Tag Archives: Venezuela

Not gonna happen: Venezuelan politician challenges Bernie Sanders go to Venezuela without bodyguards for a week

Don’t hold your breath.

Read all about the interview with Venezuelan assemblyman Jose Guerra here.

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Portland, OR taxpayers provided $500,000 for illegal aliens facing deportation/seeking asylum

A new study from Portland State University study (August 2019) found that more than 38,000 people experienced homelessness in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties in 2017. The study also found that some 107,000 people were housing insecure or at risk of homelessness.

Portland Business Journal reports that the study also estimated that it would cost between $2.6 billion and $4.1 billion to provide housing, support, services and operations to the homeless in the region over the next 10 years. Providing rent assistance would also cost between $8.6 billion and $21 billion over the next decade.

Yet the taxpayers cough up half a million dollars to assist illegal aliens. And that number is going to go up to $2M.

Another demorat-run city putting the needs of illegal aliens above those of their own U.S. citizens.

Portland’s free legal assistance program, called Universal Representation, provided at least 341 people with lawyers to represent them in deportation hearings.

According to Oregon Live, the program, called Universal Representation, also helped at least 105 would-be refugees apply for asylum. And of the people served, 23 were unaccompanied immigrant children. More from their story:

“Portland’s City Council approved the service last year and put $500,000 toward its budget from property tax collections. It is run through the Equity Corps of Oregon, with lawyers provided by nonprofits Catholic Charities of Oregon, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, Immigration Counseling Service, Innovation Law Lab and Metropolitan Public Defender.

The program was championed by Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who said at the time of its passage that hundreds of unauthorized immigrants living in Portland faced deportation and could not afford lawyers.

She said providing attorneys free of charge was a matter of “protecting everyone’s constitutional right to due process.” Eudaly didn’t respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

This year, Multnomah County allocated $290,000 to the initiative and the state approved an additional $2 million to expand the service statewide — the first state to do so in the nation.

According to internal city progress reports, the people who received legal services through Portland’s program hailed from many countries: Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Mexico, Nicaragua, Russia, Ukraine and Venezuela.”

Read the whole story here.

See also:

Liberal utopia of Portland: A view of the homeless living downtown
Liberal utopia of Portland, Oregon: Entire city block and family bike path taken over by homeless
Liberal utopia of Portland, Oregon: Homeless crisis exploding, private citizens now paying homeless to pickup trash

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Chicago Teachers Union group take trip to Venezuela, praise socialist leader

The American public education system at work: Teachers crowdfunding a trip to Venezuela only to come back and teach your children about the greatness of socialism.

From MSN: The recent trip to Venezuela by a group calling itself a Chicago Teachers Union delegation has upset some union members and expats who question the point of the tour and take issue with the group’s praise of the country’s disputed government.

The four travelers, who crowdfunded the July trip under the banner of the CTU, met with Venezuelan government officials and educators, visited a commune and were featured in local media.

They wrote online about wanting to connect with Venezuelan teachers, students and unionists, criticized U.S. economic sanctions against the South American nation and wrote admiringly of its socialism, its communes and high literacy rates.

Critics say the group glossed over Venezuela’s ongoing political and economic crises and were excessively complimentary of President Nicolas Maduro, whose administration has been accused in recent United Nations reports of “grave” human rights violations and violence against dissenters.

“I am appalled a delegation representing themselves as CTU went to Venezuela, not to support striking teachers, not to object to human rights violations, but to go on what appears to be a state-chaperoned propaganda tour,” said Karen Moody, a teacher and union member.

And though the four travelers regularly called themselves a “CTU delegation” online, the union representing close to 25,000 people has sought to distance itself from the trip, stating the CTU did not endorse, sponsor or fund the trip.

Asked on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” last week about “some controversy” surrounding the excursion, union President Jesse Sharkey said: “Members go all kinds of places in the summer. This was neither an official trip nor something that was funded by the union. This is a group of people who are members of the CTU who decided to go to Venezuela.

Yet, the official CTU Twitter account retweeted some of the group’s updates, including a blog post titled “Introduction to CTU Delegation to Venezuela.”

CTU also retweeted another post by teacher Sarah Chambers, one of the travelers and a member of the CTU executive board, which read: “While staying in #Venezuela, we didn’t see a single homeless person. USA is the richest country in the world; yet, there are homeless people everywhere. Over 17k CPS students are homeless … This is why @CTULocal1 is fighting for fair housing #CTUAgainstVezIntervention.”

Not a homeless person in Venezuela…

That prompted a rebuke from another Twitter user: “What the Delegation fails to acknowledge is they used the CTU name to raise the funds, to set up meetings, to blog their ‘findings.’ This was never voted on. They don’t get it. Irresponsible and reckless.”

Chambers, who appears to have made her Twitter account private, responded by referencing a resolution passed by CTU’s House of Delegates to “oppose the invasion of Venezuela.”

She added in her tweet: “Have you visited Venezuela & spoke to 100s there? As a teacher, I teach my students to be critical thinkers, to get primary sources, listen to ppl’s stories & do research before just believing any news. I suggest you do the same.”

Blackout in Venezuela

When contacted by the Tribune, Chambers deferred to the group’s blog, Radical Educator Collective. The three who traveled with her – two other educators and a union organizer – did not respond to interview requests. Online, the group was clear the union wasn’t helping pay for the trip. At least 55 people donated to a GoFundMe campaign titled “Send CTU Strikers to Venezuela,” an apparent reference to their involvement in the CPS charter school strikes last school year.

In the photo accompanying the campaign, the three educators are wearing CTU hats. In comments, some donors expressed solidarity. One $50 donor wrote of admiration for his colleagues: “Proud of the CTU for their brave and visionary anti-imperialist resolution and enactment of ‘teacher-to-teacher’ solidarity between Chicago and Venezuelan teachers!”

A July 9 blog post titled “Introduction to CTU Delegation to Venezuela” states, “This blog represents the members delegation of the Chicago Teacher’s Union that are currently in Venezuela to learn from educators and activists on the ground. We are three rank and file charter school teachers and one CTU organizer. We organized this delegation ourselves and fundraised for the trip independent of the CTU.”

In the latest post, one member of the group wrote that she’d wanted to observe a method for teaching reading that combines numeracy and literacy skills. She was also curious about if and how educators incorporated the country’s social movements into their curriculum, she wrote.

They visited a commune and talked to educators involved with Mision Robinson, a social welfare program to improve literacy started under former President Hugo Chavez.

Though the group was inspired by the resolution, the opinions on the blog are their own, they wrote.

Ana Gil-Garcia, who co-founded the Illinois Venezuelan Alliance and teaches in the College of Education at Northeastern Illinois University, said the trip was unacceptable, though it would be different if they’d gone on their own, without using the CTU brand.

“Once you go there as a delegation of a very powerful union like the Chicago Teachers Union, it’s questionable,” Gil-Garcia said, adding the trip could come off as the union endorsing the Maduro regime, which she said has killed and imprisoned opponents and contributed to widespread food shortages in the country.

“That’s what makes me really upset about it,” she said. “The Chicago Teachers Union should be very objective because the membership is formed by people with different ways of thinking.”

Read the whole story here.

See also:

Socialist Venezuela in 5th day of nationwide blackout
Chaos in Venezuela: Death toll rises and protests rage on amid blackout
Paging Sean Penn: Venezuelan women sell hair, breast milk & sex to survive as country crumbles
Venezuela socialist nightmare: Dead buried in plastic wrap because family can’t afford a casket

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Chaos in Venezuela: Death toll rises and protests rage on amid blackout

Ain’t socialism grand? And today’s demorats want this model for our great country. INSANITY.

From NY Post: Demonstrations roiled Venezuela’s capital Caracas on Saturday as a near total blackout continued in the country.

Supporters of opposition leader Juan Guaidó vented their anger over a major electricity outage and lack of other basics as Venezuelans backing President Nicolás Maduro held a rival demonstration.

“This is chaos,” said Jorge Jaimes, a physician who joined opposition protesters on Avenida Victoria. “We are at the end of this road.”

Since the outage started Thursday, at least 13 people have died in hospitals without electricity, according to reports.

Tensions remain high as Maduro keeps struggling to assert his authority in the face of calls by Guaidó and many foreign leaders for new balloting.

Addressing protesters, Guaidó, who declared himself interim president in January, promised to embark on a tour of the country before leading a nationwide march on the capital. “All the options are on the table,” he said, using a phrase employed by President Trump, who has refused to rule out a military intervention in Venezuela.

Guaidó was speaking from the back of a pick-up truck after security services prevented the opposition from setting up a stage at their original protest site. Three people were arrested.

Communication with the interior of the country was largely shut off by the outage. Sporadic power failures are common in Venezuela, but the latest one has been far more widespread than usual.

Maduro claimed the outage was caused by US sabotage of the national electrical system and accused Guaidó of collaborating. Local news outlets said regional authorities attributed the failures to problems at the country’s main power plants.

Maduro stepped up verbal attacks on Guaidó, calling him “a clown and puppet” in a speech to supporters outside Miraflores, the presidential palace.

The US and about 50 other countries have voiced support for Guaidó’s campaign to oust Maduro and hold new elections. But the ruler has retained the support of the military and allies including Russia and China.

Guaidó—who has the support of around 60 percent of Venezuelans, according to a recent poll—and the United States have tried a variety of approaches to lure the military away from Maduro. They range from private talks to a proposed Venezuelan amnesty law that would shield officers from future prosecution.

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Paging Sean Penn: Venezuelan women sell hair, breast milk & sex to survive as country crumbles

Ain’t socialism grand!

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Venezuelan women flock to Colombia border town to sell hair

Aint’ socialism grand?
socialism
From Yahoo: LA PARADA, Colombia (Reuters) – Women from crisis-hit Venezuela are crossing the border in droves and selling their hair in a Colombian border town in order to afford scarce basic necessities such as food, diapers or medicines.
The trend, which has taken off in recent weeks, is another sign of the oil-rich country’s deepening crisis amid shortages and spiraling inflation that have millions skipping meals and forgoing costly medical treatment.
Dozens of middlemen, known as “draggers,” stand on a bridge linking San Antonio, Venezuela, to Colombia’s La Parada, calling out: “We buy hair!”
Some 200 women a day are taking up their offer at one of seven makeshift stands dotting La Parada, according to estimates from five middlemen. The locks are then sold as extensions in the western Colombian city of Cali.
Celina Gonzales, a 45-year-old street vendor, stood in line for an hour to sell her mid-length brown hair for 60,000 Colombian pesos, or about $20 – the equivalent of a monthly minimum wage and food tickets back home. “I suffer arthritis and I need to buy medicine. This won’t be much, but at least I can buy painkillers,” said Gonzales, who had not told her family what she was doing.
Venezuela’s leftist government blames the crisis on businessmen waging an “economic war” to sabotage it. The Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
As the economy teeters under a third year of recession, Venezuelans are increasingly ending up empty-handed despite long lines for heavily-subsidized food. Non-subsidized food is far too expensive, with a bag of rice sometimes costing around a tenth of monthly earnings.
Many are forced to survive on starches or forage through garbage for scraps. In recent months, hundreds have drifted across to Colombia to buy groceries.
In the border towns, the hair business is booming. “I can take off volume, cut strands here and there or make a ponytail and cut all the hair,” explained Jenifer Nino, 31, a so-called dragger, as she stood next to informal hair salons housed on street corners, sidewalks and even a tire store. “Most of the women come here with little kids and after cutting their hair they go buy food,” Nino added.
Some women complain the haircuts are sloppy and end up regretting the decision, while others are turned away. Maribel, a poor woman from Venezuela’s Tachira state traveled to Colombia after her brother told her about the hair business. “I’m here because I have nothing to eat,” she said, but was later rebuffed because her hair was too short and thin.
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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


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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
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