Friday, May 19, 2017

Venezuela, the OAS and the current crisis

"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

"Venezuela claims the world’s largest proven reserves of petroleum, an estimated 298 billion barrels of oil." - Michael Klare, The Desperate Plight of Petro-States TomDispatch 05/26/2016

This is an interesting interview from Aljazeera English with Luis Almagro, head of the Organization of American States, on the situation in Venezuela, Has Venezuela reached a tipping point? -UpFront 05/19/2017:

What I've seen of Aljazeera's coverage of the Venezuelan crisis seems to be very sympathetic to the opponents of the Nicolás Maduro government. But the interviewer highlights here how blatantly the OAS is committed to regime change, not to peaceful reconciliation in the current situation. Almagro in this interview is doing straight-up polemics for the opposition.

The second half of the program includes interviews with Gabriel Hetland and Eva Golinger. More than even other Aljazeera reports I've seen on the Venezuela crisis, this UpFront segment really gives the viewer a more complex and nuanced view of the current situation than we usually get in such a half-hour report, certainly more so than in US corporate media accounts.

This is quote from the accompanying article, Has Venezuela reached a tipping point? 05/19/2017:

"It's important to say Nicolas Maduro was democratically elected," says Gabriel Hetland, a professor at the University of Albany. "But I think actions over the last 16 months have moved Venezuela unfortunately in a more authoritarian direction."

"It is a government under siege," counters Venezuelan-American journalist Eva Golinger, who also served as an adviser to former President Hugo Chavez. "The opposition doesn't play by democratic rules, unfortunately has not, and as of yet we haven't seen any such initiative or indication that they will in the near future."

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