VHeadline editor & publisher Roy S. Carson writes: American Voice Radio Network (AVRN) "Frankly Speaking" radio host, Frank Steffan, doesn't spare the horses when the states, frankly, that Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez doesn't "even rise to the status of 'dictator' and that he (Chavez) has now exposed his nature to be that of a common thug!"
Frank adds: "Who in their right mind will deal or negotiate with a 'government' that denies employment to people who vote against the government in democratic referendums? ...and this while this 'revolutionary' government is co-opting more and more industries so there'll be no jobs left anywhere for people who vote against government positions!"
I try to explain to Frank Steffan that Venezuela is NOT Switzerland and that 'things' in Venezuela have their own time and place ... admittedly frustrating to any outside observer ... but just another unnecessary part of the political geography in a Venezuela that has clearly gone off the rails.
There is, basically, no argument!
Chavez may not be the cleverest kid on the block but, a majority of Venezuelan voters put him there! And who are we to decide otherwise?
Getting back to Venezuela -- as we properly should -- Chavez Frias in the presidency is a fait a complis just the same. Agree or disagree, he's supposedly in charge of his 'revolutionary' government! And, yet, therein lies the problem!
AVRN's Frank Steffan opines that "the criminal operation masking itself as the Venezuelan revolutionary government, changes the rules anytime they feel like it!" Of course referring to news agency reports these past few days claiming that Venezuela is 'nationalizing' gold mines right, left and center like there's no tomorrow... He asks me: "Why is it so difficult for you to realize that Chavez is a corrupt communist thug?"
Rather rich, mind you, coming from "the land of the brave" where they're finally getting to see the sorry hindquarters of George W. Bush who, although he couldn't be described as a communist by any stratospheric interpretation of the word, is most certainly a THUG!
Frank admonishes further and says: "He's EL PRESIDENTE!" obviously referring to Chavez, implying that he (Chavez) should make good on US State Department claims that he is an authoritarian anti-democratic dictator and simply line the corrupt b*****ds in his administration up agaist a wall and put bullets in their heads!
- Shades of Augusto Pinochet's Chile and Leopoldo Galtieri's Argentina methinks, but...
Without even remotely wishing to appear sycophantic about it, I believe it is to Chavez' eternal credit that he hasn't used the USA-approved dictator's manual, although he's clearly out of control of both his detractors and his legions of corrupt underlings throughout the government administration that's now NO better than it was before he was elected to office in December 1998 ... one could even say worse!
That could possibly be the REALITY of his problem since he's lost track of his original ethos of returning political power to the grassroots people of Venezuela and a party political machinery has been installed that is quickly leading both him and his country up the garden path to the very dictatorship he has so ardently sought to avoid despite the labels accorded to him by ill-wishers within the Washington Beltway. Perhaps I am naive? Don't think so!
Whichever way, we needs must wait until after the November 23 local and regional elections, to see whither the wind blows for Venezuela's democratic future.
Almost certainly there will be a popular grassroots uprising if the ordinary men, woman and children of Venezuela find themselves facing further debilitating corruption within the governmental machinery. There could even be -- hopefully not -- a counter-revolution from domestic forces who want to re-impose the state of corruption in government that led to Chavez' attempted military coup d'etat in February 1992 and his democratic election coup d'etat at the polls in December 1998 ... perhaps even a re-enactment of the failed USA-backed coup d'etat in April 2002 ... only God knows!
- So, democratically, all we can do is to sit and wait as spectators of the thrust and parry of corrupt politics and devious diversions that currently infect Venezuela's political theater.