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---Appeasement---AT: Business Not Regime - Neg for Venezuela Practice Debate

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---Appeasement---AT: Business Not Regime

Plan can’t avoid accusations of supporting the regime – business and investment is coopted


Toro, 13

Fransisco Toro, Venezuelan journalist, political scientist, reported for the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Financial Times, and was Editor of VenEconomy, Venezuela's leading bilingual business magazine. Since 2002, he has run Caracas Chronicles, the must-read English-language blog on all things Venezuelan He holds a BA from Reed College (1997), and MSc from the London School of Economics (1999) and is currently a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the University of Maastricht, in The Netherlands. New Republic, 3/5/13, http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112596/hugo-chavez-dead-cuba-defined-him-much-venezuela-did#


Chávez imported

more than just personnel and advice; he imported

the Cuban Revolution's

eschatology

virtually whole.

Fidel's vision of revolution as a kind of cosmic morality play pitting unalloyed socialist "good" in an unending death struggle against the ravages of "

evil" American imperialism became the guiding principle of Venezuela's revolution.

The use and abuse of anti-imperialist rhetoric as a mechanism for consolidating authoritarian control over society was the most valuable lesson Chávez learned from Fidel. A superheated brand of unthinking anti-Americanism became the all-purpose excuse for any and every authoritarian excess, stigmatizing any form of protests and casting a dark pall over any expression of discontent or dissent. The technique's infinite versatility proved its central attraction: You could blame shadowy gringo infiltrator for neighborhood protests over chronic power shortages just as easily as you could silence whistleblowers of government corruption by casting them as CIA fifth columns. In Cuba, considering the island's history as a target for American imperialist meddling, anti-imperialism—however wantonly abused—rested on a bed of historic verisimilitude. But in Venezuela, a country with no history of direct American imperial aggression, this borrowed bit of rhetorical posturing served only to underline chavismo's derivative status, its ideology a kind of fidelista hand-me-down lacking even the self-awareness to realize it was decades out of date by the time it was born. Where Chávez was able to transcend the Cuban model, it was largely due to the advantages of life at the receiving end of an unprecedented petrodollar flood. By some estimates,

Venezuela

sold over $1 trillion worth of oil during his tenure, and so his was government by hyperconsumption, not rationing. The petroboom allowed Chávez to substitute the checkbook for the gulag; marginalizing his opponents via popular spending programs rather than rounding them up and throwing them in jail.

Rather than declaring all out-war on business, he

co-opted them.

Rather than abolish civil society, he created a parallel civil society

, complete with pro-government unions, universities, radio stations and community councils.

Such enhancements were tried before

by left-wing populists in Latin America,

but always

failed because they

ran out of money

.

Chávez avoided this pitfall thanks to the greatest of his innovations: He consciously

avoided a complete break with the U.S. that Castro provoked in 1960.

Instead, he railed against gringo imperialism all morning, then spent all afternoon selling those same gringos oil.

The irony is that this, his most important innovation, will be the one least memorialized by his admirers. It was a gloriously incoherent posture, but one that fit the square peg of revolutionary zeal into the round hole of an import-led petropopulism. Ironically, though, in its dependence on oil rents, the Chávez model quietly undermined its own claim to represent a new alternative to dreaded Washington-sponsored neoliberalism. After all, if

Venezuela could afford to botch the nationalization of its own

steel

industry, it was because there were always

petro

dollars around to import

the steel that local industry was no longer producing. And

if nationalizations up and down the

agro-food

chain resulted in

food

shortages, money could always be found to import the balance. As the

Venezuelan State-Owned Enterprise sector grew,

it looked more and more like the USSR's

with

a single

profit-generating industry cross-subsidizing a bewildering array of

loss-making

concerns.

Chavenomics, as a development model, boiled down to little beyond extracting oil, selling it at high prices, and

using the proceeds to paper over the rest of the system's cracks

. How such a model is supposed to be relevant to countries that don't happen to float on top of hundreds of billions of barrels in oil reserves is anybody's guess. Still and all, petropopulism's attractions were all too clear for Chávez. Those

deep,

oil-lined

pockets allowed

Chávez

a luxury Fidel could only dream of: being able to hold a long string of not-overtly-rigged elections without ever seriously endangering

his

grip on power

. It used to be that you could have either unchecked personal power or electoral legitimacy,

but the petrodollar flood allowed Chávez to have both

. Elected autocracy may sound like an oxymoron, but this is exactly what the Venezuelan synthesis of the Cuban experience yielded: a system that washed away the sins of its own aggressive contempt for dissidence and dissent through continual recourse to the ballot box.

What

Hugo

Chávez built was, in other words, a

flawless autocracy.

Even if its not targeted at government – congressional Critics perceive Economic engagement and industry profits as appeasement that bolsters regime – not people


Goodenough, 12

Patrick Goodenough, Patrick covered government and politics in South Africa and the Middle East before joining CNSNews.com in 1999. Since then he has launched foreign bureaus for CNSNews.com in Jerusalem, London and the Pacific Rim. From October 2006 to July 2007, Patrick served as Managing Editor at the organization's world headquarters in Alexandria, Va. Now back in the Pacific Rim, as International Editor he reports on politics, international relations, security, terrorism, ethics and religion, and oversees reporting by CNSNews.com's roster of international stringers, CNS News, 2/2/12, http://cnsnews.com/news/article/iran-venezuela-links-examined-amid-fresh-calls-terror-sponsor-designation


Links to foreign terrorist organizations The U.S. currently lists Cuba, Syria, Iran and Sudan as state

sponsors of terrorism

, a

designation

that

carries sanctions

including a ban on arms-related exports and sales, controls over exports of dual-use items, prohibitions on economic assistance, and various financial restrictions. Designation requires a determination by the secretary of state that a country’s government “has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism,” for example through support for and links to “foreign terrorist organizations” (FTOs). In its most recent annual report on international terrorism, published last August, the State Department in its section on state sponsors cites Cuba’s links with the Basque separatist group ETA and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) – both FTOs – as well as Iranian and Syrian sponsorship of Hezbollah and Palestinian FTOs including Hamas. Yet Venezuela’s links to Hezbollah are well-documented (as early as June 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department charged that Chavez’ government was “employing and providing safe harbor to Hezbollah facilitators and fundraisers”) and he has also been accused of ties to FARC and to ETA. Caracas’ cozy relationship with state sponsors of terror Cuba and Iran – including new concerns that Chavez could help Tehran to evade the latest Western sanctions against its banks and oil exports – provide further reason, proponents say, for Venezuela itself to be designated. Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), chairman of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, has for several years sponsored legislation urging action.

The most recent bill

, introduced in May 2011,

calls for “Venezuela to be designated a state sponsor of terrorism

for its support of Iran, Hezbollah, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).” Mack introduced similar bills in October 2009 and in March 2008. In a white paper on the subject last summer,

Mack argued that

terror-sponsor

designation was

not aimed at harming Venezuela’s people but to pressure Chavez’ government to end support for terrorism.

“Each

SST [

state sponsor of terrorism] is treated with a unique set of sanctions

, and the designation does not prevent travel to and from Venezuela, stop legal remittances to Venezuelan families, or impact services at the US embassy.” Mack said designation could target Venezuela’s oil exports, affecting more than 33 percent of the government’s revenues. “Venezuelan oil

profits have

not benefited the Venezuelan people

for years

: crime is out of control, social infrastructure is destroyed, and health and education are ruined,” the paper said. “Oil in Venezuela is

used as a weapon against the people and against

other,

friendly countries in the region

.”

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