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Venezuela Coup

Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, January 24th, 2019 - 280 comments
Categories: class war, International, us politics - Tags: , ,

Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó has declared himself interim President in an attempt to force recently re-elected President Nicolás Maduro from office.

The apparent coup was immediately welcomed by Donald Trump who said he would use the “full weight” of US economic and diplomatic power to push for the “restoration” of Venezuela’s democracy.

The Organisation of American States (OAS) has recognised Guaido as interim President and it’s being reported that Canada will also do so later today. It’s likely that right wing Governments across South America will also come out in support of the opposition leader in the next few hours.

Speaking to tens of thousands of protesters in the capital, Caracas, Guaidó, the head of the opposition-run national assembly,  said he was “formally assuming the responsibility of the national executive”. However, there does not seem to be any constitutional ability for him to take this step.

Guaidó, said his move was the only way to rescue Venezuela from “dictatorship” and restore constitutional order. However, Maduro was re-elected to the presidency late last year and remains in control of the state and, importantly, the military.

There seems to be a real chance that this latest coup attempt will degenerate into significant violence.

It certainly has the feel of Chile ’73 about it.

280 comments on “Venezuela Coup ”

  1. Gosman 1

    What absolute rot. There is no indication this is anything other than a civil disobedience campaign. The military is not involved at all and hundreds of thousands of people are protesting peacefully by all accounts. I note that when people are protesting left wing oppressive regimes it is a coup but if it was the other way arpund it would likely be classified as a popular uprising.

    • rata 1.1

      I note when right wing attack left wing Governments
      the media in NZ describe this as winning back the good old NZ values.
      When the left wing protest oppressive right wing Gov’t bullying the poor
      the same NZ media describe the actions as a threat to the fabric of society.

    • Morrissey 1.2

      You never seem to understand what you’re writing about.

      Have you thought of taking some time off and doing some reading? Serious reading that is, not Cameron Slater’s blog or the Grauniad.

    • Adrian Thornton 1.3

      “I note that when people are protesting left wing oppressive regimes it is a coup “That’s because it usually is, maybe if the west would keep out of other countries business, we would see how many actual popular right uprisings there are…not many successful ones I would bet….I would say the following insights are the in truth the real motivations behind most right wing coups…including Venezuela today.

      In November 1935, Major General Smedley D. Butler supplied a rare honest insight into the role of the West’s military:

      ‘I spent thirty-three years and four months in active service as a member of our country’s most agile military force – the Marine Corps… And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.

      ‘Thus I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City boys to collect revenues in. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras “right” for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.’ (Butler, quoted, Sidney Lens, ‘The Forging of the American Empire’, Pluto Press, 2003, pp. 270-271)


      • Gosman 1.3.1

        Nice to see you at least acknowledge the Maduro regime as an oppressive left wing one. You just need to stop defending it now.

        • Tricledrown

          Gossipboy So you can replace it with a Fascist Drug Cartel backed regime.

        • Adrian Thornton

          Are you just willfully blind, or do you just enjoy the attention of being a troll?

          From your own stated source (venezuelanalysis.com) you can plainly trace a history of ultra aggressive western interference in Venezuela from the beginning of Chavez right up untill today…all documented in detail in venezuelanalysis and many other sources..and then you have the fucking gall to come on here and talk about an oppressive left!

          So why don’t you stop trolling and write something worth while or just fuck off back to what ever nasty little place to come from.

          • Gosman

            You are mistaken if you think I trust the Venezuelanalysis site. I do not. It just provides me with a useful counter point to more mainstream sources on the topic.

            • Adrian Thornton

              I don’t understand why the moderators don’t ban a fucking piece of shit troll like you.

              • infused

                Yes, why are you still here?

                • Siobhan


                  “It is a site I regularly use to get updates on what is happening in Venezuela.”

                  “I read very widely on the Venezuelan situation so I am well versed in both sides. Have you ever checked out https://venezuelanalysis.com/?”

                  “It is a site I regularly use to get updates on what is happening in Venezuela.”

                  “You are mistaken if you think I trust the Venezuelanalysis site. I do not. It just provides me with a useful counter point to more mainstream sources on the topic.”

                  This is pretty much the definition of trolling..using arguments and ‘facts’ from only one source…a site they don’t actually trust. Gosmans world view as presented on TS is almost Kafkaesque…or maybe not Kafka so much, maybe Kafka’s (hypothetical) moronic cousin…

                  • Morrissey

                    Here, Siobhan, is a visual correlative of Gosman’s behaviour….

                  • Gosman

                    Do you only read from sites that agree with your ideological perspective Siobhan?

                    • Siobhan

                      For the record ‘Yes’..i’m actually a dedicated reader of the Daily Mail, have been for years, but I don’t base my views entirely around sources I don’t trust. When I quote from a suspect site, such as The Guardian, I always make a point of backing that up with a source I consider more trustworthy.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Tabloid?? “Angry citizens protested late on Tuesday in at least 60 working-class neighborhoods around the country, burning trash and clashing with troops in an echo of violent street demonstrations two years ago that saw at least 165 people killed.” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6623345/Venezuela-rises-against-President-Maduro-hundreds-thousands-expected-streets.html

                    Yet plenty of commentary onsite here from those who still believe Maduro represents the people! Just wondering, given that your newspaper of choice is reporting this rebellion in working class districts, how do you see his current status?

            • Morrissey

              …provides me with a useful counter point to more mainstream sources…

              Jesus Christ, this clueless drip is pretending he reads widely on this topic. I’d bet even Wayne Mapp knows more than he does.

    • georgecom 1.4

      Guaido didn’t bother to contest recent elections. Maduro was re-elected president. Guaido now declares himself president and calls on the military to support him. Whats that if not an attempted coup? If he wanted to be president, contest the elections. Don’t simply declare yourself president. As for the US and others backing him, I assume if Pelosi stands up and declares herself the President of the United State, Trump et al will support her. Consistency dictates they will need to.

  2. esoteric pineapples 2

  3. vto 3

    Venezuela has been shafted by the international monetary system elites.. no need to shaft a country by way of invasion, just get the yanks to pull the money system

    • Gosman 3.1

      No, they have shafted themselves. Noone but their own government has been spending money when they didn’t have any. Noone but their own government is trying to set the official rate of their currency far above what the market thinks it is worth. Noone but their own government decided to impose price controls on various goods which was below that which businesses can make money from. Noone but their own government has failed to invest in the Oil industry so that, despite recent rising oil prices, oil production is at the lowest level since the 1950’s.

      • adam 3.1.1


        Your ability to ignore facts is outstanding gosman – the fact you can’t or won’t accept the what the corporations have done to Venezuela – just proves how much of an ideological tosspot you really are.

        • Gosman

          Run me through the facts and explain how these facts are leading to the situation in Venezuela. I read very widely on the Venezuelan situation so I am well versed in both sides. Have you ever checked out https://venezuelanalysis.com/?

          • adam

            No your not, all you spin out is hard right attack lines.

            Starting from your bullshit on the toilet paper crisis. Which was just one of many corporate attempts to smear and destabilize Venezuela economy and the democratically elected government.

            • Gosman

              What BS was there on the Toilet paper shortages?

              • One Two

                Far less than what passes through your head and the keyboard , onto this blog…

                Countries that have oil are either subservient, bombed or over thrown into subservience…

                Your continued denial of simple historical truths is unsurprising…

                • Gosman

                  Really? I don’t see this happening to Norway or Russia.

                  • arkie

                    US economic sanctions and political antagonism targeting oil-rich Venezuela dates back two decades, since the late socialist leader Hugo Chávez was elected president in 1999, who promised a series of social reforms and nationalisation of industries.

                    He carried out his pledges, nationalising major swaths of the OPEC nation’s economy as part of a radical social agenda, using oil money to pay for popularist reforms like increasing the minimum wages of poor workers.

                    Mr Chávez was detained in a brief military coup in 2002, but was reinstated by military loyalists after mass street protests.

                    US and allied nations in Latin America have been ratcheting up pressure on Venezuela in an effort to remove Chavez’s successor, President Nicolás Maduro, who continued similar policies, labelling him a dictator.

                    I don’t see this happening to Norway or Russia either.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Plenty of sanctions on Russia.


                    And don’t say that they were because of Russia doing stuff. The US has done similar stuff and they didn’t get sanctioned.

                    • Gosman

                      Russia is completely entitled to impose sanctions on the US if it wants.

                      How come the Russian economy hasn’t imploded as badly as the Venezuelan one given it also has sanctions against it?

                    • Tricledrown

                      Gossipboy Russia is a much more powerful country it supplies much of Europe’s Energy needs it has the second largest arms exports it has Donald Trump by the balls. Also Nigel Farage and other Fascist dictatraitors in its back pocket. Russia is to big to bully into submission. Syria and the Ukraine the Skripal poisonings. Trump barely bat’s an eyelid except when Putin mentions the pee pee tapes.

                    • Gosman

                      Yet Russia has more sanctions on it than Venezuela has.

                    • Tricledrown

                      Russia has imposed Sanctions by funding Ukip and other Fascist parties in Europe to weaken Nato and Europe. Trump has sanctioned Russian interference in Syria by giving it over to Putin. The Ukraine is largely being left to Putin. Why aren’t Nato stopping Natural Gas imports giving meaningful aid to the Ukraine.

                    • Gosman

                      The US is not stopping Venezuelan oil imports to the US. In fact the Us remains Venezuela’s biggest oil export destination.

                    • arkie


                      The latest development raises the prospect that the United States will expand sanctions to U.S.-Venezuelan energy trade, a move that would be potentially devastating to Venezuela. The nation has seen its oil production crater in recent years, depriving the socialist republic of its lifeblood energy revenue and exacerbating a devastating economic crisis.

                    • Gosman

                      But it hasn’t done so yet. Venezuela still sells most of it’s output of oil to the US.

      • Tricledrown 3.1.2

        Gossipboy I am pootin and end to your argument Ukrian Syriaously. Venezuela won’t be a functioning Democracy until the US stop’s its war on drugs and dependence on drugs. 40% of the country is under the control of the Cartels. They and the Military will control Venezuela. Left wing or right wing. Dictatorship.

  4. esoteric pineapples 4

    It is interesting how rarely the US economic sanctions are mentioned when they talk about the Venezuelan economy


    • Gosman 4.1

      That is because none of the Sanctions are causing anyu of the economic problems the country is facing. There are far harsher sanctions on Iran and that economy has not imploded.

      • adam 4.1.1

        Except they can’t get loans to sell oil. China jumped in for a bit, but not nearly enough. This has hurt the economy more than anything else. Where as Iran, can still get loans to sell its oil.

        Good to see we get the usual lies and bullshit from you gosman.

        • Gosman

          China has more money than the US. If Venezuela was such a good investment destination there would be no problem getting capital. It isn’t though.

          On another note isn’t it weird that a Socialist regime needs international capital to prosper?

          • adam

            Isn’t it funny capitalism means we get more homelessness everyday, and people killing themselves in droves in this country.

            Kids are going without food and the environment is on the verge of collapse.

            Yeah capitalism is a really funny joke. What is worse is the apologist who keep being ideological retards in it’s defence.

            • Gosman

              Venezuela has Socialism yet there are lots more people in poverty today than there were 20 years ago.

              • arkie

                According to the figures i could find the poorest venezeualans share of personal income has increased by 2% in the last 20 years.

                Please point me to your analysis.

                • Gosman


                  ‘Poverty in Venezuela is an epidemic. Nearly 90 percent of Venezuelans live in poverty. According to estimates by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, this is a dramatic increase from 2014 when 48 percent of Venezuelans lived in poverty. Maria Ponce is an investigator with the local universities researching the food shortage, and she stated that “this disparity between the rise in prices and the population’s salaries is so generalized that there is practically not a single Venezuelan who is not poor.”’

                  I’m pretty confident that 90 percent of the population in poverty is more than it was 20 years ago.

                • Gosman

                  This article suggests the poverty rate pre 2000 was around 41 percent


          • arkie

            Is France a socialist regime Gosman?

            • Gosman

              Not entirely. Why do you ask?

              • arkie

                Because the percentage of the economy operated by the state in France is significantly larger that in Venezuela even at the height of the Chavez regime, ergo if France is ‘not entirely’ Socialist then Venezuela can’t be either.

                • Gosman

                  Really??? How much of the Venezuelan economy is operated by the State? Given the Oil industry is almost 100% State controlled and that accounts for the majority of economic output I think your information is incorrect.

                  • arkie

                    Yes really.

                    Government spending as a percentage of GDP in Venezuela in 2007 was 30%, smaller than other mixed economies such as France (49%) and Sweden (52%).


                    • Gosman

                      Except you fail to take in to account the ownership of the Oil industry (which makes up by far the biggest section of the economy). It would be like if the NZ State owned Fonterra and Fonterra was the only big business in town.

                    • arkie

                      Except if you actually looked at the Center for Economic and Policy Research report that I linked you would see that you are incorrect.

                      The figures I quoted come from that report on the economy of Venezuela during the height of the Chavista regime. Chavez nationalisation of the oil industry was the point of their analysis.

                    • Gosman

                      No, the figures you are using are for Government spending not share of ownership. It is like the difference between wealth and income. They are two separate things.

                    • shadrach

                      Tell me Arkie, how are you enjoying socialism under Macron?

                      1. The removal of railway workers retirement age benefit (supported by 75% of voters).
                      2. Commercializing the SNCF.
                      3. Reform of Frances labour laws.
                      4. Removing Frances wealth taxes, while increasing tax on retirees.

                      Yes, France has a type of socialism. If you want some insight into what you get with democratic socialism this is a good read https://fee.org/articles/france-shows-what-you-actually-get-with-democratic-socialism/.

                      “Here’s the truth: there is no end goal in socialism but to take more and more. No demand is big enough, no social welfare program extensive enough. If you believe that you could satisfy those who argue for any kind of social welfare program by giving it to them, is fundamentally mistaken. On the same side, the result is more devastating for the poorest in society, with larger unemployment, and economic opportunities. Those who fail are unanimously seen as victims of the capitalist system, and those who succeed must have done so through vicious greed and reckless exploitation. This is why the innovators and creators of the world reside in the United States, and not in France.”

                    • arkie

                      Double-team of stupid right here.

                  • Tricledrown

                    I would say that 50% of the countries economic output is from the illegal undocumented drug trade.

                • Morrissey

                  arkie, it doesn’t matter how much you know, this guy will just waste your time.

          • Tricledrown

            China has more money than the US. Gossipboy you Undo any credibility in every argument you get into. China relies heavily on US Trade and therefore money.

            • Gosman

              China has more spare cash to invest than the US. It is why it is investing heavily around the World.

              • Tricledrown

                It chooses to use its money on soft diplomacy but it knows it can’t bite the hand that feeds it by interfering in South and Central America. The US’s spare cash is going to the ultra wealthy in tax cuts oil and coal industry subsidies and armament build up. China has huge debt as well but in the Modern world the super uber wealthy can profit out of economic kaos especially if they know the timing by creating the economic Kaos!
                That’s why Trump is not afraid to run up a $22 trillion debt he knows its going to crash he and his billionaire buddies like Putin will be buying up bargain speculative investments.

          • Draco T Bastard

            On another note isn’t it weird that a Socialist regime needs international capital to prosper?

            Aren’t you on record saying that we need international capital to prosper?

            The RWNJs do say that:

            Justin Ensor, a KPMG partner and deal advisory chief, last year said this country needed foreign investment.

            “New Zealand needs foreign capital to operate. If the impact of reforms is to cut off the flow of capital – particularly out of Australia into New Zealand – that could dampen this economy to some degree. We would then be more reliant on domestically raised capital. Economic growth relies on talent which is entrepreneurs, combined with capital which creates jobs,” he said late last year.

            So, why does NZ need international capital to prosper?

            • Gosman

              Oh I believe it Draco. Remember I am an Arch-Capitalist. Many of you guys on the other hand think Capitalism and Foreign investment is BAD. Or did you forget about that while look for something to excuse the poor performance of a country actually trying to implement some of your ideas?

      • Tricledrown 4.1.2

        Because Iran is a complete Dictatorship it doesn’t have the Drug Cartels controlling 40% of the country

        • Gosman

          Iran does have massive issues with drugs and there are criminal gangs involved in the drug trade. They seem to be able to have a handle on it though. Venezuela has lost control of law enforcement.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.3

        That is because none of the Sanctions are causing anyu of the economic problems the country is facing.

        The whole point of sanctions is to cause problems for the country sanctioned.

        • Gosman

          No, the whole point of sanctions is to cause difficulty for SOME of the people in the country. The country as a whole may well be fine. In fact some sanctions can stimulate economic development along the sort of lines YOU propose for NZ.

          • Draco T Bastard

            No, the whole point of sanctions is to cause difficulty for SOME of the people in the country.

            But invariably cause problems for the whole country.

            • Gosman

              Not really. You’ve yet to really explain HOW these sanctions have caused the problems Venezuela is experiencing. You’ve just assumed that because there are sanctions they must have. Correlation is not Causation .

              • Draco T Bastard

                You’re in denial. If sanctions weren’t there to cause problems then the US wouldn’t use them as part of its war on countries doing things differently from them.

  5. rata 5

    I have declared myself the President of Venezuela’s oil fields
    My new entity will be known as Venezoila.
    Guaidó and Maduro can have the rest of Venezuela.
    Oil be right.
    El presidente rata de por vida.
    The milky bars are on me.

  6. Morrissey 6

    …it’s being reported that Canada will also do so later today

    Canada is a rogue state in the same disreputable company as Australia and Israel. It’s time we stopped regarding them as the nice neighbour to the north.

    Justin Trudeau is a spineless individual if ever there was one.

    • Gosman 6.1


      This is hilarious. Canada being a rogue state. I can just see those dastardly Canadians barging in to other countries and then apologising profusely for doing so.

      I suppose you and the Saudi’s both are in agreement on that front though. Nice to know you and the Saudi’s are aligned.

    • Wayne 6.2

      Yep, Canada is surely a rogue state, starts wars, commits genocide. Altogether one of the worst countries on the planet. Makes North Korea look like a paradise.

      • Morrissey 6.2.1

        Wayne, your attempts at flippancy are as convincing as your more pompous straight out lying.

        • RedLogix

          The idea that Canada is a ‘rogue state’ is a delusional inversion, playing word games with reality in lieu of a reasoned argument.

          There are no perfect people, there are no perfect countries. If you are of a mind to you can always find something to piss on.

          But it’s also helpful to ask, “compared to what?” And the answer is simple; ask any of the 6 billion humans who living in the developing nations, “here is free residency and a plane ticket to any nation of your choosing”. And 99.9% of the time they’ll pick a new home from one of just 10 or 20 countries on earth.

          • Morrissey

            Canada was and is involved in the destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. Canada is apparently about to support this coup against the democratically elected government of Venezuela.

            Canada is forcing through its destructive and irresponsible tar-sands oil, over the massive opposition of its native people.

            Canada has sided with the U.S., Australia and Israel in the U.N. In the 2011 U.N. General Assembly, Canada voted against a series of resolutions promoting solidarity with the Palestinians.

            How is that being anything other than a rogue state?

            • Tricledrown

              A democratically elected govt Morrissy Venezuela has maybe had 1 or 2 democratically elected govts it has had Murderous Right wing Dictators now a Muderous left wing Dictator after 2 elections of a left wing communist govt. US policy has created this mess. If they had kept out of This countries politics it would have stabilised many decades ago. Look at Vietnam now. The US has a uneven foreign policy nasty to one country nice to another..

      • Gosman 6.2.2

        Can you believe the thinking of some of these people Wayne? It reminds me of a debate I had recently with a Namibian who argued that Idi Amin was a great man that the West took down.

        • Morrissey

          False equivalence, idiot.

          • Gosman

            Not really. You guys have the same warped logic infecting your thinking. It amuses me to see you tie yourself in knots defending despots like Maduro.

            • vto

              the most amusing thing as the years go by Gosman, is your blind allegiance to neoliberalism, the monetary system and their combined deceits.
              It is as if you are a robot…

              • Morrissey

                He’s not pledging blind allegiance to mere neoliberalism, he’s fully in support of a fascist coup against an elected government. Spain in 1936, Iran and Guatemala 1954, Brazil 1964, Chile 1973….

                • Gosman

                  It is hilarious you think Maduro is an elected leader.

                  • Morrissey

                    What, was he installed by God like the Saudi leaders for whom you have just expressed admiration?

                    • Gosman

                      Where have I EVER expressed admiration for the Saudis?

                    • Morrissey

                      Gosman at 10:54 a.m. today: “Places like Saudi Arabia and Norway seem to manage their oil wealth much better.”

                      Venezuela Coup

                      Gosman at 12:21 p.m. today: “Where have I EVER expressed admiration for the Saudis?”

                    • Gosman

                      That is not stating my admiration for the Saudi’s. That is merely stating a fact. It would be like stating the German Army in WWII was generally well organised. It doesn’t mean I have admiration for the Nazis.

            • Morrissey

              “Not really.”

              If I wasn’t aware of exactly how clueless and lazy you are, I’d be tempted to argue with you.

            • Draco T Bastard

              You’re the one with the warped logic.

              No, that’s wrong, its the entire right-wing with warped logic:

              Stein, however, went somewhat further, saying that the representative, a self-described socialist democrat, poses a major threat to the very fabric of America’s capitalist society.

              You all view anything that’s not a capitalist socio-economic system as a threat.

              • Gosman

                Your ideas are a threat Draco. Even you admit that. They just aren’t a credible threat. The risk of you actually convincing enough people to back your ideas is minuscule.

                • arkie

                  At least he has ideas. You are an empty vessel, with a leak evidently, because no matter how much information you are drip fed if never seems to stay in there.

                  • Gosman

                    My ideas are the economic and political mainstream. You might like to think they are an empty vessel yet pretty much all the political parties in Parliament support them in one form or another.

        • Tricledrown

          The West gave him a safe haven. Idi Amin is no different to many other Dictators who the US prop up like Saudi Arabia. Look at Central Africa today not much has changed except arms sales are up a poverty to.

    • esoteric pineapples 6.3

      Venezuela proves that Canada and the United States are never going to stop exploiting oil no matter how much the planet burns

      • Gosman 6.3.1

        The US was the main market for Venezuelan oil even during the height of Chavez’s rule. The US was already getting the Venezuelan oil. They didn’t need to do anything more to get it. In fact because of the corruption endemic in the Oil industry in Venezuela they are getting less of it now than they have for decades and yet the US is quite happy. It is the Venezuelan government that is suffering not the US.

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    “Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru and the Organization of American States have also recognized Mr. Guaidó as the country’s leader.” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/23/world/americas/venezuela-protests-guaido-maduro.html

    Canada has a leftist leader. I wonder how many other countries in this group do also. Such a rapid consensus is remarkable. Unless Maduro can enough popular support left to produce crowds like the one surrounding the 35-yr old opposition leader, he’s finished. Venezuelans must decide this for themselves. No foreign intervention. Will Maduro do the usual stalinist thing and send out the death squads?

    • Morrissey 7.1

      Canada has a leftist leader.

      If by “leftist” you mean someone who tramples over the rights of indigenous people, in his own country as well as in Palestine, then yes, that grinning vat of vacuous is “leftist.”

    • Gosman 7.2

      But it is all a big bad Western (read U.S) inspired plot to oust a very popular President Dennis. All these other nations are just doing the bidding of the evil capitalist cabal controlling the World.

    • Gabby 7.3

      That’s just the usual Spanish thing franky.

  8. Gosman 8

    For all those apologists for the Venezualan regime care to explain why the current “President” was sworn in for his new term in front of the Supreme court judges instead of in front of the National assembly?

    • adam 8.1

      So who does the US president swear an oath too??!?

      More B.S distraction and attacklines from a most pronounced ideological retard.

      • Gosman 8.1.1

        How the US President does it is irrelevant to how the Venezuelan President has usually done it previously. The question is why did he change how he did it?

  9. Ad 9

    If Australia recognises them, we will as well.

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    “Eva Golinger, an American lawyer who was a close friend of the leftist strongman Hugo Chávez, Mr. Maduro’s mentor and predecessor, said the government could no longer count on its traditional bastions of support to overpower opposition movements, which in the past were led by wealthy and middle-class Venezuelans.”

    “The difference this time is that the discontent is not just opposition,” said Ms. Golinger, who wrote a memoir called “Confidante of ‘Tyrants,’ ” about her ties with Venezuelan and other leaders. “In fact, it’s mainly poor people who are tired of going without basic products and earning decent wages.” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/23/world/americas/venezuela-protests-guaido-maduro.html

    “Other notable differences include the youth of the politicians now leading the quest to oust Mr. Maduro, and the careful messaging they have deployed. The opposition’s new leader, Mr. Guaidó, is a 35-year-old industrial engineer who was little known at home or abroad until this month, when he was sworn in as president of the National Assembly. His appointment reinvigorated that opposition-dominated legislative body, which had become ineffectual and deeply unpopular in recent years.”

    If the National Assembly is a democratic organisation, and he was elected legitimately, then he seems a viable alternative to Maduro. It’s an unusual situation, perhaps unprecedented, for a nation to elect more than one leader concurrently!

    • Morrissey 10.1

      Dennis, would you support a violent insurrection against Jacinda Ardern?

      • Dennis Frank 10.1.1

        Of course not, but I’ve just posted the constitutional situation report (see 11) so looks like your analogy doesn’t apply. Stuff has been happening there for a while now that our media hasn’t delved into…

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    “The National Assembly (Spanish: Asamblea Nacional) is the de jure legislature for Venezuela that was first elected in 2000. It is a unicameral body made up of a variable number of members, who were elected by a “universal, direct, personal, and secret” vote partly by direct election in state-based voting districts, and partly on a state-based party-list proportional representation system.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Assembly_(Venezuela)

    “In the midst of the ongoing constitutional crisis, a different body, the Constituent Assembly was elected in 2017, with the intent of re-writing the Venezuelan Constitution. From that point forward, the two legislatures have operated in parallel, with the National Assembly forming the primary opposition to president Nicolás Maduro, and with the Constituent Assembly being his primary supporters. In January 2019, the National Assembly re-asserted its authority, declaring Maduro’s May 2018 re-election void, and declaring Juan Guaidó acting president, citing clauses of the 1999 Venezuelan constitution.”

    So you can see the strategy of the stalinists: set up a competing assembly to fake democratic representation, then hold a fake election to keep Maduro in power.

    • esoteric pineapples 11.1

      While the Capitalists attempt to set up a fake people’s revolution to install a fake democracy

      • Gosman 11.1.1

        Yes those dastardly Counter-revolutionary Capitalists. How dare they win a democratic election to the National Assembly with basically 2/3rd’s of the seats. Why can’t they continue to lose elections like we want them to?

    • Morrissey 11.2

      “The stalinists”.


      President Maduro was democratically elected, with a large majority. The closest thing to Stalinism in Venezuela, with its emphasis on terror and its contempt for democracy, is the extremely violent right wing.

      • Dennis Frank 11.2.1

        I believe we can’t assume anything. We’re too remote. If Maduro is legit, he will accept the will of the people peacefully. If not, he’ll use violence to retain power. Will the military tolerate that? I doubt it. More likely, they’ll go with the people.

        Either way, it will almost certainly come to a head in the next 24 hours. The key military decisions have probably already been made.

        • Augustus

          ‘The will of the people’?, what people? I haven’t seen any reports of poor Venezuelans rallying for privatisation, deregulation, welfare cuts and small government. But that’s what they would get.

          • Gosman

            Yes, because of the mess the Chavist regime has made of the economy that is what they will need.

          • Dennis Frank

            Well, you’re reciting the neoliberal agenda. If that were the only option available they could be desperate enough to choose it. Have a look at comment #10, and what that American lawyer friend of Chavez says.

            • Gosman

              I am actually finding your contributions here really useful and informative Dennis. I obviously disagree with the direction the analysis is coming from but it is generally a good rundown of the situation. It is certainly a World away from the Chavista apologists who cannot see any wrong doing on the part of Maduro and his cronies.

              • Dennis Frank

                It’s because I’ve long self-identified as neither left nor right. Thanks for the acknowledgement. I’m aware that you try to provide balance too, but others respond by polarising things. I try to acknowledge merit on both sides of the ideological divide where possible, so that polarising can be minimised. Not easy sometimes!

                In respect of Venezuela, dispassionate appraisals seem hard to find. Wikipedia has a relevant page that I have not yet quoted from (google Venezuela constitutional crisis 2017 to find it) that provides essential context for what is now happening.

                The key to the whole thing is where the money went. Privatisation enables everyone to hide the money flows, which is why I oppose it as ideology. I suspect what happened is that Chavez & co copied the capitalists when they got into power and diverted as much as possible into their private accounts. It seems the only explanation for why Venezuelans didn’t get the trickle-down effect…

                • Gosman

                  Privatisation can lead to corruption but so too can nationalisation. In my opinion nationalised industries (especially in countries like Venezuela) are more likely to lead to corruption than if they are privatised. The problems in PDVSA seem to bear out my opinion.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Both systems prevent anyone from following the money flow. That’s why the left copies the right. They both want a system they can profit from. The positive alternative is open transparent governance. Something the left are big on promoting, and small on delivering…

                    • Gosman

                      Very cynical of you Dennis 🙂

                      Nationalised industries allow people connected to people in power to milk the State on an ongoing basis. Privatisations allow them to do so at the point they are privatised (e.g. Russian Oligarchs). From then on they are on their own UNLESS the State grants their businesses special privileges.

                      But I will grant you that the Right-wing opposition in Venezuela has been it’s own worst enemy in the past and certainly has not brought the entire country along against the Chavista regime. There has been a failure of leadership and vision from that side.

                    • Tricledrown

                      Gossipboy look up Venezuelan history cherry picked facts you have finally admitted to a degree that suits your myopic views. Both sides have had successes and both serious failures. Venezuela has had a yoyo economy boom bust mainly around oil prices. Dictatorship’s of the left and right have stuffed the economy. With the Deep state Narco Trade working in the shadows. Now the US embargo stifling Murderous Maduro’schances of a functioning economy. It seems to be par for the course in Venezuela.

    • Ad 11.3

      The left had a good turn at the bat.

      Same as Brazil.

      • Morrissey 11.3.1

        …a good turn at the bat.

        I suspect you know as much about Brazil as you do about Venezuela.

          • Morrissey

            Elvis Presley, that vacuous lump of lard, was as astute a commentator as you, my friend.

        • Tricledrown

          Both are extremely corrupt it doesn’t matter who’s in power very little will change for the peasants but the tax havens banks will be filling up with Billions.

          • Gosman

            But the Socialists in Venezuela love the peasants. That is why they have spent so much money on them.

            • Tricledrown

              Gossipboy like the “Muderous” Fascists that were installed by the US before who profited from the drug trade helped by the CIA funded by Drug addicts in the US. This is South Americas Syria. The peasant ate bullets now no food soon it will be bullets. No one will control the Favelas or the corruption till the Drug trade stops. That will take Portuguese style Drug reform in the US to take the money out of the Drug trade.

              • Gosman

                How come Colombia isn’t falling apart economically Tricledrown?

                • Tricledrown

                  Because its a one Party State not unlike Venezuela but because it has sucked up to the US and their military has maintained control over large parts of the country. A one party state controlledd by a corrupt cartel. No doubt getting a clip of the massive Drug Trade otherwise the cocaine trade wouldn’t be dominated by Colombia.

  12. esoteric pineapples 12

    New Zealanders would cave in to pressure for a far right government supported by the US if the price of petrol went up another dollar a litre, let alone years of extreme economic sanctions

    • Gosman 12.1

      Eh??? The problem for Venezuela wasn’t that the price of oil went up but that it went DOWN.

      • Tricledrown 12.1.1

        The problem is that the infrastructure to export the Oil has fallen into disrepair because of sanctions due to Nationalisation and the embargo on oil exports. If Venezuelan oil comes back on tap oil prices will drop considerably maybe that’s why Putin hasn’t stepped in.

        • Gosman

          No, there is nothing stopping the Venezuelan’s getting funding AND the equipment to upgrade their aging infrastructure for the Oil industry. Indeed they have signed a number of agreements with the Chinese and others to do so. They don’t require the US to do this. The problem is they are using the State run oil company as a social and political service rather than treating it as a commercial entitity that requires business decisions and funding.

          • Tricledrown

            Gossipboy Oil infrastructure is much harder to come by than you would have us believe. As Russia found out last time Russia faced Sanctions. The US is the main supplier!

  13. Morrissey 13

    South American right wing politicians like Jair Bolsonaro associate with the most disgusting people….


  14. AB 14

    If you are a small 3rd-world country with oil, you have no choice but to allow the lion’s share of the wealth to flow to foreign investors in global oil companies, along with local elites facilitating the transfer.
    If you try to buck this system, you will be in trouble. You will be sanctioned, vilified and generally undermined.
    If you are simultaneously incompetent and/or corrupt and lose the support of your own people, you’re a dead man walking – because you have just provided plausible cover for your removal.
    In a way, I’m thankful NZ never discovered huge reserves of oil.

    • Gosman 14.1

      Venezuela didn’t use to be a Third-world country. It had the highest standard of living in South America and was regarded as an Upper middle income country until quite recently. Places like Saudi Arabia and Norway seem to manage their oil wealth much better.

      • Tricledrown 14.1.1

        So how come the Drug Cartels controlled 40% of the countries population and a Murderous corrupt Dictator accepted millions from the Drug Cartels. No leader can survive without the support of the Drug Cartels gossipboy.

        • Gosman

          Where do you get this 40% figure from? I’m not claiming you are incorrect by the way just wanting to find out where you get your information from.

          As for the impact of the Drug Cartels. You have a quite conveniently located country that you can compare Venezuela to which suffers from a similar issue. Colombia is very similar to Venezuela ibn terms of the influence of drug cartels. Somehow that nations has not descended in to a complete economic mess. Colombia doesn’t even have lots of oil.

    • Dennis Frank 14.2

      Yeah, altho I’m finding there’s a little more to their situation than that: “Russia is a major political ally of Venezuela, and Russia’s largest oil company, Rosneft, is heavily invested in the South American nation’s oil fields, which produce less crude each month.” https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2019-01-23/the-latest-protesters-in-venezuela-burn-statue-of-chavez

      So, despite that Russian help, the country headed down the gurgler anyway. Evidence that the super-power label can no longer be accurately applied to Russia, eh? Latest news has Bolivia still supporting Maduro, and Obrador in Mexico has declared himself neutral. Since he’s leftist, that’s very sensible of him.

  15. joe90 15

    Place is as corrupt AF, and doesn’t seem to matter who’s running the shop.

    The dire situation in Venezuela today is the byproduct of a political system that relies on redirecting public resources to elite stakeholders who support the incumbent government. Blaming the poverty relief programs and subsidies for the poor also fails to take into consideration the long-term structural weaknesses of the Venezuelan state that predate Hugo Chavez.

    The use of oil as a political resource in Venezuela dates back to the dictatorial regime of Juan Vicente Gomez, who ruled the country between 1908 and 1935, a critical period that included the discovery of the major oil reserve at Lake Maracaibo. He awarded oil concessions to political allies, who then received rents by selling extraction rights to foreign oil companies. Venezuela’s key commodity was therefore established from the very beginning as a political chit.

    Following the death of Gomez, Venezuela experienced a succession of military coups in 1945, 1948, and 1958. Although the final coup restored democratic rule, the violent overthrow of government by the military established a precedent for the institution’s role in determining the legitimacy of Venezuelan governments. Exacerbating this dynamic, the elected leaders that succeeded the 1958 generation faced the economic challenges that were endemic in the region during the 1980s. The fragility of Venezuela’s democratic institutions was on full display in the mass riots of 1989 and two attempted coups in 1992.


    Also, Gossman’s fave has a bit to say about the politics of food –

    First, it is important to look carefully at the food lines: their composition, their location, and what products are being sought. The people waiting in these lines have overwhelmingly been poor working-class women—an attack on both everyday life at the household level, as well as on the popular organization of the Bolivarian Revolution, in which women have played a key role. The lines have also largely formed outside supermarkets, where consumers wait to access certain specific items that have mostly gone missing from the shelves. These consist of the most consumed industrially processed products in the Venezuelan food basket, particularly precooked corn flour. The specific selection of these missing items—those deemed most essential to the population—tends not to make the headlines, and this points to a wider gap in media narratives. For while precooked corn flour has gone missing, corn-based porridge has remained available; milk powder disappeared from the shelves, but fresh dairy products like cheeses can still be found, and so on.

    and precooked corn flour –

    Ever since the first commercialization of precooked corn flour, one brand, Harina PAN, has become synonymous with the product—to the point that its name is used interchangeably with the generic term harina precocida. PAN stands for Productos Alimenticios Nacionales, National Food Products, and is a homonym of pan, bread. Despite the humble origins portrayed in the company’s marketing campaigns, its owners, the Mendoza Fleury family, come from a long lineage traceable back to the colonial elite, and have held key posts in both government and business for generations. Today they are among the most powerful families in the country and best known as the owners of Empresas Polar, the conglomerate that supplies the most widely consumed foods and beverages in Venezuela, particularly arepas and beer. Polar, a Venezuelan subsidiary of PepsiCo, is the largest private company in the country, with products reaching global markets, and it controls an estimated 50 to 60 percent of Venezuela’s supply of precooked corn flour.

    and food shortages –

    Several other important factors point to holes in the dominant scarcity narrative. First, the same items missing from shelves have continued to be found in restaurants. Second, by their own accounting, private food companies, including Polar, continued to maintain steady production levels at least through 2015.32 In a 2016 interview, in fact, a representative from Polar spoke of the recent addition of new products such as teas and gelatins to their Venezuelan lines.33 Third, even before the government mounted a widespread response to the shortages (as described below), corn flour consumption levels among both higher- and lower-income sectors of the population remained steady from 2012 to 2015.34 Thus, while the shortages have undoubtedly caused tremendous anxiety and insecurity, and while accessing certain goods has become more time-consuming and complicated, Venezuelans have indeed found ways to obtain them.35 In addition to enduring the lines, another channel has been the underground economy, through which goods such as corn flour are sold at a steep markup. While individuals have turned such practices into business opportunities, private enterprises have done so as well, both by hoarding goods for speculative purposes and by smuggling them across the Colombian border. The regular discovery of stockpiles further suggests that goods have been intentionally diverted from supermarket shelves.36

    and US tactics –

    There are direct parallels between present-day Venezuela and Chile in the 1970s under Salvador Allende, where the U.S. strategy, in the words of Richard Nixon, was to “make the economy scream.”37 The United States employed the same methods of destabilization, including a financial blockade, and supported the right-wing counterrevolution, likewise manifested in shortages, lines, and street protests, among other forms of disruption. The depressed prices of Chile’s main source of foreign exchange, copper, parallels declining oil prices Venezuela. While the extent of U.S. involvement in Chile’s counterrevolution would not be fully understood until years later, when key documents were declassified, overt U.S. aggression toward Venezuela is already evident in the intensifying economic sanctions imposed by the Obama and Trump administrations, as well as an all-out economic blockade that has made it extremely difficult for the government to make payments on food imports and manage its debt.38 As one State Department representative put it:

    The pressure campaign is working. The financial sanctions we have placed on the Venezuelan Government has forced it to begin becoming in default, both on sovereign and PDVSA, its oil company’s debt. And what we are seeing because of the bad choices of the Maduro regime is a total economic collapse in Venezuela. So our policy is working, our strategy is working and we’re going to keep it on the Venezuelans.39


    • Gosman 15.1

      Yeah, Venezuelanalysis is a real riot. I enjoy reading it just for the warped ideas expressed. Almost as funny as some people here.

  16. esoteric pineapples 16

    Good analysis here, including the point that the moderate opposition doesn’t get any media coverage in the west and doesn’t support this coup – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXo3iE-fB94

  17. Cemetery Jones 17

    If I were Maduro, I’d definitely be in an active state of helicopter avoidance right now.

    • The Al1en 17.1

      Maduro – A socialist in so much as the nat caucus is full of well intentioned, caring advocates for the common man.

      No tears shed for this so called left dictator, filling his fat face while letting his people starve.
      It’s not helicopters he wants to fear, it’s the prison diet he’ll be getting.

  18. Matthew 18

    I am not sure what knowledge anyone here has of the Venezuelan situation, but to defend the government because it claims to be socialist is to be ignorant of the recent history of the country. Chavez did make some progress in addressing the issues of poverty, but at the same time enriched his cohorts, and created a new elite. Maduro has simply attempted to maintain this political/militant elite, and suppress anyone who points out that his acts are at best dictatorial. The Venezuelan opposition is probably not the best answer, as they seem to believe in the hype that it is left versus right, which with Maduro it most certainly is not. The problem in latin america especially, is the left / right standoff, entrenched since military juntas controlled much of the continent, and understandable in relatively undeveloped democracies. So as once Lula and Chavez lead the red tide, now Macri and Bolsonaro (Trump II) push the fascist agenda. Look to Cuba for a better socialist example, and to leaders such as AMRO now in Mexico, and PEPE ex Uruguayan president. There are and were examples of socialism with leadership. To compare Venezuela 2019 with Chile 1973 is not fair to either country. 1973 was an outrage on every level, and destroyed so much talent and promise, whereas in Venezuela the promise has fled, with millions of refugees, some now being abused in Ecuador due to a belligerent president, the country has lost more than 10% of its population to exodus. Just remember Maduro is more comparable to Pinochet than Allende.

  19. greywarshark 19

    I’m not counting but there does seem a coup attempt by Gosman to take over this post. Does the TS allow people such as him to tarnish the important struggles of countries like Venezuela in trying to get better political standards in their country?

    I think it is time for repelling arrogant invaders like Gosman.

  20. DJ Ward 20

    Maybe Jacinda can offer Maduro Asylum.
    I would hate to think of him having to join a caravan and walking to Trumps wall.

    Think of the benifits. Maduro probably has 100s of millions tucked away for his retirement.

  21. Dennis Frank 21

    You’d think a bunch of stark, raving socialists like the EU govt would be supporting Maduro, eh? Think again.

    “The dispute came to a head in early 2019 when the National Assembly of Venezuela stated that the results of the election were invalid and declared Juan Guaidó as the acting president, citing several clauses of the 1999 Venezuelan Constitution… Shortly after the National Assembly’s declaration, various Venezuelan groups, foreign nations, and international organizations made statements supporting either side of the conflict. The Organization of American States (OAS) and the European Union expressed support for the National Assembly.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Venezuelan_presidential_crisis

    They must’ve seen good reasons to oppose a fellow-socialist!! Here’s why: “the new National Assembly of Venezuela was sworn in on 5 January 2019. The National Assembly was disavowed by Maduro in 2017 and is seen as “the only democratically elected institution left in the country”.

    “Minutes after Maduro took oath, the Organization of American States approved a resolution in a special session of its Permanent Council in which Maduro was declared illegitimate as President of Venezuela, urging that new elections be summoned. Maduro’s election was supported by Russia, China, and the ALBA.”

    ALBA “is an intergovernmental organization based on the idea of the social, political and economic integration of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.” The ten member countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Nicaragua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela.

    “Guaidó received a letter from the President of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice of Venezuela in exile, which is based in Panama, requesting him to become acting president of Venezuela.” To do so democratically, he had to be elected. “Guaidó was elected President of the National Assembly of Venezuela in December 2018, and was sworn in on 5 January 2019.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Guaid%C3%B3

  22. Brigid 22

    The opposition leader in the National Congress Juan Guaidó, does not have a majority in the country, as the nations president.

    “….the National Congress no longer has legal power. In 2017 that role was taken over by the elected Constitutional Assembly, which supports the Venezuelan government. The Venezuelan Supreme Court ratified the change. That Guaidó may be called president by Trump does not make him such.

    Juan Guaidó, the self declared ‘opposition leader’, is just a telegenic stand in for the right wing leader Leopold Lopez, who in 2014 was jailed after inciting violent protests during which several people died. Lopez, now under house arrest, is a Princeton and Harvard educated son of the political and financial nobility of Venezuela, which lost its position when the people elected a socialist government. Lopez is the man the U.S. wants to put in charge even while he is much disliked. A U.S. diplomatic cable, published by Wikileaks, remarks that he “is often described as arrogant, vindictive, and power-hungry”.

    The poor were the winner of the socialist changes. The socialists, first under President Hugo Chavez and now under Nicolas Maduro, used the profits from oil exports to build housing for the poor and to generally lower their plight. These masses will be called upon to protect their government and gains.”


    • Gosman 22.1

      Brigid, ask yourself WHY the role of the the National Assembly was taken over by the Constitutional Assembly. What possible reason would Maduro have had for stripping an democratically elected constitutional branch of the State of power and giving it’s power to another organisation (one that he could control)?

    • Gosman 22.2

      Brigid, are you one of these people who thinks the ends justifies the means and that because Maduro claims he is a Socialist he can act however undemocratically and dictatorially that he likes?

  23. Ad 23

    Nice long article from the Journal Origins on the historical origins of the Venezuela crisis.

    Good coverage of interaction between colonial origins, military-authoritarian rule, limited democracy, “resource curse”, and a bunch of graphs showing how fast and hard things got under Chavez:


    There are also good sections on Venezuela in the 2012 book “Why Nations Fail”, which goes into the causes and conditions of institutional strength and institutional assumptions that drive economic outcomes.


  24. Dennis Frank 24

    Here’s an amusing section of an interview between Democracy Now and the Venezuelan Foreign Minister:

    AMY GOODMAN: So, let me ask you about Human Rights Watch and the Venezuelan NGO Foro Penal recently releasing a report accusing Venezuelan intelligence and security forces of detaining and torturing military personnel accused of plotting against the government. The report claims, quote, “Some detainees were subjected to egregious abuses that amount to torture to force them to provide information about alleged conspiracies.”

    JORGE ARREAZA: That’s psychological warfare against Venezuela. Of course there are detainees that were in plots last year to overthrow President Maduro. But no one is torturing them. This happened in the last century in Venezuela. We were used to torture. We were used to students being killed in the streets every week. We were used to repression. That stopped with the Bolivarian Revolution. It doesn’t happen anymore. But these NGOs are paid also by the USAID and by the government of the United States, and they say what they have to say because they are paid.

    “Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities. Established in 1978, Human Rights Watch is known for its accurate fact-finding, impartial reporting, effective use of media, and targeted advocacy, often in partnership with local human rights groups. Each year, Human Rights Watch publishes more than 100 reports and briefings on human rights conditions in some 90 countries, generating extensive coverage in local and international media. With the leverage this brings, Human Rights Watch meets with governments, the United Nations, regional groups like the African Union and the European Union, financial institutions, and corporations to press for changes in policy and practice that promote human rights and justice around the world.”

    Sounds like a force for good, eh? The stalinist doesn’t want you to believe that, so he asserts they are using “psychological warfare against Venezuela” because they are paid “by the USAID and by the government of the United States”. He doesn’t offer any proof to validate his assertion. Democracy Now swallows it, hook, line & sinker.

    • Gosman 24.1

      It is very 1984 indeed Dennis and some people here have fallen for it hook line and sinker.

  25. Wensleydale 25

    Once again Gosman has succeeded in clogging up a perfectly good thread with torrents of drivel. Well done, Gossie. Have a chocolate fish.

    • Gosman 25.1

      Perfectly good thread? A thread that tried to imply a “Coup” was being attempted in Venezuela when nothing of the sort was happening.

    • Brigid 25.2

      And strangely Ed was banned for life for less

      • te reo putake 25.2.1

        Gosman is expressing opinions. Admittedly, not very good ones, but at least they’re his or her own work.

        • Adrian Thornton

          Gosman X 69 comments on this thread with 209 comments, means this idiot with his cynical misinformation has made 1/3 of all the comments on this very important subject…if that is not trolling then I don’t know what is.

          • te reo putake

            There have suggestions in the past that there should be a daily limit on an individual’s contributions. Personally, I’m not in favour. As long as the comments add to the discussion, even if promoting a contrary position to the majority view here, they’re to be encouraged rather than limited I reckon. Most of the right wing opinion presented here is easily argued against anyway. And there’s always the DNFTT option.

        • Andre

          I’m just fascinated by the many ways some of our moonbats here deny/divert from/minimise the many Chavez/Maduro screwups, and thereby make Gosman’s opinions appear sensible and reasoned. That’s on a comparative scale, not an absolute one, of course.

          • Dennis Frank

            Yes, peculiar behaviour. It’s been an interesting learning curve today. I’m now cautiously confident that democracy in Venezuela resides in the National Assembly, and that Maduro’s election via boycott was an exercise in fakery.

            On that basis, I’m predicting the UK will be obliged to follow Trump’s lead. Very significant that the EU govt apparently chose not to endorse Maduro, seems to me. Watch the Democrats carefully – to see if they decide to support Maduro!

  26. Cinny 26

    Maduro, his media control has been going on for years. I pity the people under his rule.

    Since he first took office in 2013, apparently almost 100 radio and TV stations have been censored or shut down, along with 33 newspapers. Another 50 journalists have been prosecuted.

    Venezuela has some of the worst internet on their continent and currently there is a paper shortage, which makes it easy to silence any printed material.

    The Listening Post have done many stories about the above. The latest was in the weekend, here is the link if you are interested. Well worth a watch.

    • Richard McGrath 26.1

      Yes this trade union leader and bus driver has continued the destruction and looting of a once prosperous country that started under Chavez.

  27. Cinny 27

    Al Jazeera are covering the latest events coming out of Venezuela.

    Link for updates and info below…..


    • Dennis Frank 27.1

      Looks like there’s a fascist intent on forming a united front with the stalinist! This on Al Jazeera’s page you linked: “”Maduro brother, stand tall, Turkey stands with you, Erdogan tells President Nicolas Maduro by telephone,” Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin writes on Twitter. Kalin also shares the #WeAreMADURO hashtag to show solidarity.”

      “Coming from an Islamist political background and as a self-described conservative democrat, he has promoted socially conservative and liberal economic policies in his administration.” ” In 2016, Turkey under Erdoğan began a crackdown on freedom of the press; in 2016 and 2017, more journalists have been incarcerated in Turkey than in any other country.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recep_Tayyip_Erdo%C4%9Fan

      • Cinny 27.1.1

        IKR, Erdogan is even worse for shutting down journalists and locking them up.

        Brothers in propaganda arms.

  28. joe90 28

    But not a coup.


    • Gosman 28.1

      That is still not a coup

    • joe90 28.2

      tRump was dead set on invaded Venezuela and six months later he recognises the opposition as the legitimate government.

      But not a coup.

      As a meeting last August in the Oval Office to discuss sanctions on Venezuela was concluding, [Donald] Trump turned to his top aides and asked an unsettling question: With a fast unraveling Venezuela threatening regional security, why can’t the U.S. just simply invade the troubled country?

      The suggestion stunned those present at the meeting, including U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, both of whom have since left the administration. This account of the previously undisclosed conversation comes from a senior administration official familiar with what was said.

      In an exchange that lasted around five minutes, McMaster and others took turns explaining to Trump how military action could backfire and risk losing hard-won support among Latin American governments to punish President Nicolas Maduro for taking Venezuela down the path of dictatorship, according to the official. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions.

      But Trump pushed back. Although he gave no indication he was about to order up military plans, he pointed to what he considered past cases of successful gunboat diplomacy in the region, according to the official, like the invasions of Panama and Grenada in the 1980s.

      The idea, despite his aides’ best attempts to shoot it down, would nonetheless persist in the president’s head.


  29. Morrissey 29

    Venezuela no se rendirá.

    “I have many critiques- from the left- of the Venezuelan govt. But in no way should anyone support a US backed- or Ruling Class backed- opposition and coup. The argument that people starved by US sanctions should support a US backed unelected leader to stop US sanctions is just crazy.”

    —-Boots Riley


    • Gosman 29.1

      Why should we care what this guy thinks?

      • Stunned Mullet 29.1.1

        Morrisey is a such a disappointment !

        “Oh the years I’ve spent on young Morrissey’s hand whilst he violently pleasured himself at the keyboard….and all for what …… raising a third rate stenographer who spends his time pasting twitter tweets”

        —-Prof Longhair

      • Morrissey 29.1.2

        You fool. You hopeless, illiterate fool.

      • Brigid 29.1.3

        You obviously think we should care what you think.
        Why is that?

        Don’t answer Gobsmack. The question is rhetorical.
        Anyway I’m going to go into the shed and build stuff.
        Any sort of discourse with you Gobshite is a waste of my time.

      • Tiger Mountain 29.1.4

        Because, gosman, you dribbling moaner, Boots gets to the real politik of the “coup” in one comment-whereas you have expended 70 merely to stain your underwear again!

        • Dennis Frank

          Well, I discovered & reported some facts of the situation here today. One of them proved that Boots got something fundamental wrong: his assertion that the US is backing an “unelected leader”. The guy was elected leader by the real Venezuelan parliament. He’s offering himself as interim president on that basis.

          • Gosman

            And Maduro’s recent re-election was heavily criticised by a range of election observers not just the pro-opposition ones.

  30. Dennis Frank 30

    RNZ view: “Days before Mr Maduro was sworn in, opposition figure Juan Guaidó became head of the country’s National Assembly, which soon voted to declare Mr Maduro a “usurper” of the country’s constitution in an effort to remove him from office. The Assembly has been effectively stripped of its powers since Mr Maduro’s ruling Socialist Party lost control of it in 2016.” https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/380805/political-crisis-in-venezuela-what-s-going-on

    It’s the old Stalinist strategy: retain power by eliminating the legal authority of the representatives of the people. “Mr Guaidó has openly called for the military to lead a coup against the Maduro government in recent days.” He’s asking the military to restore real democracy. That means repudiating the fake democracy Maduro is using to retain power (he called an election which was subjected to a boycott).

    “The International Monetary Fund has reported inflation to be over 1 million percent in the last year, the highest rate in the world.” Maduro’s performance proves he’s a born loser. He faked the election to make himself look like a winner rather than face reality.

    “The United Nations estimates three million Venezuelans have left the country since 2015”. It’s what stalinists do. Scare people.

    • ropata 30.1

      The Maduro regime in #Venezuela is a repressive kleptocracy (socialist in name only) and needs to be removed for the wellbeing of the people.

      • Tiger Mountain 30.1.1

        US Imperialism’s “preferred stooges” for countries in difficulty are rarely any improvement for the masses if history is anything to go by!

        • ropata

          That’s rather undemocratic of you – the opposition party appears to have the backing of the people, if you have seen the mass demonstrations today. US-backed or not, let the people decide

      • Dennis Frank 30.1.2

        Excellent link, thanks! The evidence presented there suffices to prove the points Gosman was trying to make earlier today.

        “In videos posted online, people can be seen chasing livestock through the fields to butcher it for its meat, while others resort to eating dogs and cats on the streets of Caracas. Food-related protests and the looting of stores have become more and more widespread, while thousands flood across the border into neighboring countries. Despite all of this, Maduro and his defenders on the left have basically turned a blind eye to this situation.”

        “Instead of making liberal democracy more democratic, the Maduro regime now deports journalists, jails union leaders, detains activists, murders whistleblowers, and tear gasses the poor and hungry. What was once an infallible electoral system has now been stripped of all the guarantees that ensured fair elections, allowing Maduro and gang to bend everything in their favor.”

        • Gosman

          The link is indeed excellent and is something I would hope more left wing people would read instead of blindly supporting the Chavista regime. That doens’t mean you need to change your political leanins (although I think you should :-P) . You can oppose the Chavista government and still support left wing solutions to the World’s problems.

  31. Dennis Frank 31

    “The Group of Fifty (G50) is composed of a select group of business leaders who head some of the most significant and forward-looking enterprises in Latin America. The G50 was founded in 1993 by Moisés Naím under the auspices of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the oldest foreign-policy think tank in the United States. Since 2008, the G50 is an independent nonprofit organization with no partisan, ideological, religious or commercial affiliations.” https://g50.org/about-the-g50/

    I’ve been looking for an authoritative independent appraisal of the situation in Venezuala. I’ve now found one, but need to establish its credibility. Here’s the essentials: “Moisés Naím is the founder and chairman of the Group of 50. He is currently a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an internationally syndicated columnist, and best-selling author of more than ten books, including The End of Power (2013). As the chief international columnist and “Global Observer” for El País and La Repubblica, the largest daily newspapers in Spain and Italy and a contributing editor at The Atlantic, Naím’s weekly columns and media commentary have a worldwide audience. They are also carried by all leading newspapers in Latin America.”

    “In 2011, Naím received the Ortega y Gasset Prize, the most prestigious award for journalism in the Spanish language. Since 2011, Naím is also the host and producer of Efecto Naím, a weekly television program on international affairs that airs throughout the Americas. Before joining the Carnegie Endowment, Naím was the editor in chief of Foreign Policy for fourteen years. Under his leadership, the magazine re-launched, won the National Magazine award for General Excellence three times, and became one of the world’s most influential publications in international affairs.”

    Francisco Toro is the Chief Content Officer at the G50. “Francisco brings his two decades of experience as a writer, editor and policy planner, in a career that has spanned eight countries in four continents. He started his career in Caracas, his hometown, as a junior reporter for the Washington Post and, later, the New York Times, and as a commissioning editor for VenEconomy, a leading business magazine. He was later a doctoral fellow at the United Nations University in the Netherlands, researching the theory and practice of global trade negotiations. His career then took him to Africa, where he lead the design of large-scale agricultural development project in South Sudan and investigated fraud in the agricultural input markets in Uganda. He is the founder and executive editor of Caracas Chronicles, Venezuela’s most influential English-language news and opinion website. Francisco graduated in Political Science from Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, and has a Master’s Degree in Social Policy Planning from the London School of Economics and a Graduate Diploma from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy. As a journalist, his work has appeared in The Economist, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Reason, and the International Herald Tribune. He is currently a Global Opinion columnist for The Washington Post based in Montreal, Canada.”

    Here’s the key points from his view: “The mass migration of, by some counts, 3 million Venezuelans who have set off for neighboring countries is top-heavy with the protest generation that led the insurrections of 2017, and 2014… they are now waiting tables in Colombia, staffing call centers in Peru or working construction jobs in Ecuador. At recent protest rallies in Venezuela, it has been impossible to miss the proliferation of graying heads: It’s the parents of the stone-throwing protesters of yesteryear who are on the front lines now. Their fight, now, is to build a country that their children might want to move back to.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/23/venezuelans-take-streets-again-could-democracy-be-won-this-time/?utm_term=.d70406f49845

    “After his artlessly rigged reelection last year, Maduro’s second inauguration this month was snubbed by almost everyone, except for a rogue’s gallery of authoritarian regimes who sent representatives: Cuba, Russia, Turkey, Nicaragua, Bolivia and, tellingly, South Ossetia — a secessionist shard of Georgia recognized by no one outside Vladimir Putin’s sphere of influence.”

    “All the regime has left on its side is violence — and fear: In 2017, repression left 136 dead, and thousands were tear-gassed, jailed or tortured. Its increasingly naked dependence on repression to hold its grip on power has become at once its last source of strength, and its most obvious vulnerability.”

    “Venezuela has spent the past 20 years in an increasingly dramatic tailspin into dictatorship and societal collapse. Those of us who have called for its democratic renewal have had our hearts broken one time too many to really allow ourselves to believe in new dawns again. A traumatized nation, now fractured between those who have remained and those who fled, can hardly muster up the courage to hope again.”

    “Venezuela has seen protests like these many times before, but this week’s are different. For years, such protests were concentrated in middle-class enclaves in Caracas and other big cities. Working-class people stayed well away from them, allowing the self-described socialist government to portray the protests as a kind of middle-class tantrum over lost privileges. This week, though, nighttime protests lit up working-class areas throughout Caracas’s most reliably pro-government areas — while middle-class protest hot spots were quiet. An unusual inversion of the city’s protest geography is underway — though, again, not so unusual when you consider how many of yesteryear’s middle-class protesters have simply given up and left the country.”

    • ropata 31.1

      Thanks DF for some balanced and thorough commentary – a bit unusual in these parts

    • Exkiwiforces 31.2

      I was reading somewhere that, the Security Forces found a large number of arm caches in and around the capital, just days before the coup which were bigger than before so someone was planning something big.

      Anyway I wasn’t surprised this finally happened, since old Dump comments sometime ago.

  32. Bazza64 32

    Whether you like it or not people I thing Gosling has nailed this one pretty well. I tend to agree with him, but so many posts Gossman, your computer keys must be well worn down !!

    • Tiger Mountain 32.1

      Putting the slipper into failing countries on the receiving end of US Imperialism, is easy meat for anyone, especially greasy little neo Libs like gosman, intellectual giants are hardly needed…

      What you will not see such people doing is examining what goes down in their Yankee heroes homeland-several million prison inmates, private prisons, opiate epidemic, half the eligible don’t vote, several million homeless, religious nutters keeping mini arsenals of military grade weapons-and using them on innocents, worst racism in any developed country, what a paradise!

      And you won’t see them praising successful social democracies of Europe! Oh no, any success there is due to the private sector you see…

      • Bazza64 32.1.1

        Everything you say about USA is correct, but that doesn’t change the Venezuelan position. A hopelessy governed country run by corrupt politicians. The average citizen always suffers for it.

        • Tiger Mountain

          Most of Sth America has been pillaged and subject to various imperialist nations power plays over the last few centuries, the indigenous people in particular have suffered horrendous treatment, comprador capitalists have turned on their own people, military coups seemingly more regular than elections! the common factor in the continent’s misery and exploitation since the 19th century has been US intervention and hegemony

          I don’t defend corruption on a lesser evil basis at all, but will say unequivocally that whatever Venezeula’s woes, the United States is not the answer, they will “turn the tap back on” after any change of Govt. to one they deem compliant enough for US needs, but that fixes little in the longer term

          TRP is right to detect a whiff of Chile here, while the Allende Govt. was obviously different in important ways to the Maduro one, the USA Modus Operandi is playbook-interfere in domestic politics of a sovereign state via economic pressure and directly supporting internal dissent

          There are failed and failing states all around the world so why does Washington pick this one? 1. To demonstrate yet again to the continent-don’t mess with us by choosing socialism, and 2. Oil

          • Bazza64

            US has enough oil of their own now with fracking. US doesn’t need to mess with socialists – they usually sow their own seeds of destruction.

  33. Back to the days of Gomer Pyle with Gosman…

    Gomer Pyle USMC s03E03 Gomer The Carrier – YouTube

  34. millsy 34

    Bet you Trump’s Twitter feed will be silent when his mate Bolosinaro starts throwing LGBT/leftists/feminists/trade unionists out of army helicopters over the Atlantic.

  35. Edward J Max 35

    Another failed socialist state. Dictators must be removed.

  36. Dennis Frank 36

    “The Socialist International (SI) is a worldwide association of political parties which seek to establish democratic socialism. It consists mostly of democratic socialist, social-democratic and labour political parties and other organisations. Although formed in 1951 as a successor to the Labour and Socialist International, it has antecedents to the late nineteenth century. The association has grown to include 153 member parties from over 100 countries. Its members have governed in many countries including most of Europe.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialist_International

    “In a statement titled The Last Vestiges of Democracy in Venezuela Fall, the group stated that the TSJ’s declaration was “a critical blow to the last vestiges of democracy” in Venezuela, further stating that “Socialist International, in the face of the gravity of what is happening in Venezuela, condemns and denounces with force and conviction the decision of the TSJ”.

    In the 2017 Venezuelan constitutional crisis, the supreme court declared it had taken state power from parliament. A couple of days later, they reversed that!

    “On 29 March 2017, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) of Venezuela took over legislative powers of the National Assembly. The Tribunal, mainly supporters of President Nicolás Maduro, also restricted the immunity granted to the Assembly’s members, who mostly belonged to the opposition. The dissolution was considered by the opposition to be a “coup” while the Organization of American States (OAS) termed the action a “self-coup”. The decision was condemned by some media outlets with analysts characterizing the move as a turn towards authoritarianism and one-man rule.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Venezuelan_constitutional_crisis

    “Politicians throughout the Americas, as well as leaders from the United Nations, expressed concern with the decision and demanded its reversal, though the Venezuelan government stated no coup had taken place and instead justified its decision as a reaction to “coup-like actions” allegedly performed by the opposition.”

    Maduro is copying Mugabe, who copied Stalin. Infiltrate by replacing democrats with stalinists, create a sham democracy to fool everyone. Retain total control.

    “On 1 April 2017, the TSJ reversed its decision, thereby reinstating the powers of the National Assembly.” Damn! Some judges were just pretending to support me!! Gotta get more stalinists in there! Here’s the context:

    “The discontent with the United Socialist Government saw the opposition being elected to hold the majority in the National Assembly for the first time since 1999 following the 2015 Parliamentary Election. As a result of that election, the lame duck National Assembly consisting of United Socialist officials filled the Venezuelan Supreme Court with allies. Into early 2016, the Supreme Court alleged that voting irregularities occurred in the 2015 Parliamentary Elections and stripped four Assembly members of their seats, preventing an opposition supermajority in the National Assembly which would be able to challenge President Maduro.”

    Easy to rig an election result if you lose but still control the system. Just get your judges to declare selected reps invalid. Target your enemies accurately, you can defeat democracy. The tried and true formula of stalinism.

    “Venezuelan opposition pursued a recall referendum against President Maduro, presenting a petition to the National Electoral Council (CNE) on 2 May 2016. By August 2016, the momentum to recall President Maduro appeared to be progressing, with the Council setting a date for the second phase of collecting signatures, though it made the schedule strenuous, stretching the process into 2017 which made it impossible for the opposition to activate new Presidential Elections. On 21 October 2016, the Council suspended the referendum only days before preliminary signature-gatherings were to be held. The Council blamed alleged voter fraud as the reason for the cancellation of the referendum. International observers criticized the move, stating that CNE’s decision made Maduro look as if he were seeking to rule as a dictator.”

    “1.2 million Venezuelans protested throughout the country against the move” but the stalinists knew the people are just US stooges. No problem. Just redefine the people: “President Maduro and his Bolivarian officials included a 7 February 2017 meeting which announced the creation of the Great Socialist Justice Mission which had the goal of establishing “a great alliance between the three powers, the judiciary, the citizen and the executive”, with Maduro stating that “we have been fortunate to see how the judicial power has been growing and perfecting, carrying a doctrine so complete with the constitution of 1999” while stating that the opposition-led National Assembly “took power not for the majority not for the people but for themselves”.

    So, circling back to where I started, the SI is opposing the stalinist Maduro. “During his time as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Venezuela’s foreign policy stances included support for Libya under Muammar Gaddafi”. But there’s also evidence that he’s a socialist, inasmuch as he rose to power “as the candidate of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.” So we have the premiere organisation of global socialism opposing a socialist dictator. This looks like proof that there are two kinds of socialists: those pretend to be democrats to mask their stalinism, and those who really are democrats, such as Corbyn & Sanders.

  37. Gosman 37

    I personally think it would be counter-productive and cause long term damage if the US intervenes militarily in Venezuela. That stated I see no problem supporting the rival President as he has a degree of legitimacy that Maduro lacks.

  38. Morrissey 38

    Venezuela – The U.S. Game Plan And How To Respond To It
    Yesterday the U.S. recognized a right-wing ‘leader of the opposition’ in Venezuela Juan Guaido as the president of the country. A number of right-wing led countries in South America joined in that move. Cuba, Bolivia and Mexico rejected it. Russia, China, Iran and Turkey continue to support the the government of the elected President Nicolas Maduro and spoke out against the coup attempt. The European Union has no united opinion with the neo-liberal led France being pro-coup and Spain standing against it.

    Venezuela must prepare for a multi year conflict while doing everything to keep it as short as possible.

    This long planned U.S. move against the legitimate government of Venezuela is just the start. It is designed to lead to escalation and very soon mission creep – ‘We can’t stop here!’ – will set in. More than 300 billion barrels of oil, the biggest oil reserves in the world, are at stake. U.S: stooge Guaido promises to change Venezuela’s oil law to the advantage of the U.S., while the Bolivarian government uses the oil to support the poor.

    The game plan for the current U.S. regime-change operation against the government of Venezuela was written by Senator Marco Rubio with the support of Vice President Pence:

    The American recognition of Mr. Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate president is far more than a symbolic measure, and presents new complications for Mr. Maduro.

    The idea was avidly promoted by Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who pushed the Trump administration to take such a step. In a speech to the Senate on Jan. 15, Mr. Rubio said that designating Mr. Guaidó as president would allow millions of dollars of Venezuelan government assets frozen in the United States to be at the disposal of opposition lawmakers, who could use them to fund new elections or humanitarian assistance.

    The real amount the U.S. and Britain have ‘frozen’, or practically stolen, from Venezuela amount to several billion dollars, not just a few millions. Such ‘freezing’ of money owned by governments the U.S. does not like has become all too common. Together with a raft of other sanctions the economic war the U.S. has long waged against the country made the recovery of the Venezuelan economy nearly impossible.

    As the U.S. is now likely to confiscate all money that is supposed to flow to Venezuela the country must stop its oil-exports to the United States. A number of U.S. refineries, some owned by Venezuela, depend on the special grade of Venezuelan oil and would soon run into trouble. That could help to change the mood in Washington. China may be interested in buying more Venezuelan oil.

    The opposition in Venezuela will probably use access to that ‘frozen’ money to buy weapons and to create an army of mercenaries to fight a ‘civil’ war against the government and its followers. Like in Syria U.S. special forces or some CIA ‘contractors’ will be eager to help. The supply line for such a war would most likely run through Colombia. If, like 2011 in Syria, a war on the ground is planned it will likely begin in the cities near that border.

    But before a military conflict is launched the U.S. and the opposition in Venezuela will try other paths.

    After the U.S. announcement Venezuela’s president Maduro ordered all U.S. diplomats in Caracas to leave the country within 72 hours. As the U.S. no longer recognizes Maduro it rejected that. U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo announced to “conduct our relations with Venezuela through the government of interim President Guaido.” The rejection was most likely planned and is supposed to provoke a too harsh reaction like a storming of the embassy. ….

    Read more….

  39. Dennis Frank 39

    “Moscow sees Venezuela as one of its closest allies in the region. It has lent billions of dollars and has backed its oil industry and its military. Russia has also taken part in military exercises in Venezuela. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “We consider the attempt to usurp sovereign authority in Venezuela to contradict and violate the basis and principles of international law. Maduro is the legitimate head of state.”

    Drivel. Nobody who fakes elections is ever legitimate. Russia could rescue Venezuela anytime by replacing the USA as primary buyer of their oil. They just don’t want to put their money where their mouth is. Peskov’s advocacy of international law is also a sham. It contains no prescription for democracy (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_law). It is relevant only in regard to human rights. Those that Maduro & his cabal have been working real hard to eliminate.

    “The annual inflation rate reached 1,300,000% in the 12 months to November 2018, according to a study by the National Assembly.” So Maduro is still miles away from surpassing his stalinist mentor, Mugabe. Google says in June 2008 Mugabe raised the bar to “11.2 million percent.”

    “Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Thursday that the UK agreed that Mr Maduro was “not the legitimate leader of Venezuela”. “The United Kingdom believes Juan Guaidó is the right person to take Venezuela forward,” he said in a statement. The European Union has stopped short of recognition, but called for “free and credible elections” and said Mr Guaidó’s freedom and safety should be respected.”

    • Dennis Frank 40.1

      No I won’t. Dodgy Republican behaviour in the US isn’t the point. I agree it makes Trump et al seem like hypocrites, but that’s been normal behaviour of both sides in that country for as long as we can remember.

      And you know I’m non-violent since I’ve said so here often enough. Keep waving them strawmen around and your arms will get sore… 😉

      • Morrissey 40.1.1

        Good to hear you’re non violent, Dennis. You’ll therefore oppose those bloody U.S.-backed insurrectionists in Caracas.

        • Dennis Frank

          Hey, if any evidence of that shows up, I may indeed have to oppose both sides there too. So far the only evidence of bloodshed has been provided by the Maduro thugs.

          Some restraint does seem to be applying to their behaviour thus far, but unleashing the death-squads is the obvious next step. Some foreign democrat leader ought to issue a call for UN observers and/or peacekeeping force to be sent there pronto. Using the precautionary principle as rationale. Obviously I don’t expect any US Dems to be that credible! If it comes from Costa Rica, the initiative could prosper. Depends how stalinist Maduro is intent on becoming.

        • Gosman

          How are they bloody? The protests against the Chavista regime have largely been non-violent.

  40. Cinny 41

    Could it be all about the oil? Probably.

    Russia and China have been helping out Venezuela for years.


    If Maduro asks, will they help him with the current situation?

    Meanwhile agent orange is anti maduro.

    The population of Venezuela suffers while the boys play their clickey games.

    • Gosman 41.1

      Why haven’t they helped before now? Venezuela has been in dire straits for at least 5 years now.

      • Cinny 41.1.1

        Both Russia and China have helped them in the last couple of years. As recent as the end of last year I think.

        “China has lent an estimated $70 billion in several installments, most to be paid back in oil, according to Asdrubal Oliveros, director of Ecoanalitica, a consulting firm in Caracas.”


        Russia does deals with Venezuela for military hardware and oil worth billions.

        What I’m interested in is whether maduro will ask for their help re this current situation.

        The Chinese and Russian influence in their govt. Especially the Chinese, considering the state of relationships between China and USA at present.

        Hope shit dosen’t hit the fan so to speak. Way to many fingers in the Venezuelan pie for my liking.

        • Gosman

          Venezuela has received ALL that help and yet the economy is STILL imploding. Perhaps it isn’t the lack of outside assistance that is causing the issue there but the policies of the government that are at fault.

          • Blazer

            What policies exactly Gosman?

            • Gosman

              Having a fixed exchange rate for one and price controls for another.

              • Blazer

                Catch 22 situation with sanctions and the low price of oil.

                What options are there?

                • Gosman

                  Ummm…. allowing the market to determine the true value of the exchange rate and avoiding the situation where people make MASSIVE fortunes by buying dollars at the overvalued official rate and selling it on the more realistic black market.

          • Cinny

            Gossy, as far as I know, Venezuela has hemmed themselves in by relying on oil for export, putting all their eggs in one basket, failing to promote/invest etc in any other major exporting sectors.

  41. Morrissey 42

    Gosman made a goat of himself on October 10th last year. How
    come he’s allowed to hijack an ostensibly serious discussion here?

    This piece of idiocy earned him a “Howler of the Day” award on Kiwiblog. Quite an achievement, it has to be said….

    “The US has invaded relatively few countries since 1945. Certainly no more than the Soviet Union/Russia.”

    Second Kremlin Killer Unmasked, Putin Untroubled

    Howler of the Day is a series designed to highlight the most deranged, crazed, bizarre, paranoid, stupid, mindless, ignorant posts on the Internet. It is compiled by Hector Stoop, for Daisycutter Sports, Inc.

    No. 1: Chris R (“Brash is NOT a bigot”); 
No. 2: Lucia Maria (“No need to read”); No. 3: DigNap15 (“Trump comes across as a very caring guy”); No. 4: UpandComer (“Clintons…murder…sex crimes…ritually satanically sacrificed…); No. 5 realityczech (“Brash, Hosking, …. see Maori as equals”)


  42. David Mac 43

    Former bus driver Hugo Chavez died leaving an estate with an estimated value of over half a billion US dollars.

    Wake up and smell the rats.

  43. Dennis Frank 44

    “In September 2017, the National Union of Workers (UNETE) announced that Venezuela had lost 3,345,000 jobs since the election of President Maduro. By December 2017, the number of lost jobs increased by 400,000 to over 3,850,000 lost jobs since the start of Maduro’s tenure.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Venezuela

    Hasn’t stopped him fronting as the darling of the working class, of course. That latest figure is now more than a year out of date, so probably more than half a million jobs have been eliminated by the stalinist so far. Unless all the jobs are now gone!

    Check out the historical contrast: “In 1950, Venezuela was the world’s 4th largest wealthiest nation per capita.” And “in the late 1950s Venezuela’s real GDP per capita almost reached that of West Germany.”

    • David Mac 44.1

      Salesmanship, when addressing popular frequencies of Wii Fm, the advertiser doesn’t need to deliver, they only need to be believed by an audience hungry to believe.

      When only 100 houses are built the purveyor need only say ‘My General Manager didn’t believe like we do and resigned’. ‘Developers won’t support us, they only want bigger profits, they don’t care about us.’

      • Dennis Frank 44.1.1

        Yeah, true believers. Maduro has had ’em, but now they’re shifting away. A credible source said he got about equal in his pro-govt demo the other day, so now it’s a 50/50 split between the true-believers & the alienated – and that’s after 10% of the populace have escaped across the border. Tide’s on the way out.

        “Because populism describes a world divided between the righteous people and the corrupt elite, each round of confrontation, by drawing hard lines between legitimate and illegitimate points of view, can polarise society. Supporters and opponents of a leader like Chavez come to see each other as locked in a high-stakes struggle, justifying extreme action.” https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/how-venezuela-went-from-the-richest-economy-in-south-america-to-the-brink-of-financial-ruin-a7740616.html

        “The coup leaders overstepped, dissolving the constitution and legislature, sparking counterprotests that quickly returned Chavez to power. But his message of a revolutionary struggle against internal enemies no longer felt like a metaphor for reducing poverty. Carey calls it a “hugely polarising moment” that allowed Chávez to portray the opposition as “trying to sell Venezuelan interests out”. He and his supporters now saw politics as a zero-sum battle for survival.”

        That mind-set still prevails. “When labour unions protested, they were weakened by blacklists or replaced outright. When courts challenged Chavez, he gutted them, suspending unfriendly judges and packing the supreme court with loyalists. The result was intense polarisation between two segments of society who now saw each other as existential threats, destroying any possibility of compromise.”

        “Workers went on strike at the state-run oil firm, Petróleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, which he had long denounced for its associations with business elites and the United States. The strike threatened to destroy the economy and Chavez’s presidency. But it also presented an opportunity to stave off another uprising. After the strike collapsed, he fired 18,000 PDVSA workers, many of them skilled technicians and managers, and replaced them with some 100,000 supporters. Much of the firm’s operating budget was diverted into programmes for Chavez’s political base, payoffs for government cronies and subsidies to keep his promise of affordable food.”

        “In 2011, $500m (£385m) from a PDVSA pension fund found its way into a pyramid scheme run by government-linked financiers, none of whom faced prosecution. After running on smashing the corrupt elite, Chavez had merely established his own.” Like the Who sang in 1974: “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” https://genius.com/The-who-wont-get-fooled-again-lyrics

  44. Exkiwiforces 45

    Reading to this mornings Oz paper, it looks like the pretender doesn’t have the support of Venezuela Security Forces atm and which is a must in most Latin America coups as the Security Forces are backing Maduro.

    This latest Latin America Coup could get ugly very fast if there is a split between the Venezuela Security Forces supporting the pretender and the current one.

    History hasn’t been kind to anyone when this has happened in a Latin America Coup.

    • Exkiwiforces 46.1

      It maybe a sign of things to come, a small number of middle rank officers at Colonel level have switched sides be it while they overseas in Venezuela Diplomatic Missions in the US. Unless the pretender can get the Military on his side, I can’t see him getting in to office unless he uses force? And it’s all fine and dandy that every Tom, Dick and Harry nation are backing the pretender, but these nations leaders are not the ones in country so unless they are prepared to use force (non- lethal or lethal) in Venezuela? Then old mate who is president atm holds all the strings.


  45. Tahau Taua Taua 47

    The history of Latin America since the US stole large chunks of Mexico in 1848; has been the story of an unbroken cycle US interference, that continues to this day. For the people of Latin America; its been rule by US appointed military dictators. Democracy; has never been on the agenda.
    The latest actions taking place against the people of Venezuela by pro-US thugs, continues the 171 year long determination by the US; to kill any self-determination by Latin America’s people.
    This accounts for the US, New Zealand, Australia and Canada’s refusal to recognise; the UNDRIP (UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People) in 2007. It’s also no co-incidence that these 4 Nations; are part of the racist “Five Eyes Anglo War/Spy Alliance”, that includes the UK.

    The latest bunch of lies coming out of Washington DC, in regard to “Protecting Democracy” in Venezuela; follows the same “Colour Revolution” bullshit, that has caused havoc and destruction, where ever the US has had a hand. Ukraine and Kosovo; are real classic.

    The so called “Caravan” of immigrants from Honduras to the US border, is a direct result of; the misery resulting from the US-backed military Coup in 2009 under Barak Obama. The Yanks claimed that getting rid of Honduran President Manuel Zalaya by military force; was in the name of “Democracy.”
    The installation of Proto-Fascists in the leadership of Brazil first under the corrupt Michel Temer and now Jair Bolsonaro; are just the latest examples of, US destroying the Indigenous Rights to Self Dermination.
    Whatever Pompeo and the rest of the racist Regime in Washington say; these fuck’n retards are a bunch of weaklings trying to prop up a sick and insane US Empire, that’s going through its death-throes.

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  • Speech at 10th meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty
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  • Speech to the Climate Change and Business Conference
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  • New Ambassador to China announced
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  • Speech to New Zealand Nurses Organisation Toputanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa Conference
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