Official U.S. support for bands of killers dates back to the nation’s inception, likely one reason H. Rap Brown called violence “as American as cherry pie.” The country’s founding father helped start the trend when he sent General John Sullivan to Iroquois territory in 1779, giving him explicit instructions “that the country may not be merely overrun, but destroyed.” “It will be essential to ruin their crops,” the Town Destroyer—as Washington became known—emphasized. Sullivan and his men brought their adventure to a close when they “skinned the bodies of Indians from the hips downward, to make boot tops or leggings,” historian Ernest Cruikshank wrote in the late 1800s, prompting a contemporary, John Watts de Peyster, to wonder “which were the savages, the Continental troops or the Indians,” in the situation just described.
Scholars today tend to remark only that Washington seems “more a monument than a man,” as Gordon Wood never tires of pointing out; Wood spoke a month ago at an event celebrating Washington’s birthday, beginning with the premise that the first U.S. president was great, and proceeding from there. Bertrand Russell once criticized medieval philosophy for assuming in advance it knew the truth, thereby avoiding genuine inquiry—still apparently a prerequisite for academic success, given Wood’s reputation.
The belief that indigenous groups wasted the opportunities the land provided drove policies of dispossession and extermination, the latter being the term Jefferson, Jackson, and other luminaries favored. Little wonder Hitler admired this facet of U.S. history. During the California Gold Rush, whites murdered and raped the region’s native inhabitants, some of whom had known there was gold in the area, without valuing it as an exploitable resource. What could the land’s rightful owners do with such people? “Why not annihilation?” Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum asked in an 1890 editorial, capturing the zeitgeist.
These assumptions about the right to control territories, and the obstacles blocking enlightened developers from achieving their aims, grew more expansive after the Native American genocide. As WWII drew to a close, U.S. planners outlined a system of “foreign missions throughout the world” in conformity with corporate aims. “We are colonizing to some extent,” Representative Eugene Worley (D-TX) affirmed, not quite doing justice to Washington’s plans to copy the British imperial model—“a good goal to shoot at, because they are the masters,” the American Maritime Council’s John E. Otterson argued, voicing views his audience, a House subcommittee, received well. After listening to Assistant Secretary of State Adolf Berle’s 1943 discussion of U.S. intentions to govern the planet’s skies, Representative Charles A. Eaton (R-NJ) asked him to “define for us the difference in principle between Mr. Hitler’s program to obtain control of all land and all peoples and all oceans and seas, and the proposed program now for America to obtain control of all the air on earth[.]”
One of Eaton’s colleagues clarified the distinction: the U.S. sought “world power as trustee for civilization,” while Hitler wanted it merely “for the benefit of a bunch of Nazi gangsters.” Any student of U.S. history should have been able to recognize the country’s pure intentions—and if, for some reason, the examples of Town Destroyer and the Gold Rush proved unpersuasive, the coming decades would further testify to its benevolence. In 1976, we see that Secretary of State Kissinger encouraged the Argentine government to carry on with its dirty war, in which the military “disappeared” as many as 30,000 people. “The quicker you succeed the better,” the Nobel Peace Laureate stressed, and by the late ’70s the CIA was bringing Argentine officers into Honduras, so they could teach their Central American counterparts what they had mastered.
Doris Rosibel Benavides Tarrius, a young psychologist, experienced first-hand the Honduran students’ aptitude. Security forces abducted her in March 1987, taking her to a facility where they raped her, and strung her up on a metal bar to shock her feet and breasts, in what was called an “airplane position.” A decade earlier, an Argentine mechanic named Marcos Queipo watched as military planes passed over the Paraná Delta, dropping mysterious packages that plummeted to the riverbanks far below. Horacio Verbitsky, an investigative journalist, learned about these flights years later, when a stranger approached him in the Buenos Aires subway. “I want to talk to you,” the man said, explaining he had helped prosecute the dirty war. “You’ll see that we did things worse than the Nazis,” Adolfo Scilingo continued, subsequently telling of how he pushed several thousand suspected subversives, each drugged into a stupor but still alive, out of airplanes. Queipo saw some of their bodies in the packages he opened, though most of the murdered have never been found.
The killings continue in Honduras, where violence targeting lawyers, human rights defenders, LGBT people, women and others has intensified since the June 2009 coup. Two School of the Americas graduates helped topple the democratically-elected leader that month, and Obama supported the ensuing presidential election, a farce the mainstream media would have ridiculed had it taken place in, say, Venezuela. Last fall, the Honduran Commission of Truth identified several patterns of repression endangering the public, which the World Bank never mentions in the summary of its “Safe Municipalities Project,” ostensibly aimed at promoting “citizen security.” One of the Bank’s real goals seems to be expanding the Honduran police’s reach into areas like Choloma—“a dustbin industrial mecca for maquiladoras,” as scholar-activist Adrienne Pine described it. Juan Carlos Bonilla, accused of extrajudicial killings, oversees the entire Honduran National Police, even though the State Department tried to claim otherwise, saying it directed U.S. funds only to vetted units outside his purview.
I know there are many on the left, like Obama, who believe the US has oppressed other countries and some liberal educators are teaching this in history classes and teaching students that US policy is the reason Muslim terrorists and others hate America. Yet they fail to see the good we have done as a country and around the world, as millions want to immigrate here every year and many come here illegally paying human traffickers to bring them here or sneaking across our borders.
No Surprise...More Reason To Be Selective-Poll: 138 Million People Want To Move To US http://sco.lt/94vQJt
If the US is such a horrible country why do so many people want to live here? Why do those who claim to hate us and call themselves Americans continue to live here??
I'm not a historian but this essay at "Counterpunch'' sounds rather anti-American. While I don't believe the US should police the world, we do have to maintain a status of power otherwise the void will be filled by countries like Communist China, Russia, or others who do not have the best interests of human rights and freedom in mind. How much of this essay is factual to you??
Venezuela's opposition leader said Friday that Vice President Nicolas Maduro had "shamelessly" lied to the country and accused him of using Hugo Chavez's funeral to campaign for the presidency.
Henrique Capriles also said in a speech that the opposition had asked to attend Chavez's funeral but was told "better that you don't come."
Capriles spoke condescendingly of Maduro, calling him "boy."
APOpposition leader Henrique Capriles holds up... View Full Caption
Capriles lost the Oct. 7 presidential election to Chavez. He said he decided to speak Friday to object to the ruling earlier in the day by the country's highest court that Maduro had become acting president the moment Chavez died.
The government announced Thursday night that Maduro would be sworn in Friday night. He will be the governing socialists' presidential candidate in the vote to replace Chavez.
Capriles said he had withheld criticism since Chavez's death out of respect, but could no longer hold his tongue at what he saw as a power grab.
"I tell you clearly, Nicolas, I am not going to speak of the times you lied to the country, shamelessly," Capriles said. "The people have not voted for you, boy."
Under the constitution, the head of Congress, Diosdado Cabello, would assume the interim presidency.
However, Mr Maduro is Chavez's self-annointed successor and has been holding the reigns since the president's health took a turn for the worse.
The man Chavez defeated in October's presidential elections, Miranda state Governor Henrique Capriles, is expected to represent the opposition in any new national polls.
More: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Dies--Successor is VP who claims US gave Chavez cancer! http://sco.lt/4tz7tR
As Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez lay dying, his vice president lashed out, accusing enemies of somehow inducing cancer in the leftist leader. At the same time, Nicolas Maduro expelled two U.S. diplomats from the country.
In accusing the U.S., Maduro was repeating claims that Chavez made before he died. Following his diagnosis in 2011, Chavez charged that the U.S. had “given” him cancer. Maduro said he had “no doubt” Chavez's illness was induced by "the historical enemies of our homeland.”
Dr. Samadi noted that the Venezuelan government has released few details about the cancer. However, it has been described as a pelvic tumor, which Dr. Samadi said leads him to believe that the Chavez most likely suffered from prostate cancer, which is “the most common pelvic cancer in men.” Another possibility is that it was a soft tissue cancer called a sarcoma, he said.
“When you have cancer of this type, the first surgery is the best option for a cure,” said Dr. Samadi. Robotic surgery, which he performs, is the best option because, he noted, “the mass can hide under the pelvic bone, and with robotic surgery, we’re able to get into blind areas, which would have given him a better chance for a cure.”
“People in Latin America should know that, in the hands of experienced surgeons who are experienced in the latest treatments, he could be still be alive,” Dr. Samadi said.
Serrano: “Chavez Changed the Conversation In Latin America”
Washington, DC – March 5, 2013 –Congressman José E. Serrano today mourned the death of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.
“President Chavez was a controversial leader. But at his core he was a man who came from very little and used his unique talents and gifts to try to lift up the people and the communities that reflected his impoverished roots. He believed that the government of the country should be used to empower the masses, not the few. He understood democracy and basic human desires for a dignified life. His legacy in his nation, and in the hemisphere, will be assured as the people he inspired continue to strive for a better life for the poor and downtrodden.”
What a delusional nutcase..no wonder DEMs support Obama. Obama is following the same path to socialism as Chavez did. He believed in redistribution of wealth as well and claimed to support the poor, but all he did was keep the poor down. He didn't empower them through socialism, he made them dependent on the government. That is not empowerment!
Venezuela's top civilian and military officials meet at the presidential palace after the government announced that cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez had taken a turn for the worse, according to state-run television.
According to reports on Fox News, the VP is speaking to the Venezuelan govt now...perhaps discussing a transition as Chavez health continues to worsen....if he is still alive?
That's because Obama grew up a Muslim in Indonesia and was born to a Muslim father and raised by a Muslim step-father during his fundamental years in Indonesia. According to Muslim law, once a Muslim by birth/blood, always a Muslim. If you leave Islam you are an apostate/traitor and should be killed. However, many Muslims practice taquia as written in the Koran, which allows them to lie if it helps to promote their cause/jihad.[war against infidels/non-Muslims]
He loves the sound of the Muslim 'call to prayer' and says the US is no longer a Christian nation. He mocks Christ and the Bible and then claims to be a practicing Christian, while rarely attending church since he was elected in 2008. His former Pastor of 20yrs is a racist, anti-American, anti-Semite Islamist lover who says 'G*d Damn America'.
Watch http://2016themovie.com if you want to know the real Obama and the reason he is who he is today. It is the most accurate represenation of his rage against America and our way of life. He despises our exceptionalism and sees us as occupiers in other countries who have oppressed the poor around the world, despite giving millions in aid to our enemies in Egypt, Saudia Arabia, Pakistan, Gaza, Afghanistan, etc.
Obama is a fool, a traitor, an economic ignoramous or he knows exactly what he is doing and is accidentally doing it on purpose. He's a narcissist and just about everything else you can imagine and most of all he's deceitful and sadly thousands re-elected him because he uses class warfare and race baiting and promises of 'great things' like more welfare&entitlements to earn people's votes and trust....kind of like Chavez does in Venezuela and Hitler did in Germany and other tyrants have done throughout the years to deceive the 'useful idiots'. Sadly we will all pay the price of their incompetence, denial and naivety.
The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama--And An American Story http://sco.lt/995JjN Obama's drones and kill list
PETITION:Recount the election! Over 96,000 have already signed!! Repost Everywhere! http://sco.lt/7jSneD
CARACAS - President Hugo Chavez won his bid for re-election Sunday in the most unscrupulous electoral exercise these commentators have witnessed in 20 presidential contests spanning 56 years.
Venezuela's economic decline under Chavez's 14-year rule has come despite its enormous oil wealth -- production has fallen by one-third. Venezuelans had every right to vote for a change, and they did. But the Chavez regime snatched it from them.
The 54 percent to 44 percent Chavez victory declared by the National Electoral Council, or CNE, numbering four chavistas and one opositor, simply ignored multiple allegations of ghost voter registrations, extensive delaying tactics, dubious voting machine problems and, most of all, outright intimidation.
As early as last February, noted socio-political critic Eric Ekvall wrote persuasively about the illegal registration issue, stating that Caracas voting lists had been grossly inflated, with no substantive action taken by CNE or the opposition United Democratic Movement to correct the situation.
Prior to the election, the consulate in Miami -- home to the largest Venezuelan expatriate community of more than 20,000 -- was simply closed. Expatriate voters were told they would have to travel to New Orleans to vote.
CNE officials in at least three Caracas voting centers refused to permit manual voting, as prescribed by CNE regulations, when backup voting machines functioned improperly, stopping voting entirely for several hours.
At a Montalban polling center in Caracas, chavista thugs fired shots at the building, successfully intimidating voters.
Following expat voting in London, Chavez's ambassador refused to have the ballots counted in public, as required. The same happened in New Orleans.
Despite efforts to offset fears, recent polling found 40 percent of Venezuelans still believed their votes were not secret. Yet Capriles spoke not a word about Chavez's massive fraud-by-fear campaign or the accompanying pay-for-votes program. In avoiding these crucial factors, Capriles tacitly welcomed Chavez to lead Venezuela for six more years of tempest and turmoil, quite possibly jeopardizing his own political future.
Chavez continues in defiance of his hero Simon Bolivar, who stated 193 years ago: "Nothing is as dangerous as allowing a citizen to be in power for a long time. People get used to obeying and he to commanding them, which is how usurpation of power and tyranny originate."
The opposition candidate Henrique Capriles quickly accepted the result. But on Sunday night and throughout Monday, reports that votes were manipulated began to circulate on social media sites like Twitter.
This prompted some Venezuelans to express their distaste with the country's electoral system, and create a hashtag called #fraudeVenezuela, which became a trending topic.
The Monday night protest was made up of about 250 people, mostly university students, in Caracas' Altamira neighborhood.
"We're tired of being stepped on," said Ligia Cabruja, an audiovisual production student at a local university. "Six more years of this government would be an abuse a dictatorship," added the student, who pointed out that Chavez has held power in Venezuela since 1999.
Students at the protest spoke about a report that is circulating online which claims that 2.9 million votes in Venezuela were not properly counted. Venezuela's opposition leaders have dismissed such information.
Updated at 11:06 p.m. ET: CARACAS - With 90 percent of the votes in, President Hugo Chavez was declared the winner in the Venezuela presidential election Sunday night.
Chavez hopes Obama gets re-elected...why if he doesn't consider the US an ally??
Since Chavez was re-elected crude oil prices are expected to increase according to oil industry experts.Oil production in Venezuela is down 30% in last decade. Under Chavez food is in short supply and crime is rampant.
My commentary is in brackets below....it's a sad day for the future of Venezuela. It looks like the future will remain the same if not get worse as Chavez retains power for a third term. After 14yrs of living under socialism and his dictatorship, the poor have become so dependent on the government and entitlements they feel helpless and unable to provide for themselves. They chose big government over an opportunity to become self-reliant with reduced state regulations and increased private investment opportunities if Capriles, Chavez 40yr old opponent would have introduced if he had won.
With 90 percent of votes counted, Chavez had more than 54 percent of the vote to 45 percent for challenger Henrique Capriles, an athletic 40-year-old former state governor who unified and energized the opposition while barnstorming across the oil-exporting nation.
Chavez's charisma, well-oiled political machine and a legacy of putting Venezuela's poor first with generous social welfare programs proved hard to defeat... Chavez will now have a freer hand to push for an even bigger state role in the economy and continue populist programs. He's also likely to further limit dissent and deepen friendships with U.S. rivals.
One pro-Chavez voter, private bodyguard Carlos Julio Silva, said that whatever his faults, Chavez deserved to win for spreading the nation's oil wealth to the poor with free medical care, public housing and other government largess. The country has the world's largest proven oil reserves.[this is what Obama is attempting to do here by redistributing the wealth, increasing social welfare/entitlement programs, doign away with the welfare to work program and passing his own amnesty for Dreamers;this creates a dependent group of voters who will remain loyal to him]
Chavez's critics say the president has inflamed divisions by labeling his opponents "fascists," ''Yankees" and "neo-Nazis," and it's likely hard for many of his opponents to stomach another six years of the loquacious and conflictive leader.[something Obama has done with race warfare, class warfare, calling Conservatives&prolifers extremists and "teabaggers']
Some said before the vote that they'd consider leaving the country if Chavez won.[some may do that here if Obamao is re-elected]
Gino Caso, an auto mechanic, said Chavez is power-hungry and out of touch with problems such as crime. He said his son had been robbed, as had neighboring shops.[Obama turns a blind eye to increased crime around the country, particularly black on white crime, including the flash mobs that have sprung up around the country the past few years, threats from the NBPP against the lives of private citizens like George Zimmerman and voter intimidation.]
"I don't know what planet he lives on," Caso said, gesturing with hands blackened with grease. "He wants to be like Fidel Castro - end up with everything, take control of the country." [sounds like Obama's plan for fundamentally transforming America]
The government spent lavishly during the campaign to boost Chavez's chances, likely ensuring healthy economic growth of 4 to 5 percent this year but potentially paving the way for an inflation-fueled hangover in 2013.
In the past, Chavez has taken advantage of election wins to press forward with radical reforms, and there is speculation that his taste for nationalizations may turn to some untouched corners of Venezuela's banking, food and health industries.[something Obama has started his first term and will fully implement if re-elected]
Having already controversially amended the constitution to scrap presidential term limits, Chavez might also be tempted to tinker with it further to ensure continuity for his ruling Socialist Party should his cancer return.[something else I'm sure Obama would love to do in a second term]
The constitution states that if an incumbent steps down in the first four years of a six-year term, a new vote would be called. Under such a scenario, Capriles or another opposition candidate would have another crack at power.
Chavez's win will probably mean more foreign investment from politically allied countries such as China, Russia, Iran and Belarus, while Western investors are more cautious. Relations with Washington are also likely to remain on edge, though Venezuelan oil has continued to flow to the United States over the years despite the diplomatic tension.
Wall Street had been hoping for a Capriles win, so prices of Venezuelan bonds - among the most actively-traded emerging market debt - are likely to dip on Chavez's triumph.[something we can expect if Obama is re-elected]
UPDATE 1:45 AM via DailyCaller.com
Venezuela Twitter users have claimed Chavez’s victory was wrought with election fraud, and that the socialist incumbent president sent tanks into the streets of his country as those exit poll reports showed him losing. A picture of the tanks surfaced on Twitter Sunday evening.
The British Guardian newspaper reported that Chavez also sent troops armed with AK-47s into Venezuela’s streets to fight against any protests in case unrest came as a result of the news.
A Spanish news outlet reported earlier on Sunday that exit polls showed Capriles defeated the socialist president by a narrow margin.
According to an English language translation of the local report, based on Google Translate, Chavez is headed for defeat:
The candidate of the Democratic Unity Table (MUD), Henrique Capriles, is leading against Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez in the presidential elections held on Sunday … according to exit polls by consultancy Variance prior to the closing of polling stations. The time set for the closing was 12:30 a.m. Spanish time, however, and because of the long lines in some of them, polls have remained open without a definite closure time.
Despite the fact that Venezuelan law expressly prohibits the publication of polls, the Spanish outlet was free to conduct its polls. Its exit surveys indicate that Capriles won 51.3 percent of the vote, compared to Chavez’s 48.06 percent.
Variance director Rafael Delgado explained to Caracol Radio that the exit poll surveys were conducted in the Capital District and in the states of Zulia, Lara, Aragua, Miranda, Carabobo and Anzoategui.
If this data is confirmed in the final vote tally, Delgado said, it would end Chavez’s thirteen year reign as Venezuela’s leader and usher in a new political reality for the country and region.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Members of Venezuela's National Assembly say postelection tensions set off a brawl between lawmakers that left one opposition assembly member badly bruised and bleeding.Opposition assembly member Ismael Garcia tells The...
Congressman Gregory W. Meeks Statement on his Upcoming Trip Representing the United States at the Funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
WASHINGTON, D.C.--Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee released the following statement on his upcoming trip representing the United States at the Funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez:
“I am honored to be a part of a delegation that will represent the United States at the Funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday, March 8. I will be joined on this delegation by former U.S. Representative William Delahunt, and U.S. Embassy Caracas Chargé d'Affaires James Derham.
“My deepest sympathies go out to the family of President Chavez and the people of Venezuela. Venezuela is an important nation to the Western Hemisphere. I remain committed to building the relationship between our nations. As always, I stand in continued support of the Venezuelan people especially at this time of mourning."(End)
What a waste of money that was...how much did that trip cost us?? Did we send someone to Kim Jung's funeral when he died too?
Ha-Joon Chang: The UK's problems go far deeper than the cuts agenda.
They are leading the way for the US....just like Greece, Spain and others have already collapsed into economic chaos, how soon will we be where they are at and eventually a third world country like Venezuela?? Hopefully we can stop the destruction in 2014. Sadly we didn't get to vote Obama out in 2012, but I have hope for 2014 now that Obama has been exposed for his corrupt and destructive ways. He is exposing himself more and more whether the mainstream media tries to cover for him or not, it's getting harder and harder to cover the lies and destruction, especially now that he's using the sequester cuts to abuse his power against the people and reducing national security.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died at the age of 58 after losing his long battle with cancer.
The country's vice president, Nicolas Maduro, announced the death in a national television broadcast.
He said Chavez died at 4.25 pm local time "after battling a tough illness for nearly two years".
The fiery populist leader's condition had been said to be deteriorating in recent days.
He had been undergoing cancer treatment in Cuba on and off since June 2011 - when he was first diagnosed with the illness.
The announcement came just hours after Mr Maduro announced the government had expelled two US diplomats from the country.
He said "we have no doubt" that Chavez's illness was induced by foul play by "the historical enemies of our homeland".
The government announced late Monday that Chavez's condition was "very delicate" due to a "new, severe" respiratory infection.
Chevez had not been seen in public or heard since undergoing a fourth round of surgery in Cuba on December 11 in the pelvic area
The government said he returned home on February 18, and had been confined to Caracas' military hospital ever since.
During more than 14 years in office, Chavez routinely challenged the status quo at home and internationally.
He declared a socialist revolution in Venezuela, crusaded against US influence, championed a leftist revival across Latin America, and over time, gradually placed all state institutions under his personal control.
But the former army paratrooper commander, who rose to fame by launching a failed 1992 coup, never groomed a successor.
His death sets up a snap presidential election after his illness prevented him from taking the oath of office when he was re-elected last year.
Under the constitution, the head of Congress, Diosdado Cabello, would assume the interim presidency.
However, Mr Maduro is Chavez's self-annointed successor and has been holding the reigns since the president's health took a turn for the worse.
The man Chavez defeated in October's presidential elections, Miranda state Governor Henrique Capriles, is expected to represent the opposition in any new national polls.
His successor is a former bus driver who didn't graduate high school, but Chavez chose him as successor despite the Constitution recognizing the head of Congress as the interim president. Nicolas Maduro was chosen by Chavez for his loyalty to Chavez and his support of his socialist policies.
Today his self appointed successor claimed the US was responsible for infecting Chavez with cancer and said they would seek some type of retaliation and expelled two US diplomats:
Hours before Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died, his second-in-command accused enemies of giving him cancer and announced the expulsion of two U.S. diplomats for an alleged plot to destabilize the government.
"There's no doubt that Commandante Chavez's health came under attack by the enemy," Vice President Nicolas Maduro said in an address to the nation from the presidential palace.
"The old enemies of our fatherland looked for a way to harm his health,'' according to Maduro, drawing a parallel to the illness and 2004 death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, which some supporters blamed on poisoning by Israeli agents.
He said a special commission would investigate how Chavez, 58, ended up with the unspecified cancer that months of chemotherapy and radiation and four surgeries failed to tame.
State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in a statement it was "absurd" to suggest that the U.S. was somehow involved in Chavez's illness.
Maduro accused one of them, David Delmonaco, of spying and meeting with Venezuelan military officials for nefarious purposes. The expulsion of the second, Devlin Kostal, was announced soon after.
Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale said Delmonaco would be leaving Caracas and that Kostal was already in the U.S. and denied the allegations against them.
"We completely reject the Venezuelan government's claim that the United States is involved in any type of conspiracy to destabilize Venezuela government," he said.
Ventrell also dismissed the accusations.
As a result it doesn't sound like US-Venezuela relations will improve. Hugo Chavez called the US the great emperor and saw the US as a threat and believed the US sought a military coup against him in 2008. Chavez nationalized business and banks in Venezuela, telling the people he believed in "spreading the wealth'', much like Obama has done in the US after saying he wants to 'spread the wealth' and nationalizing the car industry with a bailout and the banks.
The president had not been seen in public for the three months but the cult of his personality kept his leadership alive.
Hugo Chavez was one of the most charismatic and controversial leaders of our time.
A master of the spotlight, his military fatigues and synthetic red tracksuits underlining his socialist credentials made him a photographer's dream.
Best of all were the shots that captured him with his pet parrot, named after a Venezuelan General, and sometimes sporting a tiny red beret to match his own.
No wonder he caught the imagination of Hollywood filmstars and directors. One day attending premieres with Oliver Stone, the next sharing jokes with Naomi Campbell.
Mr Chavez in a Cuban hospital with his daughters
Mr Chavez was a former soldier who was elected president in 1998, after being imprisoned for a failed coup seven years earlier.
His nineties brand of revolutionary socialism won him plenty of affection amongst the poor, with many of his supporters viewing him with almost religious reverence.
It was an emotional connection he was happy to milk on his weekly television show, Alo Presidente. The masses tuning in for his rambling poetry recitals and even stranger song and dance routines.
His country's vast oil reserves gave the president the money to tackle poverty, boosting spending on health and education. But corruption and mismanagement left the economy struggling and democracy withered under his rule.
An increasingly autocratic Mr Chavez changed the constitution to allow unlimited presidential terms, stamped hard on press freedom and nationalised many of the country's industries.
A natural firebrand, he didn't confine himself to Latin American politics. Instead he took on the West by courting fellow controversial figures like Cuba's Fidel Castro and Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, forging a close alliance with Iran and offering Argentina support on the Falklands.
But Mr Chavez saved most of his wrath for the Americans, regularly referring to George W Bush as Mr Danger, and accusing Washington of "fighting terror with terror" in Afghanistan.
In one particularly bellicose statement in 2006 he appeared at the UN a day after the former American president and stated: "The Devil came here yesterday. It smells of sulphur still".
The Obama White House has expressed relief at Chavez's death and believe Hugo Chavez was trying to cause trouble between the US and Venezuela, and calling GWB "the Devil''. Obama has finally issued a short statement in response to the death of Hugo Chavez, stating that he hopes the people of Venezuela will reach out for democracy and peacful policies and respect for the rule of law. [That's almost laughable considering Obama has been following similar policies in the US and ignoring the rule of law when it comes to immigration, DOMA and nationaling banks and the auto industry.
US representatives and analysts see the death of Chavez as a blow for socialism and could be an opportunity for South American countries to revive their economies and move away from socialism. Cuba has the largest oil reserves in the world, but has given Cuba a lot of power in the world market despite competition with Saudi Arabia.
According to the AP, Chavez chosen successor Maduro is a loyalist who would keep Chavez legacy and policies in place.
However, "Maduro now faces the daunting task of rallying support in a deeply divided country while maintaining unity within his party's ranks.
Maduro decidedly lacks the vibrant personality that made Chavez a one-man political phenomenon in Venezuela, but he has the advantage of being Chavez's hand-picked successor.
The mustachioed 50-year-old former bus driver won Chavez's trust as a loyal spokesman who echoed the president's stances. How Maduro will lead in Chavez's absence remains to be seen, although he's widely known as both a skilled negotiator and a leader who views upholding his mentor's legacy as his personal crusade and responsibility.
One of the biggest tasks Maduro will likely face is attempting to hold together a diverse movement that includes radical leftists, moderates and many current and former military officers.
Analysts have speculated that differences might emerge between factions led by Maduro and Diosdado Cabello, the influential National Assembly president who is thought to wield power within the military. But thus far both men have denied such divisions and vowed to remain united.
After Chavez's Dec. 11 cancer surgery, Maduro stepped up his public appearances to fill the void, providing regular updates on the president's condition, calling for unity among allies and lambasting the opposition.
Maduro also showed how he could attempt to continue Chavez's socialist-inspired project. Speaking at one December rally, he vowed in vague terms to maintain policies that have angered the country's leading business federation, Fedecamaras, which was long at odds with the president.
"We aren't going to give dollars to Fedecamaras. What we're going to give them is pains, headaches with this Bolivarian Revolution," Maduro shouted, his voice hoarse. "I swear to you ... we're never going to betray the people of Venezuela!"
Chavez's deteriorating health led him on Dec. 8 to announce Maduro as his chosen successor. He said that if his illness prevented him from being sworn in on Jan. 10, government supporters should rally around Maduro and elect him president.
Maduro is expected to keep promoting programs such as free medical clinics staffed by Cuban doctors and subsidized food stores, which have endeared the president with the country's vast numbers of poor. Maduro has vowed to block a return to past policies that he said had benefited the wealthy.
"Our people will never again see the bourgeoisie plundering this country," Maduro said, adding, "Better to be dead than traitors to the people and to Chavez!"
That loyalty made Maduro a logical choice, political observers said.
"Maduro combines two characteristics that influenced Chavez in his decision to designate him as successor: first, his loyalty to the party leadership, and second, his positions in favor of popular measures," such as social programs for the poor, said Steve Ellner, a political scientist at Venezuela's University of Oriente.
In his youth, Maduro drove a bus for the Caracas Metro transit system and later became a union leader."
Maduro "is perceived by Chavez as a negotiator with diplomatic skills who could potentially gather the support of the different factions and keep it united in the difficult months ahead," said Diego Moya-Ocampos, an analyst with the London-based consulting firm IHS Global Insight.
"Nevertheless, he is not necessarily perceived as such within all the top ranks of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela and the armed forces," Moya-Ocampos added.
Jennifer McCoy, a political science professor at Georgia State University, described Maduro as an easygoing man who has shown a willingness to talk with government opponents.
"He's always been someone who is easy to talk to," said McCoy, director of the Americas program at the Carter Center, which helped the Organization of American States facilitate dialogue between the government and opposition after a 2002 coup that briefly ousted Chavez.
Maduro was always willing "to discuss the issues, and I think that's really important going forward for Venezuela," McCoy said.
Before Chavez underwent his latest operation in December, he explained why he had chosen Maduro:
"He's one of the young leaders with the greatest ability to continue, if I'm unable to — God knows what he does — if I'm unable to, to continue with his firm hand, with his gaze, with his heart of a man of the people, with his gift for people, with his intelligence, with the international recognition he's earned, with his leadership, leading the presidency."
Now that Chavez has died will Obama reach out more to Venezuela and attend his funeral?? Many in Chavez party are pro-Cuba and pro-communist, however many countries have depended upon Chavez and Venezuela to keep their economies strong through the oil industry. However, there are many in the Chavez party who are not as socialist as Chavez, but his successor is seen as a hardline socialist like Chavez.
CARACAS - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made a surprise return from Cuba on Monday more than two months after surgery for cancer that has jeopardized his 14-year rule of the South American OPEC mem...
Did they show him walking around on live television or being pushed in a wheel chair or speaking publicly?? Otherwise it could be a hoax, as someone in Bolivia told me this picture was taken last December??
Alleged microblogger is cousin of prominent opposition journalist who has been critical of the Venezuelan government
Venezuelan intelligence officers have raided the home of a Twitter user suspected of spreading destabilising rumours about the health of Hugo Chávez ahead of an inauguration that the ailing president looks increasingly unlikely to attend.
The alleged microblogger, Federico Medina Ravell is the cousin of a prominent opposition figure, prompting concerns that a long-simmering "information war" could be escalating as the government and its opponents try to fill the vacuum left by a leader who has not been seen or heard in public since he flew to Cuba for emergency cancer surgery a month ago.
The team of Sebin (Bolivarian National Intelligence Service) officers confiscated several computers from Medina's home in Valencia on Sunday night, according to domestic newspapers.
Medina is the cousin of Alberto Federico Ravell, a well-known opposition journalist and co-founder of Globovision, a major news broadcaster and staunch critic of the Chávez government.
Medina, who was not at home, is accused of instigating terrorism through social networking sites. He is said to be behind the@LucioQuincioC Twitter account, which has claimed that Chávez will not return from Havana.
The account remains active and claims to be a collaboration between 20 bloggers in eight cities, mostly overseas. Other Twitter users are mocking Sebin by claiming to have spotted@LucioQuincioC elsewhere, including the peaks of the Andes and drinking cocoa in Calgary.
The raid underpins the heightened political sensitivity ahead of a scheduled swearing-in ceremony on Thursday that seems likely to be postponed amid uncertainty about both Chávez's health and what happens when a president-elect cannot attend his inauguration.
An official health bulletin last week said the president was suffering from complications brought on by a severe lung infection after surgery. The opposition have demanded more detailed information about his prognosis. Foreign news organisations and Twitter accounts have spread rumours that he is in a coma, on a life support system or dead.
One tweet from an account called @estebangerbasi, which has almost 80,000 followers, has called for a nationwide civic strike on 10 January if the inauguration fails to take place, prompting accusations of a coup d'etat in the making from both camps.
Venezuela's vice-president, Nicolás Maduro, rebutted both the speculation and the call for protests on Monday.
Interesting....thank God we live in the US where free speech is still allowed...but for how long before we live under the same restraints as those in Venezuela, Cuba, NK or Iran??
Oct. 28, a group of 98 CEOs published an open letter to Hollande that said public-sector spending, which at 56 percent of gross domestic product is the highest in Europe, “is no longer supportable.” The letter was signed by the CEOs of virtually every major French company. …[while the US GDP is topping 100%, exceeding France spending]
The problems they’re complaining about aren’t new. Heavy taxes and social charges required to support high government spending have eroded corporate profitability. In the l’Express interview, de Castries says that on average, the government charges incurred by his company for each employee are more than double the employee’s take-home pay. French labor costs are the second-highest in Europe, after Belgium, as companies are burdened with rigid and devilishly complicated work rules. No surprise, then, that operating margins at French companies have shrunk almost 40 percent over the past decade… The French economy has been stuck at zero percent growth for months, while unemployment has climbed to above 10 percent — and all signs point to an oncoming recession.
It’s a universal truth (though unfortunately not one that’s universally acknowledged) that expanding taxes and an expanding welfare state do not a robust, innovative, and job-creating economy make.
Obama and the useful fools who re-elected him will soon find out, and sadly the rest of us will suffer the consequences.
Jim Geraghty writes on NRO: From the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt: Andrew Sullivan’s Panic Level Is Elevated from Orange ‘High’ to Red ‘Severe’ I know you’re probably no fan of reading Andrew Sullivan most days, but when he’s in full...
meltdown mode… well, pretty fun once he flips out about the sudden, dramatic reversal in the Pew poll:
I’m trying to rally some morale, but I’ve never seen a candidate this late in the game, so far ahead, just throw in the towel in the way Obama did last week – throw away almost every single advantage he had with voters and manage to enable his opponent to seem as if he cares about the middle class as much as Obama does. How do you erase that imprinted first image from public consciousness: a president incapable of making a single argument or even a halfway decent closing statement? And after Romney’s convincing Etch-A-Sketch, convincing because Obama was incapable of exposing it, Romney is now the centrist candidate, even as he is running to head up the most radical party in the modern era.
How can Obama come back? By ensuring people know that Romney was and is a shameless liar and opportunist? That doesn’t work for a sitting president. He always needed a clear positive proposal – tax reform, a Grand Bargain on S-B lines – as well as a sterling defense of his admirable record. Bill Clinton did the former for him. Everyone imaginable did what they could for him. And his response? Well, let’s look back a bit:
With President Obama holed up in a Nevada resort for debate practice, things can get pretty boring on the White House beat right now. Pretty boring for Obama too, apparently. “Basically they’re keeping me indoors all the time,” Obama told a supporter on the phone during a visit to a Las Vegas area field office. “It’s a drag,” he added. “They’re making me do my homework.”
Too arrogant to take a core campaign responsibility seriously. Too arrogant to give his supporters what they deserve. If he now came out and said he supports Simpson-Bowles in its entirety, it would look desperate, but now that Romney has junked every proposal he ever told his base, and we’re in mid-October, it’s Obama’s only chance on the economy.
Obama’s taking those core responsibilities seriously now, right, Keith Koffler of White House Dossier?
Obama Schedule || Tuesday, October 9, 2012
by Keith Koffler on October 8, 2012, 9:17 pm
9:25 PT || Departs San Francisco 4:20 pm ||
Arrives Columbus, Ohio 5:00 pm ||
Delivers remarks at a campaign event; Ohio State University, Columbus 7:15 pm ||
Departs Columbus, Ohio 8:40 pm ||
Arrives White House
And how did Obama spend Sunday and Monday?
He came; he spoke; he fundraised. And now he’s heading to Kern County. President Barack Obama graced Los Angeles Sunday and Monday during a quick trip to raise funds for his re-election campaign.
Taking place before two Sunday fundraisers was an exclusive event at the Beverly Hills home of DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who co-hosted a $40,000-a-plate soiree at George Clooney’s L.A. home in May. About a dozen people attended Sunday’s “thank you event for a small group of donors” who contributed high amounts to his campaign, said press secretary Jennifer Psaki, according to City News Service. Former president Bill Clinton joined Obama for the intimate gathering.
Obama then headed east to Downtown L.A.’s L.A.
Live to rock with supporters, including Jon Bon Jovi, Jennifer Hudson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder and Katy Perry, at the “30 Days to Victory” concert. Following the tunes, Obama did not sing, rather he spoke for 22 minutes to the crowd of about 6,000 concert-goers, highlighting his accomplishments, such as ending the Iraq War, lessening America’s role in Afghanistan, health care legislation and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He also reminded the crowd why he’s running for a second term as president: “The last thing we can afford right now is four years of the very same policies that led us to the crises in the first place.”
LBN: Obama's arrogance is going to cost him the election...that is if he doesn't have plans to steal it like his pal Chavez did in Venezuela. There is no other explanation for someone to be so over-confident and arrogant to act like he is winning after such a poor debate other than he plans to steal the election or buy the election with donations from foreign countries and celebrities??
Toronto StarChavez or Capriles? Massive turnout as Venezuelans vote in pivotal election ...Washington PostA tense transition would likely follow until the January inauguration because Chavez's political machine thoroughly controls the wheels of...