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    As socialist "autocrats" go he seemed relatively ok to me, and kudos for berating Bush at the UN; wonder whether the yanks did interfere with his health :holmes:
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    As we all remember this funny guy, here's a list of my favourite Hugo Chavez moments:

    1. ¿Por qué no te callas?

    At the meeting on 10 November 2007, Chávez repeatedly interrupted the speech of the Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, to call the Prime Minister's predecessor, José María Aznar, a "fascist" and "less human than snakes", and accuse Aznar of having supported a failed coup d'état aimed at removing Chávez from power. Although organizers switched off Chávez's microphone, he continued to interrupt as Zapatero defended Aznar. While the interruption and defence were taking place, Juan Carlos leaned forward, turned towards his fellow head of state, and said "¿Por qué no te callas?" ("Why don't you shut up?").

    The king's phrase gained cult slogan status, ringing from mobile phones, appearing on T-shirts, and being used as a greeting.

    2. U.S. to blame for Haiti earthquake

    In 2010, Chavez faulted the U.S. for Haiti’s devastating earthquake. He argued the U.S. was testing a “tectonic weapon” that caused the natural disaster. Chavez argued the earthquake was a result of “weapon earthquakes” the U.S. created that would eventually be used to take over Iran.

    3. Why is there no life on Mars? Capitalism killed it!

    Chavez argued in 2011 that capitalism is to blame for the lack of life on Mars. “I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet,” Chavez said in speech to celebrate World Water Day.

    4. His own cancer caused by the U.S.

    In December 2011, Chavez went as far to suggest the U.S. might have been behind the cancer affecting several leaders in South America, including him and Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. “It’s very difficult to explain, even with the law of probabilities what is happening to some of us in Latin America,” he said in a televised speech. “would it be so strange that [the U.S.] invented technology to spread cancer and we don’t know about it for 50 years?”

    5. 9 hour speech

    The man could talk. Last year, Chavez who was running for re-election at the time, gave a speech to the National Assembly that lasted more than nine hours. Chavez had recently had surgery to remove a malignant tumor, and the gist of his message was that he was back and better than ever. He later told local media he had lost track of the time.

    Sources: The top 10 eyebrow-raising Chavez moments (msnbc) and ¿Por qué no te callas? (Wikipedia)
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    There were celebrations all over south Florida last night. Seems like you can't find a single Venezuelan anywhere here who agrees with you.
    Celebrating the death of other human being is a sign of moral misery; even more when said human being has done nothing but helping millions of his fellow countrymen getting out of extreme poverty.

    It's funny how in the democracies of the western world people are being thrown out of their houses right now (as it happens in the US, Spain, Greece, and other European countries), whereas in Venezuela this strange "dictator" was helping the people in need to acquire houses --either for free, for the poorest people, or for a reasonable and payable price, for those with more incomes. (Among other social plans to improve the quality of peoples' lives).

    And by the way, I am a Venezuelan; one of the many millions of them who are in sorrow now for this loss. Maybe you don't find too many Venezuelans in the US who love Chávez because, most of the Venezuelans who emigrated to the US bought that "here comes the tyrant" rubbish spread by the media here. (Most of them always hated their country anyway, even before Chávez arrived to power).
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    R.I.P Chavez.

    A flawed man no doubt. Like most people. However his electoral popularity and the outpouring of grief in Venezuela tells a lot. Can the capitalists posters answer me this- Who had the best interests of the people of Venezuela at heart, Chavez or the US government, the CIA and multinational corporations.

    Yes Chavez was no angel but Oil companies and the authors of US policy in Latin America aren't exactly known for scruples and social concerns.
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    Better dead than red...
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    I think it's rather odd how a whole country is crying in the streets in hysterics over a politician.

    How very un-British.
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    (Original post by TobaccoSmoke)
    I think it's rather odd how a whole country is crying in the streets in hysterics over a politician.

    How very un-British.
    Haha... those damn Venezuelans... insisting on not being British!
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    (Original post by DK_Tipp)
    Haha... those damn Venezuelans... insisting on not being British!
    I was merely stating that you would never see any out-pouring of grief over a political figure in the UK in a similar manner.

    Shows an extremely different mentality.
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    (Original post by TobaccoSmoke)
    I was merely stating that you would never see any out-pouring of grief over a political figure in the UK in a similar manner.

    Shows an extremely different mentality.
    Ah I know that. It was just funny the way it was phrased. Thought it was meant as semi-humorous!
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    If Chavez is such a great leader then why has he been totally unable to tackle country's violent crime problem?

    Is it possibly because the sort of people who support him ARE the thugs and robbers?
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of1bVlo_5Y4

    ^
    My reaction.
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    For whom exactly?
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    (Original post by Sir Fox)
    As we all remember this funny guy, here's a list of my favourite Hugo Chavez moments:

    1. ¿Por qué no te callas?

    At the meeting on 10 November 2007, Chávez repeatedly interrupted the speech of the Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, to call the Prime Minister's predecessor, José María Aznar, a "fascist" and "less human than snakes", and accuse Aznar of having supported a failed coup d'état aimed at removing Chávez from power. Although organizers switched off Chávez's microphone, he continued to interrupt as Zapatero defended Aznar. While the interruption and defence were taking place, Juan Carlos leaned forward, turned towards his fellow head of state, and said "¿Por qué no te callas?" ("Why don't you shut up?").

    The king's phrase gained cult slogan status, ringing from mobile phones, appearing on T-shirts, and being used as a greeting.

    2. U.S. to blame for Haiti earthquake

    In 2010, Chavez faulted the U.S. for Haiti’s devastating earthquake. He argued the U.S. was testing a “tectonic weapon” that caused the natural disaster. Chavez argued the earthquake was a result of “weapon earthquakes” the U.S. created that would eventually be used to take over Iran.

    3. Why is there no life on Mars? Capitalism killed it!

    Chavez argued in 2011 that capitalism is to blame for the lack of life on Mars. “I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet,” Chavez said in speech to celebrate World Water Day.

    4. His own cancer caused by the U.S.

    In December 2011, Chavez went as far to suggest the U.S. might have been behind the cancer affecting several leaders in South America, including him and Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. “It’s very difficult to explain, even with the law of probabilities what is happening to some of us in Latin America,” he said in a televised speech. “would it be so strange that [the U.S.] invented technology to spread cancer and we don’t know about it for 50 years?”

    5. 9 hour speech

    The man could talk. Last year, Chavez who was running for re-election at the time, gave a speech to the National Assembly that lasted more than nine hours. Chavez had recently had surgery to remove a malignant tumor, and the gist of his message was that he was back and better than ever. He later told local media he had lost track of the time.

    Sources: The top 10 eyebrow-raising Chavez moments (msnbc) and ¿Por qué no te callas? (Wikipedia)
    I think he took up the extra long speech thing in admiration of Fidel.

    I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that some of the other things may have been intended as jokes. Maybe not the cancer allegations one though. :rolleyes: On the other hand, he can be forgiven at least a modicum of paranoia, given that it is on the record that the CIA tried all kinds of bizarre methods to kill Castro. He (Chavez) definitely saw himself as the new Castro on the mainland of S. America.
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    (Original post by TobaccoSmoke)
    I think it's rather odd how a whole country is crying in the streets in hysterics over a politician.

    How very un-British.
    Yes, it really isn't cricket. There is simply not enough reserved behaviour, strained politeness, stiff upper lip and aloof mild dislike of strangers in the world generally.
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    (Original post by lazaro7)
    Celebrating the death of other human being is a sign of moral misery; even more when said human being has done nothing but helping millions of his fellow countrymen getting out of extreme poverty.

    It's funny how in the democracies of the western world people are being thrown out of their houses right now (as it happens in the US, Spain, Greece, and other European countries), whereas in Venezuela this strange "dictator" was helping the people in need to acquire houses --either for free, for the poorest people, or for a reasonable and payable price, for those with more incomes. (Among other social plans to improve the quality of peoples' lives).

    And by the way, I am a Venezuelan; one of the many millions of them who are in sorrow now for this loss. Maybe you don't find too many Venezuelans in the US who love Chávez because, most of the Venezuelans who emigrated to the US bought that "here comes the tyrant" rubbish spread by the media here. (Most of them always hated their country anyway, even before Chávez arrived to power).
    Well lets think about this for a minute. The government doesn't have money right? The only way the government gets wealth is by taking it from its people. So you'll think he's great if you got something handed to you that you didn't have to work for but if you had wealth confiscated from you, you aren't going to be a fan of Chavez. Most of the Venezuelan in Miami had their businesses destroyed by this man or had a lot of wealth taken from them
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    Well lets think about this for a minute. The government doesn't have money right? The only way the government gets wealth is by taking it from its people. So you'll think he's great if you got something handed to you that you didn't have to work for but if you had wealth confiscated from you, you aren't going to be a fan of Chavez. Most of the people in Miami had their businesses destroyed by this man

    That seems perfectly logical but it's a Northern/First World interpretation. That is assuming you are expressing sympathy for those anti-Chavez Venezuelans in Miami?
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    Well lets think about this for a minute. The government doesn't have money right? The only way the government gets wealth is by taking it from its people. So you'll think he's great if you got something handed to you that you didn't have to work for but if you had wealth confiscated from you, you aren't going to be a fan of Chavez. Most of the Venezuelan in Miami had their businesses destroyed by this man or had a lot of wealth taken from them
    Well, actually our main incomes come from the oil industry (which thanks to Chavez is owned by the State), other strategic industries --like telecommunications-- and taxes paid by private and public industries. I do think a sensible and fair government should take care of the people and prioritize it above businesses. Otherwise, look at what's happening in other countries (Spain and Greece, for example) where, due to the economic crisis, the States are currently paying the debts of the private banks taking money from the people (the majorities) to save the businesses of a few rich bankers. Do you think it's fair?

    Anyway, most of the people who are being benefited by housing programs here in Venezuela are the poorest ones who lost their houses due to severe floods a couple of years ago (what would you expect the government to do in such a situation? Would you prefer it to let you in the streets on your own?). And it's not free for all, as I said before --you pay a price according to your income level.
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    (Original post by DK_Tipp)
    That seems perfectly logical but it's a Northern/First World interpretation. That is assuming you are expressing sympathy for those anti-Chavez Venezuelans in Miami?
    They seem to behave in very similar ways to the Miami Cubans.
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    (Original post by lazaro7)
    Well, actually our main incomes come from the oil industry (which thanks to Chavez is owned by the State), other strategic industries --like telecommunications-- and taxes paid by private and public industries. I do think a sensible and fair government should take care of the people and prioritize it above businesses. Otherwise, look at what's happening in other countries (Spain and Greece, for example) where, due to the economic crisis, the States are currently paying the debts of the private banks taking money from the people (the majorities) to save the businesses of a few rich bankers. Do you think it's fair?

    Anyway, most of the people who are being benefited by housing programs here in Venezuela are the poorest ones who lost their houses due to severe floods a couple of years ago (what would you expect the government to do in such a situation? Would you prefer it to let you in the streets on your own?). And it's not free for all, as I said before --you pay a price according to your income level.
    A lot of what Chavez has done seems to be right both morally and economically - he has made mistakes and some of his foreign policy initiatives have been obsessively anti-American to a foolish extent, but internally he has been a good leader for Venezuela. It will be interesting to see how this develops next.
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    Venezuela has had reduction of poverty rates, increase in literacy rates, and GDP but I'm afraid that doesn't mean much when you are likely to be mugged, killed, or kidnapped at any time. (If someone really wants to target you they will find a way.) Power cuts, water shortages, and lack of daily supplies have left the country in a sorry state. People fighting in supermarkets over chicken is not an indicator of good government decisions, while I agree the disparity of wealth in Venezuela is large and some efforts Chavez made were good in principle, corruption has had its way with most. Corruption is a big issue in Venezuela with many people taking advantage of their positions of power for personal gain. Having to send packages to family because they're in need of basic things like food, toilet paper and soap shows how bad things have gotten.

    I know some American media outlets have denounced him heavily but to be honest I think they have missed the mark somewhat. I've also seen a lot of people in different countries praising him because they've heard one a few statistics about his time in power, I think these people are also fairly off target. While Chavez did do some good he also did bad, no one is perfect, at the end of it all he was just another man.
 
 
 
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