Left wondering what’s happening in Venezuela?
I don’t know enough about the situation. Was this corruption and/or incompetence from the Venezuelan government of Chavez and Maduro? Or another American Imperial move to keep a neoliberal Capitalist hold on Venezualan oil? Apologies for posting here. A number of leftwing activists seem to defend Venezuela no matter what happens and I would like to know more. Perhaps it is another CIA plot like 1973 Chile.
>>3rd largest supplier of oil to the American Empire? However no money to feed themselves? 2 million barrels of oil from Venezuela. If they cannot export that oil, then prices will rice. Someone will be making money. << The economy of Venezuela is largely based on the petroleum sector and manufacturing. Revenue from petroleum exports accounts for more than 50% of the country’s GDP and roughly 95% of total exports. Venezuela is the sixth largest member of OPEC by oil production.
The United States bought 780,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Venezuelan crude and refined products in the first four months of 2017, according to the Energy Information Administration,
Venezuela’s oil revenues plunge 40% in 2015
PDVSA — the world’s fifth-largest oil company — earned $72.2 billion in revenues last year, a sharp drop from 2014’s $121.9 billion.
The US are keeping the oil prices low, because it hurts Russia, Iran, Venezuela… almost to good to be true; the Saudis are getting something out of it, so they keep quiet. What’s happening today to Venezuela is pretty much the same that happened to Chile in ’73. Everyone blamed the government, and it turned out that all the unrest was organised by the US via CIA; it happened then, why wouldn’t it happen now?
Thanks for posting Obi. Although I am a LatinAmericanist, I too struggle to understand the complexities and nuances of what is going on in Venezuela. In essence what I would say is:
1) The Bolivarian Revolution was a genuine and bold experiment in attempting to move towards a more socialist and fair society (within the parameters of capitalism). It achieved remarkable feats in terms of poverty alleviation, social equality, democratisation of society at the grassroots. However the army was one of the major backers and for genuine socialism to emerge it cannot be a process let by military forces.
2) A key error was not to diversify the economy sufficiently away from oil dependence (although they did introduce programmes to try to do so). Exporting the oil to the US was what funded the social programmes and “Missions” that have brought enormous social gains for most of the population. The manipulation of oil prices (with agreement from the Saudis) is doubt part of the destabilisation attempts against Venezuela, Iran etc.
3) There have certainly been systematic attempt to destabilise the government with CIA and US support to the right (and even far-right) from day 1 of the “revolution”. The 2002 coup was the most explicit example but since corporate lockouts and media coups are other manifestations of this. The much of the right-wing-led opposition is nasty. This is taking place in the context of a region where there have been full-on US-backed military coups to depose left-wing governments in Paraguay, El Salvador and “constitutional or media coups” in Brazil in recent years (also attempts in other counties like Argentina where US vulture funds forced the country into a technical default on its debt) and replace them with neoliberal ones. Like with Chile and Nicaragua they want to prevent “the threat of a good example” at all costs. I expect in ten years’ time it will become clear what the extent of the CIA’s role was (and what a disaster the subsequent neoliberal governments make of things). We have been here many times before as you said.
4) To outside observers it might look like the Venezuelan government is acting in an authoritarian way. There is no doubt that they have been authoritarian and it is very difficult to support that, but across Latin America and here, right-wing destabilisation attempts and control of the media as a propaganda machine have provoked this.
A friend of mine wrote this article which I largely agree with and moves away from the purist position of many of the pro-Chavistas.
Video from 2015. However still a good backgrond, especially the skepticism of American Reporters about US “long standing practice not to support political transitions, by non-Constitutional means”.
Of Venezuela and Hypocrisy
US Regime Change in Venezuela: The Truth is Easy if You Follow the Money
Venezuela Under Siege by U.S. Empire
The Violent Past Of Leopoldo Lopez, Poster Boy For The Venezuelan Opposition
Venezuela coup linked to Bush team