What's happening in Venezuela?

While what is happening in Venezuela is important to Nicaragua -- both in terms of imporrts of petroleum and exports of food -- I have hesitated to say anything until now because information sources have been far from clear. I have seen a big Twitter storm but it has been almost exclusively about two sides saying the the other side was full of caca.

A recent Reuters article titled Fourth person dies in Venezuela unrest, rallies convulse Caracas offers a little insight. In particular, the rioting is by students and apparently there is little involvement by the general population. What is likely but hasn't been disclosed in a meaningful way is what is the motivation. Yes, there are economic problems in Venezuela but they pre-date Chávez. With just students involved, it seems likely they have received an external push.

Protest numbers, though, are small compared to mass movements in places such as Brazil, Ukraine and the Middle East, with little sign of Venezuelans joining en masse in the hundreds of thousands seen on the streets a decade ago.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Finally, real analysis

TRNN has the first part of a two part interview with Gregory Wilpert in available. It is titled Venezuela Protests Reveal Rivalry in Opposition Leadership.

In this first part, Wilpert is addressing the who and what of the demonstrations. Part 2 will be on economics.

This interview answers most of the questions we have all had such as which students are involved. Most interesting to me is that Wilpert sees this not as an initiative against the Maduro government but a fight over who controls the opposition.

Riddle me this....


He is just trying ti cement his supporters. This is the next step in his, "It's the USA's fault" defense.

1st Capt. Ron

(Title by Miskito Alan)

Recent background from COHA.org

Feb 12 U.S. State Dep't: “We are deeply concerned by rising tensions, by the violence surrounding this protest and by the issuing of a warrant for the arrest of the opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez.”

On Feb 16 Maduro told the U.S. Embassy that three of their staff had 48 hours to vacate Venezuela. Why? The claim: those three had been visiting universities "under the false pretenses of granting students with visas ... to establish contacts with leaders who they recruit for training, for financing and the creation of youth organizations through which violence is promoted in Venezuela.” The U.S. "publicly and adamantly denied the accusations." No factual evidence has been released. It's "the third time in less than a year that President Maduro has expelled American diplomats under the allegations of supporting opposition factions to insight a coup."

The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) says that "Washington has a misguided policy" toward Venezuela, which "conflicts with the rest of Latin America’s thinking". Ahem. With the current situation "it would seem that the White House is much more likely to respond with favor to a growing Venezuelan exile group in Florida..." (Please, not another Bay of ....) COHA lists the history of USA 'misdoings' in Latin America, as much as to say, "They're at it again." Very slanted (not necessarily wrong).

'Developing' a nation doesn't necessarily lead to greater equality, nor a more representative democracy. But one economic force has unquestionably led to fewer desperately poor families in the Americas: remittances from immigrants working in 'developed' (better paying) countries to the folks back home. Presumable socialist dictatorships claim to better help their poor. Other than the temporary (& not uniform) redistribution of wealth from the confiscations of properties & international charitable donations, it's not evident that they do any permanent good. Nor does capitalistic exploitation. Centuries of feudal culture makes change very difficult. TV, movies & the internet are opening the minds of the children of peones to worlds beyond. Education is key.

Venezuela was once, one of the most modern developed countries in Latin America, which is not to say that there weren't vast numbers of uneducated poor too. But making all more equally poor doesn't exactly please those who knew better times. Nor does it bode well for a country in a global marketplace. Remedies for the handicapped seek to bring them into our world, not to make our world more difficult for us, like it is for them.

They way I figure it

If the US doesn't expel Venezuelan diplomats as well, then there might be something to Venezuela's claim. --I have no facts to back me up, it is just my idea.

1st Capt. Ron

(Title by Miskito Alan)

US expelling 3 Venezuelan diplomats

Official says US expelling 3 Venezuelan diplomats from country


1st Capt. Ron

(Title by Miskito Alan)


I saw the news at the same time you posted, 1st Capt. Ron.

It's a diplomatic game played between sovereign nations. It leaves the guilt of the three Americans up-in-the-air, indeterminable without evidence being present in 'world court'. (And then there's always the possibility of fabrication of 'proof', a la WMDs pre-Iraq-invasion laid out before the UN by the unfortunately duped Collin Powell. With the one stone that earned the Haliburton crew such wealth in the business of war, 'they' took this trusted black ex-general out of the political picture.)

On The Way

The Ukraine, not Venezuela

Paul Craig Roberts offers some insight into the riots in the Ukraine. A friend sent me this link. No, it's not Venezuela but it is but one more data point when evaluating world uprisings.

A number of confirmations have come in from readers that Washington is fueling the violent protests in Ukraine with our taxpayer dollars. Washington has no money for food stamps or to prevent home foreclosures, but it has plenty of money with which to subvert Ukraine.

Worth translating some of this


Those pictures are real and that they are what is being featured supports my point exactly. Didn't see any pictures of that government giving out free heating oil to poor north Americans? Funny how propadana works, throw in some news about killing babies and you can just about quarrantee the support of the sheeple.

He who controls the news controls the minds of those who read and acept that as their news. (solsurfer)

Keep in mind I do not support any political belief or government for those who might think otherwise, just veiwing things from a different lens.


while students and police may be the players, politicians are pulling the stings in the background. Imagine the lies and distortions of a political campaign and it isn't too hard to imagine this type of propaganda.

1st Capt. Ron

(Title by Miskito Alan)

Make no mistake

Venezuela is being destabilized from the inside out and this has been in the making for a long while. The trick is to make it look as if the current government is to blame for all the countries problems and this destabilizing includes making sure the press puts out pictures of unrest to further tweak the minds of readers. In the end their central bank and it's owners are behind all of this unrest and destabilization for the taking of resources. They hold the true grip on that country as they do all others and this is what their new president has to deal with as did the last and to try to keep the country together while it's be tore apart from pressures within. Currency wars are played by both sides, the central bank calls most shots, so the current government is not completely at fault, they also try to fight back against these pressures by adding to the currency devaluation in turn taking the profit out of large foreign corporations like Toyota and many others forcing them to leave because their profit has been removed from them and the investment to stay is no longer there. It's a complicated game of economic survival in which the odds are rigged and the fight is more than just up hill. Many players and lots of psy-ops going on and without a basis of who is who and what is in the works it just looks like one side is worse than the other and the blame game continues. But like all of these pre-orchestrated events it's about the taking of other's resources period and when we believe what the controlled press puts out we fall into that trap of disinformation and thus public opinion is molded for the overall support of this hostile take over and we seem to buy into it every darn time, don't we. Maybe we can look for weapons of mass destruction there next?

From The Guardian

An article titled US support for regime change in Venezuela is a mistake. Still no cause and effect but some history and an opinion about the US position.

chavez screwed up..

he didnt have a stong capable person to take his place..he knew he had cancer..and just threw this guy to the wolves..if u want ure stuff to carry on after u..make sure the guy taking ure place is stonger than u

Student movement

I have been looking for more information. A comment in yet another content-free presentation lead me to information on JAVU, Juvintud Activa Venezuela Unida. I am not drawing conclusions here but it does look like it is worth some more research. I see references calling it ultra-right wing and fascist.

The closest to a meaningful information page I found was on a blog called Alegría. I know nothing about the author but it seems to have more followable links than the finger-pointing messages from both sides.

[Armando] Carrieri en su nota denuncia una organización que hoy a todas luces está manejando las movilizaciones de los estudiante, que tiene más de 60.000 seguidores y a quienes han convertido en fanáticos extremos capaces de hacer lo que se les ordene y que están haciéndolo y lo seguirán haciendo. Este grupo denominado “Operación Libertad” está manejado por María Conchita Alonzo y Ana Mercedes Díaz (ex directora de CNE) desde Miami y por medio de Facebook y Twiter, herramientas comunicacionales de todas estas protestas. El diseño de la “protesta pacífica activa” de la que también es padre Leopoldo, Capriles y Ledezma, se basa en un libro del autor Gene Sharp. La página de Facebook es: https://www.facebook.com/OperacionLibertad/info


Only students have the balls to go up against an established government gone sour. Not just cause they're more sexually active. They live on the cusp. They're preparing for their futures. And Latin American students are especially politically involved.

Absence of hope either makes people depressed or fighting mad.

In the years before the 1979 success of the Sandinista revolution, it was Leon's UNAN students being tortured in Somoza's Guardia's prisons. Yet more & more got involved.

These Socialist Paradises

just need to follow North Korea's lead and kill everyone who dares to dissent:

In the meantime:


Some interesting pics from a first class newspaper. . .. I'm lucky if I can find a day-old La Prensa, have to get to the Western Union in the morning before the other guy in Condega who can read.

Does this mean that Daniel might not get his slush fund check next month ? Maybe that's why they stepped up aduana enforcement, they need the money.

I contributed $54 today .. just trying to do my part, as usual :)

Maybe Danny

is smarter than the average caudillo. Go for the gold--lease yourself to China. Oil is nice , but China has everything and the money to buy more.

``Socialism works fine until you run out of other peoples` money``

Margaret Thatcher


Economic problems existed before Chavez, but his policies certainly did not help the situation.

These may be student protests but many changes have occurred because of students. Remember 1960's-1970's America.

1st Capt. Ron

(Title by Miskito Alan)

Well, um, ...

In the 60s and 70s, US-based wars (e.g., Vietnam) were offering college dropouts and even graduates a chance to be cannon fodder. If you were in college you were acutely aware of this. While there were students that were all for said wars, there were lots who were not. In either case, it was not something that students could ignore.

The situation is quite different in Venezuela. They are not fighting any foreign wars and while I am not sure I don't believe there is a military draft.

Economics is an issue in Venezuela but without an economic characterization of the students protesting I don't think we can draw any hard conclusion. If the protestors are from well-off families there is some basis for anti-Chávez positions. On the other hand, if the students are from poor families, they are unlikely to think tossing Chávismo is going to do anything positive for themselves.

As I stated originally, while we don't yet know, it still seems likely that there is external motivation for what appears to be a student-only set of protests.


I think it is very unlikely that the student-led protests have been caused by outside agitators. I think it is a grass-roots movement which reflects the growing dissatisfaction among all the classes of Venezuelan society in the failed economic policies of the current administration.

go figure!

Could it be that some Venezuelans don`t like the march to dictatorship? Don`t these students realize that they are supposed to support free love and drugs for themselves, and socialism for everybody else? That was the logic of the US student left in the 70s and the Soviet sponsored wars in Indochina gave them an issue.

``Socialism works fine until you run out of other peoples` money``

Margaret Thatcher

that wasn't my purpose.

I just mentioned the US students to show what students can accomplish. I was not making comparisons beyond that. Maybe I should have listed other famous students protest such as Tienanmen Square?

1st Capt. Ron

(Title by Miskito Alan)


There are lots of serious economic problems in Venezuela which relate directly to the economic policies of the current government and do not pre-date Chávez.

All the reports I have read indicate that violence has emanated from both sides.

Just because the current round of protests are student-led, it does not follow that there has been an "external push."


The Venezuelan government is expelling 3 US diplomats for alleged involvement.

What happened to our Expert?

Bonnie....formerly from Merida.

She's been back in the US for medical treatment

Appears to be recovering uneventfully last time I heard from her.

Rebecca Brown