At the beginning of this year, the economic and political crisis that had gripped neighbouring Venezuela from almost a decade earlier exploded on the streets and other public places as hundreds of thousands of people participated in colourful, noisy, and sometimes violent protests, many against, some supportive of, the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Continue reading Guaido gone?→
I find it incomprehensible that supposedly-intelligent persons, many of whom have been around for as long as I have, and who ought to know the bloody history of American interventions in the politics of Latin American countries, routinely regurgitate the propaganda emanating from Washington by referring to Venezuela’s besieged president Nicholas Maduro as an “evil dictator”.
When such description comes from the mouths of the lying US president Donald Trump and his close associates, or from Venezuelans who oppose Maduro (and his predecessor Hugo Chavez), I understand that. They have to paint the man as a monster to rally support and political and economic ostracism that they hope will hasten his demise. Continue reading None so blind…→
There is a certain trend of opinion amongst the liberal left, particularly in the US, which never felt very comfortable with the Bolivarian revolution. Now, in the midst of a serious and well-organised attempt by Washington to remove Maduro’s government, they insist on equally blaming both sides for the crisis, one which in their view can be resolved through “negotiations between the government and the opposition”. A chief representative of this point of view is Gabriel Hetland, who has written several articles on Venezuela for The Nation, Jacobin and other left-wing publications. Continue reading Who’s to Blame for the Crisis in Venezuela? A Response to Gabriel Hetland→
It is no secret that the United States has long been plotting regime change in Venezuela. For over 18 months President Trump has been publicly floating a military invasion of the country. At a speech in Florida President Trump recently announced “the days of socialism and communism are numbered in Venezuela” ominously stating “one day soon we are going to see what the people will do in Caracas.” Vice President Mike Pence declared President Nicolas Maduro a “dictator” and reiterated that self-declared president Juan Guaidó had the “unwavering support” of the American people. In an attempt to destroy the economy and force Maduro out of power, the US has leveled multiple rounds of punishing (and illegal) sanctions on the country, and encouraged and intimidated others to do the same in an effort to isolate Venezuela politically and economically. Continue reading The US Tried to Isolate Venezuela. It has Only Isolated Itself→
Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is getting significant media attention these days, after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview that it should “be a larger part of our conversation” when it comes to funding the Green New Deal. According to MMT, the government can spend what it needs without worrying about deficits. MMT expert and Bernie Sanders advisor Prof. Stephanie Kelton says the government actually creates money when it spends. The real limit on spending is not an artificially imposed debt ceiling but a lack of labor and materials to do the work, leading to generalized price inflation. Only when that real ceiling is hit does the money need to be taxed back, and then not to fund government spending but to shrink the money supply in an economy that has run out of resources to put the extra money to work. Continue reading The Venezuela Myth Keeping Us From Transforming Our Economy→