Talk:Hugo Chávez/Archive 4

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This archive page covers approximately the dates between Aug. 2005 and Nov. 2005.

Post replies to the main talk page, copying the section you are replying to if necessary.
See Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page.

Pat Robertson Calls for Chavez' Assassination on Live Air

Earlier today televangelist Pat Robertson called for U.S. covert forces to assassinate President Hugo Chavez. After acknowledging Chavez' repeated claims that the U.S. is planning to assassinate him, Robertson said it would be a good idea and that it would be "cheaper than a war."


Does anyone understand is staunch anti-american beliefs? Does he have past dispute w/the USA or is it a purely ideological thing?

The text already includes some description of the relationships both between the two states and their leaders in the text. If you want a better description, hopefully we can add some more "further reading"s at the end. DanKeshet 16:19, August 23, 2005 (UTC)
Thank you. After hearing about Pat Robinson’s remarks, I had come here to read a bit less biased view on President Chávez. I was impressed with the article so far, but any additional insight or explanation of his policies would be helpful for those of us without a background in Venezuelan politics. CNN Headline News reported that Robinson also went on to compare President Chávez as another Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein. Regardless of the worldwide perception of these two, to an American audience, many of whom have no understanding of international geopolitics, President Chávez has become an instant villain. I am once again thankful for the people who work to expand Wikipedia, and keep it NPOV! --Tony Hecht 22:15, 23 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I added a short line to the policy section highlighting the social aspect of almost all of Chavez's policies. But that's pretty minor and I think the article gives as good an introduction to the man as possible. And on the Anti-Americanism, as the article points out, Chavez is anti-capitalist (to a degree) and a staunch supporter of South American independence, both of which inevitably lead to tensions with the US. GreatGodOm 08:50, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That, and the U.S. supported coup didn't help matters. --GD 01:06, 25 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I must confess that I love American people but understand his staunch anti-american beliefs. Viewed from outside, US governements are not playing a fair game. My opinion is an European one (with some West African influence). If I were born in South America I will probably have a less moderate opinion. Let's add that IMO Chavez is by no way a marxist but clearly a capitalist. Ericd 23:48, 25 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Chavez is not anti american. He has said many times that he loves american people, the issues are with Bush administration. When Clinton was the president, there were normal diplomatic relationships. Currently the white house doesn't even talk with the venezuelan ambassador. As an example, right now there is an UN summit where Chavez has tried to attend, but the US gov. has denied visas for his security and medical teams; to a country where he has received public death threats no less. As for the ideology, Chavez have said in many occasions that he is convinced that capitalism is the road to hell, and socialism the only alternative to save the planet and the human race. He is asking people to start an open debate of which kind of socialism we should build, studying the past without repeating the mistakes; this is the campaign for the "Socialism of the 21st century". Recently i made a slashdot comment about some of these issues which you might want to read.

Department of redundency department

There seems to be a lot of redundency in the "early years" section, particularly concerning the failed 1992 coup. I made a small edit to avoid giving the lead-in and date for that coup twice, but it still needs a lot more work... several things, like the causes of the social turmoil that lead to the coup, are repeated twice in different ways, while Chávez's incarceration and release are described, by my count, three times. Worst of all, most of these redundant sections contain slightly different information or tone, so we can't easily just choose one and remove the others. Some things will probably have to be deleted, and several others have to be re-arranged and rephrased slightly to flow properly and make sense. I don't want to do it myself because this is a controversal topic and I don't know too much about it, but I suppose I could try some obvious corrections if nobody else steps up to the plate.

Comments? Am I just seeing double? Did all these events in fact take place twice? Aquillion 00:28, 25 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, you're right. That first "early years" section goes over the same events approx. 2½ times each. Someone should fix it... Hajor 04:51, 25 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Further Neutrality Issues

As far as I'm aware, a lot of the views in this article about Chavez are largely a reflection of the villainous image that has been given to him by the American Government and media. This biased account seems to stem from the fact that he aimed to nationalize the oil industry instead of joining in on the American led trade arrangements, obviously causing a loss of profit for America. While it is quite easy to see that he is against American capitalism because he wishes to help the poor people of his country, it could be argued that Chavez is merely ‘hitting back’ by stating his anti-American stance due the comments/actions of the American government, such as the failed revolution against him that is widely believed to have been funded by the CIA. Also to compare Chavez to a dictator (when he is fairly and democratically elected) is simple propaganda, and seems to me to be sour grapes stemming from a government that failed to get its way. Reading this article, there seems to be too much emphasis placed upon the bad things about Chavez, and not enough on his progress. I’m not suggesting that he is a saint, but to call him a communist or a dictator just because he doesn’t bow down to American ideals of capitalism or prop up the American economic system is a bit of an unnecessary stretch to make. The fact that a popular rising defeated the failed coup against Chavez proves in a way that many of the labels pinned to the man are quite false. Further research is definitely needed.--Alex Jones 00:02, 30 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unless the article has been totally changed since my last reading, I would regard this article as balanced. It is quite clear from the article that Chavez enjoys widespread popular support. Bear in mind that a user here calling the man a dictator is very POV and should be removed while an American politician saying the same thing serves to illustrate the strains with the US. GreatGodOm Θtalk 10:07, 30 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems pretty balanced to me, too, especially for an article about such an internationally controversal figure. As far as I can see, it reports all the controversies, political disputes, and relevent facts in a neutral fashion. The big problem, really, is still some redundency and bizarre ordering in the 'early years' section. If you think there's a POV problem somewhere, though, then quote the relevent passage here and suggest an alternative wording. Aquillion 03:32, 2 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The bias against Chavez is apparent in the article. For example, while almost no discussion is given to the prominence of the Organization of American States counter present Venezuelian foreign policy, an entire paragraph is devoted to remind readers that the statement "socialism is the only path" (sans context) was made at a festivel that was primarly held in countries "aligned with the Soviet bloc," and then a listing of these countries. (I have deleted the mentioned paragraph) Why this is even a matter of any significance escapes me and no doubt many readers. What is apparent in the article are the carfully selected texts which, while niether incorrect nor overtly propagandistic, do most certainly try their hardest to associate Chavez in prescribed 'evils and enemies' of American political history: Communism, Facism, dictator (the linkage between Saddam and Chavez before the revision), anti-freedom, anti-US... Counter the stigmatized propaganda inside the United States against Chavez, readers who are trying to pursue a more scholarly outlook no doubt are affected by statements such as "risking their paychecks and their livelihood in order to protest the Chávez government" versus the three paragraphs devoted to Social Programs, a core program of Chavez government, attempting to improve the destitute conditions of the poor, men and women who are 'risking their lives.' On a similar note, critical documents such as the Tascon List or the events concerning the government actions against the legal petition towards demanding recall in 2002 are omitted. For shame... A comparison on the Wiki article on Fidel Castro for example only substantiates the claim of the misrepresentation and hostility against Chavez which is portrayed here.

US invasion plans

Venezuela has uncovered plans for a US-led invasion and is preparing to defend the country against invading forces if necessary, President Hugo Chavez said in a report carried by the state-run news agency. (

bogdan | Talk 22:11, 3 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Links section

Is there some standard how to handle POV in links? Mark them as pro or contra maybe? But the problem with some links is not POV itself, but over-the-top delivery: From vcrisis "Neo-socialism is not underway in Venezuela which currently experiences a non-democratic fascist state under Chavez."

From "Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez’s casual murders of young people [...] It’s also a legacy of Chavez’s willingness to shoot demonstrators, something that has damped protest rallies, this knowledge that one execution by Chavez goons will be carried out every time a group of people take to the streets." Looking at other entries of that blog, it frequently calls Chavez a dictator. But extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.

So, anyone against removing those 2? Especially given that two other linked blogs that are Anti-Chavez seem to be slightly less crass in their wording. I mean The Devil's Excrement and Venezuela News and Views --R.H. 06:45, 11 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removed now.--R.H. 16:58, 16 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Social Programs

Here is my explanation of the various social programs. The "missions" were implemented mostly as parallel efforts because the traditional institutions who are supposed to be in charge of handling these constitutional rights have failed to adapt to the current requirements of the nation. So while the long and painful reform occurs, these were implemented.


Misión Robinson: Based in a modern teaching method developed in Cuba and praised by Unesco, adapted for Venezuela its purpose is to teach people to read or write. It uses video lessons and a system of learning letters starting from numbers.
Misión Robinson 2: This one is for teaching basic education (up to 6th grade).
Misión Ribas: For teaching middle and high school education.
Misión Sucre: College and University education.
Misión Vuelvan Caras: Theorical and practical courses to teach people various skills they can use to work, such as woodcrafting, mechanics, plumbering, tourism, agriculture, etc. It also teaches cooperativism so people is encouraged to band together and form their own production or service business owned and ruled by themselves in a horizontal fashion.
These are all free, with unlimited capacity.


Misión Barrio Adentro: Health care at the primary level. Small modules right in the communities who can help diagnose health problems and cure simple problems right where the people live.
Misión Barrio Adentro 2: The secondary level. In between the large hospitals and the small modules, these centers can make most basic surgeons and have labs required to diagnose advanced diseases.
Misión Barrio Adentro 3: The larger hospitals for very serious problems. One of the main reasons of the first two is to reduce the pressure to overcrowded hospitals so they can function efficiently.
All treatment and medicine provided for free.
Misión Milagro: This is a special treaty between Cuba and Venezuela, to cure any eye illness for free. It has been recently extended to people outside Venezuela, anyone in the American continent can apply at any venezuelan embassy or consulate. Each case is studied giving preference to the poor. Selected patients will get free transportation, food, stay, treatment and surgery for free either in Cuba or Venezuela. 600000 people are benefiting yearly, with a goal of 6 million people in 10 years. This is part of the ALBA method of integration with the countries of the continent.


Misión Mercal: State owned chain of food supply and stores, selling at prices below the market, buys direct to the producers or imports paying directly to foreign countries (without middlemen). Misión Mercal also supplies the food for popular canteens where poor people can eat for cheap or in extreme cases for free.


Misión Habitat: Aimed for construction of houses and buildings prefering local labour (eg: such as people coming from Vuelvan Caras); since there is a great deficit for housing in the country. These are to be sold at cost prices, with better than market financing and in some extreme cases subsidized.


Misión Identidad: To ease the obtaining of an ID card. Venezuela has had an ID card since the 50ies, and the document needs to be renewed each 10 years. Foreigners living in the country also need one and would be equivalent to a "green" card in the US. Its absolutely forbidden to ask any money for this document, and foreigners who comply with all the legal requirements can obtain one. Note: You need this to vote.


Misión Guaicaipuro: "To restore the rights of the indigenous people and communities throught the country according to the Bolivarian Constitution of Venezuela".


Misión Miranda: "To organize, receive, register, control and re-train national armed forces reserve".


Misión Piar: "Sustainable development for mining communities to improve quality of life to small miners doing rational use and respect of the enviroment".

Here is a brief explanation of some of the missions (in spanish).

Strike or lockout?

It is, I gather, quite controversal as to whether what occured was a lockout or a strike but the curent section confuses the two terms. Something why the opposition claims it was a strike and why Chavez'a supporters allege it was merley a lockout would be helpful.Dejvid 16:14, 26 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bit complex this one. Only one section of the oil workers actually voted to go on strike (mainly the white collar workers + management). The union federation (CTV) called for a general strike to support them (without a ballot) and at the same time the business federation locked out their employees. Since the workers never actually got to make the decision (no ballots and locked out) its reasonably fair to call it a general lockout. In summary, a strike by the oil workers was supported by a nationwide lockout. Regards TheInquisitor
It's worth mentioning, though, that "one section of the oil workers" equalled roughly half of the PDVSA workforce, if the government's own numbers are to be believed.--RicardoC 01:33, 9 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We need more anti-Chavez arguments and content

I am relatively new to Wikipedia, and am not experienced in these things. I have been helping to rework this article over the past week or two. I believe that the article is not representative of the full range of anti-Chavez critique, and does not give it full eloquence and elaboration. I personally am generally sympathetic to Chavez's process, but feel that the article would be much improved by such critical representation. I am also extremely worried that the amount of edits critical of Chavez have plummeted. Any suggestions on how to encourage more criticism? Maybe add a "Human rights under Chavez" or "Repression by Chavez" section? Thank you. Saravask 23:43, 11 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Does anyone here speak German? Apparently, their article on Chavez is a featured article (and even just glancing at it through Babelfish it was clearly better-organized than ours). One easy way to flesh out this article, if no one here has anything to add to such sections, would be to get a German/English speaker to import material from theirs. Judging by the section headings, they seem to concentrate criticisms of him under the sections named something like "Chavez and the Oppositon" and "Chavez and the USA." --Aquillion 02:21, 13 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. I don't know any German speakers, but there are numerous web-based tools (AltaVista's "Babelfish" and Google's Translation tools. I've used them to translate crudely from German. A lot of word rearrangement is needed. I'll try to help transfer criticisms when I have more time. Saravask 08:18, 13 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And I think you're doing a bang-up job so far. All the Venezuela pages you've touched have been significantly improved. I think the article as it is points to places where we could improve our criticism substanstially. Places where we mention criticisms, but don't elaborate much:
  • Condemned by the ILO
  • Media law condemned
  • Venezuelan doctors condemn Barrio Adentro
  • Allegations of corruption (we can get much more specific)
Et cetera. I think we're a lot better off folding the criticism into the body of the narrative then isolating it. But great job so far. DanKeshet 18:19, 13 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, Dan. Yes, those four bullet point criticisms have not been explained in the article. I've taken a look at the Spanish-language version; they really do get far more specific on the corruption points. Unfortunately, there is an advisory above the criticisms section claiming that the factuality of the criticisms are disputed. I'm going to import them anyway, and maybe other people can winnow out the falacious content. I just added content on HRW criticisms of the new media (censorship) laws in the "human rights vilations" section (not sure if more is needed), I'll try to find info on ILO condemnation. Thanks, guys. Saravask 04:20, 16 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

credibility of the polls

I find the credibility of the 47% approval rating reported by the VOA to be a little bit lacking; at the very least, it should be attributed. The pollster, according to the article, is Keller and Associates. Keller is an anti-Chavez partisan [2]. Or, see this interview with Keller. Also, the VOA article doesn't make clear what the actual question was that received a 47% response. DanKeshet 16:38, 14 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

After reading the Narco News article, I think we should remove all references to Datanalisis and Keller polls (both the 71.8% and 47% figures). Judging from the descriptions in the piece of sampling biased towards middle and elite class neighborhoods, their polling methodology seems wholly fraudulant. I remember that in 2004, days before the referendum, their polls were indicating something like a 60-40 split against Chavez — almost exactly opposite of the Carter Center vetted results. Any thoughts from others? Saravask 04:58, 16 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Order of succession in 2002—which is right?

I just added a second secession box to the Hugo Chávez page to bring it in line with the list of Presidents of Venezuela. Then I noticed that the list on {{VEpresidents}} is different. The dates on the various pages are also confusing; the Chávez succession box below the one I added shows him returning to the presidency on April 13, 2002, but the Diosdado Cabello page says he took on presidental duties on that date.

Could someone who actually knows the correct order of all this synchronize the succession boxes, list, dates in the various articles, and the template? I don't know which one of these article(s) I should trust as “authoritative” in order to sync the rest of them to it. Thanks.

 — J’raxis   23:43, 14 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmm, figured it out. A combination of the way their “last names” are written and the fact that Diosdado Cabello was only president for a couple hours confused me. I added succession boxes to all of them now.
 — J’raxis   00:19, 15 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why is the text of this page justified?

This is the only page with justified text I've seen in Wikipedia so far. The html tag < div style="font-size: 100%; text-align:justify" > should be removed. GhePeU 15:33, 18 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you start a pge on criticisms of Hugo Chavez. Someone must start a page on criticisms of George W. Bush. You know it's only fair.

I'm the one who placed those tags there. I just removed them after seeing DanKeshet's remarks about them on the Bolivarian Missions talk page, after which I saw your comment. Weird coincidence! Saravask 17:16, 18 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Totalitarian" Castro in the lead?

The following is an excerpt from the talk page of Fidel Castro. It should give a justification of why I believe "Fidel Castro and his totalitarian regime" is a vague and POV statement, and does not belong in the lead paragraph. I was going to move the remark to another paragraph or remove it, but someone else beat me to it. Saravask 17:16, 18 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It doesn't matter, as you say, that many Wikipedia editors believe that the concept of "totalitarianism" works well, given the policy of "no original research." What matters is the classification of Cuba's regime by professional political scientists, and this is contested. In fact, most political scientists do not use the concept of "totalitarianism" as a typology for explaining Cuba's regime characteristics. By stating that Cuba is totalitarianism as a matter of fact in the article means ignoring the view of the majority of scholars and accepting the view of a tiny minority. This is not allowed given the NPOV policy. Instead, what you should try to adopt a neutral point of view by describing Cuba in a way that experts of all types accept, for example as a single-party state. 18:41, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Rather than asserting this can you be more specific? If there is a tiny minority that classify him as totalitarian, how do they define it, and does Cuba have the defined characteristics? Do the majority agree with the characteristics, and just contest the label/definition, or do they contest that Castro's Cuba has those characteristics? As you know from the past, I am not wedded to a mere term, as long as the true character of Castro's regime is prominent in the article, and not shoved off to a nether corner while the summary/intro white washes the issues. --Silverback 19:26, 23 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Keep in mind the how different the social sciences are in practice from the natural sciences. There are many competing definitions/conceptualizations of the term in the literature. Even scholars who share the same definition will disagree on whether or not the a particular case has the expected characteristics... If you are not wedded to a mere term, as you say you are, please use language that is not particular to certain kinds of perspectives. Instead, describe Castro's regime as a single-party state or a Communist state, which one cannot deny that Cuba falls under. 172 | Talk 19:37, 23 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
BTW, thanx for putting in the communist party led wikilink to communist state. I'm surprised that you are the first one here willing to compromise and not act as if the clique means you don't have to consider compromise.--Silverback 19:32, 23 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, but I do not know if that was my intent. I always favor the more accurate and precise language, regardless of the personalities involved in the editing. 172 | Talk 19:37, 23 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Recent Changes to opening

Recent growth has been strong, but fueled primarily by high oil prices, per capita GDP down by over 5% from Q1 1998 to present according to World Bank numbers. Also, poverty figures are misleading as Venezuela recently changed the way it calculates “official poverty”. Comparisons on poverty rates are impossible to make, as standards are different.

The lead paragraph did not adequately convey this. TDC 23:20, 22 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for your contributions to the Hugo Chavez article. I searched the World Bank, CIA World Factbook, and the INE (Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas) websites for the data on unemployment, GDP per-capita, and inflation. On the World Bank website, I was only able to find GDP data, while I found all three types on both the CIA and INE websites. GDP per-capita in fact plunged over 25% (not the 5% that you stated), while unployment did rise from around 16.5% in Jan 1999 (when Chavez started) to more than 19% at the end of 2004 (thus a rise over Chavez's term up to 2004). However, the official INE data shows that, since 2004, unemployment rate has throughout 2005 and up to the present remained significantly lower than 1998 levels (before Chavez), with the current September 2005 estimate of 11.5%. Hence the justification for the statement that unemployment dropped, as stated in the inline cite that was deleted; I have thus removed your statements on unemployment and inflation, while correcting your statement on GDP per-capita drop. Please provide links/sources in the article (as inline cites) if you decide you need to reinsert the unemployment/inflation statements again, and thanks for the interesting GDP data. Saravask 11:57, 23 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Keep Chavez discussion Neutral

Figures such as Hugo Chavez become controversial when their actions make them heroes and villains at the same time. Chavez is hated and loved at the same time and there are valid reasons for each side that go beyond simplistic 'class war' explations. While his progressive discourse and commitment to social programs make him worthy of appreaciation by the destitute and the international left. His critics also have legitimous reasons given Chavez' authoritarian practices and the failure of the government to address inflation and unemployment, inspite of record oil prices.

In my own research I have had great difficulty in finding balanced accounts on Hugo Chavez. Both, the left and the right are equally likely to bend their description of events in an effort to simplify a story that requires a complex analysis. Every statistic, every news article and every report on Venezuela seems to be slanted in one way or another.

Wikipedia, I trust you to be unique and do your best in finding the equilibrium in a topic where noone seems to holds an unbiased perspective.

Many of us have had the same experience. Most of the news articles and sources used to build this article skew Chavez one way or the other. They seem to either idolize Chavez with unctious praise, ignoring many of his authoritarian tendencies (like the draconian new censorship legislation pointed out in the Human Rights Violations section) and lack of universal (and at many times, less than majority) support, while others villanize him, ignoring the democratic elections — all like you said. This is unfortunate. Most of the articles cited in this piece seem to be fact-based, but are overwhelmingly mawkish in their pro-Chavez tone (e.g. Venezuelanalysis). We are trying to build more content on his failings to connect with groups of poor people, as well as the relative flat-lining of the unemployment (given the wild fluctuations, the "drop" so far can almost be considered statistically insignificant). It is sad that we do not have more contributors who are critical of Chavez, to help accomplish these goals. Saravask 17:45, 26 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bio or Events Narrative

If this a biography, what does the list of the Venezuelan cabinet do here? And the list of all the 'misiones? and such a detailed description of the government policies? I thought this would be an article about the man and not about everything realted to recent Venezuelan politics.

I find the article extremely long. I think it goes beyond telling Chavez life. Instead it talks at lenght about his policies and the political developments of Venezuela in recent years. I think it is best to split things and keep this article into a real biography, leaving those other parts for articles on Chavismo and Recent Venezuelan History (perhaps an article named 'Venezuelan Politics Under Chavez'). Anagnorisis 09:57, 24 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree the cabinet list is out of place in a biography. It is also outdated ( e.g. Infrastructure Ministry holder) and inaccurate ( most of the ministers did not take office in 2002, Prosecutor General is not a member of the cabinet). I think the list should be deleted. JRSP 19:40, 24 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. The cabinet comment is just one example. There is too much in the article of what goes on in an out. Almost like a blog. I guess people loose perspective because he is in the news so much (for better or worse). But yes, this is far from your good standard bio. Anagnorisis 01:32, 25 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your comments are appreciated. However, I must respectfully disagree. I refer you guys to the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton articles for examples where cabinet lists, detailed policy descriptions, social programs, etc. are laid out in the article. Since Chavez is a president, and his presidency has lasted about as long as theirs, why should we treat him any differently? But we could put the cabinet and policy stuff in daughter articles. Would that be OK? Saravask 02:14, 26 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is an important difference with the Clinton and G.W. Bush articles: According to Venezuelan Constitution the President is free to change the cabinet members and even create or remove ministries at will. Changes in the cabinet are frequent so the list is difficult to mantain. Also, as I poinded above, the Prosecutor General is not a member of the cabinet, not even a member of the executive branch but the citizen's branch (poder ciudadano). JRSP 05:44, 26 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did not know this. I just removed the Cabinet table from the article and put it in its own daughter (linked) article. I will correct the information according to what you said. Saravask 16:05, 26 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Saravask, do not try to shoot down my point with a very bad comparison (sorry but it is true). It is not a matter of Bush versus Chavez -one is president and the other one too, one one has been president longer than the other, so then he can get a longer bio? Is that your point? That is ridiculous (sorry). If you say that the bio of Bush is as long or longer than Chavez', well then Bush bio is also way too long. I am not comparing. I am just saying that this is absurdly long. And things like a cabinet do not belong in a bio. Your argument for saying the Chavez bio is not long cuz Bush is also long is like saying that it is ok to beat your wife because your neighboor does it. You do not excuse a wrong with another wrong. I haven't read Bush bio, but if it has also his cabinet there, well, then it is also wrong there. And if it is too long, well then it should also be dealt with. As to daughter articles, I do not know what a daughter article is. But if you mean a separate linked article, then I say yes, I agree with you. Cheers. Anagnorisis 05:58, 26 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK. I agree. You guys are absolutely correct, and I put back the verylong boilerplate. Feel free to remove any content you need to from the Chavez article. I just ask that the content that you remove goes somewhere — into a daughter article (a daughter article is , as you said, just a linked article), a new article, etc. Please don't just delete content without first putting a copy of it in some other article. If you do the deletions, I'll back you guys up in case you are accused of vandalism or are reverted. Have fun. Saravask 15:44, 26 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I already started reducing a bit the size of this article to make it more palatable to the masses (ie shorter and more readable). Do not worry that none of the info will be lost. For now, I just took some small portion and moved it here: Venezuelan presidential election, 1998. I will continue editing at some other time. My intention is to have the bio to be really informative about the basics of Chavez' life for the reader that knows little about him -regardless of the guy liking him or not. Those that want to read more and expand their knowdleage can the go to the "daughter" (linked) articles that discuss specific aspects in more detail. Cheers to all. BTW, I fear I may have screwed up with the reference notes -actually, I didn't do anything at all; thus there may be a need for someone to make some adjustement to the notes and move them to the other article where I moved that small section about the 1998 elections. --Anagnorisis 18:57, 28 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anagnorisis, I just moved the notes, references, etc. to their own templates in order to cut down the article's size. Anyone can edit these by following the header links that are right above the lists. Also, Anagnorisis, I saw you removed some material from the elections section; was this accidental or intentional, and what is your rationale? Thanks. Saravask 18:50, 29 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

53 o 61?

This article says Chavez is president No 61. However the article in the Spanish Wiki says he is 53. I do not care which number he is, but obviously he cannot be both. Either this article or that one is wrong. I suggest someone that cares about it, either change it here (if wrong) or tell those guys there that they are wrong so that they can change the article there. Anagnorisis 07:28, 26 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Accordingly to this list [3] he was No 52. Noting the "1999-2004" period, this must be a pre-1999 constitution list. If we accept this list as valid, Chavez was No 52 (1999-2000) and is now No 53 (2000-2006). Pedro Carmona and Diosdado Cabello do not count: The former was not officially president and the latter was only temporary president. JRSP 10:24, 26 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is quite ridiculous. I am the one who came up with the "61st" figure, by counted the distinct number of contiguous terms occupied by one individual. The means that if the first president was ousted and replaced by someone else (the 2nd president), but the first guy later returns and retakes the presidency, I would count the first guy as both the first AND third presidents. It sounds stupid, but it is the numbering system they use in the U.S. (Grover Cleveland is counted as BOTH the 22nd and 24th president of the U.S., even thought he is only one individual). If you don't like this quite strange U.S.-style numbering, feel free to just change it. Regards, Saravask 16:00, 26 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To make things worse, this list [4] says he's No 45 but at least they state their criteria [5]. They only list presidents that lasted at least a couple of months and give a single number for consecutive terms. There are still some oddities such as a shared No 3.JRSP 21:58, 26 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Saravask, let me try to see if I understand. You mean that in the USA they count the terms and not the man? I take this from your Grover Cleveland example. So each time a president is reelected he moves on notch up: before he was say the 34th and then he becomes the 35th? I am just asking to make sure I understood. Anyway, I think it will be intersting to clear this with the guys from the Spanish Wiki to see what they say (I asked there already). --Anagnorisis 05:20, 27 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, you are correct. This U.S. system numbers different terms separately, even if the same guy fills them. So Hugo Chavez is not the 61st distinct president. In fact, under the U.S. system, Hugo Chavez is both the 58th AND 61st president of Venezuela, Pérez is both the 52nd AND 55th president, etc. This is the numbering following in the Wikipedia article List of Presidents of Venezuela. Saravask 07:12, 27 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Saravask, as most people that read the Wiki more likely are not from the USA, and may not be familiar with that counting system, why not say that Chavez is the 53rd person to serve as president of Venezuela and that he is serving now the 61st term. Just a thought.--Anagnorisis 17:00, 27 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I removed the 61 ordering figure and put in 53 instead. Salu2, Saravask 23:04, 27 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Photo of Hugo Chavez as baby /child / teenager?

Does anyone have access to or know where to find a picture of a young Chavez? This would add much to the article. Like when he was in his teens or younger? I tried an image search on Google but, alas, nothing. Thanks. Saravask 04:09, 28 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I could not make any sense of the notes. I think that there have been many edits that have been made without making the corresponding changes to the notes -I think I just did one (mine being only one among many). For this reason now the notes are not in sync with the article. Perhaps someone who knows the details about the underlying matter can try better syncronizing the text and the notes. Cheers. --Anagnorisis 19:10, 28 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I just moved the notes, references, etc. to their own templates in order to cut down the article's size. Anyone can edit these by following the header links that are right above the lists. Also, Anagnorisis, I saw you removed some material from the elections section; was this accidental or intentional, and what is your rationale? Thanks. Saravask 18:50, 29 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Saravak, above I already explained that (before you asked). Read the section where we discuss about this article being too long. Well, you actually even added a comment right after mine. So, I do not understand. Didn't you read or you did and already forgot? :-) --Anagnorisis 03:18, 31 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I forgot. I'll re-remove the material that you deleted. We need to find a way to condense many of the sections before we can put this thing up for Featured Article Candidacy.
I waited. You didn't do it as you as said above you would. Thus I re-did it. Again, remember nothing has been lost -just moved details to more appriate "daughter" article. --Anagnorisis 01:56, 1 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, then. I think we're done here. Good day to you too, Anagnorisis. Saravask 11:32, 1 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Person who did the last edit, either screwed up unwillingly, or vandalized the artice as a lot has been lost. I do not know how to revert to Saravask last edition, so I am not even trying. On another note, I myself deleted by accident this link which should be at the beginning of the 1998 elections section:

. It should be added once the reversal is done. --Anagnorisis 19:23, 1 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How *NOT* to shorten this article

Someone by the username of "Kirstengosch" eliminated about 90-95% of the content on 01 Nov 2005, replacing it with three very poorly written paragraphs. Whatever that user's intentions were, such mass deletion are unfortunately considered vandalism (see Wikipedia:Vandalism for more). If anyone is going to help shorten the article, please use summary-style (see Wikipedia:Summary style). Please do the deletions in the manner that Anagnorisis is doing it, by placing all eliminated material in some related article. Thank you. Saravask 23:50, 1 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Early life?

The early life section of this article should be about ... you guessed it! The early life of Chavez. It seems that any time there is a chance to do it the writers like to digress and expand into other topics. Chavez's early life should not be an excuse to jump talk about "Bolivarianism." There is already an article about that. Why not include all this in that article? I fear that next someone will mention Chavez jumping on a plane to go on a trip, he will use that as an excuse to talk about the history of aviation in Venezuela. I wouldn't be surprised. Take out this below from Chavez's early life. It is not about his early life.

Chávez's version of Bolivarianism, although drawing heavily from Bolivar's ideals, was also strongly influenced by the writings of Marxist historian Federico Brito Figueroa. Chávez was also thoroughly steeped in the South American tradition of socialism and communism, such as that practiced by Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and Salvador Allende. These streams of influence would later become strongly manifest in his political philosophy and governance.
The central points of Chávez's Bolivarianism were:
1. Venezuelan economic and political sovereignty (anti-imperialism).
2. Grassroots political participation of the population via popular votes and referenda (participatory democracy).
3. Economic self-sufficiency (in food, consumer durables, et cetera).
4. Instilling in people a national ethic of patriotic service.
5. Equitable distribution of Venezuela's vast oil revenues.
6. Eliminating corruption.

Arggghhhh .... I guess I will have to do it. --Anagnorisis 06:25, 4 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Done. Saravask 09:08, 4 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

By the way ...

You will think I am pulling your leg, because after complaining things are too long, now I tell you about something that is short ;-) I think that with Chavez having spent so many years in the military, maybe there could be something to add in that section (without talking about the financing contracts for the factories that made the tanks he commanded). No, no, please do not get upset, do not hit me :-) Cheers.

Anagnorisis, did you notice the "For more details on this topic, see Military career of Hugo Chávez" link at the top of that section? If not, please concretely specify what else you want added to the "Military career" section. Only a few days ago, I added much content after doing some web research. Also, I was going to subject you to an extended rant on why Bolivarianism should be clearly defined and discussed in the Hugo Chavez article (just as Thatcherism is clearly defined and discussed in the Margaret Thatcher article (iand in the second lead paragraph, no less), which is after all only a Featured Article). Maybe I'll put my reasoning below, for future reference. Thank you. Saravask 10:15, 4 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why definition and discussion of Bolivarianism belongs in the Hugo Chavez article

Well, here is the rant. It was initially addressed to Anagnorisis, but is no longer addressed to anyone in particular — only to those who believe that motivating ideology (as welll as the development and study of such ideologies) that is discussedf in other articles do not belong in a biography.

I removed most of the material, but now that I think about it, it would be ridiculous to remove any of it. The truth is that, if it were not for Chavez's own idolization of Che, Fidel, Allende, and others, the world would not give a damn about Chavez to the degree that it does now. Why do tens of thousands of emails and calls come in from the world over whenever Chavez is interviewed on Al Jazeera or the BBC World or on ABC's Nightline? And why would the same NOT happen if, say, Alvaro Uribe were to do the same? Why are there Bolivarian Circles and Venezuela solidarity brigades spread throughout the U.S., Australia, Germany, the U.K., Russia, Canada, etc. And why are there no "Uribe solidarity brigades"? Why has Chavez appeared on so many magazine covers, while the world hardly knows Uribe's face or sex, or indeed whether he even still president? Because Uribe is just another one of the ubiguitous neoliberals, while Chavez is one of the few exceptions to the world's neoliberal rulers. And why is Chavez an exception, you ask? Because of Bolivarianism, which motivated Chavez from his college years. Without the Bolivarianism and other influences and figures that have motivated Chavez, Chavez would just be yet another boring, garden variety stooge like Chen Shui-bian, like Lech Kaczyński, like Viktor Yushchenko, etc. All of these leaders govern nations much larger or more powerful than Venezuela. Yet, do you know who these people are? Have you heard of them recently in the news? Splashed on magazine covers? Do you know their faces? Yes, I'm absolutely sure you have. Who the hell among ordinary people worldwide give a damn about these people, except for U.S. policy elites and doctrinal managers? Where is the worldwide mass support and interest for these other leaders?

Chavez is hated and loved BECAUSE of (his definition of) Bolivarianism, which he developed early on, in his college years. The Margaret Thatcher page, which is an FA, also rightly discusses the development of Thatcherism (even though there is a separate article on that), right on that page and in the lead (read it for yourself). A Margaret Thatcher article that doesn't define and discuss Thatcherism would no way in hell be complete (and it would no way in hell be an FA). Likewise with Chavez and Bolivarianism. You, Anagnorisis, seem to have a very narrow conception of biographical early life (you would confine it to dates, actions, and facts while excluding thoughts and motivations), and I take it you would remove all material that has its own wikipedia article. This sounds resonable in theory, but does not hold up when we consider that an FA article must have FLOW. It must explain a STORY, a continuous narration with ideologies, actions, facts, etc. all tied together, so that readers understand the whole picture. Your extreme utilitarianism would confine this Chavez narrative to what is observable and not to the ideology that undergirds that observable, that forces the hand of reality via motivation and doctrine. While this extreme utilitarianism would obtain well if one were presenting a graduate thesis in quantum thermodynamics, it DOES NOT obtain in the case of biographies. It does not serve the goal of FLOW in properly presenting the saga of Chavez, as the saga of Thatcher has been presented. WHY did Chavez do things. What was he THINKING. Bolivarianism. THAT is what he was thinking. That's why he launched his 1992 coup, campaigned for president, launched his missions, and on and on ...

These influences, along with Bolivarianism, DEFINE Chavez. And these influences came into play in his early years, so that is were they belong. By the way, I have read the discussion on the Spanish-language Hugo Chavez page, and I agree with the people there that you are arguing against over there. If you want to remove material, then by all means remove it. You do not need to ask my or anyone else's permission. But please do not expect me to agree with everything you propose. But still, I appreciate your arguments. Saravask 09:08, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Well, well, well .... this could turn now into a serious debate .... but not sure we are here to debate so I will try to keep this reply short. I presonally think that at times guys like those you mention above have so many followers not so much for what they support, but for what they do standing against the BIG GUYS. This not news. Remember following the Russian revolution it became "chic" for intellectuals all over to become lefties. I am not questioning the leaders themselves, but sometimes some of their followers who just follow out of some romantic notion that makes them think they are cool if they do it -following and supporting a leader that is so different.
If you want to have a section about Bolivarianism, which I would call Chavismo instead and mention Bolivarianism inside the section). But I would not write about Chavez early life and then without neither warning nor anesthesia find myself, instead of reading about his early life, to be reading in detail about his philosophy. Again, I haven't read the other bios. They could be better written or my comment could also apply to them. In any case, I still think the same in this specific case. Lets first write a real bio and then we can think about what to expand and what not to.
I do not know Chavez' life so well as to say what about his military life should be included, but with so many years spent there, I bet that in any biography book writen about his "whole" life, we would relatively find much more than what we find here.
Now, this is becoming too long. Sorry for that. Maybe we should keep our energy for the edits in the article instead of typing furioiusly here. :-) Cheers. --Anagnorisis 17:45, 4 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Something is very wrong here. There has been a lot of vandalism over just the last few hours, whereas before there was virtually none before (and that that there was was very minor). People are now blanking, vandalizing, and replacing images with monkey images, etc. — just like at the George W. Bush article. All this vandalism started after I made all the changes to pics yesterday and started putting Bolivarianism in his early life section. What is wrong now? Maybe I'lll change some of it back ... Saravask 21:55, 4 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Question about the election and the largest margin

The article says Chavez won the election .... by 56.2% of the vote, by the largest margin won by any candidate in over four decades .... Is that right? I do not know. But I am not sure we are using the right terms. Isn't margin really the difference over the following candidate, the one that came second? Was it the largest vote, or the largest margin or both? In any case, is 56.2% the margin over the following guy or his total % vote out of the total. I am a bit confused with the terminology. Just asking to make sure we are geting it right. Thanks. --Anagnorisis 17:50, 4 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I commented out that statement until it can be verified. Saravask 21:57, 4 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Saravask - if you're responsible for the vast improvements to this article over the last few months, I'd like to register my appreciation. And so too for everyone else who has helped get it on a more neutral and even-handed footing. I used to use this page as an example of negative bias against an individual that a small group of Wikipedia contributors can create. This is no longer the case (although it is obviously a work-in-progress), and for such an important political figure, it is to be applauded. Trxi 09:48, 5 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for the appreciation. Most of the work on this article was done by others, though. I only came along recently to help organize wwhat was already there. Saravask 23:36, 5 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What about Bush's human rights abuses?

To be quite honest, I do not find Chavez' human rights abuses any worse than George W. Bush's human rights abuses--may I say Abu Ghraib, for one, and Guantanamo Bay for the second, and the Patriot Act the third? The US treated the Nazis better at Nuremberg than we have treated any Iraqis in our custody.

As to Chavez' forces reportedly killing people, as tragic as that is, Bush has killed 2,000 (and counting) of his own people in Iraq over WMD's that were never there in the first place, and when it became clear they would not be found, all of a sudden we were giving our soldier's lives helping the Iraqis be "free and democratic."

Bush was questionably elected in BOTH elections. Bush has also tried to suppress bad press (the photos of coffins returning from Iraq)or any press that says anything against him. He calls those against him "conspiracy theorists" or "unpatriotic," and apparently, has gone to lengths (through those nearest and dearest to him) to discredit those who do not agree with them (CIA outing of Valerie Plame). Chavez' complaints about 'US imperialism' are not unfounded. Bush uses his religion as a foundation for "manifest destiny" in that he believes "God wants him to be President," so therefore, God wants him to spread Christianity and the American way all over the world. If I were president of any other country outside the US and had oil wells, and the country coming to get my oil wells had a war in Iraq that was going badly, I guess I'd feel a little frightened about a superpower trying to arm wrestle me into an agreement that would favour the US overwhelmingly as well.

I still find this article trying to make Chavez out to be this "bad guy" because he doesn't like the US, while Bush's article makes it seem like he's got the right to do as he likes simply because he's the President of the good old USA.

... errr... I think you got confused and wrote comments about the the wrong article. THIS article is about Hugo Chavez, you know that guy who is president of that cute country named Venezuela. George W. Bush got lucky and got his own article. If you go to (I am gonna be nice and give you the link) George W. Bush, then you can read the article there and then AFTER you have read it, then you could contribute to the discussion with your comments about what is wrong WITH THE ARTICLE (that one, not this one - and the article, not the man) and how you may wish to improve it (again that article, not this one). No need to thank me. You are very welcome. --Anagnorisis 04:36, 6 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gandhi and Bush?

Saravak, note the reply I gave (just above) to someone who came here to discuss Bush. If you add comments like "Go put this notice on the Mahatma Gandhi, George W. Bush (both of which are longer than this one) if you feel like making a statement" -as you just did- when explaing why you made an edit. It takes away from your coolness and it becomes obvious that you are biased. I did not put that template there (I had in the past, but things are improving), but the point is that one should discuss the merits of a position based on the facts themselves and not by comparison to others (those could also be wrong). If you think that Gandhi's and Bush's articles are long, then you should go put that template there. But reacting to somebody else doing it with that statement does not help make the case for this article standing on its own on its own merits (it has improved since earlier days - still could do better in some areas). If you show that you are biased in such an obvious way, you will attract attention and someone may come to put a NPOV template -and I bet you don't want that. Cheers. --Anagnorisis 05:39, 7 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I apologize for the crass comment, but I was outraged that people insist on putting those sort of notices on this page and not the many others that are much longer than this one. I don't know what the politics of that user was (nor do I care), but I felt that this was a double standard for that user to put that notice here and not on the Mahatma Gandhi page (which is 83 kilobytes long, while the Chavez article is only 72 kb). For now, I just put the notice back because I just cannot argue anymore. Saravask 07:41, 7 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No need to put it back if you really think the article is fine in lenght. I mean, do not base your decision in an argument with somebody else. Just do what you think is right. However, regarding your comment about comparing the articles, how do you, or any of us for that matter, know that those people who put the template here have read the others articles? We don't know, then we cannot accuse him of double standards. In the absence of other evidence we are to assume always good faith from all the contributors. We cannot use as justification for a wrong thing that there is another than is even wronger -that is a weak defense. If I am reading through Wiki, I make edits as I come accross the pages. I do not decide to wait and look for other instances where things may be worse. If that was the case, every time anyome thought an article was too long (relative to its own quality) people would never end looking for a longer article. There would always be the doubt. Anyway, the article was way too long IMO before (weeks ago), but it is improving. Funny, enough, I think some things deserve expanding while others still could benefit by some portions being moved to daughter articles. But we are making good progress. One thing is for sure, this is a better article than the one in the Spanish wiki. That one is really long. Cheers --Anagnorisis 08:06, 7 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, I just checked and the article about George Bush is listed in Wikipedia:Longpages. Notice what that page says about long articles: Long pages are generally good, indicating in-depth and interesting content. However, it can also indicate that several topics have been lumped together. Consideration should be given to splitting them up into more concise medium-sized articles. See Wikipedia:Article size for advice. See? It says long pages are generally good. Splitting up an article into smaller ones and reducing the size does not have a negative connotiation per se. Better not be on the defensive assuming bad faith. Some of the articles in that list are very good articles.

--Anagnorisis 08:46, 7 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links

In older versions of the article there used to be more external links. I think those that discuss Chavez should be brought back. Anyone looking for info on him should be able to go to other sources; both of supporters and of critics. People then should come by themselves to their own conclusion after reading from all types of sources. I will check back and add some of those links (as long as they are relevant in light of the article). --Anagnorisis 05:39, 7 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

All right. Feel free to put them back. I guess I will put them back, since I took them out. I considered those links that didn't deal directly and exclusively with Chavez as link spam (both the pro and anti Chavez sites). The rules against linkspam are rigorously enforced on the medical and biology related pages, but not so much in politics pages. I thought that those links should go into the media of Venezuela page or somewhere else, but not here. Saravask 07:37, 7 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I haven't check each link. I agree with you that if those links take the reader to pages where he/she can not read more about Chavez or things related to what is discussed at lenght in the article, then they should not be here. Cheers. --Anagnorisis 08:10, 7 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]