7 Responses to Freedom!

  • Amazing photo.

    Were I Maduro, I would be rather perspiring profusely on the nape of my neck. If my head were still so attached..

  • A socialist government at it’s climax.
    A glimpse of Christmas future for the likes of Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and other destroyers of capitalism if Trump had not secured the Oval office. As a matter of principle, America should freeze the assets of one Micheal Moore and deport his carcass to Venezuela as a means of enlightenment for the Flint Michigan native.

    While he is scrambling for food he could eat his words. Call it a humble pie diet.

  • “As a matter of principle, America should freeze the assets of one Micheal Moore and deport his carcass to Venezuela as a means of enlightenment for the Flint Michigan native.

    While he is scrambling for food he could eat his words. Call it a humble pie diet.”

    Comment of the week Philip! Take ‘er away Sam!

  • “As a matter of principle, America should freeze the assets of one Micheal Moore and deport his carcass to Venezuela as a means of enlightenment for the Flint Michigan native.

    While he is scrambling for food he could eat his words. Call it a humble pie diet.”

    Comment of the week Philip! Take ‘er away Sam!
    Best ever.

  • Don and Mary.
    😊 thanks

  • And the pontiff unsurprisingly refused to criticize a tyrannical left-wing government when offered the chance this past weekend.

    No enemies to the left.

  • Their oppressors are men voted into office by about 1/2 the populace. A petition to Our Lady that Maduro and his camarilla cut and run, that their successors be granted wisdom, and that the people be granted patience.

PopeWatch: Venezuela

Wednesday, April 26, AD 2017


The Pope has gone silent on Venezuela where a low level civil war is underway as desperate people take to the streets against their Castro wannabe government.  Father Raymond de Souza wonders why:



For a brief period, the Vatican was involved as a mediator in talks between the Maduro regime and the opposition. The government was happy for the Vatican role, for it believed that it gave them added legitimacy. The opposition trusted the Church because of the longstanding criticism of Chavismo by the Venezuelan bishops, led by Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas.

The mediation role required the Vatican to maintain general neutrality its public diplomacy. However, the mediation talks were short-lived due to the Maduro regime failing to meet the conditions for the talks to continue, which included release of political prisoners and respect for democratic norms.

As the locus of activity has moved to the streets, the Venezuelan bishops have become pointedly critical of the Maduro regime and more clearly allied with the opposition, which has the people on its side against Maduro, who controls the courts and the military.

Maduro has thus unleashed government goons against the Church, entering parish churches to disrupt Masses. On Wednesday of Holy Week, Maduro’s men burst into the Chrism Mass of Cardinal Urosa, shouting threats and physically assaulting the cardinal.

It would therefore seem time for a thunderous denunciation from Francis against the Maduro regime. Certainly, the government has brought to Venezuela an “economy that kills,” with people dying for lack of food and medicine, to say nothing of protesters dying in the streets. The path of dialogue has long been abandoned by a regime that sends armed men into churches to intimidate the Church by threatening people at prayer.

So why has the Vatican gone quiet? Why no strong statement of solidarity with Cardinal Urosa, attacked in his own cathedral in Holy Week? Why no mention of the suffering people of Venezuela in this Easter’s Urbi et Orbi?

It may be a genuine uncertainty about the best path forward, though it is quite clear that Venezuela’s bishops have lost confidence in the Maduro regime. It may be thought that strong words from the Holy See might further inflame Maduro’s violence against the Church.

Or it may be that such a step would require Francis to direct criticism at a Latin American leftist, which he heretofore has not done. To the contrary, Latin American leftists have enjoyed favour under this pope, with both Raul Castro of Cuba and Evo Morales of Bolivia getting unusually warm receptions on visits to the Vatican.

The Holy Father has yet to visit his native Argentina, but chose Cuba and Bolivia for significant moments in his papal travels. To come out against the Maduro regime would require a break with Castro and Morales specifically, and the militant Latin American left more generally.

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7 Responses to PopeWatch: Venezuela

  • “Again we say: Marxist socialism is the wrong way, and therefore should not be set in Venezuela.”


    A Wrong Way to say the least.

    No disrespect to this topic, however I am certain that our Nation came so close to sliding down the Wrong Way.
    Obama and female Obama in pantsuits would see Venezuela as a model. A blueprint of elite success to wipe out all middle class and govern the serfs.

    Thank you and God for giving U.S. a chance to get back on course.

    May PF ponder the plight of the Venezuelan people while studying this letter. May freedom win. May dignity and prosperity return to Venezuela by means of free trade and democracy. God help them and help us to support them once the current leadership has been disbanded.

  • Pingback: Ted Talk: While Trump Fumbles and Blusters; ObamaWorld Rolls-On In the False Figure of Francis – The Stumbling Block
  • The Pope is a leftist. So he cannot criticize Venezuela’s govt. And he won’t. Leftism is more important to him than Christ.

  • Re: LQC. “Leftism is more important to him than Christ.” I think we can be sure of one thing: that the situation in Venezuela will only be worse after the Pope’s visit as his message is from the evil one.

  • Venezuela is the neighbor of my wife’s home country, Colombia. The two nations share the same founders, Bolivar and Santander, the same language, a similar culture and, for a time, a somewhat integrated economy. There are important differences.
    Originally, Bolivar wanted to found a nation, Gran Colombia. Colombia was Nuevo Granada and where the most important battles in the war for independence from Spain were fought.

    Bolivar was not much appreciated in his last days. After his death, his dream of Gran Colomiba evaporated. While Colombia, often plagued with violence, has maintained an elected government Venezuela has often been ruled by caudillos. Much of the “llanos” (plains) of Venezuela are under water for a good part of the year due to the seasonal rains. The Rio Orinoco is basically unused as a means of transporting goods or raw materials. Venezuela relied far too much on oil as a basis for its economy and thus is subject to the fluctuations of global oil demand. What’s more, Venezuelan crude oil is heavy in sulfur content and the only refineries that can handle it are in the United States. Historically Catholic, the Church has never had the clout in Venezuela one would think it should have.

    Chavez and his “Bolivarismo” has been an unmitigated disaster. Chavez squandered Venezuelan wealth on getting leftists elected in Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil. He gave Cuba oil and provided aid and comfort to the FARC narcoterrorists in Colombia.
    So, Venezuela exports to the United States baseball players and young women who sign up for dating services to meet American men. My wife did translating work for one of them in Colombia.

    The Venezuelan people are going to have to solve this by themselves. They embraced the lunatic thief Chavez and his partner in crime Maduro. Private manufacturing sites have been seized. PDVSA, the Venezuelan state oil company, infested with Chavez cronies, is corrupt and inefficient. Maduro wants to become another Castro. This will get worse before it gets better.

  • The Venezuelan bishops have issued another pastoral letter on January 13, 2017 entitled Jesus Christ, the Light and the Way for Venezuela. Here is a link to some excerpts: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/venezuelas-crisis-demands-a-timetable-for-elections-bishops-exhort-89249/

  • I suspect the Pope hasn’t a clue how to process events in Venezuela. Most of us in this country (I suspect) believe that private property, freedom, and order are mutually re-inforcing characteristics. The Pope at times seems to think of commerce and industry as species of street crime. Also, one way to look at the Chavez movement and it’s kin in Ecuador and Bolivia is to see them as a revival of Peronism in its original form and mode of practice. Peron was not the only praetorian populist of his era – you had Jacobo Arbenz and Gustavo Rojas Piniilla during his first tour in office and Omar Torrijos, Juan Jose Torres and Juan Velasco Alvarado around the time of his return in 1973.

Persecution of Catholic Church in Venezuela

Sunday, February 5, AD 2017


If Pope Francis can spare time from global warming or cheer leading mass Islamic immigration to Europe, perhaps he could take a few minutes out of his schedule to address this:


Jesús Torrealba, the secretary general of Venezuela’s Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), tweeted this week that colectivos stormed into Caracas’s San Pedro Claver Church on January 23 mid-Mass. “The violent government supporters closed the door, prevented the parishioners from leaving, and forced them to listen to a political speech,” Torrealba denounced on Twitter. “The violent colectivos offended the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference and social leaders in the area in their speech.”

Torrealba concluded, noting that the incident ended after Monsignor Jesús González de Zárate, an official at the church, pleaded with the gangs to allow the Mass to continue.


Following reports of the event, the head of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference issued a statement condemning the increasingly common attacks on the part of supporters of the socialist government against the Catholic Church. “These are not isolated occurrences but rather, one gets the impression that these are premeditated events meant to intimidate the Catholic Church,” Monsignor Diego Padrón, the head of the conference, said in remarks on an anti-government radio program. The Church, he added, is a target because it “has taken a very clear position before the government, noting its difficulties, problems, and the crisis the nation is currently in.”

Padrón also listed other events that made him believe these were not isolated incidents, including attacks on the homes of multiple clergy members who had openly objected to the socialist government.

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2 Responses to Persecution of Catholic Church in Venezuela

Venezuela and the Grand Duchy of Fenwick

Tuesday, May 24, AD 2016


As his socialist regime is circling the toilet, Venezuela strongman Nicolas Maduro is raising the specter of US invasion:


Socialist President Nicolas Maduro has been claiming for months that most of his country’s problems are the result of an economic war being waged against Venezuela by the United States. Now, with the country collapsing into chaos and opposition figures turning in nearly two million signatures for a recall referendum, Maduro is taking his invasion conspiracy theory to a new level. The NY Times reports:

Venezuela’s military is ready for the looming invasion by the United States.

That was the message President Nicolás Maduro seemed eager to convey over the weekend as he presided over a military exercise that put his country’s troops and weaponry center stage in the midst of a political crisis.

“We’re as ready for an invasion as we’ve ever been,” Mr. Maduro said during a speech, standing in front of an armored vehicle…

Mr. Maduro’s government has been hyping the threat of an American invasion for several weeks. In April, propaganda outlets controlled by the state reported on a supposedly leaked document from the American military that detailed the invasion plan. The document, titled “Venezuela Freedom-2 Operation,” is bogus, a said Col. Lisa Garcia, a spokeswoman for the United States Southern Command.

Needless to say, America is not about to invade Venezuela. This is classic strongman behavior, i.e. find a foreign threat to distract people from their own worsening misery.

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5 Responses to Venezuela and the Grand Duchy of Fenwick

  • I would wager that Jorge Bergoglio believes what Nicolas Maduro is saying: that mean old capitalist imperialist United States is planning to invade Venezuela and enslave all those precious poor Latin Americans under the shackles of US corporate greed for the enrichment of all those arms merchants in the white gringo’s military industrial complex. Yes indeed, Jorge Bergoglio believes in exactly that. It is his philosophy, his theology.

  • We’re as ready for an invasion as we’ve ever been,

    That’s not really saying much, is it. . . .

  • Meanwhile, here in the US, specifically in the Bay Area, we have our own pro-Maduro progressives like Robert Reich, now a struggling economics professor at UC Berkeley (his annual salary is $252,000-plus: he teaches one class for 2 hours once a week, according to the American Enterprise Institute), who announced yesterday he is supporting Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton (talk about biting the hand that fed him!) in a short interview yesterday at the Golden Bear campus.

    Reich in announcing his support for Trotsky, er, Bernie, sadly intoned that the reason he is doing so is that “the system is broken, and it must be fixed.”

    Mr. Reich, whose father had a modest retail store in Scranton,PA and was able, as a wicked capitalist entrepreneur, to put his son through Dartmouth in the 60’s, feels for the 99%. (He later won a scholarship to Oxford where he met Bill and Hillary Clinton, hence his being Labor Secretary in ’93-97).

    Reich suffers through his $40,000-an-hour speech-fee collections, ever cognizant of the downtrodden proletariat, and we are sure can barely meet his obligations (he is now worth about $4 MIllion net—interesting, according to celebritynetworth.com). But he is not part of the “1%”, mind you, but hates those CEO’s that are stealing from ordinary Americans (in 2014 the average CEO made $178k annually compared to suffering Robert’s $252k salary).

    Onward, comrades!

  • “Socialist President Nicolas Maduro has been claiming for months that most of his country’s problems are the result of an economic war being waged against Venezuela by the United States. Now, with the country collapsing into chaos and opposition figures turning in nearly two million signatures for a recall referendum, Maduro is taking his invasion conspiracy theory to a new level.”

    This may be the only time we can be thankful that Barack Obama is President. His very existence makes Maduro’s accusation prima facie absurd.

  • I remember the movie ” The Mouse That Roared.” with Peter Sellers and Peter Ustinov. Classic British humour.

    Sadly, that humour has disappeared, along with British Christianity. Their humour is so tawdry now.

Another Triumph For Socialism

Monday, May 16, AD 2016



Venezuela continues to demonstrate that the further down the path of Socialism a nation treads, the closer it also comes to economic collapse:

Here in the Caribbean port town of Barcelona, two premature infants died recently on the way to the main public clinic because the ambulance had no oxygen tanks. The hospital has no fully functioning X-ray or kidney dialysis machines because they broke long ago. And because there are no open beds, some patients lie on the floor in pools of their blood.

It is a battlefield clinic in a country where there is no war.

“Some come here healthy, and they leave dead,” Dr. Leandro Pérez said, standing in the emergency room of Luis Razetti Hospital, which serves the town.

This nation has the largest oil reserves in the world, yet the government saved little money for hard times when oil prices were high. Now that prices have collapsed — they are around a third what they were in 2014 the consequences are casting a destructive shadow across the country. Lines for food, long a feature of life in Venezuela, now erupt into looting. The bolívar, the country’s currency, is nearly worthless.

The crisis is aggravated by a political feud between Venezuela’s leftists, who control the presidency, and their rivals in congress. The president’s opponents declared a humanitarian crisis in January, and this month passed a law that would allow Venezuela to accept international aid to prop up the health care system.

“This is criminal that we can sit in a country with this much oil, and people are dying for lack of antibiotics,” says Oneida Guaipe, a lawmaker and former hospital union leader.

But Mr. Maduro, who succeeded Hugo Chávez, went on television and rejected the effort, describing the move as a bid to undermine him and privatize the hospital system.

“I doubt that anywhere in the world, except in Cuba, there exists a better health system than this one,” Mr. Maduro said.

Late last fall, the aging pumps that supplied water to the University of the Andes Hospital exploded. They were not repaired for months.

So without water, gloves, soap or antibiotics, a group of surgeons prepared to remove an appendix that was about to burst, even though the operating room was still covered in another patient’s blood.

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11 Responses to Another Triumph For Socialism

  • I’m not sure I can say what I’d like to say without me being banned from ever posting again on this website.
    Suffice it to say, the times I have argued with my spouse–really, me screaming at him, since he isn’t the type to fight back (and I think he quietly agrees with me anyway)–have been over the corrupt/socialist leanings our the RCC’s hierarchy.
    This scares the heck out of me, since we Americans are not immune to this kind of thing.

  • I am glad that TAC is giving attention to this disaster in Venezuela. As many know, on Friday (5/13/16), massive and undeniably large riots broke out, again, in one particular case about 5000 people mobbing a government supermarket, desperate for food.


    Some people were beaten, observers saw at least one man killed, and mayhem exploded all over.

    Our dear leader made it a point back in Apr. 2009 to proudly meet with Nicolas Maduro’s predecessor, Chavez, and announced the “re-start” of US-Venezuelan relations at that time. GW-Bush-Haters and communists can always quickly find common ground.

    Back in 2006, PBXVI met with Chavez, but also issued afterwards a statement of concern for the (even-then) growing impoverishment of the Venezuelan people. In a fit of anger,Chavez announced imperiously “Christ needs no ambassador”, but lives in the poor: a position very close to that of a certain Argentine pope:

    Of course the aforementioned Argentine pontiff met with Maduro in June 2013. I know of no followup statements then of concern. But during the past 3 years of downward spiraling conditions, of course the Argentine blistered Donald Trump sharply, but had the most indirect, meek statements (PF wrote a carefully couched letter May 2nd, asking for action regarding the Venezuelan catastrophe,


    … but no specific actions, and certainly has never denounced Maduro and his band of merry thieves, specifically Maduro however, “the man of the people”, who has made himself a multi-millionaire during this time, and had carried on the certifiably anti-Semitic practices of his predecessor. Strange.

    Meanwhile, the situation in Venezuela—a nation that under Maduro has even more stringently tightened gun controls, and we know why— grows terribly worse each day.

  • What has happened in Venezuela is an atrocity, not a tragedy. My missus is from neighboring Colombia. The countries have similar cultures (not identical) and were at one time a single nation – first, Nueva Granada, then, after Liberation, Gran Colombia.
    Venezuela has had the worst of it with caudillos. The Church in Venezuela has not been as strong as the Church in Colombia, either.
    Chavez was a socialist punk and a Castro suckup. He used Venezuelan oil, which due to its high sulfur vcontent can be refined only in the US, to prop up Castro’s feeble economy. Chavez stole land and factories from foreign investors, all in the name of “Bolivarism” his own version of Marxism.

    Chavez purged the Army of anyone who would not suck up to him. Chavez provided aid and comfort to the FARC and Colombia caught him doing it. Chavez helped get Cortes elected in Ecuador and Evo in Bolivia.

    You will never hear this Pontiff confront the megalomaniac Maduro. They are in many ways kindred spirits.

    Pray for the Venezuelan people. They deserve better.

  • I wonder if Venezuela has a 2nd Amendment. Probably not. Socialism and Communism don’t like armed citizens. Come to think of it, neither do Democrats.

  • “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?

    Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?

    After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria [Government limo] sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur — what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked.

    The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!”

    –Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The GULAG Archipelago

    “The amendment, like most other provisions in the Constitution, has a history. It was adopted with some modification and enlargement from the English Bill of Rights of 1688, where it stood as a protest against arbitrary action of the overturned dynasty in disarming the people, and as a pledge of the new rulers that this tyrannical action should cease. The right declared was meant to be a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and as a necessary and efficient means of regaining rights when temporarily overturned by usurpation.”

    Thomas Cooley, Principles of Constitutional Law (1898)

  • Correa, not Cortes, in Ecuador. Stupid phone auto correct. Colombia found one of the FARC leaders in Ecuador not long ago, with his laptop that incriminate a bunch of others. Rather than be embarrassed, Correa went off in a tirade against Colombia.

    Chavez looked up to Castro, who has been the Latin American cancer for over 50 years. The US should have taken him out long ago.

  • A case can be made to prove that the Obama regime did to the US military officer corps the same as Stalin and Chavez did to theirs.
    Mac, Your comment above identifies the left’s motivation for (incrementally) confiscating guns. If they cared about children’s lives, they would not murder 1,500,000 unborn each year.
    The left doesn’t have the stones to follow through. Case in point, CT and NY in knee-jerks after the December 2013 elementary school massacre banned all so-called assault rifles. About 400,000 ”assault rifles” remain in hands of CT and NY citizens’ and the states can’t do anything. Maybe that’s why the NY thug/governor and the idiots he has legislating NY wrote in the law a prohibition against assessing the law’s effectiveness. In NY, almost all county sheriffs refuse to enforce. Come and take them.
    They say you won’t deport 11.,000,000 illegals. Some 80,000,000 Americans say they can’t take their weapons.

  • A month ago on you tube I was watching a clip from wearechange.org; 11:55sec. The gang violence has escalated to the point that you do not go out at night. The “gun free zones,” are set ups. The thugs rule.

    The empty promises.
    The empty shelves.

    This is the future Bernie Sanders has in mind for America.

  • Yes, Philip. closely related, in fact a necessary component of communist regimes, is the hysterical gun control arguments at the same time as the destruction of the police forces,(blaming them for “institutional racism” is the common chant here; Lenin and Trotsky assailed them as Tsarist oppressors), what Rahm Emmanuel has called “the police going into fetal position.” (And he is surprised at this?) In Venezuela, the police have mostly fled the streets from the angry mobs: but sooner or later, an arsenal is going to be broken into (just as the arsenal at Paris was breached in 1789, or the SS Peter and Paul Fortress at St Petersburg in 1917, and hell will break loose in Venezuela.

    So, what here in the US, on our march to Gomorrah, has now become a huge liability for the left? “The Ferguson Effect”:


    Heather MacDonald of the LA Times does fair justice to the obvious effect of seven and half years of Obama, Sharpton, and BLM (“Black Lives Matter”) blaming the police for “acting stupidly”:


    However most of the left at the LA Times, Baltimore Sun, NY Times and Wash Post are in overdrive, defending against placing the Ferguson Effect blame squarely on our fair dictators here at home.

    So, each week as Chicago approaches summer and the typically worst time of year for homicides and violent crime, already in May multiple numbers of Chicagoans are dying, not because of racism of course but due to a neutered police force, as Obama and Rahm have desired, Both in Venezuela and in US major cities, more gun control “to control crime”—what Hillary has already said she would do when elected Tsarina.

    So, on the highway to Venezuelan collapse, the other chess pieces here at home are being martialed into position.

  • About a year ago, I, in my naïve foolishness, thought I could quickly “zip in” and see the recently restored Rockefeller Chapel and surrounding architecture at the Univ of Chicago campus.

    I knew from others that it was in a nasty part of town, crime-wise:
    But as I zipped up Michigan Avenue in the rental car, even at 9am on a Sunday AM (I thought, based on Phoenix and LA, all or most of the crack addicts and druggies would still be zonked out), the walking dead and zombies crowding around every stop light and many of the stopped cars (the lights are not timed so you can “zip”) told me this was an extremely bad idea, even at this hour. As most familiar with this area know, all the street corners are controlled by the patchwork of drug gangs, and their lookouts with their cell phones and their associates are visibly everywhere.

    I quickly “zipped” north instead to Lakeshore Drive, abandoning the idea of visiting U of Chicago, and got our little clan out of there. About a week later a woman and her children were assaulted—she as dragged out of her car— in broad daylight at the U of Chicago campus. How unsurprised was I. [My only advantage was that everyone always says I look like a cop (Is that an advantage any longer?) and the stock rental car could have helped to add to the momentary hesitation, as people pile into the street next to your car and aggressively panhandle. ]
    And I, because I was travelling, had no gun. All of them (discerning the bulges in their pants pockets) obviously did, in this most gun-controlled, Communist-leaning city. Ahhh,, no police anywhere of course.

    Expect the gangs and the BLM crowd to be unleashed this election summer, when they get their orders from on high on their Obama-phones.

PopeWatch: Venezuela

Tuesday, May 3, AD 2016





The Pope is seeking to intervene in Venezuela, where, once again in the Third Word, a socialist regime has wreaked economic devastation:


Pope Francis has sent a “personal letter” to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in which he address his concern over the “seriousness” of “the county’s situation.”

“I can say that the Pope did write a personal letter to President Maduro concerning the situation in the country,” papal spokesman Federico Lombardi confirmed to journalists on Saturday.

“The seriousness of the situation is also clearly shown in the recent statement by the Bishops on April 27, when the Nuncio Monsignor Giordano very clearly spoke out in favour of dialogue sponsored by the Pope,” Lombardi said.

Additionally, the papal spokesman repeated Francis’ message from the Urbi et Orbi blessing from Easter, where he requested that the Easter message “be felt ever more powerfully by the beloved people of Venezuela in the difficult conditions which they are experiencing, and by those responsible for the country’s future, that everyone may work for the common good, seeking spaces of dialogue and cooperation with all. May efforts be made everywhere to promote the culture of counter, justice and reciprocal respect, which alone can guarantee the spiritual and material welfare of all people.”

After his success as an interlocutor in neighbouring Cuba, and his willingness to plant himself firmly in the middle of political disputes ranging from Europe’s immigration crisis to Ukraine’s civil war, An intervention from Pope Francis into the mounting political tensions in Venezuela appears more and more likely as the various problems affecting the country continue to deepen.

Amid a debilitating energy crisis, shortages of basic goods, and increasing violence, the country’s powers are embroiled in a political deadlock that looks only to lead to a pyrrhic outcome.

Since winning a landslide victory in December’s legislative elections, the opposition took control of the National Assembly with an absolute majority and have approved a series of bills that have been shot down one by one by the country highest court, which the opposition alleges is under the thumb of Maduro’s Socialist government. Maduro, in turn, accuses the opposition of arming a coup against him and of working for regional right-wing and US imperial interests.

Venezuela’s oil export-dependent economy shrank 5.7 percent last year, shortages of basic goods multiplied and prices soared. The government has instituted rolling blackouts and state employees are working only two days a week to conserve electricity.

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11 Responses to PopeWatch: Venezuela

  • So, “spaces of dialogue” and the “culture of encounter” are what “guarantee” the “material welfare” of all people? Really? How about the form of capitalism as practiced in the United States as recently as under President Reagan. Where GDP growth averaged 3.5% throughout his 2 terms. Usually, when someone is so out of touch and events prove them so spectacularly wrong, they have the good sense to admit their error, or at least to stop talking. I think they call that wisdom.

  • Has the Pope never read 2nd Chronices 7:14?
    “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
    As the Vicar of Christ, he has a solemn duty to carry THAT message and ONLY THAT message to Venzuela and all the rest of the nations of Earth.

  • It’s not only Venezuela. Look at Puerto Rico which defaulted on yesterday’s bond obligations/payments. Then, wait for Atlantic City, NJ to follow suit.
    The United States of America: A nation on the brink . . .
    Lesson: Dan Mitchell via Instapundit, “This is the bitter fruit of creationist economics, the erroneous belief that government activity can somehow conjure new wealth and value.” It’s a myth. It’s superstition. It validates Einstein’s definition of insanity. The South Pacific “Cargo Cult” had more-real world validity.
    Every industry deteriorates when government interferes; takes over control and planning. Big government makes big mistakes.
    USA GDP growth hasn’t turned negative, yet. Give Hillary her chance to rectify that condition.

  • . A better religious fit for a Pope with no degree in economics is for him to try and stop the proposed sex theme park with nearby hotel in Brazil, home to the largest Catholic population….because the NT in Colossians calls lust ” idolatry” which means it draws people to a competitor for the attention that should go to God. Today’s ny times tells the tale:


  • Another case of the blind leading the blind. Pope Francis’ liberal dialog and thinking only leads to bankruptcy which he is proving with a religion based on man, not God, and an economics based on ideology and not reality. When Pope Francis volunteers to help, run away as fast as you can.

  • The pope has every right to intervene in the internal politics of Venezuela, and every other nation for that matter, and he possesses the means to do it.

    This is how it should be done:

    “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

  • The link to the “statement issued by the Venezuelan bishops last year” is missing.

    I can’t find the statement itself on line but I did find this Patheos article about the Venezuelan bishops’ statement.

  • Oops! I added the omitted link.

  • So, “spaces of dialogue” and the “culture of encounter” are what “guarantee” the “material welfare” of all people?

    Yes Father of Seven. the Pope is correct. It’s too bad he overlooks this beautiful definition of classical capitalism, and that socialists are the ones who shut down “spaces of dialogue” and the “culture of encounter”.

  • Yes Tom D, you are correct. But, just like the term “Liberal”, the left has changed its meaning. The same way the left corrupts everything.

  • Did Francis not ask for the “nations to distribute the wealth”? And so it is in Venezuela.

Chavez Successors Out in Venezuela

Monday, December 7, AD 2015


The opposition in Venezuela won the Congressional midterm elections in Venezuela yesterday.  That is no surprise as the government of Nicolas Maduro has overseen an economy that has to be compared to North Korea in terms of folly.  At the beginning of this year the Catholic bishops of Venezuela released a document, read it here, that described the appalling state of their country.  That the government of Venezuela admitted losing the elections does surprise me:

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Monday called on followers to “peacefully” accept a dramatic defeat in this weekend’s critical legislative race and vowed to learn from the rare electoral setback.

The opposition coalition won 99 seats in the National Assembly versus the ruling party’s 46, the National Electoral Council announced early Monday. Some 19 deputy slots and three seats reserved for indigenous members were too close to call.


The result is seen as a major blow to the country’s socialist administration, which has controlled all branches of government for more than 15 years.

In a speech before cabinet ministers, Maduro said he was more committed than ever to the “Bolivarian Revolution” first launched by late President Hugo Chávez when he first took office in 1999.


“This isn’t time to cry, it’s time to fight,” Maduro said, “and reinvent ourselves — to recognize our errors and find solutions…It’s time for a rebirth from our difficulties.”

Fireworks went off in eastern Caracas as the results were announced. The head of the coalition, Jesús Torrealba, reassured government sympathizers that the opposition wasn’t going to dismantle social programs or seek revenge.

Venezuela “can rest assured that we’ll know how to manage this victory,” he said. “It’s a victory that belongs to everyone.”





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3 Responses to Chavez Successors Out in Venezuela

  • This will certainly come up in our elections as we must either realize the folly of the “super state” as our nanny, or perish as a free nation.
    There is hope, however, that even in Marxist Venezuela, men were able (allowed?) to reverse their course of destruction. Now we need to “hope” for the “change’ that the leftists have wrought on America, with our support and foolhardiness.

  • I don’t have much hope for the Venezuelan or the American people. The VZ Congress may be stymied by the regime, the army, and street guerrillas. Same same America (Constitution, laws, and regulations are set by Obama whims). Both are dictatorships masquerading as democracies.

  • I think Maduro has another 4 or 5 years left on his term. Not hoping for much, here. They’ll be able to impede some of the regime’s worst features.

    If the Chilean experience is any guide, it takes a capable batch of policy-makers 10 or 12 years to sort out a comprehensively dysfunctional political economy, although I think Brazil did succeed in implementing some incremental improvements. Venezuela has been badly mismanaged for four decades. It’ll take time and attention to repair that.

Venezuelan Bishops Blast Marxist Government

Wednesday, January 14, AD 2015


As the economic situation in Venezuela goes into freefall, and the comic opera Marxist government continues to show itself clueless, the Bishops of Venezuela have released a letter which should be mandatory reading for every Catholic.  Here is an informal google translation:

Pastoral exhortation ethical and spiritual renewal tackle the crisis


1. With deep and renewed hope in God, at the beginning of this year 2015 the Bishops of Venezuela salute all Venezuelans, and lift our prayers to God for the welfare and peace of the country. In the midst of the problems that beset us, we have seen in Christmas light of Jesus, our Divine Savior (Luke 2: 9), who encourages us to go forward, faithful to his word, to build a better world. Trusting again we share with our people some concerns about the current situation, to help resolve the crisis we face.


2. The first part of 2014 was marked by strong political and social upheaval. At this time the bishops strongly express our rejection of all violence, whatever its origin and authors, as she was a balance of 43 dead and many injured, which we deplore without distinction of social or political groups; denounce the excessive use of force in the suppression of protests and the detention of thousands of people, many of them still in prison or subject to filing criminal courts or other restrictive measures of liberty; and we express our condolences and solidarity with the victims and their families. There are numerous reports of human rights violations including torture of detainees, which must be addressed and punished the perpetrators of these crimes.

3. That grave crisis raised the need for dialogue between government leaders, opposition and other sectors. Thanks, among other things, called the Pope Francis and participation of the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop. Aldo Giordano, he began a dialogue which unfortunately was not the first meetings.

4. This situation has been joined in recent months generalized anxiety of the people by the economic crisis that we suffer, as is subjected unseen difficulties to access basic necessities. A huge external debt, which jeopardizes the future of Venezuelans, the unbridled inflation, devaluation of our currency, smuggling mining and commodity shortages have led to the increasing impoverishment of large sectors of the population, particularly those with fewer resources economic. This crisis is compounded by administrative corruption, centralism, looting the treasury currency, the recent decline in oil prices, and the ineffectiveness of the measures and plans being implemented by the Government to address it.

5. We also have a situation of worsening social violence. Offensive language, the systematic exclusion to any contrary opinion, incite fanaticism and irrationality. The crisis of public insecurity is intolerable. Unfortunately the efforts and programs developed by the government to control this scourge have failed. To this add serious problems in the health field, such as viral epidemics unaddressed efficiently, lack of medicines, medical supplies and equipment throughout the country. Moreover, the death of over forty inmates in the prison of Uribana reveals a tragic situation in our prison system should be reformed completely.


6. The greatest problem and the cause of the general crisis, as we have noted elsewhere, it is the decision of the national government and other public bodies to impose a politicaleconomic system of socialist Marxist or communist. This system is totalitarian and centralist, establishes state control over all aspects of life of citizens and public and private institutions. Also threaten freedom and rights of individuals and associations and has led to oppression and ruin to all countries that have applied.

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10 Responses to Venezuelan Bishops Blast Marxist Government

  • So the solution is free enterprise – “Venezuela needs a new entrepreneurial spirit with audacity and creativity. It is urgent to stimulate production industry and giving legal certainty and promoting efficient companies, both public and private. But it is also necessary to observe an ethical, honest and upright conduct. Recall that corruption wrongly charged for any procedure, speculation on prices, want to make money without working, fraud, are evils and sins that must be banished from the national life and behavior of all citizens, particularly of state officials.”
    I particularly like the part that says, “…want to make money without working, fraud, are evils and sins.” Obviously someone has been reading St. Paul:” For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat.” (2nd Thessalonians 3:10)
    Who will make Pope Francis understand?

  • “Who will make Pope Francis understand?”
    his conscience, if he will listen.

  • Those who cannot understand these simple principles can be dismissed out of hand as unserious.

  • Leftists insulated in their own comfort will never understand how cruel and dangerous socialism/leftism is.

  • Uh – Oh! I’m afraid the Vicar of Christ now has several more clerical careerist neo-Pelagian bead-counting mitered-pinhead Grumpy Gusses to tend to. I’m sure Our Lord frequently told the Twelve that “beatings will continue until morale improves.”

    How frequently these days I recall the words of Belloc; and they comfort me, given that they were written 100 years ago: “The Catholic Church is an institute run with such knavish imbecility that, were not the hand of God upon Her, she would perish within a fortnight. “

  • Fr. Frank. Thanks for the reminder, ( Belloc’s quote ) that the true owner of the vessel has complete control. Thanks be to God.

  • All Catholics should read this? How about all Americans? Parts of it read like an expansion on George Washington’s admonition on what would be needed for the United States to thrive.

  • “Marxist” is not quite the right word. Hugo Chavez had some sort of half-baked self-generated ideology (“Bolivarianism”). By the account of Lewis Amselem (who had to make the acquaintance of him), his successor is best described as a vulgar and loutish union boss and the regime is now in its ‘Winner, winner, chicken dinner short con” phase. No need to tart up mass looting with 19th century social theory and historiography.

    The Venezuelan public brought this on itself. In the account of Mark Falcoff, at bottom the problem is cultural: a mass misconception that a nation’s wealth derives from natural resources rather than from human capital and institutions and habits which make a facility for that human capital to generate goods and services.

    No, I do not think Francis will ever get it. His frame of reference is Argentine, and the Argentine public has for eight decades suffered from mass misconceptions of its own.

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  • What about the economic system of the ChesterBelloc’s, Distributism?

Venezuela Rations Drinking Water

Sunday, June 8, AD 2014

8 Responses to Venezuela Rations Drinking Water

  • Venezuela has been a basket case ever since Chavez took power. Chavez led this nation down the path to self destruction. Only a completely irrational person would look at Castro and see an example to follow.

    My wife is from Colombia, Venezuela’s neighbor to the west. The Venezuelan government has been caught by Colombia giving aid, comfort and sanctuary to the FARC. Colombian commandos found a high ranking FARC member in Caracas and kidnapped him to return him to Colombia.

    I can go on and on about Latin America. I don’t follow events there as closely as I used to, but there is a good explanation for the typical basket case those nations tend to find themselves in.

  • What Penguins Fan said. Thankfully, while Colombia is not out of the woods yet, they’ve made lots of headway repudiating the dead philosophies of Chavez and the FARC and have managed to slash drug production and violence significantly.

    Check out a book, Out of Captivity, Surviving 1967 Days in the Colombian Jungle by Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, and Thomas Howes

  • These unnecessary Hells happen everywhere they try it.

    Three cheers for
    Liberation Theology!

  • Read “The Mystery Of Capital” by Herman De Soto to understand why Central and South America is in such an economic mess.

  • From Instapundit, “Meanwhile, ‘friend of the poor’ Hugo Chavez left an estate worth two billion dollars.”

  • T. Shaw, your comment puts me in mind of Ebenezer Elliott’s
    poem “On Communism”:
    “What is a Communist? One who has yearnings
    For equal division of unequal earnings;
    Idler or bungler, or both, he is willing
    To fork out his penny and pocket your shilling.”
    Since Mr. Elliott died in 1849, it’s safe to say that it’s been apparent
    from communism’s earliest days just what sort of people it attracts…

  • Venezuela, it appears is run by the most inept kind of socialists – the ones who cannot deliver anything but rhetoric. Now if these were East German Communists, they would have been able to secure the water and electricity supplies.

The Long Lent of Venezuela

Sunday, March 30, AD 2014

10 Responses to The Long Lent of Venezuela

  • Obama has no interest in Venezuela. Obumbler has no interest in anything. Maduro (means “hard” in Spanish) wants to be another Castro. Chavez idolized Castro. Cubans, sent by the Castro dictatorship, are all over Venezuela helping the Maduro dictatorship.
    Chavez wanted to foister a “Bolivarian” revolution all over Latin America, politically led by himself and Fidel, with Venezuelan oil money making it happen. Leftists took power in Ecuador (who hid FARC narcoterrorists from Colombia) and in Honduras (since thrown out) and ol’ Evo Morales in Bolivia.
    Chavez’ dream has largely failed.

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  • Another socialist government, whose only method of holding power when their failed form of economy fails, is to resort to totalitarianism and suppression of the people.

    Why people continue to support socialist governments, who promise them heaven and deliver hell, totally evades me. Lying politicians who crave power to enrich themselves are simply tools of the Great Deceiver.

    You in the USA are experiencing this with Obama, the Bumbler and Liar in Chief. When is the revolution going to happen?

  • há uma versão inglesa deste local?

  • I don’t understand the question. This is the one and only site of this blog and it is in English.

  • Don the Kiwi,

    Obumbler has or had a certain appeal to guilty white leftwingers and certain Latinos (not all of them). Obumbler cobbled together a coalition of groups with certain similar ideologies and got himself elected twice. The people who elected him aren’t smart. Some were educated and some were indoctrinated and some were just plain lazy and wanted the government check.

  • I suppose it is just another example of American exceptionalism that the Democratic party retains its popularity, whereas, in Europe, the Trotskyite and Maoist parties, like the Socialist Workers in Scotland or, in France, Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), LCR (the Revolutionary Communist League), PG (the “Parti de Gauche”) and the NPA (Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste), can only muster a handful of deputies.
    Even the more moderate PC (Parti Communiste), which long retained a certain cachet as the « le parti des 75 000 fusillés » [the party of the 75,000 shot] because of its important role during the Resistance, could obtain only a dozen deputies in the 2012 elections.

  • “I suppose it is just another example of American exceptionalism that the Democratic party retains its popularity, ”

    Not really. The Republicans control the House and are likely to control the Senate after the November elections. Republicans control more state legislatures than at any time since the 1920’s before 2010 and currently have 29 of the 50 state governors.

  • By “the Democratic party retains its popularity,” I meant “has not dwindled to the same utter irrelevancy as the Hard Left in the UK and France”
    Figaro quipped, with a degree of hyperbole, that their deputies could meet in a telephone kiosk

  • In our two party system both of the parties have a hard core of support below which it is well nigh impossible for them to go. This hard core is about 40% each. They each have regions they completely dominate: New England currently for the Democrats and much of the South for the Republicans. The multiplicity of parties known in much of Europe simply does not exist here in the US, at least parties that have a chance of winning a meaningful number of elections.

Rubio on Harkin, Cuba and Venezuela

Tuesday, February 25, AD 2014

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  Marco Rubio (R.Fla.) had been listening to Tom Harkin (D.Ia.), pro-abort “Catholic”, give a speech about his trip to Cuba in which he managed to completely ignore Communist oppression, and Rubio decided to reply.  It is a keeper.  Here is the text of the speech:

A few moments ago, the body was treated to a report from the senator from Iowa about his recent trip to Cuba. Sounded like he had a wonderful trip visiting, what he described as, a real paradise. He bragged about a number of things that he learned on his trip to Cuba that I’d like to address briefly. He bragged about their health care system, medical school is free, doctors are free, clinics are free, their infant mortality rate may be even lower than ours. I wonder if the senator, however, was informed, number one, that the infant mortality rate of Cuba is completely calculated on figures provided by the Cuban government. And, by the way, totalitarian communist regimes don’t have the best history of accurately reporting things. I wonder if he was informed that before Castro, Cuba, by the way, was 13th in the whole world in infant mortality. I wonder if the government officials who hosted him, informed him that in Cuba there are instances reported, including by defectors, that if a child only lives a few hours after birth, they’re not counted as a person who ever lived and therefore don’t count against the mortality rate.

I wonder if our visitors to Cuba were informed that in Cuba, any time there is any sort of problem with the child in utero they are strongly encouraged to undergo abortions, and that’s why they have an abortion rate that skyrockets, and some say, is perhaps the highest the world. I heard him also talk about these great doctors that they have in Cuba. I have no doubt they’re very talented. I’ve met a bunch of them. You know where I met them? In the United States because they defected. Because in Cuba, doctors would rather drive a taxi cab or work in a hotel than be a doctor. I wonder if they spoke to him about the outbreak of cholera that they’ve been unable to control, or about the three-tiered system of health care that exists where foreigners and government officials get health care much better than that that’s available to the general population.

I also heard him speak about baseball and I know that Cubans love baseball, since my parents were from there and I grew up in a community surrounded by it. He talked about these great baseball players that are coming from Cuba — and they are. But I wonder if they informed him — in fact, I bet you they didn’t talk about those players to him because every single one of those guys playing in the Major Leagues defected. They left Cuba to play here.

He also talked about how people would come up to him in the streets and not a single person said anything negative about America. Nobody came up to him wagging their fingers saying, ‘You Americans and your embargo is hurting us.’ I’m glad to hear that. Because everyone who wants to lift the embargo is constantly telling us that the Castros use that to turn the people against us. So obviously, that’s not true. So I’m glad to hear confirmation of what I already knew to be true. I heard about their wonderful literacy rate, how everyone in Cuba knows how to read. That’s fantastic. Here’s the problem: they can only read censored stuff. They’re not allowed access to the Internet. The only newspapers they’re allowed to read are Granma or the ones produced by the government.

I wish that someone on that trip would have asked the average Cuban, ‘With your wonderful literacy skills, are you allowed to read The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal or any blog, for that matter?’ Because the answer’s, ‘No.’ So it’s great to have literacy, but if you don’t have access to the information, what’s the point of it? So I wish somebody would have asked about that on that trip. We heard about Mr. Gross, who is not in jail. He’s not a prisoner. He is a hostage. He is a hostage. And in the speech I heard a moment ago, I heard allusions to the idea that maybe we should — he didn’t say it, but I know the language, I know the code in this — that maybe there should be a spy swap. Here’s the problem: Mr. Gross was not a spy. You know what his crime was, if that’s what you can call it? He went to Cuba to hand out satellite radios to the Jewish community. But, we’re glad to hear that the Cubans are so nice to him that they let him walk 10,000 steps a day and do pull-ups and they let him build a necklace out of bottle cap tops. Very nice of them to allow him to do those things. How generous.

I wonder if anybody asked about terrorism, because Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism. I wonder if anybody asked about the fact that, just a few months ago, a North Korean ship going from Cuba to North Korea was stopped in the Panama Canal and it contained items in violation of international sanctions against a government in North Korea that, a report just came out confirming what we already knew, has death camps and prison camps. And the Cubans are allowing them to evade these sanctions. Did that come up in any of the wonderful conversations in this socialist paradise in the Caribbean? I bet you it didn’t.

Let me tell you what the Cubans are really good at, because they don’t know how to run their economy, they don’t know how to build, they don’t know how to govern a people. What they are really good at is repression. What they are really good at is shutting off information to the Internet and to radio and television and social media. That’s what they’re really good at. And they’re not just good at it domestically, they’re good exporters of these things. And you want to see exhibit A, B, C and D? I’m going to show them to you right now. They have exported repression in real-time, in our hemisphere, right now.

Let me show you the first slide here. This gentleman here is the former mayor of a municipality in Caracas. His name is Leopoldo Lopez. And this is the National Guard of Venezuela pulling him into an armored truck last week. You know why? Because he’s protesting against the government. He’s protesting against the government of Venezuela, which are puppets of Havana, completely infiltrated by Cubans and agents from Havana. Not agents, openly, foreign military affairs officials involved in Venezuela. You know why? Because the Venezuela government is giving them cheap oil and free oil, in exchange for help during these sorts of repressions. So here he is, he’s sitting in jail right now because he’s protesting against the government. He’s sitting in jail right now.

So here’s the next slide. This is Genesis Carmona. She’s a beauty queen and a student in a city called Valencia. She’s on that motorcycle because the government in Venezuela and the thug, these so-called civilian groups that they’ve armed — another export from Cuba, a model the Cubans follow — they shot her in the head. She died last week. This is the government that the Cubans support. Not just verbally, not just emotionally, but with training and tactics. This is who they export — this is what they do. And she’s dead. And this is her being taken on a motorcycle to the hospital where they were unable to save her life because she was shot in the head by Venezuelan security forces.

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6 Responses to Rubio on Harkin, Cuba and Venezuela

  • God bless M. Rubio. Thanks for posting this.

  • Yesterday, Instapundit quoted Michael Totten on Cuba: “It’s no mystery why so many want out. Cuba’s human rights record is by far the most dismal in the Western Hemisphere, and as a predictable consequence has triggered one of the largest refugee crises in the hemisphere. I can think of nothing positive to say about Fulgencio Batista, the tyrant who preceded Castro, but at least he didn’t drive people en masse into the sea. Faint praise, to be sure, but I can’t say even that much about Castro’s.” Actually, “he wasn’t Castro,” is pretty high comparative praise.

  • Hugo Chavez was a bootlicker to Castro. For what it’s worth, almost every Latin American leftist, from each and every Latin American country, is a bootlicker of Castro. Politicians, lawyers, university professors, “executive directors” of organizations with fancy names, media types, authors….and not a few Catholic priests…have idolized the Communist in Havana. Castro has his fans here, too. Always has. Hollywood actors, the modern Democrat Party, Mikey Moore, PBS, university professors, Herbert Mathews of the New York Slimes – Hell’s Bible, as it is so appropriately put by the brilliant Father Zuhlsdorf.

    Let’s thank our neighbors to the north, Canada, for their FULL diplomatic relations and free travel for Canadians to and from Cuba. The Cuban tourism ministry buys advertising in Canada. I saw it on a big billboard in downtown Toronto in 2007 and along the dasher boards a while ago at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

    I pointed this out before – the outstanding book, “Guide to the Perfect Latin American Idiot”, written by Mario Vargas Llosa, is a must read. I have read that book and the outstanding book Epic of Latin America, written by USC professor John David Crow.

    Every “revolutionary movement” in Latin America since the 1960s has Castro’s fingerprints all over it. The Sendero Luminoso, the FARC, whom our present Secretary of State and Democrat Party jagoff John FARC Kerry apologized for, the Sandinistas, Chavez’ Bolivarian Circles, Evo Morales in Bolivia….you name it. Castro is somehow, in some way, supporting it….and the US government, who sends or sent troops to fight in Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., etc….lets Castro stay in power.

    Castro is providing sanctuary to a convicted New Jersey cop killer, Joanne Chismard, and Robert Vesco, another fugitive.

    I wish Reagan or Bush or Dubya would have blockaded Cuba from the sea and from the air. They could have crushed Castro in a week.

    I traveled to Miami the day Elian Gonzalez was seized from his uncle. The Cuban community was quiet – they did most of their ranting on local radio talk shows. Yet, the national media made it look like the Cuban exile community were a bunch of nuts ready to riot. Wasn’t true – I was there. PBS did a hit piece on the Cuban exiles in 2000. Some Miami Anglo-Saxon locals were interviewed and complained about “losing” their city. A minister of a black church said that they (the Cuban exiles) should just go back to Cuba. You see, the Cubans, they ain’t liked by the favored groups (examples are begrudged blacks, homosexuals, Muslims and other Latin American immigrants).

    I sympathize with the Cubans. Their homeland is ruled by a tyrant and generally aren’t liked so much in the USA. I remember the Polock jokes that Archie Bunker rattled off during the early and mid 1970s on All In The Family. Norman Lear, pansy ass leftist that he is, made Polock jokes cool and I put up with it as a kid at school for years. Poland, too, was ruled by tyrants and before John Paul II, Polish = stupid for a lot of Americans.

    The biological solution will soon complete its work on the Castro brothers – not for a while yet, as their old man lived to be almost 90 – but it will happen. I hope that there are people in the Cuban government who see the error of their ways and will change things when they are gone, because nothing will change for as long as they live. Once the fear is gone, and when the Castro boys have assumed “cuarto” temperature it will be gone, the Cuban people will be harder to suppress.

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Socialism Never Works: Venezuela Edition

Saturday, February 15, AD 2014



It is painful to see a venerable superstition dying a hard death.  I am of course referring to the superstition of socialism.  Since the 19th century socialism has had an iron hold of  the mentalities of many elites, and would be elites, in most nations around the globe.  Wherever it has been tried it has proved damaging to economies and where its attempts have been extreme enough the socialist economies prove to be productive only in producing mass poverty.  The latest example of this is in Venezuela, currently undergoing riots, as Maduro, Chavez’s successor, oversees an economy in free fall and desperate protestors take to the streets at the risk of murderous repression at the hands of Maduro’s thugs.  Richard Fernandez at PJ Media tells us how bad the economy has become in Venezuela:


The suddenness of Venezuela’s collapse should have come as no surprise because downfalls are inherently abrupt. Collapse is a phase change. One moment something is sailing along fat, dumb and happy and the next moment it is sinking beneath the waves. The change from two to one is a loss of 50%; but the change from one to zero is binary.

So it was in Venezuela. Imagine waiting two years to buy a car and finding just when you thought you finally buy one that there are no cars for sale at all.

Leonardo Hernandez had hoped to buy a new car this year, ending nearly two years of waiting on various lists at different dealerships throughout the country.

Those hopes were dashed last week when Toyota Motor Co. said it would shut down its assembly operations in Venezuela due to the government’s foreign exchange controls that have crippled imports and made it impossible to bring in parts needed to build its vehicles.

The country’s other car manufacturers, including General Motors and Ford, haven’t even started operations this year, while waiting for needed parts to arrive.

Think of not being able to buy soap, rice or toilet paper or order a cup of coffee, where even the rich are feeling poor. “In the serene private clubs of Caracas, there is no milk, and the hiss of the cappuccino machine has fallen silent. In the slums, the lights go out every few days, or the water stops running. In the grocery stores, both state-run shops and expensive delicatessens, customers barter information: I saw soap here, that store has rice today. The oil engineers have emigrated to Calgary, the soap opera stars fled to Mexico and Colombia. And in the beauty parlours of this nation obsessed with elaborate grooming, women both rich and poor have cut back to just one blow-dry or manicure each week.”

Imagine there’s no money to keep up the sovereign bond payments, the only source of money to keep power plants going.

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6 Responses to Socialism Never Works: Venezuela Edition

Christmas Wishes from Hugo Chavez

Saturday, December 26, AD 2009

Surely every parent has moments when he or she think that the toy obsession at Christmas has got far out of control. Some turn to religion, seeking to “put the Christ back in Christmas”, but that big, cuddly man of the people Hugo Chavez has a better idea:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for an end of Christmas “consumption insanity” and replace presents for children with stories about national independence hero Simon Bolivar, local media reported.

“For the love of God, let’s halt this, let’s put the brakes on this consumerist, capitalist insanity, that leads us to lose our spiritual values,” said Chavez.

Chavez suggested to stop buying toys “that as mothers and fathers we are practically forced” to buy. He also said that there is little sense in buying new clothes each December before Christmas Eve as these sales do not benefit the small merchants, but “their owners, the wealthy, the big distributors that make a bundle squeezing people.”

“Let’s sit with the children and tell them stories of Bolivar, of the motherland,” the Venezuelan President said, adding that he makes this appeal from his heart “to put aside these vices.”

Somehow, I’m not sure that “Bolivar and the motherland are the reason for the season” has quite the same ring to it. But surely Chavez’s heart is in the right place.

Have a happy Boxing Day/St. Steven’s Day/ Second Day of Bolivar!

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4 Responses to Christmas Wishes from Hugo Chavez

  • Most of Latin America, specifically the majority of South Americans refer to Hugo Chavez as “el Payaso”. Which in English translates as “the Clown”.

    It’s interesting the the Euro-Trash at the Copenhagen Climate Conference all stood and gave him a standing ovation to this “Clown”.

    Says a lot about modern liberals doesn’t it?

  • Please, tell me you really are joking when you say Chavez’s heart is in the right place.

    Anything that appears to be a light in the dark heart of Chavez is in deed reminiscent of Paul’s words when he says, even if an angle of light should come to you with another gospel”

    No matter how reasonable he might sound, he’s robbed the Catholic Church of their voice in Venezuela, so he’s using false piety to stir the hearts of others.

  • Yes. I would take a statement that Chavez’s heart is in the right place to be either:

    1) Insane

    2) Ironic

    Since I deny the former, I’ll claim the mantle of the latter.

  • Darwin’s tongue couldn’t have been further in his cheek!

Should Chavez's Threats Against Colombia Be Taken Seriously?

Wednesday, November 18, AD 2009

The Los Angeles Times provides an interview with regional analyst Maruja Tarre, currently based in Caracas, Venezuela on how seriously Hugo Chavez’s saber rattling against Colombia should be taken:

Should Chavez be taken seriously? Yes, says Maruja Tarre, former international relations professor with a degree from Harvard Kennedy School and now a Caracas-based consultant to multinational firms.

With his revolution losing popularity amid rising inflation, rampant crime, a stagnant economy, and frequent water shortages and power outages, Chavez needs a galvanizing event, she says. A border skirmish, if not a full-fledged war, would solidify his support base ahead of next year’s legislative elections and give his Bolivarian Revolution the heroic episode that it lacks.

Tarre was interviewed Tuesday at her home in Caracas.

Verbal assaults by Chavez are nothing new. People usually react by saying it’s all talk. Should his threats be taken any more seriously this time?

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One Response to Should Chavez's Threats Against Colombia Be Taken Seriously?

  • how are we supposed to take this amerikkkanist analysis of the situation seriously when you didn’t even include that little emphasis thingy above the “a” in Comrade Chávez’s name?!?!

Chavez Threatens War With Colombia

Monday, November 16, AD 2009

Tensions are mounting in Central America as Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez masses troops on the border with Columbia and tells his military to “prepare for war”.

The Venezuelan ambassador to Bogota, Gustavo Marquez, said that the seriousness of the situation could not be overstated and that “there is a pre-war situation in the entire region”.

Diplomatic relations between the South American neighbours are frozen and on Saturday President Chavez escalated the war of words with President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia by saying there was no chance of dialogue.

While those who are committed Chavez fans, convinced that he wants only what is best for his people and the region, may accept his claim that this escalation is necessary because Columbia has invited the US to set up military bases in their country, which Chavez sees as presaging a US invasion of Venezuela, most will see this as evidence that Chavez is seeking to establish a national enemy in order to distract his people’s attention from the economic problems the Chavez regime has inflicted on them. His ability to use Venezuelan oil revenues to buy support at home and abroad is suffering because his government-run oil companies have failed to invest in infrastructure and thus have experienced declining output over the last several years.

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30 Responses to Chavez Threatens War With Colombia

  • To be accurate, Venezuela and Colombia are in South America, not Central (actually , Central America does not exist as a separate continent – it is a geopolitical designation like the Middle East).

  • Good point.. Politically, I’d tend to think of Venezuela and Columbia as being part of the Central American sphere, but that may be my own hang-up.

  • Colombia is thrice as populous as Venezuela and has a working military, albeit one occupied in counter-insurgency operations rather than conventional war. Col. Chavez has been (per news reports) been cashiering officers on political criteria. One can easily imagine this will end badly for Venezuela if they come to blows.

  • While I have nothing but contempt for Chavez and his corrupt and near-despotic government, I believe it to be a tragic mistake for Colombia to allow the US to build any military facility in their country. The influence of the US is every bit as malignant as that of Chavez and his ilk.

    I can only hope the people of Colombia will knock some sense into the heads of their leaders and tell them to keep the American rattlesnake at arm’s length.

  • Dan,
    The American rattlesnake’s support for Uribe (and Pastrana before) through Plan Colombia has given the Colombian government the chance to defeat the FARC and ELN sufficiently so that many more people there live in peace than was the case 10 years ago. US extradition is the threat whereby Colombia was able to convince the AUC right wing paramilitary to stand down. It seems the snake has mostly bitten the rabid dogs.

  • It’s not the first time Chávez threatens to do something like this. If my memory serves me well, the last time there were rumours that he wouldn’t be obeyed if he ordered the Armed Forces something crazy.

    The problem with this kind of people is that you get used to see them posing as personae and parroting a ludicrous jargon (all that “Bolivarian” and “21st-century socialism” stuff which, by the way, is pure plagiarism from Peron’s “20-century socialism”, to the extent that it’s fair to say that Chávez is a Peronist) and you start taking them less and less seriously, until one day they mean it.

  • If you are not even aware of the location of Venezuela, I’m not sure we can trust your commentary on it.

  • Michael,

    Glad to see you continue to show up whenever you have something particularly deep to say.

    Given that basically all the commentary here comes from the UK Telegraph, I’m not sure what exactly of mine you think should be discounted. Perhaps my suggestion that we all pray that Chavez not allow his militarism to run away with him and lead his country into an unnecessary and unjust war?

    As for my referring to Columbia and Venezuala as being in Central American — it would have been more precise for me to speak of “Latin America” or simply of “South America”. Arguing about whether Columia is in “Central America” is (given that Central America is not actually a continent, but rather a term used for the most southern reaches of North America) rather like arguing whether Pakistan and Afghanistan are part of the “Middle East”. I’m not going to bother with it — but if you think it’s the most interesting thing about Chavez’s brinksmanship, feel free to enlighten us.

    (I considered correcting the wording in the article as soon as it was mentioned, since I realized I’d simply been sloppy in writing it quickly, but I figured since someone had pointed out the issue via a comment it was more honest to leave it as is.)

  • Politically…part of the Central American sphere

    An argument can be made for that, particularly Venezuela with its Carribean influence.

  • In fact, if you look at it from the point of view whether a Venezuelan-Colombian fracas would be more disruptive to neighbors to the north or those to the south, I would venture to say to the north. The closest southern (really, more southeastern) neighbor would be Brazil, and given the relative size and stability, it would be less impacted than say, Panama, to the north. Perhaps Paraguay, Bolivia or Ecuador would feel it more like Panama, but assuming most of it would occur along the Col-Ven border, they would seem more physically removed.

  • As for my referring to Columbia and Venezuala as being in Central American…

    Ah yes, you finally get around to responding to my comment at this point.

    …it would have been more precise for me to speak of “Latin America” or simply of “South America”.

    Yes. Precisely my point.

    Arguing about whether Columia is in “Central America” is (given that Central America is not actually a continent, but rather a term used for the most southern reaches of North America) rather like arguing whether Pakistan and Afghanistan are part of the “Middle East”.

    No, it’s not. It’s quite obvious what “Central America” refers to, especially to folks who actually care about the region and do not simply make reference to it in order to do some pro-Amerikkka posturing.

  • Michael,

    If you are so incredibly concerned about the region, I’m a bit confused as to whether you’ve posted twice about a mistake I made in terminology, but seem to have no particular concern about Columbia potentially being invaded by Chavez for no very good reason.

    Personally, I have a couple friends who live in Columbia, and I certainly wouldn’t want the delusions of the left’s favorite South American strongman to result in their country being invaded. Is that “pro-Amerikka posturing”?

    Maybe if Chavez had spent some time at the School of the Americas or was considered “right wing” you too could bring yourself to care about Columbia?

  • Yeah. I just don’t care about Colombia. I care enough about it to spell it correctly! (And I know it’s not in Central America.)

  • pro-Amerikkka posturing

    Ah yes – thanks for the few seconds of distraction and enertainment. This typically juvenile behavior is more notable than much of rest, however, given the very significant amount of ideological gymnastics one would need to attempt in an engagement with Darwin (or myself, let’s return to issue of Honduras if you wish) concerning the actions of Chavez – especially if one would wish to deride imperialism, militarism, interfering with the affairs of other nations, ect. ect. ect. Or maybe its in some way ok if the person claims to speak for the “oppressed??” Let us know!

    So how about giving it a shot, then, and leaving these sorts of pleas for attention aside?

  • Touche.

    All right, Michael. We know now that you care about Colombia — though apparently not about other countries you don’t know how to spell. (e.g. “Amerikkka”)

    And we know that I incorrectly imagined one could refer to all the countries with coastline on the Caribean Basin as “Central America”.

    Perish the thought, however that we should allow ourselves to be distracted from these important learnings into not wanting Chavez to start a war or anything. That would be madness.

  • Michael, do you ever even listen to yourself?

  • One would hope not.

  • michael we all know you dont listen to yourself. as for this iccedient venizula should just call it off because if they do anything to the U.S base in columbia the united states will send forces to Venizula and the u.s will win. i also think that the people in venuzlia should stop because they already have there 4 guards back. nobody got hurt and if this happens again. the u.s should just leave the base in columbia for good because next time there will be a war for sure.

  • I just don’t care about Colombia. I care enough about it to spell it correctly!

    You care enough to spell it correctly. That sounds about right.

  • At least the real michael makes sense.

  • “Amerikkka” – the calling card of the Maoist.

  • “folks who actually care about the region…”

    Iafrate can read into men’s souls. What a charism. Must be another example of God choosing an idiot to do his work.

  • Actually the definition of Central America has shifted over time. For example, when Panama was part of Colombia it was not considered part of Central America, although it was always a separate, and rebellious, region of that country. Some definitions of Central America include the southern portions of Mexico. The European Union excludes Belize from its definition of Central America.

  • There’s no evidence that Michael “cares” or does anything whatsoever about the Third World poor other than to mention them occasionally as a prop on behalf of whatever lefty cause he’s supporting as to relatively richer North Americans.

  • He could have also said: United $nakes of Amerikkka as an acceptable alternative.

  • if i didnt care. then why would i put a comment on this article. As you can see you are probably someone who lives in venizula and knows if you guys harm the base in coloumbia we will send more then 15000 men over there and beat you guys like on how we did to any toher country who tried thearting us.

  • Darwin – Are you trying to pretend that you’re against war now?

  • I am and always have been against needless and unjust war — and I see no reason to believe that Chavez invading Colombia would be anything other than needless and unjust.

  • There’s also no evidence that Michael is anti-war. The only wars he ever complains about are those in which America was involved. If it’s one of the thugs that he otherwise admires (Chavez), he doesn’t care.

  • Of course I’d be against a Chavez-started war. That goes without saying. The concerns I have raised are unrelated to that.