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Hugo Chavez: Libertarian

Dimes con quien andas y te dire quien eres...Spanish Proverb

By Alberto Marrero Salas
Published on LatinoLA: July 8, 2009


Hugo Chavez: Libertarian


Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres....Spanish Proverb

Lately no one seems to be more involved in the defense of Democracy than Presidente maybe for Life Hugo Chavez.

After the Supreme Court of Honduras and the Congress of Honduras decided to step in an end the unconstitutional and illegal power grab of Presidente wanna be for Life Zelaya, no one has whined as much as our own golpista, President Chavez.

Huguito apparently and conveniently has forgotten that he led a coup against the democratically elected government of Venezuela in 1992. The only difference is that Hugo failed and so far the coup in Honduras is hanging on with apparently the support of the majority of the people.

Even in La Opinion, the local Spanish newspapers letter to La Tribuna have been running 5 to 1 in favor of the present government in Honduras.

With ballots printed in Venezuela, Presidente Zelaya took it upon himself without any legal or constitutional right to promote a referendum that would have allowed his reelection, an action that is prohibited by the Constitution of Honduras that limits Presidents to one term.

In his meager attempt to land in Honduras this past Sunday he was aboard a Venezuelan plane, with a Venezuelan crew in the company of Telesur reporters, the state-sponsored news service of Venezuela. Zelaya by his own choosing has been acting the role of a Chavez stooge.

In a Wall Street Journal article dated the 6th of July by O'Grady he states that: "The story begins in 2004, when Mr. Ch?ívez was still an aspiring despot and the U.S. pursued a policy of appeasement toward him. Not surprisingly, that only heightened his appetite for power.

Mr. Ch?ívez had already rewritten the Venezuelan Constitution, taken over the judiciary and the national electoral council (CNE), militarized the government, and staked out an aggressive, anti-American foreign policy promising to spread his revolution around the hemisphere.
Many Venezuelans were alarmed, and the opposition had labored to collect signatures for a presidential recall referendum permitted under the constitution. As voting day drew near, Mr. Ch?ívez behaved as if he knew his days were numbered. The European Union refused to send an observer team, citing lack of transparency. The OAS did send observers, and in the months and weeks ahead of the vote mission chief Fernando Jaramillo complained bitterly about the state's intimidation tactics against the population. Mr. Ch?ívez gave OAS Secretary General C?®sar Gaviria an ultimatum: Either get Mr. Jaramillo out of the country or the referendum would be quashed. Mr. Ch?ívez was appeased. Mr. Jaramillo was withdrawn.

The Carter Center was also invited to "observe," and former President Jimmy Carter was welcomed warmly by Mr. Ch?ívez upon his arrival in Venezuela.

A key problem, beyond the corrupted voter rolls and government intimidation, was that Mr. Ch?ívez did not allow an audit of his electronic voting machines. Exit polls showed him losing the vote decisively. But in the middle of the night, the minority members of the CNE were kicked out of the election command center. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Ch?ívez claimed victory. There was never a credible audit of the paper ballots against the tallies in the voting machines.

Mr. Carter's approval notwithstanding, the proper U.S. and OAS response was obvious: The process had been shrouded in state secrets and therefore it was impossible to endorse or reject the results. Venezuelan patriots begged for help from the outside world. Instead, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, Roger Noriega, and the OAS blessed the charade.
There was never any explanation for the blind endorsement, but behind the scenes there were claims that Mr. Ch?ívez threatened to call his militia to the streets and spill blood. The oil fields were to be burned. To this day, the opposition contends that the U.S. and Mr. Gaviria made a cold calculation that caving in to Mr. Ch?ívez would avoid violence.

Predictably, Washington's endorsement of the flawed electoral process was a green light. Mr. Ch?ívez grew more aggressive, emboldened by his "legitimate" status. He set about using his oil money to destabilize the Bolivian and Ecuadorean democracies and to help Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega and Argentina's Cristina Kirchner get elected. Soviet-backed Fidel Castro was able to intimidate his neighbors in the 1960s and '70s, and Mr. Ch?ívez has done the same thing in the new millennium. This has given him vast power at the OAS.

Hondurans had the courage to push back. Now Ch?ívez-supported agitators are trying to stir up violence. Yesterday afternoon airline service was suspended in Tegucigalpa when Mr. Zelaya tried to return to the country and his plane was not permitted to land. There were reports of violence between his backers and troops.

This is a moment when the U.S. ought to be on the side of the rule of law, which the Honduran court and Congress upheld. If Washington does not reverse course, it will be one more act of appeasement toward an ambitious and increasingly dangerous dictator."
(Honduras at the Tipping Point, WSJ 7/6/2009)

So Presidente Zelaya has decided to throw in his lot with Hugo Chavez, the Castro brothers and Daniel Ortega, three shinning examples of Democracy in action. Again as the old Spanish proverb says, tell me who you are with and I will tell you who you are.

With the closing of RCTV in Venezuela and the bullying of Globovision by Chavez who will eventually find a reason to close it down too, Hugo Chavez has shaky credentials as a Libertarian.

Huguito Chavez's new found love of Democracy should be at least questioned at best.

About Alberto Marrero Salas:
Partner Nacara 2000. Worked on Wall St. during the go go 70's and 80's when greed according to Gordon Gecko was good.
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