|Chavez ever a friend of a despot|
He took Venezuelan down to 165th out of 176 countries in corruption, according to Transparency International. It is 117th in press freedom and ranks 142nd in judicial independence.
- Eliminating the Supreme Court's role in testing the validity of Presidential decrees or any laws against the Constitution.
- Complete disregard for the rule of law whenever it goes against the regime.
- Chavez's ability to demand the arrest and imprisonment of anyone who he disapproves of, such as a judge ( María Lourdes Afiuni) .
- New laws prohibiting broadcasts and websites that "offend" officials or "foment anxiety", such as declaring that there are food shortages, declaring the economy is shrinking.
- Closing all but one private TV channel, creating five new state ones. The remaining private channel's owner has faced criminal sanctions as has a commentator on the channel for offending the regime.
- Withdrawal from the American Convention on Human Rights, following refusals to allow monitors of the convention to visit the country.
- Expulsion of any foreigners who criticise the regime, and exclusion of any foreigners who seek to do so or are suspected of wanting to do so.
- Any Venezuelans or Venezuelan groups that exist to “defend political rights” or “monitor the performance of public bodies” are prohibited from getting funding from any foreign source, and face being tried for treason.
- Prohibiting political satire against the regime.
Wait to see how many wonder if the new conspiracies about Chavez's death might be true - and ridicule them accordingly. Not even north Korea claims its past two leaders died through conspiracies.
Christopher Hitchens met the nut showing him to be quite unhinged, and showing the same to Sean Penn, who is too arrogant to admit he was wrong.
oh and apparently today is also the day Stalin died, 60 years ago. Chavez was no Stalin, but he was no friend of democracy or freedom either.
The leftwing loon "Karol" at the Standard are mourning saying "His life is to be celebrated to the ways in which he stood up to US imperialism, and neoliberalism. I will leave it to others to decide how successful he was in achieving his left wing aims." Robert Mugabe, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Fidel Castro will all get the same "get out of judgment jail free" pass from him, never mind the people thrown in prison, the food shortages, the murder rate. No, he kept the red flag flying and that's enough to warrant forgiveness from the gutter left.
Idiot Savant takes a contrary principled stance and deserves a hat tip for standing up for some principles of civil society and freedom.
It seems the NZ Green Party, mostly through Keith Locke, was warm towards the fellow take the following:
- Complaining about the US hypocrisy about "organising against democratically elected leaders, like Venezuala's president Hugo Chavez", giving good reason to not be allied to the US, presumably because Chavez "isn't so bad".
- Support for Chavez the Film, about the failed coup against Hugo Chavez, of course since then Chavez has adopted similar techniques to resist opposition.
- May Day 2003 calling on people to "celebrate the popular revolution and mobilisation of the people in support of Bolivarisation and Hugo Chavez"
- A speech in 2008 on food security (unclear who by), quoting Hugo Chavez, a man who ruined his country's agricultural sector and created enormous shortages in flour, sugar and other basic food items through price controls and nationalisation, "Hugo Chavez puts it even more bluntly. "The problem is not the production of food ... it is the economic, social and political model of the world. The capitalist model is in crisis.""
Do the Greens still think that capitalism is the threat to food production in the world? What do farmers think of such an embrace of Chavez's policies that nationalised land, Mugabe style?