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Yahoo: Venezuela to demand mandatory visas for Americans


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http://news.yahoo.com/venezuela-demand-mandatory-visas-americans-220301488.html;_ylt=AwrBEiS8PPJU0hYAM.HQtDMD

Venezuela to demand mandatory visas for Americans

 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Saturday he was implementing a mandatory visa system for all American citizens visiting the country, as a way to "control" US interference.

 

The leftist president, who also ordered a review and reduction of US diplomatic staff in Caracas, told supporters: "In order to protect our country... I have decided to implement a system of compulsory visas for all Americans entering Venezuela."

 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/01/world/americas/americans-venezuela.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimesworld&_r=0

Detained American Missionaries Leave Venezuela

 

Four American missionaries who were held for three days and questioned by Venezuelan authorities were on their way home on Saturday.

 

Bruce Dick, the pastor of the Bethel Evangelical Free Church in Devils Lake, N.D., where the four missionaries are from, said that they arrived in Aruba, an island off the coast of Venezuela, on Saturday morning. From there they planned to return to the United States. He said that it was not clear whether they were deported or had left voluntarily.

 

Venezuela, a major oil exporter to the United States, is struggling with a deepening economic crisis, with many basic goods in short supply. President Nicolás Maduro, a leftist, blames capitalist enemies, including the United States, for the country’s troubles and has accused Washington of backing conspiracies to overthrow him. The United States says that is not true and has pressed Venezuela to release opposition politicians it has arrested and to guarantee the human rights of antigovernment demonstrators.

 

Mr. Dick said the missionaries — three men and a woman — included a doctor and a hearing specialist who had made several trips to a small coastal town, Ocumare de la Costa, to provide medical aid to the residents and to support a local church.

 

Mr. Dick, who spoke by telephone from North Dakota, described a trying and mysterious ordeal, in which the missionaries got little sleep and were repeatedly questioned by Venezuelan authorities. Before getting on the flight to Aruba, he said, they had been awake for about 30 hours.

 

“Whatever accommodations they were in, they didn’t get to sleep very well,” Mr. Dick said. “They sound in good spirits. They said they were treated very politely.”

 

“They don’t themselves understand,” he said of the reason they were detained. “They were interviewed by the intelligence service. They were interviewed multiple times.”

 

Members of the Devils Lake church have been traveling to Venezuela for 12 years to help build a church in Ocumare de la Costa, which is west of the capital, Caracas. They typically provide medical checkups and often distribute medicine.

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  • 3 weeks later...

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/171648

Maduro Wins Venezuela Decree Powers in U.S. Confrontation

 

Venezuelan lawmakers voted Sunday to give socialist President Nicolas Maduro special powers to go it alone in defense and public safety, amid an escalating confrontation with the United States.

 

The decree powers were approved by a show of hands in the National Assembly -- which is packed with Maduro allies -- after two hours of one-sided debate. They will be in effect until the end of the year and will raise fresh fears about abuse of power.

 

"This Assembly declares this law approved," declared speaker Diosdado Cabello.

 

"We are going to head over there in front of Miraflores (presidential) Palace to deliver the law to the people and comrade Nicolas Maduro," Cabello added.

Carlos Luna, an international affairs analyst and university professor, called the law "highly dangerous."

 

It allows Maduro to issue decrees on civil rights which are "constitutionally guaranteed rights of the individual, which are meant to be a containing wall against abuse of power," Luna said.

 

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles said on Twitter that Venezuela's "crisis has nothing to do with (the United States) or economic wars" that Maduro repeatedly says that Venezuela faces.

 

An anti-US march was called by the Cuban-allied socialist government at the palace.

 

Venezuela is in the midst of 10 days of nationwide military exercises, as the country faces a deepening economic crisis and rampant shortages of the most basic goods.

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I would LOVE to go to Venezuela some day... or at least teh 2000 version.   that is what is so screwed up, they are destroying an AWESOME place.   But now it is on its way to becoming one of the least safe places in the world, just in one decade.

 

 

and.. obviously, no longer a good place to do business.   The World Bank's doing busisness indicators now has them below Zimbabwe, Haiti and Syria.... neck-and-neck with Afghanistan

 

http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings

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I would LOVE to go to Venezuela some day... or at least teh 2000 version.   that is what is so screwed up, they are destroying an AWESOME place.   But now it is on its way to becoming one of the least safe places in the world, just in one decade.

 

 

and.. obviously, no longer a good place to do business.   The World Bank's doing busisness indicators now has them below Zimbabwe, Haiti and Syria.... neck-and-neck with Afghanistan

 

http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings

I would say that for the vast majority of Venezuelans they are improving their situation, Considering Venezuela has had some of the most drastic reductions in extreme poverty and poverty in general in the world since Chavez took power I think the fact that "businesses" aren't able to exploit the people as easily is a feature not a problem. That isn't to say there isn't problems with violence (mostly from drug trafficking shifting from Colombia), freedom of expression, or media repression. But for the average Venezuelan it is much better than it was 10 years ago.

 

 

"This 5.6 percentage point decrease in Venezuela translates into a 19 percent decline in poverty overall last year, which CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot noted last month “is almost certainly the largest decline in poverty in the Americas for 2012, and one of the largest – if not the largest – in the world.” 

This dramatic decrease in poverty is likely due to the impact of two new misiones(social programmes), the Gran Misión En Amor Mayor Venezuela and the Gran Misión Hijos de Venezuela, which were, by January 2013, benefitting more than 1,400,000 people.

"
 
 

Venezuela has seen a remarkable reduction in poverty since the first quarter of 2003. In the ensuing four years, from 2003 to 2007, the poverty rate was cut in half, from 54 percent of households to 27.5 percent. (See Table 1). This is measured from the first half of 2003 to the first half of 2007. As can be seen in the table, the poverty rate rose very slightly by one percentage point in the second half of 2007, most likely due to rising food prices. Extreme poverty fell even more, by 70 percent—from 25.1 percent of households to 7.6 percent.

These poverty rates measure only cash income; as will be discussed below, they do not include non-cash benefits to the poor such as access to health care or education.

If Venezuela were almost any other country, such a large reduction of poverty in a relatively short time would be noticed as a significant achievement. However, since the Venezuelan government, and especially its president, Hugo Chavez Frias, are consistently disparaged in major media, government, and most policy and intellectual circles, this has not happened. Instead, the reduction in poverty was for quite some time denied. Until the Center for Economic and Policy Research published a paper correcting the record in May 2006, (“Poverty Rates in Venezuela: Getting the Numbers Right”) publications such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Financial Times, theMiami Herald, and many others all published articles falsely asserting that poverty had increased under the Chavez government. A few of these publications eventually ran corrections. While poverty did in fact rise sharply in 2002-2003 (see Table 1), the publications cited above all printed false statements about the poverty rate after it had dropped back down and the new data were publicly available.

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Crazy dictators gonna crazy!

Pretty sure the president of Venezuela is democratically elected.

Knowing what I know about US intervention against democratically elected leftists throughout the hemisphere, I take all this news very skeptically.

Remember that farce of a coup against Chavez? This could quite likely be more of the same type of business.

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Its a democracy in the same sense that Russia is a democracy...  formerly democracy, but eroding, with exponentially increasing constraints on the press and on any opposition; large, and increasing human rights concerns.

 

chavez took over RIGHT as oil moved from 20$/bbl to well well well over $100 for over a decade... and he completely squandered that windfall... and has left the country as a complete economic basket case.    Yes, extreme poverty was reduced... but in a way that both was unsustainable, and will actually set BACK long run poverty reduction for at least a generation.. and it was done in an autocratic crony-enriching, corruption laden manner.

 

just pointing to the fact that the Perez administration ALSO wasn't good, but in the opposite direction (too cozy with business)  doesn't mean that Maduro/Chavez aren't just as sucky as everybody thinks that they know that they are.... they are.  

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Its a democracy in the same sense that Russia is a democracy...  formerly democracy, but eroding, with exponentially increasing constraints on the press and on any opposition; large, and increasing human rights concerns.

 

chavez took over RIGHT as oil moved from 20$/bbl to well well well over $100 for over a decade... and he completely squandered that windfall... and has left the country as a complete economic basket case.    Yes, extreme poverty was reduced... but in a way that both was unsustainable, and will actually set BACK long run poverty reduction for at least a generation.. and it was done in an autocratic crony-enriching, corruption laden manner.

 

just pointing to the fact that the Perez administration ALSO wasn't good, but in the opposite direction (too cozy with business)  doesn't mean that Maduro/Chavez aren't just as sucky as everybody thinks that they know that they are.... they are.  

 

So your argument is that since for the last decade poverty has dropped dramatically that in the long run (how long?) its going to set back poverty reduction? Forgive me if I don't just take your word for it. What we have right now is results and what has happened and guess what in the poverty reduction department it has been astoundingly successful (the best in the world by many indicators), so lets just say that you have an uphill battle claiming that it is actually going to increase poverty or set it back since the model in every other developing country has been much less successful then the Venezeulan model. If you can show a model and a case study that has been able to make that turnaround and that poverty reduction (without using massive amounts of foreign aid) then I would love to see it but as far as I know it doesn't exist in the developing world.

Now the press repression and the loss of some free speech rights is troubling. But its tough to argue with the results for impovershed Venezuelans who have seen their lives made much better and at a faster rate than anywhere else in Latin America. That is also with the backdrop of an attempted coup in 2002 and lets just say a hostile relationship with the superpower up north. For me thats pretty incredible when you look at the mess that is most Central and South American countries with regards to the poor and marginalized.

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Venezuela has the largest level of proven oil reserves in the world, and just emerged from the MOST benign time period for oil producers as a shattered and broken economy. 

 

not to be rude... but this discussion, frankly, isn't even worth beginning.  

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Venezuela has the largest level of proven oil reserves in the world, and just emerged from the MOST benign time period for oil producers as a shattered and broken economy. 

 

not to be rude... but this discussion, frankly, isn't even worth beginning.  

And not to be rude but if it isn't worth beginning why throw things out there and refuse to defend them. 

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And I would say yes poverty has risen during a recession (just like it did in the United States and every other country in the world following the 2008 financial collapse). But overall, since the start of the 2000's there has been a massive poverty reduction and an uptick during a recession isn't exactly shocking. I think the language in the article is bombastic and part of that is because the writer is a pretty big opposition leader. I do think its rich that he writes

Venezuela’s official statistics office (INE) mostly spends its time producing reports charged with political language— but it still manages to report actual data once in a while. 

While his own article is absolutely chalk full of political language.  It all comes down to the same argument which is that spending oil money on the impovershed is a waste of money and "unsustainable" when the alternative for decades in Venezuela and elsewhere has been using those oil profits to line the pockets of the wealthy and multi-national corporations. I think there are definitely issues with Venezuela but the alternative has proven so much worse for the people of Venezuela.

 

Here is the world banks poverty headcount

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SI.POV.NAHC/countries/VE?display=graph 

 

And an article on the poverty rate and fluctuations

 

http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/10749

 


This has occurred over the past 15 years despite population growth, two recessions, and current economic problems, and it seems that increased public investment in social and infrastructural programs has played an important role in this process. These programs, or “missions”, have included establishing subsidised food stores and free food kitchens, constructing a network of free health clinics in communities, increasing access to free education, increasing access to basic services like electricity and potable water, and constructing or renovating over half a million homes since 2011. These programs have contributed to improvements in many indicators of social well-being, several of which have a direct bearing on structural poverty. For example between 2003 and 2013 critical overcrowding was reduced from 16% to 9.5%, inadequate housing was reduced from 9% to 4.5%, and lack of access to basic services was reduced from 16% to 9% - all indicators used to measure structural poverty.

It is difficult to see this as a short term populist spending strategy that has not had a significant long term impact on poverty reduction, as some critics have claimed. Indeed only last month Venezuela was praised by the UN for its early achievement of many of the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs), which include poverty reduction and a sharp decrease in child malnutrition.

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Pretty sure the president of Venezuela is democratically elected.

Knowing what I know about US intervention against democratically elected leftists throughout the hemisphere, I take all this news very skeptically.

Remember that farce of a coup against Chavez? This could quite likely be more of the same type of business.

Hope you know what I said was in jest, but I would call anything there a Democracy very loosely.

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I would say that for the vast majority of Venezuelans they are improving their situation, Considering Venezuela has had some of the most drastic reductions in extreme poverty and poverty in general in the world since Chavez took power I think the fact that "businesses" aren't able to exploit the people as easily is a feature not a problem. That isn't to say there isn't problems with violence (mostly from drug trafficking shifting from Colombia), freedom of expression, or media repression. But for the average Venezuelan it is much better than it was 10 years ago.

 

 

 

This is true for many other countries in the region that didn't have access to the free oil wealth that Venezuela has.  Chile's poverty dropped even faster than Venezuela's.   So did Brazil's.   But the changes in those countries were more structural and long lasting.  

 

Venezuela had billions in oil revenue that no other country outside of the Middle East has.  They could have reduced extreme poverty drastically without screwing everything else up the way they have.  

 

And an article on the poverty rate and fluctuations

 

http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/10749

 

 

I hope you realize that this article is from Maduro's propaganda arm.   Just saying.

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This is true for many other countries in the region that didn't have access to the free oil wealth that Venezuela has.  Chile's poverty dropped even faster than Venezuela's.   So did Brazil's.   But the changes in those countries were more structural and long lasting.  

 

Venezuela had billions in oil revenue that no other country outside of the Middle East has.  They could have reduced extreme poverty drastically without screwing everything else up the way they have.  

 

 

I hope you realize that this article is from Maduro's propaganda arm.   Just saying.

Care to show some numbers that show that Chile and Brazil's poverty and extreme poverty have dropped faster than in Venezuela under Chavez and now Maduro?

And the other article was from an opposition person, are you arguing with the numbers or just attacking the source?

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Care to show some numbers that show that Chile and Brazil's poverty and extreme poverty have dropped faster than in Venezuela under Chavez and now Maduro?

And the other article was from an opposition person, are you arguing with the numbers or just attacking the source?

 

 

I don't have time to research all the numbers, much less investigate how those myriad numbers might be manipulated, so yes, I was just pointing out that the article you quoted was from a Bolivarian Revolutionary publication with an obvious agenda.   I thought it was relevant, because it is.

 

Please, don't mistake my criticism of Chavez and Maduro with support for the conservative oligarchy that they replaced.   All of Latin America has improved since that time.  Venezuela had a huge advantage in oil money over the other countries in the region, and should have done much better than the others and its economic growth should be much more stable and sustainable now than it is.  

 

I got my information about Chile and Brazil reducing poverty faster than Venezuela from here:  the authors are two of the world's leading economists studying third world poverty reduction and income inequality.

 

http://econ.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul1117.pdf

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