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View Diary: Deterring Democracy In Venezuela (118 comments)

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  •  Except that vision (0+ / 0-)

    is his vision and a lot of South and Central Americans don't care too much for it.

    •  Look, again: (0+ / 0-)

      that's what countries do. All countries, to the extent that they are able. Certainly, chavez isn't forcing anyone to do anything. In reality, many do care for it, as evidenced by increasing regional integration and cooperation (and that includes Lula's Brazil, Bachelet's Chile, Morales' Bolivia, etc. etc.).

      •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

        but I'm pretty proficient in issues of IR and I understand that all state actors act in accord with their own interests.

        No, Chavez isn't forcing anyone to do anything. In a lot of cases he's bribing them to do so with cheap loans or subsidized oil. Again - he's acting in his own interests but it always amuses me when I hear people bitch about US imperialism exercised through the IMF or the World Bank and then nod approvingly at Chavez's attempts to export his "Bolivarian Revolution" using the exact same tactics.

        Not saying you said that of course, but I have heard it from others.

        •  Imperialism does not describe (4+ / 0-)

          what Chavez is doing. Chavez' aim is to increase regional integration and eventually form a Latin American bloc to counter the U.S. hegemony that has proved so destructive to the people of that continent. That is surely a noble aim.

          So yes, Chavez is acting in what he percieves to be Venezuela's interests, in the same way that all states act to further their percieved self-interests. That's actually pretty irrelevent. What we as analysts should be talking about is whether the aims are good, and if so whether he and others are going the right way about achieving them.

          (I didn't do that in this diary, though, which had a far narrower focus - the aim was simply to expose the hypocrisy and deceit of media coverage of the RCTV issue and Chavez more generally.)

          •  I don't believe (0+ / 0-)

            US hegemony is necessarily a bad thing. Under this administration - yes. But I'm a believer in the power of the US to accomplish great things through its influence. The Bush administration will be out of power in 1.5 years and as Americans it's important for us to start talking about how we're going to recover the prestige and influence that has been lost during these dark years. History is a continuum and must be looked at as such - to say the aim of regional South American solidarity under Chavez is "noble" isn't something I'd agree with.

            As an IR student, a Grotian liberal and an American I am not a believer in attempts to undermine or destroy the power of the United States, especially when the alternative is so amorphous as to be inexplicable - power and order cannot exist in a vacuum.

            •  Well, unless you're saying that (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              smkngman, callmecassandra

              the U.S. is somehow superior to everyone else, then I don't see how you could argue that it has a right to control anyone. In any event, a brief look back at history will demonstrate that the problem of the U.S. quest for hegemony - and the terrorism, genocides, torture and other human rights abuses that have followed - utterly transcends partisan issues. It's not a question of one particular administration, even if its true that some have been less bad then others.

              I think it's inaccurate to talk of a golden age before Bush, where American "prestige" was blooming. No - in fact, Clinton was responsible for genocide and war crimes too. In fact, and I don't really want to go into it in detail now, but every U.S. president since WWII has engaged in war crimes, or the illegal use of force abroad.

              As to Latin America - again, history will more than suffice to explain the need for South America to gain independence of its northern neighbour. The number of people killed as a result of the numerous U.S. invasion, coups, terrorist campaigns, aggressions, forcibly imposed neoliberal policies and other interventions is just huge. The U.S.-backed terrorist campaign against Nicaragua alone resulted in some 30,000 deaths, and the total reversal of all the impressive social gains achieved under the Sandinistas.

              The point is that the U.S. has no more right to control Venezuelan society and policies than Venezuela does the U.S.

            •  Oh really? (2+ / 0-)
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              heathlander, davidseth

              to say the aim of regional South American solidarity under Chavez is "noble" isn't something I'd agree with.

              As an IR student, a Grotian liberal and an American I am not a believer in attempts to undermine or destroy the power of the United States, especially when the alternative is so amorphous as to be inexplicable

              Then as aa student of IR, the  alternative has been CIA inspired military coups by military strongman over the last 50 years of history. What is inexplicable about this alternative? Did you mean unspeakable?

              The recent history of leftist populism as a reaction to American policy...oh let's say...like with Bachelet in Chile is inexplicable as an alternative to American hegemony under Pinochet?

              With wildly popular leftists in Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil and Chile...I'd venture to say that American Hegemony and it's over reach IS explicable.

              Tu es responsable de ta rose Le Petit Prince

              by Brahman Colorado on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 08:04:27 PM PDT

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          •  and let me butt in and say... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            heathlander, davidseth

            you have done a great job addressing the issue of free speech in Venezuela. The vituperous connection of the rabid right winged interference and support out of Miami and South Florida is a story that needs to expose the propagandists and money trail that taints Latino programming and ownership.

            From Murdoch to Berlusconi and back to Miami, right winged billionaires are pumping the air waves with corporate propaganda and public access T.V. of the grass roots is the solution to all the tripe pumped into Venezuela.

            Kudos Heathlander.

            Maybe we can all move there someday.

            Tu es responsable de ta rose Le Petit Prince

            by Brahman Colorado on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 07:47:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not the same... (0+ / 0-)

        Responsible, democratic, left-leaning governments in Brazil and Chile are not the same as the Chavez government.

        Lula and Bachelet are two of my heroes for the very reason that they accomplish their goals without trodding heavily on democracy and freedom of speech.  Neither of them have sought or will seek to rule by decree or extend their terms of office or shut down publications.

        "I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him." - Booker T. Washington

        by ajbender on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 07:56:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "responsible" (3+ / 0-)

          You mean they don't pose quite as much of a threat to U.S. designs for the region as Chavez does. You're using "responsible" in the same way the U.S. uses the word "moderates" when talking about the Middle East.

          Chavez is democratic. That there are some causes for concern doesn't change that.

          •  No... (0+ / 0-)

            Don't put words in my mouth.  I mean "responsible" in that they respect their people and the freedoms of their people.  Frankly I don't care much for our Latin American policy, or lack thereof, and could give a fuck if Chavez gives us the odd headache.

            This isn't about U.S. interests - it's about democracy.

            I want to hear what you think when, in 25 years, Chavez is still in power.

            "I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him." - Booker T. Washington

            by ajbender on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 08:09:04 PM PDT

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            •  Well, evidently (3+ / 0-)

              your opinions are quite different from the majority of Venezuelans, who obviously feel that Chavez does care about them, or rather that he does follow policies with the aim of improving their quality of life. WHich is unsurprising really, since that is exactly what he has done.

              I guess that's why he has been repeatedly elected, despite the smears and slanders directed against him daily by the mainstream Venezuelan press and despite a U.S.-backed coup against him.

              It's 4:20 AM in the morning here (in London), so I'm going to have to call it a night. I will endeavour to reply to unread comments in the morning, though.

          •  Exactly... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            heathlander, davidseth

            Chavez calls Bush the devil. That is irresponsible?

            Public housing, workers rights, healthcare, free trade, social justice, responsible media are the continued goals and achievements of the governements of Chile, Brazil, Bolivia and Venezuela.

            Stop watching Fox News! 50 years ago we funded right winged death squads to overthrow democratically elected governments in favor of CIA funded Dictators trained at the School of the Americas in Georgia.

            Are you pissed because the people of Latin America are  free to elect progressives and socialists?

            Tu es responsable de ta rose Le Petit Prince

            by Brahman Colorado on Fri Apr 27, 2007 at 08:16:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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