Tag Archives: Hugo Chavez

Venezuela’s Government-Run Healthcare Morgue

Morgue_(1)Originally posted at American Thinker

The best way to scare wayward teens straight is to take them to prisons, morgues, and the scenes of fatal car crashes. The idea is to show out-of-control kids the end result of their stupidity, be it with their involvement in what the CDC calls the “national epidemic” of drug addiction, or a propensity toward a life of crime, alcohol abuse, or even promiscuous sex.

With that in mind, one can’t help but wonder whether it’s too late for America to be “Scared Straight,” because from the look of things, in the area of healthcare reform, our nation may be beyond help.

Let’s remember –- before ObamaCare was signed into law the warnings were many, most of which were ignored.  Since then, Obama has watched beheadings and immolations with the cold distance of a seasoned executioner, all the while attempting to convince Americans that their health and well-being is his top priority.

Sarah Palin warned of death panels and was mercilessly mocked, only to be vindicated when it was found out that American veterans were already dying on waiting lists, in government-run and funded VA hospitals. Now as the Affordable Care Act, which is ending up to be not so affordable, kicks in, the federal government is discussing reimbursing Medicare for “end of life discussions” that encourage the elderly and the infirm to reject costly treatment and sign on for glamorized pill-iative, I mean palliative care.

In addition, Johnson & Johnson, which has been involved in the implementation of ObamaCare from the start and has opined endlessly about controlling healthcare costs, has started an ambitious project to predict who will get a disease. Being peddled as a preventative/curative effort, the more realistic among us can only wonder whether the results of this venture will help the government determine who ultimately receives lifesaving care and who not to waste the money on.

The results of those endeavors remain to be seen, as well as whether the elderly mothers of future Jane Sturms, who Obama implied were a “waste” despite their “joy of living,” will be denied pacemakers based on their age.

Meanwhile, if there is still time to jolt America awake with more day-to-day concerns, maybe taking a look at the socialized healthcare issues of Venezuela will be our nation’s version of a scared-straight visit to the federally-run healthcare morgue.

The late Hugo Chávez, proponent of socialized everything, once said something similar to what Obama’s actions tacitly lend credibility to, which is that “healthcare is a human right.”  Chávez said:

Privatization is a neoliberal and imperialist plan. Health can’t be privatized because it is a fundamental human right, nor can education, water, electricity and other public services. They can’t be surrendered to private capital that denies the people from their rights.

And so, the Venezuelan government controls water and electricity. Despite all that government oversight, regrettably, the people of Venezuela often find themselves in the dark because according to César Batiz in an article in the Americas Quarterly, since the nation nationalized the electrical grid, the “government has failed to build enough new power plants and to maintain existing ones.”

Although America is approximately 1,500 miles away from Venezuela, that sounds similar to how the hospital and doctor shortage is shaping up since ObamaCare became law.

As for public health services, Venezuela has high instances of Dengue fever, especially in areas that lack the potable water and trash collection. Although Chávez said that water is a human right and that the water supply is best overseen by the régime, there are water shortages and rationing.

And just as all these other human rights have turned out in Venezuela, so too is the non-privatized fundamental human right of government-provided healthcare ending up to be a forecast of what America can expect when Obama’s fundamental transformation of the U.S. healthcare system is complete.

Currently, Venezuela is suffering from a drug shortage so dire that the shelves in the pharmacies and the hospitals are completely bare.

So perhaps Americans, who get antsy if they have to wait more than 10 minutes for Amoxicillin for a kid’s earache, should consider an ObamaCare scared-straight fieldtrip to a Caracas pharmacy, where there is no Vitamin C, no folic acid, and no acetaminophen. Meanwhile, thanks to superior government-provided public health services, 35,000 Venezuelans infected with mosquito-transmitted viruses like Chikungunya have no Tylenol to treat severe joint pain.

So much for government-enforced human rights.

According to an article by Sergio Held titled “Tweeting for Treatment in Venezuela”, the country is also “facing a critical shortage of basic medical supplies.” Adding insult to injury, pharmacists must keep their stores open eight hours a day even though the shelves are bare, because if they close the benevolent human rights-oriented Venezuelan government suspends their license.

Not only are very sick people being denied essential medicines to survive, the Venezuelan healthcare infrastructure is collapsing because of money the government owes drug companies and other healthcare providers. While Hugo the Late considered privatization of healthcare to be denying basic human rights, 15% of Venezuela’s cancer patients are dying for lack of radiotherapy treatment and breast cancer victims are waiting to have tumors removed at a large Venezuelan medical facility, which on a smaller scale can certainly be likened to America’s VA waiting list where U.S. veterans died from lack of treatment.

And so, much like a group of at-risk juvenile delinquents who think jail is no big deal find out with a trip to a penitentiary that they’re wrong, maybe it’s time for Americans to take a good hard look at Venezuela and be scared straight into doing something about Obamacare before it’s too late.

Did Hugo Chávez Pick the New Pope?

120103020208-chavez-praying-story-topOriginally posted at American Thinker

Recently Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted that Hugo Chávez would return on the clouds with Jesus on Resurrection Day. Then, Venezuela’s left-wing “president in charge” and hopeful successor to Hugo Chávez, Vice President Nicolás Maduro, gave Hugo credit for convincing Christ to influence the papal conclave to choose a South American pope. Immediately following the white smoke puffing from the Vatican chimney, Nicolás did some puffing of his own, only his was emanating from a bodily orifice bearing no resemblance to a chimney.

Based on his comments, Nicolás Maduro apparently thinks the room-temperature despot is sitting at the right hand of God, still fulfilling the calling of dictator. In the mystical eyes of Maduro, a follower of the late Bhagawan guru Śri Sathya Sai Baba, Chávez is also a “spiritual saint and miracle worker.” The late president of Venezuela is proving so potent a force that at his funeral he actually got Mahmoud to lose his head and commit “haram” by hugging his grief-stricken mother, Elena Frias de Chávez .

Nonetheless, Maduro, who must be smoking something other than Venezuelan cigars, said, “We know that our commander has risen up there and is face to face with Christ.” That comment, which wasn’t a joke, prompted laughter in the crowd Nicolás was addressing. In Maduro’s opinion, Hugo was such a great persuader that when the conclave in Rome was having difficulty choosing a pope, Hugo “got to Christ,” pulled Him aside and whispered in His ear, and thus “influenced things so that a South American pope was chosen.”

And that’s not all. According to Maduro, “One of these days [Chávez] is going to call a constitutional congress in heaven to change the church in the world, so that the people, only Christ’s pure people rule in this world.” That sounds more like Mahmoud’s vision for Islam than Jesus’ vision for a fallen planet the Bible says is destined for destruction by fire.

Besides, if Hugo Chávez is so persuasive that he was able to move the hand of God to install Argentine Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis I, how come he couldn’t persuade the Almighty to cure his terminal pelvic cancer and allow him to oppress Venezuela for another 14 years?

Everyone knows how Hugo’s story ended. Therefore, in death as in life, Chávez is so highly esteemed that there were plans to call in a taxidermist — of sorts — to preserve Hugo’s body so that he can be put on exhibition in Caracas. That way, Chávez can lie in state in a manner similar to dead dictators he has admired, such as Kim Jong Il, Hồ Chí Minh, Stalin, Lenin, and Argentine megalomaniac Evita ‘don’t cry for me’ Perón.

Based on Maduro’s assessment of the sainted Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, one would think the nation of Venezuela was in possession of an incorruptible corpse. Now we come to find out that after leaving St. Hugo’s body on display in a military academy like some sweaty salami sandwich that’s been sitting in the sun too long, embalming experts who were called in are of the opinion that Chávez’s carcass may have passed its sale date, so to speak.

Russian embalming specialists had expressed their willingness to drain Chávez’s blood from his tissues, remove his organs, pump him full of embalming fluid and submerge his sorry ass into a bathtub filled with formaldehyde, and then put the lid on it, wrap it in a white cloth, and basically pickle him in a room with “precise temperature and humidity conditions” for six months.

The Russians were even willing to instruct the Venezuelans on the upkeep, temperature and humidity requirements, the “bacterial threats,” the need for a sterile sarcophagus, the twice-weekly inspection, and the need for Hugo to be submerged every year and a half in the embalming solution for one month, then dried off, gussied up, and plopped back out on the display bed.

Now we come to find out that because Chávez was distracted by telling Jesus who His pick for pope should be, he forgot to transmit the directive to the people in charge of his preservation that if his corpse was going to be dressed up and put on permanent display, “precautionary steps would have to have [been] taken much earlier.” In other words, once again, from the smell of things, there’s something rotten in Caracas.

Nuking Hugo

zarahustra_home_1

Originally posted at American Thinker blog

Forget “Abraham, Martin and John,” now we have Hugo, Jesus and Mahdi because Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is convinced that Chávez will return to the earth with the redeemer of Islam, 12th Imam Mahdi’s personal deputy Jesus Christ.

Extolling Jesus as Mahdi’s deputy is unusual coming from a man that despises Jews, which is precisely what Jesus the ‘deputy’ is.  Maybe Mahmoud is just a little confused and thinks Jesus, who the Shias call Isa, is Roman Catholic like Hugo.

Either way, one thing is for sure: Iran’s president believes Hugo Chávez’s stature is such that he’ll be returning on “resurrection day” with religious figures Mahmoud believes are Islam’s allies — even if they’re not.

Grief-stricken over Chávez’s death, Iran’s president wrote a letter of condolence to Venezuela’s interim president, Nicolás Maduro, in which he spoke in glowing terms about the dead dictator.

According to crazy-as-a-loon Mahmoud, although Hugo is very much dead, he believes that:

Chávez is alive, as long as justice, love and freedom are living. He is alive, as long as piety, brightness, and humanity are living. He is alive, as long as nations are alive and struggle for consolidating independence, justice and kindness.

Okeydokey.

Placing Chávez in the company of a deity, Iran’s president continued his tribute:

I have no doubt that he will come back, and along with Christ the Savior, the heir to all saintly and perfect men, and will bring peace, justice and perfection for all.

Pouring it on with more gusto than he does when talking about wiping Israel “off the map,” Mahmoud concluded:

Hugo Chávez was a name known to all nations. His name is reminiscent of pure innocence, kindness, fortitude and love for the people, to serve the people, especially the poor and the victims of colonialism and imperialism by arrogant powers. He is indeed a martyr of the road to service to Venezuelan people, and preserving human and revolutionary values.

All that love, peace, and perfection talk is unusual coming from an anti-Semite Twelver Shī’a Muslim bent on personally ushering in the return of the 12th Imam by generating a worldwide cataclysm with a nuclear bomb.

Undeterred by mutually assured destruction, Mahmoud is willing to see Iran go up in smoke as an ultimate act of martyrdom on behalf of Muhammad al-Mahdii.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s plan?  Destroy the Zionist nation where, whether he realizes it or not Jesus Christ is due to return east of Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives. So if Ahmadinejad nukes Israel to usher in chaos on the wrong day and Chávez is coming back with Jesus, Mahmoud will be nuking Hugo.

 

Hollyweirdos Mourn the Death of a Dictator

BmMv5-300x199If the Venezuelans are looking for high-powered pallbearers to carry a tyrant to his final resting place, filmmakers Michael Moore and Oliver Stone and actor Sean ‘Harvey Milk’ Penn would probably be anxious to do the honors.

Moore, Stone, and Penn have made millions from the type of capitalistic box office competition ‘Dead Man Walking’ Hugo Chávez decried.  Yet, after hearing about Chávez’s passing, Oliver Stone’s reaction was “I mourn a great hero.”

Stone first met Chávez in December of 2007. Then in 2009, he defended the dictator in South of the Border, a documentary that explored political and social changes in South America.  The film was an attempt to portray Hugo Chávez as something other than the “strongman…buffoon…clown” that he was.

Hearing of Hugo’s demise, Oliver Stone, whose net worth is $50 million, said “I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place. Hated by the entrenched classes, Hugo Chávez will live forever in history.”  Bidding adieu, the fact-challenged filmmaker added, “My friend, rest finally in a peace long earned.”

 Read the article at The Blacksphere.net

Socialized Medicine Even Kills Socialists

url-120Originally posted at American Thinker blog

The President of Venezuela’s dependence on Cuban healthcare obviously failed him, because Hugo Chávez is dead.  In a July 16, 2011 New York Times article entitled “Chávez Puts His Trust in Castro for Care,” Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, was quoted as saying “For Chávez, questions of trust, political loyalty and control trump all other considerations. Fidel is one of the few people in which Chávez has utter faith and trust. He is prepared to entrust his health to Fidel, even if he could get better treatment elsewhere.”

Notwithstanding Chávez’s “utter faith and trust” in Fidel Castro and the Cuban National Health System, the Venezuelan dictator has now officially assumed room temperature.  America should pay heed, because if Hugo could speak from the grave it’s likely he’d say that caution should be exercised before placing all your healthcare eggs in the wrong basket.

For political reasons and in order to maintain the type of secrecy propagandists require in order to retain power, Chávez chose La Habana’s Centro de Investigaciones Médico Quirúrgicas (CIMEQ) and its incompetent doctors to treat his cancer. The hard truth is that according to some, the cancer that killed Chávez, had it been diagnosed correctly, was treatable.

The curious thing about all this is that Michael Moore’s Cuba wasn’t Chávez’s only choice for healthcare.  It is alleged that at a summit in Caracas, Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff told colleagues that Chávez would die as a “result of his excessive paranoia rather than as a consequence of his serious – yet treatable – cancer.”

Rousseff should know; she herself was successfully treated for lymphatic cancer at the Sirio-Libanese Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil. When Chávez refused the invitation to come to Sao Paulo for treatment, the Brazilian president even offered her country’s best doctors come to Caracas to assist with his care.  Chávez declined the offer and stuck it out in Cuba.

Over the years, Hugo Chávez has subsidized Cuba with $5 billion annually and sent them 115,000 barrels of oil a day, both of which should have ensured him top-notch medical care.  The problem is that the best that socialized medicine had to offer the ailing dictator turned out to be not quite good enough, because from the looks of things, not-quite-good-enough is the best socialized medicine has to offer – even to billionaire dictators.

A Venezuelan pulmonologist living in Naples, Florida named Jose Rafael Marquina with “first-hand sources and information about the president’s health,” called Chávez’s Cuba-care “complete disorder.”

Dr. Marquina explained that Cubano doctors originally misdiagnosed the nature and location of Chávez’s tumor and subsequently botched two surgeries.  Then, an already dire situation was compounded when Chávez was given high doses of the wrong chemotherapy drugs and steroids, which caused the tumor to “mutate,” making it impossible to treat.  This is how Cuban socialized medicine cared for an important bigwig?

Yet, even after all that, Chávez insisted on going back to Cuba for a third surgery. That type of allegiance can only be likened to Americans going through a disastrous first term with Barack Obama and then, rather than refusing further treatment, inviting the Mad Dr. O to continue administering high doses of the wrong medicine for another four years.

Marquina claims he repeatedly suggested to Chávez that he travel to the US, since in Cuba “they have no experience in these cases.”  Unmoved by such logic, Chávez chose to return to Cuba and the ramifications of that choice resulted in protracted suffering from an untreatable cancer, a severe respiratory infection, septic shock, mechanical respiration, excruciating pain, and premature death at 58 years of age.

To this, most would say hallelujah; the world is down one socialist dictator who surely won’t be missed.  But what Americans should really pay heed to is Hugo Chávez’s loyalty to Fidel Castro’s Cuban healthcare system and what it ultimately got him. Obama loyalists might not want to admit it, but Chávez’s blind faith in something that failed him bears a striking resemblance to the ‘Hope and Change’ crowd’s unwavering faith in both the president and his vision for Obamacare. The latter group may not realize it just yet, but because of their lapse in good judgment everyone is now at risk to meet the same painful, chaotic end as Hugo.

In the wake of Chávez’ death, what is worth noting is that the deceased Venezuelan president reigned over a South American country, had $2 billion squirreled away, and had unlimited access to doctors Cuba considered their finest. Yet despite those formidable perks, Hugo is still very much dead – which should prove to Obamacare believers that socialized medicine couldn’t even save one of the world’s most dedicated socialists.

Harry Belafonte Suggests that Barack Obama Jail Political Detractors

harry-belafonteOriginally posted at American Thinker blog

The “King of Calypso,” Hugo Chávez enthusiast, and “Banana Boat” crooner, octogenarian Harry Belafonte is so thrilled with the reelection of Barack Obama that he’s taken to cable “news” network MSNBC to share his views on how President Obama should deal with political nemeses.

In addition to singing, acting and songwriting, throughout his career Harry “Viva la revolucion” Belafonte has also promoted himself as a civil rights advocate and humanitarian.  In addition to issuing indictments like: “Our foreign policy has made a wreck of this planet,” Mr. Belafonte also heartily endorses the ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s socialist revolution.

Once, when addressing the Venezuelan people, Harry Belafonte told his audience that George W. Bush was the “greatest terrorist” in the world. Another time, sounding more like he was describing the current president, Mr. Belafonte made the following statement about the former president: “I think [G.W.] Bush has a very selfish, arrogant point of view. I think he is interested in power, I think he believes his truth is the only truth, and that he will do what he wants to do despite the people.”

Leaving aside Belafonte’s hatred for Bush and his fondness for dictator-style governing, it’s still kind of alarming to hear that ole’ Harry suggested President Obama incarcerate American citizens who speak out against him.

The topic came up when Belafonte appeared as a guest on Al Sharpton’s Politics Nation.  Belafonte was on a panel with global human rights/social justice activist Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Senator Robert Kennedy and former wife of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo. During the interview, Harry, who passionately and stridently exercised his first amendment rights throughout the eight years former President G.W. Bush was in office, shared some stunning Hugo Chávez-style advice for Barack Obama.

Sharpton began the conversation by asking Belafonte:

Ah… ah…you’ve fought for decades for some of the ‘quote’ entitlements that the…ah… right wing wants to try and balance this budget… ah… balance the deficit off of.  As you look at this Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security…You’ve been an activist leader from Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, to Dr. King through Mandela to Obama.  How do you view this and what is the challenge for those that are on the field today?

Belafonte replied, “What I think has most attracted me to this whole process is watching the political maturity of the American people.” Clearly, Harry Belafonte defines reelecting a president who is in the process of establishing a socialist-style government as “political maturity.”

Nevertheless, Harry continued to elaborate:

Because there was a great question during the first election as to whether or not Barack would even be elected.  And after the turn out so emphatically put him in the presidency it was interesting to watch the second turn[out] when everybody really didn’t quite know what the game would be.

Without referring directly to the looming fiscal cliff and oblivious to the fact that Obama voters had no clue what Obama was really talking about, Harry came to the conclusion that the American people “[i]n their maturity declared themselves fully: ‘We want what Barack Obama is talking about.  We want the country to go in that direction’.”

Then, the celebrated humanitarian shared the inhumane sentiment that Obama’s political rivals are a “[l]ingering infestation of really corrupt people who sit trying to dismantle the wishes of the people, the mandate that has been given to Barack Obama.”

In the past, Belafonte has accused the Obama-loving American media of falsely portraying Chávez as a “dictator.” At the time, the singer/activist also shared the opinion that in Venezuela there is “democracy and [the] citizens are ‘optimistic about their future.'” What Belafonte failed to mention was that Hugo Chávez regularly imprisons political dissidents, calling them “common criminals.”

Hence, to deal with the threat of political dissension here in America, it’s not surprising that Harry Belafonte would suggest that the “only thing left for Barab…Barack Obama to do is to work like a third world dictator and just throw all these guys in jail [Sharpton/Kennedy nervously giggle] for violating the American desire.”

Harry Belafonte, who has always enjoyed the freedom to voice his oppressed/oppressor point of view, obviously never considered two-term president G. W. Bush a man whose reelection reflected a mandate, let alone an expression of “American desire.” Yet, suddenly, with the reappointment of Barack Obama, the singer feels emboldened to openly call for nonconformists with differing opinions to be imprisoned?

Even still, rather than expressing astonishment, Americans should thank Mr. Harry Belafonte for not only giving us that snappy Caribbean “Day-O” banana song, but more importantly for lending his voice to express the true heart and soul of the progressive left.

 

Outsmarting a Chicago Smarty at His Own Game

Originally posted at American Thinker

It’s a week since the 2012 election, and personally, I’m totally disoriented.  I mistook Friday for Wednesday; I live on an island destroyed by hurricane Sandy; and my overall mood borders on despondent.  For me, anyway, it’s depressing that left-wing academes, women in vagina suits, illegal aliens, liberal progressives, 85% of all Muslims living in America, and Hugo Chávez, Vladimir Putin, Fidel Castro, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are all equally ecstatic about the re-election of Barack Obama.

While disconcerting to most, those types of accolades have not been wasted on the president.  He has mistaken a non-mandate for a mandate and is wasting zero time frenetically fast-tracking policies guaranteed to further limit the constitutional freedoms of every American, including those who were twirling around like Deadheads after the November 6 election was called.

And even though the Republicans retained control of the House, in the bleakness and disappointment that remains, there seems to be little hope left for those who thought the election would turn out differently.

The truth is that while the last vestiges of freedom hinge directly on state representatives who attest to conservative principles, hearing Barry’s favorite golf partner John Boehner saying that ObamaCare is now “the law of the land” has made many, including myself, want to throw ourselves off that “fiscal cliff” that’s currently the topic of alarmed discussion.

On the day following the election, Speaker Boehner politely acquiesced to the effect that the people’s choice indicates that indeed this is Barack Obama’s “moment.”  However, Boehner did maintain that while he’s committed to assisting the president in reining in entitlement programs and is anxious to support serious spending cuts, Congress is not open to punishing small business owners — i.e., “the rich” — with tax increases.

Sorry, but John Boehner feigning bravado coupled with Barack Obama’s self-assured swaggering has only added to the pervading depression that has gripped half the country.  What America is currently being subjected to by Barack Obama is the same “I won” attitude he had in 2009 when he proposed and implemented his failed $787-billion stimulus package.

Nonetheless, John Boehner has encouraged the president to take the lead.  Yet for the sake of the future of America, at this juncture, John is the one who should be doing the leading.

Instead of immediately extending an olive branch, what the speaker of the House should recognize is that he’s the one who holds the power when it comes to everything the cocksure Obama believes he now controls.  If Mr. Boehner spent more time paying attention and less time at the tanning salon, he might realize that the key to hamstringing Barack Obama’s goals is to outsmart a Chicago smarty at his own game.

How?  Well, before election week ended, the retired four-star general/civilian CIA director General David Petraeus admitted to an extramarital affair and promptly stepped down.  Petraeus’s shocking resignation took place one week prior to being compelled to testify before Congress about the seven-hour terrorist attack on the Libyan consulate in Benghazi that took the lives of four Americans on the anniversary of September 11.

As a group, most Obama voters have proven to be generally oblivious to the more serious issues facing America’s future.  Perhaps David Petraeus’s suspiciously timed resignation will be the thing that finally captures the attention of those who, thus far, have been more concerned with Big Bird and birth control than an American ambassador being raped, tortured, and killed.

Therefore, instead of allowing the haughty Barack Obama to continue calling the shots, House Republicans could use General Petraeus’s resignation as a catalyst to wrest control from the president and place it back into the hands of the American people.

To do so, it would be necessary for congressional Republicans to muster up the temerity to use the Benghazi cover-up as clout; then, once they’re hit in the paycheck, even those who supported the foolishly reelected Two-Term Terminator will be demanding answers about what went down in Libya.

In lieu of Petraeus’s testimony, the first step would be for Republicans to promptly petition the White House to hand over all correspondence relating to the Benghazi event.  John Boehner could then demand pertinent evidence including e-mails and videos from the Situation Room, from which place the terrorist attack was taped as it unfolded in real time.  If Barack Obama and his minions choose to continue to stonewall, the speaker will be justified in countering the president’s refusal by publicly refusing to comply with budgetary negotiations, including discussions about tax cuts, rates, and revenue.

If Mr. Boehner manages to effectively utilize the incident in Benghazi for political leverage and the nation subsequently careens forward over the “fiscal cliff,” the president can then be held accountable.  Moreover, Boehner will at least have a fighting chance to make the argument that the nation’s economic woes are a result of the White House refusing to come clean.

In other words, if, on behalf of the American people, Republicans in Congress suck it up and grasp the optimal set of circumstances currently before them, then, caught between a “fiscal cliff” and Benghazi, Barack Obama will be the one doing the surrendering, not the other way around.

Life Lessons from Chávez’s Cancer

Originally posted at American Thinker

On many levels, thanks to Venezuelan president Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, Americans are in the midst of a teachable moment.  If President of the United States Barack Obama pays attention, maybe he can learn a thing or two from the experiences of a man whose politics mirrors his own.

Just last summer, Hugo Chávez revealed that “Cuban doctors had removed a cancerous tumor from his abdominal region.”  The socialist, totalitarian tyrant has had three operations in less than one year and recently spent time receiving treatment in Cuba, a country other than the one whose health care system imprisons the 29 million people he leads.

Unlike their leader, if Venezuelans get sick, they don’t have the luxury of choosing the quality and quantity of treatment.  Statistics show that only 4% of the Venezuelan population is aged 65 or older — for the 4%, that’s indicative of good genes, not good medicine.  At 57 years old, apparently Mr. Chávez is part of the unfortunate 96% because as it stands, it appears unlikely that he’ll see his 58th birthday.

Like all mortal flesh, Hugo Chávez is desperate to survive…so much so that rather than receive treatment in Venezuela — a country that, thanks to him, provides shoddy “free” health care to its citizens — the socialist leader is availing himself of Fidel Castro’s high-quality medical services, where, for lack of ambulances, people are sometimes transported to the hospital in wheelbarrows.

Venezuela’s “youthful state government has criticized Chávez for choosing to be treated abroad, saying it sends a bad message to ordinary Venezuelans if he does not trust local doctors.”  But why should he?  Does anyone recall Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams circumventing the Canadian health care system and coming to the U.S. for open-heart surgery?

It was just last year, after being treated in Cuba, when Hugo Chávez expressed that the goal of Venezuelan government to provide a free and comprehensive health care system to ensure the “lives” and “happiness” of the Venezuelan people.  He reminded his country’s citizens that “this is what the socialist motherland is about.”

Failing to find a remedy for his cancer in Cuba, rather than receiving treatment at home, Chávez now heads toward Brazil, which is a hint that in the “socialist motherland … [the] free and comprehensive healthcare system” must be pretty darn scary.

Thus, the share-the-wealth crowd should pay heed.  All those here in America who think they’ll be getting something of value for nothing may one day find it costly after all.  Just like in Venezuela, it will be too late to change things if one day Barack Obama chooses to go elsewhere for medical care rather than chance his survival on the shoddy medical system he’s imposed on everyone else.

Chávez’s opponent in the upcoming October election, right-wing rival 39-year-old Henrique Capriles Radonski, in a recent interview expressed the opinion the ailing leader, also known as Esteban de Jesús, believes he cannot lose the election, because “[Chávez] believes he is God.”

Riddled with cancer, Esteban de Jesús is finding out that he’s not God and appears to slowly be grasping the reality that “[a]ll men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall.”  And despite the best that Cuban medicine has to offer, Hugo Chávez’s grass is apparently withering.

Even still, Henrique Capriles refrains from expressing his opinion about the president’s health.  However, what he does take issue with is Chávez’s belief that “Jesus must have been a fellow leftist radical,” a view similar to that of President Barack Obama.  Something America’s self-proclaimed Christian president, baptized by Reverend Jeremiah Wright should also take to heart is Caprile’s assertion that “Christ was neither socialist nor capitalist.”  And, contrary to Democrat opinion, He does not hail from Chicago.

Nonetheless, Chávez may not fully realize it just yet, but the inescapable principle of sowing and reaping is a harsh one.  Arinda Cuellar, 65, a Capriles supporter, said of Mr. Chávez that “this man has me suffocated…we have nothing. There has to be a change.”

The reality is that over the years, Hugo Chávez has made all kinds of promises he failed to deliver on to the destitute people of Venezuela.  Now, after having “faith that his cancer would not return after his first two operations last year — which removed a baseball sized tumor from his pelvis,” it’s his own expectations that are not being realized.

Appearing at a church service in his hometown of Barinas, Venezuela, humbled by the frailty of his own mortal frame, Chávez, whom some call the “mastermind of mimesis,” seemed as confused as ever.

The Venezuelan despot “cried and his voice broke as he eulogized Jesus, revolutionary fighter Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and South American South American independence hero Simon Bolivar.”  Chávez’s skewed mixture was as odd as Barack Obama choosing one day to cite the trio of Jesus, Black Panther founder Huey Newton, and General GeorgeWashington of the Continental Army.

Standing underneath an image of the crucifix — because, unlike Barack Obama, ironically Chávez chooses to display religious icons when speaking — the Venezuelan president compared his sickness and suffering with the suffering of Christ, and prayed out loud, “Give me your crown, Jesus. Give me your cross, your thorns so that I may bleed. But give me life, because I have more to do for this country and these people. Do not take me yet.”

Publicly begging God for a level of mercy, he failed to extend to the violent, impoverished nation he leads, Hugo Chávez professed that “[t]oday, I have more faith than yesterday. Life has been a hurricane … but a couple of years ago my life began to become not my own anymore.”

Whoa, now that’s a switch!  Control freak El Commandante now finds himself at the mercy of a force he cannot command, with an outcome that will surely be determined by a power greater than his own.

Chávez’s ongoing battle with illness shows that dictators forcefully promote socialized health care until it’s their own lives hanging in the balance, at which point, rather than take a pain pill, they seek medical help elsewhere.  But mainly, watching Dictator Hugo Chávez struggle with his mortality reminds us that even tyrants eventually find out what it feels like to be forced to surrender control of their lives.

Hugo Parrots Michelle

Originally posted at American Thinker blog

They don’t look alike, talk alike, or dress alike, but when it comes to dictating food choices, calorie counts and Body Mass Index, Michelle Obama and Hugo Chavez are practically soul mates.

All of America is well aware that Michelle is a proponent of “Let’s Move”-healthy living and endorses vegetables in place of Crème Brûlée and biking in place of Americans riding around in armored Cadillac stagecoaches, but no one expected the socialist leader of Venezuela to echo the message of America’s First Lady.

Hugo Chavez frequently “rails against capitalism. Since taking office … he’s preached against supposed capitalist-fueled vices ranging from alcohol to cholesterol, vowed to curb whisky imports and ordered beer trucks off the street,” which is the one area where Hugo and Michelle part ways. Mrs. Obama’s husband brews honey ale in the White House.

Leaving aside the activities taking place in the White House Brewery, the Chavez/Obama admiration appears to be mutual. Based on political philosophy and past statements, Michelle Obama seems to agree with what Hugo Chavez calls “the evils of capitalism.” For Hugo it’s breast implants and for Michelle, breast-feeding; Hugo decries alcoholism while Michelle urges America to go cold turkey on soda pop; Hugo advises against violent television programs and Michelle keeps Sasha and Malia off Facebook.

Other than the tipple, the duo is aligned across the board, plain and simple. When talking calories, weight gain and healthy eating, Hugo Chavez might as well be Michelle Obama with more testosterone and a Spanish accent.

Chavez parrots Mrs. Obama.  The dictator urged Venezuelans to cut calories to avoid obesity, a practice based on well-documented vacation eating habits that Michelle doesn’t stringently adhere to, and judging by his portly appearance, neither does Hugo.  Nevertheless, Chavez, in conjunction with Michelle, is again warning the country he leads to “Be careful with weight gain!”

Not mentioning the ever-increasing price and limited choices of food in Venezuela, Chavez said: “We are eating better, that’s been proven. We’re leaving malnutrition behind. It no longer exists in the country, but be careful with obesity.” If the unwashed masses refuse to place a limit on consuming arepas, the next step in bureaucratic control could involve designated portion control, mandatory exercise, weigh-ins, and access to health care being based on BMI.

Even though further north, our food prices are also rising Venezuelan-style, and healthcare reform is becoming the justification for regulating fat, sugar, salt, school lunches, and movie theatre popcorn.

Chavez – who often “dispenses advice to supporters during his marathon speeches – said he’d start a campaign to urge Venezuelans to consume less fatty foods and eat in a healthier fashion.” Maybe he’ll mimic Michelle and name the curbing-calories campaign “Vamos a pasar.”

Nonetheless, socialist concern over adipose tissue is not exclusive to planet Earth. Chavez’s recent “commentaries took an interstellar turn last week, when he raised the question of whether capitalism had destroyed life on the planet of Mars.”  Could it be that money and rich food may have been what caused the extinction of Red Planet residents? If so, unbeknownst to Hugo and Michelle, their efforts may ultimately be the means of saving the entire human race.

Hugo said, “Listen up. I’ve always said that it would not be strange that there was civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism came along, imperialism came along, and destroyed the planet.” If Martians had only done what Michelle Obama recommends, which is to give up dessert, plant a kitchen garden and eat arugula, there’s an excellent chance they wouldn’t have died off and Michelle, and maybe even Hugo, would have another place to vacation.


Investing in Venezuela’s Future

Originally posted at American Thinker blog

Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, much like American President Barack Obama, believes in “sharing wealth.” As a means of satisfying “human needs … equally [and] without privilege,” Chávez adheres to “the fundamental goal of socialism.” If a person has what is considered excess, Hugo looks for creative ways to divide and redistribute the possessions of the one fairly among the many.

Hugo’s form of social impartiality assures the nation’s poor that the government is the provider of every earthly need. Venezuela’s government “subsidize[s] food to low-income families, redistribute[s] land and wealth, and pour[s] money from [a] booming oil industry into health and education programs.”

One area where Chávez’s pervasive redistributive efforts have failed is in the provision of shelter for Venezuela’s poor.  The Chávez government has built “fewer than 40,000 units a year – some say only 24,000 – in contrast to previous governments, which averaged 70,000.” Therefore, Venezuela is further along in the housing crisis than countries farther north.

Compounding the problem is the severe flooding that has devastated hillside slums, “displaced thousands of families [and] highlight[ed] the shortage of 2 million or so housing units.” As a result, people looking to the government to provide for every human necessity “have had to erect shacks on top of shacks on precarious slopes.”

What socialist leaders like Hugo Chávez never acknowledge is Marxism’s repeated failure to deliver on big promises. Rather than abandon a failed system, Hugo Chávez turns again to plunder Venezuela’s middle and upper classes with plans to dole out stolen money to people who didn’t earn it.

When it comes to addressing Venezuela’s housing shortage, Chávez chooses to remedy the problem by eliminating the unjust practice of owning a home with unused space. In a failing global economy, Hugo’s fair and equitable fix even has the potential to be implemented, if need be, in high-foreclosure American cities like Detroit and Las Vegas.

The plan includes recruiting the military to ensure the homeless can take up residence in a stranger’s private home, as well as justifying the seizure of property by accusing rich people of hoarding and “leaving idle” all the best land. Also included is a strong dose of class warfare, forced closure of golf courses, and a proposal suggesting that “thousands of poor families could be settled” on the greens of the Caracas Country Club.

Chávez commenced the property-sharing program by stepping up “rural expropriations [by] deploying 1,600 troops at 47 farms…claiming the farms were unproductive.” The Venezuelan government also eyed urban areas to populate with the homeless as a way to reinforce “fading support in the slums, once Chávista heartlands, which [more recently] have voted for opposition mayors and governors.”

In response, and with little prodding from the government, a “wave of squats” dressed in Chávez Socialist Party red tee-shirts “seized 20 spaces in a coordinated strike in the well-off Caracas municipality of Chacao.”

In fact, a five-star hotel in Chacao is presently hosting 60 displaced families. Two women living in the hotel said, “We’re supposed to use the service entrance and not go near the lobby, but we get treated well. Three meals a day, everything free.”  According to the poor residents of the five-star hotel, the experience of Chávez’s most recent effort to redistribute wealth can only be described as wandering in the “desert, and then…[getting to] an oasis.”

Apparently, Hugo has faith to believe aggressive socialist policies can “win the future” by merely forcing Venezuela’s diminishing middle and upper classes to “invest” in Chavez’s bid for re-election by mandating they relinquish personal property and wealth.

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