Re: [Venezuela] More violence as only the military keeps Maduro in power

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Subject: Re: [Venezuela] More violence as only the military keeps Maduro in power
From: pl.nospam@pandora.be (PL)
Newsgroups: dictator.america
Organization: Aioe.org NNTP Server
Date: Jul 17 2017 12:37:41
On 7/17/2017 3:10 AM, NewsBeanie wrote:

Adiós to Venezuelan democracy
Nicolás Maduro prepares a “caricature of a caricature” of Cuba
Print edition | The Americas
Jun 29th 2017

Constitutions, like diamonds, are supposed to last. But that is not the view of Nicolás Maduro, a former bus driver chosen by a dying Chávez to replace him as president in 2013. He has ordered a new constituent assembly, to be chosen on July 30th. Everything about the process is different from 1999. In violation of Chávez’s constitution, it has been called by presidential decree rather than by referendum.

Mr Maduro says its purpose is to defeat the opposition’s “fascism”. Yet it will be chosen under a system that might have been devised by Mussolini. Each of the 340 municipalities will elect one assembly member, regardless of size (only state capitals will get two), meaning the opposition-supporting cities are under-represented. A further 181 members will be chosen from communal and occupational groups controlled by the regime.

Mr Maduro wants the assembly because he can no longer stay in power democratically. Low oil prices and mismanagement have exacted a heavy toll. Food and medicines are scarce; diseases long curbed, such as diphtheria and malaria, are killing once more. The opposition won a big majority in a legislative election in 2015. Since then Mr Maduro has ruled by decree and through the puppet supreme court. In almost daily opposition protests since April, 75 people have been killed, many shot by the National Guard or pro-regime armed gangs.

Mr Maduro’s lurch to dictatorship has opened cracks in his political base. Luisa Ortega, the attorney-general and long a chavista, has become an outspoken critic. The constituent assembly will “complete the definitive dismantling of democracy”, she told a Peruvian newspaper this week. Its apparent purpose is to turn Venezuela into a dictatorship along Cuban lines. Already Mr Maduro has instituted a Cuban-style rationing system with food parcels delivered by the armed forces. The assembly, officials say, will assume sovereign power—and sack Ms Ortega.
A last opportunity to apply diplomatic pressure failed last month at a meeting of foreign ministers of the Organisation of American States, held in Cancún. The Mexican hosts thought they had more than the 23 votes needed (out of 34) to condemn Venezuela. They got only 20, as Mr Maduro’s diplomats won over wavering Caribbean mini-states with threats to cut off cheap oil. The outcome, says a Latin American diplomat, depended on how much pressure the United States was prepared to put on the Caribbean. Not enough: Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, stayed away to deal with Qatar. Though Venezuela is more isolated than ever in its region, Mr Maduro could claim a kind of victory.

Even had the motion passed, it might have changed little. The only potential obstacles to Mr Maduro’s gambit are on his own side. Many chavistas oppose the constituent assembly. “Democratic chavismo is significant in terms of popular sentiment,” says David Smilde, a Venezuela specialist at Tulane University. “But it’s completely disorganised.” Although there have been intermittent protests in chavista areas of Caracas, usually over food shortages, the opposition has failed to link up with dissidents from the regime in a truly national protest movement.
The armed forces, which sustain Mr Maduro in power, have wavered but not bent—so far, at least. Several retired generals who were close to Chávez have criticised the idea of a new assembly. At least 14 junior officers have been arrested since the protests began. On June 20th the president stripped the defence minister, General Vladimiro Padrino, of the powerful post of the operational commander of the armed forces. To some analysts, this looked like an expression of mistrust.

Tension is rising. On June 27th a police officer in a helicopter buzzed the supreme court and interior ministry. A pro-government mob attacked the parliament, and large-scale looting took place in Maracay, west of Caracas.

Mr Maduro and his circle lack the aura of heroism that originally surrounded Fidel Castro. “If chavista Venezuela was a caricature of the Cuban revolution, Maduro is a caricature of the caricature,” says the Latin American diplomat. There is no revolution in Venezuela, just squalid abuse of power. More blood may be spilled before this tragedy ends.

Source: Adiós to Venezuelan democracy - https://www.economist.com/news/americas/21724388-nicol-s-maduro-prepares-caricature-caricature-cuba-adi-s-venezuelan-democracy
Title: The Economist Joins Team Screwed
Author: Carlos Hernández
Date: Tue, 04 Jul 2017 10:10:18 -0400
Link: https://www.caracaschronicles.com/2017/07/04/the-economist-joins-team-screwed/

Debating whether Venezuela is or isn’t screwed beyond repair is one of the
country’s favorite parlour games. The Caracas Chronicles Whatsapp group is
split down the middle on the issue. On one hand, there’s Team Screwed, made up
of the champions of learned helplessness and guys who think the communists
already won la victoria perfecta. On the other hand, there’s Team Not-Screwed,
comprised mostly of wishful thinkers and folks that believe in pajaritos
preañaos.

I’ve always been part of the latter, but the Economist’s Bello section – their
Latin American opinion page –ran a piece last week[1]that might just make me
jump the talanquera. In unusually blunt style, they title the editorial Adiós
to Venezuelan democracy and lay out the pessimists case for the coming months.

On Maduro’s inconstitutional parapeto of a Constituent Assembly, they say this:

Mr Maduro wants the assembly because he can no longer stay in power
democratically. Low oil prices and mismanagement have exacted a heavy toll.
Food and medicines are scarce; diseases long curbed, such as diphtheria and
malaria, are killing once more.

When they start listing things that could bring down chavismo, they really get
your teamscrewedness going.

A last opportunity to apply diplomatic pressure failed last month at a meeting
of foreign ministers of the Organisation of American States, held in Cancún.
The Mexican hosts thought they had more than the 23 votes needed (out of 34) to
condemn Venezuela. They got only 20.

They don’t have much more faith in the military, either, noting that

The armed forces, which sustain Mr Maduro in power, have wavered but not
bent—so far, at least. Several retired generals who were close to Chávez have
criticised the idea of a new assembly. At least 14 junior officers have been
arrested since the protests began.

In their view, that leaves Chavista defections as the only threat to Maduro’s
grip on power:

Many chavistas oppose the constituent assembly (…) Although there have been
intermittent protests in chavista areas of Caracas, usually over food
shortages, the opposition has failed to link up with dissidents from the regime
in a truly national protest movement.

Bello closes on a dire note. I’m not going to spoil it, but let’s just say it
leaves you with the feeling that the only thing that’s certain with the
constituyente is that there’s more violence coming in the days ahead.

Links:
[1]: https://www.economist.com/news/americas/21724388-nicol-s-maduro-prepares-caricature-caricature-cuba-adi-s-venezuelan-democracy (link)




Date Subject  Author
17.07. * [Venezuela] More violence as only the military keeNewsBeanie
17.07. `- Re: [Venezuela] More violence as only the military keePL

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