December 3, 2007

"He wants a blank check, and that's impossible. We're not stupid like he thinks. It's that simple. There are conscious, thinking people here, too."

Says Venezuela says no to Hugo Chavez:
Venezuelan voters delivered a stinging defeat to President Hugo Chávez on Sunday, blocking proposed constitutional changes that would have given him political supremacy and accelerated the transformation of this oil-rich country into a socialist state....

The victory for the "No" vote represents the first electoral setback for Chávez, 53, a former lieutenant colonel who won the presidency in a 1998 landslide and, until now, had trounced his opponents in one referendum and presidential election after another.
To phrase it like a Spanish king, they told him to shut up.


EnigmatiCore said...

Chavez is a useful litmus test for those to the left of me.

If the person thinks Chavez is an enemy, then I know I am dealing with a Democrat.

If the person thinks Chavez is the bees knees and gets a bad rap in general, and that he really and truly is a man of the people, then I know I am dealing with a leftist and a fool. But I repeat myself.

George said...

LA PAZ, Bolivia -- Since Evo Morales took office as president here in January, the coca grower turned socialist politician has aligned his country so closely with Venezuela's Hugo Chávez that it is sometimes difficult to tell where one government begins and the other ends.

Why remote Bolivia should be important to Washington may not be any more apparent at this time than Afghanistan was prior to 2001. But there is a reason that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited La Paz at the end of September. Bolivia matters to hemispheric stability. In 1967, Che Guevara recognized that Bolivia's borders with Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile gave it enormous strategic value. So did the anticommunist government which killed him there that year. Thirty years later Bolivia's potential to destabilize remains.

Paddy O. said...

As much as I dislike Chavez, and all the 2007 class of caudillos, I respect that he's apparently taking the election results as valid. Others would have had a 99% approval in a sham election without caring.

Maybe, finally, Latin America can begin to rise out of the addiction to pandering, power hungry leaders who ruin the future for their people by buying them off with trinkets in the present. Maybe Venezuela might find its way back to progress without another long foray into bloodshed and 'revolution'. Sounds like the people there got tired of it.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

In my more cynical moments, it seems to me that Chavez failed to adequately stuff the ballot boxes. Reminded me of the snap election called by Marcos in the Phillipines. He still pfficially won something like 55% but everyone knew that at least 10%, and probably more like 20%, were phony votes so he looked not only corrupt but incompetent. He ended up leaving not long later. Perhaps the same will happen to Chavez. (Chavez had originally declared victory earlier in the evening but the head of the electoral commission didn't play along.)

As for Morales, if he keeps it up, he may find himself presiding over the dissolution of Bolivia. The separatist movement in Santa Cruz is gaining steam.

Fen said...

I respect that he's apparently taking the election results as valid

Nah, he'll bring his dictatorship up for vote again and again until he wins.

...reminds me of some local politicians.

Joe said...

Good for Venezuela. We'll see how long it lasts.

PatCA said...

I wonder too if he will accept it. I suspect a staged assassination attempt will soon occur, and he will be 'forced' to declare martial law.

The network news yesterday portrayed him as a populist, using the oil bonanza solely to help the poor; the "rich" who didn't like him were preparing to move to the US (where supposedly these horrid rich will be more comfortable) if Chavez won.

Trumpit said...

One thing Chavez got right was his nationalization of the oil industry in his country. He booted out Exxon and the rest of the greedy bastard oil companies. He is using the oil profits from $100 a barrel oil to help extricate the poverty-stricken masses with micro-loans, free medical care, schools, etc. Now, if we had the same political will in this country to do the same thing with our natural resources. Instead, we allow those greedy CEOs to collect $100,000,000 dollar salaries (I spelled it out for the numerically challenged.) What the U.S. oil companies did to exploit and pollute countries like Ecuador is a story in itself. A 3rd world, tinhorn, loudmouth like President Chavez is a Mother Teresa compared to only-for-the-rich Bush.