Hugo!

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So apparently Hugo Chavez is dead. Discuss.

If you get your breaking news from LGM… well, you probably just shouldn’t get your breaking news from LGM.

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  • Murc

    At this point, we can all agree Castro is some sort of witch, right?

    • Fidel will outlive us all.

      • Carbon Man

        We’ll meet again,
        Don’t know where,don’t know when.
        But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

        • Warren Terra

          I have hidden that post in one of these delicious stacks of pancakes. Enjoy your search!

          • James E. Powell

            I read this blog regularly, but the genesis and meaning of the pancakes thing got by me. Can you explain it?

            • Warren Terra

              The first hit from this query is this post:

              Future responses to Anonymous Jenny should take the form of, for example, “YOU WILL CHOKE ON MY PANCAKES! YOU WILL SUP ON MY JAM!”

              (the shouty bit hasn’t really been observed so much).

            • LeeEsq

              Its not well known, but when God rested on the seventh day he created pancackes, poached eggs, and mimosas.

        • DrDick

          When you grow a brain and a moral conscience.

          • Carbon Man

            We’ll meet again,
            Don’t know where,don’t know when.
            But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

            • Silly me.

              I thought Carbon Man’s comment was posted in irony.

              Viewed that way, it’s actually rather funny.

              JzB

        • cpinva

          is this an offer?

          “When will we get a long post about the legacy of Hugo Chavez through the critical lens of transgendered Latino fishermen using critical theory?”

        • sharculese

          Wow. You are just the worst At Jokes.

        • wengler

          Go for it. I won’t read it, but knock yourself out.

        • Johnny Sack

          Listen to the voices. End it.

        • Speak Truth

          We’ll meet again,
          Don’t know where,don’t know when.
          But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

          Of *course* Robert Farley has balls of marshmallow.

          (So, what’s new?)

          • DrDick

            Of *course* Robert Farley has balls of marshmallow.

            Which is, of course, far more than you can claim.

          • stay puft

            How do you know what Farley’s balls are filled with?

    • wengler

      He’s not dead and he’s not President. Everyone wins?

  • Carbon Man

    We’ll meet again,
    Don’t know where,don’t know when.
    But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

    • somethingblue

      Pancakes for all!

    • Nope.

      No irony here.

      JzB

    • cpinva

      not to be nit picky or anything, but………………

      “Good riddance. Good fucking riddance. Someone should throw a party.”

      unlike a certain, recent US president (who’s been “disappeared” by his purported political party), chavez never dragged his country into not one, but two, count ’em, two unnecessary, unpaid for wars, costing a trillion dollars+, and 10’s of 1,000’s of lives lost/ruined. he also didn’t totally, for reasons known only to him and his obscenely wealthy friends, completely trash his country’s economy

      chavez wasn’t liked by everyone, who is? apparently, enough venezuelans did (and they’re the only ones that mattered) to continue freely electing him. btw, marx & hagel had little, if anything, to do with soviet/chinese style communism, long dead before that even got started. but you knew that, right? you, um, did know that, right?

      • wengler

        You make enough poor people and they get the idea that they can vote you out forever, they will.

        Republicans should learn this, but their response so far has been to prevent poor people from voting.

      • Timb

        Much like any egomaniacal nationalist/populist who threatens international extractive industries, the Right only notices the bad.

    • wengler

      It’s a good thing no one ever dies from cancer in the US…

  • Malaclypse

    Fransisco Franco is still dead. And Jennie is still a very, very sad little troll.

    • efgoldman

      Fransisco Franco is still dead.

      The first thing I thought, honest to FSM: If Chevy Chase was still doing “Weekend Update”:
      “Hugo Chavez is still dead, and he was seen playing canasta with Francisco Franco.”

      • Matt_L

        This, this was the first thing I thought of when I heard the news.

      • drkrick

        My favorite was the report that Franco had edged Gary Gilmore in the Corpse Diving competition at the ’76 Olympics, as Gilmore lost points for poor execution.

  • Paulk

    Jeez, LG&M has the saddest excuse for trolls. Very pathetic. Get it together guys.

    • trolls? There’s more than one?

      • elm

        There are at least three: Dagchester; carbon man (and various other nyms) who is JenBob; and Speak Truth (and various other nyms) who is, perhaps?, Veritas. These last two revealed themselves as different trolls when one congratulated Erik for renouncing violence against the pipeline thingy and the other threatened to report Erik to his boss for advocating violence. I’m not sure who belongs to which alternate nym, though, but most of the time it doesn’t seem to make a difference.

        • IM

          is the first the reactionary catholic?

          • elm

            Yes. It’s theoretically possible carbon man and speak truth are the same guy and he’s taking different positions on some issues. But Dagney/Winchester/Dagchester/Chesternut is definitely distinct. He’s also the most entertaining and the only one that it is possible to have a conversation (albeit a bizarre one) with.

            I may even be willing to say that Dagchester isn’t a troll, just a very wrong person sincerely trying to discuss his political opinions on a website where everyone disagrees with him. This is probably too charitable to him, though.

          • redwoods

            Yes, he’s creepy, isn’t he!

        • Uncle Kvetch

          These last two revealed themselves as different trolls when one congratulated Erik for renouncing violence against the pipeline thingy and the other threatened to report Erik to his boss for advocating violence.

          I continue to believe the Carbon Man and Speak Truth are the same person. I don’t find it hard to believe that the same troll posted two completely contradictory comments within the space of an hour. After all, when the whole point of the exercise is just one long cry of “MOMMY, YOU’RE NOT WATCHING ME!” who cares about consistency?

          • spencer

            Yeah, that was my take as well.

  • Are there are unbiased overviews of Chavez’s deeds? My impression was that he was a populist in the good and bad sense, but I can’t really find anything to back that up.

    • DrDick

      Pretty much my sense as well. He did a lot of good for the common people of his country, but seemed to at least verge on becoming a caudillo.

      • Carbon Man

        We’ll meet again,
        Don’t know where,don’t know when.
        But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

        • Anonymous

          I’m sure that he thinks Lenin or Stalin were caudilo-like, JenBob.

          • DrDick

            Lenin yes, but Stalin is in a whole different category, along with Hitler and a few others.

        • somethingblue

          Pancakes are the real fascists!

      • dp

        The Huey Long of South America.

      • LeeEsq

        Chavez waged war against the Jewish community of Venezeula including an infamous raid on the sole Jewish day school by heavily armed policeman because he thought weapons to be used in coup against him were stored there. The only reason why Chavez waged war against Venezeulan Jews was because he was a filthy Jew-hater. The Jews of Venezeula should not be a sacrifice for whatever good Chavez did.

        • Chavez said he would consider the requests, according to those present at the meeting, but he has yet to offer a formal response. However, anti-Semitic expressions in state-sponsored media have subsided.

          “Chavez himself publicly rejected anti-Semitic manifestations, and from this moment, the situation has ‘improved,’ with anti-Semitism remaining at a relatively lower level; in the written press and websites, we see a decrease in regards to the quantity,” said a recently published Jewish confederation report that tracked anti-Semitism in Venezuela from January to October 2010.

          As the article states, this seems to have been because of the influence of that filthy Jew-lover, Castro.

          http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/12/27/2742334/venezuelan-jews-report-shift-in-tone-from-chavez-government

    • mark f

      I like http://americasouthandnorth.wordpress.com

      http://bit.ly/Z8UqLI seemed like a good overview (link is to In These Times).

      HRW has a good piece. TPM has a brief one. There’s a good & sometimes odd one at The Nation.

      Sorry no links on those last few, trying to stay out of moderation.

  • Carbon Man

    We’ll meet again,
    Don’t know where,don’t know when.
    But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

    • Murc

      I’d like to remind you that this is a Farley thread, not a Loomis one, and he will probably be lowering the boom pretty soon.

      • Robert Farley

        Boom lowered. But if all y’all could manage to not engage the troll (who, I am relentlessly forced to remind you, probably doesn’t give a flying fuck about politics, Latin America, Chavez, or anything beyond inciting a reaction from you), my life would be much easier.

        • wengler

          Sounds good.

        • cpinva

          sorry. why don’t you just get his IP, find out who he is, out him here, and we can all send him odd, sort of vaguely, but not directly, threatening emails? ones where we hint that his employer might be receiving information, possibly detrimental to his continued employment by said employer.

          it could be fun. maybe send him a large envelope, filled with pancakes and cheap syrup? leave an empty bottle of syrup in his bed, godfather style.

          • Uncle Kvetch

            Boom lowered.

            Thank you.

        • Rarely Posts

          OK. I wish you could come to this thread fresh, without realizing you had lowered the boom. I had no idea, and I was wondering what the heck he was doing quoting the same lines over and over — it was like he had passed into complete Dadaism. I also didn’t understand why people were responding to him, but since it’s LGM, I assumed that they just couldn’t help themselves.

          • Sargon

            I actually think that a better policy would be to edit not only the troll’s posts, but also the posts of everyone who replies to the troll in that thread. Completely sandblast the troll thread, in a way. Might actually even help encourage people to not reply?

  • Jon

    Maduro will have to autogolpe to stay in power, or, if he gets elected he’ll be the Bush I to Chavez’s Reagan and take the blame for everything they’ve been putting off handling. Either way, I don’t expect the oil markets will be happy.

    Anyway, I always thought Chavez was all hat and no cattle, though, he had one of the best lines ever about Shrub at the UN.

    I hope Latin America continues to develop and the one concept of Chavismo that should stick is that the natural resources there ought to benefit all the people, but moving beyond the intellectually lazy demonizing of the entire US might be nice.

    • Carbon Man

      We’ll meet again,
      Don’t know where,don’t know when.
      But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

      • Vance Maverick

        If you succeed in polluting the discussion here to the extent that nobody else ever reads the threads, what do you win?

        • Of course ignoring it would also help.

          • Vance Maverick

            At this pace and volume, the difference between “ignoring it” and “checking out altogether” is imperceptible.

          • spencer

            I’m skeptical of that, really. I suspect withholding attention would just lead to escalation.

            But I’m willing to be proved wrong.

        • If nothing else, the man had a good sense of smell.

      • Anonymous

        Chavez hated gays, which should have pleased you, JenBob.

    • Simple mInd

      Olor de azufre!

    • wengler

      I sure wish the US had a policy that natural resources should benefit all of the people.

  • wengler

    In the US, Chavez was more symbolic of resistance to US power in Latin America than anything else. It will be interesting to see if someone else takes up that mantle whether it is Chavez’s successor or Correa in Ecuador or Morales in Bolivia.

    In a sense, Chavez was a lightning rod that protected other leftist movements in the entire region. Who knows if Lula would’ve been as effective if there was no Chavez or that an indigenous leader could’ve even been elected in Bolivia like Morales?

    He was more of a mixed bag domestically, but his struggles highlight the difficulty of fundamentally rewiring the foundations of a country. The whole defense structure was based on a US model and had to be entirely replaced. The oil industry likewise was controlled by the ruling class. Outsiders claimed he was ripping Venezuelan society apart, when all he was doing was exposing its fissures.

    It will be interesting to see what comes next. He didn’t set up his government well to survive him.

    • JoyfulA

      No one’s yet mentioned that he provided free heating oil to the poor in the United States, while our own government has cut LIHEAP again and again over the years. For that alone, I’d throw open the pearly gates.

      • wengler

        Poor people who want to stay warm in winter are traitors!

      • Just Dropping By

        I’m pretty sure that, from an environmental standpoint, we need to be working to end the use of fuel oil heating, not subsidizing it.

        • Malaclypse

          I’ll just assume that you keep your house unheated. Because otherwise you would be a monumental hypocrite who is criticizing poor people for aspiring to the basic warmth you enjoy.

          • FLRealist

            +1

        • From an environmental point of view, the amount of additional fuel oil burned by poor people on heating assistance is small potatoes.

    • Loud Liberal

      I still don’t rule out the possiblity that he was assassinated. It would be irreconcilable with the CIA’s history not to assassinate Chavez.

      • Hogan

        It would be irreconcilable with their history to succeed in assassinating him.

        (“The CIA: Assassinating Castro Since 1961.”)

        • rea

          What–the CIA gave him cancer? (And remember–he was examined by Cuban doctors, and the diagnosis was cancer).

          • Can’t spell cancier without CIA.

            • There’s an idiot over at BooMan’s place who responded to Martin’s less-than-credulous reaction to that charge by telling him that he needed to read this book about Latin American history.

              Because only people who don’t know that the US used to sponsor coups in Latin America could fail to understand how completely obvious it is to think that the CIA can give people cancer.

      • It would be irreconcilable with the CIA’s history not to assassinate Chavez.

        Right, the CIA assassinates every single leftist foreign leader. Every. Single. One. It is irreconcilable with their history not to.

        This very special combination of the “All men are John” fallacy and the ad hominem fallacy is one of my favorite internet stupidities.

        The CIA does bad things.
        This would be a bad thing.
        Therefore, the CIA must have done this, and this must have happened.

  • Karen

    I have been reading El Pais and CNN en espanol to practice my Spanish, and both have had extensive coverage of Chavez since the October election. My favorite piece WS an interview in which Chavez claimed Obama would endorse Chavez if Obama were Venezuelan. It ended with Chavez saying “estaria una Chavista. Estoy seguro.” I encourage anyone who reads Spanish to find the interview.

  • Matt

    Does someone want to put together a Malaysian kickstarter to get Josh Trevino’s thoughts on this matter?

    • Timb

      We already know what a Texas hack, drenched in oil money, would think of Chavez

      • NonyNony

        How much do you think it would cost to get Trevino to post a warm eulogy to Chavez complete with a full-throated defense of how much of a friend to capitalism Chavez was?

        • Now, now, you can only bribe Trevino to write articles about things he really believes in, like that democracy activists should be ground under the iron heel of the state.

  • Mike Schilling

    What will happen to Venezuelan baseball now that Chavez is no longer around to invent it?

    • wengler

      Swing! and a miss.

    • commie atheist
      • wengler

        Wow. That’s a pretty classless move by whoever was in charge at Marlins Stadium. You don’t need to put the flags at half-staff, but a moment of silence for a dead head of state before a game where the national team is playing is pretty easy.

        • Loud Liberal

          A neo-fascist cuban, no doubt.

  • Major Kong

    I never liked him, but I never understood our collective freakout about him either.

    • Castro analogue.

    • wengler

      New Hitler, etc. The War Machine has bills to pay.

    • Timb

      Oil

      • Loud Liberal

        Bingo!

    • NonyNony

      Death of the Soviet Union
      + old Cold Warriors who are lost without Commies to fight
      + populist leader who uses socialist rhetoric
      + small country controlling a substantial amount of oil
      = Venezuela is the start of a new Soviet Union in South America.

      It’s mostly wishful thinking on the part of older conservatives mixed with some Cold War cosplay for the younger ones.

    • I don’t think we ever had a “collective freakout” about him. There was certainly an effort made during the coup attempt, but most people seem to have kept things in perspective.

      • Jameson Quinn

        Here in Guatemala, Chavez-baiting is a pretty common tactic against anyone left of the (Otto) Reich wing. You really do get the feeling that there’s a vast right-wing conspiracy that runs from Chicago to Miami to Caracas to Bogotá, and they really have (imperfect) control of about 75% of the media in Latin America, and they really hated Chavez.

        • Jameson Quinn

          … and aside from honestly hating him, loved to use him for their Two Minute Hates.

  • Data Tutashkhia

    Sad, but on the scale of things one person is never all that important. Latin America has been experiencing a political and economic renaissance for at least a decade now, and he was just a manifestation of that. ¡Viva la Revolución!

    • Sad, but on the scale of things one person is never all that important.

      Never?

      While I agree, in general, with the ‘arc of history’ argument, are you sure you want to say that people like MLK, Lincoln, JFK, RFK, and others were not consequential?

      • Data Tutashkhia

        Why, yes. In a different environment most of the ‘great people’ (especially in politics) would’ve been but harmless cranks. And in the environments they operated, should they have died in infancy, someone else would’ve likely taken that place, doing the same thing, more or less. Perhaps even better.

        As Russians say: свято место пусто не бывает: nature abhors a vacuum.

        • No, I don’t disagree. But in the right environment, certain people also become prime movers.

          I don’t agree that someone would have taken their places, because singular talents are singular. Yes, the arc of history would have continue moving without them. But not as quickly or in the ways they influenced.

          Gandhi? Mandela? Would either of those regimes have ended as expeditiously or as peacefully without those particular people? I don’t think that’s an argument you want to make.

          • Data Tutashkhia

            I remember a sci-fi novel I read, where the hero travels in time and kills young Hitler. When he come back, he sees some other name in history books, people in death camps were electrocuted instead of being poisoned by gas, but the rest is more or less the same.

            So, SA apartheid would’ve ended without Mandela, maybe earlier (if, say, someone better was somehow eclipsed, pushed away by him) or maybe later, with more violence or less violence, it seems equally possible. Why assume that these particular individuals produced the best outcome possible?

            I’ll concede, it’s a bit different with science: Newton discovered the law of gravity; had he died young, it would’ve happened a few years of decades later. But even so, ideas are in the air. When the time comes, there are usually several people working on the same problem; the difference is often only a matter of days or weeks.

            • Hanspeter

              I remember a sci-fi novel I read, where the hero travels in time and kills young Hitler. When he come back, he sees some other name in history books, people in death camps were electrocuted instead of being poisoned by gas, but the rest is more or less the same.

              Sure it was a young Hitler?

            • JohnTh

              Stephen Fry wrote a similar book (Making History) where the protagonist goes back in time and prevents Hitler’s birth. When he returns to the present things are a lot worse, as the mantle of ‘crual right-wing dictator of Germany who gains strength from demonising Jews’ turned out a hole in history that needed filling, but this time round it got filled by someone less erratic than Hitler who didn’t, for example, declare war on the US befroe finishing off the Soviet Union, meaning that the Nazi regime prospered.

              Backto the OP, my sense would be that a CHavez successor with a somewhat smaller Bolivar complex might provide substantially less financial support to left-leaning LatAm governments? As far as I can tell all that stuff was driven by Chavez himself, and the next man up might have more pressing uses for the money at home.

              • John F

                apparently been done a lot, I remember a story where the protagonist going back and forth in time several times discovers that WWII and the holocaust was the least bad timeline… most timelines end up in a multilateral nuclear exchange or multiple Cambodia/Rwanda type genocides

            • so, you’re arguing that one person may be important, but in negative ways, so it doesn’t count?

              Also, using fiction to illustrate your point isn’t terribly supportive.

              IN any case, looking at actual history, I think the case can be made that American civil rights as well as South African, were moved in significant ways by the people in question; it wouldn’t necessarily be more rapidly, but in both questions certainly with far less violence.

              If you think there was someone in either case who would have served the same role, do you have someone in mind? Because they would have to be an actual person, you know.

              • mpowell

                This is an argument that some people make seriously. It’s not a bad argument and it’s really a tough thing to say one way or the other for certain. I don’t agree with it, but I understand the view

                On the other hand, if the defense of your position is, “well, in this one book of fiction I read…” I don’t think you are being very convincing. There is a difference between proposing an argument and simply restating your position.

                • Data Tutashkhia

                  I don’t need a defense. I’m not trying to convince, only to explain.

                • Data Tutashkhia

                  …in fact, it’s quite alright that most people do believe that ‘great men’ make history. It takes all kinds. If I convinced everyone in the world to be as fatalistic as I am, that’d be a much more boring world, probably. No more Hugos. I don’t want that.

              • Data Tutashkhia

                Zomibie, I don’t understand your first paragraph, sorry.

                With Mandela, it’s very obvious, actually. The dismantlement of apartheid was engineered by the de Klerk’s government. If not Mandela, they would’ve picked some other ANC guy to transfer the power to, under negotiated conditions. Simple as that.

                With Lincoln, if he didn’t exist, someone else would’ve been elected president in 1860. Things could turn out differently, of course, but with 700,000 killed in this timeline one would have to try real hard to make it any more unpleasant. And slavery couldn’t survive much longer anyway.

                See, what’s odd here is that in the case of Mandela apartheid was negotiated away, and in the case of Lincoln slavery was abolished by a very bloody war, and, despite the opposite methods, paths to progress, they both are considered ‘great men’. Weird.

  • I would have linked to Too Much Joy’s song “Hugo”, but there is no YouTuber of it. Also, it is about Hugo Burnham from Gang of Four, not Hugo Chavez, but since they never mention his last name, it would be cool.

    However, I can post the lyrics:

    Another hero has failed me
    He’s a guest VJ on MTV
    Jack’s in his corset, Janie’s in her vest
    Lou’s hawking scooters and American Express

    Guys quote Michael Stipe in bars
    to pick up girls who own their cars
    While we renounced what we once loved
    to prove that we can rise above

    Chorus:

    Hugo, Hugo
    Hugo doesn’t have these faults
    Hugo Hugo
    He is pure and he is good

    Don’t believe it when you’re told
    “Hope I die before I get sold”
    Every great band should be shot
    Before they make their Combat Rock

    Chorus:

    Hugo Hugo
    He won’t ever let me down
    Hugo Hugo
    He is pure and he is good

  • IM

    Juan Peron II or Eva Peron II. take your pick.

    Oh what a circus! Oh what a show!
    Argentina has gone to town
    Over the death of an actress called Eva Peron
    We’ve all gone crazy
    Mourning all day and mourning all night
    Falling over ourselves to get all of the misery right

    She had her moments–she had some style
    The best show in town was the crowd
    Outside the Casa Rosada crying, “Eva Peron”
    But that’s all gone now
    As soon as the smoke from the funeral clears
    We’re all going to see how she did nothing for years!

    That’s a pretty bad state for a state to be in
    Instead of government we had a stage
    Instead of ideas a prima donna’s rage
    Instead of help we were given a crowd
    She didn’t say much but she said it loud

    And now:

    You let down your people Evita
    You were supposed to have been immortal
    That’s all they wanted
    Not much to ask for
    But in the end you could not deliver

    • ajay

      At which point it’s worth remembering that “Evita!” was written in order to make British people think “hmm, maybe having a military coup wouldn’t be that bad”, at a time when Britain having a military coup was definitely an option.

      • William Burns

        Wow, I always thought it was written to make money.

        • It certainly wasn’t written to reflect a nuanced or accurate portrayal of actual Latin American history.

        • mds

          Why would those be mutually exclusive, especially in the case of a right-wing coup?

      • rea

        You think a military coup in mid-70’s UK was possible? And that Andrew LLoyd Webber wrote Evita to support it? Oh, that would explain why the male lead of Evita is Che Guevera!

        • Malaclypse

          And that Andrew LLoyd Webber wrote Evita to support it?

          Given that he wrote Jesus Christ Superstar, it seems clear that there was no depth to which he would not sink.

          • DrDick

            I think that could be said of pretty much everything he ever wrote.

        • ajay

          rea: yes, and yes.

          Andrew Lloyd Webber explained the idea behind his musical, Evita, which celebrated the life of Eva Peron, wife of the Argentinian dictator, by saying: ‘We had a government basically overthrown by trade unions. There was serious talk of private armies, and people were really thinking the country was going to nothing. We kept seeing parallels in the story of an attractive extremist.’
          http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/jan/09/politics.past

  • Loud Liberal

    Viva el espíritu de Chávez, al servicio del pueblo y el enemigo del neo-fascismo.

    • Habla El Verdad

      Chinga tu madre.

      • DrDick

        ¿Tu tienes una madre? ¡No creo!

      • Jameson Quinn

        La verdad es que mejor vuelvas a tus guafles y dejas el español a los que tengan mínimo dos dedos de frente.

  • Halloween Jack

    We’ll never get that sequel to The Hunchback of Notre Dame now, will we?

  • Juan Cole draws a pretty good bead on Chavez.

  • Speak Truth

    Hugo is dead.

    Good riddance. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving human being.

    He’s burning now…

    • DrDick

      No, he is toasting marshmallows over the burning souls of Pinochet and Samoza.

      • Mike Schilling

        The souls of Pinochet and Samoza? Maybe mini-marshmallows.

        • Speak Truth, did you forget that part in the Bible about “Judge not, lest ye be judged?”

          Oh, it only applies to Socialists.

          Got it.

    • ChrisTS

      You realize that everyone dies, eventually, yes? It happens to everyone – good, bad, or indifferent.

    • Woodrowfan

      actually he’s making pancakes.

    • You are so respectful of the dead, excuse me while I piss on Reagan’s grave

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