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Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Coffee Break: Part one Venezuela

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Derrick: Hello Falcon, welcome back to Coffee Break, my name is Derrick.


Keanu: And I’m Keanu.


Eunice: I’m Eunice.


Derrick: Today we have a special guest this week, this week and her name is Oceana Christopher.


Oceana: Hi everybody, I am here today to speak on behalf of some of the millions of Venezuelans.


Derrick: Today for this week’s topic is going to be about the current political and economic crisis in Venezuela. So Oceana do you want to give us a little bit of a background of what’s going on?


Oceana: Sure, uhm I’m pretty sure most people have already seen in the news that there is a so called crisis happening in Venezuela, food shortages, uhm lack of access to medicine and a attempted coup of you know depends of who you ask but basically we have an opposition leader declaring himself president without winning an election. Uhm he is supported by the United States and uhm at this point there is an international pressure against Maduro to step down.


Derrick: Mmmm


Keanu: Mmmm


Eunice: Mmmm


Keanu: Eunice do you want to tell us more information about it?


Eunice: Uhm, well recently uhm the sent State of the Union address, President Trump has you know recognize the new legitimate president of Venezuela, Juan Guiado as the actual president and Nicolas Maduro which is the current you know president of Venezuela really doesn’t like that at all. And I think it was about a few weeks ago he kick out, he only 72 hours for U.S. diplomats to you know get out of the country and he is going to break… well already broke all the you know diplomatic relations with the U.S. and basically you know they’re turning their backs on democratic countries and you know at this point it is supported by Russia and you know all these….


Oceana: And also Mexico, Mexico is supporting…


Eunice: Yeah it’s supporting it…


Oceana and Eunice: Yeah he’s just…


Derrick and Keanu: Really?


Keanu: What is the President Nicolas Maduro doing to help uhm the Venezuelan people?


Eunice: In all honesty, I don’t think he’s doing anything


Keanu: Does he?


Eunice:  He hasn’t done anything… he says he is in for the people you know…


Keanu: So he is just in for himself…?


Eunice: Cuz yeah he is in it for himself, there’s been so much controversy of you know of him is when Hugo Chavez you know I died of cancer a few years ago he uhmm then  went into power. And I thought I’m like… first of all did people.. I question myself did people voted for him or you know like


Keanu: He’s just like…voted himself in


Eunice: Did just stepped in and yeah.. like, he just stepped in and then like, like, recently, the world like the Venezuela re elections. And he, he won again, supposedly, but people were saying that all these elections are rigged. It was not it was not it was not actual real elections. It was all for show. So there’s definitely something shady and going on in this, you know, presidency in commence.


Derrick: Right.


Eunice: Yeah. And it’s a basically, it’s a dictatorship. It’s the perfect dictatorship. And it’s really sad because once Latin America’s most richest, and prosperous country look where it is now socialist, you know


Derrick: yeah.


Eunice: developing country.


Derrick: right.


Oceana: And I would absolutely disagree with that position, about 100%. Because Maduro was appointed by Chavez, and then, you know, elections were held twice, and Maduro won both of those elections twice. Meanwhile, Guaido, has not actually even been in an election the United States was offered. Well, I said he had to say the opposition groups were given the chance to participate in the elections. And instead they boycotted the elections, they did not participate. And then they went into their own boycott and the low participation level as proof of a some kind of, you know, a legitimacy on on the election itself. Right. But they would not participate and instead simply declared themselves himself, leader. And this is not the first time such a thing has happened to Venezuela. It was back in 2002, when Chavez was the power that we had a another outsider who declared himself president and that millions of Venezuelans came out into the streets and demanded his return. And, and he was, in fact, returned back to his rightful position. Yeah, so this has been going on this is just a repeat show. If you really look at the history of Venezuela, you know, going back to Chavez.


Keanu Ruffo  5:30

Pretty much,


Derrick  5:31

right. It’s just like what we’re saying last week, how history is just repeating itself.


Keanu Ruffo  5:36



Derrick  5:37

You know,


Oceana  5:39

it’s us intervention in South America, which has has a long history. And on that note, I would recommend everyone to read the book confessions of an Economic Hitman, which is written by a person who himself has played a very large role in the geopolitical structure of the United States. So I’m just going to read to you a just a little description here. Okay. So John Perkins, was an Economic Hitman for an international consulting firm, he convinced developing countries to accept enormous loans and to funnel that money to US corporations, the American government and international aid agencies then request their pound of flesh, including access to natural resources, military cooperation and political support. JOHN Perkins, who was involved in all of this stuff himself for decades, it took him about 30 years to finally come out to write this book.


Eunice  6:36

30 years.


Oceana  6:37

Yeah, because he was kind of threatened and sometimes bribed, and he admits he was a bribe to not write this book. But he finally said, his daughter said, if you don’t write this book, I will because she knew the whole story. So this is his description of the way the system is working behind the scenes, okay. He himself been a participant, long time participant, okay, Economic Hitman are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funny funnel money from the World Bank, the US Agency for International Development, USA ID and other foreign aid organizations into the coffers of huge corporations, and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet’s natural resources. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex and murder. They play a game as old as Empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization. I should know, I was an EHM. So in this book, he will give you a wonderful history of Panama and how the US forced it to sign an illegal treaty to save its territory. And then it goes on, of course, all throughout the region to Ecuador, and, you know, various assassinations that have even been admitted to later on in senate hearings. by the United States.


Derrick  8:08



Oceana  8:09



Derrick  8:10

So going back a little bit about Panama. as a as a Let me see, I was about maybe 14 13, when the United States had a conflict with that, at that time, there was a precedent in Panama. So there were there were I was there as a kid. So I’m you and that was the first time that I’ve seen what military was, because it got to where I’m from. We don’t have military. And it doesn’t have any. No, it’s the only country in Central America that doesn’t have a military. that’s why we’re that’s why we’re so that’s why we’re so close with the United States.


Eunice  8:56

Why doesn’t Costa Rica have a military?


Derrick  9:00

We’ll get talk about that next. That’s it. I mean, that, you know, at that time, they were looking for Noriega, which was the president that time that had he was almost like a Chapo right. Why’s he had drugs? He had guns, you know, that was a whole,


Oceana  9:19

but he was the US puppet. Right? And then they turned against their puppet when their puppets turned against it. Yeah. Because before that, the guy that was in power was actually doing Chavez like things for the body and type things. And the US will come after you quickly. I mean, somehow they didn’t get Castro probably just, but when you think about it, look at their islands. What do they really have sugarcane, bananas, a beautiful place, but they don’t have oil reserves. Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves,


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Derrick  9:54

But they have the cocoa bean


Oceana  9:55

Oh, yeah, sure. Sure. They have a lot of resources, their whole region, all of them, but not but then when you look at you know, where and why would they not necessarily take out cash? We tried. It’s not that we didn’t dry. But you know, what are we going to send in an army? Well, we did a little bit but again, it’s it’s not like he was sitting on the toilet reserved. The way Moammar Gadhafi was Saddam Hussein was, and now Maduro is. So I have a huge concern that this is nothing, that this is totally manufactured crisis, because another aspect that I just learned, which I was shocked, is that the food shortage, the so called shortage, it’s not that there’s a shortage of actual food because Venezuela is a resource rich country, they cannot they have bananas, chicken, you know, nobody’s really starving. It’s just that food that’s either imported or manufactured at like a high level is being actually withheld from the shelves, corporate, the the owner of a company who has the history of trying to overthrow the government.


Eunice  11:07

So everything is done on purpose.


Oceana  11:09

Everything is being coordinated and a certain way. And there’s like, it’s basically to my understanding, there’s a capitalist class inside Venezuela that’s aligned with the US that wants more of the resources to stay with them and not go we be redistributed to the population, the way the Chinese the approach of, you know, we’re going to give some land back to the campus Dino’s kind of like what happened in Honduras, which precipitated the other overthrow of our events. And now the current crisis and all these migrants is actually these giant multinational corporations that are like, Oh, no, you will not take what we have, because we’re not giving anything. And, you know, redistributing it, it seems to them that’s evil, because they’re taking what they see as their money. But how did they even get in the first place? It’s a lot of colonialism, ties that have really helped over through decades. And a lot of racism too, because apparently, the opposition if you like, according to Greg Palast, BBC journalist, documentary and amazing, he was saying that the opposition marches they they’re mostly like the whiter Venezuelans. And then Meanwhile, the pro chop, chop Chinese, the Pro Bowl of Aryan are like the misty those but they’re outnumbered like by millions, these small marching groups, relatively speaking, smaller groups that he said they will even margin high heels, they would say openly that they have wealth, and they want to keep their wealth. And they would actually call Chavez at the time, because he’s talking about the first time in 2002, during the whole coup and everything and the demonstrations, so called anti government demonstrations, but they were actually calling him like Chavez monkey, you know, because he is a mestizo. He’s the first indigenous person in that country in like, maybe forever, since they were following that his. So these are very deep roots, haves and have nots, and it’s almost kind of like it is actually more of a multinational war in a sense, because if that were to spread to the next country, and the next country, nice country where you have these same corporations with a stronghold, it could really topple the system, and they could really spread like revolution, you know.


Derrick  13:33

So um


Oceana  13:35

know what everything.


Derrick  13:37

So let’s go to Canas, you want to give us your your comment.


Keanu Ruffo  13:45

Like how Oceana was saying, how past just repeating itself? It’s hard for, you know, my words,


Oceana  14:01



Keanu Ruffo  14:03

not just saying like, how best Hello, candy, how they have all these good resources, and they don’t have that, that guy that can help them grow, you know, how can prosper, you know, they have these crooked politicians presidents that are, you know, keeping them down? You know,I’m saying


Eunice  14:26

this is nothing new like in America has a huge history. on, you know, leader. I mean, Latin America has a lot to offer. So many reasons, probably more than United States.


Keanu Ruffo  14:47



Eunice  14:47

But it’s just the people who are just rather keep all the you know, the wealth for themselves and not for the people on your team forward, how we going to move forward?


Oceana  15:00

And I mean, it’s okay, it’s one thing to say that the government was corrupt, because there is some corruption within the government, there’s corruption within all governments. But honestly, if you look at the numbers, and they say, in reality, millions of Ben Venezuelans have seen their living conditions vastly improved through the Bolivarian process under charges, I’m going to Maduro, and they they said that this is not an inherent problem in the fault of socialism, but actually artificial oil, artificially oil price, low oil prices and sabotage is by forces hostile to the revolution. So this is kind of a very coordinated attack against the concept of, you know, more going to redistribute to be well, you know, we are going to offer opportunities, you know, literally, you see a pattern of the United States actually not wanting that, and any, any leaders in, in Latin America who start to do that these types of programs, they will they try to portray them as dictators, but in reality, it’s something else. That’s why millions of Venezuelans are marching for maduro. Same thing happened with China’s like, how do you explain that? How do you explain them saying no, bring back our president, and then they brought it back, because we are really talking about the majority that is benefiting from them, the minority is not minority already has resources. So they are getting the press coverage, they are working with the United States to do the bidding, which is they want more they want complete control. They want to keep it the way it is they want to privatized oil companies that they can benefit immensely from the United States wants the oil and they’ve said it out loud. You know, our national security advisor john bolton said, the United States will benefit from this oil, and supposedly Venezuelan people will benefit from our control.


Keanu Ruffo  16:58

I’m not sure what is best way, the only country where we get are oil from


Oceana  17:04

its not we are producing a lot


Derrick  17:08

only one,


Oceana  17:09

but it’s a huge clients. I mean,


Derrick  17:11

it is the only one in Central America,


Keanu Ruffo  17:13

the only one central.


Oceana  17:15

And it is the actual largest oil reserve, which I didn’t even know until recently. That’s a lot of oil that we’re talking about here. And then of course, we froze their assets and are saying, oh, we’re going to give that money to this opposition leader guy who really just declared himself president or one guy to have the same guy who was also flew to the United States, back in January after Maduro was sworn in, and has been coming to the United States having meetings with our leaders. And then next thing you know, we you know, we say we endorse him, he announces himself president, and now we’re in the middle of an actual coup that’s being attempted against.


Eunice  17:58

I was been researching about a little bit about hisbackground. And


Derrick  18:03

is this your your comment?


Eunice  18:05

Yes. Okay. And one way, is 35 years old, born and raised in Venezuela, but the thing is that he comes from a middle upper middle class family. His father was a pilot as an airline pilot, his mom was a teacher, he actually went to the got his all his degrees in engineering, here in the United States, which is George Washington University, and also another university, in Venezuela. So it’s pretty interesting where he comes from, and it’s just to me, it’s just weird how this guy, you know, just all of a sudden, you know, he declares himself, you know, as the now sort of, pretty much is the self declared president, so called president in Venezuela, and then, and he refuses to leave as well as putting him public is just that, Where is it? Where I have question? Is, is he for real? Or if you’re, you know, you know, he actually wants to, you know, have a positive wants to bring positive change to the country. So I just sociologist question, this guy’s intention. So I’m not saying right, right or bad. It’s just that, you know, what’s the see the real deal? Or is this just for sure.


Oceana  19:24

I think you’re right to question his intentions. And I, I think that he is just the, you know, the puppet of the day of the moment, and he’s a good looking little puppet.


Derrick  19:39

So we’re kind of, we’re kind of running out of time. Oceana, thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for coming in. But um, this is, this is going to be, this is actually going to be part one. Part two is going to be coming up. Hopefully next week, yes. And also what what we’re going to include into that is that I’m gonna look a little bit about Costa Rican why Costa Rica doesn’t have a military. So we kind of include that in a little bit later, but we’re also power. We’re going to talk about el chapo next week, including that in our part two.So this, I’m Derek,


Keanu Ruffo  20:25

and I’m Keanu.


Eunice  20:26

I’m Eunice


Oceana  20:28

I’m Oceana,


Derrick  20:30

and this is coffee bake. We’ll see you soon.


Transcribed by Cindy Canas


About the Contributors
Derrick Coleman, Co-Multimedia Editor
Derrick Coleman is the Co-Multimedia Editor at Talon Marks. He was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, where he lived for 15 years before coming to the United States. His goal is to start his own photography business.
Keanu Ruffo, Sports Editor
Keanu Ruffo is a Journalism major and is the returning Sports Editor for Talon Marks news division here at Cerritos College. Keanu plans to transfer to Cal State Long Beach once’s he’s received his AA degree. His career goal is to work for the NFL Network or ESPN.
Eunice Barron, Co-Online Editor
Eunice Barron is a staff writer for Talon Marks and a multimedia journalism major at Cerritos College. She is an entertainment and political media enthusiast. She hopes to transfer to Cal State Fullerton to obtain a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Communications. Her dream job is to be a political journalist for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times or NBC Universal.
Oceana Christopher, Staff Writer
Oceana Christopher is a current staff writer for Cerritos College’s Talon Marks. She is a former flight attendant, world traveler, culture and health enthusiast, yogi, activist and former volunteer for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign of 2016. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and hopes to transfer to USC Annenberg School’s graduate program in journalism.  
Cindy Canas, Multimedia Editor
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Coffee Break: Part one Venezuela