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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:02 PM
Original message
Venezuela knows what it's doing
In recent weeks, U.S. policymakers and pundits have warned that a set of constitutional reforms being considered in Venezuela are but a step toward dictatorship.

A little calm, and context, is in order. Since President Hugo Chavez's first election in 1998 and his most recent reelection in 2006, Venezuela has undergone a dramatic revolution in peace and democracy. The Venezuelan government aggressively works to expand political participation, create an equitable and sustainable economy and address long-standing social deficits.

The numbers indicate that the changes are working. The economy has entered its fourth year of consecutive growth, poverty has fallen from 55.1% of the country in 2003 to 30.4% in 2006, and Venezuelans are the second-most-likely population in the region to call their government "very democratic." Venezuela is slowly establishing the basis for a new model of democracy and development -- "socialism of the 21st century," as it has been termed -- one founded on grass-roots democratic participation, a social economy and equality in access to vital services such as healthcare and education.

To deepen those changes, Chavez in August proposed 33 reforms to the 1999 constitution aimed at helping to speed the redistribution of national resources to Venezuela's neediest; to decentralize political power and grant communities more say in federal affairs; and to outline the legal foundations of the country's new system. After the reforms were proposed, the National Assembly debated the reforms in three rounds, approving a final slate of 69 reforms in late October.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-santos28nov28...
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StClone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. But, but, but...Keith and Randi
Both have called Hugo a dictator. They should explain themselves.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. they haven't done their homework
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. Really! I guess they showed their true colors! They need to read the
Shock Doctrine and understand that we won't be fooled anymore!
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BornagainDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. and Pelosi called him a thug. nt
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Cobalt-60 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 04:26 AM
Response to Original message
2. we'll see
He's looking a little heavy handed right now.
But there's also reason to suspect that Bushco is pouring it on covertly.
I think he doesn't care to find himself Pinocheted.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 04:39 AM
Response to Original message
3. So far, I don't see a problem
He's been cleanly elected twice, he's putting his reforms to the vote and he'll go to the country again to try and secure a third term. This is all being done by the letter of the law, this is how reformers are supposed to do things. He's made a few mistakes, he'll probably make a few more, he's crass and occasionally boorish (i.e. the blow-up with the Spanish leader) and, like any politician, he should be watched like a hawk for abuse of power. So far though, he's gotten more right than wrong and he's beloved by the majority of his people.
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truckin Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. Well said. That about sums up my view of Chavez.
It makes me crazy that every time he is mentioned in the MSM he is refered to as a dictator. There are legitimate issue to criticize him about but as far as I know he has been elected legitimately.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
4. It would be a different world if people would try to find out what's beyond the ferociously spun
Edited on Thu Nov-29-07 08:22 AM by Judi Lynn
images they are given in these short blasts of perception molding from the corporate sources.

It takes the readers who continue to wonder what was behind the outburst at the Spanish Prime Minister and look for more information to learn what had been discussed BEFORE the outburst, concerning the fact that the previous Prime Minister, Bush's lackey, little fascist Aznar had sent his own people right over to the Presidential Palace to welcome and congratulate the coup president, prominent business man Pedro Carmona who showed up the moment after they kidnapped Hugo Chavez, just as planned.

THAT was what had been discussed PRIOR to the part the right-wing controlled media thought would really get'em wild in the States was delivered, dressed up in the conventional inflamatory crap which got them all foaming at the mouth, as usual.

It really doesn't take much to get stupid people bouncing off the walls when they won't get off their asses and start doing a little research to see what the hell is going on.

Then they stick their knobby noses into conversations in which people who DO keep up are trying to talk to each other, and jam them all up, knowing people just don't like the idea of having to take time out of their busy days to try to spoon feed them the information they won't bother to find for themselves.

God, what a circus.

Life is good for the propagandists, as there's so little natural resistance among the reactionaries.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Yes, I'm getting Allende and Sandinista flashbacks here
If people weren't paying attention during those eras, they may not see the parallels.
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Tom Joad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
10. US foreign policy has always been to prevent democracy at all costs.
so don't be surprised if the u.s. sponsors another coup against the people of Venezuela, just to remind everyone that you do it the US way or it's the highway.
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