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Archive for the tag “Venezuela”

The phony liberators

When Hugo Chávez first became president of Venezuela in 1999, he seemed to be a champion of democracy, and in initial reforms he tried to introduce a more participatory style of democracy.

But that didn’t last, and when he publicly sided with political leaders whose main aim was to suppress anything resembling participatory democracy, like Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, he showed his true colours. Those who praised him for his initial championing of democracy have now become his fiercest critics, as he has clearly joined the side of the suppressors of democracy.

Noam Chomsky denounces old friend Hugo Chávez for ‘assault’ on democracy | The Observer:

Hugo Chávez has long considered Noam Chomsky one of his best friends in the west. He has basked in the renowned scholar’s praise for Venezuela’s socialist revolution and echoed his denunciations of US imperialism…

The president may be about to have second thoughts about that, because his favourite intellectual has now turned his guns on Chávez.

Speaking to the Observer last week, Chomsky has accused the socialist leader of amassing too much power and of making an “assault” on Venezuela’s democracy.

Perhaps this is yet another illustration of what was said by the Brazilian educationist Paolo Freire,

The oppressed, having internalized the image of the oppressor and adopted his guidelines, are fearful of freedom. Freedom would require them to eject this image and replace it with autonomy and responsibility. Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man, nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion (P. Freire, Pedagogy of the oppressed, 1998, p. 29).

Unless the oppressed can get beyond this barrier, then even if they succeed in overthroring their oppressors, they will simply become oppressors in their turn, and hence phony liberators.

And George Orwell said much the same thing in his Animal farm.

There are some pictures of Hugo Chávez in which he seems to bear an uncanny resemblance to the late Eugene Terreblanche. Or Julius Malema.

Why Washington hates Hugo Chavez

Mike Whitney: Kill Hugo?:

Chavez’s policies have reduced ignorance, poverty, and injustice. The list goes on and on. Venezuelans are more engaged in the political process than anytime in the nation’s history. That scares Washington. US elites don’t want well-informed, empowered people participating in the political process. They believe that task should be left to the venal politicians chosen by corporate bosses and top-hat banksters. That’s why Chavez has to go. He’s given people hope for a better life.

Hat-tip to Neil Clark: Why Washington hates Hugo Chavez.

I take this praise of Chavez with a fairly large pinche of salt, just as I do the Washington spin on him. Yes, Washington and the US media have tried to portray him as the bad guy, without much evidence. But I’m a bit sceptical about these attempts to portray him as an altogether good guy. I suspect that, like most politicians, he is a mixture of good and bad, though in his case the good may outweigh the bad.

The main reason for my scepticism about Chavez’s goodness is that he has been reported as thinking that Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is one of the good guys. Anyone who thinks that has severely impaired political judgement, and if that is his view, then there is surely some truth in the bad vibes about him emanating from Washington.

If this is true of Chavez

Chavez’s policies have reduced ignorance, poverty, and injustice. The list goes on and on. Venezuelans are more engaged in the political process than anytime in the nation’s history. That scares Washington. US elites don’t want well-informed, empowered people participating in the political process. They believe that task should be left to the venal politicians chosen by corporate bosses and top-hat banksters. That’s why Chavez has to go. He’s given people hope for a better life.

… then the opposite is true of Mugabe.

Mugabe’s policies have increased ignorance, poverty, and injustice. The list goes on and on. Zimbabweans are more victimised in the political process than at any time in the nation’s history, even under Smith. That’s why Mugabe has to go. He’s given people no hope for a better life.

It used to be said that one good thing that could be said of Mussolini was that he made the trains run on time. I doubt that Mugabe has accomplished even that. If Chavez supports a dictator like Mugabe there must be something seriously wrong with Chavez.

What’s the similarity between politicians and a bunch of bananas? They’re all yellow, they hang together, and there’s not a straight one among them.

Chavez loses Venezuelan reform referendum

One of the disturbing things about President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is his publicly expressed support for Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. And it was when Mugabe lost a referendum over constitutional changes that would have increased his powers and extended his term of office indefinitely that his regime of repression really began in Zimbabwe.

One hopes that Chavez does not follow Mugabe’s example.

clipped from www.presstv.ir
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has conceded defeat in a referendum that aimed at expanding his power, saying he cannot do it for now.
Chavez admitted his defeat in a weekend referendum in a media conference broadcast live Sunday.
“I don’t feel sad, no, I don’t feel sad,” he said, stressing that there were “minimal differences” in the final result, put at 51 percent against and 49 percent in favor moments earlier by the National Electoral Council.

The reforms would let Chavez run for re-election indefinitely, control foreign currency reserves, appoint loyalists over regional elected officials, and censor the media if he declares an emergency.

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CIA overthrowing democracy in Venezuela?

hope the CIA keep their sticky beaks out of Venezuela’s business.

I’d sympathise with Chavez but for one thing — he publicly supported Mugabe, and many of his sympathizers also publicly support Mugabe. And anyone who knows what is going on in Zimbabwe and supports Mugabe is no friend of democracy.

In Venezuela, tens of thousands of protesters marched through Caracas Thursday to oppose constitutional changes proposed by President Chavez that come to a vote on Sunday. Citing a confidential memo, the Venezuelan government is claiming the CIA is fomenting unrest to challenge the referendum.

It actually mentions the fact that the US strategy is what they call a “pincer operation.”

to try to undermine the electoral process, the vote itself, and then secondly, once the vote goes through, if they are not able to stop the vote, is to engage in a massive campaign calling fraud and rejecting the outcome that comes from the election

what they seem to have on their agenda is to try to seize either a territorial base or an institutional base around which to rally discontented citizens and call on the military—and it particularly mentions the National Guard—to rally in overthrowing the referendum outcome and the government. So this does include a section on a military uprising.

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It had to happen: devil demands apology from Chavez

You know that the culture of demanding apologies has gone too far when the devil demands an apology from Chavez.

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