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German Liberals criticise Hugo Chávez

By John | Reason Over Might

06.02.05 | German MP Dr. Karl Addicks issued a press statement on 31 January 2005 criticising Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez for his disastrous policies as well as his statements at the World Social Forum. Mr. Addicks is a member of the FDP, the German liberal party, which is a minor party currently in the opposition. (The FDP is a natural coalition partner of the CDU/CSU, the main right of center party. A left of center coalition of the SPD and the Greens currently holds the majority in parliament and forms the government under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.)

Here is the original text of the press statement, translated into English:

FDP criticises statements made by Hugo Chávez at the World Social Forum

Only a few years after many nations shook off the communist yoke, statements by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who said that it is necessary to overcome capitalism and strive for socialism with a human face, were enthusiastically celebrated by participants at the World Social Forum. In response, Karl Addicks said:

There has never been any such thing as socialism with a human face. Mr. Chávez does not waste any thoughts on democracy. He is in the process of leading his country towards the abyss of civil war. He wants to remain president until 2021.

He is investing the wealth of the country, its oil revenues, in expanding his electoral basis with gifts -- instead of investing in the infrastructure of the country and driving sustainable development. Individual initiative, entrepreneurship, accountability to the parliament are words that don't exist in his vocabulary.

Anyone who has been obliged -- in accordance with or against their will -- to follow his radio and TV broadcasts, synchronised on all channels and lasting for hours, anyone who sees how the capital, Caracas, once a flowering metropolis, is descending into murder and mayhem, anyone who sees his planned expropriations, anyone who experiences how this man is polarising his country just to maintain his grip on power, can in no way celebrate such an individual.

The global community would be well advised to identify this man as what he is: a dangerous agitator who is leading his country into chaos using populistic measures. Anyone who cannot distance themselves from this process or does not want to do so should at least get ready to confront the next crisis region in Latin America.

Critics of globalisation, with their recipes from the old collection of socialist relicts, will not reduce poverty in the world.

Mr. Addicks is obviously someone who does not let anyone pull the wool over his eyes. I just hope he doesn't suffer Cassandra's fate of predicting the future accurately -- and not being believed. Predictably, the loony left are all abuzz about Addick's statement, accusing him of malicious agitation ("üble Hetze"). When will they update their vocabulary, I wonder?

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