August 2, 2006

Anti-American Dictators and the Progressives who Love Them

Carroll Andrew Morse

Today’s Projo has a stupid op-ed celebrating the supposedly democratic virtues of modern Venezuelan fascist Hugo Chavez…

The U.S. Press often repeats U.S. government propaganda, rather than analyze and accurately report events in Venezuela. Democratically elected President Hugo Chavez is subjected to numerous false allegations and innuendoes. For example, a New York Times editorial concluded, amidst a failed coup attempt in April 2002, that "Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator."
The fact that the authors are accusing the New York Times of being part of the vast right wing conspiracy should raise a red flag right away.

Since the authors of the op-ed are obviously the sort willing to either excuse or ignore any action by a dictator so long as that dictator is anti-American, let me present just a few of the undisputed facts about how Hugo Chavez destroyed democracy in Venezuela and propose a simple test. Ask yourself what your reaction would be (and for even more fun, you can speculate about what the reaction of the typical Hugo Chavez defender would be) if President George Bush applied any of the steps below in the United States. Then ask yourself why Chavez apologists don’t think Venezuelans deserve the same freedoms that Americans do...

  • Chavez called a constitutional convention which declared it was illegal for Venezuela's elected congress to meet and eventually replaced the elected congress in mid-term.
  • Chavez established a “judicial emergency committee” that had the power to remove judges without consulting any other branch of government.
  • Chavez has tried to use a nationwide referendum to remove the leadership of Venezuela’s labor unions (is there any more obvious case of progressives saying “screw our principles; we’ll support anyone who’s anti-American” than this one?)
  • Chavez signed laws censoring the free press
    He who offends in speech or in writing, or in any way disrespects the President of the Republic or causes another to do so, shall be punished by six to thirty months jail,
    …and requiring television and radio stations to carry up to sixty minutes of government programming.
There’s no logic to supporting Hugo Chavez except the logic of supporting dictators because of, not in spite of, the fact they are anti-American.

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I am in complete agreement. I'm interested to see what moves Chavez makes now that Fidel is out of the picture (temporarily at least). He's attempted to insert cronies in every election in South America, what's his plan for Cuba?

Posted by: Jim at August 2, 2006 11:18 AM

Andrew, Thanks for bringing this one up. I hadn't the energy myself!

Posted by: Marc Comtois at August 2, 2006 11:56 AM

I agree completely with you, andrew. But should this come as any surprise following this week's earlier op-ed from the projo by Brown Prof. Beeman where he claims we should be “Embracing Iran as Part of the Solution” in the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict?

What is this? Neville Chamberlain Celebration Week?

Posted by: johnb at August 2, 2006 12:27 PM

I haven't seen such left-leaning commentary about Latin America since the Cold War...ahh, the good 'ol days.

Chavez's economic policies have already overstimulated the Venezualan economy. Economic growth is second only to China, but there are still shortages of basic foodstuffs because of artificial price controls. Chavez is relying solely oil revenues for growth and if the price/barrel goes down, Chavez is in trouble and poverty will be more widespread than ever before.

Why does it not surprise me that liberals would praise someone who was most recent seen hugging the Iranian president who wants to return the world to the Dark Ages?

Posted by: Anthony at August 2, 2006 2:25 PM

Are you for real?

Posted by: Rino Cooke at August 2, 2006 2:49 PM

Is Sr. Chavez coming too?

...con los respondadores rapidos?

Posted by: roadrunner at August 2, 2006 3:21 PM


Of course I'm for real, what's so outlandish in my comments?

Posted by: johnb at August 2, 2006 4:44 PM

It's shocking that he went after labor union leaders. Andrew is right; if this doesn't enlighten liberal media types, nothing will.

We are starting to hear the same defense of Chavez that we've heard all these decades of Castro: he's giving the country good health care and social services.

As though this were a substitute for due process, freedom of speech, a non-tyrannical executive branch ...

Posted by: SusanD at August 2, 2006 10:40 PM