It seemed for a while that democracies were breaking out all over, even in Russia, but the power of power is too seductive for many people. I worry about our own democracy. Trump could be our last president.
“The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.” Kurt Vonnegut
The US is in a damned if we do, damned if we don't situation. Even charitable efforts would be twisted into something else. Still, I hope they can manage to get the OAS off the pot. Spain has been trying, but to little effect, so far.
Venezuela Readies for 'State of Internal Commotion' Ahead of Civilian Unrest
As opposition to Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro intensifies, the country is now preparing for the biggest military exercises in its history this Saturday – an opportunity to flex its military muscle ahead of possible violent street protests spurred by civilian unrest.
Maduro, who is facing a recall referendum, has warned that he may declare a “state of internal commotion” if a coup occurs, according to the Latin America Herald Tribune. The state of internal commotion would allow the government to bypass normal legislative procedures in order to impose stricter security measures. ...
Just last week, U.S. intelligence officials acknowledged that Washington has little leverage over how the situation in Venezuela unfolds, Reuters reported, saying the Obama administration wants “regional” efforts to help secure the country from disintegrating. ...
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest responded to a question about Maduro’s emergency decree during a daily press briefing, saying the situation in Venezuela is “breathtaking.”
“The conditions for the Venezuelan population are terrible,” Earnest said. “Now is the time for leaders to listen to diverse Venezuelan voices and work together peacefully to try to find solutions. And the failure to do that only puts hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Venezuelans, at risk of further suffering.”
Argentina, Chile and Uruguay appeal for an urgent political dialogue in Venezuela
Argentina, Chile and Uruguay in a joint statement released on Friday, called for political dialogue in Venezuela and offered to help with a “national reunion” of the political and social forces of the country. The appeal, with utmost respect for the principle of non interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela, was made extensive to the government, the National Assembly, under opposition control, and all political and social groups.
The statement is signed by Argentina's Susana Malcorra, Argentina's foreign minister; her Chilean peer Heraldo Munoz and Uruguay's Rodolfo Nin Novoa. Follows the release:
“In the current hour of serious polarization which the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is undergoing, the foreign ministers signing the statement, in representation of their respective countries make an urgent call for an effective political dialogue and a genuine civic understanding among all political and social actors from the sister nation.
”With full respect for the principle of non interference in domestic affairs, we believe that Venezuela's problems should be resolved by Venezuelans themselves, in conformity with its institutions and respect of international commitments referred to full protection of human rights and individual freedoms.
“We trust the Venezuelan people will know how to honor its long democratic tradition and its historic commitment to peaceful and consensus political solutions, discouraging this way radical alternatives that distance it from democratic means.
Venezuela government, opposition hold talks in Dominican Republic: local media
Venezuela's opposition leaders and top government officials have held talks in the Dominican Republic to lay the groundwork for a potential dialogue to defuse a political standoff and a deepening economic crisis, local media reported on Saturday.
The OPEC nation is suffering a severe recession due to low oil prices and a collapsing socialist economic model. President Nicolas Maduro is locked in a standoff with Congress after the opposition won a sweeping legislative majority last year.
A government delegation including Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez has for three days met with representatives of opposition parties including Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, according to opposition-linked newspaper El Nacional. Government-backed newspaper Ciudad Caracas described the encounter as an "exploratory meeting for the start of dialogue," adding that the meeting included ex-leaders of Spain, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
Rodriguez retweeted state-run broadcaster Telesur saying the government had met with the opposition. A Foreign Ministry official declined to comment. The head of Venezuela's MUD opposition coalition tweeted "There is no 'opposition-government' meeting in the Dominican. Representatives of the coalition are attending a meeting with (the ex-presidents)."
Chavista military architect turns against successor: 'It's anarchy' ...
Few military men in Venezuela can legitimately claim to be an original architect of the Chavista project within the armed forces, but retired Maj Gen Alcala certainly can. ...
He is often credited with being the first to publicly declare the armed forces "Bolivarian" and "revolutionary".
But today he is excoriating about the direction the government of President Nicolas Maduro is taking and the role of the military in the current political and economic crisis gripping the country. Mr Maduro succeeded Chavez, who died of cancer three years ago.
"This isn't Chavismo," Gen Alcala says of the socialist leadership. "It's anarchy." ...
He immediately begins to list problems, with corruption at every level of government, and accuses the military of standing idly by as Rome - or in this case Caracas - burns.
Organization of American States Head Moves Against Venezuela
The head of the Organization Of American States on Tuesday called for an emergency meeting of regional governments to evaluate Venezuela's respect for democracy, a move that could lead to the country's suspension from the hemispheric body.
Luis Almagro said Venezuela had suffered an alteration of constitutional order called for a vote on the matter in the coming weeks.
The socialist country could be suspended from the organization if two-thirds of the organization's 34 member states to vote that the country's leadership has gravely undermined democracy there.
Almagro has been feuding with Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro.
Maduro accused him of working with the opposition and the U.S. to undermine Venezuela. Almagro responded by calling him a petty dictator.
Adding:'We want food!', Venezuelans cry at protest near presidency
Venezuelan security forces fired teargas at protesters chanting "We want food!" near Caracas' presidential palace on Thursday, the latest street violence in the crisis-hit OPEC nation.
Hundreds of angry Venezuelans heading toward Miraflores palace in downtown Caracas were met by National Guard troops and police who blocked a major road.
President Nicolas Maduro, under intense pressure over a worsening economic crisis in the South American nation of 30 million, had been scheduled to address a rally of indigenous groups nearby around the same time.
The protest spilled out of long lines at shops in the area, witnesses said, after some people tried to hijack a food truck. ...
The government accused opposition politicians of inciting the chaos but said security forces had the situation under control.
Venezuela police repel rare protest near presidential palace ...
Police pushed the crowd back as some demonstrators kicked their plastic shields while more officers ran to the scene and filled in the streets between the protesters and the palace.
Onlookers leaned out of windows banging pots and yelling insults at the police.
The economically depressed county has seen near-daily spontaneous protests in recent weeks over shortages of food and medicine, rolling power blackouts, and poor access to running water. ...
Protesters said the incident began at a nearby supermarket when it appeared people affiliated with the government were taking away the subsidized food those in line had been waiting for hours in the oppressive heat to buy.
PM orders help for Venezuela
MANDEVILLE, Manchester – Arguing that Jamaica should never consider itself too poor to help others, Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he has issued instructions for ways to be found to help economically and socially distressed Venezuela.
“We will do what we can within our means to play our part…,” Holness told his audience at the commissioning of Wigton windfarm phase III at Rose Hill in windswept south Manchester yesterday.
Venezuelan help was instrumental in the third phase of the wind energy project launched a year ago with the bulk of the US$45-million financing coming from the preferential Venezuela/Caribbean oil alliance, PetroCaribe. Wigton III, which follows other major wind projects at Rose Hill, Wigton I and Wigton II, is tipped to reduce Jamaica’s national oil consumption by 37,100 barrels per year and save the country more than $230 million annually. ...
A fast-moving Holness declined to take questions from journalists at the end of yesterday’s commissioning. However, Energy Minister Andrew Wheatley told the Jamaica Observer that the Government was exploring possibilities, including providing Jamaican goods to Venezuela using PetroCaribe money.
“We are looking at a contribution to the people of Venezuela through, say, the PetroCaribe Fund where we can assist them by giving them goods using funds from PetroCaribe to purchase Jamaican goods … a win-win situation,” he said.
Maduro makes bold economic move
Venezuela seizes US factory after closure due to lack of raw materials
Venezuela’s government has seized a factory belonging to Kimberly-Clark Corporation after the US personal care giant said it was halting production as it was unable to obtain raw materials.
President Nicolas Maduro announced the “nationalisation in a televised address saying the closure was illegal and it had re-opened “in the hands of the workers”.
Venezuela seizes shuttered Kimberly-Clark plant – CBS News #SmartNews https://t.co/GEh0wgmSor— Joel Cloralt (@joelcloralt) July 12, 2016
Kimberley-Clark is the latests multinational to close or scale back operations in the country sue to lack of primary materials, currency trouble and soaring inflation.
The Irving, Texas-based company claims to have acted appropriately in suspending operations.
General Mills, Procter & Gamble and other corporations have reduced operations in Venezuela as the country is gripped by economic crisis and widespread shortages of basic household goods.
The resulting shortage of toilet paper, feminine products, and diapers will be the spark for the next "revolution".
“If You're Not In The Obit, Eat Breakfast”
Remember, Orly NEVAH disappoints!
Remember, Orly NEVAH disappoints!
http://uk.businessinsider.com/accused-d ... ter-2016-8Venezuela just named an accused drug trafficker as its interior minister
Aug. 3, 2016, 3:45 PM
On Tuesday night Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced a cabinet reshuffle on his weekly TV show "In Contact With Maduro."
General Nestor Reverol, a former minister under Hugo Chavez was named Interior Minister. On Monday a court in Brooklyn, New York indicted him for drug trafficking. According to US authorities, from 2008 to 2010 Reverol and another cabinet minister hindered US investigations into drug trafficking while taking bribes from the traffickers themselves.
During his announcement, Maduro claimed that in his former post, Reverol "broke the world record for capturing traffickers."
Maduro also sacked vice president for the economy and industry minister, Miguel Perez, who was largely seen as a reformer.
Venezuela's AG files injunction against opposition parliament
CARACAS, Venezuela, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Venezuela's attorney general announced that he filed an injunction against the opposition-controlled National Assembly over alleged constitutional violations.
Attorney General Reinaldo Muñoz said on Thursday he filed the injunction in the Supreme Court to protect the Venezuelan people.
"What there is is simply a situation of contempt, ignorance of rules, selective choice, selectively choose what they can observe and what they can not observe, and thus [they] can not operate a public power," Muñoz said in statements provided by the attorney general's office. "The people can not doubt that there is planning in all this. We recognize that they were elected, but not chosen to remove the president, not to bring about a political crisis, not to break the constitutional thread, not to depose the rest of the powers."
Muñoz accused the unicameral legislature of constitutional violations, of inviting international organizations and spokesmen to "interfere in the Venezuelan situation" and of repeatedly calling for protests that have led to violence. ...
The National Assembly was declared defunct by Venezuela's Supreme Court, known formally as the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, or TSJ, earlier this year -- an act the opposition said shows that the country's institutions favor Maduro's regime.
Venezuela gov’t, opposition agree ‘to live in peace’
Venezuela’s government and the opposition agreed Saturday "to live in peace" and work on a road map to normalize the constitutional relationship between the powers of the state.
They also committed to combat "sabotage, boycott or aggression" of the Venezuelan economy and to explore measures to improve medicine and food supplies to citizens struck by a crippling crisis.
"We express our firm commitment to a peaceful, respectful and constructive coexistence," the two sides said in a joint statement read by government representative Jorge Rodriguez and Carlos Ocariz of the Democratic Unit Roundtable (MUD).
It was the third in national dialogue meetings launched last month to resolve the country's political and economic problems, with the mediation of the Vatican and members of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).
The sides agreed to lift a Supreme Court ruling that invalidates the work of the National Assembly, as well as the release of a number of detainees the opposition maintains were held on political grounds.
Venezuela: three opposition lawmakers resign in concession to Maduro
Three opposition lawmakers at the centre of a dispute between Venezuela’s congress and its top court stepped down on Tuesday following an agreement meant to ease a political standoff between the opposition and President Nicolás Maduro. ...
The lawmakers – two from the Amazonas jungle state and one who represents indigenous groups – were key to handing the opposition a super-majority in December 2015’s legislative elections.
But in January a supreme court order banned them on allegations of fraud.
The National Assembly defied the government by reinstating them in July, leading authorities to declare congress illegitimate and setting up a power clash with Maduro’s socialist administration.
In Vatican-backed talks between the opposition and the government over the weekend, the two sides agreed the lawmakers would resign to trigger fresh elections for the three seats.
Venezuela’s currency is so devalued it no longer fits in ordinary wallets
CARACAS, Venezuela — It’s not so easy to find someone who still uses a wallet in Venezuela, where inflation is expected to reach 720 percent this year and the biggest bill — 100 bolivars — is worth about 5 U.S. cents on the black market.
The currency has dropped dramatically in value as Venezuela’s oil-based economy has cratered and the government has frantically printed more money. Prices, meanwhile, are soaring. So Venezuelans must handle huge volumes of cash — so much that the bills don’t always fit in a standard wallet — with many people packing wads of currency in handbags, money belts or backpacks.
The owner of a tiny kiosk selling newspapers, cigarettes and snacks in one of Caracas’s nicer neighborhoods said that each evening he quietly stuffs a plastic bag full of the day’s earnings, around 100,000 bolivars (about $52) in notes of 10, 20, 50 and 100 bolivars. This is a country with one of the highest crime rates in the world, and carrying that much cash is dangerous. He said he doesn’t feel safe, despite having his own scooter rather than using public transport. ...
The shrinking value of the currency has meant that withdrawing the equivalent of $5 from the ATM produces a fistful of at least 100 bills. Some ATMs now need to be filled every three hours, since the machines can hold only so much cash. Because of the difficulties in restocking the machines, there are often a limited number of functioning ATMs and endless lines of people waiting to withdraw money.
The hassles over cash have prompted many Venezuelans to pay their tabs with credit cards. The owner of a local cafe, who declined to give his name, said that 90 percent of his business’s earnings were paid electronically.
That's an unstable situation. Something has to give. People wont live like that for long without something exploding.
"I think its pretty troubling when a backyard decoration comes out swinging harder against Nazis than the President of the United States." - Stephen Colbert
Venezuela currency weakens 10 percent in three days on black market
Venezuela's bolivar currency tumbled past the psychological barrier of 4,000 per dollar on the black market on Wednesday, racking up a 10 percent depreciation since Monday and fueling concerns about the crisis-stricken OPEC nation's economy.
The black market rate has weakened 62 percent this month amid Soviet-style product shortages and a crippling recession that have become the norm in Venezuela's steadily unraveling socialist economy.
The rate reached 4,121 according to website DolarToday, which is a primary reference for the black market rate even though President Nicolas Maduro as well as many of his critics complain the rate lacks transparency and is subject to manipulation.
The black market had remained steady at around 1,200 bolivars for several months, but was boosted by the payment of legally mandated Christmas bonuses as well as an 11 percent increase in money supply in November. ...
A brick-sized package of 1,000 of the smallest bill, a two-bolivar note, buys a loaf of sandwich bread. Fifteen years ago, one individual note of equivalent value would have bought a modest lunch.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... bank-notesVenezuela Orders Largest Bills Turned in Ahead of New Bank Notes
by Noris Soto
December 11, 2016 — 2:41 PM EST
Maduro says move to fight smuggling, currency attacks
100-bolivar bills must be out of circulation in 72 hours
Venezuela’s government ordered all 100-bolivar bank notes out of circulation within 72 hours, amid a hard cash shortage and the scheduled release this week of bigger bank notes.
“There has been a scam and smuggling of the one hundred bills on the border with Colombia. We have tried the diplomatic way to deal with this problem with Colombia’s government; there are huge mafias,” President Nicolas Maduro said on state television.
Maduro signed a new emergency economic decree to fight ”currency attacks” and an alleged “economic war.”
With the value of Venezuela’s largest banknotes reduced to a few U.S. cents by triple-digit inflation and the currency’s collapse on the black market, the country’s central bank said it will begin circulating higher-denomination notes by Dec. 15.
Sounds like Venezuela will be on the top of Trump's invasion list. Shitty Government, Shitty Currency - and lots and lots of oil to steal.
“If You're Not In The Obit, Eat Breakfast”
Remember, Orly NEVAH disappoints!
Remember, Orly NEVAH disappoints!
Declaring war on common sense, Venezuela bans its own money
The scale of the conspiracy is staggering: More than 300 million of Venezuela’s highest-denomination bank notes have been ferried out of the country in recent months. Huge stacks of 100-bolivar bills now sit in warehouses throughout Central and Eastern Europe — Poland, Ukraine, Switzerland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Macedonia — all part of a devious plot hatched by the U.S. Treasury Department. Working through local nongovernmental organizations and local mafia syndicates, the plotters have spirited the actual physical banknotes first by land to neighboring Colombia and later by air to Europe in an ambitious bid to overthrow Venezuela’s socialist government by choking off the supply of paper money, setting off chaos and destabilizing the economy. The notes can’t be destroyed because the Americans have offered to pay dollars for them to their proxies, but only once the government has actually been overthrown.
If this story sounds outlandish to you, spare a thought for the people of Venezuela, who sat stunned on Tuesday as the powerful interior minister, Nestor Reverol, announced this bizarre, baseless conspiracy theory as settled fact.
Reverol’s reverie was far from innocent. PowerPoint presentation in hand, he set out his story to justify the government’s cunning plan to short-circuit the threat by removing the 100-bolivar bill from circulation altogether, within 72 hours.
The announcement set off panic, as millions of people scrambled to round up their 100-bolivar bills and deposit them in bank accounts ahead of the arbitrary deadline. Everyday life — already disastrously precarious for many — was thrown into complete disarray as everyone from bus drivers to shop owners refused to accept the bills, realizing that there’s no point accumulating banknotes that will be worth nothing by the end of the week.
As a result, Venezuela’s economy, which was already one of the most dysfunctional in the world, virtually stopped altogether this week. The 100-bolivar bill, lest we forget, was only worth about 3 U.S. cents to begin with. Withdrawing it leaves the country relying on the 50-bolivar bill — now worth a penny and a half — as the biggest bill, at least until new 500-bolivar bills come into circulation. That was supposed to happen in the next few days. Surprise, surprise: The 500s are late.
Venezuela postpones currency move after chaos, protests
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro suspended on Saturday the elimination of the country's largest denomination bill, which had sparked cash shortages and nationwide unrest, saying the measure would be postponed until early January.
The surprise pulling of the 100 bolivar note from circulation this week - before new larger bills were available - led to vast lines at banks, looting at scores of shops, anti-government protests and at least one death.
Maduro, speaking from the presidential palace, blamed a "sabotage" campaign by enemies abroad for the delayed arrival of three planes carrying the new 500, 2,000 and 20,000 bolivar notes. ...
The 100 bolivar bills, officially out of use since Thursday and worth just 4 U.S. cents at the black market currency rate, can now be used until Jan. 2, Maduro said.