Tuesday, December 4, 2007

days to come.

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

The people of Venezuela voted against Hugo Chavez's referendum vote that would have allowed him to run for election again and that would have made "socialism" even more prevalent in Venezuela (the apostrophes there for obvious reasons).

The JJ Collective is a strong opponent of Chavez--not because we oppose every regime who hates Bush's America (this obviously is not the case--look at our leanings overall), but because he stifles free speech and denies basic freedoms of life to his people. Granted, many leaders worldwide do that--Chavez is just one of the most visible.

I'm not going to sit here and argue the merits of socialism. I only have a base understanding of the topic, and my friends bsto (a philosophy buff) and Patrick Burgwinkle and Sarah Kang (political science majors) are much more qualified to touch on the subject. We all basically know and understand how it works--and it's hard to argue that it sounds great.

I'm also not going to sit here and tell you that communism is great in theory. This is one of the most basic collegiate mistakes. Sure, it just may be--but theories never play out the way we want them to. (Wo)Man is inherently greedy and incapable of such a system of government.

I will say that I am surprised that the news that Chavez and his referendum were voted down was leaked out. Chavez controls all forms of media in Venezuela--the fact that he'd let anti-party information leak is intriguing.

Of course, it is probably meaningless. Chavez is a trotskyist, and as the dictator of the nation, he's in the driver's seat. He'll be in power for as long as he wants--and he'll take as many political prisoners as it takes for it to happen. Let's not kid ourselves: elections are great, but not when they are easily overturned.

The Venezuela problem is a very interesting one (King Juan Carlos telling Chavez to shut up? Priceless...and a video here).

And I love seeing socialist dictators (ahem..."presidents") calling other leaders fascists. It takes one to know one, doesn't it?

The most troubling bit? Chavez saying "
Now Venezuelans should have faith in our institutions". Having elections just to show that a nation can have elections--then rigging the rest. Genius...and the first class in Dictatorship 101. If you believe this, I've got a bridge to sell you--contact me.

I know it's easy to sit here and call out leaders of "corrupt" nations--but after hearing the horror stories about the way that the families of close friends who are living in Venezuela are currently living, I have no support for Chavez and his goonish cronies.