Archive for Sunday, February 8, 2009

Opposition protests ending term limits

A protester with a sticker on her face that reads “No is no, vote no” attends a rally against a constitutional amendment to end term limits for elected officials Saturday in Caracas.

A protester with a sticker on her face that reads “No is no, vote no” attends a rally against a constitutional amendment to end term limits for elected officials Saturday in Caracas.

February 8, 2009


— Tens of thousands of protesters marched in Caracas on Saturday to oppose a constitutional amendment that could allow President Hugo Chavez to run for re-election indefinitely.

Marchers waved the nation’s flag and peered through glasses framed by the word “No” to encourage people to vote against ending term limits for all elected officials in a Feb. 15 referendum backed by Venezuela’s socialist leader.

“Everything’s gotten worse,” said Yraiber Davila, a 24-year-old mechanical engineer who complained of rampant crime, a lack of government services and the difficulty of buying a house with annual inflation running at 31 percent in Caracas.

“I have a 10-year-old daughter and she’s never seen another president,” Davila said.

One protester carried a sign depicting Chavez as TV tough-guy Mr. T — complete with a Mohawk hairstyle and long, feathery earrings — beneath the phrase: “Indefinite Aggression.”

Marchers chanted and wore emblems saying “No is no,” a reference to a failed 2007 referendum that would have scrapped term limits and expanded Chavez’s power. Chavez was first elected in 1998, and is barred under the current constitution from running again when his term expires in 2012.

Polls show Chavez gaining momentum before the vote.


AjiDeGallina 9 years, 4 months ago

logrithmic (Anonymous) says…If it's democratically done, what's the problem?****Once again, Log, I have to call you out as being not well informed about Chavez's VZ.Being a native Lawrencian currently living in Peru, I see much of what Chavez has done to his country, South America and what he wants to do.He has very strong dictator ambitions and is no true hero to the people. He rules by fear, not democracy and those who oppose him dissapear. I am not spouting western propoganda, I am telling you what my friends in the streets of VZ are saying.During a recent government raid by Colombia to rescue FARC hostages that crossed the border (illegally) into Equadorian territory, they found FARC computers that showed fund transfers from Chavez. He is funding terrorism.He has been caught funding riots and terrorism here in Peru as well with his local lap-dog Ollente Humala. Gay and Lesbian human rights 5 years ago were very alive and well in VZ, with LGBT groups and churches and marches, and today many of those leaders are nowhere to be found, they have gone missing. A recent rash of anti-semetic violence has been found to be done by a group of the President's elite guard and it is not hard to do a google search to find a video of some arrested but never charged with anything forced to perform a drag show with several top aids to the dictator in attendence.Districts that are of the opposition party have lost hospitals and school funding and food for the poor that the government provides, effectivy starving out the opposition. just before the last failed constiutional election he detained many minor opposition leaders (not major ones for fear of the press I presume) in small villages and communities all across VZ, holding them in jail or under house arrest during the elections...keeping them and their families from voting...yet he failed the election not only in the wealthy sections of the country, but in the absolute poorest as well.Chavez is no more legitimate than was Pinochet and I am shocked and dissapointed that someone as smart as you can not see the truth through the media distortion right of left.The truth is out there and while I love any world leader to tell bush to stuff it, Chavez is NOT the man to do it. He and bush were 2 sides of the same coin. He lies, cheats, feels absolute power and ignores world law, local laws and human rights to get his way.I have a lot of gay and lesbian friends in VZ who are scared for their lives, and they write me when ignorant people like Sean Penn come and hang with Chavez asking if they do not realize what is really happening in the country.I have to apologize and tell them that many of my left friends are indeed ignorant of the facts and are bamboozled by the emperor without clothes much like many of my fellow Americans were bamboozled by what 80% of the nation now considers the most failed presidency in the history of the USA.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 4 months ago

While I think Venezuela would be better off if they could find a replacement for Chavez, neither my opinion nor that of anyone else outside of Venezuela, especially wannabe meddlers and neocon/colonialists like mike, really matters much.

AjiDeGallina 9 years, 4 months ago

log, your ignorance and re-writing other people's thoughs are what give us lefties a bad name.You really should get off your high horse.No where did I say or suggest that they were put in power the same way nor did I suggest that they had similar ideas, I only compared them as they were both illegitimate leaders.How ignorant of you to then decide I said something else then attack what you said I said that I actually never said.It goes to prove my point, you are no different thant Marion or Right, you have sides, not values and the truth means nothing to you, you distort it or re-write it when it is not convenient to your side.Chavez is a cruel dictator who has serious human rights abuse and uses his power to withold opposition ideas and democracy and his legitimate election is a fraud and you are too dumb to see it.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm beginning to think that loggy is really a false-flag operation by somebody way off on the dexter side of the field.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 4 months ago

Log, I'm sure AjiDeGallina will correct you, but he has stated that he is a native of Lawrence living in Peru, not the other way around.That said, I think the comparison of Chavez to Pinochet is quite a stretch. Sure, Chavez is an egomaniac, a condition common to politicians, and it appears he does abuse his power. But the fact remains that he attained power through elections, and has maintained it through elections-- in no small part because the Venezuelan opposition has failed offer any viable alternatives, especially to the poor and the dispossessed who make up a majority of voters there, and who were so thoroughly ignored for so long.If the opposition wins this referendum, that will only be a good thing if they can come up with viable alternatives that don't entail returning to the same oppressive policies that allowed Chavez to rise to power in the first place.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 4 months ago

marioni, have you been wearing your black hat uptown recently?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 4 months ago

Is that a tango you're doing with the strawman, tom?

Cooky_the_Cook 9 years, 4 months ago

logrithmic...about the "As Bigoted as You Think" thing... bumper stickers are not the same as monikers. monikers are nicknames like "The Fonz" and "J.Lo." Bumper stickers are things that jerks put on their cars to tell everyone else "I think I'm better than you."

Harpo 9 years, 4 months ago

Cooky_the_Cook said .........logrithmic…about the “As Bigoted as You Think” thing… bumper stickers are not the same as monikers. monikers are nicknames like “The Fonz” and “J.Lo.” Bumper stickers are things that jerks put on their cars to tell everyone else “I think I'm better than you.”There has been a recall on those bumper stickers. Please return to the manufacturer for a replacement to read:"Kansas - As Bigoted as California and a Bunch of Other States".Sure, it takes up more room on the bumper, but it's less intellectually misleading.

labmonkey 9 years, 4 months ago

Log-You complain about not knowing about the size of the protest....yet you say nothing when the LJW spins 10 hippies holding signs in front of the power plant into "Dozens protest."Defend 3rd world dictators and trample Godwin's law all you want....but when you complain about lack of information, at least be consistant about it.

AjiDeGallina 9 years, 4 months ago

Once again, Log, your ignorance and made-up points betray you as a fraud.I am here in this country because I do not have equal rights under the law in my own country. I do not have the full rights to life, liberty and the persuit of happiness as guarenteed by the Constitution. I do not have equal access under the law. Gay marriage is not recognized in the USA and my partner of many years can not get a visa because he comes from a poor family and is not a property owner. Until recently, have spent the last 3 years working as an English professor making about $500 to $700 a month, with the Peruvian minimum wage being about $250 a month, I am making twice as much as the lowest of the working poor, but not enough to afford a house or a car or cable tv. I live on $2 lunches and take the mass transit system of 30 year old minivans stuffed with about 25 people for about 35 Cents US, the same as everyone else here does.Privelaged and pampered? Hah, you just need to say that because any truth that offends your opinion should be ignored. Again, I state you are foolish and a liar with sides, and no values just like rightthinker, STRS and Marion. Your need to make-up things about me and then attack the things you made up exposes your deep failure.Good luck with that, I will pray for you.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 4 months ago

I thought that loggy was gonna go full shoemaker on this thread. Maybe next time......

rusty2 9 years, 4 months ago

Chavez?pray for his countrymen to get beyond his autocratic & totalitarian brand of fascism labeled as leftist. really it isyet another sad version of a junta in charge. we got rid of our 8 year nightmare but the headache lingers in the current wake of the Bush/Cheney 'wars for profit'.

AjiDeGallina 9 years, 4 months ago

Log,The economy improved greatly in Chile under Pinochet, and in Peru under Fujimori. Fujimori also stopped dead in their tracks Shining Path.I guess in your mind that excuses the dramatic human rights, local and international law violations, the extensive attacks on any opposition that undermines any real democracy, and absconding with country funds they did just like Chavez is doing? And Fujimori was also democratically elected. I am sure you are happy to throw my gay and lesbian VZ sisters under a bus to support your myth, I, on the other hand, have a heart, a soul and a value system that would never allow me to be so shallow. I am sure you could care less that those who are in a different party do not receive health care of food. You do not care about anything that is counter to your side.Further, with the fall of the oil market, and the expulsion of the scientists who run their oil, people I know in the country tell me about the crumbling infrastructure and that the oil production and distribution is running on borrowed time and the income has dropped significantly. There is no other significant industry in VZ, hence without diversification, if oil is good, chavez has money, if it is not, his coffers run dry.The emperor has no clothes.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm running out of Godwin flags for loggy.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 4 months ago

loggy, we'll miss you after you move to the Worker's Paradise.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 4 months ago

Riding for a fall in the Workers' Paradise:"CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuela's state oil company is behind on billions in payments to private oil contractors from Oklahoma to Belarus, some of which have now stopped work, even as President Hugo Chavez funnels more oil revenue to social programs."

Bossa_Nova 9 years, 4 months ago

if chavez is so great, then why is their economy going down the drain and why are most professionals in venezuela fleeing the country and buying homes in colombia and panama? bogota and panama city housing market is flourishing as venezuelans get the hell out of venezuala and take up roots in neighboring countries. chavez started off with a good heart, i wont argue that, but he turned into a nutcase. it's time for chavez to move back to the center before the lovely country of venezuela goes even further down the cesspool drain.

Flap Doodle 9 years, 4 months ago

But, loggy is an example of typical liberal thought. He's just got his inside voice and outside voice mixed up. You're doing a heck of a job, loggy.

NoSpin 9 years, 4 months ago

I say, "Sean Penn for Prez!" He can be Hugo's buddy or puppet. No need to ban term limts there.

kansanbygrace 9 years, 4 months ago

Ive worked in Venezuela a few months per year since early 90's. I'm here in eastern Venezuela in a cyber center, checking my e-mail and news from home. Lots of opinions to shrug at. AP has people in offices in Chacao. It's not apparent they ever leave their AC.Seldom heard is the fact that many of the gov. administrators are the same as before the current administration came to office. The culture of corruption has not been replaced yet. Opposition controls about 85% of the news, more than half the TV. Globovision 24 hours a day in a rolling polemic against HCF. Opposition is extremely vocal, and openly so. Nobody I know of here has ever heard of any of the local opposition going to jail, except for criminal acts. Could be that pepperchicken has an inside track we commonfolk can't find. The Si demonstrations are quite jolly, and outnumber the No demos about 4-1, from the appearance.The No demonstrations are not jolly--I won't go there.The electricity grid is being upgraded, but the water system still sucks. There are demonstrations drawing attention to that fact. The demonstrators are protected, not arrested. Barrios in Caracas are dangerous. Little Havana in Fla is dangerous. Mexico City more dangerous than either. Rather than a heavy-handed police state, the problem is that there has been no really effective police for about 40 years. Yep, PDVSA is behind in payments. They are in the producing business, not the commodity market. Manipulation and speculation always hurt producers and consumers. PDVSA are developing enormous oil reserves and have the most advanced pre-refinery in the world. The engineers who built it are building another one, I think in Canada and one somewhere east of the Volga. They fill the biggest ships in the world, Chinese, with improved crude and get a price better than Texas Sweet. They still provide US with about 12% of its daily consumption. US oil workers and engineers are coming and going every day. Downright funny to see Opposition full-page ads quoting Colombia's Uribe, who follows his constitutional first term with a constitutionally prohibited second--wrote himself a wild card executive decree. Ya read that in the LJW? Uh, no.There are a great number of highly educated qualified professionals here, who could be nominated to oppose the current pres, but in 10 years, all they have to say is NO. No platform, no plan, no proposed solutions to any of the real challenges. All they do is blame. Until they get off their upholstery and get to work, the opposition will continue to cry and whine and lose. And deservedly so. Gotta go catch my ride. But can't complain, the ride costs less than a buck back to the project, free salsa music, sharing dulces de coco with the neighbors on the way home...Chao.

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