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Old 01-17-2012, 09:10 PM   #21
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:12 PM   #22
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You wish for Venezuela to return to the good old days of pre 1998?

Don't worry, you still have Colombia.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:14 PM   #23
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:29 PM   #24
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I highly respect him for speaking out against George W. Bush, the most evil man in the world.
You wanna try that again? We all make mistakes sometimes.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:46 PM   #25
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Yeah, that was him. With that he's prone to saying some very silly things, in jest or not. He's taken a few shots at Obama in recent times as well.

You probably may not have heard about this but Venezuela has a company that provides low cost heating to a number of Americans.
Chavez is very popular among the poor in Venezuela, who enjoy a better standard of living than the poor in the US. Certain corporate vested interests oppose him of course, but that is to be expected.

Americans looking askance at South America countries electing left wing leaders look foolish and uneducated when they fail to acknowledge that part of the reason for the leftwards shift in South America politics in recent years is blowback from the US financing right wing military dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:50 PM   #26
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Chavez is very popular among the poor in Venezuela, who enjoy a better standard of living than the poor in the US. Certain corporate vested interests oppose him of course, but that is to be expected.

Americans looking askance at South America countries electing left wing leaders look foolish and uneducated when they fail to acknowledge that part of the reason for the leftwards shift in South America politics in recent years is blowback from the US financing right wing military dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s.
Agreed.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:52 PM   #27
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Likewise, you could also say this about any political leader.

But the reality is that most Venezuelans would agree that more negative than positive has come out since he took office.
I'm afraid that, although not in love in Chavez, Western Europe doesn't have the massive negative impression about him as it does across the ocean.
I personally agree with financeguy that not everything is bad about Chavez. In fact, I think he has as much positive and negative things as most or as the average of the other western leaders. The difference is that he doesn't hide the how much lunatic he is, unlike the other leaders.
This may sound ridiculous to you, but if I was forced to choose between Chavez, Merkel, Sarkozy, Orban or portuguese Passos Coelho... It'd be a really really hard task for me, I wouldn't know which one would be the worse.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:00 PM   #28
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To be honest, Obama dug in with the usual "we're worried about how you're 'undemocratic'" etc etc.

In regards to Chavez's popularity, a GISXXI poll in December showed that he had an approval rating of 57% with the highest opposition having only 11%. In addition to that, the UN and CEPAL confirmed that Venezuela is the least unequal country in Latin America and in the past 12 years poverty decreased by 26.8% and extreme poverty by 19.7%.

link

Again, I'm not suggesting Chavez is some sort of heavenly messiah, but he's done much good for the people.
We like them or not, I strongly believe that the leaders of South America were generally the best ones in the world, in the period 1995-2000. Lula da Silva, Chavez, Kirchner, etc, all of them attracted consensus among their population, kept the things calm, but most of all were able to raise the south american economies and, simultaneously, were able to decrease poverty very quickly and in a large scale. Plus, they implemented strong education and health policies, the statistics prove that South America is having miles better equal distribution of richness (unlike the developped Europe and US) as nowhere else in the world, they did put the economy growing well and stable and, most of all, with some peace, with no big conflicts... And without the "help" of the IMF which totally ruined the economies over there with their one-dimensional policies.

So, I may not like Chavez and some others, but I have to applaud them for all of that.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:04 PM   #29
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They also have the fifth highest university enrolment in the world which is pretty neat for a developing country.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:26 PM   #30
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Really? Where's the proof?

But to be honest, I am not surprised you all think this way, the media is very anti-Chavez and understandably so.
The media doesn't necessarily make you anti-Chavez, you just have to see the reality.

In the past 12 years since he became president, there has been an alarming increase in violence across the country with an average of 200 people dead every week just in the metropolitan area of Caracas, not mentioning the increased robberies, police corruption, kidnappings and overall insecurity that its citizens face in a day to day basis.

The national currency has devalued so much that he was forced to remove zeros from it and introduce a new currency pegged to the US dollar. To make matters worse, he imposed a strict exchange control where only a government agency can sell and buy foreign currency. Making foreign investments non-existent. Since the inflation is about 24%, prices for basic goods are extremely expensive and prone to increase in price very rapidly, this effect has a detrimental impact for the majority of the population that live with a minimum wage of less than USD 350 per month. Due to his huge subsidies in the food production industry, basic goods such as milk, sugar, dairy products, and flour are scarce in supermarkets around the country.

Apart from taking the economic standpoint, can the overall system that Chavez is creating can be looked with a positive side? Sure he has done educational advances, an euphemism for a socialism-based brainwash curriculum, gives gifts such as food stamps and other social services to keep his people happy, which the majority are poor. He is creating an anti-capitalistic system where he wants to keep his citizens stupid and isolated from the evils of the "empire". It's very easy to manipulate poor people who have not seen the goodies and riches that you see in first-world nations by giving them gifts and acting as their holy father.

Chavez has also introduced expropriation laws that in a typical scenario, they take your 3-bedroom house, and according to his laws, you are required to give up two bedrooms of your own house to two poor citizens free of charge and live with them, while you live in the extra remaining bedroom of your house. Private property doesn't exist in socialism nor in communism eh?

As a result, the majority of the middle and upper class in Venezuela have left for the best, and ironically have settled in the shopping mecca of South Florida mainly in the outskirts of Miami. The expansion of real estate sales in Miami is swarmed by Venezuelans seeking to invest in properties and thereby getting out of Chavez's property expropriation insanity.

Contrary to Popular Belief - Venezuelans Dominate South Florida Real Estate

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine...6/b4040048.htm

I have nothing against helping the poor and giving them opportunities instead of gifts. But the situation is not like that, the poor and working class are getting used to receiving from the government at the expense of the middle and upper classes. Why not raise taxes to the wealthy instead? Spread the wealth through taxation may be a better approach in the long run.

Chavez is sickened with power and has to get out, otherwise Venezuela would become another Cuba with a dictator and an embargo.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:08 AM   #31
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The crime statistic is worrying, yeah, so there's not much I can say about that other than crime is prevalent when there are inequalities, so basically, just about everywhere. It is a bit of a problem.

Brainwashing the poor into socialism and against capitalism? I laughed, I would call it awakening class-consciousness. I don't know if I would label it brainwashing since socialism is to bring the workers into power. It's much, much better for them.

As for the housing thing, seems a better solution than the poor being homeless, and it's not as if there aren't housing projects for poor families being built.

I couldn't give any less of a shit about the upper classes leaving the country. In addition, I can't really see Chavez going all power hungry and becoming a raving dictator as from what I've read, but I'm not entirely certain of anything anymore. In regards to Cuba, I can't help but feel that you think that the embargo was actually justified, but they've done well for a somewhat isolated state capitalist nation.
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:23 AM   #32
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Allowing three or more homeless strangers to live in your house free of charge because the government says so is not a solution to homelessness.

Would you seriously do it?
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:09 AM   #33
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When was this policy of expropriating rooms in occupied private dwellings instituted? Do you have a link?
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:02 AM   #34
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By KEJAL VYAS

CARACAS—Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez signed a new rental law into effect over the weekend that obliges landlords to sell their property to tenants of more than 20 years at state-mandated discounts based on how long the space has been rented.

Mr. Chávez hailed the law as a way of opening housing to the country's poor and extending tenants' rights, but critics see the law as a political ploy to compensate for a struggling state home-building initiative.

Under the law, the state will create a fund to provide loans to tenants interested in buying rented real estate, while landlords, who will have to register all their holdings, face heavy fines for violating the regulations and the possibility of having their property expropriated by the government for repeat offenses. Owners also are forbidden from requesting security deposits from tenants.

"There are urban landlords who own 15, 20 buildings and exploit the people," Mr. Chávez said during the signing ceremony for the law. "Many times they leave the country; they don't even live here, nobody knows them."

Housing is set to be a major issue in next year's presidential elections, and Venezuela's top real-estate association says Mr. Chávez is using the law to provide constituents with housing that his government promised but is struggling to deliver.

"They are completely violating the concept of private property with this law," said Aquiles Martini, president of the Venezuela Real Estate Chamber. "The government has a target for construction in its housing mission, but there's no way they are going to be able to do it so they are using laws like these to meet the deficit," he added.

In February, Mr. Chávez pledged his government would build two million homes for the poor over the next seven years as part of his "Grand Housing Mission Venezuela" project. The government, which set a target of 153,000 homes for 2011, says it has so far this year overseen the construction of 85,000.
Venezuela Forces Sale of Rental Properties - WSJ.com

There's also this article below stating that he's closing down Venezuela's consulate in Miami, mainly because pretty much all the Venezuelan exiles in Miami are against him and he doesn't want them to vote against him in this year's election.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...jwP_story.html
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:51 PM   #35
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You wanna try that again? We all make mistakes sometimes.
Aww, a poor victim of the American war propaganda machine.

It's okay, you're right. If it wasn't for the great George W. Bush, then Saddam Hussein would have invaded Israel (a nation incapable of defending itself) with his vast nuclear arsenal. And Iraq may have even attacked the United States again, like it did on 9/11. So the tens of millions of lives killed, injured, or traumatized as a result of your hero, Mr. Bush, were all worth it in the very very long run.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:02 PM   #36
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most evil man in the world? no.

worst president in all of our lifetimes? yes.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:08 PM   #37
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Aww, a poor victim of the American war propaganda machine.

It's okay, you're right. If it wasn't for the great George W. Bush, then Saddam Hussein would have invaded Israel (a nation incapable of defending itself) with his vast nuclear arsenal. And Iraq may have even attacked the United States again, like it did on 9/11. So the tens of millions of lives killed, injured, or traumatized as a result of your hero, Mr. Bush, were all worth it in the very very long run.


You know what? I'm not going to engage. There's no point, and this isn't the place for it. I'll be the better person and let this one go.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:18 PM   #38
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most evil man in the world? no.

worst president in all of our lifetimes? yes.
Most evil man based on the number of lives lost or shattered. Who has hurt more people then him? I can't think of anyone, and do correct me if I'm wrong. But for that reason he definitely deserves the title.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:19 PM   #39
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You know what? I'm not going to engage. There's no point, and this isn't the place for it. I'll be the better person and let this one go.
Sure, well there wouldn't be much truth to say on your part anyway if you did engage.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:53 PM   #40
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Most evil man based on the number of lives lost or shattered. Who has hurt more people then him? I can't think of anyone, and do correct me if I'm wrong. But for that reason he definitely deserves the title.


if you're talking aggregate death, i suppose you have to put Harry Truman right up there, right, historically speaking, in terms of number of human beings wiped out in a matter of seconds?

i think reasons why lives are lost has to count for something, and i don't see the invasion of Iraq -- as hideous, stupid as it was, and if you go through the archives here you'll find no one more opposed than i was from the start -- as insidiously "evil" as mass starvation in North Korea, the junta in Myanmar/Burma, the Lord's Resistance Army, the butchery of the cartels of Juarez, people like Mugabe, Assad, etc.
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