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Invisiblecarbonhoots
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Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support
    #5016313 - 12/05/05 02:45 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

The other oppostion parties boycotted the election or poll or whatever it is. This guy has faced some serious opposition, including a coup...but he keeps winning the votes.

Maybe now the opposition will say Chavez lacks democratic authority because he didn't participate in a real election.

Officials from the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush have repeatedly said they think Chavez, who has close ties to Cuba, poses a serious threat to U.S. interests.


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  -I'd rather have a frontal lobotomy than a bottle in front of me

CANADIAN CENTER FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES


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Invisiblelooner2
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: carbonhoots]
    #5016877 - 12/05/05 10:38 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Besides the fact that no where in the article do officials from Bush's adminstration even say anthing, its interesting that you chose that statement for the link. Where has Bush said Chavez is a serious threat to U.S interests? Let's not forget the absolute loony talk that has come from this paranoid schitzo's mouth over the past months.


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Invisiblebukkake
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: looner2]
    #5017015 - 12/05/05 11:32 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

looner2 said:
Let's not forget the absolute loony talk that has come from this paranoid schitzo's mouth over the past months.



Bush or Chavez?


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OfflineDivided_Sky
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: bukkake]
    #5017957 - 12/05/05 03:37 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

As I understand it a major reason for the boycott is that when Chavez party wins they are going to abolish term limits. I might just be cynical, but with a megalomaniacal guy like that a move to abolish term limits seems like the first steps to dictatorship.

Let's imagine that for whatever reason like 70% of the US public voted for Bush and the republicans in their most conservative form, and that they decided to abolish term limits. What do you think the other parties would do?


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1. "After an hour I wasn't feeling anything so I decided to take another..."
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OfflineDivided_Sky
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #5018308 - 12/05/05 05:04 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

I might add that criticism of Chavez stiffling the democratic process has not been entirely unfounded.


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1. "After an hour I wasn't feeling anything so I decided to take another..."
2. "We were feeling pretty good so we decided to smoke a few bowls..."
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InvisibleLos_Pepes
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #5018538 - 12/05/05 05:49 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

I guess they don't have a free press in BC, Canada.


Monday, December 5, 2005

Mexico is gaining momentum in Latin America

By Jerry Brewer

If appearances are not deceiving, Mexican President Vicente Fox’s dogmatic pursuit of respectability and prosperity in Latin America is slowly blossoming. This while Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may have never heard the old adage of letting sleeping dogs lie.



Fox continues to stand tall, with much resurgence apparently manifesting from the recent Summit of the Americas in Argentina, and the dog and pony show with violent protesters orchestrated by Chavez.



The verbal exchange between the two Presidents in the aftermath of the Summit set the stage, and demonstrated the contrast, for a comparison between good and evil. More than a hemispheric split in opinion, Chavez called Fox a “puppy of the (U.S.) empire.” This as Fox had criticized Chavez’s attempts to win his anti-free trade agenda and sour the attending nation’s consideration of the initiatives.



Fox announced that 29 countries supported the continuation of negotiations toward free trade, and boldly suggested that an agreement be made without five opposing countries. And Chavez reacted, not diplomatically but rather as a leftist bully attempting to humiliate anyone who opposed him.



Fox subsequently demanded an apology, and an explanation from Chavez for the disrespect demonstrated to his nation – which he did not get. This prompted both Mexico and Venezuela to recall their respective ambassadors.



Fox wasted no time with this snub by Chavez, as Mexico continued forward towards an agreement with Chile. This “strategic association accord” is to be signed in January, and it is described as an effort to bring Chile and Mexico closer together politically, culturally, and technically. Both nations are staunch supporters of free trade, and Fox proudly remarked that the deal is centered on care for the citizens of each country, plus it is a bridge “between all actors of both nations.”



During and after the Summit several Latin American presidents complained that their voices had been virtually censored. Some even complained of being unable to invite journalists to their hotels for interviews, while Chavez and Argentina’s soccer legend Diego Maradona paraded protestors prone to violence through the streets of Mar del Plata, burning U.S. flags and insulting President George W. Bush and the United States.



Their antics, as well as Fox’s proactive posture in the face of adversity, could also be related to progress last week in Nicaragua where President Enrique Bolanos forged a “regional customs union” with his counterparts from Honduras and Panama. As well, Bolanos said that once the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) becomes law next year, “we can make progress in negotiating a free trade agreement with the European Union.”



The CAFTA alliance has been signed by Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica, although the Costa Rican legislature has yet to ratify the accord.



With the exception of Mexico, the United States could survive without markets in Latin America, which account for less than six percent of U.S. trade with the world. U.S. refiners can also purchase oil from countries other than Venezuela, which supplies around seven percent of U.S. consumption.



Latin America remains vulnerable to false gods bearing gifts. Despite poverty rates that average near 50 percent, there has been little pressure for these countries to reform. Foreign assistance and loans make it easy to get by without change. However, there are no shortages of governments such as China and others that are willing to trade and deal with corrupt governments that maintain control over various markets.



This while Chavez spreads petroleum profits around Latin America to advance his cause, and aids terrorist groups such as Colombia’s guerillas.



Chile has become a first-world leader in trade and market liberalization in Latin America. With the exception of Cuba and Haiti, all Latin American countries hold competitive elections and have adopted market-oriented reforms. Mexico has had strong economic growth over the past several years, along with a significant impact along the U.S. border. President Fox highlights these issues in his discussions on migration, while making economic growth part of the larger picture.



There is no doubt that a sustained U.S. commitment is essential to Latin America’s stability and continued democratic development. However the United States must act with more strategy than by tactical response, and the strategies must include promoting stability through democratic governance, strengthening police and military capabilities, and help to open economies through the rule of law and the establishment of pro-business policies.

____________________

Jerry Brewer, the Vice President of Criminal Justice International Associates, a global risk mitigation firm headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, is also a columnist with MexiData.info. He can be reached via e-mail at Cjiaincusa@aol.com


http://www.mexidata.info/id701.html


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Invisiblecarbonhoots
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #5018578 - 12/05/05 06:00 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

As I understand it a major reason for the boycott is that when Chavez party wins they are going to abolish term limits. I might just be cynical, but with a megalomaniacal guy like that a move to abolish term limits seems like the first steps to dictatorship.




A lot of democratic countries do not have term limits.

Anyways, why would a policy initiative cause the opposition to boycott elections? If this is a step towards dictatorship, shouldn't the people have an opposition to vote for that may provide an alternative?

I mean, Chavez is going to win the election anyways. Obtensibly, that mean the people agree with his positions, mostly.

If the opposition does not like term limits, they can put that in their ploicy platform and the people can vote for it. Isn't that how democracy works?

A lack of term limits does not mean a step towards dictatorship. I'm more worried about the electronic voting machines, personally.


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  -I'd rather have a frontal lobotomy than a bottle in front of me

CANADIAN CENTER FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES


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OfflineDivided_Sky
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: carbonhoots]
    #5019164 - 12/05/05 08:05 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

They know they are going to lose, they feel Chavez's cronies are running the election boards, think there is corruption, and they don't want to legitimate the process that will give Chavez unlimited tenure.

If you don't think there is anything authoritarian about Chavez consider that they originally planned fingerprint IDs to vote, and his admiration for Fidel Castro. Consider that he rants for hours and hours on end on the state run TV, that he is paranoid of US spies trying to kill him, that his ideology is based on blaming a class of people for all the countries problems, that he is destroying the free economy, and that the masses of Venezuela have given him a gigantic blank check. There are many autocratic rulers that follow this very pattern.

If G.W. Bush did the same thing you would say it was the Fourth Reich.


--------------------
1. "After an hour I wasn't feeling anything so I decided to take another..."
2. "We were feeling pretty good so we decided to smoke a few bowls..."
3. "I had to be real quiet because my parents were asleep upstairs..."


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: carbonhoots]
    #5019615 - 12/05/05 09:45 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Chavez appears to have "widespread" support???

Click this link, then get back to us -- http://www.publiuspundit.com/?p=2000





Phred


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OfflineRedstorm
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: Phred]
    #5019740 - 12/05/05 10:14 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Wow, a blog by a Venezuelan who opposes Chavez. Why would you believe her any more than you would believe Chavez?


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Invisiblebukkake
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: carbonhoots]
    #5019867 - 12/05/05 10:38 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

carbonhoots said:
Anyways, why would a policy initiative cause the opposition to boycott elections?



Very good question. Unfortunately, the US-backed opposition parties aren't using any kind of logic or reason because they have an agenda. If Chavez's party wins the majority of seats or whatever else easily, it looks as if the brutal dictactor is at work and is rigging the elections, even though the EU and the OAS were overseeing the elections AND reported nothing wrong.

So you see where it all makes sense. Chavez's allies win everything, the opposition abstains(they were going to lose anyway, which is why they pulled out), and the authoritarian dictactor's allies with a ridiculous amount of public approval win. Democratically elected populists are wrong when they stray away from the Washington agenda.

Quote:

Why would you believe her any more than you would believe Chavez?



Or her over the 60 or 70% of approval rating Chavez has. Listening to what a woman and the other anti-Chavez Venezuelan bloggers want as opposed to what the majority want is contradictory of democracy.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: Redstorm]
    #5019927 - 12/05/05 10:51 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Other Venezuelan bloggers have reported similar shenanigans in past Venezuelan elections. But this turnout seems to be the lowest yet.

You'll note there are links to other blogs with photos.

The fingerprint ID business is well documented. The Libbies in the US are all up in arms about measures even requiring a voter to present photo ID to prove they are who they say they are. I can just imagine the howls of outrage if US voters had to supply fingerprints to vote, and that the vote was recorded -- not a secret ballot at all.

But if Chavez does it -- hey, no problem. Because he hates Bush. That attribute excuses all sins.




Phred


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: bukkake]
    #5019980 - 12/05/05 10:58 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Or her over the 60 or 70% of approval rating Chavez has.




As determined by whom? Who did those polls? What was the methodology?

Quote:

Listening to what a woman and the other anti-Chavez Venezuelan bloggers want as opposed to what the majority want is contradictory of democracy.




Even the article carbonhoots provided estimates turnout at just 25%. The link I provided says there was nowhere near that high a turnout in Caracas. That's quite the definition of "majority" you got going there.



Phred


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OfflineRedstorm
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: Phred]
    #5020053 - 12/05/05 11:10 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Well, the citizens are to blame for not voting. I fail to see how it is the fault of Chavez that they are too lazy to get off their asses.

Is it Bush's fault that about half of the American citizenry did not vote in the last election?


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: Redstorm]
    #5022028 - 12/06/05 07:23 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Well, the citizens are to blame for not voting. I fail to see how it is the fault of Chavez that they are too lazy to get off their asses.




The point I am making is that if Chavez's support is so "widespread", why are so few voting for him?

As for the citizens being to blame for not voting, I imagine Venezuelans learn self preservation techniques as quickly as the rest of the human race. I don't know about you, but I certainly wouldn't vote against Chavez knowing my vote could be tracked back to me.

Quote:

Is it Bush's fault that about half of the American citizenry did not vote in the last election?




The turnout for the last US presidential election was about 58%. That's two and a third times higher than the estimated turnout for the last Venezuelan election.


Phred


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OfflineDeepDish
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: Phred]
    #5022322 - 12/06/05 10:10 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

The point I am making is that if Chavez's support is so "widespread", why are so few voting for him?

The turnout for the last US presidential election was about 58%. That's two and a third times higher than the estimated turnout for the last Venezuelan election.

Chavez was not running in this election, therefore no one was voting for him. It was a legislative election in which the opposition decided to boycott the election. If you then consider the fact that the voters that did turn out were probably staunch Chavez supporters, since their was no opposition to vote for, you will realize your math makes no sense.

In the 2000 election, which was both presidential and parlimentary, venezuala had a turnout of 56%. Chavez won a little more than half of those votes. So 30% compared to 25% would be a little more accurate. Secondly there were probably a good number of Chavez supporters who didn't vote simply because the election was already decided before it began. Remember that it was the oppositions choice to withdraw from the election. They are as much or more to blame for the low turnout as anyone else.


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OfflineRedstorm
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: Phred]
    #5022429 - 12/06/05 11:07 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

As for the citizens being to blame for not voting, I imagine Venezuelans learn self preservation techniques as quickly as the rest of the human race. I don't know about you, but I certainly wouldn't vote against Chavez knowing my vote could be tracked back to me.




The finger-printing machines are not being used, so stop using it as part of your argument. Other than this non-existant reason, why would the citizens not vote?


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InvisibleAlex213
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: Redstorm]
    #5033477 - 12/08/05 12:31 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

I was dropped at Paradiso, the last middle-class area before barrio La Vega, which spills into a ravine as if by the force of gravity. Storms were forecast, and people were anxious, remembering the mudslides that took 20,000 lives. "Why are you here?" asked the man sitting opposite me in the packed jeep-bus that chugged up the hill. Like so many in Latin America, he appeared old, but wasn't. Without waiting for my answer, he listed why he supported President Chavez: schools, clinics, affordable food, "our constitution, our democracy" and "for the first time, the oil money is going to us." I asked him if he belonged to the MRV, Chavez's party, "No, I've never been in a political party; I can only tell you how my life has been changed, as I never dreamt."

It is raw witness like this, which I have heard over and over again in Venezuela, that smashes the one-way mirror between the west and a continent that is rising. By rising, I mean the phenomenon of millions of people stirring once again, "like lions after slumber/In unvanquishable number", wrote the poet Shelley in The Mask of Anarchy. This is not romantic; an epic is unfolding in Latin America that demands our attention beyond the stereotypes and clich?s that diminish whole societies to their degree of exploitation and expendability.

To the man in the bus, and to Beatrice whose children are being immunised and taught history, art and music for the first time, and Celedonia, in her seventies, reading and writing for the first time, and Jose whose life was saved by a doctor in the middle of the night, the first doctor he had ever seen, Hugo Chavez is neither a "firebrand" nor an "autocrat" but a humanitarian and a democrat who commands almost two thirds of the popular vote, accredited by victories in no less than nine elections. Compare that with the fifth of the British electorate that re-installed Blair, an authentic autocrat.

The social movements are now a decisive force in every Latin American country - even in the state of fear that is the Colombia of Alvaro Uribe Velez, Bush's most loyal vassal. Last month, indigenous movements marched through every one of Colombia's 32 provinces demanding an end to "an evil as great at the gun": neo-liberalism. All over Latin America, Hugo Chavez is the modern Bolivar. People admire his political imagination and his courage. Only he has had the guts to describe the United States as a source of terrorism and Bush as Senor Peligro (Mr Danger). He is very different from Fidel Castro, whom he respects. Venezuela is an extraordinarily open society with an unfettered opposition - that is rich and still powerful. On the left, there are those who oppose the state, in principle, believe its reforms have reached their limit, and want power to flow directly from the community. They say so vigorously, yet they support Chavez. A fluent young arnarchist, Marcel, showed me the clinic where the two Cuban doctors may have saved his girlfriend. (In a barter arrangement, Venezuela gives Cuba oil in exchange for doctors).

At the entrance to every barrio there is a state supermarket, where everything from staple food to washing up liquid costs 40 per cent less than in commercial stores. Despite specious accusations that the government has instituted censorship, most of the media remains violently anti-Chavez: a large part of it in the hands of Gustavo Cisneros, Latin America's Murdoch, who backed the failed attempt to depose Chavez. What is striking is the proliferation of lively community radio stations, which played a critical part in Chavez's rescue in the coup of April 2002 by calling on people to march on Caracas.

http://pilger.carlton.com/print/133517


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Offlinelonestar2004
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: carbonhoots]
    #5033833 - 12/08/05 01:58 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

http://english.eluniversal.com/2005/12/06/en_pol_art_06A641283.shtml

Chavez to stay until 2030, Venezuela


Just like Castro's Cuba... Or Kim Jong'Il's N. Korea.I guess he figured that just rigging the elections for the rest of his life, like Mugabe, was just too much work....


--------------------
America's debt problem is a "sign of leadership failure"

We have "reckless fiscal policies"

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.

Americans deserve better

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OfflineRedstorm
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: lonestar2004]
    #5033853 - 12/08/05 02:03 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Well, that is awfully concerning. If that passes, all legitimacy of the Venezuelan gov't goes right out the window.


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InvisibleAlex213
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: Redstorm]
    #5038645 - 12/09/05 11:56 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

I think feeding, sheltering, providing health care and improving the quality of life for it's population gives a government an awful lot of legitimacy.


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Offlinelonestar2004
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: Alex213]
    #5038715 - 12/09/05 12:12 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

"The new National Assembly (AN) to be inaugurated next January with total dominance of government followers will take steps for President Hugo Ch?vez to rule until 2030"

What a form of government! (a dictatorship is 'for the people') :rofl2:


--------------------
America's debt problem is a "sign of leadership failure"

We have "reckless fiscal policies"

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.

Americans deserve better

Barack Obama


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OfflineRedstorm
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: Alex213]
    #5039222 - 12/09/05 02:12 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Alex213 said:
I think feeding, sheltering, providing health care and improving the quality of life for it's population gives a government an awful lot of legitimacy.




I agree, but having your legislature increase your term limit without the consent of the citizens takes away an awfully large amount of legitimacy.


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OfflineThe_Red_Crayon
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: Redstorm]
    #5040889 - 12/09/05 08:43 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

True however Charles Degualle did this in France yet he's regarded as a hero.


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Offlinelonestar2004
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #5041122 - 12/09/05 09:50 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

and didn't Ceasar do it?


--------------------
America's debt problem is a "sign of leadership failure"

We have "reckless fiscal policies"

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.

Americans deserve better

Barack Obama


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Invisiblebukkake
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: lonestar2004]
    #5042796 - 12/10/05 04:16 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

As determined by whom? Who did those polls? What was the methodology?



I don't know. Propaganda websites like CNN, Fox News, the BBC, and CBC often run polls and those figures are the results that happen to turn up on both their broadcasts and websites.

I will believe the "Chavez ruling until 2030" when I read it on Fox News. I will acknowledge it as as complete bullshit until I see Fox News have it on the front page of their website for at least a week, which they would be sure to do if it were credible.


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InvisibleAlex213
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Re: Hugo Chavez appears to have widespread support [Re: bukkake]
    #5043558 - 12/10/05 12:26 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

I'm struggling to find any decent news sources that have run the "president till 2030" story.

Looks like there's a little going on behind the scenes:

Democracy under threat

Ch?vez will only gain from the US-backed opposition's ploy to undermine elections

Richard Gott
Tuesday December 6, 2005
The Guardian


The people of Venezuela have gone to the polls 11 times in seven years. Almost a superfluity of democracy, some might think, and signs of electoral fatigue could be detected in Sunday's elections for the National Assembly when only 30% of the electorate bothered to vote. The rest perceived the result as a foregone conclusion since in earlier elections President Hugo Ch?vez, or the candidates he backed, had stacked up substantial majorities. Sunday's poll followed the trend, and the Ch?vez list wiped the board.

This time, however, the once vocal opposition was strangely absent. Four of the small opposition parties decided to withdraw at the last minute, in a cynical manoeuvre designed to upset the hard-won stability achieved since the recall referendum in August 2004 (engineered by the opposition to try to secure the president's resignation). Handsomely won by Ch?vez with a margin of 59 to 41, the referendum was certified as free and fair by observers from the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Carter Centre, but some of the opposition parties refused to accept the result. Their rejection did little to enhance their authority or popularity and when they withdrew from Sunday's poll they knew that they faced defeat and humiliation

Their action irritated the mission sent by the OAS which believed it had negotiated a settlement over opposition complaints about the new automated voting system. The opposition then turned turtle and announced its withdrawal. It was not acting alone. In the background, at private meetings on the island of Aruba in the Dutch Antilles and in public declarations by Thomas Shannon, the US secretary of state for Latin American affairs, the opposition had been elaborating a strategy to overthrow Ch?vez. Its plan was to make people believe that "democracy in Venezuela is in grave peril", as Shannon put it to a Washington subcommittee two weeks ago.

It is indeed in peril, threatened by a tiny ragbag of opposition groups given disproportionate international influence through the support of the US. By their irresponsible electoral abstention, they hoped to undermine the credibility of the parliamentary system.

The US-backed strategy is to use apparently neutral non-governmental organisations to tell the world that the elections are not free and fair, that press freedom is under threat, and that human rights are not respected. These allegations are then exaggerated and amplified in Washington.
The complaints are nonsense. The opposition still owns most of the newspapers and television stations. The judiciary has been comprehensively reformed after the scandals of the previous decade when half the judges were found to be corrupt or incompetent. Elections have been endlessly vetted and human rights have been extended to the great mass of the people.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1658890,00.html


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