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(Independent)   Chavez building army of the people to resist U.S. invasion   (news.independent.co.uk) divider line 378
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15615 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Apr 2006 at 10:40 PM (8 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2006-04-10 11:13:39 AM
OMG Someone is doing something inside their own borders, that's completely non threatening. ATTACK!
 
2006-04-10 11:20:19 AM
I don't think anyone of worth is advocating attacking them. Like many despots, he is using the threat of an outside force to rally support from those who would normally not do so. Idiots like Robertson only strengthen his power there, but (thankfully) Robertson doesn't command our army.
 
2006-04-10 11:24:31 AM
Chavez is doing a great flaw. There is absolutely nothing wrong with destroying a middle class in your economy when you can just wastefully take over PDVSA, fill it with your cronys who have no intention of increasing efficiency, only output, and then use the proceeds to fund state sponsered programs that do not create a net output and are completely dependant on oil money.

After all, the oil will last forever.

Also, there is nothing wrong with run on sentences.
 
2006-04-10 11:25:46 AM
Multi-Vitamin
75%? Exaggerate much?

Sorry, I didn't think this was an exaggeration but I went back and looked, the real number is around 60%. It was voter turnout that approached 75%, I think. So...got me there. My bad.

Un certification? If you mean the sham certification that the OAS did in direct contradiction to the established procedures agree to by the opposition and the chavez?

The OAS certified it, but so did the likes of the Carter Center, who had founder and former US President Jimmy Carter on-scene monitoring the elections, which he found to be fair and "more satisfactory than they were in 2000 in Florida".

By the way mrexcess I am still waiting on that proof of US involvement of the 2002 coup.

Well, you can read about it here if you like. Some of the reasons to believe it was US-sponsored include the US being among the first to recognize the government of Pedro Carmona (businessman and former Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce president...hint hint), the notable lack of any condemnation of the coup attempt until after Chavez was back in power, and Condoleeza's...strange warning to Chavez following the coup: "We do hope that Chavez recognises that the whole world is watching and that he takes advantage of this opportunity to right his own ship, which has been moving, frankly, in the wrong direction for quite a long time."

Of course, this is CIA stuff. There isn't going to be any direct proof that we backed or funded a military coup against the democratically elected leader of a foreign nation, for obvious reasons.
 
2006-04-10 11:29:29 AM
Of course, you can go back to any major news agency and hear stories of hired thugs from Chavez threatening and bullying reporters who had to audacity to report things as they were and not how his PR said it was.
 
2006-04-10 11:29:50 AM
Multi-Vitamin By the way mrexcess I am still waiting on that proof of US involvement of the 2002 coup.

Here's a link with some info clicky, no-pop

I'm sure it doesn't constitute proof per se, but it's something to read. Check google, you'll find tons of links claiming, at the bare minimum, fore-knowledge and right up to direct sponsorship. Read some and believe what you will. But really, do you doubt that the CIA would be involved in something like that? They've been complicit in similar actions throughout Central and South America for decades.
 
2006-04-10 11:31:40 AM
lilplatinum: Erm, I think the whole source of Chavez's popularity stems from the fact that the foreign oil companies and the politicians they controlled in Venezuela before Chave weren't doing a damn thing for Venezuela except getting rich off them, and lining only as many pockets as necessary to accomplish that task.

As for the dependence on oil money, it would seem to me that Chavez is adequately addressing that (in a way his predecessors did not) by investing in the Venezuelan infrastructure and the development of its most important natural resource, people, by providing them an education and health-care and self-reliance no matter how poor they are. It may not be an efficient way to run Exxon, but it doesn't seem like it's going to be all that bad for Venezuela.

/but then, we care more about exxon
 
2006-04-10 11:32:52 AM
Nemo's Brother
Of course, you can go back to any major news agency and hear stories of hired thugs from Rove threatening and bullying reporters who had to audacity to report things as they were and not how his PR said it was.

Fixed that for ya.
 
2006-04-10 11:33:49 AM
Discussing the flaws of our administration doesn't change what Chavez is guilty of, but nice attempt to change the subject.

When all else fails, pull out the "But Bush" card.
 
2006-04-10 11:40:49 AM
mrexcess, I am against Chavez and think he is a dangerous dictator. That said, I think he may enjoy the support of many, if not a majority, of his people. I just don't think the numbers are as good as his defenders believe. There are too many irregularities for anyone to ignore, unless they are emotionally invested in wanting Chavez to be legitimate.

Chavez was running in a recall referendum that showed wide majorities wanting him out of power. He had his government declare the recall invalid, dumped a ton of oil money into social programs, and then held another recall. The European Union declared that it was unable to certify that recall because the Chavez government was unwilling to meet EU standards. Chavez won that recall referendum, but elections at the local level (where his control is less) were subsequently won solidly by the opposition.

Even if none of that were true, and even if none of that cast any doubt upon the validity of the elections that kept Chavez in power, I, as a liberal, cannot get excited or defend a man who has made it illegal to criticize his government and punishes journalists who do so by putting them in jail for 3-6 months.

As much as radical progressives here might claim that the Bush administration is hurting our freedoms, reporters in press conferences are not getting hauled off by the Secret Service and dumped in jail. Rather, The Nation (which is dedicated to criticizing Bush) has a larger subscription base than the National Review and helps the opposition parties here raise millions of dollars. It makes the head spin to hear people declare that we are just as bad as Chavez, as though that were true - or should silence complaints about Venezuelan oppression.

Lastly, I think your characterization of neocons is not reflective of the majority of the neocons. And your assertion about neocon psychology in general - the need for an enemy, the eagerness to cry anti-Semitism - seems to ignore that the regimes neocons wish us to oppose are, in fact, tyrannical and hostile to freedom and our country, and that anti-Semitism continues to exist in a murderous form today.

It was once liberal to wish to see the United States use the power granted to us by Providence to help the oppressed people of the world, and it was once a liberal idea that even one man enslaved makes slaves of us all. It is sad and disheartening that the only time liberals could muster support for an American intervention in the past decade was when the oppressed people were white - and when it was our bombs, not our bravery, that were required.

/liberal
//history graduate
///world traveller
////neocon
 
2006-04-10 11:41:48 AM
PhysicsJunky: stupido: If it wasn't for the US actions, Chavez would not have a scapegoat.

It doesn't matter, he'd find another source to fuel the nationalism. This has much less to do with the US than the man consolidating power. If anything Bush is merely saving him some effort.


Make people hate US has worked very well for these nuts so far
 
2006-04-10 11:42:50 AM
I think it's getting boring how you anti-Bush kiddies get wet whenever Chavez goes and says something "radical".

Stop commenting on issues you HAVE no idea of, if you are so interested in Chavez go trade places with LOTS of people that want out of that country. Go talk to the mother of the kids that brutally got tortured and murdered by cops.
Mind you this wasn't the first nor will be the last time cops will be involved in these things, when I lived there 5 years ago a good friend of mine got raped and beat up by two in front of her father at 12PM in a gas station, when she went to the police to make the claim the guy that was going to take a statement WAS the guy that had tied her up and watched the other cop while he did his thing. YEAH peachy country that is, it's all gone to hell and it will keep going down until people get fed up and start a civil war.

I have family that still lives there, they are NOT rich people, this is a bullshiat conception of Chavez lovers that if you are rich of course you don't like him, guess what Chavez does not want good for the people he just wants to keep people as poor and ignorant as possible so he can keep them happy with promises that will never get fulfilled, just like he promised the families of the 20.000 victims of the landslide homes and refuge, yeah they never got a penny. How soon people forget that HE threw a coup that KILLED hundreds of people, including women and children.

I doubt that he does all this out of fear; he is not a sane person to feel something that human. I hope one day he does, I hope he gets to feel the same fear MOST Venezuelans feel every time they leave their house.

And no, to those that will come with the show me proof I dont have any simply cause Chavez controls the media and the only sites I can show you would not come to your standards cause they are not CNN or BCC. Sometimes you dont need to be accredited to see the truth.
Go live there amongst these folks here: (Oh and just so you know, El universal has been highly acclaimed pro-Chavez)
Surviving on the streets

They are still waiting...
 
2006-04-10 11:42:52 AM
mrexcess

Chavez's popularity comes from the fact that he is giving the poor food for the moment, something that tends to instill loyalty to people who are more concerend about being given a fish to eat that night rather than learning to fish and be fed in the future.

The problem with the subsidization of the oil company is that there has been a significant reduction of efficency and exploration since the people who wanted to run it as a company and had experience running it were sacked and replaced with cronies. Lots of oil is going to be lost in Chavez's pursuit to suck it all out of the ground as quickly as possible.

An example of how he buys his popularity can be seen in a may 14,2005 article of the economist about him. I don't have an online copy as it was mailed as a PDF to me a while back, but there is an interesting piece about one of his co-op communities. He shows how they are cheaply fed from subsidized grocery stores, given jobs sewing "red T-shirts and caps for Venezuela's diplomats to wear on May Day".

That sounds terrific, cheap food, jobs sewing government shirts, etc. Hundreds of these co-ops have started up. Seems like a good idea?

What happens when the oil money runs out and these people have been used to sucking on the government teat? What happens when the free money is gone and there is no middle class to stabalize the economy or build back Venezuela?

I don't think its going to be pretty.
 
2006-04-10 11:47:44 AM
"Go talk to the mother of the kids that brutally got tortured and murdered by cops.
Mind you this wasn't the first nor will be the last time cops will be involved in these things, when I lived there 5 years ago a good friend of mine got raped and beat up by two in front of her father at 12PM in a gas station, when she went to the police to make the claim the guy that was going to take a statement WAS the guy that had tied her up and watched the other cop while he did his thing. YEAH peachy country that is"

Well that settles it. A corrupt police force?! Time to invade.
 
2006-04-10 11:50:04 AM
It's the 21st Century and some people still think socialism is a good idea? What, are we breeding them for stupidity these days?
 
2006-04-10 11:50:31 AM
mrexcess, if a liberal cannot get angry at Chavez because he is an anti-democratic and anti-freedom thug, then a liberal should be able to get mad because Chavez is not good for social justice or economic prosperity in Venezuela.

Since Chavez took power:

* The economy has crumbled, with a 25% growth only looking good until you realize that the economy shrank by more than 25% last year
* The economy has been rated as the least free in Latin America after Cuba
* Average unemployment, underemployment, and poverty rates under Chavez are higher than his predecessors
* The president of the labor union was arrested - he fled the country to escape - and Chavez only recognized government-sponsored unions
* Massive popular strikes against Chavez crippled the nation to protest Chavez' economic measures . . I imagine those weren't rich people striking
* All private media content was placed under the control of the government

If an American leader arrested labor leaders, ignored other labor leaders in favor of his government-appointed leaders, seized control of the media, dismissed congress and the supreme court, rewrote the constitution to let himself stay in power, put journalists in jail for 3-6 months for criticizing him, created an organization of street thugs that brutalize political opponents, seized control of Microsoft and Wal-Mart, crashed the economy and faced down widespread protests by the poor (who got even poorer under his rule), we would not be hailing him as a populist hero of the poor.

It's sad that things that should make the skin of any good liberal crawl with disgust are acceptable because the person supporting them is brown and hates Bush.
 
2006-04-10 11:50:49 AM
grotto_man

The claim of the article was that the supposed quotes, as used by albo, of Chavez were bushwa.
 
2006-04-10 11:52:21 AM
HotwingConspiracy Well that settles it. A corrupt police force?! Time to invade.

Again, a clever ploy of apologist to attempt to change the subject. The article isn't about how we're going to invade them. It's about how he is exploiting and manipulating his people with nationism bru ha by making them believe the false threat of a US invasion.

Hopefully, he will be removed from power one day, but I don't think it will happen due to the actions of our country.
 
2006-04-10 11:54:24 AM
lilplatinum
Chavez's popularity comes from the fact that he is giving the poor food for the moment, something that tends to instill loyalty to people who are more concerend about being given a fish to eat that night rather than learning to fish and be fed in the future.

What does it say about his predecessors that there *are* so many starving there, that those previous leaders *didn't* do that?

The problem with the subsidization of the oil company is that there has been a significant reduction of efficency and exploration since the people who wanted to run it as a company and had experience running it were sacked and replaced with cronies. Lots of oil is going to be lost in Chavez's pursuit to suck it all out of the ground as quickly as possible.

A nation has the right to exploit their resources in whatever manner they choose, though. It strikes me that all this concern over Venezuela's oil isn't sourced from altruism.

What happens when the oil money runs out and these people have been used to sucking on the government teat?

I'd imagine that's where the investment in a healthy, educated, and well-fed populace comes in.

What happens when the oil money runs out and these people have been used to sucking on the government teat? What happens when the free money is gone and there is no middle class to stabalize the economy or build back Venezuela?

At best, that's the same thing that was going to happen to Venezuela before Chavez, only the people won't be starving in the interim.
 
2006-04-10 11:55:11 AM
"Again, a clever ploy of apologist to attempt to change the subject."

Ah yes, here in my apologist lair I dream of nefarious ways to change the subject.

I'd like to state for the record that you are a blowhard tool.
 
2006-04-10 11:58:05 AM
phargle
It's sad that things that should make the skin of any good liberal crawl with disgust are acceptable because the person supporting them is brown and hates Bush.

a) I'm not a liberal
b) You're not a liberal
c) I don't trust a word out of an admitted neocons' mouth[*]

As for the FUD you raised about election-shenanigans in Venezuela, there's less reason to believe that than there is tampering in Florida, but I don't see you getting up in arms about that. Gee, wonder why. Could it be that your positions in both cases are merely styled to serve your greater agenda?

/* these are people who, if you get them drunk enough or catch them off the record, freely admit that they will lie to you "for your own good"
 
2006-04-10 12:00:49 PM
mrexcess, regarding the election situation in America and my stance on it, I voted for Gore in 2000. I hope this helps you formulate your theory as to what my motivations might be.
 
jre
2006-04-10 12:02:48 PM
I think both Bush and Chavez are assholes. So which camp does that pidgeonhole me into?
 
2006-04-10 12:06:46 PM
jre: Can you answer me one question, honestly, without doing any additional research? Why, exactly, do you think Chavez is an asshole?

phargle: A neocon would have no qualms about lying in that regard. Like I said, I don't trust a word out of a neocon's mouth, because they've aligned themselves with a philosophy that puts zero value on truth and 100% value on winning. It's only reasonable to expect you to say anything, including that you voted for the other guy, if it suits your argument in the here and now.
 
2006-04-10 12:07:34 PM
Well, judging from your post, I'd say you are firmly in the same camp as Bush and Chavez.
 
2006-04-10 12:07:35 PM
MrExcess

What does it say about his predecessors that there *are* so many starving there, that those previous leaders *didn't* do that?

Actually Venezuela was historically a pretty successfull South American country that ran into hard times. But yeah, I mean it is a good principle to run with - if your predecessors suck then you are a good leader merely by being slightly better than them.


A nation has the right to exploit their resources in whatever manner they choose, though. It strikes me that all this concern over Venezuela's oil isn't sourced from altruism.


Who said anything about Altruism or them not having the right to ruin their country? I am merely speaking from a critical point of view on Chavez. I've been down to Venezuela several times for work and it is pretty disheartening, but at the end of the day its their country to run. I just think its sad that the people are too poor to really be able to think of their long term future. Of course, I am sure the Chavez backed state sponsered education program will present the facts in such a way that they will be able to make an educated choice about their options and not what Hugo decides they need to believe.


I'd imagine that's where the investment in a healthy, educated, and well-fed populace comes in.


But they will not be economically self sufficient and the jobs they are provided upon WOULD NOT EXIST if it was not for state subsidies. He is not creating a self supporting economic infrastructure, but rather an infrastructure dependant on a very depletable resource. If he were using the oil to construct self sufficient economic entities, I would say it wasnt a bad idea, but making shops to clothe your diplomats on socialist national holidays is not going to pay the bills when the government runs out of money to pay its workers.


At best, that's the same thing that was going to happen to Venezuela before Chavez, only the people won't be starving in the interim.


Ahh the old, "they were screwed anyway so they shouldn't bother looking at their future" argument.
 
2006-04-10 12:13:46 PM
mrexcess, it's unfortunate that you think that way. You have embraced a world-view in which debate and reason is impossible; you are right and people who provide information that might undermine your position are liars. That is not exactly open-minded. I hope you're happy and I hope you change your mind some day. Good luck & have fun.
 
2006-04-10 12:14:45 PM
lilplatinum
Actually Venezuela was historically a pretty successfull South American country that ran into hard times.

Hard times...as a result of dramatic exploitation by foreign oil companies and their national backers. You forgot that last part, yet it's important.

Of course, I am sure the Chavez backed state sponsered education program will present the facts in such a way that they will be able to make an educated choice about their options and not what Hugo decides they need to believe.

You seem ready to believe any terrible thing about what Chavez will do, almost eager to imagine new abuses for him. I think that speaks volumes about where you're really coming from.

But they will not be economically self sufficient

Economic self-sufficiency does not come from being slaves to Exxon. I see no reason to believe that Venezuela will not be economically self-sufficient if Chavez continues on his present course of investing in his citizens.

If he were using the oil to construct self sufficient economic entities, I would say it wasnt a bad idea, but making shops to clothe your diplomats on socialist national holidays is not going to pay the bills when the government runs out of money to pay its workers.

Nor is that Chavez's long term solution to that problem. But hey, it suits your argument, who cares about how bogus it is, right?

Ahh the old, "they were screwed anyway so they shouldn't bother looking at their future" argument.

No, you're mixing that up with the "they'll be at least as well off as they were before when nobody, yourself included, gave two shiats about them".
 
jre
2006-04-10 12:16:12 PM
mrexcess
Can you answer me one question, honestly, without doing any additional research? Why, exactly, do you think Chavez is an asshole?

A prison term for political dissidents tends to ruffle my feathers.
 
2006-04-10 12:20:22 PM
jre, opposing both Bush and Chavez probably makes you honest. It's a little disgusting to see the bedfellows made by politics, but it's even worse to see fellow liberals support and defend murderers and dictators just because the people that don't get murdered get a few bucks for burritos now and then.

/tyranny - it's okay as long as you just oppress brown people
 
2006-04-10 12:22:01 PM
phargle
it's unfortunate that you think that way.

Right back at you.

You have embraced a world-view in which debate and reason is impossible

No, that's what prioritizing winning over truth does. I'm trying to counteract that, but not by extending credibility to those who freely admit to being liars.

you are right and people who provide information that might undermine your position are liars.

Not at all. I engage in enough debate here that I'd expect other farkers to know I am perfectly willing to discuss issues rationally with rational people, even if they don't agree with me.

However, someone who admits to being a member of a political philosophy that espouses the idea of the "noble lie" is not someone who it is possible to engage in a debate with, hence I don't bother. Perhaps you're the boy who cried wolf, or perhaps you're just lying more. I don't know, and don't pretend to. What I do know is that it isn't worth my time to try to figure out whether an admitted liar is lying right now or not all the time.

That is not exactly open-minded.

It isn't closed-minded to point out that neoconservatives have a lack of credibility, it is simply reality. People who believe it is their right, even their duty, to lie to others to convince them to do what is best have already ruled themselves out of an open hearing of their words, by admitting to being liars.

I hope you're happy and I hope you change your mind some day. Good luck & have fun.

Right back at you.
 
2006-04-10 12:22:30 PM
Hold on Hugo. We will be down there as soon as we are done with El Salvador.
 
2006-04-10 12:23:59 PM
jre
A prison term for political dissidents tends to ruffle my feathers.

Which "political dissidents" has he imprisoned, and why?

/if a politician was conspiring with the KGB, would it be wrong to imprison them?
//just asking the question
 
jre
2006-04-10 12:30:20 PM
mrexcess
Which "political dissidents" has he imprisoned, and why?

Well, since you asked me not to do further research I can't name names, but I do know it is part of the Venezualan criminal code that "insulting" the president is punishable by a 40-month sentence.

/if a politician was conspiring with the KGB, would it be wrong to imprison them?

Absolutely not. That person is a traitor (assuming they're not Russian). Calling the leader a poopy-head does not make one a traitor.
 
2006-04-10 12:31:06 PM
mrexcess

You seem to have a bit of personal rancor in your responses, I was just trying to have an economic discussion. What are Chavez's long term goals, please outline how this completely state dependant economy can evolve into one that does not require everyone to be reliant on PDVSA income? How do you think that an economy can be rebuilt to be independant without a strong middle class?

Im not saying Venezuela was candyland before Chavez came into power, but I do think the country will be worse for the wear 30 years down the line because of the direction he has decided to take his country into.
 
2006-04-10 12:32:56 PM
mrexcess

Also, I appreciate your deep insights into my character from the couple of posts. I liked this especially:


You seem ready to believe any terrible thing about what Chavez will do, almost eager to imagine new abuses for him. I think that speaks volumes about where you're really coming from.


Hold on let me adjust it for you:

You seem ready to believe any wonderful thing about what Chavez is doing, almost eager to imagine justifications for him and his actions. I think that speaks volumes about where you're really coming from.
 
2006-04-10 12:33:34 PM
phargle

mrexcess, I am against Chavez and think he is a dangerous dictator.


I think Chavez is a noisy prick, and quite an effective attention whore, but I also think he's a fairly long way from being a 'dangerous dictator'. I think there are quite a few real dangerous dictators out there - people who don't hold elections, people who boil their citizens alive, people who are far more likely to have Bush shake their hand than launch a propaganda assault against them. I think Chavez should be left to his own devices, because, like it or not, he does actually have quite a lot of support among his own people, and it's their choice who leads them, not ours. There are people and leaders out there far more worthy of attention, be it praise or criticism, than Hugo Chavez.
 
2006-04-10 12:33:49 PM
jre
Well, since you asked me not to do further research I can't name names, but I do know it is part of the Venezualan criminal code that "insulting" the president is punishable by a 40-month sentence.

Not exactly American, nor what I would call free, and certainly nothing I condone. But lots of our allies have far more draconian laws...why single Chavez out as an asshole for that?

Absolutely not. That person is a traitor (assuming they're not Russian). Calling the leader a poopy-head does not make one a traitor.

Just consider that when you're considering who Chavez imprisons. If you believe, as I do (and as I think is pretty much accepted wisdom), that the attempts to unseat Chavez were CIA backed, then you have to follow that through by realizing that the CIA had some domestic help there.
 
2006-04-10 12:35:30 PM
phargle

* All private media content was placed under the control of the government

To be fair, there are still independent newspapers in Venezuela. However, they are censored by the government.
 
2006-04-10 12:35:42 PM
mrexcess, it is intellectually dangerous to disregard an entire political movement by painting them as being so prone to lying that any one member of that movement cannot be trusted - indeed, must be assumed to be lying. Intellectual discource cannot exist in such a scenario and it is disingenuous of you to invite debate when you hold such a position. I can see how it might be comforting to wear such blinders, but it is not conducive to good debate, especially when facts that cast some doubt on your worldview - such as my having voted for Gore in 2000 - are brought to light. Does it mesh with your worldview? It must be true. Does it conflict? It must be a lie. The worldview prevails.

There are neoconservatives who are bad people. There are also liberals who are bad people. Hell, there are even liberals who believe it's okay to lie for people - run their lives even - for their own good. I guess it's okay because they're mostly doing it to brown people?

Anyway, if you're interested in fun debate, I'm down. But if you just want to respond with more "liar liar pants on fire" rhetoric, and you just want to make assumptions about a person once you have a label by which to describe them - in my history books, they call that bigotry and stereotyping - then you should just not bother responding.

/still liberal
//registered Democrat
///you can find my name as the webmaster for a few Democratic campaign websites
////still not lying
/////slashy
 
2006-04-10 12:37:03 PM
A large chunk of Latin American is turning to the left, thanks, in part, to the shortsighted, pugnacious, bombasticness of the US "government".

Chavez can be a putz and we can be wrong at the same time.
 
2006-04-10 12:37:47 PM
Chester Fields, correct. I tried to make sure that all my complaints were about media content, rather than media ownership. All media content is controlled and censored by the government. Some of that media content is provided by independent media. Some of it's provided by government-owned media. I'm sorry if I made it confusing.
 
jre
2006-04-10 12:38:47 PM
mrexcess
Not exactly American, nor what I would call free, and certainly nothing I condone. But lots of our allies have far more draconian laws...why single Chavez out as an asshole for that?

Because the conversation is an asshole comparison between Bush and Chavez. I could go on about how China's government should be flattened and reinstalled, and how Saudi Arabia and the UAE need a good injection of church/state separation, but, again, Chavez is the topic here.

There are a ton of pricks running different parts of the world, some more prickish than others. Chavez is one of those I consider in the "prickier" category.
 
2006-04-10 12:39:24 PM
lilplatinum
What are Chavez's long term goals, please outline how this completely state dependant economy can evolve into one that does not require everyone to be reliant on PDVSA income?

Venezuela is a market economy, and I see no reason to think that will change, the chorus of angry shouts from commie-hunting chicken littles aside.

How do you think that an economy can be rebuilt to be independant without a strong middle class?

I never said it could be, I think that's probably the first orders of business for Chavez, creating a middle class that frankly hasn't existed in Venezuela before. The vast majority of Venezuelans have lived and continue to live in poverty.

Im not saying Venezuela was candyland before Chavez came into power, but I do think the country will be worse for the wear 30 years down the line because of the direction he has decided to take his country into.

If we keep taking every opportunity to put a knife in his back, either in public or in private, that may be the case. But how honest is it to blame that on Chavez, really?

You seem ready to believe any wonderful thing about what Chavez is doing, almost eager to imagine justifications for him and his actions. I think that speaks volumes about where you're really coming from.

There's probably some truth to that. I'm eager for a half-way honest populist, someone who's there to work for the citizens and not the moneyed interests, that appeals to me very much. Consequently, I may overly identify with Hugo Chavez, although I try very much to keep that reigned in by the facts.

Something tells me you are not so honest about your motivations.
 
2006-04-10 12:40:44 PM
jre: OK, so basically, you think pretty much every world leader is an asshole? I'd say that sort of dilutes the meaning of the term, but at the same time I wouldn't disagree.
 
2006-04-10 12:45:11 PM
binnster, I generally agree. There are far worse dictators. There are also better dictators. There are even bad dictators who we unfortunately support. I am not arguing that we should invade Venezuela, bomb it, or whatever. But I think judiciously exercising our resources to oppose Chavez geopolitically to the advantage of our nation is something our leaders ought to do - and by that, I mean that our actions should be proportional to Chavez's wrongs.

As for me, I'm just a voter. All I can really do is tap my fellow liberals on the shoulder now and then and say, "Hey guys, maybe we shouldn't be so excited about this guy just because he rails against Bush now and then. Remember when we hated dictators?"
 
2006-04-10 12:48:29 PM
MAN OF THE PEOPLE

2006-04-10 11:42:50 AM kittypoo

I trust the natives - my future wife is from Peru, her family fled to the US after he younger brother was kidnapped by 'Shining Path' and she suffered a stroke and temporary paralysis due to injuries after a terrorist bombing at a supermarket. I'm sure though that the kidnapper of her brother, and the supermarket bomber were planted by Bush to make it appear as if the Shining path are only souless parasites.

But of course, it's OK because they're doing it all "for the people".

So remember - when the US military kills terrorists (sometimes collecting the women and children they hide behind) "for the people" it's bad.

But when leftists/terrorists/socialist groups du jour kill innocent uninvolved local citizens "for the people", they are cause celebre.

Chavez has simply become the oil baron of Venezuela. A couple drops of oil money goes a long way towards pacification of a pissed off poor. I predict Chavez cutting off the US soon, to feed his oil to China exclusively, which would be fine, except that what would normally happen (Chinese standard of living is raised to the point that they won't work for $2 per day) won't, because the labor force in China is a slave labor force.

Those will be interesting times for sure. Personally, I'm glad 110% of our annual budget goes to defense. The last 30 years might have been a waste, but the next 30, that might come in handy.

/Thinks we're all screwed. Again thanks Jesus for ammendment #2
//Cold dead fingers and all that - Thanks Hugo
 
jre
2006-04-10 12:49:35 PM
mrexcess
jre: OK, so basically, you think pretty much every world leader is an asshole? I'd say that sort of dilutes the meaning of the term, but at the same time I wouldn't disagree.

I didn't say that. I'm in Canada, and though I disagree strongly with the new PM's stance on several issues, I wouldn't consider him a prick or an asshole. Yet. In fact, he's done a few things I consider pleasant surprises, and I voted against him.

But at the same time, he's not starting winless wars overseas based on some misguided ideologies, nor would he arrest me for calling him a prick should I eventually deem him worthy of the title.
 
2006-04-10 12:56:10 PM
mrexcess [TotalFark]
Venezuela is a market economy, and I see no reason to think that will change, the chorus of angry shouts from commie-hunting chicken littles aside.

In my opinion, huge government investment into state run co-ops that reinforce dependance on that co-op are a sign of an attempted departure from a market economy, but I suppose only time will tell.

I never said it could be, I think that's probably the first orders of business for Chavez, creating a middle class that frankly hasn't existed in Venezuela before. The vast majority of Venezuelans have lived and continue to live in poverty.

In the 50s Venezuela was doing quite well, its GDP close to western European countries, so they have been viable before. I am just curious onto how a middle class can be created when what little there is is currently being destroyed. If Chavez figures a way to do this, then maybe he wont be a failure, I just dont see a viable way for a middle class to emerge without somehow encouraging 1) foreign investment and 2) jobs that are not simply created by the government but rather private and potentially independantly profitable endevors.

If we keep taking every opportunity to put a knife in his back, either in public or in private, that may be the case. But how honest is it to blame that on Chavez, really?

Im not blaming Chavez for the present state of Venezuela. In fact, at this moment they are probably better off than they were 10 years ago. I am, however, extremly skeptical that his plans will bring anything but more ruin to the country. I would like to be proven wrong, but I am just not hopeful.


There's probably some truth to that. I'm eager for a half-way honest populist, someone who's there to work for the citizens and not the moneyed interests, that appeals to me very much. Consequently, I may overly identify with Hugo Chavez, although I try very much to keep that reigned in by the facts.

Something tells me you are not so honest about your motivations.


What motivations? At the end of the day I don't lose any sleep over 'the spread of commies'. We do alot of business with PDVSA so my interest in (or against) Chavez is simply a mix of my curiosity of foreign affairs and my more personal experience with South America rather than the rest of the world.
 
2006-04-10 12:58:55 PM
phargle Ah yes, reading is my friend.
 
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