(Original post by Bismarck)
You call intimidating and arresting the opposition, firing opponents from government jobs, trying to stack the courts, and refusing to hold a referendum for dubious reasons, democratic?
And how is Venezuela one of the most stable democracies in South America? Didn't a certain officer try to overthrow the government about a decade ago? I don't recall seeing that many coup attempts in most other countries in the region.
"Economic, social and political tensions led to an indefinite strike on 9 April by supporters of the opposition, an alliance built around the business sector, the principal trade union and private media interests, who demanded the immediate resignation of President Chávez. On 11 April, a mass opposition demonstration met pro-government protesters in the vicinity of the presidential palace. As demonstrators, Metropolitan Police, National Guard clashed, 20 people died as a result of gunshot wounds, and over 60 others were injured. In the ensuing crisis, senior military officials forced President Chávez from power and placed him in detention. Following the Coup d’Etat, a de facto joint civilian-military administration was established under the opposition leader Pedro Carmona, head of the Employers Association, FEDECAMARAS. The de facto government issued draconian decrees, inclusing the closure of the National Assembly, and the summary dismissal of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General and the Human Rights Ombudsman (Defensor del Pueblo). [At which point America announced official recognition of the govt] Police carried out raids on a number of homes of supporters of President Chávez. Amongst those arbitrarily detained were a Minister and a National Assembly deputy. There was widespread condemnation of the unconstitutional and summary removal of President Chávez, the illegal detention of his supporters, and the arbitrary powers assumed by the de facto government. This, coupled with the increasingly determined efforts of President Chávez’s followers to secure his release and return to power, led to the resignation of the new government and reinstatement of President Chávez on 14 April. The civil disturbance during these four days left at least 50 people dead and many more wounded. The government and opposition have continually accused each other of masterminding the violence for political advantage over the last year. "
America is pissy for several reasons. THe leftist policies of Chavez which have popular support oppose big business and are somewhat reminiscent of communism. This seems to be a growing fashion in the region (something america says shows destabilising effects). Venezuela is selling tis oil preferentially to Cuba, Brazil, S.America and then Carribean countries preferentially rather than on the open marke, thus losing itself some money but helping these countries massively with energy problems.
They are also making some Mugabe esque moves too unfortunately - renationalising some of the massive spanish and american (and brit) owned ranches which were practically given away by previous governemnts in reutrn for certain kick backs.
Their economy is making a big turnaround because of reforms, not going backwards.