Pertinent Questions About the Venezuelan Political and Economic Situation

Submitted by John E. Farmer
What about PetroCaribe?

What about PetroCaribe?

WHY does President Maduro keep demonizing the USA in every speech he makes? Also, why, like Chavez did, does he blame USA for Venezuela’s problems? Is it not true that IN 2013 USA purchased an average of 792,000 BARRELS of OIL PER DAY from Venezuela which is more than a third of Venezuela’s daily oil production? Is it not true that Venezuela owns refineries in the USA as well as 14,000 petrol stations under the name of CITGO? So where does Venezuela’s revenue come from? Yes, it comes from the good old USA, approximately 80 million dollars a day – not a bad pay cheque, eh?

Why, last week, did Maduro plead with the USA public not to let the government put sanctions on Venezuela? Very simple answer to that one, the already catastrophically weak Venezuelan economy would completely implode. Secondly, it is rumoured and not too difficult to certify that many of the Regime’s high echelon and Military upper crust own businesses, mansions and bank accounts in USA, Can you imagine if the USA applied sanctions and froze these accounts. What would happen if the regime suddenly had to run! The situation is looking a little dicey right now, isn’t it? Wasn’t Maduro two months back threatening the USA? Now he is pleading with them ‘please.’

What about PetroCaribe? Was this a gift offered to the West Indian Islands of the Caribbean or a guise? Could it perhaps be another way to infiltrate into the economy and geopolitical environment of another sovereign country?

Have you heard about the new law being introduced by the Maduro regime? Anyone owning a rented house, an apartment block or apartment building for more than twenty (20) years has to offer the property or apartment units for sale within 60 days, or land owner will have to pay a fine of more than $40,000.00. This law of course will strip legitimate owners of their livelihood. This is not surprising for a government which has already confiscated millions of hectares of private land property. Question: does this happen in a democratic country with a democratic government? 2nd Question: The Venezuelan economy is collapsing and in a terrible crisis. Sales of property are at a standstill because of the economic situation there. The Maduro regime controls all the US Dollars, so in whose hands will these properties end up?

With such a huge military force and such a large police force how is it possible to have such a high crime rate? The stolen car business in Venezuela is a very large business.

Maduro talks of peace all the time, he even offers peace to the USA, how laughable! But his National Guard forces, his police and his ‘Collectivos’ (motorcycle thugs) are shooting at and gassing protestors every day. The death toll count of the protestors continues to rise. Many of the victims’ are young students. More than a hundred political prisoners remain in Jail. Why is Barbados voting with or using the abstention vote to support this immoral and corrupt regime in the UN and the OAS?

David, I guess many of the persons reading your Barbados Underground News Blog are asking “why is this writer so concerned about what is happening in Venezuela”? Well I would be very grateful if you would give me the opportunity to explain my reasons

1)When I arrived in Venezuela in 1982 and for the next sixteen years Venezuela was as democratic as any other country I had ever lived in. The army always had a strong presence, but it was as a protective, rather than aggressive presence. I met by chance two of the Venezuelan Presidents, Carlos Andres Perez and Jaime Luchinci shaking the hands of the shoppers as they themselves shopped amongst the general public at a shopping plaza. No excessive company of National Guard forces protecting them. This reminded me of the days when I had seen the late Errol Barrow and Tom Adams doing their own shopping in a supermarket here in Barbados. I felt quite comfortable and enjoyed living in Caracas in those days. Everyone enjoyed freedom of speech. You could discuss politics, the government of the day, or any topic you cared to and there was no fear in the Venezuelan people’s eyes. You walked down the street during the day or went out at night in your car without worry or fear.

2) It was not long after the arrival of Hugo Chavez that I noticed a change in the comportment of the Venezuelan citizens. Smiles started to fade from their faces, laughter (the Venezuelans love to make fun of themselves and joke about their politicians) dried up. After a while if you stated anything too critical about any Chavista political figure or the government you could be put into prison and many were imprisoned. Special police forces were sent into the barrios (ghettos) and shot people in the street to put fear into them thus their motto ‘Socialismo O Muerto’. The four year old son of our helper at home had his eye shot out in a Chavez political celebration. She became so depressed and scared that my wife and I insisted she come and live with us in our house, which she did. How wonderful it was to see that young boy grow and lose his fear from the terrible trauma he had experienced. He and his mother stayed with us until we left Venezuela and we are still in touch with them on a regular basis. We are also in touch with many friends there so we know what the truth is and what is really happening in Venezuela. We are not taken in by the political rhetoric by the present Maduro regime and its spokes people and payroll supporters.

3) In my first article someone questioned my marching in a protest march in Caracas. I was a Barbadian citizen and a resident of Venezuela with residential status. It was a peaceful opposition march and I wanted to see with my own eyes who were marching. The crowd was estimated to be over 500,000 persons and this is why I could state categorically that in that march there was a cross section of rich, middle class and poor Venezuelans marching. Not the very, very rich who were marching as Mr. Comissiong stated on CBC television. We marched more than twelve (kilometres) that day. I appreciated Hal Austin’s comments and questions. To answer his inquiry,……. “No, there is not a large Black population in Venezuela”. The Black population is marginal in numbers. When the Black people of Africa were shipped to South America, the Caribbean and the Carolinas in the USA during the Ignominious act and days of the Slave Trade, only a little more than 1% arrived in Venezuela, whereas more than 38% were brought to Brazil. While I lived in Caracas, a black mayor was elected mayor of Caracas. A black politician also ran for the Presidency. I remember a black politician, of Trinidadian family roots who became the Minister of Education. Many of the blacks who originally settled on the cocoa plantations still live in that area. The population of Venezuela is mainly comprised of the Spanish, Italians, and Portuguese who helped to settle and develop the country. German immigrants settled and made a colony in the hills outside of Caracas. There are also small indigenous sectors that live there.

4) I believe that everyone has right of choice to choose his Religious and political way of life. In a Democracy, I believe one should have freedom of vote and freedom of speech. I do not believe in a totalitarian government which will not allow the opposition to have a say. How can I believe or support a Government that shoots and gasses its own people. A government that has wasted Billions of dollars on revolution and arms. A populous government buying its political support and trying to enforce a social communistic system in a capitalistic economy. It just won’t work. Under the Chavez/Maduro governments production of food has dropped by 60%and Venezuela has become a one product economy of oil. All other raw material necessary to manufacture goods is imported. There is very little if any real investment coming into the country. Why is this? Investment will always follow confidence and stable governments.

5)Last question: If Cuba, Russia and Iran are such wonderful friends and supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution as we have been told by Maduro and that USA is the great Satan; why do the Chavistas and higher ups in the army go shopping in the USA.? Pachamama, can you help me with the answer to this one?

53 thoughts on “Pertinent Questions About the Venezuelan Political and Economic Situation

  1. Following received by email today:

    Good morning,

    this is from the Telegraph. Some of your more rabid contributors will no doubt consider it to be a white, British, imperialist, capitalist propaganda tool, but I for one would trust this account of what is happening in Venezuela over anything that comes from Tennyson Joseph and David Commissiong.

    I thought you’d like this:

    Read more

    Caracas chaos: Venezuelan general on the run – Telegraph

    Death in the streets, rationing by fingerprints and a general on the run: how oil-rich Venezuela has descended into chaos

  2. Mr Farmer, Don’t care what factual accounts you give of the tyranny that passes in Cuba and Venezuela for progress, ideologues falsely masquerading as ‘friends’ of oppressed peoples of these two suffering nations would turn a blind eye. As you correctly mentioned in your contribution, these ideologues are lavishly treated by the regime when they visit; hence their rabid support for the forces of oppression against the peace loving peoples of these once freedom speaking nations.

  3. Balance, I always enjoy and appreciate your comments. They are appropriate with your pseudonym or is it acronym? keep up the good work. JEF

    • What is admirable about the group in Barbados is their willingness to demonstrate, see the pic in todays Sun with the group crashing the IAPA conference.

  4. @Astute

    How does the saying go? A picture is worth a thousand words, right? well, lets try a video is worth a thousand words!

    Venezuela: The Protest You Won’t See on TV 1

    Venezuela: The Protest You Won’t See on TV 2

    Venezuela: The Protest You Won’t See on TV 3

  5. There should be no question about why the country is heading for a train wreck. Venezuela selling crude oil to the US at world prices, Texas refineries converting it back into gasoline because Venezuela refineries have had no capital improvements in the last 10 years and cannot keep up with demand.

    So Chevez/Maduro buying back gasoline at world prices ($3+ per gallon) and then selling it locally at $0.50. How many more examples of piss poor socialist management of an economy do we need to see before this failed concept is put to bed for ever? And this is only one example.

    Every time, the people they claim to help and support get the worst end of the deal. Let me ask a simple question, does Chavez and Maduro look like they ever missed a meal? Living like kings on the backs of the people.

    And to all who villify the US, at least we pull our criminal senators and reps in court.. Last time one in Bdos get lock up please?

  6. While much changes, much remains the same. The ongoing saga of Venezuela. The difference between Democratic dictators and Socialist dictators – the US. Check history.

  7. White people and their imperial interests really are the true gods of this earth. This simple minded poster, Farmer, asked a question and we shall answer. He asked, why Presidente Maduro blames the ‘Tughuts of Evil’ (the USA) for the instigation of problems in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Answer: because of the more than 100 soft coups, hard coups, rigged elections, assassination of leaders, economic destruction and military invasions of countries in the Western Hemisphere that were indeed conduction by this Great Satan of North America. But this question could only be the product of a puerile mind. The real questions are geo-political/geo-strategic in nature. They are about the challenges to Empire.These would require more than a modicum of brain muscle to posit. It would be unrealistic therefore for us to expect such questions from the shameless supporters of the Anglo-American Empire.

    We have some questions of our own, for Venezuela is not an island. Why were similar circumstances occurring in Ukraine? Why were similar circumstances occurring in most of the “Middle East”? Indeed, why would countries like Bahrain avoid the ire of this Great Shatan? Where was Farmer when the USA was for 15 years using every means at its disposal to subvert a nearly 20 times elected government? Where was Farmer when the USA was plotting with carcinogens to kill all the leaders it does not like in ‘Latin America’? This is the same demon which has tried to assassinate Fidel Castro more than 500 times. Of course, these hot dog eating, pop drinking, TV watching polymaths would never be interested in such issues.

  8. Barbados’s role in the Inter-American space will be just as deceitful as it was when the American supported terrorists, Orlando Bosch and others, blew up a Cubana aircraft over Barbados. This passes for diplomacy but is better described as colonialism – Yankee style! Then they allowed the Americans to drag the downed aircraft into international waters – challenge this! All of these regional or international fora are merely window dressing. The pawns (Barbados) already know what their vote must be and the final text is agreed before the meeting starts, most times.

  9. Pack

    Get really brother. What strategic importance is Barbados to the US? You better be careful with your words, before America downgrade Grantley Adams International Airport and reduce Barbados to one of the poorest countries in Africa. Listen! Barbados can’t even defend itself against an internal foe, far less more and external one.

  10. This guy Dompey is hilarous–a ha ha ha ha ha==a ha ha ha
    First laugh of the year for me . But my year recently started -not the same as yours anyhow. Dompey -keep it up !! ha ha ha ha -a ha

  11. @Pachamama
    I concur with your analysis of the Venezuelan situation. One must place the Venezuelan situation into the wider context of Western imperialism to really understand what is going on. Of course those who only watch mainstream media and drink the Illuminati koolaid will always fall for the false rhetoric and interpretations of world events as advertised by the sinews of empire.

    Keep retorting Pachamama. Your analysis of world events shall open the eyes of many who are in darkness.

  12. We see that the mainly Russian people of eastern and southern Ukraine and particularly Donetsk are openly singing the Russian national anthem, have announced independence and are demanding a referendum. This demand for democracy will never be supported by the Anglo-American Empire and their supporters, however. For the Americans, especially, have succeeding and in fooling the sheeple that they are the ones who can say what is democratic or not. America, a country that has never had a free and fair election.A country that would not know democracy if it bit it in the face. For American is, for all intents and proposes, a Fascist state.

    We wonder what the sheeple like John Farmer will say when revolution comes to America in a spring not to far from now.

  13. Pachamama, I am surprised that someone with such an elevated thinking brain would waste your time reading and afterwards commenting on articles written by Farmer; a person who you describe as a near illiterate sycophant, having a single-celled puerile mind with a modicum of brain substance……….WOW!

  14. “The real questions are geo-political/geo-strategic in nature.”

    So you do indeed have the answer which applies to the Russian invasion of Yugoslavia, Georgia and most recently the installation of a puppet leadership in Ukraine which when sensibly overthrown was followed by the annexation of Crimae.

  15. “This is the same demon which has tried to assassinate Fidel Castro more than 500 times.”
    You really believe that if the USA wanted to assassinate Mr Castro that he would be alive today. Castro has always been more useful to the USA alive than dead. He is really no threat to the USA as evidenced by the Americans still in possession of Guantanamo province in his own backyard.This myth about Castro having been able to elude efforts at assassination is a propaganda exercise aided and abetted by the same media you abhor to create an aura of iimmortality around the Commander which helps to keep the people under subjection Ever considered where Cubans would obviously go were they not denied the right to leave their country freely and how beneficial to the USA would be the restrictions imposed on Cubans wishing to leave the country in the USA government not having to deal with the mayhem which would befall the social services in Florida were Cubans allowed to travel freely.

  16. @ JEF
    Sorry to disappoint. We didn’t read your wanderings. We merely looked at the first few lines. No more than that would be necessary to diagnosed infantilism. But you are right. There is nothing you can have to say that we any interest in.

  17. balance, April 7, 2014 at 10:36 AM:

    ” … the USA government not having to deal with the mayhem which would befall the social services in Florida were Cubans allowed to travel freely.”

    This is an acute observation, an observation worth making because unlike a lot of stuff on this blog, it prompts real thought. 

    Can there be any doubt that if the Cuban government allowed free travel for its citizens this afternoon, then by this time next week Cuba would be severely underpopulated? It would barely have enough people to get in the next sugar harvest.

    An analogy from recent memory is the fall of the Berlin Wall. Remember how the collapse of the Wall in 1989 triggered a mass exodus of people from Western Europe into Eastern Europe: millions of people who were desperate to live in Erich Honecker’s workers’ paradise? Remember how millions of Swedes and Danes and Norwegians just packed their bags and bundled their children into Volvos, in their frantic quest to live in Hungary and Romania? Every single one of them thinking: “my dream is to stand in a line for three hours every day so that I’ve got a chance to buy some plastic Bulgarian shoes. Or maybe an onion.”

    Remember how it was in those terrible days when almost everybody in Toronto was trying to cross the US-Mexican border in an anxious gamble to establish their dream life in Honduras or Nicaragua or Venezuela? Lots of Canadians died in that effort. It was tragic.

  18. @ana hidalgo
    “Remember how it was in those terrible days when almost everybody in Toronto was trying to cross the US-Mexican border in an anxious gamble to establish their dream life in Honduras or Nicaragua or Venezuela? Lots of Canadians died in that effort. It was tragic.”

    Can you tell us, when was this?

  19. call a spade, April 7, 2014 at 1:32 PM: 

    “@ana hidalgo … Can you tell us, when was this?”

    I believe it might have been around 1992, just about the time that the Mexican government was trying to build a coast-to-coast wall on the US-Mexican border in a failed effort to prevent the complete de-population of Belgium and the Netherlands.

    I’m sure you’ll recall that, at the time, there were serious concerns in The Hague and Brussels (and also in Washington and Ottawa and London and Paris) that if the Mexican government couldn’t get the funding for the border wall, then hundreds of millions of people from the Netherlands and Belgium and the United States and Canada and the United Kingdom and France would immediately abandon their countries for that one desperate chance to live in Honduras. 

    Many Canadians died of thirst on that long trip south through the desert to their dream of a better life. How can you not remember this?

  20. Call a spade:

    You can see them every day on the international line between El Paso in Texas and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico. Every single day, you can see them. These wretched Canadians and Icelanders and Greenlanders and Swedes and Dutch, wanting nothing more than a better life in Mexico or El Salvador or Venezuela.

    They risk their lives every day, walking through the desert and paying their life-savings to Canadian “coyotes” who promise to get them across the border to Mexico. Some die in the attempt.

  21. @ pachamama

    You are obviously the resident conger eel on BU. You hide in your hole in the rock, ass first, and ambush anyone new that comes on this site. Which is precisely what you have done to John E. Farmer.

    The name Pachamama is an Inca word that loosely translates as “earth goddess” or “earth mother”. It would suggest that you are female, but I believe you are a man. Your writing style tells me this: arrogant and dripping with self-importance.

    In all the time I have spent reading the commentary on this site, I have never seen you make any intelligent statement or engage in any form of reasoned rebuttal. It is pretty obvious you lack the necessary equipment. To disguise this fact, you rely on sarcasm and personal insult.

    You portray yourself as some sort of “grey eminence” — a superior intellect to “mere amateurs” who contribute to BU. Truth is, you are a complete fraud.

    Your childish, highly affected vocabulary — words such as “infantilism”, “puerile”, “posit”, “modicum”, “geo-political/geo-strategic” and “polymath” — gives you away. I don’t think you even know what “polymath” means.

    When it comes to any form of intellectual discourse you have one song to sing: America is the great Satan; a fascist state; blah, blah, blah. Second verse: it’s an imperialist conspiracy by white people to dominate the world, blah, blah, blah. You do love to hate the whites, don’t you?

    Tell you what I think; no, let me tell you what I know, based on my experience in profiling.

    You are a narcissist with delusions of grandeur: you actually believe you are an unrecognized and unappreciated genius. After all, your mummy told you how clever you were, day in day out.

    But you really haven’t achieved much; in fact, you are pretty much a failure. (I see that you also have a problem with alcohol and that your spouse is, or was, the bread-winner.)

    Like most failures, you need someone to blame. Someone stopped you from fulfilling your full potential. Isn’t that right?
    And since you are black, that someone must be Whitey. Yes, by God! It was the white man who held you back.

    You are also quite paranoid: conspiracy theories are your meat and drink.

    All in all Pachamama, you are a foul-mouthed intellectual pygmy. And it’s a shame to see how you have managed to intimidate the other well-meaning contributors to Barbados Underground.

  22. Venezuela is not the catastrophe it’s become because of what some spectacularly dull commenter on this blog calls “the Illuminati Koolaid”. Remember, Venezuela is one of the world’s biggest oil producers. Venezuela is a calamity because its government is running a nation-wide economic policy that is based on a basic lie. 

    Here’s the lie: the government can put a price on a thing, and that price can be different from the thing’s value.

    It is a lie that has doomed ever single workers’ paradise to penury and mendicancy. If you manufacture toilet paper and every roll costs you x cents to manufacture, what are you going to do if the government TELLS YOU that from now on every roll costs x minus 10 cents to manufacture? If you’re not an idiot, you’re going to stop manufacturing toilet paper.

    If you grow onions in Barbados, and the government TELLS YOU that you have to sell your onions TO THE GOVERNMENT at below the cost of growing onions, what are you going to do? You’re going to stop growing onions, or you’ll find an underground market.

    And onions in Barbados—those tiny, shriveled, nutrient-deficient things you see already rotting in the basket at any retail outlet—do we want THE GOVERNMENT telling us what their value is? We already know what the price is. And the price is nowhere nearly equivalent to the value.

    • The commentary about clearing the way to faciilitate free travel between Cuba and the USA makes one think of Haiti, the poorest country in the world. Haiti has a democratically elected gpverment no? What is the immigration status between the two countries and why?

  23. Call a spade on

    Something tells me that you’re dead on the money with respect to your above comment.

  24. David, April 7, 2014 at 3:19 PM: 

    “… Haiti, the poorest country in the world”.

    Haiti is not the poorest country in the world, not by any measure, so the question is moot. A lot depends on how you measure poverty, but the question is still moot.

    Is it total output? GDP at PPP? Per capita GDP in absolute values or at PPP? Have you done a linear regression?

    Almost certainly, whichever way you look at it, Somalia is the poorest country in the world.

    What is the immigration status between Somalia and Barbados? And why? 

    Also, what is the immigration status between Nigeria and Barbados? And why?

    What is the immigration status between Ghana and Barbados? And why?

  25. Pointing out that you got a fact wrong, that’s “semantics” is it?

    Do you even know what “semantics” means? I mean, without googling the word right now, do you know what the word means?

  26. David on April 7, 2014 at 3:19 PM:  

    “The commentary about clearing the way to faciilitate [sic] free travel between Cuba and the USA makes one think of Haiti, the poorest country in the world. Haiti has a democratically elected gpverment [sic] no? What is the immigration status between the two countries and why?”

    Nigeria has a democratically elected gpverment [sic]. Barbados removes all immigration controls. Entire population of Nigeria to Barbados: “hey, brother Bajans, guess who’s coming to dinner?”

    • No Chris aka Jack, the point is there are countries in the world classified poor and also classified as democracies and what?

  27. Just pitiful, David. Utterly pitiful.

    It seems you are alerting the world that you have a problem with someone called “Chris”.

    We DO hope that’s not Mr. Halsall. What would Chuck and Helen say?

  28. Haiti is indeed the poorest country in the western hemisphere, measured in GDP output. Venezuela has the world’s biggest known oil reserves.
    What is interesting about the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is not what the coffee-coloured people are doing, but what is happening to the African population.
    By the way, have you noticed that Brazil is moving away from being called ‘Latin Amerian’, on the basis that it speaks Portuguese.
    The postponement of the state visit by the president to the US takes us back 100 years. Watch out for the regional power struggle.

    • The news in the last 24 hours is that Maduro has called for a meeting between parties to halt the disturbances which conflicts with the picture Commissiong et al are painting. There is a problem and it must be confronted.

  29. @ David,
    You are correct. More than four million, actually, it was almost five million voters who claim Maduro stole the last elections. He refused to open an independent vote recount. Added to this frustration, the insecure situation, with Venezuela now heading the list of countries with the worst crime rate in the world, the people there feel imprisoned in their own houses and are afraid to go out on the street with their children. There is a shortage of food in Venezuela and Maduro reportedly gives Cuba’s Raul Castro and his Ministers three luxury airplanes for their personal use. He is now pleading with the Great Satan (USA) to help There will be no peace in Venezuela as long as the Castro brothers insert their influence and control over Venezuela. Chavez also used the same ploy after he was removed from power and then returned. He talked peace with the opposition and then tightened the noose around their neck. Venezuela’s economy is imploding. Maduro is looking for a way out, Where can he find a safe haven? But like a cornered rat, if the opposition refuses to talk peace which I think they will, then he will try to come down with the full force of the armed forces. If they will follow his command, I am not sure, but remember there are Cuban personal in high positions in the Venezuelan Army protecting the Cuban interest of a free continuous oil supply and therefore it could all end in a blood bath. However, I am sure the upper crust of the Bolivarian Revolution society and the high echolon of the the Armed forces in Venezuela will want to protect their interests in the USA, so maybe there is still hope for a peaceful solution.

    • In a way the outcome of Venezuela and Barbados general elections has exposed a deficiency in both governance systems, the vote was split almost 50:50.

  30. Hal Austin, April 8, 2014 at 3:23 AM:

    “Haiti is indeed the poorest country in the western hemisphere, measured in GDP output”

    “What is interesting about the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is not what the coffee-coloured people are doing”.


    First, Haiti might be the poorest country in the western hemisphere, but that’s irrelevant. “David” said that Haiti is the poorest country in the world, which is a flat-out lie.

    Second, what’s your source for absolute GDP in Haiti? UNDP? World Bank? How do those sources rank Guyana? And is absolute GDP a reliable indicator of poverty? Measured how? In constant dollars or real? At PPP or not?

    Third, this notion and image of “coffee-coloured people”, Mr Austin, is going to haunt you.

    Fourth, congrats on the ‘tache. An excellent thing. Always makes me smile.

  31. @Ana Hidalgo
    “You can see them every day on the international line between El Paso in Texas and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico. Every single day, you can see them. These wretched Canadians and Icelanders and Greenlanders and Swedes and Dutch, wanting nothing more than a better life in Mexico or El Salvador or Venezuela.”

    You are so full of shit your eyeballs are turning brown.

  32. @ David[BU]

    David CommunistSong and David Dumpcy Denny are two persons who I believe have inhaled a little too from the chalice of life and/or some marijuana.

    I dont know if people understand how this thing works but let me explain.

    Here we have two persons of questionable standing in Bim, without the currency of adulation and genuflection in their own land one a failed politician and the other a failed trade unionist, seeking to aggrandise themselves in Venezuela and in Cuba, by these proxy representations.

    Driven by the Bevy of Latina Beauties that adorn their trips in these spanish havens of pulchritude, Comrade Denny and CommunistSong are able to revel in that red carpet treatment when they arrive in these countries.

    If and when Maduro falls neither will be able to go south for their nights of shameless abandon but will be constricted to the north

    For you damsels who mays have your delicate sensibilities chaffed by my odious remarks, I beg you to scroll down as many are encouraged to do with Alternating Current and ….. well others.

    Small men who aggrandise themselves by these pretensions of solidarity even in the face of obvious oppression and wide spread suffering the chant remains Viva la Revolution.

  33. “Balance, I always enjoy and appreciate your comments”
    I might not always get it right Jef but I try to be balanced in an effort to educate more and speculate less.

  34. @ Ana Hildago

    Sorry. You are not someone I would normally have anything to do with. Have your say on BU, but not with me.


  35. call a spade, April 8, 2014 at 7:14 PM:

    “@Ana Hidalgo … You are so full of shit your eyeballs are turning brown.”

    Gorgeous image, doubtless the product of a gorgeous mind.

    How so, exactly? Try to be specific.

  36. @ Ana Hidalgo

    I am a Canadian citizen,lived in Toronto for many years, and I can assure the community of bloggers on this site that the situation you describe of Canadians trying to cross the US-Mexico border illegally in search of a better life is crap. Ditto people from Iceland, Greenland, Holland and Sweden. You are talking about countries with some of the highest standards of living in the world. And they are going to find a “better life” in El Salvador? Jesus Murphy woman, what the have you got between your ears and where do you get your information? National Inquirer?

  37. OMG! @ call a spade!
    Can’t you recognize sarcasm?!
    You have just made Ana Hidalgo’s point. Nobody in their mind would immigrate to the nation paradise these desperate-for-rellavence pretend commie bunch bout here keep trying to defend, not even them.

  38. @ana hidalgo (& tired and confused)
    It seems I owe you an apology. I didn’t pick up on your mastery of the art of sarcasm. But you see, there are so many outlandish statements of disinformation made on this site by propagandists, and I mistook you for one.

  39. Hal Austin, April 8, 2014 at 3:23 AM:

    “By the way, have you noticed that Brazil is moving away from being called ‘Latin Amerian’ [sic], on the basis that it speaks Portuguese.”

    No, haven’t noticed that, on account of it being untrue. It’s like saying that the Netherlands is moving away from being called ‘European’ on the basis that it speaks Dutch.

    The very term “América Latina” (Latin America) originates in neither Spanish nor Portuguese, but in the French ‘Amérique latine’. It sprang from the mid-19th century French intellectual movement of pan-latinism, which sought to draw a distinction between all peoples of “Latin” heritage (including the French and Italians and, indeed, Romanians) and those peoples that the movement perceived as “Anglo Saxon”.

    The suggestion that Brazil is moving away from being called Latin American “on the basis that it speaks Portuguese” is preposterous on its face.

    Historically, Brazil has always sought to be the subregional counterbalance to the United States within the western hemisphere, so the suggestion that we should be alert to some new “regional power struggle” is equally lame.

  40. I do not know who you are nor am I interested. But for the record, this is the last time I will respond to your semi-literate nonsense.
    The term Latin America did come from 19th century French intellectuals, anyone c an Google that, even you.
    But last Thursday night I listened for an hour to BBC Radio Four, from Rio, in which politicians, retired diplomats and academics were discussing all these and more, including differentiating themselves from the Spanish-speaking nations. It is still there and can be heard again.
    If they are wrong, who am I to say. But, as I have said before, plse pick your fights in future, but leave me out of it.

  41. Hal Austin, April 10, 2014 at 12:27 PM:

    “[blah, blah and, indeed, blah]”

    If you’re referring to the programme from my old friends at CEBRI, pues, es que ya lo escuché. I listened to it the morning after the broadcat. The only panellist I don’t know personally is your colleague at the FT. 

    From what I recall of a very informative programme, it was your colleague at the FT—who sounded like a real, honest-to-god, bright and professional journalist—who made one of the most incisive points: that Brazil’s efforts to host the World Cup have showcased the country’s deficiencies to the world.

    I also recall that one of the Brazilian panellists made the precise point that the term “Latin America” originated with French intellectuals.

    To the extent that anyone, at any point, talked about Brazil moving away from Latin America on the basis that it speaks Portuguese, one panellist emphasised that Brazil might feel less “Latin American” BECAUSE THE COUNTRY FEELS CLOSER TO THE UNITED STATES. That was it, the whole discussion on that point.

    The Itamaraty has what is probably the best diplomatic school in Latin America, and it produces lots of very, very clever people every year. 

    You call me “semi-literate”? Really? Is that your best? Want me to respond to that insult semi-literately in Spanish or Portuguese or French or English? The choice is yours.

    You did get one thing right: you don’t know who I am.

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