Arms Buying by Venezuela Worries U.S.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thanatoast, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #1
    This is a story on the NYT, so I'll just quote a few fun parts...
    This next bit is kinda left field, any ideas where it's coming from?
    And finally:
    So there we have it, warming relations between South American countries worries the Bush administration. Combined with the beginnings of a South American trade area, could be that in another two decades they will be a power to be reckoned with, as the US gets slowly left behind pursuing it's isolationist militarism (an interesting oxymoron in our current context). I don't consider the dire warnings about dumping weapons into a flashpoint situation to be valid, as Mr. Chavez pointed out above.
     
  2. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #2
    I'm not sure what question you have about threats of a US invasion. There have been plenty examples of US interference in Venezuela's affairs. Including a rush to recognize an abortive coup against Chávez. Why wouldn't they be worried about US troops coming into their country and overthrowing the elected government? It's not like there is not ample precedent.
     
  3. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #3
    Maybe it's cause we are worried about Venezula invading us?

    Nah, let's face it, political reform in South America would be terrible for us. With all of what this Administration has done to date I would not be surprised if the CIA had something to do with the coup.

    It seems as though most of the world is headed in one direction and we are headed in another. Well, us and Australia who are awfully fond of John Howard.
     
  4. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Anytime you have a guy who talks the Maximum Leader BS, and chatters away with the Socilaist line, I figure things are headed downhill in that country. So far, Chavez has done just that. Money is being pulled out of Venezuela as fast as possible, both by Venezuelans and foreign investors.

    He's buddied up with Castro, long before he became El Prez. He was one of the earliest to start pushing for higher priced oil, just so he could get more money for giveaway social programs. This was not long after the Clinton-OPEC agreement about a target price of around $25/bbl for oil.

    He apparently is in sympathy with FARC and other groups. Maybe Shining Path, although I'm not sure of that one.

    Chavez has an anti-US history, from long before Dubya as president.

    It looks like what he's calling his militias are the same old goon squads that every other tinpot dictator south of here has set up, whether Batista, Trujillo, Somoza, Castro, you name it.

    'Rat
     
  5. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #5
    "Dentro de los paises latinos, una democracia no nos conviene; lo que necesitamos en un dictador de bondad". [Among Latino countries, a democratic government doesn't work for us; what we need is a benevolent dictator.] Over time, I would suppose I've heard this from no less than 50 different Latinos from different walks of life. Chavez (given to totalitarian and military rule) has a unique set of problems in that his own military is divided (half for him, the other half against). In Ecuador, today and tomorrow, there are protest marches in the city of Quito rallying against the heavy handedness of the regime of Presidente Gutierrez (given to totalitarian and military rule). To these guys, Fidel is their role model, cigar and all.

    I'd take issue that Chavez and company are in the same bed with the guerrilla (FARC), but the Andean countries have not done well with the Pacto Andino and trade agreements which were to have been improved by fostering good will between the bordered countries of the Andean Region. The Latin concept of "to be" = "to be like". They have learned well from other countries the disputable stance that "might makes right". I for one, am concerned to see what I hope is not an across the board trend among our Latino neighbors.
    X
     
  6. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #6
    It's a reasonable generality that south of the Rio Grande, regardless of what's said by the ruling classes about creating a Best Of All Possible Worlds, there's little regard for the plight of the bottom of the economic pyramid.

    "[Among Latino countries, a democratic government doesn't work for us; what we need is a benevolent dictator.]" is all well and good, except for the shortage of benevolence and the problems of succession. Damfino.

    It also bothers me that Chavez is buddying up to what's-his-face of the old Sandinista crowd in Nicaragua. Funnelling political action-money his way...

    It looks like, to me, that the U.S. can stay home and there still is gonna be a bunch of dead bodies coming...

    'Rat
     
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #7
    Question is, does any of that have any bearing on the right of a sovereign nation to arm itself any way it sees fit?

    And I wouldn't draw that line at the Rio Grande... I'd draw it at the US/Canadian border. ;)
     
  8. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #8
    Because?
     
  9. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #9
    mac, I imagine it's the usual concern of "Whatcha gonna do with'em?" than sovereignty. Just like NKorea and nukes, or Iran with nukes and 2,000-mile-range delivery systems.

    Goon squads in the US, mac? Now, just how often have you heard of folks being pulled from their homes in the middle of the night and taken away for "questioning" because of what they've said against the government? How many cities and towns in the US have small groups of official people with full-auto weapons patrolling the streets to keep an eye on the citizenry?

    X, "downhill" means economically, mostly, in this case. But, as the economic conditions worsen in Venezuela, it's possible that more eruptions against Chavez could occur. Eruptions = dead bodies. The reason I believe economic conditions will worsen is that Venezuela's main source of income is oil. The skilled management and workers in that industry are either quitting or are being replaced with inexperienced people; overall, that industry is anti-Chavez. Anyway, the output will decrease. That, coupled with Chavez' policies, will make the economy weaken--as will the flight of investment capital.
     
  10. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #10
    Given US history in South and Central America no one in their right mind would be other than extremely concerned about the US and its possible actions.I'm also baffled at the idea he is a dictator. He's President and head of Government posts he was voted into by universal sufferage. There is film I have seen, taken by RTE the Irish State Broadcaster showing Chavez being dragged off by clearly non uniformed heavily armed non South American men after the illegal coup.Do you think it's possible they were CIA agents?
     
  11. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Peterkro, while I'm fully aware of past and (to some extent) present US doings south of the border, much of it has been over-hyped in order that a regime in power unify the people against an external threat. We had a fairly smooth relationship going with Venezuela, pre-Chavez; the U.S. didn't start the troubles. All we really wanted from Venezuela was a happy, profitable Citgo, so you could gas up your go-buggy.

    Chavez isn't, right now, a dictator. However, his statements and actions certainly lead me to believe he's headed in that direction. He's focussing his appeal on the lower economic class. This does not bode well, based on past dictators' similar behavior. It's the old one-step-at-a-time deal; it's old hat, nowadays...

    CIA guys? I haven't a clue. Might have been. Might not have been. I wouldn't even begin to guess, much less think "probably".

    As far as the election? "It's not important who votes. What's important is who counts the votes." That's old and universal. Check out 1960 and Illinois and Kennedy/Nixon. :) Or "Landslide" Lyndon, for that matter...

    'Rat
     
  12. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #12
    DesertRat I'm afraid we disagree totally but there you go. There were observers at the last Election from many countries including the EU who confirmed they were fair and legal. Primarily what Chavez is trying to do is keep the money from oil in the country and not have it syphoned of to the US as it has in the past. And distribute that money fairly to the population.He is a extremely popular man at home. There is a documentery called "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"which shows how much support he has.3% of the population owns 90% of the wealth at present,does that sound like fair distrubution to you?It puzzles non USeans how your view of the world is so totally at odds to what most of the rest of us see. :confused:
    ( I dont wish to say all USeans are like that but it is the prevailing view even by what you call liberals).
     
  13. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #13
    Anyone interested in the abortive coup against Chávez should read the following article from the Guardian.

     
  14. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #14
    That's the truth, but it doesn't explain the problems in Venezuela or why the Venezuelans should choose their government with the paramount aim of a "happy, profitable Citgo." Why shouldn't a Venezuelan government place the needs of Venezuelans first? Oh, and how can the Bush administration talk about the importance of democracy and seek to undermine the will of the Venezuelan people?

    What a horrible idea, 'Rat, that a President of Venezuela should focus on the problems of the most poor and dispossessed. And how does that makes him on the slippery slope to dictatorship?

    'Rat, take a look at my post above.

    We sure have learned that lesson here the hard way in 2000 and 2004.
     
  15. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #15
    Thanks Sayhey for restoring at least partialy my belief that if humans look at a particular situation and research enough they'll get pretty near the truth.Previous posts in this thread were depressing the hell out of me. :(
     
  16. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Peterkro, my understanding is that Citgo is a wholly-owned Venezuelan company. SFAIK it's publicly traded, but again SFAIK the controlling ownership is Venezuelan. What I don't know is how much of the Venezuelan oil the US imports is from/through Citgo. Regardless, Citgo's profits are or could be repatriated.

    Do you know the breakdown of ownership of oil in Venezuela? Is it a US system, for instance, or a Mexican system? In the US the private sector owns most of the oil; in Mexico it's the State.

    "Primarily what Chavez is trying to do is keep the money from oil in the country and not have it syphoned of to the US as it has in the past."

    If the State owns the oil, what's the method of syphoning?

    "And distribute that money fairly to the population."

    Now, that's Venezuela's business and not mine, but rather than distributing, why not invest in job-creating endeavors? Invest in paved roads and electric plants and communications networks? Water and sewer? That's one means of getting people out of cities and into smaller urban-growth areas.

    "He is a extremely popular man at home."

    When the popularity comes primarily from distributing largesse and thus buying votes, such popularity does not also create better long-term standards of living. For how long can Venezuela produce oil? Who will get the blame when they run out? The U.S.?

    Long-term, some equitable method of "land reform" with sanctity of land titles as attempted by Magsaysay in the Philippines--coupled with developing infrastructure--does more to move people up the ladder into a middle-class status than most any other endeavor.

    I'm not surprised at the wealth percentage number. It's in a range that is not untypical of Latin America.

    Enabling rural people to more easily get goods to market does more to create or maintain peace than all the AK 47s ever built.

    'Rat
     
  17. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #17
    That's a lot of possibles.

    Now, how do you know what the skilled managers are doing? How do you know there aren't plenty of people skilled enough to replace them? It's not brain surgery.

    It is the standard conservative line to claim that industry cannot exist or function without private ownership. That is simply not true. The sad fact seems to be that private industry cannot seem to control itself enough to act in the interest of the nation as a whole. No different from the abuses we are seeing here at home.

    It's just the standard conservative line to say that socialism and state regulation lead to failure. Wondrous promises about unregulated capitalism follow and no one bothers to argue. It's bogus, there is little anyone here could really know about conditions down there given how the media works.
     
  18. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #18
    All this debate about Mr Chavez kinda misses the point - sure, maybe he is not the best leader in the world, nor is his country the best run, but there are plenty of other examples of this aroung the globe that do not interest the US, publicly or otherwise.

    It seems to me that this is purely about the US being confronted with the possibility that they will be locked out of, or at least marginalized by an evolving Latin American trading block/market. This combined with the even more deveoped (and lucrative) Asian market in which we also are at a decided disadvantage, makes the continued economic strength/primacy of US in Global markets very questionable.

    In this case, it would seem that as a direct result of US Foreign Policy, the US is even shut-out of Military trade, their bread-and-butter, if anything is, and they are whining and complaining about it.

    that's my take, at least.
     
  19. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #19
    DesertRat, Chavez's government fought a long fight to bring the oil under state control e.g. they appoint directors etc. They were fought tooth and nail by the miniscule group of people with US backing who had previously milked the industry for all it could get. Now most of the money is available much of it is being used for infrastructure and to raise peoples standard of living. Many of the previous managers were pocketing ridiculous sums with very little going to the people who actually did the work. That has changed.
    I think a parasitic middle class is the last thing they need. He's not spreading largesse he's trying to ensure that the people who create the wealth get a fair share of it.I don't understand your AK47 remark,unless your referring to the militas, given the right wing army officers and threatening behaviour of the US seems like a prudent move to me.Chavez and others in south america have looked at the US trickle down market economy and see it doesn't work so they are trying a different way,so far with a lot of success.
    Ps extremehkr,I realise the popular US media don't cover the area but as you yourself know European and other world media does.The information is out there just not reported by Murdoch et al.
    PPS Citgo is the US arm of the State oil company.54% of its oil output goes to the US and Canada.A large supplier that the US would do well not to piss off.
     
  20. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #20
    There are a select few here in the US, as far as media outlets go that cover what is really happening to some extent. You have to seek them out though, they don't come to you here. And that information certainly isn't going to come from the conservative media. Chavez is a real problem for the US Oil interests who before only had to pay off a few individuals were made a lot of money at the expense of the rest of the country. Now that is not going to be the case.

    If we were smart here at home, we would just reduce our dependency on oil. But if the energy market weren't cornered here at home, and there was an abundance of cheap energy, a minority of this country would lose considerable power that comes with being able to control the energy market.

    And yet, not only are we encouraged to consume oil, it is made out to be partiotic and the American Way. Other forms of energy are slandered and the worst part is that people stand behind this self defeating system. The enormous cost of pollution and making sure that this energy is in steady supply is about $500 billion a year just for the military end of things.

    There is a not so subtle interconnectedness between all of the industries involved in right wing politics. The Christian right have just been taken for a ride lately.
     
  21. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #21
    Yeah I understand. it appalls me the power the seven sisters and the industrial/military complex have. Its not much better in the U.K. they spend billions on (so called) defence including warships running microsoft computer systems(go figure) and have a Health System which is falling apart because its funded at one half of US or French levels. They structure a extremely efficent free to all Health service then put in multi layers of bean counters and cut funding.
     
  22. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #22
    The question being, when are people going to act in a manner that is going to benefit them? What will it take? I can't imagine people would prefer things remain the same if they knew the possible alternatives. Look what the New Deal did for this country, if only people knew their history.
     
  23. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #23
    'tis true.I look on it as a dark ages of human history. You can already see this free market crap is on the way out. Hope I live long enough to see the enlightenment. (where is the free market in labour incidentally,you can move capital all over the world but try bringing asian labor to the US or any other combination of countries)
     
  24. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #24
    You ever wonder if other countries think 'Whatcha gonna do about the US'?

    Who the **** said anything about goon squads? Come on 'Rat, quit being disingenuous in your arguments with me. What was your exact wording?
    Now, please do me the honor of showing me where I got 'goon squads' out of that statement.

    Come on 'Rat, who said anything about gay hookers in the White House? Oops, sorry I'm adopting your tactics now... ;)
     
  25. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #25
    Peterkro, you were doing pretty good until that phrase "parasitic middle class". The middle class is what creates a country's economic strength. Without a middle class, you have a distorted economic pyramid, with a very few on the top and a great many on the bottom. Much like England once was.

    What's going on right now, worldwide, is an expansion of the free market. Tha'ts why all the moaning and groaning about "shipping jobs overseas". Oversimplified, the U.S. is buying clothing and toys; the Chinese are buying steel, cement and food. And everybody and his dog is eagerly selling to both.

    If Chavez' people are indeed using the oil money to build infrastructure, good on them. that creates upward economic mobility, which is to me a Good Thing. If that's not going on, I stand by my earlier comments--and $40 million worth of AKs, ammo and training costs will only be used to intimidate the populace.

    FWIW, a lot of what info I do get comes from contrarian-investor commentaries. They're pretty much non-political. They analyze events in terms of profits or profit potential. I've yet to see a situation where higher profits meant less food or jobs for poor folks. One key to Chavez' success in Venezuela, in terms of uplifting the poor, is whether or not foreign investments flow in or flow out.

    'Rat
     

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