Re: Rakesh's musing on Venezuela ("Left-wing Communism ...")

From: Paul Zarembka (zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU)
Date: Mon May 31 2004 - 13:07:10 EDT

On Mon, 31 May 2004, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

> Chavez's Venezuela will be any different?  His authoritarian regime
> seems to have eliminated several checks against corruption.

You are fixed on Chavez.  Chavez doesn't own the government nor Venezuela.
He would not last a day without a social base.  Your choice of wording is
revealing, as if he is a dictator.  And you rarely even attempt to discuss
the lives of ordinary Venezuelan workers and peasants.

"His authoritarian regime"!

Does the U.S. have an "authoritarian regime", or France, or Poland, or
India, or South Africa, or Brazil, or Japan, or Mexico, or Argentina, or
Turkey, or Russia?  If they have "authoritarian regimes", then your
expression is empty of distinction.  If they have "authoritarian regimes"
what would be a "democratic government"?  Or are you a "left-wing
communist" for which nothing short of communism is democratic (but then
even Lenin said democracy is the dictatorship of the majority over the

In any case, your pejorative of "authoritarian regime" feeds the
stomaches of the extreme-right opposition in Venezuela in which the masses
of workers and peasants may soon face civil war.  I'm sorry to report that
this is serious, not the stuff for casual, uninformed judgments from afar
(you yourself have said you are not well informed on Venezuela -- I'm not
making this up).

Which side would you take on the barricades, or will you stay in the Bay
Area and continue to report on "Chavez's authoritarian regime"?


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