The State of Affairs in Venezuela: What the Media Doesn’t Write About

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard

19:53:09
29/01/2019

aftershock.news

I am inexpressibly pleased with the increased interest in this country as of late, however the information picture in the media strikingly differs from the events in reality. I will be brief.

In Venezuela there is no coup. There is an informational attempt at such a coup. Its essence is very simple. A picture of an alternative reality is being created in an attempt to put pressure on international players concerning the “dividing up” of Venezuela and at the same time to probe doubters in the ranks of Maduro’s supporters.

All of this hasn’t brought any results, it only allows Maduro to carry out the necessary cleansing in those regions and structures where the positions of American agents are still strong. I understand that the readers of “Aftershock” [the Russian blog website that this article was published on – ed] are very far from the realities of Latin America and very poorly imagine how the authorities work there and around what the politics are being built. If to be short – even after 20 years of Chávezistas being in power, many state formations and institutes of power are still in the hands of opposition and foreign curators – such is the reality of the region.

A chronology of events. March, 2013 – Chavez dies from cancer, Maduro is appointed as the acting president. The day after elections the US understands that the bus driver unexpectedly won, although everyone predicted that he’d crash. Prepared-in-advance crowds of “pupils of various American courses” are brought to the streets generally in the richest regions of the country. The attempt to stage an orange revolution fails – Maduro brings the people out to the streets and holds meetings that are ten times more numerous. The US, having failed, slithers away and declares economic war on Venezuela and its people. Access to the “open market” for Venezuelan companies is blocked, personal sanctions are imposed, a ban on the work of American companies in Venezuela and on work with the debt of all sectors of the economy of Venezuela and other cookies from the hegemon is imposed.

A calculation is made on the crash of the financial system of Venezuela and its economy and on national hunger revolts. However, Maduro’s government during many years stops these risks and undertakes a number of economic reforms allowing to reduce the heat of the crisis in the country. The peak of the food crisis falls on 2015-2016. A number of reforms removes the problem, but the shadow sector of the economy grows in the country and hyperinflation begins. Despite all of this, the people continue to support Maduro. At the same time, the US depends on supplies of Venezuelan oil to their plants and does not opt to radically escalate the conflict, whereas the authorities of Venezuela are open for economic cooperation with all countries. Substantial assistance is provided by companies from China and Russia.

After four years of economic pressure, the US authorities understand that the country starts to smoothly flow into the economic sphere of China and Russia and dare to take more radical action. They start to aggravate the political crisis in the country and kindle a conflict between the central authorities in Caracas and the local regional authorities, which are mostly under the control of the opposition. At the 2015 elections the opposition wins in parliament for the first time in 15 years and immediately started to intensify the political fight.

The parliament adopted oligarchical laws that in essence counter the attempts of the government to fight against the economic crisis.

The essence of the crisis itself, as well as of the structure of the economy of Venezuela, was in the following: the authorities nationalised the oil company of Venezuela and determined for it essential social contributions to the country’s budget. The authorities, receiving this money, pursue a social policy for the benefit of the people – houses are built and are distributed to the poor, education and medicine are free, in shops the prices for products are lowered so that even the poorest are able to afford to eat normally.

In practice this is carried out as follows: the authorities transfer money to a state fund, which then carries out the purchase of products from foreign suppliers. For climatic and geographical reasons, food was never produced in Venezuela in sufficient volumes. The goods that were already purchased and imported into the country are distributed to retail chain stores with purchase prices sometimes 20-40 times below the import price. And retail chain stores sell these goods to the population. It should be noted that all these networks in fact belonged to foreign companies or businessmen affiliated with opposition. Just like many local councils, the regional authorities are in fact still oligarchical elites since the times of Chavez.

When it became clear that it won’t be possible to get rid of Chávezistas the easy way, full sabotage at places where goods are distributed started against the background of a sharp decline in state income because of the drop in oil prices. The essence was the following: such networks sold off all goods received from the state “on paper” and assigned money to their own balance, but goods – through false firms, sometimes directly in containers and by the same ships – were re-exported to neighbouring countries, where they were sold at rather market-level prices. This caused a serious deficit.

Maduro in every possible way fought against this, including with the involvement of the army. However, the local authorities sometimes did not submit and distributed everything in their own favour. Maduro introduced a 30% ceiling on profit for private companies, however this decision was sabotaged at all levels. As a result, some retail chain stores were nationalised and military authorities were established there. This had a certain impact and the sharpness of the food supply in the country decreased.

However, the parliament adopted laws that contradicted the decisions of the president and in every possible way sabotaged the implementation of economic reforms. Also, the prosecutor’s office of Venezuela was under the control of the opposition and in every possible way stopped the crisis being solved. In particular, constantly preventing law enforcement bodies from keeping order against the background of opposition protests.

Such details need to be known and understood in order to be aware of what is happening and will happen in the country.

As the result of the political standoff, Maduro announced, in fact, a national referendum and elections in the National Constitutional Assembly of Venezuela for the development of a new constitution. In fact, this political formation is a direct representation of all the people and possesses the highest legislature in the country. The political forces supporting Maduro won these elections. At the first meeting the assembly dismissed the oppositional prosecutor, depriving pro-American forces of their key power bloc. And later the assembly undertook the powers of parliament.

Municipal elections in October 2017 became the cherry on the cake. According to all the polls of authoritative media, which says a lot about these media outlets and their analytics, the opposition bloc was in the lead with a considerable gap. Moreover, against the background of a victory in parliamentary elections, an even more crushing victory was expected. However, after the votes had been counted it became clear that the media picture strongly differs from reality, because the ruling party won in the absolute majority of regions – something that never happened before. Maduro’s supporters won even in primordially oppositional regions. In fact, this was a blow to the entire concept of political confrontation – when the US pursued a conscious aggravation, but the people drew unambiguous conclusions and instead of overthrowing the authorities, they rose in its defense.

The escape of the judge of the Supreme Court of Venezuela became the latest significant event, as well as a hook for the beginning of the “current coup”. It should be noted that the families of most of the high-ranking officials of Venezuela who oppose Maduro already safely moved to Florida or other US states.

All of these boring long-drawn-out-proceedings are important for understanding the real situation in the country and evaluating the acts of both the authorities and the opposition. In this system the US works with obvious lag – and not in a synchronised way. It is important to understand that even today the opposition has a lot of leverage on the situation in the country, as well as among state institutes and departments, especially local ones, and among the business community and the economic sphere.

But it is far more important to understand that the real levers of power, as well as control over the minds of the population, systematically slips out of Washington’s hands. The forces that seek Venezuela’s sovereignty systematically possess more and more weight in society year after year.

What we have today: in May 2018 Nicolás Maduro won the latest lawful elections with 68% of the vote.

The inauguration was appointed for January 10th 2019. As can already be seen in this story, an attempt was made to disrupt this process – the judge of the Supreme Court fled. And the inauguration had to take place in the building of the Supreme Court, because it wasn’t possible to do it in front of parliament because of the political position of the oppositional structure.

After this, of course, none of the “highest elves” recognised it, but since Maduro openly gave all the elves the finger… the latter invented their “president”. For the role of President they chose a “poster boy” who doesn’t represent anything and who shouted out something at a meeting with 30,000-40,000 protesters, and after this he immediately ran to the Embassy of Colombia, where he still sits to this day. This boy refuses any contact with the authorities. But since you are being informed by “different media agencies” and certain authors on “Aftershock” – he communicated with army Generals… on twitter… however the Generals are unaware of this… but he communicated “in secret”. Or he appointed a certain official from among the immigrants in the US… also on twitter… [sarcasm – ed]

Well, you should already understand what is going on there in reality. In order so that you understood: 90% of all photos and videos from “rallies” is actually footage from rallies in support of MADURO. And those speeches against the authorities shown with footage of a dispersal – usually 20-30 teenagers throw stones at some building.

But Maduro himself every day deals with daily issues related to state construction, concerning which there are many posts on social networks… he’s either with soldiers and Generals on a jog, or he arrived at some local festival, or he is at a factory communicating with workers… but at this time in the country there is a revolt, a coup … tanks are already in Caracas, Trump already recognised the “boy”.

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