Sunday, November 11, 2007

King Carlos tells Chavez to "shut up"

The creeping authoritarianism of Hugo Chavez's elected socialist dictatorship has been periodically reported on by myself from his insane rant at the UN, to his growing restrictions on free speech. Not PC has also told the ongoing story of Chavez's regime from shortages in supermarkets, how Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhilips have turned their back on investments in Venezuela, seeking to expel foreigners who express criticism of the regime, and government approval needed for baby names. A friend who has relatives there has described how poor service is there, and how there is a distinct lack of work ethic among anyone involved in anything to do with government or any monopolies. Oil money buys complacency.
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Meanwhile the left still looks fondly upon him, after all the ends (socialism) always seems to justify the means (state bullying). What particularly grates is how London Mayor Ken Livingstone has cuddled up to this bully. This is so unspeakably abominable that Livingstone deserves to be booted out on this ground alone.
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Now Chavez has been told off, by no less than the King of Spain, Juan Carlos. Someone who knows something about a transition from dictatorship to freedom. Both were at the "Ibero-American" summit in Santiago, Chile. Chavez called the previous Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Aznar a "fascist". Given Spain's past under Franco, this was a grave insult - particularly given the dramatic change Spain undertook to have its current vibrant, free and open society, with liberal democracy.
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The Spanish Prime Minister (Zapatero, who defeated Aznar at the ballot box) called for more diplomatic words to be used and for respect of other leaders, despite political differences.
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The Sunday Telegraph reports: "Former prime minister Aznar was democratically elected by the Spanish people and was a legitimate representative of the Spanish people," said Mr Zapatero, eliciting applause from the gathered heads of state.
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Indeed, Chavez doesn't understand that liberal democracy actually includes respecting that previous (and future) elected governments have legitimacy, and something called a constitution and rule of law is what true leaders respect. Chavez simply changes these on a whim because he is a power hungry demagogue.
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Chavez apparently kept trying to interrupt until King Juan Carlos could take no more and said "Why don't you shut up?".
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Indeed. Chavez thinks he is the vanguard of a new revolution, when he is a blundering loudmouthed bully, and quite unhinged.
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Meanwhile, yesterday a two mile protest march went through Caracas opposing Chavez's changes to the Constitution to increase his power. He called students protesting "spoilt little brats" and that it is all orchestrated by the USA. Yes - of course it is Hugo. Four students were shot returning to campus after a protest earlier in the week after an armed group stormed the campus.

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