Venezuela: Is There A Driver At The Wheel?

Venezuela: Is There A Driver At The Wheel?

3 September, 2015 By Joshua Tartakovsky (All photos by Joshua Tartakovsky (C) all rights reserved 2015). It’s been several weeks since I left Venezuela after a two week long stay there. It is time I will put some of my experiences down on paper. But before I proceed, there are several qualifying points, which need to be made. I am not knowledgeable about the deep workings of Venezuelan politics. I am unfamiliar with many beyond-the- basic facts about Venezuela that even medium-level pundits are knowledgeable of. I do not intend to disparage the Venezuelan people or to downplay the meddling, which is illegal by international law, of the United States in the internal affairs of a sovereign country, which quite possibly include more than one attempt to topple an elected president from power, including by assassination attempts. All I have therefore is what I saw and what I learned from conversations with different people during my time in Caracas. I must say, however, that I did not encounter any tourists in Caracas and only at the airport did I encounter a few tourists from Trinidad who were too fearful to make their way deep inside the city and remained in the outskirts in a touristy area. Therefore, my experiences, however limited, have value since there is nothing like seeing with one’s eyes. Due to fact that I stated the reservations above, I will write about my impressions anyway. I am posting my writings in a blog rather than submitting an article for publication due to the same reservations. Several things have changed since my departure. In the past several...
Caracas, Venezuela: A Real Mess

Caracas, Venezuela: A Real Mess

I believe most people are unaware of what is really going on in Venezuela and how bad things are. I just left Venezuela after living in a poor barrio in Caracas for two weeks. The country is already mired in chaos and is heading towards a never ending catastrophe. It’s nice to engage in wishful thinking but a quick visit to Caracas by arm chair Socialists and Communists can sort things out.  … I’ve been to Palestine, I’ve been to Donetsk. I lived in Rio de Janeiro. I taught in a favela. Never in my life did I ever feel less safe as in Caracas. I am sad to say. Never did i experience such a collective mania of fear and tension.Growing up in a religious family, I later rejected religion due to lack of belief in dogma. I refuse to accept any other dogma, Socialist, Anarchist, Communist or otherwise. I will not bury my head when it comes to reality.Venezuela has many amazing people and there are many empowered communities. But the crime, violence, inflation, corruption and fear are out of control. This can only mean that either the government and the so-called Bolivarian revolution is a populist scam or we are dealing with wholly incompetent people in power. Just because i have issues with Capitalism, does not mean I will embrace Madness. And what is going on in Venezuela is Madness. I am not one to exaggerate. I’ve been under bombing and rockets after all. I was in the military. Never felt as unsafe as in Caracas. I experienced there collective fear, collective depression, collective anxiety, collective violence....
A Bolivaran Tsipras? Syriza’s Call for German Reparation

A Bolivaran Tsipras? Syriza’s Call for German Reparation

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the site where 200 Greek Communist partisans were executed by the Germans in Kaisariani. Photo: Reuters CounterPunchWEEKEND EDITION MARCH 20-22, 2015 A Bolivaran Tsipras? Syriza’s Call for German Reparations by JOSHUA TARTAKOWSKY Athens. Developments are happening faster than the speed of light both in Greece and around the world. It is not often that people are happy to be quickly proven wrong, but luckily the opportunity arrived. Following the Eurogroup agreement and the way it was presented to the public as an end of austerity and as a victory, indicated that the Syriza government is a captive to the Institutions. I expressed the possibility that unless public opposition mounts, Syriza will end up bending to pressure. Recent events, however, suggest that this is untrue. A public mobilization was not necessary, Germany’s humiliating dictates while the Greek public is suffering under the yoke of austerity have already turned the tide and the Syriza Government is resisting Germany’s patronizing and suffocating actions. As argued earlier, Syriza is pursuing a policy of uniting the nation by demanding justice. What goal may it have in mind? What caused this turn? and where may it lead to? In his speech to the Hellenic Parliament, Prime Minister Tsipras touched on the issue which both some Anglo-Saxon socialists and Conservative Germans would wish would have avoided. Tsipras brought to public view the issue of reparations of World War II, and the fact Germany did not pay back the interest-free forced loan made on the Greek bank by the German occupation forces until today. While some reparations were paid in the 1950s, these were quite small considering the...