A Coincidence?

Chavez.jpg

If political transition in Venezuela were only that simple …

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35 Comments

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35 responses to “A Coincidence?

  1. ReWrite

    Such a hater. Don’t believe all of the propaganda that you read… they are trying to brainwash us. Don’t fall for it.

    The recent developments in Venezuela only further legitimize Chavez’s leadership and power.

  2. eric

    Dude, he’s the worst thing around. Even though he is such a stereotypical banana republic cuadillo that sometimes he’s actually kind of funny.

    Nevertheless, read up on your facts a little bit. Besides have tried an unsuccessful military coup attempt, arming local groups of sympathic vigilantes, completely changing the members of the constitutional court to continuously extend his mandate, cancelling the permit for the longest running televion station because he didn’t like its politics, threatening the close down any private schools that did not teach his own pro-self agenda, the list goes on and on and one.

    More legitimate now? During the referendum he claimed it would be legit because the international community was monitoring it. When he lost it, he blamed manipulation by the “external forces” who were monitoring it. He sings on TV every time he has the chance (and that is always) and their is footage of him singing to Castro.

    Did you know that one of the great steps for democracy in Latin America was the movement to limit presidential terms to avoid dictatorships? This guy’s claim to fame will be reversing that trend not only in Venezuela, but also in Bolivia and elsewhere.

    The propaganda is all his. It’s the law.

  3. ReWrite

    There is really good documentary called the “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” which is about the 2002 coup attempt against Chavez. This was done by an Irish film crew that was on the scene.

    Two of the interesting things that emerged from this documentary were: 1) US involvement in the coup attempt; 2) the fact that the military supported Chavez.

    Although there are many legit criticisms of Chavez, many argue (and I have not taken a firm position) that in order a gov’t to establish itself and break the chains of the West (and the US in particular) it requires strong leadership.

    The reason that I argue that the recent developments in Venezuela further legitimize Chavez’s democratic existence is people voted against his referendum. Would Putin allow such a result? It is an indication that the people do have chosen to support Chavez, just not forever.

    And at the end of the day, Chavez, like a few other leaders in the world, just doesn’t want to be a puppet to the US… and you have to respect that.

  4. Wow.

    So a self-aggrandizing murder should be respected just because he resists being deposed by your country’s government, by either slaughtering or imprisonment of resistance fighters who want ‘actual’ freedom/democratic representation?

    I have to wonder if you have thought this through …

    Putin is dangerous because he’s not only markedly and effectively malicious, but intelligent and organised.

    Chavez is a moron with a big gun, a dancing/singing loon with more ego than brains.

  5. eric

    ReWrite,

    I am going to have to go with James on this one. As a Venezuelan friend of mine calls the demagogue in a red track suit, “a clown within suspenders”.

    Let analyze your assertion, ReWrite, about the argued justification for such a “strong leader”.

    In the 1970s, we had Pinochet who arguably was the well-needed right wing military dictator to thwart an elected leader whose leftist politics were empoverishing the nation.

    From 2001-Present, we have a leadership in the U.S. that argues that in order to protect the nation against a serious external threat, the population must forego some of its traditional constitutional rights for that protection. Furthermore, non-citizens must forego all rights to protect the nation and its borders.

    In some countries there are even leaders that feel that rights come second place to protection religious practices.

    So how is Chavez any different from these? He hasn’t stablized his country. If you look at the country’s bonds and infation, you can tell that the capital markets have absolutely no confidence in him. So what did he do? He prohibit the export of currency. That basically means that if you are Venezuelan and want to leave the country, you have to ask the government for permission to take money with. How’s that for rights?

    Why did the military support Chavez? Where do you think he comes? Yep, the military, he was a paratrooper who tried and failed in his own coup attempt (but was later pardoned). Now, Chavez is using all of his petrol dollars to buy the support of his neigbhors, and that is why he is listened to. But standing up against the U.S.? Having enemies never helped anyone’s cause. It is better to befriend and use that leverage to express yourself than to do it from the fringe.

    Chavez is a suspenders wearing clown, no matter how you look at it, and it is a country that you would not last in for five seconds if you ever had an opinion on anything that you wanted to express. More dangerous is the Pinochet model because it worked and which other countries would wish to follow.

    But what developing countries do not need is a Chavez or even a Pinochet. Strong leadership is good, but not at the cost of an independent judiciary or central bank or legislature or individual rights (no matter what the excuse, neo-con or Bolivarian). What you need is confidence in the ability for a political transition without the entire government and nation falling to bits.

  6. ReWrite

    James,

    Chavez is a lot of things, but I don’t think he is a murder.

    Eric,
    I like the photo by the way, nice find.

    I don’t agree w/ your facts or assessment of Chavez. Looking at Chavez in a vacuum he is not the ideal leader… outside of a vacuum Chavez is playing an important role in politics today, particularly in Latin America. While it is easy and quite popular to criticize Chavez, many of his ideas could become important.

    Chavez is not comparable to Pinochet, and your suggest that Chavez should work w/ the US… maybe like Musharraf (who the US calls an ally)? come on, get real.

    I am sure the elite (such as your Venezuelan friend) do not support Chavez, as they shouldn’t.

    I think the people in the West need to be careful about judging leaders of non-G8 countries. It is very easy to become self-righteous (and hypocritical at the same time) and it is easy to be ethnocentric.

    I think Latin America’s is quite exciting. As Asia is becoming rapidly more capitalist and independent; Latin America has taken serious socialist steps. And I think Brazil, not Venezuela, will become the leader of this movement, depending upon Lula’s successor. As you may know, Brazil has recently discovered massive amounts of oil (more than what Venezuela has and by some accounts more than any other country outside of the middle east). And Brazil already has vast amounts of other natural resources.

    So as it is easy for people to dismiss Chavez as another Fidel (he is no Pinochet), even Fidel’s argument that the “revolution” is still going on did not hold water for me until I went to Cuba. And I think Chavez is using that same rhetoric. The idea is (and i think you know it) that developing countries are under constant attack from the West, so people must make certain sacrifices.

    And I think that is legitimate, the question is what are those sacrifices and how do we win the revolution?

    But I think it is naive to think that a leader of a developing country can just work w/ the West w/out becoming their puppet.

    Do you think the US will ever allow a true democratic election to take place in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia (the US allies in the region)? That will never happen.

    So go ahead talk shit about Chavez, but what for? Let’s marginalize a guy who isn’t threatening war against the US, but simply does not want to be their puppet… let’s continue to push Venezuela out of Mercosur b/c he refuses to sell out to US corporate interests. I’m not feeling that.

    I would rather give the guy some room to unify (what you refer to as “buy support”) Latin America against US corporate interest and in favor or regional power. All he is saying is we (Latin Americans) need to take control of our natural resources, etc and not allow them to be taken over by the West or multinational corporations. And in order effectuate this near impossible process, people will have to make sacrifices.

    Honestly, I think there are some cool things to write about what is going in Pakistan, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, the Sudan, etc, but these have no comparison to what Chavez is trying to do. Frankly anyone that troubles the US gov’t this much and hasn’t threatened war on the US, i tend to support.

    anyway, time for bed.

  7. eric

    ReWrite,

    You sound like neo-con version of a Chavez apologist.

  8. ReWrite

    and you sound like a neo-con… you left yourself open for that one.

  9. Rewrite,

    Let’s go over this: how did Chavez gain and maintain power? I guarantee it wasn’t with kind words and a disarming smile.

    He’s a murderer, period.

    If he’s such model leader, why is poverty so high in his country?

    Why is education so poor?

    Why is infrastructure non-existent?

    Why is health care modeled after Aztec blood rituals?

    Why are there roving bands of automatic weapons toting thugs?

    Why is unemployment so high?

    Why are there no individual rights, or protections of individual rights?

    Why is there no open/free media representation?

    But, I digress.

    As far as Brasil, you might want to again check the facts. Brasil will never lead anything. Much like India, it is a horribly backwards country where nothing is done without payoffs, bribes and strong arm thuggery.

    Yes, Brasil is fabulously wealthy in natural resources, and can’t save their own people from poverty because the corruption is so out of control.

    Brasil is not a socialism, it is aristocratic profiteering empires. (By the way, that comes straight from the mouth of a Brasilian, who left the murder capital of the world to come here.)

    As far as the commentary regarding corporate exploitation, give it up. Anyone with wealth, whose desire is to maintain that wealth, with exploit others to do so.

    LexisNexis, a formerly American company, is owned by a conglomerate of Dutch corporate pigs, who exploit the fact that American law offers no protections to the American worker from corporate exploitation. In the next two years, the 3900 employees at the central office will be reduced to 600 or less, and operations will be outsourced to India.

    Nature of the world, and it has been so since reciprocal exchange was overridden by currency and materialism. Again, I suggest Jean Baudrillard’s “Simulacra and Simulation”. Well worth the read.

    There is no such properties as “nascent human goodness” or “altruistic intentions”, never existed, and never will.

    Exploitation is the key to success. Crush your adversary, or become a casualty statistic ~ welcome to humanity. Oh yes, boot on the back of the neck and drop two in the skull, and the world is your oyster.

    Absurdity smoothie anyone? I hear it’s all the rage.

  10. ReWrite

    Actually Chavez was democratically elected. I don’t even think CIA propaganda alleges that Chavez is a murder.

    India and Brazil (and China) are already major players in international trade… and their power will only increase w/ time. These are three countries that are successfully harnessing their nature resources, cheap labor and even skilled labor.

    Brazil is corrupt and I have been disappointed w/ Lula in lack of aggressive efforts to curb corrupt. Nevertheless, he is not holden to the West and I hope he increases efforts in that regard.

    As for Venezuela, compared to countries in the region Venezuela is more successful most of the categories that you listed.

    Changes does not occur over night and does not happen in a vacuum and one cannot expect a leader to be able to implement all changes that they desire. Nevertheless, both Lula and Chavez have made numerous positive social changes to lives of lower classes in their countries (and the countries around them), particularly related to education, health care and crime.

    anyway. My main point, was simply that Chavez is not worth hating. He simply wants imperialist out of his country (and region) and he is doing so w/out threatening to attack the US or its allies. He wants to be left alone, so why not leave him be?

  11. Then I’ll restate my questions.

    Why the armed thugs with automatic weapons if force is not necessary?

    Why, if he is democratically minded/elected, are opponents imprisoned or … shall we say, no longer available for comment?

    What is your definition of education? I don’t think that teaching children that the dictator is the second coming of a non-existent messiah is education.

    You couldn’t pay me to get a bandaid put on in a Venezuelan hospital … get serious, no standards for health care, you’d be better off in a barn full of animals and the doctor using a rusty butter knife.

    The country is roughly twice the size of California, and I have no reason to wonder why they aren’t threatening anyone. No real organised military, roving thugs might intimidate a small populace, but not a real military. Strategically, with the amount of coastline they have, and lack of disciplined military, they are an easy target ~ and with a leader that is one short bus ride from a drooling mongoloid, it wouldn’t be in the best interest of the country to try to play hardball.

    As far as crime, Chavez has that covered with his … ahem … “paramilitary units”, nuff said.

    The only reason China and India are players, has nothing to do with their country’s leadership … you can thank the U.S. and E.U. for both those countries not still living in the dark ages. As far as them being major players, that’s not particularly factual. Neither have a proper infrastructure, and the lack of such is already starting to cause them to slip economically, and eventually, due to corruption and lack of leadership … they are both going to find themselves short, both internally and externally, as more developed nations begin to impose restrictions on trade with them due to hazards and violations. A number of periodicals, including the Economist have already discussed this at length, (and the effects upon their joke markets which are already beginning to suffer).

    For someone who touts social change as being so highly important, your deification of Chavez is confusing. Venezuelans are not better off for his reign. I don’t hate him, I quite rather find his idiocy comedic, and him not worthy of any attention. Our government’s only interest, is that of oil. I think we know why.

    As far as Brasil, they will never be a major player. They refuse to let go of the systems of corruption, and again for someone who decries the exploitation by corporations here, why is the aristocratic exploitation of the Brasilian populace acceptable? Lula isn’t the exception, but the long standing rule.

    A man should look for what is, not what he thinks ought to be.

    The greatest mind to ever exist,

    Albert Einstein

  12. ReWrite

    I’m not too sure where you are getting your info on Chavez.

    I know more about Cuba, than Venezuela. And the US gov’t has paid propaganda (print, radio and TV) targeted at both Cuba and the US. For instance, in September of 2006, the Miami Herald (which is a pretty Anti-Castro paper to begin with) reported that ten south Florida journalists had been on the payroll of Radio Marti and TV Marti, US gov’t agencies that broadcast to Cuba and about Cuba. One reporter received as much as $175,000 from the gov’t while also being employed by legitimate news organizations like the Herald.

    So i can only imagine the US is much more concerned w/ Venezuela as they actually have valuable natural resources.

  13. “Even before the April 2002 coup, owners, managers, commentators, and other personnel affiliated with the five private mainstream television networks and most major mainstream newspapers have stated their opposition to the Chávez administration. These media accuse the Chávez administration of having intimidating their journalists using specially dispatched gangs.” (Gangs, known as “Chavistas”, from Chavismo or Chavezism)

    Try, known fact. Your refusal to accept known fact, does not, in any form, change the nature of those facts.

    Chavista:

    Chavismo or Chavezism is the name given to the left-wing political ideology based on the ideas, programs and government style associated with the present president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez.[1]

    Writing in The Weekly Standard, Thor Halvorssen says that “At [Chavismo’s] core is a far-reaching foreign policy that aims to establish a loosely aligned federation of revolutionary republics as a resistance bloc in the Americas. The Chavista worldview sees the globe as a place where the United States, Europe, and Israel must be opposed by militarized one-man regimes.”

    Militarised one-man regimes … ummm, dictatorship?

    Cecilia Goldberger, a 56-year-old voting in affluent eastern Caracas, said Venezuelans did not really understand how Chavez’s power grab would affect them. She resented pre-dawn, get-out-the-vote tactics by Chavistas, including fireworks and reveille blaring from speakers mounted on cruising trucks.

    “I refuse to be treated like cattle and I refuse to be part of a communist regime,” the Israeli-born Goldberger said, adding that she and her businessman husband hope to leave the country.

    Hmmm, doesn’t sound very “freedom” oriented to me … almost sounds like Muslim idiocy.

    This is a country where anyone who dares to think and speak differently from the government,” said Machado, “is seen as an enemy.”

    Machado’s group Sumate used the money to educate citizens in democracy. But the Chavez government accused Machado of plotting with the U.S. to overthrow it.

    Machado commented, “I have three kids and I tell my kids that their mom could go to jail because of conspiracy, treason to my country, rebellion. These are the kinds of charges put against us.”

    Opposition figure Enrique Capriles has already spent four months in jail. He told CBN News that he was only released because the street protests over his jail sentence had become an embarrassment to the government.

    And at the TV channel Globovision, TV talk show host Leopoldo Castillo has had to learn to keep his acid tongue in check. There is a new censorship law against insulting President Chavez.

    I really have no idea where I get these crazy ideas about Chavez … in about thirty seconds on the web …

  14. ReWrite

    I guess you didn’t understand my point… the US gov’t pays people to publish anti-Chavez propaganda.

    In 2005, USA Today (which is not a lefty newspaper) revealed that the US Dep’t of Education had, as part of a $1 million deal w/ PR giant Ketchum, paid $240,000 to conservative American-American pundit Armstrong Williams to promote is No Child Left Behind Law. The illegal contract was set up w/ White House knowledge at the request of Rod Paige, secretary of Education.

    So I tend to be skeptical about what i hear about Chavez. Particularly coming from a gov’t (and media which they have a lot of control over) which openly supports leaders like Pervez Musharraf and President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan.

    It is also interested that you cite to Wikipedia after trashing its accuracy several months ago.

  15. That’s because I referenced it against the highlighted articles … which means it isn’t a Wiki only piece, but traceable to other sources.

    I don’t buy into conspiracy theories Rewrite. Most of what is said about Chavez in the above, came from Venezuelans …

    Sorry, perhaps your ideal world is socialistic, but the reality is that in a so-called “democracy”, we already have limited freedoms with only minor protections.

    Under socialism, you are at the whim of whatever egomaniacal narcissist is in control of the country … no thanks.

  16. ReWrite

    “Just b/c you don’t believe in conspiracies doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.” LOL

    Generally, speaking the US gov’t, like in the two examples i provided, pays off a member of the affected group to spread their word. It is much more effective that way.

    And on the socialism v. democracy point- many argue that there can be no real socialism without democracy and some go as far as to say that there can be no real democracy without socialism.

    That being said, I support Chavez more for his anti-imperialist (anti-West) beliefs, than i do for his notion of socialism.

  17. Standards of human behavior are not conspiracies … it just means too much time spent on the intarwebs and listening to those sippy cup, tinfoil hat wearing, moped riders from the media …

    Saying “conspiracy” doesn’t make anything factual.

    I realise your bias against our government, but seriously, get a balanced perspective: the entire history of humankind is riddled, without cessation, with governments serving their own interests at the expense of their, and other countries’, populace.

    That’s why it is called “standard of behavior” or “known behavioral model”.

    Anyone can argue anything, which again, doesn’t make anything factual. Socialism is socialism, democracy is democracy. Can you mix the two for the worst possible outcome? Certainly. Does that mean that they are factually equivalent? No, not a chance.

    One of the largest problems with intellect and academics today, is the fact that neither really exist any longer. Everyone who has an opinion, seems to override what can factually be counted and observed.

    A fact is a fact, because it is observable and definable within a particular context. A definition is a definition, because it is representative of an observable instance, object, context or symbological inference.

    You mind has been bought by the media, try to get it back. There is no “nascent human goodness” … worst fallacy ever, next to the existence of God fallacy.

  18. ReWrite

    “You mind has been bought by the media, try to get it back.”

    In this instance, regarding Chavez, I think that statement applies more to you.

    Socialism and democracy are not opposites, either in practice or in theory. Socialism is a socio-economic system (whereby property and wealth distribution is controlled by the people), whereas Democracy is a form of gov’t (which is simply gov’t ruled by the people).

    There are many countries which in Europe (in northern Europe in particular) which combine the two and on a per capita basis these are probably among the most successful and egalitarian countries in the world.

  19. You might want to check into academic studies and disseminations of information regarding the stresses created by expansive geographic countries with demographically diverse populations … you are trying to compare apples and oranges.

    No known model of socialism, ever, in all of history, has been “property and wealth distribution by the people” … try again. That isn’t even the accepted definition, which is economic and political systems centrally controlled by government … not society. You are attempting to pass a definition of communism as socialism.

    Aristocratic/oligarchic/dictatorial socialisms … all of them. No such social model exists, and it is summarily, a pipe dream. (In the same fashion that a true model of a representative democracy has never existed for more than a few years, before descending into socialist tyranny … ask the Romans how that went … LOLOLOLOLOL.)

    As far as your position on the “egalitarian” nature of European countries, I have no idea where you are getting that information from, at all. I talk to a number of people from the U.K. daily, who would laugh that proposition right off the page. Don’t confuse an image and political rhetoric for actual practice … the two never meet squarely.

    Holland, if that is one of the “northern European” countries you might want to speak of, is being exposed more and more as a blatant fraud. The issues between the indigenous population and immigrants is an ever growing divide, and in the great “egalitarian” manner you profess, there are large numbers of the populace who want the immigrants outed, cultural isolationism, and reversal of rights. The statistics on their crime rates, conviction rates and (laff) rehabilitation rates have already been exposed as laughably erroneous, with intent. They scream that their long held cultural values are under attack … and are openly asking and protesting for policy change from the government. Egalitarian indeed.

    Still, the simulation lives on.

  20. ReWrite

    “you are trying to compare apples and oranges.” – I wasn’t try to compare anything.

    ““property and wealth distribution by the people” … try again. That isn’t even the accepted definition, which is economic and political systems centrally controlled by government … not society. You are attempting to pass a definition of communism as socialism.”
    – the gov’t is the people in socialism & socialism is considered a stage of society in the transition (from capitalism) to communism.

    “I talk to a number of people from the U.K. daily, who would laugh that proposition right off the page.”
    – I was definitely not referring to the UK as a socialism country, nor are they commonly considered party of northern Europe.

    Northern Europe is a pretty damn good place to live, but for the cold and lack of ethnic diversity (in many place, not all) which is something i am subjectively interested in and probably 98% of the world prefers a homogeneous population.

  21. I wasn’t try to compare anything.

    This isn’t the first time you’ve brought this to the table.

    America, under socialism, would end up just as Soviet Russia did. Dictatorial tyranny. No worries, we’ll get there soon enough.

    the gov’t is the people in socialism & socialism is considered a stage of society in the transition (from capitalism) to communism.

    That’s Marxism, try again, and Marxism is an abysmal failure, even in theory. No socialism, in definition or model, is ever a representative form of government. As stated repeatedly, every model found in practice has been/is, expressly: aristocratic/oligarchic/dictatorial.

    The U.K. becomes more socialist with every passing month, but I was more stabbing at the egalitarian commentary. Admittedly, I pay little to no attention to Norway, Finland and Sweden, if that’s your focus.

    I really have no idea what the world’s preference is for population demographics, but I find your percentage dubious at best.

  22. ReWrite

    I figured you paid little attention to the northern European countries… otherwise you wouldn’t have said the following: “No socialism, in definition or model, is ever a representative form of government. As stated repeatedly, every model found in practice has been/is, expressly: aristocratic/oligarchic/dictatorial.”

    Social democracy exists, particularly in northern Europe.

  23. That may be, as I said, I’ve not looked into their governmental forms.

    But again, it would be an apples/oranges comparison. Northern European “countries” are relative to the size of states in this country ~ again the geographic expanse/population demographic interplay, is different in a manner to make any discussion of “social democracy” in the U.S. moot beyond any need of further discussion.

    For the millionth time, read the history of Rome and its well documented failure. The further they expanded, the more tenuous the governmental hold, and the greater the corruption … eventually it fell into socialism, and then strict dictatorship. I’m not even going to go into the cultural issues created by “social diversity” and it’s known effects as a major cause of the downfall of the greatest empire.

    The mendacity of the PC culture and mentality can’t override the pragmatic facts of history.

  24. oh shit! how did i miss this one?

  25. BTW, Spain is a Socialist Democratic country

  26. No, actually it’s not.

    Use or misuse of words does not make fact.

    Spain is a liberal parliamentary democracy, with less emphasis on democratic process.

    I’ll let cugino give the rest of the commentary, as he lives there.

    Certain ideologies central to “true” democracy:

    1. Freedom of speech, (for all)

    2. Freedom of religion, (for all)

    3. Freedom of the press, (for all)

    4. Rule of Law, (for all), which is much better explained by cugino I or II.

  27. Spain is a Socialist Democratic country.
    The ruling political party is a Socialist party, hence the name: PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol) AND the political regime is a Democratic one. To go a little further and confuse you a little more James, The ruling party (PSOE) constantly pacts with Izquierda Unida, Spain’s main Communist party.

  28. eric

    It’s also a Kingdom with the King as the head of state.

  29. and a parliamentary monarchy.

  30. and thanks to Spain, now we can eat Jamon all over the globe.

  31. eric

    Have you seen ijam.es? Explore

  32. Political academics and scholars flatly disagree. The name of a political party has little to do with the actuality of the political institution within which said party performs.

    The long form of it is parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy … which is not socialist.

  33. Even PSOE’s visual identity is representative of a socialist party. The color RED, The fist held up high….please. This symbolism is hitting you over the head with a hammer. one can even say that Socialist in power PSOE starting from the very begining were descendants from Republicans “republicanos” the opposition to the Nationalist Party during the civil war or were sons and daughters of nationalists looking for revolutionary change, i.e. socialism, communism, anarchism and someothershitism etc… Not as black and white as they might think of it over there in the mid west. Political ideology can not be categorized as it has always been done to by those scholars you are reading. it limits choices.
    Spain is a Socialist Democratic country.

  34. Definitions, applications, pragmatics of utility.

    I’ll take the scholars perspective, it’s their occupation to present facts, not opinions.

    CPUSA: Communist Party, active in politics.

    SPA: Socialist Party of America, active in politics

    Libertarians: Active in politics

    America: failing representative hegemonic democracy

    **yawn**

    Opinions do not override facts. How about next we go for the “God” fallacy and really forget about knowledge.

    As one of my favorite people says:

    “Anyways”

  35. P.S. If either of my family members is familiar with Giorgio Agamben … I could use some help.

    He uncapped my thunkinator … strange use of “sovereign” and “homo sacer” in a proposition of defining the hierarchy of rights …

    Help?

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