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Messenger: Jahcub Onelove Sent: 3/3/2019 3:48:46 AM

This will be my last click, and last post, on this Pro Trump and "Make Babylon Great Again" thread. So much foolishness in this thread...

Nesta1 I give thanks for the link, this is the transcript, from the link, of the interview with Maduro:

Anelise Borges: "Mr President, thank you very much for speaking to us here on Euronews. Today yours is a country at a crossroads, a country with two presidents. What exactly is happening in Venezuela?"

Nicolás Maduro: “It is not possible to have two presidents in a country. In Venezuela there is only one president under the constitution elected by popular vote, according to Venezuela’s political institutions. And this president, is this humble worker sitting here, Nicolas Maduro Moros. There is a coup currently taking place; it has failed; we have neutralized it. This was instigated by the US government inside Venezuela. The United States used all its political, diplomatic and economic power to try to install a puppet government in Venezuela, something which is unprecedented in our history.”

Anelise Borges: "But the US, the EU and several other Latin American countries have recognised Juan Guaido as the interim President."

Nicolás Maduro: “This violates all the rules of the United Nations charter that prohibit intervention in internal affairs, violating the very precepts of the Venezuelan constitution. This is part of an attempt to dominate, conquer and create a neocolonial relationship with Venezuela. In any case, who decides the political life of a country, who elects the presidents inside all the countries of the world - popular sovereignty in Venezuela is no exception. They can say whatever they want – Donald Trump’s government, the extremist administration in the White House and its satellite governments – but in Venezuela it is the people who are sovereign and who decide. No foreign government decides what we do here.”

Anelise Borges: "But it’s also a people that is divided. I want to focus first on the international pressure. You are under unprecedented international pressure. How do you sort this out? We all know your foes. But who are your friends today?"

Nicolás Maduro: "I think we have many friends in the world. In Africa, recently during the meeting of the African Union, a set of interesting pronouncements were made. In Asia, great powers like China, and the greatest powers today in Eurasia, the Russian federation, Turkey. In Latin America, the Caribbean countries, more than 14 countries, the Petrocaribe…in any case, this is a global battle. Who turned the battle for Venezuela into a global battle? The interests of the extremist elite which governs the United States. I always say, Anelise, if Venezuela produced potatoes and vegetables, and exported potatoes and vegetables, it wouldn’t be a centre of geopolitical interest for the extremist elite of the United States who wish to dominate it, would it? But because Venezuela has the biggest proven oil reserves in the world, the biggest proven gold reserves in the world, the fourth largest gas reserves, strategic mineral reserves such as coltan. Venezuela has always been of geopolitical interest, especially in the last 20 years when commander Chavez wrestled back control of our natural resources. The real interest of the elite in the United States is not democracy, they are not interested in democracy in the world, their only interest is to plunder our wealth. This is their real interest.”

Anelise Borges: "You have requested a meeting with Donald Trump: is it to try to sort out this crisis?"

Nicolás Maduro: "When I asked for it, the situation was different. I believed, I always believe that you can open paths of dialogue and through dialogue it is possible to find an understanding on how to live together – peaceful co-existence, respect. But it is impossible. They have killed any possibility of dialogue, of rapprochement, they have killed it. The White House has given an order that there should be zero dialogue and this is deplorable. I believe in dialogue, I believe in words, I believe in diplomacy. The president of the United States is very badly informed about Venezuela. He has stereotypical viewpoints that have led him to make erroneous decisions. They have taken him down a dead end, and now he has to try to escape this path. When he does, Venezuela will always be ready to engage in constructive dialogue with the United States in order to have respectful relations."

Anelise Borges: "Do you believe in dialogue here in Venezuela as well? Are you available, ready to talk to Mr Juan Guaido for example?"

Nicolás Maduro: "I have made more than 400 calls to the opposition for dialogue. The Opposition goes much further than the man they have put up as the presumed interim president, far beyond. This man is there by circumstance. I am willing and ready for dialogue with the Opposition, as a whole, or with parts of the Opposition whenever, wherever. And I truly believe, Anelise, I’m convinced that the only thing that can help Venezuela this year, and in the years to come, is honest dialogue, with an open agenda, and that we make comprehensive agreements for the good of Venezuela, for the prosperity of the country."

Anelise Borges: "One of the main conditions of this dialogue could be for you to allow humanitarian aid into the country, something that you said you won’t do. You won’t let these items come into your country, you believe it’s foreign intervention, it’s an attack on your sovereignty. Meanwhile it’s also a current mechanism, a lot of countries have that and Venezuela is a country that has great needs at the moment. Don’t you think it’s wrong to make politics out of this particular issue?"

Nicolás Maduro: "It is wrong to use the concept of humanitarian aid as an ideological political issue, as a way to humiliate a country. And that is the mistake made by the Venezuelan Opposition, and also the Trump administration: to want to humiliate a country. They froze more than 10 billion dollars abroad. It means our accounts are under scrutiny abroad. It’s almost as if they are preventing us from importing medicine and food supplies - because they go after our money in foreign accounts in every corner of the world. And after they freeze 10 billion or more dollars, they come to tell us that they are going to give 20 million dollars in contaminated food, rotten food. It’s contaminated."

Anelise Borges: "Contaminated? Why contaminated? Do you have proof that this food is contaminated, this aid is contaminated? You think so?"

Nicolás Maduro: "Well, information has come out of Colombia itself. It’s food that has not been… is full of carcinogenic chemical elements …. that has not had the required tests. And it has already caused several cases of food poisoning in Colombia itself. Now, beyond that they have politicised the concept of humanitarian aid. If you want to help our country, I tell Donald Trump, I tell Mike Pompeo, I tell the governments that are behind this “show”: release the accounts that are held hostage, release the gold that they have stolen and Venezuela has enough resources and everything else to import everything we need. Stop this gruesome “show” of trying to suffocate Venezuela and then offer us only crumbs. We are not anyone’s beggars."

Anelise Borges: "The situation is very difficult in Venezuela today. There are shortages of medicine. I have visited a couple of hospitals and I have spoken to doctors who have told me that it is not easy to work today to try and help Venezuelans. We have seen the queues for food in the last few years. Do you recognise at least that you do have a problem in your country, a serious problem?"

Nicolás Maduro: "Tell me a country in the world, or the third world that has no problems. Tell me a country that has no difficulty in overcoming poverty. A Latin American country. I give you the example of our neighbours Colombia... but you do not go to Colombia with a magnifying glass. 70% of poverty in Colombia, 30% of misery. People have been leaving Colombia for years. More than 15 million Colombians have emigrated, but no one shines a spotlight on that. Why do they put the spotlight on Venezuela's problems? To justify a story, a script that justifies intervention in our country, the domination of our country. Why did they put the spotlight on Libya and then leave it five or six years ago? Because the situation in Libya was serious and it had to be bombed, because the situation in Iraq was serious and they invented weapons of mass destruction. No one can tell us that I have weapons of mass destruction, that I have rockets pointing at the United States. They make up our story."

Anelise Borges: "You talk about the experience of people in the barrios, in the most modest areas of Caracas and other parts of the country. These are people that supported the revolution, that supported your mentor Hugo Chavez, that supported you. Many of them however have been talking about extremely difficult circumstances. Several of the people that I’ve spoken to Mr Maduro in the last few years that I’ve been coming to Venezuela have told me that they used to support you but it’s become too difficult for them to continue to do so. How does that make you feel?"

Nicolás Maduro: "Our country is the focus of aggression of the most powerful empire in the world, they are going after accounts, they are blocking our accounts, they are hounding our commercial ships, now they are going after our oil. They have just expropriated a seven billion dollar company in the United States. Our country is still standing. Our country is working, we are facing the future and ready for the future. The people of this country are conscious. If they weren’t conscious, if they didn’t have values, if they weren’t revolutionary, the Bolivarian revolution would have disappeared a long time ago. Commander Chavez was often told, you have already lost the support of the people, but he won not just once, but two, three times. I’ve been told the same thing since the first day that Commander Chavez left me in charge. So, here I have broad-based support. It is moral and spiritual. This is profound political support. These same people who you say are suffering, who have conscience, they know what they are fighting for and they know that their only hope for a dignified country, where we don't become a colony, is the Bolivarian revolution. Rest assured, if we hadn’t won numerous elections in the last 18 months. We have won six consecutive elections. And if we had elections today, I can assure Anelise, if we had elections today for the national assembly, which are currently on hold, the Bolivarian forces would win again."

Anelise Borges: "These last elections have been contested by several countries around the world. I want to go back to that in just a minute because I want to bring something back. You said, and you have said that repeatedly, that you were, that Venezuela is the victim of an aggression by the United States, that you are waging an economic war. Do you take any responsibility though for what’s happening in the country. Do you think there has been any mistake on the part of your administration in terms of where Venezuela is now?"

Nicolás Maduro: "Of course, I assume responsibility, otherwise I wouldn’t be in government, I wouldn’t be the president of this country and I wouldn’t be the leader of this powerful revolutionary movement – the Bolivarian movement. I assume all the daily economic, political and educational responsibilities of the people. Every day I am governing for the people. Our method is one that is from the bottom up, which is inclusive of social movements. All sectors: women; youth; the working class; professionals. Before coming to this interview, for example, I attended an event which had more than 100,000 young people to talk about youth issues. I take full responsibility. Mistakes? Tell me who hasn’t made any mistakes. The only mistake I haven’t made, and will never make, is to betray my homeland, or to yield, surrender or kneel before Donald Trump. I will never do that. We won’t give up. We will carry on working to solve problems and overcome the mistakes. Rest assured, Anelise, that Venezuela will keep moving forward. We have realised that we have more freedom and independence than we thought from the empire in the north, its European subordinates and some governments in Latin America. We are far freer and independent. There is another world. A new multi-polar world has emerged. There are new poles of economic, social and military power in the world. There is no longer a unipolar world in which a single empire dictates and orders and the whole world obeys. No! There is another world and Venezuela is building this new world and we will continue to walk this path in peace. The coup that they have tried to impose on Venezuela and the US’ intervention will fail and be defeated. Sooner rather than later they will have to sit for talks around a table, show respect and respect the rules of international law."

Anelise Borges: "You’re talking about I imagine your poles of power, including for example Russia, Turkey, China, that are very important allies to Venezuela today. How big of an importance do you attribute to them. How grateful are you to have them on your side?"

Nicolás Maduro: "A great importance not only for Venezuela, but for the world. The People's Republic of China is the great economic power of the 21st century, in addition to being a great political power. It has already demonstrated that it can be a great power without being an empire, without establishing relations of domination, blackmail, neocolonial relations with the countries of the world. We have a relationship of extraordinary cooperation, of strategic partnership with China, of respect, of mutual benefit that has had great benefits for development and the economy in the last 15 years. With the Russian Federation as well. Russia recovered. Russia is a major international player. It is a first-rate political, economic and military power and with President Putin we also have close cooperation. I believe that these two powers, next to middle powers like Turkey, like India, like Iran, among others, like South Africa... will determine the future of humanity. The future of humanity cannot be everyone kneeling to the American empire. Not a unipolar world. It has to be a world where we are respected, above all small countries like Venezuela. A country of 30 million inhabitants with great natural wealth. We aspire to be a dignified, sovereign, independent country... not a colony nor to be dominated by blackmail, the imperial cry of the north. We aim for a 21st century of a multicentric, multipolar world, where the voice of the little ones is worth the same as the voice of anyone in the world."

Anelise Borges: "Once again, it really sounds like there are two poles, or multiple poles, but it sounds like a conflict, it sounds like a battle, a battle for influence, a battle for power. But in this, Mr President, as unfortunate as it may sound, the feeling is that the Venezuelans, the ordinary Venezuelans may be the biggest losers."

Nicolás Maduro: "I agree with you. Who is harmed and damaged by international sanctions, by the economic blockade? Who is harmed by this whole global campaign? The people of Venezuela, who have the right to live in peace. I believe that Federica Mogherini, the European Union and the leading governments of Europe have made a mistake with Venezuela. They have heard only one side. They have bowed to only one side. They have not listened to the whole country, which cries out for peace, dialogue, understanding, respect... and they have not listened to us, those who have a voice of real, true power. I believe that Europe has uncritically bowed to the wrong policy of Donald Trump, who has kicked NATO, who has kicked the governments of Europe, who has kicked the European Union, who has simply twisted their arms and forced them into a policy that has harmed Venezuela. Almost one million European migrants live in Venezuela: 300,000 Italians, 300,000 Portuguese, 300,000 Spaniards...almost one million European migrants. And the European Union has abandoned its migrants here and has put us on the verge of a military invasion of the United States. Donald Trump announced it a few days ago: I have the military option over Venezuela. I believe that the European Union has to listen to the whole country, it has to learn to listen with balance to all and it has to rectify its policy on Venezuela."

Anelise Borges: "You mention migrants, you mention people coming to Venezuela. We have also seen the pictures of hundreds of thousands, the UN says three million, Venezuelans leaving this country. I have heard you before on this point and you have said it’s a fabrication, it doesn’t exist. Have you seen the pictures though and how do they make you feel, of those people crossing the bridges and fleeing to Colombia or other countries?"

Nicolás Maduro: "I have never said that it is not so; it is a reality. There is a group of Venezuelans who during the last two or three years, for reasons linked to the economic war, have decided to seek new options in our country. It could be between 600 and 800 thousand Venezuelans. Several thousand of them are returning in the Plan Vuelta a la Patria because they found those countries xenophobic, labour slavery and conditions that they did not think they would find and they have returned to the country. Now what I can tell you is that those images that you say are repeated are the greatest manipulation that has ever been done. You can go today to the main bridge that connects Colombia and Venezuela in Cúcuta and San Antonio del Táchira and I can show you, the journalistic teams can take you to see that they are images of a great flow of Colombians coming to Venezuela, of Venezuelans going to Colombia, of 'vene-colombianos' of 'colom-venezolanos'....they are families that leave Colombia, that leave Venezuela and that have a flow of 30, 50 thousand, sometimes they reach 60 thousand people that cross for commercial trade, for business activities, for family activities...and they have taken those images to say that 3000, 5000 Venezuelans are leaving."

Anelise Borges: "According to UN agencies some two thousand Venezuelans stay on the other side, don’t come back. Again, you mentioned it, several of them have gone because of the hardships in your country. I want to bring back the question of how difficult things are, because some people say that you might not understand – because you are a President and you might be sheltered from the harsh realities that they are experiencing. We had actually brought some money to ask you if you knew how much 2,000 bolivars can buy today. What 2,000 bolivars can actually buy today. Do you know that?"

Nicolás Maduro: "If I didn't understand the situation in my country, I wouldn't be president ….elected and re-elected. I understand because I come from the people. You should know, Anelise, that I was not educated at Harvard or at another American school. I don't even have an important family name, noble blood. I am a worker, a man of the people and every day I am with the people. I have permanent contact and I know exactly what's going on, that's why I take care of the job. Venezuela has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Latin America and the Caribbean, that's why I take care of pensions, that's why I take care of the permanent salary, that's why I take care of the mother's right to assistance. We have one of the most advanced social policies. Why do you accuse me of not understanding?"

Anelise Borges: "No, I’m not accusing you. I’m just asking you. I wasn’t accusing you. I was just curious to know if you knew how much, what 2,000 bolivars can buy. And I will tell you, 2,000 bolivars can buy a coffee. Toilet paper is costing around 13,000 bolivars. It’s a lot of changes. This money last year could buy much more. I think the most important question here is not really that. It’s - can you fix it? Can you fix the situation in this country today?"

Nicolás Maduro: "We're taking care of it because it's a brutal war. On August 20 last year I took a decision to make a currency devaluation and we managed to take a big step towards the recovery of the sovereign bolivar, in the recovery of workers' wages. Then we have been battling hard in the months of September, November, December, January and February and this year we have the goal of controlling the induced hyperinflation and of increasing the value of the Bolivar, and to position the international 'cryptocurrency' that we have set up, the Petro. As a monetary policy, we pay attention to workers' salaries; we help six million families with a direct subsidy. Tell me a country that does that. It doesn't exist, but it does in Venezuela, which is working for justice for equality, for socialism.If it wasn’t like that, Anelise, the revolution would have ended. The revolution exists because reality serves the people. Here there are no orphaned people, here there are no abandoned people... there are people under attack, of course. Tell me which country in the world would withstand the economic aggression of the most powerful nation in the world. Who would withstand it? Having their accounts frozen, their accounts put under scrutiny, and forbidden to import what they need... Venezuela is making a heroic, truly admirable effort. I admire the heroism of the Venezuelan people, how they have faced all these circumstances and we are going to move forward, rest assured."

Anelise Borges: "I’ve got one last question Mr President. How do you think you will go down in history?"

Nicolás Maduro: "I don't know, but what I'm sure of is that I won't be remembered as weak, a coward, or a traitor. I am clear about my role. And every day I am filled with courage, with passion for my homeland, for the love that moves me. Love moves me, Anelise. I am not moved by the desire to be a tycoon, to enrich myself personally or to enrich economic groups. We are moved by an idea of homeland, the homeland, your history over 200 years. I am sure we will continue to write it. Then, the future? Well, let them remember me, hopefully objectively for what I was, for what we are, but rest assured that we are going to move forward with great skill, with much perseverance, defending the rights of our country in the face of the aggression that the West is hiding. The West hides an aggression, Anelise. Reflect. Please reflect as a young journalist. You haven't asked a single question about Donald Trump's aggression, about the threats of military invasion because they hide it. It would be a tragedy, it would be a worse tragedy than Libya."

Anelise Borges: "Are you afraid that that could actually happen?"

Nicolás Maduro: "When the extremist president of a country, like Donald Trump, continually threatens a military invasion, one has to worry."

Anelise Borges: "Are you getting ready?"

Nicolás Maduro: "No one in the world is ready. In the first place, we are preparing ourselves to defeat their threats. I make an appeal to the people of Europe, I make an appeal to all right-thinking people, I make an appeal to you to reflect... the noble people of Venezuela have the right to be respected, they have the right to peace. Do not hide the aggression of the United States behind the problems they themselves create. They create a problem with aggression, sanctions and then try to blame the political model, the Bolivarian Revolution. We are the object of the most brutal aggression. The United States is focused on a single objective in the world: to destroy Venezuela, to colonize Venezuela, to destroy the Revolution. It has not been able to, nor will it be able to. And here peace will prevail, rest assured. We will continue to see each other in the years to come. And you will see a new era flourish in Venezuela. We are going to make it possible."

JAH Love and Guidance

Messenger: Nesta1 Sent: 3/3/2019 5:04:51 AM

Thanks for posting that up, Jahcub. You know it won't be appreciated though by someone who worships a national leader who orders Tomahawk missiles fired into a nation that has done nothing to the USA; a leader who unilaterally withdraws from all manner of international treaties designed to advance the cause of peace and preserve it; a leader who stands of the floor of the UN, the very international body formed to preserve world peace, and openly threatens other nations with violence in violation of the UN Charter thereby making a mockery of the purpose for which the Members of the General Assembly have gathered....
It's hardly needs mentioning that the current government of Venezuela has engaged in no such violations of international law.

Messenger: Nesta1 Sent: 3/3/2019 6:01:13 AM

The election of Hugo Chavez and rise to power of Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela in 1998 marked the first time in Venezuela's history that the interests of Venezuelans of all ethnicities and socialeconomic levels acquired representation in the nation's government. Prior to that time the government represented the interests of a plutocracy (i.e., the nation's old-line wealthy families), domestic and international corporations, and the U.S. government. This is what the U.S. government is now seeking to roll back.

Messenger: The BANNED -- Hemphill Sent: 3/3/2019 11:01:19 AM

Venezuelans got a fair election in 2015 when they historically defeated Maduro in the mid terms and had a supermajority in Congress.

Maduro responds by creating a brand new Congress full of his supporters and uses new Congress to strip old congress of all its powers.

What a beauty. It boggles my mind how Maduro has sympathizers.

But you also support Chavez and think Trump is Hitler. Haha

More truth:

Chavez died of cancer, we are told, but the cancer of his left-leaning philosophies continues to disease our world, even rearing its head in the United States of America where government policies increasingly mirror those of Chavez.

Elected by deeply deceived Venezuelan voters in 1998, Chavez then confiscated nearly all private business across the country, amassing a personal fortune of more than $2 billion while impoverishing his countrymen under a tyranny of centralized government power. Chavez ran the kind of government that would simply declare your entire company to be “government property,” then they would confiscate all your inventory, bank accounts and intellectual property while claiming it was “for the good of the People.”

Chavez shows us where socialism leads

Chavez is the poster child for the inevitable result of socialism. Any nation whose voters give up their personal power and attempt to hand over authority to a nanny state government inevitably end up enslaving themselves under control freak tyrants. That, in turns, leads to poverty, injustice and habitual government violations of human rights.

Like every other statist tyrant, Chavez rose to power by blaming all the country’s ills on an imaginary enemy. Just as the United States today blames all its problems on fictional “terrorists,” Chavez blamed all his woes on the USA. If anything bad ever happened in Venezuela, it was America’s fault, Chavez insisted. And his endless promises of restoring Venezuela to global power through centrally-controlled socialist government were nothing more than a cover story to maintain political power while he and his family members looted Venezuela of all the money they could ferret away.

Chavez was technically more of a thief than a leader, and his thievery wasn’t even original. His confiscation of national wealth was no different than the very same confiscations that routinely take place in other socialist / communist nations, including China, North Korea and Cuba. If there’s one thing the radical left has perfected over the last century, it’s the recipe for amassing huge personal wealth for the elite few while the voters swelter in miserable poverty.

Chavez the tyrant, worshipped by fools and feared by whistleblowers

There is no death torturous enough for this demon of a human being who used a concentration of government power to endlessly abuse and exploit his fellow countrymen. As Human Rights Watch explains, “Hugo Chavez’s presidency (1999-2013) was characterized by a dramatic concentration of power and open disregard for basic human rights guarantees.”

HRW goes on to report:

…Chavez and his followers moved to concentrate power. They seized control of the Supreme Court and undercut the ability of journalists, human rights defenders, and other Venezuelans to exercise fundamental rights. By his second full term in office, the concentration of power and erosion of human rights protections had given the government free rein to intimidate, censor, and prosecute Venezuelans who criticized the president or thwarted his political agenda. In recent years, the president and his followers used these powers in a wide range of prominent cases, whose damaging impact was felt by entire sectors of Venezuelan society.

If all this rings a bell, it’s because this is a perfect description of the Obama administration in the United States. Here in America, the mainstream media has been completely taken over by the government, and any journalist who asks a legitimate question is forever barred from attending White House press conferences.

The government has taken over the housing sector (Freddie and Fanny), the automobile sector (government bailouts of car manufacturers), the financial sector (government bailouts of Wall Street banks) and the entire medical system (Obamacare). The more you look at Obama’s America, in fact, the more it resembles Chavez’s Venezuela.

It’s even the same rhetoric: Private industry is bad, government is good. Individualism is bad, collectivism is good. Free speech is bad, conformist ideas are good. Keeping your own paycheck is bad, but having your paycheck confiscated by the government is good.

Oh, and don’t forget this little gem: If I asked you in which country the President “legalized” the official murder of its own citizens with absolutely no due process or trial by jury, if you guessed that country to be “Venezuela,” you’d be wrong. It’s America under Obama. (NDAA)

How about this: In which country are the citizens raided at gunpoint for producing fresh farm products that they wish to take to the market and sell to their neighbors? That’s America, too, under the government’s raw milk raids.

In which country has the system of justice been completely abandoned and replaced with a vindictive police state apparatus where government prosecutors target political enemies? The answer to that question is “Californizuela,” the utopia of runaway socialism, located on the west coast of the former “land of the free” USA, where Chavez-style policies have become the norm.

What we can all learn from the Chavez regime

The lesson with Chavez is the lesson humanity seems cursed to learn over and over again throughout human history: any centralization of power always — ALWAYS — leads to extreme abuses of that power.

In the wake of those abuses, we consistently find human rights violations, election fraud, judicial corruption, state media control, censorship of free speech, the imprisonment of political opponents and other grotesque artifacts of tyranny. The road to that tyranny is, of course, paved with politicians making wonderful-sounding promises that mesmerize gullible populations. But in the end, the result is always the same: widespread poverty, injustice, censorship, suffering and corruption… a cancerous police state gulag government where innovation, individualism, liberty and justice is brutally crushed.

As reports on Chavez:

Transparency International has named Venezuela the most corrupt nation in the hemisphere, matching Haiti and besting the likes of Paraguay and Nicaragua. With a $1 trillion oil windfall, that’s lots of graft. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez ushered in the era of high oil prices in 1998, slashing output and earning the country a cool $1.125 trillion windfall as oil prices shot from $9 a barrel to more than $100.

That’s bizarre, given that Venezuela remains a crime-ridden hellhole, whose vast slums and impoverished people offer not a scintilla of evidence of any spreading prosperity. …Venezuela’s budget is secret, its oil earnings are secret, its electoral mechanisms are secret, and its media are largely under government control. Whistle-blowers are hit with draconian punishments.

Chavez represents one position along the line of tyranny extremes, with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un holding the winning spot on the extreme left. Chavez ranks about an “8” on this scale, and Obama a close “7.” California is a 5 or 6, depending on where you live there.

This U.S. shift toward tyranny is over a decade old, of course. Beginning 2001, America began sharply moving in the direction of Venezuela. First with Bush and then with Obama, America abandoned its founding principles and began to adopt policies of socialism, ever-expanding government and unconstitutional limits on liberty. Today in 2013, the situation has become so insane that the U.S. government now openly threatens the nation with releasing criminals on the streets if its operating budget is threatened in any way (sequestration). This government has become, at many levels, a mirror image of the cancerous socialist state Chavez built for his own personal gain, and it’s going to take a real revolution (at the polls, hopefully) to restore liberty in America and rid this nation of Chavez-like socialist scumbags who incessantly seek to dominate and control their fellow man.

Anyone who praises Chavez is a betrayer of freedom and an enemy of liberty. Beware of any person who says Chavez was a “great hero…” They are tragic fools who know nothing of real history and the darkness that lies in the hearts of those who incessantly seek power.

Messenger: Nesta1 Sent: 3/3/2019 11:23:27 AM

Attempts by the Venezuelan "Opposition" (which is a fancy way of saying the wealth plutocrats) to gridlock the national legislature and creaes a stranglehold on the country's governance were overcome using the provisions of & in FULL COMPLIANCE with the Venezuelan Constitution. That the Venezuelan plutocrats and their Washington buddies are sore losers is witnessed over and over again. No news in that.

Unless you're a zillionaire yourself, hoarding thousands of times more wealth than you'll ever need in your life in order to pass it along to your children (who will have to do nothing to obtain that wealth), I never understand why guys like you, Hemphill, support a tiny group of plutocrats over the interests of 99% of the population who are ordinary people and need a government that represents their interests. It just baffles me why people vote (or argue) against their own interests and the interests of people like themselves. What can people possibly have against a government that actually WORKS and provides the vital services that people need? Why would they side with a bunch of organized criminals who plan the destruction of everything designed to help ordinary people? Crazy.

Messenger: The BANNED -- Hemphill Sent: 3/10/2019 11:26:59 AM

Venezuela's Guaido calls for massive protest as blackout drags on

Sunday, 10 March 2019

(Updates NGO's death toll from blackout in paragraph 12)

By Mayela Armas and Deisy Buitrago

CARACAS, March 9 - Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Saturday called on citizens nationwide to travel to the capital Caracas for a protest against socialist President Nicolas Maduro, as the country's worst blackout in decades dragged on for a third day.

Addressing supporters in southwestern Caracas, Guaido - the leader of the opposition-run congress who invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency in January - said Maduro's government "has no way to solve the electricity crisis that they themselves created."

"All of Venezuela, to Caracas!" Guaido yelled while standing atop a bridge, without saying when the planned protest would be held. "The days ahead will be difficult, thanks to the regime."

Activists had scuffled with police and troops ahead of the rally, meant to pressure Maduro amid the blackout, which the governing Socialist Party called an act of U.S.-sponsored sabotage but opposition critics derided as the result of two decades of mismanagement and corruption.

Dozens of demonstrators attempted to walk along an avenue in Caracas but were moved onto the sidewalk by police in riot gear, leading them to shout at the officers and push on their riot shields. One woman was sprayed with pepper spray, according to a local broadcaster.

The power flickered on and off in parts of Caracas on Saturday morning, including the presidential palace of Miraflores, according to Reuters witnesses. Six of the country's 23 states still lacked power as of Saturday afternoon, Socialist Party Vice President Diosdado Cabello said on state television.

"We're all upset that we've got no power, no phone service, no water and they want to block us," said Rossmary Nascimiento, 45, a nutritionist at the Caracas rally. "I want a normal country."

At a competing march organized by the Socialist Party to protest what it calls U.S. imperialism, Maduro blamed the outages on "electromagnetic and cyber attacks directed from abroad by the empire."

"The right wing, together with the empire, has stabbed the electricity system, and we are trying to cure it soon," he said.

Several hundred people gathered at the rally in central Caracas for a march to denounce the crippling U.S. oil sanctions aimed at cutting off the Maduro government's funding sources.

"We're here, we're mobilized, because we're not going to let the gringos take over," said Elbadina Gomez, 76, who works for an activist group linked to the Socialist Party.


Julio Castro, a doctor and member of a nongovernmental organization called Doctors For Health, tweeted that a total of 17 people had died during the blackout, including nine deaths in emergency rooms.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm the deaths or whether they could have resulted from the blackout. The Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Clinics in the sweltering western state of Zulia, which suffers chronic regional blackouts, had scaled back operations after nearly 72 hours without power.

"We're not offering services and we don't have any patients staying here because the generator is not working," said Chiquinquira Caldera, head of administration at the San Lucas clinic in the city of Maracaibo, as she played a game of Chinese checkers with doctors who were waiting for power to return.

Venezuela, already suffering from hyperinflation and shortages of basic goods, has been mired in a major political crisis since Guaido assumed the interim presidency in January, calling Maduro a usurper following the 2018 election, which Maduro won but was widely considered fraudulent.

Maduro says Guaido is a puppet of Washington and dismisses his claim to the presidency as an effort by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump to control Venezuela's oil wealth.

Former mayor and exiled opposition activist Antonio Ledezma on Saturday called on Guaido to seek United Nations intervention in Venezuela by invoking a principle known as "responsibility to protect."

The U.N. doctrine sometimes referred to as R2P was created to prevent mass killings such as those of Rwanda and Bosnia and places the onus on the international community to protect populations from crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

"President @jguaido, (you should) formally request Humanitarian Intervention, applying the concept of R2P, to stop extermination, genocide and destruction of what's left of our country," Ledezma wrote via Twitter.

At the opposition rally, Guaido said he would not invoke an article of the Venezuelan constitution allowing the congress to authorize foreign military operations within Venezuela "until we have to."

"Article 187 when the time comes," Guaido said. "We need to be in the streets, mobilized. It depends on us, not on anybody else."

Messenger: Nesta1 Sent: 3/10/2019 11:55:02 AM

Launching a cyberattack to cripple a nation's power grid thereby killing numerous innocent people in the process -- all to perpetrate an illegal overthrow of the government. This is the CIA in Venezuela doing business as usual. How can anyone side with these murderous, oil-coveting bastards in Washington DC, the seat of satan? To support their crimes, your heart would have to be rotten to the core (with a brain to match).

Messenger: Nesta1 Sent: 3/10/2019 12:51:09 PM

You wanna know what infuriates me viscerally about this?I live at about the same latitude as Caracas, Venezuela. I've endured power outages. Lots of them. They're very frustrating, annoying, inconvenient and extremely uncomfortable here in the tropics. Pretty soon all the food in your refrigerator is spoiled, there's no running water because the pumps are electric, you can't flush the toilet or wash your hands, you have to burn's a disaster. To think of some a__hole deliberately doing that to millions of people just so the U.S. can steal another oil reserve and undermine another Latin American democracy makes me want to throttle who ever is responsible for pulling the plug. Venezuelans know who did this. What do you think most Venezuelans think of the USA at this point? That's right, I could write the profanity in Spanish so it won't be so offensive, but you know how you'd feel about somebody who deliberately sabotaged the power grid & shut off the power to your house for a few days. It's called "terrorism".

Messenger: The BANNED -- Hemphill Sent: 3/10/2019 2:01:15 PM

No facts are out yet nesta. 1 side within Venezuela blames Maduro and his failed government for the outages, the other side blames usa. We shouldnt jump to conclusions here. Wait for the facts to emerge. Remember Jussie Smollett?

Messenger: The BANNED -- Hemphill Sent: 3/10/2019 2:10:16 PM

I find it interesting that you act so concerned about the people and status of Venezuela yet are always reacting to the news I post... Why isn't your thumb over the pulse? Why do you continuously learn about the developing situation from me on this forum?


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