Venezuela chooses more of the same pain

By FRANK BAJAK and IAN JAMES | AP | OCTOBER 8, 2012

President Hugo Chavez put to rest any doubts about his masterful political touch in winning a third consecutive six-year term after a bitterly fought race against a youthful rival who has galvanized Venezuela’s opposition.

The state governor who lost Sunday’s presidential vote, Henrique Capriles, had accused the flamboyant incumbent of unfairly using Venezuela’s oil wealth to finance his campaign as well as flaunting his near-total control of state institutions.

Still, he accepted defeat as Chavez swept to a 10-point victory margin, the smallest yet for him a presidential race. This time, the former army paratroop commander won 55 percent of the vote against 45 percent for Capriles with more than 90 percent of the vote counted.

Chavez will now have a freer hand to push for an even bigger state role in the economy, as he pledged during the campaign, and to continue populist programs. He’s also likely to further limit dissent and deepen friendships with U.S. rivals.

Chavez spent heavily in the months before the vote, building public housing and bankrolling expanded social programs.

“I think he just cranked up the patronage machine and unleashed a spending orgy,” said Michael Shifter, president of the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue think tank.

But Shifter also noted the affinity and gratefulness Venezuela’s poor feel for Chavez. “Despite his illness, I still think he retains a strong emotional connection with a lot of Venezuelans that I think were not prepared to vote against him.”

“They still think that he’s trying hard even if he’s not delivering what he promised, that he still has their best interests at heart,” Shifter said. “That’s the political skill that he has. He hasn’t lost that touch.”

Chavez spoke little during the campaign about his fight with cancer, which since June 2011 has included surgery to remove tumors from his pelvic region as well as chemotherapy and radiation treatment. He has said his most recent tests showed no sign of illness.

Tensions were high Sunday night as announcement of the results were delayed.

Finally, fireworks exploded over downtown Caracas amid a cacophony of horn-honking by elated Chavez supporters waving flags and jumping for joy outside the presidential palace.

“I can’t describe the relief and happiness I feel right now,” said Edgar Gonzalez, a 38-year-old construction worker.

He ran through crowds of Chavez supporters packing the streets around the presidential palace wearing a Venezuelan flag as a cape and yelling: “Oh, no! Chavez won’t go!”

“It’s time now to sweep away the squalid ones,” said another elated supporter, Ignacio Gonzalez, using a description of the opposition Chavez employed during campaigning.

“It’s time to get them out of governor’s and mayor’s offices. The next battle is in December,” when state and municipal elections will be held, added the 25-year-old student, who wore a red shirt that wedded the images of Chavez, Jesus Christ and South American independence hero Simon Bolivar.

Capriles posed the strongest challenge yet to Chavez, who won by a 27-point margin in 2006 and by 16 points when he was first elected in 1998.

“I will continue working to build one country,” said the wiry, 40-year-old grandson of Holocaust survivors who unified and energized the opposition while barnstorming across the country.

He said in his concession speech that he rejects the idea of two Venezuelas divided by ideology and class.

Capriles had vowed to address violent crime that has spun out of control, streamline a patronage-bloated bureaucracy and end rampant corruption, but his promises proved inadequate against Chavez’s charisma, well-oiled political machine and legacy of putting Venezuela’s poor first with generous social welfare programs.

Yet with a turnout of 81 percent, Chavez only got 551,902 more votes this time around than he did six years ago, while the opposition boosted its tally by 2.09 million. Chavez appeared to acknowledge the opposition’s growing clout.

“I extend from here my recognition of all who voted against us, recognition of their democratic weight,” he told thousands of cheering supporters from the balcony of the Miraflores presidential palace.

Is Brazil ready for more Socialism?

Note: Former Guerrilla Leader and street fighter Dilma Rousseff is ready to become Brazil’s next president in an election to be held October 3rd. Rousseff, a former head of a revolutionary group during the military coup in the mis 1960’s is back. This time, she sided with the PT political party, the same socialist movement that took current president Luis Inacio Da Silva to power.

The New Independent

The world’s most powerful woman will start coming into her own next weekend. Stocky and forceful at 63, this former leader of the resistance to a Western-backed military dictatorship (which tortured her) is preparing to take her place as President of Brazil.

Brazil's president Da Silva campaigns with Dilma Rousseff.

As head of state, president Dilma Rousseff would outrank Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, and Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State: her enormous country of 200 million people is revelling in its new oil wealth. Brazil’s growth rate, rivalling China’s, is one that Europe and Washington can only envy.

Her widely predicted victory in next Sunday’s presidential poll will be greeted with delight by millions. It marks the final demolition of the “national security state”, an arrangement that conservative governments in the US and Europe once regarded as their best artifice for limiting democracy and reform. It maintained a rotten status quo that kept a vast majority in poverty in Latin America while favouring their rich friends.

Ms Rousseff, the daughter of a Bulgarian immigrant to Brazil and his schoolteacher wife, has benefited from being, in effect, the prime minister of the immensely popular President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the former union leader. But, with a record of determination and success (which includes appearing to have conquered lymphatic cancer), this wife, mother and grandmother will be her own woman. The polls say she has built up an unassailable lead – of more than 50 per cent compared with less than 30 per cent – over her nearest rival, an uninspiring man of the centre called Jose Serra. Few doubt that she will be installed in the Alvorada presidential palace in Brasilia in January.

Like President Jose Mujica of Uruguay, Brazil’s neighbour, Ms Rousseff is unashamed of a past as an urban guerrilla which included battling the generals and spending time in jail as a political prisoner. As a little girl growing up in the provincial city of Belo Horizonte, she says she dreamed successively of becoming a ballerina, a firefighter and a trapeze artist. The nuns at her school took her class to the city’s poor area to show them the vast gaps between the middle-class minority and the vast majority of the poor. She remembers that when a young beggar with sad eyes came to her family’s door she tore a currency note in half to share with him, not knowing that half a banknote had no value.

Her father, Pedro, died when she was 14, but by then he had introduced her to the novels of Zola and Dostoevski. After that, she and her siblings had to work hard with their mother to make ends meet. By 16 she was in POLOP (Workers’ Politics), a group outside the traditional Brazilian Communist Party that sought to bring socialism to those who knew little about it.

The generals seized power in 1964 and decreed a reign of terror to defend what they called “national security”. She joined secretive radical groups that saw nothing wrong with taking up arms against an illegitimate military regime. Besides cosseting the rich and crushing trade unions and the underclass, the generals censored the press, forbidding editors from leaving gaps in newspapers to show where news had been suppressed.

Ms Rousseff ended up in the clandestine VAR-Palmares (Palmares Armed Revolutionary Vanguard). In the 1960s and 1970s, members of such organisations seized foreign diplomats for ransom: a US ambassador was swapped for a dozen political prisoners; a German ambassador was exchanged for 40 militants; a Swiss envoy swapped for 70. They also shot foreign torture experts sent to train the generals’ death squads. Though she says she never used weapons, she was eventually rounded up and tortured by the secret police in Brazil’s equivalent to Abu Ghraib, the Tiradentes prison in Sao Paulo. She was given a 25-month sentence for “subversion” and freed after three years. Today she openly confesses to having “wanted to change the world”.

In 1973 she moved to the prosperous southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, where her second husband, Carlos Araujo, a lawyer, was finishing a four-year term as a political prisoner (her first marriage with a young left-winger, Claudio Galeno, had not survived the strains of two people being on the run in different cities). She went back to university, started working for the state government in 1975, and had a daughter, Paula.

In 1986, she was named finance chief of Porto Alegre, the state capital, where her political talents began to blossom. Yet the 1990s were bitter-sweet years for her. In 1993 she was named secretary of energy for the state, and pulled off the coup of vastly increasing power production, ensuring the state was spared the power cuts that plagued the rest of the country.

She had 1,000km of new electric power lines, new dams and thermal power stations built while persuading citizens to switch off the lights whenever they could. Her political star started shining brightly. But in 1994, after 24 years together, she separated from Mr Araujo, though apparently on good terms. At the same time she was torn between academic life and politics, but her attempt to gain a doctorate in social sciences failed in 1998.

In 2000 she threw her lot in with Lula and his Partido dos Trabalhadores, or Workers’ Party which set its sights successfully on combining economic growth with an attack on poverty. The two immediately hit it off and she became his first energy minister in 2003. Two years later he made her his chief of staff and has since backed her as his successor. She has been by his side as Brazil has found vast new offshore oil deposits, aiding a leader whom many in the European and US media were denouncing a decade ago as a extreme left-wing wrecker to pull 24 million Brazilians out of poverty. Lula stood by her in April last year as she was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, a condition that was declared under control a year ago. Recent reports of financial irregularities among her staff do not seem to have damaged her popularity.

Ms Rousseff is likely to invite President Mujica of Uruguay to her inauguration in the New Year. President Evo Morales of Bolivia, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and President Fernando Lugo of Paraguay – other successful South American leaders who have, like her, weathered merciless campaigns of denigration in the Western media – are also sure to be there. It will be a celebration of political decency – and feminism.

Is Obama a Marxist or Socialist? None, he works for the Bankers

When it comes to who the president serves, Obama is no different from Bush, Clinton, Bush Sr., Carter or Reagan

Kurt Nimmo

Glenn Beck, the Fox News talking heads, and no shortage of Tea Party activists like to characterize Barry Obama as a Marxist. In an article gaining a lot of traction across the blogosphere, Wayne Allyn Root, who considers himself a Libertarian Republican, says Obama is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure in order to turn the U.S. into a socialist/Marxist state.

Obamacare, cap-and-trade, legalizing 12 million illegal aliens, increased taxation, and endless bailouts and stimulus boondoggles, Root argues, are schemes designed to overwhelm the system and pave the way for a Marxist takeover of America.

It cannot be denied these schemes will destroy America. It also cannot be denied they are intentional. However, it has nothing to do with Marxism.

Marx advocated a proletarian revolution. He said that in order to overcome the restraint of private property the working class must seize political power through a social revolution and expropriate the capitalist classes around the world and place the productive capacities of society into collective ownership. Marx said the ultimate goal is a a classless and stateless form of communism beneficial to the interests of the proletariat or the working class.

Is it possible the Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs operatives in the Obama administration truly desire a communist revolution as Glenn Beck and Wayne Allyn Root insist?

During the 2008 election cycle, Goldman Sachs donated nearly a million bucks to Obama. Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase donated nearly $1.5 million to the Obama campaign while Morgan Stanley pitched in over a half million dollars. “When you break it out by individual companies, you find that employees of Goldman Sachs gave more to Obama than workers of any other employer. The Goldman Sachs geniuses are followed by employees of the University of California, UBS, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, National Amusements, Lehman Brothers, Harvard and Google. At many of these workplaces, Obama has a three- or four-to-one fund-raising advantage over McCain,” the New York Times wrote on July 1, 2008.

Is it possible all these folks are clueless about the supposed Marxist philosophy of Obama? Is it possible transnational corporations and international banks savvy enough to game the system for trillions of dollars support a communist system that would ultimately strip them of that wealth?

Goldman along with the Federal Reserve rule the Obama administration. William C. Dudley was the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and a partner and managing director at Goldman. Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, spent 18 years at Goldman. Mark Patterson, chief of staff to Tim Geithner, is a former Goldman lobbyist. Philip Murphy, nominated for ambassador to Germany, is a former Goldman executive. Diana Farrell, deputy director of the National Economic Council, is a former Goldman employee. Emil Michael, White House fellow, used to be an investment banker at Goldman.

Obama functionaries are connected to the CFR and the Trilateral Commission, two organizations established to implement world government. Tim Geithner, Susan Rice, Pete Peterson, Gen. James Jones, Thomas Donilion, Paul Volker, Dennis Blair, Richard Haass, Dennis Ross, Richard Holbrooke and others have connections to the Trilateral Commission, the Federal Reserve, the CFR, and Bilderbergers.

“We can be quite sure that somewhere between 400 to 500 high-level members of the Obama administration will be members of the CFR. How can we say that? Because that’s about how many CFR members occupy the current Bush administration (beginning with Vice President Dick Cheney, an in-again, out-again member of the CFR board of directors). And about the same number occupied posts in the Clinton administration,” John F. McManus wrote in November of 2008 after Obama was selected to be the front man for the banksters.

Obama’s mischaracterized socialism is a control mechanism created by the bankers. It has nothing to do with liberating downtrodden workers. The Soviet system was financed by Wall Street, as Rep. Louis T. McFadden, chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee throughout the 1920-30s, explained: “The course of Russian history has, indeed, been greatly affected by the operations of international bankers… The Soviet Government has been given United States Treasury funds by the Federal Reserve Board… acting through the Chase Bank.”

The late Antony Sutton’s exhaustive research demonstrates how Wall Street bankers supported and financed the Russian revolution, supported the Soviet Union financially, technologically and military both before and after the Second World War, and also supported Hitler and Nazi Germany financially and military both before and during the Second World War.

The monopoly men who exported jobs from America to slave labor gulags in China and are now in the process of looting the financial system are not dedicated Marxists. The late Gary Allen wrote:

If you wanted to control the nation’s manufacturing, commerce, finance, transportation and natural resources, you would need only to control the apex, the power pinnacle, of an all-powerful socialist government. Then you would have a monopoly and could squeeze out all your competitors. If you wanted a national monopoly, you must control a national socialist government. If you want… a worldwide monopoly, you must control a world socialist government. That is what the game is all about. “Communism” is not a movement of the downtrodden masses but is a movement created, manipulated and used by power-seeking billionaires in order to gain control over the world…. first by establishing socialist governments in the various nations and then consolidating them all through a “Great Merger,” into an all-powerful world, socialist super-state.

The Obama banker-CFR-Trilat-Bilderberg administration is the process of forging this “Great Merger” and is moving inexorably toward an all-powerful world, socialist super-state. Obama’s socialism will not emancipate the workers of America. It will further impoverish and enslave them.

As we approach the mid-term elections, the deceptive claim that Obama is a Marxist will pick up steam and will be exploited by the Tea Party movement as it attempts to get Republicans masquerading as patriots and constitutionalists elected to office.

Glenn Beck and Wayne Allyn Root need to reexamine and stop chanting the ludicrous Obama is a Marxist mantra and point out what Obama really is — a sock puppet reading a teleprompter for his employer: the control freaks at the international banks and multinational corporations.