Venezuela’s crisis, Trump, and ICG

Protesters in Caracas, Venezuela


Problems continue to worsen in Venezuela. Some think another leader may be able to turn things around, but the situation is getting even more tense:

Venezuela crisis: Guaido rejects talks with Maduro

26 January 2019

Mr Guaidó declared himself “acting president” on Wednesday, a move that has been recognised by several countries, including the US.

But Mr Maduro accused him of mounting a coup and cut off diplomatic ties with the US in response.

A UN Security Council meeting on the crisis is due to be held on Saturday.

President Maduro was sworn in for a second term earlier this month, after polls marred by an opposition boycott and vote-rigging claims.

However, the National Assembly argued that the post of president was vacant because the election was not fair, and that Mr Guaidó, as head of the National Assembly, should take over as acting president.

Tens of thousands have taken part in anti-Maduro protests, angry at years of economic freefall.

The Trump Administration wants President Maduro out:

26 January 2019

The Trump administration, fed up with the authoritarian government in Venezuela, could soon play its last hand and block imports of the country’s oil, a move that would upset Gulf Coast refiners and pressure energy markets. … the stakes changed after the Trump administration on Wednesday recognized the oil-rich country’s opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s official head of state, in a swipe at leftist authoritarian President Nicolas Maduro, whose political oppression and economic policies have created food shortages and a public health crisis.

“Before the administration made the decision to recognize the opposition, the administration had more flexibility,” Banks said. “Now the stakes are a lot higher. It has invested a tremendous amount of political capital.”

Other Trump administration allies say it favors sanctioning oil because that would impose a crushing blow on Maduro and perhaps deprive him of support from Venezuela’s powerful military, which has so far stood by him.

European leaders are somewhat following the lead of the Trump Administration:

26 January 2019

Four European countries demanded fresh elections within eight days or they’ll recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as president. Nicolas Maduro is struggling to hold onto power in the crisis-ridden country.

Last night, ICG’s Mark Armstrong put out the following:

As we are lectured every day about how unfair capitalism is, and how we need a massive authoritarian government to confiscate assets the rich don’t need and make sure everybody, including tens of millions of illegal aliens can live in the dignified circumstances they deserve… we’re watching the final stages of the Utopian socialist meltdown tear Venezuela to shreds. It didn’t happen overnight.  A great many of those who’ve been searching for morsels of nutrition from garbage heaps and those who’ve fled to neighboring countries in the hope of survival probably supported the “nationalization” of the oil business, the rubber business, the large ranches and farms.

Socialism is great for the lower classes until it’s not.  It’s also great for socialist leaders who live and rule in popularity and splendor while blowing through fortunes created by the productivity of others.  But it doesn’t last.  Governments squander and steal.  Apparently it’s real easy to spend what hasn’t been earned, until it’s gone. …

While the world’s premier example of modern socialism, Venezuela, is in utter and complete collapse, economically, socially and politically, the news can barely be found.  The mainstream just isn’t interested, you’ll have to look for it.

Last Summer, President Maduro admitted its socialist model failed:

Venezuela’s Maduro Admits Socialist Model Has Failed

August 2, 2018

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro admitted that his socialist economic model has “failed” amid food and medicine shortages as well as a failing infrastructure highlighted by Tuesday’s power failure to 80% of Caracas.

Compounding matters is the IMF’s Weimar-topping hyperinflation forecast of 1,000,000% by year end, and a GDP set to plummet 18% this year, as the government continues to simply print money to in hopes of filling the void of what was once the country’s economy.

“The production models we’ve tried so far have failed and the responsibility is ours, mine and yours,” Maduro told his ruling PSUV party congress. “Enough with the whining… we need to produce with or without (outside) aggression, with or without blockades, we need to make Venezuela an economic power.

“No more whining, I want solutions comrades!”

No word on whether he took a bite of an empanada during his speech while his country starves on the “Maduro diet” – a phrase coined after Venezuela’s notorious food shortages gave rise to mass starvation across the country. Not even the donkeys are safe. …

Venezuela’s industrial sector is operating at just 30% capacity, as illustrated by the farming sector, which now provides just a quarter of national consumption, after providing 75% just a few years ago according to the National Farmers Federation.

This should all make for some interesting debate questions during the next US elections, as Democratic Socialists have become the “new face” of the left. Just don’t ask any questions about economics or logistics…

Maduro said he will no longer blame the U.S. for his country’s problems.

“Enough of whining,” Maduro said. “You will not see me whining to myself. I do not blame them anymore. You do not see me whining in front of imperialism. Let them attacks us. It is up to us whether to act with aggression or without aggression.”

Venezuela’s economic decline began under former President Hugo Chavez. A country that was once overflowing with revenue from its state-run oil production saw those revenues sharply decline in the past decade as U.S. production increased and global prices fell.

Under Maduro, the crisis worsened. His government has nationalized cement and steel production and taken over operation of private businesses such as supermarket chains and others that provide basic services to its citizens.

But oil revenues still account for 96 percent of the country’s revenues, so as government fails to collect an adequate amount of money from its oil business, it has failed to provide an adequate amount of services for its citizens.

Due to hyperinflation — the International Monetary Fund estimates Venezuela’s inflation rate will reach 1 million percent this year — food shortages and high prices, 93 percent of the population does not earn enough to buy food, according to a 2017 study conducted in Venezuela. Venezuelans have lost, on average, 20 pounds since the country’s humanitarian crisis began in 2015.

Almost 1 million Venezuelans have fled hunger and repression by migrating to neighboring Colombia over the past two years. Another roughly 50,000 sought asylum in the United States. Roughly 800 Venezuelan refugees cross the border into Brazil every day.

Venezuela’s inflation rate is the highest ever recorded–it even exceeded that of pre-WWII Germany.

Yet, in the USA, we have seen a rise in people called “Democratic socialists.”

The problems in Venezuela have been known for some time:

Venezuela is a woeful reminder that no country is so rich that it can’t be driven into the ground by revolutionary socialism.

People are now literally starving — about three-quarters of the population lost weight last year — in what once was the fourth-richest country in the world on a per-capita basis. A country that has more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia is suffering shortages of basic supplies. Venezuela now totters on the brink of bankruptcy and civil war, in the national catastrophe known as the Bolivarian Revolution. …

Runaway spending, price controls, nationalization of companies, corruption and the end of the rule of law — it’s been a master class in how to destroy an economy.

The result is a sharp, yearslong recession, runaway inflation and unsustainable debt. The suffering of ordinary people is staggering, while the thieves and killers who are Chavista officials have made off with hundreds of billions of dollars. At this rate — The Economist calls the country’s economic decline “the steepest in modern Latin American history” — there will be nothing left to steal.

Any government in a democratic country that failed this spectacularly would have been relegated to the dustbin of history long ago. Maduro is getting around this problem by ending Venezuela’s democracy. …

The goal of Maduro’s alleged constitutional reforms is to no longer have a constitution worthy of the name. Immediately after the vote, his forces arrested two leading opposition figures in the dead of night. Video shows one of them, Antonio Ledezma, being taken away in his pajamas and another, Leopoldo López, bundled into the back of a car.

It looks like what it truly was — a pair of kidnappings.

Denied the ordinary means of dissent via the press and elections, the opposition has taken to the streets. Already more than 100 people have been killed in clashes over the past several months.

Worse is yet to come. 08/01/17

Venezuela is crumbling and with it, the left’s idea of a perfect socialist system. Yet … Nicolás Maduro, refuses to realize this obvious fact and instead, has resorted to political violence to silence his opposition. As the economy crumbles, the future of the oil industry Venezuela once relied on has been called into question. The devastation in Venezuela has grown from a political crisis to both an economic and humanitarian one.

During a vote last month, the Venezuelan people were asked to select, from a trusted list of allies in the governing party, a group to rewrite the nation’s constitution and maintain power in Venezuela until their work is finished. This would give Maduro and his ruling party the authority to dissolve branches of government such as the legislature, which is currently controlled by Maduro’s opposition party.

Voters were not given the ability to reject the plan, simply decide who they wanted on the council. The list was so corrupt it included Maduro’s own wife. While Maduro boosted high voter turnout, the election results have already been called into question.

Opposition spokesman Vicente Bello, criticized the lack of voter protection practices, such as the fact that voters were not asked to give proper identification. Voters were only allowed to cast ballots in any of three different locations.

Even a software company involved in setting up voting systems announced the turnout figure had been altered by at least one million votes.

While Venezuela is clearly operating under an illegitimate democracy, the situation only gets worse as Maduro responds to opposition with force.

Following the election, two opposition leaders under house arrest, Antonio Ledezma and Leopoldo López, posted videos to YouTube urging Venezuelans to protest the election results and called the newly formed council a fraud. Within days, both individuals were imprisoned for making political statements.

The Trump administration has quickly imposed additional sanctions on President Maduro as a result. Trump hopes this encourages the release of all political prisoners held there.

But these two are not the only Venezuelans suffering.

James Kirchick explained in the LA Times that, “Socialist economic policies — price controls, factory nationalizations, government takeovers of food distribution and the like — have real human costs. Eighty percent of Venezuelan bakeries don’t have flour. Eleven percent of children under 5 are malnourished, infant mortality has increased by 30 percent and maternal mortality is up 66 percent. More than 100 people have died in anti-government demonstrations and thousands have been arrested.”

Economically, Venezuela cannot support its own people. Years of big government socialist policies have led to media crack downs, over printing of money, and a war on capitalism that the country can simply not win. 08/03/17

Venezuela has continued to fall apart, and this has become more and more noticeable to many.

Venezuela’s oil wealth and geographic location had the potential for it to be one of the most prosperous countries in Latin America. Despite drops in oil prices, it still should be.

However, various government policies have not served the people well.

And now, government leaders are taking desperate measures to keep power.

Eventually, Venezuela will one day align with the Beast power that will arise in Europe. That, too, will not be good.

Venezuela, and the rest of the world, needs the Kingdom of God for the coming utopia (watch also Millennial Utopia).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Mexico, Central America, South America, Brazil, and the Caribbean in Prophecy [Español: México, América central, Suramérica, Brasil y el Caribe en la profecía] [Português: México, América Central, Ámérica do Sul, e Brasil na profecia] What will happen to those of Latin America? Will they have prosperity? Will they cooperate with Europe? Will they suffer in the future? What role might the various Caribbean nations/territories play?
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? Two related videos include UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
Laudato Si: Pope’s Agenda or Kingdom of God?
Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical is titled ‘Laudato Si.’ In it, he goes over his views related to environmental, economic, social, moral, agricultural, and spiritual issues. He advocates international cooperation to solve various problems he believes are affecting humanity. Is that Pope’s agenda the solution? What about the Kingdom of God? does the Bible teach? Two related articles include Laudato Si: Will Pope Francis’ economic actions match his words? and Laudato Si: A call for a one-world government?
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? Two related sermons are available Millennial Utopia and The Millennium.
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2027 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2019, 2020, or 2021? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Might the Great Tribulation start in 2019?
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.

Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be: Are Chinese threats against Australia for real?
Will the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill?  Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill?  Is a Donald Trump presidency proving to be apocalyptic?  Two related videos are available: Donald: ‘Trump of God’ or Apocalyptic? and Donald Trump’s Prophetic Presidency.
Trump Presidency Magic 8 Ball or Bible Prophecy? BBC reported that one might as well use a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’ to try to predict what will happen in the remaining time of Donald Trump’s presidency. What is a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’? Dr. Thiel not only explains that, but also briefly goes over 10 biblically-based warnings he wrote would happen if Donald Trump were elected that have already began to come to pass. He also goes over something he wrote back in 2008 that the Trump presidency is also helping lead to fulfillment. Should you trust Bible prophecy or not? Dr. Thiel says that Bible prophecy can be trusted, despite the view of skeptics and others that either overlook or despise the Bible. This is a video.

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