Commenter tulio repeats many MSM lies about Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. It’s understandable that he’s mistaken, since if all you read is the lying US press, you would come away with exactly the opinion that tulio has:
As for Venezuela’s supposed prosperity. It’s nothing more than riding the tide of rising oil. Venezuela would be doing better no matter what if their number one export is oil and it cost 3x as much as it did a decade ago. I don’t give any great accolades to Chavez for it.
All during the oil boom, 80% of the population lived in poverty in horrible slums around the big cities and in the shits in the rural areas. At one point, 51% could only afford one meal a day. That’s what brought Chavez in in the first place. He was the voice of those 51% who had nothing to eat, the 80% who were in poverty during the oil boom years.
So, yeah, the economy might have grown without Chavez, but all of the growth would have gone to the top 20%, just as it does everywhere neoliberalism is tried, and as is the general policy in Latin America. In Latin America, growth usually only benefits maybe the 20%, top 1/3 if you’re lucky. The rest are just SOL. It’s always been this way, and this is why there are revolutions down there.
Also we need to look around the world at oil-rich lands that are well and truly fucked, even during this recent massive oil boom. The economies of Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Angola, Colombia and Mexico have all reaped massive benefits from the oil boom. Where has all the money gone in these places? Not to the people. A tiny elite just steals every last nickel.
In Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Angola, the conditions of the population are appalling, with tens of millions living in absolute poverty, with no running water, electricity, plumbing, sewage treatment, roads, schools, nothing. Furthermore, many even lack food to eat – there is tremendous malnutrition in all those places. Health figures in terms of longevity, infant mortality and maternal mortality are off the charts. So really, just having oil wealth is no guarantee that you have a decent country.
It’s not true that Venezuela a dictatorship. It’s probably the freest democracy in Latin America. The opposition has 2/3 of the airwaves, all of cable and most of the newspapers and magazines. They use this to blast Chavez with the most insane and outrageous lies 24-7. It would be like Fox News X 10.
Further, the opposition, including the opposition media, are all traitors. They all supported the coup in 2002 which was organized by the US. Those traitors are lucky to not be in prison, or even to still be alive. I think Chavez should have executed them for treason, but that’s just me. The opposition media, in addition to their mind-boggling and constant lying, regularly advocates assassinating Chavez and staging another military coup.
Chavez is finally starting to have it with these threats, so a few of those outlets got shut down, but I think they just went to cable. These fuckers are really playing with fire, trying to provoke a response.
A few years back, the opposition was having regular “demonstrations” around the clock, day in and day out, to try to topple the regime. These were more like violent riots. Chavez’ cops mostly just let these idiots riot, block roads, throw rocks, set tires on fire, etc. They barely even arrested people. In the US, there would have been a massive police response at the very least.
The US has repeatedly tried to overthrow Chavez through all sorts of legal and extralegal means. All of “liberal” Obama’s fancy new military bases in Colombia are meant to threaten Chavez militarily. Chavez is right to be paranoid about US invasion, but I’m not sure if we are going to do it.
It’s often said that Chavez is a dictator because, why? He wins elections. He’s won something like eight elections so far. Why is that? Because the low income population, neglected for decades, keeps voting for him. It’s said he’s a dictator because his party controls the Legislative Branch. That’s right, they do, because the same people keep re-electing them by huge margins. It’s said Chavez is a dictator because his party has most of the mayoral, gubernatorial and city council seats. True, that’s because the same people keep voting them in.
He’s said to be a dictator for “packing the Supreme Court” but Roosevelt did the same thing, and anyway, that Court was corrupt to the core. The entire Court supported and gave legal approval to the US coup in 2002! They’re lucky they weren’t executed.
The crap you read all the time about Chavez “shutting down the media.” Recall that the entire private media was intimately involved in the 2002 coup, from planning to execution stages to everything in between. They’re lucky to be alive. Despite that, Chavez kept all the stations running.
But in addition to their lies, they’re always advocating assassinating Chavez and promoting another coup. Chavez has finally had it with this crap and he’s starting to shut them down for that. But then they just go to cable which is unregulated. And the opposition still has 2/3 of the public airwaves anyway.
Also, the government announced some new licensing rules, which involved a bunch of routine paperwork the stations had to fill in by deadline or have their licenses revoked. To provoke a crisis, a lot of these asshole opposition radio and TV stations simply refused to fill out the papers! Then when the deadline came, the government went around and shut down some of the idiots who pulled this stunt. As you can see, they are engaging in a totally provocative behavior to try to make Chavez look like a dictator and provoke a crisis.