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Chavez Beats the Devil, Again

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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Hugo Chavez has won six more years as president of Venezuela and a model for standing up to the United States. Chavez’s longevity in the face of implacable imperial hostility shows that the “Washington Consensus” is defunct. “Latin America is the corner of the world that has achieved the greatest success over the last 20 years in throwing off the dead weight of the North.”

 

Chavez Beats the Devil, Again

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

In the United States, his ten percent winning margin would be considered a landslide.”

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez won a resounding victory in last weekend’s elections. If you’ve been following U.S. corporate media coverage of the campaign, that may have come as a surprise to you. Chavez is routinely referred to as a “strongman” and other variations on “dictator” by the U.S. media when, in fact, he remains one of the most popular persons in all of Latin America. In the United States, his ten percent winning margin would be considered a landslide, but all the American media can talk about after Chavez’s latest victory at the polls is how much his lead has shrunk since the 2006 election, when he won by 25 percent.

Every time Chavez and his Bolivarian socialists win at the polls, the corporate media have to eat crow. One would think all that heartburn would force the U.S. press to finally admit that Chavez is the leader of oil rich Venezuela because large majorities of its citizens want him in the presidential palace, and are enjoying the fruits of his wealth distribution policies.

It is also impossible for American media, which are mouthpieces for their corporate owners and take their day-to-day cues from the State Department and the White House, to understand that most Venezuelans agree with Chavez when he denounces the imperialists in Washington. They knew what Chavez meant when he called President Bush “the devil” and said that he stank of sulfur, back in 2006. Venezuelans remembered how Bush backed a coup that almost toppled Chavez in 2002 – a coup that was reversed by a counter-rebellion of the people and loyal soldiers. They remember that the coup leaders’ first act was to abolish the Constitution and start drawing up lists of people to be thrown into prison, or worse. They remember the dark days when nearly all of Latin America was placed under the rule of generals allied with Washington, and the hands of the torturers and the death squads could reach into every family with impunity. They know who was the author of that nightmare: the United States.

Every time Chavez and his Bolivarian socialists win at the polls, the corporate media have to eat crow.”

That’s why Latin America is the corner of the world that has achieved the greatest success over the last 20 years in throwing off the dead weight of the North, by rejecting the so-called Washington Consensus. And that’s why, this time around, the Venezuelan opposition chose a candidate who pretended to be a leftist, himself. Challenger Henrique Capriles, a young state governor, styled himself as a protégé of former Brazilian president “Lula” da Silva, a more business-friendly type of leftwing politician. But Venezuela’s poor know the who opposition really are: the affluent, mostly light-skinned people that live in swank neighborhoods and whose hearts dwell in Miami. The people who draw cartoons in opposition newspapers depicting Chavez as a monkey and openly sneer at his mixed race heritage – the heritage of most Venezuelans. They know what real democracy feels like, because they remember what living under the yoke of a rich white minority felt like. Democracy is having a government that’s not made up of those people whose hearts are in Miami. Democracy calls the top Yankee a devil, and the people cheer, and then the people vote.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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Comments

Fine article!

Chavez is their FDR. Thank God some one has a nation not run by the D. Rockcefeller, Soros, the Goofball Koch  (or is it Coke) brothers and the Rothschilds.

I was there: The People Loved Chavez

I was in Venezuela when Chavez was running for President for the first time (around 1998).  I recall my tour guide telling me that his brother's girlfriend was an Afro-Venezuelan, and that she would always comment on how Chavez was for people like her.  He explained to me that the rich, white Venezuelans were against Chavez because they knew that, if elected, relations with the US would sour.  This would mean an end to the money train that rich, white Venezuelans were experiencing.  On the other hand, the poorer Venezuelans, which included most Venezuelans of color, looked forward to having a President who was an advocate for the poor and working classes.

Had I not been in Venezuela during that time,  I probably would have believed the mainstream media's erroneous characterization of Chavez.  I am shocked by their characterizations of him as a dictator and madman because I know how much he was adored by the working class and the poor in Venezuela.  In essence, the characterization is a huge lie.

The rise of Chavez of Venezuela and Morales of Bolivia are extremely significant to world politics because they are proof that populist movements can prevail even in the age of Western (i.e., white, elite, corporate) hegemony.

Thanks for the article.



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