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Thursday, March 29, 2007


Has Ecuador's leftist President Rafael Correa carried out a de facto constitutional coup? Did he break the rule of law in his quest to draft a new Constitution that could give him nearly absolute powers? I asked these questions to several foreign policy analysts who follow Ecuador's affairs closely. To find out what they said, and may opinion about it, read the column here, and let us know what YOU think.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Oppenheimer is annoyed because the president of Ecuador has said he intends to close down the American military base in Manta/Ecuador.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet another article against those presidents who try to change their corrupted states...

Due the corrupted Ecuadorians politicians, Americans oil companies have earned billions while the state and the people are getting highly indebted.
But, Oppenheimer never writes a line about them. He just fights against the leftist (and nationalist) presidents.

Andres, if you were an authentic "democracy" and "public honesty" defender you must have written just a little about Colombians para-politicians. But, not. Albaro Uribe (I can still remember your article asking him more protagonism...) is untouchable for the anticastrist press.

Go ahead Correa, we know the source of these critics.

Como dice el Martín Fierro: Ladran Sancho, señal que cabalgamos...


Ruben P.
Rosario - Argentina

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fe de errata:
Fue El Quijote (aunque no está en el libro) y no Martín Fierro quien dijo eso de: Ladran Sancho...

Disculas y gracias,

Ruben P.
Rosario - Argentina

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Earlier this week I was in Chavez's Venezuela ; unfortunately as I was surfing the 100 + TV channels on Venezuelan cable TV I came across Oppenheimer's TV program - "Oppenheimer Presenta".

Otto Reich was not Oppenheimer's "special guest" this time (Reich has been Oppenheimer's special guest some 10 times...) - this time Oppenheimer was discussing the U$ 100 laptop project and had some Miami based professors as his guests.

I guess Otto Reich is only invited as Oppenheimer's "special guest" whenever Oppenheimer wants to discuss American military solutions to counter the democratically elected leaders in Latin America...

The fact that Oppenheimer's extreme right wing views can be seen by anybody in Venezuela kind of goes completely against Oppenheimer's constant rants that Hugo Chavez is curbing the free press in Venezuela.

In addition to Oppenheimer's TV program you have other extremist right wing news channels there like "FOXNEWS" ; also available in the 100 + channels are CNN, CNN Espanol, BBC, RAI, CCTV (China), Israeli TV, Deutsche Welle, France's TV5, Caracol from Colombia, Telesur etc etc etc.

The question now is however why Oppenheimer can be seen by anybody in Venezuela whereas in Miami nobody seems to have access to say Telesur ?

Maybe Oppenheimer can explain to his readers why the American masses are limited to the US mainstream networks ; is it not time in America to open the airwaves to alternative views such as Latin America's Telesur network ?

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oppenheimer complains constantly that Hugo Chavez decided to "nationalize" companies such as CANTV and Caracas' electricity company.

Today Hugo Chavez's government announced that the nationalized CANTV company will pay a U$ 3 dividend per registered share on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

That's a 17% dividend yield (the share trades @ U$ 17) - not bad at all for a "Leninist Narcissist" regime as Oppenheimer likes to refer to Venezuela's democratically elected government.

As an investor I can only wish for more of these nationalizations- I cannot think of too many other companies today paying 17% dividends to their stockholders !

Oppenheimer of course is entitled to his own opinions but in terms of investment advice I think his readers would do well to ignore his views !

2:28 PM  
Blogger Andres Oppenheimer said...

Dear anonymous (why hide your name, by the way?): Please note that I have had Telesur's president Andres Izarra in my tv show, as I have had Evo Morales, Ignacio Ramonet, and dozens of other Chavez/Castro supporters. Unfortunately, many others don't accept, because they are used to Cuban-styled "no-hard-questions" journalism. Last week, we invited Bolivian vice President Garcia Linera, and he declined through his chief of staff, demanding total control of the show as a condition to appear. So I would respectfully urge you to check your facts before you make your accusations.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Boli-Nica said...

Today Hugo Chavez's government announced that the nationalized CANTV company will pay a U$ 3 dividend per registered share on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

That's a 17% dividend yield (the share trades @ U$ 17) - not bad at all for a "Leninist Narcissist" regime as Oppenheimer likes to refer to Venezuela's democratically elected government.

Ummmmmmm. i think what he (and most critics) meant was that Chavez was taking a perfectly well-run private company, paying a lot of money to take it "public" - which is much like a listed corporation buying back stock to go "private", except that the state becomes the owner.
I will ad that "nationalizing" in this context means handing it over to the same bunch of corrupt kleptocrats and poor administrators who have been working over PDVSA for the last couple of years.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me get something straight:
1) Andres Oppenheimer is not a so called "extreme right" journalist. He is certainly very conservative and I do not agree with his editorial line but he is not a fanatic.
2) Stop winning about his guests. Andres earns his living as a journalist and he will invite any relevant guest that puts on a good show and gives him ratings. He is no journalism mega star; he is just an average journalist doing the best he can.
3) It is sad though to see Andres concerned about the identity of an anonymous blogger. He should know by now that the messenger is irrelevant and has no importance. What matters is the argument itself and if it stands to the test of critical thinking.
4) I agree with some bloggers that Correa is no Chavez. For starters, Correa is an educated person. He may be wrong but his proposals are not based on chauvinistic urges but instead on technical and ideological arguments.
5) Chavez is a different story. He is an ignorant and chauvinistic egomaniac. He is autocratic, totalitarian and a tirant. He is not a dictator because he was "elected" to the position of president but he is certainly a "caudillo" with no respect for his people. In pretty much the same way as Castro, he is gradually eliminating disent and curtailing fredoms by controlling all the institutions that are supposed to protect citizens against government abuse. He is building a society, similar to Cuba,where people are treated like animals in a zoo. They are fed, cured and taken care off but they have to live in an ideological/ geographical cage and are not free to wander and question the authority of the zoo keeper.
A system that takes away the most precious quality and that which defines us a human beings; free will.
Even anarchy is better than the collective social castration that Chavez is promoting for his people.
Whatever good or bad he does has no meaning and/or bearing when confronted with this sinister fact.
I am afraid that the Venezuelan people will have to shed much blood to get their freedom back.
6) Telesur is a government propaganda network. You do not see Telesur in cable systems in the US for pretty much the same reasons that you do not see the Voice of America in cable systems thoughout Latin America. There is a major difference between a private network with an ideological inclination and a government run propaganda network.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:45 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

What a croc. Oppenheimer has the nerve to argue that it is undemocratic for a President to actually do what he campaigned to do - call for a national vote on whether to clean up the country's terribly corrupt and discredited institutions. Of course his article never mentions that the Constitutional assembly must be voted into power by the people (April 15th) and that hundreds of thousands of people will be the one's discussing and writing any changes - and that the people will vote once again to ratify the document. Sounds like an absence of democracy to me...

Oppenheimer also does his readers no service by ignoring the decades of political instability and stalled progress wrought by what everyone knows is a weak executive branch.

Added to this, we now we know that Correa never intended to disband the Congress, that his position vis a vis Congress was based solely on the principle of maximum accountability. But Oppenheimer bought the opposition's line hook and sinker.

Continue to serve the elites Andres - but history is leaving you behind.

8:41 PM  

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