Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 25, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

4:00 pm
01/25/19 01/25/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from m pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i think there is no doubt that donald trump wants to bring in his own de facto, unconstitutional government, a coup d'etat in venezuela against the people and democracy. amy: venezuela is in a state of crisis as the country's elected leader nicolas maduro and u.s.s. backed opposition leader juan guaido both claim to be venezuela's president.
4:01 pm
the united nations is called for dialogue and warning the situation could rapidly spiral out of control with catastrophic consequences. but the u.u.s. continues to ratchet up pressurure on maduro. >> the time for debate is done.. the regime former president nicocolas m maduro is illegitim. his regime is morally bankrupt. economically incompetent and profoundly corrupt. it is undemocratic to the core. amy: we will spend the hour looking at the crisis in venezuela with two longtime observers of venezuelan politics, alejandro velasco and steve ellner, as well as benjaminfounder medea she held up a signgn that read a coup is not a democratic transition." all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
4:02 pm
the senate on thursday rejected a pair of spending bills aimed at ending the longest partial government shutdown in u.s. history, now in its 35th day. six republicans crossed the aisle to vote in favor of aa democratic bill that would fund the government without meeting trump's demand of $5.7 billion in new funding for a wall on the u.s.-mexico border. the 52-44 vote was a blow to republican majority leader mitch mcconnell, but failed to garner the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster. in an impassioned speech that lasted over 20 minutes, colorado democratic senator michael bennet b blasted senator ted crz and other republicans for supporting the shutdown, but laid blame for the crisis at the feet of president trump. >> this idea that he is going to build a medieval wall across the southern border of texas, take it from the farmers and ranchers , isn't
4:03 pm
that is why we are here. because he is now sayining the taxpayers s have to pay fofor i. amy: a republican-crafted bill with funding for trump's borderr wall also faililed thursday. that reportedly prompted republican lawmakers to angrily confront mitch mcconnell in a closed-door meeting over the shutdown and set off a flurry of negotiations on capitol hill. house democratic leaeaders are floating propoposals to end the shutdown that would provide billions of dollars in new funding to pay for more border patrol agents, drones, surveillance equipment, and other measures along the u.s.-mexico border. democratic house majority whip jim clyburn has suggested offering trump $5.7 billion to build a so-called smart wall in order to break the stalemate over the shutdown. immigrant rights groups have blasted the suggestion, with the digital rights group fight for the future warning -- "increasing border surveillance is a nefarious move that widely threatens the fourth amendment of the u.s. constitution."
4:04 pm
this comes as some 800,000 federal workers who have been furloughed or forced to work without pay for over a month will miss a second paycheck today. federal workers are increasingly turning to food pantries as they struggle to pay for housing, food, and other basic neeeeds. amamong them, more than 4040,000 activeve duty memembers of the . thi coast guard. this is admiral karl schultz, the coast guard's commandant. >> a find unacceptable that coast guard men and women have to rely on food pantries a and donations to get through day-to-d-day life as service membmbers. amy: meanwhile, president trump's commerce secretary, multimillionaire investor wilbur ross, said thursday that federal workers should simply take out bridge loans until they get paid. ross was being questioned by cnbc andrew ross sorkin. >> there are reports that some federal workers are going to homeless shelters to get food. >> well, i know they are and i don't really quite understand
4:05 pm
why because, as i mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake -- say, borrowing from a bank or credit union -- are in effect federally guaranteed. so the 30 days of pay that some people will be out, there is no real reason why they shouldn't be able to get a loan against it. amy: commerce secretary wilbur ross, whose net worth is estimated around $700 million, also diminished the financial hardship faced by unpaid federal workers. come if theyrkers never got their pay -- which is not the case. they eventually will get it. but if they never got it, you're talking about one third of a percent on our gdp. so it is not like it is a gigantic n number overall. amy: meanwhile, president trump's daughter-in-law, lara trump, said this week that federal workers are enduring a little bit of pain but should be
4:06 pm
proud of the sacrifice they're making. lara trump was speaking with the online program bold tv. >> so in terms of the workers who are coming to work and not getting paid, what would you say to them? >> listen, it is not fair to you and we all get that, but this is so much bigger than anyone percent. it is a little bit of pain, but it is going to be for the future of our country. amy: president trump's daugughtr daughter-in-law. the comments came a state and local governments that a minister food and housing assistant warned benefits just warned benefits could be drying up mid-february due to the shutdown. earlier this week, sara nelson, president of the association of flight attendants callededor a geneneral strike aimeded at endg the shutdown. federal agents arrest a president trump's ally and former advisor roger stone early friday morning with prosecutors from special counsel robert mueller's team charging the longtime republican operative
4:07 pm
with obstruction, witness tampering, and lying to congress about his communications with wikileaks. a indictment friday reveals senior trump campaign official was directed to contact stone head of the 2016 election to see what other links about hillary clinton and the democratic national committee were coming from wikileaks. that revelation suggests the trump campaign to about thousands of stolen democratic emails before they were made public by wikileaks. stone was arrested in florida and will be brought to washington, d.c. the state department has ordered all non-emergency government employees to leave venezuela after the trump administration said it would no longer recognize venezuela's elected president nicolas maduro and will instead recognize opposition leader juan guaido. the partial evacuation came as maduro said he's closing the venezuelan embassy in the u.s. and ordered all u.s. diplomatic personnel to leave venezuela by sunday. meanwhile, u.s. secretary of state mike pompeo called thursday for all members of the organization of american states to recognize guaido as interim
4:08 pm
president. pompeo was speaking at an oas meeting in washington, d.c. >> the t te for debabate is don. the regime of former president nicolas maduro is illegitimate. his regime is morally bankrupt. it is economically incompetent and profoundly corrupt. it is u undemocratic to the cor. amy: comcast beat was interrupted by medea benjamin, who held up a sign saying "oas, don't support a coup in venezuela and declared a coup is not a democratic transition. do not listen to secretary pompeo" before being forcibly removed by security guards. she will join a roundtable discussion as s we spend the ret of the hour on the crisis in venezuela after the headlines. the trump administration says it will begin sending some asylum-seekers to mexico while their cases are processed in the united states. the department of homeland security said late thursday it will begin returning central american asylum-seekers to
4:09 pm
tijuana, mexico across the san ysidro port of entry near san diego, california, beginning today. immigrant rights groups say the plan violates both u.s. and international l asylum laws and are planning court challenges. immigrants rights activists are calling for the release of eduardo samaniego, a 26-year-old undocumented immigrant and community activist who faces a possible deportation at an ice hearing today. samaniego moved to the u.s. from mexico by himself at age 16. and after graduating as his high school class valedictorian, he went on to organize on behalf of undocumented young people known as dreamers. samaniego was arrested three months ago and detained by ice, and he was recently transferred to a for-profit mental health facility in south carolina, where his mental and physical health are reportedly deteriorating. samaniego's supporters call him a political prisoner who's being targeted by the trump administration for his activism. in minnesosota, two men admitted thursdayay they bombed a
4:10 pm
bloomington mosque in 2017 in a bid to terrorize muslims into leaving the united states. no one was injured in the bombing, but it usused extenense damage to the dar-al f farooq islamic center as worshipers were gathering for morning prayers. michael mcwhorter and joe morris pleaded guilty to five counts related to the mosque attack, as well as the attempted bombing of an illinois abortion clinic and other crimes. a third suspect in the mosque bombing, michael hari, remains in federal custody. hari is a former sheriff's deputy from illinois who runs a security company and submitted a bid to build president trump's border wall. in sudan, anti-government protests continued to grow in size and scope thursday, with demonstrators in several key cities calling on the authoritarian president omar al-bashir to step down after three decades of rule. a 24-year-old man died thursday from wounds he received at an earlier protest near the capital khartoum, raising the official death toll since protests erupted in mid-december to 29.
4:11 pm
rights groups say more than 40 people have been killed by security forces and pro-government militias firing tear gas and live ammunition. brazil's first elected openly gay federal lawmaker said thursday he's leaving his post and has fled brazil amid growing homophobic violence coinciding with the rise of far-right president jair bolsonaro. jean wyllys, who first took office in brazil's chamber of deputies in 2011, told a sao paolo newspaper he's received a number of death threats in recent weeks and has felt unsafe political ally, marielle franco, an lgbtq activist and rio city council member, was assassinated last march. two suspects in franco's murder are members of a criminal syndicate who have ties to president bolsonaro's son, flavio. president jair bolsonaro has a history of making racist, misogynistic, and homophobic comments, and has threatened to destroy,y, imprison or banish hs political opponents. jean wyllys was elected to a
4:12 pm
third term in office in october. he will be replaced in brazil's congress by david miranda, a rio city council member and husband of pulitzer prize-winning journalist glenn greenwald. back in the united states massachusetts democratic senator , and 2020 presidential candidate elizabeth warren unveiled a plan thursday that would shift the u.s. tax burden onto those who can most afford it -- people with tax assets over $50 million. warren says the proposed ultra-millionaire tax would raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years while impacting just 0.1% of americans. inin binghamton, new york, schol district officials are denying reports that four 12-year-old african american girls weree strip searched by a middle school nurse and assistant principal after they allegedly acted giddy during a school lunch. the school district's denial came after 200 people packed a school board meeting tuesday evening to condemn the alleged incident, which they said left the four girls feeling humiliated and traumatized. the school board ackcknowledges
4:13 pm
the girls were detained on suspicion of possessing drugs, a suspicion that it admits was unfounded, but denies the girls were strip-searched. new york city has agreed to pay $3.3 million t to settle a lawst brought by the family of kalief browder, the bronx resident who died by suicide in 2015 at the age of after being held in jail 22 for nearly three years without trial for a crime he did not commit. kalief was just 16 years old in 2010 when he was sent to rikers jail on suspicion of stealing a backpack. he always maintained his innocence and demanded a trial. instead, he spent the next nearly three years at rikers, nearly 800 days of that time in solitary confinement. when not in solitary, kalief was repeatedly assaulted by guards and other prisoners. kalief's story led new york city mayor bill de blasio to pledge in 2017 to close the rikers island jail in 10 years' time. in florida, newly appointed
4:14 pm
secretary of state michael ertel resigned thursday, just hours after photos emerged showing him in blackface while wearing a shirt reading, "katrina victim." the photos were taken at a halloween party in 2005 just two months after hurricane katrina devastated the gulf coast, killing over 1800 people and leaving much of new orleans under water. ertel was appointed by florida's republican governor ron desantis, who narrowly defeated democrat andrew gillum in november. gillum is african american. during the campaign, he faced a string of racist attacks from outside groups and from desantis, who told florida voters ahead of the election not to "monkey this up." in indiana, a school superintendent has been charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor charge after she used her son's name to get medical treatment for a sick student who didn't have health care. casey smitherman says she picked up the 15-year-old student earlier this month after the teen showed symptoms of strep throat. after a medical clinic refused to see the teen because he had
4:15 pm
no insurance, smitherman took him to a second clinic and signed him in under her son's name. she then filled a prescription for antibiotics at a local pharmacy under her insurance. in a statement, smitherman said -- "as a parent, i know how serious this illness can be if left untreated, and i took him to an emergency clinic. i knew he did not have insurance, and i wanted to do all i could to help him get well." and in brussels, belgium an , estimated 35,000 children held a one-day school strike thursday, surrounding the european parliament building and demanding urgent action on climate change. it was one of the largest student protests ever in the belgian capital. students said they're ready to skip classes once a week until their demands are met. >> we think that if we skip every thursday -- so we don't go to school -- that the big people in our country and in the world will see that it i is a problem and that they will do something about it.
4:16 pm
amy: the students are following in the footsteps of now 16-year-old gratitude and bird from sweden who was leading the school strike movement globalal. she is now in dallas, switzerland, dressing leaders at the world economic forum. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. venezuela remains in a state of crisis as opposition forces, with the backing of the united states, attempt to unseat the government of nicolas maduro. on thursday, venezuelan defense miminister vladimir padrdrino lz said the military continues to stand by maduro. alert the people of venezuela that a coup is being carried out against our institutions, democracy, our
4:17 pm
constitution, nicolas maduro -- the legitimate president of venezuela. amy: the venezuelan defense minister's comment came one day after president trump announced the u.s. would recognize opopposition leader juan guaidos venezuela'ss new p president. guaido, the new head of venezuela's national assembly, declared himself president on wednesday during a large opposition protest. juan: on thursday, u.s. secretary of state mike pompeo pledged to send $20 million to the venezuelan opposition in the form of humanitarian aid to address the shortages of food and medicine caused in part by harsh u.s. sanctions. pompeo made the announcement while speaking at oas, the organization of american states. >> the time for debate is done. the regime of former president nicolas maduro o is illegitimat. his regimeme is moralllly bankr. it is economically incompetent and it is profoundly corrupt. it is undemocratic to the core.
4:18 pm
i repeat, the regime of former president t nicolas maduro is illegitimate. we therefore consider all of its declarations and actions illegitimate and invalid. amy: secretary of state pompeo's speech was interrupted by codepink founder medea benjamin, who will join us later in the broadcast. who will join us later in the broadcast. in other developments venezuelan , president nicolas maduro has ordered the u.s. to remove all of its diplomats from venezuela but washington is ignoring the request, claiming maduro no longer has authority to take such action. while the u.s. embasassy in caracas is staying open, the state department has ordered non-essential diplomats and embassy staff to leave the country. meanwhile, maduro has ordered all of venezuela's diplomatic staff in the united sates to return home. juan: the crisis is happening just weeks after maduro was sworn into a second six-year
4:19 pm
term following his victory in election last may which was boycotted by several of the opposition groups. the international community remains split on the situation in venezuela. on thursday, u.n. secretary general antonio guterres urged all actors to "lower tensions and pursue every effort to prevent violence and avoid any escalation." mexico and uruguay have urged all sides to hold negotiations. on thursday, mexico's new president andres manuel lopez obrador spoke out against foreign n intervention in venezuela. >> we should conduct foreign relations with the principles of nonintervention, the self-determination of peoplples, of peaceful solutions to dispute . juan: but many other countries in the hemisphere have joined with the u united states in supporting the attempted coup. this includes brazil, canada, colombia, argentina, and chile. here in the united states, the leaders of the democratic party have also largely supported trump's actions.
4:20 pm
meanwhile, u.n. human rights chief michelle bachelet is warning the situation "may rapidly spiral out of control, with catastrophic consequences." she also called for an independent investigation into recent violence. at least 26 people have died since anti-maduro protests broke out earlier this week. amy: we are joined now by two guests. alejandro velasco is associate professor at new york university, where he is a historian of modern latin america. he is the executive editor for nacla report on the americas, and the author of the book "barrio rising: urban popular politics and the making of modern venezuela." velasco was born and raised in venezuela. he just returned from venezuela tuesday. he is joining us from chicopee, massachusetts. and in washington is steve ellner, former professor at the universidad de oriente, in venezuela where he taught from 1977 until he retired in 2002. he's currently the associate
4:21 pm
managing editor of the journal latin american perspectives. he is editor of "latin america's radical left" and the forthcoming book "the pink tide experiences: breakthroughs and shortcomings in 21st century latin america." ellner lives in venezuela but is currently visiting the united states. we welcome you both to democracy now! alejandro velasco, your assessment of what has taken place so far. are we seeing a coup in the making? >> yeah, absolutely. there is no question on the other hand that the maduro government lacksks a signififict amount of popular support as well as legitimacy. as you just mentioned, i returned from a couple of weeks there just on tuesday, the level of those who supported maduro and beforee him chavez, is palpable. it has to do with prices, public
4:22 pm
services. however, that does not translate and it is unclear whether it does now to support for the opposition, which on its own an agendndadvanced that is plunging venezuela into tremendous degree of political and social uncertainty. ellner want to ask steve , this whole issue of the venezuelaituation in and to what degree the united states government has played a role. most people are not aware of how the sanctions have had an impact on venezuela, specifically, forr instance, citgo, the huge of then-based subsidiary venezuelan oil industry that has not been allowed to remit back any of the money that it is making here in the united states back to venezuela. could you talk about those sanctions and the impact on the economy there? >> certainly.
4:23 pm
distinction that prohibits citgo fromom remitting profits to venezuela is a very important measure. it means the venezuelan government is being deprived of approximately $1 billion the year. but in addition to that, the sanctions also stipulate that venezuela practically cannot refinance its foreign debt, which is something logical that -- in a country facing difficult economic situationsns would do. the sanctions prohibit u.s. financial institutions from having a any transaction, any interaction withth the venezueln government and the venezuelan state oil company. in addition to that, there is a major impact in terms of discouraging commercial and financial interests throughout the world from any kind of transaction with venezuela.
4:24 pm
there is a list of 70 -- approximate 70 venezuelan officials who are being sanctioned. that translates into a situation in which the u.s. government, specifically steve mnuchin for secretary of treasury, has different investigations, workshops with representatives of japan, europe, latin america, in order to find out where the shell companies are. in other words, he has created a situation in which commercial interest throughout the wororld are afraid to have anything to do with venezuela. that amounts to virtually a black -- in economic blockade. amy: we're going to go to break and come back to this discussion. author and scholar. also joining us from massachusetts, alejandro velasco , associate professor at new york university. this is democracy now!
4:25 pm
back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
4:26 pm
amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we continue to look at what is taking place in venezuela. i want to turn to venezuela's foreign minister. venezuela former vice president as well and chavez's son-in-law, the former president of venezuela. i spoke to him last week. i want to turn to an unaired excerpt of the interview. i asked him m about the increasg pressure on the maduro government from the u.u.s. and other countries. happening since 1999. our late president chavez was also seen as a dictator, a socialist, a dictator, and the
4:27 pm
united states government was 2002d the coup d'etat in when all of this sabotage chartwell industry. -- oil industry. never objected the goal of changing the model of building a new democratic society, which we call the socialism of this new century. we have the right to do it. an independent and sovereign country. the thing is, here in the united states can -- not in the united states, not the people of the united states, but the elite that is in power that is ruling the united states, they believe that latin america -- they want to impose their model. they want to have this presidents were also businessmen and follow the orders of the president of the united states. but we are not, so we're trying
4:28 pm
to build our own society in new terms, with equality, with access to health, to education, housing, to culture. and that is our struggle. of course, what happens is in those terms, the u.s. elite and other countries, satellite countries of the united states, they are trying to isolate venezuela, trying to stop this from happening. it is not going to happen. but this is a difficult struggle, amy. we are really looking and pressing desk president maduro has looked for dialogue. we had a dialogue process last year with the opposition in the dominican republic, hosted by the dominican republic in the former president of spain. when we reached the agreement, we were there to sign the agreement, the opposition received orders from the state
4:29 pm
department here. they did not sign. parties --me of the now they say the elections were a fraud. now they say maduro is not president. that is all part of the coup progress, encouraged and d funded by the e progress,d and funded by the united states government. amy: what does it mean to you that amlo, the president of mexico, the stance he is taken in support of venezuela? president of mexico, is very important for latin america at the moment. it is one of the most important countries. it has borders with the united states. with this new governmnment, they are a sovereign countryry and they''re t trying to help not ty venezuela in turn help nicaragua, cuba, trying to help the other countries. they want to have good relations with all of the countries in latin america. but they want to solve the latin american issues in latin america.
4:30 pm
note interventionism from the united states. amy: amlo refused to back the lima group stance questioning maduro's legitimacy. he said, we have said with a lot of clarity that we are going to respect the constitutional innciples of nonintervention foreign-policy matters. we don't interfere in internal matters of other countries and we don't want the governments of other countries to meddle in matters that correspond only to mexico. >> that is what every country has to do. we cannot be interfering. you say here in the united states that russia interfered in the campaign of trump and the elections, and that is not good. it should not have happened -- if it happen. i believe it didn't happen. but the united states interferes every single day, every single hour in the venezuelan issues and the cuban issues and nicaragua and all over latin america.
4:31 pm
so it is that for russia to interfere here but it is good for washington to interfere in latin america. that is not fair. i believe the president of mexico is right. we have to respect each other. we have to respect the principles of international law. if you join the united nations, it is because you respect the internal affairs of the other states. it is because you respect inequality of states. it is because you don't have the right to interfere in other nations. that is not what the united states does. they have done wars in iraq. president trump said he regretted -- we regretted that the u.s. invaded iraq because now the situation is worse than it was with saddam hussein. any code that is venezuela's foreign minister speaking on democracy now! last week. to hear the whole hour, you can go to juan: still with us is alejandro velasco, associate professor at nyu where he is a histororian of modern latin america. he is just returned from
4:32 pm
venezuela tuesday. in washington, steve ellner, former professor and associate managing editor of the journal latin american perspectives. i want to ask alejandro velasco, on the issue of the pretty open u.s. involvement in trying to do regime change in venezuela, a colleague of mine from puerto rico has been reporting now for several months going back to october that there has been ongoing meetings -- there was a meeting supposedly, according to davilla, in puerto rico where they met and developed a manifesto to justify the .verthrow of president maduro and supposedly, accordining to that repeport, t that john boltn from the white house specifically approved of it. then in early january, jesus reported the coup was already scheduled supposedly between a tent and the 15th of this month.
4:33 pm
it happen actually about a week later. the only delay appeared to be that the opposition itself could not agree who would be the official leader of the coup. and now we know it is juan guaido. can you talk about the conflicts within the opposition and how open the u.s. has been in trying to institute regegime chchange n venezuela? yeah, no, it was astonishing. on generate 23rd, i don't think anyone expected the rapid cascade of events list of a man, first in the morning the united states announces it would assibly recognize guaido as legitimate president. then about 15 minutes later, that is what guaido, he was swearing in as president. minunutes after that, you have a confirmation from the white house and the organization of .merican states incredibly aggressive these last three years. then the cascade of other countries. the level of coordination
4:34 pm
suggests powerfully this could not have been very spontaneous. but it is not just that it comes from the last two weeks or even in january. this is now about a year and a half's worth look, if we look at it, hang the foundation for the groundwork for precisely what happened january 23. after the election, after 2017 when there was a massive protest that happenened against the governmement of maduro, people lilike those in the united stats specifically took k the calling, anybody in v venezuela who would try to negotiate or to run in a trtraitor. the woword they used. which powerfully suggests the center of gravity of the opposition around 2017 and 2018 shifted from the domestic plane to the international plane. and although the conditions on the ground continue to get worse
4:35 pm
, in part because of the sanctions steve mentioned but also because of tremendous degrees of mismanagement and corruption, lays the groundwork for that international pressure, especially for more radical expatriate comommunities, to be able to say, the only solution here as in fact pompeo said at the oas was that the time is up, there's no room for debate. if you do not recognize guaido as president, we as the united states will not recognize you and your dealings with venezuela. steve, this whole issue of the problblems within the opposition. could you talk about that as -- these willike all become known as major opposition figures, but most of them don't have deep following among the population in venezuela. >> well, for one thing, the
4:36 pm
opposition in venezuela is extremely discredited. that is something that the media, the mainstream media really hasn't reported. it is true that maduro's popularity hasecreased.. acceptance may be between 20% of 30%. at the opposition also is very unpopular, and that is because lacks a program -- at least it hasn't publicized its program, a neoliberal program, but that hasn't been its message. its message all along has been to oust chavez and now it is to oust maduro. so the opposition is very unpopular. you speak to people on the ground, people who would never vote for maduro, and they tell you that they very much dislike the opposition leaders because they have vacillateted so much. firstly, they don't have a
4:37 pm
program. they don't stand for anything. there considered opportunistic. secondly, because they y vacille so m much. for instance, they promoted the demonstrations that all hydro referred to in 2017. overnight when the national assembly, the anc, called for gubernatorial elections in they ceased017, calling for demonstrations. they dropped the protests and they participated in the elections. they have gone back and forth and then very much discredited. jandreoosition, as alen stated, is divided. maria carino, there is a moderate opposition. even though the entire opposition supports neoliberalism, the moderates support dialogue with the
4:38 pm
government. for instance, two presidential candidates, x presidential candidates, and candidates of the major -- the two major traditional parties. they were presidential and 1993. in 1988 they supported participation in the presidential elections that most of the opposition boycotted. recognizingport maduro and promoting dialogue. so the opposition is divided. what the trump administration has done is to radicalize the situation in venezuela and pull the rug oututrom under the in favor the more radicals in the opposition. amy: i want to turn to president trump's remarks before the un's general assembly last september. pres. trump: currently, we are witnessing a human tragedy as an
4:39 pm
example in venezuela. more than 2 million people have fled the anguish inflicted by andsocialist maduro regime its cuban sponsors. ago, venezuela was one of the richest countries on earth. today, socialism hasas bankruptd the oil-rich nation and driven poverty.e into abject socialismeverywhere, or communist has been tried, it has produced suffering, corruption, and decay. socialism's thirst for power leads to expansion, incursion, and oppression. all nations of the world shoulud miserysocialism and the that it brings to everyone.
4:40 pm
in that spirit, we ask the nations gaththered here to joins in calling for the restoration of democracy in venezuela. and it so that is president trump in september. and then over the next months, the troika of john bolton, the national security advisor, vice and thet pence, secretary of state pompeo, as everything is going on in washington and most recently with the shutdown, are consistently making statements on venezuela. threatening statements. talking about, coining the term "like we knew axis of evil from george bush before he invaded iraq, troika of tyranny." alejandro velasco, could you respond to what president trump has said? and also, talk about the role of the united states in this coup that is taking place. as was saidean,
4:41 pm
last week, u.s. intervention in venezuela is nothing new. back in 2002, the u.s. supported the coup against chavez. and ever since, under bush, and lesser to the extent that obama was less involved in venezuela because it was at the height of the pink tide, but nevertheless, still significant pressure coming from the united states. the idea that the u.s. is interfering in venezuela by backing certain sectors of the opposition is not new. what is new is the openness s ad the brazenness of which it is happening, over silly the last year in particular. even though bolton and pompeo and mike pence certainly are the visible faces of it, the real driver behind this policy i is marco rubio, senenator of flori, where there is a significant amount of very radical expatriate not over just the last year to have or two, but back from 2001 and 2002,
4:42 pm
venezuelan have settled in miami. they're the same kind of weight that e exiles used to o have. marcoo rubio has beeeen the oneo whom trump basically outsourced venezuela policy. i should make one thing clear of venezuela's role -- the u.s. role in venezuela. on the one hand, there is this intervention that is taking place, but on the otother hand, the largrger play here is not actually venezuela. what is happening vis-a-vis venezuela in terms of the u.s. and pompeo and bolton's vision is reasserting controlol over re agenda in latin america. basically, r reasserting hegemoy that have been lost under the pink tide. venezuela is the staging ground. but this is a much larger continental move that has drawn players like bolsonaro in brazil, macri in argentina to say, you know, we are now
4:43 pm
turning back to the pre-pink tide days where it was the united states that primarily set the agenda for what happened in latin america. juan: i would like to follow that up with steve ellner because even though many of the pink tide countries have now been replaced by more right-wing governments, latin america is not the latin america of old. it is no longer the u.s. backyard. china plays a much bigger role in latin america now as the financier of projects and investor. and just yesterday, president putin warned the u.s. not to intervene in latin america. so even russia is exercising a much more sort of aggressive position toward what used to be called the u.s. backyardrd. i'm wondering if you could talk about that? >> sure. there are some experts on the right side of the political spectrum who claim that the pink tide is over. there is an article from the
4:44 pm
former secretary -- foreign minister of mexico published in "the new york times" that was the latin america is dead." pink tideted, the those progressive governments, some more leftist than others, but governments that ruled in brazil with we look, the kershner's in argentina, berg , bolivia,aguay ecuador, etc., they framed staten issues in terms of intervention in the economy,y, n terms of economic nationalism, which have been a banner going way back in time. specifically with the case of venezuela, the venezuelan economy in the 1990's, the age of neoliberalism, the height of neoliberalism, the venezuelan economy ceased to be venezuela
4:45 pm
practically. the privatization meant that foreign capital bought out state companies. in the case of steel and telecommunications. that was happening with the oil industry. in the private sector as well in the case of two of the most important banks in venezuela. a cement company. also the chocolate company's avoid. travis came along and he promoted economic nationalism. he read nationalized those companies that have been privatized, that heaven bought by foreign capital. it seems to me this is a -- it is true some of the people in the opposition stated that some of these state companies have been mismanaged. matter is,t of the they represent a a symbol, the nationalization does it represents a symbol, just like the nationalization of oil in mexico in 1938 reprpresented a symbol, even though the state
4:46 pm
oil company in mexico was fully managed after that, but still, it stands out as an important development in 20th century latin american politics. the same thing with the social programs. the social programs have promoted participation, integration, incorporation of the marginalized sectors of the population in a sense of empowermrment. so those goals and those achievements of the pink tide governments will not be just wiped away for step and the idea that the pink tide is out of the picture completely i think is really overstating things. what is going to happen in venezuela, we don't know. but more alice is in power in bolivia -- more alice is in power in bolivia. lopez obrador was just elected in mexico leicester. the e situation is in flux. amy: very quickly and then we
4:47 pm
have to go to break. the pinkternative to tide, which are the governments now in power, the conservative governments, these are not the traditional political parties that have -- that used to have large backing. these are right-wing parties. chile,ro in brazil, these are very wealthy politicians. they are not the standard politicians of the old days. so it really remains to o be sen whether they can consolidate future. the short-term amy: steve ellner, venezuela-based scholar and author. i want to ask you to stay with us along with alejandro velasco, associate professor at nyu, and then we will be joined by medea benjamin wh be just interrupted mike pompeo. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
4:48 pm
amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: on thursday, code pink's
4:49 pm
medea benjamin disrupted secretary of state mike pompeo's speech before the organinization of american states will stop she held a sign that reads "oas: don't support a coup in venezuela. code pink." look what the u.s. has supported. amy: while security was called in to remove medea benjamin, many in the room applauded her actions. right now by medea benjamin, joining us from washington, d.c. explain what happened yesterday, what mike pompeo, the secretary of state, was saying and why you interrupted. >> i interrupted because i am really worried about what is about to happen in venezuela. first, let's recognize how many millions of people in venezuela are already suffering from the economic crisis, but how much worse it could get.
4:50 pm
the u.s. is helping to set the stage for a civil war in venezuela. so i thought it was important to get in there and say that we have to stop this from happening. we have to stand up and say that we believe in the principles of nonintervention and we call for negotiations to end this crisis, not to follow in the footsteps of what the u.s. is d doing, whh is putting pressure on the venezuelan military, to divide it, and to really set the stage for tremendous violence in venezuela. so it is important for the left in the united states to stand up, not to say we love maduro, but do so we are against u.s. intervention. it is important to call on our members of congress. where are they? like only had a handful congressman ro khanna, tulsi r, bernieilhan oma sanders, for the rest have been silent. i think it is important we stand .p before is reallyly too late
4:51 pm
we call on the u.s. to back off, to not support a parallel government in venezuela, and to say no to a a coup. juan: were you surprised by the reaction to your protest? it is that the type of reaction you normally get when you do a disruption in washington. >> well, i don't know if the applause would have been support or was to drown me out. it iss not clear. at the oas is very divided. amy: on capitol hill, the democratic establishment has largely supported president trump's efforts to oust maduro. house speaker nancy pelosi tweeted thursday -- "america stands by the people of venezuela as they rise up against authoritarian rule and demand respect for human rights and democracy." senator dick durbin tweeted thursday -- "i spoke at link to the new president of venezuela today. i assured him of my strong support for more peaceful and democratic future in venezuela under his transitional
4:52 pm
leadership, the people of venezuela deserve it. but there are many others who are not in agreement. some voices of dissent and independent senatort ernes bernie sanders tweeted -- "the maduro government has waged a violent crackdown on venezuelan civil society, violated the constitution by dissolving the national assembly and was re-elected last year in an election many observers said was fraudulent. the economy is a disaster and millions are migrating. the united states should support the rule of law, fair elections and self-determination for the venezuelan people. we must condemn the use of violence against unarmed protesters and the supprpression of dissent. but we must learn the lessons of the past and not be in the business of regime change or supporting coups -- as we have
4:53 pm
in chile, guatemala, brazil & the dr. the u.s. has a long history of inappropriately intervening in latin american nations. we must not go down that road again." democratic representative ro khanna of california tweeted -- "let me get this straight. the u.s. is sanctioning venezuela for their lack of democracy but not saudi arabia? such hypocrisy. maduro's policies are bad and not helping his people, but crippling sanctions or pushing for regime change will only make the situation worse." tulsi gabbard tweeted -- "venezuela needs to stay out of venezuela. let them determine their future. we don't want other countries to choose our leaders, so we have to stop trying to choose there's." democratic congresswoman ilhan omar, who said -- "a u.s. backed coup in venezuela is not a solution to the dire issues they face. trump's efforts to install a far right opposition will only incite violence and further destabilize the region. we must support mexico, uruguay & the vatican's efforts to facilitate a peaceful dialogue." this split in the around venezuela, medea benjamin. >> yes, i think this is because there is a small group of venezuelans in florida setting the agenda.
4:54 pm
and the rest of us are quiet. we've got to get out on the streets. we have to get on the phones. call your congressperson. tell them to put out a tweet, statement, resolution calling for nononintervention. this is ablulutely urgrgent post up and anybody in the d c area, join us in front of the white house saturday at 1:00. juan: i want to turn back to steve ellner anand ask you. someu have written interesting pieces, not just about what is happening within the opposition, but also with in the pro-government forces and the -- that there are differences between the maduro wing of the movement and other wings have a different perspective on how to do with the crisis. i'm wondering if you could talk about that? degree of a pluralism, those who support maduro, but they have different
4:55 pm
priorities. they take a very firm position on the issue of corruption, ejandro referred to. one of the main leaders under chavez that supports maduro when it percent, but he has a different take on economic policy. the degree of ever city within the chevy stem movement and as long as the pressure is on the maduro government, as long as you have this ongoing kind of aggression on the part of the united states but also what political scientists call a disloyal opposition, an opposition that does not thegnize the legitimacy of government -- which has practically been oppositions position almost from the beginning -- these differences havista movement are not going to come to the floor.
4:56 pm
their slogan is unity, unity, unity. that is perceived as necessary, given the political context. but if the situation were to loosen up, if there were to be greater stability and less threats to the overthrhrow of te government, it is quite likely that you would see more diversity and more debate within the chavista movement. alejandro velasco, who is guaido ? four major opposition parties in venezuela, let visibly by lopez who was jailed after leading a series of protestss in 2014. and this party has really sort of grown from a position of significant confrontation with the government. it has been known largely is one of the more radical opposition wings, as steve mentioned earlier.r. what is interesting about guaido
4:57 pm
, however, he was a backbencher. so many of the people have been either jailed or pushed into exile are barred from running for office. he kind of just emerged as the visible leader of the party. after what had been a negotiation of among this major political party to the opposition to rotate the presidency of the national assembly, one each year through the five-year period of the a similar following the victory in 2015. was a personido standing and that is why he came out. amy: in the last minute, i want to ask each of you, the path forward. there is going to be a showdown this weekend with the u.s. a saying they're not going to leave venezuela. guaido says they can stay and elected president maduro says they can't. what do you see as the path forward?
4:58 pm
>> it has to be negotiations. extent -- the real key player here is going to become i think, the european union, which has been kind of wavering a lilittle bit. a couple of weeeeks ago the issd a rereport about having a groupf contacts. those are the measures to be supportive. otherwise, venezuela is on a knife's edge and you ever tremendously high-stakes game of chicken being played. >> i agree with him. the way forward is negotiations and dialogue. for onone reason, because the decisions that the government is going to have to make, whether government ofista the opposition, whatever government takes necessary measures -- not amy: we have 10 seconds. >> they will need a coconsensus. they will pay a political price. if you don't have a consensus, it will be politically
4:59 pm
infeasible for the government to carry out these measures, these difficult economic measures. amy: we have to leave it there. steve ellner, former professor and associate managing editor of the journal latin ameri
5:00 pm
donald d trump: i'm establilishg new vettining measures to keep radical islamamic terrorists out of the united states of america. we don't want 'em here. larara kiswani:i: there's a stia of ararab people, , muslim peoee in ththis country designed to perprpetuate andnd justify t thr on teterror, and that's what a lot of arabs and muslims are facing today, sort of a really undignified struggle to just live. dr. raramzi salti: it takess courage e to be able to stand dp to racisism, turn itit into a positive moment a momoment of learning g where you u actually use that momement to educate, to let people know about the rich dsi


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on