There is Idiocy in a Union

Amicus, Britain's second-largest trade union, boasting 1.3 million members, has voted to throw its support behind the increasingly authoritarian government of Hugo Chavez, proclaiming that "International solidarity with the people of Venezuela is vital if the revolution is to survive."

This Conference notes that the government of Hugo Chavez since its was first elected in 1998 has brought health care to the sick, education to the illiterate, housed the homeless and redistributed millions of acres of land. The constitution guarantees the public ownership of the oil industry and the distribution of wealth to all citizens.
...

This Conference congratulates and supports the colossal advances being made by the Venezuelan Revolution under President Hugo Chavez in carrying out policies, which benefit working people, the poor and the landless.

...

[This] conference views with alarm the bellicose threats from the US Administration and its imperialist puppets, including the Venezuelan oligarchy and the Colombian Government, which pose a real threat to the life of Chavez as well as the Revolution itself. Conference therefore opposes all outside interference in the affairs of Venezuela.

That the "Bolivarian" government has dramatically reduced illiteracy is not supported by any independent data (pdf link), and the success of Hugo's vaunted "health care revolution" is based on dubious government statistics. Besides, the doctors imported into Caracas's barrios have a tendency to get lost on their way to the clinic, often winding up, by pure chance, at the American embassy in Colombia. According to the Los Angeles Times, "The desertion rate among the estimated 26,000 Cubans in Venezuela may be the highest of any [overseas] mission."

Amicus General Secretary Derek Simpson has previously said that his union was "horrified by the atrocities being carried out in Zimbabwe," and urged the European Union to keep Mugabe from attending a summit in France. So perhaps it is worth reminding him that Chavez recently called Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe a "freedom fighter," adding that "He is my friend. I think he has been demonized too much."

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  • ||

    Is the left just batshit insane? Not to let the right off the hook, but this is crazy talk. And the enthusiasm of these what I hope are fringe thinkers for authoritarians and for compulsion is distressing.

  • ||

    You would think they'd have learned after supporting Stalin. This will not look good on their resume.

  • ||

    Amicus, Britain's second-largest trade union, boasting 1.3 million members

    If there are 1.3 million people who want to get out of Venezuela, I think we may have the beginning of a deal here....

  • ||

    It's the species that's the problem. We need to be replaced by Homo sapiens superior or by enlightened robots. We're just too weird and dumb to continue running things.

  • Episiarch||

    Is the left just batshit insane?

    Some of them, yes. Very much so. Because if they're not, they are some wholly evil motherfuckers.

    Same goes for some on the right, too. I suppose thinking 3000 people were killed one morning because we allow fags to live is either insane or pretty much wholly evil, too.

  • ||

    "The Revolution" The Revolution? Do these people really know what they want?

  • ||

    It's blind, unthinking faith that does it. These left-wing fanatics are no less deluded than the religious fringe.

    We need a Re-Enlightenment.

  • ||

    They oughta fellow travel their loony asses down there, just for a status check on how things are really going. And don't just take the Chavez tour buses, get out and do some walking with the locals. Remind them to not use their real names.

    Really. Go. Now.

    I expect to have report on my desk by the end of the week.

  • ||

    I wonder how Amicus members would react if they were forced to demonstrate for the party in power or else lose their jobs. Or were fired for signing a referendum to remove the President or Prime Minister.

  • ||

    It is a tragedy in the making. The longer it takes people to get the joke that is Chavez, the sadder it will ultimately be.

  • Amicus Union Member||

    JW,
    Union rules say we can just watch the documentary on ITV, mate!

  • ||

    As crazy as Chavez may be, I still make a point to buy all of my gas at Citgo. It's a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

  • ||

    I wonder how Amicus members would react if they were forced to demonstrate for the party in power or else lose their jobs. Or were fired for signing a referendum to remove the President or Prime Minister.

    CC

    Ever worked in a Union Shop and tried publicly dissenting from the official union agenda? At very least, your work life will be made miserable.

  • Counterevolution Chama||

    Like JW says. Parachute them right over the Petare ranchos in Caracas. See how many make it til the end of the week.

  • Grotius||

    It should be noted that some of the earliest critics of Chavez in Venezuela (once he came to power) were some of the unions there. At least I recall reading that somewhere.

  • ||

    "As crazy as Chavez may be, I still make a point to buy all of my gas at Citgo. It's a hell of a lot better than the alternative."

    Uh, wha?

  • Amicus Union Member||

    Yeah, what JasonL said.
    What do you mean by "better than the alternative"?

  • ||

    That's just nitpicking, isn't it?

  • ||

    Lemme help out our commie friends in Amicus:

    International solidarity with the people Oil revenues for the government of Venezuela is vital if the revolution is to survive.

  • ||

    I wonder how Amicus members would react if they were forced to demonstrate for the party in power or else lose their jobs.

    I wonder how many Amicus members had the slightest influence over this decision.

  • ||

    Well they may be batshit crazy but they have a point. Hands off Venezuela. The last thing we need to do is keep dicking about in Sovereign lands.

  • ||

    We need a Re-Enlightenment.

    A fuckin' men.

  • Robert||

    Stuff like this we need as a reminder of how relatively reasonable labor unions are in the USA.

  • ||

    Dakota | June 25, 2007, 6:23pm | #

    Well they may be batshit crazy but they have a point. Hands off Venezuela. The last thing we need to do is keep dicking about in Sovereign lands.


    No argument about that, but we can still point out that they are, indeed, "batshit crazy*", if not aiding and abetting a thug.

    *OFF TOPIC: I've never understood what is so crazy about batshit. It actually makes very high-grade fertilizer.

  • Tykhe||

    Whats funny is that Amicus defends Chavez, who has been condemned by the International Labour Organization several times.

    A regime that fired and blacklisted 19000 unionized (PDVSA) government employees for conducting a strike that the ILO and the Venezuelan Supreme Court (before Chavez packed it anyways) considered legitimate, and then answered ILO complaints with the frase "the ILO can go to hell," should be condemned, not praised, by any sane union.

  • EF||

    Frank in the United States the alternatives for Venuzual would most likely be Mexico or Canada - not the Mideast

  • ||

    Stuff like this we need as a reminder of how relatively reasonable labor unions are in the USA.

    They're kept in line by a (relatively) reasonable public and a dedicated, ballsy coservative movement.

    In they're heart, they're government worshipping, commie apologizing, and victim fetishizers as much as there comrades overseas are.

  • ||

    Ahhh, the hand-wringing.

    Terrible that Chavez's government keeps on getting re-elected over and over again isn't it? Those Venezuelans must be real stupid eh? All they need is some good ol' boys to sort 'em out and tell them how to vote proper-like..

  • ||

    I'm sorry Lev, were you talking to anyone on this thread? I'm wondering because you seemed to be responding to something you heard somewhere else.

  • WolfT||

    "Terrible that Chavez's government keeps on getting re-elected over and over again isn't it? Those Venezuelans must be real stupid eh? All they need is some good ol' boys to sort 'em out and tell them how to vote proper-like.."

    They arent stupid. The electoral practices of the Venezuelan government arent exactly clean. The current Vicepresident of Venezuela is Jorge Rodriguez, who was the chief rector of the electoral commission during the 2003 recall referendum, the 2005 parliamentary elections and the 2006 presidential elections, all of which where won by the government amidst alegations of fraud. I dont know about you, but having the read the Hausman/Rigobon study (which concluded that the CNE audit of the 2003 referendum was essentially forged), I would suspect that Mr. Rodriguez' promotion is a reward for his job in arranging electoral fraud. And that should be indicative the transparency of the country's electoral system.

    In any case, the mere fact of democratic election does not make a government democratic. When a government uses the law to concentrate power on a single person, instate indefinite reelection, to shut down dissenting media, to intimidate oponents and harass any person or NGO that dares voice dissent, then I'd call that a dictatorship, regardless of whether or not it was originally elected.

  • ||

    Lev, you mean the people who keep re-electing Chavez just like the Iraqi people who kept re-electing Hussein?

    You do know how "elections" in those countries work, right?

    Which isn't to say we need to go shock-n-aweing in Venezuela, but we needn't play nice with Chavez, either.

    Dammit, I took the troll-bait. I'm sorry, guys.

  • ||

    Hm. WolfT took the bait too, but was far more eloquent.

    I'll just go sit in the corner, now.

  • ||

    "JasonL | June 26, 2007, 7:52am | #

    I'm sorry Lev, were you talking to anyone on this thread? I'm wondering because you seemed to be responding to something you heard somewhere else."

    Trust me on this one, Jason - that sort of thing happens more than you might think on threads about Chavez.

    Chavez gets way more attention than he deserves. He's become an ink-blot, and everyone can build him up into whatever they want in order to strut about mightily in front of their political base.

  • John||

    These Amicus leaders are very sick people. Well, to the extent communists are people at all.

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