There was a lot of good information posted recently on the website Venezuelan Analysis (Venezuelanalysis.com). Below is the publication from this on-line newsletter. The extensive analysis and links offer an in-depth critique beyond that which has been discussed within the American “lame-stream” media.
Enjoy the links/commentaries!
28 Feb., 2014
Apologies for the lack of a newsletter over the previous three weeks, we have been hard at work covering marches, street barricades, clashes, and the latest news from around the country in order to bring you extensive coverage of the recent violence experienced in Venezuela. As such, you may take this as an archive of information and analysis from the previous month just as much as a round-up of our coverage!
Our latest news articles include coverage of President Maduro’s initiation of peace talks, which were boycotted by the main opposition coalition, as well as different government and opposition proposals to investigate the human rights implications of the violence. In other news, automobile workers have demanded the nationalisation of the car assembly industry.
In analysis, you can read VA.com’s take on the opposition’s strategy to force the “exit” of the government, and what the violent protests mean for the Bolivarian revolution. VA.com founder Gregory Wilpert also gave an in-depth interview to the Real News about the situation in the country, which you can view here.
You can find an extensive range of analyses on the political violence and other issues below, and don’t miss the latest material in our image and video sections.
Ewan for the team at Venezuelanalysis.com
Images and Galleries
Scars on Venezuela’s Streets
Opposition Violence Follows Peaceful Marches on Venezuela’s Day of Youth
Real News Network Discussion: Venezuela Opposition Boycotts Maduro-Backed Peace Conference As Unrest Continues
Understanding Venezuela’s Opposition Protests and Economy: An Interview with Gregory Wilpert (Parts 1 & 2)
GCAS Interventions: Clashes in the Streets of Venezuela
Venezuelan right-wing actions follow Gene Sharp’s soft coup theory
Venezuelan Protests & Maduro’s Rocky Tenure: Interview with Mark Weisbrot
Venezuela Marks 25 Years Since “Caracazo” Uprising Against Neoliberalism (+Video/Images)
Yesterday Venezuelans marked 25 years since the mass rebellion known as the “Caracazo” against neoliberal policies, and the massacre of civilians at the hands of security forces that followed.
Venezuela’s Peace Talks Proceed Despite MUD Boycott
Peace talks held in Venezuela on Wednesday were backed by social movements and community, businesses and religious groups, though the country’s main political opposition coalition boycotted the event.
Venezuelan Government and Opposition Differ Over Investigating and Attributing Violence
The Venezuelan government and opposition have differed over how to investigate the violence committed during the country’s on-going opposition protests and street barricades. The two sides also disagree on whom is responsible for promoting and perpetrating the violence.
Venezuela’s New Currency Exchange System Based on “Supply and Demand”
A third currency exchange system has been introduced in Venezuela in efforts to stabilise the value of the bolivar, called Sicad II, which will facilitate daily currency auctions at prices determined by “supply and demand”, according to Vice President for the Economic Area Rafael Ramirez.
Protesters’ Vandalism Hits Venezuela’s Public Purse
Millions of dollars worth of damages to public property may have been caused by a wave of violence across Venezuela, according to government sources.
Venezuelan Opposition Mayor Accused of Manipulating Tragic Death
A 34 year old man, Jimmy Vargas, died on Monday while he was involved in a violent street blockade. Some opposition leaders and media blamed the government, however video footage shows it was an accident. Two other people have died this week as a result of the blockades.
Venezuelan Government Officials Allege Uribe Has Role in Violent Disturbances
Venezuelan governmental authorities have provided what they allege is evidence of former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe’s involvement in the current disturbances and violence. They also claim that the US has provided some advice, and that mercenaries are involved.
Venezuela’s Maduro Proposes “Peace Conference” to Resolve Opposition Protests
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has called for a “National Peace Conference” as a means of resolving the on-going violent opposition protests in Venezuela. The opposition has made a set of “demands” for dialogue to begin.
Retired General to be Arrested Following Decapitation of Motorist at Opposition Blockade
President Maduro has ordered the arrest of retired General Angel Vivas, who promoted the use of wire at blockades in order to “neutralise” people on motorbikes. One government supporter on a motorbike died by such a method last night.
Venezuelan Government Sends Army to Combat “Grave” Opposition Disorder near Colombian Border
The Venezuelan government is to send two army battalions to Táchira state, which borders Colombia, to combat a “grave” case of opposition-promoted disorder in the area.
Death Toll in Venezuela Clashes Rises to Ten (Updated)
According to authorities and press reports a total of ten people have now died in connection with violent protests in Venezuela. The government and the opposition blame each other for the situation.
Venezuelan Government Reiterates Calls For Dialogue With Opposition
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has again called for dialogue, as part of a national peace plan.
Death Toll Rises in Venezuela; Opposition Demonstrators Say They’re Fighting a War of “Attrition”
Anti-government demonstrations turned deadly again today, following yesterday’s arrest of far right leader Leopoldo Lopez.
Venezuelan Workers Demand Nationalisation of Automotive Industry
Venezuelan automotive workers have slammed multinational car manufacturers for cutting back production in the country, while the country’s largest trade union federation has called for the nationalisation of the industry.
Large Marches by Venezuelan Opposition and Government Supporters, Leopoldo Lopez Turns Himself In
At a large opposition march in Caracas, far right leader Leopoldo Lopez handed himself in to the National Guard. Other large opposition and pro-government rallies and marches were held peacefully around the country.
Maduro Expels Three U.S. Officials from Venezuela for “Conspiracy”
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has expelled three U.S. consular officials from the country due to suspected conspiracy with the conservative opposition. Meanwhile opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez has announced he will lead another march against the government in Caracas tomorrow.
Venezuelan Intelligence Official Arrested in Connection with 12 February Violence in Caracas
An official of Venezuela’s intelligence service has been arrested in connection with the violent clashes last Wednesday in Caracas which left three dead, a Venezuelan newspaper has reported.
Venezuela’s Maduro Holds Mass Rally to Reject Violence as Protests Continue (+video)
Thousands of government supporters gathered yesterday in Caracas to call for “peace” after violent clashes left three dead on Wednesday. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles today called supporters to gather for a national march “against paramilitaries and violence”.
Third Day of Protests in Venezuela Sees Lower Turnout, Calls for Peace
Opposition street protests continue in Venezuela, although with lower turnouts and intensity than earlier this week.
Inflation and Shortages Remain High in Venezuela
Inflation and shortages remained high in January according to a report by the Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV), however levels of food shortages have decreased.
Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Demand More Demonstrations Following Deadly Clashes
Venezuela’s opposition have continued to stage violent demonstrations amid calls for calm.
Peaceful Marches and Opposition Violence, Two Deaths Mark Day of Youth in Venezuela
Violent opposition groups attacked government buildings and civilians, and clashed with police and government supporters following peaceful marches commemorating the Day of Youth.
Opposition Violence Continues in Some Venezuelan Cities, Attacks on Journalists
Violent sectors of the opposition have continued protests over the weekend and yesterday, leaving parts of Merida and Tachira closed, and some serious injuries.
Venezuelan Government Applies Law Limiting Costs, Prices and Profits
The period allowed for businesses to adjust their prices to the new Fair Prices Law ended today, with the government planning a wave of inspections to ensure the legal measure is applied.
Spanish – Venezuelan Production Wins Best Ibero-American Film at Goya Awards
The film Blue and Not So Pink (Azul y No Tan Rosa) has become the first Venezuelan film to win a Goya at the Spanish Academy of Art’s prestigious annual Goya awards ceremony.
Violent Student Protests Mark New Phase of “Radical” Venezuelan Opposition Activity
Violent opposition student protests have taken place in several Venezuelan cities in recent days.
Venezuelan University Developing Experimental Bamboo for Green Homes
Venezuelan researchers are studying ways to use bamboo to provide cheap, environmentally friendly housing.
Motorcyclists Propose Education Plan as Venezuelan Government Mulls Night Ban
An organisation representing Venezuelan motorcyclists has called for a road safety education plan in response to a controversial proposal to ban motorbikes after dark in Caracas.
Venezuela’s University Education Mission Reaches Ten Years, 695,000 Students
Venezuela’s Mission Sucre has reached ten years of providing higher education to over 695,000 people, 379,000 of whom have already graduated.
Venezuela’s Maduro: “I’m Determined to Make an Economic Revolution”
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has stated he will take “the most radical measures to protect our people’s economy” as a deadline for businesses to adhere to new price controls approaches.
Owen Jones: Socialism’s Critics Look at Venezuela and Say, ‘We Told You So’. But They Are Wrong
By Owen Jones – The Independent
Columnist Owen Jones argues that socialism’s critics look at Venezuela and say, ‘we told you so’, but they are wrong.
NYT Corrects Venezuela TV Falsehood
By Peter Hart – Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) blog
As is often the case, the correction obscures the central problem with the piece: that it reported erroneously that Venezuelan TV is a place where voices critical of the government do not appear.
Venezuela: A New Lesson in Democracy
By Carlos Fernandez Liria – Rebelion
The complicity of the Spanish media with Venezuelan coup-ism has never been as explicit and committed as it was in 2002, but it has been equally repugnant. The same lies as always, the same topics, the same rubbish.
Letter to New York Times: Correct Francisco Toro’s Error on Venezuela
By Manufacturing Contempt blog – NACLA
On February 26, Ian J. Seda-Irizarry, professor of political economy at the City University of New York, sent the following letter to the editors of The New York Times in response to a factual error the newspaper printed by blogger Francisco Toro of Caracas Chronicles.
Venezuela: Volunteers Clear Streets, Face Attacks by Right-Wing Thugs
By Paul Dobson – GLW
In response to the violence instigated by the Venezuelan elite, the working classes of Venezuela took to the streets this week. They went out not with pistols or grenades, but with brooms and shovels to clean the burnt trash and remove the barricades that have restricted the free movement of thousands of citizens.
Venezuela’s Right is Protesting Against Justice, Not Repression
By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim – CDO
The extreme right-wing has a history of violence.
Federico Fuentes replies to Mike Gonzalez’s ‘Is Venezuela burning?’
By Federico Fuentes – Links
I have had a few people ask me what I think of the recent article by Mike Gonzalez “Is Venezuela burning”, regarding events in Venezuela. Putting aside the fact he can’t even get the name right of the oil minster (Rafael Ramirez, not Rodriguez), here are three things that are wrong with the article.
Is Venezuela Burning?
By Mike Gonzalez- Jacobin
Only a deepening of the Bolivarian Revolution can save it.
February Traumas: The Third Insurrectionary Moment of the Venezuelan Right
By Jeffrey R. Webber and Susan Spronk – New Politics
For seasoned observers of Venezuelan politics, the events of the past week are a disheartening repetition of opposition-led resistance efforts that have yet again sought to undermine political stability in the country. This is not the first time in recent history that the opposition has resorted to “extra-parliamentary” tactics, including violence, to push their political agenda.
The National Guard and Class Struggle
By Luigino Bracci – Aporrea
A Venezuelan media worker describes the harassment the National Guard has put up with over the last few weeks, looks at the class composition behind the situation, and expresses concern over what the opposition tactic is aiming for.
True Colors of Venezuelan Student Movement Apparent in Feb. 22nd Releases
By Alex Main – CEPR
On the night of February 22nd, a bizarre incident took place in the Venezuela media-sphere. At around 4:00 pm Venezuela time, a number of the country’s private media outlets posted a release from a protest group identified only as the “student movement.”
Public Letter to the Guardian: Violent Protest will not Help Venezuela
Prominent figures in Britain have written a public letter to the Guardian “deplor[ing] the wave of violence from minority and extremist sections ofVenezuela’s opposition”.
US Backing the Destabilization of Venezuela
By Keane Bhatt – The Real News
Elite forces in Venezuela and the US are determined to undermine the accomplishments of the Bolivarian revolution
Does Venezuelan Television Provide Coverage That Opposes the Government?
By Mark Weisbrot – Centre for Economic and Policy Research
Leopoldo López is a politician, and so he can be forgiven for hyperbole (like right-wing critics of President Obama in the United States, who call him a “socialist dictator”). But the New York Times and CPJ should be more careful not to present false claims as fact.
U.S. Policy Toward Venezuela: Seeing The Larger Picture
By Steve Ellner
The analysis of U.S. policy toward the Ukraine and Syria is even more applicable in the case of Venezuela, argues academic and author Steve Ellner.
News From Venezuela–But Where Is It Coming From?
By Jim Naureckas – FAIR
There’s a post from the blog Caracas Chronicles that’s been making its way around social media, called “The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night-–and the International Media Is Asleep at the Switch,” written by Francisco Toro. It’s not surprising that it’s being shared widely, because it paints an exceedingly dire picture.
Obama’s Arrogant Interference in Venezuela and Resistance by A Participatory Democracy
By Arnold August- democracycuba.com
Obama’s arrogant interference in Venezuela constitutes the latest example from among the long list of U.S. presidents who adopt and actively sponsor the original seventeenth century evangelical notion: the U.S is a chosen people, the beacon on the hill for the world to look toward for salvation.
Venezuela: The Current Counter-Revolutionary Offensive and How to Deal With it
By Jorge Martin- In Defence of Marxism
For the last two weeks there has been a violent campaign of rioting on the part of a small number of opposition supporters in Venezuela. They have blockaded streets and avenues (mainly in the middle and upper class areas of urban centres) in an attempt to force the removal of president Maduro. What is the meaning of these actions and how should they be confronted?
#LaSalida? Venezuela at a Crossroads
By George Ciccariello-Maher – The Nation
The protests this week have far more to do with returning economic and political elites to power than with their downfall.
Venezuela: It’s the Opposition That’s Anti-Democratic
By Jerome Roos – ROAR Magazine
Don’t be fooled by the sight of protests in Venezuela: this time the anti-democratic villains are not in government but in the US-backed opposition.
What the Wikileaks Cables Say about Leopoldo López
By Jake Johnston – CEPR
Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López has been thrust onto the international stage during the past week of protests in Venezuela and his arrest on February 21. López is mentioned at least 77 times in diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks.
Protest Coverage in Haiti and Venezuela Reveals U.S. Media Hypocrisy
By Kevin Edmonds – NACLA
The media coverage of the events unfolding in Venezuela provides a troubling example of how the imperial ambitions of the United States can magnify crises—especially when contrasted with the current political situation in Haiti.
Most Venezuelans have a blind spot on their own country according to James Bloodworth
By Joe Emersberger – Zblogs
James Bloodworth, when he isn’t applauding Obama’s murderous drone attacks on Pakistan, occasionally takes time out to complain about leftists supporting the Venezuelan government. He claims that Venezuela has become a “nightmare”.
Venezuela Beyond the Protests: The Revolution is Here to Stay
By Eva Golinger – Postcards from the Revolution
Investigative journalist Eva Golinger traces the roots of current opposition protests, and argues “the revolution that is here to stay is the Bolivarian Revolution, which began in 1998 when Hugo Chavez was first elected president”.
What’s going on in Venezuela?
By Lee Salter, PhD
UK academic Lee Salter, an expert on media coverage of Venezuela, gives his view on the reasons behind and aims of the current opposition protests.
The Real Significance of the Student Protests
By Dr Julia Buxton – The Latin America Bureau
Venezuela specialist Dr. Julia Buxton gives her view on the meaning of ongoing opposition protests.
Unlike What the Media Says or Implies, the Violence in Venezuela Is Being Perpetrated by the Opposition
By Steve Ellner
The slant of the Venezuelan private media and the international media on what is happening in Venezuela is clear: The government is responsible for the violence. But there is considerable evidence that shows that the violence, including that of unidentified motorcyclists against the demonstrators, is being carried out by the opposition.
Violent Protests in Venezuela Fit a Pattern
By Dan Beeton- CEPR
Venezuela’s latest round of violent protests appears to fit a pattern, and represents the tug-and-pull nature of the country’s divided opposition.
Towards Another Coup in Venezuela?
By Belen Fernandez – Al Jazeera English
Protests are initiated by ultra-right factions of the opposition in the hope of an eventual systemic overhaul
Dialogue or Coups
By Pedro Santander- Rebelion
Chilean writer Pedro Santander goes behind the scenes of the current political situation in Venezuela.
Venezuela: Shunned by the Left?
By Michael Albert- ZNet
ZNet’s Michael Albert analyses why there is so little coverage of Venezuela by the international left.
US Support for Regime Change in Venezuela is a Mistake
By Mark Weisbrot – The Guardian
The US push to topple the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro once again pits Washington against South America.
Constructing “Venezuela” Protests: a Photo Gallery (fixed)
By Dr. Dawg
This blogger reviews some of the photo manipulation being passed around social networks to try to support the argument that the “peaceful” violent sector of the opposition’s protests have been “repressed” by the national government.
Venezuelan Government Shows Restraint and Resolve in The Face of Anti-Chavista Mayhem
By Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA)
The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) views with great alarm the violence perpetrated against the democratically elected government and civilians in Venezuela.
Coups, Media and Stalemates: What Violent Protests Mean for Venezuela
Venezuelanalysis.com’s staff writers offer their concise insights on three different angles of the violent protests that have been occurring in the country: the opposition’s strategy, how the media have reacted, and the implications of the protests for the Bolivarian Revolution.
Venezuela: Right-Wing Provokes Violence in Time-Worn Practice
By Steve Ellner – Green Left Weekly
History repeats itself. The time-worn tactic of the dominant class that controls the diffusion of information is to provoke violence and then blame it on the enemy, usually those who struggle for change.
Venezuela: The Political Economy of Inflation and Investment Strikes
By Oliver Levingston – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
This paper adopts a Marxian class analysis to dispute the orthodox critique of high inflation in contemporary Venezuela. It draws a parallel between the 2002-03 oil industry lock-out and the capital strike in the Venezuelan foodstuffs industry today. In each case, capital has suspended production to bid up the price of basic goods and create widespread shortages.
The Opposition Divided but not Disunited, and “The Exit”
By Nicmer Evans – Rebelión
Caracas-based political scientist Nicmer Evans gives a brief overview of the state of the Venezuelan opposition, as differing strategies emerge in light of there being no national elections scheduled for this year.