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The Collective
Friday, May 12, 2006
By Dr. Steven Taylor

This would be funny it if wasn’t so sad: Chávez viewed as a benchmark for Latin American democracy:

London Mayor Ken Livingstone labeled Friday Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez as a benchmark for democracy and social progress in Latin America.

In a communiqué disseminated by the London council, Livingstone, under the Labor party leftwing, looked forward to welcoming the Venezuelan president. The ruler is to start next Sunday a two-day private visit to the British capital city.

“Since 1998, he has won ten elections in eight years. This is a record and an unprecedented electoral success,” the mayor asserted.

According to Livingstone, the Venezuelan president “has gained such an electoral popularity because, among other steps, he has introduced effective health care in Venezuela and launched a literacy campaign.”

By that standard, Fidel Castro is a modern example of demcratic governance as well. (Update:: ok, not quite, but still…).

We won’t get into the fact that Chávez is threatening to seek the presidency for life.

Shockingly, Livingtone’s nickname is “Red Ken.”

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4 Comments

  1. Well, Red Ken is committing more fallacies than I care to count. But I don’t think it is fair to say that the “standard” he is using for Chavez would lead to Castro being a model democrat. After all, Livingstone did cite elections, which are in rather shorter supply in Cuba than in Venezuela.

    Comment by Matthew — Friday, May 12, 2006 @ 4:09 pm

  2. True enough.

    I was going on the literacy and health care criteria-which, granted, he links to Chavez getting elected.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Friday, May 12, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

  3. Chavez is a hero to all the world. He alone stands up to the resource robbing satan. A cry should be going up in canada that a surtax be charged on oil and gas exported to the USA to compensate the millions hurt by unfair american trade practices in lumber and beef industries.
    America believes socialism and subsidies are only right when doled out to corporations.

    Comment by J Bachman — Friday, May 12, 2006 @ 6:47 pm

  4. It is true, Chavez is the hero of the true majority of the people. For years the economic elites in Latin American Countries have been ruling, and for the first time since Che, has someone stepped up to fight that battle. However I do feel he should move his country toward a Social-democracy where the people can elect leaders such as Chavez. As long as they have the mind set to improve the conditions for the working class and the majority not the small elites. He is trying to do the right thing distruibute the wealth of few to the many.

    Comment by Carlos — Wednesday, June 14, 2006 @ 12:21 pm

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