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Venezuela Thread

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1 hour ago, msommer said:

Swell people ren supports

Can you please stop with these disingenuous attacks?  I don't paint you as a Trump/Bolton supporter.  

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15 hours ago, ren hoek said:

Can you please stop with these disingenuous attacks?  I don't paint you as a Trump/Bolton supporter.  

When you get your human hat on and realize Maduro has to go (preferably peacefully)

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This is why Donald Trump and everyone else in the USA is not important in this crisis: Venezuelan GDP has decreased 63% since 2016.  Combine that with hyperinflation, and you have a ruined economy and a humanitarian crisis where there is not enough food or medicine in the country.  This is 2x as bad as the Great Depression in the USA, and 3.5x as bad as the Weimar Republic in the interwar period.

https://twitter.com/fmonaldi/status/1092777678934065155?s=08

Edited by The Z Machine
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4 hours ago, The Z Machine said:

This is why Donald Trump and everyone else in the USA is not important in this crisis: Venezuelan GDP has decreased 63% since 2016.  Combine that with hyperinflation, and you have a ruined economy and a humanitarian crisis where there is not enough food or medicine in the country.  This is 2x as bad as the Great Depression in the USA, and 3.5x as bad as the Weimar Republic in the interwar period.

https://twitter.com/fmonaldi/status/1092777678934065155?s=08

There are examples in Latin America of how to prosper and reduce poverty, such as the paths taken by Peru and Chile. And a semi-socialist country, such as Bolivia where only 20 companies have been expropriated by the state (compared to hundreds in Venezuela) and most private companies share their wealth with the state but aren't controlled by it. Bolivia's economy has also done well. I've seen many examples of successful entreneurship among Peruvians and Bolivians in their countries. So, Chavez and Maduro choose the failed Cuban economic model?

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The mere sight of Abrams, whose famously thick and pointed eyebrows appear to have been manicured, disturbs. A very different look acquired since the days when he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his support of the Nicaraguan Contras, the US-backed group denounced by major human rights organizations for what one called their “pattern of brutality against largely unarmed civilians, including rape, torture, kidnappings, mutilation and other abuses.”  The Contras also claimed the lives of thousands of innocents.

My first personal experience of Abrams’ work with the Salvadoran government as Ronald Reagan’s  Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs came in the early 80s, at the beginning of the civil war, when I was a curly-haired teen visiting my family in San Vicente province.

My mom’s sister, Tía Pacita, and I were driving in her clunky red Toyota down a rocky part of the Pan American highway hugging the Valle de Jiboa, the lushest, greenest, volcano-fed valley in El Salvador.

The sunset had darkened the road, but we could still see a site stranger than that of a rainbow-colored parrot: a woman sitting in a chair in the middle of the Pan American highway. Tía Pacita slowed down, telling me, “Ojo al Cristo,” eye on Christ, be vigilant. As we got closer to passing the woman in the chair, Tía Pacita shined the Toyota’s high beams to reveal the site I’d not soon forget: the bloody chair with the woman’s bloodied torso, her head lying on the rocky road we sped past as quickly as the clunky Toyota could.

The beheaded woman was likely a victim of Salvadoran death squads and US-backed military responsible for 85% of civilian deaths during the 12-year war, according to the most comprehensive record of the war’s atrocities, the United Nations Truth Commission report of 1992.

In public, Abrams defended the Salvadoran government in the 80s, calling members of Congress and journalists who questioned U.S. policy in Central America names like “fools,” “pious clowns” and “abysmally stupid,” previewing his perfect fit as a future Trump Administration operative.

Abrams’ response to the December 7, 1982 massacre in the town of El Mozote also previewed the practices that earned him calls like that from veteran journalist Allan Nairn, who on national television and in front of Abrams told him he “would be a fit subject for such a Nuremberg-style inquiry”.

Initially ignoring  and then questioning reports of the El Mozote massacre, Abrams told a Senate committee that the reports were “not credible.” As reports grew,  he downplayed the numbers of people killed. A decade later, the U.N. Truth Commission documented a big part of the massacre whose remains are still being excavated:

On 10 December 1981, in the village of El Mozote in the Department of Morazán, units of the Atlacatl Battalion detained, without resistance, all the men, women and children who were in the place. The following day, 11 December, after spending the night locked in their homes, they were deliberately and systematically executed in groups. First, the men were tortured and executed, then the women were executed and, lastly, the children, in the place where they had been locked up….

In response to the U.N. Truth Commission report, Abrams described it as an attempt to “rewrite history,” saying “the [Reagan] administration’s record in El Salvador is one of fabulous achievement.”

Elliott Abrams: An Unequivocal Sign Trump Is Preparing a Baptism in Venezuelan Blood

Edited by ren hoek

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1 hour ago, SoBeDad said:

So, Chavez and Maduro choose the failed Cuban economic model?

Essentially, yes. There have been numerous political and economic advisors from Cuba that came to Venezuela during chavismo. Venezuela traded oil for political advisors and doctors. It wasn't a smart move.

25 years ago, Venezuela produced much more of its own goods, especially in agriculture. Massive expropriation by the state sharply increased imports, paid for by oil money. As crude oil prices spiked, this allowed for ever increasing spending on poorly designed social programs and subsidizing food and gasoline.  The distortions in the economy grew over time and eventually reduced the efficiency of the market.  This, coupled with a highly corrupt government that was extracting wealth from small / medium sized enterprises made it a terrible place to do business.  Direct foreign investment dried up at the government proved to be an unreliable partner.  Then as crude oil prices dropped, the spending could not be sustained, and imports couldn't be paid for any longer.

Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador this was not.

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So, in the Venezuela thread we get a post about El Salvador?

:lmao:

And from the well known and surely not biased source of "latinorebels" whose logo is a red five pointed star.....

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2 hours ago, msommer said:

So, in the Venezuela thread we get a post about El Salvador?

:lmao:

And from the well known and surely not biased source of "latinorebels" whose logo is a red five pointed star.....

Here’s more on Robert Lovato, complete with links to his own bylines in FP, Guardian, Boston Globe etc: 

http://www.robertolovato.com/about.html

I know you’re trolling again, but part of understanding policy is understanding the people that will implement it.  Sometimes that means talking about the things they did before.  Basic history 101.  

So when Trump hires a deathsquad backing neocon who lied to Congress about it as envoy to Venezuela, it tells us a lot about what’s going to happen in Venezuela.  It’s amazing that Trump/Bolton are being given the benefit of the doubt here.  

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38 minutes ago, ren hoek said:

Here’s more on Robert Lovato, complete with links to his own bylines in FP, Guardian, Boston Globe etc: 

http://www.robertolovato.com/about.html

I know you’re trolling again, but part of understanding policy is understanding the people that will implement it.  Sometimes that means talking about the things they did before.  Basic history 101.  

So when Trump hires a deathsquad backing neocon who lied to Congress about it as envoy to Venezuela, it tells us a lot about what’s going to happen in Venezuela.  It’s amazing that Trump/Bolton are being given the benefit of the doubt here.  

You are supporting a regime that murders and starves their own citizens.

At least you are consistent, I suppose

 

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12 minutes ago, msommer said:

You are supporting a regime that murders and starves their own citizens.

At least you are consistent, I suppose

 

And conducts sham elections that thwart democracy and preserve power for authoritarians.

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1 minute ago, The Z Machine said:

And conducts sham elections that thwart democracy and preserve power for authoritarians.

well, to be fair ren has never minded elections that were interfered with (at least not from a certain cadre....)

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4 minutes ago, msommer said:

well, to be fair ren has never minded elections that were interfered with (at least not from a certain cadre....)

I honestly don't understand his political philosophy.  Anarcho-authoritarianism?

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6 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

I honestly don't understand his political philosophy.  Anarcho-authoritarianism?

anarcho-bot?

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1 hour ago, The Z Machine said:

And conducts sham elections that thwart democracy and preserve power for authoritarians.

Really?  What election did Guaido win?  

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54 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

I honestly don't understand his political philosophy.  Anarcho-authoritarianism?

That would be you and msommer, the real Trump supporters

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51 minutes ago, ren hoek said:

Really?  What election did Guaido win?  

Pretty sure the 2015 parliamentary elections, which were held according to the constitution.

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I'm not entirely sure I understand why some have a resistance to the idea of impeachment. It's a part of [small r] republican democracy since, well, we the US invented it (and I guess we got it from the Brits). If a legislature feels that the chief executive or president has acted unconstitutionally, illegally, or improperly in any way they have the right to remove him. That's a republic. It is the people's house and ultimately in any real democracy that has to be the preeminent institution (except perhaps the supreme court assuming it is properly instituted, which, in Venezuela, it is not).

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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49 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Pretty sure the 2015 parliamentary elections, which were held according to the constitution.

Ouch. That ought to sting a little

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I guess the real question for me is, do you (the general you) support US intervention in Venezuela?  Crushing sanctions, backing the opposition, withholding assets from Maduro and giving them to Gaido, Bolton talking to American oil companies about Venezuela’s oil?  Or do you not?  

Because opposing that and supporting Maduro are absolutely two different things, no matter how many times msommer pretends it isn’t.  

And if you spent any amount of time being upset about “meddling” in US elections but support this- western states handpicking the ruler of Venezuela, threatening violence and further economic strangling against Venezuelans if Maduro doesn’t - I find those to be pretty irreconcilable positions.  

This is regime change.  It is a US-backed coup for oil.  It was a disaster in Iraq, Libya and Syria, and it will be a disaster in Venezuela. 

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3 hours ago, The Z Machine said:
3 hours ago, msommer said:

You are supporting a regime that murders and starves their own citizens.

At least you are consistent, I suppose

 

And conducts sham elections that thwart democracy and preserve power for authoritarians.

It really is odd how the situation in Venezuela has become another alt-right/russian meme.

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13 hours ago, The Z Machine said:

Essentially, yes. There have been numerous political and economic advisors from Cuba that came to Venezuela during chavismo. Venezuela traded oil for political advisors and doctors. It wasn't a smart move.

25 years ago, Venezuela produced much more of its own goods, especially in agriculture. Massive expropriation by the state sharply increased imports, paid for by oil money. As crude oil prices spiked, this allowed for ever increasing spending on poorly designed social programs and subsidizing food and gasoline.  The distortions in the economy grew over time and eventually reduced the efficiency of the market.  This, coupled with a highly corrupt government that was extracting wealth from small / medium sized enterprises made it a terrible place to do business.  Direct foreign investment dried up at the government proved to be an unreliable partner.  Then as crude oil prices dropped, the spending could not be sustained, and imports couldn't be paid for any longer.

Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador this was not.

Crude oil pricing basically being cut in half in 2015 really caused this house of cards to collapse 

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21 minutes ago, ren hoek said:

Because opposing that and supporting Maduro are absolutely two different things

 

On 2/4/2019 at 11:12 AM, msommer said:

When you get your human hat on and realize Maduro has to go (preferably peacefully)

Narrator: ren still seemingly in Maduro's corner 

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2 hours ago, ren hoek said:

Because opposing that and supporting Maduro are absolutely two different things, no matter how many times msommer pretends it isn’t.  

Supporting Guaido and the Assembly, vs opposing military intervention, are two different things too.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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16 hours ago, The Z Machine said:

For the record, I do not support a US military intervention in Venezuela right now.

Nor do I (off hand i cant think of a US military intervention that I have supported in the past other than Kuwait and Yugoslavia)

ETA: the search for Al Qaeda in Afganistan also, but not the cluster#### it became

Edited by msommer

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5 hours ago, msommer said:

Nor do I (off hand i cant think of a US military intervention that I have supported in the past other than Kuwait and Yugoslavia)

We should have intervened in Rwanda, but failed to, IMO.  

In this case Venezuela is already a failed state.  The damage has essentially already been done.  We should help pick up the pieces (civil assistance to the populace), but I don't see a military intervention helping matters.

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2 hours ago, Sand said:

We should have intervened in Rwanda, but failed to, IMO.  

In this case Venezuela is already a failed state.  The damage has essentially already been done.  We should help pick up the pieces (civil assistance to the populace), but I don't see a military intervention helping matters.

I agree on Rwanda (but like Yugoslavia and Kuwait it really needed to be  a multinational effort).

I remember the coverage of Rwanda though, firat a minute on how some enclave in Yugoslavia had been shelled a a handful or  a scorenkilled, thwn a passing remark, todqy 10000 were hacked ro death on a bridge in Rwansa, and nothing more. It was atrocious

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Best to you and family, Z Machine. I remember when I started this thread and made a snark about socialism and you got pissed so I changed the title after some sparring but I truly wish you the best.   

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On 2/6/2019 at 10:44 AM, The Z Machine said:

For the record, I do not support a US military intervention in Venezuela right now.

I don’t think I will ever support it, but I suspect at some point the majority of Venezuela will.

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3 hours ago, msommer said:

Venezuelas health system in a state of collapse

Swell guy this Maduro, he should be allowed to stay on.....

You all should watch that video.  That is why my FIL is returning.  To try and make a difference, whatever it takes to save just a few more lives.  He'd rather do that than live out his days in comfort.

So @ren hoek, that's why  I don't support the Maduro regime.  This is a nightmare of Chávez and Maduro's making, and the latter and his cronies need to go in order to right the ship.

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20 hours ago, The Z Machine said:

You all should watch that video.  That is why my FIL is returning.  To try and make a difference, whatever it takes to save just a few more lives.  He'd rather do that than live out his days in comfort.

So @ren hoek, that's why  I don't support the Maduro regime.  This is a nightmare of Chávez and Maduro's making, and the latter and his cronies need to go in order to right the ship.

Watched the video.  Hope your family is safe out there.  

Western sanctions and financial blockade have made this problem worse.  They knew it would make the situation worse, but did it anyway because they want an oil puppet running Venezuela.  That’s why they have anointed Guaido.  

By any objective metric, Maduro is the legitimate leader of that country.  The Chavistas exist, they elected him, they are not going away.

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Just now, ren hoek said:

By any objective metric, Maduro is the legitimate leader of that country.  

Why do you say that? At least concede there’s a Constitutional issue that people can argue about. I don’t think it’s close but I get the argument Maduro is ‘in office’.

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10 minutes ago, ren hoek said:

By any objective metric, Maduro is the legitimate leader of that country.  The Chavistas exist, they elected him, they are not going away.

The last election was rigged, and the vote count dubious at best. That's not the definition of legitimate.

Maduro has lost the people's confidence and is using violence and the threat of violence to maintain his grip on power.  His actions have cratered the economy, plunging it into ruin.

Chavistas exist, but Maduro is not Chávez.

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“The same US media outlets that have fundraised & run ad campaigns on their image as anti-Trump truth-tellers have mysteriously taken at face value everything the Trump WH & its neocon allies have said in their campaign to overthrow the gov. of Venezuela.”

https://fair.org/home/western-media-fall-in-lockstep-for-cheap-trump-rubio-venezuela-aid-pr-stunt/

Edited by ren hoek

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13 hours ago, ren hoek said:

“The same US media outlets that have fundraised & run ad campaigns on their image as anti-Trump truth-tellers have mysteriously taken at face value everything the Trump WH & its neocon allies have said in their campaign to overthrow the gov. of Venezuela.”

https://fair.org/home/western-media-fall-in-lockstep-for-cheap-trump-rubio-venezuela-aid-pr-stunt/

Quote

It’s true the Venezuelan government appears to have placed an oil tanker and cargo containers on the bridge to prevent incursion from the Colombian side, but the other barriers, as writer and software developer Jason Emery noted, have been in place since at least 2016. According to La Opinion (2/5/16), after its initial construction in 2015, the bridge has never been open to traffic. How can Maduro, as the BBC suggested, “reopen” a bridge that was never open?

There were other reports of other points of entry being cut off and Maduro forces hauling people out of trucks and searching them. I guess this confirms that.

And I'm not sure I understand why saying that Maduro has been blocking points of entry since 2016 and has refused to open a bridge available since 2015 is supposed to help. This is a reason for partly understanding the anger at the government, the man is isolating his nation from its neighbors.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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19 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

There were other reports of other points of entry being cut off and Maduro forces hauling people out of trucks and searching them. I guess this confirms that.

And I'm not sure I understand why saying that Maduro has been blocking points of entry since 2016 and has refused to open a bridge available since 2015 is supposed to help. This is a reason for partly understanding the anger at the government, the man is isolating his nation from its neighbors.

Except the Red Cross and UN have been providing actual humanitarian aid for years.  It's not that they are refusing help or 'isolating' from their neighbors, its that they are understandably guarded about the 'humanitarian aid' pr stunts.  It was Colombia that Bolton had scribbled something about on his notepad involving '5,000 troops'.  

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1 minute ago, ren hoek said:

Except the Red Cross and UN have been providing actual humanitarian aid for years.  It's not that they are refusing help or 'isolating' from their neighbors, its that they are understandably guarded about the 'humanitarian aid' pr stunts.  It was Colombia that Bolton had scribbled something about on his notepad involving '5,000 troops'.  

Ok you're talking about the US convoys here but apparently VZ has been blocking its borders since 2016. Bolton wasn't around until 2018 and Abrams not until 2019, though you and I probably share some views on both of them.

I did read the piece, I think it's a good point about Red Cross, but VZ is in historic suffering right now. Red Cross can't cover it, they're only providing aid to six hospitals. 'Dysfunctional' doesn't cover this but supporters of the VZ people need to think about what it would take to get things to normal. If a president has reduced the value of all money, won't allow private enterprise he doesn't control and get a slice of, and won't allow in humanitarian aid because he thinks there may be smuggled arms to overthrow him then, well, maybe he shouldn't be president. That is an impossible situation.

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4 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Ok you're talking about the US convoys here but apparently VZ has been blocking its borders since 2016. Bolton wasn't around until 2018 and Abrams not until 2019, though you and I probably share some views on both of them.

I did read the piece, I think it's a good point about Red Cross, but VZ is in historic suffering right now. Red Cross can't cover it, they're only providing aid to six hospitals. 'Dysfunctional' doesn't cover this but supporters of the VZ people need to think about what it would take to get things to normal. If a president has reduced the value of all money, won't allow private enterprise he doesn't control and get a slice of, and won't allow in humanitarian aid because he thinks there may be smuggled arms to overthrow him then, well, maybe he shouldn't be president. That is an impossible situation.

Agreed, but the coup attempts and US meddling date back to at least 2002.  If you care to consider a purely socialist take on this, Mike Prysner's dismantling of John Oliver's propaganda piece on Venezuela gives some much needed context on why they're not taking western aid in good faith.  

If the west wants to help Venezuelans, they need to end the sanctions regime, quit picking sides and let actual Venezuelans decide their own destiny.  The Bank of England withheld $1.2 billion in gold assets from the Socialist Party that is rightfully theirs- this exacerbates their financial problems and ultimately worsens conditions for Venezuelans, by design.  It's just plainly disingenuous to portray this as happening in a vacuum of Maduro's own creation.  

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19 minutes ago, ren hoek said:

Agreed, but the coup attempts and US meddling date back to at least 2002.  If you care to consider a purely socialist take on this, Mike Prysner's dismantling of John Oliver's propaganda piece on Venezuela gives some much needed context on why they're not taking western aid in good faith.  

If the west wants to help Venezuelans, they need to end the sanctions regime, quit picking sides and let actual Venezuelans decide their own destiny.  The Bank of England withheld $1.2 billion in gold assets from the Socialist Party that is rightfully theirs- this exacerbates their financial problems and ultimately worsens conditions for Venezuelans, by design.  It's just plainly disingenuous to portray this as happening in a vacuum of Maduro's own creation.  

The Venezuelans did that. They had an election in 2015. Maduro responded by creating an illegal electoral commission, an illegal court, and an illegal assembly. Then he blocked off the country. What would you prose they do now to protect the last freely elected officials currently in power, the Assembly of 2015?

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9 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

The Venezuelans did that. They had an election in 2015. Maduro responded by creating an illegal electoral commission, an illegal court, and an illegal assembly. Then he blocked off the country. What would you prose they do now to protect the last freely elected officials currently in power, the Assembly of 2015?

Right.  Prysner addressed this here.  The constituent assembly was created legally based on the Constitution that had been ratified in 1999.  Anyone and everyone was welcome to run in the constituent process.  It was created as an effort to abridge peace between opposing demographics- streets were being set ablaze, death and destruction was happening- the opposition parties boycotted the process altogether.  

They may very well have been "sham" elections for all I know.  But Maduro's claim to legitimacy is a damn sight better than Guaido's.  

As Alfred de Zayas, United Nations independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, tweeted: “Article 233 of the Venezuelan constitution is inapplicable and cannot be twisted into legitimizing Guaidó’s self-proclamation as interim President. A coup is a coup.”

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