There's a lot going on in Venezuela.
December 18, 2002 8:59 AM   Subscribe

There's a lot going on in Venezuela. Today they're marching. Yesterday the president responded to Bush's recommendations. Two days ago, the chief of Venezuela's army "condemned the strike." Why are they striking in Venezuela? Oil, Oil, Oil, Oil. (And I thought we could only get it from the Middle East!)
posted by valval22 (9 comments total)
From a PR standpoint, I think it's ridiculous that Bush is suggesting Chavez subvert his own nation's constitution. Regardless of your personal view on Bush in regards to civil liberties and the 2000 election, aren't those incidents cause for Bush to avoid mentioning stuff like this in the first place? Considering Bush is already mud-faced after the last time he tried to take a position on the Venezuelan government, perhaps he should take the advice of the New York Transit Worker's Union in regards to commenting on a strike- "shut up."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:15 AM on December 18, 2002

This joke of a strike is Ann Rand's wildest, wettest, most intimate and lustful dream ever: the corportate honchos are striking against the rebellious poor.

Unfortunately for them, her and her fans, they have got about the same chances of success than those of the average schoolyard snowball hitting the sun.

The White House has already backed up from its previous statements. It is no longer pushing for a regime change - now it suports the Venezuelan constitution (go figure) - which in turn supports Chavez (at least until his term is up).

I lived in Venezuela for 3 years a long time ago, yet I still remember vividly flying over Caracas and seeing a tiny "civilized" city center surrounded by a belt several miles thick of ranchitos (slums). It always seemed inexplicable to me why those desperate people didn't simply bash in the heads of the completely rich and completely corrupted people that they had already surrounded. I guess they finally took the cue.

If you had been in that plane, you would not be surprised.
posted by magullo at 9:27 AM on December 18, 2002

Make that Ayn Rand, of course
posted by magullo at 9:30 AM on December 18, 2002

I've been watching footage of the protests, and I've not seen a more bourgeois strike in years. Let's just say that you have to look very hard to find a dark face in the anti-Chavez crowds, and just as in Brazil, the colour of your skin is a decent indicator of your class, and thus your political affiliation.

I've also been catching US coverage of this, and it's really quite superficial; unlike the BBC, which makes the point that the majority of Chavez's supporters - that is, the people who elected him with a popular majority, and who just happen to be black - live outside the centre of Caracas. Instead, you get this apparently representative bunch of protestors in smart clothes and Gucci sunglasses, concerned that their economic grip on the country is being threatened.

And on preview: what magullo said.
posted by riviera at 9:35 AM on December 18, 2002

I wonder how much it could be a US fostered strike since we have a long history of using this technique. Makes you wonder about the snipers who opened fire on the previous demonstrations.
posted by destro at 10:21 AM on December 18, 2002

I'm very interested seeing what others are writing about this. I've been hearing about the tensions building since the first week in December from a close family member, who works for a large US Corporation with a plant based in Caracas. They, and other US Companies in the area, are shipping out all non-Venezuelan employees for "their own safety."

I simply don't know enough about it, so I love to hear other's views.
posted by valval22 at 10:38 AM on December 18, 2002

Narco News has been right at the forefront of reporting what is going on in Venezuela. Their website might prove to be a little shocking if the only news you have seen of the situation has been through the heavily filtered US media.

BTW, the US superspook who seems to dictate US policy in the region is the notorious, and notoriously inept and insidious Otto Juan Reich.
posted by kablam at 3:02 PM on December 18, 2002

magullo: The Ayn Rand Institute's reaction can be found here. In essence:
There are now two countries in the world where a popular rebellion is building against a dictatorship: Venezuela and Iran. In both cases, America's interests and the cause of human freedom demand that we stop sitting on our hands and start supporting these freedom fighters.
posted by dagny at 3:06 PM on December 18, 2002

There's an interesting article about the Venezuela situation (and the U.S.'s role in it) on AlterNet.
posted by spacewaitress at 8:55 AM on December 20, 2002

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