Tag Archives: Venezuela

“Venezuela’s Most-Wanted Rebel Shared His Story, Just Before Death”

“Mr. Pérez was an actor, a detective and an insurgent. To the government he was a terrorist. To his followers he was a freedom fighter, a modern folk hero in the ilk of Robin Hood or Che Guevara. Some skeptics said his story was too improbable to be true — they mused that he must have been a double agent of some sort, meant to cast the opposition in a bad light.  However people viewed him, his actions resonated across the whole country.”

Daniel Finn: “Unfinished Business”

“The Bolivarian Revolution went too far for capitalism but not far enough for socialism. … How to keep the wolves from the door, without becoming a wolf yourself — this has always been one of the fundamental questions for governments bent on radical change.”

Raúl Zibechi: “Venezuela: State Power — when the Left is the problem”

“In light of what happened in the region over the past two decades we arrive at a redefinition of the concept of Left: a political force that fights for power, based on populism, to embed their pictures on the institutions and, with years of control over decision-making mechanisms, become a new elite which can displace, negotiate or merge with the previous ones. Or combinations of the three.  The Left is part of the problem, not the solution. … What we do know is that the left as it really exists has become an obstacle to the lives of those majorities they reign over. The right-left polarization is false, it explains almost nothing about what is happening in the world.  But the worst is that the Left has become symmetrical to the right on a key point: its obsession with power.”

“How a new kind of protest movement has risen in Venezuela”

“These constant street fights have added new urgency to Venezuela’s long-running political crisis, forcing people to choose sides or get out of the way. So far, neither the government nor the protesters are backing down, and the prospect for greater violence looms over the conflict.”

Daniel Finn: “Unfinished Business”

‘It was fashionable to speak of a “good Left” and a “bad Left” when the Pink Tide was at its height. The good Left — moderate, reformist, respectable — was supposedly exemplified by Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT) government in Brazil; the bad Left was exemplified, of course, by Chávez. …  It is therefore striking that both experiments have hit the buffers at almost exactly the same time …. The parallel crises reveal how much the reforming governments of Latin America owed to a long commodity-price boom that temporarily shifted the balance of global economic forces in their favor. Greater moderation in office has not shielded the Brazilian Left from the end of that boom.  If Venezuela and Brazil symbolized two approaches to reform in the age of globalization, the African National Congress (ANC) government in South Africa represented a third: that of full-blown surrender to neoliberalism. This capitulation was hailed as the epitome of good sense by the same orthodoxy that vilified Chávez and patronized Lula. The ANC’s approach left the economic structures of apartheid fully intact, it was accompanied by rampant corruption in ruling circles, and it required a large dose of repression to keep social protest under control. Nobody could seriously present this as a happier outcome than those in Brazil or Venezuela.’

Edgardo Lander interviewed by Natalia Uval: ‘The “unconditional solidarity” of the left with Chavismo’

‘The Latin American left’s unconditional support of Chavismo has reinforced the negative tendencies of the Venezuelan experience. Many leftists around the world have not learned from past mistakes and end up endorsing “mafia governments” such as that of Nicaragua, and that “when the Venezuelan model collapses”, the international left may simply “look elsewhere”. … Transformation should be multidimensional, because domination is also multidimensional.  Therefore, why such uncritical support of leftist governments that continue to ignore the rights of indigenous peoples, engage in environmental devastation or promote the reproduction of the patriarchy?  The left has developed a very monolithic understanding of what is supposed to be the anticapitalist transformation, which does not take into account the complexities of today’s world. What would be the point of liberating ourselves from Yankee imperialism if we establish an identical subordinate relationship with China? There is a political, theoretical, ideological and even perhaps generational problem.  For many people, what we see today in Venezuela was their last bet for an alternative society, and they’re not ready to accept that it has failed.’

Gabriel Hetland: “Why is Venezuela Spiraling out of Control?”

“Opposition violence and the government’s increasing authoritarianism are both to blame.”  Today, “the majority of Venezuelans are suffering at the hands of a vengeful, reckless opposition, and an incompetent, unaccountable government.”

Ricardo Isea: “Venezuela under Dictatorship”

‘After several months of political apathy, Venezuela is experiencing a massive popular uprising since April 4th. Over the last three weeks, almost daily, a wave of mass anti-government protests has exploded in major cities of the country, reaching its zenith on April 19. Hundreds of thousands of people have poured into the streets to contest the despotic turn of the regime in the context of a deep humanitarian crisis. … There is something profoundly rotten in a socialist revolution that claims thousands of hungry Venezuelans fighting for their rights to be “agents of imperialism” while diverting billions of dollars to the very core of global financial capital.’

Noam Chomsky: “Leftist Latin American Governments have Failed to Build Sustainable Economies”

“NOAM CHOMSKY: Venezuela is really a disaster situation. The economy relies on oil to … a greater extent than ever in the past, certainly very high. And the corruption, the robbery and so on, has been extreme, … especially after Chávez’s death. So, … if you look at, say, the U.N. Human Development Index, Venezuela still ranks, say, above Brazil. … there are hopes and possibilities for reconstruction and development. But the promise of the earlier years has been significantly lost.”

“At Least 3 Die in Venezuela Protests Against Nicolás Maduro

“BOGOTÁ, Colombia — Protesters demanding elections and a return to democratic rule jammed the streets of Caracas and other Venezuelan cities on Wednesday. National Guard troops and government-aligned militias beat crowds back with tear gas, rubber bullets and other weapons, and at least three people were killed, according to human rights groups and news reports.  President Nicolás Maduro defied international calls, including a plea from the American State Department, to allow peaceful assemblies and ordered his forces into the streets. Some demonstrators, wearing masks to protect themselves from tear gas, fought back with firebombs.”