Tag: Venezuela

Without Getting Into History

From a recent press conference: State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki: “As a matter of long-standing policy, the United States does not support political transitions by nonconstitutional means….” AP journalist Matt Lee: “Sorry. The U.S. has—whoa, whoa, whoa—the U.S. has a long-standing practice of not promoting—what did you say?…” Psaki: “Well, my point here, Matt, without getting into history—” Yes, let’s not get into history, shall we? h/t Junyoung Verónica Kim

Irony Watch

We have Human Rights Watch. Why not Irony Watch? To wit: U.S. President Barack Obama issued an executive order on Monday declaring Venezuela a national security threat… … “We’ve seen many times that the Venezuelan government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela,” [White House spokesman Josh] Earnest said in the statement.”  

From the Annals of Imperial Assymetry: Greg Grandin on the Venezuelan Election

Latin American historian Greg Grandin is a longtime friend of the blog. He’s been one of the main voices of wisdom and sanity on Venezuela over the years, whether in The Nation, or on Charlie Rose or Up With Chris Hayes (transcript here). This morning on FB he made a quick comment on the Venezuelan election, which I’m reproducing here with his permission. • • • • • On November 2, 2004, George W. Bush beat John Kerry 50.7 percent to 48.3 percent. Venezuela’s foreign minister immediately (either that night or the day after) recognized the results: “we will hope that in this second mandate we can improve our relations.” Fast forward nine years, and Nicolás Maduro beats Henrique Capriles […]

One Newspaper, Two Elections: The New York Times on America 2004, Venezuela 2013

In November 2004, 50.7% of the American population voted for George W. Bush; 48.3% voted for John Kerry. The headline in the New York Times read: “After a Tense Night, Bush Spends the Day Basking in Victory.” The piece began as follows: After a long night of tension that gave way to a morning of jubilation, President Bush claimed his victory on Wednesday afternoon, praising Senator John Kerry for waging a spirited campaign and pledging to reach out to his opponent’s supporters in an effort to heal the bitter partisan divide. “America has spoken, and I’m humbled by the trust and the confidence of my fellow citizens,” Mr. Bush told a victory party that was reconstituted 10 hours after it […]

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mr. Jon Lee Anderson

Last month, New Yorker reporter Jon Lee Anderson turned twelve shades of red when he was challenged on Twitter about his claim in The New Yorker that Venezuela was “one of the world’s most oil-rich but socially unequal countries.” A lowly rube named Mitch Lake had tweeted, “Venezuela is 2nd least unequal country in the Americas, I don’t know wtf @jonleeanderson is talking about.” Anderson tweeted back: “You, little twerp, are someone who has sent 25,700 Tweets for a grand total of 169 followers. Get a life.” Gawker was all over it. What got lost in the story though is just how wrong  Anderson’s claim is. In fact, just how wrong many of his claims about Venezuela are. Luckily, Keane Bhatt, an […]

Why Noam Chomsky Can Sound like a Broken Record

From ABC News (h/t Ali Abunimah) The U.S. State Department, which spends millions of taxpayer dollars a year on the Honduran National Police, has assured Congress that money only goes to specially vetted and trained units that don’t operate under the direct supervision of a police chief once accused of extrajudicial killings and “social cleansing.” But The Associated Press has found that all police units are under the control of Director General Juan Carlos Bonilla, nicknamed the “Tiger,” who in 2002 was accused of three extrajudicial killings and links to 11 more deaths and disappearances. He was tried on one killing and acquitted. The rest of the cases were never fully investigated. … With 91 murders per 100,000 people, the […]

Guess How Much I Love You

We live in a country where, depending on which party is in control of the White House, some not insignificant portion of the population thinks it’s okay for the president to have the power to order extrajudicial killings simply because…they trust him. They like him. They can imagine having a beer with him. They like his wife. Her bangs. Their daughters. Or any one of a number of possible reasons of the republic. And yet, writes Alma Guillermoprieto in the New York Review of Books, it is the Venezuelan people who are children, in thrall to a regressive fantasy of their dearly departed leader. Perhaps in trying to evaluate the astonishing rule of Hugo Chávez the question to ask is […]