I guess those last two words were written somewhat after the original draft!
The 2007 reform referendum the twelfth election since the first one electing Chavez President in December, 1998. Until now, he won them all impressively because he’s a rare politician, dedicated to his people and keeps the promises he makes. One electoral defeat changes nothing. The struggle for social democracy continues. It’s never smooth going.
There’s more to his conclusion, which you can read by following the link. But going back through some of Mr Lendman’s articles as posted on OpEdNews, I found that he has been a critic of our Congress for not being a check on President Bush, complained that The New York Times doesn’t do a good enough job in reporting on President Chavez, and said that we had a “War on Free Expression,” writing:
In a post-9/11 climate, the right of free expression is under attack and endangered in the age of George Bush when dissent may be called a threat to national security, terrorism, or treason. But losing that most precious of all rights means losing our freedom that 18th century French philosopher Voltaire spoke in defense of saying “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Using it to express dissent is what noted historian Howard Zinn calls “the highest form of patriotism” exercising our constitutional right to freedom of speech, the press, to assemble, to protest publicly, and associate as we choose for any reason within the law,
His view of democracy? He claimed, on April 22, 2007, some 5½ months after we had a free election in which the Democrats won control of the Congress, that Venezuela, where President Chavez had been granted the authority to rule by decree, was truly democratic, while the US was not:
Although imperfect, no country anywhere is closer to a model democracy than Venezuela under President Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias. In contrast, none is a more shameless failure than America, but it was true long before the age of George W. Bush. The difference under his regime is that the mask is off revealing a repressive state masquerading as a democratic republic. This article compares the constitutional laws of each country and how they’re implemented. The result shows world’s apart differences between these two nominally democratic states - one that’s real, impressive and improving and the other that’s mostly pretense and under George Bush lawless, corrupted, in tatters, and morally depraved.
This is just Newspeak on Mr Lendman’s part: rule by decree is democracy, and an actual democracy where the opposition party could, and did, win a power-changing election is “lawless, corrupted, in tatters, and morally depraved.”
Mr Lendman resides in Chicago, and is perfectly free to think and say and publish anything he wishes. That he feels secure in doing so is evidenced by his posting of his biography, his city of residence and even his photograph on OpEdNews. Mr Lendman celebrates his freedom of expression, and uses it: 151 articles and 73 comments (to date) on OpEdNews, his own blog, a one-hour broadband internet radio show, and even a book criticizing our effort in Iraq. Yet he supported President Chavez shutting down of an opposition broadcaster.
Were Mr Lendman actually a citizen and resident of Venezuela, and he expressed such virulent opposition to the President and his policies as he does here to our president, he might well have found himself in the same prison with Carlos Ortega, a union leader who was convicted in December 2005 of civil rebellion and instigation to commit illegal acts for his role in a 2002-03 general strike that aimed to topple Chavez’s government.² Yet here, in this repressive, fascist country, he is free as a bird.
And he can’t see any of that.
¹ - OpEdNews allows comments only from registered users, and Mr Lendman’s site does not allow comments at all.
² - Mr Ortega escaped from prison on December 3, 2006.
Cross-posted on Common Sense Political Thought.
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