Venezuela’s Maduro Cracks Down on His Own Military in Bid to Retain Power

The embattled government is torturing members of its own armed forces to retain control of them — and through them, the state.

Comments: 169

  1. A good reason to choose a Tesla or another EV as your next vehicle. When Maduro can’t give his stinking oil away anymore, he - and his todies - will be removed

  2. @Maureen We don’t get oil from Venezuela. But I guess you love those things tax breaks.

  3. @Jackson Don’t matter where the US gets its oil from - this is a global commodity. When the demand for oil drops - as it will soon - Maduro and the Saudis and Putin and the Ayatollah are done.

  4. So he's turning to Stalinism with a Great Purge. How cliche.

  5. Amazing The Times would print this. There is no way out. LBJ was right to send the 82nd to the Dominican Republic. It time we have the guts the democrat president, LBJ had. Send in the 82nd. End this. NOW

  6. @Sparky Jones. Part of me wants to agree with you. However, unless we could get some of the neighboring countries to participate with us, and possibly even then, we will be accused of starting another foreign war. What the heck is the UN for if it can’t try to coordinate a response to this tyrant? Not much, because many of the members are tyrants too.

  7. @Sparky Jones yeah right! Let's do what Hitler did when he invaded Poland or what we did when we liberated Iraq and Lybia. Great accomplishments besides breaking international and American law!

  8. @Sparky Jones Are you willing to go?

  9. It sounds like how Trump is using ICE as his personal SS.

  10. @Nanahuatzin you lefties certainly love those Nazi references. Of course you have no idea what it means.

  11. Curious. Not two days ago, tens of thousands of Maduro supporters filled the streets in Venezuela to protest the United States/Trump's nakedly unethical sanctions which are directly responsible for suffering and starvation in that country. I've seen little to no coverage of that, yet here we are, with the Times once again banging the drums for regime change in Latin America. How long can this charade go on?

  12. @Nathaniel You are obviously on the side of China and Russia and that alone raises interesting questions. Do the thousands of 'supporters' balance the approx FOUR million who have fled? And no one is banging a drum for change - they are simply calling for fair and free elections - hence the opposition by China and Russia.

  13. @Nathaniel The implosion of Venezuela started long before Trump was elected. The people of Venezuela were suffering long before any sanctions were enacted. The government of Venezuela has long blamed its ills on the U.S. just as Cuba did for years. It is how they avoid facing their own mismanagement. Maduro, and Chavez before him, have completely mismanaged the economy of Venezuela by not pursuing any diversification measures. U.S. policy is not destroying Venezuela unless you want to blame the spread of oil fracking which is partially to blame for the fall in oil prices. This problem started in 2014 when oil prices tanked; Trump did not have anything to do with that. (I cannot believe you have forced me to defend that man.)

  14. @Nathaniel How are sanctions unethical?

  15. Now let’s wait for a bunch of liberals in Connecticut to tell us this is all the United States’ fault and what a tremendous guy Maduro is. I despise Trump with every fiber of my being, and in my opinion the only thing he’s gotten right in his miserable administration is their policy towards Venezuela. These people deserve freedom from this tyrant, and if we have to break some eggs to make the proverbial omelette so be it. And I say this with my Venezuelan mother-in-law under my roof, who hears horror stories from her family in Venezuela all day, every day.

  16. And I knew through Venezuelan friends four years ago what was happening and helped to get their family members out. Putin has sent Russian military there to “consult.” Apparently he has fallen back on Stalinesque tactics to inflict even more pain on his citizenry. You cannot compare it to the tepid verbiage and footprint of the United States. Trump’s “bluster” comes only because he needs the Venezuelan and Cuban America vote in Florida, which he got a large part of in 2016. Let us hope they see through his charade this time.

  17. Why do you think “liberals” would support a ruthless dictator! We have been supporting civil rights and human rights since at least the 1950’s. You are continuing the artificial labels that divide us and which prevent us from working together to bring real democracy to countries like this.

  18. @Mike See the comment directly below mine for your answer.

  19. Let's hope it's the beginning of the end!

  20. Too bad we’re in too many foreign wars. Too bad Trump is in charge. This is our joint hemisphere and we should be able to help Venezuela thrive. But the best intentions...

  21. @DD Pompeo went to Lima last week . Was it to get Lima's endorsement? We should have a coordinated policy in accordance to OAS rules but instead we are breaking such rules and a blockade should be condemned by the UN along with a resolution condemning Maduro for acts of torture.

  22. This regime is entering into its death throws. First it eviscerates its only source of income through cronism and socialst mismanagement, then moves along to happily nationalize any food or consumer good production once inflation makes it impossible to create wealth, then food production plummets forcing people to either flee, cowtow to the regime or starve, now the paranioa reaches those who prop up the regime. In come the Cubans, Russians and Chinese to prop up the regime and split the spoils. Rinse and repeat. Amazing

  23. It doesn’t help that the US holds a gun to their head w crippling sanctions ever since they had the audacity to take control of their own natural resources away from US control. It is not socialism that is the problem in Venezuela but the bloodthirsty capitalism of multinational oil companies backed by the worlds largest military, its gangsterism on a massive scale. The NYT knows this and functions obediently as the propaganda arm of the oil industry and the arms industry, same as Fox News.

  24. @Walter Schreifels Question: In what year did Venezuela nationalize its oil industry?

  25. @Chris We all agree that socialism *plus* an American-led blockade can't work. The question is whether socialism *without* an American-led blockade can work.

  26. One of the ways we can help the Venezuelan people is to have ALL presidential candidates speak out against this repressive socialist regime. If more people in Venezuela, and President Maduro, as well as Cuba and Russia and China understand that a change of government for the USA in the elections of 2020 will NOT bring a change of policy on Venezuela, then pressure on Maduro may increase. It used to be said that "politics stops at the water's edge." Perhaps we should say that again.

  27. @Francis Walsingham democrats and republicans. Liberals and conservatives. Neoconservatives and liberal interventionists. Americans in general are imperialists who love war and regime change.

  28. @Francis Walsingham: Right, because guards, or the state, never kill anyone in US jails and prisons. And there are NEVER strange unexplained deaths of inmates in the USA. Submitted Aug 13th 5:15 PM eastern

  29. No, the best way to help the Venezuelan people is for our Government (whether under a Republican or Democratic Administration) to stop interfering with the internal affairs of Venezuela, as it has been doing ever since the US-supported coup against democratically elected President Chavez in 2002. This article falsely asserts that our Government started intervening (with economic sanctions) in Venezuela only in the past few years, supposedly in response to various outrages by the current Maduro government. In truth and in fact, our Government has been carrying on a perfectly bipartisan "regime change" operation in and around Venezuela for nearly two decades. This article correctly reports that there have been several opposition attempts to replace the elected Maduro government through violence and even assassination of top Maduro government officials-- yet the article goes on to represent falsely that the military officer (who certainly was physically abused and mortally wounded by Maduro government jailers, as Maduro government prosecutors have already determined and admitted) was detained merely for being a political opponent. No, he was in fact one of the leaders of the latest opposition attempt to assassinate top Maduro government leaders including Maduro himself. I am not excusing the fatal mistreatment of a prisoner; I am simply asking the Post to stop this kind of distorted and false reporting on Venezuela and my Government's actions regarding Venezuela. Ya basta!

  30. Bye bye, Maduro. We'll see you behind the wheel on bus line #6 soon, just like the old days.

  31. Even if all this is true, the Times seems incapable of providing balanced coverage of the Venezuelan crisis. The Maduro regime defends itself, viciously. Does that justify. starving the Venezuelan regime into submission? Is mass death in Venezuela an acceptable price for political control of Venezuela's oil?

  32. According to the Almighty wikipedia, Venezuela remains free to trade with just about anybody except the USA and much of the EU/NATO that includes China and India, the 2nd biggest economy and two largest populations, as well as Russia and all of Africa Seems more likely that Venezuela has nothing to trade now that Chavez and Maduro destroyed the Venezuelan economy That’s not the fault of the USA, nor our problem.

  33. I recommend you to read Caracas or #AskaVenezuelan so you become better educated about the hemispheric response led by Canada regarding the despair of 4 million refugees. Easy one liners about sanctions “because of oil” might feel good for progressives to say. That doesn’t make them true

  34. The starvation is at the hands of Maduro. ask a venezuelan, and please ignore far-left media that praises Maduro

  35. Looks like Trump and the NYTimes is back to regime change in Venezuela. Trump has not hidden conspiring with their military personnel to overthrow their government with the largest oil reserves in the world. Can you imagine if another country conspired to overthrow our country using our military personnel. The people would also be rounded up and sent to Guantanamo or to our friends the Saudis to use their bonesaw interrogation techniques. If our country would stop trying to overthrow them, then they can get back to taking care of their citizens. Trump does not care about democracy or human rights in Venezuela since he is best friends with the Saudi’s and supports 73% of the worlds dictators with military equipment. Our sanctions - a UN war crime - blockading food, medicine, oil industry equipment and other goods is meant to torture their citizens, so Trump can install his puppet leader. Perhaps it would be best if our country and our media would look at our own countries actions first

  36. @steve From a quick google search: "During the crisis in Venezuela, governments of the United States, the European Union, Canada, Mexico, Panama and Switzerland applied individual sanctions against people associated with the administration of Nicolás Maduro. President Barack Obama signed the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014, a U.S. Act imposing sanctions on Venezuelan individuals held responsible by the United States for human rights violations during the 2014 Venezuelan protests, in December of that year. The Act was extended in 2016 to expire on 31 December 2019." Yet you make this about Trump? How can you be an apologist for an oppressive regime?

  37. Millions of innocents are starving. There is no justification to support Madura.

  38. @steve The US embargo specifically excludes food and medicine. It’s the Maduro government that refuses to allow those products into their country. They can even sell oil to purchase food and medicine from the US, yet they refuse to do so. And I noticed you haven’t moved to Venezuela yet.

  39. Why doesn’t the United Nations become fully involved in Venezuela? If it can’t, then what in the world is it for. Primarily the aggrandizement of its bureaucrats I suspect.

  40. The U.N. is not an interventionist organization and has no such powers. There is A LOT of criticism that can be directed towards it, but it was never meant to be a world-policing unit that picks winners and losers. Dogged political exertion from within and out will hopefully bring this despicable and joke of a regime to its demise.

  41. @Thomas Smith All 5 permanent members of the Security Council have Veto power. That includes Russia and China.

  42. @Thomas Smith Intervention in internal affairs of a foreign country is what we complain about when it comes to China and our elections.... The blocade and previous sanctions are equivalent to war against Venezuela. They are illegal in terms of OAS accords and international law. An invasion would be akin to Hitler's invasion of Poland. How dare you suggest this?

  43. Our oil producing enemies include Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, etc. Cut off their oil money and their power will diminish. The West can do this by converting to green energy and abandoning fossil fuels.

  44. @DAK No, the US has already done this by outproducing the production of the other oil producing nations. If we suddenly stopped burning/refining oil into fuel, plastics, medicine and fertilizer; the power of the regimes you mentioned would actually increase since they would now control the market that the rest of the world relies on. Venezuela oil production has dropped to virtually zero (they need to import refined fuel, since they lack the expertise to refine their heavy crude). Yet, their willingness to oppress their own people has increased. The richer a nation, the less it has to oppress its own people. Most of the current atrocities are done by poorer nations.

  45. Madura is a despicable creature, corrupt to the core. He is now at war with his own army. I’m glad I don’t live in the Philippines! Instead I live in the U.S. whose president is a despicable creature, corrupt to the core, who’s at war with his own intelligence community. See the difference?

  46. i live in the Philippines and i am very happy here,please don't confuse the two countries!

  47. @Avatar It’s always a good idea to read an article and not just glance at the headline. It also helps to know what you’re talking about. The article is about political unrest in Venezuela, the country under Maduro’s thumb... He is the strongman ruling Venezuela...He hasn’t reached the Philippines yet and it’s unlikely that he ever will. But aside from all that, no one can blame you for not wanting to live in the Philippines...

  48. @Avatar did you read the article?

  49. Maybe this is finally the beginning of an end for this evil regime. Torture, starvation, millions of refugees, dying children - Maduro faithfully follows the playbook of his socialist predecessors, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. Nothing surprising here. What is surprising - and shameful - is that there are voices still defending Maduro, voices coming from people who dare to call themselves “liberals”. Actually, this is not new either: the liberal media of the time refused to publish the horrifying reports of the man-made famine in Ukraine because “capitalism is worse” (see Anne Applebaum’s excruciating report of that moment in her book “Red Famine”). But at least the NYT is doing better now than it’s predecessors in the 1930s, giving coverage to the suffering of the people of Venezuela.

  50. hilarious, so when some traitor dies it get front page, but if this person and his follower burn someone alive nobody cares, I wonder how it is possible that president Maduro, a tyrant/murderous/repressive dictator, allows the opposition to walk free, prepare manifestations and protests, destroy public buildings and public transportation ?(they are so hasty to destroy thing, they don't wait for people to get out first), this article don't even begin to be bias, this is not news, this is a brain-wash opinion, <“Help me,” he mouthed to his lawyer.> Hollywood is making a really deep impression or are you traing to sale a script?, the US government is the least qualified to talk about humans right, repression or torture. always remember you are the only one who actually nuke a country.

  51. The answer is to starve the population until Maduro is done and gone.

  52. @Figgsie That's what's been happening for over a year.

  53. @Figgsie Maduro will never go without food for himself.

  54. Let's unpack this. Maduro is one man and not adept at warfare. He is managing to terrorize and brutalize a military force of several hundred thousand all by himself? Or does he continue to have the backing of most of the military? Lest we forget, Latin America has had more than a few military coups. Bolivia had 14 between 1899 and 1980. So, why are Venezuelan soldiers sitting on their hands? What the story omits is the role of the CIA in current and recent Venezuelan events. I have no evidence in hand that the Agency is busy down there, but this is a custom-built scenario for our friends at Langley. It would not shock me if some of the soldiers were chummy with Agency operatives and got found out. Cuban counterintelligence agents are in Venezuela facing off against their longtime CIA foes. The Cubans are key. That's the story the Times ought to write.

  55. @Ricardo Chavira I don't get it. Is the CIA fomenting or preventing the coup?

  56. Maduro’s ship is going down. Not if. But when.

  57. @Scottapottamus sure thing Mr Yankee imperialist

  58. China does this every day of the year.

  59. @DSD But wait Trump never sanctioned China and puta blockade as he did for Venezuela and he says president Xi is a good man.

  60. I think Maduro terrorizing his military will eventually backfire. In the end the military will get it’s act together and initiate a successful coup, probably underwritten by a foreign power. And that foreign power will not necessarily be America. Maybe China. They need oil and have the money to rebuild the oil industry. Also they would get a sphere of influence in South America. But then again Bolton and company would be furious and it would ramp up the conflict between China and the US. So more likely it will be the US underwriting it. In the meantime the tragedy afflicting the Venezuelan people is heart breaking. And it may not get a whole lot better under a military dictatorship.

  61. Socialism. And the local socialists think it will work here.

  62. @AutumnLeaf Of course it will. Until they run out of OPM.

  63. @AutumnLeaf Democratic socialist ( Scandinavian) and National socialist ( Venezuela, North Korea, etc) are very different systems.

  64. @AutumnLeaf You are confused - or brainwashed. Bernie and Warren want to establish what we badly need: democratic socialism. Socialism in Venezuela may have started well but has become a dictatorship. We currently havea would be dictator in the WH and he'd become an actual one if our institutions were not in the way. Pay attention with this fascist in power.

  65. This is an exceedingly odd story. If the military is suffering such brutality and repression, why has there been no coup? Why are the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans soldiers sitting on their hands? It's not like Venezuela is a stranger to coups. A big hole in the story is what the CIA is up to. Does anyone believe that Langley hasn't lifted a finger to trigger regime change?

  66. Obviously the Cubans and their secret police (aka interior ministry troups) are directing these crimes in Venezuela, which sadly has become a Cuban “colony”

  67. Can you imagine that Trump's program for regime change in Venezuela try to subvert target military officers in their efforts? The NYTimes famously celebrated the serious military coup against Chavez and now seems to support another one.

  68. Certainly is a great plan if you can get Venezuela back on track and avoid 1 million broke people show up at our doorstep....the next wave "refugees".

  69. Reading this article, the suffering, fear, unknown for the people is like reading the spiraling chaos depicted in Mario Vargas Llosa's, "Feast of the Goat". Unfortunately, for Venezuela, many elements of an out of control government are reality. Sorry Venezuelan's. P

  70. Jimmy Carter once praised the Venezuelan elections. Let’s send him Back there now.

  71. let's leave him alone, he is 90 and a treat in comparison to the 20 running for office now. We should send them there for 1 week, no bodyguards, no food, no nothing, like the show "naked and afriad", see what happens. I bet their mindset might change.

  72. @Domer Because they once were free and fair (under Chavez)

  73. @Domer I could be completely wrong here, but I was always under the impression that Carter was praising Venezuela’s electronic voting technology, not their trifecta of extremist government leaders, corruption, and dirty politics.

  74. Perhaps since Maduro blames the US for everything anyway and is in fact a terrorist, the US should tweak The Rewards for Justice Program (RFJ), which is the counterterrorism rewards program of the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service, and put some real money on the table to bring him to justice.

  75. The situation is practically extreme sufferance. A country literally lost many decades in the future. When Maduro has gone, the story will never forget the disaster of socialism will perpetuate in the minds of generations. Therefore, we always differentiate two things, Democratic socialist ( Scandinavian) and National socialist ( Venezuela, North Korea, etc). These are 180 degrees opposite things, socialism is a false word for this two description.

  76. @su the Scandinavian system is more like socialdemocracy, since factories, land, etc are not owned by the state but by private entities. Democratic socialism is what Sanders and AOC support and it's very similar to what Chávez did: take over the State "democratically" to then take control of the economy

  77. @Fernando Yet few know many companies in Venezuela were only owned at 1/3 level by the government.

  78. This sort of a thing is very common in all the countries where military rules supreme like Pakistan, a fake democracy. As long as one is subservient to the regime, nothing happens. If someone raises some sand voice, that person vanished into thin air in no time. So Venezuela is no different.

  79. Oh the fruits of socialism. This won’t end well for Maduro, but hopefully citizens regain control of the country. I bet they don’t go down that road again for at least 4 or 5 generations.

  80. I’m a betting man and place .73 on the fact Venezuela was destroyed simply for the “I told you so”...

  81. @JOSEPH History repeats itself for a reason. The lesson is lost on subsequent generations. By the time the second generation after the event comes of age the same mistakes usually get made. Witness what happened in '08. In the end it was unsustainable debt. Just like before in the 30's.

  82. Here we have a classic example of a leader concerned only with power. His people are starving, babies are dying in hospitals for lack of medicine and the economy is completely destroyed. Yet he still will not do the right thing and step aside for the betterment of his country. That same lust for power is the driving force behind the Democrats. Democratic Senators have sent a letter threatening the Supreme Court. The Left has vowed to overturn the Electoral College and the Constitution. The main difference between Venezuela and the US? The 2nd Amendment. Our Founding Fathers knew human nature and the lust for power. They served us well.

  83. @Jon Galt Venezuela at one time was the richest nation in all of South and North America. But there were differences even then. Former British Colonies were set up with a strong tradition of rule of law and redress through the courts. These areas were semi-autonomous and developed a history of independent rule. The Former Spanish and Portuguese Colonies were set up in accordance with the traditions of the monarchy, were ruled harshly, and when the colonies were free mini-monarchies were established. A reminder that no matter a nation's current wealth or status, it can all be lost in a few generations.

  84. @Jon Galt Oh bother. The second amendment? Seriously? That’s the card you’ve chosen to play? It’s funny, I can think of another power hungry individual who would never entertain the idea of stepping aside from his position of leadership for the betterment of his country. Hint: one of his well-known residences is a house that is white. Pray tell, how many mass shootings perpetuated by domestic citizens occur annually in Venezuela? I’ll wait.

  85. @Jon Galt " Democratic Senators have sent a letter threatening the Supreme Court" Really?

  86. Contrary to what people keep repeating, the Chavez/ Maduro regimes have never been “socialist” regimes. The country’s wealth was never equitably distributed among the people. Instead, the wealth has been appropriated by Chavez/ Maduro and the top leadership of the Venezuelan military These are dictatorships, that, if reports of Maduro’s cracking against elements of the Venezuelan military are true, signals its impending demise.

  87. @Ted The "No True Scotsman" defense. This logical fallacy allows one to believe in the allure of socialism while ignoring its universal failures, since the example is never "actual Socialism." Here is a hint, the problem is the concept and not its execution. Socialism ignores the innate characteristics of humans and imposes a system that is incompatible with humans from both a biological (we care more about our own family than other citizens, and are willing to work hard for our family members) and our philosophy. Capitalism isn't perfect, but since it is aligned with human behavior, it is less prone to corruption. As Churchill said, Capitalism is the worst economic system, except for all others.

  88. @Ted that's right ,they preached socialism ,just like some here are now.The government told people that they would provide for everything,as they do here now.Venezuela was wealthy ,with a middle class ,universities based on western oil companies controlling their resources,but like here not everybody was included in the wealth,there was disparity ,yet disparity is normal in a healthy society ,such as what did exist in Iraq pre invasion of US forces. The balance may not have been even ,but it never is ,even in a democracy.Socialism often leads to rule by dictatorship ,which is what we have today in Venezuela.

  89. @James Except Churchill never said that. He was talking about Democracy - a political system. The same political system that has allowed people to freely bring about Socialist-Capitalist economic experiments in places like Venezuela, and the good old USA.

  90. I hope the people of the world don't forget that Maduro was all set to leave for Cuba, and Putin convinced him to stay. I wonder why Putin would want to prolong the chaos and pain?

  91. @dad This news was debunked. Maduro denied it.

  92. @crispy 40 Maduro may be one of the few people less believable than Trump.

  93. @crispy 40 “Debunked” straight outta the horse’s mouth. Such credibility.

  94. My Venezuelan friend in Miami still has a brother and cousin in the country. They tell him that the economy is worse than reported and political torture and harassment is routine among anybody whose become known as a “dissenter”. It is bleak.

  95. @the doctor My Venezuelan friends in Caracas say it's the constant US aggression and dirty tricks against her country that is the biggest threat! US Keep your bloody hands off Venezuela!

  96. @Matt My friend tells me Cuba is the culprit.

  97. @Matt. I’m sure Maduro’s friends say the same thing.

  98. I am a lifelong leftist and appalled that so many of the left are praising or excusing Maduro. Dictator Maduro ended fair elections, keeps power through violence, and has killed many Venezuelans through corruption and destroyed an entire generation through poverty. i hate Trump also, but Venezuela is not his fault.

  99. @weiza Who is praising him? Kim has been far more brutal than Maduro and he and Trump exchange love letters.

  100. I must operate in smaller circles than you, because I haven’t heard a single voice on the left praising Maduro, at least not in the US, and any praise from the left for Chavez dried up as he moved farther away from democracy.

  101. @Bob Bunsen are you serious? Get out much? An entire group of liberals took over the Venezuelan embassy in Washington in defense of the Maduro regime. The majority of American liberals in this country not only defend the guy, they blame their own country for what’s happening there. Read this thread for crying out loud!

  102. I thought Socialism was great ?

  103. No there - look at Scandinavia and The Rest of The EU

  104. @Cromwel He is NOT a socialist he is a dictator. A socialist works for the people, expanding democracy, opposing torture.

  105. You should really educate yourself regarding the actual definition of “socialism”. To quote one of my favorite movie lines, “You keep saying that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  106. Stop calling Maduro's tyrannical regime "socialist." He is a lying, torturing and murdering despot little different than North Korea's Kim Jong Un, except he has no nuclear weapons, and no soulmate in the White House. Millions would leave North Korea too if there was a border open for escape.

  107. He’s toast.

  108. .....Electric shock, water boarding and beatings.....where have I heard this before ?...

  109. @David It is all fine then. Two wrongs make a right.

  110. maduro is looking more and more like Stalin.

  111. @scythians Personally, I’m feeling Ceaușescu vibes from Maduro, more so than Stalin.

  112. This has nothing to do with socialism. As for Democratic support for Maduro, it’s also a lie. Some of them speak out against military intervention or for free and fair elections. This is hardly support for Maduro.

  113. It has everything to do with socialism. When global oil prices declined 5 years ago, the tide went out and exposed the structural weaknesses of the economic ponzi system imposed on Venezuela by Chavez and continued by Maduro.

  114. This does not even come close to the "extraordinary rendition" and other torture machines perpetrated by the good ole U.S.of A. We USAns outsource our torture, so we have no idea who and where and how much is being done in our name. We should be ashamed of trying to shame a country like Venezuela that we have tried desperately to turn into a capitalist Mecca much like our own. We haven't totally succeeded, and so we keep on trying with articles that make them look worse than us.

  115. Before calling him a Socialist- please learn what he and Capitalist Democratic Socialism is like - look at Scandinavia and most of Europe. It will help you

  116. @Tex dieguez I’ve always been dumbfounded by the festering ignorance of the masses regarding the definition of platforms in general, especially those who assert that communism and socialism are one in the same. Clearly, McCarthyism is still alive and well, decades later.

  117. It's about time for a U.N.-led military force to swoop into Venezuela and bring Maduro to the International Court of Criminal Justice in the Hague.

  118. @Matthew O'Brien Are you or your family members in uniform, willing to lead the charge? When was the last success regime change the U.S pulled off ?

  119. @Lawrence Panama 1989. There were lives lost, including US soldiers, but the net result was restoration of democracy. Unlike in the Middle East and Central Asia, the US has a substantial number of military who speak Spanish and understand Latin American culture. As do most countries in the region.

  120. @Matthew O'Brien When was such a thing happened last time more than 10 million population country? remind me please.

  121. I see people here blaming socialism, as if that’s the cause for this governmental terrorist agenda. In Latin America it’s been mostly right wing governments that have done this kind of thing. Capitalism existed previously in Venezuela and failed to satisfy a majority of the citizens, otherwise this situation wouldn’t have come about.

  122. @Tim Phillips I’m sensing similarities to when the far right refers to Nazi Germany as a “socialist” regime. Alongside the fact that they also tend to “forget” that Democrats and Republicans swapped platforms, beginning after the civil war and cumulating with FDR’s presidency and the new deal. But yeah, please, right wingers: tell us again how it was their modern day republican’s forefathers - who operated under a completely different political ideology in comparison to republicans of today - were all for abolishing slavery, fought for civil rights, and welcomed social reform?

  123. This is Venezuela's biggest problem: A new executive order from Trump imposes a full embargo on Venezuela and threatens sanctions against anyone who does business or offers support to its government. National Security Advisor John Bolton said countries of the world now have to choose which side they’re on. John Bolton: So basically, one way to summarize this to a business for example, is: do you want to do business in Venezuela, or do you want to do business with the United States? Aaron Maté: Even before this embargo was imposed, experts were already warning of massive suffering and death in Venezuela. Venezuela has suffered the largest economic collapse in a country outside of war since at least the 1970s. Francisco Rodríguez, a leading Venezuelan economist and critic of the Maduro government, says the sanctions have cost Venezuela at least $16.9 billion dollars per year. His research links a major decline in oil production – which accounts for nearly all of Venezuela’s export revenue – to the imposition of US sanctions in 2017 and 2019. Speaking recently to Pushback, Rodriguez warned that US sanctions could cause a famine in Venezuela and possibly hundreds of thousands of deaths.

  124. "Mr. Maduro’s growing reliance on torture is a remarkable about-face for a Socialist government that came to power two decades ago promising to eliminate the human rights abuses of its predecessors. " This statement by NYT reporters Kurmanneav and Herrera would be so funny if the stakes weren't so brutal. When since the Russian Revolution in 1917 has a socialist gov. not had the "remarkable aboutface" they posit. Please, one socialst country that hasn't had to bring out the truncheons, the guns, the torture chambers to retain power.

  125. @Jim B. Norway.

  126. You mean like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark?

  127. @Jim B. Spain has had more than one socialist government in the last two decades, and they were the largest vote getter in the most recent elections. They've been elected and un-elected. It's funny that most Americans don't seem to know the difference between Socialism and Communism.

  128. This is not a good sign for the Maduro regime. An approach where ‘the beatings will stop when morale improves’ is not a winning strategy.

  129. @Michael Tyndall Worked for Stalin.

  130. @Tony Mendoza Did it? I feel like there are historical files belonging to the KGB that would beg to differ.

  131. One of these days at a meeting between Maduro and the military brass, someone is going to pull out a pistol....

  132. I’ve actually been worried about a similar scenario, but in mine, the pistol is aimed at Juan Guaidó. Sadly, I’m shocked nobody has tried to do so at this point.

  133. Look what happened to Park Chung Hee.

  134. @Jon Orloff One only needs a moment

  135. The end of all things lead to new beginnings. Move on, Maduro.

  136. @Daniel Kauffman Juan Guaidó has been waiting in the wings for far too long as this mess continues to unfold.

  137. @Daniel Kauffman Hands off Venezuela. It is none of your business and it is none of Trump's business.

  138. "Trump administration plans to divert $40 million in aid to Venezuela's opposition"{ Of course, that was a month ago.

  139. Any dictator worth his salt knows you don't alienate the military. We're witnessing the death throes of this horrible regime.

  140. Trump, Bolton, Pompeo hands off Venezuela. What happens in Venezuela is not your affair.

  141. @tmauel Yes, just as the holocaust “wasn’t America’s affair” either, right? /s

  142. Venezuela is America' Yemen. Their courageous people have been the victim of American attacks--in the form of power grid blackouts, assassination attempts, would-be military coups (the first, against President Chavez, flopped in 2002) and murderous economic sanctions, including the cutting off of food and medicine supplies, that have cost thousands of lives. Yet still they continue to defy Trump and defend their country's independence and their Revolution. You must understand that articles such as this are the ideological side of the US attack, the object of which is to control the oil reserves of Venezuela, which are the planet's largest. . . All Americans of good conscience, whatever their political persuasion, must oppose the gigantic moral evil of our governments aggression against the people of Venezuela.

  143. @Red Allover why is it always the fault of the United States? Chaves was elected by the mases who felt he was a god sent hero, but it turned out to be an egomaniac whose purpose was to persecute the people who created industries and jobs. Chaves policy was one of resentfulness against the rich. He made it his business to confiscate many, many industries with no plan to replace them or put them to work. Without industries, know how and lack of jobs Venezuela’s economy collapsed. Yes Chaves was very generous with aid to Cuba, Argentina and the Soviet Union. Poor Venezuelans were entertained at the Tamanaco and the Hilton hotel (luxury hotels in Caracas) by taking reprisals against the rich he felt he was doing right by his people...Maduro, Chave’s sucesor was a truck driver without education an a big ego. His cabinet is form by the army who are enriching themselves and are keeping a regime of tyranny and oppression to remain in power. So please do not blame the United States their only fault has been of remaining as innocent bystanders.

  144. Excellently written and research is fantastic. WOULD BE interesting to hear what Candidate Sanders and other advocates of socialism in AMERICA would have to say about the suffering of the Venezuelan people due to its authoritarian regime, its cruel dictatorship. Outside of certain Scandinavian countries, its difficult to find a country which has adopted socialism and been successful.African socialist regime of SEKOU TOURE in Guinea Conakry cannot be held up as a role model. Entering Conakry from BOKE where we were stationed, 1 sees the "pont des pendus"from which Toure would hang victims, dissenters.Great country, and anyone who has served there is linked, walks together for a lifetime.Failure of Toure was partly due to his refusal to be part of the French Union,and De Gaulle took appropriate measures to punish Toure and his co citoyens!We wouid pass Toure'[s home town of Farana on our way from Boke to the capital,But main point is that most notorious plunderers of socialism r the socialists themselves.Many of us who r from Sanders's generation r fighting the same battle as he, to stay relevant.

  145. So why did the poor majority of Venezuelans vote in Socialist Hugo Chavez if previous governments were so wonderful and attentive to their needs?

  146. @Kaari Because he gave away gasoline for pennies, built homes for the poor and essentially bought their votes. He only rode high on the horse when oil prices were at all time highs. Mauro inherited the downfall.

  147. @Charles alexander and tax breaks, subsidies, favorable trade policies, laws written directly by corporate lobbies, and "international arbitration tribunals " already operating but which would have been made universal by the TPP are not "free stuff" for the rich? Not to mention police protection of private property and corporate copyright, privatizing of public property, and wars to open foreign markets and cheap labor - none of that is "buying votes" - and campaign contributions for the rich right? Only aid to the poor and workers counts as buying votes.

  148. With a population of 32 million, the Venezuelan military has 123,000 active duty troops, 8,000 reservists and 220,00 paramilitary troops. The Venezuelan military has more than 3,000 are generals and admirals. With a population of 330 million, the US military 1.3 million active-duty troops and 865,000 in reserve. The US has 986 generals and admirals. If the bus drive Maduro were to pare the officer ranks of the Venezuelan military by 3/4ths, by torture or execution, the Venezuelan military would still have way more officers than is required to manage the troops.

  149. When a government is oppressing, torturing, murdering its civilians, destroying the country, surely the world needs a mechanism to intervene and protect the people. If the UN weren't such a farce, it could in theory serve such a purpose - but the vetos by China, Russia and the US make it virtually impossible for them to agree on anything. A US intervention, or even sanctions, doesn't help much because it plays into Maduro's hands and backs his narrative that the US is the source of all his problems. (that there is some historical accuracy to this is neither here nor there - the problem is what to do now). Sadly, the fact that the US president is Mr. Trump doesn't add credibility to supposed good intentions. But to argue that nothing should be done is scandalous. This is the policy that enabled Mobutu to tyrannise the people of the Congo for 30 years, and so many other tragic cases. We need a solution. We need to put limits on "sovereignty" when it becomes evident that those who claim to represent a country do not actually represent the people of that country. It should not be up to the US. But as long as Putin cynically supports Maduro, the UN will not act. We definitely do not want a military intervention of any kind, the middle east has taught us that. And any sanctions need to hit Maduro and his cronies, not the starving people who lack basic necessities. I wonder if any of our much-maligned tech-companies could find ways to stop Maduro without collateral damage.

  150. After losing public confidence and the legitimacy, in turn, Nicholas Maduro's crackdown on the last bastion of his only defence clearly shows major chinks in the armour which makes him vulnerable to the downfall of his regime.

  151. ‘They want everyone to live in fear’, that sure sounds familiar!

  152. Seems like Maduro has run out of supporters and is now destroying his own defenses. Now that Trump and the GOP are trying to destroy our government I wonder how many of our military leaders will join his coup?

  153. "Conditions worsened after the Trump administration, angered over Mr. Maduro’s rhetoric and repressive tactics, backed the opposition and imposed sanctions that crippled the oil industry." Trump's main motive was not Maduro's rhetoric or repression. It was his own desire for fomenting regime change - a desire that he had inherited from Obama who already imposed some sanctions. "sanctions" itself is an euphemism. This is economic warfare and it falls within many definitions of an "act of war". Real wars have been started for much less. So much disinformation in one sentence!

  154. @Wim Roffel I beg to differ. Based on Trump's pathological determination to undo anything and everything associated with Barack Obama, he could never "inherit" an Obama policy position, although it is entirely possible that he has no clue what Obama's position was.

  155. In Kurmanaev's fantasy narrative the Maduro government tortures & then precisely documents the alleged injures inflicted in an autopsy report which is then "leaked" to the NYT. And we all know that low-ranking security officers in the US, like cops & deputy sheriffs, have never brutally beaten anyone without being commanded to by their superiors. And US military officers engaged in murder & torture obviously received their orders from the White House. And Epstein's 2 jailers who were sleeping weren't & obviously put the noose around Jeffrey's neck per Trump's order. But what if there are 217 active & retired officers in jails? We know that there have been several coup attempts by former & current military officers. What fate would they face in the US? They would be tried in military courts, not civil courts, & face the death penalty. Maybe these Venezuelan officers have the Trump administration to blame given its indiscreet promotion of a military coup & its own reports of contact with military officers? I don't doubt that excesses have been committed. There is a serious crisis in Venezuela that has been exacerbated significantly by the Trump administration's economic sanctions, promotion of a military coup and now the illegal embargo. Unlike Saudi Arabia & other US allies, however, the Maduro regime had not been accused of human rights abuses until recently. This suggests US policies are one factor creating a siege mentality & more authoritarian policies.

  156. It's frightening to read about the depths to which those with power will stoop to maintain a hold on that power. But this kind of barbarity has existed forever as it's baked into our DNA. So, though appalled, we shouldn't be surprised. And though far more civilized, the power mad in this country have their own methods of maintaining their power and, hence, the corruption not only of our lawmakers but, more and more, even of our courts. I fear that sinkhole is likely to have its own inglorious end.

  157. It's difficult to know what is really going on as the journalists who support the legally recognized (by the UN) government give a different story from the one I read here. This NYT report seems to be overwhelmingly based on statements and opinions from the opposition and those supporting the version of the government being spread by US propaganda sources. The headline is inaccurate as the government is arresting and opposing retired military and only the few active military who also are supporting the US backed rump government. It seems that the military establishment is basically supporting the constitutionally established government and not in favor of a US backed Pinochet type coup as the US pulled off in Chile.

  158. @Dr. Scotch. If you feel the press is bias and the situation in Venezuela is under control: that there is not repression, violation of human rights and continuous persecution of people who are against Maduro, then how do you interpret the exodus of almost 4 million of Venezuelans? The military and the Cubans are backing this horrific regime and the Venezuelans are suffering the worse imaginable nightmare. It’s time for the world to do some thing to help that beautiful nation🙏🏼

  159. @Dr. Scotch "Venezuela’s information ministry did not respond to detailed questions about torture allegations sent by The New York Times for this article. The attorney general’s office, which handles criminal and human rights investigations, declined to comment. "

  160. @George. No, it doesn’t! Commenters try to draw clever parallels between Venezuela and the USA, regarding allegations of covert foreign interference past and present, or the current government under Trump, but they are completely off base. Venezuela has been devastated by the absolute worst ineptitude, lies, corruption, and violence that bad government has to offer. Once a prosperous country, it is a failed state of socialist dictatorship. Twisting this out of context belittles the tragedy, and shows complete lack of empathy with the harm done to the people of Venezuela. Despite the problems we may have in the USA, there are no parallels here at all.

  161. Venezuela is a thousand Hong Kongs with murder, torture and malevolence out in the open. This needs to stop. Europe and every country in this hemisphere, save a few never America clods agree.

  162. Here you see the logical consequence of socialism.

  163. @Hardhat72 Right. Having a man in office who has tendencies toward dictatorship, who is corrupt, a liar and a cheat, who uses government agencies for his own personal advantage and gain, who pads his own bank account using his office as leverage. . . oh wait. We already have that guy sitting in the Oval Office. The logical consequences of Socialism, Hardhat72 are: your police department, your fire department, Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid. Just sayin'. . .

  164. I find this destruction of a once decent country with hard-working people and a fabulous wealth of natural resources (especially the oil) fall to the destruction from an inept leader grabbing greed, fear and murder to hold a position is horribly wrong. This is just not right and while we do have legalities to uphold, I still would like to see some action taken to bring Maduro down. Yes, I know we have a history of interventions in various countries to manage governments, often to our preference, it is crazy that we just observe events and the destruction of lives, environment and progression this day and age. That 4 million people left says a lot.

  165. How much longer before Maduro loads all of the gold and wealth he has misappropriated from government coffers onto a Russian military plane and flies off into the sunset? Never to be seen again and never having to answer for his crimes, corruption, and the destruction of the country.

  166. We could substitute military officers being held and tortured to children being held and mentally and physically abused by President Trump. I'm against anyone being tortured,anywhere. However, the U.S. and it's media, need to concentrate on what's going on here that amounts to human rights abuses. We aren't better than Venezuela!

  167. Venezuela was once in top 5 worldwide in wealth and quality of life. The down hill side began in the 70s.. politicians were elected promising free and subsidized things with oil wealth. Voters went along electing those promising ever more since then. Venezuelan voters lost their freedom and wealth electing people who talk much like Democrat presidential candidates today!

  168. Remember Dictator General Marcos Perez Jimenez president of Venezuela 1952-1958. He was successfully ousted by the Venezuelan military. That is actually what is going to take to remove communist Maduro from office. Venezuela is a beautiful country with beautiful beaches, Andes mountains, the Orinoco river, with unique animal life and plants. It has the potential to be a totally stable economic country. What prevents Venezuela from being a great country is the red communist government it has. Please don’t be nice and call Venezuela a socialist country. Those living in the capital of Caracas even have a problem buying daily toilet articles, bath soap, even food. Even children are dying from hunger. Our country must learn from the fractures of Venezuela, WWII German Nazi empire, the Roman empire, and the Greek empire and other countries where the people gave too much power to their central government, and latter regretted their action but could do nothing to reverse their horrible future. Total freedom to do whatever you want is a fictitious crystal ball dream. Nothing is free, not even freedom. Everything has a price to pay.