The Regime: A (Censored) Reply to the Irish Times

I left this comment, now removed, on the Irish Times ‘analysis’ of Hugo Chávez’s death with its references to the ‘regime’ (of course I am very much in favour of the use of the word ‘regime’, but this is a term customarily used in English language journalism to refer solely to regimes of a supposedly authoritarian character) and its ‘Boligarchs’. I am not in the habit of linking to articles from the Irish Times, given that it requests you seek permission to do so, but given the fact that they removed my comment, here is the link so you can see the context of my comment. On other threads, Hugo Chávez is being compared to Hitler and criticised for his ‘heavy dictatorial tendencies’, without censorship. UPDATE: The admins put it back after it was brought to their attention.

‘The CIA -yes, the CIA, the intelligence services of the North American oligarchic regime- says Venezuela’s budget deficit is 4.9%.

That is substantially lower than the budget deficits run by the French regime in recent years. It is hard to describe Nicolas Sarkozy’s regime as characterised by ‘give-away populism’.

In fact, it’s curious that the author speaks of public indebtedness as a particular problem for Venezuela when, as the CEPR noted last quarter, Venezuela’s public debt is substantially lower than that of the European Union regime, another regime not particularly known for its ‘largess’ (sic). That study went on to note that ‘Even if the country’s central government internal debt/GDP ratio were to double, to 22 percent of GDP, this would still be a low level of internal public debt’. But perhaps the Venezuelan economy has nosedived dramatically in the last few months. If it has, it would have been nice of the author to mention it.

Then there is the ‘authoritarian’ charge. You see, given that this article was written in a newspaper under the European Union regime, there is a certain irony here. You see, it wasn’t Hugo Chávez who, after suffering a referendum defeat, said “answer the right way next time – or else!” He isn’t a former Goldman Sachs bigwig, installed at the behest of international banking confreres to impose their will on the population. He didn’t threaten people with destitution unless they changed the constitution to make neo-liberal ideology the substance of everyday life. He didn’t prioritise the repayment of banker debt over the funding of hospital treatment, or education, or social assistance payments. When rampaging fascists target immigrants in a country ransacked by big European banks, it wasn’t Hugo Chávez whose rule they sought to uphold as its ultimate guarantors. No, the people involved in those cases were the ‘democratic’ leaders of the European regime.

So it is not as if those of us who live under the Irish oligarchic regime are in any position to lecture any other people about how their political or economic system ought to be run, or to prescribe remedies for ‘reform’ that curiously enough require public spending cuts that mirror the policy of the European regime.

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