Venezuela right-wing opposition wins control of National Assembly by a landslide

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Actually, one of the things that causes "regime change"(or U.S.-backed coups, as they used to be called) is when the opposition party or parties in the U.S. or Canada refuse to question the arguments of the coup advocates.

And if this was 1973, I strongly suspect you'd be accepting the claims of the right-wing North American press that Salvador Allende was to blame for the shortages caused by the collective hoarding of food and household supplies engaged in by the wealthy in Chile.

And you should remember that, if some of us don't assume that the end of the PSUV will have positive or even innocuous consequences, it's because we remember that nothing but misery came of the overthrow of Allende, and before it the overthrows of Bosch in the Dominican Republic and Arbenz in Guatemala, and later the electoral coup the U.S. forced in Nicaragua in 1990 by making it clear they wouldn't stop the war unless the Sandinstas were voted out and who made sure the somewhat progressive government of Honduras was replaced by a right-wing state in 2009, a regime that was kept in power in a sham "re-election" only weeks ago.

You apparently think that that is all in the past...that anti-PSUV dealings are about sunshine, lollipops, rainbows and some sort of magical transformation into Scandinavian social democracy.   You've forgotten that the forces which caused misery in one situation can never be capable of causing anything but misery in future situations.

Why do you think what you're pushing for can possibly lead to anything but a repeat of the nightmares of the past?  Why would you trust the empire which was never on the side of anyone but the wealthy in the past?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Actually, one of the things that causes "regime change"(or U.S.-backed coups, as they used to be called) is when the opposition party or parties in the U.S. or Canada refuse to question the arguments of the coup advocates.

Ken, please.

Nobody in Venezuela (or the U.S. State Department) is saying "we must wait until a shadow cabinet member of Canada's third-place party fails to criticize people who criticize Maduro... that's when the time is right".

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You apparently think that that is all in the past...that anti-PSUV dealings are about sunshine, lollipops, rainbows and some sort of magical transformation into Scandinavian social democracy.

All I've ever suggested is that the Venezuelan people should be permitted to decide their own course.

Is that something you can agree with, even though there's a moderate chance it could mean the end of Maduro's presidency?  That's really a "yes" or "no" kind of question; it doesn't have anything to do with Salvador Allende, or the NDP.

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Why do you think what you're pushing for can possibly lead to anything but a repeat of the nightmares of the past?

I've been pushing for free and fair elections (including the recall referendum that the Constitution specified).  I'm getting the sense, though, that if Maduro declared himself president for life, you'd be OK with that because you're willing to tell the Venezuelan electorate that the alternative would be worse.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Actually I'm not that thrilled about Maduro personally.

Never have been.

What you don't seem to get is that this isn't about Maduro and it's not really about elections. 

Or that elections simply can't lead to anything getting better.  

It's about the wealthy wanting the old order back, and the wealthy have created much of the crisis(and virtually all of the shortages that caused) that led to the popular support (now largely vanished, judging by the last regional election results) for the recall, by a mass campaign to hoard goods and deliberate create shortages.

And I don't want Maduro to be president-for-life, but actually nothing any of the anti-PSUV parties have proposed would be an improvement.  The parties trying to bring the PSUV down don't have any concern for the needs or wishes of the people-conservative parties never do.  They simply want to exempt corporations from taxes, privatize both the oil and every other part of the economy, cut social benefits down to nothing again and restore the wealthy to the arrogant dominance of the past.

Nothing they propose will put food in the stores, unless its too expensive for anyone but the wealthy to buy(and there's no difference between a grocery being low on food and a grocery being full of food no one is able to buy), nothing they propose will bring economic gain to the people-the people took no benefit from high oil prices when the oil was privately owned and therefore no benefits from it even reachd them-and it would be a tragedy to get rid of or even partially disempower the community councils because they were the only forms of democracy that included the non-wealthy.

It's not that Maduro's all that great, it's just that getting him out isn't going to lead to anything better for anyone but the 10% of Venezuela's population that is white and wealthy-the ones who are basically gringos and should just admit it and move to Miami.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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It's about the wealthy wanting the old order back, and the wealthy have created much of the crisis(and virtually all of the shortages that caused)

I disagree.  I think the shortages were caused by:

1.  Venezuela choosing a production model in which they import nearly everything except oil.

2.  Venezuela allowing its oil exports to flounder due to mismanagement.

3.  Venezuela having few other options to obtain hard currency for those imports.

How could either the Venezualan wealthy, or the United States (or the NDP shadow critic for Foreign Affairs) MAKE Venezuela dependent on imports of pretty much everything but gunky oil??  SRSLY.  How was this car wreck the fault of anyone other than whoever held the steering wheel?

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It's not that Maduro's all that great, it's just that getting him out isn't going to lead to anything better for anyone but the 10% of Venezuela's population that is white and wealthy-the ones who are basically gringos and should just admit it and move to Miami.

Then neither the recall referendum (and yes, that ship has sailed) nor free and fair elections should be any kind of concern for Maduro or his party or his supreme court.  Any mathematician anywhere will tell you that 90% > 10%.  Always has been.

 

 

 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
It's about the wealthy wanting the old order back, and the wealthy have created much of the crisis(and virtually all of the shortages that caused)

I disagree.  I think the shortages were caused by:

1.  Venezuela choosing a production model in which they import nearly everything except oil.

2.  Venezuela allowing its oil exports to flounder due to mismanagement.

3.  Venezuela having few other options to obtain hard currency for those imports.

How could either the Venezualan wealthy, or the United States (or the NDP shadow critic for Foreign Affairs) MAKE Venezuela dependent on imports of pretty much everything but gunky oil??  SRSLY.  How was this car wreck the fault of anyone other than whoever held the steering wheel?

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It's not that Maduro's all that great, it's just that getting him out isn't going to lead to anything better for anyone but the 10% of Venezuela's population that is white and wealthy-the ones who are basically gringos and should just admit it and move to Miami.

Then neither the recall referendum (and yes, that ship has sailed) nor free and fair elections should be any kind of concern for Maduro or his party or his supreme court.  Any mathematician anywhere will tell you that 90% > 10%.  Always has been.

 

 

 

 

1.  It's not as though Venezuela stopped making goods for its domestic markets under Chavez and switched to depending on imports.  Pretty sure the country had always been import-dependent.  If it had been making its own goods before Chavez, there was little the Bolivarians could have done to singlehandedly stop that-they couldn't have caused a country that made its own goods to STOP making them, for God's sakes.  

2.  Not sure Venezuela's oil industry was ever managed well-when it was privately-owned, it was managed solely for the good of the owners of the oil companies.  There's no evidence that privatizing it would lead to any forms of management that benefited the people.  Increased profits would be useless if most of the profits were pocketed by foreign corporations.  What part of "trickle-down has never worked" did you miss in the last thirty-six years?  

It could improve management to put the industry under full worker management, but I doubt that's what you want.

3) I seriously doubt that the Bolivarians actually REFUSED to diversify the economy.  There had to be other factors causing lack of diversification.  For that matter, if the economy wasn't diversified under the PSUV then logically it wasn't diversified BEFORE Chavez came to power.  There's no such thing as de-diversification.

Basically, the implicit argument you're making is a complaint about Venezuela under the PSUV not stripping the country of its dignity by offering things like low corporate taxes and not making it easy for foreign corporations-entities whose interests are always going to be against the greater good of any country in which they operate-to dominate the economy.

Besides which, it's the people who ran Venezuela before Chavez that the U.S. and Justin want back in power, so why assume they'd diversify when they never did in the past?  

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I'm with Magoo, if the Venezuelans don't want their countries oiligarchy to rule them they are just being progressive NIMBY's. Read any good Western paper and they will tell you that oil executives, esecially ones with deep connections in DC and Texas, are the best suited to run a real democracy. Resistance is futile, global feudalism is inevitable. 

NDPP

Peru: Venezuela Not Welcome At Americas Summit

https://venezuelanalysis.com/News/13660

"Peru's announcement comes as the US ramps up its rhetoric against Venezuela, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson [T-REXXON!] recently concluding an unprecedented tour of Latin American countries to assess the possibility of a regional oil embargo on the country.

Just days prior to the beginning of the tour on Feb 1, Tillerson told press that the Venezuelan army could act to remove the Venezuelan government, while Maduro could be exiled to Cuba. 'In the history of Venezuela and South American countries, it is often times that the military is the agent of change when things are so bad, and the leadership can no longer serve the people,' the former ExxonMobil CEO told an audience at the University of Texas-Austin..."

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And guess what...it turns out the PSUV had been TRYING to diversify the economy all along:   https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/2573

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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I'm with Magoo, if the Venezuelans don't want their countries oiligarchy to rule them they are just being progressive NIMBY's.

If Venezuelans are given a genuine choice and they make that choice then I certainly wouldn't call it NIMBYism.  I'm not telling them who to vote for; I just think they should have (had) the opportunity to vote, freely and fairly.

Honestly, I'd even overlook the government using state media for electioneering, and overlook polling stations painted with government symbols again, if that's all the trickery there is. 

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And guess what...it turns out the PSUV had been TRYING to diversify the economy all along

In Chavez' heyday, the opposition had to get up before they went to bed, and work a 25 hour day, just to attain the status of "symbolic".  The country was still bathing in oil money, and Chavez could have ordered every citizen to get a mohawk, if he wanted to.

So what happened to this diversification?

Oligarchs, right?  Usurping the powers of the government?  Or Americans!   But certainly not the usual mismanagement and corruption that the traitors talk about.  

What ever happened to that grand plan to yank workers out of their offices and put them to work on The People's Farms?  How's that workin' out?  Remember that?

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And they had the right to vote in the Congressional elections and will have it again in the upcoming presidential elections.  It wasn't important to try to force Maduro out before he finished the term.   

And there was never any plan to force everybody out of their offices to work on farms...The Bolivarians aren't Sixties Maoists.

Why should Chavez have been able to diversify when the pre-Chavez governments were never able to do so?  Isn't it possible that diversification simply isn't possible in Venezuela if nobody has managed it yet?

 

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:
Why should Chavez have been able to diversify when the pre-Chavez governments were never able to do so?  Isn't it possible that diversification simply isn't possible in Venezuela if nobody has managed it yet?​

There are countries with few natural resources. Diversification is always possible. Chavez and Maduro are better than right wingers but that isn't saying much.

https://venezuelanalysis.com/News/13643

Merida, February 6, 2018 (venezuelanalysis.com). Venezuelan workers' organizations have denounced illegal arrests, firings, and persecution in the Lacteos Los Andes state-run dairy company and private Venevision TV station this week, while campesino leaders in Barinas state were freed and authorized to return to their land following persecution by an ex-land owner.

Trade union leaders of the Lacteos Los Andes “Hugo Chavez” plant in Cabudare, Lara state, were arrested this past Thursday following peaceful protests by its workforce aimed at drawing attention to what they decried as inefficient and unproductive policies on the part of the current management.

Protesters denounced that the plant, which produces a range of dairy and fruit products, is operating at around only 20% capacity. It was nationalised by President Hugo Chavez in 2008.

Workers explained that this low productive turnout is also due to its “lack of raw materials”. Workers explained that of the 45,000 tonnes which this firm once produced, output has dropped to 5,000 tonnes, a situation which contributes to shortages in basic foodstuffs across Venezuela. Workers also denounced that they suffered from “an expired collective contract,”which they say was voided 20 months ago.

Workers at the picket lines of the protest drew attention to the fact that private firms in the same industry, such as Polar, El Tunal, and Procter & Gamble enjoy preferential access to state dollars for raw material imports, whilst state-run productive units such as the Cabudare plant, struggled to find enough raw materials for thier production. Workers linked what they described as a lack of commitment from the authorities to fears of a possible re-privatization of the plant, which would put thier jobs in jeopardy.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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And they had the right to vote in the Congressional elections and will have it again in the upcoming presidential elections.

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It wasn't important to try to force Maduro out before he finished the term.

The Constitution -- the one Chavez authored -- gave them the right to, and by all accounts the electorate supported that.  I never told the Venezuelans that they should or must exercise that right, but who are you to tell them it "wasn't important"?  Honestly, Ken.  If they found it important, and their Constitution guaranteed them that right, then wasn't it important?

 

Will they have the right to vote for the representatives they want, though?  Or will those have been disqualified for spurious reasons?

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And there was never any plan to force everybody out of their offices to work on farms...The Bolivarians aren't Sixties Maoists.

You really don't remember?

It was discussed a bunch here, at the time, with a lot of folk saying "desperate times call for desperate measures".  Personally, I only wondered why the Venezuelan government would conscript people who already had a job and were contributing to the economy, rather than offering NEW jobs to the unemployed.

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Why should Chavez have been able to diversify when the pre-Chavez governments were never able to do so?  Isn't it possible that diversification simply isn't possible in Venezuela if nobody has managed it yet?

My guess would be that pre-Chavez governments had little genuine interest in it.

But I'm not sure I see what's the impossible part here.  Didn't Ireland supplement its trade in Guinness, linen and shamrocks by becoming an IT hub, for example?  All they had to do was prioritize that and invest in that.

But if what you seem to be suggesting is true -- that Venezuela can only produce gloopy oil and nothing else -- then why should we be surprised that they're floundering at a time when gloopy oil commands a meagre price?  And why would that be the fault of anything other than Venezuela's apparent inability to do anything other than market gloopy oil?

Venezuela stopped producing its own food when the State decided what the price of that food should be, not because Venezuela has no arable land, or its people have no idea how to farm.  Venezuela turned to importing nearly everything it needs because that was easier, when oil was > $100USD per barrel, not because they can't produce things they need.

When we're talking about Canada we call this "Dutch Disease".

When we're talking about Venezuela we call this "neo-Liberal American colonialist economic warfare"

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Yes, Ireland "diversified"-and that resulted in debt created by, essentially, government tax giveways to the corporations which ended up producing massive, crippling austerity, cuts in social benefits that have essentially left Ireland with virtually no remaining social services and put them through years of mass unemployment.

How would replicating the Irish model have led to anything good for the people of Venezuela?  There's no way any of it would have been compatible with the social values of Bolivarianism or with Venezuela retaining any common humanity.  There are a lot of issues with Chavez and Maduro as people, but there was simply nothing that was going to be improved by a snap election that would have been rigged by U.S. pressure to put something like a Venezuelan version of the right-wing UNO coalition that stole Nicaragua for the rich in 1990.   It wouldn't have been an election where there'd have been parties fighting for the workers and the poor, parties working for an improved form of socialism.  And like Bush in 1990, Obama wouldn't have allowed any result but a right-wing victory.

So don't be naive.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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How would replicating the Irish model have led to anything good for the people of Venezuela? 

I'm not saying Venezuela must do as the Irish have done.  I'm just wondering why, with all the resources of government available to them in 2007, they couldn't do anything much at all.

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There are a lot of issues with Chavez and Maduro as people, but there was simply nothing that was going to be improved by a snap election that would have been rigged by U.S. pressure to put something like a Venezuelan version of the right-wing UNO coalition that stole Nicaragua for the rich in 1990.

Venezuela's elections should be solely a matter of their Constitution, not whether Ken Burch feels like they were "necessary" or that their situation was "going to be improved" by one.

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It wouldn't have been an election where there'd have been parties fighting for the workers and the poor

PSUV wouldn't have fought for that? 

NDPP

Canada vs Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada's Left?   -   by Joyce Nelson

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/16/canada-vs-venezuela-have-the-koc...

"...So when Chrystia Freeland acts to target Venezuela because 'This is our hemisphere', she is acting in concert with the Koch brothers' (and oil patch) desires - of course, without ever mentioning the tar sands. Is this the reason why the NDP's foreign affairs critic Helen Laverdiere has also been so reactionary towards the Venezuelan government? It's hard to know, but these days politically (and wherever you look) it's usually always about the oil..."

Pondering

I don't see how making Helene Laverdiere a scapegoat helps anything. She is expressing NDP policy as per the leadership not her personal opinions. 

NDPP

Venezuela Decides To Hold Presidential Elections, The Opposition Chooses To Boycott Democracy

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/19/venezuela-decides-to-hold-presid...

"...To the question of what will happen to the opposition, Maduro said, 'Now the opposition does not know what to do because it depends on its foreign masters.' More explicitly he stated, 'Only Washington knows. That's the truth."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Venezuela Decides To Hold Presidential Elections, The Opposition Chooses To Boycott Democracy

It would have been honest of them to have said "The Opposition Chooses to Boycott Those Elections".

With just one dishonest headline, Counterpunch both suggests that the upcoming elections will be free and fair (and == "democracy") AND that the opposition wants none of that.

NDPP

Venezuelan Charge D'Affairs: 'Opposition Don't Really Know What To Do.'

https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/13663

"Well, it's very telling that there is an option under consideration that has to do with regime change, when you basically do an open invitation for anybody in the Venezuelan military to take over the government..."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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when you basically do an open invitation for anybody in the Venezuelan military to take over the government...

When a military General is appointed head of the state-run oil company, the source of nearly all of Venezuela's external revenues, the military has already taken over.  All Maduro has to do is make sure his leash is strong enough.

Please.  Like Venezuela is making any effort whatsoever to keep the military branch and the executive branch separate. 

Who would know more about oil production than a soldier, right?

NDPP

Perhaps an American Secretary of State threatening regime-change?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

If the Venezuelan people can't do anything to challenge Maduro, even with Chavez' constitution behind them, don't expect that Rex Tillerson can simply replace him by remote control.

NDPP

The Venezuelan people could take down Maduro anytime they wished to. But not the ones that you and Washington wish to...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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The Venezuelan people could take down Maduro anytime they wished to.

What mechanism would they use for that?  You may not believe me, but even *I'm* not hoping to hear "a bullet".  But when it was abundantly clear that they wanted a recall referendum, and their Constitution promised them as much, but they still couldn't, what should they have done that you would at least acknowledge as legitimate, even if not directly support?

I'll make it even easier; just fill in the blank:

"If the Venezuelan electorate really wants to get rid of Maduro, all they have to do is ____________ and I'll support them."

NDPP

Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire

https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/02/venezuela-revenge-of-the-mad-dog-empire/

"The courageous struggle of the Venezuelan people to defend their national sovereignty and dignity in the face of the murderous intentions of their North American neighbors and the racist obsequious Venezuelan oligarchy deserves the support of all true anti-imperialists...especially when a nation is in the crosshairs of the greatest gangster nation on the planet."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Here's the conundrum.  Maybe the U.S. "has Venezuela in its crosshairs" because their Bolivarian Socialism has left too many Venezuelans uncontrollably happy, and if this joy should spread to others in other countries, systems like Canada's would be doomed.

Or, maybe it's all becoming a giant fustercluck in real-time, and the people are asking for something different because the current approach is not working.

NDPP

US Efforts To Sabotage Venezuelan Election Intensify (and vid)

https://twitter.com/rosendo_joe/status/969461962290745345

NDPP

Still Meddling in Venezuela

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/05/still-meddling-in-venezuela/

"In recent weeks, the Trump administration has stepped up its efforts at 'regime change' in Venezuela..."

NDPP

TRNN: UN Rapporteur: US Sanctions Cause Deaths in Venezuela (and vid)

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:21343:UN-Rapporteur%3A-US-Sanctions-Caus...

"Over 150 intellectuals and activists signed an open letter urging the US and Canada to stop their economic sanctions in Venezuela, which are making the country's economic problems worse. Special UN Rapporteur Alfred de Zayas is a signer and visited Venezuela late last year."

'I can say that the sanctions against Venezuela entail a crime against humanity which could be brought before the International Criminal Court as a violation of Article 7 of the Statute of Rome.'

 Canada participates in heinous criminal actions and the trashing of international law in furtherance of a US regime change agenda and regrettably once again, as with Libya, Ukraine and Syria, some  so-called progressives support it.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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'I can say that the sanctions against Venezuela entail a crime against humanity which could be brought before the International Criminal Court as a violation of Article 7 of the Statute of Rome.'

Well, here's that statute, for anyone who might be reluctant to just take "therealnews" word for it.  Given that the sanctions are against specific people, and are roughly equivalent to a boycott, I think "therealnews" is just letting their fertile imaginations take the wheel.

NDPP

 The words are accurate and as stated in the interview by the UN Special Rapporteur himself, not ( 'the realnews letting their fertile imaginations take the wheel'). Perhaps you should actually listen to the interview. You might learn something. Clearly you need to.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred-Maurice_de_Zayas

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Clearly you need to.

Gosh.  Do I need to get "woke"?

cco

Does international law require me to do business with all countries? Am I committing a crime against humanity by boycotting Saudi and Israeli goods, for example?

And if it's a crime for the US not to do business with (a few) Venezuelans, is Venezuela similarly obligated to do business with Donald Trump? Who knew the International Criminal Court was an even-more-aggressive version of the WTO?

NDPP

UN Human Rights Council Condemns Sanctions Against Venezuela

https://t.co/gaRuYMbtVX

That includes you Canada.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

The UN also urges the Venezuelan government to smarten up.  Do you also applaud them when they say that?

Same people.  Same Venezuela.

NDPP

Exonerating The Empire in Venezuela

https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/13736

NDPP

Ottawa is Trying To Interfere in Venezuela's Election

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/yves-englers-blog/2018/04/ottawa-trying-...

"The Trudeau government is engaged in a wide-ranging campaign to weaken Venezuela's elected government. Last week the UN HRC passed a resolution condemning the economic sanctions the US, Canada and EU have adopted against Venezuela. When Russia has been accused of a much more mild form of intervention every party in Parliament is quick to condemn them. Is there no party in Parliament willing to denounce Canadian interference in another country's electoral process?"

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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When Russia has been accused of a much more mild form of intervention every party in Parliament is quick to condemn them.

Is this really about Russia for you?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Communes and Workers’ Control in Venezuela – interview with Dario Azzellini

To discuss the Venezuelan communes and the new forms of participation, as well as its successes, difficulties and contradictions, we have interviewed Dario Azzellini*. He has investigated and documented theses issues throughout the Bolivarian Revolution. His book Communes and Workers’ Control in Venezuela has recently been released in paperback by Haymarket Books.

quote:

Let us make a little detour. Whenever Venezuela is discussed in the media, or even within leftist circles, the focus is never on these struggles, or the new models of participation that we will get to, but always on the supposed shortcomings from the perspective of “liberal democracy”. But in the book you argue that this is not the proper, or the more relevant, “yardstick”. Why is that?

The Bolivarian Revolution is a result of the failure of liberal democracy. This is not specific to Venezuela, liberal democracy has been a failure everywhere. We have seen in the recent past millions of people out on the streets because they think that liberal democracy is not democratic. All the new movements, progressive or leftist, that we have seen emerging, are a result of the non-democratic nature and the failures of liberal democracy. And the same is true for the right-wing populist movements we see in Europe, or in the US with Trump.

Even the term “liberal democracy” is a contradiction in itself, because we should remember that liberalism and democracy were two opposites. They had been fighting each other for hundreds of years. Liberal democracy came to be when the liberals managed to exclude from the democratic process the economic and social spheres, thus reducing participation to the political sphere through the act of voting for representation. Therefore liberal democracy has in fact very little to do with democracy.

The starting point for Venezuela and most of the movements in Latin America is the failure of liberal democracy, the failure of allowing for social advances, the failure of improving people’s lives, the failure of being democratic, the failure of making people feel that they have a say. If this is the starting point, we cannot be criticising or measuring what is happening with liberal democracy as the yardstick. Liberal democracy is what has to be overcome.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..another quote from the piece

It is interesting that we are used to seeing class struggle for the state or outside the state, but here it is somehow brought into the institutions…

It is both inside and outside. We could say it is “inside, outside, with, against and beyond” the state and the institutions! Which is really complicated and contradictory. We have to keep in mind that these are (at best) bourgeois institutions, so their tendency is to assimilate and co-opt everything, not to build socialism or participation, obviously. Therefore it is a very complicated and contradictory struggle, which has been an important element in countries like Venezuela.

In countries that are built around very few extractive industries, oil in the Venezuelan case, class struggle has not been direct but mostly about access to the state, which was the big distributor of the oil rent. This was true even before Chávez. You had private capitalists trying to get as much money as possible, while workers also directed their demands to the state. After 1998, with the election of Chávez, this struggle was moved also inside the state and it is still there.

Unfortunately I think that huge pressure from the outside is silencing too many contradictions and struggles. In a moment when the threat from the outside is so strong many of the movements who would have critiques to voice have to close ranks. Because obviously if the opposition takes back power, or if the US intervenes militarily, directly or using Colombia as a proxy (which I think is more probable), then there is not even a chance to have these discussions because everything in the Bolivarian Revolution would be eliminated.

NDPP

Who is Afraid of Venezuelan Democracy

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/07/who-is-afraid-of-venezuelan-demo...

"It, of course, is all about the largest deposit of oil reserves in the world that lie in Venezuela and which is coveted by all and sundry..."

progressive17 progressive17's picture

World of Warcraft gold now worth 7 times Venuzuela currency!

https://gamerant.com/world-of-warcraft-value-venezuela-bolivar/

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Can you buy corn flour and sugar with it, though?  Or only Mystical Swords of Power?

NDPP

Venezuelans Value Peace and Democracy

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/14/venezuelans-value-peace-and-demo...

"Fearing a Maduro victory, the US - which on May 7 announced a new round of sanctions on Venezuela - and the EU are threatening to not recognise the results. This is despite having demanded Maduro call early elections only months ago. Many expect Maduro will win easily, but not everyone..."

 

Canadian Observers of Venezuela's Controversial Election Bring Solidarity and Questions

https://buff.ly/2rIyFWV

"It seems to me that in the face of strong external and internal opposition, Venezuela still has a chance to transform democracy in a way that allows space for the majority of the population to continue reinventing Latin American politics and economics..."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Fearing a Maduro victory, the US - which on May 7 announced a new round of sanctions on Venezuela - and the EU are threatening to not recognise the results.

I won't be shocked if Maduro wins.  Some part of that I'll likely attribute to the government ensuring that some candidates are ineligible to run.  And, to be fair, some part of that I'll attribute to some eligible candidates choosing to "sit it out" in protest.  But given the margins, how could he not win with both of those happening at the same time?

That said, are the actors in Venezuela perhaps following the lead of the Koreas, a little?  Doing the unthinkable, and shaking hands?  I'd be 100% ok with that.  If they can put their disagreement in second place, behind the welfare of the people, then there's hope.

 

MegB

Time to close this and open a new one here.

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