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Ukrainian and now Venezuelan Crisis'


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#1 Mike K.

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 12:59 PM

Hopefully today's vote to reduce Ukrainian president Yanukovych's powers and restore the 2004 constitution will begin to ease tensions after lengthy and deadly protests in Ukraine. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of Yanukovych, period, and now protesters are disappointed that opposition leaders have agreed to only a curtailing of his powers.

 

Reports are coming in claiming that injured protesters fleeing across the border into Poland to seek medical attention are doing so out of fear of being kidnapped by the military and tortured while seeking treatment in Ukraine. There are even reports of kidnapped individuals being murdered by military forces.

 

Meanwhile in Venezuela independent media report that Venezuelan police and military forces are attacking citizens who are likely to engage in protests against the government. Venezuela's president is threatening to oust CNN and other media out of the country and has already removed several American diplomats. Internet blocking has begun with reports that Facebook has been blocked and heavy restrictions on Internet access imposed.

 

Mainstream media coverage of events taking place in Venezuela has been scarce and often misses the mark according to independent media and Venezuelans are calling for more international coverage as government forces try to instill fear in the populace while suggesting government opposition is at the behest of the US.


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#2 Nparker

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 01:33 PM

Mainstream media coverage of events taking place in Venezuela has been scarce and often misses the mark according to independent media and Venezuelans are calling for more international coverage as government forces try to instill fear in the populace while suggesting government opposition is at the behest of the US.

Perhaps this is because the MSM is too busy making sure all the corporate sponsors of the Winter Olympics get lots of coverage for their payments. Maybe Venezuela would benefit from having their political turmoil sponsored by Coca Cola and Microsoft. :whyme:



#3 Mike K.

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 02:48 PM

I get where you're coming from but Ukraine is certainly receiving a lot of coverage. It's unclear why there is so little coverage coming out of Venezuela. Perhaps the issue has been festering and only now warrants sending out correspondents?

Venezuela has also expelled media from at least one other Latin American country. CNN and other western media is on their radar.

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#4 Mike K.

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 03:19 PM

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has just stated via Twitter that it has been confirmed that Yanukovych tried to give orders for the Ukrainian army to "move against protesters," and added that Yanukovych "wanted to do the same in 2004 but was stopped."

Makes you appreciate being Canadian, doesn't it?

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#5 Mike K.

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 03:27 PM

...and CNN has been thrown out of Venezuela.

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#6 spanky123

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 03:27 PM

Ukraine is getting lots of coverage because there is a large, influential Ukrainian ex-pat population in Canada and because the US and Canadian Governments are taking every opportunity to humiliate the Putin Government for failing to allow them to bomb Syria into democracy and for not turning over Snowden. Nobody gives a rat's arse about Venezuela unfortunately.

 

The protest leaders in the Ukraine have achieved early elections and a reduction in powers which is likely the best outcome they would have got. All they had to do is look at their counterparts in Egypt, Syria and Libya to see what happens when you press too far and the US and Canadian public loses interest because the new season of Swamp People is on TV.



#7 Nparker

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 04:12 PM

....All they had to do is look at their counterparts in Egypt, Syria and Libya to see what happens when you press too far and the US and Canadian public loses interest because the new season of Swamp People is on TV.

To be fair to North American TV audiences, they are much more likely tuned into Duck Dynasty than Swamp People these days. :squint:



#8 spanky123

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 05:12 PM

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has just stated via Twitter that it has been confirmed that Yanukovych tried to give orders for the Ukrainian army to "move against protesters," and added that Yanukovych "wanted to do the same in 2004 but was stopped."

Makes you appreciate being Canadian, doesn't it?

 

Too bad it isn't true. Yanukovych became President in 2010, Yushchenko was elected President in 2004. I guess that facts don't matter any more if you want to make a point.

 

What is a fact is that Yanukovych was elected in 2010 with 67% of the population voting (far more than Canada or the US) in an election that was considered fair. He also won by a larger margin than most recent US or Canadian elections. I guess there are now two types of democracies - the ones with leaders we like and the ones with leaders we don't!



#9 Mike K.

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 05:15 PM

Ukraine is getting lots of coverage because there is a large, influential Ukrainian ex-pat population in Canada and because the US and Canadian Governments are taking every opportunity to humiliate the Putin Government for failing to allow them to bomb Syria into democracy and for not turning over Snowden. Nobody gives a rat's arse about Venezuela unfortunately.

 

Humiliating Putin has nothing to do with what's happening in Ukraine. You can't really blame the Russians for stepping up their game in light of the divisive EU vs. Russia political reality. Where things went sideways was despite the population's desire to build closer ties with Europe, Yanukovych decided that he'd rather take the bait and form closer ties with Russia.

 

If anything Putin wants strife in Ukraine and would rather see the country split into two nations, the western half that wants closer ties to Europe and the eastern half that wants closer ties to Russia. This way Putin gets what he wants and a population that stands behind him. Otherwise Ukraine is more trouble than it is worth and revolution/civil war will be a lingering problem.

 

And at the heart of it all Ukraine simply lacks leadership. They have an ineffective dictator in power and even if he's ousted his replacements won't do any better than he has. Evidence of this is the opposition leaders railing against Yanukovych have little if any control over protesters, but they should be leading them, and today's decisions have already left the opposition looking like ineffective, easily swayed opponents that signed off on a deal that accomplishes little but gives the impression of progress.


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#10 Mike K.

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 05:18 PM

Too bad it isn't true. Yanukovych became President in 2010, Yushchenko was elected President in 2004. I guess that facts don't matter any more if you want to make a point.

 

What is a fact is that Yanukovych was elected in 2010 with 67% of the population voting (far more than Canada or the US) in an election that was considered fair. He also won by a larger margin than most recent US or Canadian elections. I guess there are now two types of democracies - the ones with leaders we like and the ones with leaders we don't!

 

You may want to read up on the 2004 elections. The following link is just a smidgen of info but it'll do.  http://news.bbc.co.u...ope/4038803.stm

 

[Yanukovych] won by 3.48% over Yulia Tymoshenko, the prime minister, who refused to accept the result, alleging fraud.

 

...[In] 2004, when he was declared the official winner but, following huge protests on the streets of Kiev - the Orange Revolution - his victory was ruled fraudulent and annulled by the Supreme Court.

 

It was immediately after the elections when fraud allegations began flying that he had allegedly (whether you believe Sweden's Foreign Minister, that is) tried to get the army to step in against protesters who were demanding a re-election.


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#11 Baro

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 06:27 PM

I've got a lot of family in Kiev so this is something I've been following pretty intently.


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#12 LJ

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 06:50 PM

Problem with this is the same as Syria, Egypt, Libya, Iraq etc., not everybody is satisfied with the new government that comes in and you just start the cycle of violence again. They need fair and supervised elections, referendums and public input, and then the public need to allow them to govern for their term period. If at the end of the term you don't like what they did - vote for somebody else.

 

We are looking at the protests in the Ukraine in a vacuum, as we don't know what the majority of the population want, we only know what some of the protesters want, and their wants are vastly different among themselves.

 

If the government abdicated all those that agreed with the government would start protests against the "new" leadership.

 

And who would be the new leadership, some people want the president tried criminally others are happy to have him share power, so if the new leadership doesn't do what some factions want then they will continue to protest.

 

This is a lose lose situation.


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#13 Mike K.

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 07:52 AM

BBC is reporting Yanukovych has been impeached and elections will be held May 25th.

Meanwhile presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko who was thrown in jail by Yanukovych for "abuse of power" has been released.

Yanukovych is trying to suggest what's happening in Ukraine is what happened in Germany in the 30's. This guy just can't help himself.

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#14 spanky123

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 06:00 PM

^^ That is exactly my point. The West promotes that their goal is to establish democracies and that lasts until they get a democratically elected leader (like Yanukovych) that they don't like. The West then works to undermine the elected leadership to install a Government of their choosing, even if it is more brutal then the one replaced.



#15 Mike K.

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 06:21 PM

Already we're seeing a split among protesters who don't want Tymoshenko to represent them and those that do.

With eastern bloc countries you have a populace that can rise up and overcome extreme circumstances to overthrow a ruler. We saw this with Poland in the 80's and we've seen it several times since then in the east. Unfortunately when the big bad foe is gone infighting and distrust begin to permeate through society leading up to internal struggles and bickering that ultimately divides a nation that was just moments ago united.

Such behaviour is a symptom of several generations having lived under communism and having become distrustful of their governments. And after what these people have gone through you can't blame them for always questioning if their leaders are acting in their best interests or the interests of a puppet master. In the case of Ukraine their fears turned out to be true when Yanukovych suddenly jumped into Putin's lap despite Ukraine's efforts to become more aligned with the EU.

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#16 spanky123

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 08:23 PM

You may want to read up on the 2004 elections. The following link is just a smidgen of info but it'll do.  http://news.bbc.co.u...ope/4038803.stm

 

 

It was immediately after the elections when fraud allegations began flying that he had allegedly (whether you believe Sweden's Foreign Minister, that is) tried to get the army to step in against protesters who were demanding a re-election.

 

No question about the fraud that led up to the Orange Revolution. My point was that Yanukovych didn't have control of the Military so how could he order an attack on the protestors? More babies incubators in my opinion.

 

The current crisis was sparked after the IMF demanded that the Ukrainian Government enact austerity measures in return for an EU led bailout. Russia offered to purchase Ukrainian bonds and subsidize the sale of oil and gas. Opposition members, fueled by Western media and Governments have alleged that the Ukrainian Government has a side deal to sell assets to Russia and protestors are reacting to that. 



#17 Mike K.

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 09:59 PM

Yanukovych's agenda was certainly no secret and I think we should give Ukrainians more credit than simply falling for western propaganda and deciding to protest.

Bora, you say you have lots of family in Kiev. What's their take on all of this? The few Ukrainians I know locally are thrilled to see Yanukovych running scared and hope that the country will eventually join the EU.

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#18 spanky123

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 11:40 AM

Yanukovych's agenda was certainly no secret and I think we should give Ukrainians more credit than simply falling for western propaganda and deciding to protest.

Bora, you say you have lots of family in Kiev. What's their take on all of this? The few Ukrainians I know locally are thrilled to see Yanukovych running scared and hope that the country will eventually join the EU.

 

I think that in many cases ex-pats are not supportive of the Government or else many would still be there.

 

In any event, looks like Ukraine has a new President.

 

Wikileaks documents mention Turchynov, then head of Ukraine's SBU, as having destroyed secret documents evidencing Yuliya Tymoshenko's connections to organized crime boss Semion Mogilevich.



#19 Mike K.

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 11:21 AM

Reports are starting to come in that civilian aircraft are avoiding Ukrainian airspace amid possibility of a Russian invasion of the country.

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#20 AllseeingEye

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:15 PM

Folks here need to remember two additional points neither of which has been acknowledged in this thread; for starters to state "western propaganda" is to blame is far too simplistic an explanation and ignores two critical points - namely that Russians and Ukrainians are not of the same ethnic origin - and there is absolutely no love lost between the two. None. If you think this is not a potential friction point consider the bloody Balkan conflicts in the 1990's between the Croats, Serbs and Muslins. "Ethnic" strife in many respects is far more pathological than are religious differences and more often than not results in some of the bloodiest most horrific episodes in human history. Ask any Jew who survived the death camps of WWII.

 

Moscow is certainly aware of the fact that "ethnic" Russians make up nearly 20% of the Ukrainian population, therefore they have more than a passing interest in what happens there and they certainly won't sit idly by if it appears "Russian" Ukrainians are threatened. Similarly assuming the reports that the previous Ukrainian government was favorably pre-disposed to Russia and was seeking closer ties with Moscow, certainly would not sit well with the bulk of the Ukrainian people. You can bank on that....

 

Second, Ukraine is still the location of I believe Russia's second largest naval base at Sevastopol, home of the (Russian) Black Sea Fleet. And again if you think Russia would stand by idly while there was even a remote possibility of losing their only ice-free base, then you need to think again. Not happening.



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