Obama Is Good

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro arrested a number of private shop owners as he considered them responsible for the country’s apparent food shortage, resulting in kilometer long queues simply to buy chicken, soap or even a packet of aspirin. Maduro is putting a good deal of effort into continuing his so-far successful campaign to eliminate the free press and to throw the opposition behind bars. His enthusiasm has also lead him to request external aid, he has even written conciliatory letters to Barack Obama, informing him of the consequences of a potential Boliviarian revolution.

Maduro believes that wholesalers are involved in an economic war and are promoting public discontent against his government. He has promised that those responsible will be pursued, as the Venezuelan economic crisis and the widespread food shortage are, according to him, all part of a popular conspiracy to cause unrest within his government.

Alongside the battle against shop owners and pharmacies, the siege continues to wage war against press agencies refusing to follow government instructions. On Jan. 27, newspaper Tal Cual will permanently be withdrawn from circulation after 15 years of existence. The paper was founded by Teodoro Petkoff, who soon established himself as a fervent critic of the Chávez regime, and has since taken up a similar stance with regard to his successor.

A letter from the paper’s managing body suggests that it was forced to close as 7 lawsuits had been filed against it in 15 years of existence. It had also been subject to severe inspections by state institutions such as Social Security and the Ministry of Labor. Not only this, but it suffered repeated harassment against its board of directors by several government authorities. Finally, advertisers were under pressure not to purchase publicity spots in the newspaper.

Relentless and tireless in the face of those who oppose him, Maduro has something in common with Barack Obama. He announced to the press that he would be sending a letter to the U.S. President and that he had already requested support from USAN representative Ernesto Samper, and president pro tempore of the Latin-American organization CELAC, Rafael Correa. In this way, he hopes to reject the sanctions imposed upon Venezuelan civil servants and open negotiations with the U.S.

Maduro is convinced that the president does not control [U.S] policy toward Venezuela, deeming the situation “out of control” and “utter chaos.” It is the “Miami Mafia,” made up of traitors to the fatherland that makes the decisions. For the Venezuelan leader, Obama is good, but incompetent.

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