Venezuela's international tensions

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After friction encouraged of course by Trump and blindly followed by the UK, American (non-emergency) staff in Venezuela are now ordered to leave while citizens are advised to not hang around amidst concerns of potential for civil war.

The US state department has urged its citizens to "strongly consider" leaving Venezuela and ordered out non-emergency government staff as the head of the country's armed forces warned of a civil war sparked by a US-backed "criminal plan" to unseat Nicolas Maduro.

In a live address to the nation on Thursday, the defence minister, Vladimir Padrino, accused the Venezuelan opposition led by Juan Guaido, the United States and regional allies such as Brazil of launching an attempted coup against Maduro that risked bringing "chaos and anarchy" to the country.

"We are here to avoid, at all costs ... a conflict between Venezuelans. It is not civil war, a war between brothers that will solve the problems of Venezuela. It is dialogue," said Padrino.

In a significant blow to Venezuela's newly energized opposition, the defence minister declared unwavering support for "our commander-in-chief, the citizen Nicolas Maduro".

"We members of the armed forces know well the consequences [of war], just from looking at the history of humanity, of the last century, when millions and millions of human beings lost their lives," Padrino added, flanked by the top brass of Venezuela's armed forces.

Further bolstering Maduro's position, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, spoke to the Venezuelan leader by telephone and issued his first comments on the crisis, which he insisted was "provoked from abroad", according to a Kremlin statement.

On Thursday night, Guaido used his first TV interview since the crisis to offer Maduro and his inner circle amnesty if they agreed to a peaceful transition. The 35-year-old said he was determined to bring Maduro's "dictatorship" to an end, stabilise his economically devastated nation and organise free elections "as soon as possible".

Earlier on Thursday Maduro told the supreme court in Caracas that he had told Putin "a great provocation is under way in Venezuela, directly by the US empire".

"I believe the world is in no doubt: Donald Trump wants to impose de facto, unconstitutional government and carry out a coup in Venezuela against the people and against democracy ... They want to dismember the republic."

"Do we want a coup in Venezuela? Will we legitimise a puppet government imposed from abroad? Will we allow our constitution to be violated? No!" Maduro said.

Speaking on national TV Maduro said: "They believe they have a colonial hold in Venezuela, where they decide what they want to do."

Trump has warned that "all options are on the table" for a US response if the Maduro government seeks to hold on to power by force. His national security adviser, John Bolton, refused to exclude military action on Thursday, but said the immediate emphasis would be on economic measures.

"What we're focusing on today is disconnecting the illegitimate Maduro regime from the source of its revenues," Bolton told reporters. "We think consistent with our recognition of Juan Guaido as the constitutional interim president of Venezuela that those revenues should go to the legitimate government. It's very complicated. We're looking at a lot of different things we have to do, but that's in the process."

He said that Washington was currently trying to strengthen the coalition against Maduro among American and European states. The EU has called for new elections but most member states have not followed Washington in recognising Guaido, the head of the opposition-led national assembly.

The UK however, broke European ranks on Thursday and sided with the US.

"This regime has done untold damage to the people of Venezuela, 10% of the population have left Venezuela such is the misery they are suffering," the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said in a statement issued in Washington before a meeting with the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and Vice-President Mike Pence.

"So the United Kingdom believes Juan Guaido is the right person to take Venezuela forward. We are supporting the US, Canada, Brazil and Argentina to make that happen."

The statement stopped just short of echoing US language on recognising Guaid?, however. "It is UK policy to recognise states, not governments," a British official said.

The US initially ignored the Maduro government's order expelling embassy staff, but late on Thursday the state department announced it was withdrawing "non-emergency US government employees".

"We are prepared to do the things we need to do to make sure we keep our people safe," a state department spokesperson said. "The full range of United States government resources are at the ready to ensure the safety and security of US diplomats and their families."

The US has called for a UN security council emergency session on Saturday to discuss the crisis in Venezuela, although Russia opposes a debate on what Moscow says is an internal Venezuelan matter.

A Venezuelan monitoring group claimed at least a dozen people had been killed in the unrest.

In his speech, Padrino described Juan Guaido's decision to declare himself Venezuela's president on Wednesday as a shameful and laughable fact but one that risked unleashing a wave of bloodshed. "I have to alert the people of Venezuela to the severe danger that this represents to our integrity and our national sovereignty."

Facing "a criminal plan that flagrantly threatens the sovereignty and independence of the nation", Padrino said the armed forces would remain loyal to Maduro. Dissent would not be tolerated, he added ominously.

"We will not tolerate acts of vandalism or terrorism by groups that promote violence as a perverse mechanism to achieve their objectives," he said before ending his address with the rallying cry "Chavez vive y la patria sigue!" ("Chavez lives and the homeland goes on!").

Analysts have long held that Maduro's survival depends on the backing of the military, who he has rewarded with senior positions in government and the state oil company PDVSA.

But it is unclear how solid that support is. Guaido and the opposition-held national assembly have sought to peel away the military, offering an amnesty to members of the armed forces who help bring about what they term a return to democracy. This week, authorities arrested 27 national guardsmen who tried to launch an uprising against Maduro.

Venezuela expert Miguel Tinker Salas said he believed one of the key objectives of Guaido and his international backers was to find and exploit "fissures within the military" in order to unseat Maduro.

"What they were hoping, I suspect, was lower-ranking officers to show discontent or to show a break with their superiors. I don't see any evidence of that so far," beyond a small uprising in Caracas on Monday.

"So far the upper military class - the generals and the senior officers - have shown support for Maduro."

Salas, the author of Venezuela: What Everyone Needs to Know, said he was troubled by the potential for bloodshed in the days and weeks ahead.

"The risk is that this escalates into an open confrontation [between pro- and anti-Maduro groups] and then you have a foreign intervention," he said.

"That is something that would be not only dangerous but catastrophic for Venezuela. And for Latin America it would be a return to the 1980s Reagan era of civil wars and conflicts that proved devastating to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and those countries of the region. We had hoped to be beyond that."

Not entirely sure what to think so far, only that nobody's motivations can be trusted. That and the possibility this could be yet another attempt at Trump trying to cause distractions away from a certain investigation closer to home, at the cost of whatever and whoever. Are there any knowledgeable opinions on this matter?

(Wait, this wasn't meant to be in gaming discussion! Sorry! How did that happen? Please move to R&P if possible, sorry! You saw nothing!)

While I can't say I like them a lot, I find it prudent to critically support Maduro and his government against the American backed coup by Guaido and his supporters. There is no reason to assume that the 2018 elections were illegitimate or that America has the benefit of the Venezuelan people I'm mind when calling for regime change.

Yeah why is this in the Gaming Discussion. Hopefully the mods move it to R/P soon.

So I doubt America has anybody's interests over their own but as the local disgruntled sudaca of these forums you have my blessing (and all of my Venezuelan friends') to hate on Maduro for all you're worth. Fuck that guy.

Hot take:

Even if, somehow, the far-right framing that Maduro rigged all the elections and is on-purpose making people eat their pet dogs and is a maniacal dictator were all completely accurate...

The US has a VERY bad track record when it comes to doing coups in foreign nations. Pinochet, the Shah, the many Banana Republics, etc. This is liable to end up VERY freakin' bad, especially if the military is split and it turns into full blown civil war.

And let's be honest, we all know why the US wants a coup. They want that sweet sweet cheap oil that Venezuela has a ton of. (And maybe a few CIA guys are still living in the cold war).

So sure, Maduro might be bad, I don't know enough about it, and I'm totally willing to buy that he's a bad dude. But that doesn't make supporting a coup a good idea.

What upsets me most is that Canada is backing this too. Why? Whyyyy?! This is none of our goddamn business. And we are now on the same side as the tinpot nutcase in Brazil who supports military dictatorships and wants to destroy the Lungs of The Planet (with no care for the people currently living there). It's shameful.

A close second on the anger scale is Mike Pence's speech going "Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power, so he must be stopped!". Because he's got jack shit to say about Saudi Arabia, a nation run by dictators who behead people who dare to disagree with them, and who are up to their eyeballs in human rights crimes. He's disgustingly transparent in his favoritism. :s

There I was thinking this was going to be a thread about World in Flames. Interesting read all the same, though.

Ask and Ye shall receive.

Moved to R&P as requested.

PsychedelicDiamond:
While I can't say I like them a lot, I find it prudent to critically support Maduro and his government against the American backed coup by Guaido and his supporters. There is no reason to assume that the 2018 elections were illegitimate or that America has the benefit of the Venezuelan people I'm mind when calling for regime change.

Usually Americas intentions in these matters have nothing to do with the people and everything to do with forcing capitalism/ consumerism upon everyone everywhere. US intentions in these things has historically been to make sure any socialism/communism anywhere fails at all costs because they see it as a threat to spreading American consumerism globally. The way the US perceives the world is all other nations on earth exist to buy our stuff. If they do they are allies, if they do not they are a threat. The biggest threat in their eyes is nations that don't buy their stuff. Even worse if they don't buy their stuff AND they are working to be self sufficient to take care of their people. They can't have that EVER.

Not to say that in any way is Venezuela being successful at doing so, the US is just ensuring they never get the chance to find out.

aegix drakan:

What upsets me most is that Canada is backing this too. Why? Whyyyy?! This is none of our goddamn business. And we are now on the same side as the tinpot nutcase in Brazil who supports military dictatorships and wants to destroy the Lungs of The Planet (with no care for the people currently living there). It's shameful.

And England, And the European Union, and most of the western hemisphere... like, you're upset about siding with a man in Brazil who supports military dictatorships, so to oppose thim, you'd rather support an actual military dictatorship? And the list of nations who are against regime change? Russia, Cuba, Bolivia, China. Yeah, let's join that team.

And let's be honest, we all know why the US wants a coup. They want that sweet sweet cheap oil that Venezuela has a ton of. (And maybe a few CIA guys are still living in the cold war).

The US is on track to be a net energy exporter consistently starting next year. If it's about taking advantage of foreign powers, at this point it'd be better to discourage supply from others and control the market. Maybe it's just about supporting popular uprisings against a failing and violent government?

tstorm823:

aegix drakan:

What upsets me most is that Canada is backing this too. Why? Whyyyy?! This is none of our goddamn business. And we are now on the same side as the tinpot nutcase in Brazil who supports military dictatorships and wants to destroy the Lungs of The Planet (with no care for the people currently living there). It's shameful.

And England, And the European Union, and most of the western hemisphere... like, you're upset about siding with a man in Brazil who supports military dictatorships, so to oppose thim, you'd rather support an actual military dictatorship? And the list of nations who are against regime change? Russia, Cuba, Bolivia, China. Yeah, let's join that team.

And let's be honest, we all know why the US wants a coup. They want that sweet sweet cheap oil that Venezuela has a ton of. (And maybe a few CIA guys are still living in the cold war).

The US is on track to be a net energy exporter consistently starting next year. If it's about taking advantage of foreign powers, at this point it'd be better to discourage supply from others and control the market. Maybe it's just about supporting popular uprisings against a failing and violent government?

The thing is, the US can only be a net energy exporter if the means they produce such energy is acceptable to the nations to which they plan to export to. Due to US current position on the Paris accord, China may actually be setting themselves up to replace the US, which not only reduces US influence globally, it also means they lose the contracts that the Paris accord brings to them. Due to Trumps shift in policies, the US may actually have much of the global market closed off to them due to not having adequate protections in place.

US is dropping the ball and China is trying to take their place:
https://www.npr.org/2018/01/03/575288560/journalist-as-u-s-retreats-from-world-stage-china-moves-to-fill-the-void
China is expected to exceed their Pairs accord pledge, and is the world leader in renewable energy.
https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/china-leader-solar-power-180822102606141.html
https://www.csis.org/east-green-chinas-global-leadership-renewable-energy
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/china-launches-largest-floating-solar-farm-180963587/
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180822-why-china-is-transforming-the-worlds-solar-energy
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/06/china-becomes-a-driving-power-for-solar-energy-with-86-point-5-billion-invested-last-year.html

This will allow China, not the US to comply with meeting standards of nations who are in the Paris accord who are passing laws to only use clean energy, these laws also apply to their imports, thus those nations who do not comply will not be able to export to the nations who are passing these laws. For example:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/energy/2017/12/19/france-passes-law-ban-all-oil-and-gas-production-2040/966132001/
https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/energy-efficiency/energy-efficiency-directive
https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/topics/energy-strategy-and-energy-union
https://www.government.nl/topics/renewable-energy/central-government-encourages-sustainable-energy
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-norway-eu-energy/norway-adopts-eu-energy-rules-averting-break-with-bloc-idUSKBN1GY2OY

US lack of regulation not only will impact the energy sector, it is already what prevents them from exporting much of the food supply to the EU. The US allows pesticides that are banned in other nations, until the US changes this, their food will be illegal in other nations to import. This doesn't just impact farmers who use the pesticides directly, it impacts others when that pesticide gets into the runoff and contaminates surrounding farms and groundwater.

https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/ho/dw-1-w.pdf
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/27/eu-agrees-total-ban-on-bee-harming-pesticides
https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/green/Organic_Farm_Contaminated_by_Pesticides_Wins__1M_Verdict.html
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15459620591001606?src=recsys&journalCode=uoeh20
https://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/banned-europe-safe-us/

As most Nations are moving forward towards more regulation to ensure cleaner energy and safer food and water supply, the US polices under Trump have been moving backwards putting at risk the future ability to export to nations who are passing more regulation requirements. US is limiting their own market by going backwards.

EDIT: AND US intention has nothing to do with violent uprising, it never has. It is about making sure there is government in place there that will buy US products. That is it. The US could care less about violent uprisings as they usually turn a blind eye when far worse has happened.

tstorm823:

aegix drakan:

What upsets me most is that Canada is backing this too. Why? Whyyyy?! This is none of our goddamn business. And we are now on the same side as the tinpot nutcase in Brazil who supports military dictatorships and wants to destroy the Lungs of The Planet (with no care for the people currently living there). It's shameful.

And England, And the European Union, and most of the western hemisphere... like, you're upset about siding with a man in Brazil who supports military dictatorships, so to oppose thim, you'd rather support an actual military dictatorship? And the list of nations who are against regime change? Russia, Cuba, Bolivia, China. Yeah, let's join that team.

And let's be honest, we all know why the US wants a coup. They want that sweet sweet cheap oil that Venezuela has a ton of. (And maybe a few CIA guys are still living in the cold war).

The US is on track to be a net energy exporter consistently starting next year. If it's about taking advantage of foreign powers, at this point it'd be better to discourage supply from others and control the market. Maybe it's just about supporting popular uprisings against a failing and violent government?

Elliot Abrams, Reagan's policy guy for Nicaragua, was just appointed as special envoy to Venezuela.....this is not being done on a "humanitarian" basis. They don't give a shit about what happens there, as long as the people we want get into power. "American interests" is all that matters, the blood and suffering doesn't. Not to mention that the situation there is vastly more complicated than is being portrayed.

tstorm823:

aegix drakan:

What upsets me most is that Canada is backing this too. Why? Whyyyy?! This is none of our goddamn business. And we are now on the same side as the tinpot nutcase in Brazil who supports military dictatorships and wants to destroy the Lungs of The Planet (with no care for the people currently living there). It's shameful.

And England, And the European Union, and most of the western hemisphere... like, you're upset about siding with a man in Brazil who supports military dictatorships, so to oppose thim, you'd rather support an actual military dictatorship? And the list of nations who are against regime change? Russia, Cuba, Bolivia, China. Yeah, let's join that team.

And let's be honest, we all know why the US wants a coup. They want that sweet sweet cheap oil that Venezuela has a ton of. (And maybe a few CIA guys are still living in the cold war).

The US is on track to be a net energy exporter consistently starting next year. If it's about taking advantage of foreign powers, at this point it'd be better to discourage supply from others and control the market. Maybe it's just about supporting popular uprisings against a failing and violent government?

I would have said that the US would want to destabilize Venezuela further so they cant be effective in the international market. The coup, whther it works or not, needs to go on as long as possible.

The CIA is also notorious for making governments fall. Usually destroying a democratically elected official and setting up a puppet dictator. While I currently agree with the US here, I am very wary of what they're up to.

Also, going against democratic elected people is as dangerous as a second referendum of Brexit. It sets a dangerous precedent. Anytime a person is elected (and you dont prove collusion), you can just coup against them. But then the US doesnt really give two shits about democracy, not even counting Trump

Lil devils x:

US is dropping the ball and China is trying to take their place:

Good luck with that.

As most Nations are moving forward towards more regulation to ensure cleaner energy and safer food and water supply, the US polices under Trump have been moving backwards putting at risk the future ability to export to nations who are passing more regulation requirements. US is limiting their own market by going backwards.

If those nations choose to regulate themselves into starvation, don't be surprised when an opposition party declares itself the legitimate government. Most of the time, the regulations don't matter anyway. If you stamp a product with "technically meets government stands" people are not going to be attracted by that.

EDIT: AND US intention has nothing to do with violent uprising, it never has. It is about making sure there is government in place there that will buy US products. That is it. The US could care less about violent uprisings as they usually turn a blind eye when far worse has happened.

Nedoras:

Elliot Abrams, Reagan's policy guy for Nicaragua, was just appointed as special envoy to Venezuela.....this is not being done on a "humanitarian" basis. They don't give a shit about what happens there, as long as the people we want get into power. "American interests" is all that matters, the blood and suffering doesn't. Not to mention that the situation there is vastly more complicated than is being portrayed.

Yeah Yeah, America sucks, I get the picture. If you think US support for something is reason enough to oppose it, I'm tempted to say you don't actually care about what's actually going on.

tstorm823:

Lil devils x:

US is dropping the ball and China is trying to take their place:

Good luck with that.

As most Nations are moving forward towards more regulation to ensure cleaner energy and safer food and water supply, the US polices under Trump have been moving backwards putting at risk the future ability to export to nations who are passing more regulation requirements. US is limiting their own market by going backwards.

If those nations choose to regulate themselves into starvation, don't be surprised when an opposition party declares itself the legitimate government. Most of the time, the regulations don't matter anyway. If you stamp a product with "technically meets government stands" people are not going to be attracted by that.

EDIT: AND US intention has nothing to do with violent uprising, it never has. It is about making sure there is government in place there that will buy US products. That is it. The US could care less about violent uprisings as they usually turn a blind eye when far worse has happened.

Nedoras:

Elliot Abrams, Reagan's policy guy for Nicaragua, was just appointed as special envoy to Venezuela.....this is not being done on a "humanitarian" basis. They don't give a shit about what happens there, as long as the people we want get into power. "American interests" is all that matters, the blood and suffering doesn't. Not to mention that the situation there is vastly more complicated than is being portrayed.

Yeah Yeah, America sucks, I get the picture. If you think US support for something is reason enough to oppose it, I'm tempted to say you don't actually care about what's actually going on.

LMAO! You think that by banning brain damaging chemicals they are regulating themselves into starvation? No, it will be the US that is behind when they have poisoned the people and are having to pay ridiculous amounts to clean up the mess while trying to deal with " lost generations" and massive medical bills caused by their ignorant actions now. What will it take for them to learn from history instead of letting it repeat itself?

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10668-005-7314-2
https://www.safewater.org/fact-sheets-1/2017/1/23/pesticides
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225765599_Health_and_environmental_costs_of_pesticide_use_in_vegetable_farming_in_Nepal_Environment
https://extension.illinois.edu/soil/sq_info/pest.pdf
https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/4901/trump-epa-approves-continued-use-of-notorious-brain-damaging-pesticide
https://www.ecowatch.com/trump-house-brain-damaging-pesticides-2613568873.html
https://wiki.cancer.org.au/policy/Position_statement_-_Pesticides_and_cancer

Not wanting to poison your people in no way means you will cause them to starve. Harmful chemicals that have been allowed for US for entirely too long has been causing numerous unnecessary, preventable tragedies that did not need to happen.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4324553/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2659586/
http://www.wave3.com/2019/01/22/child-cancer-rates-explode-indiana-town-moms-fight-epa-take-action/

Not to mention the damage it does to the actual food supply when you damage the soil, runoff water and honeybees that are required to produce our food supply:
https://civileats.com/2018/05/11/these-farmers-switched-to-organic-after-pesticides-made-their-families-sick/
https://www.urbanfarm.org/2017/09/14/if-honeybees-become-extinct/
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/pesticide-drift/
https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/some-pesticides-can-reduce-soil-fertility/3003718.article

The reality here is there is no real excuse for Trump's admin to want to harm US citizens and businesses to help his few friends who profit from this.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-nominated-pesticide-exec-to-oversee-science-at-the-usda_us_5b50a0fae4b0b15aba8c6303

EDIT: Courts are trying to stop the damage being done one case at a time, which will also likely lead to lawsuits in the future by those harmed by the current administration policies that will drive up the costs of this damage on top of the cleanup costs taxpayers will ultimately be left paying when it is all said and done. Of course Trumps admin is doing damage much faster than courts can keep up with to stop them.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/08/10/pesticide-ban-court-says-epa-violated-law-chlorpyrifos-harmful-babies/954921002/

tstorm823:

Lil devils x:

US is dropping the ball and China is trying to take their place:

Good luck with that.

As most Nations are moving forward towards more regulation to ensure cleaner energy and safer food and water supply, the US polices under Trump have been moving backwards putting at risk the future ability to export to nations who are passing more regulation requirements. US is limiting their own market by going backwards.

If those nations choose to regulate themselves into starvation, don't be surprised when an opposition party declares itself the legitimate government. Most of the time, the regulations don't matter anyway. If you stamp a product with "technically meets government stands" people are not going to be attracted by that.

EDIT: AND US intention has nothing to do with violent uprising, it never has. It is about making sure there is government in place there that will buy US products. That is it. The US could care less about violent uprisings as they usually turn a blind eye when far worse has happened.

Nedoras:

Elliot Abrams, Reagan's policy guy for Nicaragua, was just appointed as special envoy to Venezuela.....this is not being done on a "humanitarian" basis. They don't give a shit about what happens there, as long as the people we want get into power. "American interests" is all that matters, the blood and suffering doesn't. Not to mention that the situation there is vastly more complicated than is being portrayed.

Yeah Yeah, America sucks, I get the picture. If you think US support for something is reason enough to oppose it, I'm tempted to say you don't actually care about what's actually going on.

Maduro is not a good leader, and he's handled things badly. Granted, he was given a bad hand, but he still handled it poorly. Honestly I don't see a good outcome regardless of what happens. However, the US helped this happen. We've been poking Venezuela for decades and when they were at their weakest we strangled them and waited for them to burn. This is a fight started decades ago finally coming to a close and we're getting the old gang back together to do so. I don't think US support for something is reason alone to oppose it. I said that this situation is complicated and it is. This is being portrayed as black and white when it's anything but.

I do care what happens there, it's just disgusting that this is being portrayed as some noble deed...the same way Nicaragua was. We don't want to help them, we have no intention of doing so. We want someone who'll play nice with us in power. What he does to his people, we don't give a fuck either way. I don't really support Maduro, but I don't support the notion of aiding a coup either. A coup that wasn't even announced, until Mike Pence said the United States would fully back any effort to oust Maduro.

tstorm823:
Maybe it's just about supporting popular uprisings against a failing and violent government?

Yeah the US cares so much about human rights that it's an avid supporter of Saudi Arabia.

Who are currently involved in what you can arguably call a genocide in Yemen.

They've bombed Yemen's infrastructure to the point of mass famine.

They've blockaded the country so no food can come in during said famine, leading to mass starvation.

They've regularly bombed schools, hospitals, open air markets, and school busses full of kids.

There's a literal cholera epidemic going on right now. The blockade is preventing lifesaving medicine from getting in.

And the US is LITERALLY selling them the weapons that they're using to commit this slaughterfest.

This is without going into the stuff they do in their own country, like behead people for "witchcraft" or put the women who dared to protest for the right to drive on death row, or literally kidnap the leader of a foreign nation.

But please, tell me again how the US cares so much about human rights that it MUST intervene in Venezuela, while it's also allying itself with a nation currently engaging in an offensive war that's so one-sided that it's been called a genocide in-progress.

tstorm823:
you'd rather support an actual military dictatorship?

No, I'm saying that we just don't support the violent coup. You can say "I don't support a violent coup" while also saying "the current ruler is a terrible person and shouldn't be there".

Or are you one of those people who say "Hey, if you don't support the war in Iraq that's killed a shitton of innocent people and created a marauding death cult that's been trying to take over the middle east, then you must think that Saddam Hussein did nothing wrong"?

If the US support another probably disastrous coup like they did with Pinochet, and the Shah, and the many Banana Repuplics, that's their concern. Canada doesn't need to throw it's support behind it.

We're supposed to be the "peace and love and if you want to, maybe we'll send troops to guard your workers as they build bridges and stuff, instead of doing illegal invasions and occupations" country, goddammit.

tstorm823:
Yeah Yeah, America sucks, I get the picture. If you think US support for something is reason enough to oppose it, I'm tempted to say you don't actually care about what's actually going on.

It has nothing to do with being against something because the US supports it, it has everything to do with our history here. Why didn't the US get involved with the Rwanda genocide if they were worried about the people? Oh yea no money to be made there.

Why is Trump supporting the President of Honduras when the people in the migrant caravan are claiming he is the reason they are fleeing to the US? They are fleeing the violent uprisings there as well.

State department congratulates Juan Orlando Hern?ndez after month-long election standoff, as OAS and US politicians call for a new vote

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/22/us-recognizes-re-election-of-honduras-president-despite-calls-for-a-new-vote

[Trump is responsible for the situation in Honduras. The Trump government validated an illegitimate government," she told Al Jazeera.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/migrant-caravan-activists-trump-blame-honduras-situation-181016213544549.html
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2018/06/26/violence-drives-immigration-from-central-america/
Trump supported Duterte in the Philippines when he is being accused of mass murder charges:
http://www.atimes.com/article/duterte-gun-mass-murder-charges/
https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/09/21/1741336/photos-thousands-protest-martial-law-killings-under-duterte
Lots of violent uprising going on there as well.

What about Guatemala?
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/opinion/trump-corruption-guatemala.html
https://www.unrefugees.org/emergencies/central-america/

This is not a matter of "anything the US does is bad" it is a matter of intention. No one is fooled anymore by the idea that the US necessarily has good intentions, we understand it is instead about self interest. Whether good or bad comes from it is irrelevant to why they are doing it.

Personally, I do not support either side of the mess going on there, both the existing government and what the US is doing about it are both bad. Two bad things suddenly does not make either one of the " right" or " good" the people get screwed either way, because it has nothing to do with them really here.

This is a complex situation, but the US would really like Venezuela to be stable a lot more than unstable, and Manduro and his regime are completely incapable of being stable. This as nothing to do with nefarious plot or conspiracy, it's just that nothing good will come from an unstable country on the same continent. Trump might try to do something, but that would strictly be as a publicity stunt for election reason.

It also can't be overstated how bad the Venezulean government is and was under Chavez. They had incredible oil wealth and were producing it mostly during a time when the price was historically high. Yet they still somehow managed to squander all of the wealth and grew incredibly corrupt. They enacted disastrous policy (like forcing company to sell goods below production cost, which just meant they stop producing things) and didn't setup proper condition for local economy to take hold and prosper on it's own. As a results the country was unready for when the oil price plunged, they stayed in power the current government has been giving out lucrative position to army general (so that they won't betray them). Thing is army general are really bad at managing the economy, so production of what little the country produce is going down, even oil extraction is collapse. At this point the government is barely kept afloat by Russian and China help, usually in the form of loan that probably won't be payed back. And of course quite a bit of repression, there's no question the current government does not represent the people.

Ultimately countries need to make a choice, they can stay out, but things are only going to get worse. The economical situation is not going to get better, people will starve more and more and attempt coup will become more common until one works. Problem is coup to replace crook generally appoint crook. So the situation will just repeat itself soon enough.

They can involve themselves but there's no guarantee that will lead to a better situation. Economic blockade generally just hurt the population more than the leader, it can even makes the leader stronger since it make the population even more dependent on them (see north korea). For them to work they need to be part of a broader diplomatic plan.

It's a messy situation, but the ideal solution of Manduro just giving up power and being replaced by competent people is far fetch. So the real decision is between doing nothing and keeping the current regime for the foreseeable future (a terrible regime, to be eventually replace by a potentially worse one or a collapse of the country and a civil war, see Syria) or trying to enact change (which will probably fail).

Maduro should be ousted. Not only was his election quite "dodgy" at best but let's not forget he stripped the national assembly from all its powers because it fell into the oppositions hands. He's clearly as much a democrat as Putin or Erdogan (who both support him) but on top of that he ruined Venezuela. People are hungry and don't have access to medication anymore, why would anyone support the person who has made that happen, shows no willingness to drastically change the situation and prefers to shoot at protesters?

generals3:
Maduro must be ousted. Not only was his election quite "dodgy" at best but let's not forget he stripped the national assembly from all its powers because it fell into the oppositions hands. He's clearly as much a democrat as Putin or Erdogan (who both support him) but on top of that he ruined Venezuela. People are hungry and don't have access to medication anymore, why would anyone support the person who has made that happen and shows no willingness to drastically change the situation and prefers to shoot at protesters?

Maduro is indeed a tyrant, but that doesn't justify Western intervention into Venezuela. If being as bad as Maduro makes it necessary for Western powers to invade a country, then pretty much a third of the world would be under Western military control at the moment, including a large number of the US's allies.

The proper way to deal with tyrants like Maduro is diplomatically. Through sanctions, and not outright invasion.

PsychedelicDiamond:
There is no reason to assume that the 2018 elections were illegitimate

You mean, apart from all the suppression of the opposition leading to a boycott?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-44187838

The main opposition coalition had warned that the election would not be free and fair.

It said the poll had been brought forward from December 2018 to take advantage of disarray within opposition ranks and that some of the most promising candidates had been banned from standing or jailed, while many others had fled the country.

I mean, the reason Canada et al. are backing this statement is because there is rationality behind it, it's not completely absurd and only Trump driving this. It's dubious legal shenanigans from Gualdo, but there is real reason to be concerned about the state of democracy in Venezuela.

That doesn't warrant military action, of course, but to ignore it completely would be irresponsible.

Sonmi:

generals3:
Maduro must be ousted. Not only was his election quite "dodgy" at best but let's not forget he stripped the national assembly from all its powers because it fell into the oppositions hands. He's clearly as much a democrat as Putin or Erdogan (who both support him) but on top of that he ruined Venezuela. People are hungry and don't have access to medication anymore, why would anyone support the person who has made that happen and shows no willingness to drastically change the situation and prefers to shoot at protesters?

Maduro is indeed a tyrant, but that doesn't justify Western intervention into Venezuela. If being as bad as Maduro makes it necessary for Western powers to invade a country, then pretty much a third of the world would be under Western military control at the moment, including a large number of the US's allies.

The proper way to deal with tyrants like Maduro is diplomatically. Through sanctions, and not outright invasion.

I'm not saying there should be military intervention, but politically supporting his opposition sounds like a step in the right direction.

If you've been misled by CNN et al. about Venezuela (and if you think their reporting is accurate, then you have), here may be a useful counterpoint:

tstorm823:
And England, And the European Union, and most of the western hemisphere... like, you're upset about siding with a man in Brazil who supports military dictatorships, so to oppose thim, you'd rather support an actual military dictatorship? And the list of nations who are against regime change? Russia, Cuba, Bolivia, China. Yeah, let's join that team.

Bolivia and Mexico alone are better than the rest of the other side.

Yes, I'll choose Amlo or Evo Morales over Trump and May and Trudeau ANY GODDAMNED DAY.

Meiam:
This is a complex situation, but the US would really like Venezuela to be stable a lot more than unstable, and Manduro and his regime are completely incapable of being stable.

A foreign-backed fascist insurgency boycotts the last election to give themselves an excuse to cry about 'lack of democracy', and CNN is credulous (read: well-paid/biased) enough to report it in a frame favorable to that fascist opposition while the United States slavers over its oil wealth and coordinates a set of sanctions designed specifically to destroy Venezuela's economy... and the problem is the democratically elected leader of the country? No, the problem is that capital doesn't like it when a country in Latin America so much as raises the minimum wage a touch and will go very far out of its way to destroy anything even approaching the word 'socialism'. Especially if it has oil under it.

If Chavez was so bad, why'd they keep electing him time after time in elections that were more transparent than those of the United States? Why did they RISE UP in POPULAR REVOLT to return Chavez to power after a few days of US-backed military coup against him in 2002? Or is it really that a lot of rich people in Venezuela-- their remaining oligarch class-- would rather have a fascist like Bolsonaro than someone who leans left? Is Maduro perfect? Of course not. But the framing of the economic issues facing Venezuela as solely a problem with him or Chavizmo generally is utterly ridiculous. And there are worse places to live! That's the most hilarious part. Whatever you might think of hyperinflation, Venezuela has been weathering it pretty well in terms of real goods and services. Soulless regime change advocates want to paint a picture of something horrific, but you could find similar problems in fucking Missouri. And I bet their drinking water is better than Flint's.

Meiam:
They had incredible oil wealth and were producing it mostly during a time when the price was historically high. Yet they still somehow managed to squander all of the wealth and grew incredibly corrupt.

They delivered real economic and social change to the poor of that country. That may be 'squandering' to the people who measure economic outcomes solely by the growth of their stock portfolio, but it was a real investment in Venezuela's future-- not just that of their plutocrats.

Meiam:
The economical situation is not going to get better, people will starve more and more and attempt coup will become more common until one works. Problem is coup to replace crook generally appoint crook. So the situation will just repeat itself soon enough.

This is especially the case when the coups and economic situation are both engineered by foreign governments and a business community that includes multinational corporations.

Catnip1024:

PsychedelicDiamond:
There is no reason to assume that the 2018 elections were illegitimate

You mean, apart from all the suppression of the opposition leading to a boycott?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-44187838

The main opposition coalition had warned that the election would not be free and fair.

It said the poll had been brought forward from December 2018 to take advantage of disarray within opposition ranks and that some of the most promising candidates had been banned from standing or jailed, while many others had fled the country.

I mean, the reason Canada et al. are backing this statement is because there is rationality behind it, it's not completely absurd and only Trump driving this. It's dubious legal shenanigans from Gualdo, but there is real reason to be concerned about the state of democracy in Venezuela.

That doesn't warrant military action, of course, but to ignore it completely would be irresponsible.

Imagine for a moment if the Democratic Party, upon Trump's election, had taken to the streets to murder anyone with a MAGA hat and lobbed grenades from a helicopter at the Supreme Court building.

That's basically Venezuela's opposition. Of fucking course they had some people among their ranks jailed.

tstorm823:

And England, And the European Union, and most of the western hemisphere... like, you're upset about siding with a man in Brazil who supports military dictatorships, so to oppose thim, you'd rather support an actual military dictatorship?

Venezuala is not a military dictatorship.

Maduro is not in the military, was not appointed by the military, and the military are not deemed to control politics. He has gained a clearly recognisable democratic mandate through constitutional process - albeit corrupt and unfair in the last election. Given the widespread suppression of opposition political groups we're at the point we can reasonably call Maduro a dictator... but not of the military variety.

Much as Maduro is turning Venezuala into a shambles, he's arguably no worse than countless others across the developing world. The specific problem is that Venezuala is both a major oil producer and hostile to Western business interests, whereas most of his corrupt peers are not, thus have less complaint or sanctions.

Meiam:
It also can't be overstated how bad the Venezulean government is and was under Chavez. They had incredible oil wealth and were producing it mostly during a time when the price was historically high. Yet they still somehow managed to squander all of the wealth and grew incredibly corrupt.

If by "squander" you mean spend it on social programs to alleviate poverty, improve education and healthcare etc., okay.

The more serious problem was not so much squandering oil wealth, as some excessively anti-business policies; these not only hampered production across the economy but severely discouraged investment (particularly from abroad) - also exacerbated by anti-Chavez international pressure. Even then, despite his rhetoric Chavez was not that opposed to capitalism, and actually ran a much more moderate agenda than is often assumed.

It also has to be viewed in the context that places like Venezuala aren't like the West - the legacy of colonial days remain where the descendants of old colonial elites tend to have an exploitative, aristocratic-like grip on power. The attraction of Chavez, Morales and others back in the day was precisely about breaking this hegemony to improve the lot of the poor and marginalised. These forces opposed Chavez for a long time with a series of major disruptions and at one point even temporarily removing him by coup, even despite his clear and (relatively) fair democratic mandate at the time.

Arguably, these guys played a lot less fair than Chavez, and some of the damage needs to be seen in the context of attempts to derail Chavez's rule, which initiated subsequent attempts by Chavez to defend his government from this disruption. For instance, the perpetual resistance from within the oil industry eventually drove Chavez to fire a lot of the offending staff, which unfortunately resulted in colossal loss of experience and expertise.

Broadly, I'm not a great supporter of Chavez by any means, particularly towards his later years. But I think he is partly demonised unrealistically, and the context of his dubiously ethical opponents and their corruption and exploitation often overlooked. Nor lets forget that the people who attempt to remove the execrable Maduro now are still the same pre-Chavez forces that would return Venezuala to a neoliberal playground for Western (chiefly US) business interests and affluent Venezulans.

Seanchaidh:
Imagine for a moment if the Democratic Party, upon Trump's election, had taken to the streets to murder anyone with a MAGA hat and lobbed grenades from a helicopter at the Supreme Court building.

That's basically Venezuela's opposition. Of fucking course they had some people among their ranks jailed.

The imprisonment was before the election. Imagine if Trump had jailed senior Democrats in the run-up to the mid-terms...

Some more help breaking out of the mainstream media bubble on this important issue:

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/24/former_un_expert_the_us_is

Catnip1024:

Seanchaidh:
Imagine for a moment if the Democratic Party, upon Trump's election, had taken to the streets to murder anyone with a MAGA hat and lobbed grenades from a helicopter at the Supreme Court building.

That's basically Venezuela's opposition. Of fucking course they had some people among their ranks jailed.

The imprisonment was before the election. Imagine if Trump had jailed senior Democrats in the run-up to the mid-terms...

So was the violence I was talking about. (Though not all of it, obviously.)

The concern about jailing key members of Venezuela's "opposition" maps pretty well to being concerned about the ever so undemocratic jailing of those who attempted the Beer Hall Putsch.

Lil devils x:
Usually Americas intentions in these matters have nothing to do with the people and everything to do with forcing capitalism/ consumerism upon everyone everywhere. US intentions in these things has historically been to make sure any socialism/communism anywhere fails at all costs because they see it as a threat to spreading American consumerism globally. The way the US perceives the world is all other nations on earth exist to buy our stuff. If they do they are allies, if they do not they are a threat. The biggest threat in their eyes is nations that don't buy their stuff. Even worse if they don't buy their stuff AND they are working to be self sufficient to take care of their people. They can't have that EVER.

Not to say that in any way is Venezuela being successful at doing so, the US is just ensuring they never get the chance to find out.

You have mirrored my first suspicions precisely there. The US has zero credibility in these matters. Less than zero, in fact. They have earned no benefit of the doubt, since every international venture of theirs in history has been define by greed and control at very best. That Canada is following suit is perhaps the most disappointing. The UK not so much so as they're all psychopaths here anyway, just with a dictionary and thesaurus to hand. It's Satan coming down to offer to take in the estranged orphans. Nobody but the most blindly loyal and gullible should trust that. I dont care if Patriots are offended if their glorious infallible country is compared to the antichrist, it's not exactly without precedent.

Basement Cat:
Ask and Ye shall receive.

Moved to R&P as requested.

Received and ye shall be thanked!

Thanks!

Agema:

Venezuala is not a military dictatorship.

Yet, but given already active violent security forces, and Russia giving them capable bombers in response to all this, the groundwork is there, Maduro just has to merge his military with his "Constituent Assembly" and the transformation is complete. Or are we all forgetting that before this "violent coup", Maduro and the courts did the equivalent of stripping all the power from Congress and telling the Senate to rewrite the constitution?

Seanchaidh:

A foreign-backed fascist insurgency boycotts the last election to give themselves an excuse to cry about 'lack of democracy', and CNN is credulous (read: well-paid/biased)

No, the opposition party boycotted the elections, because the last time they did well in the elections, their other branches of government declared the Assembly in contempt and effectively invented a new legislature to replace them. Just cause you're a communist, doesn't mean you have to support every communist.

Nedoras:

I do care what happens there, it's just disgusting that this is being portrayed as some noble deed.

I'm not seeing anyone portray this as a noble deed. It's picking the least worse option of some bad options. But there's a big gap between "leader's so bad, uprising is preferable" and "America secretly instigated a coup to steal the world's oil."

Agema:

If by "squander" you mean spend it on social programs to alleviate poverty, improve education and healthcare etc., okay.

Yeah that's exactly what I mean, all these things are nice, but if they're only viable because of historically high oil price and completely unsustainable the moment oil price drop a little bit, they're luxury. Now people are literally starving because they prioritized luxury over necessity (infrastructure and structural reform), and they're going to keep starving for quite awhile (probably for a longer period of time than the good time lasted). It's incredibly immoral to run a country the way Chavez did, sometime being a leader require taking hard decision, Chavez was a weak man who decided to stroke his ego by showering his people with luxury and then died before he had to see the full outcome of his decision.

He was popular but only because economic is complicated and most people can't understand how incredibly dependent on oil they were and that spending on social program is not always a good idea. It really can't be overstated how disastrous there handling of the economy was, even though they almost completely depended on oil for money they didn't reinvest the profit into maintaining the production level, seemingly being ignorant that machine require constant maintenance and replacement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Venezuelan_oil_industry#/media/File:EEPPhoto2.png

This is essentially the equivalent of a new boss coming in at a company, selling everything the company own and increasing the worker salary. Of course the boss would be popular doing that. But once the money run out the company has nothing left to produce new stuff, so it close and now everyone is out of a job. You can't really tell me that you would consider that person a good boss.

PsychedelicDiamond:
There is no reason to assume that the 2018 elections were illegitimate [...]

There's the vote-buying, promises of food for voting (that then never materialised), and extrajudicial killings during the election. This is not merely claimed by foreign governments, but recognised by Amnesty, Reuters and others.

No, it was another blatant rigged election.

This is not to say that the motivations of the US or UK, with convenient economic interests in the outcome, are trustworthy either.

Regime change is bad, dictators are also bad. Arguing about which is worse misses the point. I think Maduro is a horrible guy but it's his countrymen's responsibility to unseat him. We shouldn't interfere. If lack of democracy was a reason to invade someone then we should have been invaded already cause Trump didn't win the popular vote by at least 3 million votes which is anti-democratic. I doubt people would be fine if that happened.

Dreiko:
Regime change is bad, dictators are also bad. Arguing about which is worse misses the point. I think Maduro is a horrible guy but it's his countrymen's responsibility to unseat him. We shouldn't interfere. If lack of democracy was a reason to invade someone then we should have been invaded already cause Trump didn't win the popular vote by at least 3 million votes which is anti-democratic. I doubt people would be fine if that happened.

Would you suggest that the proper recourse is millions of the country's people taking to the streets in protest of the president and in support of the legislative body moving to unseat him while offering him amnesty in return for him stepping down peacefully? Could we perhaps support that?

tstorm823:
No, the opposition party boycotted the elections, because the last time they did well in the elections, their other branches of government declared the Assembly in contempt and effectively invented a new legislature to replace them. Just cause you're a communist, doesn't mean you have to support every communist.

No examination of why that might have happened, though, right? Just vague, context-free justifications for the opposition's sour grapes.

https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14118
https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14162

I argue we should as the US take advantage of this by taking in refugees from Venezuela and neighboring Columbia & brain draining the Maduro Gov't of talented professionals, and in particular smart young people.

As for regime change, this will cause blowback, as much as I think Maduro is a horrible economic manager, and a generally horrible human being, I don't think invading a South American country with lots of jungles is a good idea.

Let China lend Venezuela lots of money, at least it's not our money being wasted.

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