Now, I'm not always enthralled with everything our country does (no thinking person is), and I've been particularly disappointed in the current administration and its' amazing ability to start out doing something fairly sensible, and take that course and foul it up beyond the wildest imagination of the average citizen.
That said, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela (timeline) is a walking example of just how much worse things can get when you have an unrestrained megalomaniac in power. A once successful democratic nation reduced to rule by decree, and with a collapsing economy in an oil-rich OPEC member, and eroding civil rights.
Now, I'm just suggesting in passing, for the sake of argument, that Hillary Clinton is pretty much Chavez in drag. Great right wing conspiracy, outcries for "responsible media coverage" (who decides what is responsible? And how does this work with freedom of the speech or the press), push for "economic fairness" (aka "legislated theft"), and all.
However, back to Chavez and Venezuela - in my meanderings on the net, I ran across Contra Coffee and quote below...
Support Venezuela Freedom!
We started roasting this new blend after reading about Hugo Chavez’s authoritarian intervention into Venezuela’s coffee industry. In January 2006, Chavez doubled the price that Venezuela’s roasters pay for coffee while refusing to allow the roasters to raise their prices to consumers. Faced with certain loss, the roasters shut down their facilities. Chavez responded by sending in the military to confiscate the roasters’ stocks. “The army has the authority to confiscate the coffee,” he said on his weekly TV show. “We will sell the coffee at prices set by us.”
This blend is our protest against Chavez’s tyranny. While we wanted to use Venezuelan beans, Chavez’s trade restrictions have made that impossible. Instead, we’re using a mix of high grown Central and South American Arabica coffee. 2.5% of every sale goes to the non-profit Freedom House organization to fund programs that promote democracy in Venezuela. Drink up with hope for freedom in Venezuela.
Now, this may not be the best and brightest of all notions to strike out at an increasingly repressive regime - but it is certainly one of the most charming. Available both in quantities appropriate for home use, and for running a full-bore espresso shop, this is a lovely opportunity to rattle the cages of your local leftists - a group that pays farmers BETTER than the "Fair Trade" prices and opposes Chavez...and makes what sounds like a good coffee.