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Spotlight on Venezuela


As our current Administration continues to guide us down the path toward full-blown socialism, it is worth keeping tabs on President Obama's comrade Hugo Chavez, and the slow-motion destruction that his policies have caused in the Western Hemisphere's other "worker's paradise," Venezuela.

The saga of Chavez's systematic wrecking of his country's oil industry (which accounts for 95% of Venezuela's export revenue) through nationalization and cronyism, as well as his ambitious spending programs that continually drained the Venezuelan national treasury of virtually every dollar it earned in oil exports, is well-known. Of course all of this spending was done with only the best of intentions, as Chavez repeatedly announced that he intended only to give back to the people of Venezuela what was always rightfully theirs.

But last month, in a desperate attempt to manage currency shortfalls that have arisen as a result of the crippling combination of Venezuela's declining oil production capacity and the drastic 2008 world-wide drop in crude oil prices, Chavez announced that the bolivar (Venezuela's national currency) would undergo roughly a 50% devaluation, with the exception of commodity prices which would remain subsidized by the government and continue to trade at the previous exchange rate of 2.6 bolivars per US dollar. In other words, ordinary Venezuelans saw the value of their savings cut in half overnight. In Caracas, shoppers flocked to stores to buy what they could before the new prices took affect. And after the French-owned supermarket chain Exito announced price increases in the wake of the currency devaluation, Chavez ordered the stores seized and nationalized, via assimilation into Venezuela's Socialist Market Corporation.

Oh, and did I mention that all of this came directly on the heels of wide-scale electricity rationing? It seems that deteriorating grid infrastructure combined with an insufficient amount of rainfall have made the country's main hydroelectric power generating system unstable.

Needless to say, many Venezuelans have become angry and disillusioned with the Chavez regime. This past week, tens of thousands of protesters clashed with police, who brandished barbaric weapons and, apparently, had no problem with using them on protesters:





One Venezuelan blogger pointedly asked, "How many forms of torture can you count on this picture ... I count at least three: the fingers in the eyes, the breaking wrist and the humiliation of having to hold tight to your own clothes. And who knows how many others we can count, starting with the image of this armored cops and whatever they did to this kid. Amnesty International is taking notice. The numbers of government expressing their concern keeps growing."

But what about our own government? Or the unofficial Hugo Chavez Fan Club that resides in Hollywood? As with Iran, it seems that the Obama White House has yet again embarrassed itself by choosing to make friends with a regime that seems to be headed toward the same kind of economic disasters and human rights violations that have plagued virtually every socialist worker's paradise for the past eighty years. Thankfully, Barack Obama still hasn't bowed to Hugo Chavez ... but I'm not holding my breath.


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Comments (22)

How do you say Hope n Chang... (Below threshold)

How do you say Hope n Change in Spanish?

One of the frequent complai... (Below threshold)

One of the frequent complaints during the cold war was America made allies witch dictators simply because they were in opposition to USSR and or communist forces.

Now the cold war is over, we should support freedom loving people.

We have turned a blind eye to Iran and Venezuela.
While at the same time the US goes after Honduras for preventing a tyrant for violating a country's laws.

We, the people, need to get... (Below threshold)

We, the people, need to get this message out. This and many other internet forums are critical to our continuing freedom.

Our government wants to ignore (hide?) this kind of anti-socialism uprising in Iran and Venezuala with the complicity of the MSM. hcddbz's comment above about Honduras is a perfect example.

Pay attention to Venezuela,... (Below threshold)
John S:

Pay attention to Venezuela, because the administration is leading us on the same path. What is happening there will be happen here well before Obama's first term ends.

Back in the 1930's, Charles... (Below threshold)

Back in the 1930's, Charles Lindburgh traveled to Germany, famously announcing how proud he was of the accomplishments of "Herr Hitler" and "The New Germany". Lindburgh was so caught up in his own fame, racism and American isolationism that he chose not to see what a monster Hitler was. He was, um, wrong about all that.

Neville Chamberlain, Britain's Prime Minister at the time, worked out a last minute "treaty" with "Herr Hitler" that he was convinced could avert war with Germany, claiming the treaty would guarantee "peace in our time". He was also wrong, as Hitler proved within weeks.

It seems to me that Obama displays the same kind of willful stupidity when it comes to world affairs. He hasn't figured out yet that Chavez and Ahmadinejad, North Korea, China, and Cuba are never going to be seduced by his golden oratorical gifts. True tyrants see it for what it is: a squeamish and conceited avoidance of the harsh realities of world politics -- and weakness. Obama, like many on the left, see these monsters as a ticket to diplomatic "greatness". Imagine we had a war, and Obama talked them out of it. Why, Nobel Prize committees just LOVE that kind of shit.

The result will be the same for Obama as it was for Lindburgh and Chamberlain. If nature abhors a vaccuum, world politics abhors a coward.

I am no fan of Chavez, his ... (Below threshold)

I am no fan of Chavez, his socialist policy and his so call bent on hurting(takeover) of the evil rich that only results in the destruction of their economy. Anti-business usually will get you less business.

That said the statement that "image of this armored cops" is torture is an overstatement to say the least. Those kind of statements hurt your credibility. Yes security forces have been known to overact but so have protestors and a few pictures can't tell you much about the situation.

Also the conclusion you draw from the bottom picture exposes your bias. First we have no idea if it the cops or the pedestrian who is responsible for the pants situation. He could have been pissing on the cops a few seconds earlier for all we know.

Second when you have someone resisting you, grapping the wrist is very common wither it is a cop, the bouncer at a bar, or you keeping your two year old from hitting someone. Not exactly torture.

Third you might want to look a little closer at the fingers in the eyes. One is clearly above the eye and the second clearly below. At least at that moment the cop wasn't actually putting pressure on his eyes. If he was he would likely be leaning much future back. Also and I can tell you this from experience of being gouge in the eyes, he would not care about his pants but would be grapping the cops hand with his right hand.It is a common submission technique that can work without actually gouging the eyes but does look bad.

Most of the rest of your post I agree with and I thought hcddbz made a good point. However I think you do our side's creditability harm when you overstate stuff.

Pictures like that are comi... (Below threshold)

Pictures like that are coming soon to an American town near you, compliments of Barack Hussein Obama, SEIU, ACORN, and Hope & Change.

"It seems to me that Obama ... (Below threshold)

"It seems to me that Obama displays the same kind of willful stupidity when it comes to world affairs. He hasn't figured out yet that Chavez and Ahmadinejad, North Korea, China, and Cuba are never going to be seduced by his golden oratorical gifts."

Obama's not ignorant about the type of thugs that Chavez and friends are. He's comfortable with them.

Michael, excellent post...S... (Below threshold)

Michael, excellent post...SAVE IT!

In a couple years you can do a Find&Replace on "Venezuela" for United States" and "Hugo Chavez" for Barack Obama" and the piece will still work!

There is not ONE thing that Chavez has done that Obama is actively planning to do...or is in the process OF doing!

No wonder those two love each other so much!

should be: "There is not ON... (Below threshold)

should be: "There is not ONE thing that Chavez has done that Obama ISN'T actively planning to do...or ISN'T in the process OF doing!"

more coffee required!

I agree that trying to call... (Below threshold)

I agree that trying to call that picture an example of torture is jumping the shark. The hand on the face is most likely to prevent biting and the fingers are clearly not in the guys eyes. Broken wrist ? and as far as the pants thing, since when is being embarrassed being tortured ...
Chavez is obviously a thug and the worst stuff won't easily photgraphed without serious danger to the picture taker.

"The unofficial Hugo Chavez... (Below threshold)

"The unofficial Hugo Chavez Fan Club that resides in Hollywood?"

Just as silent as when we learned of 'the killing fields'. Just ask Jane Fonda.

"How do you say Hope n Chan... (Below threshold)

"How do you say Hope n Change in Spanish?"

Esperanza y cambio is how you'd say it. Not the best idea to follow; somehow Obama is doing it.

It's great to see someone else following the S.A. political scene. Nicaragua is in the same situation; Iranian nationals filter into Nicaragua and "disappear" but...illegal immigration into the US should happen, regardless of nationality, color and/or creed. They might be those disappearing Iranians...and, it's less important than wrecking our current health system. It will be hard to keep people healty if we're all dead.

Why doesn't the US government protect it's people?

Barry's bow must have happe... (Below threshold)

Barry's bow must have happened behind closed doors like everything else He does with His socialist pals!!

Wayne and Jeff - You're bot... (Below threshold)

Wayne and Jeff - You're both correct in that we do not know the full context of the arrest photo. On the other hand, I believe that Babalublog is correct in its assessment of the situation as "torture," because any similar treatment of a foreign national by any police or military force connected to the US would be immediately decried as "TORTURE!!!" by the political left. Why can't the same definition be applied here?

MLI understand your ... (Below threshold)

I understand your point of "what is good for the Goose..." but just because the left misuses a term, lies and cheats doesn't mean we should. Granted there are times when it is necessary to get down into the mud and fight dirty in a fight when your opponent does so but one should be careful when to do so or we may end up no better than them.

In addition, they can later claim that we consider some idiot with his pants falling down as torture. They will use it over and over again unless we are clear on the points.

Oddly, I didn't focus on hi... (Below threshold)

Oddly, I didn't focus on his drawers. The hand in his face, covering the mouth and nose, and what looks like fingers in the eyes... that is what stood out to me.

Steve Green and his pals wi... (Below threshold)

Steve Green and his pals will be along any minute to tell us why they agree with Chavez and his TYPICAL lefty pals in shutting down protestors.

After all, Steve Green and ALL of this lefty pals believe whole-heartedly in that "No Free Speech for Fascists" idea (whereby they describe any speech in opposition to their Stalinist ideas as "fascist").

I don't know if I would cal... (Below threshold)

I don't know if I would call this torture or not. I do know enough to have a pretty firm opinion about the chain flail that appears in one of the pictures.

'Course, maybe it was all "reasonable and necessary crowd control".

And the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention Grant Park riot was mere "traffic enforcement".

How many riots was simply c... (Below threshold)

How many riots was simply championship celebration?

How bad is it? So... (Below threshold)
jim m:

How bad is it?

So bad that even Amnesty International is taking a break from condemning the US as a terrorist state and actually taking notice.

You have to be pretty bad for the leftists to call you out

Thank God Hugo does'nt Wate... (Below threshold)

Thank God Hugo does'nt Waterboard!






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