Chavez Looking Strong in Venezuela

The recall election against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is on August 15th. I can't claim to know a whole lot about the internal politics of the country, but I do know I strongly dislike it when the U.S. government instantly recognizes a military coup against an elected official while claiming to be a great exporter of Democracy (how embarrassing it must have been for the administration when it turned out Chavez had managed to hang on). U.S. recognition of a coup is especially suspicious when it happens in an oil rich country and the elected official is, at least ostensibly, a leftie. Thus, I am glad that Chavez looks like he will survive the recall attempt:
Poll taken on July 4th
No on recall	57
Yes on recall	41
A victory for Chavez is a defeat for Bush.

Tags: Foreign Elections (all tags)

Comments

6 Comments

No, No, No!
Chris,

I respect what you do on this blog. What's bad for Bush is not necessarily good for us. One of the Clinton Administrations main goals was democraticization of Venezuala and Chavez is interested in a one party state, with himself at the top. Chavez is not a good guy, not by any stretch of the imiganiation. His security forces have beaten, broken up, and fired on protesting crowds in Venezuala. Read the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International's report on Chavez.

He has undermined the democratic movement and years of democratic reform in Venezula. He's attempted to change the constitution so that he can remain president after his term expires, and he's undemocratically worked against the referendum, which is perfectly legal. Remember it was part of the union movement in Venezuala that came out against Chavez. While I didn't like the coup attempt and the way Condi Rice came out on TV in support of it, it doesn't make Chavez even remotely a good guy.

We've got to be careful about the what's bad for Bush logic. In this case it's also bad for the people of Venezuala. This is more of a plague on both our Latin America policy that's tended to alienate, and work against Human Rights, and Democraticization and the thug regime of Hugo Chavez who has worked to undermine democracy since he came to power. You can go down to Brazil where a real leftist leader, where Lula has been implementing economic reforms and lowering income inequalities while staying true to his democratic principles. I had a bit of hope for Chavez, originally, but I realized very quickly that he had no interest in making his country better.

I really recommend Randy Paul's website as a great left of center perspective on Latin America.

site:beautifulhorizons.typepad.com Chavez Venezuela

by Kombiz Lavasany 2004-07-06 06:31PM | 0 recs
Re: No, No, No!
Like I said, I don't claim to know much about the internal politics of Venezuela. If Chavez goes down by an election, fine. However, the seemingly US-backed coup attempt last August certainly did not seem like an imporvement, and the notion of "recall" doesn't have a good feel for me right now.

If Chavez lost the recall, what would happen? I'm a pretty open guy--let me know what the best solution would be.

by Chris Bowers 2004-07-06 07:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Chavez Looking Strong in Venezuela
I'm totally expecting for a 'crisis' in Venezuala.
by Jerome Armstrong 2004-07-06 07:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Chavez is better than the alternative
This is my understanding of the situation as well. Though I haven't seen it yet, there's a documentary titled The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, which I believe says the same thing. Most of my view was formed from reading mediachannel.org, which posts info on current events in Venezuela ever so often.
by rob 2004-07-06 08:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Chavez Looking Strong in Venezuela
First of all, there would have been no recall had Chavez realized that he would not win and thus it is not surprising that he will win this recall.

Second of all, the election of Hugo Chavez indiciated a dramatic shift in direction for Venezuelan politics.  Prior to his election the democracy of Venezuela had been closely controlled by two parties that shared power.  While this may seem similar to the United State's model it was not.  When Hugo Chavez was elected he was elected as a populist.  When the coup took place it was the military who restored order thus ensuring no forceful change of power.  This was a break from Venezuelan history in particular and Latin American history in general and indicated that this democracy was perhaps stronger than thought.

Third of all, Chavez's opposition has shown no desire to create or suggest an alternativelet alone a viable alternative to Chavez.  Rather, they continue to waste their efforts in order to get Chavez out now rather than creating a viable canidate and simply beating him in their upcoming elections.  While Chavez's rule still has strong connections to Caudillo rule there is no question in this mind that he would accept whatever results the election bore.  

by Mark J. Bowers 2004-07-07 05:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Chavez Looking Strong in Venezuela
Thanks. I always like it when you show up.
by Chris Bowers 2004-07-07 06:59AM | 0 recs

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