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POLITICS: America Condemns Venezuelan Supreme Court Packing

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posted on Dec, 19 2004 @ 11:46 PM
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President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has come under fire from the US State department for his recent expansion of that nation's Supreme Court. The expansion fo the court from 20 members to 32 was approved by the Venezuelan Congress, which is dominated by supporters of Hugo Chavez, a group who only 5 years included the principle of judicial independence in the new Venezuelan constitution.
 



story.news.yahoo.com
WASHINGTON - The State Department accused Venezuela on Wednesday of "packing" its Supreme Court to ensure a pro-government majority and said the move calls into question the country's commitment to judicial independence.

The Venezuelan Congress, dominated by supporters of President Hugo Chavez, appointed new justices on Monday in carrying out a court expansion from 20 to 32 that won legislative approval last spring

Venezuelan Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez said in an interview the expanded court will be "more functional" than it was before. "It was necessary for the judicial process," he said. Alvarez denied allegations that proper procedures were not followed in the appointments of the new justices.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


If you read between the lines, this story may not be quite what the US State Department might have you believe. The sum of the facts indicates to me that the United States may have it in for Venezuela because of their growing ties to Cuba which could undermine US interest in Venezuelan oil.

The facts which bring me to such a conclusion are as follows. First and foremost, the very group now accussed of packing the court created this court only 5 years ago. They would be unlikely subverters of that court, and it is quite possible that the court really did need adustment.
Next, and perhaps equally compelling, the United States has recently shown its eagerness to criticize the Venezuelan government under any available pretext by expressing concern for freedom of speech after Venezuela passed a law restricting sex and violence on TV. This certainly does not lend any credibility to the new US criticism regarding the new Supreme Court.
Finally, it is no secret that relations between the US and Cuba are tense. It is by no means a stretch to suggest that America would want to pressure nations in the region out of showing favor to Cuba if it was possible.

I have suspected for a few months (since the appointment of Porter Goss who made much of his CIA career on Latin American assignments) that the new Bush administration would be heavily involved in espionage and subversion in our own hemisphere. I have for some time believed that Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela, and Columbia would be the priority targets. If I am right, we can expect to see civil disorder onbehalf of political minorities incited by the CIA in Venezuela's near future. This "court packing" issue could be just the excuse America needs to financially and politically back a coup or revolution in Venezuela.




posted on Dec, 19 2004 @ 11:56 PM
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They're still mad that they weren't able to oust Chavez from office during the 2002 Coup and the 2004 recall vote.

They keep bringing up new criticisms of him to make him look like a dictator instead of a democratically elected leader who has the support of the people.



posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 12:08 AM
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But redistricting in Texas is ok if it gets more republicans in congress and its ok to squeeze a federal court nominee in when people are out for a holiday?



posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 01:07 AM
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Why not think of Venezuelan people for a bit? Since Chavez the communist came to power the Venezuelan economy has contracted for 13%. He wants to give as much as $1 billion to social programs, which is another disaster because it is a money which they cannot afford.
I hope he gets ousted as soon as possible, one way or another.

[edit on 20-12-2004 by Megaquad]



posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 01:16 AM
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Originally posted by Megaquad
Why not think of Venezuelan people for a bit? Since Chavez the communist came to power the Venezuelan economy has contracted for 13%. He wants to give as much as $1 billion to social programs, which is another disaster because it is a money which they cannot afford.
I hope he gets ousted as soon as possible, one way or another.


It looks to me like Venezuela's GDP is up.

Gross Domestic Product Growth by Sector, 1995 - 2004

There was a dip down thay may have been caused by the strikes by the oil companies plus the temporary Coup of Chavez in 2002 but it seems to have recovered now.

It looks like they are expecting high growth for 2004:
Reuters: Venezuela eyes 2004 GDP growth above 15-16 pct



posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 01:37 AM
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Wops, sorry my data seemed to be last years forecast.

Still, his economy policies are poor because he is too reliant on oil and by isolating himself from the west he won't go any far.

From article:
Chavez, who has promised to use oil revenues to fight poverty, won a recall referendum in August that confirmed his mandate through early 2007. Foes accuse him of trying to drive Venezuela toward a Cuban-style communist state.

With the political outlook calmer, government officials now expect the economy to grow 5 percent next year. But critics say Chavez's social programs and policies for the poor are not creating sustainable growth.



posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 01:45 AM
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Originally posted by Megaquad
Still, his economy policies are poor because he is too reliant on oil and by isolating himself from the west he won't go any far.

With the political outlook calmer, government officials now expect the economy to grow 5 percent next year. But critics say Chavez's social programs and policies for the poor are not creating sustainable growth.


I hate to be a jerk, but where do Americans get the right to have any say in the Venezuelan economy? This guy was elected, he survived a coup attempt, and he survived the recall- I for one get the message- he is wanted there. If the Venezuelan people choose a path which we think is bad for them, that is their right. For all we know it could work out.

I think we'd get much further with smaller nations if we'd take an attitude of respect and desire to interact rather than one of superiority and desire to "help". Not that its not good to help people, but on some subjects, especially running their domestic affairs, who are we to "set them straight", especially when our economy is having problems? The United States secretly seems to harbor a racist notion that it must show all the backwards peoples of the world how a western nation is run.



posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 02:12 AM
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I don't believe US should leave such countries alone, they are the ones usually making some form of trouble in the first place. I think it should agressively pursue and promote free and proper societies just like it helped end Soviet Union and spread peaceful governments. Countries with leaders like Chavez are hostile and unstable which is demonstrated by his desire to buy more arms from Russia and continuous hostility towards USA. This is a threat for the entire region, it could have more far reaching consequences if Venezuela influences new socialist regimes in South America.

It's just sad to see elections in such countries influenced by older and uneducated population. There is a a huge percentage of Venezuelan people who want to see their country prosper but this won't be happening for a while I guess.



posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 06:29 AM
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In what way is controlfreak Chavez different than Bush when it comes to appointing rubberstamping judges?

Also, what direct threat to the American people poses Chavez? Is he gonna sponsor terrorism , build nukes or even plans to invade the usa?

....mmmm no, it's just he wants to sell venozuelan oil on his terms not on exxon terms...now that's bad, really bad, they need democrazy NOW! Oh wait, they GOT democracy he was elected by the people, even without Diebold machines...

Buying Russian weapons is another crime and threatning to the whole region because Raytheon et al is missing out on some sweet arms deals....

Sure the US government likes democracies, but can they handle INDEPENDENT democracies, no those must be axis-of-evil or pink commies at least.


[edit on 20-12-2004 by Countermeasures]



posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 07:45 AM
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So thats the US complaining about people who make their own decisions... how dare they have an opinion of their own! How dare they vote for the non-white elitist who wants to make money for the poor! How dare the poor demand payment for oil!
Nothing new there, just the same old American "tolerance" (read hatred) for anything remotely resembling the (re-)distribution of wealth and democracy (well "real participatory democracy").


Also: this is rich from a country who has had its court decide the winner of the elections... that was packed as well btw.

[edit on 20/12/2004 by Corinthas]



posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 08:05 AM
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The only people in Venezuela who don't want Chavez around are the wealthy and the ultra wealthy. They control the T.V. stations (Venevison and Radio Caracas). The wealthy people are a minority, but they control almost all wealth and assets in the country. And personally I find that the most of them are arrogant people, they come to Aruba on vacation and think they're blue blood or something. Treat everybody (from the taxi drivers to the employees, and other guests in the hotels) like crap. Seriously, I've seen it happen again an again. Most of the time when there's a problem at a hotel I often stay it, it's because of the Venezuelians. Now Chavez wants to help the poor (of which the people come to Aruba every week illegally by boat because they want to find a job), and instantly he's a communist.

Around Caracas there are numerous shanti towns on the hills. The shanti towns are incredibly poor villages with small wooden huts in which people live in deplorable conditions. Not one president before Chavez wanted to help those people. Chavez wants to help those people now and instantly he's a commie. This situation looks similar to Guatemala in the '50;s when the president of guatemala took (unused!!!) land away from the United Fruit corporation to give to the poor. Instantly he was labled a communist and the CIA sponsored a coup to install a dictator in Guatemala that was friendly to the corporation. During that regime about 100000 people were killed. Do they want to do that to Venezuela too??? For even more Venezuelian people to flee to Aruba??



posted on Dec, 20 2004 @ 02:56 PM
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Originally posted by TheBandit795
The only people in Venezuela who don't want Chavez around are the wealthy and the ultra wealthy. They control the T.V. stations (Venevison and Radio Caracas). The wealthy people are a minority, but they control almost all wealth and assets in the country. And personally I find that the most of them are arrogant people, they come to Aruba on vacation and think they're blue blood or something. Treat everybody (from the taxi drivers to the employees, and other guests in the hotels) like crap. Seriously, I've seen it happen again an again. Most of the time when there's a problem at a hotel I often stay it, it's because of the Venezuelians. Now Chavez wants to help the poor (of which the people come to Aruba every week illegally by boat because they want to find a job), and instantly he's a communist.

Around Caracas there are numerous shanti towns on the hills. The shanti towns are incredibly poor villages with small wooden huts in which people live in deplorable conditions. Not one president before Chavez wanted to help those people. Chavez wants to help those people now and instantly he's a commie. This situation looks similar to Guatemala in the '50;s when the president of guatemala took (unused!!!) land away from the United Fruit corporation to give to the poor. Instantly he was labled a communist and the CIA sponsored a coup to install a dictator in Guatemala that was friendly to the corporation. During that regime about 100000 people were killed. Do they want to do that to Venezuela too??? For even more Venezuelian people to flee to Aruba??


There's nothing quite like first hand testimony- God I love ATS.

Megaquad: While I am trying to be respectful of your position (because I understand it and once shared it; I am a recovering Neocon and still a proud conservative] I do find it disturbing, and I am interested in discussing it a bit if you dont mind. (If my phrasing seems a little soft its because in honor of ATS 4.0 I have introduced a kinder gentler Vagabond 4.0, which tries not to call people to the carpet for their personal views.)

Anyway here goes. I agree with you that it is irresponsible for a leading nation, especially one which sits on the UN Security Council, to sow crisis and to set a poor example by ignoring the development of "rogue states". If Venezuela or any nation begins to show signs of aggression such as making territorial claims or extortionate demands on its neighbors then it is the duty of the United States to intervene by any means necessary for the protection of the innocent. That being said, leading nations such as America would be equally irresponsible if they set an example of forcibly interfering in the domestic affairs of neighbors in any situation that does not clearly concern violations of human rights or international law. If America can use intelligence or military operations to interfere in the domestic affairs of strategically important nations, so can other leading nations like France, Russia, and China. For that matter, even Iran, North Korea, Indonesia could take a lead from this. Do you approve of the way France is helping Muslim refugees from Burkina Faso invade and conquer Cote d'Ivoire? Do you approve of Russia's involvement in the Ukranian election scandal? Do you approve of China's hold on Tibet or their insistence on control of Taiwan? Would you be OK with Iran helping the Taliban get back into power? If you didn't answer yes to all of the above, then objectively speaking you would almost certainly not support the principles underlying American involvement in Venezuela's domestic affairs.

I believe it is wrong to dictate the economic, social, or foriegn policies of other nations. If Venezuela democratically decides to institute socialist programs and create an oil dependent economy that is their perogative- if we warned them it wouldn't work then they shouldn't expect us to bail them out when it blows up in their face, but we can't tell them what to do. We've been wrong before you know.
Also if Venezuela wants to establish relationships with nations we dont like they can do that. I can't make people I know break off their friendships with other people I dont like, can I? We dont have to associate with Venezuela, just like I dont have to associate with people who hang out with my enemies. Just dont try to have it both ways- we can't punish Venezuela for going around with Cuba and still want to profit from them any more than I can turn my back on a friend who hangs out with my enemies and still expect a Christmas gift from that person.

You bring up their arms purchases as evidence that they are hostile. It is hipocrisy for any nation with an military to criticize other nations for upgrading their defenses. Britain has developed a new grade of Chobham armor that not even we have been allowed to purchase yet- does that make the UK hostile or provokative towards other North Atlantic nations?
America is developing 5th generation fighter aircraft- does that make us hostile or provokative towards Mexico and Canada or anyone else for that matter? (I know that some people would say yes, and before those people even bother let me assure you that in and of itself, apart from America's other policies, the answer is no).

Last but not least, you have blamed their government on older an less educated people. This is a very insulting accusation. Can you even grasp what a slap in the face it is to a nation to say that their democratic choice proves that they're ignorant? Oh wait, I'm sure you know exactly how that feels, just as I do, because anti-americans and far leftists have been screaming it at the top of their lungs for the last 4 years towards America's leader.
You know, lets get real here and put aside what is proper. If people are so friggin stupid they can't run their nation, they ought to be conquered. When I meet somebody who is really stupid and has nothing to offer to discussion, I conquer them by ignoring everything they say and doing whatever I think is best even if it affects them. If you view of Venezuelans is that they are so ignorant that they cant run their own country, you should be able to say here in public that America should colonize Venezuela and strip anyone with an IQ below 120 of their civil rights. If you aren't willing to say that you dont have to appologize, but I would kindly suggest that you temper your comments about the compitence of the Venezuelan electorate.



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