Tag Archives: Venezuela

Violent Protests in Venezuela: America to Blame?

Venezuela Protests Lopez

The protests in Venezuela must be America’s fault. There’s no way they could be the result of material shortages and mounting repression, right?

Following weeks of violent demonstrations, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused Washington of plotting with anti-government protesters and expelled three US diplomats in retaliation for the betrayal.

For nearly two weeks, Venezuela has been struggling with a series of anti-government protests spearheaded by angry students. Demonstrators are upset over the country’s strict Chavez era controls on currency and prices that have led to mass inflation and empty store shelves.

But Nicolas Maduro knows that the real problem isn’t Venezuela’s faltering economy, it’s American meddling. As a result, he expelled three American diplomats on charges of conspiring with demonstrators. Apparently these diplomats were recruiting college students for the demonstrations.

“I have ordered the foreign ministry to proceed with declaring those three consular officials persona non grata and expelling them from the country. Let them go conspire in Washington!Maduro said in a nationally broadcast address.

Maduro believes that America is also behind fugitive opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. The opposition politician has been an active figure in challenging Venezuela’s socialist rulers – so much so that he was arrested on Tuesday on charges of inciting violence. Lopez, who had a warrant out for his arrest, handed himself over to police during an anti-Maduro rally he organized.

President Maduro has called Lopez a “murderer” and alleged he is being paid by the US Central Intelligence Agency to topple his government. But Maduro has no reason to be paranoid. I mean, a social “utopia” crumbling? That’s never happened before!

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Venezuela’s Parliament

Current Event Cat - Fistfight in Venezuela's Parliament

Parliamentarians gone wild! Fistfights broke out in Venezuela’s parliament over the disputed presidential election, leaving at least seven legislators bloodied and bruised.

Looks like Venezuela’s parliament just can’t keep it together after the death of their beloved Hugo Catvez. Things got heated when the opposition party refused to acknowledge President Nicolás Maduro (Hugo’s choice) as the winner of the April 14 election. Official results show Maduro narrowly beat the opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.

Capriles, not one to take no for an answer, demanded a full recount and urged Venezeulans to take to the streets in protest. The National Electoral Council basically told him to shut up and announced that Maduro had won by 1.49 percentage points.

The situation turned violent when the National Assembly (controlled by Maduro) passed a measure refusing to allow the opposition the right to speak until they recognized Maduro as president. The opposition felt they were being silenced and then all hell broke loose in Venezuela’s parliament.

Another issue they couldn’t agree upon: who started the fight. Both the opposition and the pro-government lawmakers accused the other of throwing the first punch. Venezuela: making US Congress seem more productive, one punch at a time.

Via: Current Event Cats

Hugo Chávez: So Good or No Good?

Hugo Chávez

As Venezuela bids farewell to their controversial leader Hugo Chávez, the rest of the world weighs in on his mixed legacy.

Foreign Minister Elias Jaua confirmed that yesterday that Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez had died. Chávez, the larger-than-life former paratroop officer who had presided over Venezuela as virtually a one-man show for more than 14 years, had been battling cancer and had recently been weakened by a severe, new respiratory infection.

Chávez entered the Venezuelan political scene in 1992 as the leader of a failed military coup and after making the transition from soldier to politician, became president in 1998.  His legacy since then has been… mixed.

To his many supporters he was a reformer whose eccentric brand of socialism stuck it to the political elite and gave hope to the poorest of Venezuelans. Indeed, conditions for the poor have improved over the last decade and a half, although this might be a greater reflection of oil prices than Hugo Chávez’s leadership…

However, the majority of the Western world is not quite such a fan of Chavez.  In addition to clamping down on human rights and democracy in Venezuela, Chávez funded guerrilla groups and allied with Western rivals, and worked closely with Cuba to spread his socialist model throughout the region.

Other fun nuggets include:

  • He praised and supported FARC, the terrorist organization operating in neighboring Colombia.
  • He saw in the madness of Col. Gaddafi an often overlooked “brilliance”
  • He considered terrorist Carlos the Jackal, who praised the 9/11 attacks from his French jail cell, “a good friend.” (he’s starting to sound like Dennis Rodman here…)

Will Chávez’s death bring a more promising future for the people of Venezuela? Not if Hugo Chávez has anything to do with it! The Venezuelan president made sure to name his own successor. Vice President Nicolas Maduro (not the speaker of the National Assembly as the Consitutuion dictates), will run Venezuela as interim president for up to 30 days and be the governing socialists’ candidate when a formal election is called. Maduro, who hours before the president’s death, accused the country’s “historic enemies” of infecting Hugo Chávez with cancer, sounds like a great candidate who is rooted in reality  a little insane….

Via: The New York Times

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