Monday, December 3, 2007

Is Hugo Chavez a Dictator?

By Staff Writer Caleb T. Maupin

From Maelstrom Magazine

Hugo Chavez has been democratically elected President of Venezuela twice, the latest time with 63% of the vote. The Carter Center, the Organization of American States, and the European Union all sent legal observers to make sure the elections were legitimate, and they were. All the polls, from Chinese People’s Daily to the Miami Herald showed Hugo Chavez as the winner of the elections.

In Venezuela, there are five private TV channels. They all oppose Chavez. These TV stations have accused him of having a “sexual fixation with Fidel Castro” and repeatedly called for his overthrow, yet they remain on the air. Only one TV station, RCTV, which violated the broadcast laws and helped coordinate anti-Chavez terrorists, has lost it license.

The death penalty has been illegal in Venezuela since 1863. Hugo Chavez has never executed anyone.

So, how the hell is Hugo Chavez a dicta-tor? When I think of dictators, I don't think of people being elected in legitimate elections by 63% of the people. I don't think of people who don't execute people. I don't think of people who allow four hostile TV stations to spew hate against them.

On Sunday, the Venezuelan people voted on constitutional reforms proposed by Hugo Chavez. Whenever the news media presents these reforms, they mention that term limits will be abolished. In Japan, the United Kingdom, and Canada there are no term limits, and these na-tions are never presented as brutal dictatorships.

Our media is ignoring the other 68 constitutional reforms, which include lowering the voting age to 16, shortening the work week to 36 hours with no reduction of pay, putting the banks intopopular democratic control, and banning dis-crimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. I wish I could vote on such issues in this country!

It should be an exposure of all the mas-sive capitalist propaganda we receive in this country that Hugo Chavez is being called a dic-tator. If Hugo, the democratically elected, non-torturing, non-executing, dissent-allowing so-cialist is a dictator, how can we believe anything else they say about socialists? If they will so ob-viously lie about Hugo Chavez, how do we know they aren‟t lying about Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, or Mao Tse-Tung?

The definition that the capitalist media has of a dictator, as illustrated by their treatment of Hugo Chavez, is simple: Anti-Imperialist. The leaders of Saudi Arabia, who publicly be-head dissidents, are “Emirates” and “Saltans.” They let the U.S. oil companies have their way, so they are never subject to the smear campaign Hugo has received.

But Hugo Chavez, a man who endured kidnapping and numerous assassination at-tempts; a man who has stood up to the forces of Washington and Wall Street; a man who seeks a society in which no one goes hungry, no one starves, and there is justice for the people, this man is called by a media owned by the very capitalists he seeks to overthrow a “dictator.”
Alas, perhaps we should seek better news sources than this!


NOTE: Two responses to this article were sent to the Maelstrom E-mail. I will quote one of them, by a Libertarian Ron Paul Supporter, because it reveals their true colors.

The Author of this note identifies himself as "Dale Clark is a curmudgeonly former Akronite and B.W. Wannabe, active supporter of Ron Paul, NORML member and one of (maybe) seven registered Republicans in his current home of Portland, Oregon"

His lengthy Anti-Communist Rant, which did not refute any of my facts, but merely ran over Libertarian/John Birch talking points concluded with thus:

"As for you, Mr. Maupin, I hope jack-booted government thugs rape your mother in front of you as they haul you off"

Sounds like some good old fashioned Libertarian tolerance, respect, and freedom, right there. Thanks Dale! Keep 'em coming!

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