A couple of weeks ago down in Venezuela they held a referendum in which, by a slim margin, the Venezuelan people said that they didn't want Hugo Chavez in there as President for Life ... that, per the Venezuelan constitution, Chavez would have to leave office after his current term expires in 2012. Some people in the United States, for example the editors of the Chicago Sun-Times, have called the rebuff of Chavez, ".. a significant victory for democracy in Venezuela". Tis no such thing. To wit ....
"Democracy!? We ain't got no democracy! We don't need no democracy!! I don't have to show you any stinkin democracy!!!"
Referendum or no referendum, Chavez ain't goin' anywhere.
He has stated repeatedly that no vote will ever get him out.
As early as November, 2002, on his weekly television program, "Hello, President", Chavez vowed categorically: "Even if 90% votes me out, I will not go".
Since 2002, Chavez has made himself immensely stronger, and nothing short of war - civil or otherwise - will oust him.
Well, check this...
1. The Venezuelan, "Law on the Social Responsibility of Radio and Television" (2004) together with amendments made to Venezuela's Criminal Code (2005) make it a felony: to insult, disrespect ("desacato"), accuse of wrong-doing, criticize the policies of, criticize the behavior of: Chavez, anyone in the Chavez administration, the Venezuelan courts, the Venezuelan military, Venezuelan legislators (both state and federal), the Venezuelan bureaucracy. for violating these new laws include long prison sentences and heavy fines.
2. On Jan 17, 2007, "Venezuelan lawmakers gave approval to a bill granting Chavez the power to rule by decree for 18 months so that he can impose sweeping economic, social and political change." In other words, the Venezuelan national legislative assembly has made Chavez dictator.
3. Because of its relentless criticism of him, in May of 2007, Chavez shut down Radio Caracas Television. Equating himself with the Venezuelan State, Chavez, operating under the "Le Etat c'est Moi" theory of politics, justified his action by declaring, "That television station became a threat to the country".
4. Chavez has begun to attack the banks on the grounds that they are not "socially responsible" (Hitler used this same argument to attack the banks specifically and capitalism in general.)...
5. Chavez has attacked the many oil companies that have interests in Venezuela, and who, in recent years, have invested 17 billion dollars in the country. As a result of Chavez' attacks, the oil companies have begun to consider whether they ought to try to cut a deal with Chavez, or just pull out completely.The regulations Chavez has already imposed upon the oil production has reduced that production by 20 percent.
6. Historically, Venezuela has never been antisemitic. Chavez changed that .... - Chavez has cozied up to Iran, the quintessential hate-America, hate-the-Jews country. - Chavez has publicly called Venezuelan Jews, "descendants of those who killed Christ", and the "descendants of the same ones that kicked Bolivar out of here", and who had, "taken possession of all the wealth in the world" . (Both Marx and Hitler also argued this identical "Jews have stolen all the wealth" line). Freddy Pressner, head of CAIV, the main Jewish communal body in Venezuela, says that there has been an "explosion of anti-Semitism in Venezuela". Other Jewish leaders have criticized the government for having organized an anti-Israel demonstration outside the city's main Sephardi synagogue, the wall of which was subsequently daubed with anti-Semitic graffiti. Sammy Eppel, a Jewish commentator, says: "They're not burning synagogues [yet!] or persecuting people on the streets [yet!] but there is officially sanctioned anti-Semitism. The Venezuelan people aren't anti-Semitic. This is being directed by a few activists." Since Chavez took office in 1999, up to one-fifth of the Jewish population has left the country. The Venezuelan Jewish community is nervous about releasing the true numbers for fear it will be seen as a lack of commitment to Venezuela and could affect the 15,000-20,000 who remain.
7. "We must continue developing the resistance war, that's the anti-imperialist weapon. We must think and prepare for the resistance war everyday," Chavez proclaimed in a speech made recently to Venezuelan soldiers who stood before military vehicles festooned with flags proclaiming, "Fatherland, Socialism, or Death! We will triumph!"To back up his saber-rattling, within the past few years Chavez has purchased from Putin's Russia: 53 attack helicopters, 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 24 SU-30 Sukhoi fighter jets. Recently, Chavez remarked that during his coming tour of Russia and Iran, he plans to shop for submarines and anti aircraft missiles.
8. To prevent the possibility of a coup, Chavez has surrounded himself with a Praetorian Guard of 15,000 Cuban "advisors". Repeat: Fifteen thousand Cubans now protect Chavez.
So there you have it -- Hugo Chavez, self-proclaimed Maoist, darling of the hate-America left, beloved of hate-America-Islam, hero to Hollywood and Jesse Jackson, acolyte to Fidel, attacker of free enterprise, socialist tyrant, and proud Jew-hater who like Hitler plans to run the Jews out -- now rules Venezuela with an iron fist.
And no 'stinkin democracy' will change that.
Biography - Bernard Switalski
Graduated high school, 1953. U.S. Army lab technician, Bell Telephone Labs guided missile R&D, White Sands Proving Ground, NM, 1954-1957. Railroad freight conductor, Chicago, 1958-1963. Petroleum products quality/quantity surveyor, mostly in Venezuela, 1964-1965. Blast furnace foreman, Chicago,1966-1968.
After that damn blast furnace put me in the ER, got into the heavy industrial construction industry, 1969. First job, laborer. Last job, general construction superintendent, contracted by a Spanish consortium to oversee the construction of a 4 billion dollar grassroots petroleum refinery in Sumatra.
Somewhere in there, picked up a BA in philosophy. Traveled a lot. As old Cap'n Bill Jensen used to say back there on the Orinoco, "Been round the world two dozen times, first time in a baby buggy, twice in a submarine." Jigged for cod from a dory off Newfoundland; ran like a sissy from an irate cobra in Brunei. Met lots of good people along the way.
Switalski died, April 13, 2009 in Riverdale, Illinois.