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Old 03-06-2013, 11:06 PM #1
Seahawk6060
 
 
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Hugo Chavez Hero or Thug?

Hugo Chavez died and the media is full of various opinions on the legacy that he leaves.

On the one hand his supporters say he championed the poor, improved education, and reduced corruption, but his detractors say he was simply a dictator that trampled on basic human rights.

What should be the priority for government? Taking care of the poorest and providing their sustenance, at the expense of freedom, or defending liberty and human rights, at the potential expense of providing the material needs of the governed?

As far as Im concerned, I dont like to think that Im just a farm animal that needs to be corralled and fed by some government technocrat. Id rather be free to live and die by my own choices, than be placed in a giant nursery, coddled and pitied like a child. However, I also understand that a nation that wants to continue as a state can't completely ignore its citizens most basic needs.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:24 PM #2
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Depends on who you ask. In the end he is just a sinner like everyone else. Personally, I kinda liked the guy for not caving into Bush's every whim, like a lot of outsiders do when they here the cha ching of the U.S. money machine.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:57 PM #3
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It's easy when you have Russia and China buying your oil like it's going out of style.

Thug is the general consensus from the three Venezuelans I know.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:03 AM #4
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From the little I've studied on him, he sold all that oil for bottom dollar prices. There are many poor, uneducated people in Venezuela and he used that to his control when polling stations opened. He played the hero and the majority(poor uneducated) bought into it. I also believe he used his power to hold his opposition at bay during elections. He's a thug.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:48 AM #5
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:57 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seahawk6060 View Post
What should be the priority for government? Taking care of the poorest and providing their sustenance, at the expense of freedom, or defending liberty and human rights, at the potential expense of providing the material needs of the governed?
Well that's not a hilariously loaded way to ask that question.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:34 AM #7
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None of the Venezuelans I know have very high opinions of Chavez.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:15 AM #8
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I read that he makes little money from being the dictator (scuse me, "leader") of their country...

At least according to the media...


Strange how he is worth 2 BILLION dollars personally...

http://newsfromvenezuela.tumblr.com/...ne-at-around-2

I'm sure he was planning on using that to help the poor or something.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:47 PM #9
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If any of you were wondering where the Hugo magic comes from, check out this vid. Kinda starts from the beginning and shows the role media plays these days in developing nations.



My take, I think things could have been worse. The world has seen much more punishing and inhumane leaders.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:03 PM #10
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I'd hazard a guess that most people on this board would have friends from venezuala in the middle to upper classes. So using a few friend's opinions might give a skewed veiw of the man. In any event he did raise the education level and living standards of the nation over all and thumbed his nose at the USA and big oil while doing it. At least he didn't slaughter his own people to accomplish it. The world leaders he admired though showed poor judgement in my veiw. So I'd say he was neither hero nor thug but a mix of both.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:30 PM #11
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He managed to reduce poverty some but that doesn't quite justify rampant corruption, street gangs and crime rate.

He had the right idea with Venezuelan autonomy. At the very least giving lip service to it. Being American I don't support him giving us the bird. Other than that I can't think of much else to praise or denounce.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:53 PM #12
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I met a Venezuelan girl in the summer of 2010 who moved here because of him. I'll take her word for it.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:34 PM #13
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Notes from last semester on Chavez.

Answers about the Venezuela:
Q1: Does Capriles oppose the US like Chavez?
"No, Capriles would be much more US-friendly than Chavez. His political party (Primero Justiciary) is nominally right of center (although he doesn't say as much in the campaign), and he would no doubt attempt to curry favor once more with the US... Although he may he may not do this overtly"

Q2: Do you think elections in Venezuela are polarized among class lines?
"For the most part, yes, although Capriles is likely capturing some of the lower class individuals who have 'Chavez fatigue'. I doubt, however, that there are many upper class individuals who are voting for Chavez."

Q3: Was the coup of April 2002 "financed" by the United States?
" I can't speak to this. We won't know until government documents are classified 25 years from now, so we will have to wait until 2027! But the US likely knew was going on, and it certainly supported (and has continued to support) the efforts of the opposition"

Q4: Is there fear that someone "worse" than Chavez will come to power after he leaves office? Or is it anyone's guess?
" There is no one in the chavista camp who can replace Chavez. He simply hasn't allowed anyone to move up in the rank. His VP is not a shining politician, nor is anyone else closest to him. So right now there isa great big "unknown" regarding who would follow Chavez if anything were to happen to him"


Q5: any speculation about the upcoming Venezela Presidential Election in October? Chavez with 65% win?
"As a rule I don't make predictions, but I would be surprised if either candidate won with 65% of the vote."

 Goal of chavez’s democracy:
o To create a participatory and protagonist democracy
 What is participatory democracy
o It refers to ‘the use of mass participation in political decisionmaking to complement or (in the most radical versions) replace the traditional institutions of elections and lobbying associated with representative democracy
 Chavez’s participatory democracy
o 1999 Constitutional assembly: enshrines participatory democracy and centralizes power in the presidency
o Creation of ‘bolovarian’ grassroots
o Creation of a vast network of misiones in the areas of health, education, and service provision
o Creation of worker cooperatives
o Creation of ?, subsidized food distributers
o Expansion of the military in social life

 Achievements
o Percentage of people living below the poverty line has dropped
o Access to health care has improved
o **the poor have been mobilized as never before**
 This is the revolution of the excluded. But they are invertebrate. How do you organize them?
 What has opposition done?
o Coup d’etat, 4 april 2002
o General strike (aka, oil lockout/strike, 2003
o Recall referendum, 2004
o Boycott of legislative elections, 2005
o Successful opposition to a referendum that would ban presidential term limits, 2007
o – Overall, a very polarized political system
 Actions against the opposition
 Censure of opposition media sources and journalists
 “la lista” ( after the recall referendum
 Keeping potential opposition candidates from running for office
 Manipulation of electoral laws after 2005
 Creates parallel unelected government positions for chavista loyalists

Chavez dying of cancer? Pleads that Jesus permit Him to finish his work ( april 30, 2012)
• Hugo Chavez elected 6 Dec 1998
o Worlds first virtual president.
 Hello president show
• Speaks irrationally ( without thinking)
o Born into poverty, served in military, loved baseball
• Venezuela
o Very poor, high poverty rates, outsider like the people
• Elections are won fair and freely
o Wants to create a participatory democracy, not a representative democracy.
o Education not as supported as it could have been
 Might be a correlation between on his poll numbers and the education level of the populace.
o Access to health has improved immensely, (from Chavez opposition)
o Has the backing of his military
• Is there opposition in Venezuela?
o A ton of **** against his opposition has been implemented to favor him.

Last edited by rT159 : 03-07-2013 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:19 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umami View Post
Well that's not a hilariously loaded way to ask that question.
Admittedly, it makes a lot of assumptions, but I dont see it as being loaded. Compelling arguments can/have been made on both sides. I was really trying to stimulate some debate...apparantly with dubious success.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:04 AM #15
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:48 PM #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seahawk6060 View Post
Admittedly, it makes a lot of assumptions, but I don’t see it as being loaded. Compelling arguments can/have been made on both sides. I was really trying to stimulate some debate...apparantly with dubious success.
Had you left the question as merely, "What ought to be the role of government?" I think you would have succeeded. I for one am interested in talking about the role of government, but my ideas don't fall into that box of binary thinking you left for us. I agree with Umami. It was loaded. As is typical of with this thinking, you offer us the choice between pleasant feelings and bad feelings.

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Old 03-08-2013, 01:28 PM #17
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Damn nihilistic arguments.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:37 PM #18
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During Chavez' tenure, Venezuela's oil exports dipped from 3.5 million barrels per day in 1999 to 2.5 in 2012 despite having its proven reserves increase over that same period. PDVSA transformed from the best managed state oil company outside of Saudi Aramco into one of the worst.

Compared to the rest of Latin America, the economy has underperformed while inflation has been the highest in Latin America for 5 years (starting after the oil market crashed in 2008). More people are killed on an average day in Caracas than in Baghdad. And there are basic commodity shortages everywhere.

Chavez didn't help the poor. He merely tricked them into believing he was helping them out. Mainly because poor people are stupid.
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