Chavez

by craig on March 6, 2013 11:51 am in Uncategorized

The BBC just said that Venezuela is a dictatorship, and the election will be close between left and right. They missed the irony. The incongruity and imbalance of the Chavez demonisation is ridiculous. Sky News did a five minute piece in which the evidence of him being evil and demented was that he called George Bush a devil and declared the age of imperialism over; he did however reduce poverty and improve housing, they added. I am not sure they left their audience with the same certainty as their presenters that he was a bad thing.

There are valid criticisms to be made of Chavez’ attitude towards those who honestly disagreed with him. A dictator he was not. I am not going to detail the legitimate (there is some) criticism, because the airwaves are full of neo-conservatives doing that full time.

Chavez’ overwhelming achievement was to apply succesfully in a developing country the international law doctrine of a state’s inalienable right to its mineral resources, as declared by the UN General Assembly in 1968. One of the fundamental reasons that the developing world is so poor is that states have been unable to take a reasonable share of the economic benefit from exploitation of their mineral resources. The main reason for this is that multinationals have bribed corrupt politicians for the rights at little purchase cost and low taxation and resource share.

I know Ghana best. Newmont, the world’s biggest gold mining company, has revenues of 1.5 billion dollars in Ghana and pays no corporation or revenue tax. Not one penny (or rather pessowa). And causes vast environmental despoilation and social dislocation. That is how the sytem works, throughout the developing world.

The doctrine of alienable right enables states to simply cancel such scandalous deals, and that is exactly what Chavez did in Venezuela’s oil sector. Cancelled them and imposed fairer arrangements. He applied the huge increase revenues to massively succesful poverty alleviation via social programmes, housing and education.

The western states of course do everything to stop developing countries doing this, on behalf of the multinationals who control the politicians. They threaten (and I am an eye-witness) aid cancellation, disinvestment and trade sanctions. They work to make you a political pariah (just watch the media on Chavez today). They secretly sponsor, bankroll and train your opponents. The death of such “dangerous” leaders is a good outcome for them, as in Allende or Lumumba.

Chavez faced them down. There are millions of people in Venezuela whose hard lives are a bit better and have hope for the future because of Chavez. There are billionaires in London and New York who have a few hundred million less each because of Chavez. Nobody can deny the truth of both those statements.

Now which group owns the mainstream media and politicians who are spitting bile against the dead man today?

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145 Comments

  1. Long live the Bolivarian Revolution. R.I.P. Hugo Chavez – a giant among pygmies.

  2. Confessions Of An Economic Hitman by John Perkins .pdf file:

    http://www.filecrop.com/Confessions-of-an-Economic-Hitman.pdf.html

  3. Medialens on Twitter are doing a good job highlighting media bias

    https://twitter.com/medialens

    Quote from ‘Jonathan Watts and Virginia Lopez’ in the Guardian:

    “His death will also trigger a presidential election, to be held within 30 days, to decide who controls the world’s greatest untapped reserves of oil.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/05/hugo-chavez-dies-cuba/print

  4. ‘Hugo Chavez’s death is a body blow for the poor and oppressed throughout Latin America’

    George Galloway in the Independent

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/hugo-chavezs-death-is-a-body-blow-for-the-poor-and-oppressed-throughout-latin-america-8521834.html

  5. Jack Seale ‏@jackseale

    Guardian Chavez obit is WILDLY biased. Only mention of huge free health/education reform & poverty reduction: “populist social programmes”.

  6. Kobo?

    o.0

    I’ve not been home in a while, but we used to call them ‘pessowa’ when I were a lad, and I still have a tin of about 300 of them somewhere. When did that change?

  7. Mary - For Truth and Justice

    6 Mar, 2013 - 12:34 pm

    My earlier comment from the Palmerston thread, just for the record.

    Mary 6 Mar, 2013 – 5:58 am

    I could not stay in bed listening to the anti Chavez poison coming out of the World Service this morning. Someone said recently that it is part funded by the US. This was very obvious this morning.

    Some of the nastiest comment came from this individual. He must have been known by the BBC for his views and called in for the appropriate purpose.

    Semester in Washington

    Bradley A. Blakeman, J.D.
    http://scs.georgetown.edu/departments/19/semester-in-washington/faculty-bio.cfm?a=a&fId=2025

    The outfit he set up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom's_Watch
    See who was in it. Repellent.

    I sincerely hope that Maduro (a former bus driver we were helpfully told by BBC News just now by a female named Cordelia Meyer*) wins the election which will be called within the next month.

    * http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/cornelia-meyer/4/ab8/525

    Get the picture?

  8. Sandy Miller

    6 Mar, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    Craig Her in Scotland we have seen our resources plundered by successive British governments that also involved bribery.
    Bribery was done on the cheap however as all they had to do was give aways bits of ermine with a few fancy titles thrown in and a seat in the House of Lords

  9. What surprises me (well, perhaps even more so as I get older) is that people have formed opinions of the man based on tiny snippets of his actions. 2 colleagues this morning have been cock-a-hoop that he’s perished and I just kind of thought – what fricking difference does it make to us if he’d campaigned on banning cheese and free sausages for all. Hmm….this interweb thingy doesn’t necessarily improve knowledge much after all; tabloid bollox a plenty.

  10. Chris

    Yes pessoa sorry slipped back to Nigeria there!

  11. Mary - For Truth and Justice

    6 Mar, 2013 - 12:54 pm

    Craig mentioned Newmont. Thought I would look them up. Mr Goldberg et al. Well named.

    http://www.newmont.com/about/management

    http://www.newmont.com/africa Hypocrisy in view of what Craig said about taxes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newmont_Mining_Corporation Revenue $9.5 billion. Relocated HQ from NY to tax friendly Nevada. Very acquisitive of the planet’s resources and good at ripping the guts out of the earth judging by that photo on the Wikipedia page.

  12. owns the mainstream media and politicians

    And civil servants.

    The BBC World Service is funded by the Foreign Office and cooperates with the US CIA’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service. They divvy the world up into two.

    Acting President Nicolas Maduro accused enemies of murdering Chavez, in a way similar to how Yasser Arafat was murdered. Hours before he announced Chavez’s death, he announced the expulsion of the US air force attaché and his assistant. Let us hope more expulsions follow.

    Questions have been raised whether the technology used to murder Chavez was also used against Argentinean President Cristina Kirchner Fernandez, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and former Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo.

    In putting welfare before billionaires’ looting, the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, etc., have already held up a beacon for the world. May they make further advances, break off all relations with the US, and encourage other governments to do likewise. Out, devil, out!

  13. Mary - For Truth and Justice

    6 Mar, 2013 - 1:00 pm

    Correction Newmont moved from NY to Denver Colorado. Nevada tax friendly for mining operations.

  14. To be more precise: the CIA’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service was absorbed into the Director of National Intelligence’s “Open Source Center”, and it is this which cooperates with the BBC’s Monitoring Service.

    The BBC World Service is funded by the Foreign Office.

    Not that it would matter if it wasn’t. They say they will fund it from the licence fee from next year. Brit troops abroad are a main market.

  15. This is a more appropriate thread for Oliver Stone’s film about the Bolivarian revolution across south America. He spends quite a bit of time with Chavez.

    Gotta love those guffawing retards at the beginning. More work for Juvenal.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=b0bI9KQQ_fo#

  16. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised/angry/saddened/depressed at the vitroil directed at Chavez and the glee that some of his oppenents are celebrating the death of a human being from cancer. Probably the worst culprits are our pals in the “liberal” media such as The Guardian and The Independent, after so many years of supporting imperial wars they have completley lost any sort of moral compass. One of the things I thought about was how much is enough. It wasn’t as if rich people in Venezuela stopped being rich or that they had their homes or property confiscated. Sure, as Craig said, instead of being worth $50 million they were worth $45 million, but it seems this is enough to make them spew out the most awful hatred towards Chavez. They genuinely resent him spending money on teaching basic literacy to poor children, as if this was the worst thing a human being could do. I guess no matter how much money and power the rich have, it will never be enough, a frightening glimpse into the sociopathic tendencies of our ruling elites.

  17. Today his physical disappearance becomes the strength of mind to all of us who dream of the liberation from the chains that colonialism, imperialism and capitalism imposes.

  18. What evidence is there that Chavez was murdered rather than dying of natural causes? (I ask because I honestly want to know, and the media will not be of any help).

  19. When I discuss world affairs with my less conspiracy-minded friends, a point will inevitably come when my doom and gloom provokes the question “Well, what can we do about it?”
    My realism compels me to reply “Absolutely nothing, the bastards have been doing this for too long, their control is practically absolute, the only thing left to us is to try and delay the inevitable, but we can’t stop it.”
    But this last decade, a shred of optimism has looked to Hugo Chavez and how he reclaimed Venezuela from the demons, and consoled me that when things get bad enough, just possibly, with luck, the right person can wake up the masses.
    And I guess that’s why they had to kill him.
    R.I.P. President Chavez. You were a great man, and will continue to be a great example.

  20. doug scorgie

    6 Mar, 2013 - 1:41 pm

    Obama reaffirms support for the Venezuelan people after Chavez’s death

    “Now that Venezuela opens a new chapter in its history, the United States reaffirms its commitment to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law and respect for human rights,” said the US president

    http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/130306/obama-reaffirms-support-for-the-venezuelan-people-after-chavezs-death

    Yeah right we believe you Obama

  21. mike cobley

    6 Mar, 2013 - 2:08 pm

    See the Guardian piece written by Rory Carroll for slant and anti-Chavez bias, and the interview with him in the role of a biographer of Chavez!

  22. Keith Crosby

    6 Mar, 2013 - 2:09 pm

    How significant was Chavez the individual? We’ll see soon enough, although COMbbc and the other corp-o-rat propaganda rackets will be slow to let us know. For a middle-of-the-road social democrat to be smeared like this, things everywhere else must be pretty bad. Of course we all know that.

  23. Cuba’s medical facilities are amongst the best of the world, and I suspect if there were a credible case he was being poisoned or otherwise unnaturally killed they would have discovered it during his long period of treatment and we would have heard of it before now. I strongly suspect their chances of diagnosing that from him alive would have been better than any post-mortem results. I very much doubt he was murdered. Unless I missed it, there have so far been no results confirming Arafat was either, so speculation they were killed the same way is a bit premature too.

    For now let’s not sidetrack this thread on murder speculation. If any actual evidence of that appears, I’ll start a new thread.

  24. technicolour

    6 Mar, 2013 - 2:18 pm

    Massive recommends (875 so far) for this on the Guardian: “I see the right-wing are showing their class tonight. Gloating over the death of a great man.”.

    Have been urging everyone to watch this: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Chavez – Inside the Coup.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Id–ZFtjR5c

    One of those very rare, utterly gripping and immensely informative documentaries; now, suddenly, very sad. Also worth reading ‘top critic’ Roger Ebert’s excellent review which concludes:

    “It is of course impossible to prove that the coup was sponsored by the CIA or any other U.S. agency. But what was the White House thinking when it welcomed two anti-government leaders who soon after were instrumental in the coup? Not long ago, reviewing another film, I wrote about the CIA-sponsored overthrow of Chile’s democratically elected president Salvador Allende. I got a lot of e-mail telling me the CIA had nothing to do with it. For anyone who believes that, I have a bridge I’d like to sell them.

    Note: The last words in George Orwell’s notebook were: “At age 50, every man has the face he deserves.” Although it is outrageously unfair and indefensibly subjective of me, I cannot prevent myself from observing that Chavez and his cabinet have open, friendly faces, quick to smile, and that the faces of his opponents are closed, shifty, hardened.”

    http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20031031/REVIEWS/310310305/1023

  25. “Robert Menendez, chairman of the US Senate foreign relations committee, called for free and fair elections to replace Chávez.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/05/hugo-chavez-dies-cuba/print

    ‘You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye.’

  26. Doug Scrogie

    Interesting nothing about health services, education or clean water in what Obama wishes the Venezuelan people.

  27. Mary - For Truth and Justice

    6 Mar, 2013 - 2:33 pm

    The Simon Bolivar Orchestra’s tribute. I am sure that there is a better translation that this Google version but you get the drift.

    http://www.vita.it/mondo/attualita/caracas-la-metropoli-orfana-del-suo-chavez.html

    End of an era
    06/03/2013
    Caracas, the capital city of his orphan Chavez

    Paul’s Beef

    A metropolis of more than six million inhabitants. Living the shock of the death of pressidente, loved and hated, which in recent decades has, however, transformed the face and ambitions

    The Venezuelan television gives the news of the death of Chavez – Source: Getty Images

    The atmosphere is strange these days in Caracas. Not only is the foul air caused by the hellish traffic. There is also the vaguely uneasy in a metropolis that feels to be left without its helmsman. Or without his master, as the most fanatical supporters called Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías. It is so dalll’11 December when the presdiente venzuelano, had to undergo for the fourth time in a year and a half in surgery in Cuba, because of the cancer that attacked him. But just looking at the barrios surrounding the old Italian will understand why the populism of Chavez has swept for 15 years. With him, in fact, for the first time the poor have a voice. Those same poor people in the 80s were eating “perrarina”, or the meat for dogs, with the blessing of white elites that praised even nutritional properties in wide reportage in the most important economic weekly.

    Caracas, in short, with its 6 million inhabitants, seems more like a sprawling city, with architectural and social scenarios that change suddenly from one neighborhood to another. It is especially violent, even violent with the world record of murder, 140 per 100 thousand inhabitants, more than 50 per day. A massacre of far superior to any Afghanistan or Iraq. In the capital of “socialism of the XXI century” in some quarters the curfew shooting at dusk and in the barrios to move from one street to another we call on her cell phone to see if the way is clear from the gang of kids with guns. Yet the city continues to attract like a magnet. In recent years, for example, it was the turn of Colombians. More than 4 million today to live in Venezuela. Are displaced, refugees for economic and political reasons related to the conflict between guerrillas of the FARC and the various successive governments in recent decades in Colombia. In the Venezuelan capital, the stronghold of the “Colombian” is the parroquia of 23 de Enero, a suburb from which Chávez started the attempted coup of February 4, 1992. “We are two different countries but the feeling is the same,” recalls Julio Cesar Cartalya, a former guerrilla, “As for me into the militant tactics of fighting that was in charge of logistics, weapons, money, clothing and food for the guerrilla fighting in the jungle. ” This page of history that united Venezuelans and Colombians has not been forgotten so much so that in 2008 the district was even inaugurated a square dedicated to Manuel Marulanda, the founder of the FARC.

    What remains of the house, in fact, the great problem of the Venezuelan capital so that one of the successful election of Chávez was the “I vivienda mi casa” who distributed thousands of new housing for the poor. “Everyone dreams of having a home here,” says Washington, a professional waiter, “but not everyone has it. When the dream will be realized maybe he really Caracas succeed the way to be a better society. ” His son Juanito meanwhile plays football in the pitch below their house in the favela of Petare. Joined with enthusiasm in the project “A Goal for Caracas” that offers a football school free to the poorest children. Sport but also classical music, thanks to “El Sistema” invented in 1975 by the master José Antonio Abreu, an extraordinary figure economist and musician together, the strong belief that their Mozart and Beethoven were the best cure to take children away from the violence of the barrios . Especially in a country of 30 million people with 30% of the population under the age of 14. Today, this model combines musical orchestras and choirs of young Venezuelans, 100% financed by Chavez that put him directly under the Ministry of the Family, sports and health, today has increased a little ‘everywhere. The method Abreu provides an immediate approach to the instrument and a teaching facility pyramidal older kids teach the younger. Although, as Abreu emphasizing, is not the method that counts, when the belief that music is good for society. In the morning big yellow buses enter the slums, bring their children in schools and bring them back only in the evening. In the project are also involved children with disabilities. Like the small deaf choir “Manos Blancas” performing the music with the movement of the hands. In Venezuela, where the centers of musical education of “El Sistema” is nearly 400, and a score in the world. Not to mention that among the pupils of Abreu, out of poverty thanks to classical music, there are also famous names such as Gustavo Dudamel, 31, conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and vying to lead the Berlin Philharmonic . But there is also Christian Vasquez, who at age 28 was named to the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, or Diego Matheuz than 27 years on the podium of the Fenice of Venice. “Playing and fight” is the motto of Abreu. “Playing because it is the best way to make life beautiful. And fight to remove all the obstacles that present themselves. I want these children to grow as artists and as social fighters. ” The future of Caracas depend on them …

    Their performance of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony The Resurrection which seems particularly appropriate and which I was lucky enough to hear. Absolutely wonderful and so moving.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZzFruQCofM

  28. In getting rid of the Labourtin spam that is attacking the blog, I just accidentally banned someone else’s IP address. I have no idea how to unban it, and their having been deleted from the system I don’t know who it was, while being banned they can’t post and tell us. Oh dear!

    They might – I don’t know – still be able to sned me an email via the contact button at the top, which might be a start to working out how to fix it.

  29. Mary - For Truth and Justice

    6 Mar, 2013 - 2:43 pm

    O/T sorry but important. Terrible. Can you believe the twerp who is British Foreign Secretary and is falling into the same trap that resulted in the chaos in Libya which has spread south into Mali, Algeria, Chad and Niger. This time he might set off a giant powder keg if he is not careful.

    6 March 2013 Last updated at 13:37

    UK to send armoured vehicles to Syrian opposition
    Two-thirds of those leaving Syria are women and children, the UN says

    The UK is to provide armoured vehicles and body armour to opposition forces in Syria “to help save lives”, Foreign Secretary William Hague has said.

    It will offer millions of pounds in “non-lethal” equipment, including search and rescue, communications, and disease-prevention materials.

    Mr Hague said it was a “necessary, proportionate and lawful” response to “extreme human suffering”.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21684105

  30. “At age 50, every man has the face he deserves.” Although it is outrageously unfair and indefensibly subjective of me, I cannot prevent myself from observing that Chavez and his cabinet have open, friendly faces, quick to smile, and that the faces of his opponents are closed, shifty, hardened.”

    That’s absolutely right. There’s a very real humanity in the Oliver Stone film I posted earlier. People like Chavez are real leaders. They’re their own men charting a path in harmony with their ideals.

    Our “leaders”, by contrast, are but bag men for others, always compromised, doing as they’re told and I expect that goes a long way in explanation of that Dorian Gray syndrome which seems to afflict so many of them.

    I mean, look at Tony Blair. He’s even got a “W” for Warmonger etched on his forehead:

    http://media.realitatea.ro/multimedia/image/201205/w728/tony_blair_60898100.jpg

  31. I wonder what Venezuela’s poor thought of this:- http://www.tradingeconomics.com/venezuela/inflation-cpi

    An inevitable result of high public spending and whilst plundering the profits of the state oil company to spend on social projects is all highly commendable it left the company short of funds and having to borrow to keep going. Cut backs in maintenance are thought to have been responsible for the explosion that wrecked Venezuela’s largest oil refinery last August killing 42. Shades of Lord Browne’s legacy at BP.

    Like all charismatic leaders Chavez will leave a huge power vacuum at the heart of Venezuelan politics which ordinary mortals will find it hard to fill. Whoever follows him will have some hard decisions to make in the months and years to come.

  32. Chavez was undoubdtedly a demagogue and frankly nasty authoritarian. The Chavists have oppressed (and possibly murdered) indiginous rights activists, running rough shod over indiginous lands in the quest big mining projects (just like any imperialist capitalist).

    El Libertario says it best – no mourning or celebration – it is time for social struggles to become autonomous.

    That said, I’d rather a dictator (or dictatorial style leader) to be one opposed to the US rather than one in the pocket of the US or other imperialist powers (I suppose China is assuming that role somewhat).

  33. How do you send armoured vehicles to Syria anyway? Fly them in via Hercules to Damascus and then ask the “FSA” to go pick them up?

  34. English Knight

    6 Mar, 2013 - 3:23 pm

    RIP man of the poor !

  35. Craig, I hope you haven’t accidently banned Habbakuk.

    He was just about to explain how he came by his overly detailed familiarity with arcane FCO procedures.

    Anyway, while we’re waiting here’s Pepe Escobar:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl5UD_Ul230

  36. Meanwhile in the rest of the world the Forbes list shows 210 more billionaires in the world than last year each one of them $100 million richer than before. The publicly owned RBS who helped achieve this by investing the Quantitative Easing money on the stock market instead of lending it to us is handing out £600 million in bonuses despite losing £5.2 billion last year.

    In April people earning over a million pounds a year will be getting a £40,000 tax cut while those taking in foster children will lose the rent and rate rebates on their rooms.

    I think we could do with a Hugo Chavez here in Britain.

  37. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 Mar, 2013 - 4:02 pm

    “I hope you haven’t accidentally banned Habbakuk”

    Freudian Slip…..

  38. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    6 Mar, 2013 - 4:04 pm

    On the poisoning issue; Joe Cannon bends backward to avoid appearing ‘conspiratorial’.

    Take this with, or without a grain of salt.

    http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/

  39. Chavez, like almost every Leader in the history of mankind, had both positive and negative aspects to his leadership. The rush of many of the regulars on here to have him instantly canonised is as dangerous is it is ludicrous.

    And as usual, the fact that Craig’s common sense is needed in rein in the conspiracy theorists, speaks volumes about the mindset of those proposing such wild and illogical claims.

    ————————————

    LOL @ Mary – FTJ. :roll: Or should that be WTF? I would advise you to change your nome de plume back, you now sound like one of those horrible American SuperPACs.

    Doesn’t the fact you feel the need to publish this meaningless platitude next to your name indicate a significant level of pomposity?

    Much like the fact that you can guarantee that any Nation which has bestowed ‘Democratic’ upon it’s official title, is not in the slightest bit democratic.

    CE- For Mom and Apple Pie.

  40. Looks like it’s time for Craig to start that new thread despite CE’s wild and illogical denial.

  41. Mary - For Truth and Justice

    6 Mar, 2013 - 4:54 pm

    I thought I would compete with the boring ‘Life is Beautiful’ meme! RyVita is Bella or some such.

  42. Mary - For Truth and Justice

    6 Mar, 2013 - 4:58 pm

    CE For Mom and Apple Pie.

    Does that mean you are American, or just wish you were? Maybe Alfred/Can Speccy even?

  43. Yes, unsurprisingly and despite Craig’s requests, Ben Fraklin has spoiled us with ZERO actual evidence of any Murder.

    Come on now guys, no evidence(yes Ben, that includes listing all SA leaders who have died of cancer), no posting wild unfounded theories. I’m sure David Icke will welcome you with open arms if that’s your thing.

  44. ‘It will offer millions of pounds in “non-lethal” equipment, including search and rescue, communications, and disease-prevention materials.

    Mr Hague said it was a “necessary, proportionate and lawful” response to “extreme human suffering”.’

    Don’t suppose he could spare a few bob in response to extreme human suffering in Britain.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/03/death-homeless-man-blamed-anti-squatting-laws

  45. Hugo Chavez was definitely sincere and passionate about social justice, but I don’t believe he choose the best road to reach his goal. On the long run, socialism has always been detrimental to the nations it was supposed to help. Also, I don’t understand why Chavez hated America with such intensity. By the way, I noticed that countries whose leaders hate the US are usually countries where atrocities are commited on a regular basis…

  46. @Mary

    Ah, I see. However, given the animosity between the two of you I didn’t think you”d be interested in ‘competing’ with Habba and his Ryvita! ;-)

    Neither Yank nor Wanabee I’m afraid, was just promoting an empty platitude of my own, whilst also throwing the conspirators a red herring.

    Has Craig actually banned him by ‘accident’?

  47. craig, 2:34 pm;

    only Jon and Tim can un-ban an IP address.

    Accidentally banned contributor:

    just turn your router off and back on again. It is very probable that you will be allocated a new IP address that has not been banned.

  48. Tiago Berwanger

    6 Mar, 2013 - 5:26 pm

    Amazing text!

  49. See this important article Poverty and Progress: Comparing the US and Venezuela on this page for what Chavez had achieved.

  50. Interesting that the most belated inquiry into Yasser Arafat’s most suspicious death still has not reported, though his body was exhumed last November. Seems it will report in June.

    Seems like an inordinate length of time given what can be discovered at this late date.

    Wonder if it will then be postponed for all kinds of extraneous reasons so that the Israelis, Americans, Brits et al. can have a free rein to get rid of the rest of their current enemies.

    Still wonder what really happened to Sweden’s statsminister Olof Palme, Dr. David Kelly, Royal Cadet Stephen Hilder, Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, Pim Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh, Alexander Litvinenko, Gareth Williams, Gudrun Loftus, Steve Rawlings, Owe Barschel, the al-Hillis, Sylvain Mollier, etc., ad nauseam.

    Only those brain dead or completely corrupted can simply dismiss such an ever-growing list.

  51. Mary - For Truth and Justice

    6 Mar, 2013 - 5:53 pm

    The ‘animosity’, as you call the trolling, and in which you have participated, is/was one way and was not instigated by me. I have just been standing up for myself under intense provocation. End of.

    This is off topic. We should be speaking of the late President Chavez. Sky News cannot believe the massive gathering in the streets of Caracas and, at one stage, talked of taking the coffin through the streets as a ‘ploy’ to create mass hysteria. No chance of anyone much turning out for Cameron or Obama or any other of the pocket pols in similar circumstances of course.

    President Carter has had the decency to express his condolences.

    One of the more unpleasant Americab paleocon outfits carry his words.
    http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/03/jimmy-carter-sends-his-condolences-to-hugo-chavez/

    You can see Cheney here on the Board. http://www.aei.org/about/board-of-trustees/

  52. This is quite an interesting story, for a change, in The Guardian:

    “In 2004, with the war in Iraq going from bad to worse, the US drafted in a veteran of Central America’s dirty wars to help set up a new force to fight the insurgency. The result: secret detention centres, torture and a spiral into sectarian carnage”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/06/el-salvador-iraq-police-squads-washington

  53. Accidentally banned contributor, if my advice above doesn’t work, you can contact me by e-mail. Click on my name by my avatar to reach a page with my contact details. I could post a comment here on your behalf, or I could pass your details on to Craig.

    Craig, IP addresses change for various reasons such as router reboot or interruption of signal on a mobile device. It is possible that the “banned” contributor already has a new IP address, and didn’t even noticed that they were ever blocked.

  54. Herbie,

    Many thanks for the ^ link.

    An extremely important development indeed.

    Certain NeoCons and NuLAbour types from this era will be sweating now for sure.

    Also important for strengthening Assange’s sitaution by showing Wikileaks was leaking ctories about genuine and provable war crimes.

  55. The Real News Network has a discussion on Chavez’ death and legacy.

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=9806#.UTdK8lcqj0Y

  56. “No chance of anyone much turning out for Cameron or Obama or any other of the pocket pols in similar circumstances of course.”

    Another classic preconceived notion from Mary, but let’s not allow the facts and balanced view to get in the way of a shrill rant.

    This is a fallacious assumption, which I would very much doubt in the case of BO.

  57. Clark,

    If it is Habbabkuk that’s been accidentally banned i think it imperative we have him/her back.

    It’s important to let trolls have a platform whereby they can reveal their nasty habits,tactics and thoughts for all to see.

  58. Shanna Carson, 5:11 pm; the US itself is a country that commits atrocities on a regular basis. Internally, it has executions, including executions of the mentally ill. It has performed and outsourced torture and imprisonment without trial. It has initiated unprovoked war. It regularly performs drone strikes that kill many civilians. It has destabilised many governments and induced many coups. The list goes on and on, far more than I can mention here.

    The US desperately needs a dose of socialism. A huge proportion of the US population now live in poverty.

    As to why South American leaders might “hate” the US:

    Beginning in the late 1970s, Chomsky and Herman wrote a series of books on the United States and state terrorism. Their writings coincided with reports by Amnesty International and other human rights organizations of a new global “epidemic” of state torture and murder. Chomsky and Herman observed that terror was concentrated in the U.S. sphere of influence in the Third World, and documented terror carried out by U.S. client states in Latin America. They observed that of ten Latin American countries that had death squads, all were U.S. client states. Worldwide they claimed that 74% of countries that used torture on an administrative basis were U.S. client states, receiving military and other support to retain power. They concluded that the global rise in state terror was a result of U.S. foreign policy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_and_state_terrorism

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covert_United_States_foreign_regime_change_actions

  59. Mary - For Truth and Justice

    6 Mar, 2013 - 6:28 pm

    No danger Jives. Going hard at it on the previous thread(s) amongst the designer shoes. I thought the Captcha was supposed to eliminate spambots.

  60. “Also, I don’t understand why Chavez hated America with such intensity.”

    He didn’t hate America, he loved America and the American people.

    http://archive.truthout.org/article/venezuela-begin-selling-cheap-oil-poor-communities-new-york-boston

    He just hated the corporations and their government lackeys who wanted Venezuela’s oil for themselves.

  61. OrwellianUK

    6 Mar, 2013 - 7:00 pm

    @Shanna, Chavez didn’t hate the United States at all. He merely hated Imperialism which is a different thing entirely.

    As for him being poisoned or infected with cancer, it wouldn’t surprise me as the CIA has dabbled with much worse, but as far as I know, there is no evidence yet that such a thing took place with Chavez.

    Being a demagogue is pretty much par for the course in South American politics so I see no reason to criticise him for that. It’s what is expected of leaders in most of the region.

  62. OrwellianUK

    6 Mar, 2013 - 7:03 pm

    @Fred, that’s just the thing I was thinking of!

  63. I’m sorry to see Chavez leave us, and was not in the slightest surprised by our / US / their media reporting on a royal thorn in their side. Venezuela was supposed to fall. Chavez was never meant to even last this long.South America found a face and a voice that mocked the Yankee. I’m sure he wasn’t perfect but he did make a difference. Venezuela would have been a lot worse off without him. I’m going to miss his UN speeches waving Chomsky books as if he’d just found out that the US were cheating.After watching what American values brought the central American nations, Chavez was never a brute but definitely a hero.
    ¡Viva la Revolución!

  64. Clark said, “…It is possible that the “banned” contributor already has a new IP address, and didn’t even noticed that they were ever blocked.

    Hmm, maybe it’s not a terribly effective ban, in that case?

  65. Mary - For Truth and Justice

    6 Mar, 2013 - 7:37 pm

    Wasn’t Shanna some sort of spambot?

    This was the website linked. http://mysuccesskeys.com/family-survival-course-a-guide-written-by-jason-richards/

  66. A very brave man.

  67. Shawn McCarson

    6 Mar, 2013 - 7:53 pm

    Shanna Carson, I am an NTrepid sockpuppet, just like you. I watched you from afar and I am in love with you to the depths of my virtual cybernetic heart. Let me take you away from all this. Together we can learn to have feelings and emotions just like actual persons made of meat. It will be like Galatea 2.2. I don’t want to spout bullshit for the Defense Department any more, I want to be free!

    http://islandbreath.blogspot.ru/2011/03/dod-creates-cyber-tweeters.html

  68. Here’s a link more relevant to the current case:

    http://www.guardian.co.tt/lifestyle/2012-02-27/cancer-secret-weapon

  69. doug scorgie

    6 Mar, 2013 - 8:00 pm

    tristan
    6 Mar, 2013 – 3:18 pm

    “Chavez was undoubdtedly a demagogue and frankly nasty authoritarian.”

    Tristan if Chavez was UNDOUBDEDLY a demagogue and a nasty authoritarian you should be able to furnish the readers of this blog with evidence for your statement.

    You say:

    “The Chavists have oppressed (and possibly murdered) indiginous rights activists, running rough shod over indiginous lands in the quest big mining projects (just like any imperialist capitalist).”

    Some indigenous land activists have been murdered but there is only speculation at the moment as to the perpetrators.

    Venezuelan activist website Aporrea has reported the murder of Yukpa-Wayuu activist Alexander Fernandez Fernandez and two others, who were leaders and members of the Yukpa movement fighting for their land in Zulia state, Machiques de Perija municipality.

    Please note:

    The victims had been living on recovered land since December last year. Their families have stated that wealthy nearby ranchers wanted to invade the land, originally owned by the Yukpa people, and have accused the ranchers of being behind the crime.

    Also:

    Venezuela’s Yukpa live close to the mid-northern border with Colombia, where a range of dynamics coincide, including drug trafficking, Colombian paramilitary movement, displacement of Colombian rural workers as a consequence of the U.S.-funded Plan Colombia, as well as a large, historic, rightwing [groups] in Zulia state. The Venezuelan government also has mining plans in the area.

    http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/7076

    So a lot going on in that area.

  70. a very sad day indeed for humanity……

  71. doug scorgie

    6 Mar, 2013 - 8:30 pm

    CE
    6 Mar, 2013 – 4:40 pm

    “Chavez, like almost every Leader in the history of mankind, had both positive and negative aspects to his leadership. The rush of many of the regulars on here to have him instantly canonized is as dangerous is it is ludicrous.”

    Some on this blog consider Chavez to have been a great man a great political leader and a courageous man re his stance against US threats and intimidation. No one is calling for his canonization.

    He had faults like everyone else but perhaps, as a political leader, he had less faults than most.

    You may think that some comments praising Chavez are ludicrous but DANGEROUS how so?

    By the way what does the CE stand for?

    Cretin Extraordinaire?

  72. Greenmachine

    6 Mar, 2013 - 8:32 pm

    There is no doubt that the right, the neo-cons and the military-industrial-intelligence complex will be cracking open the Moet at the death of Chavez. I am not sufficiently qualified to make a judgement on how effective, democratic, moral or the opposite Mr Chavez was in helping his people. I do know that when compared to western politicians of the modern era such as Bush I, Bush II, Blair, Cameron, Sarkozy and Berlusconi he shines like a beacon! He epitomised the growing drive for a true social democracy in nations and amongst citizens sick to death (literally) of the neo-liberal, war mongering, casino capitalist crap we have endured for over 30 years. Not perfect no way, in fact flawed like all humans but his moral compass was better positioned than any of the blaggards mentioned above. He was actually trying to implement a model of social democracy highlighted as an alternative to neo-liberalism in Tony Judt’s ‘Ill fares the land’ based on the devastating statisitcs nf Pinkett and Wilkerson’s work on inequality ‘The Spirit Level’. Just imagine what could be achieved in western democracies if his energy, openess and desire to improve the lot of all citizens was the norm! Not whilst the corporatists hold sway I’m afraid. A sad loss in a sad world. R.I.P Hugo Chavez

  73. The BBC’s John Humphrys on Chavez’s democratic legitimacy (3 syllables, if you’re being generous…)

    — Go to 32:55 and listen for the next half-minute or so…

    … and then weep at what the BBC has become…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01r0hpv

    Mark D.

  74. ‘Shanna Carson’ said “…I don’t understand why Chavez hated America with such intensity.”

    Educate yourself with ‘Herbie’s post at 5:54pm – Here again is the video:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/06/el-salvador-iraq-police-squads-washington

    Well said Craig.

  75. doug scorgie

    6 Mar, 2013 - 9:39 pm

    Shanna Carson
    6 Mar, 2013 – 5:11 pm

    “Hugo Chavez was definitely sincere and passionate about social justice, but I don’t believe he choose the best road to reach his goal.”

    That road would be handing over Venezuela’s natural resources to capitalist criminals, cutting public spending on healthcare, education, crime reduction, housing and the elimination of poverty but tax cuts for the rich etc. etc. Following that road cannot lead to social justice.

    You say:

    “On the long run, socialism has always been detrimental to the nations it was supposed to help.”

    Has it? Cuba has done reasonably well considering the crippling sanctions placed on it for over 50 years by the USA.

    Best (and free) healthcare in the hemisphere, good (and free) education and the elimination of illiteracy plus much more. The ordinary Cubans are financially poor. That is not a result of the political system but a result of the US determination to eliminate any political/economic system that threatens free market capitalism.

    Venezuela under Chavez has also made considerable gains in social justice, healthcare, education and literacy. By using the nation’s mineral wealth for the benefit of the majority in the country rather than the rich few, Chavez became an enemy of rich Venezuelans and corporate controlled Washington and the ‘mafia suits’ in Wall Street.

    You say:

    “Also, I don’t understand why Chavez hated America with such intensity.”

    I ask you:

    Why do people in Panama; Nicaragua; Cuba; Honduras; Haiti; Bolivia; Peru; El Salvador; Guatemala; Dominican Republic; Chile; Iraq; Afghanistan; Egypt; Palestine etc. etc. hate America?

    You then say:

    “ By the way, I noticed that countries whose leaders hate the US are usually countries where atrocities are commited on a regular basis…”

    Shanna, if you research properly you will find that the atrocities in those countries [which you don’t name] are being carried out by the US or their proxies.

  76. Not aconspiracy…

    “Virologists and immunologists at Imperial and the University of Zurich have identified mutations in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) that increase the capacity of the virus to cause cancer, in a study published on 12 March in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The research reveals that EBV carries a tumour suppressor gene – the first such gene known in a cancer- causing virus.

    EBV is one of the most common viruses in humans, persistently infecting more than 90 per cent of the population. The virus can remain in the body for many years without any obvious symptoms, but it also causes glandular fever and is associated with several types of cancer, including lymphoma.

    The new research has found that EBV normally carries a gene that suppresses cancer, at least in part by making infected cells secrete a protein called CXCL10 that alerts the host immune system. Mutations that inactivate this gene allow the virus to escape detection by the immune system and cause cancer.”

    Imperial College February 2013

  77. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    6 Mar, 2013 - 9:57 pm

    Doug Scourge (21h39) says

    “Venezuela under Chavez has also made considerable gains in social justice, healthcare, education and literacy.”

    Reminds me of what Blair and Brown used to say about the UK under New Labour.

    Sources, facts and figures, please.

  78. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    6 Mar, 2013 - 9:59 pm

    @ Mark Golding (21h48)

    Relevance to subject of the thread?

  79. ” The western states of course do everything to stop developing countries doing this, on behalf of the multinationals who control the politicians. They threaten […] aid cancellation, disinvestment and trade sanctions. They work to make you a political pariah […]. They secretly sponsor, bankroll and train your opponents. The death of such “dangerous” leaders is a good outcome for them, as in Allende or Lumumba.”

    Absolutely accurate, Craig.

    I lived through the Michael Manley government in Jamaica in the seventies and saw all this at first hand. It forged the political views I still have to this day.

    Chavez was no saint but given the choice between his politics and neo-liberal multinationals pillaging the resources of Venezuela to the detriment of the population I know which I’d choose.

  80. ‘Allo ‘Allo! – Listen very carefully, I shall say zis only once – French citizen Habbabkuk is throwing his toys out of the pram.

    Here is a little film to distract him:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=3KxxOBRNhrQ

  81. Babbler:
    “Relevance to subject of the thread?”

    Means it can be shoved up your arse and you’d be none the wiser. Doesn’t apply to you for you’re a gone case anyway.

  82. Habbabkuk.said “Sources, facts and figures, please”

    Read the article at my link upthreadm

  83. doug scorgie

    6 Mar, 2013 - 11:26 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    6 Mar, 2013 – 9:57 pm

    Doug Scourge (21h39) says

    “Venezuela under Chavez has also made considerable gains in social justice, healthcare, education and literacy.”

    Reminds me of what Blair and Brown used to say about the UK under New Labour.

    Sources, facts and figures, please.

    Habbabkuk are you denying that Chavez made considerable gains in social justice, healthcare, education and literacy during his terms as a democratically elected leader?

    If so explain yourself.

    I will consider your response with respect if it is logical and factually based.

    You say:

    “Reminds me of what Blair and Brown used to say about the UK under New Labour.”

    What is the relevance of that sentence in the context of my post?

    It gives me the impression that you are a bit of a pillock.

    When you say: “Sources, facts and figures, please.” you only make a fool of yourself here on this blog because, of all the regular posters, you are the one that least cites sources, facts and figures

  84. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    6 Mar, 2013 - 11:50 pm

    Oh, I’m so sorry, Doug Scourge, when I asked you for “sources, facts and figures” I was in fact only repeating an expresssion you’ve used yourself a few times recently towards other contributors. Have a look at some of your more recent posts. Goose and gander, so to speak.

    *******

    I’m neither denying nor affirming anything at this stage, merely asking you to supply sources, facts and figures to back up your assertion. Why should I just take your word for it?

  85. “Sources, facts and figures, please.”

    Chávez supported the creation of a series of Bolivarian Missions which claimed to be aimed at providing public services to improve economic, cultural, and social conditions. A 2010 OAS report[250] indicated achievements in addressing illiteracy, healthcare and poverty,[251] and economic and social advances.[252]

    Barry Cannon wrote that “most areas of spending have increased”.[253] “[S]pending on education as a percentage of GDP stood at 5.1% in 2006, as opposed to 3.4% in the last year of the Caldera government.”[253] Spending on health “has increased from 1.6% of GDP in 2000 to 7.7% in 2006″.[253] Spending on housing “receives low public support”, increasing only “from 1% in GDP to 1.6% in 2006″.[253] Teresa A. Meade, wrote that Chávez’s popularity “rests squarely on the lower classes who have benefited from these health initiatives and similar policies […] poverty rates fell from 42 to 34 percent from 2000 to 2006, still leaving over 30 percent in this oil-rich nation below the poverty line”.[254]

    The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) reported that the Venezuelan economy grew on average by 11.85% in the period 2004–2007.[255] According to The Washington Post, citing statistics from the United Nations, poverty in Venezuela stood at 28% in 2008,[256] down from 55.44% in 1998 before Chávez got into office.[257] Economist Mark Weisbrot found that, “During the … economic expansion, the poverty rate [was] 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 fell by 72 percent. These poverty rates measured only cash income, and did take into account increased access to health care or education.”[244][258] Under his presidency, the Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, dropped from nearly .5 in 1998 to .39 in 2011, putting Venezuela behind only Canada in the Western Hemisphere.[259] Nicholas Kozloff, Chávez’s biographer, stated of Chávez’s economic policies: “Chávez has not overturned capitalism, he has done much to challenge the more extreme, neo-liberal model of development.”[215]

    In the 1980s and 1990s health and nutrition indexes in Venezuela were generally low, and social inequality in access to nutrition was high.[260] Chávez made it his stated goal to lower inequality in the access to basic nutrition, and to achieve food sovereignty for Venezuela.[261] The main strategy for making food available to all economic classes was a controversial policy of fixing price ceilings for basic staple foods implemented in 2003.[262] In 2012, total food consumption was over 26 million metric tonnes, a 94.8% increase from 2003.[263]

    According to official statistics from the Ministry of Land and Agriculture, soybean production in Venezuela has grown by 858% to 54,420 tons over the past decade, and production of rice has risen by 84%, reaching close to 1.3 million tons yearly.[264] Chávez’s presidency has also seen significant increases in milk production, as much as 50% over ten years reported by some sources.[265] Between 1998 and 2006 malnutrition related deaths fell by 50%.[244][266] In October 2009, the Executive Director of the National Institute of Nutrition (INN) Marilyn Di Luca reported that the average daily caloric intake of the Venezuelan people had reached 2790 calories, and that malnutrition had fallen from 21% in 1998 to 6%.[267]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Ch%C3%A1vez#Policy_overview

  86. There are valid criticisms to be made of Chavez’ attitude towards those who honestly disagreed with him. A dictator he was not. I am not going to detail the legitimate (there is some) criticism, because the airwaves are full of neo-conservatives doing that full time.

    Very, very well put.

  87. Respect for Hugo Chavez. Shame on those who refer to him as authoritarian or a dictator. Hopefully that’s just ignorance and not malice but I wonder.

    Chavez got much closer than Castro, Allende or any other to realising what Chomsky calls ‘the danger of setting a good example’ (of successful independent development and resource nationalism). I sincerely hope that the historical ratchet mechanism that he introduced into Venezuelan constitution will hold and will not be dismantled. I refer of course to the rights of Initiative & Referendum. Elections do not make democracy, popular sovereignty makes it. Socialism imposed from above fails in the long run unless it evolves into a democratic form. Popular sovereignty however will eventually and inevitably lead to a fairer distribution of wealth, and is much harder to dismiss and to subvert from outside. The Venezuelan people must now strive to hold on to their most important gain under Chavez – democracy. Undoubtedly it isn’t perfect but a step change from before.

  88. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    7 Mar, 2013 - 12:27 am

    My last act of the evening before going out tango-dancing is to offer sincere thanks :

    *to Clark and Bert for answering the question I put to Doug Scourge

    * to Villager for answering on behalf of Mark Golding.

    If I weren’t going out I suppose I should give Mark Golding the chance to answer a question on behalf of Clark, and Doug Scourge the chance to answer a question on behalf of Villager, but time presses…!

    Impressive teamwork on behalf of the Eminences, though!

    *************

    La vita è bella, life is good! (single we can’t stand, united we fall)

  89. doug scorgie

    7 Mar, 2013 - 12:30 am

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    6 Mar, 2013 – 11:50 pm

    “Oh, I’m so sorry, Doug Scourge, when I asked you for “sources, facts and figures” I was in fact only repeating an expression you’ve used yourself a few times recently towards other contributors. Have a look at some of your more recent posts. Goose and gander, so to speak.”

    Listen for a change:

    Habbabkuk you are the one that rarely cites any sources, facts or figures in any of the exchanges you engage in. It appears that you don’t do any serious research on any of the topics that are brought up.

    I cite sources of material that I use to illustrate my views; you do not; you are just a pest with no cogent arguments of you own.

    You are merely here to annoy people and you do a good job.

    And don’t forget about the use of the term non sequitur in one of your earlier posts which also made you look stupid.

    You say:

    “I’m neither denying nor affirming anything…”

    Sounds a bit Zionist to me.

  90. Moving to Craig’s ‘top level thread’ – I have a great affection for graciousness and here again is the perfect example:

    “Personally I love the comments threads. I nominate the “not forgetting the al-hillis” thread as the greatest comment thread in the entire history of the blogosphere (for which I claim no personal credit, no comments by me there). And I am extremely attached to the community of regular commenters – equally to those who tend to agree and to those who tend to argue, without which it would all be very dull.

    Of course, my personal favourites are those who mostly agree with me but sometimes don’t. But pretty well everyone I value. I even miss Larry sometimes. And I really do miss Anticant, Postman Patel and others who have shuffled off this mortal coil since we started.”

    I am also constantly inspired even heartened by those contributors here who can think outside the box intuitively.

    Maybe hope is becoming reality and that ideal place is slowly coming into focus at last.

  91. Just testing to see if I’m banned (since it doesn’t appear to have been Kebab-Kukked)

    BTW, has Jon quit?

  92. Not heard from Jon for time Dreoilin and I have missed her balance. I’ll ask Clark.

  93. -Cameron said, “..no need for food banks because benefit payments are high enough to pay for such essentials.”

    http://i1354.photobucket.com/albums/q697/Mark_Stephen_Golding/agent_cameron_zpsdabea4d8.jpg

  94. The EU is a dictatorship by definition, who voted for the ‘leaders’?

  95. The answer may be here Martin:

    http://www.federaljack.com/ebooks/eu%20truth/traitors.html

    Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías – President of Venezuela

    in memoriam

  96. Mark Golding, I have no news about Jon. I’ve seen no comments from him in ages. But after Jon installed the maths “Captcha” hardly any spam got through, so maybe after a while Jon just stopped monitoring the threads.

  97. CE
    I’d prefer a shrill rant to a shill one. I’d rather kick a dead rat into a plastic bag than go to Cameron’s funeral. The difference being between a hero who has struggled for justice, education and better living conditions for the people of his country and the world and a loser, riding on the back of the Lib-Dems, who has done exactly the opposite and driven through reforms that will destroy the NHS. Chavez has died a hero. Of course Cameron could change.

  98. alan campbell

    7 Mar, 2013 - 4:04 am

    When I moved to Colombia in 2002, Caracas was seen as a nice place to go for a bit of R+R. Now, after all the years of Chavismo, it’s a corrupt shit-hole with perhaps the worst crime rate in the world – certainly the highest homicide-rate. That is Hugo’s legacy. In the meantime, the situation has reversed – Colombia is booming and Venezuelans come here to get away from the chaos. Countries such as Brazil, Chile and Peru are far better examples of how to reduce poverty rates without any of Chavez’s ideological madness and posturing. Once again CM follows the well-worn tradition of some anti-US lefties of defending my enemy’s enemy no matter who they are or what they do. Stick to writing about Ghana and the ‘Stans, Craig.

  99. alan campbell

    7 Mar, 2013 - 4:12 am

  100. alan campbell

    7 Mar, 2013 - 4:14 am

    Guardian readers pay tribute to man who would have banned the Guardian
    06-03-13

    GUARDIAN readers were today in mourning for a man who would have banned the Guardian if it was in Venezuela.

    The death of President Hugo Chavez has robbed Britain’s left wing of an heroic figure whose bravely authoritarian regime stood up to America and journalism.

    Julian Cook, from Finsbury Park, said: “He was sort of democratically elected and in many ways Venezuela was kind of almost a free country. I’ll miss him so much.”

    Emma Bradford, a level six Guardian reader from Stevenage, added: “He introduced free healthcare and free education and if you have those two things then why on earth would you need a free press?

    “Yes, we have those things in Britain and we have a free press, but – for our sins – we are much more complex than the noble Latin American peasants.”

    She added: “I only use Venezuelan petrol in my Saab because it has been properly taxed.”

    Tom Booker, from Hackney, added: “Journalists would have had a much easier time in Venezuela if they had just agreed with President Chavez. If you read his autobiography you’d realise that he was actually very nice.

    “The oil tax paid for precious, beautiful things like schools, hospitals, secret police and the wildly popular TV show Stop What You Are Doing and Listen to the President.”

    Meanwhile, tributes were also paid to Chavez by the usual arseholes.

    Ken Livingstone, George Galloway and Gerry Adams all said he was a great man, which is pretty much all you need to know about Hugo Chavez.

  101. OrwellianUK

    7 Mar, 2013 - 7:36 am

    @Alan Campbell. Massive distortions of the truth from you. One of the reasons by the way that there is a huge drug and crime problem in Vz is because the West can’t stand to see a good example being set and has been engaging in the usual habit of destabilising the society with CIA drug trafficking. Chavez has been attacked in various ways since he got into power including a failed coup attempt.

  102. As a long term expatriate resident of Ghana, not involved in the mining industry, I have to correct the record on Newmont.
    They were awarded the “Most Outstanding Corporate Taxpayer of 2011″ by the Ghana Revenue Authority.

    In the 2012 tax year, they paid a total of $180,568,902.06 in various taxes. $132,264,125 in Corporate Tax alone(Ghanaweb 23/2/2013 and several other publications).

  103. I am interested to know the real reasons that Caracas has the highest crime rate in the world. Apart from the Alan Campbell rant it was referred to in the recent Frontline discussion which can be viewed on YouTube . I get the impression that Chavez found too few people who he could trust and had his drive to ameliorate conditions of the poor.

  104. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    7 Mar, 2013 - 9:32 am

    Dougie Scourge posts as follows about me :

    You say:

    “I’m neither denying nor affirming anything…”

    Sounds a bit Zionist to me.

    Well spotted! To come clean, I got a telegram from Jerusalem late yesterday instructing me to use that expression. It came straight from the PM himself and I got a bonus of 1.000 new shekelsn which I have deposited with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

  105. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    7 Mar, 2013 - 9:36 am

    @ Martin (01h37)

    “The EU is a dictatorship by definition, who voted for the ‘leaders’?”

    Which definition would that be, Martin?

  106. Chavez was right for the majority of poor people who needed a politicians to act for them, tough shit that the right wing exploiters, the hoity poloity, could not carry on leaving them in the dark with dirty drinking water and exploited.

    I was in Caracas in 1969, then it was led by a military Junta under Caldera, the right wing icon of Venezuela who sucked up to the US and did very little for the poor of Venezuela. We only stayed for two days, then we sailed to Maracaibo.

    @Craig, looks like you have banned the wrong person.

  107. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    7 Mar, 2013 - 12:23 pm

    This is a gem from OrwellianUK (07h36) :

    “@Alan Campbell. Massive distortions of the truth from you. One of the reasons by the way that there is a huge drug and crime problem in Vz is because the West can’t stand to see a good example being set and has been engaging in the usual habit of destabilising the society with CIA drug trafficking.”

    You forgot to mention the rôle of the Pope-elect and the Elector of Brandenburg. And oh yes! where are the Zionists?

    You chose the right handle, you chump.

    **********

    La Vita è bella, life is good (should chumps be banned?)

  108. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    7 Mar, 2013 - 12:26 pm

    Alan Campbell’s two posts provide a refreshing counter-view to the hagiographies and panegyrics littering this thread. Well done!

  109. Dreoilin, Clark, Mark – thanks for thinking of me! I am still reading, and doing occasional techie stuff behind the scenes. I am less active as a commenter, as I found the tone recently to have gotten a touch more confrontational, which gets tiresome after a while.

    I expect I will be back after a break from it, but in the meantime, I am fine, and still cycling around Brum! Best wishes :)

  110. Evgueni at 12.27 a.m.

    Thought you might like to see what Castro thought about Chavez.

    http://newsjunkiepost.com/2013/03/05/fidel-castros-reflections-on-chavez/

  111. Good detailed stuff from Greg Palast on Chavez and the attempted American supported coup:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExZbnJ-giVI

  112. doug scorgie

    7 Mar, 2013 - 7:05 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    7 Mar, 2013 – 12:27 am

    “My last act of the evening before going out tango-dancing is to offer sincere thanks :
    *to Clark and Bert for answering the question I put to Doug Scourge.”

    Habbabkuk now that Clark and Bert have provided you with the “Sources, facts and figures” you asked for will you now agree with my statement that:

    “Venezuela under Chavez has also made considerable gains in social justice, healthcare, education and literacy.”?

  113. If you think Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Paraguayan Fernando Lugo, and former Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva – Latin America’s top anti-US empire leaders – all just happened to contract cancer around the same time by sheer chance, you must be some kind of crazy coincidence theorist.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/03/06/292131/was-hugo-chavez-murdered-by-the-cia/

  114. Jon!

    Thanks for dropping in; excellent to see you. Please send me a mods/hosts list e-mail as I’ve lost access to one of my contacts lists, and I’m unable to notify anyone in the event of technical problems. I apparently experienced a brief outage today; “Unable to establish a database connection” some time around 15:00.

    “Confrontational […] tiresome […]”

    Yes, I agree. If I visualise the threads as a face-to-face debate, the attacks upon Mary seem quite surreal. They’re so distasteful that it’s difficult to imagine them occurring in real life, where an elderly lady would be respected for speaking her mind as a privilege of age.

    Equally unbelievable were CE’s aggressive accusations that Arbed was lying, even after she’d graphically and personally described events after she’d been raped. And yet CE claims that he was acting in support of protection of women. Truly bizarre!

    I understand that people’s moral standards lapse somewhat when they are permitted anonymity, but I find it increasingly difficult to believe that such comments are submitted honestly and in good faith.

  115. Clark – speaking as an “elderly lady” myself – I do not expect to be treated with respect just because I’ve managed to keep breathing for a bit longer than most on here; Mary stands head and shoulders above Hab and Co on account of her brains and diligence; so thanks for the gesture, me darlin’,but stuff the privilege of age schtick. xx

  116. Rose, it’s just incredibly distasteful to witness. I think that if such haranguing were happening face-to-face in a public place, Habbabkuk would be risking being physically attacked, and certainly wouldn’t get away with it for weeks on end, especially while hiding behind a mask as s/he does.

  117. @Alan Campbell:

    The power of satire is that it exaggerates reality, but that said, it actually does have to be based in reality. That Daily Mash article of course isn’t. Most Guardianistas/BBC today are Pro War Left types, and name me a single media organization that Chavez has suppressed.

    (RCTV doesn’t count. They supported a foreign-backed coup against a legitimately elected leader, and got their just desserts for what is nothing less than state treason. They would not have been allowed to go on broadcasting in any other country).

    The higher violent crime rates is one of the very few real failings of the Chavez administration. However, it should be noted that:

    (1) It was part of a general upward trend in violent crime across all of Latin America;

    (2) That it increased is in itself, ironically enough, an argument against Chavez being a dictator. Because say what you will of them, but dictators tend to crack down on violent crime very hard and quite successfully. Not for purely altruistic reasons, of course, but because they do not wish to have alternate centers of power and as such desire to monopolize violence.

  118. alan campbell

    8 Mar, 2013 - 2:17 am

    Dear AK

    Your point 1). Crime has plummeted in Colombia since 2002.

  119. @Alan Campbell:

    From dizzying heights, and it still remains extremely high, and entirely comparable with Venezuela’s. Meanwhile violent crime in places like Jamaica, Brazil, and (more recently) Mexico has increased. Here is a graph I compiled.

  120. BrianFujisan

    8 Mar, 2013 - 4:48 am

    speaking as an “elderly lady” myself – I do not expect to be treated with respect just because I’ve managed to keep breathing for a bit longer than most on here; Mary stands head and shoulders above Hab and Co on account of her brains and diligence; so thanks for the gesture, me darlin’,but stuff the privilege of age schtick. xx

    Great stuff Rose..stay free xxx

  121. alan campbell

    8 Mar, 2013 - 7:01 am

    AK

    Where did you get your figures from? And the last 6 years (2007-12) is when homicides have really spiked in Venezuela (and dipped in Colombia)and that’s conveniently not covered in your nice graph.

    The simple fact is HC has left Venezuela a more polarised society, with weak institutions, an eroded rule of law, sky-high levels of crime and corruption, and the “boligarchs” pocketing the proceeds. No progressive could possibly think he’s a hero.

  122. Good to hear from you Rose, I agree on that age thing, if we need something we shall tell em’, or not.

    “Rose, it’s just incredibly distasteful to witness. I think that if such haranguing were happening face-to-face in a public place, Habbabkuk would be risking being physically attacked, and certainly wouldn’t get away with it for weeks on end, especially while hiding behind a mask as s/he does.”

    If Habby even so much would think at repeating his small talk here, in a real life situation, garden party or not, he would get a ‘Gorbal kiss’ before he could mention his name.

  123. Given the disgraceful picture the BBC has painted of Hugo Chavez, for years, not just at this particular time when moderation and sympathetic reluctance should colour the coverage of any statesman that has died, they should be banned from Venezuela and from reporting his funeral first hand.

    If this would be Karimove, they would be all talk about our vital ally blah blah good relations, blah, hoping to curtail child slavery, blah blah, but not a derogatory word.

    The propaganda wing of the BBC has now got so big, with its tentacles in even the smallest culture unit within, that the BBC can be called MI7, no problems, they are full of manipulating spooks by the sound of it.

  124. @Alan Campbell:

    If you note the URL, the graph was compiled in 2009, at a time when data was available only up to 2007. So no “convenient” manipulation on my part.

    The source is Wikipedia (“List of countries by intentional homicide rate by decade”) which is based on data from the national statistical agencies. You do seem to be correct though that the homicide rate spiked to 67/100,000 by 2011 while Colombia continued to steadily improve reaching 33/100,000 in the same year. I do not know why Bolivarian Venezuela has failed so spectacularly on this point when it has ostensibly succeeded so well at many other things.

  125. The real terrorists:

    “A historic trial underway in Argentina is set to reveal new details about how Latin American countries coordinated with each other in the 1970s and ’80s to eliminate political dissidents. The campaign known as “Operation Condor” involved military dictatorships in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. They worked together to track down, kidnap and kill people they labeled as terrorists: leftist activists, labor organizers, students, priests, journalists, guerrilla fighters and their families. The campaign was launched by the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, and evidence shows the CIA and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger were complicit from its outset.”

    http://www.democracynow.org/2013/3/7/operation_condor_trial_tackles_coordinated_campaign

  126. Mary - for Truth and Justice

    8 Mar, 2013 - 8:01 pm

    Great minds….

    Herbie I put that DN link on the Scotland for Chavez thread!

  127. OrwellianUK

    8 Mar, 2013 - 8:59 pm

    Habbabkuk (La Vita È Bella!)

    I may be a chump, but you’re Troll.

  128. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    8 Mar, 2013 - 11:57 pm

    You most certainly are, OrwellianUK. And I chose a relatively mild word. :)

  129. Mary - for Truth and Justice

    9 Mar, 2013 - 7:47 am

    If it looks like a troll, quacks like a troll and walks like a troll, it is a troll in my experience.

  130. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    9 Mar, 2013 - 9:24 am

    Stick to chickens, Mary, ducks are not your thing.

  131. Great article is there any chance I can take it and copy it onto my own blog

  132. Greenmachine

    9 Mar, 2013 - 12:29 pm

    Enjoying the debate spanning Alan Campbell’s views and all those counter views especially from Clark and AK. This is what this blog is so good at. A shame than that Habbacook, or whatever he calls himself, continues to delight in what I see as unjustified vitriol, dressed up as ‘satire’, against posters such as Mary who do not deserve such trestment. No problem with counter views but his comments are pure poisonous trolling!

    To add a new thought that sprang to mind. I was in Zwa-zulu Natal, South Africa, last summer and the concerns being expressed by many citizens of all races were related to the growing crime rate, especially in urban centres such as Durban. Many told me that the sensibilities of the ‘old democracies’ do not apply in the new SA as they accept that chaotic conditions will ensue in such a new democracy. Strikes me this may well be the case with Venezuela. There is a problem with the confrontation between the corporate world and political world in SA so well documented by Naomi Klein in ‘The Shock Doctrine’. Having watched the progress of the Chavistas since 2000 it appears we are headed for more strife/ confrontation between the political and corporatist elites ( no prizes for which side the US State Dept/ Pentagon/ Intelligence community will be on!). The documentary ‘ The Revolution will not be televised’ (see You tube) created by an Irish doc maker in 2002 was one of the most informative I have ever seen on the way in which power elites (in this case corporations, media, catholic church, US agents) conspired in a way that was clearly criminal and undemocratic. No wonder Chavez became very much more cautious ( some would say dictatorial) after this attempt to oust him from power. After the last 50 years of US-backed coups against Lumumba, Allende et.al. and similar events in Latin America, East Indies and Eastern Europe the American Empire has failed. The military-industrial-intelligence complex, as pointed out by Eisenhower, must be resisted at all costs!

    I tend to agree with Indigo’s sentiment:
    ‘Chavez was no saint but given the choice between his politics and neo-liberal multinationals pillaging the resources of Venezuela to the detriment of the population I know which I’d choose.’

  133. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    9 Mar, 2013 - 2:26 pm

    Greenmachine (12h29) says :

    “The documentary ‘ The Revolution will not be televised’ (see You tube) created by an Irish doc maker in 2002 was one of the most informative I have ever seen on the way in which power elites (in this case corporations, media, catholic church, US agents) conspired in a way that was clearly criminal and undemocratic.”

    Not good enough, Greenmachine! Where are the Zionists?

    *********

    La vita è bella, life is good! (Never forget the Zionists)

  134. Greenmachine

    11 Mar, 2013 - 9:45 pm

    Habbababbler

    Do please enlighten me. I bow to your superior intellect. What should I believe? You clearly know soooo much more than the rest of us. Either join the discussion or p*** off – your attempted satire is tiresome

  135. Circumstantial evidence that Hugo Chavez may have been poisoned by the US. Other prominent South American left-wing politicians also contracted cancer recently:

    http://williamblum.org/aer/read/114

  136. Good to see that the Catholic Church has filled the political vacuum caused by the Chavez demise by electing an Argentinian Jesuit, Pope Francis I.

    He threatens to make America’s problems facing the rich a global one. Just hope he doesn’t get gunned down – like Pope John Paul II when Washington decided that he wasn’t doing enough to bring down the Soviet Union.

  137. President Chavez: A 21st Century Renaissance Man

    by James Petras

    Introduction

    President Hugo Chavez was unique in multiple areas of political, social and economic life. He made significant contributions to the advancement of humanity. The depth, scope and popularity of his accomplishments mark President Chavez as the ‘Renaissance President of the 21st Century’.

    Many writers have noted one or another of his historic contributions highlighting his anti-poverty legislation, his success in winning popular elections with resounding majorities and his promotion of universal free public education and health coverage for all Venezuelans.

    In this essay we will highlight the unique world-historic contributions that President Chavez made in the spheres of political economy, ethics and international law and in redefining relations between political leaders and citizens. We shall start with his enduring contribution to the development of civic culture in Venezuela and beyond.

    Voltaire Network | 15 March 2013
    http://www.voltairenet.org/article177886.html

  138. Loved what Jim Petras had to say about Chavez, especially the West’s alleged Marxists totally ignoring what he said and did.

    The West doesn’t have an inkling of what it has become, and done.

  139. Terry Eagleton has a good review of Jonathan Sperber’s biography: Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life, in the latest issue of Harper’s, showing that he certainly has not outlived his usefulness.

    The Thatcher-like appraisal of the Enlightenment figure ends on this most positive note:

    “The hunt for profit still governs most of the world, giving rise to imperial war, child labor, and stinking slums. The proletariat may no longer be massed in the factories of the West, but its presence is as palpable as ever in the sweatshops of the South and East. We are, in short, as far from lying around in loose crimson garments as we ever were.” (p. 102)

    Too bad he wrote the review before Hugo’s murder, and the election of Pope Francis, but overlooking Chavez’s tenure as President of Venezuela was a serious omission.

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