The Parliament of Venezuela has deprived President Nicolas Maduro of presidential powers illegally, similarly to the Ukrainian scenario. Not that long ago, outgoing US President Barack Obama declared Venezuela "an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States." It was a difficult year for Maduro, but he could cope with many problems, even though you will not be able to read anything about it in Western publications.
Before leaving the White House, Barack Obama does his best to harm as many countries as possible. On Monday, he cracked down on Venezuela. Venezuela is ruled by Chavistas - ideological heirs of Hugo Chavez, the founder of "socialism of the XXI century," which stipulates for the consolidation of extracted fuel in the hands of the state before its equitable distribution. The essence of this system is as follows: no one is too rich, and there is no poverty either. The state finances health, education and subsidises producers of goods and services. The things that cost too much in the West are cheap in Venezuela.
In Venezuela, gasoline, even today, has the cheapest price in the world: a liter costs 1 cent in US dollars, according to Global Petrol Price. In Colombia, it costs 72 cents, which leads to speculative trade. The Bolivarian socialism can not be built in a separate country, if the border is open. This is the main disadvantage of the system, because the difference in prices leads to the creation of a huge black market, including the currency one. In Venezuela, there is a shortage of everything, but people have everything they need at the same time: they have food in their fridges and they receive apartments, cars, etc from the state.
The collapsed oil prices have aggravated the state of affairs in the Venezuelan economy, as oil is the main export product of the country that brings most of currency to the budget. In the wake of the snowballing inflation rate, accelerated with money-printing for social programs, the neoliberal opposition of Venezuela won the legislative elections in December 2015 and took control of the parliament. In January 2016, opposition leader Henry Ramos announced that he would remove Maduro from power within six months.
Ramos was of course inspired by the impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Rousseff's impeachment would have never been possible if the CIA had not taken active part in it. However, the Constitution of Venezuela does not provide for the removal of president from power through parliamentary impeachment. Ramos took up a referendum, but the Supreme Court did not approve the collected signatures to initiate the procedure. Maduro remained standing even when neoliberals arranged another attack - "removal from office."
"How does this guy (Ramos) want to arrange the coup?" the head of Libertador municipality of Caracas, Jorge Rodriguez, a Chavista, wondered. "The statement about the removal from office is a verbal crime. His actions have killed 43 people [victims of riots in the autumn of 2016]," he added.
As we can see, 2016 was an extremely difficult year for Venezuela politically, but the country achieved certain economic progress at the same time. Maduro overcame the energy crisis associated with poor water supplies at El Guri hydroelectric power plant that accounts for 80 percent of generated electricity. An austerity program was introduced; outdated lamps and air conditioners were replaced with latest models. The subsidy assistance program was revised to support distressed consumers instead of producers; all others started buying goods and services on the market. Maduro managed to preserve the social security system: Venezuela spends 71.4 percent of the national budget on social programs. This is a world record, because no other country in the world dedicates nearly three-quarters of its budget to social investments.
A fundamental achievement, which also received no media attention in the West, was made for pensioners receiving old-age pensions. In 2016, their percentage reached 90 percent (16 percent in 1999). The construction of social housing continued: 359,000 apartments and houses (viviendas) were built as free property to the Venezuelans. La Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela (GMVV) programme has yielded about 1.5 million social apartments in six years. Hospitals and schools were also built. Medical schools prepared 27,000 new doctors on a budgetary basis in 2016. The government purchased grain from Russia to solve the problem of grain shortage inside the country.
Who writes about all these achievements? No one. On the contrary, Western media demonise Maduro's regime executing Washington's task to overthrow him. At the same time, mass media of the West praise the neighbouring Colombia, the economy of which remains in a more deplorable state than that of Venezuela (six million refugees from Colombia live in Venezuela).
The success of the Colombian government about the agreement concluded with FARC guerrillas is hailed as a success of a genuine democracy, even though this success exists only on paper. Food stores are full in Colombia, but children die in the streets from hunger. The country has no pension security, and drug crimes are rampant.
To make the situation in Venezuela more unstable, the West tries to destabilise the financial system."The withdrawal of the bolivar from the liquidity market is worth 300 billion - the US Treasury Department ordered to withdraw that money with the help of non-governmental organisations to strangle the national financial system and leave our country moneyless," Venezuela's Minister for Internal Affairs, Nestor Reverol said. To prevent shadow cash turnover, Maduro decided to withdraw the bill of 100 bolivars to combat terrorism and crime. Noteworthy, Nareandra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, resorted to the same method, but can you read about such a positive experience in Western media?
Why does the West want to crush Venezuela and remove Nicolas Maduro from power? In Colombia, all the wealth (coffee plantations, minerals, drug production and drug trafficking) has long been divided between American corporations, mobsters and local landowners. In Venezuela, though, there is still a lot of state-owned property that can be privatised. First of all, it goes about the oil industry and millions of square meters of social housing. If neoliberals win in Venezuela, the lives of ordinary citizens will only worsen. Do people of the young generation of Hugo Chavez understand this?
The inflation rate will grow along with the level of crime, corruption and depression. The trend will continue during Trump's stay in the office, because American capital is always aggressive. American capital always absorbs economies of other countries that, as we know, can be successful when they have protectionist economies (Singapore, South Korea, China). All leftist governments in Latin America try to maintain and use national resources for the benefit of their peoples. Yet, the USA knows its "backyard" very well. Let's see if the people of Venezuela are wise enough to know the USA.
On Sunday, President Maduro announced the establishment of special forces to struggle against potential putschists. These forces - Comando Antigolpe - will involve armed forces, police, central government and all revolutionary forces with Vice-President Tarek El Aissami in command, EFE wrote. The forces will take "preventive legal measures against all conspirators and terrorists inside the country to prevent the overthrow of the legitimate government, riots and chaos. Any revolution is worth it only when it can protect itself.
Lyuba Lulko (Stepushova)
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