Chavistas Take 17 Of 23 States In Venezuelan Regional Elections As Opposition Cries Fraud

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By Lucas Koerner for Venezuela Analysis – Caracas, October 15, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – President Nicolás Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) won 17 of 23 states in Sunday’s gubernatorial elections, the National Electoral Council (CNE) has confirmed. According to CNE President Tibisay Lucena, 61.14 percent of Venezuela’s eighteen-million-strong electorate came out to vote, marking a record participation in the country’s regional elections, second only to the 65.45 percent turnout in 2008. The result defied forecasts of high abstention fueled by the current economic crisis as well as polls showing dissatisfaction with the leadership of both the government and political opposition. With 95 percent of all votes counted, the governing PSUV won in the states of Amazonas, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Carabobo, Cojedes, Falcon, Guarico, Lara, Miranda, Monagas, Sucre, Trujillo, Yaracuy, Delta Amacuro, and Vargas. For its part, the opposition Democratic Action party triumphed in Anzoátegui, Merida, Tachira, and Nueva Esparta, while the First Justice party took the strategic northwestern border state of Zulia. The CNE has yet to release final results for the mineral rich Amazonian state of Bolivar in the country’s southeast border.

Venezuela’s Fragile Revolution: From Chávez To Maduro

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By Steve Ellner for Venezuela Analysis – The Venezuelan experience of nearly two decades of radicalization, extreme social and political polarization, and right-wing insurgence offers valuable lessons for the left. The country’s current crisis should be an occasion for constructive debate around the struggles, successes, and failures of the Bolivarian Revolution. By pinpointing strategic errors–especially in the context of unrelenting hostility by powerful forces on the right–Chavismo’s supporters and sympathizers can offer a corrective to the sweeping condemnations of the government of Nicolás Maduro now coming from both right and left. This article thus has two aims: to shed light on the major lessons of the years of Chavista rule, and to put some of the government’s more questionable actions in their proper historical and political context. The common perception of the Chavista leadership as incompetent administrators who disdain democracy ignores the complexity of achieving socialism through democratic means, a process whose dangers and demands have shaped the government’s decisions, for better and worse. Only by reckoning with that complexity can we understand both Venezuela’s current situation and its turbulent recent history.

Congress Asks Pentagon To Prepare To Intervene In Venezuela

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By Mision Verdad for TeleSur. The importance of the U.S. Congress in the country’s foreign policy matters is well known, just as it is the center of decision-making on finance and trade issues in relation to the corporate sector in general and, specifically, the military-industrial sector. In the U.S. Congress, important actors from outside the political bureaucracy play a decisive role in terms of lobbying and moving things along so as to favor their interests. In earlier articles, we reported how ExxonMobil has spared no expense to affect the focus of U.S. government policy decisions on Venezuela.

Why Won't US Media Tell Truth About What's Happening In Venezuela?

Violent opposition groups incinerated over 50 tons of food stored in a government warehouse in Anzoategui in late June. | Photo: AVN

By Justin Podur for AlterNet – Earlier this week, Donald Trump stood before the U.N. and called for the restoration of “political freedoms” to a South American nation in the thoes of an economic crisis. The country in question was Venezuela, but he could have just as easily been describing Argentina, whose right-wing government imprisoned indigenous politician Milagro Sala, has run inflation into the double digits and is in the process of re-imposing the sort of austerity policies that triggered a popular revolt and debt default in 2001. The description also fits Brazil, where President Michel Temer has been caught on tape discussing bribes, his former cabinet member’s apartment recently raided to the tune of 51 million reais ($16 million). Temer, who assumed office only after leading the impeachment of his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff, has also run an aggressive program of austerity, dissolving the programs that lifted tens of millions of Brazilians out of poverty and into the middle class. In both countries, right-wing forces have taken power and undermined fragile democratic norms with the objective of reversing the modest redistribution of wealth achieved under left-wing administrations over the past 15 years. Backed by a United States government with a long history of subverting leftist movements in the region, and a mainstream media that’s all too eager to carry its water, the right is now attempting the same feat in Venezuela.

Trump Adds Venezuela And North Korea To Travel Ban

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By Staff of Tele Sur – The addition of North Korea and Venezuela broadens the restrictions from the original, mostly Muslim-majority list. U.S. President Donald Trump has announced that Venezuela and North Korea will be added to the list of countries banned from traveling to the United States. The order outlines different restrictions for each country on the list. In the case of Venezuela, the new decree is aimed at “certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members,” according to the White House press office. The new directive prevents Venezuelan officials involved in state security, law enforcement and migration functions from entering the United States. Immediate family members’ ability to enter the U.S. as nonimmigrants on business, tourist and tourist/business visas will also be suspended. The proclamation names ministries and state bodies involved in “screening and vetting procedures,” including the Ministry of the Popular Power for Interior, Justice and Peace; the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration and Immigration; the Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigation Service Corps; the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service; and the Ministry of the Popular Power for Foreign Relations.

World Says ‘No’ To US Military Threats Against Venezuela

Caracas has since responded to the threat and is preparing defense measures. | Photo: Reuters

By Staff of Tele Sur – Politicians, social movements and governments have been issuing their responses. In the 24 hours since U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington is exploring “many options regarding Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary”, the global community has continued to condemn his comments. In a teleSUR exclusive, the U.S. intellectual Noam Chomsky said the remarks were “shocking and dangerous.” Chomsky believes Trump maybe “painting himself into a corner. It is worth remembering that he is probably following his usual practice of speaking to his base, and trying to ensure that he remains in the limelight, not caring much about real world consequences (except to his pocketbook and image). The best hope is that some of the generals around him, who presumably understand the consequences, will manage to control him.” Regional powers have also come out strongly against the comments. Ecuador says it “reminds the international community that the declaration of Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace implies the commitment of all nations to preserve our common territory free of threats or military interventions of any kind. In this context, it expresses its solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and rejects any threat of possible military intrusion into its territory.

People Are Radicalizing The Bolivarian Revolution

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By Farooque Chowdhury and Fred Magdoff for Monthly Review. Amidst imperialist interference, the people in Venezuela are carrying on the task of reorganizing their society. Real-life picture in Venezuela is far different from new-reports the mainstream media continuously circulates. The following interview of Christina Schiavoni, a researcher and food sovereignty activist, provides a different view of the life of the Venezuelan people than we normally get from the media. The interview covers food and health situations as well as on-going politics and people’s participation in the politics. The interview was conducted by Farooque Chowdhury and Fred Magdoff, in August 2017.

Venezuela's Maduro Says Will Shun U.S. Dollar In Favor Of Yuan

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a national broadcast at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, February 16, 2014.(Reuters / Miraflores Palace)

By Staff of Reuters – CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday his cash-strapped country would seek to “free” itself from the U.S. dollar next week, using the weakest of two official foreign exchange regimes and a basket of currencies. Maduro was refering to Venezuela’s “DICOM” official exchange rate in which the dollar buys 3,345 bolivars, according to the central bank. At the strongest official rate, one dollar buys just 10 bolivars, but on the black market the dollar fetches 20,193 bolivars, a spread versus the official rate that economists say has fostered corruption. A thousand dollars of local currency bought when Maduro came to power in 2013 would now be worth $1.20. “Venezuela is going to implement a new system of international payments and will create a basket of currencies to free us from the dollar,” Maduro said in an hours-long address to a new legislative superbody, without providing details of the new mechanism. “If they pursue us with the dollar, we’ll use the Russian ruble, the yuan, yen, the Indian rupee, the euro,” Maduro said. The oil-rich nation is undergoing a major economic and social crisis, with millions suffering food and medicine shortages and what is believed to be the world’s highest inflation.

Venezuelan Left Fights Back Against Trump’s Threats And Sanctions

A Venezuelan protester holds a poster that reads in Spanish “Against Imperialist aggression, respect Venezuela” during a protest outside the National Assembly in Caracas Venezuela. Howard Yanes | AP

By Emile Schepers for People’s World – On Friday, August 25, President Trump announced the imposition of tough new sanctions on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, as punishment for the establishment of a new National Constituent Assembly in that country. But the Constituent Assembly is not taking Trump’s latest attacks lying down, but rather is forging ahead with a full program of reforms on the heels of military threats against the South American country. Threats against Venezuela by the United States are not new. President Obama had already declared Venezuela to be an unusual threat to U.S. security and interests, using language required to make the imposition of sanctions legal. However, the composition and politics of the Trump administration have greatly increased the anti-Venezuela mood in our executive branch. The high concentration in the U.S. political establishment, in the Trump cabinet and among Trump’s closest advisors and personal cronies — of people with axes to grind against Venezuela — has increased the danger. For example, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used to be the CEO of Exxon-Mobil, a transnational oil giant which has had sharp disputes with the Venezuelan government over the nationalization of some of their properties in that country.

Venezuelan Minister: Time To Break With US Domination

Venezuela's minister of planning, Ricardo Menendez | Photo: AVN

By Staff of Tele Sur – Venezuela’s government says new U.S. sanctions will cause difficulties, but they also open opportunities. Venezuela’s planning minister, Ricardo Menendez, says the time has come to break the country’s ties to the United States and put an end to U.S. domination. “Venezuela guarantees its plan for investment in infrastructure and services for the people,” the minister wrote on Twitter. He added that Venezuela needs to develop its technological and productive capacity in order to substitute its current imports. Menendez made his remarks three days after President Donald Trump signed an executive order that seeks to shut off Venezuela’s access to new credit from U.S. financial markets.

Trump’s Tough New Sanctions Will Harm The People Of Venezuela

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By Mark Weisbrot for The Hill – The Trump administration announced new, unprecedented sanctions against Venezuela on Friday that are designed to cut off financing to Venezuela. The Trump team pretends that the sanctions are only directed at the government. But as any economist knows, this is clearly false. By starving the economy of foreign exchange, this action will harm the private sector, most Venezuelans, the poor and the vulnerable. These sanctions will deepen the severe depression that Venezuela’s economy has been in for more than three and a half years, which has already shrunk income per person by more than a third. They will worsen the shortages of food and essential medicines. They will exacerbate the country’s balance of payments crisis, and therefore feed the spiral of inflation (600 percent over the past year) and depreciation of the currency (on the black market) that has been accelerating since late 2012. And they will further polarize an already divided country. Opposition leaders who support the sanctions, or are associated with them because of their longstanding ties to the United States, will be seen as treasonous — much as Republicans in the Trump administration, including Trump himself, are portrayed by those who believe they collaborated with the Russian government to win the 2016 election.

US Vastly Escalates Economic War On Venezuela

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By Telesur. Venezuela – President Nicolas Maduro says the new financial sanctions imposed by the U.S. president on Venezuela are illegal, and the first to suffer will be U.S. investors. He said the prohibiton on U.S. citizens and companies buying Venezuelan bonds and securities, is an attempt to strangle Venezuela’s economy. “Can the world accept this?” he asked, and called for solidarity from the world community. He recognized that the sanctions will mean sacrifice for the Venezuelan people. But he said they also open up the opportunity for a new era of independence. On this day in 2017, he said, “begins the stage of post-domination by the United States, with Venezuela again at the center of this struggle for dignity and liberation.”

Correcting Eva Golinger On Venezuela

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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.

Disinformation Terrorism Against Venezuela

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By Armando B. Gines for New Dawn. World elites dominate the main international media almost completely through an intricate network of associations that conceal the participation of transnational empires such as banks, weapons industries, energy industries, and financial and investment entities. The New York Times, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, the Financial Times, El País—renowned newspapers and TV networks impose the views of their shareholders on current events, dictating the agenda for the millions that make up their audience. In other words, they lead the collective attention to focus on their preferred topics while they intentionally cast a cloak of silence over other issues, according to their economic interests. As US linguist George Lakoff revealed, we only talk about that which the hegemonic power wants us to talk about.

Trump’s ‘Military Option’ For Venezuela Provokes Russia Response

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By Brandon Turbeville for Activist Post. The United States has finally rattled its sabers loud enough against Venezuela that it has provoked a response from Russia. After imposing yet another round of sanctions upon an already economically embattled nation following a questionable Venezuelan move to reassemble the Western-backed opposition-dominated National Assembly, the U.S. is grandstanding yet again about “democracy,” “human rights,” and all the other things America tends to ignore except when it is able to use those concepts to justify foreign wars. Speaking at a New Jersey Golf Club where Trump had concluded a meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, the President reiterated the American hostility and aggression towards Venezuela and even openly stated that the United States is weighing a military option to enforce its own agenda of imperialism upon the country.