November 23, 2007
by: jovial_cynic
Trying to gain support for a referendum that would allow him to see unlimited re-election, Hugo Chavez told his supporters that whoever doesn't vote for him is a traitor.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - President Hugo Chavez warned his supporters on Friday that anyone voting against his proposed constitutional changes would be a "traitor," rallying his political base before a referendum that would let him seek unlimited re-election in 2012 and beyond.

Brandishing a little red book listing his desired 69 revisions to Venezuela's charter, Chavez exhorted his backers to redouble their efforts toward a victorious "yes" vote in the Dec. 2 ballot.

"He who says he supports Chavez but votes 'no' is a traitor, a true traitor," the president told an arena packed with red-clad supporters. "He's against me, against the revolution and against the people."

His speech followed the recent high-profile defection of his former Defense Minister Gen. Raul Baduel, a longtime ally who called the president's proposed reforms a "coup." Others have also broken with the Chavista movement in recent months, including politicians of the small left-leaning party Podemos.

Chavez's opponents accuse him of concentrating power and seeking to be president-for-life like his close friend Fidel Castro of Cuba. Chavez insists he will only stay on as long as Venezuelans continue to vote for him.

"If you don't approve (the referendum), maybe we'll have time for a parachute jump in five years," Chavez, a former paratrooper, told the crowd. "But if you wish—if you approve the referendum—I will stay as long as God wills! Until the last bone of my skeleton dries out!"

The proposed revisions would do away with presidential term limits, extend terms from six to seven years, let Chavez appoint regional vice presidents and eliminate Central Bank authority, among other changes.

Critics warn he would also have the power to shut down Venezuelan newspapers, television and radio stations by declaring a state of emergency, and the government could detain citizens without charges during such a period.

Chavez insists the reforms are meant to deepen democracy and give Venezuelans more of a voice in government, especially through neighborhood-based "communal" councils.

He said he plans to increase funding for the councils to 5 percent of his government's 2008 budget, or $3.2 billion, that will go toward neighborhood projects from public housing

Well that's delightful. Because what the world needs right is another oppressive dictatorship.


The Conservative Manifesto said:
Chavez has lost the constitutional vote.

Three cheers!

December 02, 2007

jovial_cynic said:
At least he seemed to take it well.
December 03, 2007

pete said:
how is it that whenever a leader steps up for the poor, they are immediately vilified by those with power? hugo chavez is not a dictator, nor is the government he leads authoritarian. these are common misrepresentations by media interests tied to american businesses and government.

interestingly, chavez has won something like ten elections, all of which have been certified by independent international observers--elections in the united states have never been observed by an independent organization.

2008 will mark the first occasion of election monitoring in the united states. why hasn't this happened before?

March 06, 2008

jovial_cynic said:
You're spinning the conversation. How are you making a connection between taking care of the poor and seeking unlimited re-election?

There's nothing wrong with taking care of the poor. But there's something terribly wrong with attempting to silence opposition with fear-mongering (e.g. "Whoever doesn't want me to be president-for-life is traitor to the country and to the people!!!").

I don't care what side of the political aisle you come from -- the statements by Hugo are the mark of a dictator.

March 06, 2008

pete said:
hugo chavez represents the poor people of that country. THEY have elected him upwards of ten times! again--his policies are neither totalitarian or authoritarian. this is rhetoric.

dictators aren't re-elected legitimately over and over again. was chavez out of line democratically seeking unlimited re-election, given his popular support?

by your logic, a similar statement made by george w. bush: you are either with us, or against us--means he too carries this 'mark of a dictator' that you speak of.

george w. bush isn't a dictator, is he?

March 06, 2008

jovial_cynic said:
... I don't care about him seeking unlimited re-election. I care about this:

"He who says he supports Chavez but votes 'no' is a traitor, a true traitor," the president told an arena packed with red-clad supporters. "He's against me, against the revolution and against the people."

And I bolded this statement in my post. You don't see anything wrong with that? And no, I don't condone that rhetoric by anybody, Bush or otherwise. It's a fear-inducing tactic used to scare people into submission. By creating the us/them mentality, it allows the majority to marginalize the minority and begin to blame them for social/economic ills. This is precisely what Hitler did to the Jews. It creates a mob mentality that targets dissent, and I find it entirely unacceptable.

March 06, 2008

Nick Stage said:
Chavez has the RIGHT IDEA.

Regional Government is the "key".

Perhaps, for Venezuela, 8 Regional-
Prefects, run by a Vice-President
appointed by President Chavez, but
with Regional Legislators directly-
elected by the People of each
Regional Prefecture.

Great Ideas for NEW Venezuela.

February 22, 2010

jovial_cynic said:
Nick -

Nothing I've seen come from Chavez gives me confidence that he's interested in anything that diminishes his sense of absolute authority.

February 25, 2010

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