In the shadow of Ukraine, Venezuela

In Venezuela, people are demonstrating throughout the country against economic hardship”

By, Daniel Cohn Bendit – Feb.24, 2014


¿How can you explain, Daniel Cohn Bendit, that an oil-rich country like Venezuela, has been financially bled dry?

— Far from Europe, a popular rebellion goes unnoticed. For weeks now, tens of thousands of Venezuelans have been protesting against the power President Maduro’s post-Chavez regime. The young, the bourgeoisie, the poor, intellectuals, all mixed together. They are protesting against inflation, corruption and criminality. Do you know how many ministers there are in the Maduro administration? More than one hundred. More than ten people have died, hundreds have been injured. In the old days, Venezuela was a farming nation. Today, they have to import everything. The country depends entirely on oil-generated revenues. Inflation reached record levels of 56 percent in 2013. Purchasing power has been totally eroded, especially for the poor. Finally, insecurity: 25,000 violent deaths last year. In 1998, before Chávez was first elected the figure stood at 5,000. Consequently, the post-Chávez propaganda doesn’t really cut it anymore: After 15 years in power, you can no longer reasonably explain the crisis by blaming it on the previous powers. So, they resort to scaremongering and their anti-Americanism and anti-imperialism discourse. Maduro, the successor of Chávez is Cuba’s man, just as Yanukovich in Ukraine was Moscu’s man. The Cuban secret services are in charge of training the Venezuelan political police. Last week, by the way, Maduro was talking about that Venezuela was not Ukraine, and that he felt solidarity toward Yanukovich. Now, he mobilizes his supporters and declares the mother of all wars against the anti-fascist and anti-imperialist powers. So, now a rebellion against him is a fascist rebellion. Those are his words.

— Daniel, a part of the French Left supported Chávez and Maduro; I am thinking of Jean Luc Mélanchon (leader of the Parti de Gauche).

— Yes, and it’s quite amazing that it is not only the European Left; President Roussef in Brazil, who fought against the dictatorship has also shown solidarity to Maduro. A part of the French Left-wing press, Libération, my favorite paper, speaks about the Venezuelan opposition as if they were the hard right, as if they were fascist pigs. Fidel Castro and then Chávez were seen as popular liberators that deserved the admiration of certain patriarchs of the Left such as Jean Luc Mélanchon. It doesn’t seem to bother them at all that the press has been gagged, liberty confiscated or corruption unleashed. So, in the face of the popular movement of recent weeks, they either ignore it or embark once again on their anti-imperialist and anti-fascist tirade. After all, if they had no qualms with Chavez holding hands with Amanidhejad, why would they be squeamish about the present state of affairs? Historical truth is of no concern to them. It’s the last thing on their minds. The enemies of my enemies are my friends, no matter who they are or what they do. That is the currency that Mélanchon trades in, who by the way wishes he could be a Chávez or a Maduro so he could speak on the radio or television for six straight hours.

— “Six hours on the radio! You had three minutes. Thank you, Daniel Cohn Bendit!”

Source: Cohn Bendit, Daniel. “À l’ombre de l’Ukraine, le Venezuela”. Feb.02,2014. Europe1. Feb.26, 2014. <;.

Translated by #InfoVnzla