Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Good piece looking at Hugo Chavez's power grab in Venezuela.

Would a president who says he believes in democracy send out his secret police to capture and imprison his nation's labor leader and the head of the largest business group for leading protests against him? Would the president allow - indeed, encourage - his supporters to take to the streets, armed with weapons, to shoot at unarmed protesters? Would a truly democratic president start disarming a force of 9,000 police officers in his nation's capital city because local elected officials want new presidential elections? Would such a leader remain silent while gunmen loyal to him ambush a local police motorcycle brigade, killing one cop and wounding five others? Would it be fair to wonder who's behind the death of former military officers who were kidnapped, tortured and killed, found dead under "mysterious circumstances," officers who happened to disagree with the president's "democratic" tactics? Hugo Chavez's reign of terror in Venezuela knows no bounds. He is bent on keeping power the old-fashioned way, by force. Democracy be damned.

All these diplomatic talks, by the "Friends of Venezuela," a group of nations that include the United States, which is trying to find a way out of this impasse, are a sham. They are going nowhere because Chavez isn't willing to uphold his nation's own constitution. He ignores the 4-million-plus signatures from voters calling for new elections this year. He ignores the cries of working people who are fed up in an economy that was down and out long before labor and business leaders joined in December for a national strike.

Another Carter 'victory' for peace.

Just two days before Fernandez's arrest, Chavez and the opposition had agreed to an eight-point plan proposed by the Organization of American States to renounce violence and turn down the volume on divisive rhetoric. Chavez's government signed the agreement and then, with the ink barely dry, El Presidente went on his rampage of retaliation. The agreement, the talks, it's all a Chavez hoax.

And here is a look at life in Venezuela.

< email | 2/26/2003 12:14:00 PM | link

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