Chavez dies

March 6th, 2013 at 11:52 am by David Farrar

Venezuela President has died.

I don’t care that he had economic policies I disagreed with. People are entitled to have different economic policies.

I do care that he oversaw a massive loss of press freedom in Venezuela and a huge increase in human rights violations.

Chavez was a shining example of the wisdom of term limits (which he got abolished). But it seems nature dealt him its own term limit.

Power often corrupts, and too often those in the top jobs get obsessed with doing everything they can to hang on to power for life, rather than doing the best job they can do  over say ten years, and then retiring.

Chavez shut down almost every major independent media source in the country. If you can control the media, you can keep control of the country.

Worth reading this 2010 article by Christopher Hitchens who actually met Chavez. It seems his paranoia was very real.

 

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56 Responses to “Chavez dies”

  1. MIKMS (164 comments) says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gur8ccqrQ9c

    - Says it all.

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  2. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    Good.

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  3. Mark (497 comments) says:

    He was always going to die, he trusted the Cuban health care system to treat him.

    Not even Castro was that stupid, Castro used Western doctors from Spain.

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  4. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    I don’t care that he had economic policies I disagreed with.

    Well I care. Millions of people suffered physical and emotional torment at this barbarian’s hands.

    The world is an ever-so-slightly better place today.

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  5. Redbaiter (8,022 comments) says:

    Castro can’t be far from crossing the same delightful threshold.

    I guess this would only leave Kim Jong Un (Nth Korea) and Obama for Hollywood celebrities and other assorted left wing trash to fawn over.

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  6. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    The despot has died. That’s a cause for celebration.

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  7. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    I’ve been to Venezuela- Don’t believe everything you hear, It’s a bloody great place….

    http://www.uncoached.com/2009/03/16/15-of-the-hottest-women-from-venezuela/

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  8. Redbaiter (8,022 comments) says:

    “Chavez shut down almost every major independent media source in the country.”

    Except for the ones that supported him. Staffed by the same stinking left wing toadies that run the mainstream media in this country.

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  9. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    I care that you disagreed with his economic policies, DPF. They were at the core of his program and incompatible with the right to private property – the foundational civil liberty from which all others ultimately derive.

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  10. Yoza (1,676 comments) says:

    Chavez’s great crime was not being an acceptable proxy for the masters in Washington, which is why the CIA supported an attempted coup against him. Standing up to the unelected and illegitimate authority of the wealthy, multinational corporations and US quislings should be applauded.

    As a consequence of the fortitude of the likes of Chavez, large swathes of South America were able to extricate themselves out from under the jackboot of US corporate imperialism.

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  11. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    … and into crippling poverty, chronic unemployment and food shortages.

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  12. Yoza (1,676 comments) says:

    “Chavez was a shining example of the wisdom of term limits…”

    We don’t have term limits here, why should Venezuela have them?

    Cato (327) Says at 12:30 pm: “… and into crippling poverty, chronic unemployment and food shortages.”

    Someone’s making crap up, got a link to back up this nonsense, Cato?

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  13. dime (9,664 comments) says:

    chuck on radio live if you want a laugh.

    as suspected “jt” likes him cause he stood up to the yanks etc

    the brain dead moron willi likes him because he redistributed wealth.. which is apparently ok. its just not ok to redistribute maori assets..

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  14. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    As a consequence of the fortitude of the likes of Chavez, large swathes of South America were able to extricate themselves out from under the jackboot of US corporate imperialism.

    A communist speaks.
    Now, name those countries and we’ll discuss their economic and social conditions.

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  15. dime (9,664 comments) says:

    “authority of the wealthy, multinational corporations”

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    “And the corporations sit there in their– In their corporation buildings, and… And– And see, they’re all corporation-y, and they make money. “

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  16. dime (9,664 comments) says:

    “As a consequence of the fortitude of the likes of Chavez”

    Just curious, under chavez were people able to up and leave easily?

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  17. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Yoza – Chavez was such a disaster that even Noam Chomsky ended up being forced to denounce him. These are the facts:

    - Really high inflation (aka regressive tax on the poor) – http://www.tradingeconomics.com/venezuela/inflation-cpi
    - Country out of food – http://www.economist.com/news/americas/21571445-cost-postponing-inevitable-devaluation-out-stock
    - Comparitively high unemployment and falling salaries – http://www.eluniversal.com/2011/06/15/unemployment-in-venezuela-among-the-highest-in-the-region.shtml
    - Biggest regional laggard in the GFC – http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/05/25/venezuela-economy-idUSN2515736520100525

    Compare to say, Colombia, which is experiencing sustainable growth despite being under the imperialist corporate jackboot.

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  18. Tom Jackson (2,519 comments) says:

    Dude, have you seen the independent media there?

    (1) they used to refer to Chavez as “the nigger” on air.

    (2) they colluded in a military coup to overthrow his government and bragged about it on air.

    I’ve seen this. It was awful.

    Name me one major NZ media group that would still be on air if it referred to John Key as “the kike”or actively participated in a coup to overthrow an elected NZ government?

    Chavez was nice to them. I would have had them executed for treason for aiding in the coup.

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  19. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    Dude, have you seen the independent media there?

    The media outlets fomented the 2002 coup attempt.

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  20. Tom Jackson (2,519 comments) says:

    Cha

    I know.

    Chavez’ real crime was being too good at winning elections for his opponents. Opponents who have finally started to come around to the idea that they cannot rule by right and will have to do more for more Venezuelans if they want to be elected again. That’s his real legacy.

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  21. dime (9,664 comments) says:

    “Name me one major NZ media group that would still be on air if it referred to John Key as “the kike”or actively participated in a coup to overthrow an elected NZ government?”

    Tv3, TVNZ?

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  22. Tom Jackson (2,519 comments) says:

    Tv3, TVNZ

    Your naïveté is touching. Now go away and let the grown ups talk.

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  23. dime (9,664 comments) says:

    Tom – your arrogance is that of a teacher. Shouldnt you be in class? you know, where you are all powerful

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  24. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    Aren’t all teachers kiddy fiddlers? (Like all us Catholics are?)

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  25. dime (9,664 comments) says:

    longknives – only the registered ones.

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  26. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    He was a despot, and he is dead.

    Good.

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  27. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Power ALWAYS corrupts.

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  28. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,820 comments) says:

    The winds of change.

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  29. Sam Buchanan (502 comments) says:

    “I guess this would only leave Kim Jong Un (Nth Korea) and Obama for Hollywood celebrities and other assorted left wing trash to fawn over.”

    A fair bit of the left was always anti-Chavez (For example see this statement http://www.indymedia.org.nz/articles/708) and if there are any leftists who fawn over Kim Jong Un, they are a tiny minority. But don’t let reality bother you.

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  30. emmess (1,396 comments) says:

    Don’t forget thanks to Chavez, Venezuela had one of the highest murder rates in the world.
    Also, it always makes me laugh, when leftards get all high and mighty and bring up the 2002 ‘coup’ (return to democracy more like) and fail to mention Chavez’s 1992 coup attempt.

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  31. Ed Snack (1,797 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson does actually have a point. Pre-Chavez Venezuela was a notoriously politically corrupt oligarchical country, run by a near hereditary clique. Chavez, for all his foolish economics and totalitarian ways, DID shake that bunch of plunderers out of the very comfortable perches they were occupying.

    Who knows what will happen now, but there are two bad options, a continuation of the Chavez doctrines and a return to the old corrupt oligarchs. I wish Venezuelans all the best in finding a better path, but can their societal norms allow that to happen ?

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  32. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “…..Chavez was a shining example of the wisdom of term limits (which he got abolished)….”

    If he’d introduced MMP –and a National Party- his other legacies would have been fucken eternal ! :cool:

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  33. Paul G. Buchanan (301 comments) says:

    The Chavez legacy is a bit more mixed and complicated than some people (both Left and Right) care to admit. The big issue now is the question of succession, as there is no clear political heir even though Chavez named his Vice President, Nicolas Maduro, as his successor. However, Maduro has rivals and no dominant support base within the Boliviarian movement. The infighting has only just begun, and that does not include the actions of the opposition or foreign interests. http://www.kiwipolitico.com/2013/03/chavismo-without-chavez/

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  34. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    An article on Maduro, a former bus driver of slim intellect: http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-12-10/world/35745491_1_luis-vicente-leon-datanalisis-cilia-flores

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  35. KiwiGreg (3,218 comments) says:

    He managed to impoverish the country with the largest oil reserves. Good riddance.

    Game over for the Castros too – he was subsidising them to the tune of $10b a year.

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  36. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson does actually have a point. Pre-Chavez Venezuela was a notoriously politically corrupt oligarchical country, run by a near hereditary clique. Chavez, for all his foolish economics and totalitarian ways, DID shake that bunch of plunderers out of the very comfortable perches they were occupying.

    Certainly it was corrupt before, but inserting a dictator instead isn’t an improvement.

    A pox on both their houses.

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  37. Ed Snack (1,797 comments) says:

    Scrubone, I agree. But Chavez take over (and not initially as a dictator, he was elected in an election not seriously unbalanced by Venezuelan standards) and not every single out-turn from his victory was a negative. Corrupt Oligarchs are hard to shift without serious violence, and although there’s been a fair bit of skullduggery it falls far short (so far) of mass violence.

    Paul Buchanan, who do you think might initiate external interference ? Overt interference seems unlikely from anyone, the Cubans ? Just maybe “to preserve public order…” but would they risk it; the USA, I doubt that Obama would intervene to support Maduro but you can’t be sure I suppose, they are natural allies; Venezuela’s neighbours, seems unlikely. Internally, who do the army support ?

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  38. SPC (5,473 comments) says:

    Venezuala’s economic decline, – the oligarchy sending money offshore, the cost of helping provide education, health care and housing for the people of the slums, the fall of the oil price … and the inability to economise (the international grandstanding – aid to Cuba etc) …

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  39. simonway (375 comments) says:

    Chavez shut down almost every major independent media source in the country.

    This is an absurd lie, but it is all too commonly believed. The vast majority of Venezuelan media was and remains anti-Chavez. There are a handful of public TV and radio stations, and then there are the private media corporations – just about all of these support the oppositionistas. The public broadcasters control about 6% of the TV market and 14% of the radio market. The other major channels are anti-Chavez. Of the three major newspapers (all of which are privately owned), one is pro-Chavez and two are anti-Chavez.

    One of the major sources for this myth is the action taken against RCTV. RCTV actively supported the 2002 coup, and thus were certainly guilty of sedition, and arguably guilty of treason. In the United States, treason is a capital crime. In Venezuela, however, instead of executing the traitorous station heads, Chavez allegedly “shut down” the television station by (1) waiting five years until their licence to broadcast (on the publicly owned spectrum) was up for renewal, and (2) not renewing it, thereby forcing RCTV to… continue broadcasting, over satellite and cable. Oh yes, what a tyrant. The existence of cable television proves his villainy.

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  40. Paul G. Buchanan (301 comments) says:

    Ed Snack:

    The Cubans have a vested interest in Maduro, who was foreign minister before becoming VP and who has strong ideological loyalties to the Cubans. They also have made serious inroads into the militias and some parts of the military, so if an internal power struggle broke out into the open they would work to mobilize forces on Maduro’s behalf. Cabello is less compliant when ti comes to Cuban interests in Venezuela but not exactly a US friend. However, he enjoys strong support from moderate (read: more professional and apolitical) military factions who would not be averse to a thawing of relations with the US. The US, were it to do so, would act quietly to support such factions and the opposition, but the 2002 coup taught it how not to support anti-regime forces. There is a possibility that the Iranians would work to prop up any post-Chavez regime so long as it continued its support for Iran, and of course the Chinese and Russians would not want to see their good diplomatic or commercial ties with Venezuela disrupted by a coup, civil war or foreign intervention.

    The most likely source of foreign meddling will come from Venezuelan and Cuban exiles. They already engage in para-military exercises in South Florida as well as fund-raising throughout their respective exile communities with an eye towards overthrowing both regimes. They see themselves in a battle against common enemies, and use media outlets in Hispanic markets in the US to broadcast their message (I get to watch some of their ranting when on my sojourns to Florida).

    The problem with the exiles is that many are now US citizens and any attempt by them to forcibly push the issue in Venezuela will of necessity prompt the involvement of the US government. That involvement may not be very supportive at first, but you can be sure that the US right wing will clamor for armed intervention to defend those citizens in the event they find themselves outgunned/captured by Venezuelan security forces (which again, have a Cuban presence within them). At that point the equation gets complicated, but the bottom line is that any overt US intervention will be met with resistance by most Latin American states as well as extra-regional actors.

    That does not mean that it will not happen, but it does mean that the US government will be actively working to dissuade the exiles from carrying through with their plans no matter who wins the internal power struggle. In any event, some interesting months lie ahead.

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  41. simonway (375 comments) says:

    Really high inflation (aka regressive tax on the poor) – http://www.tradingeconomics.com/venezuela/inflation-cpi

    If you change the first year to 1990, you’ll see that inflation since Chavez was elected (in 1998) is lower than it was before!

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  42. SPC (5,473 comments) says:

    7 devaluations since 1999 …

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  43. RandySavage (202 comments) says:

    what a vapid summing up of this great mans life, no surprises I guess given dpfs teaspoon deep grasp of history and his set in concrete political bent

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  44. Azeraph (603 comments) says:

    I respected this man 8 years ago until he failed to step down. Northern South America are a socialist bunch and it won’t change anytime soon, he did do one thing i liked, he flipped his nose at the States.

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  45. Yoza (1,676 comments) says:

    Cato (335) Says at 1:04 pm:

    “- Really high inflation (aka regressive tax on the poor…” Using the site you link to- http://www.tradingeconomics.com/venezuela/inflation-cpi – if you set the time frame from Jan. 1990 to March 2013 you will see that inflation was going completely mad (up to nearly 120% in ’97) before Chavez was elected to power.

    Cato: “Country out of food.”

    Not so: “Statistics show that production of certain goods has increased significantly (corn, beans, soy beans, milk, eggs) whereas other goods have been more sluggish (beef, chicken), or have declined slightly since 1999 (coffee, sugar).

    Regardless, officials say basic goods are more available than ever to all sectors of society thanks to food subsidies, price controls, and government-run supermarket chains such as Mercal and Pdval.

    According to the latest report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Venezuela is meeting the millennium goals to eradicate hunger and achieve food security.

    The local representative of the FAO in Venezuela, Marcelo Resende de Souza, said on Saturday that hunger is non-existent in Venezuela today.

    “We analyze hunger statistics all over the world. There are 800 million people in the world who suffer from hunger, 49 million in Latin America and the Caribbean, but not one of them is Venezuelan because here there is food security,” he said.”
    http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/7632

    Cato “- Comparitively high unemployment and falling salaries –” and “Compare to say, Colombia, which is experiencing sustainable growth despite being under the imperialist corporate jackboot.”

    Your link again: http://www.eluniversal.com/2011/06/15/unemployment-in-venezuela-among-the-highest-in-the-region.shtml

    “Venezuela’s unemployment rate stood at 9.2 percent in the first quarter of the year, while the jobless rate in the region was 7.4 percent. There were only two other countries that exceeded the average in the region during that period: Colombia (13.4 percent) and Peru (9.4% percent). “

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  46. Yoza (1,676 comments) says:

    Cato (335) Says at 1:04 pm
    “Yoza – Chavez was such a disaster that even Noam Chomsky ended up being forced to denounce him.”

    Again, completely wrong: http://www.chomsky.info/onchomsky/20110706.htm

    “Reporter Rory Carroll, the Guardian’s South America correspondent, had just interviewed Chomsky and set about twisting the conversation into a propaganda piece. (For non-UK readers who may not know: the Observer is the Sunday sister publication of the Guardian newspaper).

    Carroll’s skewed view was clear and upfront in his article:

    ‘Chomsky has accused the socialist leader of amassing too much power and of making an “assault” on Venezuela’s democracy.’

    As we will see shortly, this was a highly partial and misleading account of Chomsky’s full remarks, leading him to declare afterwards that the newspaper had displayed ‘extreme dishonesty’ and that Carroll’s article was ‘quite deceptive’.”

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  47. simonway (375 comments) says:

    I respected this man 8 years ago until he failed to step down.

    Why should he have stepped down? I don’t think there’s any particular virtue in abdicating high office if people keep electing you. He was President for 14 years in total. Robert Menzies was PM across the ditch for longer than that.

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  48. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,820 comments) says:

    So Cuba in big trouble now regarding its cheap/free oil.

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  49. coolas (114 comments) says:

    Very mean spirited post Farrar. But great timing for your idol John Key to be visiting Latin America. Will he be giving his ‘sincere’ condolences to all those Heads of State in mourning, or will he as disrespectful as you? My bet is he gets a big shock at how revered Hugo Chavez in that part of the globe.

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  50. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    “Defenders” of the poor: http://newsfromvenezuela.tumblr.com/post/867542155/analyst-estimates-chavezs-family-fortune-at-around-2

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  51. big bruv (13,559 comments) says:

    “Chavez dies”

    Good.

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  52. Mobile Michael (432 comments) says:

    The worlds socialists should be rejoicing! A billionaire oil baron who diverted funds intended for social programmes to himself and his family, comadeering state resources (like military passenger jets) to use to go to overseas hospitals for treatment, and media baron overruling his editors to only run approved content is no longer with us.

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  53. emmess (1,396 comments) says:

    The New Zealand Government should not send anyone to his funeral.

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  54. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Yoza (285) Says:
    March 6th, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Chavez’s great crime was not being an acceptable proxy for the masters in Washington, which is why the CIA supported an attempted coup against him. Standing up to the unelected and illegitimate authority of the wealthy, multinational corporations and US quislings should be applauded.

    As a consequence of the fortitude of the likes of Chavez, large swathes of South America were able to extricate themselves out from under the jackboot of US corporate imperialism.

    + 1

    April 8 2002 Iraq halts oil shipments
    April 9 2002 Iran and Libya threaten to stop oil
    April 11 2002 Coup in Venezuela linked to Washington

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/apr/21/usa.venezuela

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  55. F E Smith (3,315 comments) says:

    Chavez was nice to them. I would have had them executed for treason for aiding in the coup.

     Chavez really couldn’t complain about any coup attempt; after all, he had form in that area himself.

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  56. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    He’s right, of course: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/iran-blog/2013/mar/07/ahmadinejad-chavez-resurrected-too-far

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