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Tuesday, January 24, 2006



washingtonpost.com - Central America - Chavez Stokes Confrontation Over U.S. Role in Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela -- After the rumble of tanks died down and the last soldier high-stepped past the spectators' pavilion, President Hugo Chavez told the thousands attending Venezuela's Independence Day parade July 5 that no invading army could match the fighting force that had just marched by,...
[Via PubSub: Venezuela ]

Posted by Alfredo at 11:50:37 AM  What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

How the right wingers help Chavez...

Yesterday I commented on an article at the The Devil's Excrement about how McCain [had] joins[ed] Chavez's name calling. The intention of my comment was to counteract the barrage of inane right wing sounding comments that tend to permeate any discussion of venezuelan politics that is not inundated with inane left wing sounding comments. Basically the jest of my comment is that being anti-war or anti-Buish does not make you pro-Chavez. Deeply, I was hinting at the topic in the title of this article. I really have no problem that someone has right wing ideas, my problem is how they have permeated and hurt the opposition in Venezuela, making it a left-vs-right issue, but more about that later, got a story to tell.

What happened next was expected. A new barrage of inane right wing sounding comments demanding that I explain this pretty self explanatory statement:
Bush has contributed to put america in danger by furthering its dependancy on foreign oil and alienating the countries that produce it.
Since I was prepared for that to happen, I decided to leave only one more comment there and not answer any of the dribble that ensued. I left a link to this great script about How Conservatives Argue. But later on I checked on the comments again to find this:
I don't agree with you on this statement, Alfredo: Bush has contributed to put america in danger by furthering its dependancy on foreign oil and alienating the countries that produce it. I have been talking to petroleum institute people and they don't think the dependency problem is based on anything Bush does. They think it's special interest groups across the US - greenies, eco-wackos, nimbys - all of them acting like little medieval fiefdoms, hypocritically demanding cheap oil but screaming bloody murder any time an oil company wants to drill, or worse yet, build a hated refinery. And a new nuclear power plant? Forget it. They will all scream bloody murder and make it impossible to do. Nothing new has been drilled in the US for a long time, it's all off limits due to these nimbys and enviromentalists. Leftwing activists have got to start taking responsibility for their refusal to allow any drilling in the US. Right now the only place a lot of drilling is going on is the western gulf of mexico, which is hurricane country. That's why there isn't enough oil. The spotlight has got to be turned to these eco-wackos who are empowering hugo chavez.
This I had to answer, since I couldn't do it there, I decided to bring the discussion here, where it doesn't belong and get some much needed google juice out of the hassle.

The first thing that struck me about the response it that it came from Publius Pundit whom I considered one of the most thoughtful commenter in that site. The second thing is that it look like a typical "chavista" argument. Here is what would have been my from-the-guts-answer:
You mean to tell me that after 5 years in power, poor Georgie can't do what he wants? They won't let him govern as he wishes? I wonder why the chavistas haven't used that argument... Oh... Wait... Scratch that, they have.

You mean to tell me you really see no relation whatsoever between a war in the middle east, billions of tax payer money spent on Iraq, the deficit, the state of the economy, and the price of oil? If Chavez could claim such independence in such related fields he could... Oh... wait... he has.

Your sources arguments are weaker than Chavez blaming the Viaducto failure on "40 years of false democracy".
But really, the small point of this piece is that the political line is a circle and all extremist use the same type of arguments. It is pointless to counter them. But sometimes you have to 'cause the stakes got raised.

Venezuela has a tiny group of truly right wing believers (as it has a tiny group of truly left wing believers), but somehow we are much more afraid of right wingers than of left wingers. Here in the south the left wingers are cruel but romantic, while the right wingers are cruel and efficient (witness the events of April 12). Thus, we are more afraid of "a Pinochet" than we are of Chavez. This is also the reason why Chavez has been so slow in reform, he doesn't want to frighten us. If he nationalized something big (e.g. CANTV, the banking system) he may upset the delicate balance that keeps him in power. He would upset the dialectics of left-vs-right (as my intellectual wife would say). Hence, Chavez needs a right wing in the opposition to claim that all the opposition is right wing and frighten us, the people in the middle, the real mayority. At least so that we don't participate. At most so that we support him in order to curl the right wing threat. The best thing a right winger could do, to help Venezuela, is, really, shut up. Most Venezuelans do not want a US marines invasion, most Venezuelans believe the influence of the US in the region is negative, most Venezuelans prefer Chavez to a right wing dictator. Deal with it. Let the opposition be intelligent and allow them to conduct the politics they need to win. Allow them to critique Bush, to talk against the war, and to participate in the Social Forum. It would be good if some of the participants there hear about the real Venezuela...
Posted by Alfredo at 10:01:44 AM Google It! What do you think? ( Thoughts) Who linked? []   

© Copyleft 2006 Alfredo Octavio.


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