Hugo Chavez Supports Muammar Gadhafi, neither Provides for their People

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 27th, 2011

 Hollywood is just Gaga for Hugo Chavez

Hollywood loves Hugo Chavez.  At least some of those on the far left.  They like what he’s doing down there in Venezuela.  Some call his socialism real democracy.  And some just find him dead sexy (see Hugo Chavez’s Celebrity Fans by Bridget Johnson posted on About.com World News).

Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez may be reviled in many corners for his socialist policies, crackdowns on press freedom, strident anti-U.S. attitudes, and friendships with rogue regimes such as Iran and North Korea, but he has friends in the left corner of Hollywood. Just who are the celebrities who defend and even laud this highly controversial figure? Here are their pictures — and their praises of Chavez…

[Sean] Penn raised eyebrows even further in March 2010, when he said on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” that media critics who refer to Chavez as a dictator should be jailed: “There should be a bar for which one goes to prison for these kinds of biases,” Penn said. Chavez publicly thanked Penn afterward for defending him from his critics…

[Oliver] Stone added that Chavez was “a great man,” and said “I’m a fan.” Chavez joked that Stone was President George W. Bush’s envoy on the 2007 trip. In January 2009, after completing filming documentary footage in Latin America, Stone said of Chavez, “The pure energy of the man is intoxicating. This is what I like about Chavez: He’s a big man, he thinks big … Bolivar is back…”

Supermodel Naomi Campbell — who has a temper-laced reputation of being no angel herself — came away from her November 2007 meeting with Hugo Chavez calling him a “rebel angel.”… She asked Chavez if he would ever pose shirtless like judo master and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and Chavez said, “Why not? Touch my muscles!”…”I hate Bush,” Campbell told the Brazilian media just before receiving an invitation from Caracas — even though she said she wasn’t there to be political. “I found him to be fearless, but not threatening or unreasonable,” she wrote. “I hope Venezuela’s relations with America will improve in the immediate future…”

“No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush says, we’re here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people … support your revolution,” [Harry] Belafonte told Chavez during the broadcast. Belafonte — who also offered a hearty “Viva la Revolucion!” — said media were falsely painting Chavez as a “dictator,” when in fact, he said, Venezuela has democracy and citizens are “optimistic about their future…”

So Chavez is a great man doing great things for his people.  Anyone who criticizes him should be jailed.  And, to protect our women from uncontrollable desires, he should keep his shirt on.  Because the ladies apparently find him dead sexy.  According to these political experts, Venezuela should be a paradise.  A veritable El Dorado.

Venezuela, Socialist Utopia, can’t Build Houses for their People

In El Dorado one would expect to find a plethora of affordable housing.  Why, there must be a house for every man, woman and child.  Because Chavez cares about the people.  Not businesses or their filthy profits.  So how abundant is affordable housing in Venezuela?  Well, not quite so abundant (see Thousands awaiting homes pose challenge for Chavez by Ian James posted 2/27/2011 on The Washington Post).

The floods and mudslides of November and December exacerbated Venezuela’s already severe shortage of affordable housing. Chavez, who is criticized by opponents for failing to address the issue during 12 years in power, is now trying to turn a monumental challenge into a political opportunity – promising to accelerate construction projects and finish 150,000 new homes this year.

His success or failure is likely to affect support for his 2012 re-election bid. His new focus on housing is also allowing Chavez to return to one of his time-tested political strategies: creating expectations among the poor to energize his base, just as problems from 28-percent inflation to violent crime have been taking a toll on his popularity.

You have to wonder what he’s waiting for after 12 years in power.  He’s for the people.  And the people need houses.  So what’s the deal?  Now he’s looking to reelection and promises “that if re-elected, he will build 2 million homes in the next six years.”  That’s over 300,000 per year.  More than twice his 150,000 new homes promised this year.  If he could don’t you think he would have already?  But he hasn’t.  Instead he gives his people runaway inflation.  And violent crime.

The Venezuelan Construction Chamber calculates that the housing deficit – based on a growing population and available housing – has grown from 1.1 million homes to 2 million homes during Chavez’s presidency. According to a tally by the chamber, Chavez’s government built about 284,000 homes between 1999 and 2010 – down sharply from 490,000 homes constructed by governments from 1989-98…

Chavez, meanwhile, has taken to visiting housing construction sites during his hours-long speeches. He has enlisted the help of companies from Russia, China, Belarus, Iran and Portugal to build apartment complexes, and has promised to erect a “great city” of civilian homes inside the Fort Tiuna military base. On hilltops between Caracas and the Caribbean Sea, construction has already begun on the first of 20,000 homes that are to make up a development called Caribia Socialist City.

Oh.  They need 2 million new homes right now.  Not in 6 years.  Considering he’s only built 284,000 new homes in the last decade (at a rate of 28,400 homes per year), he’s probably going to fail to deliver.  Again.  Perhaps Russia, China, Belarus, Iran and Portugal can help.  Or some local builders in any U.S. city.  Who can build in one city what he and the full force of his socialist state did throughout Venezuela.  In fact, they’ve built so many homes that the U.S. has a huge housing surplus.  Unlike in Venezuela.  But socialism’s failures do not trouble them.

“I’m sure we’re going to have our home soon,” said Gregoria Graterol, a 56-year-old hospital elevator operator who is staying with her two daughters and three grandchildren in a room with 16 other families.

She is among more than 3,000 evacuees living in dormitories, warehouses and a technical school at the center. Signs of Chavez’s socialist leanings are visible everywhere, in slogans such as “Against Imperialism” emblazoned on walls, along with images of Chavez, Fidel Castro and Argentine revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

What was that Harry Belafonte said?  Oh, yes.  Viva la Revolucion!

In Caracas, officials say they have been improving conditions in shelters by installing petroleum-based plastic partitions to give families more privacy. Soldiers turned away AP reporters from some of those shelters, saying military approval was required.

Just look at how much they care.  They’ve given partitions to families in the shelters for privacy.  Of course, George W. Bush gave trailers to the families made homeless by Hurricane Katrina.  But Chavez is the humanitarian.  Which is why Naomi Campbell calls Chavez an angel.  And hates George W. Bush.

“The hills are collapsing due to super-population,” Chavez said recently, suggesting some housing projects must be built outside the city. “There are too many people in Caracas.”

In the barrios, extended families of 10 people or more live crammed into a few rooms, and rents have been rapidly climbing.

Squatters have increasingly invaded and claimed abandoned buildings in recent years. Marwin Claro, 36, has been living in a once-vacant building owned by a bank in Caracas since she and other squatters broke in at 3 a.m. one morning in 2005, cutting the lock and talking their way past the security guards.

“There are many abandoned buildings,” Claro said. “So when people see those buildings, they have to go inside. I support that.”

Over-crowding in the barrios?  Squatters?  Abandoned buildings?  That doesn’t sound like a humanitarian utopia.  That sounds more like abject failure of a socialist state.  And Chavez’s solution to the overcrowding in Caracas is to get rid of people.  Brilliant.  What’s next?  Forced sterilization?

Chavez’s opponents say such maneuvers are intended to distract from his own failures. Chavez set a goal of providing 150,000 homes during his last re-election year in 2006, but fell far short at about 77,000 – many of which weren’t turned over to people until the following year.

Still, many in the shelters said they are thankful to Chavez and plan to vote for him next year. Looking out over the buckled street that now runs in front of her abandoned home, Maria Franco, 43, said sadly: “It doesn’t look like it was due to rain. It looks like it was an earthquake.”

“We hope they’ll solve our problems,” she said. “We have to have faith.”

Thankful for what?  The destruction of Venezuelan society?  Putting your faith in Chavez for 12 years has increased the housing deficit approximately 80%.  And this while the population grew approximately 14%.  When the housing deficit grows far greater than the population, it may be time to place your faith elsewhere.  If he stays in office much longer ever more Venezuelans may become homeless.  Or, at the least, shirtless.  And the champion of the descamisados just isn’t supposed to do that.

Hugo Chavez Stands behind Muammar al-Gadhafi

If you look past all the talk and see only his actions, Chavez doesn’t really care about his people.  But do you know who he does like? Here’s a hint.  He’s in the news right now (see Venezuela foreign minister urges dialogue in Libya by Christopher Toothaker, the Associated Press, posted 2/27/2011 on The Washington Post).

Chavez and Gadhafi have forged close ties. Last year, Venezuelan and Libyan officials signed numerous accords and Chavez gave Gadhafi a replica of the sword that once belonged to 19th-century independence hero Simon Bolivar.

During a speech to supporters on Sunday, Chavez scoffed at suggestions by his adversaries that protests similar to those sweeping the Middle East could occur in Venezuela. The self-proclaimed revolutionary vowed not to allow violent uprisings aimed at spurring his ouster, prompting applause from a crowd of red-clad supporters.

“We are not going to permit violence to erupt in Venezuela,” he said. “With our unity and work, we will make violence impossible.”

And he will do like his friends.  Cuba’s Fidel Castro.  Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  North Korea’s Kim Jong-il.  And, of course, Libya’s Muammar Gadhafi.  Who beat the snot out of anyone who dare rise up against the state.

Chavez has neither condemned nor defended efforts to quell the popular rebellion against Gadhafi’s rule, but he tacitly threw his support behind the Libyan leader on Saturday.

“I can’t say that I support or am in favor of or applaud all the decisions taken by any friend of mine in any part of the world,” Chavez said during a televised address.

I wonder if the Hollywood Left supports Gadhafi, too.  I mean, what’s a little democide?  Between friends.

Judged by the Company you Keep

Hugo Chavez is another in a long line of socialist despots that come along and charm those on the left.  Even while all those socialist utopias (Cuba, North Korea, the People’s Republic of China, the Soviet Union, etc.) were anything but utopian.  They suffered abject poverty.  Famine.  Political oppression.  But yet the Left has always been enamored with them.  Why?  The attention the despots give them?  A hatred of Western Civilization?  A hatred of laissez-faire capitalism?  Perhaps all of the above. 

People often say you judge someone by the company they keep.  Based on the company Chavez keeps, he’s not a good man.  And if he’s not, then what can we say about those who keep company with him? 

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