Kvatch Kvestions - Hugo Chavez' Legacy
Today is Venezuela's general election and Chavez will almost certainly win another term as President, but when that country's opposition threatened a boycott--and who really wants to waste time running against a man that is essentially unbeatable--Chavez threatened to call a referendum that would make him President until 2031, or 'President for Life' if you prefer that term.
So my question is this, how will history judge Hugo Chavez, a man who would freely make himself into a tyrant--a benevolent tyrant perhaps, but a tyrant nonetheless--when there is no need?
(Thanks to the Atlantic Monthly (subscription only) for the information on the Venezuelan general election and the opposition's stand.)
Chavez is popular with the poor, who make up most of the voters-therefore he wins elections. The person running against Chavez was involved in the coup, he is an anti-democratic wanna be dictator. This point is hardly, if ever brought up by reporters (especially the Atlantic Monthly, which i subscribe to, and has been embarassingly bad)
This video is a good source of info
As far as the opposition boycotting elections, this is what they did in Haiti as well. When they know they can't win, they boycott to make the elections look rigged. This is encouraged by the White House
Then I'd observe that the blurb in Atlantic Monthly wasn't just inaccurate, but downright misleading. I'll accept 50 lashes with the wet noodle for not doing further research.
But that said, even threatening the opposition in that matter serves no purpose. With a man in as secure in his position as Chavez, why not be magnanimous?
Tom...I'm not so sure about that. Evo Morales of Bolivia is trying to act like a Chavez, but doesn't have the Venezuelan's strength of personality. Consequently, Morales has made some serious missteps that, if he's not careful, are gonna get his country invaded by Brazil and set up as a vassal state.
Do I want to see countries like Bolivia or Venezuela return to the days of rightest dictators. Not at all. I give credit where credit is due (see my intro to this post), but neither do I want to see leftists become so drunk with power that they end up becoming the Salvador Allendes of our generation.
It all depends on how things work out and where we go from here. So long as he allows opposition to demonstrate, and keeps holding elections that hold up to international scrutiny and most importantly he keeps the oil pumping, he might get half of a fair shake.
I'm torn as well, but generally I like the guy. Still, he is a politician so.......
John, OPEC is learning that lesson as well.
Praguetwin, very true. I'm not up on this, but I wonder how exactly the elections have been judged? Fair? Chavez has got solid support, but a dodge international reputation.
Chavez seems kinda crazy like a fox, so I'm thinking he goes to the UN and OPEC and says these outlandish things so that Bush can't have him whacked without a lot of scrutiny.
Bush already tried once.
"So my question is this, how will history judge George W. Bush, a man who would freely make himself into a tyrant--a benevolent tyrant perhaps, but a tyrant nonetheless--when there is no need?"
But since the post is about Chavez, I would have to agree there are both good and bad things about him. He may be a dictator in principle, and that's bad... but if Pat Robertson is advocating or praying for a particular person's demise, it makes me think that person might not really be so bad, and in fact may have some good qualities.
I agree with what Station Agent says, that Chavez may be making wild statements not only to egg Bush on, but also to make it look like Bush would be behind anything devised to bring Chavez down. I think Chavez is drunk with power, and he is anxious to do the OPEC thing so he can become even more powerful. If that happens and if we still have neocons running the country, I shudder to think of what might happen. Hopefully the U.S. would choose to leave Venezuela alone, and Chavez would choose to share the oil wealth with his people. I'm not sure he is that nice a guy, though...