U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

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perkana
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U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#1 Post by perkana » Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:21 pm

Funny it hasn't been posted on here yet, has been big news since yesterday.
U.S. recognition of Guaidó as Venezuela’s president could have big consequences
The Trump administration announced Wednesday that it would no longer recognize Nicolás Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela, instead offering its formal support for opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who was elected leader of the Venezuelan congress earlier this month.

“The citizens of Venezuela have suffered for too long at the hands of the illegitimate Maduro regime,” President Trump said on Twitter.

The 35-year-old Guaidó has become a figurehead for anti-Maduro protests since the Venezuelan president was inaugurated to a second term after a widely disputed election. While the body that Guaidó is in charge of — the opposition-controlled National Assembly — holds little practical power, it is widely viewed internationally as a symbol of democracy.

Guaidó declared himself president Wednesday amid huge opposition street protests that left at least one person dead by midday. Recognition from the United States may well bolster his case — though it will probably present considerable complications to the U.S.-Venezuela relationship.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/20 ... cbed560aee
Mexico, Cuba, Uruguay, El Salvador, Bolivia, Turkey, Russia, along other countries are against this obvious US intervention.

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#2 Post by Larry B. » Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:27 pm

This is shameful.

Chile (as a right-wing country) also backed this fella.

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#3 Post by perkana » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:39 am

i know :no: It's awful, the rightwing party here recognized him too, but I'm sooo glad they are not in power.

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#4 Post by Hype » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:03 pm

There are serious questions about the role of institutions and tradition in the maintenance of political power and stability. There are equally tough questions about sovereignty, the UN, and the role of international recognition in legitimacy for any government.

Venezuela hasn't been in good shape for quite a while -- I used to follow Chavez on Twitter, and part of my family is historically from the region.

It's unquestionable that the United States has intentionally fucked up South America (and of course many other parts of the world) in support of its own interests multiple times. Despite that, I'm not sure that this case is cut and dry. Certainly it's not a vote of confidence that Turkey and Russia are siding with Maduro.

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#5 Post by perkana » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:16 pm

Yeah, but you have to think how we see it too (Pinochet). I just hope it doesn't end in violence.

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#6 Post by Larry B. » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:57 am

The rather unfortunate thing is that you just can’t remove the US’s intervention in these types of situations. It’s not just a matter of “Maduro is incompetent”, because his country’s reality has been shaped by an US-led brutal blockade.

And as Perkana said, the same thing happened here in Chile, Nicaragua and dozens of other countries, often several times.

And/but I’m with you on the fact that Turkey’s support is not exactly a good sign.

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#7 Post by Hype » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:27 am

perkana wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:16 pm
Yeah, but you have to think how we see it too (Pinochet). I just hope it doesn't end in violence.
That's what I meant when I said the US (and its allies) has (have) intentionally fucked up, or otherwise intervened in South America before. Not just Pinochet: Joao Goulart in Brazil, Cheddi Jagan in Guyana (where my family were at the time), Victor Paz in Bolivia, Contras in Nicaragua (Honduras), Duvalier in Haiti, etc.

I guess the difficulty is that not all of those cases are obviously wrong, even if you hold an ideological position that foreign intervention is (always) wrong. The problem with that view is that it's not always simply a matter of Cold War anti-socialist subterfuge (which of course went on all over the world). The American dominance of the past 70 years, and their alliances with other wealthy European nations has meant that there have been serious questions about intervening in regional disputes as "peacekeepers" where ideally we'd prevent genocide. Clinton once said that he regretted not intervening in Serbia/Bosnia sooner.

Canada used to have a pretty good reputation as a "peace-keeping" nation via the UN, which is slightly different than unilateral regime change, but the actions aren't all that different in practice.

In Venezuela, people are already dying. I don't necessarily think US intervention is the greatest idea, but it doesn't seem obviously bad.

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#8 Post by perkana » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:11 am

Don't forget Mexico, too. Gustavo Díaz Ordaz was working for the CIA when he was president. We'll see how fucked up things have been since the archives from the 60's to the 2000's have been opened.
We are all for new elections, we just don't like it how countries are taking part. That's why our government wants to help out, but not recognizing this interim government. That is all. You don't see it obviously bad, but I guess you don't have a history with them the way we do :noclue:

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#9 Post by Hype » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:40 am

perkana wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:11 am
Don't forget Mexico, too. Gustavo Díaz Ordaz was working for the CIA when he was president. We'll see how fucked up things have been since the archives from the 60's to the 2000's have been opened.
We are all for new elections, we just don't like it how countries are taking part. That's why our government wants to help out, but not recognizing this interim government. That is all. You don't see it obviously bad, but I guess you don't have a history with them the way we do :noclue:
Right, though I was referring to South America specifically. I guess we can call it "Latin America" and include Mexico.

But, that's not why I don't see it as obviously bad. It's not obviously bad for the United States to "recognize" the (elected!) opposition leader in this case because it's not obvious that not doing so is better. I don't have a clear sense of what has gone on in Venezuela since Chavez died.

Frankly, international recognition of opposition leaders or separatists or whatever is something literally any state can do to any other state at any time, so long as they can withstand any repercussions that result from that public recognition. If South Americans don't like it, that's fine, and maybe they're right that it's bad, but that's not how international politics works. It can be dangerous to insist on principles for the sake of principles when the power balance in the world isn't weighted that way.

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#10 Post by Larry B. » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:12 am

Hype wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:27 am

In Venezuela, people are already dying. I don't necessarily think US intervention is the greatest idea, but it doesn't seem obviously bad.
The point is that people are dying at least partially *because* of a US intervention. A blockade. Same thing happened in Cuba, same thing happened in Chile when Allende was elected president. They destroy a country’s economy and then they either place or support a political leader they approve of.

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#11 Post by Hype » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:23 am

Larry B. wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:12 am
Hype wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:27 am

In Venezuela, people are already dying. I don't necessarily think US intervention is the greatest idea, but it doesn't seem obviously bad.
The point is that people are dying at least partially *because* of a US intervention. A blockade. Same thing happened in Cuba, same thing happened in Chile when Allende was elected president. They destroy a country’s economy and then they either place or support a political leader they approve of.
I think there are fair criticisms of US economic sanctions. There are realities on the ground that are consequences of these things. There are problems with any simplistic analysis of it, though. For one thing, it isn't just the United States. Canada and the EU are also involved. I know I keep saying that things aren't "clear" to me, or that I'm not certain how to think about US intervention in this case, but the reason for this is that the way these interventions are constructed may involve strategic interests, regime-change, etc. But they also involve seemingly genuine efforts to avoid straight-up war and violence from within these countries. Whether that's something the US or EU or Canada should be involved in is debatable, of course, but it doesn't follow from historical interventions by the CIA in overthrowing socialist governments that public sanctions or support for opposition are so easy to dismiss. Take, e.g., Obama's sanctions against Venezuela: https://www.treasury.gov/resource-cente ... /13692.pdf

This is what Obama wrote:
I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that
the situation in Venezuela, including the Government of Venezuela’s erosion
of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment
of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations and abuses
in response to antigovernment protests, and arbitrary arrest and detention
of antigovernment protestors, as well as the exacerbating presence of significant public corruption, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to
the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby
declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.
Is that so obviously wrong? Why? The aim is to target specific people and organizations with tactics that are within the rights of any sovereign nation to enforce. At the least, these sorts of tactics seem better than straight-up warfare. Were they worse than doing nothing? Again, I don't know, because it's not clear what would have happened.

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#12 Post by Hype » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:50 am

Here's more evidence to support a more nuanced view. Like I said, part of what makes this difficult is that it isn't just the United States recognizing Guaido, and prominent support from despots for Maduro complicates the idea that this is straightforwardly a "democratic" issue. There seems to be a kind of proxy-diplomacy in these public declarations of support. Anyway, at least in free democratic countries we can question these things openly and without fear. The citizens of Russia and Turkey can't quite say the same.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4913353/cupe ... uela-coup/
The Canadian government has been vocal about its support of Guaido, who has declared himself interim president and was sworn in on Wednesday as Venezuelans swarmed the streets to protest Maduro’s socialist regime.

In a statement rejecting Maduro’s mandate earlier this month, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called Venezuela’s military-backed regime a dictatorship and imposed sanctions on 70 individuals associated with Maduro.
There's a clear problem of legitimacy going on here, right? Those who object to "foreign influence" are claiming that this foreign influence is "anti-democratic" because Maduro was re-elected (in what are widely believed to be rigged elections, including so many Venezuelans). But the protests against Maduro by Venezuelans are also a form of democratic action, and precisely a form of democratic action that is being suppressed. So where does the democratic will actually lie?

It's worth comparing this to the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in the early 2000s, where Yanukovych (Russian puppet) won an election which was disputed by the opposition, and protests in the streets led to a new election which the opposition then won. Fast-forward about a decade later, and Yanukovych wins again, only to face the Maidan protests and ultimately he flees to Russia and Ukraine gets invaded.

Russia, just as much as the United States (if not more) seems to be involved in Venezuela as well. How do we decide when diplomatic actions (sanctions, etc) are justified and when not, given the way Putin has been pushing for a reassertion of Russian imperialism? Obviously Russian imperialism doesn't justify American imperialism, but why are we so certain we actually know whose influence is doing what and which parts of it are anti-democratic?

That issue is separate, of course, from the interpretation of the use of sanctions to enforce regime change as contrary to international law. International law is a great thing, except that it has no teeth, and so can't really be enforced on powerful nations.

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#13 Post by Larry B. » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:41 am

In order for Russia to be “just as much” involved in Venezuela as the US, they’d have to be sending dozens of millions of dollars to compensate for all the losses from the blockades; they’d also be sending them the oil money that the US is not paying the Venezuelan government (they are sending it straight to the oppossition).

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#14 Post by perkana » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:33 pm

Larry B. wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:12 am
Hype wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:27 am

In Venezuela, people are already dying. I don't necessarily think US intervention is the greatest idea, but it doesn't seem obviously bad.
The point is that people are dying at least partially *because* of a US intervention. A blockade. Same thing happened in Cuba, same thing happened in Chile when Allende was elected president. They destroy a country’s economy and then they either place or support a political leader they approve of.
And now humanitarian aid is knocking at their door. Pleaaaaze :eyes:

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#15 Post by Hype » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:52 pm

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/20 ... d1d16684ff

I agree that the situation is really fucked up and doesn't seem good either way. This passage in particular really bothers me:
Last year, 10 South American leaders publicly rejected “the exercise of violence, threat, or use of force in Venezuela.” At the time, they were joined by Canada, which also signed the statement.

In its recognition announcement of Guaidó, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland made sure to reiterate those concerns last week, writing that “a resolution of the crisis in Venezuela can only be achieved through the leadership and courage of Venezuelans themselves.”

Brazil’s new far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose government was among the first to recognize Guaidó even before the U.S. announcement, said earlier in January that he would do “everything possible to reestablish order, democracy and freedom there.” Other right-wing leaders in Latin America have echoed Bolsonaro’s remarks to topple the socialist Venezuelan leader.
Canada agrees to reject violence, threats, force; Canada supports opposition leader, who is also supported by fascist ass-hat. :neutral:

Also, Australia, for some reason... I really don't know what to think exactly. Ideally, no further bloodshed, new elections properly monitored, and move on. But somehow I don't think that's what will happen.

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#16 Post by perkana » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:00 pm

Well, the whole situation kinda stinks as an intervention. I know you only talked about South America at first, but as I said, given our history with the US, Trump and Bolsonaro are not leaders that give us confidence.
The other day I saw a really good video on fb, dunno if you can subtitle it, but I'm going to look for it on YouTube. It really explains how this all makes me feel.
Found it:

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#17 Post by perkana » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:09 pm

Hype wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:52 pm

Last year, 10 South American leaders publicly rejected “the exercise of violence, threat, or use of force in Venezuela.” At the time, they were joined by Canada, which also signed the statement.
That's the Lima Group:
The Foreign Ministers and Representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru, meeting in the city of Lima, on 8 August 2017, to address the critical situation in Venezuela and explore ways to contribute to the restoration of democracy in that country through a peaceful and negotiated solution;
My country signed that declaration, too, but we didn't recognize Guaidó.

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#18 Post by Hype » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:14 am

perkana wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:00 pm
Well, the whole situation kinda stinks as an intervention. I know you only talked about South America at first, but as I said, given our history with the US, Trump and Bolsonaro are not leaders that give us confidence.
The other day I saw a really good video on fb, dunno if you can subtitle it, but I'm going to look for it on YouTube. It really explains how this all makes me feel.
Found it:
Just to be clear about something: RT is widely recognized as Russian state propaganda / mouthpiece for Putin, so even if they sometimes say true things, it's worth being a bit wary of their motives. Above I suggested that Russia has an interest in destabilizing and undermining American dominance in the world. This doesn't really make that seem less likely.

Whatever the threat of American, Canadian, Australian, and European support for Guaido, I'm not convinced that Russia and Turkey have pure motives here, nor that their involvement is limited merely to support for Maduro.

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Re: U.S. Recognizes Venezuelan Opposition Leader as Interim President

#19 Post by perkana » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:42 pm

Of course not, but US aren't intervening because they're good samaritans either. Just hope they don't actually do a coup d'état à la 70's. Because so far, they have been doing the same shit they did back then.

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