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Venezuela increases internet censorship and surveillance in crisis

Anonymous Coward

gallow's humor but

Well at least one thing Maduro has going for him with how screwed for at least a generation that country is who would want to get rid of him and be the one that has to fix it (get to be the guy that defaults on all the debt)? Takes a special kind of stupid to run the country with largest proven oil reserves into the ground. Oh wait is the evil Yankees who just happen to have many Valero gas stations all over the country owned by Venezuela.

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Re: gallow's humor but

Acutally Citgo is Venezuela's brand in the US. Not sure if Valero is rebrand or not (edit: doesn't look like it). Still a whole lot of Venezuela's oil is sold in the US.

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Re: gallow's humor but

"Takes a special kind of stupid to run the country with largest proven oil reserves into the ground."

Special stupidity? No, merely end-stage Socialism in action. Soon will come the mass killings and re-education camps.

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'end stage Socialism'

To equate the Venezuelan government with socialism is a bit simplistic. Maybe you want to look at Sweden or other well run social-democratic countries for counter-examples. I would rather call it greed from a corrupt government. This particular government used the label 'socialism' as their fig leaf.

Don't get fooled by the labels, they are a propaganda tools to replace your critical thinking with prejudice. Worry about whether the government is competent, honest, and open.

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Re: 'end stage Socialism'

Those would be the Scandinavian countries that over the past twenty years have rolled back their social welfare networks, reduced their tax rates and generally deregulated their economies?

They're only socialist in wet dreams.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: gallow's humor but

Dumb yank. 70 years of propaganda has convinced you that social democracy is a bad thing.

Now you'll fight with every fiber of your body for your own classes' exploitation. Pathetic.

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Trollface

Re: 'end stage Socialism'

Those poor, deprived, Scandinavians, with their high standard of living and healthcare system. I'm sure they'd all jump at the chance to ditch their filthy commie government and go The American Way!

After all, who doesn't want declare bankruptcy just for getting appendicitis?

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Re: gallow's humor but

> "70 years of propaganda has convinced you that social democracy is a bad thing."

This "social democracy" term was unfamiliar, so I looked it up.

It appears the term means that socialism (govt meddling in economics) gets extended to the personal sphere too (govt meddling with our lives). It's a sort of holistic approach to government control and regulation, but always for the good of society, of course.

I'm also wondering about this 70 years of propaganda thing. Lessee, that would be 1947. Oh right, the beginning of the US post war boom. Capitalism, the thing that made us all much richer while making a few very rich indeed, the swine. So, it's all lies? We aren't really much better off materially than our recent ancestors?

No AC, no big cars, no flat screens, no magic hand phones, no air travel for all, no advanced medicine? Amazing! They had me completely bamboozled!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: gallow's humor but

Dumb Brit. Decades of nanny-state control and surveillance have convinced you that you love Big Brother.

Now you'll shriek with every fiber of your being to defend your own government's exploitation of your own class. Worse than pathetic.

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Re: 'end stage Socialism'

> "Don't get fooled by the labels, they are a propaganda tools to replace your critical thinking with prejudice."

So when Socialism destroys a country it's not Socialism any more. Got it. Just like when it's Islam until Muslims do horrible stuff for their religion and then it isn't Islam.

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Re: 'end stage Socialism'

Just like when it's Christianity until Christians do horrible stuff for their religion and then it isn't Christianity.

Works for pretty much all religions and none.

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Re: gallow's humor but

> Capitalism, the thing that made us all much richer while making a few very rich indeed, the swine.

I think you'll find that reality is a bit more subtle than that, unless you waive the 43.1 million people in the US who live under the poverty threshold (that's 1 in 8 households, according to the Census bureau, and the figure is likely much higher due to under-the-radar illegal residents). It's 10 million more than the entire population of Venezuela.

I'm sure you'll have noticed how the pro- and anti- Maduro demonstrations don't gather the same socio-economical categories. And how Us media coverage on Brazil and Venezuela increased dramatically after these countries decided to regain control of their oil reserves...

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Anonymous Coward

What can a lonely despot do?! With only all military and police at his disposal?!

"Citizens are furious with president Donald J Trump, who has been using emergency powers since 2017 to pass laws without congressional approval. He claims to be using the powers to fight an "economic war" with unseen enemies, but taxes on moronic red hats with iron-on slogans and firearms alongside a collapsing economy have turned people against him."

Just think how awful it would be, for the dick-tators, if the citizens were to equip themselves with their own ad-hoc communications systems, be they femtocells, or battery-powered mesh wifi networks, or little bits of paper, or strings with cans... the world is a dangerous place for Supreme Leaders, if they do not squelch the murmurings of protest! Oh noes! More than three citizens without guns is how spying starts, but it ends with the NSA all the same. :P YMMV

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Re: What can a lonely despot do?! With only all military and police at his disposal?!

There might be a lot of people who hate Trump, and don't like his use of executive orders any more than Trump and his followers hated Obama's use of them, but the situation is very different - might I even say "bigly different"?

We don't have to worry about him 'changing the Consitution' on his own or finding a way to delay the 2020 elections (assuming we don't have president Pence by then...) We still have a free press, as evidenced by his dislike of them, along with all sorts of alternative media for those who only want to hear his version of the news.

Ironically some of the 'fake news' sources the last few years had constant claims about Obama's secret plan to declare a national emergency and delay the next election to stay in office, or somehow repeal the 22nd amendment on his own so he could serve as president-for-life. Guess they were wrong about that!

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Why pick on Venezuela?

When the Turds of Westminster are all planning to censor our internet and expand online surveillance of citizens. Arguably our country is also currently in a state of emergency, as huge numbers of troops and police are deployed to keep politicians safe.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why pick on Venezuela?

Need some perspective. The UK might not be heading in the right direction but still quite some distance from a murder rate that compares with Syria and Iraq and inflation rate into four digits.

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Re: Why pick on Venezuela?

Maybe because two wrongs don't make a right? And also because the original wrong (the one in this story) is incommensurately worse than the one you mention (at least for the moment being)

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Re: Why pick on Venezuela?

The article doesn't mention that there is also a food and medicine shortage - just about everything is in short supply. Meanwhile, inflation has made their money worthless. It takes a people's paradise to cause that kind of misery.

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Re: Why pick on Venezuela?

Maybe it's to give us a heads up on how bad it can get if you let it slide.

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Re: Why pick on Venezuela?

@ Triggerfish

"Maybe it's to give us a heads up on how bad it can get if you let it slide."

Unfortunately this is the kind of economics that keeps returning. No matter how painful it fails and how destructive it is in lives and standards of living people will keep claiming it will be different this time. Corbyn was in favour of these changes and some of the comments from labour have been very much in this direction. What worries me is the Tories are talking about price caps on energy which is is also in the same direction too.

It is never a good sign when the government offer to solve the problem when government is the problem. They rarely realise it is them and instead fudge another mess to be cleaned up.

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Re: Why pick on Venezuela?

Sorry mate, but I think socialist democracy is not necessarily a bad thing, I'd rather have that say than rampant free market economics where corporations get to do everything and anything they like because people don't want the government to interfere, look at some of the issues America has with this.

My comment about letting it slide is because people like the Tories currently seem to be looking at how restrictive regimes police their internet and seem to think it is a good idea.

Someone I was talking with a week or so ago, was commenting on how some regimes which are basically dictatorships are not that bad so maybe democracy is not that good, nice theory and maybe they are right when you dictator is benevolent, but go down that route and when the right bastard gets in your are fucked, in fact you have actually made the means of oppression easier for him.

This is why we should not let it slide here.

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Re: Why pick on Venezuela?

@ Triggerfish

"Sorry mate, but I think socialist democracy is not necessarily a bad thing"

I dont think Venezuela has that unless they have made a sudden and swift leadership change. I dont think social democracy is a bad thing either, I think it is another possible option which has its own trade off's. Then there is the repetition of anti market methods which all lead to the same disaster. The crackdowns have to happen because Venezuela doomed their economy and people will never be happy about that.

"My comment about letting it slide is because people like the Tories currently seem to be looking at how restrictive regimes police their internet and seem to think it is a good idea."

We dont seem to have much choice in our current politics. Last election the only party standing against this was UKIP and we saw what they went through. Everyone else wants to interfere and dictate more. This time we have parties promoting themselves as anti-democracy, anti-economy and anti freedom.

"nice theory and maybe they are right when you dictator is benevolent"

Nail meets head. I too have had this discussion. Also what one person sees as benevolent is not the same as the next. Far too many discussions of fair and moral to justify anything. You get a thumb up from me, good comment.

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Re: Why pick on Venezuela?

Sorry meant to reply got busy.

Apologies because I thought you were going to free market aryn rand type things :) BUt I agree with a lot of your reply, and you are correct Venezeaula doesnt really have a socialist democracy, pretend democracy would probably be closer. :)

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It will be interesting to see how Venezuela celebrates the 50th anniversary of the handbook next year.

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Anonymous Coward

The US, with the help of the financial elite, has been trying to destabilize Venezuela since Chavez was first elected. The current turmoil is the result of that. There are far worse things that happen in other Latin countries (Mexico mass graves for ex.) that don't get as much media attention. The difference? Those countries toe the American line.

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Anonymous Coward

Yep nothing but sunshine and smiles from the current US administration towards Mexico. First to admit US foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere doesn't have a great track record but Chavez and friends didn't need a lot of help to make Venezuela the county other countries point at to feel better about themselves. Who knew $100 a barrel oil wouldn't last forever?

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Save your breath

@ AC

"The US, with the help of the financial elite, has been trying to destabilize Venezuela since Chavez was first elected..."

You are Delcy Rodriguez, and I claim my $5.00.

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Anonymous Coward

Venezuela could fall...

The conditions people are enduring there are unreal... The faltering peace process underway in Colombia is itself on a knife edge. Meanwhile tens of thousands of Venezuelans are already showing up in Medellín. Could it become millions? Maybe... These are hairy times. The US fears another Syria. That's how serious this is. Not religious, but praying it won't happen!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Venezuela could fall...

As messed up as Venezuela is if you look at most of countries in Central America (just to the north) they are right there in same failed state league. The vast majority of countries south of the US right now are basket cases in one way or another.

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Re: Venezuela could fall...

As I heard this described more than anything its a liquidity crisis. At the end of the day Venezuela still has the largest proven oil reserves in the world. Unlike say Yemen they have something of value to the rest of the world. They are screwed in the short term but their long term future still better than a whole lot of other countries.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Venezuela could fall...

>just to the north

Make that northwest lol, American geography.

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Anonymous Coward

'As messed up as Venezuela is if you look at..'

No its much worse than that dude. I write from the region. Most countries of Central & South / America are dysfunctional with massive corruption and huge swings in economy / currency etc. But Venezuela could collapse into civil war, make no mistake about it. This is really serious!

Venezuela would be ok with starting a war with Colombia too, to mask the bloodshed at home, that's how bad things are... (The ruling class is trying to provoke Colombia to take the heat off themselves etc)... Yes there's oil, but there's really no other industries to speak of, oil was keeping everything afloat and oil is not $100 a barrel anymore...

=====================

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-venezuela-crisis-worsening-prevent-syria-47474300

https://colombiareports.com/colombia-venezuela-odds-tanks-border/

https://colombiareports.com/colombia-failed-state-planning-farc-massacre-venezuela/

https://colombiareports.com/venezuela-incursion-provocation-colombias-foreign-minister/

http://thebogotapost.com/2017/04/06/colombia-venezuela-relations-under-strain/

https://thecitypaperbogota.com/opinion/colombia-rises-while-venezuela-collapses/13178

http://thebogotapost.com/2015/09/11/chaos-on-colombia-venezuela-border/

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Re: Venezuela could fall...

I know someone whose daughter is going out with a Cuban student who lives over here now, he gets asked to smuggle in things like cat5 cable, as well as toilet roll etc, when he returns, (which is apparently infrequently because of fear of being drafted into national service).

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A revolting development

FTA:

> "The country is currently in a state of emergency after two months of anti-government protests that have caused the deaths of over 50 people and led to violent confrontations with the police."

So, it's the people protesting the dictatorship that are causing the deaths and violence? NOT the Chavista dictatorship's determination to crush all dissent while the country collapses under socialist policies? I'm sure Maduro is happy to see you're on his side, KM.

As for the Venezuelans, they should understand that it's the evil US that's causing their kids to starve, NOT the leftist dictatorship's idiotic handling of their natural wealth. Their "news" orgs tell them so every single day!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A revolting development

>idiotic handling of their natural wealth

Show me a country with massive natural wealth and I will show you a corrupt failed state, oh and Canada and Norway.

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Megaphone

Nicolás Maduro

Sounds like a right, far right, nutter!

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Re: Nicolás Maduro

@ Winkypop

"Sounds like a right, far right, nutter!"

Actually he is far the other way. Anti-market, anti capitalism, etc.

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Chile 1973

Anybody remember that far back? I'm reminded of that - I've just been reading Isabel Allende's "House of the Spirits", and before that, "Paula", and what she said happened then in Chile then sounds ominously like what is happening in Venezuela even as I write.

Another geopolitical detail you might be interested in - during the Cold War, people always compared US behaviour in Europe with the Soviet behaviour in Europe, and made predictable noises about Soviet nastiness and US benevolence. Europe was never (properly) part of the US sphere of influence. Latin America was, and in particular, Central America and the non-Empire islands of the Caribbean. Anyone know how thoroughly the US stuffed up their relationship with Fidel Castro and co, because they had thrown out the US's prize bastard, Batiste? The relationship between Cuba and the USSR was made in WashingtonDC, courtesy of some DC dorks.

Eduardo Galeano has some interesting facts about US behaviour in Latin America and Latin American elites' collusion with that rapaciousness in his book "Open Veins of Latin America". Read it. Education's wonderful, don't waste it.

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Re: Chile 1973

Eduardo Galeno no longer stands by that book, according to him I didn't know enough about politics or the economy when I wrote it

After thinking that Castro removing Batista would be a good a thing, the US didn't hesitate to do anything to prevent it from happening again.

But that was them, when communism looked like a threat, nowadays we know for certain that it is nothing but a bad joke.

So the US doesn't care, not even a bit. You don't see them building a new 'Contra', do you?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Chile 1973

>So the US doesn't care, not even a bit.

Depends on how much US corporate stuff the country nationalizes. Now there is hardly anything left to nationalize they don't care but that failed coup back when Chavez was getting rolling nationalizing sure smelled of CIA. Cut their losses for most part after that and just waited for inevitable collapse.

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Justification

"It is unclear what the legal justification is for the blocks"

I'm pretty sure the legal justification is "Because I said so". The whole point of the state of emergency and rule by decree is precisely to make that all the justification that is legally needed.

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