After having other attempts to return hostages from FARC not go through, today must be a good day for two former hostages, as well as President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela!
Tag: Hugo Chavez
Jan 10 2008
Jan 01 2008
This is a short review of two biographies of Hugo Chávez, current President of Venezuela.
(from Idealterna on Flickr)
Mostly I am interested in comparing and contrasting the two biographical styles. Marcano and Tyszka are much like journalists, whereas Jones has a somewhat pro-Chávez axe to grind. In the end I find Jones more straightforward. I am also interested in depicting Chávez against the background of Venezuelan political economy, in which a rich few garner all of the profits from Venezuela’s enormous oil reserves while the poor majority have in the past found themselves shut out of the benefits in times when the price of crude oil has been high.
(crossposted at Big Orange)
Dec 05 2007
Dec 03 2007
Chavez Loses Constitutional Vote
CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez suffered a stunning defeat Monday in a referendum that would have let him run for re-election indefinitely and impose a socialist system in this major U.S. oil provider.
Voters defeated the sweeping measures Sunday by a vote of 51 percent to 49 percent, said Tibisay Lucena, chief of the National Electoral Council, with voter turnout at just 56 percent.
She said that with 88 percent of the votes counted, the trend was irreversible.
Opposition supporters shouted with joy as Lucena announced the results on national television early Monday, their first victory against Chavez after nine years of electoral defeats.
Credit to Chavez for respecting this result. It sounds strange to say that, but Latin America, unfortuately, is not famous for its fealty to democracy.
Dec 01 2007
Sunday, December 2, 2007, is Voting Day in Venezuela. This diary is about the referendum and the last minute developments leading up to the vote.
What’s the vote about? BBC reports:
On 2 December, Venezuelans will decide whether or not to approve a package of constitutional reforms, which include ending the limits on presidential terms.
The changes, which would affect about a quarter of the constitution’s articles, were approved by the National Assembly, which is controlled by President Hugo Chavez’s supporters.
The referendum is the last step needed for the changes to come into force. Around 60% of voters are expected to take part
More across the wide, turquoise Caribe.
Dec 01 2007
Today the NYTimes Editorial Board publishes an editorial urging Venzuelan voters to reject Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s constitutional proposals:
Since he took office eight years ago, Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chávez, has grabbed more and more power, exploiting his nation’s oil wealth to buy up popular support. Now there are hopeful signs that his plan to become president for life may be too blatant for the electorate to swallow.
Tomorrow, Venezuelans are scheduled to vote on a package of constitutional reforms proposed by Mr. Chávez that would grant the president control over nearly every major political institution, as well as the option to stand for re-election as many times as he wants. A few months ago, it looked like Mr. Chávez would easily get his way. A survey last week by an independent pollster found that 49 percent of Venezuelans opposed the changes and only 39 percent supported it. We hope those numbers hold.
. . . Now there are signs that more Venezuelans have decided to take a stand and vote no. This referendum is too important to miss. Opponents are calling for a massive “no” vote. For the sake of Venezuela’s battered democracy, voters should heed the call.
I agree with this editorial. But the fact that it is run in what I believe is our most important Media institution does not sit well with me. I am not sure that my feeling is right. In fact, I know that if the editorial merely described Chavez’s actions without urging a specific vote on the referenum, I would not feel this way. It is the urging of citizens of another country how to vote that bothers me.
Is that a meaningful distinction? I honestly do not know. My reaction is at the gut level. What do you folks think?
Oct 16 2007
Wapo: A coalition of far-left Indian communist parties have effectively killed the US-India nuclear deal, leaving Administration officials with egg all over their faces once again. But you won’t learn that reading the Post piece. FOX isn’t even running the story right now. Drudge neither.
Reuters by way of contrast, puts the facts up high: “Indian Communists Reject US Nuclear Pact”.
Why is the right-wing noise machine blacking the India-Nuke deal story out, and the Wapo burying the facts?
Because getting beating by a bunch of supposedly dead and buried communists confirms the terrible inconvenient truth: US Soft Power is melting faster than the polar ice-caps.