As the people of Venezuela head to the polls on Sunday for parliamentary elections, internal political tensions remain high even as the overall outcome remains anything but certain.
if the PSUV wins again, they had better start getting deeply serious about dealing more permanently with their hideous oligarchy. Most of us had high hopes for the Bolivarian "ballot box" revolution, but it appears clear that its only a matter of time before the people get steamrolled by wealth and power who have been actively in a state of treason for more than a dozen years now.
Unless the Shanghai cooperative, which has ;plenty of cash and can use all the oil that Venezuela can pump out of the Orinoco basin, enters the picture. If cooperative members (like India and Pakistan for instance) pay in yuan instead of dollars, no problem because the IMF has recently declared the Chinese yuan as an official reserve currency--along with the dollar, euro, yen and pound.
Excellent practical suggestion as Venezuela has I am sure by now realized that the US can manipulate the oil markets by telling it's gulf Arab slaves to flood the market and reduce prices. They aim to hurt not just Venezuela but also Iran and Russia. The US isn't so dependent on ME oil like she was back in the 1970's and the Arabs have enough fat to weather the storm for the time being. What I hope to see Venezuela do is to follow the Cuba model, tighten their belts, get self sufficient in food production and educate their people to even become a magnet for the US students to obtain higher education there.
Hear, hear. It's good to see that someone here recognizes the Emperor's fair exercise of his prerogatives.
It is only godless communists, terrorists, assorted fiends and other extreme nogoodniks that question His god given right to manipulate election, cause economic ruin and slaughter innocent people in whatever country he chooses.
Hell, the vote does not matter. If Maduro wins with all the reported government shenanigans...he wins. If he loses, we can look forward to the government gutting any powers of the legislature ..so Maduro wins again As for Weisbrot, he has been wrong on everything he has ever predicted as far as the government of Venezuela is concerned. If that guy said the sky was blue I would walk outside to check it myself.
.God help the people of Venezuela, no one else will.
What an arrogant post.
That was an honest post. If you don't agree with it, critique it with rational rebuttals.
Honest or opinionated? This guy is so full of hate it is hard to visualize honesty-
He may have much to say but I really don't care much for his insulting behavior....
I would think the major driving force working against Madura is none other than Exxon, since Chavez kicked their greedy asses out and Nationalized their OWN oil- The CIA has worked for Exxon for years and years-And then there are the wealthy land owners of Venezuela.....
Please go away, you are clearly a sock-puppet troll - and an offensive one. You come her spouting erratic opinions whose only common denominator is the insults flung at all USAns. You are not getting very popular here. You have anger issues. Sin duda, hay algunas buenas psicotherapeutas en Buenos Aires, no?
Caleb Maupin's article today titled 'Letter from Caracas: Spirit of anti-neoliberal 'chavismo' alive and well' is both uplifting for an old socialist like me and clearly demonstrates why the elites there, in the US and beyond so viscerally oppose any type of socialist solution - socialists redistribute income from resources and existing wealth derived from past inequitable and unjust schemes from the elites to the everyone else.
Hoping the Chavistas win.
So, tell me John, when Exxon was deprived of purloining their most lucrative natural resource by Chavez Nationalizing it, just where did all of that money go?
Venezuela's government is the business of no one but its own people. I do know that Washington is very angry that oil revenues in that country are being spent there now, instead of being recycled into Wall Street.
This article is so full of distortions and inaccuracies that it would take a book to unmount them. I'll respond to a few, but you should start getting your info on Venezuela from the Economist, The Guardian, Telegraph, etc. rather than US left sites where Weisbrot and his ilk write (he also writes for the previously mentioned, but they at least print other perspectives). First, the opposition isn't "right wing" but a diverse group spanning the old democratic left all the way to free market democrats. The way the Chavistas have won all those elections has been by hogging the oil income, which is 96% of foreign exchange, and they illegally use it to fund their campaigns. I've seen that with my own eyes, and everyone in Venezuela knows it. The US meddling? Pennies by comparison to the billions of dollars the Chavistas have to spend on their campaigns, while the opposition struggles to pay for its campaigns. The Bolivarians control all the media except a one national station now (Venevision) and one national paper "El Nacional." And is the Bolivarian government "left"? yes, the way the National Socialists were "left." Why do people who call themselves "left" in this country adore effective dictatorships like the one in Cuba or Venezuela, but the democrats, like Uruguay, Chile (also with left governments) don't have the same appeal? Did anyone hear of the Soviet Union? Remember what happened to it? Was that a "CIA plot" or could it possibly be that that model, currently replicated only in North Korea, Cuba, and increasingly in Venezuela, might not work? Today the Venezuelan people will speak and throw out those corrupt fascist so-called "socialists" and elect an opposition majority and this will be a step toward rebuilding democracy in a country strangled by caudillos for the past 17 years and a narco-government that can't even keep food on the shelves as it takes over imports and distribution and destroys national production.
Comment flagged for offensive personal attacks.
So are you saying that if the opposition coalition wins the National Assembly (and later the presidency) they won't dismantle the social programs, housing programs. healthcare programs (Barrio Adentro) rural land programs and the other accomplishments of the government of the past 17 years. That they won't institute neoliberal privatizations of public utilities and facilities, and PDVSA? They will just tweak the monetary policy a bit and the like?
Also, do you think that accusations of economic sabotage by the rich business class have no merit?
I don't think anyone knows what the opposition will do when it comes to power and cleans up the damage done by the Bolivarians. We'll see. I suspect it won't be worse than what the Bolivarians have done to wreck the country for the past number of years with the "paquetazo rojo" or the devaluations and inflation that has brought about a situation where it takes ten minimum wages to feed a family of five and even to do that you have to wait in line for hours and still come out of the market, on YOUR days to shop, as my friend did last week in Venezuela, with nothing but a bag of pasta and salt to live on for a week. As for the laughable charge of "economic warfare" (which Maduro charges, but never demonstrates with proof): certainly some big business has fought back against the onslaught of reckless ideological and destructive attacks on the productive sectors of society by the government, but the real problem is that the government's nationalized industries produce nothing, everything is imported, and the government controls currency, and doesn't sell dollars so businesses can import products or inputs. So production drops even in private businesses, but that's nothing to the nationalized industries which are now being trashed because of irresponsible management by the government. The statistics are there. Read Damian Prat's book, "Guayana: El milagro al reves" if you read spanish and look at the statistics yourself. Follow N. Chomsky's recommendation and read the business pages and ask yourself why Venezuelan bonds are rated as having the highest risks in the world.ETC
Results so far:
MUD (center to right opposition coalition): 99 seats so far, out of 167.
PSUV/left coalition 45 seats
The results don't surprise me. They made the economy scream and to adapt the USAn expression, the people cried "Tio" (Sam?).
Now watch as the shortages and hyper-inflation magically vanish, even before the new government changes any policies!
So, I take it that Venezuela was a paradise before 1998? Inflation wasn't a major issue in the country then? I take it, from people like yourself, that inflation in Venezuela is a Chavista thing, so I assume it wasn't an issue before he took over? Was the economy doing well for the average Venezuelan? Were their massive human right abuses? Was the oil money being used for economic development? Has poverty decreased, inequality, has literacy increased, has access to basic services increased? Have the policies that the "opposition" want to implement worked in that country or anywhere else to lift people out of poverty and to foster economic development? Of course not. I am sure that violence in Caracas began in 1998, before that time it wasn't a big issue.
"As for the laughable charge of "economic warfare" (which Maduro charges, but never demonstrates with proof)"
You comment above on calling Venezuela a dictatorship is laughable, given that the ruling party just got thrown out and, because of the Bolivarian constitution, the people have massive amounts of participatory power, far and away more than the US will ever have. Dozens of foreign observers, including the Carter Center, have been monitoring elections in the country for years and have said glowing things about their elections (we don't allow foreign elections monitoring). We can't overturn laws through referendum or recall presidents, Venezuela can. To think that their democracy isn't much better than it was before Chavez took over is ignorant nonsense. Do you now what the government was doing to people in the early 1990's?
"The US meddling? Pennies by comparison to the billions of dollars the Chavistas have to spend on their campaigns, while the opposition struggles to pay for its campaigns."
You can't be serious. You can read the documents that are available from the NED and the CIA right now. The coup in 2002 was supported by the NED, the oil industry lockout and the economic sabotage has been constant since 1998. This is no secret and it has had a major impact. The oligarchs largely became oligarchs through oil money, well, now they might have gotten their baby back.
The opposition won though. I think, if they get their way, they will institute "reforms". Let's see what those reforms do. Let's see if they really aren't right wing, if they are moderate and hold onto the Bolivarian social programs. Surely, they won't put in place the same neoliberal forms, cause they are obvious failures, right? Either way, I am sure the nightmare of the Chavez years is over. Pre-Chavez Venezuela was much, much better for the average Venezuelan, across the board. You have data to prove that. You won't just analyze the current Venezuelan economy in isolation, you'll compare it to the decades BEFORE Chavez took over and you can show that the problems that the country is dealing with began under Chavez and didn't predate his election.