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President Hugo Chávez was a Hero

xveganrox 1,489 221 March 10, 2013 at 09:44 PM Get Bloomberg Businessweek Coupons
I really wasn't going to post this thread, but I can't stand how unfairly everyone has treated this man. Even typically liberal news sources seem willing to throw him under the bus just a few days after his death.

So here's a little picture of this man that everyone seems to hate, and what he did for Venezuela:

-- He fed the hungry. And there were a *lot* of very hungry Venezuelans. President Chavez did a lot to fix this. He opened 6000+ soup kitchens that made food freely available. He created a nationalized supermarket chain (that existed *alongside* private ones) with low cost state-brand food. [1]

-- He created jobs, with good wages. Poverty plummeted under his rule, from 50% in 1998 to 31.5% in 2008 (and even lower now). Extreme poverty plummeted from 29.5% to 9.5%. [2]

-- He helped create a healthier Venezuela. This is tied closely to his food programs. Infant mortality dropped from 21.4 in 1998 to 14.2 in 2006 (per 100,000) - that's a 33% drop in 8 years. [2] Access to clean drinking water rose from 80% to 92% over the same period. [2]

-- President Chavez's Venezuela had a serious violent crime problem. This hasn't changed entirely – it's still one of the most dangerous places in South America. Since he started the PNB (a new police force specifically in response to the violent crime and drug problems), murder rates dropped by 60% in about 4 years. [3]

So why all the hate?

-- He didn't like you. This is the one thing everyone seems to know. President Chavez was decidedly anti-American, anti-UK, and anti-first world in general in his speeches. I won't ask you to forgive him this – but in a country that struggles to stay together while fighting poverty and abuse from carpetbagging capitalists, it helps to have a common enemy. Look at the history of North America and Europe's interaction with South America – it's a history of abuse, from Cortez and his ilk to today's speculators and investors. President Chavez called President George W. Bush a "devil" and Tony Blair something I shan't quote, but he didn't do anything aggressive towards their respective nations, with the exception of…

-- OPEC manipulation. Whether you know it or not, this is likely the real reason you dislike President Chavez. This is part of why the media has conditioned us all to hate him: Venezuela is poor in many ways, but one natural resource it is rich in is oil. President Chavez did everything he could to manipulate and raise the prices of oil. A lot of corrupt people benefited from this – but so did the poor of Venezuela, because those higher oil prices turned into subsidized food and housing for those who couldn't afford to eat or rent.

So you can dismiss me as a blue-blood Commie if you want, and I won't take offense, but I for one recognize all the good that President Hugo Chavez did for Venezuela. If you totally ignore or disbelieve everything else I wrote here, though, please don't ignore this: While I believe that President Chavez helped the nation of Venezuela, I do NOT believe that his policies would be good in any way in the United States, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, etc. He was in some ways a tyrant, but Venezuela needed someone who was willing to strongarm people to make change happen. President Chavez would have been the worst president the United States had ever seen if he were elected here, but he was willing to do what was necessary to help Venezuela, and in my opinion that makes him a great man.

Don't judge other leaders by the standards of a first-world country. Capitalism and representative democracy are wonderful ideas, but when the reality is that half the country can't afford regular meals, idealism should be sacrificed for results.


1. Smith, G. (2010). "A Food Fight for Hugo Chavez." Bloomberg Businessweek. http://www.businessweek.com/magaz...603604.htm

2. Weisbrot, M., Ray, R. & Sandoval, L. (2009). The chavez administration at 10 years: The economy and social indicators. Center for Economic and Policy Research. http://www.cepr.net/documents/pub...009-02.pdf

3. Ellis, E. (2010). "New police force reduces crime." Correo del Orinoco. http://www.correodelorinoco.gob.v...COI-21.pdf

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#16
Quote from xveganrox View Post :
-- He fed the hungry. And there were a *lot* of very hungry Venezuelans. President Chavez did a lot to fix this. He opened 6000+ soup kitchens that made food freely available. He created a nationalized supermarket chain (that existed *alongside* private ones) with low cost state-brand food. [1]

-- He created jobs, with good wages. Poverty plummeted under his rule, from 50% in 1998 to 31.5% in 2008 (and even lower now). Extreme poverty plummeted from 29.5% to 9.5%. [2]

-- He helped create a healthier Venezuela. This is tied closely to his food programs. Infant mortality dropped from 21.4 in 1998 to 14.2 in 2006 (per 100,000) - that's a 33% drop in 8 years. [2] Access to clean drinking water rose from 80% to 92% over the same period. [2]
When Chavez came to power, oil was $9.30. By 2008, it was $126. You would have to be some kind of incredible, history making kleptomaniac to mess that up. And then he threw out all the American oil producers. Get out America! Stealing from us! F^#$ yea!!

So why then did the Chinese oil producers that were brought in operate with a higher margin than the Americans? If the Americans were stealing, then the Chinese were downright thieves of the highest magnitude. Doesn't matter; pissed off America at the cost of his own country.
Quote :
-- President Chavez's Venezuela had a serious violent crime problem. This hasn't changed entirely – it's still one of the most dangerous places in South America. Since he started the PNB (a new police force specifically in response to the violent crime and drug problems), murder rates dropped by 60% in about 4 years. [3]
There's an absolutely Radeck-esque sleight of hand there. Wow! Murder rates went down 60% in 4 years! Fantastic!

Over the course of Chavez's leadership, homicides tripled. So yea. Well done. *slow clap*

Whoops.
Quote :
-- He didn't like you. This is the one thing everyone seems to know. President Chavez was decidedly anti-American, anti-UK, and anti-first world in general in his speeches. I won't ask you to forgive him this – but in a country that struggles to stay together while fighting poverty and abuse from carpetbagging capitalists, it helps to have a common enemy. Look at the history of North America and Europe's interaction with South America – it's a history of abuse, from Cortez and his ilk to today's speculators and investors. President Chavez called President George W. Bush a "devil" and Tony Blair something I shan't quote, but he didn't do anything aggressive towards their respective nations, with the exception of…
It wasn't that he didn't like "us". "Us" don't really give a s%#$. Correa doesn't like us and nobody cares. It was that he disliked us so much that he took money and food out of his own peoples' mouths to do it.
Quote :
-- OPEC manipulation. Whether you know it or not, this is likely the real reason you dislike President Chavez. This is part of why the media has conditioned us all to hate him: Venezuela is poor in many ways, but one natural resource it is rich in is oil. President Chavez did everything he could to manipulate and raise the prices of oil. A lot of corrupt people benefited from this – but so did the poor of Venezuela, because those higher oil prices turned into subsidized food and housing for those who couldn't afford to eat or rent.
The world market in oil is far too robust for Chavez to have anything more than a passive effect. Venezuela should have been completely transformed in the last decade. It should look like Qatar. It doesn't. It looks like Cuba.
Quote :
He was in some ways a tyrant, but Venezuela needed someone who was willing to strongarm people to make change happen. President Chavez would have been the worst president the United States had ever seen if he were elected here, but he was willing to do what was necessary to help Venezuela, and in my opinion that makes him a great man.

Don't judge other leaders by the standards of a first-world country. Capitalism and representative democracy are wonderful ideas, but when the reality is that half the country can't afford regular meals, idealism should be sacrificed for results.
I don't wholly disagree with this, but Chavez great crime wasn't that he screwed with oil or saved people from starving temporarily. He was given the ultimate golden ticket and rather than transform Venezuela into an incredible economic powerhouse, he has maintained their position as just another south american hand to mouth economy. Granted, those hands have food in them but what they should have is a burgeoning middle class and a tide that raises all boats. That they don't is his great failing.

And that is why he is a failure. And that's why even the left in this country sneer at him.

But hey, at least Venezuela has an AK-47 factory now. And see? I didn't even bring up Tupamaros, La Piedrita or the FBLN. Or the Constitutional bulls#$%. Or the incredible corruption. Or the jailing of dissidents. Or the firing of how many public employees for signing the petition? Or the Supreme Court justice he fired from his death bed for disagreeing with him. Or the fact that he built less public housing in his 14 years than any president before him. Or Leopoldo Lopez. Or the 2010 elections. Or the radio/newspaper closings. Or the comically stupid arms purchases.
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Last edited by loop610bob March 11, 2013 at 08:35 AM.
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#17
he implemented one of the best cooperative models in the world in venezuela.
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Rumble, young man, rumble. These are interesting times we live in. Punctuation is key. Fruit is nature's candy.

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#18
Quote from thikthird View Post :
he implemented one of the best cooperative models in the world in venezuela.
LMAO

How so?
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#19
Quote from OhNoItsDEVO View Post :
LMAO

How so?
i mean, apparently you already disagree without even knowing a thing about it, so i don't see much of a point in expanding.
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#20
Quote from OhNoItsDEVO View Post :
LMAO

How so?
I wouldn't disagree with thikthird on this one. Venezuela is the one of the best communist style countries.
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If I appear to be ignoring your posts, it's probably because you are on my ignore list.

Xuéxi zhōngwén
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#21
Quote from Xygonn View Post :
I wouldn't disagree with thikthird on this one. Venezuela is the one of the best communist style countries.
Being flush with oil money helps.

And in all honesty, aside from squashing people's first amendment rights, confiscating private property of all sorts, jailing anyone who engaged in private transactions outside of state-approved prices, and devaluing the currency to no end, he wasn't totally evil.

He never attacked a foreign country. He forgave loans to other impoverished South American countries. He was friendly towards Cuba, a country that needs friends.
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#22
Quote from Danman114 View Post :
Being flush with oil money helps.

And in all honesty, aside from squashing people's first amendment rights, confiscating private property of all sorts, jailing anyone who engaged in private transactions outside of state-approved prices, and devaluing the currency to no end, he wasn't totally evil.

He never attacked a foreign country. He forgave loans to other impoverished South American countries. He was friendly towards Cuba, a country that needs friends.
You need only compare Venezuela with Brazil to see what one of the best Communist nations can do vs a typical "mixed" economy that leans capitalist.

GDP Per Capita
https://www.google.com/publicdata...&ind=false

Homicides
https://www.google.com/publicdata...&ind=false

Poverty
https://www.google.com/publicdata...&ind=false
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#23
Quote from xveganrox View Post :



Placing responsibility for the Syrian civil war on President Chavez's head is ridiculous. What uncited mainstream media source did you get that from? The civil war is a brutal affair, made worse by the sanctions that the US and EU have placed on President Bashar al-Assad. When an ally faces an uprising and you cut off and withhold their funds, you force them into a corner - which has made the uprising brutal and increased its length.
I don't place responsibility on Chavez, but he was fully aiding Assad with supplies. A "great man" wouldn't aid someone involved in a massacre of his people.
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#24
Yeah, and Stalin and Mao modernized their countries too! LMAO vomit
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#25
Quote from ironbmike View Post :
Yeah, and Stalin and Mao modernized their countries too! LMAO vomit
If you're making completely uninformed comparisons why not just get straight to the point and say he's Hitler?

Stalin and Mao massacred their people. They have about as much in common with President Chavez as they do with President Washington - which is to say, nothing at all. They were also communists, unlike Chavez (don't believe everything you see on Fox; socialism and communism aren't the same).
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President Hugo Chávez was a hero.
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Quote from ironbmike View Post :
Yeah, and Stalin and Mao modernized their countries too! LMAO vomit
and like them, Chavez came into office a man of modest means, and left with a reported $1 to $2 BILLION to his name...yeah, a REAL hero !! vomit

just another corrupt third world thug robbing his people blind while telling them that he's looking out for them, and the brainless sheep bought it.

his last words were begging doctors "please dont let me die"...yeah, a hero indeed.
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#27
Simple formula - give to the poor (e.g. buy votes). Now, he could get away with it for a long time via oil sales, but evidence indicates that the gravy train was heading for a cliff -

Recent news (pre-death):

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/09....html?_r=0

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela announced Friday that it was devaluing its currency, a step that had long been deemed necessary but could push the spiking inflation even higher. The devaluation, which lowered the currency's value against the dollar by nearly a third, was aimed at solidifying government finances and easing a tight market for dollars that has choked back imports and led to shortages of basic goods.

Current inflation rate is ~ 22% [tradingeconomics.com].

So the masses were more or less happier, but heaven forbid you speak out against the regime.....
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Quote from Radeck View Post :
and like them, Chavez came into office a man of modest means, and left with a reported $1 to $2 BILLION to his name...yeah, a REAL hero !! vomit

just another corrupt third world thug robbing his people blind while telling them that he's looking out for them, and the brainless sheep bought it.

his last words were begging doctors "please dont let me die"...yeah, a hero indeed.
was there an article on his last words?
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Quote from Sokiru View Post :
was there an article on his last words?
just google "chavez dont let me die" to see several articles...here are a couple.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/w...e-die.html
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_new...-says?lite
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#30
Quote from Radeck View Post :
and like them, Chavez came into office a man of modest means, and left with a reported $1 to $2 BILLION to his name...yeah, a REAL hero !! vomit

just another corrupt third world thug robbing his people blind while telling them that he's looking out for them, and the brainless sheep bought it.

his last words were begging doctors "please dont let me die"...yeah, a hero indeed.
the real heroes are the ones making fun of a dead man who helped millions of his countrymen because they prefer an economic system that starves the poor.
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