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Old 10-21-2007, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Your mind
2,924 posts, read 4,774,650 times
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What are your thoughts on Hugo Chavez? Is he an evil dictator, an authoritarian thug, a noble Bolivarian reformer? Personally I don't care for him (probably a crooked and power-hungry politician) but the fears of many seem to be overblown. THougts
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Old 10-21-2007, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Boise
4,425 posts, read 5,599,666 times
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by american standars I think he's a big dictator.. and I don't personally think he is acting in the best interest of his countrymen... but americans didnt elect him or allow him to power.. so.. if thats what they want in a leader.. they have a right to him... I believe that every country has a responsibility to itself to rise up against their own government if they do not like what is going on.. I find it remarkable that many republicans agree with this notion, yet support wars of imposing it at a cost to american tax payers...
If america can have a revolutionary war.. and a civil war.. so too can every other nation.. we don't need to be involved.. we can only control what we do and how we approach things..

just for thought...Imagine if the European union, Canada, and australia decided to wage a war against us because of our treatment of minorities, and allowing the death penalty in our society? There are lines where there need to be respect for a culture and what it chooses to foster within it... America seems to be ok with crossing those lines single handedly.. which makes us no better than rogue nations doing such things...
Its like fighting at school... both people fighting have a responsibility for being wrong for fighting.. no matter who started it... we just need to learn that lesson....
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Old 10-21-2007, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,193 posts, read 25,886,678 times
Reputation: 3930
I have a great article about Chavez. I'll try to find it and share it here.

I'll wait until then to comment fully.
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Old 10-21-2007, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
3,715 posts, read 8,985,908 times
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HC is not a true dictator, because he was recently re-elected by a fairly high margin in an election that had several other candidates from many other parties. The election results were generally found to be fair, and there were independent observers from other countries and NGOs. HC reminds me a bit of Putin in Russia, who also won re-election a few years back and has also been consolidating his presidential power and clamping down on opponents. The big difference is that Putin has not embraced "socialism" as the cure-all for issues. Putin loves that big dough oil money rolling in, but he is not doing a lot to make it "trickle down to the masses" like HC says he wants to do.

Since his re-election, HC has been taking on the role of a more authoritarian president by having congress grant more executive power and i believe they have something in progress to abolish presidential term limits. That of course would give HC the possiblity of holding on to power for a long time. If oil prices stay high, and they probably will, HC has said that it will take him until about 2020 to accomplish the main things on his agenda for socialism. That's obviously a hint he plans to drive the boat for quite a long time, maybe emulating his best friend Fidel for the past 48 years. We all heard he declined to renew the TV broadcast license of RCTV, the biggest independent TV station in the country. HC will be able to keep buying influence and friends in Venezuela as long as the oil money is flowing in so he can spread the money around. That's basically his version of socialism for VZ.
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Old 10-21-2007, 04:08 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 29,877,262 times
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Hugo is not perfect. Nobody could run Venezuela and be perfect. There are a lot of problems that don't want to be solved. But he has been so much better for the Venezuelan people than was the Oligarchy that for three decades preceded him (and regularly plots against him still), it is no wonder that the people, given a free voice, vote for him over and over and over again. Internationally, he is ambitious. Some for himself, some for Venezuela, and some for the still so-called non-aligned nations. This is sometimes irritating, but it is still a good thing overall. The Third World needs a voice, it needs an agenda, and it needs ways to think about itself positively against the hulking shadows of the US (particularly lately) and the North in general. Chavez gives them some semblance of that. What the US should do (and should have done long ago) is work with him. There is plenty of common ground to get together over. But we behave like reactionaries who are afraid to catch the cooties of socialism, and so throw our weight behind the brutal oppressors of the ousted Oligarchy. People are watching. They are talking about it. We just plain aren't doing ourselves any favors by following the current policy...
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Old 10-21-2007, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Your mind
2,924 posts, read 4,774,650 times
Reputation: 600
I've wanted to like Hugo Chavez before but there seems to be a lot of shady aspects of his presidency and too much consolidation of power, sort of like a left-wing hyper-GWB (although without the millitary aggression)... so I can't like him that much, it would be hypocritical.

EDIT: Also, the fact that he buddies up with Amadenijad, a theocrat who seemingly goes against Chavez's most egalitarian socialist "principles," apparently because of the "enemy of enemy is friend" phenomenon, makes me like him less as well, although it isn't really much worse (once again) than Bush and the Saudis, you know... Bottom line he's a politician. If any of our most powerful politicians in America took power in Venezuela they would in all likelihood use the opportunities to consolidate power the same as he has.

Last edited by fishmonger; 10-21-2007 at 05:17 PM..
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Old 10-21-2007, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Denton, TX
133 posts, read 512,384 times
Reputation: 100
I haven't read enough about him to know specific details and such, but I don't think he's half as bad as some people make him out to be (I certainly don't want him assassinated, that's for sure). I think he really wants to better Venezuela, and he has made staggering steps forward for the country. He wants to combat the poverty, illness, and illiteracy of the nation, and the economy has improved a lot since 2003 (unemployment rates have gone down and the oil production risen). Like I said before, I don't know enough about him to back my opinions of him up with too many specifics, but I do think putting the effort in to improve the country.
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Old 10-21-2007, 05:03 PM
 
6 posts, read 12,286 times
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He's Definitely EVIL...... I can't believe people like Cindy Sheehan took a pic with him and condones this ....
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Old 10-21-2007, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
1,765 posts, read 6,818,844 times
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He's a little bug. You know the kind that are ALWAYS around and only upset or bother someone when it is pointed out.

He's best ignored. I sure wish we could just stop importing oil from his country (or anything else) for about six months to a year and enforce a blockade to keep him from selling it to anyone else. Then we'd be rid of him.

As long as the big three (US, China and India) need his energy, he'll be in the news. Otherwise he'd be just another insignificant tin-pot yahoo.
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Old 10-21-2007, 06:09 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 29,877,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caution View Post
As long as the big three (US, China and India) need his energy, he'll be in the news. Otherwise he'd be just another insignificant tin-pot yahoo.
Aw, yer just jealous cuz Venezuela has a better President than we do...
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