The Biden campaign held an online event on Wednesday, July 8 pitched as the former Vice President’s “vision for Venezuela and Venezuelans in the U.S.” Spoiler alert: his vision for Venezuela barely differs from President Trump. This event, which didn’t merit an appearance from Biden himself, was aimed at getting Venezuelan-Americans to volunteer for “Uncle Joe”, as Representative Darren Soto (D-Fl) called him. It was an hour and a half of shilling for votes and influence, and it demonstrated that when it comes to Venezuela, policies of regime change, sanctions and a refusal to engage in dialogue unite VenezolanosConBiden (the group hosting the event) with MAGAzuela (the term for Trump-supporting Venezuelans).
By Stansfield Smith for Dissident Voice. As the class struggle heated up in Venezuela this year, fueled by interventionist threats by the pro-US Organization of American States (OAS) bloc, many former supporters of the Bolivarian revolution have remained sitting on the fence. Fed up with these fair-weather friends and their critiques which recycle corporate news propaganda, some defenders of Venezuela such as Shamus Cooke, Greg Wilpert, Maria Paez Victor, have come with articles clarifying the stakes and calling the so-called “left” to account. Among the disaffected is Venezuelan-American lawyer Eva Golinger, the author of The Chávez Code: Cracking US Intervention in Venezuela and self-described friend and advisor to Hugo Chávez.
By Sharmini Peries and Abby Martin for The Real News. I was very surprised to see that the reality was vastly different than what we are being told, Sharmini. I mean, yes, you hear all these horrific stories, right, from on the ground, amidst these protests, and you keep hearing 60 dead, Maduro kills 60 protestors, Maduro's forces. And what you realize when you get there is, the country is pretty much split in two. It's heavily divided between Chavistas and the opposition, and of course, amidst such economic, such a horrible economic crisis, people are going to have really strong opinions, but there are certainly huge marches on the ground on both sides. Tens of thousands of people marching for the government, for the opposition, and these are peaceful marches, jubilant atmosphere. Things are very calm, and then what you realize is, when you see these violent statistics and casualties and the death toll that's rising, and the harsh quote unquote "repression" from government forces, it's not happening at these marches. It's happening at something called guarimbas.
By Sharmini Peries for The Real News. Venezuelas opposition and government supporters both took to the streets in Caracas on Thursday in a day of competing demonstrations. As of this recording both marches prove to be massive and largely peaceful. The opposition called for the protests to put pressure on the countrys National Electoral Council to organize a recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro before the end of the year so that new presidential elections might be held. However, all indications from the electoral council are that the referendum will not take place until early next year. Probably in February. If that happens and President Maduro is recalled, then Vice President takes over for the remainder of the term until new presidential elections can take place in 2018.
By Sabina Becker for Sabina Becker. Caracas, VZ - Hey! Remember how, back in 2002, there was a putsch in Venezuela? And how the poor folks came down from the hillside slums around Caracas, surrounded Miraflores Palace (then a nest of fascists and thieves), and demanded their president back? Remember how the soldiers of the Venezuelan national guard listened to the people and retook the palace in the name of the legitimately elected Bolivarian government? And remember how the Venezuelan army brought the real president, Hugo Chávez, back from La Orchila, the island where the fascists had held him kidnapped? Seems like it was just yesterday, eh?
A coup plot against the Venezuelan government has been foiled, with both civilians and members of the military detained, President Nicolas Maduro revealed Thursday in a televised address. Those involved were being paid in U.S. dollars, and one of the suspects had been granted a visa to enter the United States should the plot fail, Maduro said. Maduro stated that the coup plotters already had a “transitional” government and program lined up once the acts – which included bombings on the Miraflores Palace and the teleSUR offices in Caracas as well as assassinations of members of the opposition, Maduro and others – was carried out.
In the Bronx, New York, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro reminded black Americans what they have lost as a result of following misleaders and worshipping Barack Obama. Before corporate dollars and Barack Obama delivered a crippling blow to black politics, African Americans were in the forefront of opposition to United States foreign policy. More than any other group in the country, black people could smell a foreign policy rat as soon as it was spawned by Washington. Any claims of dangers to American interests were met with skepticism and outright disdain. Every declaration of criminality from the Gulf of Tonkin resolution to Operation Just Cause to Operation Iraqi Freedom were known to be frauds meant only to keep the rest of the world under America’s thumb.
There has been social policies that have led to a very, very significant reduction of poverty and to greater degree of equality. Venezuela's not today an particularly equal society, but it's the least unequal in all of Latin America, which is the most unequal continent in the world. So that's not saying that much, but there has been a significant reduction of inequality. There has been a really significant transformation of popular political culture. And this is probably the most important thing that's happened over [incompr.] years. For most of the Venezuelan popular sectors, the political system was alien. It's something that they'd just given up hope on. They felt totally marginalized. They felt that they had no participation, no involvement, that the political system wasn't responding to their needs. And that has changed dramatically. People feel empowered. People feel like they can self-organize to get things done. They feel like they have a possibility of a say in their own lives. And that's huge, and that's really, I'd say, the most important thing that has happened over those years. The level of political participation and political organization in Venezuela can't compare with anything previously existing in Venezuela. There's a widespread level of grassroots organizations around health, around water, around educational issues about--. So that's--those are all huge gains.
The misinformation in the United States is because Venezuela is the lynch pin of the movement of Latin America away from US domination. Further, the oligarch class in Venezuela continues to control much of the media and big business interests. They are able to have a big influence on the economy, create scarcity of key goods and can impact the value of Venezuelan currency by flooding Venezuela with off-market US dollars. The oligarchs lost big in recent municipal elections and have lost national elections to Chavez and Maduro repeatedly. Not only is Venezuela a challenge to US hegemony in the Americas, it is a challenge to big finance capitalism. It has rejected the corporate-based neoliberal economics that the US is pushing throughout the world to the detriment of most people and the benefit of the wealthy. For all these reasons Venezuela is a top target of the United States and the oligarchs in Venezuela.
Venezuela is one of the more difficult countries to get accurate information about in the United States from the mass commercial media. Sometimes blatant lies are reported as truth. We find the website VenezuelaAnalysis.com to be the best source of accurate information. Below we reprint two articles on the recent elections. The first provides the context of the landslide victory by Nicolas Manduro's party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Spanish: Partido Socialista Unido deVenezuela, PSUV), a context of the oligarchs taking aggressive steps to undermine the economy in multiple ways creating food and energy sources and causing manipulation of the currency. It also describes the importance of the election as it has solidified Maduro and the PSUV at a time of great economic stress created by the US and Venezuelan oligarchs. It is a major setback for US efforts to remove Maduro.
Yesterday the Venezuelan president attacked the illegal business practice of requesting official rate dollars and then selling these dollars on the black market for a profit, or importing goods and then selling them for far higher than the import price. “Only one sector does this: the parasitic bourgeoisie, that created this phenomenon [of abusing currency controls], which we’re now going to reveal to the country and punish with the law,” he said. A presidential commission is to be created with parliamentary legislators and public attorneys, who will identify and investigate companies that have abused state-granted dollars. Maduro said that “without a doubt” some public servants have also been complicit in currency scams. Speaking to press yesterday, Maduro reiterated his commitment to tackling Venezuela’s oil-rentier economic model. “There won’t be socialism on a rentier, speculative, capitalist economic base. Socialism has to be constructed on the basis of labour, on real productive bases, on the generation of new wealth, on an economy fed by its own resources,” he argued.
I have just returned from Caracas where I witnessed that there is social order; people go out Christmas shopping to shops full of products, all anticipating the season festivities. There is however, strong political activity because of the coming municipal elections on December 8th. It is so good to see a population that is politically alert, not like Canadian elections that seem to be done by sleepwalkers due to the lack of confidence that erodes political participation here. Not so in Venezuela. The Communal Councils and the Communes are at the front of political activity; the government does not take a step without consulting them, and the participation of the communes in local projects is essential as they are its initiators. Maduro has taken measures to combat what is called “ an economic coup d’etat”.