Maduro and the Country That is Disintegrating in His Hands

A woman protests against members of the Bolivarian National Guard in the march on Wednesday in Caracas. (EFE / Miguel Gutierrez)

A woman protests against members of the Bolivarian National Guard in the march on Wednesday in Caracas. “We are starving to death. Total dictatorship.” (EFE / Miguel Gutierrez)

14ymedio, Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 19 May 2016 — All signs point to the collapse of Venezuela. Every minute that passes the country is disintegrating in the hands of Nicolas Maduro, who insists on maintaining with revolutionary violence a power that he has not known how to keep through efficiency or results. His stubbornness has led a nation rich in resources to misery and his incendiary oratory is now pushing it towards a violent explosion.

In front of the microphones, Maduro claims to defend a chimerical 21st century socialism that only works in the minds of its progenitors. However, his political and repressive actions are aimed at preserving the privileges of a clan that rants against the bourgeoisie while living in opulence and looting the public coffers. He believes in the Robin Hood of the children’s stories, but this time Sherwood Forest has become unlivable, even for the poor.

Power outages, insecurity in the streets, food shortages, emigration of the young and professionals, along with the highest inflation in the world, are some of the signs of deterioration experienced by a nation trapped for almost two decades in a populism that has bled the economy and polarized society.

Corruption, mismanagement and a string of neighboring countries that have behaved more like leeches than allies, have drowned Venezuela in less than twenty years. Few still have the shamelessness to publicly support the delusional regime that has installed itself in Miraflores Palace and brought the nation to the verge of collapse. Even former fellow travellers, such as Spain’s Podemos Party, led by Pablo Iglesias, and former Uruguayan president José Pepe Mujica, have distanced themselves from Maduro.

A member of Podemos has criticized the Venezuelan president’s attacks against Spain, while the Uruguayan politician described Hugo Chavez’s heir as “mad as a hatter.” Others, like Raul Castro, remain complicity silent while, from the shadows, weaving the threads of support for the Bolivarian forces. No wonder Evo Morales has rushed to Havana to receive instructions about how to proceed in the face of his floundering comrade.

However, Chavism, and its bad copy “Maduroism,” has entered its endgame. Its motorized faithful can instill fear in the population and the National Electoral Council can delay ad infinitum the review of the signatures on the recall referendum, but this will not restore the popularity enjoyed in the times when a military coup hypnotized millions with revolutionary rhetoric interspersed with anecdotes and songs.

Nicolas Maduro is collapsing and dragging a nation down with him. In this fall into the abyss of violence, a military coup or other demons, he has not shown a single instance of the greatness that would put the interests of Venezuela first, ahead of his party and ideological affiliation. History will remember him in the worst possible terms and he deserves it. He has ruled from caprice and exclusion, ultimately inserting his name on that deplorable list of caudillos, satraps and authoritarians who have trampled our continent.

32 thoughts on “Maduro and the Country That is Disintegrating in His Hands

  1. THIS SORT OF THING HAPPENED IN CUBA AFTER THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET UNION. THE SITUATION IS NOT AS BAD CURRENTLY DUE TO ALL THE MONEY THE CUBANS IN THE DIASPORA SEND HOME. FUNNY THAT THOSE WHO LEFT AND/OR WERE NOT WITH THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY WERE CALLED “Gusanos/Worms” ARE NOW COMING BACK AS BUTTERFLIES BRINGING GIFTS AND MONEY!

    NY TIMES: Venezuela Drifts Into New Territory: Hunger, Blackouts and Government Shutdown – By NICHOLAS CASEY and PATRICIA TORRES

    CARACAS, Venezuela — The courts? Closed most days. The bureau to start a business? Same thing. The public defender’s office? That’s been converted into a food bank for government employees. Step by step, Venezuela has been shutting down. This country has long been accustomed to painful shortages, even of basic foods. But Venezuela keeps drifting further into uncharted territory.

    In recent weeks, the government has taken what may be one of the most desperate measures ever by a country to save electricity: A shutdown of many of its offices for all but two half-days each week.

    But that is only the start of the country’s woes. Electricity and water are being rationed, and huge areas of the country have spent months with little of either.

    Many people cannot make international calls from their phones because of a dispute between the government and phone companies over currency regulations and rates.

    Coca-Cola Femsa, the Mexican company that bottles Coke in the country, has even said it was halting production of sugary soft drinks because it was running out of sugar.

    Last week, protests turned violent in parts of the country where demonstrators demanded empty supermarkets be resupplied. And on Friday, the government said it would continue its truncated workweek for an additional 15 days.

    “There’s been plenty of problems, but one thing I haven’t seen until now is protests simply to get food,” said David Smilde, a Caracas-based analyst for the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights group, referring to the demonstrations last week.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/28/world/americas/venezuela-economic-government-collapse.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

  2. VERY SAD THAT CHILDREN HAVE TO DIES IN THE NAME OF SOCIALISM OF THE 21st CENTURY! THAT’S WHAT HUGO CHAVEZ COINED HIS “BOLIVARIAN REVOLUTION”! YOU WANT SOCIALISM? BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR!
    FOX NEWS LATINO: Outcry on social media after Venezuelan 8-year-old dies due to shortage of medicine – May 27, 2016
    In another sign of Venezuela’s ongoing crisis, an 8-year-old boy’s recent death has become the symbol for how far the oil-rich country has fallen. Second-grader Oliver Sanchez had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but according to El Nacional, a newspaper in Venezuela, he died of complications from meningitis — due to the critical shortage of medicine in the country, he succumbed to the infection. News of his death and the funeral Tuesday in Mamporal, an impoverished town on the Caribbean shore, traveled the web and the outcry on social media was loud and passionate.

    “I cried and cried. I’m a mom and can’t imagine feeling that powerless. My grandmother is sick. We send what we can,” Macarena Suarez told Local 10, in Florida.

    Sanchez became a figure after a now iconic photo of the boy was taken during a demonstration in Caracas in February. He was part of group of doctors, nurses, patients, and medical students protesting medical shortages.

    With more oil wealth than Saudi Arabia, the painful reality in the South American country is worsening every day and, with global oil prices plummeting, it’s submerged in one of its worst recessions ever amid an inflation rate of nearly 700 percent.

    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/05/27/outcry-on-social-media-after-venezuelan-8-year-old-dies-due-to-shortage/

  3. YOU WANT SOCIALISM? BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!
    FOX NEWS LATINO VIDEO – WATCH: Venezuelans eating out of trash, raiding trucks due to food shortages – In some parts of Venezuela the situation has become virtually apocalyptic. People have reached a tipping point and are seen eating trash for survival. With more oil wealth than Saudi Arabia, the painful reality in the South American country is worsening every day and, with global oil prices plummeting, it’s submerged in one of its worst recessions ever amid an inflation rate of nearly 700 percent. At the beginning of May, the Venezuelan Chamber of Food (Cavidea) said many businesses only had 15 days-worth of inventory. There’s a shortage of raw materials and national and international supply resources have dwindled to barely anything. Supermarkets have confirmed that food simply isn’t arriving.

    Corn flour, a staple in Venezuelan diet, has become scarce, followed by prices on items such as poultry spiking to more than $85.00.
    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/money/2016/05/26/watch-venezuelans-eating-out-trash-raiding-trucks-due-to-food-shortages/

  4. CUBAN IMPERIALISM WITH THEIR MERCENARIES AROUND HE WORLD

    THE ATLANTIC: Cuba: Havana’s Military Machine – On Castro’s island, most of the population is under arms – John Hoyt Williams – August 1988 Issue

    The Soviets normally ferry Cuban regiments to their foreign duty stations and transport the Cubans’ tanks and other heavy weapons directly from the USSR. Even force maintenance in the field is often subsidized. In 1981, according to one scholar, Cuba received$250 million for its military and civilian operations in Angola alone. The annual subsidy rose to as much as $500 million before the oil glut caused it to plummet. Ironically, this payback(which represents a very substantial percentage of all Cuban hard-currency earnings) comes essentially from American petroleum companies’ activities in Angola’s oil-rich Cabinda enclave. Since the former Portuguese colony can generate income in virtually no other manner, it does so with American-pumped petroleum.
    The first Cuban military mission in Africa was established in Ghana in 1961. Cuba’s military forces appeared in Algeria, in 1963, when a distinctly military “medical brigade” came over from Havana to support a moribund regime. By 1966 as many as a thousand soldiers and military advisers were serving in a number of African nations, along with civilian personnel. In Guinea-Bissau, Cuban combat units saw action, fighting with Amilcar Cabral’s rebel army against Portuguese colonial rule. Also, and much to his later embarrassment, Fidel Castro posted a large group of instructors to train Eritrean rebels who were waging a secessionist war against the tottering Emperor Haile Selassie.
    By 1973-probably earlier-Cuban military advisers and instructors could be found in the Middle East, often in combat roles. Hundreds of Cubans served in unstable Marxist South Yemen, not only instructing the Yemeni armed forces but also training Dhofari guerrillas, who were busily destabilizing Oman. The guerrillas were finally overcome by elite British units after years of low-intensity but bitter fighting. In 1973, probably at Moscow’s behest, Castro dispatched 500 Cuban tank commanders to Syria. These men performed well and died well in the Yom Kippur War with Israel. Not long after their debut in Syria, Cuban military personnel were training, arming, and advising Polisario guerrillas who were fighting for the independence of the Western Sahara. The Cubans, still working out of Algeria, continue to help the Polisario guerrillas, albeit with no notable success. Recent diplomatic developments indicate a rapprochement between Algeria and Morocco, whose troops have long striven to dominate the Western Sahara.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1988/08/cuba-havanas-military-machine/305932/

  5. Humberto,

    They like the ’59 revolutionaries because it was a revolution of the people for the people and later fidel help put an end to South Africa apartheid system.

  6. PBS NEWSHOUR: Protests turn violent outside Trump rally in New Mexico – BY JILL COLVIN AND RUSSELL CONTRERAS,
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In one of the presidential campaign year’s more grisly spectacles, protesters in New Mexico opposing Donald Trump’s candidacy threw burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other items at police officers, injuring several, and toppled trash cans and barricades. Police responded by firing pepper spray and smoke grenades into the crowd outside the Albuquerque Convention Center. During the rally, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee was interrupted repeatedly by protesters, who shouted, held up banners and resisted removal by security officers. The banners included the messages “Trump is Fascist” and “We’ve heard enough.”
    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/protests-turn-violent-outside-trump-rally-in-new-mexico/

  7. “Why do you think the Cuban revolution is so well liked in the United States?” – Omar Fundora

    HMM! COULD IT BE BECAUSE THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY HAS LIED ABOUT THE REALITY OF THE CUBAN PEOPLE? COULD IT BE BECAUSE THE CASTRO CLAN CONTROLS ALL THE PRESS IN THE ISLAND? OH, AND AN ISLAND IS SURROUNDED BY WATER WHICH IS A NATURAL FORTRESS! BUT NOW WITH THE INTERNET AND CELL PHONES THAT WALL AND CONTROL IS CRUMBLING! ONE MORE REASON! BECAUSE THE CASTRO DICTATORS HAVE INFILTRATED ACADEMIA!

    NEWSMAX: FBI: Cuba’s Recruiting US Students, Professors as Spies – 05 Sep 2014
    The FBI has issued an alert that Cuban spy services are actively enlisting American students and college professors as “clandestine agents” and propaganda peddlers.

    In a five-page unclassified FBI report obtained by The Washington Free Beacon, the agency said that the communist country’s intelligence bureau (CuIS) is known to aggressively “target the U.S. academic world for the purposes of recruiting agents, in order to both obtain useful information and conduct influence activities.”

    The report says Cuba has “perfected” the art of placing agents in the United States by targeting universities and colleges “under the assumption that a percentage of students will eventually move on to positions within the U.S. government that can provide access to information of use to [Cuba)]”

    http://www.newsmax.com/US/Cuba-spies-students-professors/2014/09/05/id/592833/

  8. WHY I WANT TO SHARE THIS WITH YOU????……BECAUSE IF WE DON’T DISMANTLE CAPITALISM AND CREATE AN INCLUSIVE WORLD WHERE THERE IS CONSERVATION, THIS IS THE WORLD WE CREATE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS. DONALD TRUMP AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ALONG WITH OTHER RIGHT WINGERS AROUND THE WORLD ARE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY AND MUST BE STOPPED BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

    Our grandchildren and great-grandchildren may live on a planet even hotter than we feared if countries fail to slash carbon emissions now, according to a new study.

    “Our key finding is that if we continue to burn our remaining fossil fuel resources, the Earth will encounter a profound degree of global warming, of 6.4 to 9.5 degrees Celsius [about 11 to 17 degrees Fahrenheit] over 20th-century averages by 2300,” said Katarzyna Tokarska, a climate scientist at the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia, who led the study. The Arctic’s mean temperature could rise about 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (27 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit) over the next century if such trends continue.
    Sea levels, which are on a trajectory to rise one to three feet by the end of the century, would increase catastrophically under such high temperatures, drowning coastlines and low-lying regions that are home to most of the world’s population. Food supplies and farming worldwide would be disrupted, potentially throwing tens of millions of people back into poverty.

    Based on current climate trends alone, a recent Princeton University study suggested that up to 200 million people, including many children, could become environmental refugees in the next half-century.
    WE NEED TO ABANDONE OIL ALL TOGETHER AND EMBRACE HYDROGEN AS THE ECONOMIC SUBSTITUTE FOR OIL

  9. I am sure these protestors in the United States which the People of the United States and its government would embrace Cuban style acts of repudio instead of beatings by the police like we see here.

  10. Latin Americans, mainly Mexicans protesting against what the Republicans Party and Donald Trump stands for.

  11. How Americans in New Mexico feel about Donald Trump for President. But, what is more disturbing about Donald Trump becoming President of the United States is what his followers want and stand for. In a latest poll, Donald Trump is ahead of Hillary Clinton leading by 46% approval rating in the nation over 44% for Hillary Clinton. The camouflage of who are the American People has been lifted with this election… of course, not all Americans are racist or anti-immigrants or anti-social programs for the discarded in this Capitalist Society, but, almost half of the country IS. Dissidents in Latin America and for Democracy groups need to understand this and protect themselves from the so called help from the United States government or private citizens supporting their efforts for regime change. The United States has a dark side to it and is very strong in influencing how we project our Might to the detriment outcome of naïve dissident organizations around the World who have swallowed the ideology of Democracy, Liberty and Human Rights and have not being able to see behind the ideology and technological achievements of the United States to see what it really has been accomplish with Free Market, Democracy and Liberty and what has been accomplished with wars and exploitation.

  12. Humberto,

    Why do you think the Cuban revolution is so well liked in the United States?

  13. THE LEFTISTS IN THE USA AND THE WORLD HAVE BEEN KISSING CASTRO OLIGARCHY *SS FOR OVER 57+ YEARS! WE CUBANS KNOW THIS STORY VERY WELL!

    THE GUARDIAN: Radical tourists have been deluded pimps for Venezuela – BY Nick Cohen
    Radical tourism is no different from sex tourism. In both the political and the coital, the inhabitants of the rich world go to the poor to find the thrills no one will give them at home. Western men and women with nothing to recommend them except their wealth escape their sexless lives and buy prostitutes, who are not like those indifferent boys and girls who pass them in the street. They will play their part and pretend for a few hours or days to find the westerners sexually desirable. Sex tourist guides, in print and online, feed visitors’ illusions. In the Caribbean, readers are told that prostitutes aren’t prostitutes, just “nice” girls looking for a good time. In Thailand, bar girls aren’t exploited but engaged in a “fair trade”.

    Pleasures sated, the tourists fly away from the poverty and the corruption. The lies they have lived and paid others to live on their behalf don’t bother them. They never noticed human trafficking in Thailand or chronic poverty in theDominican Republic.

    For their part, political tourists are stuck in a sexless marriage to a Britain that offers them no excitement. The proletariat has refused their entreaties to revolt. Their radical fantasies are never fulfilled. So they, too, scour the world. For years, the top radical tourist destination, the political equivalent of the Pattaya Beach brothel, has been Chavista Venezuela. Hollywood stars, the leaders of the British Labour party and Spanish “popular resistance”, and every half-baked pseudo-left intellectual from Noam Chomsky to John Pilger has engaged in a left orientalism as they wallowed in “the other’s” exotic delights.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/22/radical-leftwing-tourists-pimps-dictatorship-hugo-chavez-venezuela-sex-tourism?CMP=share_btn_tw

  14. Inviting foreign militaries to come and protect oneself is treason, pure and simple, but hey, they’ve been trafficing cocaine for a good while already. Why not bring it to the next level? The stench of desperation is becoming intolerable!

  15. Humberto,
    the problem with Cuba is the Cuban People. Cuba is a country of 12 Million People. Everybody loves to hate Fidel and Raul. They get blame for everything. Cubans do not take responsibility for their contribution to the quality of life they have. It is always the government’s fault. Cubans love to complaint and whine and want to “live like Americans” even though they can’t pay for it. Cubans live in an island that imports almost everything they need to live like Western European White Men and Women. If they would learn to ignore the United States and Europe’s way of life, they would be a happier people.

  16. DEAR Omar Fundora! YOU NEED TO STOP CALLING THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY “CUBA” AND SO DO THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS! THE CASTRO RULE THE ISLAND AND THEY ARE THE “GOVERNMENT” DEAR! FYI, THE CASTRO CLAN HAS HURT CUBA AND THE CUBAN PEOPLE ENOUGH! TIME FOR THEM TO LEAVE POWER AND THE COUNTRY!

    VIMEO VIDEO DOCUMENTARY: Habana – Arte Nuevo de Hacer Ruinas, Parte 1 de 6 – HAVANA: The New Art of Making Ruins In recent years, Havana has become famous all over the world for the morbid charm of its flaking façades – a curious blend of magic and decay – and romanticized in countless Hollywood films and documentaries, most notably perhaps in Buena Vista Social Club. Its beauty resides in the poetry of its ruins. But these ruins are far less poetic for the people who inhabit them. Houses frequently collapse causing fatalities. The decay of this city and its living quarters is a continual source of both danger and shame for its inhabitants. This unique documentary tells the stories of the people who reside in these modern ruins, from a homeless man who lives in an abandoned theater (in which Caruso once sang for Cuba’s high society), to an expropriated landowner who struggles against the decay of his parental home, to a writer who conceives a philosophy of the ruins to explain and bear the gradual collapse of the city and its political system.

  17. Pingback: Good Advice: Never Eat Your Seed Crop | GetOffYourButts.com

  18. Humberto,

    Cuba does not have the resources to cause any damage to anybody.

  19. Oil prices below 30/barrel in 2016. Saudis and US dumping oil in the market 1.5 million Barrels /day more than demand. China can in the future export oil inventory to US.

  20. China will refinance loans to Venezuela, but, no new money. This should keep flooring under the economy.

  21. YES DEAR Omar Fundora! THE “BAD OLD USA” RESPONSE AGAIN! AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN!
    AND THE LEFTISTS TALK ABOUT US IMPERIALISM? HOW ABOUT THE CASTRO IMPERIALISM THAT HAS BEEN ACTIVE SINCE 1959 ALL OVER THE WORLD AND ESPECIALLY LATIN AMERICA!

    CAPITOL HILL CUBANS: Cuban and North Korean Special Forces in Venezuela – May 20, 2016 — Earlier this week, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Henry Ramos Allup, denounced that 60 Cuban military officials are embedded among operational forces at the Fuerte Tiuna military complex — home of Venezuela’s Ministry of Defense — under the command of Cuban General Raul Acosta Gregorich. This morning, the French investigative journal, Intelligence Online, reported that North Korea’s regime has sent a special forces contingent to Venezuela to help its embattled quasi-dictator, Nicolas Maduro.

    Furthermore, how this arrangement stems from a confidential military cooperation and intelligence-sharing agreement that North Korea’s Kim Jong-un with Cuba’s Castro regime in March.

    Of course, there’s more than a hint of irony that while President Obama was wining-and-dining in Cuba in March, that the Castro regime was signing a military and intelligence cooperation agreement with the North Korean regime.

    Here’s the report from France’s Intelligence Online:

    Kim Jung-un comes to Maduro’s aid

    Observers are wondering just how involved the North Korean Praetorian Guard that Pyongyang has sent to assist Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro will become. Hugo Chavez’s successor has declared a state of emergency in the country while anti-government protests continue to mount. The man behind the ‘loan’ of North Korean troops is General Kim Yong-chol, who is close to the country’s Supreme Leader Kim Jung-un. The general is both head of the special forces and the United Front Work Department, or Tongil Chonsonbu, the intelligence service in charge of relations with friendly political movements.
    http://www.capitolhillcubans.com/2016/05/cuban-and-north-korean-special-forces.html

  22. Humberto,

    Venezuela’s situation is a man made disaster alright. U S agression with both hard and soft strategy. Proxies inside Venezuela. Oil dumping by U.S,

  23. Venezuela needs access to foreign currency and more FDI. Venezuela’s crisis was not created by the mismanagement of governance by Chavistas and Maduro (they are responsible for not making the adjustment that was needed when it was obvious that the price of oil was going south). Politically, Maduro has blocked the legal efforts of the opposition to remove him from power. The only option for the opposition is to demonstrate on the streets. This gives Maduro the opportunity to drive a wedge in the unity of the different groups that oppose him. If the military still is loyal to Maduro, which I believe still is, Chavistas can continue to rule the day and weaken the opposition by improving the economic situation in the country. A more focused and organized way to sale commodities to large global corporations that are profitable and bringing companies back into Venezuela that were producers and turned into exporters to Venezuela when they moved their operations outside of Venezuela. These companies are being paid for their products with subsidies from the Venezuela ‘s government.

  24. THIS IS WHAT “SOCIALISM” DOES IN THE 21st CENTURY! BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR! MANY OF US HAVE GONE THRU THIS BULL, PIE IN THE SKY, CORRUPT (even more than Capitalism) POLITICAL THEORY AND KNOW BETTER!

    WASHINGTON POST: There has never been a country that should have been so rich but ended up this poor – By Matt O’Brien

    Venezuela has become a failed state. According to the International Monetary Fund’s latest projections, it has the world’s worst economic growth, worst inflation and ninth-worst unemployment rate right now. It also has the second-worst murder rate, and an infant mortality rate at public hospitals that’s gotten 100 times worseitself the past four years. And in case all that wasn’t bad enough, its currency, going by black market rates, has lost 99 percent of its value since the start of 2012. It’s what you call a complete social and economic collapse. And it has happened despite the fact that Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves. Never has a country that should have been so rich been so poor.

    There’s no mystery here. Venezuela’s government is to blame. Sure, $50-a-barrel oil hasn’t helped, but it hasn’t hurt so much that a “Mad Max”-style dystopia was inevitable. After all, every other country whose economy begins and ends at its oil wells has at least managed to avoid that fate. Which is to say that Venezuela is a man-made disaster. It’s a gangster state that doesn’t know how to do anything other than sell drugs and steal money for itself. Indeed, two of President Nicolás Maduro’s nephews were arrested on charges of conspiring to bring 800 kilos of cocaine into the United States, the president’s right-hand man is suspected of running a drug ring himself, and public money has a habit of disappearing into what could only be private pockets. Two ex-officials estimate that as much as $300 billion has been misappropriated the past decade. It’s enough that Transparency International ranks Venezuela as theninth-most corrupt country in the world. The only ones worse — Somalia, North Korea, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, Angola, Libya and Iraq — are a collection of rogue and war-torn nations.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/05/19/there-has-never-been-a-country-that-should-have-been-so-rich-but-ended-up-this-poor/?postshare=9131463713520380&tid=ss_fb

  25. PHOTO VIA Centa B. Rek Chajtur

    CONGRATS TO CUBAN GRAFFITI ARTIST Danilo Maldonado AKA “El Sexto” AND CUBAN ACTIVIST Rosa Maria Paya FOR REPRESENTING THE DISSIDENT MOVEMENT IN CUBA AT:
    OLSO FREEDOM FORUM 2016
    Oslo, Norway May 23 – May 25, 2016
    Tuesday, May 24, 2016
    Session 2: The Road to Justice – Oslo Nye Theater
    Rosa Maria Paya Acevedo
    Let Cuba Decide
    16:00 – Henrik Mestad – Oslo Nye Theater
    A Monologue by Elie Wiesel
    Session 4: The Unsilenced – Oslo Nye Theater
    Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado Machado
    Orwell, Spray Paint, and the Fight to Free Cuba
    Emin Milli
    Independent Media is the Answer
    Anjan Sundaram
    What is Rwanda’s Government Hiding?
    Yevgenia Albats
    Return of the KGB
    Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
    Bearing Witness: Through the Lens
    https://oslofreedomforum.com/events/2016-oslo-freedom-forum/program

  26. THE MUCH “LAUDED” SOCIALISM HARD AT WORK! OR HARDLY WORKING! OR COLLAPSING! BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!

    BBC NEWS: What has gone wrong in Venezuela? – 18 May 2016

    Venezuela has the world’s highest inflation rate at 180% and there are shortages of basic goods as well as power shortages. Opposition politicians have handed in a petition with 1.85 million signatures asking for a recall referendum to oust President Maduro from power. Here, we look at some of the factors which have led to the oil-rich country’s current crisis. Oil accounts for about 95% of Venezuela’s export revenues and was used to finance some of the government’s generous social programmes which, according to official figures, have provided more than one million poor Venezuelans with homes.

    But prices for Venezuelan oil have plummeted. They almost halved from an average of $88 per barrel in 2014 to $45 in 2015.

    By 13 May 2016, they had fallen to $35 per barrel.

    The low oil price means that the government does not have the amount of dollars in its coffers it once had.

    This in turn is a problem because Venezuela’s economy is not at all diverse.

    The country grows and produces very little except oil and has historically relied on imports to feed its people.

    A lack of dollars means it is struggling to import all the goods its people need and want.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36319877?SThisFB

  27. REUTERS (Video) : Venezuela security forces block anti-Maduro protesters – BY ALEXANDRA ULMER

    Venezuelan security forces fired tear gas at protesters in Caracas on Wednesday amid nationwide rallies demanding a recall referendum to end President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist rule. In the third day of opposition rallies in the past week, several thousand protesters descended on downtown Caracas for a march to the national election board, witnesses said. But National Guard soldiers and police cordoned off the square where they planned to meet, so protesters instead milled in nearby streets waving flags, chanting “the government will fall” and pressing up against lines.

    Authorities shot tear gas to disperse them several times, sending hundreds of panicked people running down streets. A few demonstrators were arrested and one young man was carried off unconscious, according to Reuters witnesses.

    Opposition leaders have warned that Venezuela is a “time bomb” and have said blocking democratic avenues for Maduro’s removal means people will increasingly take to the streets. Spontaneous demonstrations and looting are becoming more common amid worsening food shortages, frequent power and water cuts, and inflation that is the highest in the world.

    “They’re scared,” Alfredo Gonzalez, 76, from the 23 de Enero slum, said at the Caracas demonstration as he wore a scarf over his mouth.

    “Venezuelans are tired, hungry,” said Gonzalez, who added that he had been sprayed with pepper gas.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKCN0Y82DV

  28. Pingback: Maduro and the Country That is Disintegrating in His Hands « How to s..t on humans

  29. REUTERS: Venezuela opposition slams ‘desperate’ Maduro state of emergency – BY ALEXANDRA ULMER AND CORINA PONS

    Venezuela’s opposition on Saturday slammed a state of emergency decreed by President Nicolas Maduro and vowed to press home efforts to remove the leftist leader this year amid a grim economic crisis. Maduro on Friday night declared a 60-day state of emergency due to what he called plots from Venezuela and the United States to subvert him. He did not provide specifics. The measure shows Maduro is panicking as a push for a recall referendum against him gains traction with tired, frustrated Venezuelans, opposition leaders said during a protest in Caracas.

    “We’re talking about a desperate president who is putting himself on the margin of legality and constitutionality,” said Democratic Unity coalition leader Jesus Torrealba, adding Maduro was losing support within his own bloc.

    “If this state of emergency is issued without consulting the National Assembly, we would technically be talking about a self-coup,” he told hundreds of supporters who waved Venezuelan flags and chanted “he’s going to fall.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKCN0Y501X

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