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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Default Venezuela throws out socialism

    Venezuela held legislative elections last weekend and the results are heartening for anyone who believes in freedom.

    Not since the late Hugo Chavez took power in 1999 had his United Socialist Party of Venezuela lost an election. This time, though, the opposition party won a two-thirds majority in the congress, and will have the ability to challenge the rule of Nicolas Maduro, Chavez's successor as president.

    This was a result Maduro and his socialist government feared. In the run-up to the election, he jailed opposition leaders on flimsy pretexts, and banned others from running for office. His allies put a sham third party on the ballot with a similar name to that of the opposition in hope of confusing voters and winning by splitting the vote. Maduro rejected international monitoring of the election, raising fears that he would steal it. Even now, it's hard to say for sure he didn't try.

    But despite all of this chicanery, and perhaps partly because of it, Maduro's United Socialist Party was buried in an electoral landslide. The reasons for the public's discontent with Chavism are plain enough, and rooted in the nature of socialism, a system that always and everywhere attempts to govern by thwarting human nature through state control of economic life.

    Chavism survived so long because Venezuala has oil riches. The country's governmental system was nicknamed "petro-socialism." One of Chavez's first acts in power was to expropriate oil companies' operations. For a time this allowed Chavez to buy the votes of the poor with with a massive program of food aid and health care. But those programs, the basis of Chavez's and then Maduro's popularity, hadonly mixed results for the health and nutrition of Venezuelans.

    Then government mismanagement gradually stanched oil production, and more recently oil prices plunged. The government suddenly found itself unable to provide basic services such as public safety (crime has skyrocketed), and the health care system wasthrown into crisis, too.

    The regime printed money to cover expenses, triggering triple-digit inflation, to which it responded by imposing price controls. These in turn caused massive shortages that made it impossible to find basic items in stores, even after queueing for hours.

    In short, Venezuela was a textbook example of socialist mismagement. Maduro, however, borrowed Soviet propaganda and blamed an elaborate conspiracy of sabotage by business interests. He began arresting store-owners for the long lines that his own policies had created.

    Shortages and crime created popular unrest and widespread protests that exploded in spring 2014. The government responded with violent repression, deputizing red-shirted street gangs to beat up and shoot protestors. This fall, even former Spanish prime minister Felipe Gonzalez (a member of his own nation's socialist party) felt moved to state frankly that Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship in Chile had been more respectful of human rights than had the Maduro regime.

    It is heartening to see any nation's voters turn back socialism in a free vote. But the failure of yet another socialist state brings with it a timely lesson.

    Today in the United States, in the Occupy protests and the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders, one sees undiminished vigor in the belief that the free exchange of goods and services as the enemy of prosperity. The past 100 years is replete with examples of the folly expecting state-imposed egalitarianism to produce prosperity.

    It is a poisonous idea with an uninterrupted track record of failure.




    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/ve...m_medium=email
    Last edited by bklynboy68; 12.11.15 at 04:41 AM.
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

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  3. #2
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Default Military vows Maduro support in deepening Venezuela crisis

    This is getting serious


    Caracas (AFP) - Venezuela's military pledged loyalty to President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday, ramping up a high-stakes standoff between his socialist government and a center-right opposition that has vowed to use its new legislative powers to oust him.

    The opposition laid claim to a big majority in the National Assembly, which could empower it to force out Maduro. He has rejected the assembly as illegal and formed a new hardline leftist cabinet to fight it, in a deepening political crisis.

    Venezuela's defense minister and armed forces chief, General Vladimir Padrino, weighed in, saying the military was unwavering in its backing for Maduro -- who has vowed to resist "with an iron hand."

    "The president is the highest authority of the state and we reiterate our absolute loyalty and unconditional support for him," said Padrino, after the under-pressure government sued to stop the emboldened opposition using its newfound powers to kick out Maduro.

    The pledge from the armed forces will only ratchet up fears of unrest in the South American oil-producing country, which is stricken by recession, shortages and rampant crime.

    The new speaker of the congress, Henry Ramos Allup, said on Twitter that two premises of his Democratic Action party were attacked with explosive devices, but no one was hurt and no damage reported. He said police were investigating.

    Padrino lashed out at the opposition after Ramos Allup had portraits of late president and socialist icon Hugo Chavez removed from the assembly building on Wednesday.

    "This is an outrage to military honor," he warned.

    The government side also responded by pledging to fill the streets of Caracas with pictures of Chavez and of Simon Bolivar, Venezuela's 19th-century independence hero.

    - 'Illegal parliament' -

    On a day of fast-moving developments in Venezuela, Maduro's side applied to the Supreme Court to declare null any legislation passed by the opposition-controlled congress.

    Maduro supporters say the opposition's two-thirds majority in the assembly is not legitimate since it swore in three lawmakers whom the court had ordered to be suspended pending allegations of electoral fraud.

    "The decisions made in that circus they have set up should be ignored," said pro-government deputy Pedro Carreno at the court, where he presented the suit.

    "This is an illegal parliament and therefore its decisions are illegal and null."

    He accused the opposition of planning a "coup d'etat" and being in contempt of court.

    Ramos Allup rejected the charge.

    "The ones who are in contempt are the ones who have disregarded the public will after the elections," he said.

    The opposition MUD coalition won a majority in the assembly for the first time in nearly 17 years at elections on December 6.

    The MUD has vowed to find a way within six months to get rid of Maduro by constitutional means. But Maduro's side vowed to block it by suing, withholding funding and refusing to publish its legislation.

    "They give us six months to survive. You need balls to carry out a coup d'etat. We'll see if they have any," said Diosdado Cabello, the number two in Maduro's leadership.

    "Get ready for a long struggle."

    - Bleak economic outlook -

    As the battle lines formed, Maduro reshuffled his cabinet, filling key posts with defenders of the socialist "revolution" launched by his late predecessor Chavez.

    Facing a "new stage of the revolution" and a "bourgeois legislature," Maduro said his new cabinet team would work on the "grave economic situation."

    He appointed hardline socialists to the key posts of economy, finance and foreign trade and investment, while keeping in place his oil minister.

    He named economist Luis Salas economy minister.

    Ramos Allup said the opposition too would present urgent economic proposals.

    Analysts warn the political deadlock will compound the hardship of Venezuelans who are suffering shortages of basic goods and soaring inflation.

    Plunging oil prices have sharply curbed the country's revenues.

    "The president's support for the radical ideological wing of Chavismo, sidelining pragmatists, does not generate positive expectations for change," said analyst Luis Vicente Leon, head of polling firm Datanalisis.

    "Expectations of institutional conflict increase the negative outlook for the nation's economy."

    One of the first measures the opposition wants to pass is an amnesty for 75 political prisoners, a plan backed by the United States. Maduro has vowed to veto that move.







    http://news.yahoo.com/military-vows-...020045191.html
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

 

 

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