The “ZunZuneo” project, which the Associated Press reports was “aimed at undermining Cuba's communist government,” was overseen by USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI). AP describes OTI as “a division that was created after the fall of the Soviet Union to promote U.S. interests in quickly changing political environments — without the usual red tape.” Its efforts to undermine the Cuban government are not unusual, however, considering the organization’s track record in other countries in the region.
The violent anti-government protests that shook Venezuela in February have once again thrust the issue of the pace of change into the broader debate over socialist transformation. Radical Chavistas, reflecting the zeal of the movement’s rank and file, call for a deepening of the “revolutionary process,” while moderate Chavistas favor concessions to avoid an escalation of the violence. The same dilemma confronted the socialist government of Salvador Allende in the early 1970s, but under different political circumstances.
“Lights out! Whoever doesn’t turn out their lights will have their apartment stoned!” The cry rang out at 9pm, and residents of a set of apartment blocks near the center of Mérida, a provincial capital in the Venezuelan Andes, shuttered down for the night.
It took a lot of prodding but I finally got the UK Guardian to correct an error in an article about Venezuela by Virginia Lopez. She had written that anti-government protesters were venting their rage at, among other things, “hyperinflation”.
By Ewan Robertson - Venezuelanalysis.com, Apr 5th 2014
About 40 people have died in connection with opposition protests, street barricades and unrest which have been occurring since early February in Venezuela. An examination of the fatalities suggests some of the following conclusions.
Over the past six weeks the so called salida ya [exit now] strategy launched by the Venezuelan opposition has developed, in part, into a low intensity war against the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro.
By Zoë Clara Dutka - Venezuelanalysis.com, Apr 4th 2014
Over the weekend, a panel of psychologists convened to discuss the societal tension that has built up since violent protest broke out in Venezuela, in February. They determined that dialogue-friendly spaces and a feeling of general safety have been compromised dramatically. The fatal shooting of a woman waiting on line to buy food Saturday highlighted fiercely clashing responses through social media as each political sector interpreted the tragedy as proof of their own worst fears.
By Tamara Pearson - Venezuelanalysis.com, Apr 2nd 2014
As it's prone to do, the private media has invented a new thing. In both English and Spanish they are calling it colectivos, and these collectives are meant to be irrational, cruel, grotesque armed motorbike riders who “enforce” the revolution and are responsible for most of the current violence.
The recent protests in Venezuela have made international headlines. Much of the foreign media coverage has distorted the reality of my country and the facts surrounding the events. Venezuelans are proud of our democracy. We have built a participatory democratic movement from the grass roots that has ensured that both power and resources are equitably distributed among our people.
We, Vía Campesina Internacional, the international peasant movement that brings together over 200 million families in 77 countries, express our solidarity with the Venezuelan people, their peasant movement Bolivarian Revolution – currently the victim of an imperialist crusade that, together with reactionary right-wing forces, conspires within Venezuela and abroad in an attempt to retake the power they lost legitimately, democratically, and repeatedly at the ballot box.
In an interview with historian Valeria Ianni, political scientist and author Franck Gaudichad of rebelión.org discusses the destabilising attempts of the Venezuelan right-wing, the limits of the Bolivarian process and the possibility of popular movements to advance the revolutionary project amid tensions and a series of contradictions.