Obama Labels Hugo Chavez A Dangerous Demagogue

Via Yglesias, Barack Obama said (and here Jeralyn on the same speech):

[D]emagogues like Hugo Chavez have stepped into this vacuum [of a failed US Latin America policy.] His predictable yet perilous mix of anti-American rhetoric, authoritarian government, and checkbook diplomacy offers the same false promise as the tried and failed ideologies of the past.

I agree with Obama's assessment of Chavez. One of Obama's big blog supporters and a good friend of mine, Al Giordano, does not. Al does not mention that in his review of Obama's speech. I had a debate with Al about Chavez in ancient blogging history at Daily Kos, where his admiration and support of Chavez was plain and unstinting. More. . . .

There were many Chavez supporters in the Left blogs and I battled many of them over the years (a lot of Castro supporters too.) I wonder how they feel about Obama addressing the Cuban American National Foundation - or the Cuban "mafia" as people like Yglesias and others like to call them

Principles? Josh Marshall? Hello?

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    He'll still meet with him (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Kathy on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:36:47 PM EST
    with no pre-conditions, right?

    But he won't have tea. n/t (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by lilburro on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:38:05 PM EST
    Another Obama flippity-floppity (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by RalphB on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:42:12 PM EST
    He'll meet him with no preconditions but not without adequate preparation.  Just ask Daschle.  Say WHAT?  :-)

    Officially, is he (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Stellaaa on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:42:29 PM EST
    under the bus as well?   That was an easy under the bus?

    ahem . . . (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by nycstray on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:37:02 PM EST
    . . . offers the same false promise as the tried and failed ideologies of the past.

    Doesn't he say this (or something similar) about Clinton and Republicans also?

    No Chavez fan here, but after Hurricane (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:56:52 PM EST
    Katrina, didn't he offer to send us help and was turned down?

    And he is the one who arranged for reduced prices for heating fuel back East when they were in a bind....so he does have somewhat of a good side.


    I think some of our 'hoods (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by nycstray on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:00:45 PM EST
    are getting their heating oil from him. I know I've seen commercials about it and I believe a Kennedy was involved . . .

    And yeah, I think we did turn him down after Katrina, but didn't we turn down other offers also?


    Yeah, Bush/State Dept turned down (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by dutchfox on Sun May 25, 2008 at 12:33:22 AM EST
    That I cannot say....sorry (none / 0) (#42)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:43:07 PM EST
    One of the petroleum or refining companies (none / 0) (#56)
    by Makarov on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:35:53 PM EST
    was running ads in Pennsylvania (maybe nationally) this past winter about providing low or no cost home heating fuel to those meeting certain income criteria.  I believe some or all of the donated crude came from Venezuela and that was credited in the advert.

    Citgo is the retail outlet for . . . (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by wurman on Sat May 24, 2008 at 07:34:29 PM EST
    . . . Venezuela's refineries.  The wingnutz have a chain e-mail circling the globe telling their adherents & other fools to not buy gas at the Citgo pumps. The concept of fuel stocks as fungible goods is not rampant in republikon circles.  They also include some quotes about the Chavez government having plots to do some crazy things one of these days.  So I think some of this may have led to Pat Robertson's suggestion that the USA government assassinate Chavez.

    Some liberal & lefty folks tout up the fuel give-aways as a good thing by Venezuela, whether publicity ploy or not.  Some also point out that it may be more logical to get fuel stocks from an elected government in this hemisphere rather than from medieval monarchies & military dictatorships in the Middle East & Central Asia.

    It doesn't matter where a barrel of crude comes from once the shipping bill for the product is processed by the clearing house.  Pfffft.

    The Chavez PR machine has also been providing heating oil to several Indian Reservations.

    Some time back, 7-11 Stores changed their gasoline supplier contract away from Citgo for a variety of business, location & supply reasons.  The wingnutz took credit for the change.


    i buy citgo often with the cash card. (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by hellothere on Sat May 24, 2008 at 08:21:52 PM EST
    it saves me ten to fifteen cents on gas.

    I NEVER buy Citgo gas (none / 0) (#79)
    by shoephone on Sun May 25, 2008 at 12:41:34 AM EST
    I decided a couple of years ago not to give that dictator a dime of my money.

    I buy Citgo because it's more money (none / 0) (#85)
    by Josey on Sun May 25, 2008 at 02:45:29 AM EST
    for the people's programs and direct democracy. But I only made that decision after visiting and seeing the positive results of Chavez policies.

    i respect your decison and understand. (none / 0) (#105)
    by hellothere on Mon May 26, 2008 at 10:33:43 AM EST
    i decided that both sides are seriously deficient in policy and decided that chavez is trying to help some in this country, and therefore that my wallet not take a hickey for either side.

    Yes (none / 0) (#43)
    by Edgar08 on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:47:04 PM EST
    That's the first thing I thought.

    BTD...is this the same Al Giordano? (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Shainzona on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:41:24 PM EST
    This forms the basis of another/new Hillary-will-cause-Obama's-Death Diary over at MyDD.

    "According to Al Giordano, Hillary's assassination comments have significantly increased the danger to Senator Obama:

        Everybody - I have long followed the work of Dr. Lloyd deMause and the Institute for Psychohistory, which has, for two decades, studied the psychology of why nations go to war among other sticky societal problems.

        I urge everybody who wants to flap their gums about Senator Clinton's statement today to read his chapter, The Assassination of Leaders

        Messages sent like the one sent today - whether from the mouth of the original person whose fantasy flew out of her mouth - or from those decrying it, are precisely the kinds of signals that set off potential assassins.

        If you think of many of the assassination attempts in the United States and the unstable mental states of the perpetrators (John Hinckley, Jr., Squeaky Fromme...) it is of the utmost irresponsibility to aid in the telegraphing of those suggestive messages to a public filled with people like that."

    oh, please (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Kathy on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:45:30 PM EST
    This is totally going to backfire.  So hysterical and stupid.

    Maybe we should burn the Bible because it talks about smiting sinners, stoning adulterers and sacrificing farm animals (surely PETA objects...).


    WTF (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by lilburro on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:15:34 PM EST
    anybody trying that hard is preparing themselves to "be right" if something that atrocious ever happened.  That's not how she said it, that's not how she meant it, and if you're going to point specious fingers, point them at the media.



    what?!?!? (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Josey on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:31:24 PM EST
    >>>>Messages sent like the one sent today - whether from the mouth of the original person whose fantasy flew out of her mouth

    Totally ridiculous!!
    Obama and Obamamites have hyped this non-issue nonstop.
    And you're lecturing US on assassins??


    Curious...why did you "troll" rate (none / 0) (#45)
    by Shainzona on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:57:04 PM EST
    me for posting this comment?  I am definitely not supporting what he said - I was just wondering if it was the same Al Giordano...whom I knew nothing about until this post.

    I think you need to more (none / 0) (#55)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:29:43 PM EST
    clearly quote the text (select the text after you type it and then click the double quotes above the text entry box) to distinguish between what was said by someone else and what you yourself are saying.

    I'm sorry - & thanks for correcting me (none / 0) (#81)
    by Josey on Sun May 25, 2008 at 01:48:51 AM EST
    I didn't realize you were quoting Al.
    TR cancelled.

    Thank you and thanks for the (none / 0) (#97)
    by Shainzona on Sun May 25, 2008 at 08:27:44 AM EST
    quoting advice.

    People say stupid things (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:43:14 PM EST
    What can I tell you.

    Sorry - I was just curious as I saw (none / 0) (#19)
    by Shainzona on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:52:29 PM EST
    this just after I read your post.  I didn't mean to suggest anything by my question.

    Even smart people. (none / 0) (#102)
    by Ben Masel on Sun May 25, 2008 at 08:59:22 PM EST
    Heh. that's funny and pathetic. (none / 0) (#9)
    by RalphB on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:44:24 PM EST
    What is this fantasy of which you write? (none / 0) (#50)
    by jawbone on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:19:34 PM EST
    Shainzona was quoting Al Giordano (none / 0) (#82)
    by Josey on Sun May 25, 2008 at 02:01:13 AM EST
    Interesting that Al asserts Hillary's remarks have placed Obama in danger, but see nothing wrong with Obamamites HYPING "assassination" in an effort to demonize Hillary.
    They've conducted similar efforts doing more harm to Obama by casting him as a "victim" - whining about Obama's debate questions and "bad" treatment by Hillary (as if he's been a saint)- unaware their complaints make Obama appear a very weak nominee, considering what the GOP has in store for him.

    Okay (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:47:26 PM EST
    that's what Obama said today but what did he say yesterday or the weeks or months or years before this? It seems that it's becoming a media narrative that he's constantly changing his mind about foreign policy and I wondered if this might be another one.

    We can count on the GOP to give us a montage (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by kempis on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:08:22 PM EST
    ....of Obama's shifting positions on any number of topics. That along with ads stressing his inexperience and his associations with Wright and Ayers and Michelle's own "greatest hits" will be enough to give the GOP a much bigger win in 08 than in 04.

    But just call me Cassandra....



    the Obama camp hyping Hillary's remarks (none / 0) (#86)
    by Josey on Sun May 25, 2008 at 02:59:14 AM EST
    >>>>that's what Obama said today but what did he say yesterday or the weeks or months or years before this?

    took precedence in the media to distract from Obama's flip flops in 48 hours on Iran and Cuba. During his senate campaign, he supported ending the Cuban embargo, but he flip flopped on that this week.

    "Tough guy" Obama is moving right by demonizing Chavez, but will talk with Cuban leaders...seems like a disconnect to me. He won't get far with Cuba by bashing Chavez. sheeeesh!


    "authoritarian government" is a bit much (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Exeter on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:48:08 PM EST
    Yeah, the guy is very poweful and little kooky and I would prefer someone else, but hasn't he aquired his power democratically?  

    Al and Armando seem to address that (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:49:37 PM EST
    in their 2004 discussion, which I'm just now reading.

    Takes one to know one I say.... (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:51:42 PM EST

    And yet (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by facta non verba on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:56:41 PM EST
    Obama blamed Bush for the rise of Chavez just yesterday.

    Here's all you can ever want to know about Venezuelan political history and Obama's latest gaffe:

    Obama Blames The Rise of Chavez on Bush

    Obama's Insouciance

    He really is hopelessly ignorant (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by RalphB on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:28:38 PM EST
    apparently it would not take long for the GOP to capitalize either.

    Venezuela (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Munibond on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:56:48 PM EST
    Chavez is probably a demagogue, but I'm not sure USA is in a position to look down its nose at him.  Somewhat OT, but Venezuela has awesome public music education, which produced Gustavo Dudamel, so they are doing something wonderful down there.

    The Soviet Union (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by facta non verba on Sat May 24, 2008 at 08:34:20 PM EST
    had an amazing music program. And the East Germans could produce swimmers like no tomorrow and Romania more gymnasts than you can name. But Chavez is a failure. He can't even feed his people. He is and has funded the FARC to the tune of $300 million. He is beyond a demagogue. He is a dictator in waiting. Just because he lost the referendum last December doesn't mean he won't try again. He has shut down newspapers and TV stations that oppose him.

    There is a lot happening in Latin America but the good news is coming from the pragmatic left in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile.

    All over Latin America, there are billboards that blare "Callate Chavez" using the refrain of Juan Carlos of Spain. Go on youtube and type callate chavez and see what you get.


    Not true - it's rightwing & MSM propaganda (none / 0) (#88)
    by Josey on Sun May 25, 2008 at 03:15:40 AM EST
    >>>He has shut down newspapers and TV stations that oppose him.

    Most of the media in Venezuela is rightwing and air anti-Chavez 24/7.
    He didn't "shut down" a TV station, but didn't renew their license. They could still (and probably have by now) get cable rights. This is the same TV station that was involved in the 2002 coup and 5 years later Chavez didn't remew their license. If NBC, CBS, ABC had been involved in overthrowing a U.S. president, they would have been shut down immediately.


    Prove your (none / 0) (#91)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun May 25, 2008 at 06:29:29 AM EST

    here's some info (none / 0) (#94)
    by Josey on Sun May 25, 2008 at 07:08:25 AM EST
    St. Louis Journalism Review - Feb. 07

    >>>A closer look at media, media law and politics in Venezuela shows a much more complex situation. Chavez may be guilty of concentrating too much power around his person, but the non-renewal of RCTV's license is consistent with Venezuelan laws that mandate social responsibility and are consistent with social responsibility reforms discussed at the January media reform conference in Memphis.

    Many reports initially said that Chavez was shutting down RCTV, but in fact the privately owned corporation will be able to continue to distribute its programming via cable and other media. Nor did Chavez "revoke" the license, as some initial reports had it. RCTV's license was last renewed in 1987 for the standard 20 years and was about to expire.

    WaPo has more about RCTV's sex and violence during daytime. Cable does seems to be a more appropriate venue for RCTV.

    Jan 2007 - http://tinyurl.com/38838z
    "Here they practice yellow journalism, treacherous journalism that goes against the people's rights," Carias told a crowd earlier this week. And then, discussing the entertainment side, he said: "The children are the ones affected for many years by the sex, by the violence of these programs that go against the morality of children, that go against the morality of the Venezuelan people."


    Interesting (none / 0) (#100)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun May 25, 2008 at 03:11:01 PM EST
    for the children.  Where do you stand on pornography?

    Unlike the Soviet Union (none / 0) (#93)
    by Munibond on Sun May 25, 2008 at 06:55:17 AM EST
    and East Germany, Venezuelans are free to move about the world with their music - and baseball.  And Venezuela's music education system (similar to Finland's) is not an institutionalized star system such as those cold war systems.  It would be interesting, OTOH, to know more about what was going on in the Soviet Union's musician community during the heyday of Shostakovich, Oistrach, Rostropovich.

    More seriously (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by lilburro on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:01:38 PM EST
    It will be nice to have a President who views foreign policy sanely and visits foreign countries respectfully and more often.  I mean, Bush's first visit to Israel was after SEVEN YEARS.  

    I loathe the "OMGZ HIS RACEZZ WILL SO P4WN ANTI-AMERICANISM" narrative that Andrew Sullivan and others have put forth.  It is good to hear what Obama actually thinks, and not what people think he will magically do once and if he is President.  

    Good point (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by andgarden on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:03:07 PM EST
    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Steve M on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:10:06 PM EST
    I also agree with BTD on this.  I guess the liberal blogosphere, which is generally pro-Chavez, now has permission to dislike him.

    By the way, is Al Giordano going to have to eat crow on that "Hillary asked to be the VP" rumor?

    One thing (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:12:40 PM EST
    I have never understood is the left blogs love of Chavez. I guess it started when he was trashing Bush. I saw it as perhaps a knee jerk reaction to the obsessive hatred the right has of him.

    It seems Obama might be afraid of something coming up w/r/t ayers. Ayers went to Venezuela and apparently trashed the US in a speech. I know Jeralyn disagrees, but I find Ayers disgusting.

    I thought Ayers went several times.. (none / 0) (#71)
    by kc on Sat May 24, 2008 at 08:51:57 PM EST
    I read somewhere that he went there, made speeches,etcccc.
    Supposedly he admires their education system.

    Wait--rezkowatch had a link to it I think.


    You are right Ayers has been there (none / 0) (#73)
    by gabbyone on Sat May 24, 2008 at 09:14:10 PM EST
    and has called Chavez, his friend.

    Joe Kennedy II, the former Demo. Congressman describes the deal he's cooked up with Mr. Chávez as charity for low-income consumers of heating oil. But it's worth asking what the price of this largesse is to Venezuelans and to U.S. security interests.

    The arrangement is this: Mr. Chávez's Citgo, owned by the Venezuelan government, is supplying home heating oil to Mr. Kennedy's Citizens Energy Corporation at a 40% discount. Citizens, a nonprofit outfit, passes the savings onto the poor, aiming to help 400,000 homes in 16 states. And there are tv ads!  If you think you qualify,  just dial 1-877-Joe-4-Oil. This arrangement is at least 2.5 years old.

    Note, Joe Kennedy was stumping for Obama.

    Chavez has less power than the POTUS (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by Romberry on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:25:44 PM EST
    Chavez is no demagogue. Hugo Chavez was freely and fairly elected. Under the Venezuelan consititution, he has less power than the President of the United States has under the US Constitution. That's a fact.

    Hugo Chavez is no friend of the rich, that much is true. But does Venezuela need another president who looks out for the rich? And just how many wars has Chavez started? How many innocents has he killed? What laws of his country has he failed to follow as president?

    chavez has less power than POTUS (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by befuddledvoter on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:34:06 PM EST
    Chavez is apparantly extremely popular in Venzuela.  He was fairly elected, as far as I can see.  He is a rascal and an irreverent rascal, especially toward GW, but that does not make him a demagogue.  I would need some real facts to convince me otherwise.  

    Here you go: (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat May 24, 2008 at 08:30:55 PM EST
    From the CATO institute:
    Corruption, Mismanagement, and
    Abuse of Power in Hugo
    Chávez's Venezuela

    A highlight:

    Venezuela's ranking in the 2006 Economic
    Freedom of the World index is 126 out of a
    group of 130 nations, very close to the bot-
    tom of the ladder, only above the Republic of
    Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
    Myanmar, and Zimbabwe. A comparison of
    the scores through the years is, again, reveal-
    ing. In 1970 Venezuela had a rating of 7.6 on
    a scale of 0 to 10. In 2000 the rating was 5.5,
    and today it is only 4.4. According to the
    index, Venezuela is the country that has expe-
    rienced the largest fall in economic freedom
    since 1980. The bottom 10 countries in the
    ranking are African, with the exceptions of
    Venezuela and Myanmar


    Cato Institute? (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Munibond on Sat May 24, 2008 at 09:22:24 PM EST
    Not exactly an objective source.

    Odjective source? (none / 0) (#90)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun May 25, 2008 at 06:28:31 AM EST
    You disagree with their stance on the war?  Free speech?  Listen to their interviews with the head of the ACLU, or their stance of illegal immigration.  Could not be more progressive.  

    I guess you did not read the report which does include sources for you to check the facts against.


    Then cite those primary sources (none / 0) (#92)
    by Munibond on Sun May 25, 2008 at 06:50:04 AM EST
    instead of resports from a self described libertarian think tank.  Libertarian is not progressive.

    Here ya (none / 0) (#101)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun May 25, 2008 at 03:20:26 PM EST
    go.   From the Frasier institute in Canada:

    Economic Freedom of the World: 2007 Annual Report


    Chavez was (none / 0) (#74)
    by facta non verba on Sat May 24, 2008 at 09:20:48 PM EST
    popular achieving approval rates of 60% but now is under 50%.

    Listen to his weekly TV & radio programmes. He's a demagogue.


    Not according to all the polls. (none / 0) (#96)
    by Inky on Sun May 25, 2008 at 08:21:01 AM EST
    Only polls conducted by firms sympathetic to the opposition have his popularity at 40% -- a recent poll by a company more sympathetic to the government has his popularity at 68%.

    Mérida, May 13, 2008 (venezuelanalysis.com)-- A national poll conducted between April 24th and May 2nd by the Venezuelan Data Analysis Institute (IVAD) showed that 68.8% of Venezuelans believe the presidency of Hugo Chávez has been excellent, very good, or good, while 28.2% consider it to have been bad, very bad, or terrible. Opposition-sponsored polls, though, show a completely different picture.


    In April, the polling firm Consultores 21, which is considered to be sympathetic to the opposition, reported that Chávez's approval rating was 40%, and that 60% disapprove of his presidency and blame the president for the nation's problems.

    Simultaneously, a poll by the firm Consultores 30/11, which is generally considered to be close to the government, reported that 60% of Venezuelans support Chávez's presidency.


    Perhaps the most widely respected among all recent polls is the 2007 annual survey of 18 Latin American countries conducted by the Chilean polling firm Latinobarometro, the results of which were released this past January.

    According to Latinobarometro, 60% of Venezuelans approved of President Chávez`s job performance in 2007, and 61% approved of the Venezuelan government as a whole. Also, 59% of Venezuelans were either "very satisfied" or "pretty satisfied" with the functioning of democracy in their country, placing Venezuela second only to Uruguay.

    The Latinobarometro poll also showed that 52% of Venezuelans said the economic situation in their country was either good or very good in 2007, and that 67% agreed that the state is capable of solving the nation's problems.



    Good thing (none / 0) (#70)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat May 24, 2008 at 08:37:12 PM EST
    he did not get to change the constitution.

    I caught John Aristotle Phillips (none / 0) (#103)
    by Ben Masel on Sun May 25, 2008 at 09:11:18 PM EST
    a consultant to  Chavez last election opponent, at the Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Tuesday, suggesting that Chavez opponents would have done better pressing their issues instead of putting all effort into obsessing over fraud. Phillips assesment: there was a degree of election fraud, but far less than the margin.

    Unimpressive speech by Obama (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by bridget on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:31:19 PM EST
    always the same old stuff - so where is the change?

    I bet Obama doesn't have a clue but he likes to act as if ..

    nothing but empy rhetoric in his status quo speech:

    "We have not offered a clear and comprehensive vision, backed up with strong diplomacy. We are failing to join the battle for hearts and minds. For far too long, Washington has engaged in outdated...."

    So??? What is the solution, Sir?

    besides I hear "battle for hearts and minds" and my eyes roll and I know he doesn't know.

    didn't you know? (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Josey on Sun May 25, 2008 at 02:06:47 AM EST
    The elite Washington establishment - that has "done nothing to change hearts and minds" - backed a newbie senator for the sole purpose of "changing" them.

    Most of the reporting we get about Chavez is (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by jawbone on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:25:02 PM EST
    slanted toward the opinions of the anti-Chavez wealthy elites of Venezuela. They deeply grieved they cannot control more of the nation's wealth.

    Setting up those schools to educate the poor adults of the poor areas, as well as their children? How dare Chavez!?!

    Suggest you take what is said with many grains of salt.

    Lots of good stuff at DemocracyNow.org; just search for Chavez Venezuela. May 1st Chavez raised the minimum wage, btw.

    gosh....this sounds vaguely familiar jawbone :) (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:57:49 PM EST
    Stay Tuned (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by The Field on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:47:04 PM EST
    Oh, my old friend, Big Tent. Nuance was never one of your strong points.

    I hope and trust that in a day or two when I publish my full vetting of Obama's US-Latin America policy speech, you'll give it as prominent a mention.



    I will (none / 0) (#58)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:49:48 PM EST
    I expect no less from you Al.

    let's build barriers (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by candideinnc on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:53:45 PM EST
    between us and the nations of South America!  For goodness sake, what possible good does it do, when there is NO issue of significance between us at the moment, to begin an administration antagonizing Sourth American neighbors?  He is going to be another diplomatic disaster!

    Maybe he is just (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by LoisInCo on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:56:30 PM EST
    practicing for when he "really" gets tough on Iran and Russia!

    Eli over at Left Eye on the News has some comments (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by jawbone on Sat May 24, 2008 at 07:40:28 PM EST
    about Obama's FL speech -- and the group to whom he addressed it.

    Thanks for sharing jawbone....enlightening! (none / 0) (#66)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat May 24, 2008 at 08:03:58 PM EST
    wow! (none / 0) (#89)
    by Josey on Sun May 25, 2008 at 03:29:21 AM EST
    I didn't realize the extent of Obama's idiocy on Venezuela and Chavez.
    And the article on Cuba - oh wow! I'll bet the participants were really PO'd at Obama's "big" changes from policies of other U.S. presidents.
    Obama says he'll be "different" - but offers basically the same.
    The Great Bamboolzer!  but obviously the Cubans weren't duped.

    The Jury's Out (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by CDN Ctzn on Sat May 24, 2008 at 07:41:05 PM EST
    on Hugo Chavez in my opinion. The reason is that the international press Ie. BBC, CBC, tends to be more objective and hasn't tended to vilify him the way ours does.

    I honestly don't believe anything our press tells us. These are the same people that have smeared the Clintons for the past couple of decades so when it comes to their bias towards Chavez, I think you know where I'm going.

    BBC reporter Gregg Palast spends a great deal of time on Chavez in his book Armed Madhouse detailing how the neo-cons / CIA are threatened by him and their concerted effort to first overthrow and assassinate him through a failed CIA organized coup and now to smear him. Does Salvador Alliende (sp?) and Chile ring a bell?

    Chavez was not anti-American... (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by p lukasiak on Sat May 24, 2008 at 08:58:44 PM EST
    until "america" (read the Bush administration) went seriously anti-Chavez.

    When the most powerful nation in the world tries to overthrow your government, its practically guaranteed that political freedoms will be curtailed in the aftermath.  Democracy cannot thrive when it is being subverted by big-money interests from outside the country, and IMHO most of what Chavez has done that is objectionable is in reaction to Bush policies....

    Plus - Chavez became "evil" (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Josey on Sun May 25, 2008 at 02:30:31 AM EST
    when he enacted the 1970s Venezuelan law that nationalized the oil - reducing the oil companies profits which provided more money for education for the poor and basic democratic provisions for The People. The 70s law was never enacted due to a series of corrupt presidents in bed with the oil companies. One former president even became a high level biggie with Shell Oil.
    The Bush/Cheney oil cartel detest nations with nationalized oil - like Saddam's Iraq.
    Oil companies reign supreme in Congress, which is why there was such an immediate backlash to Hillary's gas tax suspension to be paid by them- with Obama leading the chorus since he voted for Cheney's energy bill that gave huge tax breaks to the "poor starving" oil companies.

    Lets change general semantics here (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Mrwirez on Sat May 24, 2008 at 10:08:42 PM EST
    Demagogues like Barack Obama have stepped into this vacuum [of a failed American policy.] His predictable yet perilous mix of anti-American rhetoric [Reverend Wright], and checkbook diplomacy to certain demographics, offers the same false promise as the tried and failed ideologies of the past.

    I think by changing a few lines of text it fits.

    I'm not one... (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Sat May 24, 2008 at 10:33:40 PM EST
    ... to be making excuses for Chavez. It's fair, to some extent, to call him a demagogue, and I think his economic policies, in addition to being bad for American companies in the short term, will, I think, prove to be bad for Venezuela in the long term. That being said, I think it's worth distinguishing him from the truly murderous dictators of the world, and respecting the right of Venezuelans to support him even if they are wrong.

    I don't think Obama's denunciation is anything but pure politics. Which, of course, is all I expect from him, but his more left-leaning and idealistic supporters are likely to be disappointed.

    I love Hugo Chavez (4.00 / 4) (#34)
    by alright on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:20:59 PM EST
    He is democratically elected and democratically supported. He respects the constitution and the results of the referendum so screw Obama. Obama is the demagogue.

    Obama is probably right (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:40:36 PM EST
    I personally give Chavez a slight pass because it looks like he was democratically elected. His various referenda were similarly defeated, which also seemed good.

    Nevertheless, I don't know enough about Venezuelan politics or society to speak competently on this.

    I notice that Al's last diary at dkos is a kind of promotion of Cynthia McKinney. I sure know what I think of her. . .

    We in this (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:11:53 PM EST
    country have no room to question an election in another country do we? And wasn't Jimmy Carter part of the group that certified that Chavez was elected honestly?

    Doesn't mean I don't agree that he's a demagogue either. I just wonder how helpful it is to always be insulting the leaders of other countries, especially those that have been Democratically elected.


    Must be that FP experience he received (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by nycstray on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:00:52 PM EST
    when he was a little boy . . .  I'm sure there's something to it and we just don't get it.  . . .

    I have to say Venezuela is looking good to me (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:54:19 PM EST
    ...I think gas is about 20 cents a gallon there :)

    McKinney (none / 0) (#12)
    by Emma on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:47:50 PM EST
    I sure know what I think of her. . .

    What do you think of her?  I'm curious b/c I really don't know anything solid about her.


    Well, kinda off topic (none / 0) (#14)
    by andgarden on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:48:41 PM EST
    and I don't really have anything nice to say about her.

    Okay (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Emma on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:51:17 PM EST
    Sorry to deviate from topic.

    I was in her district (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Kathy on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:51:44 PM EST
    when she nutted up and slapped that cop at the capital.  One of the reasons I moved, actually.

    She's very uncontrolled and highly provocative, neither in a good way.  Last I checked, she was vocally demanding reparations and was saying that 9-11 was a Bush/Cheney fueled conspiracy to kill Americans.  


    Not only that (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by andgarden on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:53:40 PM EST
    but she and her father played games that helped to destroy the Democratic party in Georgia and the south.

    She is the Naomi Campbell of politics... :) (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:54:43 PM EST
    I'm also from her old district (none / 0) (#80)
    by Beth on Sun May 25, 2008 at 01:12:55 AM EST
    And I'm similarly devoid of anything nice to say about her. I pretty much felt like I didn't have a representative in Congress back when she we my elected congressperson.

    You're level with Obama on that (none / 0) (#24)
    by JavaCityPal on Sat May 24, 2008 at 04:56:49 PM EST
    I don't know enough about Venezuelan politics or society to speak competently on this.

    Neither does he.

    I'd like to see him give more than a soundbite on the subject. Anyone could have written that for him.

    Obama's been busy campaigning.


    demagogue, yes (none / 0) (#40)
    by Turkana on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:32:57 PM EST
    not sure about dangerous.

    for a brief while, at daily kos, some chavez fans were posting on an almost daily basis, and several of us continued to refute every point they tried to make. their responses were, as we used to say in the debate world, "like two ships passing in the night."

    I posted comment about how I love Chavez (none / 0) (#44)
    by alright on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:56:44 PM EST
    and it was deleted. Censorhip. nice.

    It's still there. (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by LoisInCo on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:04:59 PM EST
    ha ha... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by lilburro on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:08:05 PM EST
    it was uprated.

    It's still there, (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Vico on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:15:10 PM EST
    and it even found a couple of supporters.

    Is any part of your love. . . (none / 0) (#52)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:25:19 PM EST
    due to the paranoia you seem to share with Chavez?

    Chavez isn't a democrat (none / 0) (#53)
    by Manuel on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:26:07 PM EST
    Revolutions are apt to abuse democratic principles to gain and maintain power.  They thrive on the fact that true democracy doesn't have much value for those who are at the bottom of an unjust economic system.  Of course, we are lacking on examples of achieving improvements in social equality through democratic systems in a short period of time.

    Interesting that the current Democratic primary shows that even with community media (the Internet) we don't get resposible information (the left blogs).

    And (none / 0) (#54)
    by sas on Sat May 24, 2008 at 06:26:58 PM EST
    I label Obama a dangerous demagogue.

    chavez is really just the leader of (none / 0) (#87)
    by cpinva on Sun May 25, 2008 at 03:00:47 AM EST
    another south american drug cartel. the particular drug in question being crude oil. like other of the drug cartel leaders, he does things for PR reasons, to make himself and his regime look good.

    of course, i doubt it will help the citizens if he starts a war with the neighbors, as he's repeatedly threatened to. also, god forbid he should be stupid enough to actually engage the US militarily, just to show what a macho, macho man he is; how many innocents is he willing to kill, to show the world that he's not going to take any guff from us?

    that we have a truly pathetic administration doesn't help matters any, their constant missteps give a patina of legitimacy to chavez's claims of a conspiracy by us against him.

    in the final analysis, chavez is essentially a two-bit thug, masquerading as a politician.

    of course, so is the "leader" of North Korea, and we're constantly attempting to engage them in talks. just because you meet with someone doesn't automatically mean you condone their actions. the two aren't, by definition, mutually inclusive.

    you kind of need to know your enemy, before you can defeat him.

    Not to be making excuses (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun May 25, 2008 at 07:49:07 AM EST
    for Chavez, but while he may "threaten" war, thus far he hasn't started one. Unlike our own little "Thug" in the White House and the untold misery and death he has caused.

    Eight years of GWB has left us, as a country, with no right to be doing any name calling about "Democratically" elected leaders who threaten war.


    Chavez supports FARC (none / 0) (#98)
    by ajbb on Sun May 25, 2008 at 08:38:51 AM EST
    Chavez has given over 300 million to FARC the Columbian terrorist group now holding 3 Americans hostage. Bill Richardson was just with him (Chavez) trying to get him to negotiate with FARC for their release. Supposedly they feel Obama is a sypathizer.Columbia's government was against this but Richardson did it anyway. For Obama to make these comments now is curious.

    Hugo Chavez Came to Power Under Clinton (none / 0) (#99)
    by Richard1 on Sun May 25, 2008 at 11:51:18 AM EST
    Hugo Chavez came to power during the Clinton Administration, and was first elected President of Venezuela in 1998, two years before the Bush Administration took office.

    Just the other day.... (none / 0) (#104)
    by kdog on Mon May 26, 2008 at 10:04:18 AM EST
    we invaded their airspace...supposedly on accident during an "anti-drug" mission.

    So whose dangerous again?

    It isn't possible to be left and anti-Chavez (none / 0) (#106)
    by Kennnn on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:28:15 AM EST
    If you're anti-Chavez, that puts you on the side of wanting the rich back in power in Venezuela.  That's what it always means when Americans talk about "free elections".

    I am an American, and unlike you, I accept the truth: We have no moral right to try to tell Latin America how to govern itself.

    Venezuela can't benefit from "free markets"(at least the poor cant') and the only "elections" this country accepts down there are the ones rigged in favor of the right(like Nicaragua in '90).

    If Chavez falls, the rich take over again.  That's the only other possibility.  Why does Obama want the rich to steal Venezuela back(especially since "free market" Latin American countries are always anti-black, and why do you agree with him?

    Remember what our leaders caused in Chile.