Edit: renamed to be a catch-all thread for updates on Venezuela.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's government announced Wednesday it will go ahead with its threatened withdrawal from the Organization of American States, the regional body whose leader has been one of the fiercest critics of embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
The move came on the same day as fierce confrontations in the capital between security forces and anti-government protesters who staged yet another march amid political unrest that has been blamed for 29 deaths in recent weeks. Clashes were also reported in other Venezuelan cities.
Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez called for the OAS withdrawal after a brief but contentious meeting at the group's Washington headquarters in which its permanent council voted in favor of holding a special session to evaluate Venezuela's crisis, adding to mounting international pressure for Maduro to schedule delayed elections and free detained political activists.
Rodriguez said the OAS's action was taken to "intervene and take custody of our country, something that fortunately will never happen."
Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.
Venezuela is teetering on the edge of implosion, with intertwined economic and political crises spinning out of control. The country is entering its second month of mass protests where tens of thousands of Venezuelans have taken to the streets daily to call for President Nicolás Maduro to go. The demonstrations began in earnest after a Supreme Court decision in March would have stripped power from the opposition-controlled National Assembly. That decision was quickly reversed, but it proved the spark that lit the smoldering unrest.
Just when it was thought that Chavez being in power was the worst that could happen to their country the government has now managed to sink even lower than stealing candy from a baby.
It's going to get worse before it gets any better.
Clashes in Venezuela as Maduro starts constitutional rewrite
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Thousands of protesters were met with plumes of tear gas in Venezuela's capital Wednesday, just a short distance from where President Nicolas Maduro delivered a decree kicking off a process to rewrite the polarized nation's constitution.
Surrounded by top-ranking socialist officials, a riled-up Maduro told supporters dressed in red outside the National Electoral Council that the constitutional assembly was needed to instill peace against a violent opposition.
"I see congress shaking in its boots before a constitutional convention," he said, referring to the opposition-controlled legislature, after dancing alongside the older brother of the late President Hugo Chavez.
Nearby, national guardsmen launched tear gas at demonstrators who tried to march toward the National Assembly. The confrontation grew increasingly violent, with anti-government protesters setting an officer's motorbike on fire. At another point, an armored vehicle set aflame pushed into a crowd of demonstrators.
Freddy Guevara, the legislature's first vice president, was whisked away by fellow protesters after apparently being struck in the foot by a tear gas canister. He later emerged with white bandages wrapped around the wound, vowing to stay in the streets until the opposition triumphs.
"An injury from your dictatorship is a medal of honor," he tweeted to Maduro.
The right argue that if we vote for a socialist such as Jeremy Corbyn then Britain will end up like Venezuela. But Venezuela’s problem isn’t too much socialism—it’s not enough.
The biggest problem is the collapsing price of oil, Venezuela’s main export.When the oil price was high Chavez could fund anti-poverty programmes without confronting the rich. Maduro can no longer do this.
Socialism would mean making human need, not profit, the basis for organising society.
I love that last line... human need... I guess they really believe if you wish for it, it will come... I personally could use a million dollars... In a society based on "human need" I guess I'd get it. Probably wouldn't be worth the paper it was printed on, but it could be a substitute for the toilet paper I can't buy...
Or, this Leftist version: It was corrupt government officials in cahoots with Capitalists...
Either explicitly or implicitly, this emerging narrative glorifies neoliberalism on the basis that state intervention in the economy, a distinguishing feature of the 14-year government of late president Hugo Chavez, is doomed to fail — no matter the form it takes.
According to some critics of Chavismo, the inevitable by-product of Chavez's economic policies was the flourishing of corruption at the hands of Chavista bureaucrats, in cahoots with corrupt Chavista businesspeople.
Without exonerating the Venezuelan government's serious policy errors, a broader analysis of relations between the Chavista government and the private sector highlights the complex nature of the current crisis. It serves to debunk the neoliberal claim about the inherent flaws of Venezuela's leftist model. It also raises issues worthy of debate in order to draw lessons from the rich experience of Chavista rule.
One major conclusion is that circumstances, including attempts to topple the government, forced Chavistas to make compromises and enter into tactical alliances with economic groups that did not share the stated goals of the broader Chavista movement.