In an amazing piece that forgot to mention that little ‘s’ word called ‘socialism,’ the New York Times nevertheless has a stunning report about what economists are saying about Venezuela’s economic collapse experience under socialism.
Read with caution, because even though we all already know that Venezuela’s a dump, this report (and its horrifying pictures) could make you sick
CARACAS/PUERTO CABELLO, Venezuela (Reuters) – Angry drivers queued for hours in towns across Venezuela on Friday as fuel shortages worsened in the South American nation following a plunge in gasoline imports and a stoppage at the nation’s second-largest oil refinery.
Shortages of motor fuel have become a periodic occurrence in the OPEC nation, particularly in border regions where smuggling to neighboring countries is rife, the result of generous subsidies from state-run oil company PDVSA that have made gasoline nearly free in Venezuela.
But in recent days lines at gas stations in the western and southern border states of Tachira, Zulia and Bolivar have grown longer than usual, often lasting more than five hours, according to Reuters witnesses.
There is little about La Esquina restaurant in wealthy eastern Caracas that screams crisis.
Music is pumping out loudly from speakers hidden in lush vegetation. The trendy bar nestled in the gardens overlooks a shallow decorative pool, the centre-piece of the restaurant. Inside, there is a wall of fine wines for diners who fancy a tipple, while the menu boasts items such as carpaccio, poke bowls and truffle oil.
This eatery is a world away from much of Venezuela – a country where around 90% of people live in poverty and the International Monetary Fund predicts inflation will hit an eye-watering 10 million percent this year. With the minimum wage hovering around $5 (£3.8) a month, most people struggle to pay for a dozen eggs or a simple bag of rice.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Saturday said he has instructed his political envoy in Washington to immediately open relations with the US military, in an attempt to put more pressure on President Nicolás Maduro to resign.
Guiado said he had asked Carlos Vecchio, who the US recognizes as ambassador, to open “direct communications” toward possible military “coordination”.
The remarks, at the end of a rally, were Guaido’s strongest public plea yet for greater US involvement in the country’s fast-escalating crisis. While Guaido has repeatedly echoed comments from the Trump administration that “all options” for removing Maduro are on the table, few in the US or Venezuelan opposition view military action as likely. Nor has the White House indicated it is seriously considering such a move.
The Cuban government will implement increased rationing of staple grocery items in the face of extensive food shortages, which the government blame on Donald Trump’s trade sanctions.
The country’s Commerce Minister Betsy Díaz Velázquez announced on Friday that chicken, eggs, rice, beans, soap and other basic products will all be rationed in the communist country.
She outlined the grave food situation in Cuba in an interview with the state-run Cuban News Agency, saying the country had produced 900,000 fewer eggs than the 5.7 million needed daily to satisfy national demand.
For years, Venezuelans have railed about how sanctimonious white lefties from the West have told them socialism was the cat’s meow for them and their country, before jetting off back to the comforts of capitalism and leaving them in the rubble. Even leftish Venezuelans have had a bellyful.
But now Code Pink has taken it to a new level, illegally occupying the now empty Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C…
As Mike Pompeo prepares to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss the crisis in Venezuela, the US secretary of state said bluntly that President Donald Trump has a “full range” of powers to intervene at will.
Speaking on ABC’s ‘This Week’ on Sunday, Pompeo elaborated on the oft-repeated line that “all options are on the table” when it comes to intervening militarily in Venezuela.
The video that appeared on Tuesday morning had the appearance of history in the making. In the purple light of dawn, it showed a group of armed men and a military vehicle on a road leading to La Carlota airbase in eastern Caracas.
In the foreground, stood Juan Guaidó – the head of the national assembly recognised by most western countries as the rightful leader of Venezuela – declaring the “final phase of Operation Freedom” with oratory seemingly destined for legend.
“Today, brave soldiers, brave patriots, brave men loyal to the constitution have heard our call. We have finally met on the streets of Venezuela,” Guaidó said.
“This incredible region [Latin America] must remain free from internal despotism and external domination… The destinies of our nations will not be dictated by foreign powers; they will be shaped by the people who call this hemisphere home. Today, we proudly proclaim for all to hear: the Monroe Doctrine is alive and well.”
May Day clashes between opposition supporters and Venezuela’s armed forces in Caracas left a woman dead and 46 people injured on Wednesday
Venezuelans heeded opposition leader Juan Guaido’s call to take to the streets on Wednesday in a bid to force President Nicolas Maduro from power, but there was little concrete sign of change in a crisis that increasingly looks like a political stalemate.
Guaido had called for the “largest march” in Venezuela’s history and said on Twitter that “millions of Venezuelans” were in the streets in “this final phase” of his move to oust Maduro.
The first difference I noticed was the FAES. Driving back into Caracas after an absence of more than eight years, a patrolling truck of masked, black-clad agents wielding their arms like warnings was a noticeable – and menacing – addition to the city’s streets.
This feared new unit – known as the Special Actions Force – did not exist when I moved to Venezuela as a correspondent in Hugo Chávez’s heyday more than a decade ago.
Security forces were always repressive: I, and most people I know, had numerous run-ins with what Venezuelans refer to as ‘ladrones con placa’ (gangsters with badges) over the years. Even on my first visit in 2004, declaring my profession as journalism on a hotel entry form led to an interrogation by intelligence agents.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a television interview on Wednesday that the United States was prepared to take military action to stem the ongoing turmoil in Venezuela.
“Military action is possible. If that’s what’s required, that’s what the United States will do,” Mr Pompeo said in an interview with Fox Business Network, but added that the United States would prefer a peaceful transition of power in Venezuela.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido earlier called for a massive May Day protest to increase the pressure on President Nicolas Maduro after a day of violent clashes on the streets of the capital.