February 16, 2009

Dictator Watch - Feb 16, 2009: Chavez Edition

He's finally done it. After failed attempts to ratify the Venezuelan Constitution so he can install himself as El Presidente for life, Hugo Chavez has finally got his wish. Vladimir Putin must be eating his own liver.

CARACAS, Venezuela – President Hugo Chavez says a referendum victory that removed limits on his re-election is a mandate to intensify his socialist agenda for
decades to come. Opponents warn of an impending dictatorship. Both sides had
called the outcome of Sunday's vote key to the future of this South American
country, split down the middle between those who worship the president for
redistributing Venezuela's oil riches and those who see him as a power-hungry

"Those who voted "yes" today voted for socialism, for revolution," Chavez thundered to thousands of ecstatic supporters jamming the streets around the presidential palace. Fireworks lit up the Caracas skyline, and one man walked though the crowd carrying a painting of Chavez that read: "Forever."

After previous frustrations, how did this finally come to pass? Some are claiming that Chavez cheated. While there is no concrete proof (yet), it would not come as a surprise if the truth bears out this claim.

CNN reports that Chavez has kicked out of the country an European observer
because had referred to Chavez as a dictator! Obviously the truth hurts! What is
amazing is that Venezuelans are forced again to go and vote tomorrow February 15
for the same issue that they had voted against on December 2, 2007, and where
Chavez was defeated. Nevertheless, the infamous Chavez had to run the same
question again! It seems that the deranged leader does not understand that NO
means NO!

The story from CNN can be found here.

Apparently there have been no widespread reports of voting irregularities. This can be confirmed because the same phrase shows up on many major news sites.

ABC News (Australia): "Electoral authorities and independent observers say there was a very high voter turnout and that the ballot was carried out without significant irregularities."

NY Times: "Voting across the country unfolded calmly, without reports of widespread irregularities, electoral officials said. "

International Herald Tribune (England): "Voting across the country unfolded calmly, without reports of widespread irregularities, electoral officials said."

Well obviously it must be true...

Don't expect the Obama administration to come down hard on Chavez. But there are things as an American citizen you can do on your own to put a dent in this tinpot dictator. Boycott Citgo. It's just a suggestion, but Citgo is owned by Petroleos de Venezula, and has been since 1990. However, it won't do much beyond the symbolic because oil companies buy oil from each other and shopping at say Chevron, you could still be supporting crude sourced in Venezuela. Nothing short of an official embargo would suffice. That won't happen without public outrage, and that's not likely to happen when there are more important economic issues to deal with right now.

But that doesn't mean that driving an extra block to the Texaco station isn't doing your part. It's certainly better than the alternative of not caring. It's the same principle as not standing up against the Fairness Doctrine - you get the result you deserve.


  1. I am living in Venezuela with my wife who is a citizen. When she went to vote yesterday the default option was to say "Yes" to allow Chavez to run forever. When a voter would change their answer to "No" (which my wife did) the machine would record the vote in the computer but NOT print it out on the paper. The paper was the one that counts and if the votes are not duplicated in both places the ballots are rejected.

  2. If this can be verified, I'm pretty sure that it constitutes irregularities.

    Thanks for the post.

  3. Sounds right to me.
    Illinois get their voting machines from Venezuela Company and look at all the overlooked fraud we have.

  4. As an update to what I posted earlier:

    My wife went to work today even though it was a "free" day because Chavez gave the country the day off of work. Several people she works with said that when they changed the answer from Yes to No it then recorded the answer as Yes. She said that one of her co-workers was so upset about it that he tore up the paper print out and said it was better not to vote than vote Yes.

    And for those who wonder why this is posted as anonymous, it is illegal to say anything against the government as a foreigner. And as an employee of the government to say or do anything against Chavez will get you immediately fired.

    One woman at my wifes work wrote "No es No" on her cars rear window and was then seen by another employee. She was fired the very same day and blacklisted meaning she ended up on a list for which she can never again have a government sponsored job.

    People in the USA have no idea how good they have it. Obama speaks of "change" by why change what works?


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