Saturday, May 26, 2007

Venezuela dictator Chavez goes too far

Chavez has united the Senate Republicans and Democrats. Hugo Chavez was elected President, but he has step-by-step taken control of Venezuela - everything. In the lucrative oil business he fired the professionals and hired his political supporters. Food - Daniel at Venezuela News blog has photographs showing that, though the grocery shelves are not bare, the variety is gone: no mayonaise, the variety of cooking oil replaced by only olive oil (and water?). Bread? only one loaf. Meat? only turkey.
The reasons are very complex but of a very simple origin: the price control policies and the currency exchange regulation. These have been greatly aggravated by an increased purchasing power from the lower classes. Note that of course I am delighted to know that through diverse grants and public pseudo jobs many have access to enough food, but the problem is that not only production has not followed but in many areas it has dropped as consumption increased!!!!
But he went too far when he announced closure of RCTV, the most popular TV station. Everyone watches it instead of his dreary government channels. Investor's Business Daily:
If Chavez didn't rule by decree, the shutdown would be politically impossible. RCTV is Venezuela's biggest and most popular TV station. But it has also been a thorn in Chavez's side, and he wants revenge. He claims RCTV soap operas offend public decency. But that isn't the public's verdict as it keeps watching RCTV over Chavez's own dull and low-rated government stations. Chavez is calling the shutdown a move against oligarchy. But that, too, is false, given that just about everyone opposes the move.
Even a US Senator with a track record of supporting at least one Communist dictator opposes him.
In the U.S., Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who once championed Nicaragua's Marxist Sandinistas, co-sponsored a Foreign Relations Committee resolution condemning Chavez's move and urging the Organization of American States to intervene. "President Chavez's efforts to crack down on freedom of thought and expression are inconsistent with the rights and values that all democratic nations should embrace and protect," said Dodd. "It also raises concerns about a much larger threat to human rights in Venezuela, one that we in the United States must not ignore." Then every other senator running for president piled on as a co-sponsor — Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain — signalling consensus, and concern, about credibility with voters.

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