The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
The American Friends of Hugo Chavez
The Latest Round of Saber-Rattling Begs the Question: Why is the American Left is Head-Over-Heels for Hugo?
Washington, DC – Movie stars, celebrities, members of Congress and peace activists like Cindy Sheehan have all kept company with Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez. But just this passed weekend, he sent troops to the border of Colombia and threatened war over Columbia’s hot pursuit of drug-running terrorists. .
The latest round of saber-rattling illustrates just how dangerous Chavez really is. So why do so many left-leaning Americans support someone who hates America?
In Capital Research Center’s (CRC) March 2008 edition of Organization Trends, authors Anna Marie Ortiz and Matthew Vadum look at how Chavez uses American politicians and celebrities to advance his political goals.
Chavez, who marched Venezuelan troops to the border last weekend because of Colombia’s strike against the insurgent Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerillas, vows support for those he calls “true armies.” Columbia’s capture of a FARC lap-top computer last week revealed how much that support means. Chavez has allegedly been providing up to $300 million to FARC rebels, who run drugs through his country. Chavez refuses to allow American surveillance flights over Venezuela.
Former Congressman Joe Kennedy (D-MA) is Chavez’s spin doctor. His non-profit Citizens Energy Corporation provides public relations cover to Chavez by hawking the CITGO Corporation’s program giving home heating oil to low-income families in New England. CITGO is owned by the government of Venezuela and controlled by Chavez, who appointed a Venezuelan army general as its CEO.
This seems a-ok with American celebrities Sean Penn, Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte. All have gone on pilgrimages to Venezuela to rub elbows with Chavez. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) has been critical of the Bush Administration for not doing enough to protect Chavez, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) signed a joint letter with Jesse Jackson endorsing Chavez’s re-reelection.
Meanwhile, Chavez shuts down the media at home, consorts with tyrants from Iran to Belarus, and allows terrorist groups Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas to open up offices in Venezuela’s capital city of Caracas.
For more information about the article or to schedule an interview with the author, please contact Larry Farnsworth at (202) 232-6574 or via email at [email protected]
ABOUT CRC: Capital Research Center is a nonprofit public policy research organization based in Washington, D.C. and established in 1984 to study critical issues in philanthropy with a special focus on non-profit "public interest" and advocacy groups, the funding which sustains them, their agendas and their impact on public policy and society. For reprint information or to read the full editorial, visit www.capitalresearch.org.
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Posted by Matthew Johnston on March 11, 2008 | Permalink
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The Left in America is not much different than the Left in Canada and Europe. They're all pretty much the same "America stinks" crowd. The ends justify the means and the enemy of my enemy must be my friend therefore Chavez is cool to hang-out with. Deep down they're very shallow!
Posted by: John Chittick | 2008-03-11 10:55:42 AM
The moral of this story: Don't get between Colombia and the American drug cartel.
Posted by: Marc | 2008-03-11 11:10:44 AM
Simple. Chavez is the "good" Castro. Democratically elected, bombastic, socialist, and ready to tweak the nose of the US and their regional allies.
There's not much to choose between him and Uribe, but I doubt Uribe has a fanclub like Chavez'.
Posted by: Eric Grant | 2008-03-11 11:11:16 AM
Actually, U.S. leftists are not shallow, nor do lack critical thinking skills. People in the U.S. who respect the democratically elected government of Venezuela and admire its commitment to the poor are not crazy. We care about the U.S. and its role in the world, and are making up for Bush's botched strategy of anti-diplomacy by building bridges with other cultures and taking them seriously in their own right. And guess what? We read your bigoted magazines, too.
Posted by: mariela | 2008-03-11 11:13:47 AM
"We care about the U.S. and its role in the world, and are making up for Bush's botched strategy of anti-diplomacy by building bridges with other cultures and taking them seriously in their own right."
I'm glad you want to build bridges with other cultures but your next statement makes me doubt your sincerity.
"We read your bigoted magazines, too."
So much for tolerance.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-03-11 11:18:18 AM
In fact, I am tolerant -- I spent 5 years living in Canada -- but have strong opinions. And the piece above is clearly bigoted.
Posted by: mariela | 2008-03-11 11:21:46 AM
You are entitled to your strong opinions, obviously. Just as the Western Standard is entitled to their strong opinions.
However, if you wish to call them bigoted on their blog, I reserve the right to question your tolerance.
Isn't freedom of conscience wonderful?
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-03-11 11:26:42 AM
Sure, accuse me of doing the same thing that the Standard is doing. The reason I read and commented on this, though, was to add another point of view to the discussion. I see it's not welcome.
Posted by: mariela | 2008-03-11 11:40:26 AM
" The reason I read and commented on this, though, was to add another point of view to the discussion. I see it's not welcome."
You sure do jump to conclusions rapidly. Of course, your opinion is welcome. You just have have tough skin. Given your shot-across-the-bow and strong opinions, I wouldn't think that would be a problem for you.
"Sure, accuse me of doing the same thing that the Standard is doing."
I don't agree. The WS isn't logging onto other blogs and calling their hosts bigots right off the bat and then claiming how tolerant they are. Other than that, I'm sure you're the same.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-03-11 2:34:32 PM
The Hollywierdos have always enjoyed being involved in the counter-culture that was created when Hanoi Jane went to 'Nam. I really don't believe they have a friggin' clue as to what they're doing. It makes for publicity and remember the Hollywood credo, "There's no such thing as bad publicity".
Except when it gets your Countrymen killed, but then, they haven't the brains to think that through. I hope they can sleep at night.
Oh, and Mariela, your opinion that the piece is bigoted is just your own opinion. We here at the Western Standard allow a diversity of opinions. Personally I think you are full of it but accept the fact that you have an opinion. No one here is going to call for you to be banned or delete your remarks, unlike those Lefty blogs that allow only the party line.
Welcome to a blog site that allows you to do so.
Posted by: atric | 2008-03-11 3:58:20 PM
"People in the U.S. who respect the democratically elected government of Venezuela"
Maybe he was democratically elected, but my guess is there were serious questions about how fair. Even if it was fair though, since then, freedom has seriously deteriorated.
"and admire its commitment to the poor are not crazy"
He might even believe himself. However, he is actually hurting the poor more than helping them. Socialism eventually does that, every time.
Posted by: TM | 2008-03-11 5:10:02 PM
"We...are making up for Bush's botched strategy of anti-diplomacy"
and you said
"People in the U.S. who respect the democratically elected government of Venezuela..."
But Bush was democratically elected. Doesn't he deserve your respect?
Especially in your own country?
If a democratically elected person of the country with the longest uninterrupted tradition of electing people democratically is less respectable than some upstart democracy, why would you put more faith in the upstart?
That is your criteria, right?
Perhaps you need to defend Chavez using reasons other than the fact he was "democratically elected"
Glad to help.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-03-11 5:37:32 PM
March 11th, 2008
"Emperor George W. Bush and his Dick as in shoot your best friend in the face Cheney have and continue to cause the 'Daily' Suffering and Death's of the American Poor, Disabled, Senior Citizens, Children, G.L.B.T. Community, Veterans and the Unemployed by Economic Deprivation. It leaves no finger prints at the crime scene."
Emperor George W. Bush and his Dick Cheney should be charged for War Crimes and Crimes against American Citizens. America is to be a Democracy ruled as a true Republic, not a Fascist Dictatorship.
One can only thank President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela for providing low cost Heating Oil by Citgo Oil to former U.S. Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II for the Poor in America.
To think President Chavez is friends with leaders of other countries that Emperor Bush and his Dick Cheney do not care for, appears to make one wonder about the company that Emperor Bush and his Dick Cheney keep and their Fascist Far Right Republican Party. We can never forget it was the Fascist Far Right Republican Controlled U.S. Congress in December of 2005 that cut 141 Entitlements for the Poor in America. It was the Fascist Far Right Republican Controlled U.S. Congress that in May of 2006 that cut more Entitlements for the Poor in America. It is Emperor Bush and his Dick Cheney and the U. S. Fascist Far Right Republicans in Congress who have supported spending $500,000 dollars every 30 seconds on an Unjust War in the Mid East for the Greed for Oil for the 1% Rich. These are just facts that can never be changed as they are documented facts.
How can we ignore the close relationship that the Bush Family have had for decades with the Saudi Arabia Family and many other countries that could not even compare to the country of Venezuela. Venezuela and President Hugo Chavez are not the enemy of the United States of America.
No one can forget that 9/11 could of not been possible if it was not from Saudi Arabia the majority of those on Airlines that came from Saudi Arabia to make 9/11 the Perfect Storm as Emperor George W. Bush on 9/11 was reading a book unside down with school children in Florida.
Why did Emperor George W. Bush and his Dick Cheney not attack Saudi Arabia? Iraq surely had no WMD. Let us ask why over 250,000 + Iraq Citizens were murdered by America making war against Iraq who did nothing. We have had over 5,000+ American Troops killed and over 30,000 American Troops who have become Permanently Paralyzed and Disabled for Life for the Greed for Oil for the 1% Rich in America. How much does Emperor Bush and his Dick Cheney and Republican Party put on a human life? Zero! America is 9 Trillion in Debt under Emperor Bush and his Dick Cheney Fascist Dictatorship.
It would appear Emperor Bush and his Dick Cheney and their Fascist Republican Party support the same doctrine as Queen Marie Antainette did. "They have cake to eat don't they?"
We can never forget that Emperor George W. Bush and his Dick Cheney and their Fascist Republican Party are always telling all Americans, "Do not do as we do but do as we tell you to do". One can only realize, they do not support Democracy ruled as a true Republic. This is why the Democrats are now in Control of the U.S. Congress and will soon have U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton as our next President to restore Democracy ruled as a true Republic once again in America. http://www.impeachbush.org
Posted by: Officer Thomas A. Porter D.P.O. | 2008-03-11 5:41:55 PM
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-03-11 5:50:28 PM
To the mariela's of the world, and the rest of the America hating loons like this, who rush to embrace the true tyrants of the world, shrieking how they are democratically elected and how wonderful they are while running down their own system, a little news flash for you.
George Bush was democratically elected as well, and for his second tem ran on his anti terror policy, and the war in Iraq.
Because you left wing hacks put up a anti war, anti military, war protester idiot John Kerry, you lost and deservedly so.
So you can show support and respect for a foreign dictator, yet can't see your own country and leader for being as noble as they are?
For liberating millions and defending the principles of freedom, just as it always has, you have only distain for your country while you embrace those who endeavor to enslave their populace..
You call this critical thinking? Quite frankly you and your ilk sicken me.
Posted by: deepblue | 2008-03-11 5:52:22 PM
Wow Uncle Tom,
You must be mixing the Ron Paul and Shillery Kool-Aid, sounds like it has made for a lethal combination.
Posted by: deepblue | 2008-03-11 6:01:44 PM
Chavez uses his power to silence opponents - if outspoken leftist morons in the US and Canada used the few brain cells they've got for a second or two, they might figure out...
Posted by: philanthropist | 2008-03-11 11:52:35 PM
Stop Chavez' hand in America. Boycott Citgo http://citgoboycott.org
Posted by: citgo-boycott | 2008-03-12 11:25:38 AM
Your worried about Chavez? Who's going to save us from the terrorist thug regime lead by Bush and Cheney? You nut job right wingers must really love fascism in America and all the war mongering.
Posted by: Bob | 2008-03-12 3:45:51 PM
Sean Penn, Danny Glover, et al should be forced to watch "Team America" non stop for 100 hours. Maybe they'd see how ridiculous they appear to the rest of us.
Posted by: dp | 2008-03-12 4:21:15 PM
"You nut job right wingers must really love fascism in America and all the war mongering. "
You have 10 months left to find a new bogeyman. Better hurry before all the good ones are taken.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-03-12 4:46:35 PM
Which historically oppressed group do you support in the Democratic presidential race?
I can hardly wait for inauguration night ... The President of the Oppressed States of America .... (fill in the blank).
Do your friends also live in an oppressed state? How has victimhood worked for you so far?
List the two accomplishments you are most proud of in your life. That will let us know if you're a doer or a whiner.
Thanks for coming.
Posted by: set you free | 2008-03-12 6:36:56 PM
Telephone Call from Chavez to "Reyes" Allowed Colombians to Locate FARC Camp
A telephone call that the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, would have made to the guerrilla leader "Raul Reyes,"1 permitted location of the encampment, according to reports from Colombian intelligence, RCN Radio divulged today.
The telephone call took place Wednesday the 27th of February, the day in which four Colombian Congressmen (Gloria Polanco, Luis Eladio Pérez, Orlando Beltrán, Jorge Eduardo Gechem), kidnapped for almost seven years, were liberated.2
"Chavez, emotionally moved by the liberation of the kidnapped prisoners, called Reyes (alias of Luis Edgar Devia) and told him that everything had gone well," RCN broadcast while citing "high Colombian military sources."
Intelligence services traced the call and detected that Reyes was in Colombian territory near the border with Ecuador, he [then] crossed it "and soon afterwards the bombing came," Friday night and early Saturday morning, when the rebel leader and some twenty other guerrillas were taken down.
According to RCN, "the same intelligence official -- who expressly requested anonymity -- said that there is no end to the irony that it has been a call of President Chavez which permitted us to take Reyes down."
Of equal importance, the source revealed that the supreme chief, founder, and leader of the FARC, Manuel Marulanda Vélez, more commonly known as Tirofijo,3 "has taken refuge in Venezuela."
The intelligence services also "have established that (Tirofijo) is ill" and "he has taken refuge on a Venezuelan farm, not near the border, [but] on the other side of the border with the (Colombian) Department of Norte de Santander."
The RCN sources also broadcast that "Chavez ordered the transfer of battalions to the border to protect Tirofijo in order to avoid doing with him in Venezuelan territory what they did with Reyes in Ecuador."
They added that "if they are mobilizing troops (in Venezuela and sending them to the border) it is for protecting Tirofijo," the source said.
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2008-03-12 8:33:19 PM
From one of the commenters here:
Dr. Jack Wheeler's insight on all this:
GIVE WAR A CHANCE
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler
Thursday, 06 March 2008
That was the title of a very funny book P. J. O'Rourke wrote a few years ago about Saddam Hussein's Iraq. And it's very apt advice right now for Colombia's Alvaro Uribe.
You knew that Venezuela's coke-head clown dictator was going to find a pretext for war with Colombia a month ago in Wars On The Way. The Colombian Army's take-out of Chavez's FARC buddy Raul Reyes, a murderous Marxist midget (he was barely over five feet tall) last Saturday (3/01) provided it.
Now let's hope Uribe accepts Chavez's offer of war. For if he does, it's bye-bye, Hugo.
For all the billions of dollars Chavez has spent on Russian weapons, there is no such thing as a Venezuela military in reality. The Venezuelan Army has never been in a war, save for a brief border skirmish with British Guyana over a century ago in the 1890s. Historically, the purpose of the Venezuelan military has been to keep whoever had seized power in power, to quash rebellions and popular revolts.
Today, Chavez is so hated by many of his own generals that they have little desire to obey his commands to "move ten battalions" (about 6,000 soldiers) plus tanks to the border with Colombia. Further, they know that if ordered into actual battle, their soldiers are so ill-trained they will be slaughtered or defect en masse.
The Colombian army of 270,000, well-equipped and trained after $5 billion of US support (courtesy of George Bush) dwarfs Venezuela's of 82,000. Further, Colombia's soldiers are battle-hardened after years of fighting a war with the FARC guerrillas, a war which is now close to being won. They would eat Venezuelan soldiers for desayuno.
Chavez knows this, so unfortunately, his war threats are bluster and bluff. The real bright spot, though, is that Chavez does not possess a rationally functioning brain. Uribe does - and thus knows if he can enrage and goad Chavez enough, it will tip him into the irrationality of an actual military attack on Colombian territory.
That will be the excuse Uribe needs to militarily humiliate Chavez overwhelmingly - which can then precipitate an uprising and coup by the generals in Caracas. Uribe is playing Chavez like a fiddle. Soon enough, it will be finite la musica for the Clown in Caracas.
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2008-03-12 8:41:20 PM
I represent the oppressed group of individuals who don't believe they have to like their president to love their country. I also represent the quickly vanishing middle class of this country. You people can point fingers at people around the world for the falling dollar and failing economy but I assure you, the current policies by this admin will be our undoing. So, I say again: You nut job right wingers must really love fascism in America and all the war mongering.
Posted by: Bob | 2008-03-13 11:48:26 AM
"You people can point fingers at people around the world for the falling dollar and failing economy but I assure you, the current policies by this admin will be our undoing. "
10 months left then you can relax.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-03-13 11:56:04 AM
BTW, Bush WAS NOT ELECTED. He was appointed by the supreme court.
Posted by: Bob | 2008-03-13 12:40:04 PM
Mariela wrote: “Actually, U.S. leftists are not shallow, nor do lack critical thinking skills.”
They like to play up their “critical thinking skills,” that’s true. However, most of the Leftists I’ve met and conversed with have been shallow creatures driven by emotion. They take it personally if you disagree with them, and may even call you evil. They march in the streets, overturn cars, break windows, attack police, vandalize property, burn people in effigy. And if you’re elected anyway, they have to seek counselling for the emotional trauma. Not shallow? They’d be out of their depth in a car park puddle.
Mariela wrote: “People in the U.S. who respect the democratically elected government of Venezuela and admire its commitment to the poor are not crazy.”
You mean the same way that Saddam Hussein was “democratically elected”? And commitment to the poor for the sake of commitment to the poor IS crazy, if you make it the cornerstone of your economic policy. Punishing success and rewarding failure may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, but it has a miserable track record at stimulating economic growth.
Mariela wrote: “We care about the U.S. and its role in the world, and are making up for Bush's botched strategy of anti-diplomacy by building bridges with other cultures and taking them seriously in their own right.”
Like hell. You like Chavez because he’s the Oliver Stone of politics, and to a Leftist, flash and pizzazz, as well as sticking it to the rich, are infinitely more important than long-term results.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-03-14 7:50:01 AM
Bob wrote: “I represent the oppressed group of individuals who don't believe they have to like their president to love their country.”
Oppressed, eh? What gulag are you writing from? And by the way, can you provide any documented proof that a) this “oppressed” groups exists at all, and b) that they’ve appointed you their spokesman?
Bob wrote: “I also represent the quickly vanishing middle class of this country.”
The liberal, college-educated, yuppie class, you mean?
Bob wrote: “You people can point fingers at people around the world for the falling dollar and failing economy but I assure you, the current policies by this admin will be our undoing.”
So say the candidates before each election. Yawn, yawn.
So, I say again: You nut job right wingers must really love fascism in America and all the war mongering.
Whether it would survive a coup by hysterical lunatics like yourself is less certain.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-03-14 7:53:14 AM
Bob wrote: "BTW, Bush WAS NOT ELECTED. He was appointed by the supreme court."
You lie. The Supreme Court ordered a halt to endless hand recounts when it became clear they weren't going to change the results of the election. And then the Democrats and their liberal backers whined that the Electoral College system was unfair and that it should be abolished after 220 years of service.
Here's a tip: If you want to be able to convince others that Bush lied, DON'T DO IT YOURSELF.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-03-14 7:56:21 AM
Philanthropist wrote: "Chavez uses his power to silence opponents - if outspoken leftist morons in the US and Canada used the few brain cells they've got for a second or two, they might figure out..."
Leftists aren't against the repression of ideas. They're just against the repression of THEIR ideas. Look at hate-crime legislation, university speech codes, and the treatment of academics who voice politically incorrect opinions.
Leftists have become the new reactionaries, trying desperately to lock the world into their 1960s way of thinking. They have become that which they crusaded against 40 years ago. Thus does history curse the emotional, the selfish, and the stupid.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-03-14 7:59:19 AM
When I was a kid my grandmother (God rest her) would laugh herself to tears at the Hollyweird types on the TV and cackle: "Look at the screwballs!"
Best. Description. Ever.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-03-14 8:24:46 AM
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