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Hugo Chavez Brings Autocracy to the Classroom

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First Hugo Chavez silenced the independent media by fining newspapers, arresting journalists and ultimately shutting down the main independent television station. Now he's silencing unapproved thought in the schools of Venezuela, rewriting the textbooks to reflect his version of history, writing Marxism into the curriculum at every level and threatening private schools with closure if they don't conform to state approved educational guidelines.

Last year Chavez' Minister of Education, Aristobulo Isturiz, laid the groundwork for the new "Bolivarian" education program to be imposed in Venezuela when he announced: "Teachers should be the first soldiers of the revolution … No Director of a public school shall have his, her job validated unless an evaluation is made, so that we are certain that they know what is the type of republic we want."

Having already consolidated control over Venezuela's public schools and universities, including bringing in Cuban indoctrination experts to consult and injecting Marxism into the curriculum even in the medical schools, Chavez is now assaulting the last bastion of academic independence, the private secondary schools to which business and intellectual leaders send their kids. Objecting that the private schools teach "capitalism" and "consumerism," Chavez has declared that if these schools do not allow inspectors to keep them compliant with the socialist agenda of the "new Bolivarian educational system," the schools will be shut down.

Zulay Campos of the Bolivarian State Academic Commission, which will carry out inspections to make sure that private schools comply with the government's curriculum stated: "We must train socially minded people to help the community, and that's why the revolution's socialist program is being implemented … If they attack us because we're indoctrinating, well yes, we're doing it, because those capitalist ideas that our young people have — and that have done so much damage to our people — must be eliminated."

So while these private schools will remain nominally independent, they will use the new textbooks being authored by the government and will teach the version of history and the political ideology of the chavista regime or they will be shut down. For the kids of Venezuela there will be no truth except that fabricated by the government, not thoughts except those approved by the state and no escape unless they leave the country. The superior schools which used to turn out the nation's leaders will now turn out indoctrinated robots fanatically loyal to the regime and its leader for life, Hugo Chavez.

Conscious of the negative reaction both inside and outside Venezuela to his efforts to turn education into indoctrination, Chavez has defended his vision of education for Venezuela: "I'm calling on parents to be conscious of our kids. Let's instill in them values. Be careful with the television programs. There are a lot of bad influences, the internet, child pornography, consumerism, to name a few." He went on to make a call to action, saying "Let's rescue our traditions and forget about the stupid Spiderman and Batman movies. That is ideology!"

Gosh it all sounds so good. He's making a socialist paradise and dragging the people along with him whether they want it or not. Controlling the media is the key to controlling the minds of the people and controlling education gives even stronger control over future generations. With all of this plus his new plan to change the Constitution so he can be President for Life, Chavez is well on his way towards creating an eternal autocracy with the same methods employed by Pol Pot, Kim il Sung and his mentor Fidel Castro.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • Doug Hunter

    The sad thing is that many leftists in the US worship guys like this. It goes to show who has the real core values (like freedom and liberty) at heart.

  • Lumpy

    can’t wait until moonraven and the chavez spin machine find this one.

  • troll

    she will say that in her humble opinion this article is a propagandist’s fiction based on opinion rather than fact and news

    here is Chavez’ statement that I’d like explaned:

    “La Constitución los reconoce pero ellos deben subordinarse a la Constitución y al proyecto educativo nacional bolivariano, el que no quiera va a tener que cerrar su escuela. Si viene un director y se niega, hay que intervenirlo, se cierra y se nacionaliza. Eso quiero dejarlo yo muy claro y sé que cuento con el apoyo de la gran mayoría de padres y maestros de Venezuela”.

    is he not saying that all schools public and private must become what he calls ‘bolivarianas schools’ – is he not claiming a state monopoly on ideas – ?

    while my gringo illusions about freedom of thought and open education mean absolutely nothing in the world south of the border Chavez once again appears to be realizing my worst hopes and fondest fears

  • RJ

    I don’t care what anybody says, Pat Robertson was right: Someone needs to step on this bug.

  • troll

    bellicose bravado blows (dead bears)

  • REMF

    ^ You mean the same Pat Robertson of the Hypocrites Hall of Fame? No thanks.

  • Clavos

    troll, it says:

    “The Constitution recognizes them (?), but they must subordinate themselves to the Constitution and to the national Bolivarian educational project; he who refuses will have to close his school. If it (the school) has a director and he refuses, we will have to intervene, close it down, and nationalize it. I want to make this very clear, and I know I can count on the support of the great majority of Venezuelan parents and teachers.”

  • moonraven

    Just about exactly a year ago I first visited this site as a result of Nalle’s writing a completely uninformed, totally bigoted “article” (I am trying to be generous given Nalle’s lack of formal education and English language skills) in which his central theme was the following: Hugo Chavez is crazy because he called Bush The Devil at the UN.

    Actually, Chavez–as always–was ahead of his time. Since then there are plenty of folks right there in the old degraded USA that are doing a very brisk business in bumper stickers that say the following: Chavez was right: Bush IS the Devil!.

    Among other gems of geographical wisdom in regard to Venezuela, Nalle has told us that it is one of the countries in Central America.

    And he has ALMOST visited it because his doppleganger, clavos, touched down at the airport that serves Caracas one time in the 80s or early 90s–well confined to the pre-history of BC–Before Chavez.

    Yet, despite his failure to provide even ONE piece of fact or information in regard to Venezuela, Nalle is a self-proclaimed expert on the country.

    Amazing, what sheer asshole nerve can bring folks to!

    The point of the current slash and bash piece against Chavez–one of the few world leaders with brains, balls and a heart–is that he is forcing all educational enterprises to be supervised in the implementation of approved curricula.

    HMMMMMMMMM…..Where have we heard that before? Ah yes, in the US Department of Education. In the various accrediting bodies throughout the country. If you want accredited studies from a US school, that school must provide the government-approved curriculum.

    It is, by sheer coincidence, the same here in Mexico! Wow!

    We have a case right now in the state of Morelos where I live where two or three escuelas patitos (little duck schools, literally–private schools that spring up like mushrooms after a rainstorm all over this country) have not had their plans of study approved by the folks at the State University of Morelos (the patitos in question are self-proclaimed universities in this case, therefore the state university has supervisory responsibility–rather than the basic education offices of the Secretary of Public Education) and therefore their degrees are not recognized.

    Chavez indicated that his government had been remiss in applying necessary government supervision and accreditation in regard to the private schools in Venezuela. And that that is now going to change.

    Good for him! It’s about fucking time, considering that when I was there for the month of June students in the private schools were being given extra credit not to do extra work, not to even BE in the classroom–but to march in the supposedly “spontaneous” student protests regarding the non-renewal (not closure, as Nalle would have you folks believe) of the license of a PRIVATE TV station which openly called for the overthrow of the government.

    How long would RCTV last in the USA? Less than 15 minutes, and its owners and operators would be in Guatanamo labeled enemy combatants.

    I am happy to see Chavez finally applying the same standards across the board that his government began applying several years ago in the Bolivarian schools–where the pedagogical method is based on that of the most important pedagogical thinker of the Twentieth Century, Paulo Freire (who said–among other things: ALLL EDUCATION IS POLITICAL).

    Now, just to cut off folks like clavos at the knees who will say that Paulo Freire was a renegade commie pinko fuckhead: Perhaps he would like to check to see which US PRIVATE university hosted Freire when the US-backed coup occurred in Brazil in 1964: HARVARD.

    And which PUBLIC US university is the site of the Paulo Freire Center: UCLA.

    I whole-heartedly applaud the government of Venezuela in its project to clean house in the private educational sector–since it has already done so in the public sector!

    I wish to fuck there was leadership here in Mexico capable of doing the same thing. Maybe Mexico would stop fighting with Brazil for last place every year in the OCDE evaluations.

    But all of you, of course, are more than free to believe the bullshit thrown at the wall here on BC by such an “expert” in a) education and b) Latin American Affairs as Dave Nalle.

    Your ignorance is only exceeded by your commitment to same.

  • Ah, she finally showed up.

    Moonraven, every quote and every fact in the article is backed up by a major media link or a link directly to someone in Venezuela or supported by direct quotes from Chavez or someone in his government.

    Prove that these quotes are lies. Provide sources which say that these people did not say these things which they are on public record as having said, or take your laughable propaganda for this tinpot dictator and stuff it.


  • moonraven

    YOU stuff it, fatass!

    Where did I say that your quotes from the Chavez government were lies?

    Show me.

    I am saying that what the government is doing is STANDARD PROCEDURE in all countries I am familiar with–and they are legion, including the US.

    So what’s the deal here, Nalle?

    How is Chavez Pol Pot?

    Tell us.

    1.2 million Iraquis dead–and counting: that sounds a WHOLE lot like Pol Pot.

    Oh, but that CANNOT be–it’s GW Bush!!!!!!

    Nalle, you should be ashamed for even breathing.

  • moonraven

    And in your next post, I expect you post the names of ALL the European countries in which a president can be re-elected indefinitely.

    I believe there are 17.

  • moonraven

    And one final comment:

    Nalle bases most of his quotes on articles posted on Venezuelanalysis.com, the English language site which I have recommended on several occasions on this site for folks who do not speak Spanish.

    Yet in the past Nalle has always dismissed Gregory Wilpert’s Venezuelanalysis.com as a far left commie pinko propagnanda site funded by Hugo Chavez.

    And that Gregory Wilpert is a Chavez marxist commie pinko Chavez crony.

    How about explaining:

    1. your use of the site you satanized the last time you posted?

    2. why you post links to OPINION PIECES WRITTEN BY YOU?

    3. why, if Wilpert is a Chavez crony, he could not even get an interview with him for his recently published book, Changing Venezuela by Taking Power?

  • The US requires all schools to use text books authored by the government and threatens to close down private schools if they don’t?

    Come again? You really are delusional.


  • 1. your use of the site you satanized the last time you posted?

    Because I wanted to be fair and present both sides of the argument. It’s something called journalistic integrity, clearly something you’ve never heard of.

    2. why you post links to OPINION PIECES WRITTEN BY YOU?

    Because it was a news piece and contained relevant info all consolidated in one place. You’ve never been able to contest or dispute any of the facts in that article either.

    3. why, if Wilpert is a Chavez crony, he could not even get an interview with him for his recently published book, Changing Venezuela by Taking Power?

    I believe I called him a stooge. And whether he lies for his own reasons or is paid to do so by Chavez doesn’t change the fact that he’s spreading propaganda beneficial to the Chavez regime.


  • REMF

    “YOU stuff it, fatass!”
    – moonraven

    Not to be too picky, moon, but it’s lardass.

  • STM

    MR likes Hugo.

    I believe they have shared moments, although whether these were magical or not none of us are privy.

    Possibly they were much better at least than the many frozen moments she has shared with D. “lard-arse” Nalle. This has been one of them 🙂

  • STM

    Also, Dave is writing about Venezuela, so why does he keep quoting people from Bolivaria?

    Fess up Nalle, I need to know.

  • Perhaps Chavez admires fellow dictator Than Shwe and plans to rename Venezuela as Bolivaria the way Than Shwe renamed Burma to Myanmar.


  • STM

    Dave: Does Myanmar belong to the grouping of independent states that also includes Iran and North Korea??

  • Stan, I haven’t heard that Myanmar has made efforts to establish those kinds of ties, but they do have an authoritarian regime with the trappings of socialism, so they’d fit right in.

    Iran, North Korea and Venezuela do have direct diplomatic, military and economic ties.


  • REMF

    “MR likes Hugo. I believe they have shared moments, although whether these were magical or not none of us are privy.”
    – STM

    By that same reasoning – since you like Clavos – I believe the two of you may have shared moments; although I could give a shit whether they were magical or not…

  • Clavos


    And this would be worth the waste of bandwidth because…?

    Can you define non sequitur?

    I thought not.

  • REMF

    “Can you define non sequitur?”

    Yes, see #16.

  • bliffle

    If Colin Powell announces that he has incontrovertible proof that Myanmar has nuclear weapons can we invade then?

  • Well, based on past performance, a lot of people would believe it!

  • Alec

    Dave — Sounds like Chavez is turning his nation into something modeled on Communist China. And the last time I checked, China was our best buddy. So presumably, the Bush Administration and all conservatives should cheer Chavez.

    More seriously, Chavez isn’t much of a Marxist, nor can one really say that Castro is his mentor. And of course, Venezuela is far richer than Cuba, though this sadly means that the country has more money to squander on Chavez’ mad schemes.

    Despite his attempts to control the educational system, Chavez will no more be able to control the minds of his people than the Burmese tyrants are able to control the minds of the people there.

    Some conservatives seem to have a bug up their behinds about Chavez because he dared insult Bush (calling him “The Devil” at a past UN appearance) and are all itchy to annoint Chavez as the new Castro, who must be deposed.

    But even middle class people in the country seem to be less concerned about revolution sweeping through the country, than in making sure that the prosperity from the oil boom continue. As a recent AP news story notes: “Venezuelans’ have a habit of avid consumerism since the 1970s oil boom in the OPEC nation. They have won the nickname of the “Give-Me-Twos” in the tourist destination of Florida for buying double the amount of typical consumers.”

    The same news story notes a big trend that Chavez is decrying, that parents are getting breast augmentation surgery for their daughters when they celebrate their quincinera (coming of age at their 15th birthday).

    Also, the alternative to Chavez is not the free market and democracy, but a baleful oligarchy in which, as in Bush’s favorite countries Saudi Arabia and Mexico, a narrow class of people control the economic life of the country.

    I am not suggesting for a second that Venezuela is a people’s paradise, and I agree that most American leftists or self-desribed progressives are sadly misinformed about the country. On the other hand, I don’t see much of value about Venezuela coming from the Bush Administration or from the equally narrow musings of most conservatives.

  • bliffle

    Didn’t Chavez recently propose a new Time Zone one-half hour later so children wouldn’t wake up in the dark before school?

  • moonraven


    [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor]

    And posting a link to YOUR OPINION as proof of anything is not only unethical, it is just fucking redneck DUMB. [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor]

    REMF: I stand corrected. Actually, I believe I have already applied lardass correctly on this site. And “american classic”, that.

    I was IN CARACAS when you posted that foolish RCTV shill piece, and refuted every single one of your comments. Read the thread again, if that doesn’t put too much strain on your English language skills.

    I don’t have to do it again. [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor]

    I really don’t care. Nobody but me on this site has ever been to Venezuela–and most of you couldn’t afford a plane ticket to Caracas if you saved up for two years. Yet you live in what is supposedly The Land of Plenty. Right.

    The half hour turn back of Venezuelan clocks is on hold at the moment.

  • moonraven

    Notice that Nalle was not able to respond to my previous posts from yesterday.

    He’s probably right, though–I really have no experience to go by on this–that in the US schools are not shut down if they don’t comply with official curricula. Far be it for the US government to invade the territoryof capitalism.

    Their diplomas and degrees, however, have no worth.

    In Venezuela, nationalization of resources and companies is perceived as a way to move forward.

    And it’s moving forward at a fast clip–number twoin growth on the planet.

    Not bad for a BROWN person with only a Master’s degree….

  • moonraven

    And for those FEW of you for whom free speechand academic freedom are part of your vocabulary:

    Norman Finkelstein en el Teatro Teresa Carreño el sábado 29 a las 7:00pm
    Profesor expulsado de universidad de Chicago, dictará conferencia “Soy judío y apoyo al pueblo palestino” en Caracas

  • Dr Dreadful

    Nobody but me on this site has ever been to Venezuela

    I’ve flown over it on the way to Brazil, does that count? 🙂

    I do want to go though.

  • moonraven

    Sorry, doc, no cigar.

    I have been there 5 times in the past 4 years. A great project, unfolding.

  • So long as your idea of a ‘great project’ is kids in uniforms chanting the praise of the ‘leader’ and the people living in silent fear of the repressive state.

    And MR, your first hand accounts of Venezuela are great, but they are meaningless in the face of established facts and when your description of how great things are is run through a mental filter which thinks that socialism is great no matter what the cost to the liberty of the people.

    If you want to be taken seriously then your first hand accounts from Venezuela should include how you watched RCTV and saw kids studying from texts chosen by their schools rather than the state.


  • moonraven

    I watched RCTV 4 out of my 5 ttrips to Venezuela. What did I see: the usual soap operas that we have here, plus folks calling for the overthrow of the elected government and the murder of its president.

    How long would RCTV last with that programming in Bushville? Less than 5 minutes, and Marcel Granier would be sitting in a cage in Guatanamo.

    I am not the one with the mental filter, Nalle. You do not bother to get any first-hand knowledge of anything because it might create Cognitive Dissonance–in short, it might conflict with your bigoted jingoist belief system.

    You constantly wage a preventive war against Cognitive Dissonance.

    You could at least wage it against Obesity–especially yours. That would be worthwhile.

    In the meantime, since you don’t speak Spanish, a visit to Venezuela would not even cure you of your blindness.

    Although in Venezuela you can have cataracts removed for free–even if you are a pinche grningo–that would not cure your kind of blindness.

    There is no one more blind than he who refuses to see.

    Put it on your tombstone, Nalle.

  • moonraven

    PS: Please tell us about the programming YOU watched on RCTV.

    Oh, and while you are at it, tell us how great it is to give kids university credits for protesting against the government instead of being in class.

    And how great it is to give students who support the government failing grades for failing to protest.

    Just some of the ESTABLISHED FACTS I witnessed in Caracas in June of this year.

    Facts are ESTABLISHED by folks on the ground in Venezuela, Nalle [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor].

  • I watched RCTV 4 out of my 5 ttrips to Venezuela. What did I see: the usual soap operas that we have here, plus folks calling for the overthrow of the elected government and the murder of its president.

    So, you admit that you haven’t been there since it was taken off the air or since the other major crackdowns. As for your description of their programming, I’ve read transcripts and seen clips of the supposed anti-government broadcasts. Your characterization is grossly innacurate.

    In the meantime, since you don’t speak Spanish, a visit to Venezuela would not even cure you of your blindness.

    Thankfully I have access to news reports from people who DO speak Spanis and ARE in Venezuela and are not socialist stooges.
    PS: Please tell us about the programming YOU watched on RCTV.

    Just clips of news reports. Not into novellas.

    Oh, and while you are at it, tell us how great it is to give kids university credits for protesting against the government instead of being in class.

    Sounds like a valuable laboratory lesson in civil disobedience.

    And how great it is to give students who support the government failing grades for failing to protest.

    Show me some evidence. Got a first-hand report to link to? Any documentation? Any testimony from a witness who’s not a government stooge?

    Just some of the ESTABLISHED FACTS I witnessed in Caracas in June of this year.

    Sadly you’re not a relaible source since you’ve been proven to be a tranzi stooge.


  • moonraven


    Rave on–but you aren’t John Donne. (PEace, Van Morrison.)

    1. I already indicated that I watched RCTV in 2003, 2004 and 2005. And since I am 100% bilingual there were no ambiguities in my comprehension. You have never watched any clips of reports on RCTV because you would not understand them! All the nasty shit has already been referred to in films such as the Irish Film Board’s great documentary, The Revolution Will Not be Televised–complete with clips from RCTV. And don’t try to tell us that the award-winning (all over the planet, including in the US of Assholes) film was made by socialist stooges in Ireland.

    2. You can LIE all you want about having friends in Venezuela. We all know you thought it was in Central America until I called you on it a year ago!

    Friends in Venezuela—-Hahahahahahhahahahahaha.

    Just like you have friends in Iraq, and friends in Jordan: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    3. I SAW and read with my own ears and eyes–and this Idian ain’t blind, the relajo of the university credits at the private universities in June of this year. It was well covered on tv and in the newpapers–and if you can’t be bothered to learn the language why not shut your fat mouth until you DO?!

    3. I also saw their pathetic faces in the National Assembly when they had protested to speak there–and were given 10 minutes EACH, and one guy read a speech prepared for him by one of the Caracas PR agencies (which he forgot a letterhead page on on the lectern in his hurry to leave) and then the little “juniors” walked out. They got credit for that, too.

    And government supporters reported to me the threats–and physical abuse–perpretrated against them in the private universities–as well as the failing grades for demanding to have classes.

    So don’t give me your mealy-mouthed shit about democracy, [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor].

    You are for freedom for everybody–so long as they are white capitalist Bush buttbuddies.

    Talk about a stooge: Baby, it’s YOU.

    “Civil disobediance”–from Nalle’s keyboard: from the guy who calls for imprisonment of all non-Bushies.

    Thoreau is spinning in his grave.

  • moonraven

    I would also like to point out that Nalle says I admitted I had not been to Venezuela since RCTV was taken off the air.

    I indicated very clearly MORE THAN ONCE ON THIS THREAD that I spent the month of June 2007–RCTV was taken off the air May 28th–my mother’s birthday–in Caracas, and he is also aware that I posted from there to his silly thread about RCTV throughout the month of June in regard to the REAL situation in Venezuela.

    I also served as a source on the ground for journalists–not redneck stooges–in the USA during the time that I was there.

    After all, I am a WRITER, who had a bylined column in a major US newspaper for a number of years–and Nalle–writes about games on the back of bubble game wrappers.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • moonraven

    Chavez also has a CD out–many rancheras as well as some traditional Venezuelan songs.

    They were playing his version of El Rey on the radio here in Morelos this morning.

    All sonogs are from his weekly tv show, Aló Presidente.

  • Alejandro

    Only Venezuelans know the tragedy that we are living day by day with Hugo Chavez as our dictator. Count your blessings, you that don’t live in Venezuela are extremely lucky. In Caracas we go to work in the morning not knowing if we are going to return alive at night. Chavez only cares about one thing, and that is power. For those of you that think our dictator is a good guy I invite you to come live here for a year or two. Did you know that the poverty level here is at 85%? Extreme poverty that is. How do you explain that? How do you explain Chavez giving away money to other countries while Venezuela rots? How about my aunts electricity at home is not working anymore because since the nationalization of the electric company in Venezuela we have black outs every week in different parts of the city? And how about going to the supermarket to buy ham and cheese and when you get there there is none? How would you Americans feel if that happened in your country? How about Danny Glover meeting with Chavez and walking away with 20 million dollars to make a film? uh? How about US THE VENEZUELAN PEOPLE? And now Chavez wants to change the constitution to be the owner of Venezuela? And the owner of our children, and our state bank, and our lives, and chavez be elected until the day he dies. We can’t say what we feel, express who we are, our basic right as a human to be free. That’s being stolen from us, taken away from all Venezuelans. And that’s something nobody, NOBODY that’s not a Venezuelan is going to understand. Stop intellectualizing this mess, come here and experience for yourself, I’ll guarantee you’ll be transformed into a different human being. And if you have a heart, please let the world know of our horrible destiny. If Venezuelans don’t do something before Dec. 2nd of this year we are in for a wild ride fore many years to come, in for very dark times. I hope we can get rid of this monster we’ve created.

  • Thank you for posting this, Alejandro. While I know that none of us here can really understand how desperate things are day to day in Venezuela, we are trying to at least expose the obvious abuses of the Chavez administration where they can be documented by those of us outside of the country.

    In doing this we’re in a struggle against people like Moonraven who will look for any way to excuse Chavez for his actions because they feel an ideological loyalty to his ’cause’. To them the Venezuelan people mean nothing, except as pawns in their socialist crusade. Thank you for exposing her lies for what they are.


  • moonraven

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    Anyway, I HAVE gone to Venezuela–have been all over the country talking to the people–and since I speak perfect Spanish you cannot accuse me of not understanding. I have been there 5 times since 2003.

    1. I spent the month of June in Caracas. There were no shortages of food anywhere I went–and I was based in the Candelaria–a very working class partof the city

    2. There is no dictatorship in Venezuela. Chavez won landslide elections in 1998, 200, 2004 and 2006. You don’t like the guy? Come up with a viable opposition candidate.

    3. Poverty in Venezuela–and NOT EXTREME poverty–is at 33%. Not great, but much lower than the rest of Latin America and has gone down since Chavez took office. Here in Mexico the OFFICIAL poverty stats say poverty at 60%.

    4. Glover may receive 18 million (very low budget) to direct an epic film about a slave revolt in Haiti. So what? Are you a filmmaker whose nose it out of joint because it isn’t you?

    5. Why are you bitching and moaning that you do not have representation? Your opposition assholes decided to boycott the 2004 elections–because they knew they would not win a single seat on the National Assembly.

    6. December 2nd of THIS year? Do tell.

    7. Why is your English NOT the English of someone for whom English is a second language? I am a specialist in ESL and YOU, my fraudulent friend, are a native speaker of English.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    If anyone on this site can find an instance of my writing even ONE lie, I will personally send you a bottle of Vueve Cliquot!

  • Lumpy

    I guess we could have predicted that Moonraven would be insulting and dismissive whem dealing with a real venezuelan with real firsthand facts that contradict her agenda.

    My guess is that on her visits she only saw what chavez wanted her to see. [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • moonraven

    In his last ignorant piece of defamation against Chavez–which he linked to–unethically, as if it were a real source of info and not nalle nutcase opinion–he trotted out some little Julia persoon whom he thanked profusely for giving us the on the ground opinion from a venezolana.

    Same strategy.

    Same lack of credibility.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • I find it incredibly insulting to Venezuelans that you think they are incapable of learning to speak or write English. It’s typical of the elitism of international leftist culture to assume that the lesser people you want to ‘help’ whether they want you to or not, are sort of simple minded peons who would be lost and incapable of doing anything without you holding their hands.

    As for the article I linked to, I linked to it because it had factual data in it which was supported by mainstream sources – you know, backing up what I’m saying with facts, a technique with which you seem to be unfamiliar.

    And if you think any of these other posters are me, I suggest you ask one of the other editors to check their IP addresses.


  • Dave, I know you and moonraven don’t get along but she didn’t say that Venezuelans are incapable of learning English. Maybe you should polish up your own comprehension skills.

    Personally, I think you deserve each other, you’re the yin and yang of political madness, although I grant your presentation is better. Just as dogmatic and wrong, but better dressed!

  • Christopher, she said that the commenter was not Venezuelan because his English was too good. If that’s not an expression of at the very least a subconscious prejudice I don’t know what it is.

    As for your second suggestion, you have clearly demonstrated you have no clue about me or my beliefs or what I’m about here. I’m sure there’s a yin to Moonraven’s yang, but I’m hardly at that level and if you think I am you’re really not paying attention here. You, on the other hand, are one of the passive carriers of the disease which she’s the full-blown example of. I realize that rational introspection isn’t your long suit and that you’ve led a horrifyingly sheltered existence, but at some point reality is going to come crashing in on you and you’ll either wake up or it will break you.


  • Dave, thanks for proving both my assertions.

    To translate your long-winded guff into English:-

    1. No, moonraven didn’t say Venezuelans can’t learn English and you made that up.

    2. You make your political views very clear and they are extreme, in anything but the most narrow US political frame of reference. I make my political views clear (to recap, party politics is bad, just like religion is bad, because there is too much mindless dogma) and you just ascribe views to me I don’t hold rather than believing what I say.

    This neatly proves the point that you can’t perceive actual reality because of the forest of presumption you’re walking through. You realise nothing whilst being convinced that you do. It’s tragically sad.

  • 1. No, moonraven didn’t say Venezuelans can’t learn English and you made that up.

    Are you lying or just cursed with a very poor memory? Do you read the comments you edit?

    I refer you to #43 above where Moonraven says:

    “7. Why is your English NOT the English of someone for whom English is a second language? I am a specialist in ESL and YOU, my fraudulent friend, are a native speaker of English.”

    She specifically challenges Alejandro’s claim that he is Venezuelan on the assumption that as a Venezuelan he would be incapable of writing in English good enough to pass for a native of the US – which, by the way is not the case since his grammar is rather poor.

    Her statement directly supports my suggestion that she is being prejudiced when she implies that Venezuelans cannot learn proper English.

    2. You make your political views very clear and they are extreme, in anything but the most narrow US political frame of reference. I make my political views clear (to recap, party politics is bad, just like religion is bad, because there is too much mindless dogma)

    But Christopher, I agree with you on both of these issues. Does that mean that you’re extreme too? Or do I just believe them more strongly than you do?

    This neatly proves the point that you can’t perceive actual reality because of the forest of presumption you’re walking through. You realise nothing whilst being convinced that you do. It’s tragically sad.

    Well, you’ve certainly proven something here. I leave it for those with some basic reasoning skills to draw their own conclusions.


  • Dave, most people would stop digging when in a hole; you on the other hand simply reach for a bigger spade.

    Truly tragic.

  • Clavos

    “Truly tragic.”

    Truly hyperbolic.

  • Naah, mate, plain literal fact.

  • troll

    Alejandro – from what you see around you would you say that the reduction in your comfort level (hopefully temporary) has been accompanied by increased comfort for folks who historically have been impoverished in your country – ?

  • troll, I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think you’ll be getting an answer from Alejandro.

    Why? Dave will probably tell you one thing; moonraven another.

  • troll

    if Alejandro is a real set of eyes and ears on the ground (and not just an opposition bot) then I’d really want to read his description of ‘everyday life’ and how it has changed under Chavez’ government for the different classes

  • moonraven

    You won’t get any of that from “alejandro” the ersatz venezolano, doc. You cannot get something from someone when they don’t have it.

    Dave, [Edited] indicated that I am an elitist racist or some such horseshit because I busted the ersatz venezolano as a NATIVE SPEAKER of English.

    Specialist as I am in language aquisition and training of teachers in same, as well as in TRANSLATION from several languages, I am particularly sharp at spotting WHERE folks learn languages–and although Dave claims that the grammar of “alejandro” is faulty, it is better than that of most of the posters of rightwing afiloation on this site–and it is US English syntax 100%.

    I am bilingual, and for a number of years now have primarily written in Spanish–but I still write Spanish with a mix of US/Mexican syntax. It cannot be avoided. [Edited]

    Not only that, but I recognize his comments from another thread here on BC.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • MR, why would I need to post stuff from fake Venezuelans when there are websites I could refer people to full of real venezuelans and expats who say exactly the same thing?

    And if you think that post is normal US English syntax then you ought to be fired by whatever idiots hired you to teach English.

    Alejandro’s claim of 85% poverty did actually make me skeptical when I first saw it, because it doesn’t match the current official figure. Then I did some digging and discovered that as a result of Chavez redistributing wealth and chasing away Venezuela’s wealthy class, the poverty level there has been changed. It turns out that the appearance of declining poverty in Venezuela – one of Chavez’ great accomplishments – is actually the result of a numbers game which makes it appear as if there are fewer poor because the poverty line has been artificially pushed downward. Turns out people are just as poor now as they were a decade ago or worse.


  • moonraven

    Troll, Just for the record, the upper middle and middle class in Venezuela is doing just fine: they are buying somany Hummers and so much whiskey that
    Chavez says: WE SHOULD BE ASHAMED!

    It’s BOOM time in Venezuela–and don’t let anybody kid you. That’s what 4 years of more than 10% growth in the economy bring.

    Not food shortages! And for folks who can’t afford inflationary prices, the half-price MERCALES are very well stocked.

  • moonraven


    Only you can analyze your pathological responses when you are backed into a corner. It just isn’t my job to do that.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    You have tried posting from anti-government websites in the past–Sept. 2006, for example–and I busted you. So with that dodge exposed, all you can do now is try to invent “experts”.

    YOu forget that THIS POSTER the expert of Latin America–the person who is PAID to speak at universities and churches in a number of countries in regard to conditions here.

    Not Dave Nalle, and not a whiney real OR ersatz venezolano kid.

    As for my professional credentials, they are impeccable–I wasn’t fired from a pinche part time lecturer job at a community college in Texas! And I am paid very handsomely for my expertise in language learning and teaching. YOU are NOT.

    But more to the point:

    You are just wrong, Nalle–pitifully, obstinately WRONG.

    You have never been to Venezuela, and you have no experience of Latin America that qualifies you to even have an OPINION.

    Don’t tell me about numbers games.

    The only country edging towards the poverty level [Edited] is MEXICO–and I live there so I ought to know what THAT LOOKS LIKE.

    It isn’t even remotely comparable to the conditions in Venezuela – which is BOOMING while the US — and its appendage, Mexico — goes into the toilet.

    No cigar, pal.

    And your distractive tactic just made you look even more foolish and more unethical than usual.

  • Clavos

    The lady female doth protest too much, methinks….

  • Lumpy

    I believe I can translate Moonraven’s latest post. Chavez loyalist bureaucrats who are the new middle class in Venezuela are getting rich on graft and graft and corruption are booming. Meanwhile the poor continue to struggle under their new overlords.

    Oppression isn’t any better when it comes wrapped in a brown skin.

  • moonraven

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    I will continue protesting, clavos [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]. Get used to it.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    Meanwhile, from today’s Rhode Island News–that bastion of commie pinko journalism:

    “PROVIDENCE — Belkis Urdaneta, a social activist from Venezuela, has some views on her country’s president, Hugo Chavez, a leper in the eyes of President Bush.

    Under the government of Chavez, Urdaneta told a small audience at the Beneficent Congregational Church last night, programs to teach people how to read and write have spanned the gap from literacy training to university education. Government-sponsored health care provides for everything up to hospitalization free, she said. And poverty is down by 20 percent by one measure, 31 percent by another.

    Urdaneta is touring New England under the auspices of Witness for Peace, a nonprofit organization that seeks violence-free conflict resolution. She will speak again tonight at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Kingston at 7 p.m.

    Chavez and Mr. Bush have been at odds since Mr. Bush backed an abortive coup attempt in Caracas in 2002. Chavez has since pursued a policy of, among other things, trying to embarrass Mr. Bush through use of Venezuela’s burgeoning oil wealth.

    James P. Keller, a retired Presbyterian minister who moderated last night’s discussion, said that Chavez has given oil at a 40 percent discount to up to 30,000 needy Rhode Islanders through Citgo, a Venezuelan-owned petroleum company.

    Urdaneta, speaking through interpreter Lena Saunders, said that the administration that tried to seize power in 2002 promptly stifled the press and television, and dissolved parliament. She said people opposed to the coup began using text messaging and other Internet facilities to spread the word about what was happening. In the meantime, she said, the state-controlled media showed nothing but videos and cartoons on television. “The people rose up and demanded that Chavez be brought back,” she said.

    Chavez was eventually restored to power.

    She said that Chavez currently reinvests 20 percent of Venezuela’s gross national product in social programs, compared with 8 percent when he took office in 1999.

    Unemployment has dropped to 8 percent from a high of 18 percent, she said. In addition, 1.8 million children get free meals at school.

    She said that Chavez is busy launching the Bank of the South as an alternative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which she said had caused problems for her country in the past.

    But not all is rosy, she said during a question-and-answer period.

    “One big problem is that we don’t have an opposition that is serious and intelligent,” she said. “That means Chavez has made some mistakes. Without this counterbalance, he just says what he thinks, and that can be dangerous in the long run.”

    She said that, despite criticism to the contrary, she does not regard Chavez as a dictator.

    “We have had seven different elections and all have been certified by the European Union and the Carter Center,” she said. As for charges that freedom of speech is endangered, she said, “I think there is an abuse of the liberty of freedom of speech. We don’t have many media that are balanced. Some say everything that Chavez says is horrible. Others think it’s wonderful. Neither allows for growth.”

  • Clavos

    And Belkis Urdaneta’s credentials (other than being El Maximo Chango’s apologist) are???

  • According to the website of Witnesses for Peace, the group that hosted her, she works for Equipo Comunitario en Derechos Humanos, a community-based organization based in Maracaibo.

    Meanwhile, it continues to be next to impossible to get any kind of objective view on Venezuela. Everyone seems to have a large, rusty and rather blunt axe to grind.

  • moonraven

    I keep telling you lazy bums to get on a plane to Caracs.

    That’s what I do.

    Or are you just waiting to read and hear what you want to hear?

    Typical obese gringos.

    Michael Moore seems to be the only lardass able to get it in gear.


    And just for the record, Politics is all about HAVING AN AXE TO GRIND.


  • Wow, I guess I got in on this discussion a little too late. Good luck figuring it out. I don’t really care about Hugo, but I have to admit I think he must have been reading Hitler’s bio last year at the same time I was, because he appears to be following a facist direction. I remember the last Venezuelan oil boom in the 1970’s. They managed to blow that one too. So I imagine Chavez will eventually take care of himself, given enough rope. I do not support military or imperialist intervention in Latin America. That has been a mistake every time.

    I am an American living in Mexico. I have been here for almost eight years, but have been seriously looking at the education system for the last three. You don’t need me to tell you that it sucks. I mean really sucks, from the major public and private universities to the basic public education system and the multitude of las esculas patitos. To be accredited by the secretary of public education means nothing, except more of the same old same old. The big private schools where the wealthy and foreigners send their children have a motto: If their parents can pay the tuition their children pass their courses.

    In truth, anyone that wants a real education has to go to another country. Last year more than 500,000 Mexicans chose to do just that in the US. Another 10,000 went to Canada. I have been fighting to make a difference here but people tell me: Don’t bother, the system will never change, and even if it changed tomorrow it is too late because Mexico has already been passed by China and India. Unfortunately for me, I can not bring myself to that level of cynicism.
    The teachers union has simply become a way to protect the jobs of incompetent administrators and teachers that are loyal to the political hacks that coordinate a system that is, in my opinion, designed not to work. In other words, those in the system, even when they admit that it is rotten, have given up trying to change it.

    Historically, the elites have held control by keeping the poor undereducated. If anything, the revolution, and the resulting constitution, made it worse by institutionalizing mediocrity in education. The consistently poor performance of the public sector has opened the door for the patitos that perform even more poorly then the public schools. Education has become a for-profit business venture, but still they can’t get it right. And the government doesn’t seem to care!

    Again, in my opinion, I feel that Mexico has made some progress in the last eight years. But the truth is they cannot do it without relying on the US. I don’t agree with the immigration policies between the two countries, but Mexico needs to take responsibility for not being able to provide for her people. And to have el Presidente arguing in favor of illegal immigration is just…well, I can’t really say anything more about that. But I can tell you that you don’t see Mexicans migrating to central or south America. In large part, it is the immigrants moving back and forth across the border that have caused the biggest strides toward democracy in Mexico. To paraphrase an old song: “How you gonna keep ’em down on the farm after they’ve seen the US?”

    My point (I think I started this with some sort of point) is that Mexico’s experience shows that trying to force political indoctrination through public education will work for awhile but when the system comes crashing down you wind up with poorly educated citizens that have a distorted world view and an unrealistic sense of their own history based on a false nationalism.