The People vs Maduro

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“We have a just, legal, constitutional and popular electoral victory,” – Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela´s Elected President, 2013

 

Fast forward to April 20th 2017, the mother of all protest manifested in the streets of Caracas, Venezuela against the Maduro Administration and his ¨socialist¨ regimen.

In the last 4 years Venezuela has been facing an economic crisis all thanks to government overspending and corruption wreaking havoc for the republic.

To contextualize the problem, the nearly bankrupt country (despite having the largest oil reserve in the world) were forced to plunge oil prices because they ran out of money, and not only did they run out but made the irresponsible and idiotic decision to PRINT OUT money causing the Bolivarian Peso (local currency) to lose its value, so you can say toilet paper is worth more than the Bolivarian peso,

What once was considered the wealthiest country in South America is now facing scarcity and hyperinflation (the highest rate in the world)

 

In Feb 2016, President Maduro , Hugo Chavez’s successor declared an economic state of emergency, traveling to different parts of the world to meet with other foreign leaders for funding, although he was able to receive funding, it was still not enough to supply the needs of the republic.

The world’s biggest economic crisis has lead its´ citizens to reach their breaking point, expressing it in numerous protest and riots.  The protesters and opposition leaders all demand that the government hold elections, free political prisoners, and reestablish judicial independence and the powers of the National Assembly. In a recent report by the Venezuelan Observatory on Violence (OVV) it calculated that the 2015 murder rate was a shocking 90 per 100,000 residents, a figure considerably higher than other well-known countries for violence like my beloved Colombia and Mexico.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you already know about the universal declaration of human rights and by being up to date with this news, already have identified the numerous human right violations made by the government.

 

So what can we do?

I’ve always said, you’re either an activist or an in-activist and since 90% of the media is controlled by the Venezuela government, there is no news coverage on the riots and protest, I believe it is our job as global citizens to replicate all the information on our social media platforms and demand our countries to be aids in this crisis.

I also implore all neighboring countries or countries who have had economic or diplomatic ties to come together for the sake of the human lives.  We can’t just sit here and watch the Venezuelan republic kill themselves in anguish and hunger because they are demanding the protection and exercise of their fundamental rights.

My recommendation is that the Venezuelan Supreme Court overturn their order and grant the opposition’s request to impeach President Maduro, a country cannot progress under a corrupt dictatorship, while the Dept. of Foreign relations of Venezuela must work towards reestablishing their diplomatic and commercial relationships and change their foreign policy. By reestablishing relations they can request foreign funding once again, by receiving a fixed income (temporarily) Venezuela Govt can start alleviating scarcity in food and basic supplies.

It´s also imperative that they find other forms of income, not solely depending on oil, because in reality, this was their mistake. 95% of a country´s currency income cannot come from one source, you must have multiple sources. Once other means of income are identified, they must exploit those new found opportunities, thus generating new jobs. New jobs require personnel, with more people working, every one can contribute to the rise in the economy.

 

I also call on all the countries whom once had a flourishing relationship with Venezuela to provide the all the assistance necessary to the republic, many Venezuelans have left their country to provide a better life for their families and themselves, not because they wanted to but because they needed to, but if we help them back up, there would be no need to leave and thus preventing future migratory issues.

Obviously this is my opinion, and it’s easier said than done, however I believe that in the event of an economic crisis, we all must come together.

 

¨These are serious internal problems that are undoubtedly being exacerbated, to some extent by U.S. involvement. By rights, we should be trying to support Venezuela to overcome its internal problems, not trying to light fires that will make them worse¨ – Noam Chomsky, Democracy Now, 2015

 

 

Photograph. Donaldo Barrios, Instagram

Sountrack to this post,  The Best of Clint Mansell and Hans Zimmer ❤

Law of War VS International Humanitarian Law

moab-bomb

 

On April 13th 7:30 p.m. local time, the U.S armed forces dropped MOAB- Mother of All Bombs (formally known as GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast) a 21,600 lbs bomb at one of ISIS’s operational spaces (caves) in Afghanistan. 

According to insider reports, ¨The strike was intended to deliver maximum destruction to ISIS fighters and facilities with as little risk as possible to Afghan and American forces in the area, according to U.S. Central Command officials¨ however, it has yet to be reported if  ISIS fighters were actually killed.

MOAB is considered a thermobaric weapon filled with fuel-air explosives (FAE) which means it can only be activated by sucking in surrounding oxygen which then sets off the blast, causing the longest sustained blast wave by a non-nuclear weapon.

So, when a fuel-air explosive detonates, kiss your life goodbye because according to a study by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency:  


“The effect of an FAE explosion within confined spaces is immense. Those near the ignition point are obliterated. Those at the fringe are likely to suffer many internal, and thus invisible injuries, including burst eardrums and crushed inner ear organs, severe concussions, ruptured lungs and internal organs, and possibly blindness.” Another Defense Intelligence Agency document speculates that because the “shock and pressure waves cause minimal damage to brain tissue…it is possible that victims of FAEs are not rendered unconscious by the blast, but instead suffer for several seconds or minutes while they suffocate.”

 The issue with war, is not the defense/ offense, but the strategy and tools applied to gain dominance and triumph.

Everything in life, including war, is regulated, in this case by the international humanitarian law where countless countries agree to comply with general ethical principles of war, including the principle of distinction (between civilians and combatants, civilian objects and military objectives), the principle of necessity  and the prohibition on causing unnecessary suffering.  So civilians and combatants remain under the protection and authority of the principles of international law derived from established custom, from the principles of humanity and from the dictates of public consideration.

Unlike nuclear weapons, thermobaric weapons are approved by the Int. Humanitarian Law, so it is definitely an option for any country to use in war, if considered necessary. The thing with war, is that it becomes an open door to interpretation and creativity for evil forces, in other words, when you allow these kinds of weapons to be used, any demented rebel unit with the ability and motive can attack a considerably large group of people, causing a great deal of horrific almost torture like pain. THAT´s when it´s a problem.

Often times, these rebel groups, even world governments (cough, Syria) rarely consider humanity or its own innocent civilians, take for example the FAE attack back in August 16 2015, when the Syrian Gov. Jets struck a farmer´s market in Douma, a suburb northeast of Damascus, with no concrete evidence to support the attack.

Just recently on March 28, when the Syrian Gov. executed the chemical attack on a northern rebel-held area in Idlib Province, it turned the area into a toxic kill zone, killing at least 100 civilians, the victims slowly ceased in an agonizing death caused by the internal and superficial chemical wounds and to our horror, got a glimpse of these attacks when images went viral throughout social media. 

It´s clear, that ISIS has become such a prominent threat to the world, governments are willing to do just about anything to obliterate them by any means necessary, including bombing an entire region ¨in the name national security or for the sake of humanity¨. 

But when events such as the chemical/vacuum attacks are reported it makes you truly contemplate regarding the fight against ISIS, is this the easy way out? Don´t we count on more efficient options or have we reached our last resort?

The MOAB attack isn´t something to be proud of, but to be feared…how far will this go? 

Only time will tell. 

 

 

Soundtrack to this post:  Damn, Kendrick Lamar, 2017