Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela: If Chávez were Alive Today, would the Situation in Venezuela be Different?

Published on Axis of Logic, by Roger D. Harris, CounterPunch, July 6, 2016.

US policy since Hugo Chávez was elected president of Venezuela in 1998 has been regime change to return the oil-rich South American nation to the neo-liberal fold. After 17 years of Chávista polices, the US wants nothing more than for poor Venezuelans to suffer as much as possible – to make their economy scream – so that the popular movement will grow dissatisfied with the socialist inclined leadership.

Current Situation in Venezuela: … //

… Bolivarian Revolution: … //
… Transition to Socialism: … //
… Maduro Succession: … //

… Unfinished Revolution:

It did not take any extraordinary prescience for me to write after Maduro assumed the Venezuelan presidency: “The problems of building 21st century socialism on a capitalist foundation include crime, inefficiency/shortages, and inflation/devaluation. These are the problems inherited from the existing capitalist order and exacerbated by the sabotage of the opposition. This is the time bomb that has been handed to Maduro.” Maduro inherited issues that had never been addressed or dealt with inconsistently, actual mistakes from the past, and other unfinished tasks.

Despite immense constraints, Maduro made initiatives that Chávez had yet to do. On currency control and subsidized gasoline prices – some argue too little too late – Maduro instituted reforms. On putting some teeth into curbing illegal activities of the opposition, the police and judiciary had Leopoldo Lopez arrested. Maduro also further promoted the communes, all the while seeing his role as continuing the Chávez legacy.

As Franco Vielma commented in 2014: “Expecting Maduro to eliminate corruption and bureaucrats with a stroke of the pen, is not only impossible but absurd. Expecting Maduro to not make missteps is equally so.”

End of the Oil Rentier Economy: … //

… Solutions for Venezuela:

The New York Times recently hosted a four-way debate on solutions for Venezuela. Neo-conservative Roger Noriega argued for recovery of “free market economic policies” entailing the neo-liberal overhauling of the state-run oil company, central bank and other government entities in Venezuela. While a US government official, Noriega co-authored the Helms-Burton law, tightening the illegal
“embargo” (really a blockade) on Cuba, and was involved in the US-backed coup in Haiti in 2000. As a private lobbyist, Noriega worked on behalf of the 2009 US-backed coup in Honduras. Against such a track record, Noriega’s accusations that the Chávista project represents “undemocratic elements” ring hollow.

Harvard academic Ricardo Hausmann echoes the right-wing Venezuelan opposition and Noriega on the efficacy of turning the Venezuelan economy over to the IMF and the World Bank for a neo-liberal overhaul. Hausmann holds up the contemporary models of Greece and Ukraine (see With friends like the IMF and EU, Ukraine doesn’t need enemies) as the solution to Venezuela’s problems…without any sense of irony about the abysmal conditions in those two benighted countries suffering from outside interference. Hausmann, incidentally, was formerly an official in the corrupt Pérez administration in Venezuela.

On the other side of the Times debate, journalist Tamara Pearson and economist Mark Weisbrot, both sympathetic to the Venezuelan government, oppose imposition of neo-liberal austerity measures on the people of Venezuela under the auspices of the IMF and the World Bank.

Weisbrot comments, “A switch to a policy of non-intervention in Venezuela would be a sea change for Washington, and would set a healthy precedent.” Indeed, it is the Venezuelans themselves who will have to solve their own problems, some of which are serious and immediate. The responsibility of North Americans is to keep our governments from destabilizing and immiserating our neighbor to the south.

(full long text).

(Roger D. Harris is on the State Central Committee of the Peace and Freedom Party, the only ballot-qualified socialist party in California).

List of coups d’état and coup attempts;


Korea: Assembly launches committee to tackle population issues, on Korea Joongang Daily, by SER MYO-JA, not dated;

Exclusive: Russia to empty one of its sovereign funds next year – ministry proposal, on YAHOO/Finance, by Darya Korsunskaya, July 5, 2016;

Crypto-states make taxation impossible  –  Darwinian Basic Income is the Future, on BIEN, by Kate McFarland, July 5, 2016;

Guyana: President should address nation on planed Sovereign Wealth Fund, on Stabroek News, by Robin Singh, July 5, 2016;

Does new build warrant a fresh look at affordability? on Mortage Finance Gazette, by Paul Darwin, July 4, 2016;

Aid & development links: Basic income, urbanisation, funding tech and more, on The Interpreter, by Jonathan Pryke, July 4, 2016;

Question from Switzerland – Hideaki Nakamura, on BIEN, by Toru Yamamori, July 4, 2016: the Swiss referendum has been covered in Japanese media. While some media coverage, especially televised reports, uses the photogenic scenes which were created by Swiss activists, many reports don’t cover the activists’ bottom line message: ‘What would you do if your income were taken care of’;

CANADA, Montreal: Basic Income Creation Marathon, Aug 10-12, on BIEN, by Kate McFarland, July 3, 2016: Revenu de base Québec RBQ and Mouvement Français pour un Revenu de Base MFRB have developed a program on basic income that will take place as part of the 2016 World Social Forum, held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from August 9-14. World Social Forum events often draw tens of thousands of participants …;

The Evolution Of Money, on Investing, by Brenda Jubin, July 3, 2016;

With Liberty and Basic Income for all? on OZY, by POOJA BHATIA, July 3, 2016;

Brexit and the Derivatives Time Bomb, on Dissident Voice, by Ellen Brown, July 2, 2016: Brexit could trigger a $500 trillion derivatives meltdown, by forcing the EU to allow insolvent member governments and banks to write down debt. Italy is in financial crisis and is already petitioning for that concession. How to avoid collapse of the massive derivatives house of cards? Alternatives are considered;

INDIA: MP from largest political party endorses basic income, on BIEN, by Kate McFarland, July 1, 2016;

Populisme et référendum(s), dans, par Paul Alliès, le 1er juillet 2016: depuis le Brexit, nous sommes entrés dans une nouvelle spirale inflationniste, celle de l’usage incontrôlé du terme de « populisme ». Il sert à dévaloriser toujours un plus la notion de référendum;

Poor Kids Need Summer Jobs, Rich Kids Get Them, on FiveThirtyEight, by Ben Casselman, July 1, 2016;

Die AFD wird durch die Propaganda der Medien gestärkt – Sahra Wagenknecht Die Linke bei Markus Lanz, 22.29 min, uploaded by PolitikInDeutschland, June 20, 2016;

Die Anstalt: Verbotene Folge, 49.35 min, uploaded by PolitikInDeutschland, June 9, 2016;

The Pathological Methodology of Forced Schooling – John Taylor Gatto, 68.20 min, uploaded by yeoldbaser, June 9, 2012;

The Underground History Of American Education- John Taylor Gatto, full.wmv, 164.29 min, uploaded by Know One Another, Jan 30, 2011 … the shocking possibility that dumb people don’t exist in sufficient numbers to warrant the millions of careers devoted to tending them will seem incredible to you. Yet that is my central proposition: the mass dumbness which justifies official schooling first had to be dreamed of; it isn’t real …;

… and this:

Crop Circles 2016 – uploaded on YouTube by rautavelha:

  • Witnesses, 1.09 min, June 7, 2016 … there are very real orbs that are spotted even today throughout the world. Witness accounts and photographs prove that orbs exist as a very real and visible;
  • Common Characteristics, 1.06 min, June 2, 2016 … according to some estimates, crop circles appear every week somewhere. Virtually all crop circles share a set of common characteristics;
  • Theories & explanations, 1.13 min, June 2, 2016 … most crop circle researchers admit that the vast majority of crop circles are created by hoaxers. But, they claim, there’s a remaining tiny percentage that they can’t explain;
  • Newest and olders, 2.35 min, March 12, 2016 … the patterns of the formations themselves have been studied endlessly. Aside from being supremely beautiful, many seem to be messages in one form or another, often with cosmological implication.

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