While debunking the extraordinarily unprogressive interview on TYT, I hope we can learn a thing or two about the opposition.
At 10:27, Pilar Marrero says,
"Let me tell you something about the history of oil in Venezuela. When it was found in the early 20th century, of course a lot of concession was given to American companies. They were concessions. They were not the owners of the oil. Oil was nationalized, not by Hugo Chavez, but by the president he launched a coup against Carlos Andres Peres."
Until 1908, the Cipirano Castro was the President of Venezuela. Theodore Roosevelt didn't like him much, because Castro didn't offer many concessions to the US. In 1908, when Cipriano Castro left for Germany to get medical treatment, Juan Vicente Gomez, initiated a coup. As you can see in this state department memo, the US sent its warships to aid Gomez and declare him President.
Juan Vicente Gomez was unpopular in Venezuela, and Cipriano Castro attempted to win back power many times. Each time, "The State Department deployed the navy to protect American Interests in Venezuela", as this 1913 article from New York Times, explains in unabashed candor.
The word concession would not be an appropriate term to classify the grants that Juan Vicente Gomez gave to foreign oil companies. In fact, Juan Vicente Gomez allowed oil companies to WRITE the petroleum laws.
The main point is that for nearly one century, foreign oil companies extracted the oil and the profits from the oil, leaving Venezuelans with very little.
Perez Nationalizing Oil
Well, not exactly! Although, in 1975, midst the cold war, and just four years after Allende was overthrown by Pinochet, Perez does do a photo-op saying he nationalized the oil
But, if you look carefully at the new law passed in 1975, there was the infamous Article 5. Article 5 still allowed for the state to contract out private partnerships with international oil companies.
On top of that, after nationalizing the oil, as this CIA document so eloquently explains, Perez made deals with the IMF and foreign firms for "economic development." As we all know, IMF funds always come with neoliberal strings attached. In the end, he slightly closed the oil industry, but opened up the rest of Venezuela for profit extraction.
At 10:48, Pilar Marrero says
"The oil company is completely in the hands of the Venezuelan government. The production of oil has come down significantly. They deprofesionalised the company by taking out the engineers and people who knew their jobs and put political and military people there."
First of all, OPEC sets production ceilings for its members. OPEC sets quotas to stabilize the price of oil. They don't want members to over produce and suddenly devalue their biggest and often their only asset.
In 2002, Venezuela went through, what imperialist newspapers referred to as,"A General Strike." But, this wasn't an ordinary general strike where the workers revolt over their conditions. Instead, management locked out the workers and said they would not resume operations until Hugo Chavez stepped down. In fact, in one tire factory, Covencaucho, workers took over the factory from management because they were forced to take "unpaid time off".
Also, the US was plenty involved in the entire strike. according to SEC filings, INTESA, which handled PDVSA's software and IT issues, owned part of Venezuela's oil company PDVSA. Intesa executives were upset that the Venezuelan government wanted to stop contracting with INTESA and hire someone different. INTESA, in their own complaint, admit that they locked oil workers out of the factory. Imagine doing this at Google or IBM in the USA. Would people who locked out all the other workers for weeks still have their jobs?
To resume operations in 2003, Hugo Chavez did put some members of the military in PDVSA as an emergency measure, until PDVSA was able to fully restaff. Of course, the new staff may have seemed "unprofessional" by standards of Pilar Marrero because... well, let's just say it was more racially diverse.
The Electric Grid
At 11:30,Pilar Marrero says, "The electric grid does not work. We have blackouts again, yesterday and today and Maduro keeps saying its sabotage. It's not sabotage."
I have no way of knowing whether or not the electric grid is being sabotaged, but in this 1954 memo from the CIA entitled Sabotage Studies, they mention:
[redacted] is employed by the Empresa Electrica de Guatemala as an engineer. He has stated that it would be possible for him to effectively cut all current without a possibility of being detected and without doing, any damage whatsoever to the installations in general. It is worthy of noted(sic) that[redacted] who resides at [redacted] and whose legal residence is [redacted] is disgruntled.
Also, there were frequent blackouts in Chile before Salvador Allende was overthrown.
At 11:41 Cenk mentions," One thing Guaidó can do to earn credibility is to say if I get in charge, I'll do two things. I am only the interim president and I will have a real election."
Pilar Marrero interrupts with,"That's what he said."
Sovereignty means that people in Venezuela have a right to self-determination without coercion or interference from another state. Self-determination is the ability to choose their government and what the roles and duties are of said government. Countries should not be holding elections every time the US is unhappy with the results. In fact, only Venezuelans, their constitution and their laws can decide where and when to hold the next elections. Calling for a new election, contrary to their constitution and plans, is not respecting their sovereignty. Maduro has been elected President in the previous term in fair elections. Therefore, any call for a new election, delegitimizes the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people.
Cenk pushes on to finish his point, "Under no circumstance will any American companies get any contracts with Venezuela. If he says that and America still supports him, then it's fine. He is not going to say that because then America is going to go meh"
Unfortunately, Guaidó has made it clear he plans to do the opposite. He is already trying to put Venezuela under the crushing debt of the IMF and forced austerity. He has also promised to open up the country's oil reserves for foreign investors.
Not About Oil???
This is an exact transcript. Here is what Pilar Marrero says about America's interest in oil.
Actually I think Trump administration's attitude, yes, probably something to do with oil. But, I think it has to do more with 2020 and the elections and saying we warned against socialism right, because you saw it in the state of the union. He talked about Venezuela and he turned and said and the Democrats are like Venezuela right
Listen to John Bolton in this interview.His exact words,"It will make a big difference to the United States Economically, if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela."
But.. .But.. We Want America to Destroy Our Country
At 13:12, Pilar Marrero, in all earnestness said:
If you ask a lot of Venezuelans today would you mind having the American companies go instead of having your freedom and a good government that will not torture you, kill you and starve you, a lot of people will say yes.
Pilar Marrero says, "it can barely get any worse than it is now."
Listen to The Other 9-11