Originally Posted by heliodorus04
Puerile allusions to psychic prowess are what pass for an intellectual indictment of my defense of my positions?
the defense of your positions, eh? my allusion has more to do with just not giving a crap about getting into pissing matches on blogs. it's a waste of time. i fucking told you that from the beginning.
but, i have a bit of time to kill right now so i'll bite and give your position something to ponder.
your 'superior' position: "I call shenanigans on your perhaps reflexive defense of Venezuela. You're apologizing for how bad shit was before the dictator arrived, but if the dictator is the dictator (and I don't think you'd argue otherwise, but I could be wrong)"
my position: you don't know shit about venezuela and whats happening in s america! and you must believe anything that the us media and us gov't tells you. i found out first hand that they tend to lie.
you say dictator? the venezuelan friends i met while in their country would be offended by such a slander. and they would reply, "es un estupido gringo!" i also met a few people who did not vote for chavez and would still call you a stupid gringo. they did, after all, get a chance to vote in free and fair elections. sure, you could question my 'faux authority' (which i prefer to call a real life experience from simply fucking asking and talking about it with many different venezuelans, but hey, you seem to be on some sort of intellectual power trip, so sure, call it my authority if it makes you feel better). and if you still feel the need to reject my 'faux authority', then here is a report from the european union election observation mission that proves in fact that 75% of the population participated in a free and fair election, AND ELECTED A PRESIDENT! http://www.eueomvenezuela.org/pdf/EU..._Statement.pdf
that was one document from 2006, but there have been 11 internationally observed elections since the last 8 years.
lemme guess, you think that 'the dictator' controls and censors all of the media. you'd be wrong if you did say this. i witnessed a vibrant media while i was there. although i only could catch about 25% of what they said (crappy, but improving spanish) i could get the gist and was traveling with a friend with better spanish than mine. and since you reject my faux authority, here is another perspective. What is the Venezuelan News Media Actually Like? | Media Accuracy on Latin America | A Project of NACLA
70% of the land was owned by 3% of the population. this has more to do with past colonization. the 3% who owned nearly everything (including the private media who helped orchestrate the 2002 coup against chavez) loved the friedmanite neo-liberal policies and support from us gov't (that's the whole point of this policy... enrich the few while screwing over the many). but their hand in power has come to an end with the ALBA movement. and good!
venezuelan constitution was passed in 1999. 72% of the population supported it. chavez has not once violated the constitution. there are 5 independent branches of gov't for checks and balances. there was huge popular participation in creating it.
human rights: free health care (mission barrio adentro), free education (mission robinson for basic reading and writing. mission ribas for free high school education, and mission sucre for university education for those who graduate mission ribas), markets that offer cheap food for the poor, and free food houses for those completely down and out.
freedom of assembly (i witness a few smaller demonstrations), free speech (see media accuracy report)
communal councils. the father of the house i stayed at for a week was in a small businesses council. here is an explanation. Venezuelan Communal Councils - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
as for gini coefficients, and improvements in life. here again you might have to consider that my conversations with venezuelans would in fact tell you that their lives have improved under the chavez administration. but again, if you need to read some economic report from something other than me then here ya go... http://www.cepr.net/documents/public...la-2009-02.pdf
as for the superiority of capitalism vs this ALBA movement. the ALBA movement is new and nobody really knows if it will fail or succeed. maybe chavez will go power crazy and turn into a dictator. who knows? rafael correa got his phd in economics from University of Illinois, and is a democratically elected president who has aligned himself with the ALBA movement. he is a very intelligent person and is doing great things for his country. one thing is for sure (as i witnessed and the above econ report states) the human rights and lives of people have indeed improved under the new movement that is taking place. so far ALBA is working... it ain't perfect, and they have a lot of shit to work out, but give it a chance. the friedmanite neo-liberal policies were a fucking disaster for the majority. at least the majority that i talked with would tell you that. and remember, it's not what some pompous asshole in america thinks. it's their country! and they are working to get rid of the 40+ years of white assholes in tailored suits trying to dominate them for their resources while propping up oligarchs and calling it democracy.
and if you still don't believe these things (because why would the us corporate media and the us gov't lie to you, right?), then go find out for yourself. go to venezuela. don't stay in a 5 star hotel. get your hands dirty. stay in $5 to $10 a night hostels, mingle with the people. have some drinks, food and good conversation. seriously, go see for yourself. it's not as if you can't enter freely into this country. oh, that's right. you can't do these things because of your hatred and fear of the poor. what did you say again about the poor? oh that's right... "The poor can go fuck themselves. They're born of dumb parents who shouldn't have been allowed to breed, and they are incapable of rational self-assessment which makes it impossible for them to learn."
i found the poor people i met and stayed with in venezuela, peru, ecuador, bolivia, and columbia to be incredible people and were very in tune to life and their surroundings. i watched a few poor people make a very rational assessment of how to build a new school for the children (the old one was falling apart) i even helped them clear out the underbrush to prepare for a new foundation. it's amazing what they did with minimal tools (using a water type tool for a level was pretty cool, the wheelbarrow was from 1970 and had probably been welded 20 different times to keep it operational!) some of the poorer people might not have been as intelligent as you, but they had something in which you seem to seriously lack -- a fucking heart and a conscience. and guess what? the poor can actually learn. just thought i would point out one more reason your position is full of shit. (see above econ report if you still don't believe my faux authority) and while they might not have been as well off as a yuppie like yourself, they had incredible warmth and generosity towards a gringo like me. i think the reason was because i left my arrogance about what i thought i knew back in the states and went with an open heart, an open mind and a willingness to learn from. i spent a bunch of my travel time volunteering in ecuador in exchange for room, food, and a chance to learn about their culture from their perspective and not some us college textbook. i spent a week volunteering at a little orphanage in huancayo, peru. wow! what a heart wrenching and gratifying experience. i gave myself to what i believed to be a good cause. it was an incredible life changer. i can't wait to go back and do it again.