What's Going On In Venezuela (In A Nutshell)

Tyler Durden's picture


Protests in Venezuela continue (despite President Maduro's proclamation that the nation is in "absolute calm"), with both the government and the opposition holding rallies, leaving several streets and subway stations in Caracas closed. 10 students who were arrested amid violent protests last week have been released, though 6 students remain in custody. Demonstrators do not yet have the numbers or support base to unseat President Nicolas Maduro's administration, but as Stratfor notes, these protests could mark a turning point as the economic situation deteriorates there is a chance that protests like this could begin to generate additional social momentum in rejection of the status quo.

What's going in Venezuela (in a nutshell)

And as Stratfor notes, things could be changing for Maduro...

Relatively large student-led opposition protests convened in Caracas, Valencia, Maracaibo and many other cities throughout the country. Rough Stratfor estimates put the crowd in Caracas at between 15,000-20,000 people based on aerial photos posted on social media. Venezuela's students are very politically active and protests are frequent. However, the relatively large turnout and widespread geographic distribution of this week's protests indicate that the movement may be gaining traction.

The challenge that the student movement will face is in finding a way to include Venezuela's laboring class, which for the most part still supports the government, and relies on its redistributive policies. Their inability to rouse broad support across Venezuela's social and economic classes was in part why previous student uprisings, including significant protests in 2007, failed to generate enough momentum to trigger a significant political shift.

But the situation has changed in Venezuela, and as the economic situation deteriorates there is a chance that protests like this could begin to generate additional social momentum in rejection of the status quo. President Nicolas Maduro has been in office for less than a year, and in that time the inflation rate has surged to over 50 percent and food shortages are a daily problem. Though firmly in power, the Chavista government is still struggling to address massive social and economic challenges. Massive government spending, years of nationalization and an overreliance on imports for basic consumer goods have radically deteriorated inflation levels, and undermined industrial production.

How the government responds will play a key role in the development of these protests going forward. The government cannot afford to crack down too hard without risking even worse unrest in the future. For its part, the mainstream opposition must walk a careful line between supporting the sentiment behind open unrest and being seen as destabilizing the country. Maduro retains the power to punish opposition politicians, and reaffirmed that Feb. 11 when he stated on national television that he intends to renew the law allowing him to outlaw political candidates who threaten the peace of the country. The statement was a clear shot over the bow of opposition leaders, and may foreshadow a more aggressive government policy designed to limit political opposition.


Venezuela certainly does not appear the "absolute calm" the President described it as...






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Sun, 02/16/2014 - 15:43 | 4442587 Ban KKiller
Ban KKiller's picture

Goldman Sachs to the rescue!

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 15:52 | 4442607 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Interesting, zh goes on and on about US involvement in Ukraine but on Venezula? Total silence including quoting stratfor (us intelligence) verbatim. 

Yet the head of the opposition is an alumnus of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennedy_School_of_Government and the anti government protestors are backed by US ally Colombia. Not to menton the US has an unquestioned long history of meddling with Venezula including supporting various military coups attempts. 



Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:07 | 4442644 semperfidelis
semperfidelis's picture

Of course its the US. But in Venezuela there is no good guy vs bad guy dilemma. A civil war at Russia's borders, between Ukrainians (russian as well) and Russians would be a dream come true for the State Dep.? We can only speculate...

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:21 | 4442679 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

How come students in Venezuela are fighting against government oppression and here students are fighting FOR government oppression?

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:38 | 4442716 mjcOH1
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"Interesting, zh goes on and on about US involvement in Ukraine but on Venezula? Total silence including quoting stratfor (us intelligence) verbatim. 

Yet the head of the opposition is an alumnus of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennedy_School_of_Government and the anti government protestors are backed by US ally Colombia. Not to menton the US has an unquestioned long history of meddling with Venezula including supporting various military coups attempts. "


Wait a minute....is not former bus driver and current president for life Maduro the hand-picked successor to Comrade Colonel and 1992 coup organizer Hugo Chavez?   And is not the military turning out in support of Maduro?    Which Venezeulan military is the US supporting here?

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:43 | 4442731 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

I thought this type of collapse was just the end game of the Cloward Piven plan?


Choomboy is a believer of this nonsense.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 20:45 | 4443423 Stuart
Stuart's picture

now if that would just spillover to the US for some real change... 

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 18:01 | 4442942 ThirdWorldNut
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Amerika lives by the tried and tested if-you've-got-nothing-to-hide rule.

So you see, its the third world Venezuelans who have got their logic backwards.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:09 | 4442650 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Ghana is a fart in a Hurricane, but countries the size and scope of Venezuela and Argentina going down, is hugely deflationary: loan write-offs, forced sales, lower oil imports, etc.

I think we will see a major depression first, then the hyper-inflation as the BenYellens of the world panic, and lose it.

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 13:56 | 4445139 V in PA
V in PA's picture

Hah!! Fart in a Hurricane. I stealing that one.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:10 | 4442653 Richard Whitney
Richard Whitney's picture

This comment desrves a laugh. The Kennedy School of Goverment is an anti-U.S. institution of the first order. There are too many examples to list here, but just Google John P. Holden, Hilary Rantisi or the Dean of the Kennedy School, Stephen Walt, for a sample. Anti-U.S. and anti-Israel ( a U.S. ally, as long as barry doesn't get his way)  policy statements and acts overflow from this cancerous institution. 

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:21 | 4442671 James_Cole
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Anti-U.S. and anti-Israel policy statements and acts overflow from this cancerous institution. 

The American neo-con mind, paranoid lunacy to new heights - Kennedy school, anti-US & anti-Israel lol


Check out #3 on list of alum, though to your mind Ayalon is probably anti-israel and anti-US as well haha

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 17:35 | 4442860 Andre
Andre's picture

Israel as a US ally.

Tell that to the crew of the USS Liberty. Tell that to Jonathan Pollard.

I don't think the US is an ally so much as a useful idiot.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 20:34 | 4443388 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Tell that to Lyndon Johnson-berg and Admiral McCain who recalled US Navy F-4s to protect the USS Liberty.

Who was the first on the scene to help the USS Liberty?  The Russian navy which the Liberty waved off.  The US Navy arrived much later.

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 07:41 | 4444535 Element
Element's picture



Attacking Russians is not on, they would just wipe out Israel.

On the other hand, the US donates hundreds of billions of dollars, ever since, or there about. But given they armed al-qaeda with extremely large sums over several decades, as well, especially since 9-11, then I'm not really surprised the US State Department has an even-handed policy of supporting all worthy terrorist organizations, especially ones that consistently bite the US tax-payer, who graciously feeds them and donates their airforce and navy to the cause.

Philanthropy's finest.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:12 | 4442656 CPL
CPL's picture

It's because they have oil, always has been, the Coca industry is spending cash to the agencies that run it.  But like any inflationary situation in an economic downturn; the lack of customers, all those operational costs creeping up, along with the creeping death of the small airplane industry spell out a logistical nightmare this point forward.  Plus the other issue with fuel inbound...  Anycase, some month in the near future a bean counter is going to notice that they haven't been doing as well as they thought they were.

And it's not exactly a business known for it's flexibility for owing money to, for, against, around, etc.  Should be interesting to see how fast everyone capitulates and back peddles once the magic number pops up.  <PoP!>  Next time they shouldn't play with commodities pricing like idiots and let the true forces of supply and demand dictate the end cost.  Can only hide a cost for so long before it becomes many costs later.  The old Chiense proverb of don't save money on candles if the results are twins is a good one to use here.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:29 | 4442694 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

View all things through the prism of oil and the world becomes very much more clear.

Venezuelan oil is about the worst quality on the planet.  Worse even than the oil sands in Canada.  Don't presume that a rejection of socialism there and bringing in all that much ballyhooed oil investment will make a bit of difference.  The Easy Oil Is Gone.  There is no magic left.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 18:10 | 4442969 gallistic
gallistic's picture


Look up the OPEC proven reserves report, and see who is #1.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 20:39 | 4443408 Freddie
Freddie's picture

And those Saudi numbers are bullshit.  They have been stuck at 265 billion barrells for about 30 + years.   This is why the Saudis are starting to get thrown under the bus.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:41 | 4443589 gallistic
gallistic's picture

You are probably right about the Saudi bullshit numbers. I too have reasons to believe they are inflated.

I have read several OPEC reports that criticize the extraction methods the Saudis have used when they "max out" their production for whatever political or economic reason. These methods essentially ruin deposits and shorten their life spans, leaving vast quantities that cannot be extracted later.

The Saudis may be getting "thrown under the bus", but Israel seems to have taken a shine to them. They are mighty cozy with each other these days...

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 20:20 | 4443344 DYS
DYS's picture

I don't get the candle proverb.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 18:06 | 4442957 gallistic
gallistic's picture

James, it is much worse than that. The scope of the propaganda is breathtaking in its effectiveness. I am continuously amazed at the amount of otherwise smart people who are totally ignorant about Venezuela and the constant color revolution the US has been running in that country for years.

The clincher?

All the evidence is hidden in plain view and readily accessible to anyone who cares to look.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 19:22 | 4443179 machineh
machineh's picture

The U.S. does not force Venezuela's central bank to create 56% inflation.

The U.S. does not force Venezuela to peg the bolivar at 6.2 to the dollar, when the black market rate is 80 bolivars to the dollar.

Venezuela is run by utter incompetents. Maduro is doing a fine job of wrecking his own economy, without external help.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 19:45 | 4443255 gallistic
gallistic's picture

Perhaps so, but the US is more than "helping" the Venezuelan oligarchy regain power so they can return the oil to its "rightful owners" and reclaim their place as Uncle Sam's Satraps, stooges and flunkies.

Do you read Spanish? I bet you don't. That is a shame, because you should read what the press of more than 20 countries reports daily. You will never get those facts in English from the Mighty Wurlitzer.

Here is the news of the destabilization plan that Maduro was talking about the other day. Of course, you and damned near every other American don't know shit about it. It came out about 4 months ago, and has the document attached.


Here is a heavily watered down version in English that includes only the first page. http://rt.com/news/golinger-documents-venezuela-destabilization-299/

A large amount of documents have been declassified which explicitly show how the United States has been trying to overthrow the democratically elected and legitimate government of Venezuela.

All you have to do is look. You will find them. It is very dirty business and it is hiding in plain sight.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 22:47 | 4443834 economics9698
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Oh fuck dude the only thing the US cared about was Chavez was paying Oppenheimer their 13% note.  As long as Chavez paid off the NYC bankers everything was good. 


Something tells me Oppenheimer pulled out and lost interest, lol.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 19:24 | 4443189 sylviasays
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Interesting, James_Cole goes on and on about US involvement and then uses wikipedia as a source to support his bias?


Sun, 02/16/2014 - 20:19 | 4443338 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Stratfor is shit.   Venezuela used to have a middle class before Jimmy Carter started verifying Chavez election wins.

Kennedy School of Govt?  NWO and Democrats plus NEO-Con RINOs. 

Who has always been very active in controlling Latin America? The Rockefellers and their CFR members the Clintons, RINO Newt Gingrich, Geithner, Summers plus 300 Obama Admin people.  The Dems and RINOs are infested with CFR members.


CFR Members in U.S. Government (Pre-Obama Administration) Presidents Vice Presidents Secretaries of State

Herbert Hoover

Richard M. Nixon Henry L. Stimson Dwight D. Eisenhower Hubert Humphrey Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. John F. Kennedy* Gerald R. Ford Dean G. Acheson Richard M. Nixon Nelson A. Rockefeller John Foster Dulles Gerald R. Ford Walter Mondale Christian A. Herter James E. Carter George H. W. Bush Dean Rusk George H. W. Bush Richard Cheney William P. Rogers William J. Clinton   Henry A. Kissinger     Cyrus R. Vance     Edmund S. Muskie     Alexander M. Haig, Jr.     George P. Shultz     Lawrence Eagleburger     Warren M. Christopher     Madeleine K. Albright     Colin L. Powell     Condoleezza Rice
Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:44 | 4443602 gallistic
gallistic's picture

They should just call it the snakepit...

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 17:27 | 4442840 Bokkenrijder
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Long; yellow, red & blue track suits!

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 15:47 | 4442593 Skateboarder
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The second picture, with Maduro chuging two mics... que apropos.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:06 | 4442642 Murf_DaSurf
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Imagine the Bamster getting on TV and appealing for everyone to calm down....but needing the Teleprompter

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:21 | 4442676 Skateboarder
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Not even a hundredth of an ounce of authority/command in the voice of The Teleprompturd.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 15:48 | 4442596 Sizzurp
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Once they resort to murdering their own citizens to remain in power, the end can't be far off.  Even in the setting of utter failure, they will cling to the throne, and they will happily kill to keep it.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:15 | 4442663 Anusocracy
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"they will cling to the throne, and they will happily kill to keep it."

As would ALL governments.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 20:21 | 4443345 Freddie
Freddie's picture

I upvoted you but there has to be a few that would not.  Maybe Iceland.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 15:48 | 4442601 buttmint
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anyone have the phone number of the hottie throwing a change up to the plate?

LA Dodgers need to draft her in a hurry!

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:10 | 4442655 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

I'll hold her titties, while she fires that fast ball.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 21:23 | 4443527 Iam_Silverman
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"anyone have the phone number of the hottie throwing a change up to the plate?"

"I'll hold her titties, while she fires that fast ball."

I was thinking the same thing - and then, for some strange reason, I noticed that she looked just like all of the Muslim protesters I have seen in the past.

Weird, covered face and head, and all......

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 15:49 | 4442608 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

Sounds like the arrogant narcissistic lying illegal alien kenyan muslinm sociopath tactics.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 20:48 | 4443437 gtb
gtb's picture

You forgot to mention he's gay...

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 15:52 | 4442611 jwoop66
jwoop66's picture

what the fuck  ever.  the students, more than likely are socialists who want to overthrow the present socialists so they can install another socialist govt.

same ole, same ole, down south...

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:18 | 4442668 smacker
smacker's picture

Right on. I guess they want more redistribution in their direction, not less.


Still, if they somehow manage to bring down Maduro, that'll be one less socialist :-)

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 17:54 | 4442914 layman_please
layman_please's picture

exactly my thought. also they demand freedom and democracy? freedom, democracy and socialism don't mix, period!

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:03 | 4442635 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

He who has the most toilet paper makes the rules.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:34 | 4442637 Murf_DaSurf
Murf_DaSurf's picture
At least in my houshold it is true
Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:10 | 4442652 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

People can put up with a lot of shit...

But not being able to wipe it off is something entirely different.


DHS might be better off stockpiling toilet paper instead of hollowpoints.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:23 | 4442665 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

So what are they going to trade Maduro for, crony capitalism?  A Mussolini?

All developed countries face the same problem - Central Banks run by Bankers.

The politicians and the politics are the intermediaries, the buffers, the distraction.

If you don't have sound money and a legal system that protects the labor, savings, and liberties of individuals the political system doesn't matter.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 16:37 | 4442712 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

Right on, man.

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 18:27 | 4443018 Supernova Born
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"If you don't have sound money and a legal system that protects the labor, savings, and liberties of individuals the political system doesn't matter."

Total win.

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