Tag Archives: Hugo Chavez

Son of Weather Underground terrorists, Chesa Boudin, wins SF DA race

Chesa Boudin, 39, is the son of Weather Underground terrorists Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert who were arrested for their role as getaway car drivers in the Brink’s robbery of 1981 in Rockland County, New York.

After his parents were incarcerated (when he was 14 months old) fellow Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorhn adopted Chesa.

According to WFMZ, Chesa won San Francisco’s tightly contested race for district attorney after campaigning to reform the criminal justice system. Excerpts from their report:

“The former deputy public defender declared victory Saturday night after four days of ballot counting determined he was ahead of interim District Attorney Suzy Loftus. The latest results from the San Francisco Department of Elections gave Boudin a lead of 8,465 votes.

Boudin, 39, became the latest candidate across the nation to win district attorney elections by pushing for sweeping reform over incarceration. He said he wants to tackle racial bias in the criminal justice system, overhaul the bail system, protect immigrants from deportation and pursue accountability in police misconduct cases.

Boudin entered the race as an underdog and captured voters’ attention with his extraordinary life story: He was 14 months old when his parents, who were members of the far-left Weather Underground, dropped him off with a babysitter and took part in an armored car robbery in upstate New York that left two police officers and a security guard dead.

He was raised in Chicago by Weather Underground leaders Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn before studying law at Yale University. He later won a Rhodes Scholarship and worked as a translator for Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez before coming to San Francisco.”

Read the whole story here.

Some of Chesa’s issues as described on his DA campaign web site:

Stand up to Trump Immigration: The Trump administration has waged a savage and xenophobic war on immigrants, tearing families apart, undermining trust in law enforcement, and exposing hundreds of thousands of people to brutal and inhumane conditions in immigrant detention facilities across the country, including right here in Northern California. Though San Francisco is a sanctuary city, many members of our community face a litany of threats here We must protect all members of our community from these attacks.

Reduce Gun Violence: As District Attorney, Chesa Boudin will take a multi-faceted approach to reducing the gun violence that continues to plague San Francisco’s black and brown communities. Specifically, Boudin will combine rigorous enforcement of existing gun laws with community partnerships, and gun buy backs to address gun violence from a public health perspective, and to prevent gun violence before it happens.

Eliminate Money Bail: As District Attorney, he vows never to ask for money bail that is tantamount to detention and will only ever seek detention of those defendants who present a serious risk of flight or danger to the community, and for whom there are no less restrictive alternatives.

Read his more at his web site here.

If you truly believe that Chesa is going to bring about any substantive change to the streets of San Francisco, well good for you and your optimism. You obviously don’t know enough about this toxic, Soros-supported “radical spawn.”

DCG

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Socialist Venezuela in 5th day of nationwide blackout

Venezuelans are in their fifth day of a blackout that began last Thursday, plunging most of the country — 23 of Venezuela’s 24 states — into darkness.

The blackout in the capital, Caracas, was total, beginning at 4:50 pm on March 7, just before nightfall. People set out for home early, well before the sun went down, because Caracas is one of the world’s most crime-ridden cities. Traffic lights went out and the subway system ground to a halt, triggering gridlock in the streets and huge streams of angry people trekking long distances to get home from work.

Forced to walk 12 km (7 miles) from her office in eastern Caracas to her home across town, Estefania Pacheco, a mother of two and a sales executive, said: “We are tired. Exhausted.”

Caracas’ international airport was hit, according to social media posts from would-be travelers. Telephone services and access to the internet were knocked out.  Commerce, including the buying of food, was shut down because most transactions are done with debit or credit cards, although hyperinflation has rendered the local currency, the bolivar, almost worthless. Inflation will hit 10,000,000% this year, the IMF estimates.

A shocking viral image shows a severely malnourished 19-year-old girl dying in her mother’s arms. Doctors at the Integral Diagnostic Centre in the northern city of Valencia were forced to turn her away due to the power outage. The mother, Elizabeth Diaz, was told to take her daughter, who suffered from cerebral palsy and chronic malnourishment and weighed just 10kg (22 lbs.), to another medical facility where she was assured they would treat the daughter. But the girl died in her mother’s arms shortly after they arrived.

The socialist government of Nicolas Maduro first blamed the blackout on sabotage of the state-owned Guri hydroelectic dam in Bolivar state — one of the biggest in Latin America — by “right-wing fascists”, but gave no details. A year ago, Maduro had asked the armed forces to provide security to protect the country’s hydroelectric facilities.

Then Maduro blamed the blackout on U.S. imperialism. With typical bombast, he said U.S. machinations will fail and that “Nothing and no one can defeat the people of Bolivar and Chavez,” referring to the liberation hero Simon Bolivar and Hugo Chavez, the late socialist icon and buddy of Hollyweirdo Sean Penn.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Maduro is wrong to blame the U.S .or any other country for Venezuela’s woes. He tweeted: “Power shortages and starvation are the result of the Maduro regime’s incompetence.”

Venezuelan critics blame the government for failing to invest in upkeep of the electrical grid. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, 35, tweeted that Venezuela has plenty of hydroelectric plants and more: “We have water, oil and gas. But unfortunately we have an usurper in Miraflores.”

Guaidó, a National Assembly leader, said the blackout had claimed “dozens” of lives since it began 5 days ago. He describes the situation in Venezuela as a “catastrophe” and is calling on the opposition-dominated assembly to decree a “state of alarm” in the country. Backed by some 50 countries led by the United States, Guaidó has declared himself interim president, calling Maduro’s rule illegitimate because his re-election win last year was fraudulent. The opposition leader wants Maduro to resign from the Miraflores Palace and make way for new elections.

Even before the nationwide blackout, Maduro’s regime has been systematically blacking out the country’s internet and social media. Platforms including YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook were blocked during the exact time Guaidó made important speeches, the NGO NetBlocks said. Blacking out the internet is especially bad for Guaidó’s popularity as Maduro’s government controls most of the country’s TV and radio outlets.

Sources: Breitbart; Business Insider; Daily Mail.

Meanwhile, back in swanky Malibu, California, Hugo Chavez’s best bud Sean Penn — with a net worth of $150 million — was seen (with Julia Roberts) arriving for Coldplay frontman Chris Martin’s 42nd birthday party on March 2, a day before most of Venezuela was plunged into darkness. (Just Jared)

Sean Penn at Chris Martin’s birthday, Malibu, CA, March 2, 2019.

See Kelleigh Nelson’s “Venezuela’s Road to Disaster is Littered with Chinese Debt“.

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~Eowyn

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Venezuela socialist nightmare: Dead buried in plastic wrap because family can’t afford a casket

Hollie McKay reports for FoxNews, Dec. 13, 2018, that as the crisis in Venezuela’s socialist dictatorship deepens with mass hunger, starvation and a lack of medical supplies, there is no comfort even for the dead.

Venezuelan opposition leader Julio Borges, who has been living in exile in the Colombian capital of Bogota for the past nine months, told Fox News: “What is happening is medieval. People are ‘renting’ caskets for a service, but giving them back. The same casket is being used over and over again because people cannot afford to buy one. And then they have to wrap the body in plastic bags for the burial. Others don’t have money for a land plot, so they are burying loved ones in their back garden.

Other Venezuelans concur. They say the use of “common graves,” along with backyard burials, is becoming standard.

According to Julett Pineda, a Caracas health journalist, funerals in Venezuela cost more than 132 times the average minimum wage earned per month of around six dollars per person – making a final farewell far out of reach for most who would need years of savings to cover costs. Pineda told FoxNews: “Funeral services are too expensive. Coffins are expensive, as well as paying for a place in the cemetery and everything that comes with it: the chapel for the service, the plate. People cannot have a decent funeral.”

Many resort to cremating the dead because cremation costs roughly a third of burial costs. Guillermo Aveledo, a political science professor at the University of Caracas, explained: “In poorer areas, plywood coffins are sometimes being used. Former middle classes can rent a proper coffin for the wake, but prefer cremation, which is cheaper.”

But even the process of cremation has become problematic because of the acute lack of natural gas to properly incinerate the bodies, despite the fact Venezuela has some of the largest energy reserves in the world. “In some very isolated places, people get used lots for burial, which creates sanitary problems,” Aveledo said.

The shortage of hearses is also an issue. There are fewer and fewer of them available, and the acute fuel shortage – wait times at some gas stations can be as long as 24 hours – makes it harder to keep them running. In some extreme cases, impoverished Venezuelans drag their dead for days in the sweltering sun to reach the Colombian border, where locals assist them with some kind of burial.

Alexander Lopez is a disabled Venezuelan who injured his right leg three years ago in a motorcycle accident. His wounded leg became infected a year later and had to be amputated because of the lack of affordable medicines and medical professionals. Lopez fled Venezuela six months ago to find work to support his son, 19, and daughter, 11, because he could no longer sit by as his family was forced to scour through trash for food. Lopez now sells keychains, incense, and trash bags for a few cents each in Cuenca, Ecaudor.

Two months ago, Lopez’s son was killed in a motorcycle accident. For weeks, the body languished at the morgue as family members were unable to afford the bus fare and boat to collect the remains. Lopez’s former wife and mother of their son, used her law enforcement connections to cobble together some money. But when she got to the morgue, the owners would not release the body – demanding the standard morgue fee plus a bribe, totaling $150, an amount that far surpasses an average month’s earning. “Everyone in Venezuela is so desperate for money, even the morgue will manipulate the people,” Lopez wept, holding up his son’s photograph.

After days, Lopez’ family finally put together enough money to pay the morgue, and a further $88 to pay a local gravedigger, but there were no funds for a service, no memorial plaque or tombstone. Lopez said softly: “Even with all that, “the dead in Venezuela are still worth more than the living. I am worth nothing to that government.”

Lack of medical attention and resources has fueled a spiking death rate in Venezuela. People are dying from the most common and treatable infections and diseases, like the common flu.

Violent crime is also on the rise. Last week, two ex-major league baseball players – free agent Luis Valbuena and former player Jose Castillo – were killed in a crash after their car collided with a rock. Authorities believe the rock may have been deliberately placed in the road, as part of a robbery scheme. A Venezuelan humanitarian worker explained: “People throw rocks in the hope of stopping the car so they can steal it. In this case, it ended horribly… Even if these men had survived, there are not adequate means in the hospital to save them.”

Then there is the looting of cemeteries. Most cemeteries are public municipal lots, but the dearth of public safety exposes the tombs to looting, and mourners and visitors being mugged.

Venezuela has descended into such chaos that no one knows how many people have died because the government doesn’t have the resources to keep track of the dead. So the people are trying to do that. In Caracas, a group of journalists visit the morgues at the end of each week to count the dead, trying to determine how many died from organized crime and from “other” causes like disease or malnutrition.

There’s no indication the situation will improve any time soon. Despite once-brimming oil wealth that had Venezuela as the richest country in Latin America, the Nicolás Maduro-led government – which  continues the socialist policies of his predecessor, Hugo Chavez – has pushed the nation’s economy into dire freefall, upended by massive hyperinflation, food and medicine shortages. More than three million Venezuelans have fled the country since their country began spiraling out of control three years ago.

But the government continues to deny Venezuela is in crisis, and instead blames its economic woes on domestic political opponents and the United States.

Here’s the FoxNews video:

Meanwhile, Hugo Chavez’s best bud and faux humanitarian Sean Penn is still no where to be seen in Venezuela.

Instead, he was spotted dining with disgraced PBS-CBS host Charlie Rose, whom Penn continues to defend, in the swanky Frenchette restaurant in Tribeca, NYC, where the menu is in French and a rib-eye steak (“Cote de Boeuf”) costs $134 per serving.

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~Eowyn

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Hollyweird Jaime Foxx visits with President Maduro in crumbling Venezuela

Another useful idiot to put on my list of do-no-see-actors and their movies. FYI: Foxx is worth a purported $100 MILLION.
jamie-fox-visits-venezuela
From Fox News: Amid widespread unrest, massive shortages of food and basic supplies and a crumbling economy, on Tuesday Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro took the time to rub shoulders with two visiting Hollywood luminaries.
Jamie Foxx and actor/musician Lukas Haas paid a visit to the embattled head of state at the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas. Maduro reportedly invited the pair so they could visit the government-funded film and TV studio, Fundación Villa del Cine, and other tourist attractions in the socialist nation.
Neither Foxx nor Haas spoke to the media during their visit, but Venezuelan media reported that the movie stars were in the country to “show support for the policies of the Bolivarian Government, in particular its social missions,” and “to learn about Venezuela’s Great Housing Mission,” a project which has purportedly built more than a million government-funded homes.
The actors were also invited by Maduro to attend the signing of an agreement between Venezuela and Jordan, Dubai and Italy for the construction of 13,912 homes in the central state of Aragua.
“We have given a warm welcome to two actors who are very admired by our people … Thank you for supporting this project, and its vision to add housing as a benefit for the people of the world,” Maduro said on state-owned VTV.
The high-profile visit didn’t sit well with members of the opposition, who could only speculate as to how the pricey bill was paid — as the country’s continues along in financial dire straits.
Venezuelan congressman Carlos Berrizbeitia told Fox News Latino that it would be very hard to know whether the government spent public money to make this visit possible.
“If they financed it using intermediaries it would be really hard to find out,” said Berrizbeitia, a member of the National Assembly’s finance committee. “They typically say that the actors pay for their trips, but we don’t really know if that’s true.”
Berrizbeitia also speculated that the real intention for Foxx and Haas’ visit to the socialist nation was to prepare a new TV production about the life of late Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez to compete with the Telemundo’s “El Comandante,” also based on Chavez’s life.
Photos circulating on social media show Maduro posing for photos with Foxx and Haas, escorting them on a tour of the Miraflores palace and holding a meeting with them alongside first lady, Cilia Flores; the country’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez; the governor of Aragua, Tarek El Aissami; and the Minister of the Interior, Carmen Meléndez.
“We have been chatting and in these two actors I see two extraordinary people – really, very human, very sensitive – taking part in these projects that seek the well-being of the peoples of the world,” Maduro said.
jamie-fox-opposes-venezuela
The visit to Venezuela appears to be an abrupt change of face for Foxx, who two years ago was photographed alongside a group of opposition activists while holding a sign that read, “#IMYOURVOICEVENEZUELA #SOSVENEZUELA VENEZUELA.”
The photo appeared on March of 2014 around the time when Venezuela was rocked by a wave of anti-government protests following the arrest and imprisonment of opposition leader Leopoldo López.
Foxx isn’t the first Hollywood A-lister to visit the socialist nation – Sean Penn, Danny Glover and director Oliver Stone have all made trips to the country – but his visit comes at a time when Maduro’s rule is being heavily challenged.

Sean Penn and BFF Hugo Chavez

Sean Penn and BFF Hugo Chavez


DCG

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Let them eat cake: Venezuela gov't celebrates dead Hugo Chavez's birthday with $100,000 cake while the people starve

While Venezuelans are desperate to find food (see links at the end of this post), their president, Nicolás Maduro, saw fit to spend $100,000 on a cake to celebrate the birthday of a dead man — his predecessor in criminal government and actor Sean Penn’s best bud, Hugo Chavez.
Maduro eats cake
ZeroHedge reports, July 30, 2016:

Nothing describes socialism more aptly than baking a 4 feet tall cake weighing 90 kilos for Hugo Chavez’s birthday (a dead man) while the rest of the country starves, cannot find basic necessities
The cake is a recreation of the “Cuartel de la Montana”, the palace that Chavez famously stormed in 1992 as an army commander to protest Carlos Andres Perez’s government.

Cuartel de la MontanaAccording to a local newspaper, the following ingredients were used to make the cake — all in short supply in Venezuela’s supermarkets:

  1. 720 eggs
  2. 23 kilos of butter
  3. 90 kilos of flour
  4. 90 kilos of sugar
  5. 44 gallons of milk

Meanwhile, hungry Venezuelans cry at the sight of food, as the country’s economic crisis deepens.
While it is true that it was the Venezuelan people who had bought into the socialist pipe-dream and elected Hugo Chavez and his successor Maduro, even fools don’t deserve to starve while their president, who can lose a few pounds, and the political élite eat cake.

And still not a peep from Sean Penn.

Sean Penn and BFF Hugo Chavez

Sean Penn and BFF Hugo Chavez


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~Eowyn

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Venezuela is shutting down

We are witnessing someting unprecedented in our life time: An entire country, Venezuela, is shutting down before our eyes.
Here’s the latest on the increasingly desperate situation in Venezuela, from The New York Times, May 28, 2016:
(1) Electric blackouts: Electricity is being rationed. To save electricity:

  • Courts and other government offices operate for only two half-days a week, the equivalence of one full day.
  • Public schools are closed on Fridays.

(2) Water shortage: Water is also being rationed. As an example, water arrives just once a week, on Thursdays, to the neighborhood of San Antonio de los Altos. But the water is a brownish color and is making people sick. Many Venezuelans say they have gotten skin irritations from showering or from the inability to bathe and wash their sheets and towels.
(3) Food shortages:

  • Last week, protests turned violent in parts of the country where demonstrators demanded empty supermarkets be resupplied.
  • Coca-Cola Femsa, the Mexican company that bottles Coke in Venezuela, said it’s halting production of sugary soft drinks because it ran out of sugar.

(4) Many people cannot make international calls from their phones because of a dispute between the government and phone companies over currency regulations and rates.
(5) There is little traffic in the capital, Caracas, because so few people, either for lack of money or work, are going out. Buildings downtown, including government buildings, are empty.

Scene in a Venezuelan hospital

Scene in a Venezuelan hospital


(6) Public health crisis: People are dying in hospitals, from electric blackouts, broken medical machines (X-ray, dialysis, scanning, incubators), and chronic shortages of medicine (antibiotics, intravenous solutions), bandages, soap, gloves, beds, water (doctors preparing for surgery at the University of the Andes Hospital in Mérida clean their hands with bottles of seltzer water), and even food. Whatever supplies there are are stolen by hospital staff to sell on the black market. The government can no longer afford to buy imported medicine. Patients are asked to bring their own blankets, sheets, pillows and toilet paper. The result: the rate of death among babies under a month old increased more than a hundredfold in public hospitals run by the Health Ministry, from 0.02% in 2012 to to over 2% in 2015; the rate of death among new mothers in those hospitals increased by almost five times in the same period.(Source)
Venezuela’s socialist government blames the problems on an “economic war” being waged by elites who are hoarding supplies, as well as the U.S. government’s efforts to destabilize the country.
President Nicolás Maduro, who succeeded Hugo Chávez, rejected the political opposition’s call for accepting international aid and described the move as a bid to undermine him and privatize the hospital system. Instead, Maduro insisted that “I doubt that anywhere in the world, except in Cuba, there exists a better health system than this one.”
But most economists agree that Venezuela is suffering from years of economic mismanagement, including over-dependence on oil and price controls that led many businesses to stop making products. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, yet when oil prices were high, the government saved little money for hard times. Now, oil prices have collapsed — they are around a third what they were in 2014.
sean_penn_hugo_chavez_not_a_dictato
Meanwhile, Sean Penn, buddy of the late Hugo Chavez, is still no where to be seen in Venezuela. He’s in France, screening his new movie, The Last Face, at the Cannes Film Festival. The movie, directed by Penn, has been booed by audiences and savaged by critics.
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~Eowyn

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Advice for Venezuela & U.S. from survivor of Argentina economic collapse

Fernando Aguirre is a survivor of the hyperinflationary destruction of Argentina’s economy in 2001, who managed to get himself and his family out and now lives in Spain.
Aguirre sees many parallels between the ruinous path that led to Argentina’s decline and that of Venezuela and most countries in the West, including the U.S. He has dedicated his professional life — via his books (Surviving the Economic Collapse and Bugging Out and Relocating) and his blog (Surviving in Argentina) — to educating the public about his experiences and to caution other countries.

Desperation in Venezuela: 5,000 Venezuelans loot supermarket

Desperation in Venezuela: 5,000 Venezuelans loot supermarket


Recently, Aguirre spoke to Chris Martenson of PeakProsperity and gave his survivor’s perspective on the current meltdown of Venezuela, as well as the situation in Brazil. Here are his thoughts and advice, beginning with his response to being asked what the similarities are between Venezuela and what he had experienced in Argentina:

“The greatest points to keep in mind is overwhelming corruption. People get lost on what exactly went wrong in Argentina, in Venezuela, or what’s happening right now in Brazil. What they all have in common is that the people in charge had no real interest in doing things right; they really didn’t care about destroying the country. They just cared about filling their pockets as much as possible.
Think of Venezuela this way: you have a country where water is more expensive than gasoline. What sense does that make? I mean, you had Hugo Chavez walking down the street pointing with his finger saying “Nationalize this. Nationalize that”. And when he was saying “nationalize”, he was saying “Steal this“. He didn’t have any great plans or political grandeur going on in his mind. He just wanted to steal as much as he could.”

See “Socialist Hugo Chavez died with a family fortune worth $2 billion.”

“I know for a fact that they’re slaughtering one another in the streets right now in Venezuela. For at least three years it’s been a case of out-of-control crime and corruption over there. It’s not getting better any time soon unless something changes on a deeper level.
For the average ‘middle class’ person in Venezuela — educated and still holding on to a good job — he needs two years of wages to buy a single plane ticket . . . he’s stuck there. The problem is that he waited too long to leave. That’s something important that I write about often: You have to know when to leave. You needed to leave Venezuela at least three or four years ago; now you’re getting to the point where you’re stuck there. The official exchange rate between the USD and Bolivar is 1 to 10, but unofficially which is the real one you experience,  is more like 1 to 1,000. So they basically are starving you to death through a completely devaluated currency which is what you’re getting paid in.
Basically need to find ways of leaving the country by any means possible. What I would do if I was in Venezuela right now is I would leave on foot. I would leave any way I could, because it’s not safe. I know people that have killed people surviving Venezuela, I actually know guys that had to do that to live. You can’t even find some land and grow your own food. You cannot do that when you have the government stealing it from you. It’s a no win situation.”
Here’s the entire interview:


“You have to know when to leave.”
More than a year ago, in January 2015, Michael Snyder of End of the American Dream wrote that “a lot of ultra-rich people are quietly” buying survival properties, deep underground bunkers, and farms and airstrips in far away places like New Zealand.”
Snyder quoted what Robert Johnson, president of the Institute of New Economic Thinking and a former hedge fund director, told a packed audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland: “I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.”
Johnson’s comment was echoed by Stewart Wallis, executive director of the New Economics Foundation, who told CNBC Africa: “Getaway cars, the airstrips in New Zealand and all that sort of thing, so basically a way to get off.  If they can get off, onto another planet, some of them would.”
Snyder asks: “So why are all of these wealthy people so alarmed?”
His answer:

“Well, the truth is that they can see what is happening.
They can see that millions of people [in America] are falling out of the middle class. They can see that society is breaking down in thousands of different ways. They can see that anger and frustration are rising to unprecedented levels. And they can see that things are likely to boil over once the next major economic crisis strikes.”

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~Eowyn

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This is Venezuela: Mob burns a man alive over $5

Ain’t socialism grand?

Desperation in Venezuela: 5,000 Venezuelans loot supermarket

Desperation in Venezuela: 5,000 Venezuelans loot supermarket


Things are bad in Venezuela. Dr. Eowyn reported about 5,000 looting a  supermarket and the president declaring a state-of-emergency and how people are killing pets for food.
Now this.
Via NY Post: The mob didn’t know at first what Roberto Bernal had done, but he was running and that was enough. Dozens of men loitering on the sidewalk next to a supermarket kicked and punched the 42-year-old until he was bloodied and semi-conscious. After all, they had been robbed of cellphones, wallets and motorcycles over the years, and thought Bernal had a criminal’s face.
Then a stooped, white-haired man trailing behind told them he’d been mugged. The mob went through Bernal’s pockets and handed a wad of bills to the old man: the equivalent of $5. They doused Bernal’s head and chest in gasoline and flicked a lighter. And they stood back as he burned alive.
“We wanted to teach this man a lesson,” said Eduardo Mijares, 29. “We’re tired of being robbed every time we go into the street, and the police do nothing.”
Vigilante violence against people accused of stealing has become commonplace in this crime-ridden country of 30 million, once one of the richest and safest in Latin America.
Reports of group beatings now surface weekly in local media. The public prosecutor opened 74 investigations into vigilante killings in the first four months of this year, compared to two all of last year. And a majority of the country supports mob retribution as a form of self-protection, according to polling from the independent Venezuelan Violence Observatory.
The revenge attacks underscore how far Venezuela has fallen, with the lights flickering out daily, and food shortages fueling supermarket lines that snake around for blocks. As the plunging price of oil has laid bare years of mismanagement, the economy has come apart, and with it, the social fabric.
Venezuela now has one of the highest murder rates in the world, and it’s hard to find a person who hasn’t been mugged. In the general haze of violence, Bernal’s killing didn’t stand out enough to make the front pages or provoke comment from local politicians.
Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro


“Life here has become a misery. You walk around always stressed, always scared, and lynching offers a collective catharsis,” Violence Observatory director Roberto Briceno-Leon said. “You can’t do anything about the lines or inflation, but for one moment, at least, the mob feels like it’s making a difference.”
Bernal lived his whole life in a maze of narrow staircases and cheerfully painted cinder-block shacks built into the hills above Caracas. This kind of slum is home for about half of Venezuelans, who are bearing the brunt of the country’s collapsing economy.
The shantytowns draped over Caracas have not seen running water for months, and residents have begun raiding passing trucks for food. Bernal had been out of work, and recently confided in his siblings that he and his wife were struggling to feed their three children. He wanted to find a way to move to Panama.
A quiet man with a muscular build from his time in the army, Bernal spent the days before his death presiding over his sister’s kitchen, preparing Easter stews and candied passion fruit. He chuckled softly when he won at dominos.
His six siblings thought of him as the one who made it, attending a cooking school and becoming a professional chef. He liked to turn on the TV as soon as he got home from work, and would leave the room at the first sign of an argument. Many people who grow up deep in the slums assimilate some parts of street culture, sporting tattoos or cocked baseball caps, but not Roberto.
“He was so on the straight and narrow, he didn’t even have a nickname,” his aunt Teresa Bernal said.
A regular church-goer who often sent around religious text messages, Bernal set his relatives’ phones dinging the night before the burning with a series of prayers for God to fill their day with blessings.
That morning, he left the family’s windowless shack before dawn and walked into an acrid smog that had descended over the city from grass fires in the mountains above. He took a twisting bus ride out of the slum, dropped his daughter at school, then boarded the metro.
By the time he emerged next to a bustling thoroughfare near the center of town, fat blue and gold macaws were crisscrossing overhead. He walked past security guards sitting outside sparsely stocked shops and apartment buildings protected by the electric fencing that denotes a middle-class Caracas neighborhood.
Bernal had told his wife he was on his way to a new job at a restaurant. But he stopped near a bank beneath a billboard advertising door-to-door delivery of scarce goods from Miami, a three-hour flight away.
A man in his 70s walked out, tucking a stack of bills worth $5 into a hat that he then hid in his jacket.
It would have been a lot of money for Bernal. It could have bought his family a week’s worth of food. Or a plastic dining table. Or a proper school uniform for his daughter, whom the other kids were calling “stinky.”
Bernal grabbed the cash and started running toward a taxi line where dozens of motorcycles were parked, the robbery victim later told investigators. The man pursued him, crying “Thief!” People watching from a distance assumed they were racing to get in line to buy groceries.
In the meantime, the motorcycle drivers were sitting on a low wall in front of the supermarket, fiddling with cracked cellphones and drinking coffee from small plastic cups. They watched the pair come toward them.
When the beating began, workers at the curbside candy stalls and hot dog stands left their booths, not wanting to see what was coming. Other people stayed to watch and cheer.
Someone had the idea to siphon gasoline from a motorcycle tank into a soda bottle. As the smell of burning flesh filled the air, the crowd’s shouting turned to silence. Some onlookers took cellphone video of Bernal trying to stand as tall flames consumed his head.
He would likely have died there, begging for water to quench the fire in the middle of some two dozen onlookers, if not for Alejandro Delgado. The youth pastor arrived for his part-time job as a motorcycle taxi driver just as the frenzy was reaching its peak. Horrified, Delgado whipped off his dusty black jacket and smothered the flames.
“These guys I work with every day had turned into demons,” he said. “I could hear the man’s flesh crackling and popping. When I put the fire out, they threw bottles at my head.”
Bernal was taken away in an ambulance on a cross-city quest to find a hospital with enough medical supplies to deal with his injuries. The videos spread across social media, but they drew curiously little condemnation. Even the trauma nurse who attended to Bernal thought a form of justice had been carried out.
“If the people grabbed him and lynched him, it’s because he was a thug,” said nurse Juan Perez, who has himself been robbed too many times to count.
When Bernal’s wife got the call, she assumed he had been burned at work. Arriving at the hospital, she walked right past his charred body, and then doubled back to ask, “Are you Roberto?”
His eyes had been seared shut, and his trachea was so scorched that he could only speak in whispers. He told her that the old man had mistaken him for the real thief, and his accusers had not given him time to explain. He died two days later.
Read the whole depressing story here.
socialism kills
DCG

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Venezuela is imploding from years of socialism

Venezuela, an oil-rich country of more than 33.22 million in South America, is on the brink of economic collapse.
The culprit? Years of socialism, especially the 15-year presidency (1998-2013) of Hugo Chávez — the dictator who was Sean Penn’s best bud.
sean_penn_hugo_chavez_not_a_dictato
How bad is it in Venezuela?
Here are some bullets I’ve compiled from the Washington Post:

  • Instead of growing, Venezula’s economy shrank 10% in 2015 and is expected to shrink an additional 6% in 2016, according to the International Monetary Fund.
  • Inflation is now 720%.
  • Venezuela is expected to default on its debt in the very near future. The country is basically bankrupt.

What brought Venezuela’s economy to near-collapse, despite having the largest oil reserves in the world, is a combination of bad luck and worse policies:

  1. Under Hugo Chávez, the government was generous with welfare, from two-cent gasoline to free housing.
  2. But the spending was not matched by government revenue. Chávez turned the state-owned oil company from being professionally run to being barely run. People who knew what they were doing were replaced with people who were loyal to the regime. The state extracted profits from the oil company but skimped on investments to maintain the infrastructure and to blend or refine Venezuela’s extra-heavy crude — neither of which is cheap — before it can be sold. As a result, Venezuela could not churn out as much oil as it used to — its oil production fell 25% between 1999 and 2013.
  3. When the government ran out of money, it resorted to printing more money.
  4. Then in mid-2014, oil prices started collapsing, which meant even less revenue.
  5. So the government printed more money, which simply cheapened or devalued Venezuela’s currency by 93% in the past two years.

Source: dolartoday.com

Source: dolartoday.com

The results are hyper-inflation (720%!), scarcity and rationing of food and goods, and long lines for even basic commodities. Lines are so bad the government has even started rationing those, kicking people out of line based on the last digit of their national ID card.
Venezuelans line up in state-run supermarket
Beginning in February 2014, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have protested over high levels of criminal violence, inflation, and chronic scarcity of basic goods due to federal government policies. Those demonstrations and riots have resulted in 40 fatalities.
And it will only get worse, because Chávez’s successor, socialist president Nicolás Maduro, has changed the law so the opposition-controlled National Assembly can’t remove the central bank governor or appoint a new one. Maduro also picked someone who doesn’t even believe there’s such a thing as inflation to be the country’s economic czar. New economic minister, the far-left Luis Salas, said: “When a person goes to a shop and finds that prices have gone up, they are not in the presence of ‘inflation’.” Instead, Salas insists, it’s those “parasitic” capitalist businesses that are trying to push up profits as much as possible.
Matt O’Brien of the Washington Post dolefully concludes, “The only question now is whether Venezuela’s government or economy will completely collapse first. The key word there is ‘completely.’ Both are well into their death throes.”
Given the country’s proximity to the United States, I predict that in addition to Cubans and Puerto Ricans, America’s next swarm of illegal migrants and ‘refugees’ will come from Venezuela.
map of Venezuela in South America
A quote attributed to Albert Einstein says that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.
By that definition, liberals/Progressive/socialists are insane because they keep advocating and doing the same thing, while expecting socialist policies to work. Venezuela is simply the latest example of that lunacy.
~Eowyn

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Iran is a terror threat to the Middle East, Latin America & USA

Did you know that in 2010 in New York City, the heads of the New Black Panthers and Nation of Islam met secretly with then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and forged an alliance against their common enemy — the white race?
P.S. To the bashers and mockers of conspiracy theories, here’s a real conspiracy!

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