|By Jim McPeak (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #457) on Sunday, December 3, 2006 - 4:58 pm:|
How do people on Bonaire feel about Hugo Chavez going for another 6 years as president? I don't know a whole lot about Rosales, but he seems to be wanting Venezuela to go in the right direction. Whatever the right direction is for Venezuela, I don't know.
|By Brigitte Kley - Coco Palm Garden (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #552) on Sunday, December 3, 2006 - 6:48 pm:|
I can only speak for myself and my friends and staff members ... all of us dislike him intensely. Even intensely I dislike Reuters and AP who have in the last years and even days shown that they can not even report in a more or less objective way. Only because Chavez calls himself a socialist and dislikes Bush they support him. They published polls which were paid by the state oil company (PVVSA) but not the many other polls done by independant international and national companies. The fear factor will have played a big role in the elections today as at the last election and the recall referendum lists circulated afterwards who voted what and many people lost their jobs (after the 19.000 who lost their jobs after the general strike in 2002/2003).
|By Jim McPeak (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #460) on Sunday, December 3, 2006 - 7:31 pm:|
Very interesting Brigitte. Thank you for the blogs. Crazy stuff for sure.
|By Vince DePietro (Bellevue Condos # 9) (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #575) on Sunday, December 3, 2006 - 8:02 pm:|
Well folks we all have our own opinions.. Mine succinctly stated is that Chavez is scum!
|By Anonymous (BonaireTalker - Post #24) on Monday, December 4, 2006 - 6:44 am:|
I'm not surprised that a lot of you don't have a lot of regard for Chavez, even going as far as calling him names. I'm sure Chavez, like a lot of politicians everywhere around the world, is an opportunist and has his bad sides. And calling himself a "socialist", attacking George Bush and supporting Castro will not please most U.S. Americans, I'm sure. I can't say that I'm a big fan of Chavez, not at all, but I don't think his track record is worse than a lot of the (U.S.supported) right wing governments we've had in Middle and South America in the past. It's a simple fact that the poor in his country are far better off now then they were before (medical services, jobs) and his government is not a fascist style torturing junta like we had in Chile, Panama, Paraguay etc, which no American president ever complained about... Of course Chavez is not to be trusted, but hey, look at our own governments, are they any better?
|By Brigitte Kley - Coco Palm Garden (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #553) on Monday, December 4, 2006 - 7:14 am:|
Alex, I am not American , I am from Berlin and I live for 20 years on Bonaire, my husband is English and lives 33 years on Bonaire. We have travelled Venezuela in the past rather often every year and I think I know it rather well. We have lots of friends there. But about 4 years ago we gave up ! I don't know your age, but you as a European should know about how it was to live in one of the Eastern European countries - if you are too young, you should ask somebody .... under Chavez Venezuela is more and more like that - only the communist countries had a rather low crime rate, under Chavez crime is now even worse than in Rio! What our politicians are doing, that is here rather unimportant, the question was about our feelings. When I read some comments in news papers or hear some comments (like yours) it puts you back in history. Not only to the iron curtain times, but even to Hitler times. Till the war started, there were lots of people (mostly so called interlectuals and nobility) in Holland and England who defended everything Hitler did..... what would you think if Balkenende calls a "cadena" about 3 times a week and all tv and radio stations have to stop their programs and send for hours his rambling speeches full of hate and threats ? How would you feel if you have to be extremely careful to whom you speak and what you say every day and hour of your live ? I guess the next move of Chavez will be to not renew (up in March) all permits for private tv and radio stations.... up to now about 40 journalists have been attacked, 3 killed ... that will go worse ....
|By Anonymous (BonaireTalker - Post #25) on Monday, December 4, 2006 - 7:37 am:|
Brigitte, I know you're not American, I value your opinion very much as in many discussions you take part in you seem to have a very well balanced and in informed opinion. In this case you again seem to be well informed. Recently there have been a lot of documentaries on Dutch tv about Chavez, showing both the good and the bad sides. As I said before, I am not at all a big fan of Chavez, but based on what I know, I still think Chile under Pinochet and Argentina under the junta were far worse off. Of course we don't know what what the future will bring, and there are sure signs his megalomanic traits are being reinforced, but comparing him to Hitler at this stage seems rather far fetched. I appreciate your feelings, as you have seen communist rule from up close. But it seems that every time that a left wing government comes to power in a country relatively close to the U.S.A., everything that government does is far worse than the atrocities committed by right wing governments. I have seen different figures from yours (housing for the poor has gone up, as have and healthcare/education/work), and it seems that the majority of poor people agree with his policies, as I just hear he has been re-elected. But of course there might have been irregularities. Maybe we should send Jeb Bush to check the ballots!
|By Brigitte Kley - Coco Palm Garden (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #554) on Monday, December 4, 2006 - 7:58 am:|
Alex, I know more than well that the international media has a strange way of reporting about Chavez. Like you they take the figures off the government sites .... governments are doutful at their best, a government like Chavez you trust with figures ???? I don't know much from my own view of Caracas, but a lot about different country sides. In the mountains it was normal that every 2nd village had a school, so the village in the middle (and villages there stretch a lot) could use the school right or left, which ever was closer. After 2 years of Chavez quite a number of these schools had been closed. Teachers out of work. Suddenly there are Cubans living in these unused schools (what are they doing in the mountains ?) .... same is for the doctors. Quite some hospital doctors are out of work, there are Cubans now - less well educated than the Venezualean doctors .... Chavez pays for that with oil to Cuba, no payments made. The average hospital has no supplies, the private hospitals can not buy, because of the restriction to buy foreign money (for private people $1000 a year !) - the real rich dont care, they have their foreign bank accounts anyhow, and the party profiteers don't care either, they get as many $$ as they want.
|By Anonymous (BonaireTalker - Post #26) on Monday, December 4, 2006 - 9:57 am:|
Brigitte, the figures at my disposal aren't from Chavez' government (I wouldn't trust those at all) but from independent sources used in recent international documentaries and newspaper articles about Chavez' government. They might all be wrong (and probably are) but there is nothing to support the contrary as well. And I see nothing wrong in exchanging goods for other goods instead for money exchanging hands with lots of middlemen. And Cuban doctors are very well trained, and Cuba has one of the best and most accessible health care in the Carribean (these are not Cuban statistics!) and Central & South America.
|By Barbara "CB" Gibson (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #470) on Monday, December 4, 2006 - 12:56 pm:|
Jim, thanks for starting this thread. I like it when BT gets used for this kind of discussion, and would love to hear more local opinions on Chavez and other local and international topics. Nice to hear points of view that haven't gotten filtered through conventional media.
|By Andy & Dave Bartlett (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #648) on Monday, December 4, 2006 - 1:40 pm:|
History shows that all dictators start slow and inoffensive then build as they gain more and more power. This seems to be what Chavez is doing by aligning himself with other socialist countries.
|By Vince DePietro (Bellevue Condos # 9) (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #577) on Monday, December 4, 2006 - 3:45 pm:|
Andy..You are quite right..Next step is doing away with term limits. Chavez will want his appointment to be for life! Same story, same song, just a different key & tempo..
|By Brigitte Kley - Coco Palm Garden (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #556) on Monday, December 4, 2006 - 5:16 pm:|
Andy & Dave, please don't give Chavez more credit than he deserves. Real socialist don't accept him. Lula in Brasil can be called a socialist & democrat does align with him, but he needs his oil and they share a border ..... Morales in Bolivia has still to prove he is a socialist.
|By Jim McPeak (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #462) on Tuesday, December 5, 2006 - 1:51 am:|
Barbara, no problem. As a history teacher, I love keeping up with the present to see how history will be molded. In my curriculum, we must donate 20% of our week to current events. Venezuela, especially after Chavez's actions, at the UN, opened some eyeballs here to the man and his agenda. Some may view his antics there as showtime. I viewed it as how he plans to allign himself in the western hemisphere in the years to come. It will not be pretty, no matter which way our country will turn, politcially, in the next few years.
|By Cam (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #737) on Thursday, December 7, 2006 - 1:51 pm:|
Chavez and Kim Jong-il....need I say more? Brigitte, you are bang on...those who forget (ignore) history are destined to repeat it.
|By Vince DePietro (Bellevue Condos # 9) (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #586) on Thursday, December 7, 2006 - 4:17 pm:|
That's Kim Mentally ill !!
|By Anonymous (BonaireTalker - Post #28) on Thursday, December 7, 2006 - 4:35 pm:|
As far I can remember neither Chavez nor Kim has started an illegal war in the last few years (yet!), unlike some other countries...
|By Patrick T. aka Guido (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1510) on Thursday, December 7, 2006 - 6:34 pm:|
Alex what illegal war are you referring too.
|By Jim McPeak (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #468) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 12:28 am:|
Alex, your anti-American sentiment is fairly obvious on this thread. As an American, and a veteran of a war, I was not real happy about seeing us going into another quagmire that is Iraq. However, the original question of this thread was about the politics of Venezuela, and how it relates to Bonaireans, not your European ideas about American involvement in Iraq or Afgahnistan.
|By Harrie Cox (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #447) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 4:10 am:|
As usual, on BT (and other American-oriented boards) any kind of criticism on America or American people is not accepted. Alex, you should know by now.....
|By Anonymous (BonaireTalker - Post #29) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 5:40 am:|
Patrick, of course I'm referring to the terrible war in Iraq with its devastating results, which was based on "misinformation" (=lies).
|By Cecil (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #5257) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 10:10 am:|
Harrie and Alex I did want to make one point about bashing America, at least from my perspective, please do. I enjoy the criticism myself and welcome a different perspective.
|By Anonymous (BonaireTalker - Post #31) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 11:06 am:|
Thanks for your comments, Cecil. I'm very glad to have found at least one American out there who enjoys a bit of criticism (everybody, before you start getting yourselves worked up again, this is an attempt at satire, maybe a poor one, but still an attempt).
|By Cynde (Moderator) (Moderator - Post #381) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 11:07 am:|
Cecil, you have opened the flood gates, so may I suggest you moderate this thread moving forward?
|By Anonymous (BonaireTalker - Post #33) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 11:35 am:|
I'll be nice, Cynde, don't worry.
|By Brigitte Kley - Coco Palm Garden (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #560) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 11:54 am:|
a rather good editorial in the Washington Post
|By Cecil (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #5258) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 12:32 pm:|
Oh sure make me moderate, hey I don't get paid for that. Ahhh, neither do you, oh, never mind. It is a crying shame that we lost some excellent BT'ers for this. You need a thick skin if you play on the internet.
|By Marilyn Mc Clain Friedrich (BonaireTalker - Post #73) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 1:48 pm:|
Minor contribution here, but based on very personal experiences. I was born and raised on Aruba of American parents (missionaries), with a year here and there in Curacao, Bonaire, Costa Rica and 2 years in Venezuela. I spent my youth denying that I was either American or Dutch due to the "Ugly American" tourists' behavior that was commonly displayed by tourists in Aruba, and due to my Dutch teachers insisting that only Americans chew gum with their mouths open and speak crudely and rudely. Most of my energy denying I was Dutch was because the Dutch were not viewed very favorably on the islands, especially amongst those my parents spent a lot of time ministering to and helping. I'm also tall, skinny and blond - a fact that made me crazy during all those years, but I speak Papiamento, Dutch and Spanish fluently - which is common in the islands. Couldn't disguise myself very well unless I opened my mouth. English was rarely spoken at home. I went to high school for 2 years in the sixties in the Andes mountains, in the small, beautiful village of Rubio, Venezuela which is about half way down the western border of Venezuela and Colombia. It was a safe town, with good schools and wonderful people. Very little extreme poverty. I travelled as a 13 and 14 year old, alone with my brother who was 16 (what were my parents thinking!!!!) from Aruba to Maracaibo by plane, from Maracaibo to San Cristobal by bus (16 hours on one of those busses with the chickens!), and then 1 hour by taxi to Rubio. Venezuela was then, the Costa Rica of Latin America. Large middle class, fairly safe, except for the Communist Guerilleros. My best friend's father was kidnapped and managed to escape, after hearing others that were kidnapped by the same group, shot. We were warned repeatedly by the Venezuelan authorities that there were illegal Military outposts in the countryside set up by the Guerilleros to trap people, especially foreigners. The legal military outposts were there to monitor travel between counties. Cedulas had to be shown for identification by foreigners. My friend's family and I were in an old station wagon (missionaries are not rich!) and we were on our way from Barquisemento to the shore for a day at the beach during school vacation when we were warned about some illegal outposts. We had to run one, were shot at, and managed to safely get to the shore. It was terrifying. This is the group that grew in power in later years that Chavez is in charge of. Also, there were little pockets of places - usually in the interior, were we were taunted for being Americans, and had cow dung thrown in our faces or rocks thrown at us. Our foreign policy in Latin America has always driven me nuts (anyone remember the United Fruit Company?), but it doesn't change the terrible behaviour of the dictators/leaders either. They have their own responsibility. My humble opinion is that their is plenty of blame to go around, but fixing the problems of poverty, health care and education - which should include access to varied information - should be a greater priority than getting huge militias - which you can't deny - Chavez has had a grand old time doing. Venezuelan doctors are also well trained and being pushed aside by the Cuban doctors brought in by the "trade" agreements with Castro. It's too bad Venezuela has deteriorated so from the beautiful country I remember. It was not perfect, but was in a lot better shape than it is now. The answer to the problems that exist there now are much more complicated than the being the total fault of the U.S.A. Sorry for rambling, but it's tough to condense. The kind of total power Chavez needs and demands, rarely is a good thing. The old adage - "absolute power corrupts - total power corrupts absolutely". Feel free to fix the expression, I am know for getting them a tad bit wrong! All the above said, I don't know anywhere I've lived that I've had such freedom expressing myself. Yes, I'm very proud of much of what's good in this country, just feel that our foreign policy had lacked judgement for many, many years, through varied political parties and leaders. Well, I've avoided it for the last week, but have finally thrown myself into the fray!
|By Cecil (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #5259) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 2:07 pm:|
Minor contribution, I don't think so. Very nicely said. Wow, what a story. It is a shame to see a lovely country go to hell by a lousy government. There's a lesson in this for all of us and as I am fond of saying, Hitler was elected.
|By Anonymous (BonaireTalker - Post #35) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 2:10 pm:|
Thanks for your "minor" contribution, Marilyn. It's stories and testimonies like yours that really make the internet worth wile.
|By Barbara "CB" Gibson (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #491) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 2:14 pm:|
Yeah, again, yay for a place to read different perspectives.
|By Marilyn Mc Clain Friedrich (BonaireTalker - Post #74) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 2:32 pm:|
Bless you my child!!! I'd love the company. It get's a bit lonely way out here after being in the NY Tri-State area for 35 years! I too enjoy getting a different perspective on things. Difference of opinion is good, listening to each other is critical and educational!! Respect is key. That's part of what I've enjoyed so much on BT. There is much to be learned out there.
|By Brigitte Kley - Coco Palm Garden (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #561) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 2:49 pm:|
Marilyn, for us it was always the Andes too, but lower down, the area of Bocono in Estado Trujillo. When we started going there (1992 ?) there were no security guards with rifles around, not even at a bank ! One year after Chavez came into power, the rifles were everywhere ..... and 3 years after, break ins, robberies, hold ups were "normal" ..... it is sooo sad ! We traveled thousends of kilometers around the whole country till up to the Brazilean border, we met so many very nice and helpful people.... but seen all the very real danger, in May 2002 we went for the last time to Venezuela ....
|By Mod Seb (Moderator - Post #72) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 2:59 pm:|
Vince, stop the name calling. It is no substitute for information, and has no place in an intelligent discussion, no matter what your point of view.
|By Vince DePietro (Bellevue Condos # 9) (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #591) on Friday, December 8, 2006 - 4:34 pm:|
Since the title of this thread is "what are your feelings"; briefly & succinctly I stated them. I could write much more, but really don't see the need to. Sorry if I offended anyone, certainly not my intention. If other people on this thread disagree with my description that's their prerogative. The "election" which was held in Venezuela was the best election money can buy (again IMHO).
|By Jim McPeak (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #469) on Saturday, December 9, 2006 - 12:19 am:|
OK, having been to Europe many times in my life, I have seen, firsthand, our credibility go down with Europeans. As I stated above, I was not jumping up and down and waving Old Glory when George decided to go into Iraq. Being a teacher and student of history, I knew immediately the problems the Shi'a and Sunnis would have as soon as Sadaam's dictatorship was gone.
|By victor mena (BonaireTalker - Post #73) on Saturday, December 9, 2006 - 2:55 pm:|
Even the chavistas(Chavez´s supporters)dont know where Venezuela is going,they just repeat what his master says as if they were parrots.To me it is pretty clear,it is going to a dictatorship,or better said,we already are in a dictatorship as all of the powers has been kidnapped by him,Chavez,of course,denies it,but time has shown that he always do the opposite of what he says.
|By Marilyn Mc Clain Friedrich (BonaireTalker - Post #75) on Saturday, December 9, 2006 - 4:25 pm:|
I don't currently live on Bonaire, but have a great deal of love for it and its people. When it comes to Chavez, I'm very concerned for Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire due to their immediate proximity to Venezuela. This summer I spoke at great length with some prominent people in Aruba who consider Chavez a fantastic leader and consider their greatest threat - Holland. This greatly concerns me. In addition, my parents, younger brother and sister were in Curacao in the late sixties, early seventies when Willemstad (the capital city) nearly burned down. The uprising was led/fueled by Venezuelans of the group that Chavez has come out of, and members of the Black Panther organization from the U.S. Curacoa's tourist trade tanked (that's when Aruba was "discovered") and the economic situation got very ugly due to the unrest that was encouraged/promoted there. Curacao is now ripe for the same thing unless it faces it's problems head on. Both islands are very close, geographically, politically and socially to Bonaire, and I would therefor be concerned. As I said previously, Chavez has made a big point of increasing his military might, and has been confiscating a great deal of private property in the name of "equality" in Venezuela and nationalizing businesses. The relationship of all three islands with the U.S. has been amicable, but would definitely be curtailed, if not eliminated if Chavez has his way. Holland is barely tolerated. All this sounds very paranoid, I know, and I hope I am very wrong. My opinion!!!!
|By Brigitte Kley - Coco Palm Garden (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #563) on Saturday, December 9, 2006 - 4:55 pm:|
The ABC islands are really 3 different birds. There is not even much love between Curacao and Bonaire. Curacao voted in the referendum for the status aparte and Bonaire voted with 63% for the direct link to Holland... After Curacao rejected the Agreement I have even heard on Bonaire people saying "ok, than Curacao people need a work permit to come to Bonaire" ... and the comments from some of these NO sayer politicians on Curacao about going to Chavez for help have not been a good one for the Bonaireans. Today a protest meeting took place on the Brion plein in Curacao, but I work and have not seen any pictures or heard any comments yet. I personally think if Chavez is going to make troubles it would be first about the disputed Guayana areas which Venezuela claims for a long time (oil rich I guess) .... and there are some disputed areas on the Columbian border as well ....
|By Marilyn Mc Clain Friedrich (BonaireTalker - Post #76) on Saturday, December 9, 2006 - 5:06 pm:|
Thanks Brigitte, the voice of reason!! I'm a worry wart by nature!
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