Venezuela: 15 Years of Solitude


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Awesome! That’s a M8 “Greyhound” light armored car. They were built by the Americans in WW2 as a recon vehicle. Not a great design, but simple and plentiful. There seems to be quite a few of them in other countries and in the hands of collectors. The little 37 mm cannon is popular with collectors, but most M8s that saw action were hastily upgraded with an additional 50 cal on a ring mount

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“Due to expropriations and assaults on private property…” Fascinating choice of words: do you call deregulation and privatization “assaults on public property?”


“The governments of _______ and ________, amongst the most corrupt and inefficient in the world, have one big success:”

Man, you could insert so many world leader’s names there and would still ring true.
(Yes, including the US, I was talking with some colleagues a few days ago and we were remarking on how US goverment is corrupt just like we see in other countries but it SEEMS (seems that way anyway) like people go out of their way to avoid acknowledging it)

And that’s really the only problem I have with this article, its very emotional but I would love to hear more detail. (More, as in there ARE details)


That portrayal of western media adoring Chavez doesn’t match my own recollection. I have rarely seen US newspaper and newsmagazine headline writers as keen to let me know what to think as they were about Chavez being an awful, awful person.


Joe Kennedy sure seems to love him.

The interesting thing is that somehow, people in Venezuela have the idea that Chavez was “adored” by the media outside their country.

Makes you think about the how and why that happens and how you yourself would react in their place.
At least it does for me.


I have never seen a traffic light like this one.
Has it been hacked?

Should Chavez be taken seriously? Yes, says Maruja Tarre, former international relations professor with a degree from Harvard Kennedy School and now a Caracas-based consultant to multinational firms.


The article fails to mention that Maduro was democratically elected. Is it really the situation that bad that the opposition can’t wait until the next election? Of course not.

The issue is that Chavez, and then Maduro, have been vocal in their opposition to US interests and, therefore, will be vilified and demonized by Western media at every opportunity.

The same happens with Evo Morales. Every time his name comes up somebody recalls some stupid comment he made about chickens and homosexuality (look it up). On the opposite end of the spectrum a staunch friend of the US like General Pinochet, who tortured and murdered several thousands of his countrymen, is always presented as a successful statesman that had to make some tough decisions for the good of his country and the world.

It’s so un-boingboing to not see the real authoritarians in this story.

Very disappointing.


I don’t know much about chavez and venezeula… but I do know they got caught red handed funding FARC in colombia and providing bases on the border INSIDE of venezula for them to operate out of. They were damned lucky they didn’t kick off a war with Colombia, and if the US hadn’t moved heaven and earth to calm Colombia down that’s exactly what would have happened.

So yeah, I don’t know much about Chavez’s late regime… but he did almost start a war he would have lost miserably for the sole purpose of financing a terrorist organization with more ties to drug trafficking than actual revolution. And that. Is not cool.

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I’m having trouble seeing who aren’t the authoritarians.


I agree with you, but I’m not convinced that state nationalization is much better than private ownership.

One of the most disconcerting things about first moving to South America was that the people who spoke English and liked the USA and therefore wanted to be my friend were very often people with whom I disagree fundamentally about politics and society. People who refer to their country’s 99% as ‘negros de mierda’, have never used the public schools, public hospitals, public universities and who have always, always had a full time housekeeper. The weird thing is that they didn’t seem weathy when you looked at them with first-world eyes. They had old cars, old furniture, outdated gadgets running pirated versions of Windows 2005, etc. So at first, it was easy to forget that they were elites, and their end of the spectrum of political thought would be analogous to a frat boy at Duke or something.

When reading these first-person accounts of the protests, you have to rememeber that in a country like Venezuela, someone who speaks English and has a twitter account is an elite. And that these protests are for the weathy to separate their lots from those of the poor, so they can enjoy their consumer goods and travel without so much trouble. Every day I see the frustration of the petite bourgeoisie in Latin America who can’t muster up enough concern for the majority to not sell them out for a new airbook. And in all fairness, it does suck not to have access to all the best stuff. But, I’ve found in myself and in those who really would like to see Latin America end her awful era of corporate colonialism, you deal with it. You don’t agree to policies which advance US corporations’ power and you don’t vote in a right-winger just because s/he promises you quilted toilet paper.

Over and over again, international inspectors have claimed that Venezuela’s elections are among the cleanest in the world. So, these protestors are saying that the majority is wrong, and they (and their neoliberal friends from the US) are right.


This seems orthogonal to my point.

Better for who? Nationalization has historically been much better for the common man, while privatization benefits a select few well-placed plutocrats. And of course I’m not talking about every type of industry, or full nationalization of the means of production. I’m talking about nationalization of natural resource extraction industries. For example, in Botswana, the diamond mines directly benefit the populace, while in South Africa… not so much.

Oil is another industry that generally benefits the public if its in government hands. Not always of course, but generally. And nationalized resource extraction is never worse for the average person than privatization is. Are private companies more “efficient”? Its hard to say because most information regarding such details is heavily propagandized and unreliable. The best guess is it really depends.


less biased and more fact-filled than bb’s reporting:


I agree that nationalization is better that privatization, i just don’t think that is the right direction to go in. Nationalization has an annoying habit of disempowering the workers if the state disagrees with them.

I support the idea of democratically elected workers councils running businesses for the good of the community, with no involvement of government, private individual ownership or shareholders.


I think that’s a great idea, but in the real world I’m afraid that any arrangement that is not 100% transparent will be subject to the same corrupting forces regardless of the outward architecture.


I have to say though, I’m tired of BB doing its part for pro-US propaganda with regard to our southern neighbors, once again. Xeni needs to educate herself and stop feeding us stories that so clearly jibe to one side, and utterly ignore the US government’s involvement with the overthrow of peaceful, democratically elected socialist governments across the globe. I know the rest of the US media does it, but isn’t BB supposed to be more thoughtful and insightful? Isn’t that its MO?