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KarlLikeMarx

Venezuela Nanotechnology Aff?

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So my friend is getting ready for the state tournament and asked me if I could help him write an aff for outrounds if they make it. I've been doing some research and have found a few good cards about Venezuelan nanotechnology, but not much. Does anyone think this could be a viable aff to run? Any help would be greatly appreciated. If you'd like, I can PM you what I've got so far.

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Give us a bit more detail than that so we can sufficiently help. whats are the advantages and solvency mechs?

The case is basically (at least for now) the US and Venezuela collaborate on developing nanotechnology together since, according to what I've found, the US is slipping in nanotechnology development now and Venezuela doesn't have a national development program.

 

I'm not quite sure of the advantages as I've just started researching today, but from what I've heard there are a lot of cards saying nanotech solves all sorts of things.

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Idk it may be easy counterplanable if the solvency mechanism is the development of nanotech, unless you have relations (probably still cp-able). Also I always run shunning against Venezuela affs, just something to look out for if you plan on running this.

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i think the big question here is 'Why Venezuela?'  CP: "anyone else" seems really easy to vote for.

 

 

Idk it may be easy counterplanable if the solvency mechanism is the development of nanotech, unless you have relations (probably still cp-able). Also I always run shunning against Venezuela affs, just something to look out for if you plan on running this.

 

That's one thing I was really worried about. Is there anything I could do about that to leverage the case against "X do the plan" CPs? Or is that the biggest Achilles' heel of this case? I've yet to find any evidence saying "US-Venezuela development best" or anything like that. 

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i think the big question here is 'Why Venezuela?'  CP: "anyone else" seems really easy to vote for.

This is my problem with all nanotech affs. I think that the Brazil solves better evidence is really well warranted. They model a more viable program for Latin American countries and they are really stepping up their regional presence. 

 

Also why not just run it with Mexico? There is at least some solid solvency advocacy. 

Edited by CrypticKitten

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This is my problem with all nanotech affs. I think that the Brazil solves better evidence is really well warranted. They model a more viable program for Latin American countries and they are really stepping up their regional presence. 

 

Also why not just run it with Mexico? There is at least some solid solvency advocacy. 

Because the person I'm helping to write this aff specifically wants a Venezuela aff, but I'm out of ideas it'd seem. 

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Because the person I'm helping to write this aff specifically wants a Venezuela aff, but I'm out of ideas it'd seem. 

 

Venezuela is the most vulnerable country to engage with this year, so its a silly thing to want...

 

If he absolutely must run a Venezuela Aff.. has he considered a kritikal non-policy oriented aff?  I'm not even sure what that would necessarily look like, but it avoids at least some of the weaknesses with Venezuelan cases.

 

If he must run a policy venezuelan aff, humanitarian assistance might work the best.  Assuming he doesn't want to do something crazy like 'support a coup to overthrow the venezuelan government' (highly questionable topicality that is definitely in FX territory, so he'd have to be comfortable arguing FX T).

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Venezuela is the most vulnerable country to engage with this year, so its a silly thing to want...

 

If he absolutely must run a Venezuela Aff.. has he considered a kritikal non-policy oriented aff?  I'm not even sure what that would necessarily look like, but it avoids at least some of the weaknesses with Venezuelan cases.

 

it's for UIL lol

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i think the big question here is 'Why Venezuela?'  CP: "anyone else" seems really easy to vote for.

Yeah, this is the problem with mex. nanotech, there are no warrants as to why Mexico is key.

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You should look into another country for this aff because 'Maduro says No' is a very strong argument now and you will most likely lose on it.  All Venezuela affs are pretty much defunct now becasue of that.

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Venezuela is the most vulnerable country to engage with this year, so its a silly thing to want...

 

If he absolutely must run a Venezuela Aff.. has he considered a kritikal non-policy oriented aff?  I'm not even sure what that would necessarily look like, but it avoids at least some of the weaknesses with Venezuelan cases.

 

If he must run a policy venezuelan aff, humanitarian assistance might work the best.  Assuming he doesn't want to do something crazy like 'support a coup to overthrow the venezuelan government' (highly questionable topicality that is definitely in FX territory, so he'd have to be comfortable arguing FX T).

Hey, a friend of mine who was formerly in NSA's first reaction to this topic was an Invade Cuba Aff. All the logistics of an invasion certainly require a sort of economic involvement with the target country in the aftermath. And it would be unexpected!

 

And if you really want to go out on a limb, tack on a US-Israel relations advantage to your Overthrow Maduro Aff!

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You should look into another country for this aff because 'Maduro says No' is a very strong argument now and you will most likely lose on it.  All Venezuela affs are pretty much defunct now becasue of that.

 

 

Venezuela is the most vulnerable country to engage with this year, so its a silly thing to want...

 

If he absolutely must run a Venezuela Aff.. has he considered a kritikal non-policy oriented aff?  I'm not even sure what that would necessarily look like, but it avoids at least some of the weaknesses with Venezuelan cases.

 

If he must run a policy venezuelan aff, humanitarian assistance might work the best.  Assuming he doesn't want to do something crazy like 'support a coup to overthrow the venezuelan government' (highly questionable topicality that is definitely in FX territory, so he'd have to be comfortable arguing FX T).

 

Maduro says no is NOT a good argument against a decent Venezuela team and it's honestly a little irritating how quickly it became an accepted norm that Venezuela cases are bad because Maduro says no.

 

1. Any decent analysis of Venezuela will show that economic relations always trump political relations. For the past decade, Venezuela has been publicly criticizing the US and been making bellicose statements, but that hasn't stopped trade significantly. Maduro's rhetoric against the US is NOTHING NEW.

 

2. There is just as much recent evidence out there that says that Maduro wants relations with the US.

 

3. Warrants > Maduro bad-mouthed the US.

 

4. Solvency deficits have never been very persuasive.

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Maduro says no is NOT a good argument against a decent Venezuela team and it's honestly a little irritating how quickly it became an accepted norm that Venezuela cases are bad because Maduro says no.

 

1. Any decent analysis of Venezuela will show that economic relations always trump political relations. For the past decade, Venezuela has been publicly criticizing the US and been making bellicose statements, but that hasn't stopped trade significantly. Maduro's rhetoric against the US is NOTHING NEW.

 

2. There is just as much recent evidence out there that says that Maduro wants relations with the US.

 

3. Warrants > Maduro bad-mouthed the US.

 

4. Solvency deficits have never been very persuasive.

 

1/ To the degree that plan requires diplomatic engagement / cooperation, 'Maduro says no' is a total solvency takeout.

 

Plans aren't just trade with Venezuela, they involve US government action, and that's uniquely bad because it involves some government-government interaction.   (And even if it doesn't, Maduro accuses the US government actors of plotting with his enemies and expels them, which stops whatever they were doing).  Saying Maduro doesn't need to say 'yes' is an incredibly imperialistic and anti-sovereignty claim.

 

(Not that even private trade is particularly likely right now, but you're right, that has nothing to do with Maduro directly.  It does have to do with how he's running the country, and the economic consequences.  Even private trade is hard when (a) inflation is over 50% and the government has strictly limited the availability of dollars, meaning no one has cash that's worth anything to trade with, (b ) the government nationalizes businesses, including both US property (oil wells in November) and non-US property (stores in November).

 

But private trade still happens when the situation is conducive to trade.  That doesn't trump political engagement - political relations have gotten worse as trade increased - both typically happen in separate spheres.  When we ask the government to do economic engagement, that isn't just trade, that's political too.

 

2/ The only 'says yes' evidence is just words.  Maduro says he's open to better relations with the US, but what he does tells the opposite story.  If you think his words are the important part, you're suffering from diplomat syndrome.  I'll let Walser tell you why you're wrong.

Walser, Ray. 6/7/2013. Buyer Beware: Secretary Kerry and Venezuela. The Foundry. Online: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/06/07/buyer-beware-secretary-kerry-and-venezuela/ //sq

Ray Walser is a Senior Policy Analyst at The Heritage Foundation, specializing in Latin America, and a veteran Foreign Service Officer.

 

After the meeting, Kerry told the press: “We agreed today, both of us, Venezuela [read: the Maduro regime] and the United States, that we would like to see our countries find a new way forward, establish a more constructive and positive relationship,†Regrettably, Secretary Kerry and his Department of State colleagues are succumbing to Diplomat’s Syndrome, a form of optical illusion or mental disorientation that mistakes talk for action and assigns friendly gestures equal weight with actual deeds. That top diplomats of the U.S. and Venezuela talked is no big deal. President Obama made nice with President Chavez in April 2009 and relations continued to deteriorate. What really matters is whether Venezuela’s populist authoritarian leadership is genuinely ready to modify behaviors that clash with important U.S. interests and values.

 

3/ Maduro speaks words to the effect that he's open to better relations < the history of Maduro's actions since september = warrants he blames the US to scapegoat us for domestic problems.  You're seriously mischaracterizing the warrants on both sides.

 

My Maduro says no blocks set up a predictive model of Maduro's behavior based on evidence from before his insanity became apparent in September, and then demonstrate how Maduro has repeatedly behaved exactly as predicted.  I infer he'll continue to behave similarly in the future.  Meanwhile, he dangles the hope of improved relations to lure the US into trying so he has a convenient scapegoat the next time he needs one.  That's vastly better warranted than 'he says he wants better relations'.  He's lying, the same way he's lying about the US encouraging the student protests (and the NYT caught their foreign minister lying about evidence on that one). 

 

4/ Its a 100% solvency take-out.  I will vote for that.  I have voted for that.  (And offense/defense paradigm kills rational thought.  "It doesn't work" is a perfectly valid reason to not do something.)

Edited by Squirrelloid

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Yes, Maduro has to sign off on basically any economic engagement, but I don't think you really answered my argument that economic relations trump political relations. Cavistas and Maduro recognize that they need the US to maintain domestic stability.

Parraguez et al. 13

“LATIN AMERICA: ANTI-US RHETORIC DOES NOT OVERSHADOW TRADE†Luisa Parraguez; professor and researcher at the Global Studies Department of Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Mexico City Campus; Francisco Garcia Gonzalez; Tecnológico de Monterrey graduate and research coordinator at Mexico’s Auditoría Superior de la Federación; Joskua Tadeo; international relations student and research assistant at Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Mexico City Campus; October 2, 2013

http://www.indepthnews.info/index.php/global-issues/1809-anti-us-rhetoric-does-not-overshadow-trade

It would follow that the strong, constant flows of trade, aid and security cooperation between Latin America and the U.S. would dry up after so much tension. Nevertheless, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that trade remains stable for now, especially for oil producers like Venezuela and Bolivia. Anti-American sentiment in the region seems to be purely rhetorical, having little impact on trade relations with the United States.¶ Anti-American rhetoric in ALBA countries has not prevented them from listing the U.S. among their main trade partners. As of 2012, the U.S. was the main import source for Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Honduras. Particularly striking is that 31.2 percent of Venezuela’s imports and 28 percent of Ecuador’s come from the United States. Adding to this list, the U.S. is Bolivia’s fourth largest source of imports, producing up to 10 percent of its imports, and Argentina’s second source after Brazil.¶ The United States receives the largest percentage of Latin American exports from Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Honduras. In the case of Bolivia, it drops to second place after Brazil. Such significant flows of merchandise and capital will not stop overnight, no matter how many countries forced the Bolivian presidential plane to land for a few hours.¶ Top trade partner¶ Demographically and economically, the U.S. is changing in ways that make any standoff with Latin American partners unlikely. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean’s recent report on foreign investment in the region, the U.S. still accounts for 58.5 percent of foreign investment. At the same time, the 53 million people of Hispanic and Latino origin in the U.S. account for 17 percent of its population, making them the largest ethnic minority in the country. In much the same way, as reported by The New York Times, Latin American migration to the U.S. has reached equilibrium with new arrivals roughly equivalent to the number of people returning home. Americans are also picking countries as diverse as Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica and Nicaragua to retire, while recent trips to Mexico and Chile by the U.S. president and vice-president emphasize education exchanges.¶ South America expresses its outrage through diplomacy. Consider, after Morales was allowed to return to La Paz, the diplomatic rumble escalated as members of the regional trading institution Mercosur called back their ambassadors in the countries that had denied the Bolivian president use of airspace. Ecuador joined them four days later, at which point Venezuela also officially removed ambassadors in Spain, France, Portugal and Italy. An apology was issued July 25, and ambassadors from Bolivia, Venezuela, and Ecuador were reinstated to their offices in Paris, Rome, Madrid and Lisbon two days later.¶ Concerns may run more deeply over reports of the United States monitoring communications of presidents and strategic industries. Brazil is the world’s sixth largest economy, and Rousseff may use the embarrassing disclosures to leverage the United States on trade, internet regulation and other priorities. With the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics coming up, Brazil will most likely use the situation as much-needed political capital at home, instead of attempting any change in relations with the U.S. beyond venting at the UN. Rousseff cannot afford to risk an international snafu amidst growing discontent over her actions concerning domestic policy.¶ Trade overrides ideology. The bottom line, leftwing leaders like Maduro and Morales need U.S. business in their economies, and the most vehement anti-imperialist talk is overshadowed by economic pragmatism. Ecuador is in an even more critical position, as reliance on the U.S. dollar in its economy means it cannot afford poor relations with the United States. Ideological hot air may grab headlines, but will not trump Latin America’s heavy flows of trade with the world´s most powerful economy.

 

Most recent evidence – Maduro reached out YESTERDAY – he wants to change his policy

Brusa 02-22

“Venezuelan leader challenges Obama to talks†Marcelo Daniel Brusa; AFP; February 22, 2014 http://news.yahoo.com/venezuela-threatens-cut-off-fuel-protest-areas-205822959.html

Caracas (AFP) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called on Barack Obama to "accept the challenge" and hold direct talks, a surprise overture made Friday after days of accusing Washington of plotting his overthrow.¶ The dramatic announcement came after nearly three weeks of often violent anti-government protests in Caracas and other major cities, widely seen as the biggest test to Maduro since he succeeded Hugo Chavez last year.¶ US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday condemned Venezuela's "unacceptable" use of force against anti-government protesters, and declined to respond to a call from Caracas for bilateral talks.¶ "The government's use of force and judicial intimidation against citizens and political figures, who are exercising a legitimate right to protest, is unacceptable and will only increase the likelihood of violence," Kerry said in a statement.¶ Despite calls from Venezuela's democratic opposition and the international community, the government of Nicolas Maduro "has confronted peaceful protesters with force and in some cases with armed vigilantes claiming to support the government," the top US diplomat added.¶ Venezuela's relations with the United States, long strained under Chavez, have worsened under Maduro, who has hewed closely to his predecessor's socialist policies and has never spoken directly to his American counterpart.¶ Maduro, who was narrowly elected last year, said: "I call a dialogue with you, President Obama... between the patriotic and revolutionary Venezuela and the United States and its government."¶ "Accept the challenge and we will start a high-level dialogue and put the truth on the table," Maduro, whose under-pressure government claims Venezuelan opposition leaders are in Washington's pay, told foreign reporters.¶ US agencies "have given the green light for the overthrow of the government that I lead," Maduro said, urging Obama to show that he can "initiate a change in policy, at least in Latin America and the Caribbean."¶ Maduro, who lashed out at the US president earlier this week, proposed in his remarks Friday to restore ties to the ambassadorial level and said he had given his foreign minister "special powers" to handle bilateral dialogue.¶ Venezuela and America have not had ambassadors in each other's countries since late 2010, and Caracas has expelled eight US diplomats over the past year, including three this week.¶ Obama has called on the leftist rulers in Caracas to address the "legitimate grievances" of its people -- comments that were dismissed by Maduro in recent days as US meddling in Venezuela's sovereign affairs.¶ Students and the opposition are spearheading a nationwide protest movement in Venezuela that has left eight people dead and 137 wounded, and seen more than 100 detained since the demonstrations broke out.¶ In a move filled with anti-US sentiment, Maduro has threatened to block American broadcaster CNN, accusing the network of inciting "civil war."¶ CNN said several of its journalists working in Venezuela, on both Spanish-language and English-language programs, had seen their press credentials revoked or refused.¶ But Maduro's remarks on Friday, which did not meet with an immediate response from Washington, were altogether different.¶ "What we want is peace with the United States, respect, cooperation," Maduro added in urging Obama to also appoint a negotiator to talks.¶ "We love the American people, we admire their culture, their music."

Maduro has already invited foreign investment

Newco 13

“Venezuela wants to attract foreign investors to strategic sectors†NEWCO

August 20, 2013 http://www.newco.pro/blog/en/venezuela-wants-to-attract-foreign-investors-to-strategic-sectors/

According to Portuguese online daily financial newspaper Dinheiro Vivo, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has invited foreign entrepreneurs and businesses to invest in Venezuela and jumpstart the local economy. “If foreign companies want to come to Venezuela and undertake joint ventures with local private and publicly owned companies or invest on their own in accordance with our legislation, they can come to Venezuela because it is the land of opportunity,†he stated. He emphatically added, “All investors are welcome.†According to the article published on the 18th of August in Dinheiro Vivo, Nicolás Maduro explained that Venezuela’s government wants “serious capital for foreign investment†and it will guarantee foreign investor productivity. “We guarantee you will have all you need to make your business productive,†he stated. Although it is a country of many opportunities, the fact is that foreign investors have had to deal with much uncertainty in the past: since 1999, dozens of foreign-owned companies have been nationalized in Venezuela. These statements by Nicolás Maduro are reason for optimism and for a positive outlook, but it is essential that entrepreneurs correctly structure their investments in Venezuela in order to minimize risks and maximize results.

Maduro Says Yes To Maintain Chavez’s Legacy

Thomas-Symonds 13

“What After Chavez?†Nick Thomas-Symonds; practicing barrister at Civitas Law, Cardiff, specializing in chancery and commercial law.  He is also Lecturer in Politics at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University.  He teaches British Politics and Government Since 1900, Modern British Politics, Politics in Europe and US Politics.  He also teaches Contemporary US Politics on Oxford University’s Department of Continuing Education “Foundations of Diplomacy†course;  April 18, 2013 http://www.e-ir.info/2013/04/18/what-after-chavez/

A major part of Mr Chavez’s popular appeal was his willingness to stand up to what he characterized as imperialism. After all, El Comandante traced his heritage to another Latin American independence leader, Simon Bolivar. Mr Chavez’s antipathy had personal elements, too. He accused the US of trying to bring him down. To use just one example, a brief coup in 2002 temporarily removed him from power, and he openly accused the US of being responsible for it. With Mr Chavez’s death on 5 March 2013, there is an argument that things can only get better in diplomatic relations between the US and Venezuela. After all, even under Mr Chavez, Venezuela was still trading widely with the US. The US Department of State’s “fact sheet†on US-Venezuela relations confirms the extent of this trade: “The United States is Venezuela’s most important trading partner. U.S. exports to Venezuela include machinery, organic chemicals, agricultural products, optical and medical instruments, autos and auto parts.†It adds: “Oil dominates U.S. imports from Venezuela, which is one of the top four suppliers of foreign oil to the United States. About 500 U.S. companies are represented in Venezuela. U. S. foreign direct investment in Venezuela is concentrated largely in the petroleum, manufacturing and finance sectors.†That is not to say, however, that the US desire for oil has made it a no-go area for US governments in their diplomatic relations with the Bolivarian Republic. Sanctions were imposed on the Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA, in 2011, for making supplies to Iran. The demise of Mr Chavez is one thing, the position of his successor, Nicolas Maduro, on the US, quite another. To win the presidential election, Mr Maduro, a former bus driver, needed to present himself as continuing the work of Mr Chavez. As Mr Chavez’s chosen successor, and as the incumbent during the election, this may have seemed an easy task. However, Mr Maduro has taken this argument to extraordinary lengths. He not only declared himself “the son of Chavez†but claimed “Chavez lives!†and even went so far as to argue that El Comandante appeared to him as a bird whilst praying. Mr Maduro has continued to plough Chavez’s anti-US furrow. After all, he did serve for a substantial period as his foreign minister. An allegation that the dead president had been the subject of an attack by “historic enemies†led the US State Department to declare the notion that the US had played any part in Chavez’s death from cancer as “absurd.†Mr Maduro won the presidential election on 14 April 2013 with 50.7% of the vote. His winning margin of 1.5% constitutes only 235,000 votes. His defeated rival, Henrique Capriles, has alleged electoral malpractice and asked for the votes to be counted again. The US urged an audit of the result as an “important, prudent and necessary step.†However, the National Electoral Council has declared Mr Maduro’s victory “irreversibleâ€. That said, the narrow margin of Mr Maduro’s victory, particularly given the advantages of his links to Mr Chavez, may prove less durable than he may think. On Twitter, National Assembly, Head Mr Diosdado Cabello, said the “results require deep self-criticism.†Protests against the result continue. The outcome may yet prove unpredictable, and Mr Chavez’s demise may have heralded something new in Venezuelan foreign policy after all. For now at least, Mr Maduro’s policies matter. One of his first acts was to announce the continuation of funding of socialist programmes from oil revenues. Even setting to one side the protests against his controversial presidential election victory, the International Atomic Energy (IEA) predicted last month that whoever was the President was in a “Catch 22†situation. The current policy of using the nation’s oil reserves to fund socialist programmes cannot continue without putting the stability of the nation’s economy at risk. On the other hand, the programmes cannot be scaled back without political and social unrest. It is here that there may be a small chink of light for US-Venezuela relations, even under Mr Maduro. Venezuela cannot afford to turn any investors away unnecessarily. Even now, the US multi-national Chevron advertises that it is playing a part in six onshore and offshore projects.

Venezuelans love capitalism, political momentum in our favor

Mander 13

“Hugo Chávez: His legacy at stake†Benedict Mander August 19, 2013 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e5ca6e64-05ce-11e3-8ed5-00144feab7de.html#ixzz2cy9iftXA

When almost 500 families invaded the estate owned by the Santa Teresa rum company in 2000, Alberto Vollmer decided that using brute force to expel them would be futile. Hugo Chávez had just won the presidency and was encouraging Venezuelans to squat on private land. So instead, Mr Vollmer devised a plan to allow some families to remain, so long as the government paid for their housing.¶ He was one of the first among Venezuela’s business elite to realise that their attitudes were going to have to change under Chávez’s “Bolivarian revolutionâ€. He pioneered innovative social programmes that later won the leftwing leader’s explicit approval. “Project Alcatraz†aimed to rehabilitate criminals by, for example, letting rival gangs take out their aggression on the rugby field. Even while Chávez railed against the “rancid oligarchy†of capitalists, Mr Vollmer managed to turn around a failing business. The president even called the aristocrat a true revolutionary.¶ At a time of upheaval that caused thousands of other private enterprises to collapse, Chávez struck fear into the hearts of foreign investors as he expropriated farms, factories and even huge oil ventures from majors such as ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips.¶ But since Chávez’s death in March, there are tentative signs that the political winds are shifting. Mr Vollmer and the rest of Venezuela’s private sector are keenly watching out for signs of change and compromise by the new government led by Chávez’s successor, Nicolás Maduro.¶ “[Maduro’s] government realises that [during the Chávez years] there has been a major social revindication and that it is time to solve economic problems,†says Mr Vollmer. “Just as the private sector has learnt that it cannot ignore social problems, so the government has realised the importance of having a productive private sector, which ultimately is mutually beneficial.â€Â¶ Significantly, shortly after winning April’s election, Mr Maduro summoned Lorenzo Mendoza, who runs Venezuela’s largest private company, the food and drink giant Polar, to a secret meeting at the Miraflores presidential palace. In the past, Mr Mendoza was a whipping boy of the pugnacious Chávez, who said he deserved a “place in hellâ€. However, a person present at the meeting described it as “excellent†and said that Mr Maduro showed “genuine respect†towards one of Venezuela’s richest men.¶ If this is part of a trend, the extension of such an olive branch would be a significant shift. While businessmen such as Mr Vollmer always had to accommodate themselves to Chávez’s socialist project, the meeting at Miraflores could suggest a more pragmatic approach from his successor.¶ Many observers say that Mr Maduro, a former bus driver and trade unionist, needs to be more emollient than Chávez. He has inherited an economy teetering on recession, ravaged by shortages, a yawning fiscal deficit and inflation that has run at 42.6 per cent over the past 12 months. This is jeopardising Mr Maduro’s own position politically, with the opposition still refusing to recognise his razor-thin electoral victory, while he struggles against internecine fighting within the ruling United Socialist party of Venezuela (PSUV).¶ At stake is the economic future of a unique socialist experiment that, although sapped by gross mismanagement, was fuelled by the largest oil reserves in the world, funding revolution throughout the region.¶ Success by Mr Maduro in setting Venezuela on a steady course would assure Chávez’s vision a place in history. Failure would crush his dream of installing so-called “21st-century socialism†in the Opec country.¶ Luis Vicente León, a pollster, says the government now recognises its economic problems, which is “a significant step compared to the Chávez government, which tried primitive, communist solutions.†He argues that Mr Maduro has chosen a blend of radical politics combined with more moderate economic policy.¶ “Still, to recognise its problems is one thing and actually to do something about them is quite another. Actions are needed,†says Mr León.¶ There is certainly an air of optimism among business leaders. Jorge Roig, president of the business chamber, Fedecamaras, says: “The rapprochement is far greater than I can say publicly.†However, there are also strong grounds to doubt whether Mr Maduro can make profound changes.¶ Conversations with the private sector are only luke warm and are held in secret. “So far it is just talk, with no obvious results. Something is happening, but not at the speed that we would like,†says Mr Roig. Indeed, reports that Mr Maduro asked Mr Mendoza’s Polar to run underperforming state food-processing factories, which were nationalised by Chávez to help solve shortages of basic goods, have so far led to nothing.¶ The principal stumbling block to major reform is Mr Maduro’s loose grip over opposing factions within the government that succeeded Chávez. Fears among the PSUV’s radical ideologues that Mr Maduro may compromise the revolution’s socialist goals have paralysed decision making.¶ . . .¶ The nature of business in Venezuela is also turbid. While the canny Mr Vollmer’s methods won him international recognition for weathering hostile conditions – his experience has been used as a case study at Harvard Business School – another class of businessmen was far more opportunistic. Known as the “bolibourgeoisieâ€, some business magnates thrived over the past decade thanks to close links to Chávez’s government. They gained lucrative contracts with state institutions and executed shady currency deals, making magnificent fortunes almost overnight. Real reform would mean fewer favours for those closely connected to government but it is now difficult to challenge their interests.¶ Certainly, there are models to follow. Raúl Castro has begun tepid reforms in Cuba after his brother Fidel relinquished power, with numerous meetings between businessmen and the government.¶ There is also the model of President Vladimir Putin’s Russia, where oligarchs can flourish to their government’s benefit. “There is a Neo-bolibourgeousie emerging,†says Juan Carlos Zapata, a journalist who has written a book about the bolibourgeousie and coined the term.¶ According to Mr Zapata, it was businessmen who enjoyed good relations with the government who recently bought two media groups: opposition television station Globovisión and Cadena Capriles, which owns Venezuela’s most widely circulated newspaper, Últimas Noticias. He also predicted further acquisitions in banking.¶ “That newspaper [Últimas Noticias] wasn’t for sale. They came and bought it for about half of what it is worth,†says a person close to the deal. “The government basically told a group of businessmen who profit from their connections [with the government] to buy it, because they were fed up [with its stance].â€Â¶ In the end, Mr Maduro may have to opt for a hybrid model. There are limits to parallels with Russia. Although Russia is also a petro-state, Venezuela has even fewer industries that can produce oligarchs. Oil is the only genuinely productive asset and it is in the hands of the state.¶ “In Venezuela, it is all just merchants trying to make a killing on imports,†says Pedro Burelli, a former executive at PDVSA, the state-owned oil company. He says Rafael Ramírez, the company’s president, is the only Venezuelan who could count as a real oligarch. “He has privatised the cash flow of PDVSA, even if the state still holds on to a 100 per cent share of it.â€Â¶ Whichever path Mr Maduro chooses to revitalise Venezuela, it will be peppered with pitfalls.¶ “I get the impression that they are desperately clinging on to their ideology, debating internally how not to betray their socialist ideals, while at the same time wanting to achieve something, dreading the fact that they might actually be wrong and be forced to use mechanisms that border on capitalism,†says one businessman with close ties to the government.¶ Mr Maduro still has to keep an eye on the opposition, which will attempt to turn municipal elections in December into a plebiscite on his rule. Their sharpest criticism is that he is strangling dissent. In addition to the sale of Cadena Capriles and Globovisión – which no longer broadcasts the speeches of opposition leader Henrique Capriles – the government has hit two critical newspapers by freezing their editors’ assets.¶ The Supreme Court, which Chávez packed with friendly judges, has fined Mr Capriles after rejecting his “disrespectful†challenge against the validity of the April election result. It also asked the attorney-general to prosecute him for filing the petition.¶ Mr Maduro’s government has also targeted the opposition in a high-profile crusade against corruption. He has requested decree powers from the national assembly to do so, triggering concerns that those powers could be used to attack opponents. Yet corruption seems more pervasive in the government, which has access to the murky accounts of PDVSA, which receives about $100bn in oil revenues each year. Critics insist that schemes whereby Caracas exports discounted oil to neighbours are big earners for corrupt officials.¶ . . .¶ Even diehard supporters of Chávez, such as the influential journalist Mario Silva, now complain about deep-rooted corruption in the revolution’s ranks. In a leaked recording of a conversation he held with a Cuban intelligence agent, Mr Silva, who is better known for his vicious attacks against the opposition in a now cancelled chat show, aired serious concerns about illicit enrichment schemes, back-stabbing and even coup-mongering within the PSUV. “We are immersed in a sea of shit, compadre, and we haven’t realised it yet,†he bemoaned. Diosdado Cabello, the president of the national assembly and considered to be Mr Maduro’s main rival, was the principal target of his distress.¶ Even opposition politicians agree that the threat to Mr Maduro from within the PSUV is far greater than anything they can muster themselves. “If I were Maduro, I’d be far more afraid of Diosdado than the opposition,†says Ramón Muchacho, expected to become the opposition’s mayor in the Caracas municipality of Chacao in December’s election.¶ If the situation continues to unravel, opponents are likely to call a recall referendum, which is allowed three years into his presidency and could potentially cut his term short.¶ Either way, Venezuela could be on the brink of important change. Without it, the Caribbean nation risks, at one extreme, slipping into irrelevance or, at the other, the prospect of rising unrest, potentially even triggering a coup from inside the PSUV.¶ “We are seeing the atrophy of 10 years of hypertrophic growth. Chavismo is not a sustainable model,†says David Smilde at the Washington Office on Latin America.¶ It has fallen on Mr Maduro to correct Chávez’s failings. Without a more realistic approach, the grand ambitions of his predecessor – like those of his hero Simón Bolívar 200 years earlier – risk being be dashed.¶ . . .¶ Polar: Better not to mess with the bear¶ The late President Hugo Chávez reserved some of his most scathing criticism for Venezuela’s “rancid oligarchy†of capitalists, whom he considered to be little more than “traitors†and “craven lapdogs†of the US “empireâ€.¶ And there are few more powerful businessmen in Venezuela than Lorenzo Mendoza, who runs the country’s largest privately owned company, Polar.¶ But despite his notoriety for seizing private property, Chávez never messed with the giant food and drink producer, despite once insisting that Mr Mendoza was guaranteed a place in hell.¶ The socialist firebrand may have issued repeated threats to expropriate Polar – a tradition his successor Nicolás Maduro continued shortly before his election victory, darkly warning that “everything in life comes to an end†– but there is every reason to believe that Venezuela’s socialist government would never dare.¶ Put simply, it would be too risky in a country already wracked by shortages. Founded six decades ago, Polar has become a national icon and has come to be considered a paragon of corporate culture in Venezuela.¶ According to local pollsters, it always remained far more popular than Chávez ever was, while he still leads Mr Maduro by double digits in the Popularity stakes six months since his death.¶ For most Venezuelans, scarcely a day goes by without them consuming one of Polar’s products – there are few sights more common or treasured in Venezuela than the polar bear, the insignia of Polar’s flagship beer, while its Harina PAN maize flour is the key ingredient for the national staple, the arepa, Venezuela’s answer to the sandwich.¶ Venezuela’s shortages of basic foods are in large part due to government incompetence and they are already a source of widespread discontent. Imagine Venezuelans’ reaction if their favourite beer started running scarce too (Polar controls about three-quarters of the alcohol-loving nation’s beer market).¶ That would be the last thing Mr Maduro needs as he tries to stop the nation’s divisions from opening any wider.

Shortages force pragmatism - empirics prove

Keller 13

“Assessing Maduro’s first 100 days†Mark Keller August 02, 2013 http://latinbusinesschronicle.com/app/article.aspx?id=6236

Maduro’s biggest challenge by far is the Venezuelan economy: Maduro’s first 100 days have been characterized by shortages of food, electricity, medicines, and other basic goods. Analysts predict growth of less than 1 percent for the year, and inflation that could reach 40 percent. This has forced Maduro to take a different path than his predecessor. “On the question of the economy, Maduro has been much more pragmatic and less ideological than Chávez,†says Moya. The analyst attributes this partly to Maduro’s weaker government, but also to “paying the bill for the excesses of Chávez.â€Â¶ Maduro replaced Chávez’s minister of the economy Jorge Giordani with Nelson Merentes, who is considered more pragmatic by analysts. Merentes has tried to build bridges with the private sector, says Moya, evidenced by the government’s May meeting with the head of Empresas Polar to discuss production, and its loosening of complicated exchange controls to make it easier to access dollars for imports. “ Maduro’s government has an understanding that the private sector has a key role to play in the Venezuelan economy, and that it needs to work with them to control shortages and inflation,†says Moya. However he adds “the rhetoric against them hasn’t gone away. The government still accuses them of hoarding and other ills.â€

Empirically Maduro is opening up to US credit

Goodman 13

“Venezuelan Economic Crisis Forces President's Hand†JOSHUA GOODMAN 12/02/13 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/02/venezuela-economic-crisis_n_4373021.html

It's not just less economic muscle that is freezing Venezuela's outreach, said Carlos Romero, an international relations expert at the Central University of Venezuela. Maduro's inability to replicate Chavez's charisma and a rapprochement with the West by Iran and Syria, whose previous hard-line stance Chavez embraced, are undermining the politics of confrontation that the late Venezuelan leader relished, Romero said.¶ Interventionist policies, like Maduro's seizure of appliance stores last month, are also on the decline in much of Latin America. Even communist Cuba, its staunchest ally, is opening up to more private investment.¶ "Maduro's conduct came as a big surprise to activists, academics and many in the international media who had sympathized with Chavez and were expecting moderation," Romero said. "There's greater scrutiny of his human rights record and economic policies, and that has repercussions on Venezuela's international reputation."¶ Venezuela's Foreign Ministry declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.¶ To be sure, Venezuela isn't retreating into a hole. Maduro last month ordered the creation of a medical university in Venezuela to turn out doctors from around Latin America. He'll present the proposal at this month's summit in Caracas of the Bolivarian Alliance of nine leftist nations that includes Bolivia, Cuba and Ecuador.¶ And Maduro may have some reasons for hope. Oil production declines may soon bottom out as the government gives foreign companies a freer hand. Last week, the government secured a $1 billion loan from Russia's Gazprom, bringing to almost $10 billion the amount it has raised this year from foreign partners. Economists also expect Maduro to devalue the bolivar after Dec. 8 mayoral elections, a move that would substantially reduce a deficit estimated by Bank of America at 11.5 percent of GDP.¶ A debt crisis also seems unlikely with Wall Street banks lining up to lend money. Even as Maduro accuses the U.S. of conspiring to destabilize his government, the central bank is reportedly negotiating with Goldman Sachs a credit line using its sizable gold reserves as collateral. The government has an extra cash cushion in an off-budget fund known as well as a strong lender in China, which in September wrote Maduro a check for $5 billion.¶ Still, the days of geopolitical chest thumping, best captured when Chavez in 2006 laid out plans to build a pipeline stretching across South America, are a fast-fading memory as Maduro tries to get his house in order. A sign of the times: Brazil's state-owned Petrobras last month officially pulled the plug on a joint oil refinery with PDVSA after Venezuela failed to pay for its share of the project.¶ "It would be very difficult for Maduro to attempt anything as audacious again," said Juan Gabriel Tokatlian, director of international relations at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina. "Latin America's strategic options are changing rapidly, and they no longer pass through Caracas."

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I think I'm being trolled... but okay, I'll take this seriously once.  Not posting cards though - all my claims are easy to verify, and if i posted all the evidence i had, i'd need ~3 posts.

 

Parraguez 13/

1. Totally missing the point.  I granted trade happens anyway (when the situation is conducive to it - extend my analysis about why it isn't right now as necessary, but this isn't even relevant).  But trade does not improve diplomatic relations.

 

2. And plan requires diplomacy, its not just trade.  Trade happens between private entities, not governments.  The diplomacy part is what fails, and that prevents or thwarts USFG action.

 

Brusa 2-22/

1. Words. Just words.  Totally non-responsive to my analysis.  And extend Walser - words don't mean anything.

 

2. This card doesn't even deserve a more detailed response than that, but okay, lets look at Maduro's words here.  But we have to understand something going in to any such analysis - Maduro is either mentally ill (extreme paranoia) or a pathological liar for political gain.  I tend to prefer the latter, but it isn't actually possible to rule out the former.  And whether he honestly believes that everything that goes wrong is a US plot out to get him, or just says so to deflect blame and prop up his rule, it colors everything he says.  But this is a man who blamed the US for giving Chavez cancer, blamed the US for causing the economic shortages and extreme inflation, accused US consulate staff of inciting riots and (separately) attempting to sabotage the electric grid, accused the DEA of drug smuggling through VZ, and accused the US of sabotaging an oil refinery.  In short, whenever there has been a political or economic crisis in the last year, Maduro has blamed the US for instigating it, or imagined some plot to blame the US for to deflect domestic furor from himself.

 

3. Maduro says "Accept the challenge and we will start a high-level dialogue and put the truth on the table."  Maduro means 'confess that you've done the things I've accused you of'.  Of course, the US won't, because we haven't done any of those things.

 

4. Maduro says "initiate a change in policy, at least in Latin America and the Caribbean."  A change in what policy?  Oh yeah, Maduro means we should commit to stop doing those things... which we didn't actually do.  This is all political face saving and vindication.

 

5. "Obama has called on the leftist rulers in Caracas to address the "legitimate grievances" of its people -- comments that were dismissed by Maduro in recent days as US meddling in Venezuela's sovereign affairs."  Because Maduro has no intention of addressing the concerns of the Venezuelan people at all. He has blamed every issue on the US, and will continue to do so.

 

6. Maduro says "What we want is peace with the United States, respect, cooperation."  As far as I know, they have peace.  Only in Maduro fantasy land is the US at war with Venezuela.  This is just more sabre rattling in the guise of asking for peace, but he's doing so in a way that would force any engagement to look like US concession to his insane claims.

 

7. What Maduro doesn't say: He never apologizes for the series of increasingly ridiculous assertions he's made over the last 6+ months.  Yeah, those would also just be words, but at least they'd acknowledge his former claims were baseless and false.

 

8. Regardless, this is just a (poorly) disguised lure to make the US concede complicity in imaginary plots, and to bring more US diplomatic staff to Venezuela so he has someone to blame for the next disaster.

 

In short, Maduro is not to be trusted.  This isn't even a goodwill offering, its a politically motivated move.  And even words wouldn't be enough this time - he'd have to prove through his actions that he's willing to have a constructive relationship with not just the US, but his own political opposition.  The latter wouldn't be hard - he can start by not using lethal force against non-violent protestors.  The former... it would take months of good behavior in the face of crises to prove this leopard has changed his spots.

 

Newco 13/

This card is from August 2013.  This is extremely problematic.

 

1. Pre-dates expulsion of US diplomats in September (and related outlandish claims that followed).

 

2. Pre-dates nationalization of US oil holdings in November.

 

In short, hopelessly out of date.

 

Thomas-Symonds 13/

April 2013? lol.  This card is ridiculous wishful thinking even then, and has been thoroughly disproven.

 

Mander 13/

August 2013.  More old evidence.  Pretty sure his actions in November (nationalizing oil property, forcing store owners to sell goods for pennies at gunpoint) disprove the 'loves capitalism' power-tag.  And it is ridiculously power-tagged, as (at least highlighted portions of) the card mostly talks about anti-capitalist things the government has done.

 

Keller 13/

No, shortages have caused ridiculous anti-american accusations to deflect blame, and then forcing shopowners to sell goods well below market prices at gunpoint.  Neither of those are pragmatism, and both of those are what actually happened.  The shortages of course continue, and pragmatism is nowhere to be seen.  (Unless by pragmatism you mean 'do whatever it takes to stay in power' - that doesn't involve rapprochement, that involves blaming the US for everything).

 

Old cards are old and empirically disproven.  (Another august '13 card).

 

Goodman 12-2-13/

Getting a loan from Goldman-Sachs has *nothing* to do with engagement with the USFG.  Literally nothing.  There is no evidence of USFG-VZ rapprochement here.

 

And mostly this card refers to the crazy stuff Venezuela has done that has been anti-US.  Its not evidence for your position.

Edited by Squirrelloid

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Parraguez 13

 


1. Totally missing the point.  I granted trade happens anyway (when the situation is conducive to it - extend my analysis about why it isn't right now as necessary, but this isn't even relevant).  But trade does not improve diplomatic relations.

 

2. And plan requires diplomacy, its not just trade.  Trade happens between private entities, not governments.  The diplomacy part is what fails, and that prevents or thwarts USFG action.

 

No one is claiming to improve diplomatic relations, unless a Venezuela aff has a relations advantage. The Parraguez evidence says that trade/economic relations are not affected by anti-american rhetoric, because the US is just that important. The evidence says that Latin American leaders use that anti-americanism to shore up domestic political support, but it DOES NOT AFFECT trade relations. It is a method of saving face. Both the US and Venezuelan governments for years have been publicly criticizing each other, while greasing each others economies with oil deals. Diplomacy and trade have been intertwined in Venezuela particularly, and the fact that we are Venezuela's largest trading partner indicates that they make exceptions for their economy.

 

Brusa 2-22/

 


1. Words. Just words.  Totally non-responsive to my analysis.  And extend Walser - words don't mean anything.

 

2. This card doesn't even deserve a more detailed response than that, but okay, lets look at Maduro's words here.  But we have to understand something going in to any such analysis - Maduro is either mentally ill (extreme paranoia) or a pathological liar for political gain.  I tend to prefer the latter, but it isn't actually possible to rule out the former.  And whether he honestly believes that everything that goes wrong is a US plot out to get him, or just says so to deflect blame and prop up his rule, it colors everything he says.  But this is a man who blamed the US for giving Chavez cancer, blamed the US for causing the economic shortages and extreme inflation, accused US consulate staff of inciting riots and (separately) attempting to sabotage the electric grid, accused the DEA of drug smuggling through VZ, and accused the US of sabotaging an oil refinery.  In short, whenever there has been a political or economic crisis in the last year, Maduro has blamed the US for instigating it, or imagined some plot to blame the US for to deflect domestic furor from himself.

 

3. Maduro says "Accept the challenge and we will start a high-level dialogue and put the truth on the table."  Maduro means 'confess that you've done the things I've accused you of'.  Of course, the US won't, because we haven't done any of those things.

 

4. Maduro says "initiate a change in policy, at least in Latin America and the Caribbean."  A change in what policy?  Oh yeah, Maduro means we should commit to stop doing those things... which we didn't actually do.  This is all political face saving and vindication.

 

5. "Obama has called on the leftist rulers in Caracas to address the "legitimate grievances" of its people -- comments that were dismissed by Maduro in recent days as US meddling in Venezuela's sovereign affairs."  Because Maduro has no intention of addressing the concerns of the Venezuelan people at all. He has blamed every issue on the US, and will continue to do so.

 

6. Maduro says "What we want is peace with the United States, respect, cooperation."  As far as I know, they have peace.  Only in Maduro fantasy land is the US at war with Venezuela.  This is just more sabre rattling in the guise of asking for peace, but he's doing so in a way that would force any engagement to look like US concession to his insane claims.

 

7. What Maduro doesn't say: He never apologizes for the series of increasingly ridiculous assertions he's made over the last 6+ months.  Yeah, those would also just be words, but at least they'd acknowledge his former claims were baseless and false.

 

8. Regardless, this is just a (poorly) disguised lure to make the US concede complicity in imaginary plots, and to bring more US diplomatic staff to Venezuela so he has someone to blame for the next disaster.

 

In short, Maduro is not to be trusted.  This isn't even a goodwill offering, its a politically motivated move.  And even words wouldn't be enough this time - he'd have to prove through his actions that he's willing to have a constructive relationship with not just the US, but his own political opposition.  The latter wouldn't be hard - he can start by not using lethal force against non-violent protestors.  The former... it would take months of good behavior in the face of crises to prove this leopard has changed his spots.

1. I agree, his words can only be trusted to a degree, but I'll elaborate on the importance of this card next.

 

2. Maduro has been blaming the US for the domestic crisis for the past year, but this has failed him. Maduro's opposition advocates a liberalization of the oil sector and stronger relations with the US, the fact that his blaming of the US has failed to save his political situation is exactly why he's changing his political strategy. After the recent massive protests in Venezuela, Maduro has changed various aspects of his political strategy, including negotiating with his opposition, raising debate on the possibility of raising gas prices, and extending this olive branch to the US. These are real concrete actions that indicate that Maduro is changing, the reason why is because the status quo was unsustainable for him, with massive protests threatening his regime. Yes, much rhetoric remains against the US, but the fact that Maduro recently offered to exchange ambassadors and offered rhetorical support indicates a massive sea change in political momentum.

 

3. Again, Maduro does need to save face a little, but the fact that he's saying that he loves America indicates a massive shift in political winds. If Maduro thinks he can gain by saying that he loves America and wants to talk with them? That's a huge paradigm shift from blaming America for giving Chavez cancer.

 

 

Newco 13/

 


This card is from August 2013.  This is extremely problematic.

 

1. Pre-dates expulsion of US diplomats in September (and related outlandish claims that followed).

 

2. Pre-dates nationalization of US oil holdings in November.

 

In short, hopelessly out of date.

Okay first, the only evidence you posted was from June and both of your points are inaccurate.

 

Expulsion of US diplomats has been going on for literally over a decade. In fact, the most recent expulsion of US diplomats was just 2 weeks ago, although now is the first time that Maduro has offered to reinstate ambassadors. Huge shift. Additionally, Venezuela did not nationalize US oil holdings in November. Venezuela nationalizes US oil companies in 2007, with some natural gas companies in 2009. No nationalizations since then I believe.

 

Again, if Maduro's political strategy was to demonize the US, foreign investors, and corporations, then the fact that his rhetoric is shifting into support for these things indicates political momentum is in the plan's favor.

 

 

Thomas-Symonds 13/

 


April 2013? lol.  This card is ridiculous wishful thinking even then, and has been thoroughly disproven.

A few things;

1. I really don't appreciate such a dismissive attitude. Accusing me of trolling, because I believe differently than you, or just saying this card sucks, without providing any substance is extraordinarily unproductive. 

 

2. Warrants matter. This card is awesome and it's warrants remain true today. The first being that Maduro needs to shore up his political support, because of his very narrow margin of approval. This continues to be an issue and the Brusa 02-22 evidence indicates that he's making large shifts as a result. Chavez's real legacy was socialist programmes. Health care, cheap gas, cheap housing. Venezuelans loved Chavez and they love these programs way more than they care about the US. However, with declining oil revenues, Maduro will have to make a choice to either engage with the US to fund socialist programs or cut back socialist programs. He will choose the former.

 

Mander 13/

 


August 2013.  More old evidence.  Pretty sure his actions in November (nationalizing oil property, forcing store owners to sell goods for pennies at gunpoint) disprove the 'loves capitalism' power-tag.  And it is ridiculously power-tagged, as (at least highlighted portions of) the card mostly talks about anti-capitalist things the government has done.

 

So a respect for capitalism has been brewing since large-scale nationalizations and socialism. The evidence indicates that major business leaders and aristocrats have been forced to adapt to be more populist, which has given them huge popularity. The wealthiest men in Venezuela were even praised to be true revolutionaries by Chavez. Additionally, Maduro has offered olive branches to major corporations and his rhetoric against them is genuinely respectful compared to Chavez. Additionally, Maduro recognizes that radical economic policy has created the economic problems that plague his country. Furthermore, the largest corporations remain as the most popular organizations in Venezuela, even more popular than Chavez, because they are viewed as more consistently providing basic goods and services to the people. 

 

 

Keller 13/

 

 

No, shortages have caused ridiculous anti-american accusations to deflect blame, and then forcing shopowners to sell goods well below market prices at gunpoint.  Neither of those are pragmatism, and both of those are what actually happened.  The shortages of course continue, and pragmatism is nowhere to be seen.  (Unless by pragmatism you mean 'do whatever it takes to stay in power' - that doesn't involve rapprochement, that involves blaming the US for everything).

 

Old cards are old and empirically disproven.  (Another august '13 card).

 

1. Maduro replaced his minister of the economy with someone open to rapprochment. 

2. Maduro has engaged in dialogue with major business leaders.

3. Maduro recognizes the status quo is unsustainable and recognizes the value of the private sector. Attempts to blame the US have failed, as evident by the fact that protests have only grown in size.

 

Goodman 12-2-13/

 

 

Getting a loan from Goldman-Sachs has *nothing* to do with engagement with the USFG.  Literally nothing.  There is no evidence of USFG-VZ rapprochement here.

 

And mostly this card refers to the crazy stuff Venezuela has done that has been anti-US.  Its not evidence for your position.

 

This evidence says that Maduros lack of charisma and Iran/Syria rapprochement are tempering Maduro. Additionally, Cuba is pushing for private investment. This means that Venezuela's allies and international reputation are jeopardized by failure to engage the US. The evidence also indicates that Anti-americanism just rhetoric.

 

And you are wrong on your first point. You can't say previously that trade and diplomacy are linked and say that negotiating with Goldman-Sachs has nothing to do with Venezuela's relations toward the US. From the eyes of Venezuela, the US, corporations, and capitalism are all lumped into one big category; the West. While, the US has received unique rhetoric against it, the fact that Venezuela is seeking investment from a US company is evidence of detente. 

 

I'm not asking you to post all your cards on this. I didn't. But citing evidence relevant to your case would lend you a lot more credibility here. 

 

Additionally, I'm not saying that it is absolutely true that Maduro will open up to the US, but I'm saying it's debatable enough to the point where it's foolish to dismiss 1/3 of the topic on the premise that Maduro will say no. 

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Parraguez 13

Trade is totally unrelated to US-VZ diplomatic relations

Moran 10/28 (Clay Moran, International Affairs Review at the Elliott School of International Affairs, Oct 28 2013, “The Future of U.S.-Venezuelan Relations,†http://www.iar-gwu.org/node/513, Keerthi, Acc 12/31/13)

 

Over five hundred American companies have operations in Venezuela. Over $12 billion was invested in Venezuelan in 2011, concentrated in the energy, financial, and manufacturing sectors. Venezuelan imports rose by 122 percent from 2000 to 2011, reaching $12.3 billion. Washington and Caracas have developed a trade relationship that both parties value: U.S. companies gain substantial profit from operations in Venezuela, while Venezuelans gain access to higher quality job opportunities.¶ Despite the large volume of trade, political relations remain fractured at best. The United States and Venezuela have each been without ambassadors since 2010, when then-President Hugo Chávez suspected the United States of sponsoring a coup to overthrow his regime. Each country has retaliated against the other through a series of diplomatic expulsions. Venezuela has also restricted commerce from leaving the country. Capital controls put corporations in a tricky situation, trapping an estimated $8 to $12 billion within the country. Current President Nicolás Maduro has no intentions of lifting these controls, although Venezuela continues to experience inflation rising over 45 percent per month, threatening to erode profits. As a temporary measure, corporations have begun reinvesting these profits into Venezuelan real estate.

 

And its action by the USFG that's uniquely bad.  Maduro's wild accusations have mostly been pointed specifically at the US government, not at US corporations or anything else.  That's why any VZ plan is going to fail, because it requires VZ-USFG cooperation.

 

Not that companies have an easy time working in VZ right now.  The non-highlighted aspects of the card detail why the rigid control of dollars is making it hard to do business in VZ.  But I agree, some sort of trade is going to happen.  But that hasn't historically meant any government-government cooperation, and it won't in the future. 

 

Brusa 2-22/

your 2/ Those aren't real actions, those are still just words.  Talk is just talk.  Also, he offered to exchange ambassadors this summer.  He even got as far as appointing one (Ortega).  September and onwards changed that then.  As long as its just talk, Maduro can always backpedal on action.  And if recent history is anything to go on, he will.  Inviting the US to talk just gets more US diplomats on VZ soil that he can blame for the next crisis.

 

your 3/ At some point the US needs to stop talking to to foreign politicians who are incapable of dealing fairly or rationally with us.  If Maduro is in a bad place to open a dialog with the US, its because he put himself there.  Without an apology and concrete actions demonstrating he's reversed course, there is zero reason to believe he's actually changed his fundamental behaviors.  Bottom-line: Maduro is untrustworthy.  When confronted with a habitual liar, words do not qualify as evidence.

 

Newco 13/

The only evidence I posted wasn't in reference to a specific temporal event, it was detailing a fallacy of diplomatic thinking that assigns equal weight to words and actions.  The evidence could have been from 1900 and it would have been just as applicable.  Actions count more than words.  Always and forever.

 

On the other hand, any evidence about Maduro's likely behavior from before the end of September is failing to account for the emergent realities of Maduro's behavior, and is thus out of date.  We got new evidence that confirmed some hypotheses (notably, Walser has also written about how Maduro's anti-americanism would lead to him using the US as a scapegoat - that's a behavioral prediction that has been confirmed.  Also predicted by Shifter), and other hypotheses have been proven false (namely anyone who said that Maduro would take a moderate tone with the US).  Your evidence is out of date because it makes predictions about Venezuela's future relations with the US that have been disproven.

 

Finally, Maduro's strategy is primarily to demonize the USFG.  This doesn't necessarily imply demonization of any and all US businesses (although see oil below), persons, or all of the 'West'.

 

(And yes, the most recent expulsions are 2 weeks ago, but that's just the continuation of a pattern that started in September.)

 

And for completeness, VZ seizes US-owned oil rigs in November, claims operators were saboteurs

Foote, Andrew. 12/23/2013. Post-Chavez Venezuela is Hostile to American Oil. The Motley Fool. Online: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/12/23/post-chavez-venezuela-is-still-hostile-to-us-oil.aspx //sq

Andrew Foote is the CEO of Paraclete Risk Solutions LLC, and a specialist in oil investments.

 

In early November, Venezuelan courts ordered the seizure of U.S.-owned oil rigs, declaring the vital role they play in the development of Venezuela. Grandstanding tactics that were focused on securing physical assets were common under Chavez. Such a bold step is the first move of this type by Maduro, leading many to wonder if this will be more common as his administration matures. Two rigs owned by Superior Energy Services (NYSE: SPN ) , a company based out of Houston, had its offices seized by members of the Venezuelan state police and National Guard. The Washington Times noted that "their argument was that we were practically sabotaging national production." Ownership of the rigs was assumed by the Venezuela-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela. The two units were hydraulic snubbing units from its facility in Anaco, Venezuela. Snubbing units are essential for drilling operations and are an alternative to wireline and coiled-tubing drilling techniques. This is not the first time under Maduro that a U.S. oil company has had its exploration and production disrupted. In October, ships conducting a seismic survey off the coast of Venezuela were seized. These ships were under contract with Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC ) . The ships were flying under a Panamanian flag and were sailing in disputed waters that are claimed by both Guyana and Venezuela. The ships were escorted by the Navy to nearby Margarita Island. The crew was held on-board while an investigation was conducted. Venezuelan authorities claimed the ship was conducting unauthorized geographic surveys in their waters. Under maritime law a nation has the right to safeguard its sovereignty in maritime areas. Anadarko was under concession with the Guyanese government to conduct the surveys. This move could reopen long-standing rivalries between the two nations. In contrast to Venezuela's vast oil wealth, Guyana is a poor nation that is not as capable of enforcing their borders or interests. Venezuela is the fifth-largest exporter of oil to the U.S. While under Chazev, ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) , Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) , and ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP ) had their assets nationalized -- operations still run smoothly. Venezuela plays a crucial role in exporting oil to the U.S. In 2012, U.S. companies bought 984,000 barrels of oil per day from state-owned PDVSA.

 

Thomas Symonds 13/

group your 1 and 2/

It does suck.  That it sucks is self-evident if you read the card.  Its ridiculously wishful thinking hedged six ways from sunday.

 

"there is an argument that things can only get better in diplomatic relations".  Not 'will improve' but 'there is an argument'. 

 

"It is here that there may be a small chink of light for US-Venezuela relations".  So ridiculously hedged.  'May be' and 'small chink'. 

 

The author is being hopeful, not actually making a useful prediction.  (And empirically he was just wrong.  September and on have shown his hope was false).  His warrants are terrible. 

 

Furthermore, the political situation on the ground is no longer the one he describes.  Even Capriles has given up the vote as a controversy worth fighting.  Instead, Capriles is building support for the next election.  The current protests are about the state of the economy, not the election results.  The current protests don't challenge the legitimacy of the government so much as express displeasure at Maduro's failure to do anything productive about the economic crisis. 


In short, this card has nothing to tell us about the current political situation, and the warrants for your tag were awful even in April.

 

Mander 13/

Yes, some businessmen toadied up to the Chavez government because they saw it as a way to save their livelihood.  I'm not going to deny the service those businessmen did to Venezuela, nor the fact it was politically expedient for the government to use them.  But to claim this represents a respect or even love of capitalism by the government is not only deluded and wrongheaded, but seriously misunderstands what capitalism is.

 

On the other hand, Maduro has explicitly shown his dislike for capitalism.  Nationalizing US-owned oil rigs? check. Compelling store owners at gun point to sell product at a loss? check.  Capital controls on access to dollars? check.  Governments who "love capitalism" don't do this.

 

And your card doesn't even lay out a specific instance of them loving capitalism.  Its about the series of pernicious violations of the market engaged in by the Venezuelan government, and how some businesses managed to survive it.  Making business success about political connection is the very opposite of capitalism.

 

(Pure Capitalism is the complete and total absence of government involvement in the economy.  An economy is capitalist to the degree the government doesn't interfere.  The proper role of government in a truly capitalist society is to enforce basic laws against the use of violence to achieve ends, and that's it.  In short, the state should be a night watchman.  See Nozick Anarchy, State, and Utopia, or anything by von Mises. The existence of some business is not synonomous with Capitalism anymore than the existence of some worker-owned industry is synonomous with Communism)

 

Keller 13/

Group your 1-3/ The moment you read "On the question of the economy, Maduro has been much more pragmatic and less ideological than Chávez,†you can tell the card is out of date.  Because while it seemed true in August, it certainly wasn't true by December.  November proved Maduro exceptionally ideological about the economy.  (xply oil rigs nationalized, shop owners forced to sell at artificially low prices).

 

"Maduro replaced Chávez’s minister of the economy Jorge Giordani with Nelson Merentes, who is considered more pragmatic by analysts".  Weasel words underlined.  Which analysts?  Why?  Clearly they were wrong, or Nelson Merentes didn't actually have any say on economic policy, because Maduro has not acted pragmatically at all.

 

"loosening of complicated exchange controls to make it easier to access dollars for imports." That never actually happened.

 

"Maduro’s government has an understanding that the private sector has a key role to play in the Venezuelan economy, and that it needs to work with them to control shortages and inflation"  Holding retailers at gunpoint and forcing them to sell at well below cost is clearly working with the private sector.  /sarcasm.  Maduro's supposed understanding of private sector's key role in the Venezuelan economy is vastly overrated. 

 

Your author is wrong about these things.  No one (sane) would have written this evidence after November 9th.  This is why date matters.

 

Goodman 12-2-13/

Just because other countries are behaving more rationally is not evidence that Venezuela will actually change.  Is it costing it allies abroad? Maybe, although the card doesn't actually address that point, just that its openly critical stance isn't accepted without scrutiny anymore.  Nor does it suggest any evidence that Venezuela's relationship towards the USFG has changed at all.  Which is what you're trying to use it as.  You don't have the warrants for that claim.

 

Second, Goldman Sachs is not the USFG.  Maduro's verbal ire has been specifically directed at the US government, and this card provides zero evidence that his approach to the US government has changed.

 

Finally, i said previously that trade and diplomacy aren't linked.  Trade happens even when relations are bad, and improving trade does not improve relations.  In Venezuela's case, specifically, it is empirically denied.  But plan necessarily involves diplomacy to the extent it involves government action (and if it doesn't involve government action, I have a few Topicality violations to run).

 

------------

I'm assuming all the events I reference, when not questioned specifically, are stuff you are familiar with evidence about.

 

When the topic was written, the possibility of an improvement in VZ-US relations existed.  Everything changed in September, when certain predictions (eg, Walser, Shifter) were vindicated, and other predictions were falsified.  Since then, Maduro has continued to act in a manner consistent with the predictions of Walser's camp.  When we have a good behavioral model which is repeatedly vindicated by actual behavior, its the worst naivety to ignore the model in favor of hopeful predictions with no real evidential basis in Maduro and his government's actual actions.  Yes, an independent analysis of the Venezuelan situation might make engaging the US highly beneficial.  But Maduro's biases, domestic political situation, or insanity prevent him from reaching that conclusion.  He would have reached it back in September and not levied a continuing litany of accusations against the US.  Its not like the economy got bad overnight, its been bad since before August.  Maduro did not reach the conclusions of your authors then, and there's no evidence he's reached it now.

 

And the manner in which he talks about rapprochement with the US suggests a lack of serious interest in real dialog, and a decided interest in scoring political points both domestically and internationally.  So not only is 'Maduro says no' the logical implication, but it suggests the CP: 'Stop all government-government contact with Venezuela, warn US citizens and businesses against travelling in or doing business with VZ, and let their government collapse'.  When you can't trust their leader, the right course of action is to stop providing him ammunition to prop himself up by denouncing your officials as terrorists and saboteurs.

 

FWIW, Shifter's prediction of Maduro's actions, from June.

Shifter ‘13 Michael is an Adjunct Professor of Latin American Studies at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and writes for the Council's journal Foreign Affairs. He serves as the President of Inter-American Dialogue. “A Bolivarian Dream Deferred†– Foreign Policy, June 24, 2013 – http://thedialogue.org/page.cfm?pageID=32&pubID=3338

 

It makes sense for Venezuela to reach out to the United States, but at least in the short term, Maduro will have a tough time holding back on his strident, anti-American rhetoric. For political survival, he needs to prove his Chavista bona fides to the base that brought him to the presidency. Whatever happens abroad, Maduro will be increasingly consumed by Venezuela's staggering problems at home. Chávez left a country devoid of institutions. Instead, he bequeathed cronies like Maduro who has so far been able to fend off criticism from his neighbors but is hardly in a position to lead the kind of broad ideological movement that Chávez was able to cobble together in his glory days.

 

Walser made similar but more forceful predictions in March.  (But this is what's in front of me right now).

 

Also, this card lets me point out a fallacy in thinking shared by the "Maduro says yes" evidence.  "It makes sense for Venezuela to reach out to the United States..." is a conclusion based on a particular political location.  It makes sense to an observer in the US for Venezuela to reach out to the US.  It makes sense to Capriles and other opposition leaders to reach out to the US.  That doesn't mean it makes sense to Maduro or his government. 

 

The best evidence about what Maduro will do is based upon what Maduro has done, and how that exposes the nature of Maduro's political location and decision-making processes.  Action speaks louder than words, and all 'says yes' has going for it is words and wishful thinking.

Edited by Squirrelloid

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