A discussion of Chavez and Venezuela

I'm picking up on a previous discussion about Hugo Chavez with readers Brunowe and Drone. It started on this post and continued here.

Brunowe raised important concerns: human rights issues, the independence of the Venezuelan judiciary, freedom of expression and, most important of all, the Chavez' government's commitment to democracy more broadly.

He sourced those charges to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for the HR issues, and FreedomHouse for the rest.

I'll to respond to the specifics in a sec, but first I want to talk about the broader context in which all of these issues are playing out.

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