we still remember mitch hedberg

A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Aug 20th 2007

Derailing the Hugo Chavez power grab

A great article on Hugo Chavez from Andres Oppenheimer.

A couple money quotes:

A new poll by the Venezuelan firm Hinterlaces says that 54 percent of Venezuelans disapprove of Chávez’s proposal to change the constitution, while only 26 percent support it. Interestingly, 48 percent of respondents in the same poll described themselves as Chávez sympathizers, which suggests that many Chávez supporters are not happy with the indefinite reelection proposal.

The United States could do more than anybody to stop Chávez’s megalomania if it stopped subsidizing it. Indeed, the United States is spending $34 billion a year on oil imports from Venezuela.

Reducing America’s foreign oil addiction should be the single most important issue in the 2008 presidential election. In addition to being the most effective U.S. weapon against Middle Eastern countries that support terrorism, it would weaken oil-rich autocrats like Chávez, and would help reduce global warming.

3 Responses to “Derailing the Hugo Chavez power grab”

  1. Curtis

    “The United States could do more than anybody to stop Chávez’s megalomania if it stopped subsidizing it. Indeed, the United States is spending $34 billion a year on oil imports from Venezuela.”

    That’s gratitude for you. Chavez was the one earlier this year who offerred to the US a permanent 50$/barrel price on oil and this is the thanks he gets.

    The poll that you quote may be accurate, I don’t know. Hinterlaces apparently has a history of not getting the numbers right, and it’s president was a supporter of the coup in 2002.

    I agree that the changes to the constitution are debatable as to their merits, however, it is not all about the elimination of term limits or the extending of terms to 7 years. There are many changes proposed including changing the work day to 6 hours instead of 8 hours. I do not see the benefit of some of the changes and would not want to pass the bill automatically either.

    However, another poll from a reputable polling organization in Venezuela in the August 10th edition of Quinta Dia (numbers from a Sejias poll) shows the following:

    The importance of consitutional reform, elaborated by the commission named by President Chavez, for the country:

    Very important 61.5% (granted, does this mean they are important as a bad thing or a good thing is not delineated here).

    Somewhat important 17%

    Not important at all 16.7%

    No response 4.5%

    Regarding the Chavez government and the rest of the world:

    It is isolating Venezuela from the rest of the world 32.8%

    It is strengthening Venezuela´s position in the rest of the world 58.8%

    No response 8.3%

    Hugo Chavez´s performance as president of Venezuela:

    Excellent 17%

    Good 30.1%

    Regular to good 25.8%

    Regular to bad 10.6%

    Bad 6.8%

    Terrible 8.8%

    No response 1.1%

    This adds up to about a 74% approval rating for Chavez!!!!!!!!!

    The situation of the country over the 8 years of the Chavez administration:

    Has improved 52.1%

    Has stayed the same 19.8%

    Has gotten worse 26.5%

    No response 1.7%

    Regarding you and your family personally how have things changed during the 8 years of the Chavez government:

    They have improved 45%

    They have stayed the same 36.7%

    They have gotten worse 17.8%

    No response .4%

    (These numbers were taken off of the oilwars blog)

    Additionally, the article you quote here from the Miami Herald says this:

    “Granted, the opposition will have to compete in an even less level playing field today: Chávez has more powers to use state resources, will control virtually all mass media — especially after his recent de facto takeover of the independent RCTV television network — and will use the army and public employees to get out the vote in the referendum.”

    This is a flat out lie. There are numerous TV stations in Venezuela not controlled by the Government (the vast majority) and most of them are rabidly anti-Chavez. Also, RCTV was not taken over. Chavez simply failed to renew their broadcast license that granted RCTV a monopoly over a section of the publicly-owned frequencies. RCTV still broadcasts by cable and not a single employee has been laid off.

  2. doug


    Let’s be honest: Your maniacal man-crush on Hugo Chavez borders on the absurd.

    Chavez is trying to rewrite the rules governing term-limits, distort the meaning of private property, and let the government expropriate the assets of private companies without a court order.

    That’s all cool. ¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

    And yet an incredibly popular George Bush, along with mountains of Democrats, pass laws (democratically!) like the Patriot Act and you guys on the left go absolutely nuts about our freedoms being in grave peril.

    “The neo-con-nazis want to see what I’m reading at the library! They’re wire-tapping international calls from people on terror watch-lists! The humanity!!!”

  3. Curtis

    Why are you so rabid about term limits in Venezuela and not in France? Most people in the US didn’t think it was a bad idea that FDR was reelected for 4 terms. Besides, Venezuela has written into it’s constitution the opportunity to recall the President if it so desires, an opportunity it took a while back, which referendum Chavez won by a landslide again. The USA does not have this opportunity. Freedom is not limited by term limit abolition.

    Expropriation of private property and assets has it’s plusses and minusses. If you want to argue about socialism vs. capitalism that’s fine. But just because he follows a socialistic philosophy doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy and the Venezuelan majority are apparently of the same opinion.

    My “maniacal man-crush” is simply the outward expression of my desire to counter your nutty assessment of a man that has done a whole lot of good for his country.