Category Archives: Editorial

Opinions, arguments

Too, BLM2

Too. A little word in English that can make a world of difference. Right now Americans are up in arms against each other for the lack of a “too” in a certain spot. Some say “black lives matter” and others (me included) feel that it is exclusionary towards all other races, that “all lives matter”. But when some with a larger media platform than me have responded that all lives matter, then they have been attacked by others who say that it doesn’t respect the legitimate grievances of the blacks. Let me be clear: I know that those grievances are legitimate, but it doesn’t make their slogan any less divisive. The thing is that their school system seems to have forgotten to teach them a three letter word: too. The sentence must have a “too” in the end in order not to be divisive. So here I offer the amended logo to them:

BLM2, Black Lives Matter, Too.
BLM2, Black Lives Matter, Too.

La diferencia entre libertador y terrorista

¿Cómo y cuando se puede usar fuerza para liberar al país sin hacerse culpable de terrorismo?

Se puede distinguir cuatro justificaciones y/o excusas en la ley internacional.

1. Derecho a la Revolución

Los pueblos tienen un derecho inalienable a rebelarse contra un gobierno tiránico, bajo estas 4 condiciones:

  1. La mayoría de los ciudadanos respaldan el uso de la fuerza, o los revolucionarios tienen una razonable creencia que la mayoría lo hubiese respaldado si hubiesen conocido todas las circunstancias relevantes;
  2. El uso de la fuerza es el último recurso y no es excesivo en relación a las ventajas concretas anticipadas;
  3. La causa atrás del uso de la fuerza tiene que ser la opresión del gobierno o en torno a violaciones substanciales de la constitución o de derechos humanos fundamentales;
  4. El uso de la fuerza tiene que ser dirigido hacía el gobierno opresivo.

La fuerza que se basa a ese derecho tiene que ser limitada a los actores directamente responsables del régimen: Los que tienen en su poder cambiar la política y cambiar al régimen al irse del país, y los que ejecutan la opresión directamente: Militares, policías, grupos paramilitares, grupos criminales, militantes políticos etc que actúan en defensa del régimen. Dictaduras dependen de dos brazos principalmente para sostener el poder: Represión y propaganda. Eso significa que lógicamente el aparato de propaganda también es un blanco legítimo (por ejemplo canales de televisión y radio bajo control del régimen).

El uso de fuerza no debe ser excesivo, significa que si sabotaje técnico puede lograr la misma meta como un asesinato, se debe preferir el sabotaje.

No se justifica víctimas civiles inocentes bajo esta justificación para uso de fuerza. Es una cosa que pueden caer víctimas por la respuesta violenta del régimen, pero nunca se debe hacer ninguna acción que pone en peligro las vidas de inocentes. Por eso, bombas solo pueden ser usados donde no hay civiles presentes.

Otro principio es de no hacer daño a la propiedad privada y tampoco la pública a menos que sea necesario. Después de la revolución es importante poder gobernar, y la destrucción por eso debe ser evitado.

Finalmente, los ataques contra los personajes del régimen deben formar parte de una lucha generalizada, sistemática, y no casos aislados, para poder considerarse parte de una revolución y no asesinatos.

2. Ley de Auto-Defensa

Se distingue entre dos tipos, auto-defensa en la ley internacional publica y auto-defensa en la ley internacional criminal. En ambos casos la violencia solo se justifica para frenar un ataque inminente, por lo que solo que puede aplicar contra el ejecutor del ataque, no contra el que está dando los órdenes. En el caso de un Holodomor no existe ejecutor; la población muere no por acción activa sino por falta de comida. En esos casos se puede aplicar la ley de necesidad.

Si alguien está atacado con armas siempre se puede defender con fuerza letal, eso no cambia por estar en resistencia o rebelión.

3. Ley de Necesidad

La necesidad está definida en el Estatuto de Roma, Art 31.1.d: “…coacción dimanante de una amenaza inminente de muerte o lesiones corporales graves para él u otra persona, y en que se vea compelido a actuar necesaria y razonablemente para evitar esa amenaza, siempre que no tuviera la intención de causar un daño mayor que el que se proponía evitar. Esa amenaza podrá: i) Haber sido hecha por otras personas; o ii) Estar constituida por otras circunstancias ajenas a su control.”

En el caso de un Holodomor por ejemplo, la amenaza existe, está constituida por circunstancias ajenas a su control (ya que la democracia ha dejado de funcionar), y una acción razonable es derrocar al régimen por la fuerza siempre y cuando el número de muertes inocentes en la acción sea menor que el número de muertes inocentes por el Holodomor, y que no existe otra vía razonable aún menos violento. Como la inacción genera muchos muertos, eso justificaría acciones bastante violentos si no hay alternativas.

En caso de crímenes de lesa humanidad, genocidio, crímenes de guerra etc todos que participan en la ejecución de esos crímenes son blancos legítimos bajo el principio de necesidad, todos los que podrían ser condenados en un corte por su participación.

4. Ser Reconocido como Combatiente

Si el enemigo (el gobierno) reconoce al grupo revolucionario como combatiente bajo las leyes de la guerra, los miembros del grupo no pueden ser acusados de terrorismo al hacer actos violentos (pero siguen responsables por cualquier crimen de guerra). Sin embargo, es muy poco probable que el régimen otorga ese estatus a un grupo de revolucionario. Por otro lado, si el conflicto es o se vuelve internacional, entonces eso aplica. Por ejemplo, si el régimen resulta ser una fuerza de ocupación bajo mando y control de otro gobierno, entonces la lucha se convierte en una guerra de liberación, lo cual goza de protección en la ley internacional que una revolución no tiene (siendo plenamente doméstica).

Santo Tomás

Conclusión

Cada uno de estos cuatro justificaciones tiene su lugar donde y cuando puede ser aplicado, y sus limitaciones en la forma como puede ser aplicado.

Justificación por el uso de fuerza Cuando Como Blancos Legítimos
1. Revolución* Hasta que caiga la tiranía** El menor uso de fuerza necesario, y solo como último recurso Las personas que sostienen la tiranía (no contra inocentes, no se permite daños colaterales calculados)
2. Auto-Defensa Bajo amenaza directa y presente La fuerza necesaria para parar el ataque El atacante o equivalente para parar el ataque (no contra el que dio orden)
3. Necesidad Bajo amenaza sostenida, peligro inminente pero sin emergencia El menor uso de fuerza necesaria y menos que el daño que se pretendía evitar Los responsables e involucrados, incluso los que planifican y ordenan la amenaza
4. Combatiente Conflictos internacionales o conflictos nacionales cuando el régimen reconoce la situación como guerra civil Según las leyes de la guerra (la meta siendo debilitar al enemigo hasta que se rinde, tratando de limitar muertos y daños) Según las leyes de la guerra (combatientes y equipo que contribuye al esfuerzo bélico, tratando de mantener los daños colaterales a un mínimo)

*La revolución intenta contra el gobierno de un país, mientras que la insurrección se puede ver como algo regional y la rebelión como algo local. Lo que empieza como una rebelión contra injusticia puede terminar como una revolución.

**En el momento que caiga la tiranía la violencia tiene que parar de inmediato. No existe justificación alguna para asesinar a personas del régimen cuando ellos se han dado por vencidos. Deben ser enjuiciados bajo la ley, y preferiblemente en una corte internacional para evitar sospechas de venganza. La suerte del gobierno nuevo depende de su imagen de legitimidad y defensor del imperio de la ley. Recuerda el asesinato de Ghaddafi y mira como Libia no ha logrado volver a la paz, toma eso como una lección.

Comentario: Justificación 1 no permite daños colaterales calculados, pero número 4 sí. Sin embargo, hace mucho daño por la moral de la acción, así que no es recomendable en ningún caso a menos que sea para evitar aún más muertos inocentes. Esta justificación también es la base para caso número 3, la necesidad. Se distingue entre justificación y excusa. Para caso número 2, auto-defensa, no hay justificación para matar a inocentes pero si ocurre por accidente, hay una excusa. En caso número 1 ni hay una excusa. Se debe evitar, punto. Como caso número 4 en realidad no es aplicable a menos que el conflicto se vuelve internacional, eso significa que lo único que puede justificar matar a inocentes es si es necesario para evitar la muerte de muchos más inocentes, por ejemplo, una bomba para evitar un genocidio — aunque el problema es probar que el genocidio iba a ocurrir ya que es muy difícil comprobar un genocidio hasta después del hecho. Total, casi nunca se debe hacer una acción donde civiles inocentes corren riesgo morir, y en las excepciones, la decisión debe ser tomada de un comandante en jefe que asume toda la responsabilidad.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean will decide the fate of the OAS—and their own future on the international arena. On Thursday June 23rd, the OAS will vote. If they fail to activate the Democratic Charter against the patently genocidal regime in “Bolivarian” Venezuela, the organization will lose all international credibility. The countries in whose hands it is to decide the vote are the Caribbean ones. They are also the ones who gave the Spanish language the word “filibustero” from their ways (filibustero comes from Dutch fribuiter which means free-looter in English and fribytare in Swedish, and refers to pirates who operate under the premise of take what you can). In these days they take blood-money from the genocidal regime in Caracas, so their moral has not improved. The vast majority of the people in the Americas, something like 90%, live in countries that support activating the Democratic Charter. But 0.7% of the population has over 38% of the vote and thus the power to protect the genocidal regime of Maduro. What’s more, 9 of those so-called countries have the same head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, so much of the shame will fall on the queen of the English if they fail to exercise their responsibility to protect the Venezuelan people against Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide. The rest of the Americas would be wise to sideline those countries in any future organization of American states, because they would obviously have failed the test of being mature enough to operate on the international arena. Maybe they could be given one vote between all of them, like the 50 states of USA have.

These 13 countries have 38% of the vote, well above the 33% that is needed to shield the genocidal regime in Caracas. In fact, it's enough that 10 of them back the Maduro regime, and the 10 smallest represent only 0.2% of the population in all OAS countries.
These 13 countries have 38% of the vote, well above the 33% that is needed to shield the genocidal regime in Caracas. In fact, it’s enough that 10 of them back the Maduro regime, and the 10 smallest represent only 0.2% of the population in all OAS countries.

Responsibility to Protect

Nobody is allowed to commit crimes against humanity or genocide. They are international crimes and they are never prescribed. Furthermore, states have the responsibility to protect their citizens from these crimes. In 2005 the world community decided that if a state fails to protect its citizens from crimes against humanity, genocide, ethnic cleansing or war crimes, the international community has a responsibility to protect, and that the UN Security Council has a right to decide to intervene and override the sovereignty of that country.

But what to do if a state itself commits crimes against humanity or genocide, and the international community fails to act? Clearly as individuals we the people still have a moral obligation to act. When faced by a situation like the one in Venezuela, where the regime deliberately is starving its people to try to stave off a rebellion (like Stalin did in Ukraine in 1932/33, the original Holodomor), a situation where people have to choose between dying of starvation or taking up arms against the regime, and the regime is armed to its teeth while the population was disarmed years ago, plus the regime uses heavily armed criminal gangs called “colectivos” to spread terror against those who protest for food, what options do we in the civil society have?

All non-violent methods have already been tried, but non-violence does not work against a regime that does not care if dissidents die. In 2010 Franklin Brito went on a hunger strike until he died and what did the regime do?, they made sure he died. In 2014 unarmed people protested all over the country and the regime used live ammo, which provoked a response by criminals (the only civilians with guns). Apparently unreported by media, 55 soldiers were shot during the “non-violent” protests in legitimate self defense. How many of these soldiers were Cubans is not known, only that Cuba sent 60,000 troops to quell the rebellion.

The Venezuelan people is fully aware that the only way to get out from this tyranny is through the use of force, but they also realize that the regime advantage in weapons and armaments is a hundred to one or a thousand to one. It’s one of the worlds heaviest armed regimes, a criminal regime, against a population that does not even have the right to own weapons (although many criminals do anyway). So its criminals against criminals, with those wanting peace and the rule of law having no power whatsoever. Because they allowed themselves to be disarmed.

The first lesson is of course that The People should always make sure that they have a legal right to own weapons, to prevent tyranny. In my opinion hunting rifles that can function as sniper rifles is the best protection because they allow for the creation of a home guard milicia, and at the same time they are virtually useless for criminals. In places high in crimes they can also work for home defense with appropriate light load ammunition to prevent over-penetration. I’m talking bolt action or single-shot, not semi-automatic. For close encounters the milicia could use semi-automatic pistols, but since they are very sought-after by criminals it would make sense to restrict them more. The milicia could instead use pump-action shotguns, another weapon useful for home defense but of little use to criminals. An armed citizenry is crucial as a way to prevent internal enemies from taking over the country.

However, in the case of Venezuela this discussion comes too late. They already allowed themselves to be disarmed and invited the Devil by voting for Chávez in 1998. They are already facing crimes against humanity from their own (illegitimate to be sure) regime, including arbitrary detentions, torture, disappearances, assassinations, Holodomor (genocide by starvation) and Holodolencia (genocide by denying basic health services and medicines). The forces of repression include the police, the national guard (part of the military), and the Venezuelan version of the brownshirts, the colectivos, fanatics who ride on bikes and spread terror. They are used for propaganda reasons, to avoid pictures of uniformed personnel committing those acts of terror. The propaganda is a key ingredient in the regime’s arsenal, and it is used to avoid that the international community acts against its crimes against humanity.

In 2014 the non-violent uprising that was met with military force did not ebb out until the civilians ran out of ammunition. For over a month they had control over one state in Venezuela, Táchira. When the regime re-took control it was a full military operation with tanks, close air support, the works. The resistance still bills it as a non-violent uprising because it was not their choice to make it an armed conflict.

Now, starting last Tuesday, June 14th, the resistance called for rebellion again, with the call coming from Cumaná, Sucre state. This time everyone is clear that the rebellion must be armed and that the colectivos must be met with deadly force. The instructions to the civilians include to barricade themselves in their homes and to meet any intruder with force, colectivo or national guard, because they know from experience that their intent is to kidnap, torture, and murder.

In this situation the international community has a difficult choice: Do nothing and watch people being exterminated, or break the law to help them.

The OAS is prohibited from intervening, so the Democratic Charter is a paper tiger. And even so, it may not be activated since so many countries in the Caribbean area are political prostitutes who vote to defend the genocidal regime in Caracas, taking Venezuelan blood money.

The UN Security Council is the only international organ that is authorized to call for intervention, that is, actions that violate the national sovereignty. Note that even the air drop of food to starving people violates the national sovereignty. But it may be necessary very soon, since the regime is firm about not allowing humanitarian aid (it is also forbidden to send food or medicines to the country, if it is found in shipments it is confiscated and destroyed). But the UNSC is very unlikely to vote for such a resolution since China and Russia are traditional allies of the regime, and both have veto power.

This leaves only one avenue for international assistance and that is to smuggle help into the country. The things they need for survival are food and medical supplies, and to defeat the regime they also need ammunition as a minimum. But here one runs into ITAR, the rules prohibiting arms trafficking. So the unarmed and defenseless people can not be helped by the international community because of rules that were designed to prevent the bad guys from getting weapons. In this case, when the bad guys are in power, the rules instead help the bad guys commit crimes against humanity.

My conclusion is that the international community has a responsibility to protect the people of Venezuela and that this justifies certain violations of ITAR, since obeying by all the ITAR prohibitions of arms smuggling would aid and assist a Crime Against Humanity.

Diosdado Cabello’s End Game

Update 2015-06-15: Rumors say that the photos from Brazil were fake, that he didn’t go to that country, only to Haiti, and that he indeed was negotiating stabbing Maduro in his back, with a transitional government and protection for himself. Which obviously the U.S. government cannot give, since the judicial system in the U.S. does not obey the executive branch, and he is investigated for drug trafficking.

Venezuela is today governed (or some say not) by an un-holy alliance of a puppet of communist Cuba (the president, Nicolás Maduro), and of a drug king-pin (the speaker of the parliament, Diosdado Cabello). The U.S. knows that Mr. Cabello is the perhaps most important narco in the world today, and they will be going after him with all they’ve got. Cabello in turn knows that Maduro is incompetent, and that his regime is doomed to fail. Venezuela completely lacks an economical foundation apart from exporting petroleum, and the oil prices are not going to recover any time soon. So what are Cabello’s options? Short of spending the rest of his life in prison, he only has two, take power or seek asylum.

He has recently been traveling to Brazil and Haiti. In Brasil he met with President Dilma Rousseff, and in Haiti with Thomas Shannon, Counselor of the Secretary of State of the USA. These trips don’t sound like those made by someone planning a coup d’État; rather, they seem like the moves of someone planning a negotiated exit. That exit might be to hand over Maduro to the U.S., in return for a peaceful retirement in Brazil. Only time will tell.

Thomas Shannon, President of Haiti Michell Martelli, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez, and Diosdado Cabello
Thomas Shannon, President of Haiti Michell Martelli, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez, and Diosdado Cabello

At the same time the rapprochement between Cuba and USA must be seen by Cabello as a possible intent to have Maduro stab him in his back. As long as the regime was sustainable the un-holy alliance held up, but when it comes time for it to end, all bets are off. Will one betray the other, or will both go down together with the ship?

Is Cabello negotiating with USA to stab Maduro in his back? Is Maduro through Castro negotiating with USA to stab Cabello in HIS back?
Is Cabello negotiating with USA to stab Maduro in his back? Or is Maduro through Castro negotiating with USA to stab Cabello in his back? (The photo has been edited by the author.)

USA must change drug policy for national security reasons

I argue that the War on Drugs has created a huge problem for the Americas. In the United States it has led to the creation of a large prison population, social conflicts, violence, a flood wave of illegal immigration, and lately a threat to national security. In Latin America it has led to the destruction of a normal economy, corruption, rampant crime, nations on the point of becoming failed states, the highest murder rates on the planet, and a decrease of the standard of living. How has this happened?

It seems clear that the drug trade just follows supply-and-demand economics. As long as there is demand at a given price point, the market will assure that there is supply. The U.S. policy is targeted at destroying the supply, which obviously is not going to work, ever. When the drug prices rise due to the war on drugs, the calculus for the farmer in the jungle changes in the wrong direction. Cultivating coca becomes more attractive, not less, compared to the alternative crops. To understand this we can look at the economical geography.

The center of the economy is USA, and to be precise, the central business district of New York: Wall Street. There are also second, third, forth level centers, and so on. The farther away from the center we go, the lower is the land value, and the higher is the cost of transportation to the center where the consumers and the demand is. This means that people live in the first ring outside the center, and commute to work. Farther outside, in the Midwest, is farmland for cultivating grains and potatoes, crops that are relatively bulky and expensive to transport long distances. Still farther away are the cattle ranches. Their goods have a higher value per pound, and can support the longer transport routes, while at the same time requiring large, low-value farmland for their production. That is, the farthest away we will find the crop with the largest land requirement, the lowest weight, or the highest price per unit weight, and that is capable of surviving the transport. Pepper from India is a good example. Cocaine from South America fits the same bill, and it means that coca is just about the only crop that a South American farmer can grow that will earn him hard cash from the high-rollers on Wall Street!

The more the DEA cracks down on the drug trade, the more the price rises, and the more attractive it becomes to grow and smuggle it. More money is brought in for protecting the business, which means more corruption, more weapons, more violence, all of which are costs of doing business for the narcos. The amount of money involved makes the GDP of many Latin American countries look like petty cash, which means that the narcos often can buy the police, the military, and even the presidency. With control over nations they can change international policy as well, and use the tools of sovereign states to challenge the national security of the USA. They have set up terrorist training camps, and they have most likely infiltrated terrorists into the United States already. All with money that American drug users willingly have given to them in exchange for chemicals that do damage to their brains. Incredible but true.

If cracking down on supply does not work, then what? It’s elementary, my dear Watson. It’s already been implemented in Sweden, for instance: All one has to do to kill a business is to remove the demand. In this case it’s all about treating the drug addicts so that they get over their addiction. Once their addiction is gone they will not buy drugs, and the cartels will eventually go bankrupt for lack of income. It’s so simple in theory, and it has succeeded in Sweden, so why hasn’t the U.S. implemented this policy?

Good question. Maybe it’s because of lobbyists who prefer solutions that generate violence without end, so that their clients can continue to sell weapons for ever and ever? Maybe it’s because the treatment has to be paid for by someone, and obviously the drug addicts are not going to want the treatment, much less want to pay for it. In Sweden health care is universal, paid for by taxes, so it makes economical sense for the insurer (the State) to treat a drug addict for his addiction now, at a lower cost, than have to treat him in the future for probably more serious things, plus have to spend large amounts on policing, legal system, prisons, and losses to crime, if he is not treated. Let me rephrase that.

In Sweden the cost of treatment and the cost of non-treatment are absorbed by the same entity, the State, which makes the cost-benefit of treatment attractive. In the U.S. the cost of treatment and the cost of non-treatment are absorbed by different entities, so there is no clear incentive for prevention. However, there may be no other choice left.

With floods of immigrants coming to the U.S. fleeing rampant drug violence in Latin America, with Venezuela at the threshold of becoming a failed state and risking a humanitarian catastrophe, with between a half dozen and a dozen democracies in Latin America having been turned into dictatorships by narcos, with infiltration of all the worst enemies of the U.S. in Latin America through these nations, with the risk of terrorism and nuclear proliferation in drug dictatorships, the national security threat is so great that I am postulating that compulsory treatment of drug addicts might be a matter of U.S. national security.

The Venezuelan resistance movement

The other day Reuters wrote an article called “Venezuelan ‘Resistance’ Movement Struggles to Bruise Maduro” (in Spanish here). Since they quoted me at the end I would like to clarify that their description of the resistance movement does not agree with how I see it. This is what they quoted me as saying:

Ulf Erlingsson, a Swede and former aid worker, helped found the [Operación Libertad Venezuela (‘Operation Freedom Venezuela‘)] web site four years ago after becoming convinced Venezuela was a nefarious influence.
“This is a criminal regime run by a foreign power, Cuba,” he told Reuters. “So there is nothing illegal in fighting them.”

The problem with this is that I all the time am talking about nonviolent action, as it has been described by Dr. Gene Sharp (@GeneSharpaei) of the Albert Einstein Institution, while Reuters in their text describe only a minority part of the resistance, the so-called ‘guarimberos’, those who block streets as a form of protest.

When we created Operación Libertad Venezuela (OLV) as a project for liberation of Venezuela from Cuba, the term “resistance” was chosen since it aptly reflects the fact that it is a foreign invasion (albeit implemented through deceit, blackmail, corruption, and assassinations, not through military might).

The nonviolent strategy of struggle was chosen since it was deemed the most likely to yield the desired victory. The strategy is based on undermining the power of the enemy, not confronting him openly. The resistance has won significant victories in these four years, by converting several views which used to be dismissed as “conspiracy theories” into generally accepted “truths”, thus defeating the state propaganda lie:

1. The revelation that Cuba is in a position of control over Venezuela effectively occupying the nation

2. The destruction of the propaganda lie that there is no election fraud in Venezuela

3. The revelation that Venezuela is an electoral dictatorship (i.e., the opposition yields to the fraud rather than fight to claim their victories)

All these are victories by the resistance. The first one in the list was won through a street occupation outside the Cuban embassy in Caracas, after Chávez had died in Cuba but the regime still insisted that he was alive, and forged his name on laws. The occupation forced the regime to stage the “return” of Chávez, and the continued pressure forced them to admit that Chávez was dead, and to hold elections on April 14, 2013.

Through the live election coverage by OLV on April 14th, organized by Ana Diaz (former number two in the Venezuelan election authority CNE, and spokesperson for OLV), the resistance was able to expose the election fraud (point 2 in the list above) and force the opposition candidate Henrique Capriles to not admit defeat (he had admitted defeat in the previous election where there also was fraud). This caused the people to take to the streets en masse, which the regime met with violence.

After 2 days Capriles told people to go home, and that he would fight the battle in court, where he duly lost and with that, let the whole thing run out in the sand.

When the resistance (which is comprised of many groups and individuals, all fighting for the same objective) convened a global day of demanding the truth on June 2, 2013, the opposition coalition MUD surreptitiously sabotaged the action, even though it was made to defend the victory of their candidate.

When a day of protests was convened inside Venezuela September 14 on the 5-month day of the election, called “Día de Furia” (Day of Fury, a name I proposed since it hints to the inevitability of justice), the MUD again sabotaged by sending out SMS messages to all their activists prohibiting them from either participating or forwarding the information about the protest. Albeit this time several persons forwarded the message to OLV, and OLV’s other spokesperson, singer and actress Maria Conchita Alonso, denounced this action proof in hand on a live TV show in Miami, the Bayly show. Myself I confronted a Venezuelan political consultant who said, when I kept insisting on an answer, that “of course they would do that”.

The Venezuelan opposition is clearly playing hand in hand with the dictatorship, which is why the resistance is the only possible road to liberation of the country. Not all in the opposition coalition are on the bandwagon, though; those who are presently in jail are most certainly not. It is not clear to me why those who disagree with the way MUD is run don’t leave MUD and set up camp separately. A friend of mine, political consultant Eric Ekvall (RIP) even suggested to Maria Corina Machado that she ought to leave MUD, but she has not done so. I know what her reply was but I am presuming it was said in confidence so I won’t repeat it, let me just say that I believe she has the best intentions and is effectively part of that broad informal coalition that I consider the “resistance”. And in my personal opinion so are her fellow politicians in MUD Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma, both political prisoners at present.

So to sum up, the “resistance” in Venezuela to me is a broad coalition and includes millions of people, but only a tiny minority are openly exposing their participation. This is for self-preservation; the punishment from the state for being a dissenter is very severe. It would take a separate article just to start writing about that, let me just say that the majority of those in the visible core of the resistance have been victims of oppression for over a decade. Also, in the course of writing the Reuters article a number of the resistance members were murdered, but their families later denied that they were in the resistance, because they were threatened to be murdered they too if they said as much (in fact, one of them was murdered shortly before a planned interview with the Reuters reporter for the purpose of this article). The situation in Venezuela is very hard, and the Reuters article does not describe this reality in an unbiased way. Media who operate inside Venezuela (like Reuters) seem to have a very hard time to free themselves from the influence of the regime propaganda, unfortunately.

Jag anklagar Venezuelas regim för Brott Mot Mänskligheten

Regimen i Venezuela sprider hat och uppmanar till mord på politiska motståndare, och deras hantlangare inom polis, nationalgarde och mördargängen “colectivos” exekverar. Detta betyder att det handlar om brott mot mänskligheten, som visas i denna video. VARNING! Videon innehåller scener från ett mord på en ung man. Han skjuts i huvudet från nära håll så att halva kraniet försvinner och hjärninnehåll och blod stänker över marken. Dessa två videos från mordet publicerades på två olika internetsajter den 25 februari 2015, och den som spred videon till höger arresterades när han kom till Miami flygplats för 10 dagar sedan. Det var en polis från Venezuelas motsvarighet till SÄPO.

I accuse the Venezuelan regime of Crimes Against Humanity

I accuse the Venezuelan dictatorship under Nicolás Maduro of Crimes Against Humanity, including the crimes of murder, persecution, and torture of dissidents. To substantiate the accusation I’ve made this video with clips from two sources: Words spoken by Roy Chaderton, the Venezuelan ambassador to the OAS, expressing hatred for dissidents (he uses the word “squalid” as is customary by the regime), talking about shooting the dissidents in the head, and saying that the dissidents’ heads are empty. The second video (actually two from different angles) show how regime thugs (so-called “colectivos”) execute a young unidentified man by shooting him in the head, possibly a dissident (this was posted on Feb 25, at a time when about a dozen dissidents were executed by being shot in the head by the police, national guard, and ‘colectivos’). The video is extremely graphic as it shows the head being blown off.

Prima facie evidence of Crimes Against Humanity

For the record, I use the word “dissident” here as a neutral term for those who express dissent with the regime. They are, however, of two different kinds: The “opposition,” who still believes that the only way to get out from under this criminal regime that controls all aspects of the state and who has repeated ad nauseam that they will “never” cede power to the opposition, is by defeating them in elections, even though they are aware that the elections are completely fraudulent. And secondly, the “resistance,” who reject the idea of participating in elections that are un-winnable, against a tyranny that openly says it would rather start a civil war than cede power, and instead advocate for the use of the method of non-violent resistance as the best strategy for defeating this rule of horror. The dozen or so ‘dissidents’ who have been murdered by head-shots the last few weeks have been from the resistance, not from the opposition. For Spanish-speakers this is a very enlightening debate between the resistance and the opposition, recorded March 10: Debate Resistencia – Oposición.

A new age of fundamentalism

Before each of the two world wars, there seems to have been an age of fundamentalism. Today, again, we seem to have entered into an age of fundamentalism: The self-proclaimed “islamic” state that is anything but; the Maduro puppet regime in Venezuela that is willfully ignoring reality; Putin’s conquest by military force of parts of Ukraine and sticking to his guns as the proverbial ship is sinking; Christian fundamentalism in USA; Moslem in Pakistan and elsewhere; Jewish in Israel; and so on. Hardened positions, and in some of these cases an outright refusal to accept progress.

The core of fundamentalism is this ideological refusal to embrace progress. It is clear that the opposite of “progressive” is “fundamentalist”. The strategy of the fundamentalists is to portray the progressive as a small minority. In reality, of course, all except the fundamentalists themselves are progressive, because it is in the very nature of man to seek progress.

Why does fundamentalism appear? I don’t have the answer, but I would start looking into the process of progress. Some people are afraid of change, notably those with certain personalities, I will not say “disorder” but just certain types of personalities. They hold on to what they see as status quo, and insist that others do the same, or they don’t feel comfortable. Perhaps that is the origin, I don’t know, I’m just speculating now.

What can we do to prevent fundamentalism from getting destructive again, or even more destructive? This is an even better question that I have even less of an answer to, since it depends on the answer to the previous question. All I can say is that it is crucial to understand fundamentalism and to deal with it in an appropriate manner. In time.