Tag Archives: Venezuela

Trump Open to Use of Military in Venezuela

While I support and pray for the opposition in Venezuela to succeed in casting off the yoke of oppression, I oppose direct military intervention by the U.S. Supplies, logistical support, aid… yes. Military on the ground… no.

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump said that the use of US military force in Venezuela is still on the table amid its ongoing political crisis and that he turned down a meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro several months ago.

The President’s comments came in an interview taped Friday with CBS’s Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation” in which he also declined to say what would cause him to use the military in Venezuela, noting only that “it’s an option” for his administration.
When Brennan asked Trump what would make him use military force in the country and what the national security interest for such action would be, he said, “Well, I don’t want to say that, but certainly it’s something that on the — it’s an option,” according to the transcript of the interview.

CNN Does Best to Spin Venezuela

Despite 20 years of the Left celebrating Socialist Venezuela, now they are trying to claim that something else caused the misery currently being felt. Yes, it is about yet another failure of socialism. Sadly, history is full of failed socialist nations.

As the dispute over who should lead Venezuela escalated to a larger geopolitical struggle between the United States, Russia, China and others, we spent nearly a week inside the country attending protests, talking to soldiers, meeting rich and poor. Their live crisis is not about the fate of socialism in South America, or Cold War-era geopolitics, they told us. It is a very simple emergency of hunger.
The average Venezuelan lost an average of 11 kilos (24 pounds) in 2017, the result of years of inflation, economic mismanagement and corruption. Venezuela was once the richest petrostate in the region, but in one Caracas supermarket last week, no eggs or bread could be found. A modest basket of water, nuts, cheese, ham and fruit cost $200 US.

Venezuelans Yearn to Breathe Free

May God help them cast off the yoke of tyranny. I’m proud of my nation for supporting the champions of liberty.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has broken off relations with the US after it recognised opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim leader.

Mr Maduro gave US diplomats 72 hours to leave the country but the US said the “former president” no longer had the authority to order them out.

On Wednesday, Mr Guaidó had declared himself president during mass protests.

The US has urged the military to back Mr Guaidó, but so far it has remained loyal to Mr Maduro.

Mr Maduro took office in 2013 after the death of Hugo Chávez. He was sworn in for a second term this month after elections last May that were marred by an opposition boycott and widespread claims of vote-rigging.

Venezuela has been in economic freefall. Hyperinflation, power cuts and shortages of basic items have driven millions of people from the country.

Socialism is Killing Kids in Venezuela

So sad. So preventable. And yet there are far too many people in our own nation who would vote this catastrophe on ourselves.

Even as Venezuela disintegrates, state media continue to paint a rosy picture of the country’s health service. Officials take to the airwaves each day to wax lyrical about Socialist party support schemes for expectant mothers and the poor.

One recent propaganda video boasted: “If there is one area where you feel and live the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution, it’s precisely in the field of healthcare, from which Venezuelan men and women were excluded for so many decades.”

President Nicolás Maduro claimed earlier this year: “The people’s health is our priority.”

A visit to the hospital where Victoria Martínez spent her final days suggests otherwise.

The burns unit is filled with bandaged toddlers who have stumbled into wood fires or been burned by kerosene lamps – increasingly common sources of fuel and light.

In the paediatric ward upstairs, mothers nurse emaciated babies – socks dangling from their tiny ankles, bones protruding through their flesh – who cannot be hydrated because the hospital cannot even provide a catheter.

One doctor asked: “What blame do these children have for having been born into the wrong era?”

[…]

Another recent report noted that 53% of Venezuelan operating theatres were now closed, 71% of emergency rooms could not provide regular services and 79% of hospitals lacked a reliable water supply.

Meanwhile, medical professionals were joining a historic exodusoverseas: at least 22,000 Venezuelan doctors – 55% of the total – reportedly abandoned the country between 2012 and 2017.

Lesbia Cortez, a healthcare worker at the Catholic charity Cáritas, said: “There are virtually no specialists left.” She estimated that 70% of those she studied with at medical school now practised in Colombia, Argentina or Chile.

She said: “You can’t find a endocrinologist because they’ve gone; a dermatologist because they’ve gone; an oncologist because they’ve gone. The people who work in the dialysis units aren’t there because they’ve left the country too.

Drone Attack on Venezuelan President

Watch for the inevitable crackdown on his opponents.

Venezuelan officials say explosive drones went off as President Nicolás Maduro was giving a live televised speech in Caracas, but he is unharmed.

Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said this was an attempt on Mr Maduro’s life, and seven soldiers were injured.

Mr Maduro was seen speaking at an outdoor military event when he and others suddenly looked upwards – startled. The audio then went.

Dozens of soldiers were seen running away before the broadcast was cut off.

Venezuela’s NTN24 TV channel later posted footage which showed the moment Mr Marudo’s speech was cut short and the ensuing chaos.

Rule of Law “Virtually Absent” in Venezuela

Remember that Venezuela was a thriving, capitalist country a couple of decades ago. After turning socialist, here they are. Also note that this is what can happen when only the government is allowed to have guns. Can it happen in America? Of course it can.

Venezuelan security forces have carried out hundreds of arbitrary killings under the guise of fighting crime, the UN says in a new report.

The UN’s human rights body says it has credible accounts of security forces raiding poor neighbourhoods and killing young men, often in their homes.

The rule of law was “virtually absent” in the country, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said.

Venezuela has in the past dismissed human rights allegations as “lies”.

The country is going through a protracted political and economic crisis.

“President Maduro insists the Venezuelan system is entirely trustworthy.”

Uh huh.

Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, says the country’s main opposition parties are banned from taking part in next year’s presidential election.

He said only parties which took part in Sunday’s mayoral polls would be able to contest the presidency.

Leaders from the Justice First, Popular Will and Democratic Action parties boycotted the vote and said the electoral system is biased.

President Maduro insists the Venezuelan system is entirely trustworthy.

Medicare for All

They already have it in Venezuela.

As the food shortages deepened, nearly three-quarters of Venezuelans polled said they had lost at least 19 pounds last year, one poll found.

Shortages of basic medicine and proper medical equipment – as in Deivis’ case – are common. More than 750 women died during or shortly after childbirth in 2016, a 66% increase from 2015, according to the Venezuelan health ministry. Nearly 11,500 infants died, a 30% jump. Malaria cases soared to 240,000, a staggering 76% increase. That last one is especially telling: Venezuela had already eradicated malaria more than 50 years ago. I met three paramedics in a week who all said they’re low or out of gauze, gloves and bandages.

Galindez, Deivis’ mother, found a matching kidney to replace one of her son’s failing ones. But it was a temporary victory: Doctors stopped performing kidney operations in April because they didn’t have the resources needed for the operation, according to Dr. Belen Arteaga, the head of the nephrology unit at Hospital de Niños Dr. J.M. de los Ríos, where Deivis was treated.

Show Trials Begin in Venezuela

The purges are coming.

Venezuela’s new constituent assembly has unanimously voted to put opposition leaders on trial for treason.

The assembly said it would pursue those it accuses of supporting US economic sanctions against the country.

Washington approved the measures last week in response to what it called the “dictatorship” of President Nicolás Maduro.

President Maduro has accused the US of trying to cripple Venezuela’s economy amid an ongoing economic crisis.

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on 25 August to ban trade in Venezuelan debt or the sale of bonds from its state oil company.

His reasons included “serious abuses of human rights” as well as the creation of the “illegitimate” constituent assembly, which the US accuses of usurping the democratically elected parliament.

Venezuelan Tyrant Tightens Fist

Tyrants doing what tyrants do.

On Thursday, the opposition accused the government Thursday of persecution after the supreme court this week sentenced two of its mayors to 15 months in prison for not preventing anti-government protests. Both were also barred from holding public office.

The verdict brought to 23 the number of mayors targeted by legal action, according to the opposition.

“Is this the peace that Maduro is talking about?” said Gerardo Blyde, another mayor who is the target of a legal investigation.

The Constituent Assembly has already sacked the attorney general, a Maduro appointee-turned-critic who opposed its creation as unconstitutional.

The developments fuelled tensions that have been flaring in Venezuela for the past four months. Nearly 130 people have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces.

The protests have lost steam in the past week as security forces have stepped up repression and demonstrators have grown discouraged by the opposition’s failure to bring about change.

Tyranny Wins (as expected) in Venezuela

It doesn’t matter what the turnout in a sham election was.

Electoral officials in Venezuela say turnout in the controversial election for a constituent assembly was 41.5%, a figure disputed by the opposition.

The opposition coalition said 88% of voters abstained and it refused to recognise the election. It also called for more protests on Monday.

Sunday’s election was marred by violence, with widespread protests and at least 10 people killed.

President Nicolás Maduro hailed the poll as a “vote for the revolution”.

Venezuelan Dictator Consolidates Power with Another Sham Vote

Socialism in action.

Caracas, Venezuela (CNN)After weeks of street clashes and tension, Venezuelans started casting ballots Sunday in a poll that could mark a stark turning point for the country.

The vote would allow President Nicolás Maduro to replace the current legislative body, the National Assembly, with an entirely new institution known as the Constituent Assembly.
Experts say the outcome is a foregone conclusion: Maduro will be able to consolidate political power.
Polls opened at 6 a.m. ET Sunday, with nearly 380,000 troops guarding voting stations, and close at 6 p.m., according to a government release.
Maduro’s administration has deemed any protests illegal, threatening anyone who defies the no-protest order with up to 10 years in prison.

Government Thugs Crack Down on Opposition

Looks like the dictatorship is cracking down on the last vestiges of representative government.

About 100 government supporters have burst into Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly, where they beat up several lawmakers.

Witnesses said the confrontation came after an assembly session to mark the country’s Independence Day.

Military police guarding the site stood by as intruders brandishing sticks and pipes broke through the gate, AFP said. The government vowed to investigate.

Lifeline

How sad.

Each day the bridge to Colombia sees a steady stream of people — a mix of young and old, alone and in family groups — cross back and forth looking for basic supplies. Most are carrying empty suitcases or a handful of plastic bags as they cross into Colombia. On the return trip, the bags brim with goods they can’t get at home.
The air is humid and dusty at the same time. The bridge is flanked by lush palm trees as it leads to a patch of land teeming with makeshift storefronts, mini supermarkets and currency conversion shops.
As the road opens into the border town of Cucuta, young women pass out yellow sale fliers to entering Venezuelans. A man raises his voice to yell into a microphone about goods on offer at a large supermarket. “Welcome, friends from Venezuela, we have chocolate milk and toilet paper for a good price,” he shouts.
Enrique Sanchez, wind beaten and darkened by the sun, is thankful to Colombia, he said, “Because they have enough for themselves and us.”
This time, he has come over to buy flour, oil, rice and sugar with his depreciating Venezuelan Bolivars. He makes the hour-long journey from
San Cristobal every two days to keep is family of eight fed during the crisis.
“Unfortunately, in Venezuela, there is no food. That’s the reality,” he said, before walking back towards the crossing.

Socialism is Starving Venezuelans

Tragic.

Three in four Venezuelans said they had lost weight last year, an average of 19 pounds, according to the National Poll of Living Conditions, an annual study by social scientists. People here, in a mix of rage and humor, call it the Maduro diet after President Nicolás Maduro.

For more than a month, Venezuelans have protested against the increasingly authoritarian government of Mr. Maduro; by Friday, more than 35 people had been reported killed in the unrest. The country’s Food Ministry, the president’s office, the Communications Ministry and the Foreign Ministry didn’t return calls or emails requesting comment for this article.

Venezuela Seizes GM Plant

Socialists gonna be socialists

GM (GM) described the takeover as an “illegal judicial seizure of its assets.”

The automaker said the seizure showed a “total disregard” of its legal rights. It said that authorities had removed assets including cars from company facilities.

“[GM] strongly rejects the arbitrary measures taken by the authorities and will vigorously take all legal actions, within and outside of Venezuela, to defend its rights,” it said in a statement.

GM’s subsidiary in the country — General Motors Venezolana — has operated in Venezuela for nearly 70 years. It employs nearly 2,700 workers and has 79 dealers in the country. GM said it would make “separation payments” to its workers.

Bloodless Coup in Venezuela

First, take over private industry and property to make things more “fair.” Second, strip away individual rights. Third, starve the people. Fourth, consolidate power. The formula works.

(CNN)In a surprising move the Venezuelan opposition is calling a coup, the Venezuelan Supreme Court has stripped the country’s National Assembly of its powers. The court ruled that all powers vested under the legislative body will be transferred to the Supreme Court, which is stacked with government loyalists.

The ruling effectively means the three branches of the Venezuelan government will be controlled by the ruling United Socialist Party. The opposition has been taken out of the picture.

Venezuela Asks UN for Help with Healthcare

This headline is a bit more chilling today than it was a few days ago. America faces a long future with socialized medicine. This is where it leads.

(CNN)President Nicolas Maduro said he has asked the United Nations for help in dealing with Venezuela’s medicine shortages, which have grown severe as the country grapples with a crippling economic crisis.

[…]

The country is lacking roughly 80% of the basic medical supplies, according to the Pharmaceutical Federation of Venezuela.
Hundreds of health care workers and other Venezuelans staged protests this month demanding better access to medicine and health treatment. Many of the protesters brought prescriptions for medicines that they said they can’t buy at local pharmacies.
Last year, the opposition-led National Assembly in Venezuela declared a “humanitarian crisis” in the health care system.
CNN visited a hospital in Caracas and found that health care workers believed medicine was being swiped to be sold on the black market. Government rationing of medications has made even basics, such as pain relievers, hard to come by.
For years, Venezuelans have had to hunt for penicillin and other remedies at pharmacies, often without success. Public hospitals are in no better shape, with people dying due to the scarcity of basic medical care.

Venezuela Delays Issuing Passports

Meanwhile, in Venezuela

EVERY weekday morning, a queue of several dozen forlorn people forms outside the dingy headquarters of SAIME, Venezuela’s passport agency. As shortages and violence have made life in the country less bearable, more people are applying for passports so they can go somewhere else. Most will be turned away. The government ran out of plastic for laminating new passports in September. “I’ve just been told I might need to wait eight months!” says Martín, a frustrated applicant. A $250 bribe would shorten the wait.

As desperation rises, so does the intransigence of Venezuela’s “Bolivarian” regime, whose policies have ruined the economy and sabotaged democracy. The economy shrank by 18.6% last year, according to an estimate by the central bank, leaked this month to Reuters, a news agency (see chart). Inflation was 800%.

Venezuela’s Slide Into Totalitarianism

Sad to see what this once great country has become.

Today has been a day of sober reckoning in Caracas, as Venezuelans process the death of the recall process and its implications. It’s easy to overdramatize these things, I realize, but it’s also important not to lose the forest for the trees: a relatively large, relatively sophisticated major oil producer just three hours’ flying time from the United States has just become the second all-out, no-more-elections dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere.

It is a heady lesson for Americans as we choose between two of the most autocratic, unscrupulous people ever to run for president. Our liberties are granted by God, but they are preserved by people. The decline to totalitarianism can happen quickly, and often comes n the guise of a helping hand.