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Is he a Hugo not?

February 16, 2012
  • With 62% of the vote, Henrique Capriles won Venezuela's first opposition primary election, which enables him to challenge President Hugo Chavez in October.
With 62% of the vote, Henrique Capriles won Venezuela's first opposition… (Leo Ramirez, AFP/Getty…)

Re "Venezuela candidate sees thirst for change," Feb. 14

It's been terrific, the coverage of Venezuela's primary and the smart decision by five opponents of President Hugo Chavez to unite behind whomever got the most votes. At 39, Henrique Capriles is a proven leader, a popular governor and an intelligent candidate promising believably to keep Chavez's programs for the poor while probably but not explicitly intending to cut programs depleting the national treasury.

That 3 million voted and Capriles won 62% of the votes says he'll be a formidable candidate and could win votes from the chavistas. Chavez should be worried.

I hope The Times will continue covering the campaign in Venezuela leading up to October's election, which will be more important than we as a nation can imagine now.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, February 21, 2012 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 10 Letters Desk 1 inches; 22 words Type of Material: Correction
McConnell: A Feb. 16 letter to the editor incorrectly identified Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as serving Tennessee. McConnell is from Kentucky.

Damiana Chavez

Los Angeles

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Churches in our bedrooms

Re "Bishops dismiss Obama's birth control revision," Feb. 12, and "Key Republican vows to fight birth control mandate," Feb. 13

The bishops of the sex-scandal-ravaged Roman Catholic Church have no standing to talk about "grave moral concern."

The government's edict has nothing to do with religious freedom. The Catholic Church and other religious institutions have the freedom to deny choice to their members, but they cannot ignore the law and try to take away choice from other people. They can turn down all of the tax dollars they get for any of their programs.

How dare they try to force their religion on the rest of us, all the while claiming it takes away their freedom of religion. They ignore my freedom of religion.

They are an outrage, as are all people who clamor for a smaller, less intrusive government yet have no problem with the government coming into our bedrooms.

Barry Greenfield

West Hollywood

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The objection to requiring contraception coverage is not merely an economic question of who has to pay for it; it is immoral and against religious freedom.

Freedom in a democracy is essential, especially from big government. This means we are Catholic, and we will run the Catholic hospitals as Jesus would. If you do not like it, do not go to a Catholic hospital.

Thanks to the bishops for standing strong.

Nicolas Hernandez

Baldwin Park

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Tenn.) and the Catholic bishops certainly believe they occupy the moral high ground. However, the Republicans' social conservatism is in direct opposition to their fiscal conservatism.

The facts show that preventing a single unwanted pregnancy saves thousands of dollars. Without birth control, this additional cost burden falls on the insurance companies and then to all of us. Those of us who use birth control subsidize those who don't.

I challenge all social conservatives, and the Catholic hierarchy, to pay the appropriate medical premium surcharge for all unwanted children. They should put their money where their principles are; only then will their elevated stand be taken seriously.

J.H. Benson

Altadena

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The language of governing

Re "English-only for candidates?," Editorial, Feb. 11

A language qualification for city council candidates is a minimum threshold requirement, but it is important.

As a retired city attorney, I am aware of how local elected officials work. They don't just go to meetings and talk. They read memorandums, staff reports on legislation and many more items that are crucial to what they do. Anyone who cannot handle the English language cannot honestly and properly serve.

Your editorial position is naive and dangerous. The Arizona Supreme Court's decision involving the eligibility of San Luis City Council candidate Alejandrina Cabrera was correct.

Michael H. Miller

Los Angeles

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Suppose that all of the city council candidates in San Luis would not have passed the test to demonstrate necessary English skills. Consistent with the Arizona Supreme Court's ruling, the city council election would be canceled, thereby leaving a council with only members whose terms had not expired.

By extrapolating to future elections in which no candidate would pass the English test requirement, the city would eventually have no council. This is no good.

Thus, Arizona's requirement for public officials to pass a test demonstrating acceptable English skills should be applied only to elected officials and not to candidates for public office.

The English ability of a candidate would first become an election issue, where it belongs.

Marc Jacobson

Los Angeles

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Deasy's critics

Re "Upheaval threatens to undo Miramonte gains," Feb. 12

If John Deasy, superintendent of the L.A. Unified School District, was truly trying to heal the community of Miramonte Elementary School, he would have reached out and included the parents, teachers, union and community as part of the decision-making process. Instead, he unilaterally decided to remove all staff.

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