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Protesters burn Hugo Chavez's home as Venezuela prepares to use snipers to kill protesters

AsianTrumpSupporter

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Hugo Chavez's childhood home burned by protesters in Venezuela, lawmaker says

Protesters set fire to late President Hugo Chavez's childhood home in western Venezuela on Monday, an opposition lawmaker said, as protests against the South American nation's socialist government grew increasingly hostile.

While demonstrators are decrying current President Nicolas Maduro for the country's triple-digit inflation, rising crime and shortages of food and medicine, they have also destroyed at least five statues commemorating Chavez, Maduro's mentor and the founder of Venezuela's "Bolivarian revolution."


Demonstrators lit the house in the city of Barinas where Chavez spent his early years aflame Monday afternoon along with several government buildings, including the regional office of the National Electoral Council, said Pedro Luis Castillo, a legislator who represents the area.

The burnings capped a violent day in Barinas — known as the cradle of Chavez's revolution — during which protesters clashed with national guardsmen, businesses were shuttered and roads were blocked with fire-filled barricades.


Nineteen-year-old Yorman Bervecia was shot and killed during a protest, according to the nation's chief prosecutor. His death brings to at least 49 the number killed in nearly two months of anti-government protests demanding new elections.

"It is pretty symbolic that the citizens are venting their frustrations on the author of the Bolivarian revolution," said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas...

...Maduro said that 21-year-old Orlando Zaragoza suffered burns to almost all his body when he was doused with gasoline and set on fire at a protest in Caracas a day earlier. Videos circulating on social media show a man covered in flames fleeing a small mob. Maduro said he was being treated.

It's not clear what triggered the attack, which is under investigation, although some eyewitnesses told local media that Zaragoza was caught robbing demonstrators who had gathered by the tens of thousands to protest Maduro's rule.

"In Venezuela there's rising a counterrevolution of Nazi-fascist influence that that has infected the emotions and thinking of thousands of compatriots, who believe they have the right to pursue others for the simple crime of being Venezuelan or Chavista or revolutionary," Maduro said in his weekly TV program. "This is terrorism."

Meanwhile, a retired army general opposed to Maduro denounced what he said are plans by the military in the central state of Lara to deploy snipers to control protests that turn violent.

The plans were discussed in a month-old conversation among top generals in the state secretly recorded by one of the participants, according to retired Gen. Cliver Cordones, who on Monday sent a petition to Chief Prosecutor Luisa Ortega asking her to investigate the matter.

Cordones, who broke with Maduro more than a year ago, said he obtained the recording and written transcript of the conversation in a pen drive left in an unmarked envelope at his residence.

In it, a man identified as Gen. Jose Rafael Torrealba, the top military official in the state, discusses the need to start selecting soldiers with proven psychological and technical strength for use as sharpshooters. The context of the conversation is what the officer says is the increasing use of firearms by protesters to shoot at security forces.

"The time will come in which we'll have to deploy them, and I want us to be ready for that moment," the man identified as Torrealba says.

"The president won't just stay in his green phase gentlemen," he adds, referring to the first stage of a military plan to control the protests announced last month by Maduro.

While some can be heard voicing support for the idea, at least one expresses concern that such plans, if acted on, could land commanding officers in jail...

It's great to see Venezuelans waking up to the lies and atrocities of socialism and fighting to take their country back from the corrupt, socialist fascists.
 

waltky

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Maduro gonna flee the coup?...
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Venezuelan President Reportedly Considering Asylum as Pressure Grows on Regime
July 20, 2017 – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is actively considering asylum in Russia or Cuba as international pressure grows on his embattled regime and the country’s political crisis worsens, according to an international risk consultancy. Texas-based Stratfor say its analysts have “received persistent reports” over the past year that Maduro “has considered asking for refuge in Russia or Cuba.”
Cuba is playing a key role in “indirect talks between Russia and the United States on Venezuela,” the consultancy said in a recently released report. “The Russian or Cuban governments would be willing to accept the president and his wife, Cilia Flores, but not other political figures,” the Stratfor report said, citing an unnamed source. Cuban officials were also involved with Spain in “months of negotiations,” that resulted in a decision by Maduro to release opposition Leopoldo Lopez from prison earlier this month. The release of Lopez, was “an apparent concession to the United States,” according to Stratfor. Maduro is facing intensifying pressure from the administration of President Trump, who this week called the Venezuelan president a “bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator.”

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro​

Trump threatened “swift economic sanctions,” if Maduro moves forward with plans to form a Constituent Assembly on July 30. “The United States once again calls for free and fair elections and stands with the people of Venezuela in their quest to restore their country to a full and prosperous democracy,” he said. Maduro’s push to form a Constituent Assembly, rejected by a majority of some 7.1 million voters in a non-binding referendum held last Sunday, would “disrupt the constitutional order in Venezuela,” according to Moises Rendon, associate director of the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. “This new and handpicked assembly will claim it has the power to change and select new institutions and authorities, implement different private property laws, and rewrite the Constitution,” he wrote in a column that appeared this week on the center’s website. “Venezuela is rapidly becoming a failed state,” Rendon told CNSNews.com. “The institutions are not functioning, the police, the judiciary, the health sector are in a shambles.”

Narco-trafficking

A failed state, Rendon said, would pose significant security risks for the U.S. because Maduro’s government and the military are deeply involved in drug trafficking and other illegal activities. In February, the Treasury Department named Maduro’s executive vice-president, Tareck El Aissami, as a “specially designated narcotics trafficker.” El Aissami’s associate, Lopez Bello, was also “designated for providing material assistance, financial support, or goods or services in support of the international narcotics trafficking activities of, and acting for or on behalf of, El Aissami.” The vice-president has also been accused of running an illegal immigration scheme while head of Venezuela’s National Office of Identification, in which he issued “identity and travel documents to suspicious Arab and Iranian operatives,” according to a report released this month by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The same report said elements of Venezuela’s government ““directly manage and support drug trafficking, money laundering, terrorism financing, support for guerrilla movements, and international corruption.”

According to one of the report’s authors, visiting fellow Roger Noriega, officials within Maduro’s administration and the military involved in drug trafficking, “are pushing 20 years evading accountability.” “The U.S. judicial system is the only thing that most of these people fear,” Noriega said. Many would prefer to negotiate deals with US law enforcement “to avoid prosecution” for international drug crimes rather than be left exposed if the Maduro regime loses power, he said. “There are very important figures in the government’s security apparatus who have decided to cooperate with U.S. investigators to protect themselves.” According to the State Department’s 2017 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Venezuela is “one of the preferred trafficking routes for illegal drugs, predominately cocaine, from South America to the Caribbean region, Central America, the United States, Western Africa, and Europe.” The U.S. has indicted a former national guard commander Gen. Nester Luis Reverol Torres, and Edylberto Jose Molina Molina, former assistant director of the country’s anti-drugs office, for conspiracy to traffic internationally in cocaine, it noted.

Venezuelan President Reportedly Considering Asylum as Pressure Grows on Regime

See also:

Why even foes of Venezuela's government are wary of US oil sanctions
July 23,`17 - It’s the “nuclear option” against Venezuela — a U.S. oil embargo that would hit the government of President Nicolás Maduro where it most hurts: the wallet.
As the crisis in Caracas intensifies, that lever has never been closer to being pulled. The Trump administration confirmed this past week that “all options are on the table” — including a ban on Venezuelan oil — if a July 30 vote aimed at changing the constitution isn’t called off. The political opposition is portraying the ballot as illegal, as well as a pivotal step on the path to turning Venezuela into a dictatorship. It has promoted demonstrations nearly every day for the past three months. The United States has imposed sanctions on Venezuelan officials before. In February, the Treasury Department froze Vice President Tareck El Aissami's U.S. assets over his alleged involvement in narcotics trafficking. (El Aissami denies the charges.) But an oil embargo is a far more powerful tool.

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A demonstrator walks behind a fire barricade while participating in a strike called to protest Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela​

The Maduro government, despite its anti-American rhetoric, depends on its oil trade with the United States to survive. With the collapse of much of the country's industry during its socialist experiment, oil now accounts for about 95 percent of the value of all Venezuelan exports. Most important, many of its other clients aren’t paying hard cash. Exports to China are largely to pay off Chinese loans. Those to Cuba are made in solidarity with a socialist brother-state. That mostly leaves the United States, which takes in roughly a third of Venezuela’s production of about 2.1 million barrels a day. Since Venezuelan crude is rough and thick, the South American country also counts on imports of light crude from the United States to process its oil for export — making its trading relationship with the United States even more vital.

Those are all reasons, hawks argue, to go for the economic jugular, hurting Maduro and compelling the government to open a serious dialogue with the opposition over early elections. People familiar with the talks say some in the Trump administration are favoring a tough stance, potentially including an embargo, while officials at the U.S. State and Energy departments are urging less dramatic options. In Venezuela, though, even some of Maduro’s foes are being cautious, warning that an embargo would come with serious risks.

Here are their concerns about an embargo:

It’s too blunt an instrument
 
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SassyIrishLass

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Nope, socialism didn't work this time either.

It's like 0 for all time
 

BlackFlag

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I'm glad the U.S. doesn't feel compelled to engage in any massive military engagement there like we unfathomably do for the Middle East
 

basquebromance

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America really is a conservative oasis in the world socialistic desert
 

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