And Hugo Chavez
By Mickey Z.
24 January, 2007
I've been extremely fortunate
to attract an amazing mix of regulars to my blog...a crew self-dubbed
"The Expendables." The conversations range from serious to
silly and often have nothing to do with my post for the day. The topic
du jour on Friday, January 19 was a certain Venezuelan president.
Paul M. wrote: "Hello all Expendables. What do you make of the
latest accusations leveled at Chavez?"
Paul was referring a BBC News report, "Rule by decree passed for
Chavez" (Subtitled: "Venezuela's National Assembly has given
initial approval to a bill granting the president the power to bypass
congress and rule by decree for 18 months"). The article began:
"President Hugo Chavez says he wants 'revolutionary laws' to enact
sweeping political, economic, and social changes." In the name
of strengthening his "Bolivarian revolution," it seems Chavez
has said he wants to "nationalize key sectors of the economy and
scrap limits on the terms a president can serve." He also wants
to see "major Venezuelan power and telecoms companies come under
state control ... (and) an end to foreign ownership of lucrative crude
oil refineries in the Orinoco region."
Paul M. added: "I totally oppose authoritarianism in all its forms,
and idiotic Socialists/Marxists are always susceptible to this, but
I'm wondering if it's the BBC reporting a lot of shit again."
My response: "Who knows? I certainly don't trust the corporate
media as an objective source, re: official U.S. enemies. But, of course,
Chavez is human and thus capable of such behavior. What does everyone
Here's a sampling of Expendable comments (based on what was known on
Deb: "It initially looks bad, but I'd want to hear perspectives
from the people in Venezuela. One thing I've noticed is that Chavez
keeps giving to the people - the poor people. That is one big reason
the fathead leaders will view him with suspicion and try to make him
sound like a tyrant. We 'democratically' elect our tyrants who continually
take from the poor to give to the rich. Is an authoritarian leader who
takes from the rich to give to the poor really a worse choice? I don't
have much of an opinion on the latest from the BBC until I hear what
the people in Venezuela have to say. I just don't know enough of the
situation to be able to see on my own what the BBC isn't saying."
Zenprole: "If there is any truth to this Chavez story, I think
he's making a big mistake. In the past, he has used presidential power
to blunt antidemocratic efforts to undermine the Bolivarian program
(firing oil industry provocateurs, for instance), but has wisely and
strongly kept within the Constitutional framework (unlike some presidents
we could mention). Whatever the reason for this decree power (if the
story is accurate), it likely won't outweigh the rationalizations it
will give the U.S. to ramp up attacks. And this may just be another
case of an independent
government being under such constant pressure that this is a response
rather than an initiative. I'd like to learn more about this. Thanks
for the link, Paul."
Edson: "As for Chavez, I don't see what the big deal is. The West
always preaches about what a great system we have because there are
checks and balances on power and those who wield it. So then, how to
explain the absolute mess we've made of this planet? Where are the checks
and balances to the greed of the ruling oligarchy? I'd rather have a
guy like Chavez or Castro in charge than a democratic government like
Harper's (up here in Canuckistan) or Bush's."
RMJ: "I agree with Edson. Chavez is a lot better than most. As
far as ruling by decree goes, I think a Benevolent Monarchy would be
better than the corrupt, oppressive, bought-and-paid-for Predatory Capitalism
that exists in the USA. A Benevolent Monarchy would be an improvement
over a Corpocracy. Chavez gave U.S. citizens some oil to heat their
homes. The U.S. government says, 'Let 'em freeze to death'."
And finally, JOS summed up: "Long live the Bolivarian Revolution!
I am sure his congress is littered with scum-elected on CIA money and
U.S. propaganda-that would simply block him from completing the steps
the people elected him to accomplish. Taking back businesses and resources
from foreign corporate multi-nationals sounds like a great thing."
That's what some of us think...how about you?
Mickey Z. (and the Expendables) can be found on the
Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.
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