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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

OneNewsNow - Bauer on Chavez

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez attend a ceremony in July at Borzuyrh petrochemical complex in Assaluyeh in the Persian Gulf.

Picture from Associated Press
Pro-family activist says Venezuelans
prefer freedom over socialism

Chad Groening
December 4, 2007

A pro-family and former presidential activist is encouraged by the recent vote in Venezuela that rejected President Hugo Chavez's attempt to move the country even further toward socialism.

The Venezuelan referendum would have allowed Chavez to create new types of communal property, handpick local leaders under a redrawn political map, suspend civil liberties during extended states of emergency, and run for president for the rest of his life. Without the constitutional overhaul Chavez will be barred from running again in 2012.

In light of those voting results, Gary Bauer of American Values says the Venezuelan people know that socialism does not work. "They would rather have freedom than to be given things to them free," states Bauer. "Chavez has been handing money out in poor neighborhoods and passing all kinds of new programs for the poor. But the result of all that is that the inflation rate in Venezuela is now 21 percent a year."

And Bauer doubts the vote against Chavez was as announced -- 51 percent to 49 percent. "I think most observers believe that for Chavez to concede defeat probably means the vote was more like 65-35, and he was afraid to try to steal the election as he's done in the past," he claims.

Bauer cautions about reading too much into the referendum's defeat. Chavez is still president, he points out -- and the conservative activist believes the Venezuelan strongman will attempt to do through the back door what he failed to do in this referendum.