Hugo Chávez: "New US president should listen to the world"
Source: El Universal, Venezuelan opposition newspaper
Hugo Chávez: "New US president should listen to the world"
Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez said that the next US president must "talk and listen" to the world. He also said that the new leader of the United States would be accountable for the implementation of neoliberal policies and their impact on the global financial crisis.
"The next president of the United States must sit down and talk to the world. He has to do it." "Not with Chávez, I am not important," said the Venezuelan leader on Saturday night during a meeting with regional media in the eastern state of Sucre, DPA reported.
Chávez made these remarks when he was asked about the recent statements made by Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama on a possible dialogue with the Venezuelan president if Obama wins the elections next November 4.
Chávez said that both Obama and Republican presidential candidate John McCain follow instructions from their advisory teams to win votes of certain sectors of the US population.
Everyone from bin Laden to Chavez feels they now can 'scold' us. Also, people like Reagan, Kissenger, Bush I and Bush II help create assholes like Sadam Hussein and now, sadly Chavez, with their terrible, interventionist foreign policy.
George Bush has been the target of fresh jibes by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez for doing exactly what he was criticising the socialist leader for – overriding market laws to protect the economy.
Critics say the U.S. bailout plan is an example of a double standard by the Bush administration, reports America’s McClatchy newspaper.
"If the Venezuelan government, for example, approves a law to protect consumers, they say, 'Take notice, Chavez is a tyrant!'" said Chavez, speaking in one of his recent weekly television shows.
"Or they say, 'Chavez is regulating prices. He is violating the laws of the marketplace.' How many times have they criticised me for nationalising the phone company? They say, 'The state shouldn't get involved in that.' But now they don't criticize Bush for having to nationalise (the biggest banks in the world.) Comrade Bush, how are you?"
Warming to his theme, he added: "Comrade Bush is heading toward socialism."
Nicaragua Congressman Edwin Castro agreed: "We think the Bush administration should follow the same policies that they and the International Monetary Fund have always told us to follow when we have economic problems — a structural adjustment that requires cutting government spending and reducing the role of government.”
28. You are so right. The truth is slowly getting around and few still seem to know about it.
It's tremendous seeing your post. Here's more information for other readers:
Kennedy Sought Dialogue with Cuba
INITIATIVE WITH CASTRO ABORTED BY ASSASSINATION, DECLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS SHOW
Oval Office Tape Reveals Strategy to hold clandestine Meeting in Havana; Documents record role of ABC News correspondent Lisa Howard as secret intermediary in Rapprochement effort
Posted - November 24, 2003
Washington D.C. - On the 40th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the eve of the broadcast of a new documentary film on Kennedy and Castro, the National Security Archive today posted an audio tape of the President and his national security advisor, McGeorge Bundy, discussing the possibility of a secret meeting in Havana with Castro. The tape, dated only seventeen days before Kennedy was shot in Dallas, records a briefing from Bundy on Castro's invitation to a U.S. official at the United Nations, William Attwood, to come to Havana for secret talks on improving relations with Washington. The tape captures President Kennedy's approval if official U.S. involvement could be plausibly denied.
The possibility of a meeting in Havana evolved from a shift in the President's thinking on the possibility of what declassified White House records called "an accommodation with Castro" in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Proposals from Bundy's office in the spring of 1963 called for pursuing "the sweet approach…enticing Castro over to us," as a potentially more successful policy than CIA covert efforts to overthrow his regime. Top Secret White House memos record Kennedy's position that "we should start thinking along more flexible lines" and that "the president, himself, is very interested in ." Castro, too, appeared interested. In a May 1963 ABC News special on Cuba, Castro told correspondent Lisa Howard that he considered a rapprochement with Washington "possible if the United States government wishes it. In that case," he said, "we would be agreed to seek and find a basis" for improved relations.
The untold story of the Kennedy-Castro effort to seek an accommodation is the subject of a new documentary film, KENNEDY AND CASTRO: THE SECRET HISTORY, broadcast on the Discovery/Times cable channel on November 25 at 8pm. The documentary film, which focuses on Ms. Howard's role as a secret intermediary in the effort toward dialogue, was based on an article -- "JFK and Castro: The Secret Quest for Accommodation" -- written by Archive Senior Analyst Peter Kornbluh in the magazine, Cigar Aficionado. Kornbluh served as consulting producer and provided key declassified documents that are highlighted in the film. "The documents show that JFK clearly wanted to change the framework of hostile U.S. relations with Cuba," according to Kornbluh. "His assassination, at the very moment this initiative was coming to fruition, leaves a major 'what if' in the ensuing history of the U.S. conflict with Cuba."
Among the key documents relevant to this history:
Oval Office audio tape, November 5, 1963. The tape records a conversation between the President and McGeorge Bundy regarding Castro's invitation to William Attwood, a deputy to UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson, to come to Cuba for secret talks. The President responds that Attwood should be taken off the U.S. payroll prior to such a meeting so that the White House can plausibly deny that any official talks have taken place if the meeting leaks to the press.
White House memorandum, Top Secret, "Mr. Donovan's Trip to Cuba," March 4, 1963. This document records President Kennedy's interest in negotiations with Castro and his instructions to his staff to "start thinking along more flexible lines" on conditions for a dialogue with Cuba.
White House memorandum, Top Secret, "Cuba -- Policy," April 11, 1963. A detailed options paper from Gordon Chase, the Latin America specialist on the National Security Council, to McGeorge Bundy recommending "looking seriously at the other side of the coin-quietly enticing Castro over to us."
CIA briefing paper, Secret, "Interview of U.S. Newswoman with Fidel Castro Indicating Possible Interest in Rapprochement with the United States," May 1, 1963. A debriefing of Lisa Howard by CIA deputy director Richard Helms, regarding her ABC news interview with Castro and her opinion that he is "ready to discuss rapprochement." The document contains a notation, "Psaw," meaning President Kennedy read the report on Howard and Castro.
U.S. UN Mission memorandum, Secret, Chronology of events leading up Castro invitation to receive a U.S. official for talks in Cuba, November 8, 22, 1963. This chronology was written by William Attwood and records the evolution of the initiative set in motion by Lisa Howard for a dialogue with Cuba. The document describes the party at Howard's Manhattan apartment on September 23, 1963, where Attwood met with Cuban UN Ambassador Carlos Lechuga to discuss the potential for formal talks to improve relations. In an addendum, Attwood adds information on communications, using the Howard home as a base, leading up to the day the President was shot in Dallas.
White House memorandum, Secret, November 12, 1963. McGeorge Bundy reports to William Attwood on Kennedy's opinion of the viability of a secret meeting with Havana. The president prefers that the meeting take place in New York at the UN where it will be less likely to be leaked to the press.
White House memorandum, Top Secret, "Approach to Castro," November 19, 1963. A memo from Gordon Chase to McGeorge Bundy updating him on the status of arrangements for a secret meeting with the Cubans. White House memorandum, Top Secret, "Cuba -- Item of Presidential Interest," November 25, 1963. A strategy memo from Gordon Chase to McGeorge Bundy assessing the problems and potential for pursuing the secret talks with Castro in the aftermath of Kennedy's assassination.
Message from Fidel Castro to Lyndon Johnson, "Verbal Message given to Miss Lisa Howard of ABC News on February 12, 1964, in Havana, Cuba." A private message carried by Howard to the White House in which Castro states that he would like the talks started with Kennedy to continue: "I seriously hope (and I cannot stress this too strongly) that Cuba and the United States can eventually sit down in an atmosphere of good will and of mutual respect and negotiate our differences."
United Nations memorandum, Top Secret, from Adlai Stevenson to President Johnson, June 16, 1964. Stevenson sends the "verbal message" given to Lisa Howard to Johnson with a cover memo briefing him on the dialogue started under Kennedy and suggesting consideration of resumption of talks "on a low enough level to avoid any possible embarrassment."
White House memorandum, Top Secret, "Adlai Stevenson and Lisa Howard," July 7, 1964. Gordon Chase reports to Bundy on his concerns that Howard's role as an intermediary has now escalated through her contact with Stevenson at the United Nations and the fact that a message has been sent back through her to Castro from the White House. Chase recommends trying "to remove Lisa from direct participation in the business of passing messages," and using Cuban Ambassador to the UN, Carlos Lechuga, instead.
33. Sorry, ronnie624. It ran already, a couple of years ago, but watch your schedule, as they run it
fairly frequently. You'll need to keep a lookout from time to time, and you're BOUND TO CATCH IT.
It was even better than you would hope. Totally informative, with facts, details you'll carry around with you for days to come afterwards.
Here's an article from Cigar Aficionado (they seem to carry Cuba-related articles more often than you'd expect):
Published September/October 1999
JFK & Castro: The Secret Quest For Accommodation Recently Declassified U.S. government Documents Reveal That, at the Height of the Cold War, John F. Kennedy and Fidel Castro Were Exploring Ways To Normalize U.S.-Cuba Relations by Peter Kornbluh
In February 1996, Robert Kennedy Jr. and his brother, Michael, traveled to Havana to meet with Fidel Castro. As a gesture of goodwill, they brought a file of formerly top secret U.S. documents on the Kennedy administration's covert exploration of an accommodation with Cuba--a record of what might have been had not Lee Harvey Oswald, seemingly believing the president to be an implacable foe of Castro's Cuba, fired his fateful shots in Dallas. Castro thanked them for the file and shared his "impression that it was intention after the missile crisis to change the framework" of relations between the United States and Cuba. "It's unfortunate," said Castro, that "things happened as they did, and he could not do what he wanted to do."
Would John F. Kennedy, had he lived, have been able to establish a modus vivendi with Fidel Castro? The question haunts almost 40 years of acrimonious U.S.-Cuba relations. In a Top Secret--Eyes Only memorandum written three days after the president's death, one of his White House aides, Gordon Chase, noted that "President Kennedy could have accommodated with Castro and gotten away with it with a minimum of domestic heat"--because of his track record "of being successfully nasty to Castro and the Communists" during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Castro and his advisers believed the same. A CIA intelligence report, based on
a high-level Cuban source and written for National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy in 1964, noted that "Fidel Castro felt that it was possible that President Kennedy would have gone on ultimately to negotiate with Cuba... acceptance of a fait accompli for practical reasons."
The file on the Kennedy administration's "Cuban contacts" that Robert Jr. and Michael took to Cuba (declassified at the request of the author) sheds significant light on a story that has never been fully told--John Kennedy's secret pursuit of a rapprochement with Fidel Castro. Along with papers recently released pursuant to the Kennedy Assassination Records Act of 1992, the documents reveal the escalating efforts toward negotiations in 1963 that, if successful, might have changed the ensuing decades of perpetual hostility between Washington and Havana. Given the continuing state of tension with Castro's regime, this history carries an immediate relevance for present policy makers. Indeed, with the Clinton administration buffeted between increasingly vocal critics of U.S. policy toward Cuba and powerful proponents of the status quo, reconstructing the hitherto secret record of Kennedy's efforts in the fall of 1963 to advance "the rapprochement track" with Castro is more relevant than ever.
In 1963, after the Missile Crisis, the Kennedy administration continued to grapple with the problem of Cuba. CIA's project AMTRUNK continued to look for leaders inside Cuba to overthrow the Castro regime. Contingency plans for a military invasion of Cuba were formulated in support of a possible coup; a new theory put forth in the book Ultimate Sacrifice declares that these were more than contingency plans, and that an actual coup was planned for December 1, 1963.
At the same time as the continued planning, President Kennedy, perhaps shaken by the events of October 1962, looked for ways to defuse the situation and reach accomodation with Castro. On March 30, 1963, the State Dept. and Justice Dept. jointly announced their intent to ensure that Cuban exile groups conducting sabotage raids would no longer do so from U.S. soil. Faced with raids on training camps and loss of support, some of these groups relocated to other countries such as Nicaragua.
In September, following an interview of Castro by journalist Lisa Howard, Kennedy approved secret contacts between U.N. delegate William Atwood and Cuban Ambassador to the U.N. Carlos Lechuga. A preliminary meeting took place, and plans for more substantive talks in a neutral setting such as Mexico were proposed. Concern that such talks not leak out even to the rest of Kennedy's own government contributed to delays in organizing the secret talks.
In the midst of these events, the CIA reactivated contacts with Rolando Cubela, code-named AMLASH, an apparently disgruntled Cuban government official interesting in overthrowing Castro. High-level CIA officer Desmond Fitzgerald, at this time head of the Special Affairs Staff, took the extroardinary step of meeting with Cubela directly, and representing himself as an emissary of Robert Kennedy (there is no indication RFK was informed of this). On November 22, Cubela was being handed a poison pen by a CIA representative when news of Kennedy's death broke up the meeting.
Controversy lingers over whether the "two tracks" on Cuba were both under control of President Kennedy, or whether the CIA actively undermined Kennedy's peace initiatives by contacting Cubela.
Another, on Lisa Howard, who was involved in these talks. I need to know far more about the part she played. Fascinating story:
May 12 2004, 06:48 PM Post #1
Lisa Howard died at her home at East Hampton, Long Island, on 4th July, 1965. It was officially reported that she had committed suicide. Her name is rarely mentioned in list of suspicious deaths. The reason for this is that it is only recently been discovered that she was an important figure in the events of 1963.
Lisa Howard was born on 24th April, 1930. She became an actress and in 1950 appeared as a Soviet official in the anti-communist film, Guilty of Treason. She also appeared in Mr. & Mrs. North (1952), Donovan's Brain (1953) and Sabaka (1954). In the late 1950s she was a regular on CBS's Edge of Night.
In 1960 Howard became a correspondent for Mutual Radio Network. Covering the United Nations, she became the first journalist to secure an interview with Nikita Khrushchev. In 1963 she covered the Vienna summit between President John F. Kennedy and the Soviet leader. Later that year she became the anchor for ABC's noontime news broadcast, The News Hour with Lisa Howard.
In April 1963 McGeorge Bundy suggested to President John F. Kennedy that there should be a "gradual development of some form of accommodation with Castro". In an interview given in 1995, Bundy, said Kennedy needed "a target of opportunity" to talk to Fidel Castro. It seems that Kennedy selected Howard to act as an intermediary. In April 1963 Howard arrived in Cuba to make a documentary on the country. In an interview with Howard, Fidel Castro agreed that a rapprochement with Washington was desirable.
On her return Howard met with the Central Intelligence Agency. Deputy Director Richard Helms reported to John F. Kennedy on Howard's view that "Fidel Castro is looking for a way to reach a rapprochement with the United States." After detailing her observations about Castro's political power, disagreements with his colleagues and Soviet troops in Cuba, the memo concluded that "Howard definitely wants to impress the U.S. Government with two facts: Castro is ready to discuss rapprochement and she herself is ready to discuss it with him if asked to do so by the US Government."
43. November WILL be an interesting month: Just found another site, on Nixon, Kissinger, and Allende:
NEW KISSINGER ‘TELCONS’ REVEAL CHILE PLOTTING AT HIGHEST LEVELS OF U.S. GOVERNMENT
Nixon Vetoed Proposed Coexistence with an Allende Government Kissinger to the CIA: “We will not let Chile go down the drain.”
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 255
Posted - September 10, 2008
Washington D.C., September 10, 2008 - On the eve of the thirty-fifth anniversary of the military coup in Chile, the National Security Archive today published for the first time formerly secret transcripts of Henry Kissinger’s telephone conversations that set in motion a massive U.S. effort to overthrow the newly-elected socialist government of Salvador Allende. “We will not let Chile go down the drain,” Kissinger told CIA director Richard Helms in one phone call. “I am with you,” the September 12, 1970 transcript records Helms responding.
The telephone call transcripts—known as ‘telcons’—include previously-unreported conversations between Kissinger and President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State William Rogers. Just eight days after Allende's election, Kissinger informed the president that the State Department had recommended an approach to “see what we can work out .” Nixon responded by instructing Kissinger: “Don’t let them do it.”
After Nixon spoke directly to Rogers, Kissinger recorded a conversation in which the Secretary of State agreed that “we ought, as you say, to cold-bloodedly decide what to do and then do it,” but warned it should be done “discreetly so that it doesn’t backfire.” Secretary Rogers predicted that “after all we have said about elections, if the first time a Communist wins the U.S. tries to prevent the constitutional process from coming into play we will look very bad.”
The telcons also reveal that just nine weeks before the Chilean military, led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet and supported by the CIA, overthrew the Allende government on September 11, 1973, Nixon called Kissinger on July 4 to say “I think that Chilean guy might have some problems.” “Yes, I think he’s definitely in difficulties,” Kissinger responded. Nixon then blamed CIA director Helms and former U.S. Ambassador Edward Korry for failing to block Allende’s inauguration three years earlier. “They screwed it up,” the President declared.
Although Kissinger never intended the public to know about these conversations, observed Peter Kornbluh, who directs the National Security Archive’s Chile Documentation Project, he “bestowed on history a gift that keeps on giving by secretly taping and transcribing his phone calls.” The transcripts, Kornbluh noted, provide historians with the ability to “eavesdrop on the most candid conversations of the highest and most powerful U.S. officials as they plotted covert intervention against a democratically-elected government.”
Kissinger began secretly taping all his incoming and outgoing phone conversations when he became national security advisor in 1969; his secretaries transcribed the calls from audio tapes that were later destroyed. When Kissinger left office in January 1977, he took more than 30,000 pages of the transcripts, claiming they were “personal papers,” and used them, selectively, to write his memoirs. In 1999, the National Security Archive initiated legal proceedings to force Kissinger to return these records to the U.S. government so they could be subject to the freedom of information act and declassification. At the request of Archive senior analyst William Burr, telcons on foreign policy crises from the early 1970s, including these four previously-unknown conversations on Chile, were recently declassified by the Nixon Presidential library.
On November 30, 2008 the National Security Archive will publish a comprehensive collection of Kissinger telcons in the Digital National Security Archive (DNSA). Comprising 15,502 telcons, this collection documents Kissinger’s conversations with top officials in the Nixon and Ford administrations, including President Richard Nixon; Defense Secretaries Melvin Laird, Elliot Richardson, and James Schlesinger; Secretary of State William P. Rogers; Ambassador to the U.N. George H.W. Bush; and White House Counselor Donald Rumsfeld; along with noted journalists, ambassadors, and business leaders with close White House ties. Wide-ranging topics discussed in the telcons include détente with Moscow, military actions during the Vietnam War and the negotiations that led to its end, Middle East peace talks, the 1970 crisis in Jordan, U.S. relations with Europe, Japan, and Chile, rapprochement with China, the Cyprus crisis (1974- ), and the unfolding Watergate affair. When combined with the Archive’s previous electronic publication of Kissinger’s memoranda of conversation -- The Kissinger Transcripts: A Verbatim Record of U.S. Diplomacy, 1969-1977 -- users of the DNSA will have access to comprehensive records of Kissinger’s talks with myriad U.S. officials and world leaders. Like the Archive’s earlier publication, the Kissinger telcons will be comprehensively and expertly indexed, providing users with have easy access to the information they seek. The collection also includes 158 White House tapes, some of which dovetail with transcripts of Kissinger’s telephone conversations with Nixon and others. Users of the set will thus be able to read the “telcon” and listen to the tape simultaneously.
10. And to think they blame rednecks for voting against their interests!
It seems to me that you underestimate the intelligence of the "middle ground", "moderate" voters.
Or maybe you haven't caught on yourself that even billionnaires are better off under a Chavez than a far right-wing President. Perhaps what you'd call "moderate". They say that the best thngs in life are free. A fair and decent society is not. It has to be paid for by those with the sharpest elbows who have arrogated most of the country's wealth to themselves.
And I mean "fair" in the very limited sense that Chavez understands it. Not equal shares, but enough even for the poorer, more spiritual people to survive with a modicum of dignity and a little disposable income from their labours." Or do you prefer the decaying infrastructure, both socila and material?
It's just that, even after myself being so lazy I only read the parts of the article that were posted here, I see that Chavez is quoted as saying something to the effect of "Listen to the whole world. I'm not pointing myself out as an important focus. Please make the US part of a world community again and not just an elite corporate community."
31. You'd start to get the feeling it isn't, considering the hundreds of thousands of suspected leftists
who've been tortured and slaughtered there by right-wing puppet dictators, military juntas, death squads, paramilitaries, and US School of the Americas-trained militaries over the last 60 years.
As Jesse Helms' friend, Senator James Eastland was quoted saying:
"I told Pinochet he oughta hang all the Communists and put the socialists in jail. And Pinochet told me 'that's exactly what I'm doing.'"
Ronald Reagan's darling butcher dictator in Guatemala, Efraín Rios Montt was also adored by fundie evangelists Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and good old Jesse Helms. Here's a charming reference to Rios Montt's concept, "guns and beans:"
~snip~ ...Guatemala's dirt poor indigenous peoples, who made up half the country's population, were suffering greatly at the hands of the U.S. funded military. The armed forces had taken over Indian lands that seemed fertile for cattle exporting or a promising site to drill for oil. Those Indians who dared to resist were massacred. Rios Montt, a staunch anti-Communist supported by U.S. president Reagan, was determined to wipe out the Marxist URNG, the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Union rebels. However, according to Amnesty International, thousands of people with no connection to the armed struggle were killed by the regime. Not surprisingly, many Indians turned to armed resistance. To deal with the ever worsening situation, Rios Montt proposed a so called "guns and beans" campaign. Rios Montt explained the plan very succinctly: "If you are with us, we'll feed you, if not, we'll kill you." For Robertson, however, Rios Montt's extermination policy was of little account. Astonishingly, the televangelist wrote "I found to be a man of humilityimpeccable personal integrity, and a deep faith in Jesus Christ."
It really IS about time for the U.S. right-wing power-loving a-holes to stop horning in to the very lives of people in other countries who in no way whatsoever have harmed them, or meant them harm. Our right-wing lost its moral compass LONG long ago, and never missed it. It would have only gotten in the road, kept them from slaughtering so many innocents.
11. Claiming the fascists are watching is not a justification for making unbalanced charges.
You need to establish, through EVIDENCE the guy is a "tyrant" FIRST.
Don't even waste your time thinking you're going to peel off any sane adults to swallow that grimey, unprincipled, moronic drool. Most people tend to take things more seriously than the clowns who live on propaganda based slogans and slurs.
elected, in elections more fair than ours, a tyrant? Because George Bush says so? Are you saying the Venezualan people are stupid? Because he WAS elected by more of a majority of his people than Bush was here, and if his people want him as their president, I wish those who insist on calling a duly elected president a 'tyrant' would explain how that can be. He is extremely popular in his own country. Last I looked, his approval ratings were around 60% or more. Why is it the business of this country to determine that the people of another country are getting it wrong, simply because our government hates anyone who will not easily give up their country's resources? We are hardly in a position to criticize anyone on who they choose as their leaders. He hasn't invaded several countries killing over a million of their citizens, has he? Or set up secret gulags around the globe, to which he sends people to be tortured? Really, we need to take care of our own dictators, which we haven't done very well so far.
And you do realize, do you not, that the reason for the hateful propaganda in this country against Chavez(not shared around the world, btw) is that he nationalized Venezuela's oil, making sure his own people finally get to benefit from their own resources, kicked out the greedy globalists and oil barons, who kept 80% of Venezuela's people in poverty for so long, paid off Venezuela's debt to the World Bank, establishing the country as independent of the manipulations of globalists like Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz et al? I wish we could get out from under those influences in this country.
I'm always amazed at the way people assume that if the US government calls someone names, it must be so.
16. Great, and truthfuf points, sabrina 1. People who take the time to read, and think things over
have learned at least some of the things you've pointed out here.
Amazing people will fake it and simply pass on the propaganda written for idiots, isn't it?
Thanks for mentioning the will of the Venezuelan population who freely and massively have elected him in landslide elections. It shouldn't matter ultimately if some propaganda feeders somewhere else like him or not!
53. I agree with all your points, Sabrina 1--and well said! Except for this...
Chavez did NOT nationalize Venezuela's oil. The previous rightwing governments nationalized the oil. The problem was they were basically giving away most of the profits to multinational corporations--about a 10/90 split favoring the multinationals--benefiting a small oil elite in Venezuela, and no one else. What Chavez did was to re-negotiate the contracts several times, to the present 60/40 split of the profits, favoring Venezuela. The Chavez government is using those profits in the best way possible--for education, health care, fostering small business, fostering local manufacturing, land reform, local and regional infrastructure development, etc.--attending to problems long neglected by the rightwing oil elite. Making a better society. The Chavez government has wiped out illiteracy, reduced extreme poverty by 30%, and has produced a nearly 10% economic growth rate over the last five years, with the most growth in the private sector (not including oil).
Exxon Mobil walked out of the talks with the Venezuelan government over the 60/40 split for Venezuela (and Venezuelans!), and tried to grab $12 billion of Venezuela's assets, in a lawsuit that they lost. Exxon Mobil, which recently reported the biggest earnings of any corporation in history, literally tried to take food out of the mouths of poverty-stricken Venezuelan children, to fatten their bloated coffers. Chavez said, "Bye-bye." Other corporations agreed to the terms--among them Norway's Statoil, France's Total and British BP. This was a critically important assertion of a basic democratic principle: That corporations do business only with the permission of the sovereign people of the country where they want to operate, and on the terms set by that sovereign people, and with accountability and responsibility for the society that they are impacting.
We have lost that principle here--the source of most of our troubles. It is being re-asserted in Venezuela and, indeed, throughout South America. Chavez is one of the key leaders of that re-assertion.
This is what comes from TRANSPARENT elections--and Venezuela has the most transparent elections in the western hemisphere, and maybe the world, and also one of the liveliest political cultures.
OF COURSE the Bushwhacks revile Chavez. OF COURSE our Democratic leaders ape that view. Hardly a one of our political leaders--D or R--can prove that he or she was actually elected!
Our elections are now run by three rightwing Bushwhacko corporations, using 'TRADE SECRET,' PROPRIETARY programming code, with virtually no audit/recount controls--by mutual consent of the Republican and Democratic leadership. We have LOST all transparency in vote counting. You wonder how our Democratic Congress can have merited a 10% approval rating--worse than Bush's? Because they weren't elected EITHER--most of them. That's my conclusion, and they can't prove otherwise.
Venezuela uses electronic voting, but it is an OPEN SOURCE code system. The code by which the votes are tabulated belongs to the public, and anyone may review it. They also handcount a whopping 55% of the votes, as a check on machine fraud. Here, we not only have no right to review the SECRET code by which our votes are tabulated, half the voting systems in the country handcount nothing because there is nothing to count--no ballot, no paper trail. Those systems cannot be audited! The other half counts only 1%--miserably inadequate in a 'TRADE SECRET' code system. (Some experts say we need a minimum 10% audit to detect fraud. We are not even close.)
Chavez won 63% of the vote in the last presidential election, in a system that is not only clean and transparent, as to election method, but has also been heavily monitored by the Carter Center, the OAS and other international election monitoring groups, all of whom have declared Venezuela's elections to be open and aboveboard. He enjoys about a 60% approval rating, while the products of our system are despised by the people (Bush-20% approval, Congress-10%).
Chavez has a right to speak about the U.S., whose leaders, both R and D, have so reviled him, with this current, unelected Bush junta actively colluding against him and his elected government, including support for a violent rightwing military coup in 2002, in which the perpetrators kidnapped Chavez, and threatened his life, and suspended the Constitution, the courts, the National Assembly and all civil rights. When the people of Venezuela defeated that coup, the Bushwhacks tried a U.S. taxpayer-funded recall election. (Yup, the Venezuelans can recall their president. Don't we wish!) They tried a crippling oil professionals' strike. They've tried relentless psyops and disinformation, and God knows what else they've tried.
After all this crap they've pulled to topple Venezuela's government, Chavez has a right to lecture the U.S.! He was actually elected. He can prove it. And those who wield undemocratic power here, and those who have dragged us into a horrible and unjust war, and those who are looting us unto the 7th generation, who cannot prove that they were elected, hate him because he is the opposite of them. It is our own leaders who are the tyrants, not Chavez.
As we pay the price here, for our nearly 100% non-transparent election system--a price that now includes a bottomless cup of Fool's Gold for the richest people on earth, starting with a $1 trillion "bailout"--the Final Looting--we should pay close attention to the leaders of South America, the great majority of whom are friends and allies of Chavez. And the more the Bushwhacks hate them, and the more our Corpo/fascist 'news' monopolies defame them--the more attention should we pay. Because they have important things to teach us about how to recover democracy in this Corpo/fascist world.. Chavez in Venezuela. Evo Morales in Bolivia. Rafael Correa in Ecuador. Cristina Fernandez in Argentina. The most hated. And also, Lula da Silva in Brazil (who recently said, of Chavez: "You can criticize Chavez on a lot of things, but not on democracy.") Fernando Lugo in Paraguay. Tabare Vasquez in Uruguay. These and other leaders of the south are pulling together to assert their peoples' sovereignty and principles of democracy and social justice, in the face of unrelenting hostility by the Corpo/fascists who are running things here.
If we learn nothing else from South America, we should learn the lesson of transparent vote counting--the bottom line of democracy. They have it, and they have worked hard for it. We have lost it. And we must--we MUST--get it back.
The democratic reforms sweeping across South/Central America ARE migrating North. The Right Wing was just barely able to steal the last election in Mexico. I doubt they will be able to steal the next one.
38. aha!, what Obama has to do is get some testimonies from real people
In Venezuela over 80 percent of the population lives below the poverty level. Before Chavez, most of the poor had never seen a doctor or dentist. Their children never went to school, since they could not afford the annual fees. The neoliberal market "adjustments" of the 1980s and 1990s only made things worse, cutting social spending and eliminating subsidies in consumer goods. Successive Administrations did nothing about the rampant corruption and nothing about the growing gap between rich and poor, the growing malnutrition and desperation. Far from ruining the country, here are some of the good things the Chavez government has accomplished: * A land reform program designed to assist small farmers and the landless poor has been instituted-this past March a large landed estate owned by a British beef company was occupied by agrarian workers for farming purposes * Education is now free (right through to university level), causing a dramatic increase in grade school enrollment * The government has set up a marine conservation program and is taking steps to protect the land and fishing rights of indigenous peoples * Special banks now assist small enterprises, worker cooperatives, and farmers * Attempts to further privatize the state-run oil industry-80 percent of which is still publicly owned-have been halted and limits have been placed on foreign capital penetration * Chavez kicked out U.S. military advisors and prohibited overflights by U.S. military aircraft engaged in counterinsurgency in Colombia * "Bolivarian Circles" have been organized throughout the nation, neighborhood committees designed to activate citizens at the community level to assist in literacy, education, vaccination campaigns, and other public services * The government hires unemployed men, on a temporary basis, to repair streets and neglected drainage and water systems in poor neighborhoods Then there is the health program. I visited a dental clinic in Chavez's home state of Barinas. The staff consisted of four dentists, two of whom were young Venezuelan women. The other two were Cuban men who were there on a one-year program. The Venezuelan dentists noted that in earlier times dentists did not have enough work. There were millions of people who needed treatment, but care was severely rationed by one's ability to pay. Dental care was distributed like any other commodity, not to everyone who needed it, but only to those who could afford it. When the free clinic in Barinas first opened it was flooded with people seeking dental care. No one was turned away. Even opponents of the Chavez government availed themselves of the free service, temporarily putting aside their political aversions. Many of the doctors and dentists who work in the barrio clinics (along with some of the clinical supplies and pharmaceuticals) come from Cuba. Chavez has also put Venezuelan military doctors and dentists to work in the free clinics. Meanwhile, much of the Venezuelan medical establishment is vehemently opposed to the free clinic program, seeing it as a Cuban communist campaign to undermine medical standards and physicians' earnings. That low-income people are receiving medical and dental care for the first time in their lives does not seem to be a consideration that carries much weight among the more "professionally minded" practitioners. I visited one of the government-supported community food stores that are located around the country, mostly in low income areas. These modest establishments sell canned goods, pasta, beans, rice, and some produce and fruits at well below market price, a blessing in a society with widespread malnutrition. http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Parenti/GoodThings_Venezuela.html
with the mess that the republicans are living, lets just prepare to implement those social programs
If you're talking about Chavez, he tends toward florid language, but he's a Latino, and there's nothing wrong with his statements.
I don't know why some people think that he should temper his conversation according to what the right wing is thinking. They don't do that in Venezuela - when the right wing took over the government via the media there, the people went to the palace and took it back. When the right wing took over our government via the media, we didn't do a damned thing.
So I really see no reason why Chavez should shut up. I certainly wouldn't.
If the most progressive leader in Latin America is good buddies with Putin, that doesn't bode well for progressives there. If you were a progressive, would you be getting close to Putin and Ahmadinejad? I know I wouldn't.
52. If you had taken the time to keep up with events, you'd already know
why Venezuela has always had business with Iran, and why Venezuela has been forced to look around for alternate sources of aircraft, since Bush refuses to sell replacement parts for the aircraft Venezuela bought from from the U.S. in previous years, rendering it all useless, since it can't be repaired.
Simple initiative would prevent your wandering around in the dark, jumping on the bandwagon with people suffering with short attention spans who can't take the time to do their homework in order to know what they're talking about. That's the sector to which our propagandists pitch their yarns, and apparently they suck it all up.
Good buddies doesn't cover business relationships in which countries transact with each other for real reasons. Have you seen any photos of Chavez having picnics with Vladimir Putin? Using childish terms like "good buddies" doesn't "bode well" for any hope for maturity.
Here's a much more mysterious arrangement: Uzbekistan's Islam Karimov and George W. Bush, when Bush has known full well Karimov boils his living political prisoners. He's famous for it. What does that "bode" for a wholesome image for this country, by now?
Hell, I agree with you on your last line, but to deny that Chavez is essentially using the same strategy as Bush is doesn't make sense. That's why it's hard for me to see Chavez as all too progressive, he's just like everyone else.
And why can't Venezuela get aircraft from elsewhere? Like Europe for example? Yes, countries conduct business, but often times that business can also be used for political leverage or to signal a strengthening of ties. I think this picture sums it up:
As a progressive, I find it very VERY hard to take Chavez seriously. I totally understand the practical purpose of his relations with Russia and Iran, they are Machiavellan to the core. What I don't understand is the heaping of praise on Chavez for being so upstanding. He's not more than anyone else is. His country is not very politically progressive, in many ways it is less so than the US. It just so happens he keeps his power through spending petrodollars on the poor of his country, to make sure they stick with him. That's a better system than most dictatorships, but not one that is realistic or that will last, and definitely not one with progressive goals in mind. Sure, he uses progressive ideas to keep his power, but not to give power to the people.
I hope he proves me wrong, really I do! But nothing I've seen has helped, especially his ties to such countries as Iran and Russia. When (if) he ever steps down from power, I'll maybe think better of him. Otherwise, his socialist movement in Venezuela looks just as calculated and insincere as
74. Where were you when Venezuela tried to get planes from Spain, and Brazil?
DU'ers have discussed all these events in length already their memories will be jogged if they see these headlines:
U.S. bars Spanish sale to Venezuela Planes are refused to 'autocratic' regime By Renwick McLeanPublished: SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2006
MADRID: The United States has refused to give Spain permission to sell military aircraft containing U.S. technology to Venezuela, saying the deal would aid the increasingly "autocratic and antidemocratic" regime of President Hugo Chávez and would destabilize the region, the U.S. Embassy here said Friday.
The Spanish government, led by Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, said that it regretted the decision, but vowed to move forward with the deal after acquiring the necessary technology from another country.
In November, Spain agreed to sell Venezuela 12 transport planes and eight patrol boats for about E1.7 billion, or $2.2 billion.
Since the planes, which have yet to be constructed, were to contain American technology, Spain was required to request a license from Washington before completing the sale.
US Concerned About Proposed Brazilian Aircraft Sale to Venezuela By David Gollust State Department 20 January 2006
The Bush administration said Friday it has expressed concern to Brazil about a proposed sale of Brazilian military aircraft to Venezuela. But it stopped short of saying it will block the transfer of the planes, which contain some U.S. technology.
Citing what it says is an outsized military buildup by Venezuela, the Bush administration has confirmed it is talking to Brazil about its proposed aircraft sale to its northern neighbor, which cannot go forward without U.S. approval.
Brazil is seeking to sell Venezuela a fleet of 20 Super Tucano light combat and reconnaissance aircraft made by the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer.
The United States would have to approve the $200 million deal, because the planes contain U.S. technology. The Bush administration has thus far not issued the required export licenses, prompting complaints from both Venezuela and Brazil.
Last week, the United States denied NATO-ally Spain the licenses to sell Venezuela 12 transport and maritime surveillance planes.
By Elizabeth Nash in Madrid Thursday, 31 March 2005
Spain's socialist Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has been forced to defend a decision to sell arms worth €1.3bn (£900m) to the left-wing Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, in a deal condemned by the opposition as "a monstrous error".
Spain's socialist Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has been forced to defend a decision to sell arms worth €1.3bn (£900m) to the left-wing Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, in a deal condemned by the opposition as "a monstrous error".
In Spain's biggest arms deal for many years, its arms factories will supply 10 C-295 transport planes, four coastal patrol corvettes and four smaller coastguard patrol boats to Mr Chavez's army. Mr Zapatero said the vehicles would be used to monitor coastlines, combat terrorism and drug traffickers, and mount rescue operations during natural disasters. The deal was announced by the Spanish Prime Minister during a visit to Venezuela yesterday when he also met fellow left-wing leaders from Colombia and Brazil.
They don't consider his record, the fact that poverty has diminisehd by 1/3, the fact that he was elected in cleaner elections than ours or that the people refused for him to be overthrown. Free Republic is also very suspicious of his diplomatic program, although it has yielded an independence in Latin America that has never been seen before.
If you are too biased to research for yourself how democracy is building in Venezuela, that's one thing. But to somehow put your own lack of interest onto Hugo Chavez's head is laughable.
I know exactly what diplomacy is. If I am an up and coming progressive Latin American nation that really wants to establish a socialist state, I make very good friends with Europe, not Russia or Iran. If I have close diplomatic ties with such tyrannical nations, it would seem to go directly against the message I am saying at home. I would still trade and have relations with Iran and Russia, but not close ones, not ones where I am purchasing arms from tyrannical nations.
I totally see the practical purpose of his relations, as a counter-balance to the US. But the world does not consist of the US. By buying in with Iran and Russia, he's shutting off a lot of the developed world diplomatically, which I think is an unwise choice. Who has more power and persuasion with the US? Europe or Iran and Russia? He should have established closer ties to Europe and ignored Iran and Russia, that would have been a much much better policy. But that's only if he truly wants a democratic socialist state, and to be taken seriously. From what I can see, Chavez wants to remain in power until he dies, and siding with Europe, who might be critical of some of his policies, probably isn't a good idea then. Instead, he sides with Iran and Russia, two countries he knows will have a relationship with him no matter what he does at home. And the whole point is, Chavez is no different from Bush when it comes to establishing ties of convenience with murderous dictators. It makes it hard for me to see him as a great "progressive".
68. No. Chavez is doing an end run around US influence.
Just as everyone else does when they need to.
He's not siding "against Europe" at all. And most if not all of the European nations have done the same when they needed to in order to protect their own national interests.
As far as being akin to Bush, Bush never spread democracy anywhere. He spread death and debt while funneling money to his cronies. Chavez has supported democratic governments in Latin America to the point where many of them no longer have to rely on BushCo. You do realize, for example, that Castro only went to the Russians because Washington expected him to hand over Cuba to us? We drove him away. Haiti is an even more extreme case.
Europe is not a monolith and most of those leaders hate Bush and will no longer be tethered to him -- or, even to us. Our next president has a lot of work to do to rebuild trust and respect for the US.
Before you repeat "president for life" again, you might want to consider you have been thoroughly propadandized and that there are six nations in Latin America about to break out of the cycle of poverty BECAUSE BushCo was so busy in the Middle East that they forgot to manipulate in that region.
The Latin American "plantation" has revolted. That's why BushCo hates Chavez and why they'll likely kill him. It won't matter. It's already too late to stem his influence.
I am glad that many countries in Latin America have become more progressive, though how much Chavez has to do with that is debatable, I think it is because the US has finally left them alone.
I still do not see Chavez as a progressive. He can support progressive policies all he wants, but he only does it when it benefits him, not because he's a champion of the people. To me, saying that Chavez does this non-progressive thing or that tyrannical policy always because of the US is a poor excuse. I don't know why you trust Chavez so much, I just can't ignore some of his questionable actions; I am very cynical when it comes to the leaders of nations.
Again, I understand why Chavez acts the way he does as a way of keeping power, but not as a real progressive. Still, he is better than a right-wing dictator for the people, at least for now.
I've seen the Chavez threads enough to know that whatever I post or say, you will have some sort of debunking in store for it. I know that if I post what I regard as a reputable news source, it will be called right-wing, and a long long list of other news sources will be listed to counter it. But in order to look like I tried, here is an article from the LA Times, which I'm sure is totally biased to you, and which very well may be in some ways:
For me, the fact that the public voted down the constitutional reforms shows that even Venezuelans were thinking Chavez was reaching too far. In trying to extend the term limits indefinitely, Chavez also threw in a bunch of social programs to make the deal seem sweet to the Venezuelan public. That is my own conclusion, not one drawn from the news. I agree with the Venezuelans; his actions seem to show that he wants to increase his power more and more in the government. I don't think you could have a more damning response than the public's rejection of a proposed constitutional reform that would expand Chavez's own powers.
Is it so unreal that I would be suspicious of Chavez's true intentions?
76. All you have to do to notice the bias is to look at the language.
That article talks about Chavez's "grip on power", lol, and they forget to mention his elections hae been cleaner than our own. That's not me attacking your source. That's the source fronting an attitude.
And he didn't throw in the kitchen sink in that referendum. The legislature did.
And, the people said no to the package. How is that damning? Isn't that the way democracy is supposed to work? How is that an example of tyranny?
And how are you supposed to discern President Chavez's "true" intentions? Are you Kreskin? Isn't his record enough? That referendum was close enough for him to contest the outcome. And, he didn't. He conceded. And that's still not enough for the reflexive Chavez haters around here. Very odd.
Chavez will always be the man who is going to be a dictator. Some Americans have no other context for successful Latin American politicians apparently.
if Bush did the same here, tried to push constitutional reforms that would extend term limits indefinitely, I would be verrrry suspicious. Why was Chavez pushing for that? It's because he wants to remain in power. He's the first leader of a brand new government who suddenly decides as he nears the end of his terms he wants to eliminate term limits.... seems real suspicious to me! And yes, his reform getting voted down is democracy in action, but that doesn't excuse that the reform itself had some tyrannical goals in it. Many many people have used democracy before to gain dictatorial powers, it's quite possible!
When Chavez steps down from power, I will respect him more as a leader. If he does not, much like Castro, I will consider him a wolf in a progressive's clothing.
85. Take time to do the slightest bit of research. Term limits are not involved in politics in a LOT of
countries, and weren't here, until F.D.R. had served 4 terms and died in office, after having completed the most powerful change for good in this country's history, and driven the right-wingers into absolute fury, as they had been less powerful during that period, and they wanted to make sure it never happened again. They have been struggling to remove every trace of his life-saving, life sustaining measures every year since he died.
You're interested in making sure the people's choice is not respected if they want to re-elect him, apparently. Losing the term limits would NOT make him "President for Life" as almost drooling idiots have crawled all the way here to scribble. It makes him available for re-election, and that's all.
Unlike your own system, the Venezuelan system allows a recall referendum half-way through each term, and the matter of the President's ability to complete a successful term can be put up for another vote by the people, as has happened already during his last term.
Don't know why a few people insist on coming here to rave on about an elected leader of another country, who is NOT harming his fellow citizens, nor is he on the dole from the U.S. taxpayers.
Most of us wouldn't even consider dragging our asses over to a conservative site to blabber on about how much contempt we have for the right-wing narco-trafficking/death squad-connected little monster Álvaro Uribe, who's been choking down BILLIONS of U.S. dollars, and who throws tantrums when he doesn't get automatic renewal of his trade agreements, etc. That would be crude, idiotic, and pathetic.
Why anyone feels people here want to hear tirades, and repitious streams of insults and lies about a progressive leftist Latin American leader is a big puzzle.
It's THEIR PRESIDENT. He doesn't condone killing and terrorizing the workers, indigenous people, the human rights workers in his country, unlike Uribe, who has used his highly visible position to target these people who are often quickly the targets of death threats, then kidnappings, torture, and savage murder. He personally is being investigated for eyewitness accounts from former paramilitary members concerning his participation in a planning of a massacre in a politically neutral, peace-seeking community, his own cousin, and top members of his cabinet, and 20% of his political party Congressmen have all been investigated and many imprisoned for their own ties to the narco-trafficking paramilitaries (death squads).
We don't go to conservative sites to yammer, drone on infinitely, and crab about people like Uribe, or Bush friend, Islam Karimov, who BOILS HIS POLITICAL PRISONERS. That would be stupid, and simply not normal.
Sure, we didn't have term limits until FDR, but there was an unspoken rule that the president step down eventually. You're right that the Venezuelans can do whatever they want, but they were suspicious with good reason I think. When someone wants power that badly, it's always a bit scary to me. Now, it is true he could be voted down and out of power, but democracy can be subverted, as everyone knows.
And I can talk about Chavez all I want, who cares if I'm from another country? I don't think Chavez is horrible, but he doesn't come across as a serious progressive. What I also can't find is the reasoning for Chavez wanting to abolish term limits. Like I said before, if Bush did that, we'd all be very suspicious, and rightly so. The Venezuelans are smart people, they didn't want to allow the possibility of Chavez taking advantage of democracy. It's true Chavez is not nearly as bad as many other leaders out there, but that doesn't excuse everything he does or put him above criticism or suspicion.
But what lies have I been going on a tirade about? I feel like the utter lack of criticism by some on DU about Chavez needs to be responded to. It's a lot like how the far right doesn't question anything Bush does. It's a dangerous precedent, and not one progressives should engage in. Your condescending tone is totally uncalled for. Am I really crazy for suspecting that Chavez is not a serious progressive? A lot of Venezuelans have their doubts, are they idiots too? It's not that horrible of a charge...
Seriously, I can't understand you. You are incredulous that I am speculating over what a political leader is really thinking about, what his interests really are? Everyone does that, and everyone should do that. It's called critical thinking.
Also, when it comes to dictatorships, it's not so left and right. All dictatorships use similar tactics to retain power, they either do it by instilling fear in the populace or by buying off the majority and giving them a stake in keeping the dictator in power, or often a combination of the two. I never said many liberal leaders have used democracies to become dictators. I don't think anyone who does that could be described as liberal. Dictators have used socialist policies to advance their interests though, just as they have used capitalism to finance their government. What we know of as the left and right is not compatible to a dictatorship; dictators rarely have a left or right worldview, it's more a Machiavellian view, and they will use policies from the left, right, and center, whatever it takes to retain power for themselves. They will use whatever rhetoric that best fits their propaganda machine or their strategy. But they don't actually care at all for the policies or the political theories behind them besides for their practical uses in keeping them in power. Hence you have the Democratic People's Republic of Congo (or whatever it is called).
When Chavez decides to suddenly abolish terms, you have to ask yourself why he would do that. Having a constitution with no presidential term limits isn't necessarily non-progressive, but it's a loophole that could be used by someone with more devious goals to extend their power indefinitely. I think it is a dangerous precedent for any country to have, and it doesn't surprise me that Venezuelans feel the same. I'm GLAD that the Venezuelans are thinking about what Chavez might really be thinking, I know how much you seem to hate that idea. I hope you don't think it's bad that I often see what Bush says and then speculate in my own mind what his real goals are and what his real plan is, much less with McCain and Palin.
And yes, my own thinking is so much more tyrannical than Chavez's has EVER been... ;-) Do you see how silly that sounds? I don't even know how it relates to anything I've said at all!
Do not allow past prejudices to dictate present policies. What has Putin or post-Soviet Russia done to deserve your disdain? For that matter, what did pre-Soviet Russia do, or pre-WWII Russia? Are you even familiar with Russian history, or only the past 50 years of American history?
26. Take that up with your corporate media.They're the ones being used to blitz the public with constant
rancid half-truths, filthy attacks and pure spin about him. It's been happening to ALL Latin American leftist leaders from ages ago, something many DU'ers know very well. How is it you're unable to grasp this?
The landslide-elected Presidents of Latin American countries ALL speak to their citizens via tv and radio programs, interviews, etc. Anyone who takes the time to be aware of things knows this already. It's your own corporate media being used by your own idiotic, vicious pResident continually to try to mold public perception about Chavez, the guy Bush has tried to throw over again and again, pouring millions of taxpayers' dollars into destabilization programs, just as Nixon did Allende before he just went wild and finished him off permanently. You should get acquainted with that story, which culminated on 9-11-1973, as the real nightmare stepped in for the Chilean people.
Take some time off and start learning about the events and people you're attempting to discuss. While you're at it, get informed about US policy in Latin America, and the horrendous human toll in lives and desperate grief and suffering it has taken upon the innocent citizens there. No time like the present to understand what it is you're attempting to discuss.
You don't like to hear about Chavez? Contact your media, and your Congressfolk. If DU'ers want to discuss these articles, you're going to have to live with their choices. You're not the one to close down conversations other people are conducting.
35. Chavez says something that nobody can disagree with (except outright fascists, maybe)
- and we still get a number of these dismissive little one-liners by what appears to be political analphabets.
So, Chavez thinks he can say something that could be interpreted as somehow critical of the US? What a narcissistic clown! Even if we think he may be right, our exceptionally moderate countrymen may not like to listen! So he needs to STFU, and subito.
From the article it is clear that Chavez wants to remain neutral as to the outcome of the US election ... he does NOT state to be in favor of Obama or anything. That the next US president must "sit down and talk to the world" is such a matter of course, it puzzles the mind how anybody could possibly disagree.
Except maybe those who are so blind to their own "exceptionalism" that they do not even realize what fascists they have become.
Nothing will be gained by being "mellow". It's the ignorant "middle of the road" voters - those who bend and sway to whatever direction the political winds blow, apathetic and completely lacking in principle and conviction - who have gotten us into the mess we are now in. Perhaps one day they will awaken, but I'm skeptical.
As the November elections approach, Barack Obama and John McCain are both spending much of their time wooing voters who say they haven't made up their minds about which candidate to support.
Now a new study examining the psychology of the undecided voter suggests the candidates and their campaigns may be wasting their time and money.
In Thursday's issue of Science, researchers report that people who think they are undecided about an issue often have made up their mind at an unconscious level.
So while the latest national polls show that between 5% and 15% of Americans still don't know who they will be voting for in November, the percentage of voters who truly are undecided may actually be much smaller, social psychologist Bertram Gawronski, PhD, of the University of Western Ontario tells WebMD.
"It's not that people are lying to the pollsters," Gawronski tells WebMD. "It's that they may not consciously recognize the automatic associations that influence their decisions."
Voters Not So 'Undecided' Gawronski and colleagues Silvia Galdi and Luciano Arcuri studied this in a group of 129 residents of Vincenza, Italy, late in 2007, during a time when the community was divided about the proposed expansion of a U.S. military base.
Using a computer-based psychological tool called "the implicit association test," the researchers were able to predict with a high degree of accuracy whether study participants who considered themselves undecided about the expansion would later be for or against it.
In one part of the study, the participants were asked to respond as quickly as possible to word cues on a computer screen such as "happy," "sad," "good," or "bad" by pressing one key on the keyboard for positive words and another for negative words.
Images of the military base were shown throughout the test, and the participants were told which key to press when they saw the image. Sometimes they were told to press the negative key and at other times they were told to press the positive key.
The testing showed a very slight, but measurable, hesitation in reaction times when a participant was asked to press the key that was opposite of the position they eventually chose.
"The difference was typically very small -- usually about 100 to 200 milliseconds," Gawronski says. "But these millisecond differences were informative enough for us to predict their future decisions."
He adds that while the people in the study genuinely believed they were undecided on the issue, at a subconscious level many appeared to have biases that ended up predicting their eventual positions.
Pollsters and Politicians Gawronski says a version of the automatic mental association test could prove useful to political pollsters for probing the unconscious biases of voters who declare themselves "undecided."
And since many voters who say they are undecided may not be, candidates for elective office may be better off focusing on keeping their declared supporters energized, University of Virginia psychology professor Timothy D. Wilson, PhD, tells WebMD.
"The lore in politics is that campaigns need to target undecided voters," he says. "But this research suggests that it may be much more effective to focus on your base by registering as many people as you can and getting them to vote on Election Day."
... is still a clown, one of the biggest narcissists I've ever seen, and will destroy his country from within with a system that has been proven a failure 100% of the time. And how dare you accuse me of wanting "to close down conversations other people are conducting"! Who made you queen of the chats? My comment contained nothing about US policy in Latin American.... I dissed a proven camera whore and a clown; not his country.
... the guy who attempted to get himself set up as president ( read: dictator ) for life down there"? Read some history of Central and South America; how many of these guys start out as "men of the people", then the power goes to their heads and before you know it.... Dictator for Life. I'm a life-long Dem, Navy vet... but I am no longer a purist and I've seen too many of Chavez' type come and go... harming their own contries severely as they cling to power. Read about Aristide of Haiti... a Catholic priest of the people; they loved him. Then see what happened to him.
I had tried to find these Haiti attack threads before, through both the archives, and ordinary google, and just found them, FINALLY, through the special google search they've included in DU's own new search capacity. I'm thrilled to find this many all over again, and intend to look at all of them: ~~~~ link ~~~~
but you are completely wrong. Chavez did try to set himself up as lifelong leader... and Aristide went from a beautiful, caring man to the complete opposite after all that power replaced caring for his people. These are facts... you can ignore them or believe otherwise ( the republican way ), or you can at least concede objective truth. Power corrupts.
The most recurrent name you'll see there, most likely is a Du'er who IS Haitian. Many, MANY DU'ers read and participated in the vigil when we realized what Bush was doing, what was coming, and what hell was unleashed in that country.
We all know very clearly what happened to him. There's no mystery there, and anyone who would DREAM of trying to present his history as something remotely resembling a power-mad tyrant is simply wildly confused.
You apparently are mistaking him for François Duvalier, a bonafide US puppet total tyrant.
50. Would you post a link to your foundation for your charges?
You'd be doing everyone a favor to reveal your source for this illumination of his character.
It's mysterious that the man who was elected as President in someone else's country could excite such feelings in people who don't know a thing about him. One has to assume you've got some special information about the man which would straighten out anyone who respects his history.
55. Chavez represents the people of Venezuela. It is the PEOPLE OF VENEZUELA that the U.S.
needs to "reach an understanding with."
THEY don't want to be exploited any more. THEY don't want to be pushed around any more. THEY don't want their elected governments to be toppled any more. THEY want control of their own economic/political affairs and futures. That's why THEY have elected Chavez, and the people of other South American countries have elected leaders who LIKE Chavez, who agree with him, and who work closely with him on common goals--social justice, democracy, human rights, common infrastructure, local/regional control of finances and development.
This is the key point that people who call Chavez names--"megalomaniac," "little nut," "clown," "asshat," "dictator," "tyrant"--can't seem to grasp.
He won 63% of the vote in the last presidential election--in clean, transparent elections. He enjoys a 60% approval rating, overall. He is close friends and allies with most of the leaders of South America.
Chavez is speaking for THEM--the people, the vast majority--and is in close accord with his friends and allies among the other leaders, and their peoples.
He is not a nut. He is not a clown. He is not a tyrant. He is well-supported, trusted and admired and he is VERY democratic.
But it is not Chavez whom our Corpo/fascists need to reach an "understanding with." It is the people of South America, who will no longer be dictated to, by this arrogant, Corpo/fascist junta we call the U.S. government.
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