In A NYT Op-Ed, Venezuela's Maduro Explains Why It's The Rich That Are Revolting

Tyler Durden's picture

After the success of Putin's op-ed, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has put pen to paper in a NY Times op-ed. Calling for "peace and dialogue," Maduro blames the US government for supporting the 2002 coup and funding the opposition support movements currently. Slamming the US media's biased perspective on his nation's "best [electoral] process in the world," the outspoken leader explains, "the claims that Venezuela has a deficient democracy and that current protests represent mainstream sentiment are belied by the facts. The antigovernment protests are being carried out by people in the wealthier segments of society who seek to reverse the gains of the democratic process that have benefited the vast majority of the people."

 

Nicolas Maduro Op-Ed (via NY Times),

THE recent protests in Venezuela have made international headlines. Much of the foreign media coverage has distorted the reality of my country and the facts surrounding the events.

Venezuelans are proud of our democracy. We have built a participatory democratic movement from the grass roots that has ensured that both power and resources are equitably distributed among our people.

According to the United Nations, Venezuela has consistently reduced inequality: It now has the lowest income inequality in the region. We have reduced poverty enormously — to 25.4 percent in 2012, on the World Bank’s data, from 49 percent in 1998; in the same period, according to government statistics, extreme poverty diminished to 6 percent from 21 percent.

We have created flagship universal health care and education programs, free to our citizens nationwide. We have achieved these feats in large part by using revenue from Venezuelan oil.

While our social policies have improved citizens’ lives over all, the government has also confronted serious economic challenges in the past 16 months, including inflation and shortages of basic goods. We continue to find solutions through measures like our new market-based foreign exchange system, which is designed to reduce the black market exchange rate. And we are monitoring businesses to ensure they are not gouging consumers or hoarding products. Venezuela has also struggled with a high crime rate. We are addressing this by building a new national police force, strengthening community-police cooperation and revamping our prison system.

Since 1998, the movement founded by Hugo Chávez has won more than a dozen presidential, parliamentary and local elections through an electoral process that former American President Jimmy Carter has called “the best in the world.” Recently, the United Socialist Party received an overwhelming mandate in mayoral elections in December 2013, winning 255 out of 337 municipalities.

Popular participation in politics in Venezuela has increased dramatically over the past decade. As a former union organizer, I believe profoundly in the right to association and in the civic duty to ensure that justice prevails by voicing legitimate concerns through peaceful assembly and protest.

The claims that Venezuela has a deficient democracy and that current protests represent mainstream sentiment are belied by the facts. The antigovernment protests are being carried out by people in the wealthier segments of society who seek to reverse the gains of the democratic process that have benefited the vast majority of the people.

Antigovernment protesters have physically attacked and damaged health care clinics, burned down a university in Táchira State and thrown Molotov cocktails and rocks at buses. They have also targeted other public institutions by throwing rocks and torches at the offices of the Supreme Court, the public telephone company CANTV and the attorney general’s office. These violent actions have caused many millions of dollars’ worth of damage. This is why the protests have received no support in poor and working-class neighborhoods.

The protesters have a single goal: the unconstitutional ouster of the democratically elected government. Antigovernment leaders made this clear when they started the campaign in January, vowing to create chaos in the streets. Those with legitimate criticisms of economic conditions or the crime rate are being exploited by protest leaders with a violent, antidemocratic agenda.

In two months, a reported 36 people have been killed. The protesters are, we believe, directly responsible for about half of the fatalities. Six members of the National Guard have been shot and killed; other citizens have been murdered while attempting to remove obstacles placed by protesters to block transit.

A very small number of security forces personnel have also been accused of engaging in violence, as a result of which several people have died. These are highly regrettable events, and the Venezuelan government has responded by arresting those suspected. We have created a Human Rights Council to investigate all incidents related to these protests. Each victim deserves justice, and every perpetrator — whether a supporter or an opponent of the government — will be held accountable for his or her actions.

In the United States, the protesters have been described as “peaceful,” while the Venezuelan government is said to be violently repressing them. According to this narrative, the American government is siding with the people of Venezuela; in reality, it is on the side of the 1 percent who wish to drag our country back to when the 99 percent were shut out of political life and only the few — including American companies — benefited from Venezuela’s oil.

Let’s not forget that some of those who supported ousting Venezuela’s democratically elected government in 2002 are leading the protests today. Those involved in the 2002 coup immediately disbanded the Supreme Court and the legislature, and scrapped the Constitution. Those who incite violence and attempt similar unconstitutional actions today must face the justice system.

The American government supported the 2002 coup and recognized the coup government despite its anti-democratic behavior. Today, the Obama administration spends at least $5 million annually to support opposition movements in Venezuela. A bill calling for an additional $15 million for these anti-government organizations is now in Congress. Congress is also deciding whether to impose sanctions on Venezuela. I hope that the American people, knowing the truth, will decide that Venezuela and its people do not deserve such punishment, and will call upon their representatives not to enact sanctions.

Now is a time for dialogue and diplomacy. Within Venezuela, we have extended a hand to the opposition. And we have accepted the Union of South American Nations’ recommendations to engage in mediated talks with the opposition. My government has also reached out to President Obama, expressing our desire to again exchange ambassadors. We hope his administration will respond in kind.

Venezuela needs peace and dialogue to move forward. We welcome anyone who sincerely wants to help us reach these goals.

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RafterManFMJ's picture

Sire! The peasants are revolting!

I know, they are filthy, and they stink.

Pure Evil's picture

So, why would a Marxist President from the United Socialist State of America want to overthrow the Socialist government of Venezuela?

nmewn's picture

Its a rats nest of contradictions, I've given up trying to make heads or tails of a communist or a fascist legally raping the populace.

The state is the device, the law is the mace against their skull and we fight over the scraps.

All is normal.

Yo ho, all hands, hoist the colors high

Heave ho, thiefs & beggars, never shall we die.

mjcOH1's picture

"Venezuelans are proud of our democracy. We have built a participatory democratic movement from the grass roots that has ensured that both power and resources are equitably distributed among our people. According to the United Nations, Venezuela has consistently reduced inequality: It now has the lowest income inequality in the region."

 At last, the proletariat have triumphed. No matter how big a fuck up you are, you can be assured that you will not be left behind by some counterrevolutionary working 80hr/week to keep the lights on, or your sorry ass from rotting out with VD.

Forward!

Pure Evil's picture

Look, I just want toilet paper.

I'm tired of trying to wash the shiite from under my fingernails after using my hand to wipe my arse.

If it was truly a an egalitarian government they would hand out bidets to everyone.

No need for the TP folks.

Richard Chesler's picture

Fucking drivel could almost pass a Obozo's.

nmewn's picture

Democracy (in the terminology and reality of socialists) seems to be the path of long lines of people waiting, clutching a government issued piece of paper, entitling them to a ration of food, water, health care, gasoline...and of course...toilet paper, not confiscated already for government officials delicate bottoms.

Whats not to love? ;-)

Meh, I'm done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpOSxM0rNPM

 

Stuck on Zero's picture

The poor have no toilet paper.  The "rich," who are revolting, have two rolls of toilet paper.  

 

Oliver Jones's picture

Two rolls? How does that work - one for each arsehole? :)

Citizen_x's picture

Maybe a 40% discount on long tern crude contracts for Gulf Coast refineries just isn't enough.

A billion doesn't go as far as it used to.  Inflation is hitting the Beltway influence industry

pretty darn hard.  Be a good sport, contribute more to re election campaigns.  Help lift

thier burden.  It's the patriotic thing to do.

Balanced Integer's picture

I find it highly believable that the majority in Venezuela would vote to pillage the wealth of the Venezuelan minority, because the same thing is happening here in America.

The poor, disenfranchised people the world over love to wear red. Whatver their faults, being blatant is not one of them.

Pure Evil's picture

But, as we saw in the French Revolution, the operators of the guillotines weren't any better than the people they were beheading.

Once it got going it became a blood lust spectator sport just like public lynchings in the Old West and gladiatorial combat in Ancient Rome.

I'm amazed the Jacobins didn't sell tickets to the spectacle and place bets on how long the heads continued to live after being chopped off.

Oliver Jones's picture

Animal Farm (and even Atlas Shrugged) will tell you that few people actually benefit from a "peoples' revolution".

XitSam's picture

But, as we saw in the French Revolution, the operators of the guillotines weren't any better than the people they were beheading.

This is exactly right. Everyone assumes that one side must be wrong and the other side is right. You should always examine the situation to see if both sides are wrong.

slightlyskeptical's picture

All you need to know is that profit is the excess of the price over the cost to make. The workers only get a fraction of what their work is ultimately worth. It should be a given that people wouldn't be happy with the staus-quo and would want to reclaim some of wealth derived from their work.

nmewn's picture

"Since 1998, the movement founded by Hugo Chávez has won more than a dozen presidential, parliamentary and local elections through an electoral process that former American President Jimmy Carter has called “the best in the world.”

lol...well, that seals it for me.

////////////

Was it something I said? ;-)

Balanced Integer's picture

Maybe you needed a sarc tag?

Actually, I think we have a few closet Bolivarians in our midsts tonight.

nmewn's picture

Never use it myself (the sarc tag) but it seems you're right.

Apparently, putting up a direct quote from a socialist/communist, praising Jimmah's astute election overseeing abilities has sent more than a few over the edge...lol.

So, do they disagree with a socialist/communist opinion of Jimmah's mental capacities or Jimmah's idea of "democracy"? ;-)

XitSam's picture

Why do socialists/communists always expound about winning vote counts?  

pods's picture

Sorry, when I hear about this guy only 1 saying pops in my head:

Go get your shinebox!

pods

Al Gorerhythm's picture

When they stop preaching democracy and start promoting sound money, I'll start believing. Just another useful idiotic distraction.

A Nanny Moose's picture

The former depends on the lack of the latter.

Balanced Integer's picture

One other thing: Between Maduro and NYT, I keep coming up with an image in my mind. The only problem is, which one is pitching and which one is catching?

Balanced Integer's picture

It seems that at least two ZH readers are secretly afraid that cock is delicious.

Ignatius's picture

He's right.  US policy in support of corporate interests.

As it has always been in Latin America.

spanish inquisition's picture

A big part of why we needed to crush Libya, too much money being spent on peoples quality of life. Not to mention the audacity of trying to price oil in gold.

Balanced Integer's picture

You really think that the US (and by extension, the West) cares how much another country spends on people's "quality of life?"

spanish inquisition's picture

Absolutely. When a country spends oil profits on its people, it cuts into the money the corporate masters can pillage. 

http://www.davidicke.com/forum/showthread.php?t=187781

Balanced Integer's picture

Your link was an interesting read. However, it was long on speculation and conspiracy theory, but very short on evidence. And the links provided by OP were 404.

I digress, because I'm much more interested in the premise of your statement: "When a country spends oil profits on its people, it cuts into the money the corporate masters can pillage." I'm not sure I follow. Could you elaborate, please?

 

o2sd's picture

I'll take a stab at that.

A country that is resource rich, and by extension, US dollar rich, that concentrates the proceeds of that into a small number of hands, find's itself with a population that is, day by day, increasingly disatisfied with the status quo. While there are a number of ways to deal with that disatisfaction, a common one is to increase the size of either

(a) your police force/surveillance state to monitor, oppress and brutalise the population or

(b) your military to send the malcontents on some fools errand in a country whose rich people have exactly the same problem as you do.

And who is the largest supplier of the tools to carry out (a) and (b) , and also happily accepts US dollars as payment?

mrpxsytin's picture

As long as the US gets her cut, I can't imagine she would care. 

Dr. Engali's picture

Yeah right. Gaddafi was spending money enriching the people's quality of life. What a joke. The western powers' only concern was the petro dollar and keeping Libya under their thumb.

nmewn's picture

Wut?

Gaddafi didn't give all the people luxurious palaces & women bodyguards?

Shocking! ;-)

Harbanger's picture

Weren't the Socialists that are running Venezuela now, blaming the rich before they took power?  Of course they were.  Now they are the rich and can't even produce enough toilet paper for the population, but they still blame the rich.

alien-IQ's picture

Actually, yes.

Look at the statistics:

The Standard of Living in Libya – compilation of data, studies, articles and videos
http://globalciviliansforpeace.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/the-standard-of-...

Harbanger's picture

It's too bad you're still hoping for some benevolent leader with the power to make life fair and raise your standard of living. 

XitSam's picture

The benevolent dictator, oh, I don't know, like maybe Obama, knows what is best for his serfs. Serfs are not allowed to make their own decisions, they are too stupid, and would choose poorly (in the Great Leader's opinion).

Fractal Parasite's picture

The country in Africa with the highest standard of living, according to the UN Human Development Index, was (drum roll) ... Libya.

At least it was in 2010.

Omen IV's picture

the vote at the Organization of American States (OAS) on Venezuela on March 7.

Twenty-nine of 32 countries not only rejected Washington's attempt to get the OAS to intervene in Venezuela, but to add insult to injury, passed a resolution expressing their solidarity with the government of President Nicolás Maduro. It is hard to imagine a more resounding diplomatic defeat in a body where the U.S. government still has quite a disproportionate influence

Oldwood's picture

And I'm sure Obama used all of his considerable skills to gather support for his agenda...NOT! Another token effort to try and not look like a full blown Marxist. Unfortunately for us his actions speak louder than his diplomatic words.

Remington IV's picture

NY Times , a communist , mass-murder , dictator's best friend

Jim B's picture

agreed, the corrupt rag of record!

 

 

Omen IV's picture

compared to the Drone King he is a piker when it comes to killling women and children

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Really? I'm the biggest Obama hater out there, but I'm pretty sure that Chavez and Maduro's policies have resulted in starving tens of thousands (if not more) of women, children, and old people.

Dr. Engali's picture

A lot of Maduro communists on the Hedge tonight.

Hopeful Skeptic's picture

The same paper that sang the praises of Stalin and Hitler, until they realized that most Americans weren't stupid enough to believe the progressive agenda...after which they reversed their narrative almost immediately. Yet another reason to ignore all the self-imagined "intellectual elites".

Oldwood's picture

This is what democracy looks like!!!

Duc888's picture

 

 

USA = how can we fuck over your country to our advantage?

We love to spread Demonocracy from the bomb bay doors at 50,000 feet. If you're on our short list we'll bust out the drones.

But by all means, keep votin' 'cause it's the 'Murican thing to do.

Hope and change muthafukkerz.

Ha.