Venezuela Megathread - Mercenaries 2 references galore! Cubanodun is MVP

Super-Chevy454

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The situation in Venezuela had also some criminals get hard time to live. https://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/How-bad-is-Venezuela-s-economy-Even-the-13672835.php

CARACAS, Venezuela - How bad is Venezuela's economy? Even the criminals are struggling to get by.

In one of the strangest consequences of this oil-rich country's collapse, cash has virtually disappeared. With soaring hyperinflation, the government can't print money fast enough to keep up, so many Venezuelans have switched to debit cards - not that they have enough money on them.


Suddenly there's a whole class of people whose pockets are no longer worth picking.

"If they steal your wallet, there's nothing in it," says Yordin Ruiz, 58, a shoemaker.

As opposition leader Juan Guaidó struggles to wrench control of this South American country from President Nicolás Maduro, a bigger drama is playing out in the background. The economy is in free fall. Opportunities are disappearing - even for thieves in one of the world's most crime-ridden countries.


Robbers who used to zip around Caracas on motorcycles, shoving pistols into car windows and demanding wallets, are now reduced to walking. There simply aren't spare parts for their bikes. In the past, thieves often snatched cellphones from passengers on the little buses that clogged Caracas highways. But public transportation barely functions anymore.

Many Venezuelans don't report robberies, and there are no reliable government statistics on many types of crime. But the Venezuela Violence Observatory, a respected nonprofit group, estimates that murders dropped from 89 per 100,000 people in 2017 to 81.4 last year. Its 2018 report, based on input from investigators at eight universities around the country, found signs that several other kinds of crime are also declining.


Fewer bank robberies are occurring, because there's not much cash in banks. Who can afford to save?

There are fewer cars on the road to steal. With the price of imported parts soaring, many vehicles just sit in garages.

And even the criminals are migrating, the report said, joining a mass exodus of over 3 million people seeking better opportunities abroad.

"In Venezuela, it's just not profitable to be a thief anymore," said Roberto Briceño-Leon, a sociologist who coordinates the observatory.

The decline in robberies reflects a peculiar phenomenon. A visitor returning to Caracas after years away might expect to find a city falling down. The economy, after all, shrunk by around half in the past five years. But the city is not collapsing. It is disappearing.

The streets are lined with shops, but many have iron grates pulled over them at all hours; they can no longer make a profit. There are few cars on the streets, few people out at night, few items on store shelves.

Felicita Blanco, 70, is a veteran reporter, a short, graying grandma with a half-chewed pen and notebook. She has spent nearly four decades covering crime in Caracas, mostly for the daily El Carabobeño. Covering robberies of armored cars and banks were once a staple of her job.
 

Guardian G.I.

СНГ scum
kiwifarms.net
In slightly related tangent: I've been watching the reaction of the Russian Internet to the Venezuelan shitshow for quite a while:
  1. There's been lots of schadenfreude among Russian liberals (in the European sense of the word - heavily pro-Western and pro-capitalist, very anti-communist). They think VZ's economic collapse is pretty much the same thing as the Soviet economic collapse of late 1980s - early 1990s. Also, plenty of comments like "This is the future of Putin's Russia", as if these two economic systems are actually one and the same (they aren't).
  2. Anti-Western commenters are pretty much as you'd expect. They think that Venezuela before Chavez was a third world shithole fully subservient to American interests, where people were much more poor and miserable than under Chavez (requesting fact check on this from @Cubanodun). Allegedly Chavez broke Venezuela out of that captivity, and now America plans to subjugate Venezuela once again and steal their oil, as if they don't have any other fuel sources. Also, they seem to think that Venezuela's economic woes have begun just recently and are all caused by America. Alternatively, said woes are not as bad as claimed by liberals.
  3. Hardcore Stalinists aren't particularly fond of Maduro's "socialism", as well as all other Latin American left wingers (they think it's all Trotskyism). They think shortages would have stopped if Maduro had stopped flirting with mixed economy forms and just nationalised the whole Venezuelan economy (:story:), because local capitalists are wreckers and deliberately cause shortages to destabilize the country (:story:). Whatever harm is not caused by them is caused by America, of course. American motivation to bring down Maduro is the same as described above.
 

La Luz Extinguido

There are no innocents
kiwifarms.net
Anti-Western commenters are pretty much as you'd expect. They think that Venezuela before Chavez was a third world shithole fully subservient to American interests, where people were much more poor and miserable than under Chavez (requesting fact check on this from @Cubanodun). Allegedly Chavez broke Venezuela out of that captivity, and now America plans to subjugate Venezuela once again and steal their oil, as if they don't have any other fuel sources. Also, they seem to think that Venezuela's economic woes have begun just recently and are all caused by America. Alternatively, said woes are not as bad as claimed by liberals.
Maduro is just caught in Chavez mess, he got popular by giving free money away to many inhabitants slowly draining the (by then) prosperous economy of the country and several other aberrations I'm too lazy to point out.

Fat fuck was lucky do die of cancer when things started to fall.

Hardcore Stalinists aren't particularly fond of Maduro's "socialism", as well as all other Latin American left wingers (they think it's all Trotskyism). They think shortages would have stopped if Maduro had stopped flirting with mixed economy forms and just nationalised the whole Venezuelan economy (:story:), because local capitalists are wreckers and deliberately cause shortages to destabilize the country (:story:). Whatever harm is not caused by them is caused by America, of course. American motivation to bring down Maduro is the same as described above.
Well, they're not wrong.
 

Imnus

Extreme Far-Right Individualist Asshole
kiwifarms.net
I thought the opposition was fairly centrist/right-leaning?
They're very leftist, remember that Venezuela have always been very leftist. The party that was Chávez big nemesis Acción Democrática was a former communist party that after they split from castro-comunismo they were still very socialist and always remained friends of Fidel, they are part of the Socialist International just like Voluntad Popular that's Guaido's party. Venezuela's right died in the 60s after Marcos Pérez Jimenez was removed from power by the communists.

Anyways there's a lot of bullshit information about Chávez, for starter you keep seeing everywhere that he nationalized oil and other minerals, bullshit, oil and everything under the ground was always owned by the government since Venezuela existed and even before that, then they may say he nationalized the oil industry, bullshit again, the oil industry was nationalized in 1975 by Carlos Andrés Pérez, Chávez untra-nemesis and the President he did the coup against, yes Chávez was a putschist, which is why it's so laughable that chavista are always calling everything the opposition does a coup.

He also didn't nationalize our universities nor our public schools nor our hospitals and honestly he didn't do anything new that adecos or copeyanos haven't done when it comes to social programs or economic policies other than different names (like CADIVI = RECADI), price controls, import controls, big tariffs, nationalizing shit, reforma agraria (taking land from big owners to give to the little guy), building houses and apartment complex for the poor, trying to diversify our economy (LOL), all that crap was done before Chávez, it just didn't work like it didn't work with Chávez.

Remember I said we nationalized the oil industry in 1975, well we became ultra rich for a few years, one of the richest (top 5) countries per capita in the world, in 1983 we collapsed and this collapse eventually brought Chávez to power in 1999 because people just couldn't understand that we couldn't go back to the golden days when we were super rich and the government gifted you everything.


2. Anti-Western commenters are pretty much as you'd expect. They think that Venezuela before Chavez was a third world shithole fully subservient to American interests, where people were much more poor and miserable than under Chavez (requesting fact check on this from @Cubanodun). Allegedly Chavez broke Venezuela out of that captivity, and now America plans to subjugate Venezuela once again and steal their oil, as if they don't have any other fuel sources. Also, they seem to think that Venezuela's economic woes have begun just recently and are all caused by America. Alternatively, said woes are not as bad as claimed by liberals.
Well, we successfully accomplished the 50-50 without getting Iraned, we created OPEC, we nationalized our oil industry, we were always super lefty, among other things, so if that counts as being under the US thumb then I guess they're right.


3. Hardcore Stalinists aren't particularly fond of Maduro's "socialism", as well as all other Latin American left wingers (they think it's all Trotskyism). They think shortages would have stopped if Maduro had stopped flirting with mixed economy forms and just nationalised the whole Venezuelan economy (:story:), because local capitalists are wreckers and deliberately cause shortages to destabilize the country (:story:). Whatever harm is not caused by them is caused by America, of course. American motivation to bring down Maduro is the same as described above.
For all practical purposes Venezuela's economy is completely nationalized, all the important parts of the economy, starting with oil which it's most of our economy are completely in hands of the government, then all the others are controlled by the government, like if you produce food you can't decide where or whom to sell it, there is a government office that tells you to whom and by how much money, etc. And then most of these 'private' industries are owned by government officials or their testaferros.
 
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kcbbq

No controlling legal authority
kiwifarms.net
They're very leftist, remember that Venezuela have always been very leftist. The party that was Chávez big nemesis Acción Democrática was a former communist party that after they split from castro-comunismo they were still very socialist and always remained friends of Fidel, they are part of the Socialist International just like Voluntad Popular that's Guaido's party. Venezuela's right died in the 60s after Marcos Pérez Jimenez was removed from power by the communists.

Anyways there's a lot of bullshit information about Chávez, for starter you keep seeing everywhere that he nationalized oil and other minerals, bullshit, oil and everything under the ground was always owned by the government since Venezuela existed and even before that, then they may say he nationalized the oil industry, bullshit again, the oil industry was nationalized in 1975 by Carlos Andrés Pérez, Chávez untra-nemesis and the President he did the coup against, yes Chávez was a putschist, which is why it's so laughable that chavista are always calling everything the opposition does a coup. He also didn't nationalize our universities nor our public schools nor our hospitals and honestly he didn't do anything new that adecos or copeyanos haven't done when it comes to social programs or economic policies other than different names (like CADIVI = RECADI), price controls, import controls, big tariff, nationalizing shit, reforma agraria (taking land from big owners to give to the little guy), building housed and apartment complex for the poor, trying to diversify our economy (LOL), all that crap was done before Chávez, it just didn't work like it didn't work with Chávez.

Remember I said we nationalized the oil industry in 1975, well we became ultra rich for a few years, one of the richest (top 5) countries per capita in the world, in 1983 we collapsed and this collapse eventually brought Chávez to power 1999 because people just couldn't understand that we couldn't go back to the golden days when we were super rich and the government gifted you everything.




Well, we successfully accomplished the 50-50 without getting Iraned, we created OPEC, we nationalized our oil industry, we were always super lefty, among other things, so if that counts as being under the US thumb then I guess they're right.




For all practical purposes Venezuela's economy is completely nationalized, all the important parts of the economy, starting with oil which it's most of our economy are completely in hands of the government, then all the others are controlled by the government, like if you produce food you can't decide where or whom to sell it, there is a government office that tells you to whom and by how much money, etc. And then most of these 'private' industries are owned by government officials or their testaferros.
Is there much else to your economy other than oil? Just a bit of coffee and cacao?

Did Chavez think about the future at all? Even Brazil has a high tech sector despite the massive crime levels...
 

Imnus

Extreme Far-Right Individualist Asshole
kiwifarms.net
Is there much else to your economy other than oil? Just a bit of coffee and cacao?

Did Chavez think about the future at all? Even Brazil has a high tech sector despite the massive crime levels...
Yes, he did, just like every politician before him, I just think it's impossible to diversify the economy by government force in a country like Venezuela where it's just so easy to fall in the oil and let it take care of everything else, it also makes corruption way too easy and tempting.

We kinda diversified the economy after our collapse in 1983 because the government was forced to go hand off a little on the economy and had to sell some companies like the telecommunication company CANTV since all government owned companies were failing and PDVSA could not longer sustain them with the oil barrel bewteen $9-13.

However our politicians hated that together with the decentralization of power (the governor of regions were elected by the national authority, they began getting elected locally) that occurred during the late 80s and early 90s so they always conspired against that, thankfully at least they pay a somewhat heavy price because this allowed the cuban infiltration of our military and eventually Chávez coup d'état, the problem of course.

BTW Chávez was pardoned for his coup d'état by his godfather Andrés Caldera one of the founders of our democracy from the party COPEI, the same party that Chávez's father belonged, even thought exceptional individuals and marxist propagandist want to pretend that Chávez was an outsider. Without that pardon Chávez would have never become President.

The rift between AD (Acción Democrática) and PCV (Partido Comunisata de Venezuela) wasn't because they had opposed ideologies, they were both communists and they together conspired against Marcos Pérez Jimenez (our last right wing President) in 1958, the thing is that the PCV was betrayed because they wanted a proletarian dictatorship and AD wanted democracy, so they were took out politically after the coup d'etat against Marcos Pérez Jimenez and AD raise to power. PCV got it's vengeance with Chávez in 1999, by they too were destroyed eventually by chavismo, PCV is a shell of itself now.

PCV and MAS (Movimiento al Socialismo, just a split of PCV) were the two established parties that supported Chávez in his first election.

The point is that Venezuela's political parties has always been very close to each other not only ideologically but by family bonds and members jumping from one to other, for example Voluntad Popular Guaido's party is full of ex-chavistas.


Just one little factoid: There is an outright communist (marxist-leninist) party that have opposed chavismo for like decade now, they were actually a guerrilla until 1994 and formed part of the coup d'etat that Chávez leaded in 1992, Bandera Roja.
 

JosephTX

Tex. Penal Code § 9.42(b) (1994) Enthusiast
kiwifarms.net
So Guaido wants to declare a state of emergency, does anyone know what that means?
 

Super-Chevy454

kiwifarms.net
Maduro blame a cyberattack from the US as the cause of the blackout. http://news.trust.org/item/20190310171437-jhq11

(Adds Maduro quote, shopping difficulties in Caracas, details on blackout)

By Mayela Armas and Deisy Buitrago

CARACAS, March 10 (Reuters) - Venezuelans woke up to a fourth day of an unprecedented nationwide blackout on Sunday, leaving residents concerned about the impacts of the lack of electricity on the South American country's health, communications and transport systems.

Socialist President Nicolas Maduro - who is facing a challenge to his rule by the leader of the opposition-led congress, Juan Guaido - has blamed the blackout on an act of "sabotage" by the United States at the Guri hydroelectric dam, but experts say it is the outcome of years of underinvestment.

"The national electrical system has been subject to multiple cyberattacks," Maduro wrote on Twitter on Sunday. "However, we are making huge efforts to restore stable and definitive supply in the coming hours."

Guaido invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency in January, arguing that Maduro's 2018 re-election was fraudulent. He has been recognized as Venezuela's legitimate leader by the United States and most Western countries.

Despite pressure from frequent opposition marches and U.S. sanctions on the country's vital oil sector, Maduro is not open to negotiations on ending the political impasse and seems intent on trying to stay put, said Elliott Abrams, the Trump administration's envoy for Venezuela.

The blackout, which began Thursday afternoon, increased frustration among Venezuelans already suffering widespread food and medicine shortages, as the once-prosperous OPEC nation's economy suffers a hyperinflationary collapse. Food rotted in refrigerators, people walked for miles to work with the Caracas subway down, and relatives abroad anxiously waited for updates from family members with telephone and internet signals intermittent.

"What can you do without electricity?" said Leonel Gutierrez, a 47-year-old systems technician, as he carried his six-month-old daughter on his way to buy groceries. "The food we have has gone bad."
 

Pixy Misa

kiwifarms.net
Maduro's entire defense relies on him being this "brave defender" of Venezuela's oil from "evil" America. Not unlike Chavez before him. As if Russia and China, Maduro's biggest allies, actually cared about the people of Venezuela.

Even if he was right and this is a huge conspiracy from America to get to Venezuela's oil, the simple fact is that Venezuelan people are better without him. Even if Guaido wasn't legal, the fact of the matter is that most of the people want him as a leader and not Maduro.

I want to believe these so-called "bolivarian" ideals are to defend the people and not some limited natural resource. Not to imply a country shouldn't defend themselves or whatever. But if your people are literally starving due to you, and they would be objectively better if you weren't there, It's time to step down. Whether or not this is a conspiracy to get oil is not relevant.
 
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Ghostse

Waffle SS Untergroupenfurher
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Maduro's entire defense relies on him being this "brave defender" of Venezuela's oil from "evil" America. Not unlike Chavez before him. As if Russia and China, Maduro's biggest allies, actually cared about the people of Venezuela.
That I think is mostly my issues with the people screaming about American imperialism. Its less that the US is some altruistic saintly who didn't do nothing, its just people look at the alternative and seriously believing that China and Russia are better and they aren't just being a mindlessly anti-american useful idiot?

Its like Huawei, a chinese company, complaining about the US detaining their CEO, screeding on twitter about "constitutional rights" - the same sort of rights that are being denied to anyone in reeduction prisons for daring to speak out against the party or suggesting that Taiwan and Tibet AREN'T immutable parts of China.
 

mindlessobserver

kiwifarms.net
Its entirely possible the CIA is destroying Venezuela's power grid. Considering how rickety the thing was to begin with a team of 4 dudes with a sufficient quanity of C4 could easily knock the whole thing over. Take out a few key nodes and the rest will blow under the strain. If it turns out the CIA really did do it I would not be shocked. But its easily just as likely the system is failing due to lack of maintenance. Venezuela is completely broke and the equipment needed to run a power station and transformer stations is not exactly cheap. When they can't even afford to buy toilet paper on the global market, how can they be expected to buy electrical equipment?

Either way this is probably it for Maduro. When your government cannot even keep the lights on you have pretty much lost the plot.
 

Ghostse

Waffle SS Untergroupenfurher
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Either way this is probably it for Maduro. When your government cannot even keep the lights on you have pretty much lost the plot.
I don't know about that. I thought refusing food & medicine to keep your people from dying would have been the end, but its been like 3 weeks, still in power. I'm starting to believe its impossible to churro the Maduro.
 
Reactions: RodgerDodger

Glad I couldn't help

Now with edge anime avatar
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Its entirely possible the CIA is destroying Venezuela's power grid. Considering how rickety the thing was to begin with a team of 4 dudes with a sufficient quanity of C4 could easily knock the whole thing over. Take out a few key nodes and the rest will blow under the strain. If it turns out the CIA really did do it I would not be shocked. But its easily just as likely the system is failing due to lack of maintenance. Venezuela is completely broke and the equipment needed to run a power station and transformer stations is not exactly cheap. When they can't even afford to buy toilet paper on the global market, how can they be expected to buy electrical equipment?
My own thinking is that the CIA, or possibly some other USG agency, might have given supplies and training to some group or groups in Venezuela that makes it hard to trace it back to them.

How easy is it for unmaintained transformer stations to blow up on its own? Engineers, please respond.
 

Pixy Misa

kiwifarms.net
I don't doubt America is having a hand and the CIA is doing things behind the scenes. And this it's been done out of interest in Venezuela's oil. But their point still stands, people in Venezuela would be better without Maduro.

Maduro is just making a "brave" last stand not to give the oil to America... so he can give it to Russia and China instead.
 

mindlessobserver

kiwifarms.net
My own thinking is that the CIA, or possibly some other USG agency, might have given supplies and training to some group or groups in Venezuela that makes it hard to trace it back to them.

How easy is it for unmaintained transformer stations to blow up on its own? Engineers, please respond.
Their entire system is held together by duct tape and chewing gum. A single power plant accounts for nearly 80% of their capacity. From what I understand the trouble started there, and the backup facilities just could not pick up the slack. Worse, restarting the grid is increasingly complex. Think back when the US northeast grid went down a few years ago It took days to restart and they did it in stages. Apparently these dummies tried to do it all at once and blew the distribution substations. So they are fucked.
 

AnOminous

do you see what happens
True & Honest Fan
Retired Staff
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My own thinking is that the CIA, or possibly some other USG agency, might have given supplies and training to some group or groups in Venezuela that makes it hard to trace it back to them.

How easy is it for unmaintained transformer stations to blow up on its own? Engineers, please respond.
Maybe, but the CIA had nothing to do with the fact these power outages are incredibly common already and this is just a particularly long one.

That said, it's the kind of shit the CIA does all the time, and frankly, in this case, should be doing more of.
 

Tealeaf

True & Honest Fan
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Worse, restarting the grid is increasingly complex.
Most interesting is how you need power to run the grid and start up power plants. Very few power plants in any grid have the black start capability, that is, to be able to start up without external power from the grid. Typically these are hydro power plants and plants equipped with impressive diesel aggregate generators. If the grid blacks out and the plants that are black start capable on paper have trouble starting, you're pretty much fucked. If all goes as planned, you get the black start plants online and use them to boot up the grid and start up the rest of the grid power supply.

Which brings us to the Venezuelan offline hydro plant: it's probably the primary black start plant for the entire grid.
 
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