Of course we're serious - we are the "high command"

Of course we’re serious – we are the “high command”

According to Nicolás Maduro, an assasination attempt against him has been thwarted. The culprits? Maria Corina Machado, along with a bunch of opposition leaders, as well as the US Ambassador to Colombia.

Now, I don’t have the serenity to give you the details of the preposterous claim. Suffice to say they claim to have emails where Maria Corina talks about the assassination, but Maria Corina says they are a fabrication.

Now, if I were a skeptical Venezuelan on the street, the first thing I would ask myself is: why are the supposed culprits still walking around like zombies? Why has nobody been jailed for this? Luisa Ortega Díaz says investigations on this matter are ongoing. Really. Can you imagine the chief of police in Washington, DC, saying “we believe that John Hinckley, Jr., was the shooter who attacked President Reagan, but investigations are ongoing…”?

Moreover, why hasn’t the government broken off diplomatic relations with the government that supposedly wants to murder the President. On the heels of this revelation, what does Venezuela do? Why, it names its new top diplomat to Washington!

It’s one of two things: either the Venezuelan government is willfully allowing a bunch of assassins to roam the streets of Venezuela and trying to mend fences with a government that wants to kill its leader, or … the whole thing is made up.

You know the right answer. The only thing that is worth asking ourselves is why.

I think the whole show when Jorge Rodríguez – flanked by something called the “High Command of the Revolution” – showed the emails is revealing. It was a lame attempt at a show of unity within chavismo, at a time when the government’s support is crumbling faster than the country’s economy.

When Hugo Chávez was alive, every time there were tiffs or differences inside the government, out came the wild accusations of “magnicidio” to stir the pot. By driving a wedge between “they” (the assassins, which I guess includes all of us) and “us” (the revolutionaries), the government thinks it can consolidate its own factions. They seem to be saying “look, we may be incompetent crooks who are destroying the country, but they are worse than us … they want to kill us!”

It’s a cheap ploy, and it won’t work. In the face of unstoppable inflation, straws seem to be the only thing the government has to grasp on to.

The worst part is that some chavistas will fall for this. They have lost the capacity to ask themselves why the government claims an assassination has been thwarted and yet nobody is in prison.

Pity the poor Venezuelans who see the streets of Caracas filled with would-be assassins – me thinks they’ve watched one too many zombie movies. At this point, anybody who believes this stuff is beyond hope.

109 thoughts on “Zombieland

  1. I’m just trying to come to grips with the notion that leaders of the opposition put their assassination plans in emails. Do they also respond to messages asking for their bank account information and passwords?


  2. As an outsider I would think it is to put Maria Corina in a jail cell. With her and Lopez both taken care of nicely who is left in the opposition to stand up to them in the world arena?

    It seems the Cubans are one step ahead of the opposition again.


      • He will never do that,that’s why they want Machado out of the country or in jail. She’s the last of the Opposition. The MUD is a theatre,and all the white haired folk from the MUD are all corrupt,immoral and filthy rich.


        • sorry that my facetiousness was not more obvious, metodex. As for the MUD consisting of only white haired folk .. I don’t buy it.


  3. “It’s one of two things: either the Venezuelan government is willfully allowing a bunch of assassins to roam the streets of Venezuela and trying to mend fences with a government that wants to kill its leader, or … the whole thing is made up.”

    To be fair, the Venezuelan government DOES allow a bunch of assassins to roam the streets of Venezuela – hell, there’s several of them in the National Assembly, city councils and acting as ministers! And well, there is that special relationship with the one government that actually managed to kill our last president…


  4. It boggles my mind how anyone can believe these outrageous and absurd claims, time after time after time after time. There is a ‘coup’ or assassination of some sort foiled every other month.

    Even those ‘true believers’ who still go in for the ‘economic war’ and all that other garbage, do they believe this stuff? honest question.

    To me, it’s almost ritualistic at this point.


    • No one does believe it except for a few kool aid drinking cult members.

      In ND they have a survey:
      ¿Cree usted que la supuesta evidencia de magnicidio es verdadera o fabricada?

      Fabricada 96.66% (5,231 votes)

      Verdadera 1.94% (105 votes)

      Falta información 1.4% (76 votes)

      Total Votes: 5,412

      Normally the anti Chavez vote is in the mid 80s.


  5. Speaking of the ‘Alto Mando de la Revolucion’, ?con que se come eso?. Did they appoint themselves? What position in the AMR does Nicolas Maduro hold? Are they subject to recall by referendum? Can you apply to join? Were all of them there the other day? Are any of their library cards overdue?

    I mean, in its communiques the disinformation ministry refers to the MUD as the ‘self-styled Mesa de la Unidad Democratica’. But you can’t get much more self-styled than the High Command of the Revolution.


    • The Alto Mando Político is like the Politburo without the need for fake elections, caimanera-style as necessary for a Venezuelan autocracy.


  6. Our hermanitos chavistas sure are difficult to convince that these claims are smoke and mirrors.

    Then again, they believe the reason they can’t find deodorant is an economic war: “it’s reached new levels! Escualidos are attempting against our hygiene!”


  7. Why would anyone want to kill Maduro who is doing such an excellent job of self sabotaging himself and the regime ? Knowing also that his succesor is none other than that crazed creep , Diosdado ?? Its sheer lunacy !! This after having announced this last year about a dozen coups and assesination plots without any proof or follow up . Who is going to believe it.??

    These guys have lost all sense of reality . does any sane person believe that opposition figures ( if they were to plot anything) would trust the details of their ‘plot’ to phone conversations or e mail exchanges which the govt wouldnt intercept !!. thats as nutty as it can get .

    There is a picture emerging from the grapevine over the innards of the regime . they appear from the inside to offer a solid block of unity , but there are strong rumours according to which :

    1.- they are divided into fiercely competing factions , each with its own agenda and goals
    2. there is little love lost between the leaders of the various factions , for example its an open secret that Ramirez and Giordani are locked in a struggle to control the regimes economic policy and that each is attempting to manouver to unseat the other from their positions of power .
    3. Giordani is ideologically allied to Adan Chavez and Jaua , also probably to Arreaza.
    4. Maduro is no boss , he is the face of the regime , someone basically weak whom the factions dont fear , whose job it is to keep all factions if not happy at least comfortable with their carved up pieces of power . He is always doing a balancing act between the different factions but utlimately powerless to accomplish anything on his own .
    5. Cilia has her own group of favourites and accolytes and will make deals with different sides to get her people into positionf of influence . Hear she covets Ramirez position as head of money rich Pdvsa .

    The only thng uniting them is their fear of the opposition ultimately unseating them from total power, a power which they mean to own for ever !! Now they are close to desperate because the economy is tumbling down and there is no clear plan for avoiding it , the economic policies favoured by the monk and Ramirez just dont match up . That explains the wavering back and forth measures , no one has a firm grip on what should be done that every one is happy with .


  8. “The worst part is that some chavistas will fall for this. They have lost the capacity to ask themselves why the government claims an assassination has been thwarted and yet nobody is in prison.”

    They are just uneducated and ill-informed. As I wrote elsewhere before…. remember, that was the same propaganda crap Castro used to stay in power, taught properly to Chavez, now adopted by Masburro. It works for the uneducated, poor people who don’t have access to social media, or can’t read, and just watch the cadenas.

    It’s intended for them, spoken to them in their colloquial language with popular expressions as “Yanqui” or “Burguesia”, or “Capitalismo”, terms which a vast majority of uneducated, poor Venezuelans do not comprehend.

    That’s their intended audience for such “magnicidio” and other laughable crap. Chavistas are highly incompetent and stupid, but not to that extent..They fully realize the minority of semi-educated people with a grip on reality don’t buy a word of such accusations, or what they accused Leopoldo of without proof, or now MCM and Arria.

    It’s all fabricated for the uneducated masses who buy into it through the controlled media.


    • I’m not sure how many chavistas are falling for this anymore. In the aporrea forum they’ve opened a discussion on this subject. Not many have commented, and the last comment was made on Wed. at 3:10 PM. I guess not many of them want to be associated with those accepting the “magnicidio” threats as true.


    • Carlos,
      Though I take your point about the incessant demagoguery of the Maduro (and Chavez before him) administration, to say that only the “uneducated and ill-informed” would give credence to such claims of destabilization, overthrow, and assassination is irresponsible. Just a cursory glance at Latin American history (paying special attention to the U.S. role in the region) would dispel any notion that such claims are “laughable.” This is not even a subject of debate in foreign policy circles (here in the U.S.). It’s taken for granted that coups, assassinations, and destabilization efforts are a few of our many foreign policy tools. Moreover, they have been employed to an unusual extent in Latin America. To dismiss this reality as mere state propaganda is, frankly, quite misguided. However much you might want to hope such evidence is “fabricated,” the truth is the “responsible” foreign policy establishment in the U.S. openly admits (especially in policy journals and state memos/docs) to employing such strategies (in sometimes grotesque, shameless, and especially bloody ways – think about the U.S. sponsored overthrow of Allende in Chile, bloody civil wars in Central America, or the multiple U.S. coups against Haitian president Aristide). The history is not a pretty one and only those ignorant of such a history would make sweeping claims as to either the beneficent nature of U.S. intervention or its absence.


      • ..think about the U.S. sponsored overthrow of Allende in Chile..
        Oh yes, the coup against the “democratically elected” Allende.What I think about is the Resolution sometimes known as the “Declaration of the Breakdown of Chile’s Democracy,” which passed by a 81-47 vote, a strong 63% majority, in the also “democratically elected” Chamber of Deputies. Allende correctly stated that the Resolution “promoted a coup.”

        As the head of the Christian Democrats, Patricio Aylwin was the leading actor behind the Resolution. You know, the Patricio Aylwin who led the NO vote against Pinochet in the 1988 referendum and who subsequently became the first elected President since Allende. Aylwin, who led the NO vote against PInochet, was also the leading actor behind the Resolution which “promoted a coup” against Allende. Think about it.

        I am not going to post any more on the subject of Allende, as Allende is not the focus of this blog.


        • By a coup in Chile I meant the bombardment of the presidential palace,,,with the president still in it. As for Alywin, what is there to think about? I’m not sure if I understand your point.


        • That is exactly what I meant by a coup, also. Your response suggests to me that you have not read the Resolution. If you have not, I strongly suggest you read the Resolution- I have linked to it. At the Resolution, follow the link at Chamber Proceedings. The link at Chamber Proceedings provides a summary of the Resolution and also a discussion of Aylwin’s role in it. If after reading this, you still don’t understand my point about Aylwin, there is nothing I can suggest. Some people appreciate irony, and some don’t.

          Several years ago El Pais interviewed Aylwin- well worth the reading. I assume that as a doctoral candidate you have enough web savvy to find it- if you are so interested.



  9. We are also falling for it by giving it airtime. Its the never ending show that is produced by the cubans to keep people talking and asking themselves “hasta cuando?” with out consequence.

    El gran problema venezolano es la falta de seriedad. Hasta para rebelarse!


    • “El gran problema venezolano es la falta de seriedad. Hasta para rebelarse!”

      La pura verdad — en términos generales.


      • Ahora que lo dices, me recordaste un chiste sobre los generales. Quieres que te lo cuente?
        Just kidding, just kidding.
        We are kidding ourselves to the Stone Age.


  10. Yes, let’s believe the people who are supposedly planning to kill the president have not been put on custody yet. I remember chavista newspapers saying it was “proof”. So if they have proof, why are María Corina and Diego Arria not in jail yet? The whole thing is a circus.


  11. When I was young and stupid, I saw a bus run over a dog. The dog was in great pain, and I went over to it to see if there was anything I could do to help it. The dog bit me! In the Hospital Emergency Room, all the staff kept telling me, never get close to a wounded animal! It’s dangerous! I’m thinking that right now, it’s dangerous to get too close to maduristas!


    • Gordo,
      Chavistas are injured and bleeding. They have already removed all limits on what they will do to stay in office. This includes murder, torture, injury, false imprisonment, media control, fraudulent elections, theft on a grand scale, ignoring the Chavez-written constitution, granting immunity to those who hurt the opposition, etc.

      A dog bite is nothing compared to sending armored tanks and fighter jets against peaceful civilian protestors.


  12. Blind pride and constant hatred end destroying a person’s capacity to reason.
    and those two are aspects that chavistas have to spare.


  13. How about the kid who got arrested and then went with his father to Zurda Konducta (think La Hojilla, with younger hosts) to testify that Voluntad Popular payed him, that his father was duly notified of his arrest, that he was not mistreated and that Foro Penal wasn’t seen helping anyone.

    El nombre del joven Simón Villasmil, de 20 años, sonó en las últimas semanas en varios medios de comunicación y en las redes sociales, reportándolo desaparecido hasta este jueves, cuando un medio impreso de circulación nacional lo incluyó en una lista de liberados, atribuyendo tal liberación al Foro Penal Venezolano.

    Este jueves, Villasmil apareció en el programa Zurda Konducta de Venezolana de Televisión (VTV), donde ofreció testimonio acompañado de su padre, señalando que “fue reclutado por el partido Voluntad Popular para participar en las protestas violentas en Caracas, pero fue abandonado por jóvenes de dicho partido”.

    Villasmil fue trasladado a la prisión de Yare 3. Reitera que no fue torturado ni maltratado.

    En el video, su padre negó que el joven estuviera desaparecido. Al ser detenido, su padre recibió una llamada informándole que iba a ser trasladado en el Comando de la Guardia, y en todo momento supo dónde estaba su hijo.

    Villasmil negó que recibieran ayuda del Foro Penal, “solamente nuestros padres estuvieron allí llevándonos comida y estando pendientes de nosotros”.



    • And that’s just another case in which a gun pointed at your face and a threat to your whole family do wonders to make people lie.


  14. JCN: “At this point, anybody who believes this stuff is beyond hope.” Instead, I see anyone who believes this stuff as easy to flip over…


  15. Unfortunately, these claims at attempted destabilization of the country seem to be well substantiated. The continuing declassification and leaking of U.S. gov documents prove that we’ve (the U.S.) has had a substantial role in destabilizing governments the world over and usually exploiting domestic sentiment and/or cooperating with domestic elites to do so.
    Moreover, I would have to disagree with your assessment of the situation. What you present is a false choice. You write “It’s one of two things: either the Venezuelan government is willfully allowing a bunch of assassins to roam the streets of Venezuela and trying to mend fences with a government that wants to kill its leader, or … the whole thing is made up.”
    Firstly, one thing is to have evidence of destabilization and planned assassination and another is an assassination actually taking place. Of course, the government wants to prevent the latter. A good way to do this is to release this information to turn public attention to the plots. This is nothing new. States have been doing this since time immemorial. Mending broken relations with the U.S. is wholly in the Venezuelan government interest. Why do you think Cuba and other authoritarian states have continued to extend an olive branch while the U.S. pummels them both politically and economically? Though a seeming exercise in hypocrisy, the sheer power of the U.S. and relative position of Venezuela makes this effort at reaching out a prudent and worthwhile one.
    Your comparison to the U.S. is interesting. In fact, the U.S. regularly points to continued threats and plots against the homeland as a justification for extraordinary surveillance measures and continued (often unconstitutional) detention of “suspected” criminals. The only difference is that the Venezuelan government is actually providing the supposed proof while the U.S. government simply hopes we’ll take their word for it (given the “classified” nature of the evidence itself). I think the zombie analogy is a bit exaggerated.
    Though I’m instinctively suspicious of any state claims of “proof” as well as generally suspicious of any institutional concentrations of power (corporate/private power included), the Venezuelan government’s case seems compelling (unfortunately so given the evidence in both U.S. documents and these latest supposed emails). It does not aid the Venezuelan opposition’s cause to be linked to continued foreign efforts at destabilization and overthrow. The proposed sanctions just passed in the U.S. house will magnify this perception of the domestic Venezuelan opposition being simple lackeys for the imperial designs (or regional “balancing” efforts – however you want to paint it) of the U.S. foreign policy and economic establishment.
    Though I’m largely uninformed about the domestic situation in Venezuela (though, on the surface, I see many parallels with other U.S. sponsored overthrows and attempted coups of the past), I can speak to the unfortunate role our government could be having in the current crisis. Of course, a lot is not known. However, from what is known, such an interference in Venezuela’s internal unrest is both counterproductive for the opposition and dangerous for a Venezuelan population that is already suffering from unprecedented violence on its streets.


    • “Though I’m largely uninformed about the domestic situation in Venezuela…”

      Yes, you are… grossly so.

      “…unfortunate role our government COULD be having…”

      Pure inference without any proof. One of the many tools of the PSF.

      I am with Bill. This is pure troll feces.


      • It seems many of you are exploiting my modesty for some argumentative points. In any case, yes I’ve read the book and it’s a fine piece of writing. I’ve also read snippets of Francisco’s book and hope to have the chance to read the whole thing. However, I stick to commentaries on the US role in Venezuela, I’m not privy to a lot of the debates going on internally. The US role in Venezuelan and Latin American affairs is what I know best and so I feel more comfortable discussing it. Moreover, domestic challenges in Venezuela are formidable but it’s the responsibility of her citizens to hash out solutions – not outside powers. Thanks anyway for the suggestions.


        • “It seems many of you are exploiting my modesty…”
          Really, now? Modesty, is it? Don’t flatter yourself. You’re a run-of-the-mill narcissist in the making.

          “The US role in Venezuelan and Latin American affairs is what I know best and so I feel more comfortable discussing it.”
          Find yourself a blog with chavista overtones; you’ll be hugely at home there. Over here, we find your *area of expertise* a boring non-issue, given the NED’s paltry contribution vs. the MASSIVE levels of corruption, to name one MAJOR issue. So get your priorities straight, Bub. The Titanic is sinking. Stop fine tuning your violin. You look like you’re wet-behind-the-ears.

          “…domestic challenges in Venezuela are formidable but it’s the responsibility of her citizens to hash out solutions – not outside powers.”
          Some folks dream in technicolor… Thank you for that Obi-Wan Kenobi. When we need your advice, we’ll know where to find you.


          • Syd,
            My priorities are straight, that’s what I’ve been making clear. In mentioning NED and other intervention I was responding to an earlier comment claiming any claims of US intervention were fictitious. But thank you for the hospitality on this forum. I can see it’s an arena for open and lively debate.


          • Syd, foreign intervention is a a major issue. Outside intervention has had disastrous consequences for Venezuela (and other LA states). It means more blood on the streets. So, I find the fact it’s a non-issue for you worrisome. In any case, your smug confidence in laying the parameters of debate speaks volumes about your own narcissism. But, it’s frankly a waste of space to talk about our psychological proclivities.


            • Assuming you are sincere, I will lay it out for you. Through political mechanizations, Venezuela has been taken over by thugs who don’t give a crap about democracy, but want to be left alone to continue their various criminal enterprises and enjoy a privileged life. They have total control of all of the institutions of government and the military. Dissent is punished, sometimes brutally, and opposition leaders are jailed on trumped up charges.

              The time in which it was possible for Venezuela to have a peaceful and democratic transition has passed. The last presidential election was a fraud and everyone knows it. The economy is tanking, shortages of basic goods is endemic, and crime is completely out of control. We are getting killed over here now! So don’t talk to us about blood.

              The U.S. is in a delicate situation. It is painfully aware of past history and does not want old ghosts awakened. For 15 years, the U.S. policy has been a “hands-off” stance despite egregious provocations, both rhetorical and real. However, the abuses of human rights and violations of various treaty charters are becoming too numerous and blatant for the U.S. to simply ignore. To do nothing at all is the same as witnessing a violent crime taking place and not calling 911. At some point, minding your own business becomes depraved indifference.


              • Thank you, Roy, for spelling it out for the academic set that needs to pontificate, without the ability or willingness to know each side of the looking glass. Faced with incomplete information, and the fear of reality in all its glorious contradictions and massive imperfections, these folks find comfort in conspiracy theories, fed by those seeking to manipulate.

                Bottom line; It’s galling when folks feel the need to pontificate, without knowing well each side of the equation. It’s worse when these characters aim to portray themselves as experts, before an audience of innocents.


              • Roy,
                I take your points. Aside from the formidable internal problems (crime, abuses, shortages), and putting aside the indefensible corruption and violations of human rights (something endemic to Venezuela long before the Chavez era but continuing throughout), I think you’re underestimating, 1) the transparency of the electoral system and 2) the US role in fomenting dissent, financing it, and sponsoring opposition leaders. and 3) the corruption of the old political and economic elite. Though I don’t have time to go into detail, as you know, the electoral system has been lauded by numerous international bodies (The Carter Center among them). In fact, it’s held in much higher esteem than the U.S. system. Moreover, the opposition candidates are performing well (recently, two more opposition candidates won mayoralties). The opposition governs many municipalities and regions. Besides social media posts and condemnations of the CNE (some quite appropriate), I haven’t read any substantive critiques of the electoral system being “rigged” (outside the Miami Herald, and before that – until recently – Globovision). I would appreciate some guidance if you have good sources on this matter.

                As to the US being in a “delicate” situation, I think that is distorting the US role all along. Besides the fact that we (the US) have encouraged bloodshed in the past (we have no interest in democracy), we’ve had anything but a “hands-off” approach. If we’re going to stick just to Venezuela (in the last 15 years), the Bush administration was a lot more forceful and daring in its meetings with opposition candidates and important opposition businesspeople, strategizing about economic warfare, funding of opposition causes, and, at best, tacitly approving the 2002 coup – though we won’t know the full extent of involvement for at least a decade. These interventions and their predictable consequences (grave abuses, bloodshed, death and destruction) rest firmly on the shoulders of the US and her apparent lackeys in important military posts and positions of power in Venezuela. Of course, now the equation has changed, sponsoring another coup and exploiting the righteous student unrest would just be criminal (not to mention it would undermine many of the student demands). Besides being a violation of international law and likely to lead to even more blood (history of sponsored coups bares this out) the US is not in a position to help. Besides appropriately calling for a respect of human rights, anything else serves as a propaganda victory for Maduro and will likely worsen repression. So, I don’t think the US is indifferent, from the Monroe Doctrine to the latest coup in Honduras, we’ve shown to be quite involved in our “backyard.” However, after three wars in the middle east, and sponsoring at least two coups in the last 14 years, the US public’s tired of our “humanitarian” escapades.

                Though I haven’t read any recent polls on the issue, my feeling is that the vast majority of Venezuelans do not want outside interference or outside “help” in bringing down the government. Perhaps you can direct me in the direction of good studies or polls on this issue? Many thanks.


              • Syd,
                Your smug account of my motivations is shameful. I can only assume it’s to distract form your own vacuous understanding of what’s going on. I’ve treated those on the forum with nothing but respect, you’re lack of decorum and respect on a serious issue like this is troubling and doesn’t leave much hope for some.


              • I see now that my assumption of joaquinpedroso’s sincerity was overly generous. Sigh… pearls before the swine…


                Thanks. Though it was wasted keystrokes.


              • “the electoral system has been lauded by numerous international bodies (The Carter Center among them).”

                Wow. No more wasting time with you. Did you bother to read the last Carter Center report? Or the one before that? Yes, they laud aspects of the system. Those aspects are irrelevant when the odds are so stacked in favor of one side. It’s clear elections cannot be fair when one side has every asset of the state at their disposal to use however they please, and does so with flagrantly gleeful reckless abandon, and the other side does not. Add to that censorship, intimidation, threats of consequences to government employees or those receiving government benefits, manipulation, etc.

                I’d love for you spend some time in Venezuela during the last two presidential elections and then come on here and say the elections were fair.


              • @joaquinpedroso
                If my generalized overview hit a nerve, then it was warranted.

                As for your “vacuous understanding of what’s going on”, I suggest you go live in Caracas for at least a year. That way, you can finally begin to understand what we long-term commenters, with in-country experience, have been trying to tell the “innocent” newcomer. That is, the ingenue who really doesn’t want to gain knowledge (obvious through his repeated sworls of unaccountable logic), but rather find justification for his academic constructs.

                That you’re twisting things to avoid the initiative needed to get to the heart of the matter (that is, beyond the lazy use of a forum), tells me exactly who is the smug one with vacuous understanding. Cagaleche, indeed.


              • Roy and Syd,

                You’ve all questioned my motivations, referred to me as swine, cagaleche, wet behind the ears, like you get off on it. You all are intelligent folks so these kind of absurdities surprise me. I’d love for a response to my documented response to Roy as to our involvement in Venezuela. It seems my “unaccountable logic”, as Syd put it, is backed up with evidence while your dismissal of it is not.

                LIke Francisco likes to say, evidence and not supposition, insinuation, nor conjecture proves things.



    • Mending broken relations with the U.S. is wholly in the Venezuelan government interest.
      While it may in the interest of the Chavista government to have good relations with the US, it usually does what it can to worsen them. Consider these golden oldies. Yanqui de Mierda and Bush is the devil.

      The Venezuelan government wants to mend relations with the US? Decime otro de vaqueros, pues.


      • We should distinguish between rhetoric and reality. Both Chavez’s and Maduro’s rhetorical flourishes have been embarrassing and in bad taste, but so has US rhetoric consistently and hypocritically done the same. So, yes, Venezuela like every other nation may condemn the US in certain settings (just like the US condemns coups and then recognizes coup governments, or admonishes violations of civil liberties and then cozies up to powers like China) but in other setting extend an olive branch. That’s politics.


        • Chavista rhetoric is also backed up by reality. Consider the Chavista support of the FARC, etc. etc. But yes, while Chavismo says it hates those Yanquis, Chavismo loves those Yanqui petrodollars and also fun, games and real estate in Florida and other places in the US. Deme dos- de las mansiones. And given the restraint that the US has shown towards Chavismo. your claim that “so has US rhetoric consistently and hypocritically done the same” is patently absurd.


          • How is my claim absurd? I’ve given two clear examples (and there are many man more). This kind of hypocrisy is central to state systems and concentrations of power and privilege. I’m not sure what’s controversial about my comment.


  16. troll alert !, troll alert !!, another troll trying to pass himself as a ‘musiu pendejo sin fronteras’ . I at least am not biting, ,fed up with stupid ‘cowboy and indian stories’ . Even Galeano gave that up !!


      • Ud. Quiere seriedad?

        Aqui tiene seriedad:


        here we have what two of whom we could refer to as “useful idiots” (namely Oliver Stone and Mark Weisbrot) with that old refrain about the US conspiring to destabilize Venezuela. THIS is their proof:

        Click to access 208290.pdf

        A Congressional Budget Justification by the US State Department, where they want to spend [Dr. Evil Mode]5 MILLION DOLLARS[/Dr. Evil Mode] in:

        “The FY 2014 request will help strengthen Venezuelan civil society and
        democratic institutions and support political competition-building efforts that will protect democratic
        space and seek to serve the interests and needs of the Venezuelan people. Funding will assist civil
        society and human rights organizations.”

        In that same budget justification the State Department is asking for 35 MILLION Dollars for Mexico to:

        “The FY 2014 request will support our relationship with the new Mexican
        administration. The United States will continue its partnership with Mexico and expand mutual
        cooperation under the Merida Initiative to address security risks from drug trafficking, violent crime,
        and rule of law capacity in Mexico. Specifically, ESF funding will focus on strengthening and
        institutionalizing reforms to improve the rule of law and respect for human rights and building strong
        and resilient communities able to prevent and reduce crime and violence. A more stable Mexico will
        increase the United States’ national security, enhance economic growth potential, and protect
        U.S. citizens along our shared border.”

        FInally, according to one of the bloggers around here:


        all that tear gas the GNB and the PNB spent is supposed to have been bought for 6.5 MILLION US Dollars

        Funny, you’d think that if the US was pushing for “regime change” here, they’d put in a bit more money. I guess the Venezuelan Opposition is so useless that they work for dirt cheap salaries. And the US State Department is managed by the Keystone Kops because they’ve been trying by all possible means for more than ten years to topple the glorious bolivarian government and have ALWAYS been foiled.


        • Imprecator,
          Besides prior knowledge of (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/03/international/americas/03venezuela.html?pagewanted=print&position=&_r=0) and instigating the first coup (http://oig.state.gov/documents/organization/13682.pdf) and direct funding of opposition groups by the NED this time around (articles abound on this issue, just google it…) the U.S. has consistently sponsored insurrections, coups, and death squads throughout the region. It’s no secret the U.S. is pushing regime change (albeit mildly – no death squads here) in Venezuela. Nevertheless, it should not detract from the seriousness of outside intervention. We wouldn’t accept Russia funding the Republican party in a few key states (say like the swing state of Florida) to the tune of $6million dollars a year. That’s just unacceptable. Nor would we accept Russian diplomats meeting with key opposition figures to “promote democracy.” That’s just unheard of. Those accepting the funds and meeting with Russian officials would be barred from politics or imprisoned (if it were during the red scare they would be executed). It’s as simple as that. It is naive to think that Venezuela shouldn’t guard against this kind of intervention. The U.S. doesn’t dedicate more money to the endeavor because the pretext is flimsy at best. However, the little money, international networking, diplomatic and political support for opposition members, and possibly (weak) sanctions will continue the efforts at overthrow. Again, this is not good for the opposition movement.


          • “..and direct funding of opposition groups by the NED ..”
            anything to divert attention from the social and economic mess chavistas have created and acolytes enabled…


            • No, there are legitimate criticisms to be made there. It’s not a yawning matter. I’m not in the business of justifying state propaganda. I am in the business of holding my country accountable for it’s violations of international law in funding opposition groups in Venezuela as well as our role in fanning the flames of unrest. I’ll leave it to Venezuelan’s to protest and forge their own future. I don’t presume to meddle in their affairs, much less undermine them with outside intervention.


          • 1. Yes, some in the CIA had prior knowledge. They also urged those not to attempt a coup or anything extra-constitutional. Could, or should, they have done differently as the coup actually happened? Maybe, but get the facts straight first.

            2. Where in that IG report does it say the US State Dept ‘instigated the coup’, as you state? Did they instigate the 2 hundred thousand people marching through the street as well?


              • Rory, I agree that US involvement bolsters the Venezuelan state propaganda machine. It’s all the more reason to not interfere. The same happens in Cuba. It’s a long and tired story.


            • Good point Rory. You should keep in mind these are State department documents. They will not say “instigate” (though in the past some other docs and minutes have employed more colorful language). So you should take these with a grain of salt. In any case, the very notion that opposition members were meeting with U.S. officials to let them know they were planning a coup is damning enough. In fact it’s scandalous. They of course needed approval of the U.S. before shaking things up. But you would have to read between the lines to infer this. Can you imagine Russian officials meeting with the key members of the Republican party and with supportive organizations to talk about executing a coup in the US? I mean, this is simply ridiculous. Instigation is putting it lightly. As to the protesters and marchers, they weren’t instigated (except by calls by the private media to go to the streets in 2002).


              • In any event, my main point is this: An event like April 11 were going to happen regardless of anything the USA did or did not do. There were so many pissed off people, so many in the military and the media elite who thought Chavez was becoming a dictator, etc, it was hardly surprising to anyone in Venezuela or paying attention that some sort of ousting was attempted. The atmosphere was boiling.

                The constant reference to the USA being involved in the coup is just a regime propaganda to bolster the narrative that Chavistas are in some noble, epic struggle against enemies constantly trying to destroy them. Believing you’re a part of some sacred war makes accepting insane crime rates, rampant corruption, inflation, shortages, etc, easier to accept.


          • Has the US been hypocritical in the past? yes it has. Has it financed and encouraged “regime change” in non-friendly countries in the past? yes it has.

            HOWEVER, when it has, it has been much more “effective” than with the current situation.

            “It’s no secret the U.S. is pushing regime change”
            It’s NO SECRET that the US would PREFER a friendlier regime.

            “We wouldn’t accept Russia funding the Republican party in a few key states”

            You’re comparing apples to oranges, the budget request was for funding NGOs not political parties.

            ‘Nor would we accept Russian diplomats meeting with key opposition figures to “promote democracy.”’

            Dude, I have SIX letters for you: CIA, SAD. When the US wants dirty work done, it uses the Special Activities Division of the CIA, NOT the US State Department.

            The CLOSEST the US has ever gotten to “US Diplomats meeting key opposition figures to ‘promote democracy'” was when US Ambassador William Brownfield started showing up at opposition rallies. That was 7 years ago.

            If you have a beef with your government, take it elsewhere, we have our own problems, thank you very much.


            • Imprecator,
              Yes, funding for political parties is included, check the links in this article (http://www.vice.com/read/does-the-uss-funding-of-the-venezuelan-opposition-matter). As to the “beef” with my government, I have plenty of it but I haven’t made any mention of it here. I’ve stuck to U.S. relations with Venezuela and how it plays into the current crisis. In any case, I assume you’re not the arbiter of this forum. However your lack of hospitality is remarkable.


              • That’s hardly proof of it.

                Why? as the article you mentioned points out it’s illegal.

                If they’re channeling it through NGOs and the Government (whom like most governments has shown plenty of times that it will use the law as toilet paper if it’s in their best interest) is so worried that they’re using it to interfere in Venezuelan Politics to the point that they’re (as they have been doing for the last 10 years) claiming that it’s being used to topple the Chavista Government they would have done more than whine, in the specific case of Ambassador Brownfield he threatened with expulsion at least twice.

                By now all the elaborate Chavista whining about US interference is as believable as the routine Chavista accusations that the Electrical Power Grid is being sabotaged, or that the Private Sector is waging an economic war.

                And yes, you’re bringing here your beef with your government. Because for all its warts for what it has done on the past, the US role here has been limited to bitching about the Chavistas.

                My “Remarkable lack of Hospitality” comes because of the fact the overwhelming majority of our problems we caused by ourselves, WE have to solve them. And the use of the tired old refrain of US interference is used routinely south of the Rio Grande as an excuse for not solving them. You’re are working on a PhD in Political Science, you ought to now that by now.


              • As to your first point, yes. It’s made clear in the wikileaks cable.

                Second, you’re absolutely right about US interference serving as a scapegoat for Chavista propaganda…all the more reason to stop it.

                Thirdly, your characterization of US interference as merely “bitching” is just wrong. I’ve already posted countless links to wikileaks, state department memos, and articles showing this to be the case.

                Given that this forum is (for the most part – except apparently when hurling insults at visitors) in English I (perhaps incorrectly) assumed it was not limited to Venezuelans living in Venezuela. I am well aware of the propagandistic function that US interference serves for those governments “south of the Rio Grande.” This is all the more reason to recognize it’s a reality and hope to stop it.


              • joaquinpedroso, when people have trouble keeping things simple it indicates usually one of 2 problems:

                1. lying( which makes them use round- a -bout logic that takes forever to explain)
                2. not taking full responsibility for the problem

                Let’s get simple and tell the truth:

                1, Venezuela is to blame for Venezuela
                2, the US is to blame for the US

                Any other discussion is just side tracking.

                The good news:

                Venezuela can fix its own problems…..that’s the good news about taking responsibility


              • Firepigette,

                We are responsible for the predictable consequences of our actions. In my case (with respect to this thread), those would be US efforts during the 2002 coup and this current unrest that have led to heartbreaking bloodshed. That’s as simple as it gets.

                I’m not trying to complicate things or use “round-a-bout-logic.” I’m in fact trying to take full responsibility for what we’ve done. I’m not sure I see your point.

                That being said, you are right that Venezuelan’s can fix their own problems. I think this is all the more reason my country shouldn’t be involved. That’s the point I’ve been making all along.


              • joaquinpedroso: The countless links you have posted just show that International Politics is what it has always been: RealPolitik, which ALL countries are guilty of and have been guilty of since Nation-States have existed. And ALL countries in the world have to deal with the consequences of it. Again, for someone who studies Political Science it should be obvious.

                No particular reason to blame the US for it. And as for the US considering themselves “Exceptional” in this regard, fine: Kipling’s “White Man Burden”, the light version, extremely light considering how the British Empire & Co. did things.

                Frankly, I am much more concerned about our own problems than whatever the US is doing right now. Because RIGHT NOW we’re paying for the consequences of our own idiocy. The US didn’t cause it, we did.


              • “I am well aware of the propagandistic function that US interference serves for those governments “south of the Rio Grande.” This is all the more reason to recognize it’s a reality and hope to stop it.”

                But what you don’t seem to grasp is that it’s not a reality, quite frankly. At least not in anywhere near the proportion that you seem to indicate, in 2002 or now. Chavez spent millions of year on lobbyists in DC, does that mean they were interfering in US politics?

                But I agree with you on this, why give any money to NGOs in Venezuela not aimed at something specific, like vaccinations or improving sanitary conditions in rural areas, etc. USA is not the driver of any of the protests or campaigns in Venezuela, so why not stop any involvement that could be construed as interference?


              • Rory,

                You are certainly right about the latest inequities in the Venezuelan elections. Though various international bodies have lauded the electoral system the conditions on the ground and inequities in campaigning were outrageous. Thank you for pointing me to the latest 2014 report (which I had not yet read).


              • “I’ve stuck to U.S. relations with Venezuela and how it plays into the current crisis.”

                Very narrow for a PhD thesis. I suggest you examine all geopolitical influences in Vzla, and vice-versa.

                P.S. I’d also suggest you start growing a thicker skin. All this hypersensitivity over the lack of hospitality from several of us, just because we’re not sitting on one cheek as we tell you a thing or two, leads me to my thesis: You really need to move down to Venezuela to gain a better understanding of, well, just about everything.


              • Syd,
                I’m not sure where all this talk of PhD thesis is coming from (nor all these jabs at academia and my person)…it’s beside the point and distracting from what’s important here.

                As to growing thicker skin, the base level of insults being hurled around did surprise me. Well, it surprises me no more in this forum.

                As to understanding… in the same way I don’t need to move to Sudan to understand privation, or live in Saudi Arabia to comment on women’s rights, or visit China to comprehend authoritarianism, I don’t need to move Venezuela to “understand” and you put it.

                Living somewhere does not beget understanding of a country’s history or politics. Unfortunately, the majority of the US population bears this fact out (many can’t even name their representative much less intelligently discuss foreign policy).

                So no, you’re wrong there. Perhaps you need to widen your scope to understand, as you put it, “a thing to two.”


              • Ooooooh, I don’t know where all this talk of a PhD thesis comes into play. (whine)
                Ooooooh, why don’t you play nice with me (even though I was the first to throw mud)? (whine)

                Try this, jackass:
                The photo matches your avatar.


    • He’s not a troll, bill bass, he’s just a cagaleche who read Open Veins in Intro to Latin American History 210 and thinks he has God agarrado por la chiva. It’s not quite the same…


      • Francisco, it’s unfortunate that you’ve debased yourself this way. I was a consistent reader of Caracas Chronicles when you were at the head (the quality has gone down immensely since you left the helm). In the past, I recommended this blog to friends anxious to learn more about the possible fraud going on in Venezuela’s elections. The coverage was better than most mainstream outlets (and of course better than all state-sponsored ones). I thought your perceptive commentary on last year’s elections were level-headed and honest. However, it seems you’ve lost respect for your readers by echoing these insults. I wish you success on your work on Africa. Perhaps you’ll be a bit more honest with that project.


      • Francisco,

        I think I have to disagree with you. This one’s tenacity and access to the standard Chavista talking points says “troll” to me. Though, I don’t recognize the style. He is a bit more subtle than most in that he sows seeds of doubt instead of simply bashing. Maybe they are recruiting?


  17. The only foreign intervention that really bugs me and a great many Venezuelans is the intervention of the Cuban Regime in Venezuelas life and its role as master puppeteer of the failed disastrous despotic regime that lords it over us and pretends to hold on to power forever.

    Example of the way this regime (which is an occupying power in our land) milks its oil wealth for its own sole benefit while ruining our lives are these facts .

    Cuban government reported a US$ 6.000 million dollars SUPERAVIT in its 2012 trade with Venezuela , the same year which Minister Ramirez reported that Venezuela exported 104.000 bls per day of oil to cuba ( when oil prices where at more than 102 US$ per bls ). These officially reported figures tell us that in 2012 the Venezuelan regime gave Cuba close to 11.000 million US$ in what is practically a tribute to their Cuban masters . Newspaper reporters calculate that Venezuelas tribute to its Cuban Imperial Masters exceeds 18 billion US$ in 3 years .

    Cuba has nothing to export to Venezuela but half trained semi medics , police goons posing as advisors to spy and exercise imperial control over our military , absolutely incompetent power plant personnel . Cuba is ruined and produces nothing that the rest of the world needs or wants . Meantime we are forced into a life where inflation crime and shortages are rampant and impovershing the lives of all Venezuelans , were you cant buy a car , or a car part or a battery , or a whole group of essential living stapples nor can you travel , where people are literally dying because all the foreign currency must be spent to pay tribute to Cuba and fill the pockets of a corrupt few . .

    In that scenario the fatuous ignorant musiu is telling us that we should worry about some silly fable concocted by the same regime that has showered us with constant lies and misinformations for 15 years.
    I say if he is not a troll he should be treated like one .!!


    • You forgot to mention the Chinese, we got from under the “insolent heel of the Gringos” and promptly moved by our own will under the “insolent heel of the Chinese”. That’s 21st Century Imperialism for you…..


      • Chinese imperialism is such a ball of wax for the pseudo-revolutionary set, even among academics in training. For one thing, there’s the language and distance barrier that makes understanding both sides of the issue nearly impossible. For another, the romantic set are still dreaming of the days of the little red book, a mist that tends to whitewash contemporary aggressiveness from the Chinese. In the end, laziness wins out. It’s just so much easier to make a federal case about a paltry NED amount than it is to examine ALL geopolitical interferences in or by a country.


      • Im not sure the Chinese have any desire or interest in political control, they dont require payment of any tribute, only the chance of doing good business !! unlike Cuba they do have useful things to sell to Venezuela even if the price sometimes ( not always) isnt the most favourable to Venezuelas interests.

        They can be predatory but sometimes they are not unlike any western companies in their commercial aggresiveness. Suspect that even if there is a regime change they would offer conditions to a new govt allowing for a continuation of ongoing business on probably better terms .

        They are not in the same league as the Cubans who are more like leeches which want Venezuela to operate as a political and economic colony of their regime.!! .


        • All very true, however I don’t see how they’re any better than the gringos. Which is the reason I wonder why if after 40 years of listening to what Lenin termed as “Useful Idiots” complain with stuff right out of “The Open Veins of LatinAmerica” how come they don’t complain about the Chinese. If “Tenemos Patria” means that “we’re out of the economic heel of the US” how come it doesn’t means that “we’re under the economic heel of China”.


          • Absolutely agree !! If they complain about Western business interests they should also complain about Chinese business interests exactly the same way , except that Chinese capitalism being younger its usually more avid and raw than any western business is likely to be .


            • As to the Chinese presence, like the presence of dozens of other wealthy state interests, it’s unavoidable (however equally worrisome) in certain respects. However, I’m primarily concerned with the role my country is playing, that’s why I’ve kept my comments to the US. It’s not hypocrisy, it’s simply being concerned more with what your own country does (and hence what were responsible for) than what others do.


    • Bill,
      The presence of the Cuban political class in Venezuela is a cause for concern. Such a dependence (symbiosis with?) on any foreign state is troublesome. Though I think the impact (especially historically) of the US has been much more significant, the situation now is indeed irksome.

      As to your continued disparagement of my person and continued references to me as a “troll.” Cheers…Stay classy.


      • “…cause for concern …. irksome…”

        Newsflash: Cuban presence in Vzla has caused more than the trite words you use to justify the current thrust of your academic thesis (US = Big, bad wolf vs the do-no-wrong nation-state lambs). It has contributed to a growing 15-year malaise, earlier deviated due to the buffoonery employed by Hugo Chávez … you know, the one that loved to say how he hated Yanks (and how many fools fell for that!), while he gleefully counted every greenback behind closed doors.

        More newsflash: As of the start of 2014, that growing malaise has turned into pockets of violence.

        If we can help you navigate through the marshes of your thesis, don’t hesitate to keep using us. But please leave the Ron Burgundy routines for your nearest bar, or book club reunion.


  18. The US at the time when its relations with local govts was most friendly never had the kind of controlling blood sucking power that the Cuban Regime has right now !! Any US intervention is to be considered enlightened and benign as compared to the imperial control Cuba execises over all our fundamental institutions and daily lives . The idea that this imperial oppresive control is simply ‘irksome’ is offensive to any patriotic Venezuelan , only a ideologically blinded gringo troll can use the term with such frivolous unconcern .

    Also forgotten, the way that Chavez blatantly interfered in the affairs of Colombia with its support of Farcs drug smuggling and arms traficking or by sending bag fulls of money to the Kirtchners for use in their electioneering !!

    What I find most laughable at the govt pretentious claim that there is a plot to assasinate Maduro is that the guy is a ninny , a bumbling ninconcoop , the biggest help the opposition has had ever in selling its message that the regime is incompetent and corrupt . Who would want to assasinate that poor creep ?? Chavez might have been a target to murderous enemies of the regime , but to think of Maduro as an assasination target is a joke !!

    Aso if as the Chavistas say the armed forces are to a man prepared to defend the revolution as are the vast masses of the people and the regime leadership is steadfastly united in their aims and goals then what good would it do ?, what would anyone gain by it ?, its silly , its absurd , its childish .

    The whole exercise has two purposes , to distract people from the hardships that have now started to burden our lives and for which the regime is responsible and to see if they can justify getting rid of some brave opposition leaders whose popularity menaces their hold on power come election time .!!


    • bill bass: “Any US intervention is to be considered enlightened and benign as compared to the imperial control Cuba execises over all our fundamental institutions and daily lives .

      I guess that the key word in your first statement is *compared*. If it were not a comparison, then would you agree that no USA intervention should be considered enlightened and benign?

      As to the statement following that quote, you do see how your describing *any* imperial control as “enlightened and benign” could be considered offensive by some?


  19. Ex Torres : The statement is not meant to be literally factual but it is a common didactic recourse to use rethorical hyperbole to make a point more poignant !! By the way Bolivar attempted several times to convert the liberated territories into a British Protectorate !! how odious of him !!


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