Venezuela right-wing opposition wins control of National Assembly by a landslide

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Uh, what's the Louis Riel Bolivarian Circle?  Or did I get that wrong?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
If Venezuela was plunged into chaos and violence and the Bolivarian Revolution destroyed, we would go to combat. We would never give up, and what couldn't be done with votes, we would do with weapons, we would liberate the fatherland with weapons.

I'm not sure why he's speaking in the future tense.  He already knows what he can't do with votes, and he's already "liberating" the "fatherland" with weapons.

Anyway, finally he puts his cards on the table.  This explains so much.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Are you ever going to stop obsessing about this, Magoo?  

It's not as though anyone but the wealthy would have benefited from anything you wanted to see happen happening.  Yes, it would have been more mundanely "democratic", but there was never any chance of that legislature doing anything positive.  The MUD didn't want to do anything positive.  It just wanted to restore the power of the rich and do stupid things like making food and gas more expensive.  None of that was ever going to be a solution to any of Venezuela's problems.  The MUD program is basically Pinochet without the executions.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Are you ever going to stop obsessing about this, Magoo?

By "obsessing about", do you mean "ever talking about"?

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Yes, it would have been more mundanely "democratic"

Wow.  Democracy is both mundane, and also gets scare quotes.

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None of that was ever going to be a solution to any of Venezuela's problems. 

Don't tell me.

Tell all the Venezuelans who thought that worshipping a dead guy also wasn't going to fix things.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

It was never about worshipping a dead guy.  It was about defending the gains that the people had won.  And I'm sorry, but you should know by now that elections usually have little to do with democracy.

Maduro isn't my favorite guy.  But I know what the place would be like if MUD had its way- it could only be worse.  Greater economic inequality can never improve living standards for the many.  Nor can "the free market".  Nor can living under American hemispheric dominance.

The MUD victory was only achieved because the U.S. did all it could to force the Venezuelan economy down, in the name of forcing the people to vote to put profit and property first.  All that result proves is that you can make people vote to pubush themselves if you turn the screws enough.

Why should any of the MUD program even be tried?  It all failed in Chile when Pinochet did it.  It could never do anything but mke life worse.  And if the rich get the upper hand again, all hope is gone there forever.  

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The MUD victory was only achieved because the U.S. did all it could to force the Venezuelan economy down

It wasn't the U.S. that made Venezuela decide to be totally dependent on oil revenues, it wasn't the U.S. forcing them to print boatloads of banknotes to cover their largesse and it wasn't the U.S. forcing Venezuela to have a system of multiple currency exchange rates or gasoline subsidized below production costs or flour at an arbitrary fixed price.

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in the name of forcing the people to vote to put profit and property first.

I don't really think that's what the people voted for, not that it's your or my business.

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Why should any of the MUD program even be tried?

Because that's what the electorate voted for??

Is that enough?  Or do you know better than they do?

 

NDPP

Venezuelan Putschist Oscar Perez seems to be a right-wing Christian fundamentalist - hijacked a helicopter, dropped 2 grenades on the Supreme Court and called for a coup.

https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal/status/879938809059848192

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

In hindsight, maybe totally overthrowing the government called for three grenades.

Actually, I read about FOUR, but one was a dud.  They also shot a building.

NDPP

Venezuela: US Occupation Has Already Begun and is Being Conducted By ExxonMobil

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Venezuela-US-Occupation-Has-Alr...

"The priority of this US oil company to topple Venezuela is geopolitical and geoeconomic, as a fundamental pillar of a new political, economic, and financial configuration of the continent..."

Canada supports

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

You seem to be talking about oil extraction in Guyana -- which is being opposed by Venezuela, who claim that it's Venezuelan oil.

But can you tell us more about how this == US Occupation of Venezuela??

In the usual terms.  What "occupation" usually means.

cco

Ken Burch wrote:

Why should any of the MUD program even be tried?  It all failed in Chile when Pinochet did it.  It could never do anything but mke life worse.  And if the rich get the upper hand again, all hope is gone there forever.  


Ken Burch wrote:

Yes, it would have been more mundanely "democratic", but there was never any chance of that legislature doing anything positive...The MUD program is basically Pinochet without the executions.

You know, I've been doing a lot of introspection about Venezuela lately. I'm fairly far to the left, was a firm suporter of Chavez against the American-backed right-wing coup and subsequent economic warfare, and am probably more sympathetic to Maduro than the majority of Venezuelans at this point. And yet, you brought up Pinochet, and I have to say this:

Henry Kissinger said, in backing Pinochet, “I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people.”

I completely understand the logic of not wanting to let a country go right-wing because of the irresponsibility of its voters, but if one believes in democracy, one has to acknowledge the right of the people to make a choice, even when it's the wrong choice. Using force to reject the results of an election because the voted-for policies are going to destroy things was exactly Pinochet's logic.

NDPP

Venezuela's Shield-Bearing Protesters Inspired By Ukraine

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-venezuela-politics-protesters-idUKKBN19...

No doubt...

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
In Venezuela's anti-government unrest, where 80 people have died since April, youths bear colourfully decorated homemade shields akin to those used in Kiev's Maidan Square.

The young Venezuelans make their shields from satellite TV dishes, drain covers, barrels or any other scraps of wood and metal they can find. Some supporters also make and donate shields.

If they were pushing back against what we saw as a right-wing government, this kind of resiliance would bring a tear to our collective eye.

But the government pretends to be "socialist" and "for the people", so now what??  Side with the people, or side with the establishment?

I think the idea that they're all the spoiled children of oligarchs doesn't hold water any more.  So what are Venezuelans actually fighting for?  I don't really think it's for a few American dollars from the CIA at this point.

NDPP

 

Abby Martin Goes To Front Lines in Venezuela

http://bit.ly/2tEWz8u

"The opposition..."

"The same right-wing opposition in Venezuela that claims they protest for food burned 50 tons of goods destined for children and the poor."

https://twitter.com/telesurenglish/status/881281413076705280

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
In Venezuela's anti-government unrest, where 80 people have died since April, youths bear colourfully decorated homemade shields akin to those used in Kiev's Maidan Square.

The young Venezuelans make their shields from satellite TV dishes, drain covers, barrels or any other scraps of wood and metal they can find. Some supporters also make and donate shields.

If they were pushing back against what we saw as a right-wing government, this kind of resiliance would bring a tear to our collective eye.

Magoo I dont know what fucking left wing collective you think you can speak for. LMAOROF.

Not even centrist Liberals and Tories would cheer for Brown Shirts in the street paid to terrorize hospitals and clinics and food distribution centres.  I expect you to be an apologist for the Western oligarchy but being an apologist for neo-nazi's rampaging in the streets is even a bit much for you.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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The same right-wing opposition in Venezuela that claims they protest for food burned 50 tons of goods destined for children and the poor.

Maybe they expect a nation like Venezuela to have enough food for everyone, not just the children and the poor.

josh
NDPP

Reinaldo Iturriza: 'What is at Stake is the Fate of Venezuela's Revolutionary Democratic Experiment'

https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/13221

"The express, public objective of the anti-Chavista political class is to generate a situation of ungovernability."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Not even centrist Liberals and Tories would cheer for Brown Shirts in the street paid to terrorize hospitals and clinics and food distribution centres.

I'm talking about protesters making shields out of scraps of wood, and you're still maintaining they're being paid.  I guess the pay isn't all that good.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
The same right-wing opposition in Venezuela that claims they protest for food burned 50 tons of goods destined for children and the poor.

Maybe they expect a nation like Venezuela to have enough food for everyone, not just the children and the poor.

The poor(the majority in Venezuela, a country that has never had anything remotely resembling a middle class) were the ones who needed food.  The rich always have all the food THEY need.

You're really going to defend the destruction of food supplies in the name of making an abstract political comment?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
You're really going to defend the destruction of food supplies in the name of making an abstract political comment?

A huge part of the reason that Venezuela is in such a mess right now is that the mess is coming at them from both sides.

I don't really believe that anyone here at babble "fist pumps" when demonstrators trash a warehouse, nor when 'colectivos' rough up the elected members of the Assembly.  But that's Venezuelans' reality now.

The violence from both sides makes the news, because that's kind of how the news works.  But I don't really feel like either the left or the right has God on their side. 

And that's why I'm considerably more interested in things like "Why couldn't the electorate hold the recall referendum that Chavez' constitution promised them?"  I feel like that's a far more salient question than "who's worse, a protester with a molotov cocktail or a 'colectivo' with a motorcyle and a gun??"

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..an important read

Being Honest About Venezuela

As Nicolás Maduro’s increasingly antidemocratic government battles violent right-wing forces, ordinary Venezuelans are watching the gains of Chavismo slip away.

Venezuela descends deeper into a political and economic crisis every day. The death toll rises relentlessly, and the vicious street battles show no signs of abating.

On June 27, looters trashed the city of Maracay; they burned shops, public transport stations, government buildings, and homes in a single night of destruction. Two days later, Barquisimeto had its turn.

The world’s media, overwhelmingly hostile to the Bolivarian process, sneer at President Nicolás Maduro’s rhetoric while presenting the right-wing parties, which certainly launched this wave of violence, as defenders of democracy. This definition of democracy apparently allows whole populations to fall into poverty and illness, with nearly one hundred people left to die in the streets.

Meanwhile, the international left has accepted the explanations government spokespersons offer, still believing that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Thus, when a helicopter attacked government buildings on June 28, some observers simply added the event to the catalog of right-wing violence.

It is, unsurprisingly, far more complicated than that.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..from #373

quote:

That said, we can pull three clear themes out of the government’s behavior: a revival of foreign investment in extractive industries, a growing militarization of the government, and the transformation of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) into an instrument of political control.

Maduro has suggested one solution to the massive hole in the state budget: the Arco Minero, Venezuela’s Amazon region. The area represents 12 percent of the national territory and holds a cornucopia of minerals, oil, and gas. Additionally, it is the country’s principal source of freshwater.

Chavez rejected a development proposal some years ago for environmental reasons and in recognition of indigenous communities’ human and territorial rights. But last summer, Maduro began inviting multinational corporations to bid for concessions.

He made the first offer to Barrick, the giant Canadian gold-mining concern that had been excluded from Venezuela a decade earlier. After Chávez nationalized the mines, the company demanded hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation payments. As a gesture of his good faith, Maduro has agreed to pay this debt as well as offer a ten-year tax holiday and develop the regional infrastructure at the state’s expense.

quote:

Now Maduro has called for a new Constituent Assembly to convene at the end of July. This will barely resemble the 1999 meeting. Then, discussion was open and public, and people engaged with the process optimistically. This time, the Maduro administration will carefully orchestrate the event, making sure whatever changes the government chooses to introduce will be approved. There will be no debate, no transparency.

quote:

Despite this setback, the memory of those years persists wherever people operate cooperatively in their own defense and keep the traditions of solidarity alive — even if many of them have fallen momentarily silent.

The Left outside Venezuela can help rebuild the movement by participating in an honest accounting of what went wrong. As socialists, we are not required to choose the lesser evil. Rather, we should support those in struggle in rebuilding the basis for a genuinely democratic society.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

That's another very interesting article.  Particularly since it doesn't assert that either side has been blessed by God.

I don't think much would be gained from dividing up teams for "PSUV" vs. "MUD".  But I continue to think there's merit in "Venezuelan people" vs. "everyone else".

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

But I continue to think there's merit in "Venezuelan people" vs. "everyone else".

..excellent position. i believe that's where the hope lies. where the change needs to come from because top down is never good enough.

NDPP

Empire Files: Abby Martin in Venezuela 

https://youtu.be/YUYWrPiUeWY

"Abby Martin talks to Venezuelans on the streets of Caracas..."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Evidently, epaulo13's article from Jacobin is insufficiently partisan!  It's literally TOO balanced!

Jacobin magazine attacks Venezuela, Cuba and TeleSUR

Quote:
Such articles advocating a non-existent “third way” of supporting “the people” in the abstract only fosters confusion and cynicism. When the forces of reaction in Venezuela are on the offensive, abetted by the Western media on a daily basis, such analyses obstruct solidarity organizing from within the United States. It tells the working class of the United States that they have nothing at stake in the defense of Venezuela at the exact moment when a progressive left-wing government, having endured years of sabotage, is under threat of possible “humanitarian” intervention.

I guess Jacobin should just look the other way with regard to government policies and actions, and focus more on the shifty quislings, "mafias" and other no-goodniks trying to ruin the obvious runaway success of Bolivarianism and Chavismo.

I dunno.  Should journalists try to serve the truth and the people?  Or serve the President and the revolution?

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I dunno.  Should journalists try to serve the truth and the people?  Or serve the President and the revolution?

I am sure this is an easy question in the abstract. Tell me which Canadian MSM journalists live up to that standard? They all seem to serve the powers that be rather than truth or the people.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I'm pretty sure I could find examples of Canadian journalists criticizing the government.  Even on the bought-and-paid-for CBC!

Do you feel like you could find similar examples of TeleSur criticizing Maduro?

NDPP
NDPP

Why Can't the US Left Get Venezuela Right?

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/13/why-cant-the-u-s-left-get-venezu...

"How did the US left get it so wrong?"

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Why Can't the US Left Get Venezuela Right?

..one lesson folks are learning is that power must be divested to the communities and the vanguard left when in power fail to do this time and again. this needs to be talked about a hell of a lot more if we are going to ever transcend capitalism.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Venezuela referendum shows strong opposition to Maduro's constitution plan

Quote:
In an unofficial, opposition-organized referendum, about 7.2 million people voted against Maduro's plan to change the constitution, demanding immediate general elections to renew all branches of government.

That's actually more voters than voted for the Liberals in 2015.

NDPP

Time For The 'International Left' To Take A Stand on Venezuela

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/17/time-for-the-international-left-...

"The possibility of civil war becomes more likely as long as the international media obscure who is responsible for the violence and as long as the international left remains on the sidelines in this conflict and fails to show solidarity with the Bolivarian socialist movement in Venezuela.

If the international left receives its news about Venezuela from the international media [eg The Guardian] it is understandable why it is being so quiet..."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Here's a similar article from TeleSur.

Evidently the international Left isn't giving Nicolas Maduro the unquestioning support they owe him.

NDPP

Venezuelan Opposition 'Consultation': Playing Alone and Losing   -   by Ricardo Vaz

http://dissidentvoice.org/2017/07/venezuelan-opposition-consultation-pla...

"We can therefore say that the opposition 'referendum' backfired..."

NDPP

'Zero Day' For Violent Regime Change in Venezuela

https://t.co/EaXOgNghgv

"Since April, the opposition tries to dislodge the government by instigating a regime change by force. Its protests and street fights with the police are led by violent militarized gangs...as was seen during the US-instigated color revolutions by force in Libya, Ukraine and Syria..."

NDPP

Empire Files: Constituent Assembly Dictatorship or Democracy in Venezuela? (and vid)

https://youtu.be/H9BoZmuhDKA

"On July 30th, Venezuela will elect a people's body called the 'Constituent Assembly' comprised of hundreds of representatives across the country with the power to redraft the constitution..."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

General Strike.

It's probably going to have little effect, and it's almost surely not going to prevent the President from going ahead with plans for a new governing body beholden to him.

Funny, though, that when Venezuelans clearly wanted the opportunity to vote in a recall referendum, they couldn't have it because apparently "As for the recall referendum, it was well known that it would take approximately ten months to organize between its initiation and its culmination."

So, ten months for another regular general election, basically.

But this new election, creating an entirely new governing body, can take place with only three months of preparation.

Huh.  Fascinating how quickly they can mobilize when they want to.

edited to add:  or need to.

josh

It would be nice if we could get, if not an objective, than an impartial analysis of what is going on there from someone, or some group, with knowledge of the situation.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

When two sides are diametrically opposed, there can be no such thing.

But if you want the next best, I'd suggest that epaulo13's link in post #373 is pretty balanced.  At any rate, you'd be hard put to know which side they're shilling for, if you think they're shilling.

At the same time, it's exactly the sort of thing that the "real" radicals are criticizing, as per NDPP's post #385 and my own post #386, as the international left crawling into bed with U.S. Imperialism or some such.  In other words, gird your loins -- you might hear TWO sides to the story.

NDPP

Venezuela Under Siege By US Empire

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/21/venezuela-under-siege-by-u-s-emp...

"It is all about the oil. It is not about democracy and human rights. Get that straight in your mind..."

 

Venezuelan Opposition Now Opposes the People

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/21/venezuelan-opposition-now-oppose...

"The day of reckoning has come...not for nothing are they called 'el bravo pueblo.'

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..while we may differ on who's interests the maduro government represents. the role of the us can't be ignored or minimized.  

The Militarization of U.S. Policy on Latin America Is Deepening Under Trump

In a high-level meeting Friday, the presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador will discuss the region’s security with American and Mexican officials.

Innocuous enough, you may think. But part of the meeting will be held on a U.S. military base in Miami, Florida — the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command, the Pentagon’s regional subsidiary that oversees American military operations throughout Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Under President Donald Trump, the militarization of U.S. foreign policy is about to stretch more deeply into Central America.

Central America policy-making, hardly an open book to begin with, is set to become more secretive.  With the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America just days away, there is no official agenda of speakers or publicly listed events and no involvement of civil society organizations — even press access is extremely limited. What we do know is U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be there, as will Vice President Mike Pence — and of course, General John F. Kelly, the director of Homeland Security and the previous head of SOUTHCOM.

These high-level government officials will be joined by a coterie of elite Central American businessmen, invited to the conference by its hosts, the U.S. and Mexico. Trump’s budget envisions a massive cut in U.S. economic assistance to Central America, so officials will apparently be asking the country’s most rapacious and corrupt economic actors to fill the void.

“We must secure the nation. We must protect our people,” Secretary of State Tillerson told his staff last month in a discussion around Washington’s new “America First” foreign policy. “And we can only do that with economic prosperity. So it’s foreign policy projected with a strong ability to enforce the protection of our freedoms with a strong military.” By linking economic success with military operations, Tillerson telegraphed which way the foreign aid dollars will be blowing.

While much has been made of the reduction in the budgets of the State Department and USAID, don’t expect the U.S. to simply retreat. Rather, expect the U.S. military to deepen its involvement in the region. There may be no new official policy announcements, but the shift appears inevitable.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Certainly Trump is going to want to be a bull in the china shop in Venezuela, just as in DPRK, and anywhere else he can find in the next 3.2 years.

But the cheerful assumption that ANYTHING wrong in Venezuela is the doing of the U.S. government predates Trump.  It went on for eight years under Obama, and another four under Bush.

At this point, is it really reasonable to suggest that Venezuela's problems are STILL all due to some shadowy conspiracy by the U.S., who just want their oil?  Heck, if they really want it they should just take it -- they refine ALL of it for them.

For the record, I'm not suggesting that the U.S. are innocent.  But when it's necessary to see them as the sole source of troubles in Venezuela, it really doesn't help.  It's like saying "we have two holes in the boat, but we only have to plug one of them... the one that's responsible for all this water leaking in!!!"

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..let's explore that then magoo. i'm talking about us intervention. the same way we begin to understand what maduro is about and what the right is forcing. we could also use information re activist postilions. folks that have been involved in communities for many years. after all the struggle didn't begin with chavez.

eta:

..i think a good place to start re activists is ndpp's #389 post. the constituency assembly needs to go forward. it's been promised for years. if it's going to be manipulated we will see that in the processes..but it must go forward.  

NDPP

Venezuela Solidarity Campaign

http://venezuelasolidarity.co.uk

 

Hands Off Venezuela

https://twitter.com/HOVcampaign

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
the constituency assembly needs to go forward. it's been promised for years.

Has it been?  Because the first I heard about it was back in May.  Do you mean that it's been a possibility for years?

Quote:
if it's going to be manipulated we will see that in the processes..but it must go forward.

I expect it probably will happen, and then of course we'll see.

But I personally think we don't really need to wait for that to know that something in the milk ain't clean.  The sudden rush to do this as quickly as possible, following the STJ's aborted attempt to take over the Legislature, looks pretty hinky.  Had the STJ not had to walk it back, I genuinely doubt that Maduro would be creating a new governing body he wouldn't need.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Here's an interesting article discussing a potential U.S. embargo against Venezuelan oil.  And it's from Washington Post, of all places.  Typically their animus toward PSUV is unhidden, but I think the tl;dr for this is "Don't do it, Mr. Trump!"

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
the constituency assembly needs to go forward. it's been promised for years.

Has it been?  Because the first I heard about it was back in May.  Do you mean that it's been a possibility for years?

Quote:
if it's going to be manipulated we will see that in the processes..but it must go forward.

I expect it probably will happen, and then of course we'll see.

But I personally think we don't really need to wait for that to know that something in the milk ain't clean.  The sudden rush to do this as quickly as possible, following the STJ's aborted attempt to take over the Legislature, looks pretty hinky.  Had the STJ not had to walk it back, I genuinely doubt that Maduro would be creating a new governing body he wouldn't need.

..i remember posting a couple years back on the assembly. it's been been stalled all this time and, i agree, it comes forward because maduro is desperate. 

..this assembly is not for maduro, even if in the end he manipulates it. it's for a program to come from the people. a direction. something to fight for. something to rally around. and you can bet it will call for decentralization of power and how to achieve it.  otherwise there are only 2 bad options on the table.  

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
this assembly is not for maduro, even if in the end he manipulates it. it's for a program to come from the people.

I guess that's my problem with it.  If Maduro does manage to hijack it then it's not really reasonable to say it's about "the people" any more -- it will only be about "the people" who support Maduro.  What's more, it seems like "the people" who don't support Maduro also don't support the new Citizen's Assembly (particularly while the National Assembly is routinely prevented for doing as voters asked them to do).

And for whatever it's worth, while I get that the U.S. might want to see regime change in Venezuela, and the one-percenters might want to see regime change in Venezuela, I really can't believe that everyone who opposes the government in Venezuela, at this point, "is clearly" either a U.S. paid instigator or a one-percenter.  Not even the CIA has the budget to pay off this many protesters for this many days.  Clearly a large, non-oligarch chunk of the Venezuelan populace is sick of it and really just wants the vote they're owed.

Quote:
and you can bet it will call for decentralization of power and how to achieve it.

Well, I actually would bet on that.  I'd bet against the new Assembly calling for decentralization of power, and I'd double down on the belief that if they did call for that, Maduro would purge the "traitors" and nothing would change.  If this new Assembly takes power from the hands of the government and the military and the situation genuinely changes in Venezuela, I'll eat as much crow as you can cook for me.

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