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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez cements his autocracy with petrodollars and another push for 'refo
Monday, 20 August 2007 13:27
by Roy S. Carson

In yet another hodge-podge of Bush administration disinformation passed-off as 'independent editorial writing' an un-named author in last week's Washington Post (Friday, August 17, 2007; A22) follows his/her master's bidding with the usual plethora of ill-informed conjecture and ignorance of the Truth...

The Venezuelan businessman told inspectors there was nothing but books and papers in his suitcase. So imagine everyone's surprise when Argentine customs officers opened the suitcase — and found $800,000 in cash. The origin and destination of this money, which was being taken to Buenos Aires on August 4, shortly before a state visit by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, is now the hottest mystery in South America. But what is clear is that the cash-filled suitcase is an apt metaphor for the way Mr. Chavez has been using petrodollars to build an anti-American network that includes the leaders of Cuba, Bolivia and perhaps Nicaragua.

Mr. Chavez seized the moment to unveil a long-awaited package of constitutional "reforms." As you might expect, they are self-aggrandizing and threatening to what is left of democracy in Venezuela. They would extend the presidential term and abolish term limits so that Mr. Chavez could get himself reelected every seven years, starting when his current six-year term expires in 2012. His last opponent for the presidency was a state governor; the proposed changes would weaken governors and mayors. Most menacing, Mr. Chavez wants to establish a "popular militia" alongside the regular armed forces. Perhaps this new force is the intended recipient of the 5,000 sniper rifles Mr. Chavez has just purchased from Russia.

This latest power grab is of a piece with other measures taken by Mr. Chavez since his reelection to a third term in December. He has been undermining existing governmental structures by channeling public works and welfare funds through "communal councils" under his control, a process he promises to accelerate under the revised constitution. He has nationalized telecommunications, electricity and oil enterprises and established a new socialist political party. He has forced an independent television channel off the air while plastering the public spaces of Venezuela with his own smiling portrait.

In short, Mr. Chavez's "21st-century socialism" looks depressingly like the 20th-century version: a bloated, repressive state headed by a hectoring strongman. Mr. Chavez has adjusted the model by adding certain methods of Middle Eastern petro-states, such as the use of cash to purchase popular support, or quiescence, at home — and to buy allies abroad. Mr. Chavez's mentor, Fidel Castro, stumbled on the road to socialism for want of hard currency; Mr. Chavez can pump dollars out of the ground.

Though corrupt and corrupting, both for Venezuela and the hemisphere, Mr. Chavez's militaristic formula is undeniably potent, and no doubt he relishes demonstrating its power in polarizing combat with the weakening Venezuelan opposition. Hence the launch of yet another constitutional crusade. Since the opposition unwisely boycotted the past election, the entire National Assembly supports Mr. Chavez and is likely to approve his plan. The next step would be a national referendum this year, which might be Venezuela's last chance to prevent Mr. Chavez from setting himself up as President for life.
For obvious Bush-inspired reasons, the WP author jumps immediately to the conclusion that the "Venezuelan businessman" is somehow connected directly with President Hugo Chavez before launching into the traditional spewing of bile against Venezuela's democratically elected government and its President, elected by an overwhelming majority of Venezuelans.  The only metaphor in the conjecture is BS since its equally clear to conjecture that the "Venezuelan businessman" is factually a "Miami-resident" which is usually synonymous with 'born again' anti-Venezuelan, anti-Chavez, anti-Castro mafia types that populate the US peninsula.

Why on earth the Constitutional "reforms" should be surrounded by quotation marks is an obvious clue to the motivation for the editorialist along with the usual North American paranoia of "anti-American"-isms a.k.a. sinister 'commies' under the bed.

Certainly one can understand and even sympathize with the USA population's fear factor at the prospect of a future George W. Bush clone being able to squat the White House for eternity, but the editorialist obviously doesn't understand that the reform/amendment proposal to the 1999 Constitution of the Republic of Venezuela simply means that the incumbent could/should be re-elected continuously by a clear majority of the electorate who will obviously base their voting decisions on the encumbent's performance not only in the lead-up to any election but with regard to the half-way possibility that s/he can be kicked out of office by a majority vote in a populat referendum — so what's the beef?

The editorialist spouting off on the subject of militias draw a cynical guffaw considering the proliferation of the same across the United States of America never mind the legions of young US citizens dragged out of college education to go shed their blood in a fruitless war for Halliburton half way around the world.  As for Venezuela buying arms with which to defend itself against the Bush-maniac aggressor, hell, was it scorn that hath no fury in a woman or is it the other way round in this Quixotic situation where the world's foremost aggressor actually demonizes Venezuela for wanting to defend its own national sovereignty against even more swashbuckling invaders from the North.  They got rid of the Spanish two hundred years ago, why should they subject themselves to slavery all over again?

Then there's Chavez' alleged "power grab" which is truly funny seen against the Bush mafia's own power grabbing around the world.  The editorialist fails to understand that what Chavez is already accomplishing is the "imposition" ??? of Democracy such as Wshington Avenue has never known.  He's devolving power back to the people in the same way and at the same pace as the Bush dictatorship is robbing US citizens of the same.  Come on, Get a life WP!

Get over the fact that Fidel Castro Ruiz is a thorn in your flesh — Cuba is only an island south of the Florida Keys and United States reliance on the exile Cuban mafia bleating for blood and the return of their corrupt and ill-gotten "possessions" in Cuba is only another expression of everything that's gone wrong in the once-proud and respected United States of America.

On a final note, the unnamed Washington Post editorialist should at least have the courage to give his/her name and face the public he/she apparently wants to convince that Chavez is a commie dictator of the worst ilk ... and failing that he/she should buy a mirror and not view the world through Alice in Wonderland's Looking Glass.  Perhaps the shock would be too great for the editorialist to actually see his/her own face reflected in the awful reality of what the United States of America has itself become...

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Comments (4)add comment

a guest said:

I complete agree wiv ur analysis. America loves judging others without lookin at itself. It is apparently exporting its version of 'Democracy' to countries if it likes it or not. ITs version is the rich make the rules and the rich can break the rules. Everyone has forgotten as well that George Bush didnt win the election in 2000!!
August 20, 2007
Votes: -1

a guest said:

good article

Venezuelan bourgeoisie nationals who obviously had the capital to escaped Hugo Chavez's socialist party, who now live in any developed state seem to contradict themselves when constantly down-grading poor old Hugo.

Fact; Industrial developed nations have commited Crimes Against Humanity against any developing country who submits to them and it is those down-grading cowards who seem to forget that to easily.
August 20, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

Who do you think you're fooling?
Come on! Only the Commie wannabees actually believe anything that comes out of Chavez' mouth.

Of course Chavez was sending money to Argentina. It's just like everybody knows he's been buying off elections in Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico. Everywhere the guy opens one of those "ALBA" offices, you might as well put up a sign for the KGB.

Just like it's been documented that Castro lied to the Cubans about his plans for Communism and a Stalinist state, Chavez is doing the exact same thing.

Same for expropriations... Castro lied to the Cubans, just like Chavez is lieing to the people of Venezuela now. Anyone with money or property, that has any sense, should head for Miami before it's too late.

Chavez has never had an original thought. God forbid that Castro actually pass away because the puppet of S. America (aka Chavez: "I want to be a real boy.") will have to try to figure out what to do next on his own!

Viva La Revolution!
August 20, 2007
Votes: +1

a guest said:

I respect Chavez for disallowing American oil corporations for paying poor prices for a barrel of oil and this is why American government has been so critical of Hugo Chaves. Paying a better price for a barrel will help no ends to Venezuelan economy/infrastructure and the people, and yes maybe more in the government's back pocket, but hey coruption happens in the USA more than anywhere.

Yes go run to Miami and maybe join the US army and blow up some innocent civilians in Iraq so the US government can plunder recources all over the world which they use as their war on terror as a cover for their real intentions.

This argument is not about Hugo Chaves its about oil and if you don't realise that, your head will always be stuck in the sand.
August 21, 2007
Votes: +0

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