Brexit and Trump two sides of the same coin

Both Brexit and Trump are reactions to irresponsible politicians. Just like Hugo Chávez was in Venezuela in the 1998 election, for which the people now pay a huge price: Dictatorship, or rather pure tyranny, with Holodomor and Holodolencia (the regime preventing access to food and medicines). But back to Brexit and Trump.

Western Europe and USA are part of the same culture, which since WWII has created a global system in which intervention in other countries is prohibited except as permitted by the UNSC, but due to the veto powers that body rarely allows such moves. This means that the global community protects governments, even in the case of regimes that are un-democratic and lack support among the population. This has given  oppressive regimes a free hand to do what they do best: Repress, rob, steal, and deprive people of hope, while holding up a pretty facade in the diplomatic arena. It’s hard to call it corruption when it is the very essence of what they do.

Since the free world has chosen to tie their hands, the people living under oppression and the violence that repressive regimes lead to, have had no other recourse than to flee to the free world if they want opportunities for themselves and their children. From Latin America they risk their lives to come to the U.S., and from Africa they risk their lives to come to Europe. Both regions have chosen to accept these refugees rather than taking effective action to improve things in their home countries.

In Europe it has for decades been politically incorrect to even question the policy of accepting the refugees rather than try to help them achieve freedom of opportunity at home. So people have gotten fed up. That’s how I interpret Brexit and Trump: Both Brits and Yankees are tired of the lack of political will to deal with the real problem, and so they do something desperate that actually can make things much worse.

Look at the countries from which the refugees come. Third world countries tend to have a filthy rich elite and a large poor population that does not have opportunities to get ahead, regardless of education, because of corruption. The wealth of the rich is such that they even can bribe leaders of the free world, and nobody will be the wiser because there is no control or oversight in these countries I’m talking about.

The international system needs to take the focus away from preserving the Status Quo and the sitting government, and focus on getting effective human rights such as freedom and opportunity to the people.

As one example of a policy area where a new tack may be needed I’d like to mention weapons control. The right to rebellion against a tyranny is a fundamental right that predates civilization itself. But the right to rebel is only a chimaera when citizens are denied the right to bear arms. For many years the international community has worked towards limiting international arms traffic to prevent weapons from falling into the hands of criminals, leaving the government in total control. That is good and well, but what about if the government is the criminal, leaving the potential rebels with no recourse? That’s what makes people flee to USA or Europe, because they have no way of fighting back, and the west will not help them in any way, shape, or form.

For 6 years I’ve followed the Venezuelan people’s fight for freedom from the dictatorship that controls their country since 2002, when the military reinstated Chávez as president after a non-violent movement had forced his resignation by peaceful protests. The dictatorship deliberately disarmed the people, and armed criminal gangs loyal to them—the Venezuelan version of Brownshirts, called “colectivos.” In 2014 the colectivos met peaceful protests with guns, for instance. Any rebellion will need to be able to neutralize the armed colectivos, but where to get the necessary weapons? There is no legal way that the rest of the world can help, and apparently no country wants to do it illegally either (since if so, it would already have been done). This leaves the Venezuelan people at the mercy of a regime that denies them food and medicines. Yes, denies: The regime does not allow these things even to be donated from abroad. What recourse does the Venezuelan have? His choices are to starve and possibly die; to fight unarmed against one of the heaviest armed nations in the Western Hemisphere; or to emigrate. Millions have already taken that las option and many of them are now homeless abroad, but at least not denied food.

There is something fundamentally wrong when the international community helps the despots against people with a legitimate right to rebel.

OAS considers activating Democratic Charter for first time

In a landmark meeting yesterday, the Organization of American States were summoned to an extraordinary meeting for the presentation of a report on the erosion of democracy in Bolivarian Venezuela, prepared by the secretary general of the organization, Luis Almagro. The meeting started with the point of order of approving the agenda, to which Bolivarian Venezuela, represented by its foreign minister Ms Delcy Rodriguez requested the word. She expressed that her country was opposed to the meeting being held. After the US made a point of order saying that Bolivarian Venezuela had gone into the subject matter when they were at a point in the agenda where only points of order were allowed according to the rules of OAS, and a couple of more violations to thus rule by Nicaragua and Bolivia, the vote was taken.

There was confusion because the chair had first understood that Bolivarian Venezuela requested a vote not to hold the meeting, but later their representative stated that she desired the vote to be on the approval of the agenda. Even though the chair explained this repeatedly the translation seems to have worked poorly, because Antigua and Barbuda had to ask again before voting, and Haiti later explained that they had voted on the original question and really intended to approve the agenda. In this table I present the vote and show the corrected vote of Haiti:

Do you approve the agenda?
YES NO Abstain
Argentina Antigua and Barbuda Saint Lucia
Bahamas Bolivia Trinidad and Tobago
Barbados Dominica
Belize Dominican Republic
Brazil Ecuador
Canada El Salvador
Chile Grenada
Colombia Nicaragua
Costa Rica Saint Kitts and Nevis
Guatemala Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Guyana Venezuela
Haiti*
Honduras
Jamaica
Mexico
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Suriname
Uruguay
USA

That makes 21 in favor and 11 opposed, with 2 abstentions, so the agenda was approved and the meeting started. The only point of order was that Luis Almagro, secretary general, presented his report. That was followed by comments by those who so wished. All countries availed themselves of that opportunity except those in italics in the above table. The complete video of the entire meeting (except 2 minutes before the formal start, due to a transmission error) with the original language (no interpreter voices) is available on the Operación Libertad Venezuela YouTube channel.

For Spanish speakers I recommend ‘The pearls of Delcy Rodriguez,’ “Las perlas de Delcy Rodriguez,” since nobody contributed more to prove the case that Bolivarian Venezuela is an authoritarian regime than the foreign minister herself. I don’t have the time to translate it but I will leave it open for user-contributed translations on YouTube.

What next?

The fact that the report was presented was a huge step forward, because the regime’s lies were exposed publicly. But this is not to say that the democratic charter was activated. This was just the secretary general informing the countries—his employers, effectively—that “here is something I think you need to look at”. Now they need to consider the facts and then it is up to the country holding the presidency of OAS to decide if and when to call a new meeting. At present Argentina holds the presidency.

The votes whether to approve the agenda or not in OAS on June 23, 2016. Countries supporting Venezuela voted no to try to prevent the report about erosion of democracy from being presented, here marked in red. Yellow marks abstentions and green in favor.
The votes whether to approve the agenda or not in OAS on June 23, 2016. Countries supporting Venezuela voted no to try to prevent the report about erosion of democracy from being presented, here marked in red. Yellow marks abstentions and green in favor.