The United States and Canada have plenty of reasons to be afraid of the (oil rich) Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, so they are doing their utmost to address their perceived problem.
The US, in particular, fears that Venezuela's social democracy will set a dangerous precedent, and that, if allowed, other countries will follow suit. They also fear the status quo, wherein they are denied control over Venezuela's oil reserves (the world's largest).
The Bolivarian revolution itself, initiated by late president Hugo Chavez in 1998 and continuing with president Nicolas Maduro, is emblematic of the US' s "problem", even as the legitimacy of the revolution is beyond dispute:
Chavez, who died of cancer on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, won 18 of 19 contested elections in a country whose electoral system was described by former US president Jimmy Carter as "the best in the world".
An icon of the Bolivarian revolution, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans mourned the loss of their leader at his funeral.
Though Maduro, Chavez's successor, isn't as popular, he still managed to win two national elections within the last year, including 76 per cent of mayoralties two months ago.
Corporate media, a core agency of western propaganda, has demonized Chavez for years, and continues to ignore or minimize the matrix of converging impulses that make the Bolivarian revolution an on-going success, so a list of the revolution's stellar accomplishments will surprise many people who live in North America.
Some of the Bolivarian Revolution's accomplishments are listed below:
-Between 1998 and 2011, the poverty rate dropped from 49% to 27.4%
-Venezuela's extreme poverty rate dropped from 11.4% to 6.9% in ten years
-Venezuela reduced its extreme poverty rate from 6.3% to 5.5% in 2013 alone
-Venezuela now boasts the lowest Gini coefficient in Latin America (a measure of income inequality, lower numbers mean less inequality)
-Venezuelans have access to free and universal healthcare
-Access to quality education (at all levels) is guaranteed for all
-Food is deemed affordable
From 2006 to 2011, Venezuela moved up 7 spots in the United Nations' Human Development Index , to 73 out of 187 countries
Unfortunately though, the U.S. is notoriously persistent, and quite expert in the arts and sciences of illegal regime change. Consequently, they are engaging in destructive, anti-democratic efforts to unseat the Maduro government, by employing "soft coup" strategies --- for the benefit of the U.S, and the Venezuelan "elites".
The CIA, in partnership with local elites/oligarchs, is orchestrating the coup, as they most recently did in Honduras, and as they have done for decades throughout the world.
The objective of coups is to create destabilization in the target country which creates popular discontent, a precursor to illegal regime change. Tactics employed include these:
Economic destabilization occurs when foodstuffs are hoarded, burned, or sent out of the country, as is currently happening. It also occurs when capital leaves the country (i.e the wealthy move their monies to other countries), when prices are falsely inflated, and when the power grid is disrupted.
Media is manipulated when peaceful protestors are depicted as being violent (through the use of misleading videos or doctored photos), when the number of opposition protestors is mischaracterized as being larger than it is, or in a myriad of other ways in which media messaging communicates false perceptions, as it does everywhere.
Opposition protests are always violent (in keeping with the coup formula), they have starting and ending times, and they occur in the wealthier areas, (because they do not have the support of the less affluent). Likewise, opposition protestors, sometimes armed, barricade streets, and occupy public spaces.
All of the destabilization tactics are designed to convey the impression that the government is incompetent, and that it needs to be changed. Ultimately, though, widespread support is needed, and in this respect, the opposition -- though well-funded by the U.S. -- has so far failed.
If the coup does succeed, it will be another victory for graft and corruption over democracy and the rule of law.
Mark Taliano attended a conference organized by Raul Burbano of Common Frontiers.
Speakers included Pablo Vivanco from the Hugo Chavez peoples' defense front, Maria Victor Paez from the Circulo Bolivariano, Louis Riel and Beatrice Santiago from the Latin American and Caribbean solidarity network and Camilo Cahis from HOW campaign. The narrative of the speakers is that Venezuela is currently undergoing a foreign-orchestrated coup.
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"What they have implanted here, which is really a 'gringo' custom, is terrorism. They disguise children as witches and wizards, that is contrary to our culture," Chavez said, according to the BBC. A boy dressed as a wizard attends at a Halloween party in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on October 31, 2009. (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)
"I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet," the president said, according to Reuters. Caption: This Dec. 12, 2012 file image provided by NASA shows the Mars rover Curiosity at a pit stop, a shallow depression called "Yellowknife Bay." (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech, File)
"I think that Barack Obama - aside from 'the president' - is a good guy," the AP quoted. Caption: President Barack Obama winks as he arrives to make a statement regarding the passage of the fiscal cliff bill in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
“Mr. Obama ... You are a clown, a clown. Leave us in peace … Go after your votes by fulfilling that which you promised your people," Chavez said, according to Politico. President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the fiscal cliff, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in the South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
“Remember, little girl, I’m like the thorn tree that flowers on the plain,” Chavez said. “Don’t mess with me, Condoleezza. Don’t mess with me, girl,” the BBC quoted Chavez. Caption: Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks during the 9th Yalta Annual Meeting entitled 'Ukraine and the World: Addressing Tomorrows Challenges Together', organized by the Yalta European Strategy (YES) in partnership with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation at the Livadia Palace in Yalta, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
"Would it be so strange that they've invented technology to spread cancer and we won't know about it for 50 years?" according to Bloomberg News report. Captions: Researchers Dr Sarah-Jane Dawson (R) and Dr Tim Forshew work at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute on December 10, 2012 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
“That hill will open up and a big atomic bomb will come out. The imperialist spokesmen say Ahmadinejad and I are going into the basement now to set our sights on Washington and launch cannons and missiles… It’s laughable,” according to the Blaze. Caption: Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, and Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez shake hands as Ahmadinejad arrives to Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, June 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
"This juice is delicious..." the president said, according to Noticias24. Cans of Coca-Cola soda are offered for sale at a grocery store on April 17, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
"Let's save the human race, let's finish off the U.S. empire," Chavez said, according to The Washington Times. Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, right, embraces Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a welcoming ceremony at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, June 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
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