Sunday, February 10, 2019

About the takeover of Venezuela by Nicolás Maduro a former Lake Worth commissioner said, “Go Democracy!”

And there is breaking news today about Venezuela in The Palm Beach Post online edition by reporter Julius Whigham that will most certainly be front page A1 news in tomorrow’s print edition. See excerpts from that news below.

And in South Florida start getting used to hearing the name “Juan Guaido”!

But first, let’s step back momentarily. So. You don’t believe a former elected commissioner in the City of Lake Worth praised dictator Nicolás Maduro at a City Commission meeting? It’s true. It actually happened. At the end of this blog post is a quote from that former elected praising that despotic Maduro while donning a hat with the colors of the Venezuelan flag.

And also in this blog post are excerpts from last May by reporter Joe Capozzi at The Palm Beach Post who reported that Venezuelans are “fleeing to Palm Beach County” and now comes very good news and recent developments from Post journalist Julius Whigham datelined Jan. 23rd and headlined, “Protesters near West Palm cheer Venezuela’s interim president”.

Here are two excerpts from Whigham’s news report:

With many waving Venezuelan flags and dressed in the country’s national colors, hundreds gathered near a busy suburban West Palm Beach intersection Wednesday night to voice support for Venezuela’s interim president, Juan Guaido. [emphasis added]

Men, women and children — many dressed in Venezuela’s national colors of blue, red and yellow — came together at Military Trail and Forest Hill Boulevard on the day the United States recognized Guaido as the South American nation’s president, rejecting President Nicolas Marduro’s contested swearing-in two weeks ago to a second term.

and. . .

The West Palm Beach demonstration came as tens of thousands of Venezuelans — upset at the nation’s high rate of inflation, shortage of goods and migration problems — staged their own protests in the streets to demand that Maduro step down. Many gathered held signs written in Spanish as they expressed hope for change in Venezuela.

As music played, many sang in unison. One person in the West Palm Beach crowd held a sign with “Guaido” written in lights.

Many of you are very aware of the terrible situation in Venezuela. It’s a humanitarian crisis of proportions hard to grasp: starvation, killings, a brutal crackdown of dissidents, runaway inflation and an economy on the brink of total collapse. This crisis began in 2013. But two years later. . .

. . . a former commissioner in the City of Lake Worth celebrated the Socialist Party takeover in Venezuela by Nicolás Maduro.

And in the very next election this former commissioner was booted out of office by then-citizen Mr. Omari Hardy. A young man and a teacher with hardly any experience in politics who is now called District 2 Commissioner Omari Hardy.

Hard to believe but it’s true. At a City Commission meeting in 2015 the then-District 2 commissioner celebrated the brutal takeover by Nicolás Maduro and proclaimed it was good for democracy in South America!

But first, before we get to that, there was an article published in the Post last May by reporter Joe Capozzi headlined “Venezuelans fleeing to Palm Beach County”. Below is an excerpt about the many Venezuelans who have fled that country for Palm Beach County and other areas in South Florida since the crisis first began in 2013:

     What’s chasing them are the demons from a society in collapse because of economic and political mismanagement under Chavez’s hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, who took over after Chavez died in 2013.
     Once the most prosperous country in South America, Venezuela today is suffering from extreme shortages of food, rampant crime and rioting, and runaway inflation. Children are dying of malnutrition. There are constant electrical blackouts.
     On Tuesday [May 8th], the Trump administration for the first time called for regime change in Venezuela, charging that the “systematic oppression” by Maduro has become an “active threat” to the entire Latin American region.
     “I’m astonished at the degree to which this regime has managed to trigger failure in virtually every single aspect of national life in Venezuela,” [emphasis added] said Patrick D. Duddy, the U.S. ambassador to Venezuela from 2007 to 2010.

How bad is the situation in Venezuela? Here is news reported in the Associated Press, alarming news from journalists Fernando Vergara and Marko Alvarez (two excerpts):

RIOHACHA, Colombia (AP) — Venezuelan migrants aboard a U.S. Navy hospital ship were undergoing surgery Tuesday for everything from tooth extractions to hernias that have proven difficult to treat both in the country they fled and the one receiving them.

and. . .

The U.N. estimates some 3 million Venezuelans have fled their country in recent years in an exodus that is putting stress on regional governments.

Between 2017 and 2018, the number of emergency room visits by Venezuelans in Colombia has increased 202 percent, according to officials. The vast majority have no medical insurance and must go through a lengthy process to qualify for treatment of chronic conditions.

Not all Venezuelans who flee are able to get treatment in time.

According to Colombia’s National Institute of Health, over 2,000 Venezuelans have died thus far in 2018 from illnesses including malnutrition, malaria and transmittable diseases, among others — up from 863 such deaths in all of the previous year.

“Go Democracy!”, proclaimed
Chris McVoy, PhD, at the
City Commission.

McVoy was a three-term City of Lake Worth commissioner (2010–2017) who was defeated in March 2017 by a very slim margin. District 2 in this City is now represented by Commissioner Omari Hardy, a political newcomer at the time.

At that City Commission meeting back in 2015 McVoy was thrilled (see image below) to announce the news that Hugo Chávez’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nicolás Maduro, leader of the Fifth Republic of the United Socialist Party — whose subsequent brutal takeover of Venezuela that Cuban dictator Fidel Castro supported — set the stage for people abandoning their country and for many who couldn’t leave, a life of misery and complete despair then ensued.

To this day that once-proud South American country of Venezuela remains one being ruled by decree by a brutal dictator.

“Go Democracy! It’s good
when it works!”

Then-commissioner and now Mr. McVoy
wearing his Venezuelan baseball cap.

For some people, the United Socialist Party takeover of Venezuela by Nicolás Maduro was a reason for celebration in our City of Lake Worth:

“Happy New Year! Some folks in the room may be aware. . . [a pause as McVoy dons Venezuelan baseball cap] that’s my Venezuelan cap! Today was a very significant part of democracy in the world. The major elections that happened in early December [2015] in Venezuela that drastically changed the course of what the country’s been doing for the last stretch. They were inaugurated in the national assembly today.
     I was able to watch some of that. And it went very peacefully despite some very strong differences of views and opinions and changing of the guard.
     So, ummm, Go Democracy! It's good when it works!"

“Go Democracy!”?

Makes you wonder doesn’t it?