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An Open Letter to the United States: Stop Interfering in Venezuela's Internal Politics

#22

The irresponsibility of this open letter is staggering and its underlying moral position is of a bewildering hypocrisy.

My wife is an Honorary Consul of Amnesty International for her work as a musician fighting the narcomafia that has held Venezuela hostage for so many years now. We have witnessed a mafia plunging Venezuela into unprecedented violence, impunity, medicine shortages, starvation and poverty. And yet you - this community that claims a proprietary right over compassion for the poor - blames the opposition for these horrific outcomes, an opposition that has been arbitrarily imprisoned, tortured and banished from democratic discourse. You, the champions of the poor, are advocating for this monster to continue this trend of utter destruction and impoverishment.

And you are a community of professors? What are you teaching your students? That armchair ideology alone trumps all real-world considerations on the ground? That death and misery is perfectly acceptable as long as the people inflicting it are wearing red?

Have you no understanding whatsoever of what is going on there? If you were a fly on our wall you would! We have been rescuing young Venezuelans and bringing them to Europe now for the past three years, placing them in higher education, organizing their visas, feeding them, housing them, sending them medicines, organizing blood donations on social media, funding cancer drugs… the list is endless.

What do you not understand about more than 10% of the country fleeing on foot, making journeys of thousands of miles to survive this crisis? Would you prefer that they died silently, so you could continue to preach your odious nonsense from cosy leather chairs in first world universities?

Far from showing compassion to the poor, you are attempting to condemn an entire nation to levels of misery that not one of you signatories can even contemplate!

After 20 years left to its own devices - and with the winning lottery ticket of vast oil and mineral wealth to play with - Chavismo has ground the country into despair. The regime has became a drug cartel, and individuals like Chavez, Maduro and Cabello have enriched themselves to the tune of billions in the process. Is this what you all support? Is this the moral destination that years of academia has led you to?

The violence and instability that you speak of is the very cause of the civil uprising we see today. You are years too late in fearing them. That is why the entire nation spilled onto the streets this week! Don’t you all see that?

Once and for all, try to differentiate between the noble ideas of egalitarianism and the utterly nihilistic vision of the Castro/Chavez/Maduro axis. They are totally unrelated. You are supporting criminals that are causing a genocide! On your consciences be it!

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#23

I’ll be concise:

I am a Venezuelan citizen living in Venezuela.

These “intellectuals” NEED better sources of information. The common people in Venezuela are eating from heaps of garbage, literally! If any of you want proof, I have plenty of videos of my travels throughout Venezuela.

The chavista government was very good at marketing its revolution. You all fell for it, with absolutely NO verification of the information you saw. Try speaking to someone in Venezuela who is unrelated to politics. I am musician, and I would be very happy to show you exactly how things are here, after 20 years of this fake ideology. Please contact me! You will learn a lot about this situation firsthand and your opinions will reflect your deeper knowledge. In short, you won’t make such fools of yourselves in public.

Please contact me and I will make videos of whatever you ask me to. It means a lot to me that people outside of Venezuela understand what is going on here and not inadvertadly supoort tyrany.

Marchingbear @ yahoo . com

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#24

I am very disappointed at this group of purists, who disregarded Millions of people suffering in Venezuela in their open later. Facts are simple: Government has been hijacked by Maduro narco mafia aligned with the Russia to cause mischief in American backyard. Noam Chomsky: personally very disappointed at you! By recognizing the new leader in Venezuela, Trump did the first thing right in his office. Maybe the last thing too :frowning:

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#25

I invite you to move to Venezuela for a year… before you can comment on the situation in Venezuela… you need to live it… move down there… live in a Barrio with no food, water, electricity, health sis ten and then maybe then you could have an opinion on the situation!

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#26

Before talking about something that you don’t know it’s better inform yourself first. I’m Venezuelan, I left my country looking for a better future but 95% of my family is still there, so I KNOW what is going on Venezuela and I don’t accept this letter. Maybe this is Trump’s first right decision but believe me, it’s the right one and I am thankful for that.

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#27

I think is very callous to talk about Venezuela withouth been Venezuelan or suffering what we are suffering. It is arrogant. It is not intersectional. I am very sad to see how “Intellectuals in the US” are not in touch with the real suffering of Venezuelan people for 20 years and keep condoning a cruel dictator. It is sad because you are influencing the public opininon, and missinforming the reallity. The true is, you are not helping us. I lost my dad because we coudln’t find a diarreah medicine last year, and I am not the only one. Right now, Maduro is repressing and murdering people because he can and some of them are not even disenting. More than 791 detenees and over 30 deaths since January 21st. There is no free press, elections, and people have to go to a predicament to find food and medicines, to have running water, power, and internet. We have the right to try to change our future, but your opinions are giving validation to Maduro’s strategies and helping him to keep fooling the system to stay in power. I want my country back. I don’t like Trump, or his policies, but your dissinformation is hurting us, the Venezuelan People! If we don’t have the US support, Maduro will stay in power as much as he can. He doesn’t want to make fair elections, or leave power.

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#28

We, the citizens of The United States, come to places like this to voice our concerns and to speak our piece on important matters. We come here because we have nowhere else to go, because we are not heard in the halls of government, we are not respected among our supposedly elected representatives, our voices fall empty where it counts - in the secret back rooms and board rooms, and national security centers where decisions are made in absentia. We, The citizens of America, who are ultimately responsible for what our country does, who are subject to worldwide responsibility for the actions of our tax funded military, our CIA and NSA, and our Psychotic Fascist president and his lackeys in the senate and the courts and the congress - we are not notified beforehand, much less consulted on these matters. We are not members of a representative democracy, but the unwilling, uninformed participants, instead, in a fascist and totalitarian despotic regime. Now even as our out of control terrorist regime attacks yet another sovereign state without justification, we are neither consulted nor informed. If it all goes south, and it always does, we will be expected to send our sons, grandsons, and great great grandsons to a massacre, and many will die for a cause we have little knowledge of. In the case of Venezuela, Americas concern was once described by a particular scholar as such - “The threat of a good example”. If Venezuela is allowed to dabble in some form of democratic socialism and if they succeed, then many countries in the world will follow, particularly in Latin America, and the amoral oligarchs will be defeated utterly and completely. Here we go again - another fascist hostile intervention in a oil rich nation.

#29

I’m very saddened to see that there are so many Venezuelans here in America who seem unaware that America played a extremely influential even pivotal role in the destruction of the Venezuelan economy and thus brought about Venezuelan suffering. They apparently haven’t been here long enough to see that the installment of a puppet leader in Latin american countries by America always results in more suffering, and ultimately the ruination of the country. I’ve heard it all before, Cubans living in America trying to tell us we should murder Castro and invade Cuba. Iraqi’s living in America telling us we should invade Iraq. There are probably north Koreans living in America who want us to invade North Korea. At any time America could have helped the Venezuelan government and it didn’t, We could have helped the Cubans, lifted the embargo, opened up trade, and we didn’t. We didn’t because if their government succeeded it would become a popular form of government among people who lived to see capitalism and imperialism fail and fail repeatedly. The threat of a good example.

#30

Has illiterate Trump ever heard of Noam Chomsky? Does anyone among the ignoramuses in the White House have any idea of who Noam Chomsky is and what he does? Of course not. The same goes for the well over 100 million illiterate White Trash who worship Trump, 30% of whom can’t tell whether the Sun goes around the Earth or the other way around (60 million white scum voted for Trump, but his base extends to the inbred relatives of the scum, that is why I estimate his worshipers to number in excess of 100 million.)
I knew Chomsky personally (but doubt he would remember me) and one question I never got around asking him is why, why on Earth does he stay in the US. Chomsky, like so many others of his caliber could retire to Switzerland (or some other highly civilized place) far, far from the American white scum. Perhaps they don’t realize the scum will one day reach the heights of their ivory towers.

#31

The problem in Venezuela is the result of a corrupt regime allied to the narcotrafficking guerrillas, totally ruled by Cuba… It is desguised as socialism, but it was only populism to get into power, fooling the people. Any believer in socialism should denounce how they have been using this word to create an oppressive, abusive, disrespecting government. It is not only the US who is deciding to support the suffering people of Venezuela, where they is a dearth of food and medicines, and the government incarcerates and tortures whoever opposes them openly. It is a group of nations who are standing for the HUMAN RIGHTS of the Venezuelan people. Maduro has less than 10% of the popular support, according to serious surveys. Please, do not let your hatred for Trump and your leftist ideology fool you and make you turn away from a country that is truly suffering all that which Socialism is supposed to solve. I am not a fan of Trump, but I appreaciate the US joining other reasonable respectful countries like Canada, the UK, Germany and other sensible countries to end this nightmare in Venezuela… PLEASE DO NOT TURN AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF VENEZUELA AND THE RESPECT OF THEIR HUMAN RIGHTS!!!

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#32

You are totally fooled! Maduro and his thugs only oppress, sack the riches for their own benefit, traffic with drugs all over the world… and the people of Venezuela are starving, without medicines… they destroyed the oil industry, the agriculture, the steel mills, and many industries that had made Venezuela a prosperous nation… Cuba invaded us with Chavez, their useful servant, and totally controls Venezuela… Iran takes uranium with the blessing of the government for more than 10 years, with landing strips where planes are loaded. The terrorist group Hezbollah has training camps with the blessing of the government… Russia and China exploit oil and minerals… the profits do not go to the people… Please, take note of the number of opponents, they represent 93% of the people!!!.. Human Rights are not respected, protesters are thrown in dungeons and tortured… Please, do not let your hate for republicans or trump blind you and prevent that many nations, not only the US, help the desperate people of Venezuela who have been protesting and oppressed for years!!! OPEN YOUR EYES< you cannot say you defend the dreams of socialism and the common people if you are supporting a tyrant band of criminals!

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#33

Now you have the gargantuan arrogance and petulance to tell Venezuelans they don’t know the causes behind their own suffering, that they are unaware of the real reasons why they fled their beloved homeland. You have the brainwashed temerity to lay the blame at the feet of the Americans for a disaster made entirely by Hogo Chavez, who systematically destroyed the Venezuelan economy by anihilating the private sector, implementing currency controls, usurping the three independent branches of government, hijacking the media, imprisoning the opposition, stealing resources for his family, aligning himself with the cartels… etc., etc., etc. I hope you are happy supporting a regime that oversees a predicted 10,000,000% inflation this year, and murder rates consistently among the highest on earth over the last decade. I hope you feel good about supporting narcotraffickers and criminals, just so you can continue wearing your threadbare Che Guevara t-shirt. I hope you are happy knowing that your support of Maduro is a green light for the condemnation of an entire nation to abject misery. How gobsmackingly foolish of you to criticize Trump (and I am no fan of Trump) as a “totalitarian” while you luxuriate in a society that enjoys democratic checks and balances, knowing that the idiot you support in Venezuela has destroyed every last vestige of democratic principles. How easy for you to preach when you don’t suffer the consequences of your hideous, ill-informed, ignorant, pseudo-intellectual bile.

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#34

A clear yet simple explanation of the Venezuelan situation by David Luhnow, Latin America Editor for The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones:

"Some politicians and folks on the left in US, Europe and Latam wonder if what is happening in Venezuela is a coup against de facto President Nicolas Maduro. Let’s use an analogy that might help.

Imagine a world where US President Donald Trump stacked the Supreme Court and other institutions with political hacks. The midterms come, and Democrats win a resounding 2/3 majority in Congress. Stunned, Trump gets courts to declare Congress null and void, and ignores its decisions.

Trump then creates an alternative Congress, filled with his own supporters, to pass laws. When there are street protests against this, he sends out National Guard to crack down. 158 are killed by security forces. Thousands arbitrarily arrested.

Top democratic leaders are arrested or forced into exile. Some are tortured.

Trump then heads for re-election. But his administration bars any top Democrat from running. The Democrats boycott the election. Trump holds it anyway and wins! No credible observers are allowed. Even the guy who set up the electronic voting system says there’s fraud.

Trump is sworn in by his fake congress. The real Congress, meanwhile, says he’s an illegitimate president. And, according to law, they swear in the head of Congress as the legitimate president until new elections can be held. That interim president is recognized by many nations.

Now, is that a coup by the real Congress? Or has the coup already taken place by the president? In a nutshell, that’s what happened in Venezuela."

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#35

This open letter is a disgrace. I am Venezuelan and have witness first hand, and I along with my relatives, the decline of the standard of living in Venezuela. We have been begging for help from the international community for the past five years when the collapse began. The Chavez/Maduro regime has been the most corrupt in the history of Venezuela, perhaps of the world. We are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and you have the audacity to come up with this ridiculous letter. You ignore the suffering of at least 90 percent of Venezuelans for what? What do you gain from this? You are so blinded by idealogy. You don’t want or can even begin to understand how wrong you are. You are as wrong as nazis, as racist/xenophobics, as terrorist and all the evil in the world. MGTY! (Mamahuevos te dije ya!)

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#36

Not true at all, only in your head. Panama, Peru and Chile have been driving. You are like a broken record. Have you even traveled to Latin America?

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#37

Why does the U.S. have a solid relationship with European countries who have a social democracy? Venezuela is a good example? Have you been there in the past 5 years? Do you know the consequences of the policies established in Venezuela? You are mixing some truth with a whole lot of lies. And shame on you! MGTDY

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#38

The United States government must cease interfering in Venezuela’s internal politics, especially for the purpose of overthrowing the country’s government. Actions by the Trump administration and its allies in the hemisphere are almost certain to make the situation in Venezuela worse, leading to unnecessary human suffering, violence, and instability.

Venezuela’s political polarization is not new; the country has long been divided along racial and socioeconomic lines.

But the polarization has deepened in recent years

[JMAC] This statement is baseless. Polarization has been equally proportionated since 2002. The manipulation of polls and election results have transformed the information. But there has never been a whole side with more than 40% support at any time since 1999.

This is partly due to US support for an opposition strategy aimed at removing the government of Nicolás Maduro through extra-electoral means.

[JMAC] This conveniently leaves without comment that the other parts have a direct intervention, with the presence of personnel in the country, from CUBA, RUSSIA, and CHINA. Additionally, the ties the Venezuelan government has with Turkey, Syria, and Radical and Terrorist ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS. Current Maduro’s term is based on an election that was hurried by a Constituent National Assembly that was formed out of legal and constitutional procedures by an Electoral Power, which denied Venezuelans to realize a recall referendum. So, the extra-electoral means affect both sides.

While the opposition has been divided on this strategy, US support has backed hardline opposition sectors in their goal of

ousting the Maduro government through often violent protests, a military coup d’etat, or other avenues that sidestep the ballot box.

[JMAC] The only protest aimed to oust the president was in April 2002 and it was successful. The opposition does not initiate violence during the protests. We (the opposition who protests openly on the streets) do not have guns nor pepper gas armory. All that comes from the military and militias, with government-supplied Kalashnikov rifles. This is also conveniently omitted.

Under the Trump administration, aggressive rhetoric against the Venezuelan government has ratcheted up to a more extreme and threatening level, with Trump administration officials talking of “military action” and condemning Venezuela, along with Cuba and Nicaragua, as part of a “troika of tyranny.”

[JMAC] Once again, the part where RUSSIA, TURKEY, and SYRIA have pledged to send troops to defend Maduro’s regime is left out. Additionally, the regime counts with paramilitary support, from Colombia FARC and ELN, that currently dominates and has invaded the frontier states of Venezuela.

Problems resulting from Venezuelan government policy have been worsened by US economic sanctions, illegal under the Organization of American States and the United Nations ― as well as US law and other international treaties and conventions.

[JMAC] This is an outright lie. The Venezuelan Government Policy is the only cause of the economic problems that are reflected in huge shortages of otherwise readily available food, medicine, spare parts for cars, among other simple things. Additionally, the “bachaquero effect”, people who sell at huge premium regulated products, are a direct consequence of the production, distribution, and retailing price control. These are handled from a centralized government entity that knows, beforehand, where the products are going to be sold, and the bureaucrats send their army of poor people to buy their rations, just to accumulate them in storage and sell them for a huge profit.

These sanctions have cut off the means by which the Venezuelan government could escape from its economic recession while causing a dramatic falloff in oil production and worsening the economic crisis and causing many people to die because they can’t get access to life-saving medicines.

[JMAC] Again, this is not true. The recession in Venezuela began in 2009 and has not stopped ever since. It is due to the combination of the harsh economic conditions that have shut down more than 70% of the private economy. They are a direct consequence of the tight controls that have converted common merchandise in illegal items (e.g. butchers sometimes have to sell meat with greater care than a drug dealer do business) and, as oil USD income recessed, the printing of worthless Bs surged to maintain social programs. The price, ever increasing hyperinflation. Consequence: Continual Impoverishing population.

Meanwhile, the US and other governments continue to blame the Venezuelan government ― solely ― for the economic damage, even that caused by the US sanctions.

Now the US and its allies, including OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro and Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, have pushed Venezuela to the precipice. By recognizing National Assembly President Juan Guaido as the new president of Venezuela ― something illegal under the OAS Charter ― the Trump administration has sharply accelerated Venezuela’s political crisis in the hopes of dividing the Venezuelan military and further polarizing the populace, forcing them to choose sides. The obvious, and sometimes stated goal, is to force Maduro out via a coup d’etat.

The reality is that despite hyperinflation, shortages, and a deep depression, Venezuela remains a politically polarized country.

[JMAC] It has never been NON-POLARIZED since 1999.

The US and its allies must cease encouraging violence by pushing for violent, extralegal regime change. If the Trump administration and its allies continue to pursue their reckless course in Venezuela, the most likely result will be bloodshed, chaos, and instability. The US should have learned something from its regime change ventures in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and its long, violent history of sponsoring regime change in Latin America.

[JMAC] There are many and sizeable differences with the Middle East US Interventions. First, the opposition is not armed. I’ll have a push here. WE DO NOT HAVE GUNS. So, the bloodshed, which is occurring increasingly since Maduro took office in 2013, comes from government military, police, and militia. The chaos is government sponsored, since it is the winner when the order is oblivious.

Neither side in Venezuela can simply vanquish the other. The military, for example, has at least 235,000 frontline members, and there are at least 1.6 million in militias. Many of these people will fight, not only on the basis of a belief in national sovereignty that is widely held in Latin America ― in the face of what increasingly appears to be a US-led intervention ― but also to protect themselves from likely repression if the opposition topples the government by force.

[JMAC] True. But it is not mentioned that the government has imprisoned any popular politician whose voice has started to gain track among the population, particularly the impoverished one. So, the balance, regardless of polarization, is in favor of the government by controlling courts and prisons. There is no rule of law in Venezuela when the government is involved.

In such situations, the only solution is a negotiated settlement, as has happened in the past in Latin American countries when politically polarized societies were unable to resolve their differences through elections. There have been efforts, such as those led by the Vatican in the fall of 2016, that had potential, but they received no support from Washington and its allies who favored regime change. This strategy must change if there is to be any viable solution to the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.

[JMAC] False. There are many solutions. The negotiations have shown a government that is irresponsible when fulfilling its part. That’s because they are expert in the short term. You don’t mention that the Electoral Power has shutdown audits and the manipulation of results occur when there is no publicly available online data during elections. A real solution is just a presidential election, with the Electoral Power committed to let all the polls results open to the public at real time, eliminating the advantages that the many control points for arriving at the voting table give to the government party, and, foremost, eliminating the armed militia from supervising elections in the areas that decide the elections.

For the sake of the Venezuelan people, the region, and for the principle of national sovereignty, these international actors should instead support negotiations between the Venezuelan government and its opponents that will allow the country to finally emerge from its political and economic crisis.

[JMAC] It is clear that you have no idea of what is happening in Venezuela, or if you do, you’re very hypocrite about it. Negotiations are useless while one of the parties have the gun power in their hands and using it. When that is neutralized, we’ll be able to have a meaningful negotiation. Meanwhile, although unorthodox, we welcome US assistance.

1 Like
#39

Are you suggesting that we, Venezuelans, don’t have a clue of what goes on in our country or what caused it?

Venezuela is not ruled by socialists. Learn at least that. It is ruled by corrupt thugs, with ties to drug cartels and middle east terrorists groups. It claims to be under the banner of the poor, yet it daily violates their basic human rights. It neglects every single aspect of humanity while at the same time funneling the nation’s resources to their private bank accounts. All these is done while controlling the media and portraying themselves as equality fighters.

I don’t expect you/them to know it, but I do expect from all these scholars a fact checking lesson. Don’t fight for the Maduro regime as you are fighting for the opposite of what you preach. Help us Venezuelans stop once and for all this madness.

By the way, Venezuela is not polarized anymore. We all want to redo our lives and we thank all the countries in the world that are finally looking our way and giving a helping hand.

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#40

Being opposed to American support of yet another ot dozens of Latin American Coup’s isn’t exactly the same as being a supporter of the Maduro regime. Exploiting the political weakness of a failed petro state isn’t out of a strong sense of charity, there is a will to seize control sf the resources at work. I am not a friend of the drug cartels and corruption in Venezuela, but I can assure you that American intelligence is.a friend to them all, as is always the case. It is always the CIA’s strategy to align themselves with the financial powers of the country they are interfering in. Venezuela is desperate, but replacing one tyrant with another isn’t the answer.

#41

Are these people (the under-signers of this letter) aware of the level of extreme violence the Venezuelan Dictatorship is using against Venezuelans opposition groups? Maduro’s government and Chavez before him violated the Venezuelan Constitution fragrantly with no consequences. This problem is much more complicated by what is portrayed in this letter. I think you should all spend a week in Caracas earning minimum wage and then we will talk.
Paul Esqueda

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