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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chavez Tightens Grip

From ABC News

Hat Tip Once upon A Time in the West

Venezuela's oldest private television station was pushed off the air as President Hugo Chavez's government replaced the popular opposition-aligned network with a new state-funded channel on Monday.

Radio Caracas Television shut down just before midnight Sunday as its broadcast license expired. Chavez refused to renew its license, accusing the channel of "subversive" activities.

The new channel, TVES, launched its transmissions with artists singing pro-Chavez music, then carried an exercise program and a talk show, interspersed with government ads proclaiming, "Now Venezuela belongs to everyone."

Thousands of government supporters reveled in the streets as they watched the changeover on large TV screens, seeing RCTV's signal go black and then be replaced by a TVES logo featuring Venezuela's national colors. Others launched fireworks and danced to the classic salsa tune "Todo tiene su final" "Everything Has Its End."

In the countdown to the midnight deadline, thousands of RCTV backers banged pots in protest and played recordings of sirens. Some fired gunshots into the air.

Earlier Sunday, police broke up an opposition protest using a water cannon and tear gas and later clashed with protesters who set afire trash heaps in affluent eastern Caracas. Police said some protesters fired shots, and others threw rocks and bottles. Police said 11 officers were injured.

Inside the studios of RCTV the sole opposition-aligned TV station with nationwide reach disheartened actors and comedians wept and embraced in the final minutes on the air.

They bowed their heads in prayer, and presenter Nelson Bustamante declared: "Long live Venezuela! We will return soon."

Chavez says he is democratizing the airwaves by turning the network's signal over to public use. His opponents condemned the move as an assault on free speech.

Germany, which holds the European Union presidency, expressed concern that Venezuela let RCTV's license expire "without holding an open competition for the successor license." It said the EU expects that Venezuela will uphold freedom of speech and "support pluralism."

Founded in 1953, RCTV had broadcast talk shows, sports, soap operas and a popular comedy program that poked fun at presidents including Chavez for decades. It had some 3,000 employees, including 200 journalists.

RCTV was regularly the top channel in viewer ratings, but Chavez accused the network of "poisoning" Venezuelans with programming that promotes capitalism, violating broadcast laws and other infractions.

The government promises TVES will be more diverse, buying 70 percent of its content from independent Venezuelan producers. It will carry sports, news and an educational program for children emphasizing socialist values, as well as foreign-made programs such as National Geographic documentaries.

"We've come here to start a new television with the true face of the people, the face that was hidden, the face that they didn't allow us to show," said Roman Chalbaud, a pro-Chavez filmmaker appointed by the government to TVES' board of directors.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing about a certain coup in this report. I doubt whether the US government would tolerate a TV station that behaved as RCTV did in April 2002.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Forensic morsels said...

Yes I know it doesnt mention the coup and I 'm aware that things in Venezuela are pretty polarised right now but I still feel quite uneasy about this. I was quite sympathetic to Chavez at the start but the way he has continued to act makes me very wary. He's becoming awfully autoritarian, taking more from Castro than from Allende.

As I'm something of a "Euston" leftist, I find it very hard to support a regime which has some admirable economic policies but whose domestic behaviour and grasp on international relations is somewhat reprehensible.

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allende actually closed quite a number of Chilean newspapers, and enjoyed less of a democratic mandate than Chavez, winning only a plurality of the vote rather than a majority in elections whose validity was accepted even by the opposition (last December's). Chavez is almost pathetically liberal compared to his nextdoor neighbour Uribe, whose reign has coincided with the displacement of one million people, and the murder of 400 trade unionists. The right tends to see democracy and property rights as synnonymous, so measures like land reform and nationalisation of factories are attacks on democracy for them. They've been preicting gulags, Al Qaeda bases and the mass murder of Jews for years, and these things haven't transpired.

If you're a Eustonite, then you should get to grips with the fact that the glorious war to bring social democracy to Iraq has involved the retention of the 1987 Baathist Labor Law and the creation of a decree which freezes all union assets. Together with attacks on unions and progressive groups by pro-US and reactionary anti-US forces, these things make the building of a legal left in the country almost impossible. Not quote what Eustonites like Hitchens and Cohen had in mind when they backed the war in 2003.

12:12 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

"Nothing about a certain coup in this report. I doubt whether the US government would tolerate a TV station that behaved as RCTV did in April 2002. "

So I take the fact that you ignore reports of using tear gas against the protesters anonymous?

2:54 AM  
Blogger Just my opinion said...

All over todays major London Daily papers there are stories and photos of Chavez and his police force beating protestors who are opposed to him closing down that "opposition" tv network. Chavez is also trying to fulfil his detiny for Venezuela including removing the barrier for him to not run for another term and to prolong his ability to pass any law he chooses without parliamentary barriers.

Hate to say it kids, but me and Trev were right all along with this. Anybody who failed to see this from day one must feel pretty foolish.

4:58 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

Let's not forget about Chavez's masters in the Kremlin too. Reports from protesters suggest that neo-Nazis and the Russian police are even working together to crush dissent.

How is it not surprising that CHavez would follow in the footsteps of his masters in the Kremlin to do similar totalitarian tactics?

5:14 AM  
Blogger Berend de Boer said...

If you see pictures like this you start to understand a little why socialists like Hitler and Lenin could get into power. People rejoicing because a television station is forced to shut down and believing all the crap is this dictator. We can see the familiar playing out all again and again and again.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Forensic morsels said...

Hey anon, I've read a lot of Hitchens and Cohen's stuff but I was fundamentally opposed to the war myself and still see the occupation as largely illegitimate.

What I object to currently is any support by some supposedly left wing people for groups that have illiberal trends because of their short term useful positions (anti-imperialist etc.)or a positive program in limited political areas. Chavez's actions while in many ways economically positive and interesting in trying to forment an independent LA foreign policy , have become increasingly worrying as regards the rule of law and free speech.

This TV debate is very murky but his changing the constitution and his demands that the parties in his coalition amalgamate is dangerously authoritarian.

Both Amnesty and Human Rights watch, not the most right wing of organisations have criticised this trend and I tend to agree with them.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hot air fergus. The people on this board slagging Chavez also thought Allende and the Sandanistas were red tyrants who deserved to be overthrown by force. The United Socialist Party may actually be a step forward, if it allows factions, runs primaries, and makes the leaders accountable to the grassroots. No one's obliged to join. The constitution was drawn up by a constituent assembly, approved in a referendum, and can be altered by parliament. Removal of the two term limit is not the same as dictatorial rule. And if people don't want Chavez, they can always vote him out. Even the opposition, let alone the OAS and the EU judged last December's elections free and fair. For someone on the left, the key thing to watch is the relationship between Chavez and the unions and other popular movements. If he tries to incorporate these bodies into the stste, then he must be reissted. But so far that hasn't happened. The UNT (National Organisation of Workers) if fiercely independent of the government and in many cases critical of it (eg over the too-close ties with Iran you criticise). The revolution is not just about Chavez.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Glad to see Fergus, from the liberal left, is uneasy about Chavez. Easy to see why the totalitarian boot-licker anon doesn't dare to sign his name.

12:35 PM  
Blogger mah29001 said...


Do you think it's okay that all the pro-Chavez parties should be involved in one conglomorate political force with very little opposition? With your attitude on being such an apologist for Chavez, one can only imagine what sort of society Venezuela would be subverted into. As for Allende, there are documents that expose Allende to be a KGB asset, along with also the Sandinistas who work closely with Fidel Castro, Kim Jong-Il, Gaddafi and also now Vladimir Putin.

You think it's okay that Latin America gets to be Sovietized into one major gulag? Nearly 200 million innocent people died under Communism in China, over 150 million in Russia and its blocs and countless of lives have been lost under the regimes Chavez is friendly toward such as Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

You really, really, really want Venezuela and the rest of Latin America to end up as a socialist gulag?

2:31 PM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

If nearly 350 million people died because of Communism in Russia, China and their blocs, Communism I fear is going to destroy the lives of over 750 million innocent people in Latin America with the way things are going with Chavez and his mini-mes. That's the 200 from Communist China and 150 from Russia combined is what I fear would happen.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whinge away all you want, but Venezuelans voted overwhelmingly for Chavez, just as Bolivians voted for Morales and Ecuadorians for Correa. Latin American shave decided that twenty years of neo-liberal policies have brought nothing positive, and have rejected them at the ballot box. No sign of a gulag or a one party state yet. If you're such a fan of democracy them I suggest you respect these results. There are 118 newspapers in Venezuela, and they're all privately owned; 81 TV stations, and 79 of them privately owned. The vast majority of both hostile to Chavez. Hardly North Korea. If you want to address human rights cocnerns in Latin America, then focus on the shocking record of the Colombian government, as exposed by Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, and call for an end to the funneling of $700 million to the Uribe regime every year by the US. Much of that money goes straight to death squads and narcoterrorists.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whinge all you want. it dont alter the fact there are some sexy Conchitas amongst the rabble.


4:41 PM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

Please Anonymous, stop mouthing off this propaganda. Chavez is very friendly toward FARC, a Communist orientated terrorist group causing mayhem and destruction along with some of those "right-wing" Columbian based terror groups also listed as a terrorist group to be described by law.

Anyone who doesn't know who is funding, arming and trianing FARC which provokes these "right-wing" terror groups to come out of the woodworks to fight those other bastards is really naive. FARC praised Chavez and his ever growing tyrannical regime, and reports have also stated that FARC operatives have been seen in Ecuador where Chavez mini-me Rafael Correa has done similar tyrannical moves Chavez has, such as ousting various opposition law makers unconstitutionally I might add.

What you anonymous are promoting is propaganda straight from state-run/Cuban Communist controlled organs from Fidel Castro's Cuba such as the Granma or the Prestina Latina that often ignores anything that is negative about their boys in Latin America and guess what, these organs are as not a major surprise are linked to the Communist Party of Cuba.

So what you really are exposed in doing anonymous is promoting lies from the propaganda mill of Communist Cuba into stating how "grand" the likes of Hugo Chavez, the protege of Fidel Castro is going to be, at the same time, Castro is cummy with members of the global Dictators' Club with such examples such as Robert Mugabe to name one who also came in the same way his buddy Chavez did with the ZANU-PF which has continued to be the sole political party of Zimbabwe to this day.

Do you justify Chavez to have all of the pro-Chavez parties be like that? Have opposition brutally crushed and jailed? Send Venezeulans a packing like what's going on with Zimbabweans into South Africa and elsewhere around the world? You simply do not just care about that do you? All this makes you is an accessory to the tyranny of Chavez into justifying his terrible reign.

Say, Chavez's buddies in Vietnam recently had an "election" with over 90 percent of the votes supporting the Communist candidates at the same time, everything is government controlled just what Chavez and his boys are doing in Venezuela.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not necessary to turn to Granma to prove that free speech and democracy exist in Venezuela.

I think it's notable that Teodoro Petkoff, the leading anti-Chavez intellectual in Venezuela and a candidate in the Pres elections last year, said in an interview with the anti-Chavez website Harry's Place that he could operate with complete freedom.

I also think the fact that the opposition in Ecuador and Venezuela conceded defeat in the last two elections (the Pres election last December in Venezuela; the referendum on a constituent assembly in Ecuador)
suggests that the elections were free and fair. The endorsement of the OAS and EU also counts for something.

The situation is completely different in Vietnam, where elections are a sham and the media is repressed.

Here's some advice, mah: give it five years and see if Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador have turned into a cross between Stain's Russia and Hitler's Germany. If they remain countries where the likes of Petkoff can write and agitate their politics, then you might want to rethink your assumption that each and every form of left-wing politics leads inevitable to red tyranny and genocide.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Have opposition brutally crushed and jailed?'

be good to get the names of these thousands of political prisoners of Chavez.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, please appreciate that Mah suffers "fanatics' fantasy". The chief symptom is the "inventing" of things - like "Have opposition brutally crushed and jailed...."

In its acute stage there is notable rage and over-frequent resort to fulminations thus - "Now stop this foul propaganda ! - Stop it ! - 'Certainly' shut it ! - You are a bully !".

Unhappily, the condition is not uncommon. In the main it is seen in those of this mindset: "I think, therefore it is...."

I'm only in my third year at med school but I can tell you that in some quarters it is known as "The Chickenhawk Syndrome".

Interesting, isn't it.....?

11:52 PM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

"be good to get the names of these thousands of political prisoners of Chavez."

These are average Venezuelans that want their popular radio station back. But I think to you anonymous and you Steve, the fanatical pro-Chavista who has the gall to attack anyone that happens to support Zionism who disagrees with him to be a "fascist" while he supports Chavez shutting down this privately owned station.

How about Chavez taking control of the steel industry, have all Venezuelans drive the only sort of cars Chavez wants them to? Is that a good thing? How about Chavez's friendliness toward Robert Mugabe, the Marxist dictator of Zimbabwe? Do you find it quite fitting for Chavez to be so close to Mugabe at the same time Mugabe brutally crushes his opposition? How about his mentor who is the Communist dictator of Cuba-Fidel Castro?

Gee, why on Earth would people come to the conclusion that Venezuela is heading the way of Cuba and Zimbabwe combined? Perhaps it's the lack of how Chavez fails to distance himself from these two brutal dictators?

And you Steve, you are the only one who is fanatical, as you always seem to see America to be the "Great Satan" and attack its leaders, while you wouldn't mind supporting the likes of Chavez and his totalitarian trends.

"Interesting, isn't it.....?"

Isn't it interesting you always seem to defend the likes of someone like Chavez, but attack America, Zionists like me at every angle and ignore any horrible reports from those you support? Yea, to you Steve, it's quite alright for you to support someone like Chavez who is embraced by Fidel Castro along with also the likes of Robert Mugabe. At the same time, you love to bully the likes of me because I happen to be a Zionist.

Tell me Steve, do you give a damn about the brutality that happen in the lynching of Ramallah where the "dreadful" Israeli Defense Force soldiers were taken in as prisoners and were jailed by the PLO-linked militias, only to later have radicalized Palestinians storm the jail and beat the soldiers to death? You know Steve, those same soldiers you decry to be very "oppressive" against the Palestinians while you shy away from the sort of radicalism the Palestinians are being brainwashed to which a Zionist like me is concern of the horrible child abuse going on while you still call me a "holocaust Nazi" and a "fascist" for being concern of the right for the Palestinian child to live the life as an Israeli Jewish child?

You Steve along with anonymous are totalitarian fanatics. You go blindly support movements such as the "Bolivarian Revolutionaries" or Palestinian terrorism without any question toward their leaders, then fiercely attack the opposition even when that same opposition is not what it seems. Do you anonymous care that Chavez's backed candidates in Latin America such as Rafael Correa are charged with booting out law makers that were elected or made unconstitutional measures? How about your comment Steve about the PLO and Hamas being some of the richest Palestinian terrorist groups, but the Palestinians you defend are still poor while that money that was suppose to help them only goes to radicalize them to hate Israeli Jews?

I seriously doubt neither of you would ever take these questions into account. But I'm pretty sure this comment made by the late Communist dictator of China-Mao Zedong may certainly expose to why people like you Steve and anonymous often defend totalitarian movements while never looking at anything negative about them: "We shall support whatever our enemies oppose; and oppose whatever our enemies support."

7:24 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

I think this quote that Chavez made on where Venezuela is heading courtesy from Once Upon a Time blog certainly reveals that the end result would be anything but a free Venezuela:

"Those of you who want to know what type of socialism I have planned for Venezuela should read Marx and Lenin."-- Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela

8:19 AM  
Blogger Berend de Boer said...

anon, you noticed Chavez has warned another channel? Why give Chavez five years while you don't want to give Bush five years in Iraq?

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, Mah, at the risk of triteness I think you are somewhat confused. Indeed you seem to have a precarious grip on reality.

Why do I "bully" you so ? Well, it's this - how possibly does your vaunted "average" Venezuelan, outraged by the closure of a private medium dedicated to the overthrow of the democratically elected government and the reduction of Venezuela to a US "Green (Back) Zone", equate to a Venezuelan "brutally crushed and jailed...." ? I mean, you're not trying to say this is Guantanamo are you ?

Oh, slippery slope you reckon.....well, you draw a rather long bow Robin Hood. Proportion Mah, please. You're "inventing" things again in that wickedly hyperbolic, self-serving, "I think, therefore it is...." way of yours.

Diagnosis confirmed I'm afraid. Fanatics' fantasy clearly has you rather "up" at the moment.

Next you'll be telling us there are happy throngs of "average" Venezuelans, bedecked with roses surplus to Baghdad, smilingly awaiting the arrival of The Chickenhawk and his cluster bombs.

Damn ! He don't need no Roses. He got plenty in his own Garden.

See, that's what gets me about US capitalism - the "lust" for obscene excess, more and more and more of whatever, even the delightful bloom, knows no bounds. It's quite ugly really.....

8:44 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

Steve, you certainly believe that old Dubya is the "greater" threat to your "world peace"? You have the gall to attack the U.S. President as a "chickenhawk", but ignore the threat of Hugo Chavez's Kremlin buddy-Vladimir Putin whose opponents end up dead or the sort of atrocious behavior by his Chinese buddy-Hu Jintao?

You are nothing more than a sniverling coward Steve who would rather side with a totalitarian society than a free society. You certainly didn't give a damn about the atrocities of Communist Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, you certainly didn't give a damn about Saddam Hussein or the terrorist insurgency that wants another dictatorship, and you certainly don't give a damn about Chavez or his mini-mes that literally want to Sovietize Latin America into a gulag.

I say to you, woe to one who sees evil as good and good as evil. Take that comment from a Zionist like me, because it's sure as shinesine that you would be more comfortable in supporting a totalitarian society over a free one. I think totalitarian terms such as "fascist" or "Communist" should be applable to the likes of you.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another name to add to the list Mah - thank you very much.

I am now a "snivelling coward".

Ooh, you beastly bully you !

"Right now stop it Mah ! 'Certainly' I 'laud' you to shut it !"

Mah, you're losing it, big time....

9:34 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

Steve, do you ever give a damn about using any logic? How about reports of Palestinian terrorists linked to Mahmoud Abbas and his Force 17 openly receiving U.S. arms from the very man you so despise to be as the U.S. President? You certainly are such a sniverling coward Steve when you ignore how friendly the U.S. has been to a notorious long-standing terrorist group, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in the efforts to "fight" Hamas, at the same time, PLO affiliated groups work to implement terrorism against Israel and you certainly support all of these terror campaigns against Israel do you Steve?

But I guess I must be the "fascist" one for exposing or being concern of what sort of damage these terrorists do to the Palestinians and Israelis. I must be the "fascist" when I criticize Hugo Chavez when he promotes his brand of totalitarianism and lectures everybody to listen to his state-run station or wants to nationalize all of Venezuela's resources providing no competition for his Soviet-style state.

The only one who seems to be losing it is you Steve when you fail to respond in a logical manner to me. You lose Steve, everytime you promote a "!" to all of your comments, and your childish namecalling, you are exposed to be mentally incapable of holding any logic. Sorry to suggest that if anyone takes offense to it, but it's the truth.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS: Mah, there's a self-anointed bishop in New Zealand called Brian Tamaki - aka Tamaki of the Tithe.

Runs a sparkling little church called Destiny. Direct line to God apparently - much like Uncle Maxwell Smart.

He articulates ever so earnest, sonorous, and straight faced - "And I say to you, woe to one who sees evil as good and good as evil !"

Much like you above my mate, and our Uncle Maxwell, except I've never seen him frothingly apoplectic. A sort of updated version of the dear departed Jerry Falwell though less smiley.

You should give him a call - 0800 GOD'S MY DADDY.

9:53 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

Bring some intellectualism to this debate Steve. All you do is promote nonsense and irrational attacks. You lose Steve.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Intellectualism" ? "Debate" ? Oh Mah, how you fancy yourself !

Gotta go now mate, just fallen off my chair laughing......

IDF: 10 Palestinians: 1

10:01 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

You lack intellectual honesty Steve. I studied Middle Eastern history and your "analysis" of it with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complete bull. Why don't you grow up and learn about history instead of promoting propaganda?

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, true ?

I reckon the best you've ever done is look up a few bogus land titles.

I'm still laughing Mah, even more actually.

10:14 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

Bring some intellectualism Steve, or you are exposed to be quite illiterate.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the claim that Chavez is some sort of totalitarian engaging in massive repression and building gulags amounts to:

a)he's nationalised steel
b)he's friends with Mugabe and Castro
c)he's taken away the public broadcast license of RCTV

a) is actually false - the workers at Sidor are demanding nationalisation but Chavez is yet to oblige - but it's hardly a sign of totalitarianism, unless you think the Attlee government, which nationalised British steel mills, was a red tyranny.

b) doesn't make any sense either, because the fact that a leader has warm relations with a repressive leader in another country doesn't mean that he'll pursue similar policies. The US is an extremely close ally of two of the worst dictators in the Middle East - Ben Ali in Tunisia and Musharaff in Pakistan. Does that mean that Bush will soon be imposing military dictatorship on the US?

c) doesn't count for much either - if Chavez was akin to Kim Jong-il or Hitler or another of the bogeys mah invokes, he would hardly be permitting RCTV to continue broadcasting on cable. Nor would he be tolerating 78 other TV stations and 118 private newspapers, the vast majority of them virulently hostile to the government. What has happened is that the authority that renews public broadcasting licenses has declined RCTV's application because of the station's participation in the 2002 coup and its continuing callls for the violent overthrow of the government. Would the US government let, say, CNN keep broadcasting if it promoted a military coup and called for the assassination of the President?

mah can't cite a single political prisoner locked up by Chavez, nor deny that the opposition conceded that the December 2006 were free and fair. That says something.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mah, you'll be jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge soon (and please, don't "allege" in your next ridiculous post that that's a "threat"). I live far away in New Zealand and I couldn't give a toss about your physical future.

But suddenly, Trev's clarion blogsite for heartless, tin soldier zionist crap is drawing responses from people who actually care for balance and care for humanity.

People quite unlike you with your Old Testament attitudes: "Slay the evil doers !" You of course are "chosen", being Jewish, so actually there's no broad humanity - it's just you laddies. You're the only ones whose humanity actually matters.

You better get off down to Crawforsd TX Darling - serve the drinks, clean up the shit after the barbecue, lick The Chickenhawk's arse and tutor the feral in better ways to destroy those "depraved losers" the Palestinians.

Have a good flight Honey !

9:45 PM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

"But suddenly, Trev's clarion blogsite for heartless, tin soldier zionist crap is drawing responses from people who actually care for balance and care for humanity."

Steve, shut it. You're full of crap when you praise the likes of Hugo Chavez, but suggest how a "fascist" I am.

"mah29001 is just what we need in New Zealand - a Zionist apologist for Jewish terrorism."

Anonymous, are you anti-Semitic? I have not praised terrorism nor been involved in it. But with the likes of you often being an apologist for all the sort of terrorism Chavez is promoting against his own people for simply protesting the closure of a popular Venezuelan radio station, I guess it's okay you must be an apologist to Chavez's totalitarianism and terrorism and then falselya ccuse people like me who happen to support Zionism to be an "apologist for Jewish terrorism".

You and Steve are blantantly anti-Semitic. A neo-Nazi like David Duke would come to love you two, as he seriously would.

4:31 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

Anonymous, would you accuse the likes of George W. Bush of being a tyrant if he did what Chavez is doing to the U.S. media for not being pro-Bush enough the way Chavez is doing with the Venezuelan media for not being pro-Chavez enough? Would you? Because it seems the likes of people like you, people like you would protest Bush if Bush ever did what Chavez is doing.

You're nothing more than a blatant apologist for Chavez's totalitarian trends. You must find it to be alright to support Chavez, but if Bush were to do similar things Chavez were doing, I bet you would be protesting him right now, wouldn't you?

5:17 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

"Your claimed "totalitarian trend" in Chavez equals Chavez committing "terrorism" against Venezuelans does it ?

Sort your head and your mouth out Mah. Do you even know what you're saying ? Questionably literate Holocaust Nazi you are !"

Steve, using tear gas against demonstrators that are demonstrating peacefully is certainly on the verge of terrorism against Chavez's own people. That is the same sort of trend that is going on in Zimbabwe with Chavez's Zimbabwean buddy-Robert Mugabe.

So Steve, I also take you ignore the reports of the deaths of rocket attacks by terrorists against Israelis? I'm a "holocaust Nazi", but you being an apologist for terrorists and tyrants like Chavez, you are somehow not?

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'You're nothing more than a blatant apologist for Chavez's totalitarian trends.'

No. I'm an academic who studies Venezuela and similar societies. I'm certainly not an uncritical admirer of Chavez, as you should have realsied from my reply to fergus.

It does seem, though, from your comments in this and other threads, that you have a genuine problem believing anyone can disagree with you from a left perspective without exercising bad faith and being some sort of apologist for Stalin, Hitler, and goodness knows who else. That's a pity.

You seem to be having some difficulty demonstrating that Cahvez is a totalitarian leader.
You haven't contested my claims that the December elections were free and fair, according to OAS and EU observers and, more tellingly, the opposition.

You've also declined my request for the names of some of the thousands of political prisoners you claim languish in Venezuelan gulags.

You've made two new claims in support of your argument which don't hold any more water than the old ones:

a) Chavez is a totalitarian because he's closing down media that criticises him

b) Chavez is a terrorist because his police fired some tear gas at demonstrators the other day

As I've pointed out, the claim in a) is untrue - most of Venezuela's 118 privately owned papers and 78 privately owned TV stations are anti-Chavez, and they're not being shut down. The real reason for RCTV being shut down is its actions during the April 2002 coup and its continuing calls for the overthrow of Chavez by violent means.

You may think that these calls are justified, and the 2002 coup was justified, but it'd be useful if you'd at least say, and thereby deal with the facts of the case at hand. (By the way, since you were asking, I don't support a military coup in the US, and would support the suspension of the broadcasting license of any US TV station that facilitated a coup.)

As for b), I don't see how a leader becomes a totalitarian and terorrist just because his police fire some teargas at protesters. US police teargas protesters regularly. In Los Angeles last May Day, for instance, large quantities
of teargas were fired at marchers by police. Does this mean that Bush is a terrorist and a totalitarian?

To be a totalitarian ruler, Chavez would need to exert a vice-like grip on the media and on his supporters in the unions and popular movements. He'd have to throw his key political opponents in prison. He wouldn't be able to tolerate an anti-Chavez government in his country's richest state (Zuia). He'd also need to ensure that any elections that took place in Venezuela were predetermined shams.

What I'm suggesting is that it's pretty obvious Chavez is not the latest incarnation of Hitler or Stalin, and that you'd have more credibility if you admitted this and argued against his policies on grounds more rooted in reality.

Rave on, though, if you feel the need.

3:32 PM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

"No. I'm an academic who studies Venezuela and similar societies. I'm certainly not an uncritical admirer of Chavez, as you should have realsied from my reply to fergus."

An academic who supports someone like Hugo Chavez that wants to be like the dictator of Cuba-Fidel Castro? How can you be an "uncritical admirer" of Chavez when you defend him in nearly every post you have made?

Sorry, you can not be a fairly objective academic if you refuse to take account of any negative news about Chavez and so fiercely go about and defend himself.

"What I'm suggesting is that it's pretty obvious Chavez is not the latest incarnation of Hitler or Stalin, and that you'd have more credibility if you admitted this and argued against his policies on grounds more rooted in reality."

Chavez praised Lenin who was responsible for creating the totalitarian society known as the Soviet Union. Gee, what sort of a society would Venezuela become the end result of whenever Chavez mouths off and praises the first Soviet dictator?

"It does seem, though, from your comments in this and other threads, that you have a genuine problem believing anyone can disagree with you from a left perspective without exercising bad faith and being some sort of apologist for Stalin, Hitler, and goodness knows who else. That's a pity."

You mean how someone would call me "fascist", "holocaust Nazi" because I happen to be on the right-wing perspective is certainly fine with you or perhaps how you ignore how Chavez routinely compares George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler and his supporters carry signs around comparing Bush to Hitler? Yet you seem to accuse me of attacking anyone on the left of doing that? Geeze, those sort of signs of equaling Bush to Hitler are not hard to miss even from someone who isn't an academic. Wonder when will you ever criticize Chavez for making those rants, but have the gall to attack anyone that goes against him to be such a thing.

"As for b), I don't see how a leader becomes a totalitarian and terorrist just because his police fire some teargas at protesters. US police teargas protesters regularly. In Los Angeles last May Day, for instance, large quantities
of teargas were fired at marchers by police. Does this mean that Bush is a terrorist and a totalitarian?"

Doesn't America have checks and balances? Why is Chavez putting his people in power that will always be pro-Chavez all the time? How about Chavez's pen pals such as Rafael Correa making unconstitutional moves in booting out legislatures that were elected? Or are you going to find some way to justify that?

6:55 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

Seriously anonymous, I bet that if George W. Bush decided how the media was "preparing a coup" against him and began to target his opposition in the media such as the likes of Bill Moyers, of the far left-PBS and also any media outlet that gives attention to the likes of George Soros, a major funding of his opposition, I bet you would be the first one to complain about Bush being such a dictator, but at the same time, allow the likes of Hugo Chavez to do just about the same to much worse things in Venezuela.

Seriously, if Bush were indeed doing this in the U.S. to what Chavez is doing in Venezuela, Chavistas would have a field day but would shy away from any negative views of their boy Chavez. And speaking of folks who project negative connotations against their foes, how about Chavez lauding Bush to be Hitler or Blair to be Mussolini? It must not be okay for anyone on the right to scorn anyone on the left for being an apologist to the likes of Hugo Chavez, but okay for Chavistas to do it.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes. I agree. Bush is not Hitler. Nor is a boot a hat. Next question.

In about 500 words, you manage to make one addition to your argument for classifying Chavez's government as totalitarian. You say that he praises Lenin, and that makes him a totalitarian. But we've already dealt with this argument, when you claimed Chavez must be a totalitarian because he praised Mugabe, who is a totalitarian. I pointed out in reply that you cannot infer that one society has the same structure as another because its leader praises the leader of the other society. Bush and Blair regularly praise Musharaff, but the US and the UK are not - I think you'd agree - military dictatorships. In the same way, you can't automatically infer Venezuela is Zimbabwe or the Soviet Union because Chavez says something sympathetic about Mugabe or Lenin. There really is no substitute for actually examining Venezuela itself.

I'm still waiting for the names of some of the thousands of political prisoners Chavez has locked up, and for evidence that the OAS and EU observers and the opposition parties were wrong in accepting the outcome of last December's elections. If you can show me that those elections were stolen and that gulags do exist in Venezuela, then I'll have to reconsider my positions. Until then, comrade...

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mah

Please check your drugs!

You are Mad ...Mad as a hatter!


11:15 PM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

"Yes. I agree. Bush is not Hitler. Nor is a boot a hat. Next question."

Then why does your boy-Chavez love to laud that claim on why Bush "is" Hitler and his supporters often carrying signs making that comparison when Bush traveled to Latin America? Those signs are not hard to miss. What about the video on YouTube of Chavez promoting 9/11 conspiracy theories?

3:48 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

"Please check your drugs!

You are Mad ...Mad as a hatter!"

HAM, I don't want to take offense to Trev about this, but I think YOU should be the one to be checking YOUR drugs for YOU lack logic in you. You often accuse me of being a "lunatic" and other far left types have been harashing me on the New Zeal blog for sometime. Check into some mental institution HAM, along with any of your friends that like to harsh people like me.

You focusing nearly every other post on me is getting annoying and exposes how far off-to-the-left-field YOU really are. Now I do apologize to Trev should he ever come by my post, but I think everytime someone on a blog attempts to make reference to you in such a manner, well, you get the picture on what should come next.

So here's a tip to HAM and other far lefties, stop harshing me, or I'll certainly make an attempt to expose the only ones who need some mental help are you folks.

3:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mah, I've driven past Trev's house three or four times lately and you don't need to "take offence to Trev".

His picturesque property is already fully fenced. And on your excellent security advice there's a sign on the gate which says "No Commies Allowed".

So all is well !

8:39 PM  
Blogger Pedro Morgado said...

Here, the Chav├ęz TV.

1:41 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

Steve, knock off the harassment.

4:28 AM  
Blogger mah29001 said...

"Oh well Mah - what can you expect from a totalitarian swine - an uneducated troll - a maori - a diseased mind - a not nice guy northland - a sniverling (snivelling?) coward - a depraved loser - an anti-Vegemite - all those other things you the "chosen" have divined me."

Knock off the harassment. That is what trolls like you do Steve.

1:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You got the sweetest responses Mah Mah. I want to have your babies !

Could we jack that up some day - down Central Park ?

Bet your "ngarengare" is awesome !

10:05 PM  

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