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Chavez days numbered?

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Aenimal
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0 posted 01-25-2005 04:09 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Not much coverage of the Americas lately, but it's been an interesting few years. I've been following Venezuela/Chavez for quite awhile now. Surprised a leftist government has been able to retain power in the region for this long, I've been waiting for the hammer to drop. This could very well be the first step.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4147631.stm
http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/americas/01/06/venezuela.colombia.ap/

for more insight on this mess, read james petras' article at counterpunch and search their database for past coverage:
http://www.counterpunch.org/petras01252005.html

Mistletoe Angel
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1 posted 01-25-2005 07:21 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I fear the next few years may indeed be quite a shaky time for Venezuela, and even Colombia, with their 2006 election approaching, and, as it is, Colombia is about as polarized of a nation as the United States has been, with right-leaning Uribe up for re-election, but the war in Iraq among many issues challenging him for next year.

I'm also troubled by what Condolezza Rice said at her confirmation meeting last Tuesday regarding Chavez. She charged that his rule was "very deeply troubling." and, in addition, described Cuba, Burma, Belarus, Zimbabwe, North Korea and Iran as "outposts of tyranny."

It's quite sad, to me, somehow, our current administration is more worried about election results in Venezuela and Ukraine than our very own. I believe it's quite safe to say Bush was democratically elected last year, but, so was Hugo Chavez, twice, and Viktor Yushchenko clearly claimed official victory with an over two million vote lead, 51 to 44% in the repeat poll. Yet it seems some still refuse to be satisfied by the democratic results and want to focus their attention on these situations, rather than the voting irregularities in our own background, and the dire need to make it constitutional every American's right to vote, not just fifty individual state rights.

Venezuela has spoken. In 1998, their people elected Chavez in a landslide. In 2000, he was democratically elected again with a majority of the vote. In April 2002, the U.S backed up opponents of Chavez to coup him, but the people put him back in power after two days. And last year, with the referendum up, the people democratically voted by a majority to keep him in office.

I'm not sure exactly why the United States is so adamant about throwing out a peoples president. Could it be because of the opinions and stances he shares with Fidel Castro? Could it be because the United States gets 13% of their oil from Venezuela? Could it be because of insisting to fight this war on drugs which Chavez is reluctant to? Or could it simply be because they are intimidated by the Simon Bolivar vision of a united Latin America?

We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

Aenimal
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2 posted 01-25-2005 09:07 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

quote:
I'm also troubled by what Condolezza Rice said ..


personally, i put very little stock in what rice has to say, she's in line with the other 'hawks' and their cabal's agenda.the fact that saudi arabia still eludes the dangers list boggles the mind

quote:
It's quite sad, to me, somehow, our current administration is more worried about election results in Venezuela and Ukraine than our very own


It's ironic, the questioning and challenging of election results elsewhere is called standing up for democracy, but round these parts you're dubbed a sore loser(and much worse). $30 million spent on aiding Yushchenko according to an article I read.

quote:
Venezuela has spoken. In 1998, their people elected Chavez in a landslide. In 2000, he was democratically elected again with a majority of the vote. In April 2002, the U.S backed up opponents of Chavez to coup him, but the people put him back in power after two days. And last year, with the referendum up, the people democratically voted by a majority to keep him in office.


history repeats itself, i've discussed similar policies in Guatemala and of course there are many more examples of interference throughout the americas.

quote:
I'm not sure exactly why the United States is so adamant about throwing out a peoples president. Could it be because of the opinions and stances he shares with Fidel Castro? Could it be because the United States gets 13% of their oil from Venezuela? Could it be because of insisting to fight this war on drugs which Chavez is reluctant to? Or could it simply be because they are intimidated by the Simon Bolivar vision of a united Latin America?


all of the above. 'leftist' south american governments have a history of land/resource expropriation, and with oil in the balance there's no question why Chavez was a target from day one.
Mistletoe Angel
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3 posted 04-11-2005 03:28 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Today marks the third anniversary of the failed coup to overthrow democratically elected Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

After being removed from power for two days, Chavez returned to office on April 13, 2002.

During that period of two days, enormous demonstrations occurred on the streets of Caracas, where protestors on both sides accused each other of having snipers in each others buildings and such. Hugo Chavez was currently out of power and an opposition government led by Pedro Carmona had stay in during those two days.

Major demonstrations helped move Chavez back into office after those two days, and since then, Chavez has been elected to stay in power through a series of referendums.

Since 1998, when Chavez was elected, U.S/Venezuela relations have grown increasingly sour, with Chavez claiming the U.S is attempting to assassinate him.

*

*

I still can't understand why those in our government can't respect and acknowledge Hugo Chavez being the peoples president of Venezuela. Two elections, six referendums and they STILL can't accept that.

Even a previous Wall Street Journal editorial said that the best thing for the United States would be if Chavez won because any other abrupt vacuum of power in the region would jeopardize the oil supply (Almost 15% of U.S oil comes from Venezuela, Venezuela exports about 60% of its oil to the U.S)

Besides that, if our Administration truly believes in democracy, then he should believe in the people of Venezuela and in the authenticity of Chavez being elected. Just as he should have also for Aristide.

Frankly, I can't understand why there is such concern about Chavez. It could be perhaps that almost 15% of or oil comes from them, perhaps because he has connections with Fidel Castro, because his influence could unite Latin America. I don't know what it is, but I'm telling you, the coming months could get even uglier.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Aenimal
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4 posted 04-11-2005 04:01 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

The answer is simple Noah. He threatens the US stranglehold on South America, their businesses and resources (in Venezuela's case, surprise surprise.. oil). Chavez has made arms and economic deals with Russia/Spain/Cuba and China. They're also afraid of the Bolivarian dream waking up the rest of South America.

here's some more on the Chavez/bush situation:
http://www.counterpunch.org/kozloff04092005.html
wandering glider
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5 posted 04-11-2005 05:41 PM       View Profile for wandering glider   Email wandering glider   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for wandering glider

Two words:

"Oil Empire"

The US started this quest of theirs in the FDR administration and it continues today, around the world.  "Democracy" makes for a nice cover, when it is convenient.  And when it isn't . . . chuck it!
Even within its own borders, US democracy is becoming inconvenient.


glider
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6 posted 04-11-2005 06:37 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Noah, I suggest you do a little more research on Chavez before making assumptions based on headlines and possible personal bias reporting. You can believe me when I tell you that I AM familiar with this situation and it is in no way similar  to the bromides being spoken here. I lived there for eight years and am in contact still with very many of my Venezuelan friends who discuss the Chavez situation there whenever we speak, which is often. Chavez has gained and kept control by cornering the poor and promising them the world. The Venezuelans with any education at all know him for what he is and despise him. They know that his major goal is to be like his personal hero Fidel Castro. He rules strictly by force and coersion.

Bring up the valid question of whether the US has any right to interfere if you like but please don't paint the picture of a nice little fellow being harrassed by bullies. I can have hundreds of Venezuelans more than happy to send you e-mails explaining the facts of life to you..
Aenimal
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7 posted 04-11-2005 10:26 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Cornering the poor and promising them the world, sounds like politics to me, i don't think there's a spot on earth that government doesn't work this way.

Chavez' is not the angel socialists make him out to be, nor is he the monster the US is makes him out to be. Make no mistake, US involvement in this situation, is not altruistic. Glider is absolutely correct, this is a matter of resource control, control in general.

Chavez' government, and more importantly it's bolivarian promise, is a threat to US domination of South American nations. That bolivarian spirit is catching the attention of the educated and peasants alike. Whether or not Chavez is the one to deliver it, people are talking again, and that frightens the administration and their interests.
Midnitesun
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8 posted 04-11-2005 10:51 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

What timing! I had not even seen this thread until tonight. Did you read my Choropampa write? and the replies? http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum92/HTML/001675.html


BTW, do you read ZNet? Zmag? know about PareCon? www.zmag.org

[This message has been edited by Midnitesun (04-11-2005 11:35 PM).]

Aenimal
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9 posted 04-12-2005 03:07 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Just read it Kacy, excellent write. For the most part i stick to counterpunch but I do like Znet especially their Chomsky archives(one of the most important and misunderstood historians/social commentators of our time).
i think i'm going to repost one of mine when i finish here

I'm also wary of Chavez, revolutionaries have a way of becoming what they ousted, though that's a generalization. How many south american revolutionaries have managed to escape CIA coups or assassinations? All we've seen thus far are puppet regimes standing by as resources and lives were raped. And Fidel, well, villify him all you want, but US policy made him what he is.
Mistletoe Angel
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10 posted 04-12-2005 02:49 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Balladeer, not being Venezuelan and all, obviously, I certainly cannot speak for the people of Venezuela.

The mere point I was making is that the people decided on Chavez and that the Bush Administration and Colombia and the world should acknowledge and, if not celebrate, at least respect his democratically elected status.

Chavez is a militaristic individual, and I don't agree with all he has publicized whatsoever. I certainly don't see him as a hero to me.

Your friends have every right to their opinion, and I respect that. I guess the bottom line is, their fate is pretty similar to the fate of individuals like myself here under this administration. And I do condemn whenever Chavez may be exploiting those in poverty in his nation.

I disagree with a wide array of Bush's policies, and I don't personally favor or respect the man. I even believe he didn't win the 2000 election. But I also believe he was democratically elected fair and square in 2004 and recognize that.

That's all I want out of this administration on this issue. To recognize that the U.S must have a stronger interdependent relationship with Venezuela and be able to address the disagreements between nations while also recognizing each others democratic status.

And if someone in this administration is truly planning an assassination attempt on him, then they just don't care or know anything about what democracy really means, and it's only going to create more trouble not only for Venezuela, but much of Latin America.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton



"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
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11 posted 04-12-2005 02:58 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I guess the bottom line is, their fate is pretty similar to the fate of individuals like myself here under this administration.

Noah, no matter what you may ever say for the rest of your life, you will NEVER top that statement. How I wish I had the power to transport you there so that you could see how incredibly absurd that statement is. I wish you the best in whatever reality you happen to be living in. Peace....
Mistletoe Angel
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12 posted 04-12-2005 04:23 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

That's all right that you say that, Balladeer. I don't consider myself offended so much as I believe there is a divide of miscommunication between us.

I do believe you perhaps took that statement more seriously than how far I was intending for it to be perceived as. I meant it specifically by how, like your Venezuelan friends you keep contact with in Florida, who are in the political minority currently in their nation, politically I, myself, am in the minority here in America.

I have great respect and empathy for their concerns. Though I do hope they recognize that Chavez's presidency is legitimate, I too also hope Chavez is finding it somewhere in his soul to listen to voices like your friends and embracing the interests of the hard working man or woman who has to balance two jobs a week with minimal pay. I too am gravely concerned of individuals like that there and in next door neighbor Colombia, where economic conditions are troubling right now.

America is far better off economically, and I mean FAR better off, than most of Latin America is, and if you thought I was saying I am basically economically living like them down there in my statement, I've clarified here that wasn't my intention to that statement.

But the fact is, despite some wide ideological differences between our president and their president, these two men somehow are not all that unlike one another.

Bush is a democratically elected president. Chavez is a democratically elected president. Bush is a very militaristic individual. Chavez is a very militaristic individual. Under both these presidencies, their nations are polarized. As you previously may have imposed, those Venezuelans with low or no income tended to vote for an opposition candidate. Here, in 2004, 63% of voters with an income of $15,000 or lower voted for the opposition, with the reversal percentage at $200,000 or above for Bush.

There are notable similarities here between these presidents and the nations they govern. Both these men are obviously polarizing influences.

And I believe my disapproval towards this administration is justified. I believe he just isn't embracing the important issues, the basic qualities of life. The environment, so the children of tomorrow's families can breathe the clean air and drink the clean water and appreciate the fresh ecosystem like we did. The living wage or minimum wage increase, so the average American family can prosper and afford the basic qualities of health care, education and insurance to improve the quality of life, for the American family is what keeps the gears of the economy turning. Things like that.

I really don't know what's going on right now in Venezuela, few of us do. I feel for those like your friends who believe Chavez could be doing much more for people like them. There's not much else I could say though. Over half of Venezuelans continue to vote for Chavez. That must mean to most Chavez must at least be doing something right.

My advice to your friends is this. Traditionally oppositional and third parties always influence and generate the new ideas that help parties evolve in future generations. At first those new ideas sound radical and unheard of to many, but as time goes on, they make much more sense.

Encourage your friends, first and foremost, they're never alone. Encourage them to continue to follow their hearts and believe they can make a difference. Perhaps your friends have some social or political ideals for progress. Encourage them to keep interested and be active. The more interested you are, the more convincing and persuasive you are to others. Then, who knows, I believe that those like Chavez will hear the message and he listens, then good, everyone wins, or if he refuses it might lead to his own democratically-influenced hubris, who knows? But the people DO have the power to influence and change the world. Despite all that I feel is troubling and wrong now under this administration, I still believe it is a great time to be a progressive so you can have something to do! LOL! And I believe we have made so much great progress too! Portland, Oregon is expected next month to pass legislation to make the city the FIRST city in America to have citizen-owned elections. My God, I can already imagine how proud I'd feel when the movement spreads to so many other regions and I grow up and say, "Wow, I live in Portland, Oregon, the founding city of citizen-owned elections!"

Despite that troubling fact both these nations are polarized, I will condemn anyone who wants or intends to assassinate Chavez, just as I would condemn anyone who desires to assassinate Bush, like with that previous conspiracy headline on his visit to Colombia.

Wow, covered a lot of ground here. That's enough for now.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Aenimal
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13 posted 04-12-2005 04:41 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

lol ah, another shining example of deer diplomacy. and he wonders where the antipathy comes from
quote:
And if someone in this administration is truly planning an assassination attempt on him, then they just don't care or know anything about what democracy really means, and it's only going to create more trouble not only for Venezuela, but much of Latin America.


exactly Noah, this administration l#ves to throw around words like democracy and freedom. but you're only allowed a democracy if it fits within the confines of the administration's new world order.

there's a scary attitude growing under this administration. watching cnn the other day, an analyst and reporter both had the audacity to state that the US is the world's only superpower. an arrogance that completely undermines china, the rebuilding russia and other growing world powers.

sad sad times these
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14 posted 04-12-2005 08:17 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Noah, I like the view of the world you envision but, believe me, if I passed along your thoughts to the Venezuelans I know they would have me committed. It's nice to believe that Chavez would "wake up and see the light", just as I believe you felt about Saddam Hussein but it's not a realistic view, I'm afraid. Do I think Chavez should be assasinated? Of course not. I don't advocate that as an answer at all. Yes, he was democratically elected - so was Hussein, by 99.9% I recall. The Venezuelans I know have absolutely no idea how he got enough votes to reclaim power. This is the only time in Venezuela's history that there has been armed conflict in the streets of Caracas, the military firing on the presidential palace - absolutely unheard of in that country.

Oil as a reason? I was living there when the US went through the oil shortage in the early 70's. While Americans were waiting 6 hours in line to buy whatever gas they could find at whatever price, I was filling my tank with gas at 6 cents a gallon. Even then was there no attempt by the United States to interfere in Venezuelan policy and there never has been. Oil is just a word on the liberal hotlist. George Bush has oil connections. Iraq? Scream oil! Venezuela? Scream oil! When all else fails, go with oil. No one wants Venezuela to get through this more than I and I hope it happpens peacefully but it won't have a chance with Chavez in power, I don't think.


Raph, I've never wondered about antipathy and you can save the insults. They, like you, do not interest me...
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15 posted 04-12-2005 08:32 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Hugo Chavez has seen his fortunes swing dramatically from success to failure and back again since his landslide victory in Venezuela's 1998 presidential election.

Only last July, the leftist leader's supporters were out celebrating his re-election in the streets of Caracas, but by April 2002 the whole country was embroiled in a general strike.

What my rivals don't understand... is that Hugo Chavez is not Chavez but the people of Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

This admirer of Fidel Castro's Cuba and avowed anti-globalist was pushed from office on 12 April - as a result of his attempts to take control of the world's fifth-biggest oil industry.

But just two days later, after his supporters - mainly Venezuela's poor - took the streets, he was back in the presidential palace.

Eight months on, Mr Chavez is facing his fourth national strike this year - one that is threatening to severely disrupt the country's economy.

Relations with Washington reached a new low when he accused it of "fighting terror with terror" during the war in Afghanistan after 11 September.

But Mr Chavez's "revolution" had little real impact on the lives of ordinary Venezuelans, who still suffer from chronic poverty and widespread unemployment despite the country's oil wealth.

His popularity rating had fallen from a high of 80% to 30% last December, when the first mass street protests erupted.

But, as his dramatic return to power showed, Mr Chavez still commanded much grass-roots support.  


This is an aticle from the BBC, not an American newspaper. There is no mention of American "interference", nor should there be.
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16 posted 04-12-2005 09:13 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Here are a few thumbnail looks at what has happened with Chavez in power..

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has threatened to nationalise banks which resist controversial financial and legal reforms introduced last month.

The president also threatened to imprison bankers who failed to observe the new legislation which requires banks to lend at least 15% of their loan portfolio to small farmers.


For the constitution not to be fulfilled, they will have to pass over my dead body


Banks and businesses say the new laws will threaten investment, but the government says they are aimed at helping the poor and aiding development.

Last week, the country was brought to a standstill by a nationwide strike called by Fedecamaras, the country's leading association of businesses to protest against the legislation.

***********************************************
Businesses across Venezuela are closed on Monday in a general strike called to protest at President Hugo Chavez's alleged authoritarian style of government.

The 12-hour stoppage is the first in the country's more than 40 years of democracy to be joined by both the country's business leaders and unions.

With Mr Chavez's popularity slipping in recent months, it is being seen as his government's biggest test since coming to power three years ago.

"Venezuela will not stop for anybody, not least the oligarchy," Mr Chavez confidently assured listeners in his weekly radio address.


Poverty in Venezuela stands at 70%
The oligarchy he was referring to is Venezuela's largest business association, Fedecamaras.

It called the strike after accusing the government of failing to consult the private sector over 49 recently-passed laws which the president says are vital for the country's economic health.

They say a land reform law and another that covers the oil sector which generates 89% of the nation's earnings are hostile to private investment.

Also controversial is a coastal law which says the state now owns all land 80 metres above the high tide mark - an area equivalent to the size of Belgium.

'Biggest confiscation'

The Fedecamaras president, Pedro Carmona, said it could mean the biggest confiscation of private property in Venezuela's modern history, and has called on Mr Chavez to modify the laws.

*********************************************

Violence is an ever present danger in Venezuela, where society is sharply polarised between supporters and opponents of President Hugo Chavez.

Clashes in the capital Caracas on Friday left two people dead and dozens injured.

A one-month old general strike aimed at ousting Mr Chavez has been accompanied by almost daily street protests in many of the nation's cities.

Police officer is hit by opposition supporter in Caracas
Protesters battled with police officers in Caracas

To make matters worse, many Venezuelans carry guns.
*******************************************

At least two people have died of gunshot wounds following clashes between supporters and opponents of President Hugo Chavez in the Venezuelan capital Caracas.

Opposition supporters wave flags as they parade down to Fuerte Tiuna in Caracas
The opposition wants Chavez to step down or call early elections

The two died in hospital, Caracas health service chief Pedro Aristimuno told Venezuela's Globovision television.

A total of six people sustained bullet wounds in the clashes, according to the television station.

Pitched battles erupted between thousands of rival demonstrators in Caracas, during which security forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas to separate the two sides.

Then shots were fired by unidentified gunmen at opposition marchers as they clashed with government supporters near the city's main military base.

At least 12 people, including seven police officers, were injured by stones or bottles.

Every time supporters and opponents of Mr Chavez meet on the streets, there is a risk of bloodshed.
**********************************


In order to fully understand the importance of these incidents, one must realize that Venezuela has been one of the most stable countries in South America. It is a fully democratic country, no "banana republic" with occasional coups to overthrow current leaders. To have things like this happen is almost unimaginable, and yet, since Chavez has taken office, it has become commonplace. There are things wrong in a very major way - and these things have nothing to do with the United States or interence by foreign countries. The fact that Chavez named his movement to overthrow the government after Bolivar does not make it a "Bolivarian" movement. I think Simon would be turning over in his grave to see how his name is being used...



Aenimal
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17 posted 04-12-2005 10:05 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

wasn't an insult, just a basic fact, i'll leave you be, to bully Noah and anyone else who doesn't agree with you
Aenimal
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18 posted 04-12-2005 11:13 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

What deer failed to mention were the ties between Fedecamaras and the US led coup. It was Fedecamara who incited the bloody coup attempt and other acts of subversion. It was Fedecamaras president Pedro Carmona, who assumed power(was installed)in the failed US backed coup.

In his short time in office he suspended the Venezuelan constitution, he also dissolved legislature, the supreme court, the attorney general's office, the national electoral commission, and the state governorships, among other things. Is that democracy?

The statement that problems have "nothing to do with the United States or interence by foreign countries" is of course ludicrous.

The afore mentioned coup aside, there's US trained Columbian paramilitaries causing havoc within Venezuela. The recent kidnapping of a leftist leader on Venezuela's soil is a good example. http://www.counterpunch.org/petras01252005.html

Add the anti-Castro/Chavez Cubans & Venezuelans freely training in the Florida everglades and the assassination of Danilo Anderson who was investigating and prosecuting members of the failed coup.

As for violent clashes and tension, one can't blame Chavez but the situation. It's too be expected in a country recovering from coups, foreign intrusion, and massive social/economic change.
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19 posted 04-13-2005 01:52 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Balladeer, just one question I have here.

Are you insinuating Hugo Chavez has tampered the vote in all the previous elections he has won, as your comparison to Saddam Hussein's 99.9% slant seems to indicate?

I understand Venezuela is not much less of a polarized nation as here in the United tates presently is. It's understandable behavior that some Venezuelans who don't think of highly of Chavez would be frustrated and believed he stole the election.

But I always wander to find international news sources on the World Wide Web, and there's just not any sufficient evidence that I believe would indicate Chavez didn't really win. Chavez does tend to draw major waves of protesters and crowds in favor of him as well, and that leads me to believe he is still popular enough in the region to reveal his legitimacy.

Look, Balladeer, I really don't know exactly why our administration has such an antagonistic behavior toward Chavez. Condoleeza Rice said at her hearing before she became ecretary of State that his rule was "very troubling". See, I don't get exactly why that is.

Those possible theories I presented earlier in this thread I just presented as theories. I don't automatically believe them all to be true, but it bewilders me what intimidates our administration so much about Chavez.

I don't believe that Saddam comparison is going to cut it here myself. And if the event occurs when Chavez clearly and flat out abuses his power and violently abuses or uses those gun sales to promote genocide on innocent people, THEN I believe we have the right to be concerned, which I'm sure most Venezuelans would as well, and coup him. But that just isn't the case here, and I believe trying to impair relations with Venezuela would be devastating and we ought to be improving them, for the good of Venezuela and the region.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

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20 posted 04-13-2005 06:34 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

As I mentioned before, Venezuela has been the most stable country in South America for quite some time, ever since the ousting of dictator Perez Jimemez almost half a century ago and the installation of the democratic process. No one before Chavez tried to overthrow the government by force. There have been no coups or foreign intrusion before Chavez  came into power and to say one can't blame him for the things he alone created is as laughable as the boy who, after killing his parents, tells the judge, "Go easy on me. I'm an orphan!"

Noah, you ask good questions. Do I think he rigged the votes? I have no idea but also have no proof that he did. I think what surprised my Venezuelan friends was that, after coming into power by way of the poor vote, he made things worse for the poor, as stated in the articles I posted above. Poverty climbed to alltime highs and no relief was given to alleviate it. One would assume, then, that in  another election, the poor would turn against him but they didn't. He is very charismatic and was able to keep their votes. I think that's what was the most surprising thing to them.

Why is Washington so concerned with Venezuela? They always have been. The old Venezuelans hate the Kennedys because Bobby was instrumental in getting Perez Jimemez, the dictator, thrown out. Actually, they liked the dictator. Sure, he robbed the country blind but he was smart enough to give back to the people, too. He built the superhighways, the large hotels, the racetrack, most of the sights of Caracas were created by him. Kennedy did not like the thought of a dictator running such a country so -poof! - he was gone. Undoubtedly, one of the major concerns has always been their supply of oil to the US. To those who would scream, "It's all about the oil!", in a way it is, just not in the way they imply. We have no desire to "seize" their oil, only maintain the same normal trades with them we alve always had. To have a leader of the country who would be willing to halt the trade of oil to the US based on personal preferences or dislike for America is disquieting. Chavez has hinted he would do this. He has also begun nationalizing companies and land, as pointed out in the above articles, alo. He has also claimed to have Fidel Castro as a personal role model and would like to see Venezuela become a country like Cuba - with him in charge, of course. This terrifies the educated Venezuelan and I don't consider it unreasonable that it troubles the US, as well. Venezuela is a large, vibrant, rich country with many of it's citizens well-educated, hard-working, knowledgable people. They enjoy the freedoms of a democratic system and do not want to see the country turned into a communistic or socialistic state. I don't blame them...and I don't blame Washington for its concern..
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21 posted 04-13-2005 08:29 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

corrupt business associations, bloody coup attempts, assassinations and terrorists trained in/by the US are all Chavez' fault...

Aenimal
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22 posted 04-14-2005 12:10 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

like to know where the edits are during the labelling and bullying sessions..
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23 posted 04-14-2005 01:09 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I absolutely understand your concerns here, Balladeer. I really do, and I too hope Venezuela doesn't lean in that direction. Of course some may already argue it kind of has, but I mean drastically and dangerously of course.

Again, like I said earlier, should that be the case and Chavez uses his power for some violent outlet, then I do believe he should be captured or arrested, and I'm sure in that sort of event, plenty of his own current followers would turn against him too anyway.

But in the meantime, I don't believe Venezuela has went that direction, and this sort of hostile relation I believe would only encourage that possible worst-case scenario. It looks like as it is, Bush and Chavez are great rivals to each other, but beyond these two men, we should focus on improving the U.S-Venezuela relation.

I don't blame Washington for at least being concerned about that worst-case scenario. But I do blame Washington for perhaps being overly impatient about the scenario.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

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24 posted 04-14-2005 03:28 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well said, Noah..on that point, we agree completely...
 
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