Venezuela: Will opposition’s push for Maduro resignation gain traction?

Venezuela: Will opposition’s push for Maduro resignation gain traction?

When Venezuela’s political opposition defeated the ruling socialist party in last year’s legislative elections, many here hoped economic relief would soon follow.

But Marcelino Campos, a bus driver and staunch socialist party supporter, says his belief that the opposition victory would “push the government to take action” on triple-digit inflation and shortages of basic goods has so far failed to materialize.  

The opposition is “only interested in power, in removing the president and taking control of the government,” Mr. Campos says. “They haven’t come out with any proposals to help the people.”  [Read more]


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  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/18/2016 at 1:57 am

    Caracas Chronicles: Donald – A Venezuelan Lament – by Francisco Toro

    It doesn’t seem possible to say much about Donald Trump that hasn’t been said before, probably a zillion times, probably better than I can. But from a Venezuelan perspective, I can’t help but feel a certain – what’s the word? – a certain consolation, I guess.

    For much of the last 17 years, my life has been one long, belaboured, tortured explanation. An exegesis to people straining to understand how it could have happened. How we could have failed to see it coming.

    “How can millions of people vote for such an evident fraud again and again, willingly, for years?”

    I’ve done my level best to explain it, sure, and people tell me I’m pretty good at it. But it’s a losing game. The whole thing seemed so unlikely, a dark suspicion hung over my explanations: “he can’t really have been that bad…these opposition guys must be exaggerating, millions of people voted for this!”
    It was either that or a smug, subcutaneous, “of course that could never happen here” kind of feeling.

    Not from the Italians I talked to, granted. Or from the Russians or the Iranians I met abroad. Those guys seemed to get Chávez right away. You didn’t have to waste too much breath to explain it. They know, in their bones, the appeal of anti-politics, the way the siren-song of populist authoritarianism can ensnare the masses and hold them in thrall for years.

    But the gringos I met? The Brits and the Germans and the Canadians and the Japanese and the French? Once they grasped the full extent of Chavismo’s lunacy, they were just baffled, and struggled to disguise a measure of contempt. Chavismo’s hold over Venezuela came to look like an indictment of the whole gentilicio.

    It was painful.

    So this, if nothing else, I take away from the Donald episode. Whatever may happen between now and November – and dear God please let it not come to the worst – I know there is a whole family of questions about Venezuela I’ll never need to answer again.

    It’s a tiny shard of consolation to pull out of the smoking wreckage of this U.S.A. primary season. It’s definitely not worth the damage it’s done. Pero bueno, but it’s something.

    • De castro  On 03/18/2016 at 5:17 am

      Americans deserve either a lunatic
      or a wicked witch as their new CIC
      Putin I is hoping it’s the lunatic but
      it will be the witch.
      As for MADuro whoever followed
      Chavez ‘endorsed or not’ would
      have failed regardless….
      Mussolini and Hitler comes to mind.

      As am forever the optimist do feel that
      USA s influence worldwide is on the
      decline…with some new players…
      China India et al
      Am focused on the other con of a uk
      referandum over EU.
      Cameron’s blackmail of Merkel
      and hoodwinking British press
      and public to foster his political
      Doubt if turnout over 65% as British
      voters are ..
      1. Not bothered
      2. Not political
      3. Not stupid.

      Wish I could say that of other voters
      USA and others.

      Ways I see it in my travels 🇬🇧🇺🇸🇨🇦🇧🇷🇪🇸🇬🇾

  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/18/2016 at 6:54 am

    “… or a wicked witch …” – de Castro: Either you failed English comprehension, or you are NOT paying attention …??

    Rosaliene mentioned your crude language in reference to women and you either don’t get it or your misogynistic urges are over-riding common decency ….??

    STOP the shit references to women.

    • De castro  On 03/18/2016 at 7:12 am

      Ha ha
      You must be a feminist….so am I 😈

      If rose objects to my machoistic
      remarks it is for her to say so…
      and am sure she would…
      Your rebuke breaches the protocol
      of ‘free speech’ … am no chauvinist
      but have respect for all sexes
      Male female or both.
      Sorry you are OOO OTT
      Rose will certainly not remain silent
      and neither will I 😈😇

      • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 03/18/2016 at 12:46 pm

        “If rose objects to my machoistic remarks it is for her to say so…and am sure she would…”
        ~ I did object, Kamtan. But it seems that you missed it 😦

  • De castro  On 03/18/2016 at 3:29 pm

    In that case please accept my apology

    It was never my intention to offend.
    Just my chauvinistic way of expressing
    an opinion.

  • Albert  On 03/18/2016 at 5:06 pm

    Kamtan, Hillary has all the traits most men would wish their daughters have. Maybe you are reading/hearing about her from the wrong sources, or you are taking in too much of that Guyanese stuff.
    Or you are campaigning for Trump.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/18/2016 at 6:47 pm

    Albert: de Castro is campaigning for Trump ….!!

  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/18/2016 at 10:46 pm

    CBC – Rex Murphy:

    • De castro  On 03/19/2016 at 5:29 am

      Stop spreading rumours…please.
      Did not hitler fool the German people
      isn’t that what the lunatic/Maverick is
      doing ?
      Trump is a con …Hilary is a witch
      Take your pick…
      Putin is hoping the lunatic wins as
      the witch will crush his nuts…
      Rubio surrendered Bernie too saintly
      which leaves a two horse race….
      Lunatic V witch
      God bless USA
      They deserve both.
      But the witch will be next CIC
      That’s why I love bitches(witches)
      Salud from el ejido espania 22′ 🌞

      Viva espania colony of germany🌎🌍🌏

  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/20/2016 at 12:56 pm

    More on The Donald …. Get used to it …. at least until November 2016:

    The Chronicle Herald – Editorial: U.S.A., You Are Fired!!

    American astronaut Scott Kelly returned to earth on March 1, looking his normal self and in robust health after spending 340 days in space.

    The same can’t be said about the country to which he returned.

    Politically the United States is a very different place today than the nation Capt. Kelly left in March 2015.

    Slammed by an asteroid-sized Donald Trump ego, the Republican Party is looking a lot more wasted and out-there than anything Capt. Kelly encountered in space.

    GOP now stands less for Grand Old Party than Grip Of Paranoia or Giddy On Pity, of the self-directed variety. Mr. Trump offers himself as the fuzzy sideshow cure for every fear, disappointment or disaffection any alienated person in America is feeling today. And a lot of people are thoughtlessly and self-indulgently lapping it up.

    A worrisome number of Americans seem so enthralled by phony populist bombast that Donald Trump’s unfitness to be president is a blind spot of black-hole dimensions.

    In primary after primary, supporters have shown a willingness to ignore absurd, false, inflammatory, menacing, vulgar, misogynist and dangerous utterances. It doesn’t seem to matter that Mr. Trump has no respect for human rights, women, blacks and Mexicans, no regard for rule of law, no interest in anyone else’s opinion, no qualms about fanning or winking at violence and no recognition that any limit should apply to his vision of a one-Trump rule.

    Every outrage that hasn’t hurt him — walling off Mexico, banning Muslims, insulting women, mocking a disabled man, condoning the beating of a black protester, attacking press freedoms, endorsing torture, destroying cities occupied by ISIS (and the poor populations held hostage in them) — has only emboldened him to be more reckless.

    This week, as he racked up more primary wins and knocked Florida’s Marco Rubio from the race, he had supporters in Orlando pledge an oath of personal allegiance to him and said there would be riots in the streets if opponents denied him the nomination by getting a majority of delegates to support someone else at the Republican convention. He shut down a candidates debate, claiming there have been “enough debates” in the race, and suggested the American military and its nuclear weapons would ensure that Mexico paid for his fantasy wall.

    It’s hard to believe Americans are so alienated from their political heritage — which is founded on checks and balances and placing limits on those they elect to wield political power — that they would hand the presidency to someone whose instincts are so anti-democratic at home and so dangerous abroad.

    Although Mr. Trump talks incessantly of making America “great again”, nothing would indicate more a U.S.A. in decline than the triumph of his gripe-focused, self-loving, no-policy campaign.

    Americans are free to choose an unfit president if they wish. They’ve done it before, though 19th century mediocrities occupied the White House at a time when the U.S. did not play a vital role in global security.

    Today America does claim the mantle of being the leading democracy in global affairs and the leading power in a chain of alliances meant to maintain international peace and security, rule of law and political and human rights.

    From what he has shown of himself so far, Donald Trump has no credibility as the leader of such an alliance and it would be astonishing if America’s allies and their electorates were prepared to be associated with his erratic style or any of the nonsensical, dangerous, chauvinist and aggressive foreign policies he has espoused.

    In other words, a U.S.A. under President Trump would find itself, deservedly, with fewer allies and less influence in the world. It would be an America in self-imposed decline, and, really, for no obvious reason.

    Friends and allies do have one kind of vote. They can vote to fire the U.S.A. as their leading partner if America hires Donald Trump as President. Hopefully gravity will get a grip on the USA before it comes to that.

    • De castro  On 03/20/2016 at 1:48 pm

      Absolute rubbishy …
      Whether it be the lunatic or the witch
      Americas influence on the planet will
      New kids on the block will influence
      our world..hopefully a ‘freer one’
      where the ‘individuals’ in society
      are encouraged/accommodated to
      achieve their objectives..and show
      their potential as citizens of planet
      Earth. A bit philosophical here
      but unles individuals in a society are
      allowed to express themselves freely
      but not at expense of others then
      individual will ‘walk the talk’..become
      a refugee if necessary to achieve their
      goals. This comment is directed to the
      mostly unemployed 18 to 25 yo on the
      planet. The American Dream is stagnating …
      Capitalism is dead
      Communism died with Stalin
      Socialism is infectious
      and so are most other isms
      Humanism is alive again…
      Respect and love of our fellow humans
      the future….without the religious influences.
      I grew up in a village GG ECD BG
      Our village was encouraged to thrive
      prior to independence May 1966
      From then to now this village has
      stagnated almost all its youth either
      moved to GT or abroad …both youth
      and brain drain.
      Today I live in Spain (retired) in a village
      POP 200…decade ago it was 240.
      Of mostly children parents grandparents … Most of its 18-25
      have left CHERIN to either further
      their studies or follow their dreams.
      No conscription or WW to go to.
      Our world is changing
      will change
      must change
      Hopefully for the better.
      It is for these youthful 18-25 to
      decide what the future will bring.
      It does not help having most on the
      planet unemployed/unoccupied.
      Has China or Russia unemployed
      …hence their massive military.
      Now there are the future ‘peace keepers’ of the planet….
      Not some biased organisation UN
      created after WW2 after distribution
      of the ‘spoils of war’ by USA uk France
      and Russia….after defeat of nazism
      Need I go on…..
      Forever the optimist

  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/20/2016 at 3:35 pm

    An exchange between me and a Buddy in the UK on the subject – You’re Fired!:

    Philip wrote:
    Don’t you think it is indicative of just how broken the USA’s state of affairs is, that the electorate would see this person as their saviour? Countries get the leaders they deserve, and those that don’t read history are forced to relive it.


    Clyde wrote:

    Philip: A very accurate assessment – “broken” covers it.

    Reliving history is the uncomfortable part.

    Fortunately, the rest of the world is armed to the teeth – compared with the 1930s …

    President Trump honestly believes the ordnance in the USA will allow him to relive the German era of White Supremacy.

    It will never happen again in our lifetime – and the rest of the world has got the firepower to make the USA regret the making of Donald Trump.


    Philip wrote:

    Somehow I don’t think that the Republican-Tea Party will give this clown their nomination. I am pretty sure that they have an alternative. Big business and the establishment will always win.

    Clyde wrote:
    Philip: I still agree with you.

    The fact that the Republican-Tea Party fools, who fell asleep at the switch since President Obama was elected – remember the fools vowed to make him a one-term President?

    The fact that they are now scrambling to over-throw or undo Trump [their creation – the one with big-hands] sends chills down my spine.

    For me, “a chilling thought” now has new meaning …..

    Expect a scary and unpredictable outcome, I say …!!

    Philip wrote:

    Well, maybe Canada can build a wall too. He forgets that walls work both ways lol.

    Clyde wrote:

    Philip: Trump has definitely lost his mind or suffering from some form of dementia …

    It has been more than 70-years since his kind tried this “white supremacist trick” – a lot of water under the bridge since then …

    Perhaps, he really does need the wall to enclose him in some psychiatric way.


    Philip wrote: “Yeah, Man!”

    • De castro  On 03/20/2016 at 3:58 pm

      Seldom agree on political or religious issues but will agree with all the above
      USA is in decline as a political or
      religious influence on the planet.
      Economically the USD remains
      the worlds reserve currency.
      Until that situation changes
      America will remain a world
      power. If £ or € or ? was to become
      the world reserve currency our
      world will be less secure.
      If the switch takes place after
      UK yes vote and USA Hilary
      appointed (comes from God)
      next CIC the switch will be
      more acceptable as USA becomes
      a Japan MK2 economically.
      My vision
      Hope I am not disappointed after
      23 June or November 2016.


  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/21/2016 at 10:26 pm

    I helped create Donald Trump the politician. Now I bitterly regret it

    by Christopher R Barron – The Guardian UK

    In early 2011, the gay conservative organization I co-founded, GOProud, was embroiled in a fight over our inclusion in the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Forces of intolerance within the conservative movement were boycotting CPAC because they allowed our group to serve as a co-sponsor. After a bruising few months of fighting, we wanted to find a way to make CPAC not about the boycott, but about uniting and energizing the conservative movement. I decided to reach out to my friend and long-time Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone to see if Trump would be interested in coming to CPAC as our guest and speaking to the gathering.

    Trump agreed and over the next couple weeks I worked with him and his team to arrange for his first ever speech at CPAC. I gave the New York Times the exclusive story of his surprise appearance and the reporter told me it was the first time the political section of the Times had actually covered Trump.

    He arrived at the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC in typical Trump fashion – he insisted on making a dramatic entrance through the front door (even though I had recommended he be whisked in through a private entrance). Trump was greeted like a rock star by thousands of grassroots conservatives and he delivered a barnburner of a speech in front of an overflow, standing room only crowd.

    I walked with Trump out through the back of the hotel after his speech, assuring him that it had been a huge success. Just before he climbed into the waiting limo I yelled out to him: “Mister Trump, please run for president.”

    Man, I had no idea this is where we would end up.

    I loved the idea of Trump running for president. The idea of a charismatic, successful businessman who wouldn’t be a captive to special interests and who could fundamentally shake up the broken political status quo.

    I thought Trump could follow in Reagan’s footsteps. I was wrong.

    Instead of emulating Reagan, Trump has played to the political cheap seats. Instead of offering Republicans a positive vision for the future, he chose to play on some of our most base fears.

    Instead of building the conservative movement, Trump has torn it apart. Reagan attracted disaffected Democrats and independents, while at the same time keeping the core conservative base. Trump, on the other hand, has turned off movement conservatives while attracting the political equivalent of the Star Wars cantina. He has allowed his campaign to play footsy with xenophobes, white nationalists and unreconstructed bigots.

    I expected that, like any good businessman, Trump would first and foremost figure out what he didn’t understand and surround himself with some of the best and brightest policy minds in the country. Instead Trump has surrounded himself with yes men and sycophants.

    I expected that Trump, a lifelong New Yorker, a man whose own personal life was far from the family-values-crowd version of perfect, would run a campaign that would be libertarian on social issues. Instead he has actively sought the support of anti-gay zealots like Jerry Falwell Jr.

    I expected that Trump would push the envelope, indeed I hoped he would break the rules. I did, however, believe that Trump would be guided by some sense of common decency. Instead his campaign has been more Andrew Dice Clay than Ronald Reagan – belittling POWs, women and the disabled.

    It didn’t have to be like this. Trump has a natural charisma and God-given political talent that is rarely seen in today’s political world. I suspect that like any good businessman, Trump is merely selling what we, the political consumers, want to buy.

    And here’s the rub. Being president isn’t just about selling us what we want to buy. Being president is often about selling us what we need to buy.

    NB: Oh yeah, Trump tried selling wine and steak at his rallies – until President Obama mentioned something about his shopping network. I suppose poor Barron is going to be eating crow for the rest of his life. Barron you could try washing it down with Trump wine, I say. -clyde

  • Clyde Duncan  On 03/22/2016 at 10:41 am

    Here is an interesting comment on negative interest rates from Marc Faber:

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