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The monster of US/EU power hangs over most of the non"western" world 
like a waking nightmare. Consider. Sadaam was indeed a tyrant, a 
ruthless one. But his rule at its worse did not ravage  the people of 
Iraq as has 20 years of U.S. intervention.

Democracy is a mockery in a state that is not truly sovereign within its 
own borders. Chavez is certainly right.

Carrol




On 5/26/2011 9:47 PM, Kamran Nayeri wrote:
> Michael:
>
> I share with you the outrage about Chavez's political statements on the
> ongoing revolt in the ME and North Africa. However, I would also like to
> point out that his position is a typical Third Worldist position that some
> socialist currents have historically taken--it make the imperialist reality
> absolute and disregard class struggle in the world capitalist periphery.
>   For example, the Workers World Party founded by Sam Marcy has been one such
> organization in the United States.  Then, there have been others socialist
> currents--such as pro-Moscow or pro-Beijing currents--that have historically
> taken similar positions not so much because of Third Worldist worldview but
> because of opportunism of the ruling parties in Moscow or Beijing. For
> example, up to almost the last month of his rule, Moscow and Beijing
> maintained friendly relations with the Shah of Iran even though Iranian
> political parties that looked to them were part of the mass upsurge that
> eventually overthrow that regime in February 1979. Thus, Chavez's position
> is by no means new or unique--it has nothing to do with a suppose "socialism
> of the 21st century." It is very much represents some of the uglier aspects
> of the "socialism" of the 20th century.
>
> Second, history has many examples of leaders of mass movement that held
> worldviews or political positions contrary to the interests of working
> people at home or abroad.  I view Chavez as a populist leader.  He does not
> hold any consistent socialist ideology, he presides over a capitalist state
> and economy, but he also take positions that support some of the demand of
> the working people of Venezuela.
>
> It would be a mistake to turn one's back to these mass movements, in
> particular workers, peasants, and the urban poor, who also support Chavez
> because there is no better viable alternative is present.  It is important
> to realize that like Allende--who was a reformist socialist--imperialism is
> very much interested to overthrow Chavez by a rightist/fascist coup.  It is
> of utmost importance to place criticism of Chavez within the context of an
> unconditional opposition to right-wing and imperialist attacks on his
> government.
>
> Kamran
>
> On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 11:19 AM, Michael Balter
> <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>
>    
>> This pretty much seals the case against Chavez, in my view, that he is
>> either demented or that he puts Venezuelan national interests (or his vision
>> of them) above those of the international proletariat. Either way he cannot
>> be considered a legitimate socialist leader. Can anyone accept this support
>> for the slaughtering of the Syrian people by the al-Assad government?
>> Unbelievable.
>>
>> MB
>>
>> http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/venezuela250511.html
>>
>> Bolivarian Leader Stands in Solidarity with Syrian People against Imperial
>> Onslaught
>> by the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry
>>
>> The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela communicated by
>> telephone with his brother, the President of the Syrian Arab Republic,
>> Bashar al-Assad, in order to convey to him a personal greeting full of
>> affection and hope at a moment when the imperialist forces are unleashing
>> violence against the Syrian people.
>>
>> President Hugo Chávez received from President Bashar al-Assad a complete
>> picture of the real situation in this brother Arab nation, where a fascist
>> conspiracy is seeking to sow chaos and disorder, with the goal of subjecting
>> the nation to the dictates of the Western powers.  President Bashar
>> explained to his Venezuelan counterpart that these outbreaks of minoritarian
>> violence had been repudiated by the vast majority of Syrians and that the
>> situation had begun to get back to normal thanks to the action of the
>> institutions and government of Syria.
>>
>> President Hugo Chávez was able to hear firsthand the important process of
>> reforms that President Bashar has pushed forward for the purposes of
>> responding to the legitimate needs and demands of those who have exercised
>> their right to demonstrate peacefully and who have nothing to do with the
>> extremist groups armed and financed from abroad.  Especially, the Syrian
>> president highlighted the new social policies implemented by his government
>> to support the poorest strata of the population.
>>
>> President Hugo Chávez passed on to his Syrian counterpart the expressions
>> of solidarity from numerous Latin American and Caribbean leaders and took
>> this occasion to express his most firm political and personal support,
>> conveying his absolute conviction that the dignity of the Syrian people and
>> government will make peace prevail, defeating the imperial aggressions.
>>
>> Caracas, 20 May 2011
>> ------------------------------
>> The original communiqué "Líder Bolivariano se solidariza con pueblo sirio
>> ante arremetida imperial"<http://mppre.gob.ve/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13154>  was
>> published on the Web site of the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry.  Translation
>> by Yoshie Furuhashi<http://montages.blogspot.com/>.
>>
>> --
>> ******************************************
>> Michael Balter
>> Contributing Correspondent, Science
>> Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
>> New York University
>>
>> Email:  [log in to unmask]
>> Web:    michaelbalter.com
>> NYU:    journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/michael-balter/
>> ******************************************
>>
>> “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there
>> is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
>>                                                    --John Kenneth Galbraith
>>
>>
>>      
>