2016 June 19 Sunday
Hunger Spreading In Venezuela

Check out the latest news from the unfolding tragedy of socialism, stupidity, and democracy which is Venezuela: Venezuela’s Season of Starvation: Amid sky-high inflation, dangerous shortages, and political unrest, Nicolás Maduro’s regime is on the verge of collapse and Venezuelans Ransack Stores as Hunger Grips the Nation and Lost generation forming in Venezuela as violence, hunger plague schools.

The stories in those news reports are like others I've posted in the past. But the decline has gone much further. Hunger is spreading. What's amazing is the passivity of the population.

If I was Emperor of the Western Hemisphere I'd have Maduro removed along with all his ministers. Then I'd lift all price controls and return all seized businesses to private hands. I would also lift all currency controls too. Then I'd have Venezuela stop paying debt and use what little revenue it earns from exports to buy food. This is all pretty obvious stuff to do.

Talented people in Venezuela would be best off leaving. Why stay when the majority are capable of electing fools like Chavez and Maduro who are incapable of learning how an economy works?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2016 June 19 07:56 PM 

Jim said at June 20, 2016 5:02 AM:

The Equator runs just south of the southern tip of Venezuela. Venezuela is a tropical country much of it lush rain forest. It should be easily able to feed itself and be a big exporter of food and fiber. Compare Venezuela and Texas. Texas has a population of about 27 million and a land area of 269,000 square miles much of which is semi-arid. Venzuela has a population of about 31 million and a land area of about 354,000 square miles all of it tropical and much of it rain-forest. Texas GDP per capita is about 4 times as large as that of Venezuela. Why is this so?

If the three stooges were put in charge of the Venezuelan economy the results would be vastly superior to those obtained by Chavez and Maduro.

Check it out said at June 21, 2016 5:03 PM:

A United States-backed opposition is aggressively undermining the Nicolas Maduro government that most Venezuelans voted to have and want.

The United States corporate-government media is painting oil-rich Venezuela, the wealthiest Latin American country, as poorly managed by President Nicolas Maduro, resulting in opposition protests. The U.S. corporate media is not telling Americans about important Venezuela issues, most importantly, that the U.S. is supporting the opposition’s violence and other abuses there, responsible for ongoing atrocities against a government the majority of Venezuelans fairly elected and want because of its virtues.

The U.S. has long been involved in attempts to destabilize Venezuela's socialist government. Its role in the 2002 coup against Hugo Chavez is well-documented. Over the years, many organizations, including ones in which right-wing opposition figures are involved, have received funding from the likes of USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), both U.S.-based agencies notorious for fomenting unrest in countries hostile to U.S. interests. For example, Machado headed an organization named Sumate that has received funding from the NED.

Additionally, The Economist's mocking of Venezuela's economic crisis is also hypocritical because, according to Salas, in Mexico, "fifty percent of the population lives in poverty" and yet the country "is portrayed as a model for Western development and neo-liberal economics." And while media outlets make fun of Venezuela's toilet paper shortage, Salas counters that in Mexico, which is a U.S. ally, huge numbers of "people don’t even have access to basic services and foods."

The U.S. has become the stomach of the world: everything it touches is turned into shit.

Dan said at June 22, 2016 1:57 PM:

I agree with Check it out. We should leave the stupid Venezuelans to starve in peace.

Who are we to presume that they like to eat? Toilet paper is a symbol of American imperialism anyway, and it's good that it's gone.

Check it out said at June 23, 2016 4:32 PM:

Most Americans, like Dan, go along with unaccountable murder, torture, and detention without evidence, which proclaims their gullibility to the entire world. There has never in history been a population as unaware as Americans. The world is amazed that an insouciant people became, if only for a short time, a superpower. The world needs intelligence and leadership in order to avoid catastrophe, but America can provide neither intelligence nor leadership. America is a lost land where nuclear, chemical and biological weapons are in the hands of those who are concerned only with their own power. Washington is the enemy of the entire world and encompasses the largest concentration of evil on the planet. Where is the good to rise up against the evil.

Yet again we see children-minded Dan with his kiddy sarcasm. He doesn't realize that in order to be sarcastic you need a bit of intelligence, otherwise the "sarcasm" only makes one feel pity for him. Dan, if the Venezuelans are starving is for the same reason that the Iraki are starving, which is the same reason for which the Libyan are now starving, which is the same reason for which the Syrians are starving. The U.S. can't believe nor can they stand the fact that other people have lived better and happier before Americans fucked things up for them irreversibly. Of course it is not always by military invation Danny boy...

You believe that starving countries are starving because they got the wrong economic system, -so narcissistically American- when in fact they all have one thing in common: they have opposed the U.S. meddling in their affairs. Read how Libyans used to live under Gaddafi... Too much for the Americans to bear.

Check it out said at June 23, 2016 4:39 PM:

In America truth is offensive. If you tell the truth, you are offensive. I am offensive. Michael Hudson is offensive. Gerald Celente is offensive. Herman Daly is offensive. Nomi Prins is offensive. Pam Martens is offensive. Chris Hedges is offensive. Chris Floyd is offensive. John Pilger is offensive. Noam Chomsky is offensive. Harvey Silverglate is offensive. Naomi Wolf is offensive. Stephen Lendman is offensive. David Ray Griffin is offensive. Ellen Brown is offensive.

Fortunately, many others are offensive. But how long before being offensive becomes
being "an enemy of the state"? Throughout history truth tellers have suffered and court historians have prospered. It is
the same today. Gerald Celente illustrates this brilliantly in the next issue of the Trends

Over the past 35 years I have learned this lesson as a columnist. If you tell readers
what is really going on, they want to know why you can’t be positive. Why are you telling
us that there are bad happenings that can’t be remedied? Don’t you know that God
gave Americans the power to fix all wrongs? What are you? Some kind of idiot, an anti-American, a pinko-liberal-commie? If you hate America so much, why don’t you move to Cuba, Iran or China (or to wherever the current bogyman is located)?

The ancient Greeks understood this well. In Greek mythology, Cassandra was the prophetess who no one believed despite her 100 percent record of being right. Telling the truth to Americans or to Europeans is just as expensive as telling the truth to the Greeks in ancient mythology.

In America and everywhere in the Western world or the entire world, telling the truth is
unpopular. Indeed, in the USA telling the truth has been criminalized. Look for example at Bradley Manning, held for two years in prison without bail and without a trial in violation of the US Constitution, tortured for one year of his illegal confinement in violation of US and international law, and now put on trial by corrupt prosecutors for aiding “enemies of the US” by revealing the truth, as required of him by the US military code. US soldiers are required to report war crimes. When Bradley Manning’s superiors showed themselves to be indifferent to war crimes, Manning reported the crimes via WikiLeaks. What else does a soldier with a sense of duty and a moral conscience do when the chain of command is corrupt?

Julian Assange is another example. WikiLeaks has taken up the reporting function that the Western media has abandoned. Remember, the New York Times did publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971, which undermined the lies Washington had told both to the public and to Congress to justify the costly Vietnam War. But today no newspaper or TV channel any longer accepts the responsibility to truthfully inform the public. Julian Assange stepped into the vacuum and was immediately demonized, not merely by Washington but also by left-wing and right-wing media, including Internet. It was a combination of jealousy, ignorance, and doing Washington’s bidding.

Without WikiLeaks and Assange the world would know essentially nothing. Spin from Washington, the presstitute media, and the puppet state medias would prevail. So the word went out to destroy Julian Assange. It is amazing how many people and Internet sites obeyed Washington’s command. Assange has been so demonized that even though he has been granted political asylum by Ecuador, the British government, obeying its Washington master, refuses to allow him safe passage out of the London Ecuador Embassy. Is Assange destined to live out his life inside the Ecuador Embassy in London?

Will Assange be a replay of Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty who on November 4, 1956, sought asylum in the US embassy in Budapest as Soviet tanks poured into Hungary to put down the anti-communist revolution? Cardinal Mindszenty lived for 15 years in the US embassy. Today it is "freedom and democracy" amerika that is copying Soviet practices during the cold war.

In contrast with "freedom and democracy" US and UK, the "authoritarian," "communist," "oppressive" Chinese government when confronted with Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng’s defection to the US embassy in Beijing, let him go.

It is an upside down world when America and the British refuse to obey international law, but the Chinese communists uphold international law. Americans are undisturbed that alleged terrorists are tortured, held indefinitely in prison without due process, and executed on the whim of some executive branch official without due process of law.

Check it out said at June 23, 2016 5:01 PM:

The American people have fallen into a moral coma subsisting on no more than propaganda and 'bread and circuses' like their Roman counterparts long ago. The empire marches on toward the inevitable zombie apocalypse unaware that the world is not amused by its stupor. Fortunately, Russia and China are not rolling over and playing dead.

Check it out said at June 23, 2016 5:22 PM:

For Dan, who believes life would be better for the countries who suck up to the U.S.

Here's Alex Henderson's 7 Fascist Regimes Enthusiastically Supported by America

President Barack Obama inspired a great deal of debate when, in December, he asserted that it was time for the United States to begin to normalize relations with Cuba and start loosening the embargo that has been in effect since the early 1960s. And many hard-right Republicans and neocons, from Texas’ Ted Cruz and Florida’s Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate to House Speaker John Boehner, have been vehemently critical of Obama’s stand. Boehner has insisted that “relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, let alone normalized, until the Cuban people enjoy freedom,” and Cruz has maintained that because Fidel and Raul Castro are “brutal dictators,” the embargo must remain. But given the United States’ long history of supporting one fascist dictatorship after another in Latin America, the embargo of Cuba has been the height of hypocrisy on the U.S.’ part. While it’s true that Amnesty International has often been critical of the Castro regime over the years, many of the other Latin American dictatorships that Amnesty International has criticized have been U.S. allies—and Cuba has hardly had the market cornered on human rights abuses in Latin America.

Below are seven of the worst fascist regimes in Latin America that the U.S. enthusiastically supported.

1. Chile: Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s Military Junta, 1973-1990

In 1970, socialist Salvador Allende was democratically elected president of Chile as the leader of the Unidad Popular (a coalition of leftist parties). Allende had been in office for three years when far-right forces in the Chilean military staged an armed insurrection with the help and encouragement of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Richard Nixon Administration (Allende, who evidently committed suicide by shooting himself, was found dead in the presidential palace in Santiago on September 11, 1973). A U.S.-backed military dictatorship under Gen. Augusto Pinochet (a fascist greatly influenced by Spain’s Gen. Francisco Franco and Italy’s Benito “Il Duce” Mussolini) came to power, and thousands of Allende supporters were killed and tortured during Pinochet’s reign of terror. Not until 1990, after 17 years of fascist rule, was democracy restored in Chile.

2. Guatemala’s Military Dictatorships

For decades, the U.S. supported harsh military dictatorships in Guatemala, and its reasons for doing so can be summed up in three words: United Fruit Company. The UFC, a huge American corporation, made considerable profits from fruit plantations in various Latin American countries, including Guatemala—and when Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz (who won by a landslide in Guatemala’s 1951 election) pushed a program of agrarian reform, the UFC lost some of the uncultivated land it had in that country. Árbenz was popular among indigenous Mayans but very unpopular with the UFC, which lobbied the U.S. government to remove him from power. The UFC got its way: in a coup orchestrated by the U.S. State Department and the CIA, Árbenz’ democratically elected government was overthrown in 1954 and replaced by the repressive military dictatorship of Col. Carlos Castillo Armas. And the U.S.-backed military regimes that followed Armas’ assassination in 1957 proved to be even worse. Tens of thousands of Guatemalans were slaughtered by fascist military forces and far-right death squads in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

The CIA/State Department-orchestrated overthrow of Árbenz in 1954 might have been great for UFC profits, but it led to considerable bloodshed in Guatemala.

3. Nicaragua: The Somoza Dynasty, 1930s-1979

The fascist regimes of Mussolini in Italy and Franco in Spain became the blueprint for a long list of fascist dictators in Latin America, from Juan María Bordaberry in Uruguay to Tuburcio Andino in Honduras to Fulgencio Batista (another U.S. ally) in Cuba. And the Mussolini/Franco model of governing was also a major influence on the Somoza dynasty, which ruled Nicaragua with an iron fist for decades and did so with the blessing of the U.S. government. Torture was the norm under the Somozas.

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, revolutionary Augusto Sandino led a rebellion against U.S. military occupation of Nicaragua; Sandino’s assassination by Nicaraguan National Guard forces under Gen. Anastasio Somoza, Sr. in 1934 was followed by the long-lastingrule of the Somoza family—which, in 1979, was overthrown by the Sandino-influenced Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) or Sandinista National Liberation Front . The Somozas were close allies of the U.S., and although so-called “free elections” were held in Nicaragua during the Somoza years, the reality is that the Somozas operated a U.S.-backed military dictatorship with little in the way of checks and balances.

After coming to power in 1979, the FSLN went from being an armed insurgent movement to being an actual political party and have since competed with other parties in Nicaraguan elections. The Sandinistas were detested by the Ronald Reagan Administration and the CIA, who aggressively supported the Contras (a rightist coalition that included remnants of the Somoza regime) in their efforts to overthrow the new government. Reagan often denounced Sandinista President Daniel Ortega as heavy-handed and dictatorial, which was truly ironic in light of the cozy relationship the U.S. had with the Somozas for many years.

4. El Salvador’s Military Dictatorship: 1979-1992

Like its neighbor Guatemala, El Salvador has a very painful history—and one of the most painful parts is the civil war that lasted from 1979-1992. During those 13 years, a U.S.-supported military junta wasn’t shy about using death squads and torture in its efforts against the leftist guerillas of el Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional or FMLN. The same American politicians who insisted on maintaining a boycott of Cuba had no problem with supporting the Salvadoran junta, which did not except U.S. citizens from its brutality: on December 2, 1980, three American nuns (Dorothy Kazel, Maura Clarke and Ita Ford) and American lay missionary Jean Donovan were kidnapped and killed by one of the death squads while doing charitable work in El Salvador. Donovan had, in March 1980, attended the funeral of Archbishop Óscar Romero, a Catholic priest who was assassinated after being critical of the junta—and to the death squad’s members, that alone made all of the women enemies. But despite the killings of Romero, Donovan, Clarke, Kazel, Ford and countless others, U.S. support for the junta continued under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Sr. And by the time a ceasefire was declared in 1992 (when the FMLN became a legal political party), thousands of Salvadorans had been killed and/or tortured.

5. Argentina: The Dirty War, 1976-1983

The military junta that ruled Argentina from 1976-1983 was infamous for its human rights abuses: an estimated 30,000 people were killed. And one U.S. politician who was on very friendly terms with the junta, according to declassified U.S. State Department documents, was Henry Kissinger (secretary of state during the administrations of Nixon and Gerald Ford). Meeting with Argentina’s foreign minister, Admiral César Augusto Guzzetti, in 1976, Kissinger assured him that he could count on U.S. support. Kissinger obviously knew what type of brutality the junta was capable of, but he didn’t care: like so many other U.S. politicians during the Cold Way, he had no problem with butchers in Latin America as long as they were staunchly anti-communist.

6. Bolivia: The Hugo Banzer Dictatorship, 1971-1977

When the policies of Bolivia’s socialist president, Juan José Torres, angered the Nixon Administration in the early 1970s, the U.S. helped to overthrow him and install the fascist military dictatorship of Gen. Hugo Banzer. The Banzer regime lasted until 1977, and during Banzer’s rule, torture and false imprisonment were common. Torres fled Bolivia after the coup and settled in Argentina, where he became one of the early casualties of the Dirty War: in June 1976, Torres was kidnapped and killed by one of the Argentinean junta’s death squads.

Torres’ killing was part of Operation Condor, an unholy alliance of fascist forces and military juntas whose stated goal was to eradicate any type of Marxism in South America. Pinochet, Guzzetti, Banzer, Bordaberry and Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner were all participants in the program, which the CIA enthusiastically promoted.

7. Paraguay: The AlfredoStroessner Regime, 1954-1989

Gen. Alfredo Stroessner, who was in power from 1954-1989, was a strident anti-communist—and that was enough for the U.S., which pumped millions of dollars into his regime in the 1950s and 1960s and had a close relationship with the Paraguayan military for many years. Torture, kidnappings and other human rights abuses were common under the Stroessner regime, which authorized Pastor Milciades Coronel (who oversaw Stroessner’s secret police) to commit numerous atrocities. In 1975, Stroessner even listened on the phone while Miguel Soler, head of the Paraguayan Communist Party, was being dismembered with a chainsaw by Coronel’s policía secreta.

Today Mexico is the best example of what happens to the most cooperative-bitch, ass-licking country the U.S. has had underfoot for decades.

Daniel said at June 24, 2016 11:49 AM:

I>>f I was Emperor of the Western Hemisphere I'd have Maduro removed along with all his ministers.......

Add to that, privatize the oil business. Take it completely out of the hands of the government. Give every Venezuelan man, woman and child an equal share in the new privatized entity. The oil wealth has been the lever of corruption for 70 years. It would be better that Venezuela had no oil than that it stays in the hands of the government.

Rico Zamman said at June 27, 2016 10:21 AM:

Well Daniel, please tell me... If you are going to "give every Venezuelan man, woman and child an equal share in the new privatized entity" how exactly is that going to be private? To pirvatize means that the profits belong only to the owners. How would you ever think the stockholders (owners) are going to want to give aways their profits to the people? That I'd like to know.

Giving every Venezuelan man, woman and child an equal share is precisely the opposite; it's called NATIONALIZATION. It's Socialism. You're a socialist, you just don't know it.

Don't get me wrong. I agree with you in giving every Venezuelan man, woman and child an equal share.

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