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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    US vs Maduro Round 3

    It's ironic that the chinkies, who started this whole SARS-COV2 mess, and who have spent a lot of money buying off Maduro to secure his oil, suddenly find their investment to be next to worthless.

    As coronavirus hits Venezuela, Maduro further quashes dissent

    Angus Berwick, Sarah Kinosian, Maria Ramirez
    10 MIN READ

    CARACAS (Reuters) - On March 13, Melquiades Avila, an indigenous leader and journalist in the remote Venezuelan state of Delta Amacuro, asked on his popular Facebook account: “Will our hospital be ready for coronavirus?”

    Earlier that week, as Venezuela confirmed its first infections by the novel coronavirus, President Nicolas Maduro’s health ministry on its website had listed Delta Amacuro’s Luis Razetti Hospital as one of 46 medical centers “prepared” to receive COVID-19 patients.

    Avila enumerated various reasons, all confirmed by Reuters in interviews with physicians at the hospital, why the claim was false: The facility has no blood pressure monitors, syringes, or reagents to diagnose coronavirus infections.


    “What a joke,” Avila wrote.

    A day later, Lizeta Hernandez, governor of Delta Amacuro and a member of the ruling Socialist party, called on local radio for Avila’s arrest, accusing him of “inciting hatred” and denouncing him as “criminal.” She ordered the state Army deployment to detain Avila “so that I can give him a masterclass in the meaning of public duty.”

    In a voice message to Reuters, the governor this week said she only wanted to “orient” Avila and ensure he was being “serious and responsible” as a journalist. She declined to answer questions about the hospital, its readiness or previous clashes with Avila, who for years has criticized health care in the state.


    Raquel Ruiz, the hospital director, denied the facility is unprepared. State authorities, she added, are readying a nearby building to treat coronavirus patients.


    The threat against Avila, who is now in hiding but spoke with Reuters by telephone, is one of at least seven recent episodes in which Venezuelan authorities have sought to arrest critics of the government’s preparedness for the coronavirus, according to interviews with three accused individuals and lawyers of four others.


    In addition to Avila, police have arrested an opposition lawmaker who tweeted – correctly, according to health workers from the facility – that another hospital on the “prepared” list has no running water. Police also arrested a retired medical technician who in a video said a hospital in Monagas state was unprepared.


    Officials from Venezuela’s health, justice and information ministries didn’t respond to requests for comment about the detentions, conditions at the hospitals or police involvement in the coronavirus response.

    Even in normal circumstances, dissent can subject citizens to arrest, prison sentences or worse in Venezuela, where aggressive security policies have prompted Western democracies to sanction the government for human rights abuses. Now, government opponents say the coronavirus offers a new opportunity for Maduro to crack down.


    In China, where the current outbreak began, government efforts to quash early warnings about the virus may have helped it spread, public health experts have said. China denies any such cover-ups happened.


    Maduro’s critics fear the same may happen in Venezuela, where poverty, hunger and a shortage of basic medical supplies complicated health care even before the pandemic. “The government is trying to hide the truth,” says Humberto Prado, who heads a human rights commission for opposition legislators. “If you talk, they’ll arrest and silence you.”

    As of late Tuesday, Venezuela has confirmed 91 COVID-19 cases and no deaths.

    More than 20 doctors and public health specialists told Reuters they fear the toll could mount quickly despite a show of force that the government says should contain the outbreak. Some of its measures are not unlike the enforced lockdowns imposed by some U.S. states and Western European nations.


    But the forces carrying out the tasks in Venezuela have long been associated with corruption and extralegal violence. The National Police’s feared Special Action Force, accused by citizens and government critics of extrajudicial killings and torture, patrols streets.


    Intelligence agents now guard sites ranging from supermarkets to the Caracas medical institute tasked with coronavirus testing. At some roadblocks, police and soldiers have shaken down medical workers before letting them get to or from work, according to 12 doctors and nurses interviewed by Reuters.


    One physician said she paid the equivalent of a week’s salary at a checkpoint in the central city of Maracay. “The officers weren’t going to let me pass,” she said.


    Police officials in Maracay didn’t respond to a request by Reuters to discuss the incident. Regional military leaders, who also staff checkpoints, referred Reuters to the defense ministry in Caracas. Officials at the defense ministry didn’t return phone calls or emails requesting comment.


    Some police, acting on tips from neighborhood informants, are accompanying government medics to poor neighborhoods and forcing individuals with suspected coughs or other illnesses to get examinations, people familiar with the operations said. The administration this week said security forces had visited over 18,000 homes.


    Meanwhile, the government is keeping private physicians from conducting diagnoses, senior doctors told Reuters, centralizing all testing at the National Hygiene Institute, a Caracas facility that passes results directly to the health ministry.


    Earlier this month, the ministry stopped coronavirus testing at Caracas’ private El Avila Clinic, two medical workers familiar with the order said. On March 13, one of these people said, government workers went to the clinic and confiscated testing materials.


    Vicente Marzullo, the clinic’s director, didn’t respond to efforts by Reuters to discuss the government’s measures there.


    Avila, the 54-year-old journalist in Delta Amacuro, has angered government officials before. A member of the native Warao tribe, Avila has chronicled growing health challenges for indigenous peoples during Venezuela’s economic collapse.


    In 2018, he broadcast on local radio a Warao woman saying relatives were dying because of a lack of medicines. Hernandez, the governor, stormed into his office afterward and accused him of spreading lies, Avila said.


    Four physicians at the hospital on Maduro’s coronavirus list told Reuters that Avila’s warnings are accurate. The doctors, who asked not to be identified, said the hospital has none of the materials Avila mentioned and that, crucially, it has no ventilators, which have been vital in other countries to help COVID-19 patients breathe.


    “Mr. Avila’s comments weren’t lies,” one senior doctor said. “The government lives in a Narnia world,” alluding to the classic fantasy epics of C.S. Lewis.

    Health-care workers in nine additional states told Reuters that other hospitals on the list are also deficient.

    The Leopoldo Manrique Terrero Hospital, in the Coche district of Caracas, isn’t even open to patients. It hasn’t functioned as a clinical facility for at least three years, two maintenance workers there said. Reuters was unable to identify a director for the hospital or a working telephone number for administrative offices.


    In northeastern Monagas state, medical personnel have been so concerned about a lack of preparedness for COVID-19 that they filmed a protest outside the Manuel Nunez Tovar Hospital, another facility on the list.


    Darwin Moreno, the hospital’s director, in a brief telephone conversation this week said he could discuss the incident later in the day. He didn’t return follow-up phone calls or messages.


    In the video, filmed March 13 and seen by Reuters, Julio Molinos, a retired technician and medical union leader, urged the health ministry to be transparent. The video, shared widely through chat groups, reached authorities.

    On March 15, officers from the Special Action Force, or FAES, arrested Molinos, according to two lawyers defending him. FAES administrators didn’t respond to a Reuters request for comment on the arrest.

    Last week, a judge placed Molinos, 72, under house arrest on charges of conspiracy and inciting hatred and panic. Jose Sosa, one of his lawyers, denied the charges and called Molinos a “political prisoner.”


    In the southeastern state of Bolivar, Tony Geara, an opposition lawmaker, in a March 14 Twitter thread wrote that “there isn’t even water” at the local Ruiz y Paez Hospital. Three workers there told Reuters the facility hasn’t had running water for the past five years and relies on trucks to deliver it.


    Reuters was unable to reach hospital directors for comment.


    Hours after Geara’s tweets, agents from the SEBIN intelligence agency stopped the lawmaker at a roadblock, according to a report by the agency reviewed by Reuters. He was arrested and remains in police custody.

    At a court hearing last week, prosecutors charged Geara, 58, with possession of explosives and trafficking weapons. The SEBIN report contains a photo of an agent pointing to an automatic rifle on the road where Geara was arrested. Agents said the rifle was in Geara’s vehicle, according to the report.


    SEBIN officials didn’t respond to a Reuters request for comment. Simon Andarcia, Geara’s lawyer, said the lawmaker denied the charges and accused agents of planting the weapon.


    Three colleagues from Geara’s Popular Will party said SEBIN operatives had been tracking him recently, photographing him at political events. The government, they said, was unhappy with his criticisms and his role helping local charities distribute food and medicine.


    “The dictatorship believed these things made him a dangerous person,” said Luigi Pulcini, a Popular Will state official, who is also Geara’s cousin. “The tweets were the last straw.”


    As coronavirus hits Venezuela, Maduro further quashes dissent - Reuters

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    I suppose comandante had to top up his earnings somehow.

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. is poised to indict Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and other key aides as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on an adversary it has sought to push aside, according to sources familiar with the decision.

    The news comes as U.S. Attorney General William Barr prepares to make an announcement at 11 a.m. EST.
    President Donald Trump and top U.S. officials have long sought to oust Maduro’s regime but have so far failed to replace him with the opposition leader they support, National Assembly President Juan Guaido. The charges, which were reported earlier by CNN and the Miami Herald, will be related to drug trafficking, the people said.

    About $2 billion worth of cocaine, about a quarter of what’s produced in Colombia in a year, passes through Venezuela before making its way to other countries last year, according to Jeremy McDermott, co-founder of Insight Crime, a research group that studies organized crime.


    There’s evidence that the criminal groups that transport these drugs have infiltrated Venezuelan government security forces, forming a network known as the ‘Cartel of the Suns’ to facilitate the passage of illicit drugs into and out the country, according to a 2019 report by the United Nations’ International Narcotics Control Board.


    The indictment against Maduro, a sitting head of state, would be the first since the U.S. issued charges against former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega. Noriega was eventually captured and sentenced to prison after then-President George H.W. Bush sent troops to the country to bring him to justice.

    U.S. to Indict Venezuelan President Maduro on Drug Charges - BNN Bloomberg

  3. #3
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    Almost without a doubt, are they unprepared for any epidemic.

    Cuba to the rescue again ?

    And I would believe the drug allegations also, if they came from any other source.

  4. #4
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    So, another big bad Venezuela story with absolutely no substance. Is amerka sulking because a safe majority of the people of Venezuela do not want that Guido nobody? Of course it is, pretty much all it does these days when it's not bombing people or protecting Islamic terrorists.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    So, another big bad Venezuela story with absolutely no substance. Is amerka sulking because a safe majority of the people of Venezuela do not want that Guido nobody? Of course it is, pretty much all it does these days when it's not bombing people or protecting Islamic terrorists.
    To be fair, Sabang, that's not really true. Knowing plenty of Venezuelans who have fled and seeing the streets of Colombia full of desperate Venezuelan beggars on a day-to-day basis, it's fair to assume that the situation on the ground is as bad as the press reports.

    After all, I can't imagine whole families leaving a land of milk and honey to sell sweets for 2 pence a pop in the country next door.

  6. #6
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    It used to be the case that Venezuela was full of Colombian beggars who had fled- and I do know that a fair percentage of the exodus from Venezuela to Colombia was of repatriating Colombians, now that Ven was no longer a land of milk & honey. But the bottom line is quite simple- it is for the Venezuelans to vote for their own government, not a sulking amerka. Guido ran once for Governor of Ven's smallest state, and was soundly defeated. He has absolutely no legitimate claim to the Presidency, and the US attempt to install him by bribing the armed forces into a coup détat was a total failure. So a sulking US just reaches deeper into it's dirty tricks bag. What next I wonder- bombing? a US funded Terrorist insurgency like the Contras? More threats of invasion? Any new ideas?? Oh yeh- drugs!! Mexico is a much bigger drugs transhipment point than Ven ever was btw- so wheres the indictment of the Mexican Pres then?

    I'm not a huge fan of Maduro btw, mainly because they have stuffed up the economy. But if you want any handle on why his democratic majority, just look at the social progress under the Chavistas- huge reduction in poverty & malnutrition, corresponding improvements in literacy/ education & affordable healthcare. That is what keeps them in with the masses.
    Last edited by sabang; 27-03-2020 at 02:59 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hallelujah View Post
    it's fair to assume that the situation on the ground is as bad as the press reports.
    It is. This is the first of a series by this guy...






















  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    But if you want any handle on why his democratic majority, just look at the social progress under the Chavistas- huge reduction in poverty & malnutrition, corresponding improvements in literacy/ education & affordable healthcare. That is what keeps them in with the masses.
    The video's above to not fall in line with your comments at all.

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    There is legitimate opposition to the Chavista's, and legitimate dissent- but this does not legitimize criminal & illegitimate actions. I am pretty sure that disillusionment with them is growing, even among the campesinos. But the fact is they did still win the last election. They also offered to hold elections again, to which the US and so called opposition declined. The almost comically predictable calls that they 'didn't really win' are nonsense.

    Rather than wasting money on this bullshit, wouldn't the yankee dollar be spent more productively, legally and ethically (sort of) working within the system and getting the Chavista's beaten at the Polls? They've been in power a long time, and whilst things are definitely better than they were under the previous autocracy, they certainly aren't getting better now or recently. Their majority is far from unassailable. The dangled promise of foreign aid should seal the deal, imo.

  10. #10
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    I do not think that the Chavista's have been in favor for many years. The elections are clearly rigged and the massive protests that went on most of last year are evidence of that. The video's show that basically the country is a failed state at this point. The only reason the country has not completely fallen into a vacuum like Somalia or other places is the civility of the Venezuelan people. The in one of the videos above it is clearly documented that children are malnourished and underfed. That has led to an effort by the people to start a chain of soup kitchens in the slums as there is not any assistance from the government.

  11. #11
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    It had worked well with Noriega in Panama, why not to dedust the old plans? Only it needs an invasion (after de-virusing) resulting in few thousands local dead.

    How generous to prepare for a righteous action - when the sanctions did not help - and the new "recognized" president still not in charge - all that in order to help the suffering population... (and minding the suffering of the own population)

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    in a recorded message, VP Mike Pence :Nicolas Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power. He has never won the presidency in a free and fair election, and has maintained his grip of power by imprisoning anyone who dares to oppose him.


    This announcement was picked up across the media, including by Reuters (1/22/19), ABC News (1/23/19), Newsweek (1/22/19), the Los Angeles Times (1/22/19) and MSN (1/23/19). Yet none of these organizations factchecked this claim, allowing it to stand unchallenged as the basis of a story, further bolstering the dominant narrative.

    This was not a difficult claim to debunk. Maduro won his first election in 2013, recognized by every country in the world except the US, and which even the Washington-funded organization the Carter Center declared free and fair. Indeed, former President Jimmy Carter in 2012 stated the Venezuelan election system to be the “best in the world.”

    It was considered a shameful anti-democratic misstep when the New York Times’ editorial board (4/13/02) endorsed the 2002 coup. Yet for more than a year, US media have been openly calling for another one (FAIR.org, 5/16/18). The Washington Post (11/15/17) ran with the headline, “The Odds of a Military Coup in Venezuela Are Going Up. But Sometimes Coups Can Lead to Democracy.” For a media so focused on allegations of foreign interference in US politics, it is remarkable how accepting they are of Trump becoming personal moral arbiter of Venezuela.

    https://fair.org/home/resistance-med...-in-venezuela/

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    [QUOTE=hallelujah;4078974] Knowing plenty of Venezuelans who have fled and seeing the streets of Colombia full of desperate Venezuelan beggars on a day-to-day basis, it's fair to assume that the situation on the ground is as bad as the press reports.

    After all, I can't imagine whole families leaving a land of milk and honey to sell sweets for 2 pence a pop in the country next door.[/QUOTE

    Why you cannot imagine? Obviously the sanctions did not help them as imposed and truly announced...

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    I'm not a huge fan of Maduro btw, mainly because they have stuffed up the economy. But if you want any handle on why his democratic majority, just look at the social progress under the Chavistas- huge reduction in poverty & malnutrition, corresponding improvements in literacy/ education & affordable healthcare. That is what keeps them in with the masses.
    "What keeps them in with the masses?" Are you fucking serious?

    You're just another one who pays no attention at all to the details.

    Of course starving to death and watching your leader piss away your nations most precious assets (let alone watch him and his family and cronies steal what's left) is going to make you want to re-elect him, right?


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    The Chavista's won the election. Period. Love e'm hate e'm makes no difference- they are the legitimate government. Of course the US says they didn't- just like Assad/ Putin/ Saddam/ Qadafi, etc anyone they don't like. Anyone that still believes that nonsense has rocks in their head. But of course, that gives the US a non-existent pretext to side with terrorists, and do anything it can to sabotage and cripple the economy- even denying states much needed medical aid. Just like the Contras- and who won the El Salvadorean election after that brutal insurgency was over? Ortega, again. Benevolent uncle sam hath no clothes.

    Guido the killer pimp is not even leader of the opposition- he lost that. Google it of you don't believe me- and no, it was not a chavista move, it was the opposition that turfed him out. Only then did the US recognize him as the "interim President of Venezuela". He has never even run for Pres, and when he ran for governor of Vens smallest state, was roundly defeated. He is a nobody. Sure, there is opposition to Maduro- but there is no unified opposition. Shades of Syria, e'hh haz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    (let alone watch him and his family and cronies steal what's left) is going to make you want to re-elect him, right?
    Wondering what is the country where it works well so every 4 years...

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    A report from that ultra right wing TV channel, the BBC. They report on the shining light of socialist democracy in Latin America.


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    Poll in Venezuela: Who is the president?



    http://www.encuestadorameganalisis.com/

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    If that is even vaguely true, why does the US and killer pimpboy not want an election? The Chavista's have indicated their willingness.
    Is it because, even if Maduro is voted out, Venezuela will then become Chavistalite- not the Oligarchy and fiefdom that the US really wants?
    Why does the US resent Venezuela having a national healthcare system, decent educational standards, and a popularly elected government?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Why does the US resent Venezuela having a national healthcare system, decent educational standards, and a popularly elected government?
    ...so, you think the current Venezuelan gov't is popularly elected...no fiddling with the vote count to reassure the world? US bullying is one thing, impoverishing a wealthy nation through mismanagement, malfeasance, cronyism and outrageous corruption for the benefit of a tiny ruling class is quite another...rose-colored lenses are required to see anything positive about a regime unable to negotiate their way out of an impasse with gringos...while continuing to export hundreds of thousands of destabilizing refugees to neighboring states...there is no way back to normalcy (a functioning healthcare system, decent educational standards and a popularly elected gov't) while the current thugs continue to depend on the kindness of China, Russia and various drug cartels to remain in power...
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

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    Yes, the Venezuelan government is popularly elected. How many times will you allow yourself to be blatantly lied to before you stop swallowing these lies whole?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Yes, the Venezuelan government is popularly elected. How many times will you allow yourself to be blatantly lied to before you stop swallowing these lies whole?
    ..I admire your certainty...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    So, another big bad Venezuela story with absolutely no substance. Is amerka sulking because a safe majority of the people of Venezuela do not want that Guido nobody? Of course it is, pretty much all it does these days when it's not bombing people or protecting Islamic terrorists.
    indeed, sounds like it

    harry is a CIA sponsored troll, probably a bot to fight against Russian bots like OhOh and Klong and to promote stupid US propaganda

  24. #24
    [at][at][at][at][at][at] SKkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    impoverishing a wealthy nation through mismanagement, malfeasance, cronyism and outrageous corruption for the benefit of a tiny ruling class
    This thread is about Venezuela not the US.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hallelujah View Post
    To be fair, Sabang, that's not really true. Knowing plenty of Venezuelans who have fled and seeing the streets of Colombia full of desperate Venezuelan beggars on a day-to-day basis, it's fair to assume that the situation on the ground is as bad as the press reports.
    All you have to do is watch the video series I posted to see that as true and to realize that the people do not support Maduro. Sabang clearly has not and most likely won't watch those videos because he wants to keep pushing his fantasist narrative. The man who shot those videos is a Kiwi and as far removed from the US and its government as could be but the evidence is clear when you see what is in those clips.

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