If you want to start a Civil War, this is how you do it.
If you have friends doing good work like this, consider volunteering to be their armed escort! You can help to keep them free, even if you have little money or other resources.
They are braver than I. Venezuela was the most murderous place on Earth in 2015. I hope at least being political prisoners vs kidnapped for ransom or something, they can get out.
Late stage socialism.
Seriously though, this is a good reason why left wing solidarity should not be unconditional.
There’s more left wing criticism of Venezuela here.
Easy to criticize Venezuela now, since it’s become a real world example of the old Soviet joke about the Sahara desert.
I’m only a person with average intelligence and powers of observation, but I could easily see that chavismo was just another word for kleptocracy, a decade or more ago. Back when lots of leftists were still praising Chavez.
Thug regimes continue to be able to attract the support of leftist intellectuals by applying just the thinnest veneer of socialist rhetoric to themselves. Goes back to Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and even further I’m sure.
Meanwhile, poor non-white Venezuelians are starving & resorting to organized mobs looting grocery stores to eat. Maybe we should be concerned about that as much as coming to the aid of 'one of us.‘
It also doesn’t help that a decade ago there was an unsuccessful coup to take out Chavez. So of course the current government is seeing the CIA behind every anti-regime activist. Which doesn’t absolve the government from what is happening. They need to let the bolivar float on the currency market & Venezuela needs to start growing its’ own food.
So, “it wasn’t really socialism/communism”?
Kleptocracy and socialism (or communism) are not mutually exclusive terms (I favor the label of “hybrid regime”, but that’s me)
Yes, the fact that the Venezuelan regime is a kleptocracy is an evident one. Some contend that is even a narco-state (the jury is still out on that one, although I think that the evidence is quite compelling). But the base for whatever happened in our country was a socialist one: A frontal assault on private property and private businesses, to build a humongous state as the owner and ruler of everything.
One may argue that chavismo is divided between those motivated purely on ideological grounds, and those who have used that label for pragmatic and very greedy purposes. But the fact remains: Chavismo was built as a radical socialist movement, with radical socialist goals. Most of those goals, have been already accomplished, by the way.
That the regressive Left still endorses chavismo shows that, at least for some, chavismo is a socialist “revolution” that “needs” to be defended.
They will never let the bolivar float. They will never abandon currency exchange controls. The current chavista government have no interest in doing that.
Besides, anarchists have been extremely critical of Trotskyism since before the Russian Civil War.
Here’s an article from 2004.
There was an article in The Nation to the effect of “the crisis is not as bad as they say”, and I liked this response:
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