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Sun Oct 7, 2012, 01:11 PM

 

Chavez's socialist rule at risk as Venezuelans vote

Source: Reuters

By Daniel Wallis and Todd Benson
October 7, 2012

CARACAS (Reuters) - Hugo Chavez loyalists blew bugles in a wake up call for voters on Sunday as the Venezuelan leader faced the biggest electoral challenge yet to his socialist rule from a young rival tapping into discontent over crime and cronyism.

Henrique Capriles, a centrist state governor, edged toward the still-popular Chavez in final polls thanks to a vigorous campaign that united the opposition and made him its best chance of ending the president's 14-year tenure.

Chavez has used record oil revenue to support ideological allies around the world while preaching a fiercely anti-American line, so the election is being watched eagerly from the United States to Belarus and Iran.

Queues formed at some polling centers long before they opened, and despite a few delays voting was going smoothly.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/07/us-venezuela-election-idUSBRE89601Z20121007

69 replies, 8778 views

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Arrow 69 replies Author Time Post
Reply Chavez's socialist rule at risk as Venezuelans vote (Original post)
UnrepentantLiberal Oct 2012 OP
Archae Oct 2012 #1
Smarmie Doofus Oct 2012 #2
Ken Burch Oct 2012 #35
naaman fletcher Oct 2012 #3
Archae Oct 2012 #15
wordpix Oct 2012 #27
Judi Lynn Oct 2012 #44
Bjorn Against Oct 2012 #53
Comrade_McKenzie Oct 2012 #4
Hugabear Oct 2012 #7
Archae Oct 2012 #16
Flatulo Oct 2012 #18
Hydra Oct 2012 #5
wordpix Oct 2012 #28
Ash_F Oct 2012 #40
joshcryer Oct 2012 #14
UTUSN Oct 2012 #6
Comrade Grumpy Oct 2012 #9
Tennessee ploughboy Oct 2012 #8
Hydra Oct 2012 #10
worldbfree Oct 2012 #12
Ash_F Oct 2012 #41
toby jo Oct 2012 #11
COLGATE4 Oct 2012 #13
joshcryer Oct 2012 #17
Exultant Democracy Oct 2012 #23
joshcryer Oct 2012 #24
Exultant Democracy Oct 2012 #25
joshcryer Oct 2012 #30
tama Oct 2012 #26
joshcryer Oct 2012 #29
tama Oct 2012 #31
joshcryer Oct 2012 #32
tama Oct 2012 #33
joshcryer Oct 2012 #34
tama Oct 2012 #37
joshcryer Oct 2012 #38
tama Oct 2012 #48
joshcryer Oct 2012 #49
tama Oct 2012 #50
joshcryer Oct 2012 #51
David__77 Oct 2012 #19
joshcryer Oct 2012 #20
slackmaster Oct 2012 #21
joshcryer Oct 2012 #22
Ken Burch Oct 2012 #36
joshcryer Oct 2012 #39
Ken Burch Oct 2012 #42
joshcryer Oct 2012 #43
Ken Burch Oct 2012 #46
joshcryer Oct 2012 #47
Ash_F Oct 2012 #54
joshcryer Oct 2012 #56
Ash_F Oct 2012 #58
joshcryer Oct 2012 #59
Ash_F Oct 2012 #60
Judi Lynn Oct 2012 #67
Ash_F Oct 2012 #45
joshcryer Oct 2012 #52
Ash_F Oct 2012 #55
joshcryer Oct 2012 #57
Ash_F Oct 2012 #61
ForgoTheConsequence Oct 2012 #62
David__77 Oct 2012 #66
JackRiddler Oct 2012 #63
Justina For Justice Oct 2012 #64
Justina For Justice Oct 2012 #65
Judi Lynn Oct 2012 #68
Vidar Oct 2012 #69

Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 01:21 PM

1. Suppose Hugo Chavez does lose the popular vote. Then what?

I hope, although I'm not optimistic, that he will not declare the vote "invalid" and declare himself the winner.

It's happened before in South America.

Many times.

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Response to Archae (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 01:24 PM

2. Happened *here* in 2000. n/t

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 08:48 PM

35. Venezuela doesn't have an electoral college, though.

If Chavez lost, he'd step down.

Daniel Ortega did.

a non-reactionary message board shouldn't be endorsing the idea that leftists can't be trusted to be democratic.

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Response to Archae (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 01:28 PM

3. So wait, you would actually hope

 

That Chavez would ignore the people and become a dictator?

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 03:19 PM

15. No, I don't hope it will happen.

I hope it won't.

But if, and this is a big IF, it does, it wouldn't surprise me.

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 07:47 PM

27. "become a dictator"? He already IS a dictator, as evidenced by his shutting down all media critical

of himself, save for one station he has yet to shut down. And he sent his people to the home of that station owner, just to "remind" him that Chavez is in charge "or else."

Many have fled Chavez' Venezuela, some for their lives.

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Response to wordpix (Reply #27)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:19 PM

44. Don't spread lies. Should be easy to remember. We ALL know better.

If you insist upon your claims, be good enough to link the sources to these stories.

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Response to wordpix (Reply #27)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:41 PM

53. If he was a dictator he would not be threatened by an election.

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Response to Archae (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 01:35 PM

4. I'd be full of glee that there are countries that will do anything to silence the right wing. nt

 

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #4)


Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 03:20 PM

16. "The ends justify the means."

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 04:20 PM

18. Why bother with all the fuss of an election then?

Why not just round up the opposition and have them shot, Comrade?

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Response to Archae (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 01:42 PM

5. I'd be morbidly interested to see if this new candidate is in DC's pocket

And how fast he'd turn the clock back to the days of cholera epidemics.

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Response to Hydra (Reply #5)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 07:48 PM

28. who is "DC?" You mean the District of Columbia? What are you referring to? The new candidate is

supported by millions of Venezuelans who turn out for him in huge numbers whenever/wherever he speaks.

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Response to wordpix (Reply #28)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:05 PM

40. So is Mitt Romney.

That isn't really an argument for him being the better candidate.

And it doesn't mean the majority of Venezuelan's will vote for him. Most opinion polls show a ~10 point lead for Chavez and even the few polls most generous to Capriles have him behind by 2 points.

I guess we will see shortly.

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Response to Archae (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 03:18 PM

14. He will step aside.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 01:44 PM

6. So what time is declared the Win if he wins or the civil war if he loses?!1 (Quoting him) n/t

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Response to UTUSN (Reply #6)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 02:35 PM

9. CNN reporter said late tonight at the earliest.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 02:27 PM

8. Chavez will win fairly and freely

 

All the polls show Chavez with a healthy lead, as usual, over his creole elite opponent. It is only in the New York Times's dreams that he might lose. TP

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Response to Tennessee ploughboy (Reply #8)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 02:49 PM

10. Welcome to DU!

And considering the segment the other day by All Things Considered couldn't have anyone left of the Brookings institute comment on it, you've probably nailed it.

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Response to Tennessee ploughboy (Reply #8)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 02:59 PM

12. Wondering what a "creole elite" is.

I haven't heard this term before. it sounds like his opponent is a rich snob from Louisiana.

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Response to worldbfree (Reply #12)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:11 PM

41. It means he has wealthy European Ancestry.

Not really a good argument to use against him. Not that I support Capriles anyway. Some of policies admittedly sound like they would benefit the masses, but others are clearly a feeding trough for rich foreigners(and the very few rich Venezuelans).


I guess that is what you would call "center-right" these days.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 02:58 PM

11. Too bad about those oil profits.

Wouldn't wanna channel em into good schools, green energy, healthy inner cities or anything radical like that.

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Response to toby jo (Reply #11)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 03:18 PM

13. Nope. They're much better off supporting

Ahmadinejad, buying obsolete Russian armament, supporting beauty contests in Argentina, providing free oil to Cuba, guaranteeing sweetheart loans to Ecuador and Bolivia, etc. etc. The people must be really happy.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #13)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 03:20 PM

17. $2.5 million a day to Cuba.

Billions missing from the Fonden fund. Hundreds of million openly taken through shell corporations.

Yeah.

That oil money is being squandered, wasted on rich boligarchs, and elites.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #17)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 06:51 PM

23. One thing everyone should agree on is that the oil money thats being

"wasted" now was all sucked up a kleptocratic elite before it was nationalized and did the people even less good (at least the aid to Cuba helps train Doctors who give poor people all over the world chance to see again, and the aid to the USA helps poor American Citizens afford heating oil each winter.)

The old guard kleptocrats from Ven were down right evil arrogant evil and entitled bastards. Their crimes paved the way for Chavez. The billions that the kleptocrats looted from Ven and hid overseas is to this day bankrolling the opposition. As a rule of thumb I give zero credibility to any news coming out of Ven from both Chavez and his opposition. However the opposition has a far more effective propaganda machine in the US so in the balance they push out a lot more disinformation.

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Response to Exultant Democracy (Reply #23)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 06:55 PM

24. It was nationlized well before Chavez came along.

I try to stick only to facts because manipulation is very strong with Venezuelan politics.

The deal with Cuba is highly disproportionate. No other country has such a deal with Venezuela.

The aid to the US and other countries via Chevron is not going anywhere. It's pennies compared to what Chavez gives to other states. Billion here, billion there. What's it matter, right?

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #24)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 07:12 PM

25. You mean it was "nationalized" the changes that Chaves made when he assumed office is what

finally pushed out the kleptocrats, why do you think they hate him so much. I know someone who lost $20 million US when it happened and his family all together lost a lot more then that. However they still have plenty of money the looted hidden in various offshore banks.

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Response to Exultant Democracy (Reply #25)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 07:58 PM

30. Chavez just kicked out foreign corporations.

Obviously they are pissed off about that but contractors are not evil, even Chavez has hired dozens of Chinese contractors, and they all all throughout Venezuela. He has invested billions in China and Russia.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #24)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 07:41 PM

26. Why disproportionate?

 

Certainly Venezuelans have benefited more in the bilateral socialist cooperation, as with help from Cuban know-how Venezuela achieved 100% literacy in very short time and created a national health care system for all the people? What is few barrels of oil compared to what no amount of dollars could have ever bought?

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Response to tama (Reply #26)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 07:54 PM

29. $2.5 million dollars a day is not pennies.

Half a billion in the Aben Pearl debacle is not pennies.

Billions from the Fonden fund is not pennies.

Note, the $2.5 million to Cuba is on top of the deal being made because Cuba reexports the oil. It's not paying for anything, it's free money.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #29)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 08:21 PM

31. Are you against socialist internationalism?

 

Or for capitalistic greed of state capitalism?

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Response to tama (Reply #31)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 08:32 PM

32. That is not what the Aban Pearl is.

That is not what Cuba's free money is.

It's graft.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #32)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 08:37 PM

33. Aha

 

I take that as 'yes'.

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Response to tama (Reply #33)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 08:43 PM

34. You take that wrong.

As usual.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #34)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 08:50 PM

37. Then please tell me,

 

what does socialist internationalism mean to you, generally and in the particular situation of Latin American revolutionary process.

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Response to tama (Reply #37)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 08:56 PM

38. It means being against cronyism, first and foremost.

Cronyism is the antithesis to socialism. It damages it.

You don't only help one state more than the other, you don't only have deals with one group more than the other.

Socialism is at its core egalitarianism.

Giving one country more than another country is cronyism. It's graft. It's corruption.

And it's not the kind of socialism I ascribe to.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #38)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:23 PM

48. Aha

 

I thought it was founded upon the principle "to everyone according to his needs". Cuba cannot participate freely in global trade because of US embargo, so it's needs are different from other countries.

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Response to tama (Reply #48)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:27 PM

49. Yeah, OK. That's why Cuba recently signed a trade agreement with China...

...



Meanwhile Cubans still don't have internet even a year after the fiber optic line was laid.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #49)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:31 PM

50. Dunno why

 

but in your posts I never see any solidarity towards anything with even a whiff of socialism - or social libertarianism. Just anti-Cuba anti-Chavez anti-wikileaks propaganda. And I wonder why that is, as you insist being an socialist.

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Response to tama (Reply #50)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:35 PM

51. That's because I am an anti-authoritarian socialist.

And the "socialist" regimes that are so often cheered here are hardly anti-authoritarian. They're cronyist.

It is not my fault you cannot differentiate between the nuances of these various regimes.

I don't like being misled and lied to as I so often am on these various issues.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 05:34 PM

19. I don't think Chavez will lose the election. but...

The congress is still controlled by the PSUV as are many localities. I think that there would be a problem of "dual power," sort of the inverse of the situation from 1999 - 2002.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #19)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 05:53 PM

20. State elections are in December.

And Chavista governors are extremely unpopular right now.

But yeah, Capriles won't get to enjoy decree powers as Chavez has done for the majority of his tenure.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 05:58 PM

21. As long as the Venezuelan voters get what they want, nothing important is at risk.

 

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 06:24 PM

22. The confidence coming from Capriles campaign right now... I've never seen anything like it.

What a wild ride for those of us who actually followed the Venezuelan elections. A wild ride indeed.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 08:50 PM

36. During the 2002 coup attempt, Capriles climbed over the wall of the Cuban Embassy in Caracas

looking for any Chavez Administration officials who might have taken sanctuary there. If he'd found them and helped apprehend them, they might well have been executed...for the horrible crime of serving in a democratically-elected government.

By me, that's NOT "centrism".

And trust me, nobody the New York Times is enthusiastic about in Latin American politics is ever going to to anything positive for the workers or the poor.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #36)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:01 PM

39. That's bullshit and you know it. He was cleared of those accusations.

He wouldn't have been able to run if the courts didn't clear him.

(He went into the embassy to assure nothing would happen to the ambassadors; the ambassadors said as much on video.)

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #39)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:15 PM

42. An embassy is the sovereign territory of the country it represents

The Cubans didn't ask Capriles to enter their embassy grounds, and he had no right to do so.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #42)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:17 PM

43. Yes, it was stupid of him, doesn't mean he intended bad like you say.

Just ridiculous.

Capriles is a for the people, he's been running for office his whole life, that's all he lives for. He lives to solve problems and make people get along with one another. That's why he protected the ambassadors.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #43)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:20 PM

46. "he's been running for office his whole like, that's all he lives for".

You realize that could also be said of THIS guy, don't you?

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #46)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:23 PM

47. You deliberately didn't finish my quote.

Typical.

No analog whatsoever between them.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #47)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:47 PM

54. I don't know, Joshcryer, they seem like Frat buddies.

How do you explain his pledge to reverse agrarian reform? To give land back to a British beef lord?

I'm not joking. He wants to help out this guy.



And I got that from a pro-Capriles article.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/9576153/Venezuelas-marathon-man-looks-to-run-down-Chavez.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Vestey,_3rd_Baron_Vestey

Looking at that, any lip-service he gives to Venezuela's working classes sounds like just that. Whatever legitimate criticism one may have of Chavez, I'm not sure Capriles is a better alternative.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #54)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 10:07 PM

56. The boligarchs, you mean? Chavez took 2 out of 10 of his ranches.



Have to pay the piper.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #56)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 10:14 PM

58. I didn't know that. Yet still Capriles wants to reverse it?

I guess they have to have EVERYTHING.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #58)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 10:20 PM

59. Not exactly, Capriles wants the land developed.

If the campesinos won't develop it then they don't deserve to keep it, do they?

I mean, what Chavez basically did was take government lands and give it to campesinos who then went on to let the land fester. The Chavistas then dismiss it because, hey, they have billions of dollars from oil that they can use to import the food.

Cuba has a very similar "no use" you lose it policy.

Hell the US even has a similar policy (BLM lands can be leased but the BLM can revoke the lease if the lands aren't being used for the stated purpose).

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #59)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 10:34 PM

60. Thanks for the info.

I will say I am skeptical of the "land is being wasted" argument because I have seen it used nefariously here in the US before(usually by the rich and powerful who want it), but I will read up on it.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #54)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 01:04 AM

67. Good grief, is that "Lord Spam"? Those scummy yutzes are horrendously wealthy,

and claim vast land holdings with questionable legality, taking up important space which is needed for actual agriculture for the benefit of Venezuelan people.

So creepy.

The Vesteys have more than enough of this world's money. They deserve a good kick in their broad backsides.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:20 PM

45. Serious question for those who think Capriles will win.

What do you base this on? I did a quick search and found a list of 7 polling agencies in Venezuela. None of them show him ahead and most have Chavez ahead by a significant margin.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-27/news/sns-rt-venezuela-electionpolls-tablevepolls-20120401_1_henrique-capriles-main-pollsters-caracas-newsroom

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #45)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:40 PM

52. Momentum.

No polling in the last week before election day. The two newest polls have him ahead.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #52)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:50 PM

55. Can you link them? /nt

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 10:13 PM

57. Sounds like Chavez is about to announce he won.

Damn.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 11:11 PM

61. Before this thread goes down, I want to point out one thing

I never saw reuters call it "Bush's Rule" in one of their headlines.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 11:30 PM

62. The opposition coalition has a strong Socialist representation.

Not all socialists support Chavez and his social fascism and this election isn't merely Chavez the Socialist vs the right wing, there are lot of leftists and socialists in Venezuela who know how crooked this man is and want him out.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #62)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:54 AM

66. That's not too notable.

But I would hardly call right-leaning social democrats who favor expanding the private sector "socialists." There are communists, radical ones, who support the opposition - Red Flag Party. They call Chavez a "social fascist." That's language the Maoists and pro-Albanian forces would use.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 11:57 PM

63. OMG, Reuters story is full of bullshit again!

Who would have thought>?

I'll bother to object only to this: Chavez is not the least bit preaching an "anti-American" line (besides that Venezuelans are, of course, Americans). I consider it totally pro-US, because here in the US, we the people also pay the costs of our useless, destructive imperialism.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:23 AM

64. Wishful Thinking By American Media and Its Corporate Owners.

President Chavez just won re-election to another six year term, 55% to 45%, in a voting system which former U.S. President, Jimmie Carter, recently called the best in the world. President Cart has spent years monitoring international elections and evaluating voting systems. In comparison, he finds the U.S.'s voting system to be horrible.

President Chavez has brought real democracy to the neighborhood level in Venezuela and improved the lives of millions of people who now have universal health care, universal free education to the doctoral level, and government guaranteed nutrition and housing.
Americans desperately need similar programs since they have been driven into poverty by our inequitable economic system.

Our U.S state department and their corporate friends in the media call President Chavez a dictator, not because he is a dictator but because he is a world leader who will submit to their imperialist policies. They demonize President Chavez because they fear that Americans might demand the same socialist programs that are working so effectively here in Venezuela.

It is really shameful that that some would-be progressives in the U.S. believe the nonsense that is spouted about Chavez and his government by the U.S. media. Maybe they simply don't understand how distorted our news is. I'm an American who has been living and teaching in Venezuela for the past five years. I have observed that U.S. press reporting about Venezuela bears no relation whatever to the truth about life in Venezuela.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:26 AM

65. Wishful Thinking By American Media and Its Corporate Owners.

President Chavez just won re-election to another six year term, 55% to 45%, in a voting system which former U.S. President, Jimmie Carter, recently called the best in the world. President Carter has spent years monitoring international elections and evaluating voting systems. In comparison, he finds the U.S.'s voting system to be horrible.

President Chavez has brought real democracy to the neighborhood level in Venezuela and improved the lives of millions of people who now have universal health care, universal free education to the doctoral level, and government guaranteed nutrition and housing.
Americans desperately need similar programs since they have been driven into poverty by our inequitable economic system.

Our U.S State Department and their corporate friends in the media call President Chavez a dictator, not because he is a dictator but because he is a world leader who will not submit to their imperialist policies. They demonize President Chavez because they fear that Americans might demand the same socialist programs that are working so effectively here in Venezuela.

It is really shameful that that some would-be progressives in the U.S. believe the nonsense that is spouted about Chavez and his government by the U.S. media. Maybe they simply don't understand how distorted our news is. I'm an American who has been living and teaching in Venezuela for the past five years. I have observed that U.S. press reporting about Venezuela bears no relation whatever to the truth about life in Venezuela.

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Response to Justina For Justice (Reply #65)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 01:21 AM

68. So glad you wrote this! Glad Venezuela will be able to continue improving life for the majority now.

They ARE the ones who need it.

Hope you got a chance to see Chavez during campaign season.

Thanks for celebrating this election with D.U. progressives, Justina For Justice.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 02:54 AM

69. Chavez wins!

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