Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2007 01:51 am
Venezuela Tries To Create Its Own Kind of Socialism
Chávez Taps Oil Wealth in Effort to Build System That Favors 'Human Necessities'

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/05/AR2007080501483.html

-----------------------------------------------

Interview With Minister of Planning and Development Jorge Giordani

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/06/AR2007080600018_2.html
0 Replies
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2007 08:23 pm
http://bp2.blogger.com/_nH5E6mclu3o/RrUH6dM-TpI/AAAAAAAAAe4/lnfSJNnXkJk/s400/book+mule.jpg

They pack up the mules and head to the remote areas of the country bringing books to the kids and adults. James Ingram of the BBC accompanies one such trek and recounts his experience in his piece Venezula's four-legged mobile libraries.

http://www.bookpatrol.net/
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2007 08:54 pm
Does the U.S. media ever do such things?
0 Replies
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2007 09:07 pm
I don't know but that would be cool. I don't know if the mule likes it.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2007 09:07 pm
Hah! It's a friggin mule! They don't like anything.
0 Replies
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2007 10:08 pm
Hey, thats what the article said.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2007 10:09 pm
Really?
0 Replies
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2007 10:17 pm
It was in the other book mule article I read.

But there is this:


"The book mules are becoming cyber mules and cine mules" as well as they now pack a laptop and a projector to take advantage of the limited mobile phone signal that is now available in these remote areas .
0 Replies
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Aug, 2007 10:20 pm
bibliomulas (book mules)

"Bibilomu-u-u-u-las," they shouted as the bags of books were unstrapped. They dived in eagerly, keen to grab the best titles and within minutes were being read to by Christina and Juana, two of the project leaders.

"Spreading the joy of reading is our main aim," Christina Vieras told me.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Nov, 2007 07:20 pm
Quote:
Venezuela Fact of the Day

Bradford Plumer
1 July 2007

Mark Weisbrot and Luis Sandoval of CEPR argue that the Venezuelan economy is actually doing rather well, and poverty has decreased dramatically under Hugo Chávez. I don't really have any opinion on this--I just thought that this bit was unexpected:

    [Venezuela's] private sector has grown faster than the public sector over the last 8 years and therefore the private sector is a bigger share of the economy in 2007 than it was before President Chavez took office.
Who knew?
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Nov, 2007 08:20 pm
I didn't visited this thread lately, because I thought Venezuela was out of the radar.

The National Assembly approved today a referendum for a new Constitution, which would institutionalize the "Bolivarian Revolution".

This is the content of some of the new articles:

-The presidential mandate goes to 7 years, with indefinite reelection.
-The President can decree, at any moment, a "State of Exception", which "will be prolongued as long as the causes that motivated it persist". During it, the State can detain citizens without presenting charges and impose press censorship.
-The Supreme Court will not be able to pronounce itself about the constitutionality of any "State of Exception" decree.
-The President can administer, at his discression, all international reserves.
-The government controls the Central Bank, which would lose its autonomy.
-The President will name the Governor of the Federal District, thus preventing the people of Caracas -the opposition's stronghold- from their right to elect their local authority.
-New municipalities, states and federal cities will be created; in all of them, "the national power will designate the respective authorities".

---

I don't give a damn about Chavez being anti-Bush and many decent people in the world being also anti-Bush.
BUT THIS IS, CLEARLY, A PATH TO DICTATORSHIP. (Or rather, to make an existing dictatorship institutionalized, legal, and "demanded by the People").

---

This being said, I must add that pro-Chavez propaganda sickens me and that, even if we assume that the Venezuelan data is correct, also in China "the private sector grows faster than the public sector". Big deal: that doesn't make the Chinese rulers an example for the future or anything of the sort.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Nov, 2007 08:32 pm
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/149/370084630_20333e50d6_o.jpg

Doesn't it have a ("cute, tropical") Maoist flavor-stench?
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Nov, 2007 10:37 pm
Mao look-alike for sure!
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Nov, 2007 11:05 pm
fbaezer,

Thanks for the compact and informative summary. While I agree that this is indeed the prescription for a dictatorship, it will also enable fat Hugo to rather quickly consume the natural wealth of Venezuela in non-productive give-aways aimed at expanding and sustaining his political power. If history is precedent, the economic stagnation and collapse will proceed faster than the growth of his power. He will be self-limiting. The enduring victims will be the people of Venezuela.

Who will pay the price for the eventual restoration of and political freedom in Venezuela. Indeed who will pay for Cuba? I certainly hope it will not be the United States. We should keep our hands off and have as little to do with both as possible. Following the rather obvious lessons of the awful 20th century, it is quite remarkable that these shopworn lies could ever again be sold to any people at least remotely connected with the modern world. Doesn't speak well for the political maturity of Venezuelans. If they can't find the will to overthrow the tyrant, they and their children will pay the price.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Nov, 2007 09:01 am
georgeob1 wrote:
fbaezer,

Thanks for the compact and informative summary. While I agree that this is indeed the prescription for a dictatorship, it will also enable fat Hugo to rather quickly consume the natural wealth of Venezuela in non-productive give-aways aimed at expanding and sustaining his political power. If history is precedent, the economic stagnation and collapse will proceed faster than the growth of his power. He will be self-limiting. The enduring victims will be the people of Venezuela.


Whatever comes to pass, the only problem you see is that the US hasn't had a chance to get its grubby little fingers in the mix. How come you never complain about all the dictators that the US has/had supported. What of the "poor" people then? You're such an incredible hypocrite, George.


georgeob1 wrote:

Who will pay the price for the eventual restoration of and political freedom in Venezuela. Indeed who will pay for Cuba? I certainly hope it will not be the United States. We should keep our hands off and have as little to do with both as possible. Following the rather obvious lessons of the awful 20th century, it is quite remarkable that these shopworn lies could ever again be sold to any people at least remotely connected with the modern world.


Absolutely! Keep your hands off and your nose out of other countries' affairs. The track record of the USA is abysmal. It's just been steal the riches, line our pockets and allow the persecution of millions.


georgeob1 wrote:

Doesn't speak well for the political maturity of Venezuelans. If they can't find the will to overthrow the tyrant, they and their children will pay the price.


Isn't this a laugh! And what of your political maturity and the other 54 odd million, George. You're paying the price now and so will generations to come.

Ya set your gums to flappin' before you engage your brain.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Nov, 2007 09:20 am
hi fbaezer, nice to see you as always.

Thanks for the update. Not a good turn of events but it's been apparent for a while that Chavez would likely move in the formally dictatorial direction.

I don't think I'll bother addressing george's remarks because, as JTT points out, the US track record vis a vis dictators (often with substantially worse civil/human rights situations) is driven by self interest rather than any sincere concern for the local citizens.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Nov, 2007 12:04 pm
I'm not at all surprised by JTT's venom and lack of understanding - it is entirely in keeping with his usual posts and the principal features that make them so eminently ignorable. However Blatham's somewhat lukewarm endorsement does get my attention. We usually disagree about such matters but there is usually a more intelligible context for it.

The U.S, did indeed support numerous authoritarian regimes during the Cold War, and did so principally in the context of a struggle for their future between the West and the Communist/Socialist world. This was a protracted and potentially very dangerous world-wide confrontation that was happily resolved without a general conflagration.

Among the authoritarian regimes we supported was the government of South Korea. It is interesting to compare its subsequent evolution to that of its neighbor and deadly antagonist in the North. This is a good indicator of the relative merits of the antagonists in that struggle. Another example of U.S. support for an authoritarian regime is in Chile. Again a comparison with the polar alternative, Cuba, offers some good insights about the underlying character of our influence, compared to the revolutionary alternatives.

Not all of our efforts yielded such good results, and our motives in many were often decidedly mixed with fairly raw elements of our self-interest. However, there is nothing at all either unusual or remarkable in this. Nearly all nations do the same where their important self-interest is concerned. Certainly all of our European Allies have done the same - and very often in pursuit of far "rawer" goals of self interest, particularly with their former colonies and zones of influence in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. In several cases with good long-term results (compare Malaysia today with Myanmar/Burma to see a good example of British influence).

It would be interesting to learn of an analogous historical situation in which a great power, seriously challenged by deadly rivals, did not exert similar influence and interference in the affairs of others in situations where its important interests were at stake. I believe there are none to be found. Where does that leave your implied criticism?

Finally, I should note that today we are not confronted with an expansionist rival who seeks to damage us through the imposition of authoritarian regimes in (say) Venezuela. Thus in these circumstances we have no interest in intervening. The recent trajectory of the Chavez tyranny in Venezuela was amply predictable (and accurately predicted) soon after he took power. Only the left-wing loonies predicted good things from this socialist authoritarian thug. Soon enough they will find a way to blame us for the misfortunes that will inevitably fall on the people of Venezuela, and agitate for our aid to mitigate their situation. Will this not be a form of intervention? What will rationalize that?
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Nov, 2007 04:09 pm
Quote:
Finally, I should note that today we are not confronted with an expansionist rival who seeks to damage us through the imposition of authoritarian regimes in (say) Venezuela. Thus in these circumstances we have no interest in intervening.

Not necessarily so. All that needs to arise is some perceived interest in a local resource or circumstance. The history of the United Fruit Company in Central America, for example, had nothing to do with stopping the spread of communism but rather with profits of a company which had family and business connections high in the politicial and intelligence power structure of the US.
Quote:
Soon enough they will find a way to blame us for the misfortunes that will inevitably fall on the people of Venezuela, and agitate for our aid to mitigate their situation. Will this not be a form of intervention? What will rationalize that?

Why even bring up the 'people of Venezuela', george? When an empire moves, the indigenous 'people' it moves over are often the least important element in the equation, if they are considered at all.

If you wish to make an argument justifying acts of self-interest, that's one thing. But to piggyback it on top of some pretense to compassion is merely propagandist.

As Greenspan finally fessed up, Iraq was about the oil. 100,000 dead and god knows how many maimed...for the oil. "Spreading freedom" was the pretense.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Nov, 2007 04:51 pm
It this Venezuela Watch or Bad Old American Imperialism in Latin America Watch?

So let's talk about the Venezuelan People.

Former Chavez Defense Minister, General Raúl Baduel, said today that if the Constitutional reforms pass the referendum on December 2nd, "a Coup d'Estat would be accomplished... leading the people as sheep to the slaughterhouse".
The former Chávez confidant, who had a key role supporting him in 2002 considers it is "a regressive reform... that takes power away from the people."

Meanwhile Chavez, in a mass meeting, criticised the "weakness" of his Minister of the Interior, Pedro Carreño, for authorizing antichavista demostrations by students.
"Are we going to let that the children of the tycoons come and burn Bolivar Avenue (the protesters burned a palm tree)? They don't even cover their faces! Where is the DIM (Military Intelligence Bureau)? Where is the DISIP (political police?)? Do I have to go out myself and grab them?", said Chávez.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Nov, 2007 04:56 pm
"Are we going to let that the children of the tycoons come and burn Bolivar Avenue? They don't even cover their faces! Where is the Military Intelligence Bureau? Where is the political police?? Do I have to go out myself and grab them?"

Yes, the voice of democracy... a New Hope...
0 Replies
 
 

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