Thank You President Hugo Chavez

Chris M. Fick
6 min read
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Venezuela is lucky to have a man like Hugo Chavez running the country. Hugo is a Christian with a long history of personal sacrifice to help people rise up out of poverty, and standing up against powerful wealthy interest; just like Jesus did. After serving a prison term for an attempt to overthrow a corrupt right wing government in Venezuela he became a hero among the Venezuelan people. Since being elected president he has redirected the country’s oil wealth into education, health care, job training, food programs, land re-distribution, and a variety of other social programs. His goals are to reverse extreme right wing capitalist policies that have concentrated wealth, land, and media ownership into the hands of less than 2% of the population. He wants to create a large vibrant middle class in Venezuela, just like we have in America. And yesterday he made a large stride in that effort when he rejected Bush’s FTAA free trade agreement.

Bush is attempting to expand the failed NAFTA agreement into 34 countries in South America with FTAA. FTAA is almost guaranteed to drive wages down in America, as well as export more jobs out of America. However, it would be a bonanza for the owners of Wal-Mart, Target, and other U.S. based retailers who want to increase margins by exploiting the poorest people on earth.

Hugo Chavez told Bush to take a hike, and to take FTAA with him.

Not only did Hugo Chavez just do a huge favor for the people of Venezuela, he also just helped American workers in a big way.

In the short-term free trade gives the American people cheaper goods, but in the long-term it is a massive drain on the wealth of America. It is a sure way to decrease the standard of living of the American people. In economic terms free trade is a U.S. mercantilist worst nightmare. It creates huge trade deficits that rob America of wealth while building wealth in the countries doing the exporting. The $450 billion dollar trade deficit we are currently running with China is like taking gold bars out of Fort Knox and shipping them to China. Everyday the dollar is becoming worth less and the renminbi is becoming worth more.

Hugo Chavez knows that NAFTA did not raise the wages of the people in Mexico, as they were told that it would. Wealth in Mexico became even more concentrated, wages have stagnated, and corruption has become even more rampant.

Hugo is not buying Bush’s snake oil, and we shouldn’t either.

In response to the South American leaders who are opposed to FTAA Bush made the following very Freudian comments, “The other (Chavez) seeks to roll back the democratic progress of the past two decades, by playing to fear, pitting neighbor against neighbor, and blaming others for their own failures to provide for their own people.”. The truth is that Bush and the GOP have been rolling back decades of democratic progress in America. They have divided the American people, played on our fears, and have failed to provide for the American people in a number of important areas.

The Republicans have rolled back environmental laws, anti-cronyism rules, tort laws, civil liberties and freedoms, government budgets, and social trust funds. They have created huge deficits with spending increases and tax cuts aimed at millionaires. They have cut requirements for overtime pay while starting a bonus program for their cronies in government jobs. Their leader in the House, Tom Delay, is under indictment. Their leader in the Senate, Bill Frist, is under investigation. And Vice President Cheney’s top man, Lewis Libby, has been indicted.

Bush did finally threatened to veto a bill, but not because of pork but because it contained an amendment to outlaw torture. This anti-torture amendment was agreed to by 90 senators. Now Cheney is seeking an exception for the CIA.

It has been President Bush and the people in his administration that have been playing on our fears with lies about WMDs in Iraq, and lies about Iraq’s involvement in the attack on 9/11. They have used these fears to justify reductions to our rights and freedoms through the Patriot Act, and to start a unnecessary and unjustified war in Iraq that has killed 2,055 of our soldiers and injured over 15,000 U.S. soldiers, and has cost American taxpayers $300 billion.

It has been Bush that has been the great divider and not a uniter as he claimed he would be in 2000. Votes on major pieces of legislation in the House and the Senate have been split along party lines. This legislation has sent our country deep into debt, undermined Medicare’s long term solvency, and robbed every penny from the Social Security trust fund.

It has been the Bush administration and the Republican members of Congress who blame the Democrats, and other people and other events, for the result of their own corruption, misguided priorities, and war crimes.

It appears that most people in South America understand the type of person Bush is better than most people in America do. As Bush has been traveling around South America protesters have been carrying anti-Bush signs, burning effigies of Bush and of U.S. flag, and chanting anti-Bush slogans like, “Fora Bush” which mean “get out Bush”, and “Bush fascist, you are a terrorist!”, and “America is imperialist”.

The American people need someone like Hugo Chavez to lead America out of the corrupt right wing mess Bush and the Republicans in Congress have gotten us into. But don’t look to the Democrats for a Hugo Chavez type leader. Their only shinning star was Senator Paul Wellstone, and he was recently killed in a mysterious plane crash. A death that helped give the GOP take control of the Senate. John Kerry wants to take us into war in Syria, so he is out of consideration in my book. And Hillary Clinton, and all the other Democrats are far to moderate, and far to corporate friendly, so they are all out of consideration.

What we need is an outsider, a warrior, a hero, and an independent. Someone like Ret. General Wesley Clark would be nice. Or even another Ross Perot capitalist would be better than a Republican or Democrat. Even Ralph Nader wouldn’t be too bad, however, he did show some very bad judgement in the final weeks of the election in 2000 resulting in helping Bush get appointed.

We need someone who is blunt, honest, dependable, smart, and who knows how to fight. We need someone who is not beholding to wealthy special interest, or to the Jewish special interest in Israel. We need someone who will restore the middle class through progressive tax policies, protectionist trade policies, national health care, and stronger social safety nets. We need someone who will not lead us into another preemptive war quagmire, or into more unnecessary deficits. We need a Hugo Chavez type leader.

Do you know where we can find someone like Hugo Chavez to lead America in the opposite direction Bush and the GOP has been leading us?

Reprinted with permission from the “George W. Bush Is Shameless” website

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