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Fritz
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Re:Hugo Chávez's government : The wrecking of Venezuela
« Reply #15 on: 2010-08-10 20:24:36 »
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Interesting framing of what I'm beginning to see as a rather complex interplay of various self interests and not surprisingly North America in the middle stirring the pot for it's own self interest at everyones expense. Something we have a long proven track record of doing, as mentioned earlier in the thread.

I naively viewed what was going on in Venezuela as strictly their doing and the self interest of Chevaz with a little US big business gamesmanship thrown in. As your post clearly shows this only a piece of a regional/global struggle.

I'm still not swayed from my notion that Chavez, apart from being a nutbar, is an old style demagoguedictator whose primary job is to retain power – that’s why he changed the constitution to allow him to ‘serve’ indefinitely.

He dresses it up by appearing to leash the multinationals, but the benefits aren’t flowing to the poor but to the army & himself.  He has severally damaged the oil producing sector in Venezuela but firing all the local engineers and professionals, they weren't part of the proletariat. I'm thinking he’s got bank accounts stuffed with cash for when he’s actually driven from office (he’ll never give it up voluntarily).

Thx for ongoing info Letheomaniac , it is greatly appreciated.; even if my redneck is currently glowing. In my defence, I don't trust the North American establishment message either. :-)

Cheers

Fritz
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Re:Hugo Chávez's government : The wrecking of Venezuela
« Reply #16 on: 2010-08-12 15:11:59 »
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Quote:
I'm still not swayed from my notion that Chavez, apart from being a nutbar, is an old style demagoguedictator whose primary job is to retain power – that’s why he changed the constitution to allow him to ‘serve’ indefinitely.
[letheomaniac] I think that perhaps the old-fashioned variety of dictator is preferable to the new kind. As you pointed out they are easy to spot! The modern form insidiously disguise themselves as democratically elected officials. Jokes aside, I do think that Chavez is a total egomaniac and that he is under the impression that he is the only person on the planet that can run Venezuela, which is probably what prompted the constitutional amendment. Still if the US constitutional amendment that ushered in the Prohibition era has shown us anything, it's that constitutional amendments aren't nearly as permanent as they sound. The people of Venezuela can rid themselves of the Chavez government when his policies and actions annoy them too much, whether by peaceful, legal means or by bloody revolution if things get really bad. I also think that it should be the people of Venezuela themselves that bring down Chavez if they deem it necessary, not enforced "regime change" carried out by the US and its cronies.

Quote:
He dresses it up by appearing to leash the multinationals, but the benefits aren’t flowing to the poor but to the army & himself.
[letheomaniac] The scenario that you describe is entirely plausible, however I fail to see the difference between it and the situation which currently prevails in the United States. The corporate/political elite are enriching themselves at the expense of the vast majority of the citizens. Ordinary people are losing their jobs and having their houses forclosed every day while the Pentagon consumes most of the country's budget. I'm pretty sure that Barack Obama isn't living paycheck-to-paycheck, and in fact will never have to give another thought to the subject for the rest of his life. My point is not that I think that the Chavez government is a good one, because it isn't. My point is that there is no such thing as a good government. Chavez might not be the best around, but he certainly isn't the worst either.
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Re:Hugo Chávez's government : The wrecking of Venezuela
« Reply #17 on: 2010-08-12 16:52:56 »
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Quote:
<snip>The people of Venezuela can rid themselves of the Chavez government when his policies and actions annoy them too much, whether by peaceful, legal means or by bloody revolution if things get really bad.<snip>


Again well stated [letheomaniac] I agree with you.  Venezuelans should be enabled/left alone to sort out their own country without the West imposing (and badly usually) their agenda on them. Lets not forget what the Chinese and the Russians are up to supporting their interests as well, on Venezuela. The Chinese are buying into the Canadian tar sands project and taking ownership of the oil extraction technology, which I suspect they want to use on the Venezuelan tar sands; both not environmentally friendly projects.

This could all get very unpleasant (for Canada as well) when the US and China start squaring off for natural resources especially for the countries that have them.

I can only image how these power struggles for natural resources will continue to play out in the "Dark Continent" (Africa).

Sigh

Fritz

PS: Looking at resent history of the British empire you'd think might serve as an example of how it can end badly, but then as a species we do not have any long term memory
 
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Re:Hugo Chávez's government : The wrecking of Venezuela
« Reply #18 on: 2010-08-16 13:31:29 »
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Quote:
I can only image how these power struggles for natural resources will continue to play out in the "Dark Continent" (Africa)... Looking at resent history of the British empire you'd think might serve as an example of how it can end badly, but then as a species we do not have any long term memory
[letheomaniac]I think that perhaps our propensity to not learn from our past mistakes may work in the favour of African and other "third world" nations. Consider the Roman military misadventures in ancient Britain or the current US misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. If there is one thing we can take from all of these examples is that it is impossible to put down an insurrection in a conquered land over the long term. I feel for the army that gazes at the African continent with the lust of conquest in their eyes. South Africa is a fairly peaceful country by the standards ie. we don't have an actual war on. A couple of weeks ago a community in Johannesburg caught some guys they suspected of stealing copper power cables. Cable theft is a major cause of blackouts in here. The mob locked them in their vehicle and then burned it down around them. I feel sure that the good ship Africa can repel all boarders. Now let's get our asses over to the "Fuck Israel" thread and bash a country that truly deserves it!
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Re:Hugo Chávez's government : The wrecking of Venezuela
« Reply #19 on: 2010-09-20 13:07:38 »
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As Letheomaniac has correctly pointed out; western interests political and oil would like control of Venezuela, but even given all the western gamesmanship involved, this still looks to me like a home grown bad news story unfolding.

Cheers

Fritz


Analyst Reva Bhalla examines the increasing role of Venezuela’s National Bolivarian Militia as elections approach and economic conditions deteriorate.

Source: Dispatch: Venezuela's Bolivarian Militia Deployed | STRATFOR
Author: Reva Bhalla
Date: September 14, 2010


http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20100914_dispatch_venezuelas_bolivarian_militia_deployed?utm_source=SWeekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=100916&utm_content=watchvideo&elq=e3171fe132054cdb82e45a935b9d6ff1
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Re:Hugo Chávez's government : The wrecking of Venezuela
« Reply #20 on: 2010-09-26 09:37:11 »
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Well, it will be interesting to see of this very even handed and thoughtful report plays out as described

Cheers

Fritz



Venezuela’s Elections-September 26

Source: The Narcosphere
Author: Charlie Hardy
Date: 2010.09.25



            Sunday, September 26, Venezuelans will elect the members of their national assembly for the next five years.  No one can foretell the outcome of the elections.  The stakes are high.

          If the opposition can win one third of the seats, they will be able to effectively put brakes on many of the Chávez government’s proposals.  But, whatever the outcome, there are some things to keep in mind.

            One: the electoral process in Venezuela is one of the finest in the world.  I am not able to vote in these national elections because I am not a Venezuelan citizen.  But, as a person who has more than ten years residency in the country, Venezuela does give me the right to vote in local and state elections and so I can personally describe the process.

            First, one has to be registered to vote.  Upon arriving at the proper election place, there is a list indicating which of the voting tables has your personal information and the voting machine you will use.  You are required to show proper identification, sign that you have come to vote, and put a thumb print alongside your signature.

            All voting is then done electronically, but when you have touched the button to register your vote, you also receive a printout of your choices which you then deposit in a ballot box.  (After the elections, 54% of these are checked to verify that they conform to the results of the electronic results).  Finally you are required to dip the small finger of your right hand in a cleansing solution to remove any oils before dipping it in a bottle of indelible ink that is impossible to remove for several days, thus preventing a person from returning to vote more than once.

            In Venezuela, elections are conducted by the National Electoral Commission, an independent branch of the government.  In the United States we have the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.  Venezuela has two more, the electoral branch and what is called the “peoples’ branch,” which includes the attorney general’s office, the national ombudsman, and the national comptroller.  Regarding the National Electoral Commission, it means that the election process does not vary from state to state as it does in the United States.

            To the best of my memory, every national election in Venezuela has had international observers, including the Carter Center, and their evaluations have been universally positive.  Through the years, the Electoral Commission has worked hard to satisfy the demands of all the political actors.  However—

            Two: if the opposition scores a victory in these elections, it will be recognized by government supporters.  But if the candidates aligned with the current government maintain control of the National Assembly, some in the opposition will cry “fraud.”

            I base what I have written on past experience.  When the Carter Center said in 2004 that the referendum that attempted to remove Chávez from power was fair, Jimmy Carter was harassed by people beating on their plates in an upscale Caracas restaurant.  Chávez won the referendum 58 to 42 percent.  When Manuel Rosales announced to his followers that he had lost the 2006 presidential elections, he was heckled by his followers for accepting the defeat.  Chávez’s margin of victory that time was 63 to 37 percent of the votes!

          In contrast, when Chávez lost the referendum in 2007 for a major reform of the constitution by less than a percentage point, he accepted the results.  However, the anger that I saw on the faces of the opposition leaders that night before the results were announced made it very clear that they would not have accepted a decision of the voters had they lost by any percentage.

            The party Chávez leads, the PSUV, has said that it will recognize the results given by the National Electoral Commission, whatever they might be.  The opposition coalition has not been willing to make a similar statement.

            Three:  If the opposition does not gain control of 1/3 of the National Assembly, it is highly likely there will be student protests the following days.

            Venezuela uses school buildings, in many cases, as polling places.  As a result, schools are usually closed on a national level for a few days before and a few days after the elections.  This year schools were supposed to start classes September 20, but the Education Ministry postponed the starting date to October 4.

            My first reaction was that this was too long of a delay.  Classes could have started one day after the election on September 28.  Then the thought occurred to me that the later date was chosen by the Ministry so as to avoid student protests—should the results be unfavorable to the opposition.

          However, the universities in Venezuela are private or autonomous.  Thus it didn’t surprise me when I saw that the Catholic university and the Central University in Caracas were going to begin on September 20 anyway.  By far, the largest percentage of their students are from the upper classes which make up the base of support for the opposition.  In a subtle, but not so-subtle, manner, the university authorities were giving a tacit approval to demonstrations if their students and their parents were not happy with the results.

          Four:  Don’t expect balanced reporting on the election whatever the results are.  I give two examples: 1) in Venezuela, the radio and television stations that carry CNN news belong to the opposition; and, 2) in Caracas the Associated Press has its offices in the building belonging to one of the principal anti-government newspapers.  Here are a few things to watch in the international reporting.

          As soon as the polling places close, you can expect exit-poll results to appear.  These have been extremely manipulated in the past so as to give the opposition an opportunity to cry fraud if the results are not their liking.  There is no reason to expect something else in this election.

          The opposition will certainly gain some seats in the National Assembly.  They would have won some in the elections five years ago, had they not pulled out at the last moment—a decision that was imposed by some of their leaders and that is regretted by them to this day.

          You can expect whatever seats they win to be portrayed as a fact that Chávez is slipping in his popularity.  I doubt this. If it were true, the opposition would have called for a referendum to oust him last year.

          To repeat what I wrote at the beginning, no one can say what the results of the elections will be.  But I think certain reactions can be predicted with some accuracy, whatever the results might be.  Time will tell if I am right.


          (Charles Hardy has lived in Venezuela for over 25 years and is author of ­Cowboy in Caracas:  A North American’s Memoir of Venezuela’s Democratic Revolution, published by Curbstone Press.  Other essays by Hardy can be found on his personal blog www.cowboyincaracas.com.  You may write him at cowboyincaracas@yahoo.com.)
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Re:Hugo Chávez's government : The wrecking of Venezuela
« Reply #21 on: 2010-09-27 13:18:44 »
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Just the facts.

Cheers

Fritz


Venezuelans elects a multi-party National Assembly
Turnout in legislative elections was 66.45 percent


Source: El Universal
Author: Translated by Gerardo Cárdenas
Date: 2010.09.27

    * CNE provides results of parliament election

Election 2010 
The National Assembly elected in Venezuela on Sunday, which will be sworn in on January 5, 2010, will be totally different from the current Congress, not only as concerns the high turnout in the election, but also because the new legislature will comprise several political parties and ideologies.

According to the results issued in the National Electoral Council's (CNE) initial bulletin, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) won 95 of the 165 seats in the National Assembly, while the opposition coalition (Democratic Unified Panel) won at least 61 seats. Finally, former pro-government party Patria Para Todos (Fatherland for All, PPT), will have two legislators.

These preliminary results show that the ruling party did not meet the goal to have a two-thirds qualified majority (110 deputies) needed to appoint the Supreme Court justices, the Attorney General, the Ombudsman, the Comptroller General, the directors of the National Electoral Council (CNE) and to pass fundamental laws without reaching agreements with other political actors.

According to preliminary estimates, parties supporting President Hugo Chávez did not even reach the three-fifths majority (99 legislators) required under the Constitution to grant enabling powers to President Chávez to pass laws.

More votes and fewer legislators
Although the CNE had not provided total votes for alliances and political parties, sources of Venezuela's election authority said that the opposition won approximately 52 percent of votes, that is, 6,073,202 votes.

How is it possible that a political force that obtained 52 percent of valid votes just gets 36.9 percent of deputies?

The main problem in parliament election is that Venezuelans' votes do not have the same weight.

In Venezuela, there is an imbalance between the number of voters in the different electoral districts. This results in votes have a different weight. This distortion, which is technically known as malapportionment, has always existed in Venezuela but it increased after the Senate was eliminated under the Constitution adopted in 1999 and later with the passage of the new Organic Law on Elections.

Election results show that the opposition parties obtained more votes in the Venezuelan states with the highest number of voters: Zulia, Miranda, Carabobo, Lara, Aragua and the Capital District. In these six states, a total of 9,319,360 Venezuelans were eligible to vote (52 percent of total voters). However, they only elected 64 deputies to the National Assembly. The remaining 101 deputies (61% percent of the National Assembly) were elected by 8,400,505 registered voters (48% percent of total voters.)
emartinez@eluniversal.com



At 2:00 a.m. on Monday, the National Electoral Council (CNE) brought the results broken down by states of elected deputies for the National Assembly
CNE provides results of parliament election

Election 2010

At 2:00 a.m. on Monday, the National Electoral Council (CNE) provided the results of the parliament election. The first bulletin showed the results broken down by states. The total number of voters amounted to 66.45 percent. Results are as follows:

Southern Amazonas state, 96.24 percent of transmitted data: one deputy per election by list for dissenting political Patria Para Todos (PPT) party, one deputy for ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and one representative of Patria Para Todos per nominal vote.

North central Aragua state, 99.9 percent of transmitted data: PSUV got five representatives versus three representatives for the opposition Democratic Unified Panel (MUD).

Northeastern Anzoátegui state, 94.47 percent of transmitted data: five representatives for the Unified Panel and one representative for PSUV. One representative of constituency 1 is still to be determined.

Southwestern Barinas state, 97.57 percent of transmitted data: five representatives for PSUV versus one representative for the MUD.

Southern Bolívar state, 97.54 percent of transmitted data: PSUV got six representatives compared with two representatives for the opposition alliance.

North central Carabobo state, 97.57 percent of transmitted data: six representatives for PSUV and three representatives for the MUD. Constituency 2 is yet to be determined.

Central Cojedes state, 99.78 percent of transmitted data: the PSUV got 3 lawmakers versus 1 of the MUD.

In southern Delta Amacuro state, 89.59 percent of transmitted data: the PSUV got 4 deputies to the National Assembly.

In the Capital District, 99.97 percent of transmitted data, the PSUV obtained 7 representatives and the opposition alliance won 3.

In northwestern Falcón state, 97.51 of ballots have been transmitted to the National Electoral Council, 4 lawmakers for the ruling party and 2 for the opposition alliance.

In central Guárico state, 99.15 percent of transmitted data, the PSUV won 3 representatives, with one seat yet undefined.

Northwestern Lara state, with a transmission of 97.25% of the data, the PSUV won 6 representatives and the MUD 3.
In southwestern Mérida state, 99.13 of votes have been transmitted. The PSUV won 4 seats to the National Assembly and the MUD obtained 2.
.
In north central Miranda state, with 98.98 percent of ballots transmitted, the PSUV and the MUD won 6 representatives each.

In central Monagas state, with 98.15 percent of ballots transmitted, with the PSUV won 5 representatives and the MUD 1.

Initial Analysis and Reaction to Venezuelan Election Results

Source: Venezuel Analysis
Author: Tamara Pearson
Date: 2010.09.27

    * national assembly elections

Well, as one friend pointed out, these elections took place following difficult economic conditions, in which governments on a global level have been very unpopular. Nevertheless, my feeling is that these results are a reflection more of political than economic discontent.

A lot of "good" revolutionaries felt that they couldn't, in good conscience, vote for the PSUV, given the high levels of corruption, bureaucracy, and top down decision making that go on with in it and the government and that as activists, we face and confront daily as we try to build popular power. Personally, I think I would have voted for the PSUV (if I could) but it would not be an easy decision.

It is also very easy for the opposition (by that I mean the organised into parties opposition, not those with constructive criticisms) to criticise the Chavez government, some of its criticisms based on real things but perhaps exagerated, others made up and manipulated- and its easy for people to agree with those criticisms without necesarily being concerned that the opposition offers no alternative in terms of proposals for solutions.

Never the less, like any loss (going by the parlalatino results the PSUV only got about 200,000 votes more than the opposition) we can hope that there are positive outcomes, that its a show of discontent with the PSUV that will be listened to and will have an effect within the PSUV, and that the movements and organised communities become less dependent on the laws perhaps. I wouldn't say that they are completely dependent on the laws actually, but its true that over the past 5 years, law making has become stand in for real change  on many levels, perhaps because it was easy for the government given its 2/3rds majority.

While the laws (and budgets etc) help us, the education law that was passed for example, has had fairly minimal effect on the way schools are organised.

Finally, I think a lot of people- outside and inside of Venezuela, were seeing these elections as a kind of test for the presidential elections in 2012. On the one hand, the high result by the opposition (5 million votes for parlatino i think is one of the highest ever opposition total votes) hopefully means the opposition will feel less tempted to use to coups and undemocratic methods to get rid of Chavez, knowing they stand a chance in 2012. Of course, they will have to really get their shit together if they are to find unity and a candidate that could successfully challenge Chavez.

For us and for the government, hopefully its only a wake up call, a note that the government shouldn't rest on its laurals, or relax in confidence, but rather, should step up its act.
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Re:Hugo Chávez's government : The wrecking of Venezuela
« Reply #22 on: 2013-03-06 10:46:32 »
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With drug cartels, oil needy nations, funding of Latin America, political greed, it may be to much to hope for that a nation that should be prosperous and self fulfilling actually might succeed for it's people.

The self serving mother f@#king c@#k suckers always seem to win.

Cheers

Fritz


After Chávez's funeral, who gets Venezuela's poisoned chalice?

Source: Guardian
Author: Rory Carroll   
Date: 2013.03.05


After Chávez's funeral, who gets Venezuela's poisoned chalice?

Whoever takes over as president will be forced to implement spending cuts and devalue the currency

Hugo Chávez and the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, view an honour guard in Beijing in 2008. China hopes Venezuela will repay the vast sums of money it lent to the Chávez administration. Photograph: Guang Niu/Getty Images

Hugo Chávez's death has plunged Venezuela into uncertainty over the future of his socialist revolution.

For 14 years he dominated like a Colossus and now that he has fallen, so have the old rules and certitudes. An election, which under the constitution must be held within 30 days of a president's passing, will pit Chávez's ruling party against an opposition coalition. Internal power struggles within each side could prove just as important.

The world's biggest oil reserves, a troubled economy and a deeply polarised population of 29 million people are the ambiguous prizes for whoever claims the presidential palace of Miraflores.

First, however, will come Chávez's funeral, likely to be a vast, clamorous affair to rival Evita's. To the millions who revered him – a third of the country, according to some polls – a messiah has fallen, and their grief will be visceral. To the millions who detested him as a thug and charlatan, it will be occasion to bid, vocally or discreetly, good riddance.

As president, Chávez would liven his near daily marathon broadcasts by singing, rapping, dancing and reciting poetry, an unparalleled showman, and the government will doubtless choreograph a fitting farewell with the help of the civilian militias and state media empire he created. Leaders from across Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe are expected to fly into Caracas along with celebrities such as the actors Sean Penn and Danny Glover and the director Oliver Stone.

Foreign governments, not least the US administration, will watch closely to see if the late president's movement, "Chavismo", succeeds in holding power and perpetuating his "21st-century socialist revolution", a model entailing state control of the economy, subsidies to Cuba and rhetorical broadsides against Yankee imperialism.

Foreign oil companies, including Chevron and state-owned Russian and Chinese behemoths, will manoeuvre to protect investments. China, in particular, will be anxious for the new president to honour the huge loans it has made to Venezuela, which Chávez used to supplement record oil revenues and government spending.

The election, should it be held by the deadline mandated by the constitution, will probably pit the vice-president, Nicolás Maduro, Chávez's anointed heir, against Henrique Capriles, an opposition regional governor who lost to Chávez in last October's election.

Opinion polls suggest Maduro, a former bus driver lacking the charisma of his old boss, will struggle against Capriles, a youthful challenger who casts himself as a centrist and has the support of traditional elites. Maduro, however, stands to benefit from an emotional funeral, a tight timetable and the "red machine", a formidable electoral alliance of the ruling PSUV party, state institutions and oil revenues.

Internal power struggles will roil both sides. Maduro has the support of key ministers, civilian ideologues and the Cubans who occupy multiple positions in Venezuela's government.

However, an ambitious rival, Diosdado Cabello, the head of the national assembly, has allies in the military, the militias and big business, an eclectic coalition considered more pragmatic – and corrupt – than other Chavista factions. There has been speculation he will seek to install himself as provisional president and delay an election.

A wild card is Chávez's family. His two adult daughters and his older brother, Adán, a governor of their home state of Barinas, have the power to help unite or fracture Chavismo.

The opposition coalition known as MUD may crack now that it can no longer be held together by loathing of Chávez. A tradition of backstabbing and grandstanding may resurface if figures such as Henri Falcón, governor of Lara state, challenge Capriles for the nomination.

Should the opposition win the election, observers in Caracas warn of a fraught transition. "The generals, the militias, the civil service, they're all politicised, would they accept a new dispensation? And what about all the Chavista governors and mayors?" asked one diplomat in Caracas.

No matter who wins, analysts agree he or she will swiftly face dilemmas. Chávez used lavish spending to heat the economy and buy imports in the runup to his re-election. But subsidies, regulations and threats have warped the public sector and withered the private sector.

Economists say the new president, Chavista or not, will have to cut spending and devalue the currency, stoking inflation and potential unrest. Some opposition analysts wonder if it would be better that Maduro wins so Chavismo reaps the whirlwind.
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Re:Hugo Chávez's government : The wrecking of Venezuela
« Reply #23 on: 2013-04-01 16:22:31 »
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FJkypjMXYI
The characters are: Cacique Guaicaipuro (indigenous leader who fought the Conquistadores), Sandino (Nicaraguan revolutionary leader), Salvador Allende (former Chilean president), Pedro Camejo (Venezuelan independence hero), Evita Perón (Argentinean political leader), Alí Primera (Venezuelan protest singer and poet), el Ché Guevara (famous revolutionary fighter), Maisanta (Chávez's grandmother), Ezequiel Zamora (Venezuelan&#65279; revolutionary leader) and Simón Bolívar (Liberator of several nations)
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Re:Hugo Chávez's government : The wrecking of Venezuela
« Reply #24 on: 2015-05-02 22:50:32 »
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The beat goes on .... whether this is Big Oil funded propaganda or not ... a lot of pain and suffering is ahead for the people of Venezuela as 'The Players' look longing at one of the largest oil reserves in the world and the jewel of South America sinks further into despair. It is so sad.


https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=vnRjGYaqvIM
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Re:Hugo Chávez's government : The wrecking of Venezuela
« Reply #25 on: 2015-08-26 10:55:34 »
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This is the real story I suspect http://www.wsj.com/articles/venezuelas-food-shortages-trigger-long-lines-hunger-and-looting-1440581400. Officially a fascist state now with all civil law and order suspended it seems. This could really impact the openness of the politicking during the election.

Cheers

Fritz


Venezuela is in a state of emergency — and it could stay that way into crucial elections

Source: Bloomberg Journal
Author: Christopher Woody
Date: 2015.08.26





Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has declared a “state of exception” — a state of emergency — in one of his country’s western border regions after an attack there left three soldiers and one civilian wounded.

“The constitution and the law give me the power to declare this state of exception for 60 days, extendable for 60 days,” Maduro said during a Friday night television broadcast, according to Bloomberg

Venezuela’s western border with Colombia has been a hotbed for instability for years, and, at the moment, the state of emergency applies only to municipalities within the state of Tachira.

“I have decided to extend beyond 72 hours the closure of the border, until further notice, until we capture the assassins,” Maduro said on Friday, referring to the suspected smugglers who attacked soldiers in the border city of San Antonio in the Bolívar district of Tachira state on Wednesday.

And the potentially four-month-long state of emergency raises the possibility, noted by political analyst Dimitris Pantoulas, that the country’s legislative elections, slated for December 6, could be held under, and perhaps be affected by, such circumstances.

The opposition coalition, Democratic Unity Roundtable, has called the move a "trial balloon" for further interference by the Maduro’s ruling Socialist Party.

And in a protest to the international community, the group said "this unusual and disproportionate decree could be the escape route used by the ruling party to avoid imminent defeat, which would place the country and the entire region at very grave risk of instability and violence."

According to Venezuela’s constitution, under a state of exception, “guarantees enshrined in the constitution, except for those referring to the right to life, prohibitions of isolation and torture, the right to due process, the right to information, and other intangible human rights, may be temporarily suspended.”


The December 6 elections could spell the end of Maduro’s Socialist Party’s reign in the National Assembly. The president’s approval rating has fallen below 25% and widespread shortages, unrelenting inflation, and persistent violence have aroused popular frustration with the current political order.

Currently, one of the Tachira's busiest crossings is closed, and the municipalities of Bolívar, Ureña, Junín, Capacho Libertad, and Capacho Independencia are under the state of exception. On Monday, Tachira state governor Jose Vielma Mora added the Rafael Urdaneta municipality to the list.

However, border crossings in Zulia state, north of Tachira, and Apure state, south of Tachira, reportedly remain open, and Tachira's northern municipalities, where clashes involving Los Urabeños — Colombia's most powerful criminal group — have reportedly occurred, are not under restrictions.

It is worth noting that Tachira, and its capital, San Cristobal, are strongholds of Venezuela's political opposition.

Maduro also said a contingent of 1,500 soldiers would be deployed to the area to join the 500 permanently stationed there.

Troops in the area reportedly started "house to house" searches on Saturday, targeting people suspected of being in the country illegally. In recent days, Maduro has also railed against alleged illegal immigration from Colombia, though data does not support his claims of a massive influx of unauthorized immigrants.

As of Monday night, 1,188 Colombians living in Venezuela had reportedly been deported, adding to the thousands who have already been deported this year. (Allegations of mistreatment of deportees continues, as well.)

Venezuela is now demolishing homes, leaving hundreds of Colombians scrambling with their belongings.

"I feel impotent. I want to cry. I lost everything overnight," a 26-year-old Colombian told Reuters as he and his Venezuelan wife dragged their possessions in a wheelbarrow across the River Tachira and back into Colombia.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/venezuela-state-of-emergency-before-elections-2015-8#ixzz3jvoJjt2u


The nearly 1,400-mile border between the two countries is crossed frequently by smugglers transporting price-controlled goods, including high-demand consumer products and gasoline, from Venezuela to Colombia for resale at much higher prices.

“We have reached the limit of the aggression by armed groups, of the speculators and smugglers,” Maduro said on August 19.

Moreover, dozens of civilians from both countries who cross the border for work, medical treatment, or to take advantage of price and supply differences have been caught up in the closures. Humanitarian missions have been allowed to cross in some places, however.

The border area has been the scene of more dramatic incidents that have reverberated around the region.

Colombia has accused Venezuela of harboring guerrillas and drug smugglers in the past. In 2008, Venezuela mobilized troops along the border in response to a Colombian raid into Ecuador against left-wing guerrillas. In 2010, Venezuela broke off diplomatic relations after Colombia again claimed Venezuela was providing a safe haven to guerrillas.

VenezuelaREUTERS/Carlos Eduardo RamirezVenezuelan soldiers point their weapons while they patrol close to the border with Colombia, as part of a special deployment, at San Antonio in Tachira state, Venezuela, August 23, 2015.

In August 2014, Maduro deployed 17,000 troops to the border and ordered crossings closed during nighttime hours to disrupt smuggling. Those mandates have remained in place, and Venezuela claims to have arrested 6,000 people for smuggling and captured thousands of tons of contraband food over the last year.

On Monday, Maduro said the border would remain closed until "a minimum of coexistence and respect for legality is reestablished."

"I do not see in the short term these conditions being met," he added.


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Re:Hugo Chávez's government : The wrecking of Venezuela
« Reply #26 on: 2015-11-16 10:40:47 »
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Seems the kids were using the head of the military's private jet to do the deeds.

Cheers

Fritz


Nephews of Venezuela’s First Lady Face Drug Charges



Source: NY Times
Author:  WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM and WILLIAM NEUMAN
Date: 2015.11.11

Two nephews of the wife of President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela were arrested this week in Haiti and flown to the United States where they will face drug trafficking charges, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The arrests are sure to roil already tense relations between the United States and Venezuela and could tarnish the Venezuelan government’s image as it heads into crucial legislative elections scheduled for next month.

The two men, Efraín Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores de Freitas, are nephews of Cilia Flores, the wife of Mr. Maduro, the person with knowledge of the matter said. Mr. Maduro, a leftist, calls Ms. Flores the country’s “first combatant” rather than its first lady. Ms. Flores is one of the most powerful people in the upper echelons of government and is frequently seen at her husband’s side.

The two men were arrested Tuesday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, at the request of the American authorities and handed over to agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, who put them on an agency plane and flew them to the United States, the person said. They are expected to appear in Federal District Court in Manhattan on Thursday.
Continue reading the main story
Document: Charges Against Nephews of Venezuela’s First Lady

Overnight, Mr. Maduro posted a defiant message on Twitter that seemed to refer to the arrests obliquely, saying “neither attacks, nor imperial ambushes, will effect the People of the Liberators, we have only one destiny...Victory...”

The two men were charged in a sealed indictment accusing them of conspiring to ship 800 kilograms of cocaine to the United States, to be sold in New York, according to the person with knowledge of the matter. The arrests were first reported Wednesday by Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.

In October, the two men approached a D.E.A. informant in Honduras and discussed moving the narcotics through that country, the person said. They later met with the informant in Venezuela and provided a kilogram of the cocaine as a sample of the drugs they intended to provide, the person said, adding that agents had made video and audiotapes of at least one of the encounters.

The investigation was conducted by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force in New York, which is made up of agents from the D.E.A., the Department of Homeland Security, the New York Police Department, the New York State Police, the United States Marshals Service and the Internal Revenue Service.

American officials say that a large amount of the cocaine produced in Colombia is shipped through Venezuela before it heads to the United States and other parts of the world.

Investigators have long contended that high-level Venezuelan officials are involved in the drug trade and several officials in the armed forces and government have been publicly identified by the American authorities as having links to traffickers.

Officials said this year that the powerful head of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, was being investigated on charges of trafficking. Mr. Cabello has strongly denied any connection to the drug trade.

Last year, a former head of the Venezuelan intelligence apparatus, Hugo Carvajal, was arrested in Aruba at the request of the American authorities, who unsealed indictments accusing him of being on the payroll of Colombian traffickers and of investing in and coordinating drug shipments. But Mr. Carvajal was allowed to return to Venezuela rather than being sent to the United States to face the charges.

Mr. Maduro has angrily responded to the American allegations, calling them false and part of a conspiracy by Washington to undermine his government.

Asked about the arrests, the chargé d’affaires of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, Maximilien Sánchez Arvelaiz, said, “I don’t have any information about it.” Venezuela and the United States do not have ambassadors in each other’s capitals and Mr. Sánchez Arvelaiz is the top Venezuelan diplomat in Washington. Officials in Caracas did not immediately respond to word of the arrests.

Mr. Maduro and Ms. Flores were together on Wednesday during a visit to Saudi Arabia. Mr. Maduro was scheduled to be in Geneva on Thursday to speak before the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Voters in Venezuela will go to the polls on Dec. 6 to elect a new National Assembly.


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Re:Hugo Chávez's government : The wrecking of Venezuela
« Reply #27 on: 2018-03-27 12:34:01 »
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VZ continues it's slide to oblivion with unbelievable suffering and anguish. The current folks incharge are bleeding every last cent out of the ruins. And the rest of the world is being either punitive or ignoring the demise.

Cheers Fritz


Venezuela's crypto-currency: salvation or scam?

Source: Economist
Author:  Print Edition
Date:  March 17th, 2018




IT “WILL be an instrument for Venezuela’s economic stability and financial independence”, promises a white paper published by the country’s government last month. Venezuela, the issuer of the world’s least stable currency, proposes to issue its most trustworthy in the form of the petro, a “sovereign crypto asset backed by oil”. A private sale of this promising new asset started in February. The government plans to offer it to the public on March 20th.

In one sense, the idea is as ludicrous as it sounds. Only the most credulous investors will trust a currency issued by Venezuela’s socialist regime, which has debased the bolívar, expropriated private enterprises, ridden roughshod over the country’s constitution and faces sanctions from the United States and the European Union.
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But there is a germ of sense in what Venezuela is proposing. The country is suffering from hyperinflation, with prices doubling every month. By the end of 2018 economic output will be 40% lower than it was in 2013, according to the IMF. Venezuela needs the “economic stability” promised by the white paper. In theory, adoption of a crypto-currency, impervious to political whims, could provide that. 

Venezuela is not the only country seeking a cryptonic. Officials of Iran and Russia have said their governments might be interested in issuing crypto-currencies. On February 28th the Marshall Islands announced that it would issue one, called the sovereign, that it will accept as legal tender.

What would-be cryptocracies have in common is an uncomfortable relationship with the dollar. The Marshall Islands is a dollarised economy; a second currency would give it at least the illusion of greater control over its money. Iran and Russia are subject to American sanctions.

For Venezuela, whose crypto plans are more advanced, the petro might simply be a way to evade American sanctions and raise cash it desperately needs. The United States has frozen the dollar assets of the country’s president, Nicolás Maduro, and 48 other Venezuelans. It has also barred companies with American operations from lending to some Venezuelan entities. Production of oil, almost the country’s sole source of foreign exchange, is declining because of lack of investment by PDVSA, the state-owned oil company. Venezuela’s foreign-exchange reserves are dwindling.

With the petro, Venezuela has something new to sell. It has “pre-mined” 100m petros, all that will ever be created, promises the white paper. State television showed outdated personal computers supposedly poised to mine the new currency. The “pre-sale” brought $5bn, Mr Maduro claimed, without providing evidence. At the government’s reference price for oil of $60 a barrel, the total value of the new currency is $6bn (so, if Mr Maduro is telling the truth, almost all the petros have been pre-sold). That is a useful sum, but less than half the amount the country must pay to service its foreign debt this year. The United States Treasury has warned that investors who buy petros with dollars may be violating its sanctions. That makes the currency less useful as a sanctions-buster.

A more intriguing possibility is that the government views the petro as a substitute for the value-leaking bolívar. Other countries with high inflation, like Zimbabwe and Ecuador, have escaped by adopting the dollar, which would be anathema to Mr Maduro’s regime. In 1923 Germany defeated hyperinflation by issuing the Rentenmark, a currency backed by land. Brazil slew inflation in the early 1990s by replacing the cruzeiro with a new currency, the real, managed by a central bank that came to be seen as trustworthy. In theory, the petro could be Venezuela’s real.

The government has announced that Venezuelans will be able to buy petros at authorised exchange houses and pay taxes with them, which could be the first step towards making the petro an everyday currency. Zimbabwe dollarised when citizens refused to accept payments in the local money. In Venezuela, which deprives people of access to dollars more effectively than did Zimbabwe, people could switch from the bolívar to the petro. That would increase demand for the new currency, and thus its price (and the government’s eventual profits).

But the government has already undermined the trust that is supposedly built into the notion of an oil-backed crypto-currency. During the pre-sale it switched from the widely used Ethereum platform, which validates and keeps records of transactions in multiple crypto-currencies, to the New Economy Movement (NEM), a newcomer. The main crypto-currency on the NEM platform has a market capitalisation of just $4bn, compared with $61bn for Ethereum’s main currency. Because the platform is smaller, the network of computers used to validate transactions and enforce the rules on which a crypto-currency is based is more centralised. That makes it easier for one user, say, Venezuela’s government, to dominate the platform and undermine a crypto-currency.

The link to oil is no more convincing. The petro is not exchangeable for oil. It is merely backed by the government’s promise that it is backed by oil. That promise may not be honoured by the country’s repressed opposition, which may some day take power. Without decentralisation or a credible link to oil, the petro is just an unbacked currency issued by Venezuela’s discredited government. That’s what the bolívar is, too.
This article appeared in the The Americas section of the print edition under the headline "A sunny place for a shady currency"
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Re:Hugo Chávez's government : The wrecking of Venezuela
« Reply #28 on: 2018-04-09 15:50:21 »
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This has far more reaching ramifications as anti vaccine silliness in the West, has left people not immunized to a 50% mortality rate disease. The folks with diminished health resources in Venezuela are in even bigger crisis, but I'm sure the government and military families are all vaccinated.

Cheers Fritz


Diphtheria in the Venezuela

Source: Relief Web
Author:  World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization
Date:  February 28th, 2018




In Venezuela, since the beginning of the outbreak in July 2016 up to EW 5 of 2018 a total of 969 probable diphtheria cases were reported (324 cases in 2016, 609 in 2017, and 36 in 2018) 726 of which were confirmed by laboratory or clinically, and 113 died (17 in 2016 and 96 in 2017); with a case fatality rate of 15.5%.

In 2016 cases were reported in five states (Anzoátegui, Bolívar, Delta Amacuro, Monagas, and Sucre), and in 2017 there were 22 states and the Capital District reporting confirmed cases. In 2018, 9 federal entities reported confirmed cases. Cases were reported in all age groups, however, the majority of cases occurred in the 5 to 39 age group, with the highest incidence rate in the group of 5 to 19 years of age.

The health authorities are intensifying epidemiological surveillance, case detection, medical care and vaccination, in addition to maintaining constant training of health personnel (based on the updated manual of standards, guidelines and procedures for the management of the disease) and health education.


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Re:Hugo Chávez's government : The wrecking of Venezuela
« Reply #29 on: 2018-05-21 16:17:36 »
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As local and global governments continue to roger and diddle the citizens of Venezuela, the country is being destroyed. The US sanctions are playing into Maduro’s' everyone is out to get us rhetoric'. The US advising the opposition to boycott the election was to lead, to the illegitimacy of this election, and seems to have been bad advise. Tillerson also suggested that an oil embargo might be imposed if Venezuela proceeds with the election.

Oil is what continues to drive the destruction and as usual the citizen are being mangled by the greed of the fascist socialist regime that are actually an robber barons and drug cartels plundering the country. The real opposition was nullified in December put in house arrest. Meanwhile the 'Canadian Left' are really showing their true colours as 'Neo-Marist-Communists-Facists'; the teachers union is by omission legitimizing the election as observers in Venezuela.

Seems to me Ontario Canada is heading down this same slippery slope as the Liberal-Left-Fascists try for re-election parading their divisive socialist agenda, while lining the pockets of their oligarch buddies.

Cheers Fritz


VZ’s destruction continues …

Source: VZ 2018 Elections
Date: May 21, 2018




Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-42304594
Author: Katy Watson
Date: Dec 11, 2018

Maduro divides and conquers

Katy Watson, BBC Latin America correspondent - Barquisimeto, Venezuela
Mr Maduro's pronouncement is designed to provoke the opposition. Especially since he justified the move saying it was a condition set out by the National Constituent Assembly - a body that the opposition refuses to recognise because they say it is undemocratic.
Mr Maduro has lost popularity because of the worsening economic crisis. In the face of criticism, his strategy has been one of "divide and conquer" - find ways of weakening the opposition to make them less of a threat.
And he hs succeeded - he has imprisoned some of the most popular opposition leaders like Leopoldo López. He has prevented others like Henrique Capriles from running for office. And now this threat - banning the most influential parties from taking part in future elections. The opposition is in crisis and Mr Maduro is gloating.







Source: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/12/11/venezuelas-maduro-bans-opposition-parties-2018-election/
Author: Ben Kew
Date: Dec 11, 2017

Venezuela’s socialist leader Nicolás Maduro has ruled that the main opposition parties can no longer stand in next year’s presidential election, the latest in a series of anti-democratic moves by his regime.

Maduro made the announcement after the main opposition parties — including Popular Will, Democratic Action, and Justice First — refused to participate in Sunday’s mayoral elections, which they claim were fraudulent.
“A party that has not participated today and has called for the boycott of the elections can’t participate anymore,” said in an impromptu press conference following Sunday’s vote. “They will disappear from the political map.”
“I can’t understand that a group of political leaders from the right having withdrawn … If they don’t want any elections, where are they going?” he continued. “What is the alternative. Arms? War?”
The pledge is further evidence that next year’s presidential election will be rigged in Maduro’s favor, as members of the left-leaning opposition seek to obtain guarantees that the vote will be both free and fair.
Just 20 percent of Venezuelans voted in Sunday’s mayoral elections, according to reports, with Maduro’s Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) winning more than 300 of the 335 available mayoral offices.
His party’s supposed popularity comes despite the country facing the worst humanitarian crisis in its history, as millions of people face starvation and lack of adequate medical care amid skyrocketing rates of inflation that have rendered the Venezuelan Bolivar practically worthless.
“The imperialists have tried to set fire to Venezuela to take our riches,” Maduro said on television, announcing his victory. “We’ve defeated the American imperialists with our votes, our ideas, truths, reason, and popular will.”
Although Venezuela has operated as a quasi-dictatorship since the rule of the late leader Hugo Chávez, through numerous fraudulent elections and voter intimidation schemes, Maduro managed to further consolidate his authority this year with the creation of an illegal lawmaking body known as the “national constituent assembly.”
The assembly, which was installed in the wake of a widely boycotted and rigged election, usurped the power of elected lawmakers and replaced them with pro-government supporters.
In October, Maduro’s ruling PSUV successfully rigged the results of the country’s regional elections, winning 19 out of 23 governor’s seats, despite having trailed significantly in opinion polls prior to the vote.
Following the election, the State Department noted the huge number of irregularities, which included closing polling stations in opposition-held areas, banning certain candidates from running, and prohibiting international observers.
Maduro has also maintained his authority by imprisoning some of his opponents, including the Popular Will leader Leopoldo Lopez and the mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma. Last month, Ledezma successfully fled the country to Madrid, while Lopez remains imprisoned at the Ramo Verde military prison in Caracas.


Source: http://www.rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/2018/05/challenges-await-venezuelas-maduro-he-wins-second-term
Author: Jim Hodgson
Date: May 21, 2018

To no one's surprise, Nicolas Maduro has won a second term as president of Venezuela. And again (not a surprise) we see two narratives developing about what happened here on Sunday.
Our Canadian labour observer delegation saw an election that was expertly run, had good participation, and which had no fraud that was evident to us. Granted, we were mostly in the poorer neighbourhoods where support for Maduro is highest -- the neighbourhoods where the majority of Venezuelans live.
Meanwhile, even by mid-afternoon, the international media were reporting a low turnout and complaints of fraud.
"Polls close as opposition cries foul," said the BBC. Such reports cited opposition candidate Henri Falcon who by mid-day had registered 350 complaints about the process. By the time the polls closed, he registered more than 900.
Around mid-day, the United States declared it would not recognize the result. Other countries, including Canada, are expected to follow suit.
In the end, the vote was not close. Maduro won with 5.8 million votes. His principal opponent, Henri Falcon, had about 1.8 million. Voter turnout was 48 per cent.
"We are the force of history turned into popular victory," Maduro told supporters gathered outside the Miraflores presidential palace after results were announced. Promising to be a president for all Venezuelans, he renewed his call for dialogue. "Permanent dialogue is what Venezuela needs," he said.
For Maduro, the negative international reaction, while predictable, will be a problem. Existing sanctions already hurt the country’s ability to make purchases abroad. Companies and banks are now reluctant to engage with any Venezuelan purchaser, making access to food and medicine imports ever more difficult -- and provoking shortages that have a direct impact the lives of ordinary people. To make matters worse, U.S. administration officials have warned of new sanctions that could reduce Venezuela’s oil exports.
Some problems are home-made. Despite concerted efforts, corruption is still an issue. I spoke with a young doctor who supports the government and deplores the diversion of medicine from Venezuela to Colombia. "People who do that are traitors," he said.
Venezuela also suffers from hyperinflation and some of the world's highest crime rates.
Maduro has promised a new national dialogue to achieve some way of living with the opposition. The problem is that at least since their failed coup attempt in 2002, most opposition forces have shown little or no interest in any solution other than complete capitulation or regime change through force: another coup or foreign military intervention.
The most concerted effort to bring opponents into the present electoral process collapsed in early February after months of international mediation led by the Dominican Republic. A previous Vatican-led effort also failed.
The challenges are immense, and there will be no honeymoon for this president as he begins a second term.
Yet Venezuelans merit attention and solidarity as they try to find a way forward. Democracy is supposed to be about the people ruling. Venezuela is one of a handful of countries remaining where the poorest people have wrested control away from the rich who used political structures to maintain economic privileges.
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