Some of you know that my wife is Venezuelan and that I recently returned from a three months long visit there. I am in love with the place, its natural beauty, its unmet promise of a better way for humanity, its kind and generous people. There are people there who I consider family and about whom I care.
I follow reports and blogs that reflect both the government and opposition points of view. I am painfully aware of the corruption within the Chavista ruling circles, something that is denounced by many Venezuelans who weigh the shortcomings against both the accomplishments and the idealistic vision and possibilities and refuse to go to the side of the opposition, but who find themselves and their country to be between a rock and a hard place.
Now, Venezuela is a nation sharply divided that is undergoing trials and tribulations. Everyone who follows international events knows about the long lines at retail stores and the shortages of some staple foods and personal necessities as well as the almost runaway inflation. A year ago the country was racked by violent demonstrations the course of which took 43 lives, mostly government supporters and security personnel.
Eleven military officers are under arrest for allegedly plotting to fly a Tucan military airplane over Caracas, bomb the president's residence in order to kill him, bomb both pro and anti government marches in order to spread panic and to read off an announcement that a new government is in place. This announcement allegedly having been written in the US embassy in Caracas. A couple of days ago security forces arrested Caracas mayor Antonio Ledezma, who joins another opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez, in custody. The day prior to the allegedly planned aerial assault these leaders had issued a statement describing a planned transitional government and program of privatisation and the seeking of credit from the US dominated International Monetary Fund. The government promises it will produce the necessary evidence to convict the alleged conspirators in a court of law.
Since Colonel Hugo Chavez was Elected President in 1999 the government has prevailed in 18 out of 19 elections and referenda, sometimes by overwhelming margins: sometimes and just barely winning.
Public feedback Both polls show President Maduro and opposition violence Constitution, that was endorsed in a popular vote, allows the opposition to petition for a recall vote against President Maduro. Such a vote took place with the goal of removing the late Hugo Chavez and it got repudiated by the voters. With a strong opposition presence in the media and the unpopularity of President Maduro it would seem that if the opposition were competent and trusted it could remove President Maduro by lawful and peaceful means. By launching a series of riotous actions last year under the rubric " La salida," ("The exit" of President Maduro) and announcing a new government and governing program without succeeding in placing a recall vote onto the ballot the opposition has lent credibility to the coup plot charges.
Over the last sixteen years millions of Venezuelans have been lifted out of poverty and the consumption of meat has increased greatly. The Chavista government has accomplishments in the international arena as well, spearheading a movement towards cooperation, development and eventual unification of Latin America. Also w
After the collapse of the Soviet Union Cuba was in dire straights. Aid initiated by President Chavez rescued Cubans from hunger and deprivation. Pan Latin American nationalists and leftists may tend to overlook failures and shortcomings of the Venezuelan government in light of these acts.
It is clear that the "drill baby drill" cracking mania in the US had as one of its objectives the harming of oil exporting nations such as Russia, Saudi Arsbia and Venezuela, countries that we Americans have been told "hate our freedom."
Meanwhile major United States political assets in Venezuela are locked up and face lengthy prison terms. Venezuela is movoing ever closer to Russia, China and Muslim countries.
It is not possible that the American Exceptionalists are going to sit passively on their hands and merely observe events in Venezuela, the country with the world's largest proven oil and gas reserves.