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Venezuela Superthread- Merged

Looks like like "Hugo the puto" still hasn't taken the advice of the King of Spain to "shut up". ::)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez apparently doesn't appreciate Barack Obama's classifying him as a supporter of the Colombian terror group, FARC, likening the president-elect's odor to that of Chavez's nemesis, President Bush.

In an interview airing on Venezuelan television and reported by The Washington Post Monday, Chavez said Obama has "the same stench" as Bush. The comment harkens back to September 2006, when Chavez addressed the United Nations General Assembly after Bush and said he could still smell the "sulfur" the U.S. president left behind at the podium.
In an interview that aired on Univision last week, Obama said his administration would try to improve relations with Chavez, but Venezuela has to stop aiding FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which is recognized as a terror group by the United States and loathed by Colombians who have been victims of assassinations and kidnappings for the past 45 years. Internal FARC documents captured by Colombian soldiers last year purportedly demonstrated the link between Chavez and the terror organization.
The Post reported that Obama told Univision: "We need to be firm when we see this news, that Venezuela is exporting terrorist activities or supporting malicious entities like the FARC."
Chavez, who is trying to consolidate power by getting voters to agree to abolish term limits, a ploy rejected in a previous effort, was quoted saying that if Obama thinks that Chavez is an obstacle to progress then he must be following orders from certain corners of "the empire."
"If he doesn't obey the orders of the empire, they'll kill him," Chavez said, without naming who "they" are.

Venezuela referendum on removing limits on how often politicians, including President Hugo Chavez, can run for office.

Opposition damns Chavez vote bid, BBC News, 6 December 2008


The opposition say they will
beat Hugo Chavez's plans

Opposition parties in Venezuela have formally rejected a plan by President Hugo Chavez
to seek to stay in office as long as he keeps winning elections. In a joint statement, the
opposition said: "Fourteen years are sufficient."

Mr Chavez, marking 10 years since his first election as president, is seeking reforms that
would let him stand again when his latest term ends in 2012. Last year, he lost a referendum
on the issue and opposition parties say it cannot be voted on again.

Thousands of supporters of the president gathered outside the presidential palace in Caracas
on Saturday to mark the 10th anniversary of his first election victory in December 1998. But
opposition parties issued a joint statement saying the president's re-election proposals were
"anti-democratic, unconstitutional and against the national interest".

Opposition politician Omar Barboza said it would strengthen the actions of a government which
persecutes and harasses those who do not think as it does. He said the statement marked the
launch of their No campaign ahead of a referendum President Chavez hopes could be held in

Signatures needed

Re-election in the 2012 elections would keep him in power until 2019, but the president has said
he hopes to remain in power until 2021. Mr Chavez can propose holding a referendum to the
electoral authority only if he collects 2.5 million signatures supporting it, or if the request is
supported by 30% of Congress, which is currently dominated by his allies.

He told supporters outside the palace that he had decided to set the constitutional amendment
plans into motion - but said it should be done with full support of people, in streets gathering
signatures. The electoral authority is required to call a referendum 30 days after receiving a
successful proposal. But it has already said it would be ready to hold a referendum in February.

Although the president's personal support is still over 50%, the opposition has been buoyed by
its recent performances at the ballot box, says the BBC's Will Grant in Caracas.

Venezuela marks decade of Chavez, BBC News, 3 February 2009


President Chavez declared Monday a
national holiday

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has celebrated 10 years in power, telling supporters
a new era is under way in Latin America and the Caribbean. The past decade could be
summed up as "revolution, independence and socialism," President Chavez said.

Joining him at the Caracas rally were several Latin American leaders. The celebrations
come as Mr Chavez campaigns ahead of a referendum on amending the constitution to
lift term limits on elected officials.

Monday, 10 years to the day since Mr Chavez was sworn in for his first term, was declared
a national holiday. Thousands of loyal Chavez supporters turned out to cheer the motorcade
and hear the speeches by the assembled left-wing leaders from across Latin America.
Among the foreign politicians attending the events were the Bolivian, Nicaraguan, and
Honduran presidents.

Mr Chavez said there had been radical changes since he came to power. "If one were to
compare what Venezuela was 10 years ago with what it is today, you would see that huge
changes have begun. Latin America is drawing up a new economic and geopolitical map,"
he said.

The opposition would agree that there have been significant changes in Venezuela over the
past decade but not for the better, reports the BBC's Will Grant in Caracas. They say the
government has become increasingly autocratic and accuse Mr Chavez of failing to deal with
the sharp rise in violent crime or tackle the country's rampant inflation - the highest in Latin

Oil wealth

During his turbulent decade in power, the president has been helped by high oil prices which
have enabled him to fund social programmes both in Venezuela and around the world. Even
some of Mr Chavez' fiercest critics accept that poverty in Venezuela has fallen significantly
since he came to power.

However, they argue that the measures to help the poor are built on the back of high oil
prices, and are not sustainable, BBC Latin America analyst James Painter says. The
Venezuelan economy relies on oil for more than 90% of its exports and more than half of
its income - but the price of oil has dropped from $140 a barrel last July to about $40 now.
Additionally, the opposition to the government, which has often been weak and divided, is
starting to look like a more serious threat, our analyst says.

Student groups and opposition parties have been campaigning against a proposed change
to the constitution which would allow elected officials, including the president, to seek
indefinite  re-election.

Mr Chavez, who in 2007 lost the vote on a similar proposed change, says he is confident
of winning this time round. The question will be answered soon, with the referendum due
to take place on 15 February.
Venezuelans vote on whether Chavez can run again, CTV.ca News Staff

Venezuelans were voting in a referendum Sunday that will decide if President Hugo Chavez,
in a bid to secure his own power for at least another decade, can remove term limits on
the presidency and other government posts.

Chavez, who has already been in power since 1998, says the move would allow him to
advance his socialist ideals in the country. He claims that he needs at least another
decade to finalize Venezuela's transition to socialism.

In a newspaper column, Chavez encouraged his constituents to allow him to run again
for re-election when his term runs out in 2013. "After a 'yes' victory, we can really say
with the voice of a united people: The future starts to become ours!" Chavez wrote. He
also said the referendum is a choice between "revolutionary democracy" and a
"counterrevolutionary attempt to put on the brakes."

This is not Chavez's first attempt to maintain his grip on power. In December 2007, he
lost a referendum that would also have abolished presidential term limits. Venezuela's
constitution currently allows presidents to serve two six-year terms.

Venezuelans are divided on the matter, and pre-vote polls suggested Sunday's tally would
be close. Fifty-two-year-old Yira Guerra credits Chavez's policies with allowing her two
children to get a free college education. "My son got a bachelor's degree," Guerra said,
adding that such social programs would disappear if another leader took power.

However, 50-year-old Carmen Gilarte charged that longer presidential terms breed
corruption. "We don't want anybody to stay perpetually in power," Gilarte said. "We have
to give opportunities to the next generation."

Chavez dismissed the concerns, saying former U.S. president Franklin Roosevelt was
elected four times. "Ten years is nothing. I don't know what they're complaining about."

Chavez has remained a popular leader by using vast oil revenues to boost social programs,
such as literacy classes and benefits for single mothers. He has also cultivated closer
relationships with American adversaries, such as Cuba and Iran.

But his opponents argue that if he is allowed to remain in power for another 10 years,
checks on his authority will continue to erode. Opposition parties boycotted the 2005
congressional elections, giving Chavez a stranglehold on the National Assembly and
allowing him to pack the Supreme Court with his allies.

Critics also charge that Chavez controls the National Electoral Council.

With files from The Associated Press

Venezuelan leader wins key reform, BBC News

Venezuelans have voted to lift limits on terms in office for elected officials, allowing President
Hugo Chavez to stand for re-election. With 94% of votes counted, 54% backed an end to term
limits, a National Electoral Council official said.

Mr Chavez has said he needs to stay in office beyond the end of his second term in 2012 so he
can secure what he calls Venezuela's socialist revolution.

Critics say that would concentrate too much power in the presidency.

"Truth and dignity have triumphed," Mr Chavez was quoted by AFP news agency as saying after
the results were announced.

Crowds of the president's supporters filled in the streets, letting off fireworks, waving red flags
and honking car horns.

The BBC's Will Grant in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, says this was the kind of strong
confirmation of his socialist agenda at the polls that Mr Chavez had been seeking.

More than 16 million Venezuelans were eligible to take part in Sunday's vote, which international
observers said was free and fair. Under existing constitutional rules, the president was limited
to two six-year terms in office, which meant that Mr Chavez would have had to leave the presidency
in three years' time. A proposal to end presidential term limits was one of a package of 69
constitutional changes narrowly rejected in a referendum in late 2007.

The president now faces the daunting task of grappling with the global economic crisis in a country
highly dependent on oil exports, our correspondent says.

Also : Decisive Victory for Chávez in His Bid to Lift Term Limits, NY Times
Here we go again. ::)



BBC- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has accused Colombia of carrying out a military incursion into Venezuela.

Mr Chavez said Colombian soldiers had recently been seen crossing the Orinoco river, which forms part of the border, and entering Venezuelan territory.

He said the incursion - which Colombia denies happened - was a "provocation".

South American leaders are gathering in Ecuador for a summit which is set to discuss Colombia's planned accord to allow the US use of its military bases.

Mr Chavez has been embroiled in a diplomatic row with his Colombian counterpart, Alvaro Uribe, since news of the plan emerged.

'Growing threat'

During his weekly TV show on Sunday, Mr Chavez ordered his troops on to a war footing along the border with Colombia.

"The threat against us is growing," he said. "I call on the people and the armed forces - let's go, ready for combat!"

He said Colombian soldiers had "crossed the Orinoco river in a boat and entered Venezuelan territory", but when Venezuelan troops arrived, they had gone.

"This is a provocation by the government of Uribe," he said. "The Yankees have started to command Colombian military forces."

Venezuela's foreign ministry would file a formal complaint, he added, warning that its military would "respond if there's an attack".

The Colombian foreign ministry said it had been in contact with its military commanders in the border area, who said there had been no such incursion.

Mr Chavez, who is now in Ecuador for the inauguration of President Rafael Correa and a summit of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), is expected to urge his allies in the region to press Mr Uribe to reconsider the planned accord with the US.

Ecuador, which has no diplomatic ties with Colombia, and Bolivia have also attacked the plan. Other countries in the region, including Brazil, have sought guarantees that US-Colombian military operations will not spill over Colombia's borders.

The US is leaving its previous regional hub, the Manta air base in Ecuador, after Mr Correa refused to renew the lease.

The deal with Colombia would give the US, which already has forces in the country as part of the anti-drugs programme Plan Colombia, access to air bases in Colombia to gather intelligence and support operations against drugs production and terrorism.

Mr Uribe has said the accord will not infringe Colombia's sovereignty and that there would be no more than 1,400 troops and civilian contractors based there, the maximum permitted under the current military accord between Colombia and the US.

Correspondents say this is not the first time tensions have risen between the Venezuelan and Colombian presidents.

Last year, a war of words culminated in the Venezuelans despatching tanks and heavy armour to the border.
Hmmm, accusing a neighbour of crossing your border as an excuse to start a war. ??? Where have I heard that one before? ::)
And Chavez's buildup with Russian weapons continues.


Venezuela To Buy $2.2B in Weapons from Russia
Published: 14 Sep 2009 08:34 

CARACAS - Venezuela said September 13 it has obtained a $2.2 billion credit from Russia to purchase nearly 100 T-72 tanks and a series of anti-aircraft rocket systems from its strategic ally.

"The Russian government approved financing of 2.2 billion (dollars) for the cost of the weapons," President Hugo Chavez said in his weekly radio and television broadcast.

"Thanks to the support of the Russian President [Dmitry Medvedev] and the Prime Minister [Vladimir Putin], the purchase of arms aimed at boosting our defensive capacity has became viable."

Chavez described some of the weapons in the new arsenal, including 92 Soviet-era T-72 main battle tanks that his military will receive "in order to modernize our fleet of armored vehicles."

Chavez has long expressed a desire to improve his nation's military with Moscow's help, and the substantial deal comes amid rising tensions between Caracas and Bogota over Colombia's decision to allow the United States access to several military bases on its territory.

The firebrand leftist has repeatedly criticized the United States but has insisted that the latest purchase was not directed against any other country.

In addition to the tanks, Chavez announced his government will take delivery of 300mm Smerch multiple launch rocket systems.
"We have signed the contract already for this equipment," the president said. "With these rockets it is going to be very difficult for them to come and bomb us. If that happens, they should know that we will soon have these systems installed, [and] for an enemy that appears on the horizon, there it goes."

The arsenal will also include vehicle-mounted Russian Antey 2500 surface-to-air missile systems that target incoming tactical missiles.

Chavez insisted his country's massive oil and gas reserves warranted the protection afforded by a military buildup.

"We have the largest petroleum reserves in the world. The empire has set its sights on them," Chavez said. Latin America's loudest U.S. critic often describes the United States as an empire.

"We have the right to take the minimum necessary steps to guarantee to the public our national security and our [energy] treasure."

The growing presence of Chinese, Russian and Spanish firms in the vast Orinoco oil belt, fields believed to be among the largest in the world, provide "a new geopolitical dimension as we establish the parameters of military and our sovereignty," he said.

In recent years Venezuela has signed over $4 billion worth of arms contracts with Russia, and last November its navy held joint exercises with Russian warships in the Caribbean, traditionally seen as a U.S. domain.
Here we go again:

Prepare for war with Colombia - Hugo Chavez
11/09/2009 | 10:10 AM

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez on Sunday ordered Venezuela's military to prepare for a possible armed conflict with Colombia, saying his country's soldiers should be ready if the United States attempts to provoke a war between the South American neighbors.

Chavez said Venezuela could end up going to war with Colombia as tensions between them rise, and he warned that if a conflict broke out "it could extend throughout the whole continent."

"The best way to avoid war is preparing for it," Chavez told military officers during his weekly television and radio program. Venezuela's socialist leader has also cited a recent deal between Bogota and Washington giving US troops greater access to military bases as a threat to regional stability.

The government of Colombian President Alvaro rejected what it called "threats of war from Venezuela's government," saying it would protest Chavez's comments to the Organization of American States and the UN Security Council.

"Colombia never has, and never will, make an act of war," said government spokesman Cesar Mauricio Velasquez. He did not elaborate on Colombia's plans to bring the issue to the OAS and the United Nations.

Colombian and US officials have repeatedly said Venezuela shouldn't be concerned about the base deal since it is aimed exclusively at boosting the fight against drug traffickers and insurgents in Colombia, which is a major cocaine producer struggling with a decades-old internal conflict.

Tensions along the Venezuela-Colombia border have been exacerbated in recent weeks by a series of shootings and slayings.

Four men on motorcycles shot and killed two Venezuelan National Guard troops at a checkpoint near the border in Venezuela's western Tachira state last week, prompting Chavez's government to temporarily close some border crossings.

And last month, Venezuelan authorities arrested at least 10 people in Tachira alleging involvement in paramilitary groups. The bullet-ridden bodies of 11 men, nine of them Colombians, were also found last month in Tachira after being abducted from a soccer field.

The violence prompted Venezuela to send 15,000 soldiers to the border with Colombia on Thursday. Officials said the buildup was necessary to increase security along the border.

Elsa Cardoso, a professor of international relations at the Central University of Venezuela, suggested that Chavez's heated rhetoric — coupled with the recent military deployments — are aimed at turning the public's attention away from pressing domestic problems ranging from rampant crime to electricity and water rationing.

"He's sending up a smoke screen, a distraction," she said.

Colombian rebels have often used Venezuela's border region as a haven to resupply and treat their wounded in recent years, creating friction with Colombia's U.S.-allied government.

Chavez — a former army paratrooper who during more than a decade in power has repeatedly accused Washington of seeking to topple him to seize Venezuela's oil reserves — warned President Barack Obama of using his alliance with Uribe to mount an offensive against Venezuela.

"The empire is more threatening than ever," Chavez said, referring to the US government. "Don't make a mistake, Mr. Obama, by ordering an attack against Venezuela by way of Colombia."

Venezuelan opposition leader Julio Borges urged Chavez to hold talks with Colombian officials to ease the tensions.

"Working together is only way to efficiently confront this problem, to finally end the permanent threat from illegal groups such as paramilitaries and guerrillas," Borges said.
Chavez at it again?


BOGOTA - COLOMBIA warned on Friday that its forces were on 'maximum alert' and were prepared to defend against any attack, amid rising tensions with neighbouring Venezuela.

Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva issued the warning after a meeting of the country's national security council in Arauca, a city on the eastern border with Venezuela.

He said President Alvaro Uribe and the military forces of Colombia were intent on remaining calm 'because they know there are provocative forces on the border that must be avoided at all cost'. But this 'does not mean that we are not prepared or are not on maximum alert to prevent any aggression against Colombia, against Colombians or against our territory.'

Mr Uribe's national security council met for five hours in Arauca with military and police commanders in the border area a day after Bogota charged that Venezuelan troops had blown up two footbridges across the border in northeastern Colombia. Mr Silva said the destruction of the bridges was an aggression against the civilian population.

Venezuela said on Thursday the bridges were destroyed because they were being used by drug traffickers and smugglers.

The two neighbours have long been at odds, but tensions have sharpened in recent months over a US-Colombian agreement giving the US military access to seven Colombian bases. -- AFP
::) Chavez really is paranoid.


COPENHAGEN – Hugo Chavez accused the Netherlands on Thursday of allowing the United States to use Dutch islands off Venezuela's Caribbean coast to prepare a possible military attack against his country.

The Venezuelan leader said the U.S. military, to prepare for a possible offensive, has sent intelligence agents, war ships and spy planes to Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, which are self-governing Dutch islands.

"They are three islands in Venezuela's territorial waters, but they are still under an imperial regime: the Netherlands," Chavez said during a speech at a climate change conference in Denmark. "Europe should know that the North American empire is filling these islands with weapons, assassins, American intelligence units, and spy planes and war ships."

In Washington, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly denied that U.S. military personnel in the Caribbean are planning to attack Venezuela.

CougarDaddy said:
::) Chavez really is paranoid.



I thought we Canadians had already beat the Americans to the punch on this one; under the guise of Tim Hortons Coffee Plantations......... >:D
I can't for the life of me what the media sees in this guy Hugo Chavez. He's pretty much obliterated the media in his country, among other things, badmouths the USA constantly, and our press doesn't bat an eye.

Why is he not held to same standard Dubya and Stephen Harper are?

OOHHHH sorry, I forgot, our "free press" only speaks positively for despots and murderers.
You would hope that by ignoring this knucklehead he would just go away.  Unfortunately I think he is going to be a pain in the behind for a while yet!
Chavez takes some "inspiration" everyday to support his fantasies and Meglomania.

And him being a "cokehead" is precisely why it will never be reported in the big media.

They adore the knucklehead.
Can the Dutch conduct a Falklands type operation?

Just kidding.

There is an invasion of North Americans purchasing housing on these beautiful, warm islands.
I don't think he will ever make the mistake of attacking Curacao or the other islands - he may be crazy but not that stupid.
If it happens though I hope the response from the Netherlands and NATO is swift and decisive.

Curacao, btw, was were the British sent their ships for repairs during the Falklands war.

us Navy folk love Curacao! A jewel of a place and an outstanding port visit!

Chavez must have his AGI'S out in the South Carib!

Wow. He really is more than paranoid. He's a delusional schitzo.

Chavez Claims US Flyovers; Orders Shootdowns
December 21, 2009
Associated Press

CARACAS, Venezuela -- President Hugo Chavez on Sunday accused the U.S. of violating Venezuela's airspace with an unmanned spy plane, and ordered his military to be on alert and shoot down any such aircraft in the future.

Speaking during his weekly television and radio program, Chavez said the aircraft overflew a Venezuelan military base in the western state of Zulia after taking off from neighboring Colombia. He did not elaborate, but suggested the plane was being used for espionage.

"These are the Yankees. They are entering Venezuela," he said.

"I've ordered them to be shot down," Chavez said of the aircraft. "We cannot permit this."

Chavez has accused Colombia of allowing the United States to use its military bases to prepare a possible attack against Venezuela.

Both the U.S. and Colombia have denied such allegations in the past, saying the U.S. military presence is for the sole purpose of combating drug trafficking.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy said the mission had no information about any flyover and had not been contacted by Chavez's administration.

"If the Venezuelan government would like to speak with us about any issue, we would welcome discussions because we seek open dialogue with all nations in the hemisphere," spokeswoman Robin Holzhauer said.

U.S. Department of Defense spokeswoman Lt. Col. Rene White declined to comment.

It is not uncommon for Chavez to accuse other nations, especially the U.S. and its allies, of conspiring against Venezuela.

Last week, the president accused the Netherlands of letting the U.S. military use Dutch islands off Venezuela's Caribbean coast to prepare for a possible military offensive. The former paratroop commander said the U.S. military has sent intelligence agents, warships and spy planes to Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, which are self-governing Dutch islands.

The Dutch government rejected the allegations and the country's top diplomat, Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen, has asked Venezuela's ambassador to clarify the claims, Dutch Foreign Ministry spokesman Bart Rijs said.

Rijs said U.S. soldiers do use civilian air fields on Curacao and Aruba, but only for anti-drug trafficking efforts.

Tensions between Venezuela and neighboring Colombia have been tense for months due to Chavez's accusations of warmongering and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's allegations that Venezuela has allowed Colombian rebel leaders to seek refuge there.

Chavez denied on Sunday that his socialist government is protecting Marxist guerrillas and warned Colombia's military against sending soldiers across the border.

"You'll be sorry," he said. "We are not unarmed."

Wow!  That brings back memories of those old TV comercials "This is your brain on drugs"/
CougarDaddy said:
Wow. He really is more than paranoid. He's a delusional schitzo.


Well call me a delusional schitzo, then.

Am I the only one who would be surprised if the US didn't have spy planes flying over Venezuela? Is it that hard to fathom that the US would be placing intelligence assets outside, inside, flying over, and around a country that obviously doesn't like them? Wouldn't it be negligent not to?

Chavez' allegations that the US is preparing for an attack might be a stretch, but I think the truth of the matter is probably closer to what he's saying then what you're giving him credit for.  If I was head of the CIA, I'd be spying on him too.

Just say'n.