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Chavez – Bush Represent Western Conflict In Ideologies


By James Donahue

Nov. 22, 2005


Most Americans probably were paying little attention to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez until Televangelist Pat Robertson recently suggested Chavez’s assassination during comments on his 700 Club television show.


Within weeks Chavez popped up in American media again as he publicly blasted efforts by President George W. Bush to persuade 34 leaders of the nations of the Americas to accept a US plan to open borders to free trade. While Bush met with dignitaries in Argentina, Chavez spoke to an estimated 40,000 Latin Americans in a nearby sports stadium. The protest later expanded with an estimated 100,000 protesters marching in the streets.


Chavez, an outspoken socialist, called the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) an expansion of US-styled capitalism and wanted no part of it.


“I think we came here to bury FTAA. I brought my shovel,” Chavez told the crowds. “The planet is being destroyed under our own noses by the capitalist model, the destructive engine of development. Every day there is more hunger, more misery, thanks to the neo-liberal, capitalist model.”


In a radio broadcast from Venezuela, Chavez described the pact as an imperialist, colonialist and hegemonic scheme of the United States. He stressed the importance of the unity of Latin American workers in a struggle for building a “one single great nation” across the region.


Chavez called his plan the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, ALBA, a socialist plan that he said is already alive and functioning.


Since that fateful meeting, the rhetoric between the United States and its allies, and the Chavez camp, has heated. Chavez branded Mexican President Vicente Fox a “lapdog” of U.S. imperialism for backing Washington’s trade policies at the Argentina summit. That remark came close to breaking diplomatic ties between Mexico and Venezuela.


Last week Washington’s top diplomat for Latin America, Thomas Shannon, called Venezuela a “threat to regional stability.”


Shannon said the Bush Administration is “working multilaterally” to “support Venezuelan civil society, speak out against abuses of democracy and hold the Venezuelan government accountable to its commitments under the Inter-American Democratic Charter.”


He went on to say the administration is “reaching out, at a bilateral level, to our partners in the hemisphere and in Europe to do the same, and sensitizing them to the threat to regional stability poised by the Venezuelan government’s arms shopping spree and its support for radical political movements.”


And that, in spite of its high-sounding political rhetoric, pissed Chavez off.


“The planet’s most serious danger is the government of the United States . . .The people of the United States are being governed by a killer, a genocidal murderer and a madman,” Chavez said at a meeting the following day in Caracas.


Thus the right-wing campaign to spread US-styled capitalism and democracy throughout the world is being thwarted by a most formidable foe in President Chavez.


If you listen to what Chavez has to say, and watch his actions, you may find that the man’s arguments against capitalism make a lot of sense.


This week, as if to empasize my point, Venezuela agreed to provide thousands of low income residents of Massachusetts winter heating oil at a discounted price. The state owned oil company will supply the oil at 40 percent below the market price. The agreement gives Venezuela standing as a provider of heating assistance to poor US residents at a time when US oil companies have been reluctant to do so and Congress has failed to expand aid in response to rising oil prices.


A stark comparison is exhibited between socialist thinking and capitalist thinking. Which do you like best?


While once a model for the world to watch, the United States system as degenerated in recent years to a system of corporate enslavement of the working class. Chavez wants to spread the wealth around so that all people share equally in the fruits of their labor. He wants to assure education and medical benefits for all of the people.


When you think about it, Chavez wants the same thing most people in the United States want, but are no longer getting.


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