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Thread: The Crisis In Venezuela, Explained

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    The Crisis In Venezuela, Explained

    In short, Marxism/socialism. The people are up in arms.


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    Red face

    Socialism proves to be a failure in Venezuela...

    Venezuela's Problem Is That 'Socialism Has Been Faithfully Implemented' There
    September 19, 2017 | During his speech at the United Nations on Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump condemned the authoritarian, socialist regime of Venezuela, emphasizing that the South American nation's problem "is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented."
    Trump added that wherever socialism or communism is implemented, such as the former Soviet Union, Cuba, and Venezuela, it leads to political repression, executions, "anguish" and "failure." "We call for the full restoration of democracy and political freedoms in Venezuela," said President Trump. "The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented," he said. "From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure." "Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems," said the president.

    Preceding those comments, Trump said of Venezuela: "We have also imposed tough, calibrated sanctions on the socialist Maduro regime in Venezuela, which has brought a once thriving nation to the brink of total collapse. "The socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on the good people of that country. This corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation by imposing a failed ideology that has produced poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried. To make matters worse, Maduro has defied his own people, stealing power from their elected representatives to preserve his disastrous rule.


    Venezuela's socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro, left, and former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

    "The Venezuelan people are starving and their country is collapsing. Their democratic institutions are being destroyed. This situation is completely unacceptable and we cannot stand by and watch. "As a responsible neighbor and friend, we and all others have a goal. That goal is to help them regain their freedom, recover their country, and restore their democracy. I would like to thank leaders in this room for condemning the regime and providing vital support to the Venezuelan people.

    "The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable. We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people. "We are fortunate to have incredibly strong and healthy trade relationships with many of the Latin American countries gathered here today. Our economic bond forms a critical foundation for advancing peace and prosperity for all of our people and all of our neighbors. "I ask every country represented here today to be prepared to do more to address this very real crisis."

    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article...lemented-there

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    "The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented," he said. "From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure."

    Someone had to have written those words for him for they are the truest words he's spoken.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Red face

    Drivers in oil-rich Venezuela stuck in gasoline lines...

    Drivers stuck in gasoline lines in oil-rich Venezuela
    Sat, Sep 23, 2017 - Venezuelan drivers are facing growing lines to buy gasoline, despite having the world’s largest oil reserves, adding to the OPEC member’s woes as its refineries sputter and its socialist economic system crumbles.
    Lines to buy fuel and shuttered service stations have been intermittent problems for much of this year, most notably outside the capital, Caracas. However, in recent days the problem has worsened, with lines popping up at service stations in Caracas, while drivers in the southern city of Puerto Ordaz were waiting an average of four hours to fill their tanks. “I had an urgent medical appointment, but I had to suspend it because I didn’t have gasoline and the lines are several blocks long,” said Nelly Gutierrez, 35, an accountant. “There’s no medicine, water, Internet and no gasoline. How long is the government going to put us through this?”

    State oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) did not immediately respond to a request for comment and the reasons for the apparent dip in supply this week were unclear. However, the country’s refineries are functioning at record lows due to constant outages and insufficient supply of crude resulting from slumping output, union leaders and refinery workers said.

    PDVSA, suffering a dramatic cash flow shortage as a result of low oil prices, has struggled to pay for imports of fuel to fill the gap. In most cases, it has resolved major supply disruptions within a few days, although one shortage in March lasted several weeks and affected exports to ally and trading partner Cuba.

    Fourteen tankers are waiting in ports in Venezuela and the Caribbean to unload a total 4.2 million barrels of fuel and blending components commissioned by PDVSA, but have not yet done so for lack of payment, according to Thomson Reuters data and shipping sources. PDVSA is forced to prepay its fuel imports because payment delays have led suppliers to halt open credit to the company.

    http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/worl.../23/2003678999

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    Cool

    Venezuela Doctors Urge Stronger WHO Stance on Health Crisis...

    Venezuela Doctors in Protest Urge Stronger WHO Stance on Health Crisis
    September 25, 2017 — Venezuela's doctors, fed up with what they called the World Health Organization's passive attitude toward the country's deep medical crisis, protested at the agency's Caracas office on Monday to demand more pressure on the government and additional assistance.
    Venezuela is suffering from a roughly 85 percent shortage of medicines, decrepit hospital infrastructure, and an exodus of doctors during a brutal recession. Once-controlled diseases like diphtheria and measles have returned due in part to insufficient vaccines and antibiotics, while Venezuelans suffering chronic illnesses like cancer or diabetes often have to forgo treatment. Malnutrition is also rising, doctors say. Rare government data published in May showed maternal mortality shot up 65 percent while malaria cases jumped 76 percent. The former health minister was fired shortly after the bulletin's publication, and it has not been issued since.


    In the latest protest by an umbrella group of health associations, dozens of doctors and activists gathered at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the WHO's regional office, urging the agency step up pressure on Nicolas Maduro's leftist government and provide more aid during its 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference this week. "There's been a complicit attitude because they haven't denounced things," Dr. Rafael Muci said during the rally. "This is an unlivable country, and no one is paying attention," he said, adding he earns about $8 a month at a state hospital. In a statement on Monday, PAHO stressed its main role was to provide "technical cooperation" and highlighted recent help in providing vaccines.



    A woman shouts slogans during a protest outside the World Health Organization (WHO) office in Caracas, Venezuela, Sept. 25, 2017. The letters read "Health."



    The Venezuelan government, which accuses activists of whipping up panic and the business elite of hiding medicines, did not respond to a request for comment. Venezuelans seeking certain drugs often have to scour pharmacies, seek foreign donations or turn to social media. Sociologist Maria Angelica Casanova, 51, has struggled to find psychiatric medicines for a year. "Sometimes they come, sometimes they don't. It's serious," she said, as passers-by shouted "Down with Maduro!"


    Measles, which were controlled after a mass immunization in the 1990s, has returned to Venezuela's jungle state of Bolivar, PAHO data show. As the crisis stokes emigration, Venezuela's health problems could be exported, doctors warned. "We don't know how many people who are emigrating could have some of these pathogens in incubation period," said Andres Barreto, an epidemiologist who had participated in the measles vaccination drive.


    https://www.voanews.com/a/venezuela-...-/4044389.html

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    Angry

    Venezuelan chaos Takes Psychological Toll on Children...

    Venezuela's Unrest, Food Scarcity Take Psychological Toll on Children
    October 05, 2017 — Venezuelan siblings Jeremias, 8, and Victoria, 3, were in their pajamas and preparing to go to bed when a tear gas canister smashed through their family's kitchen window in early July.
    National Guard soldiers were pelting the building in this highland town near Caracas with tear gas canisters as they searched for opposition activists who had been protesting unpopular President Nicolas Maduro for over three months. Amid screams and insults from neighbors, soldiers stormed the building and arrested dozens of youths, according to the children's mother, Gabriela. Gabriela and her husband, Yorth, hid the kids in their bedroom closet as the apartment filled with thick gas after seven canisters crashed in. The guards did not enter their apartment, but the family was unable to sleep that night and the apartment reeked for days. After that, the kids changed.


    Yennifer Padron kisses her baby in her house at Petare slum in Caracas, Venezuela

    Jeremias cried and begged to leave Venezuela. His younger sister, previously not even scared of the dark, was terrified every time she heard a loud sound — an object falling, a truck, or thunder. "She would say, 'The soldiers are attacking us' and cry," said Gabriela, 30, a nurse by training. "That was the trigger for us that we had to get the kids out of here, otherwise it would be even worse for them psychologically." A month after the incident, the family sold what it could, packed three suitcases, and left Venezuela by bus with around $250 in their pocket, joining droves fleeing the country. Out of fear of reprisals, Gabriela asked that their surname and country of residence not be published. Her children's case highlights the lasting psychological toll the OPEC nation's economic and political crisis is having on its youngsters.

    Spiraling into chaos

    Venezuela, home to the world's largest crude oil reserves, has spiraled deeper into chaos in recent years as Maduro — the narrowly-elected successor of leftist firebrand Hugo Chavez — has cracked down harder on the opposition amid a painful recession blamed by economists on his socialist government's interventionist policies. Recently, months of protests demanding early elections interrupted schools, leaving kids holed up at home or exposed to violence. A crippling recession has spawned shortages of products like milk and diapers, while rapid inflation means toys or school uniforms are unaffordable for poor families. There is no recent data examining the psychological effects of the deprivations on children, but teachers, psychologists, rights activists and two dozen parents interviewed by Reuters suggest it could have a heavy toll. "From a young age, children are being Maduro blames the opposition for traumatizing children and others via protests that often turned violent, with hooded demonstrators throwing stones and Molotov $#@!tails.


    One of Yennifer Padron and Victor Cordova's daughters touches hot water in a pot in the house where they live at Petare slum in Caracas, Venezuela

    He says his government, which did not respond to a request for comment, has done more for children than previous administrations, pointing to youth orchestras, sports programs and vacation camps. 'Mommy, when is the food box coming?' to think about survival," said psychologist Abel Saraiba at Caracas-based child protection organization Cecodap. He said around half of his 50 patients have symptoms linked to the crisis. Children are more prone to anxiety, aggression and depression, and could also struggle to relate with peers because they see the outside world as hostile. That could be another hurdle in Venezuela's eventual reconstruction. Maduro blames the opposition for traumatizing children and others via protests that often turned violent, with hooded demonstrators throwing stones and Molotov $#@!tails. He says his government, which did not respond to a request for comment, has done more for children than previous administrations, pointing to youth orchestras, sports programs and vacation camps.

    'Mommy, when is the food box coming?'

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    Angry

    Looks like Venezuela just lost freedom of the press...

    Venezuela Constituent Assembly Cracks Down On Media
    November 8, 2017 - Human rights groups say President Nicolas Maduro's autocratic government aims to stifle dissent in both broadcasting and social platforms.
    Venezuela's Constituent Assembly has approved a law its authors say would punish messages of hate in broadcast and social media with penalties reaching 20 years in prison. The new law comes in a period of rising political tensions over the rule of socialist President Nicolas Maduro. The Assembly, created by Maduro in July and mainly composed of his supporters, bans any message transmitted through radio, television or social media that instigates hate. The new law is designed to encourage "broadcast message aimed at promoting peace, tolerance, equality and respect," according to the legislation, as quoted by the Associated Press.

    The president of the Constituent Assembly, Delcy Rodriguez, said the law is designed to counter extremist sectors of Venezuela's right-wing opposition groups. The law also prohibits opposition political parties that don't comply with the Assembly's anti-hate law from registering with the government-dominated National Electoral Council.


    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a press conference at the presidential palace, in Caracas, Venezuela

    As NPR's Philip Reeves reports: "Venezuela's opposition parties are in disarray. President Nicolas Maduro now seems to be capitalizing on their weakness with a law stifling dissent. It was passed by the Constituent Assembly that Maduro and his ruling social party recently created, and which they control. The law bans ... material on the airwaves, or via social media, that's deemed to incite hatred or violence. Social media operators must immediately pull posts defined as illegal, it says. Violators face ten to twenty years in prison. ... Many countries, including the U.S., don't recognise Venezuela's Constituent Assembly and will see this crackdown as an attempt to consolidate a dictatorship."

    A spokesman for the New York-based Human Rights Watch, Jose Miguel Vivanco, said in a tweet, "The law passed today sinks Venezuela deeper into Maduro's tyrannical regime. But nobody should be surprised that Maduro's autocratic circus went this far: the mafia that governs Venezuela has shown too many times that it is willing to go as far as necessary to crackdown on dissent." Maduro already has accused some private media outlets of conspiring against him by covering anti-government demonstrations. He blocked Colombian networks Caracol and RNC earlier this year and pulled CNN en Espanol off the air in Venezuela, according to Bloomberg.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-...-down-on-media

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    Red face

    Venezuelan power company in default...

    Venezuelan Debt Crisis Widens, With Power Company in Default
    NOV. 10, 2017 - Venezuela showed new signs of a financial unraveling on Friday, as the state electricity company was declared in default.
    The announcement of the country’s first bond default came three days before the government was to begin talks with investors to refinance and restructure more than half of its $120 billion in debt. “This is the first drizzle in a huge thunderstorm,” said Jose L. Valera, an international energy lawyer in the Houston office of the Mayer Brown law firm. “The whole country of Venezuela is bankrupt.” The electricity company, Corpoelec, based in Caracas, was unable to make a $28 million payment on a $650 million bond. The bond was originally issued by Electricidad de Caracas before it was nationalized as a Corpoelec subsidiary a decade ago.


    The default was announced in a notice by Wilmington Trust after bondholders complained that they had not received payment on a coupon that was due on Oct. 10 but had a grace period that ended on Thursday. Venezuela and its state-owned enterprises — including the oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, known as Pdvsa — have missed roughly $350 million in interest payments over the last month. The grace period on many of them will end in the next few days. “There are going to be so many different debtors from the sovereign to these different state-owned companies,” Mr. Valera said, “and they are all going to be defaulting at the same time.”



    Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro spoke in Caracas last month. His country’s debt problems intensified on Friday.


    President Nicolás Maduro announced last week that the government would refinance and restructure $63 billion in bonds, and invited investors to meet with a government committee led by his vice president. It is uncertain how many investors will take part, since United States sanctions restrict any negotiation or purchases of new bonds by American-regulated financial institutions. Monday could be a decisive day in Venezuela’s credit crisis.


    While President Maduro’s committee will offer restructuring proposals, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, a panel formed by the derivatives industry, will meet to discuss the Venezuelan debt situation. The panel will discuss whether late and partial payments of $1.2 billion due last week from Pdvsa constituted a “credit event” that could prompt bondholders to organize to seek payment. The creditors could pursue legal action to confiscate Venezuelan assets abroad, such as oil tankers or even refineries owned by the Pdvsa subsidiary Citgo.


    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/10/b...d-default.html

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    Red face

    Maduro got plenty to worry `bout at home...

    Venezuela's Maduro Offers to Help Trump Fight Drugs
    Saturday 18th November, 2017 | Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose top political allies have been accused by Washington of dealing in illegal narcotics, on Friday offered to help U.S. President Donald Trump in fighting the drug trade.
    Top Venezuelan officials including Vice President Tareck El Aissami and Interior Minister Nestor Reverol have been blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury on allegations they have helped move drugs from neighboring Colombia into North America. Venezuela';s Vice President Tareck El Aissami talks to the media during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela, Nov. 17, 2017.

    Maduro calls those charges a smear campaign, and insists that the United States must do more to reduce drug consumption. 'President Trump, if you really want to fight drug trafficking that has destroyed U.S. youth and filled the country with drugs from Colombia, you have an ally in me,' Maduro said in a televised broadcast. 'Come find out about our experience, we can join forces.'


    He did not provide further details. Maduro has repeatedly excoriated Trump for sanctions against Venezuela, which range from restrictions on U.S. banks buying newly issued debt to barring American citizens from having any dealings with specific individuals in his government.

    The Trump administration slammed Maduro's decision to create an all-powerful legislature called the Constituent Assembly in August. The opposition and the international community decried that move as the consolidation of a dictatorship. Maduro, who is himself under U.S. sanction, has in the past requested meetings with Trump. The White House responded to one such entreaty this year by saying it will meet with Venezuela's president when the country returns to democracy.

    http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/2...mp-fight-drugs

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