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

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  •  No -- he's taken heat for subverting democracy (0+ / 0-)

    Venezuela had a real democracy, with open dissent and independent institutions, until Chavez came to power.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 11:02:45 PM PST

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    •  I don't know enough about what (0+ / 0-)

      Chavez is doing. But I do know that the US media likes to lie about him. So I have no basis for knowing if he has overstepping the boundaries of democracy.

    •  No, that's not true. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KiaRioGrl79

      Venezuela's elections were routinely mocked as fixed.The country was run for the oligarchs largely by military Juntas or utterly corrupt kleptocrats that were routinely turned out.

      There was no independent media and even neighbourhood papers were routinely shut down, offices shuttered and stock burned.  Indentured servitude was prevalent even ion the capital and farther away it would have been hard to describe many people's position as other than slavery.

      Sorry, I can't buy that.

      "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 11:44:20 PM PST

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      •  I'm being a little too harsh here. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KiaRioGrl79, chigh

        By and large Venezuela's leaders prior to Chavez had been civilian for 20-25 years.  The economic and social problems were very real. There was an intense pull between those forces wanting to align themselves with the US, the rightist dictatorships of Latin America and the neoliberal financial world on the one side and then semi-leftist/nationalists on the other side. The "leftists" were not terribly great at resisting the allure of the right, and so despite some efforts to nationalize and distribute industrial and oil wealth, starting in the seventies, the governments tried more or less to smooth things over for the oligarchs.

        The two main governments prior to Chavez, Perez who was in charge when Chavez was part of one of the '92 coups and Caldera who was President when Chavez was initially elected both had reputations well earned for using the military to quell dissent - including hundreds or by some accounts thousands of demonstrators in Caracas. Perez survived the Coups and was removed for corruption thereafter.  Caldera sold the coubtry out to neoliberals and greatly increased the poverty in the country while at the same time trying to sell of the nationalized oil assets and thus the patrimony of his country.  His attempts, despite earlier promises, to "liberalize" the economy led to economic collapse (I was in Caracas for part of this time...the Bolivar would tank by the hour).

        By and large the actual Juntas were done by the 70's, although the military does enjoy a pretty autonomous power.

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

        by SteveP on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 12:49:49 AM PST

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      •  I'm not against a leftist revolution now and then (0+ / 0-)

        But Chavez is afflicted by the same disease that has taken every other Marxist revolution. The belief that their ideology not only endorses but requires a totalitarian government that brooks no dissent.

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

        by FischFry on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 08:12:15 AM PST

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        •  Speaking of "brooks no dissent" (0+ / 0-)

          DNC Protests: Police slam CodePink protester to the ground

          Detention camp Setup for DNC Protestors and Mass Arrests

          FischFry:
          The belief that their ideology not only endorses but requires a totalitarian government that brooks no dissent.

          Democratic totalitarianism

          "... there is now a widespread tendency to argue that one can only defend democracy by totalitarian methods ... These people don’t see that if you encourage totalitarian methods, the time may come when they will be used against you instead of for you. Make a habit of imprisoning Fascists without trial, and perhaps the process won’t stop at Fascists." - George Orwell, The Freedom of the Press

        •  but it's not totalitarian (0+ / 0-)

          see, that's my problem with this argument.  He has elections, they are fair (internationally monitors say so), He accepts the results.  He, unlike his predecessors doesn't use the army to cut off diseent or protests (the people killed at the one demonstration it has been shown were not killed by the government).  His principal opponenets own televsion stations and radio stations and they are allowed to operate (he harrasses them to be sure, but they are allowed to operate uncensored). And these are opponents who ran a coup against him...they walk free and talk to anyone who will listen about whatever greivances they have.

          Where does the totalitarian business come in? He's doesn;t require a totalitarian government at all and he not only brooks dissent, he allows government subsidized airwaves to broadcast dissent by the self same people who would have killed him outright during the coup attempt had they been given the OK (and had the power to actually pull it off).

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

          by SteveP on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 02:42:03 PM PST

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