Hugo Chavez, Demagogue
By Pedro Camargo
21.03.06 | Hugo Chavez is in command and he wants you to profiteer from his dirty business scams. With no judicial integrity, with the media being shuttered, and with no independent government function, as all is under his control, any who do business in Venezuela do business solely with and through the Chavez circle. The Caracas government, as such, is simply an extortion racket for protection schemes. Those who do not pay to play in Caracas are either dead or hounded out or selling Hugo Chavez look-alike dolls on the street corner.
Hugo Chavez is a demagogue. A demagogue is defined as, “a person who tries to stir up the people by appeals to emotion, prejudice, etc., in order to win them over quickly and so gain power.” Chavez is a demagogue and that is not the only thing he is up to. Every time Chavez lets lose his now standard demagogic vitriol, he is trying to control and manipulate events. This communist caudillo habitually takes over Venezuelan air waves each week-end, commanding center stage, to rant and rave like a manipulative, scolding, aggravating wife.
Hugo Chavez is trying to manipulate, among several agenda items, global oil prices to pad his personal wallet and increase his political buying capital. Each and every time Chavez opens his long-winded vitriol against the U.S., oil prices spike and Chavez and his cronies make profit. Every time Chavez’s paid protesters blow up a gas or oil pipeline, oil and gas prices spike as well, as increase costly repairs and police-military expenditures. Of course, Chavez’s paid propaganda agents remind us to not complain when the Chavez agents of doom and harm come their way. Silence is required of these minions. Any who speak out or question the wisdom of Chavez’s Bolivarian take-over profiteering plan is silenced or forced in to serving as a complicit enabler of the regime. These habitual dyspeptic, and at times racist and misogynistic, screeches of the harpy Chavez-as-desperate-housewife are more than some lithium-induced hysteria by Chavez, although that could be a factor as well. We suspect this is more about control.
While some claim that Chavez’s tirades are a diversionary tactic to steer the public away from the collapsing infrastructure that his regime has failed to maintain or to divert attention from his clique’s criminality and nation-looting, we sense more of a mania underway. Hugo Chavez is out of control as the cameras role while his plan goes apace.
Every time oil prices spike based on some perceived, real or engineered geo-political instability, energy speculators potentially make billions. We are not referring to refineries or drillers but offshore, dark, opaque, tax-evading speculators. Hugo Chavez is their toyboy: he sets up regional instability in oil and gas producing zones -both physical and political- which drives up energy costs and makes for Chavez new income in two ways: price per barrel jumps and his gaggle of inner group speculators make money.
This one-trick pony, populated mostly by offshore global oil speculators, is driving the Chavez administration. Without Chavez’s absurd vitriol and his total control of his own media, Chavez’s dirty speculations -aka price fixing and profiteering from staged, well planned attacks- would not progress.
To cover over these criminal acts, Chavez has set about to convince the world that he is a benign, charitable leader. To do this, he sells reduced rate oil to some groups. But closer inspection shows us that the vendors for Chavez’s reduced oil are simply new found political puppets: mouthpieces of the new Left who are willing to take Chavez’s oil. In return, these new found oil vendors must be willing to sit by passively as Chavez rails against the United States and rails against functional democracies. Chavez is selling a goofy, incomplete democracy which is actually a bastardized communism. All who profiteer from Chavez know that dealing with Chavez carries strings. One of the major strings of doing business with Chavez is this: his cronies are required to be complicit with him to denounce the benefits of free trade and functional democracy.
Recall that the converse of free trade is either dependency on centrist state hand outs or abject isolationism in wretched poverty. Chavez entices his oil-for-political influence peddling through monetary graft whole attaching riders of complicity to support an end to free trade and functional democracy.
To this anti-free trade political swap or rider, Chavez also carries a message that democracy needs to be redefined. That is, democracy, to Hugo Chavez, must be rejiggered to mean something else entirely. And that something else that Chavez seeks is, by his own words, a non-democratic statehood controlled by a powerful central actor who co-opts the courts, the media, the military and police, as well as education and healthcare. This is supposedly to “help” the poor. But as we know, it is the crueler attack on the “poor” that exists. Poverty is never alleviated when justice is perverted, a police state exists, schools teach revolutionary propaganda and not career building tools, medicine is spotty and under badly trained Cuban neighborhood agents of no real medical training except -at best- triage nurses and any free speech is shuttered or bought out.
Chavez’s oil for political bribes is exactly that. Any who sit at table with Chavez are part of his dirty schemes. One becomes known by the company one keeps.
Double-speak remains double-speak. Oil bribes for political favor remains oil-bribes for political favor.
What do we make of those who make the self-enriching deals with Hugo Chavez on cut-rate oil? We know that this is a political game of bribery by dirty oil profiteering. We would do well to denounce these mute spectators. Once bribed, there is no free speech, no openness and no independence from Chavez who demands total dependence and allegiance. No one openly criticizes Chavez for fear of reprisals. This fear of reprisal is quite real and is reflected in the absurd murder and crime rates in Venezuela, which reflect the gross spikes in political assassinations, if any care to actually review the crime statistics in that land, which contains impossibly unjustifiably over-the-top murder rates, reflecting a death-for-hire schemata by local thugs to remove large numbers of undesirables. When one is bought by Chavez, one stays bought.
Chavez is so enamored of his greed that he now refuses to disclose basic business practices of his hand-held PDVSA-CITGO pocketbook. He refuses to even present requisite audits to the US SEC and refuses standard business principles. This is because he wants none to grasp how illegal PDVSA and CITGO are today by his hand. Any who purchase PDVSA-CITGO oil do so today at the expense of standard, globally accepted business practices, knowing full well that they are buying dirty oil. Dirty oil which comes at he expense of the people of Venezuela whose lives are deteriorating so that Chavez can continue his megalomaniacal global take over plan of hatred and instability for neo-communists.
PDVSA and CITGO are no longer functioning, legitimate corporations. To be sure, PDVSA-CITGO still refine heavy crude, albeit increasingly spotty as well, and still have some gasoline stations in the U.S.. But this is not a normal corporation and as such, has broken U.S. and international regulations and laws to such an extent that its corruption is quite apparent. All who participate with this corrupt group, previously known as PDVSA-CITGO, are dealing with corrupt actors and are today tainted with the stench of that same corruption.
Chavez totally controls PDVSA and CITGO, as he controls everything else in Venezuela. PDVSA-CITGO is Chavez. Venezuela is all about oil. In other words, Venezuela is a one trick state and that is Chavez’s oil. It is now dirty oil. And any who play with Chavez’s dirty oil are now known as supporters of Chavez’s dirty state.
But having destroyed Venezuela, Chavez and his minions want to corrode U.S. foreign policy and help destroy North American businesses, all part of the North American free trade zone. Chavez seeks to convert/subvert the US democratic republic toward the Chavez-Castro non-democratic state where the courts, police, military, media and government serves the overarching state, controlled by Chavez. They want this for the U.S. and are spending millions to begin the conversion. Although this sounds like a laughable archaic KGB style disinformation campaign, in 2006 it is quite real. These errant souls actually hate the U.S. and all it stands for. Money to Chavez is now being spent on undoing the U.S. and its ethos.
We as people are known by the company we keep. Chavez’s company are profiteering pirates who will stoop to any level to profiteer and propagandize their take-over.
The Clinton era disease of enabling the profound rise in illicit activities is enshrined in the infamous `look at what he does, not at what he says’ theory about Chavez. This policy has had its day. While ostensibly uttered to inform us that as long as Chavez’s tanks were not rumbling down the road, we were to be assuaged that Chavez was no menace. As with all corporate crimes, the victims and the money trail is harder to follow. Tanks were not needed to seize the entire government and monies of Venezuela: Chavez did this with the help of a complicit global foreign policy machinery that stupidly believed that Hugo Chavez was on earth to help the “poor” and other myths. We were urged to look the other way and maintain silence. Such gullibility was understandable but no longer unacceptable. We pay today for the Clinton era theories as if not paid before. We are watching what Chavez says and what he does. And we are tired of paying for this at the gas pump, in wasted lives, and senseless political assassinations. We are weary of our South American friends being spied on by Chavez, having their lives and loved ones ripped apart, and we are quite weary of failed sycophants across the globe telling us that this is all somehow wonderful. It is not wonderful. A dictator is a dictator.
There is no peace with a harpy of instability on the make in the Andean region. While Chavez’s crude cacophony distracts attention from the underlying self-enrichment money stashing by his cronies -pathetically robbing his own citizens- his meager piecemeal efforts to ease grinding poverty are random and unsustained, like crumbs from a banquet table, tossed off to the “poor.” A blow-hard, screeching, harpy as dictatorships does not seem to be working well for the common man. We are watching what Chavez does and we refuse to listen to his manipulative diatribes and embarrassingly florid speeches. Chavez’s routine to cow and control Venezuelans into submission is now affecting the Andean region, particularly Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. While the screeching Chavez tries to bully confused Latin Americans in to a silent, compliant mass, he is in fact paralyzing what could be vibrant, sustainable quality of life. By un-manning the local leadership, he seeks to control by submission and manipulation. Make no mistake: Hugo Chavez is at the door of these Latin nations and he wants in their beds, so to speak, in their daily lives, with full dominion over their nascent democracies so as to convert their republics to his Bolivarian bloc.
Chavez is not preparing his nation for self-defense. A quick review of his recent weapons spree confirms that Chavez is preparing for regional subversion in the best of cases and invasion in the worse. He is on the move to upend each standing Republic to his own. Who is left to stand with honor against the screeching, manipulative communist caudillo? Where are the local leaders and free press who are not yet cowed into enabling submission or corrupt deal making with Chavez? Who stands with honor to defend liberty, increased education and training, and the backbone of integrity while the Latin American geo-political world is under intense media manipulation, political scams, financial crimes, and their future shatters?
There is only one solution to Hugo Chavez’s manipulations: the reinstallation of liberty and integrity given to each man to apply at will. Without this, each nation in South America is lost, soul by soul.
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