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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Fidel Castro"

Daniel Hannan: Castro. Chávez – and now Morales. That these tyrants are Corbyn’s heroes should make us very, very frightened.

Daniel Hannan is an MEP for South-East England, and a journalist, author and broadcaster. His most recent book is What Next: How to Get the Best from Brexit.

I spent my earliest years under a Corbynista dictatorship. Peru in the early 1970s was run by a Leftist general called Juan Velasco who, claiming to speak for The Many Not The Few, nationalised industries, seized private property, blocked imports and, in an early example of deranged identity politics, sought to impose the indigenous language, Quechua, even in schools where none of the children spoke it. It was Velasco who inspired Hugo Chávez: the young Venezuelan cadet had visited Lima in 1975 and – incredibly, given the palpable poverty and chaos – decided that Venezuela could do with something similar.

There were not many people that Peruvians could look down on in those days. But they managed, at least, to feel superior to Bolivians, their gnomic, landlocked, penurious neighbours. The children at my nursery school used to point in delight at the map on the wall, and in particular at the massive lake that straddled the border. “Titi para Perú y caca para Bolivia,” they would shriek delightedly. If Peru was poor, Bolivia was poorer. If Peru had an unstable political system, Bolivia – at that time also under a strongman – held the world record for the greatest number of putsches.

This year, Bolivia stretched that record further. There have now been 190 revolutions, unconstitutional seizures of power or serious coup attempts in the history of that luckless republic. To be clear, the coup I am talking about is not the popular movement that ousted Evo Morales earlier this week. The coup, rather, was carried out by Morales himself last month.

A bit of background. In 2005, Morales, a Leftist former coca farmer, was narrowly elected president, the first indigenous leader in a country where two thirds of the population is aboriginal. Following the Chavista playbook, Morales scrapped the constitution and “refounded” Bolivia with a new “plurinational” constitution. Among other things, his constitution provided for a two-term limit on the presidency (though, conveniently, it did not count Morales’s existing term, which had started before his constitution entered into force). In 2016, Morales tried to get around the limit so as to be eligible for a fourth term. He held a referendum on changing the rules but, to his surprise, he lost. He then ignored the rules and ran anyway.

This time, he didn’t leave anything to chance. Widespread electoral fraud was supplemented by the arrest of opposition leaders and targeted violence by pro-government thugs. The Organisation of American States, the chief election monitor in the Western hemisphere, reported “serious irregularities” and “clear manipulation” in the poll. When the results came in after October 20 – who’d’ve thunk it – Morales had miraculously secured just enough votes to win on the first round.

At which point, Bolivians displayed a truly heroic readiness to stand by the law. Crowds took to the streets across the country, making a nonsense of the claimed election figures. The police declared that their first loyalty was to the constitution (the constitution passed by Morales himself, remember) and refused to repress the protesters. The Armed Forces followed suit. This week, seeing that the game was up, Morales fled to Mexico.

A cheerful story, you might think. Indeed, arguably the supreme example in the world right now of benign people power. The crowds in Chile are marching against a government that was democratically elected. The crowds in Hong Kong are marching against a regime which, though unelected, is at least legitimate under the existing constitutional order. But the crowds in Bolivia were protesting against what is known in Latin America as an “autogolpe” – a coup carried out by an existing regime against the democratic system.

Most of the world, including most social democratic governments, have backed fresh elections. Only the most anti-Western states – Cuba, Russia, Venezuela – have come out for Morales.

You can probably guess which side Jeremy Corbyn is on. Precisely as he did over Venezuela nine months ago, he has broken with the mainstream international Left in order to back a Marxist who had dispensed with free elections.

Here is how he greeted the end of the dictatorship: “To see @evoespueblo who, along with a powerful movement, has brought so much social progress forced from office by the military is appalling. I condemn this coup against the Bolivian people and stand with them for democracy, social justice and independence.” (Incidentally, Morales’s Twitter handle – “Evo Is The People” – tells you everything you need to know about the megalomania of these socialist revolutionaries, their belief that almost anything can be justified in the name of The People.)

While mainstream Labour MPs, looked on uncomfortably, Momentum repeated its jejune nostrums: “The imperialist coup against him must be condemned. Full solidarity with the Bolivian people in their struggle for sovereignty, justice and democracy.”

In truth, Corbyn is closer to the Chavista autocrats than to European socialists. He sides wholeheartedly and unquestioningly with any Leftist regime, however oppressive its policies and however wretched its people, provided it is sufficiently anti-American.

His attitude ought to worry us. I mean that literally: it ought to make us frightened. Castro, Velasco, Chávez, Morales – all believed that the end justified the means, that the revolution mattered more than the ballot box, that ordinary people should not be allowed to undermine The People. These men are Corbyn’s heroes, his inspiration. Never once has he argued that their contempt for democracy undermines their legitimacy.

What makes you think he’d be any different if he came to office here? Look at the way he has entrenched himself in the Labour Party, removing his critics and entrenching his allies so as to make himself impossible to remove. Can you be certain he’d behave any differently as Prime Minister? Really?

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Bernie Sanders dodged questions about his past support for authoritarian socialism

Westlake Legal Group bernie-sanders-dodged-questions-about-his-past-support-for-authoritarian-socialism Bernie Sanders dodged questions about his past support for authoritarian socialism The Blog sandinista Fidel Castro democratic socialism Bernie Sanders

Westlake Legal Group Bernie-town-hall Bernie Sanders dodged questions about his past support for authoritarian socialism The Blog sandinista Fidel Castro democratic socialism Bernie Sanders

During the CNN town hall event Monday night Bernie Sanders was challenged about his support for socialism by a student whose parents had fled Soviet Russia in the late 1970s. Sanders attempted to sidestep the question but the answer he did give was not an accurate representation of his past beliefs (at a minimum). From Fox News:

Samantha Frankel-Popell told Sanders about how socialism impacted her family’s life and grilled him on how his version of Democratic socialism will aim to be different from the socialist regimes of other countries.

“My father’s family left Soviet Russia in 1979 fleeing from some of the very same socialist policies that you seem eager to implement in this country,” the young woman said during the CNN event. “How do you rectify your notion of Democratic socialism with the failures of socialism in nearly every country that has tried it?”

Sanders smiled as Frankel-Poppel asked her question, which was met with mixed applause from the crowd.

“Thank you for asking that question,” Sanders said, before responding with a question himself. “Is it your assumption that I supported or believe in authoritarian communism that existed in the Soviet Union? I don’t. I never have, and I opposed it. I believe in a vigorous democracy.”

Sanders may believe in vigorous democracy but he hasn’t been averse in the past to praising governments that were not vigorous democracies. It’s well known that he traveled to Russia on his honeymoon in 1988 as part of a sister-city program set up in Vermont. When he returned he and his wife praised the public transportation and culture of Russia they had experienced. This was prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Sanders has also been an outspoken fan of the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. From the Daily Beast:

In the 1980s, any Bernie Sanders event or interview inevitably wended toward a denunciation of Washington’s Central America policy, typically punctuated with a full-throated defense of the dictatorship in Nicaragua. As one sympathetic biographer wrote in 1991, Sanders “probably has done more than any other elected politician in the country to actively support the Sandinistas and their revolution.” Reflecting on a Potemkin tour of revolutionary Nicaragua he took in 1985, Sanders marveled that he was, “believe it or not, the highest ranking American official” to attend a parade celebrating the Sandinista seizure of power.

It’s quite easy to believe, actually, when one wonders what elected American official would knowingly join a group of largely unelected officials of various “fraternal” Soviet dictatorships while, just a few feet away, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega bellows into a microphone that the United States is governed by a criminal band of terrorists…

But despite its aversion to elections, brutal suppression of dissent, hideous mistreatment of indigenous Nicaraguans, and rejection of basic democratic norms, Sanders thought Managua’s Marxist-Leninist clique had much to teach Burlington: “Vermont could set an example to the rest of the nation similar to the type of example Nicaragua is setting for the rest of Latin America.”

The lesson Sanders saw in Nicaragua could have been plagiarized from an editorial in Barricada, the oafish Sandinista propaganda organ. “Is [the Sandinistas’] crime that they have built new health clinics, schools, and distributed land to the peasants? Is their crime that they have given equal rights to women? Or that they are moving forward to wipe out illiteracy? No, their crime in Mr. Reagan’s eyes and the eyes of the corporations and billionaires that determine American foreign policy is that they have refused to be a puppet and banana republic to American corporate interests.”

Sanders was also a fan and defenders of Castro’s Cuba. From Slate:

Three years ago, during a primary debate against Hillary Clinton hosted by Univision and the Washington Post in Miami, Sanders was shown a video shot in 1985 while he was mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in which he spoke about Nicaragua and enthusiastically described how Fidel Castro had “totally transformed” Cuban society, providing education and health care. After Univision anchor María Elena Salinas followed up, Sanders acknowledged Cuba as an “authoritarian, undemocratic country” but then proceeded to praise the Castro regime, again, for its “advances in health care” (a dubious claim at best).

A few days after the debate, Sanders appeared on CNN. When Anderson Cooper brought up the exchange in Miami, asking Sanders if Castro’s revolution had indeed benefited the Cuban people, Sanders tried to dismiss the question, pivoting toward the (admittedly immoral and tragic) history of American intervention in the region. When Cooper tried to get a straight answer, Sanders promptly accused him of “redbaiting” and repeated his condemnation-praise routine of the Castro government.

In fact, if you go back to the 1970s, you’ll find Sanders himself calling for the nationalization of major industries. Sanders was asked about that a bit later in the evening last night. As host Chris Cuomo quotes some of Sanders socialist preferences, Sanders interjected, “When did I say that?”

“In the 70s,” Cuomo replied.

“Okay, right. What did you say in the 70s,” Sanders said. He went on to say, “I was the mayor of a city for eight years, did I nationalize any of the industry in the city of Burlington, Vermont?”

A mayor doesn’t really have the power needed to nationalize anything. The point is that at one point he genuinely thought it was a good idea. At the same time that Samantha Frankel-Popell’s family was fleeing the Soviet Union, Bernie was hoping to bring the glories of full communism here.

It’s certainly fair for Bernie to argue he has mellowed over the years but has he? In an interview with Jorge Ramos a couple of months ago, Sanders refused to condemn Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela as a dictator. The worst he would say was that Maduro had been “very abusive.”

If Democrats choose to let him shrug off his past statements as if it’s nothing that’s up to them, but he has always had an ideological sympathy for communist dictators and it appears to some degree he still does.

The post Bernie Sanders dodged questions about his past support for authoritarian socialism appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group Bernie-town-hall-300x159 Bernie Sanders dodged questions about his past support for authoritarian socialism The Blog sandinista Fidel Castro democratic socialism Bernie Sanders  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com