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View Diary: The U.S., selflessly concerned about democracy in Venezuela, questions integrity of election result (233 comments)

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  •  That's simple. (0+ / 0-)

    If the opposition had won by that amount in an election in which the it had defeated the party that has direct control over the counting of votes, there is no need to contest or ask for a recount.  (For example, relating to another comment above, Michelle Bachmann won her district by a lesser margin this time, but there was no recount, and a big reason for that is that the Democrats were in charge of the Secretary of State's office which counted the votes.)

    But in Venezuela, Maduro has authority to hire and fire the election commission, and they have provided numbers that show a narrow victory, which means that in all likelihood, they actually lost the election and massaged things to bring Maduro over the top (they almost certainly be out of jobs in a new administration, according to Venezuela's constitution).  

    The real question is whether the US would be asking for a recount if Maduro had not expelled an American diplomat just before the election to energize his base.  I don't think we would. This has to do with letting Maduro know that there is a price for picking a fight with the US, and I support that, and so should we all.

    •  so (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slatsg, JesseCW

      we're the bullies who get to push other countries around, and when they tell us that they don't like it very much we stamp our feet and pout?

      Yeah, that's really our national interest.

      What are you doing to fight the dangerous and counterproductive error of treating dirtbag terrorist criminals as though they were comic book supervillains? I can't believe we still have to argue this shit, let alone on Daily Kos.

      by happymisanthropy on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:53:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, (0+ / 0-)

        and I'm glad it is us who can be the bully, instead of someone else who has no values or discourse for individual human rights.

        It means the responsibility is on us Americans who have a say in our political system to keep us honest, and we did that by electing President Obama, twice, and by advocating or organizing politically for things we value or object to.  Many people in Venezuela can't do that any more because their system of government has changed to one that provides for executive hegemony and reduces the spaces for contesting power.  The fact that a lot of those people were rich folks who benefited from the neo-liberal corruption of pre-Chavez eras is incidental to the fact that basic individual liberties have now been lost in Venezuela, and that challenges the fundamental values of our country.  

        •  um (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slatsg, JesseCW

          as one of two countries in the world to officially endorse the coup against Chavez (by recognizing the new leaders as the legitimate government), on what basis can you possibly claim that we value individual human rights in South America?

          A hell of a lot more individual liberties would have been lost if the coup had succeeded.  

          What are you doing to fight the dangerous and counterproductive error of treating dirtbag terrorist criminals as though they were comic book supervillains? I can't believe we still have to argue this shit, let alone on Daily Kos.

          by happymisanthropy on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 04:03:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We did not officially endorse the coup, (0+ / 0-)

            but it was also a Republican administration then as well.

            The question, however, is what will we, with Obama as President, support if another coup happens, which I think is likely given the weakness of the Venezuelan state and Maduro's apparent lack of ability to compel the same allegiance that Chavez could among his allies?  Since he is not from a military background, and Venezuela's military is notoriously split, plus the fact that he will have to divert oil revenue from social spending to re-investing in Venezuela's dilapidated oil infrastructure to retain even the currently low level of production, I fear a coup is likely, and without any help from us.  

            Maduro isn't doing himself any favors by having picked a fight with Obama by expelling a diplomat for political gain, because he needs us to keep his job if a coup does happen.  Look for him to start cozying up to Obama in the months ahead, and for Obama to keep being cold.

          •  Sorry, I misread endorse for support (0+ / 0-)

            but my larger point still holds.  The reason we "endorsed" the coup is that Chavez was ending individual rights.  This of course conflicts with our other national values of self-determination, but we frequently side with rights of individuals over rights of nations, such as in Libya, Serbia, etc.  as well.  

            If the coup had succeeded, I think a lot of bad things could have happened to some people, but I think they would have a liberal democratic government that constitutionally upholds individual liberties in place, and people would be complaining about things other than loss of freedom of expression and property.

            •  "ending individual rights" (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW, CharlesII

              what individual rights had Chavez ended in 2002? You're just making this shit up.

              What are you doing to fight the dangerous and counterproductive error of treating dirtbag terrorist criminals as though they were comic book supervillains? I can't believe we still have to argue this shit, let alone on Daily Kos.

              by happymisanthropy on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 04:36:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Even by 2002 (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Riff

                Chavez had started to expropriate private property and threaten news organizations with closure in his infamous, day-long harangues on television.  This did not begin after the coup.  It began almost immediately after his first election.

                He had already taken up much of the prime-time broadcasting spaces for government programming, and journalists has already been complaining of harassment by government officials and censoring.  He used the incident of the failed coup to full advantage (which is why it was so dumb) to advance the process which had begun already with his first election. (It is a lesson learned by Correa in Ecuador, who is now accused by his critics (and I don't know who to really believe on this one anymore) of staging a self coup in order to obtain the needed mass opinion support against independent journalists to pass a constitutional amendment eliminating free press in that country too as of last year, while at the same time putting his biggest critics in jail or exile.)  

                Individual freedoms in the liberal tradition have been under attack in Venezuela since he was first elected.  That's why he lost the support of most of the middle class and immediately turned attention to the slums after his first election.  It was good politics, and it was part of the strategy, according to Chavez himself on his TV shows. It also supports the Gramsci model of socialism in which a new hegemony of mass rule replaces institutions of individual liberties without having to kill a bunch of people like Lenin did, a model which Chavez, like Correa and Morales, also frequently cited as "Bolivarian dream" goal for all of Latin America.  

                None of this should be news, but it is to many Americans who haven't been following the Spanish media.  He'd been saying all this himself since his first election.  he's never hidden his intentions since his first election to create a new model of socialism and replace the liberal democratic model that the US enjoys and has promoted.  

                That's why I cited elsewhere this piece which is very supportive of Chavez but supports the same points.  Chavez, and his allies Correa and Morales have a new am ambitious vision for governance that is based on ending the institutions of capitalism such as individual rights to speech and property in favor a Gramscian model of socialism without the guns and prison camps, but also without the wide protections of free speech and private property rights that liberal democracies enjoy.  That's why they're called radical democracies.  

            •  and, on a slightly related note, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW

              when is the last time the United States has been on the right side of any latin american dispute?  maybe the early 90s, but for the wrong reason even then?

              What are you doing to fight the dangerous and counterproductive error of treating dirtbag terrorist criminals as though they were comic book supervillains? I can't believe we still have to argue this shit, let alone on Daily Kos.

              by happymisanthropy on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 04:44:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Columbia against the FARC? (0+ / 0-)

                Peru against the Sendero Lumino?

                The general promotion of elections and democracy, which all countries now value when almost none did  before?  

                There have been some really serious wrongs, mostly perpetrated by America right-wing administrations.  But in general the US has not been bad for Latin America, and that is how most Latin Americans really feel about it if you ask them.

            •  utter crap, BS, and apologetics for more meddling. (0+ / 0-)

              you are a treasure trove and a bubbling fountain of imperialist swill.  You, Putin, the Chinese have very similar justifications. Just change the language, the target, the enemy list and you sound like you sing from the same jingoistic hymnal.  

              "If the coup had succeeded, I think a lot of bad things could have happened to some people, but I think they would have a liberal democratic government "

              You actually believe your own claptrap?  When has that scenario ever happened?   Too many poli sci classes , not enough ethics and history classes.

        •  The old Kipling 'white man's burden' reasoning (0+ / 0-)

          Oh, you are not about rolling Venezuela backwards to the oligopolies and large land owners and freedom of action and behavior by foreign, especially US corporations to run roughshod over the national and domestic interests of Venezuelans.   Not at all.  Except, a little, OK a lot.

          If Venezuela's Bolivaran revolution persists........

          Gee, that might send a signal, or set an example for us to follow! Horrors, the Democans and Republicrats would be so upset and falling about in fright, they might actually have to lose their do nothing jobs!  There might be some inspiration for Americans to do something similar here!

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