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View Diary: Hugo Chavez Threatens To Put Tanks In The Streets (110 comments)

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  •  I can believe Chavez using his position for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rimjob, Elise, golconda2

    personal gain quite easily.  His ego has telegraphed that possibility without subtlety.

    However, this reporting could be more anti-Chavez poop being fed to the tradmed for PR purposes, for all we know.

    Maybe the theme is generally true: then, Chavez could become the enemy he rails against and nobody will be happy.

    I guess that when oil prices go down, their strict trade and market controls can be subverted by those who seek higher profits relative to fewer imports the country can afford.  And, Venezuala imports alot of food as part of its trade.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 09:47:19 PM PST

    •  Chavez doesn;t have that kind of corruption (1+ / 0-)
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      As far as I can tell.  The military have a privileged position.  But he seems not to be a bush/Cheney style kleptocracy.

      "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

      by SteveP on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 09:58:28 PM PST

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      •  I'm not sure how much we know about the internals (0+ / 0-)

        of his government to say one way or another, at this time.

        But, he's a bit tight on how the country runs, which itself is a form of selfishness - even if there's some sort of sincere, populist vision somehow behind it all. Or, at least partially.

        When you control trade and pricing to the level he does from the top down, the ability to create your own sinkholes can become easy and transparent, IMHO.  I wouldn't put it by him to be skimming - the guy is far from a revolutionary, as a true leader of the people's needs against autocracy would accept better, fresh ideas and leaders over time.  He's about control and staying in power, is what I often see - even at times where he may be helping folks.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 10:12:09 PM PST

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        •  well, I've met the man (6+ / 0-)

          And I've worked with someone on a peripheral matter who is in a position to know some of this.

          Survival and staying in power is certainly on his agenda.  However, I would not take such a hard position that this means that he is not a revolutionary - he's a revolutionary in a practical sense.  It is to his credit that the people who ran the coup (and indeed imprisoned him earlier) are free to run their businesses and some even hold military power. This doesn't happen in non-leftist governments.  And don't forget these people, had they succeeded in overthrowing Chavez wouldn't have let him stay in least not alive. And they would have done this with our money.

          Chavez' spends more of his hard currency on 'projects' (endless sometimes productive Cuba and Brasil things) than perhaps you or I would prefer since there are everyday needs that are not always easy to fulfill.  But he does more for the people than most leaders do and, for instance, I got an Email back already from a friend in Caracas who basically says that in fact coffee is available...amongst other things throughout the less affluent neighbourhoods in Caracas (for those who haven't been there, it is a rather stark contrast between the affluent neighbourhood and everywhere else).

          Chavez speaks bluntly and provocatively...I think what we are seeing here is just the SOS that is tailored for our media narrative. Any Chavez speech can be taken apart for provocations.  There's probably nothing to this.

          "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

          by SteveP on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 10:39:05 PM PST

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          •  Did you look into his soul? (1+ / 0-)
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            Since you've met him, you must know everything there is to know, right?

            Nothing to this? The President of the country threatens to subvert voter will with tanks, and you think there's nothing to that? He hasn't used the tanks yet, but the threat itself is an obscenity. If Bush had threatened to use tanks in Virginia and NC, would you have been understanding of those foreign observers who dismissed it as for the "media narrative", saying "there's probably nothing to this"?

            Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

            by FischFry on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 10:59:55 PM PST

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            •  I wouldn't say (4+ / 0-)

              I know him at all.  However I do have some connection and some experience upon which to base an opinion.

              I appreciate what you are saying - but to be frank, given our record of reporting on Chavez, when I read domsething like this I wonder what he actually said.  It is seldom what is presented in the press here or in neighbouring countries with right wing governments nor often the opposition press in Venezuela.

              I think that the "subverting voter will with tanks" is a bit hyperbolic on your part and doesn't necessarily follow from what he said.  Again, remember that some of the people in these elections previously tried to use military force to overthrow him - and like it or not, he is a democratically elected leader whose country has regular elections that are honored even when they do not favor the regime.

              I don't want to be an apologist for Chavez, he's imperfect to be sure, but reports of him being a petty two-bit dictator overturning elections with tanks is, in my opinion, more than just a bit of an exaggeration.

              "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

              by SteveP on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 11:14:34 PM PST

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          •  I mentioned why he doesn't seem a revolutionary (0+ / 0-)

            anymore (if he ever was, fully), and I don't think you disputed my brief rationale.

            Your history is certainly interesting, but anyone who controls the country's functions for the long-term, and has historically attempted to stay in power to quite obvious degrees of seriousness, deserves less than full trust for motives.

            And yes, the money goes where he decides at times - it might appear to be future-building needs in some cases, but if the folks you govern are getting hit by your personal priorities that could relate to losing original focus, a bit.

            A prior revolution is certainly something to build upon over the years, enabling the country and people towards appropriate, sustainable and even growth-based goals - but again, he's unwilling to admit that his entrenchment is a potential limiter to new, more evolutionary ideas since his ascendancy.  The fear of backsliding would seem to promote the notion that he the only capable person in such a position within his country.

            If this report is remotely true, the threat of tanks would seem at odds with his history, somewhat.  He's not just a part of the system, but he represents the current system.

            Like any long-term political leader, I'd be interested to follow the money and see what it reveals.  Well, and the food trade - if they have coffee for usual prices in less well-to-do areas, that's a positive sign.

            "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

            by wader on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 11:12:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  again..if things are that way I agree. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KiaRioGrl79, sparxy

              But remember that Chavez has not used the military to stay in power.  He's used elections and the legislature.  To be sure in a strong armed way, but nonetheless legally and through the constitution.  Where he has changed the constitution, he has done so through the means spelled out in the constitution.  Like Prop 8, you can say it's a silly way to go about it, but it is a very different thing than Pinochet or the Shah or L. Paul Bremer.  Further I do not think that it is at all antithetical to revolution to try to stay in power when the alternative is ultraright wing people - the people who funded death squads and the worst kind of opression of people.

              Don't forget that although the people are not living in the shiney skyscrapers of rich Caracas, they are also not defacto indentured servants or slaves as they were under the right wing regimes.

              I would also dispute that "fresher" ideas necessarily come from 'sensible' 'growth' based ideology. What Chavez is trying to do is to break that mold while keeping the revolution in power.  This is not Uncle Joe (or Uncle Barney ;-) keeping the revolution in power. The fresh ideas include using their oil to fund medical care throughout Latin America and elsewhere. Creating economic partnerships with anyone who wants to come at it from a people-based standpoint. And so on.  I think it's not terribly effective (partially because we try to sabotage it at every turn, obviously particularly with Cuban relations, but also with Brasil for a variety of reasons), but it is an effort and it is a fresh approach to breaking US and capitalist hegemony in Southern and Central America.

              Will Chavez end up living off Swiss bank accounts on the riviera (like so many of our right wing actual real dictator allies and like....have there been any leftists that have followed that path?)?  Time will tell.  There's very little evidence that Chavez is personally aggrandizing himself.

              "you have the right to your own opinion. You do not have the right to your own facts" -Daniel Patrick Moynihan

              by SteveP on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 11:28:10 PM PST

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          •  Thanks .... (0+ / 0-)

            .... for that :)

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