Sunday, July 08, 2007

Damn That Was Quick

This is from the Venezuelan based blog Oil Wars. This blog is based on ongoing analysis of events in Venezuela and Iraq.


It seems such a short time ago that we were hearing about Venezuelan democracy, liberty and freedom of speech going down the drain. With the "closing" of RCTV freedom of the press was supposedly dealth a mortal blow.

Yet now we have this:




No your eyes are not decieving you, that really is the RCTV signal appearing on Direct TV in Venezuela. RCTV has arisen from the ashes and is now starting to re-appear on sattelite and cable networks in Venezuela.

Actually, this just goes to show, it had never been shut down to begin with. It simply lost its little segment of the radio-electric spectrum that it got absolutely free for decades, courtesy the Venezuelan government.

So rest assured, RCTV is now back, better than ever. In fact, given that the Venezuelan media laws may not apply to it anymore it might even be able to broadcast soft porn at dinner time so people don't have to stay up late for it. And I am sure Miguel Angel Rodriguez will be back spewing his usual bile.

Of course, all of this makes you wonder what this past month of RCTV pretending to be "shut down" was really about. Was it all a big waste?

Were all those tires burnt in the street for nothing?

Were all those rocks thrown at the police for nothing?

Did all the little rich kids parading around with hands in the air and duck tape over their mouths simply waste time that could have been better spent flying out to Los Roques?

Did Fox News waste its money flying a correspondent down to Venezuela for a week?

Did the opposition students embarrass themselves in front of the National Assembly and the whole country for nothing?

Did Reporters Without Borders waste valuable NED money (and my tax dollars) complaining about media repression that doesn't exist?

Sure sounds like Mr Marcel - if I can't play by my rules I'm taking my marbles and going home; uh oh, you mean I am going to lose money?, ok, here are the marbles back again - Granier has a lot to answer for.

As for the rest of us, it is just one more sorry episode of opposition hysteronics that then turns out to all be about nothing. Hopefully you are all like me and are now immune to them.RENEGADE EYE

110 comments:

John Brown said...

Good post, Ren.

People have started to see pretty clearly that this whole charade over RCTV - a charade staged by Uncle Sam's Vanilla Revolutionaries with Uncle Sam's welfare checks - is a total non-story.

Once the Vanilla Revolutionaries decided to run away from a serious debate, they should have just given up this issue and moved on to another one - perhaps they could hold rallies in defense of the rights of Exxon or Texaco to steal from the Venezuelan people.

That type of campaign may earn them more support among the Venezuelan masses than this tired effort.

Tula 49 said...

This is really no surprise at all. What had really happened is that RCTV didn't get its license renewed.

Of course, this is nothing new - there is no lie that reactionaries will tell in an attempt to discredit a revolutionary movement. This nonsense about Chavez being a "dictator" has been going on for years, nevermind the fact that he has repeatedly won democratic elections and that Venezuela's free speech extent is so high that Chavez has been far too soft in dealing with the coup plotters - five years later, none of them are on trial, in prison, other coup plotting stations have not gotten any action taken against them, etc.

Dave Marlow said...

Ren, your original post on RCTV already pointed out the [inevitable] possibility of this. Truth be told, RCTV's best move in opposing Chavez would have been to just stay put. They were much more successful in raising anti-Chavez supporters when they were "victims".

By the way, I have finished "Federal Socialism", though I haven't posted it because it needs immense editing. After I do an initial sweep, would you have any interest in looking it over?

Renegade Eye said...

Dave: The RCTV supporters had majority support in Venezuela, the world media, several bourgeouse parliments, all the pundits in the world, and they still lost. The opposition could have won on that issue, if bad mouthing Chavez wasn't their only goal. To win would have meant admitting the system worked.

It is much like those who hate Bush so much, that it blinds them from the big picture.

The Pagan Temple said...

I don't have a dog in this fight, but it would be interesting to see what would happen if NBC, CBS, or ABC were to call for the overthrow of the American government, and for the assassination of Bush. Somehow I don't think that would go over too well with the people that are currently defending RCTV.

Does anybody imagine they would be complaining if such a network had it's license revoked. Does anybody think for one second that if the individuals actually responsible were arrested and tried for treason, they would defend them?

I have this strange idea they would be the loudest voices in demanding they be prosecuted, myself.

Personally I think Chavez is a convenient tool. Just another excuse to keep oil prices at a strategically high level. Any issue like this that can help facilitate that, they will go for it.

1. Iraq War
2. Iran
3. No new oil refineries
4. No refinery modernization or expansion
5. No drilling in ANWAR
6. Limitations on off shore drilling
7. Suspicious oil refinery fires
8. Nigerian turmoil
9. Global warming Chicken Little-ism
10. Hugo Chavez

All together=Record oil prices, i.e., record oil company profits.

John Brown said...

PT:

The short-sightedness and rapacity of the international bourgeoisie - not general strikes or socialist Presidents - are responsible for high oil prices.

No doubt Venezuela has benefited from this phenomeonon economically, but to simply chalk Chavez up as a tool strikes me as incredibly simplistic.

As many have said here and elsewhere, Chavez is a manifestation of the revolutionary fervor of Venezuela's politically conscious proletariat - nothing more and nothing less.

If he was simply a tool, the international bourgeoisie wouldn't be crying about his nationalizations.

As it stands, though, the Boliviarian (and Nigerian) masses have them by the short & curlys because dependence on oil in places where revolutary fervor is high has become a weak link in the chain.

Puppeteer said...

Yes, so much fuss about Chavez' violation of free media, but what would have happened had someone spoken against Bush's doctrine on US tv?
And does US care that bloggers are jailed in Egypt because they disagree with Mubarak' Bush-kissing politics?
Did anybody in mainstream US media complain about the total lack of media, nay, total lack of human rights in Saudi Arabia? Or Saudi OIL is so friendly that the Bush doesn't give a coconut as long as he drains it?

Renegade Eye said...

It was hilarious that Condi Rice tried to Organization of American States to denounce Hugo Chavez for taking away the public band of RCTV, while at the same time Alan Garcia shut down 2 TV stations and 3 radio stations on political grounds. Uruguay also took the public bandwidth of a TV station.

Where were the demonstrators?

The Pagan Temple said...

John Brown-When I said Chavez was a tool, I didn't mean it in the sense of him being a willing pawn. I was referring to the political rhetoric here by mostly conservative politicians and pundits. That kind of rhetoric has an effect on the oil markets. Even unsubstantiated rumors makes investors skiddish. Then, as a consequence, OPEC raises it's prices, and then incestors are mollified somewhat, because suddenly their profits are even higher than before.

There are other things I didn't list, such as increased consumption by China and India, and other Third World nations. All that has the effect of forcing the prices up.

For all the rhetoric against Chavez, no one here seriously advocates cutting off trade with him. Of course, if that were to happen, then suddenly prices are that much higher, ergo even ever greater profits. But they have to wait until it is politically auspicious to make such a move.

Farmer John said...

More than 80% of people in Venezuela watch television. There are only 1 million cable TV subscribers (in a country with a population of 22 million).

RCTV's audience is now less than 1/10th what it was. RCTV's ad revenues are now only 1/10th as well. Much of RCTV's equipment and facilities were confiscated and given to establish Chavez's new "public" television station.

Is the Chavez government going to compensate RCTV for the lost revenue? Are they going to compensate RCTV for stolen equipment and facilities?

Even more importantly, are they going to compensate the Venezuelan people for the loss of diverse opinions? Are they going to compensate the Venezuelan people for the loss of any government oversight by the press? Or are they going to just keep on denying the people the right to petition their government for redress of grievences AND prevent other people from being able to hear of these Constitutional violations indefinitely and allow the government to sweep all constitutional violations under the rug.

Oh, that's right. Chavez is re-writing the Constitution.... AGAIN. I'm sure that pretty soon, whatever the government does will NO LONGER BE A CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATION. Because the Venezuelan people will no longer have the right to free speech OR a redress of grievances.

The Chavez regime's mantra is now socialismo o muerte (socialism or death). Isn't that the fate the Chavez government has in store for "dissenting opinions"?

Heil Hugo!

Farmer John said...

btw - there was another march for freedom of expression on Saturday, July 7th. The marchers were NOT allowed to present their petition of grievances to the Assembly. The police stopped them about 100 feet short. Again.

Farmer John said...

The poor in Venezuela smell an opportunity to steal and get a lot of stuff for nothing. There's capitalist blood in the water, and they are Caribe's/piranah's. This isn't any noble cause. It's plunder, pure and simple. A chance to feed.

Unfortunately, they are killing the goose who lays the golden egg. Just like Cuba. Just like the USSR.

Renegade Eye said...

farmer john: Thank you for visiting my blog.

The same protesters are the same ones with slingshots and building barricades a few weeks earlier. They should have used tactics like thar earlier.

The basic disagreement between us is that I don't see taking away the public bandwidth of RCTV is a free speech issue. What TV station in the US is allowed or has even advocated the violent overthrow of the government?

Venezuela has boomed under Chavez's rule so too has subscription TV (cable and sattelite). Currently 1,373,873 homes in Venezuela have subscription TV. This comes to about 20% of all Venezuelan households. This is almost double the 778,904 households that had it in 2000. Between January and March of this year alone 167,930 homes got this service.

Nationalization without compensation? You must be thinking Venezuela 1976.

The oligarchy left Chavez with having to build the infrastructure of the country, like a railroad line to Argentina.

Do you think Peru has lost freedom of speech?

I haven't read much on the constitution yet.

Incognito said...

Ren, The video proves nothing. Sure it has the logo, but does it show any programming? no!

So, I checked out their website. I happen to be fluent in Spanish. Yes, it mentions they are continuing to shoot "A Puerta Cerrada" and "Alerta" IN SPITE of the fact they are still *off* the air.

I have some emails out to people who live there. I'll get the real scoop, if they indeed have somehow been able to buck the system. Back in the 70s there were some radio stations in England that aired off-shore, but that doesn't mean they were sanctioned.

And yes, it's decidedly a "free-Speech" issue when *one* person decides that because a radio/tv station airs programmes that are critical of him, he has the power to shut them down. Isn't that a little childish... nanana.. it's my playground and you'll play by my rules.

What would you do if Bush shut down CNN, and all the other liberal media outlets that criticize him? Please answer that question.

Cheers.

Renegade Eye said...

Incognito: This post was written by a Venezuelan blogger.

One person deciding a fate of a TV station. You are speaking of Alan Garcia in Peru. He closed 2 TV stations and 3 radio stations.

If CNN advocated violent overthrow of Bush, he'd be within his right to close it down.

Unfortunately Bush actually advocated bombing Al Jazeera.

Regards.

Graeme said...

Yes, it mentions they are continuing to shoot "A Puerta Cerrada" and "Alerta"

Are those soap operas? If so, problem solved. The people simply wanted to watch their stories. Now the rich kids can go back home and stop worrying about that "monkey" Chavez. (i believe that is one of the most popular slurs)

There are only 1 million cable TV subscribers (in a country with a population of 22 million).

That ought to be your first clue on why Chavez is in power.

The poor in Venezuela smell an opportunity to steal and get a lot of stuff for nothing.

That is the 13th funniest thing I have ever heard.

I suppose it is much better than stealing and not getting a lot of stuff for nothing. That would be a great big waste of time.

Graeme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Graeme said...

That last sentence of mine was quite snarky Farmer john, I apologize. Unlike Beak, I try to limit silly stuff like that.

Your comment about the lazy poor wanting to steal stuff from the oppressed rich is still funny though.

frolix22 said...

The entire controversy over RCTV has been exasperating from start to finish. I mean, the damn station was advocating the violent overthrow of Venezuelan democracy. I'd love to see how long any major station would stay on the air in Britain or the US if it tried that on.

www.warwithinabreath.frolix.org

sonia said...

Food prices in Venezuela have risen 25.7 percent in the past 12 months, despite efforts to control prices by the government of President Hugo Chavez, which sells subsidized foods at state-run supermarkets.

Annual inflation amounted to 19.4 percent last month, considerably higher than the 11.8 percent registered a year ago.

Near-record public spending by Chavez's oil-rich government, which has put billions of dollars into social programs for the poor, has stoked inflation.

But the economy has not generated enough goods and services to soak up all that money, because instead of working, people just live off Chavez's handouts.

Venezuela is heading towards economic ruin.

And TV stations that warn of that economic ruin are shut down and censored.

More here...

Larry Gambone said...

"Venezuela is heading towards economic ruin."

You hope...

Renegade Eye said...

Sonia: I'm not underestimating the problem of inflation. Venezuela is not rich as say Sweden. Inflation for the 10 years prior to Hugo Chavez was at its lowest at 29.9%.

People are buying more consumer goods than ever. Real wages are up.

Alan Garcia shut down two TV stations and three radio stations, for political reasons. RCTV played a role in an illegal coup, and now they can operate outside Venezuelan law on cable.

Frolix22: I will visit your blog tonight.

beakerkin said...

What good is the extra money if there are mo consumer products to spend it on. The value of a currency determined by its buying power.

The statistics printed by Sonia are probably low ball numbers. The shortages are very real and crime is on the rise.

Liberation from whom?? Who will liberate the Venezuelan people from their liberators.

How long will you deny the obvious?
The theories do not work and you can only delude those who choose to believe.

Renegade Eye said...

Beak: Inflation is a problem, but not nearly as bad during the 10 yrs prior to Chavez. The lowest it was 29.9%. The economy was stagnant and there was high inflation. You are not going to say inflation is worse than before Chavez. I'm not saying it is not a problem, but it is not dire like some would present it as.

Per capita spending is higher than anytime since the 1970s.

I've read criticisms of Chavez's government on crime, from pro-Chavez sources. I think the police, from their behavior in the 2002 coup, have loyalties to the oligarchy.

I know you are a religious person. You are using a vocabulary that doesn't apply. My actual position is that in Venezuela there are good signs for a socialism that will be more democratic than any country before. It has a politically oriented population, with a history of democracy. The more democratic a countries history, the less material basis for Stalinism.

Jungle Mom said...

I fear you know nothing much of the reality on the ground in Venezuela and simply listen to the propaganda spouted out by the government which is always doctored.

Renegade Eye said...

Jungle Mom: Welcome to this blog.

I'm interested in what you have to share.

The opposition to the government isn't always truthful either. That is one of the reasons they always lose elections.

beakerkin said...

Ren

I am not a religious person.

Inflation of the normal type as we in America understand it as goods are more expensive but available.
This is not what is hapening in Hugo's blunderland. The shelves are empty and merchandise isn't available.

No matter what problems existed in prior regimes there were products available for purchase. This is because a business is there to serve its customers. However when you control the prices and create a production at a loss it halts and the result is empty shelves.

This is not socialism. This is theft of property and crony communism. This philosophy has caused disaster wherever it was implemented. This is not Sweden in South America.

Unlike Troutsky and Che Bob Jungle Mom lived in Venezuela. Her experience is not the party line guided tour. I just see the paper work of people fleeing every day.

However, I do not buy that you are unaware of the truth. We have been down this path how many times. The dance is person X isn't a communist. Then when the attrocities become too great you blame it on good intentions. Then we shift to the next hope of Communists and repeat the process.
When do we pull the plug and figure out that this idea kills the patient?

Renegade Eye said...

Beak: I'm sorry but all you've given me is undocumented rhetoric.

The oligarchy left Chavez without even infrastructure. The country is now atleast building a railroad line to Argentina.

Show me concretely that life was better under IMF austerity. Give me more than rhetoric. If you don't compare to the old regime, what do you?

I think if Venezuela is socialist is complicated. I hope the new party works. I don't know much about it. I suppose you know everything. You know their platform and numbers. Do workers own the means of production?

Speaking of socialism. Did you know communists speakers were speaking at pro-RCTV rallies? They were all Stalinists. You side with the Maoists on that one.

I loaded you with a million questions. Just answer one impressively.

Jungle Mom said...

The government has not even been able to finish the short national line they have been "working" on for years.

beakerkin said...

Ren

I see the people fleeing and you have no clue what you are talking about. This is a small country and I should see one or two a week.

Doctor, Laywers,Engineers, Accountants, Small Business Owners,
Farmers and even ordinary workers are in a stampede to get out. This is not Sweden, this is Mugabe crony style Communism redux.

All these people are running for a reason. They did not head for the door in the previous regime in any where near these numbers.

When the proof is too great you will claim noble motives. There were no noble motives here and you know what is going on.

Do ask Jungle Mom about FARC and the Superfly Commie Drug distributors and their relation with the Army.

Why are all of the people heading for the door all of the sudden. You are merely replaying the standard party playbook from Cuba.
The only man fooled by this is Beatroot as he is too decent a man to ascribe less than noble motives to the true faithful.

I am dead serious about the dance.
That was no joke and we will be talking about the next failure soon enough/

sonia said...

Ren,

Did you know communists speakers were speaking at pro-RCTV rallies?

Did you know that Leon Trotsky was speaking at anti-Stalinist rallies ?

It's not about ideology, but about control. Chavez wants to control everybody, including Communists. Some are resisting, but not many...

Anonymous said...

Gosh, this really brought out the trolls :)

I think Renegade Eye has taken care of most everything - from what happened to RCTV to how much better Venezuelans live now that they have a government that works for the majority of the population rather than a tiny self-absorbed elite.

But there is just one point I want to adress. Someone said the government had taken facilities and equipment that belonged to RCTV. Absolutely false.

The only thing the government took was the actual transmission towers for which RCTV no longer has any use as they are not broadcasting over the open airwaves. Did those belong to RCTV? No they didn't. In the National Gazette from 1969 (this is where all laws and decrees are published) it was stated that all transmission towers were property of the STATE, not the private broadcaster who uses them. The reason for this is that most of them are on mountain tops that happen to be national parks.

So yet another lie of the opposition debunked.

ow

oilwars.blogspot.com

John Brown said...

Very well said, Ren.

By their actions, the Vanilla Revolutionaries in Venezuela aim for nothing less than the destruction of the Bolivarian Revolution.

RCTV is one instrument they used. They failed. But in the process, they marched on Cinnabon for RCTV!

Where do you think Uncle Sam's Vanilla Revolutionaries will go to vigil for Exxon?

Incognito said...

Hey Ren: Well, according to this blog coming from Venezuela, as well,
http://daniel-venezuela.blogspot.com/2007/07/rctv-comes-back-sort-of-while.html
RCTV has *not* resurfaced yet on cable, although they plan to. Claiming it has is false info.
Not quite what your Venezuelan says... sooo.... where lies the truth?
Cheers,

Incognito said...

P.S. Why must people like anon denigrate those who have beliefs differing from their own? Trolls? What happened to dialogue?

and no those shows are not telenovelas.

beakerkin said...

Ren

We now have conclusive proof that John Brown spams Ren's blog as well with sock puppet creations. We do have a sceen shot proving that John Brown is posting under the name Mickey Blustein. So now John Brown is spamming a fellow commie.

His behavior has caused embarassment and headaches to Ren.
No doubt for every action there are consequences.

Truth-Pain said...

Amazing post, ... I just came back from a self-imposed sabbatical, and landed first at your door,... once again, I am not at all surprised by the fact that I learn something new every single time,.. either from your topics, or from your fellow commenters. I've already started a thread onto the Venezuelan press situation. Thank you for making your blog a must-read in my day.

Renegade Eye said...

John Brown: Is that mickey stuff really yours? It has to whoever it is.

Truth-Pain: Welcome back. Everyone should visit that blog. A real independant thinker.

Oil Wars: Oil Wars lives now in Venezuela. A good source for news of the Venezuelan revolution.

Incognito: Oil Wars is new to this blog, and hasn't experienced real trolling. As long as I know you are not a troll is all that matters.

Beak: I don't or my comrades support FARC or drug dealers.

Mugabe is a silly analogy. Some communist he is, agreeing to accept the debt of the previous government. Miltant rhetoric combined with crony capitalism. His situation explains why colonial institutions need to be destroyed, not just taken over. The white farmer land stuff wasn't socialism, just nationalist, demagogue crap.

Let me recommend that you look up on Sonia's blog, her post on Trotsky.

beakerkin said...

Ren

What part of stealing land that was productive farmland and handing it to cronies eludes you.
Mugabe has been a Communist for four decades. It took communist idoicy to turn Zimbabwe from a food exporter into a place where people starve. This is Venezuela's future and the oil will delay it somewhat.

How is it that the prior regimes did not produce anywhere near the number of people leaving.

Speaking of FARC supporters John Brown does support FARC. Hugo's Army is directly involved read Junglemom's report. The money flows to Hugo, no doubt. Brown is also a fan of Hezbollah that is also a Narcotics outfit. Brown also supports the Taliban another Narcotics outfit. Brown obviously
likes to talk of Vanilla Sam while
agitating for drug distributors.

Ren: Unlike Brown the only name I post under is this one. I am glad you noticed the Nazi like tone of Mullah Beak. Brown writes that one too.

Aaron A. said...

puppeteer: Did anybody in mainstream US media complain about the total lack of media, nay, total lack of human rights in Saudi Arabia? Or Saudi OIL is so friendly that the Bush doesn't give a coconut as long as he drains it?

I agree.

Renegade Eye said...

Beak:
Socialists take property.
Mugabe took property
Mugabe is a socialist

Mugabe expropriating the white farmers land was not to plant the red flag in Zimbabwe. It was the action of a nationalist/capitalist government to terrorize his political opponents, and pretend concern for the poor.

You didn't reply to my statement that he didn't erase debt of previous regimes. You didn't explain why he accepted IMF regulation if he is a socialist. You throw around words without backing them up.

I don't know much about the FARC connections etc. I'm going to ask Oil Wars to answer. He lives in Venezuela, and is more objective than either of us are.

Corruption is a problem in Venezuela. The founding of the new socialist party will be a good first step. In the 2002 coup, the police openly sided with the oligarchy.

Jungle Mom said...

Oilwars is objective?!?!?! I think not! Check out some other Venezuelan blogs. There are many that are anti Chavez and not pro-Bush, if that makes them more to your liking!

Slave Revolt said...

Jungle Mom, the difference between Oil Wars and the other oppo blogs that you refer to is that OW always backs up arguments with facts that can be referenced, interpreted, and debated.

More, OW doesn't censor comments or ban people--like all of the oppo blogs do.

From what I recall JM, you play pretty loose with the facts. Is that part of your being a good 'christian'?

Gimme a break. You are a whore for empire, a war monger, a pharisee and an all-round liar.

Don't worry, Jesus will get holt of you someday.

Renegade Eye said...

Jungle Mom: Oil Wars has printed posts very critical of Hugo Chavez.

Unlike myself, he has no socialist agenda.

beakerkin said...

Ren

Lets run this back for those that play the socialist gambit. Are you owning up to Mugabe?

Stealing land and giving it to cronies is corruption. Lets see Castro, Ortega, Mugabe and every other thug commie despot does that.

Fidel has millions and is a great example of corruption.

Sorry Sweden and even France are socailist. Mugabe is a classic commie clown even doen to the cult of personality bit.

jams o donnell said...

Hmm Beakerkin you make it sound as if corruption started with the October Revolution... Communist dicators have shown an abundance of corruption but point out a despot, tyrant or related kleptocrat that doesn't.

As for Swede and France. I think you have seen different election results to me. Neither state is governed at present by a social democrat or similar party.

Renegade Eye said...

Beak: You are repeating what I said about Mugabe. Mugabe is corrupt. Shocking! Atleast there is no corruption in the USA.

Show Mugabe is socialist and answer why Trotskyists in Zimbabwe are trying to overthrow him? Isn't socialism more than expropiating a few farmers? Capitalist states can do that.


Jams: Great to hear from you again.

Slave Revolt: Welcome. Do you have a blog?

jams o donnell said...

On the other hand Chavez could do with out his idiotic showboating. The oil deal with the Greater London Authority is a minor case in point. As for praising Mugabe's land reforms a couple of years back, my views are unprintable...

beakerkin said...

Jams

Sweden is a genuine Socialist state with confiscatory taxation and a safety net that covers everything. It doesn't really matter who runs the show as the entrenched saftey nets and confiscatory taxation is not being swept away. France is being run by Sarkozy who is unlikely to make a dent in the entrenched Socialist saftey nets.

Land seizures, cult of personality, price controls and internal dissent crushed by mob violence is not Socialism it is communism. If you are intent on labeling a brutal corupt hack a socialist go right ahead. Sweden nor France need to dictate the price of food at the retail level. Pharmesuticals is included in another area and does not belong in the conversation.

Classic strongmen allow business to flourish provided they get a cut. This is the case of most classic strongmen. The notion that food was not available in Pinochet's Chile or almost any other strongman. Moreover, Communist thugs are exponentially more prone to corruption as the system creates black markets.

Ren

Corruption is a human variable and the notion that it is absent in any society is folly. However, any attempt to compare Corruption in the USA to any communist country is a joke. FYI the level of corruption in Europe especially France is higher than the USA.

As far as Trotskyites offering anything better than the present is folly. It will be merely exchanging one for of oppression for another. How many Trotskyites are there a dozen?

Jams

Europeans have plenty of their own corruption.

Renegade Eye said...

Trotskyists are small in Zimbabwe. The point is they don't call it a socialist state.

Back to Venezuela.

The character of Venezuela is up in the air. As of now it has a constitution guaranteeing the right to property.

Welfare state reforms as Sweden can be compatible with capitalism.

Nationalizations have been compensated for. That wasn't done during the oligarchy. When the oligarchy nationalized oil in 1976, it didn't give compensation.

I'm watching to see what will happen with a new constitution, new socialist party and the community organizations.

In Venezuela there are often abandoned companies as Sanitarios Maracay, now running under a workers control arrangement.

beakerkin said...

Ren

Nationalization assumes the seller wanted to sell the property in the first place or that they were correctly compensated. Seizing an asset is theft regardless of compensation. This is a coerced sale and is Communism in actuality.

Sweden is Socialistic with key sectors of the economy controled by government and absurd saftey nets. This is also a bad ides, but Sweden does not need an army of thugs to spy on the regime. Theere is no need to regulate prices.

This is not what Chavez is building.The cult of personality, land theft, aiding FARC, harassment of opponent is on par with the early stages of Cuba.

However, the goal of your kind is deception. You will deny Chavez is a commie and a thug as long as possible. Then you will cry noble motive when the evvidence is too great to deny. The pattern is clear and this is not socialism.
You will replace this with the next hope of communism until we are all dead or you have global hegemony.

Jungle Mom said...

Slave revolt, Don't worry! I have seen you around before and know what you are like so I will take your insults quietly and realize you do what you must.

Larry Gambone said...

Sweden is NOT a socialist country. Never has been. When are you going to learn the difference between socialism and social democracy, beak? Stop showing how ignorant you are and learn something or go away. You are a bore.

John Brown said...

Hey Blustein:

What's Operation Condor?

MUMIA in 2008

Renegade Eye said...

Larry: Don't be so hard on him. Social democracy is a new word to him.

At Beak's blog there was an article about the discussion of inflation in this thread. He totally lied about what I said, combined with him having no numbers or examples of his own. Everyone should read the post on his blog, and read this thread. He is a punk and liar. I presented numbers, the fool presented only slogans. The evidence is in this thread. The fool said in his post, I denied inflation is a problem. Read this thread and then see how much Beak lies. The issue is lying Beak. You are a liar and your busted.

Going back to RCTV. Females before they are hired there, have to have pregnancy tests as an employment condition.

John Brown said...

What do you expect, Ren.

Blustein's so dumb that DHS fired him!

No lie.

beakerkin said...

Ren

You may call me a punk but the crux of that post was about inflation. Most of us are familiar with inflation in our own experiences. Goods are available but at a higher cost. This is not what is going on in Venezuela. Consumer items in many cases are unavailable. This is what happens when Commies remove actual farmers and replace them with political cronies.

The price controls force those who decide to remain to produce at a loss so they do not produce at all.
Communism always ends up with black markets and the faithful like you get their cut.

Interestingly, Junglemom who lived in Venezuela said my description reflected her experiences.

I am rather amused that you seem slighted. If you feel you were slighted you will not be censored.


The value of a currency is determined by the value of what it can buy. If there are no products in the market the money is worthless. Communist countries end up being reduced to barter. Miss Jones buys more toilet paper with the intent of a later trade with Miss Garcia who has done the same with soap.

I see John Brown is spamming you as well, join the club. Before too
long he may even place you in the Klanwatch or call you a pedophile.
Maybe he will write a poor satire blog called Randoid Renegade Eye or
Reactionary Renegade Eye. Or perhaps Brown will threaten your family members. Brown's behavior is more mental patient than Marx, and there is consideral ovelap between the two.

John Brown said...

What's Operation Condor, Blustein?

John Peterson said...

Hi friends, just a brief note on inflation in Venezuela. While, as Ren correctly points out, it has been brought under relative control in comparison to previous periods, which is quite an accomplishment, it remains a real problem.

But the problem is not "Chavez" in the abstract; the problem is that the government does not control the key levers of the economy - these remain in the hands of private capitalists who speculate and hoard and cause shortages and close factories and lay off worker, etc., etc. - on purpose - in order to destabilize the situation. This is the real face of these Venezuelan "patriots" who were willing to plunge the economy into a black hole in 2002 when they sabotaged the vital oil industry, costing the country billions in revenue.

The only solution is to bring the banking system, all major national and foreign corporations operating in the country, factories, processing plants, and all large land holdings under state control. You cannot control what you do not own.

Furthermore, the state itself is still partially controlled by the oligarchy or those who are opposed to breaking with capitalism and are sabotaging the process from within. It has not yet been replaced by a workers' state based on democratically-elected and recallable delegates through assemblies of workers, neighborhoods, peasants, etc. Only in this way can the state-owned enterprises and land be truly brought under the democratic control of the Venezuelan workers, peasants, and urban poor.

So yes, there is inflation, and yes, there is a solution: to take the revolution to its conclusion by economically expropriating the capitalist class, which cares more about private profit and power than the needs of the vast majority of society. This can only come about through the continued mass organization and mobilization from below and the creation of a new form of state, a workers' state.

This, in brief, is the only real and lasting solution - a revolutionary solution - to the problems faced by the masses in Venezuela and around the world. What is needed is a complete and total break with the capitalist system in Venezuela - and internationally.

There are those who will not agree with what I've outlined above. Such differences are inevitable, especially when we're dealing with issues that affect the whole of humanity and our future as a species on this planet. Disagreements, even sharp ones, that lead to serious, principled debate and discussion are to be applauded. But it is sad to see that Beak and others continue with ad hominem and straw man arguments which contribute little of any substance to the debate.

Ren, myself, and others on this blog are most decidedly not in favor of or arguing for Stalinism in Venezuela or anywhere else. In fact, we were on the front lines in struggling against the monstrous caricature of Marxism that was Stalinism, and in favor of genuine workers' democracy in the Soviet Union and around the world.

So for Beak to simply say things along the line of: Marx = Lenin = Stalin = Ren = Chavez is patently absurd and avoids the real issue before us: which way forward for humanity at the dawn of the 21st Century?

Best to all,

JP

beakerkin said...

Peterson

The correct comparison for Ren is Jim Jones.

Have the state contol everything and we can make a mess ala Cuba in no time. There is noting new about Statism it reeks of fuedalism. No doubt Ren sees himself as the Lord of the Manor straight out the marriage of Figaro.

The way foward is to ditch all forms of Marx to history toilet. The Confederacy, Bonapartism, Jihadism and Nazism all had romantic adherents who yearned nostaligically for a failed cause.

History has pronounced its verdict
and all but the reality challenged have read the verdict.

John Peterson said...

Beak:

"The correct comparison for Ren is Jim Jones."

More silly ad hominem attacks.

"Have the state contol everything and we can make a mess ala Cuba in no time."

Cuba is by no means perfect - but if universal health care, literacy, housing, and jobs in a poor blockaded country is a "mess", what do you call the U.S., where none of this is available in the richest country on earth? There's plenty of improvement to be made in Cuba (the revolution needs to spread internationally for starters), but only someone who is willfully blind can ignore the progress that has been made there since the fall of Batista.

"There is noting new about Statism it reeks of fuedalism."

You again display your total ignorance when it comes to the historical process. Feudalism was based on ownership by the Church and feudal lords and monarchs over land, with those living and working on the land (serfs) tied to the land, and therefore indirectly "owned" by the owners of the land. A socialist state is a far higher historical form, based on state ownership of the commanding heights of the economy, which along with the state is democratically administered by the workers themselves. Big difference.

"No doubt Ren sees himself as the Lord of the Manor straight out the marriage of Figaro."

A shame you would tarnish Beaumarchais' play or Mozart's opera of a rebellious barber (from Seville) who conspires against Count Almaviva. The real analogy with Ren is Figaro - not the "Lord of the Manor".

"The way foward is to ditch all forms of Marx to history toilet."

If these ideas were dead, no one would be talking about them over 150 years later. The reason they persist is because the fundamental contradictions of the capitalist system remain the same as they were over 100 years ago. History marches on...

"The Confederacy, Bonapartism, Jihadism and Nazism all had romantic adherents who yearned nostaligically for a failed cause."

You are stringing together very different types of movements, and none of them have anything to do with revolutionary Marxism. More of your straw man arguments, setting up false tautologies then "handily" knocking them down - while ignoring the real issues at hand.

"History has pronounced its verdict
and all but the reality challenged have read the verdict."

See above for the reason these ideas continue to thrive. Your only real argument against these ideas is that we should all simply accept your baseless assertions that capitalism is the "best of all possible worlds." Billions of people think otherwise, and the 21st century will be the century we finally bury the rotten corpse of class society once and for all.

beatroot said...

I notice that the first few posts as usual are OK, and then trolling sets in. Do something Ren!

John Brown

The short-sightedness and rapacity of the international bourgeoisie - not general strikes or socialist Presidents - are responsible for high oil prices.

Well….the high oil prices are because of a rising demand at a time when supply cannot keep pace. Hence the rise in price. The reason for the shortage of supply is because

a) there has not been enough drilling and exploration for oil

b) there has not been enough refineries built to refine the oil they have.

Now why is that?

Because the ‘international bourgeoisie’ have been holding back on exploiting oil deposits. This is a clear case of how capitalists are limiting themselves……this is not because of some mass movement against oil exploitation…this kind of stuff, as expressed through the ruling elites – in effect, anti-capitalism - which is now part of ruling ideology.

And people try and make believe that things have not changed qualitatively in the last 20 years or so….

John Peterson said...

c) Not enough research has been done into alternative sources of energy.

d) Investment in infrastructure and mass transportation has also not kept pace with a growing and more mobile population.

As always, the search for maximum profit through minimum investment is the cause. A rational society would use its resources to improve the quality of life for everyone, not just to line the pockets of a few.

beakerkin said...

Ren

Lets take the tone down a tad.

The inflation comments were tied directly into theft via Chavez fiat. When productive farmland is given to cronies and price supports make production a venture of loss the result is scarcity.

Inflation in the American context has goods available but at a higher cost. The inflation is a direct result of theft and authoritarian/Communist fiat. Moreover the goods are not available and hoarding has reduced some households to barter. When is the last time you participated in barter? Does the man next door to you need to trade Englebert Humperdink's greatest hits CD for a can of Raid and Mr Clean. Of course he doesn't.

Beatroot you need to go back to school. Oil is one of many cyclical comodities that fluctuate in price. The price of steel and lumber also rise and fall similarly. If any group has blame for reducing the supply it is Greens/ who are mostly recyled Reds or trying to disguise their identity.

I am also amused that John Brown is spamming this blog. It seems rabid dogs bite their master.

geez said...

e.) Too many of us drive around in gas-guzzling SUVs, encouraged to do so by the automotive and oil industries (and not in any way limited by gubmit) but also for safety reasons, some folks' need for status and power, and most folks not giving a shit about what they consume and the impact our choices have upon the planet and other folks.

John Brown said...

Beat,

Good discussion.

You attribute the rising cost of oil to two factors:

a) there has not been enough drilling and exploration for oil

b) there has not been enough refineries built to refine the oil they have.


You argue that the oil companies have unwantingly cut production because they lack refining capacity.

I would submit to you that from a capitalist perspective, Exxon & Co. are doing quite well. For them, refining capacity must be just right. If one measures "success" by profit, as capitalists must, they're not doing much wrong at all.

Now that question - whether profit is the appropriate 'end' - takes us into ideology, I suppose.

With profits as they are, the ‘international bourgeoisie’ isn't fretting much about new oil deposits. This, incidentally, happens to be another trademark of the Capitalist.

It's control of what already exists that matters - which always already explains the placement and positioning of Uncle Sam's StormTroopers.

With Nigeria aflame, Bolivia and Venezuela going Red, and Iraq resisting Sam's Petroleum Gang-rape, their attention has turned to seizing what's known than finding what's not.

Yet another reason why an attack on Iran makes sense from the capitalist perspective.

John Brown said...

Mullah Beak,

What's Operation Condor?

Why don't you write about it on your blog.

Also, if you hate drugs, why do you support CrackHead Rudy for Prez?

MUMIA in 2008

Binh said...

How many Venezuelans have internet access with the bandwith necessary to watch RCTV propaganda? Probably only 1-20% of the population AT MOST, and almost all of them would be the super rich, the filthy rich, the rich, and the almost rich.

I still think he should have shut these bastards down totally (those who half make a revolution...), but that's just my opinion.

Renegade Eye said...

Binh: Welcome. RCTV wasn't completely shut down, because Chavez went no farther than what he could legally.

Beak: You said in your post that I used the word normal to describe the inflation problem. Are you a liar or just not careful with facts.

It is of no concern to you, that the decade before Chavez took over inflation was at its lowest 29.9% all the way to 100%. Now it's about 14-19% approximately. In the big picture it is a small price to pay that since Chavez took power real wages are up 130%. All strata in society saw a gain in living standard. The AC Neilsen Company agrees with the govt's numbers. It's now easier to travel in an automobile to the coast because of new viaducts, Caracus metro is building more lines, some 80,000 homes are being built for the poor.

The bartering going on is trading oil for other commodities country to country. Tell me your source for claims of bartering on the individual level.

As John Peterson pointed out, not all of the economy is in Chavez's hands. Just as the oil production lockout (not strike) conscious sabotage is occuring. Again not completely new. Items were witheld from market during the oligarchy days as well.

beakerkin said...

Ren

You just used the same rationalization again. Moreover, the point of the post was this was not inflation as we understand the term. You seems to have a "collective" memory lapse about shortages. Junglemom who lived in the country said my version not yours is accurate. Perhaps you should ask her about shotages, FARC and massacres of Indians.

You display the typical pattern of excuses Commies are famous for. Dips in production are workers trying to get even. Beatroot doesn't see the workers fleeing toget away from collective insanity. Of course they are replaced with political hacks and the results are predictable. Do you want to tell me I am imagining the engineers and other professionals fleeing? How is it the prior regime did not cause these waves of refugees.

It seems your rabid dog has taken to spamming you as well. Have you seen the movie Old Yeller or read the section in your communist handbook about purging.

The comments of Bihn represent typical commie arrogance. We shall steal from the rich in the name of the poor and keep it for ourselves but this is not Communism. This is Cuba redux and nobody is the subterfuge.

We have allready seen Bihn and G on another blog start the oligarchy nonsense. This is exactly the same game you nuts play with Cuban Americans. I am glad to have these Venezuelans here. They will be great anti-communist allies and create untold misery when they have been here a while.

Renegade Eye said...

Beak: Again just slogans and name calling. Never a word of numbers or documentation.

Renegade Eye said...

More straw man arguments (YAWN).

As for Jungle Mom, the transcript says everything. From her first post here all she did was personally attack people. I can see why your her fan.

politiques USA said...

Have you ever seen a white guy from Venezuela supporting Hugo Chavez? Or have you ever seen a Mexican from aztec descent supporting the actual government? Behind the political ideology is hidden also the race issue. For the case of Mexico, capitalist development drained huge economic disparities between the South and the North, creating empoverished social classes that want to take the political control again. For the case of Venezuela I am not familiar enough, but there is for sure a social revolution. Let's wake up and smell the coffee :) Socialism is not dead, and social disparities will be eroded hopefully.

Graeme said...

I am sick of beak. I am at the point of ignoring. he doesn't want discussion.

I have no problem with people I don't agree with, but beak is so beyond ridiculous.

beatroot said...

Mt Brown

would submit to you that from a capitalist perspective, Exxon & Co. are doing quite well. For them, refining capacity must be just right. If one measures "success" by profit, as capitalists must, they're not doing much wrong at all.



You are completely correct. Oil companies are doin just fine. Problem is for the rest of us. I was making two points. That rising price of oil is to do with limited supply/refining capacity, not something to do with any ‘working class action’ against Big Oil.

The lack of supply is nothing to do with a lack of oil, cause there is lots. It’s that oil drilling and building refineries has not been done for a host of reasons – one of which is a host of environmental laws put in place by all kinds of governments.

Geez (who is in a sulk for some reason at my blog for reasons I cannot work out). Don’t start blaming SUV for rising price of oil. They constitute very little of the rising demand for oil. The rising demand for oil is because of massive growth in emerging economies – notably China/India but also smaller economies like Poland – which has a growth rate of 6 percent…much more dynamic than the older economies which have an anti growth bias built into them, weirdly. That anti-growth bias will get worse as the ‘carbon footprint’ obsession grows and grows.

Beak – don’t start telling me to go back to school, me lad. Oil prices fluctuate, of course, but of you look at the trend over the past five years you will see that it is up and will continue up.

And a general ppoint on Chavez – of he didn’t have any oil that the US wants and needs (at a time when they want to get away from troublesome suppliers in middle east and Russia, then they would not give a shit about him. He is no threat to them ideologically, so it’s oil thatb sticks in Bush’s throat.

John Brown said...

Beat,

I think we're pretty much in agreement. Outside of Nigeria and in Iraq, where the workers have threatened a strike if Uncle Sam's oil law takes hold, there really seems to be an absence of working-class struggle on this issue.

The bottom line is that oil isn't identical to other commodities because of its role in augmenting labor-power. As long as oil plays that role, prices will stay high.

You're absolutely right about the SUV canard. The real problem with oil consumption is far more serious.

Reidski said...

Far too many comments to read here.

But let me say what a fucking superb post that is Ren - keep on rocking my man!

beatroot said...

You're absolutely right about the SUV canard. The real problem with oil consumption is far more serious.

You see, I get the impression that you are a bit of a Marxist, John. Now, traditionally, Marxism and the left concentrated on production….whereas you are painting the problem as one of consumption

I don’t think there is a problem with the consumption of oil, because the demand is rising because finally China and India etc are experiencing real development. We should applaud that. The one good thing about capitalism is that it is the best way we have to date of developing the means of production. Good. Very good.

What the left has done in the last few decades has moved increasingly to seeing consumption as a problem. It isn’t. The problem of society is always about the way we produce, not how we consume or how much we concume….

politiques USA said...

However, any attempt to compare Corruption in the USA to any communist country is a joke. FYI the level of corruption in Europe especially France is higher than the USA.
Communism is dead.
If you compare the CIA website in terms of corruption between France and the US, there is not much difference, but if you compare the kickbacks between France and the US, then the golden award goes to the US and France lags way behind.
Kickbacks are also a form of corruption. Statistics bring facts. Anyway at a governmental level I've never seen a country that is not corrupted.

Té la mà Maria - Reus said...

hello salutations

from Reus Catalonia

Larry Gambone said...

There are other forms of corruption that aren't listed when it comes to debating US vs. France. The US has a 2.1 million prisoner gulag system, while France has few prisoners by comparison. The US vast gulag system is an result of corruption - the police-prison-military industrial complex. Then about $500 billion of "illegal" drug money washes in and out of the US financial system, another example of corruption. Then there is the biggest con of all, the military industrial complex (the reason behind the so-called Terrorist threat) which uses tax money to fund a host of companies like Haliburton etc. While France has some drug money and some military nonsense it is much less than the US, which spends more on this than everyone else combined. So in terms of a corruption race,the US wins hands down.

beakerkin said...

Politiques

Ask someone in the import export business to name the most corrupt countries.

Beatroot back to school time.

The rise and fall of cyclical comodities is directly related to the ups and downs of the world economy. As you have stated earlier the increased demand in India and China have caused the price to rise. The notion about oil companies not seeking to develop new resources is folly.

Moreover, as oil prices increase other types of oil extraction become more proffitable adding oil to the market. This is ECO 1001 and not complicated. It is obvious that you understand the basics that elude most on this site.

beatroot said...

Beak - back to school for you for reading classes.

I never said that oil companies were not seeking oil deposits. I was saying that there are a host of different laws etc which have prohibited them doing so. Therefor there has been a lack of supply to meet growing demand, hence a rise in price...

Please read comments before ranting about them....

beakerkin said...

Beatroot

And just who is directly to blame for the delay in finding more oil supplies. The answer is the Greens who are recycled commies.

Oil prices are directly tied to world business cycles. The idiocy that Venezuelan shortfall are due to anti- Chavez workers is garbage.
All the talented engineers left as fast as they could and were replaced with political hacks. Oil just doesn't come out of the ground.

The excuses of Ren are similar to the decades long droughts that foiled all the five year plans. Same foolishness advocated by the same apologists with the same result. There is nothing new and this is not Peron it is Castro redux.

Renegade Eye said...

Beatroot: Do you believe in "peak oil theory"?

In line with your belief concern about Venezuela is related to its oil resources. Peru is going through gigantic general strikes that may bring down Alan Garcia is not noticed. He shut down two TV stations and three radio stations, without a peep from "Reporters Without Borders".

Another aspect is humanitarian intervention. You were the first to smarten me up about the situation in Sudan. France finished a conference on Sudan, with plans to aid Darfur, in typical imperialist fashion, didn't have speakers from the groups they support. Oil = humanitarian intervention.

Beak: The price of oil is influenced by the amount of the resource, and the demand. How profound. I'm surprised you haven't blamed Chomsky for oil prices yet.

Renegade Eye said...

From 'Oil wars" 07/15/07; Yesterday I finally saw a full set of poll numbers on Chavez from Datos, one the polling firms with the best track record in giving accurate numbers.

Cutting to the chase, Chavez's approval rating stands at 71.1%.

That is an astounding number, especially given all the supposedly "negative" events since last December - the formation of a single party for pro-Chavez groups (PSUV), the nationalization of major companies, all the "shortages", the "closure" of RCTV (BTW, the "closed" RCTV will magically re-open tomorrow and resume spilling its bile), and the little hate fest the Venezuelan opposition had over the past month and a half. Despite all that, despite all the rocks and insults hurled at the government, its approval rating remains at 71%!

In some other numbers from the poll 53.3% of those polled think the country has improved over the past 8 years, 18.5% think things are the same, while 24.8% think things have gotten worse.

With respect to their own personal situation 49.8% say it is better, 33.4% say it has remained the same, and 15.6% say it has gotten worse.

Asked to classify the situation of the country 45.3% say it is good, 5.3% say it is excellent, 23% say it is bad, and 16.6% say it is very bad.

politiques USA said...

Hola la catalonia.

Salut la Catalogne, ca va toi?

politiques USA said...

Ask someone in the import export business to name the most corrupt countries. Tell me.


One decade ago, I was in the Import/Export business with the US. I could talk in lengths about the US case but I never did business with other countries such as China or India, so i can't really compare. In my pool of business opportunities, I was buying goods to the third-world countries and selling to the western countries, and I had especially problems in the US regulations with the FDA files, and many problems of getting my money back in some cases.

Hey guys I might be away for a few months. I'm working for a US corporation lately, I have one market study in Canada, followed by a marketing plan, and then I have to go to India to delocalize the operation center, so I won't be home that often. I charge them out of the ass of course, these "fat capitalist pigs". I just heard this expression on a blog earlier today :)

politiques USA said...

Beaker: of course.

politiques USA said...

Here is a case of political corruption with BAE (UK - Saudi Arabia - US):
· UK asked to hand over secret payments evidence
· Refusal could endanger sharing of intelligence
The Serious Fraud Office in London spent £2m and more than two years amassing documents which showed BAE had transferred £1bn to Washington accounts controlled by Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, and another £1bn to Swiss bank accounts linked to agents acting for Saudi royals. The records include highly classified Ministry of Defence files detailing the government's involvement in the al-Yamamah arms deal payments.

The Saudis and BAE say the payments were all above board. But Mr Blair said the Saudi royals privately made threats to cut off intelligence links unless the investigations were halted. He claimed this might increase the risk of British citizens being murdered in al-Qaida terrorist attacks "on British streets".

The US justice department has sent its formal request for mutual legal assistance to the Home Office in London. This was confirmed by the SFO at the weekend. If ministers refuse to cooperate, they will face a fresh international crisis. The OECD, which polices international anti-bribery treaties, has already accused Britain of potentially breaching those treaties.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/baefiles/story/0,,2127191,00.html

In terms of corruption, the lack of explaining why there was no wmd in Iraq is going to hit us back in the face 20 folds at an international level, we are not credible anymore.

Daniel said...

New to your site. Older blogger!

Can't understand why Americans don't ride Bush out of town on a rail. What's stopping them?

Admire Chavez. Hate Cheney, capitalism, religion, nationalism and racism though not in that order.

Bloggers must unite before we are banished!

Cheers from Down Under!

roman said...

ren,

Chavez and his boys realized what a PR blunder of enormous proportions it was to not renew the TV station's license. They are keeping a low profile and will take no action to prevent these broadcasts from outside. The station will return to the airwaves on an unofficial basis using other technical means like satelite transmissions. This is only a neccessary political but TEMPORARY status in view of all the recent negative press around the world. Once the press and student protest die down, there will be further crackdowns. His government by populist charismatic strongman cannot allow for freedom of the press to exist. This is why his speeches contain venom towards the USA. He needs to create strife where none really exists in order to keep his constituants under his thumb. His stance so far is historically identical to that of similar dictatorships that are anti-Democratic. USSR under Stalin, North Korea, China under Mao, Cuba, Cambodia under Pol Pot to name a few. All have been complete failures. The ones that still remain have either changed or are "closed" states with no freedoms of the press. The steps to ascendancy formula looks very much the same. Chavez is using the Fidel cookbook and following the ingredients set forth after the fall of the Batista regime letter for letter. History's dustbin is ready for another deposit and Venezuela's middle and upper classes (those with the means) will start a mass migration before utter chaos develops. This will be the next step. Look for this tell-tale sign in the coming months and years. Please save this comment so I can say I-told-you-so.

Renegade Eye said...

Daniel: Welcome to this blog.

In the US, the main stumbling block to social change, is the Democratic Party. They don't want to tarnish the presidency, because they'll have it next. The Democratic Party uses the rhetoric of social change, only for votes.

Roman: Your analogies are straw man analogies. Unlike Castro, Pol Pot etc. Hugo Chavez won eleven straight elections, and retains a 71% approval rating from an independant polling company. Chavez came to power through the ballot box. How would Bush do with a recall election?

RCTV broke the law. They used their resources to coordinate an illegal coup attempt. Some of their management was in the parliment building with the plotters. It wasn't a free speech issue, it was an issue of them breaking Venezuelan law.

In the US, as liberal as the radio show "Democracy Now" is, they never call for the violent overthrow of the government. If they did, they'd be put off the air.

Where is the outrage about Alan Garcia in Peru shut down two TV stations and three radio stations. A similar action took place recently in Uruguay.

The difference between Venezuela and a Cambodia, is that Venezuela has a democratic history. If you want to talk about dictators look at the 2002 coup. The plotters overturned an election and abolished parlement and the judiciary.

John Brown said...

Roman,

The refusal to renew RCTV's license was such a blunder that his approval ratings have remained above 70%!

Your claim suggestion that RCTV will adopted tactics like broadcasting on satellite TV to get around the Bolivarian masses demonstrates one thing: you haven't been paying attention.

From the very moment the decision was made, Comrade Chavez had said the same WarOn Commies at RCTV who tried to overthrow him in the coup could move to cable and to satellite. But that wasn't the issue: the Bolivarian masses no longer wanted to public airwaves contaminated with soft-core porn and reaction all day long.

And they acted.

And Chavez listened to them.

MUMIA in 2008

John Brown said...

Ren: thanks for calling my attention to the Peru stuff.

MULLAH BEAK the DHS PEDOPHILE: What's Operation Condor.

John Brown said...

Beat,

I'm more than a bit of a Marxist!

As you point out, Marxists are primarily concerned with production and not consumption.

Production is generally given more consideration among Marxists because the issue of worker control of the Means of Production (MoP) remains the cardinal thesis of Revolutionary Marxism.

Obviously, if workers control the MoP as the bourgeoisie do today in most places, they control both production and consumption. These two things can't be looked at individually. Rather, as Marx discusses in both Capital v2 & v3 - they work symbiotically as part of an economic cycle.

I'm not saying the problem is one of production and not consumption or vice versa. Rather, I'm trying to look at the material forces that affect each.

While political turbulence and other factors you've listed do explain why new refineries aren't opening, I would argue that oil production has remained relatively constant. Outside of a few places (like Iraq & Iran) The availability of oil hasn't diminished in a way that qualitatively impacts people's lives.

Rather it is the consumption of an oil within an oil-based economy that has caused the demand for oil to rise.

You say that this isn't a problem since in places like India and China (and Venezuela) the bourgeoisie continue to enrich themselves. Fair enough, but the fact remains that their increased consumption has an impact globally.

Questions about the MoP have little to do with production as production. Rather, they have do with the decisions undertaken by those who control them about a circular process that includes production, consumption, and distribution.

They never stand in isolation from each-other.

roman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
roman said...

ren, JB,

If there were flagrant violations of state subversion committed by the station, wouldn't a more logical approach be to arrest the individuals responsible instead of shutting down the whole station?
It's as if CNN had run a series of expose's critical of the Bush Admin by Anderson Cooper and then calling for the immediate overthrow of the administration by any means possible (not that that is what happened in the Chavez case). Question: Do you shut down CNN or do you arrest Cooper and the administrators directly responsible for the series? In other words, punish the individuals responsible... DO NOT SHUT DOWN THE MEANS OF FREE DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION.
It is, as you well know, the very last bastion of defense against government corruption and abuse.

Binh said...

Thought you guys might be interested in the latest ISR (www.isreview.org), of which this is an excerpt:

July–August 2007, International Socialist Review Issue 54: INTERVIEW: Orlando Chirino

The following interview was conducted with ORLANDO CHIRINO, national organizer of Venezuela’s National Workers’ Union (UNT) federation and leader of C-CURA (the United Autonomous Revolutionary Class Current) within the UNT. The interview was conducted after President Hugo Chávez proposed the formation of a new unified Venezuelan Socialist Party (PSUV). Originally posted on the left-wing Venezuelan Web site Aporrea.org in late April, it was translated and posted in English on the British International Socialism journal Web site in early May 2007.


****************************************************

WHAT IS your assessment of the issues posed by President Chávez when he launched the proposal for forming the PSUV on March 24?

THE GREAT virtue of the discussion that President Chávez has set in motion is that it gives us an opportunity to discuss the nature of the Venezuelan revolution, the project for creating the PSUV, the role played in the revolution by different social sectors, and in particular the working class. It’s a debate about how you build an organization and it raises a whole series of questions that we should discuss openly, publicly, and with complete honesty.

What is most worrying is that the president ended up by doing exactly what he criticized.

He criticized the political cannibalism that characterizes the organizations of the Left, but then he went on to say that anyone who does not share his views is a counterrevolutionary.

I think this is a serious mistake, because far from encouraging debate it closes it down and encourages the sectarianism that the president has said he is anxious to fight.

WHAT DO you think are the most important issues?

THERE ARE lots of issues to discuss, but let me address two in particular.

The president says, for example, that the reformists are a danger — and I agree. And yet it is my view that the program the president is putting forward rests on a reformist conception, and that there is no perspective for a break with the logic of capital.

Let me explain.

After the great neoliberal offensive of the 1990s, we are seeing again multimillion-dollar investments by international capital in strategic sectors of the economy such as oil, mining, coal, construction, and infrastructural projects.

International consortia from China, Russia, and Iran are exploiting our workers more than ever.

I don’t believe that some multinationals are better than others.

They are all essentially concerned with monopolizing production and trade, exploiting workers, pillaging the natural resources of nations and intervening politically in the economic decision-making processes of those countries. This strikes at the heart of the kind of economic model we are building.

The president represents investment by the multinationals as a step forward.

I see it as mortgaging the revolution.

For me, the first step toward socialism is to break with multinational companies and corporations.

What this government is doing, on the contrary, is promoting concentration into larger and larger economic groups; the purchase of CANTV and the Electricity Company of Caracas are examples.

There’s no question that the recuperation of these enterprises by the state is a step forward, but the business sector was so pleased with these developments that they made a public announcement of their support for the move.

Equally worrying is the president’s announcement that Sidor (a major steel company) will not be nationalized because it is being run by “good capitalists.”

In fact, this company was privatized under the Fourth Republic and is owned by a multinational consortium headed by Techint of Argentina.

Our understanding is that the president took this view because the company is based in a country governed by a “friendly” president, namely Kirchner.

But we wonder when we began to speak of “good” and “bad” capitalists?’

The president is currently making a lot of public references to China.

We would ask him not to do that, because capitalism was restored in China a number of years ago, and today it is the country where the working class is most exploited.

They are modern-day slaves, led by a rotten party that calls itself communist, but is in fact completely subject to the multinationals.

To cap it all, the Chinese have just introduced into the constitution the right to private property. China is hardly a good example.

Another important issue is the role of social classes in this revolution.

You don’t have to refer to Marx, Engels, Lenin, or Trotsky to know that the only way to overturn capitalism, a system in which a minority imposes its will on the majority, is that the working class and the people—we who are the majority and the producers—take the lead in expropriating the enterprises and place them under our control.

In that sense, what we mean by socialism is very simply stated.

Yet that is becoming more and more difficult in Venezuela.

We workers are not in that position, even in the key sectors of the economy, to contemplate even joint management, let alone workers control.

The government will not consider the possibility of co-management in strategic sectors.

Our comrades at the Constructora Nacional de Válvulas (today called Inveval) had to undergo real physical hardships and hunger, and fight like hell before the government finally listened to them and agreed to expropriate the company.

The workers of Venepal (now Invepal) had to fight for ten months before they beat the capitalists—while the government looked the other way.

And now we have the case of Sanitarios Maracay where the workers are in the fourth month of an occupation for nationalization — but the government still seems less than interested in nationalizations like this.

This suggests that the government’s program does not include expropriation, and nor will the PSUV’s.

But if this doesn’t happen, we will not be moving toward socialism, but only toward some kind of state capitalism with a developmentalist perspective.

This leaves private property untouched, and means that capitalist exploitation and the accumulation of profit by a very few will continue.

WHAT ABOUT Chávez’s view on the independence of the trade unions?

THIS IS a really important issue. The president can’t change history and argue that those of us who are fighting for the independence of the trade-union movement have somehow been “poisoned” by the experience of the Fourth Republic.

On the contrary, trade union autonomy is the key antidote to bureaucratization; that’s why the revolution was saved in 2002 and 2003, and as long as it continues it will be the key safeguard of the revolution.

The CTV (the old national trade union, the Venezuelan Confederation of Labor) sold its soul to the old two-party system and the governments it produced. For forty years the Venezuelan trade-union movement lived through its worst period, because workers were puppets in the games played by the old parties (Copei and AD) and the bosses’ organizations.

Venezuelans still remember how AD (Democratic Action) decided the fate of workers, bought and sold contracts, and worked with the government to control the unions and the CTV.

We should remember that the bosses’ strike of 2002–03 was led by CTV and Fedecámaras (the bosses’ organization) working hand in hand. The raison d’être of the new UNT union is exactly the opposite: to fight for trade union autonomy, and organize the workers to fight against any attempt to submit them to political control or give in to compromises.

The president needs to remember that during the trade-union elections of 2001, when as we all know the CTV orchestrated an enormous electoral fraud, many workers did not support the alternative slate led by Aristóbulo Istúriz precisely because he was seen as the government’s candidate.

The president has to understand that because of what we call the class instinct, and the levels of class and revolutionary consciousness, as well as because of their relationship with the bosses, the behavior of workers is different from that of peasants, communities, or students.

The worst thing about the president’s comments, however, is the suggestion that by fighting for the independence of the working-class movement we are playing a counterrevolutionary role.

That is not true.

With other comrades we have built a national trade-union current that as well as fighting against bureaucracy and for socialism, is most committed to a fierce defense of trade-union autonomy.

The second congress of the UNT was proof of what I am arguing. What happened there was not just about five different factions or currents fighting or some leaders squabbling with others because we have personal disagreements, and President Chávez is wrong to describe it that way.

In fact, for the last two years “the mother of all battles” has been under way between two conceptions—on the one hand those who want to tie the trade unions to the government, and on the other, those of us who are fighting for the sovereignty and independence of the trade-union movement.

We have thirty years of trade-union work behind us and we have never compromised with the bosses or the government, let alone with imperialism.

And we have no intention of giving up now because the president has described us as “the poisonous residue of the Fourth Republic”!

We have fought tirelessly within the trade-union movement for class principles, democratic methods, and an integrity born of proletarian morality. As PST-La Chispa (Workers’ Socialist Party) we are proud to have been the first political organization to support Hugo Chávez’s presidential candidacy. He will remember the first meetings we organized in the La Quizanda district of Valencia and with the textile workers of Aragua. So our history is unimpeachable.

We are at the forefront of the struggle against the CTV, we supported the creation of the FBT (Bolivarian Workers’ Front), and we are enthusiastically behind the UNT.

We joined the best activists in resisting the coup of April 11, 2002, and we were centrally involved in the recovery of the oil industry during the bosses’ lockout of 2002–03. Our record is an extremely honorable one.

YET CHÁVEZ quoted the great revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg in support of his case. How do you see that?

THE PRESIDENT has tried to use Rosa Luxemburg’s writings to support his arguments against trade-union independence — but we have to see her positions in the particular political and historical context in which she put them forward.

When she discussed the question of trade-union autonomy she was referring to the German Social Democratic Party and arguing against syndicalist and bureaucratic tendencies within the unions. As a Trotskyist I have to recognize that Trotsky was wrong when he argued that the trade unions in Russia should not be autonomous shortly after the Bolshevik victory. Luckily, Lenin participated in the debate and he argued for autonomy. Trotsky’s arguments had real force, given that this was the time of the war economy, when there was hunger, civil war, physical assaults against working-class and trade-union leaders, and a confrontation with the holy alliance of the imperialist counterrevolution. Yet even so he was wrong while Lenin was right.

This should tell you that we are not dogmatists, that we study reality and engage critically with our own history.

It was not a coincidence that years ago the Stalinists described us as counterrevolutionaries because we were fighting for a new revolution that would sweep away the bureaucracy that had seized power in Russia.

WHAT EFFECT has this discussion had on trade-union independence?

IT HAS had major effects.

We haven’t yet been able to hold the UNT internal elections, for example. The argument last year was that we had to give priority to the presidential elections. We were not against calling for a vote for Chávez, but we argued that the best way to campaign for that call was that it should come from a legitimately elected leadership. Unfortunately, it did not happen.

The other reality is the tragedy that public-sector workers and oil workers are living through at the moment.

If the trade-union movement were not autonomous and we had to accept what the government was saying, we would have to accept the contract negotiated by Fedepetrol and the other federations. The contract was not just illegitimate, but in fact was part of the leadership of the bosses’ campaign of sabotage supported by imperialism. It is our independent struggle that has prevented that.

The same is true of public-sector workers. The current minister is busy making deals with the trade-union leaders who have no authority and are in a minority. Their power stems only from the leadership’s control of the apparatus and the support it gets from the government.

And there is another issue related to autonomy. The FBT and the Labor Ministry allege that the UNT is not fulfilling its historic role and should therefore disappear. At the same time they are talking about setting up parallel structures and putting forward a series of proposals that will decimate the trade-union movement. It is crucial that these proposals are seriously and carefully discussed by the working class.

It is because we are independent that day in and day out we are able to fearlessly express our views on the errors — sometimes the appalling errors — that the government is committing.

Public-sector workers cannot be left waiting for twenty-seven months for their contract to be negotiated. And it seems that the oil workers will face a similar fate. The key question is whether it is right to struggle for the independence of the trade union, and whether our exposure of these issues makes us counterrevolutionaries.

Of course this is not just about trade-union autonomy. It is also about the relationship between the PSUV and the government. Will all PSUV members be obliged to support the decisions of the government and its bureaucrats? Will the new party be more than just an appendage of the government?

Imagine an oil worker who risked his life challenging the bosses’ sabotage participating in a meeting where the minister will order him to accept a collective contract negotiated with the people who organized the coup! These are important issues that need to be discussed.

DO YOU feel you were properly represented by Osvaldo Vera, who spoke at the launch meeting of the PSUV as a representative of the workers?

NOT AT all; he did not raise a single issue of concern to the working class. He just spoke in generalities.

And I have to ask myself who decided, when and where, that he should speak in the name of the Venezuelan working class?

For me this is the key question.

How is the PSUV being built?

I want to express my solidarity with thousands of my compatriots who went to Caracas to take part in the event and who were not only excluded, but mistreated and beaten in the bargain.

On television we saw governors, mayors, and deputies who do not have mass support occupying the first rows.

There were bosses and bureaucrats present who have defended the bosses, and a number of people who have been accused of corruption and the defense of policies that did not reflect the interests of the people.

That is why there is so much discontent—because people know that this process has begun in a very questionable way.

We in C-CURA believe that we have to be clear in our class allegiance.

We cannot give space to bosses, landowners, bureaucrats, or those guilty of corruption. But it would be completely wrong to exclude the grass roots or those who disagree with the president.

Everyone knows that Vera does not represent the working class. The FBT is a minority within the UNT, yet he stood and spoke in the name of all workers. That is why we are fighting for the PSUV to accept internal currents without conditions or qualifications.

Nobody should be forced to dissolve — that would be completely arbitrary and designed to stop discussion before it begins. And we need to know what the position of the president and the organizing committee is on these matters.

HOW DO you see the future of the PSUV project?

WE HAVE to recognize that the people have placed great hopes in it; indeed, it is seen by many as a real political victory over the leaderships of the old parties like the MVR, PPT, Podemos, and all those other organizations that for years have fed a tiny group of fat bureaucrats while the majority grew thinner by the day.

However, I must say to you that the way it has been presented by President Chávez will not succeed in bringing in the real class fighters, the honest revolutionaries working within the trade-union movement.

And that is why we insist on taking part in this debate.

We have a view of how to build a revolutionary party in Venezuela, which is imperative if the struggle for a revolutionary process is to continue and develop to the point where it can seize from the capitalists their economic, political, and military power.

Until now, we have seen nothing of that in the discussion about the PSUV.

What is important is that the debate is open and that everyone says clearly what they think and what kind of party they want, what its program should be, and how it should be built.

We are part of that debate and we will not allow anyone to discredit our contribution or accuse us of anything.

We will speak honestly, openly, and listen to others in the debate.

Our views are different from those put forward by the president and the organizing committee.

We will make sure that they hear our views and visions for the Venezuelan revolution.

John Brown said...

Binh,

I had the privledge of hearing Chirino speak 2 years ago in Chicago. He's a remarkable fighter.

Do you know whether Chavez has repressed Chirino's political formation in any way? Realizing that often the verbal attacks immediately precede other types of intimidation, has anything happened yet?

Renegade Eye said...

Binh: Very interesting comments. I'm not sure where that group fits here or in Venezuela. It will gain nothing by being on the outside.

Roman: It is as simple as Venezuelan law says that stations using public wavelength, are not allowed to advocate violence against the government. It is not just a reporter, it was systemic of RCTV.

RCTV fired all pro-Chavez employees, including comedians with 30 years tenure there. RCTV operates freely on cable and satellite.

Farmer John said...

The workers will always be the puppets of oligarchy, bureaucrats and tyrants. They're too stupid to be anything else, let alone the economic "decision makers". It would appear that the joint vision of "socialism" held by members of this blog is to let the retards make all the important decisions.

I'd rather have Stalin over a "workers cooperative" making any decisions. At least his decisions would be "rationale".

No wonder Chavez wants nothing to do with the unions or the "revolutionaries" of Sanitarios Maracay.

$70 dollar oil is the only thing keeping this "socialismo o' muerte" regime in the "black". Venezuela has become a merchantilist-based capitalist economy, that's all. Socialism? LOL! That's the shell that hides the pea in Chavez's game of political three card monty.

Farmer John said...

btw - When I lived in Venezuela, '66-'70 the exchange rate was a constant 4.25 Bolivares to the dollar. Today it's 2150 to 1 (officially) and 2500 to 1 (unofficially).

In Venezuela, socialism has another name. They call it "officialismo". Only Chavez supporters are permitted to be the "official" representatives of the student or labor movement. No "independent" or "contrary" voices are given a hearing.

Don't worry, the "independency" of unions in Venezuela will soon be replaced with "official" unions. The so-called antidote to bureaucratization will soon be labor's "poison pill". One need only look at the student resistance movement to see what will soon happen to them, once they've served their purposes, anyway.

As was the case in the great "parlimentary" student debate where only ONE independent voice was allowed to be heard, and it had to walk-out of the proceedings as soon as its' message had been spoken.

Renegade Eye said...

Farmer John: I wish you were more involved with this discussion when it was fresh. You are my favorite representative of the opposition. You stay on topic, don't name call and use data.

If you prove correct, than Chavez should go. You are the only opposition person at this blog, who recognizes everything Chavez has done is within the confines of capitalism. I'm waiting to see how the new socialist party turns out, and the new constitution.

Inflation is under control, if numbers are compared to the oligarchy. Chavez is postponing the day of reckoning, as supermarkets etc hoard goods. With oil $$ he gets goods from outside. can't last forever,

The workers control movement is the real revolution.

I heard the students made fools of themselves.

I find it funny that the Maoists in Venezuela, think the opposition is socialist.

Farmer John said...

If the students made fools out of themselves, it was only because the entire event had been staged as a circus act long before the students arrived.

The students hadn't agreed to any "debate". They were present merely to deliver their petition for a redress of grievances to parliment.

It was the Chavista's who attempted to execute a nationally televised "ambush-debate" where the students would be outnumbered by "officialista" opposition speakers 100 to 1.

And by walking out, the students exposed the fraud. So if they were perceived as fools, it was in the same way one might regard a court jester as a fool.

And I agree with you, renegade eye. Chavez is a capitalist and nothing he has done to date would indicate a fundamental restructuring of the economy was underway. What IS underway is merely a transfer of ownership, from the wealthy oligarchs to the "new bureaucrats" (officialistas) of the caudillo.

And once the oil price goes "south", so will ALL of Chavez's current popularity. His "window of opportunity" for making his old-fashioned caudillo pirate government operating under the disguise of socialism permanent is rapidly closing.

His support for official confiscation of the means of production is nil. He needs foreign investment money desperately, because indigenous capital flight is accelerating. He will never support the workers of Sanitarios Maracay. The last thing Chavez wants to see is a political and material strengthening of the unions. Not until they're all in his own pocket, anyway.

The "threat" of full-blown socialism is merely the whip which allows Chavez to buy out the wealthy oligarchs for pennies on the dollar. And the money he makes will NOT go to the poor any more than Eva Peron's loose change tossed into the crowd did. He, and his new bureaucrats will be padding their Swiss bank accounts rather handily, instead.

Anonymous said...

This denial-of-dictatorship reminds me of just one thing - the left's attitude to Mugabe in the 1990s. They argued that he wasn't really a dictator, he was fighting for black liberation. He didn't massacre 20,000 Ndebele people during the Gukurahundi, he took a tough stance on those who supported colonialism. He didn't destroy the country's infrastructure and cast millions into poverty, he took much-needed reforms to free his country from the colonial yoke. He didn't give all of the country's most valuable assets to his cronies and supporters, he redistributed the land in favour of the poor.

Get real.

We know that the only reason Chavez denied RCTV their "little bit of spectrum" was to punish them for their opposition. A warning to other media outlets not to do the same. Removing RCTV's terrestrial license means the poor majority in Venezuela have no access to a dissenting voice. Sure, the rich can afford democracy with satellite TV. But the poor will only get interviews with the president, and happy stories, telling them how wonderful things are since Chavez came to power.

Please, don't be in denial. Although he's on the left, although he cares about the poor in Venezuela, Chavez is most certainly not a good guy. He's no knight in shining proletarian armour. He's just a crook. A populist dictator opposed to freedom of speech.

Eugene Weixel said...

beakerkin said
"Perhaps you should ask her about shotages, FARC and massacres of Indians."

Massacres of Indians!? What!?
Don't skip over this one, you've said it. Why not prove it???

Anonymous said...

Oil Wars, whose real name is Dan Burnett, does NOT live in Venezuela. He lives in NYC, and works at Columbia University's Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health in the Center for Community Health and Education. He lies constantly, even when posting comments on other blogs. He lied when wrote that the RCTV antennas and transmitters belonged to the state. That is false. Chavez sent the military to take over the transmitters and has not paid RCTV what they're worth.

Ricardo.

Eugene Weixel said...

"We know that the only reason Chavez denied RCTV their "little bit of spectrum" was to punish them for their opposition. A warning to other media outlets not to do the same."

Yep, organize a violent overthrow of the government using the airwaves and you just might lose your license. I think the warning has had good effect on some of the other media which remain oppositional but aren't urging people to march on Miraflores to throw out the president, nor holding coup planning meetings in their offices and studios (we hope).

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