Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
The American Friends of Hugo Chavez: Dial 1-800-4-TYRANT, by Ana Maria Ortiz and Matthew Vadum (Organization Trends, March 2008)

The American Friends of Hugo Chavez: Dial 1-800-4-TYRANT, by Ana Maria Ortiz and Matthew Vadum (Organization Trends, March 2008)

Ratings: (0)|Views: 13|Likes:
Published by Matthew Vadum
This paper, published by Capital Research Center, is titled The American Friends of Hugo Chavez: Dial 1-800-4-TYRANT By Ana Maria Ortiz and Matthew Vadum (Organization Trends, March 2008).

Matthew Vadum (matthewvadum.com) is the author of Subversion Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers (WND Books, 2011).
This paper, published by Capital Research Center, is titled The American Friends of Hugo Chavez: Dial 1-800-4-TYRANT By Ana Maria Ortiz and Matthew Vadum (Organization Trends, March 2008).

Matthew Vadum (matthewvadum.com) is the author of Subversion Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers (WND Books, 2011).

More info:

Published by: Matthew Vadum on Jul 12, 2012


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





The American Friends of Hugo Chavez:Dial 1-800-4-TYRANT
By Ana Maria Ortiz and Matthew Vadum
: Venezuela’s President HugoChavez, like his friend Fidel Castro, hasearned a place in the pantheon of the mod-ern American left. Chavez—who famouslydenounced President George W. Bush as“the Devil”—understands public relations,and his policies have earned him the admi-ration of leftist nonprofits and activists, in-cluding a famous member of the Kennedyclan. The Americans supporting Chavez,who has aligned himself with America’s ter-rorist-sponsoring enemies abroad, hope torekindle their romance with revolution.
A strongman and his comrades (
clockwise from upper left 
): Joe Kennedy; HugoChavez; activist Cindy Sheehan; entertainers Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover.
March 2008
The American Friendsof Hugo Chavez
Page 1
Briefly Noted
Page 8 
enezuela’s Marxist strongman HugoChavez is the kind of anti-Americanthat certain kinds of American left-ists swoon over. In September 2006 he stoodbefore the United Nations General Assemblyin New York City to insult President GeorgeW. Bush, who had stood at the same podiumthe day before. He called Bush “the Devil”and made the sign of the cross, adding “andit smells of sulfur still today.” Chavez held up
 Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance,
a book by the famouslinguistics professor Noam Chomsky, a radi-cal critic of U.S. foreign policy, and urged hisaudience to read it. Within days the book had jumped to the top 10 in sales at the Amazonand Barnes & Noble websites, and its pub-lisher, Henry Holt, ordered a reprinting.Chavez’s U.N. speech followed a six-week round-the-world trip to a dozen countries.Venezuela’s president met with Belarus dic-tator Alexander Lukashenko and called for astrategic alliance between the two countries.He met with Vladimir Putin and purchased $3billion in Russian arms, including fighter jets,military helicopters, and 100,000 Kalashnikovrifles. He also visited Iran, where he voicedsupport for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran-financed Hezbollah, the Lebanese terroristgroup; Vietnam, where he fondly reminiscedabout its struggle against the U.S. in the1960s and 1970s; Cuba, where he held handswith an ailing Fidel Castro who sent thou-sands of Cuban doctors and teachers toVenezuela in exchange for oil at much-re-duced rates; China, where he struck yet more
2March 2008For frequent updates on environmental groups,nonprofits, foundations, and labor unions, check out theCRC-Greenwatch Blog at
Matthew Vadum
Terrence Scanlon
Organization Trends 
is published by Capital ResearchCenter, a non-partisan education andresearch organization, classified bythe IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity.
1513 16th Street, N.W.Washington, DC 20036-1480
(202) 483-6900
(800) 459-3950
E-mail Address:
Web Site:
Organization Trends 
welcomes lettersto the editor.
are available for $2.50 prepaidto Capital Research Center.
deals; and Syria, where he promised anotherstrategic alliance to free the world of U.S.domination. The speech in New York was ahigh point in Chavez’s campaign to bait theUnited States and elevate his own worldprofile.
Revolutionary Leader
Chavez fancies himself a revolutionaryleader, protégé and presumptive successorto Castro, who announced last month he wasstepping down after nearly a half-century inpower. A leader of the anti-imperialist cause,“Chavez is the piper leading the most stridentanti-Americanism to parade through LatinAmerica since the Bay of Pigs invasion,”notes Venezuelan writer Ibsen Martinez.Since becoming president in 1999, Chavezhas called for political upheaval in LatinAmerica and flirted with violent anti-govern-ment guerrilla movements in neighboringColombia, with which Venezuela shares aporous 1,300-mile border. He has given tacitsupport to the communist RevolutionaryArmed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and thesmaller National Liberation Army (ELN) andangered Colombia by urging it to stop callingFARC “terrorists.” Calling FARC and ELN“true armies,” Chavez described them as “in-surgent forces that have political andBolivarian goals, and here [Venezuela] that isrespected.”Periodically Chavez proposes to mediateFARC disputes with Colombia and has of-fered to negotiate the return of hostages thatFARC has seized. Colombia says FARC iscurrently holding some 750 people hostage(including three Americans). Recently Chavezhelped negotiate the release of two hostages,but the government of Colombian PresidentAlvaro Uribe asked him to stop. “Any personwho openly aligns himself with one of theparties could not be a mediator,” Colombia’sdefense minister, Juan Manuel Santos, toldthe Financial Times. Chavez also has threat-ened neighboring Guyana, making claims tothree-quarters of its territory.Experts estimate that FARC may take infrom $200 million to $400 million annuallyfrom the illegal drug trade, but Chavez re-fuses to allow U.S. drug surveillance flightsin Venezuelan airspace. However, he hasallowed Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamasterrorists to open offices in Venezuela’s capi-tal, Caracas.In Latin America Chavez has vigorouslypromoted a new coalition of anti-Americangovernments. He is urging left-wing govern-ments in Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, and theCaribbean island nations of Antigua, St.Vincent, and Dominica to join Venezuela andCuba in an alliance he calls the BolivarianAlternative for the Americas. This granddesign is an alternative trade agreement meantto challenge the hemispheric free trade agree-ments negotiated by the United States.Chavez also urges investors to withdrawtheir funds from U.S. banks, and last monthhe acted on his promise to curtail oil suppliesto the U.S. by ordering government-ownedPetroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) to cutoff crude oil sales to ExxonMobil, which isfighting his regime’s seizure of its assets. Inretaliation, ExxonMobil won U.S. and Britishcourt orders freezing $12 billion of the Ven-ezuelan company’s worldwide assets. React-ing to the Bush administration’s support forExxonMobil, Chavez lashed out: “Take note,Mr. Bush, Mr. Danger. If the economic warcontinues against Venezuela, the price of oilwill reach $200. Venezuela will take up theeconomic war and more than one country isinclined to join us.”Chavez calls capitalism “savagery” andrejects free market prescriptions to lift less-developed nations out of poverty. Instead hepreaches the gospel of redistribution, prom-ising to build a workers’ utopia similar to thesupposed paradise created by his friendCastro, to whom he reportedly speaks dailyby telephone. Last year he nationalized firmsin Venezuela’s petroleum, communications,and electricity sectors, and last month hevowed to have the government seize foodproducers and distributors that “hoard” prod-ucts to sell at “inflated” prices. He demandsthat banks contribute a percentage of theirprofits to his social programs and threatensto seize any that fail to make loans at favor-able rates for homes, farms and small busi-nesses.Chavez likens himself to Simon Bolivar, thegreat liberator who led the movement to freeLatin America from Spain in the early 1800s.Chavez even renamed the nation the“Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela” when hetook power, and he retains power by mobiliz-ing support from among poor, black, andindigenous Venezuelans, holding out thepromise that they are key elements in a newnational culture he is creating. Chavez rejectswhat he considers the materialism of Ameri-can culture, and he promotes abstinencefrom alcohol, tobacco, and fatty foods. He isplanning to slap massive taxes on alcoholand tobacco, along with luxury cars and art.His socialist reforms are wreaking economichavoc. The World Bank ranks Venezuela asthe second-worst country in the Americas
: Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro
3March 2008
for the control of corruption, above onlyHaiti. Venezuela’s more than 22% inflationrate is the highest in the Western Hemi-sphere. Its currency has lost half its value inthe past year and given rise to a thriving black market for dollars. To stem the hemorrhaging,Chavez prohibited overseas money transfersand has ordered his nation’s media outletsnot to mention the underground currencymarket.
Leftists Love Chavez
Clearly, Hugo Chavez is a man only Ameri-can leftists could
love – and they do.
U.S.activists such as anti-war campaigner CindySheehan say Chavez is a well-intentionedidealist who wants to help the poor, and thathe is indeed a modern-day Bolivar.In early 2006, Chavez met in Caracas withCindy Sheehan, whom he calls “Mrs. Hope.”Following a photo opportunity-filled visit,Sheehan urged the world to help bring down“the U.S. empire” and declared she wouldrather have Chavez in the White House thanPresident Bush:“Hugo Chavez also wants to finally real-ize Simon de Bolivar’s vision of a unitedSouth America which can be togetherstronger to live more peacefully with theU.S. and stand in solidarity against theconstant meddling of all of our regimes intheir affairs…George [Bush] is a reverseRobin Hood and even steals from ourgrandchildren’s future to further enrichthe already obscenely rich of the present.I would rather live under a president likeHugo who tries to improve living condi-tions in his country than someone likeGeorge who is demolishing our socialstructures and making the poor, poorer.”Of course Bolivar was no socialist, notesJames M. Roberts: “Bolivar would be embar-rassed to see Venezuelans being oppressedby the same kind of Latin American
(strongman) from which he fought to freethem two centuries ago. Bolivar championeda unified South America and strong constitu-tional government to provide the same free-dom, equality, and prosperity that he sawdeveloping in North America.” The realBolivar “opposed precisely the type of one-party, personalized, dictatorial rule that isembodied by Hugo Chavez.” (“If the RealSimon Bolivar Met Hugo Chavez, He’d SeeRed,” by James M. Roberts, Heritage Foun-dation Backgrounder #2062, August 20, 2007,available athttp://www.heritage.org/Re-search/LatinAmerica/bg2062.cfm)It’s also hard to imagine Bolivar condoningthe Venezuelan president’s attacks on civilliberties and the free press (it is now illegal to“practice” journalism in Venezuela without joining the National College of Journalistsand holding a journalism degree). These actsof repression have stirred up oppositionfrom the country’s middle and professionalclasses, including university students, art-ists and intellectuals and small and largebusiness owners who protest his rule. InDecember voters pushed back, handingChavez a startling defeat by rejecting in a51% to 49% vote changes to the constitutionthat would have increased the president’spower. But that has not dampened the enthu-siasm of some Americans for Hugo Chavez.Sheehan is only one of the many Ameri-cans who eagerly voice their support for the“Bolivarian revolution.” They all seem tofind their way to Caracas for meetings andphotos with Chavez:*Brenda Stokely, president of AFSCMELocal 215 in New York City, addressed arally in Caracas in 2004. “President Chavezis trying to provide poor people withhealth care, education and decently paid jobs…Anyone opposed to that eitherhas their head under a rock or has norespect for human beings that live inpoverty.”*After visiting Venezuela, Oakland, Cali-fornia community organizer Mamie Chowsaid, “You can’t question what’s hap-pening here. It’s so uplifting.”*“Venezuela has become a major sourceof interest for social visionaries in theUnited States,” said Larry Birns, directorof Council on Hemispheric Affairs inWashington, a leftist advocacy group.The magazine Mother Jones thought itworthwhile to interview British journalist Ri-chard Gott, who declared that the U.S.government’s assessment of Chavez’s dicta-torial rule was “entirely invented.” Whenasked in 2005 what Chavez’s Venezuela wouldlook like 10 years hence, Gott, a hard leftistalleged to have been a KGB “agent of influ-ence,” gushed:“Venezuela will be a model for the rest of Latin America—a society that’s come toterms with its black and indigenous pov-erty-stricken populations, and wherethose populations participate fully in thedemocratic process. Because it’s a newgeneration it’s a little open-ended as towhat will happen, but Chavez recognizesthat. He says ‘Let the people decide,’ andI think he means it.”Many U.S. lawmakers buy into the idea thatChavez is a social democrat. Senator ChrisDodd (D-Connecticut) has defended Chavezas a democratically-elected president (al-though he did call Chavez’s UN commentsabout President Bush “inappropriate,” ex-plaining that they were overreactions toBush’s preoccupation with Iraq and Afghani-stan and neglect of Latin America). Whencoup-plotters briefly ousted Chavez frompower during a 48-hour period in April 2002,Dodd blamed the Bush administration for notdenouncing them. Judiciary Committee mem-ber Representative John Conyers (D-Michi-
Anti-war poster child Cindy Sheehan embraces Chavez in 2006

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->