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Thread: The Causes and Consequences of Venezuelan Election

  1. #101
    Venezuelan Opposition Mob Beats Retired National Guard to Death


    Opposition demonstrators throw stones at Venezuelan police during a violent right-wing protest in Caracas. | Photo: Reuters

    Published 27 May 2017

    The crowd struck the victim with sharp objects in different parts of his body, leaving him for dead on the street.
    Danny Jose Subero, a retired lieutenant of the Bolivarian National Guard was beaten to death Saturday in the Venezuelan state of Lara by opposition forces during the funeral of Manuel Sosa, a student who died from a gunshot wound during an anti-government protest in Valle Hondo.

    According to witnesses, Subero was nearby taking selfies when a group of people accused him of being an infiltrator, proceeding to strike him with sharp objects in different parts of his body, leaving him for dead on the street. He was taken to Barquisimeto Hospital by police but arrived with no vital signs. Doctors reported that he had shots in different parts of his body, according to La Prensa.

    His motorcycle, along with other belongings, were set ablaze on another street and completely destroyed.

    During Manuel Sosa's funeral, in Valle Hondo, several people grabbed a suspected GNB infiltrator and beat him to death.

    Venezuela's Ombudsman Tarek William Saab condemned the murder, which he described as a lynching. On Twitter, he explained that the official was "savagely beaten by a murderous mob in the urbanization Valle Hondo, who tortured him in the meantime and then shot 2 bullets." He also described the incident as a hate crime, calling the crowd "criminal lynchers."

    The Public Prosecutor's Office commissioned a state prosecutor to investigate the death of the 34-year-old Subero.

    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/new...0527-0026.html


    http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...l_wars/1*.html

    Patricians leading mobs of armed slaves and hired lumpen against the popular faction...and so they will until we draw their fangs.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  2. #102
    Three Dead in Venezuela as Violent Protests Enter 9th Week
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    By LUCAS KOERNER

    Caracas, May 29, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Three people were killed in Venezuela over the weekend as anti-government demonstrations continued for a third straight month.

    On Friday, Manuel Sosa (33) was reportedly shot in the neck during clashes between protesters and National Guard personnel in the Lara municipality of Cabudare. Sosa’s mother has blamed the death on state security forces.

    Venezuela’s Public Prosecution (MP) has dispatched a state district attorney to investigate the homicide.

    The episode gave rise to fresh violence on Saturday. During Sosa’s funeral in Cabudare, a retired National Guard lieutenant was brutally beaten and shot dead by a group of other attendees who allegedly accused him of being an “infiltrator”.

    According to the MP, Lt. Danny José Subero (34) was present at the event with his motorcycle “when he was approached by a group of people who beat him with blunt objects in different parts of his body and shot him various times”. His motorcycle and his other belongings were subsequently burnt “in their entirety”. The MP has commissioned a state prosecutor to investigate the case.

    The killing sparked condemnation from National Ombudsman Tarek William Saab, who called the murder a “hate crime” and urged “exemplary punishment against the criminal lynchers”.

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro confirmed Sunday those responsible for the murder had been identified and would soon be brought to justice. He also took the opportunity to hit out at Organization of American States (OAS) General Secretary Luis Almagro, who has yet to issue a statement on the homicide.

    “Where is the voice of the OAS when crimes like this are committed?” the president asked.

    On Saturday, Almagro published a tweet denouncing the “murder of Manuel Sosa at the hands of the regime,” notwithstanding the ongoing MP investigation into the case.

    Venezuela’s right-wing opposition has condemned the murder of Subero despite repeating the unsubstantiated accusation that the retired lieutenant was a Chavista “infiltrator”.

    “I condemn the murderous violence of the regime and I condemn the lynching of an infiltrator in Lara. Pain cannot turn us into what we are fighting,” declared National Assembly Vice-President Freddy Guevara via his official Twitter account.

    The incident is the third instance of Afro-Venezuelan men being taken for “infiltrators” and attacked by mobs of anti-government protesters in recent weeks. On May 18, Carlos Ramirez was beaten and set on fire by demonstrators shouting “he has to die because he’s Chavista”. Orlando Jose Figueras was likewise burned alive by opposition supporters two days later and is currently in a coma.

    The weekend’s violence continued in the eastern state of Anzoategui, where Cesar David Pereira (20) was shot during a protest on Saturday. The opposition Popular Will party activist was reportedly wounded by a marble in Lechería and subsequently died in the hospital on Sunday morning.

    National Ombudsman Saab took to Twitter to condemn the “despicable crime” and report that he had spoken with forensic police and regional National Guard authorities to guarantee an “objective and impartial investigation”.

    The top human rights official additionally expressed concern over the “systematic use of homemade weapons whose munitions of marbles, ball bearings, and nails have been indiscriminately used in violent acts”.

    The MP, for its part, has ordered state district attorney Luis Gonzalo Galindo to open investigations into the death.

    The latest deaths coincided with fresh attacks on public property and government personnel over the weekend.

    In Guarico state, two PDVSA gas company workers suffered first and second degree burns after coming under attack from opposition supporters wielding Molotov bombs. PDVSA Gas Vice-Presidnet Cesar Triana has called on the MP to investigate the incident in which a National Guard lieutenant was also injured.



    The government workers were reportedly involved in transporting food to the nearby town at the time of the attack. (@CesarTriana_)

    On Friday, protesters set fire to various vehicles as part of anti-government barricades, including a public bus providing free transportion service for senior citizens between Caracas and Guarenas.



    A government-run bus providing free service for senior citizens was torched in the eastern Caracas neighborhood of Altamira. (@estebansanbo)

    Sixty-eight people have been left dead and over a thousand injured since opposition protests began on April 4.

    Despite the announcement last week that regional elections will be held on December 10, the opposition has vowed to remain in the streets until all of their demands are met, including holding snap presidential elections not due until 2018.

    PUBLISHED ON MAY 29TH 2017 AT 3.20PM

    https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13158
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  3. #103
    GREEN HELMETS AND VIOLENT ANTI-BLACK RACISTS: MEET THE LATEST “REVOLUTIONARIES” DESTABILIZING VENEZUELA
    MAY 29, 2017 MADDCOLDSONOFKUFA 3 COMMENTS
    by Jonathan Azaziah



    Just as it seemed it not could get any worse for Venezuela short of an outright NATO invasion, the Zio-Imperialists destabilizing this great and resistant nation made sure that things got… Well… WORSE THAN WORSE. Enter the group of mercenaries called the Green Helmets. Yes, if your mind immediately went to Syria and you began visualizing the Al-Qaeda-linked, US-UK-Soros-funded White Helmets, who act like “civil defense” workers when the cameras are on but chop off heads when the flashing lights go bye-bye, then you absolutely wouldn’t be incorrect. Because the Green Helmets, while claiming to be “apolitical”–just like the White Helmets who spew the same smokescreen but who back NATO no-fly zones and who colluded with terrorist gangs in subjugating Aleppo and cutting off water to Damascus–are laying the groundwork for even greater US-EU intervention in Venezuelan affairs through the dissemination of humanitarian propaganda.

    While the Zionist-owned mega mass media channels want you to believe that all the violence in Venezuela is the product of “government repression” from a “brutal regime” run by a “dictator”, a recent piece in Reuters entitled “Injured Venezuela protesters face another woe: finding medicine”, while filled with plenty of lies distortions itself, actually discloses that “most of the injured” only ***appear*** to be “opposition protesters” and do in fact include “Maduro supporters, security forces and bystanders”. Sift through the mud that is the mainstream press and gems of truth can be found. This is devastating evidence that it is not in fact the Bolivarian Republic’s Armed Forces doing the killing but a shadowy third party using sniper tactics and other subversion to turn Venezuelans on each other and burn the legacy of Chavismo to the ground–just like Syria, Libya and so many others.

    Information on the Green Helmets’ funding is scarce but the aforementioned Reuters piece nonchalantly (and inadvertently, most likely) reveals that they are receiving donations from Miami and Madrid. Univision–a foe of Bolivarianism from WAY BACK and one of the most visible tentacles of the American ZOG’s foreign policy in Latin America–confirms this, and openly calls the Green Helmets the “White Helmets of Venezuela”. Anyone who knows anything about Venezuela and El Comandante Hugo Chavez’s glorious revolution are well-aware that these expat communities have long-served as auxiliaries for the American and Spanish regimes’ destabilization agenda. And make no mistake, with Miami and Madrid blatantly in the mix, support from the CIA, the NED, the Mossad and George Soros are right around the corner.

    Though the Green Helmets came into being during the reign of Baruch Uncle O’Toma, their role has been amplified immensely under the Trump regime. With Tillerson, a rabid anti-Bolivarian fanatic who nearly started a war between Venezuela and Guyana in 2015, running the US State Department, expect the prominence of the Green Helmets to only increase, especially considering the worldwide, Zionist-driven acclaim received by the Al-Qaeda-linked White Helmets in Syria. This is reflected by the obscene amount of Zionist media coverage that they’ve been getting over the last several weeks alone. It hasn’t just been the spotlights in Reuters and Univision either. The “Christian” Science Monitor, BBC, Buzzfeed, Bloomberg, and most disturbing of all, Al-Jazeera, the voice of counterrevolution, terrorism and neo-colonialism, have all put out puff-piece-hasbara on these regime-changers despicably masquerading as medical workers.

    Another group of “democracy advocates” terrorizing Venezuela as of late are anti-Black racists who are going around and lighting Venezuelans with black and brown skin on fire as well as lynching them due to thinking they’re Chavistas. The demented and hateful reasoning behind the actions of these colonialist-descended savages? Because Black and Brown Venezuelans–historically associated with poverty and misery after centuries of Spaniard colonialism–have been uplifted by the Bolivarian Revolution, that must mean that they all have to be “militants” for Maduro. This is obviously racist beyond description and that they would actually use this to justify BURNING PEOPLE ALIVE and, in an ode to the terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan in pre-civil rights America, LYNCHING, shows you how unapologetic they are about their hate. This has taken place on major streets in the barrios of Caracas right in broad daylight, Mérida, Miranda and elsewhere.

    And there has not even been one condemnation of it from the likes of the criminal Lopez, the Zionist Jew Randonski, and the capitalist charlatan Borges, i.e. the leaders of the Venezuelan opposition bankrolled by ‘Israel’ and the NED. Which obviously means they don’t have the slightest issue with it, nor do their backers. Indeed, America, the land built on slavery, genocide and which armed a gang of Libyan rebels called the Brigade for Purging Slaves and Black Skin, is supporting murderous anti-Black racists in Venezuela in hopes of toppling the pro-Black, pro-Indigenous, Anti-Imperialist, Anti-Zionist government in Caracas. And when it’s put exactly like that, it actually isn’t the least bit surprising, now is it?

    In conclusion, a most disgusting, most infuriating conclusion at that, what we have before us is the colonialist-financed Green Helmets and the Venezuelan version of the KKK. Expect the Western “left”–ANY MINUTE NOW–to describe these destabilizers as “good revolutionaries” whose real goals are “workers’ councils” and “organic food co-ops” and “LGBTQ rights”. And they will continue spinning these sorts of yarns happily as Caracas keeps deteriorating and Chavismo as a governing body is pushed closer and closer to the brink. It’s Damascus deja vu. It’s Tripoli deja vu. It’s Kiev deja vu. May the vigilance of the Chavistas be increased a trillion fold. The Empire wants Bolivarianism on a chopping block for opposing it going on two decades now and the Green Helmets are the latest phase in making this Zio-Imperialist dream a reality. How much more proof do you need that Maduro, Tareck El Aissami and the rest of Chavez’s comrades are the good guys, and those who are opposing them are some of the most loathsome scum to ever walk the landscapes of God’s Green Earth? How much more?!

    http://mouqawamahmusic.net/green-hel...ing-venezuela/
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  4. #104
    'The Venezuelan Opposition Does Not Want Democracy or Elections': Jorge Martin
    By: Jorge Martin Interviewed by Ricardo Vaz


    A demonstrator looks on as motorcycles belonging to riot security forces are set on fire during a rally against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, May 31, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

    Published 1 June 2017

    What is clear is that the opposition leaders want the overthrow of this government and they think they have a chance now.
    The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela is facing its most challenging times. The right-wing opposition, backed by the United States, is engaged in a full-blown “regime change” campaign, with violent protests occurring daily for over 2 months and resulting in over 50 casualties. The chavista supporters of the government have also taken to the streets in defence of the Bolivarian Revolution, and President Maduro surprised everyone by calling for a Constituent Assembly. To better understand the situation and where it might lead to, we have interviewed Jorge Martín, the secretary of the “Hands Off Venezuela” solidarity campaign.

    In this first part we look at how western media are distorting the reality and presenting a one-sided picture, the role of international solidarity, the lack of progress made by the opposition and where they might go from here.

    Source: Investig'action

    You were in Venezuela in recent weeks. How does the reality that you witnessed contrast with one being presented by the western media?

    There are a number of different points. The first one is that is that the media is presenting this idea that in Venezuela we have groups of peaceful opposition demonstrators fighting for democracy, and government repression that has killed over 50 people. This is all wrong. There are big opposition demonstrations, they have been going on now for nearly two months and have attracted quite a lot of people. But in most cases they have also degenerated into violent clashes in which the opposition demonstrators, or groups in the vanguard of the opposition demonstrations, have used firearms, home-made explosives/weapons/rocket launchers and all sorts of stuff against the police, but also against educational institutions, state buildings, housing projects of the Misión Vivienda, public transportation, they have even set up burning barricades outside maternity hospitals. On top of this there has been gunfire coming from opposition rioters also against civilians and against chavistas in general.

    So it is hardly a picture of peaceful pro-democracy protesters…

    Yes, it is not correct to say that these are peaceful opposition demonstrators, it is not correct to say that what they want is democracy or that what they want is elections. In fact, their own leaders have admitted that what they want is “regime change”. For example, Maria Corina Machado wrote an article in El Comercio, in Peru, where she said “the first step is the overthrow of the government. Then we can talk about having elections in a different institutional context”, something along these lines.

    Another thing I will say is that these protests are not taking place across the whole of the territory, not even the whole of the capital city. They are very concentrated in a number of states and municipalities, most of them ruled by opposition governors or mayors, particularly in Táchira, Mérida, Barinas, Carabobo, Lara, and also in eastern Caracas. So if you are in Caracas, you can go about your daily life without ever encountering an opposition demonstration, or violence, which is concentrated in Altamira, in Chacao, to the east of the city, where the middle and upper class areas are.


    This means the protests have not spread beyond the opposition’s bastions of influence?

    This is something very telling you see in Caracas, namely that the opposition has not achieved one of its main aims, which was to bring the people from the barrios, the working class and poor areas in the hills around Caracas, into the protests. And this undercuts the idea that these protests are motivated by hunger and scarcity. There are problems of scarcity of basic products, people’s diets have suffered in recent years, but the people that are most affected by this are the ones that remain firmly on the side of the Bolivarian Revolution. The people in the middle and upper middle class areas, that are not so affected by these economic hardships, are the main subjects of these anti-government demonstrations.

    And the last thing that contrasts with the picture that the media is giving is that there have been large pro-Bolivarian, chavista demonstrations. On the 19th of April there was a very big one, on May Day there was a huge one that I was able to attend. This was a demonstration that started in four meeting points in different parts of the capital, and people marched to Bolívar Avenue. Bolívar Avenue is quite long, and it was full of people for 4 or 5 hours, with waves of people coming in and out, so there must have been hundreds of thousands of people there. They were not all from Caracas, there were groups of workers coming from other parts of the country to participate in the May Day demonstration. But this was certainly a very big show of support for the Bolivarian Revolution. These major demonstrations have been supplemented by almost daily, smaller demonstrations. Demonstrations of women, peasants, youth, etc, in defence of the Bolivarian Revolution and against this right-wing attempt to overthrow it. And this is never shown by the mass media, not even referred to. So they are giving, as usual, an extremely one-sided picture of what is happening in Venezuela.

    Given this one-sidedness of the media and the whitewashing of the actions of the opposition, what is the role of international solidarity and in particular what is “Hands Off Venezuela” trying to do?

    “Hands Off Venezuela”, from the very beginning, one of its aims was to break through the fog of media lies, distortions, half-truths and manipulations in relation to Venezuela. Just to give you an example, the other day there was an article headline (1) on the BBC World News website that said

    “Two more protesters killed in Venezuela. The deaths bring the number of anti-government protesters killed in the last seven weeks to 42.”

    And this is obviously not true. There have been people killed by government repression, but amongst these 42, over 50 now, these are not the majority. The majority of people have been killed as a direct result of political violence by the opposition, for example by gunfire coming from opposition lines, or as an indirect result of that (2). So our task is to try to spread truthful information to labour movement activists, left-wing activists, student activists and so on, in order to counter the lies of the media. We should also try to hold the media accountable as much as we can. But the spreading of truthful information and a counter point of view is very important so that people can then make up their minds as to what is really going on in Venezuela. And this is one of the key tasks of the solidarity movement right now.

    Going back to one of your points, you have mentioned that the opposition protests have not managed to spread to the barrios and in two months they have hardly made any progress. What do you think their strategy is at this point?

    It is a bit difficult to say, because there are many different factors involved. But I would say that we have reached a point already where the opposition supporters are getting tired and frustrated by the lack of progress. As you say, they have been demonstrating for nearly 60 days and they have not achieved any of their aims. Above all, they have not achieved any substantial support for their protests in the working class and poor areas, but so far they have also not managed to break the state. There has been no movement inside the army, even though the opposition leaders constantly appeal to the the army to come out and overthrow the government. Other than some statements by the State Prosecutor, that the opposition are trying to claim is on their side, there have not been any major breaches in terms of the state institutions. They have not pushed the government out, or into making substantial concessions that they could present as a victory.

    So they are basically trapped, they are in a cul-de-sac, and what I see now is a section of the opposition demonstrators, and some of the leaders, going for a radicalisation of the protests, in terms of becoming more violent, using terrorist methods. In the last few days for instance, they attacked a National Guard barracks in Táchira and set it on fire. There was also a very high level of insurrectionary right-wing violence in San Antonio de los Altos in recent days, with basically everyone locked in their homes, and protesters taking control over the city for a number of days, with the support of the local opposition mayor. And similar situations have happened at points in Táchira, in parts of Mérida, in Barinas, in Barquisimeto. That is the kind of strategy that they are following.

    But I also think that if they do not manage to step up the mobilisation or achieve any of their aims, this will also push a section of them towards the negotiating table with the government. And this will create a big split within the opposition. You have to remember that the leaders of the opposition are already very discredited among their own ranks because of their actions in October/November last year, when they basically called for big demonstrations, promising that the government was going to be overthrown, and then immediately switched towards the negotiating table, at which they did not achieve anything.

    The polls, for instance from Hinterlaces, constantly show that the people do not trust the opposition leadership…

    Yes. And also the opposition protests are becoming more and more unpopular, because of the level of violence they use, because of incidents like the one a few days ago when protesters identified someone as an “infiltrator” and set him on fire. The protests become inconvenient to people’s daily lives, going to work, going to study and so on, and therefore there is now a strong current of people who do not necessarily support the government but who nevertheless reject the violence of the opposition demonstrators. So this is also working against them.


    This is also playing, in a certain sense, in favour of the emergence of a third camp figure, and in the last few months now there has been a lot of talk about Lorenzo Mendoza becoming such a figure. He is the owner of Grupo Polar (3), and although he participated in some of the opposition demonstrations in October, he has been mostly silent recently. There was an Hinterlaces poll that said that he would be the preferred candidate in an opposition primary election, above any of the current political leaders. There are people playing with this idea, that the government is an economic disaster, so putting a businessman in charge might be the solution. And some people might fall for that. There are another two unknown factors. One of them is Henry Falcón, governor of Lara state, a former chavista who moved to the opposition, and Manuel Rosales, who was the opposition presidential candidate in 2006. A few years ago he fled the country due to an arrest warrant for corruption charges. He later returned, was detained briefly and has now been released, and I think there is a possibility that some of these people might try to reach a compromise of some sort with the government.

    On the other hand, the situation could also descend into a civil war. If the violent opposition elements radicalise their terrorist activities there can be also a violent response from the chavista side. In some areas of the country it has already happened that, even if only for a few days, there was a complete breakdown of law and order.

    So what do you think is motivating the opposition leaders to go all-in with their violent plans?

    What is clear is that the opposition leaders want the overthrow of this government and they think they have a chance now. They also have international support, with Trump coming out clearly on their side, and Colombian president Santos is now playing a key role. While in the past he pretended to be friendly towards the Venezuelan government, particularly during the peace negotiations with the FARC, he has now broken ranks and come out publicly against Venezuela, even conducting a series of provocative moves, like sending armoured cars to the border. One of the ideas of the opposition is precisely the opening of a “humanitarian corridor” in the border with Colombia, that could also come into play. So the opposition leaders think that they have a chance of coming to power and they do not want elections, it is not correct to say that, they want to overthrow the government and then create new framework in which there might be elections or not.

    Notes

    (1) Due to complaints or to having its dishonest reporting exposed, the BBC actually changed the title and headline. For an older version see here, and for a snapshot of the original, see here.

    (2) Venezuelanalysis has been producing a detailed account of all the casualties. They compare the different origins of the many deaths, and also contrast the initial blame assigned by the opposition and the media to what is later found out after further investigation.

    (3) Polar is Venezuela’s biggest food and beverage corporation. It sells a wide range of products and holds a monopoly in staples like cornflour.

    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opi...ampaign=buffer

    The enemies of the people, our class enemies, are utterly untrustworthy, they have no honor. We may, for diplomatic purpose, have to pretend we think otherwise, but it is fatal to actually do so.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  5. #105
    Cuba Condemns 'Cynical' Misrepresentation of Venezuela by Media


    President of Cuba, Raul Castro, also addressed the Assembly Thursday and voiced support for Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution. | Photo: Reuters

    Published 2 June 2017 (5 hours 47 minutes ago)

    In a statement of support for Venezuela, the Cuban National Assembly called out "oligarchic sectors in conspiracy with foreign interests."
    Deputies in the National Assembly of People's Power of the Republic of Cuba issued an official declaration of support for the government and people of Venezuela on Thursday, and called out the “oligarchic and transnational” media for misrepresenting and distorting the reality of the ongoing situation in the Bolivarian republic.

    “The oligarchic and transnational media spread messages and images that cynically misrepresent reality, obscure the important achievements of Chavismo, and avoid referring to the barbarism of the coup attempt – as was the case of the youth the opposition hordes set on fire,” the statement of support read, referencing a recent incident captured on video in which a man was set on fire for being a “suspected Chavista.”

    Although the opposition protests have frequently turned violent and have resulted in over 70 deaths, coverage by opposition sources and world media has usually ignored the violence, or attempted to blame all the deaths on "repression" at the hands of government security forces in spite of the fact that most of the deaths were not protesters.

    The statement which was presented by Yoerkys Sánchez Cuéllar, president of the parliamentary group Solidarity with Venezuela, argues that the ongoing protests in conjunction with misinformation campaigns and international pressures from the Organization of American States (OAS), are efforts “in the service of empire” for the benefit of “oligarchic sectors” who wish to open up the wealth of natural resources in Venezuela to transnational corporations.

    “The oligarchic sectors, in conspiracy with foreign interests, have tried to spread chaos through terrorist methods throughout the country. In the name of false values of democracy and human rights, they have destabilized the country,” the deputies said in the official statement.


    The OAS and their “frantic and interventionist Secretary General,” Luis Almagro, were called out in the statement for their role in leading attempts to remove Maduro. The OAS was singled out for having demonstrated hypocrisy in the face of repressive and undemocratic situations elsewhere in the region. The deputies argue that the OAS's silence "reflects the double standard that prevails" in the organization.

    The statement calls on regional and world leaders to respect Venezuela's sovereignty and right to self-determination.

    “We call on legislators and parliaments of the world to maintain solidarity with Venezuela... with the confidence that the Bolivarian Revolution and people are guided with the wisdom, capacity and historical reason to overcome their difficulties and determine their own path,” the deputies said before the National Assembly.

    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/new...ampaign=buffer
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  6. #106
    The statement which was presented by Yoerkys Sánchez Cuéllar, president of the parliamentary group Solidarity with Venezuela, argues that the ongoing protests in conjunction with misinformation campaigns and international pressures from the Organization of American States (OAS), are efforts “in the service of empire” for the benefit of “oligarchic sectors” who wish to open up the wealth of natural resources in Venezuela to transnational corporations.

    “The oligarchic sectors, in conspiracy with foreign interests, have tried to spread chaos through terrorist methods throughout the country. In the name of false values of democracy and human rights, they have destabilized the country,” the deputies said in the official statement.
    It is amazing how the only public statements of truth comes from anti-US sources. That should tell everyone something important.
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  7. #107
    Venezuela Opposition Leaders Call for More Anti-Govt Protests


    Lopez holds the flag just before he was imprisoned in 2014. | Photo: Reuters

    Published 5 June 2017

    In their continued rejection of the Constituent Assembly process, opposition leaders lay bare that their sole objective is to oust Maduro’s government.
    As Venezeula solidifies the details of the national Constituent Assembly that will be charged with rewriting the 1999 Constitution, high-profile opposition leaders have continued to fire back against President Nicolas Maduro, rejecting the process and calling for a "full rebellion" against the government.

    Jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez released a video on his Twitter account Sunday calling for more anti-government protests. The statement came after he held a meeting with former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, a mediator in the stalled Unasur-backed dialogue process aimed at smoothing tensions between the government and opposition — a process that Lopez' Popular Will party boycotted.

    Lopez praised the right-wing demonstrations, which have often spilled over into violence, saying the “rebellion, resistance and the protests are legitimate” against a government that is “despotic” and “tyrannical.” He also expressed "admiration" for the protesters, characterizing them as "peaceful" despite a rising death toll from incidents linked to violent acts during protests.

    "There is a critical struggle, we are in a historic moment and I am sure that we will be victorious," Lopez said from Ramo Verde prison, where he met with Zapatero, in the video posted by his wife Lilian Tintori, who runs his Twitter account.

    "I assumed the risk of sending this first video because I want you to know directly my position on the street (protests)."

    Lopez has been in prison since 2015 for inciting violence in the deadly "guarimbas" protests, or violent street blockades, that led to the deaths of 43 people. He was sentenced to 13 years for his involvement in planning and promoting the violent blockades which injured hundreds and caused billions of dollars in damages to public buildings and infrastructure.

    Lopez and his wife Tintori have been outspoken opponents of Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution launched by late President Hugo Chavez. Since her husband's imprisonment, Tintori has embarked on an international campaign to smear the government of Maduro, including meeting with figures such as U.S. President Donald Trump.

    RELATED:
    Venezuela Seizes Explosives from Armed Right-Wing Groups

    Lopez has become one of the most iconic faces of the Venezuelan opposition, selling himself as a political prisoner despite his long and sordid history in Venezuelan politics.

    Last week, a judge involved in Lopez’s case was murdered in Caracas’ El Paraiso district.

    Meanwhile, head of the right-wing opposition-controlled National Assembly, Julio Borges, echoed Lopez’s called for an escalation of protests, citing the opposition's continued rejection of the Constituent Assembly, called by Maduro to promote dialogue. Insistent calls for protests, rather than backing the Constituent Assembly process, has been seen as laying bare the fact that the opposition's only proposal and objective is ousting Maduro’s government.

    “The call is that we continue in absolute rebellion (against) the Constituent Assembly ... because the country unanimously rejects the communist Constituent Assembly," he stated Sunday during a press conference of the right-wing opposition coalition, Democratic Unity Table, known by its Spanish acronym MUD.

    Borges said street marches will continue and that they will not allow the Constituent Assembly process to move forward.

    Venezuela's top electoral official announced Sunday that the vote to elect 545 repersentatives to the national Constituent Assembly will likely take place on July 30.

    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/new...0605-0011.html
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  8. #108
    US Begins Military Exercises off Venezuelan Coast
    Published 7 June 2017

    In April, Kurt Tidd, US Southern Command chief submitted a report to the senate warning that Venezuela could be a "destabilizing" element for the region.
    The United States Southern Command began military exercises Tuesday with 18 other nations and about 2,500 soldiers on the island of Barbados, 670 miles from Venezuela's coast.

    The military organization reported that the so-called "Tradewinds 2017" is a "multinational exercise of security and response to maritime disasters in the Caribbean," with the participation of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana , Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as military personnel from the US, Canada, France, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

    According to the Commander of the U.S. Southern Command Kurt W. Tidd these military maneuvers ensure the security of the region. However, the military force has been accused of intervening and threatening governments in the region, such as Venezuela.

    In April, Tidd submitted a report to the U.S. Senate warning that Venezuela could be a "destabilizing" element for the region. The official's statements have been denounced by the Venezuelan government amid other actions by the U.S. to put pressure on the South American country, including OAS attempts to apply the Democratic Charter against Venezuela, led by Secretary General Luis Almagro.


    In addition, the Barack Obama administration decree declaring Venezuela an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to the national security of the United States," was renewed by the out-going president in January.

    The Venezuelan government has repeatedly stated that the decree only seeks to justify foreign intervention.

    The military maneuvers are composed of two phases. Tradewinds Phase I that is being conducted in Barbados from June 6-12; and Phase II to be held in Trinidad and Tobago, which is about 373 off the Venezuelan coast, from June 13-17.

    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/new...0607-0041.html
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  9. #109
    Quote Originally Posted by blindpig View Post
    US Begins Military Exercises off Venezuelan Coast
    Published 7 June 2017

    In April, Kurt Tidd, US Southern Command chief submitted a report to the senate warning that Venezuela could be a "destabilizing" element for the region.
    The United States Southern Command began military exercises Tuesday with 18 other nations and about 2,500 soldiers on the island of Barbados, 670 miles from Venezuela's coast.

    The military organization reported that the so-called "Tradewinds 2017" is a "multinational exercise of security and response to maritime disasters in the Caribbean," with the participation of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana , Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as military personnel from the US, Canada, France, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

    According to the Commander of the U.S. Southern Command Kurt W. Tidd these military maneuvers ensure the security of the region. However, the military force has been accused of intervening and threatening governments in the region, such as Venezuela.

    In April, Tidd submitted a report to the U.S. Senate warning that Venezuela could be a "destabilizing" element for the region. The official's statements have been denounced by the Venezuelan government amid other actions by the U.S. to put pressure on the South American country, including OAS attempts to apply the Democratic Charter against Venezuela, led by Secretary General Luis Almagro.


    In addition, the Barack Obama administration decree declaring Venezuela an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to the national security of the United States," was renewed by the out-going president in January.

    The Venezuelan government has repeatedly stated that the decree only seeks to justify foreign intervention.

    The military maneuvers are composed of two phases. Tradewinds Phase I that is being conducted in Barbados from June 6-12; and Phase II to be held in Trinidad and Tobago, which is about 373 off the Venezuelan coast, from June 13-17.

    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/new...0607-0041.html
    Imperialist bastards. How come President Dumpster doesn't negate this Obama initiative? He loves to ax every other Obama directive, why not this one? I guess some imperialism is more imperial than others...
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  10. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by Dhalgren View Post
    Imperialist bastards. How come President Dumpster doesn't negate this Obama initiative? He loves to ax every other Obama directive, why not this one? I guess some imperialism is more imperial than others...
    It is oversimplification but in a word, 'Rex'.

    He ain't there for his diplomatic resume. I think the 'extractive industries' are Trump's main pillar of support among the ruling class. Probably the most powerful sector after finance, which he is courting mightily. If he throws them enough goodies maybe they'll get off his ass.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  11. #111
    mention the devil....

    Route of Coup Against Venezuela Begins at ExxonMobil
    By: William Serafino


    Exxon logo. | Photo: EFE

    Published 8 June 2017 (3 hours 45 minutes ago)

    Venezuelan journalist William Serafino links the attacks against the Maduro government to ExxonMobil oil interests.

    Zamora Plan

    It's April 18. The political climate is defined by a highly confrontational and warmongering tone of the Venezuelan opposition the day before a national sit-in (plantón) where, once again, violent acts were to be expected: destruction and confrontation with law enforcement.

    President Nicolas Maduro delivers a speech in the evening from Miraflores Presidential Palace. Along with Minister of Defense, General in Chief Vladimir Padrino Lopez, Vice President Tareck El Aissami and National Assembly member Diosdado Cabello announce the Zamora Plan to guarantee order and security in the country.

    The decision was prompted after a U.S. State Department statement was released the same evening. The text openly supported the violence generated by clashes affiliated to the opposition agenda during the "plantón," trying to intimidate key players of Venezuelan military and judicial institutions to allow these events so that they would avoid being the subject of incoming sanctions.

    Among other important elements, the text pin pointed — without any evidence — the security apparatus, specifically the scientific police and the intelligence agency, of using torture and the state security forces to endorse the incursion of "collectives to repress the demonstrators."


    The anti-Chavista "planton" on April 19 left four people dead in different states of the country, including a sergeant of the National Guard in San Antonio de Los Altos, Miranda state.

    Who is the head of the U.S. Department of State?

    The current U.S. secretary of state — the foreign policy chief — is Rex Tillerson, a former general manager at ExxonMobil. Tillerson was the top manager of the company when former President Hugo Chavez made the decision to nationalize the Orinoco Oil Belt where the U.S. corporation had major projects.

    Under Tillerson's command, the U.S. company decided not to renegotiate its oil projects like the one belonging to Cerro Negro in Monagas with state-owned PDVSA, according to the new directives after nationalization. ExxonMobil sued PDVSA at the ICSID — the World Bank court to resolve investment disputes — seeking compensation in the amount of US$20 billion back in 2007.

    After nearly a decade-long legal battle, reviews and appeals to various verdicts, on March 10, 2017, the ICSID decided that the lawsuit of ExxonMobil contained irregularities and freed PDVSA of paying any damages. The northern oil company suffered perhaps the biggest legal defeat of its history with this ruling in favor of the Venezuelan state.

    Exxon Brand Politicians

    ExxonMobil — as well as any other large international company from the United States — contracts politicians to exert influence within the structure of U.S. government according to their interests. So-called lobbying is legal in that country, and companies seeking to modify or pass laws for their benefit (tax exemption, removal of regulations, federal government subsidies, etc.) pay large sums of money to politicians (a large quantity of Republicans in the case of ExxonMobil) and lobby firms.

    According to Open Secrets, in the 2016 cycle, the oil company invested financial resources to endorse more than a dozen politicians for these purposes. These included Donald Trump (current U.S. president, who appointed Rex Tillerson as secretary of state) with US$25,461, Marco Rubio with US$17,701 and Ed Royce with US$7,500.

    Senator Marco Rubio from Florida and California Representative Ed Royce have not only introduced sanctions against Venezuela a key point in their legislative agenda, they have also met — on several occasions — with Venezuelan opposition leaders — such as Luis Florido, Lilian Tintori, Freddy Guevara, among others — to show them political support and diplomatic endorsement to the overthrowing agenda they lead on the ground.

    Law S.3117: Financial support to Venezuelan opposition

    According to Open Secrets, in 2016 ExxonMobil was one of the companies that paid (the website does not specify the amount) to lobby for the law S.3117 (Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs of the Law of Allocations of 2017), which establishes the funds and political objectives of the operations of the Department of State in key countries for the United States.

    Money leaked to agencies such as the NED or USAID are based on that law. On May 3, 2017, under the leadership of Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan (another politician financed by ExxonMobil in 2016 with US$14,025), the law was sanctioned.

    According to the official page of the Congress of the USA, the sponsor of this bill was South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who had the duty of lobbying for its execution according to the guidelines of its financiers.


    The Senate report on the law highlights the importance of the U.S. State Department funding Venezuelan opposition groups (under the umbrella of "civil society" NGOs) with US$5,500,000 and other additional funds to bring political and economic reforms in Venezuela. At the same time, it stresses the importance that "regional organizations play in promoting reforms in Venezuela, in particular, the Organization of American States," in addition to increasing the support of the Energy Security Initiative in the Caribbean to influence Negatively in the political and oil alliances of our country with the Caribbean.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson commented on April 19: "We are closely watching what happens in that country and working with others, especially through the OAS, to communicate our concerns to them," surely referring to Uruguayan Luis Almagro as liaison and key operator of the American strategy for pressure within the organization.

    The Caribbean bloc has played a key role in preventing U.S. allies from that organization definitively consolidate the international isolation of Venezuela.

    But the attack on Venezuela reveals a geopolitical key: The U.S. urgently need to overthrow Petrocaribe not only to break the Venezuela's international alliances but to transform the Caribbean into a powerful port to import liquefied U.S. gas (ExxonMobil is one of the leading exporters), leading to the continent's energy and geopolitical domination. The coup against Venezuela is a maneuver to ensure the continent as an area of exclusive influence on the penetration of Russian and Chinese capital and investment.

    Graham, during Juan Manuel Santos' official visit to the White House in May, publicly offered war weapons to Colombia both to dissuade Venezuela and to prepare the neighboring country for an eventual "humanitarian emergency" or armed conflict.

    Interest in Venezuelan Oil

    As discussed previously, ExxonMobil's oil reserves have suffered large reductions as a result of sanctions against Russia and the aging of strategic wells in the Middle East, a reality that affects its market capitalization and its dominance over the oil market.

    This urgency leads ExxonMobil to seek extralegal procedures to conquer the huge reserves of oil and gas located in the Essequibo using the Guyanese government, an area claimed by Venezuela as part of its territorial sovereignty at the U.N.


    But without a doubt, the incessant search for oil and gas in that territory expresses the superior objective of re-colonizing the Orinoco Oil Belt, in the format of "oil opening" that dominated Venezuela during the last stage of the 20th century. Conquering and securing the world's largest oil reserves as a source of full supply, in a context of aggressive competition between oil companies and their geopolitical interests, is an increasingly urgent need the U.S. oil company wants to satisfy.

    The crystallization of regime change is needed. Last month, sn important group of experts from the think tank Council of Foreign Relations elaborated a set of recommendations to the U.S. government within the framework of this purpose.

    In short, the viable options for a change of government in Venezuela proposed by the CFR (which has shaped U.S. foreign policy since the beginning of the 20th century) are to increase sanctions against key Chavista leaders, to push diplomatically from the OAS using neighboring countries such as Colombia and Brazil, and to demand that China and Russia withdraw their support of the Venezuelan government to intensify isolation.

    The Trump Administration has fulfilled the vast majority of the CFR proposals as political routes to support the coup d'état agenda in Venezuela. The sanctions against the Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami, the State Department's pressures from the OAS and the latest sanctions against the Supreme Court are a sign of this commitment, or at least that the CFR does indeed influence certain decisions of the White House. The CFR is also funded by ExxonMobil.

    Threat of sanctions against PDVSA

    On Sunday, June 4, Reuters leaked comments from alleged White House officials regarding sanctions being assessed against the national oil sector.

    According to Reuters, collaborators of President Donald Trump have been asked to present recommendations to sanction the Venezuelan oil sector "if necessary."

    Given that 95 percent of Venezuela's foreign exchange earnings come from PDVSA, vital resources for the payment of foreign debt and imports of food and medicines, a possible oil embargo or, in its absence, sanctions that prevent oil exports to the U.S. and investment of foreign companies (threatened with suspension of licenses to operate in U.S. territory), would be a strong blow to the economic recovery plan of the Venezuelan government and the population at large by paralyzing an important income source.


    A measure that could be politically costly to the U.S. (striving to convince the public that all efforts are for the well-being of the Venezuelan population) and a reversal of its effects in practice in the medium term, considering most likely oil sales to China or India would increase significantly, at the moment 60 percent of PDVSA's export destinations.

    It is not by chance that these threats are leaked when the Venezuelan opposition's capacity for mobilization is showing signs of burning out, street violence hasn't been capitalized into political victories inside the country or before the international community. If this cycle of political recession increases, ExxonMobil would be pressured to take action on its own. After all, they are the owners of the circus and have invested resources that they do not intend to waste.

    Closing (in progress)

    According to a report by The Daily Beast in early April, top executives of ExxonMobil and Shell met in Washington in the hope that Nicolas Maduro would step down to start privatization projects of the world's largest oil reserves. It is possible that Reuter's leak has relation to these meetings and the decisions that would have been taken there.

    The coup d'etat against Venezuela was not decided by the Venezuelan opposition but by the largest oil company on the planet; the framework of action of someone like Freddy Guevara or Julio Borges is limited to their condition of subordinates. If intervention by delegation fails, direct intervention (on an economic and financial scale) using positions of power and spheres of influence in the U.S. government, are even less visible.

    The oil company, which truly executes the bulk of the maneuvers, has the U.S. secretary of state, a portfolio of right-wing representatives and senators — including Donald Trump — with influence in Congress and lobbying firms to impose its political and economic interests as a U.S. foreign policy against Venezuela.

    In Venezuela, not only political power is disputed, but the organization of a new political, financial and energy geography on a continental and planetary scale, within highly belligerant political environment. The fall of Venezuela, for ExxonMobil, is fundamental for that disputed center of geopolitical gravity to distance itself from Russia and China, taking control in a region with the greatest natural and energetic resources of the planet.

    Determining who the adversary is is key to understanding what we are currently facing.

    This article was orignally published in Mision Verdad. William Serafino is a Venezuelan journalist.

    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opi...0607-0040.html

    Four videos at link.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  12. #112
    Abby Martin: World Ignores Opposition Violence at Venezuela Protests

    Empire Files host Abby Martin just returned from Venezuela where she saw first hand how violent opposition protesters attempt to intimidate reporters and thereby give a false impression of what is happening




    transcript
    Abby Martin: World Ignores Opposition Violence at Venezuela ProtestsSharmini Peries: It's The Real News Network.

    I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. Violent protests between opposition demonstrators and police forces in Venezuela have been going on for over two months now with an average of almost one dead per day. Most of the international press portrays it as being the result of police state repression. However, a detailed breakdown from the Attorney General's Office, which has recently been increasingly at odds with the government of President Maduro, shows that of the 73 people that died, 11 were the responsibility of state security forces, 21 of them has been attributed to the opposition, 13 due to looting, and two due to government civilian protests, and 26 are still under investigation. One of the victims of the protests was Orlando Figuera, who was burned alive last month when opposition demonstrators accused him of being a thief or a Chavista. He died from his wounds last Monday. This is what his mother had to say.
    Speaker 2: [Spanish 00:01:22]

    Sharmini Peries: Obviously, his mother considers this the responsibility of the leadership of the opposition. Joining us to discuss the latest developments in Venezuela is Abby Martin. Abby is the host of the teleSUR English documentary program Empire Files that Abby and Mike Prysner independently produce, and they recently returned from a trip to Venezuela, and they were caught up in the midst of opposition demonstrations. Thank you for joining me, Abby.

    Abby Martin: Thanks so much, Sharmini. It's great to be on.

    Sharmini Peries: So Abby, you went to Venezuela to ... I spoke to you before you left, and you were going there on an inquiry to figure out what was going on. You found yourself in the midst of opposition demonstrations. Describe how you got there, why you were there, and what happened.

    Abby Martin: Sure. My partner, Mike Prysner, and I wanted to go to Venezuela, of course, with a country that's been in the crosshairs of the U.S. empire for the last decade, plus, obviously, since the Bolivarian Revolution. It's even been deemed the greatest threat to the Western Hemisphere, of course, amidst all of these threats, and of course, regime change calls from Trump himself, and of course, this bill from Marco Rubio offering to give $10 million to the opposition, which would turn into exponentially more on the black market there. Of course, we wanted to go and check out what was going on. We actually had planned the trip before all the unrest popped off, so we were kind of scared ... I had seen all this footage of the crackdowns, what I thought was really harsh repression based on the footage and news that I was seeing from here, so I was going with a completely open mind.
    I was going there as an independent, fiercely independent, investigative journalist with the show, as you said, produced completely independently from teleSUR, to tell exactly the reality that I was seeing, and I even told teleSUR management that I was going to report exactly what the truth was that I uncovered. So when we went there, I was very surprised to see that the reality was vastly different than what we are being told, Sharmini. I mean, yes, you hear all these horrific stories, right, from on the ground, amidst these protests, and you keep hearing 60 dead, Maduro kills 60 protestors, Maduro's forces. And what you realize when you get there is, the country is pretty much split in two.
    It's heavily divided between Chavistas and the opposition, and of course, amidst such economic, such a horrible economic crisis, people are going to have really strong opinions, but there are certainly huge marches on the ground on both sides. Tens of thousands of people marching for the government, for the opposition, and these are peaceful marches, jubilant atmosphere. Things are very calm, and then what you realize is, when you see these violent statistics and casualties and the death toll that's rising, and the harsh quote unquote "repression" from government forces, it's not happening at these marches. It's happening at something called guarimbas. It's a sustained blockade that a small contingent of protestors create to provoke a response from government officials, so we actually followed one of these guarimbas one night. We were almost attacked just simply for being there.
    We got accosted by a hyped-up group of protestors who were saying, "What are you ... Who are you with? Who are you with?" Demanding to see our press credentials, and I was scared for my life, knowing that if we admitted that we were from teleSUR, we could have gotten lynched, burned alive, beaten to death by the mobs that you see happening all too often, so we, of course, said that we were independent journalists, that we were from America, and then they immediately said, "Okay, great. We can use you, essentially, for propaganda." They said, "Do not film anything that we do. Just film what the government does to us," Sharmini. So we saw that night what these people do on the quote unquote "front lines" at these protests. I mean, they pulled out giant 16-wheeler trucks. They pulled people out of the trucks, moved the trucks onto the highway to block entrances and exits.
    They were pulling huge piles of trash and burning them, pouring gasoline on the front entrances and exits of these highway overpasses, and erupting in flames, and so trucks and cars were trying to frantically get out of the way, and this is how a lot of people have died. This death toll that you see being kind of parroted, regurgitated mindlessly by MSM does not account for the actual breakdown that you mentioned in the intro, which is the vast majority has been caused by either indirect or direct violence by the opposition.

    Sharmini Peries: In what form did you see these threats launch against you about lynching, about attacking you? Is that Twitter attacks, or did you actually hear it on the ground?

    Abby Martin: Well, yeah, good question, Sharmini. This has been translated, actually, into real-life actions now. It started off on Twitter, and a lot of people can say, "Oh, just turn off your Twitter." It's not as easy as that when you have hundreds of death threats coming and you have to take it seriously, especially when these people do act on it there, and there are teleSUR journalists risking their lives to still be on the ground at these protests, and now have a target on their back. It started off on Twitter, of course, Instagram, Facebook, which are all manageable until it translates into real life.
    And this one woman, Angie Perez, a quote unquote Emmy award-winning journalist from Miami, was tweeting out coordinates where Mike was going to be speaking in LA when we got back, and about 20 right-wing anti-communists came out with giant signs saying that Mike and I were spies for the dictatorship, and narcotraffickers, and ... So you see this actually being translated into real life, where now we're getting harassed in person by the same people who are inciting people to lynch us, so we have to have security now. I'm contemplating legal action against this woman, at least, in the U.S., who's doing this. I mean, it's just completely insane that these people can perpetuate such an audaciously fake myth, knowing that our lives are on the line and that other journalists' lives are on the line instead of actually just denouncing the violence, which would be a lot easier.

    Sharmini Peries: Abby, one thing I've noticed when it comes to Venezuela is that all of these international watchdogs, like Human Rights Watch, the Organization of American States, particularly their Committee on Human Rights, and freedom of expression, and so on, as well as so many other mainstream organizations that, if this was happening anywhere in the world, they would be on it. And when it comes to Venezuela, very little is reported from these organizations. I'm wondering what your thoughts are and what's not getting reported here.

    Abby Martin: Yeah, and to give some context to this, I mean, to really explain the violence that the opposition is carrying out and the complete absence of commentary on this violence from these watchdogs, Sharmini, I mean, we're talking about these protestors that have attacked hospitals, burned down government buildings. They burned down the Housing Ministry, which has provided 1.6 million homes for poor people over the last decade. Political assassinations. I mean, directly assassinating Chavistas, attacking communes. We visited one building that was, all the windows were broken. It was just simply an art commune that gave out free dance lessons and music lessons to local kids. I mean, it's kind of sick when you see on the front lines what is being attacked and why, what is the political motivation behind these lynch mobs. Before I get into the story that happened to us and what's going on to journalists, I mean, you mentioned that young man, Orlando Figuera, that was burned alive.
    This is the third Afro-Venezuelan who has been lynched, attacked by a mob during these protests, black, and the clip with his family being interviewed, and even him before he tragically died from his severe burns. He said that they said, "Hey, black guy, are you a Chavista?" And they threw a Molotov cocktail on him. I mean, they have pulled bus drivers out of the buses and torched the buses. They, throwing explosives at people, so it is just quite astounding not only is that happening, but then when you look at what happens to journalists there. Before we went, of course, we heard even Reuters journalists had been attacked by these people, but we know how dangerous it is to be a state-run journalist there, Sharmini, which is why we didn't say that we were openly with teleSUR.
    But we didn't know how bad it was until after we were there on the ground reporting, because once the photos came out that we were there and started circulating and tying us back to teleSUR, then things got really, really bad. A complete fake propaganda campaign, we basically became the center of a fake news viral campaign in Venezuela started and fomented by major opposition leaders, and the media, major academics there, that were propagating a theory that Mike and I were actually spies infiltrating the protest to collect intelligence for the GNB, the Venezuelan intelligence services, based on absolutely nothing, based on me doing my job as a journalist going there and actually trying to get the truth, to cover all sides. I mean, I put my life on the line. We all put our lives on the line to get this story from these people creating these barricades, and the peaceful marches on all sides, average Venezuelan from the streets.
    So it was so shocking and disheartening to see this campaign being subjected against us simply because we brought up opposition violence. Here we are looking at a country that kind of opines about how all the press is controlled by the state, how the government has a lockdown on all press, how you can't be safe as a journalist reporting on the street, that there's a total police state there. It was the complete opposite. I mean, I had no problems filming anything. The clear assault on the press is from the opposition who doesn't want you to report the truth. I mean, they put up free press as this beacon, but they don't want you to report anything that contradicts their narrative, even when it's completely proven by the Attorney General herself, who was even at odds with Maduro, as you mentioned. So when we dare to bring up the fact that the opposition was responsible for half the deaths, because half of the story's been omitted by the Western media and these human rights watch organizations, we became subjected to a lynch mob.
    Not only was this fake news perpetrated around about us, but it incited hundreds of death threats, actual lynch threats. I've never been subjected to actual lynch threats before, and it was just all the same thing. "Lynch them. Lynch them. Burn them. Throw Molotov cocktails on them. We know what to do to infiltrators. Do to them what we've done to the other infiltrators," saying like, "Burn them alive." I mean, basically, if we were still there, Sharmini, we would have a target on our back, and we've seen that play out in the wake of us leaving, where a teleSUR journalist actually just got attacked with Molotov cocktails, nails, and shot in the back by opposition protestors when she was clearly marked press and standing with cameramen. This is not the first time journalists have been attacked. Someone else from Globovisión was doused with gasoline and luckily escaped before they were burned alive.
    If this was happening to journalists in any other part of the world, there would be a huge outcry from international watchdogs, but unfortunately, because it's Venezuela, and because the U.S. empire wants regime change there, this is completely obfuscated, and in fact, these people are painted as peaceful, democracy-loving freedom fighters, and it makes me sick, because I see the same thing played out in Ukraine, Syria, time and again, and I was there. We risked our lives and were getting a lynch mob incited against us, and there's not a peep from these people. Instead, you see Ken Roth from Human Rights Watch actually calling for a violent coup and has the audacity to just completely marginalize the real situation, Sharmini.

    Sharmini Peries: All right, Abby. I know you just got back, and you're still recovering from that experience. I thank you so much for joining us just after your return, and as the situation unfolds and you are able to reflect on what happened, we would love to have you back to continue to report this very important story.

    Abby Martin: Thanks so much, Sharmini. Real News is definitely the best place to get your news on the front lines of this story. Thanks for your coverage.
    Sharmini Peries: And thank you for joining us here on The Real News Network.

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?...&jumival=19279
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  13. #113
    Venezuelan Supreme Court Torched as Jailed Opposition Leader Urges Coup
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    By LUCAS KOERNER

    Caracas, June 13, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s Housing Ministry and Supreme Court executive office were attacked Monday as jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez called on the country’s armed forces to “rebel” against the Maduro government.

    Opposition leaders rallied their supporters to once again take to the streets in nationwide marches on Supreme Court offices, which ended in renewed violence.

    The focus of the unrest was the wealthy eastern Caracas municipality of Chacao, where over 150 masked militants besieged Venezuela’s Housing Ministry with Molotov cocktails and blunt objects.



    Opposition supporters destroyed the front gate and reportedly caused damage to the public attention offices in the first two levels of the building, leading the ministry’s employees to flee to higher floors. Ultimately 973 workers were evacuated from the building by firefighters, including 45 children from the ministry's nursery. Twenty-five children received medical attention, Justice Minister Nestor Reverol has indicated.



    Among the 973 people evacuated from the Housing Ministry were 45 children. (Ministerio de Vivienda)

    According to Minister Manuel Quevedo, the attack is the 15th instance of opposition violence against Housing Ministry facilities nationwide, which have been frequently targeted for their role in building 1.6 million affordable homes for Venezuela’s poor.

    The Supreme Court’s Executive Magistracy (DEM) in Chacao was also attacked for the fourth time in 70 days on Monday, leading to the evacuation of the office's 2500 workers.

    Hundreds of opposition supporters surrounded the building, which they proceeded to set on fire with Molotovs and homemade explosive devices in an act photographed by international journalists. Protesters broke into the high court office and carried out pieces of furniture that they subsequently burnt in the streets.

    The demonstrators also looted a nearby bank, leaving the entire first floor in shambles and carrying off even the photocopy machines.

    Venezuelan Supreme Court President Maikel Moreno responded to the incident with the announcement that the DEM would be moved to another location on the grounds that the opposition-held municipality of Chacao is a “lawless territory”.

    Chacao Mayor Ramon Muchacho repudiated the violence against the DEM while insinuating that the attack may have been carried out by "government infiltrators", in spite of the widely circulated video footage which suggests otherwise. Muchacho did not offer evidence to bolster his assertion, nor acknowledge the attack on the Housing Ministry whose evacuation he attributed to "smoke coming from the DEM and tear gas".

    Authorities have arrested 24 suspects in connection to the violent incidents, which are under investigation by the Public Prosecutor's office.

    Meanwhile in Vargas state, the day’s unrest claimed the life of Socrates Salgado (49), who died under uncertain circumstances in the costal city of La Guaira. Opposition legislators have blamed the death on tear gas allegedly fired by the National Guard, but the account is unconfirmed. A state prosecutor has been dispatched to investigate the incident.

    The death brings the total number of those killed in 10 weeks of opposition protests to 76, including at least 11 people dead at the hands of authorities and 21 deaths attributable to opposition political violence.

    Elsewhere in Vargas, anti-government militants burnt the headquarters of the Guaicamacuto Socialist Commune in addition to ransacking and looting the Macuto popular cafeteria.

    Monday’s violence comes as jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez released a new video appealing to the nation’s armed forces (FANB) to rise up against their commander-in-chief.

    “To the military personnel in the streets, I want to send a very clear, sober message framed by our constitution: you also have a right and duty to rebel,” he implored.

    Lopez was sentenced to nearly fourteen years imprisonment in 2015 for his role in leading the previous year’s violent opposition protests demanding the ouster of the elected government, which resulted in 43 dead and nearly a thousand injured.

    Lopez’s statement is the latest in a series of opposition calls to mutiny in the FANB. This past April, National Assembly President Julio Borges issued a more subtle appeal to the military’s rank-and-file to disobey orders from their superiors.

    Lopez, Borges, and a host of other leading opposition figures were active participants in the US-backed 2002 coup that temporarily ousted then President Hugo Chavez for 47 hours.

    PUBLISHED ON JUN 13TH 2017 AT 11.16AM

    https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13180
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  14. #114
    Monday’s violence comes as jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez released a new video appealing to the nation’s armed forces (FANB) to rise up against their commander-in-chief.

    “To the military personnel in the streets, I want to send a very clear, sober message framed by our constitution: you also have a right and duty to rebel,” he implored.
    Maduro must act or the army will. If Maduro acts, Venezuela will become the South American 'Syria'. I have no doubt the US would intervene directly - then what would Maduro do? He is between a rock and a hard place. How strong is the Venezuelan people? This is a horror show...
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  15. #115
    Quote Originally Posted by Dhalgren View Post
    Maduro must act or the army will. If Maduro acts, Venezuela will become the South American 'Syria'. I have no doubt the US would intervene directly - then what would Maduro do? He is between a rock and a hard place. How strong is the Venezuelan people? This is a horror show...
    If the people come out strongly the army rank & file will be with them. The exceptions will be the usual elite formations, marines, paratroopers... better paid and led by the nastiest reactionaries the booj can produce. Gotta watch the air force too. I got no idea how strong Chavez's relations with the military were or how that carried over to Madero, perhaps there's something encouraging there. `

    Time to deploy that people's militia, however un-trained and indifferently armed, numbers and perception are everything.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  16. #116
    Delcy Rodríguez affirms withdrawal from Venezuela of the OAS and rejects interference


    "We do not need any kind of intervention or tutelage to solve our problems," said the diplomat. | Photo: Reuters

    Published 19 June 2017

    Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez asserted that Venezuela will not endorse any document issued at the OAS session in Mexico.

    Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said Monday that her country has withdrawn from the Organization of American States (OAS) and will not return as long as it is a free and independent country. He also rejected that the institution continue its intervention agency, promoted by Secretary General Luis Almagro.

    "On April 27, President Maduro formalized the denunciation to the letter of this organization, Venezuela withdrew from the OAS, which we will not return to as long as we are a free, independent country," he said.

    Rodriguez recalled that the US Government Recognized that the OAS was the instrument to intervene in Venezuela, with the support of a group of right-wing governments in the region.

    The Venezuelan Foreign Minister called on OAS countries to recognize the population of Venezuelans who are not participating in the violent protests of the opposition, but are in favor of working for the country.

    "I ask you to also look at the other Venezuela, there is a majority Venezuela that is also not opposed, that they also think in Venezuela that they want to work and excel," he said.

    In addition, the chancellor indicated that the young people who participate in the violence are also victims of the opposition leadership, who refuses to dialogue and democratic and electoral mechanisms, such as the National Constituent Assembly, which seeks the reconciliation of Venezuelans and overcome the situation Economic crisis that crosses the country.

    "A constituent called to overcome the oil rentier model, a Constituent to solve our problems, we do not need any intervention or tutelage to solve our problems," he said.

    Rodríguez said that Luis Almagro, from the OAS, called for the opposition not to sit down and dialogue, and to take the road of violence, which left more than 70 people dead throughout the country, more than 1,000 injured and Public and private property.

    Before retiring from the session of the OAS, held in Mexico, the chancellor reiterated that regardless of the outcome or document issued by the organization, Venezuela will not endorse it and called once again the respect of the member states to institutional and foundational standards.

    From June 19 to 21, the XLVII General Assembly of the OAS is held in Cancun, Mexico, which on this occasion addresses the political situation in Venezuela.

    http://www.telesurtv.net/news/Delcy-...0619-0042.html

    Google Translator

    screen shots at link
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  17. #117
    Where is Venezuela going?

    Jorge Martin 23 June 2017


    Photo: Miquel Garcia esranxer@gmail.com

    It is eighty-five days since the beginning of the current right-wing offensive backed by imperialism against the Venezuelan government of President Maduro, which has left 85 people dead. So far the reactionary opposition has not achieved any of its aims. As its ability to gather large numbers of people in the streets has diminished, rioting has become increasingly more violent and deadly. The government has called Constituent Assembly elections on July 30, which will be a major test of its level of popular support. The opposition has declared it is in “disobedience” and has vowed to prevent the election from taking place. What comes next?

    The current assault of the Venezuelan opposition (representing the interests of the oligarchy and backed by imperialism) had one clear aim: the overthrow of the democratically elected government of president Maduro, by any means necessary. They used a combination of mass demonstrations in the streets with small “vanguard” groups of well equipped very violent rioters. International imperialist pressure, particularly through the agency of OAS general secretary, General Almagro, was to be part of this strategy. In order to achieve their aims, they hoped to provoke two things: 1) a popular uprising in the working class and poor areas, the traditional Chavista strongholds, 2) a rupture in the state institutions and particularly within the Armed Forces leading to a military coup which would remove Maduro.

    Despite all their attempts they have had very limited success. Mass street demonstrations have tended to dwindle, as their supporters became tired and demoralised by their lack of progress. In the international arena all their attempts to get resolutions passed against Venezuela (at the OAS and the United Nations) have been thwarted. With very few exceptions there has been no significant rioting or protests in any working class or poor barrios (neighbourhoods), and anyone who says the opposite is lying. There is a deep mistrust and a healthy class hatred in the barrios towards the opposition and its leaders, who the workers and poor correctly regard as representing the capitalists, landlords and bankers and as agents of imperialism. Finally, they have not provoked any public fissure within the Armed Forces, though they have managed to pull the State Prosecutor into publicly criticising the government and taking some legal initiatives to block its actions.



    The level of violence the opposition has deployed in this guarimba (rioting) is higher than anything we have seen before. To the tactics used in 2014 (barricades, steel wire across streets to decapitate motorbike riders, arson attacks against public transport units and official buildings, etc.) we have to add the use of homemade explosive devices and rocket launchers, the use of sniper fire from residential buildings against civilians and police forces, attacks on military installations, etc. In certain parts of the country (San Antonio de los Altos, Miranda; Socopó, Barinas amongst others), well organised violent rioters, in connivance with the police forces of right-wing municipalities and state governorships, managed to get control of whole areas of urban centres for a period of time, where they destroyed all public buildings, imposed a shutdown of all commercial establishments and basically replaced the authority of the state. In some instances it is clear that paramilitary and criminal elements have been involved.

    In these 85 days they have also generated a lynch mob mentality against Chavistas. The case of Orlando Figuera, beaten, stabbed and then torched by thuggish opposition protesters in Altamira, Caracas, is the most well known example. Figuera died in hospital from the wounds inflicted by this reactionary lynch mob. His “crime”? Some say he was identified as a “Chavista infiltrator”. Others have tried to justify his killing by saying “he was a thief”. In the minds of the enraged middle class which is the mass basis of the opposition, these two things are the same: Chavistas are poor, dark skinned and therefore, in their minds, criminals. This mood also led to the killing of a retired National Guard in Cabudare, Lara and several cases of assault and attempted lynchings (a businessman who was mistaken for a Chavista official in a shopping centre in the east of Caracas, an opposition journalist “who was wearing a red shirt”!).

    Clearly, the opposition wanted to provoke a “Ukrainian Maidan scenario”, something they openly admitted: violent insurrectionary protests in the streets leading to the overthrow of the “regime”. So far they have failed.

    Oppose the counter-revolutionary offensive
    We must state this clearly: all revolutionary Marxists, all democrats for that matter, must oppose this reactionary onslaught. If the opposition were to come to power, they would pursue a vicious policy of making the workers and poor pay for the economic crisis. They would do that by massively cutting public spending in order to eliminate the budget deficit (running at something like 15% of GDP), they would implement mass layoffs of public sector workers, destroy the social programs of the Bolivarian revolution (health care, education, pensions, benefits, etc.), they would privatise wholly or partially the state owned oil company PDVSA, they would destroy labour rights currently enshrined in law, they would privatise social housing (the 1.6 million homes built and delivered by Mision Vivienda), they would privatise state-owned companies and return expropriated factories and landed estates to their former owners, etc. As for democracy, they would carry out a political purge of all state institutions and an assault on the workers, peasants and the poor and their organisations (trade unions, communal councils, revolutionary collectives, etc.). There is not a gram of progressive content in the Venezuelan opposition, which is led by the same people who carried out the coup in 2002.

    We cannot take a neutral position in this conflict. A handful of former Chavista officials have positioned themselves as “outside of the polarisation”, attempting to create a “third pole”. And “Marea Socialista” (Socialist Tide) has given them a political cover. These “de-polarised” people, as they call themselves, represent the impotent cry of the liberals who pretend to stand for the sacred principles of democracy, when what we are witnessing is an open struggle between the classes. By formally refusing to take sides, they in fact are pulled into the camp of the opposition, serving as a trampoline for people moving from Chavismo to open reaction. Their impotence is shown by their own actions: press conferences and statements, with the participation of these so-called “Chavista critics” side by side with businessmen and elected officials of parties which belong to the opposition MUD. They claim to represent a majority of the Venezuelan population which rejects both the government and the opposition, but all they can muster in their public rallies is less than a dozen people.

    Our position is clear: we are implacably opposed to the reactionary offensive of the opposition as it represents a mortal threat to the Venezuelan workers and poor as well as to the gains of the Bolivarian revolution.

    The crucial question is, how can this insurrectionary assault be defeated? So far the government’s tactics have been three pronged: use of the national guard and disbanding opposition rioters, mass demonstrations as a show of popular support for the government and skillful countering of imperialist trickery at the OAS and UN. These have been combined with appeals for dialogue and negotiation to the opposition and the capitalists, including in relation to the convening of the national assembly.

    This is clearly insufficient on two accounts. One, it does not involve the population directly in the defence of the revolution by revolutionary means, but relies solely on the state apparatus. Two, it does nothing to address the fundamental problem of the collapse in support for the government, which flows from the economic crisis and the subsequent crisis of supply of basic products, aggravated by the economic sabotage of the capitalist class.

    Revolutionary rank and file initiative



    At the same time there have been initiatives taken by the Chavista left to organise self-defence and revolutionary actions to counter the reactionary campaign. In Guasdalito, Apure, a stronghold of the Bolivar Zamora Revolutionary Current (CRBZ), they have set up the Hugo Chavez Popular Defence Brigades (BPD-HC). These Brigades are based in the Communes and involve the Bolivarian Militias. Their task is the defence of public transportation and everything related to the distribution of food. Similarly, in Socopó, Barinas, revolutionary organisations have set up the Hugo Chavez Integral Defence Front (FDI-HC) with the aim of defending local revolutionary leaders and public buildings and to prevent the insurrectionary activity of the reactionary forces which in Socopó reached its highest degree of intensity in April and May. The protection of local revolutionary activists has become a necessity, as reactionary elements during the two right-wing insurrections locally had lists of known local leaders to be eliminated.

    Socopó, in Barinas, has been one of the centres of the low intensity civil war which has been going on in the Venezuelan countryside. The two reactionary uprisings on April 19-20 and May 22-24 were led, organised and financed by local landowners and capitalists. For instance, a well known local latifundista provided the rioters with a JCB machine they used to launch an assault on the local police station and other official buildings. The local peasant organisations have now decided to occupy a landed estate belonging to this latifundista.

    This story sums up in a nutshell what the current struggle is about, but also the limitations and counterproductive character of the government and the state bureaucracy in combatting it. The local landowner had been given a “productive land” qualification by the National Land Institute in charge of agrarian reform (INTI) to allow him to stave off peasant attempts to occupy it. This reveals the corruption of the state apparatus and the connivance of the bureaucracy at all levels with capitalist businesses and latifundistas. At the same time, the first response to this land occupation has been to send the army to the estate.

    In many other rural areas similar defence organisations have emerged. On June 19, a local peasant revolutionary leader, Francisco Aguirre, was killed in Tinaco, Cojedes, while he was on guard duty at a local landed estate which was expropriated by Chavez in 2010 and handed over to peasant communes.



    This is the only way to fight counter-revolution: with revolutionary measures, expropriation of the properties of the coup plotters and by giving power to the workers and peasants. It is precisely the policy of half-measures, concessions and conciliation, together with bureaucracy and corruption, which have led to the current situation. The problem is that, so far, these expressions of revolutionary struggle remain largely isolated and have taken place mainly in rural areas amongst peasants and not in the factories and amongst the working class.

    The Constituent Assembly
    The decision of President Maduro to convene a Constituent Assembly was immediately rejected by the opposition leaders, but was initially met with enthusiasm amongst the Chavista left and the revolutionary rank and file. It was seen as an opportunity to get the voice of the revolutionary rank and file workers and peasants heard. The announcement that Constituent elections would not take place on the basis of party lists was met with relief due to the hated practice of the PSUV bureaucracy at all levels of appointing candidates without any reference to the rank and file members. In a short space of time a number of Chavista left lists and coalitions were set up, which expressed this desire to push the revolution forward in the struggle against reaction.

    One of these is the People's Constituent Platform, composed of neighbourhood organisations, revolutionary media outlets, tenants’ councils, etc., mainly from Caracas, which claims to represent “rank and file Chavismo, those who have to queue up and use public transport”. It also argues for a “people’s revolutionary point of reference to overcome the scourges of a bourgeois government system such as: corruption, adaptation, reformism and bureaucracy”.

    The Fuerza Patriotica Alexis Vive has also launched its own candidates to the Constituent Assembly in a broad alliance with other revolutionary organisations. Alexis Vive has a presence in Caracas in the 23 de Enero neighbourhood, but has also been expanding nationally, building a strong presence in places like Tocuyo, Lara. They want to “give a voice in the National Assembly to those from below, critical minded Chavistas, the left wing, those who struggle” in order to build a “new revolutionary leadership” and to “cleanse our own movement if need be”.

    Also in Merida, a series of revolutionary organisations have put together a “Manifesto of those from below” which recognises “the failure of capitalism” and “the need to smash the bourgeois state”.



    The programs advanced by these different currents all reflect a deep seated hatred of the bureaucracy and reformism and a desire to move forward, to take power. They all also share a common weakness in their economic program. Although they contain general anti-capitalist phrases, there isn’t a clear understanding of the need to expropriate the means of production under workers’ control and therefore a lack of clarity about the leading role which the working class has to play.

    These different initiatives were accompanied by large meetings in neighbourhoods and workplaces right at the beginning of the campaign. However, slowly but surely, the bureaucratic machinery of the PSUV has started to impose itself. Local mayors, regional governors, etc., have used their control of the apparatus to impose their candidates. The short period of time allowed to collect the signatures required to stand has made it very difficult for anyone outside the apparatus to actually become a candidate. The mood has started to turn, and many now fear that the Constituent Assembly (CA) will be completely dominated by the bureaucracy.

    This is a very serious situation, as the only way to get a significant turn out for the election is if the revolutionary masses feel that they have a voice of their own, that the Assembly can be used to impose their will. If the bureaucracy and the reformists have the upper hand, that will be a recipe for disaster. A low turnout in the elections would deal a serious blow to the legitimacy of the government and might even prepare a defeat in the referendum which will have to ratify any decisions of the CA, if the opposition were to decide to participate in it.

    This is the crucial issue. The PSUV was defeated in the December 2015 National Assembly elections, when it lost nearly 2 million votes. That was already a protest vote against bureaucracy, corruption, reformism and the impact of the economic crisis. Most of those votes did not go to the opposition which barely increased its vote, but to abstention. The Bolivarian revolution cannot recover its support unless it addresses head on the twin problems of the economy and bureaucracy (in the state and in its own organisations).

    Hugo Chavez in his last speeches made two key points: 1) we still have a capitalist economy and we need to move towards socialism, 2) we need to destroy the old bourgeois state and replace it with a communal state. For all his shortcomings, Chavez was responding to the pressure of the revolutionary people and the assault of reaction and in a more or less clear way groping in the right direction.

    Economic crisis
    No one denies there is a very serious economic crisis in Venezuela and that this has played a very important role in the fall of support for the Bolivarian movement. What are its causes and how can it be solved?

    What triggered the crisis was clearly the collapse in the price of oil, which provides most of the government’s hard currency income. This in turn reduced the ability of the government to fund social programs and to subsidise the import of food and other basic products. The reduced availability of basic products led to an explosion of the black market, corruption, hoarding, speculation and smuggling. The government was forced to abandon the policy of general food subsidies and adopt one of targeted supply through the CLAPs. At the same time, the capitalists redoubled their sabotage of the regulated prices system, despite the government making significant concessions. The policy of a subsidised exchange rate for the importation of basic products has become, through corruption and fraud, a channel for the transfer of oil revenue dollars into the pockets of the capitalist class, thieves and speculators, fuelling at the same time the black market exchange rate (which in the last two months has shot up from 5000 BsF to the US$ to 8000). The attempt of the government to fund social spending and finance the budget deficit through printing money has fuelled a huge inflationary spiral. M2 money supply has gone up by 80% since the beginning of the year and a whopping 377% since January 2015. The government has regularly granted significant increases in the minimum wage, but these are just eaten up by inflation.

    Meanwhile, the government has continued paying the foreign debt on time, massively depleting foreign currency reserves, from US$16bn in January 2016 down to just above US$10bn now. Of the remaining reserves, a large percentage is held in gold rather than actual cash, limiting the government’s room for manoeuvre. This has led to desperate moves like the recent sale of US$2.8bn of PDVSA bonds held by the Central Bank to Goldman Sachs at a 70% discount. Another operation of the same kind is being mulled, while the government has had to reschedule some of its debts to China, and PDVSA has used some of its most valued assets as collateral for cash loans. The situation is desperate.

    This crisis reveals the limitations of a revolution carrying out a policy of social spending within the limits of capitalism. The capitalists throughout this time embarked on an investment strike as they feared the revolution would take away their assets (and in some cases it did). The government controls prevented the capitalist economy from functioning normally, but did not go as far as allowing for a system of democratic planning of the economy to replace it. Once oil prices collapsed it became apparent that the Emperor (“oil socialism”) was wearing no clothes.

    Which way forward
    There are two ways out of this deep hole the Venezuelan economy is in. One is what the capitalists want: a massive adjustment which makes the workers and the poor pay the price. This would involve freeing exchange rates, reducing the budget deficit through cuts and lifting any regulations and protections (workers’ rights, environmental rights, etc.) from the “normal” functioning of capitalism.

    The other is to move forward and abolish the capitalist system by bringing banks, industries and the land into public ownership and democratic control, that is, to make the oligarchy pay. That would not bring the price of oil back up, of course, but at least it would put the country’s resources in the hands of working people so they can plan them democratically for the benefit of the majority.

    Maduro’s government has chosen a policy which does not advance towards socialism but also does not fully allow the functioning of the capitalist market. It makes all sorts of concessions to the capitalists, but these are not enough for them. It promises it won’t touch private property and swears it is a friend of business, but it doesn’t convince them fully. It gives capitalists preferential dollars and other subsidies, but they just take the money and stash it abroad or sell it on the black market.

    At the same time, rather than relying on the revolutionary initiative of the masses, the state and party bureaucracy act as a constant brake on it. The economic crisis, combined with the corruption of high officials, the bureaucratic way in which officials clamp down on the aspirations of the rank and file, the constant appeals to the capitalists who are sabotaging the economy, etc., are all factors that act as a cancer at the heart of the Bolivarian revolution, fomenting scepticism, apathy, demoralisation and cynicism. Even now, people in the traditional Chavista strongholds cannot see that the Constituent Assembly will serve to address the fundamental issue of food supplies and the economy. Maduro talks of a “post-oil economic model”, but no one knows what this is supposed to mean, other than any reference to socialism has been replaced by reassurances to the capitalists.

    This road leads to disaster. We have said this before and we repeat it again. The ground is being paved for the right wing to come to power, sooner or later. This could be now or it could be delayed a few months. It could take place through a reactionary insurrection, a military coup, an election defeat or any combination of these. A defeat will be paid dearly by the revolutionary activists and the workers, the peasants and the poor in general.

    The revolutionary gains which still remain can only be defended by completing the revolution and that means the smashing of the bourgeois state and its replacement by a revolutionary state based on workers and peasant councils, as well as the expropriation of the oligarchy (banks, capitalists and latifundistas) and imperialism.

    It is crucial that the revolutionary Chavista rank and file is armed with such a program and sets itself the task of building a new revolutionary leadership on that basis (as the comrades from Alexis Vive have correctly pointed out) . This is the only way forward, for this battle now, to prevent the overthrow of the Maduro government on the part of the counter-revolution, and for the battles which will come later.

    http://www.marxist.com/where-is-venezuela-going.htm
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  18. #118
    Venezuela’s Maduro Replaces Foreign Minister, Chief of Staff
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    By RYAN MALLETT-OUTTRIM
    TAGS

    Nicoas Maduro
    Puebla, Mexico, June 23, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reshuffled his cabinet Wednesday, appointing a veteran diplomat to the foreign ministry and a controversial military figure as chief of staff.

    Amid with the cabinet changes, Maduro also effectively replaced his top military brass, moving four top commanders to different government positions. Among these was the head of the National Guard, General Antonio Benavides Torres who was moved to head the Capital District.

    The reshuffle was prompted after a number of top government officials stepped down to participate in elections for the upcoming national constituent assembly. The assembly will have the power to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution.

    Among the most well known faces to leave the administration for the constituent assembly is Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez, who will be replaced by veteran diplomat Samuel Moncada. Known for his fiery speeches, Moncada has served as Venezuela’s representative to the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States since March.

    He has also served as Venezuela’s United Nations ambassador and as head of the Presidential Commission for the Non-Aligned Movement.

    “Along with having a good wit, he also speaks perfect English,” Maduro said.

    Announcing the appointment, Maduro also heaped praise on the outgoing Rodriguez, who has garnered international headlines for her impassioned arguments at the OAS.

    "Delcy Rodriguez truly deserves the recognition of the whole country because she has defended the sovereignty, peace, and independence of Venezuela,” Maduro said.

    He continued, “Congratulations to comrade Delcy Rodriguez, mission accomplished.”

    In another major change, Maduro also replaced his chief of staff, Carmen Melendez. As Melendez stands as a candidate to the constituent assembly, she will be replaced by the controversial Major General Carlos Osorio. During his tenure as food minister, the long time Maduro ally became the target of a wave of public outrage, when the government eased price controls on certain meats, cheeses and milk by around 20 percent. Then in 2016, the opposition controlled National Assembly demanded an investigation into Osorio’s time at the food ministry, including allegations of involvement in a scandal surrounding food imports. According to a complaint filed by the National Assembly’s Comptroller’s Office to the public prosecutor, over the course of a decade, at least US$27 billion in funding for food imports went missing under successive administrations, including during Osorio’s stint as food minister from 2010 to 2013.

    Other changes to the cabinet include Nestor Ovalles replacing Francisco Torrealba as labour minister, while Major General Juan de Jesus Garcia Tusen will take over the Transport Ministry, and Admiral Orlando Maneiro will assume the role of fishing minister. Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez will also pick up the position of vice-president for national security, and Major General Luis Motta Domínguez will take over as vice-president for public works.

    The reshuffle is the 6th round of major changes to Maduro’s governing team since he was elected in 2013, and comes as his country remains gripped by deep political and economic crisis.

    PUBLISHED ON JUN 23RD 2017 AT 2.49PM

    https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13202
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  19. #119
    Venezuelan opponents far from peaceful
    In recent weeks the actions of extremists linked to the self-styled mud, are marked by vandalism

    Author: Luis Beatón | Internet@granma.cu
    June 26, 2017 21:06:19


    Evidence from social networks indicates that there are no peaceful demonstrations. Photo: Telesur

    CARACAS .- The demonstrations of opposition groups in Venezuela are far from peaceful despite their organizers say so even though the practice in recent months shows the opposite.

    In recent weeks the actions triggered by extremists linked to the self-appointed Democratic Unity Table (MUD), are marked by vandalism actions like the one happened last Friday when they burned vehicles near an air base.

    Three gandolas for food transport and a unit of the Bolivarian National Police (PNB) burned in the vicinity of the Generalísimo Francisco de Miranda air base, known as La Carlota, located in Miranda state.

    Several days ago the groups maintained the siege against that military installation and according to testimonies spread in the Zurda Konducta program emitted by Venezolana de Televisión, two drivers of these vehicles confirmed that the violent ones use firearms, which puts into question the procedure Of the rebels.

    Emiliano Pulido, driver of one of the transports, explained that "they grabbed my son and me and they stopped us with pistols in hand. I was kidnapped by three hooded people, they hit me at gunpoint. They had guns nine millimeters, and if I'm not mistaken, they had long guns, "he said.

    According to official figures, since last April the violence that they call extreme sectors of the opposition left more than 70 people dead, over 1,400 injuries and millions of damages to public and private property.

    Evidence released through social networks indicates that there are no peaceful demonstrations, as last Thursday and in previous days photos and videos exposed show groups of violent demonstrators carrying out actions such as those facing La Carlota in recent days.

    In this regard the Minister for Internal Relations, Justice and Peace, Néstor Reverol, wrote in his Twitter account that the siege of La Carlota is recurrent; In total no less than ten attacks carried out these violent groups against the military base.

    Despite the nature of the protest and the damages caused to the military installations, the authorities of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) ruled out the use of the weapons to repel the attack, something that responds to indications of the government to avoid greater evils.

    The attitude of the military contrasts with the actions of these groups who use homemade explosives, stones, bottles, gunshots, Molotov cocktails and other artifices in their actions.

    On the other hand, the La Carlota air base is not the only military facility attacked, because in the Táchira state it was necessary to deploy the Zamora Plan, a strategic and operational plan that is activated for the security and defense of the nation in case of threats To the internal order.

    The decision was made after violent elements burned the artillery group Vásquez of the Bolivarian Army, which is based in the city of San Cristóbal, whose headquarters was besieged by 80 to 100 people.

    "The attack was directed where the gas cylinders are. Can you imagine what a Molotov bomb can cause in a gas cylinder, where there are ammunition, explosives, weapons, in the center of the city? "Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said in condemning these events.

    Also on June 12, Paramacay Fort, home of the 41st Armored Brigade of the Army located in the La Granja sector of the Naguanagua municipality, Carabobo state, was attacked, where 30 people were arrested and several injured, including four officials from the Security of the State.

    Despite this hostile atmosphere and call for violence, President Nicolás Maduro reiterated his rejection of the violence promoted by some extremist sectors of the opposition and reiterated the commitment of the Bolivarian Government and the FANB to work to consolidate peace. (PL)

    http://www.granma.cu/mundo/2017-06-2...-2017-21-06-19

    Hope the military doesn't go all 'Berkut', At a point 'enough is enough'.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

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