July 20, 2017 By Jack Jodell, American Dissident, N.M.P.
COUNTDOWN: Regretfully, we must still put up with the Thief-in-chief Donald Chump for yet another 1,284 more days…
Venezuela has erupted in a series of often violent anti-government protests. The U.S. corporate-owned media has placed the blame on the Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, and what it views as growing citizen opposition to its 18 year old socialist government. As I have learned to take reporting from these corporate-tainted sources lightly, I have instead gathered info for this post from eyewitness reports given investigative journalist Abby Martin in one of her informative documentaries featured in her fabulous Empire Files series which has been airing on FREE SPEECH TV, plus additional info from the BBC.
Albeit for much different reasons, the electorate of Venezuela is split, just as is that of the United States. On one side is the ruling government party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), knwn as the Chavistas (the name given it to describe its pro-Socialist followers of the late President Hugo Chavez), and on the other side, the Opposition, which is made up of upper middle class and upper class people and business owners, who cannot wait to return to power. This opposition charges that the PSUV, now led by President Nicolas Maduro, is attempting to set up a dictatorship along the lines of what exists in Cuba. It claims that since it first came into power in 1999, the Chavanistas have steadily been eroding Venezuela’s democratic institutions. They claim media censorship, but Ms. Martin went freely to different newsstands and found 4 opposition newspapers on display, as well as 2 pro-government ones and one neutral paper. She found little evidence of censorship on television networks, so it appears this opposition claim of media censorship is NOT accurate. She also toured restaurants and supermarkets to determine how accurate the claim of food shortages were. Agsin, she found that some items were in short supply, but most foodstuffs were available. It would seem, then, that the claim of widespread shortages may also not be fully accurate. On the other hand, the Chavinistas view the opposition, with some justification in my view, as being elitists who have exploited poor Venezuelans for their own profit. The Chavinistas applaud the fact that this socialist party has lifted millions out of poverty and has justifiably used the country’s oil revenues to largely reduce income inequality. Maduro is far less charasmatic than his predecessor: much less flamboyant and visible. Chavez was elected and then re-elected, but died of cancer while in office in 2013. Maduro ran for President after Chavez had died, promising to continue his predecessor’s reforms, and won election. Whereas world oil prices were relatively higher in the days of Chavez, they have dropped significantly since his death, leading to a decrease in revenue for the country. This has caused curtailment of many of the country’s most popular social programs as well as to shortages of food and medicines, and the opposition is having a field day heaping blame on the PSUV and Maduro in particular. This has led to outbreaks of violence and rioting in the streets of many of the largest Venezuelan cities. Another cause of violent outbreaks was the Venezuelan Supreme Court’s suprise March 29 announcement that it was taking over the powers of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, stating that the Assembly had disregarded previous Court rulings and that it was therefore placing it in contempt of court. Though this decision was reversed three days later, it caused a huge wave of opposition-fueled dissent and repeated outbreaks of violence. The opposition is now calling for several immediate steps to be taken:
1). New general elections to be held this year.
2). The removal from office of the Supreme Court justices who issued the March 29 ruling.
3). Release of all “political prisoners”.
4). The creation of a new “humanitarian channel” to enable and administer the importation of medications which are now in severe shortage in the country.
According to Reuters, in a national non-binding plebiscite held July 16, almost 7.2 million votes were cast against Maduro and the leftist PSUV government he now leads. Incidentally, those figures correspond roughly with the 7.7 million votes which were cast against his government in the last midterm election in December of 2015.
Faced with nearly daily riots, the besieged President Maduro has understandably refused to hold a new presidential election. He claims, with some justification, that the opposition is trying to overthrow his legally elected government in a coup. He further states the he is being victimized by an “economic war” being waged against him by monied forces in the United States. Though he has yet to name these forces, this blogger’s educated guess would be the far-right wing bloc of sneaky billionaires who prefer to do their dirty work out of the public eye, like the Koch brothers, the Mercer family, Sheldon Adelson, and / or their like-minded billionaire allies. Another key group would be billionaires who fled Venezuela after Chavez was first elected 18 years ago. Inside the country today, Abby Martin found evidence of hoarding by the monied forces of the opposition, which would certainly lead to shortages and discontent. These creeps all prefer to spend vast sums of money behind-the-scenes to influence domestic as well as international politics. Even billionaire President Donald Chump has declared the situation in Venezuela to be “…a very, very horrible problem.” Chump also urged Colombian President Miguel Santos, who visited the White House recently, to pressure Venezuela to end the violence it has been plagued with. Who else can say exactly what other sources of funding may be involved here?
Maduro is pushing to rewrite the constitution of his country, claiming that doing so will”neutralize” the opposition. He has announced the creation of a new Constituent Assembly. The oppos9tion, of course, is dead set against this. They claim the creation of it will further weaken their National Assembly and will delay regional elections this fall and the next presidential election in 2018.
One thing is certain: far-right wing advocates in the U.S. have long hated the existence of a popularly-elected socialist government in South America. They and their stooges in the corporate-controlled U.S. media heaped tons of sarcasm, abuse, and misinformation upon Hugo Chavez when he twice won election as Venezuela’s President. They previously expressed little sympathy, and actually subtly supported the Nixon White House’s-engineered overthrow in 1973 of Chile’s popularly-elected Marxist leader Salvador Allende. So now that Rupert Murdoch’s Fox “News” is on the scene, and the billionaire class is covertly engaged in the subversion of American democracy, I fully expect this Venezuelan opposition to become even more emboldened and violent. In her brilliant coverage of these disturbances, investigative journalist Abby Martin found that it was not the Chavinistas but rather the opposition which was responsible for the largest share of deaths which have been caused by this violence. Naturally, though, our very biased and flawed mainstream corporate-controlled media has yet to report this correctly, and has instead implied that the Chavinistas are somehow to blame. Our corporate-owned media has thus far not reported on mass pro-government rallies which have occurred and has chosen instead to highlight violence and opposition demonstrsations. It is still too early to predict with certainty how this will all come out. Maduro apparently lacks not only the charisma of his predecessor, but also seems to be less adept at political maneuvering. This does not bode well for him or his gpvernment.
My advice to all of you is to keep a close eye on Venezuela, and do NOT allow our corporate media to hoodwink you!
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