Saturday, April 12, 2014

Venezuela and Ukraine

Update; I neglected to include my usual opening quote on posts on Venezuela: "Venezuela is Latin America's biggest exporter of crude oil and has the world's largest petroleum reserves." - Brian Ellsworth and Andrew Cawthorne, Venezuela death toll rises to 13 as protests flare Reuters 02/24/2014

TV Pública argentina has two current Spanish-language reports on events in the two countries where major "soft coup" attempts have been made in recent weeks, Venezuela and Ukraine.

Nuevos intentos separatistas en Ucrania 12.04.2014:

This report above includes reminders of how open the US support was for the protesters that successfully overturned the previous Ukrainian government, which was followed by the Russian takeover of the Crimea. It certainly appears now to have been a reckless gamble by the West.

Venezuela apuesta al diálogo 12.04.2014:

That report also includes a segment about the new diplomatic protest by Argentina over British military exercises in the Malvinas Islands current held by Britain, aka, the Falkland Islands.

Internal conflict continues in Ukraine, with external pressure from Russia. Pavel Polityuk and Thomas Grove report in Ukraine prepares armed response as city seized by pro-Russia forces Reuters 04/12/2014:

Pro-Russian activists carrying automatic weapons seized government buildings in Slaviansk, a town about 150 km (90 miles) from the Russian border, and set up barricades on the outskirts of the city.

In Kramatorsk, some 80 km (50 miles) to the north, gunmen seized the police station after a shootout with police, a Reuters witness said.

Government buildings in several other towns in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions were attacked in what Washington said were moves reminiscent of the events that preceded Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

Formal talks started on Friday between the Venzuelan government of Nicolás Maduro and major opposition figures. (Naciones Unidas celebra el diálogo en Venezuela Página/12 12.04.2014) The TV Pública argentina report above shows the chief opposition leader and Governor of the state of Miranda Henrique Capriles, who has kept a public distance from the far-right demand for immediate "regime change," criticizing the government's proceeding against the radical opposition. Far-right leader María Corina Machado did not participate in the talks. The other major far-right leader calling for immediate change, Leopoldo López, remains in jail.

Machado reaffirmed the far right's intention to continue their protests while accusing Maduro's government of "brutal repression." (María Corina Machado: No hay represión que pueda contra nuestra determinación a protestar pacíficamente Panorama 12.04.2014

In Miami, supporters of the Venezuelan opposition also marched on Saturday. (Venezolanos en EEUU honraron a "caídos" en protestas Últimas Noticias 12.04.2014) The protest was sponsored by the Venezuela Awareness Foundation (VAF), whose executive director Patricia Andrade has resided in the US for over 25 years.

The Tampa Tribune carries an AP wire report under the title Venezuelans hold 5K in Miami to support protesters 4/12/2014 that notes, "Miami is home to the largest concentration of Venezuelans in the United States. Most are strongly against the government of President Nicolas Maduro."

Mark Weisbrot in Human Rights Watch Should Stick to the Facts on Venezuela CEPR Americas Blog 04/10/2014 discussing the sloppy reporting in US media on the press in Venezuela. See also his post Does Venezuelan Television Provide Coverage That Opposes the Government? 02/24/2014.

Here is a news roundup from Saturday from the opposition-oriented Venevisión, El Imparcial Noticiero Venevisión sábado 12 de abril de 2014-8:00 pm:

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