Center-left convergence in Venezuela: A blow to United States intervention
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Like other Venezuelan centrists, Claudio Fermín – a protege of neoliberal president Carlos Andrés Pérez in the early 1990s – has changed course and now vehemently opposes both US interventionism and his nation’s radical right. His changes show just how much Venezuelan politics have been transformed over the recent past. Since the attempted coup of April 2002, leftist governments have been pitted against a united opposition intent on achieving regime change by any means possible. But now such extreme polarization seems to be weakening.
Fermín’s nationalistic rhetoric was on display in a recent interview in which he lashed out at both the Venezuelan right and the Trump administration and other governments that have followed its lead: “The superpowers have buddied up with the nation’s anti-Venezuelan political elite, who don’t really have Venezuela in their hearts, who impede the arrival of oil tankers with much needed gasoline… The sanctions are a negation of national sovereignty.” Washington’s implementation of international sanctions — opposed by dissidents within opposition ranks —has greatly contributed to this shake-up of Venezuelan politics.
Even in recent years, the opposition had been united. In the 2015 elections for the National Assembly, it achieved an all-encompassing unity, supporting a single anti-government ticket that emerged victorious. Then, in January 2019, the entire opposition went along with Juan Guaidó’s self-proclamation as president. But now the centrists, who for the most part recognize the legitimacy of the nation’s political system, are faced off against politicians on the Right who are calling for abstention in the National Assembly elections slated for December 6.
The convergence between center and left is not only the result of Washington’s policies and the untold suffering they have inflicted on the Venezuelan people. It is also the product of president Nicolás Maduro’s adroit strategy of accepting some of the demands of the centrists while pursuing a hardline approach against the insurgent opposition. Carlos Ron, vice-minister for North America, told me “Maduro has to be recognized for achieving what appeared impossible: moving a big chunk of the opposition from insurgency to peace.”
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
November 7, 2020 at 12:29 PM #375919ArtfromArkParticipant
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While I didn’t particularly care for their music, I could understand their desire to better themselves, and their government was paying them to study English and learn about becoming airplane mechanics. SOCIALISM! ¡Yo soy Barquisimeto! (Or Caracas, in their case. LOL!). Anyway, Pedro and Luís, I hope you achieved your goals.
“There’s a new spirit abroad in the land. The old days of ‘grab and greed’ are on their way out. We’re beginning to think of what we owe the other fellow, not just what we’re compelled to give him. The time’s coming… when we shan’t be able to fill our bellies in comfort while others go hungry, sleep in warm beds while others shiver in the cold.... And God willing, we’ll live to see that day…” Basil Rathbone,"Sherlock Holmes Faces Death" (Universal 1943)
November 7, 2020 at 12:48 PM #375923KenTankerousParticipant
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"If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States."
- Henry A. Wallace
(FDR's Vice President until he was forced out by the corrupt forces of obscene wealth.)
November 7, 2020 at 12:49 PM #375924Ohio BarbarianModerator
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He’s been here for something like 40 years, though, and is now an American citizen. He’s no Chavez or Maduro fan, but bristles when anyone suggests that they weren’t democratically elected, realizes sanctions hurt common people the most(his dad’s one of them), and thinks Guaido is a clownish puppet of the CIA, which happens to be true.
Unlike the Fascists in Florida, he voted for Biden.
I think American policymakers are ignorant of or oblivious to Venezuelan nationalism and pride. Simon Bolivar got his start in Venezuela, after all, and the country has a long history of resisting foreign influence and conquest. It seems Maduro is tapping into that.
It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs
Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman
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