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    Chavez outlaws criticism of his government

    By JENS ERIK GOULD/CARACAS
    Wed Jul 25, 5:05 PM ET

    Many foreigners can travel to Venezuela without a visa. But now there's a new requirement once they get there. President Hugo Chavez announced on Sunday that foreigners who publicly criticize his government will be deported. He ordered officials to monitor statements made by international figures visiting the country. The comments came after the President of Mexico's ruling conservative party criticized Chavez for seeking to do away with term limits at a recent pro-democracy conference in Caracas. "No foreigner, whoever it is, can come here to attack us," Chavez said. "How long are we going to allow a person, from any country in the world, to come to our own house to say there's a dictatorship here, that the President is a tyrant, and no one does anything about it?"

    Chavez, who has turbulent relations with the Bush Administration, has never been one to put up with those who disagree with him. He has had notable falling-outs with former confidants and insulted myriad foreign heads of state and their officials for criticizing his policies. But his newest statements were ironic, considering that what Chavez labeled a punishable offense in Venezuela is something he himself has done in the United States. Many Americans know Chavez best for calling President George W. Bush the devil at the United Nations last year. That remark, as well as similar anti-Bush comments made in Harlem on the same trip, occurred on Bush's soil.

    [Chavez has also taken to attacking senior Catholic prelates lately. The Associated Press on Tuesday cited an item on state-run news agency website quoting Venezuela's President assailing Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, who had been critical of Chavez recently. "Another parrot of imperialism appeared, this time dressed as a cardinal. That's to say, another imperialist clown," Chavez reportedly said.]

    Critics say that the Chavez government is becoming less and less tolerant of differing opinions. In late May, it forced opposition-aligned television station Radio Caracas Television off the air by refusing to renew its broadcasting license, and promptly opened an investigation against Globovision, the only remaining channel critical of the President. The other major privately owned television network, Venevision, has shifted its coverage from critical to favorable, leaving the broadcast landscape largely bereft of independent voices willing to challenge the government.

    Chavez counters that his government encourages critical thought. "Let's read, study, discuss, debate. Ideas, ideas and more ideas!" he said on Monday. Indeed, some within government ranks have been more than willing to denounce fellow Chavez allies in recent months. Pro-Chavez lawmaker Luis Tascon suggested there was corrupt behavior afoot at the state oil company and last week summoned company president and Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez to shed light on the matter in front of the national Assembly. Also last week, outgoing Defense Minister Gen. Raul Isaias Baduel said, in his farewell speech, that Chavez's beloved "socialism of the 21st century" was a vague model that was generating unease.

    Vague and undefined as Chavez's model of socialism may be, he wants everyone to sign up. He said on Sunday that 90% of Venezuelans should support his government, even though nearly 40% voted against him in presidential elections in December. His government had been fond of saying that it wishes Venezuela had a respectable opposition, rather than the current mishmash of defeated parties lacking proposals. Even that wishful democratic stance may be gone now. On Monday, Chavez acknowledged that his government wants to ideologize Venezuelan society in order to phase out an "imperialist" way of thinking imposed in the past. "They accuse us of ideologizing and I say yes, of course," Chavez said on Monday. "Who has said the contrary?" The time to differ with Chavez is over for foreign visitors and may soon be up for his domestic opponents as well.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/2007072...eaknoillofhugo
    "I saw myself founding a new religion, marching
    into Asia riding an elephant, a turban on my
    head and in my hands the new Koran I would
    have written to suit my needs." - Napoléon Bonaparte

    "More than 60,000 Germans fell, not beneath the
    Roman arms and weapons, but, grander far,
    before our delighted eyes. May the tribes, I pray,
    ever retain if not love for us, at least hatred for
    each other; for while the destinies of empire bear
    hard upon us, fortune can give no greater boon
    than discord among our foes." - Germania, Tacitus

    #2
    Whoever says that bush is hitler should take a look at chavez...and rethink their opinions.

    Great, with one dictator in apparent failing health, and (hopefully) soon to leave the world of the living (Castro); we have another begining to build his dictatorship (Chavez).

    Comment


      #3
      I don't mind Castro that much, but Chavez? What a...

      ...


      ...


      *thud*

      Comment


        #4
        I want to be in Miami when Castro dies. What a party that would be!

        As for Chavez...well, the good people of Venezuela will find a way around him, and like all dictators, he and his ruling will implode quickly.
        LET | FOREVER | BE

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by YF19pilot View Post
          Whoever says that bush is hitler should take a look at chavez...and rethink their opinions.

          Great, with one dictator in apparent failing health, and (hopefully) soon to leave the world of the living (Castro); we have another begining to build his dictatorship (Chavez).
          Bush is just the setup man... if Bush could do what Chavez is/has done, he would. I fear the people that come after him with all the powers he's given the presidency.

          My e30

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jayhawk View Post
            I want to be in Miami when Castro dies. What a party that would be!

            As for Chavez...well, the good people of Venezuela will find a way around him, and like all dictators, he and his ruling will implode quickly.
            [JOKE I AM NOT SERIOUS]
            Well, since you're American, and you therefore love guns, you should go to the Iraq when Bush dies. MAN that will be a lot of shooting in the air!
            [/JOKE I AM NOT SERIOUS]

            Now. I've said it before, Chavez is a cock. So is Bush. So is Putin. So is that guy in Iran. So is Ehud Olmert.

            Listen, there is a lot of cocks running various countries around the world. So there is one in Venezuela too? No one would be paying him attention if he didn't call Dubya "the Devil". And you probably wouldn't make this thread either.

            But yeah, he is a crazy dictator.
            "If you're not getting the picture you want, you're not close enough" - Robert Capa
            "Your first 14000 pictures are your worst" - HCB
            - David Bailey! Who's he?!
            I am one of "the two most level headed and pragmatic regular posters on the politics forum" according to anonymous sources.
            blog
            Bustin' chops since the late 80s

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by nomix View Post
              Now. I've said it before, Chavez is a cock. So is Bush. So is Putin. So is that guy in Iran. So is Ehud Olmert.
              Well at least I can understand ...Olmert. Bush makes me mad, but he's no dictator. i'd like to think that if it ever came to that point in America someone would at least try to drop the guy, but who knows. What Chavez is doing in Venezuela is a shame, and hasn't he been getting friendly with Cuba?
              Saying smaller engines are better is like saying you don't want huge muscles because you wouldn't fit through the door. So what? You can bench 500. Fuck doors. - MadCat360

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by tigger View Post
                Well at least I can understand ...Olmert. Bush makes me mad, but he's no dictator. i'd like to think that if it ever came to that point in America someone would at least try to drop the guy, but who knows. What Chavez is doing in Venezuela is a shame, and hasn't he been getting friendly with Cuba?
                Venezuela can do whatever the fuck it wants with Cuba
                My car is dark grey not black!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by tigger View Post
                  Well at least I can understand ...Olmert. Bush makes me mad, but he's no dictator. i'd like to think that if it ever came to that point in America someone would at least try to drop the guy, but who knows. What Chavez is doing in Venezuela is a shame, and hasn't he been getting friendly with Cuba?
                  To sidestep and talk about Olmert, I understand his actions, but I can never accept them. Big difference.

                  -

                  And the reason why I also add democratically elected leaders on my list, is that when you cock about and break a few international laws, that's worse than a crazed dictator breaking the same international laws, if you know what I mean?

                  You must expect more from a democratic leader, and a democratic country than you can hope for from a dictator.
                  "If you're not getting the picture you want, you're not close enough" - Robert Capa
                  "Your first 14000 pictures are your worst" - HCB
                  - David Bailey! Who's he?!
                  I am one of "the two most level headed and pragmatic regular posters on the politics forum" according to anonymous sources.
                  blog
                  Bustin' chops since the late 80s

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Hidden_Hunter View Post
                    Venezuela can do whatever the fuck it wants with Cuba
                    Fuck that. I want to get down there and export some of those cars back to the US .

                    Originally posted by nomix
                    To sidestep and talk about Olmert, I understand his actions, but I can never accept them. Big difference.
                    I know what you mean. The man's definitely got himself one hell of a job. And by hell, I mean HELL.

                    Originally posted by nomix
                    You must expect more from a democratic leader, and a democratic country than you can hope for from a dictator.
                    Idk if you should expect more from any democratic leader, but from the "leader of the free world" or whatever; definitely. I can somewhat understand what Putin and Ahmadinejad are up to, but Bush just boggles my mind.
                    Saying smaller engines are better is like saying you don't want huge muscles because you wouldn't fit through the door. So what? You can bench 500. Fuck doors. - MadCat360

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Fuck that. I want to get down there and export some of those cars back to the US .
                      Trust me you don't. Watch JC's motorworld on Cuba and you'll see. I've heard from people that have visited Cuba before, those cars there are far from worth bothering with...especially for the kind of money they demand for them.


                      Idk if you should expect more from any democratic leader, but from the "leader of the free world" or whatever; definitely. I can somewhat understand what Putin and Ahmadinejad are up to, but Bush just boggles my mind.
                      The thing with Bush is how he was able to do the things he's done. Much of the shit if it's not unconstitutional is pretty damn close, how he got the powers he did is beyond me. 9/11 just doesn't seem like a good enough excuse.

                      My e30

                      Comment


                        #12
                        That's the whole point, 9/11 wasn't a good enough excuse. But it's been made to look like a huge threat to the whole country, while it is a huge tragedy, but still hugely overrated.

                        Bush has just exploited the fear to push through what he wants, and god be my witness, he's got away with it.
                        "If you're not getting the picture you want, you're not close enough" - Robert Capa
                        "Your first 14000 pictures are your worst" - HCB
                        - David Bailey! Who's he?!
                        I am one of "the two most level headed and pragmatic regular posters on the politics forum" according to anonymous sources.
                        blog
                        Bustin' chops since the late 80s

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The sad part about that is several senators and congressmen pointed out that "we should avoid doing anything rash because of what just happened"... of course they still passed the fucking PATRIOT act.

                          My e30

                          Comment


                            #14
                            9/11 just doesn't seem like a good enough excuse
                            Of course it does. The last time that many US civilians were lost in some kind of conflict was World War Two. It was the largest terrorist attack of all time.

                            of course they still passed the fucking PATRIOT act
                            I really have no problem with the Patriot Act. In conflict sometimes sacrifices must be made, though the act has not affected me in any way. The Patriot Act actually incorporates much from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 with a few changes. The whole library thing does not really concern me, it actually has not been used, with the once and closest time in 2005. Many of the surveillance parts of the act are not new and were covered in the FISA in basically the same way.
                            "I saw myself founding a new religion, marching
                            into Asia riding an elephant, a turban on my
                            head and in my hands the new Koran I would
                            have written to suit my needs." - Napoléon Bonaparte

                            "More than 60,000 Germans fell, not beneath the
                            Roman arms and weapons, but, grander far,
                            before our delighted eyes. May the tribes, I pray,
                            ever retain if not love for us, at least hatred for
                            each other; for while the destinies of empire bear
                            hard upon us, fortune can give no greater boon
                            than discord among our foes." - Germania, Tacitus

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jetsetter View Post
                              Of course it does. The last time that many US civilians were lost in some kind of conflict was World War Two. It was the largest terrorist attack of all time.
                              I fail to see how 9/11 is an excuse to trample on people's rights. Must I really regurgitate the Ben Franklin quote on Security and Freedom?

                              How can we "bring freedom" to other countries when our own is being slowly eroded away?

                              I really have no problem with the Patriot Act. In conflict sometimes sacrifices must be made, though the act has not affected me in any way.
                              So you're willing to sacrifice the rights of others, or the ones you don't use for a little bit of security? You say "the act hasn't affected me any way" well did 9/11 directly affect you? Are you really at risk of being bombed will sitting on a computer in your home posting useless dribble (just having a little fun there ) on finalgear.com?

                              Here's another one that probably doesn't affect you http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/relea...0070717-3.html basically it says if the secretary of treasury THINKS you are undermining the iraqi government they can sieze your assets. No trial, no jury, just the executioner.

                              The problem I have with anything that takes away anyones rights is it makes "them" think they can do more of it and makes the people entirely way to OK with it.

                              I wonder how long till someone tells me "well if you don't like it you can leave."
                              Last edited by thedguy; August 1st, 2007, 5:39 AM.

                              My e30

                              Comment


                                #16
                                "If you're not getting the picture you want, you're not close enough" - Robert Capa
                                "Your first 14000 pictures are your worst" - HCB
                                - David Bailey! Who's he?!
                                I am one of "the two most level headed and pragmatic regular posters on the politics forum" according to anonymous sources.
                                blog
                                Bustin' chops since the late 80s

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  So you're willing to sacrifice the rights of others, or the ones you don't use for a little bit of security?
                                  Of course. That's just the way it works. It doesn't concern me greatly because much of the act has been around for 30 years.
                                  "I saw myself founding a new religion, marching
                                  into Asia riding an elephant, a turban on my
                                  head and in my hands the new Koran I would
                                  have written to suit my needs." - Napoléon Bonaparte

                                  "More than 60,000 Germans fell, not beneath the
                                  Roman arms and weapons, but, grander far,
                                  before our delighted eyes. May the tribes, I pray,
                                  ever retain if not love for us, at least hatred for
                                  each other; for while the destinies of empire bear
                                  hard upon us, fortune can give no greater boon
                                  than discord among our foes." - Germania, Tacitus

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    i'd like to think that if it ever came to that point in America someone would at least try to drop the guy, but who knows.
                                    We did around 1776.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by jetsetter View Post
                                      Of course. That's just the way it works.
                                      that's not the way it's supposed to work. This isn't "one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all...unless you're in some possible danger of attack".

                                      Originally posted by Benjamin Franklin
                                      "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
                                      here's to the (un)PATRIOT(ic) act:

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        that's not the way it's supposed to work. This isn't "one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all...unless you're in some possible danger of attack".
                                        There you go.
                                        "I saw myself founding a new religion, marching
                                        into Asia riding an elephant, a turban on my
                                        head and in my hands the new Koran I would
                                        have written to suit my needs." - Napoléon Bonaparte

                                        "More than 60,000 Germans fell, not beneath the
                                        Roman arms and weapons, but, grander far,
                                        before our delighted eyes. May the tribes, I pray,
                                        ever retain if not love for us, at least hatred for
                                        each other; for while the destinies of empire bear
                                        hard upon us, fortune can give no greater boon
                                        than discord among our foes." - Germania, Tacitus

                                        Comment

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