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Sat May 30, 2015, 05:40 PM

Venezuelans mass for year's largest anti-government protests

Source: AP

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Thousands donned white and took to the streets in cities across the country Saturday in the biggest show of frustration with Venezuela's socialist administration since a wave of bloody anti-government protests a year ago.

The day of marches was called less than a week ago by imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. In a video leaked from his prison cell, Lopez urged demonstrations to demand a firm date for this year's legislative elections and freedom for jailed opposition politicians like himself who human rights groups consider political prisoners.

A Harvard-educated former mayor, Lopez has been jailed for 15 months in connection with his leadership of the spring of 2014 protests that resulted in dozens of deaths on both sides of Venezuela's yawning political divide.

The opposition coalition did not endorse Saturday's rallies, underscoring longstanding fissures among critics of the country's 16-year socialist government. Before his imprisonment last year, Lopez clashed with other high-profile politicians, including moderate opposition leader Henrique Capriles, about the wisdom of organizing nationwide protests.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/nation-world/world/article22704276.html

64 replies, 3731 views

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Reply Venezuelans mass for year's largest anti-government protests (Original post)
TexasTowelie May 2015 OP
Ken Burch May 2015 #1
TexasTowelie May 2015 #2
Ken Burch May 2015 #4
TexasTowelie May 2015 #7
Ken Burch May 2015 #9
Bacchus4.0 May 2015 #10
christx30 May 2015 #3
Ken Burch May 2015 #5
christx30 May 2015 #12
Ken Burch May 2015 #44
GGJohn May 2015 #54
7962 May 2015 #15
sulphurdunn May 2015 #20
Bacchus4.0 May 2015 #26
sulphurdunn May 2015 #27
Bacchus4.0 May 2015 #28
sulphurdunn May 2015 #29
Psephos May 2015 #38
joshcryer May 2015 #34
Ken Burch May 2015 #45
GGJohn May 2015 #6
Psephos May 2015 #37
Ken Burch May 2015 #46
GGJohn May 2015 #47
Ken Burch May 2015 #48
Bacchus4.0 Jun 2015 #57
Tarheel_Dem May 2015 #31
FrodosPet May 2015 #39
Bacchus4.0 May 2015 #41
FrodosPet May 2015 #42
Bacchus4.0 May 2015 #8
Ken Burch May 2015 #11
Bacchus4.0 May 2015 #13
sulphurdunn May 2015 #21
Bacchus4.0 May 2015 #25
sulphurdunn May 2015 #30
7962 May 2015 #35
Marksman_91 Jun 2015 #58
sulphurdunn Jun 2015 #60
Marksman_91 Jun 2015 #62
sulphurdunn Jun 2015 #64
Ken Burch May 2015 #49
sulphurdunn May 2015 #50
Ken Burch May 2015 #51
sulphurdunn Jun 2015 #55
GGJohn May 2015 #14
christx30 May 2015 #18
GGJohn May 2015 #19
sulphurdunn May 2015 #24
Ken Burch May 2015 #52
sulphurdunn Jun 2015 #56
cheapdate May 2015 #33
7962 May 2015 #16
sulphurdunn May 2015 #22
FLPanhandle May 2015 #43
7962 May 2015 #53
Tarheel_Dem May 2015 #32
americannightmare May 2015 #17
sulphurdunn May 2015 #23
Adrahil Jun 2015 #61
Little Tich May 2015 #36
betterdemsonly May 2015 #40
Marksman_91 Jun 2015 #59
Godhumor Jun 2015 #63

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:22 PM

1. The rich bought huge crowds and an extreme right-wing newspaper

 

(the only kind they have in Texas, other than the Texas Monthly if it even still exists) ran with the story.

Even with its flaws, nothing good can come to anyone but the wealthy in Venezuela if the PSUV is overthrown from the right).

Any more market economics imposed there has to make life worse for the poor. Nobody in Latin America has ever been a "socially-responsible capitalist"the term exists only in North America, and even there only as a bitter joke).

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #1)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:30 PM

2. Texas Monthly is still around.

The Texas Tribune and Texas Observer are also fairly liberal. There are also a number of alternative newspapers (Austin Chronicle, Dallas Observer, Houston Press, etc.) that lean left so the press coverage isn't as lop-sided as you might want to believe.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #2)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:37 PM

4. Still, what you've linked to is an anti-left article in a right-wing rag

 

(We can assume everbody in Fort Worth is reactionary-after all, the place is 95% white evangelical.)

The PSUV has made mistakes, but that protest wasn't for any positive or egalitarian agenda. To be anti-chavista(unless you;re to their left)is to want the restoration of the neoliberal old order. None of the wealthy "opposition" types would settle for Scandinavian social democracy, and none of them would allow the left to exist or the poor to retain any rights or any voice at all if they ever came to power. It'd be like what would have happened in Cuba if the Miami exiles had ever overthrown Fidel-or what did happen in Chile in '73 and Guatemala in '54.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #4)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:48 PM

7. I agree that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is conservative,

but the article itself is from AP. It will likely appear nationwide at various news sources.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #7)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:52 PM

9. And the AP is the official newswire of the 1%.

 

Its coverage of Nicaragua in the Eighties was rabidly anti-Sandinista, its coverage of Chile in the early Seventies was anti-Allende and anti-democracy, and every story it ran on Arbenz in Guatemala could have been written by John Foster Dulles or the United Fruit public relations department.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #1)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:37 PM

3. So people in Venezuela have absolutely no reason

to be upset with the government?

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Response to christx30 (Reply #3)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:40 PM

5. They have reason to dissent, but not to want neoliberalism back.

 

If the Right ever does get back in power there, history ends and hope dies forever. Nothing good for the workers and the poor would ever be possible again...it would just be massive austerity for the rest of eternity.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #5)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:58 PM

12. Because things are so wonderful and amazing right now. n/t

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Response to christx30 (Reply #12)

Sun May 31, 2015, 07:39 PM

44. Nobody who opposes the PSUV from the right has anything better to offer.

 

The people never gain from steps back towards the past.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #44)

Sun May 31, 2015, 11:02 PM

54. Well, they sure as hell haven't gained from this step "forward",

the country is in worse shape economically, their crime rate is the worse in LA, the infrastructure is in particularly bad shape, but you can be Maduro and his cronies aren't feeling the pain, it's the people who are suffering.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #5)

Sat May 30, 2015, 07:20 PM

15. At least back then they could wipe their ass with the proper product.

 

Chavez was a disaster; Maduro is continuing the failure. The only thing he and maduro has accomplished is to make everyone equal by dragging everyone down to the same dirt-poor level.
What a joke.

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Response to 7962 (Reply #15)

Sat May 30, 2015, 08:21 PM

20. "Wipe their ass with the proper product"?

 

Do you mean toilet paper? When I lived in Latin America the poor couldn't afford to wipe their asses with anything so luxurious. Have you ever been there?

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #20)

Sat May 30, 2015, 09:40 PM

26. I never saw availability of tp as problematic even in the poorest areas

Did you live in the jungle?

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #26)

Sat May 30, 2015, 09:53 PM

27. Not problematic.

 

Just unaffordable. I lived in the mountains.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #27)

Sat May 30, 2015, 09:58 PM

28. really? its not very expensive. Did you have access to a tienda?

Venezuela simply cannot even provide it consistently.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #28)

Sat May 30, 2015, 10:14 PM

29. Of course I did.

 

I could afford the TP they sold. So could the priest, and a few of the local business people for whom it was stocked. The campesinos could not afford it. Farther up in the mountains there were no priests, business people, toilet paper or tiendas to sell it.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #20)

Sun May 31, 2015, 01:15 AM

38. I believe he was referring to bolivar notes.

Certainly cheaper than toilet paper these days.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #5)

Sat May 30, 2015, 10:26 PM

34. They don't want neoliberalism "back."

They want an end to the cronyism.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #34)

Sun May 31, 2015, 07:43 PM

45. If anyone to Maduro's right gets in, even your billionaire hero Capriles,

 

They'll just switch to a different group of cronies.

None of the "free market" opposition parties have anything positive to offer.

The only valid opposition comes from the Socialist Voice group who are planning to leave the PSUV in a few months.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #1)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:47 PM

6. Because things are so rosy in Venzuela?


The Chavez govt, and then Maduro have so screwed the economy that it'll take years to unscrew the damage the Chavistas have done in the name of socialism.

Fact is the Maduro is not a very popular leader and will more than likely be defeated in the next election, that's providing that he actually allows elections.

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #6)

Sun May 31, 2015, 01:13 AM

37. he won't be defeated, he'll be overthrown, and arrested n/t

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #6)

Sun May 31, 2015, 07:45 PM

46. I agree that Maduro isn't that popular

 

But there's no "opposition leader" that has anything better to offer at this point-certainly not anyone who wants to go back to the old, meaningless Liberal Party Vs. Conservative Party politics.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #46)

Sun May 31, 2015, 07:47 PM

47. It can't be any worse at this point. eom.

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #47)

Sun May 31, 2015, 08:09 PM

48. Guatemala after the overthrow of Arbenz proves it can.

 

Chile after the coup proves it can.

Nicaragua after Reagan and Bush bombed and starved people into voting UNO proves it can.

Nothing's worth losing free healthcare and education and having the community councils scrapped.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #46)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 09:11 AM

57. Venezuelans will decide that. Lets see if there are even elections this year for parliament.

I suspect there won't be because the corrupt ruling party knows they will lose.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #1)

Sat May 30, 2015, 10:24 PM

31. !!!

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #1)

Sun May 31, 2015, 04:19 AM

39. Whenever there is a goodbye cruel America post

Why doesn't anyone ever talk about moving to Venezuela?

Scandinavia, Canada, France, Germany, Ecuador, Costa Rica, but never Venezuela.

Such a paradise...you would think people would be anxious to participate in such a wonderful society.

Unless, of course, they care about a woman's right to choose.

http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10939

Revolutionary Students Demonstrate Against Venezuela’s Strict Anti-Abortion Laws

By Z.C. DUTKA

Santa Elena de Uairen, October 2nd, 2014. (Venezuelanalysis.com) - On Sunday, around 200 Venezuelans from various socialist collectives gathered in the student residences of Plaza Venezuela, in Caracas, to protest the country’s strict anti-abortion laws.

Abortion is explicitly illegal in Venezuela except in life-threatening cases. The punishment for a woman who has an abortion is six months to two years in prison, while a doctor or other person who performs the procedure can be sentenced one to three years.

On the sidewalks surrounding the urban student housing, women and several male supporters hung colorful underwear-shaped banners from makeshift clotheslines, calling the event “Airing Out the Dirty Laundry,” in a symbolic effort to bring forth the intimate conflict that many women never have the freedom to express.

“25 percent of adolescent deaths are caused by obstetric complications [in Venezuela],” Dubraska Hernandez, an anthropology student and lead organizer with the Conjura Feminista collective told Venezuelanalysis.com. “That’s 70,000 deaths a year which are never discussed.”

~ snip ~

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #39)

Sun May 31, 2015, 11:42 AM

41. The Ven government is definitely not progressive. Drug laws are strict too.

Whatever type of "leftist" government it has, its not progressive.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #41)

Sun May 31, 2015, 01:21 PM

42. Perhaps the site I linked to is just a tool of CIA Koch propaganda?

Venezuela is socialist. All socialists are progressives working towards social justice. Therefore, Venezuela is progressive.

I would add the sarcasm smiley or emoji or whatever it is the kids nowadays are calling them, but I don't think it is necessary.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:51 PM

8. pics, protests all over the country



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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #8)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:55 PM

11. Which can only lead to a right-wing takeover that will bring nothing but misery

 

to everyone in those crowds but the millionaires.

Capitalists can't bring anything positive to Venezuela. What they did to Nicaragua, Chile, and Guatemala proves that.

The "opposition" doesn't give a damn about anything but bringing the old days back.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #11)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:58 PM

13. Venezuelans will decide. Looks like they aren't happy with what they have now nt

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #13)

Sat May 30, 2015, 08:31 PM

21. Yes they will decided,

 

and if they decide to give the country back to los ricos, what the previous poster said would happen will happen, and having learned their lesson about the dangers of democracy, the rich will put an end to any further experimentation with such egalitarian foolishness.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #21)

Sat May 30, 2015, 09:38 PM

25. what is happening now under chavistas is a disaster nt

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #25)

Sat May 30, 2015, 10:22 PM

30. Any time oil prices fall

 

the country is a disaster. The difference is that the Chavistas cut the poorest of the poor in on the good times when prices were high. Putting the old guard back in power will guarantee that the poor suffer through good times and bad.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #30)

Sat May 30, 2015, 10:46 PM

35. Horse hockey. The country was a shithole when oil was 100+ a barrel.

 

"Cheap oil" is a crutch when you have no real answers. The poor have suffered the entire time. The Chavez/Maduro solution is to make EVERYONE equally miserable while they live well.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #30)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 11:21 PM

58. It's kind of a big mistake on the gov's part that they didn't diversify their economy

 

Many LatAm countries are doing MUCH better than Venezuela and they don't have such huge oil reserves. Peru, Chile, Uruguay, etc., come to mind. Corruption has siphoned the oil bonanza from Venezuelan oil into the pockets of those in power and the boligarchs. If you can't see that, then you need to do some more research.

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Response to Marksman_91 (Reply #58)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 08:28 AM

60. Things were no different

 

when the people who want back in power were in power. The only difference is they didn't let as much of the oil wealth trickle down and they sure as hell as wouldn't do it now. If you think they were less corrupt, or that life would be better for most of the people if they return to power, then you're the one who needs to do some more research.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #60)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 09:11 AM

62. Being Venezuelan myself and having lived there most of life I think qualifies as research n/t

 

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Response to Marksman_91 (Reply #62)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 06:03 PM

64. Not necessarily,

 

I lived in an indigenous rural village for 2 years in Guatemala during the civil war. I knew several wealthy and well educated Ladino businessmen at the time who conveniently believed the Mayans should be exterminated because they were descended from monkeys and not from Adam like they were. I never asked them where they did their research.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #21)

Sun May 31, 2015, 08:11 PM

49. "the dangers of democracy"? "such egalitarian foolishness"?

 

So you actually want government of, by, and for los patrones?

Thanks for admitting you are a reactionary.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #49)

Sun May 31, 2015, 08:29 PM

50. You need to work on recognizing

 

sarcasm or join the Tea Party if you haven't already.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #50)

Sun May 31, 2015, 10:04 PM

51. No way to tell you were being sarcastic.

 

Next time, add this smilie:

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #51)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 07:34 AM

55. I real hate that one.

 

I should probably just stop trying to be clever.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #11)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:58 PM

14. So you would have a problem if the PEOPLE voted in a govt that you would consider

RW?
Isn't it up to the PEOPLE to determine the govt they want?

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #14)

Sat May 30, 2015, 07:54 PM

18. IF Maduro keeps arresting opposition politicans,

the people won't have much of a choice except for him.

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Response to christx30 (Reply #18)

Sat May 30, 2015, 07:56 PM

19. Or, suspends elections in the name of "national security". eom.

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #14)

Sat May 30, 2015, 08:40 PM

24. Whether here or there,

 

the people determine the government they want. The government they get is a different matter.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #24)

Sun May 31, 2015, 10:06 PM

52. Well, the people elect a government.

 

Whether its what anyone actually wants is always an unanswerable question.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #52)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 07:36 AM

56. I guess you could say a good government

 

does what most people want most of the time and a bad one doesn't.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #11)

Sat May 30, 2015, 10:25 PM

33. As was mentioned earlier by others,

speeches and slogans by the socialist party leadership aren't enough anymore. The time is rapidly coming when the PSUV must demonstrate that it can solve problems and govern competently. Major infrastructure projects cannot continue to spiral into disastrous boondoggles. Corruption and out-of-control crime in the capital and around the country are crippling. The economy is a basket case. I'm not rooting for the socialist government to fail, but they must get their shit together, immediately if not sooner.

But, I believe that many socialist principles are now deeply embedded in the Venezuelan constitution. Even someone like Henrique Capriles isn't going to remake the country's political structure overnight.

People want shit to work.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #8)

Sat May 30, 2015, 07:22 PM

16. Those pictures only show CIA, CIA, CIA, CIA, CIA & CIA!!

 

And a big helping of Koch bros, I reckon.

You must have missed the memo!!

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Response to 7962 (Reply #16)

Sat May 30, 2015, 08:36 PM

22. Well, well, you're

 

finally starting to get the idea. The memo you missed was written in 1890. Glad it finally found you.

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Response to 7962 (Reply #16)

Sun May 31, 2015, 06:30 PM

43. Took this far down to get to the predictable CIA post

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Response to FLPanhandle (Reply #43)

Sun May 31, 2015, 10:48 PM

53. Come on, you couldnt tell I was joking??

 

But apparently the 1st response to that post wasnt!

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #8)

Sat May 30, 2015, 10:25 PM

32. Thanks for that.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 07:48 PM

17. The only reason...

there hasn't been an outright CIA-backed RW coup is because the last one (in 2002) was unsuccessful. They can, however, with the help of same institution and the Kochs undermine the government. Lotta astro-turfing going on down there. The people have decided, time and again, that they don't want neo-liberalism. If there is an alternative that they can vote on that is NOT neo-liberalism, by all means...I'm just disappointed that there hasn't been more support from other Latin American countries, most of whom received help and inspiration from Chavez in years past to break free from the yoke of neo-liberalism.

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Response to americannightmare (Reply #17)

Sat May 30, 2015, 08:37 PM

23. I think that coup is a work in progress.

 

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Response to americannightmare (Reply #17)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 08:58 AM

61. The alternative to neo-liberalism cannot be....

 

A corrupt command economy led by incompetents. Marxist-style command economies are doomed to failure. The only thing which has a good shot at working is a Scandanavian-style scoila democracy, though I doubt the VZ has enough structure on its own to give it a real go anymore.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun May 31, 2015, 12:20 AM

36. I hope Maduro steps down.

Every day with him in charge is a disaster for Venezuela.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun May 31, 2015, 08:01 AM

40. teabaggers can produce big protests too

 

maybe Obama should step down? That is what these people are. A pinochet regime would not do anything to stop falling oil prices. They'd just screw the poor over it.

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Response to betterdemsonly (Reply #40)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 11:28 PM

59. Last rally that Maduro called for did not even reach half of the turnout for these opposition ones

 

And not only that, but they had to bring in thousands by state-owned buses from other towns close to the capital to fill up the rally. Maduro has no support, he has less than 20% approval rating, and most polls say that Leopoldo Lopez has the highest of all political leaders in Venezuela, including those from Chavismo and opposition. It was Maduro's own mistake to make Leopoldo go through the Mandelanization by putting him in jail for crimes that he did not commit. I should also remind you that Chávez effectively did attempt a coup back in 1992 that nobody denies he did and for which there is clear evidence that he was responsible for, and was promptly sent to jail for it, and he received a much more humane treatment than what Lopez is receiving today by the hateful Chavista delinquents based on jumped up charges imposed by him by a Chavista-controlled judiciary system.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Tue Jun 2, 2015, 09:18 AM

63. Venezuela, as it is now, is a failed state

Will be very curious to see how and when power will be transferred out of Maduro's hands.

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