i'm utterly confident lots of people on the board know far more than me, because my confused editorialising means i basically like Chavez (butalso& mostly/ but also don't like Chavez about quaint concerns to do with freedoms, political/cultural rights) but worry lots about plenty of the basic human rights aspects (hence those linx, and that partisan blogger does link to that page you went to, to be fair ), but in a nutshell here is a ramble on Chavez:
populist president first came to power in 1998 which was a wonderful moment as he promised to crush corruption etc and it seemed like a new dawn, leftist government, diverse opposition ranged against him, a majority of the poorest voters support him, average income in the country has fallen since he came to power but one should wait and see on that i suppose as Venezuela's oil reserves are vast (a big national strike in the winter of 2002 into 2003 hurt the economy a lot), he does have a lot of oil funds, he's not popular with the American regime, some extraordinary social programmes ploughing cash into areas that can help the poorest, building schools and houses, in 2002 the USA backed a coup against Chavez that ultimately failed in its aim of unseating him, strikes and demonstrations by both his supporters and opposition supporters (which include labour groups in the latter camp) are huge, the electorate is polarised, beware of partial American analyses of Chavez as he's not popular with Dubya and Co., authoritarian with a knack for undercutting the free press, hopefully Mr Chavez can get down to business, sort it out and help everyone in the country, quite a lot will depend on how Condi Rice plays i guess. anyone know of any remarks from there?
wonderful rambling speeches and amusing quotes, something of a pal of certain American enemies.
fwiw a mate of mine, his aunt, uncle and cousins and whatnot live in Caracas (he lives in Mcr), well i don't think they're Chavez supporters, they are part of Venezuela's often wealthy middle class. i don't know anyone else that lives in Venezuela personally.
there's so much inconsistency in the above views, there really is, but it's confusing and i don't know nearly enough about anything
also invariably any argument that gets going on the subject if i'm involved will showcase the most contemptible hectoring, vague European social-liberal declarations, and wishy-washy generalisations from myself.
i've not read it all but this CounterPunch article is relevant, and published today apparently http://www.counterpunch.org/petras01252005.html
that's not inconsistant in the slightest. caveats don't make a position inconsistant. obviously there isn't anyone who knows much more than you, or they would have come foward to show off their knowedge. people like preening. thank you scott.
i must admit when the Californian senator Boxer had some dissenting words when the panel were grilling Rice the other week (the good senator basically accused Rice of being economical with the truth, re. WMD's, various issues to do with the invasion of Iraq, except of course she did it eloquently), i was quite dismayed with Rice's smarmy replies. it would be naive to expect anything else and so therefore naive to be irritated with that, but there we go.
that article is fascinating. very interesting to read about bi-partisan senators coming back from a visit to South America with a moderate raft of measures (they wish to propose), that the author fears will be ignored.
also quite gobsmacking that Rice found time to publicly scold Chavez but didn't at the same time slag off, say, the North Korean regime.
perhaps she's picking her battles...