Venezuela: Constituent Assembly Starts Work, Opposition Stages Terror Attack



The National Constituent Assembly (ANC) — a body of 545 representatives of different localities, and social movements, labor groups, and indigenous communities which is now the highest legal power in Venezuela — was sworn in on August 4 at a ceremony attended by thousands of jubilant Chavistas who support the Bolivarian revolutionary government. During the ceremony, Delcy Rodríguez, who resigned months ago from her post as Foreign Minister in hopes of winning a seat in the ANC, was unanimously elected president of the assembly.

In addition to urging her colleagues to remember the spirit of the 1999 constitution and of the former President and leader of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution Comandante Hugo Chávez, Rodríguez urged the country’s right wing to put an end to the fascistic street blockades which have led to over a hundred deaths while seeking to overthrow the democratically elected socialist government. She also stressed, “The Venezuelan people do not want war. The Venezuelan people want peace.” It was in this spirit that the very next day the ANC convened for its first working session.

Among the first steps taken by the ANC, which is empowered to modify and update the country’s constitution, was the creation of a Commission for Truth, Justice, and Reparation for Victims to investigate that right wing violence which has created chaos in the country and invited meddling in Venezuelan affairs by external forces.

The commission announced the suspension of Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz from her position pending an investigation into her alleged support of the right wing violence in the form of her refusal to prosecute detained violent actors, her repeated attempts to bog down the normal functioning of the judicial branch by objecting to the legitimacy of appointees she had previously approved herself, as well as her campaign to block the constitutionally-sound constituent assembly process.

In another move against officials lending material support to the violent opposition, Venezuela’s Supreme Court of Justice called for the arrest of Mayor Ramon Muchacho of Chacao, the wealthiest municipality in Caracas. This is in response to Muchacho’s refusal to take action against the deadly street blockades set up by small bands of opposition provocateurs. The
Supreme Court of Justice had previously warned that refusal to act by mayors in localities where the opposition has been violent in the streets would result in criminal charges and prosecution.

Contradictions among the rightwing

While the ANC has been getting to work, contradictions have been appearing among the country’s rightwing.

Parliamentarian opposition figure Ramos Allup declared that his party, Democratic Action, would indeed participate in the upcoming local, regional and presidential elections, in effect recognizing the legitimacy of the country’s world-class electoral system — the same system that others on the right have maligned as fraudulent in the wake of the ANC elections on July 30. Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro on August 7 on his public television show Sundays with Maduro welcomed this intention to participate and again repeated his call for dialogue and reconciliation via the electoral route.

Less than one week after Allup’s announcement a disgraced junior officer, who had been expelled from the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) years ago, led a cobbled-together group of civilians in a failed paramilitary attack on Fort Paramacay in the state of Carabobo. The attack was condemned by FANB leadership and the Bolivarian government as terroristic in nature, and the captured combatants admitted to having been contacted by figures from the rightwing opposition in collusion with foreign governments, according to a communique issued by the FANB following the incident.

These two very different responses to the convening of the National Constituent assembly demonstrate the divisions and current rudderless nature of the opposition in Venezuela. By contrast, the Venezuelan left inside the country has been remarkably united in support of the Bolivarian government and the peaceful constituent assembly process.

Defense Minister and leader of the FANB Vladimir Padrino López, following the attack on Fort Paramacay, reinforced that military operations throughout the country are absolutely in a normal state — that the terrorist attack represented no existing current inside the FANB — and that the FANB “has deepened its anti-imperialist and Bolivarian character” over the last few years. The nation’s armed forces were instrumental in ensuring that the ANC elections could proceed successfully and safely.

Statements of support

Official statements of solidarity and support have been issued by the Communist Party of Cuba, the nations of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), China’s Foreign Ministry, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation among many others. Leader of the UK’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn found himself blasted in the international corporate-owned press for his refusal to denounce Maduro as a dictator and for a lukewarm comment about his opposition of all violence in Venezuela.

Bolivian president Evo Morales, soon after addressing a massive gathering of his country’s armed forces in a national ceremony where he urged them to stand ready to protect regional sovereignty, used Twitter to warn against U.S. aggression in all its forms — be they economic through sanctions, obfuscated by operating through junior partners like Peru or of a direct military character.

Even world-renowned soccer superstar Diego Maradona expressed his support for Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, saying on Facebook, “When Maduro orders, I am dressed as a soldier for a free Venezuela, to fight against imperialism.”

All this served as the backdrop for the reconvening of the National Constituent Assembly on Wednesday, Aug 9, where the topic of discussion was one of paramount importance: the struggle to diversify, strengthen, and address the character of Venezuela’s economy in the face of the economic war waged by the national and international forces of austerity, neoliberalism and counter-revolution.

Posta under Latin-Amerika, Our global world, Politic&Society | Merkt , , , , , , | Kommenter innlegget

Venezuela Right-Wing Collusion In Memoriam

(Jorge Silva/Reuters)

(Jorge Silva/Reuters)

Chávez The Radical

Posta under Latin-Amerika, Our global world, Politic&Society | Merkt , , , | Kommenter innlegget

What is «Fake News» and What is Venezuela?

Democracy on Display in Venezuela; «Fake News» on Display in the US

Posta under Latin-Amerika, Our global world, Politic&Society | Merkt , , , , , , , | Kommenter innlegget

The problems of Venezuela’s currency

Venezuela’s Currency Nosedives, Maduro Cracks Down on Telecommunications Price Hike

Puebla, Mexico, August 4, 2017 ( – Venezuela’s troubled currency has lost twice its own value over the past two months, according to the latest black market data.

The currency, the Bolivar Fuerte (BsF) was trading on Friday at 18,982.93 to the dollar, according to black market currency tracker

The figure is a new low for the decade-old currency, which for years has been bleeding value on the black market. The new low is likely bad news for the government, which for years has been tweaking currency policy in efforts to rebuild the BsF’s value.

Comparably, the unofficial exchange rate was closer to US$1=BsF6000 in late May, when the Venezuelan government unveiled its latest round of foreign exchange reforms. Critics say Venezuela’s exchange system is partly to blame for the BsF’s poor performance, while the government in Caracas maintains the currency is the victim of an “economic war”.

For years, Venezuela has used a complex, multi-tier exchange system. At the weakest official rate, DICOM, the government is currently selling the BsF for 2870 to the dollar, while the strongest controlled rate is US$1=BsF10.

No official data is available for 2017 inflation, though in June the opposition-controlled National Assembly claimed consumer prices rose 127.8 percent in the first five months of 2017.

President Nicolas Maduro has responded by vowing to fight price increases and protect consumer purchasing power. On Thursday, his government blocked a move by two major telecommunications firms to increase prices. Mobile giants Movistar and Digitel had planned to raise prices on August 1, though just two days later the National Telecommunications Commission said neither company had secured regulatory approval. Both companies have now been forced to roll back their price increases, and refund customers already charged under the new rates.

Published on Aug 4th 2017

Posta under Latin-Amerika, Our global world, Politic&Society | Merkt , , , , , , | Kommenter innlegget

Venezuela’s right-wing opposition typically in divition

Venezuelan Opposition Divided on Regional Election Boycott

Puebla, Mexico, August 4, 2017 ( – Venezuela’s right-wing opposition failed Thursday to reach a consensus on whether to participate in upcoming regional elections.

During internal talks between major parties in the main opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), right-wing leaders argued whether boycotting the December 10 regional elections could backfire.

“The government wants to compete alone, as in its constituent [assembly elections on Sunday]. Avoiding the [December regional] elections will help [the government] do this,” said Henry Ramos Allup, the head of the Accion Democratica (AD) party.

The head of another MUD member party, Avanzada Progresista’s Luis Romero agreed.

“You can not give space to the government; and since the opposition has an obvious majority, it has to fight in the regional [elections],” he said, according to newspaper El Nacional.

The newspaper also reported the main opponents of participating in the vote came from the far right parties of Voluntad Popular (VP) and Vente Venezuela (VV), along with the smaller, more centre-right Alianza Bravo Pueblo (ABP).

“Vente and ABP simply do not have candidates or cadres in all states,” one anonymous source told El Nacional.

The talks ended with just two of the MUD’s main parties remaining in favour of running; AD and AP. El Nacional reported insiders said two other parties were on the fence. These included Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT), and former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles’ Primero Justicia (PJ).

The internal talks came just days after Venezuela’s national constituent assembly elections, which were boycotted by the MUD.

For over a decade, the MUD has repeatedly changed tack on the question of whether to participate in elections. The question has often fallen along ideological lines, with the far right typically calling for boycotts, and major parties like PJ and AD arguing in favour of political participation. The most famous case of the former took place in 2005, when five major opposition parties withdrew at the last minute. The ruling socialist movement easily won the elections, securing one of its largest majorities in history. However, right-wing holdouts of political participation often accuse the government of rigging elections, claiming defeat is all but guaranteed.

In 2015’s parliamentary elections, the MUD comfortably won a majority. However, on the state level, the MUD remains weak. In the last governorship elections in 2012, President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist party won of 20 of the 23 states. Some on the opposition have long argued the upcoming elections in December could deliver a major victory to the MUD, with Maduro’s popularity rating reportedly sitting at around 20 percent. The elections themselves are long overdue. Initially slated for late 2016, the vote was controversially delayed by electoral authorities.

Published on Aug 4th 2017

Posta under Latin-Amerika, Our global world, Politic&Society | Merkt , , , , , , | Kommenter innlegget

«Sandra» – nytt kapittel

«Sandra» er forteljinga om ei lita jente  (Sandra) og foreldra hennar som får greie på at dottera har muskelsvinn. Dette vert naturleg nok eit sjokk for dei, men dei prøver etterkvart å gjera det beste ut av det. Det same gjer vesle Sandra, på sitt forunderlege vis. Me føljer ho framover i livet. I oppveksten med barnehage, skule og seinare på Universitet, reiser, politisk medvit, kjærleik og mangt anna. Dette er kap. 3. Kap. 1 og 2 vart publisert 15. juni og 4. juli.

Utdrag, kap. 3:

«Ein ny dag og ein ny skuledag for Sandra. Ho var ikkje så livleg og humørfull som til vanleg, det hadde sine årsaker, ingen gjorde noko stort nummer ut av det heller. Både læraren og foreldra visste at ho måtte ordne opp i situasjonen sjølv og i sitt eige tempo. Dagane gjekk og litt etterkvart kom ho til hektene att, fann rytmen, kom inn i læreprosessen på nytt. Men så vart litt av dette brote ned att, med at litt mobbing fann stad, denne gongen av mindre omfang, og av andre enn dei som fekk henne til å ramle ut av rullestolen. Det såg ut for at Sandra takla det betre no, som om den første røynsla hjelpte henne godt. Ho gjorde seg sterk og tok ikkje att med å køyre på dei som erta eller noko slikt, i staden brukte ho ordet si makt. Sjølv om ertinga var gjort av ungar som var større enn henne, så tok ho att på sin måte. På skulen skulle ho. Ho viste mange gonger kva ho var laga av, og ho prova eit stort pågangsmot og ei staheit det står respekt av. Det var fleire gonger forbipasserande i gangen på skulen kunne høyre sjuåringen i full ordkrig med tredjeklassingar og ungar endå høgare opp. Vanskeleg var det nesten å kjenne att denne litt sjenerte jenta frå første skuledag, du verden kor skinnet kan bedra. Også Lærar Knutsen vart overraska kor fort Sandra tilpassa seg og måten ho takla dei større ungane på, når nokon av dei vart litt for grove i kjeften. Det såg ut som ho likte seg meir og meir også etterkvart som skuleåret gjekk, og ein kunne sjå på henne kor ho storkoste seg kvar gong ho fekk inn eit par saftige replikkar mot åtak frå høgare hald i klassehierarkiet.»

Gå inn på sida «Bok – Sandra» i menyen, eller klikk her

God lesing – Ivar Jørdre

Posta under Bok – Sandra, Vår globale verd | Merkt , , , , | Kommenter innlegget

Venezuela fights against Trump

Trump Is Not the Venezuelan Supreme Court

The Trump administration has threatened Venezuela with economic sanctions if the government proceeds with a vote to elect a Constituent Assembly to rewrite the constitution – the Venezuelan constitution that is. Venezuela is not about to rewrite the U.S. Constitution or some other country’s constitution. That clarification is necessary because the Trump administration and other governments (Canada, Colombia etc..) seem to have collectively appointed themselves the Supreme Court of Venezuela.

It should also be noted that Venezuelan opposition leaders have effectively been imposing economic sanctions on their own country for quite some time. Since winning control over the National Assembly in 2015, Henry Ramos Allup and Julio Borges (who have each been National Assembly President) have boasted of blocking Venezuela’s access to foreign loans. According to the opposition-aligned pollster, Datanalisis, 55% of Venezuelans disapprove of that opposition tactic and only 31.7% approve. As for the sanctions Trump has threatened, 65% are opposed and only 26% are in favour. Unsurprisingly, people living through a major economic crisis tend not to be in favor of deliberately making it worse. All of this is taking the numbers of an opposition–aligned pollster at face value. Public hostility towards economic sanctions, whether imposed by Trump or by opposition leaders, is probably even more widespread than what Datanalisis has reported.

These figures are known to many corporate journalists in Venezuela but good luck finding them mentioned, never mind appropriately highlighted. What you will – very often – find reported is a Datanalisis poll finding that 67% “disagree” with electing a Constituent Assembly. I disagree myself. I think it was a bad idea. It doesn’t follow that electing one is unconstitutional – much less grounds for foreign intervention.  Datanalisis also reported that 39% think the opposition should participate in the Constituent Assembly elections. Again, good luck finding that figure mentioned in the media.

In 1999, Venezuelans voted in a referendum to elect a Constituent Assembly. The method for electing the Constituent Assembly was part of what voters approved. After the constitution was drafted, it was then approved by voters in a referendum and therefore entered into law.  In 2000, Presidential and National Assembly elections were held under the new constitution. This extremely democratic process was constantly smeared in the international media over the years by saying “Hugo Chavez rewrote the constitution”.  The constitution of 1999 was briefly annulled during the short-lived Carmona dictatorship which was backed by the opposition’s core leadership of today (Henrique Capriles, Leopoldo Lopez, Julio Borges, Henry Ramos, and many others). That dictatorship was also backed by the U.S government and major international media like the New York Times who gushed over Carmona.

Venezuela’s President Maduro has alienated some chavistas by not following the same process as in 1999 – specifically the initiating referendum where voters are asked to approve both the general idea of electing a Constituent Assembly and the general method for electing one. In fact, the constitution is very far from clear that an initiating referendum is required, or even a final referendum on the constitution that is drafted. However, Maduro has committed to holding a referendum on the constitution that is drafted by the Constituent Assembly. This is extremely important and routinely ignored in media coverage about the Constituent Assembly. Hopefully one of the proposed changes to Venezuela’s constitution will be to make to make it crystal clear (as is article 444 of Ecuador’s constitution for example) that an initiating referendum is required to convene a Constituent Assembly, as well as a final referendum on what it drafts.

At any rate, the idea that foreign governments have the right to impose an interpretation of Venezuela’s constitution on Venezuela is ludicrous. Presumably US citizens would say the same if Venezuela ordered the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Citizens United.

Voting in the Constituent Assembly will be voluntary and through secret ballot. The international press has sought to discredit the vote in a few ways. One is to claim that electoral sectors have been designed ensure the government a majority. Torino Capital, no fan of the government, did an analysis which concluded that the opposition could win control of the Constituent Assembly with 58% of the votes. The media also reported a figure of about 7 million participating in an informal plebiscite against the Constituent Assembly without noting that there 20 million eligible voters in Venezuela, or mentioning that millions turned out for a dry run of the Constituent Assembly.

As always, the media has hyped claims that public sector workers are being pressured to vote. The media has been vastly less interested in opposition threats to forcibly impede people from voting. In Chavismo’s worst defeat (in December of 2015) 5.6 million people voted Chavista. There are only 2.8 million public sector workers in Venezuela, roughly 20% of the workforce. Moreover, just taking by Datanalisis polls at face value, about 4 million voters approve of Maduro’s performance.

The mother of Orlando Figuera, a young man who died after being stabbed and burned alive by opposition protesters, was fired from her job as a domestic servant shortly after giving a TV interview in which she denounced the opposition. How widespread is this kind of discrimination in a country where millions work for employers who hate the government? Don’t wait for the international media to investigate. They’ve had a decade and a half to do it. They could care less.

The media has referred to the broad powers the Constitution Assembly to dissolve other branches of government. That is true, but other branches are not automatically dissolved because a Constituent Assembly is elected, nor is it clear that its decisions to do so would stand if voters reject the constitution in the referendum Maduro has committed to holding. Maduro has also very emphatically committed to holding presidential elections in 2018.

For the past fifteen years, the tactic of labelling Venezuela a “dictatorship” has been central to whitewashing a violent and undemocratic opposition leadership. Even during relatively calm years between 2004-2012, when the opposition was much more divided between those who wanted to oust the government by force and those who preferred an electoral path, hundreds of Chavista peasant activists were assassinated by gunmen strongly linked to wealthy landowners. Whether it takes power through votes or through a coup, the possibility that the opposition will attempt large scale massacres of Chavistas is very real, as is the possibility of armed resistance by grassroots Chavista activists and supportive elements of the military. International pressure on Venezuela’s opposition leaders (basically exposing what they are all about) is urgently required.

The US Empire consists of allied governments like Canada, private media companies and prominent NGOs who all share its delusion that it is entitled to decide which government is a “dictatorship” that “must go”. It is a truly formidable and lethal system of misinformation. Leftists should always have done more to challenge the US Empire on Venezuela during the Chavista era, and to challenge imperialism in general.  We really need to step up now.

Posta under Latin-Amerika, Our global world, Politic&Society | Merkt , , , , , | Kommenter innlegget