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April 20, 2007

Yesterday Once More

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Was it really three whole years ago that the Venezuelan opposition ripped apart the very fabric of their society through a divisive and ridiculously half-assed effort to recall President Chavez and drive themselves into powerless obscurity? My, time flies.

But ’04 nostalgia seems to have gripped the country (club), and those scrappy little schlemiels are giving it one more shot. They can’t actually go after the big guy until his term is halfway up, though, so this year they are focusing on “28 governors, mayors and congressmen.” Twenty-eight. It’s enough to make you guarimba in your pants!

To be fair, only 26 of those 28 are pro-Chavez officials. For the first time, chavistas have launched two recall attempts of their own. Of course, to be shamelessly unfair, the Associated Press will only report on those two campaigns and ignore the others.

See, it’s feeling like 2004 again already!

October 11, 2007

The State of the Beau Rev

According to Oil Wars, the proposed amendments to the Venezuelan constitution now include a clause banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. Awesome news, right? Suck it, Colombia!

Me I waiting to see the next move from the Vatican. Based on their past antics, I’m guessing assassination attempt. Y’know, for Jesus.

November 17, 2007

Because Our Constitution Is Perfect Is Why

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Did you know that the United States of America was a DICTATORHSIP for the first 175 years of its existence? It’s a shameful, embarrassing part of our history that our civics teachers understandably de-emphasize. But it’s true: it wasn’t until February 1951, when Minnesota became the 36th state to ratify the Glorious Twenty Second Amendment that our great nation became a real democracy with presidential term limits the way Jesus intended.

Apparently the knowledge of our terrible history has been passed down through secret societies of editorial board writers ever since, to be shared only when global democracy is in grave danger. Friends, that time is now. You see, there is this country, “Venezuela,” that is holding a national referendum in two short weeks that could potentially end presidential term limits, the central underpinning of all true democracies (Sorry, France!).

Sure, the whole thing would happen with a “vote,” which is technically one of the “trappings” of democracy, but the Washington Post knows that if the Venezuelans vote the wrong way, it will be nothing short of “a coup” that would “complete Venezuela's transformation into a dictatorship.” And also the vote outcome would somehow be “a fraud” that would “confirm [Chavez] as de facto president for life,” and would prove once and for all that he is “an autocrat,” who will “isolate and retard the country.” I don't know about you, but I’m feeling isolated and retarded just thinking about it!

As (north) Americans, we have suffered under the brutal dictatorships of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt and others too terrible to mention (rhymes with "Malivn Moolidge"). We, more than anyone, know that nothing good can possibly come of a President--or someone who has acted as President for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President--being re-elected more than one more time. And so it is our solemn duty to act as a beacon, a living breathing example to the rest of the world. Well, that and ‘cause we’re snotty little know-it-alls.

If Venezuela is allowed to vote the way it wants to on December 2nd, then the lives of all who died to bring us the twenty-second amendment will have been in vain. Think about it. Never Forget™!

November 22, 2007

Today We Give Thanks for Hundred-Year-Old British Publications Not Yet Owned By Rupert Murdoch. And Tofurkey.

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Don’t look now, but Venezuela is still a democracy. Money quote from the Staggers:

President Lula da Silva of Brazil defended Venezuela last week, asking why "people did not complain when Margaret Thatcher spent so many years in power". He added: "You can invent anything you want to criticise Chavez, but not for lack of democracy." Lula has repeatedly defended Venezuela's government as democratic, but these comments are never reported in the English language media.
Sorry for stating the obvs, but here in the U.S. we have to remind ourselves of reality from time to time what with the state of the journalism. And on a related note, the Washington Times is reporting that Hugo Chavez is exactly like Hitler and Communism rolled up in one only worse. Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2007

Venezuelan Dictatorship: Still Just Around the Corner, Again!

Just one week from today, Venezuelans will vote on a wide array of amendments to their Constitution, which will include everything from a shorter workweek to protections for gay & lesbian citizens. It will also increase the power of the executive branch and eliminate term limits for the president, potentially making Chavez as powerful as FDR almost.

Naturally the U.S. media establishment is up in arms. According to the New York Times, the plebiscite might turn Chavez into “an all-powerful strongman,” while the Washington Post explains that the vote (the VOTE!) would “complete Venezuela's transformation into a dictatorship.” Powerful words, no? These people are really concerned about the wording of this particular referendum, aren’t they? Haha. Actually, they’ve been saying the same thing for the past 8 years. Whatever Chavez was about to do next was going to lead to autocracy. It doesn’t actually matter that it never happened.—you just keep pushing the old goal posts back another few yards.

It’s really quite mind boggling when you add it all up. Join us on a head-slapping trip down memory lane, after the jump.

Continue reading "Venezuelan Dictatorship: Still Just Around the Corner, Again!" »

November 27, 2007

A Man After Our Own Hearts

Looking ahead to this weekend’s referendum, Hugh O’Shaughnessy takes a look at the U.S. political and press reactions and finds them a bit…hypocritical:


Now those who have fawned on Saudi Arabian kings, indulged the Israelis’ atom bomb and their criminal mistreatment of Palestinians, and quietly backed every Latin American dictator from Somoza and Pinochet to the Argentine and Brazilian generals will attempt to portray the Venezuelan leader as anti-democratic.
And then he just gets saucy:

Meanwhile at the top end The Economist, which has for long made money out of laughing at poor people, forms a plangent Greek chorus who forlornly hope that wicked Venezuela’s oil, the country’s prop, will run out or the price collapse. But with Venezuela’s growing reserves the magazine’s writers might as well dream Osama bin Laden will become the next editor of Vogue.
The piercing insight, the sneering prose. Hugh, whenever you’re inevitably fired from your current, gig, you’ll always have a home here.

February 1, 2008

Freedom 08!

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Venezuela is a country where somebody will sell you a cold beer while you’re stuck in a traffic jam, which is sort of the definition of “free society” if you ask me. So nobody should be surprised that Human Rights Watch refused to list it among the world’s not-free countries yesterday despite no-doubt intense lobbying from the Bush Administration. And when asked why, HRW hilariously shot back, “We did not include Venezuela in the list of closed countries because it is not.” In other words: Bitch, please.

So when you consider that the list of fake democracies is made up almost exclusively of Bush BFF’s like Thailand, Pakistan, and the Russia of Vlad “I looked into his soul” Putin, you start to wonder whether this anti-Chavez campaign actually stems from oil at all, or if they just hate Venezuela for its freedom.

June 8, 2008

Hey Can We Do this with the Patriot Act, Please?

You may have heard that Venezuela recently re-vamped its intelligence apparatus. Actually what you probably heard is that a New Spy Law threatened to throw Venezuelans into prison if they didn’t spy on their neighbors just like in Cuba! That was sort of the gist of this hysterical front page New York Times story last week. The Economist, hilariously backtracking on years of hyperventilating over Castro-comunismo in Venezuela, actually noted that the Chavez administration had “never been particularly repressive, let alone a dictatorship.” Until now, that is! The law was going to turn the country into a police state once and for all. It was even drawing comparisons to the Patriot Act, for gawdsakes.

Except that it didn’t quite do that. The law, as originally written, required people to turn over information about terrorism or threats to national security, but even that is moot because the government declared yesterday that it would amend it to remove the passages deemed controversial by human rights groups. Lamest. Dictatorship. Ever.

June 8, 2009

When Good Term Limits Go Bad

UribeDrugDealer1.jpgToday Newsweek explains how sometimes ending term limits can be good for democracy. You see it's all a very complicated algorithm involving whether or not they serve U.S. interests divided by the square root of bullshit rationalization:

"Take Uribe in Colombia and Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, both popular presidents. Uribe wrangled a constitutional amendment from Congress in 2006 allowing him to serve a second term; Congress has now authorized a referendum on whether he can run for a third. Chávez reset his term clock by enacting an entirely new Constitution in 2000, and he just won a plebiscite (on his second try) freeing him to run again." But there is a big difference, experts say, between negotiating an extension with the legislature (which means recognizing checks on presidential power) and harnessing popular passion"
Get that? "Wrangling an amendment from Congress" = democracy. People voting = autocracy, according to "experts." THAT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE, dingus. And God bless the Colombian congress, that world renowned "check on presidential power" where a full 25% of members are currently under investigation or in jail for their links to narco-trafficking mass murderers, no exaggeration!

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