Hugo Chavez, during a staged rally, has declared a media censorship of any media that sheds a negative light on his staged referendum vote to give him absolute power over Venezuela…
In addition, if the US government should question the validity of the vote or suggest fraudulant activity, then he plans on cutting off oil exports to the US.
I guess he thinks China will pickup the slack for his economy.
Currently Chavez’s funding comes from the massive oil exports and their overinflated prices. If those oil sales should drop he stands to loose the majority of 90% of Venezuela’s export profit.
As far as I am concerned we should stop letting his oil flow in the US, that would practically cripple the POS. We are still a large buyer of his oil products and are contributing to his power grab daily.
CARACAS, Venezuela (CNN) — President Hugo Chavez on Friday wrapped up his campaign to push through broad constitutional changes with a broadside attack against adversaries at home and abroad — including a threat to cut off oil exports to the United States.
Supporters of President Hugo Chavez rally Friday in Caracas, Venezuela.
Chavez told a crowd gathered in the center of Caracas that if the referendum was approved and the result was questioned — “if the ‘yes’ vote wins on Sunday and the Venezuelan oligarchy, playing the [U.S.] empire’s game, comes with their little stories of fraud” — then he would order oil shipments to the United States halted Monday.
Chavez spoke after tens of thousands, brought on buses from throughout the country, marched down the capital’s principal boulevard to rally support for Sunday’s referendum, which would free Chavez from term-limit restrictions and move the country toward institutionalized socialism.
Friday’s rally acted as a counterpoint to an opposition march down the same streets Thursday that brought out tens of thousands who fear the 69 constitutional changes would serve to undermine basic democratic freedoms.
Chavez, 53, warmed the crowd up by serenading them with holiday “gaitas” and other traditional songs before turning his attention to a litany of enemies and perceived enemies: internal critics, the United States, Spain’s King Juan Carlos, Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe and domestic and international media.
“We’re not really confronting those peons of imperialism,” Chavez said, alluding to his Venezuelan opponents. “Our true enemy is called the North American empire, and … we’re going to give another knockout to Bush.”
He renewed his harsh criticisms of Juan Carlos and Uribe, with whom he has had recent high-profile disputes, and threatened to take independent Venezuela television network Globovision off the air if it broadcast partial results during the voting. He also threatened to take action against international networks, accusing CNN in particular of overstating the strength of the opposition’s numbers.
“If any international channel comes here to take part in an operation from the imperialist against Venezuela, your reporters will be thrown out of the country, they will not be able to work here,” Chavez said. “People at CNN, listen carefully: This is just a warning.”
At stake in Sunday’s vote is whether the leftist leader should have full authority over the now autonomous Central Bank and with it the nation’s economic policy, changes Chavez has said he needs to move the economy further toward socialism.
The most controversial amendment would do away with term limits, allowing Chavez, who has served almost eight years in power, to hold his post indefinitely as long as he is re-elected.
Chavez, a former paratrooper, said the majority of the country’s 26 million people back him. He has garnered overwhelming support from the country’s poorer neighborhoods, who have benefited from his policies — paid for by skyrocketing oil prices. Oil accounts for roughly 90 percent of the country’s export earnings, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Despite the animosity that Chavez routinely aims at the United States, the two countries remain closely tied economically — the United States is Venezuela’s biggest oil customer and one of the few countries that can refine its low-quality crude. Venezuela accounts for up to 15 percent of U.S. crude imports.
Michelle Malkin adds in a story about Raul Baduel, former defense minister for Chavez. This is quite interesting, it shows those serving under Chavez may not be able to speak out, but they oppose his political agenda…
Also as Cruz notes below, 60% of his overpriced oil goes to the US. Let’s stop the imports from him. His economy will crumble in months… All of this overspending to get votes is financed my his oil income. Take that away. Embargos anyone…
Eye on Venezuela
Every so often, the truth about leftist ideology penetrates the pages of the New York Times. Today, a former Chavismo explains why he parted with Hugo Chavez and exposes the dangers of the Orwellian “reforms” on the ballot this weekend. Raul Baduel writes:
Hugo Chávez and I worked together for many years. I supported him through thick and thin, serving as his defense minister. But now, having recently retired, I find myself with the moral and ethical obligation as a citizen to express my opposition to the changes to the Constitution that President Chávez and the National Assembly have presented for approval by the voters tomorrow.
The proposal, which would abolish presidential term limits and expand presidential powers, is nothing less than an attempt to establish a socialist state in Venezuela. As our Catholic bishops have already made clear, a socialist state is contrary to the beliefs of Simón Bolívar, the South American liberation hero, and it is also contrary to human nature and the Christian view of society, because it grants the state absolute control over the people it governs.
Venezuelan society faces a broad array of problems that have not been addressed in the eight years Mr. Chávez has been in office, even though the present Constitution offers ample room for any decent, honest government to do so. Inflation, threats to personal safety, a scarcity of basic supplies, a housing shortage and dismal education and health care are problems that will not be resolved by approving this so-called reform.
At Babalu Blog, Alberto de la Cruz notes the thug-oc-rat’s threat to cut off its oil supply to the U.S. He jibes: “With 60% of Venezuela’s oil production going to the US, the interminable mouth-flapper could ill afford to take such a financial hit. But threats such as these sure do make provocative headlines. Go ahead, monkey-boy; I double-dog dare you to cut your oil sales by 60%.”
Daniel at Venezuela News and Views has late-breaking developments and poll numbers.