Venezuela Crisis

Folsom

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Crashes can of course happen in a free market economy, however the economy rebounds (often within a decade & ends up stronger).
True, but not always, and definitely not necessarily for the populous. That is what I think you are getting in this. Im not here advocating the policies of Chavez/Maduro. Im advocating the right of Venezuelan people to determine their own future, their own economic and political system without undue interference by foreign nations imposing their interests through economic sanctions and threats of military force.
The system that preceded Chavez also failed. It didn't bounce back stronger and stronger, it left ever increasing amounts of the population trapped in relative poverty until eventually organized politically and voted for radical change.
You are totally right in identifying the failures of past socialist regimes, but if you are really concerned about populations being persecuted then it doesn't really matter under what political system it occurs, persecution is persecution.
So be it in Venezuela under Maduro or in Saudi Arabia under the House of Saud, where they chop up journalists.
Worryingly, the country with the greatest prison population is the United States. This is a very poor reflection for a country built on principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Unless of course you consider prison to be just another industry to profit from?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison–industrial_complex

So the underlying point is what is the US interest in Venezuela. Democracy? Liberating the people from a failed political and economic system (which pre-dates Chavez by a long way, so why such interest now?)

I would suggest that it is to advance US corporate interests, particularly the oil industry, and not much else.
I dont have issue with that, as long as those interests are not being advanced through military aggression or economic sanction against a sovereign nation that freely and democratically elected its own government.
 

Purple

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Do you really think that Chavez, the former Army general and failed Coup attempt leader, was elected in free and fair elections verey time? Do you really think that Maduro didn't engage in widespread election fraud?

What's worse; imposing sanctions on countries who abuse their citizens, like the USA does on Venezuela, or trading openly with one of the most oppressive and despicable countries in the world, like we do with Saudi (and used to do with Libya)?
 

Folsom

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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?
Ok, my bad. What I meant was when governments go beyond the constitutional powers afforded to them. I doubt you find anywhere in the annals of British parliamentary politics motions passed to oppress other democratic sovereign nations.
But if that is what they did, and they did, then that is acting beyond constraints, beyond the checks and balances pivotal to a democratic country. It is the act of imperialism, it is the act of tyranny.
All well and good to have "democratic institutions in here" on the window, but if governments go beyond what they are sanctioned to do and abuse, manipulate, conspire to deceive those institutions then you have to consider that other interests are at play that are not in the interests of the democratic political and economic system.
 

Purple

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There is no correlation between the economic interests of a nation and the standards desirable in a liberal democracy. The West African Slave Trade is a good example.
 

Folsom

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Do you really think that Chavez, the former Army general and failed Coup attempt leader, was elected in free and fair elections verey time? Do you really think that Maduro didn't engage in widespread election fraud?
I dont know. I have only ever heard that Chavez won fair and square.
I know there have been allegations against Maduro of locking up political opponents to prevent them from standing in election. I have also heard counter argument to that, that the political opponents themselves were engaged in election fraud thus barring themselves from standing.
I also heard that independent impartial rapporteurs from UN and Carter Center called the election of Maduro fair and free.


What's worse; imposing sanctions on countries who abuse their citizens, like the USA does on Venezuela, or trading openly with one of the most oppressive and despicable countries in the world, like we do with Saudi (and used to do with Libya)?
Openly trading with one of the most oppressive and despicable countries in the world, like we do with Saudi.

I have heard of human rights abuses by the Maduro administration. The extent and truth of which is open to counter allegation. For instance, Maduro was recently blamed for ordering military to set alight humanitarian aid trucks at the border. When the NY Times subsequently reported that it was instead a supporter of the opposition Guadio that set it alight.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/10/world/americas/venezuela-aid-fire-video.html

One minute the "inhuman " Maduro is condemned, the next, it doesn't really matter who set the aid truck alight.

https://youtu.be/dOlkzPNl9Ak

(Trish Regan is some performer!)

Who to believe?

https://youtu.be/mbXqGiNlWWw
 
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Folsom

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Rather than continue with the seemingly endless discussion on socialism and democracy etc, preferably this thread could be used to highlight events as they are occurring.

Im reading reports that the electricity has been cut in the Venezuelan embassy in Washington DC.

Who knew that the Maduro administration was so bad that the electricity would fail in DC! :p
 
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cremeegg

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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.
When the Ottoman empire collapsed the Al Saud were well established as rulers of what is now the centre and east coast of Saudi Arabia. And recognised as such by the Ottomans, who the Al Saud in turn recognised as the sovereign power.

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.
I have never heard that Britain or France supported the Al Saud "invasion of Arabia" (1902) or his capture of Riyadh (1906?). Or that they even knew of its happening, so remote was the interior of the peninsula at that time.

By 1914 the British were certainly seeking to undermine the Ottomans who in international law ruled the Arabian peninsula, and were recognised as overlords by Al-Saud. The British choose the Hashemites to this end. See Lawarence of Arabia.

With British backing the Hashemites had established the kingdom of the Hejaz centered on Mecca. The British liked the Hashemites so much that they installed Hashemite kings in faraway Iraq and Jordan as well.

In 1924 the Al-Saud overran the Hejaz, and although the British did not oppose them, as by that time they were less keen on the Hashemites, I have never seen any historian suggest that the British aided the Al-Saud either.

The Al-Saud's wars were well won before the British supported them. The first major oil discoveries did not occur until well into the 1930s.

As for the French involvement in the rise of the Al-Saud, I don't think they had any presence in the region.
 

Duke of Marmalade

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Hmmm! cremeegg are you saying that Purple just writes his own history? That is disturbing as I find myself quoting the said Purple in after dinner discussions:rolleyes:
 

Purple

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When the Ottoman empire collapsed the Al Saud were well established as rulers of what is now the centre and east coast of Saudi Arabia. And recognised as such by the Ottomans, who the Al Saud in turn recognised as the sovereign power.
Yes, see my above post on how they were supported by a British proxy in their attach, from exile, on Riyadh (1902).
This is a good account of the British involvement in the region in the period.
The British concerns were access to India (Suez and coaling stations in placed like Yemen), stability in India which at the time included Pakistan, a buffer against Russian and French interests in the region and oil, which had already been discovered in the region.

I'm a bit rusty on the timelines as I haven't read up on the period in years so I accept that some of what I wrote above may have been sloppy but in essence the policy of the British in the region was to keep the locals divided and fighting with each other rather than united and fighting with them.
Oh, and Lawrence of Arabia is a work of fiction and as far from the Truth about him as Schindler's List is about Oskar Schindler.
 

Folsom

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the policy of the British in the region was to keep the locals divided and fighting with each other
Very true. Its the same policy that presides today with powerful nations jostling for economic advantage to the detriment of weaker nations. Is it right or is it wrong? I would suggest, in the absence of a mandate endorsing intervention, it is wrong.
 

cremeegg

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Yes, see my above post on how they were supported by a British proxy in their attach, from exile, on Riyadh (1902).
Sorry I can't see any reference in your previous posts to the capture of Riyadh (1902) by the Al Saud or any British involvement in what is now Saudi Arabia before WW1.

This is a good account of the British involvement in the region in the period.
Excellent link thank you.

Nowhere does it support your suggestion that

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.
The Al-Saud war was largely over before the British arrived on the scene, by which time they were well established as rulers of 2 of the three main predecessor kingdoms of Saudi Arabia. When they, the Al-Saud first tried to take the third predecessor kingdom Hejaz, perhaps the most important as it includes Mecca, the British seem to have actively fought against them

"In 1919 London used aircraft in the Hijaz in support of Hussein’s confrontation with Ibn Saud." From the article you linked.

I had not known that.

The Saudis were the opposite of what the British wanted. They united the peninsula under their rule. The British wanted it divided into many small states.

"The benefit of division in the Middle East – a key point in all these documents – was also recognised by the foreign department of the British government of India: ‘What we want’, it stated, ‘is not a United Arabia, but a weak and disunited Arabia, split up into little principalities so far as possible under our suzerainty" Again from the article you linked

Oh, and Lawrence of Arabia is a work of fiction and as far from the Truth about him as Schindler's List is about Oskar Schindler.
The basic plot, that the British through Lawrence supported the Hashemite Arab revolt against the Ottomans, is perfectly true. Many of the details of the campaign, cutting off Ottoman supplies to their bases by bombing train lines, the march through the Empty quarter, the capture of Aquba from the desert when it was defended against attack from the sea are largely true.
 

Purple

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Sorry I can't see any reference in your previous posts to the capture of Riyadh (1902) by the Al Saud or any British involvement in what is now Saudi Arabia before WW1.
Al Saud was living in a British Protectorate, where the British had control of foreign affairs, when he attacked Riyadh. There's no way they didn't know about it and sanction it. The British were supporting anyone who kept the locals divided so they supported any chaos merchants in the area.
I did read a piece on this before but I just can't find a link.

The Al-Saud war was largely over before the British arrived on the scene, by which time they were well established as rulers of 2 of the three main predecessor kingdoms of Saudi Arabia. When they, the Al-Saud first tried to take the third predecessor kingdom Hejaz, perhaps the most important as it includes Mecca, the British seem to have actively fought against them
He didn't control the biggest, most populous and most powerful kingdom. The British did initially oppose his attack on the Emirate of Hejaz but, given that he was interested in Arabia and not a great Islamic State stretching from India to Egypt he was a better bet in their aim of maintaining British control of the region. It's also worth noting that they were paying him £10,000 a year at that time. The real bloodshed within Arabia started after that.

The Saudis were the opposite of what the British wanted. They united the peninsula under their rule. The British wanted it divided into many small states.
As above; Ibn Al Saud's victory meant there was zero chance of a greated Islamic Caliphate. It also meant that the natural evolution of Arab political Islam was halted and the vacuum was filled by murderous extremism.

The basic plot, that the British through Lawrence supported the Hashemite Arab revolt against the Ottomans, is perfectly true. Many of the details of the campaign, cutting off Ottoman supplies to their bases by bombing train lines, the march through the Empty quarter, the capture of Aquba from the desert when it was defended against attack from the sea are largely true.
Yea, trains full of people, both civilians and Ottoman soldiers, not just train lines. The reality though is that Lawrence was well aware of the greater British plan and knew that the British had no intention of allowing the Hashemites to rule Arabia. They were used as a tool during the War, that's all. The Treaty of Darin in 1915 shows that all of the promises given to the Hashemites were lies from the get-go.
 
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Purple

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I see that the UN is accusing Maduro of using the army to murder thousands of his political opponents.

From the BBC;

"The report is scheduled to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council on Friday.

It is based on "558 interviews with victims and witnesses of human rights violations and the deteriorating economic situation" from January 2018 to May 2019.

Its most damning findings relate to the number of deaths the Venezuelan government has ascribed to resisting arrest.

The report comes after UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet visited Venezuela
That figure for last year was 5,287, with another 1,569 up to 19 May this year.

Referring to these figures as "unusually" and "shockingly" high, the report says: "Information analysed by Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights suggests many of these killings may constitute extrajudicial executions."

The UN says witnesses reported how the Special Action Forces (FAES) "manipulated the crime scene and evidence. They would plant arms and drugs and fire their weapons against the walls or in the air to suggest a confrontation and to show the victim had 'resisted authority'".

It adds that the UN "is concerned the authorities may be using FAES and other security forces as an instrument to instil fear in the population and to maintain social control".

The BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says the report paints a dark picture of Venezuela, in which unmarked black vans arrive in poor neighbourhoods, masked officers get out, round up young men and shoot them."
 

Firefly

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First it's the political opponents who get killed, then the general population. The socialism playbook in action..
 

Purple

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First it's the political opponents who get killed, then the general population. The socialism playbook in action..
Totalitarianism, dressed up as socialism, capitalism or anything else, is the same thing.
 

WolfeTone

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Certainly if the report is accurate, it is a damning indictment on the Maduro administration. I note however that the Maduro administration is denying the veracity of the report.
However, if true, what to do? Send in US military?
Ideally, a set of new elections, under the strict observation of international and independent election monitors, would be my preference.
 

Purple

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Certainly if the report is accurate, it is a damning indictment on the Maduro administration. I note however that the Maduro administration is denying the veracity of the report.
They are hardly going to say "Fair cop, guv, you have is bang to rights" and the UN is hardly a tool of the US since the US is openly hostile to the UN.
 
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WolfeTone

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They are hardly going to say "Fair cop, guv, you have is bang to rights" and the UN is hardly a tool of the US since the US is openly hostile to the UN.
I agree. But unless I'm mistaken, the report fall shorts of directly accusing the Maduro administration of extra-judicial killings, instead it says that there is strong evidence that suggests some killings may be extra-judicial.
 
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