Over at TPMCafe, Mark Weisbrot responds to my critique of Corrales’ argument about Hugo Chavez with a critique of Corrales’ factual claims. That includes Corrales’ allegation that Chavez made Venezuelans’ votes a matter of public record, an allegation which I inaccurately implied was grounded in fact. Weisbrot corrects this and a slew of other claims in Corrales’ piece, and provokes a spirited discussion amongst the commenters as well. Progressives, as I said last week, should take well-documented violations of human rights seriously regardless of the politics of the regime perpetrating them. We should also foster a healthy skepticism towards the claims of critics whose main grievance has less to do with democracy than with opposition to the undemocratic mandates of neoliberal institutions.
Weisbrot’s Center for Economic and Policy Research, incidentally, is an excellent resource using economic arguments to challenge some of the assumptions of the Washington Consensus.