Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Chavez - 11/16/05 06:45 PM

Chavez recently accused Fox, Mexico's US-friendly president, of being a traitor to Latin America (and Mexicans) for siding with and promoting the US-led "Free Trade For The Americas." Chavez is right.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: govikes

Re: Chavez - 11/16/05 06:58 PM

Yeah, Belize has a much better idea: don't let any other countries import beer, fruit juice, etc. so just ONE PERSON sells it. A monopoly is always such a good idea. That way us stupid consumers don't have to make a choice.
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Chavez - 11/16/05 07:21 PM

I would guess Belize has no problems with other countries importing beer?

If referring to corporations, such as Bowen & Bowen, I only applaud the Belize Government of today and the past. Buy in Belize = Build Belize, a developing country, not a world power. I'm sure the families in Ladyville would agree. (also goes for local producers in Cayo, Stann Creek, Toledo, Orange Walk and Corozal districts).

Cold Coors Light and USDA Beef or the guarantee of Belizean industries?

Posted By: Catatonic Motivator

Re: Chavez - 11/16/05 11:43 PM

SIN said: "the guarantee of Belizean industries"

Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Chavez - 11/17/05 02:23 AM

Support our Belizean!
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Chavez - 11/17/05 02:54 AM

I agree, to a point. If your product is crap compared to what's available outside the country what's the incentive to improve and supply a better product which will in turn open up export markets. No incentive to improve, no expansion of the market and no creation of jobs. What about availability, if a local product isn't available for the better part of the year why should the consumer go without. Global bans are also a real problem, look at the fruit juice issue, since when does Belize make Cranberry juice?

It's a fine line that takes creative legislation to ensure that the consumer is happy and the manufacturer is motivated to provide a product that has more than just local appeal. The day that happens in Belize will be a great day for the country. Protectionism doesn't work over the long haul and is more damaging than an open market.

That doesn't mean I'm a free trade fan. US free trade means you have to buy US and if you want to sell there you're out of luck because all of the US interests have back door subsidies that ensure that they always come out on top.

I don’t know if I like Chavez for what he’s trying to accomplish or the fact that Bush can’t stand him.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Chavez - 11/17/05 02:57 AM

You can help our nation if you buy Belizean whenever you can.
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: Chavez - 11/17/05 12:16 PM

I buy locally as much as possible, but wait til you can only get Mennonite cheese in Belize, see how patriotic you'll feel when you want to eat pizza. Even the Mennonites asked the Govt to raise taxes on imported cheeses, don't ban them, and reinvest those taxes in the developing dairy industry. We need experts (which we have plenty of) in the ministries, not political apppointees. Like Pappy Pena on the board of BAHA. I mean, what the hell is that? Even the people who are happy to benefit from Chavez's largesse think him messianic. But don't send Chavez a thank you note too soon-Esso doesn't want to give govt space to store the fuel coming from Venezuela. Keep an eye on who gets the deal to distribute the fuel, unless privitization has become a dirty word so close to elections.
Posted By: govikes

Re: Chavez - 11/17/05 02:19 PM

When you can buy REAL peach, pear, strawberry, etc. juice produced in Belize I'll buy it. But banning juices and expecting people to buy fruit flavored sugar water instead is just plain stupid. I won't do it. I would pay more for a product that I WANT (as in import taxes that could be used to develop more businesses here in Belize) - just because you ban a product doesn't mean the consumer is going to buy a different and sometimes inferior product.
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Chavez - 11/17/05 08:52 PM

If the taxes are used to develop more businesses, is the key.

I also like a large selection of fruit juices (a small token of the larger picture) at the supermarket. But, I've yet to see juices that are not from concentrate. Big-H has a nice selection. Our Latin American neighbours also offer nice juices here in Belize.

I might consider drinking fresh squeezed OJ than opening the doors to US based free trade and globalization (modern day slavery).

Good point Katy, as always. I know we can both recall when Menonite cheese was about all we could get our hands on here.

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Chavez - 11/18/05 02:33 AM

:p When youre good buddy Chavez doesnt come through for you, SIN , you'll always be able to count on Chirac. "Chavez is right" -pathetic-Chavez doesnt have a "right" cell in his body.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Chavez - 11/18/05 02:45 AM

laugh Hey SIN, Im sure Fidel would gladly ship you a barge full of fresh squeezed OJ with no "strings"
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Chavez - 11/18/05 02:52 AM

Belize has the best fresh-squeezed OJ in the world!
Posted By: casa de amor

Re: Chavez - 11/18/05 04:49 AM

the best OJ i ever drank was in Chetamal at a restaurant called COCO's it was a hotel ,and a restaurant. anyone ever been there?
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: Chavez - 11/18/05 11:37 AM

Los Cocos on Heroes.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Chavez - 11/18/05 01:28 PM

Actually Fidel has been very benevolent to Belize, I haven't heard of any strings, has anyone else?
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: Chavez - 11/18/05 03:08 PM

No strings, in fact, we get all the benefit from the relationship that goes back to before independence when Fidel stood up for little Belize (then called British Honduras) in the UN in its bid for independence. Belize, along with many other first world democracies, recently voted against the US embargo against Cuba at the UN. Give the Cuban people a break man, you see all the hurricanes they get whopped with each season?
Posted By: clover

Re: Chavez - 11/18/05 03:49 PM

Chavez and Bush are the same......petty dictators
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Chavez - 11/18/05 04:55 PM

Chavez was elected by a majority vote.
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Chavez - 11/18/05 08:38 PM

At least the other 9/10 (thats nine tenths) of the world, that isn't spoon fed the news at 7, realize the US is now a police state called "Homeland Security".
Posted By: clover

Re: Chavez - 11/19/05 05:14 AM

George Bush was elected by a majority what's your point
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Chavez - 11/19/05 09:08 AM

mad SIN arriving from planet??? get the bug outta your a#@ boy and get real. Soura*@ ex-pat?
Posted By: Now Danny

Re: Chavez - 11/19/05 12:41 PM

Sin, your right about the U.S. being a police state. cool Clover, was Bush really elected by a majority vote? I think not. confused :rolleyes:
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Chavez - 11/19/05 02:19 PM

Rykat is obviously one of those die hards that still buy into the propoganda machine. Thankfully others are starting to see through the smoke screen.

Either that or Rykat is really GWB, wouldn't suprise me that he'd be on this board. Probably gets tired sitting at his desk playing video games while others tell him what to do and say. It's true, just watch when he get's asked a question that he wasn't given the answer to first, deer in the headlights look everytime. eek
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Chavez - 11/19/05 07:51 PM

eek eek eek Its all in the strateegery Simon....whoops!!!
What a sack of sorry leftist horsecrap on this thread - poor 6072...sucked up in the tornado of CNN and PMSNBC garbage and he actually believes it? One too many bricks? Simon? you get a pass - your in AC and you cant help yourself. If I was down there half the year or more Id probably buy into that crap too!
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Chavez - 11/19/05 08:20 PM

Been watching the Faux Channel eh?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Chavez - 11/19/05 09:49 PM

Only fresh air we have Jesse!
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Chavez - 11/21/05 03:51 PM

Most intelligent folks realize when you make personal attacks during a friendly debate it actually doesn't make your viewpoint any stronger.

Vive la Revolucion!

Posted By: Mervino

Re: Chavez - 11/21/05 03:56 PM

No matter what ir is, I'm against it,
I doesn't even matter who comminced it,
I'm against it!!!! (GM)
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Chavez - 11/21/05 03:56 PM

Some more fuel:

While Bush prevaricates, Venezuela offers help to US poor

by Jorge Martin

Sept 3 2005

Venezuela was the first country to offer help to the United States in dealing with the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Chavez has offered money and personnel to help in the relief operations. The answer of an unnamed "senior State official" was that “unsolicited offers can be counterproductive." They would rather some of their own people died than have the people of the USA see Venezuela for what it is, a country where its people are challenging the very capitalist system upon which so much poverty and devastation is based.

Venezuela was the first country to offer help to the United States in dealing with the effects of Hurricane Katrina. On Wednesday, August 31st, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez announced that Venezuelan state-owned CITGO Petroleum Corporation had already pledged US$1 million for hurricane aid. "It’s a terrible tragedy that our North American brothers are living through," Chavez said. "We have a battalion from our Simon Bolivar humanitarian team ready in case they authorize it for us to go there, if they give us the green light." He offered humanitarian workers and fuel to help. "We are willing to donate fuel for hospitals, for public transport, everything we can do," Chavez said.

But at the same time Hugo Chavez sharply criticised US president G W Bush for his handling of the Hurricane crisis. "As more information comes out now, a terrible truth is becoming evident: That government doesn’t have evacuation plans," Chavez said. Putting words to what many in the US must be thinking, he added that Bush, "there at his ranch, said nothing more than ’you need to flee’; he didn’t even say how - in cowboy style." He also pointed out that the lack of a clear strategy on the part of the government hit the poorest sections of the population hardest. "We all saw the long lines of desperate people leaving that city in vehicles, those who had vehicles," he said, noting that the areas worst affected are amongst "some of the poorest in the United States, most of them black."

In contrast with the lack of action on the part of the US government, the Venezuelan government was able to help hundreds of Lousiana residents. CITGO, a company in the US owned by the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA, has a network of refineries and gas stations in the United States. One of these is based in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and was opened to give shelter and aid to some 2,000 residents of the area.

Felix Rodriguez, the president of both PDVSA and CITGO who was visiting the Lake Charles refinery, said that the funds from their donation would be directed to aid organizations in affected areas.

According to, sources at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC said that "apart from the million dollars in monetary assistance, Venezuela is offering two mobile hospital units, each capable of assisting 150 people, 120 specialists in rescue operations, 10 water purifying plants, 18 electricity generators of 850 KW each, 20 tons of bottled water, and 50 tons of canned food."

In his statement Chavez also noted the contrast between the way Cuba and the US deal with these kinds of natural catastrophes. Here we can see again the advantages of a system where the private profit motive was abolished after the 1959 revolution. While there are very few victims of hurricanes in Cuba, and the contingency plans are properly organised, in the most powerful capitalist nation on earth, thousands die, most of whom could be alive today if the necessary measures had been taken.

Chavez further made the link between the fierceness and frequency of recent hurricanes and global warming, for which he blamed capitalism and criticised the US for refusing to sign the Kyoto Protocol on the reduction of greenhouse gases.

Not surprisingly, coverage of this offer for help from Venezuela was very scarce or non existent in the US media. The only reaction from the US administration was from an unnamed "senior State official" quoted in the Washington Times as saying that “he was not aware of Caracas’ proposal” but noted that “unsolicited offers can be counterproductive." The Bush administration cannot really accept this offer for help which would destroy the image they are trying to create of Chavez as an evil dictator.

Venezuela’s offer comes a week after the statements by right wing fundamentalist preacher Pat Robertson, who said on his TV station that Chavez should be assassinated. The Bush administration has so far not condemned this statement and not taken any legal measures against Pat Robertson. The furthest they went was when Rumsfeld said that he did not agree with the declarations of Robertson, but that any private individual is free to say whatever he wants.

In the last week, Venezuela has also offered cheap gas and fuel to poor communities in the US, the hardest hit by the recent increases in the price of oil. "We want to sell gasoline and heating fuel directly to poor communities in the United States". Chavez explained that the exorbitant price of oil is mainly caused by speculation on the part of the multinationals and intermediaries, and that if these were cut out, prices would be much cheaper. He explained how in Venezuela gas is even cheaper than bottled water and that Venezuelans can fill their tank for about $2. According to the Venezuelan Embassy in the US, more than 1400 organisations (churches, charities, counties, hospitals) have already contacted them to enquire about the details of the offer.

This is not the only offer that revolutionary Venezuela has made to the United States people. When Chavez attended the graduation of the first promotion of the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba (ELAM), he also offered to bring tens of thousands of US citizens to Cuba to be operated on their cataracts, extending the "Mision Milagro", which has been dealing with Venezuelan patients, to a 150,000 poor US-Americans a year. The offer was also to train thousands of doctors at this ELAM school. "We are deeply concerned about the poverty which is increasing in the United States," Chavez said.

The attitude of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez towards the US is thus very clear and has been so from the very beginning of the Bolivarian revolution: opposition to imperialism and the attempts of the US administration to overthrow the democratically elected government in Venezuela, while at the same time solidarity and links with ordinary working people in the United States.

These offers of help also expose the inability of capitalism in the US to provide the basics for their own population: health care for all, relief in case of emergency, cheap fuel for heating in the winter, etc. This is a further argument against those who say that the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela must proceed cautiously, not to provoke imperialism, etc. In fact the best defence against imperialism is taking measures like these which will show ordinary working people in the United States what can be done and will make them think what kind of government they would rather have: one that puts war and private profit before peoples’ basic needs, or one that invests the country’s natural resources to improve peoples’ lives.

This example would be even more powerful if the Venezuelan revolution were completed and the whole of the economy put under the democratic control of the workers, the only way in which the Bolivarian revolution can succeed.
Posted By: Mervino

Re: Chavez - 11/21/05 03:58 PM

PLEASE take your politics to a MAINLAND site for blogging gringos.
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: Chavez - 11/21/05 04:56 PM

Chavez is clever, I'll give him that. He has the propaganda angle down. Interesting his stance on global warming given his entire economy is based on the burning of fossil fuels. He's right about disaster response. One of the few legitimate roles government should be playing is that of disaster response.
Posted By: Chris

Re: Chavez - 11/22/05 07:39 PM

"This example would be even more powerful if the Venezuelan revolution were completed and the whole of the economy put under the democratic control of the workers, the only way in which the Bolivarian revolution can succeed."

Does this mean Chavez wants to nationalize timeshare as well, SIN?
Posted By: Chris

Re: Chavez - 11/22/05 07:44 PM

And SIN, how can you, an entrepeneur, possibly condone (with a straight face) Chavez's clearly stated aim of making Venezuela a communist state where private enterprise no longer exists?

Ah, I get it, you haven't GOT a straight face, you're winding everyone up, right?
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Chavez - 11/22/05 08:48 PM

"Contrary to certain reports, foreign direct investment into Venezuela is welcomed and certainly some significant companies have made that commitment to the country," Cockerill said. "Venezuela is clearly a country open for business."
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: Chavez - 11/22/05 09:44 PM

Sure.... and I've got some great property in Caracas if anyone's interested
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Chavez - 11/22/05 10:21 PM

Real estate is selling very well in Venezuela
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Chavez - 11/22/05 10:35 PM

Just wise to consider ALL viewpoints. Entrepeneur - yes, but a citizen of world first. Could make certain sacrifices if it meant a better world. But perhaps and option for a younger generation.

A closing viewpoint:

by Oscar Heck

Venezuela's Chavez has the guts to say it as it is … Fox is a traitor to his people commentarist Oscar Heck writes: There are more storm clouds on the horizon … and Jimi Hendrix predicted it … and I am not referring to the ever increasing number of devastating hurricanes and tornadoes that have been hitting US and almost-US territory (Mexico and Central America) in recent months.

This storm is much greater, it carries a much greater punch and will be significantly more devastating than any hurricane or tornado could ever be.

As I have been predicting for over a year, mass popular uprisings against "western" society have begun … in France … and now in Belgium and … soon … in several other "western" countries. Sooner or later, it will happen on US territory … and, I believe, we should witness this within the next year (in 2006).

As far as I can see, the reason these violent anti-west uprisings are happening first in Europe is because most (or all) European countries have less restrictive laws. Their societies are less of a "police state" than the USA. Most of US society (law and order) is based on coercion, force and repression. Proportionately, US citizens enjoy the highest rate of incarceration in the world … for anything as harmless as sleeping on a park bench to not paying a traffic ticket.

The leaders of the USA, the elite, the power-mongers (and war-mongers) are well aware of this, I am sure.
Why do you think that "Homeland Security" was created? To protect the US citizenry from "terrorists?" No, not at all. The cheapest, most effective way to protect the US from "terrorist" threats is simple and highly effective … take all US military and CIA personnel out of every country in the world. The bosses of the USA know this. Why are they not doing it? The answer is simple. There are major interests that control US government foreign policies … interests that stand to make billions of dollars ($$$) by acquiring and controlling the massive natural resources of other countries … those resources which the present US territory does not have.

If the US withdrew all its troops immediately from the hundreds of military bases/operations which they have oversees, the people of the USA could finally begin to feel safe … abroad and within their own country. As in the past, they would once again enjoy at least a little respect. However, and unfortunately, this is far from being the case.

So why was Homeland Security created?

It was created so that the powers which run the US government gain more "police" control over their citizens. The excuse of "terrorism" was the best excuse to justify further repression against US citizens and instill an even greater level of fear (of authority) within the US population.

Some people may think I am crazy … but just look at what is happening … and watch, stay tuned to what is about to happen in the coming months. Here are a few clues … only a few.

1. The bombings of (US) hotels in Jordan.

2. The unceasing revenge attacks on US and US-friendly people in Iraq and abroad.

3. The fact that the Chinese government has announced (today) that they have no intention whatsoever of assisting the US in balancing the trade imbalance (China manufactures massive amounts of items for the USA whilst the USA manufactures little for China) … unless the US government decides to allow China to purchase high-tech items such as satellites from the USA or military or nuclear technology (which the US government does not allow and has no intention of allowing due to self-inflicted paranoia).

4. Chavez recently accused Fox, Mexico's US-friendly president, of being a traitor to Latin America (and Mexicans) for siding with and promoting the US-led "Free Trade For The Americas." Chavez is right. My wife and I interviewed many workers in Mexico in recent times and I can vouch for the fact that the vast majority of Mexican laborers are becoming more and more anti-USA and blame their increasingly desperate situation on "Free Trade." I predict that things will get worse in Mexico and throughout most of Central America, where traitorous governments have basically sold their countries to the USA and to other international multinational "western" interests. The time is approaching.

5. The increased discontent within the USA … the increasingly difficult financial situations in which most USA people find themselves, the increase in violence and drug use … the losing of basic human values.

6. The millions of US manufacturing jobs which have been lost to China and to Central America (cheap labor!).

Now, I am not talking only about the USA … I am talking about the "western world" as a whole.

I am Canadian-born … and I used to be proud of being Canadian because there were differences between "Americans" and Canadians. I am no longer proud, not at all. I am in fact ashamed to call myself Canadian.

Most Canadians now watch US violence-ridden television, listen to US-made music, buy at Walmart and eat at McDonalds. Millions of Canadians have lost their jobs (and/or their cultural identity) due to "Free Trade" with the USA … and our governments do absolutely nothing to curb the situation. On the contrary, Paul Martin, like Fox, promoted the US-pushed "Free Trade For The Americas" in Argentina recently.

Worse of all, Canada is becoming like the USA in terms of being a repressive police state … like we see in US-made movies. When I was growing up, the police in Canada rarely handcuffed anyone. Today, they do like in the USA. They will handcuff you for the slightest reason. They use weapons as tools of coercion … they act like the actors in many US movies and television programs … and at the major airports, the security people look and behave like clones of US security people, gun-toting drones brainwashed to be paranoid and trained to treat people like numbers and robots rather than humans. To me, it is disgusting … but an inevitable result of "western" values: money, ownership of property (physical and intellectual), consumerism, materialism, individualism and overwork … which understandably leads to overindulgence, drug abuse, increased violence, ignorance, divorce, suicide, indifference, depression and disease.

Chavez is right!

Why do leaders such as Fox (and Martin) continue to promote "Free Trade" when they know that it is not good for society as a whole? It is only good for a minority … and for large multinationals … and for the elite. They know it. They know it full well!

If Chavez knows this, so do billions of people throughout the world. Chavez, however, has the guts to say it as it is … and in public. Fox is a traitor to his people … and Paul Martin is a traitor to Canadians.

There will be an increase in violent popular uprisings throughout the "western" world and in countries that have been siding with the "western" world. Europe is experiencing it and the USA is being put into a vice that will eventually squeeze the people of the USA into internal uprisings, the likes of which have never before been seen on US territory. And … this is in addition to the unstoppable threat against US citizens and US-friendly people throughout the world due to US military aggression … to avenge the blood on their hands … to clear the slate of mass assassinations and the history of the maiming of millions of innocent people … including women, children and elders.

Imagine if China invaded the USA and the Chinese soldiers raped or maimed or killed your five teenage daughters and your wife and your 82-year-old father … what would you do and how would you feel? How would you react? Just imagine. Now, your government is run by the Chinese and so are your police and military forces. What exactly would you do? What?

"Enough is enough," will cry the people. Now they are whispering.

Venezuelans are doing it, at least the majority who follow Chavez (about 70%). Why can't Mexicans and Colombians and Guatemalans and people in Honduras and Costa Rica, Belize and Panama do the same? Is it because they have leaders who do not dare to speak up for what is right?

"Free Trade" is worse than any "avian" flu … it kills slowly but surely … yet only really affects the 80% poorer, darker-skinned, excluded majority who cannot afford the necessary medical attention.

The new storm-clouds are looming over the horizon and they are even more devastating … but … they will only affect the minority "western" 20% (and their without-conscience traitors, cohorts and co-collaborators) who can indeed afford to pay for insurance … but who cannot buy it because no insurance company will cover against such "acts of God."

Oscar Heck has been a commentarist for nearly 3 years and has contributed close to 400 articles. Born in Canada, Oscar has spent most of his life working as an executive recruiter and corporate investigator. He has traveled to 34 countries and lived/worked in 12, including Kuwait during the Gulf War (1991). Oscar's love affair with Venezuela began 28 years ago when he first went to work as a missionary in the shantytowns (barrios) of Caracas and in the Barlovento area, east of Caracas. Over the years, Oscar has traveled and worked throughout much of Venezuela, living mostly in the barrios. Oscar's strong anti-US-government stance stems mostly from his experience in the Gulf War and from his vast exposure to the inside workings of large corporations. His strong pro-Venezuela stance stems from his love for the Venezuelan Pueblo and from his unwavering belief that Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's current President, is taking positive steps toward enhancing the lives of the traditionally exploited, abused and excluded 80% majority. Oscar is fluent in English, Spanish and French.

Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Chavez - 11/22/05 10:51 PM

Oil For Bronx Poor is a Foreign Gift
Santa Claus, make way for Santa Chavez
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Chavez - 11/23/05 12:53 AM

Oh that must just [#%!] GWB right off.
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: Chavez - 11/23/05 12:58 AM

Pisses a lot of people off, including me.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Chavez - 11/23/05 01:27 AM

Why? Don't you live in one of the donated neighbourhoods?

Posted By: Catatonic Motivator

Re: Chavez - 11/23/05 01:45 AM

Wow. Quoting the media. That's rich.

Don't forget (and, since I sense a higher sense of sensibility w/Simon, I'll apologize to him for any perceived dissin'--none intended), that those who are "casting stones" used to live in the US but, of their own accord, have chosen to live elsewhere.

Y'all might consider the consideration(s) provided by all of us residing in the "evil empire" b/4 you get so worked up. Hell, life could be a whole lot worse.

Or better, maybe, depending on your perception (don't forget you're not indigeonous, so your perception may vary).

Or was it for something better? If you were a US citizen, why'd you leave? Really, what for? Why, if you've been gone, do you believe it's still *so* bad? Chances are your perceptions are biased by whatever media you are exposed to or commentary you choose to absorb.

BZ's on a forward track, mostly funded by US dollars. Doubt it? Ask a merchant what they'd prefer. In fact, do that anywhere in CA...maybe just about anywhere at all.

World economy? Yep. I think so. Nothing special, just an observation. I can spend US dollars anywhere. My local grocer just doesn't get BZ cash. I tried it.
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: Chavez - 11/23/05 01:48 AM

That is the most convoluted piece of crap I've read in a long time. The contradictions are many (free trade hurts because it send jobs to poorer countries, but it hurts Mexico because it is a poorer country???). There are multiple issues being confused here. First, I agree with the assessment that the U.S. has its military stretched too far across the globe and should be less intent on being the world's police. However, this missive devolves into arguments about free trade and police states with no real reasoning attached. Police state in the U.S.? Give me a break! Try chewing gum in Singapore, spitting in Turkey, or, heaven forbid, be a woman seen without her burkah in Saudi Arabia. Hogwash!
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: Chavez - 11/23/05 01:54 AM

Every country that has embraced free trade and Western ideals has prospered as a result. One of the best examples is Costa Rica. As the nation with the highest standard of living in C.A. it has advanced by being the first to agressively adopt a stable democracy that promotes capitalism. As for Chavez's gift of oil -- God Bless him. We should be happy to accept any goods or services another nation wishes to donate. Governments who lure followers in this manner always fall from power as their governments learn they cannot susatin the weight of an ever-growing welfare state.
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: Chavez - 11/23/05 02:24 AM

Hey Otter, who are your remarks directed to? SIN? or others. it's kinda hard for us unwashed to figure out.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Chavez - 11/23/05 02:28 AM
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: Chavez - 11/23/05 02:34 AM

Sorry immising -- it's a general rant -- I love you guys, just some friendly banter. The Oscar Heck article is crap though.
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: Chavez - 11/23/05 02:37 AM

Posted By: Ernie B

Re: Chavez - 11/23/05 02:40 AM

I agree, Oscar and SIN for posting, should receive, oohh, about 10 lashes.
Posted By: sandb

Re: Chavez - 11/23/05 06:13 AM

I'm guessing someone had no school today. :rolleyes:
Posted By: Corona Steve

Re: Chavez - 11/23/05 05:28 PM

This is a great topic, it tells me who you are, and how you think. Keep it up.
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: Chavez - 11/23/05 05:37 PM

I agree, it's fun. Hope no one takes it personally (especially Jesse since I wish to remain a member in good standing ).
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: Chavez - 12/02/05 12:41 AM

A police state in the U.S.? Maybe more restrictive than it should be, but c'mon let's think this through a little more shall we.
Posted By: reaper

Re: Chavez - 12/02/05 02:50 AM

Chavez was a paratrooper that bullied, and false promised his way to power. He promised the masses oil money...I think they are still waiting...
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Chavez - 12/02/05 02:57 AM

Venezuela´s Chavez Has US in a Tizzy

Circles Robinson*

On Tuesday November 22, the New York Times published an article titled: "Q and A: U.S.-Venezuelan Relations." The following piece asks the same questions but the answers are different.


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was in the limelight at the Summit of the Americas on November 4-5 after taking the lead role in burying the US-backed "Free Trade Area of the Americas." The scheme would have given US corporations a free hand at Latin American markets while farm and export subsidies and other bureaucratic regulations would continue to give US agriculture and manufacturing an advantage over imports from the South.

Speaking to the "counter summit", also held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Chavez drew heavy applause from the tens of thousands gathered to find alternatives to fighting poverty and injustice. The Venezuelan leader put forth the "Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas" as the way to promote regional development based on social and economic investment and solidarity between sister nations. Julia Sweig of the Council on Foreign Relations told the NYT that Chavez was able to "step into a political vacuum the US has left by virtue of having such a myopic agenda for the hemisphere."


Chavez, a former army colonel, made his first attempt at reversing Venezuela´s long history of corrupt rule in a failed 1992 coup against the government of Carlos Andres Perez. Released in an amnesty two years later, Chavez, already a national hero, swept to victory with 56.2 percent of the votes in the 1998 presidential elections on a platform of social and economic reforms. The following year his supporters drafted a new constitution to make possible a left turn, which was overwhelmingly approved by the voters. When the new constitution took force, Chavez had to once again stand election and in June 2000 he received 59.7 percent of the votes for a six year term.

In 2001, Chavez introduced new laws including land reform and changes in the fraud laden oil industry. Five months later a US-backed civilian-military coup removed him from office on April 11, 2002. When the new leaders graced by the White House held their first press conference they abolished the constitution, closed the legislature, and in one fell swoop reversed all the popular social and economic programs Chavez had instituted. While the Venezuelan media, virtually all private and pro-Washington, rejoiced, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans began to spontaneously assemble and converge on the city centers to demand Chavez´ return. Two days later the junta fled Caracas under the thunder of massive demonstrations and, with a sizeable portion of the military supporting the democratically elected president, Chavez made his triumphant return from the island where he was held kidnapped.

Having failed to defeat him in both elections and through violence, the US and the local opposition turned to economic sabotage as the next step, paralyzing the nation´s oil industry at the end of 2002. While the nearly 2-month management strike cost the country billions, it too failed to bring down the popular government.

In 2003, the US decided to once again try the electoral route hoping the economic difficulties caused by the strike and supply shortages had softened up voters to finally oust Chavez. Millions poured into the opposition campaign via US-AID and NED. But the recall referendum in August, 2004 proved even more disastrous for Washington, with Chavez winning once again with nearly 60 percent of the vote. Under the 2000 Constitution a president can seek reelection for one additional period and Chavez is now expected by friends and foes alike to win easily in 2006.

When Chavez came to power he inherited a country wracked by corruption and poverty and excellent relations with the White House. With Washington´s complacency and deals that favored US corporate interests, the two main parties AD and COPEI had squandered the country´s vast oil wealth over decades and left a huge gap between rich and poor. The reforms instituted by the Chavez government have been designed to fight poverty by increasing employment and offering free educational opportunities and health care to those who never had them.

With the increase in world oil prices, Venezuela has seen its GDP grow in double digit figures and to the chagrin of the White House, the government has reinvested the money in developing other previously ignored economic sectors, including agriculture, while greatly increasing social spending. While the NYT article talks about increasing poverty with pro-Bush administration think tank statistics, anyone visiting Venezuela without an axe to grind can see support for Chavez in fact continues to increase.


Bush administration experts note that US-Venezuelan relations prior to Chavez taking office were smooth sailing. However since Chavez came to power he challenged the status quo that favored US corporate interests. When Washington balked he claimed intermission in the country´s internal affairs. After the Bush administration´s involvement in the coup and oil industry sabotage became clearer, Chavez upped the ante by calling the US president "Mr. Danger" and revealing efforts by the US to assassinate him as a last ditch strategy. The fact that Chavez has increased trade as well as educational and health exchanges with Cuba is another thorn in Washington´s side as it tries to tighten its nearly half century blockade on the Caribbean island.


To many observers in the US, Chavez programs of social and economic reform don´t really pose a threat to US interests. But Bush administration officials continue to see him as a destabilizing force in the Americas and frown at his offering economic assistance with preferential oil agreements to several Latin American and Caribbean governments reeling from Washington´s "free market" recipes. Another sore spot for the US State Department is "Telesur" a Caracas-based satellite TV channel, owned by Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Cuba, which puts a progressive Latin American focus on regional and world news that counters the CNN in Spanish and Univision coverage slanted heavily to a world centered around the United States.

As Washington shows its intolerance of a popular reformer and steps up its threats, Venezuela has begun to diversify its economic relations, traditionally very dependent on the US. After the coup showed to what lengths the US special services are willing to go to topple the Chavez government, Venezuela has also moved to shore up its country´s defense readiness.

Chavez can do nothing right according to the Venezuelan opposition or the Bush administration that directs its actions. If he wins elections and then tries to govern, he´s un-democratic. If he tries to implement the policies put forth in his electoral program he´s a tyrant. He´s even blamed for the masses not allowing the US-backed coup to succeed.

When legislative elections take place in early December it´s once again a no win situation for Chavez in the eyes of the White House. If the parties that support his program win, they are undemocratic, if they lose, democracy rides again. In the last local elections held in October 2004, Chavez allies won in 20 of Venezuela´s 23 states, plus the capital, Caracas.


While the verbal rift picks up steam, many US experts point to the long term business relationship between the two countries. They note that PDVSA, the Venezuelan state oil company, owns the Houston-based CITGO, one of the world´s leading oil refiners, and that major US corporations like Exxon, Texaco, Chevron and Conoco Philips want to continue doing business with the South American country. Over 10 percent of US oil imports come from Venezuela, and while Chavez seeks to diversify his markets, the US remains his leading trade partner.

Other think tank analysts warn against demonizing Chavez and forcing a growing conflict. With the US bogged down in Iraq, threatening Iran and Syria, and stepping up its blockade against Cuba, many observers view the administration with its hands full. Why further alienate Venezuela at a time like this, they ask.

* Mr. Robinson is an American translator and writer who´s currently residing in Cuba.
Posted By: reaper

Re: Chavez - 12/02/05 04:02 AM

When I was there 4 years ago, a lot of the common folk were disheartened by his actions...sort of like other leaders we all know...
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: Chavez - 12/02/05 01:20 PM

Circles Robinson huh? Now there's a worthy news source -- fair and balanced. C'mon Jesse, please quote someone else than a mouthpiece for the state-run media of Cuba. I am not so naive as to think the U.S. doesn't try to influence governments, but this is over the top with no evidence to support it. Free media in the EU would have been all over this if there had been any shred of evidence to support a U.S.-led coup.
Posted By: streetchie

Re: Chavez - 12/02/05 02:24 PM

This source is about as reliable as the US funded articles written for newspapers in Baghdad. "all is well, mission accomplished!"
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Chavez - 12/02/05 02:47 PM

To the original point as it concerns Belize. Can anyone think of any centrally directed economy that works? You always end up with bureaucrats making decisions on things they know nothing about, and even when they are well intentioned (rare in such economies) they are still incompetent.
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: Chavez - 12/02/05 02:56 PM

Amen. Everything looks good for a while as benevolent dictators start to help the poor. But, eventually everything turns out like the peronistas and the welfare state buckles under the weight of its own obligations. The goal is to find a balance between a safety net and a free market system that promotes business growth -- Chavez ain't the devil some make him out to be, but he sure ain't a saviour either. Now if the U.S. would stop bullying which gives idots like Chavez a voice....
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Chavez - 12/02/05 03:20 PM

Promoting business growth, like California these days?
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: Chavez - 12/02/05 04:42 PM

I work for a bank that refuses to go into California because its government regulation is far too restrictive. It costs too much money to do business in California unless you are already there.
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Chavez - 12/02/05 06:48 PM

I wonder why most of the Caribbean nations do not consider Chavez an idiot?
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: Chavez - 12/02/05 07:39 PM

The same reason the Mass. legislative delegation doesn't -- he's giving away free stuff. I'd keep my mouth shut too! Always follow the money.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Chavez - 12/03/05 01:59 AM

Venezuela Touts Cheap Fuel to US as Bush Takes Heat
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: Chavez - 12/03/05 01:54 PM

Posted By: clover

Re: Chavez - 12/04/05 07:11 PM

Maybe you can call your good buddy Chavez and ask him to sell his oil cheaply to Belize....I was just there and its $5 per gallon! Better yet call Exxon in Houston and cut a's only $2.25 there!! Hey Fidel! Got any oil for cheap? Maybe you can get the Belizean government to relax the taxes on oil for awhile so the working class can get a leg up!!!!!OOOPS....another utopian dream.
Posted By: klcman

Re: Chavez - 12/04/05 07:39 PM

Gee clover, what a great idea...wonder why nobody thought of that before??

Posted By: clover

Re: Chavez - 12/04/05 08:10 PM

Part II....Gee Chavez sure impressed the elites in Belize with all that cheap was still $5 a gallon at the pump for the working class.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Chavez - 12/04/05 08:32 PM

Venezualean petroleum is not on the retail market however gas prices have dropped twice recently. The first load of Chavez fuel is likely going to the power plants to reduce electrical costs.
Posted By: clover

Re: Chavez - 12/04/05 08:56 PM

Oops again...I forgot all the utilities were nationalized.
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Chavez - 12/04/05 09:49 PM

No,our power co. is private.
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