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pescao Donating Member (716 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:39 PM
Original message
Leftwing dictator or saviour of the poor: Chávez... (guardian)
more propaganda for the 'left' to eat up...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/venezuela/story/0,12716,12238...

Leftwing dictator or saviour of the poor: Chávez faces new challenge to his rule

Oil-rich Venezuela is split over an attempt this week to secure a referendum to oust the controversial president

Sibylla Brodzinsky in Carácas
Tuesday May 25, 2004
The Guardian

Not even the birds in Venezuela are indifferent to the country's controversial president, Hugo Chávez. In the modest brick home of Cármen Aquiles, which clings to the hills on the western edge of Carácas's sprawling slums, one of her brilliant green-plumed parrots spontaneously breaks into its owner's favourite chant: " Ooh aah, Chávez no se va! " (Chávez isn't going).

...

But while Ms Aquiles sees the president as a saviour, others regard him as a budding dictator whom they want ousted.

In its last chance to remove the president constitutionally, the opposition this week hopes to be able to validate more than a million signatures on a petition to trigger a recall vote against Mr Chávez.

...

"If there is no referendum, there could be civil war, with thousands of deaths," says Dino Magnificó, a 70-ish Italian immigrant, sitting at a placid cafe in the Bello Campo neighbourhood. His opinion echoes a warning from the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based thinktank, in a recent report on Venezuela.

Analysts, and even some opposition members, say the cards are so stacked against them that the likelihood of a referendum is low. "It's like getting in the ring with a boxer who has bought the referee, paid off the spectators and is going to bite your ear off," says Michael Rowan, an American political strategist who has lived in Venezuela for more than 30 years.

...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. You know I was thinking the other day, he reminds a bit of Peron.
When Eva was still alive. This article seems to be full of
inflammatory speculation and occasional outright falsehoods.
For example:

In its last chance to remove the president constitutionally

There will be normal elections in a few years, they can easily
unelect him then, if they have the votes.
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BayCityProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. this is ridiculous crap
and I hope Chavez is able to mantain control.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. He's doing pretty well so far ... nt
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denverbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
3. What a situation.
The oligarchs own all the media and denounce Chavez ceaselessly, calling him a dictator. A dictator would've closed them down and jailed or murdered them LONG LONG ago.

It's the oligarchs that are the dictator-wannabees. They're the ones that staged the illegal coup. They're the ones who forced workers to go sign petitions asking for a recall, and return to work with proof or get fired.

So Pescao, do you still have friends there you communicate with? I'm just curious what an unbiased poll would show about Chavez's support. If new elections were held now, would he win? Would he actually survive a recall?
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Indeed
Chávez gets the "Patience of Job" award. He must be the most insulted chief of state in the planet.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
37. Whoops! You forgot Georgie Porgie a.k.a. Whistleass.
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dolo amber Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
104. It really is mindblowing, isn't it?
We have the pResident Chimp-in-Charge and his cabal, who are CLEARLY nothing short of a MOB out to pillage every last drop of oil from wherever they can find (read: steal) it; using propaganda ("Terra!!") to con the masses into subservient obedience...and yet Chavez is the 'Dictator in Training' big scary boogeyman the world needs to keep their eye on...UNBELIEVABLE. :crazy:
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #104
138. I guess being overwhelmingly popularly elected makes one a "dictator"
Then what does that make bunkerboy, when Al Gore got over half million more votes?

Can we get rid of dicator bush* now, too?!

At least Chavez didn't steal an election!
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #138
141. Those who live for the love of money always demonize those,...
,...who stand for something more.

The corruption and greed and destruction produced by the BFEE + neocon administration is so far beyond wicked that,...anyone who exercises any "righteous" indignation against the leaders of Venezuala or Cuba or (formerly) Haiti proves precisely where his/her values are really centered,...and, that center precludes "freedom" and "equality" and "happiness" and "democracy".
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rastignac5 Donating Member (128 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. I travel to Venezuela frequently
and the lower classes it seems have largely lost their faith in Chavez. He's more interested in power games than real reform.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. And how much time do you spend with the lower classes?
Not counting servants.

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rastignac5 Donating Member (128 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Quite a bit
They trust neither side, nor should they.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. It's fairly difficult to do real reform without power. nt
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #9
35. Isn't that the truth! n/t
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #35
40. NO,..."power" is relative,...
,...and no one holds all of it.

Human history has proven that "power" is relative.

Our problem is,...we want to know reward for our sacrifices in our lifetime. What human being doesn't want that?

What we fail to recognize is the ultimate value, a priceless contribution, to the world. WE can't help it.
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Imperialism Inc. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Well the polls seem to show that there are more that haven't
Edited on Tue May-25-04 01:34 PM by MiddleMen
lost faith, and some are Western polls , so I doubt you are being honest.

But, for those that have lost the faith , have they turned to the opposition? Of course not, the reason some people are losing their faith is that Chavez is not far enough to the left for them!!! Yes, that's right. They are mad because he hasn't nationalized enough industries! You think those people have any desire to see the globalization folks in charge? Of course not.

Seems like you just decided to come and throw out some unsupported nonsense and see if you could get away with it.

What do you think Chavez should do? I mean the corporate raiders already want to kill him for what he has done so far. Should he go even further in your (informed? ) opinion?Should he nationalize everything?
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rastignac5 Donating Member (128 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. The polls I've seen show Chavez' support in the 40% range
Edited on Tue May-25-04 01:44 PM by rastignac5
which is far less than what he was elected with.

Simple "nationalization" isn't the answer. The same few producers are still selling the same oil to the same multinational buyers. Chavez had made no attempt to change the infrastructure. The lower classes have never benefitted from the oil revenues, and they're not under Chavez.
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Imperialism Inc. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Right he has lost some support. But saying that he lost most of it
is pure garbage. And the last published polls showed that Chavez would win a referendum held right now.

So again, where are these former supporters turning? Well those same polls showed that at worst they would stay home. They won't be voting for , nor do they suport in any way the oppostion.

The gaurdian article tries to create the impression that he :

But his support began to dwindle when his discourse became more left-leaning and he began attacking what he calls the "rancid oligarchy"

100% horseshit. Not a shred of truth to it.



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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
36. If you've heard of Father Roy Bourgeois you'd appreciate this article
World famous for his work. This snip is from an interview with him, concerning what he saw in a trip to Venezuela after Hugo Chavez was elected:
Coming here has been such a joy for me: to come here and meet with the leaders of the “pueblo.” We went into some of the barrios here and there was a hope here that I found which is so important. Talking to the people and hearing their excitement—just seeing in their eyes hope and joy. They’re talking about schools, literacy programs, health care, hands-on stuff that they are involved in. And how they talk about “their president” who has now brought them into a whole new future. You know, it is revolving around them and not around the rich. And, oh man, this is so rare!

Now the problem, the challenge, as you know is that in the United States the lies are being published. We are not getting the right information, just as we never got the right information about El Salvador or about Guatemala or Bolivia or about Chile in those days, and on and on. It is so different here today.
(snip)

So we came and listened. We came to learn. Now we’re going back. I leave tomorrow for the U.S. and I cannot wait to meet with the national office of SOA Watch and to get on the phone and to call Maryknoll friends at their headquarters and to talk to so many
others—we’ve got a big network out there—to talk about what I have seen and heard in Venezuela.

What we want to do now is to bring more people here, delegations, to learn and to see for themselves what is going on here because Venezuela has become for us a model. It is a model that gives the poor some hope and it is very rare that this happens.
(snip/...)
http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=1090

If one of the visiting anti-Chavistas wants to try to revile the source of the article, he'd have a hard time getting any sympathy when he tries to impugn the absolute respect he has earned in the eyes of decent people around the globe.
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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Or we could discuss why billionaires want power, like Cisneros (Zmag link)
Edited on Tue May-25-04 02:15 PM by lostnfound
Z-magazine May 2004 http://www.zmag.org/ZMagSite/May2004/berkowitz0504.html

Chavez’s well-funded opposition also appears to be receiving the tacit stamp of approval from Henry Kissinger and his international consulting firm, Kissinger and Associates. In late January, while the national elections council was preparing to evaluate the authenticity of the over two million petition signatures handed in by the opposition, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was presenting an award to Venezuelan billionaire, Gustavo Cisneros, chair & CEO of the Cisneros Group of Companies. According to the Green Left Weekly, Cisneros has been “identified by Newsweek and Venezuelan publications as one of the protagonists and financiers of the April 11, 2002, coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.”

<snip>

According to the Green Left Weekly, however, Cisneros is “credited with being a driving force behind the December 2002 nationwide lock-out and sabotage of the oil industry, which drove the Venezuelan economy into the ground by causing a historical drop of 27 percent in the country’s GDP in the first trimester of 2003.” The U.S.-based NGO Global Strike for Women condemned the IAEC’s decision to give Cisneros the award, charging that he was a leader of the lock out “aimed at forcing President Chávez from office” and that “he played a similar role in the more recent oil lock out orchestrated by the CIA and aimed at paralyzing the whole country.”

Cisneros owns one of the largest privately held media, entertainment, technology, and consumer products organizations in the world. His holdings include Univision Communications, Inc., AOL Latin America, DIRECTV Latin America, Claxson Interactive Group, Venevisión (Venezuela’s largest television network), Los Leones del Caracas, Regional Brewing Company, Backus & Johnston Brewing Company, and Pueblo International, LLC.

It should be remembered that two days after the aborted coup, Kissinger partner Thomas “Mack” McLarty, vice chair of Kissinger McLarty Associates and former President Clinton’s top adviser on Latin America, penned an op-ed piece that issued a stern warning to Brazilian leftist Luiz Igacio Lula da Silva: “hat happened in Venezuela could be perceived as a sign that messianic solutions, as opposed to genuine reform measures, lead to disaster. It bodes well for those in the region who advocate for open markets in the region. I don’t think this is a net positive for Lula’s candidacy.” Despite the warning, six months later Lula was overwhelmingly elected president of Brazil.



How much good would new leaders do for the poor? What did coup leaders do during the 2 days that they had power during the last coup..I forget whether it was dissolve the Supreme Court or the National Assembly..?

With Cisneros owning this much media -- especially western-connected media -- and the NED providing about $1 MM of OUR money to oppose Chavez -- we are seeing (and reading) the results of a massive, organized disinformation campaign.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #18
103. Great comments, lostnfound.
How much good would new leaders do for the poor? What did coup leaders do during the 2 days that they had power during the last coup..I forget whether it was dissolve the Supreme Court or the National Assembly..?
Add the Venezuelan CONSTITUTION! They believed they wouldn't be needing THAT old thing any more!

They are simply nasty people, and they have NO INTENTION of accepting the change needed, over years, which will save the country.
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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. The polls I've seen show Bush's support in the 40% range..
which is far less than what he WASN'T elected with.

Do you think the NED could start funding his opposition?
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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #13
53. Could you provide a source for these polls? nt
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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #53
119. No sources?
:eyes:
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Imperialism Inc. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #53
136. Here. Not sure if this was directed at me or the other person.
Edited on Wed May-26-04 06:33 PM by MiddleMen
I had (obviously) stopped following the thread. It seemed to be dead at the time.

The pollster concluded that many neutral and oppositon supporters would stay home as they no longer see the opposition as an alternative.

Not exactly as I presented it but I relayed the conclusion accurately. Sorry for any confusion or false impressions I gave.

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news.php?newsno=1256
The poll conducted in early April by Alfredo Keller y Asociados indicates that in case that electoral authorities determine that the opposition managed to collect enough signatures to demand the President’s recall, and the referendum is held, they will not have enough votes to recall him.

The pollsters used a sample of 1,200 people, with a margin of error of 2.7%, determining that 35% support the Chavez government, 31% oppose it, and 34% remain neutral.

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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #136
140. My question was for Birthmark. nt
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #13
116. The gov't owns the oil co, and they removed all the fascists from mngt.
Edited on Wed May-26-04 09:40 AM by AP
So, it's the same oil is being sold on the market to whomever wants to buy it, by people who are responsible to the public, rather than to a few very few rich people.

And the people are benefitting from the oil much more now than they were: http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news.php?newsno=1225

Venezuela’s CITGO Contributes to Social Programs Thanks to Record Profits in 2003

...

Workers involvement and social programs

Involving workers in decision-making process and struggling to make corporate inner operations more efficient are some of the changes introduced by Marin since taking over the presidency of Citgo last year.

One of Citgo’s goals is to get closer to Venezuelan society. In this sense, Citgo has implemented a “buy Venezuelan” program though which more than $18 million have been spent in last 6 months buying Venezuelan products and services. Citgo is also investing in a project with 46 micro-entrepreneurs (small businesspersons) from Caracas, in collaboration with the Venezuelan government’s social programs for the promotion of small businesses.

...
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #13
139. So that makes bunkerboy, what? He has even less support.
He has even less of a legitimate government!

You guys can't stand the fact that Chavez WAS ELECTED BY AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY!

What a dictator.

Guess all the dictionaries are all wrong in your definition of "dictator" and "president".

All hail dictator bush*!
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
30. Exactly. Chavez is no knight in shining armor.
There are no good guys in this play. I truly feel for the people of Venezuela.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. See post #31, especially the first sentence.
NT!

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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #33
59. Sorry, I've paid very close attention to Venezuala, and Chavez is scary.
Edited on Tue May-25-04 08:09 PM by HuckleB
Chavez is not someone we should be admiring.

Bush's actions in Venezuela are despicable, as are those of many of Chavez's enemies. (ON EDIT) That does NOT make Chavez a good guy.

Here's some further reading:

http://www.amnesty.org.uk/deliver/document/15354.html
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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #59
66. I agree: "That does make Chavez a good guy"
Sometimes you say what you really mean when you thought you made a mistake, hee. :bounce:
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. Cute.
Unfortunately, it scares the crap out of me to see so many here swooning over this guy.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #67
75. Did you ever see so many sympathizers? Must be commies, I'll bet.
Let's go get Graner. He'll know what to do.



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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #75
80. That excuses Chavez somehow?
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #80
84. Excuses Him From What, Fellow?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #80
85. Excuses from what? Please explain what you're saying. n/t
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #85
89. You've got to be kidding.
Goodnight. I hope you eventually see that opposition to Bush is grand, but it doesn't automatically take away the sins of the person opposing Bush.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #89
92. Opposition to Bush is not "grand." It's the only sane perspective.
He surreptitiously funded the coup, and appears to be interested in acheiving a complete power grab from Hugo Chavez's honorably ELECTED government.

The morality of either person is not hard to grasp. They are not similar in goals or values, luckily for the population of Venezuela.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #89
94. In My View, Sir
Effective opposition to a haute bourgeois monopoly on political and economic power can excuse a great deal. That much more is promised than can be delivered is likely true; that some degree of patronage is involved in determining which individuals benefit most personally is unavoidable. One rewards friends and punishes enemies, after all. The game has rules....
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #89
100. What ARE Hugo Chavez's "sins," if you would be so kind?
This looks like a good place to reveal the history of his actions you feel are criminal.

Any time you're ready, I'd really like to become aware of what's missing from my reading. I'll check back from time to time.
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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #100
123. I don't think you'll get an answer, which kind of makes this whole
sub-thread irrelevant.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #80
105. It would really help if you drove straight ahead and explained
what Chavez has done for which some people have "excused" him.

I have never seen anything to shed any light on his "inexcusable" behavior. Thank you.
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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #67
98. Hey, you had it right the first time, why'd you change it?
:shrug:
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #59
72. With all due respect, I don't believe you have.
Otherwise, you would not be taken in by the documented falsehoods about Chavez, some of which have been refuted in this very thread with evidence from credible sources.

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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #72
82. Nice try.
Edited on Tue May-25-04 08:29 PM by HuckleB
Very little has been refuted on this board, certainly by sources worth a damn. Spend some time in Venezuela. Sure, some are getting a better deal right now. But that's where the support lies, in who gets the better deal. Few people would like the guy over for dinner. I sure wouldn't.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 02:19 AM
Response to Reply #82
113. If you've been following this on DU, and you're still convinced...
...that Chavez is not a good leader, then I don't think I'll be able to convince you otherwise.

There has been some amazing dissecting of the rightwing oligarchical rhetoric aimed at Chavez here on these boards. If you've read them and don't find them reputable - I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #82
115. Are you going to state examples or stick to unbased hyperbole, HuckleB? nt
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Classical_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #59
125. Amnesty also chasitese Police Brutality and the Death Penalty
in this country, as well as torture in our military Prisons. Chavez should investigate those claims, but he is still a hell of alot better than his opponants. I would feel much safer under his governance than a cisneros thug.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #30
118. the summer wind came blowing in from accross the sea.
It lingered there, so warm and fair - to walk with me
All summer long, we sang a song - and strolled on golden sand
Two sweethearts, and the summer wind

Like painted kites, those days and nights - went flyin’ by
The world was new, beneath a blue - umbrella sky
Then softer than, a piper man - one day it called to you
And I lost you, to the summer wind

The autumn wind, and the winter wind - have come and gone
And still the days, those lonely days - go on and on
And guess who sighs his lullabies - through nights that never end
My fickle friend, the summer wind
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 03:39 AM
Response to Reply #118
144. AP, you've moved me to tears, others too, no doubt.
Oh, WHEN will we ever see his like again, sniff, sniff.

As a commemoration of the brief, very brief time he stayed with us, I'd like to contribute this "painting," entitled "windnsea," from a google search.

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Classical_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #30
124. I think that you are assuming no latin American can be on the up
and up and that is prejudiced. He is elected. His opposition weren't. He is the good guy here, Genuinely so.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
32. Not that I don't believe you, but...
...I can't think of a way to finish that sentence.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #7
61. You must have been out of the country
on one of your many trips to Venezuela, when this article ran in the New York Times, which, by the way, is no friend to Hugo Chavez. Far from it:
March 11, 2004
The Oil Company as Social Worker
By BRIAN ELLSWORTH

CRUCERO DEL CARO, Venezuela - Siadys Bayuelo, 33, has spent four years
urging local authorities to pipe potable water into her home in this dusty
town in eastern Venezuela, sparing her the trouble of walking a mile every
day to the nearest well.

Now, contractors are drilling wells around the region as part of a
$140,000 project that will eventually pipe water into her three-room
cinderblock house and hundreds of others nearby, easing a hardscrabble
life. But rather than thanking the local government, Ms. Bayuelo says she
is grateful to the state-run oil company, which has extensive but faceless
operations in this gas-rich region.

"I'm so happy that we're finally going to have water in the house," she
said recently while bathing her 1-year-old son from water drawn out of an
old petroleum drum. "This is the first time the company has ever done
anything for us."

All across this oil-rich and poverty-riddled country, the state oil giant,
Petrsleos de Venezuela, the country's economic engine, is embarking on a
radical and wide-ranging social spending program that includes building
homes, running literacy programs and developing agriculture. In all, the
company, known worldwide as Pdvsa (pronounced peh-deh-VEH-sah), is
increasing its social spending from less than $40 million in previous
years to $1.7 billion this year, according to the company's 2004 budget:
$616 million on various programs, $600 million on agricultural development
and $500 million on low-income housing.
(snip/...)
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~twod/oil/articles/nyt_Pd...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
31. It's amazing to witness people associated with true suppression
controlling the press to the point they have convinced unsuspecting or slow readers in the U.S. of this.

Read just recently that Chavez is the FIRST President they've had who did NOT exert heavy pressure on the media.

Found THIS from our own State Department, published in 1993:
Particularly in the months prior to the suspension from office
of President Carlos Andres Perez, the Government met regularly
with media owners to discuss issues considered sensitive,
resulting in some self-censorship. Journalists claimed that
the Government indirectly practiced censorship throughout the
year by denying reporters access to many government buildings
and officials. Journalists and local human rights groups also
asserted that security forces specifically targeted and used
excessive force against reporters covering public
demonstrations.

In April the Government suspended two satirical television
programs for allegedly broadcasting scenes with "explicit
sexual connotations" in a time frame when that type of
programming is not allowed. Most in the media argued, however,
that the suspension was aimed more at the political satire and
parodies of government inefficiency featured in these
programs. A week after the suspension, the Supreme Court
overturned the Government's action, and the programs returned
to the air. Bombs damaged the homes of two journalists known
for being highly critical of the Government, one of whom
received a series of telephone threats. Subsequent police
investigations failed to identify those responsible for the
bombings. In June the Government banned for alleged security
reasons the broadcast of an interview by a popular journalist
with former coup plotter Hugo Chavez.

The media continued to criticize the Government for abuse and
restrictions that occurred in reaction to the two 1992 coup
attempts. In the aftermath of the February 1992 attempt, the
Government temporarily imposed censorship, seized some
publications, screened articles, and briefly impeded the
distribution of newspapers. During the November 1992 attempt,
the Government temporarily closed a radio station which it
charged had broadcast messages of support for the coup forces.
Two journalists were allegedly killed by security forces and
others reportedly beaten while covering the coup attempts and
related civil unrest. Investigations and court cases regarding
the abuse of journalists moved slowly. In February a group of
journalists formed the Committee of Human Rights of the
National Association of Journalists to monitor the
investigations and court cases and promote respect for human
rights and the freedom of information.
(snip)

In May President Carlos Andres Perez was removed from office
through constitutional means due to allegations of corruption,
the first time an incumbent President had been so removed in
modern Venezuelan history. Congress named Ramon J. Velasquez
as President until the February 1994 inauguration of the new
President.
(snip)

You might also want to check the material in the section:
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including
Freedom from:

a. Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing
http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/ERC/democracy/1993_hrp_report...

This is the culture forming the anti-Chavista forces. They want things back like this. Really impressive, isn't it?
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pescao Donating Member (716 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
48. drinking venezuelan orange rum - yum!
actually a friend is staying tonight who just got off the plane, i'll ask him... he says keep an eye open this week on the 'repair period', he thinks there are some scary suprises ahead... apparently the middle-class opposition realise that even if they get the signatures they're gonna lose the referendum. and even if they win the referendum, there's no doubt they'll lose the election. my fear is that, if any of this happens, that will be the trigger the dirty-tricks CIA crew are waiting for to sow some more chaos and random violence. so even though chávez now seems to want the referendum to go ahead - http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news.php?newsno=1278 - there's plenty to be worried about over there.

this is so upside-down, from the piece: But he warns there is no telling what individuals will do. "Once you close off democratic and constitutional avenues, people look for other ways to achieve their goals." like, kidnapping the democratically-elected president two years ago - what were the bolivarians (who were being rounded up and generally heavily repressed by the police) supposed to do then?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #48
52. That's a bit of news which didn't get publicized a lot outside Venezuela.
I guess people here haven't been accustomed to this kind of thing before Bush. No doubt we could all see a lot more of it.

Our own media just didn't feel they should bother our pretty little heads with too much information about what happened in Venezuela during that flying #### of a coup.

You're right, the anti-Chavistas will never give up until the get their corrupt, heavy-handed, murdering, censoring officials right back in place.

Maybe the population will make it increasingly difficult for them, one would hope.
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Wwagsthedog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
4. Lets face it
Chavez is Castro's buddy plus Venezuela has lots of oil equals bush et al want him gone and will pay (our money) dearly for that result. The Venezuelan public/voters would be the losers given this equation. Only your deepest feelings of cynicism should apply here.
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truthspeaker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
12. little bit of both?
That's my take.
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Imperialism Inc. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. Is there a specific event (or hopefully several for such a negative
charge) that makes you think he is becoming a dictator?

I can't really think of anything.
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truthspeaker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. not having access to reliable news from Veneszuala I don't have one
I just distrust any black vs. white portrayal of anyone.

The fact that he gives four hour speeches is a hint that he's full of himself.

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Imperialism Inc. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. I'm not asking for a black/white portrayal. Just something he
has done to earn the "leftwing dictator" title.

I won't hold my breath. :)

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rastignac5 Donating Member (128 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. You're probably not looking hard enough
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Imperialism Inc. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. I'm quite familiar with most of that stuff. Pick one and lets talk
about it?
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Imperialism Inc. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Well ok I offered.
You will note that the problems with the journalists being atatcked are and have been addressed by Chavez.

Look at all the praise heaped on Chavez in this "complaint"
http://hrw.org/press/2003/06/venezuela062303-ltr.htm

First of all, however, I’d like you to know that I’m very pleased that after months of negotiations your government has reached an agreement with the opposition on a mechanism to manage the current political crisis. That it was possible to reach a consensus to address Venezuela’s political disagreements within the framework of the Constitution and the rule of law is an important achievement.

The main purpose of this letter, however, is to urge you to take steps to address serious threats to freedom of the press in Venezuela. Under your government, I would emphasize, the press has enjoyed considerable freedom. Indeed, as part of the often heated and acrimonious debate between supporters of the government and its opponents, the press has been able to express strong views without restriction. Although we fully acknowledge your government’s lack of censorship, Human Rights Watch is concerned that many journalists working for media that support the opposition have been victims of aggression and intimidation by your government’s supporters.

==

As far as the opposition protestors that were abused ... that was handled as well. Their public ombudsman even suggetsed some new law but I don't think the legislature has acted on it yet unfortunately.

Those troops didn't act on any orders from Chavez and lets be clear what we are talking about when we talk of opposition protestors ok? Also, there is some indication that some of the shooting came from the opposition themselves in order to blame it on the government but that is not proved.

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news.php?newsno=1205







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Rochambeau Donating Member (469 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #29
49. 3rd Pic : Uhmmm Nike gloves are pretty suitable and
that 'warrior' is very well equiped indeed...
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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
14. There is more democracy in many ways than elsewhere.
There is a high degree of self-government in many communities. Workers and farmers are gaining new democratic rights to run to the country. I haven't seen any censoring of private media. The government even let's military officiers openly call for violent overthrow of the government. These things certainly don't happen in the US.
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rastignac5 Donating Member (128 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. You think it's a good thing that military officers call for violent...
overthrow of the government?

Let me explain something to you: this is not a good thing. Chavez isn't "allowing" these threats of violent dissent -- he can't stop them. In much of Latin America, the military sees itself as the fourth branch of government. This is bad bad bad and leads to all kinds of abuses, coups and civil wars.
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Imperialism Inc. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Sure he could stop it . Quite easily.
Use the 4th branch (that is under his command) to go in and shut down the media. But he won't because he isn't a dictator, becoming or otherwise.

And yes, it does lead to coups and such. One happened in 2002 from the real negative force in Venezuela... the opposition(backed by our government who hailed the coup as "a great day for democracy"... eh??).
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rastignac5 Donating Member (128 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Chavez doesn't command the military
He has the loyalty of enough colonels right now not to get overthrown. Venezuela is barely a functioning democracy.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #23
34. You, of course, have zero proof for your allegations.
Now, I don't want to say that a low-count poster who comes to the board spouting anti-Chavez rhetoric with absolutely no proof is a liar or anything...so I won't say that.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #34
38. Too bad Windansea isn't here to witness this new Hail Mary. Sniff. n/t
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. I remember that pompous windbag only too well!
Hope he's lurking, so he can see that I called his propagandist lying ass a pompous windbag!

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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. I love you people,....you make my gut laughter LIVE again!! n/t
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #39
44. He was nothing, if not a windbag. Persistant, too.
Hung around while his strongholds, his links to anti-Chavista blowhard "journalists" were all reduced to rubble, one by one.

Very similar to the knight in the forest in the Monty Phython Holy Grail.

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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. Yes - he was indeed the Black Knight!
"It's only a flesh wound!"

Ahhhhhh, the memories.

:silly:

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tkmorris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #38
46. Are you sure he isn't?
Every once in awhile I catch a briny scent on the breeze......
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #46
58. Not at all sure! That odor, er, fragrance comes and goes, doesn't it?
I guess it's his goal to set up his own anti-Chavez booth right here, and run his own pro-right-wing propaganda machine every day.

Some of them don't seem to grasp that we actually understand who the racist, conservative coup-aspiring thugs are in Venezuela.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #23
56. Nonesense, Mr. Rastignac
Col. Chavez has the loyalty of the rank and file, and the sergeants, from which follows the loyalty of field grade officers. Generals are largely useless in attempts at coup without the backing of sergeants and captains for their efforts. My advice would be a crash course in study of the Spanish Civil War; there are some interesting parallels.
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al bupp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #56
99. That's an interesting Spanish Civil War analogy
I beg you give us the synopsis of the parallels, as you see them. A quick google search indicates there were several factions, including republicans (in the old sense), nationalist fascists, and communists, not to mention anarcho-syndicalists, more or less crossing the idealogical spectrum.

The gov was controlled by a coalition of republicans, including eventually the baffingly named anarcho-syndicalists (I know, Chomsky's one) on one side and the Franco led fascists on the other. Both enjoyed foriegn support, the former included Hemingway's international brigade, and the latter included German and Italian troops. For the Germans it was something of a military testing ground where they brought out their dive-bombing Stukas for the 1st time.

Of course the fascists won, and Franco remained in power until the seventies as I recall.

So, I suppose the US gov would have to play the part of military (and spiritual?) backer of the rebellious generalisimos. Although, so far the administration seems to have refrained from conspicuous weapons testing (thank goddess). Lets hope the story ends differently too.

Cheers
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #99
109. There Are Two Useful Points Of Comparison, Sir
Edited on Tue May-25-04 10:36 PM by The Magistrate
One relates to questions of armed forces loyalty particularly, the other to the actual position of Col. Chavez in the political beastiary. The latter is best dealt with first.

Col. Chavez is not so much a Marxist as a Radical, in the usage current early in the nineteenth century. This political strain sought an Enlightenment style modernization of national life, removing fuedal authoritarianisms and freeing the energies of the people, realizing that this was the surest route to increasing national power. It was a strain of thought particularly appealing to young officers in backward countries, as well as to rising merchant classes still weighed down by noble castes. It became fairly prevalent among Spanish officers during the post-Napoleonic Bourbon restoration, and the First Carlist War, particularly, a century before the twentieth century civil war, was largely fought over the issue of Radical modernization, and the reaction against it by old nobility and free peasantry, rallied by religion. Radical tendencies remained common among Spanish officers well into the twentieth century, often being subsumed into both Communist and Fascist coloration, for early in that century both these movements exerted great appeal as modernizing forces well calculated to increase quickly military and national efficiency and power. But it was the drive to modernize quickly, not the ideological content of the movements, that commanded the allegiance of many officers. Much of the impetus behind the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic came from such men, some of whom later became prominent figures among the Nationalists in rebellion against that same Republic.

It is to this tradition Col. Chavez seems to me to belong. The social and economic structure of Venezuela is roughly analogous to that of laggard post-Enlightenment states in nineteenth century Europe. Though there are no patents of nobility involved, there is a fuedal character to the structure. The self-interest of those composing it requires the effective serfdom of the great mass of the people, and it is this powerless pauperization of the greatest number of the citizenry which is the leading weakness of the nation. The nation cannot advance unless these people are raised up, and this cannot be done unless those now above them are brought down, since, amid the general inefficiency of the structure, their position is secured not by economic activities they engage in, but by privileged siphonings of national enterprises, and manipulation of laws and titles that hamper the potential economic activities of others. Even if it were granted that Col. Chavez sought only agrandizement of his own power, it is clear that he understands the surest route to this is to better the lot of the poor of Venezuela, who if freed will make the nation, and hence himself, more powerful.

The Spanish Civil War began as a military mutiny against the Second Spanish Republic, but this simple formulation obscures much important detail. The rank and file of the Spanish Peninsular Army was not with the rebellion. Nearly half of its privates were members of Socialist or Anarchist parties, and this presented tremendous obstacles to the plotters. Generals were divided in their loyalties, but even with a number of immediately successful assassinations of Loyalist generals, it was not possible to move much of the Peninisular Army to the cause espoused by the senior officers among the plotters. The regional recruitment of the army units was of some assistance; units drawn from Castile and Navarre, the latter an old Carlist stronghold, could be moved to support the rebellion, and in some instances, soldiers were lied to, and told they were marching to suppress rebellion against the Republic. These lies did not persist in their effect more than a few hours in most cases, and the soldiers initially decieved went over to the partisans of the Republic. Only the volunteer, professional soldiers of the African Army in Morocco could be relied on by the Nationalist plotters to act against the Republic. It was the inability of the Nationalist plotters, despite their exalted rank, to move the soldiery to their desires that caused the whirlwind weekend coup they had envisioned to fail, and become instead a bitter, three year civil war.

The moral, so to speak, is this: the sentiments of generals mean less, in such situations, than the sentiments of privates. So long as Col. Chavez retains the loyalty of the rank and file of his army, his position is secure, whatever highly ranked officers may feel. As the great bulk of the rank and file is drawn from those social strata in which he is most popular, he is likely to retain that loyalty.

"There are two Spains: one which eats, and one which works."
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al bupp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #109
110. I Thank You, Sir
For your informative and well-written explaination, you have my appreciation. It's now plain to me what you meant.

I found your preamble about Radical modernization views among some in "laggard post-Enlightenment states" particularly enlightening. Definately puts Col. Chavez's actions in new perspective for me.

Regards
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #110
111. You Are Most Welcome, Sir
A pleasure to make your acquaintance.

"LET'S GO GET THOSE BUSH BASTARDS!"
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. LOL--and worse worse worse when our gov't is behind the "revolt"
The "recall movement" in Venezuela is being fueled and facilitated by our own government, primarily because Chavez nationalized the oil fields and refused to adopt the IMF plan to basically turn over state interests to international corporate control.

The rich in Venezuela don't like it, but it's damn time somebody started looking out for the interests of the poor there.
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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #16
28. I didn't say it was good.
But it is indicative of a high degree of democracy. I do believe that Cahvez has it within his power to silence them. He could seize media, certainly. Though the Lima police are rightist-controlled, he could use national forces to neutralize them.
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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #16
57. Chavez's military is extremely loyal. They are also
able to think and act independently and they risked much to reinstate Chavez in the Coup of 2002.
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al bupp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
22. Here you Have It
So what does it boil down to? What's the central policy excess of his administration?

From the linked article:

...his government decided to start making good on its promises to help the poor.

A series of Cuban-style literacy drives and free neighbourhood health clinics run by Cuban doctors were launched in the poorest barrios.

<sarcasm>
What other proof do we need, people? Clearly he's a maniac who must go!
</sarcasm>
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #22
42. Kinda' like,...let's start from scratch: DEFINE "DEMOCRACY".
Seems to me that there are those who have a far, far better grip on what "democracy" means,...than those who are flaying a word with no meaning other than "serving me" around.
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tkmorris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #22
50. Welcome to DU!
:party:
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crossroads Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #22
55. Welcome to DU!
:kick:
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al bupp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #55
76. Boy, I sure feel welcome!
Just happy to be part of the peanut gallery, tossing in my 2 cents every now and then.
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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #22
62. "Cuban-style literacy drives!!" Aaaaah. Welcome to DU
Now why would someone who is a dictator, as the Right likes to label Chavez, have an interest in literacy and health care for his people? Literacy and health care empower the people.

Just like with Castro, why is he so hell bent on making the lives of ALL the people livable? Where are Castros and Chavez's yachts, palaces and millions in stock options?

At some point those who are "analyzing" Chavez and Castro's policies need to deal with these facts.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #62
65. OR, they could stay stupid, and get all their info. from radio and tv
live on in a stupor, and let the right-wing do all the "thinking" for them.

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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #65
68. OR,...they could define "democracy",....like it's something that empowers
,..."the people" rather than being controlled by capitalism.

Geez. DEFINE DEMOCRACY!!!

Isn't it a form of government where everyone is empowered to participate?

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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #65
77. Castro: "How can someone who can't read be free?"
He said this in an interview with Baba Wawa.

It'll be interesting to see the change in the literacy rate in Venezuela.
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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #65
97. Yea, corporate owned and censored radio and tv to boot.
:hi:
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al bupp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #97
101. Gee that sounds familiar...
... now, where else are the major media outlets dominated by corporate interests?
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #62
88. Now you're defending Castro as someone we should look up to?
Umm. This is a man who made the lives of thousands of very innocent working-class people far more than miserable. Chavez's desire to link himself with Castro ought to cause anyone to pause.

Again, this doesn't justify Bush's baloney policies regarding Cuba. But it doesn't make Castro and Chavez people of honor.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #88
91. Castro and Chavez both have far more honor
than those who make baseless slurs against them.
:puke:
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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #88
95. Little do US citizens know of the reality of Castro's
Edited on Tue May-25-04 09:08 PM by 9215
Cuba other than the bits and pieces that somehow get past the US media filters. The literacy rate, lifespan (about 1 percentage point differance to the US), infant mortality one of the lowest in the hemisphere.

But Castro also did something the US cannot or will not do and that is win the "Drug War". He ended that little problem quickly, why can't we?

(Read Alfred McCoy's "The Politics of Heroin: CIA complicity in the Global Drug Trade.")

How does doing all of this make his people more "miserable". Just ending the drug problem and organized crime would give a country a boost that is incalculable in its positive effects.

Castro is a boogeyman of the Cuban Mafia nesting in Florida. That is because he kicked their asses out of Cuba. The Bush boys and the Cuban Mafia are in tight with each other. Sometimes it serves us well to understand the real person by the enemies they make.
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al bupp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #95
102. Right On
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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #102
122. Welcome to DU.
:toast:
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Classical_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #88
127. Chavez may be a friend to Castro but so is Vicente Fox
Bottom line is Chavez was elected. There is no legitmate democratic gripe against him. The only people griping are investers that want their oil.
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bobabooee Donating Member (16 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
43. That's good news for the poor people
How are the middle and upper class taking his wealth distribution? Are they supportive of him? Indifferent? Are there enough of them to vote someone less socialist into office?
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. The middle and lower "class" *hmpf* LOVE him. The Elite hate him.
Does that answer your question?
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #43
54. Please excuse my bad manners, "bobabooee". Welcome to DU.
I hope you find purpose or knowledge or wisdom or belonging here. I have found all those fulfilling quantities in this forum.

:hi:
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
51. For people who missed it, Chavez banished Monsato funny food
(snip)
Before a recent international gathering of supporters in Caracas, Chavez admonished genetically engineered crops as contrary to interests and needs of the nation’s farmers and farmworkers. He then zeroed in on Monsanto’s plans to plant up to 500,000 acres of transgenic soybeans in Venezuela.

“I ordered an end to the project”, said Chavez, upon learning that transgenic crops were involved. “This project is terminated.”

Chavez emphasised the importance of food sovereignty and security — required by the Venezuelan Constitution — as the basis of his decision. Instead of allowing Monsanto to grow its transgenic crops, these fields will be used to plant yuca, an indigenous crop, Chavez explained. He also announced the creation of a large seed bank facility to maintain indigenous seeds for peasants’ movements around the world.

The international peasants’ organisation Via Campesina, representing more than 60 million farmers and farmworkers, had brought the issue to the attention of the Chavez administration when it learned of the contract with Monsanto. According to Rafael Alegria, secretary for international operations of Via Campesina, both Monsanto and Cargill are seeking authorisation to produce transgenic soy products in Venezuela.

“The agreement was against the principles of food sovereignty that guide the agricultural policy of Venezuela”, said Alegria when informed of the president’s decision. “This is a very important thing for the peasants and indigenous people of Latin America and the world.”
(snip/...)

http://www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/tncs/2004/0505venez...
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al bupp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #51
106. Thanks, JudiLyn
I had missed that one, which itself goes a long way to illustrating why moneyed interests would simply hate Chavez.

Can you imagine the gall to tell Monsanto they had to scrap a 500,000 acre project? In favor of indigenous Yucca, to boot!

That takes, as they say, cojones.

Cheers

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #106
107. You're right about that!

Yay, Yucca! This just may be one of those detestable poor people praying to the great Yucca god!
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 03:27 AM
Response to Reply #106
143. Hi, al bupp!Thought this yucca news downright fascinating.
A quick google provides some interesting info. on the humble crop of yucca Hugo Chavez opted to grow at the urging of native Venezuelans.

I grabbed the quickest things which came up, but thought you might get a kick from seeing what kind of critter this yucca is, and THEN you may think it's a brilliant alternative to the nasty Monsanto plan for Venezuela:
Ancient Plant--Modern Day Miracle for Livestock Operations

From the early ages of the North American Indians through the more recent days of the pioneer settlers in the southwestern deserts to the present time, the desert Yucca has proved to be one of the most valuable plants known to mankind.

Ranchers who introduced their life styles and livestock into southwestern North America found it to be a real boon to their livelihood. Their cattle ate the plant – leaves, fiber and bulbs – and thrived on it.

Into more modern times researchers began to delve into the plants amazing qualities and found that previous uses of the plant were valid, but had only begun to scratch the surface of the benefits the Yucca in its various forms could supply.

Yucca products in liquid, powder form, or made into tablets are also used as food flavoring and meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements for such use. (FDA Reg. 121.1163)
(snip)

Modern experimentation is proving that the Indians and the pioneers were correct in considering the Desert Yucca as somewhat of a miracle plant.
(snip/...)
http://www.agriorganics.com/products/fiber_gest.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


One of the names for the yucca plant's root is "Cassava" and it's used all over the world in countries growing this desert plant.
Global cassava production was more than 160 million tonnes in 1999 and could increase a further 30% by 2005. Experts meeting in Rome in April 2000 have agreed that cassava could contribute to increased agricultural transformation and economic growth in developing countries but that the crop would have to become more competitive in domestic and international markets. As a result of the Forum at FAO headquarters, a new initiative known as the Global Development Strategy for Cassava has been launched to develop cassava-based industries and global efforts to identify and stimulate markets.

The development of high-quality cassava flour could help many developing countries reduce their dependence on imported grains, particularly in Africa but also in the Caribbean where bread made entirely from imported wheat dominates the market. Research at IITA in Nigeria, in partnership with the bakery industry, is currently evaluating different combinations of cassava/wheat flour and, in Jamaica, an FAO project has successfully restored demand for a traditional cassava product. After training has been made available through Jamaica's Rural Agricultural Development Authority, Bammy bread, round cakes soaked in coconut milk and grilled, are now being packaged, frozen and exported to Europe and North America, and cassava is now being imported into Jamaica to satisfy increasing demand.

In Latin America, support provided by CIAT has led to an increase in the development and marketing of cassava snack foods, similar to potato chips, as well as frozen 'heat and serve' cassava products. The growing demand for cassava products in Brazil, in particular, has led to the creation of franchising stores throughout the country, such as the group "Casa do Pão de Queijo", which sells cassava cheese bread and coffee.

In Thailand and elsewhere in Asia, where rice is the most popular staple, commercial cassava production has focused on animal feed, mainly in the form of chips and pellets for export. In Africa and Latin America, the domestic market for similar products shows potential for growth although cassava roots and leaves are used in half of Brazils' production of animal feed for pig, poultry and fish farming. However, the main constraint to use of cassava in animal feed is a current lack of reliable supply throughout the year and inconsistent quality. Improving its competitiveness with grain products by lowering the cost of production will be an important focus for future development if cassava is to become an industrial crop.
(snip/...)
http://www.new-agri.co.uk/00-4/focuson/focuson4.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I also saw that its fibers are used making brooms, baskets, sandals, ropes, etc.

I think this idea they have chosen to implement is just GREAT. Good for them, bully, bully.

Also, medicines. Yay, yucca. Viva Chavez!

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
60. Oh, well, since we are doing a Chavez thread ...
This is much the most interesting story I have seen WRT
Venezuela of late:

Alberto Garrido: President Hugo Chavez Frias is advancing the situation with Colombia because
the United States of America is occupied in Iraq

Union Radio reports: "If this hasn't become a bigger situation, it's because the US government has a major problem in the Middle
East, and with the energy factor, any conflict would be regional, and involve two oil producing countries (Venezuela and
Colombia)," historian and political analyst Alberto Garrido expresses in reference to the threat of conflict between Venezuela
and Colombia due to the presence of presumed Colombian paramilitaries in the country ... a situation that Garrido has called
"the new revolutionary war."

http://www.vheadline.com/readnews.asp?id=21263
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #60
64. It takes a while to wade through the bundles of articles written on this
sudden appearance of around 130 Colombian paramilitaries at a farm near Caracas owned by a Cuban exile with links to both Venezuelan and Cuban exiles. (You may remember they are involved in joint events in South Florida, like anti-Chavez parades, for example.)
Colombian paramilitaries arrested in Venezuela

Jeremy Lennard and agencies
Monday May 10, 2004

Venezuelan police have arrested more than 70 Colombian paramilitary fighters who were allegedly plotting to strike against the government in Caracas, according to the country's president, Hugo Chávez.
Opposition leaders, however, were quick to dismiss the president's claim, calling the raids on a farm less than 10 miles from the capital a ruse to divert attention from their efforts to oust Mr Chávez in a recall vote.

During his weekly radio and TV broadcast, Hello Mr President, Mr Chávez said that 53 paramilitary fighters were arrested at the farm early on Sunday and another 24 were picked up after fleeing into the countryside.

The country's security forces were uncovering additional clues and searching for more suspects, he said, adding that the arrests were proof of a conspiracy against his government involving Cuban and Venezuelan exiles in Florida and neighbouring Colombia.

Mr Chávez also claimed the plot was backed by Venezuela's mostly pro-opposition news media and said that the raids had "eliminated the seed of a terrorist group".

"Now they are importing terrorists," Mr Chávez said of his opponents, adding that the farm - in the municipality of El Hatillo - was owned by Roberto Alonso, a Cuban exile with links to Venezuelan and Cuban exiles.
(snip/...)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/venezuela/story/0,12716,12134...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
VENEZUELA: New coup plot uncovered

Robyn Marshall, Caracas

On the morning of May 9, the government television channel announced that 55 Colombian paramilitaries had been captured by Venezuelan national investigative police, DISIP, at a farm in Baruta, a municipality in southeastern Caracas. Later that day another 71 Colombian paramilitaries, who had escaped the raid, were captured.

Venezuelan defense minister Jorge Garcia Carneiro said they were being trained by retired Venezuelan military officers to carry out a coup against the radical left-wing government of President Hugo Chavez.

One of the detainees confessed to a TV reporter that the owner of the farm offered him 500,000 Colombian pesos to work there. When he and other Colombians arrived more than a month ago, they were greeted by men in camouflage uniforms, who told them they would receive training for an attack on a National Guard base.

He said that the goal of the operation was to steal weapons from an arms depot at the base in order to arm a militia of about 3000 paramilitaries who would come to Venezuela.

According to documents found at the farm, at least 100 of the captured men were Colombian military reservists.
The property on which they were captured belongs to Cuban right-wing emigre Roberto Alonso, who is one of the leaders of a Venezuelan opposition group know as Bloque Democratico.
(snip/...)
http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2004/583/583p18b.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


No mystery here!
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #64
73. No Mystery Indeed, My Friend
A "border war" between Columbia and Venezuela, produced by reactionary proxies, has long been a leading possibility in this situation....
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #73
86. Yes, it would most likely serve Uribe's purposes too.
And we do seem to have some "irregulars" in evidence.
What I find interesting is that Hugo is saying "bring it on"
because of the judgement that this is a good time for a fight,
if there must be a fight.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #86
90. It Probably Is, Sir
Columbia is in no shape politically or economically for a national conflict. About the only benefit it could gain would be as a safety valve to bleed off de-mobilized rightist murder-squad men and get them out of the country.

Col. Chavez would probably derive some benefit over-all from a clear foreign foe, which tends to have a unifying effect on a polity, and would enable him to put the traitor's brand on many opponents. Further, a conflict would open a path to promotion for many of his field-grade supporters in the armed forces, and there is no better coin to pay majors and colonels....
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #90
93. Yes.
A nice little border war would be fine for both sides.
Nothing more than that, though.
I expect that is what we'll see, if we see anything.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #90
112. On the same issue ...
I have seen a few stories on Vheadline in the nature
of warming up the audience for such a conflict, that is
discussions of the Colombian threat, the Spanish tanks,
and so on; and I am unable to come up with a sensible
interpretation of them other than as we just discussed,
but at present it seems more a matter of keeping the option
open than any intent to pursue immediate action.

Of course we do have the paramilitaries business going on
now, but that seems likewise not to be in pursuit of any
immediate military action.

And there is also the recent initiative to develop a
territorial militia.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #90
114. Venezuela seeks arms edge over Colombia
Venezuela has embarked on a weapons
procurement programme to gain the
advantage in its military balance with
neighbouring Colombia, edging the two
countries towards an arms race.

General Jorge Garca Carneiro, Venezuela's
defence minister, said on Monday he would unveil, in the
next few days, an "integral national defence plan", including
a strengthening of "operational capability".

But according to defence industry sources, President Hugo
Chávez has in recent weeks initiated closely guarded plans to
buy military equipment from suppliers in Europe and the
Middle East.

Four European companies - Austria, Belgium, Switzerland
and the UK - are competing in a tender for 200 armoured
and tactical vehicles, in a deal estimated to be worth about
$80m.

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.co...
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #114
121. He Is Wise To Do So, My Friend
These things have a way of getting out of hand....

Are you aware of any genuine old disputes about the border between the two countries?
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #121
130. Another suggestion of war thoughts being thought, so to speak.
There is a good deal of history in the century before last.
The were once one, along with Panama and Ecuador, and I believe
a few wars were fought, although I don't have the specifics on
the tip of my tongue. I believe an incident or two early in the
20th century too, if I remember Galeano's book correctly. But
not lately, and generally not haggling over the border, that
seems more a recent and politically motivated thing. But I
am no expert. I don't have the impression, oddly enough, that
Chavez and Uribe are particularly annoyed with each other either,
and I would think something would have been said if that were
the case. It would be interesting to know what relations are
like among the military staff of the two countries, but I don't
remember seeing much there either. I suspect one needs to be able
to read Spanish, and I am deficient there.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #130
131. I Will Ask My Son, Sir
He has a great interest in the history of the region.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #131
132. I would appreciate that, and if you could share his thoughts? nt
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #121
137. Eh, I did a bit of research.
Nothing deep mind you. The short answer seems to be no,
not much.

They parted amicably in 1830 and have not had much to
argue about since, although both have had border disputes
elsewhere and some minor issues between them, but not to
the point of coming to blows. There have been persistent
problems with Colombia's internal issues slopping over the
border into Venezuela, of course.

This is a short backgrounder, but a bit dated:

http://reference.allrefer.com/country-guide-study/venez...

Colombia is somewhat the larger in land area and population,
but not enough to be important, and Venzuela has certain
advantages in other areas.

The Colombian army is conscript, around 130,000 troops, armed
by the US, but it is suggested that it is not much interested
in fighting. There are also several independent armies on
Colombian soil totalling perhaps 1/2 half the size of the
regular forces and controlling something on the order of 1/2
the land area, and of course the police.

Venezuelan forces are somewhat smaller, perhaps 70,000 troops
in all branches, well equipped by Latin American standards, and
well trained. I would tend to think it's a bit more professional,
pending better information to the contrary.
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
63. Even the majority of the leftist artists find Chavez disagreeable...
... to be kind.

War of Images Illustrates Colliding Views of Chavez --
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=artic...
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #63
69. An Artist's Political Opinion, Sir
Is worth about as much as a wager on a snake in a bicycle race. There are few lower grades of thinker available on such a subject, and most of those are professional specialists. Artists are far too self absorbed, and too used to engaging with fantasy constructs as their principal mode of conciousness, to have much useful to say in questions of reality and power.
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #69
78. Now that's an opinion worth it's weight in, uh, compost.
Clearly you haven't spent much time in South America, or studied the history of South American art.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #78
81. If You Say So, Dear
Have known a number of people who made a living at it, and remain unimpressed by them as political thinkers....

Do much creative work, do you?

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thebigidea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #69
126. speaking of people far too self absorbed...
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #126
128. Now There Is A Fatal Cut, Dear....
My thanks for the opportunity to put this back up top.
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thebigidea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #128
129. Dear? What are you going to call me next, "darling"?
Edited on Wed May-26-04 03:01 PM by thebigidea
And pardon me if I find political musings from poets, artists, writers, and filmmakers more useful than your bloviating.

I mean, that Kurt Vonnegut - he couldn't POSSIBLY have any insight.

Allen Ginsberg? What a fop. He shouldn't have bothered, right? Its not like he had a positive impact or anything.

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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #129
133. Late For Dinner, Probably, Dear....
Edited on Wed May-26-04 05:46 PM by The Magistrate
That is about all you could call me that would produce any distress.

You might want to add to your list of valuable artists' political musings those of, say, Pound, Eliot, Celine, Dali, to name just a few.

Many people have useful things to say. Some of them are artists. Most of them are not.

The fact is that to produce art is to engage in the studied avoidance of reality, to the point of seeking to replace it with a concoction of one's own. This is not necessarily the best point of departure either for understanding, or for improving it.

Once the Sage wrote: "Do you think you can take over and improve the Universe? I do not think it can be done."
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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #133
146. Well said and entertaining to boot.
:thumbsup:
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #146
147. Thank You, Sir
The name of the noted Futurist Mussolini found so inspiring continues to evade my recollection....

"What a world, what a world!"

"LET'S GO GET THOSE BUSH BASTARDS!"
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #63
70. You didn't take enough time to read this article
Many of the artists have derived their livelihood from oil profits (state sponsorship of art, for the hard of thinking). Also, one of the artists at the beginning of the article is a cartoonist for "El Universal," one of the OPPOSITION NEWSPAPERS. Not too biased, would you think?
(snip)
Oil revenue -- Venezuela has the largest oil reserves outside the Middle East -- has also been used to sponsor the arts. A series of governments after the 1958 collapse of Venezuela's military dictatorship devoted millions of petrodollars to artists and academies -- and to buying off many critical writers. But artists now complain that less and less government money is going to support their work.

"These artists are still from the left," said Emily Hernandez, director of the Cristobal Rojas School of Visual Arts, where Zapata and many others trained. "But they are not for this government. They are divided just like my faculty, my students and the rest of the country."

The first public notice of the divide in the art world came last November when Quintana Castillo and 130 other people identifying themselves as artists and intellectuals took out a newspaper ad condemning the opposition media for its "promotion and magnification of fascism." Quintana Castillo followed up during a two-month anti-government general strike with a newspaper interview restating his support for Chavez. Soon after, he received a phone call from an art collector: She would no longer buy his work.
(snip)

As the year began amid severe street unrest, gas masks began adorning the statues of Venezuelan independence heroes in public plazas, the idea of a satiric artist from the western oil city of Maracaibo. Political graffiti decorates much of the capital, most of it uninvited.

Zapata has published satiric cartoons in El Nacional for 40 years. His most visible work, however, is the enormous mural painted on ceramic tile that covers a wall outside Central University along the main highway. It depicts historic and anonymous Venezuelans driving buses and cars, all rendered in his trademark line sketches reminiscent of Pablo Picasso's work.
(snip/...)
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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #63
71. Perez, a prominent Venezuelan artist from the article:
The rupture among us makes little sense right now," said Perez, pacing his airy studio in calfskin slippers. "I don't support everything this government does. But at its root this is a government that has done more to change the politics toward the poor than any other.

That's good enough for me.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #71
79. That's a GREAT quote, 9215. n/t
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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #79
96. Thanks Judi, it was at the bottom of the article. Check your p-mail nt
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #63
74. And the even more disturbing update.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0404...

It's sad to note that Chavez is the same old, same old, in the end. This is a corrupt government from the word go. It's even sadder to see some at DU fall for a guy like this. I truly do not understand it. And, yes, I've read and read and read. And I've been there. In fact just last month, most recently.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #74
83. Interesting article.
(snip)
But pro-Chavez artists say Zapata is serving the interests of a reactionary elite determined to end the leftist president's 5-year-old government, which supporters say has brought huge benefits to the impoverished masses.

"A lot of the people from the left see that there have been extraordinary changes," said Regulo Perez, a renowned artist and Chavez ally. "This is a fight, and the fight continues."
(snip)

(snip)Sesto said the president is seeking to "democratize" art, film, music and theater by taking it out of the hands of an elite and making it available in poor urban neighborhoods and elsewhere across the country.

The government also is nurturing "popular" culture originating from the barrios and from Venezuela's numerous Indian groups. "The goal is to spread it out without losing the level of quality," Sesto said.

One benefit of the intense conflict is that Venezuelan art has been infused with an urgency and relevance not seen here since the 1960s, when the government was battling a leftist guerrilla movement.
(snip)

Shameful! Why how dare he!

Please review "The Magistrate's" comments on artists.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #74
87. Hey, Babe,...you wanna see a "corrupt" government?
Take a peekaboo at what BFEE has imposed on your country.

Be brave and examine THAT!!!!

When you can genuinely be proud of THAT,...then,...come back and be a "judge". If you are already "arrogant",...Nobody can help you and you are worthless to creating a better country.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #74
117. So, Something is "disturbing" but you still won't say exactly what. (nt)
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9215 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #117
120. Nice catch. Vagueness is a Rightie mainstay. nt
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
108. Well, according to The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
the coup was led by people who looked like country club Republicans from Central Casting, and they were shown in "educational" seminars being told to be wary of their servants.

When they temporarily took control, their first "democratic" acts were to dissolve the Cabinet, the national legislature, and the Supreme Court and to name one of the country clubbers--who now lives in Miami--president without a by your leave. (This isn't just the documentarians' assertion. The coup leaders went on television to announce this. Oh, yes, and they took the government channel off the air.)

Chavez doesn't have to be perfect to be an improvement for the masses of people.

Back in the 1980s, I once heard a talk by a priest who worked with Salvadoran refugees in Mexico. Someone asked him how Salvadorans could be "taken in by Cuban propaganda."

He said that if you were a poor person in El Salvador and heard on the radio that Cubans had free education and free medical care, and you had no education and no medical care, that would sound pretty damn good. And if the authorities or foreigners said, "But they have food rationing in Cuba and no political freedom," the Salvadoran peasant could think, "Well, we have very little food and no political freedom anyway."

OF COURSE the country club Republican-equivalents of Venezuela are going to hate Chavez. It means trouble on the plantation.

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Alerter_ Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
134. What has he done to make him a dictator?
He even lets the Media corporations in Venezuela plot coups against him.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #134
135. Indeed, Sir
A real dictator would have had them in cellars long since....
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #135
145. To be fair, not all dictators are like that.
Juan Peron and to some extent Antonio de Oliveira Salazar didn't just jail and shoot everyone who pissed them off.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-04 02:51 AM
Response to Original message
142. I haven't read all the new additions to this thread, yet
but I've got a bit of information for the more well-balanced DU'ers who have been participating in Venezuela conversations here.

After you have been seeing the name of a certain Human Rights organization come up several times in posts by people you are fairly well convinced don't really have a deep abiding concern in the rights of the poor, the workers, you may find this very interesting:
ZNet | Venezuela

Two Venezuelan Mayors
Press Freedom, Soft Drinks, and Democracy in the Andes

by Justin Podur; ZNet Venezuela Watch; August 03, 2003

A recent Human Rights Watch report, which was harshly criticized by supporters of Venezuela's 'Bolivarian Revolution', said that "there are few obvious limits on free expression in Venezuela. The country's print and audiovisual media operate without restrictions." Two months after the report was published, on July 14, one of the country's audiovisual media outlets came up against a rather serious restriction-it was shut down and its equipment confiscated. The outlet in question is called CatiaTV, but it was not shut down by the Chavez government but by the mayor of Caracas, Alfredo Pena, who is an opponent of Chavez.

CatiaTV was an experiment in genuine community television. It was started by a group of people in Catia, a vast and extremely poor borough of Caracas, who thought to film one of the community's events to show it to the community. It gave poor people the opportunity to make their own programs, about themselves, for themselves. In April 2002, when the coup against the Chavez government took place, workers in CatiaTV were instrumental in helping to get the state television channel, Channel 8, back online, breaking the monopoly of misinformation of the private television networks and facilitating the reversal of the coup.

Reporters Without Borders (which did protest against the closing of CatiaTV), demonstrating a disappointing lack of understanding of the Venezuelan media situation, said that reporters there were "caught between an authoritarian president and an intolerant media." The private networks are advocates of a coup, call supporters of Chavez 'monkeys', and distort information to a remarkable degree. But the people can't rely solely on the state media. This is exactly what makes community media like CatiaTV so important. It is also why Alfredo Pena shut it down.
(snip/...)
www.zmag.org/content/print_article.cfm?itemID=3993 §ionID=45

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


When I saw this, I had to snicker while sneering. So THIS is what happened. The Venezuelan "government" involved in confiscating the equipment was a city's MAYOR'S decision, and HE IS A FOE OF HUGO CHAVEZ.

OHHHHHHHHHH, PUHLEEEEEEZ.

You saw it here, folks, and if you have seen this topic brought up over and over again, bookmark this article for the day a Hot, Sulphuric,Summer Odor rolls up into our midst yet one more time.

We've got the goods on him.
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