35 thoughts on “Food Fight!”

  1. No ogg this time round?

  2. AHAB

    so it …will be televised this time??? : D
    you the man!

  3. john smartt

    here are the protesters:
    these people would see venezuela return to the pre chavez era–a time when they had the money and the power. the protests are not the result of state repression. on the contrary they are the result of hoarding by businesses and training by usa funded ngo’s.

  4. Rafael didn’t deny that there are right wing opposition actors who would like to go back to a pre-Chavez era. He mentioned that him and his comrades were critical of it. But the protests did not start from the opposition, but from students denouncing an attempted sexual assault, the right simply seized on it. It is a complex world and I think it’s very likely that there’s more poplitical intricacy in Venezuela beyond the Chavista VS Conservative binary. Once again, what is unconscionable is the way that lefties gloss over state led repression, much like they often gloss over Castro’s dictatorship.


  5. Bear

    I wanted to hear more about the fascist movement in Venezuela, JAVU, and their relation with the motherfuckin CIA.

    And what about Ukraine and Svoboda? the same fuckers from the CIA, OTPOR, are involved there too.


    It’s not hard to see the bullshit propaganda made from the right wing in ukraine and venezuela is orchestrated by the same people…



    Anyways it was a very good sedition, and I totally agree with what you say about criticizing the Venezuelan government, it’s very hard to say something against it in this moment without being put with the fascists…

    Fuck Statism…

  6. ALaVerga!

    I was down in Venezuela for the 2002 coup, and general strike, and have seen Chavez’s policies in play from the beginning, and I have to say…

    This is the best damn coverage of Venezuela I’ve ever seen. Thank you Stimulator!

    Amazing journalist you had on from Venezuela as well.

    My entire experience there was Chavez was lying to, while idolizing and stealing from the poor. He also tried to set up the Venezuelan equivalent of the SS, and arm them to chase out foreigners.

    The US used the opposition like puppets, who were too hungry for their petro-dollars to realize what this looked like to the rest of the country.

    Meanwhile that crook Chavez sent the states gasoline the entire time, and over time PDVSA became unable to refine oil, and now that’s done in the states to, on the Venezuelan tax dollar.

    2% of Venezuela paid property/business tax in 1998 that’s 98 out of 100 people you pass on the street NOT paying taxes. Chavez pretty much inverted that, and used the cash to completely paralyze the country. First thing he did lock currency, second thing start limiting exports, third start shutting down foreign owned businesses that support Venezuela from the inside, and make it rely on foreign owned businesses from the outside.

    Nationalized a functioning cement factory, shut it down, gutted it, and said the Americans wouldn’t allow parts in to maintain it. Then did things like this again and again.

    Also in 1998, 1$ USD = 800 bolivares
    Today 2014 1$ USD = 79 000 bolivares
    That’s so many bolivares they had to rename the currency the “bolivar strong” and drop three zeroes. So 79 000.00 became 79.00 looks cleaner doesn’t it?

    You can find all this yourself online, search “La Chuga Verde” which means The Green Lettuce in english, its Venezuelas black market dollar value, the real market!

  7. Adam

    Stim, what are your thoughts on the Arab Spring? I’ve been talking with a bunch of folks here who feel they’re likely a series of CIA sponsored uprisings.

  8. Nobody

    From what movie was that in the begining of the video

  9. Thank you 🙂

  10. I think CIA meddling in the Arab Spring is very probable. Speculation is healthy, but before falling into the trap of conspiracy, we need some solid fuckin proof. The narrative that the Alex Jones’ of the world would have us believe is that we are powerless and that every uprising is somewhat engineered. If that’s the case, then, what the fuck am I doing producing this show. I mean, if the deck is so stacked, why even resist?

  11. Dcembre

    Maduro is right and you are wrong. Viva Venezuela, viva la revolucion, viva el puebl.

  12. [Regarding Venezuela, there are two types of Anarchists: Those siding with right wing student groups and those who side with anarchist student groups.]

    In a February 15 statement below, the [ANARCHIST led] University of Chile Student Federation (Fech), which represents students on Chile’s largest university, condemns the right-wing violence in Venezuela as part of a coup attempt against the left-wing government, and rejected any connection between the struggle of Chile’s students for social justice and greater democracy and these actions in defense of Venezuela’s old, privileged elite. It has been translated by Federico Fuentes.

    * * *

    In light of recent events that have occurred in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the University of Chile Federation of Students (Fech), declares:

    The Chilean student movement campaigns specifically in defense of public education, and more generally for justice and dignity for human beings.

    In this sense, we reject all attempts at destabilization, the hoarding of food and coup plotting that seeks to subvert the sovereign will of the Venezuelan people and close off the revolutionary path they have chosen.

    We do not feel represented by the actions of some Venezuelan students who have placed themselves on the side of defending the old order, and opposed to the change that the people support.

    We deeply regret the deaths of three people, both pro- and anti-government supporters, over the past few days; we believe this should be dealt with due process so that justice is done. We hope the Venezuelan people come out of this process strengthened so that these grave events are not repeated.

    We also reject the distortion of diverse events in this brother country, including the manipulation of images and information in order to create a climate in favor of intervention. We call on the national and international media to put an end to these practices that will only worsen the situation and undermine the legitimacy of the journalistic profession.

    We call on political and social actors to come out in this regards, and not allow this attempted coup in a brother country to come to fruition.

  13. john smartt

    the chilean students are real supporters of human rights. they understand that support for any part of the opposition in venezuela is support for imperialism and repression.

  14. So Chilean students are the only “real” supporters of human rights? That’s a pretty big burden don’t you think? Also, don’t you think that placing the ‘opposition’ as one single unit is to oversimplify a complex situation? That’s like saying that the US is only made up of Democrats and Republicans.

  15. Hmmm… only two types of anarchists? What about anarchists like me who don’t support Maduro OR the right wing opposition, but who do support people’s right to protests without getting their heads bashed in. Seems very un-anarchist to try to fit the a very unruly and freedom loving bunch into such narrow categories.

  16. john smartt

    they are one of many real human rights activists, as are you. however on this count you are wrong.

    what has maduro done right? you ask. to ask that question shows your bias and lack of research. unlike leaders in all other countries he has arrested those who use violence on protesters. he has raised the minimum wage so that it is higher than the rate of inflation. he has prosecuted officials and business men alike for corruption. he has capped the % of profit allowed on consumer goods. he has maintained all basic foodstuffs for the bulk of the population. he has captured several groups of paramilitaries with plans and weapons to destroy the bolivarian movement. he has continued the mass house building project and continues to expand both public transport and the communa system.

  17. What exactly is my bias? I didn’t ask what Maduro did right, I asked what is he “right on” I’m sure he’s done good things, but suppressing dissent is not one of them. I think you like most Chavistas are missing the point. To criticize Chavez and his crew does not make you right wing, just like criticizing Israel doesn’t make you an anti-Semite. Simply look at the content of the interview and critique that, not what you think Rafael or I am saying.

  18. sabotagemedia

    Pleeeaaasee. Just take the example of “Camila Vallejo”. In 2011 she was the poster child of the very active student movement, a student leader in the FECH. She now won a seat in parliament with the communist party which is part of the “Concertacion” electoral coalition, the new elected government with Michele Bachelet as president again. Go ask the Mapuche what they think of the Concertacion. During their last term in power this leftist coalition systematicaly repressed and threw into jail hundreds of Mapuche people. All this is well known in Chile and even denounced by your beloved “human rights” activists. Camila Vallejo, now part of a Concertacion government, knows all this very well. What do you think she cares more about, “human rights” or her career?

    And while we are at it why arent you concerned for the “human rights” of Indigenous peoples in Venezuela who have seen their way of life destroyed by oilfields, or repressed for their desire of autonomy like the Yukpa, or people who have to put up with the tar sands of Orinoco

  19. john smartt

    Guarimbero groups captured in Altamira, in the state of Miranda, where there have been violent demonstrations for more than 20 days, confessed to the authorities that they had been paid 5,000 bolivars a week by the Voluntad Popular party to keep up protests in the zone.
    So said the minister of the Interior, Justice and Peace, Miguel Rodríguez Torres, on the VTV program, Con el Mazo Dando, hosted by the president of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello.
    It bears mentioning that the opposition party in question is that of Leopoldo López, currently in prison for various crimes.
    Days before, the foreign minister, Elías Jaua, made public the proofs that confirm the participation of the United States in the financing of paramilitary groups in Venezuela, trained to generate violence.
    Torres assured that the active participation in the protests on the part of Daniel Ceballos, the mayor of San Cristóbal, capital of the state of Táchira, is no secret to the authorities.

    Because your show is great and I appreciate your work (except in this case) I am going to break it down.
    Rafael says that in venezuela we have an economic crisis. Compared to western capitalist nations venezuela is in great shape (low unemployment, minimum wage raised faster than inflation, positive balance of payments, gold reserves and cash reserves, low debt). So rafael makes a mountain out of a mole hill. He goes on to connect inflation to 3 jobs to “survive”. There is no starvation or malnutrition
    in venezuela. The shortages are an inconvenience. He thens connects this to an import economy based on the dollar and then that the government controls the dollars. This implies that the government is causing the food shortages and the inflation by over control. This is exactly the argument of the neoliberals.

    Without explaining his argument or giving context he jumps to insecurity. The video clip is of students assaulting police or security. Then for the original protest several students were detained. This is not the degree of repression that leads to what he calls a snowball effect that made the protests grow.

    So we have a protest by students repressed which caused another protest by students which was repressed. Then the snowball. Then sectors of the conservative opposition. How nice to call extreme right wing, anti democratic neolibrals a sector of the conservative oppo. You see the oppo has nuances. Some good, some conservative. Capriles is shown being reasonable. This is propaganda par excellence.

    The protests in the interior are in the states bordering columbia. He implies that these protests are by the people in contrast to the middle class in caracas. Just today several captured protesters in Miranda admitted that they were paid 5000 bolivares per week to keep up the trouble. A recent survey revealed that 80% of venezuelans oppose the protests. Oh but according to rafael this is a popular, decentralized movement. Not something overseen by the cia/oligarchs. Like libya, syria and ukraine, the usa and local fascists are stirring the pot to create the fall of a government that does not cow tow to the usa.

    Then we get to the armed forces being clean up and made ideological.

    The mass media do cover the protest and support all manner of anti bolivarian activity. What they are no longer doing is participating in politics by being media for the purpose of overthrowing the government. They are no longer allowed to instigate violence and fear with false stories. Social media is now used to instigate violence and fear with false stories and pictures.

    Rafael defines coup in a way that closes the door on that possibility, except from the left. And that could happen because maduro is weak. This distracts you from the real threat—disruption and usa intervention to restore peace and install a neoliberal government.

    The account i’ve read on deaths count more chavistas dead than protesters. Lets not forget those chavistas killed after the election. Where were the cries of brutal right wingers?

    After the set up of light lies and omissions we get to what rafael really wants to impart. It is all about a repressive government. La Salid!

  20. Thanks for taking the time to write John. But what you are basically saying that everything Rafael said is a lie. Right? A lot of what he is saying coincides with what Margarita López Maya said on DN! Is she also a pushing propaganda? http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/7/debate_do_venezuelan_protests_reflect_popular Again, there’s no denying involvement of right wing, extreme right wing, or US to destabilize Venezuela. The question is, does the task of saving a “revolution” give the state unlimited authority to do so? Even lefty darling Chomsky was worried about the expanded powers Chavez had given himself. Is the Electronic Frontier Foundation also wrong on the free speech assessment of Venezuela during this period? https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/02/venezuelas-net-crackdown-escalates

  21. john smartt

    First DN. Maduro bristles and tells a right wing president from panama to back off. But Eliana proposes a resolution for democracy and is allow 25 seconds to make it seem like venezuela is a repressive dictatorship. Ever since DN refused to stop calling it the Iraq War instead of the Iraq Invasion, I have had my doubts about their ability to notice how deeply supportive of overall imperialism they are.

    As for Margarita, she fails to mention that all government officials involved in violence have been arrested. She is a professor at one of venezuela’s private right wing universities. So yes, I would have to say that margarita is propagandizing.

    Social media: they are now doing exactly what the private tv and radio did in 2002. Lies and lies. For example:
    a couple of other excellent notes:

  22. John, with all due respect, but it seems that everyone who doesn’t agree with your point of view is “propagandizing” or “right wing” so I guess I must be that too!
    A simple google search shows that DN! indeed continues to use the term “Iraq War” https://encrypted.google.com/#q=site:democracynow.org+%22iraq+war%22&safe=off
    Yep, twitter is used by all sorts of people, some with good intentions some with bad. Does that mean that it should be censored? That’s what the Saudi’s and the Chinese do! Seems you are trying to justify government censorship.
    Nuff’ said.

  23. john smartt

    I invite you to critique the points I raised as I have attempted to do. I am suggesting that subtle forms of persuasion lead people like yourself to support movements that do not support human rights or the people in general, but are rather efforts by the oligarchs to retake power.

    The venzuelan government supports the people. Notice that strikes and work problems are ended quickly and without violence. Why? Because the government comes down on the side of the workers. Notice that these protesters have only one demand. Maduro must resign. This is a false negociate position. Legitimate demands would be concrete.

    Here is a excellent comparison:

  24. Hmmm… George Ciccariello-Maher is neither Venezuelan, nor an anarchist. I think George is a good guy, I’ve had him on the show before. But it’s sad that he resorts to slamming Rafael because of where he came from. Heck George is PHD assistant prof at Drexel and I don’t hold that against him! That’s just weak sauce. He also quotes an anarchist organization that hasn’t published anything in over year and who’s critique of El Libertario also relies on slamming the backgrounds of the people involved. Sounds like sectarian bickering to me. What I do find interesting is GCM’s critique of rights. Although I don’t necessarily agree with every in the argument, it’s given me something to chew on. But let’s face it, George is a Chavista cheerleader who rubs shoulders with other Chavistas, so we’re not gonna get an objective POV from him in my opinion.

  25. George Ciccariello-Maher

    Chavista cheerleader! Ha!

  26. Will

    I’m mostly concerned that all of a sudden anyone who takes seriously and has participated in the admittedly totally inadequate and incomplete transformation toward socialism,is considered untrustworthy. That’s most of any of the comrades one might find in Venezuela.

  27. I really have not experienced this. On the contrary, what I’ve seen is people having a wholesale support of Maduro and Chavez’ project without any critique, and full on attacks on anyone who disagrees. Even if the folks at el Libertario are flawed, their critique is necessary.

  28. John g

    people are protesting because doctors have no supplies and people are dying wallowing in misery – there are no raw materials, grocery stores are empty, you’re allowed to buy 1 bar of soap at a time, everything must be imported because communism doesn’t work. EVERYONE is suffering. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. All private industry has shut down, everyone with money got the fuck out for the most part or moved their company to Columbia. KYS

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