By Arturo Rosales and Les Blough in Venezuela
Source: Axis of Logic
2014 was a year filled with the goodness and beauty that has made Venezuela one of the most livable countries on earth for the last 15 years. The music, art, climate, food and the spectacular beaches, stunning mountains and views and expansive plains are part of the charm. But it’s the people themselves, their racial & ethnic plurality, sense of community, warm spirit, patience and the inevitable smile one receives immediately upon eye contact that brings joy to daily life here, even in the midst of adversity.
2014 was also a year here in Venezuela that was scarred by actions of the political opposition, funded by Washington and supported by the Western media. Bereft of support by the majority of Venezuelans and unable to gain power through a peaceful electoral process, the opposition resorted to: sabotage of the infrastructure (e.g. attacks on the electrical grid); hoarding and dumping food and daily household products to keep them off the retail markets; manipulating food distribution to create the appearance of “shortages;’ smuggling subsidized products across the border into Colombia for huge profits; attacks on the economy with speculation and an illegal black-market dollar system, driving up a manipulated rate of inflation with spiraling prices in retail markets; causing capital flight by abusing the government’s system of making dollars available for imports and leisure traveling and the violence we saw for 3 months from February to April in the guarimbas in which more than 40 people were killed under the pretext of “student protests.” The greater violence in 2014 ended with the assassination of the foremost leader of Venezuelan youth, youngest member of congress, Robert Serra along with his spouse in their home on October 1, 2014.
The attacks on the Venezuelan economy are manifold. The attempt to destroy the national currency, the bolivar, began in earnest in October 2012 after the re-election of former President Hugo Chávez Frías. At that time, the bolivar was trading at 13.4 bolivars to the dollar. By means of speculation and the illegal black-market dollar, the official exchange rate for most items was forced to soar to 50:1 and the black market dollar rate is currently at about 200:1 and increasing from week to week. By all these means, high prices, making food and products unavailable, standing in long lines waiting to purchase anything from laundry detergent to corn meal, electrical outages, etc, Washington is bent on making life as miserable as possible for the people to turn them against the government. Moreover, the violence is meant to cause fear and a climate of insecurity among the people – in a word, terrorism, laying blame on the government and to portray Venezuela in the media as one of the most dangerous countries on earth.
Vice President Jorge Arreaza inspecting some of the 814,000 pounds (407 tons) of laundry detergent that has been missing from Venezuela’s retail stores for months.
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