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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 5-Apr-2017
5-Apr-17 World View -- With Venezuela's Socialism spiraling into chaos, NY Times blames the mess on 'populism'

Web Log - April, 2017

5-Apr-17 World View -- With Venezuela's Socialism spiraling into chaos, NY Times blames the mess on 'populism'

Organization of American States (OAS) approves scathing condemnation of Venezuela

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

Venezuela's Socialist government in political crisis as street violence grows

Venezuelan opposition lawmaker Juan Requesens after being bloodied by a Maduro supporter (AP)
Venezuelan opposition lawmaker Juan Requesens after being bloodied by a Maduro supporter (AP)

A march mon Monday by members of Venezuela's National Assembly who were opposed to president Nicolás Maduro's Socialist government was met by men with sticks and rocks by Socialist supporters.

On Tuesday, Venezuelan police attacked protesters with tear gas, water cannons and pepper spray. The clashes began after the authorities closed subway stations, set up checkpoints and cordoned off a square where opponents had planned their latest protest against the Socialist government and a crippling economic crisis.

The protests were triggered by a decision last week by the Maduro-controlled Supreme Court to effectively dissolve the National Assembly and take over its legislative powers, effectively making Maduro a dictator.

Maduro is in control of the presidency, the army, the media, and the courts. The National Assembly was the only body that expressed any opposition to Maduro. Maduro has repeatedly used the courts to reverse any legislative decisions that he didn't like, but this time he was going to eliminate the legislative branch completely.

Maduro has been jailing bakers because there's a bread shortage, and has been jailing factory workers because there's shortage of milk, rice, flour, ketchup, diapers, and toilet paper. It seemed that Maduro could get away with anything. So it was to everyone's surprise that Maduro's latest move generated worldwide outrage, even from some normally compliant mainstream media sources. Even Maduro's attorney general Luisa Ortega Diaz was opposed to the latest move.

The international opposition caused Venezuela's Supreme Court to reverse the decision on Saturday, but the crisis has continued because it triggered violence in the streets. There were thousands of people on both sides, pro- and anti-Maduro, in a situation where anger is increasing between the "haves" supporting Maduro and the "have-nots" opposed to Maduro. Reuters and Washington Post and Venezuelanalysis

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Organization of American States (OAS) approves scathing condemnation of Venezuela

The Organization of American States (OAS) approved on Monday overwhelmingly approved a resolution demanding that Venezuela restore full constitutional authority to the National Assembly.

However, that decision came at the end of two days of extraordinary brinksmanship.

On April 1, Bolivia assumed the rotating Pro Tempore presidency of the OAS. A meeting had been previously scheduled to discuss the Venezuela situation, but Bolivia is one of the two closest allies to Venezuela's Socialist government, the other one being Ecuador. So the first action taken by the Bolivian representative was to cancel the meeting.

This infuriated other OAS members, led by Costa Rica and Mexico, so they conducted what is being called an "institutional coup," and went ahead with the cancelled meeting. Bolivia protested the move and subsequently walked out of the meeting, joined by Venezuela, Nicaragua and Ecuador.

There were 21 remaining countries at the meeting, and 17 nations approved the resolution, with four abstentions: Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Belize and El Salvador.

According to the text of the resolution:

"EXPRESSING our grave concern regarding the unconstitutional alteration of the democratic order in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and our continuous support for dialogue and negotiation to lead to a peaceful restoration of democratic order,

[The OAS] DECLARES that: The decisions of the Supreme Court of Venezuela to suspend the powers of the National Assembly and to arrogate them to itself are inconsistent with democratic practice and constitute an alteration of the constitutional order of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Notwithstanding the recent revision of some elements of these decisions, it is essential that the Government of Venezuela ensures the full restoration of democratic order."

Pary Rodriguez, Bolivia's OAS representative, said that the resolution is "totally illegal and arbitrary and don’t correspond to the norms of international law." Latin American Herald Tribune and Panama Post and TeleSur

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NY Times blames Venezuela's chaos on 'populism' not Socialism

In a lengthy article that doesn't anywhere contain any form of the world "Socialism," the New York Times blamed Venezuela's massive economic crisis on populism, apparently to take a swipe at Donald Trump.

According to the article:

"When Hugo Chávez took power in Venezuela nearly 20 years ago, the leftist populism he championed was supposed to save democracy. Instead, it has led to democracy’s implosion in the country, marked this past week by an attack on the independence of its Legislature.

Venezuela’s fate stands as a warning: Populism is a path that, at its outset, can look and feel democratic. But, followed to its logical conclusion, it can lead to democratic backsliding or even outright authoritarianism."

This is really laughable. I remember, years ago, when I really admired the NY Times, but since the 1980s it's move progressively leftist, and today no longer reports news.

Socialism has led to disaster every time it's been tried. There have been oceans of blood spilled in the name of Socialism in countries like the Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea and China. In fact, Socialism has been such a disaster that every country has been forced to abandon it, including the Soviet Union, Cuba, China, East Germany, and so forth. North Korea hasn't abandoned it, and that whole country is a disaster. Venezuela is headed the same way.

How stupid to you have to be to "believe" in Socialism when it's failed spectacularly every time it's been tried, and has never been successful - not even once?

Actually, as I've written several times in the past, it's pretty easy to prove mathematically that Socialism always collapses.

In 1991, I visited a huge computer show in Hanover, Germany. It was a special occasion because the Berlin Wall had just fallen, and East Germans were visiting the show for the first time. "They're in a state of shock," I was told. "They're still using punched card equipment from the 1950s." Why had Communist East Germany gotten stuck in the 1950s?

The same with Cuba, which is still using automobiles from the 1950s.

In medieval times, a feudal estate with a couple of hundred tenants could be run on a Socialist basis, if the feudal lord desired. All he'd need is one or two "regulators" to make sure that all prices were fixed and all transactions follow the law.

But as the population grows exponentially, the number of transactions grows exponentially faster, and so the number of "regulators" needed becomes a larger and larger percentage of the population. By the time you have a country with millions of people, every person would have to be a "regulator" to make it work, and obviously that's impossible. So that's why countries like East Germany, North Korea, Russia and Cuba all got stuck in the 1950s until they gave up Socialism. NY Times and News Busters

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 5-Apr-17 World View -- With Venezuela's Socialism spiraling into chaos, NY Times blames the mess on 'populism' thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (5-Apr-2017) Permanent Link
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