Forum, April 9: Audacity, hypocrisy in U.S. dealings with Venezuela

Monday, April 08, 2019
Audacity, hypocrisy in U.S. dealings with Venezuela

There is continued importance to question why the United States government supports regime change in Venezuela. Is it because Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has shown the audacity to claim that Venezuelans have the right to their own oil reserves?

For decades, but with recent frequency, U.S. officials have both explicitly and implicitly stated an interest in Venezuela’s oil reserves, the largest in the world. To get their hands on this oil, the U.S. has imposed sanctions that sabotage Venezuela’s infrastructure and austerity and have recognized the self-proclaimed, unelected interim president, Juan Guiadó.

Venezuelans have the undeniable right to choose their elected leaders. However, it is imperative that we understand Washington’s true agenda behind creating public opinion that supports an economic war in which the U.S. billionaire class stands to gain. The U.S. is also hypocritical in its criticism of Venezuelan leadership. Puerto Rico, whose inhabitants are U.S. citizens, continues to suffer from the effects from Hurricane Maria, which was responsible for more than 3,000 deaths. Our government has closed 300 schools, imposed austerity, refused to rebuild the power grid, fund or improve health care, cut pensions to workers and blames Puerto Rico.

Why are we not focusing our attention on Puerto Rico, rather than creating new hardship for the people of Venezuela?



New debate rule: No name-calling

Before any political debates begin, let’s review the meaning of debate as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary: “A formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting or legislative assembly in which opposing arguments are put forward.”

Proper debate is taught in school to “enhance critical thinking” and gives clarity to the subject at hand. The ground rules for debate are usually simple and put forward by the moderator to ensure fairness around subject matter and time constraints.

Calling fellow debaters juvenile, demeaning names is not something taught or tolerated in debate class. Serving up childish names only cheapens the name-caller, and the debate process. So, as responsible adults, let’s add this to our presidential debate ground rules: a forfeiture of time for any debater who resorts to name-calling.

Political debates are necessary to present serious subjects affecting all Americans. With this in mind, as the 2020 elections approach, let it be clearly stated at the beginning of any debate that common decency and respect for other participants will be upheld. Should a debater attempt to cast aspersions on other debaters or use demeaning, adolescent name-calling, that debater will be cut off by the moderator and forfeit the remaining time on that point. In this way we will enhance the factual clarity of opposing views before exercising our important right and duty to vote.



And if a ruler hearken to lies ...

Some 900 years BCE, Solomon had this to say (Proverbs 29:11, from the King James Version): “A fool uttereth (substitute “twittereth”) all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.”



Cover the more future-oriented 2020 candidates

Besides touching other people without consent, former Vice President Joe Biden’s self-indulgence includes support for President George W. Bush’s war on Iraq, votes for mass incarceration and a devotion to Wall Street’s priorities.

(Sorry for being redundant.)

Adding in Biden’s two previous failed runs for the presidency, could we please read coverage of less Donald Trump-like, more future-oriented candidates?



Norwich Women’s Club accepting grant applications

The Norwich Women’s Club is accepting applications for 2019 community projects grants. The Norwich Women’s Club supports programs and projects that enhance educational, civic and cultural activities in Norwich.

Awards are made to organizations and individuals either located in Norwich or directly benefiting Norwich residents.

Thank you to the committee members and volunteers who worked on the 2019 Spring Gala, which honored Demo Sofronas as Citizen of the Year and raised more than $48,000 from ticket sales, auction items and donations.

For more information, and to download a grant application form, please visit our website at www.norwichwomensclub.org.

All applications must be completed and received no later than May 1.

Awards will be announced and funds made available after June 30.



The writer is chair of the Finance Committee of the Norwich Women’s Club.

Not like the old ‘Valley News’ at all

Please print this letter: I am very disappointed in the printing and the new format of the Valley News. To me it doesn’t resemble to “old Valley News” at all! Why the change?

I look forward to getting the paper every day, even though the price keeps “going up.”