Tag Archive 'Hugo Chavez'

Abrogation of the Soul

Somewhat tortuously, the State Department has congratulated the victory of Hugo Chavez’s referendum to revoke term limits on his rule as a victory for participatory democracy, while faintly recommending a new respect for multiparty pluralism. Consider for a moment if you were to receive official foreign congratulations for your civic virtue, upon learning that a president of the United States had just succeeded in repealing the 22nd Amendment, allowing him to serve forever as permanent head of state. A cold experience, surely.

Congratulating this referendum is an insult to liberal forces in Venezuela which have been battling mightily against long odds and at risk of arrest, to preserve some semblance of a liberal society in a country deeply mired in the grip of crypto-fascist hysteria.

One of the most regrettable ideas of the Bush years was the then president’s bizarre belief that any political outcome was ultimately justifiable if it were arrived at by course of a general election. Something that even the experience of an elected Hamas government in Gaza apparently failed to completely dissuade him of. It’s a pity to learn that we’ve traveled even further down this misbegotten path with a new administration.

It should be understood that it is the liberal dispossition –one that supports and informs constitutional restraint on state power– not the democratic procedure, that distinguishes Western democracy from being the will of a fanatical mob. Liberalism is the soul that makes democracy moral and viable. The United States should not praise any democratic outcome as instinsically worthwhile, as Bush once did. What it should praise are liberal democratic outcomes….and Chavez’s coupling of potential permanence with his already near autocratic authority, is no victory for liberalism.

Sphere: Related Content

Going John Galt… quietly.

The idea of “Going John Galt” makes me a little bit uncomfortable, to tell the truth.    John Galt essentially said screw them all, and shut down knowing that a whole lot of people would be hurt.    It was about the only way he could make his point and make it stick.

Maybe we could do this without shutting down the economy?

But, as I think about it, a protest citing John Galt and out and out telling people what is going on might be a good idea, because people are going to go John Galt… quietly.

And I have no faith at all that anyone who now thinks that it’s a good thing to make the rich pay are going to understand what happened any more than Chavez or Mugabe understand what happened (or is happening) to their economies.

Sphere: Related Content

Chavez Expels the US Ambassador

In solidarity with fellow Marxist anachronism Evo Morales in Bolivia, Hugo Chavez has ordered the US Ambassador out of Venezuela for being an agent of the “imperial aggressor, the genocidal U.S. empire.” He has also recalled the Venezuelan ambassador to Washington, in a complete break of formal diplomatic relations.

Sphere: Related Content

Blog Graphics Retrospective

I was searching for an image on my backup drive today and came across a cache of header graphics I’d thrown together for posts over the years. The diversity of subjects was kind of interesting as a gallery. Here’s a few rather random selections:

The HIV Epidemic:
The HIV Epidemic


Slobodan Milosevic:
slobodan milosevic

Sphere: Related Content

How Supermarkets Can End Poverty

Namibian supermarket selection (photo: Olivier Peyre)

One of great inequities in the modern world is that in relative terms, food in poor and starving countries often costs far more than in the wealthy developed world. That’s because industrial countries tend to be dominated by large supermarket chains, which can achieve enormous economies of scale in volume sales, and thus are able to offer dramatically cheaper food prices to consumers.

The difference between the benefits of traditional and supermarket retail food sales can be staggering even within the same country. In an unevenly developed country such as India, which is divided between urban chain supermarkets and rural traditional markets, the cost of vegetables is 33% cheaper in the city than for the rural poor dependent on small local stores.

This has larger economic implications than is generally acknowledged, as food purchases consume a far larger share of national wealth in the developing world. In poor countries such as Nepal, food spending can account for as much as 50% of consumption expenditure in middle income households, compared to 15% in the United States. Thereby a cruel kind of trap is created through high food prices, which precludes consumer spending on goods and services that command higher wages than agriculture can provide.

Thus, if you were able somehow to reduce the cost of food in the developing world, and thereby the share of consumer income it eats, you could free up large reservoirs of capital to the benefit of the broader economy’s development.


Sphere: Related Content

Chavez and Putin sitting in a tree

At least as long as Chavez comes armed with a fat wallet.

Sphere: Related Content

Hugo’s Road to Ruin Continues

I say it eventually ends in mass murder, but McQ has the latest intermediate step.

Sphere: Related Content

Chavez Threatens Colombia Because He Finances Terrorism

McQ alerts us to this developing story in South America.

Colombia, apparently, struck at a narco-terrorist camp inside Ecuador after tracking FARC spokesman Paul Reyes and other leaders there. Reyes and 16 other terrorists were killed.

Chavez reacted by sending troops to the Venezuela/Colombia border:

Now you might ask why Chavez would involve himself in this conflict that essentially had nothing to do with him. Of course he could just be trying to take advantage of a situation to let him attack the rightist and US allied Colombian govt, or he could be trying to protect himself from what the raid would possibly find.

Evidence found in computers seized in a raid over the weekend suggests that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recently gave the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia $300 million, Colombia’s national police chief said Monday.

Let’s also note Chavez’s past ties with Iran when this part shows up:

Naranjo said other evidence in the computers suggests FARC purchased 50 kilograms of uranium this month.

This could be an interesting story to watch unfold.

UPDATE: More on the story on the Ecuadorians. It seems they were in negotiations with FARC to post friendlier security forces on their border. Also, want to throw a link out there to the US Presidential Election? The files also stated

Americans have reached out to Correa’s government, saying Barack Obama is likely to be the next U.S. president. ”We responded we’re not interested in relationship with governments … and in the case of the United States, we require a public announcement expressing interest in talking with the FARC, given their eternal war against us,” the memo said.

Sphere: Related Content

An Introduction to a Lie

Hugo Chavez

Michael Kraft takes a look back at candidate Hugo Chavez in 1998, being by Jorge Ramos for Univision. Jorge asks a series of what turned out to be extraordinarily prescient questions. In sequence Chavez denies he will shut down media companies, nationalize private industries, or criticize foreign leaders. He even pledges to facilitate and encourage foreign direct investment. As we now know, each of these statements is a lie.

Sphere: Related Content

Bolivarian Buckaroo

Freddy Bernal
photo: Citizen Feathers

Feathers has an amusing photograph of Freddy Bernal, the MVR mayor of the Libertador Municipality in Caracas, doing his best George W. Bush impersonation in full cowboy getup. Bernal is one of Hugo Chavez’s most loyal henchmen in the city. He gained some infamy in his own right in 2002, when he was secretly taped ordering members of the Bolivarian Circles to attack civilians who were peacefully demonstrating against the Chavez regime. Several people were killed as a result.

Sphere: Related Content

Chavez’s Demise

Assuming he doesn’t double down on the oppression, will come as his oil company collapses.

Sphere: Related Content

Hugo Chavez, the key to political popularity

If Hugo inspires such love from the masses of South America, how do you explain this?

Colombia’s Uribe Approval Rating at Record 80%, Tiempo Reports

By Helen Murphy

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) — Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s approval rating rose to a record 80 percent in January from 74 percent in November, El Tiempo newspaper reported, citing a Gallup Colombia poll.

Uribe’s approval rating may have increased as Colombians rallied behind him amid verbal attacks from Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez and over his management of the release of two hostages by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, El Tiempo reported Gallup director Jorge Londoño as saying.

Gallup Colombia interviewed 1,000 citizens in Colombia’s four main cities between Jan. 17 and Jan. 19. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points in Bogota, the daily newspaper said.

Feathers is certainly cheered. Meanwhile, Chavez’s ratings are heading toward George Bush’s.

Sphere: Related Content

The food crisis accelerates

Following through on what was reported yesterday, Hugo Chavez continues to step up the pressure on food producers:

Venezuela’s top food company has accused troops of illegally seizing more than 500 tonnes of food from its trucks as part of President Hugo Chavez’s campaign to stem shortages.

The leftist Chavez this week created a state food distributor and loosened some price controls, seeking to end months of shortages for staples like milk and eggs that have caused long lines and upset his supporters in the OPEC nation.

McQ chimes in.

More News from Venezuela pasted from Fausta’s Carnival Of Latin America and the Carribean (I suggest reading each week) follows:

The Dangerously High Price of Crossing Hugo Chavez

Judge Monica Fernandez, a Venezuelan human rights advocate, was shot on January 4 in what police ruled a botched car robbery. The night before the attack, she was branded an enemy of the state, a coup-plotter, and a fascist on a state television show which condemns those who dare to oppose the government’s actions. Coincidence? Thor Halvorssen doesn’t think so.

Via Siggy,
Venezuela’s Jews Find Their Voice as Chavez Ramps Up Harassment

Chavez to farmers: Sell within Venezuela or it’s ‘treason’; Chavez threatens to send in the army to seize farms at gunpoint unless farmers sell all their milk to the government. Udder stupidity. As Ed says,

Chavez has chosen the Mugabe way of state confiscation of farms, and will eventually get the Mugabe result — taking his nation into poverty and starvation on land that should produce enough for export.

Via Irish Spy
Exit Venezuela?

Chavez and the FARC-The Unveiling

Is Chavez seeking war with Colombia?

U.S. media treats Chavez better than he accords his opponents and Lucianne discussion thread

Chavez and the FARC

A Hollywood Yarn Unravels

Venezuelan government continues attack on independent media; Alberto Federico Ravell is “Caracas Nine” dissident #3

An article from last month I didn’t link to Election deception

Sphere: Related Content

The Path to Mass Murder III

Haven’t we said this is the way things were heading once Hugo Chavez instituted price controls? Why yes we did.

From CNN via Pejman

President Hugo Chavez threatened on Sunday to take over farms or milk plants if owners refuse to sell their milk for domestic consumption and instead seek higher profits abroad or from cheese-makers.

With the country recently facing milk shortages, Chavez said “it’s treason” if farmers deny milk to Venezuelans while selling it across the border in Colombia or for gourmet cheeses.

“In that case the farm must be expropriated,” Chavez said, adding that the government could also take over milk plants and properties of beef producers.

“I’m putting you on alert,” Chavez said. “If there’s a producer that refuses to sell the product … and sells it at a higher price abroad … ministers, find me the proof so it can be expropriated.”

Addressing his Cabinet, he said: “If the army must be brought in, you bring in the army.”

Mugabe has a disciple.

Sphere: Related Content


Venezuelans not fond of Hugo Chavez’s new found affinity for narcoterrorism, are planning street marches in Caracas and Maracaibo to explicitly reject FARC and their murderous barbarism. This is an enormously heartening sign of genuinely worthwhile international solidarity, unlike the vile and dictatorial version Hugo likes to promote. Details in English from Kate at A Colombo-Americana’s Perspective.

Sphere: Related Content

A Medallion for Monsters

You have to love the poll Common Sense & Wonder is running in its sidebar. The question is who will receive the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize. C&W has some damningly convincing candidates for the Norwegian Nobel Committee too: Hugo Chavez, Cindy Sheehan, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Noam Chomsky, Kim Jong-Il, Robert Mugabe and Fidel Castro. Given the great skill at financial mismanagement exhibited by some of these finalists, it’s entirely possible that by December 10, 2008 the cash prize of $1.5 million USD could greatly exceed the GDP of the winner’s country’s GDP.

Sphere: Related Content

Return of the Fourth Fleet

The Navy is contemplating reviving the 4th Fleet, which was dissolved 60 years ago. The public rationale is rather vague, referring to the need to demonstrate interest in Latin America. Michael Goldfarb argues that Venezuelan plans to acquire Russian submarines are the real motive.

Sphere: Related Content

Terrorists by Any Name

JammieWearingFool hilariously points out that Hugo Chavez’s recent appeal to the world to refer to the FARC as “insurgents,” rather than terrorists, is off to a smashing start. It only took Reuters four paragraphs into the story before they began to comply.

Sphere: Related Content

That Didn’t Take Long

Hugo Chavez breaks his vow to not seek president-for-life powers again. According to Chavez the new referendum will ask: “two questions: ‘Do you agree that Hugo Chavez should continue as president?’ and concurrently ‘Do you agree to a small constitutional amendment to allow indefinite reelection?’”

On the more bizarre Chavismo front, El Universal is apparently claiming that Naomi Campbell is having an affair with the Caracas creep. Campbell recently interviewed Chavez for British GQ. GayandRight asks the obvious question of why GQ does puff piece features on dictators to begin with.

Sphere: Related Content

Venezuela’s coming Kristallnacht

McQ points us to a new, if all too familiar, turn the ugly situation in Venezuela is taking:

Venezuelan Jews, long uneasy with the Chávez government’s alliances with Iran and other Middle Eastern countries that espouse anti-Israel views, are concerned that the government is sponsoring anti-Semitism in this hemisphere, a prominent journalist said Tuesday.

”The situation we have now in Venezuela is that for the first time in modern history we have government-sponsored anti-Semitism in a Western country,” said Sammy Eppel. “That is why this is very dangerous, not just for the Jewish community in Venezuela but for the Jewish community as a whole.”

Among the examples offered by Eppel:

Venezuelan government intelligence services twice have raided the country’s most important Jewish center in a vague, ultimately unsuccessful search for weapons. Publications of the government’s cultural ministry run articles entitled ”the Jewish Question,” along with a Jewish star superimposed over a swastika.

McQ has more:

Think carefully about how totalitarians work. They have to have both an internal and external enemy in order to justify measures taken to expand powers. Jews have provided that internal enemy to so many dictators that this is like a bad rerun. But then, no one would claim that a dictator who is convinced he can make socialism work when no one else could, is worried about being particularly original.

Left or right, whether you call it fascism or socialism (and how does one really tell the difference?) the pattern has been the same, and as we have argued, so will eventually the results.

Other reactions: Fausta has much, much more.

Sphere: Related Content

Get rewarded at leading casinos.

online casino real money usa