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Venezuelan president escapes drone 'assassination' attempt; blames Colombia

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By Alexander Martinez

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© 2018 AFP

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The problems in Venezuela might not be as simple as a failure of socialism.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fV-C1Ag5sI

Given the long history of outside interference and regime change in the region, sabotage of a socialist government that's trying to control it's own resources is actually more believable.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Given the long history of outside interference and regime change in the region, sabotage of a socialist government that's trying to control it's own resources is actually more believable.

The simple explanation is most often the right one. Venezuela is suffering because of the failed policies of it's leaders.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

The simple explanation is most often the right one.

In science, yes. I'm not so sure about geopolitical issues where there is no question numerous factors and motivated parties are involved.

You have two widely differing explanations for the problems here. I'm guessing the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

An explosives laden drone. More to come - this technology us the new tool inthe assassins arsenal.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Venezuela's problems are of it's own making, as are its solutions. Decapitating the government, as terrible as it is, might be one. But with inflation projected to be a million percent this year, the unsustainable can only totter along so long. The question is the cure.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Right, strutting socialist dictatirs in army uniforms - and the county's failure is the fault if the west. Yawn.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Given the long history of outside interference and regime change in the region, sabotage of a socialist government that's trying to control it's own resources is actually more believable.

CIA history is laden with examples, especially when a country decides to nationalize carbon resources. Iraq in the 60s, Iran in the 50's. But yes, it is also a failure of leadership and the rule of law. So much corruption in many Latin American countries, well, every country for that matter.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

But yes, it is also a failure of leadership and the rule of law. So much corruption in many Latin American countries, well, every country for that matter.

Agreed. There are some definite mismanagement and corruption problems there (made worse by constant outside interference). But as you implied mismanagement and corruption aren't exactly problems unique to socialist countries, which seems to be the talking point for some.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

But as you implied mismanagement and corruption aren't exactly problems unique to socialist countries, which seems to be the talking point for some.

It stands to reason that the more power and decision-making you centralize in the hands of government officials, the more conducive the environment is for corruption. If the government has little power, there is less they can be bribed for.

Socialism, as it's practiced, requires greater government control, therefore a greater propensity to corruption.

There are corrupt people everywhere, but certain environments are obviously more fertile ground for corruption to flourish. Venezuela has had autocratic rule over vast swaths of the economy. That's the perfect breeding ground for unchecked corruption.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are some definite mismanagement and corruption problems there (made worse by constant outside interference). But as you implied mismanagement and corruption aren't exactly problems unique to socialist countries, 

I think that such military dictatorships actually need “constant outside interference” - real, imagined or self-generated - to stay in power. Crisis after crisis. Fix after failed fix. Would they ever think of saying “We’ve failed to deliver so we’re stepping down. You, the opposition, try to do better!”? Never. Once in power dictators never share that power. The less bright are often removed by force after overstepping themselves and attacking neighbors. Read history.

Attack Columbia? A foreign war would be expedient right about now.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Socialism, as it's practiced, requires greater government control, therefore a greater propensity to corruption

I Agree. However, a capitalist economy is not so different, they just hide in the private sector and are protected by the inside government corruption. Bill Browder is a perfect example of this corruption/protection.

Regardless, Maduro must go. No comment on who or what should replace him except that maybe Sean Penn can return Venezuela back to its socialist paradise.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Socialism, as it's practiced, requires greater government control, therefore a greater propensity to corruption.

I think capitalism unchecked is just as prone to corruption since it hands greater power and influence (i.e., control) to corporations. We all know the propensity for corruption when corporate greed is involved.

I think the key to any successful system is keeping democracy and transparency strong and having an interested and well-informed populace. That can be done in a democratic socialist system as many European countries prove. European countries that have not have to deal with constant outside interference and regime change.

I think that such military dictatorships actually need “constant outside interference” - real, imagined or self-generated - to stay in power.

So why give it to them?

Once in power dictators never share that power.

Especially when they live in constant fear of foreign-backed coups.

Read history.

Historically, some military dictatorships were backed by the outside influencers. The only difference being whether the dictatorship handed over their national resources.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

He should be more worried about his military men who scattered in chaos when they heard something exploding.

This feels like an event staged by Maduro to reinforce his claim that 'enemies' are trying to overthrow the country.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I think that such military dictatorships actually need “constant outside interference” - real, imagined or self-generated - to stay in power. Crisis after crisis. Fix after failed fix. Would they ever think of saying “We’ve failed to deliver so we’re stepping down. You, the opposition, try to do better!”? Never. Once in power dictators never share that power. The less bright are often removed by force after overstepping themselves and attacking neighbors. Read history.

Read history indeed. The US has a long history of backing and providing help to military dictatorships globally. To speak with the poster: 'constant outside interference' :)

Their latest adventure in the Middle East with their First knight, legitimated by misinformation on weapons of mass destruction, made the regional problems larger and created the founding of Islamic State.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There's no shortage of those who want him dead. He's killed Venezuela.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Especially when they live in constant fear of foreign-backed coups.

That fear is no doubt present. Foreign-backed coups are not unknown. The problem is foreign-instigated coups which serve only the interests of the foreign government.

However, I think that constant fear of their own people by a dictatorship is greater. Hence the police state.

People who are discontent and denied a legal outlet for that discontent, lacking the money and arms to rebel, might reluctantly resort to approaching foreign providers of both.

Why reluctant? Any such move will be branded as treason by the dictatorship which can then tighten its hold over the populous by appealing to patriotism and by branding any opposition as counter-revolutionary. (Read the history of the Bolshevik Revolution.)

It must be extremely difficult for dissidents under a dictatorship to remain independent of those who would help for fear of appearing unpatriotic. That providers of help will sometimes assume the role of king maker is a danger and a fact but that need not always be the outcome and depends much on the rebels - unless one arrogantly considers them to be mere puppets.

The root problem is individuals who claim to know what “the people” want.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think capitalism unchecked is just as prone to corruption since it hands greater power and influence (i.e., control) to corporations. We all know the propensity for corruption when corporate greed is involved.

But it’s never going to be replaced by socialism.

*I think the key to any successful system is keeping democracy and transparency strong and having an interested and well-informed populace. That can be done in a democratic socialist system as many European countries prove. *

What works semi in one country doesn’t necessarily work in another.

European countries that have not have to deal with constant outside interference and regime change.

No, but you are seeing more discontent in many European countries when it comes to refugees and the many problems that come with it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I think it was Uruguay. I have just as much "proof" as the Venezuelan President. Which is nothing but a suspicion.

How about some facts? Physical evidence that points to individuals, tied by a money trail? Watch a few episodes of "Burn Notice" or "Strike Back" to see how that is done.

Using a small drone wouldn't be how the USgovt did it. Individuals from anywhere, poorly funded, might attempt to use a drone. I wouldn't. There are easier, better, ways, just ask Russia.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A BBC article said:

Speaking on condition of anonymity, three of them (on-scene firefighters) said the incident was actually a gas tank explosion inside an apartment, but did not provide further details, the news agency says.

What many people fear though is that the government will use this incident to justify a crackdown on any political opponents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Love the theory that because the popular, democratically elected, leftist government could not fix the problems created by close to half a century of right wing dictatorships, while the economic superpower that backed those dictatorships did everything in its power to sabotage the efforts to eliminate abject poverty (starvation level), build infrastructure for the population, and reform a police force used to having free rein to kill, torture, and be the enforcers for crime lords and gangs as long as they kept the people powerless, the problem is entirely with the leftist government.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

It stands to reason that the more power and decision-making you centralize in the hands of government officials, the more conducive the environment is for corruption. If the government has little power, there is less they can be bribed for.

The libertarians always seem to forget the excesses of unchecked crony capitalism that has screwed workers into the ground. Bribing or funding the government to turn a blind eye to this can be just as damaging as corrupt governments.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

TheFu posted what the never named 'firefighters' said.

But he failed to ask the revealing question, seeing as actual on duty firefighters wouldn't have been on site until after the attack/explosion, how would they know that one of the exploding drones didn't set off the gas tank?

That the AP chose to run the comments of people who could not possibly have been eyewitnesses, and imply that those comments had more validity than the comments of actual eyewitnesses is revealing of a serious failure to follow basic journalistic standards.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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