Venezuela's Political Situation

First of all, excuse my english, I’m trying my best.

I think that all attention of international press isn’t on Venezuela, there may be other issues more important than this one.

But for me and all the people that live in this country, this is the biggest issue.

I live in Caracas, and things have been agitated all this week.

There’s a general strike active since Monday, and is extending, at least, till tomorrow.

The gas stations are running very low of gasoline (and others).

In the street where I live, there were officers from the DISIP (the Intelligence Police Squad, or any translation) trying to take “by force” a Captain of the naval forces, because of the situation in the Lake of Maracaibo (There are some “ships that carry petroleum” that are anchored and not delivering any petroleum)
So the interesting thing was that all the neighbors of all the surrounding buildings went to the street and stopped the guy rfom being taken. The street collapsed, there were cars parked blocking all the ways, it was great how the people defended this guy (who had done nothing wrong) and it was all pacific.

I must say that I’m not with the president of my country, and I wish he leaves for good. He’s very stubborn, he seems to live in a parallel world where all that he sees is people loving him or something like that, he doesn’t notice that the people doesn’t want him.

This issue isn’t just political, because the president, being the jackass that he is, is ruining everything in this country. He is making every venezuelan look bad.

I wonder what the international press is saying about Venezuela’s situation.

To be honest in the United States, “foreign affairs” focuses on the middle east and Israel, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

I try to follow events in Latin America, but I often have to look at the British or Latin American press to do so, I suppose in the Miami Herald, or the Christian Science Monitor there are some stories.

In the press, there has been much talk of a new wave of South American populist leftists, like Lula da Silva in Brazil, and I believe now in Ecuador. A lot of these reports emphasize, however, that these new leaders -while on the left- are trying very hard not to look like Hugo Chavez, but instead they wish to appear moderate. Anyway, is he a “leftist”? I don’t know much about him and his ideology, other than he is portrayed as a demagogue.

Hugo Chavez is getting a lot of attention and harsh criticism in the Wall Street Journal editorial page, a conservative, business-oriented newspaper. If you explore the archives of their free web site you can probably find some of their commentary.

I am following the news although not with great detail. Let’s see where it leas. President Chavez has threatened to order the army to intervene the oil industry but I cannot see how the army can keep such a complex industry working if the workers won’t cooperate.

We had a thread when the coup that ultimately failed. I think the man is a demagogue and a disaster for the country but ultimately it is the entire people who have let themselves be divided by his demagoguery.

I also have no doubt there is a pretty good conspiracy trying to oust him and the economic ruling class are at the forefront and they are probably encouraged by foreign (USA) interests.

I am also following the situation in Argentina which is pretty awful, with children dying from malnutrition every day.,3367,1429_W_707688,00.html

In other words, the mainstream international press reports what is of most interest to their citizens. In the case of Venezuala, that happens to be the economic impact on oil prices due to disruptions in Venezualan shipments.

I wish you well, ZooMetropolis. I hope you and all you car for come through these days unharmed. I am afraid that from this outsider’s perspective things are going to get worse in your country, probably much worse, before they get better.

Here we go again:

But, as DDG links shows, money talks. I have said before: if people who want to oust Chavez have the media and the oil (what a peculiar dictator I say) and yet the people follow Chavez, my advice to the opposition would be to give some concessions to the people and be ready for the next elections.

Democracy requires patience, if your man is not in power. Because of the divisions in Venezuela I think ousting Chavez will create even worse rulers in the near future. And they will not give you the freedom you think you will get.

Gimme a break. It is Chavez who has divided the country with his demagoguery. He is doing in Venezuela what Castro did in Cuba: use the poorest to impose his will on the rest. And the rest are not happy. The road Chavez has taken leads to Cuban results.

Oh, and IMHO the big Venezuelan TV and Press was totally discredited by their actions on the coup, sailor and others should take into account that the demagoguery charges came basically from the same sources, that is why I am willing to give Chavez a break, but just that, until the next elections.

Give democracy a break.

My girlfriend is from Puerto Ordaz originally, Zoo.

To me, the Venezuelan situation is very interesting.

A LARGE number of citizens are fed up with Chávez, and want him out of office. To that end, they are striking, or threatening to strike, and demonstrating.

Chávez has threatened to keep certain vital industries (such as petroleum, obviously - about 16.6 percent of their gross domestic product, IIRC) open by force, via the police and/or military, if a strike cripples them. Under the guise of “protecting employee’s right to work,” or some-such.

Chávez has two years left to his term (they’re six years there). But, under the Venezuelan constitution, a referendum on his leadership can be held later next year in August.

As an American, the strike issue is interesting to me. If the people are wholly dissatisfied with their leader (and estimates are that three-quarters or more are), do they have a right to not work in an effort to mess up the country’s economy (and, thereby, the government) to get him out of power? The businesses in question aren’t something like hospitals or air traffic controllers, vital to public safety; they are merely integral to the nation’s economy.

What would happen if the American public acted similarly, I wonder?

The U.S. government didn’t respond well to the one-day coup d’etat last April. They should have condemned it immediately, as being counter to the rule of law - no matter how odious and Communist- and Castro-sympathizing we find Chávez.

The U.S. policy now seems to be a good one - leave Venezuelans to resolve Venezuelan problems - but encourage and expect both sides to honor the rule of law.

Tough break for you Venezuelans that Chávez won’t take a hint, and resign. We had a similar problem here not long ago with a president in a situation that clearly called for him to resign, but he chose a different route that was a bit more traumatic for the country. :wink:

But, the fact remains, he won’t resign. So try to suck it up till next August, have your referendum, and throw him out on his head.

Basically I agree* Milossarian, the only kink is that right now, these business led strikes have left even more Venezuelans unemployed. This is a case were the opposition is not trusted by the poor, and right now it should be a chance to get some support by co-opting some of the populist positions of Chavez, strikes like this one do not help.

[sub]* with an exception to the Clinton remarks of course ;)[/sub]

Hey baby, as they say in the U.S.: love it or leave it.

The ruling class in Venezuela, which I assume you are a part of since you echo all the standard lies about Chavez, just can’t stand to have a president who actually does something for the poor of the country. Hopefully you guys and the U.S. will be stopped in your efforts to crush Venezuelan democracy.

As for what the international press says. Basically the mainstream press repeats all of the standard lies about Chavez that the oligarchical press in Venezuala spews out. It is really a tragic situation, where a minority of descendants of the white conquerers are still lording it over the vast majority of the poor.

(Laughing at Chumpsky)

Err, I think you don’t know this yet, but… the US is not the whole world, there are other countries and there are people in other countries also…

… By the way, we do not say that…

First of all, don’t assume.
Second, what lies did I say?
Third, what does Chávez does for the poor people?.. oh, I forgot, he gives money away (our money) to the people that go to his gatherings, so they look crowded when the cameras of the state’s channel get them.

Again, what lies?

Lies like this:

That was easy: you asked which lies you repeated, and then repeated a vicious lie in the next sentence.

Well, I read all the press in Venezuela right after the coup, I can only say that some people will call it lies, (I only shake my head a little at chumpski) but there was a MAYOR disconnect on what was happening during/after the coup and what it was eventually reported outside Venezuela. I say eventually, because as Mike Palace on England reported, even leftist papers followed the swill that the Venezuelan media was pretending to be news:
Check that in Spanish too:

So you think you are very clever.
The YOU saying it’s a lie doesn’t make it a lie you know?

Indeed, that is why I cite other sources too:

Zoo In our country (Domin. Rep.) we follow the Venezuelan situation very closely, for one thing, it is too close for comfort. Not only have our countries been friends for very long, it is also that we depend on the Venezuelan oil to run our country. Furthermore, if you combine the Argentinian situation with the Venezuelan you might have mapped the future of my country in the next year or so.

What they say in our country?

1.- Chavez is an idiot. Right there with our own idiot.

2.- He is clueless. (Ditto for ours)

3.- He is bad news for Venezuela. (Same for our president).

4.- The coup was a bad idea, and the US should have condemned sternly. Instead the Bush administration appear to have a double standard: Democracy is ok as long as we like’em.

5.- He should have had the decency of resigning long ago, which he will not do because of no. 2 (Same for our doofus).

6.- Things will get much worse in Venezuela. (Ditto here)

7.- A coup is a bad idea.

What I think? See 1 to 7. Chavez is a populist, he is bribing the masses, and in doing so capitalists and the middle class are hurting badly. I would bet that you also have a corruption problem. That is a very popular strategy of some of our most infamous Latin American presidents. Unfortunately there is only so much you can borrow to steal and bribe the masses and then the IMF comes and you have to pay the piper and the whole damn orchestra.

I surely hope that you guys work it out for the best. It will set an example for us.

I guess that Chumspsky is joking.

Mighty_Girl for a moment I thought the other doofus you were referring to was the president of the US :wink:

And, let me reply once again, that on the whole, I do not trust Chavez, let me explain where I am coming with a support for the rule of law and democracy:

As a former believer in revolutionary change I was for a moment happy when the Indians and army got together to recently oust the president in Ecuador. But that happiness lasted only a few seconds. Before they peacefully returned to democracy in a few days (By compromise: vice-president of the same ousted party was put in power) I arrived to the conclusion that even if the new government was to my liking, I would have opposed it because it was not reached by popular will. Likewise Zoo should realize that one cannot have democracy a la carte.

I couldn’t agree more with you. And to quote myself in a thread (in another forum) about the situation in my country: