Friday, June 01, 2007

Dear Sir,
The Venezuela article made a number of good points,but the fact remains that the U.S. and its G8 buddies have yet to explain their rather clumsy complicity in
the botched coup against Hugo Chavez. It was widely reported, when it looked like he might be safely out of the way, that he had "resigned."

No one asked how it was, in a democracy, that he was not succeeded by the Vice President; the takeover by Carmona was greeted with a wink and a nod. When it
comes to grinding the faces of the poor, such as themiserable Chechens, George Bush thought it was funny when Putin promised to "chase them right into the
sh*thouse and wipe them out." He said he had looked deep into the Russian President's eyes and liked what he saw. Not much comment, either, when it came to Mr.
Putin's most undemocratic decision in 2004 to personally appoint regional governors (apparently he considered it nothing special- just his version of
"Presidential Orders."). The list goes on.
Lest anyone think these objections come from some rabid left-winger, I am enough of a free-market proponent to have lost rather a good bit on certain of my investments, due in no small part to some of Mr.Chavez' more extravagant decrees, and very much oppose the idea that people may elect a dicatator, even for 18 months, but if the example we would hold up to the rest of the world consists of a system of corrupt, cronyish capitalism, with growing economic distress,widening disparity between the elite and everyone else, perpetual war and massive deficits - then the Great Bolivarian (who if rumor can be believed at least wants to turn the Presidential Palace into a university,) deserves a chance to demonstrate whether he is able to improve the lot of his people.

Sincerely, Robert Tartell

1 comment:

Jean said...

Dear Robert Tartell

You can see we are both responding to the same article from slightly different views and I would say please do not view Chávez through the US experience of Bush or recent history in US. Judge him on his own national terms.

Just because Bush is awful (I think so) this should not be allowed to give cover to creeping authoritarianism in Venezuela just because it claim to be anti-US. The people of Venezuela should not be punished just to teach US president Bush a lesson about how bad he is.

Bush is bad but given its relentless wiping away of checks and balances and concentrating power in the hands of one man so I think we can say the Bolivarian experience is not good for Venezuela either.

Its success should not be measured by what it does in confronting US but instead in what it does to build a more social and pluralistic society for Venezuelans, a objective today it is failing in.

Un abrazo
JF