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Senate Bill allotted a further $20 million in American funds toward regime change in Venezuela.

Discussion in 'Politics Forum (Local/National/World)' started by Bigjon, Aug 12, 2017.



  1. Bigjon

    Bigjon Silver Member Silver Miner Site Supporter ++

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    Familiar Pattern: The West’s Marginalization of Venezuela
    AUGUST 11, 2017 BY 21WIRE 3 COMMENTS
    EDITOR’S NOTE: Readers should also note that just a few months ago in May, a new US Senate Bill allotted a further $20 million in American taxpayer funds toward regime change in Venezuela. This only scratches the surface of a vast destabilization campaign being run out of Washington DC.

    [​IMG]Image: US-backed opposition take aim at embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

    Daniel Margrain
    21st Century Wire


    The corporate mass media are well aware what side of the class war their bread is buttered. Their reporting of the events in Venezuela is a case in point.

    “Venezuela Leaps Towards Dictatorship,” said The Economist.

    “Venezuela Flirts With Outright Dictatorship,” exclaimed The Independent.

    The New York Times headlined with “Venezuela’s Descent Into Dictatorship,” while The Guardian’s “Let’s Call Venezuela What it is under Maduro: a Dictatorship,” was even more forthright in it’s message.

    To top it all, Newsweek went for the double whammy, “Putin Steps In To Bolster Venezuelan Dictator, Maduro.”

    The sensationalist headlines that present a totally distorted picture of the events unfolding in the country, illustrate the extent of the anti-Venezuela government propaganda witnessed since president Nicolas Maduro augmented the Venezuelan constitution spearheaded by his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, in 1999.

    We have been here before. In May, 2006, The Independent stoked up fear of the rise in grass roots democracy throughout Latin America with their headline:

    ‘The Big Question: Should we be worried by the rise of the populist left in South America?”

    Rather than emphasizing the widespread growth in bottom-up democracy throughout the region as a positive development, the paper instead implied that this popular movement of the left represented a threat to democracy. The unspoken assumption is that Washington has a right to intervene in a country like Venezuela to curtail these “threats.”

    Then, as now, the aim, is to divert public attention away from the fact that, historically, the US and its proxies have wrought terrible destruction on the country. Instead, the media continue to characterize democratic forces that are resisting the external meddling in Venezuela’s internal affairs and attempts to undermine its sovereignty, as the enemy within.

    Meanwhile, opposition forces who are tearing the country apart, are depicted as true democrats fighting an illegitimate fascist government. Since Maduro’s Constituent Assembly election victory last week, this inverse of reality has been peddled as a stated fact almost daily in the corporate media. Joe Emersberger writes:

    “Readers will not also know that the convening of a Constitutional Assembly is provided for under Venezuela’s 1999 constitution which was ratified in a referendum. The debate over its constitutional validity hinges on whether an initiating referendum is required. The relevant articles (347, 348) are far from explicit or clear that either an initiating or final referendum is required. The indirect constitutional arguments for a final referendum, for obvious reasons, are much stronger, but Maduro has committed to one. Also, the opposition did not just boycott the vote: its supporters perpetrated lethal acts of violence to prevent people from voting.”

    The Constituent Assembly process initiated by Maduro has mass popular support among Venezuelans, a majority think the process will defend social gains of recent years, and 65 per cent agree that elections should take place in 2018.

    Pejorative labels

    One of the ways the establishment media set out to deceive the public is through their use of pejorative labels. For instance, the popular support for Maduro among the Venezuelan people, has been termed “Populist”. After the Russian Revolution, “Bolshevik” or “Bolshie” became, for a short while, the buzz word of choice. Then, especially during the Cold War, the favoured propaganda word became “Communist”, which was particularly effective in ensuring Washington’s bloodbath throughout Central America under Reagan continued during the 1980s.

    Often used to justify the kind of mass murder outlined, these words are also used when the establishment – who are characterized as being of the centre – perceive themselves losing ground to mainly left-wing forces. Populist has become almost universal and used without explanation and as if it were a politically neutral statement of fact.

    The purpose is to depict ordinary people on the left angered by injustice and inequality, as naive and irresponsible. By contrast, the implication is that those on the right are responsible citizens and that the hardships people face are the result of foreseen and preventable socioeconomic circumstances. Any pain and suffering is thus depicted as being the fault of both the individuals concerned and the political forces on the left they vote for, not the fault of a corrupt corporate controlled media and government that systematically undermine both.

    [​IMG]
    The late Hugo Chavez

    Ever since Chavez’s Bolivarian revolution in 1999 became established, attempts have been made by the corporate media to systematically demonize the Venezuelan leadership and its supporters as justification for the US to procure the natural resources of the country and to crush any resistance towards regional self-determination.

    John Pilger observed that western media attacks “resemble uncannily those of the privately owned Venezuelan television and press, which called for the elected [Chavez] government to be overthrown”.

    Myth

    The attempt to justify Chavez’s overthrow largely stemmed from the myth that the former Venezuelan president came to power as a result of an illegal coup and therefore had no democratic legitimacy. This myth continues today. However, the truth, as Media Lens observed, is “that Chavez actually came to power in the general election of 1998, taking 56 per cent of the vote.”

    Citing the December 7, 1998, Post-Election Statement on Venezuela, the media analysts go on to describe how the Carter Centre – a human rights organisation which monitored the election – described the process as “transparent and peaceful that clearly reflected the will of the Venezuelan people”. Chavez was re-elected in 2000 with an increased share of the vote (60 per cent) and won again by a similar majority in 2006. He won a fourth term in the October 2012 election, five months before his death in Caracas on 5 March 2013.

    Craig Murray points out that “Hugo Chavez’ revolutionary politics were founded on two very simple tenets:

    1) People ought not to be starving in dreadful slums in the world’s most oil rich state
    2) The CIA ought not to control Venezuela.”

    What the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela inspired by Chavez represents to the establishment – as is the case with Jeremy Corbyn in Britain and Podemos in Spain – is the threat of a good example. Of the hundreds of media reports on Chavez, almost none depicted events in Venezuela as a fundamentally positive and urgently needed attempt to improve the condition of impoverished people who had been exploited by a succession of right-wing Washington-friendly governments that asset-stripped the country and reduced vast swaths of the population to paupers.

    According to John Pilger, three years before Chavez was elected, the rate of poverty in the country increased from 18 per cent in 1980 to 65 per cent in 1995. The renowned investigative journalist cited 95 year old Mavis Mendez who said that Chavez “planted the seeds of true democracy, and I am full of joy that I have lived to witness it.”

    Cultivate

    The seeds of Chavez’s legacy are what current president Nicolas Maduro is continuing to cultivate. But this is what the fascist opposition want to destroy so that the fabulously wealthy corrupt elites who own politics and control the corporate media, can enrich themselves even more. Maduro, represents a threat to this form of socialized wealth usurpation.

    As Media Lens point out, for many decades “Washington have funneled money, weapons and US-trained death squads battling independent nationalism across Central America” to achieve their nefarious objectives. John Pilger argued that as part of this process, Venezuela was being “softened up” as a precursor to its subsequent destruction. According to the journalist “a US army publication, Doctrine for Asymmetric War against Venezuela, described Chávez and the Bolivarian revolution as the ‘largest threat since the Soviet Union and Communism‘.”

    [​IMG]
    US Senator Marco Rubio

    With the death of Chavez and the election of Maduro in 2013, the opposition have seized their opportunity to up the ante. This has been bolstered by what US senator Marco Rubio (image,left) absurdly described as Maduro’s attempt to “permanently change the democratic order”. In reality, the purpose of the newly constituted assembly is to make the democratic gains made by Chavez irreversible.

    As independent investigative journalist, Abby Martin shows, the calls to defend the gains of the revolution refer mainly to the social programmes known as “Missions” which cover everything from infrastructure investment and affordable housing, through to free education, healthcare and cultural and art projects for the poorest.

    The gains have been phenomenal. Since the Bolivarian revolution was established, poverty has fallen from 43 per cent in 1999 to 26 per cent in 2017 and extreme poverty from 17 per cent to less than 7 per cent. Moreover, children’s attendance at school increased from 6m to 13m, while college attendance has more than quadrupled. Because of the expanding free universal healthcare in the country, infant mortality dropped by 50 per cent.

    Preserving gains

    The constituted assembly under Maduro is about preserving these gains, not advancing the revolution in any significant way. But rather than viewing these gains as a positive, the opposition seem determined to reverse them no matter what. Their method of achieving this is to overthrow the elected government through violent insurrection and thereby assume absolute control of the apparatus of the state.

    Since April, organized violent attacks have included the use of explosives directed against the National Guard, and the targeting of constituent assembly members. Last week, a lawyer working for the assembly was killed in the middle of the night in his home in the southeastern city of Ciudad Bolivar and another burned alive.

    The tally of the protest related deaths (as of August 8, 2017) are below:

    Deaths caused by authorities: 14

    Direct victims of opposition political violence: 23

    Deaths indirectly linked to opposition barricades*: 8

    Accidental deaths: 3

    People killed in lootings**: 14

    Deaths attributed to pro-gov’t civilians: 3

    Deaths still unaccounted for / disputed: 61

    The end game for the fascist opposition and their allies in Washington, is regime change in Venezuela. Rex Tillerson admitted as much after Wikileaks revealed that the US Secretary of State said:

    “Either Maduro decides he doesn’t have a future and wants to leave of his own accord, or we can return the government processes back to their constitution.”

    In other words, Tillerson is threatening to remove Maduro if he doesn’t “leave on his own accord.”

    With millions of US dollars flowing into the country to fund opposition groups, this is the clearest signal yet that Washington is preparing for an illegal coup to oust another democratic leader of a sovereign state. Regardless, the Western corporate media will continue in their Orwellian fashion to depict the opposition fascists as democrats and the democrat Maduro as a dictator.

    Thankfully, we have alternative social media to enable us to make better sense of the situation. RT did a particularly good job of presenting both sides of the story, while independent investigative journalist Abby Martin, who was in the midst of opposition demonstrations, exposed the regime change agenda for what it is.

    ***
    21WIRE contributor and author Daniel Margrain is political analyst and writer is a graduate of Goldsmiths, University of London. This article originally appeared on his blog Culture and Politics.org – the view from the dark side: politics, media, cities & culture.

    READ MORE VENEZUELA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Venezuela Files
     
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  2. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    Quite the leftist rant, above.

    "Then, as now, the aim, is to divert public attention away from the fact that, historically, the US and its proxies have wrought terrible destruction on the country."

    Just my opinion, but it seems to me the US and its proxies [Western Europe? Canada? Who exactly?] brought development of natural resources and modernity to the country. There would have been no wealth for Chavez to take if not for that development. The article claims great strides forward for the people of the country, since Chavez, until this day, yet all the reports we get here are of massive inflation, lack of basic goods, oil production down to 30% of peak, chaos in the streets. No TP, no diapers, no medicine. Did I mention Caracas is the murder capital of the world? Doesn't sound like paradise to me.

    On the other hand, we [the government of the USA] needs to keep our noses out of this mess. Good or bad, it is for them to settle this stuff. NOT OUR BUSINESS.
     
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  3. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Our government does not want other countries to fall along with Venezuela is why they are contemplating regime change. Now, if Maduro was the right dictator we would not be having this conversation. All I know is the people of Venezuela are good people and do not deserve their crappy government.

    In this case, IF the USA could pull off a big change I would be for it, but our past record indicates we may cause more problems than we solve.
     
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  4. GOLDBRIX

    GOLDBRIX God,Donald Trump,most in GIM2 I Trust. OTHERS-meh Site Supporter Platinum Bling

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    Yeah, Lets give $20mil. to a morally and financially bankrupt regime that already hates our guts.

    Next some US .Gov agency will send them Nuclear Reactor Technology to compensate their energy crisis.

    Just a few more steps closer to having a NKorea in our Southern Hemisphere.
     
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  5. Buck

    Buck Fabian Society Gold Chaser

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    I'm confused about Venezuela

    Which side is actually in control?

    Someone posted videos trying to explain it all and as I watched them, it explained it all upside down as to what I thought it was

    It's too early to read that many words, my brains still not completely engaged

    What ideology is in control?
     
  6. Bigjon

    Bigjon Silver Member Silver Miner Site Supporter ++

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    Seems to me, that they deserve the gov they choose, not the one USA INC chooses. Meddling in other peoples business is the CIA USA INC way.
     
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  7. Bigjon

    Bigjon Silver Member Silver Miner Site Supporter ++

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    You have a problem with understanding here the 2o million will go for more CIA dirty tricks and not to the elected gov of Venezuela.
     
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  8. Bigjon

    Bigjon Silver Member Silver Miner Site Supporter ++

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    Obviously fake news is what you believe, is the truth.
     
  9. Bigjon

    Bigjon Silver Member Silver Miner Site Supporter ++

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  10. the_shootist

    the_shootist I self identify as a black '69 Camaro Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    This is as good an excuse as any to arrest every American politician and put them on trial for interfering with a sovereign foreign government.
     
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  11. 917601

    917601 Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    Regime change not our business? In this case, of course it is. When I worked in Colombia, "we " were catching at least twenty ME Islamists a month along the Caucausia and Cucata border with Venezuelan issued passports on their way to the US. Chavez was issuing known Islamists with passports to infiltrate the US and do our nation harm. More often than not, the misguided Sheeple with an agenda have absolutely no idea what is happening behind the curtain.
     
  12. Bigjon

    Bigjon Silver Member Silver Miner Site Supporter ++

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    That's a story without one shred of real evidence.

    Why bother when the Jews put their man O'Bummer in the president's office and he did their bidding by flooding the country with all sorts of undesirables, including Muslim's.

    It seems you are laboring under the impression that USA INC works for the benefit of the American people. whereas it seems to me we are only viewed as meat puppets to be milked or slaughtered for the enrichment of USA INC.

    Just witness what the lieyers are doing to honest ranchers like the Bundy's. They are using a law that was never passed to keep them behind bars.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  13. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    The communists control Venezuela. I don't know why the military has not performed a coup yet? They are overdue.
     
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  14. Bigjon

    Bigjon Silver Member Silver Miner Site Supporter ++

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    Communists control the UNITED STATES.

    Every plank of the communist manifesto has been implemented by the UNITED STATES.

    ===============================

    ARE Americans practicing Communism?

    Read the 10 Planks of The Communist Manifesto to discover the truth and learn how to know your enemy...

    Karl Marx describes in his communist manifesto, the ten steps necessary to destroy a free enterprise system and replace it with a system of omnipotent government power, so as to effect a communist socialist state. Those ten steps are known as the Ten Planks of The Communist Manifesto… The following brief presents the original ten planks within the Communist Manifestowritten by Karl Marx in 1848, along with the American adopted counterpart for each of the planks. From comparison it's clear MOST Americans have by myths, fraud and deception under the color of law by their own politicians in both the Republican and Democratic and parties, been transformed into Communists.

    Another thing to remember, Karl Marx in creating the Communist Manifesto designed these planks AS A TEST to determine whether a society has become communist or not. If they are all in effect and in force, then the people ARE practicing communists.

    Communism, by any other name is still communism, and is VERY VERY destructive to the individual and to the society!!

    The 10 PLANKS stated in the Communist Manifesto and some of their American counterparts are...

    1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
    Americans do these with actions such as the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868), and various zoning, school & property taxes. Also the Bureau of Land Management (Zoning laws are the first step to government property ownership)

    2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
    Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State "income" taxes. We call it "paying your fair share".

    3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
    Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.

    4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
    Americans call it government seizures, tax liens, Public "law" 99-570 (1986); Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of "terrorists" and those who speak out or write against the "government" (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process. Asset forfeiture laws are used by DEA, IRS, ATF etc...).

    5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
    Americans call it the Federal Reserve which is a privately-owned credit/debt system allowed by the Federal Reserve act of 1913. All local banks are members of the Fed system, and are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) another privately-owned corporation. The Federal Reserve Banks issue Fiat Paper Money and practice economically destructive fractional reserve banking.

    6. Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.
    Americans call it the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated through the ICC act of 1887, the Commissions Act of 1934, The Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1938, The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Executive orders 11490, 10999, as well as State mandated driver's licenses and Department of Transportation regulations.

    7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
    Americans call it corporate capacity, The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture… Thus read "controlled or subsidized" rather than "owned"… This is easily seen in these as well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.

    8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
    Americans call it Minimum Wage and slave labor like dealing with our Most Favored Nation trade partner; i.e. Communist China. We see it in practice via the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two "income" family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920's, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000.

    9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.
    Americans call it the Planning Reorganization act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public "law" 89-136. These provide for forced relocations and forced sterilization programs, like in China.

    10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
    Americans are being taxed to support what we call 'public' schools, but are actually "government force-tax-funded schools " Even private schools are government regulated. The purpose is to train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based "Education" . These are used so that all children can be indoctrinated and inculcated with the government propaganda, like "majority rules", and "pay your fair share". WHERE are the words "fair share" in the Constitution, Bill of Rights or the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26)?? NO WHERE is "fair share" even suggested !! The philosophical concept of "fair share" comes from the Communist maxim, "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need! This concept is pure socialism. ... America was made the greatest society by its private initiative WORK ETHIC ... Teaching ourselves and others how to "fish" to be self sufficient and produce plenty of EXTRA commodities to if so desired could be shared with others who might be "needy"... Americans have always voluntarily been the MOST generous and charitable society on the planet.

    Do changing words, change the end result? ... By using different words, is it all of a sudden OK to ignore or violate the provisions or intent of the Constitution of the united States of America?????

    The people (politicians) who believe in the SOCIALISTIC and COMMUNISTIC concepts, especially those who pass more and more laws implementing these slavery ideas, are traitors to their oath of office and to the Constitution of the united States of America... KNOW YOUR ENEMY ...Remove the enemy from within and from among us.

    VOTE LIBERTARIAN, the only political party in America that still firmly supports and diligently abides by the Constitution of the united States of America.



    None are more hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free....
    If necessary CLICK browser BACK button to return to the Liberty Zone...



     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 12:50 AM
  15. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    Chavez came from the military, he and it seems his replacement the bus driver had their support.
     
  16. Scorpio

    Scorpio Скорпион Founding Member Board Elder Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    Factbox: Venezuela's nationalizations under Chavez
    6 Min Read


    (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was re-elected on Sunday to another six-year term, potentially extending his rule to two decades and cementing his status as a dominant figure in modern Latin American history.

    In 14 years in office, Chavez has nationalized major swaths of the OPEC nation's economy as part of a socialist agenda.

    Venezuelans expect more takeovers to come, possibly in the banking, health and food sectors.

    Below are the main nationalizations under Chavez:

    OIL
    * In 2007, Chavez's government took a majority stake in four oil projects in the vast Orinoco heavy crude belt worth an estimated $30 billion in total.

    Exxon Mobil Corp and ConocoPhillips quit the country as a result and filed arbitration claims. Late last year, an arbitration panel ordered Venezuela to pay Exxon $908 million, though a larger case is still ongoing.

    France's Total SA and Norway's StatoilHydro ASA received about $1 billion in compensation after reducing their holdings. Britain's BP Plc and America's Chevron Corp remained as minority partners.

    * In 2008, Chavez's administration implemented a windfall tax of 50 percent for prices over $70 per barrel, and 60 percent on oil over $100. Oil reached $147 that year, but soon slumped.

    * In 2009, Chavez seized a major gas injection project belonging to Williams Cos Inc and a range of assets from local service companies. This year, the energy minister said the government would pay $420 million to Williams and one of its U.S. partners, Exterran Holdings, for the takeover.

    * In June 2010, the government seized 11 oil rigs from Oklahoma-based Helmerich & Payne Inc.

    AGRICULTURE
    * In 2009, Chavez nationalized a rice mill operated by a local unit of U.S. food giant Cargill Inc.

    * In October 2010, Venezuela nationalized Fertinitro, one of the world's biggest producers of nitrogen fertilizer, as well as Agroislena, a major local agricultural supply company. It also said it would take control of nearly 200,000 hectares (494,000 acres) of land owned by British meat company Vestey Foods.

    * Vestey had already filed for arbitration over the earlier takeover of a ranch. Chavez said the latest deal with Vestey was a "friendly agreement."

    * In 2005, Chavez began implementing a 2001 law letting the state expropriate unproductive farms or seize land without proper titles. He has redistributed millions of acres deemed idle to boost food production and ease rural poverty.

    * Chavez's government has repeatedly threatened to seize Empresas Polar, Venezuela's biggest employer and largest brewer and food processor.

    FINANCE
    * In June 2010, Venezuela took over the mid-sized bank Banco Federal, citing liquidity problems and risk of fraud. The bank was closely linked to anti-government TV station Globovision.

    * In 2009, Chavez paid $1 billion for Banco de Venezuela, a division of Spanish bank Grupo Santander.

    * The government has closed a dozen small banks since November 2009 for what it said were operational irregularities. Some were reopened as state-run firms. Brokerages have also been closed and some employees jailed. Chavez has vowed to nationalize any bank that fails to meet government lending guidelines or is in financial trouble.

    INDUSTRY
    * In October 2010, Chavez ordered the takeover of the local operations of Owens Illinois Inc, which describes itself as the world's largest glass container maker.

    * Chavez in April 2008 announced the government takeover of the cement sector, targeting Switzerland's Holcim Ltd, France's Lafarge SA, and Mexico's Cemex SAB de CV.

    GOLD
    * Chavez has considered bringing mining more firmly into state hands, and in 2009 the mining ministry seized Gold Reserve Inc's Brisas project, which sits on one of Latin America's largest gold veins. Gold Reserve immediately filed for arbitration with ICSID.

    * In August 2011, Chavez said he was nationalizing the gold industry. Toronto-listed Rusoro Mining Ltd, owned by Russia's Agapov family, was the only large gold miner operating in Venezuela, and this year it filed for arbitration.

    STEEL
    * The government paid $2 billion in 2009 for Argentine-led Ternium SA's stake in Venezuela's largest steel mill.

    TELECOMMUNICATIONS
    * In 2007, the nation's largest telecommunications company CANTV was nationalized after the government bought out the U.S.-based Verizon Communications Inc's 28.5 percent stake for $572 million. Analysts said Verizon received fair compensations for its assets.

    POWER
    * In 2007, Venezuela expropriated the assets of U.S.-based AES Corp in Electricidad de Caracas, the nation's largest private power producer. The government paid AES $740 million for its 82 percent stake in the company. Analysts described the deal as fair for AES.

    TRANSPORT
    * In September 2011, the government nationalized a local ferry company, Conferry, which operates from the mainland to the resort island of Margarita. Conferry is owned by a wealthy family and began operating in 1959.

    TOURISM
    * In October 2011, Chavez said his government would seize private homes on the Los Roques archipelago in the Caribbean and use them for state-run tourism. The islands are among the nation's favorite and most expensive tourist spots, with pristine white beaches and coral reefs that teem with sea life.

    Reporting by Caracas newsroom; Editing by David Brunnstrom

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-vietnam-idUSKCN1AU090
     
  17. Scorpio

    Scorpio Скорпион Founding Member Board Elder Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    How oil-rich Venezuela ended up with a miserable economy


    By Scott Tong
    April 05, 2016 | 3:01 PM

    For countries that produce oil, each day brings possible signs that prices will rebound. No country needs that more than Venezuela. The petrostate is almost entirely dependent on drilling for oil and selling it – crude accounts for 96 percent of export revenue.

    Yet by most accounts Caracas has mismanaged the resource, and today Venezuela stands as one of the world’s most miserable economies. The country sits on the largest proven reserves in the world, yet produces a fraction of what Saudi Arabia and Russia do every day.

    “We are condemned,” said Carlos Mendoza Pottella, a petroleum economist at the Central University of Venezuela and advisor to the nation’s central bank. “They say we have oil for 500 years. So we’re doomed to keep suffering from this disease.”

    Doomed? disease? Venezuela is Exhibit A in what some call the “resource curse,” or paradox of plenty. One place to start unwinding the paradox is downtown Caracas. On a pedestrian-only shopping street, the middle class still appears to be buying: clothes, shoes, books, phones. There’s a saying here that people have taught me: “It’s cheap, I’ll take two.”

    Venezuelans have become spoiled by oil, said historian Miguel Tinker Salas at Pomona College, author of “The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture and Society in Venezuela.”

    “It is the lubricant that fuels the economy and it pervades every aspect of society,” Tinker Salas said, “creating an artificial sense of expectation and of entitlement."

    [​IMG]
    People walking in the streets of Caracas. - Jorge Galino/Marketplace
    Venezuela’s oil age began in the early 20th century. The big gusher in 1922, the Barroso No. 2 well in Maracaibo, spewed as much crude as the famed Spindletop well in east Texas two decades before.

    “And that really introduces Venezuela into the period of modern oil production,” Tinker Salas said. “By 1923 and 1924, the U.S. is involved. So you have two large conglomerates eventually coming out of this process – which is Shell and eventually Standard Oil Company of New Jersey.”

    The American oil companies and workers brought Christmas trees, hot dogs and baseball to Venezuela. By 1929, Venezuela was the world’s top oil exporter.

    But as often happens in petrostates, oil shoved aside other sectors. Farmers grew less coffee and cocoa beans, instead moving to cities built with oil money. The agricultural sector has struggled ever since, according to Pottella.

    “Every government that comes to Venezuela brings a new plan to develop agriculture and the industrial sector,” he said. “But they fail.”

    They did try. But manufacturing was hard, and drilling oil was easy. So many oil dollars flooded in, chasing Venezuelan bolivars in exchange, that the bolivar increased in value. The strong currency made exports more expensive abroad, and thus less competitive.

    “We brought Ford to Venezuela, Toyota to Venezuela,” Pottella said. “But they only made a few parts, not the core of the car. Industrialization was cosmetic.”

    [​IMG]
    Banners with Hugo Chavez' face line the streets of Caracas. - Jorge Galino/Marketplace
    As Venezuela went all in on oil, prices went bust in the 1950s. To prevent a recurrence, Caracas joined big oil producers from the Middle East and formed a group in 1960 to help manage global supply and not over produce. They called this organization OPEC.

    OPEC helped keep prices high in the 70s. Which was bad for America, very good for Venezuela.

    “We had the Concorde in Caracas connecting us to Paris,” Tinker Salas said. “Venezuelans traveled abroad regularly, bought property in Florida, were part of this elite class.”

    Still, in 1975, a former oil minister and founder of OPEC warned about the hangovers of oil booms.

    “I call petroleum the devil’s excrement,” Juan Pablo Perez Alfonzo said. “It brings trouble … look at this locura (madness) – waste, corruption, consumption, our public services falling apart. And debt, debt we shall have for years.”

    In the middle of this boom, the country nationalized oil. The central government bought out international firms like Shell and Mobil, and formed a government-owned company to control all drilling. The company, Petroleos de la Venezuela S.A., is known by the acronym PDVSA. At PDVSA headquarters in Caracas, the company declined our interview request.

    In the 1980s and 90s, PDVSA was widely seen as a world-class company. It boasted top global talent with multinational training, foreign drilling partners, willing investors and a sterling bond rating. The company made plans to double oil production to 6 million barrels each day.

    Hugo Chavez changed everything. The socialist president won election in 1998, and his regime began spending oil revenue on new programs for the poor in education, housing, health and food. He clashed with PDVSA, calling it a “black box” controlled by foreigners, and set a lower target for oil production.

    [​IMG]
    Children play on a sign for PDVSA. - Jorge Galino/Marketplace
    In 2002 PDVSA workers went on strike against Chavez.

    “So he fired them, 20,000 to 30,000 people,” said Russ Dallen, managing director of Caracas Capital Markets and head of Latinvest, an investment bank, “and replaced them with people who were politically loyal to him.”

    Over time, PDVSA morphed into an all-purpose arm of the government. Its revenues fund the government. The company now runs convenience stores, grows soybeans and makes shoes. It hired 100,000 workers Dallen calls “politically loyal and managerially inept.”

    “Hugo Chavez transformed PDVSA from something profitable into something he could take money out of,” said refinery worker Ivan Freites, secretary of the oil workers union in Venezuela.

    Freites said PDVSA for years ignored maintenance of oil facilities and safety. Four years ago, an explosion in the country’s largest refinery killed 42 people, the worst accident in the nation’s oil history.

    “They did not buy workers security gear or protective equipment. In some places PDVSA hasn’t given out safety gloves in two years.”

    PDVSA struggles in other ways. Venezuela’s more recently discovered oil is really thick. Professionals call it “extra heavy.” But PDVSA hasn’t built enough new facilities to process all of it. So the company has to dilute it with light, sweet crude, imported lately from the United States of all places.

    The management struggles of oil – the only thing Venezuela really makes at scale – have held production down to less than half PDVSA’s target. And now, prices have gone bust, leading more observers to recycle the line about oil and the devil’s excrement.


    https://www.marketplace.org/2016/04...g-global-oil-prices-have-devastated-venezuela
     
  18. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    It's a typical corrupt government in a Banana Republic is what's holding the country back. They will be in a hole for 20 years trying to straighten out the financial mess. All that nationalization of industries will not win them any favors with potential bond buyers. The problem is they can only raise cash through oil sales. They cannot borrow a dime.
     
  19. Crockett

    Crockett Seeker

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    As I read the posts in this thread, it comes to mind that so many of Venezuela’s problems over the years smell like the handiwork of economic hitmen, and the jackals who enforce.
     
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  20. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Fixed it for ya.
     
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  21. Bigjon

    Bigjon Silver Member Silver Miner Site Supporter ++

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    I see a whole lot of denial in this thread.
    USA INC nationalized all of it's people by making them agents of the STATE, by seizing their names and creating entities under STATE control with all capital letters NAMES.
     
  22. the_shootist

    the_shootist I self identify as a black '69 Camaro Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    We're gonna need more rope!
     
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