An anarchist perspective on the protests in Venezuela

by Rafael Uzcátegui on February 22, 2014

Post image for An anarchist perspective on the protests in Venezuela

Lacking clear political content, the Venezuelan protests are at the same time capitalized upon by the right and violently repressed by the government.

Editor’s note: Yesterday we published some initial reflections on the Venezuelan protests which decried the anti-democratic intentions of the country’s US-backed right-wing opposition from a left-libertarian perspective. We also highlighted some of the important social advances made by successive Socialist governments, while remaining critical of chavismo as a political program and roundly condemning the police brutality against protesters. Today, we would like to share a short article by Rafael Uzcátegui for the Venezuelan autonomous-anarchist newspaper El Libertario, which highlights the violent repression of the protests by the Socialist government and criticizes its narrative of an anti-government “coup” being in the making.

The situation in Venezuela is complex and still in flux. The unfolding events therefore need to be assessed from multiple independent and critical perspectives that recognize both the violent means through which the US, international capital and the Venezuelan elite are trying to oust a democratically-elected government, as well as the reproductive patterns of state violence to which this Socialist government itself is now resorting. As we have written elsewhere, the Bolivarian Revolution is riven with internal contradictions, and it takes openness to seemingly contradictory perspectives to be able to recognize both its achievements and its limitations.

N.B.: The image above shows Genesis Carmona, 22, being transported to hospital after having been fatally shot in the head by an unidentified gunman during an anti-government protest.

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On February 4th, 2014, students from the Universidad Nacional Experimental del Táchira (Experimental University of Táchira), located in the inland state of the country, protested the sexual assault of a fellow female classmate, which took place in the context of the city’s increasing insecurity. The protest was repressed, and several students were detained. The next day, other universities around the country had their own protests requesting the release of these detainees, and these demonstrations were also repressed, with some of the activists incarcerated.

The wave of indignation had as context the economic crisis, the shortage of first necessity items and the crisis of basic public services, as well as the beginnings of the imposition of new economic austerity measures by President Nicolás Maduro. Two opposition politicians, Leopoldo López and María Corina Machado, tried to capitalize on the wave of discontent rallying for new protests under the slogan “The Way Out” and also tried to press for the resignation of president Maduro. Their message also reflected the rupture and divisions on the inside of opposing politicians and the desire to replace Henrique Capriles’ leadership, who publicly rejected the protests. The Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (Democratic Unity Table) coalition, didn’t support them either.

When the government suppressed the protests, it made them grow bigger and wider all over the country. On February 12th, 2014, people from 18 cities protested for the release of all of the detainees and in rejection of the government. In some cities of the interior, particularly punished by scarcity and lack of proper public services, the protests were massive. In Caracas, three people were murdered during the protests. The government blames the protesters, but the biggest circulating newspaper in the country, Últimas Noticias, which receives the majority of its advertising budget from the government itself, revealed through photographs that the murderers were police officers. As a response to this, Nicolás Maduro stated on national television and radio broadcast that police enforcement had been “infiltrated by the right wing.”

The repression of the protesters draws not only on police and military enforcement agencies; it also incorporates the participation of militia groups to violently dissolve the protests. A member of PROVEA, a human rights NGO, was kidnapped, beaten and threatened with death by one of them on the west side of Caracas. President Maduro has publicly encouraged these groups, which he calls colectivos (collectives).

The Venezuelan government actually controls all of the major TV stations, and has threatened with sanctions radio stations and newspapers that transmit information about protests. Because of this, the privileged space for the distribution of information have been the social media networks, especially Twitter. The use of personal technological devices has allowed record-keeping through videos and photographs of ample aggressions of the repressive forces. Human rights organizations report detainees all over the country (many of them already released). The number has surpassed 400, and they have suffered torture, including reports of sexual assault, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. As this is being written 5 people have been murdered in the context of the protests.

In his speeches, Nicolás Maduro encourages the protesters opposing him to assume even more radical and violent positions. Without any ongoing criminal investigation, he automatically stated that everyone killed has been murdered by the protesters themselves, who he disqualifies with every possible adjective.

However, this belligerence seems not to be shared by all the chavista movement, because a lot of its base is currently withholding its active support, waiting to see what will come next. Maduro has only managed to rally public employees to the street protests he has called. In spite of the situation and due to the grave economic situation he faces, Nicolás Maduro continues to make economic adjustments, the most recent being a tax increase.

The state apparatus reiterates repeatedly that it is facing a “coup”, that what happened in Venezuela on April 2002 will repeat itself. This version has managed to neutralize the international left-wing, which hasn’t even expressed its concern about the abuses and deaths in the protests.

The protests are being carried out in many parts of the country and are lacking in center and direction, having being called through social media networks. Among the protesters themselves, there are many diverse opinions about the opposition political parties, so it’s possible to find many expressions of support and also rejection at the same time.

In the case of Caracas the middle class and college students are the primary actors in the demonstrations. On the other hand, in other states, many popular sectors have joined the protests. In Caracas the majority of the demands are political, including calls for the freedom of the detainees and the resignation of President Maduro, while in other cities social demands are incorporated, with protests against inflation, scarcity and lack of proper public services. Even though some protests have turned violent, and some protesters have fired guns at police and militia groups, the majority of the protests, especially outside of Caracas, remain peaceful.

The Revolutionary Independent Venezuelan Left (which includes anarchists and sectors that follow Trotsky, Marx, Lenin and Guevara) is not involved in this situation. We are simple spectators. Some of us are actively denouncing state repression and helping the victims of human rights violations.

Venezuela is a historically oil-driven country. It possesses low levels of political culture among its population, which explains why the opposition protesters have the same “content” problem as those supporting the government. But while the international left-wing continues to turn its back and support — without any criticism — the government’s version of “a coup”, it leaves thousands of protesters at the mercy of the most conservative discourse of the opposition parties, without any reference to anti-capitalists, revolutionaries and true social change that could influence them.

In this sense, Leopoldo López, the detained conservative opposition leader, tries to make himself the center of a dynamic movement that, up to the time of this writing, had gone beyond the political parties of the opposition and the government of Nicolás Maduro.

What will happen in the short term? I think nobody knows exactly, especially the protesters themselves. The events are developing minute by minute.

For more alternative information about Venezuela, we recommend:

http://periodicoellibertario.blogspot.com
http://www.derechos.org.ve
http://laclase.info

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

ron jacobs February 22, 2014 at 22:57

There is a class content to these protests that this article ignores. There may be well-meaning individuals intermingled in the ranks of the neoliberal and right wing apologists. However, that does not mean the Left should support their participation in essentially right wing/CIA-linked protests. At best,this article mistakes opposition to the state with opposition to the imperial order. Nothing is further from the truth. In Venezuela, it is the Bolivarian state that is anti-imperialist, not the protesters. Am I opposed to the transgressions by elements of the police? Yeah, but I think I would be fighting the rightwingers if I were in the country, not helping them

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Fanny Contreras February 22, 2014 at 23:32

The chavista regimen is not anti-imperialist and I have never supported the rightwingers but neither a leftist government camouflaged, and it makes them worst! una venezolana.

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Dario Azzellini February 23, 2014 at 02:25

This is again some nuts right wing propaganda…

Not everyone who pretends to be an Anarchist is an Anarchist…

All leftist forces are taking a clear stand against the right wing and fascist violence from the network of feminist organizations: http://encuentrofeminista.weebly.com/
to radical queer, lesbian, gay transgender groups: http://asgdre.blogsp…nte-nuevas.html
To peasant organizations: http://fncezoficial….&max-results=15
Even the anti-government leftists from PRV-Ruptura-tercer camino take a clear stand against the fascist violence as you can see on their web site: https://www.facebook.com/prv.rupturatercercamino

Most people killed up to now were government supporters or not involved (like the guy on a motorcycle who got his head cut off yesterday night while driving o a road were opposition members had placed a wire on 4-5 feet height
http://www.noticias24.com/venezuela/noticia/223787/barbarie-en-la-av-romulo-gallegos-un-joven-murio-degollado-por-una-guaya-atravesada-en-plena-via/
As one of the central organizers and advisors of the protests said to do:
http://www.noticias24.com/venezuela/noticia/223829/militar-opositor-retirado-recomendo-el-uso-de-alambres-para-trancar-las-calles/

The government has assumed responsibility for the death of Juan Montoya (leftist grass roots leader from the popular neighborhood “23 de Enero” in Caracas and Bassil Dacosta, opposition student. They were shot by members of the special secret police SEBIN. The members of the forces have been arrested as well as the responsible commander and the head of the SEBIN has been replaced. It is still under investigation why they were on the streets since the SEBIN had the presiential order not to leave their barracks, but it did not follow the order. The death of Genesis Carmona, mentioned here, seems to have been caused by a shot fired by her own co-protesters, she got a bullet in her had from the back, while she was facing the police. That was confirmed not only by balistic exams, but also by videos.

El Libertario has always allied with far right wing students during the last decade. Here when they participated together with right wing students in 2007 trying to burn the school for social work in the Central University and throwing rocks, bottles and even shooting to prevent 123 chavista students and workers having an assembly to get out: http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/2814
here the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pw4FRfd9Wyo
Here the propaganda article by El Libertario:
http://cnainforma.blogspot.com/2007/11/dos-amigos-de-la-cna-de-venezuela.html
In the article El Libertario “forgot” to mention that injured right wing students were injured by stones from their own people and that the only one injured by gunfire was a chavista shot by a right wing student…
By the way: The student’s demonstrations in 2007, in which El Libertario participated, were against the decision of the government to force public universities to stop admission exames and give all people access to universites.

ROAR Magazine should decide it is a leftist media or if it wants to be part of creating confusion among leftists and support extreme right wingers.

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Jerome Roos February 23, 2014 at 14:11

Thanks for this Dario, much appreciated. If you would be interested in writing a slightly longer critique of El Libertario’s position in article-form (debunking some of the myths and exaggerations about the violence as you do here), we’d be happy to run it on ROAR. Our purpose is not to mislead or create confusion, but to stimulate debate — so I am very grateful you decided to comment here. Let me know if you have time and/or would be interested.

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Dario Azzellini February 23, 2014 at 15:29

Sorry Jerome, I am not interested in this kind of pluralism nor do I believe in it. I don’*t think inhuman lies are part of freedom of speech. I also don’t discuss with fascists. Media and public persons have responsibilities. You should deal with them and see what you publish. If this is what you publish, it is not my arena. El Libertario has been marginalized even by most anarchists… it is mainly weird first world anarchists which apparently think that it is enough to say “we are anarchists” to be one (regardless of what you do or say) that keep giving them a voice and bringing them back into the game… there are enough voices from the grassroots and most are very critical… in fact they even organized a huge demonstration a few days ago against the fascist mobilization and at the same time very critical of the government (although supporting it) under the slogan “golpe de timón” (change of course, a famous text of Chávez shortly before his death in which Chávez claimed for a radical change of course and deepening of the revolution). Mussolini founded his fascist movement relying strongly on two dissident anarchist factions (one led by Filippo Corridoni the other by Libero Tancredis) why Mussolini himself was a militant of the socialist party before… a label does not say anything.

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dan February 25, 2014 at 00:06

“Most people killed up to now were government supporters or not involved ”
You obviously have no clue of what’s going on

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Jerome Roos February 25, 2014 at 00:15

According to my count, 6 out of 11 casualties reported by Saturday were bystanders or government supporters:

http://roarmag.org/2014/02/who-is-responsible-for-the-violence-in-venezuela/

If this information is correct, Dario is indeed right.

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Purple Library Guy February 23, 2014 at 02:54

No matter what else they are, the Chavista regime are certainly anti-imperialist. The main global imperialists are the United States and its subordinates. The United States hates their guts and devotes considerable money and effort to trying to overthrow them, while US media clearly has the word that the Venezuelan government is The Enemy. The foreign policy stance of the Venezuelan government has consistently opposed imperialist US interventions around the world, whether against nice or relatively nasty victims. Within
Venezuela, the government has generally supported national and local ownership of resources, land, and enterprise, as against control by transnational imperialist capital–not always effectively or completely consistently but far more than most other governments in Venezuela or elsewhere.
What do you think being anti-imperialist is, anyway?

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Purple Library Guy February 23, 2014 at 03:00

As to this article generally, while I find it interesting, I start to wonder how much of the information new to me is wheat and how much chaff when I get confronted with something like, “The Venezuelan government actually controls all of the major TV stations”.
No it doesn’t, that’s not just misinformation it’s downright silly. The major TV stations denounce the government constantly, have often called for its overthrow, and consistently give the opposition and its talking points more and much more respectful coverage. You need to come to a normal country and see how much more respectfully the government of the day (as long as it’s business friendly) is treated. So if you’re telling howlers like that, it’s hard to take the rest of it seriously.

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magnusnet February 24, 2014 at 21:49

Yes it does. The fact you think the goverment doesn’t own the tv stations prooves you know nothing of Venezuela.

RCTV: closed by the state in 2007
VTV: state TV
Venevision: critical of the gov until they where threatened of being shut down like RCTV, now they don’t say anything against the gov.
Globovision: pushed to bancrupcy by govetment fines, then bought by big money linked to the goverment
Televen: shut up or be expropriated.

The big money capitalists behind televen and venevision allied with the goverment in order to keep what they had. Most big business that hasn’t been expropriated by the gov has had to do the same in Venezuela.

As for the suposed socialism in Venezuela, it is not socialism it’s comunism. I’m a socialist and collectivisation, expropriation and brainwashing populism is not socialism.

As for the oposition being right wing, check your facts and stop repeating what the gov says, many left wing parties are part of the oposition including the only venezuelian parties who belong to the “international socialist” to which brasilians mexican’s and french’s goverments belong as well.

I’m not right wing, i believe in Chavez’s missions and using the oil money to make a better Venezuela. I do not believe in corruption, I don’t believe in ideological brainwashing and I don’t believe in anti imperialist idiots who speak ill of the USA imperialism and aplaud when a gov sell themeselves to Chinese imperialism like Venezurla is doing.

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Joao February 23, 2014 at 07:47

I thought “ROAR Magazine is an online journal of the radical imagination providing grassroots perspectives from the front-lines of the global struggle for real democracy. ” This is not a “grassroots perpective” it is a middle class perspective of someone who has an NGO fulltime job… by the way… why did Uzcategui forget to mention that he has a well paid fulltime job at the liberal human rights org PROVEA which is always very concerned defending liberal democracy? This is the view of a middle class that is not persecuted by the land owners (who had their paid killers murdering 300 pesants in the las 12 years…). Who keeps insisting that Chavismo and opposition is the same and calls to boycott elections under the actual situation does obviously neither have the same problems as millions of poor Venezuelans nor do they care about poor Venezuelans…. El Libertario is a caricature of anarchism, with one old guy (Uzcategui) and a bunch of upper middle class kids from Caracas’ nice neighborhoods… and we are lucky that they don’t control more than a silly magazine and a small “library” otherwise their terror would probably be worst than Stalin’s terror… a few years ago they destroyed indymedia Venezuela by insisting that chavista left should not be allowed to participate or post… then they tried to start an own indymedia in Venezuela using mutliple group identities… claiming that 7 groups were supporting their new indymedia (at the meeting 4 people represented the 7 groups…) until they were kicked out and banned by international indymedia for their intentional sabotage behaviour… the “grassroots perspective” is in the poor neighborhoods, certainly not were the El Libertario priviledged live… why does ROAR not give the real grassroots a voice? You will find a lot of criticism regarding the government there, but also concrete efforts to build a different world and a clear stand towards the fact that the actual government is certainly a better frame for struggles than ever existed before and it improved the living conditions of millions… El Libertario belongs obviously to a class that does not care about that.

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Greg Grisham Vento February 23, 2014 at 12:09

The problem with anarquist or libertarian movements, as with all political groups, is their inability to deal with the conspirative reality behind all social ills. As long as they continue respecting and defending official versions, such as that of 911, etcetera, they will only add fuel to the fire.

As far as the girl being toted off on the motorbike, she is obviously not dead since she is still holding her head up. Maybe she died later but she is indeed very alive at the time the picture was taken.

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Ross Brummet February 24, 2014 at 00:07

I’ve argued elsewhere that unfortunately leftists who are trying to argue an independent position seem to have this strange habit of just repeating the claims of the right wing. Take that RoarMagazine article, Paul. It’s just full of nonsense.

“The government blames the protesters, but the biggest circulating newspaper in the country, Últimas Noticias, which receives the majority of its advertising budget from the government itself, revealed through photographs that the murderers were police officers.”

Presenting Ultimas Noticias as unbiased is bordering on farce. The paper is owned by the family of leading opposition figure Henrique Capriles. Maybe the murderers were police officers, but one would need verification outside of papers owned by the right-wing that have a history of manipulating images.

“A member of PROVEA, a human rights NGO, was kidnapped, beaten and threatened with death by one of them on the west side of Caracas. President Maduro has publicly encouraged these groups, which he calls colectivos (collectives).”

Once again, this might have happened, but isn’t it worth mentioning that PROVEA openly supports the opposition? Last year, after the elections, they denied a lot of the widespread violence of the opposition which there was quite a deal of evidence for, such as destroying public hospitals.

“The Venezuelan government actually controls all of the major TV stations, and has threatened with sanctions radio stations and newspapers that transmit information about protests. Because of this, the privileged space for the distribution of information have been the social media networks, especially Twitter.”

Does this article hear itself? First any independent analysis of the Venezuela media, whether it comes from the BBC or the Carter Center shows that the Media is predominately controlled by the right-wing private media. So suddenly the government controls everything? Of course they don’t, if they did, how did Ultimas Noticias publish stuff? How can you simply go Globovision’s website or Televen website and find attacks on the government?

Saying that Twitter is a good source for information about Venezuela is just ridiculous. Pay attention to twitter during the last Venezuela election, it was almost entirely full of supporters of Capriles. Odd considering he lost the election, no? These supporters continuously posted photos votes being burned and police abuse that would later be shown to be doctored or from other places. If one read twitter during that election, you would have also been awash in twitterers disgust at the idea that “one-time bus driver” could be president. Once again odd, no? considering the majority of Venezuelans are working class?

Well it’s not that odd, what people in Venezuela have computers with internet? What people with these privileges have the time to fart around on twitter? And what people speak English as well? Well across the board it is the rich ruling class of the country.

“Human rights organizations report detainees all over the country (many of them already released). The number has surpassed 400, and they have suffered torture, including reports of sexual assault, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. As this is being written 5 people have been murdered in the context of the protests.”

What human rights organizations? Many in the country are funded by the U.S. and elite interests. Just because something claims to be a human rights organization, doesn’t mean they are impartial.

Also the final line implies, without any evidence, that the five people killed was due to the violence of the state and not the opposition. Where’s the evidence?

“In his speeches, Nicolás Maduro encourages the protesters opposing him to assume even more radical and violent positions.”

Wow, is this actually blaming Maduro for some of the violence of the opposition? It doesn’t seem, in contrast, to blame the right-wing for some of the violence of the police.

And actually its false, Maduro has again and again called for peace during these protests.

“Maduro has only managed to rally public employees to the street protests he has called.”

How could this article possibly know this? It’s almost an entirely unbelievable claim, even if the government has gone crazy oppressive since the December elections, there would still be people who hang onto hope and show up at rallies. Are we really meant to believe that none of the majority of people who supported them showed up to rallies except for public employees? That they have lost all their support in a few months? This is ridiculous.

“In the case of Caracas the middle class and college students are the primary actors in the demonstrations. On the other hand, in other states, many popular sectors have joined the protests. In Caracas the majority of the demands are political, including calls for the freedom of the detainees and the resignation of President Maduro, while in other cities social demands are incorporated, with protests against inflation, scarcity and lack of proper public services. Even though some protests have turned violent, and some protesters have fired guns at police and militia groups, the majority of the protests, especially outside of Caracas, remain peaceful.”

You know the biggest protests routinely come from Chacao, one of the richest areas in the country in which is the home of Lopez. Portraying this protest as diverse is bizarrely dishonest. It’s predominately

“The Revolutionary Independent Venezuelan Left (which includes anarchists and sectors that follow Trotsky, Marx, Lenin and Guevara) is not involved in this situation. We are simple spectators. Some of us are actively denouncing state repression and helping the victims of human rights violations.”

Is there anything more obnoxious than false independence? You just wrote an article in which you put all the blame of the violence on the government, presented the protests as being much more diverse than they are, and repeated some of the most bizarre right-wing claims without question. I think you’re involved.

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Andrew Stergiou February 24, 2014 at 02:01

If one dislikes run on sentences to the point they will annoy me and not respect what I write then TURN AWAY!

One segment of the left preaches the cultural aspects of revolution as Western Marxist types which includes libertarians and anarchists, the reformists (SP, SD etc) vie with the letter of speeches and the law, another with the theories (4th international DeLeon) , others demand action (Maoists) with a few variations.

Iin what supposed in the problem with every country these days that has been provoked by international forces beyond their control in what some say is the problem with the Ukraine, Libya, Egypt, USA etc) Now here Venezuela which major airlines charge over $3000 for round trip tickets for in US dollars ( from the US) when the same tickets to the western sponsored state of Columbia is $700 and Mexico is $500:

Obviously it is a question of reality and being living and breathing where many of the actions and words mean nothing in what is control led by those who wish foster this discord and civil unrest the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA UNDER OBAMA as his administration since 2008 was faced with a South America and Allies Angela Merkel who do not wish to tolerate the arrogance of American aggression and the travesties of the American Political system thoroughly controlled in any real sense by the US military who in desperate bids to maintain power has unleashed a torrent of civil unrest worldwide so as to divide and conquer. In what must be seen exactly for what it is the desperate measures of a desperate political elite in a country which has lost control and they best weapon of control the facade of representing a free and democratic world.

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antifascista February 24, 2014 at 04:28

Interesting… the protest of students February 4th was repressed by the police… let us see what the bourgeoise and opposition media say…
http://www.noticierovenevision.net/nacionales/2014/febrero/5/88553=protesta-estudiantil-en-la-ula-dejo-seis-uniformados-heridos-y-dos-alumnos-detenidos
the students “kidnapped one policeman and a police car”… hm, I wonder how violent the police was if it was possible for “peaceful” students to kidnap a police officer and a car… and what would have happened to the students in other countries of the world… like in the US?
And who is speaking for the students? “El director nacional de Juventud Activa Venezuela Unida (JAVU), Jesús Gómez” JAVU… JAVU… wait… who is that? right… they were invited as main speakers by the colombian Nazi-party to their congress, here Laurent Saleh from JAVU as speaker with real Nazis: http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/politica/el-proyecto-politico-de-los-neonazis-articulo-435123

It is probably also a coincidence that “the students” from an – at least nazi-friendly- group demostrate against “insecurity” exactly after Leopoldo López called for street protests starting February 2nd…..

So the students were protesting because there has been a sexual assault on a student in the botanical garden of the university… on the other hand a few days later they complain because they say that the police has repressed them inside the university violating the autonomy of the university…
Let’s get it right: Why are the students then protesting against the government because of the insecurity on the university campus if the autonomy of the universities forbids police to step on the campus??

ROAR magazine should take this article of its web site and say sorry to the Venezuelan people and all real anarchist…

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Khethiwe Marais February 24, 2014 at 16:57

Please read:

Anti-Empire Report, February 4, 2014

http://www.killinghope.org/bblum6/aer125.html

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Bastard2509 February 25, 2014 at 00:13

An a problem of goverment of venezuela are his contradictions. They refer to USA. like the empire, but they enjoy blessings of there. An example: Around 2009 Obama commanded to lock Venezuelan officials goverment’s accounts in USA, for diplomatic tension Caracas – Washington… and arises the first question: For what reason they have his accounts there and not in Venezuela? after this they mend fences, and everything alright again!…

Also criticize the inherency of USA on internal politics of the other countries. The most people knows. But we make memory, and remember Antonini Wilson and the 800.000$ briefcase captured in Argentina… and he was only the iceberg tip… and It seems to the inherency of Venezuela to financing left political parties on some countries of South America!! without refer to the corruption problem, insecurity… you can search in the global numbers, I Don’t lie… And to close you can search the result of the two last presidentials elections on Venezuela!! greet..!!

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Gustavo February 26, 2014 at 15:26

Why some money is in the US on US accounts? Maybe because PdVSA (Venezuelan state oil company) Citgo has 8 refineries and 16.000 gas stations in the US? Maybe because the Venezuelan Embassy and consulates need accounts in the US?

I searched the results of the two last presidential election in venezuela:
April 2013
Nicolás Maduro (PSUV, GPP )
Henrique Capriles Radonski (PJ, MUD)
Popular vote Maduduro 7,587,579
Capriles Radonski 7,363,980
Percentage Maduro 50.6%
Capriles Radonski 49.1%

October 2012
Hugo Chávez (PSUV, GPP )
Henrique Capriles Radonski (PJ, MUD)

Popular vote Chávez 8,191,132
Capriles Radonski 6,591,304
Percentage Chávez 55.1%
Capriles Radonski 44.3%

So? Looks like chavistas always win

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Bastard2509 February 27, 2014 at 09:04

really, I know you pose, but I refer to officials that have nothing to do with outside business.

Now! with this electoral gap and add the abstinence of 3 844 734 voters. Do you think that the Government can afford to only listen his followers? And can take desitions like they made the last February 12, that CONATEL sent a written to the private channels to don’t transmit the oposition students movilization, and nonconforming, the state mediums only transmited the excesses for part of students that left damages an a building, but not transmited the excesses for part of “SEBIN” that it is a “counterintelligence organism” and that resulted in two deaths?
And when the news is unveiled across on twitter, CANTV lock it. Continued for the politial repression when the people claim!

Personally I’m not with the opposition, I’m not with the Chavismo. but this acts gave me much to think and wish!!! greet…!!

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Grant Fisher February 25, 2014 at 18:49

The so-called “Revolutionary Left” is standing aside? Are they waiting for the reactionaries to consolidate their leadership of these protests, as in the Ukraine?? Shame on them. This is pure sectarian babble–keeping their ideological hands clean while the world burns around them. Oppose all anti-democratic forces whether government or comprador!

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David Martínez (@OnlyApo) February 27, 2014 at 21:40

After reading all these comments, it makes me wonder just how many of you actually live in Venezuela or have even come here for visit. I’m a Venezuelan citizen. I lost my job one month ago because PDVSA, the state-run oil company, owes so much money to my former employer that they had no choice but to start downsizing (and the outlook is pretty grim).

I know there will always be left-wing vs right-wing discussions regarding our country and now there’s this “my anarchism is better than yours” vibe I got from the comments above, but nothing of that will disown the actual reasons for the nationwide protest, nor will it fully justify what the government is doing.

You can say all that you want in support of the anti-imperialist stance of the Venezuelan government, but we, the citizens, have all the reasons and the right to protest against the rampant insecurity, the unjustifiable scarcity of basic staples, levels of corruption that make the former 4th Republic governments look like hobbysts, the constant use of public resources for State and Party propaganda and indoctrination, 15.000% devaluation in 15 years, the largest inflation rate in the world nowadays 56.3%, the blatant lack of economic freedoms (try to live in a country where the government imposes a limit on how many dollars you can spend in a year), the indignant censorship (the media blackout where private TV stations just can’t report on the protests nor give any significant airtime to opposition politicians, the order to take NTN24 out of the satellite and cable TV providers, the threats to take CNN out too and the blocking and slowdown of Twitter and other websites) and, finally, the violation of human rights by the national police and National Guard. And I might have left some issues out.

So, argue all you want about the motivations of Provea, the El Libertario blog and the heroic anti-imperialism of the Government, but folks, so many things are fundamentally wrong with the government, and we, the citizens, are paying for it.

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carcar March 15, 2014 at 09:50

i dont read everything… just a comment.. (about some comments): this is not about be an anti-imperialist or not, if you are anti-imperialist, but you are an autocratic regime, ¿whats the deal? xDD the manifestations and the sabotage are totally legit …sorry for my shitty english.

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bobtheconcrete March 31, 2014 at 08:45

I was born in Venezuela. I moved to the US of Amnesia when I was very young. I have visited Venezuela throughout the years, last time being May – July 2013.
I witnessed the poverty, the food shortages, the rampant crime (it is highly advised you not go out at night, to put it mildly) and the general frustration of the people.
I’m from a town right off the capital, Caracas.
Although I left shortly before this whole thing started, I can confirm that the protests are sparked by legitimate concerns of the people.
Although it is likely there is some sort of US proxy backing the Right, it is just adding fuel to an already long-existing fire. There are a significant number of Chavistas who also disagree with the Maduro regime and want change. Nobody likes a corrupt government, food shortages, or state-sponsored violent crime.
A lot of people are also dissatisfied with the last presidential elections’ results, there is just a stink of fraud most people can smell.
On a side note, there are some “nice” things about the Chavista regime, such as highly subsidized utility bills (~90%), you pretty much can’t be fired from your job, no matter how bad you do it; you can’t get evicted from your house if you dont pay rent (a lot of people don’t believe me on this one. look it up!), and there are a lot of benefit programs for the poor. These are all nice things if you want a mommy-state to take care of you.
I guess, a neutral route would be to have a regime change but keeping most of these social benefits for the poor. In other words, keep the “good things” from Chavismo.
What’s my take? Well, I’ve lived and worked on both sides of the political coin and let me tell ya, I say throw away the damn coin. Let the people govern themselves!
But I do hope Venezuelans get some sort of change!

Resistencia

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