Venezuela continues to sink in misery

On 12/10/2018 at 1:22 PM, Jan van Eck said:

Tex:   the "common people" have been disarmed, and have nothing to start a revolution with.  It is unrealistic to expect starving people to throw their bodies against the guns of the regime just to make some point about the purity of revolutionary thought.  Thy also have to focus on their families and children.  As Rodi (above) point out, this is exactly why the civilian population can never surrender their firearms to the State  (although there is not much chance of that in Michigan).   As to the Venezuelans, yes there are guns in  the Caracas slums, but those guns are in the hands of criminal gangs, who are apolitical and instead focused on kidnappings and robberies.  Not quite the stuff of revolution. 

Bottom line:  outside force is required. 

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. 

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PDVSA'S NELSON MARTINEZ DIES IN CUSTODY AFTER CHARGED IN 2017 WITH MAKING FAULTY DEALS WITHOUT GOVT APPROVAL, INCLUDING REFINING DEAL FOR US-BASED CITGO.

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2 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:

We need to question Putin's real motives for sending those aircraft.  Is he hoping to incite major conflict?  Who know what goes on in that man's head, but he is not a dummy.

He does that specifically to mess with Trump's head, and to let the US know that it should stay away from the invasion of Crimea and the conflicts with his shadow troops in the Donbas.  It is a bit of "in your face," and it has succeeded in enraging the US military establishment. 

One interesting aside would be: what would be Putin's response if those aircraft were "hit" in a flash attack on that airfield?  

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10 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Reader Mike says:  "We are not invited, so we stay home."  OK, so we stay home.  Besides, who is going to "invite" the OAS or the USA in?  Maduro?  Not likely.  There is no longer any viable prospect of invitation, as the society has crumbled. It is basically in oblivion.   

The international community - who is so fond of lambasting the US despite relying on our military - would be the correct people to invite us in.  When the situation is so bad that someone else suggests we take the oil in exchange for food, it will be appropriate for us to do so. 

Personally, I'd do it right now, but I tend to be a direct person - the social effects of which we've all seen on this forum.  Imagine me running foreign policy, and you'll have a pretty good idea of how the international community would react to the US entering Venezuela uninvited.  Hesitating doesn't make rational sense, and many people will die unnecessarily - but social sensibilities must be respected. 

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8 minutes ago, mthebold said:

 

Personally, I'd do it right now, but I tend to be a direct person - the social effects of which we've all seen on this forum.  Imagine me running foreign policy, and you'll have a pretty good idea of how the international community would react to the US entering Venezuela uninvited.  

Paul, I do admire your candor!  

Introspection remains a rare gift.  

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9 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Paul, I do admire your candor!  

Introspection remains a rare gift.   

One tries.

It does raise an interesting question though: does the fact that I'm self-aware make my behavior better or worse? 

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24 minutes ago, mthebold said:

One tries.

It does raise an interesting question though: does the fact that I'm self-aware make my behavior better or worse? 

Depends on which shoulder occupant you listen to, I suppose.  :) 

image.png.72f8f8c425f556b08223b88b5e3ba9bf.png

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On 12/10/2018 at 7:51 AM, Rodent said:

this this is why people must refuse any and all attempts to be disarmed.

The rational that a homeowner can be armed to defend himself against the government vanished long ago. In the days of muskets, even carbines, perhaps individual and home grown militias could literally fight the government with weapons. Today it's not viable. In Iran's revolution the military was unwilling to slaughter for the Shah. 

Clearly the US, or almost any country with a Navy and Marines, could invade and win easy enough, and would probably be initially very well received. Establishing a functioning governance is quite a different beast and is 180 out from the American First mantra that helped put Trump in the White House. 

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Reading the second story makes it sound almost like they believe that it is not any of their country's fault, but the fault of the western nations(we all know who that means) and nothing to do with their own decisions. Can this train of thought actually be true there? They have been BS'd by the government to believe there is someone else at fault for all their problems? So sad.... I still say it's none of our business and we should stand by and wait for the eventual fall.

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And I am really a supporter of isolationism, we need to work on our own problems for a decade and get them worked out before we go elsewhere and try to tell others what to do, jus sayin.

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8 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:

Depends on which shoulder occupant you listen to, I suppose.  :) 

image.png.72f8f8c425f556b08223b88b5e3ba9bf.png

That's always a tough call. 

And then sometimes all I get is this guy...

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6 hours ago, John Foote said:

The rational that a homeowner can be armed to defend himself against the government vanished long ago. In the days of muskets, even carbines, perhaps individual and home grown militias could literally fight the government with weapons. Today it's not viable. In Iran's revolution the military was unwilling to slaughter for the Shah. 

Since Korea, it has been apparent that sheer numbers cannot defeat the American government's unique cocktail of technological superiority, psychological conditioning, and deep experience - at least, not in a pitched battle.  That's why guerilla warfare was popularized.  We don't have to fight pitched battles against a technologically superior foe; it's sufficient to disrupt the economy, assassinate corrupt leaders, and drive the enemy's supporters out of your territory.  A military can't be everywhere all the time - which means it stands no chance against millions of armed citizens.

If Americans rise against their own government, a few things should be considered:
- Significant fractions of the military will defect, leaving less - if any - for the government to wield.
- A significant fraction of the military joined for the pay and benefits.  They won't be terribly excited about fighting intelligent, armed, experienced, competently trained, strongly motivated citizens.
- America just spent 17 years fighting insurgencies.  There are hundreds of thousands - possibly millions - of combat veterans here.  We are everything: infantry, heavy weapons specialists, snipers, special operators, tankers, etc.  We know the location of every base, supply depot, munitions dump, and critical military resource in this country.  We know how to access, operate, and maintain every weapon.  We know the weak points & limitations of the entire arsenal.  We know where the leadership lives and works, their SOPs, and their behavioral patterns.  We know how to take down armored vehicles without the aid of anti-tank weapons.  In short, the US government just spent 17 years teaching its citizens exactly where and how to fight it. 
- Thanks to Middle Eastern culture, America's veterans are accustomed to a different kind of viciousness.  To quote the Marines who trained me, "If you find yourself in a situation where you'll be captured, fight to the death or save the last bullet for yourself, because they're just going to cut your head off."  The animals we fought would use any weapon and cross any line: mingling with crowds, treating women and children as disposable tools, setting off bombs in neighborhoods, using chemical weapons near schoolyards, hiding weapons in Mosques, pressing civilians into service for their cause, using ambulances as transports - you get the point.  Out of dire necessity, we pushed the rules of war to their limits. As a side effect, we lost our social conditioning and learned to think for ourselves.  If civil war breaks out in America, its veterans' priority will be preventing our families from living that hell.  We'll go straight for the idiot elites - and we won't be merciful. 
- The most competent security experts and hackers in America aren't terribly excited about totalitarian surveillance states.  The government would have their hands full dealing with a legion of anons they lacked the resources to apprehend - not to mention foreign countries taking advantage of the security situation. 
- America in general has developed a distaste for wealthy, politically-connected elites.  All that animosity would result in targeted violence.

A civil war in America would be constant, ubiquitous, and vicious.  Even the wealthy would be caught in its maw.  Wealthy people and politicians don't like having skin in the game; I don't think they'd risk it. 

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Never seen that all summarized and put into words in such a way.  Kudos!  And thanks.  Many of your points are punch-yourself-in-the-nose obvious; AFTER reading your words.

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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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10 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:

Never seen that all summarized and put into words in such a way.  Kudos!  And thanks.  Many of your points are punch-yourself-in-the-nose obvious; AFTER reading your words.

No worries.  Half the responsibility of being a veteran is sharing wisdom.  I suspect that's half the reason society lets us say things no one else can say, actually. 

 

10 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:

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?

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

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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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On 12/15/2018 at 2:03 AM, 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). 

 

7 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.  

In the US, we know there is some risk associated with owning firearms.  However, we decided that the threat of violence from our own government was greater than the threat of violence from individual citizens.  Despite the school shootings and other terrible crimes, I'd say this was a wise decision.  Totalitarian regimes implement gun control as quickly and thoroughly as they're able.  In the 20th century alone, such regimes resulted in over 100 million deaths.  Today in Venezuela, we're seeing how an overly safe society with no ability to defend itself can become catastrophically unstable.  With gun control, it seems we gain short-term safety at the cost of long-term collapse.  I don't see an advantage to that.

I appreciate your desire to reduce violence and build a better society, but I don't think gun control will get us there.  Perhaps better education and policies that produce a cohesive culture would work better?

As a side note: when discussing gun control, it's popular to discuss the number of gun crimes and gun deaths.  A more accurate metric would be total crime.  E.g. Great Britain confiscated guns, and now they have rampant knife crime.  We don't have so much knife crime in the US because that's a good way to get shot! 

The shift from gun crime to knife crime mirrors my experience in Iraq: criminals are going to commit crimes, and terrorists are going to terrorize.  If you take one weapon away, they find another.  If you secure one area, they move to the next.  We went through this over and over and over again.  In fact, it's the case in every modern war that the weapons and tactics we begin with are rarely the weapons and tactics we end with.  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.  I think we need to do the same with criminals: find out why they're criminals and address that root cause.  Give them hope and a future.  If we do that, whether they have guns will be irrelevant because they won't want to use them. 

I realize the irony of me saying that after opposing immigration, so I'll clarify that my objection to immigration is that we cannot possibly handle them all. 

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