Folks, I wanted to say a few things before I get started. Usually when I do an interview, I try to keep it short an sweet so that the entire thing fits into one post. However, I believe that Hugo Chavez is a threat that none of us should take lightly. I believe the man is a terrorist, he’s building a terrorist network of governments, and he has more ability to harm us than the network of terrorist that we are currently fighting.
When I sat down with Fausta, I already knew that she was well informed on Latin American issues, but the interview went so well that I am going to break it up into three posts. I highly recommend her blog as a source on matters concerning Hugo Chavez as well as other blogs mentioned in the interview.
Because the interview with Fausta went so well, I decided to expanded it during the interview and will break it up into three posts. This is the first installment of that interview.
Louisiana Conservative: Today I’m with Fausta from Faustasblog to talk about blogging, politics, and Latin American issues. Fausta, how long have you been blogging?
Fausta:I’ve been blogging for almost exactly three years
LC: What or who inspired you?
FW: I started blogging out of frustration with NJ politics and NJ taxes, which continue to climb steadily, but as it turned out, the day I started was the day when the trains in Madrid were bombed, so I’ve been very aware of terrorism, too, from day 1. That same week was the anniversary of Castro’s incarcerating 75 political prisoners, too.
LC: Terrorism, that’s a topic that just won’t go away from anybody’s blog. How do you see terrorist evolving?
FW: It’s not so much as I see terrorism itself evolving, it’s how I have become aware of how many terrorist acts are connected. When I first started blogging I had only a very vaguest (not grammatical, I know) idea of terrorist organizations. Back then all I’d heard of was the PLO and al-Qaeda. Now I’m still learning but I have more information.
FW: For instance, with the March 11 2004 terrorist attack, if you follow the story you realize that there is a network that brought about this attack. The organizers blew themselves up but the people being tried in Spain were able to allegedly purchase the explosives from Spanish miners. In Latin America, Hezbollah has a presence, the same Hezbollah Michael Totten posts about in his blog. In the USA, there are terrorist organizations being funded by cigerette smugglers (CBS did a 60 minutes on it).LC: Which takes me to Hugo Chavez. You seem to have a greater understanding of Hugo Chavez than 99% of bloggers out there. Why should the American people be concerned with him?
FW: We should be concerned for a number of reasons: the first reason is that Venezuela provides 15% of America’s oil. This is not a trivial amount. The second reason is that Chavez is trying to export his revolution, which he’s financing from oil revenues, to the rest of Latin America. Some countries openly welcome him, but most don’t. The third reason is that, as The Economist just said in its most recent issue, Mr ChÃ¡vez has one objective: to forge a united anti-American block under his leadership and he’s allying himself with unsavory characters such as Iran and Syria. Another reason is that he’s embarked in an armaments purchase binge unequalled in the history of Latin America
LC: He recently won another controversial election, do you want to expand on that?
FW: I find it very interesting that he’s seized power so carefully through elections. To me, this signals a couple of things: The first one is that Latin America has turned away from accepting a dictatorship mentality, so he had to go through a long-term political maneuvering scheme. The other one is that, once he declared himself a communist, soupposedly people were surprised. I guess some couldn’t believe that that was his intention.
LC: What do you think was the biggest mistake the Venezuelan Right wing made against him?
FW: The problems that gave rise to someone like Chavez go back decades ago, when Venezuela squandered oil monies from the 1970s oil boom instead of investing on raising the level of literacy and improving the conditions through which the poor could have prospered. As for the latest elections, I couldn’t realistically expect that they would have turned out differentlly. I think the opossition did a valiant effort, but you have to realize that by the last election, Chavez was already incontrol of the electoral board, the courts, the military. Plus his constituency were the poor.