December 2, 2007

Venezuelan Strongman Throws Hissy Fit

Hatched by Dafydd

President Oogo Chavez of Venezuela has threatened to nationalize (that is, confiscate) the Venezuelan subsidiaries of two Spanish banks, Banco Santander SA (BS) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA).

BBVA purchased the Venezuelan Banco Provincial a decade ago; BS purchased nearly all of Banco de Venezuela in 1996 for about $350 billion. Both transactions occurred before Hugo Chavez was first elected president of Venezuela in 1998 -- but after he attempted to overthrow the government by coup d'état six years earlier.

So why is Chavez threatening to seize the Spanish banks? Let's allow him to tell it in his own words:

"Are we going to turn the page, are we going to forget? No!" Chavez told hundreds of thousands of supporters at a campaign rally ahead of a vote Sunday on changes to Venezuela's constitution.

"The only way this is going to be fixed is for the king of Spain to offer an apology for having attacked the Venezuelan head of state," Chavez said.

Otherwise, "I'll start thinking about what actions to take," he continued. "Spaniards bought some banks here, and it doesn't cost me anything to take those banks back and nationalize them again, and put them in the service of the Venezuelan people."

So... how exactly did King Juan Carlos of Spain "attack[] the Venezuelan head of state," as Chavez said, speaking about himself in the third person again? Why, King Juan told Chavez to "shut up" at a conference in Chile?

And why did he do that, other than the obvious (that Chavez is a pissant bully whose very forte is boorish behavior)? Because the thuggish Chavez called former Prime Minister of Spain Jose Maria Aznar a "Fascist."

I see the adults are once again running things in South America. Meanwhile, word from the electoral front is that voting is strangely light in areas known to be friendly to Oogo:

The referendum, which follows several weeks of street protests and frenetic campaigning around the 69 proposed amendments, appeared to unfold largely without irregularities and violence. Still, turnout in some areas was unexpectedly low, particularly in poor districts that are traditional bastions of loyalty for Mr. Chávez.

We don't know yet whether the Venezuelan people are going to vote today to allow Oogo to essentially remain president for life, without having to worry about future elections or recalls, and to give him a Castroite level of dictatorial power to "formally establish a socialist state". We can only hope the Venezuelan people have finally come to their senses; we should find out late today or early Monday.

Nobody knows how the tyrant-in-waiting will react if his referendum fails. Perhaps he can threaten to nationalize the entire electorate if they don't give him what he wants.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 2, 2007, at the time of 2:04 PM

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» Venezuelan Strongman Throws Hissy Fit - the Rest of the Story from Big Lizards
This is by way of an update to our previous post, Venezuelan Strongman Throws Hissy Fit. As most of you know by now, in an amazing and joyous slap in the face of the pudgy premier, the voters of Venezuela... [Read More]

Tracked on December 3, 2007 3:41 AM


The following hissed in response by: hunter

There is no way that the referendum granting him dictatorship will fail. The vote is irrelevant. He wants it close to give him the pretense to go after the VRWC working to undermine the 'the will of the people' And he has no concern about who he ticks off or what he steals by-by-decree. We may have a currency and energy crisis on our hands in a matter of days, to say nothing of a military confrontation. I will not be at all surprised to see a defense treaty with Russia announced very soon, with a military base granted to Russia. I also expect to see an explicit alliance with Iran to use oil against the west. Expect to see oil sold in Euro denominated ocntracts before the end of the year.
And he will be in court in the US demanding to protect Citgo from any sort of retaliation, just to stick it in and twist.
Permitting this to happen in our own backyard is Bush's greatest failure.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 2, 2007 3:09 PM

The following hissed in response by: Steven Den Beste

I think that Hugo is going to win, no matter what the voters say. There isn't a chance in hell that this will be a fair vote.

But blaming this on Bush is idiocy.

The above hissed in response by: Steven Den Beste [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 2, 2007 7:54 PM

The following hissed in response by: Steven Den Beste

Of course, I could be wrong. Early reports are that it was defeated.

The above hissed in response by: Steven Den Beste [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 2, 2007 8:12 PM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

Seldom have I been so glad to be so wrong.
Now we will see what Chavez' plan B is.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 3, 2007 5:42 AM

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