here is not what I read in NYT or WP, it is information from people members of this forum that live there and of course also what I can see from my country (we went through a similar process the last 15 years).

Really I don't think that nowaday Maduro's government is a simply victim of foreing influences. Of course, the Empire has done everything possible to destroy governability in Venezuela (and other countries of the subcontinent), but there is too Intrinsic factors of the "Revolution" and inner structural failures that caused to reach this point where everything is on the verge of collapse.

I think that "Revolution" suffered (as almost everything in this world) the effect of ponerization and that at the begining there was a genuine revolutionary spirit (in Chavez and in a sector of Venezuelan society), but IMO that spirit is almost imperceptible nowadays.

I know that there is a lot of ground to cover at this regard, but it is difficult for me put here everything I think because the english is not my native language. I guess that others can contribute much more to understand what really is happening in this country.
 

Pashalis

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Many of us can only watch what happens in Venezuela from the outside. My understanding from the outside is pretty much that a lot of chaos was created there ever since the US of A started to meddle in the affairs of that country and it increased the more they did it. That is usually the outcome of such psychopathic behaviour: chaos. It preads like cancer .

From my standpoint, Chavez gave the Venezuelan people the first real hope that things might change there, for a long time. The empire, not liking it at all of course, had to get rid of Chavez in one way or the other. They succeeded with it and now Venezuela is tumbling down again and it seems pretty drastically. Maduro became Chavez successor and was confronted with a lot of that chaos. Not an easy situation, if we assume that Maduro is a fairly decent person.

Assuming that Chavez gave Maduro the green light to continue for him, one could assume that Chavez saw in him the most suitabe person for the job. Doesn't mean Maduro was the best chice just that Chavez might have thought that this is the best available at the moment.

When a country is such a state of chaos, it is often hard to pinpoint and know exactly which faction is doing what in the country itself. In Venezuela, like everywere else, there are a certain percentage of bandits (aka: pathological people) in the society that just blossom under those circumstances and try to make use of the chaos as best as they can and therby creating even more chaos. So anyone that tries to put such a country back on track, will have to face great difficulties, to say the least.

In such a situation pretty much the only thing a good authority can do, to make it better again, is to use rather drastic measures that might be viewed by many people in the country as too extreme, not right, not fair or stupid.

Having said that, as an outsider it is always hard to know exactly what is going on. One thing seems to be certain though: More regime change and unstable government in general, doesn't seems to elp and cretes even more chaos.
 

Alejo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
As I see it, the situation in Venezuela is complex and does not help the cause of resistance against the USA.

I just heard Assad on an interview said: "the situation in Venezuela is similar to that one in Syria, the us is behind it all". The only difference I can see is that in Syria the people seems to truly love their country and independence. The opposition is fractional compared to the approval of their president. In hardship, people seem recognize the origin and create a real resistance that is more mental than anything.

In Venezuela, due to the hardship, people don't seem to mind jumping from one side to the other (officialsm - opposition) as their belt grows tighter and tighter. People will support an ideology so long as they're able to make ends meat. If they're unable to feed themselves or their families they'll jump ship in no time. Specially if they're being told that it's the governments fault.

Is the situation in Venezuela like the one in Syria? Yes and no, perhaps due to the population being different. I also feel as though the ruling class in Venezuela do have a cling to power for power's sake and that is their weakness. In Syria there's more of an existential threat being recognized and faced. In Venezuela (much like in the rest of Latin America) they can't recognize the threat because they can't find their own identity, Latin American countries have for centuries found their identity elsewhere (Europe, USA, USSR). So maybe that's where both situations differ greatly. I don't know.

It is ultimately sad because either way things go, Venezuela will either remain in misery (unless they find a way out without regime change) or there will be a regime change which will give the country back to the us landlords.
 

irjo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Sincerely, after knowing the interventionist history of the US and its allies, especially in Venezuela, it is easy to determine that much of the chaos is generated by the opposition group, the so-called peaceful protests are not so much. Within these protests they introduce groups of young people who attacks the public forces, to generate chaos and these public forces obviously respond (not in the best way btw) and from here you see the photos that the Venezuelans are being attacked, that the army is killing the citizens etc. the same old story.

Now, the other part, Maduro has a poor, ego-speaking speech, he jokes when he does not have to and clearly he doesn't prepare himself when he communicates to the country. The actions of the supreme court of justice in wanting to disqualify the national assembly (the country's congress) was a total mistake, to want to act with the same ego to leave the OAS is another fatal error (although we all know that these organizations do not work) But that will end up isolating Venezuela much more, and thus the population ends up affected.

The population is completely blind and fanatical on both sides and the rational thinking has largely been lost. Anyone within the country can easily be deceived by one faction or another. And frankly it is understandable, after so many years of constant attacks.
I believe that Venezuela is already at a level where there is really no one who can do something positive in the short term, even if the government change and someone smart and who really wants to do good comes to power, it would pass a long time for Venezuela to become a relatively stable country economically and politically speaking.

Responding to your question Alejo, Venezuela has been disintegrating after Chávez very quickly. Well, it's my opinion as a Venezuelan.

Here we are all witnesses of the other method of war of the West against a country, a not-military war, but it is with the other "weapons" (economy and the media). And you have its results. And maybe thinking about it, Venezuela could it been in some way an experiment of it all these years.
 

Alana

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I am far from Venezoula, but what Chavez did for his country is extremely inspiring to me, and I followed the story for years. Thus, the country and its people, with all the suffering they had/have to go through, are always in my heart. So if I have a blind spot, this is where it comes from, because the idea of people losing faith in the only power in Venezuela that cares for the people, pains me.

No, Maduro is not Chavez, no person is like another, but didn't Maduro work alongside Chavez? Wasn't he part of the team that worked hard and for so many years to take some of the powers and the resources and give it back to their people despite the constant, unrelenting, insanly unjust attacks from the US? A US that is spending fortunes every year in order to infliltrate and regime-change through empowering the opposition, the same opposition that works against the real needs and interest of the people of Venezuela? Frankly, if I was on a raft in the sea surrounded by blood-hungry sharks, I think I would be excessively paranoid myself about the intentions of said sharks regarding my fate.

I am sure Maduro made some mistakes, like Chavez did, but I think that all the Venezouelans and all the rest of the world with eyes to see should rally behind him and support him in any way possible, especially when he seems weaker, because if the opposition ever takes the power reins in the country, Adios Venezuela.
 

Pashalis

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Alejo said:
[...]The only difference I can see is that in Syria the people seems to truly love their country and independence.[...]
Is the situation in Venezuela like the one in Syria? Yes and no, perhaps due to the population being different. [...]
Strange as it may sound, but I think in certain respects Syria is currently handling their chaos better then Venezuela. In Syria, it has not reached the point yet, in which a strong leader has been removed from power from the outside. In Venezuela this has already happened and this often seems to mark a strong decline of the country as a whole.

I think the country history might also play a role in how things develop and how strong a population can be. Syria has a pretty coherent national history that dates back several thousands years, with costums and rites that still bind a lot of people together from ancient history, despite of other views on religion for example. Venezuela on the other hand is a very new country compared to Syria, in which no such deep and strong roots from history exist.

And of course Syria has the enormous gift of russia backing their rights and sovereignty directly, because they officially asked for it. I'm fairly certain that Assad and Putin and Co. will leave their mark in that country, no matter what happens. They are already viewed by large portions of the country as heros (and that rightfully so) and this will remain so for generations to come, no matter what happens.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Alejo said:
As I see it, the situation in Venezuela is complex and does not help the cause of resistance against the USA.

I just heard Assad on an interview said: "the situation in Venezuela is similar to that one in Syria, the us is behind it all". The only difference I can see is that in Syria the people seems to truly love their country and independence. The opposition is fractional compared to the approval of their president. In hardship, people seem recognize the origin and create a real resistance that is more mental than anything.
I think, Assad has made a valid point. U.S. intervention in both Syria and Venezuela is mainly due to their Countries oil and gas deposits. Remember, the American dollar is said to be backed by the "Petro-dollar" meaning oil reserves and to a lesser extent - natural gas.

The big difference between Venezuela and Syria, is that "Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world.”

This article is mainly about the U.S.'s North Dakota Pipeline and an activist speaking at the U.N. in Geneva, Switzerland but I would like to quote a few sentences because of what she had to say about Venezuela. https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/12613

The North Dakota pipeline is linked to North American companies and the U.S. government's “crushing Venezuela” as they seek dirty oil extraction locally instead of doing business with the South American country that has the largest oil reserves in the world, longtime Native American activist Winona LaDuke said Sunday.

“You know, all of the catastrophes that are happening elsewhere in the world have to do with the fact that North America is retooling its infrastructure,” the executive director of the group Honor the Earth, told Democracy Now this week.

Speaking from the protests at Standing Rock, she added that in order to do that, major oil companies in the U.S. as well as the government are “going after the dirtiest oil in the world—the tar sands oil and the oil out of North Dakota, the fracked oil … it also has to do with crushing Venezuela, because Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world.”

Referring to the controversial pipeline as a “filthy infrastructure," LaDuke said the push to fracking in North Dakota and other places in North America had it at its heart a policy of boycotting Venezuela due to its resistance to U.S. and Western interests.

The activist highlighted the inequality the pipeline brings with it as poor local communities struggle while billions are spent for building the infrastructure.
This is what the U.S. does not want ...

Venezuela eyes pipeline project to export crude oil to China via Colombia
http://www.bnamericas.com/news/oilandgas/venezuela-eyes-pipeline-project-to-export-crude-oil-to-china-via-colombia

Monday, August 5, 2013 - A joint pipeline project between Colombia, Venezuela and China to export oil to Asian markets was discussed at a recent diplomatic summit between the two South American nations.

The pipeline would transport 300,000b/d of crude oil through the Orinoco belt to Colombia's Pacific coast from where it would be shipped to the Far East, according to a press release by Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA.

In related news, Venezuela will resume fuel shipments to Colombia mid-August, according to comments made after the summit by PDVSA president and energy and mining minister Rafael Ramirez.
This is what the Organization of American States (OAS) is trying to prevent - the completion of this joint pipeline project. Maduro just started the immediate pullout from the OAS. The profits from this pipeline agreement between Colombia, Venezuela and China would help reverse the economic and financial situation in Venezuela.

In my view, Maduro should be given credit for standing up to the U.S. and preventing Venezuela from turning into another Libya?
 

Alejo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I'm completely with you Alana, the bolivarian revolution holds such a special place in my heart. It has been truly inspiring, and it's interesting what you mention Pashalis about the millennia old tradition and heritage. Because when Chavez became popular (himself descendant from indigenous peoples) that was one of his platforms, South American roots had been cut and everyone lost their memory to where they actually come from. Which is why it was always so easy for everyone to sell their country out.

Which was also the platform that would send Correa in Ecuador to power and Evo Morales in Bolivia to power.

And to the point of angelbusdt29, it would be interesting to see a pipeline provide oil to China, however the least likely ally of Venezuela in this endeavor would be Colombia. They're the origin of most of the attack she has experienced. And the US' biggest and longest standing ally in the region.

Funny enough, the OAS was founded in Bogotá - Colombia in 1948 and was part of the Macarthyism era of the post WWII world, and funny enough, one of the only popular leaders in Colombia who fought for the rights of the people against the yoke of interventionsim (Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, who himself has a very interesting history, probably for another post) was assasinated the very same day (many claim by the CIA under operation pantomima), sending colombia into their decades old war (against supposed Marxist guerrillas) that would, of course, polarize the country to the right aligning it with the US perpetually.

I could be wrong, but pulling out of the OAS (a process that takes 24 months) would do very little to protect Venezuela. Specially when they are already calling on emergency meetings to address the Venezuela situation. It has been on the mouths of all the leaders for months to implement something called the "democratic charter" which apparently allows for foreign intervention in any of the member states. And we all know who's just so ready to democratize Venezuela. Even if Venezuela initiates the process, it may be too little to late. I hope I'm wrong

I hope I'm not coming across as a contrary for the sake of being contrary, I actually mean to have a discussion as I don't feel objective about this issue, because is so close to home and because I would absolutely hate seeing Venezuela become the next Lybia.
 

Corvus

Jedi Council Member
From the angle I see it that saying " it is the economy, stupid" comes to mind. I do not think there is much difference between Maduro and Chavez governing skills in that matter, just that Chavez had more better reputation because of suceeding with revolution, and while still under more of political pressure he was not under such economical pressure as Maduro.

The main internal economic problems were not having enough of domestic production, depending mostly on imports that were bought with oil money, everything was based only on selling oil. And that was still policy under Chavez, and there was also sabotage with those domestic western oriented buisnessmen. Chavez did not clean the house completely in that regard and in regard to opposition based media so to show their propaganda, and to show tolerance and rise his popularity in that way, and minimaze western demonisation and maybe intervention without going full blown against them. Good while having major support, that is mostly most people having full belly, dangerous when that belly is empty. You have to take into account that many people are not interested in freedoms, equality but better quality life for themselves and when that is taken propaganda starts to fall on fertile ground(Remember Nazi Germany) and most are not educated in how things work. Problem of US intervention could be solved with few russian or chinese bases in my opinion, so the western media could cry about totalitarian venezuelan regime as much as they like.

Difference being between Syria and Venezuela, that Syria was much more longer independent from western influence and economicaly more developed because of that, and because of that there was no strong 5th column, while Venezuela until fairly recently was under US puppets and thus poor and plundered country, it s stability not yet achieved while showing much progress under Chavez, 5th column being present as said earlier. So it was like that until PTB s three flies with one strike attempt with oil prices because of Russia when economic model showed it flaws.

In the present situation I do not see any coming stability and calm, domestic economy could get stable with chinese investment and russian help but it would need new economy direction to stop situations like now, that is developing strong domestic production that is not based only on oil, but it would need years to implement fully not mentioning internal and external meddling. But, I do not see that happening, and the only way for Maduro now to keep revolution alive is only through repression and he has nothing to lose because PTB is in high gear now because they smell the weakness, or like they say get the beast while it is wounded. Jailing up that opposition and censoring their media, 5th colmunist generals and police ranks is his only option, but that could fuel propaganda and lead to US intervention if there is no asking for outside help, if it can also arrive in time if it is asked (because it will give image of weaker leader), and if doing nothing there is a risk of being toppled and revolution dieing, so he is either way between hard place and the rock. It is always easy to play armchair general until you get in such a situation and know all the variables and factors involved which we do not.
 

msante

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Alana said:
I am far from Venezoula, but what Chavez did for his country is extremely inspiring to me, and I followed the story for years. Thus, the country and its people, with all the suffering they had/have to go through, are always in my heart. So if I have a blind spot, this is where it comes from, because the idea of people losing faith in the only power in Venezuela that cares for the people, pains me.
Alana, I share with you the same feelings. In the firsts years of Chavez I felt really the birth of a new hope, a new way of to do politics, for people and with people. In some way I felt then that that revolution would resonate in the rest LA, but I am sorry to say this: IMO that revolution, his values and principles, are almost missing nowadays...

Pashalis said:
From my standpoint, Chavez gave the Venezuelan people the first real hope that things might change there, for a long time. The empire, not liking it at all of course, had to get rid of Chavez in one way or the other. They succeeded with it and now Venezuela is tumbling down again and it seems pretty drastically. Maduro became Chavez successor and was confronted with a lot of that chaos. Not an easy situation, if we assume that Maduro is a fairly decent person.
Well, this (bold text) seems to be one of the points of controversy. I know that I can be polemical here and that maybe what I will say can sounds bad for many, but today, at light of what I have seen during last 3 or 4 years and from the testimony of friends living there, I have serious doub about decency of Maduro and some of his team members. Of course I am nobody to say if he is or not, but really we do not know if it is the case. I think that to say that someone is a decent man he should behave as a decent man. Just because Chavez (who really showed a decent behavior) in some way choosed Maduro as successor, it do not warraty us that Maduro per se be a decent person. It is true that he took Chavez's legacy but IMO from the begining Maduro gave signals of a sort of lack of skills as politician (thinking in terms of a good politician, someone that know to do and not just to talk), althoug I know, it is not enough to affirm that, to know someone is not a decent man.

But with the time became more and more clear for me that the government of Maduro begun to draw a behavior toward citizens that IMO was an alarm. Beyond to be hard with oppositors (what IMO it is not necessarily a mistake per se), his acts went oriented mainly to reward allies (socialist militants) and to punish anyone who had a dissenting voice, some observation to say, or criticism. He did not seems to distinguish between a classic opponent (neo-liberal/oligarquic US lover) and a common citizen who simply thought a little different.

With the pass of the time my impression is that for rulers of Venezuela there is 2 possibles choices for citizens: you are with me or you are against me. Maduro (the government) IMO today (and at least for the last 2 years I think) do not hear the people (not the oppositors, the rest of people), their needs, their complains,... What I have seen the last years is that Maduro only has a beatiful speech about what bad it is the Empire, the socialist ideals, the Bolivarian Revolution,... but all this for me sounds rather like a allegation to justify their lack of skill to rule.

I know, the outside attacks existed and exist (maybe today stronger than never). Also I know that to rule a country in that conditions could be virutually impossible, but honestly I am not convinced that this is the case here. Maybe it is part of the problem, but IMO not the complete picture. I'd like to belive that what it is happen in Venezuela is just the unfair defeat of a pure and genuine popular revolution, 100% consequence of the "bad guys", but really I do not feel so.
 

Alana

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I hear what you are saying msante, but I still don't understand what you think the options are for the people of Venezouela at the moment, or what do you think Maduro should do that he is not doing, or what he does that he shouldn't. Maybe we can come up with some ideas and sent a letter to Maduro, not as representatives of the forum or sott, but as individuals who wish to see Venezouela prosper for her people?

I guess one can call Erdogan a tyrannical dictator, putting in jail daily people who oppose his policies too, in his attempt to clean his country of those external and internal harmful influences. It is also the same reason Putin is viewed as such by most of the world, but he did clean quite well, and look at Russia now.

I also understand that poverty and hunger can turn people away from noble causes and make them want to end the situation they are in by whatever means, but again, we come back to the question: what is the alternative for them?
 

msante

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Alana said:
I hear what you are saying msante, but I still don't understand what you think the options are for the people of Venezouela at the moment, or what do you think Maduro should do that he is not doing, or what he does that he shouldn't. Maybe we can come up with some ideas and sent a letter to Maduro, not as representatives of the forum or sott, but as individuals who wish to see Venezouela prosper for her people?

I guess one can call Erdogan a tyrannical dictator, putting in jail daily people who oppose his policies too, in his attempt to clean his country of those external and internal harmful influences. It is also the same reason Putin is viewed as such by most of the world, but he did clean quite well, and look at Russia now.

I also understand that poverty and hunger can turn people away from noble causes and make them want to end the situation they are in by whatever means, but again, we come back to the question: what is the alternative for them?
Well, I understand your point, Alana, and I'd like to think that Maduro is (and was ever) without options, but really (humbly) I don't think so. I know that my point of view maybe sounds a little arrogant, but actually I can not see what it is happen in Venezuela in another way. Maybe I am wrong and I am being inflexible and hard judging him, but I review again and again and I feel exactly the same: Maduro is part of the detruction of the revolution, althouhg I can say nothing objetive about his inner intentions or awareness.

I will try to put my observations schematically:

- For the government there is 2 types of people, those who are in favor and those who are against. IMO the president should be the president of every Venezuelan, not just of those that are militants. There is many testimonies from normal people, not oppositors, that was censured or pursued just for not to be tune with the Party.

- Many friends of government were put in critical positions at the head of important state-owned enterprises without knowledge and experience, just for affinity. And many of them (if not most of them) became enriched outrageously.

- All kind of priviledges were deployed to friends, relatives, and actives militants. The normal people (I repeat, not just oppositors) saw this with anger and a feeling of injustice was growing in them over time.

- With the pass of the time, with the accumulation of anger, and with the increasing difficults to live for normal people, the oppositors were growing in numbers. So the originals oppositors (likely they were a small number at the begining) were growing in strength, and in consecuence also were benefited US and his agenda.

- With this increasing situation every day more difficult for the government, they begun to become aware that an election would be their perdition. So they started to break slowly but at a steady pace the democratic institutions. I know, Democracy can be a mortal trap in this kind of situations but I think that in this crazy world one sometimes must accept certain rules to survive. Also I understand that can have occassions where a institucional hit can be the last and only resource, but IMO Maduro was far away of this situation. I suspect that his motivations was more in line with a huge fear of losing government.

- First the Judiciary was co-opted by the Executive Branch. Many judicial decisions were controversial and many people (common people) felt that those were traps and tricks to keep the power (whether it was so or not).

- Next the congress was canceled using ridiculous excuses. IMO in front of people you can not just "close" the congress because you are minórity.

- Maduro canceled Governors' elections in 2016 also with ridicolous excuses apparently just because he knew that they would lost elections.

- Despide this, if all this had been accompanied with a improve in the life of people, I think that Maduro, maybe still having broken the democratic institutions, would have been supported by the people, but while all this was in development, the people just was witness of growing difficults to live, injustice, a censorship device every time stronger, and speechs,... the laaaarge speechs with a boring rhetoric about the "bad guys", always projecting guilt toward outside,...

Finally, in the circumstances in which we live, what is what legitimizes a government? ... In principle the popular vote, the will of the people. Once the government is at the head of the state, there is a constitutional contract with the people for that government to fulfill its mandate. But it is essential to have the will of the people and popular support to be able to govern. The reality is that today, if there were elections, it is likely that Maduro lost. So Maduro today do not have the support of the people.

I think that sometimes one must to know when it is time to withdraw to gain new strength. IMHO Maduro did not know when and how to do it, and that mistake will be paid not only by Venezuela, but by several LA countries. I believe that for many people, for years, the only image they will have of the Revolution will be the current picture: violence, lies, propaganda, chaos, ... Sadly I fear that for a long time people will not want another revolution.

NOTE: I hope that my english will be understandable... :huh:
 
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