Letting the Side Down on Venezuela

by Dave Schuler on February 21, 2014

I find the developments in Venezuela interesting and, likely, significant. Sadly, I don’t have the knowledge or background to comment on the situation with any real confidence. Am I breaking the code of the blogosphere?

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

PD Shaw February 21, 2014 at 10:16 am

No, but you are required to code your partisan / non-partisan framework:

Whatever is happening,
(a) it’s Obama’s fault.
(b) it’s Bush’s fault.
(c) it’s America’s fault.
(d) who cares?

Dave Schuler February 21, 2014 at 10:56 am

I think I’d probably say “all of the above”. ;-)

There are a few items missing from that list, however:

- it’s Israel’s fault
- it’s men’s fault
- it’s a result of global climate change
- it’s because of fiscal austerity
- it’s unions’ fault
- it could be solved by cutting taxes

Michael Reynolds February 21, 2014 at 11:11 am

What, are you saying this has nothing to do with violent video games and fast food?

... February 21, 2014 at 6:53 pm

No one cares about Venezuela because everyone is agitating for the USA to DO SOMETHING about the Ukraine. So best to ignore the Venezuela entirely, but you should definitely be posting that we should DO SOMETHING about the Ukraine.

Dave Schuler February 21, 2014 at 7:14 pm

As it works out I do have the knowledge and background to comment about the goings-on in the Ukraine intelligently. I’m trying to figure out something worth saying about it.

To be honest I blame the EU.

Andy February 21, 2014 at 7:20 pm

I know a bit about Venezuela. The short answer is that they’ve burned their seed corn and the chickens are coming home to roost. Oil revenue is the only thing keeping the nation afloat.

... February 21, 2014 at 9:07 pm

I think, re: Ukraine, that the most worthwhile thing we can do, as a country, is butt out. But I seem to be in a minority on that issue, as best I can tell.

Dave Schuler February 21, 2014 at 9:47 pm

A productive way to think about Ukraine is from the perspective of interests. What are the interests of the various parties?

Russia has a clear interest in the Ukraine not only from the perspective of irredentism but from the point of view of a country that doesn’t have much in the way of natural borders.

Ukrainians are divided. Some, mostly in the eastern province, want to turn towards Russia. Among these some are ethnic Russians while others are Russian-speaking Ukrainians. Some want to turn towards the EU.

We have an interest in human rights in Ukraine as, presumably, does the EU. However, that’s largely where our interests end and I think the same is true of the EU. The EU is repeating the mistakes it made in Yugoslavia and it’s getting the same results.

Ben Wolf February 22, 2014 at 5:48 am

A leaked document from November of 2013 shows that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) collaborated with the Colombian government and Venezuelan opposition leaders to destabilize Venezuela and stoke massive protests. The document, obtained by journalist and attorney Eva Golinger, was the product of a June 2013 meeting between US-based FTI Consulting, the Colombian Fundación Centro de Pensamiento Primero Colombia (Centre for Thought Foundation of Colombia First), and Fundación Internacionalismo Democratico (Democratic Internationalism Foundation). The third tactic outlined in the 15-point strategy document openly called for sabotage:

“Maintain and increase the sabotage that affect the population’s services, particularly the electricity system, that puts blame on the government for assumed inefficiencies and negligence.”

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/22199-focus-how-washington-is-playing-venezuela-like-a-fiddle

... February 22, 2014 at 7:04 am

The EU is repeating the mistakes it made in Yugoslavia and it’s getting the same results.

I seem to recall that we ended up bombing people because of Europe’s mistakes, coupled with Europe’s inability to bomb people on their own.

Thank God we haven’t fallen for such schemes since then!

... February 22, 2014 at 7:09 am

Of course, the media in the NYC-DC corridor seems Hellbent on a nuclear conflagration with Putin ever since Putin stated that he wasn’t all that friendly with TEH GAYS. It’s amazing what people from the Ivy Leagues consider worth dying for.

Andy February 22, 2014 at 7:37 am

Ben Wolf,

Hard to take that Op-ed seriously. It says:

“A leaked document from November of 2013 shows that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) collaborated with the Colombian government and Venezuelan opposition leaders to destabilize Venezuela and stoke massive protests.”

Except the leaked document doesn’t even mention USAID, assuming the document is even real, which is quite doubtful IMO.

TastyBits February 22, 2014 at 8:45 am

If any place could institute a progressive type of economy, it should be Venezuela. With their oil resources, they should have no problem implementing all of Paul Krugman’s policy solutions. It should be an economic showcase.

Ben Wolf February 22, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Andy,
The Guardian is reporting direct U.S. aid to Venezuelan opposition groups.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/18/venezuela-protests-us-support-regime-change-mistake

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