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The Death Of Hugo Chavez And The Future of Venezuela

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook.

Hugo Chavez, dead at 58. We’re looking at what’s ahead for Venezuela.

A supporter of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez cries as she holds up a poster of Chavez that reads in Spanish "Let's be like Chavez" and "Forbidden to forget" as Chavistas gather in Bolivar square to mourn Chavez's death in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, March 5, 2013. (AP)

A supporter of Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez cries as she holds up a poster of Chavez that reads in Spanish “Let’s be like Chavez” and “Forbidden to forget” as Chavistas gather in Bolivar square to mourn Chavez’s death in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, March 5, 2013. (AP)

Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s controversial and charismatic president, died last night after a battle with cancer. The self-proclaimed revolutionary dominated his country with a sweeping  socialist agenda.

He championed the downtrodden. Reviled capitalism. Sang and danced on his weekly television show. He met with Ahmadinejad. Castro. Qaddafi.  And, never missed an opportunity to slam the US.

Inside his own country, Chavez was adored and reviled. Now, the omnipresent presidente is gone.

This hour, On Point: Venezuela and the world after Chavez.

Guests

Rory Carroll, correspondent for The Guardian and former chief of their Latin American bureau. Author of “Commandante: Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela.” (@rorycarroll72)

Francisco Toro, Venezuelan journalist and blogger who runs the English-language blog “Caracas Chronicles.” Co-author of “Blogging the Revolution: Caracas Chronicles and the Hugo Chavez Era.” (@caracaschron)

Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

From the Reading List

CNN “Hugo Chavez, the polarizing president of Venezuela who cast himself as a “21st century socialist” and foe of the United States, died Tuesday, said Vice President Nicolas Maduro. Chavez, who had battled cancer, was 58. Chavez’s democratic ascent to the presidency in 1999 ushered in a new era in Venezuelan politics and its international relations.”

The New Republic “Hugo Chávez died today in Venezuela at the age of 58, but his battle with a never-specified form of cancer was waged largely in a Cuban hospital—a telling detail, as Cuba loomed just as large in his political imagination as his native country.”

Time “Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died Tuesday from complications related to a near two-year battle with cancer. He was 58. Chávez, a populist firebrand who has defined a whole era of Latin American politics, was not known for holding his tongue. Here are some choice examples of the socialist’s oratory.”

Excerpt from “Commandante” by Rory Carroll

Selection from “Blogging the Revolution” by Francisco Toro: “No Hay Material

BLOGGINGAsk anyone at all and they’ll tell you: hands down, the three most feared words in Venezuela’s bureaucratic vocabulary are “there’s no material.”

It’s a kind of code phrase, meaning something like “no, seriously, there’s no use trying to bribe me: I genuinely can’t help you.” The cargo gods have not come through. For whatever reason, the tenuous link with the fairy country that manufactures the little physical booklets that, provided a photo and a battery of official stamps, become passports, has been severed.

For what reason? For how long?

These are questions no sane Venezuelan ever asks.

 

 

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  • Mike_Card

    What a shame.

    • JobExperience

       A dead guy can often carry more weight than a living one. It all  depends on the viability of his ideology.

  • Pandasi

    As a Venezuelan, I regard Chavez’s grotesque political circus as a symptom of a much larger problem: as a nation, we’ve always refused to grow up. Americans, take note.

    • JobExperience

      Better pay your bills to the Big Man, even if your kids are starving. Is that what you mean by grown up? That’s how Uncle Sam does.

      • Pandasi

        No, what I mean is that there are ways to build an economy so that it will benefit the poor in the longer run. Venezuela’s economy is a mess. There’s more corruption than ever, because people think they’re too clever not to steal. Venezuelans are too short-sighted. We’ve always been.

  • S_Mangion

    Chavez (through Citizens Energy/”Joe 4 Oil” -J  Joe Kennedy) provided low cost heating oil to many people in New England.  Wow: what an anti-capitalist socialist thing to do!. 
    The world needs more like Chavez. . .

  • StilllHere

    Under his leadership, democratic institutions and the economy crumbled.  It will be interesting to see what happens next.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      And under corporate ownership our democracy is crumbling and our economy failing all but the 1% who control those corporations.

      Without moderation, their is little chance for lasting success.

      • StilllHere

        Off topic.  I thought this was the Obama economic miracle we were in the midst of.  Unions give more to campaigns than corporations.  If you don’t like what your legislators are doing, vote them out.  America generally seems more content than you.  According to the Census Bureau, there are 30 million corporate entities in the US (not sure if this includes LLCs and partnerships …) and only a handful are controlled by the 1%. 

        America will always succeed but whining and a defeatist attitude don’t help.

        • JobExperience

          Obama makes Nixon look Progressive. We’re drifting toward fascism and you’re rowing. You seem to be the one crying about his broken values. It is the rich who whine. If you are not rich why do I see your tears reflected in the water?

          • StilllHere

            What water?  Dude, your poetry needs work.  Fascism, is that where Obama’s taking us?  On his boat?  The SS Disaster. How about that poetry?

    • JobExperience

       The infrastructure and social cohesion in the USA seem also to be made of crackers. Otherwise there would not be despisers of economic democracy like you spouting from a dim den. It’s already happening here. Turn off Scarborough and look outside. We need to teach Bolivarianism in school, but we worship the free market God made instead. Go roll in your crumbs.

      • StilllHere

        I don’t have cable and ride my bike to work, so I’m outside a lot.  Thanks.
        I don’t think we have anything to learn from Chavez about infrastructure and social cohesion.
        I usually sweep the crumbs up and throw them out for the birds.
        The sun is shining in my world.  Yours, not so much.

    • GuestAug27

      Are you talking about GW Bush?

  • Gregg Smith

    Good riddance. 

    • JobExperience

       It is a dumb dog who can’t enjoy his chow without a starving pooch nearby.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:It’s stunning what people will excuse if the right magic words are sprinkled over the repression. 

    http://reason.com/blog/2013/03/05/rep-jose-serrano-on-hugo-chavez-a-leader

  • JobExperience

    Again we see how great minds are directed by managers to think alike. (Same topic DRShow)

    I wish we had a person like Chavez running  for President here (instead of pseudo-Hispanic Jebby Bush). The platform would include nationalizing big banks and oil companies. The rich would be free to self-deport without their holdings (Go Romney!), freer than ever to make a new start, strut supposed superiority.

    Even the Pope leaves the odor of sulphur these days, but not Chavez.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      How are you feeling today?  Better I hope.

  • Steve_the_Repoman

    Greg Palast has opinions on why Chavez has been demonized in the US.

    Latin American oligarchs/oil royalties/colonial subjagation/land reform….

    Really not that different than European/US relationships in Latin America 18th-20th century.

    http://www.gregpalast.com/

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Isn’t is simple? There was a need for the Next Castro. And the best threat they could come up with was Hugo Chavez.

      • JobExperience

        And that turned out to be a good thing for Venezuela and for democracy in the USA. Chavez demonstrated a viable middle way.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I guess I didn’t explain myself. I meant “the power structure in the USA needed a ‘Next Castro’ “, especially our right wing, military industrial complex, and mainstream press corps.

          Castro got old and sick. While he was in power, the Soviet Union died. So now, he’s not the threat he used to be.

          I mean, notice how many political scare ads even today use pictures of Castro. The young Castro; the septugenarian Fidel is too feeble to be even a threatening image.

          I don’t really know enough folks from Central and South America to speak directly.

    • StilllHere

      Chavez was demonized at home, more so than in the US.

      He was mostly thought of as a buffoon in the US. 

      • JobExperience

        Yes, demonized at home by US funded counterinsurgents. 

        • StilllHere

          Boo. There are counterinsurgents under your bed! 

      • nj_v2

        Not nearly as much of a buffoon as StillNotAllHere is thought of.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dc.montreal DC Montreal
  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:

    For some reason the sleazy Democrat pols around here have always had the hots for these Latin American Reds. Like his late boss Joe Moakley, Jim McGovern’s always had a crush on Fidel Castro. Maybe he’s jealous of all the hair. Joe K was always Chavez’s kept Kennedy, although Bill Delahunt gushed over him like a teenage girl infatuated with a mutant, pineapple-faced Justin Bieber.

    http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/columnists/howie_carr/2013/03/moonbats_mourn_another_red_thug

    • TomK_in_Boston

      I suppose Joe K should have refused the low cost oil that helped poor people in MA, huh?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Was it really ‘his’ oil to give? What about the poor people in Venezuela?

        Kennedy made millions off the deal and he was a propaganda prop for Chavez.

        • JobExperience

           It never gets that cold in Caracas. And Chavez preferred mass transit to cars. What better way to illustrate the advantages of socialism than to share with cold capitalist captives. His supporters seemed to approve. Now if Joe Kennedy profiteers on charity that only illustrates the corrupting nature of classist capitalism.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        FTA:

        Damn right, comrade! Es verdad. For the 
record, according to 2011 tax filings, Comrade Joe made $901,236 from Citizens Energy and related corporations. His lovely bride, Beth, grabbed another $346,764.

        http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/columnists/howie_carr/2013/03/moonbats_mourn_another_red_thug

        I guess charity starts at home in The Kennedy Compound on Hyannis Port.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          For some reason I don’t trust Howie Carr as a purveyor of facts.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I have similar quams about NPR but here I am.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Ah, the false equivalence card: A trey played like it was an ace.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            It seems your ideological blinder preclude conversation. Only agreement is allowed.  Such a pity, I had hoped for better here.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I’ve listened to enough Hacktackular Howie to know how full of crap he is.

            And save your crocodile tears for his show. I’m sure Carr’s broadcast career has nothing to do with his being  a hack firebrand who rides the whiphand and never gets into a discussion with someone he can’t shout down or cut the mic of.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I don’t like/trust any of the righty corporate media, NPR included.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            NPR righty corporate media… dare I hope that you are
            becoming as skeptical as me? 

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I’m not becoming anything. I supported BHO as the lesser of 2 evils, tho I’m sick and tired of doing that. I’m  a liberal and there are very few liberal pols or media outlets out there. I am not represented. I can’t remember when I heard a pundit, including “liberal”  NPR, say all we have to do for SS is raise the cap, or that a great easy first step for medicare wd be to allow negotiation of drug prices. I can’t remember when I heard anyone (besides krugman) say that “entitlement reform” is not a priority. When the holy phrase “entitlement reform” is mentioned on the sunday talk shows, everyone seriously nods and goes “uh-huh, uh-huh”. Even the “liberal” (NOT) BHO bows down to “entitlement reform”. Screw them all. I’m ready for the pitchforks.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            You articulate your opinion well.  What are you doing to advance your cause?  If you believe that the (I like the phrase) Media Misinformation Complex isn’t serving you work to change it.  Read “An Army of Davids” and work to change things.  If I can do it so can you.

             http://www.amazon.com/An-Army-Davids-Technology-Government/dp/1595551131

        • TomK_in_Boston

          let ‘em use space heaters

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Spoken like a Kennedy.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            If they don’t use oil from our subsidized multinationals, they deserve to freeze. Give me XOM or give me death.

    • JobExperience

       For some reason you focus on personalities and ignore common sense.

  • Steve_the_Repoman

    There is a history of US intervention in Latin America.

    http://www.yachana.org/teaching/resources/interventions.html

    I would like to hear Hugo Chavez discussed in a broad historical context.

    What of the overt/covert missions of the Organiztion for American States for example.

  • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Astraspider

    Tom, at the first mention of Chavez’s supposed anti-democratic tendencies, I’d love you to remind everyone that the U.S. was complicit in the 2002 failed coup that attempted to remove him. Remove the log from our own eye, so to speak.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Democracy is a US goal only when it coincidentally coincides with “our” (economic) interests.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        We really hate it when the gvts of the “banana republics” don’t show proper respect to our corporate overlords.

        • JobExperience

          You gonna be sorry, boy, when Dole and Chiquita cuts off your banana supply.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            (Tangent: Isn’t the banana going to die a natural death before long anyway?

            Now I’m going to hoard them and make a few banana breads. While I still can.)

          • GuestAug27

            Cutting off banana supply is OK as long as they leave his banana alone!

    • GuestAug27

      Chavez got repeatedly elected with the level of popular support that recent U.S. presidents could only dream of.  How that makes him undemocratic is not clear to me.

      • StilllHere

        According to the opposition, rigged elections.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ADZ6TZZKHWRLDNAOP6R2MBBP6A Bob S

          Not rigged, according to the international observers.

        • JobExperience

          Our pre-arranged elections, with two bidness parties vying for billionaire approval, candidates bought by Oligarchs, are a far worse sham. Ubertarians may not understand that Hugo opposed the Austerity policies being  imposed on our people now. No candidate here ever mentions that the wealthy class is using the World Bank and IMF to collect bogus debts from us, bogus debts mostly spent on tax breaks for the richest and corporate welfare. It ain’t China holding the markers so much as our Owners.

          Poor stupid souls who cheer the USA right or wrong are pitiful because they think Capitalism is a football game. You know where you can stick your big foam finger, right on the fact of falling wages and benefits for those who do the work.

          • Shag_Wevera

            BRAVO!!!  ENCORE!!!

          • StilllHere

            Not sure about all that.  The Fed owns more debt than anyone, but go ahead with your nutty diatribe.

            I’m not making the judgement call on Chavez elections, those who were victims of his corruption are.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          I hear he cut back on polling places so opposition voters wd have to wait in line so long they’d give up….oops, sorry, I was thinking of the GoP in the red states.

    • StilllHere

      Attempted coup?  Anybody except for Chavez and those who feared being killed by him believe this.

      • JobExperience

         Boo! Communists are  under your bed.

  • J__o__h__n

    Bob Oakes needs an editor.  He announced that on Point is on at 10:00 TODAY and that Jane was filling in TODAY and that the topic at 10:00 TODAY . . .  I assume that the 11:00 hour is also today but he didn’t make that clear. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/SustainAbel Abel Collins

    Rest in Peace, Hugo. May all the world’s leaders do as much to fight poverty.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      … and destroy the free press and imprison political opponents.

      Also, Chavez may have ‘fought’ poverty but he was far from effective. He had 14 years to get the job done and he failed.

      • Shag_Wevera

        How many did he imprison?  I don’t know, do you?  Is it just something you heard?  What were they charged with?

        As far as poverty, at least he was trying.  Using oil revenue to build hospitals and schools, can you imagine?

        Not everyone who disagrees with (or resists) us is evil, or even bad or wrong.

      • JobExperience

         The Lady Who Lived in a Shoe took even longer, but she did “know what to do.”

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          That’s a keen insight.

      • GuestAug27

        The U.S. has been ‘fighting’ poverty for 200 years.  For the past 30 years, the poverty has gotten worse.  Do you think we need a regime change in the U.S.? 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    I hope this is one hour we won’t hear the mantra VenezuelanDictatorHugoChavez run into the ground on NPR.

    • JobExperience

       Look, NPR correspondents have colonized minds just like the rest  of us. But when you know how it works you catch yourself in mid-talkspeak, and then you chuckle.
      Most of them are not as far gone as Tom Gjelten.

  • GuestAug27

    It’s funny how the U.S. establishment calls democratically elected Chavez undemocratic dictator while they enthusiastically support Saudi rulers.

  • Shag_Wevera

    A lawyer who risked all to save his people from poverty and imperial capitalism.  A young doctor from Argentina who risked all to fight for the poor throughout Latin America.  A military officer who risked everything because he could not stand the poverty among his people.

    Fidel Castro, Ernesto “Che” Gueverra, and Hugo Chavez.  History will view these men as heroes during the age of worldwide capitalism and globalization.

    Americans hated Chavez because he was not our lap-dog.  He built schools and medical clinics for his people, and was not afraid to call us on our hypocrisy.  He donated and discounted heating oil for the poor living on the eastern seaboard of the US.

    Let’s look into the near future when the Castro brothers pass, and noone there has the gravitas to resist the west.  Wealthy Cubans from Miami will rush back in to buy up everything.  International investors will begin building resorts and golf courses.  Average Cubans will lose the healthcare and education that have been hallmarks of Castro’s Cuba.  They’ll be no different than poor native Jamaicans, Haitians, or Dominicans. 

    • alsordi

      Nicolas Maduro is perfect to continue in Chavez policies in spite of the sabotage to the infrastructure and the selfish wealthy Venezuelans and their wannabee middle-class expats celebrating in Miami the death of a true leader of people.  

      Pres. Maduro just needs to avoid sitting on chairs laced with CIA/mossad polonium or some other radioactive material.They are already criticizing Maduro for having been a bus driver.Personally, a bus driver becoming a great leader of people is far more an impressive feat than spoiled skull and bones billionaires like Romney and John Kerry advancing in politics through money. 

  • StilllHere

    “Some points as to why Venezuela is not likely to experience much change.
    1. The opposition is basically a front Chavez permitted to give the look of democracy.2. The military is still the control in the Country and they are not going to move too far from where they are at the moment. This is both an idealogical truth as well as an economic reality for the leaders of the military.3. Chavez did a lot with the government money to build a huge base of support in the electorate (some which was actually beneficial to helping people get a bit of a leg up from their poverty) and those programs are still in place and will continue to be used by his successors to hold the population close to them. There is a level of popular support that is going to be difficult for any opposition candidate to overcome.4. This kind of regime is not easy to unseat from power and especially one that has such hidden control over the basic institutions of the Country as Chavez orchestrated and leaves behind to his successors, whomever they may be.
    About the only real change that could (and in my opinion should) be expected is to find that his hand picked successor, Maduro does not survive long at the helm of the Country.
    I expect that he will be ousted before the year is out and will be replaced by a military man. De Dios is the most likely.”

    • Shag_Wevera

      Strange that the poor stay close to leaders who champion the causes of healthcare and education, isn’t it?  What’s wrong with those idiots?!

      • StilllHere

        Everybody loves something for nothing, and then they become dependent on it. 

        • Shag_Wevera

          Your characterization of health care and education as “something for nothing” tells me a lot about you. 

          • StilllHere

            It wasn’t just h/c and ed that was provided.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

    I thank Hugo Chavez and Citgo for giving free heating oil to poor families in America. When corporate profits are high and oil companies such as Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Hess, and other US oil manufacturers and refiners are flooded with money, ONLY CITGO and the government of Hugo Chavez gave assistance to families in need during the brutal winter in the northeast of the United States,… only Hugo Chavez has a heart.

    To Venezuela, Please consider keeping the citizens energy for the people in needs. 
    RIP Hugo Chavez

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Yes, he did this for propaganda and you were sucked in.

      Yes he gave oil to relatively well off people in Boston while his own people were living in the Caracas slums on $1.50 a day.  Does that make you feel good?

      • Shag_Wevera

        How were the people in the slums doing before Hugo Chavez?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Oh, they weren’t doing well.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

        you sound bitter. do you know everything that goes on with him and perhaps overlook what corporations are doing to us? perhaps you need to look yourself in the mirror… it spells corporation.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           I’m not bitter at all. I was just trying to keep it real.  And pray tell, what are corporations doing ‘to us’ — other than paying taxes, employing people, providing vital goods and services, and returning value to their shareholders (eg- everyone with a 401K).

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

            and that includes (corporation):
            1. massive layoffs to benefit executives bonus
            2. outsourcing (which is not really working well… but the people in charge only cares about the bottom numbers and not the productivity)
            3. asking federal government for federal subsidies (oil companies) when they are using that money for their own personal gains
            4. implementing loopholes to reducing tax funding for local government:
            http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/05/business/qualified-private-activity-bonds-come-under-new-scrutiny.html?pagewanted=all

            i can go on and on… it is ok for you to deny it… i won’t

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Now who is it that sounds bitter.

  • JobExperience

     Yeah, but stillduped is part of the right wing opposition who can never concede to the facts.

  • alsordi

    Hypocrisy reigns supreme in the USA.  Matt Drudge has a full page photo of the face of Hugo Charez with the lead in   HELL’S A BURNING.
    Tell me USA and UK,  what has Hugo done to deserve to burn in Hell???   
    It is the Bush family, the Clintons and Obama that have the
    deaths of over a million innocent people to their credit.  These evil US leaders all smell of SULFUR and you can add Churchill, 
    FDR, Truman, Wilson and many other western leaders the rot in hell club.

     

    It amazes me the correlation with high standard of living to
    complete ignorance that exists in the USA.  With the exception of those selfish NPR
    listeners who rejoice in Chavez’s death because of his criticism of Israel.   They know better, but insist on not giving
    credit to one of the greatest leaders.  A
    true representative of his people, as opposed to the corrupt spineless suits
    that occupy the halls of the US
    congress… more sulfur.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      War is peace. Death is life. The enemy has always been Eastasia.

    • adks12020

      Many Americans would be, and should be, offended by the fact that you are using Matt Drudge as an example of Americans as a whole..just sayin’

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I’m trying to figure out who, in Central or South America, is their Matt Drudge. Not that I wish them to have one, but I’m sure there’s some firebrand know-nothing hack who makes up shit that gets covered because “it’s out there”*.

        *(h/t Cokie Roberts, speaking of someone else that South America doesn’t need one of their own of.)

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Secret Prisons

      • GuestAug27

        Are you talking about the “secret” prisons the CIA had in Poland and other countries?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Part of me wonders how much propping up the US’s did by making Chavez
    the BigBadMeanie. (Note how, also, our press corps played along). All of
    that has done an incredible job obscuring, in this country, a real
    assessment of Chavez in the US media. Without that, would he have just
    faded away like a number of other leaders who (warts and all) somehow
    didn’t get on the USA’s evildoer list?

    And I don’t know how much
    South Americans believe it when and American government starts telling
    them that someone is a threat to their government. This country may not
    remember Allende, but I’m sure South Americans do.
     

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Hey Chavez lovers: there are reports that Chavez amassed a family fortune of $2B.  Hmmmm.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

      so?

    • Shag_Wevera

      That is a common charge made against anti-American leaders.  How much is Dick Cheney worth?  How much money could Chavez have and it still be okay?  “There are reports”…  Then it must be true.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Doesn’t it matter how he ‘earned’ it?  Maybe he simply stole it from his people.

        • StilllHere

          Maybe?

    • StilllHere

      And I hear it’s in yankee dollars not in bolivars that he repeatedly devalued.  Hmmmm.

    • alsordi

      Yes tell me,  did he also pull the plug on incubators, pitchfork babies,  make lamps with human skin???…..yawn.

      • StilllHere

        You have a sick imagination, please seek help.

        • albert Sordi

           The people who come up with this standard propaganda have sick imaginations.  Check your history.

          • StilllHere

            Propaganda, it’s totally believable.

    • jimino

      Maybe Chavez was in on the Iraq reconstruction boondoggle.  Or was that scam strictly for the benefit of US companies and citizens?

  • libraryshortcake

    Thank you On Point for treating this topic fairly and truthfully. I cannot stand hearing Chavez and Castro demonized in the US, because of US propaganda, while hypocritically Americans ignore or remain ignorant to the fact that our government was instrumental in the failed coup against Chavez, and many other DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED Latin American leaders. The US tortures enemies, sells out to corporations, disenfranchises the poor, and lets the CEO’s get away with corruption and crime… then we turn around and condemn Chavez, Castro, and the leaders of developing countries of corruption and human rights abuses (but only when it suits us). People who live behind glass borders shouldn’t throw stones. R.I.P. Hugo Chavez- you were a better man than the warmongers Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. 

    • alsordi

      The kick in the teeth by the USA to the poor people of these countries, is instead of leaving them be, they sabotage their infrastructure , kill their leaders and implement sanctions. 

      • Steve_the_Repoman

        In some cases the infrasturcture is only sabotaged long enough so that its value can be driven down and then privatized at cut-rate prices.

        Oil is peanuts compared to water.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Water? Hey, ask Bolivia about the future of private water.

          • Steve_the_Repoman

            I believe the IMF is complicite in this type of resource coup.

            Water rights in the Western US may also become troublesome.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      FTA:
      Thousands of Cubans have died in front of Castro’s infamous firing squad.  There was no discrimination, as far as the firing squad was concerned. Young and old, black and white, rich and poor were sent to ‘el paredón’ (the wall).  Many of those who helped Castro gain power, like Comandantes Ernesto Sori Marin and William Morgan, an American, were among the thousands who were shot.

      http://www.therealcuba.com/page5.htm

      • libraryshortcake

        RWB, how many people did Reagan and Bush kill indiscriminately, including civilians, women, children and the elderly, in Latin America, Iraq, Afghanistan, and on and on and on? I’m not saying that murder or corruption on the part of Castro or Chavez are excusable, I’m just saying we should hold all leaders to the same set of standards. The US supported Pinochet and the Somozas, armed and funded the Contras, and staged coups on democratically elected leaders throughout the world. The US has used firing squads, bombs, napalm, propaganda, sanctions, and torture. Don’t criticize socialist leaders for their crimes without admitting to how much blood we have on our hands.

  • liminalx

    A full hour of Chavez bashing. Bravo On Point, keep extolling the imperialistic capitalist propaganda machine.  BTW there are slums in Washington D.C. and the infrastructure throughout the U.S. has all but collapsed, but who cares so long as the socialist “dictator” is dead and the 1% continue the thrive 

    • GuestAug27

      Even more slums in Detroit!! Detroit IS a slum.

  • hennorama

    Love him or hate him, one has to give Hugo Chavez respect for being a very shrewd politician.

    During his tenure, he pushed through many reforms that increased his power and limited the power of his opponents.  He used every tool at his disposal to maintain power, and even survived a US supported coup!

    An impressive record, love him or hate him.

  • libraryshortcake

    Thank you! Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba, Panama, El Salvador, Honduras, Chile and their neighbors all remember. The US hypocritically demonizes democratically elected “dictators” after training torturers at the School of the Americas, providing arms to orchestrate coups, using money that could be used at home in order to destabilize poverty-stricken countries, and turning a blind eye to the evils of the Somozas, Pinochet etc. Few want to admit it, but most Americans know very little about history, and buy into absurd propaganda without question.

  • MrStang

    “Redistributionist Policies Worked
    As for his social policies, the media often
    lambasts Chavez for manipulating the
    poor with his charisma and handouts.
    They’re just pissed because he
    successfully reduced poverty ending
    corporate domination of the economy,
    particularly the oil industry. Here are
    some of the most important highlights
    laid out by nonpartisan and highly
    respected Center for Economic and
    Policy Research:
    Among the highlights:
    The current economic expansion
    began when the government got
    control over the national oil company
    in the first quarter of 2003. Since
    then, real (inflation-adjusted) GDP has
    nearly doubled, growing by 94.7
    percent in 5.25 years, or 13.5 percent
    annually.
    Most of this growth has been in the
    non-oil sector of the economy, and
    the private sector has grown faster
    than the public sector.
    During the current economic
    expansion, the poverty rate has been
    cut by more than half, from 54
    percent of households in the first half
    of 2003 to 26 percent at the end of
    2008. Extreme poverty has fallen even
    more, by 72 percent. These poverty
    rates measure only cash income, and
    do not take into account increased
    access to health care or education.
    Over the entire decade, the
    percentage of households in poverty
    has been reduced by 39 percent, and
    extreme poverty by more than half.
    Inequality, as measured by the Gini
    index, has also fallen substantially.
    The index has fallen to 41 in 2008,
    from 48.1 in 2003 and 47 in 1999.
    This represents a large reduction in
    inequality.
    Real (inflation-adjusted) social
    spending per person more than
    tripled from 1998-2006.
    From 1998-2006, infant mortality has
    fallen by more than one-third. The
    number of primary care physicians in
    the public sector increased 12-fold
    from 1999-2007, providing health care
    to millions of Venezuelans who
    previously did not have access.
    There have been substantial gains in
    education, especially higher
    education, where gross enrollment
    rates more than doubled from
    1999-2000 to 2007-2008.
    The labor market also improved
    substantially over the last decade,
    with unemployment dropping from
    11.3 percent to 7.8 percent. During
    the current expansion it has fallen by
    more than half. Other labor market
    indicators also show substantial gains.
    Over the past decade, the number of
    social security beneficiaries has more
    than doubled.
    Over the decade, the government’s
    total public debt has fallen from 30.7
    to 14.3 percent of GDP. The foreign
    public debt has fallen even more,
    from 25.6 to 9.8 percent of GDP.
    Inflation is about where it was 10
    years ago, ending the year at 31.4
    percent. However it has been falling
    over the last half year (as measured
    by three-month averages) and is likely
    to continue declining this year in the
    face of strong deflationary pressures
    worldwide.“/snip

    http://raniakhalek.com/2013/03/05/what-you-wont-hear-about-hugo-chavez-in-the-establishment-press/

    • Shag_Wevera

      Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    Venezuela is a perfect demonstration of the adage that the people get the government they deserve. They wanted socialism, and they got it, along with all the disfunction that comes with central planning.
    It’s sad when the perceived options are a dichotomy between crony capitalism/banana republic, where the powerful use government to exploit the poor, and socialism, where powerful use government to exploit the poor. There are better ways.

    • kivenaberham

      ya! just like united state! tho our organized crime families can run for president again in 2018 after killing 90,000 civilian in iraq in the first time!

      • alsordi

        Kiven:  Your math is way off.  Its over 1,000,000 deaths in Iraq, because of US invasions starting with Bush Sr. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

        You’ll never find me defending the US government. But that doesn’t mean the Venezuelan government is any good.

    • MrStang

      During the current economic
      expansion, the poverty rate has been
      cut by more than half, from 54
      percent of households in the first half
      of 2003 to 26 percent at the end of
      2008.
      Extreme poverty has fallen even
      more, by 72 percent.
      These poverty
      rates measure only cash income, and
      do not take into account increased
      access to health care or education.

      Over the entire decade, the
      percentage of households in poverty
      has been reduced by 39 percent, and
      extreme poverty by more than half.

      Inequality, as measured by the Gini
      index, has also fallen substantially.
      The index has fallen to 41 in 2008,
      from 48.1 in 2003 and 47 in 1999.
      This represents a large reduction in
      inequality.

      Real (inflation-adjusted) social
      spending per person more than
      tripled from 1998-2006.

      From 1998-2006, infant mortality has
      fallen by more than one-third. The
      number of primary care physicians in
      the public sector increased 12-fold
      from 1999-2007, providing health care
      to millions of Venezuelans who
      previously did not have access.
      There have been substantial gains in
      education, especially higher
      education, where gross enrollment
      rates more than doubled from
      1999-2000 to 2007-2008.

      The labor market also improved
      substantially over the last decade,
      with unemployment dropping from
      11.3 percent to 7.8 percent. During
      the current expansion it has fallen by
      more than half. Other labor market
      indicators also show substantial gains.
      Over the past decade, the number of
      social security beneficiaries has more
      than doubled.
      Over the decade, the government’s
      total public debt has fallen from 30.7
      to 14.3 percent of GDP. The foreign
      public debt has fallen even more,
      from 25.6 to 9.8 percent of GDP.
      Inflation is about where it was 10
      years ago, ending the year at 31.4
      percent. However it has been falling
      over the last half year (as measured
      by three-month averages) and is likely
      to continue declining this year in the
      face of strong deflationary pressures
      worldwide

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

        “Inequality, as measured by the Gini

        index, has also fallen substantially.
        The index has fallen to 41 in 2008,
        from 48.1 in 2003 and 47 in 1999.
        This represents a large reduction in
        inequality.”
        the Gini index should really be introduced to our country and China. the inequality of this country is atrocious… and approaching egregious.

        Good work on the data provided!

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Oh, it has been introduced, all right, and it clearly shows how decades of class warfare has destroyed our great middle class society. We’re back in the 1929/Great Depression levels. The USA is now the most unequal of all the developed countries and approaches the 3′rd world countries. Looks like we’re more unequal than Vz, too.

          It makes perfect sense for plutocrats to support the voodoo economics that produces this inequality. Our big problem is that so many who are getting screwed lack “street smarts” and are easily duped into supporting voodoo econ.

          http://www.libertarianprepper.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/gini-index-usa.jpg

    • libraryshortcake

      And now “socialism” is a bad word and “capitalism” is exalted. In Venezuela  Cuba, and in the US there are  poverty and social inequality, yet the two former have a philosophy of taking care of their own, while the US expects everyone to pull themselves up from their bootstraps and become successful by “trying hard enough” despite starting from an uneven playing field.

  • kivenaberham

    socialism have the best and the highest standard of living in Europe! look at Norway and their rich domestic oil policy!  unlike united state and our organized crime families’ the energy policy are as bipolar as our lobbyist in Washington!

  • pauldobbs

    Not to discount the valuable contributions of expert and scholarly panelists, as those today, but it was refreshing and equally valuable to hear from the caller, an American health-care professional, who had seen with her own eyes that Chavez’s efforts had clearly helped marginalized Venezuelans.  So also the voice, chagrinned, I’m sure, of Joseph Kennedy expressing how when neither the U.S, government nor other major oil corporations would help, Chavez’s CITGO, definitely participated in  rescuing marginalized Americans.  Through all the abstractions and opinions these kinds of facts, so often overlooked in our political discourse, are important to consider.

  • StilllHere

    Why was it necessary for Venezuela to devalue its currency multiple times during Chavez’s economic miracle?

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      Did the IMF have a role in devaluation because he thumbed his nose at them?

      • StilllHere

        No, the thumbing was mutual.

      • Pandasi

        No, the devaluation had nothing to do with the IMF. I read here so many comments of people who want to blame every single problem in Venezuela on the U.S. and the IMF. Venezuela is a sovereign nation and Chavez was president for over a decade. We, Venezuelans, have been responsible for our mess. Sure, Bush ok’ed the coup against Chavez and that was bad. Fair enough! But the crime, corruption, bad economy in Venezuela have nothing to do with him. At some point, people in Chavez’s party were blaming the crime on Obama… Give me a break! Either we, Venezuelans, clean up our mess or the country will collapse. Simple. Then people like you will continue wondering whether it was the fault of the IMF.

        • Steve_the_Repoman

          Questions are meant to provoke discussion from all posters and I appreciate your views on the nature of the internal work to be done in Venezuela.

          What do you think of/are any of these allegations true:

               - the way Chavez has tried to revised
                  oil  royalties?
               - effects on/connections to Saud
                 oil/petro dollars/US Treasuries? 
               – US Treasuries/IMF/WB connections?

          Many of my questions come from the following sources:
               -Joseph Stiglitz
               -Greg Pallast
               -James Vreeland

    • MrStang

      from Mark Weisbrot at the guardian: 
      Venezuela’s devaluation doom-mongers
      Venezuela’s recent devaluation has excited predictions of an economic collapse. Luckily, such wishful thinking is ill-informed
      snip/…”Let’s examine the argument. The first premise – that Venezuela had to devalue in order to get more domestic currency (the bolivar fuerte) for each dollar of oil revenue – has been the foundation of most news reporting. But this does not make much economic sense. When the government devalues the currency from 4.3B to 6.3B per dollar, what does it do? It credits itself with two additional bolivares for each dollar of oil revenue that it receives.
      Of course, it could create the same amount of money, without devaluing; opponents would object, “but creating money increases inflation.”
      But the government’s creation of two additional bolivares for each dollar received is also creating money, no different from creating money without the devaluation. The main difference is that, in addition to any inflationary impact of creating more money, the devaluation also adds to inflation by raising the price of imported goods.
      Creating money, though, does not always add to inflation. The US Federal Reserve has created more than $2tn since 2008, and inflation has not significantly increased. But if the Venezuelan government just wanted to have more bolivares to spend, it would be less inflationary to just create the money without the devaluation.
      Why devalue, then?
      Devaluation has other effects. Although more expensive imports add to inflation, they also help domestic production that competes with imports. And, perhaps more importantly, devaluation makes dollars more expensive, and therefore increases the cost of capital flight. This helps the government keep more dollars in the country.
      Not surprisingly, a lot of what passes for analysis in the press is based on wrong numbers and flawed logic. The award for wrong numbers this time goes to Moisés Naím, who writes in the Financial Times that “during Hugo Chávez’s presidency, the bolivar has been devalued by 992%.”
      Fans of arithmetic will note immediately that this is impossible. The most that a currency could be devalued is 100%, at which point it would exchange for zero dollars. Apparently, a very wide range of exaggeration is permissible when writing about Venezuela, so long as it is negative.
      But, for a number of reasons, inflation-devaluation spirals in Latin America are a thing of the past – and a devaluation every few years is a far cry from such a spiral. In fact, despite press reports that inflation would reach 60%after the January 2010 devaluation – which was larger than the latest one – core inflation did not even rise, and headline inflation rose only temporarily. Inflation then fell for more than two years, even as economic growth accelerated to 5.2% last year.
      The amount of inflation that follows this devaluation will depend on what other measures that the government takes and how effectively they are implemented: price controls, the provision of dollars for importers (including food), and capital controls. But if the past few years are any indication, the government will do what it needs to do in order to keep inflation and shortages from getting out of hand.
      As for Venezuela’s public debt, the government is a long way from having a problem of unsustainable debt. The IMF projects Venezuela’s gross public debt for 2012 at 51.3% of GDP (as compared to more than 90% for Europe). A better measure is the burden of the foreign part of this debt, which in 2012 was about 1% of GDP, or 4.1% of Venezuela’s export earnings.
      There are a number of distortions and problems with Venezuela’s economy – including recurrent shortages – and some of them have to do with the management of the exchange rate system. But none of these problems presents a systemic threat to the economy, in the way that – for example – real estate bubbles in the US, UK, Spain and other countries did in 2006. Those were truly unsustainable imbalances that made an economic collapse inevitable.
      Despite the wishful thinking that is over-represented in the media, Venezuela’s economy will most likely grow for many years to come, so long as the government continues to support growth and employment.”
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/03/venezuela-devaluation-doom-mongers

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:Hugo Chávez’s presidency (1999-2013) was characterized by a dramatic concentration of power and open disregard for basic human rights guarantees.

    http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/03/05/venezuela-chavez-s-authoritarian-legacy

    • Shag_Wevera

      Did he use Venezuela’s oil revenues to buil schools and medical clinics, or was he Attila the Hun?

      • harverdphd

         Close …he was a pedophile and rapist.

  • Zenplatypus

    The hemisphere’s reigning village idiot is dead, which should be cause for celebration the world over. He was the quintessential caudillo, committed to nothing more than amassing and perpetuating political power for his own ends. Today Venezuela is a basket case of spiraling violent crime, chronic food shortages, a devalued bolivar, and debased cultural and political institutions. And let’s not forget his support of the FARC. What an imbecilic dung beetle. Good riddance! 

    • Shag_Wevera

      What ends?  It is the whole in you bloviated statement.

      • Zenplatypus

        Try English next time…

    • TomK_in_Boston

      “The hemisphere’s reigning village idiot is dead”

      Poor Paul Ryan, and relatively young, too.

  • marygrav

    I want to listen to today’s show online but all the suggestions you always give on how to listen does not work for me.  Please keep things simple.  I am not Bill Gates and Steve Jobs has left the room.

    • J__o__h__n

      I just told Bill Gates that the audio isn’t posted yet.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    RWB, thanks, I’ll have a look at that site. I tend to be too wrapped up in my work to do much about trying to change our bad course, tho I did actively support and contribute to Eliz Warren. If she disappoints that will be the limit.
    We may have some common ground but I think you are anti-gvt while I think gvt is the only force capable of keeping the plutocrats and corporations from screwing us. I realize that they have currently captured the gvt, but the solution is to take it back, not to cripple it. I agree with the FF in the Declaration: “….We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men….”No gvt, no rights.

  • hennorama

    Apologies in advance for being off-topic.

    2013′s first domestic drone attack:  Sen. (Ayn) Rand Paul’s filibuster.

  • Tyranipocrit

    e was only controversial because america said so.  I wonder what role did america who reviled him have in his death?  Its very strange the way only the people of this world sho challenge establishment die suddnely and young.  Aaron swartz, the king, lennon, abe, kennedy…americ ahas a long long history of killing democratci leaders

    • StilllHere

      He wasn’t worth America’s time.

    • Pandasi

      No, he wasn’t controversial because America said so. Corruption and crime are worse than ever in Venezuela and that has nothing to do with America. Go live in Venezuela and you’ll see how your worries will have nothing to do with the U.S. You’ll be scared for your life, period. A lot of young, innocent people die there very day.

      • GuestAug27

        Wow, that sounds like Detroit USA.  I think we need a regime change in Detroit.

      • Tyranipocrit

          a lot of youg people die in american wars, in americna prisons, in ameican streets

  • Dana85

    Filling in for Mr. Ashbrook, Jane Clayson, a member of The Church of
    Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (how’s that for a litmus test of
    intellectual rigour and intellectual honesty) does not even bother to
    maintain the standard issue NPR pseudo-impartiality (pretending to
    impartially give both side of an issue equal time deserved or not)-
    Ashbrook’s stock in trade.

    First, the deck is stacked from the get go by stocking the panel of guests on the show with Chavez bashers all. Then, Clayson with her Fox-news anchor looks and obliviousness to the long and dark history of US geopolitical machinations keeps her sarcastic smirk on throughout her presentation of Chavez’s pronouncements.

    Yes Chavez is a populist, a demagogue and a buffoon. We don’t need Clayson’s vulgar winking to alert us to this. However, his characterization of the US’ role in Latin America and the world does not even begin to reflect the devastation US foreign policy has wrought on millions of people by keeping despotic murderous kleptocrats in power for decades across the globe as long as they did and do the US’ bidding.

    Something that appears not to have penetrated the inner citadel of journalism school at Ms. Clayson’s alma mater Brigham Young
    University.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000443873281 Newt Knight

       i so agree with you, Dana…this On Point show did sound  like a pundit circus a la Fox “News.” Toro was the worst…wonder how he makes a living…getting funds, maybe, from the 1%? Just asking….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/I625Q5NDYVVXH3BUJ5DRW2LOSM alex

    Today’s program kept the reality of a
    corrupt and inept administration as obscure as the Chavez dictatorial years.
    Your program lacks real research. Introducing  Chavez as Outspoken!… to
    the expense of TV and radio broadcasts of an 8 to 10 hours span of nothing but
    torturous nonsense. In fact, I would compare that abuse of power to the torturing methods of the Chinese and Japanese of the second World
    War, or to the Pol Pot methods of the Vietnam conflict. Imagine Trump on TV at
    his despot peak for 10 hours without having the choice to turn the channel.
    Eccentric!… anybody can be an eccentric when you have at your disposal billions
    of dollars to give to the likes of people like Sean Penn, Danny Glover, and
    Oliver Stone, poor Hollywood personalities living in economic despair. The US people
    need to hear the real legacy of this mandate. A guest on NPR’s Diane Feinstein
    program today was right on the money when he stated that caring for the poor
    does not necessarily mean that you are helping them, and that a constitution proves
    to be a lame piece of paper if there are no institutions to enforce it. This is
    precisely the problem with the Venezuela’s lower class. Since the oil boom
    years of the 50′s, the petrodollars in this country have natured a society
    dependent on the handouts of the government at all times.  The working
    class in Venezuela is the European migration of the second World War. The Creoles’
    resentment toward this so called oligarchy has not subsided to this present
    day.  Why you may ask? Well, perhaps it is due to the nature of a society
    that can’t help an uncontrollable envy toward an immigrant  bunch that has
    taken a once in a lifetime opportunity to work hard and convert that
    opportunity into gold. Does that sound familiar? Look at the society of
    preCastro Cubans in Miami.   Oil and the petrodollars has made Venezuela a book case example of a country with a  Holland syndrome. Today some South American countries are starting this
    same process that will lead towards this same Holland Syndrome.  Saudi
    society is a good example of the same. You want a good summary of the Chavez
    years? Refer to a tweet from a “Pancho49,” written in plain English and to
    the point. Wake up Chavistas!!!! Today your political leaders are willing to
    step all over your constitution because there are no institutions to enforce
    and interpret the law for your own benefit and of the nation. Stop feeding your own selfish greed and now you have the opportunity to form a proud Society who will stop blaming others for  your own short comings as a Country.  Chavez has left a crumbling Society with a direct pipe toward the Cuban
    coffers.  

    Kick the  Castro Cubans out !!.
     Recuperate your resources and educate yourselves against the Cuban propaganda.
    By the way, I am not  Cuban, nor Venezuelan.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    What has Chávez bequeathed his fellow Venezuelans? The hard facts are unmistakable: The oil-rich South American country is in shambles. It has one of the world’s highest rates of inflation, largest fiscal deficits, and fastest growing debts. Despite a boom in oil prices, the country’s infrastructure is in disrepair—power outages and rolling blackouts are common—and it is more dependent on crude exports than when Chávez arrived. Venezuela is the only member of OPEC that suffers from shortages of staples such as flour, milk, and sugar. Crime and violence skyrocketed during Chávez’s years. On an average weekend, more people are killed in Caracas than in Baghdad and Kabul combined. (In 2009, there were 19,133 murders in Venezuela, more than four times the number of a decade earlier.) When the grisly statistics failed to improve, the Venezuelan government simply stopped publishing the figures.  

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2013/03/hugo_chavez_s_legacy_the_former_venezuelan_president_was_not_the_typical.html

    I quote again, It’s stunning what people will excuse if the right magic words are sprinkled over the repression. 

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    And yet, through it all, Chávez remained a folk hero to Western leftists and “progressives,” who either ignored or excused his bigotry, his militarism, and his trampling of democracy. Many admirers have mourned his death by casting the Venezuelan radical as a champion of the poor who did what was necessary to transform a corrupt and unjust social order. In an article posted on the website of The Nation, NYU professor Greg Grandin acknowledged that Chávez “packed the courts, hounded the corporate media, legislated by decree, and pretty much did away with any effective system of institutional checks or balances.” However, in Grandin’s view, all of that was justified: “The biggest problem Venezuela faced during his rule was not that Chávez was authoritarian but that he wasn’t authoritarian enough. It wasn’t too much control that was the problem but too little.”

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/the-death-of-a-despot/?singlepage=true

    (from the “Flogging a Dead Horse” File)

    • marygrav

       Sound too much like George W. Bush and the Neocons to me.  We have lived so long with a corrupt and unjust social order here in the US until it reads like the natural order of things.

      • jdahunt

        The country is teetering on total failure…everything  you think he did was good is total bs and is going to all come down.

        We aren’t too far off ourselves after only 6 years of dem majority control.

  • http://www.facebook.com/allan.guy.904 Allan Guy

    Anyone who mourns for Chavez is a fool.

    • Pointpanic

      yes, I guess, it’s foolish to mourn someone who offered free heating oil when the profit greedy subsidized oil companies refused to assist. I guess, it’s fooilsh to mourn someone who told the truth about W . I guess, it’s fooflish to mourn someone who was vilified by US elites because they couldn’t control his nation’s oil. I guess, I’m a fool.

      • Gregg Smith

        Mussolini made the trains run on time. 

      • jdahunt

        You are so weakminded to not know he was only doing this to convince the low information voters such as you…..boy didn’t he have you figured out.

        Btw…we do control his nations oil…we import it at will….I would  say that gives us the control…you are a fool.

        • Pointpanic

          jda ,disagee with me if you will ,that’s fine but your ad hominem attacks (that means personal insults rather than any rational arguments) udnermine any credibility ,you may have had. WE may or may not import it at will but what the US elites that have you brainwashed is control of access to it. Sure, he wasn’t perfect but his principles were far sounder thanyours.

          • jdahunt

            Once again you mistake pricipals, ideas or wishes as more important than results.

            First he had to trash their constitution to stay in power…that should be your first sign that he was evil.

            Secondly he was a genius at masking his bad decisions with window dressing on giving peanuts to the poor that obviously worked for low information people such as yourself.

            As the facts come out and they will about how bad he was to the people and the country I expect you will just fade away with your praise of such and evil person.

          • Pointpanic

            I don’t plan on fading into anywhere. First fo all what evidence is there that he “trashed” his nation’s Constitution? He cut poverty by 50% and extremem poverty by 70% among other things granted ,he was a bit authoritarian but he was re-elected many times in legit elections. he wasn’t an autocrat. Venezuela has alot of problems that one person cannot fix. But Hugo is not the  boogie man  the corporate media makes him out to be.He had a major role in shaking off US influence in S. America. That’s why ,he’s vilified by the US media

          • jdahunt

            My mistake..I thought he put all of his cronies into the high court….changed the constitution to benefit him and made him the supreme authority firgure….if he was on the up and up why did he have to do that.

            Most of the central american countries cut their poverty rates by 50%…nothing special there and they did it without all the big oil money.

            But now inflation is soaring as well as their debt, crime is very high and murder rates are very high…..like I said he has all but destroyed the countr.

  • marygrav

    If you listen to the rhetoric and criticism surrounding Hugo Chavez, you had better look for him to arise on Easter Morning.  I like Chavez myself because I read United States history.  The US has always been a plague to South America and Haiti as well.

    It was only through the so-called War on Terror that South America was able to prosper.  The US Marines and the CIA were kept too busy in the Middle East and Afganistan by Al Qaeda and the Talaban to us the usual and traditional Gun Boat Diplomacy it has used since the 19th Century.

    Chavez did for his people what Christ instructed his followers to do for their people.  Here in American Congressmen like Iowa’s Steve King even begrudge the poor their Food Stamps.

    I am sorry to see a “savior” such as Chavez leave the Earth so soon when there are so many devils life here on Earth to torture and starve the poor in heart and spirit.

    I know as a nation, all Americans are suppose to hate Chavez, but I have some people in the House of Representatives that deserve my hate more.

    • jdahunt

      Mary…you are so misguided….you would have said the same thing about Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin.

      Hugo didn’t care about the poor, he used them for his own benefit to enrich himself and to destroy, murder and torture his enemies…while tearing up their constitution to his own agenda….how could you ever believe that was good.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Ridgway/1413095773 Dan Ridgway

      have another hit of acid while you’re at it. Christ told his followers to steal? I don’t think so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lawrence-Kelley/717881317 Lawrence Kelley

    Podcasting the OnPoint interview now: Both WBUR’s Jane Clayson and The Guardian’s Rory Carroll are missing the *huge significance* – especially during the Obama-era now in the U.S.  - of Hugo Chavez as one of several recent-era, dark-skinned, non-European *Indigenous Rights* political leaders in South America. I some ways, his rise to power as such is much more significant than Fidel Castro’s, since Fidel came from a traditional, privileged line of elite, white, well-educated colonial Spanish families on that island. Defeating the old European *Colorism* system is the common theme that unites all of the Americas at the moment, in my humble opinion, from my vantage point in upstate New York. 

  • ExcellentNews

    Listening to the program, I was surprised to hear that Venezuela was friendly with the US until 2001, when Bush/Cheney tried to implement “regime change” there. Now, I can see the merits of regime change in a hostile nation, but why on Earth would we go unilaterally and do it in Venezuela? Oh wait, could it be because there would be more profit for the Halliburtons, Exxons and other Republican crony contractors? Could it be because a hostile Venezuela = Higher Oil Prices = Higher Oil Profits??? Thank you, Republican Corporate Shills for making another cowpie in America’s backyard, paid by Uncle and Auntie Sam into the offshore accounts of the oil oligarchy.

    Another thought comes to mind too. Chavez was clearly a crackpot, but a dictator? Look at any of our other OPEC “allies”. Saudi Arabia – now that IS a dictatorship, where the absolute rulers claim to be anointed by GOD, and are using our gas pump payments to sponsor global terrorism. Russia? Don’t get me started on that oligarchy ruled by guns and fear. Yet, the corporate cronies from Bush the IIIrd 2000-2008 to Bush the IVth wannabe 2016 are lining up to give kisses and medals to the sultans and oil barrons there…

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Aug 22, 2014
Attorney General Eric Holder talks with Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol at Drake's Place Restaurant, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Florrissant, Mo. (AP)

The National Guard and Eric Holder in Ferguson. ISIS beheads an American journalist. Texas Governor Rick Perry gets a mug shot. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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In this image from video posted on Facebook, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, former President George W. Bush participates in the ice bucket challenge with the help of his wife, Laura Bush, in Kennebunkport, Maine. (AP)

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Aug 22, 2014
In this image from video posted on Facebook, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, former President George W. Bush participates in the ice bucket challenge with the help of his wife, Laura Bush, in Kennebunkport, Maine. (AP)

The Ice Bucket Challenge: ALS, viral fundraising and how we give in the age of social media.

 
Aug 22, 2014
Attorney General Eric Holder talks with Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol at Drake's Place Restaurant, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Florrissant, Mo. (AP)

The National Guard and Eric Holder in Ferguson. ISIS beheads an American journalist. Texas Governor Rick Perry gets a mug shot. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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