Tag Archives: Chavez

Hugo Chavez Succeeds And Fails

Hugo Chavez assumed power in Venezuela with a unique opportunity to transform his nation into one in which a small group of wealthy people could no longer assert power into one in which all classes shared in governing the nation. However, his blind ambition for power and egocentric approach to leadership has created a sharp division within the country. In the latest elections, Chavez and his allies won most regional elections, but suffered losses in key areas such as Caracas, the capital. The opposition which consists of several parties increased its power base from two to five states including the populous and economically important Carabobo,Zulia, and Miranda. It not only captured the city hall of Caracas but also won a majority in some major slum areas.

Chavez insists the election is a mandate for socialism even though a significant portion of the population opposes that move. As one who believes in socialist principles, it is important in moving toward a socialist society to work with all segments of the population. Chavez has lost confidence of many young people including college students. Perhaps, it is time for a step back and a focus on developing and protecting democratic principles.

Chavez Discovers Coup Plan – When Doesn’t He?

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has been claiming for years that right wing officers in the military are working with the CIA in order to plot an overthrow of his regime. Yesterday, he announced that “various” suspects were detained and accused them of trying to assassinate him with tacit backing from political opponents and the United States. He blamed a group of officers who in 2002 tried a coup to once again team up with American agents in an effort to take over the government and destroy his “Bolivarian revolution.” The president charged an admiral and several retired officers were involved in planning the coup.

According to Chavez, the plotters were seeking ground-to-air missiles in order to blow up the presidential plane or bomb the presidential palace. He also blamed the right wing press for aiding such efforts. Of course, Chavez has been trying for years to silence any newspaper or television station from offering an independent view of life in Venezuela. In a sense, he is like the boy who cried “wolf” and if there really is a planned coup, it is hard to believe anything he claims at this point in time.

Lugo Pledges Aid To Paraguay Poor

Paraguay is among the poorest nations in South America and during the past 61 years the country has been ruled by wealthy landowners and the urban elite. The election of Fernando Lugo hopefully marks a birth of a new era in which poor people finally have someone in authority who represents their interests. The new president returned to the province where he worked for 11 years as a bishop and pledged to raise living standards by eradicating poverty and ending corruption. “This is where I learned to love the peasant, the indigenous people, and to admire the efforts to excel despite adverse conditions. He was accompanied by President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela who promised to send Paraguay over 400,000 barrels of oil to deal with fuel shortages.

The wealthy and powerful of Paraguay will not readily surrender power, and Lugo’s association with Chavez is only bound to arouse their fury. Lugo is under tremendous pressure from both right and left wing elements of the political spectrum. The poor of Paraguay deserve a better life and it is vital for Lugo to move toward that goal without distractions created by Hugo Chavez who has worked to destroy opposition within Venezuela. If the elite of Paraguay fear Lugo will adopt such measures they will proceed with an overthrow of the Paraguay government.

European Union Debates Immigration Policy

The world wide immigration which has witnessed over 200,000,000 people move from their homelands elsewhere in the world remains a topic which has caused differing views to emerge among European Union members. French President Sarkozy has proposed stricter and more uniform approaches to dealing with the issue of illegal immigration although not all member nations agree with that approach. In 2005, Spain’s “regularization” of 700,000 illegal immigrants did not meet with the approval of other member states. Many immigrants to Spain come from Latin America whose leaders are furious at the immigration change which allows detention for up to 18 months and then expulsion for a period of up to five years. The president of Argentine said the law recalled times of “xenophobia,” and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez charged it “legalized barbarity” and promised economic retaliation against the European Union.

Some EU nations such as Sweden have a more flexible approach to immigrants which are needed in its nation while France is concerned about the growth of its Muslim population. It is estimated there are up to 8 million illegal immigrants in the EU and already this year about 200,000 were arrested although only 90,000 were actually expelled. Europe’s aging population requires immigrants and that reality will have to be confronted.

Bolivian Vote Reflects Nation’s Divisions

The presidency of Evo Morales in Bolivia received another shock when voters in the sparsely populated areas of Beni and Pando gave a resounding vote of over 80% who desire greater local autonomy and less control from the central government. Morales was the first president in Bolivian history who came from the indigenous population of poorer people. Fears by many middle and upper class Bolivians have resulted in referendums in which sections of the nation are expressing their disapproval of the leftist policies of Morales. Governor Ernesto Suzrez expressed the view of these factions by saying “to the country and the world we request respect for our desire for autonomy.”

Evo Morales is an important figure in the history of his nation and he reflects the aspirations of poorer people. However, his close alliance with President Huga Chavez may have provided his nation financial support, but it has accentuated fears of many middle class people their nation may be going in the direction of the dictatorial leader of Venezuela. Perhaps, it is time for Morales to gain the support of the middle and upper classes of his nation. There is no doubt, the wealthy do not wish to surrender their wealth, but forming an alliance with Chavez who has damaged democracy in Venezuela is not an advertisement that will gain Bolivian middle class support.

President Chavez Linked To Rebels

President Hugo Chavez is confronted with serious allegations that his administration worked with Clombian guerrillas. Interpol examined laptops and concluded they belonged to the forces of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a group that Chavez has supported in many ways, but there is now sufficient evidence the support went beyond just words. Chavez immediately went into his defense pose and denounced the laptops and the evidence revealed by Interpol as simply another plot by the United States to discredit his government. He accused Ronald Noble of Interpol of being “an immoral police officer who applauds killers,” a reference to the Colombian attack on guerrilla forces who were hiding in Ecuador.

In one leaked email, a FARC military leader for the Jorge Brigade told the rebel’s governing secretariat he planned to ask for millions of dollars from Chavez which would be repaid upon their seizure of power. Another email from “Ivan” says that “Ivan” who is responsible for Venezuelan Popular Defense Units seeks help in learning FARC guerrilla warfare tactics. The emails indicate Venezuelan officials acted as middlemen to help secure arms from Australian arms dealers.

Fragmentation Of Bolivia Accelerates

The region of Santa Cruz in Bolivia represents the more industralized and modern part of the nation. It has a high percent of people who take pride in their European ancestry in contrast to most of Bolivia which contains a high number of those from indgenous heritage. The past weekend, a referendum was held in Santa Cruz which produced an overwhelming majority voting in favor of some form of autonomy from the central government. Reuben Costas, a self proclaimed “governor” of Santa Cruz heralded the vote as representing a blow against the central government of Morales which he believes is attempting to tap the rich resources of the area as part of a plan for redistribution of wealth.

Evo Morles represents an important turning point in the history of Bolivia being the first one of indigenous background to gain the presidency. He most probably made serious tactical mistakes by cozing up to Hugo Chavez of Venezuela who frightens many parts of the Bolivian middle class as well as intellectuals who ware witnessing the growing destruction of democracy in Venezuela. Morales failed to reach out to reasonable elements of the Santa Cruz middle class who were turned off by his rhetoric.

The result is a fragmentation of Bolivia. Morales might well back down from some of his demands and create a new coalition of those supporting some form of redistribution of wealth in Bolivia. It might not be exactly what Morales desires, but it would avoid creating conditions of chaos and disunion. Chavez is not a model who will gather support within the Bolivian middle class.

Bolivia Boils Over In Confusion

Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia, hoped his administration would be abl to make serious economic inroads into poverty that besets so many living in poverty. Tomorrow, May 4th was supposed to be the day for constitutional referendum, but voting has been suspended. Instead, the region of Santa Cruz, home to his conservatve opposition, is poised to vote for autonomy from the central government and end the Morales goal for social and economic revolution. Many had hoped Morals would usher in new era in which all sectors of society worked together to revamp the economy and ensure a better life for the poorer component of society, those of indigenous backgrounds. Instead, the nation is being torn to pieces as the more developed Santa cruz region, seeks to gain greater local control over rich resources.

Morales insists the referendum is illegal and has urged a boycott which will only result in an even wider victory majority for conservatives. After the referendum, the conservative oppostion is expected to lclaim the right to control local government, taxes, police and natural resources, but will probably stop short of secession.

Morales may have attempted to go too quickly and ignored the need to seek allies within the ranks of the middle classes and moderates. His flirtation with Hugo Chavez only served to frighten the middle clas which feared Morales would assume a dictatorial attitude similar to that of the Venezuelan president.

Hugo Chavez Rants Against Colombian Raid

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela never misses an opportunity to stride upon the stage of pomposity in order to inform the world who is good or bad. He termed the recent raid by Colombian troops upon FARC rebels hiding in Ecaudor as a “war crime” and demanded internatinal condemnation of the action. The Organization of American States approved a resolution calling the Colombian military raid a violation of Ecuadorean sovereignty. But, for Chavez, the self-appointed guardian of what must transpire in Latin America, much more is required. Ecuador’s Pesident Rafael Correa announced his nation was cutting off diplomatic relations with Venezuela.

Lost in the rhetoric of defiance is any mention that Ecuador–and Venezuela– have given refugees to drug dealing so-called “leftist” forces who have kidnapped people and held them for ransom as well as cooperating with drug lords. Chavez told Colombia he didn’t care about their $6 billion annual trade and might even nationalize the assets of Colombian investors in his nation.

For some reason, Chavez did not find time to condemn Turkey’s recent eight day invasion of northern Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish rebel forces. Ecuador can not afford refuge to rebels who long past have lost any respect as agents of reform in Colombia. They are simply cut-throat drug dealers who kidnap and abuse people.

Are Sounds Of War Being Heard In South America?

Troops from Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia are poised at their borders awaiing possible new developments in the conflict which has emerged from Colombia’s effort to wipe out the FARC rebel groups. The Colombin government even charged FARC with building a radioactive “dirty bomb” for use against its troops. The allegation was made by Colombian vice-president Francisco Santos to a UN group in Geneva, but he did not offer any evidence to support the allegation. President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, a self appointed guardian of South America, thrust his nation into the fray when he condemned the Colombian attack on a FARC camp one mile into Ecuador an a violation of his guidelines for peace in the regon.

Even Comrade Fidel Castro jumped into action with a newspaper column where he warned:
“we can plainly hear the trumphets of war to the south of our continent as a consequence of genocidal plans of the Yankee empire.” The Colombian operation was against terrorists who are into drug trafficking and kidnapping. Exactly how dealing with cut-throat gangsters is connected to “genocidal plans” only the Supreme Leader knows. The United States history of involvement in Latin America is terrible, but this is one time, the situation is strictly a Colombian affair.