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May 26, 2005


I don't know, this seems rather pointless as boycotts go. It was one thing to boycott Shell, as you could point to their association with apartheid South Africa and tell them "I'm not buying your gas because of this." This is something else altogether--there's no actual target whose behavior you're trying to change other than "not wholly owned by the government of Venezuela." The US imports quite a lot of its oil from Venezuela anyway. I guess what I'm saying is, this isn't really a boycott, it's a consumer preference, like buying fair-trade coffee.

Those interested in other targets for positive political-economic activism (have I coined a phrase?) can go here to buy Palestinian products online:


"positive political-economic activism"

Much better!

Thanks, Leila, I will try and use Citgo whenever possible.

Chavez may be an antiBush but Jimmy Carter he ain't. Don't forget that before being elected, Colonel Chavez tried to take power in a coup. While the Bush Administration's failure to denounce an attempted coup against Chavez was shameful, that doesn't mean he deserves our support. The enemy of our enemy is somebody we should keep a close eye on!

Thanks Alison for adding your remarks. I had a bit of compunction about posting this, since I know nothing of the situation. Luckily the blog world can be trusted to give feedback.

I've got a serious case of mixed emotions about Chavez. On the one hand, he was democratically elected, provided an alternative to the sclerotic Venezuelan party system, and has actually tried to do something for Venezuela's poor. On the other hand, he has become increasingly authoritarian and has developed parallel security forces, and is now perilously close to being a dictator. On balance I prefer him to the opposition (which, IMO, would act like Haiti's Group 184 if it ever came to power) but I certainly don't support him unconditionally.

Tell ya what. How about you travel to Venezuela and spend a little time there? I'm sure you'll find out soon enough how "kindhearted" Chavez is soon enough. Or, perhaps, ask someone who has escaped from there why they're in no hurry to go back. Ever wonder why these utopic societies like Venezuela make it so hard for their own people to come and go as they please? Or why the state controls all the media?

In living his dream of converting Venezuela into a communist paradise, Chavez has gutted its economy, introduced a police state, intimidated the media and turned the nation into a basket case. Before you accuse George Bush of doing the same, I (again) ask you to spend just a few weeks in any communist state -- Cuba, China, any will do -- and enlighten us on your experiences there.

I've worked and lived in a communist country. If you enjoy horrific poverty, revolting sanitary conditions, the inability to say ANYTHING negative about your government without fear for your life, and media that spoonfeeds you only what your government wants you to think and feel, then it may well be the paradise you have dreamed of.

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