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

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

It is pretty good.  I can't quite tell if the authors are actually balanced in their viewpoint, or just wish to be seen as such, but we could do with more of the same.

Still, though, two quick notes about claims that jumped off the page at me.

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he idea that Venezuela is authoritarian has been repeated ad nauseam for nearly the entire eighteen-year period of Chavista rule, which began when Hugo Chávez was elected president in 1998. Until recently, it has been relatively easy to refute this claim, which ignores the fact that Venezuela’s ruling party has been repeatedly affirmed at the polls, winning 12 of 15 major elections between 1998 and 2015, and conceding on the three occasions when it lost (December 2007, September 2010, and December 2015). On the five occasions Chávez stood for office between 1998-2012 he won by substantial margins (his lowest margin was 55-44% in 2012, and his highest was 63-37% in 2006). Venezuela’s current president, Nicolás Maduro, was also democratically elected.

That Chavez (and/or Maduro) was elected fair and square isn't the issue with regard to authoritarianism.  They could either or both be authoritarian even if everyone voted for them.

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Regularly repeated charges of electoral fraud are baseless, as fraud is all but impossible in Venezuela’s electoral system

Huh.  So if electoral fraud is all but impossible, what about those three MUD electees then?  More needs to be said about how they did the all-but-impossible, or else why should Venezuelans and the world take the government's word for it with no evidence?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Huh.  So if electoral fraud is all but impossible, what about those three MUD electees then?  More needs to be said about how they did the all-but-impossible, or else why should Venezuelans and the world take the government's word for it with no evidence?

Who the fuck cares whether your world believes what the government says. I am sure when you say the world you actually don't mean all the countries of the world and probably not the subset of countries in South America. 

Strange how the Venezuelan oppostion claimed the elctoral process was going to be fraudulent before the election and even went to Washington to tell Big Brother that it was not fair. Now that the government has said they cheated it has become impossible for fraud to have occurred.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Who the fuck cares whether your world believes what the government says. I am sure when you say the world you actually don't mean all the countries of the world and probably not the subset of countries in South America.

I'm not breaking it down to countries and governments.  I've no doubt that Cuba believes them, and Bolivia believes them, and on the other side of the earth, Iran and Russia believe them.  That's all so predictable.

I'm just thinking of any reasonable person, being asked to believe them on faith -- since there doesn't seem to be anything else there.  If I or anyone else is overlooking some objective evidence, please let us know.

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Strange how the Venezuelan oppostion claimed the elctoral process was going to be fraudulent before the election and even went to Washington to tell Big Brother that it was not fair.

Also strange how, mere days after the votes were counted, the exactly-right number of MUD electees to prevent a supermajority were found ineligible for office, and no proof was ever given for this.  Was the opposition wrong to believe that something in the milk wasn't clean?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Here is the timeline as far as I can tell. The election is held and the opposition wins a large victory. There are various accusations of voter fraud made by all parties. The top court accepted four cases to be investigated and said that while the people were under investigation they could not sit as members of the National Assembly.  The NA met and on the first day swore in all the members except the three who had won seats and were under investigation. The next day when they had a majority in the Assembly they voted to swear in the three members that the top court had said could not be seated until the court had dealt with the complaint it had accepted for investigation.  The NA ignored the top court and the top court replied by saying that any laws passed while the barred members were included in the Assembly would be null and void.

The question I have is; if there is no merit to the fraud charges then why didn't they just use their majority to conduct the business of the Assembly and then when the investigation ended they would have their super majority.  

Both sides play hardball in Venezuela but you would think that a party like MUD that pretends to believe in democracy and the rule of the constitution would understand that if you don't listen to a specific ruling of the court then you will provoke a constitutional crisis.  That is what they did and now their supporters have taken to the streets to protest. They look to me to be like the Black Bloc on meth but with public buildings rather than US corporations being their preferred targets.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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The question I have is; if there is no merit to the fraud charges then why didn't they just use their majority to conduct the business of the Assembly and then when the investigation ended they would have their super majority. 

Well, it's been a year and a half.  Has the investigation ended?  Are there any signs that it's about to end?

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if you don't listen to a specific ruling of the court then you will provoke a constitutional crisis.

The Constitution of Venezuela should be written on a whiteboard.  That would make it easier for TSJ to re-write it as required by the government.

I do get some of what you're saying about MUD.  Perhaps it would have, in fact, been smarter for them to stand down their three electees and then focus public attention on a prompt and transparent investigation, followed by prompt and transparent by-elections if necessary (and preferably with a concrete timeline).  But I really can't pretend that MUD showed bad faith in the face of good faith.  They knew they were never going to be allowed to govern.

Here's an interesting-enough article.  I don't know who the authors are, though their biases seem obvious enough.  The only thing that makes it interesting is that the article was written just after the Venezuelan election back in 2015, and they seem to have pretty accurately predicted how things would go down.

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Before the vote, there was a general consensus among analysts that President Maduro would try to limit the power of the legislature in the event of an electoral loss. The tactic has many precedents, with the governments of Presidents Chávez and Maduro previously gutting the power and budgets of opposition-controlled elected offices at state and local levels.

One possibility is that the outgoing Chavista-dominated National Assembly that leaves office in January 2016 will simply pass an enabling law (Ley Habilitante) that would allow President Maduro to rule by decree for the rest of his term.

And whattya know?  Maduro has been ruling by decree almost continually since his election.  Even the recently flip-flopped TSJ take-over of the Assembly left him with MORE decree powers than he had before.

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Instead, the government may simply use the Supreme Tribunal to invalidate opposition-initiated legislation.

And surprise, that's what they've been doing for the last 18 months.

The only question is why we should want to pretend that the REAL reason that the opposition cannot govern as they were elected to do, and Maduro continues to rule by decree, is because three opposition electees cheated.  That dog won't hunt any more.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Magoo all you do is regurgitate American propagagda. I post two unbiased reports and you tear them apart with the right wing talking points from the Venezuealan oppostition. You refuse to consider views other than the anti-government propaganda line.

You have a closed mind when it comes to socialist governments so there is not much use in engaging with you. It is apparent you believe that any countries that do not submit to US hegemony must be thrashed until they fall in line, for the good of their citizens. Carry on you cold warrior you, McCarthy would be proud.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Magoo all you do is regurgitate American propagagda. I post two unbiased reports and you tear them apart with the right wing talking points from the Venezuealan oppostition.

Cool!  I tore them apart?  You're not just saying that to flatter me, are you?

Because I think all I did was rebut a couple of points from them, and reasonably.

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It is apparent you believe that any countries that do not submit to US hegemony must be thrashed until they fall in line, for the good of their citizens.

I'm discussing Venezuelan domestic politics.  None of what I'm talking about has anything at all to do with "falling in line" behind Empire.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I'm discussing Venezuelan domestic politics.  None of what I'm talking about has anything at all to do with "falling in line" behind Empire.

LMAOROF

Thank you very much, that was the best laugh I have had in days. Tell me you aren't really naive enough to believe that shit?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I've mentioned, recently, the decision to suspend elections, the decision to ignore the Constitution and deny a recall vote, the decision to print trillions of Bolivars worth of bank notes, the decision to subsidize gasoline to below it's production cost, the decision to fix the prices of some goods below their production cost, the decision to make Venezuela's economy almost totally dependent on oil prices and the decision to grant Maduro powers of decree seemingly indefinitely.

1.  Which of these do you believe is their normal and reasonable response to the daily onslaught of Uncle Sam imperialism?

2.  Which of these do you feel does, in fact, reflect Socialist principles?

I spent many a post trying to convince RDP that Venezuela's failings are NOT the failings of all Socialism.  But if you'd like to tell me that I'm wrong, and Venezuela is Socialism writ large, then please, brother, just say it loud and say it proud!

Or if that's too much, just start small.  Tell me how printing zillions more banknotes has something to do with bending the knee to the Imperialists.  Just that one thing.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sure there's no US interference going on here if you wear blinders or an eyemask. And to think some Americans want to impeach Trump because the Russians supposedly aided in his campaign. Of course American NGO's funded by Congress are just fine in their quest to overthrow governments in other countries. 

There are currently two divergent blocs which comprise most of the countries in Latin America. The first bloc, which includes Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Peru, is committed to the rule of law, free markets and political freedom. The second group is one of authoritarian, populist governments which maintain their power through suppression of the opposition and corruption. Cuba and Venezuela are the worst offenders of this second style of governance. It is important to the United States that the second bloc to reverse course and become more ideologically aligned with the first. 

http://francisrooney.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=104

The 2015 Democracy Award was also a show of bipartisan support for democracy in Venezuela and around the world, as members of congress from opposite sides of the aisle stood on the same stage to promote the cause. As Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen joked, “If you see Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Nancy Pelosi sharing the stage, that tells you what a great organization the NED is, because they don’t stand for any political parties.” Moments later, Republican Congressman Ed Royce and Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel – Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the House Foreign Affairs Committee – took the stage together.

“We speak with one voice on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and that is the voice of freedom,” declared Engel.

http://www.ned.org/national-endowment-for-democracy-honors-venezuelas-po...

With more than US$170 million in annual funding from the U.S. State Department through USAID, the NED provides 1,000 more grants to support organizations that promote U.S. foreign policy objectives in more than 90 countries. In addition to the NED, USAID also partners with Freedom House, The International Republican Institute, The National Democratic Institute and The Pan-American Development Foundation of the Organization of American States.

The U.S. Congress also provides some US$777.8 million for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs the Voice of America, as well as the anti-Cuban government outlets Radio Marti and TV Marti, while also providing millions in funds to media organizations and journalists who opposed governments that are at odds with U.S. interests.

The NED also boasted about the impacts of its funding on the outcomes of elections in Argentina

“In Argentina and Venezuela, NED grantees played key roles to promote free and fair elections,” the NED’s 2015 report states.

“Mauricio Macri won Argentina’s presidential election, an outcome that symbolized the end of the Kirchner imposed, populist and authoritarian political model. In Venezuela, legislative elections in December 2015 gave the political opposition a supermajority in the National Assembly for the first time in 18 years of Chavista rule. A strong opposition presence in the legislative branch may help reverse Venezuela’s devastatingly anti-democratic government.”

While the government-funded NED does specify grant recipient in certain countries, neither the report nor the organization’s website names the organizations that received funding in the case of Venezuela.

In 2015, the NED also spent some US$1,047,818 in Ecuador and US$883,620 in Bolivia to support organizations working against those left-wing governments.

https://popularresistance.org/us-spent-4-2m-in-2015-to-destabilize-venez...

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

OK.  But I'm asking how printing more banknotes combats that. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

How does deliberately causing a constitutional crisis and then rioting in  the streets get Venezuelans anything except more grief?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I don't really think the constitutional crisis has that much to do with the current situation -- that was, after all, a year and a half ago.

Seems like the endless rioting began in earnest after the TSJ declared the opposition null and void and sought to take their place in the Assembly.  That, plus violence, inflation, food shortages, and perhaps the sense that the government isn't dealing from the top of the deck any more.

FWIW, I do somewhat agree with you regarding the riots -- they can only make entropy.  And I felt the same way a few years ago, when Greeks were doing the smashy-smashy in the streets when they didn't have a whole lot of money to replace smashy'd stuff, but at the time nobody seemed to feel that the people owed it to the government to just simmer down and let them do their job.

Anyhoo, have you seen the new gambit?  A new "popular Assembly" to replace the unnecessary Assembly that Maduro lost control of.  The same government that's too busy putting out fires to hold mandated elections suddenly has all kinds of time for a brand new one.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Venezuela health minister fired after revealing data showing 66% rise in maternal deaths

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has fired Health Minister Antonieta Caporale days after the government's first release of health data in two years showed soaring infant and maternal mortality rates.

Vice President Tareck El Aissami announced Thursday night via his Twitter account that pharmacist Luis Lopez was replacing Caporale at Maduro's request.

How could she not know to zip her lip, and pretend everything is awesome?

Venezuela Tries Protesters in Military Court ‘Like We Are in a War’

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At least 120 people have been jailed by military courts since early April, when demonstrators began taking to the streets to call for new elections, according to Penal Forum, a legal group assisting those arrested. Another group monitoring cases, Provea, counted at least 90 people jailed by the military.

Huh.  I always thought military tribunals were for military personnel.

This seems a bit like the U.S. trying drug users in military court because they're clearly "combatants in the War On Drugs".

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Magoo why don't you at least try a quick google search before you make comments on subjects you know little to nothing about except for what you read on propaganda sites in the US. Here is what I learnt in the last 15 minutes.

Military courts in Venezuela have jurisdiction over people accused of many things involving crimes against the state's assets. That is the system. In fact in 1992 the same military courts tried civilians implicated in the coup attempt. If you try to damage a bridge or highway it is the military court with jurisdiction. If you attack the military in open insurrection after being told to disperse it is the military courts you get sent to.  I personally don't like the system but it has been in place for a very long time and used for those reasons throughout Venezuela's history.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Venezuelan judicial system is its carryover of medieval Castilian traditions, such as the fuero militar (military privilege). Under this centuries-old tradition, members of the military cannot be tried by criminal or civilian courts, although the military has at times intruded into the civilian judicial system. For example, the Armed Forces of Cooperation (Fuerzas Armadas de Cooperación--FAC)--also known as the National Guard-- was charged with the function of protecting all national territory and highways. Under this broad mandate, it could and did prosecute contraband cases and in effect became involved in the criminal prosecution of many suspected civilian offenders. This power was likely to increase as drug contraband became a greater problem in Venezuela, especially along its borders with Colombia.

http://countrystudies.us/venezuela/41.htm

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Military courts in Venezuela have jurisdiction over people accused of many things involving crimes against the state's assets. That is the system.

OK.  Doesn't mean it's not kind of gross, though.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Military courts in Venezuela have jurisdiction over people accused of many things involving crimes against the state's assets. That is the system.

OK.  Doesn't mean it's not kind of gross, though.

Indeed it is a bad system but it is not a particularily Chavist system just the Venezuelan system that has been in place since at least the 1940's. The Western media coverage is classic propaganda. The facts are correct that people are being tried in military courts but the underlying theme is that this is unusual and a sign of a dictatorship rather than a flawed system.  

If the government tried to change the court system in this period I am sure the opposition would really like that and the Western media would not jump right in to saying the attempt to modernize a system universally condemned is actually just more proof of a dictatorship. (sarcasm alert)

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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If the government tried to change the court system in this period I am sure the opposition would really like that

I'm sure they would.  Switching to regular civil courts would mean more accountability, legal representation, and some transparency.

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and the Western media would not jump right in to saying the attempt to modernize a system universally condemned is actually just more proof of a dictatorship.

I'm sure that the "Western media" would reasonably understand that dictatorships never force through changes that make them MORE accountable and MORE transparent.  But if they really want to make sure that this "Western media" doesn't see this as authoritarianism, they could always put it to a vote in the National Assembly.  If it passes with opposition support then who could suggest that it's just more autocracy?

I think that would actually be a good idea, but what say you?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I use sarcasm and even point it out as sarcasm and then you take it seriously. WTF are you on about anyways. Yes someone one like you would think that the Western media is unbaised. However we have seen that if the government proposes discussing changes to the electoral system to break an impasse that is leading to violence in the streets the coverage would be far from fair and balanced. The only way forward for the Western media is for the "strongman" to step down and let the US trained leadership take control.  

The reality of the coverage is that there is no real analysis of whether or not the new electoral ideas will be good or not. The propaganda mill makes it a truism that just proposing discussing change means it is an overt move towards further tyranny. The treasonous opposition has predictably used it to drum up support in Washington for "regime" change. 

I love how possibly meeting with a Russian before an election in the US can be considered grounds for impeachment but standing in front of a foreign country's legislators asking for help to defeat the democratically elected government is not seen as treason by the West.

Standing in front of crowds of people and urging them to destroy public property and attack state police is enough to get you arrested in Canada on charges that would bar you from holding office. In Canada if you were the Leader of the Oppostion it might actually be considered treason. Anything the Venezeulan government does is spun as proof of a dictatorship despite the fact that in our democracies our governments would act similarily to politicians who urged violence. In Canada the main evidence against any potentially violent politicos plotting to disrupt the economy and cause chaos in the streets of our major cites would likely be the evidence of agent provacateurs planted by our government's spy agencies. 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
However we have seen that if the government proposes discussing changes to the electoral system to break an impasse that is leading to violence in the streets the coverage would be far from fair and balanced.

The problem is that the "change" they're proposing seems to be to create a new Assembly to supersede the Assembly that they totally lost their control of.  So, make a new one, stack the deck with supporters, and that's what's supposed to save Venezuela.

If they really want to make a change -- a supportable one -- what if they stop hobbling the Assembly that the people elected?  What if they let that Assembly do what they electorate gave them a mandate to do?

The government can't just keep trying to thwart the opposition every chance they get and still hope to be seen as acting in good faith.

If anyone is labelling them a "dictatorship" it's not because they keep coming up with fresh, bright new ideas to solve the country's problems but nobody will give them any credit.  It's that they've never once proposed something that isn't designed to consolidate power in their hands, and allow none to the opposition.  This isn't some MSM bias, it's the realization that everything PSUV sets out to do is for their own benefit, and not for the benefit of Venezuelans.

Or else give me some theories about how a new Assembly, voted in by the people over a year and a half ago, can't seem to so much as pass a new law about stop signs?  And before you even say it, yes, I know that 18 months ago, three opposition politicians were accused of cheating.  That's not why.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

You will not accept the truth about the situation in that country. The opposition is engaging in actions that in our democracy are just cause for the government to lock them up. But in a democracy where a socialist government is in power then the Western backed assholes can literally preach for riots in the streets and for an international capital strike and you think they are on the side of the angels because the US media says so.

"The Venezuelan people are again dying in the streets as they battle an on-going coup d'état being carried out by a group of politicians who oppose our government, and who since April 19, have been carrying out acts of violence, killing people and destroying our national patrimony, just as they did in 2002 and 2014."

These are the words of Bishop Elida Quevedo of the Evangelical Pentecostal Union of Venezuela (UEPV), but hers is not a story that you will see in major media. Instead, facts are distorted to make it appear that it is government forces who repress a "pro-democracy" movement. Bishop Quevedo goes on to describe the April 20 attack by anti-government activists on a maternal and child hospital, and sniper shootings of pro-government demonstrators and security forces.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/common-frontiers/2017/05/venezuelan-peop...

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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The opposition is engaging in actions that in our democracy are just cause for the government to lock them up.

Are you referring to the current protests/riots?

Those are relatively recent, following the STJ's quickly abandoned attempt to replace the Assembly.

But the Assembly was voted into office in December of 2015.  PSUV immediately made sure they would not be able to vote on laws, or change anything -- and in particular, take any decision making power away from PSUV or the President.  On the one hand, the opposition is "officially" thwarted at every turn by a STJ that has never once, ever, voted in a way that might dissatisfy the President.  And on the other by continually approving more powers of decree, more powers for the military, and now evidently, a brand new "Assembly" to replace the one that's not all Chavistas any more.

So this is the cart before the horse.  The opposition hasn't been hobbled because the ongoing riots.  The ongoing riots are ongoing because they people voted in 2015 and PSUV has yet to acknowledge their choice a year and a half later.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Trudeau promised a slew of things that he has backed away from some of them directly affecting Firts Nations rights on unceded land. So in Canada if people start throwing molotov cocktails at public buildings and shooting firearms at the police and others that would be fine by you. Someone about to destroy your homeland must be a good enough reason to engage in armed insurrection if all it takes for you to cheer it on in Venezuela is a dispute over four seats in a 164 seat legislature.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Trudeau promised a slew of things that he has backed away from

Your analogy is an elected official breaking some election promises?

How about if Trudeau pointed out some NDP MP who may have falsified some election finance reports, used that to nullify every NDP MP across the country, and asked the SCOC to take those NDP MPs place in the House.

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if all it takes for you to cheer it on in Venezuela is a dispute over four seats in a 164 seat legislature.

I've said more than once:

1.  investigate those representatives, fairly and transparently

2.  if they did, in fact, rig votes, prosecute them however the law requires

3.  hold by-elections to replace them in the Assembly

4.  if possible, do this in less than one and a half years

I don't think that Venezuealans are hurling rocks in the streets because four members are "under investigation" for electoral fraud.  I think it's because they elected a new Assembly 18 months ago, and it seems to them that PSUV is still using that (perpetual) investigation to deny ALL  oppostion representatives the opportunity to act as the voters asked them to act.

And for the record, I'm not even "cheering" for the violence.  I'm just noting that Maduro has very systematically denied any other means for the electorate to say "this isn't OK".  Frankly, I don't think even the protesters would prefer going out to the streets to be shot by collectivos, and would much rather settle this at the ballot box, but they're not allowed.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

How about if Trudeau pointed out some NDP MP who may have falsified some election finance reports, used that to nullify every NDP MP across the country, and asked the SCOC to take those NDP MPs place in the House.

That would be outrageous whether it happened in Canada or Venezuela. Fortunately it only happened in your over active imagination and not in either country.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Are you asking this because the TSJ did this but then walked it back promptly (so, the "three second rule" -- it doesn't count) or because nothing of the sort ever happened and I must be remembering some opium dream?  I'm pretty sure the whole world reacted to this attempt to replace an elected Assembly.

Or was it just never *really* like that at all, and the TSJ was just offering to fill in for elected MUD members if they wanted to take a bit of time off?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

You seem to keep missing the parts of the stories that do not support your narrative.  No mention of Trudeau meeting the House and being sworn in as government and then two days later installing three members that the SCC had declared not eligible to hold office. When the Governor General told him to desist he rallied his supporters to attack the Governor Generals mansion and urged them to fight the police and army in the streets to defend his right to tell the SCC to fuck off. I don't think I would support Trudeau in that case either.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
You seem to keep missing the parts of the stories that do not support your narrative.  No mention of Trudeau meeting the House and being sworn in as government and then two days later installing three members that the SCC had declared not eligible to hold office.

Here's why I keep "forgetting" it:  in Canada, at least, we would expect this impossibly-quick SCC judgement to be made public.  Maybe we're just obsessive-compulsives, but no matter what the judgement, we expect our SC to tell us WHY they ruled as they did.  Sometimes this might be a unanimous judgement, and sometimes there may be a ruling judgement and a dissenting judgement, but we don't just say "Oh, OK, they managed to convene immediately and they say that it's clear that terrible things happened so that's all I need to hear."

Is there some kind of publicly recorded, official verdict AND discussion/evidence about these four?  Did they even have an actual trial, and the opportunity to present counter-evidence?  Maybe our news sites didn't bother covering that or whatever, but I've not, personally, seen even a single thing that suggests that these four were investigated honestly and here are the results of that investigation.

If a similar thing happened in Canada, we'd want some kind of reasonable proof of guilt.  Or at any rate, I certainly hope we would.

And if guilt was established, wouldn't we also want a by-election?  Or else would we say that those four ridings don't deserve representation?  If this is all legitimate in the Venezuelan case, when was that by-election to choose a new representative for those four electoral districts?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

You seem to be saying that if you don't like the way a government runs a democracy and you think it is cheating to stay in power then violence is acceptable. I am sure there are people in BC who would love to have a foreign government provide them with money and support to mount an insurrection against the BC Liberals who cheated to get re-elected. 

Go ahead keep cheering for neo-con gangs in the streets trying to ensure Western hegemony over sovereign states. That says a whole lot about your politics and your love of global rule by the NATO oligarchy. 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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You seem to be saying that if you don't like the way a government runs a democracy and you think it is cheating to stay in power then violence is acceptable.

Not at all.  In fact I typically say -- and get flak for it here -- that if you're unhappy with your government, take your anger to the polling station, not to the streets.

That's fine for things like an increase to minimum wage, or stronger environmental regulations and so on, but unfortunately it clearly cannot work when the problem is that the government won't permit you to vote.

The Venezuelan Constitution -- the one that Hugo Chavez introduced -- guarantees the Venezuelan electorate the right to a recall vote, but the government won't allow it.

It guarantees regular State level elections, but the government cancelled them.

They voted for MUD a year and a half ago, but the government won't let MUD do their job (even minus three votes).

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Go ahead keep cheering for neo-con gangs in the streets trying to ensure Western hegemony over sovereign states. That says a whole lot about your politics and your love of global rule by the NATO oligarchy.

Again, I'm not cheering the violence.  I just don't really see what else the electorate is allowed to do.  I promise you that if the government permits a real recall vote as they should have in 2016, holds State elections, and allows the Assembly to govern (even if three MUD votes, and one PSUV vote, aren't counted) I'll be the first to say that the electorate should go home, put on their votin' clothes, and vote.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

But in the meantime if your shopping list of demands is not met then you advocate violence in the streets. You are entitled to your opinion. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
But in the meantime if your shopping list of demands is not met then you advocate violence in the streets.

Here's that "shopping list":

1.  let us vote, like it says in our Constitution

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

And if not we will fire bomb your police stations and attack public health clinics.  In Canada we would expect peaceful protests bedcause that is the hallmark of people who believe in democracies. Thugs in the street being paid to agitate is not my idea of a democratic oppostion. You only see the wrong on one side. I think that both sides deserve each other but the answer to Venezuelas problems is not US backed thugs destroying the infrastructure.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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In Canada we would expect peaceful protests bedcause that is the hallmark of people who believe in democracies.

And also because we've never been told we're not allowed to vote any more.  I'm not sure that our legendary politeness would prevail if the Liberal government told us there would be no mandated provincial or municipal elections.

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Thugs in the street being paid to agitate is not my idea of a democratic oppostion.

Nor mine.  The actual opposition who were actually elected and then told they cannot govern would be my idea of a democratic opposition.

But good news, meanwhile!  If the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans who are protesting are all being paid -- in hard currency, no less! -- then the standard of living in Venezuela can only improve. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

You're obsessed about this, Magoo.  You keep repeating the same three upper middle-class demands over and over again.

Why is it so important to you to reduce the power of the presidency, given that no one but billionaires can benefit from that or from anything else the MUD proposes?  Given that doing so can't make anything better?

I'd hate to think which side you'd have been on regarding Nicaragua in the Eighties or Chile in the Seventies.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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You keep repeating the same three upper middle-class demands over and over again.

The right to vote is an upper middle-class demand?

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Why is it so important to you to reduce the power of the presidency

I'm not trying to remove him.  I'm only agreeing with the Consitution of Venezuela on the people's right to make that choice for themselves.  Do you also agree with the Constitution of Venezuela?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Labour and civil society coalition slams Canada’s Venezuela policy

A Canadian coalition of labour groups and civil society activists is calling on the federal government to rethink its policy towards the deepening crisis in Venezuela and stop supporting radical elements of the opposition who have vowed to overthrow the Socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro.

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‘Incoherent policy’

In challenging Venezuela’s democracy Ottawa has aligned herself with governments of Colombia, Mexico and Honduras who within the Organization of American States are leading the charge against the Socialist government of President Maduro, said Burbano.

Canada’s policy is not coherent when Ottawa is pushing for human rights in Venezuela but ignores human rights abuses committed by right-wing governments in Colombia, Mexico Honduras, Burbano said.

“I think the government of Canada should make clear its support for constitutional government, electoral democracy and rule of law in Venezuela, and support mediation by organizations that are neutral, for example, the Union of South American States (UNASUR), and, of course, the representatives of the Vatican that are part of the process there,” Burbano said.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Unfinished Business

There can be no doubt that Venezuela is going through a profound crisis. A group of socialists in the country who defend the legacy of Hugo Chávez paint a bleak picture of everyday life there:

Nearly nineteen minimum wages are needed to cover the basket of basic necessities. We can add to this the inflation, said to be the highest in the world, the endless queues because of shortages caused by hoarding, speculative reselling and low agro-industrial production; along with the abuse by police and military personnel, the drama of the sick who cannot find their medicines, corruption that goes unpunished, the electricity crisis and organized crime. All of this is creating a situation of unprecedented social, political and economic chaos in Venezuela.

The failure of Nicolás Maduro’s government to maintain popular living standards has allowed the right-wing opposition to take control of Venezuela’s National Assembly, resulting in a bitter standoff between executive and legislature that has yet to be resolved one way or another.

The details of Venezuela’s crisis have been ably recounted elsewhere. But what’s been grappled with less is the meaning of that crisis for the international Left, which once invested great hopes in the Bolivarian Revolution....

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Excellent article.

A couple of interesting and salient things they mention:

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A new constitution gave citizens more scope to hold their rulers accountable through a right of recall for all public officials (the opposition parties took advantage of this in the failed 2004 recall referendum).

So much for that, in 2017.

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in a late speech that sought to encapsulate his legacy, the Golpe de Timón, Chávez urged his audience to “remember the Soviet Union, which is gone with the wind; in the Soviet Union, there was never democracy . . . one of the fundamentally new things about our model is its democratic character.”

But can a revolution survive a popular vote?  It certainly did, several times during Chavez' tenure.  But now it looks like the people are tired of the government (if not Chavismo), and so, unsurprisingly, elections aren't happening, the representatives the people voted for can't legislate, the recall vote isn't happening and opposition leaders are suddenly "inelegible" to run for office for a decade and a half.  Evidently, democracy is going to come back to Venezuela in the form of a brand new Assembly, even as the existing Assembly sits on the benches waiting.  Venezuela hasn't the time or energy or resources for the Constitutionally mandated local elections that should have already been held, but somehow they have everything they need for the new Assembly elections.

The government is funny that way.  Their Constitution is sacred (except when it isn't).  The words of Chavez are Truth (except when they aren't). 

Worth noting that when the opposition managed to scrape together a recall vote for Chavez, he didn't pull some strings to get it cancelled; he campaigned and won.  Maybe his shoes are still too big for Maduro.

NDPP

US Policymakers Openly Plot Against Venezuela

https://off-guardian.org/2017/05/28/us-policymakers-openly-plot-against-...

"Think tanks are where the real agenda of the West is agreed upon and promoted from..."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Venezuelan opposition condemns Goldman for $2.8 billion bond deal

Goldman Sachs Group Inc's statement that it never transacted directly with the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro when it bought $2.8 billion of bonds for pennies on the dollar was dismissed by the country's opposition on Tuesday as an effort to "put lipstick on this pig."

FWIW, I don't, personally, see anything horrible going on here.  Countries regularly sell bonds to raise revenues (particularly hard currency revenues).  And right now, Venezuela could really use that hard currency.

But I do find it kind of interesting that the anti-capitalist, revolutionary government of Nicolas Maduro would find an angel in Goldman-Sachs.  Someone must not have got the "yanqui imperialist capitalist parasites" memo.  :)

 

NDPP

'Official Opp Press Issues Dangerous Incitement By Falsely Alleging I'm A Venezuelan Govt Spy Interviewing Protesters and Doing Journalism'  - Abby Martin

https://twitter.com/AbbyMartin/status/870077549631610880

NDPP

dp

NDPP

More on Abby Martin Death Threats

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_l0C5dE3EQ

"Second you contradict the narrative, they threaten to kill you.."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Abby Martin: World Ignores Opposition Violence at Venezuela Protests

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

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Well, if she's there to present "the other side" of the story, that doesn't get covered by anyone outside of TeleSUR, then good on her.

But the whole thing is a giant clusterfuck.  And I'm having a hard time believing that protesters with plywood shields and vinegar-soaked rags are somehow getting the better of state defences and their puny water cannons, riot gear, tear gas, buckshot, beanbag guns and live rounds.

What if the government just obeyed their own constitution, and permitted the recall referendum and the local elections that the constitution guarantees?  Is that something we can all agree on?  The Venezuelan Constitution??  Or is that "partisan" now?

NDPP

Could Canada's Justin Trudeau Serve As the Next Mediator in Venezuela's Crisis

https://panampost.com/karina-martin/2017/06/13/could-canadas-justin-trud...

"Peru's Foreign Minister Ricardo Luna has suggested that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau serve as a possible 'mediator' of the crisis in Venezuela. According to Luna, Trudeau could preside over the international arbitrtion commission to 'preserve democracy' in Venezuela, proposed by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski..."

Why would someone propose such an obvious stooge and poodle of the Americans? Perhaps that is what is wanted.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

What if the government just obeyed their own constitution, and permitted the recall referendum and the local elections that the constitution guarantees?  Is that something we can all agree on?  The Venezuelan Constitution??  Or is that "partisan" now?

..maybe i agree. as undemocratic as it sounds having the right come to power is something to be resisted. once/if they do come to power things will become even worse for the working peoples than it is today. to that i have no doubt. there are no good solutions right now and those solutions must come from the bottom up.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Venezuelan grassroots socialist on the challenges facing the Bolivarian process

An important debate has opened up among the left, both within Venezuela and internationally, as a result of the recent turmoil in the country.

In an attempt to bring the views of grassroots Venezuelan militants to an English-speaking audience, Green Left Weekly’s Federico Fuentes interviewed Stalin Perez Borges.

A life-long union and socialist activist, Perez Borges is today a member of the United League of Chavista Socialists (LUCHAS), a radical current within the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

LUCHAS was formed by a group of former leaders and activists of Marea Socialista (Socialist Tide), including many of its trade union militants. The decision to form LUCHAS came after Marea Socialista resolved to leave the PSUV and began taking an increasingly hostile approach to the Bolivarian process.

Perez Borges is also on the consultative council of the Bolivarian Socialist Central of Workers (CSBT), Venezuela’s largest trade union confederation.....

NDPP

 The Ossington Circle (podcast)

https://podur.org/node/1170

Maria Paez Victor of the Canadian, Latin American and Caribbean Policy Centre and the Louis Riel Bolivarian Circle about Venezuelan's revolution, Chavismo, Maduro, the Venezuelan opposition, and the upcoming Constituent Assembly."

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