Details at Gateway Pundit.
In other headlines,
Venezuelan Protests Mark Start of Six-Day Holiday
Finally, a CNN reporter on the job,
— AnonymousBolivar (@WilliamsXtreme) February 25, 2014
“Since when does the National Guard wear white sneakers?”
— Richard (@RNCF2012) February 25, 2014
“A woman was brutally beaten by female operative of the People’s Guard in Valencia” The perpetrator was later identified as Josneidy Castillo.
— Boina Verde (@cesago) February 24, 2014
— Judith Alves 350 (@LocaLuzCaraball) February 25, 2014
— MAIPO GOLD (@goldtwittee) February 24, 2014
Marco Rubio’s speech on Cuba and Venezuela,
— Ricardo Ramírez. (@RicardoARM_) February 25, 2014
SOS Venezuela video:
El Carabobeño daily’s Flickr photos of the National Guard attacking civilians.
Alex Beech explains media indifference to Venezuela on her Facebook page.
Caracas Gringo: Maduro Must Resign Now! translates the following video,
Monica Showalter‘s Facebook page: Cuban troops instructing Venezuelan goons how to build barricades. Venezuela’s freedom fighters are up against the muscle of Castro
Also via Monica, an article from 2005, Hugo Chávez Enlists a Kennedy for Anti-U.S. Campaign
WSJ: Venezuela’s Maduro Faces Internal Criticism
Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro encountered the first criticism from within his ruling coalition when a state governor criticized the government’s crackdown on a growing student movement.
I don’t know, but when two such dissimilar political figures act the same way, something is afoot. Some crack in the facade is showing. Some weakness is being perceived and they both want to take advantage of it.
Victoria Henderson writing at PanAm Post, Chavismo Apologists: The Long Arm of the “Official” Story
Canadian Media Extends Olive Branch to Venezuelan Regime
There’s a women’s protest scheduled for tomorrow. There’s also an initiative to cancel the upcoming Carnival festivities,
— Nicolás Maburro (@Maburrito) February 25, 2014
Special thanks to my former classmate Doris for her Facebook posts.
Without a doubt, the week’s top story is the opposition’s continuing demonstrations in Venezuela, eclipsing even the capture in Mexico of Chapo Guzmán, the most-wanted criminal of the hemisphere (and who will face charges in at least three US federal courts), . You can click on #LaSalida for all my posts covering the story.
. . . three deep-lying explanations help to illuminate the country’s diminishment. Firstly, Argentina may have been rich 100 years ago but it was not modern. That made adjustment hard when external shocks hit. The second theory stresses the role of trade policy. Third, when it needed to change, Argentina lacked the institutions to create successful policies.
“We have spent 50 years thinking about maintaining government spending, not about investing to grow,” says Fernando de la Rúa, a former president who resigned during the 2001 crisis.
This short-termism distinguishes Argentina from other Latin American countries that have suffered institutional breakdowns. Chile’s military dictatorship was a catastrophic fracture with democracy but it introduced long-lasting reforms. Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party governed steadily for most of the 20th century. “In Argentina institution-building has taken the form of very quick and clientilist redistribution,” says Daron Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Bolivia under water: Why no national disaster declared amid floods?
The Bolivian government says its massive aid operation, which includes food and tents, is well underway, but not everyone is satisfied with the response.
Optics? THE ROUSSEFF TWO STEP
Brazil Sidestepping to the Right via Instapundit.
Haitians will not be stripped of Dominican Republic citizenship
Stalled Spending Chokes Mexico’s Growth
Mexico posted its worst economic performance in 2013 since the global recession of 2009, thanks in part to massive government spending delays that businesses struggled to overcome.
A canal across Nicaragua: Is this for real? Here’s a hint: “The price tag alone is nearly four times Nicaragua’s economic output.”
Puerto Rico Plans $2.86 Billion Offering for 16 Months of Cash, supposedly “to regain financial footing” until June 2015. And then what?
Venezuela: chaos and thuggery take the place of the pretty revolution
Hugo Chávez’s dream world has become a nightmare of shot-down protesters, jailed oppositionists, economic meltdown and a brutal war waged against a defiant middle class
The week’s posts, radio, and podcast:
Venezuela: #24F Barricading the country
At Da Tech Guy: Venezuela: “We must become the media”
This week’s podcast had to be cancelled due to software difficulties at Blog Talk Radio.
The opposition strategy today is to barricade every street and road in the country, on Twitter #24FGranBarricadaNacional (#24FGreatNationalBarricade), video in Spanish:
The video advises the resistance to stay united. I didn’t have time to translate with subtitles, but here are a few highlights:
Brigadier General Ángel Vivas has issued an appeal on YouTube to the Venezuelan military to fight against the dictatorship, and now the government is after him.
Vivas opened and ended his YouTube with, “I am Ángel Vivas, General of the Venezuelan Army, the old Army, the one that threw out Fidel Castro from Venezuela in the 1960s.” As Mary O’Grady points out, Cuba is worried about losing 100,000 barrels of oil per day if its man in Caracas falls.
Caracas Gringo writes about Vivas, One Man Against Tyranny
Maduro’s Sebin, DIM and National Guard goons tried to arrest General Vivas today (Sunday) at his residence. But General Vivas declined to surrender. Instead, General Vivas and his family have now barricaded inside their home.
General Vivas also took up his assault rifle and sidearm, donned his bulletproof vest, climbed out on his roof with all weapons hot and declared to Maduro and goons:
“(You) can have my body but you won’t have General Angel Vivas. I will remain calmly where I have always been, In Venezuela, in my home, with my wife and my daughters, beside whom I want to live and die. The Cuban pro-consul in Venezuela, complying with orders by Fidel Castro, has ordered my detention and then they intend to kill me. I will not surrender. I will not surrender to Fidel Castro and I recommend everyone do the same.”
Perhaps Maduro’s goons would have stormed the general Vivas home, or else a sniper might have shot him from a distance, but a standoff ensued when defiant officer’s neighbors poured into the street with their smartphones to oppose the regime’s heavily armed goons. Maduro’s goons finally appeared to withdraw – for now.
Update: Vivas requests that the opposition allow his lawyer to reach his home,
Le pido, por favor, a la #RESISTENCIA que le permita el paso a mi abogado, el Dr José María Zaa hasta mi residencia.
— Angel Vivas (@Gral_Vivas_P) February 24, 2014
I’ll post updates today as time allows.
Venezuelan officials talked ongoing anti-government protests in the country, including the ousting of three U.S. diplomats, and discussed the prospects for democracy there. Former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela Otto Reich criticized the Obama administration for not taking a strong stand against the government.
Video at the link.
iPads de oro. . .
Both the government and the opposition have demonstrations scheduled today. From prison, Leopoldo López Venezuela protest leader, urges resistance [while] Government minister warns of cut in fuel supply to areas under ‘fascist attack
WSJ: Venezuela Youth Drive Protests Against ‘Chavismo’
Students and recent graduates form the backbone of an increasingly raucous movement that has become the most formidable challenge President Nicolás Maduro has faced since taking office last April.
Six people have been shot dead since Feb. 12 from the ranks of a surging opposition movement.
Telegraph: Venezuelan President blames media for broadcasting hate
President Nicolas Maduro accuses the international media of distorting the situation in Venezuela, making it seem it is on the verge of civil war
BBC: Venezuela’s Maduro seeks Obama talks
Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro invites US President Barack Obama to join him in talks aimed at resolving the problems between the two countries. That’s after he expelled consular workers, that is.
Caracas Chronicles: Gocho Uprising Update
San Cristóbal, where the protest movement started, remains an extreme outlier in the current crisis, with many residential neighborhoods essentially out of the control of the government.
Capitol Hill Cubans: Answering The Economist’s Question on Venezuela
Hot Air: Quotes of the day
I’ll be on Da Tech Guy’s radio show at noon today talking about Venezuela.
Alek Boyd writes,
As our glorious student movement stays out in the street, to be joined today by hundreds of thousands, I would like to ask for your attention. Today is a significant day in the road to recover a semblance of democracy in Venezuela. Maduro, ill advised and desperate as he is, could well be in a double-down-let’s-wrap-this-thing-today mood. It is crucial, to those working the diplomatic lines today, to make him and his faction understand that a retreat with safety guarantees is always more appealing than jail. Ditto with Diosdado Cabello and his lot. They fear, naturally, the cost of not having power and the immunity that provides, and so amnesty must be part of the bargain. They are cornered and they know it, but let cool heads prevail at this time. Venezuela does not deserve another death, nor another day of mismanagement in the name of an utterly failed model.
Instapundit: IN ROME, MARCHING IN SYMPATHY WITH VENEZUELANS
Maduro backtracks, maybe: Venezuela says CNN can stay, a day after saying ‘get out’
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I was listening to a podcast yesterday where the guest complained of it being “a slow news week”. Dude! The federal government is trying to unleash the FCC on the TV and cable networks here in the US, Ukraine is burning (here’s a before-and-after) in no small part thanks to Olympic host Putin,
and five people have been killed in Venezuela (a country that provides 10-15% of the USA’s oil, who supports Iran, and is directed from Cuba) by unofficial chavista shock troops and the “colectivos“, after two weeks of escalating protests over soaring inflation, rampant crime, and chronic shortages, and you call this “a slow news week”??
Some of it has to do with the mainstream media ignoring the Venezuelan story; a Venezuelan Journalist Rightly Wonders Why American Media Ignores Unfolding Crisis. Some has to do with Latin America’s Complicit Silence in Venezuela. Indeed, it is right to ask, Are the Americas turning a blind eye to chaos in Venezuela? Add to that,
Seeing that Ukraine and Venezuela are now aflame, joining his other diplomatic successes in the Middle East and North Africa, Kerry has decided to focus his languorous “energy” on the greatest threat of all, “global climate change.”
But, Dude, it’s happening, and Ukraine And Venezuela: This Ain’t No Velvet Revolution
In their protests, Venezuelans seem to be counting on a Velvet Revolution against these Cuban communists who, remember, didn’t fall during the real Velvet Revolution that took down a string of communist regimes in 1989. They seem to believe the Chavista regime, faced with massive peaceful protests, will melt away in shame, leaving office to let the good guys take over.
But here’s the irony: Over in the real land of Velvet Revolutions — Eastern Europe — there are no such illusions. Nobody in Ukraine thinks there will be any Velvet Revolutions there.
That’s why that uprising is a far more consequential pitched battle against a regime that clings to power at all costs because its fundamental control over the government and the people is now seriously endangered.
In fact, Cuban backups have landed to help the regime squash the opposition. This is No Venezuelan Spring: 4500 Cuban Military on Venezuelan Soil: $10B Annual US Subsidy at Stake – and the 4,500 does not include the 60,000 or so personnel imported from Cuba as “doctors”, etc.
Leopoldo López’s wife tweeted for him, since he’s in prison,
Maduro, stop the lies and fantasies. I do not negotiate, nor will I negotiate, with dictators. I presented myself on my own terms.
Maduro deja la mentira y la fantasia. Yo no negocio ni negociare con dictaduras. Di la cara en mis propios terminos /LT
— Leopoldo López (@leopoldolopez) February 20, 2014
Twitter has become especially valuable as a platform for political expression as Maduro has cracked down on independent and opposition news outlets (a paper shortage in the country hasn’t helped matters). Last week, the Venezuelan president blocked access to NTN24, a Colombia-based news channel, after it broadcast live coverage of the country’s violent protests (as the pseudonymous Venezuelan blogger Daniel Duquenal puts it, all “airborne media” is censored in the country). Now, the government is moving to squash social media, even as it harnesses the same platforms to advance its own agenda. Twitter recently reported that Venezuelan authorities had blocked users’ access to images from demonstrations, and protesters claim that police are confiscating their cell phones.
As López told Venezuelans in a video he recorded in the event of his arrest, “I invite you to become your own media outlet.”
After CNN reporter Karl Penhaul and his crew were assaulted by police in Caracas for doing their job, Chavez’ Heir Threatens to Expel CNN From Venezuela “if it does not “rectify” its coverage of political turmoil in the Latin American country.”
There’s the nature of the story itself: Alek Boyd (whose own blog, Infodio, has been censored since 16 Jan 2014) writes,
Events in Venezuela are happening at a speed that makes impossible for traditional media to keep tabs. Protests are not taking place only in Caracas, the entire country is up against chavismo. Opposition leaders have called for a demonstration tomorrow, which is likely to turn into hundreds of thousands of people across the country taking to the streets to support students protests and to decry the deaths, injured, torture and the horrible economic situation.
Students are getting more organized. While Protests Continue, Government Creates Third fx Market, effectively devaluing the currency again, and clamps down: Shock Troops Target Protesters
The protesters will have to persevere – the question remains, will the military take their side? There are some signs it may.
So Dude, what’s your excuse?
Linked to by Maggie’s Notebook. Thank you!
Venezuela orders troops into border city amid fierce clashes
Objects placed by opposition protesters block a road in the Altamira neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela
Paratroopers sent into San Cristobal in the border state of Tachira and an internet blackout imposed, as residents say they are living in a ‘war zone’