Originally posted by djohnsto77
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is slowly turning Venezuela into a socialist dictatorship.
That's more than a little up for debate. Right or wrong he clearly has the mandate of the people. They saved him from a US backed coup attempt not
After failing to take the country in a 1992 coup, Chavez was elected President in 1998. He has packed the courts with supporters and enacted new laws
stifling any bad press coverage of his administration by the media.
I reported the court packing incident for ATSNN when it happened, and at first glance I thought it was a bad sign. Read into it though, don't take
FNC's word for it. They have their own views- I'm not calling them propagandists, I'm just saying they have opinions and it shows.
1. Chavez didn't pack the court, the congress did.
2. Chavez party wrote the Venezuelan constitution only 5 years ago and created that court. They had a legitimate claim to adjust it for functionality.
It's a new system.
3. America's condemnations of the move have to be taken with a grain of salt. We're so pissed about their dealings with Cuba that we criticized a
censorship of sex on TV in Venezuela as being a restriction of freedom of speech.
Chavez is also stripping property from wealthy landowners and giving it to squatters, buoying his popularity among the poor. Venezuela is a
large producer of oil and supplies 15% of the petroleum imported by the United States.
Maybe the United States should invade Venezuela and disenfranchise the poor. What do you want me to say? Should I say that the Venezuelan government
should disregard the well being of its citizens and make that country an oil well for a handful of rich foreigners? People aren't going to subjegate
themselves. If you want to oppress them, you'll have to get an army and go down there to do it yourself.
Chavez is looking to create a communist state in Venezuela based on Casto's regime. While he has been good for the country's poor citizens,
this has come at the cost of the property rights of the wealthy.
You're looking at this through an American lense though my friend, otherwise the redistribution wouldn't seem as horrible. The wealthy classes in
South America were put in place because they played a role in exploitation by foreigners. The poor have had no protection against these people- the
poor live in the 3rd world while the land owners get rich on oil profits and the like.
Many professionals have had to become street peddlers during Chavez's rule due to the collapsing economy caused by flight of foreign capital
Yes, he's chasing out the foreign robber-barons. He's replacing them with growing relationships with other socialist nations. Not all left wingers
are bad. Judge him by his deeds. He is bringing educators and medical professionals into his country and developing international trade with nations
that need Venezuela's friendship instead of with nations which only need to exploit Venezuela's wealth. Maybe if capitalists weren't in the habit
of letting corporations rape our friends we would still have friends.
Chavez's interest in new military spending is also worrisome.
[edit on 2/6/2005 by djohnsto77]
No it's not, as long as he doesn't invade Columbia to support FARC, which nobody will stand for obviously. Venezuela has natural resources to
protect and has recently faced a coup attempt in which the coupsters were recognized by the US Government before they had even succeeded! They have
every reason to acquire a few defensive weapons in order to ensure that a foreign-backed minority with superior firepower can't come in and walk over
Do you lose any sleep of Canada's military spending? Probably not. They are just maintaining the ability to defend themselves and they know that they
have a lot to lose if they go to war.
This all boils down to 3 things.
1. Venezuelan support strengthens the Cuban economy and weakens American supremecy in the Carribbean.
2. The fear that the dominoe theory will play out in Columbia and threaten the neutrality of the Panama Canal.
3. Fear that a strong South American community could land Brazil on the UN Security Council and break America's ability to exploit South America with
impunity. Also we fear this creates a necessity for America to "scratch their back" in expensive ways whenever we need them to scratch ours by
exerting influence in the UN.
In so many words- Love thy neighbor. We need to get over this Cold War crap. Venezuela is developing. Congratulations and welcome to the party, you be
cool, we'll be cool, everybody's happy.
EDIT: Before I get any harsh responses I want to clarify that I'm not saying Chavez can do no wrong. He needs to renounce all support for FARC and
be absolutely transparent about not aiding them. He needs to make his intentions and his reasoning clear so that there will be some predictability to
his actions for business- this will stabilize economic dealings. I'm just saying he's not the red menace that FNC would have us believe. He's good
for his people and it shouldn't matter if he's good for us directly. I take a hint from Marine legend Smedley Butler, who went on to write a book
titled "War is a Racket". Our Marines shouldn't be running all over this hemisphere fighting corporate wars.
[edit on 6-2-2005 by The Vagabond]