Mar 02 2015

How Venezuela’s Right Wing and Obama Are Constantly Conspiring to Destabilize the Bolivarian Revolution

GUEST: Miguel Tinker Salas is a Professor of Latin American History and Chicano/a Latino/a Studies at Pomona College in Claremont, California…

Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro over the weekend, announced a reduction in the staff of the US Embassy and new travel restrictions for Americans to Venezuela. The government also released a number of US missionaries who had been detained, and allowed them to return home.

The moves are part of a new crisis emerging in Venezuela over the past two weeks, centered on government allegations of a new coup attempt, labeled the “blue coup.” Authorities acting on orders of Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro, arrested Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma in mid-February.

Ledezma will face trial for conspiracy against the government and is a long-time right wing politician and prominent member of the Venezuelan opposition, which last year mobilized thousands of people in street protests resulting in the killing of 43 people. He is being held in the same facility as another right wing politician arrested last year, Leopoldo Lopez, for overseeing a plan called La Salida, or “the exit,” to overturn the Maduro government. Maduro took over from the late Hugo Chavez, a charismatic figure who ushered in Venezuela’s current socialist government.

New protests in the wake of Ledezma’s arrest are once more threatening to destabilize Venezuela. A 14-year-old boy named Kluiverth Roa was killed after being shot with rubber bullets by government police at a demonstration in San Cristobal last week. Mainstream publications in the US are reporting the news with glee, with The Economist’s coverage contending that, “Venezuela’s ‘Bolivarian’ regime is lurching from authoritarianism to dictatorship.”

To read Miguel Tinker Salas’ work, visit, or to learn more about Venezuela, go to and

GUEST:…Miguel Tinker Salas has written several books including The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture and Citizenship in Venezuela, and Venezuela: What Everyone Needs to Know, and co-edited Venezuela, Hugo Chavez and the Decline of an Exceptional Democracy.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “How Venezuela’s Right Wing and Obama Are Constantly Conspiring to Destabilize the Bolivarian Revolution”

  1. Kevin Wardon 03 Mar 2015 at 4:11 pm

    They say it has been a dictatorship since Hugo threatened Exxon.
    What they mean is that the threat of democracy is too strong an example for the folks up north who are used to less and less democracy and freedom. The corporate “people” speak now for all and their opinion seems to be all that really matter to courts, legislation, and representation. Small wonder they want their “back yard” back to install the usual death squad gardeners. The School of America’s seems to be the only education that is gratis in the US and only for those whose intentions of terror mirror that of their Exxon overlords, their military industrial teachers.

  2. JTon 21 Apr 2015 at 11:34 pm

    There are some disingenuous aspects to this discussion which really worry me.
    The greatest of these is the idea that opposition demonstrators put up wires in the streets in order to hurt ‘poor people’ who ride motorcycles. What kind of an argument is that? It’s not like some kind of fishing net where there are cars and motorcycles moving around the city normally and the wires hurt the poor and let the cars go through. The whole city was under lockdown, and there were paramilitary forces on motorcycles moving through the neighborhoods attacking those in pro-opposition areas. You can see tons of videos that were posted to youtube showing people in riot gear armed with assault rifles moving through intersections on motorcycles. To say that cables were some kind of spontaneous act of class warfare is a very poor argument. I’m not supporting the cabling, but be honest about it.

    The second one is that the Economist was ‘mocking’ the Venezuelan government for crackpot economics based on its social programs. That’s patently false. They were mocking the Venezuelan government for their approach to price controls and artifical exchange rates. Whether you agree with the field of economics or not, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that when you force private companies to sell goods at prices that the government dictates, as opposed to the prices that make sense for that business then if they cannot make money they will not even bother to put anything on the shelves.

    The final problem is the way that Mr Salas handwaves many of the problems under the Maduro regime as ‘things they need to work on’ and how whenever the government does something evil, like kill a bunch of people, he suddenly changes topic to Mexico. I’m not in the US, I don’t care what the US media focuses on.