Venezuela, Belarus gang up on USA

I must be blind; I saw no clear support for him being a dictator. One group says clean elections (the well respected Carter Center in fact) the other group says fixed. (the group appears to be a for hire Political consulting group, not a non-profit, their reputation appears to be controversial)

Were you just providing a link or trying to prove he Chavez is a dictator? If the latter, I think you failed, if the first, Wiki is not a great authority, but only a good jumping off point.

There is no question he is anti-American, I just do not see the label Dictator as being fair. Would America be better off with a Pro-American President, of course, but lets be honest in the debate at least. The reason to dislike Chavez is he is an irritant to the US and our policies, not that he is a Dictator or in anyway worse than dozens of foreign leaders we have supported in the past and present.

Jim

Chavez seems to be trying to ‘unite’ South American states, having oil is handy for buying friendship and he is trying to break down local trade barriers.

Part of it is probably ego, he fancies being the ‘big man’ in South America, part of it is very sensible.

Quite a lot of South American states have problems with guerillas who have no discernable political agenda, but are a real nuisance to the govenments.

My bet is that Chavez wants the helicopters so that he can offer a counter-insurgency force to his neighbours. Which is actually quite a good idea, and is something that the USA would probably approve of.

Buying the kit from Belaruss is pretty similar to getting it from Russia, I guess that he can’t really get it from the USA - he would see it as demeaning.

Apart from his rather puerile rhetoric, Chavez seems quite a benign force, at least oil dollars are being used to benefit his electorate and his neighbours rather than being syphoned off into Switzerland - and one can take his anti-USA rhetoric with a pinch of salt, after all he must know that 95% of the population of S. America would sell their souls for a Green Card.

There is a degree of irony in the fact that the ‘guerillas’ would call themselves Marxist (even if they had no idea of what it meant) and that Bellaruss is the ex-Soviet state that has stuck closest to its Soviet past …

Quite a laugh, come to think of it. I wonder whether Chavez appreciates the irony.

You know FRDE south american countries have their history. And, besides, international relations are not exactly like as the diplomacy option in Civilization IV.

Chile would never unite with Bolivia.-
Uruguay and Argentina can be compared with the U.S.A. and Canada, they are almost identical to an outsider. In fact they are MORE similar than our northern cousins.
Uruguay would never unite with Argentina.-
And so on, and so on.

Guerrillas are not an extended problem in Latin America, (besides Colombia and Haiti?), I can’t think of a single country where they are active.-
So your argument about counter insurgency is wrong.

Chavez hates the U.S. and he has plenty of reasons. Remember that the american goverment was either involved or approved the coup against chavez.
That was onme of the biggest mistakes in U.S. foreign policy of the recent years.-
Other than that Chavez is a clown that can’t hurt anybody but himself but as long as oil price is high he will be a succesfull clown.

Only in Colombia, I believe. Elsewhere in LA, the rebels have been crushed or have laid down their arms. When was the last time you even heard any noise out of the Zapatistas in Chiapas?

Amen!

The current unions between states in SA were envisioned as economical treaties (MERCOSUR and CAN), ; in the past 4 or 5 years there has been a push to transmutate this trade treaties into political clubs were the ideological affinities trump practical matters; speeches of an America united under the correct kind of socialism and progressive goverments and blah-blah. Chavez pictures himself as the leader of that unifying force, a new Bolivar.
This is going to go wrong sooner or latter, IMHO.

Just providing the link.

Ok, I did use the link to go on and read more. Thank you for the nudge.

Chavez does not appear to be a dictator or evil. He appears to be a dynamic leader of a small but oil rich country that has had decades of very bad leadership. He appears to be doing well by the people, much better than lets say the oil rich Royal family of Saudi Arabia who are our “good friends” in the Middle East.

He also appears to be directly at cross-purposes with the US, especially as far as South American policy goes. He appears to be trying to step Venezuela up into a major player in world politics and if he succeeds, it probably will not be a good thing for the US.

It is probably in the best interest of the US to oppose him, but smearing him and calling him dictator or evil or crazy seems to be without merit.

Jim

I remember plenty of people liking ‘uncle Joe Stalin’ before people realised what he was for. Extreme example yes, but it’s late.

Well, no, it’s an irrelevant and stupid example, unless you can provide evidence Chavez wasn’t elected or is trying to starve his own people to death.

I can prove he abuses Human rights?

  1. Prove it.

  2. If you did prove it, that still would suggest no slightest equivalence between Chavez and Stalin. After all, Lincoln abused human rights, and Stalin he was not. You would need to prove a great deal more.

Actually after I posted my bit about Chavez and Counter Insurgency

  • the penny dropped

The choppers will make a useful rapid reaction force, but other reasons lurk.

Belloruss is famous for its oil pipe lines, it is a conduit from Russia to Europe, a position shared with the Ukraine (who got it in the neck for being half anti-Russian) and soon with the Baltic pipe which will make Germany and France a bit less antsy.

Venezuela is building some very long pipes

  • a little input from people who know how to build and maintain them would be handy
  • part of that package is choppers, my understanding is that pipe monitoring is best done by obvious patrols backing up small ground based ‘ambushes’

Pipes are very vulnerable

I would not be at all surprized if Spetznatz training ( or advisors ) came as part of the package.

Ok, I don’t know why it isn’t obvious that when a demagogue is elected into power he will habitually abuse Human rights, but here it goes;

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A5755-2005Mar27.html

http://web.amnesty.org/library/eng-ven/index

http://hrw.org/doc/?t=americas&c=venezu

Ok maybe my comparison to Stalin was extreme, but liberator and hero of Socialism he is not, and from many of your posts, I do not understand why you think the brand of populism he is, is ever going to succeed in the long term. As for Lincoln (I don’t see how you could even remotely put him and Chavez in the same place) he suspended Habeas Corpus because he was fighting a Civil War. What’s Chavez excuse?

María Corina Machado, mentioned in your last link, organizer of Súmate, supposedly an objective non-partisan civil association , was present at the swearing in ceremony of Pedro Carmona Estanga, the provisional president during the 2 days after the coup against Chávez. She has also been invited to the Whitehouse to meet with Bush and her organization has recieved funds from the US government.

Hardly neutral, I’sd say.

So you understand that violating human rights can be judged on scale I see.
This is good. Bringing up Lincoln was no stranger than invoking Stalin’s name. Chavez is similar to neither.
How do you compare the Chavez violations to the Guantanamo Bay violations by the current US Administration?
How do you compare his abuses to such close US allies as the Shah of Iran and the Marcos of the Philippines. Human Rights violation go on constantly in too many countries on this planet. Chavez appears to be pretty mild on the Human Rights abuse scale. He also repressed an illegal coup attempt. Perhaps that might have some relevance to the Lincoln situation.
Damn I do not enjoy defending this person, but treat him for what he is: a smart, savvy foreign leader who stands against the US, not some evil foaming at the mouth dictator.

Jim

Chavez is neither Stalin nor Lincoln. He is Huey Long.

Why wouldn’t it succeed?

If asked, he probably would tell you it is that he is fighting a social revolution, and against fierce and bitter resistance. And Venezuela really, really needs a social revolution; throughout its history it has been a society of impoverished, powerless masses ruled by a privileged elite.

Certainly, I have a bigger problem with press censorship than with anything else Chavez has done. (I was a newspaper reporter once.) But that strengthens the parallel to Lincoln – his suspension of habeas corpus was done for the purpose of press censorship (it was directed mainly at pro-Confederate newspaper editors). And I have a bigger problem with that than with anything else Lincoln ever did.

But I agree with spoke- that Chavez bears a much stronger resemblance to Huey Long than to Lincoln or Stalin – or even Castro.

And I consider Long a highly admirable figure, just maybe even more so than FDR, even though Long was also corrupt in some respects and crossed a lot of ethical lines (lines FDR, born to privilege, never had to consider crossing to get things done).

Funny I think it is a good comparison and I strongly dislike Huey Long and his populist movement.

Jim

Why?