Endless Chavez

I completely agree with you, but if you’re a “news organization,” or, hell, if you’ve got a shred of integrity, you recognize both of those problems. And you report on both of them. You don’t just selectively report that which furthers your agendas and ignore that which does not.

It amazes me that the very publications (left AND right) who so ardently accuse the “MSM” and their corporate interests dominating reporting and restricting truth and accuracy of information are themselves far more guilty of doing it, in a much grander and more obvious way. It’s like a black hole calling a kettle slightly brownish.

Just as you can’t talk about Cuba and their paranoid style of government without mentioning the US and attempts at repression, you can’t talk about Chavez and his power-grabbing without mentioning attempts to oust him illegally. It is crucial to the conversation.

In fact, giving Castro that justification (Bay of Pigs, the attempts on his life, the Army Rangers that helped kill Che) to say “look what the US is doing to us” has probably helped him stay in power for as long as he has, as it gives people a common enemy AND a distraction from internal abuses.
Chavez has less to stand on, but the US did try to oust him, physically. As did his main opposition in Venezuela.

If you look at the Honduras thread, right-wing illegal action has led to a huge resistance in support of a leftist leader that nobody really liked in the first place, but prefer to military dictatorship. Juan Rayo easily explains how Zelaya is a populist opportunist, but is still fighting in the street to see him returned to power.

Didn’t Chavez attempt to lead a coup as well?

I thought there was little evidence that US was involved in the 2002 coup. The US government quickly recognized the new President and government but is that tantamount for organizing a coup?

I think tyranny of that the gunpoint has helped Castro stay in power instead of events that occurred over 40 years ago.


Admitadly based on information from “sources”

There is a fair amount out and about round the 'nets to suggest it, but I suppose it all depends how much you trust it.

It also, you know, didn’t work. Plus, the US’s only fault there was in being too eager for it to happen. No one (aside from unsourced conspiracy theories and maybe Chavez himself) pinned the responsibility for the coup on the US. It was Chavez’ internal opponents and they failed. In case you are unaware, Chavez is still in power.

The 40 year reference was to the Allende coup, which took place in 1973. To be fair, that was 35 years ago, not 40. I’m sure that five years made all the difference in making South America a place where we should excuse any leftist excess, though.

Points for accent pasting, but you checked the wrong Wiki entry. Mossadeq’s overthrow by the CIA was in 1953. Again, I was inexact in dating that, it was in fact 55 years ago. Thanks for the correction.

Why do you look for any excuse to justify the excesses of an incompetent leftist blowhard?

But because he’s a leftist and not a rightist, it’s OK, because it’s all the fault of the US.

Responsibility, no. I find it ludicrously unlikely Bush wasn’t giving active assistance to the plotters, however.

Lum, what is your deal? Until the US completely stops meddling in South America, it is extremely hard to blame anyone else. During the Bush years, US attitude and actions towards Chavez only strengthened his power. He, like al qaeda, uses American aggression as a rallying cry. Chavez is a leftist (imo, in rhetoric only) blowhard and his efforts to limit democracy in Venezuela are pretty discouraging. That said, Bush and past presidents are largely responsible for the position he occupies today and enough can’t be said about the damages that US and Corporate intervention has done to South America.

Enough actually can be said, especially when it’s being used as an excuse to softpedal Chavez’ failings and general misbehavior.

Yeah, and much of the world found it unlikely that Saddam had given up his WMD program. Without evidence, all you have proof of is fairly passive assistance that is not in any way equivalent to the documented level of intervention in other cases with other administrations.

If you want to preface every discussion of every event in Latin America with a string of past US misdeeds in an effort to establish a false sense of exact continuity, that’s fine but more rhetoric than substance. There is also plenty of room for use of carefully limited comparisons to the past in order to clarify current events. But it’s no more rational an act to go off what you find “ludicrously unlikely” as if it were established, directly relevant fact than when Bush branded three countries the axis of evil.

If we were talking about the US meddling in Outer Mongolia or something, sure, no interference is a reasonable default assumption. Considering our history in South America I don’t think it is, especially when you throw in its Bush and pals in charge and plenty of connections floating around.

Who are you applying this to?

How long do you think it’d take the US to get over someone overthrowing our government?

What are you, a twelve year old just now learning about the politics thing? Is the New Republic supposed to report entirely on Republics who are new, because that’s the name of the magazine? Their stated goal is to focus on stories underreported by the news media and things the ruling class is not talking about; their behavior is mostly consistent with that mission.

Chavez is another example of what Anatol Lieven was talking about.

That’s exactly my problem. If anything, I agree with a more extreme interpretation of the dangers offered by American nationalism/imperialism, such as that of Walter Karp. But that doesn’t mean that Chavez is an example of anything but the most craven and opportunistic possible response to jump on board with simply because you are disgusted by the United States’ actions. And yes, taking most of Chavez’ accusations seriously counts as that when there’s no evidence, because he’s full of shit. Look at the way he can cock up something that’s giftwrapped for him like the Honduras situation, by not shutting the fuck up generally and specifically about the United States where it does not apply.

You can’t write off everything he does as simply being a reaction to the United States’ misdeeds. It’s just not that simple.

A lot of it has to do with Venezuelan’s own internal politics, as well as the region’s own, self-contained issues.

Right, and his actions don’t occur on some balance where they are weighed against the grand scheme of US activities in the region and rationalized accordingly.

I largely agree with your thoughts on this. I especially wish Chavez would have kept his mouth shut about Honduras.

I’m not saying it is, or believing his accusations, just pointing out you can’t trust the US government when it comes to South America, regardless of who they’re talking about.

Personally I think he’s a lesser version of Huey Long and I’m waiting for someone to get around to assassinating him already to improve things.

There is no “just pointing out” here, unless you have a specific comparison/connection or are addressing an audience that is completely ignorant of the context. What you were doing with that phrasing is lending credence to Chavez’ act because part of it caters to your prejudices. Your prejudices may be well founded, but that is not a rational manifestation of them.

You don’t have to like someone to say that “his enemy did bad shit that has given him an excuse to do his own bad shit.”
Bad shit is bad shit. I could point to a bunch of bad shit the Sandanistas did in Nicaragua did too, even as they were being attacked by the US, and it’d still be bad shit even if the US was terrorizing the country.

Not everybody believes in the ridiculous “an enemy of my enemy is my friend” doctrine.

So are you agreeing with me, or disagreeing? Because your tone suggests one, but what you say suggests another since it’s not actually in conflict with what I am saying. Which is that trying to draw a direct equivalency between what happened with the Chavez coup and what happened with Allende is a big mistake that isn’t fact based or carefully targeted, especially if you want to debate the relative merits of the Chilean and Venezuelan administrations involved (let alone those of the United States’). It risks turning every conversation about Latin American politics into KISSINGERSCREEEEEEE or some variation of that, which downplays the role of more local pressures, ideologies, and problems to an absurd degree.

I just want to make sure I’m following this all–it’s cool that Chavez is moving his country away from a democracy (some reactionaries might even say towards a dictatorship) by revoking term limits and harassing political opponents because of the US’s historical meddling in the region? Does that also justify his flouting of property rights and international law?