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What's really going on in Venezuela?

 
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tatee View Drop Down
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    Posted: Feb 20 2014 at 1:05pm

What's going on in Venezuela in a nutshell





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFS6cP9auDc
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Venezuela is burning


I heard inflation is up 30% over there... good gawd
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 20 2014 at 4:23pm
Whenever Blacks get upset, we protest for the rest of America.

When the rest of the world protests, they do it for help and from the rest of the world. I wonder, if we do that, will the rest of the world give a f*ck about us? Or pretend to care even if they really only care about holding something over America?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote ragincajin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 20 2014 at 4:29pm
Originally posted by Alias_Avi Alias_Avi wrote:

Whenever Blacks get upset, we protest for the rest of America.

When the rest of the world protests, they do it for help and from the rest of the world. I wonder, if we do that, will the rest of the world give a f*ck about us? Or pretend to care even if they really only care about holding something over America?


They'll only do it if they have something to gain. Or like you said, to stick it to America. I know Putin must be just tickled to be hosting Snowden. It's his giant F-you to America. But as soon as it's no fun, or stops benefitting him in some way, he'll through Snowden's azz out like old bread.

I always say we'll die a slow death waiting for white folk to give a fucck about anything and anybody but themselves. For real.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 20 2014 at 4:49pm
i had articles to go with the video.  i got distracted...againLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 20 2014 at 4:59pm

What the Heck Is Going on in Venezuela? (Could the Maduro Regime Fall?)

By Jeffrey Tayler

Leopoldo Lopez, an ardent opponent of Venezuelas socialist government facing an arrest warrant, surrounded by supporters in Caracas on Feb. 18

Photograph by Raul Arboleda/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo Lopez, an ardent opponent of Venezuela's socialist government facing an arrest warrant, surrounded by supporters in Caracas on Feb. 18

(Corrects the source and content of the characterization of Leopoldo López in the eighth paragraph)

“I’m telling you, you’re a coward, Maduro. You won’t break either me or my family.”

So Leopoldo López tweeted on Feb. 15 after Venezuelan police raided his home. The unofficial head of Venezuela’s newly active opposition movement, López, 42, was addressing President Nicolas Maduro, who has been in office since April 2013, following the cancer-related death of his mentor, Hugo Chávez. Three days before, Maduro issued an arrest warrant for López, charging him with terrorism and murder after gunmen opened fire on a thousands-strong antigovernment demonstration as it was dispersing in Caracas. Maduro’s people say protesters, led by López, initiated the violence. The demonstrators say the authorities opened fire to scatter the crowd, and killed three. After that, López went into hiding and took to Twitter and YouTube to rally Venezuelans fed up with shortages of basic goods, from toilet paper to cooking oil. Then, on Tuesday, he reemerged to lead another opposition march in Caracas, and was arrested. Before he was detained, López tweeted again: “The change we want is in every one of us. Let us not surrender. I will not!”

Something more serious than material shortages has been prompting Venezuelans to take to the streets; they also resent the mounting repression of any who dare speak out. The three protesters shot during the demonstration were young students, and died on Venezuela’s Youth Day. The vast majority of those in attendance were between 18 and 25 years old. Most came of age when Chavismo, the ideology espoused by Chávez, was already in crisis, and its leader ailing and increasingly unpopular. For many, Chávez’s choice of Maduro, a lackluster National Assembly deputy, was an insult. And now the question is being asked: Can Maduro be thrown out? Is López aiming for a coup? He and another fast-rising opposition leader, María Corina Machado, have tried it before.

Maduro won the presidency in 2013, but the election left Venezuela more politically divided than it’s been in years. When Maduro took to the campaign trail in March, he had a double-digit lead on his rival, Miranda State Governor Henrique Capriles, a centrist. But Maduro soon squandered it, defeating Capriles with 50.7 percent of the vote—a margin-of-error “victory” that Capriles, alleging fraud, contested to no effect in Chavista-stacked courts. With new presidential polls not scheduled until 2019, it looked as if Maduro’s grip on power was secure. But then the shortages started, possibly owing to shortages in hard currency. Almost everything in Venezuela except oil is now imported.

Maduro and his entourage took to blaming them on U.S.-backed “fascists” and a “parasitic bourgeoisie” plotting to overthrow him. (On Feb. 17, Maduro’s government demanded that three American officials working in the U.S. embassy leave the country because they had been recruiting students to take part in protests.) The economy began crumbling, with inflation hitting 56 percent, the budget deficit soaring by almost 50 percent, China cutting back on its lifeline $20 billion loan, and Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s downgrading Venezuelan bonds to junk status. The bolivar fuerte (or “strong bolivar,” as Chávez had the currency renamed) weakened precipitously against the U.S. dollar, and dropped, on the black market, from roughly 8 to 1 (at Chávez’s death) to now 87 to 1. Maduro’s response? State intervention that has worsened matters, making it harder and harder for the private sector, on which Venezuelans rely for food, to operate.

Sporadic protests have plagued Maduro’s government from the beginning, but the murder, in January, of a beloved television star and beauty queen, Monica Spear (along with her British husband), proved a turning point, highlighting Venezuela’s status as one of the most homicide-afflicted countries on earth and sparking demands that the government protect its citizens. “I want to live in a normal country. We’ve got to get these locos out of power,” said Nelvis, a former state employee now active in opposition marches who did not want her last name published.


As the demonstrations gathered steam this winter, Capriles did the unthinkable and shook Maduro’s hand, a gesture that cost him support and helped propel López back into the spotlight, which he now shares with Machado. López and Machado, 46, backed a failed 2002 coup attempt against Chávez, and both have since suffered violent assault. López’s aunt was shot at an otherwise peaceful rally, and his bodyguard was shot to death. Machado has been the target of repeated assaults by thugs reputedly linked to the Chávez regime.

Can these two succeed where they failed in 2002? They are both highly educated—López completed a master’s degree at Harvard, Machado was a fellow at Yale. According to a classified cable published by WikiLeaks, an officer of the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Robin Meyer, in 2009 wrote that López “is often described as arrogant, vindictive, and power-hungry—but party officials also concede his enduring popularity, charisma and talent as an organizer.” No matter, at least for Venezuelans: The way to their heart may be that López can claim a bloodline link to Simón Bolívar.

After the student deaths of Feb. 12, crowds began flooding the streets, demanding that Maduro step down, but lacked clear organization. Capriles has responded cautiously just as Lopez has urged bold confrontation. The army has rolled into Caracas in armored personnel carriers and met the demonstrators with beatings, detentions, and, so it is claimed, torture, which has only provoked more demonstrations and outrage. Maduro’s regime has also further clamped down on the media, neutering coverage of the unrest, blocking Twitter at times, and leaving the opposition to circulate calls for action via Facebook and video clips.

The opposition, consisting of 30 parties and famously fractious, has largely rallied behind Lopez and Machado. In advance of Tuesday’s march, Lopez issued a call on YouTube. The destination: the Ministry of Justice, a place that, he said, “has been converted into a symbol of repression, torture, and lies.” He demanded that the government clarify the circumstances surrounding the students’ deaths on Feb. 12 and abolish the Chávez-founded paramilitary groups “responsible for homicides and intimidating our people … with impunity granted by the Venezuelan state.” He also announced that he would turn himself in and “accept the persecution” if the government chose to arrest him at the march for a crime he did not commit.

The government ruled the gathering illegal. “They will not pass,” thundered Diosdado Cabello, president of the National Assembly, in a televised address. “They can call on the gringos and the marines, but they will not pass!”

They may not—at least this time. But it’s clear that Venezuela has entered a period of instability not seen since the 1989 Caracazo riots over fuel-price increases that led to regime change. That set the stage for Hugo Chávez’s rise to power.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-02-18/what-the-heck-is-going-on-in-venezuela-could-the-maduro-regime-fall#p1

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 20 2014 at 5:09pm

How Venezuela Became a "Warzone"

How Venezuela Became a "Warzone"Expand

Not all those photos you're seeing of burning cities and pitched urban battles are from Kiev. Even as the near-apocalyptic imagery of Ukraine's violent protests have captured the top of the news, Venezuelan cities have gone from dangerous to "warzone" overnight. Here's what you need to know.

First, a handy video explainer from Fusion, the English-language network geared to Latinos and millennials, which is one of only a few outlets in the U.S.

This is happening, at least in part, because Hugo Chavez is dead.

How Venezuela Became a "Warzone"Expand

Since Chavez's passing, the populist, socialist strongarm leader's mantle has been taken up by a low-key associate, President Nicolas Maduro. Many of Chavez' tactics for mollifying the poorest Venezuelans have proven economically untenable for Maduro; last month, he announced that the government would have to raise gas prices, which had been frozen for a decade and a half in the oil-rich but free-spending nation.

Maduro also continues to enforce a Chavez-era "anti-terror" law that gives the government effective control over media and broad powers to arrest and detain dissidents.

Maduro continues to enjoy broad support in the nation, but his narrow victory in an election after Chavez' death, and Venezuela's continued economic decline, have emboldened opposition factions. Earlier this month, students launched mass protests in the streets of Caracas and several other cities—protests which political opposition parties and the small, squeezed middle class have been quick to support.

The peaceful protests have turned bloody.

In the past dew days, Venezuela has seen "a spasm of violence that's unlike anything the country has experienced since 1989," Audrey Dacosta writes on the "opposition-leaning-but-not-insane" blog Caracas Chronicles. As fires rage, antigovernment protesters have clashed with motorcycle- and helicopter-borne riot cops, who are responsible for clearing crowds by firing into them and killing at least several bystanders:

video


Even beauty queens are not immune from the deadly violence.

Venezuelan protesters were in an uproar earlier this week after learning that Genesis Carmona—a beauty queen with the title "Miss Tourism"—was shot in the head and killed while participating in a demonstration in the city of Valencia.

A relative of Carmona's told Reuters that she was one semester shy of graduating from college, adding: "How long are we going to live like this? How long do we have to tolerate this pressure, with them killing us?"

——

You've heard next to nothing about this because Venezuela keeps it that way (and also because of Ukraine).

Earlier this week, Venezuela expelled three U.S. diplomats, accusing the United States of fomenting unrest to undermine the government. America has long wanted to topple Chavez' socialist party, but Venezuela's leaders have masterfully used its struggles with the U.S. and its allies to keep a tight rein on media coverage in the country. Few English-speaking Western outlets have a strong presence there, and AP and Getty and the big photography distributors don't have the sort of imagery coming out of Caracas that they have from Kiev.

Protesters have been forced to rely on social media, which has also been key to their keeping track of who's arrested and "disappeared".

Even much of the opposition acknowledges that it's working in an international media vaccuum, unable to compete with Kiev, the Olympics, and domestic news in North America. As Caracas Chronicles' Francisco Toro wrote this morning:

I understand that with an even bigger and more photogenic freakout ongoing in an even more strategically important country, we weren't going to be front-page-above-the-fold, but I'm staggered this morning to wake up, scan the press and find…

Nothing.

Toro then offered screenshots of the New York Times, Guardian, BBC, CNN, and Al-Jazeera to emphasize how little coverage was being given to Venezuela's political violence.

The opposition is not monolithic, and its biggest "leader" is already in jail.

How Venezuela Became a "Warzone"Expand

Leopoldo Lopez, above in white, the 42-year-old Harvard-educated ex-mayor of a small, well-to-do neighborhood in Caracas, vaulted to national notoriety for his role in encouraging the protests. But last Wednesday, police responded to rock-throwers in a crowd with gunfire, killing three (including one supporter of the president), and the government blamed Lopez as a leader of the demonstrations, calling for his arrest.

After several days of tweaking the government on Twitter, Lopez emerged from hiding, turned himself in and now faces multiple trumped-up charges.

http://gawker.com/how-venezuela-became-a-warzone-1526857816

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote blaquefoxx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 20 2014 at 5:35pm
I know the U.S. is on the sidelines licking their chops and waiting for an excuse to swoop in
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