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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

February 15, 2014 - 12:57 pm

Florida lawmakers are trying to turn the Obama administration’s attention toward two weeks of escalating deadly protests in Venezuela, where protesters frustrated with the socialist government have taken to the streets to demand a better country.

The late Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian experiment, continued by his handpicked successor Nicolas Maduro, has resulted in an economy in tatters, sky-high crime, and massive government corruption.

Maduro has put the world on “alert” that he’s “facing a developing coup plan against the democracy and the government that I preside over, orchestrated by a small group of irresponsible leaders, violent, full of hatred and personal ambitions.” Protesters have demanded he resign.

“So we are deeply concerned by rising tensions, by the violence surrounding these February 12th protests, and by the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. We join the Secretary General of the OAS in condemning the violence and calling on authorities to investigate and bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of peaceful protestors. We also call on the Venezuelan government to release the 19 detained protestors and urge all parties to work to restore calm and refrain from violence,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said at Friday’s press briefing.

In addition to three protesters killed and dozens wounded, the government ordered all cable providers to stop carrying Colombian news channel NTN24 because it was broadcasting the protests live.

“Let me see what I have on that. Well, certainly, as we do everywhere, we support press freedoms, citizens’ rights to freedom of expression. Obviously, this includes press freedom. We – I haven’t seen the thing about the Colombian TV station,” Harf said. “We do understand that some newspapers are having difficulty securing newsprint, ink, and other supplies to publish, and that some have reduced their pages to conserve newsprint or to stop publishing completely. Obviously, we believe the government should take actions to fix the solution, that it’s not okay, that press freedom is a cornerstone of what we think is important both in Venezuela but also around the world.”

That’s the only response that’s come out of the Obama administration.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who was an ardent foe of Chavez, said “Maduro’s repressive tactics have undermined the rights and dignity of the Venezuelan people, and now some of the nation’s brave youth have fallen victim to his dictatorial rule.”

“With the Venezuelan constitution and democracy under siege, the people wish to speak out against efforts to acquire complete control of the country. As these two days have demonstrated, the Venezuelan people still have a voice – and they won’t be silenced,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “I urge responsible nations everywhere to stand in solidarity with those in Venezuela who bravely express their opposition to this regime and seek to protect their democratic liberties. In the struggle for freedom where the state uses violence to harm its people, neutrality is not an option.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said “the world must wake up to what’s happening in Venezuela as the government’s unprecedented wave of repression is beating, jailing and even killing innocent Venezuelans, particularly its young people.”

“President Obama should condemn all violent reprisals by government-affiliated groups against peaceful student marches. The president and his administration should vigorously enforce all existing U.S. laws to identify and sanction individuals engaging in these human rights violations. And I urge the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to swiftly approve the Global Human Rights Act pending before it, as a means of countering threats against individual freedoms in places like Venezuela,” Rubio said.

“Nicolás Maduro and his thugs should know that the world is watching, and that they will be held accountable for their cruelty and violations of human rights. The people of Venezuela have suffered long enough and, as they continue taking to the streets in peaceful protest, I stand with them and against the Venezuelan government’s brutal and lethal tactics.”

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla) said he urges the international community to “affirm its commitment to the basic freedoms that are under brutal assault in Venezuela, and to stand with the Venezuelan people who are demanding democratic institutions free from corruption, and who are asserting their right to live free from oppression.”

 

 

 

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
If the Venezuelan peasants get too uppity, and get away with it, Pharaoh Obama is concerned that American peasants might get the same idea. So we have to understand his position.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
"President Obama should condemn all violent reprisals by government-affiliated groups against peaceful student marches."

But Obama wants government-affiliated groups, like the IRS, DHS, TSA and NSA, right here in the United States, to conduct reprisals against peaceful opponents of Imperial Government.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
That was my 1st thought. Obama ignored the green Revolution and then supported Arab spring in Egypt, because it would get his buddies from the Muslim Brotherhood in power.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (30)
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The real reason to complete the Keystone XL is because the Canadian Blend heavy crude to be transported replaces Venezuela's heavy crude oil, which about 10 refineries in TX an LA need to process economically considering their configuration and product slate. Gasoline is not a moneymaker for refineries.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
"...an economy in tatters, sky-high crime, and massive government corruption." Not to mention the use of the government burecrates to oppress and silence opposition....This is Obama's plan he IS watching the destruction of a once prosperous and free nation being turned into a socialist h&^^ hole and he's smiling! This is Obama's plan for us!
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lies. All lies. It's a socialist utopia, all the citizens love it, the US should follow its lead, and how dare extremist right wingers like 0bama use CIA operatives to attempt to destroy it. This is the FUTURE!
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
'Commandante Castro, please tell me what to do...'

First, you prepare two envelopes...
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
our commie kenyan (in '09?) didn't have any trouble taking action in Honduras when marxist zelaya was dethroned and escorted out of the country by the supremes, their congress, and their military. Hondurans were on the net regularly begging Americans to stop the u.s. government from helping him. the whole world was too busy singing 'ooohh ooooh obama' songs to listen. of course the press wouldn't report anything except that the democratically elected government was being illegally overthrown, like now. our gay blade was adamantly insisting that zelaya be allowed to run for president again, against their constitution. he also had the entire world (except for 3? small countries) refuse to do any business w/ Honduras. right before the elections the Hondurans relented and agreed to allow zelaya back into the country. he was staying in one of the other local marxist embassies, surrounded by the Honduran military. once the u.s. pressure was taken away, they quickly held their legal elections, immediately swore in a new president, and then let zelaya back into the country. scuttlebutt was that the little commie kenyan was livid.

there was also rumor that several Hondurans had witnessed sneaky amerikans enter the country and fool around w/ their voting machines, before and after the elections. zelaya was wildly unpopular (single digits) and I was expecting him to be elected anyway once word of the u.s. interference was reported. that would have been funny, except that it was widely known that the Venezuelan military was ready to back zelaya if given the word.

vast majority of Americans never even knew any of this was going on at the time. since 1/4 don't know the earth circles the sun, who would be surprised?
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Folks, the silence in America's MSM is really deafening as to what is happening in every conner of the world...a massive repudiation of "One World" philosophy.
One size fits all just doesn't work...and its being proven over and over again and again. Brazil has massive street riots, unreported. Argentina has a total resistance and movement against Kirchner's government. Chile is soon to follow. You have Argentina, Brazil and chile (the ABC of Latin America) repudiating "Marx and dialectical materialism!" Time for We Americans to do the same. Join a Tea Party. Seek out your local ArticleV committee to:1)balance the federal budget, 2) institute term limits, 3) and restore States Rights. God Bless America.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Crickets from the MSM as well- of course it should be somewhat evident that mass media has an incestuous relationship with the government.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
When do we get to throw out our socialists/communists?

We either 'risk it all' or lose it all.

In the 'good news' department earlier this week my own congressional rep Doc Hastings is calling it quits. He's one of 'Boehners buddies'. iE RINO. Good riddance! When he won in 94 he promised to stay 10 years - he overstayed by twice. Lying SOB!

You can't trust a democrat - or a RINO!!!

Time for a Tea Party congressional candidate from Washington State. Woo Hoo!

39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
"economy in tatters, sky-high crime, and massive government corruption"

Sounds vaguely familiar.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
More surprises for Obama coming. The next President of Egypt is in Russia for an arms deal and gets Putin's support to run as President. Obama's guy Morsi still in prision. Hahahah.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's "leading from behind" otherwise known as "thinking with your behind" ... go and "reset" that one! ha ha ha!
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
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