Bush baiting aside what kind of leader is Venezuela's Chavez?

Maybe since he himself attempted a coup and only got a prison sentence and not executed.

I wouldn’t be too sure.

There is ordinary, nonpolitical crime in Venezuela, is there not? Other than the politics of the victims, what reason have we to suppose that these (1) are political murders and (2) have anything to do with Chavez?

And even you have something to back up (1), don’t just assume that proves (2). It’s not even a matter of “plausible deniability.” Politics is rough in Latin America and leaders are sometimes quite powerless to prevent their overenthusiastic sympathizers from committing political violence. As I’m sure you know.

Good for a giggle: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060424/comix

If you’re really interested in Chavez, there’s an excellent article about him in this month’s Atlantic magazine. I’d link to it, but it’s a pay site, so you’ll either have to subscribe or pick up the issue at the newstands.

I read it. It was very fair in its treatment of Chavez, which means in the end that it concluded that Chavez will likely be a disastrous leader for Venezuela.

Here’s an interesting interview with one of the government’s key generals, Raul Baduel, about the role of the Army in Venezuela’s political transformation: http://www.redpepper.org.uk/ (Frame-based page – scroll down a bit and click on “Venezuela’s New Model Army” by Hilary Wainwright.)

So the Army’s role is “apostolic” but not “messianic” – I’m a little clear on what those words imply in a Latin-Catholic political context.

Now Venezuela is threatening to expel the U.S. ambassador for actively siding with the opposition: http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=nation_world&id=4073416

They don’t make them any more left-leaning than me these days, but I am not a fan of Chavez. I’d like to think of myself as having a fair grasp on reality.

I support Chavez insofar as he was fairly elected by the Venezuelans. I am convinced that they will come to regret it, but heck, they’ve come to regret electing every president they’ve had lately. Chavez told them what they wanted to hear, he had the good luck of having oil at its highest, thus profitting even if the Venezuelan economy is not doing too well.

Remember “popular” does not equal “good” in the long term. And to paraphrase an American president, he may be an asshole, but he is the asshole the Venezuelans chose to vote for.

As a side note, I know a Venezuelan whose family lost US$200 million due to the economic crisis in Venezuela (as defined by her). Their response was to close shop and get their remaining fortune out of Venezuela. I am not shedding any tears for my aqcuaintances’ family, but I am sure poor Venezuelans will come to miss the jobs lost because of this (plus the tax income).

He is this kind of leader.

But they seem to have smoothed things over, for now: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-04/17/content_4433915.htm


documentary on the Chavez presidency, with cameramen who were IN the palace when it occured…it’s long, I’m about 1/2 way through it, but an interesting look into central/south american politics and media control(Fox News would be right at home)

If the US does not like the leaders that emerge in South America, perhaps it should not create the conditions for such leaders to emerge.

Supporting governments which use death squads, organsising coups, plus all the biased and anti rhetoric instead of calm and measured analysis are not going to win over any hearts and minds.

I guess if there were no oil in Venezuela then Chavez would not be as important oto the US.

Especially since he is implementing much larger taxes on oil that leaves his country. In the documentary, once his cabinet retakes the palace, they get phone calls from military officers who are still loyal to Chavez, and are on the island where he was held captive…there was an American registred plane that landed on the island to take him into custody and fly him out of the country.

I see you don’t know any US history. The US banned the Communist Party when it was formed, threw members out of the country, jailed a lot of them, prohibited members from even leaving the US if they were US citizens. The list of illegal acts is too many to go into. When I was growing up in the 50s, the US government threw hundreds of CP members into jail for their political association. All this and the Communists had NOT even staged ANY kind of an illegal coup as the people on trial did.
It is also illegal to accept funds from foreign governments in the US as well by the way which is one of the charges. So I guess it is OK for traitors to take money in Venezuala from foreign sources, but not so in the USA.

I am fairly sure that the $200 million is in capital assets and not liquid ones. From what I understand, much of the problem of Latin America stems from the fact that the liquid assets are normally transferred out of the currency and country as soon as possible. It is near impossible then to establish a stable currency and development fund when this is done. This constant drain of capital is what keeps the countries of the region poor. So it is actually a benefit that the fixed assets will be taken over and this drain stopped if either the government or the workers of the enterprises take over the companies. Also, from what I understand most wealthy families in Latin America have off shore havens to stash their loot and they pay not a whole lot of taxes. I may be wrong, but I doubt it.