69 thoughts on “Scotland for Chavez

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  • Mary

    Un lameculos de los norteamericanos – a toad for the North Americans.

    Aaronovitch (the shill for the NWO and their war on Iraq) produces some poison about President Chavez.

    Copied from the paywall. Excuse length. Aa likes the sound of his own voice.

    The US was midwife to Comandante Chávez;
    Venezuela’s message is that all people desire liberty, dignity and democracy. Treat them as you would be treated

    David Aaronovitch
    March 7, 2013, The Times

    Pablo Neruda is a poet for the young; a poet for love and politics. Sometime in the late 1940s he wrote a poem about how the Americans treated his continent of South America.

    The United Fruit Co began: “When the trumpet sounded everything was prepared on earth, and Jehovah gave the world to Coca-Cola Inc., Anaconda, Ford Motors, and other corporations. The United Fruit Company reserved for itself the most juicy piece, the central coast of my world, the delicate waist of America.”

    Neruda, a Chilean, described the “dictatorship of flies” that ruled over the countries of the region, making it fertile for the great US companies. And he contrasted the treasured fruit that went back to America in the big ships, to the condition of the miserable workers who grew and picked it: “Meanwhile the Indians fall into the sugared depths of the harbors and are buried in the morning mists; a corpse rolls, a thing without name, a discarded number, a bunch of rotten fruit thrown on the garbage heap.”

    Anyone from the political West trying to understand how someone like Hugo Chávez could be elected and re-elected by Venezuela’s voters should read that poem. When the “Comandante” recast all politics and all decisions as being about the war of poor versus rich and patriots against Yanquis, those lines, or something like them, were running through the heads of his listeners.

    In the interwar years, the United States conceived an isolationist foreign policy based on its own self-interest. It would not be entangled in foreign alliances, but would work to make the US safer and more prosperous. Isolationism was replaced by war and war by Cold War. When America looked at the developing world it did not see a battle for democracy, but a fight against communism. If Anastasio Somoza was the strong man in Nicaragua and was America’s sonofab###h, then his denial of basic rights to his countrymen was of concern only to bleeding heart liberals. If, in 1954, the elected Guatemalan president Jacobo Árbenz was deemed (wrongly) pro-communist, it was the CIA’s job to help plotters to oust him. What came next was their own affair.

    That was realpolitik before 1989.

    Though America did not organise the Chilean coup of 1973, it connived at it, and no South American of Chávez’s generation could or would ever forget the stadium full of peaceful dissidents and the executions that followed.

    So, after a period of imprisonment for his own coup attempt in 1992, the charismatic soldier Hugo Chávez won the 1998 presidential election. His promise was to get rid of poverty, indignity and corruption. Chávez nationalised industries, confiscated land and gave it to co-operatives, used oil revenues to fund social programmes and significantly reduced extreme poverty in Venezuela. For those reasons he became a fifth head on the posters of the Left: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Castro, Chávez.

    In his own head too. The journalist Rory Carroll recounts how, in edition 351 of Chávez’s interminable TV programme, Alo Presidente!, he walked round part of Caracas where once his hero Simón Bolívar had stayed. The mayor was by his side and an audience of admirers went with him. Suddenly Chávez switched from crooning songs and, pointing to buildings containing high-end shops and employing 2,000 people, ordered the mayor to expropriate them and build a cultural centre. A year later Carroll went to the place. It was boarded up and empty. The shops had gone, the centre had never materialised.

    Bit by bit Venezuela has become Zimbabwe with oil: 90 per cent of the co-operatives have failed. Inflation is high, there has just been another devaluation, bureaucracy hampers enterprise and there are food shortages and power cuts. Every time his often badly thought-out and impulsive reforms created opposition, Chávez used anti-Americanism to squelch opponents. They were “agents” of the imperialist enemy. Dissenting judges could be imprisoned, newspapers fined and journalists incarcerated for works of satire. Human rights bodies were prevented from receiving money or help from abroad.

    Chávez reverted to the old populist autocrat’s trick of using plebiscites to remove constitutional checks on his power. He abolished term limits, though, ironically, the fates set his greater term limit at almost exactly the same place as the old constitution had.

    Round the world, if he discovered a dictator or a pariah calling itself socialist or anti-imperialist, Chávez embraced it. One of the funniest yet most disgraceful interviews given in the wake of his death was by Ken Livingstone on BBC radio yesterday. What, Ken was asked, about Chávez’s predilection for anti-democrats such as Mugabe, Gaddafi, Assad and Lukashenko, of Belarus.

    Well, said the former mayor, as if teaching a class in Statesmanship 101 to idiots, “the simple fact is that if you’re a government in power you have to deal with regimes that are pretty unpleasant … if presidents are only going to meet nice people they’re not going to have a very busy calendar”.

    Actually Chávez, having described successive US presidents as “a donkey” and “a clown”, discovered in Assad “one of the liberators of the new world”. In Gaddafi he perceived a Libyan Bolívar, in Mugabe “a true freedom fighter” and Lukashenko’s repressive Belarus was “a model social state like the one we are beginning to create”. Not just filling his calendar, Ken, as you know perfectly well.

    Yet Chávez (who, unlike his heroes, executed no one and created no concentration camps) was re-elected in what have rightly been called “free, not entirely fair elections”. Millions of Venezuelans found his rhetoric preferable to becoming again the “thing without name” of Neruda’s poem.

    That to me is a lesson. Whatever has happened in Venezuela (and I fear for its immediate future now the Chávistas have been deprived of their icon) might have been different if, for decades before, the US had behaved better. America was unwitting midwife to Chávez, and the abused neocons, I think, are right where the realpolitikers are wrong. Treat people in other lands as you want to be treated in yours; as people desiring and deserving dignity, liberty and democracy. Such a sense of responsibility may not be a sufficient condition for peace and mutual prosperity, but it is a necessary one. The alternative is often to send a desperate people into the arms of those who simply want to rule. And rule. And rule.

  • Mary - for Truth and Justice

    A particularly nasty piece of reporting here from Matt Frei, ex BBC America correspondent and Newsnight, and now on Channel 4, who reports on the funeral of President Chavez in Caracas. In his clipped South African accent, he spits out the poison jeering at the world leaders who attended, using phrases like ‘the axis of evil’ and belittling Chavez’s memory. Vile.

    The video is slow to load.

    http://www.channel4.com/news/crowds-gather-for-funeral-of-hugo-chavez

    Once, Channel 4 News was a sane alternative to the BBC propaganda. No longer.

  • Mary - for Truth and Justice

    One down. Several more thousand of his type to follow.

    Argentine court convicts ex-leader Menem
    An appeals court in Buenos Aires convicts ex-President Carlos Menem of illegally selling 6,500 tonnes of arms to Croatia and Ecuador during the 1990s.

    An appeals court in Buenos Aires has convicted ex-President Carlos Menem of illegally selling 6,500 tonnes of arms to Croatia and Ecuador in the 1990s.

    Both countries were at war and under arms embargoes at the time they bought the Argentine weapons.

    Menem was originally acquitted of the charges in 2011.

    Defence Minister Oscar Camilion and 10 other officials who had been acquitted along with him were also found guilty by the appeals court on Friday.

    The 82-year-old, who was in office from 1989 to 1999, will be sentenced by a different court.

    His lawyers said earlier they would appeal against his conviction, for which he faces between four and 12 years’ imprisonment.

    As a senator, he enjoys immunity from imprisonment but could be stripped of his status by parliament or jailed when his term expires next year, correspondents say.

    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-21719187

  • Mary - for Truth and Justice

    News Corp will start its new life with $2.6bn after split
    News Corporation’s UK newspapers will be separated from its TV and film interests
    Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp will start its new life primarily as a publishing company with no debt and $2.6bn (£1.7bn) in cash when it is spun off.

    The company, which is splitting from its TV and film interests, said in a regulatory filing that it would have assets worth $18.6bn.

    These include the Wall Street Journal, Times and Sun newspapers, and book publisher HarperCollins.

    Analysts expect News Corp to use some cash to expand digital operations.

    News Corp’s other operations, including US news channel Fox News and the 20th Century Fox film studio, will be renamed Fox Group. The split is expected to be completed in June.

    Mr Murdoch will remain chairman and chief executive of the Fox Group, and will be chairman of the new News Corp.

    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21720220#

    I expect you heard that Farage and Murdoch have been sliming round each other
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ukip/9916636/Farage-suggests-Conservative-pact-at-secret-dinner-with-Murdoch.html

    and that Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson popped in and and straight out of court this week.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/08/rebekah-brooks-and-andy-coulson-in-court-_n_2836145.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

  • Ex Pat

    @ Vronsky

    > Latest offering from the Glasgow Herald. An independent Scotland would be the third wealthiest country in the EU – but that’s a bad thing.
    “(Hollow) Laughter in court!” –

    You couldn’t make it up!

    EUROPE

    Where then is sane? Europe – A progressive land of milk and honey, where the crazy right wing is ‘Norwegian conservative guy.’ (Apart from USUK Neo-Con Nazi Quisling ‘Bonkers’ Breivik, naturally).

    @ 1.20. From Michael Moore’s Sicko.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svSUCbClg8E

    SASSENACH SUBSERVIENCE TO THE US EMPIRE

    “Ecuador’s move to grant Julian Assange political asylum has shown the true face of the current world order, highlighting more clearly than ever the line between the American Empire and the rest of the world, former CIA officer Ray McGovern told RT.”

    ‘Not even in the Cold War’s darkest days: International law scrapped in anti-Assange crusade,’ – Ray McGovern with RT, 16th August 2012 –

    http://rt.com/news/assange-asylum-cold-war-883/

    Previously –

    Robin Ramsay of UK Lobster points out that as the UK is now utterly subservient to the US, it has become absolutely taboo to mention this reality. But there is _no_ independent British government, there are _no_ independent government ministers and there will be no independent British government, or independent government ministers.

    The UK is as absolutely and completely occupied by the US Empire – whether by the US Empire Nazis of Obama or by the US Empire Nazis of Cheney – as France was in WW2, with almost no troops required!

    “Tell them we’re ‘Allies’ and they, apparently, just roll over!”

    – On Craig Murray interfering with the US War of Terror in Uzbekistan by pointing out that relying on the confessions of muslims being boiled to death on Tony Blair’s say so might not provide sound intelligence. And/or be illegal under British law! …

    – On Lockerbie and the release of Libyan patsy al-Megrahi, rather than confim English and Scottish judicial integrity to be the utter farce that it is under the US Neo-Con Nazi Empire. Which fact was about to shouted from the rooftops to the world via al-Megrahi’s appeal.

    See Lobster #58, ‘The meaning of subservience to America’ – Page 87, Issue #58 –

    http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/issue58.php

    UP THE SASSENACH QUISLING / US NEO-CON NAZI NONCE EMPIRE !

    Just say “Up yours” to US Sassenach Quisling Empire (Neo-Con?) Nazi mass psychosis! –

    US Sassenach Quisling Empire (Neo-Con?) Nazism made mainstream by ‘Biggus Dickus,’ (of Wome on the Potomac) — Big Oil tool and US Torture promoter – brought to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Aden, Syria, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Poland, Lithuania and many, many more —

    – ‘Welease Woger’ and ‘He Wanks as high as any in Wome’. A hidden ‘Biggus Dickus’ Cheney reference? –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX0XDHF3M60

  • Mary - for Truth and Justice

    Venezuelan Economic and Social Performance Under Hugo Chávez, in Graphs

    Written by Jake Johnston and Sara Kozameh

    Thursday, 07 March 2013 17:26

    On Tuesday, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez passed away after 14 years in office. Below is a series of graphs that illustrate the economic and social changes that have taken place in Venezuela during this time period.

    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/the-americas-blog/venezuelan-economic-and-social-performance-under-hugo-chavez-in-graphs

  • Mary - for Truth and Justice

    Death Of A Bogeyman – The Corporate Media Bury Hugo Chávez

    Following the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez on March 5, the BBC reported from the funeral:

    ‘More than 30 world leaders attended the ceremony, including Cuban President Raul Castro, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus.

    ‘A message was read out from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.’

    A rogues’ gallery of the West’s ‘bad guys’, in other words. To the side of the main article, the BBC quietly noted that, in fact, ‘Most Latin American and Caribbean Presidents’ attended the funeral, not just the Bond villains.

    Following the same theme, a BBC article appeared beneath a grim photo montage of Osama bin Laden, Chávez, Kim Jong-il, Muammar Gaddafi, Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein. The report asked: ‘Is the era of the anti-American bogeymen at an end?’

    Like many independent nationalists, Chávez was not ‘anti-American’, although he was anti-empire. US foreign policy, on the other hand, was certainly anti-Chávez, ‘variously portrayed as a six-times elected champion of the people or a constitution-fiddling demagogue’, the BBC piece noted.

    Similar ‘balance’ was offered by the Guardian’s Rory Carroll, lead author of the newspaper’s Venezuelan coverage between 2006-2012:

    ‘To the millions who revered him – a third of the country, according to some polls – a messiah has fallen, and their grief will be visceral. To the millions who detested him as a thug and charlatan, it will be occasion to bid, vocally or discreetly, good riddance.’

    /..
    http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/alerts-2013/724-death-of-a-bogeyman-the-corporate-media-bury-hugo-chavez.html

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