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On January 23rd, following massive protests of President Nicolás Maduro in the streets of Caracas, Venezuela, national assembly speaker Juan Guaidó swore himself in as interim president. Shortly afterwards, the US recognized Guaidó, followed by all other nations in the world with the exception of Russia, Iran, Mexico, Bolivia, Uruguay and Cuba. China said it would remain neutral.

Maduro claims that, “The imperial government of the United States is leading a coup attempt against [Venezuela] in order to install a puppet presidency.” Abby Martin, whose ‘Empire Files’ show on teleSUR was until recently financed by the Maduros’ regime has claimed that Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis was manufactured by the local elite colluding with the US with economic sanctions. Über-conspiracy oracle Ben Fulford recently wrote, “The cabal are now fighting desperately to stay in power by stealing the oil reserves of Venezuela, because they are doomed if they lose control of the financial system and thus their ability to hire protection.”

Everyday people are right to be concerned about US interventionalism in Venezuela, given the horrible history of US meddling in Latin America and with oil-rich countries around the world. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that what’s occurring in Venezuela is a massive asset-stripping event by both sides, in a scramble to control the world’s largest underground oil reserves through economic warfare.

Everybody has a political axe to grind about what’s happening in Venezuela and the escalation of events has led to strange bedfellows, with the Hillary cheering squad of the Fake News media suddenly in agreement with Trump’s State Department but for the vast majority of people who have to live in Venezuela and their neighbors, it is widely agreed that the string of bad decisions that have culminated in this chaos were made by Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro and that attempts to assign blame elsewhere are just not true.

To settle what she sees as a lot of disinformation swirling around out there, Venezuelan-American comedian Joanna Hausmann made this video. Hausmann has a popular YouTube channel with funny clips about South American culture and she apologizes that this one isn’t particularly funny. As a Venezuelan citizen whose journalist uncle was imprisoned in 2016 for reporting on an anti-government protest, she wants to explain what’s happening, as she sees it:

1. What is happening in Venezuela is not a US-backed coup.
2. This is not a fight between the Venezuelan Right Wing and the Venezuelan Left Wing. This is a fight of the great majority of Venezuelans to democratically get rid of an illegitimate and punitive dictatorship, a dictatorship responsible for countless human rights abuses.
3. The people of Venezuela are seeking fair, democratic elections, using the laws written in our Constitution.
4. Juan Guaidó did not just “declare” himself President out of nowhere.

Hausman says, “Interim President Juan Guaidó is not a right-wing politician but a Liberal representative in Congress. Guaidó was elected by the Venezuelan people to be a representative in Venezuela’s national assembly. He is acting as Interim President – as in, temporary president – until democratic elections can be ensured, as dictated by law when a president is deemed illegitimate. In other words, this is not a coup.

“Why is President Nicolas Maduro illegitimate? In 2017, the Supreme Court that was handpicked by Nicolas Maduro’s party nullified and stripped the National Assembly or Congress of their powers. The National Assembly was chosen by vote and was the only government institution that was run by an opposition majority.

“Imagine, when the Democrats took the house, if Trump was like, ‘No, I don’t like this anymore. The house is no longer a legitimate part of government and here’s another house that I made up with everyone that agrees with me’? Americans would be furious! So, too are Venezuelans!

“Venezuela erupted in protest. Hundreds of protesters, most of them teenagers were detained, some of whom were tortured and murdered. Meanwhile, despite these protests, Maduro made his own Congress that he could control, just like that.

“Fast-forward to May 20th 2018, where this illegitimate Congress calls for presidential elections. Now, during these elections, the most popular opposition candidates are either jailed, exiled or banned from running. In other words, there is no legitimate way for the opposition to run. So, these sham presidential elections are held anyway by Maduro’s government, where only 20% of the population voted. However, a lot of the 20% were public employees, who were intimidated into voting by threats from the government.

“These were called illegitimate elections, not just by the Venezuelan people but by the international community. Everyone was on board, saying, ‘Yeah, this shit’s f*cked-up – and if it’s anything, it’s definitely undemocratic. Now, if you’re wondering how the Venezuelan people truly feel about this, here are some statistics, according to recent polls: Over 80% of Venezuelans disapprove of Maduro’s government because there is a lot to disapprove of.

“Maduro took the minimum wage from $350 a month to $7 a month. Meanwhile, inflation hit 1.7 million percent in 2018, with the IMF projecting 10 million percent in 2019. So, the daily minimum wage can’t buy two eggs. According to UN projections, over 5,000,000 people have left the country causing a refugee crisis of Syrian proportions. That’s more than 10% of the Venezuelan population.

“There is such a shortage of medical supplies, that people are dying from previously eradicated diseases, like polio, because there aren’t any vaccines. The economy is a disaster, in a country that sits on the world’s largest oil reserves.

“So, where’s all this money going? People in Maduro’s government. Venezuela is the top 10 most corrupt country in the world, according to the Corruptions Perception Index.

“The media in Venezuela, who should be reporting on this sh*t is censored and dissidents are jailed. Over 5,000 people since 2014 have been detained for speaking out against the government and just since last week, when Guaidó was elected, 791 people have been jailed.

“So, what is happening now? Interim president, Juan Guaidó has been backed by the international community. Yes, this includes the United States but do you know who else backs Guaidó that isn’t Trump? Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany, the Socialist Party that runs Albania, Canada’s progressive Prince, Justin Trudeau, Australia, Paraguay, the government run by the Socialist Party of Spain, whose president said, ‘What is going on in Venezuela is the opposite of Socialism.’

“The list goes on. So, that was a lot of information and I am exhausted – and I’m not exhausted because I had to explain this to you. I’m exhausted because the situation in Venezuela has been talked about in the forms of political ideologies and politicians and political leanings – and the conversation has completely strayed away from what actually matters, which is the Venezuelan people.

“On a personal level, my immediate family – my father is exiled from back home. My extended family, they go out on these protests. My uncle is in jail for being a journalist that tried to shed light on what was going on. My cousin had to leave Venezuela because they were after him, as well.

“This has affected everybody on a human level and it doesn’t matter what leanings you have, from an ideological, political standpoint. This is about people. This is about people wanting their country back.

“That’s it and if you have any more questions, ask a Venezuelan and they can tell you from their personal human level how it’s affected them. Please listen.”

Alexandra Bruce

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40 comments

Leave a Reply to James P. Crothers Cancel reply

  • Yes, I also belive that this Guaido spend some time on training in for this job appropriate institutions , and what is interested that he try to imitate Obama stile when he is in public!
    For this Joanna I’m ready to believe that she is honest because that many of involving on protestants side are not able to see or don’t want to see that their patron have use them just like tools and will abandon them when they are overcome. If Maduro refuse to step back Venezuela will be burn in civile war (Siria) no doubt about that , but if he step down this country will become just another slave/colonial place with no future also , just like many nonfunctional countries around world !

  • I would recommend looking at this article as it explains who is behind the opposition and the economic collapse of Venezuela: Chicago School Neoliberals and international bankers who have the power to destroy countries who don’t go along with them. And, yes, it is the oil.

    The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela’s Coup Leader – Global Research

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-making-of-juan-guaido-how-the-us-regime-change-laboratory-created-venezuelas-coup-leader/5666971

  • WHAT’S HAPPENING IN VENEZUELA?

    Just more of the same old, same old.

    America having no respect for the rule of law or for the internal affairs of others.

    It’s been that way all my lifetime.

    Will they succeed in this slow-motion induced coup?

    Maduro does have some good friends and a number of states are openly against this effort.

    I’m not sure they will.

    But what a bizarre approach this has been, recognizing a man who gave himself the oath and never even ran for the office while ignoring a twice-elected man.

    And all the while, they whine in Washington about imagined interference in an American election.

    Well, that is contemporary America, bizarre in so many of its behaviors.

    • Absolutely agree with you, and everybody has to ask themselves about what kind of democracy is word here! This is ridiculous , and my fedora hat down for those who smoke this story.

  • If there were ever a case where the truth of a situation depends on who’s telling it, this is it. I don’t think Joanna Hausmann is CIA or working with USAID or lying about anything. I think she’s telling the truth as she sees it.

    I was a fan of Chávez during the Dubya era, when he was thumbing his nose at the Neocons but at this point, for the sake of the Venezuelan people, I cannot get behind the inept and corrupt Bolivarian regime, who have been a disaster for decades.

    It’s too bad that the world is the way that it is but if Trump (“The Leader of the Free World”) can’t go 5 minutes without being savaged by the Deep State and their media, how are we supposed to expect that the weak & corrupt Bolivarians, who are disliked by a vast majority of Venezuelans, 5 million of whom have fled the country, ever be effective, let alone hang in there?

    I don’t think it’s correct to blame the US for everything that’s gone wrong. The vast income from increased petroleum revenues was totally mismanaged, with no “rainy day” funds set aside. While other oil-producing nations, like Kazakhstan, took advantage of this market boom to create robust financial buffers for themselves, Chávez borrowed and spent all the money.

    Venezuela’s economy had previously been wracked by an oil glut in the mid-1990s. Rather than create incentives to diversify the economy so that it could be more resilient to oil busts, Chávez nationalized the major industries and infrastructure and he ballooned the government bureaucracy with redundant agencies, which were expensive and unproductive. He also did nothing to stem corruption.

    Because oil prices were very high for a decade, it was easy for Venezuela to pay their bills – and for Chávez to look like a hero. Everything seemed to be working – if you can call stealing people’s businesses “working” – but as soon as oil prices went back down, the non-diversified economy, now further crippled by being nationalized began to falter, the imports became unaffordable and the foreign debts became unpayable. And then Chávez got cancer.

    Maduro is no Chávez. He has personally stolen billions and enabled cronies to steal billions more. I think Venezuela would be a lot better off without him.

    • “Maduro is no Chávez. He has personally stolen billions and enabled cronies to steal billions more. I think Venezuela would be a lot better off without him.” – Evidence?

    • Finally someone who is on target. Chavez was for the most part entertaining with regard to Bush Jr, but he mismanaged the Venez Economy. He came to power largely by promisinhg a vast majority of the voters in Venz that he would re distribute the wealth that was being basically stolen by the large Corporations, most of whom were American.

      Not hard to gain power politically with the masses who have little to nothing by promising them more. In the begininning when there was oil money he was following through, building schools, hospitals and more but when the oil situation turned against the economic direction of Chavez the writing was on the wall. Socialism works well if there is an abundance of money.

      The govt knew that bad times were coming and they made sure that when it went bad the people of Venez could not defend themselves, they took away their weapons.

      Enter the USA govt and the sanctions. Yes the Corporations were butt hurt because the govt that was once friendly to them, that had recieved a sizable and often unearned reward for passing policy in favor of these companies were now benig attacked and forced to cough up more. They in turn did what they are good at, lobby the US govt to go in an open up a can of whoop ass.

      Then the good old USA decided that if that was not enough they then got to gether with the Saudis and were going to punish Russia with a planned decline in oil prices to show them who’s boss. The prices dropped further crushing the Venez economy, and a lot of other oil producing economies as well.

      This situation in Venez is complicated very complicated, but the USA should stay the hell out. They wont because destroying countries is what they do. There will be death, thousands will die because Maduro is not a smart man. He got in on the coat tails of Chavez, promised more of what Chavez had promised not understanding that he needed money to do that, then to stay in power he then went further and went on to change rules of the game to cling to power. Hence the dire situation that is developing.
      Maduro, He is a BUS driver for gods sake, he should have just stayed that, but in the end he has become stupidly wealthy as is the rest of his family and their closest supporters.

      How do I know this? My proof of what I say? I have been watching this situation develop from Colombia for 14 years. I have very close friends from Venez, I have clients who are hiring deposed Venezuelans, my wife works with Venzuelans, I talk to Venezuelans, its on the news via radio, TV, and the papers. Its on the social networks. The truth is out despite Maduros best efforts to contain it. The information is out there, lots of it and yet too many choose to pick the few tid bits coming from biased media.

      Thats enough ….

      • I agree with you, LW. As I said, I don’t advocate interference in Venezuela but speaking as a Brazilian and having watched Maduro on Brazilian TV during his first “campaign”, I saw him speaking like a complete idiot. Everyone in Brazil thought he was bad news and he turned out even worse than expected. For the sake of his people, he should step down and congress should be restored and a proper vote allowed. Reversing the damage Maduro has done just to the government structure, alone to say nothing of the economy and the lives of millions of people, it’s going to take years to turn this disaster around.

  • Sorry Alexandra, you are not well informed. Lack of good data is out of this. Sorry to see from you such a vice opinion. Thought you where more accurate and devoted to truth. I lived in Venezuela the whole Bolivarian process. I’m really sorry since I read you a lot. No more. Sorry. Good luck

    • I guess I’m seeing things through my Brazilian lens and seeing what the Worker’s Party did there. I was raised a Socialist. No more.

      • Hope that fresh new president Jair Bolsonaro will fulfill hopes of brazilians people! Remember that many socialist benefits use in Scandinavian countries for many years, but those people are raised in this spirit and prepared to give up on behalf of the others . This system (socialism) have very week spot in impatient greedy people who they can easily damage him. Many countries try to implement this rules, but they fail because soon after the middle class appearance and become wealthy , they reject rules believes that
        hinder theirs development. Finally they demand to return on low of jungle where stronger eat weaker!

  • I love it when people say…”If it happened in America, the American people would stand up and do something…It happened in 1963 coup d’état when President Kennedy was murdered, again in 1968 when another Kennedy was murdered, and again when Bush dumb ass Jr stole the election…Americans will continue to take it up the ass!
    Americans are complacent, apathetic, and just too damn ignorant!

  • I don’t know this woman, and I don’t trust her. But I wonder how many of us (US citizens and world citizens) are fed up with the bull crap we are fed day after day by our own illegitimate government. It certainly seems like a “psychopath-ogopoly” is running things. But I’m more and more inclined to believe that any and all visible actors are merely ambitious greedy sociopaths being used and manipulated by a smaller cabal of true psychopaths truly pulling all the strings and located somewhere within or above the elite banker class. These human (or not) parasites truly are deadly enemies of humanity and the planet as a whole. It’s been so long since we first heard Marvin sing “Mother, mother…” but we’ve been on this trajectory a long time, much prior to passing the “one way only” sign put up when they murdered Jack and the “last exit” sign when Bobby went down. Many others of course, but again, how can the people of this country (USA) and the earth break these bonds of misery and enslavement –or is it already too late? What power can we exercise? Perhaps a “general strike” (as they do in some other places) based on some accessible issue that might be a toehold able to snowball into mass scale true revelation regarding all the horrors perpetrated in our name (but against us) by, if you like, “The Cabal” and their minions? It sure seems like some kind of breaking point will inevitably come from this path we’ve been lead down, but what form and what result? And what kind of life will even be possible here on our earth?

    • Very true, the more you ponder the legitimacy of any government, the more you realize that the ideal needs to be about a system that’s better at protecting the common people from the arch-criminals of this world, because we’ll never eliminate the criminals.

  • Not all other countries recognise Guaido:
    ………….However, New Zealand’s foreign minister, Winston Peters, has refused to add New Zealand’s name to the list backing Guaidó. “It is not New Zealand’s practice to make statements of recognition of governments,” Peters said.

    “Venezuela needs to decide its future through free and fair elections. This government expressed concerns about Venezuela’s elections in 2018, and these concerns remain.”

    Prime minister Jacinda Ardern later justified her stance, saying that on her recent trip to Europe “absolutely no one expressed concern” that New Zealand’s decision differed from that of its allies………….

    Perhaps New Zealand is too insignificant to matter. I wish it were so! but the evidence is, NZ is allowed to express dissent, more as a token (very well-mannered ) rebel, than anything else. Australia has recognised Guaido.

    I agree with most other posters here. This young woman reminds me of the privileged elite in Iran. You can find them hanging out at ski resorts, waiting until the secret armies of the bankers’ spies and assassins give them back “their” country.

    Chavez had Venezuela working like Libya. Just about everyone was happy, but not the obscenely rich. To deny the fact of brutal and ruthless interference from foreign agencies, over decades, which is what has caused this situation, is to be blind in one eye and bedazzled in the other. Or just plain lying.

    • Chavismo “worked” for a few years because of the oil boom.

      Once the oil prices went back down, the non-diversified economy, now crippled because it had been nationalized fell apart, they could no longer afford the imports on which they’d become dependent and their new foreign debts became insurmountable.

      Maduro has been an unmitigated disaster ever since he took over. His 2017 dissolution of the legislative branch of government didn’t do much for his reputation as a statesman either. It’s been called a “self-coup”. Maduro is a dumb as a stone and he isn’t doing anybody any favors by being there.

      I’m not saying that it would have been impossible to make a Socialist utopia (although it would have been a first), if they had wisely diversified their economy, maybe it could be possible but the treasury was grossly mishandled and then the Bolivarians hit peak corruption – and then the sanctions hit.

      I don’t want to see any intervention there.

      • Have to admit I’m no better informed than most
        When you say Chavez got into debt, Alexandra, i wonder if he was pushed into debt, like almost every other country?
        Just an open question

        • “stealing other peoples’ businesses”
          In my country, a few hundred State enterprises, almost everything, have been sold off, and are now in the hands of the usual usurers and money-launderers, with allegiance to no nation.
          If my government were to re-nationalise these businesses, i’d be right behind them.
          Those “investors” used dirty tricks
          I think this is a world-wide phenomenon
          If it’s not laundered proceeds of crime, it’s money stolen by Goldman-Sachs and AIG as “interest” and insurance on loans which were floated at gunpoint

      • USA is dangerous regime hidden behind “democratic” curtain, responsible for bad happening in many many countries . Especially for those who runs on some social politics , this is red rug for them. What is happening in Venezuela right now is school example of coup , already seen in Libia , Siria , Ukraina and so on. Fall of former Yugoslavia also got elements of outside hidden interventions from foreign administrations . It is crucial to now that sistem for destabilization some country is to find or create unsatisfied amount of people and after that this began strike force against government. Bribing is major tools in that business and spread in society more quickly with creating crises situation just like deficiency of every day goods ! Far away that Maduro is saint ,but there is on stage long shot nasty work of USA, or like people want to say “here dance devil himself”

  • this woman is lying.81% of Venezuelans have not heard of this man,proves he didnt and aint gunna win shit.further more he is educated at george washington university(no chance of him being cia at all,right).why do have abby martins name hash tag to this?im pretty sure he would take issue with that.come on people Venezuela has the MOST OIL RESERVES in the world.thats why the price of oil is as low as it is,to bankrupt them!combined with the sanctions they cant even get a loan to produce the oil.so they asked for their assets back from US and we refused!along with the bank of england and THEIR gold.and when i say their i dont mean the gov i mean the people.thats why the people voted for maduro cuz he is looking out for them.i would trade all our leaders for him in a heart beat including trump.wake up people he is one of “them” and “they” will never be brought to Justus.just cuz u got 1 eye open doesnt mean ur awake.we r all fucked

  • Bunk…Vz has been under economic and political siege since the daze BEFORE Chavez. This smells like clown car machinations. Please, now try and sell us a nice daub of Bolsanaro too, ey?

    • Bolsonaro had his intestine, severed by a would-be assassin reattached yesterday (a reverse colostomy). No one knows what will happen in a post-Marxist Brazil.

      I’m not selling anything. I can only hope and pray, for the sake of my loved ones there that Brazil’s best days are ahead.

  • The problem is that the information we get from the people of Venezuela can be very different depending on who you speak with. For example, if you speak with a Trump supporter or Obama supporter in the US, you will get a very different picture of what is happening in the US. Also, how can we verify the person’s story?
    It is impossible to get an unbiased truth these days.
    All I have is the US history of overthrowing democratically elected leaders in South America (among others) for their own ends. So I tend to believe that the US is creating this situation. And I have not seen any country thriving after we destroyed it in the name of democracy for their people.

    • Amazing how quickly critical thinking can be spun…20 years plus of corpses greed fueling political upheaval and this is the best they can twit up?

  • The US did everything it could to undermine the Chavez government and its successor. Just like they have done in Cuba and Nicaragua. This is not about democracy. This is all abut restoring the Monroe Doctrine mentality. “We” have succeeded, getting neofascist elected in Brazil and a yes-man phony in Ecuador. Just a few “obstacles” remain – the aforementioned plus Bolivia and Uruguay – in the gambit to achieve hemispheric hegemony, which is inexorably horrible news for the many while enriching the few.

    It isn’t about liking Maduro…it is about smelling out and being disgusted by the transparent agenda at play here.

    What matters is the people. Most of whom will be victimized, along with the environment, by regimes we “approve of”.

  • Thank you Joanna. Information from those that are directly affected is always a clearer picture of what is taking place then the MSM.
    $350.00 min. wage to $7.00……it’s a wonder that the population of Venezuela still has life left in them to protest. Politicians …. are not human! The citizens of the world are basically being told to hit the road…….we don’t want you or need you…..you are not even worth feeding.
    Prayers are not enough….what is it going to take to give your people back their country, their jobs, family and safety once again? It should be a slam dunk but things in our world are never that easy any longer. Venezuela won’t be the last country to hit the wall….how many lives will it take to gain back what is rightfully theirs to begin with…????

  • We’re NOT alone. EVERYBODY wants their country back. Excellent video. Hard to get the truth from that part of the world. Thanks.

    • Ken, it’s hard to get the truth in this part of the world as well. That’s why I come to this site. As well as a few others. The truth is getting hard to find any more. Have a good one.

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