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The Newsroom => International Defence and Security => Topic started by: big bad john (John Hill) on May 31, 2006, 23:32:31

Title: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: big bad john (John Hill) on May 31, 2006, 23:32:31
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5033768.stm

Russia in arms talks with Chavez 
 
Moves by Mr Chavez to boost his armed forces have worried the US
Russia is holding talks with Venezuela to license the manufacture of Kalashnikov rifles there, Russia's state arms exporter has confirmed.
On Tuesday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Russia planned to build two munitions plants in the country.

Moscow has already signed a deal to supply Venezuela with 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles.

The move is likely to worry the US, which regards Mr Chavez as a destabilising influence in the region.

In May, the US State Department banned arms sales to Venezuela because of concern over its contacts with Iran and Cuba and what it called Venezuela's lack of support for counter-terrorism efforts.

'Defend every street'

Mr Chavez made his announcement during a visit to Ecuador to sign a series of energy deals.

"The Russians are going to install a Kalashnikov rifle plant and a munitions factory," he said. "So we can defend every street, every hill, every corner."

Arms exporter Rosoboronexport confirmed that talks were taking place, but did not give any details of the timescale or proposed production capacity of the plant, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Mr Chavez also told reporters that 30,000 of the promised Kalashnikov assault rifles were due to arrive in June, a fact later confirmed by the Russian manufacturer.

Correspondents say that the US is concerned by Venezuela's moves to build up military hardware.

In April, Venezuela took delivery of three Russian-built military helicopters - the first of a total of 15 it has so far ordered from Moscow.

They would help to protect Venezuela if the US ever mounted an invasion, Mr Chavez said at the time.

The Venezuelan government has repeatedly accused Washington of trying to destabilise Mr Chavez - an allegation rejected by US officials.
 
Title: Re: Russia in arms talks with Chavez
Post by: van Gemeren on May 31, 2006, 23:56:54
That should drive up oil prices tommorrow.

There are so many troubled regions that it is hard to guess which one is going to be the next conflict.

I think that it serves Chavez more when these kind of deals are made public, it affects oil prices, which bring him more money and hurt the U.S at the same time.
Title: Re: Russia in arms talks with Chavez
Post by: paracowboy on June 01, 2006, 00:36:44
we gotta pop that clown. Hopefully, one of his neighbours will get tired of his supporting terrs and do it for us.
Title: Re: Russia in arms talks with Chavez
Post by: van Gemeren on June 01, 2006, 01:27:11
Who would you suggest?

Columbia?
Internal Uprising?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/americas/06/year_of_elections/html/nn1page1.stm


Edit

Actually this guy has more time on his hands now, maybe he could do it.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5033514.stm
Title: Venezuela Purchasing 24 New Russian-Made Fighter Jets
Post by: big bad john (John Hill) on June 16, 2006, 13:13:46
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi-bin/client/modele.pl?session=dae.16742938.1131572689.Q3Jt0cOa9dUAAHzOZ4o&modele=jdc_34

Venezuela Purchasing 24 New Russian-Made Fighter Jets
 
 
(Source: Voice of America news; issued June 15, 2006)
 
 
 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his government will purchase 24 new Russian Sukhoi fighter jets this year to replace a fleet of U.S.-made F-16s. 
 
President Chavez made the announcement Wednesday in a speech before hundreds of soldiers at a military base in Caracas. Mr. Chavez also presented the troops with new Russian-made AK-103 rifles - part of an order of 100,000 of the weapons scheduled for delivery within the next six months. 
 
President Chavez said Venezuela is preparing for what he called the defense of sacred land. He has frequently warned that the United States could invade to seize control of Venezuela's oil reserves. 
 
U.S. officials deny any such plan exists. Last month, U.S. officials cited alleged Venezuelan links to Cuba and Iran as a reason behind a decision to ban arms sales to the government in Caracas. 
 
Venezuela has warned it could sell its F-16 fighter jets to other countries, such as Iran, while looking to buy more aircraft from Russia. U.S. officials say Washington and Caracas have previously signed agreements that would not allow such a resale. 
 
-ends- 
 
Title: Re: Venezuela Purchasing 24 New Russian-Made Fighter Jets
Post by: Colin P on June 16, 2006, 14:46:05
After the first couple thunder into the jungle, the rest will become hanger queens, the Venezuelan’s I meet there in 94 weren’t big on looking after stuff. 
Title: The Hugo Chavez Superthread- Merged
Post by: R_Collins on June 18, 2006, 13:32:47
I found another article on it from Europe. Thought it might be nice to post this one as well.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-2228233,00.html (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-2228233,00.html)

I seen this on another website filled mostly with liberals from America, and the general reaction was 'See? We shouldn't have been messing with them! And we're hypocrites for saying Iran can't have nuclear weapons! Now we're headed to World War 3!' I kind of died a little on the inside hearing all of that, but I did agree that there are some shocking parallels between the start of the World Wars and the current situation, what with the world esentially divided now into the Asian SCO and the western Allies through an alliance system, and the whole arms race.

I also came across a... rather interesting picture... Might be fearmongering, but a picture of how the world could probably be divided up if this DID indirectly result in another world war.

 
Quote from:  Poster of picture
Blue=Allies

    Dark Blue= Troop Suppling Nations

    Blue= Aid giving Nations

Red= SCO

    Dark Red= Troop Suppling Nations

    Red= Aid Giving Nations

White=Neutral

With China and Russia (NUSSR) Aisi is pretty much theirs.
With Iran, the entire Muslim world is theirs.

With the USA, the entire first world is ours.
Title: Chavez at al
Post by: Argh to the Zee on June 18, 2006, 14:54:36
Granted, its a bit aggressive, but at the same time, I can not blame them (for wanting to protect their own self interests in the region) nor really fear them, I don't see China or Russia pushing into Europe like feared in the days of the USSR. At least not any time in the future...due to the a) lack of large stocks of modern equipment (sure, they have some cool kit, but not much of it in terms of quantity) and b) economic implications, as soon as they go, BAM, their own economy falls and they cant carry on past halfway though Germany.
Title: Chavez at al
Post by: Centurian1985 on June 22, 2006, 20:22:27
I found another article on it from Europe. Thought it might be nice to post this one as well.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-2228233,00.html (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-2228233,00.html)
I also came across a... rather interesting picture... Might be fearmongering, but a picture of how the world could probably be divided up if this DID indirectly result in another world war.

Based on the way that some countries are portrayed I would say it is American made, but other than obvious alliances, some of these are crap.

Venezuela in red - since when did they become communist?
Columbia in red - ditto, WTF? Has a very pro-US government. 
India in blue - since when? giving aid is not the same as allying with the US, which India does not do, neither does it ally itself with Russia or China, they are a power bloc unto themselves.   
Jordan - another very pro-US country, yet shown as 'communist'?
Another dozen examples can easily be spotted but my point is proven.

Overall looks more like a grade 12 political science project than the work of a professional.
Title: Chavez at al
Post by: xenobard on June 25, 2006, 12:04:38
Not so sure.  In many respects, Venezuela has become increasingly anti-american.  Political pressure might spill over making Columbia join the anti-american camp. 

India just signed some major treaty with the Americans, and so it isn't difficult to believe she would side with the Americans.

I agree, however, that Russia and China could in no way form a block anytime soon.
Title: Chavez at al
Post by: Centurian1985 on June 28, 2006, 23:06:43
Not so sure.  In many respects, Venezuela has become increasingly anti-american.  Political pressure might spill over making Columbia join the anti-american camp. 
India just signed some major treaty with the Americans, and so it isn't difficult to believe she would side with the Americans.
I agree, however, that Russia and China could in no way form a block anytime soon.

Bah! Label a country red just because they are a bit anti-American for a while? Might as well label France 'red' too then, considering how much they foamed at the mouth over Eurodisney.  As far as that goes, considering how anti-American Canadians are in many surveys, might as well paint us 'red' too, based on that logic. Anti-American does not equal communist bloc.

Venezuela in particular is not anti-American, it is anti-interference.  The wealthy class that owned the oil rigs didnt like how Chavez wanted the profits to benefit the country instead of heading out to other nation bank accounts, the same things our own government atempts to do.  The US didnt like how they played so they slapped a bunch of economic sanctions against them, blocking Venezuela from US markets, so of course they eneded buying 'red'.  This is the same thing that happened in Cuba - Castro didnt choose to go red, he got pushed there.  Many people forget he started out as a 'freedom fighter' supported by the US.

I'll also point out, again, that the originator of this map also has many Muslim countries lined up as part of Sino-Soviet bloc, a political ideology that is right out of the 1960's.  Its an 'Us vs Them' label that has too many inaccuracies in depicting todays playground.  A more accurate model is 'Us vs Them vs Those vs Others vs Where'd they come from? vs We can ignore that group'.
Title: Chavez at al
Post by: Colin P on June 29, 2006, 12:03:34
The map is to simplistic, Iran is Shiite and considered heretic by the other Muslim countries, many who supported Iraq’s war against it. Also consider that Iran and Saudi and butting heads over an oil field.

Wasn’t it SCO pressure/ support that caused one of the “stans” to ask the US to close up it’s airbase?


Centurion
Chavez is your typical South American dictator in the making (he was actually involved in a coup that failed)

His policies are going to bankrupt what is left of the Venezuelan economy and little money has been invested into infrastructure rebuilding. I was there in 94 and it was going into the toilet, they don’t have a strong manufacturing base and most stuff needs importing. The type of oil they have is not great and the reserves are not that big. China will only buy a little from them and will not rock the boat with the US on his behalf. Africa is far closer and the Chinese can take control of the oil infrastructure there much easier.

Chavez is setting himself up to be “President for life” the left wing lovers of this guy are going to be disappointed by him. 
Title: Re: Venezuela Purchasing 24 New Russian-Made Fighter Jets
Post by: big bad john (John Hill) on July 05, 2006, 12:24:41
From the Army Times Early Bird report emailed to me this morning:

First Of 24 Russian Fighter Jets Arrive
(Miami Herald, July 5, 2006)
Two Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets, the first of 24 SU-30s that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez plans to purchase from Moscow, arrived in Venezuela on Sunday, a top military official said.
Title: Re: Venezuela Purchasing 24 New Russian-Made Fighter Jets
Post by: GAP on July 05, 2006, 12:29:01
Is this not part of that huge oil deal that Venezuela couldn't renage on, and had to buy off the world market to satisfy??
Title: Chavez at al
Post by: Centurian1985 on July 06, 2006, 14:30:52
Colin P,

I finally have time to respond here. 

Perhaps you should get your facts straight.  The Venezuelan economy was bankrupted by worldwide oil prices not Chavez. He is a socialist, not a communist.  Chavez himself has been applauded as having instituted numerous democratic programs to help the poor.  Many of the ongoing problems were made worse by US embargoes after 2001, after Chavez appropriated several plantations claimed as private land by the wealthy class (agreed, not a smart move).  This was made worse by a sharp drop in international investment in 2002 due to continued US disapproval of his actions.  He has consistently been re-elected by a majority of the population, elections validated by international communities despite the comments of opposition parties that represent the opposition wealthy class.  Finally, his attempts to draw power to himself through control of government departments are no different from the actions of our own Prime Minister.     

Yes, he has the potential to become a dictator, but he is not one yet.  Continuing to undermine his leadership, as the US is reputed to be doing now (no definate proof, but would not be surprising considering known US economic tactics), will only force him farther away from Western nations and towards other 'alienated' countries.  Of note, despite US disapproval, Canada does significant business with both Cuba and Venezuela.     

As a quick reference of unclassified documents on the topic, check at Wikipedia under "Venezuelan economy" and "Current political events".

And another example from  http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news.php?newsno=1275 (under the fair dealings provisions) reference his 'bankrupt policies' you are claiming:

Wednesday, May 19, 2004  Print format
By: Martin Sanchez - Venezuelanalysis.com
In the first quarter of 2003, the world fifth biggest oil exporter suffered the devastating effects of a lock-out, strike and sabotage of the national oil industry, organized by opponents of President Hugo Chavez in an unsuccessful effort to oust him. The opposition's actions caused a historic GDP drop of 27.8%. Oil-related economic activity dropped 47% during that period.

According to preliminary numbers issued by the Central Bank, the Venezuelan economy grew by 29.8% during the first quarter of 2004 when compared to the same period last year.

According to the Central Bank report, in the first quarter of 2004, oil-related economic activity grew by 72.5%, while non-oil activity increased by 18.9% compared to the same period last year when it dropped 19.2%. The oil sector benefited from increased demand of oil and refined products, as well as the increase in production by private companies that operate in the country in joint ventures with Venezuela's state oil company.  The non-oil sector also experienced significant growth. Manufacturing grew by 48%, construction by 19.5%, commerce by 27.9% and transportation and warehousing by 25.3%.

According to the report, the increase in the internal demand, and the flexibilization of currency exchange controls implemented last year in order to curb capital flight, had a positive impact in the economy.   While some experts attribute the high growth numbers to a "rebound effect" from the 2003 crisis, the figures show that the recovery is genuine. High oil prices are one of the factors that helped propel the economy in this period.
Title: Chavez at al
Post by: Colin P on July 06, 2006, 18:30:30
I was there in 94, my brother worked there for 2 years in a lovely place called Km88. You are correct that Venezuela was in the toilet by the time Chavez arrived, mainly due to the epidemic corruption that is rife in the country stifling everyone that tries to create a better life. The people their call it the noose around their necks.

At first I was happy for them that they had elected a new leader that might start changing things, but Chavez is a bumbling twit, who is far better at being pompous and macho, than the day to day running of a country. He is setting himself up to be the president for life and intends to lead the country on a path of perpetual revolution, which has been a disaster everywhere it has been tried. The only reason the country is showing any signs of life is because of the oil and the raise in it’s price. They are not investing in their infrastructure, remember the collapse of the roadway into Caracas? That’s just one example. Chavez is a parasitic feeding off the sickness that bleeds Venezuela.   
Title: Chavez at al
Post by: Centurian1985 on July 06, 2006, 18:53:02
On some parts we can agree - Corruption is still a major problem and is unlikely to change.  Improved oil prices have been a major boost to the economy.   

Regarding setting himself up as El Presidente for Life?  Will have to wait and see what he does for the next election. 
Bumbling twit?  No better than most of our own North American political scalliwags. 

Am interested in your term 'perpetual revolution'. Is this the definition you are using?
http://www.bergonia.org/Econ/collectives.htm
"The point of revolution is to end bossism, and the point of perpetual revolution is to keep bossism forever at bay.  Mao engaged in a wholly futile effort to engage in perpetual revolution.  The Cultural Revolution began with the sanctioned slogan "Open Fire on Headquarters."  The Red Guard went over the top and violently disrupted the entire society.  Fortunately, Bergonians have learned well how to practice the art of rebellion within a stable structure, so that mini-revolutions occur within the stable socialist system.  Decentralization makes this possible, just as it makes possible the autonomous authority in the first place.  But much more important in the generation of these mini-revolutions is the basic willingness of the Bergonian people to take action when action is needed.  The manager who becomes "bossy" risks provoking open ridicule and defiance, and sooner or later the workers council will sack him.  When the manager turns into a boss, the workers are perfectly within their rights to back-talk him, ridicule him, occupy his office, and scatter his papers.  If he doesn't get the hint and correct himself, or work things out with his workers, then then workers assembly or council will fire him." 

If so, then you would be right, his actions of centralized government control are in direct contrast to a 'perpetual revolution' state, which doesnt work in real life.  However, as long as his path coincides with national improvement, we cant yet claim he has not been a significant factor in the improvement.
Title: A Venezuela and North Korea team up?
Post by: Infantry[banned] on July 06, 2006, 19:05:49
Hugo Chávez has announced an imminent trip to North Korea, Iran, Syria and "North Vietnam"(?), to show his alignment with those showcases of democracy. In particular, his trip to North Korea could not come at a worse (better?) time. The North Koreans are in the process of testing a missile that could reach the United States.  The missile is probably the Taepodong-2 (TD-2). This is a big weapon, about 32 meters high, and has been seen on display in several occasions. Ten years ago the CIA estimated that it would take the North Koreans about 10 to 15 years to develop a ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, so that they must be close to this.

It seems well established that the Iranians and the North Koreans have been working together for years in developing missile technology. It is this close association of Iran and North Korea in the development of weapons of mass destruction that gives Chávez's trip an ominous meaning. So far, this dictator has mostly waged a war of words in the regional scene. In spite of insulting president Bush on a regular basis in his national TV and radio hookups, he has kept selling the U.S. some 1.4 million barrels of crude oil and products per day, since he needs the money to keep financing his extravagant Latin American policy of intervention and support for the extreme-left. But the failure of this policy, as illustrated by the defeat of his candidate in Peru, the pragmatic position of Chile against the Venezuelan candidacy for the U.N. Security Council seat, the progress of the economic integration of Uruguay and Colombia with the U.S., the survival of the Andean Community of Nations in spite of his arrogant withdrawal, and the increasing coldness to his moves shown by Brazil's Lula, is forcing him to become less of a local preacher and more a revised version of Dr. Strangelove. As Fidel Castro urged Nikita Khrushchev in 1962 to use the nuclear weapons installed in Cuba, it is not unconceivable that Hugo Chávez might want to encourage some sort of violent action against the United States by Iran or North Korea, or both. There could be a point in which words of hate against the U.S. are no longer satisfying to him and action looks like a more attractive option. This is a logical scenario that has to be kept in mind, since Hugo Chávez seems convinced (probably by Fidel Castro) that the U.S. will invade Venezuela in the short term to topple him, as they did with Panamanian dictator and drug trafficker Manuel Noriega. In his view, therefore, encouraging a mounting military threat to the U.S. by North Korea and Iran becomes a matter of "self-defense."

 

The stage seems set for a modern remake of Dr. Strangelove (1964). This time around, however, the ones that have the "bomb" are the religious fanatics of Iran and the crazy cowboys of North Korea. In such a new version of the film Hugo Chávez would probably insist on playing not only the four roles originally designed for Peter Sellers: President Muffley, Colonel Mandrake, Dr. Strangelove and Major T.J. Kong (Sellers could not play Kong, at the last minute), but also the role he would feel most at ease with: General Jack D. Ripper, the guy who "went funny in the head."

Can you believe this. Venezuela hates the US and is thinking of going to NK. What if they form an alliance. Things are all happining so fast.  War is on the way. I saw on CNN a couple of months ago that Venezuela's military were doing excersing on how do defend there country in case of Us Invasion. Whats your guys thoughts on this?
Title: Re: What if?
Post by: Target Up on July 06, 2006, 19:49:36
I think Venezuela would be better advised to research "building a better speed bump",  rather than to try a straight up gunfight with the US, should it ever happen, which it won't.
Title: Re: A Venezuela and North Korea team up?
Post by: Remius on July 06, 2006, 21:31:35
Seriously though, I doubt that war is on the way.  However NK is antagonising the US with its missile tests and is sending some mixed signals that will ultimately backfire on them if they are not careful.  I'm guessing that Venezuela wants a piece of the action lining up behind the neighbourhood bully yelling from behind his shoulder.

The only problem is that NK might/already has a bomb.  That has to be handled with kids' gloves.  And given the US's problem's in the middle east, they probably aren't too ready for another front.
Title: Re: A Venezuela and North Korea team up?
Post by: S.M.A. on July 06, 2006, 21:48:00
Time to call in the Boondock Saints or Team America, hehe... :threat:

Jokes aside. Does anyone here think it's possible that Chavez might also be offering its older F-16s to North Korea instead of Iran? They'll probably be a maintenance nightmare for lack of spare parts. Most of you will probably say you doubt it. And getting them there would just as hard as shipping them to Iran. 

Chavez might want something similar to those North Korean Scuds/Taepodongs in return for those planes he could give. But then again, as Kat Stevens said, Chavez wouldn't want to get into a straight gunfight with the US, in which those Scuds would be a poor weapon/deterrent.



Title: Re: A Venezuela and North Korea team up?
Post by: Armymatters on July 06, 2006, 22:50:09
Time to call in the Boondock Saints or Team America, hehe... :threat:

Jokes aside. Does anyone here think it's possible that Chavez might also be offering its older F-16s to North Korea instead of Iran? They'll probably be a maintenance nightmare for lack of spare parts. Most of you will probably say you doubt it. And getting them there would just as hard as shipping them to Iran. 

Chavez might want something similar to those North Korean Scuds/Taepodongs in return for those planes he could give. But then again, as Kat Stevens said, Chavez wouldn't want to get into a straight gunfight with the US, in which those Scuds would be a poor weapon/deterrent.





1. No. North Korea already has some advanced MiG jets it got from Russia a while back. They don't need F-16's in any kind to supplement their forces. However, they may take them to sell to the Chinese (in exchange for money or goods), who would love to get more examples to take apart to assist with their fighter projects. The Chinese already got one F-16 from Pakistan that helped greatly with the development of the J-10 fighter.

2. I don't think Chavez would likely go after the North Korean missiles, as he is already very close to both Chinese and Russian suppliers, who can provide more advanced and more capable missiles that obviously work. Chavez knows that really pissing off the US would be a very bad idea, as the US is one of his biggest export markets for oil, as the oil from Venezuela is a type that is not as refined as oil from say, the Middle East, and needs extra refining, of which the main refineries that can handle the type are in the USA. He doesn't want to cut off his main source of income, but he seems to love annoying the hell out of them.
Title: Re: A Venezuela and North Korea team up?
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 06, 2006, 23:36:36
Quote
1. No. North Korea already has some advanced MiG jets

More like wraiths and terran marines.
Title: Chavez at al
Post by: Colin P on July 07, 2006, 15:59:46
Venezuela has resources coming out of it’s Ying Yang, steel, oil, gold, hydro, lumber, precious gems, tourism, not to mention woman and music, their two most successful exports. In theory each citizen should be much better than your average North American, but they just don’t seem to pull it together. Chavez main claim to fame is Anti-Americanism, it’s just not enough to run the day to day operations of a country, to keep up the pretense he will gut the country and it’s future.

Believe me I would be happy to be wrong, but my gut tells me I am right.
Title: Chavez at al
Post by: Centurian1985 on July 07, 2006, 16:04:34
Lets flag this as a thread to revive next December and then evaluate "what has happened in Venezuela over the past six months".   ;D

Otherwise, you pick up other glaring errors from the 'red-blue' map?
Title: Chavez at al
Post by: Colin P on July 07, 2006, 17:50:00
agreed, time will tell, I hope for their sake I am wrong.

Well using Red reminds me of the old British Empire maps, so I wish they would use a different colour!
Title: Re: A Venezuela and North Korea team up?
Post by: Colin P on July 13, 2006, 15:45:35
well rumour has it that Castro is dead (again) and if not will likely soon be, so Chavez needs some new friends and by standing beside Kim, he will look like the sane one.
Title: Re: A Venezuela and North Korea team up?
Post by: Red 6 on July 15, 2006, 19:58:38
Chavez is riding the wave of "new socialism" in South America. It'll pass. He doesn't have the staying power to do anything concrete, except for the nuisance value. If he jumps onto North Korea's bandwagon, he better tune his tuba and bring some spare mouth pieces.
Title: Re: Venezuela Purchasing 24 New Russian-Made Fighter Jets
Post by: big bad john (John Hill) on July 29, 2006, 01:00:05
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi-bin/client/modele.pl?session=dae.16742938.1131572689.Q3Jt0cOa9dUAAHzOZ4o&modele=jdc_34

Russia, Venezuela Sign Huge Deal for Warplanes, Helicopters
 
 
(Source: Voice of America news; issued July 27, 2006)
 
   
 
 The head of Russia's state arms trading agency says Russia has signed contracts to sell Venezuela 24 jet fighter planes and 53 military helicopters. 
 
Details of the deal were not immediately clear. But the head of Russia's arms export agency said the two countries have signed contracts for Venezuelan purchase of some $3 billion worth of military equipment over the last 18 months. 
 
His comments came as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez met in Moscow. 
 
The newly acquired Russian fighter planes are expected to replace a fleet of U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets. Venezuelan authorities say they have not been able to buy spare parts for the F-16s since Washington imposed an arms embargo on Venezuela earlier this year. 
 
Mr. Putin said Thursday the contracts are not directed against other states. He said they are aimed at developing the economies of the two countries. 
 
Title: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: 54/102 CEF on September 20, 2006, 17:05:28
These guys are dumber than their voters
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: pbi on September 20, 2006, 17:28:43
This guy seems to sell pretty big amongst some audiences in South America. And now the UN has given him a platform to talk to the world. I thought I'd seen the lowest point of respect for parliamentary procedure at the UN when Yasser Arafat revealed that he was packing. This guy takes the cake, not to mention reducing the credibility of the UN General Assembly to a place where any idiot can babble to his heart's content.


Oh...wait a minute...it already was.

Cheers
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: Spidron on September 20, 2006, 17:36:33
Using the 'evil' west as a scapegoat has always been a favourite tool of politicians in the third world to defer attention from their own corruption and mishandling of government. Anyone remember the Falklands? A classic example of a leader taking the rhetoric a little too far, actually starting to believe their own propaganda. That's why these guys end up being a problem, because they don't know to stop at just words.
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: jimb on September 21, 2006, 13:45:43
Every once in a while it is nice to see somebody put a sharp stick in old Geoge's ear. Mr Chavez has been critical of the US before, and with good resaon. Shall I list all the nations in Central America or the  southern hemisphere that the USA has invaded in the past? Or the number of elected governments that they have toppled thru CIA operations, or  outright military intervention .?

Too many people have such short memories, when it comes to American use of "projected military power "  What other country has bases in 108 other countiries ?

Jim B Toronto.
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: silentbutdeadly on September 21, 2006, 13:52:28
Can ya blame them. I can think of another country right about now that needs to be invaded! >:D
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: Thucydides on September 21, 2006, 13:57:30
Hugo Chavez. Only a little bit over the top, eh?
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: 54/102 CEF on September 21, 2006, 18:47:19
Every once in a while it is nice to see somebody put a sharp stick in old Geoge's ear. Mr Chavez has been critical of the US before, and with good resaon. Shall I list all the nations in Central America or the  southern hemisphere that the USA has invaded in the past? Or the number of elected governments that they have toppled thru CIA operations, or  outright military intervention .?

Too many people have such short memories, when it comes to American use of "projected military power "  What other country has bases in 108 other countiries ?

Jim B Toronto.

Really? Have a flip through a few chapters of "Savage War of Peace by Max Boot" - after you do - I bet you can make a case for USA stopped the locals killing themselves as I have posted elsewhere.

Nobody can make a case for sticking stuff in the USA's ear, unless you want to drive a Canadian built car, and have a holiday in Frobisher Bay in March - or your name ends in ez.



Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: paracowboy on September 21, 2006, 18:51:35
Every once in a while it is nice to see somebody put a sharp stick in old Geoge's ear. Mr Chavez has been critical of the US before, and with good resaon. Shall I list all the nations in Central America or the  southern hemisphere that the USA has invaded in the past? Or the number of elected governments that they have toppled thru CIA operations, or  outright military intervention .?

Too many people have such short memories, when it comes to American use of "projected military power "  What other country has bases in 108 other countiries ?

Jim B Toronto.
don't worry Jan. I'm sure SOMEBODY will take you to the prom.  ::)
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: COBRA-6 on September 21, 2006, 19:00:51
Showing up clutching a Noam Chomsky book, bible-like, completely destroyed what little, if any, credibility ol' Hugo had left.  ::)

SOP for these types anyways, the louder they posture and agitate, the more distracted their people are as they ride their country right off the rails. If they didn't have a enemy to rage against, the citizenry may, *shudder*, demand competent governance! The horror!!  :o

Pathetic!
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: James on September 21, 2006, 19:05:58
I think Bolton summed up his speech best when he said: "We're not going to address that sort of comic-strip approach to international affairs." Boy did I have a good laugh at that.
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: Zell_Dietrich on September 21, 2006, 19:46:21
I got a kick out of his speech.  I knew it would build on his current support while urking off those who don't hold his own views,  but "I can still smell the sulfur"  classic!   I think I see t-shirts being eagerly made right now.
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: DBA on September 22, 2006, 10:50:29
(http://www.coxandforkum.com/archives/06.09.21.ElDiablo-X.gif)

More Cox and Forkum cartoons and commentary here. (http://www.coxandforkum.com/)
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: COBRA-6 on September 22, 2006, 16:38:52
He's just doing what he was elected to do....

Too bad about the Chomsky book though...kinda flushed his credibility a bit...

but it plays well in the sticks!  ;D
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: paracowboy on September 22, 2006, 17:01:11
He's just doing what he was elected to do.
uuhhh, yeeeaaahhhh, about that. Might want to take a closer look at those elections, how they were run, and how he's managed to gain such a support base to draw from. Might want to take a look at the various organizations he funds in neighbouring countries, and who he chooses as friends and allies, too.
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: tomahawk6 on September 22, 2006, 17:02:32
At least in the US the appearance of Chavez and Ahmadinejad at the UN has let the public see what the administration is up against. Both Chavez and Ahmadinejad sounded very much like the democrat opposition and the speeches were downplayed by the MSM. The poll numbers next week for Bush may well go alot higher as a result. Increasingly the democrats have aligned themselves with terrorists and our enemies which dont play well with the public.

The public once again were able to see how far the UN has gone in its anti-americanism. France, Russia and China seek to styme the US at every turn. Just like Iraq they are going to force Bush into military action because the diplomatic options were blocked. Possibly they feel that the US dare not attack Iran. Either the US allows Iran to gain nuclear weapons or it doesnt. That is the choice. Sanctions wont be allowed. Now Egypt is making noises that they too want to go nuclear. The world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place when the self interest of a few nations may send the entire world down the slippery slope to armgeddon.
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: paracowboy on September 22, 2006, 20:38:02
Oh god. How can we accuse him of electoral fraud when we (the Western world) go around the world setting up sham democracy in places like Haiti and Afghanistan and Iraq? 
sham democracy? I was there.

Get off this site.
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: Chris Pook on September 22, 2006, 20:40:55
Quote
...but the social, political, and cultural achievements of the Bolivarian project are undeniable.

Except by folks like a buddy of mine from Venezuela that described for me the advantages of driving old Toyota Corollas and practicing how to pull the cocked and locked automatic from under your thigh (where you keep it while driving), fire through the windshield and simultaneously slam the car into reverse and back away from the barrier erected by roving bands of kidnappers at high speed.

He now lives in the US.  Where he gets to laugh at Hugo and worry about his family.  In Venezuela he only gets to worry about the family.
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: 2 Cdo on September 22, 2006, 20:43:24
sham democracy? I was there.

Get off this site.

C'mon para, you know all we're doing is blowing up villages and bayoneting babies! ::)

Decoy as soon as you put thoughts to paper, you only confirmed how truly ignorant you are!
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: SeaKingTacco on September 22, 2006, 21:03:37
Quote
Oh god. How can we accuse him of electoral fraud when we (the Western world) go around the world setting up sham democracy in places like Haiti and Afghanistan and Iraq?

Proof, please.  You claim it, you prove it.

I tend to believe the word of several of my good friends who were ACTUALLY in Afghanistan, ACTUALLY observing the election.  They all told me that it was a remarkably clean election.  Not just by "Third World" Standards, but by our own standards as well.

You sure that being a member of the CF is the right place for you, Decoy?  We tend to take a more thoughtful line in this Organization than the remarkably un-nuanced "the-west-especially-george-bush-is-evil" mantra of yer typical first year arts student (I apologize in advance to any first year arts students that don't deserve that label).

Do some damned research.  The real kind.  Beyond the NDP's website.
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: COBRA-6 on September 22, 2006, 21:06:41
I think someone has watched "the revolution will not be televised" and believed it...  ::)

 x-ray of a lie (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3378761249364089950&q=radiografia+de+una+mentira)
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: the 48th regulator on September 22, 2006, 21:34:27
Drive by poster, fires off comments, doesn't back them up with fact.

And to think decoy has had work published, I guess the Publisher allowed her to write and not question her information....

Still waiting for an answer in another thread decoy.

dileas

tess
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: Infanteer on September 22, 2006, 21:54:06
Oh god. How can we accuse him of electoral fraud when we (the Western world) go around the world setting up sham democracy in places like Haiti and Afghanistan and Iraq?

 :clown:
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: KevinB on September 22, 2006, 22:33:29
Hey put your money where your mouth is take a trip and visit some of those shitholes you cast comments about.  Many of us here have served in those places and youur effectively pissing on us, friends we have lost and all of those efforts.
Oh and
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v193/EvilKev/For%20Lumpy/leavetheinternet.jpg)

Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: the 48th regulator on September 23, 2006, 12:38:59
Oh god. How can we accuse him of electoral fraud when we (the Western world) go around the world setting up sham democracy in places like Haiti and Afghanistan and Iraq?  As much as I agree that those regions need democratic systems, we cannot claim that they have political legitimacy as of yet.  At least Chavez does.


Don't forget the others we set up Germany, Japan, France.....

dileas

tess

Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: Spidron on September 25, 2006, 13:09:55
Interesting thread. It would have died out by now if it were not for a couple folks who would like to blame the Americans for the problems arising out of a few thousand years of world history. You have to wonder how such self-righteousness came to be? When did the discussion of US foreign policy become so 'personal' to people at arms lengths. Has emotion clouded judgement so badly that some people believe what they want to believe regardless of what logic they are presented with? The 'big lie' has once again found a voice in Iran and I can only hope that someday my kids won't be breathing radiation while the self-righteousness insist the US should have done something.
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: Hexx on September 25, 2006, 14:23:28
I'd actually think both sides are to blame. Yes Chavez has gone from making somewhat valid points to making himself look like
a lunatic, but why are people surprised that he doesn't like the US and is making friends with other countries?
The US officially seemed to support the coup in which he was ousted, before the people they thought would support his replacements demonstrated en masse against them
Chavez seems to thing the US has tried to assassinate him, and while certainly possible it's nothing more than a paranoid delusion, it's not beyond the realm of possibility
that it has happened.The Venezuelan elections were legitimate, yet the US funds (or has funded) opposition parties...

Real world politics make what both sides have done acceptable, to say that Chavez or the US is "in the right" is kinda silly.
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: Brad Sallows on September 25, 2006, 16:28:57
Chavez, like Mugabe, presents a wonderful opportunity.  Simply leave the man alone.  Spend not a dime to support him or a dime to hinder him.  His achievements or lack thereof will speak for themselves, and there will be no-one else to blame.  If Venezuela under Chavez does not become a good example, it can serve as the proverbial horrible warning.
Title: Chavez at al
Post by: Centurian1985 on September 29, 2006, 03:19:45
Hey Colin P, took me a while to find this thread again.

Based on some recent articles, looks like the Chavez has stepped up his anti-Americanism and is leaning farther into the neo-Communist camp.  Looks less and less like simple posturing and rhetoric.  You read anything lately that would put him into renegade territory yet?
Title: Chavez at al
Post by: Colin P on September 29, 2006, 11:47:08
I haven't been watching it closely, but hear rumblings internally about failed programs. always a bad sign when a politican spends more time and money abroad then at home.
Title: Re: CHAVEZ ET AL at the UN
Post by: time expired on September 29, 2006, 16:16:11
Decoy
 You can throw away your grotty old Che G. t shirt and buy a Chavez t shirt as he will probably
 become the new hero of the lunatic left. For a while.
                       Regards
Title: Chavez at al
Post by: warspite on September 30, 2006, 15:22:09
Maybe it's just me being paranoid, but historically roughly every hundred years or so a major war comes along. By major I mean a sink or swim war, i.e if you lose, you lose everything. The last such war was WWII( no disrespect to the wars since just that if we ever lost in the Persian gulf, Afghanistan, Korea, etc. we would still be here, I'm not including the cold war because it never went hot, etc). It's been nearly a century and here we are again with a group of potential foes.
Isn't it true that history loves to repeat itself?

Edit: Please ignore this post it was for a different thread and isn't finished, no idea how it got here but my internet did screw up while I was writing this.
Title: Venezuela On The Road to Collapse ?
Post by: tomahawk6 on February 17, 2007, 18:04:35
Chavez's power base are the poor.If they cant buy food then eventually they will blame Chavez. It will be interesting to see if his dictatorial powers are renewed in 18 months.A coup would be a welcome alternative.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/17/world/americas/17venezuela.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin

Quote
Food producers and economists say the measures announced late Thursday night, which include removing three zeroes from the denomination of Venezuela’s currency, are likely to backfire and generate even more acute shortages and higher prices for consumers. Inflation climbed to an annual rate of 18.4 percent a year in January, the highest in Latin America and far above the official target of 10 to 12 percent.
Title: Re: Venezuela On The Road to Collapse ?
Post by: Chris Pook on February 17, 2007, 20:15:56
Quote
Mr. Chávez, whose leftist populism remains highly popular among Venezuela’s poor and working classes, seemed unfazed by criticism of his policies. Appearing live on national television, he called for the creation of “committees of social control,” essentially groups of his political supporters whose purpose would be to report on farmers, ranchers, supermarket owners and street vendors who circumvent the state’s effort to control food prices.


He apparently doesn't read Russian OR French.  Venezuelan Famine next year.  Counter-Revolution 18 months.  Unless he gets as vicious as Stalin and Lenin.
Title: Re: Venezuela On The Road to Collapse ?
Post by: Mr. Bumpy on February 17, 2007, 20:18:12
A coup sounds about good. As long it is doesn't get out of control.
Title: Re: Venezuela On The Road to Collapse ?
Post by: Brad Sallows on February 18, 2007, 17:27:32
So far so good.  Now if the Yanks can just restrain themselves from putting their fingers in the pie, this generation of revolutionary dreamers can have one clear and inexcusable example of where the good intentions lead.
Title: Re: Venezuela On The Road to Collapse ?
Post by: geo on February 18, 2007, 18:30:50
Chavez's power base are the poor.If they cant buy food then eventually they will blame Chavez. It will be interesting to see if his dictatorial powers are renewed in 18 months.A coup would be a welcome alternative.

Look at Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe..... the country is a complete and total basket case and he's still holding onto power... In Venezuela, Chavez has Oil.... you can survive many mistakes with petrodollars.
Title: Re: Venezuela On The Road to Collapse ?
Post by: TCBF on February 18, 2007, 18:38:44
He will need help, and who are the new Communists?

The enviromentalists.

 All he has to do is declare himself a born-again Green, and the liberalist elite of the Western World will beat a path to his door.  Depending on his smarts, he could make Yassir Arafat look like an amatuer.
Title: Re: Venezuela On The Road to Collapse ?
Post by: geo on February 18, 2007, 18:43:21
Chavez has taken a stand..... anyone/anywhere but the US.

He provides oil to Cuba and he gets trained medical personnel from Cuba.
And we also know that he's good buddies with the President of Iran
Title: Re: Venezuela On The Road to Collapse ?
Post by: Thucydides on February 19, 2007, 05:17:38
You only have to look at North Korea to see how far you can go. For the price of a few sea cans of consumer goods; the Dear Leader can co opt enough people to maintian power. Although Chavez, Mugabe, Castro, Pol Pot and a depressig ctalogue of would be reformers always give lip service t the poor; make no mistake, they are in it fir the wealth and power that accues to them.

A counter revolution will have great difficulty pulling Chavez down, even a collapsed economy hasn't stopped any of his friends. The other factor is most people want stability, so even if a revolution suceeds, the people will be in no mood for radical economic reforms. They will welcome a dictator who can keed the peace (why do you think monsters like Lenin, Hitler or Napoleon were able to take control of their nations? They were ruthless enough to crush the opposition during periods of civil strife), and perhaps the best we could hope for is a "Pinochet" who will be a moderate ruler and provide stability to rebuild the nation a la Chile.
Title: Re: Venezuela On The Road to Collapse ?
Post by: geo on February 19, 2007, 09:19:33
... Hmmm.... Franco?
Title: Re: Venezuela On The Road to Collapse ?
Post by: NL_engineer on February 19, 2007, 10:47:47
So far so good.  Now if the Yanks can just restrain themselves from putting their fingers in the pie, this generation of revolutionary dreamers can have one clear and inexcusable example of where the good intentions lead.

The farther left Mr. Chavez goes, the better chance the US will get involved. 

If I remember correctly the US's policy on Communism haven't changed, so judging by past practise they will get involved in one form or another (economically most likely as most of the American troops are tied up in Iraq and Astan).

 Also note that the US gets oil from Venezuela.
Title: Re: Venezuela On The Road to Collapse ?
Post by: seamus on February 19, 2007, 11:02:06
I think Mr. Chavez is doing a great job cleaning up Venezuela, it was a real crap hole. And how did it get like that, through American intervention. I hope he cleans up the place and the only thing that will cause more problems than his policies is western intervention.
Title: Re: Venezuela On The Road to Collapse ?
Post by: Chris Pook on February 19, 2007, 11:44:58
Thanks for the reality check Arthur - now my Monday morning is complete. It is also pouring buckets out here on the wet coast.  Do you have any more good news?  :)
Title: Re: Venezuela On The Road to Collapse ?
Post by: Colin P on February 19, 2007, 12:24:13
I got to work a bit in Venezuela back in 94, the country was controlled by about 5 families and corruption was crippling everything. Most of the mining was being done by illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries. Their opinion of Venezuelans was rather low, considering them lazy. The country is teeming with resources.

When I first heard about Chavez I thought this may help the country, but it’s pretty clear to me that Bolivar seeds are still sprouting and the country is about to get screwed royally. They should just give up and send us the woman and the rum now.

Food always becomes a weapon which despots like Chavez will use to control the population.
Title: Re: Venezuela On The Road to Collapse ?
Post by: rmacqueen on February 21, 2007, 08:45:38
The real winners will be the oil companies as any sort of unrest will cause the speculators on wall street to drive up the price of crude.  As undesirable as Chavez may be, the US will want a stable market rather than volatility which could prompt them to stick their noses in.
Title: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 29, 2007, 11:01:31
One can only hope that the pro-democracy folks can topple Chavez, otherwise the future is bleak for millions of Venezuelans.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6699383.stm
Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: Greymatters on May 29, 2007, 12:02:13
There is a disconnect here somewhere.  If this is bad for the population, why does the news article include an AFP photo with the caption: "Many Venezuelans back Mr Chavez's decision"? 

Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 29, 2007, 13:30:28
The MSM seem to be supporting Chavez.
Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: DBA on May 29, 2007, 15:25:21
There is a disconnect here somewhere.  If this is bad for the population, why does the news article include an AFP photo with the caption: "Many Venezuelans back Mr Chavez's decision"? 

There is allways some support for censorship from the side not being censored. It can feel empowering to silence critics of your position right up until you find yourself on the wrong side of some issue and realize the consequences of losing this freedom. In western countries some lament about how the press is biased or presents material to shape an issue but that is nothing compared to the facade created in countries without a free press where everything is government controlled. In any country without a free press any and all information about it should be considered highly suspect. That means any comparisons between them and countries with a free press should be taken with a grain of salt.
Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: Greymatters on May 29, 2007, 18:30:18
This was an article by the BBC...
Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 29, 2007, 19:59:18
At the time I couldnt find any US articles because the US media supports Chavez and his drive to silence his critics and to control the Venezuelan media. Chavez is well on the way to creating a communist society - unless he is stopped by the people. Its pretty telling that the protests began with college students and have spread to high school students.
Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: Freddy G on May 29, 2007, 20:14:12
Is anyone really surprised that a lefitst paradise is quickly slipping into dictatorship? Cuba, anyone?
Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: dapaterson on May 29, 2007, 20:28:46
Yes, Freddy G, let's go for broad generalizations.

For example: Is anyone surprised that a military officer, after a failed coup d'etat, has installed himself as a dictator?


To simplistically associate the left with dictatorships ignores a great deal of history.

I'd also argue that the US media has not been uniformly supportive of Chavez' assault on the media and other Venezuelan structures - see for example the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/world/international-venezuela-television.html) which states in part

Quote
Tens of thousands of Venezuelans marched in Caracas in a fourth consecutive day of protests over Chavez's closure of the RCTV network - a move which has sparked international criticism that the leftist leader's reforms are undermining democracy.
...
Since coming to power in 1999, Chavez has won the support of the nation's poor majority with a multi-billion dollar social spending program, financed by the nation's oil revenues, that helped him win a landslide re-election last year.

But his critics say his moves to centralize power, politicize key institutions like the military, judiciary and oil industry threaten democracy. He is forging a single governing party, ruling by decree and considering abolishing limits on how many terms a president can serve.

Hardly fawning praise...
Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: Chris Pook on May 31, 2007, 02:48:15
http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2007/05/its-war-chavista-thugs-shoot-up.html
Video of street demonstrations - Red capped civilians carrying guns firing on "student" demonstrators throwing molotovs.  Chavez may be losing his grip. 

Chilean President (elected as a leftist) condemns Chavez.
http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2007/05/venezuelan-protests-continue-chilean.html
Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: Greymatters on June 01, 2007, 13:18:47
Just to show both sides of the situation...

Mayor of London supports Chavez and chastizes Bush Administration
http://www.vicuk.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=60&Itemid=29

Reasons why the government shut down the RCTV
http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news.php?newsno=2182
Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: FifthHorse on June 01, 2007, 14:39:06
I found this article rather interesting; it is a bit of a read but well written and makes some good arguments. The idea of ‘violin politics’, that Chavez is holding or maintaining power with the Left  while actually playing/governing with the Right raises what I believe to be a valid point concerning the true nature of these so called ‘socialist’ regimes.

New Threats to Freedom: Democracy’s “Doubles” by Ivan Krastev
http://www.cls-sofia.org/uploaded/1146585071__4__krastev_pp_52-62.pdf

“In Venezuela, as Javier Corrales puts it, Chávez “has virtually eliminated
the contradiction between autocracy and political competitiveness.” Having discovered that he can concentrate power more easily in the context of a strident opposition than of a banned opposition, he has refashioned authoritarianism for a democratic age. His strategy is to attack political parties, to polarize society, to spread the wealth selectively, to foster the decline of bureaucracy, to encourage a dysfunctional state, and constantly to change the rules of the game. Chávez practices democracy as a regime of controlled chaos, and by antagonizing the U.S. hyperpower he gains a source of domestic and international legitimacy.”
Title: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: S.M.A. on July 19, 2007, 16:08:37
I did a search under"Russian subs for Venezuela" and found no matches. Mods, if this article has already been posted under a similar topic, please repost.

This is yet another reminder of the recent spending spree on Russian equipment Chavez has been in engaged with- these subs are just the latest items on his list.

http://www.military.com/forums/0,15240,142817,00.html?wh=wh


Quote
Russian Subs for Venezuela
Norman Polmar | July 18, 2007
Venezuela has placed a preliminary order for five advanced diesel-electric submarines with Rosoboronexport, Russia's arms export company. The submarines will be of the Project 877EKM or Varshavyanka series, known in the West as the Kilo class.

The announcement came during the visit of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez -- known for his strong anti-U.S. views -- to Moscow earlier this month to discuss additional weapons purchases and wider economic ties with Russia. Upon his arrival in the Russian capital he declared, “If the United States attacks Venezuela, we are ready to die defending our sacred land."

Chavez continued, "We support Russia, we need Russia, which is becoming stronger day by day." He added that Venezuela intended to continue cooperating closely with Moscow, including in the military sphere.

After visiting Russia and meeting with President Vladimir Putin, Chavez planned to go on to Belarus and then to Iran, where both governments are portrayed by the U.S. government as outlaw regimes. Chavez had previously visited Iran. (He has also made several highly publicized trips to Cuba.)

In conjunction with Chavez’s trip to Russia, Konstantin Makiyenko, Deputy Director of the Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, said: "Most likely, [Venezuela] will buy five. . . submarines with missile systems... but they could end up buying nine."

The Project 636/877 submarines are advanced diesel-electric submarines, which first entered service with the Russian Navy in 1981. Similar submarines are in service with the Algerian, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Iranian, Polish, and Romanian navies. (The Venezuelan Navy now operates two German-built Type 209/1300 diesel-electric submarines.)

Reportedly, Chavez is also negotiating with Russia for the purchase of an advanced air-defense system.

Last year Chavez signed agreements for the purchase of Russian-made helicopter gunships, fighter aircraft, and small arms for a total of $3 billion.

Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: 3rd Herd on July 19, 2007, 18:25:28
A littlemore Cougar. This has been going since February:

".............However, the deal was delayed last year when the United States objected to the sale, enforcing a policy that foreign companies must seek Washington's approval when selling U.S.-made military technology.

Venezuela is currently trying to work out a deal with Spain to swap out the U.S. parts in the 10 aircraft from Spanish company EADS-CASA and eight boats.

Though Chavez officials maintain the recent efforts to bolster the country's military capabilities are essential, some consider the expenditure a waste of revenue that could be used to alleviate the strain of chronic poverty in Venezuela..........................."But Chavez is keen on ramping up his country's defenses using a windfall of petroleum dollars that have filled state coffers in recent years. Having already spent a significant portion of that money on education and health programs for Venezuela's impoverished, the leftist leader has set his sights on becoming the continent's military superpower.

The latest effort in procuring new military capabilities involves the acquisition of a fleet of submarines to protect Venezuela's interest in its exclusive economic zone, which Caracas maintains consists of a large portion of the Caribbean.

Protecting an area that large would require far more vessels than the two German submarines -- both over 30 years old -- the Venezuelan military currently employs. The country's navy is reportedly keen on purchasing nine additional submarines, for a total of 11 vessels. The additions would give Venezuela the largest submarine fleet in Latin America, surpassing those maintained by neighboring Brazil and Chile....................Now Caracas has its sights set on buying Moscow's air defense missiles, known as the Tor-M1 system, which consists of eight missiles in a battery mounted to a launch vehicle. The system can reportedly target objects up to 2,000 ft and has a range of several miles.

The missiles would be for "air defense" only, said a Venezuelan military official last month in an interview with the Associated Press, a notion that comports with Chavez's warning of a possible U.S. invasion. The Bush administration repeatedly denies it has any such designs on Venezuela....................That Chavez sees himself as a modern-day version of Bolivar, readying his country to wage war against U.S. oppressors, is what inspired him to fortify Venezuela's defenses for a battle he claims Washington is already planning, noted Pike."(Venezuela Preparing for 'Asymmetrical' Showdown With U.S. Carmen Gentile | Bio | 17 Feb 2007 World Politics Review Exclusive
http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/article.aspx?id=555


My question is do not We play in some of those waters ? Next are we going to get a ring side seat towards the viability of some of our own polices ? Are the Venezuela dieseals as good as our given the rumored headaches we have given MarPac ? Also it was interesting to note the countries that got the military dolphines.




Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: 3rd Herd on August 16, 2007, 22:49:32

This is yet another reminder of the recent spending spree on Russian equipment Chavez has been in engaged with- these subs are just the latest items on his list.

Another item:
The usual disclaimer:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/16/world/europe/16russia.html?ref=world#

Chávez’s Bid for Russian Arms Pains U.S.
By C. J. CHIVERS
Published: August 16, 2007

MOSCOW, Aug. 15 — A proposed contract between Russia and Venezuela that could transfer thousands of sniper rifles to Venezuela has raised concerns in the United States about the potential use or regional distribution of the weapons by the socialist-inspired government of President Hugo Chávez.
The rifles are the latest variant of the Dragunov, a long-barreled, semiautomatic design with a telescopic sight. It is derived in part from the much more widely circulated Kalashnikov assault rifle.

First manufactured in 1963 for use by militaries and intelligence agencies in the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations, the Dragunov and its clones have become among the most lethal and effective weapons against American troops and their allies in Iraq.

Venezuela is negotiating a contract with Rosoboronexport, the Kremlin-controlled arms export agency, to purchase about 5,000 modernized Dragunov rifles, according to officials at Izhmash, the rifle’s manufacturer.

Venezuela has about 34,000 soldiers in its army and 23,000 in its national guard, according to estimates by Jane’s Information Group, which analyzes military forces and regional risks.

Because sniper rifles are specialized infantry weapons and not typically issued to large numbers of soldiers, diplomats and military officers and analysts said, a purchase of several thousand Dragunovs would not seem to have a conventional military use for Venezuela’s armed forces.

“Sales like this, and other sales of military equipment and arms to Venezuela, don’t seem consistent with Venezuela’s needs,” David J. Kramer, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, said by telephone.

“It does raise questions about their ultimate use,” he added. “We’re not sure what their purpose would be.”

Mark Joyce, the Americas editor for Jane’s Country Risk, part of Jane’s Information Group, said that a purchase of thousands of sniper rifles would fit with the continuing military reorganization in Venezuela under Mr. Chávez.

The changes emphasize large civilian reserve forces, which bypass the traditional military chain of command and report directly to Mr. Chávez and could become the core of a domestic guerrilla force if Venezuela were invaded.

“Obviously, what he has in mind is some sort of urban, guerrilla war against an invading force, and the model for that is Iraq,” Mr. Joyce said.

Venezuela has purchased 100,000 AK-103s, a modern Kalashnikov rifle that shares much of the underlying design of the original AK-47. With Russian technical assistance, the country is also planning to build a plant to produce its own Kalashnikov line and a second plant to make the ammunition that Kalashnikovs fire.

These contracts do not defy any sanctions and are legal. But they also drew criticism in Washington, which has expressed worry that Mr. Chávez’s government was buying more weapons than it needed and could distribute weapons to South American guerrillas or terrorists.

Mr. Joyce noted that Venezuela had long been accused of providing weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a large and heavily equipped Marxist group that the State Department classifies as a foreign terrorist organization. Venezuela has disputed those allegations.

Washington’s concerns about Mr. Chávez led to a suspension of United States arms sales to Venezuela in 2006. Mr. Chávez has scoffed at the suspension and negotiated equipment purchases from Russia, including military jets, helicopters, rifles and, potentially, submarines.

The Venezuelan Embassy in Moscow declined several requests since last week for an interview about the latest proposed contract, details of which were discussed last week by officials at Izhmash.

On a tour last week of the factory where Kalashnikov and Dragunov rifles were being assembled, Vladimir V. Farafoshin, a deputy director at Izhmash, said that the full order of 100,000 AK-103s had been manufactured and delivered to Venezuela, and that Russia was negotiating the sale of “about 5,000” Dragunovs as part of a separate arms deal.

New Dragunov rifles were being assembled nearby as he spoke, although their destination was not clear.

Vladimir P. Grodetsky, the general director at Izhmash, expressed satisfaction with the contracts with Venezuela, saying that the country was a reliable partner that made its scheduled payments regularly and on time.

The gun manufacturing lines at Izhmash, which were almost halted after the collapse of the Soviet Union, have increased production in recent years. The contracts with Venezuela are its largest foreign sales that are publicly known.
Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: Technoviking on December 02, 2007, 19:43:32
I didn't want to start a new topic, because I feel the title for this thread is rather appropriate. 
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2007/12/02/venezuela.html
To combat double-digit inflation, the government controls the prices of many of the most basic items, and producers are taking a loss to supply the public with food.
Grocer Alberto Cabral said it's also difficult to get soap, detergent, tomato sauce and mayonnaise. The situation has been critical for six months, he said.
"Before, the people were happy," Cabral said. "They had a lot of money. They ate well — but in these last few months, life is getting pretty difficult."
Cabral said his family market has been in business for 50 years and has never lived through so many shortages at once.
After queuing up for food, Ruiz put her ration of one litre of liquid milk and one can of powdered milk in her car, a vehicle that only costs about one dollar to fill up with gas.
"We have oil, but we don't have food," she said. "And you can't eat oil."
Last week, tens of thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Caracas to protest against the referendum. Elias Matt, a former legislator who took part in the protest, said Chavez is holding the vote in a bid to impose totalitarianism.

It will be interesting to see what happens if Hugo's wishes for God-like powers fail in the referendum...
Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmo
Post by: Chris Pook on December 02, 2007, 20:48:21
It may be more interesting to see the response once he GETS his 'god-like powers' and comes a cropper.

He alone will be responsible for the lack of milk and toilet paper.

Venezuela in Turmoil: The Continuing Saga - Brought to you by Tide.
Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: Technoviking on December 02, 2007, 22:58:18
Government claims victory.  Quel surprise...(IMHO)
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071202/chavez_vote_071202/20071202?hub=TopStories
If confirmed, the victory would allow Chavez to run for office as many times as he wants, strengthening his grip on the oil-rich country of 26 million people.  

And this guy calls GW Bush a devil?  Sounds like he's going for personal power, vice the good of the nation, which apparently worked well enough without him under the constitution.  But that's just me...

Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: Chris Pook on December 04, 2007, 00:51:24
Well, I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071203.w3venezuela1203/BNStory/International/home?cid=al_gam_mostview) - as well as being reminded about waiting until all the results are in.

Quote
Venezuela's Chavez loses 'president-for-life' vote
IAN JAMES

Associated Press

December 3, 2007 at 2:36 AM EST

CARACAS — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez suffered a stunning defeat Monday in a referendum that would have let him run for re-election indefinitely and impose a socialist system in this major U.S. oil provider.

Voters rejected the sweeping measures Sunday by a vote of 51 per cent to 49 per cent, said Tibisay Lucena, chief of the National Electoral Council. She said that with 88 per cent of the votes counted, the trend was irreversible.

Opposition supporters shouted with joy as Ms. Lucena announced the results on national television early Monday, their first victory against Mr. Chavez after nine years of electoral defeats.

Some broke down in tears. Others began chanting: “And now he's going away!” ...


I wouldn't count on him going away just yet though.
Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: Flip on December 04, 2007, 12:33:41
Quote
The ever combative Mr. Chavez had warned opponents ahead of the vote he would not tolerate attempts to incite violence, and threatened to cut off oil exports to the United States if Washington interfered.

Kirkhill, You missed the best part!
It's weird - the hyperbole out of this guy......
If he catches a cold or crabs it'll be an American plot.....

And if he did cut off exports?
No American dollars? I wonder if the Chinese would be looking for a better price.
I shake my head.
Title: Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
Post by: Chris Pook on December 10, 2007, 01:51:50
The Economist seems to be a bit more hopeful that President Chavez is running out his string.   A couple of very interesting articles.

Defeat for Hugo Chávez (http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10251226)
The wind goes out of the revolution
Dec 6th 2007 | CARACAS
From The Economist print edition

Venezuelans have seen the future—and many of them realise that it doesn't work.....



The beginning of the end for Hugo Chávez (http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10252006)
Dec 6th 2007
From The Economist print edition

Apathy, splits and a revitalised opposition thwart “21st-century socialism”....


The overall message is that in a voting population of 11.6 million 7.3 million voted for him in 2006 but only 4.4 million voted with him in 2007.  The opposition held roughly constant at  4.3 million in 2006 and 4.5 million in 2007.  The difference was the 2.9 million or so that sat on their hands this time. 

The reasons include, in addition to principle: loss of confidence in Hugo as inflation rises to 21% and empty stores (no cooking oil and beans and fights resulting); a programme that would have eliminated avenues for progression by the ambitious.

The Economist sees Ecuador's Correa backpedalling, Bolivia's Morales struggling and Cuba's Castro losing his last hope of a backer for his impoverished little island. 

On the other hand I would point out that Chavez still has another 5 years in power.  That makes him a problem for the next US President as well. 

It is interesting that there seems to be a "mobile" population between the two poles of the Chavistas of the Barrios and the Old Guard.



Title: Chavez: Colombia planning 'aggression'
Post by: Mr.Newf on January 25, 2008, 22:06:12
Chavez: Colombia planning 'aggression'   (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080126/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/venezuela_colombia)

Quote
CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez on Friday accused Colombia and the United States of plotting a military "aggression" against Venezuela.

"A military aggression is being prepared from Colombia against Venezuela by the United States," Chavez said. He warned Colombia not to attempt "a provocation against Venezuela" and said his country would cut off all oil exports in the event of a military strike from the neighboring country.

Chavez did not offer evidence to support his claim. He has repeatedly accused the United States of plotting to oust him or kill him, though it was the first time he has accused Colombia's U.S.-allied government in such strident terms.

"I accuse the government of Colombia of devising a conspiracy, acting as a pawn of the U.S. empire, of devising a military provocation against Venezuela," Chavez said.

He made the accusation just as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was visiting Colombia, saying she and two other senior American officials who have visited in Bogota recently "came to attack Venezuela" in their remarks. Rice did not mention Chavez during her earlier statements in Colombia.

Colombian presidential spokesman Cesar Mauricio Velasquez said his government had no immediate comment.

Title: Re: Chavez: Colombia planning 'aggression'
Post by: Thucydides on January 27, 2008, 02:15:23
In an interesting chapter of Imperial Grunts, Robert Kaplan visits the border region between Columbia and Venezuela, where the Colombians face sabotage against their oil production and flood the region with fake documents (often given without question to Middle Eastern "tourists").

I think the plotting of aggression is indeed going on, just the writer has mixed up the countries. Anyway, plotting or executing aggression against neighboring states is a classic ploy to distract from troubles at home........................
Title: Re: Chavez: Colombia planning 'aggression'
Post by: Infanteer on January 27, 2008, 15:56:21
To quote Spain's King Juan Carlos to Chavez, "why don't you just shut up?"
Title: Re: Chavez: Colombia planning 'aggression'
Post by: S.M.A. on January 27, 2008, 18:14:59
To quote Spain's King Juan Carlos to Chavez, "why don't you just shut up?"

Exactly. Chavez will never be able to live that down.  ;D

Here's a little link to one of the many parodies of Chavez's little outburst at that conference, where King Juan Carlos says "Por que no te callas?" to respond to him. To think Chavez had the nerve to actually call one of the former Spanish leaders a "Fascista" (A Fascist).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cZFinVFubQ&feature=related

Title: Reports: Venezuela to buy subs from Russia
Post by: Mr.Newf on April 04, 2008, 21:53:57
LINK (http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/04/04/russia.venezuela.ap/index.html)


MOSCOW, Russia (AP) -- Russia expects to sell at least three submarines to Venezuela in a deal to be inked when President Hugo Chavez visits next month, Russian news media reported Friday.

The Interfax news agency and the daily Kommersant cited unnamed military-industrial officials as saying that the subs would be diesel-electric models, of the Varshavyanka class.

"As of today, work to prepare the contract has practically been completed. The contract's signing will likely be timed with the visit of ... Chavez to Moscow, which is expected in May," the official was quoted as saying by Interfax.

A spokesman for state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport had no comment; no one answered the phones at the Venezuelan Embassy in Moscow.

Meanwhile, the daily Kommersant said Venezuela was seeking four submarines in all at a cost of $1 billion. The newspaper also quoted Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin as confirming talks on a $800 million loan from Russia for the purchase were also under way.

The paper said the deal would be signed when Chavez travels to Moscow for the inauguration of incoming President Dmitry Medvedev.

During a visit to Russia last year, Chavez said that his country needs submarines to protect itself against its enemies -- foremost among them the United States.

At that time, a top Rosoboronexport official said discussions centered on as many as five so-called "Project 636" Varshavyanka submarines.

The ships, known in NATO terms as Kilo-class, are Russia's most advanced non-nuclear submarine. China, India and Iran, among others, have all purchased the subs in recent years.

Caracas already has purchased some $3 billion worth of arms from Russia, including military helicopters, Kalashnikov rifles and Sukhoi fighter jets.

Kommersant said Venezuela also was negotiating to buy 12 Il-76 military transport aircraft.
Title: Re: Reports: Venezuela to buy subs from Russia
Post by: xo31@711ret on April 05, 2008, 02:10:55
..and I remember thinking after the Wall came tumbling down...maybe the world will be a more peaceful place...how naive I was
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: Mr.Newf on July 22, 2008, 10:13:11
Chavez set to spend big on Russian weapons (http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/07/22/chavez.russia/index.html)

Quote
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived in Moscow Tuesday to discuss a deal to spend billions on Russia weapons.

Chavez will meet with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Russia's new President Dmitry Medvedev, Russian news agency, Interfax, said

The two countries hope to sign an agreement for Venezuela to buy Russian military equipment, said Vyacheslav Davidenko, a spokesman for Rosoboronexport, Russia's government agency in charge of arms exports.

The agreement will allow "quick deliveries of arms and military hardware in the interests of Venezuela's security with the observance of international obligations and the laws of both countries," Davidenko told CNN.

Davidenko wouldn't elaborate on the types of weapons that Venezuela wanted to purchase -- or the cost. Previous military-technical contracts had been worth $4 billion, he said.

Interfax quoted an "informed military expert" as saying Venezuela planned to purchase up to 10 air defense systems, three diesel electric submarines, six more non-nuclear powered submarines  and several surface vessels.

Venezuela also planned to discuss the possibility of buying certain aircraft, including combat helicopters, the expert said.

The Associated Press reported the deal could be worth $2 billion.



Little more on the link.
-Deadpan
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: NL_engineer on July 22, 2008, 13:38:01
Looks like the US will have to reactivate its missile sub fleet.


I don't thing Chavez is dumb enough to attack a US Vessel/Aircraft, as it would make Venezuela the next air America drop zone.  IMO  Venezuela has no chance in a conventional war with the US.
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: Hamish Seggie on July 22, 2008, 13:40:25
Did the US ever deactivate the "boomers"? Maybe some Navy pers can help us here.....
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: aesop081 on July 22, 2008, 16:04:54
Did the US ever deactivate the "boomers"? Maybe some Navy pers can help us here.....

Some are being converted to cruise missle carriers but the others are still being maintained as SSBNs.
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: Colin P on July 22, 2008, 18:23:53
Having seen Venezuelan military at various checkpoints, during my travels there, including a FAL mag plate on backwards! I feel confident that this problem will be self-correcting, in fact the US may gain friends if they are able to successfully rescue the crew of a sunken sub. Plus given the recent Indian and Algerian/Libyan experience with the Russians and their exports, I suspect they will be delivered late and unusable without significant upgrades.

 Gee sounds like Canada's purchase....... ;D
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: aesop081 on July 22, 2008, 18:34:05
Having seen Venezuelan military at various checkpoints, during my travels there, including a FAL mag plate on backwards! I feel confident that this problem will be self-correcting, in fact the US may gain friends if they are able to successfully rescue the crew of a sunken sub. Plus given the recent Indian and Algerian/Libyan experience with the Russians and their exports, I suspect they will be delivered late and unusable without significant upgrades.

 

I know better than to be so quick to dismiss this as a non-threat.
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: Colin P on July 23, 2008, 01:54:46
I know better than to be so quick to dismiss this as a non-threat.

I think the ability of the Venzuelan miltary under Chavez to maintain the vessels, their equipment and training will be hard pressed. Corruption was rampant there in 94 and apparenty even worse today. Plus the recent track record of large Russian sales has not been so great.
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: aesop081 on July 23, 2008, 02:31:11
I think the ability of the Venzuelan miltary under Chavez to maintain the vessels, their equipment and training will be hard pressed. Corruption was rampant there in 94 and apparenty even worse today. Plus the recent track record of large Russian sales has not been so great.

Like i said.....I'm not so quick to dismiss this.
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: Hamish Seggie on July 23, 2008, 09:38:47
I agree with Aviator. Although Venezuela may be a hick country when compared to the USA, Hugo Chavez is unpredictable. That's what makes this purchase of submarines by Venezuela potentially dangerous.
Are there any other countries in South America with subs?

This alters the balance of power in that region.
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: NL_engineer on July 23, 2008, 09:50:57
I agree with Aviator. Although Venezuela may be a hick country when compared to the USA, Hugo Chavez is unpredictable. That's what makes this purchase of submarines by Venezuela potentially dangerous.
Are there any other countries in South America with subs?

This alters the balance of power in that region.

Brazil

or so the article says
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: drunknsubmrnr on July 23, 2008, 11:18:19
Venezuela already had subs. A lot of South American countries have them, but only the Chileans really know how to use them. Brazil is working on an SSN.

I wouldn't dismiss this, but it's not exactly something to be overly concerned about either. The Venezuelans are unlikely to suddenly achieve competency in submarine ops, especially a new class.
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: Colin P on July 23, 2008, 17:27:24
It seems that they have not kept their fleet of 2x type 209’s sailing for some time. Not surprising as I doubt Germany is interested in selling Chavez spare parts. Apparently he was trying to buy subs off of Europe, but got the cold shoulder. At best the subs would take 5 years to complete and deliver. Then another 2 years to work up crews and fleet integration. Chavez control is not absolute yet, despite his best efforts, if he does get control, he will purge his military of competent leaders as he will deem them a threat. The purpose these subs are to serve is as a potential threat and to bolster his rhetoric.

The real threat of the Venezuelan military represents is local to his neighbours, which include Holland through it’s Islands. So there is a possibility that NATO could come into conflict if he decides to “reclaim” them. Imagine Falklands in a tourist destination with the Venezuelan’s able to provide limited air coverage.
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: NL_engineer on July 23, 2008, 19:00:36
The real threat of the Venezuelan military represents is local to his neighbours, which include Holland through it’s Islands. So there is a possibility that NATO could come into conflict if he decides to “reclaim” them. Imagine Falklands in a tourist destination with the Venezuelan’s able to provide limited air coverage.


I don't think he will try something like that when he doesn't have to look to far back to see how Argentina feared against just the Brits, let alone try something like that now, and have a dog pile form NATO and/or the EU come to the fight (if NATO joins in, but most likely the EU will pile in to help IMO). 

He may have Russian subs, and I think Europe still has a lot of equipment laying around to detect them.
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: aesop081 on July 23, 2008, 19:10:30
The purpose these subs are to serve is as a potential threat and to bolster his rhetoric.

The potential threat posed by a submarine is more than suficient to alter the dynamics of the region. Thus, in whatever state, a submarine IS a threat that cannot be dismissed.


Quote
the Venezuelan’s able to provide limited air coverage.


With Venezuala buying modern fighter aircrafts and blessed by the fact that theres not a whole lot of water between Curacao and venezuela the threat, although it wouldnt last long IMHO, would have to be dealt with and would not be "limited".
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: Retired AF Guy on July 24, 2008, 11:59:56
At best the subs would take 5 years to complete and deliver. Then another 2 years to work up crews and fleet integration. Chavez control is not absolute yet, despite his best efforts, if he does get control, he will purge his military of competent leaders as he will deem them a threat. The purpose these subs are to serve is as a potential threat and to bolster his rhetoric.

You have a good point. Its going to take some time for the subs to be built, then work trails, crew training, etc, before they come operational. Venezuela has a fairly small navy so just finding the crews to man them maybe a problem. I would be more worried about the 2006 report of acquisition of Russian SU-30/35 fighters and a whole hockey sock of helicopters. The Venezuelan Air Force already has 34 F-16/A/Bs so the learning curve between the two is not the that much.

Also worrisome is the acquisition of a large number (plus plans to build rifles in-country) of assault rifles. The last thing the world needs is someone making more AK variants; its not like there's the aren't enough floating around as is. If Chavez starts passing them around to his "friends" in South/Central America he could make a trouble for people living there. His ties with Iran and other countries with anti-Western/US views is also of concern.
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: Hamish Seggie on July 24, 2008, 12:02:59
Yes I agree. What is most disturbing is his apparent hatred of anything American, plus his unpredictability.

SO why isn' t the MSM up in arms about Mr. Chavez shutting down the opposing media in Venezuela?
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: drunknsubmrnr on July 24, 2008, 12:04:44
It would take at least 5 years to perform fleet integration and train the crew enough to make them at least moderately competent.

This is bluster, not a credible short-term threat.
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: RECON-MAN on July 29, 2008, 11:10:10
This alters the balance of power in the region.
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: Colin P on July 29, 2008, 15:04:00
Yes I agree. What is most disturbing is his apparent hatred of anything American, plus his unpredictability.

SO why isn' t the MSM up in arms about Mr. Chavez shutting down the opposing media in Venezuela?

Because he is anti-Bush/American therefore a good guy, you know an enemy of my enemy is my friend....
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: Hamish Seggie on July 29, 2008, 15:13:32
That was a rhetorical question.  ;D
Title: Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
Post by: TrexLink on July 31, 2008, 09:51:49
Five (or nine) Kilos.  I suspect the USN can spare five (or nine) ADCAPS. The Caribbean is wired like a U2 concert stage - they're not going anywhere without it being known.
Title: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: S.M.A. on September 08, 2008, 02:13:34
Looks like Chavez can't stand that Putin is hogging all the attention. What next? Russian-crewed subs operating from Venezuela and Cuba?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26587236/

Quote
Venezuela to host Russia navy exercise
Joint maneuvers in Caribbean likely to increase tensions with Washington

Reuters
updated 3:20 a.m. PT, Sun., Sept. 7, 2008
CARACAS - Several Russian ships and 1,000 soldiers will take part in joint naval maneuvers with Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea later this year, exercises likely to increase diplomatic tensions with Washington, a pro-government newspaper reported on Saturday.

Quoting Venezuela's naval intelligence director, Salbarore Cammarata, the newspaper Vea said four Russian boats would visit Venezuelan waters from November 10 to 14.

Plans for the naval operations come at a time of heightened diplomatic tension and Cold War-style rhetoric between Moscow and the United States over the recent war in Georgia and plans for a U.S. missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Cammarata said it would be the first time Russia's navy carried out such exercises in Latin America. He said the Venezuelan air force would also take part.

Chavez: Russian planes welcome
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, an outspoken critic of Washington, has said in recent weeks that Russian ships and planes are welcome to visit the South American country.

"If the Russian long-distance planes that fly around the world need to land at some Venezuelan landing strip, they are welcome, we have no problems," he said on his weekly television show last week.

Chavez, who buys billions of dollars of weapons from Russia, has criticized this year's reactivation of the U.S. Navy's Fourth Fleet, which will patrol Latin America for the first time in over 50 years.

The socialist Chavez says he fears the United States will invade oil-rich Venezuela and he supports Russia's growing geopolitical presence as a counterbalance to U.S. power.


Chavez has bought fighter jets and submarines from Russia to retool Venezuela's aging weapons and says he is also interested in a missile defense system.


Copyright 2008 Reuters.

Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: geo on September 08, 2008, 08:53:09
Russian bases in Syria
Russian bases in Venezuela ??? Why not ???
Certainly plays into Chavez & Putin's gameplan of tweaking Dubya's tail - over & over again
Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: S.M.A. on September 12, 2008, 15:17:49
Just a little update. When the article mentions "battleship", I assume they are talking about one of the KIROV class "battlecruisers", right?

Quote
Sep 11 - Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez says that two Russian strategic bombers have arrived in the country on a training mission.

The Russian Air Force said the bombers would be based in Venezuela for several days and would carry out training flights over neutral waters.

The planes arrived days after Russia and Venezuela announced they will conduct joint naval exercises in the Caribbean later this year involving a nuclear-powered Russian battleship. Chavez - an outspoken critic of the United States - has developed close ties with Russia.



http://www.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=90485&videoChannel=1
Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: Redeye on September 12, 2008, 16:09:49
Just a little update. When the article mentions "battleship", I assume they are talking about one of the KIROV class "battlecruisers", right?


Yeah, as I recall from the article I was reading, it's Pyotr Veliky (Peter the Great).

They have a couple of Blackjacks hanging out in Venezuela for a couple days too.
Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: Retired AF Guy on September 14, 2008, 21:44:34
YouTube video of TU-150's landing in Venezuela:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE9whXM-BEI

Surprising that this has been so low-key. I don't remember seeing anything in the major newspapers. I don't watch the TV news so its possible that I missed the reports. It will be very interesting to see what kind of missions the aircraft fly while in Venezuela.
Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: belka on September 16, 2008, 00:21:14
YouTube video of TU-150's landing in Venezuela:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE9whXM-BEI

Surprising that this has been so low-key. I don't remember seeing anything in the major newspapers. I don't watch the TV news so its possible that I missed the reports. It will be very interesting to see what kind of missions the aircraft fly while in Venezuela.


So the US is allowed to freely navigate the worlds oceans and when Russia does this it makes news? Sounds kinda hypocritical to me.
Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: Greymatters on September 16, 2008, 12:05:41
Life never ceases to throw curve balls that get smashed into the left field. 

Ten years ago, if you had run an exercise using TU-160's out of Venezuela as a threat scenario, everyone would have said, "Come on, lets be a bit more realistic about it - that would never happen!".

Edit - for typo on aircraft designator...
Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: aesop081 on September 16, 2008, 12:19:33


Ten years ago, if you had run an exercise using TU-150's

 ???
Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: S.M.A. on September 22, 2008, 15:56:39
And here they come.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/09/22/russia.venezuela.ap/index.html

Quote
MOSCOW, Russia (AP) -- A Russian navy squadron set off for Venezuela on Monday, an official said, in a deployment of Russian military power to the Western Hemisphere unprecedented since the Cold War.

The nuclear-powered Peter the Great cruiser, and three other ships are off to Venezuela.

 The Kremlin has moved to intensify contacts with Venezuela, Cuba and other Latin American nations amid increasingly strained relations with Washington after last month's war between Russia and Georgia.

During the Cold War, Latin America became an ideological battleground between the Soviet Union and the United States.

Russian navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said the nuclear-powered Peter the Great cruiser accompanied by three other ships sailed from the Northern Fleet's base of Severomorsk on Monday. The ships will cover about 15,000 nautical miles to conduct joint maneuvers with the Venezuelan navy, he told The Associated Press.

Dygalo refused to comment on Monday's report in the daily Izvestia claiming that the ships were to make a stopover in the Syrian port of Tartus on their way to Venezuela. Russian officials said the Soviet-era base there was being renovated to serve as a foothold for a permanent Russian navy presence in the Mediterranean.

The deployment follows a weeklong visit to Venezuela by a pair of Russian strategic bombers and comes as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez -- an unbridled critic of U.S. foreign policy who has close ties with Moscow -- plans to visit Moscow this week. It will be Chavez's second trip to Russia in about two months.

The intensifying contacts with Venezuela appear to be a response to the U.S. dispatch of warships to deliver aid to Georgia, which angered the Kremlin.

Golts added that the small Russian squadron could not pose any threat to the United States.

"Without protection from the air, it makes a sitting duck," Golts said. "It's ridiculous to even talk about the Russian ships providing a counterweight to the U.S. Navy."

Chavez said in an interview with Russian television broadcast Sunday that Latin America needs a strong friendship with Russia to help reduce U.S. influence and keep peace in the region.

In separate comments on his Sunday TV and radio program, he joked that he will be making his international tour to Russia and other countries this week aboard the "super-bombers that Medvedev loaned me," a reference to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. "Gentlemen of the CIA, to be clear, I'm joking," Chavez said with a laugh.

He repeatedly has warned that the U.S. Navy poses a threat to Venezuela.

Russia has signed weapons contracts worth more than $4 billion with Venezuela since 2005 to supply fighter jets, helicopters and 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles. Chavez's government is in talks to buy Russian submarines, air defense systems and armored vehicles and more Sukhoi fighter jets.

Russian and Venezuelan leaders also have talked about boosting cooperation in the energy sphere to create what Chavez has called "a new strategic energy alliance."

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, who visited Venezuela last week, announced that five of Russia's biggest oil companies are looking to form a consortium to increase Latin American operations and to build a $6.5 billion refinery to process Venezuela's tarlike heavy crude. Such an investment could help Venezuela, the world's ninth-biggest oil producer, wean itself from the U.S. refineries on which it depends to process much of its crude.

Russia's Gazprom state gas monopoly also said in a statement Monday that its delegation that visited Venezuela last week signed a tentative agreement to tap its offshore gas fields.

Sechin warned the United States that it should not view Latin America as its own backyard. "It would be wrong to talk about one nation having exclusive rights to this zone," he said in an interview broadcast Sunday.
Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: Greymatters on September 22, 2008, 16:01:04
Russian and Venezuelan leaders also have talked about boosting cooperation in the energy sphere to create what Chavez has called "a new strategic energy alliance."  Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, who visited Venezuela last week, announced that five of Russia's biggest oil companies are looking to form a consortium to increase Latin American operations and to build a $6.5 billion refinery to process Venezuela's tarlike heavy crude. Such an investment could help Venezuela, the world's ninth-biggest oil producer, wean itself from the U.S. refineries on which it depends to process much of its crude.  Russia's Gazprom state gas monopoly also said in a statement Monday that its delegation that visited Venezuela last week signed a tentative agreement to tap its offshore gas fields. 

I think this section is more important than the Russian naval vessel movements...
Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: Ex-Dragoon on September 22, 2008, 16:11:50
Wouldn't it really suck if Chavez's plane was struck by a rogue Predator? :O
Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: TheSam on September 27, 2008, 21:40:43
Roosevelt Corollary for the win.


Russia and her newfound arrogance are trying to errode NATOS sphere of influence. It looks as if containment has definatley failed.
Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: Blackadder1916 on October 02, 2008, 18:19:58
It seems the Russians will be doing a little sightseeing before heading to Venezuela.

Russian warships plan Mediterranean show of strength en route to Venezuela (http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5jOXoMcjBRkBEyrsWS6SUkMbzfA7A)
Quote
Canadian Press 1 day ago - 1 October 2008

MOSCOW — Moscow says four warships carrying out the Russian navy's first deployment to the Western Hemisphere since the Cold War will make a side trip to the Mediterranean.

The nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great and three accompanying ships are expected to sail through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean on Sunday.

Naval spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo says the ships will call at the Libyan port of Tripoli and also visit several other unspecified Mediterranean ports before heading to Venezuela.

Russian news reports have said the squadron is expected to visit the Syrian port of Tartus, which hosted Soviet ships during the Cold War and now is being renovated for a permanent Russian naval presence in the Mediterranean.


Since defeating Georgia in August in a war over the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, the Kremlin has vowed to send its military on regular manoeuvres worldwide.

It has also moved to intensify contacts with Venezuela, Cuba and other Latin American countries amid increasingly strained relations with Washington.

In a separate move, Russia has also dispatched a missile frigate to waters off Somalia where pirates seized a Ukrainian vessel carrying over 30 Soviet-designed tanks.

The Kremlin's decision to send warships to the Caribbean for joint manoeuvres with the Venezuelan navy follows a week-long visit to Venezuela by two Russian strategic bombers last month.

During the Cold War, Latin America was an ideological battleground between the Soviet Union and the United States.

The intensifying contacts with Venezuela appear to be a response to the U.S. dispatch of warships to deliver aid to Georgia, which angered the Kremlin.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a major critic of the U.S. foreign policy, said that Latin America needs a strong friendship with Russia to help reduce U.S. influence and keep peace in the region.

Russia has signed weapons contracts worth more than $4 billion with Venezuela since 2005 to supply fighter jets, helicopters, and 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles. Moscow and Caracas are now negotiating new weapons deals.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin also offered last week to help Venezuela develop nuclear energy - a move likely to add to U.S. concerns about the Kremlin's intentions in the region.

Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: S.M.A. on November 25, 2008, 15:51:51
And the Russians arrive in Venezuela!  :o

Quote
LA GUAIRA, Venezuela (AP) — Russian warships sailed into port in Venezuela on Tuesday in a show of strength as Moscow seeks to counter U.S. influence in Latin America.

Russia's first such deployment in the Caribbean since the Cold War is timed to coincide with President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Venezuela, the first ever by a Russian president.

Russian sailors dressed in black-and-white uniforms lined up along the bow of the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko as it docked in La Guaira, near Caracas, and Venezuelan troops greeted them with cannons in a 21-gun salute.Two support vessels also docked, and the nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great, Russia's largest ship, anchored offshore.

 


(http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/media/ALeqM5g65ByNFe8pRIzvd-Z30hx0AOBcRA?size=m)

(http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/media/ALeqM5h7nR0IkhKRmbFBIXkRCRsdXEh3ew?size=m)

(http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/media/ALeqM5haFtflLKxQUyU-Jh6APvvnkBd8lw?size=m)

(http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/media/ALeqM5iem-dKydCr6ywdohWiLx3fNDBV7A?size=m)

(http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/media/ALeqM5jWW0Fmd4t3R9F8sfKrf4Vc5pYx_w?size=m)

"http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j7DAfgieUqDDczqO5ENknwwjAqSQD94M3PH80"
Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: ltmaverick25 on November 25, 2008, 16:27:08
The timing of this exchange is pretty interesting.  A Russian show of force in the Mediteranean and sailing into the Caribean is not something that would have happened just a year ago.  I think the Russians are banking on this financial meltdown in the US to give them the breathing room they need to re assert themselves cold war style.  This is bad news but if they start flirting with Iran things are going to get very ugly.
Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: S.M.A. on November 26, 2008, 04:08:49
More details on the Russian presence there. Note that the headline is a little misleading...since it implies that the Russian presence will be more permanent with the phrase "to base".

Quote
Russia to base nuclear warship and anti-submarine aircraft in Venezuela

(http://www.russiancarolina.net/images/stories/russia/chabanenko_lg.jpg)
The ASW ship Admiral Chabanenko

"Before the end of the year, as part of a long-distance expedition, we plan a visit to Venezuela by a Russian navy flotilla... and the temporary basing of anti-submarine aircraft of the Russian Navy at an airport in Venezuela," spokesman Andrei Nesterenko was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The Venezuelan navy announced Saturday that four Russian ships with almost 1,000 sailors aboard would carry out joint maneuvers with the navy of Caracas leftist government in Venezuelan territorial waters on November 10-14.   

The four ships will include the Peter the Great nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser and the Admiral Chabanenko anti-submarine ship, Nesterenko told a briefing in Moscow.
 

The visit has been planned for a long time and "is not in any way connected to the current situation in the Caucasus," said Nesterenko, referring to tensions over Russia’s incursion into U.S. ally Georgia in August.

"It is not aimed at any third country," he said.

Medvedev accused the United States of rearming Georgia under the guise of humanitarian aid, after Friday’s arrival of the U.S. Navy's Mediterranean flagship at a key Georgian port close to where Russian troops are patrolling.

"I wonder how they would like it if we sent humanitarian assistance using our navy to countries of the Caribbean that have suffered from the recent hurricanes," Medvedev said.

HIGH VISIBILITY

The 'Peter the Great' is large and heavily armed with both surface-to-surface and around 500 surface-to-air missiles, Jon Rosamund, the editor of Jane's Navy International, a specialist publication told Reuters.

"On paper it's an immensely powerful ship," he said. "We are not really sure if this is a show of force or if it poses a viable operational capability at this stage," Rosamund said.

"These ships have far more capability, on paper, than the U.S. destroyers that went to the Black Sea, but it's difficult to compare capacity," Rosamund said. "The Russian navy is keen to be seen on the world stage."

Admiral Eduard Baltin, former commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, said the Caribbean maneuvers meant "Russia is returning to the stage in its power and international relations which it, regrettably, lost at the end of last century".

"No one loves the weak," Baltin was quoted as saying by Russia's Interfax news agency.

Leftist-populist President Hugo Chavez, a harsh critic of the U.S. government, has forged closer ties with Moscow including arms supply and production deals.


Chavez has supported Moscow in the Georgia conflict, and stressed that "Russia is rising up again as a global power."

Russia’s defense ministry in July denied a report it was considering basing bomber aircraft in Cuba in retaliation for U.S. missile defense plans in Eastern Europe.

"We regard these sorts of reports from anonymous sources as disinformation," RIA Novosti quoted defense ministry spokesman Ilshat Baichurin as saying.

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/world/9...id=244&sz=59907 (http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/world/9848175.asp?gid=244&sz=59907)
Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: geo on November 26, 2008, 12:47:54
Quote
No one loves the weak," Baltin was quoted as saying


Doesn't everyone love Canada ???  :cdn:

Gawd - don't tell me they've only been giving us lip service all these years   :'(

I'm crushed !!! :crybaby:
Title: Re: Venezuela to host joint exercises with Russian Navy
Post by: sm1lodon on January 10, 2009, 03:29:09
I confess I caught myself thinking, "A war with Russia/her allies/her cohorts/whoever? Nah, it can't happen! This is the 21st century, for God's sake, we have left all that idiocy of superpowers at war behind!"

Then I realized I was doing exactly what I believe a lot of people were doing before WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, etc.

It is strange to be witnessing the same kind of tragedy possibly brewing. It's like watching the twin towers get hit by the airplanes. "This can't be happening!" I wept. But it WAS happening.

God help us to be ready for whatever madness is foisted on us by a resurgent Kremlin, instead of walking around with a dazed look with Hitler's peace treaty paper in our hands, so to speak.
Title: Unlimited reelection ok'ed in Venezuela (for Chavez?)
Post by: S.M.A. on January 15, 2009, 01:33:34
Oh well...I suppose he was going to do this eventually.  ::)

Quote

Unlimited reelection OK’d in Venezuela

Agence France-Presse
First Posted 12:11:00 01/15/2009
Filed Under: Elections, Politics

CARACAS -- The National Assembly Wednesday passed a constitutional amendment allowing unlimited re-election of the president and all other elected officials that must now be submitted to referendum within 30 days.

The measure is President Hugo Chavez's second attempt at seeking unlimited reelection. The constitution was amended one year after he was elected in 1998 to allow him to run for a second term in 2006.

A similar referendum was defeated in late 2007.

Chavez has already stated he intends running for a third six-year term in 2012 if he is allowed to legally.

Recently Chavez asked the no-term-limits measure be also extended to all other elected officials in Venezuela.

The amendment was passed after eight hours of debate by a show of hands in the National Assembly, which is stacked with members of Chavez' National Socialist Union Party (PSUV).

Only seven opposition members voted against the measure.

The constitutional amendment will now be presented to the National Election Board, which will convene a referendum likely for February 15.

Title: Chavez rails against Obama as being like Bush
Post by: S.M.A. on January 21, 2009, 19:03:53
Looks like like "Hugo the puto" still hasn't taken the advice of the King of Spain to "shut up". ::)

Quote

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez apparently doesn't appreciate Barack Obama's classifying him as a supporter of the Colombian terror group, FARC, likening the president-elect's odor to that of Chavez's nemesis, President Bush.

In an interview airing on Venezuelan television and reported by The Washington Post Monday, Chavez said Obama has "the same stench" as Bush. The comment harkens back to September 2006, when Chavez addressed the United Nations General Assembly after Bush and said he could still smell the "sulfur" the U.S. president left behind at the podium.
In an interview that aired on Univision last week, Obama said his administration would try to improve relations with Chavez, but Venezuela has to stop aiding FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which is recognized as a terror group by the United States and loathed by Colombians who have been victims of assassinations and kidnappings for the past 45 years. Internal FARC documents captured by Colombian soldiers last year purportedly demonstrated the link between Chavez and the terror organization.
The Post reported that Obama told Univision: "We need to be firm when we see this news, that Venezuela is exporting terrorist activities or supporting malicious entities like the FARC."
Chavez, who is trying to consolidate power by getting voters to agree to abolish term limits, a ploy rejected in a previous effort, was quoted saying that if Obama thinks that Chavez is an obstacle to progress then he must be following orders from certain corners of "the empire."
"If he doesn't obey the orders of the empire, they'll kill him," Chavez said, without naming who "they" are.


"http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/01/19/chavez-likens-obamas-stench-bushs/"
Title: Re: Unlimited reelection ok'ed in Venezuela (for Chavez?)
Post by: Yrys on February 15, 2009, 21:08:22
Venezuela referendum on removing limits on how often politicians, including President Hugo Chavez, can run for office.

 Opposition damns Chavez vote bid (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7769685.stm), BBC News, 6 December 2008

(http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45275000/jpg/_45275364_1chavezafp226.jpg)
The opposition say they will
beat Hugo Chavez's plans

Opposition parties in Venezuela have formally rejected a plan by President Hugo Chavez
to seek to stay in office as long as he keeps winning elections. In a joint statement, the
opposition said: "Fourteen years are sufficient."

Mr Chavez, marking 10 years since his first election as president, is seeking reforms that
would let him stand again when his latest term ends in 2012. Last year, he lost a referendum
on the issue and opposition parties say it cannot be voted on again.

Thousands of supporters of the president gathered outside the presidential palace in Caracas
on Saturday to mark the 10th anniversary of his first election victory in December 1998. But
opposition parties issued a joint statement saying the president's re-election proposals were
"anti-democratic, unconstitutional and against the national interest".

Opposition politician Omar Barboza said it would strengthen the actions of a government which
persecutes and harasses those who do not think as it does. He said the statement marked the
launch of their No campaign ahead of a referendum President Chavez hopes could be held in
February.

Signatures needed

Re-election in the 2012 elections would keep him in power until 2019, but the president has said
he hopes to remain in power until 2021. Mr Chavez can propose holding a referendum to the
electoral authority only if he collects 2.5 million signatures supporting it, or if the request is
supported by 30% of Congress, which is currently dominated by his allies.

He told supporters outside the palace that he had decided to set the constitutional amendment
plans into motion - but said it should be done with full support of people, in streets gathering
signatures. The electoral authority is required to call a referendum 30 days after receiving a
successful proposal. But it has already said it would be ready to hold a referendum in February.

Although the president's personal support is still over 50%, the opposition has been buoyed by
its recent performances at the ballot box, says the BBC's Will Grant in Caracas.


Venezuela marks decade of Chavez (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7865683.stm), BBC News, 3 February 2009

(http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45438000/jpg/_45438785_-3.jpg)
President Chavez declared Monday a
national holiday

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has celebrated 10 years in power, telling supporters
a new era is under way in Latin America and the Caribbean. The past decade could be
summed up as "revolution, independence and socialism," President Chavez said.

Joining him at the Caracas rally were several Latin American leaders. The celebrations
come as Mr Chavez campaigns ahead of a referendum on amending the constitution to
lift term limits on elected officials.

Monday, 10 years to the day since Mr Chavez was sworn in for his first term, was declared
a national holiday. Thousands of loyal Chavez supporters turned out to cheer the motorcade
and hear the speeches by the assembled left-wing leaders from across Latin America.
Among the foreign politicians attending the events were the Bolivian, Nicaraguan, and
Honduran presidents.

Mr Chavez said there had been radical changes since he came to power. "If one were to
compare what Venezuela was 10 years ago with what it is today, you would see that huge
changes have begun. Latin America is drawing up a new economic and geopolitical map,"
he said.

The opposition would agree that there have been significant changes in Venezuela over the
past decade but not for the better, reports the BBC's Will Grant in Caracas. They say the
government has become increasingly autocratic and accuse Mr Chavez of failing to deal with
the sharp rise in violent crime or tackle the country's rampant inflation - the highest in Latin
America.

Oil wealth

During his turbulent decade in power, the president has been helped by high oil prices which
have enabled him to fund social programmes both in Venezuela and around the world. Even
some of Mr Chavez' fiercest critics accept that poverty in Venezuela has fallen significantly
since he came to power.

However, they argue that the measures to help the poor are built on the back of high oil
prices, and are not sustainable, BBC Latin America analyst James Painter says. The
Venezuelan economy relies on oil for more than 90% of its exports and more than half of
its income - but the price of oil has dropped from $140 a barrel last July to about $40 now.
Additionally, the opposition to the government, which has often been weak and divided, is
starting to look like a more serious threat, our analyst says.

Student groups and opposition parties have been campaigning against a proposed change
to the constitution which would allow elected officials, including the president, to seek
indefinite  re-election.

Mr Chavez, who in 2007 lost the vote on a similar proposed change, says he is confident
of winning this time round. The question will be answered soon, with the referendum due
to take place on 15 February.
Title: Re: Unlimited reelection ok'ed in Venezuela (for Chavez?)
Post by: Yrys on February 15, 2009, 23:17:04
Venezuelans vote on whether Chavez can run again (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090215/chavez_vote_090215/20090215?hub=World), CTV.ca News Staff

Venezuelans were voting in a referendum Sunday that will decide if President Hugo Chavez,
in a bid to secure his own power for at least another decade, can remove term limits on
the presidency and other government posts.

Chavez, who has already been in power since 1998, says the move would allow him to
advance his socialist ideals in the country. He claims that he needs at least another
decade to finalize Venezuela's transition to socialism.

In a newspaper column, Chavez encouraged his constituents to allow him to run again
for re-election when his term runs out in 2013. "After a 'yes' victory, we can really say
with the voice of a united people: The future starts to become ours!" Chavez wrote. He
also said the referendum is a choice between "revolutionary democracy" and a
"counterrevolutionary attempt to put on the brakes."

This is not Chavez's first attempt to maintain his grip on power. In December 2007, he
lost a referendum that would also have abolished presidential term limits. Venezuela's
constitution currently allows presidents to serve two six-year terms.

Venezuelans are divided on the matter, and pre-vote polls suggested Sunday's tally would
be close. Fifty-two-year-old Yira Guerra credits Chavez's policies with allowing her two
children to get a free college education. "My son got a bachelor's degree," Guerra said,
adding that such social programs would disappear if another leader took power.

However, 50-year-old Carmen Gilarte charged that longer presidential terms breed
corruption. "We don't want anybody to stay perpetually in power," Gilarte said. "We have
to give opportunities to the next generation."

Chavez dismissed the concerns, saying former U.S. president Franklin Roosevelt was
elected four times. "Ten years is nothing. I don't know what they're complaining about."

Chavez has remained a popular leader by using vast oil revenues to boost social programs,
such as literacy classes and benefits for single mothers. He has also cultivated closer
relationships with American adversaries, such as Cuba and Iran.

But his opponents argue that if he is allowed to remain in power for another 10 years,
checks on his authority will continue to erode. Opposition parties boycotted the 2005
congressional elections, giving Chavez a stranglehold on the National Assembly and
allowing him to pack the Supreme Court with his allies.

Critics also charge that Chavez controls the National Electoral Council.

With files from The Associated Press


Venezuelan leader wins key reform (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7891856.stm), BBC News

Venezuelans have voted to lift limits on terms in office for elected officials, allowing President
Hugo Chavez to stand for re-election. With 94% of votes counted, 54% backed an end to term
limits, a National Electoral Council official said.

Mr Chavez has said he needs to stay in office beyond the end of his second term in 2012 so he
can secure what he calls Venezuela's socialist revolution.

Critics say that would concentrate too much power in the presidency.

"Truth and dignity have triumphed," Mr Chavez was quoted by AFP news agency as saying after
the results were announced.

Crowds of the president's supporters filled in the streets, letting off fireworks, waving red flags
and honking car horns.

The BBC's Will Grant in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, says this was the kind of strong
confirmation of his socialist agenda at the polls that Mr Chavez had been seeking.

More than 16 million Venezuelans were eligible to take part in Sunday's vote, which international
observers said was free and fair. Under existing constitutional rules, the president was limited
to two six-year terms in office, which meant that Mr Chavez would have had to leave the presidency
in three years' time. A proposal to end presidential term limits was one of a package of 69
constitutional changes narrowly rejected in a referendum in late 2007.

The president now faces the daunting task of grappling with the global economic crisis in a country
highly dependent on oil exports, our correspondent says.

Also : Decisive Victory for Chávez in His Bid to Lift Term Limits (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/16/world/americas/16venez.html?ref=americas), NY Times
Title: Chavez tells military to prepare for war amid alleged Colombia incursion
Post by: S.M.A. on August 10, 2009, 23:15:15
Here we go again. ::)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8192631.stm

Quote
---------------

BBC- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has accused Colombia of carrying out a military incursion into Venezuela.

Mr Chavez said Colombian soldiers had recently been seen crossing the Orinoco river, which forms part of the border, and entering Venezuelan territory.

He said the incursion - which Colombia denies happened - was a "provocation".

South American leaders are gathering in Ecuador for a summit which is set to discuss Colombia's planned accord to allow the US use of its military bases.

Mr Chavez has been embroiled in a diplomatic row with his Colombian counterpart, Alvaro Uribe, since news of the plan emerged.

'Growing threat'

During his weekly TV show on Sunday, Mr Chavez ordered his troops on to a war footing along the border with Colombia.

"The threat against us is growing," he said. "I call on the people and the armed forces - let's go, ready for combat!"

He said Colombian soldiers had "crossed the Orinoco river in a boat and entered Venezuelan territory", but when Venezuelan troops arrived, they had gone.

"This is a provocation by the government of Uribe," he said. "The Yankees have started to command Colombian military forces."

Venezuela's foreign ministry would file a formal complaint, he added, warning that its military would "respond if there's an attack".

The Colombian foreign ministry said it had been in contact with its military commanders in the border area, who said there had been no such incursion.

Mr Chavez, who is now in Ecuador for the inauguration of President Rafael Correa and a summit of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), is expected to urge his allies in the region to press Mr Uribe to reconsider the planned accord with the US.

Ecuador, which has no diplomatic ties with Colombia, and Bolivia have also attacked the plan. Other countries in the region, including Brazil, have sought guarantees that US-Colombian military operations will not spill over Colombia's borders.

The US is leaving its previous regional hub, the Manta air base in Ecuador, after Mr Correa refused to renew the lease.

The deal with Colombia would give the US, which already has forces in the country as part of the anti-drugs programme Plan Colombia, access to air bases in Colombia to gather intelligence and support operations against drugs production and terrorism.

Mr Uribe has said the accord will not infringe Colombia's sovereignty and that there would be no more than 1,400 troops and civilian contractors based there, the maximum permitted under the current military accord between Colombia and the US.

Correspondents say this is not the first time tensions have risen between the Venezuelan and Colombian presidents.

Last year, a war of words culminated in the Venezuelans despatching tanks and heavy armour to the border.
Title: Re: Chavez tells military to prepare for war amid alleged Colombia incursion
Post by: 2 Cdo on August 11, 2009, 12:28:11
Hmmm, accusing a neighbour of crossing your border as an excuse to start a war. ??? Where have I heard that one before? ::)
Title: Venezuela in $2 billion arms deal for 92 T72 tanks and SAM systems from Russia
Post by: S.M.A. on September 14, 2009, 12:15:36
And Chavez's buildup with Russian weapons continues.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4275533&c=AME&s=LAN

Quote
Venezuela To Buy $2.2B in Weapons from Russia
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Published: 14 Sep 2009 08:34 

CARACAS - Venezuela said September 13 it has obtained a $2.2 billion credit from Russia to purchase nearly 100 T-72 tanks and a series of anti-aircraft rocket systems from its strategic ally.

"The Russian government approved financing of 2.2 billion (dollars) for the cost of the weapons," President Hugo Chavez said in his weekly radio and television broadcast.

"Thanks to the support of the Russian President [Dmitry Medvedev] and the Prime Minister [Vladimir Putin], the purchase of arms aimed at boosting our defensive capacity has became viable."

Chavez described some of the weapons in the new arsenal, including 92 Soviet-era T-72 main battle tanks that his military will receive "in order to modernize our fleet of armored vehicles."

Chavez has long expressed a desire to improve his nation's military with Moscow's help, and the substantial deal comes amid rising tensions between Caracas and Bogota over Colombia's decision to allow the United States access to several military bases on its territory.

The firebrand leftist has repeatedly criticized the United States but has insisted that the latest purchase was not directed against any other country.

In addition to the tanks, Chavez announced his government will take delivery of 300mm Smerch multiple launch rocket systems.
"We have signed the contract already for this equipment," the president said. "With these rockets it is going to be very difficult for them to come and bomb us. If that happens, they should know that we will soon have these systems installed, [and] for an enemy that appears on the horizon, there it goes."

The arsenal will also include vehicle-mounted Russian Antey 2500 surface-to-air missile systems that target incoming tactical missiles.

Chavez insisted his country's massive oil and gas reserves warranted the protection afforded by a military buildup.

"We have the largest petroleum reserves in the world. The empire has set its sights on them," Chavez said. Latin America's loudest U.S. critic often describes the United States as an empire.

"We have the right to take the minimum necessary steps to guarantee to the public our national security and our [energy] treasure."

The growing presence of Chinese, Russian and Spanish firms in the vast Orinoco oil belt, fields believed to be among the largest in the world, provide "a new geopolitical dimension as we establish the parameters of military and our sovereignty," he said.


In recent years Venezuela has signed over $4 billion worth of arms contracts with Russia, and last November its navy held joint exercises with Russian warships in the Caribbean, traditionally seen as a U.S. domain.
Title: Re: Chavez tells military to prepare for war amid alleged Colombia incursion
Post by: S.M.A. on November 09, 2009, 18:09:35
Here we go again:

Quote
Prepare for war with Colombia - Hugo Chavez (http://www.gmanews.tv/story/176560/prepare-for-war-with-colombia-hugo-chavez)
11/09/2009 | 10:10 AM

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez on Sunday ordered Venezuela's military to prepare for a possible armed conflict with Colombia, saying his country's soldiers should be ready if the United States attempts to provoke a war between the South American neighbors.

Chavez said Venezuela could end up going to war with Colombia as tensions between them rise, and he warned that if a conflict broke out "it could extend throughout the whole continent."

"The best way to avoid war is preparing for it," Chavez told military officers during his weekly television and radio program. Venezuela's socialist leader has also cited a recent deal between Bogota and Washington giving US troops greater access to military bases as a threat to regional stability.

The government of Colombian President Alvaro rejected what it called "threats of war from Venezuela's government," saying it would protest Chavez's comments to the Organization of American States and the UN Security Council.

"Colombia never has, and never will, make an act of war," said government spokesman Cesar Mauricio Velasquez. He did not elaborate on Colombia's plans to bring the issue to the OAS and the United Nations.

Colombian and US officials have repeatedly said Venezuela shouldn't be concerned about the base deal since it is aimed exclusively at boosting the fight against drug traffickers and insurgents in Colombia, which is a major cocaine producer struggling with a decades-old internal conflict.

Tensions along the Venezuela-Colombia border have been exacerbated in recent weeks by a series of shootings and slayings.

Four men on motorcycles shot and killed two Venezuelan National Guard troops at a checkpoint near the border in Venezuela's western Tachira state last week, prompting Chavez's government to temporarily close some border crossings.

And last month, Venezuelan authorities arrested at least 10 people in Tachira alleging involvement in paramilitary groups. The bullet-ridden bodies of 11 men, nine of them Colombians, were also found last month in Tachira after being abducted from a soccer field.

The violence prompted Venezuela to send 15,000 soldiers to the border with Colombia on Thursday. Officials said the buildup was necessary to increase security along the border.

Elsa Cardoso, a professor of international relations at the Central University of Venezuela, suggested that Chavez's heated rhetoric — coupled with the recent military deployments — are aimed at turning the public's attention away from pressing domestic problems ranging from rampant crime to electricity and water rationing.

"He's sending up a smoke screen, a distraction," she said.

Colombian rebels have often used Venezuela's border region as a haven to resupply and treat their wounded in recent years, creating friction with Colombia's U.S.-allied government.

Chavez — a former army paratrooper who during more than a decade in power has repeatedly accused Washington of seeking to topple him to seize Venezuela's oil reserves — warned President Barack Obama of using his alliance with Uribe to mount an offensive against Venezuela.

"The empire is more threatening than ever," Chavez said, referring to the US government. "Don't make a mistake, Mr. Obama, by ordering an attack against Venezuela by way of Colombia."

Venezuelan opposition leader Julio Borges urged Chavez to hold talks with Colombian officials to ease the tensions.

"Working together is only way to efficiently confront this problem, to finally end the permanent threat from illegal groups such as paramilitaries and guerrillas," Borges said.
   
Title: Re: Chavez tells military to prepare for war amid alleged Colombia incursion
Post by: S.M.A. on November 21, 2009, 00:22:46
Chavez at it again?

Quote
http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIStory_457351.html

BOGOTA - COLOMBIA warned on Friday that its forces were on 'maximum alert' and were prepared to defend against any attack, amid rising tensions with neighbouring Venezuela.

Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva issued the warning after a meeting of the country's national security council in Arauca, a city on the eastern border with Venezuela.

He said President Alvaro Uribe and the military forces of Colombia were intent on remaining calm 'because they know there are provocative forces on the border that must be avoided at all cost'. But this 'does not mean that we are not prepared or are not on maximum alert to prevent any aggression against Colombia, against Colombians or against our territory.'

Mr Uribe's national security council met for five hours in Arauca with military and police commanders in the border area a day after Bogota charged that Venezuelan troops had blown up two footbridges across the border in northeastern Colombia. Mr Silva said the destruction of the bridges was an aggression against the civilian population.

Venezuela said on Thursday the bridges were destroyed because they were being used by drug traffickers and smugglers.

The two neighbours have long been at odds, but tensions have sharpened in recent months over a US-Colombian agreement giving the US military access to seven Colombian bases. -- AFP
Title: Hugo Chavez accuses Dutch of helping US set up bases in islands near Venezuela
Post by: S.M.A. on December 17, 2009, 21:17:14
 ::) Chavez really is paranoid.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091217/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_venezuela_us_netherlands

Quote
COPENHAGEN – Hugo Chavez accused the Netherlands on Thursday of allowing the United States to use Dutch islands off Venezuela's Caribbean coast to prepare a possible military attack against his country.

The Venezuelan leader said the U.S. military, to prepare for a possible offensive, has sent intelligence agents, war ships and spy planes to Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, which are self-governing Dutch islands.


"They are three islands in Venezuela's territorial waters, but they are still under an imperial regime: the Netherlands," Chavez said during a speech at a climate change conference in Denmark. "Europe should know that the North American empire is filling these islands with weapons, assassins, American intelligence units, and spy planes and war ships."

In Washington, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly denied that U.S. military personnel in the Caribbean are planning to attack Venezuela.

(...)
Title: Re: Hugo Chavez accuses Dutch of helping US set up bases in islands near Venezuela
Post by: George Wallace on December 17, 2009, 21:22:05
::) Chavez really is paranoid.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091217/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_venezuela_us_netherlands

 :rofl:

I thought we Canadians had already beat the Americans to the punch on this one; under the guise of Tim Hortons Coffee Plantations......... >:D
Title: Re: Hugo Chavez accuses Dutch of helping US set up bases in islands near Venezuela
Post by: Hamish Seggie on December 17, 2009, 21:43:12
I can't for the life of me what the media sees in this guy Hugo Chavez. He's pretty much obliterated the media in his country, among other things, badmouths the USA constantly, and our press doesn't bat an eye.

Why is he not held to same standard Dubya and Stephen Harper are?

OOHHHH sorry, I forgot, our "free press" only speaks positively for despots and murderers.
Title: Re: Hugo Chavez accuses Dutch of helping US set up bases in islands near Venezuela
Post by: Tollermann on December 17, 2009, 22:51:30
You would hope that by ignoring this knucklehead he would just go away.  Unfortunately I think he is going to be a pain in the behind for a while yet!
Title: Re: Hugo Chavez accuses Dutch of helping US set up bases in islands near Venezuela
Post by: VinceW on December 18, 2009, 00:07:20
 Chavez takes some "inspiration" everyday to support his fantasies and Meglomania.

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/1493
Title: Re: Hugo Chavez accuses Dutch of helping US set up bases in islands near Venezuela
Post by: Hamish Seggie on December 18, 2009, 08:47:11
And him being a "cokehead" is precisely why it will never be reported in the big media.

They adore the knucklehead.
Title: Re: Hugo Chavez accuses Dutch of helping US set up bases in islands near Venezuela
Post by: Rifleman62 on December 18, 2009, 09:43:15
Can the Dutch conduct a Falklands type operation?

Just kidding.

There is an invasion of North Americans purchasing housing on these beautiful, warm islands.
Title: Re: Hugo Chavez accuses Dutch of helping US set up bases in islands near Venezuela
Post by: PanaEng on December 19, 2009, 11:09:55
I don't think he will ever make the mistake of attacking Curacao or the other islands - he may be crazy but not that stupid.
If it happens though I hope the response from the Netherlands and NATO is swift and decisive.

Curacao, btw, was were the British sent their ships for repairs during the Falklands war.

cheers,
Frank
Title: Re: Hugo Chavez accuses Dutch of helping US set up bases in islands near Venezuela
Post by: HFXCrow on December 19, 2009, 11:32:49
us Navy folk love Curacao! A jewel of a place and an outstanding port visit!

http://131.137.250.232/netpub/server.np?site=cmsimages&catalog=photos&original=47722

Chavez must have his AGI'S out in the South Carib!

http://www.navy.dnd.ca/montreal/2/2-s_eng.asp?category=512&title=3981
Title: Re: Hugo Chavez accuses Dutch of helping US set up bases in islands near Venezuela
Post by: S.M.A. on December 21, 2009, 20:40:28
Wow. He really is more than paranoid. He's a delusional schitzo.

Quote
Chavez Claims US Flyovers; Orders Shootdowns
December 21, 2009
Associated Press



CARACAS, Venezuela -- President Hugo Chavez on Sunday accused the U.S. of violating Venezuela's airspace with an unmanned spy plane, and ordered his military to be on alert and shoot down any such aircraft in the future.

Speaking during his weekly television and radio program, Chavez said the aircraft overflew a Venezuelan military base in the western state of Zulia after taking off from neighboring Colombia. He did not elaborate, but suggested the plane was being used for espionage.
 
"These are the Yankees. They are entering Venezuela," he said.

"I've ordered them to be shot down," Chavez said of the aircraft. "We cannot permit this."

Chavez has accused Colombia of allowing the United States to use its military bases to prepare a possible attack against Venezuela.

Both the U.S. and Colombia have denied such allegations in the past, saying the U.S. military presence is for the sole purpose of combating drug trafficking.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy said the mission had no information about any flyover and had not been contacted by Chavez's administration.

"If the Venezuelan government would like to speak with us about any issue, we would welcome discussions because we seek open dialogue with all nations in the hemisphere," spokeswoman Robin Holzhauer said.

U.S. Department of Defense spokeswoman Lt. Col. Rene White declined to comment.

It is not uncommon for Chavez to accuse other nations, especially the U.S. and its allies, of conspiring against Venezuela.

Last week, the president accused the Netherlands of letting the U.S. military use Dutch islands off Venezuela's Caribbean coast to prepare for a possible military offensive. The former paratroop commander said the U.S. military has sent intelligence agents, warships and spy planes to Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, which are self-governing Dutch islands.

The Dutch government rejected the allegations and the country's top diplomat, Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen, has asked Venezuela's ambassador to clarify the claims, Dutch Foreign Ministry spokesman Bart Rijs said.

Rijs said U.S. soldiers do use civilian air fields on Curacao and Aruba, but only for anti-drug trafficking efforts.

Tensions between Venezuela and neighboring Colombia have been tense for months due to Chavez's accusations of warmongering and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's allegations that Venezuela has allowed Colombian rebel leaders to seek refuge there.

Chavez denied on Sunday that his socialist government is protecting Marxist guerrillas and warned Colombia's military against sending soldiers across the border.

"You'll be sorry," he said. "We are not unarmed."

 
Title: Re: Hugo Chavez accuses Dutch of helping US set up bases in islands near Venezuela
Post by: George Wallace on December 21, 2009, 20:43:59
Wow!  That brings back memories of those old TV comercials "This is your brain on drugs"/
Title: Re: Hugo Chavez accuses Dutch of helping US set up bases in islands near Venezuela
Post by: WB on December 21, 2009, 21:43:37
Wow. He really is more than paranoid. He's a delusional schitzo.

 

Well call me a delusional schitzo, then.

Am I the only one who would be surprised if the US didn't have spy planes flying over Venezuela? Is it that hard to fathom that the US would be placing intelligence assets outside, inside, flying over, and around a country that obviously doesn't like them? Wouldn't it be negligent not to?

Chavez' allegations that the US is preparing for an attack might be a stretch, but I think the truth of the matter is probably closer to what he's saying then what you're giving him credit for.  If I was head of the CIA, I'd be spying on him too.

Just say'n.
Title: Re: Hugo Chavez accuses Dutch of helping US set up bases in islands near Venezuela
Post by: George Wallace on December 21, 2009, 22:18:56
Well call me a delusional schitzo, then.

Am I the only one who would be surprised if the US didn't have spy planes flying over Venezuela? Is it that hard to fathom that the US would be placing intelligence assets outside, inside, flying over, and around a country that obviously doesn't like them? Wouldn't it be negligent not to?

It would be negligent for them not to, but they have enough hardware in orbit, that they don't need to send UAVs in..........except perhaps some Drug Intradiction..........By the DEA and FBI.......... Perhaps?
Title: Re: Hugo Chavez accuses Dutch of helping US set up bases in islands near Venezuela
Post by: aesop081 on December 21, 2009, 22:20:37
Is it that hard to fathom that the US would be placing intelligence assets outside, inside, flying over, and around a country that obviously doesn't like them? Wouldn't it be negligent not to?


What most people are missing is that the US does have bases in the region. Small bases called "forward operating locations". These bases are used by the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force (South) in the war on drugs in central america. All types of surveillance aircraft are seen at those bases and have, for years, operated ISO OP CARIBEAN SHEILD.


Chavez is an idiot.
Title: Re: Hugo Chavez accuses Dutch of helping US set up bases in islands near Venezuela
Post by: WB on December 21, 2009, 22:51:42
Sure, no doubt that there's all sorts of counter-narcotics assets in the region, and no doubt that Chavez is a bit of a kook.

I'm just saying that it's entirely possible that the US is spying on Venezuela with UAVs.  I don't know the specific differences between the capabilities of a spy satellite and a UAV, but it's not unreasonable to think that differences do exist. Can we conclusively say that there is no worthwhile intelligence to be gained through UAVs that can not be gained from spy satellites?

I'm not trying to establish with any certainty that UAVs have actually flown spy missions over Venezuela.  I'm only pointing out that it is well within the realm of possibility. 

Hugo Chavez may be a delusional nutjob, but not for anything stated in the article above. It's not paranoia if you actually are being watched.
Title: Chavez claims his F16s have intercepted US P3 Orion
Post by: S.M.A. on January 09, 2010, 02:48:16
Now Chavez claims his pilots have intercepted an American plane.  ::)

From Reuters via Yahoo News (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/100109/world/international_us_venezuela_usa)

Quote
CARACAS (Reuters) - President Hugo Chavez said he ordered two F-16 jets to intercept a U.S. military plane that twice entered Venezuelan skies on Friday, but Washington said none of its planes flew over the South American country's airspace.

 
Brandishing a photo of the plane, which he described as a P-3, Chavez said the overflight was the latest violation of Venezuelan airspace by the U.S. military from its bases on the Netherlands' Caribbean islands and from neighboring Colombia.



"They are provoking us ... these are warplanes," he said.


Chavez said the F-16s escorted the U.S. plane away after two incursions lasting 15 and 19 minutes each.


A spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department denied Chavez's assertion, saying in an e-mail: "We can confirm no U.S. military aircraft entered Venezuelan airspace today. As a matter of policy we do not fly over a nation's airspace without prior consent or coordination."


Senior Obama administration officials said the U.S. Southern Command was unaware of any incident involving U.S. government aircraft in Venezuelan airspace on Friday.


The perceived threat of U.S. intervention has become a central element of Chavez's political discourse and a rallying cry for his supporters.


Foes say Latin America's loudest U.S. critic is hyping the idea of a foreign threat to distract Venezuelans from domestic problems such as economic recession, rampant crime and inadequate public services.

(...)
Title: Re: Chavez claims his F16s have intercepted US P3 Orion
Post by: VinceW on January 09, 2010, 02:57:35
Again,

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/1493
Title: Re: Chavez claims his F16s have intercepted US P3 Orion
Post by: Retired AF Guy on January 10, 2010, 19:58:32
Chavez blowing his anti-U.S. horn again. Very easy to wave around a photo of a P-3 and say it was violating Venezuelan airspace and that it was intercepted by Venezuelan F-16s.  The Americans of course are denying any of its aircraft violated Venezuelan airspace. No mention that any U.S. aircraft were intercepted
Title: Hugo Chavez's newest annoyance
Post by: VinceW on February 05, 2010, 23:40:14
 Veneuzelan's have been using Twitter to organize opposition to Chavez,and now Chavez is going to try and regulate the Internet,against who he is calling "terrorists".

Poor,poor Meglomaniac!  :crybaby:

http://mashable.com/2010/02/05/venezuelas-chavez-twitter-terrorism/
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Hamish Seggie on February 08, 2010, 10:50:58
Cokehead? I have another descriptive for this egomaniac:

sh*thead
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: VinceW on February 08, 2010, 16:39:53
Blame Canada...Blame Canada!

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Chavez+criticism+Canada+completely+inaccurate/2534537/story.html
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: VinceW on April 08, 2010, 22:36:49
 Chavez the cokehead Meglomaniac is getting a step closer to creating his "Socialist paradise" he is now nationizing grocery stores to try and boost his lowering popularity numbers,I smell a military coup coming sometime soon.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_12/b4171046603604.htm
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: NL_engineer on April 09, 2010, 00:03:43
Chavez the cokehead Meglomaniac is getting a step closer to creating his "Socialist paradise" he is now nationizing grocery stores to try and boost his lowering popularity numbers,I smell a military coup coming sometime soon.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_12/b4171046603604.htm

Bu military coup, do you mean a 3 letter agency funded coup?
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: VinceW on April 09, 2010, 00:19:17
Bu military coup, do you mean a 3 letter agency funded coup?

The locals are probably working one out right now like in 2002,the economy is being systematically destroyed something has to give I'm guessing.

There's been a long history of coups in Venezuela the 2002 coup attempt won't be the last coup that will be tried.

http://www.historyguy.com/wars_of_venezuela.htm

Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Colin P on June 08, 2010, 13:05:09
Interesting, I helped my brother down there do some exploration in 1994, he was working for Vengold who hoped that the vein from Las Christina ran through their property, it didn’t and the company pulled out. Placer Dome held the main property at that time if I recall and had big issues with the government, they wanted PD to sell the gold directly to them, PD needed to sell the futures to finance the mine. Plus the government wanted PD to build about 170km of transmission line without any government help. The amount of corruption in Venezuela was stunning. This was before Chavez. Lots of gold around, the poor went out into the jungle to collect gold, gave to the dentist who did their cavities filled it with gold and pocketed the rest. Seeing people with worm damage was common, as well as mercury poisoning from the illegal miners leeching the gold. We did some “Induced Polarization” survey which required running 12ga wire through the bush. Lots of snakes, nasty critters and the most dangerous were the wasps. The locals worked really hard and would risk their lives to keep a job, you had to be careful what you asked them to do. Also trying to convince the camp mechanic that perhaps draining the generator oil into the camp water supply was not a great idea.

Crystallex to take back seat at Las Cristinas
A state-owned Chinese company will take the reins of the stalled Las Cristinas gold project in Venezuela after beleaguered Toronto miner Crystallex International Corp. (KRY-T0.51-0.01-1.92%) was unable to build the mine and faced a cash crunch.

Crystallex has been trying to develop the Las Cristinas deposit since 2002 but was never able to secure the key permits from the Venezuelan government. On Monday Crystallex said it will cede majority control over the project to a subsidiary of China Railway Engineering Corp., one of the world’s largest companies.

China has forged major multibillion-dollar connections with Venezuela recently to secure oil supply, and the backing of China Railway is viewed as a major positive. Crystallex Monday said the Venezuelan government provided an “expression of support” for the deal.

“There’s no question that having a partner such as the Chinese state-owned railway company will finally help break the Gordian knot,” said analyst John Ing of Maison Placements Canada Inc. “China has the political muscle to deal with Venezuela.”

The ties between the two countries have strengthened significantly in the past six months. Late last December after talks in Caracas, two deals between Venezuela and state-owned Chinese oil companies were struck for the development of projects in the Orinoco region, where previously international operations had been nationalized. The deals are part of a goal to increase oil exports to China to one million barrels a day from 400,000.

Then in April, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said China had promised to lend $20-billion (U.S.) to his struggling country, which is beset by soaring inflation, decrepit infrastructure and shortages of fuel.

China Railway is already active in the country, building a $7.5-billion railway to connection a state in the southwest to one in the east.

China Railway will have a two-thirds stake in Las Cristinas and will fund and oversee its construction. Crystallex will contribute its assets related to the mine for a one-third carried interest, to be paid for by cash generated when the project is in operation.

Stock of Crystallex has doubled from the lows of last year but slipped 5.5 per cent on Monday. It remains down about 90 per cent from an all-time high of around $7 reached 2006.

Las Cristinas is considered one of the largest undeveloped gold deposits in the world but the low-grade ore will be expensive to process. Mr. Ing estimated cash costs of $350 per ounce. Crystallex has said there are proved and probable reserves of about 17 million ounces based on a $550 an ounce gold price. Gold closed at $1,240.80 (U.S.) on Monday.

Crystallex had hired investment bankers to broker a deal to keep the company afloat, with options ranging from an outright sale to a partnership. On April 1, when Crystallex announced its 2009 financial results, it said it did not have enough cash to make it through fiscal 2010.

China Railway had advanced $2.5-million to Crystallex during talks between the companies in exchange for the right to build common shares at 40 cents apiece, though a maximum stake of 19.9 per cent in Crystallex was set.

Crystallex shareholders will vote on the deal in August.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/crystallex-to-take-back-seat-at-las-cristinas/article1594521/
Title: Venezuela cuts ties with Colombia- July 2010
Post by: S.M.A. on July 22, 2010, 15:55:02
Here we go again with Hugo. ::)

AP link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100722/world/lt_venezuela_colombia)

Quote
Venezuela severs ties with Colombia

42 minutes ago
 

By The Associated Press

 
CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez says he cutting Venezuela's diplomatic relations with Colombia over claims he harbours guerrillas.


Chavez says he was forced to break off all relations because Colombian officials say he has failed to act against leftist rebels who allegedly have taken shelter in Venezuelan territory.
They produced alleged photos of the camps on Thursday.


The socialist leader said Thursday the United States is using Colombia to undermine Venezuela's efforts toward regional integration.


He says he doubts that Colombia's president-elect, Juan Manuel Santos, will stray from Uribe's U.S.-backed military policies

Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: S.M.A. on August 01, 2010, 00:50:34
Quote

Venezuela - 20,000 Troops on Colombian border

01 Aug 2010

“Boys, we’re not in the sixties” Chavez tells Colombia’s FARC
In an attempt to take distance from the Colombian guerrilla following claims of his alleged links with the rebels presented by Bogotá before the Organization of American States, OAS, President Hugo Chavez said that “Colombian armed groups must reconsider their armed strategy”.
 
 “There are no conditions for them taking power in a foreseeable future. They have become the main excuse for the (United States) empire to penetrate Colombia and from there practice aggressions against Ecuador, Venezuela and Cuba”, said Chavez during a trade unions of the Americans gathering held in Caracas.
 
 But in spite of the latest statement, the Venezuelan president has is the past openly received and praised the Colombian guerrillas, Colombian revolutionary Armed Forces, FARC, as part of negotiations for the release of hostages.
 
 Chavez also regretted the death of the FARC leader Manuel Marulanda Velez (“Tirofijo”) of whom there are several statutes in Venezuela and has also requested that FARC be de-listed as a terrorist organization.
 
 The Venezuelan president has also faced serious accusations of granting support, refuge and allegedly supplying arms to the FARC guerrillas, which are now very distant from their Marxist orientation of the sixties and seventies and are wholly involved in the drugs’ trade.
 
 “I believe that the Colombian guerrillas should seriously consider what some of us have done. With all respect, the world today is not the same as in the sixties” Chavez was quoted.

 Last Thursday Chavez severed relations with Colombia following on Bogotá claims before the OAS that at least 1.500 FARC and ELN (National Liberation Army) guerrillas are in Venezuela distributed in 87 camps.

 
He also ordered the Army in full alert while Colombia is considering the possibility of taking its claim to international courts. Meantime Unasur leaders have begun a round of phone and personal contacts to try and lower the temperature of the confrontation.
 
 It is estimated that the Venezuelan army has 20.000 men distributed along its border with Colombia.

source (http://www.meattradenewsdaily.co.uk/news/030810/venezuela____troops_on_colombian_border_.aspx)

Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on August 26, 2010, 10:32:52
A serious deterioration in Venezuela's political climate; Chaves may be creating a failed "road warrior" state in South America:

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/545008/201008251856/The-Killing-Fields-Of-Caracas.aspx

Quote
The Killing Fields Of Caracas
 
Posted 08/25/2010 06:56 PM ET
 

SILENT PROTEST? In an unusual gesture, outgoing Miss Universe Stefania Fernandez of Venezuela waved an old-style Venezuelan flag with seven stars to... View Enlarged Image

Socialism: Quick, what's the murder capital of the world: Kabul? Juarez? Try Caracas, Venezuela, a city whose dictator, Hugo Chavez, has made murder a means of extending his control.

The silent protest at Monday night's Miss Universe Pageant in Las Vegas was invisible to nearly everyone — except Venezuelans. On her final catwalk, the ranking Miss Universe, Stefania Fernandez, suddenly whipped out a Venezuelan flag in a patriotic but protocol-breaking gesture.

Fernandez waved her flag for the same reason Americans waved theirs after 9/11 — to convey resolution amid distress. Her flag had seven stars, significant because Chavez had arbitrarily added an eighth, making any use of a difficult-to-find seven-star banner an act of defiance.

Fernandez's countrymen went wild with joy on bulletin boards and Facebook, showing just how worried they are about their country. Their greatest fear is violent crime.

Ever since Chavez became president in 1999, Venezuelan cities have become hellholes in which murder rates have more than quadrupled. At 233 per 100,000, or one murder every 90 minutes, the rate in Caracas now tops that of every war zone in the world, according to an official National Statistics Institute study released Wednesday.

In fact, crime is the defining fact of life in today's Venezuela. About 96% of all murder victims are poor and lower-middle class, the very people Chavez claims to represent. "Don't venture into barrios at any time of the day, let alone at night," warns the Lonely Planet guide to Venezuela to hardy adventure travelers.

By contrast, the murder rate in cartel-haunted Juarez, Mexico, is 133 per 100,000, with Mexico's overall rate 8 per 100,000, about the same as Wichita, Kan. Colombia, fighting a narcoterror war since 1964, has an overall rate of 37 per 100,000, slightly higher than Baltimore at 36.9. The overall U.S. rate is 5.4.

Make no mistake, a murder rate like Caracas' is a crime against humanity. The absence of personal security renders all other human rights moot. By coincidence, that's just what Chavez seeks to eliminate as he turns his country into a Cuba-style socialist state. Instead of Castroite firing squads or Stalinesque gulags, Chavez outsources the dirty work of socialism to criminals while throwing dissidents in jail and threatening to censor newspapers.

He may try to suppress the Dante-like photos of corpses piled high at the Caracas morgue from the El Nacional newspaper, but the hard fact is that Chavez is responsible for what's going on.

Early in his reign, he fomented class hatred by justifying theft so long as it was carried out by the poor. His arbitrary expropriations and encouragement of squatting on private property also contributed to an atmosphere of lawlessness that has since exploded.

Chavez also demeaned work, urging the poor to take his handouts. As a result, 40% of Venezuela's 20 million workers are now unemployed, with seven of eight not wanting work, according to the National Statistics Institute.

"It may be that the Chavista giveaways provide free time for the criminals to spend doing their thing rather than being dutifully employed and thus busy," wrote the Venezuelan blogger at The Devil's Excrement Web site.

Then there's Chavez's encouragement of the drug trade. In 2005, he cut off cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, calling U.S. agents "spies." The move opened Venezuela's vast territory to drug traffickers fleeing the crackdown in Colombia.

Drug cash bought off government officials, with a 2009 U.S. government report noting that the Chavista regime includes drug kingpins at top levels, and that the National Guard, which controls ports, has been bought off by traffickers. Today, nearly all drug flights heading to Central America, the Caribbean and Africa originate in Venezuela.

By permitting FARC to operate in his territory, Chavez has also become an undeclared state sponsor of terror. FARC now controls 60% of Colombia's cocaine production and kidnaps, murders, extorts and people-trafficks inside Venezuela.

The cartel's free rein means Chavez may now be powerless to control it. Like a deal with the devil, it is penetrating government and may eventually topple Chavez.

Meantime, Chavez is using crime as a tool to oppress. Why that doesn't merit sanctions by the international community remains a mystery.

Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: GAP on December 16, 2010, 09:17:46
Chavez seeks power to rule by decree for 1 year
Article Link (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101214/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_venezuela_chavez)
By FABIOLA SANCHEZ, Associated Press Fabiola Sanchez, Associated Press – Tue Dec 14, 5:10 pm ET

CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday asked congress to grant him special powers to enact laws by decree for one year, just before a new legislature takes office with a larger contingent of opposition lawmakers.

The measure would give the president the ability to bypass the National Assembly for the fourth time since he was first elected almost 12 years ago.

Vice President Elias Jaua made the request on Chavez's behalf, saying the president will use the authorization to ensure fast-track approval of laws aimed at helping the nation recover from severe flooding and mudslides that left thousands homeless and in government shelters.

"The measures we have to take are deep. Almost 40 percent of the country was affected" by the heavy rains, Jaua said.

It is expected to win easy approval in the outgoing legislature dominated by Chavez allies.

Chavez's opponents accuse him of using the natural disaster to impose socialist-inspired measures and undermine the power of newly elected opposition lawmakers.

Hundreds of Chavez opponents protested outside the legislature Tuesday, saying Chavez is violating democratic principles and objecting to other planned laws that could impose regulations on the Internet and endanger Globovision, the country's last stridently anti-Chavez television channel.

Decrees planned in the next two weeks include laws to speed construction of housing and roads, increase the value-added tax and develop projects involving farming and use of urban lands, Jaua said.

He said Chavez aims to pass laws dealing with vital services after the disaster and in areas including infrastructure, land use, the banking sector, defense and the "socio-economic system of the nation."

Jaua also mentioned plans to legislate in the area of "international cooperation." Chavez has urged lawmakers to pass a law barring non-governmental organizations such as human rights groups from receiving U.S. funding.

Newly elected opposition lawmaker Julio Borges said the measures being taken up by the National Assembly in its final days go against the will of the voters.

"As elected deputies, we're asking for a meeting between the new assembly and the old one, so that people are respected — the voters and the constitution," Borges told reporters.

Chavez announced the plan to seek decree powers Friday, and some critics suggested he intended to push through controversial measures during the holidays while many Venezuelans are focusing on their families.
More on link
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on December 23, 2010, 19:47:14
While I have not seen confirmation of this, it would fit the aims and goals of both parties:

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/iran-shipped-missiles-to-venezuela/?singlepage=true

Quote
Iran Just Shipped Missiles to Venezuela. Hello? Is This Thing On?
A massive security threat just blossomed, and you'd be hard-pressed to find an MSM or administration official who cares.
December 23, 2010 - by Mike McDaniel


Recent revelations about hostile incursions into South America have raised alarm in those who care about U.S. interests and security, particularly in America’s hemisphere. They have also raised questions about whether the Monroe Doctrine — America will tolerate no hostile incursions in her own hemisphere — is dead. These revelations have been, for the most part, ignored by those who care little for American sovereignty and security, such as the MSM and apparently the Obama administration.

Among the two most alarming revelations is the already completed sale and delivery, to Venezuela by Russia, of nearly 2,000 advanced, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles capable of hitting aircraft as high as 19,000 feet. Equally and perhaps more alarming is an October agreement between Iran and Venezuela. The agreement establishes a joint ground-to-ground missile base on Venezuelan soil and calls for the sharing of missile technology and the training of technicians and officers. In addition, Venezuela may use the missiles as it chooses for “national needs” and in case of “emergency.” Several types of missiles will be deployed, giving Venezuela the ability to strike targets throughout South and Central America and throughout the U.S.

The dangers arising from the Marxist, cult-of-personality rule of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez are many. These weapons are only the largest and most destructive purchased or finagled by Chavez. He has also purchased an enormous number of Russian assault rifles — the real thing, fully automatic military rifles, not the non-existent “assault weapons” of gun control imaginations and press releases — and related weapons and ammunition.

Keep in mind that these are only the sales and transfers about which American authorities and the public are aware.

With these weapons, Chavez can dominate the region. The consequences for U.S. and hemispheric security should be obvious to those who care about such things, but again, seem to entirely escape the Obama administration. But there are more direct, immediate threats.

Several pundits have suggested that Venezuela’s shoulder-fired ground-to-air missiles might be carried into the U.S. if they were broken down into smaller pieces. Nonsense. Such weapons are self-contained and come complete with their own hardy, weatherproof hard cases which are easily small enough to be smuggled across the southern border without further disassembly. Anyone familiar with the vast size and wildly varied terrain of our southern border, compared to the small number of Border Patrol officers assigned to guard it, understands that smuggling anything across the border, including entire vehicles and thousands of people, is in many places merely a matter of walking across. Many are unaware that environmental regulations prevent the Border Patrol from doing what they are charged to do — patrol — in large areas. Also little known is the federal land grab the Democrats hope to sneak into law in the current lame-duck session of Congress that would greatly increase the number and acreage of federal lands and related environmental restrictions, making even more of the border region off limits to the Border Patrol — but certainly not to terrorists, drug smugglers, and illegal aliens.

So out of control is the border that in some areas of Arizona, the federal government has posted signs advising Americans that drug cartels and human smugglers have taken control, warning that they should stay out for their own safety. To date, the Obama administration’s primary response, apart from surrendering control of American territory, has been to sue Arizona for daring to try to protect its citizens by passing a law that mirrors federal law. A few hundred troops have been sent here and a few hundred there, but these troops are not armed for battle and empowered to capture those who would harm us.

It must be assumed as fact that Chavez is not only able but more than willing to equip terrorists and drug cartels, organizations with whom he has long-standing relationships, with weapons including shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. His agreements with and public embrace of Iran, the single most active state sponsor of terrorism already responsible for the loss of an untold number of American lives, leaves no room for doubt. It would be surprising if such weapons, accompanied by terrorists, were not already on American soil.

American commercial airliners are uniquely vulnerable to such weapons. Most vulnerable on takeoff and landing, slow-moving aircraft are easy targets, targets that will crash in the heavily populated suburbs surrounding most modern airports, racking up even higher death tolls. A few individual attacks could all but completely paralyze American commerce and wreck an economy already brought to its knees by two years of Obamanomics. Coordinated, simultaneous multi-city attacks could easily exceed the 9/11 death toll and would not require the attackers to become martyrs.

Designed to be used by conscript troops in the field with little training, such missiles can be prepared, shouldered, and fired within seconds. A terrorist might simply step out of a vehicle along the periphery of an airport, shoulder and sight the missile, fire, and step back into the vehicle. By the time the missile strikes its target, he would already be driving away from the area, alive and ready to strike again.

We have been fortunate that the FBI has recently intercepted a number of homegrown terrorist bomb plots. However, missile attacks need not involve anyone currently living in America. A sufficient number of terrorists could simply slip across our southern border and drive to their assigned points of attack. Such attacks would be virtually impossible to intercept. In addition, the Russian missiles now in Venezuelan hands are so common as to render it very unlikely that an attack could be traced back to Chavez. The same would be true of any small arms smuggled across the border to be used in attacks at shopping malls, theaters, schools, or other places where large numbers of potential targets congregate.

Medium-range ground-to-ground missiles based in Venezuela are another matter entirely. Armed only with conventional explosive warheads, there would be little motivation for Venezuela or Iran to use them, as even under Barack Obama, massive retaliation would be at least possible. The equation is swung more in favor of use with biological or chemical warheads. But with nuclear warheads, use becomes even more likely. What is almost certain is that nuclear warheads would allow substantial blackmail capability, giving Iran and Venezuela a free hand not only in South and Central America, but in the Middle East as well. And all that is apparently keeping Iran from producing such warheads is a computer virus.

We have missile defenses, but in this situation they cannot save us.

One of the advantages for America, so to speak, of a Soviet missile attack was the 30-minute time from launch to impact, providing substantial time to detect and several opportunities to destroy an incoming missile. The shorter the time frame of missile flight, the fewer the opportunities. Ideally, missiles should be killed during the boost phase while still over enemy territory by such means as airborne laser platforms, platforms for which the Obama administration has cut funding. After the boost phase, missiles become harder still to locate and shoot down — but we do have limited capability to do this. As they are falling back to Earth, we have substantial capabilities, such as the land-based Patriot system and various shipboard systems. But unfortunately, their range is limited. They are area defense weapons. If they’re not in the right place at the right time, no defense. Most such systems are currently protecting our troops and allies.

And of course, Mr. Obama has all but ended advancement in design, testing, and deployment of missile defense systems.

The obvious response is to locate and obliterate as many of Venezuela’s anti-aircraft defenses, including shoulder-fired missiles, as possible and as often as necessary. Any attempt to build military installations in concert with Iran should likewise be met with utter obliteration. The chance of this occurring under President Obama is essentially zero — that is why we are facing a growing crisis, one barely mentioned by the MSM and apparently ignored by the Obama administration.

Weakness invites war; strength deters it. Never has America been stronger, with greater and more overpowering war fighting technology, and never has she had weaker, more ineffective leadership. Were this not so, what nation would dare America to repeat, even exceed, President Kennedy’s response to the Cuban Missile Crisis? If Barack Obama allows such blatant threats in America’s backyard, what if anything could possibly provoke him to act in her defense? Hugo Chavez and  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believe the answer is nothing.

Mike McDaniel is a former police officer, detective, and SWAT operator.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Redeye on January 05, 2011, 10:59:27
Snipped from: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/iran-shipped-missiles-to-venezuela/?singlepage=true

The obvious response is to locate and obliterate as many of Venezuela’s anti-aircraft defenses, including shoulder-fired missiles, as possible and as often as necessary. Any attempt to build military installations in concert with Iran should likewise be met with utter obliteration. The chance of this occurring under President Obama is essentially zero — that is why we are facing a growing crisis, one barely mentioned by the MSM and apparently ignored by the Obama administration.


Actually, the chances of any sane American politician doing this is zero.  Period.  It's beyond insanity to suggest this.  Not that PajamasMedia has any credibillity to dispute, but where do they find these people?!
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Rifleman62 on January 05, 2011, 11:37:02
Let alone the current President.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Bo on January 05, 2011, 23:15:21
Quote
Why Washington Hates Hugo Chavez

In late November, Venezuela was hammered by torrential rains and flooding that left 35 people dead and roughly 130,000 homeless. If George Bush had been president, instead of Hugo Chavez, the displaced people would have been shunted off at gunpoint to makeshift prison camps--like the Superdome--as they were following Hurricane Katrina. But that's not the way Chavez works. The Venezuelan president quickly passed "enabling" laws which gave him special powers to provide emergency aid and housing to flood victims. Chavez then cleared out the presidential palace and turned it into living quarters for 60 people, which is the equivalent of turning the White House into a homeless shelter. The disaster victims are now being fed and taken care of by the state until they can get back on their feet and return to work.

The details of Chavez's efforts have been largely omitted in the US media where he is regularly demonized as a "leftist strongman" or a dictator. The media refuses to acknowledge that Chavez has narrowed the income gap, eliminated illiteracy, provided health care for all Venezuelans, reduced inequality, and raised living standards across he board. While Bush and Obama were expanding their foreign wars and pushing through tax cuts for the rich, Chavez was busy improving the lives of the poor and needy while fending off the latest wave of US aggression.

Washington despises Chavez because he is unwilling to hand over Venezuela's vast resources to corporate elites and bankers. That's why the Bush administration tried to depose Chavez in a failed coup attempt in 2002, and that's why the smooth-talking Obama continues to launch covert attacks on Chavez today. Washington wants regime change so it can install a puppet who will hand over Venezuela's reserves to big oil while making life hell for working people.

Recently released documents from Wikileaks show that the Obama administration has stepped up its meddling in Venezuela's internal affairs. Here's an excerpt from a recent post by attorney and author, Eva Golinger:

"In a secret document authored by current Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Craig Kelly, and sent by the US Embassy in Santiago in June 2007 to the Secretary of State, CIA and Southern Command of the Pentagon, along with a series of other US embassies in the region, Kelly proposed "six main areas of action for the US government (USG) to limit Chavez's influence" and "reassert US leadership in the region".

Kelly, who played a primary role as "mediator" during last year's coup d'etat in Honduras against President Manuel Zelaya, classifies President Hugo Chavez as an "enemy" in his report.

"Know the enemy: We have to better understand how Chavez thinks and what he intends...To effectively counter the threat he represents, we need to know better his objectives and how he intends to pursue them. This requires better intelligence in all of our countries". Further on in the memo, Kelly confesses that President Chavez is a "formidable foe", but, he adds, "he certainly can be taken". (Wikileaks: Documents Confirm US Plans Against Venezuela, Eva Golinger, Postcards from the Revolution)

The State Department cables show that Washington has been funding anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela through non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that pretend to be working for civil liberties, human rights or democracy promotion. These groups hide behind a facade of legitimacy, but their real purpose is to topple the democratically elected Chavez government. Obama supports this type of subversion just as enthusiastically as did Bush. The only difference is the Obama team is more discreet. Here's another clip from Golinger with some of the details on the money-trail:

"In Venezuela, the US has been supporting anti-Chavez groups for over 8 years, including those that executed the coup d’etat against President Chavez in April 2002. Since then, the funding has increased substantially. A May 2010 report evaluating foreign assistance to political groups in Venezuela, commissioned by the National Endowment for Democracy, revealed that more than $40 million USD annually is channeled to anti-Chavez groups, the majority from US agencies....

Venezuela stands out as the Latin American nation where NED has most invested funding in opposition groups during 2009, with $1,818,473 USD, more than double from the year before....Allen Weinstein, one of NED’s original founders, revealed once to the Washington Post, “What we do today was done clandestinely 25 years ago by the CIA…” (America's Covert "Civil Society Operations": US Interference in Venezuela Keeps Growing", Eva Golinger, Global Research)

On Monday, the Obama administration revoked the visa of Venezuela’s ambassador to Washington in retaliation for Chávez’s rejection of nominee Larry Palmer as American ambassador in Caracas. Palmer has been openly critical of Chavez saying there were clear ties between members of the Chavez administration and leftist guerrillas in neighboring Colombia. It's a roundabout way of accusing Chavez of terrorism. Even worse, Palmer's background and personal history suggest that his appointment might pose a threat to Venezuela's national security. Consider the comments of James Suggett of Venezuelanalysis on Axis of Logic:

"Take a look at Palmer's history, working with the U.S.-backed oligarchs in the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Sierra Leone, South Korea, Honduras, "promoting the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)." Just as the U.S. ruling class appointed an African-American, Barack Obama to replace George W. Bush with everything else intact, Obama in turn, appoints Palmer to replace Patrick Duddy who was involved in the attempted coup against President Chávez in 2002 and an enemy of Venezuelans throughout his term as U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela." (http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/printer_60511.shtml)

Venezuela is already crawling with US spies and saboteurs. They don't need any help from agents working inside the embassy. Chavez did the right thing by giving Palmer the thumbs down.

The Palmer nomination is just "more of the same"; more interference, more subversion, more trouble-making. The State Dept was largely responsible for all of the so-called color-coded revolutions in Ukraine, Lebanon, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan etc; all of which were cookie cutter, made-for-TV events that pitted the interests of wealthy capitalists against those of the elected government. Now Hillary's throng want to try the same strategy in Venezuela. It's up to Chavez to stop them, which is why he's pushed through laws that "regulate, control or prohibit foreign funding for political activities". It's the only way he can defend against US meddling and protect Venezuelan sovereignty.

Chavez is also using his new powers to reform the financial sector. Here's an excerpt from an article titled "Venezuelan National Assembly Passes Law Making Banking a “Public Service”:

"Venezuela's National Assembly on Friday approved new legislation that defines banking as an industry “of public service,” requiring banks in Venezuela to contribute more to social programs, housing construction efforts, and other social needs while making government intervention easier when banks fail to comply with national priorities."...

The new law protects bank customers’ assets in the event of irregularities on the part of owners... and stipulates that the Superintendent of Banking Institutions take into account the best interest of bank customers – and not only stockholders... when making any decisions that affect a bank’s operations."

So why isn't Obama doing the same thing? Is he too afraid of real change or is he just Wall Street's lackey? Here's more from the same article:

"In an attempt to control speculation, the law limits the amount of credit that can be made available to individuals or private entities by making 20% the maximum amount of capital a bank can have out as credit. The law also limits the formation of financial groups and prohibits banks from having an interest in brokerage firms and insurance companies.

The law also stipulates that 5% of pre-tax profits of all banks be dedicated solely to projects elaborated by communal councils. 10% of a bank´s capital must also be put into a fund to pay for wages and pensions in case of bankruptcy.

According to 2009 figures provided by Softline Consultores, 5% of pre-tax profits in Venezuela's banking industry last year would have meant an additional 314 million bolivars, or $73.1 million dollars, for social programs to attend the needs of Venezuela’s poor majority." http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/5880

"Control speculation"? Now there's a novel idea. Naturally, opposition leaders are calling the new laws "an attack on economic liberty", but that's pure baloney. Chavez is merely protecting the public from the predatory practices of bloodthirsty bankers. Most Americans wish that Obama would do the same thing.

According to the Wall Street Journal, "Chávez has threatened to expropriate large banks in the past if they don't increase loans to small-business owners and prospective home buyers, this time he is increasing the pressure publicly to show his concern for the lack of sufficient housing for Venezuela's 28 million people."

Caracas suffers from a massive housing shortage that's gotten much worse because of the flooding. Tens of thousands of people need shelter now, which is why Chavez is putting pressure on the banks to lend a hand. Of course, the banks don't want to help so they've slipped into crybaby mode. But Chavez has shrugged off their whining and put them "on notice". In fact, on Tuesday, he issued this terse warning:

"Any bank that slips up…I'm going to expropriate it, whether it's Banco Provincial, or Banesco or Banco Nacional de Crédito."

Bravo, Hugo. In Chavez's Venezuela the basic needs of ordinary working people take precedent over the profiteering of cutthroat banksters. Is it any wonder why Washington hates him?

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22602

We need more leaders like this.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: meni0n on January 05, 2011, 23:29:55
I hope you're not referring to Chavez.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Larry Strong on January 06, 2011, 01:27:14
I hope you're not referring to Chavez.

Yeah, I was kind of wondering about that statement as well!!!
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Redeye on January 06, 2011, 10:15:06
No, we don't need a leader like Chavez, although there is a lot of truth to the article.

Chavez set his priorities as allowing the people of Venezuela to benefit from their oil wealth.  He failed to understand why when the country is so resource rich the country was so poor.  To that end, he launched a number of what were called "Bolivarian Missions" to improve the lot of Venezuela's population.  Many have been extremely successful - sending out teams of educators to eradicate illiteracy for example, setting up medical clinics (largely staffed by Cuban doctors who are traded by that country for Venezuelan oil).  Some have been largely failures, and some (like Mission Miranda, to basically created a well-armed militia) have been rather ludicrous and more a reflection of his paranoia it seems.

He seems to enjoy a lot of popular support, though not enough to get him the results in referenda allowing him to sidestep parliamentary authority, probably a good thing.

Interesting that article also refers to the coup in Honduras that got little attention the media in Canada, where the US essentially supported something that is to any read of the Honduran constitution, illegal.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Bo on January 09, 2011, 21:21:58
Quote
Setting the Record Straight on Venezuela and Hugo Chavez

by Eva Golinger

   

 
Global Research, January 9, 2011
   

With so much misinformation circulating in different media outlets around the world about Venezuela and President Hugo Chavez, it's time to set the record straight. Venezuela is not a dictatorship and President Chavez is no dictator. Just last evening the Venezuelan head of state participated in a meeting with a group of housing activists, who not only criticized - live on television - government policies and inaction on tenant and housing issues, but also proposed laws, regulations and projects that were received with open arms by Chavez himself. And last week, the Venezuelan President vetoed a law on higher education that had been approved by the prior year's majority pro-Chavez legislature, calling for more "open and wide" debate on the subject, to include critics and those who had protested the bill. That is not the behavior of a brutal dictator.


As someone who has been living on and off in Venezuela for over 17 years, I can testify to the extraordinary transformation the country has undertaken during the past decade since Chavez first was elected in 1998. He has been reelected by landslide majorities twice since then.


When I arrived to Venezuela for the first time in 1993, the country was in severe turmoil. Constitutional rights had been suspended and a nationwide curfew was imposed. Repression was widespread, the economy was in crisis, several newspapers, television and radio stations had been shut down or censored, and the government had imposed a forced military draft targeting young men from poor communities. There was an interim president in power, because the actual president, Carlos Andres Perez - hailed by Washington as an "outstanding democrat" - had just been impeached and imprisoned for corruption. Perez eventually escaped confinement and fled to Miami, where he resided until his death last month, living off the millions he stole from the Venezuelan people.


Even though a new president was elected in 1994, constitutional rights remained suspended on and off for years, until the elections in 1998 that brought Chavez to power. Since then, despite a short-lived coup d'etat in 2002, an economically-shattering sabotage of the oil industry in 2003 and multiple attempts against his government during the following years, President Chavez has never once limited constitutional rights nor imposed a curfew on the population. He hasn't ever ordered a state of emergency that would limit rights or shut down any media outlets. He even issued a general pardon in 2007 giving amnesty to all those involved in the 2002 coup, with the exception of individuals directly responsible for crimes against humanity or homicide.


Under the Chavez administration, poverty has been reduced in half, universal, quality free healthcare and education have been guaranteed for all Venezuelans, new industries have been created and more and more political power has been placed in the hands of "ordinary" people who were previously excluded by the elite that ruled the country throughout the twentieth century.


So why do so many newspapers and broadcast media classify him as a dictator?


You may not like Hugo Chavez's way of speaking, or the fact that he was born into poverty, comes from the military, is a leftist and doesn't fit the stereotypical image of a head of state. But that doesn't make him a dictator.


In Venezuela, more than 80% of television, radio and print media remain in the hands of private interests critical of the government. So, despite what some international press claim, there is no censorship or violation of free expression in Venezuela. Calls to overthrow the government or to incite the armed forces to rebel against the state, which would clearly be prohibited in most nations, are broadcast on opposition-controlled television channels with public concessions (open signals, not cable). Just last month, the head of the Venezuelan chamber of commerce, Fedecamaras, gave a press conference broadcast live on television and radio stations, during which he called the armed forces "traitors" who would "pay the price" if they didn't disobey government orders and "obey" the dictates of business operators.


I can only imagine if a business leader in the United States were to go on television and call the US Army "traitors" if they didn't disobey the federal government. Secret Service would arrest the man immediately and the consequences would be severe. But something like that would never happen in the US, since no television station would ever broadcast anything that constituted a call to rebellion or disobedience against the government. That's illegal.


So, not only is there no censorship in Venezuela, there is an excess of "free" expression. One positive aspect of the permissive attitude assumed by the Chavez government with regards to media has been the proliferation of community and alternative media outlets throughout the nation, which have provided space and voice to those ignored by mainstream corporate media. During governments prior to the Chavez administration, community and alternative media were banned.


Recently, the Venezuelan legislature passed a law called the Law of Social Responsibility in Radio, Television and Digital Media. The law does not censor internet or any other form of media. What it does do is disallow calls to assassinate the president or other individual, as well as prohibit incitement to crime, hate or violence on web sites operated from Venezuela. This is a standard in most democracies and is a sign of civility. The law also instills on media a responsibility to contribute to the education of citizens. Media have a huge power over society today. Why shouldn't they be responsible for their actions?


Another issue widely manipulated in mass media is the Enabling Act that was approved last month by the Venezuelan parliament. This law gives "decree" powers to the Executive to legislate on specific issues as stipulated in the bill. The Enabling Act does not usurp, inhibit or limit legislative functions of the National Assembly, nor is it unconstitutional or anti-democratic. The parliament can still debate and approve laws as usual within its authority. The Enabling law, which is permitted by the Constitution, was requested by President Chavez in order to provide rapid responses to a national emergency caused by torrential rainfall that devasted communities nationwide at the end of last year and left over 130,000 homeless. The law will not affect any constitutional rights nor impose a "dictatorship" on the country, it is merely a valid, legitimate response to an emergency situation that needs quick solutions.


And speaking of the Venezuelan legislature, there is a lot of deceitful information repeated and recycled in media worldwide about the composition of this year's new parliament. Venezuela had legislative elections in September 2010, and opposition - anti-Chavez - parties won 40% of the seats. Some say this is a majority, which is very strange. The pro-Chavez PSUV party won 60% of seats in the National Assembly, as the Venezuelan legislative body is called. That's 97 out of 165 seats, plus 1 more which was won by the pro-Chavez PCV party, for a total of 98.


On the other hand, the opposition bloc won 65 seats represented by 13 different political parties that don't necessarily agree on most issues. Two other seats were won by a third, independent party, PPT.  So, the PSUV party won 97 seats in parliament and the next party in line is Accion Democratica (AD) with 22 seats. Who has the majority?


In 2005, the opposition parties boycotted the electoral process, and lost the near 50% they had in parliament from the year 2000. Now, their bloc has been reduced to 40%, yet they claim to have "grown" in numbers. This perspective has been reiterated in mainstream media, despite its erroneous and manipulative nature.


The opposition bloc has already announced it will seek foreign intervention to help overthrow the government. Not only is this illegal, it's incredibly dangerous. Many of the candidates and most of the parties that conform the opposition in Venezuela have already been receiving millions of dollars annually in funding from several US and international agencies, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), both financed with US taxpayer monies. The stated purpose of this funding has been to "promote democracy" in Venezuela and help build the opposition forces against Chavez. This is a clear violation of Venezuelan sovereignty and a waste of US taxpayer dollars. US citizens: Is this the way you want your hard-earned money to be spent?


This week, opposition leaders will meet with their counterparts in Washington. They have already said their mission is to seek more aid to help remove President Chavez from power. Unfortunately, their undemocratic actions have already been welcomed in the US Capitol. Representative Connie Mack (R-FL), now head of the House Sub-Committte on Foreign Relations for the Western Hemisphere, announced on the first day of Congress that his one goal this year is to place Venezuela on the list of "state sponors of terrorism". And Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), now head of the House Foreign Relations Committee, has backed that objective, even going as far as to publicly state she would welcome the "assassination of Fidel Castro or any other repressive leader" such as Hugo Chavez.


On January 1, President Chavez held a brief, informal and amicable encounter with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Brasilia, during the inauguration of Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's new president. No agreements were reached, but the exchange of hands and smiles stabilized an escalation in tensions between both nations, which had produced a diplomatic crisis at the end of last year. But upon her return to Washington, Clinton was severely criticized by media, particularly The Washington Post, which accused her of being too "soft" on Venezuela.


The Washington Post's calls for war against Venezuela are dangerous. Remember, conditioning of public opinion is necessary to justify aggression against another nation. The campaigns of demonization against Saddam Hussein, Iraq and Islam were essential to initiate the wars in the Middle East which have yet to cease. Is the public willing to be influenced by media that have a political (and economic) agenda that seeks to oust a democratically-elected and popularly supported government just because they don't like its policies?


With the recent tragic events in Arizona it should become even more evident that media have power and influence over individual actions. Hate speech, demonization campaigns, manipulative and deceitful information are dangerous and can lead to abominable consequences, including war.


It's time to stop the escalating aggression against Venezuela and accept the facts: Venezuela is not a dictatorship, and while many of you may not like Hugo Chavez, a majority of Venezuelans who voted for him do. And in this scenario, they're the ones who matter.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22704
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on February 23, 2011, 21:53:30
The new Axis of Evil?

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/pjm-exclusive-chavez-caught-red-handed-sending-gasoline-to-iran/

Quote
Chavez Caught Red-Handed Sending Gasoline to Iran

Posted By Josh Shahryar On February 22, 2011 @ 4:34 pm In Latin America,Politics,US News,World News | 25 Comments

Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez has again frustrated the world’s attempt to derail Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Evidence now clearly shows that he’s been sending gasoline to Iran in defiance of U.S. sanctions that sought to deprive the regime of that commodity and bring them back to the negotiation table.

On July 1, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA). The act was a consequence of Iran’s continued defiance in the face of international pressure to halt its uranium enrichment activities and return to the negotiating table over its controversial nuclear program. One of the key components of CISADA was to penalize companies who export gasoline or provide Iran with capabilities to aid gasoline production.

Even though Iran is the world’s second largest oil producer, it currently does not have the capability to satisfy almost 40% [1] of its internal gasoline demands and is, thus, dependent on imports to satisfy those needs. The passage of the CISADA was hailed as a powerful measure to exert pressure on Iran. As a matter of fact, immediately after its passage, there were signs that it had indeed created significant problems [2] for the government of Iran and that its continued implementation would have very desirable effects.

Alas, after months of denial, we’ve now learned that one company has defied the act and has been secretly selling gasoline to Iran. That company is none other than Venezuelan government-owned petro-giant Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA). Documents obtained by credible sources close to the matter clearly show that as recently as last December, Venezuela was sending reformate to Iran’s government. Reformate is used in the production of very high-grade gasoline.

Document 1 [3]

Document 2 [4]

Document 3 [5]

Telltale signs had been around for months, but more credible reports of the deals emerged just this week about Tehran getting help from Caracas. On Wednesday, it was reported that the U.S. State Department is investigating information that Venezuela violated the sanctions that were intended to deter foreign companies from helping Iran quench its thirst for gasoline.

Radio Free Europe ran a report [6] quoting Arturo Valenzuela, the assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs, who told a congressional panel that “we are looking at that issue” and “trying to determine if in fact there is a violation.” The RFE piece spoke of documents that showed PDVSA sending two shipments of gasoline to Iran within the last few months. Those documents are linked above.

The documents clearly show that Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., Venezuela’s government-owned petroleum company, sold at least 600,000 barrels of reformate in two shipments of 300,000 barrels each to the National Iranian Oil Company — Iran’s government-owned petroleum company — that were later shipped out of Venezuela in late December 2010.

These documents clearly debunk the lies the Venezuelan government has been telling the world about how Iran has become self-sufficient and is producing its own gasoline.

Venezuela’s top oil officials have been saying repeatedly after CISADA was passed that the country is not selling gasoline to Iran. As the ships were making their way to Iran, the country’s oil minister, Rafael Ramirez, brazenly denied that its government is involved in helping Iran overcome its gasoline deficiency. In a press conference in January, Mr. Ramirez said that the cuts in gasoline subsidies in Iran had brought down Iranian internal consumption of the product and that Iran had apparently “solved its problem [7].”

What he failed to mention was the role Hugo Chavez’s government was playing in solving that problem. And it hardly comes as a surprise.

Venezuela’s Chavez and Iran’s Khamenei are kindred spirits. Both have severely restricted freedom of speech and curbed political opposition in their countries. What’s surprising is the extent to which the American government has ignored the reports about Venezuela’s involvement in helping Iran break sanctions, which could result in endangering every country in the Middle East if Iran obtains nuclear weapons.

But now, in the face of this new evidence, is the U.S. government going to take tough measures against PDVSA, or is it going to simply skirt around the issue as it has for months when reports kept streaming in about Venezuela’s covert help to Iran?

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/pjm-exclusive-chavez-caught-red-handed-sending-gasoline-to-iran/

URLs in this post:

[1] almost 40%: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9ba5fd12-e9b2-11de-9f1f-00144feab49a.html

[2] significant problems: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/20/AR2010072005958.html

[3] Document 1: http://pajamasmedia.com/files/2011/02/1-15.jpg

[4] Document 2: http://pajamasmedia.com/files/2011/02/1-32.jpg

[5] Document 3: http://pajamasmedia.com/files/2011/02/1-41.jpg

[6] a report: http://www.rferl.org/content/iran_venezuela_gas_sanctions/2310812.html

[7] solved its problem: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9L672Q00.htm
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Redeye on February 24, 2011, 11:09:52
From the PJM article:

Venezuela’s Chavez and Iran’s Khamenei are kindred spirits. Both have severely restricted freedom of speech and curbed political opposition in their countries. What’s surprising is the extent to which the American government has ignored the reports about Venezuela’s involvement in helping Iran break sanctions, which could result in endangering every country in the Middle East if Iran obtains nuclear weapons.

I wait excitedly to hear how gasoline imports are going to lead to Iran having nuclear weapons.

Sanctions, generally speaking, do nothing to change the course of country's government.  Take a look at Cuba and the embargo against it.  Or North Korea.  In fact, I would even make the argument that sanctions and isolation strengthen autocratic leaders, because they can spin them as foreign aggression they "defend" their people from.

But now, in the face of this new evidence, is the U.S. government going to take tough measures against PDVSA, or is it going to simply skirt around the issue as it has for months when reports kept streaming in about Venezuela’s covert help to Iran?

The short answer to this rhetorical question is "no".  Venezuelan crude oil is significant feedstock for US refineries along the Gulf of Mexico, and account for almost 10% of US imports.  PdVSA also owns refineries with a capacity of about three quarters of a billion barrels per day in the USA and has stakes in more refinery capacity.  (Source: US Dept of Energy - http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/Venezuela/Oil.html)

One of most interesting things PdVSA does to thumb their nose at the US Government is giving away heating oil to low income households in some 23 states  They run ads I see all the time on Boston TV, in fact, they feature Joe Kennedy (who organized the non-profit to which the oil was donated for distribution), thanking CITGO, PdVSA, and the Republic of Venezuela for their generosity.

Venezuela now seems to be trying to diversify its export customers though, so as not to be so firmly tied to the US market.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on September 27, 2012, 00:08:01
A look at how Chaves nas been using vote fraud to manipulate elections since at least 2004. This makes future elections in Venezuela problematic:

http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/j-r-nyquist/road-to-serfdom-venezuela

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The Road to Serfdom in Venezuela
By JR Nyquist09/24/2012
   
For the past thirteen years Venezuela has been moving away from a market economy towards a socialist economy under the leadership of Hugo Chavez. And now the future of Venezuelan socialism hangs in the balance. Or does it? A few days ago I spoke with Eric Ekvall, an American political consultant who has lived and worked in Venezuela since that country’s 1982 presidential election. Ekvall has helped with the election campaigns of such notables as Venezuela’s Jaime Ramón Lusinchi in 1983, Costa Rica’s Oscar Arias in 1985, and Brazil’s Lula da Silva in 1993. I asked Ekvall about the ongoing re-election bid of Venezuela’s ailing Hugo Chavez, especially as President Chavez has been in power for thirteen years and continues to build socialism there. Given the downgrading of the country’s economy, how could Chavez possibly expect to win yet another election?

The answer, according to Ekvall, is that Chavez cheats. “The first election we know he fixed was in 2004.” Ekvall explained. “One fifth of the population basically signed a petition to put a recall referendum on the ballot. This was delayed and delayed and the government used all kinds of mechanisms to push this back long enough for them to be able to purchase millions of dollars of electronic voting machines which had never been used in Venezuela before; we [in Venezuela] have always done paper balloting like most countries in the world…”

The significance of the electronic voting machines will be apparent to any who remember Stalin’s words from 1923: “I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this – who will count the votes, and how.” The quote comes from The Memoirs of the Former Secretary of Stalin, written by Boris Bazhanov after his defection in 1928. It is one of the earliest accounts of Soviet-style political methods, showing how power may be consolidated by a dictator. According to Ekvall, Chavez’s government was also “told by their Cuban advisors to rush in a series of major welfare programs: free education programs, free food programs, appealing to lower income people to boost their sagging popularity ratings.” And how well did this work?

According to Ekvall, “Come August of 2004 the recall referendum took place … and about 75 percent of the registered voters turned out to vote and there was euphoria in the streets … that [President Chavez’s] mandate was going to be revoked …. Veteran political pollsters from the U.S. showed that the recall referendum passed 59 to 41, but to everybody’s surprise the government official figures came out 59 to 41 – but as a loss, and this raised a hue and cry among opposition politicians who basically called ‘fraud’ on the election process.” Over the years social scientists have studied the Venezuelan election of 2004, showing that 22.5 percent of the ballots had been modified. Last year six studies appeared in Statistical Science, confirming the earlier studies. In fact, there is overwhelming evidence that Chavez has falsified the results of every Venezuelan election since 2004.

And now, eight years later, Chavez’s popularity has continued to fall. To counter this, an increasing number of Venezuelans have been put on the dole – to no avail. As Stalin also said, “Gratitude is a sickness suffered by dogs.” Unfortunately for Chavez, the Venezuelan people are not dogs. “According to reliable polls,” noted Ekvall, “opposition candidate Henrique Capriles is ahead; so we have a very tense situation in Venezuela right now.” Capriles is an attractive, likable candidate – a political “rock star,” according to Ekvall. “Chavez is literally on the ropes.” – So how does Chavez get away with stealing the election this time? Will straightforward electronic vote fraud do the trick?

“This time, this year the government has come up with … a ‘hide in plain sight’ approach to vote fraud,” said Ekvall. “The vote fraud … is right in the polling booth. When you go in and vote in the elections this time, you are going to be confronted by an array of technology the likes of which no voter anywhere in the world has ever seen. First of all, you are going to have to punch into an interactive biometric apparatus, and punch in your national I.D. number, and then put your thumb print over a scanner … and your name will pop up … and you will be told that you can move two feet to the right, where there’s an electronic voting machine, and you can cast your vote with a touch-screen machine.”

And how does this translate into fraud? Ekvall replied: “The not-very-subtle aspect of this system is that the biometric system is visibly hooked up by a cable to the voting machine, giving rise to legitimate concerns that your vote is not going to be secret.”

The significance of secret balloting in a welfare state may be understood from recent Venezuelan history, Ekvall underscored. “During the petition drive in 2004 the government got the names of all five million people who signed the petition. They were immediately placed on a black list. “And five million people found themselves … at a disadvantage when it came to welfare credits, jobs from the government, when it came to loans, student loans, anything. If you had signed the petition to recall the president you were automatically a second class citizen. Some people have called this Venezuela’s ‘Political Apartheid.’”

Here is a slick way of intimidating voters. According to Ekvall, “People have every reason to fear….” Here is a country where the welfare state is used as a carrot, but only for those who consistently support the government. If readers wish to understand what socialism signifies, and whether socialism is consistent with liberty, they should study the Venezuelan election process. Not only have the socialists ruined Venezuela’s economy, the socialists have corrupted the voting system and the voters themselves.

Will Venezuela free itself from socialism in next month’s elections? Nobody knows for sure, but Ekvall is worried. And for the rest of us, Venezuela is not the only country on the road to serfdom.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on January 07, 2013, 23:34:40
Well, it looks like the end is not only near, but will also be ironically caused by the very Socialist system Chavez so enthusiastically promoted and forced on his own people:

http://news.investors.com/print/ibd-editorials/010713-639640-castrocare-in-cuba-responsible-for-chavez-demise.aspx

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Hugo Chavez Hit By Cuba's Surgical Strike

Posted 07:15 PM ET

Americas: Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is dying of cancer in Havana, in a live demonstration of Cuba's vaunted socialized medical care. He went there instead of Brazil because he wanted to make a political statement. What irony.

As party cronies hover at his bedside, Cuban officials bark orders to the government in Caracas, and red-shirted Chavistas hold vigils, all signs are pointing to an imminent exit for the Venezuelan leader who controls a huge part of the world's oil.

He's going out exactly as he wouldn't have liked — helpless and at the mercy of doctors, a far cry from the blaze of heroic socialist glory he might have preferred.

Most galling for him: It didn't have to happen this way.

His expected demise will be entirely due to his gullibility to leftist propaganda and bad choices that came of it.

"In July 2011, during (a)... summit in Caracas, Brazil's President, Dilma Rousseff, told a few of her colleagues — in private — that Chavez was likely to die as a result of 'his excessive paranoia rather than as a consequence of his serious — yet treatable — cancer,'" wrote Venezuelan consultant Pedro Burelli in a newsletter.

"What she meant to say," Burelli added, "was that by choosing secrecy in Cuba over medical competence at the Sirio-Libanese Hospital in Sao Paulo (where she had been treated successfully for lymphatic cancer) Chavez had condemned himself to a shorter life."

Burelli noted that it corresponded to his own sources, who told him that Chavez's chosen successor, Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, flew to Brasilia to meet with Rousseff and her oncologist.

He presented the diagnoses from Caracas and Havana and the Brazilian specialist "considered it treatable under world-class protocols available in his center."

Maduro signaled interest. But the Chavista regime then demanded to pretty much take over the 400-bed hospital, which the Brazilians rejected. "From that moment on the patient was doomed," Burelli wrote.

According to a 2011 report in the Wall Street Journal, Chavez chose Cuban medical care over the world-class treatment in Brazil for "political" reasons.

"While Mr. Chavez often lauds Cuban doctors, switching from Cuban to Brazilian care would have suggested the Cubans aren't capable of world class care."

And that's pretty much the nub of it, the incredible desire of Chavez, common to all the left, to defend the myth of Cuba's top-down health care system as superior to health care in free markets.

Praising CastroCare was a prominent feature of Michael Moore's 2008 phony "documentary," "Sicko," which provided a shot in the arm for efforts to set up a socialized health care system in the U.S. — including the costly monstrosity known as ObamaCare.

President Obama's campaign website continues to feature events that were held "to provide us with the motivation to continue the fight for health insurance reform."

As Chavez suffers through four surgeries in Cuba, it's instructive to note it was the Brazilian hospital — a teaching institution with top-of-the-line tomotherapy equipment, 2,000 doctors, and a record of success for beating cancer — that cured Rousseff as well as then-President Fernando Lugo of Paraguay. But it gets no recognition from the likes of Moore, who still promotes CastroCare on his Web site, while ignoring the private U.S. hospitals the Brazilians model themselves after.

Who knows, had he done so, Chavez might have lived.

Cuba by contrast, remains substandard, with average Cubans forced to bring their own bandages, water and sheets to hospitals that haven't seen repairs in years.

Recent reports say Cuba cut medical spending from $209 million in 2009 to $190 million last year — "bending the cost curve" by giving less care. Sound familiar?

For wealthy foreigners like Chavez, Cuban officials often misstate their abilities to cure, according to Cuban dissident and top neurosurgeon Dr. Hilda Molina, while left-wing sites such as MRZine praise CastroCare because it doesn't invest in fancy equipment.

As Chavez dies, Cuba itself may go down too if Venezuela's energy subsidies end. Cuba's regime, ironically, might be the last victim of its own foul health system.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: jollyjacktar on January 08, 2013, 08:23:16
Call me a bad person, but I'm finding enjoyment at his experience in his departure (the irony of it all) and of course his imminent departure.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Hamish Seggie on January 14, 2013, 15:56:09
You mean he will be departed to a better place?

 ;D
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on January 14, 2013, 17:35:39
Much warmer climate, at any rate.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Colin P on February 08, 2013, 12:18:42
Is he dead yet? Sigh the guy is like a slow moving zombie.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: ModlrMike on February 08, 2013, 13:03:34
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh8mNjeuyV4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh8mNjeuyV4)
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 10, 2013, 12:21:49
And things go from bad to worse according to this report which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/latin-american-business/venezuela-devalues-its-currency-by-nearly-half/article8408476/
Quote
Venezuela devalues its currency by nearly half

FABIOLA SANCHEZ
Caracas — The Associated Press

Published Friday, Feb. 08 2013

V enezuela’s government announced Friday that is devaluing the country’s currency, a change expected to push up prices in the heavily import-reliant economy.

Officials said the fixed exchange rate is changing from 4.30 bolivars to the U.S. dollar to 6.30 bolivars to the dollar.

The devaluation had been widely expected by analysts in recent months, though experts had been unsure whether the government would act while President Hugo Chavez remained out of sight in Cuba recovering from cancer surgery.

It was the first devaluation to be announced by Mr. Chavez’s government since 2010.

Planning and Finance Minister Jorge Giordani said the new rate will take effect Wednesday, after a two-day banking holiday. He said the old rate will still be allowed for some transactions that already were approved by the state currency agency.

Venezuela’s government has had strict currency exchange controls since 2003 and maintains a fixed, government-set exchange rate. Under the controls, people and businesses must apply to a government currency agency to receive dollars at the official rate to import goods, pay for travel or cover other obligations.

While those controls have restricted the amounts of dollars available at the official rate, a black market has flourished and the value of the bolivar has recently been eroding. In black market street trading, dollars have recently been selling for more than four times the official exchange rate of 4.30 bolivars to the dollar.

The devaluation brought down the official value of the bolivar by 46.5 per cent against the dollar.

The announcement came after the country’s Central Bank said annual inflation rose to 22.2 per cent in January, up from 20.1 per cent at the end of 2012.

The oil-exporting country, a member of OPEC, has consistently had Latin America’s highest officially acknowledged inflation rates in recent years. Spiraling prices have come amid worsening shortages of some staple foods, such as cornmeal, chicken and sugar.

Mr. Giordani said the government had also decided to do away with a second-tier rate of 5.30 bolivars to the dollar, through a bond market administered by the Central Bank. That rate had been granted to some businesses that hadn’t been able to obtain dollars at the official rate.


Venezuela ought to be, nominally, a prosperous country. That it is not is the result of bad political management which is endemic in latin America.


Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Colin P on February 11, 2013, 13:38:00
Venezuela is rich in ore, gold, oil, food (Not to mention stunning woman) but corruption is a ever tightening noose around it's neck. It was bad there in 1994 when I went to stay at my brothers mining camp and traveled the country. It has steadily gone downhill from an already low standard.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Blackadder1916 on March 05, 2013, 18:47:29
Is he dead yet? Sigh the guy is like a slow moving zombie.

All things come to those who wait . . . .


Hugo Chavez dead after battle with cancer
http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03/05/hugo-chavez-dead-after-battle-with-cancer-vp/
Quote
CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez, the fiery populist who declared a socialist revolution in Venezuela, crusaded against U.S. influence and championed a leftist revival across Latin America, died Tuesday at age 58 after a nearly two-year bout with cancer.

Vice-President Nicolas Maduro, surrounded by other government officials, announced the death in a national television broadcast. He said Chavez died at 4:25 p.m. local time.

. . .
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Old Sweat on March 05, 2013, 18:58:18
Some news outlets are reporting that the Vice-President is claiming that the Americans infected Chavez with cancer.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: NFLD Sapper on March 05, 2013, 18:58:47
 :facepalm:
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Hamish Seggie on March 05, 2013, 19:19:20
Some news outlets are reporting that the Vice-President is claiming that the Americans infected Chavez with cancer.
:facepalm:

Harper did it in concert with the devil Bush. Why not......he gets the blame for everything anyways!!!
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: jollyjacktar on March 05, 2013, 19:40:50
Buh-bye!  Won't miss you Hugo.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Brihard on March 05, 2013, 19:51:19
14 years is a hell of a power vacuum to leave. I can see this getting quite ugly, quite quickly. And when, I think inevitably, the socialists are able to hang on to power, what sort of reactionary excesses will the new guy deem necessary in order to solidify his position and to demonstrate the continuing resolve of the revolution?
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: VinceW on March 06, 2013, 03:49:00
Something else Chavez has in common with Stalin they both died on March 5th 60 years apart.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: 57Chevy on March 06, 2013, 15:17:12
Condolences to Venezuelan Canadians and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuala for the loss of their President.

(Condolencias a los canadienses venezolanas y pueblo de la República Bolivariana de Venezuala por la pérdida de su Presidente.)
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Old Sweat on March 07, 2013, 08:06:01
The Venezuelan government has protested Prime Minister Harper's statement on President Chavez's death, according to this story from the Star-Phoenix which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provision of the Copyright Act.

Venezuela slams Harper for insensitive statement on death of Chavez
 
By Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian PressMarch 6, 2013
 
OTTAWA - Venezuela has sent a formal protest to the Canadian government for Prime Minister Stephen Harper's "insensitive" remarks on the death of President Hugo Chavez.
 
Harper issued a statement that offered "condolences to the people of Venezuela," but not the family of the flamboyant 58-year-old leftist leader, who died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.
 
A statement from a senior Venezuelan government official says a "card of protest" was sent to Ottawa after Harper expressed what he called insensitivity at a time when their country is grieving.
 
A wordy note from the vice-minister for North America, Claudia Salerno, said Caracas was protesting "in a blunt and categorical way, the statements issued the 5 of March 2013 by the prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, as they constitute insensitive and impertinent sentiments at a time when the Venezuelan people are grieving and crying over the irreparable physical loss of the Commander President Hugo Chavez Frias."
 
Harper said in his short statement on Tuesday that he hopes the death of Chavez brings a more promising future for the Venezuelan people.
 
"At this key juncture, I hope the people of Venezuela can now build for themselves a better, brighter future based on the principles of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights," Harper said in a statement Tuesday evening.
 
Harper also said that he looked forward "to working with (Chavez's) successor and other leaders in the region to build a hemisphere that is more prosperous, secure and democratic."
 
Harper has in the past pointedly challenged the world view of the influential Venezuelan leader, notably in a lengthy one-on-one interview with the Postmedia news service nearly four years ago before he was about to meet Chavez at the Summit of the Americas.
 
Harper had said Chavez was emblematic of the leftist leaders in the Western Hemisphere who were "opposed to basically sound economic policies, want to go back to Cold War socialism ... want to turn back the clock on the democratic progress that's been made in the hemisphere."
 
The Venezuelan government fired back on Wednesday saying that it "has freely and democratically chosen its Socialist destiny, is obliged to remind the representative of the Canadian government, that it has been thanks to this Bolivarian Revolution that our future as an independent and sovereign country appears more radiant and promising than ever, by virtue of the legacy of our historic leader, the Commander President Hugo Chavez Frias."
 
The statement from Caracas affirmed a commitment to "direct itself freely and with sovereignty towards Bolivarian Socialism and recognizes it as the way toward a future of well-being, that will secure the greatest amount of happiness for everyone."
 
Chavez was a vocal opponent of the free market economics of Canada and the United States.
 
He led a leftist revival across Latin America that posed a direct challenge to U.S. influence in the region.
 
While Chavez introduced social programs that helped feed and house his people during his 14 years in power, his economy has sputtered.
 
Though Venezuela is an oil rich country, it lacks the capital to maximize its oil output and has been wracked by inflation.
 
Hundreds of thousands of tearful supporters carried their dead president's coffin through streets of Caracas on Wednesday in an epic farewell to their iconic president known simply as "our commander."
 
One of Chavez's closest socialist allies, Bolivian President Evo Morales, choked back tears and declared: "Chavez is more alive than ever."
 
Harper's remarks echoed those of the Obama administration in Washington.
 
The White House said in a statement that Washington supported the "Venezuelan people and its interest in developing a constructive relationship with the Venezuelan government."
 
"As Venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, the United States remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law, and respect for human rights," the statement read.


Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/health/Venezuela+slams+Harper+insensitive+statement+death+Chavez/8059397/story.html#ixzz2Mqvb4eqw
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Hamish Seggie on March 07, 2013, 08:18:43
Gwynn Dyer wrote about him the Free Press.....stating dear Hugo was a "democrat".

What planet is Gwynn from?
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: George Wallace on March 07, 2013, 09:47:32
Gwynn Dyer wrote about him the Free Press.....stating dear Hugo was a "democrat".

What planet is Gwynn from?

I gave up on anything to do with Gwynn years ago.  To me, he always came off as a pompous ***.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: VinceW on March 08, 2013, 00:04:46
Chavez will be preserved and put in a tomb for public display like other commie leaders such as Lenin,Mao and Ho Chi Minh.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/07/17226935-maduro-chavez-body-to-be-permanently-displayed?lite
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: VinceW on March 10, 2013, 03:07:55
Here's a chart of GDP growth in Venezuela when Chavez was in power from 99 to 13 compared to other South American countries.

(http://marketmonetarist.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/latam-rgdp.jpg)

And here's a chart of inflation during that time.

(http://marketmonetarist.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/latam-inflation.jpg)

Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: jollyjacktar on March 10, 2013, 13:14:04
SNL mocks Hugo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDOW0k-c2JA)

Justin Timberlake doing his Elton John impression of "Candle in the Wind" at Hugo's good bye.  Awesome!   ;D
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: VinceW on March 15, 2013, 22:16:32
Chavez won't be put on public dislpay after all his body wasn't properly perserved and he's going to the cemetary where he wanted to be buried instead.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/hugo-chavez-body-won-embalmed-article-1.1287870
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on November 13, 2013, 22:40:10
Despite the end of Chavez, Venezuela continues to spiral down the drain as the government continues many of the policies of Chavezism:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-12/venezuela-s-economic-war-on-itself-.html

Quote
Venezuela's Economic War on Itself
By Megan McArdle Nov 12, 2013 4:57 PM ET

Two disturbing stories came out of Venezuela this weekend. The first involves the Miami Herald’s Andean bureau chief, who was detained for 48 hours after he asked for an interview with military officials in the city of San Cristobal. The Venezuelan government says that he didn’t have permission to report in the country. Repressive governments often use this kind of flimsy pretext when they don’t like the questions you’re asking -- but outside of violent dictatorships, I believe the customary practice is to take you to the airport and watch you get on a plane back home, not to arrest you.
The second is even more extraordinary -- so much so that I’m not even going to summarize it.

Thousands of Venezuelans lined up outside the country's equivalent of Best Buy, a chain of electronics stores known as Daka, hoping for a bargain after the socialist government forced the company to charge customers "fair" prices.

President Nicolas Maduro ordered a military "occupation" of the company's five stores as he continues the government's crackdown on an "economic war" it says is being waged against the country, with the help of Washington.

Members of Venezuela's National Guard, some of whom carried assault rifles, kept order at the stores as bargain hunters rushed to get inside….

Daka's store managers, according to Maduro, have been arrested and are being held by the country's security services. Neither Daka nor the government responded to requests for comment.

These stories are more connected than they might at first appear. The detained reporter was looking into upcoming municipal elections and the chronic shortages of basic goods that have plagued Venezuela. And the “military occupation” of an electronics retailer comes ahead of those elections, in which Maduro’s party is not expected to do well.

The roots of both of these issues go back to Chavismo, the left-wing ideology of former president Hugo Chavez, who used Venezuela's oil revenues to support huge social spending. Unfortunately, Venezuela’s heavy, sulfurous crude requires a lot of continual investment to keep it coming out of the ground, and much of that investment has been diverted. Since Chavez took office, Venezuela has been pumping less and less of the stuff:

Source: U.S. Department of Energy
This was basically OK as long as oil prices were rising. But in 2009, they fell precipitously, and they have yet to recover. For the last few years, they’ve been basically flat.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy
As a result, gross domestic product per capita is also basically flat; whatever the other benefits, the social welfare spending has not translated into an economy that can withstand stagnation in the oil sector:

Source: World Development Indicators
As oil prices fell, the government inevitably ran into political trouble, which it has tried to manage with ill-considered economic interventions such as price controls. Shortages of basic household goods are common, and currency restrictions have sent the price of airline tickets soaring as Venezuelans resort to vacations as a way to get a hold of scarce foreign currency.

These restrictions tend to fall apart, creating the need for even more extreme measures. That is what we are now seeing. Politics and economics are never separable, but they are particularly entwined in Venezuela. And as the economics get worse, so does the government.

About Megan McArdle»
Megan McArdle is a Bloomberg View columnist who writes on economics, business and public policy
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on February 12, 2014, 22:10:52
Deadly portests in Venezuela. some pictures, tweets and video on the link:

http://faustasblog.com/2014/02/venezuela-huge-demonstrations/

Quote
Venezuela: Huge demonstrations UPDATED

7:40PM EST:
The whereabouts of the students arrested last week is unknown. Today’s student demonstrations protested their arrest. Last week’s demonstration protested the lack of security in Venezuela.

One of the three dead was a student who died of his wounds after Tupamaros confronted protestors in Táchira state today.

7:17PM EST:
Raw video from the streets of Caracas, of the moment a student got shot

Tanks on the streets of Barquisimeto,



LInked to by Instapundit. Thank you!

7:10PM EST (7:30PM Caracas time):
NTN24 reports 3 dead.

6:30PM EST:
More details on 2 killed as Venezuelan protests turn violent: marauding motorcyclists were involved
Gunfire erupted in downtown Caracas when armed members of a pro-government vigilante group arrived on motorcycles and began firing at more than 100 anti-Maduro student protesters clashing with security forces.
As the crowd fled in panic, one demonstrator fell to the ground with a bullet wound in his head. Onlookers screamed “assassins” as they rushed the 24-year-old student, later identified by family members as Bazil D’Acosta, to a police vehicle.

Also killed was the leader of a pro-government 23rd of January collective, as militant supporters of Venezuela’s socialist administration call themselves. National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello said the “revolutionary” known by his nickname Juancho was “vilely assassinated by the fascists” but he didn’t provide details.

6:07PM EST:
Another demonstration, this time a cacerolazo (where people bang on pots and pans from their homes) scheduled for 8PM Caracas time. Twitterers at #12FVenezuelaPaLaCalle expect a power outage.

Colombia’s NTN24 DirectTV & website down, their YouTube livefeed still on.

Noticias24: Prosecutor’s Office confirms 2 dead, 23 wounded

5:47PM EST:
Minister Elías Jaua allegedly gave the orders to shoot the demostrators


5:17PM EST UPDATE:
Twitter #12FVenezuelaPaLaCalle

Two students reported dead.

Government shuts down the NTN24 website but they still have their YouTube livefeed:

Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on February 15, 2014, 21:46:21
Authoratarian regimes are very brittle by nature, and socialist regimes excel at destroying wealth and the wealth generating institutions that underly much of a functioning society. The contrasting example of Syria and Detroit are not there by accident, the Syrian regime worked (and what's left of it continues to work) in much the same fashion. The key takeaway for all of us is that *culture* matters in an absolute manner, far more than wealth or natural resources: culture is what allows people to convert these things into something of value.

Our own civic culture is decaying in much the same way, except the process is much slower and enough people are still resisting (even if only passively) to prevent the total takeover of the "small platoons" of daily life and culture that keep neighbourhoods and civilizations functional. A lesson and a warning to us all:

http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2014/02/13/postmortem/?print=1

Quote
Postmortem
Posted By Richard Fernandez On February 13, 2014 @ 8:39 pm In Uncategorized | 138 Comments

The suddenness of Venezuela’s collapse should have come as no surprise because downfalls are inherently abrupt. Collapse is a phase change. One moment something is sailing along fat, dumb and happy and the next moment it is sinking beneath the waves. The change from two to one is a loss of 50%; but the change from one to zero is binary.

So it was in Venezuela. Imagine waiting two years [1] to buy a car and finding just when you thought you finally buy one that there are no cars for sale at all.

Leonardo Hernandez had hoped to buy a new car this year, ending nearly two years of waiting on various lists at different dealerships throughout the country.

Those hopes were dashed last week when Toyota Motor Co. said it would shut down its assembly operations in Venezuela due to the government’s foreign exchange controls that have crippled imports and made it impossible to bring in parts needed to build its vehicles.

The country’s other car manufacturers, including General Motors and Ford, haven’t even started operations this year, while waiting for needed parts to arrive.

Think of not being able to buy soap, rice or toilet paper or order a cup of coffee, where even the rich are feeling poor [2]. “In the serene private clubs of Caracas, there is no milk, and the hiss of the cappuccino machine has fallen silent. In the slums, the lights go out every few days, or the water stops running. In the grocery stores, both state-run shops and expensive delicatessens, customers barter information: I saw soap here, that store has rice today. The oil engineers have emigrated to Calgary, the soap opera stars fled to Mexico and Colombia. And in the beauty parlours of this nation obsessed with elaborate grooming, women both rich and poor have cut back to just one blow-dry or manicure each week.”

Imagine there’s no money to keep up the sovereign bond payments, the only source of money to keep power plants going.

Welcome to Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, a country with the fifth largest oil reserves in the world and absolutely broke. It’s a remarkable achievement for Chavismo. A just-wow moment. Socialism is useless at everything except for smashing things in record time. There it excels. It’s hard to imagine that as late as the 1980s [3] Venezuela had the highest standard of living in Latin America. But then in 1960 Detroit was the richest city in the world in per capita income. Now it’s well … Detroit.

James Eccleton [4] remarked on how the mighty have fallen. “Brazil is becoming Argentina, Argentina is becoming Venezuela, and Venezuela is becoming Zimbabwe.” The question that always puzzles historians about the fall of great and rich countries is: ‘why didn’t they say it coming?’ How did they let disaster sneak up on them?

Adam Smith once remarked that “there is a great deal of ruin in a nation”. That is usually understood to mean that it takes a long time to break things.  And that’s probably what Leonard Hernandez thought: maybe next year things will get better and I’ll buy that car. But is more correct to say ‘a great deal of ruin’ means “it takes a long time to realize that things are breaking”.

The clue is the total finality of the crash when it comes. The victim when examined for postmortem is drained of blood; his organs are all twisted and perverted. The dead man was not ‘a little weaker than yesterday’ but in a far more fragile than was supposed. The damage was hidden as if the final day of reckoning was put off by eating the seed corn, pawning the family jewels and finally, selling the family members to buy the final meal — in a word as if everything was consumed to counterfeit the appearance of normalcy.

Thus, the collapse when it comes is unexpectedly complete. When National Intelligence Director James Clapper says Syria has become an ‘apocalyptic disaster’ it doesn’t simply mean that Syria is a little worse than in 2011, but far, far worse than we thought it was even in December 2013.  The husk of Syria has not only consumed its final supplies of food, but also its reserves of comity, good will, human capital and luck.

The real damage was internal. A society can survive the loss of things, but it cannot survive without institutions or the destruction of culture. Culture is to nations what an immune system is to people. Nations under siege fall back on some atavistic condition. Thus, occupied Poland becomes more Catholic, as does Ireland, and as Egypt perhaps becomes more Muslim. They fall back on the known and the comforting. City Hall might collapse and the factory temporarily closed but if culture and identity survive these things can be reopened again.

The apocalypse of Syria means that many people don’t even want to reopen things any more.  They hate their neighbors, individually and collectively.

The genius of the Left — Chavez’s for example — is that it destroys things from the inside out.  They pervert religion, collapse the mores, abolish the family, shred the constitution and gradually expropriate the property. The differences from one day to the next are apparently imperceptible, but it is harder and harder to go back until finally there is no reversal of ‘progressive gains’ possible at all.  The public is finally faced with the stark choice between chaos or authoritarianism.  And most people will chose the Boss over the Mob.

The problem with Venezuela is that Chavismo [5] has left people with nowhere else to go. It’s burned the bridges. There’s no reopening the car plants or restarting the factories, or even repairing the power plants. The engineers have all emigrated to Alberta, Canada. The same can be said of Syria. Who wants to open a store in Homs? In ten years nobody left in Homs will even remember how to do it. A whole generation of children is now growing up who know nothing other than war.

One reason why Japan recovered relatively quickly after the Second World War was while the massive aerial assault leveled Japan’s cities it did not destroy the cultural and social institutions of Japan. When the smoke cleared the Japanese were still there and they rebuilt. By contrast destroying culture is so much more lethal. Detroit was untouched by the war. Not a bomb fell on it. But years of public education worked their magic. It dismantled the culture and social institutions which once built its factories. Time [6] reports Detroit had posted the lowest math scores in the history of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

“These numbers are only slightly better than what one would expect by chance as if the kids had never gone to school and simply guessed at the answers,” said Michael Casserly, executive director of the Washington-based Council of the Great City Schools, which represents large urban school districts. “These numbers … are shocking and appalling and should not be allowed to stand.”

Not only will they be allowed to stand but improved upon in every negative way, thus proving that union education is arguably more destructive than the Atomic Bomb, only less obviously so. The reason why collapse, especially that caused by socialism, is so utterly complete is that the damage remains hidden for so long. The design margin is used up; savings are depleted; the institutions are hollowed out; public morality becomes perverted and education becomes nothing but a credential — and it all happens out of the public eye. Only when everything is used up, as in Venezuela, when the whole edifice implodes, as if by magic, does the cumulative effect become manifest.

Most people are spurred into resistance by a crisis. But they remain lulled into complacency while the crisis remains imperceptible. Progressive tyranny benefits from image management, and takes great pains to keep crisis from view. The most insidious thing about a secret police is its very secrecy, because the mayhem it wreaks is upon the intangibles, among things we call legitimacy. So it goes until only a facade is left. Until the day of death the victim is largely asymptomatic, except for a gradual weakening. When the onset comes he discovers that his immune system is completely gone and the end is sudden.

That’s how disaster sneaks up on a world determined never to see it coming.

Article printed from Belmont Club: http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2014/02/13/postmortem/

URLs in this post:

[1] waiting two years: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/02/13/venezuela-toyota-car-industry/5433735/
[2] even the rich are feeling poor: http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandeztheglobeandmail.com/news/world/venezuelas-economy-on-the-edge-of-the-apocalypse/article16845406/
[3] as late as the 1980s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Venezuela
[4] James Eccleton: http://james-eccleston.com/latameye/?p=149
[5] Chavismo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chavismo
[6] Time: http://detroit.blogs.time.com/2009/12/08/parental-guidance-suggested/
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on February 17, 2014, 22:35:27
Reading the news about places as diverse as the South China Sea, Syria, the Ukraine and Venezuela, I'm sure people looking for a tour won't have to wait too long......

http://babalublog.com/2014/02/16/cuba-training-armed-government-groups-attacking-and-killing-protestors-in-venezuela/

Quote
Cuba training armed government groups attacking and killing protestors in Venezuela
By Alberto de la Cruz, on February 16, 2014, at 8:14 am

There is a very good reason Cuba's Castro dictatorship is on the U.S. State Department's list of States Sponsors of Terrorism. As the report and video below clearly show, Cuba's repressive apartheid regime is training armed groups in Venezuela in the terrorist black art of repression, torture, and murder. This dark and bloody art is being put to use by Venezuela's puppet dictatorship, which takes orders directly from Havana and has for the last week been attempting to quash mounting protests with violence and lethal force.

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

Cuba Training Venezuelan Armed Groups


In the video below (or click here), former Cuban intelligence official, Uberto Mario, describes (in Spanish) how the Castro regime is currently training Venezuelan armed groups.

Mario defected during his "service" in Venezuela.

Known as the Venezuelan Tupamaros, these are the groups who are violently and lethally attacking student protesters.

In other words, old habits die hard for the Castro regime.

Another reason why Cuba remains a "state-sponsor of terrorism."
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Journeyman on February 17, 2014, 23:38:23
Reading the news about places as diverse as the South China Sea, Syria, the Ukraine and Venezuela, I'm sure people looking for a tour won't have to wait too long......
This has been an on-going situation, with President Maduro following former-Pres Chavez's TT&Ps, using Cuban-advised terrorists to keep "the Marxist Revolution alive" in the face of protests for increasing democracy and a freer economy (unlike Canadian student protesters, these folks understand that Marxism doesn't work  ;) ). 

As noted, for those interested in that part of the world (or geeks who read Al-Jazeera and subscribe to Stratfor, etc   :nod:  ), it's an old story.  In fact, Al-J had a pretty interesting article on this issue about 6 months ago, here (http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/06/20136714438856229.html) -- Chris Arsenault, "Awe and fear: Politicised gangs of Venezuela. Tupamaros enforce rough justice in Venezuela's slums to support socialism, but critics say the group are violent thugs." Al-Jazeera, 08 Jun 2013. 
[Someone let me know if that link doesn't work without a subscription; if so, I'll post the key bits]

However, I'm not sure the government is ready to pour troops into Venezuela just yet.  While we do have strong-ish trading links with Venezuela: "Canada’s 6th largest trading partner in Latin America and the Caribbean (excluding Mexico)" [DFAIT ::)  DFATD website], I don't think that's enough to qualify as a "national security interest."


Part of me also feels, completely without sources, that quite a few people in our higher government/bureaucratic echelons take a perverse pride in thumbing their noses at the Americans, vis-à-vis our ongoing relations with Cuba.  I suspect that they would counsel strongly against foreign involvement that could jeopardize our American tourist-free Caribbean destination.

        :2c:
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Technoviking on February 18, 2014, 09:16:04
[Someone let me know if that link doesn't work without a subscription; if so, I'll post the key bits]

It works without subscription.  Thank you for the link.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Nemo888 on February 18, 2014, 11:44:56
This has been an on-going situation, with President Maduro following former-Pres Chavez's TT&Ps, using Cuban-advised terrorists to keep "the Marxist Revolution alive" in the face of protests for increasing democracy and a freer economy (unlike Canadian student protesters, these folks understand that Marxism doesn't work  ;) ). 

However, I'm not sure the government is ready to pour troops into Venezuela just yet.  While we do have strong-ish trading links with Venezuela: "Canada’s 6th largest trading partner in Latin America and the Caribbean (excluding Mexico)" [DFAIT ::)  DFATD website], I don't think that's enough to qualify as a "national security interest."

Socialism seems to work fine in Europe. If you think that is the problem in Venezuela you are are not getting it. Venezuela's corporate tax rate is 34.0 exactly the same as the personal income tax rate of 34%. Almost identical to Malta's 35%/35%. Personal income tax in Iceland tops out at 46.22%, Norway 47.8%(and a 1.1% wealth tax), Denmark 51.7% and Sweden 56.6%. France's corporate tax rate is 33.33%. Personal liberty is infinitely more important than the economic system. Capitalism is not a system of governance, most people forget that.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Journeyman on February 18, 2014, 12:24:06
         :not-again:

.....you are are not getting it.

Personal liberty is infinitely more important than the economic system.

Really?  I've been following this for a few years now, and the two overwhelmingly reoccurring themes in Venezuelan protests are: a) greater public say in governance, which includes elections free of 'gang' intimidation, followed up by officials who will listen to the electorate; and b) an economic system that allows for greater mobility and opportunities for profit by those working for it, which is denied by the current "socialist" system*  -- which is to say, increasing democracy and a freer economy.  At least that's what they believe to be the aims of their protesting;  I guess they "don't get it."


* Well, you call it "socialist," and believe -- or try to claim -- that it's identical to European Socialism, which casts strong doubts on any claims made here. The Venezuelans themselves say it's a unique "Bolivarian Revolution," while the rest of the world calls it one of the last bastions of old-school Marxism.  Again, perhaps you know more about the Venezuelans' situation than they do.


People tossing out trite aphorisms such as "Capitalism is not a system of governance, most people forget that," obviously don't have a clue about the interacting linkages extant within chosen systems of governance and economics.  Despite the crap bandied about in Politics 101, a catchy phrase does not constitute a proof.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 18, 2014, 13:23:07
WARNING :off topic:

There are precious few European socialists: none in Western Europe, and there never really were many ~  a lot of Fabians and sundry Scandinavian and Germanic variations of that and the few real socialists that were there were the 'children' of the Paris Commune (187) and were, therefore, quite demented.

There were some in Eastern Europe: the Mensheviks, most notably, who subscribed to real Marxism and, consequently, believed that Russia had to, first become capitalist (and a capitalist failure) before it could become socialist.

There were, and still are, some in Asia. Zhou Enlai was, most notably, a real, honest to god socialist. he actually believed in "from each according to his ability and to each according to his needs."

I think the so called Bolivarians are socialists. Some of the main elements of real socialism, especially "land reform" (a euphemism for a fairly overt form of theft of private property) have been in the mainstream of Latin American revolutionary thought for more than a century.

Socialism cannot, in my opinion work because it does depend, wholly, upon perfect humans who will actually believe in and practice "from each according to his ability and to each according to his needs." If even a tiny minority don't believe that ~ and that minority is most likely to include the leaders of any socialist government (consider 175 years of Latin American flirtations with socialism) ~ then the system will collapse. I am pretty certain that I can say that mankind is not perfect; we will be willing to "give' "to each according to his needs" just as long as we aren't 'giving' what we own. Nemo888, for example, will cheerfully expropriate and redistribute my property but he will not tolerate having his home seized and given to the poor. As soon as we actually see socialism in action we know that it involves dragging everyone down to a lowest common level, not dragging anyone up to a higher socio-economic level.

The Social Democrats in Western Europe are practitioners of welfare state politics, not socialism. There are quite successful advanced welfare states ~ the USA, Germany, Denmark and Canada for example. They all share one dominant characteristic: they are resoundingly capitalist economies. Even when there were large state owned enterprises (telephone and telegraph networks, some with their own banks, for example) they were, eventually, privatized because state owned enterprises all failed when exposed to a free market.

Marx explained that socialism had to be built on the ruins of capitalism, it was, in his mind, a final, evolutionary step in human development. But capitalism refuses to crash into ruins. It keeps on reinventing itself ~ most recently in East Asia.

Capitalism is more than just an economic system. It is also a system of social and political organization. It rests on a right to private property. This fundamental right has existed in English legal/political custom  for about 1,500 years. It predates the equally fundamental rights to life and liberty. Social/political structures evolved in two ways: in most of continental Europe, and most of the rest of the world, the magnates or notables or whoever contested with the monarch for absolute power. In England (not Britain) they followed a different path: they decided that it would be better to constrain or contain the monarch's power. This was accomplished, largely, by limiting his power to tax. By the early 11th century it appears that the notables' power extended to electing their monarch, albeit only from amongst an approved list of candidates.

William brought the continental, absolute, power system with him but it didn't last. The Norman magnates were only too happy to adopt the local, Anglo-Saxon political culture which protected their property. By the 16th century the parliament's control of the public purse was near absolute, again, and the office of Lord Treasurer was, de facto, the highest political office in the land. (See Queen Elizabeth and William Cecil (Lord Burghley.) The office of First Lord of the Treasury, the de facto and de jure head of government came into formal use in 1714, after the Glorious Revolution. A few years alter Sir Robert Walpole adopted the title of prime minister but the title "First Lord of the Treasury" is still in official use and the first lord is always the prime minister. (The second lord is the Chancellor of the Exchequer.)

In other words: the treasury, the state's power to tax and spend, is at the very heart of English and Canadian democracy. The English 'model' - controlling the state by controlling it's power to interfere with anyone's private property - generally applies in Scandinavia and Germany, too.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Journeyman on February 18, 2014, 14:58:12
Ya, that's what I was getting at -- except you fleshed it out a bit.....and I had more of a sneer.   ;D



A derisive sneer, actually.    :nod:
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Brad Sallows on February 19, 2014, 22:20:56
Socialism cannot, in my opinion work ...

...because of an underlying reality that is highlighted by two disciplines: the military profession knows it as "decision cycle", and the economics profession refers to it as an information problem.

No number of eggheads schooled in the best academies devoted to preparing a governing class can get inside the decision cycle of millions of people.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on February 19, 2014, 23:03:24
While Venezuela crumbles, other South American states band together in a real free market alliance:

http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2014/02/17/lefty-meltdown-leads-latin-revival/

Quote
Lefty Meltdown Leads Latin Revival
Are we about to witness a big power shift in Latin America?

Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina are languishing in differing shades of turmoil, steadily losing ground to regional underdogs. The Pacific Alliance, an historic trade agreement between Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Colombia (and coming soon: Costa Rica), has the potential to recolor Latin America’s economic map and introduce some new regional powerhouses to the world stage. As The Atlantic points out, not all the credit goes to the underdogs:

One reason the Pacific Alliance may succeed is the increasingly urgent need to transcend the chronic failure to link Latin America’s economies.

The Alliance would never have become a priority for its four members if Brazil had offered a credible plan to further economic integration with its most trade-oriented Latin American neighbors. Or if Hugo Chávez had been less successful in making free trade a bad word. The late Venezuelan president prioritized political over economic integration, and he was not shy about using his country’s oil to scuttle “neoliberal free trade agreements.” The United States, meanwhile, was too distracted by emergencies abroad and hobbled by gridlocked politics at home to launch initiatives capable of inspiring Latin American leaders.

The newly formed bloc is made up of Latin America’s fastest growing economies. These states boast the region’s most competitive, business-friendly economies and the lowest inflation rates. Current transactions between these countries  represent a mere 4 percent of their total trade; the potential for increased financial cooperation is immense. They have already eliminated 92 percent of trade tariffs.

The Latin Lefties are none too pleased with the new arrangement. Bolivian President Evo Morales called the alliance a Washington-led conspiracy. Brazil’s Lula and Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa decried the Alliance as a neoliberal takeover.

But while these leaders sulk, their countries continue to disintegrate. Mass unrest continues to roil Venezuela; protestors are fed up with government corruption, media censorship, and a failing economy. An Argentinian inflation crisis threatens economic disaster. Brazil, which the WSJ called a “wilting giant”, faces yet another year of economic contraction. On top of that, the country’s 2014 World Cup preparations are foundering and civil unrest is growing more belligerent (and then there’s Brazil’s upcoming summer Olympics preparation to worry about).

The Pacific Alliance offers a glimmer of hope for a Latin revival. For all their leaders’ buoyant rhetoric and revolutionary zeal, the region’s past powerhouses have failed to deliver in many ways. If the Pacific Alliance is the start of something fruitful, it would be another nail in the Bolivarians’s coffin.
Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Chris Pook on February 20, 2014, 12:15:43
There is one aspect of the socialist project that resonates with Western Europe's Social Democrats and that is exemplified in one line from one of their favourite poets:

Quote
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.

This is the common thread that connects the EU to the Socialist International (and the Comintern) as well as various empires and the Ultra-Montanist Church.

It is not important what one believes.  It is only important that everyone believes one thing.  When that day happens peace will break out and there will be a New Jerusalem "In England's green and pleasant land" - and Rome, Constantinople and Moscow.

They must create consensus.   Where they can't create a natural consensus they marginalize the non-consenting.  If that fails and the margins become too fat then there has been an established tradition of active measures to thin the ranks of the those other than the consenting.
Title: Venezuela arrests 3 air force generals "plotting coup"
Post by: S.M.A. on March 25, 2014, 21:15:11
Seems Venezuela's President Maduro just pre-empted a coup by 3 Venezuela Air Force generals against him:

From Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/25/us-venezuela-protests-idUSBREA2O1KT20140325):

Quote

Venezuela arrests three air force generals 'plotting coup'

By:  Daniel Wallis and Eyanir Chinea, Reuters
 March 26, 2014 3:34 AM

CARACAS - Venezuela has arrested three air force generals accused of plotting a coup in league with opposition politicians during the country's rumbling civil unrest, the president said on Tuesday.

The move follows weeks of violence around anti-government protests that have killed 36 people in the nation's worst unrest for a decade.

In recent years, Venezuela's socialist government has routinely accused its rivals of scheming to seize power by force and assassinate its leaders, although it has rarely followed up with concrete proof of such headline-grabbing claims.

"Last night we captured three generals ... who tried to raise the air force against the legitimate, constitutional government," President Nicolas Maduro said on state TV during a meeting with South American foreign ministers in Caracas.

He did not name the officers, but said the plot was revealed by colleagues of the generals who were "alarmed" when they heard of the conspiracy. The three were now in custody of military courts

(...EDITED)

Title: Re: The Hugo Chavez/ Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on April 03, 2014, 20:20:09
Venezuela does a swan dive, as Socialist economics works its magic:

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-04-01/venezuela-wants-to-spread-the-suffering

Quote
Venezuela Wants to Spread the Suffering
3 APR 1, 2014 4:52 PM EDT
By Megan McArdle

Venezuela’s economy is starting to remind me of the old woman who swallowed a fly. Those who attended kindergarten in the U.S. will well remember her saga:

There was an old woman who swallowed a bird,
How absurd! to swallow a bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,
I don't know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps she'll die.
. . . and on up through dogs and goats and cows, each one intended to deal with the animal that had preceded it down her gullet.

And why does this remind me of Venezuela’s economy? Well, first the late President Hugo Chavez diverted money from capital investment in the oil industry to “social investment” in the poor. Unlike the old lady with the fly, I do understand why he did that. And for a while, it worked -- oil production fell, and the decline was more than offset by rising oil prices. After a while, however, oil prices stopped rising, and Venezuela got into a spot of trouble. As the trouble got deeper, the government started having trouble laying its hands on ready cash.

“As the price tag of the Chavez/Maduro regime has grown, the country has dipped more and more into the coffers of its state-owned oil company, PDVSA, and (increasingly) the country’s central bank," Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins recently explained.

This created a little problem with Venezuela’s currency, the bolivar. Venezuela now has runaway inflation. Naturally, it needed to do something about that, so -- price controls. And currency restrictions. Hanke’s data show that the gap between the official exchange rate and the black-market rate for the bolivar has dramatically widened:

Any economist -- or, for that matter, anyone who slept through one semester of microeconomics -- can tell you what came next: shortages. It became regularly impossible to buy toilet paper, flour or anything else at controlled rates; when such items were available, lines were often hours long, and people started hoarding.

Sales of airline tickets boomed as people used trips abroad (which often took place only on paper) to get around currency restrictions. Then they plummeted when the government cracked down on this dodge and refused to let the airlines repatriate billions in ticket revenue. Some airlines have stopped selling tickets in the country; a couple of weeks ago, Air Canada suspended its flights to and from Venezuela entirely, citing civil unrest. Oh, dear, did I forget to mention the civil unrest? A lot of folks aren’t very happy about the chronic shortages and instability.

Now the government is setting up what appears to be a rationing system, although at the moment it’s still voluntary. It is shopping incentive cards that allow shoppers a slim chance of winning prizes -- and give the government a way to crack down on people who buy too much stuff at subsidized prices.

As with the old lady and the fly, Venezuela’s government may be running out of encores. It can crack down on black-market activity, but that won’t make the shortages go away. It might redistribute the suffering a bit, but that’s not all it will do. The black market is often a sort of release valve for bad policy; shut it down, and you turn the formerly annoying into the totally intolerable.

There is, as Adam Smith once observed, “a lot of ruin in a nation.” President Nicolas Maduro seems determined to find out exactly how much Venezuela has left.

To contact the writer of this article:
Megan McArdle at mmcardle3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this article:
Brooke Sample at bsample1@bloomberg.net.
Title: Coup in Venezuela ? Rumor
Post by: tomahawk6 on January 13, 2015, 11:51:36
Unsubstantiated at this point.Mods delete until more info is available.
Title: Re: Coup in Venezuela ? Rumor
Post by: jollyjacktar on January 13, 2015, 12:14:34
There might be something to it as they are really being hurt by the price of oil according to news reports this week.
Title: Re: Coup in Venezuela ? Rumor
Post by: milnews.ca on January 13, 2015, 13:07:15
So far, calls for messiness while the boss is away (http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/jan/13/tensions-boil-over-in-venezuela-in-presidents/), but no coup reports (yet) ....
Quote
A high-profile Venezuelan opposition leader is calling for protests while President Nicolas Maduro travels abroad seeking help for the financially struggling country.

Tensions have escalated in recent days as the socialist administration has deployed troops and implemented a rationing system to control lines for groceries.

Henrique Capriles, who nearly defeated Maduro in the 2013 presidential election, said Monday that it was time for public demonstrations.

"We are in a state of emergency," he said. "This is the time to mobilize in the streets"

Caprilies did not support the protests called by more radical opposition leaders last spring. Those protests wracked the country for months and left more than 40 people dead.

Maduro has been out of the country for more than a week, visiting China and members of the oil cartel OPEC to push for a cut in output. Oil prices have fallen by more than half since June, battering Venezuela's already staggering economy.

Oil accounts for more than 95 percent of the South American country's export earnings ....
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: George Wallace on January 13, 2015, 13:36:18
Looks like quite a mess down there. 


Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.
Quote
Venezuela Just Had A 'Let Them Eat Cake' Moment (http://www.businessinsider.com/venezuela-food-minister-dismiss-shortages-2015-1)
LINETTE LOPEZ
JAN. 12, 2015, 1:46 PM

In Venezuela, a plunge in oil prices, the country's main export, has turned a goods shortage problem into an unmitigated national disaster, but the tragedy seems lost on the country's food minister, Yván José Bello Rojas.
Venezuelans can wait in grocery-store lines for days to find products that may not even be on the shelves — this has been the case for over a year. But when a reporter asked Rojas if he ever waits in lines, he said:

"I've been in tons of lines. I went to my favorite sports team's game this weekend, and I had to get in line to get a parking space. I got in line to buy my ticket. And then ... I made a line to get into the stadium. And you know what, I made a line to find my seat. And then you know what," Bello finished with satisfaction, "I went to go buy an arepa [Venezuelan sandwich] ... and I had to wait in line there, too."

Reporter Ana Vanessa Herrero then asked him about a woman she'd recently interviewed who was looking for diapers for two days and couldn't find them.

"She's exaggerating," he said, "no one would wait in line for six days for anything," he added, interrupting the chorus of reporters throwing out anecdotes to the contrary.
Earlier in the seven-minute interview Bello explained the shortage problem was not due to an unbalanced Venezuelan economy manipulated by government price regulation and bloated by government spending, but due to issues with distribution.

"The same people can't just go and buy the same products every day," Rojas said matter-of-factly, adding that one person couldn't possibly buy one gallon of milk per day, for example, even if they had the money to do it. "More than anything [the shortage] is a distribution problem because if any government has done their homework on food, it's this Bolivaran government."

So if the people can't find food in government grocery stores, let them eat cake? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_them_eat_cake)

Ultimately, Bello refused to answer Herrero's questions, because she would not agree with the administration's prevailing idea that all this economic suffering — rampant inflation, dwindling central-bank coffers, and more — is the result of an economic war on the Venezuela.

Herrero said that since this interview was released, she has been blocked from government events and received threatening calls demanding that she take the video down. She took to Twitter to say that under no circumstance would she buckle to government pressure.

"Don't waste your time calling to threaten me," she said. "I'm not going to take down the video that hurt the minister of food."

Around this time last year, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets to protest inflation and corruption. After about a month, the leader of the opposition, Leopoldo Lopez, was taken into police custody and he still rots in jail awaiting trial. Other leaders, like Maria Corina Machado, have been designated traitors to the government. Unrest has, for the most part, been crushed.

The way things are, however, and with the government as tone-deaf as it has been, it's only a matter of time before Venezuelans take to the streets once again. The question traders are asking from New York City to Hong Kong is ... will the people break before the economy does?

Speaking on a visit to Doha on Monday, President Nicolas Maduro stuck to the party line, blaming oil's ruinous price plunge on the global capitalism "of the north."

"The capitalism of the world of the north is trying to destroy OPEC, to control sources of energy, to destroy the just prices that we need and have been assimilated by the entire world," said Maduro.

Apparently no one told him that prices change. If he needs a primer, he should ask the Venezuelan people. They've been learning that lesson the hardest way possible.



More on LINK (http://www.businessinsider.com/venezuela-food-minister-dismiss-shortages-2015-1).
Title: Ex-general, soldiers arrested in Venezuelan coup plot
Post by: cupper on February 14, 2015, 20:45:10
Ex-general, soldiers arrested in coup plot

http://thechronicleherald.ca/world/1269143-ex-general-soldiers-arrested-in-coup-plot

Quote
CARACAS — Venezuelan officials say a retired air force general has been arrested and 13 other people are implicated in a plot to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro.

President Nicolas Maduro said the plan was to attack his presidential palace and other government buildings on Thursday.

Congress president Diosdado Cabello said in a television broadcast late Thursday evening that 11 soldiers were among those implicated, including a retired general, and he said several have been arrested.

He also named two opposition politicians and a businessman as plotters.

Cabello showed photos of weaponry and other items he said had been seized from those implicated.

Venezuela’s government has frequently alleged coup plots. Last year three air force officers were arrested, but there has been no word on developments in their case.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: E.R. Campbell on April 21, 2015, 11:41:32
And, according to reports today (http://thediplomat.com/2015/04/maduro-china-gives-5-billion-loan-to-venezuela/), China has decided to rescue Venezuela from almost certain economic disaster (default) with a $5B loan. This is, I think, over and above the $4B loan (http://www.bnn.ca/News/2014/7/21/China-to-loan-4B-to-Venezuela-in-exchange-for-oil.aspx) China provided last year, which, Venezuela said it would put into its foreign reserves (http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/11030). It is also, I think again, different from the $20 B China agreed to invest in Venezuela (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/08/china-venezuela-20bn-loans-financing-nicolas-maduro-beijing) just a few months ago.

OK, so how do you spell that word?

Oh, yeah, c o l o n y ...
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: jollyjacktar on April 21, 2015, 11:48:17
And, according to reports today (http://thediplomat.com/2015/04/maduro-china-gives-5-billion-loan-to-venezuela/), China has decided to rescue Venezuela from almost certain economic disaster (default) with a $5B loan. This is, I think, over and above the $4B loan (http://www.bnn.ca/News/2014/7/21/China-to-loan-4B-to-Venezuela-in-exchange-for-oil.aspx) China provided last year, which, Venezuela said it would put into its foreign reserves (http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/11030). It is also, I think again, different from the $20 B China agreed to invest in Venezuela (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/08/china-venezuela-20bn-loans-financing-nicolas-maduro-beijing) just a few months ago.

OK, so how do you spell that word?

Oh, yeah, c o l o n y  c o l o n ...

FTFY  ;D
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Colin P on April 21, 2015, 16:12:39
Since China just implied that the Philippines is the US "Submissive", I guess they felt a gap and needed their own plaything.  ;D
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on August 29, 2015, 14:17:43
Venezuela is reaching the point of hyperinflation (if they have not done so already; data is notoriously corrupt and out of date). This article in Bloomberg suggests a rather strange reason for setting up this situation in the first place: the government is trying t raise extra money via "seigniorage", although they are in a pretty terrible position if they are resorting to seigniorage to raise revenues.

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-08-28/printing-money-goes-haywire-in-venezuela

Quote
Printing Money Goes Haywire in Venezuela
AUG 28, 2015 9:03 AM EDT
By Megan McArdle

Venezuela seems to be hovering on the edge of tipping into hyperinflation. Or perhaps it has already fallen into the abyss. Given the paucity of official data -- the none-too-believable official figures were last published in February -- it's a little hard to tell. The best guess we have at the value of a Venezuelan bolivar comes from the Colombian village of Cucuta, where people go to buy currency so they can smuggle subsidized fuel and other price-controlled goods out of Venezuela. As The Economist notes: "Transactions are few; the dollar rate is calculated indirectly, from the value of the Colombian peso. The result is erratic, but more realistic than the three official rates."

Using those rates, economist Steve Hanke recently told Bloomberg that annual cost-of-living increases are running at about 722 percent. To put that in some perspective, it means that a $400 monthly grocery bill would climb to $2,888 in a year. That may not approach the legendary status of Hungary's postwar inflation, which reached 41.9 quadrillion percent in a single month, but it's devastating for savers, or for people like pensioners whose incomes consist of fixed payments. It's also pretty bad for the economy.

It's a bit of a mystery why this is happening. No, right, don't tell me: The government is printing too much money! Indeed. As Milton Friedman famously said, "Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon." When too much money is chasing too few goods, prices rise. And the most common source of "too much money" is government printing presses.

But I'm not asking for the mechanism; I'm asking for the reason. Why is the Venezuelan government resorting to the printing press?

I know you've got an answer to that, too. Seigniorage! That's the fancy name for the profit a government makes by printing bills and minting coins. If you can buy more goods and services with the cash you made than it cost you to make it, you have essentially collected a stealthy sort of tax on the people who take the money from you and give you valuable stuff in exchange.

In general, seigniorage revenue is trivial -- indeed, it costs the U.S. government more to make nickels and pennies than the coins themselves are worth. But even with higher-value bills, the revenues pale in comparison to, say, the income tax. Estimates are hard to come by, but a 1992 analysis by the Federal Reserve put the value of seigniorage to the Treasury at about 1.6 percent of real federal on-budget expenditure. It's not nothing, but it's not going to keep civil servants in pensions, either. And the U.S. enjoys an unusual amount of seigniorage revenue because dollars are in heavy demand among citizens of unstable countries and people who want to conduct illegal transactions in cash.

Governments can try to jack up the amount of seigniorage revenue by stealthily inflating the currency. Basically, they exploit an information asymmetry between them and the people they trade the money to: The government knows how much money there is, and its citizens don't. So they'll probably accept fewer units of currency than they would if they knew the government was going to print extra money and thus cause prices to rise again.

But this is a terrible way to make money, which is why governments normally don't resort to this one clever trick for raising government spending without raising taxes. The problem is that inflation expectations rise pretty rapidly to compensate, and then the government needs to print even more money to outrace its newly suspicious trading partners.

The core thing to understand about inflation as a policy tool is that in general, steady-state inflation doesn't do you any good; what you need is accelerating inflation. A little bit of inflation is actually OK -- it allows the economy to naturally cushion economic shocks that would otherwise lead to unemployment. In the dark ages of economics, some people got the idea that if a little bit of inflation was good, more must be even better: Set the printing presses to "full stun" and enjoy perpetually higher economic growth. (You still see this folk economics circulating on the Internet from time to time.) But this doesn't work. People start to expect the inflation, and the economy returns to its natural level of output, except that everyone's savings are now worth less. To get more growth, you have to inflate even faster than you did before.

Unfortunately, once inflation starts to accelerate, it's kind of hard to stop because people also start pricing the acceleration into their expectations. Hyperinflation has all sorts of bad knock-on effects: It hurts your capital base and makes people unwilling to plan for the future because they have no idea what their money will be worth. But the supreme irony is that after a certain point, the government actually starts losing money. You've probably heard of the much-maligned Laffer Curve, which was used to support unrealistically optimistic estimates of the revenue-generating effects of Reagan-era tax cuts. But it actually does a pretty good job describing what happens to government revenues during hyperinflation: First they go up, but then they go down, down, down, and the government stops being able to buy goods and services because people don't have any use for the money, except maybe to economize on the Kleenex they can no longer afford to buy.

These are not arcane secrets, known only to a select few in the economics community. I guarantee that there are sober analysts in the Venezuelan government who know exactly where this is headed. Why, then, have they let things get to a point where they are preparing to issue bigger bills so that people won't have to carry around a sack of money every time they want to run out for a quart of milk?

Part of the answer is that in the early days, inflating does make the government a little more money, and the point at which it starts to lose money is also the point at which the freight train is traveling 120 miles an hour, and it has a choice between slamming on the brakes and killing everyone instantly or waiting to hurtle over the cliff. Embezzlers and accounting frauds often start this way -- they fudge things just a little to cover a temporary shortfall. Only the underlying problem doesn't go away, and they need to fudge even more the next quarter to cover up both the gap they have now and the gap they covered up last quarter. They tend to be uncovered when the gap is so big that it can no longer be fudged. This is what happened to Bernie Madoff when the market collapsed.

The larger answer is that this is the end game of Chavismo. For about a decade, some sectors of the left hoped that Hugo Chavez represented an alternative to the neoliberal consensus on economic policy. Every time I wrote that Chavez was in fact direly mismanaging the economy, diverting investment funds that were needed to maintain oil output into social spending, I knew that I could look forward to receiving angry e-mails and comments accusing me of trying to sabotage his achievements for the benefit of my corporatist paymaster. And in fairness (though without minimizing his appalling authoritarianism), those policies undoubtedly did improve the lives of some incredibly poor people.

The problem was that the money he was using was, essentially, the nation's seed corn. Venezuelan crude oil is relatively expensive to extract and refine and required a high level of investment just to keep production level. As long as oil prices were booming, this policy wasn't too costly because the increase offset production losses. But this suffered from the same acceleration problem that we discussed earlier: The more production fell, the more the country needed prices to rise to offset it. Between 1996 and 2001, Venezuela was producing more than 3 million barrels a day. It is now producing about 2.7 million barrels a day. In real terms, the price of a barrel of oil is barely higher than it was in August 2000, but Venezuela is producing something like 700,000 fewer barrels each day. Policies that looked great on the way up -- more revenue and more social spending -- became disastrous on the way down as the population was hit with the double whammy of lower production and lower prices.

This was predictable. Indeed, many people predicted it, including me, though I was just channeling smarter and better-informed people, not displaying any particular sagacity. But the Venezuelan government either didn't listen to the predictions or didn't believe them. Now falling oil prices are crushing government revenues at exactly the time the country most needs money to help the people who are suffering great misery as the oil cash drains out of their economy. In the beginning, printing money may have looked like the best of a lot of bad options. By the time it became clear that the country was not fudging its way out of a temporary hole, but making a bad situation worse, it was committed to a course that is extremely painful to reverse.

Venezuela may be able to pull back from the edge, though it can only do so with great pain. Or it may end up in a hyperinflationary spiral, which will ultimately mean even greater pain. I don't envy the decisions it will have to make. Or the millions of Venezuelan people who will have to live with them.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author on this story:
Megan McArdle at mmcardle3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor on this story:
Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.net
Title: Venezuela troop buildup as it closes border with Colombia
Post by: S.M.A. on September 08, 2015, 19:28:08
Chavez's successor again up to no good:

Reuters (http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0R82FX20150908)

Quote
Venezuela extends Colombia border closure, sends 3,000 more troops
Tue Sep 8, 2015 3:09pm EDT
By Diego Ore

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela has extended a partial border shutdown with Colombia and sent another 3,000 troops to the area in a crime crackdown that has sent thousands of Colombians fleeing their adopted homeland and led to accusations of rights abuses.

The dispute has also created a diplomatic blow-up between President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government and the conservative administration of Juan Manuel Santos in Colombia.

Critics say Maduro is creating a distraction and playing the nationalist card before a December parliamentary election in which polls show his ruling Socialist Party in trouble.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on January 14, 2016, 01:06:39
Even after losing the4 election, Venezuela's Socialists appear to be digging in. The article suggests they may have to be removed by force, which would be a disaster in our own back yard (relatively speaking).

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/01/13/after-election-venezuela-paralyzed/

Quote
After Election, Venezuela Paralyzed

Even as its economy implodes as oil prices tank, Venezuela’s government is paralyzed. The Wall Street Journal reports:
 
On Tuesday, the president of the assembly and an opposition leader, Henry Ramos, said the day’s session failed to reach a quorum, with neither side showing up, as a battle between the branches of the badly splintered government heats up.

A day earlier, the Supreme Court—packed with government allies—declared all acts by the assembly null and void because the opposition-dominated legislature had defied an order by the magistrates barring three opposition lawmakers from being sworn in. President Nicolás Maduro’s United Socialist Party had asked the court for a review of the results, asserting that there was vote-buying on the part of the opposition in the remote state of Amazonas, a claim the opposition denies.

As the two sides maneuvered, it appeared that ruling party lawmakers would stay away from the assembly as Mr. Maduro tried to mute its role in governance. Indeed, the government is now trying to decide where the president would give his state-of-the-union address on Friday, a speech that until now has always been delivered in the assembly.

“We’re not going to make the quorum for the opposition,” Diosdado Cabello, a ruling party lawmaker and the former president of the assembly, told reporters.

As to the court rulings against the opposition, the opposition itself rejects its legitimacy:
 
The government’s critics say the Supreme Court lacks legitimacy because the lame-duck parliament last month violated constitutional norms by packing it with 13 Socialist-allied judges. The governor of Amazonas, Liborio Guarulla, who is opposed to Mr. Maduro, said the evidence presented by the government of irregularities on election day was bogus.

“We’re going to show how this has all just been a setup, that they are illegal recordings, editing, fake names and all of that,” he told reporters. “The situation of repression and lies has continued.”

This paralysis may be designed to give the National Communal Parliament, an extra-legal body convened by Cabello after the election loss and housed in the same building as the normal Congress, some legitimacy—or at least to make it the only legislature in town that can actually meet under its own rules.

The reality is that Venezuela’s socialist government will not yield to anything but force. Even then the country is so divided that some people seem to be ready for civil war to defend the Chavez project. It is hard to see a peaceful and smooth way forward.

The U.S. has long enjoyed the luxury of not having major crisis spots in its immediate neighborhood. That could be changing as Venezuela continues the slide toward catastrophe. Policymakers in Washington should probably start boning up on their Spanish.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Old Sweat on January 14, 2016, 01:10:53
I remember listening to a third world army officer argue quite convincingly, or perhaps sincerely, that the military was the legitimate political opposition that prevented one party dictatorships from prevailing.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on January 31, 2016, 22:38:38
Looks like the end game is finally coming into view:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/29/venezuela-is-on-the-brink-of-a-complete-collapse/

Quote
Venezuela is on the brink of a complete economic collapse
By Matt O'Brien January 29 

 Customers line up to get in for shopping at a state-run Bicentenario supermarket in Caracas May 2, 2014. President Nicolas Maduro is introducing a controversial shopping card intended to combat Venezuela's food shortages but decried by critics as a Cuban-style policy illustrating the failure of his socialist policies. Maduro, the 51-year-old successor to Hugo Chavez, trumpets the new "Secure Food Supply" card, which will set limits on purchases, as a way to stop unscrupulous shoppers stocking up on subsidized groceries and reselling them. REUTERS/Jorge Silva (VENEZUELA - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Customers line up to enter a state-run Bicentenario supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela. (Jorge Silva/Reuters)

The only question now is whether Venezuela's government or economy will completely collapse first.

The key word there is "completely." Both are well into their death throes. Indeed, Venezuela's ruling party just lost congressional elections that gave the opposition a veto-proof majority, and it's hard to see that getting any better for them any time soon — or ever. Incumbents, after all, don't tend to do too well when, according to the International Monetary Fund, their economy shrinks 10 percent one year, an additional 6 percent the next, and inflation explodes to 720 percent. It's no wonder, then, that markets expect Venezuela to default on its debt in the very near future. The country is basically bankrupt.

That's not an easy thing to do when you have the largest oil reserves in the world, but Venezuela has managed it. How? Well, a combination of bad luck and worse policies. The first step was when Hugo Chávez's socialist government started spending more money on the poor, with everything from two-cent gasoline to free housing. Now, there's nothing wrong with that — in fact, it's a good idea in general — but only as long as you actually, well, have the money to spend. And by 2005 or so, Venezuela didn't.

Why not? The answer is that Chávez turned the state-owned oil company from being professionally run to being barely run. People who knew what they were doing were replaced with people who were loyal to the regime, and profits came out but new investment didn't go in. That last part was particularly bad, because Venezuela's extra-heavy crude needs to be blended or refined — neither of which is cheap — before it can be sold. So Venezuela just hasn't been able to churn out as much oil as it used to without upgraded or even maintained infrastructure. Specifically, oil production fell 25 percent between 1999 and 2013.

The rest is a familiar tale of fiscal woe. Even triple-digit oil prices, as Justin Fox points out, weren't enough to keep Venezuela out of the red when it was spending more on its people but producing less crude. So it did what all poorly run states do when the money runs out: It printed some more. And by "some," I mean a lot, a lot more. That, in turn, became more "a lots" than you can count once oil started collapsing in mid-2014. The result of all this money-printing, as you can see below, is that Venezuela's currency has, by black market rates, lost 93 percent of its value in the past two years.

It turns out Lenin was wrong. Debauching the currency is actually the best way to destroy the socialist, not the capitalist, system.

Now you might have noticed that I talked about Venezuela's black market exchange rate. There's a good reason for that. Venezuela's government has tried to deny economic reality with price and currency controls. The idea was that it could stop inflation without having to stop printing money by telling businesses what they were allowed to charge, and then giving them dollars on cheap enough terms that they could actually afford to sell at those prices. The problem with that idea is that it's not profitable for unsubsidized companies to stock their shelves, and not profitable enough for subsidized ones to do so either when they can just sell their dollars in the black market instead of using them to import things. That's left Venezuela's supermarkets without enough food, its breweries without enough hops to make beer, and its factories without enough pulp to produce toilet paper. The only thing Venezuela is well-supplied with are lines.

Although the government has even started rationing those, kicking people out of line based on the last digit of their national ID card.

And it's only going to get worse. That's because Socialist president Nicolás Maduro has changed the law so the opposition-controlled National Assembly can't remove the central bank governor or appoint a new one. Not only that, but Maduro has picked someone who doesn't even believe there's such a thing as inflation to be the country's economic czar. "When a person goes to a shop and finds that prices have gone up," the new minister wrote, "they are not in the presence of 'inflation,' " but rather "parasitic" businesses that are trying to push up profits as much as possible. According to this — let me be clear — "theory," printing too much money never causes inflation. And so Venezuela will continue to do so. If past hyperinflations are any guide, this will keep going until Venezuela can't even afford to run its printing presses anymore — unless Maduro gets kicked out first.

But for now, at least, a specter is haunting Venezuela — the specter of failed economic policies.
Title: Venezuela on the verge of bankruptcy?
Post by: S.M.A. on April 11, 2016, 19:58:18
A Swiss company halts the transfer of Dornier aircraft to Venezuela: signs that Caracas' financial situation is worse than commonly known outside the country?

Tages Anzeiger (https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=de&u=http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/wirtschaft/unternehmen-und-konjunktur/Ruag-zieht-die-Notbremse/story/26117987&usg=ALkJrhgfTGhG15r9-XxmFvdCJTFqwDJkvA)

Quote
RUAG pulled the emergency brake

The Swiss arms company has stopped the delivery of ten ordered Dornier aircraft to Venezuela.03/31/2016

The third machine has not fully paid the state. Therefore Ruag stopped the delivery of the remaining seven aircraft, such as the corporate headquarters in Bern confirmed. Whether Venezuela can provide the necessary foreign exchange for the remaining seven aircraft still to be seen. The RUAG would lose sales in the tens of millions, but at least Venezuela has paid a deposit on all ten machines. ...

There are several indicators that the country is on the verge of insolvency. Thus registered, the Federal Customs Administration in January record high gold imports from Venezuela to Switzerland: almost 40 tons with a total value of 1.3 billion Swiss francs at the time were flown to Switzerland. Industry experts suggest that the state had to liquefy a portion of its gold reserves to pay for an outgoing government bond.

(...SNIPPED)

Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: S.M.A. on May 21, 2016, 18:37:59
An update: Chavez's/Maduro's socialist dream about to collapse?

Defense News (http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/international/americas/2016/05/21/international-concern-mounts-over-venezuela/84712840/)

Quote
International Concern Mounts Over Venezuela
Agence France-Presse 4:12 p.m. EDT May 21, 2016

CARACAS — International concerns are mounting over the economic and political crisis in Venezuela, where the military on Saturday was holding a second day of exercises ordered by embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

With the oil-dependent country's economy imploding under recession and hyperinflation, public sentiment is backing Maduro's ouster.

But the socialist president is digging in.

He imposed a state of emergency this week and ordered the two-day war games to show that the military can tackle domestic and foreign threats he says are being fomented with US help.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: jollyjacktar on June 19, 2016, 18:24:22
Venezuela collapses and nobody cares

We like to think that progress is irreversible. We look at our roads and supermarkets and hospitals and while we know that everything could be better, we rarely worry it will all collapse. Unhappily, right now Venezuela is proving that all of this can suddenly disappear, and it’s frightening.

The country is falling apart, rapidly and completely. By many measures, it is one of the most blessed nations in the Americas. It has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, almost twice Canada’s. It has rich agricultural land, incredible biodiversity and huge amounts of mineral wealth. And yet its people are now starving; its infrastructure is in tatters; law and order have broken down. And strangely, Canada doesn’t appear to care...

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/venezuela-collapses-and-nobody-cares/ar-AAhipg7?ocid=spartandhp
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: cavalryman on June 19, 2016, 18:57:01
Venezuela collapses and nobody cares

We like to think that progress is irreversible. We look at our roads and supermarkets and hospitals and while we know that everything could be better, we rarely worry it will all collapse. Unhappily, right now Venezuela is proving that all of this can suddenly disappear, and it’s frightening.

The country is falling apart, rapidly and completely. By many measures, it is one of the most blessed nations in the Americas. It has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, almost twice Canada’s. It has rich agricultural land, incredible biodiversity and huge amounts of mineral wealth. And yet its people are now starving; its infrastructure is in tatters; law and order have broken down. And strangely, Canada doesn’t appear to care...

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/venezuela-collapses-and-nobody-cares/ar-AAhipg7?ocid=spartandhp
And acknowledge that socialism has, once again, spectacularly failed, after so much of the left (yeah, I'm looking at you, NDP) lionized Hugo Chavez?  [Xp
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: cupper on June 19, 2016, 19:38:16
A good interview I heard driving back from a jobsite a couple weeks ago. Nicholas Casey is NT Times Andes Bureau Chief.

Bust Times In Oil-Rich Venezuela: 'The Banks Don't Have Money To Give Out'
New York Times reporter Nicholas Casey talks about life in Venezuela, where the collapse in oil prices has caused shortages of everything, including water, electricity, medicine and cash.


http://www.npr.org/2016/06/08/481225008/bust-times-in-oil-rich-venezuela-the-banks-dont-have-money-to-give-out

Quote
GROSS: So if Venezuela is an oil-rich country, why is it so poor right now? What happened?

CASEY: Well, yeah. A lot of people are looking at who or what is to blame. There's a lot of things going on right now. One of them is the legacy in the years and aftermath after Hugo Chavez. There was a huge amount of hope throughout the left in Latin America when Chavez came to power.

He was saying many things that no one else was saying and talking about inequality in terms that hadn't been heard in Latin America for years. Unfortunately, what followed was years of mismanagement on every level - a lot of corruption, misunderstandings of how the economy worked or how to fix it.

You know, I'll give you one example that you see a lot. It is causing a lot of the problems in Venezuela - is price controls. During those years, they brought the price of selling something lower than what it cost to make it. So if you wanted to get milk, it was at a very inexpensive price, which was great if you were poor.

The problem was if you were a farmer or, you know, owned an operation that was producing milk. And you couldn't produce it for the price that it was going to be sold for. So what happened next? Well, you just didn't produce it anymore.

So you started to see this huge collapse of production throughout the country. People stopped making beans. People stopped making rice. Venezuela went from being an exporter of meat to importing it. And one by one, all of these things stopped being made in the country.

Well, it wasn't the end of the world then, because there was so much money from the oil that you could just buy it. You could buy it for dollars. And the response was - well, we'll just import it. We can bring all these things in. It's a rich country. Well, this continued for years.

But the problem next came when the price of oil collapsed. And there wasn't any money to buy the imports. And there was no way to make them. So just what happened was - everything started to disappear. So that's part of the reason why Venezuela is where it is. That said, called the proximate cause - is years of mismanagement from these policies, dating back to Hugo Chavez.

But Venezuela has been haunted by what you could call its oil curse for years, which is that because there is so much oil in Venezuela, Venezuela hasn't sought out other ways to make money - other ways to be a productive country.

And Venezuela has depended for years on just one thing - on oil. And when the price of oil goes up, it's a boom time there. And when the price of oil goes down - and this is a very, very dire case because of a number of other things that have happened related to the mismanagement - it turns into, you know, an absolute dystopia.

*****

GROSS: So having covered governments in Mexico, Latin America, the Middle East, you've seen a lot of different governments. And now we're facing the prospect of possibly having Donald Trump as president and certainly as the likely Republican candidate for president. And it's the first time we've had somebody in that position who's had no experience in elected office before. So when you think of Trump and you think of other governments that you've covered, what do you think about?

CASEY: Well, I will just say it - and a lot of people in Latin America will tell you this very quickly - Donald Trump resembles Hugo Chavez. It's a strange thing to think about in the beginning because Trump is from the right - or is painting himself as that - and Chavez was from the far left. But what unites both of them is populism. This populism is bringing together large crowds of people. Some of them are very angry. Trump was described very well by an old mentor of mine from The Wall Street Journal, David Luhnow, in an excellent article he wrote called "The Rise Of Trumpismo" (ph) - like, kind of a Trumpismo - like, often in Latin America you will use I-S-M-O as, like, a Trumpism, there's Chavism, there's Peronism - a whole ideology being established around one person.

And some things he pointed out to were - David - in that article were extremely spot on. Trump and Chavez both rose to power on television. Chavez had a show called "Alo Presidente" where you would see him on a reality-like show. And Trump, of course, we all know, had all of his reality shows as his way of, you know, connecting very directly with people. That ended up becoming a political campaign. Both of them were well-known for trying to foster and harvest this resentment in their countries that many people had. There was a small group of oligarchs, of elites, that were getting a better deal than the rest.

And I think you also see a very close resemblance between Donald Trump and Hugo Chavez in their use of - in their demonization of the media - both use and demonization. They were of both - they're both like masters of being able to be on TV but at the same time spend so much of their time - spend so much of their time in the case of Chavez - of attacking the media as the enemy. What you're seeing, I think, between Hugo Chavez and Donald Trump here is that populism cuts across ideology and basically becomes an ideology unto itself. And you have power that's concentrated not in a movement or in a political party or in an institution but just in one single person. And I think that's why, when you talk to Venezuelans, you will see that people recognize something in the U.S. that they saw for many years in their country.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on June 20, 2016, 12:13:41
Life in Venezuela today. The usual Legacy media spin about low oil prices being the cause is to deliberately obscure the fact that Socialist mismanagement has destroyed what is potentially the richest nation in South America (many of these symptoms were evident even when oil was $100/bbl, the oil wealth just gave them the ability to paper it over for a while):

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/venezuelans-ransack-stores-riot-in-streets-as-widespread-hunger-grips-south-american-nation

Quote
Venezuelans Ransack Stores as Hunger Grips the Nation
By NICHOLAS CASEYJUNE 19, 2016

CUMANÁ, Venezuela — With delivery trucks under constant attack, the nation’s food is now transported under armed guard. Soldiers stand watch over bakeries. The police fire rubber bullets at desperate mobs storming grocery stores, pharmacies and butcher shops. A 4-year-old girl was shot to death as street gangs fought over food.

Venezuela is convulsing from hunger.

Hundreds of people here in the city of Cumaná, home to one of the region’s independence heroes, marched on a supermarket in recent days, screaming for food. They forced open a large metal gate and poured inside. They snatched water, flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, potatoes, anything they could find, leaving behind only broken freezers and overturned shelves.

And they showed that even in a country with the largest oil reserves in the world, it is possible for people to riot because there is not enough food.

In the last two weeks alone, more than 50 food riots, protests and mass looting have erupted around the country. Scores of businesses have been stripped bare or destroyed. At least five people have been killed.

This is precisely the Venezuela its leaders vowed to prevent.

In one of the nation’s worst moments,  riots spread from Caracas, the capital, in 1989, leaving hundreds dead at the hands of security forces. Known as the “Caracazo,” or the “Caracas clash,” they were set off by low oil prices, cuts in subsidies and a population that was suddenly impoverished.

The event seared the memory of a future president, Hugo Chávez, who said the country’s inability to provide for its people, and the state’s repression of the uprising, were the reasons Venezuela needed a socialist revolution.

Now his successors find themselves in a similar bind — or maybe even worse.

The nation is anxiously searching for ways to feed itself.

The economic collapse of recent years has left it unable to produce enough food on its own or import what it needs from abroad. Cities have been militarized under an emergency decree from President Nicolás Maduro, the man Mr. Chávez picked to carry on with his revolution before he died three years ago.

“If there is no food, there will be more riots,” said Raibelis Henriquez, 19, who waited all day for bread in Cumaná, where at least 22 businesses were attacked in a single day last week.

But while the riots and clashes punctuate the country with alarm, it is the hunger that remains the constant source of unease.

A staggering 87 percent of Venezuelans say they do not have money to buy enough food, the most recent assessment of living standards by Simón Bolívar University found.

About 72 percent of monthly wages are being spent just to buy food, according to the Center for Documentation and Social Analysis, a research group associated with the Venezuelan Teachers Federation.

In April, it found that a family would need the equivalent of 16 minimum-wage salaries to properly feed itself.

Ask people in this city when they last ate a meal, and many will respond that it was not today.

Among them are Leidy Cordova, 37, and her five children — Abran, Deliannys, Eliannys, Milianny and Javier Luis — ages 1 to 11. On Thursday evening, the entire family had not eaten since lunchtime the day before, when Ms. Cordova made a soup by boiling chicken skin and fat that she had found for a cheap price at the butcher.

“My kids tell me they’re hungry,” Ms. Cordova said as her family looked on. “And all I can say to them is to grin and bear it.”

Other families have to choose who eats. Lucila Fonseca, 69, has lymphatic cancer, and her 45-year-old daughter, Vanessa Furtado, has a brain tumor. Despite also being ill, Ms. Furtado gives up the little food she has on many days so her mother does not skip meals.

“I used to be very fat, but no longer,” the daughter said. “We are dying as we live.”

Her mother added, “We are now living on Maduro’s diet: no food, no nothing.”

Economists say years of economic mismanagement — worsened by low prices for oil, the nation’s main source of revenue — have shattered the food supply.

Sugar fields in the country’s agricultural center lie fallow for lack of fertilizers. Unused machinery rots in shuttered state-owned factories. Staples like corn and rice, once exported, now must be imported and arrive in amounts that do not meet the need.

In response, Mr. Maduro has tightened his grip over the food supply. Using emergency decrees he signed this year, the president put most food distribution in the hands of a group of citizen brigades loyal to leftists, a measure critics say is reminiscent of food rationing in Cuba.

“They’re saying, in other words, you get food if you’re my friend, if you’re my sympathizer,” said Roberto Briceño-León, the director of the Venezuelan Violence Observatory, a human rights group.

It was all a new reality for Gabriel Márquez, 24, who grew up in the boom years when Venezuela was rich and empty shelves were unimaginable. He stood in front of the destroyed supermarket where the mob had arrived at Cumaná, an endless expanse of smashed bottles, boxes and scattered shelves. A few people, including a policeman, were searching the wreckage for leftovers to take.

“During Carnival, we used to throw eggs at each other just to have some fun,” he said. “Now an egg is like gold.”

Down the coastal road in a small fishing town called Boca de Uchire, hundreds gathered on a bridge this month to protest because the food deliveries were not arriving. Residents demanded to meet the mayor, but when he did not come they sacked a Chinese bodega.

Residents hacked open the door with pickaxes and pillaged the shop, venting their anger at a global power that has lent billions of dollars to prop up Venezuela in recent years.

“We are now living on Maduro’s diet: no food, no nothing.”

Lucila Fonseca, 69

“The Chinese won’t sell to us,” said a taxi driver who watched the crowd haul away all that was inside. “So we burn their stores instead.”

Mr. Maduro, who is fighting a push for a referendum to recall him this year over the country’s declines, said it was the political opposition that was behind the attacks on the stores.

“They paid a group of criminals, brought them in trucks,” he said on Saturday on television, promising compensation to those who lost property.

At the same time, the government also blames an “economic war” for the shortages. It accuses wealthy business owners of hoarding food and charging exorbitant prices, creating artificial shortages to profit from the country’s misery.

It has left shop owners feeling under siege, particularly those who do not have Spanish names.

“Look how we are working today,” said Maria Basmagi, whose family immigrated from Syria a generation ago, pointing to the metal grate pulled over the window of her shoe store.

Her shop was on the commercial boulevard in Barcelona, another coastal town racked by unrest last week. At 11 a.m. the day before, someone screamed that there was an attack on a government-run kitchen nearby. Every shop on Ms. Basmagi’s street closed down in fear.

Other shops stay open, like the bakery in Cumaná where a line of 100 people snaked around a corner. Each person was allowed to buy about a pound of bread.

Robert Astudillo, a 23-year-old father of two, was not sure there would be any left once his turn came. He said he still had corn flour to make arepas, a Venezuelan staple, for his children. They had not eaten meat in months.

“We make the arepas small,” he said.

In the refrigerator of Araselis Rodriguez and Nestor Daniel Reina, the parents of four small children, there was not even corn flour — just a few limes and some bottles of water.

The family had eaten bread for breakfast and soup for lunch made from fish that Mr. Reina had managed to catch. The family had nothing for dinner.

It has not always been clear what provokes the riots. Is it hunger alone? Or is it some larger anger that has built up in a country that has crumbled?

Inés Rodríguez was not sure. She remembered calling out to the crowd of people who had come to sack her restaurant on Tuesday night, offering them all the chicken and rice the restaurant had if they would only leave the furniture and cash register behind. They balked at the offer and simply pushed her aside, Ms. Rodríguez said.
 
“It is the meeting of hunger and crime now,” she said.

As she spoke, three trucks with armed patrols drove by, each emblazoned with photos of Mr. Chávez and Mr. Maduro.

The trucks were carrying food.

“Finally they come here,” Ms. Rodríguez said. “And look what it took to get them. It took this riot to get us something to eat.”

Follow Nicholas Casey on Twitter @caseysjournal.
Meridith Kohut contributed reporting from Cumaná, and Ana Vanessa Herrero and María Eugenia Díaz from Caracas, Venezuela.
- mod edit to add article link-
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Colin P on June 20, 2016, 12:51:05
Evacuate the beautiful women and let the rest sort it out. Funny even in 94 the Venezuelans I met were quite content to let Illegals do the dirty work and Caracas was one of the mist dangerous cites in the world even then.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: gryphonv on June 20, 2016, 17:42:10
This is a disaster. And other countries should extend help. It is no different than sending quake relief to nations, or the EU(Germany) bailing out Greece and Spain.

Sure you can say this is different because it is due to mismanagement and human bungling compared to quake/disaster relief. But it is still a disaster none the less. Innocent people are suffering, that is all that should matter.

This is the stuff we should be looking to as a military, this is the stuff that gives Canada a better standing in the world. Bringing bags of rice will always win you more friends then Boxes of ammo.

Not saying escalation is never required, but this is still a valid situation that should have a coordinated military response.

Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: GAP on June 20, 2016, 17:56:47
This is a disaster. And other countries should extend help. It is no different than sending quake relief to nations, or the EU(Germany) bailing out Greece and Spain.

Sure you can say this is different because it is due to mismanagement and human bungling compared to quake/disaster relief. But it is still a disaster none the less. Innocent people are suffering, that is all that should matter.

This is the stuff we should be looking to as a military, this is the stuff that gives Canada a better standing in the world. Bringing bags of rice will always win you more friends then Boxes of ammo.

Not saying escalation is never required, but this is still a valid situation that should have a coordinated military response.

What lily pad did you just step off of?     

it's a sovereign  country and not our place to interfere.

If the people want change, they will react one way or another.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: gryphonv on June 20, 2016, 18:04:49
What lily pad did you just step off of?     

it's a sovereign  country and not our place to interfere.

If the people want change, they will react one way or another.

So do you think the country will turn down help if offered by a consortium of other governments? I'm not saying barge in there like Old Saint Nick down a greased up chimney.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Altair on June 20, 2016, 19:03:40
This is a disaster. And other countries should extend help. It is no different than sending quake relief to nations, or the EU(Germany) bailing out Greece and Spain.

Sure you can say this is different because it is due to mismanagement and human bungling compared to quake/disaster relief. But it is still a disaster none the less. Innocent people are suffering, that is all that should matter.

This is the stuff we should be looking to as a military, this is the stuff that gives Canada a better standing in the world. Bringing bags of rice will always win you more friends then Boxes of ammo.

Not saying escalation is never required, but this is still a valid situation that should have a coordinated military response.
I'm the world of realpolitik, it's better to let the situation continue, even worsen.

To help Venezuela is to help marudo and extend the life of his increasingly authoritarian goverment.

Sometimes when one wants regime change its best to let the people bring it about themselves. Sooner or later the people's suffering will become unbearable and they will try to bring along change, by any means necessary. That doesn't happen if we or anybody else offers marudo a lifeline.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Chris Pook on June 20, 2016, 19:09:38
I'm the world of realpolitik, it's better to let the situation continue, even worsen.

To help Venezuela is to help marudo and extend the life of his increasingly authoritarian goverment.

Sometimes when one wants regime change its best to let the people bring it about themselves. Sooner or later the people's suffering will become unbearable and they will try to bring along change, by any means necessary. That doesn't happen if we or anybody else offers marudo a lifeline.

A rare moment of concorde.   :nod:
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: cupper on June 20, 2016, 19:32:22
It would be akin to putting a bandaid on a sucking chest wound.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on June 20, 2016, 22:53:14
The Chinese have been content to bail out Venesuela's corrupt government with multi billion dollar loans. far better the Chinese are on the hook than taxpayers like you or I (and we are already on the hook for a trillion + dollars of Canadian Federal funded and unfunded liabilities, plus whatever the provinces have accumulated, so maybe there is a place closer to home for our funds to be spent...)
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Colin P on June 21, 2016, 11:22:52
This is a disaster. And other countries should extend help. It is no different than sending quake relief to nations, or the EU(Germany) bailing out Greece and Spain.

Sure you can say this is different because it is due to mismanagement and human bungling compared to quake/disaster relief. But it is still a disaster none the less. Innocent people are suffering, that is all that should matter.

This is the stuff we should be looking to as a military, this is the stuff that gives Canada a better standing in the world. Bringing bags of rice will always win you more friends then Boxes of ammo.


Food is a weapon, do you really think they are going to allow a western capitalistic country to do what they cannot do?
Not saying escalation is never required, but this is still a valid situation that should have a coordinated military response.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: S.M.A. on July 12, 2016, 15:41:56
The Venezuela spiral continues as Maduro uses foreign entities as scapegoats.

Reuters (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/venezuela-seize-kimberly-clark-factory-production-ends-033754616.html)

Quote
Venezuela to seize Kimberly-Clark factory as production ends

Fabiola Sanchez, The Associated Press
July 11, 2016

CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuela's government said Monday that it will seize a factory belonging to Kimberly-Clark Corp. after the U.S. personal care giant said it was no longer possible to manufacture in this crisis-wracked South American nation.

President Nicolas Maduro accused Kimberly-Clark of participating in an international plot to damage Venezuela's economy and said his socialist government would provide public funds to the workers at the plant.

Speaking on television and radio, Maduro also announced that U.S.-based Citibank, which has handled some of the state's international transactions, notified authorities that it would close the accounts of the Central Bank of Venezuela in 30 days. He linked both actions to the economic war on Venezuela, calling it "the new imperialist inquisition" of U.S. President Barack Obama.

(...SNIPPED)
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Fishbone Jones on July 12, 2016, 18:35:15
I'm pretty sure Trudeau and Dion are working on a plan to bail out their socialist brothers. Wait for it. ;)

Venezuela can be Justin's Cuba.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: the 48th regulator on July 12, 2016, 21:07:29
I'm pretty sure Trudeau and Dion are working on a plan to bail out their socialist brothers. Wait for it. ;)

Venezuela can be Justin's Cuba.

Now now,

You wouln't want Trump and his Fascist down there, as I am sure it would flush out the Old men from the Reich!

;)

Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: cavalryman on July 12, 2016, 21:10:07
Now now,

You wouln't want Trump and his Fascist down there, as I am sure it would flush out the Old men from the Reich!

;)
That could actually be entertaining  :pop:
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Fishbone Jones on July 12, 2016, 22:01:36
Now now,

You wouln't want Trump and his Fascist down there, as I am sure it would flush out the Old men from the Reich!

;)

At least he has some business acumen and can see where the problems are and what to do about them.

Not like those other two that would be throwing money at it like a couple of drunks throwing dollar bills at strippers.  ;)

 8)
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: the 48th regulator on July 13, 2016, 11:24:15
At least he has some business acumen and can see where the problems are and what to do about them.

Not like those other two that would be throwing money at it like a couple of drunks throwing dollar bills at strippers.  ;)

 8)

 :facepalm:   :rofl:  well played, well played.  I almost spit up my tea!  I visualize it too, dirty crumpled bills filying!

Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on July 13, 2016, 15:28:33
Now now,

You wouln't want Trump and his Fascist down there, as I am sure it would flush out the Old men from the Reich!

;)



The biggest American fan of Fascism was actually FDR; much of the "New Deal" was explicitly patterned after the Italian Fascist Corporate State.

Quote
"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power."
Benito Mussolini

Since the New Deal essentially prevented the markets from clearing and prolonged the Great Depression by as much as seven years, it is good that you are aware that Fascism isn't going to help Venezuela. OTOH, since what is currently going on in there is something like Fascism on steroids, maybe dialling things back to just plain "Fascism" would be an improvement. That is the model that Argentina went through under the Perons.

It will take a long time to fix the damage that was done to a once beautiful and thriving nation.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: jollyjacktar on July 13, 2016, 16:52:27
It will take a long time to fix the damage that was done to a once beautiful and thriving nation.

By rabid lefties, you forgot to add.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on July 14, 2016, 11:13:56
The food supply is now under control of the army. The conditions to carry out a Holodomor on the opposition is now in place.

https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/07/why-venezuela-putting-its-food-supply-under-military-control-is-so-chilling

Quote
WHY VENEZUELA PUTTING ITS FOOD SUPPLY UNDER MILITARY CONTROL IS SO CHILLING
By: Benjamin Weingarten | July 13, 2016

In the state of nature, force triumphs over all else. If societal progress is measured by movement towards voluntary individualism and away from coercion at the hands of strongmen, then by all accounts Venezuela is regressing into this decivilized state.

That is the takeaway given the news breaking this week that Venezuelan potentate President Nicolás Maduro is putting the country’s military in charge of its food supply.

Not even the most doe-eyed Bernie Sanders supporter could think it a wise or comforting decision to put the supply over a nation’s food in the hands of a defense minister.

As the Wall Street Journal details, “Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino…will be in charge of transporting and distributing basic products, controlling prices and stimulating production, according to a decree published Tuesday in the official gazette.”

If you think that Solyndra was an epic government-backed failure, it will look like child’s play compared to the scale of the catastrophe sure to take place now that Venezuela’s government is putting the very sustenance of the nation under the central planning of a military leader.

The symbolic value of such an act cannot be overstated. When the literal lifeblood of a nation is put in the hands of a police force, you know that said nation is on the brink of total collapse, leading to more crippling state control as disorder devolves into all-out chaos. Not even the most doe-eyed Bernie Sanders supporter could think it a wise or comforting decision to put the supply over a nation’s food in the hands of a defense minister. It is as irrational a decision as it is a chilling one.

It can only be called rational from Maduro’s perspective insofar as control over the food supply is a proxy for total control over the people in a struggle to retain power.

Naturally, it represents the exact opposite of what a nation that wishes to avoid starvation, let alone prosper, ought to be doing. It is the Venezuelan government’s widespread economic intervention, its abrogation of contractual and property rights and its debauching of its currency that has ruined any semblance of a functioning marketplace. Putting the food supply under military control is dumping kerosene on the fire.

The surest path out of the socialist death spiral must involve re-empowering the citizens by creating the conditions necessary for buyers and sellers to communicate through a healthy and functioning price mechanism. Citizens must determine the quantity, quality and price at which goods and services are to be produced, consumed and traded. Government does not have the ability nor the moral right to do so.

However jarring the denationalization of Venezuelan industry might be, such pains will pale in comparison to the starvation and bloodshed that the Chavez-Maduro regime’s tyrannical central planning will result in.

Meanwhile, man’s former last best hope on Earth is apparently MIA. As Senator Ted Cruz’s, R-Texas (A, 97%) national security advisor Dr. Victoria Coates noted just yesterday at Conservative Review:

The State Department issued a statement last week that acknowledged Venezuela’s “extremely difficult” past year, but urged “leaders of all branches of the government to engage in the national dialogue required to effectively address your country’s problems.”

In other words, rather than issuing a call for solidarity with the people of Venezuela as they try to regain their dignity, liberty and rights, our Department of State is proposing throwing a life line to a dying socialist regime that is the avowed enemy of the United States.

Unfortunately this statement is not a one-off; it is part of a deliberate policy initiated more than a year ago that is pursuing rapprochement with the Maduro regime rather than developing a plan to support his opposition.

And while we throw the Venezuelan people to the wolves by showing cowardice and complicity in not strongly opposing the Maduro regime, America maddeningly continues to follow in its footsteps. In spite of the self-evident disaster of Venezuelan state economic intervention, and the violent controls that its central planners are putting into place as their plans go haywire, the Democratic Party is now advocating again for the so-called “public option” on healthcare – that is, socialized medicine.

Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, in an article dated July 11, President Obama urges Congress to revisit a public plan option “to compete alongside private insurers in areas of the country where competition is limited.” Who knew that government-created competition was the answer to what ails us?

Examples abound around the world of the great man-caused disaster that is socialism. That we continue to attempt such collectivist experiments in spite of the abundant horrifying evidence defines insanity. When will we learn the lesson that freedom works?

- See more at: https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/07/why-venezuela-putting-its-food-supply-under-military-control-is-so-chilling#sthash.Ocrby2mj.dpuf
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on July 18, 2016, 12:01:03
It is amazing the amount of punishment people can take, I would have expected riots and bloody revolution long before now:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/venezuelas-inflation-is-set-to-top-1600-next-year-2016-07-18-81032112

Quote
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Venezuela’s inflation is set to top 1,600% next year
Published: July 18, 2016 8:21 a.m. ET
Food shortages, weak oil prices and economic mismanagement has forced the government to declare a state of emergency

While most advanced economies struggle to lift inflation, none would want Venezuela‘s situation: Consumer-price inflation is forecast to hit 480% this year and top 1,640% in 2017, according to the International Monetary Fund.

A shortage of medical supplies means infants and other sick patients are dying of treatable illnesses. Soldiers guard empty grocery store shelves. Inflation is so bad, the government has had to order bolivars by the planeload.

As Caracas extends its declared state of economic emergency, it’s no wonder many economists say the nation will soon have to ask the IMF for a bailout. It’s gotten so bad, the government this week handed over control of food stocks to the military, ceding even more power to the armed forces.

But Venezuela, whose government severed ties with the IMF nearly a decade ago under its former socialist autocratic leader, Hugo Chávez, hasn’t tried to restore relations with the world’s emergency lender.

“There has been no change in Venezuela’s relationship with the fund,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said Thursday. While the IMF has urged Caracas to reestablish a relationship, “the Venezuelan authorities have not contacted us,” he said.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Lightguns on July 18, 2016, 12:50:45
It is amazing the amount of punishment people can take, I would have expected riots and bloody revolution long before now:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/venezuelas-inflation-is-set-to-top-1600-next-year-2016-07-18-81032112

Not if you are successful in converting the mindset, example; Cuba. 
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on July 18, 2016, 22:47:50
More disaster for the people of Venezuela:

http://nextbigfuture.com/2016/07/infant-mortality-is-up-100-times-to-2.html

Quote
Infant mortality is up 100 times from 2014 to 2% of all births which in Venezuela will be about 12000 deaths on an annual basis
 
According to figures from Venezuela's Health ministry infant mortality was two percent of births last year, 100 times worse than 2014.

Venezuela had 617 710 live births in 2015. 2% infant mortality would be about 12000 deaths.

The deterioration of the public health sector is a major challenge for the ruling Socialist Party which ran free health projects with the help of Cuban expertise including Cuban-staffed clinics in the slums.

Medical care has been hit by the shortages of medicines, equipment and personnel. Eight out of 10 medicines are now scarce according to the main pharmacy group.

Often patients have to bring their own. Protesting doctors are demanding the government declares a national health crisis and allows foreign humanitarian aid.

“I started to see patients in the area of the operating room and in the emergency area they began to die from lack of medicines. Some 70 children died do far this year due to lack of antibiotics to treat diseases such a neonatal sepsis,” said doctor David Macineiras.

Bread is a staple of diets worldwide, a low price with a high nutritious value.

But it is one of the most affected by the shortage in Venezuela. That’s because the country is entirely dependent on the import of wheat. Bakers have reduced their output and people have to spend hours queuing in the hope of buying for their table.

The lack of raw materials and complex currency exchange system have left many companies struggling especially those that manufacture basic products.

On Saturday Kimberly-Clark closed down its operations due to the soaring consumer prices and shortages of basic goods.

“We are a company that makes nappies, paper towels, things that are basic necessities and there are approximately 5,000 to 6,000 families affected,” explained one of the company’s staff, Wilmer Gutierrez.

While most advanced economies struggle to lift inflation, none would want Venezuela‘s situation: Consumer-price inflation is forecast to hit 480% this year and top 1,640% in 2017, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Soldiers guard empty grocery store shelves. Inflation is so bad, the government has had to order bolivars by the planeload.

As Caracas extends its declared state of economic emergency, it’s no wonder many economists say the nation will soon have to ask the IMF for a bailout. It’s gotten so bad, the government this month handed over control of food stocks to the military, ceding even more power to the armed forces.

But Venezuela, whose government severed ties with the IMF nearly a decade ago under its former socialist autocratic leader, Hugo Chávez, hasn’t tried to restore relations with the world’s emergency lender.

“There has been no change in Venezuela’s relationship with the fund,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said Thursday. While the IMF has urged Caracas to reestablish a relationship, “the Venezuelan authorities have not contacted us,” he said.

China, seeking to take advantage of poor political relations that many African and Latin American nations have with the U.S. and Western-based institutions like the IMF, has been giving Venezuela and other commodity exporters cheap loans to help tide them through the commodity slump. Last year, the country supposedly secured $10 billion in cheap credit to help keep it afloat.

While those loans may keep the state budget limping along, including massive costly subsidy programs, and strengthen political ties to Beijing, they don’t require the deep policy overhauls many economists say are vital to repairing the broken economy.

From a larger perspective, Venezuela should serve as one of those horrible examples that economics and political science students should be drilled in to demonstrate the true nature of Socialism, but no doubt the same professors who would balk at being forced to stand in line for bread and toilet paper will simply continue to insist that "Venezuela did it wrong..."

The fact that China is extending credit may be a short term gain for them, but extending credit to so may potential deadbeats in Africa and South America isn't going to help China's economy in the long run.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Colin P on July 19, 2016, 12:07:04
Yep let them enjoy being a Global power for awhile
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on July 30, 2016, 18:53:35
Because they are doing socialism wrong again, obviously......

https://pjmedia.com/trending/2016/07/30/venezuela-decrees-forced-labor-in-the-fields-for-citizens/

Quote
Venezuela Decrees Forced Labor in the Fields for Citizens
BY RICK MORAN JULY 30, 2016

Flanked by police in riot gear, people line up outside of a supermarket to buy regulated food in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Venezuela's opposition is pushing for a referendum on whether to recall President Nicolas Maduro amid a severe economic crisis marked by triple-digit inflation and widespread shortages of food and medicine. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

With the Venezuelan economy predicted to shrink 10% this year and an anticipated inflation rate of 700%, the government of President Nicolas Maduro has been ruling by executive decree.

The country is currently mired in a food crisis of unprecedented proportions. Severe shortages of basics like milk, eggs, and flour have driven tens of thousands of citizens across the border into Colombia searching for food. At the sight of shelves full of food, they weep.

The crisis goes beyond food shortages. CNN Money reports:

Venezuela is deep into a humanitarian crisis -- people are dying in ill-equipped hospitals and many live without basic food items. Venezuela can't pay to import goods because its government is desperately strapped for cash after years of mismanagement of its funds, heavy spending on poorly-run government programs, and lack of investment on its oil fields.

International humanitarian organizations have been mostly blocked from assisting because Maduro doesn't trust them. Instead, Maduro issued a decree recently ordering citizens to leave their jobs in the private sector to be put to work in the fields:

"Trying to tackle Venezuela's severe food shortages by forcing people to work the fields is like trying to fix a broken leg with a band aid," Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas' Director at Amnesty International, said in a statement.

President Nicolas Maduro is using his executive powers to declare a state of economic emergency. By using a decree, he can legally circumvent Venezuela's opposition-led National Assembly -- the Congress -- which is staunchly against all of Maduro's actions.

According to the decree from July 22, workers would still be paid their normal salary by the government and they can't be fired from their actual job.

It is a potent sign of tough conditions in Venezuela, which is grappling with the lack of basic food items like milk, eggs and bread. People wait hours in lines outsides supermarkets to buy groceries and often only see empty shelves.

Venezuela once had a robust agricultural sector. But under its socialist regime, which began with Hugo Chavez in 1999, the oil-rich country started importing more food and invested less in agriculture. Nearly all of Venezuela's revenue from exports comes from oil.

With oil prices down to about $41 a barrel from over $100 about two years ago, Venezuela has quickly run out of cash and can't pay for its imports of food, toilet paper and other necessities. Neglected farms are now being asked to pick up the slack.

Maduro's actions are very similar to a strategy the communist Cuban government used in the 1960s when it sought to recover sugar production after it declined sharply following the U.S. embargo on Cuban goods. It forced Cubans to work on sugar farms to cultivate the island's key commodity.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on August 01, 2016, 16:05:27
Well, if Gerrald Butts wants a "peacekeeping" mission, we might not have to go to Africa to get one. Of course the same "intellectuals" who would disdain to stand in line for bread or toilet paper are going to lecture us on how Venezuela "Didn't do Socialism right". You'd think that with all the practice runs since 1917 someone would have figured out how to "do it right" by now:

http://nypost.com/2016/07/31/venezuela-is-on-the-brink-of-total-collapse/

Quote
Venezuela is on the brink of total collapse
By Post Editorial Board July 31, 2016 | 9:10pm

The Marxist “paradise” once worshipped by such Hollywood naifs as Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover and Michael Moore is now forcing its citizens to work on neglected farms.

The celebs haven’t been singing the praises of Venezuela quite as loudly as they did when Hugo Chavez led the country until his death in 2013. For good reason: Under his handpicked successor, Nicolas Maduro, things have grown far worse.

Home to the world’s worst economy, Venezuela is beset by severe food shortages, riots in the streets and hyperinflation that’s closing in on 700 percent. World oil prices have plummeted — and Venezuela relies on oil for 95 percent of its income.

Agriculture was neglected as Chavez and Maduro placed all their economic chips on crude and elected to import goods from abroad while spending on social programs that rallied the poor behind the government.

But now Venezuela has no cash to import food or other essentials. And because Chavez nationalized so much industry, it has no private sector to compensate.

So Maduro has now issued an executive decree that subjects all workers to being forced to work for 60 days (or more, “if circumstances merit”) in the fields, growing badly needed food.

Economically, the move makes no sense. Morally, it’s barely one step up from government-sanctioned slavery.

Venezuela is on the brink of total collapse. Whatever happens next won’t be pretty — and not even the country’s Hollywood fans can still sing its socialist praises.

Families have become so desperate for food, they are resorting to looting: (video at link)
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: cupper on August 01, 2016, 16:22:22
Because they are doing socialism wrong again, obviously......

https://pjmedia.com/trending/2016/07/30/venezuela-decrees-forced-labor-in-the-fields-for-citizens/

Didn't we see this play out in Cambodia during the reign of the Khmer Rouge?
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on August 07, 2016, 00:55:32
If they can't seize your goods or material wealth, they will seize your body instead:

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/240560

Quote
AUGUST 5, 2016
MAILBAG: From longtime Instapundit/VodkaPundit reader Max Kohnke:

This is not a joke nor even an exaggeration. I just found out that my sister in law’s other brother-in-law was arrested in Venezuela at the airport while trying to leave the country. His crime, he was an employee for a company that went out of business. Waiting for more? There isn’t any. Maduro has decreed that any business that goes out of business has committed economic treason and its employees are subject to arrest. They had already arrested numerous owners and managers but this is the first time they went after rank and file worker bees.

Socialism is about caring.

Atlas Shrugged was supposed to be a warning, not a "how to" book. Look up Directive 10-289.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on September 21, 2016, 21:15:15
Things continue to crumble in Venezuela. The continuing decline in oil production is obviously hitting the government's primary source of revenue, but it is not declining fast enough to force oil prices to rise. At any rate, Venesuelan heavy oil is always going to be more expensive than sweet crude (the headline about importing light oil is a bit misleading, the purpose is not to supply the nation's energy needs, but to assist in processing the heavy oil):

http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/09/oil-state-venezuela-is-buying-us-oil.html

Quote
Oil State Venezuela is buying US oil and its oil workers are starving
 
Venezuela's oil generates 95 percent of export revenue, will decline by about 11 percent to 2.1 million barrels a day by the end of the year, Barclays Plc estimates. The current level of a little below 2.4 million barrels a day is down 350,000 barrels from a year ago. That is nearly a million barrels below what it was in 1998 when Mr. Chávez took power.

Oil workers here say they are making less than a dollar a day because of the inflation. The price of bread alone has doubled from month to month, now about 50 cents a loaf in many places. The economy is set to contract by 10 percent by the end of the year and has already seen triple-digit inflation.

Many oil workers say they are paid so little that they barely eat and have to keep watch over one another in case they faint while high up on the rigs.

Early this year, the United States began shipping more than 50,000 barrels a day of the light crude that Venezuela needs to prepare its own oil for export, joining a handful of suppliers that have become vital to keeping the country’s oil industry afloat.

International service companies like Halliburton and Schlumberger are scaling back their operations as Venezuela’s state oil company struggles to pay its debts to them — as much as $25 billion — with a flurry of bonds and promissory notes.

Global oversupply of 1 million to 2 million barrels per day since mid-2014 has caused the worst oil price crash in a generation. Prices have languished around $45 a barrel, though the market has started to rebalance as some exporters have reduced shipments due to lower prices.

Raymond James forecasts oil prices will increase to $80 a barrel in 2017. Piper Jaffray's Simmons and Co. International raised its forecast last week, but only to $60 in 2017 and $70 in 2018. Raymond James cut its 2017 oil supply forecast by nearly 800,000 barrels per day, to about 96 million barrels. many believe drillers will put that higher revenue toward repairing their balance sheets rather than plowing it into new production. They are also predicting supply disruptions in Nigeria, Venezuela and Libya.

Sept 21,2016, Brent crude futures were up 92 cents, or 2 percent at $46.80 per barrel by 1:28 p.m. ET (1728 GMT), while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed $1.13, or 2.6 percent, to $45.18 a barrel.

September, 2016 IEA oil market report

Global oil demand growth is slowing at a faster pace than initially predicted. For 2016, a gain of 1.3 mb/d is expected – a downgrade of 0.1 mb/d on our previous forecast due to a more pronounced 3Q16 slowdown. Momentum eases further to 1.2 mb/d in 2017 as underlying macroeconomic conditions remain uncertain.

World oil supplies fell by 0.3 mb/d in August, dragged lower by non-OPEC. At 96.9 mb/d, global oil output was 0.3 mb/d below a year ago, but near-record OPEC supply just about offset steep non-OPEC declines. Non-OPEC supply is expected to return to growth in 2017 (+380 kb/d) following an anticipated 840 kb/d decline this year.

OPEC crude production edged up to 33.47 mb/d in August - testing record rates as Middle East producers opened the taps. Kuwait and the UAE hit their highest output ever and Iraq lifted supplies. Output from Saudi Arabia held near a record, while Iran reached a post-sanctions high. Overall OPEC supply stood 930 kb/d above a year ago.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on August 02, 2017, 14:50:29
I sometimes wonder if we (the royal *we*) are even looking in the right direction. While we struggle to put boots on the ground in Latvia, Ukraine and Iraq, disasters are spiralling out of control to our south (Venezuela and Mexico) and in the far East (DPRK missile and nuclear adventurism, Chinese activity in the South China sea), which to my mind seem to affect Canada's National Interest far more than Ukraine or Iraq. (While there are legitimate interests there, we also have lots of allies already doing heavy lifting, perhaps we need to husband our far more limited resources....)

https://strategypage.com/on_point/2017080201046.aspx

Quote
Venezuela Slides Toward Civil War
by Austin Bay
August 2, 2017
In the early morning hours of August 1, Venezuelan secret police arrested the country's most prominent opposition political leaders, Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma, and quickly hauled them off to prison.

Lopez is the gutsy leader of the Popular Will Party and a former mayor of Caracas. Ledezma also served as mayor of Caracas and is a long-time critic of President Nicolas Maduro and his bombastic predecessor, Hugo Chavez.

Lopez and Ledezma have been in and out of prison for the crimes of practicing free speech and opposing Venezuela's slide into dictatorship. The Venezuelan Supreme Court, now totally controlled by Maduro, justified the arrests of Lopez and Ledezma by claiming they "violated the terms of their house arrest" when they criticized Maduro's government.

Venezuelan pro-democracy activists managed to record a video of Ledezma's dark hour arrest. In the video a woman can be head screaming "They're taking Ledezma! Please neighbors! It's a dictatorship!"

The courageous woman is absolutely right. Maduro's Chavista regime is a full-fledged dictatorship -- an impoverished, corrupt and anarchic dictatorship that has ruined the once wealthy nation and led it to the brink of civil war.

In May, Maduro announced he would convene a Constituent Assembly that would usurp the power of the opposition-controlled legislature, the National Assembly. Opposition parties have controlled the National Assembly since 2015, when they won a two-thirds majority.

The Constituent Assembly is a hoax Maduro is using to mask his consolidation of power. All 545 members of the Constituent Assembly are Maduro supporters.

At least 80 percent of Venezuela's population opposes Maduro's power grab. No matter, Maduro is going Full Cuba. He controls the police forces and, at the moment, the military. In mid-July, the military announced it backed Maduro's Constituent Assembly proposal.

Senior officers loyal to Hugo Chavez, the former army paratrooper who created the so-called Bolivarian revolution, command Venezuela's politicized military.

Chavez was a lot smarter than Maduro. The charismatic Chavez could deliver a stirring speech. But Chavez is dead and Maduro is no Chavez.

The military knows its economy is an utter disaster. Last week, pictures appeared on the internet showing officers rewarding loyal soldiers with rolls of toilet paper and tubes of toothpaste.

In July 2016, national food shortages were so severe the military took charge of food distribution. In January 2017, it took control of food imports.

Maduro's military supporters benefit from this system. They have access to food. They can also demand bribes from starving citizens in exchange for food.

But there are also calls for a military to end its support of Maduro and his regime. On July 26, Lopez made one, issuing a statement inviting soldiers "to not be accomplices to the annihilation of the republic, to a constitutional fraud, to repression." Venezuela's Catholic bishops demanded that the armed forces fulfill their duty to be at the service of the people" and not "instruments of oppression."

In May, Fox News reported that the regime arrested at least 65 lower-ranking military officers and charged some of them with "instigating rebellion."

This question has surely crossed Maduro's mind: Would commanders order their troops to fire if a hundred thousand Venezuelans "swamped the palace" like Tunisians did in 2011 when they demanded dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali resign? Tunisia's military didn't fire on the people.

Venezuelans have reason to rebel. Maduro's Castroite hostility to private businesses and his government's corruption have savaged the economy. Last year, Venezuela ranked 166 out of 176 countries on Transparency International's corruption index. In December 2016, the inflation rate hit 800 percent.

Low oil prices have diminished the oil revenue Maduro uses to pay off the security forces and his loyalists and shield them from the economic horror. International sanctions could reduce his cash flow even more. Maduro has used Venezuela's chronic food shortage to systematically deprive political opponents of food. When the food crisis begins to affect the families of sergeants and privates, watch out.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Altair on August 03, 2017, 11:48:18
I sometimes wonder if we (the royal *we*) are even looking in the right direction. While we struggle to put boots on the ground in Latvia, Ukraine and Iraq, disasters are spiralling out of control to our south (Venezuela and Mexico) and in the far East (DPRK missile and nuclear adventurism, Chinese activity in the South China sea), which to my mind seem to affect Canada's National Interest far more than Ukraine or Iraq. (While there are legitimate interests there, we also have lots of allies already doing heavy lifting, perhaps we need to husband our far more limited resources....)

https://strategypage.com/on_point/2017080201046.aspx
While I agree with the sentiment, what do you think Canada, and the CAF could do in Venezuela one our own, likely going up directly against the Venezuelan forces, and galvanizing the Venezuelan people to join together to defend their homeland for the capitalist invaders?

All I could see canada doing on it's own without instigating a war is supplies money and arms to potential opposition groups a la Syria, but that effort wouldn't require husbanding our limited resources.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on August 03, 2017, 12:29:32
We can set aside more resources to securing our borders against potential terrorist and criminal threats spilling out of unstable South American countries and Mexico. We can prepare for humanitarian relief missions in these areas if the situation collapses. We could potentially secure the area and set up things like the Strategic Advisory Team which we had in Afghanistan to essentially mentor and instruct any new government in how to conduct business to Western standards, We might even have to contemplate securing oil infrastructure in the case of Venezuela ITO prevent environmental disasters.

And that is just off the top of my head.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Altair on August 03, 2017, 13:49:43
We can set aside more resources to securing our borders against potential terrorist and criminal threats spilling out of unstable South American countries and Mexico.

Our border? As in the one with the USA?

I trust the USA would be able to filter out most of what you're talking about from reaching the canadian border, and I trust the CBSA to get whatever the Americans miss. Don't see much of a CAF role there.
Quote
We can prepare for humanitarian relief missions in these areas if the situation collapses.
Reasonable, but it depends on how the situation goes down. If it turns into a civil war,  and Maduro still has control of the Army, there isn't much I can see Canada doing. Maybe set up in neighboring nations, if they would have us.
Quote
We could potentially secure the area and set up things like the Strategic Advisory Team which we had in Afghanistan to essentially mentor and instruct any new government in how to conduct business to Western standards
Again, it depends on how the situation shapes out. If Maduro goes out peacefully, sure, I can see that, if he goes out fighting I don't see that happening, if Maduro manages to hold on no way, if it's complete and total anarchy like Somalia I would say no. How many eventualities do we need to plan for?
Quote
We might even have to contemplate securing oil infrastructure in the case of Venezuela ITO prevent environmental disasters.
Also depends on how the situation on the ground shapes out.
Quote

And that is just off the top of my head.
While I agree that there could be a role for Canada and the CAF to play, I think it depends on how things on the ground play out.

Venezuela could just turn into a full fledged dictatorship with little turmoil. It could turn into a civil war. It could peacefully embrace democracy. It could violently embrace democracy. It could violently embrace dictatorship. Any of these can happen now, or ten years from now.

I just don't see what Canada can do at this point given the instability going on in Venezuela.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Colin P on August 03, 2017, 18:24:24
Having traveled a bit there, I can tell you that outside of the main highway system (decent), roads deteriorate quickly and get worse during the rainy season. You have multiple different terrain and ecosystems, including a sabana that becomes a flooded region for part of the year, rolling grasslands in the Gran Sabana, almost Alpine like in the SW, Jungle, tropical Forests, arid regions and dry coastal hills. It will be quite defensible.   
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on October 11, 2017, 12:40:36
Continuing economic collapse in Venezuela:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-10/imf-sees-venezuelan-inflation-rate-rising-beyond-2-300-in-2018

Quote
IMF Says Venezuela's Inflation Rate May Rise Beyond 2,300% in 2018
By Patricia Laya  and Catarina Saraiva
October 10, 2017 at 09:00:00 EDT
Next year’s price estimate increased from a previous 2,069%
GDP estimates for 2017, 2018 revised down to 12% and 6%

Venezuela’s triple-digit annual inflation rate is set to jump to more than 2,300 percent in 2018, the highest estimate for any country tracked by the International Monetary Fund.

An intensifying political crisis that’s spiraled since 2014 has weighed heavily on economic activity. Gross domestic product is expected to contract 6 percent next year, after shrinking an estimated 12 percent in 2017, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report published Tuesday.

While Venezuela’s central bank stopped publishing inflation data in December 2015, the IMF argues the country’s consumer prices are estimated to leap 2,349.3 percent in 2018, the highest in their estimates, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 44 percent. As oil production declines and uncertainty increases, unemployment is forecast to increase to about 30 percent in 2018, also the highest and followed by South Africa’s 28 percent and Greece’s 21 percent.

The Bolivarian Republic isn’t current with most of its key economic statistics, leaving economists scant data to crunch. Before Venezuela’s new legislative super body took over the functions of the country’s only remaining opposition-run institution this year, the sidelined National Assembly had started publishing its own inflation index due to the lack of official data. Bloomberg’s Cafe Con Leche Index puts the annual rate at 650 percent.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on October 23, 2017, 12:54:13
It now seems that the Venezuelans are resorting to creative accounting in order to pay the bills (i.e. it is suggested they are stiffing one set of creditors to keep the cash for a different set of creditors). An interesting side note which is not really explored or followed up is the involvement of the Russians in supporting the Venezuelan economy. Considering their challenges with depressed oil prices and sanctions crippling the Russian economy, they could be dragged down with Venezuela if/when there is an default or an economic collapse. I also believe the Chinese have invested heavily (several billion dollars) into propping up Venezuela, so they too could be in for an interesting time:

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/20/venezuela-is-blowing-debt-payments-ahead-of-a-huge-make-or-break-bill.html

Quote
Venezuela is blowing debt payments ahead of a huge, make-or-break bill

Venezuela's state oil giant has two massive bond payments coming due in the next two weeks.
The oil-dependent nation missed several debt payments totaling nearly $350 million last week.
Analysts don't expect Venezuela to default in the coming weeks, but the missed payments have rattled the market.

Tom DiChristopher   | @tdichristopher
Published 2:00 PM ET Fri, 20 Oct 2017  Updated 2:28 PM ET Fri, 20 Oct 2017
CNBC.com

One week before Venezuela faces a critical debt payment, the distressed petrostate is already late on a series of smaller bills — and no one can say exactly why.

The nation's state-owned oil giant, Petroleos de Venezuela, SA, has two major bond payments totaling about $2 billion coming due in the next two weeks. While the market expects the company, better known as PDVSA, to avoid default, the missed payments have rattled investors and raised fresh questions about how long embattled President Nicolas Maduro's regime might last.

"You're cutting close to the edge of not enough money in the checking account to pay the bills," said Ray Zucaro, chief investment officer at RVX Asset Management, an asset manager specializing in emerging and frontier markets.

Last week, Venezuela missed five coupon payments totaling nearly $350 million tied to the debt of PDVSA, the government and the utility Electricidad de Caracas. That stoked a minor sell-off in a number of outstanding bonds.

As for the upcoming payments, the first is due next Friday. The price of that bond dipped from a one-year high of $86.80 last week to $83.48 on Monday. It has rallied from a 12-month low of $62.50 on Aug. 1.

PDVSA needs to pay $841 million in principal, plus interest, on that bond. It's a critical moment for Venezuela because a default is seen as hastening Maduro's demise. Making matters worse, the collateral against the bond is Citgo, PDVSA's Houston-based refining and retail subsidiary.

The following week, on Nov. 2, a nearly $1.2 billion PDVSA bond is maturing. Total outstanding obligations for 2017 are about $3.4 billion, and there's no grace period for the two biggest payments.

As Venezuela's economic and political crisis worsens, foreign reserves have dwindled to just $9.9 billion. But analysts and money managers say more than half of that could be in gold and illiquid assets.

The market currently puts the odds of a Venezuelan default at 15 percent, according to an analysis by RVX Asset Management, but Zucaro said he believes the chances are closer to 40 percent. The environment is deteriorating, he said, as Venezuela's latest election results are being questioned and as sanctions on the country expand to include measures that prevent it from raising new funds.

Given the severe cash crunch, it's possible that Venezuela skipped out on the five coupon payments, which have a 30-day grace period, in order to allocate those funds to the payment due on the Oct. 27 bond, Zucaro said.

Edward Glossop, an emerging markets economist at Capital Economics, said that's possible. Since Venezuela is essentially locked out of capital markets, the impact of missing the payments on its ability to borrow is negligible, he said.

But Glossop believes another explanation is more likely: that U.S. sanctions have created technical problems that have forced Venezuela to make alternative arrangements to pay its debt, delaying payments. Some U.S. institutions could be refusing to deal with the government for fear of sanctions, he said. However, he doesn't doubt Maduro's willingness or ability to pay, given that making debt payments has been a priority.

Capital Economics projects that Venezuela is unlikely to default until 2019, though Glossop says it faces another round of hefty payments in 2018.

"Next year is quite tough again. It will be sort of touch and go," he said. "If oil prices remain where they are, we think they could get through."

Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, believes Maduro will continue to rely on Russia to bail out the regime. Russia's biggest oil company, Rosneft, has given PDVSA financial support.

"While it makes sense that they will preserve as much cash to avoid default, they will not be able to do it without Russia. So the question will be how much acreage will this cost them?" she said in an email. "Rosneft is acquiring Venezuelan assets at fire sale prices."
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on November 15, 2017, 11:36:10
The nation goes into default. And in a zen like fit of unself awareness, CNN finishes with: "This story has been updated to characterize Venezuela's government as socialist".

http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/14/news/economy/venezuela-debt-default-sp/index.html

Quote
Venezuela just defaulted, moving deeper into crisis
by Patrick Gillespie   @CNNMoney
November 14, 2017: 8:10 AM ET   

Venezuela's crisis taking a toll on its children

Venezuela, a nation spiraling into a humanitarian crisis, has missed a debt payment. It could soon face grim consequences.
The South American country defaulted on its debt, according to a statement issued Monday night by S&P Global Ratings. The agency said the 30-day grace period had expired for a payment that was due in October.

A debt default risks setting off a dangerous series of events that could exacerbate Venezuela's food and medical shortages.

If enough holders of a particular bond demand full and immediate repayment, it can prompt investors across all Venezuelan bonds to demand the same thing. Since Venezuela doesn't have the money to pay all its bondholders right now, investors would then be entitled to seize the country's assets -- primarily barrels of oil -- outside its borders.

Venezuela has no other meaningful income other than the oil it sells abroad. The government, meanwhile, has failed for years to ship in enough food and medicine for its citizens. As a result, Venezuelans are waiting hours in line to buy food and dying in hospitals that lack basic resources.

If investors seize the country's oil shipments, the food and medical shortages would worsen quickly.

"Then it's pandemonium," says Fernando Freijedo, an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, a research firm. "The humanitarian crisis is already pretty dire ... it boggles the mind what could happen next."

It's not immediately clear what steps bondholders will take. Argentina went through a vaguely similar default, and its bondholders battled with the government for about 15 years until settling in 2016. Every case is different, though.
Related: Venezuela admits it can't pay all its debts anymore

Venezuela and its state-run oil company, PDVSA, owe more than $60 billion just to bondholders. In total, the country owes far more: $196 billion, according to a paper published by the Harvard Law Roundtable and authored by lawyers Mark Walker and Richard Cooper.
Beyond bond payments, Venezuela owes money to China, Russia, oil service providers, U.S. airlines and many other entities. The nation's central bank only has $9.6 billion in reserves because it has slowly drained its bank account over the years to make payments.

The S&P default announcement Monday came after Venezuelan government officials met with bondholders in Caracas. The meeting was reportedly brief and offered no clarity on how the government plans to restructure its debt.
venezuela reserves nov 2017

The Venezuelan government blames its debt woes -- and inability to pay -- on a longstanding "economic war" waged by the U.S. More recently, the Trump administration slapped financial sanctions on Venezuela and PDVSA, barring banks in the U.S. from trading or investing in any newly issued Venezuelan debt.

But experts say the socialist Venezuelan regime that has been in power since 1999 bears the brunt of the blame. It fixed -- or froze -- prices on everything from a cup of coffee to a tank of gas in an effort to make goods more affordable for the masses. For years, Venezuelan leaders also fixed the exchange rate for their currency, the bolivar.

Related: Venezuela is blaming Trump for missed debt payments

Those moves were among the driving forces behind the food shortages. Farmers couldn't sell at low prices without going out of business because their cost of production was much higher. Importers also couldn't afford to ship in food, knowing they would have to sell at much lower prices than what they paid for at the port.

When food shortages grew worse, an illegal black market emerged where venders sold basic foods at vastly higher prices than the government's artificially low prices. Inflation soared, making the bolivar almost worthless.

One U.S. dollar currently buys more than 55,200 bolivars. At the beginning of the year, a dollar was worth about 3,200 bolivars, according to dolartoday.com, a website that tracks the unofficial rate that millions in Venezuela use to determine payments.

The International Monetary Fund predicts that inflation in Venezuela will hit 650% this year and 2,300% in 2018.

--This story has been updated to characterize Venezuela's government as socialist.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on December 15, 2017, 13:48:41
Floods of refugees flee the socialist paradise. Ether a crackdown of exiting or a "wall" may be the government's response, but who knows how long things can remain the way they are now?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/12/14/flood-venezuelans-fleeing-their-depressed-country/941463001/

Quote
Flood of Venezuelans are fleeing depressed country. Here's where they're seeking refuge
Simeon Tegel, Special to USA TODAY Published 2:31 p.m. ET Dec. 14, 2017 | Updated 8:01 a.m. ET Dec. 15, 2017

LIMA, Peru — It is 8 a.m. and the line of Venezuelan refugees outside the Interpol office already stretches to the end of the block.

Most have just arrived in Lima with not much more than the clothes on their back and are here applying for a certificate to show they have no criminal record, a requirement for a work permit in Peru.

“Leaving was tough, but staying would have been tougher,” said Andrea Sequiera, 29, as she waits at the back of the line with her husband Luis, 31, and 8-year-old son Fabian. ”We know lots of people who would like to get out of Venezuela but can’t afford the ticket.”

Although Venezuelans for years have been fleeing the “socialist revolution” first launched by the late Hugo Chávez in 1999, in recent months the trickle has turned into a flood as living conditions become ever more dire — from hyperinflation to acute shortages of food and medicine to one of the worst homicide rates in the world.

More: Trump administration unleashes more Venezuela sanctions following state election problems

More: Venezuela's latest deadly plight: AIDS

In response to protests over the once-wealthy country's seeming demise, President Nicolás Maduro’s increasingly authoritarian regime has cracked down on opponents, making prospects for improved times less and less likely.

While many exiles had fled to the United States, surging numbers, like the Sequieras, now head to other Latin American nations. The change probably stems from President Trump’s tough anti-immigration stance and the fact that fewer Venezuelans can afford the airfare.

From Mexico to Argentina, immigration agencies are reporting skyrocketing numbers of Venezuelan arrivals, doubling and even tripling the total for previous years.

The Sequieras have been in Lima just four days, after a grueling six-day bus trip from their native Valencia, Venezuela’s third-largest city. They rented a small room in a gritty eastern suburb and are now looking to start a new life in Peru.

The Sequieras became desperate as their wages became increasingly worthless — Andrea’s pay as a human resources coordinator and her husband's at Empresas Polar, Venezuela’s largest food and beverage company. “The worst thing is not being able to feed him,” she said nodding toward their son.

The final straw came when a tire on their car ruptured beyond repair and they couldn't find a replacement, making the vehicle useless — in the nation with the world’s largest proven oil reserves. Then the couple spent five days searching in vain for an antibiotic to treat a boil on young Fabian’s arm.

Peru introduced a special temporary visa in February to address the growing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Nearly 30,000 Venezuelans have applied so far for the visa, which includes a temporary work permit.

The exodus from Venezuela has caused tension in some Latin American countries. In Panama, the flood of citizens from the much larger neighbor now competing for jobs has stoked nationalistic sentiment, said Harold Trinkunas, an international security expert at Stanford University who grew up in Venezuela. Panama responded by tightening visa requirements.

Other countries have coped better, particularly Colombia, which has called on its extensive refugee system, originally created to help those displaced from its civil war that recently ended.

Another change is that most Venezuelan immigrants are now simply looking to survive, instead of wanting to send money back home to support family members, said Garrinzon González, who runs the Venezuelan Union in Peru, a self-help group for immigrants in Lima that has nearly 20,000 Facebook followers.

“There’s nothing to buy in the shops in Venezuela now anyway,” he said. “Here you can have a roof over your head and stable work very quickly after you arrive.”

The Venezuelan diaspora is estimated to be about 1.1 million — more than 4% of the population — although the country long ago stopped publishing official numbers. Many hope to return to Venezuela and help their homeland recover once there is a political transition. They don't know when that might happen, and the longer they stay abroad, the more they put down roots.

“I want to go back and help lift my country up again, but I am at an age where I want to be established and have a family,” said Patricia Acosta, 38, an MBA who arrived in Peru in April and now consults for the Spanish telecom giant Telefónica. “This really hurts. Venezuelans don’t have a culture of emigration. The expectation is that grandparents will see their grandkids growing up.”

That may hinder Venezuela’s recovery, because most emigrants are university-educated professionals who play a vital role in the economy. “Venezuela’s brain drain is a brain gain for its neighbors,” Trinkunas said.

The Sequieras are not even thinking that far ahead. Their priority is to sort out their papers, find work, rent an apartment and get Fabian back to school as quickly as possible.

 “We want to make friends and have a good life here,” Andrea Sequiera said. “We would like to go back, but right now we are focused on just rebuilding our lives.”
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on December 28, 2017, 15:59:38
Venezuelans stop accepting Bolivars for day to day economic activities. The real question is how long can this go on?:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-economy/venezuelans-scramble-to-survive-as-merchants-demand-dollars-idUSKBN1EK0XK

Quote
Venezuelans scramble to survive as merchants demand dollars
Eyanir Chinea, Maria Ramirez

CARACAS/CIUDAD GUAYANA, Venezuela (Reuters) - There was no way Jose Ramon Garcia, a food transporter in Venezuela, could afford new tires for his van at $350 each.

Whether he opted to pay in U.S. currency or in the devalued local bolivar currency at the equivalent black market price, Garcia would have had to save up for years.

Though used to expensive repairs, this one was too much and put him out of business. “Repairs cost an arm and a leg in Venezuela,” said the now-unemployed 42-year-old Garcia, who has a wife and two children to support in the southern city of Guayana.

“There’s no point keeping bolivars.”

For a decade and a half, strict exchange controls have severely limited access to dollars. A black market in hard currency has spread in response, and as once-sky-high oil revenue runs dry, Venezuela’s economy is in free-fall.

The practice adopted by gourmet and design stores in Caracas over the last couple of years to charge in dollars to a select group of expatriates or Venezuelans with access to greenbacks is fast spreading.

Food sellers, dental and medical clinics, and others are starting to charge in dollars or their black market equivalent - putting many basic goods and services out of reach for a large number of Venezuelans.

According to the opposition-led National Assembly, November’s rise in prices topped academics’ traditional benchmark for hyperinflation of more than 50 percent a month - and could end the year at 2,000 percent. The government has not published inflation data for more than a year.

“I can’t think in bolivars anymore, because you have to give a different price every hour,” said Yoselin Aguirre, 27, who makes and sells jewelry in the Paraguana peninsula and has recently pegged prices to the dollar. “To survive, you have to dollarize.”

The socialist government of the late president Hugo Chavez in 2003 brought in the strict controls in order to curb capital flight, as the wealthy sought to move money out of Venezuela after a coup attempt and major oil strike the previous year.

Oil revenue was initially able to bolster artificial exchange rates, though the black market grew and now is becoming unmanageable for the government.

President Nicolas Maduro has maintained his predecessor’s policies on capital controls. Yet, the spread between the strongest official rate, of some 10 bolivars per dollar, and the black market rate, of around 110,000 per dollar, is now huge.

While sellers see a shift to hard currency as necessary, buyers sometimes blame them for speculating.

Rafael Vetencourt, 55, a steel worker in Ciudad Guayana, needed a prostate operation priced at $250.

“We don’t earn in dollars. It’s abusive to charge in dollars!” said Vetencourt, who had to decimate his savings to pay for the surgery.

In just one year, Venezuela’s currency has weakened 97.5 per cent against the greenback, meaning $1,000 of local currency purchased then would be worth just $25 now.

Maduro blames black market rate-publishing websites such as DolarToday for inflating the numbers, part of an “economic war” he says is designed by the opposition and Washington to topple him.

On Venezuela’s borders with Brazil and Colombia, the prices of imported oil, eggs and wheat flour vary daily in line with the black market price for bolivars.

In an upscale Caracas market, cheese-filled arepas, the traditional breakfast made with corn flour, increased 65 percent in price in just two weeks, according to tracking by Reuters reporters. In the same period, a kilogram of ham jumped a whopping 171 percent.

The runaway prices have dampened Christmas celebrations, which this season were characterized by shortages of pine trees and toys, as well as meat, chicken and cornmeal for the preparation of typical dishes.

In one grim festive joke, a Christmas tree in Maracaibo, the country’s oil capital and second city, was decorated with virtually worthless low-denomination bolivar bills.

Most Venezuelans, earning just $5 a month at the black market rate, are nowhere near being able to save hard currency.

“How do I do it? I earn in bolivars and have no way to buy foreign currency,” said Cristina Centeno, a 31-year-old teacher who, like many, was seeking remote work online before Christmas in order to bring in some hard currency.

Additional reporting by Andreina Aponte and Leon Wietfeld in Caracas, Mircely Guanipa in Maracay, Anggy Polanco in San Cristobal, Lenin Danieri in Maracaibo; Writing by Girish Gupta; Editing by Leslie Adler
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on January 02, 2018, 15:02:12
As the economy collapses, Venezuela tries to apply band-aids. As anyone who is following the "living wage" movement story in places as diverse as California and Ontario know, artificially raising minimum wages (disconnected to productivity) simply prices unskilled labour out of the job market. A 40% increase decreed by Venezuela's government will have similar effects in an economy which is already suffering dire distortions:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/venezuela-inflation-minimum-wage-increase-president-nicolas-maduro-economic-crisis-a8137056.html

Quote
Venezuela raises minimum wage by 40% as economic crisis deepens
Economists warn move will accelerate inflation in country where price rises have plunged millions into poverty
Chris Baynes Monday 1 January 2018 19:30 GMT

Venezuela is to raise its minimum wage by 40 per cent, a move which could worsen high levels of inflation in the crisis-stricken nation.

President Nicolas Maduro said the new pay level would protect workers against what he called Washington’s “economic war” on socialism.

But most economists say his socialist government is in fact stoking a vicious cycle in a country already wrestling with the world’s fastest inflation.

The new minimum wage will come into force in January, President Maduro announced during a televised end-of-year speech, and follows six previous pay hikes in 2017.

The move is intended to counter quickening inflation coupled with a depreciating bolivar, a situation that has plunged millions of people into poverty in the once-thriving oil-rich nation.

Venezuelans will now earn at least 797,510 bolivars a month, factoring in food tickets – or just over $7 (£5.10) on the widely used black market index. Millions will still be unable to afford three meals a day or basic medicine, while the increase is likely to stoke inflation further.

Prices went up 1,369 per cent between January and November last year, according to figures released by the opposition-led Congress, which estimated the 2017 rate would top 2,000 per cent.

Economists generally say a country is in hyperinflation when the monthly rate tops 50 per cent for three months, or annual rates remain above three digits for three years.

Venezuela’s central bank reported inflation of 180 per cent and 240 per cent in 2015 and 2016, which had been the highest on record. It has since stopped publishing inflation data.

Opposition politicians say President Maduro’s refusal to overhaul Venezuela‘s state-led economic model and stop excessive printing of money will create more misery in 2018.

The President, however, spent much of his half-hour address blaming others for the country’s woes.

He said foreign and local media were spreading “negative propaganda”€ while Venezuela was facing “attacks” on its currency, and there were attempts to “sabotage” its oil industry.

Hundreds of Venezuelans took to the streets in parts of the capital Caracas last week to protest a shortage of pork for traditional Christmas meals.

President Maduro’s government had promised to provide subsidised meat to Venezuelans at the end of a fourth year of recession, but in many parts it did not materialise and frustrations boiled over.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on January 18, 2018, 09:48:46
Slow motion collapse continues. A possible benefit for Canada is the removal of Venezuelan oil from the market will temporarily spike prices and provide some extra revenue for Canadian producers.

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/286288/

Quote
LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: Venezuela’s Oil Production Is Collapsing. “Sharp drop in output increases the odds of a debt default, worsens economic crisis.”

Production fell 216,000 barrels a day to 1.6 million in a month to December, the 15th consecutive monthly decline, according to data reported by Venezuelan government to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries released Thursday. During 2017 as a whole, Venezuelan output fell 649,000 barrels a day, a decline of 29%.

This ranks among the deepest declines in the industry’s recent history. Russia’s output slid 23% during the fall of the Soviet Union, and Iraq’s output dropped by the same share after the 2003 U.S. invasion, according to data from OPEC and BP Statistical Review.

The decline has been caused by a deep economic crisis and widespread corruption and mismanagement, compounded by a purge of state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA by President Nicolás Maduro that has paralyzed the oil giant. U.S. sanctions have scared off some of the last remaining investors.

“In Venezuela there is no war, nor strike, but what’s left of the oil industry is crumbling on its own,” said Evanán Romero, a former PdVSA director.

Since the country exports little else, Venezuela’s centrally planned economy relies on oil exports for 95% of its hard currency, according to the latest official data. That means the output decline will add more pressure to the government, which has drastically cut back on imports of everything from machinery to food and medicines to make ends meet. The economy has shrunk an estimated 40% in the past four years.

And yet I had been assured just last week that Venezuela’s oil production was in full recovery, and as recently as yesterday that Venezuela was suffering a mere recession due entirely to low oil prices.

Excerpt from WSJ, requires subscription to read full article.
Title: Trump vs Venezuela
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 04, 2018, 10:37:56
If the story is true the President may have considered an invasion of Venezuela.No queation that it would be doable but at what cost ?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/trump-pressed-aides-on-venezuela-invasion-us-official-says/ar-AAzylz6?ocid=spartandhp
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Colin P on July 04, 2018, 11:38:47
I think it's fair for Trump to ask his advisors if it is a good idea and clearly they said no, he also asked the other South American leaders as well who supported the no side. The "official" leaking this gained himself brownie points with the press, while at the same time doing the same damage he said Trump did. The whole anti-US thing will only be swallowed by a shrinking minority of regime supporters.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Thucydides on July 06, 2018, 11:49:18
China moving in to pick up some pieces. The collapse of the oil industry and re imposition of sanctions on Iran might spike the price of oil in the short run, but increasing China and Russia's influence in the region is clearly not a good thing. Certainly the President was considering options when thinking about the ability for America to secure Venezuela, but other options might work as well. The idea the Chinese and Russians might invest billions of dollars into a Venezuelan "sinkhole", never to be recovered, might actually work in "our" favour in the longer run. (As an aside, Canada's east coast imports Venezuelan oil as well. Not having access to Alberta oil might come back to haunt them).

https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-save-venezuela-collapsing-oil-210000270.html

"Lengthy posts and fully quoted articles are posted here. Link to these large posts in the regular boards."
https://milnet.ca/forums/index.php/topic,128379.0.html
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Colin P on July 06, 2018, 13:13:16
In 1994, my brother and i visited the rusting remains of a Russian mining camp near Km 88 (small town). The Russians tried to operate there, but the whole country even back them was strangled by corruption. Any agreement the Chinese get with the current government might not be worth much. Now if they set up a port enclave, pay locals in hard currency and maintain their security force (both Chinese and local Mercs) then they will have influence. But is it worth it for what is not the best oil a long way from home? The geopolitical value might outweigh the pure economic value of the enclave. How long is that worth maintaining would be a good question. Not to mention the oil industry there is going to require expensive investment at every point along the way from extraction to shiploading. Plus you then have to protect that investment. A black money hole for now.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Remius on July 06, 2018, 14:41:56
In 1994, my brother and i visited the rusting remains of a Russian mining camp near Km 88 (small town). The Russians tried to operate there, but the whole country even back them was strangled by corruption. Any agreement the Chinese get with the current government might not be worth much. Now if they set up a port enclave, pay locals in hard currency and maintain their security force (both Chinese and local Mercs) then they will have influence. But is it worth it for what is not the best oil a long way from home? The geopolitical value might outweigh the pure economic value of the enclave. How long is that worth maintaining would be a good question. Not to mention the oil industry there is going to require expensive investment at every point along the way from extraction to shiploading. Plus you then have to protect that investment. A black money hole for now.

Depends on if Trump escalates this trade war to include oil.  The China will go to whatever source it can control.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Colin P on July 06, 2018, 18:31:16
Nigeria is closer, along with Iran. If the PLAN escorted a Chinese flagged tanker into and out of a Iranian oil port, do you think the USN will interfere, yes protests would be made through official channels, but that is about it. Iranian oil is better and closer. Venezuela is about as far from China as you can get.   
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: milnews.ca on March 24, 2019, 16:08:37
Welcome!  (source (https://twitter.com/sotiridi/status/1109787235400978433))
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Fishbone Jones on March 24, 2019, 17:36:44
Maduro doesn't even trust his own soldiers. Not only Russians coming in, but I read a week or so back, Cuba is supplying his palace guard.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: daftandbarmy on April 30, 2019, 19:49:33
Fitting....

A month before his death, on Nov 9th 1830, Simon Bolivar wrote a last letter:

"I have derived only a few certainties:
1. South America is ungovernable
2. those who serve a revolution plough the sea
3. the only thing one can do is to emigrate
4. the country will fall into the hands of the masses and then into the hands of tyrants
5. devoured by all crimes and extinguished by ferocity, the Europeans will not deign to conquer us
6. If it were possible for any part of the world to revert to primitive chaos, it would be [Venezuela] in her final hour."
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Blackadder1916 on April 30, 2019, 21:05:01
Fitting....

A month before his death, on Nov 9th 1830, Simon Bolivar wrote a last letter:

. . .

Depending on the source, I suppose the translation may differ, however, the text in Spanish would indicate that this may be a more accurate rendition.

"As you know, I have led for twenty years and have obtained only a few certain results:
1. America is ungovernable.
2. He who serves a revolution plows the sea.
3. The only thing one can do in America is emigrate.
4. This country will fall unfailingly into the hands of the unbridled crowd and then pass almost imperceptibly to tyrants of all colors and races.
5. Devoured by all crimes and extinguished by ferocity, the Europeans will not deign to conquer us.
6. If it were possible for one part of the world to return to primitive chaos, this would be the last period of America. "


Whether his reference to America is limited to the Southern continent is open to interpretation, but he is also credited with:

"The United States appear to be destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of liberty."

Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 04, 2019, 01:57:01
There are 20000 Cubans in country. We think most are Army. The Cubans say they are medical workers. I think without the Cubans the government would fall. Reminds me of Grenada.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/cuban-troops-venezuela-cuban-diplomat-tells-ap-62759311
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Journeyman on May 04, 2019, 09:28:27
Interesting conjunction of quotes:
"The United States appear to be destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of liberty."
Reminds me of Grenada.
      :pop:

I can't imagine the difficulty in deciding which tyrants and dictators are to be embraced and which are an evil scourge to be vanquished. :dunno:
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 04, 2019, 10:33:53
The Venezuelan Army has around 120000 in addition to the 20000 Cubans may be able to put up a stiff fight. I don't know if we could kick in the door without either the support of Colombia or units from the National Guard. To start with we would deploy special operations forces and Marines. Assembling the naval resources for  an invasion would be a tip off. Flying the 82d to Venezuela might take every C17/C5 we have. Much better for Moduro to fold and retire to Cuba. 
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 05, 2019, 12:34:57
Its unwise to underestimate your opponent.

https://www.stripes.com/news/us/guaidó-says-venezuelan-opposition-overestimated-military-support-before-failed-uprising-1.579784

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó on Saturday acknowledged errors made in attempting to stir a military uprising, and he did not discard a U.S. military option in Venezuela alongside domestic forces — saying he would take any such offer from Washington to a vote in the country's National Assembly.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Colin P on May 06, 2019, 13:49:47
A lot of the military brass there have their future pegged on the Socialists, so unlikely many will come over. I also suspect that the army was purged of anyone who did not fully support the "revolution". Eventually they overthrow the government when they and their families can no longer eat.
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 07, 2019, 09:53:10
Massive protests can be a turning point as we saw in Romania and E Germany.People Power !!
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Spencer100 on May 06, 2020, 14:09:12
Canadian/American behind overthrown attempt?

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-a-canadian-american-military-man-a-failed-venezuela-coup-and-a/
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: CBH99 on May 06, 2020, 14:59:10
Perhaps the Venezuelan naval ship trying to stop the ferry had some information on a coup attempt after all.  They did state at the time, they suspected the ferry of transporting mercenaries who were attempting to overthrow the current government. 

As for the US government not knowing anything about it, ofcourse they don't...   ::)


A bunch of former special forces guys, aligning themselves with the leader both the US and Canada back, at a time when the US is actively pursuing various options to remove Meduro from power.  Someone had to pay them, and their involvement had to have an exit plan.  Ofcourse the US is going to deny involvement... really is the stuff of a hollywood movie   :2c:
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: daftandbarmy on May 06, 2020, 14:59:27
Canadian/American behind overthrown attempt?

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-a-canadian-american-military-man-a-failed-venezuela-coup-and-a/


They probably weren't there to overthrown things, but mainly to build an internal resistance movement because: Green Berets….

More proof that it’s never boring in South/ Central America!



Venezuelan security forces arrested dozens of people, including two Americans, after a beach invasion allegedly aimed at overthrowing President Nicolas Maduro - a plot said to involve US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the Venezuela situation "has nothing to do with our government".

"We'll find out. We just heard about it," Trump said when asked about the incident and the Americans' arrest. The Pentagon later on Tuesday echoed Trump's comments.

Maduro held up a pair of blue US passports, reading off the names and birth dates on them in a nationwide broadcast on state television on Monday.

He showed images of the fishing boats the alleged attackers rode in on and equipment such as walkie-talkies and night-vision glasses. He blamed the attacks on the Trump administration and neighbouring Colombia, both of which have denied involvement.

"The United States government is fully and completely involved in this defeated raid," Maduro said, praising members of a fishing village for cornering one group and netting the "professional American mercenaries".

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/venezuela-americans-nabbed-failed-coup-plot-200505025057889.html
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Colin P on May 06, 2020, 18:27:24
Bay of Piglets
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: OceanBonfire on May 06, 2020, 19:56:07
Canadian/American behind overthrown attempt?

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-a-canadian-american-military-man-a-failed-venezuela-coup-and-a/

Info on the other 2:

Quote
The Army provided Military Times with service histories for three former Green Berets involved in a failed incursion into Venezuela earlier this week, an incident that's still short on details.


Former Sgt. 1st Class Goudreau, 43, served on active duty as an Army Special Forces medical sergeant and indirect fire infantryman from 2001 to 2016. A LinkedIn account associated with Goudreau stated that he previously served in the Canadian Armed Forces for three years in the mid-1990s.

As a U.S. service member, he deployed to Iraq from November 2006 to April 2007 and from March 2010 to September 2010. He later deployed to Afghanistan from May 2011 to June 2011 and again from January 2014 to June 2014.

Goudreau received three Bronze Star medals, the Ranger Tab, Special Forces Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge and Parachutist Badge.


Former Sgt. Airan Berry, 41, served on active duty as an Army Special Forces engineer sergeant from 1996 to 2013. He deployed to Iraq from March 2003 to June 2003; November 2004 to June 2005; and February 2007 to March 2007.

Berry received two Bronze Star medals, the Kosovo Campaign Medal, Ranger Tab, Special Forces Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, the Special Operations Diver and Special Operations Diving Supervisor Badges.


Former Staff Sgt. Luke Denman, 34, served on active duty as a Special Forces communications sergeant from 2006 to 2011, later serving in the Army Reserve until September 2014. He deployed to Iraq from March 2010 to September 2010.

Denman received the Army Commendation Medal, Special Forces Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge and Parachutist Badge.


https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/05/06/heres-the-career-info-for-the-former-green-berets-involved-in-venezuela-raid-debacle/
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Colin P on May 14, 2020, 02:39:19
and now the best After action report I have heard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdXxRspj-ZA
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: CBH99 on May 14, 2020, 04:24:27
Ya know, when he puts it that way...    :rofl: :facepalm: :facepalm:
Title: Re: Venezuela Superthread- Merged
Post by: Colin P on May 24, 2020, 04:43:12
Wonder how or if the US will respond to this?

https://globalnews.ca/news/6979643/iran-venezuela-tankers/

CARACAS, Venezuela — The first of five tankers loaded with gasoline sent from Iran reached Venezuelan waters late Saturday, expected to temporarily ease the South American nation’s fuel crunch while defying Trump administration sanctions targeting the two U.S. foes.

The oil tanker Fortune encountered no immediate signs of U.S. interference as it eased through Caribbean waters toward the Venezuelan coast and Venezuelan officials celebrated the arrival.

“Iran and Venezuela have always supported each other in times of difficulty,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza tweeted. “Today, the first ship with gasoline arrives for our people.”

The tanker and four behind it were finishing a high seas journey amid a burgeoning relationship between Iran and Venezuela, both of which Washington says are ruled by repressive regimes.

Russ Dallen, head of the Miami-based investment firm Caracas Capital Markets, confirmed the Fortune’s location using ship tracking technology. He said the next ship was about 3 1/2 days behind the lead tanker.

Venezuela sits atop the world’s largest oil reserves, but it must import gasoline because production has crashed in the last two decades. Critics blame corruption and mismanagement by the socialist administration amid an economic crisis that has led to huge migration by Venezuelans seeking to escape poverty, shortages of basic goods and crime.

The Iranian tankers hold what analysts estimate to be enough gasoline to supply Venezuela for two to three weeks.

Deep gasoline shortages have plagued Venezuela for years, though the problem had until recently largely spared the capital of Caracas, the largest population centre and political seat.

READ MORE: The Venezuela Project: Canadian man charged in alleged Iranian government money laundering scheme

Drivers must wait for days in lines that snake through neighbourhood to fill up with government-subsidized gasoline that costs less than a penny for a tank. Wealthier drivers with U.S. dollars turn to the black market, where gas costs up to $12 a gallon. That’s a small fortune in Venezuela, where the monthly minimum wage equals less than $5.

The U.S. accuses Iran and other nations of propping up Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. It’s among nearly 60 nations that back opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate president, contending that Maduro illegitimately won a 2018 election that banned his most popular opponents. In a new relationship between Caracas and Tehran, Iran recently also flew shipments of a key chemical needed to help jump start a Venezuelan oil refinery and produce gasoline.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Saturday that the United States should not to interfere with the shipment of oil bound for Venezuela. In a statement, Rouhani said that the U.S. had created “unacceptable conditions” in different parts of the world, but that Iran would “by no means” be the one to initiate conflict.

“If our tankers in the Caribbean or anywhere in the world face any problems caused by the Americans, they will face problems as well,” he added. “We hope the Americans will not make a mistake.”

READ MORE: Trump says he is considering a blockade on Venezuela

U.S. officials had announced no plans to try to intercept Iran’s tankers. However, the Trump administration has increased pressure on Maduro, recently offered a $15 million bounty for his arrest after a U.S. court indicted him as a narcotrafficker.

The U.S. also recently deployed a force of ships, including Navy destroyers and other combat ships, to patrol the Caribbean on what U.S. officials call a drug interdiction mission. The Maduro government considers it a direct threat. “We will not abide by their support of the illegitimate and tyrannical regime of Nicolas Maduro,” the Trump administration said in a statement, citing its “maximum pressure” campaign against the socialist leader “will continue until Maduro’s hold on Venezuela is over.”

A defiant Maduro appeared on state TV days ahead of the ships’ arrivals, vowing a tough response to any U.S. aggression against the Iranian tankers. He showed images of soldiers firing antiaircraft missiles streaking across the Caribbean.

“They want to enslave us,” Maduro said Thursday. “If you want peace, you must be prepared to defend it.”

Maduro’s defence minister, Vladimir Padrino Lopez, said Venezuela’s armed forces would welcome the five Iranian tankers, escorting them with ships and planes through the nation’s maritime territory and into port.

Eric Farnsworth, vice-president of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society research centre, said he didn’t expect the U.S. would act against the Iranian tankers. Such an act could too easily escalate, he said, especially in the Persian Gulf where Iran could retaliate against U.S. ships.“(That) would needlessly undermine the narrative that Venezuela, with the world’s largest proven oil supply, has to import gasoline from Iran of all places because they have become such an international pariah,” Farnsworth said. “If they don’t, Caracas claims a great victory for the fatherland and tries to portray the U.S. as impotent.”