The Real Chávez is The One Backing Gaddafi


Sooner or later, the balance of evidence becomes overwhelming: the real Chávez is the one convinced Gaddafi is facing a “campaign of lies” and keeps raving about wild gringo conspiracies where the rest of the world sees a genocide in the offing.

With all other members of the “balancing coalition” – from Beijing to Brasilia to Moscow to Tehran – aligning closely behind the consensus position, standing by the Libyan psychopath is strategically senseless: you do nothing to bring about a multipolar world by siding doggedly with international criminals disowned by all of your major allies.

It’s at moments like this when Hugo Chávez writes the story that historians will tell about him when all is said and done.

Nobody’s forcing him. It would be much easier not to. But this one is from the heart. This man will never condemn the murderous violence of a pseudo-socialist psychopath. It’s just not in his nature.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


    • With friends like those, he could make a new empire – with himself as emperor. In his own mind, anyways, and (he hopes) in the minds of enough fawning sycophants to soothe his ego.

  1. The worry is that when push comes to shove he & his Cuban partners will do the same thing to Venezuelans.

    I have no doubt.

  2. Boy, that Mike González is some kind of special tool.

    How can Castro refuse to support the freedom-loving people of Libya?, he asks. Well, for anyone not chin-deep in the Kool-Aid, the answer is obvious.

    When has Castro ever sided with freedom-loving people? Did he side with East Germans tearing down the wall in 1989? Did he side with the Russian people who supported Boris Yeltsin in 1991? Or perhaps with the protestors in Tiananmen Square? How about the protestors against Ahmadinejad in 2009?

    Lefties pontificating about morals. Pass the dramamine.

    • Well said Juan, ditto Loroferoz. Castro, Ortega, Mugabe and Chavez, mind you what a quartet!

      The hysterical thing is that there’s still Calvin Tuckers, and Chris Carlssons, and Greg Wilperts, Eva Golingers, and Mark Weisbrots, I mean, there’s still pleeenty of people fawning over this lot.

      Then, tienen la puta cara, as Juan says, of pontificate about morals. Truly deranged stuff.

    • I remember holier-than-thou Mike Gonzalez when he stopped by a Latin American poetry class I was teaching. He wrote a very forgettable anthology —no need to give you an idea of his taste. What impressed me to this day, were his comments to my students in class, and how quick he was to dismiss any reading that may include non-political, non-liberationist readings of poems. As if “poetry” was only good as loong as it was used for revolution. The possibility of a reading that may take into account the aesthetics of language as a different exploration, as a performance of being in the world, was completely cast away, in my mind, to his European shores…

  3. No doubt it shows the dictatorial, authoritarian Chavez. What’s disturbing, is that it shows the total idiot Chavez, and casts light on Venezuela as a fourth-world, African level hellhole worthy of starving under his rule.

    There’s pursuing bad objectives (f.e. socialism) with some pragmatism, doing bad
    things and supporting bad things secretly. And there’s sheer idiocy and madness, a total lack of self-consciousness.

    It appears that another distinguishing characteristic of third-world behavior as opposed to first-world behavior is going over the top and choosing the latter two. The sensible “allies” of Chavez, the ones who are want to count in the world, have refused to go out in support of Gaddaffi. On the other side, cheering on the massacre like fools, you have Chavez, Ortega, Mugabe and the others.

    To lefties: I cannot just picture Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush decorating the commander and guards at Abu Ghraib publicly. It’s just that screwy!

    I can imagine Roy Chaderton, Ramonet et al., the old diplomatic and communication pros seriously considering retirement out of exasperation. Their PR efforts went to hell.

    • I agree, it’s almost like he found all the non-aligned, third-world liberationist/genocidal weirdos and formed his own crazy club. It’s like having Franz Fanon in charge of a country, only less literate. This sort of behavior would never be tolerated in a halfways decent country. I find it humorous that the American press, notably the right-wing press, is upset that Obama isn’t condemning Gaddafi heavily enough, even though he did condemn the guy and is repositioning the Fifth Fleet off the Libyan coast. How would their reaction be if Obama actively supported Gaddafi? That’s the difference between a quickly Africanizing country and a developed nation.

      • El Jefe:

        When I said that such idiocy is a third-worldly trait, I mean that I have seen some committed not only by Chavez.

        Idiotic, Western-derived, failed ideas embraced (that in some cases included Fascism and Communism, instead of the more successful and proven Western ideas) and appropriated for their own authoritarian regimes as “original”.

        Ongoing projects and useful buildings idiotically put to the torch or left to rot and decay because they were from the former regime. Even the adecos did it, most famously with the Helicoide.

        The abuse of a given color. In our case red. Not even the Soviets! And let’s not start on the practicity of painting everything red under a tropical sun that destroys red pigments like acid destroys limestone…

      • The money shot:

        The enemy-of-my-enemy “Left”, of hollow, mud-slinging slogans, in support of anything or anyone who claims to oppose imperialism in all its forms in this Yankee-dominated world, no matter how monstrous his policies?

        Or a principled “Left” based on respecting the values entrenched in the universal declaration of human rights, democracy and most importantly, the “Left” which places it’s support squarely on the part of the people tormented, rather than their tormentor.

        • I loved that quote too, especially because you could use the same description to the other side. What should matter are the Principles with capital P, and not if they are in proposed from the left or the right.
          That, for me, is the biggest problem of the political discourse in polarized societys where it matters most who is saying what instead of what they are saying.

  4. I think Chavez also wants to send a message that he is prepared to go to any length to stay in power, as Gaddafi is doing.

    The difference will be that Chavez will prove himself a coward as he has done so many times in the past. I’m not sure the Cubans will think like that though…

    • Agree. What binds these creeps and their sycophants together is that they’ve signed up for a blood oath ceremony to ensure the viability of the Perpetual Power Platoon, no matter what the cost, or even outcome in the loss of lives.

  5. My God, Toro, you are actually becoming as mediocre as the gringo and Venezuelan media. Watch CNN, or Bloomberg or BBC and it is obvious that there is a campaign to get Gadhafi ousted by fair means or foul.

    Reporting such as Anderson Cooper last night: he said “there could be hundreds of thousands slaughtered”. Then 30 seconds later he says “millions could be killed”. Then two minutes later he says that there have been between 1000 and 2000 deaths but in reality NO ONE knows.

    You have joined in the chorus against Gadhafi but when will you condemn Bliar, Berlusconi and the European oil companies from coddling up to Gadhafi? Thet are just as complicit as the Gadhafi militia pulling the trigger.

    All the attention being given mainly to Egyptians fleeing the country and labeled “refugees” by Anderson. They are not refugees if they are trying to get back to their own country. The real refiugees are in Sudan, Irak and Afghanistan and even Colombia as they are forced from their homes. No metion of this on CNN for months. It does not exist for them anymore since the orders to the corporate press are blackball Gadhafi since we want the oil (similar to Iraq).

    There is no difference between the rule of Gadhafi and the Saudi Royal Family. No one blackballs them even though Osama come from that country and there is evidence that saudi finances terrorism as well.

    Well, this is suddenly a priority after 42 years despite Libya being “rehabilitated” in 2004 after Blair’s visit to the “Place”.

    Look beyond the headlines and all this BS of trying to demomize Chavez due to his links with Gadhafi. At least PDV is not there as in ENI, Repsol, BP, Shell and others profiting from the blood of the Libyans.

    And, no, I do not condone any deaths. I just condemn this type of reporting which is akin to the reports on Iraq….and look at the disaster in that country after more than 1.5 million dead.

    Honestly, I thought you were more intelligent.

    • The fact that the US media is biased doesn’t take away from the fact that Gaddafi is massacring the population. There are simply too many eyewitness reports for you to simply sweep them away.

      • Juan – how many eyewitness reports? does it ever occur to your simple mind that the slected eyewitnesses are hand picked by the western media whose job it is to balckball Khaddafi? Think the lies on WMD and iraq and you will be clser to the truth. How can you fall for this blatant media campaign AGAIN??

          • Nice try Torres, but no one is saying they believe what Qaddafi and his ministers are saying. That’s the difference here.

          • Thanks for the approval, but Arturo is suggesting that he believes what chavez and his ministers are saying, that’s the similarity here.

        • Wrong again. All he is saying is that he doesn’t believe everything the media is saying about Libya. I know that for those of you who believe everything Globovision says that is just unfathomable.

          • lol You just proved me right. Arturo is saying what chavez and his ministers are saying, like you said: “that he doesn’t believe everything the media is saying about Libya”.

            I can see why you have “flop” in your nick; you really are one.

    • Jesus, Arturo. Please, spare us the usual blah blah and stay on topic. FT’s point is that Chavez has stated his support for Gaddafi, and that this reveals his true colors. Do you disagree? Why? Else, move on.

    • It would appear that you are in love with Gaddafi about as much as Hugo Chavez is. Just come out and say it: I love tyrants that massacre their own people because some of them make me feel good inside. Come on man, just say it, you’ll feel a whole lot better afterwards.

      Ad hominems aside, I think this is what’s wrong with internationalists everywhere: They make ‘pleitos ajenos’ their own. It’s the same reason mi teniente coronel shoehorns his way into Colombian-Ecuadorian border conflicts or why he opines on Israeli-Palestinian issues to the point of expelling that country’s ambassador. These aren’t his fights, but damned if he doesn’t believe they are. They assume there is some underground workers’ struggle just waiting to erupt if only the conditions were right. Arturo may just be the last believer in Gaddafi’s glorious revolution.

    • Arturo stop with your stupid lies, even Gadafi is blaming Al Qaeda and Bin Laden for the protests, and you come with the stupid imperio theory that only suits you and chavistas because you seem to live in your own made up world of bullshit and lies, please follow this link:

      And witness what’s happening in Libya, I warn you all that those 6 pages are EXTREMELY GRAPHIC so please don’t open that link if you are sensitive to that kind of stuff.

    • Of course, there’s no difference between the Royal Saudis and Gaddaffi.

      Except for active support for every terrorist group in Europe, the Middle East and beyond…

      Except for expansionism and foreign wars. The Sudanese would not be too hot on Gaddaffi either…

      Except for outrageous behavior…

      No difference. Both are dictatorial. It’s all the same, yeah right…

  6. Funny how Francisco Toro changes his position depending on who is being killed.

    When the Libyans revolt against their regime he rightly denounces the violence unleashed against them. But just the other day, when talking about Venezuelan leftists who were massacred after taking up arms against the regime in the 1960’s he said the following:

    “What exactly were they expecting, a teddy-bear and hugs based military counter-offensive?! Cookies and milk? They started a war for chrissake!”

    Interesting change of position depending on who is being killed, right Toro?

    Or a couple days ago when discussing the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis by the US invasions, Quico refused to denounce it, instead hiding behind this pathetic war crimes argument:

    “I’m fully aware in Chomsky-La-La-Land that’s what y’all think the gringos do in Afghanistan. In reality-based world, people who deliberately train military weapons on a civilian population are war criminals, and those who don’t, aren’t.”

    Later saying:

    “Lybia deliberately targets civilians with war weaponry. In my lifetime, the U.S. has never done that.”

    When you drop bombs on heavily populated areas, and invade countries that don’t even have a military, who are you intending to kill?

    But, oh well, says Quico, all those hundreds of thousands of innocent people killed by the US was just an accident. Oops!! Sorry!!

    Why not just condemn killing of all types, no matter who is being killed?

    You could start by condemning the killing of dozens of pro-Chavez protesters by the opposition regime on April 13th:

    “Las manifestaciones callejeras de apoyo a Chávez continuaron después de su destitución, y se produjeron amotinamientos y actos de vandalismo en las zonas pobres del oeste de Caracas. Durante este segundo estallido de violencia fueron cometidos entre 40 y 60 asesinatos, la mayoría de ellos atribuidos a las fuerzas de seguridad, incluida la Policía Metropolitana. ”

    • The same opposition, by the way, that Francisco Toro still supports in Venezuela. He doesn’t like to mention the fact that his beloved opposition ordered the Metropolitan Police to massacre pro-Chavez protesters in the streets on April 12th and 13th, 2002, killing up to 60 people, according to Human Rights Watch.

      I’m all for condemning killing of all types. How about you Toro?

      • Oh, so its the amount of time that a regime is in power that determines whether or not violent repression and killing is justified? Thanks for clarifying Erne!

    • “What exactly were they expecting, a teddy-bear and hugs based military counter-offensive?! Cookies and milk? They started a war for chrissake!”

      And these people in the 60’s were fighting against a dictator who had been in power 42 years? NO, they were trying to fight in arms a democratically elected goverment that, by the way, got elected after a dictatorship of 12 years.

      • Oh, okay, so as long as the government had recently been elected “democratically” (let’s not mention outright excluding major political parties through political pacts), then they are justified in killing thousands of people who oppose them, regardless of whether or not those people were the ones involved in the armed insurrection?

        Is that your official position Mora?

        • Thousands of political opponents were killed by the IV Republic? Wow. It reminds me of Goebbels’s famous words that if a big lie is repeated again and again it will eventually be believed.

          Let me ask again to those who are better informed: with respect to true Chavistas it is hopeless, but to counter such lies from spreading are there any credible estimates of how many political opponents were actually killed by the so-called IV Republic?

    • Dear Fap Fap,

      you have successfully exposed Francisco Toro’s appalling double standards. On behalf of humanity, I thank you.

      Now forgive me for repeating myself, but I must ask: the point of the post above is that Chavez has stated his support for Gaddafi, and that this reveals his true colors. Do you disagree? Why?

      Arturo did move on, so I’m hoping you will amuse me…

      • Manuel,

        Thank you for at least having the decency to recognize Toro’s hypocrisy when you see it.

        As for Chavez’s true colors, I think it can only be judged by his actions. Has he ever used military force to crush an opposition protest? No.

        I do think he is stupid for glorifying Qaddafi, and I do condemn all violent action that has been taken against peaceful demonstrators in Libya. It is outrageous and horrible.

        However, I also think Chavez makes a point when he says that he won’t condemn Qaddafi for anything until he knows for sure what is happening in Libya. I mean, let’s not forget that this is coming from a guy that just a few years ago was accused internationally of shooting and killing protesters in Caracas, only to find out later that it was all a media charade.

        I don’t think that’s the case with Qaddafi, but you can hardly blame the guy for being a bit skeptical…

    • Chavez is a provocateur and survives only as long as he stays relevant in international headlines. I wouldn’t take one sentence he probably pulled out of his rear regarding Idi Amin as seriously as I would his repeated refusals to condemn Gaddafi. It’s the same I don’t take Arturo/Flip Flop/Slave Revolt that seriously either. They say progressively more ridiculous things to get us all riled up here when their side is quickly losing popularity in Venezuela. As soon as the feces hits the fan they’re going to be the ones running as fast as possible and the hundreds of lines of drivel they have written or uttered will be all for naught.

  7. As much as I abhor Chavez’s much criticized stance, I think we shouldn’t underestimate him. His is not a thoughtless, mindless, ungrounded position, but a much meditated one that deserves careful analysis.

    In a nutshell, I don’t think it’s ‘strategically senseless.’ There is a lot of strategic value in potentially becoming a broker for peace in Libya, for example; in denouncing ‘imperialist’ responses against Gaddafi without exploring other options; in distracting your followers from Gaddafi’s crimes by talking about how the big powers want to control Libyan oil; or in discrediting the same media that one day – one day, 2012? – might denounce you as a dictator once again. The list of potential factors to explain Chavez’s behavior may go on…

  8. Funny how those who accuse others of twisting words are guilty of the same, in the same post no less.

    Those “leftists” wanted to use violence, not reason, to acheive their aims. The same violence that was later unleashed in 1989 and 1992.

    Some of those “leftists” finally got the point, that change is better from within the system and not by force from outside. Others did not get the point and suffered. Too bad for them.

    • This argument might be reasonable if it were true that the only people killed by the IV republic were those directly involved in violent insurrection. But that’s not the case. Many were killed simply because they were members of the communist parties, because were organizing, etc.

      Also, in Libya right now many of the opposition protesters are armed, and are using weapons to fight against the state. Does that justify using the military to crush them?? If not, why was it justified in Venezuela in the 1960’s?

      • you’re still avoiding the crux of the argument, FF. Must terrify you to admit that your beliefs are compromised, in the face of the massive butchering of humanity by a favourite fan of one of your idols.

        Dios los hace y ellos se juntan.

          • They were killed for supporting those who wanted to use violence to overthrow a legally elected, democratic government and for colluding with foreign agents to do so.

            They were killed because they espoused a doctrine that has coercion and tyranny in its DNA.

            They were killed because they chose to oppose the law, violently.

            Last I checked, Mr. Qaddafi overthrew the government and screwed himself in for decades while keeping his people ignorant, dumb and repressed while at the same time benefitting himself, his family and his cronies until they were as rich as Croesus. Meanwhile his people suffered and paid the price of underdevelopment, corruption and a despotic ruler while flights of plain fucking craziness kept them dancing to his sick tune.

            The paralels between El Loco del Desierto and El Loco de Sabaneta, (except for the multi decade thing, Thank God), are quite a thing to see.

            For you to equate Romulo Betancourt’s situation to Qaddafi’s, well, it just shows how far around the bend you are.

            You really ARE a twit.

          • “They were killed for supporting those who wanted to use violence to overthrow a legally elected, democratic government.”

            Oh, well in that case anyone from the opposition who supported the 2002 coup against Chavez should be killed.

            And, obviously the leftists didn’t view the government as “legally elected” nor “democratic” since they excluded large sectors of the population through an anti-leftist political pact.

            “They were killed because they espoused a doctrine that has coercion and tyranny in its DNA.”

            That your opinion. Obviously many hold the opinion that capitalism is a tyrannical and coercive system. So would it be justified for anyone espousing capitalism to be killed?

            “For you to equate Romulo Betancourt’s situation to Qaddafi’s, well, it just shows how far around the bend you are. ”

            I’m not equating the two. But the comparison sure highlights how hypocritical and fascist your ideas are.

      • FlipFlop,

        Accepting your premises, just for the sake of this discussion, I wonder if the difference lies in how much the victims are representative of the population, how much the victims are willing to be violent, most importantly, how likely the victims are to becoming victimizers once liberated, and how much oppression the victims have suffered and for how long.

        Taking a step back, however, I’d have to ask you about your question: Why would backing, for example, the police on one occasion preclude you from backing the detainee on another? Your question presupposes that taking different sides is incoherent.

        By the way, if you are so in favor of the 60s victims, are you suggesting that you are so in favor of the Lybian opposition against Qaddafi? And if so, are you then against chavez for supporting him the way you are against anyone supposedly supporting those against the 60s victims?

        • Killing is killing is killing. The only ones who condemn it sometimes and make excuses for it other times are you and your friends here.

          I have already criticized Qaddafi’s actions and Chavez’s support for him. Amazingly no one here seems to be capable of doing the same when it comes to YOUR heroes. How ironic.

          • “Killing is killing is killing.” So, a policeman protecting you from a mugger by killing him, is just as reproachable as the mugger killing you while the policeman looks on helplessly, or worse, turns away, or even worse, looks on delightedly?

            You’re the one who asked what the difference was, but now you seem to be saying any answer we give is wrong, except that you support chavez striking alliance with one doing killing lately.

            But now you even go as far as stating: “I have already criticized Qaddafi’s actions and Chavez’s support for him.” Do you really think no one has been reading your rants?! Not even weeks ago you were stating that it’s chavez’s glorification of Qaddafi that you don’t support, but that you do support chavez’s alliance with Qaddafi. Do you not consider supporting the alliance the same as supporting Qaddafi? If you make a distinction, would you allow us to make distinctions like that?

            It seems to me you are talking yourself down much more than you’re talking us down, as usual.

          • More utterly dumb arguments from Torres. You really should give it up buddy.

            I already referred to self-defense type killing, which is justified in some cases, but does not justify a disproportionate use of force. And none of the cases that we are describing are self-defense cases.

            I support the alliances Chavez has made with Qaddafi. That’s not the same as supporting human rights abuses. Anyone with any knowledge of world geopolitics knows that. For example, the US doesn’t support the Chinese regime, but they do have all kinds of economic agreements with them. In fact, even with Qaddafi, the US and others have all kinds of investment agreements in Libya, but they don’t support Qaddafi’s human rights abuses.

            I support the economic agreements with Qaddafi. I don’t think Chavez should be lending his support for human rights abuses. This isn’t that complicated. Use your limited brain capacity to try to understand.

            And, if you want to go down that road (i.e. that making alliances with leaders means you support their human rights abuses) then you’d have a lot of answering to do regarding the Venezuelan opposition. Your top oppo candidate right now, Machado, was smiling giddily as she shook George Bush’s hand and accepted US funding. You all should be ashamed of yourselves for supporting perhaps the world’s greatest abuser of human rights.

          • Alexander,

            You’re all over the place. Note that you say there are grey areas with respect to killing depending on whether you are defender or attacker, and then the defender is limited in the level of defense that you consider acceptable. Agreed. But then you ask people to state their stance with respect to the 60s situation as if it were identical to the Lybia situation, with no grey areas. My reply to was precisely putting forth possible factors determining the grey areas in these cases (i.e., perhaps “the difference lies in how much the victims are representative of the population, how much the victims are willing to be violent, most importantly, how likely the victims are to becoming victimizers once liberated, and how much oppression the victims have suffered and for how long”).

            You seem to want us to understand that it’s OK to support an alliance between chavez and Qaddafi, but not between Machado and Bush. That it’s OK to criticize chavez’s glorification of Qaddafi, but not OK to not criticize Machado’s lack of glorification of Bush.

            I think you need to take a breath and get the rules of your own game straight before you keep saying we’re losing at it. You are coming up more and more the loser, rather than showing us up.

            By the way, by calling me “buddy”, are you trying to form an alliance of some sort, or are you just beginning to glorify me?

          • Haha! This is classic Torres. A response so stupid that one doesn’t even know where to begin. I’ll try to respond to the few parts that were marginally intelligible.

            “But then you ask people to state their stance with respect to the 60s situation as if it were identical to the Lybia situation, with no grey areas.”

            NO I didn’t. I made a comparison between them. Do you know that that is? Nowhere did I imply that they were identical.

            “You seem to want us to understand that it’s OK to support an alliance between chavez and Qaddafi, but not between Machado and Bush.”

            I didn’t say that. I was using your own argument against you to demonstrate that a simple alliance with another government doesn’t necessarily mean that you support their human rights record. Although you’re right, Machado probably wasn’t a good example since she (as many of the Venezuelan opposition) probably DOES support Bush’s human rights record, making your attempts to criticize Chavez all the more hypocritical and ridiculous.

          • Alexander,

            Let me see if I understand your logic. You started with:

            Machado= one of us “all”.
            Bush= human rights abuser.
            Machado smiling with Bush= alliance.
            Alliance= support.
            Support of Bush= shameful.
            All of us= should be ashamed.

            But now you backpedal to:

            Alliance {not equal} support of human rights record.
            Machado = bad example, because
            Machado {probably equal} support Bush human rights record.
            Many oppo {probably equal} support Bush human rights record.
            You = one of many oppo.
            Therefore you = support Bush human rights record.
            Therefore you criticizing chavez = hypocritical.

            lol By that logic:
            chavez human rights record {comparable} Bush human rights record.

            I think chavez will soon remove you from his payroll. You really are all over the place.

          • Even in that kind of comment, your logic fails.

            How can something be too stupid for words if you used words to indicate how stupid it was?

            Either way, FlipFlop, you fail.

      • Don’t even try to paint a false equivalency. The IV republic was a freely-elected government with democratic legitimacy (even if their legitimacy slowly eroded somewhat over the years due to incompetence). The Gaddafi regime came to power in a military coup in 1969. A democratic government and an authoritarian government can both use military power to defend themselves, but at the end of the day only one of them is correct in doing so. Go back to the commune, son. You failed at basic political science.

        • Jefe,

          Obviously many didn’t think the IV republic was legitimate, since they immediately revolted against it.

          The truth of the matter is that the IV republic was installed through a political pact that excluded leftist parties, and was very anti-PCV, even though the PCV was instrumental in overthrowing the dictatorship and was widely popular at that time. That doesn’t sound very “democratic” to me.

          “A democratic government and an authoritarian government can both use military power to defend themselves, but at the end of the day only one of them is correct in doing so.”

          So all that matters is if they were democratically elected? Well, in that case I guess Chavez is “correct” if he uses the military to crush opposition protesters?? Great logic.

          • “Many”? That makes me wonder how large the 60’s insurrection really was! in a country where a handfull of nuts can overthrow a government (just recall the rosary of “revolutions” from the XIXth century) Betancourt was right to respond to a threat that involved anti-democracy forces from both sides of the Cold War against his and his generation’s plan for a modern Venezuela.

        • “For example, the US doesn’t support the Chinese regime, but they do have all kinds of economic agreements with them. ” But Chris, the United States didn’t award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to China, get it? When you hand someone the sword of Bolivar and call them a liberator and lavish praise on them, you’ve gone farther than just making a business deal.

          • Read my argument JSB. That’s exactly why I criticize THAT, but not the economic alliances. Get it?

            Is this really that hard, or are you guys just really that dumb?

  9. I have seen several argument threads that argue that the use of force is always wrong, and therefore, anyone who has ever used force is a bad as anyone else (or at least, no worse). Let us examine that premise:

    Firstly, their is a the use of force in personal self-defense. This is largely accepted as ethical, depending on some fuzzy line about the danger being mortal and immediate having been crossed. So, now we have crossed the Rubicon, and we can now acknowledge that the use of force can be moral. Now, how does that apply in the broader public sense?

    In an organized society, we generally cede our rights to use force to the State, in return for the State providing us with protection (both external and internal), and with mechanisms for fair and peaceful dispute resolution. That is the bargain made by the citizens with the State. In constitutional democracies, this bargain is codified in writing.

    So, does a nation have the right to use force (even deadly) against its own citizens? Well, they certainly have the right and duty to do so pursuant to capturing and punishing criminals who would harm other citizens. Even in the cases of peaceful protest, when such a protest threatens the general order, the State is expected to use the bare minimum of force needed to restore order. The welfare of the majority cannot be held hostage to a minority.

    One the other side, when a State has broken faith with its citizens and is in breach of its contract with the people, written or implied, at what point do the people have the right to resist and overthrow that government, using force, if necessary? That can only be decided by the citizens of that country. It usually requires a significant super-majority to be successful, so when it finally happens, it is usually long-overdue.

    In the case of Libya, they have no constitution, so the “bargain” or contract between the citizens and its government is unwritten. So, at what point does a government lose its legitimacy? The cynical answer is: When the rest of the international community decides that government cannot survive, and therefore will not have to “make nice” with a government that that they had written off and pushed under the bus. However, there is also an international consensus involving the press, intellectuals, and the general public that coalesces first. In the case of Libya, Ghaddafi was already weak in world opinion. The world-wide consensus against him coalesced so rapidly, that when world governments finally broke with him, they were simply “following the crowd”. So, he has now been de-legitimized, and thus, any use of force against the citizens of Libya will be considered immoral. Had this not occurred, his use of force to “restore order” would have been considered moral, so long as “all effort is made to use the absolute minimum of force necessary”.

    My point is that line between ethical and unethical use of force is very wide and fuzzy. Those who point to the use of force as an absolute in determining who are the good guys and who are the bad guys are being naive and far to simplistic. Let’s face it, we live in a big messy world, and history is written by the winners.

    • Roy,

      Self-defense is another issue. But I think it would be pretty hard to claim that any of the examples we have been discussing were cases of self-defense. And, even so, self-defense does not give you free reign to use whatever level of force you want.

      Keep in mind that Qaddafi could also claim that he is using “self-defense”. But that certainly wouldn’t justify killing unarmed civilians.

      • FlipFlop,

        Hey, I am not defending Ghaddafi. He is power mad wack job, who has abused his public’s trust, and murdered his own people, as well as everyone on a certain jetliner. He deserves what is coming to him and worse.

        However, others have equated him to Tony Blair and other western world leaders and tried to say they are equally guilty, which is ridiculous. Can’t anyone here get that dealing with the world as it is, does not make one guilty of making it that way? This is a view of the world in pure “black and white”, or “good and evil” terms. The real world comes in shades of gray.

        • I am not defending Ghaddafi. He is power mad wack job

          He’s not a whack job, he’s a great artist, wait till Hugo finds out he gave a geniune, imitation copy of Bolivar’s sword to Savador Dali.

  10. Flip Flop wrote:

    “Oh okay, so your argument is that as long as it doesn’t reach “thousands”
    of people killed, then it is justified?”

    Nope. Definitely not. I neither said nor implied that. State sanctioned murders and other serious abuses of power are inexcusable. And yes, I have no doubt that the IV Republic has been guilty of such things. However, we live in the real world and considering the numbers of victims involved (in proportion to population) as well as the political freedoms that citizens enjoyed (including unparalleled, for Venezuela, freedom of expression), it’s a gross exaggeration to claim that between 1958 and 1998 Venezuela’s regime was bloody and repressive. It’s obscenely ironic that most of those who maintain that during those forty years the Venezuelan government was repressive and intolerant also like to preach that during the same period Cuba, with the killer Fidel Castro at the helm, was a beacon of justice and human progress.

    None of this implies that things were going well before Chavez. It was the waste and corruption of past governments that brought Chavez, a power hungry demagogue, to power. As to the Caracazo, it’s pathetic that in the Chavista mythology a mob of looters was transmogrified into heroic martyrs. Moreover, while mythologizing this event the Chavistas feel the need to inflate the death count.

  11. The distinctly surreal thing of this discussion, is that a PSF is now trying to teach us about our own democratic history, as someone else said above, with such certainty that one would think that he/she witnessed the events. To support his/her case, a link to a state propagandist rag.

    In teaching us, this most knowledgeable person then argues that Chavez has never used military force against civilians. Ever. Read 1992 never happened, neither 2002.

    In all honesty, I admire and commend the patience of the host, in permitting this kind of commentators. While, undoubtedly, it serves the purpose of leaving a record and showing the site’s readers just how unhinged PSFs are, in their fanatical support of Chavez, it does take a great deal of magnanimity to put up with this crap, day after day, month after month, year after year. But there’s more to it.

    As Juan says, there’s no one normal left in chavismo. So the questions are: does one normally engage in conversation with abnormal people? Does one even stop daily routines to listen to abnormal people? One can understand why, over the years, they keep coming to this virtual Speaker’s Corner. For nowhere else are they engaged and listen to, on an equal basis, with a moderate degree of respect. Within chavismo, only one does the talking. As Ceresole used to say: caudillo, ejercito, pueblo. There’s only one caudillo, the rest is ejercito and pueblo, and so they do all the listening, all the obeying, all the agitating, etc. Their ideas, advices, opinions, and needs are totally and utterly irrelevant to the caudillo, for the only acceptable counsel comes from another, even more deranged, caudillo: Fidel Castro.

    Is a tough world for PSFs: their icons don’t give a shit about them, and the wider world cringes at their radicalism. Hence the need of pseudonyms, and virtual fora, to vent. That galloping resentment and anger, in the absence of escape valves, is what pushes some people to blow themselves up. So FT, you may well be contributing to a world with less terrorist attacks, and less innocent casualties!

    • “In teaching us, this most knowledgeable person then argues that Chavez has never used military force against civilians. Ever. Read 1992 never happened, neither 2002.”

      This is perhaps the dumbest statement I’ve ever heard. First, in 1992 Chavez was rebelling against a government, not against civilians. AND he went to jail for it. So I’m not sure what point you’re making there.

      Second, there is absolutely zero evidence that Chavez used the military against civilians in 2002. In fact, the opposite was the case. The opposition incited violence and later ordered the Metropolitan Police to shoot and kill innocent people. But mentally-unstable bloggers like Alek Boyd will believe whatever they want, regardless of what the evidence shows.

      Talk about not being normal!! You are Chavismo’s favorite clown Alek. And believe me, we love to laugh at the clown.

      • Alexander, chavez may have been rebelling against government, but military force under his command was most definitely used against civilians, too many of them dead. Besides that, isn’t there plenty of evidence that chavez ordered military force against civilians, orders which may have been disobeyed, but nevertheless ordered?

        • Jeez Torres, you are really bent on being wrong all the time, aren’t you?

          Chavez didn’t even have control of the military. The coup of 1992 was led by a small group within the military directed towards the government and military forces loyal to it. Civilians may have been killed in the crossfire (although I’m not sure that has even been confirmed), but there were no orders to shoot civilians. In fact, Chavez quickly called off the coup when he saw that things could get bloody.

          As for evidence that Chavez ordered military force against civilians in 2002, that’s just more opposition fantasy-land nonsense. Amazing that almost 9 years later and you wackos are still believing this stuff!

          Plan Avila was an operation to maintain public order, as was explained by the inspector general of the Armed Forces.

          As anyone with eyes in Venezuela can see, public protests have never been repressed with military force, even when they are violent and blatantly against the law.

          Hilariously, you morons are focused on what orders Chavez gave on April 11th, 2002, but completely ignore the unquestionable evidence that the opposition regime DID use the security forces to shoot and kill unarmed civilians. Now THAT is what you call hypocrisy.

          • Alexander,

            As to 1992, were there some TV antenna civilian guards killed?

            As to Plan Avila, I’ll use your clip since you would sidestep anyone else describing Plan Avila. Rincon says: “El Plan Ávila entra en acción cuando la policía es superada en situaciones de perturbación del orden público en Caracas. Decir que se usaría a la Fuerza Armada para arrollar a los manifestantes no tiene sentido”.

            Please explain how that doesn’t mean: Plan Avila wasn’t about using military force against the civilians protesting; it was about using military force on the civilians overwhelming the police forces.

            military force against civilians nonetheless.

          • In Torres mind,

            Maintaining order = using military force to kill civilians

            Funny how Torres’ only example of Chavez using military force against civilians is a time when NO military force was used against anyone. It doesn’t get any more ridiculous than that.

            I notice you also can’t seem to respond to the one time in recent history when real force WAS used against protesters in Venezuela. Namely, in April 2002 when the opposition was briefly in power.

            Oh the irony.

          • BTW, Torres, Rincon didn’t say that. William Lara did. But I know you’re reading the sources right? Absolutely hilarious that you would take a statement that says:

            “No, Plan Avila was not for repressing the population but rather for maintaining public order.”

            And try to transform it into a statement that says:

            “Yes, Plan Avila was for repressing the population, not just maintaining public order.”

            Now that’s what I call pathetically and embarrassingly dishonest and deceitful.

          • So, now in your book using the military against civilians (as I said) is the same as using miliatry to kill civilians (as you said)? May I ask, do you think Qaddafi is using military against civilians?

            About Rincon, my mistake, sorry, it was Lara’s quote. But there was no discrepancy between the two: nothing Rincon says goes against what Lara summarized. That the military is called in when the police is overwhelmed by public disorder (i.e., by civilians), so the military is clearly being pitted against those civilians causing the disorder. I have not said told to kill them, but definitely to go against them.

            Did you miss the question about the antenna guards during chavez’s failed coup?

      • no, only the National Guard Officers emptying clip after clip from their weapons in April 11, 2002, those are NOT evidence.

  12. Flip Flop – I applaud your arguments which illustrate the hypocricy of Toro and the rest of the opposition that post here.

    At the end of the day, no matter what is said here, Chavez will be reelected in 2012 and hopefully will CONFICATE all the ill-gotten gains of everyone – including some of his own corrupt supporters.

    What is ven more serious is that the opposition cannot see that this is an almost virtual replay of Iraq – lies in the corporate media to swi9ng public opinion for another invasion.

    For example, the story about jets bombing civilians in tripoli about a week ago and widely reported from “eye wirnesses” was just a vulgar fabrication.

    The people who believe all this propaganda in the corporate media (Toro mainly) still believe that Saddam has thousands of WMD.

    The fact that the people killed during the IV Republic were poor means that their deaths are ignored by the opposition in Venezuela.

        • Arturo,

          How do you know that the story about jets bombing civilians in Tripoli is false? Weren’t there video recordings of it? Do you have a link to prove it?

          • Why should anyone be obliged to disprove wild allegations? I could say that Sarkozy is behind the rebellion in Libya. Now, disprove that. I could say that CIA jets bombed the civilian population in Libya. Disprove it. There is no footage showing jets bombing the opulation.

  13. Just to shut up our dear commenters so concerned with the now-opposition “responsibility” for 1960’s killing of unarmed activists and the Caracazo:

    What if I said that the State Security (DISIP and PTJ) and the Military were mostly responsible for the 60s’ and 70s’ killings of unarmed activists and for the Caracazo?

    What if I said that Hugo Chavez and most of his government come from the same such institution, the Venezuelan military and State Security? What if I said that this, in essence is a military government of active and retired military officers and noncoms.

    That some of the guys now in power must be responsible for the latter-day crimes of the Fourth Republic. Including the Caracazo related ones, committed by the Army and DISIP, not the Police. And El Amparo too. And maybe even Cantaura.

    There’s an institutional continuity here. Hugo has not radically reformed or abolished any of those institutions to make them more respectful of citizens’ rights, and the “Plan Avila” cries from April 11, 2002 ring in my ears yet.

    You could say that Venezuelan military and State Security have been the killers all along. First of the Left… Maybe it’s just they like killing and need an excuse….

    • Sorry lobo – this just does not wash. Those in command are responsibñle for the ’60’s killings and masscres. And even if some of the present government were somehow in the security forces at that time, the fact is that similar masacres and throwing people to their death from helicopters stopped when Chavez came to power.

      Having said that I firmly believe that after the April 2002 coup that the perpetrators and those who signed the Carmona decree should have at least been summarily tried if Chavez had declared a State of Emergency and some probably deserved the firing squad. Pity it’s only a dream.

      • It does wash! The military are still responsible. Along with the civilian authorities of the time. Yes. But they are still primarily responsible.

        Now they are in power.

        Throwing people to their deaths from helicopters? Now you are smoking something I want…

          • Massacres in Libya? Lies!

            People thrown out of Helicopters right up until Chávez came to power? Established fact!

            La cucaracha que tiene en la cabeza este mamagüevo se le recalentó…

  14. Fresh from Aljazeera live blog coverage of Lybia:

    (All times are local in Libya GMT+2)
    4:33am Dima Khatib, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Venezuela, reports that having spoken to members of President Hugo Chavez’s camp, she was told that Gaddafi spoke with Chavez on Wednesday, when he agreed “in principle” to accept Venezuela’s proposed mediation efforts.
    Meanwhile, Nicolas Maduro, the Venezeulan foreign minister, also spoke with Arab League chief Amr Moussa on Wednesday, when Moussa told him that the league would be happy to go along with such a mediation effort.
    The Arab League’s endorsement of the talks could be announced in Cairo later today.

    Remember the very useful mesa de negociacion y acuerdos with OEA… Great tool to buy time and get momentum off those opposing the regime in Lybia.

    • Pobres Libios, coño.

      BTW, hats off to Raúl Sánchez Urribarri: he saw this coming way before the rest of us did!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here