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Web Letter

The recent deluge of anti-Chávez press has been fascinating to watch. The most interesting to myself was Donald Rumsfeld's hit piece, "The Smart Way to Beat Tyrants Like Chávez," which appeared in the Washington Post on December 2, the day of the elections in Venezuela. Rumsfeld, in this article, makes some fascinating lists. Chat rooms, blogs and web pages make the enemies list. Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are on his partners list, and NATO, the IMF and World Bank are on the tools list. Chávez is listed as an "aspiring dictator."

You might think, "Well, given those team rosters, I'd certainly rather be enjoying the comfortable life of the web-connected enemies than the bullet-dodging partners." I think so, too. And I think the best way to avoid the bleak life of becoming one of Rummy's not-to-be-envied partners is by noticing that he's really pointing that enmity at us, the literate left. And that the cry of freedom here is to "free the poor, beleaguered trade." "Free trade" is what makes Rummy a quarter-billionaire and what has been slowly disappearing our middle class every day for the last seven years.

I listened to the vote results live from Venezuela last Sunday via the evil, enemy web. Then, I listened to Hugo Chávez make his speech, graciously congratulating the opposition on their victory, and I remembered how Donald Rumsfeld most recently came to power: through strongarm, stage-managed election chicanery like the preppy riots, the echo chamber accusing FL liberals of being too dumb to cast a ballot and the insider dealing with the US Supreme Court. Who is an aspiring dictator?

Make no mistake. Chávez's only imposition on Venezuela is a revolutionary participatory democracy, and Washington's demagogues are coming out in force to make sure you don't get the facts.

Mike Karras

Portland, OR

Dec 10 2007 - 12:39am

Web Letter

Back in the Dark Ages, I took some courses in Brazilian history. In one book, the author noted that Brazil had a "bump" in economic development when it was cut off from European trade. I don't remember the cause of this cutoff in trade, but it was totally accidental. I also remember noting on the essay exam, that it proved Alexander Hamilton's tariffs were a necessary instrument for economic development.

Chávez needs to get back to basics, and concentrate on internal developments that benefits all his people. Most of his proposals were quite good, but the economic development of Venezuela must be controlled by Venezuelans for their own benefit. Reforms must be institutionalized and not dependent on one person in his or her lifetime.

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Dec 9 2007 - 4:16pm

Web Letter

The vote against Chávez's power grab is the same proportion by which Bush won the popular vote in 2004. Ironic, that.

Alex Cacioppo

Wooster, OH

Dec 8 2007 - 9:32pm

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