Tulio: Venezuelan socialism was authoritarian and proto-communist. Scandinavian social democracy is not at all. I don’t think Chavez looked to Norway for inspiration but rather to Castro.
Keep in mind that nearly everything you read about Venezuela in the US Controlled Media unfree press is a lie. I have yet to see even one story written about that country that was not a lie from start to finish.
The last sentence is completely untrue.
Chavez himself said that Cubans have their way, and we have ours. Different systems for different countries. He never tried to copy the Cuban model. He was trying to do something completely different.
An Eternity of Lies from the Venezuelan Opposition
The first sentence is also completely untrue.
It was never even 1% authoritarian.
Venezuela has one of the freest presses on Earth, and all in all, it is one of the freest countries on the planet. I have read the Opposition press, and it is simply shocking. The Opposition media is so openly dishonest that frankly they probably ought to be shut down on that basis alone. They shameless lie in the wildest ways you could imagine every single day of the year. Their lies have provoked riots, arson and murder. Imagine Fox News during Obama except 5X worse, and that will give you some examples.
There were regular calls to assassinate Chavez and other government officials and nothing was ever done. Yes, the Opposition press regularly, almost daily, called for the murder of the President, and the government did not lift one finger against them.
All of the Opposition press participated in an illegal military coup. They should have been shut down on that basis alone. How can you allow an openly traitorous press?
The Opposition down there is so evil that they even fake exit polls in order to validate false charges of electoral fraud. Venezuela is the only on Earth where I have seen the actual faking of exit polls. Faking exit polls is a grievous crime against democracy because they were one of the few ways that we can tell if an election was honest or not.
Venezuela’s elections are said to be the freest on Earth. I agree. In the last election when the US and Opposition lied and said there was massive fraud, a recount was done. Fully 60% of the ballots were recounted under careful observation and there was not one single ballot in error. The Supreme Court then said, “Ok, 60% without one single error is good enough, no need to count the rest.” The Opposition then screamed fraud, and Obama Administration stomped their feet and screamed fraud also. Do you really think there was 1% chance of fraud in that election?
“Liberals” Hillary Clinton and John (Satan) Kerry led the charge in demanding new elections and demanding that the Chavistas share power with the Opposition. That’s like the Democrats lose an election, and they demand that the Republicans share power with them by filling half the Executive Branch with Democrats.
True, he replaced a lot of the army, but those people who were replaced had participated in a military coup. The army needs to support the regime.
Yes, he replaced most of the judiciary, but this has to be done everywhere in Latin America. An insanely corrupt elite judiciary is a major part of the problem down there, and every time they have a revolution, one of the first things they do is a “judicial reform.” This means throwing out all of the corrupt judges of the elite and putting in some real judges. You know, people who believe in laws and stupid stuff like that.
Venezuela is vastly more democratic than the US has probably ever been. We have probably never had one day of democracy in this stupid country, and it’s getting much worse. This is because our class enemies who run this country do not believe in democracy. In fact, they have an extreme hatred of democracy.
Sins of the Organized Crime Gang Called “The Opposition”
All of the Opposition figures participated in the military coup and they all should have been put in prison if not shot on that basis alone. Instead they were all set free. All of the Opposition figures who are now in prison were guilty of extreme corruption and financial crimes or abuse of the judiciary. And almost 100% of them were guilty of participating in plots to assassinate the President. One of them ever raised an entire army of hundreds of men on her rural estate. Their purpose was to assassinate the President and seize power. Those few who were not guilty of money crimes or trying to kill the President are guilty of provoking violent riots in which ~40 people died. They were behind those riots all the way down to organizing them at the ground level and distributing guns and bombs to the rioters.
The Opposition gets away with murder down there and nothing is done. They rioted in their neighborhoods for years on end, and the police mostly stood there and watched them burn stuff down. Almost no country on Earth except pre-coup Ukraine has gone as easy on rioters as Venezuela has. Even with the latest riots, the police were very hands-off. Once again, they were probably more moderate in putting down those riots than any other police force on Earth. The regime knows that if they do anything heavy-handed at all, the US will scream “police brutality” and “civil rights abuses.”
Bolivarian Economics: China Is Vastly More Socialist than Venezuela
With the exception of oil, the whole economy is in the private sector. China is orders of magnitude more socialist than Venezuela.
All they did was create some social democracy. They built a lot of free to cheap housing, upgraded a lot of infrastructure, wired up the whole country for electricity, subsidized food prices for the poor, sold cheap household furnishings as My Happy Home stores. They created free public education and spent massively on educational facilities. They created free health care and spent hugely on medical care for the people. They promoted a lot of organizing and governing at the local level. They did a land reform by confiscating a lot of untilled land and turning it over to landless peasants to farm. They gave land titles to some local municipalities to grow their own food and run their own factories and enterprises. That’s more or less what China has done.
Chavez did great things for civil rights in Venezuela. Rights for Blacks, mestizos, mulattos and zambos were dramatically increased. Indian rights were expanded greatly, and they were given title to much of their land.
Women’s rights were also expanded dramatically, and the country even introduced civil rights for gays, which is hard to do in Latin America.
73% of the population still supports socialism and Bolivarianism.
The Chavistas massively improved lives in all ways for the poor, the lower middle class, the working classes, and in some ways for the middle classes though the latter do not realize this.
True there was a lot of talk about building socialism, but frankly the consensus on the Left is that they never got around to it. Bolivarianism was never Communist. It was always 100% democracy.
There was a lot of criticism on the Hard Left saying that all Venezuela had done was create a social democracy instead of going to socialism. Comparisons with Norway and Sweden were common.
In Latin America, Liberalism = Communism = Death
You must understand that if you even try to implement the mildest social democracy down in the Latin America, you are a Communist terrorist who must be shot dead. Anything even hinting at liberalism or Left is called Communism, and the attitude of the Right down there is “Kill all Communists.”
If you are in a labor union, you are a Communist because all labor unions are Communist. All human rights organizations are Communist. Everyone preaching Liberation Theology is a Communist. Most professors and students and public universities are considered to be Communists as are most public school teachers, especially because they have very militant unions. All peasant organizations are Communist. Really, every single grassroots popular organization down there is Communist.
PS The US supports this ideology 100%.
The Opposition’s History and Future Project
The Opposition never lifted one finger for the people. They ran that country for decades or really over a century and they did do one damn thing for the people the whole time. Before Chavez took power, 89% of the population lived in poverty in an oil rich nation. 91% of the population could afford only one meal per day. Malnutrition was rife. Health care was for fee for service and simply unavailable to people without the money to pay for it. Same with optometry, dentistry, the whole thing. Educational facilities were poor and falling apart because the elites in government all sent their kids to private schools, and paid no taxes, hence there was no money for public education.
here was no public housing. Sewage ran down the gutters of the streets on the hillside slums where most people lived. There was no clean water. Higher education was expensive and out of the reach of most of the people. In the rural areas most people were landless peasants and a tiny group of rentier rich owned almost all of the fertile land, much of which lay fallow. Death squads roamed the countryside and every year, they murdered ~50 peasants.
The system was profoundly racist, and if you were not White or mostly White, you stood little chance of making money or succeeding in politics. It was a Whites-only elite with no openings for non-Whites. In fact, much of the Opposition was openly racist. The Opposition openly called him “Mono” which means “monkey.” This is a reference to the fact that he is of mixed Indian, White and Black blood. Most of their fury over Chavez was because some guy who looked like the gardener or the maid was running the country and telling the White rich what to do.
I am surprised because the commenter is a Black man who apparently supports the viciously racist Venezuelan Opposition.
And you Americans are mystified at why countries go Left? Why in the Hell do you think?
The Opposition has no project. The project of the Opposition has always been to roll back all of Bolivarianism and take things back to the good old days described above. They have no other project because they cannot have another project. The Opposition are elites who support a project that is “everything for the elites, nothing for anybody else.”