Tag Archives: Venezuela

‘Stunning But Not Surprising’: Trump Administration Slammed for Secret Meetings About Venezuela Coup

“There are few nations that can lecture other nations on human rights & democracy but the one nation that can never lecture anyone is the United States of America.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-9-2018

The New York Times reported Saturday that the Trump administration met with Venezuelan military officials who sought to overthrow their nation’s president, Nicolás Maduro. (Photo: Noticia al Día)

Critics across the globe are expressing alarm over the “stunning but not surprising” revelation reported by the New York Times on Saturday that, according to 11 American officials and a former Venezuelan military commander, “the Trump administration held secret meetings with rebellious military officers from Venezuela over the last year to discuss their plans to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro.”

Some called out the Trump administration for the United States’ record on human rights. American activist and political analyst Ajamu Baraka tweeted, “There are few nations that can lecture other nations on human rights [and] democracy but the one nation that can never lecture anyone is the Unite[d] States of America.” Continue reading


Venezuela Is About to Ditch the Dollar in Major Blow to US: Here’s Why It Matters

By Darius Shahtahmasebi. Published 9-8-2017 by The Anti-Media

Photo: YouTube


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday that Venezuela will be looking to “free” itself from the U.S. dollar next week, Reuters reports. According to the outlet, Maduro will look to use the weakest of two official foreign exchange regimes (essentially the way Venezuela will manage its currency in relation to other currencies and the foreign exchange market), along with a basket of currencies.

According to Reuters, Maduro was referring to Venezuela’s current official exchange rate, known as DICOM, in which the dollar can be exchanged for 3,345 bolivars. At the strongest official rate, one dollar buys only 10 bolivars, which may be one of the reasons why Maduro wants to opt for some of the weaker exchange rates. Continue reading


Warnings of ‘Nuclear Nightmare’ as Trump Escalates Tensions With World Powers

“We need to step up sustained diplomacy. Firing off a bunch of missiles does nothing to address the crisis. We need negotiation, not posturing.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-31-2017

“In response to North Korea’s second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test late last week, the U.S. on Sunday carried out what the Washington Post called a “show of force” by flying two B-1 bombers over the Korean Peninsula.” Photo: YouTube

As President Donald Trump foments tensions with world powers by behaving recklessly and pursuing aggressive action over diplomacy, developments in several major nations over the weekend sparked urgent concerns among peace groups, activists, and analysts that the world’s largest militaries are inching dangerously close to war.

In response to North Korea’s second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test late last week, the U.S. on Sunday carried out what the Washington Post called a “show of force” by flying two B-1 bombers over the Korean Peninsula. The Post noted that the move is “a sign that tensions are spiraling upward rapidly.”  Continue reading


Venezuela Accuses US of Plotting Coup, Declares State of Emergency

‘Washington is activating measures at the request of Venezuela’s fascist right, who are emboldened by the coup in Brazil,’ said the nation’s president.

By Nika Knight, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-14-2016

Dilma Rousseff receiving a picture of Hugo Chávez from Nicolás Maduro. Photo: Valter Campanato/ABr (Agência Brasil) [CC BY 3.0 br], via Wikimedia Commons

Dilma Rousseff receiving a picture of Hugo Chávez from Nicolás Maduro. Photo: Valter Campanato/ABr (Agência Brasil) [CC BY 3.0 br], via Wikimedia Commons

Venezuela’s leftist president Nicolas Maduro announced a 60-day state of emergency on Friday evening and accused the U.S. of plotting with right-wing groups within the country to overthrow his government.

On the same day, unnamed D.C. officials warned of a coming “meltdown” in Venezuela. Continue reading


Oil’s Not Well In Venezuela

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Photo by Cancillería del Ecuador [CC BY-SA 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Photo by Cancillería del Ecuador [CC BY-SA 1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

To consumers, the decline in oil prices over the last nine months has been a welcome turn of events. From the gas pump to our home utilities bills, we’ve welcomed the lower prices, and thus the extra money we have. We hear various talking heads espousing about how lower oil prices will stimulate growth and lead to a more vibrant economy.

That is, unless you live in a country that derives 95% of its economy from oil. We’ve talked about Venezuela on several occasions, and in one of our more recent articles, we discussed the collapse of the Venezuelan economy and the causes of the collapse. The effects of the drop in oil prices on an economy that was already struggling has been catastrophic.

During the years that Hugo Chávez was in power, he instituted large, sweeping social programs aimed at elevating the economic status of the poorest Venezuelans. What paid (and still pays) for these programs? Oil, or to be more specific, petrodollars from China in exchange for oil. When the bottom fell out of the oil market, the Chinese naturally started paying less for the oil. So, as the international price of oil fell, so did the living conditions of the people of Venezuela. Continue reading


Chaos In Caracas

Yesterday, thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets to protest against President Nicolas Maduro’s government and the deepening economic crisis in the country. We’ve written about the protests last spring and the Maduro government’s response; since then, the situation’s only become worse.

Last year’s protests centered around the chronic shortages of basic goods, inflation and corruption in the government. This year, the same things are driving the protests, but the situation’s even more desperate. To understand why, we need to go back to the beginning of the last decade. Continue reading


Have A Cigar And Follow The Money

Last Wednesday President Obama and President Raul Castro of Cuba made simultaneous announcements that the two nations would start working towards normalizing relations between the two countries 54 years after diplomatic ties were severed.

Cuban flag. By Madden (public domain) via Wikimedia Commons

Cuban flag. By Madden (public domain) via Wikimedia Commons

The reactions in the US, as with anything else over the last six years, was basically split along ideological lines, with the conservatives claiming it to be just another example of failed foreign policy. On the liberal and moderate side, it was hailed as a step towards greater freedom and an economic boost to Cuba. Of course the economic boom would also mean the expansion of US corporations into Cuba. But, why is this happening now? Continue reading


Over A Barrel

On Thursday, the members of OPEC met in Vienna, and did something that could have a huge impact on our economy and the environment for years to come. Before the meeting, there was speculation that OPEC might cut their oil production back in order to prop up prices. However, the members couldn’t come to an agreement, and as a result did nothing.

Up until recently, the US, Canada and Russia could increase oil production without it having much impact on the world market price. Iran was under sanctions, there was a civil war in Libya, and China was using all the oil we could ship. However, oil demand in China, Japan, Europe and the US is declining, as industries and transportation becomes more efficient as far as energy use goes and clean energy becomes more affordable and practical. Continue reading


A Few Unruly Students?

Photo credit Imgur

Photo credit Imgur

On February 18, in “Venezuela: Playing the Blame Game,” we talked about the protests taking place in Venezuela’s capitol, with concern of demonstrations spreading. Today, Al Jazeera reports “Venezuelan security forces and demonstrators have faced off in streets blocked by burning barricades in several cities in an escalation of protests against President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government.”

Opposition leader Lopez surrendered himself to the authorities in a dramatic show with cheering crowds of thousands of supporters witnessing the event. Held on charges that include arson and criminal incitement stemming from a massive February 12 rally, a judge ruled today there is evidence to hold him. Lopez, a 42-year-old Harvard-educated economist, could face up to 10 years in prison.

Maduro, refusing to compromise or negotiate with the protestors, says that Lopez is in league with the US government and they would like to see a coup in the country.

Photo credit Imgur

Photo credit Imgur

Journalists have been arrested, beaten and tortured, and their equipment destroyed. The government now controls all broadcasting within Venezuela. “It’s important we have foreign media here. Our media is censored; we learn about our own country from outside sources,” a student at an opposition rally, Gauber Venot said.

At least six people have died since the unrest turned violent last week, with scores of injuries and arrests.

Occupy World Writes reaffirms our steadfast commitment of solidarity with all people who exercise peaceful assembly to protest grievances against their governments who have failed to address their most basic of needs.


Venezuela: Playing the Blame Game

By durdaneta from Caracas, Venezuela (Bravo Pueblo #venezuela #12F #plazavenezuela) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By durdaneta from Caracas, Venezuela (Bravo Pueblo #venezuela #12F #plazavenezuela) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Have you been to Caracas lately? Chances are, if you are an American, you will be expelled from Venezuela as a result.

On Monday, 2-17-2014, three US diplomats were expelled, following expulsion of three diplomats in October on charges of stirring up labor protests, and two were also expelled earlier in 2013 on the day former President Chavez died of cancer. The US diplomats are accused of recruiting students to lead protests in the country’s recent unrest.

The U.S. State Department called the allegations “baseless and false,” adding that Washington supported free expression and peaceful assembly in Venezuela and around the world.

Demonstrations began when students and other opposition to current President Maduro called for his ousting, citing high inflation, violent crime and the shortages of many staples.  An arrest warrant has been issued for opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who has pledged to lead a march in the capital Caracas on Tuesday, 2-18.

Since the demonstrations began, the reporters’ trade union said 11 journalists have been arrested, some of whom were beaten and had their equipment stolen while covering the unrest. Additionally, Reuters reports,”Opposition activists say some detained student demonstrators have been tortured, while videos and photos circulating online show uniformed men firing on protesters. Maduro insists police have been restrained in the face of provocation and attacks.”

The government has blocked Twitter, attempted to block other social media outlets, and controls all the television and broadcasting facilities within Venezuela.

Although it remains to be seen if Venezuelans in general will join the students as their demonstrations spread to other cities in Venezuela, it is highly unlikely Maduro will acquiesce to any of the demands, nor will he relinquish “even a millimeter” of his power.

Did you notice the price of gas rose? Don’t look at the Middle East this time – look south!