Evo Morales wins again!


by Sunny
11th August, 2008 at 4:02 pm    

A bit of foreign news folks, for those inclined – the socialist president Evo Morales wins in Bolivia again. Good stuff! via Jim Jay. Good news for Latin Americans and Bolivians in particular. As the New Statesman points out:

Waldo, a driver who gives tours through the altiplano and Bolivia’s famous salt plains, pointed out the benefits of Morales’ redistribution policies when recognising small villages.

Many once only had three or four hours of electricity. But, thanks to Morales’ initiatives, now have up to eight hours of light due to solar panelling. Morales’ future plans are to introduce 24 hours of energy a day in these once forgotten places, and also to pave their mountainous roads with concrete.

More on the BBC site. For some reason I’ve had this interest in how Eva Morales is doing, and wrote about his win when he was first elected. Its about time Latin Americans had someone who looked after their interests than those of the rich minority.


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  1. Nav — on 11th August, 2008 at 4:24 pm  

    So you’re applauding a man who’s accepting money from the Iranian and Venezuelan regimes?

    And a man whose regime boast of rising revenues from Bolivian gas fields despite the inflation not coming from better management of the fields than privatised interests but rather worldwide wholesale increases in gas prices?

    You also seem to have forgot to mention that the majority of those governors opposing Morales also kept their seats with the majority of outgoing governors being Morales supporters or that he’s had to cancel trips in light of large protest at his regime’s plans.

  2. Sunny — on 11th August, 2008 at 4:43 pm  

    I care about the people of Bolivia. Who’s interests are you looking out for?

  3. Nav — on 11th August, 2008 at 4:52 pm  

    Well obviously you’re not because you support a man whose manifesto includes widespread nationalisation of industry- something most definitely not in the interests of the Bolivian people.

    As well as a man lacking moral fibre who accepts bribes from the likes of Iran and Chavez, I hasten to add.

  4. Sunny — on 11th August, 2008 at 6:21 pm  

    You can hasten to add whatever you want, but its not convincing me… because you say:

    Well obviously you’re not because you support a man whose manifesto includes widespread nationalisation of industry- something most definitely not in the interests of the Bolivian people.

    Oh right… so obviously thats why the people relected him, because they could see that now they have electricity more is DEFINITELY NOT in their interests because the industries are being nationalised.
    OMG THE COMMIES ARE TAKING OVER.

    I suggest you learn the basic thing about politics – people don’t care who delivers what service and how – they care about someone looking out for their interests. The indigenous of Bolivia have been crapped on for far too long.

  5. Muhamad — on 11th August, 2008 at 6:33 pm  

    I believe specific public services must remain State-run or nationalised (e.g. the NHS, and, the schools; keep the dirty corporate hands off!). I don’t believe in a nationalised media, and insisting on it as such.

    An NI reading friend of mine thinks that Chavez needs to stop worrying about a badmouthing media.

    Sounds like Morales cares about the people as well as the climate.

  6. Ravi Naik — on 11th August, 2008 at 6:52 pm  

    “Eva Morales wins in Bolivia

    Sunny, that’s Evo Morales. Eva is the feminine form of his name (Eve).

    I hope Morales doesn’t take cues from pseudo-dictator Chavez. The problem of Latin America – from the start – has been that it runs by an oligarchy – the fact that it has shifted to the Left means little in the long run, if it does not invest heavily on education, sanitary conditions, infrastructures, freedom of speech, transparency in government, and a commitment to run a truly liberal democracy. I don’t see that in Venezuela, and I don’t bet that’s going to happen in Bolivia.

  7. Nav — on 11th August, 2008 at 7:23 pm  

    Sunny:

    Oh right… so obviously thats why the people relected him, because they could see that now they have electricity more is DEFINITELY NOT in their interests because the industries are being nationalised.
    OMG THE COMMIES ARE TAKING OVER.

    Scan what I said about 2 out-going governors being pro-Morales. Are you trying to come to the conclusion that the majority of Bolivians back him as I suspect you are? Because you’d be wrong…

    I suggest you learn the basic thing about politics – people don’t care who delivers what service and how – they care about someone looking out for their interests. The indigenous of Bolivia have been crapped on for far too long.

    I suggest you learn a few basic truths about economics: governments (especially with socialist stripes) are crap at running businesses and any incentive to nationalise industry is not economically viable unless the industry is a natural monopoly.

    And why didn’t you condemn his garnering of support from Iran and Venezuela?

  8. Ravi Naik — on 11th August, 2008 at 7:29 pm  

    And why didn’t you condemn his garnering of support from Iran and Venezuela?

    That’s the wrong question. The question is what Venezuela and Iran will get in return because of their support.

  9. Sunny — on 11th August, 2008 at 7:31 pm  

    if it does not invest heavily on education, sanitary conditions, infrastructures, freedom of speech, transparency in government, and a commitment to run a truly liberal democracy. I don’t see that in Venezuela, and I don’t bet that’s going to happen in Bolivia.

    Nice fluffy words Ravi. Tell me – how do their records compare to that of the previous administrations? Some independent statswould be nice. You don’t bet thats going to happen in Bolivia even though… it is happening.?

    Nav:
    Are you trying to come to the conclusion that the majority of Bolivians back him as I suspect you are? Because you’d be wrong

    Presumably this is why his approval ratings are in the 60s.

    governments (especially with socialist stripes) are crap at running businesses and any incentive to nationalise industry is not economically viable unless the industry is a natural monopoly.

    Because the way free markets have been run in Latin America has really helped the people. I suggest you look at what happened in Argentina over the last few years.

    And why didn’t you condemn his garnering of support from Iran and Venezuela?

    I care for the people of Bolivia. You care for point scoring. If the US chose to support him instead of trying to demonise him and fund his rivals, as they’re doing in Venezuela and Colombia (why don’t you condemn US actions there, while we’re at it?) then maybe he’d have different friends.

  10. Nav — on 11th August, 2008 at 7:49 pm  

    Sunny:

    Presumably this is why his approval ratings are in the 60s.

    Erm.

    And 60% of the electorate came to reflect the sentiments of the populace of Latin America’s poorest country did it?

    Because we all know that participation rates in that part of the world are really inclusive…

    Oh and you’re going by exit poll figures- none have officially been released- check your own sources with more careful scrutiny next time.

    Because the way free markets have been run in Latin America has really helped the people. I suggest you look at what happened in Argentina over the last few years.

    You’ve little to no expertise in economics so please don’t try and accuse the free market system of causing the Argentine economic crisis which was actually sparked by a dollar-peg- not a very Monetarist approach to exchange rates, Sir…

    I care for the people of Bolivia. You care for point scoring. If the US chose to support him instead of trying to demonise him and fund his rivals, as they’re doing in Venezuela and Colombia (why don’t you condemn US actions there, while we’re at it?) then maybe he’d have different friends.

    Demonise him how exactly?

    I don’t condemn the actions of the United States in Venezuela because the world knows Chavez is a crazed man- anyone who supports him supports the oppression of the Venezuelan people too…

  11. Rumbold — on 11th August, 2008 at 7:53 pm  

    I quite like Evo Morales (for a socialist). He doesn’t seem to have turned into a dictator let (unlike Chavez), he is running a budget surplus (unlike Gordon Brown), and he annoyed Sepp Blatter.

  12. Sunny — on 11th August, 2008 at 7:59 pm  

    And 60% of the electorate came to reflect the sentiments of the populace of Latin America’s poorest country did it?

    Remind me, by what percentage did he win again in the vote?

    You’ve little to no expertise in economics so please don’t try and accuse the free market system of causing the Argentine economic crisis which was actually sparked by a dollar-peg- not a very Monetarist approach to exchange rates, Sir…

    I have a degree in economics actually. I’m not talking about what caused the crisis (though I generally have plenty of contempt for speculators anyway) but how it dealt with it after.

    I don’t condemn the actions of the United States in Venezuela because the world knows Chavez is a crazed man….

    *yawn*

    I see you didn’t condemn US actions in Colombia then. And what about the CIA producing the memo about Iraq training Al-Qaeda. Will you condemn that?

    Once you’ve done that, I’ll produce another list of things you can condemn. If you want to run the condemnathon, I’ll whoop your ass.

  13. Ravi Naik — on 11th August, 2008 at 8:24 pm  

    Nice fluffy words Ravi. Tell me – how do their records compare to that of the previous administrations? Some independent statswould be nice. You don’t bet thats going to happen in Bolivia even though… it is happening.?

    Unlike you, I am not going to jump of joy before seeing whether Morales wants to follow Chavez steps – so far, his friendship with Chavez does not look very promising. I do remember you liked Chavez for sort of the same reasons you like Morales: a socialist indigenous politician who was for distributing the wealth. I am not against this at all – but in the long run, it came out with serious side-effects: Venezuela has little or no freedom of speech, and Chavez is fighting to have 25-year mandates, does wanting to destroy whatever tool people from Venezuela have to change government.

    Fluffy words, my friend, is what you’ve used in your post.

  14. Nav — on 11th August, 2008 at 8:37 pm  

    Sunny:

    Remind me, by what percentage did he win again in the vote?

    The votes are still being counted. Unofficial exit polls are your best guess.

    “Bolivia is a country divided…” is how the BBC report on the election begins… so much for a country united behind Mr Morales, Mr Hundal…

    I have a degree in economics actually. I’m not talking about what caused the crisis (though I generally have plenty of contempt for speculators anyway) but how it dealt with it after.

    And your alma mater is?

    I beg to argue that you did, in fact, insinuate that free market economics were the cause of the Argentine economic crisis in the 90s- though you were quite plainly wrong- and that the resulting clean-up was actually carried out by right-wing conservatives who did a rather good job…

    Fluffy words, my friend, is what you’ve used in your post.

    I concur.

  15. Sunny — on 11th August, 2008 at 10:29 pm  

    Venezuela has little or no freedom of speech, and Chavez is fighting to have 25-year mandates, does wanting to destroy whatever tool people from Venezuela have to change government.

    Again, I didn’t say I supported any of that. But you’re living in a nice ideal world here. When the US is funding Colombian govt shit, is there the same sort of freedoms there?

    I’m still waiting for our “freedom warrior” friend Nav here to carry through with his game of “will you condemn” bullshit.

    And your alma mater is?

    find out for yourself. Come back when you’ve got something intelligent to offer.

    I beg to argue that you did, in fact, insinuate that free market economics were the cause of the Argentine economic crisis in the 90s

    What was the cause then?

    and that the resulting clean-up was actually carried out by right-wing conservatives who did a rather good job…

    Stop reading the Heritage Foundation website crap and come back to reality.

  16. Muhamad — on 11th August, 2008 at 10:30 pm  

    Nav @ 10 “Chavez is a crazed man- anyone who supports him supports the oppression of the Venezuelan people too…”
    Come now, don’t be so simplistic!

    Sunny @ 12 “I have a degree in economics actually.” :-)
    “I see you didn’t condemn US actions in Colombia then. And what about the CIA producing the memo about Iraq training Al-Qaeda. Will you condemn that?
    Once you’ve done that, I’ll produce another list of things you can condemn. If you want to run the condemnathon, I’ll whoop your ass.” :-)

    Why don’t we condemn all who can’t for love or money tell the difference between an economical-political justice and injustice?

    Let’s cut the puerile, tit for tat, crap!
    [do i need to qualify this remark with a revelation of how many shelves I've got on economics?]

  17. Sunny — on 11th August, 2008 at 10:30 pm  

    And that mandate you mentioned Ravi – he got rejected didn’t he? And he accepted the decision right?

  18. Muhamad — on 11th August, 2008 at 10:53 pm  

    Hmm, you’ve peaked my interest now. Yes. What is your alma mater? Please don’t tell our erudite selves that it’s one of those plateglass polytechnics now turned universities?

  19. Ravi Naik — on 11th August, 2008 at 11:53 pm  

    Again, I didn’t say I supported any of that. But you’re living in a nice ideal world here.

    So being skeptical about a politician makes me living in an ideal world? ;)

    When the US is funding Colombian govt shit, is there the same sort of freedoms there?

    I don’t know what “Colombian govt shit” are you talking about, nor what point are you trying to make.

  20. Sunny — on 12th August, 2008 at 12:13 am  

    So being skeptical about a politician makes me living in an ideal world?

    Lemme tell you something interesting. Before Abraham Lincoln was elected, he said he did in no way, shape or form want to get rid of slavery in America. He said he had no issues with it. Once elected of course he led the fight against it. Any politician that doesn’t adapt to the circumstances they find themselves in is a worthless politician.
    It doesn’t excuse Hugo Chavez in what he’s doing, but I’d rather have him than his predecessors any day.

    Secondly, let me tell you about the Colombia stuff.

    Since 2003, paramilitary groups, responsible for the vast majority of human rights violations in Colombia for over a decade, have been involved in a government-sponsored “demobilization” process. More than 25,000 paramilitaries have supposedly demobilized under a process which has been criticized by AI and other Colombian and international human rights groups, as well as by the OHCHR and the IACHR. The process is lacking in effective mechanisms for justice and in its inability to ensure that paramilitary members actually cease violent activities.

    http://www.amnestyusa.org/all-countries/colombia/page.do?id=1011135&n1=3&n2=30&n3=885

    But no, you won’t hear any of this from our friend Nav – he won’t ask you to condemn the Colombian govt because guess who’s funding the govt with billions of dollars of aid every year?

    Take a wild guess.

    So my point is, this is the cut that Evo Morales’s opponents come from, and the US govt that keeps harping on about human rights in Venezuela is strangely silent about them in Colombia.

    Which says to me, they’re less interested in human rights and more interested in keeping their friends in power. This is why I don’t buy the crap by our economist friend Nav here. He wants me to run a condemnathon, not because he gives a crap about the people but because he likes waving his willy around.

  21. Nyrone — on 12th August, 2008 at 12:23 am  

    Sunny, why do you even bother replying to Nav? I just read through his tripe, and it’s about 100% crap.

    I feel sorry for binary-thinking, theoretical trolls like him, who appear to have set-out to simply have a group-fight about Chavez and Ahmadinejad, whom he obviously hates so much, and probably has several pre-written essays about how evil and despotic they are that he can copy and paste onto blogs like this…

    Whilst we are on the subject of personal questions about qualifications etc..who are you Nav? and have you ever been to Bolivia or Venezuela? What field do you work in? What qualifies you on these matters? Why is Nationalization such a bad thing? Are you familiar with the events that led to the nationalization agenda in the first place? like the Cochabamba water protests of 2000, when a multinational privatized the municipal water supply? Are you aware of the struggle Evo Morales emerged out of with the coca worker’s union of which he became the general secretary of in 1985? The ethnic discrimination he faced as an indigenous dark-skinned man in a country mired in racism? and the rampant attempts to keep him out of office by the Americans (I STRONGLY recommend anyone interested in Bolivian Politics to watch a documentary called ‘Our Brand is Crisis’ all about the American Government’s attempt to ‘fix’ the 2002 Bolivian election via an army of corrupt consulting agencies.)

    Your simplistic smears about Evo Morales appear to be rather baseless, and betray his enormous efforts to redistribute the wealth of the country back to its poorest citizens, who have been voiceless for too many years (There has been 500 years of colonial and neo-colonial rule) …and why no mention about his life-long green credentials (He was speaking about respecting mother nature, investing in green energies, ending consumerist waste, avoiding agrofuels years before it became fashionable)

    Why not discuss any of this? Have you ever even taken time to read one of his interviews? Be honest.
    He’s a revolutionary leader and president that worked his way up tirelessly from the unions to benefit his countrymen, and he keeps winning elections because most people can grasp this, and see it reflected in their daily lives, after decades of crap and being totally shafted by the racist plunderers that ruled the country pre-Morales.

    Much of what I know about the Bolivia and Venezuela has been relayed to me by close friends that have been doing international development/aid work there, some of whom went into the country utterly anti-Chavez and Morales, and came back with incredible, inspirational stories about the sweeping social changes taking place, with health clinics, education, housing being offered for the first time to people in the Barrios….isn’t this worth something to you? or does it not really fit into your pre-composed narrative about how awful Morales is because he accepts support from Chavez (SO BLOODY WHAT???)

    What is all this utter crap about Chavez being a dictator?…The results of 13+ elections and referendums would indicate he’s perfectly democratic. Didn’t he honorably accept his reform didn’t go through recently? Gee, how dictatorial of him…what a Hitler!

  22. Ravi Naik — on 12th August, 2008 at 1:07 am  

    Any politician that doesn’t adapt to the circumstances they find themselves in is a worthless politician.It doesn’t excuse Hugo Chavez in what he’s doing, but I’d rather have him than his predecessors any day.

    Bad governance is one thing, but trying to destroy freedom of speech and democracy that will affect future generations of Venezuelans is certainly another. You seem to be saying you prefer the latter than the former. The point is, Chavez could have opted for good governance in distributing wealth without attempting to destroy the process in which successive generations are able to debate freely and decide who is going to govern them every number of years. If you think Chavez will go away when his mandate is over, you are truly mistaken.

    So my point is, this is the cut that Evo Morales’s opponents come from, and the US govt that keeps harping on about human rights in Venezuela is strangely silent about them in Colombia. Which says to me, they’re less interested in human rights and more interested in keeping their friends in power.

    You can do better. Who cares what the US government says about human rights, considering these guys have Gitmo? You should evaluate Chavez and Evo based on what they do – not only in the short-term but also in the long run, rather than focusing what the Americans say about them.

    Here is more about Chavez for context.

  23. Sunny — on 12th August, 2008 at 1:27 am  

    You can do better. Who cares what the US government says about human rights, considering these guys have Gitmo? You should evaluate Chavez and Evo based on what they do – not only in the short-term but also in the long run, rather than focusing what the Americans say about them.

    This is rather naive Ravi, especially for you. Do you not wonder why trolls like Nav run away with the tails between their legs when you ask them to condemn what’s going on in Colombia?

    The game of “will you condemn?”, as Nyrone points out above, is binary. You identify someone you hate and is is a pain-in-ass for the United States. Then you play that game with everyone person even loosely attached to those demons so that the only option left, in realpolitik, is for the United States to come in as the saviour when things are at fever pitch.

    I’m not saying we’re in a cold war situation here with the US against everyone else. So I’m not saying Chavez is guilt free by any stretch of the imagination.

    But suppose you’re in a situation where the Chavez is Ken Livingstone (who I criticised before Qaradawi became fashionable) and the US is Boris Johnson. People like Nav will want you to criticise Ken till the point that Boris comes into power. Then they become silent, as is the case with Colombia for example.

    I would rather have Ken and criticise him thanks. Which is why I neither buy this “but will you condemn” crap and neither do I buy the absurd demonisation.

  24. Sunny — on 12th August, 2008 at 1:31 am  

    Poor Nav will no doubt cry into his pollow when he finds out Morales increased his share of the vote this time. But just because a few governors from a few right-wing nationalist areas get re-elected, he is under this illusion that the victory wasn’t legitimate. Only 60% after all!

    The American govt has fucked up Latin America for too long for me to support any of their friends in the region.
    Instead we’re fed pitiful arguments like:

    “Bolivia is a country divided…” is how the BBC report on the election begins… so much for a country united behind Mr Morales, Mr Hundal…

    Heh.

  25. Refresh — on 12th August, 2008 at 2:43 am  

    great news about Morales.

    And its always good news to see Chavez add more election wins to his already formidable democratic tally.

    Again I am reminded of Ken Livingstone’s profound observation ‘if voting changed anything it would be abolished’. Nav, for your benefit that was an observation not a cheeky comment – just look at how many democratic movements the US has destroyed. Far more than its nurtured.

    Get with it, democracy is too powerful a concept to be left in the hands of the established world order.

  26. Ravi Naik — on 12th August, 2008 at 10:17 am  

    This is rather naive Ravi, especially for you. Do you not wonder why trolls like Nav run away with the tails between their legs when you ask them to condemn what’s going on in Colombia?

    Nice try, pal.. but you have not addressed anything I have said in #22. I am talking to you about Venezuela and Bolivia in concrete and objective terms, and anything else is a distraction. Americans are – to put it midly – c*nts, I have nothing but contempt towards them, and their foreign policy since WWII has been nothing more than putting dictators wherever they felt communism was lurking.

    Still, the fact that these politicians have shown the finger to the US shouldn’t be the measure of success. That has made the Left jumping with joy, but it overshadows the consequences of consolidation of power in Venezuela. Democracy in Venezuela hasn’t come cheap, and pains me – having lived there during my childhood – to see worrying signs that democracy and democratic institutions are receding.

    Bad governance is far better than a bad (less democratic) government system, because it gives people the chance to change the government. Not only that it gives each generation the chance to govern, rather then being stuck with an authoritarian coot. That Chavez felt the right to terminate a TV station that dare criticise him and who has been there for over 50 years, should give you pause.

    In any case, in regards to Chavez, you had a nice story about Abe, and you finished like this:

    Any politician that doesn’t adapt to the circumstances they find themselves in is a worthless politician.

    What is the point of the story, and how does this gem apply to Chavez? Are you talking about RealPolitiks? I am not against it, but I fail to see how that applies to Chavez. And no “Nyrone” or “Nav” in your response. Thanks.

  27. Refresh — on 12th August, 2008 at 10:48 am  

    Ravi, as for as Latin America is concerned US policy has been there well before WWII, it goes back to the Monroe Doctrine.

    I find it hard to believe you measure Chavez’ faults by the closure of THAT TV station. If he had gone on to close down all the rest then perhaps you might have a point.

    It may be worth remembering that THAT TV station and its rich owners were central to the coup against a directly elected president. I would have thought charge of High Treason would have been more appropriate.

    Compare and contrast that to the emasculation of the BBC by the mother of all democracies after they exposed the ‘sexing up’ the case for invasion and occupation of Iraq.

  28. Ravi Naik — on 12th August, 2008 at 11:32 am  

    I find it hard to believe you measure Chavez’ faults by the closure of THAT TV station.

    Check the link in #22 for a complete list of grievances.

    If he had gone on to close down all the rest then perhaps you might have a point.

    Perhaps? :) By closing down a TV station for daring to criticise him, isn’t he giving a signal to other media that – you know – it could happen to them as well? So stay in line?

    It may be worth remembering that THAT TV station and its rich owners were central to the coup against a directly elected president. I would have thought charge of High Treason would have been more appropriate.

    Of course you would, Refresh. Would you say that anyone who tried a coup against a democratically elected government guilty of high treason? Would you politically support anyone who tried that?

    I know that that TV station supported the coup, but not sure they were directly involved in it.

    Compare and contrast that to the emasculation of the BBC by the mother of all democracies after they exposed the ’sexing up’ the case for invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    Yep, we know all about it because our media is free enough to discuss about our government’s mishaps. Still care to compare with Venezuela?

  29. NielsC — on 12th August, 2008 at 11:35 am  

    Nyrone

    And has the water supply in Cochabamba ( or La Paz) got any better after the de-privatization ?

  30. Refresh — on 12th August, 2008 at 11:56 am  

    ‘I know that that TV station supported the coup, but not sure they were directly involved in it.’

    How directly do you need it to be when LIVE on air, in their excitement the anchorman, heads of the armed forces and various assortment of thugs revelled when they thought they’d pulled it off?

    I think you should re-visit that episode. Its definitely one of your weakest assertions.

  31. Ravi Naik — on 12th August, 2008 at 3:49 pm  

    How directly do you need it to be when LIVE on air, in their excitement the anchorman, heads of the armed forces and various assortment of thugs revelled when they thought they’d pulled it off?

    Sorry, is that the best you can do to justify the annulment of a 53-year old TV station? Are you kidding me? There was no trial or evidence that they were actively trying to subvert Chavez. Funny enough, did you know about the coup in 1992? Guess who headed that one. Is that high-treason? At least, he got a trial and your support.

    Its definitely one of your weakest assertions.

    I can assure you there is a lot more where that came from.

  32. Refresh — on 12th August, 2008 at 4:19 pm  

    ‘Sorry, is that the best you can do to justify the annulment of a 53-year old TV station?’

    No there was a lot more to it. As I said you should re-visit it.

    ‘At least, he got a trial and your support.’

    Perhaps with hindsight, the owners should have been put on trial, forced to divest and denied any rights to own any media outlets. And broadcasting license for the station retracted.

    Wouldn’t that have been the line of action if it had happened here?

    I may be wrong, but I thought the station exists still, but has had to move to cable?

  33. Kismet Hardy — on 12th August, 2008 at 4:20 pm  

    If the rumour mill is to be believed, it would seem she’s pregnant. I hope this doesn’t affect the plot in Desperate Housewives too much, although a is it Carlos’ or the gardener’s storyline could be quite gripping

  34. Ravi Naik — on 12th August, 2008 at 4:28 pm  

    Perhaps with hindsight, the owners should have been put on trial, forced to divest and denied any rights to own any media outlets. And broadcasting license for the station retracted.

    Wait, wait… the whole point of a trial is to assert guilt – how come you are already declaring a verdict and punishment? You really have an authoritarian streak, don’t you? :) You can’t support trial and then state the outcome.

  35. Refresh — on 12th August, 2008 at 4:36 pm  

    Did you see the TV station output immediately after the failed coup?

    In a nutshell, all those aforementioned were being interviewed by the TV anchor when he asks (I paraphrase), “when did you all agree and conclude that you should go ahead with the coup”.

    One of the military head, bursts out laughing and says (paraphrasing) ” what do you mean? You were there, we decided at your house!”. And they all laughed uproariously.

    Now doesn’t that go well beyond a Big Brother Shilpa Shetty spat? Or even the multi-million rip-off that was interactive TV?

    And who is to say that there wasn’t a review of the actions of the TV station prior to the station having its license revoked?

  36. Ravi Naik — on 12th August, 2008 at 5:28 pm  

    In a nutshell, all those aforementioned were being interviewed by the TV anchor when he asks (I paraphrase)

    You see, there is a difference between a TV anchor supporting the coup, and the whole TV station who has been serving the country for half-a-century. And isn’t it hypocritical for Chavez (and his supporters) to accuse anyone of high-treason, when he himself tried a coup in 1992, and tried to subvert a democratically elected government?

    Now doesn’t that go well beyond a Big Brother Shilpa Shetty spat?

    I am sure that revoking C4 license for blatant display of racism crossed your mind for everything poor Shilpa (and Kismet Hardy) had to go through. :)

    And who is to say that there wasn’t a review of the actions of the TV station prior to the station having its license revoked?

    There was no trial – and there was vast condemnation everywhere including in Latin American countries. Not sure why you think that supporting censorship is on the best interest of the Venezuelan people. The fact is, Chavez doesn’t care about Democratic institutions as one can see from his actions in 1992, and his actions of curbing democratic institutions while President.

    To be fair, I have seen only one Evo Morales interview, and I liked him. But I want to wait and see whether the changes Bolivia needs are not dealt with extremist measures, which is often the case.

  37. Refresh — on 12th August, 2008 at 8:37 pm  

    Ravi, stop splitting hairs. The station is a repulsive institution representing their class and only their class based on racial superiority.

    I would be interested to know more about your childhood in Venezuela and whether people defined themselves by the TV station they support.

  38. Ravi Naik — on 12th August, 2008 at 9:41 pm  

    Ravi, stop splitting hairs. The station is a repulsive institution representing their class and only their class based on racial superiority.

    I guess that the many individuals, international organizations and NGOs from around world who criticised such decision must be red-faced for defending a racist institution. And so should the 83% of the people from Venezuela who also didn’t approve such decision. But what do these people know, eh, Refresh? You are the man. ;)

  39. Refresh — on 12th August, 2008 at 9:50 pm  

    I think we’ve had this before – with Jagdeep.

    Action was necessary and revoking their license was appropriate. Regardless of whoever opposed the action, do you want to elaborate what action you would have taken? And having many individuals and NGOs from around the world criticising the decision does not transform the institution.

    I do think there are a large number of institutions in Latin America which are racially biassed. Why else are we seeing the changes in the region, specifically when it comes to redistribution?

  40. Ravi Naik — on 12th August, 2008 at 10:09 pm  

    Action was necessary and revoking their license was appropriate.

    In #32, you said that a trial would be the appropriate measure. It seems like you are now debating yourself, and I guess you do not need me, then. :)

    I do think there are a large number of institutions in Latin America which are racially biassed. Why else are we seeing the changes in the region, specifically when it comes to redistribution?

    That is a silly and a very weak justification for accusing a TV station of being racist. I have never read anything of the sort – I guess accusing everything we don’t like as racist is pretty easy, uh?

  41. Ravi Naik — on 12th August, 2008 at 10:25 pm  

    Here is an article about the closure from the NY Times. Of course, when university students protest against the government and fighting for freedom of speech, in your view, they are defending a racist institution. Shame on them. You, on the other hand, know what’s best for them. Good for you.

  42. Refresh — on 12th August, 2008 at 10:53 pm  

    ‘In #32, you said that a trial would be the appropriate measure. It seems like you are now debating yourself, and I guess you do not need me, then.’

    You know that is not the case. A trial for the coup plotters and administrative action against the TV company would seem reasonable.

    What would have been your preference? No action at all?

    ‘defending a racist institution’

    Yes I do think racism runs deep. Be glad to hear otherwise. It would be fascinating to see how media ownership contributes to the overall democratic well-being of the region.

    Can’t seem to get to the NY article, requires registration. If you can provide it I’d like to have a read.

  43. Ravi Naik — on 13th August, 2008 at 9:59 am  

    What would have been your preference? No action at all?

    An investigation to start with, and then a trial if evidence is found that the top management was active in planning subverting democracy – the same kind of trial that Chavez got in 1992 when he tried to subvert a democratically elected government through a military coup, and tried to reinstate a military authoritarian regime. As such, there is no evidence of such involvement – you can accuse the TV station of being biased against Chavez, but that’s hardly a reason to revoke its license. Furthermore, other TV stations were also pro-coup, but they didn’t get their licenses revoked – Chavez didn’t have to… he just needed one TV station to set the example.

    Yes I do think racism runs deep.

    Unless you have concrete proof, you are just slandering. I also think you have no idea what you are talking about – in fact when 83% of the Venezuelan population disagrees with you, when you have students protesting against Chavez and for freedom of speech, when they say they are worried about what is happening in their country, then you probably should ponder, and revise what you are defending.

  44. Refresh — on 13th August, 2008 at 3:11 pm  

    ‘On April 11, 2002, the day of the coup, when military and civilian opposition leaders held press conferences calling for Chávez’s ouster, RCTV hosted top coup plotter Carlos Ortega, who rallied demonstrators to the march on the presidential palace. On the same day, after the anti-democratic overthrow appeared to have succeeded, another coup leader, Vice-Admiral Victor Ramírez Pérez, told a Venevisión reporter (4/11/02): “We had a deadly weapon: the media. And now that I have the opportunity, let me congratulate you.”

    That commercial TV outlets including RCTV participated in the coup is not at question; even mainstream outlets have acknowledged as much. As reporter Juan Forero, Jackson Diehl’s colleague at the Washington Post, explained (1/18/07), “RCTV, like three other major private television stations, encouraged the protests,” resulting in the coup, “and, once Chávez was ousted, cheered his removal.” The conservative British newspaper the Financial Times reported (5/21/07), “[Venezuelan] officials argue with some justification that RCTV actively supported the 2002 coup attempt against Mr. Chávez.”

    As FAIR’s magazine Extra! argued last November, “Were a similar event to happen in the U.S., and TV journalists and executives were caught conspiring with coup plotters, it’s doubtful they would stay out of jail, let alone be allowed to continue to run television stations, as they have in Venezuela.”

    http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/index.cfm/Page/Article/ID/7739

  45. Refresh — on 13th August, 2008 at 3:35 pm  

    ‘Unless you have concrete proof, you are just slandering.’

    What would be acceptable as concrete proof – what is concrete proof when divisions are institutionalised?

    I would look closely at the living conditions of various ethnic groups, their employment and educational prospects, income, infant mortality rates and access to medical services. And of course access to the levers of power – which you could argue, in a democratic system, would include journalism.

  46. Ravi Naik — on 13th August, 2008 at 4:47 pm  

    What would be acceptable as concrete proof – what is concrete proof when divisions are institutionalised?

    Are you kidding me? You said this: The station is a repulsive institution representing their class and only their class based on racial superiority. You either back it up, or you are slandering. How do you back it up? The burden of proof is on your side.

    In fact, can you tell me why did you bring the racist card to this conversation? Is it to give more credence to the closing of the station? But aren’t you now saying that all TV and media stations are repulsive and representing their class based on racial superiority? :)

  47. Refresh — on 13th August, 2008 at 6:44 pm  

    ‘How do you back it up?’

    Very simple. Who was the station calling out on to the streets in support of the coup? That is where your answer lies. If it was genuinely a cross section of Venezuelan society then I bow to your judgement.

    I didn’t bring class and race into it to justify their failure to have their broadcast license renewed – I mentioned it because what you see going on in Latin America is a democratic assertion of rights by the people of indigenous extraction.

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