From Chicago, knows about economics, medicine, 4chan, and a whole host of other things that are mostly useful in bar trivia.
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This can't be real. There is no way
There are a bunch of positive effects. Teetotalers have a higher mortality rate than moderate drinkers, but the break even point is around 3 drinks/day for men
The US support for regime change is certainly about oil/socialism/anti-american rhetoric, but I don't think that discounts the fact that a lot of Venezuelans are pissed off about the state of the country. They have major economic problems and serious political oppression, and the guardian is blowing that off in the article.
Also "$5 million dollars funding opposition activities" being the tip of the iceberg... give me a break. It's totally unsubstantiated guesswork - bad journalism.
In Tachira (a state in VZ) there was a student protest at a university about a student getting raped. A bunch of those kids got arrested, things escalated (I think a few people got killed), and the general distaste for the government has coalesced around these events and spread to other cities. Price controls, inflation, capital flight, black market foreign currency exchange, high food prices... VZ is not really in a good place economically. This has all been intensified by the recent departure of Hugo Chavez (who was a strong national leader), and all the problems that come with that.
Heavy alcohol use will destroy your memory though. See: