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2013 Obit: Hugo Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración

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bobad 05 Mar 13 - 05:36 PM
Bobert 05 Mar 13 - 07:16 PM
kendall 05 Mar 13 - 07:19 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 05 Mar 13 - 07:19 PM
Ed T 05 Mar 13 - 07:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Mar 13 - 07:57 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 05 Mar 13 - 08:01 PM
bobad 05 Mar 13 - 08:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Mar 13 - 08:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Mar 13 - 08:27 PM
bobad 05 Mar 13 - 08:53 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 05 Mar 13 - 09:08 PM
catspaw49 05 Mar 13 - 09:21 PM
Jack Campin 05 Mar 13 - 09:23 PM
Bill D 05 Mar 13 - 09:34 PM
bobad 05 Mar 13 - 09:38 PM
bobad 05 Mar 13 - 09:42 PM
bobad 05 Mar 13 - 09:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Mar 13 - 09:47 PM
number 6 05 Mar 13 - 09:47 PM
Ed T 05 Mar 13 - 10:04 PM
Bill D 05 Mar 13 - 10:40 PM
gnu 05 Mar 13 - 10:55 PM
Ron Davies 05 Mar 13 - 11:16 PM
EBarnacle 06 Mar 13 - 01:21 AM
akenaton 06 Mar 13 - 03:09 AM
GUEST,CS 06 Mar 13 - 04:22 AM
dbranno 06 Mar 13 - 06:06 AM
MarkS 06 Mar 13 - 08:54 AM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Mar 13 - 09:44 AM
Ron Davies 06 Mar 13 - 09:49 AM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Mar 13 - 11:49 AM
Ron Davies 06 Mar 13 - 01:02 PM
Bill D 06 Mar 13 - 01:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Mar 13 - 02:38 PM
akenaton 06 Mar 13 - 03:13 PM
Ron Davies 06 Mar 13 - 03:37 PM
Ed T 06 Mar 13 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,999 06 Mar 13 - 04:05 PM
Ed T 06 Mar 13 - 04:20 PM
Bill D 06 Mar 13 - 05:19 PM
Ron Davies 06 Mar 13 - 05:24 PM
ollaimh 06 Mar 13 - 06:50 PM
pdq 06 Mar 13 - 07:21 PM
Stringsinger 06 Mar 13 - 07:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Mar 13 - 09:29 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 06 Mar 13 - 09:43 PM
bobad 06 Mar 13 - 10:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Mar 13 - 10:13 PM
bobad 06 Mar 13 - 10:13 PM
bobad 06 Mar 13 - 10:17 PM
bobad 06 Mar 13 - 10:39 PM
Ron Davies 07 Mar 13 - 12:17 AM
akenaton 07 Mar 13 - 03:37 AM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Mar 13 - 05:05 AM
dbranno 07 Mar 13 - 06:00 AM
bobad 07 Mar 13 - 07:00 AM
Ed T 07 Mar 13 - 07:00 AM
Ed T 07 Mar 13 - 07:21 AM
bobad 07 Mar 13 - 07:40 AM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Mar 13 - 07:46 AM
akenaton 07 Mar 13 - 07:49 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 07 Mar 13 - 09:01 AM
bobad 07 Mar 13 - 09:04 AM
Bill D 07 Mar 13 - 12:20 PM
Ron Davies 07 Mar 13 - 12:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Mar 13 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,999 07 Mar 13 - 01:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Mar 13 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,999 07 Mar 13 - 02:06 PM
Bonzo3legs 07 Mar 13 - 04:32 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 07 Mar 13 - 05:57 PM
Ed T 07 Mar 13 - 06:21 PM
bobad 07 Mar 13 - 06:44 PM
Ed T 07 Mar 13 - 06:53 PM
Bill D 07 Mar 13 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,999 07 Mar 13 - 07:45 PM
pdq 07 Mar 13 - 07:49 PM
pdq 07 Mar 13 - 07:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Mar 13 - 08:36 PM
Ron Davies 07 Mar 13 - 09:52 PM
Ron Davies 07 Mar 13 - 09:55 PM
Ed T 07 Mar 13 - 09:59 PM
Bill D 07 Mar 13 - 10:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Mar 13 - 10:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Mar 13 - 10:43 PM
GUEST,999 07 Mar 13 - 10:58 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 08 Mar 13 - 01:28 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 08 Mar 13 - 01:32 AM
Bonzo3legs 08 Mar 13 - 01:40 PM
pdq 08 Mar 13 - 01:46 PM
Ed T 08 Mar 13 - 04:45 PM
Elmore 08 Mar 13 - 05:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Mar 13 - 08:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Mar 13 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,999 09 Mar 13 - 10:52 AM
Little Hawk 09 Mar 13 - 07:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Mar 13 - 09:33 PM
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akenaton 10 Mar 13 - 06:43 AM
Little Hawk 10 Mar 13 - 08:35 AM
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McGrath of Harlow 10 Mar 13 - 01:52 PM
akenaton 11 Mar 13 - 04:50 AM
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Subject: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: bobad
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 05:36 PM

Cancer fells comrade Chavez - Vice President Nicolas Maduro accuses President Hugo Chavez's enemies of poisoning him with the cancer he has been battling for nearly two years.

"Behind all of [the plots] are the enemies of the fatherland," he said on state television.


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 07:16 PM

Sniff...

He was an okay guy in lots of ways...

B`


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: kendall
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 07:19 PM

He cared more about our poor than our own government did. I buy CITGO gas whenever I can.


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 07:19 PM

Yeah, they are saying the U.S. plotted, and gave him cancer.....oh well, if you believe that, it's probably because you've been well trained to believe lying government statements....and God only knows, we've had a lot of practice here!

GfS


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ed T
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 07:38 PM

OK, he Chavez was left leaning, and not like imperialisism, and spoke out gainst some of the past USA government (Latin America area)actions of this type (as the USA had a major impact in the region in the past, that benefited USA companies and policies). But, many in the USA, on the left, have said similar things.

Is it not a time to be objective about his governing record, like him or not?

The Achievements of Hugo Chavez


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 07:57 PM

The suspicions might well be wrong. But the assumption that they are absurd is as shaky as sinilar assumptions would be about, say, the authorities in Russia in regard to Litvinenko. Or Israel, in regard to Arafat's, where similar suspicions have been raised.

Governments are capable of just about every kind of nastiness, pretty well all governments.

And in te case of Chavez it is inevitable that the history of the reported 638 assassination attempts against Fidel Cstro over the years must colour the thinking of Venezuelans.


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 08:01 PM

Bravo Kendall.

Chavez improved the lot of millions in his own country; he funded the fabulously successful el sistema youth-orchestras programme which has lured hundreds of thousands of impoverished youngsters away from drugs and crime, and he played a major role in helping Cuba survive what would otherwise have been crippling sanctions imposed by successive US admins.

He had his flaws, but definitely one of the good guys.


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: bobad
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 08:09 PM

McGrath, if you have a plausible theory of how he may have been poisoned with cancer by his enemies I, and I'm sure medical science, would love to hear it.


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 08:13 PM

Trailer about El Sistema


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 08:27 PM

I didn't say I had "a theory", or that I had any particular suspicions - I just said that it is perfectly reasonable for suspicions to be raised,just as it would be if analogous suspicions were levied at Russia.

The fact that they are in this case directed at the USA is completely irrelevant. The apparent technical problems in carrying out such an assassination are relevant, but none of us know enough to dismiss the possibility out of hand merely on those grounds.


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: bobad
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 08:53 PM

It seems that all is not rosy in the socialist paradise:

Like almost all socialist experiments, Chavez's "Bolivarian Revolution" was pointless and harmful. It has left Venezuela with a basket-case economy. Venezuela's currency, the bolivar, suffers from 20% inflation and has been devalued five times in a decade. Chavez increased economic equality by spreading the poverty around. His attempts to promote nutrition through price controls resulted in food shortages and malnutrition. He spent millions on unfinished or never started public works projects. Chavez kept Venezuela afloat by exploiting the guaranteed income from the nationalized oil industry, which accounted for over half of government revenue. Nevertheless, he ran up massive budget deficits and increased foreign debt holdings, principally by China.

Not everyone approved of Chavez's revolution, but they risked their lives if they went public with their criticism. Chavez jailed critical journalists and harassed press outlets that questioned his rule. Armies of pro-Chavez street thugs intimidated, beat and sometimes killed political opponents. A pliant, Chavez-controlled judiciary gave a rubber-stamp of legitimacy to the revolutionary repression. Workers were forbidden from organizing except in approved, state-controlled unions. Elections and referenda were rigged, and international election monitors were kicked out of the country if they tried to do their jobs too effectively.

USA Today


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 09:08 PM

"...he ran up massive budget deficits and increased foreign debt holdings, principally by China."

I wonder why that sounds so familiar, Bobad?


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 09:21 PM

Doesn't matter.....It is in the past. The new problem is he handpicked a guy to replace him that believes someone gave him cancer.......and now this nabob is in control of the country with the world's largest oil supply.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 09:23 PM

if you have a plausible theory of how he may have been poisoned with cancer by his enemies I, and I'm sure medical science, would love to hear it.

A man in the UK was convicted of murdering his wife by giving her liver cancer through deliberate aflatoxin poisoning.


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 09:34 PM

Some interesting comments here... I never thought of Chavez as "one of the good guys". He embraced many of the policies of Iran and various anti-American opinions. He operated as close to a dictator as one can be while using the perfunctory elections as cover.
It always felt to me like he used that oil 'generosity' to gain "brownie points" while undermining serious world issues.

I guess I'll read more commentary and see what the pundits say.


(and... just heard Eugene Robinson, whom I respect a lot- and who knew Chaveze, give a pretty scathing picture of Chavez' years in power.)


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: bobad
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 09:38 PM

From what I recall he had a tumour removed from the pelvic area and even though the source was never revealed speculation was that the cancer originated in the prostate, colon or some other gastrointestinal area.


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: bobad
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 09:42 PM


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: bobad
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 09:44 PM

I'm with you Bill, I've always had an aversion to autocrats who plaster oversized pictures of themselves around the country.


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 09:47 PM

By contrast isn't the capitalist system doing such a great job in countries like Greece...or Spain...or Italy...or England...


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: number 6
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 09:47 PM

"House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers: Chavez was a destabilizing force in Latin America and an obstacle to progress."

Mike Rogers can go f@$k himself.

biLL


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Subject: RE: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ed T
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 10:04 PM

""I never thought of Chavez as "one of the good guys"".

How many of those "good Guys" are remembered in the history of government leaders in Central and south America, (in comparison)?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 10:40 PM

Not sure what your point is, Ed.... do you mean just *remembered*? or remembered AS good? I can name several who will sure be 'remembered'.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: gnu
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 10:55 PM

He called Bush "The Devil" and "a donkey". I liked the guy. Not for having any more insight than any of the rest of us but for his willingness and balls to say so.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ron Davies
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 11:16 PM

No question, the US killed him. Of course.

Just like the West toppled Gaddafi to take over Libya, since Libya is just another Sudetenland. After all, a Mudcatter told us this, so it must be true.

Notice how effectively the West is now governing Libya at present.

And the US put the maid up to try to discredit that French socialist with the rich wife- wife I think had a last name of Sinclair--can't remember his name -- wasn't he with the IMF?---how soon we forget.   Entrapment by the maid and false accusations against the socialist, who is pure as the driven (well, slush anyway). And all engineered by (pick one), the CIA, DOD, FBI, any other group you'd like to finger.

Leftist theories are nothing if not imaginative.

But it would be totally unfair to reject the conspiracy theory du jour, since after all, just because it's a crackpot theory doesn't mean it didn't happen.    Mr. Chavez of course always took care of himself, got enough sleep, ate right, had no stress. exercised every day, was slim and muscled.    It couldn't possibly have been his own health problems that killed him.

By the way, do all leftist theories originate in British pubs or are they just the spiritual inspiration for them?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: EBarnacle
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 01:21 AM

And right wing theories are models of rationality?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: akenaton
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 03:09 AM

I'm cheered by the surprising attitude of most members on the contribution of Mr Chavez to his country and his people.
Perfect? no. But infinitely superior to the career politicians who govern(prey on), the electorate of most nations.

Maybe there is a little hope left for our children and grandchildren?
Ditch "democracy"........get a life!!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 04:22 AM

My knowledge of South American politics is extremely poor, perhaps in part because such countries are almost never in the news here in the UK. It'll be informative and interesting to follow the obits and commentary following Chavez's death. Hopefully I'll learn something.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: dbranno
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 06:06 AM

Venezuelan society, economics and politics have been and continue to be about much more than who is 'fearless leader'.
The link below provides an interesting viewpoint on the 'third way' of co-operation and participatory economic i.e. neither laissez faire 'free market' capitalism, nor state controlled collectivism or 'communism'; something courageous that is part of Venezuela's social contract and future planning apparently.

http://www.zcommunications.org/bringing-balance-the-proutist-alternative-by-andy-douglas#comment_container_191442


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: MarkS
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 08:54 AM

Venezuela under Chavez gave some substantial subsidies to Cuba. No one has mentioned it yet, but I wonder if these subsidies will continue after a successor to Chaves is chosen in the upcoming special election.

And what would be the effect on our region if the subsidies end?

Interesting to speculate.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 09:44 AM

No reason to think that the new government will have a different attitude to Cuba, assuming that Chavez's favoured candidate, Nicolas Maduro is elected in a month's time, which can't be assumed. They have real elections in Venezuela since Chavez came along.

After being a bus driver and underground trade union activist under the previous regime - when Trade Unions were banned (with approval from backers of the regime in North America), he spent some time in Cuba studying. So he might be good at keeping things on the road and avoiding accidents...

It will be interesting to see who gets sent to the funeral from various countries.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 09:49 AM

I never said right wing theories are models of rationality.   Please pay attention.

It's just that on Mudcat we are graced with more brilliant intellectuals on the Left than on the Right.

However just yesterday I noted how easy it is to be a moderate on Mudcat--with rabid partisans on both the Left and Right always ready to flame out.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 11:49 AM

" just because it's a crackpot theory doesn't mean it didn't happen. "

The trouble is, that actually happens to be true. Equally, just because something is plausible doesn't mean it's. true.   Evidence is what matters, not gut feelings about whether something is crackpot or plausible. Much of the time we don't have the evidence to judge either way, and should recognise we live in an uncertain world.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 01:02 PM

Sorry, the vast majority of the time what appear to be crackpot theories are exactly that.

Please be so good as to give us some actual evidence that the US caused Chavez'
death, since that is the question before us.   You need not cite Iran 1953 or something similar. We are only talking about Venezuela 2013.   And please tell us how healthy Chavez was before yesterday.   If you know nothing about his health, you have no means to make an intelligent comment.   Not that that has ever stopped any Mudcatter in the past.

Without actual evidence, this idea remains a crackpot theory.


No matter how much you may want to be "fair" by including any possibility, no matter how remote.    We still need evidence.


Otherwise the theory remains yet another self-inflicted Leftist nightmare.   It's amazing Leftists ever get any sleep.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 01:27 PM

" ....the contribution of Mr Chavez to his country and his people."

Oh indeed! And Pablo Escobar in Colombia used to pass out money and do
'good deeds' for the poor.... the money he gave them was from sales of cocaine, and those who tried to stop him were ruthlessly murdered!

Good deeds have to be considered in a larger context...
"Hello, little girl. Would you like a candy bar?"


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 02:38 PM

If I was making allegations you'd be quite right to challenge me Ron. But I'm not. I don't think either of us have enough information to know what's crackpot and what's not.

It's quite true that many theories that seem absurd are in fact false. But it is also true that many plausible explanations are false.

The case that there were WMDs in Iraq seemed to many people far more plausible than the theory that our rulers were conspiring to lie about it. It seemed reasonable enough that General Powell was right to believe the information with which he had been supplied and was transmitting in his speech to the UN. He has now said his informants misled him, which would have seemed a pretty crackpot allegation.

We shouldn't rush to judgement in either direction. We don't have the information, and it's not our job to guess.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: akenaton
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 03:13 PM

Glass half empty Bill?

Seems a strange post for you.
Mr Chavez seemed to engender a spirit of optimism and community in his people.   The nation believed him and evidently loved him, given the public grief which was on show today...and appeared genuine.

When Fidel dies I'm sure the same emotions will be observed, probably on an even larger scale.
Men like Chavez and Castro have nothing to hide, they are driven by their true socialist ideology.......people respond to honesty.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 03:37 PM

"rush to judgment"

As I recall you said something similar about Strauss-Kahn and the theory that the US had put the maid up to this accusation.

Years later, we're still waiting for you to admit you were way off base on this.   Somehow, it's not surprising.   I think it will still be a bit of a wait--you conspiracy theorist buffs never seem to get around to admitting you were wrong.

There's the little matter of evidence on the Chavez matter. Still waiting for it.

And you were going to tell us about Chavez' health history.    If you don't know about this, you can make no intelligent comment on the topic. Can't understand how it could have slipped your mind to tell us about the health history.    Couldn't possibly have been since it does not support the assassination theory. Of course not.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ed T
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 03:51 PM

Should one consider some type of consistant scale, when weighing in on one past nations leaders against another?

I say this because some of criticism that could easily be used to discredit Chavez and put him in a poor light, could just as easily be ignored or dismissed when evaluating the contributions of other less controversial leaders - those that some (including the western media) may tend to favour.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 04:05 PM

The poor of Venezuela liked him. And the poor to whom he gave heating oil a few years back (in the USA).


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ed T
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 04:20 PM

I spent two weeks in Venezuela in the late 80's and travelled to many different parts of the country. The diparity I noted at that time between the very rich and poor was very evident, and especially so in Caracas. Upscale, gated houses overlooked illegal communities made up of tin shacks with open sewers and head high electric wires strung about - all perched on the steep slopes of the sourrounding muddy hills. I suspect it was these very poor housing conditions that has improved under Chavez.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 05:19 PM

*shaking my head at those who just focus on how well a dictator can be received if he gives a few presents and 'improves' the lot of the poor from totally miserable to just sad & weary*

Of course the outpouring of emotion for him by many was genuine... that is not enough in my judgment to demonstrate his place in history as a benevolent friend of humanity.

What was the line? "Mussolini made the trains run on time."
Some were genuinely upset at HIS death also.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 05:24 PM

"conspiracy theory buffs"


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: ollaimh
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 06:50 PM

chavez and his party stopped giving their oli resources virtuall for free to american corpoations. there is very little the powerfull in america hate more than that. they has manipulated an elite class to sell out thier nations precious non renewable resources by giving only that sdmall american supporting class the benifits of the oil revenues.

i wouldn't doubt american leader would kill chavez if they got the chance, but i haven't seen any evidence of it happening. pat robertson openly advocated assination of chavez. robertson is part of the fascist religious right. they also funded the genocidal government of rios mont in guatemala, which was responsible for the murd3r of a quarter of a million natives. this for just wanting land rights. so americans can do incredibly violent things in the third world, usualyy through proxies. btw robertosn admitted his involvement with mont, but said it was a mistake. genocide is a mistake, sorry pat genoide and mass murder are crimes against humanity.

america has been the worlds greatest exporter of terrorism since vietnam(where they used widespread chemical warfare--can you say weapons of mass destruction?). of course they hate any opposition, and demonize any opposition leader. would they kill him? in a minute if they could! shesh they ignore four hundred murders on pine ridge reservation during the war on the sioux nations. murder only bothers them if its against their own.

i do hope chavez's party can continue to keep the oil benefits at home and give them to the people and not just the elite.

as to his governments economic troubles--the usa has done everything they can yto undermine the venezualian economy, just short of the hatefull embargo on cuba. and did anyone know there has been a world wide recession/depression since the war monger financial elites got cought robbing the banks and the public and the fraudulent financial syatem almost collapsed?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: pdq
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 07:21 PM

We finally have a topic that cleaves-off the extreme Leftists from the garden variety Liberals.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 07:30 PM

Watch the oil company sharks try to make a foothold in Venezuela. Watch out for U.S. decision-making on how to gain oil access there.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 09:29 PM

If you check back Ron, I never suggested that Strauss-Kahn was set up by the US. I think you are confusing me with someone else.

I suggested that if anyone had set him up it would have more likely to have been French adversaries. And of course that it was wrong to jump to any conclusions merely on the basis of headlines, which people were doing. Isn't that always true?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 09:43 PM

Seems you will clutch at any straw, Bill D, to press your prejudice.

On what basis do you call Chavez, elected and re-elected in open and fair elections, a dictator (your emphasis)? Here's a simple aide memoire which might help you avoid confusion: Pinochet (who was installed and supported by the US) was a dictator; Allende was a democrat. Or try this rule of thumb: if a head of state has US patronage, it's probably a dicator.

Chavez lifted millions out of poverty at the expense of corporate interests, the wealthy and the middle-class; the millions who previously were unable to afford three square meals a day, decent education and proper healthcare - just like millions in the US are still living their lives now. All that is indisputable. What is in dispute is whether it is OK for millions to be impoverished so that a few can be rich. You don't need to tell me where you stand on that, Bill.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: bobad
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 10:08 PM

Fernando Espuelas
Host of "The Fernando Espuelas Show" on Univision America Network

Hugo Chavez Is No Hero

Hugo Chavez is dead -- but he is no hero. Even as his supporters pour into the streets to mourn their fallen idol, the damage he caused to Venezuela is incalculable.

From an over-dependence on oil revenues, to a forced nationalization of the private economy, and a personal foreign policy of ego gratification, Chavez leaves a Venezuela in chaos, with weak institutions and an uncertain future.

History will not be kind to him. His petro-socialism was never a self-sustaining economic or social development model. Venezuela under Chavez's reign has deteriorated to the point where it must import milk. Chavez's Venezuela can no longer feed itself.

Hugo Chavez lied to the people, convincing many that his magical powers would save them from misery. There was no magic solution to resolve Venezuela's myriad social problems.

Even as he jetted across the globe with allies like Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Chavez tolerated waves of urban violence -- turning Caracas into one of the most violent cities in the world.

Among his other international adventures, Chavez supported the FARC terrorists fighting the democratically elected government of Colombia (a country also founded by Bolivar!). His attempt to play the regional leader met with widespread ridicule -- even generating the now famous royal command to "shut up" from King Juan Carlos, a normally very calm man driven to desperation by Chavez's offish behavior at a summit. Being dressed down in public by the King of Spain is an unmatched achievement in the annals of modern Ibero-American relations.

Public corruption, including the enrichment of the Chavez family, has also damaged Venezuela. Like the wounds created by the Peron regime in Argentina, the social fabric has been torn. Divide and conquer of different social sectors has been Chavez's formula for continuing as paramount leader of Venezuela.

While another key component of this formula has been the militarization of the regime, and in turn, the politicization of the armed forces. Bribed with outlandish weapons purchases and generous patronage, Chavez remade the Venezuelan military into a tool of his rule.

Chavez will go the way of many highly theatrical dictators. Once upon a time there was a statue of Francisco Franco in almost every city and town in Spain, his profile appeared on Spanish coins, and he paraded himself from the King's Balcony at Madrid's Royal Palace, resplendent banners dating from the Spanish Empire draped in front of him.

Now? Franco is seen for what he truly was -- a dictator with a megalomaniacal self-regard and a willingness to commit violence in order to stay in power. Today, no more statues, no more coins, nada. That is the fate of Hugo Chavez's place in history as well.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 10:13 PM

Well if the 'Host of "The Fernando Espuelas Show" on Univision America Network' says it there's no arguing with that...

When was it Franco got elected?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: bobad
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 10:13 PM

State Ruled by Crime and Chávez Family
SIMON ROMERO
The New York Times

BARINAS, Venezuela — Stretching over vast cattle estates at the foothills of the Andes, Barinas is known for two things: as the bastion of the family of President Hugo Chávez and as the setting for a terrifying surge in abductions, making it a contender for Latin America's most likely place to get kidnapped.

An intensifying nationwide crime wave over the past decade has pushed the kidnapping rate in Venezuela past Colombia's and Mexico's, with about 2 abductions per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the Interior Ministry.

But nowhere in Venezuela comes close in abductions to Barinas, with 7.2 kidnappings per 100,000 inhabitants, as armed gangs thrive off the disarray here while Mr. Chávez's family tightens its grip on the state. Seizures of cattle ranches and crumbling infrastructure also contribute to the sense of low-intensity chaos.

Barinas offers a unique microcosm of Mr. Chávez's rule. Many poor residents still revere the president, born here into poverty in 1954. But polarization in Barinas is growing more severe, with others chafing at his newly prosperous parents and siblings, who have governed the state since the 1990s. While Barinas is a laboratory for projects like land reform, urgent problems like violent crime go unmentioned in the many billboards here extolling the Chávez family's ascendancy.

"This is what anarchy looks like, at least the type of anarchy where the family of Chávez accumulates wealth and power as the rest of us fear for our lives," said Ángel Santamaría, 57, a cattleman in the town of Nueva Bolivia whose son, Kusto, 8, was kidnapped while walking to school in May. He was held for 29 days, until Mr. Santamaría gathered a small ransom to free him.

The governor of Barinas, Adán Chávez, the president's eldest brother and a former ambassador to Cuba, said this month that many of the kidnappings might have been a result of destabilization efforts by the opposition or so-called self-kidnappings: orchestrated abductions to reveal weaknesses among security forces, or to extort money from one's own family.

"With each day that passes," the governor said recently, "Barinas is safer than before."

Through a spokeswoman, he declined to be interviewed.

In an election last year marred by accusations of fraud, Adán Chávez succeeded his own father, Hugo de los Reyes Chávez, a former schoolteacher who had governed Barinas for a decade with the president's brother, Argenis, the former secretary of state in Barinas.

Another brother, Aníbal, is mayor of nearby Sabaneta, and another brother, Adelis, is a top banker at Banco Sofitasa, which does business with Adán's government. Yet another brother, Narciso, was put in charge of cooperation projects with Cuba. The president's cousin Asdrúbal holds a top post at the national oil company.

Politicians once loyal to the president who have broken with him and his family here contend that Mr. Chávez's family has amassed wealth and landholdings through a series of deals carried out by front men.

One opposition leader, Wilmer Azuaje, detailed to prosecutors and legislators what he said was more than $20 million in illegal gains by the family since the president's father was elected governor in 1998. But in a brief review of those claims, National Assembly, under the control of Chávez loyalists, cleared the family of charges of illicit enrichment.

"In the meantime, while the family wraps itself in the rhetoric of socialism, we are descending into a neo-capitalist chaos where all that matters is money," said Alberto Santelíz, the publisher of La Prensa, a small opposition newspaper.

One reason for the rise in kidnappings is the injection of oil money into the local economy, with some families reaping quick fortunes because of ties to large infrastructure projects.

A new soccer stadium, built under the supervision of Adelis Chávez's at a cost of more than $50 million, is still unfinished two years after its first game in 2007, joining other white elephants dotting Barinas's landscape. Nearby lies the unfinished Museum of the Plains, intended to celebrate the culture of the president's birthplace. A sprawling shopping mall stands half-completed after its backers fled a shakedown by construction unions.

More than a decade into the Chávez family's rule in Barinas, the state remains Venezuela's poorest, with average monthly household income of about $800, according to the National Statistics Institute. Kidnapping, once feared only by the wealthy, has spread in Barinas to include the poor. In one case this year of a 3-year-old girl kidnapped in the slum of Mi Jardín, the abductor, when told that the only thing of value owned by the girl's mother was a refrigerator, instructed her to sell it to pay the ransom.

Kidnapping specialists here said the abductors were drawn from two Colombian rebel groups, a small Venezuelan guerrilla faction called the Bolivarian Liberation Front, other criminal gangs and corrupt police officers. Just a fraction of the kidnappings result in prison sentences.

"With impunity rampant in Barinas, how can our governor say with a straight face that people are kidnapping themselves?" asked Lucy Montoya, 38, a hardware store owner whose sister, Doris, a 41-year-old mother of three, was kidnapped in March.

Doris Montoya's abductors have not freed her or communicated with her family since receiving ransom money in May, Lucy Montoya said, adding, "The government's handling of this crisis is an affront to our dignity as human beings."

Meanwhile, new figures show kidnappings climbing to 454 known cases in the first six months of 2009, including about 66 in Barinas, compared with a nationwide 2008 estimate of between 537 and 612. But officials acknowledge that the true figures are probably higher because many cases are never reported.

Here in Barinas, victims seethe over the inaction of the president and his family. "Our ruling dynasty is effectively telling us we are expendable," said Rodolfo Peńa, 38, a businessman who was abducted here last year. "The only other plausible theory," he said, "is that they are too inebriated by power to notice the emergency at their feet."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: bobad
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 10:17 PM

Hugo Chávez revolution mired by claims of corruption
Rory Carroll        
The Guardian

Wilmer Azuaje was a young firebrand when he joined Hugo Chávez's revolution a decade ago to topple Venezuela's corrupt ruling class. He was elected to the national assembly and worked with the president's family to turn their home state of Barinas, a rural backwater of cattle ranches, into a laboratory of change.

Azuaje was inspired by Chávez's promise to sweep away a history of graft and patronage which had stunted an oil-driven economy. "I believed in the process of reform," said Azuaje.

Not anymore. The baby-faced protege, once a rising star in the ruling party, has now become the Chávez family's most outspoken foe. "They turned out to be the most corrupt ever. They betrayed us."

Azuaje has blown the whistle on what he claims is a kleptocratic dynasty in Barinas where farms, businesses, banks and government contracts have been pocketed by the president's parents and five brothers.

The allegations come amid wider complaints that the revolutionary socialist movement known as "chavismo" has been hijacked by money-driven opportunists inside, or close to, the government.

Nationalisations, the creation of new state enterprises and a maze of price and currency controls have spawned well-connected millionaires nicknamed Boligarchs, after the independence hero revered by Chávez, Simón Bolívar .

Murky state finances meanwhile have put Venezuela 162nd, alongside Angola and Congo, out of 180 countries in Transparency International's corruption perceptions index.

Chávez appears to have recognised the wheel has turned: that the cry against corruption which helped bring him to power in 1998 will be used against his candidates in September's legislative elections. "This party has to tighten the moral belt," he said in December last year.

The charismatic leader remains popular with many of the poor for spending oil revenues on social programmes but with the economy shrinking and widespread electricity and water shortages the perception of sleaze could tip the balance against his PSUV party. Some 64% think corruption has worsened and regard things to be generally going badly, according to a recent poll.

For Chávez it is especially galling that Barinas, the family fiefdom and revolution showcase, is now cited for corruption, nepotism and misrule. Critics have a list of grievances and accusations which make the state's administration sound like a soap opera.

Chávez's father ruled as governor for a decade until handing over to the president's brother, Adán, in an election marred by fraud allegations. Other brothers are also thriving: Aníbal is mayor of nearby Sabaneta; Adelis is a top banker at Banco Sofitasa, which enjoys government contracts; Argenis wields enormous clout as a political fixer; Narciso is reportedly planning his own election run.

Members of what is dubbed the "royal family" travel in convoys of 4x4s. The president's once-matronly mother, Elena, has had a makeover with plastic surgery, designer clothes, bling jewellery and a poodle named Coqui.

It is alleged the family bought thousands of hectares of farmland through proxies, including a former labourer, Nestor Izarra, who is named as the owner of one estate, La Malagueńa. The family has denied any wrongdoing.

The cost of a football stadium built under Adelis Chávez's supervision ballooned to $93m (Ł60m) and remains unfinished three years after hosting its first game. A Venezuelan-Cuban sugarcane project has been mired in a $1.5m embezzlement scam. The state government uses emergency decrees for public works which bypass open tender requirement and allegedly reward cronies.

Crime, notably kidnapping, has exploded, with even the middle class and poor falling prey to gangs which brazenly abduct victims from roads, shopping malls and universities. You are four times likelier to be kidnapped in Barinas than Colombia or Mexico.

"The courts have collapsed, there are backlogs for everything," said Pedro Pablo González, a lawyer and political activist. "There are not enough investigators, prosecutors or police, it's a mess." He recently led a 19-day 500km protest walk to the capital, Caracas.

Many local "chavistas" have defected to the opposition. "Really, it became too much," said Lorenzo Saturno, a legislator who quit the ruling party. "Corruption is out of control and the Chávez family has total impunity."

Loyalists say that is a smear which overlooks new roads, houses, schools and employment projects dotting Barinas's plains and dusty towns. Why else would voters keep the Chávez family in power, said Miguel Angel León, president of the regional legislative council. "This is a happy, dynamic state. The football stadium, for instance, is about to be finished. But a few protesters are able to manipulate the media to make Barinas look bad," he told the Guardian.

Other loyalists say the president proved his anti-corruption credentials during a banking scandal last December when he purged a senior minister, Jesse Chacón, and businessmen with ties to the government. "We are demonstrating that there are no untouchables here," Chávez said at the time.

Sceptics said the shakeup owed more to a feud between rival ruling factions than a crackdown on sleaze. And that the fate of whistleblowers showed there were indeed untouchables.

Luis Tascón, an ultra-chavista legislator, was expelled from the ruling party and called a traitor after accusing senior officials of corruption.

Azuaje (left), the Barinas firebrand, has had a torrid time since delivering to the national assembly a package of pictures, deeds and documents which he said proved the Chávez family amassed an illicit $20m fortune. The government-controlled assembly dismissed the claims after a brief inquiry.

The 33-year-old legislator said he then reaped a whirlwind: shots fired at his home; a brother killed; his mother and wife fired from state jobs. The latest alleged reprisal: a criminal charge that he abused and struck a policewoman.

The national assembly recently lifted Azuaje's immunity as a lawmaker, an unusual step, after which he was handcuffed and briefly detained. The supreme court also barred him from publicly discussing the charges. It is unclear if he will be able to run in September's election. "This is about revenge, clear as day. Chávez has not forgiven me for accusing his family," he said.

Amnesty International said the government was using the judiciary to persecute Azuaje and other opponents. "Charges brought for political reasons against critics are being used to silence dissent and prevent others from speaking out," the watchdog claimed last week.

Chávez supporters claimed that was unfair. People suspected of crime were being brought to book, as simple as that, wrote Eva Golinger, editor of the state-backed newspaper Correo del Orinoco International.

"Ideology is not an exemption from criminality. After a lengthy period of impunity in Venezuela, the judicial system is finally beginning to risk imposing the law, at whatever cost."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: bobad
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 10:39 PM

"Well if the 'Host of "The Fernando Espuelas Show" on Univision America Network' says it there's no arguing with that..."

Belittling the messenger and not addressing the substance of what he says......very weak for someone of your stature.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ron Davies
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 12:17 AM

"merely on the basis on headlines".    Hey, no problem.    How about somebody leaping to the conclusion that the US murdered Chavez because one of his allies says he was done in by "enemies"?

Gee, I'm still patiently waiting for you to show you have any knowledge whatsoever of Chavez' health prior to yesterday. Wonder why you still haven't gotten around to addressing this---since it is in fact the crux of the problem.


Look, it boils down to the difference between theory and rumor. Without any evidence, an allegation is a rumor.

There are allegations that Churchill withdrew ships shepherding the "Lusitania" so that it would be sunk, and the loss of American life would bring the US into World War I right then--1915.   I have looked into this.   There is no evidence to support it. So it is no more than a rumor.

I could cite other outlandish assertions for which the same is true.

Quite a few posters left of center need learn the difference between theory and rumor.   Otherwise they appear weak-minded or prisoners of their own paranoia.

To reject rumor does not mean you are "rushing to judgment". It means you can think--and are willing to do so.

So it's time for anybody who wants to elevate the "US murdered Chavez" idea from rumor to theory to come up with some actual evidence.

Now.

Otherwise they seem rather pathetically gullible.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: akenaton
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 03:37 AM

Put the kettle on!.....Bobad is off on one of his cut and paste expeditions.......carefully mining the opinions of so called experts all with their individual axes to grind.

This forum is at its most useful when illustrating the opinions of members supported by facts.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 05:05 AM

How about somebody leaping to the conclusion that the US murdered Chavez because one of his allies says he was done in by "enemies"?

That would indeed be foolish. You seem to be under the impression that I have done that.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: dbranno
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 06:00 AM

Billy is on... milk and sugar?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: bobad
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 07:00 AM

"Put the kettle on!.....Bobad is off on one of his cut and paste expeditions.......carefully mining the opinions of so called experts all with their individual axes to grind."

Unlike the resident armchair socialists with their own axes to grind once again duped by another typically corrupt dictator because he hands out candies to the poor.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ed T
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 07:00 AM

"Some 64% think corruption has worsened and regard things to be generally going badly, according to a recent poll"

Kinda a "sketchy" poll statement?

If one took a poll in most western countries over the past few years, I suspect many would respond that "things to be generally going badly" Corruption in a South America country - (that's hardly worth reporting on). Let's not forget that broad change in corruption, at the level it was in Venezuala's past (long before Chevez) would be difficult for anyone to turn around quickly.


One should also not forget that Chvez has been seriously ill for some time, and who knows how well government has been managed when a domanant leader is absent.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ed T
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 07:21 AM

From this report, it seems that Chevez was on the right course, with the right intent-but faced unforseen problems (I suspect from inside the coumntry, and encouraged from outside).

When I reviewed some of the items raised, in measuring the deficiencies, I considered whether similar things have happened or is happening in regimes in other countries, especially western countries and south American nations. I found that not all, but some of the items are similar, such as packing legal bodies (Supreme Court) with those supportative of government policies and attempts to curtail strikes in essential industries.

Again, is it reasonable to measure Chavez against a higher scale than other leaders in similar situations - a scale that others also don't mmeasure up to?

Chavez and Human rights


full report


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: bobad
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 07:40 AM

And this just in from the other glorious leader: N Korea threatens US with nuclear attack

"North Korea has vowed to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the US, hours ahead of a UN vote on whether to level new sanctions against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear test."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 07:46 AM

I wouldn't hold my breath about that.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: akenaton
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 07:49 AM

Naw....cant be right!....there's only been one nuclear strike, pre-emptive or otherwise, but its been so long since it happened that i just can't remember who did it.

Oh just a threat?.....well they all do that...don't they.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 09:01 AM

Much of that anti-Chavez rhetoric spewing out of the States is fuelled by his warm relations with Iran. Not warm enough in my view, because he never supported Iran's aspiration to develop nuclear weapons.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: bobad
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 09:04 AM

Human Rights Watch report on Venezuela released two days ago:

Venezuela: Chávez's Authoritarian Legacy

" Hugo Chávez's presidency (1999-2013) was characterized by a dramatic concentration of power and open disregard for basic human rights guarantees."

But he did cut a dashing figure with his red beret and phony socialist rhetoric, did he not?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 12:20 PM

Well Peter K ... while I am quite aware that Chavez was elected, I am also aware that his continued 'elections' were pretty well manipulated. A dictator is usually identified and defined by how thoroughly he controls the machinery of his country, not by whether he pleases a certain % while doing it. Chavez ...whatever YOU wish to call him, was smarter than many who get continued control of a country, and realized that superficial benevolence would get him further than the outright iron fist of those like Pinochet. Dictators are not a simple definition... they come in many forms along a continuum...and we can differ as to the point where the appropriate noun changes from "clever politician" to "strong man" to "dictator".

As to my "prejudice". I always thought prejudice was a blind adherence to one point of view based on personal attitudes, with resistance to any other point of view. I can read those accounts of folks who praise him...(see various links above) and I can also find accounts of those who can see beyond his 'oil charity'. If he had stayed healthy, I would not have been surprised to see him become another Castro: in power for many years, but with oil billions to soothe complaints.

I have an opinion, after watching him for several years. Why should I not just characterize YOUR opinion as prejudice?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ron Davies
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 12:43 PM

OK.   Sure is interesting that despite being asked several times for some actual evidence that the US murdered Chavez, those who want to consider this possibility have come up with precisely zilch.

One might think they indeed have no such evidence.

They don't even show any knowledge of Chavez' health prior to this month--despite being asked for that also.

So, as I said, the assassination idea is nothing more than a rumor. But leftists seem to feel that unless you consider that every crackpot rumor might be true, you are not being fair. As I pointed out, rejection of rumor means that you can think--and are willing to do so. A rare quality in leftists, it seems.

Please let us know when you have some actual evidence.    It seems clear the idea is, bluntly, no more than yet another example of leftist paranoia.

As I noted earlier, it's amazing, with so many self-inflicted nightmares, that leftists get any sleep at night.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 01:14 PM

There is no need to produce evidence for something that you are not asserting.

Keeping an open mind is not the same as making an accusation.   It's no more rational to rule out the accusation made by the acting President of Venezuela than it would be to assume that it is justified.   Inevitably we make estimates of what feels more likely to us
- mine would be that Chavez died of natural causes - but these are just subjective guesses, and we shouldn't treat them as certainty.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 01:19 PM

1) Chavez died from complications cause by cancer. He's had it for a long time--anyway from before June, 2011.

2) I am still waiting for someone to give me the working definition of liberal (presumably a name interchangeable with leftist) that keeps getting strewn around for some reason or other.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 01:42 PM

f liberal (presumably a name interchangeable with leftist)

Not in most countries. With a big L it can mean just about anything, but generally a party on the centre or right. With a small l it would mean someone with moderate views, which can of course mean different things in different countries.

This seems to be one of those "only in America" things.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 02:06 PM

Thank you, McG of H.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 04:32 PM

Good riddance - rumour has it that he was shagging Alicia Castro, the former Argentine ambassador to Venezuela and current ambassador to the UK!!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 05:57 PM

What, Bill D, do you know about Venezuelan elections that was overlooked by international observers, including Jimmy Carter, who regularly judged them open and fair? Or was "manipulated" just your own unprejudiced assumption?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ed T
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 06:21 PM

The president of Brazil, (2003 through 2010) on Chavez


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: bobad
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 06:44 PM

NY Times Op-Ed piece by Rory Carroll on Chavez's legacy.

PeterK, if you Google "Chavez rigged elections" the resulting links should keep you occupied for a couple of days but, of course, it's all propaganda.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ed T
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 06:53 PM

Hear it yourself, rather than others:


Larry King interviews Chavez 2009


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 07:37 PM

Peter K... I know similar things to what bobad linked to.. (thanks, bobad)

From that link:"The endless debate about whether Mr. Chávez was a dictator or democrat — he was in fact a hybrid, an elected autocrat.."
Perhaps I should have chosen 'autocrat' rather than suggesting 'dictator'.

Carter's decision that the elections were open & fair does not preclude them being manipulated to look that way. Carefully spreading money among the poor can get you elected, with no strife or complaints.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 07:45 PM

"Carefully spreading money among the poor can get you elected, with no strife or complaints."

Governments would do well to remember that.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: pdq
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 07:49 PM

It sounds too slick to really be from Stalin, but somebody said: "It's not who votes that counts. It's who counts the votes."

Chavez boys counted the votes.

After the recall election of 2004 total was announced, it was said that "Jimmy Carter said nothing and left".


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: pdq
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 07:58 PM

BTW, he was just like Yasser Arafat.

Both wanted to be leaders and do good.

Arafat did real good. $700 million in Swiss bank accounts.

Hugo Chavez did even gooder. $2 billion in foreign banks.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 08:36 PM

, he was just like Yasser Arafat.

Are you going back to those suggestions of foul play, pd?

Why not say $10 billion while you're about it? Don't be so stingy.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ron Davies
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 09:52 PM

"keep an open mind" for the US assassination of Chavez.

Whatever you say.

So leftists really are incapable of distingishing between rumor and theory. That's interesting.

Please do us a favor and don't try to write any books on history.   It's hard enough to figure out what happened without absurd mixing of rumor and theory, let alone fact.

And still we wait patiently for information from our brilliant friends left of center on Chavez' health in the past--which might possibly be germane to the topic.    If they do not comply, I will provide information on Mr. Chavez' health history.

What's interesting is that it seems they don't even really have a good grasp of the English language.

"Rush to judgment" almost always has to do with rushing to find something negative without due consideration, especially assuming guilt. It does not have to do with assuming innocence.    In fact I seem to recall that the presumption of innocence may possibly be asssociated with a legal code in the US, and, who knows, perhaps in the UK.

At least a bit of evidence is required before losing the presumption of innocence.

So, yet again, where is the evidence that the US murdered Chavez?   Surely the intellectual giants who grace Mudcat can come up; with something. beyond dark mumblings, a skill which they certainly have mastered.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ron Davies
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 09:55 PM

"come up with something beyond"


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ed T
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 09:59 PM

When I look at the media reports on Chavez and the money it is said he amassed, the common source is the USA based Criminal Justice International Associates (CJIA). When I check out the site, it seems "sketchy" not specializing in this type of information, and seems like it may be a one man show, (Jerry Brewer, a former cop who heads up a risk assessment and global analysis firm). I could not even finfd the information referred to in the media sites on this companies site?.

- not at alll the type of "reliable source' I would trust on on a matter like this one. Could we be dealing with disinformation, an old art?

CRIMINAL JUSTICE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATES


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 10:21 PM

Yeah.. it does look like Jerry Brewer's main interest is hyping his own credentials, doesn't it? It doesn't say he's wrong, but it does behoove us to look for corroborating sources.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 10:43 PM

The presumption of innocence is not relevant. It is fundamental that it should operate in all trials, and it is desperately sad that has been inverted into a presumption of guilt in so many quasi-legal proceedings in recent years.

But it is a principle that applies in relation to trials, it does not mean that investigations should not be possible unless there is clear evidence of guilt in advance.

As I said, I think it is most likely that Chavez died of natural causes. But I do not think it is possible at this stage to be certain that the suspicions aired by people who know far more about the circumstances than any of us are wrong.

A rush to judgement can just as easily involve prematurely rejecting suspicions as prematurely accepting them.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 10:43 PM

The presumption of innocence is not relevant. It is fundamental that it should operate in all trials, and it is desperately sad that has been inverted into a presumption of guilt in so many quasi-legal proceedings in recent years.

But it is a principle that applies in relation to trials, it does not mean that investigations should not be possible unless there is clear evidence of guilt in advance.

As I said, I think it is most likely that Chavez died of natural causes. But I do not think it is possible at this stage to be certain that the suspicions aired by people who know far more about the circumstances than any of us are wrong.

A rush to judgement can just as easily involve prematurely rejecting suspicions as prematurely accepting them.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 10:58 PM

"Surely the intellectual giants who grace Mudcat can come up; with something. beyond dark mumblings, a skill which they certainly have mastered."

If you have such disdain for people here, why do you post?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 01:28 AM

999: "2) I am still waiting for someone to give me the working definition of liberal (presumably a name interchangeable with leftist) that keeps getting strewn around for some reason or other."

I usually call them "so-called liberals", because 'liberal' is the furthest thing from them. I find the modern day 'so-called liberals' some of the most close minded, pedantic whiners, hating, name calling spoiled little immature brats, living in a delusion of utopia around the corner, that the world has seen in centuries..if ever!!!! It's gotten so bad, that Conservatives look more liberal!!!!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 01:32 AM

Oh yeah..I almost forgot..."Obit: Chavez Dead"
By next week, Americans will be more preoccupied with Kim Kardasian's new Botox lips, and Taylor Swift's new song about her last boyfriend!

GfS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 01:40 PM

Like Cristina Kirshner in Argentina, Chavez almost certainly bribed the less well of to vote for him!!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: pdq
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 01:46 PM

Before the 2004 recall election, polls showed he would lose by over 70%.

He won with about 58%.

He could have made that 99+% like good ol' Saddam Husein did, but he knew that he had to make it seem reasonable. People were watching, you see.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Ed T
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 04:45 PM

Venezuela, as with many South American countries, has always ranked high on the corruption scale, hardly something to blame on Chavez. However, while Chavez made progress on increasing the lot of the poor, corruption in government and business remains at a crisis level. Anyone travelling or doing business in that nation has always to build lots of "bribe money" into costs to keep things moving smoothly. It is likely a hard place for residents to get by, unless you are rich or connected.

It is nice to see the good outlook in Chili and Uraguay. How does your country rate?


Corruption map


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Elmore
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 05:23 PM

BREAKING NEWS> chavez still dead.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 08:26 PM

Properly speaking the opposite of liberal isn't conservative, it's illiberal. It's perfectly possible for someone to be a liberal conservative, just as its possible for people anywhere along the left right spectrum to be illiberal.

No one in most countries would use a term like small l liberal as a hostile label. In fact even people whose beliefs and practices are extremely illiberal will be likely to adopt the label. And in it's way that is not a bad thing, since it puts at least some limit on nakedly illiberal ideology.

The way it is used in the USA is worrying. It must surely tend to take that limit away, and make it harder for liberal conservatives to speak out. It's a distortion of language which feeds into a distortion of politics.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 09:55 PM

This letter from today's guardian is interesting as provides a few facts about Venezuela's economic situation that put into question some of the assertions being peddled about it being in a desperate state:

• In September 2012, the IMF estimated Venezuela's fiscal deficit at 7.4% of GDP and its interest payments at 3% of export earnings. Venezuela's "swollen" public sector is actually around 18.4% of the workforce, lower than in most European countries; and Venezuela ended 2012 with GDP growth of 5.5% and an inflation rate of 19.9%, which although high, is a significant reduction from 27.2% in 2010, not to mention its peak of 103.2% in 1996, prior to Chávez's first presidency. Indeed as Mark Weisbrot reported in this newspaper (Report, 4 March): "As for Venezuela's public debt … a better measure is the burden of the foreign part of this debt, which in 2012 was about 1% of GDP, or 4.1% of Venezuela's export earnings."

From the perspective of crisis-ridden Britain, where austerity is clearly not working, Venezuela's economy is robust in comparison. Chávez leaves a Venezuela in control of its sovereign oil wealth, committed and determined to build a society geared to meeting people's needs, rather than lining the pockets of the few.
Sam McGill
Editor, vivavenezuela.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 10:52 AM

"The way it [the term, liberal] is used in the USA is worrying. It must surely tend to take that limit away, and make it harder for liberal conservatives to speak out. It's a distortion of language which feeds into a distortion of politics."

You have put into words what I have been unable to. Many thanks, McG of H.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 07:04 PM

Here's an article in today's Toronto Star about the passing of Mr Chavez:

By:Tony BurmanSpecial to the Star, Published on Sat Mar 09 2013

Millions of euphoric Venezuelans poured onto the streets, happily celebrating the end of a regime that grabbed much of the nation's oil wealth for itself, pillaged the treasury and doomed most of the population to extreme poverty. But that wasn't this week in Caracas, of course, after the death of Hugo Chavez. That was in December 1998, in towns and cities throughout Venezuela, when Chavez was first elected president. We need to remember the past to better assess the future, and we can be certain that most Latin Americans do.

The legacy of Latin America's most dominant leader since Fidel Castro will undoubtedly reverberate beyond the borders of Venezuela. His death comes at a time when Cuba's post-Castro era is finally in sight and when several progressive South American governments — fiercely independent of overbearing American influence — are gaining in popularity. In the tortured history of modern Latin America, where elites have freely cashed in their national sovereignty for personal enrichment, we may be witnessing a historic new chapter and, perhaps, a new start with its meddlesome American neighbours.

To many outside of Venezuela, largely fuelled by a hostile American media, Hugo Chavez was a clown and a buffoon. To others, he was deservedly criticized for tolerating mismanagement and corruption, and for trying to intimidate his political opponents. By any measure, his years in power were flawed and chaotic.

But that is not the complete story, and most Venezuelans do not forget that. When Chavez was elected in 1998, his government replaced decades of corrupt and greedy rule by political and business elites — openly supported by the United States — who squandered the nation's wealth.

During his years as president, millions of Venezuelans received health care for the first time. Extreme poverty was reduced by 70 per cent and access to public education increased dramatically. Illiteracy has virtually been eradicated. Above all, the vast Venezuelan majority, marginalized and ignored by governments in past decades, assumed a dignity and pride of place that had been unheard of in the modern Latin American political culture.

Since September 2001, the United States has virtually ignored the region, and the Latin American response has been eye-opening. The populist approach by Chavez, which challenged conventional political and economic thinking, has been contagious.

This is the one region that did not respond to the 2008 global recession with across-the-board austerity. Instead, several governments expanded public services, reduced poverty and inequality, and nationalized key industries. The result has been strong economies and a string of popular governments that have actually been reelected.

Apart from Chavez, who won last October's presidential election in Venezuela with an 11 per cent margin, the latest example of this is Rafael Correa, reelected last month as Ecuador's president with 57 per cent of the vote. Last year, Latin America's first indigenous president, Evo Morales, was elected in Bolivia and, in 2009, Dilma Rousseff was voted in as president of Brazil.

The distinction of Latin America in today's global political context is that it is far more independent of the United States than other regions, such as Europe or — dare I say — Canada. And that is a staggering irony given its history in the past century of being a virtual vassal, or doormat, of the U.S.

I made my first visit to South America in the mid-1970s, travelling by bus for more than a year from one country to another. Virtually all of them were military governments, supported by the United States, and most were very dismissive of any semblance of human rights. The most notorious example during that period was Chile, led then by Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

I recall so many people remarking to me that the Canadian government, above all, was promoting a foreign policy that was independent of the United States. As we try to assess the legacy of Chavez, it is striking to realize that, since that period, Latin America and Canada seem to have switched places.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 09:33 PM

Thanks appreciated, and returned, 999.

I think if we heard about a country where a word closely allied to "liberal", "moderate", was used as a term of abuse in the same way, I think we would take this as a clear indication there was something seriously amiss in that country's political and social life.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 10:08 PM

One of the problems with liberal & conservative in the US is that the system doesn't easily allow for other terms and designations... as if everyone must cram into one or the other.
We really need a multi-party setup, so Tea Partiers can have their own splinter group and let Republicans...well... be something else. But the electoral college design and various primary routines... plus the media... are constructed so as to keep the status quo.

I know...there are 'other' parties, but all one can do is ruin an election for one of the big two.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: akenaton
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 06:43 AM

"The System" rules. You can call yourselves anything you like, just don't dare question the system.

If a real socialist movement were to emerge in the US or UK all your prized human rights would vanish overnight.

The beast would be exposed for what it is!

End of story.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 08:35 AM

Here's another article about Chavez's revolution:

50 Truths about Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution

One thing you can be sure of about 99% of the time...if the USA mass media are in the habit of reviling, demonizing, and ridiculing any Latin American leader, it is because he is helping the poor people in his country...and frustrating the efforts of the American big business community and the international bankers to exploit his country for their own profit and keep the poor people down in wretched poverty, without education, without medical care, and without hope.

If so....then he's a deadly enemy of American big business and multinational corporations, and you can expect a CIA-sponsored coup or an invasion at some point to bring his government down. (Such a coup was attempted once on Chavez, but the attempt failed.)

Fortunately for Latin Americans, the USA has been so disastrously embroiled in the Middle East for the last couple of decades that progressive movements in Latin America have managed to make much headway recently. The great Anglo-American Empire simply doesn't have the financial or military resources to completely dominate politics everywhere all at the same time, though it would certainly like to. Empires fail when their reach finally exceeds their grasp.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: dbranno
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 10:54 AM

Thank you L.H. I guess one's point of view depends on context.
Most posters here seem to be in the Americas, some pommies of course, 'Anglo-American' being a useful guide to the prevalent memes that provide the philosophical bases of the busy contributors here.
The view from the other side of the world however, is quite different.
Perhaps the patriots here, Ron, Bobad et al, could do some investigative research on the inequalities of their own country and its leadership?
And wishing the people of the sovereign state of Venezuela every success in managing their own destiny (and of course their large reserves of very high-grade oil), free of outside interference by big brother appointees...

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/08/where-is-americas-hugo-chavez/


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 01:52 PM

The party system is one thing, the language used is another. There's no particular confusion while you're using party labels .- I mean, nobody thinks that because someone is sounding of against Democrats they are necessarily against democracy, and attacking the Republicans doesn't automatically imply they want to bring back a hereditary monarchy.

But denouncing small l liberals and liberalism is something different. It's taking a word that any decent person, right across the political spectrum, should see as positive and turning it into an attack word. As I pointed out, anyone who is actually opposed to liberals is by definition illiberal. To adopt a term sometimes used in British politics as something t avoid, it is defining yourself as belonging to the "nasty party".


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: akenaton
Date: 11 Mar 13 - 04:50 AM

The problem mr McGrath, is that many of the most illiberal people on this board would define themselves as liberals.

The examples of immigration controls and the place of homosexuality in society are controvercial issues with vadid arguments for and against.....however, some "liberals" apear to be on a mission to enforce their agenda and no alternative veiwpoint is tolerated.

These people seem to think that by hiding behind the notion of "equality" in a system that is patently based on inequality, anything is permissable and should not be questioned,


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Mar 13 - 09:04 AM

I am sure all kinds of illiberal people would describe themselves as liberal. As Oscar Wilde said of hypocrisy, it's a kind of homage paid to virtue.

The point is, it is best used as a general term across the political spectrum, like moderate, or pragmatic, or even kind. You can have a liberal conservative or a liberal socialist, or a liberal anarchist for that matter. They aren't going to agree on much, but they are at least committed to behaving towards each other in a civilised manner.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 11 Mar 13 - 02:46 PM

Like Castro, Chavez has been villified by capitalists who see then as a threat to the corporate gravy train! Such ideas as keeping oil revenues at home to benefit the people of the country certainly made him a villan! He was democratically elected and re-elected replacing a much more corrupt regime! If he himself was so corrupt he certainly could have gained much more personal wealth taking oil company bribes than by sending those bastards packing, so go figure.........
Steve Harper has managed to embarrass Canadians once again by shitting on the sympathy card that he sent to the people of Venezuala on our behalf!
RIP Hugo!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: gnu
Date: 11 Mar 13 - 03:15 PM

Indeed, Sandy. I was appalled at some of the sentiments in statements of US politicians but OURS? I was more than appalled. I've got half mind to write a god damned letter.*

* Most know I will say... Canuck joke, eh. Apologies to That Canadian Guy.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Chavez Dead - Viva la Conspiración
From: meself
Date: 11 Mar 13 - 03:22 PM

Meanwhile, Chretien - who kept us out of Iraq, when Steve wanted us in - attended the funeral ....


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