Posts Tagged ‘Venezuela’

Colombia: Uribe, paramilitarism and imperialist intervention in Latin America

Friday, October 24th, 2014
((Álvaro Uribe))

((Álvaro Uribe))

[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for October 16, 2014. See original here and related articles here, here and here. The author is an activist in the Brazilian chapter of the Marcha Patriótica movement.]

By Javier D. Rodríguez

A few weeks ago a debate was held in the national congress of the Republic of Colombia on the connections between former President and now Senator Álvaro Uribe Vélez and paramilitary groups and narcotraffickers. The debate, initiated by Senator Iván Cepeda of the Polo Democrático Alternativo, sought to ask the Justice Department for results of the investigation into criminal acts allegedly carried out by Uribe, described in detail by Cepeda and other participants during the discussion, which lasted more than eight hours.

The history of Uribe’s involvement in public office is long, as is the history of his corruption scandals and his ties to the paramilitary and drug trafficking. At the time of his first public office as director of civil aviation in 1980, there were charges that he granted permits to planes used by drug trafficking cartels; afterward, as national congressman in 1989, the same Uribe would be one of the main critics of the deportation of drug traffickers; and in his term as governor of the department of Antioquia he was responsible for the birth and growth of paramilitarism through the creation of armed civilian groups called “Convivir” [Asociaciones Comunitarias de Vigilancia Rural]. (more…)

The conservative restoration in Latin America

Monday, September 8th, 2014

[Translation of an editorial from Página12 of Buenos Aires for September 6, 2014. See original here.]

By Emir Sader

The failure of the military coup against the government of Hugo Chávez in 2002 left the Latin American Right practically disarmed in the face of the proliferating progressive governments of the continent. Since then, it has managed to regain only two governments through bloodless coups – those of Honduras and Paraguay – where the processes of change had not yet managed to gain strength.

But there are signs of a rebuilding of conservative forces in countries on the continent with progressive governments. The threats to continuity in countries like Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, as well as the problems faced in Venezuela, and, in a different way, even in Ecuador, indicate a phenomenon of this kind.

What do these conservative attacks consist of and how are they carried out? (more…)

Venezuela: A familiar recipe for destabilization

Friday, October 11th, 2013

[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for October 6, 2013. See original here and related articles here and here.]

By Frida Modak

There has been a change in the past few months in the Venezuelan opposition’s strategy. They no longer stress the supposed electoral fraud, as they did right after the presidential elections.

As far as is known, no change has been announced resulting from the reviews electoral authorities have made, so we should wonder what has brought about this new attitude and when.

And if we look for an answer, we find that this new attitude coincides with the trip defeated candidate Enrique Capriles made to Chile, where he met with the leaders of some political parties for whom he has a certain affinity. (more…)

Venezuela: Between disenchantment and patience

Sunday, October 6th, 2013
((El Faro photo))

((El Faro photo))

Nicolás Maduro is not Hugo Chávez

[Translation of an article from El Faro of San Salvador, El Salvador, for October 4, 2013. See original here and related articles here and here.]

By Valeria Pacheco

Caracas, Venezuela – “I can’t get rice, flour, oil or butter. You have to search for food from one supermarket to another and everything is more expensive, I barely have enough money,” says Isabel Sánchez at the exit of an informal market in the populous district of Petare, in eastern Caracas.

Six months after the start of the administration of President Nicolás Maduro, who assumed office on April 19, Venezuelans face a cumulative inflation through August of 32.9 percent (the highest in Latin America) and a cyclical shortage of goods that has gotten worse in the past few weeks. (more…)

The governments of Latin America after Chávez

Monday, May 6th, 2013

[Translation of an opinion piece from La Jornada of Mexico City for May 5, 2013. See original here.]

By Guillermo Almeyra

From the point of view of governments and institutions, the changes in Latin America brought about by the death of Hugo Chávez are important but not fundamental. The Venezuelan revolutionary process is weaker and its adversaries are therefore stronger, but if the leadership of the state and of the PSUV (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela) are determined, with the support of their bases, to radicalize and deepen transformation of the country, if they reduce waste and improve somewhat the distribution of food and goods, social change could take a new leap forward, since the current moderate recovery in consumption and production in the United States, Venezuela’s principal market, gives certain stability to the price of oil.

This is the basis, on the other hand, of the security offered by the Maduro administration to Cuba, ALBA (Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América — Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America) and the Caribbean against the uproar of the Venezuelan Right about the “giveaway” of oil and financial support to Venezuela’s allies and against the same concessions of this kind that the right-wing Chavistas want to make to the anti-Chavista Right. At the same time, in Brazil, with next year’s elections impending, the Right does not seem to have either a clear candidate or the possibility of winning; the economy is somewhat better and the government enjoys the support of the transnationals, agribusiness and domestic large-scale capital, to which it has made considerable concessions, and it does not face strong social protests. (more…)

Relations between Brazil and Venezuela after Chávez

Monday, May 6th, 2013

[Translation of an article from Carta Maior of Brazil for May 3, 2013.  See original here.]

By Marcel Gomes

Rio de Janeiro – The strengthening of relations between Brazil and Venezuela during the administrations of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Hugo Chávez will allow Brasilia and Caracas to maintain close political and economic ties, even after the death of the Venezuelan.

Those who hold this view are supported by the high degree of institutionalization of the bilateral relations. The new president, Nicolás Maduro, has at his disposal UNASUR (Unión de Naciones Suramericanas – Union of South American Nations) and MERCOSUR (Mercado Común del Sur – Southern Common Market), energy projects, local branches of IPEA (Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada – Institute of Applied Economic Research), EMBRAPA (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária – Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) and Caixa (Caixa Econômica Federal – Brazilian publicly owned bank), as well as a commercial exchange that has jumped from 800 million US dollars to six billion reais [about three billion dollars] in a decade – 80 percent of it, keep in mind, to Brazil’s benefit. (more…)

Venezuela: What is the opposition’s game?

Saturday, April 20th, 2013


((A worker walks past opposition graffiti.))

((A worker walks past opposition graffiti.))

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo, Brazil, for April 19, 2013. See original here.]

by Breno Altman

The script being followed by Henrique Capriles, the defeated candidate in Sunday’s elections, should be watched closely. Beyond revealing the nature of the local Right, the events taking place help to understand the package of efforts already being made against leftist governments in Latin America.

Taking advantage of the narrow margins by which Nicolás Maduro won the contest, the conservative camp yells “Fraud.” So far, no serious evidence of any kind that this actually took place has been offered. On the contrary, the overwhelming majority of international observers attest to the integrity of the electoral process. But the relative weakening of the Chavista base is taken as an opportunity to escalate the confrontation. (more…)

Venezuela: Nicolás Maduro, the driving force

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for March 19, 2013. See original here and related article here.]

By Luis Hernández Navarro

Nicolás Maduro is a large, robust man, 1.90 meters tall, with a thick black mustache, who drove a city bus in Caracas for more than seven years, was foreign minister another six and is now acting president of Venezuela and a candidate for that office. He is part of the new generation of Latin American presidents who, like the metal worker Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva or the coca union activist Evo Morales, came into politics from the trenches of opposition social struggles.

Maduro is a revolutionary socialist who altered his original orthodox development to join the heterodox hurricane of the Bolivarian revolution. He is a man of the Left who came to power without giving up his principles. A faithful collaborator with Hugo Chávez who has made himself and is now at the helm of one of the most profound transformational processes in Latin America. (more…)

Maduro, the bus driver who is steering Venezuela now

Friday, March 15th, 2013

[Translation of an article by the Spanish news agency EFE as published in Semana of Bogotá, Colombia, on March 11, 2013. See original here and related article here.]

Who is the man who began at the steering wheel of a bus and went on to the presidency of a country?

“Nicolás, Nicolás. You are the best proof of the achievements of our revolution. A few years ago you were driving a bus and now you are foreign minister.” The words are those of Hugo Chávez and although he broke out in laughter after he said them the feeling remained that the then president of Venezuela was speaking very seriously and that Maduro’s change of jobs was a demonstration that there had been a historical social turnabout in the country.

And something else remained clear in this account and that is the mutual loyalty. The designated president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, anointed by Chávez as his heir and since last Monday the candidate of the ruling party for the April 14 elections, is a staunch Chavista who swears loyalty even beyond the death of his mentor. (more…)

Honduran Right rejects Chávez but covets Venezuelan oil

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

With no evidence, Capriles claims Caracas contributed millions of dollars to the Zelaya administration

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for October 13, 2012.  See original here.]

by Arturo Cano

Caracas, October 12 – “And when was the 100-million dollar contribution?”  Henrique Capriles Radonski shuffled his papers.  “In 2010,” he said.  “What?  He gave the money to (Roberto) Micheletti?” was heard in the auditorium.  “Well, I’ll clear it up later and let you know.”

One of the lines of attack by the opposition candidate when he took part in public events during the recent campaign was to repeat a list of “contributions” that the Hugo Chávez government had made all over the world.

The initial exchange took place on October 1 in a press conference presented by  Capriles, who only four days after his defeat in the presidential race registered again as a candidate, this time for re-election as governor of the state of Miranda, to say to  foreign correspondents that he would not give away Venezuelan money and to accuse Chávez of being a mono-exporter:  “The only thing he exports is his political agenda.” (more…)

Marta Harnecker: activist, writer, teacher

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Her views on the Latin American Left today

[Translation of an interview from Folha de São Paulo for August 28, 2012. See original here.]

by Eleonora de Lucena

She defines herself as a Marxist-Leninist “popular educator.” A Chilean, she was a student of philosopher Louis Althusser, a Catholic student leader and a member of the socialist government of Salvador Allende. She married one of the commanders of the Cuban revolution, Manuel Piñeiro or “Barba Roja,” and in the 2000s she became an adviser to Hugo Chávez.

Marta Harnecker says she has written more than 80 books. The best known, Conceptos Elementales del Materialismo Histórico (The Basic Concepts of Historical Materialism), from the 1960s, has sold more than a million copies and is in its 67th edition. At 75, she travels throughout Latin America and says she is optimistic; the United States no longer does what it wants in the region and the concept of sovereignty has spread. (more…)

Paraguay: Franco government fires military officers over meeting with Venezuelan foreign minister

Friday, July 13th, 2012

New president accuses Venezuela of trying to stage a military coup to keep Lugo in power

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo, Brazil, for July 13, 2012. See original here and related articles here and here.]

The armed forces tribunal of Paraguay on Thursday morning discharged ten generals who had met with the Venezuelan minister of foreign relations, Nicolás Maduro, in an alleged attempt to reverse the removal from office of then President Fernando Lugo.

The decision was made in an extraordinary session of the tribunal, led by the current Paraguayan president and commander in chief of the armed forces, Federico Franco. Among those fired are General Aldalberto Ramón Garcete, of the army, and Admiral Juan Carlos Benítez, of the navy, as well as the commander of the First Corps of the army, Juan Carlos Ayala. Also discharged was General Ángel Vallovera, armed forces chief of staff in the Lugo administration, suspected of chairing the meeting with Maduro. (more…)