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Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:26 PM

The wild card in Venezuela: armed Chavistas

Source: AP-Excite

By FABIOLA SANCHEZ and FRANK BAJAK

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Carlos Torres opens the wire-fence gate to a neighborhood controlled by the La Piedrita gang that even police don't enter without permission.

"Loyal to Comandante Chavez," reads a banner just inside the 23 of January redoubt in western Caracas. The poor neighborhood is home to a small army of pistol-toting young men who, like Torres, see themselves as guardians of President Hugo Chavez's "socialist revolution."

These die-hard Chavistas say there is no way they will let Venezuela's "oligarchy" and its alleged Washington patrons to return to power.

"That would cost us blood, sweat and tears, but they won't be back," he said.

FULL story at link.


Read more: http://apnews.excite.com/article/20130307/DA4SGFR83.html





In this Sept. 16, 2010 file photo, a man walks past a mural of Jesus Christ holding a machine gun alongside the words in Spanish "La Piedrita Will Overcome" in the La Piedrita area of the 23 of January neighborhood in Caracas, Venezuela. On alert, and some apparently on edge, are hundreds of well-armed toughs spread through the hills of metropolitan Caracas who have been blamed for strong-armed intimidation of political opponents of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez and worse. As Venezuela ponders the next steps after Chavez's death Tuesday, the late leader's most uncompromising, and radical supporters make up a menacing unknown in a country brimming with guns and afflicted by the world's second-highest murder rate. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

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Reply The wild card in Venezuela: armed Chavistas (Original post)
Omaha Steve Mar 2013 OP
The Magistrate Mar 2013 #1
Mika Mar 2013 #3
The Magistrate Mar 2013 #9
Judi Lynn Mar 2013 #42
sabbat hunter Mar 2013 #54
Judi Lynn Mar 2013 #56
sabbat hunter Mar 2013 #102
kelliekat44 Mar 2013 #103
bemildred Mar 2013 #21
The Magistrate Mar 2013 #29
unreadierLizard Mar 2013 #2
harmonicon Mar 2013 #4
slackmaster Mar 2013 #11
harmonicon Mar 2013 #12
Threedifferentones Mar 2013 #22
harmonicon Mar 2013 #27
lark Mar 2013 #107
MADem Mar 2013 #20
Benton D Struckcheon Mar 2013 #5
frylock Mar 2013 #7
Benton D Struckcheon Mar 2013 #8
frylock Mar 2013 #30
Benton D Struckcheon Mar 2013 #34
frylock Mar 2013 #36
Benton D Struckcheon Mar 2013 #44
Judi Lynn Mar 2013 #45
Judi Lynn Mar 2013 #46
The Magistrate Mar 2013 #47
Benton D Struckcheon Mar 2013 #50
Judi Lynn Mar 2013 #52
Benton D Struckcheon Mar 2013 #53
Judi Lynn Mar 2013 #57
Benton D Struckcheon Mar 2013 #59
Judi Lynn Mar 2013 #60
Zorro Mar 2013 #61
Benton D Struckcheon Mar 2013 #74
frylock Mar 2013 #48
Benton D Struckcheon Mar 2013 #49
JDPriestly Mar 2013 #58
ronnie624 Mar 2013 #32
frylock Mar 2013 #37
bitchkitty Mar 2013 #39
ronnie624 Mar 2013 #41
bemildred Mar 2013 #26
jwirr Mar 2013 #31
geek tragedy Mar 2013 #6
socialist_n_TN Mar 2013 #10
harmonicon Mar 2013 #13
David__77 Mar 2013 #14
The Magistrate Mar 2013 #18
Pterodactyl Mar 2013 #62
David__77 Mar 2013 #63
Pterodactyl Mar 2013 #64
David__77 Mar 2013 #66
joshcryer Mar 2013 #75
socialist_n_TN Mar 2013 #85
joshcryer Mar 2013 #105
hack89 Mar 2013 #82
socialist_n_TN Mar 2013 #84
hack89 Mar 2013 #88
socialist_n_TN Mar 2013 #89
hack89 Mar 2013 #92
socialist_n_TN Mar 2013 #94
David__77 Mar 2013 #15
Catherina Mar 2013 #16
Poll_Blind Mar 2013 #17
Catherina Mar 2013 #24
Throd Mar 2013 #19
ronnie624 Mar 2013 #33
Throd Mar 2013 #90
socialist_n_TN Mar 2013 #91
Throd Mar 2013 #93
socialist_n_TN Mar 2013 #95
Throd Mar 2013 #96
socialist_n_TN Mar 2013 #97
Throd Mar 2013 #98
socialist_n_TN Mar 2013 #99
Enrique Mar 2013 #23
socialist_n_TN Mar 2013 #25
The Magistrate Mar 2013 #28
Paul E Ester Mar 2013 #35
Judi Lynn Mar 2013 #43
booley Mar 2013 #38
Arkana Mar 2013 #40
Ken Burch Mar 2013 #51
Judi Lynn Mar 2013 #55
Ken Burch Mar 2013 #65
Judi Lynn Mar 2013 #67
Ken Burch Mar 2013 #73
wordpix Mar 2013 #69
Ken Burch Mar 2013 #72
ButterflyBlood Mar 2013 #77
wordpix Mar 2013 #68
Pterodactyl Mar 2013 #70
Judi Lynn Mar 2013 #71
wordpix Mar 2013 #83
Selatius Mar 2013 #76
ButterflyBlood Mar 2013 #78
Judi Lynn Mar 2013 #79
The Magistrate Mar 2013 #80
socialist_n_TN Mar 2013 #87
napoleon_in_rags Mar 2013 #81
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #100
napoleon_in_rags Mar 2013 #104
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #106
napoleon_in_rags Mar 2013 #108
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #109
napoleon_in_rags Mar 2013 #110
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #111
Exultant Democracy Mar 2013 #86
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #101

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:28 PM

1. Serious Violence, Sir, Is Quite Possible Now

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:34 PM

3. NOTHING more scary than well armed evangelical socialists.

 



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Response to Mika (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:42 PM

9. Those Fellows, Ma'am, Were More A Danger To Themselves Than To Others

Police pretty much shot them down, and the odd thing is they do not really seem to have been prepared for what came for them. Rep. Rush, from my city, is alive only because he varied his schedule, quite by chance, one particular night --- otherwise a police murder squad would have shot him to pieces along with the rest of people he shared an apartment with.

One of the commendable qualities of President Chavez was that he did not make use of the violence which is so common a tool of government in his region. His opponents in pressing counter-revolution cannot be expected to behave similarly, and it seems to me likely his supporters will defend themselves and their revolution, as they have every right to do.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 03:15 PM

42. From the first, the oligarchy's organized opposition has committed to their own violence

which they even named "guarimba" to use against the elected President's administration.

Here is a link to one of the posts here years ago regarding a group hired by Venezuelan opposition members to move into Venezuela from Colombia, some former Colombian solders, where they were lodged near Caracas in the plan to overthrow the President:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=389&topic_id=5214192&mesg_id=5216019

It's good to remember they started bringing industrial strength slingshots to "protests" and shot at the police, and succeeded in murdering a Chavez supporter, a man with a marble shot into his brain where it lodged after killing him.

After those days they started receiving coaching from professionals and reformed their manner of fighting the administration through manipulation of the media, as that became their more powerful tool once they apparently realized they weren't going to get very far with "guarimba" based on how they did already, after it all seemed to fall apart for them, even after their filthy coup, work lock-out, referendum, etc.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #9)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 08:56 PM

54. actually he did

remember his failed coup attempt back in the 90's?

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Response to sabbat hunter (Reply #54)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 08:59 PM

56. Remember the massacre of over 3,000 people which preceded that coup from the same President

Last edited Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:11 PM - Edit history (1)

who later became impeached?

Remember El Caracazo massacre? The rest of the world surely as hell does.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #56)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 10:29 PM

102. Yes I do

it still does not excuse a military coup.

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Response to Mika (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 11:18 PM

103. Funny how no one thought these guys had 2nd Amendment rights. No NRA to support them. nt

 

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 07:40 AM

21. You betcha.

But quite ill-advised.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #21)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:13 AM

29. Violence Generally is, Sir

Sometimes necessary, mind, but almost never desirable....

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:29 PM

2. From what I understand

 

Venezuela has one of the worst murder rates in the world, and that was with Chavez at the helm.

Sad to say but no matter who leads that country now, it'll just get worse.

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Response to unreadierLizard (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:35 PM

4. How is that possible with so many guns?

I mean, I read even on DU about how having an armed populace is all about keeping people safe and protecting freedom. Hmm... one would almost think that having so many guns around made gun violence more likely.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 08:32 PM

11. "Civilians are only authorized to hold .22 rifles and shotguns"

 

Table 9.2 - Overview of Prohibited and Restricted Firearms for Civilian Possession

Venezuela:

- Only the state may possess 'weapons of war', including: cannon, rifles, mortars, machine guns, sub-machine guns, carbines, pistols, and revolvers, be they automatic or semi-automatic. Civilians are only authorized to hold .22 rifles and shotguns (repeating and hunting).

- Penalty for Possessing Prohibited Firearm: 5-8 years for firearms; 6-10 years for 'weapons of war'

- Registration: details of the firearm must be recorded


http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/venezuela

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 08:41 PM

12. It's a good thing that so many people are standing up for their god-given rights and bucking...

those laws in Venezuela! Imagine what the death toll would be like if so many private citizens weren't packing pistols!!

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #12)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 07:41 AM

22. Why are you still harping on this?

As the other poster pointed out to you, Venezuela is tremendously violent even though all sorts of pistols and rifles of any significant power are banned outright. So, the logical conclusion is that banning guns does not stop people from killing. And you want to twist this fact into some snarky point about the 2nd amendment? It doesn't add up.

Sarcasm does not become you. In order for a person to pull off sarcasm their point must be valid. If you just said what you meant you would still be wrong, but at least you wouldn't look like such a...well, this part's against the DU rules!

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Response to Threedifferentones (Reply #22)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:58 AM

27. Here's a thing you may have missed in your lessons on sarcasm:

It's important that your audience understand the underlying concept(s) making the sarcastic statement possible.

This is where you've failed. I have no idea where you thought I could be arguing for banning guns, for instance. That wouldn't really work with my use of sarcasm, would it?

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 12, 2013, 02:41 PM

107. Sarcasm, right?

There have been many articles posted latey showing results of CDC studies showing that people with guns in the home are 4 times more likely to be shot by a gun that people who do not have guns. Suicides were 5 times more likely.

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Response to unreadierLizard (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 10:00 PM

20. They've prohibited the sale and consumption of alcohol for the next week, until the funeral/mourning

is all done.

Not sure if that will make things better or worse, really.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:35 PM

5. Jesus with a gun

That ridiculous image sums up Chavez. Words could never do the sheer ugliness of his leadership justice, but that picture sums it up.

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:38 PM

7. right, because chavez either painted that himself or commissioned someone to paint it..

you haters crack me up!

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Response to frylock (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:40 PM

8. Haters of what exactly? Please be specific.

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:22 PM

30. the democratic process? socialism? you tell me..

you're the one with the axe to grind.

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Response to frylock (Reply #30)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 01:47 PM

34. I don't know what to say if you don't find that image deeply disturbing.

So let's see. I'm against democracy because I'm disgusted with an image of an armed Jesus painted by followers of Chavez. Got it.
I'll keep that in mind if I ever see a similar one painted by a right-wing militia in this country. In that case, I suppose I should keep my mouth shut and just let them get on with their Holy War.

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #34)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 02:20 PM

36. i'm still trying to understand chavez's culpability in the creation of this image..

why don't you take a trip down there and raise your concerns with those that painted it?

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Response to frylock (Reply #36)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 06:09 PM

44. Oh come off it

You know exactly what I'm referring to. That ugly image is a direct consequence of this sort of thing:

Violent crime is rampant in Venezuela, where extrajudicial killings by security agents remain a problem. The minister of the interior and justice has estimated that police commit one of every five crimes. According to the most recent official statistics, law enforcement agents allegedly killed 7,998 people between January 2000 and the first third of 2009.


Source: Human Rights Watch

Would you want to live in a place like that?
The man encouraged violence and ran a regime built on rampant intimidation of his critics. Obviously most of his supporters don't find anything wrong with that image, or it would not be there. Chavez himself, if he saw it, probably would have approved, given the kind of regime he ran.
It's the same thing I'd expect to see from a right wingnut over here who follows some insane preacher or politician. Except here the nuts don't have the run of the place, murdering whomever they please. Murder is murder and intimidation is no way to run a country, regardless of your leftwing credentials. Period.

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #44)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 06:35 PM

45. Please go ahead and post some information on these people Hugo Chavez has murdered.

You'd be overcoming so much of our ignorance so we could be as well-informed as you have become through your years of research and consciousness. Clearly you stand in a league of your own, along with others just like you.

Be sure not to include the country's prosecuting attorney, Danilo Anderson, who was car bombed while trying to investigate the people involved in the armed kidnapping of President Chavez and the coup. That murder clearly belongs to the coup-plotters.

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #44)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 07:08 PM

46. Your HRW's reputation precedes your reference, of COURSE.

Venezuela

Human Rights Watch's work in Venezuela became the subject of controversy in late 2008. In September 2008, Venezuela expelled two HRW staff accused of "anti-state activities"[35] Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said "These groups, dressed up as human rights defenders, are financed by the United States. They are aligned with a policy of attacking countries that are building new economic models."[36] On December 17, 2008 an open letter was sent to the HRW Board of Directors in response to an HRW report, entitled, A Decade Under Chávez: Political Intolerance and Lost Opportunities for Advancing Human Rights in Venezuela.[37] 118 scholars from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, México, the United States, the U.K., Venezuela, and other countries publicly criticized HRW for a perceived bias against the government of Venezuela. The open letter criticized the report by stating that it "does not meet even the most minimal standards of scholarship, impartiality, accuracy, or credibility."[38] The letter also criticized the lead author of the report, Jose Miguel Vivanco, for his "political agenda", and called on Mr. Vivanco to discuss or debate his claims in "any public forum of his choosing".[6] Hugh O'Shaughnessy accused HRW of using false and misleading information, and said the report was "put together with the sort of know-nothing Washington bias..."[39] Kenneth Roth, director of Human Rights Watch responded, claiming the letter misrepresents "both the substance and the source material of the report.".[19] Tom Porteous, Human Rights Watch's London director, replied saying that O'Shaughnessy "...not only fails to provide any evidence for these allegations" but that "...more seriously he misrepresents HRW's positions in his apparent determination to undermine our well earned international reputation for accuracy and impartiality."[20]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Human_Rights_Watch

[center]~~~~~[/center]
A statement by the AVSN
September 30, 2008

As a broad network of organisations and individuals that has closely studied the significant changes in Venezuelan society since 1998 – including organising eight study tours to Venezuela involving more than 150 Australians from diverse backgrounds - we are obliged to respond to the biases, distortions and lies contained in the Human Rights Watch report “A Decade Under Chavez: Political Intolerance and Lost Opportunities for Advancing Human Rights in Venezuela” released in September 2008.

The key theme of the report - that “Ten years ago, Chavez promoted a new constitution that could have significantly improved human rights in Venezuela. But rather than advancing rights protections, his government has since moved in the opposite direction, sacrificing basic guarantees in pursuit of its own political agenda” - bears no relation to the reality in Venezuela today.

Here are some facts:

Political freedom

The report’s claim that “Discrimination on political grounds has been a defining feature of the Chavez presidency” is patently untrue.

All political parties in Venezuela, the majority of which are in opposition, operate without any constraints placed upon them. They organise public meetings and demonstrations, speak regularly in the media, stand candidates in all elections, hold party events, publish books and pamphlets, and disseminate (anti-government) propaganda in the streets and through the media – all without any government sanctions.

There are no political prisoners of any kind in Venezuela. On the contrary, despite the opposition’s persistent efforts to use violent and unconstitutional means to overthrow the government, the Chavez leadership has responded with tolerance. In 2007, for example, Chavez pardoned opponents who backed the failed 2002 coup against his democratically elected government, saying, "We want there to be a strong ideological and political debate - but in peace”.

More:
http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org/?q=node/280

[center]~~~~~[/center]
More Than 100 Experts Question Human Rights Watch's Venezuela Report
Dec 17 2008

In an open letter to the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch, over 100 experts on Latin America criticized the organization's recent report on Venezuela, A Decade Under Chávez: Political Intolerance and Lost Opportunities for Advancing Human Rights in Venezuela, saying that it "does not meet even the most minimal standards of scholarship, impartiality, accuracy, or credibility." The signers include leading academic specialists from universities in the United States, including Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and a number of state universities, and academic institutions in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, México, the U.K., Venezuela and other countries. The letter cites Jose Miguel Vivanco, lead author of the report, saying "We did the report because we wanted to demonstrate to the world that Venezuela is not a model for anyone…"[1], as evidence of its political agenda. The letter also criticizes the report for making unsubstantiated allegations, and that some of the sources that Human Rights Watch relied on in the report are not credible.

"By publishing such a grossly flawed report, and acknowledging a political motivation in doing so, Mr. Vivanco has undermined the credibility of an important human rights organization," the letter states.

The letter notes that numerous sources cited in the report - including opposition newspapers El Universal and El Nacional, opposition group Súmate, and a mentally unstable opposition blogger - have been known to fabricate information, making it "difficult for most readers to know which parts of the report are true and which aren't." The letter also argues that the Human Rights Watch report makes sweeping allegations based on scant evidence. For example, its allegation of discrimination in government services is based on just one person whose nephew claimed she was denied medicine from a government program.

The full text of the letter follows:

December 16, 2008

Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor
New York, NY 10118-3299 USA

To the Board of Directors,

We write to call your attention to a report published by Human Rights Watch that does not meet even the most minimal standards of scholarship, impartiality, accuracy, or credibility. The document, A Decade Under Chávez: Political Intolerance and Lost Opportunities for Advancing Human Rights in Venezuela, appears to be a politically motivated essay rather than a human rights report. Indeed, the lead author of the report, Jose Miguel Vivanco, stated as much when he told the press just a few days after its publication, "We did the report because we wanted to demonstrate to the world that Venezuela is not a model for anyone…"[2]

More:
https://nacla.org/node/5334

[center]~~~~~[/center]
Has Human Rights Watch Joined Venezuela’s Opposition?
by Gregory Wilpert

It looks like the cat is out of the bag: Human Rights Watch has formally joined Venezuela’s opposition. Well, not quite; it is not a formally consummated deal yet, since their latest report does appeal to President Chavez by saying, “the criticisms offered (in the report) (should) not be mischaracterized as a partisan attack.”

Archives | Caracas (Venezuela) | 21 June 2004

hen why has just about everyone who supports the Chavez government taken the latest Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on Venezuela, about the country’s “Judicial Independence under Siege,” as precisely the opposite of what HRW says it is, as a “partisan attack”? Is it because they do not want to deal with the real issues, as HRW’s America’s Director José Miguel Vivanco suggests, or is it because the report actually is a partisan attack - one that is being launched just in time to turn national and international public opinion against the Chavez government as it faces an unprecedented recall referendum a mere two months from now?

This report is just the most recent and most revealing partisan attack against the Chavez government. It begins by basically equating the April 2002 coup attempt with the new Supreme Court law when it says, “When Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frías faced a coup d’état in April 2002, advocates of democracy in Venezuela and abroad roundly condemned the assault on the country’s constitutional order. Today Venezuela faces another constitutional crisis that could severely impair its already fragile democracy. This time, though, the threat comes from the government itself.” It ends by making demands that are typical of Venezuela’s opposition-demands that the government cannot possibly fulfill, such as suspending the new law, which has already taken effect. Then, since such a demand will not be fulfilled, the report, just as is typical of Venezuela’s opposition, takes the issue to international bodies, such as the World Bank and the OAS.

Valid criticism negated by relentless polemic

The HRW report correctly points out that Venezuela’s judicial system has pretty much always been in very poor shape. According to the report, “In terms of public credibility, the system was bankrupt” before Chavez came to power. The report then goes on to describe the efforts of the Chavez government to fundamentally revamp the judicial system, which succeeded to a limited extent, but then fizzled and eventually died.

The report, however, blames the failure on the country’s “political polarization under Chavez,” saying that “country has grown increasingly polarized in response to President Chávez’s policies and style of governance.” This is one of the points where HRW director Vivanco should not be surprised that Vice-President Rangel considers the report to be a partisan attack. According to the pro-government version events, it is the opposition that has caused polarization by not accepting Chavez as the legitimately elected president and by launching a media campaign against the Chavez government. To unilaterally put all of the blame for polarization in Chavez’ shoes, shows quite clearly where one’s sympathies lie, regardless of one’s position on judicial reform.

More:
http://www.voltairenet.org/article121200.html

[center]~~~~~[/center]
Smoke and Mirrors: An Analysis of Human Rights Watch's Report on Venezuela
Written by Gregory Wilpert
Tuesday, 21 October 2008 04:30

The September 18, 2008 Human Rights Watch report, "A Decade Under Chavez," raises a few problems with regard to the protection of political rights in Venezuela, but the few places where it is on target are almost completely drowned in a sea of de-contextualization, trumped-up accusations, and a clear and obvious bias in favor of the opposition and against the government.

Meta-Criticism

First, the focus of the report is on five specific issues relating to political rights (political discrimination, judicial independence, freedom of speech, labor organizing, and civil society organizing), completely leaving out other important political rights (such as the right to vote) and all social and economic rights. That the report has this narrow focus displays HRW's bias towards the better off, who already enjoy their full economic and social rights and are thus in a better position to exercise political rights. Also, it leads readers to believe that the Chavez government has, as a whole, made no progress in improving the human rights of Venezuelans—a clearly false proposition on almost every human rights front.

Second, throughout the report HRW fails to present incidents or policies in their proper context, which makes it more difficult to understand how and why certain things happen in Venezuela. As a result, by lacking this context, readers interpret the issues that the report discusses through the lens of their own prejudices or the false media impressions of Venezuela, such as the widespread images of Chavez the "caudillo" or "dictator" of Venezuela.

Third, the timing of the report's release was terrible, a mere two months before a major electoral contest, the regional elections. Since this is the third time HRW has released a report shortly before an electoral contest, the suspicion that HRW is actively trying to influence these events cannot be dismissed.

More:
http://upsidedownworld.org/main/venezuela-archives-35/1537-smoke-and-mirrors-an-analysis-of-human-rights-watchs-report-on-venezuela

[center]~~~~~[/center]
Scholars Respond to HRW’s Kenneth Roth’s Riposte on Venezuelan Human Rights
BY COHA Staff
– Posted on January 13, 2009

~snip~
(1) Mr. Roth writes: “Another one of your main accusations is that our report makes sweeping allegations that are not backed up by supporting facts or in some cases even logical arguments. . .

“The primary example you use to attempt to back this accusation is our conclusion that discrimination on political grounds has been a defining feature of the Chávez presidency. To make your point, you isolate a single case of a woman purportedly denied medicines on political grounds, and claim falsely that it is the only alleged instance of discrimination in government services cited in the entire 230-page report. We actually provide three such cases that we documented ourselves, while also referencing a 2005 report by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights that concluded, on the basis of hundreds of cases of alleged discrimination, that a new discriminatory pattern in the awarding of work and public services had emerged in Venezuela.”

Our response:

First, let’s clarify what is at stake here. Imagine that a human rights organization issued a report claiming that the Bush Administration has discriminated against political opponents among people who applied for Medicaid, food stamps, and other federal government entitlement programs. Now imagine that the only evidence they provided for this claim consisted of one allegation by the nephew of someone who applied for Medicare benefits, and possibly two other similar allegations. No one would take such a report seriously. But that is exactly what Mr. Roth is defending with regard to HRW’s report on Venezuela.

We could not find the other two cases of alleged discrimination that Mr. Roth refers to above. However it should be clear to anyone who knows arithmetic that the difference between one and three allegations of discrimination in a set of programs that has served millions of people is not significant.

As for the 2005 report by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights cited by Mr. Roth, it contains no documented cases, nor does it refer to any documented cases, of even alleged discrimination in the provision of government services.[1]

Thus, the HRW report neither provides nor cites any significant evidence for its sweeping generalization that “Citizens who exercised their right to call for the referendum– invoking one of the new participatory mechanisms championed by Chávez during the drafting of the 1999 Constitution– were threatened with retaliation and blacklisted from some government jobs and services.” (p. 10, italics added).

As we noted in our original letter, “This is outrageous and completely indefensible.”

If there were no other errors in the entire HRW report, this one enormously important unsubstantiated allegation would justify everything that we said with regard to the report not meeting “minimal standards of scholarship, impartiality, accuracy, or credibility.”

It is clear from his response that Mr. Roth has not taken this matter seriously. We therefore renew our appeal to the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch to intervene and correct this report.

More:
http://www.coha.org/scholars-respond-to-hrw-directors-riposte-on-venezuelan-human-rights/

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #46)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 07:17 PM

47. Pedigree Tells On Occasion, Ma'am

Human Rights Watch began under Reagan as a right-wing anti-Communist alternative to Amnesty International,which frequently embarrassed the U.S.by highlighting atrocious conduct by authoritarian regimes we backed. It has to some degree out-grown this over the years, but I always tend to apply 'trust but verify' to their comments when they touch on live political questions with a clear left/right divide....

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #46)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 08:39 PM

50. HRW came out of Helsinki Watch

It's easy - because I've heard of them for a very long time - to find examples of their longtime involvement in calling attention to Latin dictatorships and their brutality. Impartially.

For instance, on Guatemala during Reagan:


A different picture -- far closer to the secret information held by the U.S. government -- was coming from independent human rights investigators. On March 17, ] 983, Americas Watch representatives condemned the Guatemalan army for human rights atrocities against the Indian population.

New York attorney Stephen L. Kass said these findings included proof that the government carried out "virtually indiscriminate murder of men, women and children of any farm regarded by the army as possibly supportive of guerrilla insurgents."

Rural women suspected of guerrilla sympathies were raped before execution, Kass said. Children were "thrown into burning homes. They are thrown in the air and speared with bayonets. We heard many, many stories of children being picked up by the ankles and swung against poles so their heads are destroyed." [AP, March 17, 1983]


Deciding whether to trust them is and should be based on their entire past record. It is, as far as I'm concerned, an excellent one. I am serenely unsurprised that his government attacked them for their report.

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #50)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 08:47 PM

52. Well acquainted with their origin. I've posted articles on them for well over 10 years,

here as well as at CNN's old system, and a couple of other message boards. Very much aware of their history.

Clearly you overlooked an important document signed by over 100 well versed experts from many countries published commenting on HRW's total lack of credibility regarding Venezuela.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #52)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 08:56 PM

53. Like I said, you either choose to trust them or take the word of the Venezuelan government.

I choose to trust them. Their record speaks for itself. Chavez's record also speaks for itself on the subject at hand. Selah.

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #53)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:01 PM

57. His record is what we ALL, including the distinguished people who sent the HRW censure, regard

in forming our opinions.

You need to know what you're actually talking about first before attempting to drag the entire message board down your ignorance hole.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #57)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:26 PM

59. Another example of their work

The US and Zero Dark Thirty

Your argument, meantime, amounts to nothing more than an appeal to authority. It's exactly the same thing as climate denialists pointing to some letter signed by a bunch of people who are scientists but aren't climatologists saying that climate change isn't real.
Human Rights Watch does this stuff for a living. Somehow they wind up being wrong about Venezuela but not about Guatemala or the US and torture when it comes to Al Qaeda? Sorry, not believable.

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #59)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:38 PM

60. Hard to avoid acknowledging Guatemala and torture, after all the history, isn't it?

The U.S. has been active in destroying people in Guatemala since 1954, at the latest, which we ALL know.

Absolutely no way for them to pretend credibility on subjects which the U.S. has acknowledged, anyway.

You need to become more familiar with the facts, as the rest of us must.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #60)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:50 PM

61. So when you make the pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Hugo the Stuffed

please report to the rest of us on how accurate HRW's reports are about Venezuela.

So we all can become more familiar with the facts.

Oh wait...nevermind...

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #60)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 01:47 AM

74. What?????

Are you saying I was denying something about Guatemala or something? That post makes zero sense. I'm sorry, but if you think I'm supposed to kowtow to you as an expert on all things Latin American, you're very mistaken.

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #44)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 07:37 PM

48. the cops just barbecued a man here in california..

ever heard of Rampart? what does HRW say about the violent crime that's rampant in Chicago? do you blame Obama for that?

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Response to frylock (Reply #48)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 08:23 PM

49. The police are officials of the government.

If there were truly disapproval of their conduct, this kind of thing wouldn't happen in such obviously flagrant numbers. And getting back to that atrocious picture, it is a sign of a bunch of truly sick people.
I don't speak in total ignorance here. Police who are not exactly lawful are a staple of Latin countries. In Mexico my wife (she's from there) would never allow herself to be alone on a road with a policeman. She would drive to the nearest police HQ if they wanted her to pull over and deal with the policeman there.
The point in all of this that you and your fellows are missing is this: Mexico, for instance, has made huge strides towards becoming a true multiparty republic, emerging out of the old Latin formula of authoritarian single party rule. Under Chavez, Venezuela went in exactly the opposite direction. Yes, not totally, but he was definitely headed towards making Venezuela not so much like Cuba, which is what the right over here thinks, but more like Mexico in the bad old days, when the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) ruled everything and you couldn't do anything without them, regardless of the fact regular elections were always held. They'd just buy as many votes as they needed and that ended that.
The lawlessness of the police and his followers thinking a pic of Jesus with a gun is a cool thing are both huge signposts of his way of thinking and of the kind of society he's left behind. Mexico in the days of the PRI is not a thing to aspire to, it's a thing to run from.

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #34)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:23 PM

58. What do you think about Saint Constantine?

If you recall, he is credited with converting much of the Roman Empire to Christianity (his form of it) through his military might.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_the_Great

In hoc signo vinces (Latin pronunciation: [ɪn hoːk ˈsɪŋnoː ˈwɪnkeːs]) is a Latin rendering of the Greek phrase "ἐν τούτῳ νίκα" en touto nika, (Ancient Greek: [en tǒːtɔːi̯ níkaː]) and means "in this sign you will conquer".

According to legend, Constantine I adopted this Greek phrase, "εν τούτῳ νίκα" (in this, win) as a motto after his vision of a chi rho in the sky just before the Battle of Milvian Bridge against Maxentius on 28 October 312. The early Christian symbol consists of a monogram composed of the Greek letters chi (X) and rho (P), the first two letters in the name Christ (Greek: Χριστό?. In later periods, the christogram "IHS" both stood for the first three letters of "Jesus" in Latinized Greek (Ιησούς, Latinized IHSOVS) and "in hoc signo" from the legend.[citation needed]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_hoc_signo_vinces

The Labarum is Constantine's cross.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labarum

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:25 PM

32. Haters of anything that defies the global system of predatory capitalism.

The extreme irrationality of your previous post, could only be motivated by hate.

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Response to ronnie624 (Reply #32)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 02:21 PM

37. word up

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Response to ronnie624 (Reply #32)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 02:46 PM

39. True talking, honey!

And you do it so politely too!

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Response to bitchkitty (Reply #39)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 03:15 PM

41. Thanks,

but sometimes it's a struggle to choose my words carefully.

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:11 AM

26. It also very well sums up the Tea Party and the reactionary right here at home.

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:24 PM

31. Obviously you do not remember the Standard Oil rule of that country.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:38 PM

6. They're Law-Abiding Respectable Gun Owners.

 

So, why isn't Venezuela safe?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 08:24 PM

10. They're called self defense militias and EVERY left wing revolution........

and the working class needs them to protect themselves against the depredations of the bloodthirsty greed of the capitalist class. If I were a poor Venezuelan and my gains under Chavez were threatened by the imperialists and their lackeys, I'd be right there with them.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #10)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 08:47 PM

13. Oh, bullshit.

That's why Gandhi was so successful, right? What was that Martin Luther King quote? Something about a dream about armed militias roaming the streets to ensure economic equality... oh, I forget.

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #13)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 09:35 PM

14. Behind every Gandhi, there are 1,000 armed peasants...

Behind MLK there was the Black Panther Party and other armed revolutionaries. There is the peaceful front people recall, and the revolutionary core that terrorizes the elite. Both are vital.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #14)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 09:44 PM

18. And In Gandhi's Case, Sir

There was Imperial Japanese infantry on the border,and riots of colossal scale after the arrest of Congress Party leadership early in 1942. Britain left because it was obvious to its government by the end of WWII that they could not hold the place themselves against either outside threat or internal insurrection.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #14)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:58 PM

62. And I've always though of Chavez as an armed thug and not a Gandhi.

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Response to Pterodactyl (Reply #62)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:37 PM

63. I want my leaders to attack peaceful, but defend with force.

...

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Response to David__77 (Reply #63)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:44 PM

64. Why would you want them to attack the peaceful?

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Response to Pterodactyl (Reply #64)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:47 PM

66. Typo: "attack peacefully."

Not attack the peaceful. My mistake!

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #10)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 04:04 AM

75. We call those paramilitary groups when we don't like them.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #75)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 11:39 AM

85. It depends on who they support and who provides funding for them..........

If they're funded by the capitalists and covertly supported by the ruling class, then they're paramilitary groups.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #85)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 11:21 AM

105. The boligarchs are decidedly capitalist.

The entire revolution sits in the hands of the boligarchs, imo.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #10)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 09:10 AM

82. Every democratically elected president needs a private army

that swears loyalty only to them.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #82)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 11:35 AM

84. When you show me a socialist revolution that.......

has NOT been attacked overtly and covertly, militarily, economically, politically, and socially, by the capitalist class, then you MIGHT begin to convince me that a working class militia isn't necessary. Until I see the capitalists back off on undermining socialism WITH EVERY WEAPON IN IT'S ARSENAL, I'll continue to support the need for these militias.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #84)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 01:01 PM

88. Every socialist revolution needs a second admendment

to ensure the people can protect what is rightfully theirs.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #88)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 01:32 PM

89. Yep. Until the capitalists STOP undermining them at every turn......

they need the guns. Unless you believe that only the ruling class should have the guns?

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #89)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 01:42 PM

92. There are many here that believe that only the government should have guns

they don't trust the intelligence and judgement of the common man.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #92)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 01:57 PM

94. I haven't followed your take on the gun debate, BUT......

I'm not one for banning guns and never have been. That's why I'm NOT a "liberal". I'm FAR to the left of "liberalism".

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 09:37 PM

15. No, the "wild card" is the coup-mongers - will they move?

The Chavistas will not engage in armed struggle unless the right-wingers try to launch a coup. They cannot win at the ballot box.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 09:42 PM

16. Good for them because the thugs can't wait to dismantle all their gains n/t

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 09:43 PM

17. What the mother-loving EFF!? How are we going to topple their govt. with assholes like these?

Seriously, what the fuck. We should send that country a cell phone and tell 'em to call us when they're ready to play ball.

THE PRICE FOR YOUR STARBUCKS AND PIZZA HUT FRANCHISES JUST WENT UP, MOTHERFUCKERS!

Think it over. There will be a drone flying just outside your territorial waters to make sure the call goes through.

-Predatory Capitalist Poll Blind

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #17)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:01 AM

24. Awesome PB. "Unlike Allende, we're armed."


"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.

Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

US General Smedley Butler's (America's most decorated soldier at the time) 1935 book, War is a Racket



"Unlike Allende, we're armed."

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 09:50 PM

19. Wait. Guns in the hands of random yahoos is a good thing now? I can't keep up.

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Response to Throd (Reply #19)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:36 PM

33. Not random yahoos.

Many working class people who fear a return to the old ways.

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Response to ronnie624 (Reply #33)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 01:33 PM

90. In other words, random yahoos.

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Response to Throd (Reply #90)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 01:37 PM

91. So if a working class militia are "random yahoos".....

what exactly would you call capitalist mercenaries that attempt to reinstate capitalism upon the backs of the working class and against the will of the working class?

Edited to expand the question.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #91)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 01:56 PM

93. "paid random yahoos"

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Response to Throd (Reply #93)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 02:01 PM

95. So "paid random yahoos" are OK?..........

Or at least a fact of life that can't be changed? Whereas worker's militias, being just "random yahoos", aren't needed? You don't believe "random yahoos" need some form of self defense against the "paid random yahoos"? Just trying to get to the basis of your thinking.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #95)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 02:18 PM

96. Of course not

I'm just thinking of the probable scenario where members of the community might be viewed by a militia as not expressing the appropriate amount of fervor for their Chavista ideals.

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Response to Throd (Reply #96)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 02:27 PM

97. Why do you call that the "probable scenario"?.........

And it still boils down to self defense. SOME sort of capitalist counterattack IS coming. I'd say the "probable scenario" is this inevitable counterattack simply because the capitalists can't allow ANY type of socialism to succeed in ANY way because it negates their alibis for the inequality in the system. Since this attack is inevitable, I'd rather have "random yahoos" armed in order to fend off and defend this partial revolution of Chavez from the "hired random yahoos" of the owners.

But that's just me. Maybe you have a different outlook on it.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #97)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 02:35 PM

98. Because the true believers always view any opposing idea as a counterattack

Militias need an enemy. If one doesn't materialize, they'll create one.

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Response to Throd (Reply #98)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 02:40 PM

99. No need to create an enemy in this particular case.......

Think about the coup attempt in '02. The enemy is real, tangible, and deadly. I'm out for a while.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 08:10 AM

23. the article fails to mention the 2002 coup

it talks about the Chavez supporters' suspicious about a coup, but fails to mention that there is a basis for those suspicions. And of course that coup was defeated without guns.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #23)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:02 AM

25. EXACTLY! There's also something of a history......

( for the "something" of US imperial aggressions in Latin America over the last couple of centuries. They've got every right to be suspicious.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #23)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:11 AM

28. Not Really Defeated Without Guns, Sir

The army's rank and file made it clear they would not tolerate what was happening; they did not have to shoot, but that they could shoot is what made the coup dissolve.

"Political power comes out of the barrel of a gun."

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 02:15 PM

35. Armed people become a wild card. Unarmed people can be ignored...nt

 

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Response to Paul E Ester (Reply #35)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 03:29 PM

43. The armed forces imported to Venezuela from Colombia to murder Chavez

were captured housed at a ranch owned by Roberto Alonso near Caracas by information from an informant to the government who eventually rounded up over 100 of them.

If you make the effort you can find out about this yourself. The opposition employed armed people long ago in their hope to wipe Chavez off the face of the earth. They were simply unsuccessful in their treason.

Oh, yes, the Colombian mercenaries confessed, and Hugo Chavez even sent most of them back to Colombia after interrogations, etc., explaining to the Venezuelan people that this hadn't been their (mercenaries') idea, since it was designed in Venezuela. The Venezuelan public actually protested in the streets when this happened. They were clearly furious about this filthy scheme.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 02:36 PM

38. worrisome

If history is any indication, these kinds of groups can so easily morph into militaristic thugs who think advancing social justice means killing lots of people.

And the ideology is unimportant: Socialist, capitalist, fascist, whatever.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 02:55 PM

40. I had a Chavista once from the pizza joint near my house.

Gave me gas.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 08:42 PM

51. OK...here we have a predication being invented for U.S. intervention.

 

The so-called "armed Chavistas"as described by the AP, the mouthpiece for the CIA on all Latin American issues since...well, since forever).

This will be the equivalent of the imaginary "20,000 armed Cuban troops" that were supposedly in Chile when Allende was overthrown...you know, the ones who were never seen and never fired a shot and somehow managed to just vanish? Yeah, THOSE guys).

Coup propaganda on the hoof, folks.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #51)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 08:58 PM

55. My immediate impression, too, when I saw this headline long before it was posted here.

Last edited Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:08 PM - Edit history (1)

I was wondering who'd be the one to post it. I was surprised, this time.

You're exactly [strike]wrong[/strike] right. These slugs haven't missed a second's time keeping up the filthy propaganda slime war going, even throughout his illness, and haven't let up since he died. The only reason for that is they do intend to keep on after EVERY leftist President the people of Venezuela can ever elect, no matter who is elected the President here, it just isn't going to matter.

The right-wing death machine of our foreign policy will NEVER stop trying to silence EVERY leftist leader, no matter what the people of the Americas want, what they choose, what they insist they need, and must have for their own survival. It simply doesn't matter, and the near worthless clowns who can't perceive this themselves are going to continue raving on daily about the NEXT Venezuelan President, until somehow the U.S. can re-install someone like Carlos Andres Perez, who ordered his military to go into the barrios and mow down leftist protesters, and ended up piling them up and burying many in a mass grave with his "El Caracazo" massacre in 1989,

You absolutely said it. You are so right.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #55)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:45 PM

65. Thanks. and I'll amend it to "the continuation of a predication".

 

Expect to hear the term "armed chavistas" on Fox 24/7 for awhile now.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #65)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:07 PM

67. My god, I just got back and looked at my post and saw I wrote "wrong" meaning "right".

Can't believe it!

I was in a wild hurry, I'm going back to correct it, if you don't mind.

So damned embarrassed. I also noticed a complete odd spelling error I made in another thread, which made me look illiterate.

Sorry it came out so oddly. Hope you sensed the overall meaning, anyway.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #67)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:35 PM

73. It's all good...you are one of the most eloquent posters on DU.

 

n/t.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #51)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:13 PM

69. do you really think Obama is that stupid? He did not go to Harvard & become president on his rich

aristocratic background, like W. Bush. The man has enough brains and enough problems not to invade Venez.

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Response to wordpix (Reply #69)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:33 PM

72. Uh...Honduras?...

 

Last edited Sat Mar 9, 2013, 01:04 AM - Edit history (1)

And Nixon wasn't an aristocrat when he turned Chile fascist.

Also, I'm not being anti-Obama here as much as acknowledging that there are limits to the control he(or any other president) has over the CIA or any other instrument of the National Security State. No harm in pointing that out.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #72)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 04:30 AM

77. Are you seriously saying Obama was behind the coup in Honduras?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:08 PM

68. Jesus w/a machine gun, reminds me of our RWnut religious fundies



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Response to wordpix (Reply #68)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:13 PM

70. Based on that mural, these people are wackos and have no idea what Jesus is all about.

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Response to wordpix (Reply #68)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:19 PM

71. Apparently you don't grasp it's painted in a barrio, like our own "slums"

where people throw up all kinds of "art" all the time.

I have NEVER heard of a foreign newspaper coming to this country and using our own large scale ghetto images as subject for propaganda before.

What could be more pathetic?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #71)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 09:38 AM

83. apparently you don't grasp an analogy

and there are plenty of foreign reporters who write about our own US slums. Remember all the foreign aid during Katrina? That came due to the media coverage.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 04:23 AM

76. Poor people who are armed are less easy to destroy. The oligarchy wants power back.

The sooner the corporate oligarchy can remove those guns, the easier time it will have dismantling the social programs and pushing the tax burden back onto the poor.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 04:31 AM

78. If this was about some armed Tea Party militia, I have a feeling the comments would be different

Quite a double standard.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Reply #78)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 05:03 AM

79. The Venezuelan shantytown dwellers in the hills above Caracas were slaughtered

mecilessly by the later impeached President Carlos Andres Perez in 1989, in the massacre which became known as "El Caracazo". There were so many the military mowed down at Perez' orders they eventually had to use bulldozers to shove them into a huge mass grave.

What kind of fool would imagine the people who survived this ordeal, and their neighbors would not do anything to keep this from happening again at the hands of the Venezuelan oligarchy? Perez, although impeached, maintained residences in Colombia, Miami, and New York, remained the darling of the right-wing oligarchs in Venezuela, and consistantly called out publicly for Hugo Chavez to be shot down in the street "like a dog".

Finally he honored the world by dying several years ago, after which time his mistress and his wife fought over who got to bury his body where.

What drooling idiot would presume to attempt to draw a comparison between the wildly exploited and viciously treated poor of Venezuela who are desperate to keep history from repeating now, and the reeking, self-indulgent pieces of selfish shit of the U.S. Tea Party, anyway?

Here are a few photos from El Caracazo to stimulate right-wing lust for class and race oppression:

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Reply #78)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 05:58 AM

80. This Is Nonesense, Sir: The Value Of Violence Is the End It Seeks

It is far from a 'double standard' to countenance violence for an end one approves of, and to oppose violence for an end one disapproves of. This is so because the question is not whether one approves or disapproves of violence, but whether one approves or disapproves of a particular end. One may take take the view that violence is not the best means to an end one seeks, or that violence cannot achieve the end one seeks, or that violence will cause more suffering than the end one seeks is worth, but such calculations are far from disapproval of violence: if I have to drive a nail, I do not disapprove of a wrench because I pick up a hammer out of the tool drawer.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #80)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 11:52 AM

87. And if I may add to your thoughts here.....

It's also about who funds and supports the users of violence and the ends that THEY (the supporters) want to see. The Tea Party supporters in the USA are funded by the Kochs, et. al. and we all should KNOW what kind of end they want to see.

Leftists who gain power will NEVER be safe from capitalist counterattack UNTIL CAPITALISM IS NO MORE! Every socialist revolution has been attacked, overtly or covertly, by the capitalists and, as Judi's post above shows so graphically, they've been attacked viciously whether they were armed or unarmed. Personally, I'm not a pacifist. I believe in self defense for myself AND for my class. These types of militias are self defense for my class.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 06:02 AM

81. The arms aren't a real source of power.

Unless their opposition are real dumb thugs, which they may be.

I don't think any major player, the type with an eye to history, is really invested in manipulating the outcome in Venezuela in the way that Latin American governments have been manipulated in the past. I think their wise enough to stand back and let things play out.

The greatest power of the people there is in preserving the structures in the low income barrios that came into place under Chavez in terms of social organisation and aid. The social orders which provide for people have great power against parasitic forms of exploitation. Morality has an aesthetic to it, a beauty to it. The anti-social has an ugliness to it. People can see it and feel it, around the world. To kill the demons of injustice one only has to show them, in their naked and pure forms.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #81)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 09:55 PM

100. Hi ya, napoleon in rags...

 

Can you tell me what that phrase means? I mean, we all know the song it's from. But since you've adopted the moniker... I've always had a guess, but I'll let you go first because maybe you actually know! Thanks!

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #100)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 06:00 AM

104. To me its a reference to homeless mentally ill.

The song is about homelessness and despondency, so me "napoleon in rags" represents the delusions of grandeur associated with madness combined with the downcast nature. Its that bum on the street in rags, who is nevertheless proceeding to have a conversation with "God" (or whoever the voices are) and is on his great mission. In the context of the song its about losing it, slipping into craziness. ("You're invisible now", who cares what you do? Lose it.)

I chose it as a moniker because with a previous screen name I felt that folks were taking me too seriously when I conjectured. The name is intended as a warning. By conflating myself with the image of a crazy bum on the street, I'm trying to make clear that I'm not speaking as any kind of insider, but as an outsider with flashes of insight and lunacy at the same time.

That's what I always though it meant anyway. I haven't read much about it. I heard some people interpreted it as Christ, (as in the song character is becoming born again) but to me that doesn't fit with the grim character of the song, and Dylan is too elegant a poet to tie Christ to Waterloo without further comment.

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #104)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 09:03 PM

106. I see!

 

I figure you're right. The image of a crazy person thinking they're Napoleon.

I always thought it was a reference to Napoleon III, who was hoisted into power partly on the strength of popular support among people that Marx (rather contemptuously) called the lumpenproletariat - literally, "proletariat in rags." A general term for street people, non-workers, informal workers and peddlers, hustlers and hookers. Today they'd be called an underclass. Thus, by "You used to be amused / at Napoleon in rags and the language that he used," like the rest of the song, would be about how "you" used to think you were so superior to the people on the street and their uneducated lingo.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #106)

Tue Mar 12, 2013, 04:01 PM

108. That's interesting, I didn't know that.

Maybe your thing is what Dylan was thinking when he wrote that line. It seems pretty striking to me now that I hear it.

But this all goes back to my original post here...I gotta explan: Okay, so the other day, somebody was telling me about all these documentaries that preached a plant based diet. Good for environment, health, etc. I checked the science and it panned out, so I made myself up a meal along the guidelines of what we're supposed to eat. I was struck by something amazing as I looked at the mess it left behind: It was beautiful. These avocado skins, fruit slicings, etc. Arrayed on my cutting board looked like a still life. So here you have all these vectors of diverse scientific research saying something was good for health, good for environment and so on, and that somehow translated to a simple quality in my kitchen: Aesthetic beauty.

So I got to thinking about that, and I had this idea that aesthetics - our awareness of beauty- is actually a form of super cognition that allows our brain to see advantage when the reasons for the advantage our too complicated for normal reason to see. So we see it in the beauty of moral actions, beauty in the important math equations, beauty in healthy ecological natural scenes, etc. All things good for people.

So anyway, taking all that back to Dylan, it may just be that this is how great artists work too: They're not concerned with a single intellectual meaning of what they're saying, as much as they are with the aesthetic qualities. Maybe "napoleon in rags" just sounded good in that song aesthetically. But because aesthetic beauty of is a reduction of all these complicated converging real properties, like with my vegetables, we can see all kinds of meanings in it, just as people do with pretty much any great song or poem.

Anyway, I like your interpretation too.

PEace!

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #108)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 03:22 PM

109. What a pleasure to read your thoughts...

 

Even if they're in the middle of an unrelated monster thread.

Thank you. This is what makes Internet and sometimes DU special.

It's OP worthy and I may repost it elsewhere, with your permission. Why don't we have more genuinely philosophical and thought-provoking threads? You should do that.

I think the general thought is true and I like your phrasing, that the appreciation for aesthetic beauty acts as a form of super-cognition, or intuition. What we feel as beautiful points us to what's actually good, although given all our forms of camouflage, meaning both in nature and even more so among the humans, it would be dangerous as an ironclad rule. Because of this natural tendency for aesthetic beauty to point us to the good, which I think you have correctly identified, beauty is also useful for deception, as seems to have always been understood by actors, artists, church-builders and the more charismatically gifted politicians, as well as assorted sophists and exploiters in all professions and trades. (And let's not even get into sex.)

"Truth is beauty and beauty is truth, that is all ye know, and all ye need to know."

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #109)

Fri Mar 15, 2013, 06:05 PM

110. I'm glad you like that idea.

I've been turning it over in my head in my spare minutes over the last couple days, and I feel there is a lot of power there. Of course, it gets into the difficult question of what then is REAL beauty, and what is deception like you say. We're talking about a sort of Ansel Adams beauty, more than b-list hollywood-celeb-with-too-much-make-up beauty.

I like the idea that because on the environmental front, it gives hope, a positive focus, and makes it less of a zero sum game. If, as a lover of environment, I'm seeking a sort of beauty in my life, it stops being about what I'm avoiding and what I'm NOT doing. It becomes about something I am doing, something I am seeking. It promises a hope that we may one day move beyond unforeseen consequences of our actions, and create a real balanced sustainable and beautiful culture.

I think I can find an OP in that as I develop it. And if you like them too, please absolutely make these ideas your own, and present them as such. I have no proprietary claim on them, as I think they are only lightly modified from ideas past philosophers had about beauty...

Thanks for responding!
Nir

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Response to napoleon_in_rags (Reply #110)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 11:50 AM

111. Thanks again!

 

I'll be looking out for your future posts.

Beauty used for deception is still beauty, beauty and truth are not the same but point to each other.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 11:48 AM

86. If any people needed a militia to protect themselves from their would be conquerors

it is the Venezuelans. There was already one coup attempt against this administration.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 09:56 PM

101. Preemptive AP propaganda to defend a possible coup d'etat...

 

Strong-armed! Gangs! Well-armed toughs! OMG!

Nothing like the distinguished self-defense committees of the rich neighborhood a couple of miles away, surely.

Well, Vz is one place where you can take the idea of armed defense against potential dictatorship half-seriously.

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