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American progressives must recognize the urgent need to support and preserve the Venezuelan socialist revolution. The peaceful, democratically elected socialist government serves as a model for the kind of programs that our own country desperately needs.

Look at what Venezuelan socialists have already accomplished and why they have consistently been under attack by Venezuela’s  wealthy classes and their U.S. government, CIA and USAID funders:  (See Eva Golinger’s “Post Cards from the Revolution” archives for details of U.S. funding at http://www.chavezcode.com/)

In 1998, Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela. He was democratically re-elected twice in the following 14 years until his death in March of 2013, even triumphing over a separate right-wing generated national recall referendum in 2004.  

During those years, Chavez and his socialist party, the PSUV, set out to reverse the power relations of the pre-1998 years of capitalist rule and giving voice to the millions of Venezuelans who had previously been poor, hungry, uneducated and ill under those capitalist regimes.  

Chavez and his government created what they termed  "social missions", focused programs to deal with depredations that had previously affected the majority of citizens.  Their literacy mIssion  sent thousands of high school and university students  into the country side to teach reading and writing, virally whipping out illiteracy in the country according to UN statistics.  A similar project provided high school level education to those without previous access, while hundreds of new university and technical programs were created where no tuition was charged and students were actually paid a stipend to go to school.

An early mission, called Mission Adentro, brought free neighborhood medical and dental clinics by the thousands into neighborhoods throughout the country which were previously unserved. A mission to provide good nutritional food provides subsidized markets and restaurants.  

After the extreme flooding throughout the country in 2010, which destroyed thousands of homes, a new Mission to build 2 million new homes began, homes to be given to families at very low interest rates or even free, depending on family income.  

There followed a massive training and employment program for up to two million people, wherein folks received job training and thereafter job placements at government expense.

Since 2003, more than the equivalent of $772 billion  has been invested in the social missions programs.These funds came from the profits of Venezuela’s nationalized oil industry.  

In 2011, five new “great social missions” were launched to build upon the work of previous programs and achieve specific objectives regarding health, employment, housing, social security, and agriculture.  Millions of workers, students, mothers, children and the disabled have received the benefits of these social services while receiving government financial support to utilize these programs.

During the 2002 coup attempt by the wealthy capitalist class to regain their lost power, one of their first targets for demolition was the free medical clinics, which were burned down and their medical staff attacked and harassed.  

The free medical clinics and other social programs are again being targeted by terrorists funded by the wealthy.  During their brief reign of terror during the unsuccessful 2002 coup, their coup leaders attempted to disband the medical clinic programs as well as the popularly elected National Assembly, the Supreme Court, and executive branch, and set aside the  popular new Constitution, a document written by the democratically chosen representatives and passed by a massive majority of Venezuelan voters. These same folks are now actively working to resume their failed coup, using street violence to disrupt the Bolivarian civil society and its social services.

After the  2002 coup itself failed when millions of Venezuelans took to the street to demand the return of their kidnapped president and democratic government, the same wealthy capitalists attempted to economically strangle the Chavez government by shutting down the oil industry to deprive the government of the profits needed to support its social programs.  

This too failed when the government re-took control of the national oil company, PDVSA and fired the old regime executives who had caused the shut-down.

Next, in 2004, the one percenters initiated a referendum petition to oust Chavez from the presidency.  Once again, they  failed.   The national referendum only reconfirmed President Chavez to the presidency by a large margin.

President Chavez was re-elected in November of 2011, only to die in March of 2013.  With his death, the one percenters saw a new opportunity to gain power in the constitutionally mandated new election,  but their presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles, la member of the U.S. educated upper class, lost the new presidential election in April of 2013 to Nicholas Maduro, former bus driver, union leader and  Foreign Minister in the Chavez government.  That lost was the 18th (out of 19) national electiona since 1998 in which the one percent were defeated.  Their next move was to hire thugs in the streets to disrupt life for the general population and to torch and disrupt the people's socialist programs, something that they had done sporadically since their earlier electoral losses.

Now, since February of 2014, the one percent paid thugs are once again attacking the neighborhood medical clinics, sabotaging the electrical system, shutting down public transportation in the cities, stopping food trucks to the Mercals and even torching the government and university buildings, including the offices of the housing mission program and an attache preschool, putting the lives of a thousand workers and 89 preschool children at risk in the fire.  The cost of the fire damage would have paid for 190 new homes for Venezuelans.

Thus Venezuelanalysis’s Mallett-Outtrim reports in  "Terrorists Attack Housing Mission and Preschool in Venezuela”:

According to Minister for Housing Ricardo Molina, the blaze started after a “group of terrorists attacked the front of the building, breaking the windows.
The attackers then “threw petrol bombs and set fire to the building”, the minister told state broadcaster VTV.
"Our workers were at risk of dying...which shows the level of insanity and fascism that these violent groups have reached,” Molina stated...
Among the evacuees were 89 children from an adjacent pre-school, used by government workers. Arreaza stated that the children were aged between 6 months and three years of age.
" ( http://venezuelanalysis.com/... )

The one-percent minority can't win through the electoral process in an electoral system which former President Jimmy Carter's Center has termed the "fairest electoral system in the world”. ( http://venezuelanalysis.com/...)

For eight weeks, they have burned universities, public buildings and bus stations, while up to 39 people have died. Despite claims by the US secretary of state, John Kerry, that the government is waging a "terror campaign" against its citizens, the evidence suggests a majority have been killed by opposition supporters, including eight members of the security forces and three motorcyclists garrotted by wire strung across street barricades. Four opposition supporters have been killed by police, for which several officers have been arrested.

What are portrayed as peaceful protests have all the hallmarks of an anti-democratic rebellion, shot through with class privilege and racism...

( http://venezuelanalysis.com/... )

The one percent doesn't have the votes of the majority, but it does have plenty of money to foment disruption and destabilization. a substantial amount of which is supplied by the U.S. government through its National Endowment for Democracy and other USAID and CIA funded entities which have long been at work in Venezuela to oppose its Bolivarian socialist government.  Our U.S. taxpayers’ dollars are funding these types of disruption.

On Tuesday thirty people were detained in Caracas after attacks in Santa Fe and Las Mercedes. Violent barricaders set fire to five floors of the housing mission head offices and a police station in Santa   Fe. Rodriguez said that two men were arrested in Santa Fe with an armoured vehicle, tear gas, explosives, pistols, gas masks, night vision goggles, satellite phones, bullet proof vests, tanks of petrol, knives and gloves.
The vehicle was “equipped with special compartments in order to spread caltrops [spiked hoses to puncture tires] ... and petrol onto public roads, which is a type of terrorism that we have seen in recent days,” said Rodriguez.
 http://venezuelanalysis.com/... )

Given such events, it is little wonder that U.S. sociologist professor James Petras has recently issued a warning that strong measures are needed to defend the socialist government from the fascist attacks.  In his article “Defeating Fascism Before It Is Too Late” (http://www.democraticunderground.com/... ) of March 3, 2014, Petras writes:

Captain Jose Guillen Araque, of the Venezuelan National Guard, recently gave President Maduro a book on the rise of Nazism, warning that “fascism has to be defeated before it’s too late”!  In retaliation for his prophetic warning, the patriotic young captain was shot by a US-backed assassin on the streets of Marcay in the state of Aragua on March 16, 2014.  This raised the number of Venezuelan soldiers and police killed since the fascist uprising to 5 in 29 overall fatalities [note: VA.com edited the numbers of officer deaths from the original in line with the current information].  The killing of a prominent, patriotic officer on a major street in a provincial capital is one more indication that the Venezuelan fascists are on the move, confident of their support from Washington and from a broad swath of the Venezuelan upper and middle class.  They constitute a minority of the electorate and they have no illusions about taking power via constitutional and democratic means.…

The term “fascist” in Venezuela is appropriately applied to the organized violent political groups currently engaged in mass terror in a campaign to destabilize and overthrow the democratically-elected Bolivarian government...

The essential connection with earlier fascist movements is found in its (1) profound class hostility to the popular majority; (2) its visceral hatred of the Chavista Socialist Party, winner of 18 of the last 19 elections; (3) its resort to the armed seizure of powerby a minority acting on behalf of the domestic and US imperial ruling classes; (4) its intention to destroy the very democratic institutions and procedures which it exploits in order to gain political space; (5) its targeting of working class institutions – communal councils, neighborhood associations, public health and dental clinics, public schools, transport, subsidized food stores, political meeting places, public credit unions, trade union organizations and peasant co-operatives; (6)  and its support of capitalist banks, huge commercial landed  estates and manufacturing firms.

Professor Petras knows whereof he speaks about Fascism. He was an advisor to Chile's socialist president, Salvador Allende, who was bombed and deposed by a CIA-fed coup  in 1973.  

Indeed, the current events in Venezuela appear to be following the CIA's putative  "Democratization Manual", a text first developed from the successful ouster of the democratically elected president of Iran in 1953, with subsequent chapters being added in Guatemala, Ecuador, the Congo and myriad others.   (see "A Timeline of CIA Atrocities "By Steve Kangas at http://www.huppi.com/... the long list of the CIA's incursions on other sovereign countries.  See also the recent Pando article on USAID’s dark history at http://pando.com/... )

Petras warns, based on his experiences in Chile and elsewhere, that;

Constitutionalist democrats have failed or were unwilling to see the political, civilian arm of the Nazis as part and parcel of one organic totalitarian enemy; so they negotiated and debated endlessly with elite fascists who meanwhile destroyed the economy while terrorists pounded away at the political and social foundations of the democratic state.  The democrats refused to send out their multi-million mass supporters to face the fascist hordes.  Worse, they even prided themselves on jailing their own supporters, police and soldiers, who had been accused of using ‘excessive force’ in their confrontation with fascist street thugs.  Thus the fascists easily moved from the streets to state power.  The elected democrats were so concerned about criticism from the international and capitalist media, elite critics and self-appointed ‘human rights’ organizations, that they facilitated the takeover by fascists…

To the terrorists, the democratic politicians who warn about a “threat of fascism” while acting as if they were engaged in ‘parliamentary skirmishes’, become an open target for violent attack. This is how the fascists came to power, in Germany, Italy and Chile, while the constitutionalist democrats, to the last, refused to arm the millions of organized workers who could have throttled the fascists and saved democracy and preserved their own lives.

Petras calls for the recognition that strong measures are needed:
The most significant advance toward stopping the fascist threat lies in the government’s recognition of the links between the parliamentary and business elite and the fascist terrorists:  financial speculators, smugglers and big-time hoarders of food and other essential commodities are all part and parcel of the same fascist drive for power together with the terrorists who bomb public food markets and attack the trucks transporting food to the poor neighborhoods. One revolutionary worker said to me after a street skirmish: “Por la razon y la fuerza no pasaran
!” (Through reason and force they will be defeated)… Constitutionalist democrats have failed or were unwilling to see the political, civilian arm of the Nazis as part and parcel of one organic totalitarian enemy; so they negotiated and debated endlessly with elite fascists who meanwhile destroyed the economy while terrorists pounded away at the political and social foundations of the democratic state.  The democrats refused to send out their multi-million mass supporters to face the fascist hordes.  Worse, they even prided themselves on jailing their own supporters, police and soldiers, who had been accused of using ‘excessive force’ in their confrontation with fascist street thugs.  Thus the fascists easily moved from the streets to state power.  The elected democrats were so concerned about criticism from the international and capitalist media, elite critics and self-appointed ‘human rights’ organizations, that they facilitated the takeover by fascists…
To the terrorists, the democratic politicians who warn about a “threat of fascism” while acting as if they were engaged in ‘parliamentary skirmishes’, become an open target for violent attack. This is how the fascists came to power, in Germany, Italy and Chile, while the constitutionalist democrats, to the last, refused to arm the millions of organized workers who could have throttled the fascists and saved democracy and preserved their own lives.Constitutionalist democrats have failed or were unwilling to see the political, civilian arm of the Nazis as part and parcel of one organic totalitarian enemy; so they negotiated and debated endlessly with elite fascists who meanwhile destroyed the economy while terrorists pounded away at the political and social foundations of the democratic state.  The democrats refused to send out their multi-million mass supporters to face the fascist hordes.  Worse, they even prided themselves on jailing their own supporters, police and soldiers, who had been accused of using ‘excessive force’ in their confrontation with fascist street thugs.  Thus the fascists easily moved from the streets to state power.  The elected democrats were so concerned about criticism from the international and capitalist media, elite critics and self-appointed ‘human rights’ organizations, that they facilitated the takeover by fascists…

To the terrorists, the democratic politicians who warn about a “threat of fascism” while acting as if they were engaged in ‘parliamentary skirmishes’, become an open target for violent attack.This is how the fascists came to power, in Germany, Italy and Chile, while the constitutionalist democrats, to the last, refused to arm the millions of organized workers who could have throttled the fascists and saved democracy and preserved their own lives. Let us hope that the Venezuelan socialist government will take all necessary steps to obliterate the fascist movement there before it can topple its socialist revolution.  One hopes too that American and internationalist socialists and progressives will do all that they can to support the Venezuelan government and prevent the loss of this critical model for reconstructing the world for the benefit of all its human inhabitants rather than for the profits of the one percenters.  We must stop our government’s funding of anti-socialist terrorism in Venezuela.  No more U.S. funding for fascism -- anywhere!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (41+ / 0-)

    Convict the War Criminals, Surveilers and Fraudsters. Support universal health care, unions, WikiLeaks, Manning and Snowden. On Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

    by Justina on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 02:00:29 PM PDT

  •  I grew up living in a authoritarian country (12+ / 0-)

    ...and the tactics I see enacted by the Venezuelan Government come pretty close to the same thing.  

  •  Hands Off Venezuela (22+ / 0-)

    Hands Off Venezuela welcomes Chavez at the Savoy Hotel, London

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 02:40:44 PM PDT

  •  oy. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doc2, DiesIrae, Onomastic

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 02:42:19 PM PDT

  •  Just because someone protests (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    riprof

    Doesn't mean he believes in fascism.  This isn't fundamentally different than calling all anti-war protestors communists, or saying the President is the second coming of Hitler.

    Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

    by Sky Net on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 03:11:45 PM PDT

    •  The protestors (9+ / 0-)

      are far right rich people who want their privilege back.  I suppose if the tea party protested here, you woukld support them too?  

      ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

      by Diane Gee on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 03:48:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I support the tea partier's right to protest. (4+ / 0-)

        It saddens me that you don't. Why the hell would I care about a bunch of morons that can't spell the word moron?

        •  I'm not sure Diane was referring (5+ / 0-)

          to supporting their right to protest.  I think we all support freedom of speech here. I think Diane objected to the Tea Party message.

          I think Diane was saying that just because they are "protesters" doesn't make them worthy of support.

        •  because they're a made-to-order (5+ / 0-)

          disinformed constituency working for the 1% and wall street. and if you are at all active on progressive/liberal/democratic issues they're the ones in the way- the ones who delay action on global warming and reforms we need and, for instance, why we have the ACA instead of single payer, and why we still have shit heads in congress trying to make women and brown and poor people second class citizens.

          Why the hell would I care about a bunch of morons that can't spell the word moron?
          and most of them are morons because morons on the left give 1200 coordinated radio stations a free speech free ride.

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 04:26:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  even those (deluded) people get to protest (0+ / 0-)

            if they want to. And if the Koch Brothers stop paying for their transportation and snacks, that's OK too.

            Who do you suggest make up a list of acceptable protest movements? Kos? Maduro? Darth Cheney?

            •  no one said they couldn't protest- but (0+ / 0-)

              their legitimacy as feedback to move democracy and elected representatives is given too much weight even by many on the left.

              what is seldom factored in, certainly not by trad media and usually by many on the left, is that they are the product of classic psyops the CIA would be proud of.

              the number of issues that large majorities of american public agree on that are derailed by the well disinformed talk radio base is pathetic.

              it's not about opinions on how a country should be run or who should be taxed what, etc., we have a major US political party that officially denies global warming is real.

              while minority rights need to be protected, that minority is the product of a well coordinated propaganda operation that only works because the left continues to ignore the talk radio monopoly working this country over for the 1%.

              This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

              by certainot on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 06:32:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  of course we would (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sky Net, DiesIrae

        it's called freedom of speech and assembly.

        The right to protest isn't limited to the poor.

        WTH are you talking about? Are you kidding me?

      •  Your logic escapes me (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DiesIrae, sviscusi, JeffSCinNY

        Just because you disagree with someone's views doesn't mean they're fascists.  They have the right to protest.  A genuine democracy could handle dissent without demonizing all who disagree with the government.

        Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

        by Sky Net on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 04:21:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right to Protest = Right to Burn Down Buildings? (10+ / 0-)

          The right-wing violence by a small minority in the streets of Venezuela is terrorism not the exercise of the right to free speech and assembly.  They are disrupting the lives of ordinary citizens in violation of their constitutional rights.  The Venezuelan government has the right -- and the duty -- to protect the rights of all its citizens.

          Convict the War Criminals, Surveilers and Fraudsters. Support universal health care, unions, WikiLeaks, Manning and Snowden. On Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

          by Justina on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 05:07:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  protesters don't have the right to use violence (7+ / 0-)

          to overthrow the government. If that happens the government has to use force to maintain order and stability. Otherwise it would collapse.

          This is the sort of thing these "peaceful" protesters are engaging in:

          President Maduro has ordered the arrest of retired General Angel Vivas, who promoted the use of wire at blockades in order to “neutralise” people on motorbikes. One government supporter on a motorbike died by such a method last night.

          On 20 February Vivas tweeted “In order to neutralise criminal hordes on motorbikes, one must place nylon string or galvanised wire across the street, at a height of 1.2 metres”.

          He also tweeted, “to render armoured vehicles of the dictatorship useless, Molotov cocktails should be thrown under the motor, to burn belts and hoses, they become inoperative”.

          Other tweeters responded to his tweet about decapitating motorbike riders with further advice for the violent blockades, including suggesting that “a lot of oil be used in the streets, it is good for two things, they fall off, and it can set [things] alight. The collectives are the ones in the vehicles”.

          You said

          A genuine democracy could handle dissent without demonizing all who disagree with the government.

          So you are saying the US is not a genuine democracy?

          FBI documents just obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) … reveal that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat … The PCJF has obtained heavily redacted documents showing that FBI offices and agents around the country were in high gear conducting surveillance against the movement even as early as August 2011, a month prior to the establishment of the OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park and other Occupy actions around the country.
          Looks like the US government demonized #Occupy from the very beginning.

          Many of the people criticizing the Venezuelan government's response to the protesters are the same people who defended the US crackdown on #Occupy. With a very small number of exceptions, the #Occupiers were peaceful and nonviolent. They were broken up and arrested for nothing more than demanding economic inequality. They were tear-gassed, thrown into jail without trial, spied on, beaten.

          The Venezuelan protesters are not demanding economic rights. They are using violence to force regime change because they can't win at the ballot box. They have no right to nullify a legitimate electoral process just because they don't like the result. And demands for regime change shouldn't be automatically conflated with demands for rights. You are not "oppressed" just because you don't like losing elections. If you throw Molotov cocktails at people and use wire to decapitate motorcyclists, and the government arrests you, they're not being "dictators"--they're doing their job, the job they were elected to do. They would be derelict in their duty if they didn't.

          I'm not going to argue whether Chavismo is or isn't the hope of humanity because it is utterly irrelevant to the larger point. Which is that governments have the right and the responsibility to stop violent insurrection and maintain social order by force, if need be.

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 06:32:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mkor7, Galtisalie, NY brit expat

            for reiterating that not everything that the government interferes with are things that should be interfered with.
            Chili comes to mind first of all, but then I am of that generation. Our government was complicit in overthrowing Allende because he was leftist, and then supported Pinochet, one of the most rapacious dictators ever. We are fine with dictators as long as they're our dictators.

            "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

            by northsylvania on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 01:16:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I have a friend in Venezuela. He's a working stiff (3+ / 0-)

        not a 1% and not likely to be. He says the crime level, kidnappings, robberies, burglaries, etc. is exploding, and that inflation is also exploding
        He said a resolution of the divisions in the country is not in sight.
        I don't think this can be chalked up to the 1% vs the saintly socialists. There is a lot of entrenched corruption and dysfunction. It didn't happen overnight.
        It may well be that the capitalists, oil corporations, the CIA are all involved in shenanigans to bring down the government, as they have such a history of doing just that over and over,  but there's more to the problem than that.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 05:28:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Venezuela is an import-only country. (3+ / 0-)

          Chavez tried to develop local production/ manufacturing, but most food and everyday supplies are still imported.

          Those importers are the economically well-off, and dedicated to deposing the Maduro government.

          All they have to do is simply tighten the supply line and the economy suffers.

          As a reminder, the Maduro government is a democratically elected government. You may not like his speech patterns, his hair style, his skin color, but Maduro was democratically elected.

          If the opposition is really a genuine movement, why aren't they pursuing their efforts through democratic means? Why are they subverting the democratic system through violence?

          •  I'm fairly pissed off : (0+ / 0-)
            You may not like his speech patterns, his hair style, his skin color, but Maduro was democratically elected
            You have absolutely no right and no basis from what I wrote to hurl that insult at me.

            I think my comment makes clear that I have limited understanding of what's going on over there other than one credible (in my view) friend to the effect that the problems in Venezuela are not properly framed in such a simplistic way.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 06:34:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  this is proof (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NY brit expat

          that Venezuela is NOT a dictatorship nor a totalitarian regime.

          the crime level, kidnappings, robberies, burglaries, etc. is exploding
          Every self-respecting dictator takes care of problems like that.
          •  When even well-intentioned "socialist" (0+ / 0-)

            (or any other kind) takeovers, start to lose their grip, that's exactly what you see.
            There are some that would characterize the "social progress" character of Chavez' governance as cover for his keptocracy.
            It's entirely plausible to me that that could be true and that the oil companies, Wall Street, the CIA, etc. could be stimulating protests with agent provocateurs, etc. in order to grab the control of the country for themselves.

            There may be no good guys in this, except for the citizens who just want a stable, free country to live in.

            I don't have a side to support in this except for the view that the diary was implausibly simplistic about the good guy v bad guy narrative.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 06:43:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Just because someone protests... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Galtisalie

      Doesn't mean he believes in fascism.

      It doesn't mean he's a pro-democracy activist, either.

      :-)

  •  this meme will continue through 2016 (7+ / 0-)
    Dick Morris, Allen West: Venezuela May Become Terrorist Nursery(NewsMax)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 03:15:51 PM PDT

  •  Brilliant and needed! (11+ / 0-)

    Right the fuck on Justina... great coverage.

    ..the smoker you drink, the player you get....

    by Diane Gee on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 03:43:18 PM PDT

    •  Thanks Diane.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, northsylvania, Galtisalie

      I'm Sorry about all my inability to properly edit this post properly.  Beginning to wonder if NSA is at work on me today.

      Your comments have been excellent throughout!

      Convict the War Criminals, Surveilers and Fraudsters. Support universal health care, unions, WikiLeaks, Manning and Snowden. On Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

      by Justina on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 05:11:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this awesoe diary! (9+ / 0-)

    The comments are, well all I can say is Americans are misinformed or imperialists.
    I went to a rally on the 1 yr anniversary of Chavez' death. And "opposition" showed up, dressed extremely well and pushed and shouted at people. They represent the opposition in Venezuela well: Rich people and paid shills for USAID.

    Thanks for this very informative diary!

    The other thing is like Libya for example- how do you deal with a bunch of racists counter-revolutionaries? Do you let them kill/dislocate whole cities of black people? Sometimes you have to fight. And the idea US isn't totalitarian  https://scontent-b.xx.fbcdn.net/... this is from a bbq speak out for mothers who have lost children to police violence yesterday.  Police came swinging batons in a face off with children!

    Obama/US and Americans have no business talking about other countries repression & intimidation of protesters.

  •  I don't like Chavez but I agree that... (10+ / 0-)

    ...the current situation in Venezuela started when the US was the only country not to recognize the election of Maduro.

    Venezuela's Maduro still waiting on Washington's recognition

    While the US has pledged not to interfere with Venezuelan politics, the refusal to recognize Maduro's presidency has left many to question what message the US is trying to send, and how – if at all – it will impact Venezuela post-Chávez.

    “[The US isn’t] recognizing or failing to recognize,” says David Smilde, professor of sociology at the University of Georgia. “They’re just waiting. But here in Venezuela that’s seen as an act of belligerence.”

    It was the green light for the opposition to start demonstrations that escalated.

    US imperialism in Venezuela goes back over a century.  More recently in 2002 it became blatant;

    Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (www.venezuelafoia.info) show that in
    late 2001 and early 2002, the U.S. substantially increased in funding of Venezuelan opposition groups,
    in an effort to create a viable opposition to President Chávez, strengthen that opposition by creating and
    nurturing political parties, and unify that opposition.
    Declassified CIA documents show that State Department and White House officials knew that the
    Venezuelan opposition was planning a coup. A CIA Senior Intelligence Brief from April 6, 2002, reads:
    “Dissident military factions, including some disgruntled senior officers and a group of radical junior
    officers, are stepping up efforts to organize a coup against President Chávez, possibly as early as this
    month… To provoke military action, plotters may try to exploit unrest stemming from opposition
    demonstrations slated for later this month or ongoing strikes at the state-owned oil company PDVSA.”8
    This document was prepared for senior administration officials.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 04:12:55 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for Your Important Comment. (11+ / 0-)

      The U.S. seems to be giving the green light -- and our taxpaying green dollars -- to fascists all over the world and innocent folks are being killed and maimed thereby.y

      We have to take control over our increasingly fascist government.  If we don't all hang together, we will hang separately, as one of our wise founding fathers pointed out while in the midst of fomenting our own revolution against Britain.  Time for a new one.

      Convict the War Criminals, Surveilers and Fraudsters. Support universal health care, unions, WikiLeaks, Manning and Snowden. On Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

      by Justina on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 05:16:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great point. I actually greatly admire and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat

      like Chavez. The world misses him, whether it realizes it or not. He to me was a truly positive transformational leader, not only for Venezuela but also for all of the Caribbean and Latin America.

      I did not initially make this clear enough when he died in something I wrote which raised the human rights issue. On balance he is a great hero of the worker. If he'd been around as long as the Castros, he too would have been able to make course corrections which are still ongoing in Cuba. The dominant theme of Justina's diary, which I completely endorse, is that the U.S. should stop fomenting anti-democratic forces in Venezuela and that the elected government has the right to govern and implement socialism. It is amazing that Chavez died without a rightwing assassin's bullet.

      I know the rightwing in the U.S. was trying to do just that. May Maduro also have the time and room to make course corrections. One thing for sure is that the powerful capitalists do not want to see socialism succeed in Venezuela or anywhere else. Dirty tricks abound. They want to create a crisis. Socialists want to help the previously helpless and not accept bs neoliberal solutions and excuses, and for that reason they are opposed endlessly.

      garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

      by Galtisalie on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 05:17:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary, please keep (8+ / 0-)

    posting more often. To me, it is unbelievable, that here where is supposed to be a bastion of liberals, are people who steal are drinking the cool aid of the Miami mafia, the cia and the Venezuelan facist.

  •  I disagree. (8+ / 0-)

    This diary presents everything as a binary choice: socialism OR fascism, good OR evil. The reality in Venezuela is a whole lot more complicated than that.

    Just to name one example, the Maduro goverment isn't exactly good at press freedom. It's classified as a "difficult situation" by Reporters Without Borders, ranking 117th out of 180 countries (for comparison, the US is 32nd - not good enough, but a whole world better). And that was in 2013, before the latest crisis hit. There are countless examples: restrictive media laws, trying to shut off dissenting radio stations, cutting off the Internet arbitrarily, even warning ISPs to block off content that the government deems objectionable.

    I'm sure the diarist would, correctly, decry such tactics if they occurred in the United States. It is not right to excuse these actions just because they are committed by one's ideological fellow-travelers.

    •  Reporters Without Borders Gets Paid by U.S. Gov. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mickT, Sandino, Galtisalie

      Reporters Without Borders is one of the so-called human rights groups that gets National Endowment for Democracy funding, which makes its "objectivity" dubious on issues important to the U.S. State Department.  Venezuela is one of those important issue.

       Has Reporters Without Borders criticized the fact th at some 90% of the U.S. media is owned by about six big corporations?  Those guys do their damnest to demonize any whiff of socialist ideas anywhere, especially a country that has lots of oil desired by their affiliated big corporations.  These are the same U.S. corporations that determine what Americans see and read about Venezuela, its socialist programs and leaders.  Many Reporters Without Borders writers are dependent upon these big corporations for their current or future jobs, as are the majority of journalists in the U.S.  The big corporations call the tunes and many repoed rters faithfully play them.

      I lived in Venezuela and read its newspapers from 2006 to  2012.  Their press is much, much freer than our own.  About ninety percent of the Venezuelan media is owned by private corporations, the majority of whom quite openly display their right-wing biases without government suppression.  Here our news is suppressed by the capitalists who own them.

      Convict the War Criminals, Surveilers and Fraudsters. Support universal health care, unions, WikiLeaks, Manning and Snowden. On Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

      by Justina on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 05:36:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seriously? (6+ / 0-)

        RWB is a France-based NGO, not an arm of the US government. And yes, they have criticized the US plenty. See their United States section on their web site, here. They're hardly pulling punches where the US is concerned.

        And they rank Finland, Norway, and Sweden in their top 10 worldwide. That hardly sounds like a "so-called human rights group" doing "their damnedest to demonize any whiff of socialist ideas anywhere".

        One reason that you might think the Venezuelan press is "much, much freer than our own" is that they're telling you what you want to hear. Remember that Tea Party types think Fox News is the epitome of a free and unbiased press.

    •  Their media (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Galtisalie, NY brit expat

      is owned by the wealthy and expresses their opinions, much as ours does. When their media promotes overthrow of the government, their government retaliates overtly. Our government does not, which does mean that we have a better rating by Reporters Without Borders. However, our media does not cover news such as climate change or malfeasance, such as oil and chemical spills, by corporations.
      As you say, it's a complex situation, both there and here, but using the media as the only measure of democracy is a false choice as well.

      "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

      by northsylvania on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 02:48:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 04:26:43 PM PDT

  •  Like witnessing history firsthand. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sky Net, northsylvania

    Not the pleasant part of history, mind you.

    From 1930 onwards, the Party and police officials feared the “social disorder” caused by the upheavals of forced collectivization of peasants and the resulting famine of 1932–1933, as well as the massive and uncontrolled migration of millions of peasants into cities. The threat of war heightened Stalin’s perception of marginal and politically suspect populations as the potential source of an uprising in case of invasion. He began to plan for the preventive elimination of such potential recruits for a mythical “fifth column of wreckers, terrorists and spies.”
  •  Argue all you want for the U.S. to step back (5+ / 0-)

    from Venezuela but the argument that only one side is Fascist is astoundingly uninformed.  

    We are talking about a government that shut down the broadcast of a foreign tv channel that was covering the Government murders of protestors.  We're talking about a Government that has terrorized people who have had the audacity of being witnesses to abuses by the National Guard, a government that after it's troops murdered unarmed protestors tried to frame their political opposition.  Of course the newspaper who uncovered this had it's editor forced out and replaced with someone more in line with the Presidents philosophy.

    This is what's going on

    This is common place.  To try and turn this into

    American progressives must recognize the urgent need to support and preserve the Venezuelan socialist revolution. The peaceful, democratically elected socialist government serves as a model for the kind of programs that our own country desperately needs.
    Is utter malarkey right up their with "we're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here."

    You can support that type of government all you want but I'll take heed from people who know what they're talking about like HRW and Reoprters Without Borders.

  •  I'm sure they'll "crack" down. Who isn't going (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi, Lawrence, Sky Net

    to support cracking down on Fascists. No better of bogeyman to create to "crack" down.  

    If I comply with non-compliance am I complying? Sarcasm is the ability to insult stupid people without them realizing it.

    by thestructureguy on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 04:58:59 PM PDT

  •  the only thugs (0+ / 0-)

    are the thugs that are currently in power in Venezuela who have destroyed and bankrupted their country. The poor country might be able to start healing once those thieves are thrown out.

  •  Thank you Justina for speaking "Truth to Power" (7+ / 0-)

    Anyone who has lived or spent extensive time in other countries knows how the US. has distorted, used economic manipulation, massive media misinformation (90% of all media is controlled by corporate interests) and covert actions to bring down governments it doesn't like and, when that doesn't work, simple marches in with its troops and takes the government over and puts in its own preferred rulers -- all to protect capitalist "democracy" at the behest of the capitalist interests.  This has been going on since at least the middle of the 1800s under the guise of the Monroe Doctrine in Latin America and in more recent years pretty much all over the globe.  The disingenuous innocence of many liberal Americans dealing with this only in terms of freedom of speech and "rule of Law"   never ceases to amaze me.

    What do you do when you are playing a game by the rules and a bully interferes and makes it impossible for you to continue your game.  Do you let him get away with it and just leave the field to that bully?  Do respond with only peaceful tactics to the bully's violence (violence only breeds more violence) or do you respond with the necessary force to stop the bully even if it is against your beliefs (fight fire with fire).  And if you do respond with violence does it then warp your own attempt to create a peaceful, rule of law society?

    In Cuba they responded with violence and killed off the main opposition leadership at the end of the revolution. It was called a blood bath.  In Chile the socialist Allende government refused to arm the people.  In Nicaragua, they let the National Guard go at the end of the revolution.

    Cuba's socialist goals are under stack but Cuba has still at least minimally survived with a government that espouses some socialist values. Chile was taken over by Pinochet one of the worst dictators in Latin American history, with our support. Nicaragua was derailed for many years by the war started and paid for by the US(many of the contras were the very National Guard the Nicaraguans released). We won't even talk about El Salvador, Panama, Bolivia, Argentina, Haiti, Argentina, etc.and mnost recently Honduras.

    The real question is is peaceful resistance a viable option or is violent response to defend left or anti=-imperialist gains necessary?  And what are the effects (as Justina points out)on the results in each case?

     

  •  there is not perfect police (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justina

    My self if I could kick the son of biches who lied to kill millions in irak, or the ones who create the colaps of our economy, without doubt I will do it, especially if they were protesting to do it again. But here are people who are stupid, they are feed by cnn, the facist of Venezuelan right wing or the national mafia. Why this people do no show the people who got decapitated from putting wires in the protestors barricades, why this people do not put the burning of food stores by the same terrorist, why this people do not say that. I notice the ap, Reuters, ney york times has been taking just a one line against the Venezuelan goberment and remember, the usa has beeb doing the same since 2000, remember the Bush fail coup...14 years since the usa has been pushing terrorism. Also this people talk about democracy, but as soon they do get the result they want then is totalitarianism, or is a dictator... bs. Leave alone our countries do not terrorized them...

    Thanks again Justina

  •  I have been fearing and yet awaiting the (3+ / 0-)

    time when I felt I had to more publicly look deeply within myself about this issue of authoritarianism and contemporary socialism. I do not by any way, shape, or form see "Stalin" analogies as fair. I have rather hastily used that kind of comparison myself in the past with respect to Venezuela and soon realized that it is not applicable or fair and confuses the real issues.

    Latin America, long oppressed by the U.S., is about as far away from the isolated Cold War Soviet Union under Stalin as it could possibly be, including in semi-authoritarian Cuba. The anti-government forces in Cuba get to run "blind" blogs and do book tours in the U.S. True they are spied on, and I have publicly opposed that, but they are not treated with harsh KGB tactics to my knowledge. To any extent that they are, I would oppose that, and I am not saying that there have not been some injustices in Cuba during the Castro regime, but merely that I do not think it is the major ongoing problem the U.S. media makes it out to be. That said, I have publicly made some proposals for improving socialism in Cuba to become constitutionally "politically democratic," and I do see a lot of room for improvement, if the U.S. would only stop meddling, which it just can't quit.

    But in all honesty, this is a troublesome teaching moment for me as a student of life's complexity. I am committed to anti-totalitarianism and to democratic socialism. I hope that all people will keep an open mind and not get boxed into comfortable or familiar positions.

    I have tipped and recommended this diary because I believe that the U.S. is at it again and has never stopped. It has been toppling and attempting to topple people's movements in Latin America for at least a century of which I am rather intimately familiar, because in part it affected my family members with leftist (first anti-Spain and then anti-U.S. puppet/Batista) ties to Cuba. They were receiving beatings and harassment by the anti-union Citizen Alliance/KKK in Florida for decades while they were also paying for revolutions in Cuba, which kind of personalizes things still more. They were called "Cuban N-----s." I know that in the U.S., even putting aside the issues of slavery and Jim Crow and the murder and inhumane treatment of Native Peoples, the government has been opposing people power for its entire history by almost any means necessary--so it logically does even worse in Latin America where "no one will see" or at least, Bubba back in Birmingham will not care.

    Yet, as absurd luck and love would have it, with the passage of time, other members of my family now have rightist ties to Venezuela. That is by way of full disclosure. When people fall in love and marry, weird things happen and weird alliances in extended families are sometimes formed. No matter what, I love people regardless of their politics.

    I know enough to know that I do not trust the corporate media in Venezuela or the U.S. to present anything fairly. And absolutely, people who did better under the old system and are now doing worse want socialism to fail. On the other hand, not every student protester is a "fascist." I am pretty judicious in using the term. It arguably could be used against the Tea Party in the U.S., but I think that that would be too broad a characterization of everyone in the Tea Party. The truth is that white people, particularly in the Deep South where I live, have been led around by their prejudiced noses for a long time, and many of them are now in the Tea Party. Many are crypto-fascist, but some are just stupid and think they are standing up for "traditional America." As BHO said, they love their guns and God, and Gays are ruining their otherwise perfect marriages. I do not think many of them have worked through the logic of their positions.

    In Venezuela, because of socialism's electoral victories, the right wing has been confronted with the real thing, and that has melded with toxic U.S. interests. I am sure that there is a lot of fascism, but a lot is just everyday capitalist self-interest, and undoubtedly some core focus by some students is sincere frustration of one kind or another. Capitalism is engaging in flight and harassment of Venezuela to sabotage socialism, and that in turn makes dreams of former middle class students much more tenuous.

    That is no justification to once again try to topple the democratically elected Venezuela socialist government. Yet, I do not think every right winger in Venezuela or anywhere else is "fascist." I know it is an accepted part of the traditional socialist lexicon, but I think we can do better, and it would do us good to be less monolithic in characterizing our capitalist adversaries. Orwell did a good essay about the sloppy use of the term during WWII, but he could not stop the sloppiness and nor can I, but I still try to be careful about it myself. I would prefer "counter-revolutionaries" to "fascists" but again, no single term is going to be accurate to a truly wide swath of people, outside of the case of an organized self-identified nationalist party such as parties of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, and Pinochet.

    One thing my rightwing relatives concede, however, is that prior to the socialists, the Venezuelan government never did a damn thing for the poor people up on those mountainsides. It was and is atrocious the inhumane conditions that the U.S. and its puppets expect people to tolerate. So there is violence inherent in the U.S.-ordained global system, to be sure. Just ask Pope Francis.

    Yet, violence is carried out one cruel act at a time. That is why I frequently talk about the late Jesuit leader Father Arrupe, who, while seeing his priests die to rightwing killers in Central America, still spoke of the need for justice to be "in the service of love." On the other hand, I frequently talk about Reinhold Niebuhr, who talked about the need for "coercion" against the powerful/rich, who will not give up power and riches voluntarily, and recognized that political democracy often fails to produce justice. I don't have to look to Latin America to see that. I see that every day in the U.S.  

    I know very little of the facts of the immediate situation in Venezuela, so I can only lay down principles of conduct.

    First, I could never justify, nor would I want to try, any kind of cruelty to another human being, including kicking or torture. Whether it is the LAPD, the CIA, the Saudi buddies of the Bushies, or whoever was doing the kicking in one of the above videos, that is sick and wrong. I have been standing right next to someone who was very scared and shaking because of what was about to happen, and it is not a pleasant thing to see another human being in that position. So, absolutely count me out of any endorsement of cruelty. In fact, as I have commented in a Cuba on-line forum where people on both sides regularly argue vehemently with little constructive purpose I can see, I would rather have the boot directed at me than anyone else. Easy to say, but that is how strongly I feel about cruelty being ... cruel. And wrong. And inexcusable.

    Second, the U.S. needs to gut its military and disband the CIA, and support a U.N. military force to respond to overseas military matters, so that the U.S. can have some modicum of credibility in Latin America and the rest of the world off its shores. Any organization with U.S.-government funding is highly suspect for that reason.

    Third, I do support socialism in Venezuela and for the whole world. It should be democratic and constitutional and non-authoritarian.

    Fourth, some parts of Latin America are violent places. Guns and beatings and kidnapping, etc. are a major reason some of my Central American friends are illegally in the U.S. And U.S. policies and interference have done more to destabilize and steal from Latin America than anything else, by a long shot. Nothing else is even close.

    I wish that I could go to the worst places like where I see in the video someone being kicked so that I could place my body between the boot and that person's body.

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Sun Apr 13, 2014 at 09:02:54 PM PDT

    •  Nothing is ever black and white, but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Galtisalie, NY brit expat

      the problem we have, as American leftists is this:

      I believe that the U.S. is at it again and has never stopped.
      After seeing the violence and bloodshed that comes after our little interferences, from Cuba to the Middle East, in the name of 'democracy', when what we mean by that term is a government that will support the U.S. and its interests, no matter what form that government might take or how repressive it might be, we feel a sense of shame.
      I had Vietnamese friends who escaped from situations where many of their family members had been killed by the Communists, and they therefore were disgusted by the idea of Communism. This was understandable. Nonetheless, their families were innocent bystanders in a proxy war fought by the U.S. because we believed in the Domino Theory. Our government manufactured the Gulf of Tonkin crisis so that we could "destroy the village to save the village". This kind of fumble footed logic is why we get into situations like Venezuela. Unfortunately, in cases like Vietnam or Venezuela, people like your friends and mine end up getting hurt, when under a genuine process of reform, they might end up with less personal privilege but with a fairer society.

      "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

      by northsylvania on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 01:38:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  An interesting read (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, Galtisalie

    About America's role in the overthrow of various governments.

    http://www.alternet.org/...

  •  On Eva Golinger, the irony mark is missing (0+ / 0-)

    Eva Golinger is funded by the Venezuelan government. Now, it may be that everything she is saying is 100 percent true, but it's not where I would look for a fair accounting of what Venezuelan socialists have accomplished. (Or, perhaps, what the price of oil has accomplished.)

  •  Interesting. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NY brit expat

    This didn't come up on my feed, so I had to go looking for it this morning to get in on Facebook.
    Knowing that Susan is in hospital, and Justina is having problems, I will be happy to republish where I can. Has it been republished anywhere else yet?

    "The 'Middle' is a crowded place - that is where the effective power is - the extreme right and left might annoy governments, but the middle terrifies them." Johnny Linehan

    by northsylvania on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 01:41:38 AM PDT

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