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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Chavez Wins Re-election

Hugo Chavez is re-elected in Venezuela.

I must say that while I sympathized with Chavez during the 2002 coup attempt and approve of using oil profits to help the poor, he has made me nervous in recent months. Ties with Iran and Fidel Castro; drum-banging about an imminent U.S. invasion (it seems that the Pentagon has some plans to invade Venezuela, but the Pentagon probably has "plans" to invade every nation on the earth); calling Bush a "devil" (I'm no fan of Bush but there is no literal Satan and anyway, Bush is too incompetent to be him).

However, the people of Venezuela have spoken. I guess we'll have to see what happens now.


Blogger bigdumbchimp said...

He always comes off to me like a lot of other super left-wing dictator in progress types. He seems to have a few screws loose. While he is somewhat entertaining he could be a problem.

December 05, 2006 6:29 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

He seems to have a few screws loose.

I'm afraid you could be right.

While I'm not opposed to Central and South Americans taking control over their lives (after decades of U.S. interference), Chavez is pretty full of himself.

And that's not good news.

December 05, 2006 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that we have to put things in context. Unfortunately, in order to understand this things, we have to analyze the issue with a South American mind. Since I am South American I might be able to help.

South America is different from Central America and from Mexico, although all the three mentioned regions are regarded as "the same" in the US. There is much more pride in South Americans and respect for economic independence, something that has been lost in Mexico and Central America, probably because of the closeness to the US. Many Central American nations are also very dependant on Mexico in the same way. Middle classes in South America are very well educated, probably close to European standards and regard the average American as "undereducated". However, this same middle classes love to go to the US and enjoy the commercial products of capitalism. South America has a large poverty problem, however, ideologically, poor people have little weight and they are only heard when their basic needs are attacked (an example could be seen in the documentary The Corporation regarding the people of Cochabamba, Bolivia, when a corporation wanted to get paid for the water service)

Venezuela is no military match to the US. The only thing that Chavez is doing is to inflame the feelings of the regular people to making him look strong and to keep power. The small rich class is the only one that hates him. When he called Bush the "devil" he was not thinking about theology, he just wanted to look macho for his own people, I am sure many Venezuelans had a great time enjoying his words.

December 10, 2006 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Davis said...

Chavez has always come across to me as the worst kind of populist/demagogue. It's been a long time since I visited there (1998), but at the time I got the impression that the more-educated segment of the population were not especially fond of the man even then.

Then there's the fact that he attempted a coup himself in 1992. And I'm not sure if I could dredge up the article, but The Economist wrote a while back about how his economic policies were pretty well screwing the middle class (a quick Google search turns up various articles about the middle class's dislike of Chavez).

Chavez's success seems to be in large part due to his redirection of money directly to the poor via the "Bolivarian missions," some of which explicitly try to influence people politically, and the collapse of the opposition.

December 12, 2006 11:54 PM  

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