Posted tagged ‘Venezuelan dictatorship’

Venezuela 2017: Socialist Policies Take Humanitarian Toll as Country Enters Dictatorship

December 24, 2017

Venezuela 2017: Socialist Policies Take Humanitarian Toll as Country Enters Dictatorship, BreitbartBen Kew, December 24, 2017

(Venezuelans who despise the Marudo regime and have the means to do so have probably left already.  One of the first things Chavez did when thousands of oil workers went on strike was to fire them all and replace them with others who knew nothing about working at an oil refinery. Chavez was bad and Maduro is worse. — DM)

Emigration has also become a major issue, with the outflux of Venezuelan migrants reaching unprecedented levels. Venezuela has surpassed Syria as the number one source of asylum requests into the United States, while the neighboring country of Colombia has begun drawing up plans for refugee camps should the country’s humanitarian crisis continue to worsen.

“2017 was the year when the international community finally accepted that the Venezuelan regime has morphed into a real narco-state with dangerous implications for the region,” former Venezuelan Ambassador to the U.N. Diego Arria told Breitbart News.

“2018 will mark the implosion of the crumbling Venezuela economy, the spread of massive poverty and hunger, becoming the worst humanitarian tragedy of any country in the region,” he continued. “Altogether this should lead to an increasing popular revolt that might convince the military to stop supporting this a bankrupt narco-state, under the increasing pressure of international sanctions.

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Although Venezuela’s problems began with the election of the authoritarian left-wing revolutionary Hugo Chávez in 1998, 2017 was the year that the country’s problems became too catastrophic for even the world’s most ardent socialists to defend.

Politically, the year has been defined by Nicolás Maduro’s socialist government’s increasingly blatant efforts to rule the country decree, while an embattled and disunified opposition continue to fail in their attempts to unify the country to bring down the government.

In January, Maduro appointed Aragua state governor Tareck El Aissami as the nation’s new vice president, a figure with strong links to major drugs trafficking outlet across Latin America and the jihadi terror organization Hezbollah. Together, the pair has schemed to turn the country into a one-party state.

The country’s crisis came to a head in April after opposition leaders called for daily protests that would rock the nation to its core. Thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets every day to fight for their freedom and were met with shocking levels of brutality by security forces, which included the use of rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons, that led to the deaths of 125.

The protests were primarily a response to increasing political persecution by the Maduro regime, as well as plans to rewrite the country’s constitution by creating an illegal lawmaking body known as the “national constituent assembly” that usurped the power of elected lawmakers and replaced them with government-approved cronies.

The Maduro regime eventually prevailed in their attempts to install the lawmaking body, which they legitimized through an election marred by violence which was later found to have been fraudulent. The body has since moved to pass laws to increase the regime’s authority, which include a law “against hatred and fascism” and bringing charges against political opponents.

Despite widespread unpopularity, Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) has also had considerable electoral success in both mayoral and regional elections, boycotted by many opposition parties. The State Department later confirmed that both elections were plagued by a number of irregularities, including the banning of international observers, voter intimidation, and the closing of polling stations in opposition-controlled areas.

Maduro has also ruled that main opposition parties can no longer stand in next year’s presidential election, declaring that they will “disappear from the political map.”

The government has also ratcheted up political persecution. Thousands of political dissidents remain in prison, including opposition leader Leopoldo López. Meanwhile, figures such as Mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma and Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz, a former government loyalist, have also fled the country.

Economic turmoil has also plagued the regime, amid skyrocketing rates of inflation that have rendered the Bolivar currency practically worthless as well as a failure to meet a number of debt payments amounting to around $200 billion.

Two of the regime’s main creditors are China and Russia. Despite managing to agree on a debt restructuring package with Russia, China appears to have lost patience, and last month filed a lawsuit filed a lawsuit against the country’s state-run oil firm Petroleum of Venezuela (PDSVA) over a series of missed payments.

Yet amid all the political and economic turmoil, Venezuela is also facing the worst humanitarian crisisin its history. With a monthly minimum wage of around $1.50, millions of families can no longer afford enough food to eat, basic medical necessities, or power in their homes.

Shocking cases include teenage girls turning to prostitution, the butchering of zoo animals for food, and even cases of cannibalism as people struggle to feed themselves.

2017 has also seen the value of the Venezuelan bolivar collapse to levels comparable to Zimbabwe or the Weimar Republic, with one American dollar now worth 112,000 bolivares, as Maduro continues to hike the country’s minimum wage to fight against what he claims is an “economic war” led by the United States.

The crisis has attracted worldwide attention, particularly in the United States. The White House imposed multiple economic sanctions against the regime, as well as personal sanctions against Maduro and other government officials.

President Donald Trump has also become a prominent voice on the crisis, claiming that America “will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles,” and has even mulled the possibility of military action as a solution.

Maduro has since urged his country’s military to prepare for war with the U.S, urging them to have “rifles, missiles, and well-oiled tanks at the ready … to defend every inch of the territory if need be.” He has also ordered civilians to join in “civic-military exercises” at government-run boot camps to prepare for a potential invasion.

LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Image

Emigration has also become a major issue, with the outflux of Venezuelan migrants reaching unprecedented levels. Venezuela has surpassed Syria as the number one source of asylum requests into the United States, while the neighboring country of Colombia has begun drawing up plans for refugee camps should the country’s humanitarian crisis continue to worsen.

“2017 was the year when the international community finally accepted that the Venezuelan regime has morphed into a real narco-state with dangerous implications for the region,” former Venezuelan Ambassador to the U.N. Diego Arria told Breitbart News.

“2018 will mark the implosion of the crumbling Venezuela economy, the spread of massive poverty and hunger, becoming the worst humanitarian tragedy of any country in the region,” he continued. “Altogether this should lead to an increasing popular revolt that might convince the military to stop supporting this a bankrupt narco-state, under the increasing pressure of international sanctions.”

Haley Calls Venezuela a Global Threat: It Is ‘An Increasingly Violent Narco-State’

November 15, 2017

Haley Calls Venezuela a Global Threat: It Is ‘An Increasingly Violent Narco-State’, Washington Free Beacon, November 15, 2017

(The UN has neither the time nor the energy to consider Venezuela. Doing so would allow less time to focus on the Israel, well known by most UN member states to be the main if not only cause of all evil. Please see also, The UN – here we go again. — DM)

Nikki Haley / Getty Images

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said Monday that Venezuela is “an increasingly violent narco-state” and a threat to the world during an informal Security Council meeting boycotted by four countries.

The Security Council meeting, boycotted by Russia, China, Egypt and Bolivia, included strong condemnation from Haley about Venezuela using pressure to keep council members from attending the meeting, according to the Associated Press:

Venezuela’s U.N. ambassador, Rafael Ramirez, denounced the session, telling reporters: “This is a hostile act from the United States and an interference that violates the sovereignty principles of a country that is a member of the United Nations.”

The situation in Venezuela is not on the Security Council’s official agenda — a point stressed by Ramirez and Bolivia’s U.N. ambassador — but Haley said she will continue “to use the convening power of the United Nations to draw attention to this crisis.”

The informal meeting sharply divided the 15 members on the U.N.’s most powerful body. In addition to the four countries that boycotted, diplomats noted that Ethiopia and Uruguay indicated the meeting shouldn’t have been held and Senegal didn’t speak.

Italy and the United States organized the meeting by circulating a note to other council members about hearing first-hand accounts of the deteriorating political and economic situation in oil-rich Venezuela. The note also said the meeting would discuss the international community’s role in finding political solutions.

“The situation unfolding in Venezuela is more than a human tragedy,” Haley said. “The crisis in Venezuela today poses a direct threat to international peace and security. Venezuela is an increasingly violent narco-state that threatens the region, the hemisphere and the world.”

Haley also addressed the Venezuelan people and said that President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government has caused them to suffer high inflation rates after previously having the highest GDP-per-capita in the region.

“[Venezuela] cares only for preserving its own power, rather than promoting the freedom and welfare of its people,” Haley said.

“Today, families struggle to live on just about eight dollars a month,” Haley added. “The result is that Venezuela’s neighbors are paying the bill for the violence and poverty the corrupt Maduro regime has inflicted on its people.”

Can Sakharov save the Venezuelan opposition?

October 27, 2017

Can Sakharov save the Venezuelan opposition? Venezuela News and ViewsDaniel Duquenal, October 26, 2017

It is just heart breaking that the incompetence of the opposition in handling its internal squabbles is letting us no other choices but to wait for hard sanctions as our only way out.

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No.

At least not in its current form.

The day started in a stupendous note: the European parliament awarded its Sakharov prize to the Venezuelan opposition, namely the National Assembly that the regime has voided, the political prisoners, and the youth killed during the first half of 2017.

The rest of today’s news was not so good. The regime of course dismissed the award as a direct attempt by these nasty Europeans to rekindle violence in Venezuela. The cynicism to even say such a thing goes beyond the Cuban training of these people. They are thoroughly rottenly vile.

But the regime also advanced the district mayor election to December 10, taking advantage of the opposition disarray, in a tight schedule that leaves no chance for the opposition to even name its candidates or blurb out some campaign. The regime, we know now, had long ago decided who was going to be mayor and where.  They might as well proceed to name them so we can save ourselves the anguish of an election. That the rest of the world is not going to recognize these elections is the least of the regime’s worries.

And for good measure the victor of Zulia, Guanipa, who refused to swear in his job in front of the illegal and unrecognized constituent assembly has been stripped of his victory and a new election is called for Zulia.He will not be allowed to run again.

It is now clear that the refusal to hold any election last year was due to the surprise of the regime loss in December 2015. They needed to regroup and reorganize the control of the populace and the electoral system. So we had CLAP food program, and Tarjeta de La Patria which allowed the regime to label the said populace with home address and all.  Then it would be much easier to manipulate electoral rolls, etc, etc.  Once ready they went ahead and since it worked so well they are now in a rush to organize all sorts of elections before the opposition recovers. Make no mistake, the goal of the regime is 90% at the very least of all elective office. The few point are just a pretense number for propaganda purposes.

And the opposition is obliging. Let’s look at today snippets.

Henri Falcon loser of Lara, blaming the abstention without wondering why there was such an abstention in Lara, went ahead to say that he would worry if Capriles were to be president of Venezuela.  I would worry too, but the detail here is that he was Capriles campaign manager three years ago. So now he tells us…  Credibility gap anyone?  For good measure he also said that the young folks that run Voluntad Popular, and allegedly Primero Justicia, are immature.  Me thinks he is ready to go back to chavismo for good.

Newest punching ball Ramos Allup made an elaborate press conference where he told among other things that Capriles has “glandular responses” to what he does not like. He tried to convince us that the had nothing to do with the 4 AD governors swearing in and that they “self-expelled themselves” from AD according to article X, alinea Z.  And some unnecessary gossip to hide, I presume, the gossip about his own relatives finance activities.  The fact of the matter is that he is not going to take sanctions against the gang of 4, meaning that he is going to let the dust settle some and then reconcile with them.  In short, he finished off the opposition alliance MUD.

Meanwhile a group of losers, of people that have not been able to make any significant mark in Venezuelan politics for the last 20 years signed an outrageous document basically approving of the gang of 4.  So there you have it, the regime surefootedly establishing its “loyal” opposition. Communist countries have done that, a famous example being Poland with “opposition” parties that voted 99% of the time for the commies.  I have also read analysts that I know are not chavistas entertaining the thought that the regime did win the election. Forgetting that the polling stations remained open illegally for up to three hours and Jorge Rodriguez himself saying that half an hour more and they’d gotten Zulia. The immense stupidity of some is truly awesome.

But the very worst for me is the silence of the “abstention party”. Now that they claim that the defeat of the opposition was due to the discontent of its supporters (read: we the abstencionistas), we are expecting them to tell us what is our next step. The only thing we heard was bravos for the in exile court first rulings that are totally unenforceable in Venezuela today.  So?  Maria Corina Machado? Any concrete ideas?[crickets chirping].

So yes, I wonder if the Sakharov prize is going to do any good. I suspect that there will be a fight as to who goes to Europe to receive it…….  If they had any decency they would chose a freed political prisoner, a torture victim and an exiled one to form the trio going to the European Parliament. But what do I know…..

But the regime would be well advised not to crow too much. It is leaving no other option to the world but to step in directly. Nobody wants a “stable” narco state. Today Spain arrested two corrupt officials of PDVSA, ministers of Chavez…  ISIS danger is soon going to be over, time to turn attention to other criminals.

It is just heart breaking that the incompetence of the opposition in handling its internal squabbles is letting us no other choices but to wait for hard sanctions as our only way out.

Negotiation, not dialogue (or negation) [Venezuela]

September 24, 2017

Negotiation, not dialogue (or negation), Venezuela News and ViewsDaniel Duquenal, September 23, 2017

The fact of the matter is that the regime is on the defensive. The sanctions are starting to work. The latest sign that credit is withheld on gasoline import is that there are growing lines at gas stations. If it is true that the forced election of the constituent assembly had a perverse way to boost provisionally the regime it is also true that one month and a half has passed since the assembly was [seated] and there is no evidence that it is doing something positive to solve the problems of the country.  The regime is in denial but the truth is that the world that counts is united against the regime.  Russia and China, when all is said, may have a limited role since what will bring down the regime is its economic failure. Russia cannot save Maduro with bombers like in Syria…

Meanwhile the week ended with Canada imposing sanctions on 40 high ranking dictatorship personnel.  The symbolism does not escape us, the 40 thieves of Ali Baba finally starting to suffer consequences.

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This past week has been eventful. It started with a new attempt at dialogue that nobody but the regime wants, to the strong words against Venezuela dictatorship from TrumpMacronSantosMichetti, and more, taking place at the UN general assembly.

That dinner table was certainly better supplied than those of Caracas

There were all sorts of activities during the festivities, like Trump hosting a dinner for the heads of a few Latin American states highly critical of Venezuela’s dictatorship.  Venezuela was mentioned in several speeches at the tribune, invariably condemnatory, except from the usual suspects like Evo’s speech, very poorly attended for that matter.  We even have the money quote from Trump, who may be wrong and obnoxious a lot of the time, but when he is right, he is right, hands down:

“The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented,
but that socialism has been faithfully implemented”

These expected actions against Maduro’s regime are what explains why a few days ago the regime asked for “dialogue” with the opposition, to be held in Santo Domingo.

Certainly, as it has become usual, the regime starts dialogue as a dilatory instrument to bring down Venezuelan opposition when the going gets too intense. But this time around it is different and the regime is not going to get once again a free pass: months of protests, political prisoners and political murders cannot be dismissed by the world democracies. What in last century would have been considered as collateral effect cannot be ignored anymore in the XXI century.

As usual a volley of declarations and counter declarations has been launched since the “dialogue” started. No point going over the confusing details.  The summary is as follow:

– all seems to indicate that it is the regime that this time around truly asked for a new dialogue and went out of their [way] to effect it, as the opposition this time around was not in the mood (at least not as long as the regime fulfills at least one of its previous commitments).

– if the regime succeeded in bringing back allies like the Dominican Republic to host the talks, and Zapatero ready for a new failure, it did not go as planned. First, the opposition announced that it would talk only to Santo Domingo president. Second, that a new set of countries would be guarantors of any new talk, not anymore the more complaint countries or devious double agents like Zapatero. e.g., now at least France will be attending for Europe.

– before the talks the head of the National Assembly, Julio Borges, came from a very successful tour in Europe’s main capitals (Paris, Berlin, Madrid and London, only Rome missing, for now).  He received full support from those who matter: Macron, Merkel, Rajoy and May. On the other hand Venezuela sent its foreign minister to do a counter tour and he was only receive by foreign ministers at best, and scolded each time.

– even though everywhere Arreaza was told that the constituent assembly would not recognized, the regime keeps trying to force its recognition by sending the president of that illegal assembly as its chief negotiation in Santo Domingo. To little effect so far we must say.

– eventually, in front of a losing strategy, as more and more inside the opposition state that there should be no talk until AFTER the state elections, the regime has started sabotaging the process with all sorts of manipulations and lies. The thing here is that the radicals inside the regime do not want any negotiation and the opposition, and the world, only wants a negotiation. Not a dialogue, a negotiation. There is a difference.

The fact of the matter is that the regime is on the defensive. The sanctions are starting to work. The latest sign that credit is withheld on gasoline import is that there are growing lines at gas stations. If it is true that the forced election of the constituent assembly had a perverse way to boost provisionally the regime it is also true that one month and a half has passed since the assembly was sat and there is no evidence that it is doing something positive to solve the problems of the country.  The regime is in denial but the truth is that the world that counts is united against the regime.  Russia and China, when all is said, may have a limited role since what will bring down the regime is its economic failure. Russia cannot save Maduro with bombers like in Syria…

But at least the regime has one satisfaction: the “dialogue” has divided deeply the opposition, before the crucial elections of next months. Those elections will be fraudulent and more, but going in disperse order with too many promoting abstention will not help. For some reason the lies of the regime about dozens of “secret” meetings, those that the opposition is willing to recognize the constituent assembly (without describing what the opposition will get in exchange) have found a wide public of, well, hysterical oppos. Then again the resurrection of Rosales or Zambrano as envoys to Santo Domingo has not been a PR coup for the MUD…..

So we have all sorts of people that preach that we should not go to vote because this would give some legitimacy to the regime. True, but in part at best for the regime. International opinion at the government levels will not be swayed by an election where harsh handed tactics of the regime will be closely monitored by their embassies.

But that saddest part of it all is that the abstention party virulence, from Maria Corina Machado to twitter warriors of the nebulous “resistencia”, is not offering any other strategy. They do not want to vote yet they are not telling us what to do, and even less, are not willing to place themselves in the front lines of whatever it is that they have in mind. Well, Maria Corina would go on the front line, but she is unable to say where the fucking front line is.

I do not know where all of this will lead us. We cannot even be certain whether the regional elections will be held. We can be sure that the regime is following a close pulse of the electoral mood, and in particular the abstention movement who thank the deities seems to peter some already.  The point is that the regime must balance the risk of losing badly the regional elections but proving to the world that a democratic transition is coming, or stick to a goal of at least 40% governors, no trickery spared, no political violence too gross.  In short, a lose lose of sorts for the regime, with a radical and radicalizing constituent assembly which nobody seems really in control of.

Meanwhile the week ended with Canada imposing sanctions on 40 high ranking dictatorship personnel.  The symbolism does not escape us, the 40 thieves of Ali Baba finally starting to suffer consequences.

And Europe sanctions are expected any time soon…………

It is unanimous [Venezuela]

September 1, 2017

It is unanimous, Venezuela News and ViewsDaniel Duquenal, August 31, 2017

My point here is that decisions are unanimous, hand raised, so even if you were not to raise your hand, among 500+ seats who would see you?  And that is the problem because when you follow the time lines on Twitter of some of these guys they are all unreconstructed Marxists, and often violent in tone.

For those who will be summoned to the assembly and decide to go anyway, I have these words from Dante: “All hope abandon, ye who enter here”

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I am not talking much about the fraudulent constitutional assembly because, to begin with, I do not recognize it (1). Not that it matters, just to make it clear that it is a waste of time to discuss its activities since it is there merely to give cover for any dictatorial abuse.

But a little summary here and there may be useful, if anything for people to have a sense of what it is like to live under a one party dictatorship.

The assembly spent its first month on nothing related to writing a new constitution. Nothing that I know of anyway.  On the other hand it wasted little time in removing constitutional rights protections from the still valid 1999 document. Thus the republic’s prosecutor was forced into exile and the National Assembly was stripped of its attributions.  For starters, that is.

The next step was to vote a “peace law” which is nothing but the imposition of peace through elimination of one of the parties in the conflict. It is not “la paix des tombeaux” yet, but that some have called for the establishment of the death penalty in Venezuela tells you which way we are headed.  I have even heard words like “we are going to teach them to love”…..  a.k.a. reeducation camps. No?

But the transformation of the constituent fraud into a stalinist court has to spill over other areas. Today a new decree was approved “by unanimity” over how to take on Venezuelan economic problems.  Interestingly the assembly decree offers no sign of any measure that may improve store shelves. Its interest is focused on oil industry, here and world wide (?). The other aspects of economy will be directed by the “jefatura politica” of the assembly and the government (“political direction”, as ominous as it goes) .  Oh, and people will be summoned to the assembly to dialogue and expose their economic criteria. Like everything else with the dictatorship, dialogue means “come here so I can tell you what you are supposed to do”. Never mind who the assembly will summon, certainly not those it ought to listen to.

But all are mere details. My point here is that decisions are unanimous, hand raised, so even if you were not to raise your hand, among 500+ seats who would see you?  And that is the problem because when you follow the time lines on Twitter of some of these guys they are all unreconstructed Marxists, and often violent in tone.

For those who will be summoned to the assembly and decide to go anyway, I have these words from Dante: “All hope abandon, ye who enter here”

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1) Just for memory, there is a rather complete explanation about all the reasons that makes it impossible for a democrat to recognize the constitutional assembly. Not to mention the electoral fraud that went along.

Predictably, Maduro Charges Political Opponents With Treason

August 31, 2017

Predictably, Maduro Charges Political Opponents With Treason, Hot Air, Jazz Shaw, August 31, 2017

Maduro is expanding his militias and consolidating his power. Soon, the remaining leaders of the old government who are willing to speak out against these atrocities will be imprisoned as traitors, no doubt send a chill down the spines of anyone else who was thinking of speaking up. Short of an armed revolt by the starving civilian population, it looks increasingly as if Venezuela is a lost cause.

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The dictator of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, continues to follow the basic instructions left by previous tyrants. Having dispatched with any semblance of representative government, there are still a large number of political opponents out there who remain vocal critics of the new order. How to deal with them?

Maduro is opting for a rather direct “solution” to the problem. He’s reportedly going to bring them up on charges of treason, followed by some sort of kangaroo court show trial and almost certainly terminal imprisonment if not outright execution. (Vice News)

Venezuela’s embattled government lurched closer toward dictatorship Tuesday as the country’s new national assembly voted to hold trials of opposition leaders for treason.

Hours after the vote, the United Nations issued a report condemning President Nicolas Maduro’s use of violence and torture against his opponents.

Venezuela’s national assembly, stacked with allies of President Nicolas Maduro, unanimously approved a decree instructing the country’s chief prosecutor’s office to immediately begin investigating “traitors” from the opposition accused of supporting U.S. sanctions against Venezuela.

At first glance you might think that the opposition leaders would at least be able to stay alive because Venezuela abolished the death penalty by constitutional decree more than 150 years ago. But the new national assembly is currently rewriting all the rules as they go, taking their instructions directly from Maduro. (They’re also on track to rewrite the constitution anyway, but that’s really a technicality at this point.) All they’ll need to do is issue a new order allowing the murder of “traitors” for “crimes against the state” and that will likely be that.

Can anything be done about this? Unlikely. At the same time that all of this was going on, the United Nations issued a condemnation of the Maduro regime for what amounts to crimes against humanity. (Reuters)

The United Nations on Wednesday said Venezuela’s security forces had committed extensive and apparently deliberate human rights violations in crushing anti-government protests.

The actions indicated “a policy to repress political dissent and instil fear”, the U.N. human rights office said in a report that called for further investigation.

It called on the government of President Nicolas Maduro to release arbitrarily detained demonstrators and to halt the unlawful use of military courts to try civilians.

Raise your hands if you think that Maduro will give one flying fig about any condemnation from the United Nations. He’s got China as an ally at this point, making sure that cash is still flowing into his coffers and they’re not going to go along with any additional sanctions against him. I had hoped for a brief time that the military might rise up in disgust and put him out of office, but there are no signs of that thus far beyond a single incident of a few dozen people raiding an arms depot.

Maduro is expanding his militias and consolidating his power. Soon, the remaining leaders of the old government who are willing to speak out against these atrocities will be imprisoned as traitors, no doubt send a chill down the spines of anyone else who was thinking of speaking up. Short of an armed revolt by the starving civilian population, it looks increasingly as if Venezuela is a lost cause.

Right Angle – A Self Inflicted Tragedy in Venezuela

August 15, 2017

Right Angle, BillWhittleChannel via YouTube, August 9, 2017

(Is it Socialism or Communism, and does it matter? — DM)