Saturday, May 10, 2008

Who Pays the Opposition Students in Venezuela?

By Pablo Roldan and Mauro Vanetti
Thursday, 08 May 2008

It is not true that US imperialism does not help the Third World! One of its agencies, the Cato Institute based in Washington DC, just signed a cheque for $500,000 (yes: half a million bucks!) to a young Venezuelan. Yon Goicoechea has been awarded the "Milton Friedman Liberty Prize", for his merits in the promotion of "Individual Liberty, Free Markets, and Peace".

Well, we have to admit that Mr Goicoechea is not exactly a poor boy from a Caracas slum. He is a law student at the expensive Andrés Bello Roman Catholic University in Caracas, whose fees are 5,820 Bolivares Fuertes (officially equivalent to $2,710) per year, a very high price in Venezuela. Nevertheless, this badly needed financial aid was honestly earned by Mr Goicochea for the good job he did in the cause of the free market (i.e. capitalism) and democracy (i.e. conspiracy against the elected government of Hugo Chávez). The reason he is considered a hero by the Cato guys is that he is the leader of the "students' movement" that opposes the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela.

Yon Goicoechea

Right-wing and Anti-Democratic

The main activities of this movement have been organising demonstrations (and clashes with the police), with the typical display of inverted Venezuelan flags and an overwhelming presence of white-skinned people, on the following issues:

*In favour of the private right-wing TV channel RCTV, that supported the coup against Chávez in April 2002;
*Against progressive reforms in the universities (e.g., equalising the weight of students' and teachers' votes in elections for
university institutions) and promotion of affordable universities for the poor;
*Against the progressive reforms proposed by the Constitutional Referendum held on December 2, 2007.

There is no need to comment on the recurrent accusations about "erosion of human and civil rights" or "a constitutional reform that would have turned the country into a dictatorship". In the current war that the US ruling class and the nation's government are waging against the Bolivarian government of Venezuela, those statements have the same character as the old stories told by the British and American governments during the First World War about German soldiers cutting off the breasts of Belgian women - they are purely war propaganda fabrications.

Fabrications that our free and independent media, watchdog of democracy and freedom, waste no time in reproducing: "Venezuelan student leader who challenged Chávez wins prize", says Associated Press; "Student who challenged Chávez wins $500,000", announces US Today; and CBS tells us "Venezuelan student leader wins award for challenging Chávez". The movement has also been defined as "non-violent" in the award ceremony, but first-hand accounts by revolutionary students tell quite a different story (see Opposition Violence at Venezuelan university - What Really happened at the UCV).

In the muddied waters of CIA platforms and "neo-liberalism", "free-market libertarianism" or however Friedman's intellectual miscarriage is labelled, there can be no irony in the fact that an award for "Advancing Democracy" is conceded to someone who is attempting to destabilise, and eventually overthrow by any means possible, the democratically elected government of Venezuela, a country where, according to the Andean Commission of Justice (Comisión Andina de Justicia) - a body not very friendly to the Bolivarian revolution - 77% of people believe in democracy and 59% are satisfied with the levels of the democracy they experience, the highest rate in the region, and probably in the continent, if not the world.

Could it be otherwise when there have been over 11 democratic elections since Chávez was voted in? These were local, regional and national, including a recall referendum on the president himself, and all were declared free, clean and fair by such pro-revolutionary bodies as the Carter Centre or the European Union. The government was also (unfortunately) defeated in the last constitutional referendum - which would be unheard of under a dictatorship.


After spending weeks denouncing the totalitarian character of the "Chávez regime", Yon Goicoechea and his friends demanded their "right" to be heard at the National Assembly. Contrary to what they were expecting, the National Assembly invited them, along with students belonging to revolutionary organisations, to express their concerns and debate about free speech and freedom of the press; never before had a student representative been invited into the National Assembly.

The session opened with Douglas Bravo, a student opposition leader from the Metropolitan University, a private and notoriously elitist centre. He read out his speech, which was as vague as it was well written. On the one hand, he promised to continue the fight for the RCTV to the very end. On the other, he hinted to the possibility of a national reconciliation process if the revolutionary government stopped being a revolutionary government and behaved as every respectable government is expected to behave, defending the interests of the capitalist and landlords.

At the end of his speech he said in a declamatory way: "a dream of a country in which we can be taken into account without the need to wear a uniform", at which point he and his friends took off the red T-shirts they were wearing and revealed a series of pro-RCTV slogans. They started to withdraw from the Assembly, but revolutionary students convinced them to stay and, at least, listen to the intervention of Andreína Taranzón, a revolutionary student from the Central University of Venezuela.

Taranzón finished, and here came our hero. Yon Goicoechea took on the speaker's role, but having already done their show for the media, he did not feel like debating anything. Goicoechea announced that the opposition party was leaving. "We did not come to this Assembly to play at being politicians, we are students", said Goicoechea, "Having spoken once and listened once, we leave". And they left, leaving behind the script of the speech read earlier by Douglas Bravo.

The script was signed by ARS Publicity, part of Globovision's business group. Not only was the speech scripted, but also its performance. César Trompiz, a revolutionary student from the Bolivarian University, read out the last sheet of the script: "A dream of a country in which we can be taken into account without the need to wear a uniform [take off the t-shirt] with no more to say [pause] so far".

These "oppositionists" are not just generously funded by the oligarchy, they are also remote-controlled!

Tools of World Capitalism

Mr Goicoechea has been long praised by the Western press for his role in giving the Venezuelan opposition a "fresh" image and a new, relatively clean, face. Among the Goicoechea enthusiasts we also find the editorial board of Playboy-Venezuela, who put him (not his picture, that space was already occupied by a half-naked girl) on the front page of this, er..., serious political magazine.

The talent scouts who have hailed him the champion of anti-Chavism are not such an innocent group. The board who appointed Yon as a modern-day capitalist hero has an interesting composition:

*Kakha Bendukidze, a Georgian leading politician and good friend of the White House, who profited out of the US-backed
privatisation and destruction of the Soviet planned economy.
*Ed Crane, president of the Institute, member of the Mont Pelerin Society, a freemasonry-like think tank founded by rabid
anti-socialist economist Friedrich von Hayek. He is a vocal supporter for the abolition of the Social Security insurance system
in the US, because the sick, old and disabled, if poor, should be given the freedom to die without any government
interference in their health conditions.
*Francisco Gil Díaz, Mexican minister of finances until 2006, now hired by the giant banking group HSBC (the largest capitalist
company in the world).
*The capitalist Charles G. Koch (Koch Industries), who's been described as "the world's most successful private billionaire".
*Another European neo-liberal ultra-rich ideologue known by the name of Karen Horn.
*Andrew Mwenda, a Ugandan journalist who opposes sending aid to Africa and debt relief for the highly indebted countries.
*Mary O'Grady (The Wall Street Journal) and Fareed Zakaria (Newsweek), two other journalists on the payroll of Big Business.
*Rose Director, the widow of the laissez-faire economist Milton Friedman and a lunatic "libertarian" economist herself.
*Another individual who has won a Friedman "award" was Hernando de Soto, who was economic adviser in promoting the "Fujishock" in Perú, a packet of shock economic measures during the Fujimori dictatorship (free market and dictatoirship!).

Milton Friedman gave good economic advice to the dictator Augusto Pinochet who strictly collaborated with his pupils, the Chicago Boys, while he was in charge of dramatically worsening the living conditions of Chilean workers, killing and torturing thousands in the process. Receiving the Friedman Prize must have been a great honour for Yon Goicoechea. Who knows, a future career as a Venezuelan Pinochet is still possible for this brilliant advocate of capitalist freedom!


Larry Gambone said...

As I have said a number of times here, the ruling classes will torture and kill as many people as necessary to maintain their vampire like control over the populace. They must be rubbing their hands in glee about the prospects of killing a hundred thousand or so Venezuelan "monkeys" as they call the brown-skinned working class.

Phil said...

Sickening. I suppose it takes a group of rancid turds to recognise one of their own.

troutsky said...

You don't suppose those same Cato deep pockets would be funding de-stabilization efforts in Bolivia do you? You don't suppose Exxon Mobile has it's fingerprints on any of this? They should have him go toe to toe in a televised debate with a Bolivarian student.

celticfire said...


Thanks for exposing this. Venezuela is and has been for a while an important and interesting experiment in class struggle.

P.S. my new URL:


Anonymous said...

...inverted Venezuelan flags and an overwhelming presence of white-skinned people?!?

That is communist rhetoric at it's most disgusting. Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

...and Goicoechea's 'debate' performance before the national assembly was worthy of Benjamin Franklin at the cockpit before the privy council.

Ne'er before had so many wily political foxes laid in ambush for one so young as Goicoecheas.

Anonymous said...

Vivan los Estudiantes!

Stop Revisionist history!

Anonymous said...

See what REALLY happened!

Frank Partisan said...

Troutsky: Morales is more moderate than Chavez, and see how he is treated. The referendum strengthens any coup attempts. If a coup was attempted, I think you'd see a civil war.

Larry: Bolivia is the spot, where race is really the issue. I think Bolivia is a hotter spot than Venezuela.

Phil: If I said in the US, the stupid things the students say, would Cato give me $$?

Celticfire: Welcome back.

Farmer: Are you kidding? Yon Goicoechea is no Ben Franklin. On national TV, he made a fool out of himself, between being scripted, and walking from the debate, he was a gift to Chavez.

It was one in a series of stupid moves by the opposition, to walk away from the debate. It goes along with boycotting an election, because the opposition knew they had zero following.

When the Chamber of Commerce was bombed, your blog implied Chavez was involved. It turned out to be an ultra left collective of some kind responsible. You didn't report how the police rounded them up.

Stop speaking in riddles and abstractions. Make your point.

celticfire said...

Yeah I have major differences with that organization as well. Specifically the issue of Stalin, I've always been at odds with the WPB's line on Stalin and their conception of socialism. ie: "everything was cool, China is still socialist (wtf?), nothing bad that happened was Stalin's fault."
Where as I think Stalin had a great big role (though certainly not alone) in transitioning the Soviet Union to Khrushchev brand revisionism. And Mao didn't break enough with Stalin, he went half way and balked. This hindered the development of socialism in China and internationally in a hundred million ways.

Now the other organization with the same name I have a much deeper appreciation.


Our Father, who art pond scum, hallowed it be Thy farting of oxygen

Stay on groovin' safari,

Frank Partisan said...

Celticfire: To the other readers, it's Freedom Road Socialist Organization, you are referring to.

I don't believe in the concept of Khrushchev revisionism. All of Stalin's opponents; Trotskyists, Bukharinist, Zinovievist etc were killed off. Whatever reform would have to come from Stalinists themselves. Khrushchev inherited a wealthier Soviet Union and an educated population. That was the material basis, for how Khrushchev acted.

How could anyone read Mao's "Combat Liberalism," and still be a Maoist?

The FRSO never deals with us politically, but through procedural tricks.

Back to rich Venezuelan students.

Anonymous said...

It was one in a series of stupid moves by the opposition, to walk away from the debate. It goes along with boycotting an election, because the opposition knew they had zero following.

LOL! The opposition DEFEATED Chavez in the election. And defeated him by such a GREAT MARGIN that the national election commission to this very day (six months later) refuses to post an official vote tally

When the Chamber of Commerce was bombed, your blog implied Chavez was involved. It turned out to be an ultra left collective of some kind responsible. You didn't report how the police rounded them up.

Chavez has lots of quaisi-independent supporters, much like the CPUSA and MoveOn-org are BOTH backing Obama bigtime. And since the perps of the bombing were stupid enough to get caught on camera...

I hear that recovered documents now show that Chavez was about to loan FARC $250M and supply them with anti-air missiles. All I can say is, no surprises there.

Chavez is a just ANOTHER in a long line of LEFTIST caudillos. Oil's the only thing keeping him afloat, and the day the oil balloon bursts will be Hugo's last.

Anonymous said...

PS - This is the SAME student movement that stood up (unsuccessfully) to RIGHT WING caudillo Juan Vincente Gomez in 1928 and later founded the democracy that Venezuela later became, only Marx/Lenin isn't their model this time... Adam Smith is.

Anonymous said...

...caudillo's need the military to keep them in power. THAT is Chavez by definition... a MILITARY dictator.

If he were friendly to the USA like Musharref, you'd be sh*tting all over him...

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

i wonder how much secret money they've pumped into Venezuela to destabilize the country. if i was an opponent of chavez, i'd be furious over stuff like this. it only gives him that famous excuse that the US is trying to weaken his government.

Rita Loca said...

Oh please! Talk to someone who was there!
And Chavez funds terrorist like FARC.

Larry Gambone said...

"Chavez was about to loan FARC $250M and supply them with anti-air missiles"

If that was true I would be jumping up and down with joy. My problem with Chavez is that he is essentially a moderate like Evo, and needs to be pushed by the people into taking a revolutionary stance. The Gringo ruling class and the oligarchy are too stupid, power-mad, greedy and racist to see this and seek a social democratic compromise with the Venezuelan and Bolivia peoples. So they push them on to revolution. But as the late, great Abbey Hoffman said, "The pigs are our leaders."

Larry Gambone said...

I should add that I am no great fan of FARC. I basically agree with Ren's position on their politics. "But beggars cannot be choosers." They have put up a 40+ years resistance to the oligarchy. A resistance that is imperfect, is better than no resistance at all.

Anonymous said...

i wonder how much secret money they've pumped into Venezuela

Not as much as Hugo is KNOWN to have exported in $800K suitcases to Argentina, Bolivia, and the rest of South and Central America...

Anonymous said...

Washington isn't the one swimming in $120/barrel oil and throwing money around like a drunken sailor (ignoring the people of Venezuela in the process) and buying over $5 billion in soon-to-be-worthless Argentinian paper.

Hugo's also got new refinery deals cooking with Nicaragua, Brazil, Uraguay, Iran, Cuba and China but he can't spend a single Bolivar in Venezuela to the benefit (jobs) of his own people... go figure... [his (poor & uneducated) people can't work worth a lick anyway]. My guess is that he needs to keep 'em poor and needy and dependent upon HIM for hand-outs and permits to steal from their betters. We've seen it all before... nothing new here... keep moving... move along...

Larry Gambone said...

"his (poor & uneducated) people can't work worth a lick anyway"

racist comment

Frank Partisan said...

Jungle Mom: FARC is belligerant, not terrorist. They control territory and have military rank. If Chavez gave them $$, they wouldn't kidnap.

Graeme: I believe autonomy movements are going to be more subsidized in Latin America.

FJ: No proof of a tie between Chavez and any suitcase.

The line about Chavez spending in other countries, is one of the crudest around. As loaning to Argentina's debt, is paying off politically, and Venezuela gets a cash flow.

You argue like my ex-wife, she always had lists of things to bitch at me about. You did this, and this, and this.

Chavez is not spending on social programs? Don't even try to quote that "Foreign Affairs" magazine article, saying social spending decreased with Chavez.

The workers during Venezuela's lockout (bosses strike) restarted the oil refineries, after they were left sabotaged. That is probably the greatest example of worker's control this century.

I'm going to be meeting Jorge Martin, who has written much of what is on my blog about latin America this weekend.

Other Topic: Check out Marxist from Lebanon's blog about Lebanon.

Anonymous said...

FJ: No proof of a tie between Chavez and any suitcase.

I wouldn't say that a criminal confession and CONVICTION in a US court of law followed up by a full televised confession in another case (Bolivia) constitutes "NO PROOF" (especially when the courier in the second case was seen exiting a Venezuelan military C-130 and dressed in a Venezuelan military officers uniform).

and Larry... when telling the truth becomes racist, then call me a racist all you want. As procol harem so eloquently put it in a Whiter Shade of Pale...

If music be the food of love
Then laughter is its queen
And likewise if behind is in front
Then dirt in truth is clean

Nicholas said...

Except for his clear anti-communism, pro-U.S. imperialism, and pro-Marine slop, I have to say that I agree with FJ- Chavez is one in a long line of left talking caudillos. Exactly. The petty bourgeois left's interest in Chavez is another example of tailing after third world bourgeois populist nationalism instead of recognizing them as administrators of the capitalist state. Chavez is the enemy of independent proletarian action. I support smashing the bourgeois state, not using it for reforms-and that's what makes a real Marxist.

celticfire said...

I disagree Nicholas. There is a tendency to use the Russian model as the only model in revolution and its a breeding ground for dogmatism and mechanical materialism (maybe even the philosophical basis for Stalin) and it creates a situation where we spend our energy searching for orthodoxy instead of our creative energy fighting imperialism. Mao called it carbon-copy revolution, and denounced it (accurately) as dogmatism.

Check out what's happening in Nepal. There is a creative application of dialectical materialism and concrete conditions and now the Maoists are the ruling party that came about from open, democratic and contested elections.

So not every reform is anti-Marxist (Marx would agree.)

Plus in speaking to Mass Work, winning reforms often work as a training ground for the masses to learn how to rule society, and when the Mass Line is used correctly, it raises the aim of the masses beyond the momentary reform to aiming for revolution. That's dialectics.

I recommend the Red Book for more on the Mass Line. It's helped me in every movement I've participated in.

Rita Loca said...

Ren, Gee! Well, thanks for clearing that up. Glad to know you think Chavez should give FARC money and that FARC are not terrorists!
I happen to have very strong feelings as they, FARC, have MURDERED 3 close personal friends. Marched into their homes, kidnapped the men and eventually, years later shot and killed them.
They, FARC, have lived openly in such places such as Puerto Ayacucho, Venezuela and have had their children enrolled in the schools and even hold soccer matches with he Venezuelan military there.
I am not sure what planet you guys live on...

Anonymous said...

Except for his clear anti-communism, pro-U.S. imperialism, and pro-Marine slop, I have to say that I agree with FJ...

Well thanks, Nicholas. But you only batted one out of three. I am clearly anti-communist. I am NOT pro-U.S. imperialism (I am anti-Venezuelan imperialism/ALBA) and I may be pro-marine, but am not pro-interventionist with the USMC UNLESS idiots like Hugo cannot keep his d*ck in his pants and leave the other kids alone.

Hugo has recently forward deployed Venezuelan regulars onto the border with Columbia. Should those troops ever cross, then by all means I would support sending "more than one" Marine Amphibious Brigades to Columbia. And should Venezuela continue to provide sanctuary for FARC guerillas, then I would not hesitate to endorse the use of US 5th Fleet Naval Air Power to crush any identified camps within the Venezuelan frontiers... killing any Venezuelans who might get "in the way". They want to play "human shields," that's their business.

Frank Partisan said...

Nicholas: Your position on Venezuela, would put you in FJ's camp in practice. You would be isolated.

In the battle for the constitutional changes, Chavez called for 30 hours work for 40 hours pay. Where do you think he learned about such a demand? Chavez is not a Marxist. He opened the door for Marxists to be able to have a platform.

If you are a worker in Venezuela, entering political involvement, the Spartacist League is unlikely the first group to be involved with. They join mass organizations they are familiar with as PSUV in Venezuela, British Labor Party, Histadrut in Israel etc.

Celticfire: There is no such thing in Marxism as mass line. Do you create your political program after speaking to your grocery stock clerk, or listen to someone as a Alan Woods, who has years of political experience? The idea of mass line prevents you from gaining a real transitional program.

See my post about Nepal.

Red Book! You are joking. That is not where correct ideas come from.

FJ: There was never going to be a war between Colombia and Venezuela. They are both capitalist governments dependent on each other.

memememe said...

Let me laugh a little... first.. is not Douglas Bravo... is Douglas Barrios... quite a different last name, second the UCAB is one of the cheapest among the private universities of my country and provides several scholarships and financial AID of students who can't pay, take this commenter as an example. Third, even if Yon were just some rich kids, his income is not an excuse to take credit out of his stances, hope you have better arguments to bring to the table that some stupid ad hominem asupmtions. Fourth, the student movement does not simply opposes the Bolivarian Revolution and only brings demands for better civil rights, we are not planning to overthrow any government, don't be paranoid. Five, you should put your facts straight on the RCTV case but this is not the place to discuss them. And six, I haven't get the first pay check from the CIA neither we care about it, but since writers like you talk about that money so much, I might be complaining with the empire now... this is again, more paranoia, its eassier to put Yon and the rest as CIA puppets instead of listening to our stances huh. Seven, the white t-shirts the students were wearing at the national assembly said freedom only, no pro RCTV slongs. Eight, thanks for having the patience of reading me, if you want to know more about my stances and why I defend them, visit my blog, same goes to all the commenters so far.
Best regards and excuses about my bad english

sonia said...


Don't worry. Very few people in the West support Chavez. Almost everybody admires and supports the student movement in Venezuela. You are great heroes. And people like Ren, Graeme and Larry are just misguided idealists who get fooled by Chavez's anti-American rhetoric. If Hitler himself denounced George W. Bush, they would support Hitler as well. They are completely predictable (and easy to manipulate) this way...

Thank God, they are a tiny minority.


But beggars cannot be choosers. They have put up a 40+ years resistance to the oligarchy. A resistance that is imperfect, is better than no resistance at all.

Yes, but if FARC is the best you guys can come up with as "resistence to the oligarchy", then "oligarchy" will rule in Colombia forever... The Italian mafia has also put up a 400+ years "imperfect" resistance to the Italian oligarchy, and Berlusconi has just won an election....

Graeme said...

There are over a billion people that now live in slums (Mike Davis' Planet of Slums documents this wonderfully). The slum population has grown in leaps and bounds during the last thirty years of neoliberalism. Chavez, probably most recognizably, has tapped into that population. No matter why you think he did that, the fact remains that he is popular among those residents. They could be stupid and easily manipulated, as social darwinists like FB think, or perhaps they are culturally inferior indians or monkeys (half breeds) that need to be saved, like Jungle Mom thinks- it doesn't really matter.

There are no solutions coming from the opposition. More neoliberalism, more CATO institute bullshit. Maybe if we continue to ignore the poor, they'll die off or go away. It is really telling that they aren't even offering capitalism's team B (that is a more Keynesian approach), they continue to talk about liberalizing markets, increasing investment and other code words for continued dictatorship of industry. Jungle mom complains about waiting in line, probably next to stinky slum dweller, for birthday cake while people in Haiti eat mud. Let them eat cake!

It took many deaths for the ruling class to become weak enough to allow a welfare state here (as in the "west") but they, especially in the US, have been scaling that back for years. Their overconfidence will come back to bite them in the ass. Next time we won't settle for a welfare state, or even a state at all. We see with international eyes, your nationalism will be your downfall.

Rita Loca said...

LOL! I lived in a mud hut among ye'kwana in the jungle! I had a house in a slum in Ciudad Bolivar. Venezuelans do NOT stink. Even those who live in the slums, in tin ranchos without running water are some of the cleanest people I know.
The only place I ever had to stand in line next to stinky people was in a very affluent bank in Germany!!!

Your comment in regards to 'slum dwellers stinking' was not only arrogant and condescending, but also shows the great extent of your true ignorance of the culture and nature of the Venezuelan people.
People I live among and hold as friends!

celticfire said...


On the contrary, the basic premise Mass Line ("from the masses, to the masses") has been a part of the revolutionary movement since Marx. Certainly applied by Lenin, and developed by Mao.

I am familiar with Alan Woods and the Ted Grant tendency, and the political line that says just let some revolutionary intellectuals develop the "Programme" for the masses. It's striking similar to another organization I know called the RCP.

Yet the Workers International League remains nothing more then a small collection of primarily white, educated radicals...just like the RCP.

The Mass Line isn't saying leadership is unnecessary, the opposite actually, but it is calling for a dialectical materialist method of leadership - reciprocating the ideas, thoughts, hopes, and wishes of the masses and using communist leadership to synthesize this and take it back to the masses. It kind of flies in the face of self-announced "vanguards" like the RCP, which is why they don't much care for the Mass Line.

The funny thing is that its used a lot among Leftist movements, though often left uncredited. The Zapatista's have used it, Hugo Chavez uses it to a degree now - and he has done so impressively, using the Mass Line to advance the most progressive elements, unite with the middle elements, and isolate the backwards.

Now look: I don't buy the Maoist-orthodoxy that Trotskyists are objectively tools of capitalism. Some of the most serious, committed, and passionate communists I know are Trotskyists.

My thing is that we aren't living in Russia in the '30's, or 60's in China - we are in a new phase, were the last attempt at socialism was deeply flawed in many ways, despite its overwhelming achievements.

That's why I dig the 21st Century Socialism concept put out by the CPN(M). Socialism in this century won't look - or act - like socialism of the last, but its character will remain the same.

Graeme said...


I'm glad you are don't seem to understand the context with which I used those words. I happily picture an indigenous person gleefully shaking their head accepting your "aid" but firmly rejecting the three Cs (capitalism, christianity, culture) that really motivate your missionary work, and you being none the wiser.

Larry Gambone said...

'Don't worry. Very few people in the West support Chavez. Almost everybody admires and supports the student movement in Venezuela."

Where do you get that information? What is happening in Latin America - including Venezuela and Bolivia - has wide-spread support among progressive people. I would say these movements are every bit as popular in Canada as say the UP in Chile in the early '70's and the Sandinistas in the '80's were. Once again, Sonia, I live here and am involved in local struggles, so I should have some idea of how people think.

"And people like Ren, Graeme and Larry are just misguided idealists"

I have no time for idealism, and the notion is just one of those dismissive cliches people throw at you. It is class war, and we, the working people have been getting a beating the past 30 years. The same people who attack the Latin American movements are the same people who are attacking working people at home - the same people cutting back on our pensions and social services, destroying our unions, wrecking our communities, pimping us to the Gringos. These are also the same people who support the policies that have wrecked Latin America, with piratization, IMF cut backs of needed services, destruction of local industries etc. So why do you think I should give any credibility to what they say about Latin America? I would have to be nuts to do so?The source and abiding strength of neoliberal reaction has been the US. US imperialism must be defeated. The US must be put in the situation of the British Empire after WW2. And I don't care who does it - which is not the same as saying "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", but is rather opportunism, in the positive rather than the pejorative sense of the term - like Lenin taking advantage of the Tsarist defeat in WW1.

I suspect that you are the idealist Sonia - a fundamentally decent young person caught up in an ideology, which you want to believe is somehow liberatory, yet in reality is a rationalization for oppression and exploitation and a white-washing of the crimes of imperialism.

Tula 49 said...

I found this to be most laughable, given how the reactionaries just walked off and left their scripted speech behind for all to see. They have done Chavez a favor. The US funding of the Opposition is also yet again confirmed (like it is anything new in the first place.).

There is also a dialectical relationship between the working class and the vanguard. There is no "cabal of intellectuals" or a "mass line."

Tula 49 said...

Oh, and a short edit:

Anyone who reads Lenin's "What is to be Done" will get a crushing refutation of the theory of "mass line" and a good grasp of the dialectical relationship between the working class and the vanguard.

celticfire said...

Wow, I've read "What is to be Done?" and all I read was the Mass Line. Did I buy the wrong book? O.o

Tula 49 said...

Nope. Like the Rabid Avakianites that cite the book, you clearly did not understand a word of it.

If "correct ideas" came from the McDonald's burger flipper, then why bother building the party? There would be no need for consistent political exposure because the "masses would just know it all."

Frank Partisan said...

Thank you for a nice discussion.

Julia-1984: Thank you for visiting my blog. It's not Goicoechea's income per se, that makes him reactionary. It is where it comes from, and what service he performs. If your position is now that you are not for overthrowing the govrnment, it's only because you know the workers and peasants, would squash you. Remember 2002?

Sonia: I agree some on the left, would support anything against Bush. You know that Graeme, Larry G, Troutsky and myself, are not in that camp. I'm personally more hostile Democrats.

JungleMom: At your blog, you campaign against gun control. I'm personally border on apathetic on that issue. The idea of a missionary campaigning for guns, is a shocker. Reread Graeme's points.

Celticfire: Tula49 has every volume of Lenin's writing at his house, with the Stalinist notes. I learned about mass line from PL. That explained them being so loud and militant, fighting for a street light as a hypothetical example.

The Int'l Marxist Tendency is largest in Pakistan and Mexico, hardly white.

Even in your blog, you don't interview the grocery clerk, you interview seasoned political people.

I wish you were correct about Nepal. See this.

Tula49: See my notes to Celticfire.

Graeme: In the next 20 years, it'll be rare to find anyone who lives in a rural area. Most of the world's population will be in a few cities.

Larry: Sonia travels in different circles than I do. Even anti-Chavez Venezuelans I meet, don't identify with the opposition.

celticfire said...

Ren: In regards to the TG tenancy, I was referring to specifically the work done in this country, and I concede that line has made advances in Pakistan and Mexico.

I read their article on Nepal, really it couldn't be more incorrect. They accuse the Nepalese Maoists of not "understanding" international capitalism and the role it could play, well if you check out the debate with Comrade Azad and the CPN(M) you can see this is actually a source of contention withing the Maoist movement. Again, the WIL is just throwing around tired assumptions without concrete analysis. Not very scientific.

I won't get into a endless debate on the mass line here, but I do think you all need to do a bit more investigation on the subject.

Lenin was absolutely correct when he said we need a revolutionary party organized around scientific socialism, led by tested leaders. But how do these leaders led? You wont find any love for the RCP's extremely bizarre interpretation of WITB from me.
But the mass line is there - Lenin says we shouldn't bow to spontaneity of the masses or tail after them either, but we shouldn't be bourgeois populists either. Wait! You're reading the Mass Line there.

I have to harp on this because it is so little understood - even among so-called "Maoists" (see the RCP) and it isn't anarchism, whatever the whims of the masses are goes - but its a deeply democratic method of leadership, that I genuinely believe is the groundwork for a future communist society.

celticfire said...

I also wanted to point out that the Mass Line was also a significant breaking point from Stalinism from the Left. The Mass Line rejected Stalin's mechanic conception of socialist development. Though here I have to also admit Maoism balked at completely breaking with Stalinism - unfortunately.

Rita Loca said...

My blog had a comical post in regards to a statement made by Obama about guns and religion, I would hardly call that a 'campaign'. However, having had guns held to my head, having been caught in shootouts and held up at gun point, I do have strong feelings on the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution for the American citizen.
I never would have had the need to promote gun ownership to the Ye'kwanas as it is something they already espouse, for both hunting and protection from your dear friends the FARC.


You have no idea. You are laughable in your complete ignorance of the South American indians. Capitalism? I have no need to promote as they already practice it. Christianity is something many accept and continue practicing in spite of the absence of the 'evil missionary'(we are unlike the Muslims you support who do force conversions at the point of beheading) and their culture is not so fragile as to be tossed aside. It is a very part of their fiber and there is no need to change it. Some practices may change with education as they learn better ways to protect their health and life style. They have every right to progress if they so choose.
Again, get out of your Ivory Tower!!! Or else be true to your beliefs and go back to riding horse and buggy and living without modern conveniences, such as your computer.Your hypocrisy is beyond intolerable.

Frank Partisan said...

JungleMom: There is not one word of political support to FARC in this blog.

Celticfire: I hope you are correct about Nepal. I just don't see it.

I don't believe you fit in with most Maoists. Mao saw himself as a monarch more so than Stalin. He was carried on a litter during "The Long March."

sonia said...


It is class war, and we, the working people have been getting a beating

I suspect that you are the idealist Sonia - a fundamentally decent young person caught up in an ideology, which you want to believe is somehow liberatory, yet in reality is a rationalization for oppression and exploitation and a white-washing of the crimes of imperialism.

You suspect wrongly. I was idealistic (just like you are), until I realized that this "we, the working people" that you still believe in, is in fact a totalitarian psychopath. I bet you've never met this "We, the working people". I did. If you did, your ass would still be bleeding...

"We the working people" were voting for Hitler in 1933. They were crying when Stalin died in 1952. They were killing people in Beijing during the Cultural Revolution. They were helping Pol Pot carry out his genocide. They were denouncing their neighbors in Havana. They were martching in parades in Pyonyang.

Fuck the "we, the working people". I spit on them, and I applaud everybody who fights against their totalitarian tyranny.

Rita Loca said...

Sorry, I assumed anyone who supported Chavez, who is known to be a supporter of the FARC, would be a supporter of FARC as well.

Larry Gambone said...

Sonia, your argument is fallacious. By the same logic you should hate humanity, since human beings support dictators, fight wars, destroy the environment and so forth.

Of course, at the same time, this same human race also struggles for liberty, feeds the poor, gives its life for a better world etc.

And with the working class, of which I am a member since I have had to spend my life working for a boss, it is true, a minority of them have indeed voted for Hitler, applauded Stalin etc. But if you have ever done any research on the social and political positions that the various classes take you will find that working people are more likely to have progressive views than the boss class on a whole list of things. Most workers in Canada and Western Europe take a social democratic stance, and have done so since WW2. Most of the boss class take a reactionary stance and have always done so.

In this sense there is a "we" to which I am proud to belong and this "we" is responsible for what little humanity still exists in the world. It is a "we" to which I belong not of ideological reasons, but for rational self-interest. It has been in my interest to have a union and increase my wages and improve my working conditions. It is in my interest to have single payer medical insurance, it is in my interest to have and keep the 8 hour day, it is in my interest to have a pension and not work till I drop dead like my ancestors, it is in my interest that I live in a peaceful society, which means some level of equality etc. All of these things were fought for and won by that "we".

Don't think for a moment that I have not heard the sort of reactionary arguments that you in your naivety have raised. I heard them before you were born and they were wrong back then and are wrong now. Wake up! You are being taken for a ride.

Frank Partisan said...

Sonia: The historical crisis of mankind is reduced to the crisis of the revolutionary leadership. - Leon Trotsky

sonia said...


It is a "we" to which I belong not of ideological reasons, but for rational self-interest. It has been in my interest to have a union and increase my wages and improve my working conditions.... single payer medical insurance... 8 hour day... a pension...All of these things were fought for and won by that "we".


EVERYWHERE ELSE, there were no independent unions, no 8 hour workdays (under Stalin, people worked 12-hours), pensions were a JOKE, and medical care was rudimentary

not work till I drop dead like my ancestors

Ever heard of Stakhanov ?

you will find that working people are more likely to have progressive views than the boss class on a whole list of things.

Again, only in the capitalist system. The more capitalist the system, the more progressive the working class.

But outside this tiny capitalist sanctuary (North America, Western Europe, East Asia, Australia), in the REAL WORLD, the working class, the boss class and everybody else, are not progressive at all. There, the choice is between naked exploitation and totalitarian control. The rich are for the former and the poor are for the latter. And both are equally hellish alternatives.

You are being taken for a ride

Look in the mirror. This isn't about believing things. It's about OBSERVING REALITY. You can't observe the real world from your Canadian ivory tower. Try to live for a month in Caracas or Havana (even with your Canadian credit card) and we will talk then...

Larry Gambone said...

You don't know a great deal of history do you. Sonia? Ideology is no substitute for study, I can assure you. Far from being the benign matrix from which social democracy emerged like a soft pink flower, capitalism exceeds Stalinism in its crimes. The primitive accumulation of capital consisted of theft on a monumental scale – the stealing of the commons, the theft of entire continents, genocide of those peoples, and of course, the Atlantic slave trade and the plantations. Capital during its industrial period meant 16 hour work days, child labor, suppression of unions, transportation to Australia for unionists, Workers crowded 10 to a room in slums and the life expectancy in mill towns was 21. Then later, the joys of the new imperialism of the late 19th Century, leading to the bloodiest wars in history. It took years of struggle by that “we” you hate (plus of course, middle class reformer allies) to overcome this misery. The capitalists fought these changes every inch of the way.
The crucial component is not capitalism, but democracy. Everywhere there is some level of democracy, workers have been able to fight to improve their condition. Where democracy does not exist in any degree, such as Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, or some Gringo-backed military dictatorship, workers are unable to improve their conditions. But the democracy that we have in Western Europe, Canada, etc. did not come as a gift from on high. Once again it had to be fought for and was a long and bloody struggle against many of those same capitalists you admire. Ever hear of the Chartists? (That “we” again!)
I repeat, for the umpteenth time, Stalinism is not some Platonic form hovering in the heavens waiting to manifest. It is an historical tendency, based upon a particular historical situation. This situation, other than in a marginal case like Nepal, no longer exists. Once more in harmony, STALINISM IS A DEAD DOG! What we are seeing in Latin America is not Stalinism, but new forms of social democracy and/or left populism. It is a crude propaganda trick (known as the amalgam tactic) to claim these movements are or will become Stalinist.
I think you are suffering from what my friend Kevin Carson calls “vulgar libertarianism” which boils down to apologetics for the corporatist status quo and slander of its opponents.. If you want free markets, why not become a REAL free marketer like Kevin instead of allying yourself with some of the worst liars on the planet. Once again, see

sonia said...


Stalinism (...) is an historical tendency, based upon a particular historical situation. This situation, other than in a marginal case like Nepal, no longer exists. Once more in harmony, STALINISM IS A DEAD DOG!

Try to tell that to a Venezuelan who cannot buy milk for his children, a Zimbabwean whose farm has just been destroyed by an angry mob, a Burmese peasant starving to death because his government is paranoid about Western imperialism, a Tibetan monk languishing in a Chinese prison, etc. etc.

You can always bitch about the Atlantic slave trade 200 years ago, and close your eyes to real injustices occuring right now, today...

Anonymous said...

The proles have always needed a capitalist factory to "organize" around. W/O a capitalist system standing them up, these diehard commie travellers don't understand that there "existence" is "impossible". At least the Islamicists have a mosque to organize around...

I don't know whay you waste your time on these deadheads, sonia... you must be some kind of secular saint.

Larry Gambone said...

Sonia, you are using polemical tricks instead of directly trying to counter my arguments. You feign outrage, rather than actually showing me where Stalinism is a growing hegemonic force. Do you really think that military hut-bars like the Burmese state, a psychopathic regime like Mugabe's are the wave of the future? (How correct is it to call them Stalinist? Are they really any more Stalinist than Somoza was a "Liberal?" I don't think so. They are vile regimes that will cobble together any rationalization for their existence.

I don't think either are long for this world. This is what I mean by my statement about Stalinism. Nowhere but Nepal is it any sort of growing force.

Including populist Venezuela in that list is simply appalling. This is the sort of hysterical ranting that you find on hate radio. I doesn't matter whether you like the Bolivarian revolution or not, but they are not Stalinist. I should know. In year 3 of the Cuban revolution my people were either in exile or in jail. In year 9 in Venezuela we are still there organizing protests, and indeed, the main faction, El Libertario, is bitterly critical of Chavez. This could not happen under a Stalinist regime.

Larry Gambone said...

"You can always bitch about the Atlantic slave trade 200 years ago, and close your eyes to real injustices occuring right now, today..."

More fallacious arguments. You were the one, not me, who brought up the alleged wonders of capitalism.
Furthermore, you are making unjustified assumptions about what I support and do not support. You do not know me, otherwise you would know I am also opposed to the Chinese regime, Mugabe etc.

sonia said...


Do you really think that military hut-bars like the Burmese state, a psychopathic regime like Mugabe's are the wave of the future?

Probably not in Canada, but it might be the wave of the future in Sub-Saharan Africa, in Latin America and in parts of the Arab world... Things are going very badly in those parts of the world...

In year 3 of the Cuban revolution my people were either in exile or in jail. In year 9 in Venezuela we are still there organizing protests, and indeed, the main faction, El Libertario, is bitterly critical of Chavez. This could not happen under a Stalinist regime.,

A very perceptive statement. I agree. But I think the student movement in Venezuela (and the help they get from abroad) is one of the reasons why Chavez didn't succeed yet in establishing a Stalinist regime.

You do not know me, otherwise you would know I am also opposed to the Chinese regime, Mugabe etc.

I am glad to hear that. I guess I was misled by some of your statements, such as "capitalism exceeds Stalinism in its crimes"...

Larry Gambone said...

Sonia, when you use a general concept without any qualifiers, such as "capitalism", logically this means capitalism in its totality. Now capitalism from its period of primitive accumulation, through industrialization and imperialism killed more people than Stalinism. (And this does not take into account the nature of Stalinism which many people consider a variety of state capitalism, which throws an entirely different angle on the question.

Stalinism is an ideology, not just a bunch of mean dictators. Dictators can comb ideologies for all sorts of rationalizations for their crimes, but it does not mean they are adherents of these ideologies or that the ideologies are responsible for their crimes.

Stalinist type parties and liberation fronts based on Stalinism are very weak today.

If you examine the theory and politics of the Bolivarians you do not find Stalinism. What you find owes more to 19th Century populism or social democracy than Stalinism.

Stalinism means one party, all others banned. It means one tendency within that party, all others banned. It means bureaucratic control of industry, not worker control. It does not mean land to the peasants and coops. It means state farms. It is completely top-down. (Indeed the perfect organizational model of Stalinism is the business corporation, only under Stalinism, unlike the corporate state, there is only one corporation, not a bunch of them.) What you see in Latin America today, is the rejection of such a model, not its endorsation. Everybody knows that such a model does not give rise to socialism, but a cruel simulacra of it.

sonia said...


Everybody knows that such a model does not give rise to socialism, but a cruel simulacra of it.

Chavez doesn't know that. PSVD isn't under the workers' control. It's run by the state. Its profits are distributed by government beaurocrats to Chavez's supporters, not to oil industry's workers. Same thing with foreign oil companies nationalized by Chavez.

Chavez's system is completely top-down and indeed it resembles a business corporation, with Chavez as its CEO...

Anonymous said...

I guess we now have the answer to the question as to who pays the Bolivians to follow the leadership of Evo Morales....

Anonymous said...
Hey bloggit

Are you aware of the LAWS OF DEFAMATION ?

I am going to draw mr Ruddocks attention to the picture in your blog of him, with the 'CHILD MOLESTER' caption.... that is outright illegal and I hope he sues you for millions....

The only thing your blog proves is that Immigration is alive and well as a POLITICAL issue, and why would "Labor" seek to loosen up this area ? *puts thinking cap on*...aah....GOT IT... because traditionally they draw much of their vote from migrant labor ...duh.

So, given that this has been totally politicized, it is in the interests of the Coalition to 'manage' this area in the same way that Labor wishes to, but in ways which benefit the Coalition.

There is widespread ABUSE and blatant opportunism in the overseas spouse aspect of the immigration program and it is RIFE WITH RACISM where certain community elements prefer to marry their own 'race' rather than be open to marraige with Aussie girls (Of various ethnicities)

So, what you are supporting is:


I'm getting closer to the day and moment when I make immigration and the racist abuse of it a major issue in a campaign of public awareness...I've already started.

Values... compatability...these are the requirements of a sound immigration program.

We do NOT need people who's values allow them to support terrorism.
Specially those from Lebanon, or the Muslim world who are constantly told that whenEVER Muslims are under threat, THEY have to fight for them, even if they are in other countries. And by 'fight' I mean with weapons.
Have CLOSE read of the Hamas charter, it is a diabolical document of the most heinous kind, specifically referring to a total brainwashing of children in education for homicide Jihad.
All who might have a pre-disposition to support it must be BLOCKED from migrating here.
Posted by BOAZ_David, Tuesday, 22 August 2006 6:26:22 AM
-------------------------------- - Havana. May 15, 2008
This article also at
The CIA is more active than ever in Venezuela

BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD —Granma International staff writer—

HER name and her accent are from the movies. Her manner of an incorrigible young girl, her humorous regard and ironic smile touch everyone. The daughter of a U.S. father and Venezuelan mother, Eva Golinger is a most unusual woman.

A lawyer trained in New York, she specialized in international human rights and left that U.S. metropolis to live in Venezuela, a country that she passionately defends.

Her book, The Chávez Code, which reveals U.S. intervention in this South American nation, was described by José Vicente Rangel, then vice president, as an "incredible record of Venezuelan experiences from 2001-2003."

Her most recent work, Bush vs. Chávez: Washington’s War on Venezuela, documents the constant escalation of imperial attacks on the Bolivarian Revolution.

She attacks without blinking, without distinction, the CIA, the Pentagon, the NED, the RSF, USAID, the Venezuelan mafia in Miami or Colombian paramilitarism, with the ardor of an attorney confronting the court with irrefutable evidence in her portfolio.

From Caracas, the Venezuelan-U.S. lawyer and researcher Eva Golinger responds to some questions from Granma International:

It has been affirmed that the coup against Chávez was CIA-made. You have studied this case closely: how has this become more evident to you?

There are distinct factors that I have been able to detect and expose through an investigation that I began more than five years ago, utilizing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to demonstrate the involvement of the CIA and other U.S. government agencies in the coup against Chávez. The most conclusive facts and evidence include a series of documents classified Top Secret by the CIA, dating from March 5, 2002 to April 17, 2002, which clearly refer to plans for a coup against Chávez: who, how, where and when, everything clear. One in particular, dated April 6, 2002; in other words, five days before the coup, emphasizes how the opposition sectors, the CTV, Fedecámaras (the country’s main business federation), dissenting soldiers, the private media and even the Catholic Church were going to march through the streets in those first weeks of April and how the coup conspirators would provoke violence with snipers in the street, causing deaths, and then the intention to arrest President Chávez and other important members of his cabinet. After that, they would install a civic-military transition government. Anyone who knows what happened that April 11-12, 2002, knows that that’s how it was, and after taking President Chávez prisoner, it was only U.S. government spokespersons who came out and recognized the coup government of Pedro Carmona, and moreover tried to put pressure on other countries to do the same.

So, those documents that clearly show knowledge of the detailed plans for the coup against Chávez, written by the CIA, are the most damning evidence confirming the role of the CIA in the coup. However, the fact that financial and advisory agencies like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) financed all the groups, NGOs, trade unions, businesspeople, political parties and the media involved in the coup, also demonstrates overwhelming evidence of the role of the CIA and the other U.S. agencies in the coup against Chávez. After the coup, those agencies even increased their funding for the coup organizers themselves, something that re-confirms their commitment and their intention to continue with efforts to overthrow Chávez.

We could also talk of the role of the Pentagon and U.S. military, which trained the coup members, equipped them with weapons and promoted their actions.

In what way is the U.S. embassy in Caracas keeping up its interference?

The U.S. embassy in Venezuela is very active. These days, its main strategy is subversion. This is manifested by USAID, NED, IRI, Freedom House, CIPE, etc. funding of opposition groups, but there is also an attempt to penetrate the pro-Chávez sectors and communities. This last tactic is one of the most dangerous and effective. In 2005, William Brownfield, then U.S. ambassador in Caracas (he is now the ambassador to Colombia), began to open what they call "American Corners" in different Venezuelan cities. Currently, they are operating in Maracay, Margarita, Barquisimeto, Maturín, Lecherías and Puerto Ordaz. They are little propaganda and conspiracy centers that function as nuclei to recruit and bring together an opposition. To date the Venezuelan government has not taken any concrete steps to eradicate this illegal initiative (in violation of the Vienna Convention given that they are consular bases established without the permission of the Ministry of Foreign Relations).

The CIA and the State Department maintain various fronts in the country, as they always do. We have Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI), a U.S. corporation based in the El Rosal de Caracas sector, which functions as a money filter from USAID to the opposition sectors. Then there is the Press and Society Institute, part of the Reporters sans frontiers (RSF) network, which receives funds from the NED, USAID, the CIA etc. to execute its neoliberal, pro-U.S. policy and to attempt to accuse the Venezuelan government of being repressive and violating the rights of free expression and a free press.

Freedom House and the USAID are also financing right-wing student leaders and movements and sending them to Belgrade to train with experts in the Orange Revolution (Ukraine) and other so-called processes for "overthrowing dictators." Recently, the neoliberal right-wing Cato Institute think tank, which advises Bush and receives funding from Exxon Mobile and Philip Morris, awarded a "prize" worth $500,000 to the opposition Venezuelan student Yon Goicochea. The prize, which bears the name of Milton Friedman, who was an advisor to Nixon, Reagan and Pinochet and is the architect of the neoliberal policy and the "shock doctrine," is to finance a new, "fresh-faced" political party in Venezuela – a group of young people trained since 2005 by U.S. agencies that have had some influence over certain sectors during the last year.

They were thinking that this group could come to be a powerful political force being that it does not belong to the old corrupt politics of the country. However, we have been able to unmask the majority of them and demonstrate their relation with Washington as well as the politicos and elite that governed here before.

With the new CIA Special Mission for Venezuela and Cuba (set up in 2006), we know that the Agency is more active than ever in the country. The stronger and more popular Chávez and the revolution become, the more resources they are dedicating to neutralize it.

The residue of various Latin American dictatorships is currently to be found in Miami. The pro-Batista Cubans have dominated the city for years, but the number of so-called anti-Chavists is growing. What are your observations on this subject?

Miami isn’t an ugly city. Unfortunately, the pro-Batista Cubans took control of the city decades ago and now they have welcomed the anti-Chavist Venezuelans, many of them coup organizers, with open arms. There is talk of "Westonzuela," an area on the outskirts of Miami where the self-exiled Venezuelans live. I think that they are totally removed from reality, just like those Cubans who are still living in the 50s. They are aggressive at a distance and have conspiracy pretensions, but I don’t believe that they constitute a serious threat to our revolution.

They move about creating their ruckus over there and working with Cuban-American congress members, just like the disconnected Connie Mack, trying to demonize President Chávez and the revolution. Their latest initiative was to place Venezuela on the State Department list of terrorist countries. Despite the pressure that they brought to bear and the stories that they invented about a supposed link between the Venezuelan government and terrorist groups, they failed in their final objective: Venezuela was not classified as a state sponsoring terrorism. On the contrary, many congresspersons and members of U.S. society rejected that initiative and, to a certain extent, that coup community was left discredited.

Of course, one must never discount the possibility that they will continue conspiring and inventing new ways of destabilizing Venezuela, just as they have done with Cuba for almost 50 years. And they can count on financial support from USAID, the NED and other imperial agencies, but I don’t believe that they will affect the advances of the revolution very much. They are paper tigers.

Recently John McCain was boasting to a group of Cuban Americans in Miami, trying to show that he has always been sensitive to the situation in Cuba, that he was aboard the USS Enterprise facing the Cuban coast during the hours of the Missile Crisis. What is your perception of McCain’s stance in relation to Venezuela, Cuba and Latin America?

If he should be elected president of the United States, McCain would engage in a much more hostile and aggressive policy toward Venezuela and Cuba, and even the other ALBA countries. His discourse is already more precise toward the region and he is constantly mentioning how he would further tighten policy on what he classifies as dictatorships and threats in Venezuela and Cuba. That goes beyond simply wanting the Florida vote. McCain is a military man and an imperialist in the sense that he wouldn’t accept the United States losing its influence over and domination of its "backyard." He suffers from that same complex that the other Republicans have about Cuba and Fidel Castro, for example. They still cannot accept that Cuba has defeated imperial aggression and the 50 years of blockade and attacks. They persist in their spoilt and infantile attitudes that stop them from turning the page and accepting reality: the most powerful empire in the world could not defeat the Cuban Revolution. So, with a McCain, we will be even worse off than with a Bush and, believe me, he is a hard one to surpass.

The Democrats’ position is not always apparent. Will it be very different from McClain and his clan?

I don’t think it will be that different, perhaps in its manner, but not in its final action. The democrats love to use the NED, the USAID and the other agencies with "pretty faces" like Freedom House or the Institute for Peace to execute their interventionist policies. I think that a Democrat in the White House will not change the policy on Latin America to any great extent. Maybe there would be more dialogue, but I don’t believe that the interference will end. Moreover, all the candidates have said that President Chávez is a dictator and that their administration, if elected, will focus more on the region’s "problems."

Let’s remember that it isn’t about who occupies the chair in the Oval Office, but those who are around that person. And that doesn’t change much whether the occupant is a Democrat or a Republican. The military-industrial complex, the big bankers and the transnationals are the ones that really govern in the United States. And they are not leaving power in November.
From this Homepage


1000 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20001

The Cato Institute is a 501(c)(3) public policy research institution that favors a "market liberal" approach to political and economic issues. The Institute is named for Cato's Letters libertarian pamphlets that helped lay the philosophical foundation for the American Revolution.

Cato undertakes an extensive publications program dealing with a wide range of policy issues. Books, monographs, and short studies are commissioned to examine the federal budget, Social Security, monetary policy, natural resource policy, military spending, regulation, NATO, international trade, and myriad other issues.

Cato is considered to be the leading libertarian think tank. Cato has been called "Washington's hottest think tank" by the Boston Globe, and New York magazine said since the [1994] election, Cato has been at the white-hot center of the revolution. Moreover, according to The Nation "except for Heritage, no think tank's influence is felt more strongly in Washington than the Cato Institute."

Cato actively supports efforts to provide educational choice to parents of all income levels and to create Medical Savings Accounts as a free-market solution to rising health care costs.

In 1991, Cato published Liberating Schools: Education in the Inner City. Many of the contributors argued that only increased choice and autonomy will improve the plight of urban education. In 1992, Patient Power by John Goodman and Gerald Musgrave made medical savings accounts a popular and much-discussed idea. In 1994, Cato printed more than 300,000 copies of an abridged edition of Patient Power. Cato continues to examine the issue of educational freedom, publishing School Choice: How You Need It, How You Get It by David Harmer.

Cato is actively supporting Social Security privatization and is coordinating strategy and policy with ALEC and other conservative think tanks. Cato's Project on Social Security Privatization is publishing several plans for privatizing Social Security including one by Peter J. Ferrara who, in addition to being an associate at Cato, is the general counsel and chief economist of Americans for Tax Reform.

Cato's Internet Web site offers a benefits calculator enabling individuals to generate data on their personal retirement benefit levels. The Web site lets individuals personalize data, adjusting it to their anticipation of factors such as income, inflation rate, and rate of return on stocks and bonds.

Cato hosts major policy conferences throughout the year, from which papers are published in Cato Journal. The Institute also publishes a quarterly magazine, Regulation, which was acquired from the American Enterprise Institute in 1990.

Cato was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane and Kansas industrialist Charles G. Koch in San Francisco. Its biggest financial benefactor has been the Koch family, owners of Koch Industries, an oil, natural gas, and land-management firm that is the second largest privately owned company in America. In 1996, Cato had a staff of fifty and an operating budget of $7.9 million.

Funding: Revenues of $6,436,365 in 1994 included grants of $140,000 from the Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation, $135,000 from the Sarah Scaife Foundation, and $10,000 from the Grover Hermann Foundation. In 1995, Cato received $500,000 from the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, $500,000 from the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, $50,000 from the John M. Olin Foundation, $35,000 from the John William Pope Foundation, $18,000 from the William H. Donner Foundation, $15,000 from the Sumark Foundation, and $5,000 from the Roe Foundation.

Cato received $5,951,988 or 92 percent of its revenue from contributions and grants awarded by foundations, businesses, and individuals.

Board of Directors or Trustees:
Peter Ackerman (Rockport Financial)
K. Tucker Andersen
James Blanchard III (Jefferson Financial)
John Blokker
Frank Bond
Edward H. Crane (President, Cato)
Richard Dennis
Theodore Forstmann
Ethelmae Humphreys
David Koch (Koch Industries),
John Malone (President and CEO, Tele-Communications Inc.)
Rupert Murdoch (Chairman and CEO, the News Corp.)
David Padden
Howard Rich (President, U.S. Term Limits)
Frederick Smith (Chairman, American Express)

Key Staff:

Chairman - William Niskanen
Niskanen was a member of President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisors.
President and CEO - Edward Crane
Executive Director - David Boaz
Director, Fiscal Policy Studies - Stephen Moore. Moore recently spent 10 months as a visiting fellow at the Joint Economic Committee working for House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX).
Cato's executive vice president David Boaz has played a key role in the development of the Cato Institute and the libertarian movement. He is a provocative commentator and a leading authority on domestic issues such as education choice, drug legalization, the growth of government, and the rise of libertarianism. He is the author of Libertarianism: A Primer, described by the Los Angeles Times as "a well-researched manifesto of libertarian ideas," the editor of The Libertarian Reader, and coeditor of the Cato Handbook on Policy . Boaz is the former editor of New Guard magazine and was executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy prior to joining Cato in 1981. His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, National Review, and Slate. He is a frequent guest on national television and radio shows, and has appeared on ABC's Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, CNN's Crossfire, NPR's Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered, John McLaughlin's One on One, Fox News Channel, BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other media. His latest book is The Politics of Freedom.
Media Lens Message Board
[ Post a Response | Media Lens Message Board ]

AP: Venezuelan student leader who challenged Chavez wins prize
Posted by Garry on April 24, 2008, 8:12 pm

"...the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty..."

"...The Cato Institute, a nonprofit public policy research foundation that lobbies for individual liberty and free markets, says it accepts no government funding..."

Venezuelan student leader who challenged Chavez wins prize

By IAN JAMES, Associated Press Writer Thu Apr 24, 11:20 AM ET

CARACAS, Venezuela - The leader of a student protest movement that has emerged as a major challenge to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has won a $500,000 prize awarded by a U.S.-based think tank.

The Cato Institute announced Thursday that law student Yon Goicoechea was chosen for his leadership as an advocate for freedom and democracy.

The 23-year-old student leader organized protests last year that were widely seen as a key factor in the defeat of sweeping constitutional changes proposed by Chavez in a December referendum.

The changes would have let Chavez run for re-election indefinitely and would have granted him broad powers to reshape Venezuela into a socialist state.

"I see it as a collective prize. The prize is being given to me, but it's being given to me as a representative of something much bigger," Goicoechea told The Associated Press in an interview ahead of the formal announcement. "I hope that with this we can motivate and strengthen our movement."

The libertarian think tank, which is headquartered in Washington, said Goicoechea will receive the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty next month in New York. The prize is named after the Nobel Prize-winning economist who died in 2006.

Goicoechea "managed to effectively give voice to millions of Venezuelans who believed in democracy, tolerance and modernity, and who felt that they were being left out of politics," said Ian Vasquez, who heads the institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. "What the student movement was able to achieve in Venezuela was a huge boost for liberty, not just in Venezuela but throughout the region."

Goicoechea said he plans to use some of the money for a foundation to train young leaders across Latin America.

Goicoechea, who will soon graduate from Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas, said he is concerned about the concentration of power under Chavez and an absence of checks and balances.

"It's growing dangerously close to a totalitarian regime," he said.

There was no immediate reaction from the government. But Goicoechea was vilified on state television late Wednesday by a talk show host who portrayed him as a U.S. collaborator.

Chavez denies that his government is restricting personal freedoms and says student leaders are being manipulated by the United States. He has cited the referendum defeat as proof he is not a dictator.

Goicoechea says he often receives threats due to his activism but isn't concerned what the government might say about the award from a U.S.-based organization.

"The government already says we're financed by the CIA. It already says we're paid by the empire. So if they say it one more time, it really isn't that important," he said.

The Cato Institute, a nonprofit public policy research foundation that lobbies for individual liberty and free markets, says it accepts no government funding.;_ylt=AgYcTiul90jgJci7VeeycYFvaA8F
I have another blog at as well as

Anonymous said...

Sorry it seems my David Boaz is a fake but the rest of the data is not-

dinoibo said...

Really trustworthy blog. Please keep updating with great posts like this one. I have booked marked your site and am about to email it to a few friends of mine that I know would enjoy reading
Sesli sohbet Sesli chat
Seslisohbet Seslichat
Sesli sohbet siteleri Sesli chat siteleri
Sesli Chat
Sohbet Sesli siteler
Sohbet siteleri Chat siteleri
Sohbet merkezi chat merkezi
Sesli merkezi sesli Sohbet merkezi
Sesli chat merkezi Sohbetmerkezi
Sesli Sohbet Sesli Chat
SesliSohbet Sesli chat siteleri
Sesli sohbet siteleri SesliChat
Sesli Sesli siteler
Seslimuhabbet sesli muhabbet
sesli sohbet sesli chat siteleri
sesli sohbet siteleri sesli chat
seslisohbet seslichat
seslikent sesli kent
sesli sohbet sesli sohbet siteleri
sesli chat sesli chat siteleri
seslisohbet seslichat