And with 13,000 Cuban doctors spread throughout the country and reaching over half the population, the poor now have their own family doctors on call 24-hours a day-doctors who even make house calls. This heath care, including medicines, are all free."
--Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Global Exchange and CodePink
I love President Hugo Chavez. No, I'm not sexually attracted to him, but I'd gladly sacrifice my life to save his at any given moment if such a heroic feat was ever necessary.
I'm sure the right-wing (i.e., the rich/powerful and their ignorant, economically masochistic sympathizers) is crowing about how Chavez's recent referendum marks the first time he's lost at the polls since coming to power in 1999, but to Hell with them. Excuse me, let me rephrase that -- FUCK them. If someone told them using their teeth to pick the maggots from a rancid loaf of shit would guar-an-tee they'll never have to donate another penny to charity, there wouldn't be a safe maggot on the planet. Anyone that damn greedy canNOT be taken seriously.
They're not just greedy, right-wingers are obviously power hungry as well. "Clearly this is a message from the Venezuelan people that they do not want any further erosion in their democracy and their democratic institutions," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.
Sean McCormack can suck my cock bone dry! Hypocritical, historically blind bastard! The AMERICAN people don't want any "further erosion" of THEIR democracy either! If Dubya decides to remain in the White House after 2009, I'm going to hunt down McCormack and remind him of the smack he talked about my boy, Hugo!
First, the referendum lost by a razor thin margin. Second, this is NOT an indication that all of Venezuela has joined the Republican Party.
It only means Venezuelans were uncomfortable (and rightfully so) with the potential elimination of presidential term limits. Given the ungodly amount of poor people in Venezuela, Chavez could've conceivably been re-elected until the year 2050, and as much as I love him, that's too much power for any one man to have.
Besides, if you become too reliant on there being enough of the poor to ensure your re-election, where's the motive to completely eradicate poverty?
Over the years, I've turned a blind eye to Fidel Castro being a president-for-life, but the leftist ideal always was and will be Amsterdam -- someplace where BOTH free speech AND free health care SIMULTANEOUSLY exist. This is why there's so much spotlight on Chavez:
The question is, can he live up to that ideal; can he be a hero like Daredevil or will he wind up an anti-hero like The Punisher?
A good sign that Chavez just might steer clear of the Machiavellian over the long term is this quote from Granma International, "We complied with our Constitution, and with our conscience. We would not in any way have accepted a pyrrhic victory." In other words, the brother's not a sore loser.
If any of the spoiled in the world are the least bit incredulous over why is it Chavez would want or even need more power in order to better help the poor, I would refer them to the C.I.A.'s bloody history in Latin America: Hell, there was a time you couldn't so much as give spare change to the homeless without some School of the Americas graduate tossing yo' ass in a land fill! Rent Oliver Stone's must-see classic Salvador for a textbook example of what I'm talking about ...
I also would tell the spoiled to go slumming (as George Orwell did in his autobiographical work, Down and Out in Paris and London) and don't tell me it's dangerous -- not when all too many are willing to risk falling off a mountain trying to climb it ...
Let me make this as plain as I can: NO one has (or should ever have) the so-called "civil liberty" to own a MC Hammer-sized mansion while there's a single person living in a mud hut. I refuse to censor, torture or murder my enemies, but I'll be damned if I ever tolerate the luxuries seen on MTV Cribs or Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous so long as one hungry belly grumbles. Fuck "bling-bling," do the right thing!
Finally, President Chavez, you have until December 2012 to cement your already-legendary place in history. If anything, this should streamline you; inspire you to ensure that every waking moment from now until then is spent helping as many poor people as possible.
Assuming Venezuela isn't economically masochistic, it'll elect someone of your caliber in 2013, but in case it fails to, use this deadline as an incentive to be all you can be.
Pass the torch, Mr. President. Like the ancient jedi master Yoda, think in terms of training apprentices; grooming your successors.