Latin America

Hugo Comes Alive

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Is he officially beyond parody yet? Hugo Chavez goes all Cornel West on his subjects:

President Hugo Chavez has released a CD of traditional Venezuelan folk music that features him singing, and which will be distributed free inside the country, presidential sources said.

The CD, titled "Canciones de Siempre" which roughly translates to "Songs For All Time," includes tunes that Chavez has sung during his regular Sunday "Hello, President" television and radio program.

At the close of each broadcast, Chavez regularly sings folk songs along with guest musicians and dancers.

Sources close to Chavez said the CD will be available free in Venezuela.

In other Bolivarian news, Venezuelan blogger Miguel Octavio reports that Sunday was "a bad day for democracy and rights" in his country, with the government ignoring a court injunction and expropriating park land, threatening to shut down private hospitals and private schools, and removing an opposition banner from the side of a Caracas highway.

I dunno Miguel, sounds like a pretty ordinary day in Chavezland to me.

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  1. We finally get a fresh tinpot dictator in our own backyard……and he turns out to be Slim Whitman!

    I miss Dr. Evil!

  2. pants suit. etc. etc. etc.

  3. He also was railing against 15 year olds getting breast implants – it’s apparently some right of passage thing.

    In America, giving speeches concerning 15 year old girls’ breasts would probably be a career-killer for national politicians.

  4. …or maybe, as the actual Venezuelan wrote, it actually was a particularly bad day, and your perception of what an ordinary day down there is like there isn’t terribly accurate.

  5. Not if you’re in Oklahoma, tarran.

    In Oklahoma, talking about teenaged lesbians having sex in high school lavatories gets you re-elected to the US Senate.

  6. Is he officially beyond parody yet? Hugo Chavez goes all Cornel West John Ashcroft on his subjects

    🙂

  7. CHAVEZ IS A FOOL. HE SHOULD USE HIS OIL WEALTH TO ENHANCE THE BOSOMS OF ALL WOMEN. FIRST VENEZUELA, THEN THE WORLD!

    JOE, YOU IRISH DRUNKARD, NO MAN HAS EVER BEEN ELECTED IN THE UNITED STATES WITHOUT KOWTOWING TO THE ALL-MIGHTY TEATS OF AMERICA. DOUBT THE URKOBOLD? THEN WHY ARE WOMEN GROWING EVER MORE BOUNTIFUL IN THE UNITED STATES?

  8. I saw where a member of congress from Oaklahoma accused the Weather Channel of useing scare tactics to get people to watch.

  9. “I saw where a member of congress from Oaklahoma accused the Weather Channel of useing scare tactics to get people to watch.”

    I don’t know about scare tactics, but they certainly do lie and blow shit out of proportion. I live on the East coast, and whenever a hurricane is headed in this direction one of their stooges is standing on the beach about 10 miles from my doorstep giving updates. If things aren’t bad enough they get creative.

  10. joe | October 2, 2007, 4:12pm | #
    In Oklahoma, talking about teenaged lesbians having sex in high school lavatories gets you re-elected to the US Senate.

    I’ll be in Stevo’s bunk…

  11. “What an artist dies in me.” -Nero

  12. John Ashcroft in a guayabera.

  13. JLM,

    Look out! It’s the Storm of the Century!

    …like the local news channels are any different.

  14. Moose,
    Thanks. I don’t know why Moynihan felt it necessary to resurrect that gapped toothed dildo after I had the good fortune to forget about him and his race baiting.

  15. joe,

    Is this the incident that finally allows you to say Venezuela is now a dictatorship and not a democracy?

  16. JLM,
    Take a deep breath and relax. You need to view the Weather Channel for what it is; performance art.

  17. As is so typical the Urkobold? gets incisively to the heart of the matter while you other hacks thrash and flail in your own sea of unchained metaphors.

  18. Chavez is living out every young man’s fantasies, like he has a life list with little boxes to check off. “Paratrooper,” “Rebel leader,” “President,” “TV star,” “Rock star,”… what’s left? Directing and starring in an action movie?

  19. Warren – 🙂

    Don’t fergot about the eye candy on the Weather Channel.

    that Alexandra “Dick” Steele sure was a biker chick in her day!

  20. Here’s a blast from the past – the Imhofe / Weather Channel / haiku thread.

    PS – I think Hugo should do an album of recent Latina hits in drag. I’d love to see his version of Hips Don’t Lie!

  21. I know Michael, but I live here and some days are worse than others.

  22. Look out! It’s the Storm of the Century!

    …like the local news channels are any different.

    If the TV putz says 1-2 feet of snow, you can reliably assume 4=6 inches. Hell yes, it’s all about the ratings.

  23. Just to play devil’s advocate for a second, maybe Hugo is actually a really good singer?

  24. L_I_T,

    Why guess when you can judge for yourself?

    I friggin’ love the Intertubes. Is there nothing they cannot do?

  25. includes tunes that Chavez has sung during his regular Sunday “Hello, President” television and radio program.

    It’s the Pappy O’Dannel Flour Hour! He’d appreciate it you’d eat his farina, and vote him a second term!

  26. Is this the incident that finally allows you to say Venezuela is now a dictatorship and not a democracy?

    Robc, they voted in their dictator, it’s democracy. According to some who… never mind.

  27. Since Papa Hugo is never going to relinquish power, anyway, I think that he should rewrite the Venezuelan constitution to do away with elections and replace them with Venezuelan Idol. The winner would get to be president! Naturally, Chavez would always “win”, but it would certainly be more entertaining than conducting fake elections or simply abolishing them altogether.

  28. My coworkers would definitely get mixed signals if they saw me playing a video of Hugo Chavez singing.

  29. The Third-World demagogue who thinks he’s a singer, and the actor who think’s he’s a crusading journalist. It’s a match made in Heaven:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2007/10/02/video-spicoli-defends-chavezs-shutdown-of-opposition-tv-station/

  30. L_I_T,

    It’s short. I’ve heard worse voices. I bet Bush can’t sing as well. I wonder which world leader or “leader” has the best singing voice?

  31. Jennifer,

    How much would you pay for Hugo’s greatest hits? Ten dollars? Twenty? But wait! There’s more!

  32. “Sources close to Chavez said the CD will be available free in Venezuela.”

    At least it’s priced what it probably is worth.

  33. The real question is whether this stuff will be available on iTunes.

  34. “Sources close to Chavez said the CD will be available free in Venezuela.”

    That makes me wonder, what is the maket penetration of CD players in Venezuela, anyway.
    Pro Libertate, betcha can’t find that on the intertubes! 😉

  35. just curious, who’s taller, hugo or kim? there’s a spooky sort of resemblance in their activities. it’s all pretty funny, unless you have to live there.

  36. “just curious, who’s taller, hugo or kim? there’s a spooky sort of resemblance in their activities.”
    WTF? I don’t think you can compare Kim and Chavez. Chavez was democratically elected, for one thing. He doesn’t immediately kill his opposition either, in fact there are opposition papers and such operating in Chavezland. Comparing the two is drinking a massive amount of Kool-aid…

    Besides, one would think libertarians might like his screwing of the labor unions in his country…

  37. I might also point out to edna that while he is certainly an illiberal bastard, Hugo actually let’s ALL the people he rules over have some say in the government that rules them, unlike some nations that edna really, really likes :).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli-occupied_territories#Applicability_of_the_term_.22occupied.22

  38. Joe,

    “…like the local news channels are any different.”

    True, but the locals that are their audience can look out the window and see that they are full of crap. When I see TWC (or any other national outlet) spinning bullshit I know that 99% of the audience has no way of knowing that it is an exaggeration.

    One time I saw a live report with Jim Cantori down at Wrightsville Beach pointing at the surf by a pier (referenced against pier pilings) and noting that the surf was rising steadily, strongly inferring that a storm surge or heavier surf had something to do with it. I surf and I had been watching for a storm swell to show all day, and conditions had not deteriorated at all. People were still walking all over the beach. What he was pointing out was…….no shit…..the tide was rising normally.

    Another time I saw somebody from Fox at WB telling their audience that things were not bad right now because the eye of the storm was overhead, but they would be getting worse again soon. That particular storm brushed the coast here and hit up by the outer banks somewhere later- the eye of the storm was never overhead here. Our worst conditions were in the afternoon and when I saw this report it was basically over here.

  39. From Human Rights Watch’s Country Reports for 2006 for Venezula the following problems are noted (http://www.hrw.org/):
    1. Undermining of independence of the judiciary
    2. Undermining of freedom of expression (though it notes “The radio and television law has not led to a clampdown on the audiovisual media.”)
    3. Police killings (literally thousands over the past several year, though it notes this problem predated Chavez)
    4. Poor prison conditions

    For Israel the following problems, same year:
    1. Lebanon Invasion: “In its conduct of hostilities, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) repeatedly violated the laws of war by failing to distinguish between combatants and civilians” (1100 dead, 4,000 injured, 1/3 children).
    2. Cutting off the Territories after Hamas’ victory (“Israeli authorities expanded already extensive, often arbitrary restrictions on freedom of movement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem”)
    3. Palestinians killed (“As of October, the number of Palestinians killed in 2006 by Israeli security forces had reached 449, at least half of whom were not participating in hostilities at the time of their deaths, raising serious concerns for civilian protection”).
    4. The security wall (“Currently, 85 percent of the wall’s route extends into the West Bank; if the wall were to become a permanent border, it would mean Israel’s annexation of approximately 10 percent of the West Bank, including almost all major settlements there, all of which are illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention, as well as some of the most productive Palestinian farmlands and key water resources”).
    5. Discriminatory laws applied to Israeli Arabs (“Israel continued to apply a host of laws and policies that discriminate on the basis of ethnic or national origin”).

    Is chavez about as tall as sharon?

  40. If you’re wandering what HRW says about N. Korea:
    “North Korea allowed neither the freedom of information, association, movement, and religion, nor organized political opposition, labor activism, or independent civil society. Arbitrary arrests, torture, lack of due process and fair trials, and executions remain of grave concern. Collective punishment of entire families for “political crimes” remains the norm. North Korea continues to block access by international human rights organizations.”

  41. J sub D,

    No, I have failed. But that’s an indictment of me, not of the Intertubial Superhighway.

  42. Politicians doing art is always a bad idea, especially music. It’s hard to take a guy’s speeches on the need for public sacrifice seriously when you know he’s the same one singing a badly-disguised Nashville knock-off about “the eagle soaring” or whatever horseshit these sensibility-retarded specimens inevitably crank out.

  43. Now that the fat lady Chavez has sung, is it over?

  44. Is this the incident that finally allows you to say Venezuela is now a dictatorship and not a democracy?

    On planet joe, its our fault that Chavez turned from a mild-mannered populist reformer into a dictator, because we opposed him as a would-be dictator.

    Or something.

  45. “joe,

    Is this the incident that finally allows you to say Venezuela is now a dictatorship and not a democracy?”

    Hahaha, think again.

  46. “http://hotair.com/archives/2007/10/02/video-spicoli-defends-chavezs-shutdown-of-opposition-tv-station/”

    I think joe wrote Sean Penn’s talking points. And since I’m sure Sean didn’t attribute what he was saying to joe, that means they both have something in common: passing other people’s original thought of as their own.

  47. “I might also point out to edna that while he is certainly an illiberal bastard, Hugo actually let’s ALL the people he rules over have some say in the government that rules them, unlike some nations that edna really, really likes :).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli-occupied_territories#Applicability_of_the_term_.22occupied

    Im glad you cited Wikipedia, because it makes it that much easier to discount anything you write.

  48. Am I the only one who thinks we should be encouraging Chavez’s music career?

    “That was brilliant, Hugo! Screw the presidency, you should be taking your singing act on the road! Your talents are wasted in politics.”

  49. Maybe we could get him to do a full-length rendition of HMS Pinafore while we sneak all his Russian tanks out of the country.

  50. robc,

    As long as there are still free and fair elections, it’s a democracy, even if an illiberal one.

    That’s the ball we need to keep our eye on. If the government remains accountable at the ballot box, the rest will follow.

  51. I question whether Chicago had “free and fair elections” for most of the 20th century, so it’s hardly irrational to question whether Chavez, who acts authoritarian in other ways, wouldn’t monkey with elections. If Daley could do it, why couldn’t Chavez? Don’t they have dead people in Venezuela?

  52. It’s not irrational at all, Pro Libertate. The man stages a coup back in the day.

    I share the concern about the threat Chavez poses to Venezuelan democracy. That’s why I think it was so stupid to support the coup, denounce the international elections groups who have confirmed that the last two elections were legitimate, and otherwise undermine our ability to credibly criticize him when he does intrude on the democratic system.

    We should have made the continuity of constitutional democracy, not opposition to one guy, the central plank of our policy towards Venezuela – not because we don’t recognize the threat he poses to democracy, but because we do.

  53. Joe.. you said:
    “As long as there are still free and fair elections, it’s a democracy, even if an illiberal one”.
    The thing is that the elections are no longer free or fair. The secret of the vote its not a guarantee due to the machines used for voting, so many goverment workers and people who have benefits from social programs are forced to vote for Chavez unless they want to lose everything they have. About fair, the possible fraud on any of the elections has been a topic discussion, starting with the unequality of the government propaganda in front of the opposition one, and the attacks against the opposition in a way that the track to an opposition leader to elections its also a legal battle sometimes… And I could go on and on on this issue…

  54. Well, okay then! Though the democratic feature may be less of a feature if the citizens’ votes don’t really matter.

    I do think we’d be better off generally supporting our ideals in foreign policy, or at least admitting openly that we’re holding our nose (like we were forced to in the Cold War) when we don’t. Meddling like those meddling kids and dog has failed over and over again. Chavez isn’t worth much more than our regret that he’s an authoritarian. We make him stronger by worrying about him so much.

  55. Actually thug-chavez a recent article in, I think, Science, showed wikipedia to be about as accurate as major print encyclopedias.
    But of course I would never rely on that alone, as my 3 posts from HRW demonstrate. But I realize that as my elementary sschool teacher used ta say “reading is hard!”

  56. “The secret of the vote its not a guarantee due to the machines used for voting, so many goverment workers and people who have benefits from social programs are forced to vote for Chavez unless they want to lose everything they have.” Hey, as the hard core libertarians here say, they could always walk away from those jobs and benefits and work somewhere else 😉

  57. Julia_1984 wrote:
    “The thing is that the elections are no longer free or fair. The secret of the vote its not a guarantee due to the machines used for voting, so many goverment workers and people who have benefits from social programs are forced to vote for Chavez unless they want to lose everything they have. About fair, the possible fraud on any of the elections has been a topic discussion, starting with the unequality of the government propaganda in front of the opposition one, and the attacks against the opposition in a way that the track to an opposition leader to elections its also a legal battle sometimes… And I could go on and on on this issue…”

    And so could I…. Julia you must live here in Venezuela as I do.

    Joe,
    That is the point: most Venezuelans believe the elections are neither free nor fair. Many do not participate because they do not trust the CNE (National Electorate Council), while other are forced to vote for Chavez. I also could go on and on…

  58. Mr. Nice Guy,

    Was your last post sarcasm? Im not sure but, do you have ANY idea how difficult it is to find work in Venezuela? It is NOTHING like the US, Im sad to say.

  59. If I could wave my magic wand, every country on Earth would have a liberal political system with a market-based economy. They can destroy it if they want, but it would be nice for people to have a chance to escape all of the oppression and corruption. If only for a little while.

    Unfortunately, my magic wand is busy producing bars of gold to enrichenfy me.

  60. Julia 1984,

    I don’t doubt the truthfulness of what you are saying. It sounds like American politics in the 1800s. Still, the same things were said prior to the most recent election, which was certified as fair-but-flawed. It would be best to talk about Venezuelan democracy, and any country’s democracy, in terms of a range of values, rather than as a binary yes-or-no question.

    Pro Libertate,

    I do think we’d be better off generally supporting our ideals in foreign policy, or at least admitting openly that we’re holding our nose (like we were forced to in the Cold War) when we don’t. Absolutely. And to expand on that point, we should be doing so on two axes – the legitimacy of the democratic process, and the decency of the leader. When we say democracy is dead because we don’t like who won, we’re undermining democracy. We’re destroying the village to save it.

    rana,

    His last post was sarcasm. It was meant to point out the absurdity of the “you can just a new job if you don’t like the old one” position some libertarians take when issues like discrimination and sexual harrassment come up.

    As for the confidence of Venezuelans in the electoral process, there seem to be two problems: actual problems with the electoral process, and the sour grapes of the (for now) opposition party at the fact that they are, honest to God, the minority party at the moment. I think it was a huge mistake for them to boycott the last election.

  61. joe,

    I think my emphasis would be more on promoting liberal values internationally than on promoting democracy itself. Granted, those go together in many cases, but human rights and liberty can get solidly trashed in a democracy, too. Even a real one.

    We can dislike leaders, policies, and even aspects of a political system in any country and still remain friendly. Look at the U.S. and certain European countries. Rhetorically, you’d think we were radically different. In reality, we’re so similar that terrorists think bombing any of us sends the same message.

  62. “It would be best to talk about Venezuelan democracy, and any country’s democracy, in terms of a range of values, rather than as a binary yes-or-no question”
    OK, I just want to make sure I get this right: you are saying that we should talk about whether or not Venezuela is a democracy based on its “democratic values”? If you were to ask most Venezuelans, they would say they strongly believe in democracy and freedom. But how are these “values” expressed “democratically”, if not through a free and fair election? Even more importantly, the people’s belief and trust that that democratic system is ACTUALLY “free and fair”? This is FUNDAMENTAL in any democracy.
    I would not go as far as to say that Chavez is a full-fledged dictator (although he is certainly on his way to becoming one) but I would say Venezuela is no longer a free democracy.
    Joe, you may be correct that the opposition is the minority “party” but it is PRESENTLY true that Chavez supporters are now, officially and for the first time, the MINORITY. Support for Chavez is at an all time low.

  63. Joe,
    I do agree that boycotting the last election was a mistake. I think Venezuelan’s, in general, although sincere, are politically “naive”. The opposition party thinks they are doing everything right but the reality is that Chavez is far more astute and malicious than they can imagine. The opposition is honestly shocked everytime Chavez pulls a fast one on them. (BTW, this has become a running joke for many venezuelan comedians).

  64. rana,

    I think there’s been a miscommunication.

    By “range of values,” I was talking about “scores.” As in, “On a scale of 1-10…” Numeric values. I was contrasting this to a binary, yes/no question.

    Joe, you may be correct that the opposition is the minority “party” but it is PRESENTLY true that Chavez supporters are now, officially and for the first time, the MINORITY. Support for Chavez is at an all time low. That’s good to hear. I’ve been predicting such a thing would happen eventually, given Chavez’s idiotic policies and the kitchen-table concerns of most of the electorate. I’m glad to hear that the juice he’s gotten out of the “the Yankess tried to overthrow me!” line of argument is running dry.

  65. Joe,
    I get it. Sorry for the miscommunication. 🙂

  66. “I’m glad to hear that the juice he’s gotten out of the “the Yankess tried to overthrow me!” line of argument is running dry.”

    Sorry to report that the Yankees (i.e. the evil capitalist empire) are still blamed for every malady in Venezuela.
    Chavez is still using that line of argument and will continue to do so because there are enough idiots here who believe him. He claims he needs to strengthen the military, buy high-power weaponry, and arm civilians so we can fight against the evil capitalist empire that soon will come to invade Veneuela.
    Truth is (i think we all know how it goes), that he will use the military to stay in power once the “pueblo” has had enough. Paramilitary and terrorist groups have increased in Venezuela. Kidnappings and murder is also at an all-time high.
    Joe, I hope your prediction is correct.

  67. BTW, When are you Yanks going to come invade us? A few of us will greet you with sandwiches and coffee. 😉

  68. Hey, now! We’re not falling for that again!

    Lemme go check the translator, because there’s at least a 50-50 chance that “sandwiches” is Spanish for “rocket propelled grenades.”

    Anyhoo, I know Hugo is still flogging that horse. I was just glad to hear that it doesn’t work as well as it used to.

    I sincerely hope your prediction about what Chavez would do when he eventually loses is incorrect.

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