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View Full Version : Venezuela Slides Toward Civil War



Waterloomike
08-02-2017, 05:25 PM
https://strategypage.com/on_point/2017080201046.aspx

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.

Waterloomike
08-02-2017, 05:28 PM
They have begun with the same 'techniques' all of these brutish authoritarian regimes have.

They arrested the opposition leadership.

Next it will be the lieutenants, then any journos with balls. Then the intellectual class, then the school teachers.

Venezuela, we hardly knew ye.

But we do know what the Chavistas intend for you.

Vaya con dios.

LB303
08-02-2017, 11:22 PM
So many views, so little commentary. It's hard to know just what to say. I'd welcome a boatload of refugees from there. Nothing like people who have seen the worst that socialism has to offer, they make the best new citizens.

Swampdonkey
08-03-2017, 12:53 AM
So many views, so little commentary. It's hard to know just what to say. I'd welcome a boatload of refugees from there. Nothing like people who have seen the worst that socialism has to offer, they make the best new citizens.

Is that why Ukranians and Mennonites voted NDP?

LB303
08-03-2017, 02:12 AM
Over the years I've met people who made it here from many not-so-good places (off the top of my head in no particular order: USSR, Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia, Viet Nam, China, Nicaragua, Brazil, Korea, Uganda, Laos, Romania, Greece; I know I'm leaving some out). What they had in common, I discovered, aside from the desire to fit in and make an honest living, was a deep distrust of any social-democrat notions. Venezuelans would be a far better fit here than the currently favoured group from across the pond.
Mennonites are a different breed- won't serve in the military, but never accepted baby bonus cheques either. Not your average NDPers, they want as little to do with government as possible. For that I admire them.

Waterloomike
08-03-2017, 03:55 AM
I've met a number of Romanians that distrust government as much as i do.

Doug_M
08-03-2017, 04:29 AM
I'd welcome a boatload of refugees from there. Nothing like people who have seen the worst that socialism has to offer, they make the best new citizens.

I don't know. The eastern Eurpeans had decades of communist rule whereas the Venezuelans are relatively new to it. It is my understanding that all the opposition parties there are socialists of the "we can do socialism right/better/different" variety. Maduro calls some of them right-wing, but that is just relative to him.

soulchaser
08-03-2017, 08:21 AM
Amazing how all those Canadian progressives who routinely praised and fawned over Venezuela as the shining example of successful socialism have suddenly gone as quiet as a church mouse.

Funny that.

Waterloomike
08-03-2017, 08:51 AM
Now they're busy hiding slimy patate's tracks.

LB303
08-03-2017, 10:05 AM
I don't know that you need decades of exposure to realize that a bad idea is a bad idea. Those poor buggers in Eastern Europe couldn't escape. Look what happened in Cuba when communism came. Thousands upon thousands risked it all to get out, and became productive citizens in the USA. The same is happening now with Venezuela- Colombia and Brazil are seeing most of the refugees, estimates vary but a million is possible as of right now. So why aren't we Nortamericanos doing more to help our neighbours?

Run 'n' Gun
08-03-2017, 10:11 AM
I don't know that you need decades of exposure to realize that a bad idea is a bad idea. Those poor buggers in Eastern Europe couldn't escape. Look what happened in Cuba when communism came. Thousands upon thousands risked it all to get out, and became productive citizens in the USA. The same is happening now with Venezuela- Colombia and Brazil are seeing most of the refugees, estimates vary but a million is possible as of right now. So why aren't we Nortamericanos doing more to help our neighbours?

Because the MSM/SJW's would have to admit that this is what happens when socialism fails.

Easier to pick on the folks from the middle east.

Racists.

LB303
08-03-2017, 10:14 AM
socialism fails.
There's a universal constant