Venezuela Crisis

Firefly

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In fairness you cant even blame socialism for the mess that has happened in venezuela, its the complete ineptitute of first chavez and the gangsterism of maduro that are responsible.
Lots of countries have endured financial chaos down through the years, ourselves included. Most come out of it by cutting their cloth.

In Venezuela's case however, they instead turned their back on free markets and embarked on a crusade of socialism with the results so plain to see.
 

Folsom

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No doubt the people of Venezuela will vote out the Maduro administration in favour of Guadio at the next election.
Better to allow them exercise their sovereign right to determine the direction of their future rather than it dictated to them by a foreign power whose primary interest is to serve its own economic (and corporate) interests.

Some thoughts from mainstream American media.

https://youtu.be/8fY6faXfVJw
 

Folsom

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In Venezuela's case however, they instead turned their back on free markets and embarked on a crusade of socialism with the results so plain to see.
Can you think of any reason why they would turn their back on free markets, that presumably served them so well, and vote in radical change?
Could you explain why this happens at all, anywhere?
 

Purple

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??? Somewhat a confusing answer to me. You appear to be suggesting that the



was imposed by democratic countries?!?!
I’m not suggesting it, I’m pointing it out. The British and French feared Arab Nationalism after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and took a tribe of medieval barbarians, armed them, trained them and gave them direct military support so that they could wage a bloody war of oppression over the people in Arabia. They were the ISIS of their day only worse. They are now the ruling family of Saudi Arabia.



It is a total contradiction in terms. You appear to accept that oppression, genocide, imperialism are tenets of democracy!!

These countries may be parliamentary democracies, but if those parliaments extend the power of their government beyond the constitutional politics upon which they are founded, including its obligations under international law, then that is not democracy - it is fascism.
In that case the USA, France, Belgium, Spain, the UK, Australia and many others are fascist… or maybe they are not and you are just accusing America of doing what everyone does if they can. Our economy is built on stealing taxes from other countries. We didn’t need an army to do it but the net result is that we get richer and others don’t. Same outcome. Nearly all wars are about the control of resources. If you only criticise America for what everyone does and has done then it’s just anti-Americanism.


You have listed a series of different conflicts, disputes etc that all have there own controversies. Im perplexed with this one
Can’t help you there.


The high water mark of globalisation was back when the British East India Company could levy taxes and wage wars. The high water mark of corporatism in the USA was the 1930’s.

Blaming the USA for what's happening in Venezuela is a case of teenage ideology trumping a passing knowledge of history. The odd Guardian contributor might try to sell it to their cossetted middle class public sector home counties reader but in general not even they would lay this all at the feet of the Yanks. Post First World War they suffered from a case of the "Dutch Disease"; oil was their version of our housing and credit boom in that it destroyed the rest of their economy. The difference was they got it worse than us.
 

Folsom

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Lots of countries have endured financial chaos down through the years, ourselves included. Most come out of it by cutting their cloth.
Ireland's recent wows involved abandoning the principles of free markets and resorting to socialising private debt. We also got the assistance of cheap money from ECB when the free markets wouldn't touch Ireland save for charges of unsustainable interest rates.
 

Firefly

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Can you think of any reason why they would turn their back on free markets, that presumably served them so well, and vote in radical change?
An over-reliance on oil and nothing else much going for it. Caught with their trousers down so to speak. Along comes a socialist and promises the sun, the moon and stars. And the poor bought it hook, link and sinker. An unusually low turnout in the election probably helped too.
The rest as they say is history. Blame the US all you like (and I'm not saying they didn't have an influence) but the problems in Venezuela are largely of their own making. When the economy tanked, they turned to a failed ideology that has never worked anywhere.

I note in today's Indo that Smurfit Kappa's operations were seized by Maduro last August and
"Mr Smurfit said that as far as he understands, the company's former operations in the country are now operating at only about 3pc capacity."
https://www.independent.ie/business/smurfit-kappa-spirited-23-workers-out-of-venezuela-as-its-factories-were-seized-38092993.html

That would be the lack of incentives in a socialist utopia at play. Again, no surprise there.

Could you explain why this happens at all, anywhere?
Nxivm
Jim Jones
Donald Trump
Brexit
Erdogan
Hitler
Stalin
Pol Pot / Khmer Rouge
Mao

People follow and do stupid things all the time. The madness of crowds. Anthropologist heaven.
 

Folsom

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The British and French feared Arab Nationalism after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and took a tribe of medieval barbarians, armed them, trained them and gave them direct military support so that they could wage a bloody war of oppression over the people in Arabia. They were the ISIS of their day only worse.
I dont think ISIS could ever be considered as democratic sovereign state?
Meaning, what you are pointing out is not democratic sovereign nations imposing their economic and political interests over other democratic sovereign nations

or maybe they are not and you are just accusing America of doing what everyone does if they can.
If America is just doing what everyone does if they can, what makes it any different from the tyrannical empires of the past?

To me, what makes it different, is the principles of representative democracy built on the rule of law that it has adopted. Inherent to that is attribution of fundamental rights, to free speech, to dissent, to trade etc.
If its government starts to act in a manner which usurps those principles, then you are right, it is acting no different to the tyrannical empires of the past.
I dont think it needs to do this. I dont it is to blame for what is happening in Venezuela, I just dont think its position of imposing economic sanctions and threatening possible military intervention is justifiable, reasonable or appropriate in this instance.
The people of Venezuela have voted for radical change. The resolution to the Venezuelan crisis is to understand why they voted for radical change in the first instance and then set about resolving the issues that led to that change.
This will save lives, this will bring living standards higher, this will endorse the principles of democratic values upon which the US stands.
 

Folsom

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An over-reliance on oil and nothing else much going for it. Caught with their trousers down so to speak. Along comes a socialist and promises the sun, the moon and stars. And the poor bought it hook, link and sinker.
So you would accept that the economic and political system that preceded Chavez failed?

Blame the US all you like (and I'm not saying they didn't have an influence) but the problems in Venezuela are largely of their own making.
When did I blame the US??
Im suggesting that its policies of interventionism, imposing its political and economic interests over the political and economic interests of sovereign states is a failed policy.
It leads to further economic hardship, it destabilizes regions.
The US can make a case for intervention for the welfare of the Venezuelan people, then if it has popular support in Venezuela, then you see a justification for that intervention.
It has none of this at the moment.

When the economy tanked, they turned to a failed ideology that has never worked anywhere.
So what is your point? That, that offers the US a green card to impose its will on the political and economic interests of sovereign nations?
Its somewhat irksome that you list Trump and Brexit in the same pot as Hitler and Stalin.
You may think Brexit is people doing 'stupid things' and that is your entitlement, but in that plebiscite, you are in a minority.
 

Firefly

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So you would accept that the economic and political system that preceded Chavez failed?
Not at all. The people that ran it obviously weren't up to the task. Otherwise they would have diversified.


So what is your point?
That people often swallow populist promises that won't be achieved

That, that offers the US a green card to impose its will on the political and economic interests of sovereign nations?
Never said that. Not a huge fan of US foreign policy.

Its somewhat irksome that you list Trump and Brexit in the same pot as Hitler and Stalin.
Why?
 

Purple

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I dont think ISIS could ever be considered as democratic sovereign state?

Meaning, what you are pointing out is not democratic sovereign nations imposing their economic and political interests over other democratic sovereign nations
Of course ISIS is not a democratic sovereign state. Why on earth are you making that point?

Arabia was heading towards democracy after the First World War. The majority tribe were the Hashemite’s, the people who currently run Jordan. They are decedents of the Prophet Mohammed and were moderate and open to representative parliaments in the region. Women went to school and college, could own property, were able to drive, help high office and were much better treated than their female great grandchildren. The British and French feared Pan-Arab nationalism so they backed the illiterate, nomadic, barbaric house of Saud who practiced an extremist form of Islam called Wahhabism. Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud, whose father was exiled to the British Protectorate of Kuwait, got support from Britain, via the Emer of Kuwait, to invade Arabia just as his father did. Once he was successful in capturing Riyadh his backing increased. They engaged in a brutal war of conquest which killed hundreds of thousands of people died (Recent books cite 400,000 to 800,000 but the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies disputed these numbers). His family have created one of the most evil and oppressive States in the world. It is a creation of the UK, France and, later, the USA.


If America is just doing what everyone does if they can, what makes it any different from the tyrannical empires of the past?
Nothing, other than they are far more measured and restrained. No country as powerful as them has ever abused their power less. That’s not to say they don’t abuse it!


To me, what makes it different, is the principles of representative democracy built on the rule of law that it has adopted. Inherent to that is attribution of fundamental rights, to free speech, to dissent, to trade etc.

If its government starts to act in a manner which usurps those principles, then you are right, it is acting no different to the tyrannical empires of the past.
Okay, so we all do that in whatever way we can. We steak taxes, turn away immigrants, profit from cheap oil and gas, support European agricultural policies which impoverish tens of millions and cause massive environmental damage around the world. We don’t sent our army because we don’t have one worth sending but we live in and profit from the world created by the Western Powers. If you don’t like that then wait a few decades and see if you like the world created by the eastern Powers any better.


I dont think it needs to do this. I dont it is to blame for what is happening in Venezuela, I just dont think its position of imposing economic sanctions and threatening possible military intervention is justifiable, reasonable or appropriate in this instance.
Either do I but it has nothing to do with capitalism or corporatism.


The people of Venezuela have voted for radical change. The resolution to the Venezuelan crisis is to understand why they voted for radical change in the first instance and then set about resolving the issues that led to that change.
No it isn’t. The solution is boring stuff like a proper functioning civil service, an independent police and judiciary, a proper education system, real freedom of the Press, a balanced economy and patience, lots and lots of patience. Read up on “The Dutch Disease”. That’s what caused the problem.
 

Folsom

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The people that ran it obviously weren't up to the task
So if free market capitalism crashes an economy and sends populations into poverty traps that they cannot get out, thats just 'people not up to the task'?
But if socialist policies crash an economy sending people into poverty traps that they cannot get out of, thats a failed ideology?

Personally I dont see any difference between being poor and impoverished in a free market economy and being poor in a socialist economy. If you are poor, you are poor. Both are failures.

That people often swallow populist promises that won't be achieved
Yes, that is a given, anywhere.
I fail to see how US intervention, in the manner in which it being delivered (namely, promises to the Venezuelan people) will achieve anything for them either.
You don't need to tell you, there are others here who explicitly say that US is not for democracy, and not for the political and economic interests of the Venezuelan people.
 

Purple

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So if free market capitalism crashes an economy and sends populations into poverty traps that they cannot get out, thats just 'people not up to the task'?
But if socialist policies crash an economy sending people into poverty traps that they cannot get out of, thats a failed ideology?

Personally I dont see any difference between being poor and impoverished in a free market economy and being poor in a socialist economy. If you are poor, you are poor. Both are failures.
Why are you equating socialism and capitalism? Socialism is an ideology which encompasses an economic model. Capitalism is an economic model. It is a nonsense to equate them.
Socialism in its traditional form will always fail. A bit of socialism redistribution income to ensure that the economy serves society and not the other way around is a good thing. Neither prevent economic mismanagement.
 

Folsom

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Of course ISIS is not a democratic sovereign state. Why on earth are you making that point?
Because I was talking about democratic sovereign nations imposing their economic and political interests over other democratic sovereign nations.
If a nation used a barbaric army worse than ISIS it doesn't sound like a nation that is governed by democratics. So the analogy doesn't fit.

The British and French feared Pan-Arab nationalism so they backed the illiterate, nomadic, barbaric house of Saud who practiced an extremist form of Islam called Wahhabism.
It is this type of imperialism that many sovereign nations have fought to bring to an end.
There is little to be gained from attributing blame for the past. But alot can be learned from the past.
If nation states embark on imperialist agenda for regime without recourse to be held to account for the manner in which they go about it, that is tyrannical.

That’s not to say they don’t abuse it!
I agree, its the abuse of that power that I am addressing in this thread.

If you don’t like that then wait a few decades and see if you like the world created by the eastern Powers any better.
I do like living in Western societies. I dont like if the privileges afforded in such societies are abused.

Either do I but it has nothing to do with capitalism or corporatism.
Nothing to do with capitalism, I agree. But a corporate agenda is at play. Here is John Bolton, national security advisor explicitly admitting it.
https://youtu.be/WTE0SQA2jU8




The solution is boring stuff like a proper functioning civil service, an independent police and judiciary, a proper education system, real freedom of the Press, a balanced economy and patience, lots and lots of patience.
I agree. These are some of the tools to address the failures of the political and economic system, regardless of what ideology is labeled on the country.
 
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Folsom

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Why are you equating socialism and capitalism?
Im not, just pointing out that both systems can lead to economic failures.

Socialism is an ideology which encompasses an economic model. Capitalism is an economic model. It is a nonsense to equate them.
Socialism in its traditional form will always fail. A bit of socialism redistribution income to ensure that the economy serves society and not the other way around is a good thing. Neither prevent economic mismanagement.
Totally agree.
 

Purple

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Because I was talking about democratic sovereign nations imposing their economic and political interests over other democratic sovereign nations.
If a nation used a barbaric army worse than ISIS it doesn't sound like a nation that is governed by democratics. So the analogy doesn't fit.
Oh sweet Jesus, this was a case of democratic sovereign nations (France and the UK) preventing another place/region becoming a democratic sovereign nation. Are your qualification criteria for this offence really that narrow?
 

Firefly

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So if free market capitalism crashes an economy and sends populations into poverty traps that they cannot get out, thats just 'people not up to the task'?
But if socialist policies crash an economy sending people into poverty traps that they cannot get out of, thats a failed ideology?

Crashes can of course happen in a free market economy, however the economy rebounds (often within a decade & ends up stronger). This could easily have been the case for Venezuela had it not embraced socialism.

"
Since the Bolivarian Revolution half-dismantled its PDVSA oil giant corporation in 2002 by firing most of its 20,000-strong dissident professional human capital and imposed stringent currency controls in 2003 in an attempt to prevent capital flight,[21] there has been a steady decline in oil production and exports and a series of stern currency devaluations, disrupting the economy.[22] Further yet, price controls, expropriation of numerous farmlands and various industries, among other disputable government policies including a near-total freeze on any access to foreign currency at reasonable "official" exchange rates, have resulted in severe shortages in Venezuela and steep price rises of all common goods, including food, water, household products, spare parts, tools and medical supplies; forcing many manufacturers to either cut production or close down, with many ultimately abandoning the country as has been the case with several technological firms and most automobile makers.[23][24] In 2015, Venezuela had over 100% inflation—the highest in the world and the highest in the country's history at that time.[25] According to independent sources, the rate increased to 80,000% at the end of 2018[26] with Venezuela spiraling into hyperinflation[27] while the poverty rate was nearly 90 percent of the population.[28] On 14 November 2017, credit rating agencies declared that Venezuela was in default with its debt payments, with Standard & Poor's categorizing Venezuela as being in "selective default".[29][30]
"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Venezuela

Personally I dont see any difference between being poor and impoverished in a free market economy and being poor in a socialist economy. If you are poor, you are poor. Both are failures.
Socialism has a knack of persecuting its people though. See Stalin / Mao / Pol Pot / USSR / North Korea and even Chavez

"
President Barack Obama signed the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014, a U.S. Act imposing sanctions on Venezuelan individuals held responsible by the United States for human rights violations during the 2014 Venezuelan protests, in December of that year.[73][74] It "requires the President to impose sanctions" on those "responsible for significant acts of violence or serious human rights abuses associated with February 2014 protests or, more broadly, against anyone who has directed or ordered the arrest or prosecution of a person primarily because of the person's legitimate exercise of freedom of expression or assembly".
"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States–Venezuela_relations
 
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