Venezuela continues to sink in misery

8 hours ago, mthebold said:

In short, the US government just spent 17 years teaching its citizens exactly where and how to fight it. 

I suppose it is quite possible that our military leadership could have planned it this way, given what they know about current and evolving government in Washington?

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On 12/12/2018 at 5:14 PM, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

The reason that Venezuela is where it is today is due to mismanangement first under Chavez and especially under Maduro. 

But this is besides the point - I was merely saying that Russia and China couldn't care less about people dieing. They are just trying to do just enough to make sure that they get as much as possible back from the loans they made. 

NB! I really think that this thread should focus on the suffering in Venezuela. 

Well the point is - to solve the suffering we might need to know why they suffer right?? If democracy is the problem wondering if there is a manual somewhere guiding them how to corrupt mildly and properly so that those who voted for whoever is in charge will have stability in basic needs?? Or is there anyone can teach them what to do with their country?? 

We assume Russia and China are giving Venezuela loans. Wondering if anybody can negotiate how the money is going into Venezuela?? Can they invest and profit-share with Venezuela?? Can they invest and spend more on the people in Venezuela in terms of salaries; job opportunities; help to set up social aid system and the transitioning government etc??

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1 minute ago, mthebold said:

Good point.  I wouldn't be surprised if many thought of it, even if they couldn't actually plan around it. 

What I'm alluding to is that possibly our beliefs in why our country has pursued the last 15 years of military involvement around the world may have been because the staff and generals placed high pressure on the administrations in office during that last 15 years to do so.  Not so much because the administrations thought it was a good idea, but because the staff and generals felt our administrations were heading us towards the loss of our rights under the Constitution.  This would make sense given how against conflict Obama seemed to be.  In any case, the result would still be the level of veterans we now have at home, who are as you point out ready to lead local resistance groups, if it ever came to that.

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19 hours ago, mthebold said:

 A military can't be everywhere all the time - which means it stands no chance against millions of armed citizens.

Venezuelans regret gun ban, 'a declaration of war against an unarmed population'

As Venezuela continues to crumble under the socialist dictatorship of President Nicolas Maduro, some are expressing words of warning – and resentment – against a six-year-old gun control bill that stripped citizens of their weapons.

“Guns would have served as a vital pillar to remaining a free people, or at least able to put up a fight,” Javier Vanegas, 28, a Venezuelan teacher of English now exiled in Ecuador, told Fox News. “The government security forces, at the beginning of this debacle, knew they had no real opposition to their force. Once things were this bad, it was a clear declaration of war against an unarmed population.”

Under the direction of then-President Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan National Assembly in 2012 enacted the “Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law,” with the explicit aim to “disarm all citizens.” The law took effect in 2013, with only minimal pushback from some pro-democracy opposition figures, banned the legal commercial sale of guns and munitions to all - except government entities.

A former gun store owner inside Venezuela – who told Fox News he has now been relegated to only selling fishing supplies since the ban – said he can’t sell any type of weaponry - even a slingshot - and underscored that even BB ammunition and airsoft guns are only issued to police and military officers.

The punishment for illicit carrying or selling a weapon now is 20 years behind bars.

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10 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Venezuelans regret gun ban, 'a declaration of war against an unarmed population'

As Venezuela continues to crumble under the socialist dictatorship of President Nicolas Maduro, some are expressing words of warning – and resentment – against a six-year-old gun control bill that stripped citizens of their weapons.

“Guns would have served as a vital pillar to remaining a free people, or at least able to put up a fight,” Javier Vanegas, 28, a Venezuelan teacher of English now exiled in Ecuador, told Fox News. “The government security forces, at the beginning of this debacle, knew they had no real opposition to their force. Once things were this bad, it was a clear declaration of war against an unarmed population.”

Under the direction of then-President Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan National Assembly in 2012 enacted the “Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law,” with the explicit aim to “disarm all citizens.” The law took effect in 2013, with only minimal pushback from some pro-democracy opposition figures, banned the legal commercial sale of guns and munitions to all - except government entities.

A former gun store owner inside Venezuela – who told Fox News he has now been relegated to only selling fishing supplies since the ban – said he can’t sell any type of weaponry - even a slingshot - and underscored that even BB ammunition and airsoft guns are only issued to police and military officers.

The punishment for illicit carrying or selling a weapon now is 20 years behind bars.

Tom,

I have friends that still have family in Venezuela. That law was passed to limit guns in the country to improve safety for the average citizen (there was and is a lot violence and crime in Venezuela). 

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On 12/15/2018 at 3:03 PM, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

Tom,

I have friends that still have family in Venezuela. That law was passed to limit guns in the country to improve safety for the average citizen (there was and is a lot violence and crime in Venezuela). 

Rasmus, with all due respect to your friends in Venezuela, it seems to me that the government used the justification of violence to disarm its citizens.  With the government's desired end result of disarmed citizens, who are unable to do anything to resist the massively failing government.

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4 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

Tom,

I have friends that still have family in Venezuela. That law was passed to limit guns in the country to improve safety for the average citizen (there was and is a lot violence and crime in Venezuela). 

Rasmus, that’s classic regressive socialist/communist rhetoric used to convince the people to disarm. Safety, it’s always sold as safety.  If everyone, but the government will just give up their firearms, all will be well.  It’s total nonsense and the Venezuelans are just the most recent in a long list of people to recognize that fact a little too late.

As someone I believe pointed out a little earlier in this topic, our own second amendment was woven into the fabric of our constitution to be a constant reminder to our government that the people have a right and ability to throw off the unwanted yolk of a government that fails to heed the will of its people.

Sadly, venezuela has no such right enumerated or otherwise and it would seem they also lack the ability.

 

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On 12/11/2018 at 9:32 AM, specinho said:

uuhhhh.......... Russia and China pump in money to revive the not moving economy no? Jobs would be created and some Venezuelans would be fed no?

But.. pardon me.... not sure if i understand correctly that DEMOCRACY is the culprit that turned Venezuela into bad shape??

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuela#Independence_and_19th_century

Quote:" 

The discovery of massive oil deposits in Lake Maracaibo during World War I[54] proved to be pivotal for Venezuela and transformed the basis of its economy from a heavy dependence on agricultural exports. It prompted an economic boom that lasted into the 1980s; by 1935, Venezuela's per capita gross domestic product was Latin America's highest.[55] 

When the junta unexpectedly lost the election it held in 1952, it ignored the results and Pérez Jiménez was installed as President, where he remained until 1958............. In the government of Pérez Jiménez, Venezuela's debt grew more than 25 times and went from 175 million to more than 4,500 million bolivares in just 5 years"...........

 

I have enjoyed the discussion and comments but many are binary, simplistic, well intentioned(or not). Despite having a military marine background I do not favor a marine landing to make another futile effort at regime change. Sounds good on a simple level but Venezuela is in economic, social financial , and cultural collapse with two power centers, the military and political elites and the criminal mobs.  Crushing and ousting dictators and regime change hasn't worked out too well for the US in  the past half century. There is another issue not mentioned in these comments which looms large. I have a relative who married into a prominent Columbian family and the Colombians look down on Venezuelans as so long dependent upon oil handouts that they no longer can do anything for themselves such as manufacture goods, grow food, maintain power infrastructures etc. It is a failed state in the largest possible sense and not atypical from other countries damned by the oil curse. Do we really want to take on this mess just to gain better access to their heavy oil(always the tacit reason). The southern borders are overrun already with Central Americans fleeing doomed states run by the military and gangs. Do you want to add  Venezuela to the queue? This is a problem with no easy solution and it is best left to the neighborhood. Of course a few drones controlled by some of the neighbors might end up being sent aloft.............

 

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Just like in Cuba, Venezuela had utopian fantasies rather than having a more realistic outlook. I do not blame the Venezuelan people because Chavez promised improvement for indigenous populations and the poor, but it is a cautionary tale- always proceed with caution when a revolutionary leader who was involved in various coup attempts is running for office.

 

I am grateful that the US government has a strong system of checks and balances across branches, despite the slowdown in policy implementation, it is very robust and dependable compared to the systems of countries to our south, and more Americans should be appreciative of our constitution and system of government.

At least Colombia has been improving significantly since 2015.

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On 12/15/2018 at 1:23 PM, TXPower said:

Rasmus, that’s classic regressive socialist/communist rhetoric used to convince the people to disarm. Safety, it’s always sold as safety.  If everyone, but the government will just give up their firearms, all will be well.  It’s total nonsense and the Venezuelans are just the most recent in a long list of people to recognize that fact a little too late.

As someone I believe pointed out a little earlier in this topic, our own second amendment was woven into the fabric of our constitution to be a constant reminder to our government that the people have a right and ability to throw off the unwanted yolk of a government that fails to heed the will of its people.

Sadly, venezuela has no such right enumerated or otherwise and it would seem they also lack the ability.

 

 

On 12/15/2018 at 12:41 PM, Tom Kirkman said:

Rasmus, with all due respect to your friends in Venezuela, it seems to me that the government used to justification of violence to disarm its citizens.  With the government's desired end result of disarmed citizens, who are unable to do anything to resist the massively failing government.

For clarity 

1) I am in no defending the regime in Venezuela. Nor by the way does my friend (who now lives in Denmark and an expat; it is his family that still lives in Venezuela)

2) I lived in the Southeastern US so I understand responsible gun ownership etc. 

All I was trying to say was that this is not black and white. Oil prices were way different back in 2012 and similarly Venezuelas finances. It is perfectly possible that the then government wanted to disamr the populace. But at the same time I believe they also wanted to end gun violence. 

As an example - Denmark has super strict gun-control laws (and gun owners are mainly hunters); we are the perfect example of only the bad people having guns. Yet, gun deaths per capita is way lower in Denmark than in the US. Now, there are several reasons for this. But gun proliferation is also one of them. 

ps. I wrote the above and other posts from an airport. They could have worded better / clearer. 

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6 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

 

For clarity 

1) I am in no defending the regime in Venezuela. Nor by the way does my friend (who now lives in Denmark and an expat; it is his family that still lives in Venezuela)

2) I lived in the Southeastern US so I understand responsible gun ownership etc. 

All I was trying to say was that this is not black and white. Oil prices were way different back in 2012 and similarly Venezuelas finances. It is perfectly possible that the then government wanted to disamr the populace. But at the same time I believe they also wanted to end gun violence. 

As an example - Denmark has super strict gun-control laws (and gun owners are mainly hunters); we are the perfect example of only the bad people having guns. Yet, gun deaths per capita is way lower in Denmark than in the US. Now, there are several reasons for this. But gun proliferation is also one of them. 

ps. I wrote the above and other posts from an airport. They could have worded better / clearer. 

Rasmus, I understand and take your point.  I did not think you were defending the Venezuelan regime, past or present.  

I was making the point that safety for all is always the outcry used by government gun confiscation proponents.  This however is a strawman argument.  2016 Centers for Disease Control statistics demonstrate that 38,658 people died as a result of firearms in the U.S.  The vast majority, 22,938, were self-inflicted.  Of the total firearms deaths 14,415 were homicide.  The same year statistics from the CDC show that 38,748 people were killed in traffic related accidents.  I guess we could lower that by confiscating motor vehicles.  

The U.S. does have a higher rate of gun deaths per capita than your example of Denmark.  Viewed in context however, with US population in 2016 at 325 million and Denmark at 5.73 million, we were bound to have more.

Gun deaths could be lowered significantly through better parenting, first.  It amazes me that we make people go through driver training and testing to be licensed to drive, while anyone can have kids.  Anyway.....  Second, better mental health services would likely lower the vast majority of our gun deaths, at least the self inflicted ones.

Viewed in the appropriate context it’s clear, gun control/confiscation is a ruse as it pertains to security for all.  It only secures governments from the will of their people.

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(edited)

17 hours ago, TXPower said:

Rasmus, I understand and take your point.  I did not think you were defending the Venezuelan regime, past or present.  

I was making the point that safety for all is always the outcry used by government gun confiscation proponents.  This however is a strawman argument.  2016 Centers for Disease Control statistics demonstrate that 38,658 people died as a result of firearms in the U.S.  The vast majority, 22,938, were self-inflicted.  Of the total firearms deaths 14,415 were homicide.  The same year statistics from the CDC show that 38,748 people were killed in traffic related accidents.  I guess we could lower that by confiscating motor vehicles.  

The U.S. does have a higher rate of gun deaths per capita than your example of Denmark.  Viewed in context however, with US population in 2016 at 325 million and Denmark at 5.73 million, we were bound to have more.

Gun deaths could be lowered significantly through better parenting, first.  It amazes me that we make people go through driver training and testing to be licensed to drive, while anyone can have kids.  Anyway.....  Second, better mental health services would likely lower the vast majority of our gun deaths, at least the self inflicted ones.

Viewed in the appropriate context it’s clear, gun control/confiscation is a ruse as it pertains to security for all.  It only secures governments from the will of their people.

I personally believe in gun control. But I would never dream of advocating for it in America. Having lived in the South Eastern US I know guns are an integrated part of American culture. And that's fine. There are many weird regulations in our societies - for example : how many people does alchohol and tobacco kill directly and indirectly? But we would never dream of regulating those. 

Anyways, I was just trying to bring some nuance to "we must we have guns so we can make a revolution argument". To me a far better argument is "it is part of our culture". Period. 

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen
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17 hours ago, mthebold said:

What did work, however, was "winning hearts and minds".  We went out into the neighborhoods, established relationships with people, found out what they needed, and provided it.  Soon enough, people were on our side

Seems like something @Jan van Eck is suggesting to do with Venezuela. 

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18 hours ago, mthebold said:

What does US gun crime look like if you remove the liberal inner cities with gun control? 

Although we have gotten way, way off the original thread, which was the abysmal situation in Venezuela, I will comment to this comment.  Specifically, the inner cities of America are NOT "liberal."  Indeed, they are authoritarian.  

Overwhelmingly, the US inner cities are controlled by Democratic Party machines, and the people who control the machine are authoritarians, people who brook no contrary thinking and crush all opposition.  There is no real difference between the governments of those cities and the Maduro government.  In neither setting do the power brokers give a damn about "the people."  It is all about keeping political control for themselves.  Trust this clarifies. 

What Venezuela really needs are people who really care.  Any leader who really cared about his people would be pleading for the Americans to please come in and take over, to stabilize the country.  What is more important: food and working hospitals, or the gold braids on your shoulder epaulets? 

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(edited)

2 hours ago, mthebold said:

 

Also, this is at least the second time I've trampled your definition of "liberal", which suggests that I don't have a good mental picture of "liberalism".  I'd prefer not to make that mistake again.  I agree with your comments on on "authoritarian", but how should I envision "liberal"? 

That opens up a complex subject.  I promise to get back to you on that in a few days!  Very short answer:  a "Liberal" is a person who has studied literature, the classics, science, the humanities, and the history of politics, and has drawn from each the wisdom to see a path forward for the betterment of his community, and applies that knowledge in his daily life, and urges others by his example to do also.  

Edited by Jan van Eck
scrivener error

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(edited)

19 hours ago, mthebold said:

Rasmus, you may want to consider this detail in particular: authoritarian regimes start out "populist" and target the "privileged" classes.  The well-off are targeted with the ostensible reason of providing justice to the poor, but the practical reason is that authoritarians don't like competition.  The "privileged" classes are the only people who pose a credible threat to centralized power.  Stalin sent the Kulaks to the gulags and Mao stripped the lost generation of their wealth before sending them to the farms.  In the West, aspiring authoritarians have villianized capitalism and labeled all white males "privileged".  If an authoritarian regime comes to power, it will see you and your family as "privileged"; best of luck with that. 

I am well aware. That is why I vehemently oppose populism. Populism exist on both sides of the political spectrum and are equally dangerous. 

 

Rather than weapons I believe in education, economic inclusion etc. Lead by example. And teach people to fish.  

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen
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12 minutes ago, mthebold said:

Is there evidence that that actually works, or are the kinder, gentler cultures destroyed by those with stronger wills? 

 

1 hour ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

I am well aware. That is why I vehemently oppose populism. Populism exist on both sides of the political spectrum and are equally dangerous. 

 

Rather than weapons I believe in education, economic inclusion etc. Lead by example. And teach people to fish.  

Hi Rasmus.  Please remind me what country you live in, and the population (or I can Google it once you remind me).

The reason I'm asking is because I believe your country may still have a small enough population to manage many of the types of programs you speak of. 

It's like my old hometown of 1,000 people: if you did something wrong on one side of town; by the time you got home your parents, and probably a couple of neighbors know about what you did wrong.  That was a big incentive NOT to do something wrong anywhere in town.

Also, when assistance of any kind was offered, people took advantage of it (that needed it) or helped to implement it.  This of course happens every day, in every city across America, but the coverage per capita could never reach the level of my small hometown.  But a whole lot of people still try, and they are angels in the real sense, every one of them.

 

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20 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

That opens up a complex subject.  I promise to get back to you on that in a few days!  Very short answer:  a "Liberal" is a person who has studied literature, the classics, science, the humanities, and the history of politics, and has drawn from each the wisdom to see a path forward for the betterment of his community, and applies that knowledge in his daily life, and urges others by his example to do also.  

this is a very...er...generous definition. 

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Just now, Rodent said:

this is a very...er...generous definition. 

Mm-hmm.  You noticed that, too, eh?  I can't wait to read the follow up, based on what I've seen him write about liberals before......

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3 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

Mm-hmm.  You noticed that, too, eh?  I can't wait to read the follow up, based on what I've seen him write about liberals before......

:) I trust he will take it in the spirit it was given. 

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(edited)

35 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

 

Hi Rasmus.  Please remind me what country you live in, and the population (or I can Google it once you remind me).

The reason I'm asking is because I believe your country may still have a small enough population to manage many of the types of programs you speak of. 

It's like my old hometown of 1,000 people: if you did something wrong on one side of town; by the time you got home your parents, and probably a couple of neighbors know about what you did wrong.  That was a big incentive NOT to do something wrong anywhere in town.

Also, when assistance of any kind was offered, people took advantage of it (that needed it) or helped to implement it.  This of course happens every day, in every city across America, but the coverage per capita could never reach the level of my small hometown.  But a whole lot of people still try, and they are angels in the real sense, every one of them.

  

I live in Denmark. Total population less than 6 mio. 

I understand sclaing challenges, but what I am talking about the difference one can make as an individuel. 

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen
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On 12/12/2018 at 3:32 PM, jose chalhoub said:

good points indeed Jan and many thanks for starting such a quite interesting discussion on my country in pain. I dont think thugs armed and sponsored by Maduro will ever back him against any foreign intervention ever. 

I feel so sorry for your babies, starving to death before life even began.... Why do the children have to be on the front lines here? Dying because of a horrible government's lack of self control, destroying the one resource that could have kept all this from happening. I feel so sad inside when I see those pictures of emaciated little children, and the parents that have them must feel so horrible about what is going on. It's torture to watch someone die a slow death.

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On 12/17/2018 at 3:09 AM, Hugh Owens said:

 

Dear Sir.... Pardon me..... but you might have written on the wrong part of the reply box......... After you quote.... there is a whiter blank area below the quote to insert your opinion so that people would be able to differentiate your comment from the quote.... have fun... 

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On 12/18/2018 at 12:46 AM, TXPower said:

Rasmus, I understand and take your point.  I did not think you were defending the Venezuelan regime, past or present.  

I was making the point that safety for all is always the outcry used by government gun confiscation proponents.  This however is a strawman argument.  2016 Centers for Disease Control statistics demonstrate that 38,658 people died as a result of firearms in the U.S.  The vast majority, 22,938, were self-inflicted.  Of the total firearms deaths 14,415 were homicide.  The same year statistics from the CDC show that 38,748 people were killed in traffic related accidents.  I guess we could lower that by confiscating motor vehicles.  

The U.S. does have a higher rate of gun deaths per capita than your example of Denmark.  Viewed in context however, with US population in 2016 at 325 million and Denmark at 5.73 million, we were bound to have more.

Gun deaths could be lowered significantly through better parenting, first.  It amazes me that we make people go through driver training and testing to be licensed to drive, while anyone can have kids.  Anyway.....  Second, better mental health services would likely lower the vast majority of our gun deaths, at least the self inflicted ones.

Viewed in the appropriate context it’s clear, gun control/confiscation is a ruse as it pertains to security for all.  It only secures governments from the will of their people.

Dear Sir.... Thank you for the smart reply. Bemused......

Read somewhere long time ago that gun was commonly carried by people in the ancient cowboy era because those days were pretty wild. People could travel days or weeks or months without seeing another good hearted human who could offer a cup of water or a piece of bread but filled with untamed animals and may be bad people.... Self defence by owning a weapon was survival instint back then. A necessity. 

 

But then........... our society has developed. It would be a priviledge for people not to brusk shoulder with another or see flocks of other similar looking mankind while walking on the streets.... And...... wild animals are largely driven to extinct or kept in a zoo. [You wouldn't believe it not only untamed animals like lions and tigers etc but chicken could be found in a zoo too. (whispering mode............ some city kids somewhere in South East Asia thought the chicken could only be found in pink color without anything else in the market. Hence... they started to keep chicken in the zoo for real life reference....)]. Those bring to a point - having guns at random or uncontrolled manner would endanger majority of the population whom might not have one.

 

Licensing mentioned by TXPower is extremely wise. You can have one but you need to go through training and exam(s) to have one. The government can lengthen the training period so that more bullets can be spent on training; more wear and tear on weapons; more fees collected; more............ uuhhh...... they might need an actuary to do the extrapolating maths............ or no???

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3 hours ago, mthebold said:

It's the original, correct definition.  The term "liberal" was commandeered by idiots, unfortunately.  The question is whether Jan can successfully take it back. 

" and has drawn from each the wisdom to see a path forward for the betterment of his community, and applies that knowledge in his daily life, and urges others by his example to do also."

it is?

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