Monday, January 22, 2007

Politics: Südwind, Südwind!

Hugo Chavez might have finally gone off the deep end.

He was the first foreign leader to offer aid to the stricken Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Katrina. He is giving low-cost heating oil to Americans, through his Citgo national petroleum concern, who likely couldn't afford it otherwise. For a while, he seemed like another socialist-type leader, more concerned with rhetoric than actual Marxism. Less of a Castro and more of a Nestor Kirchner.

Or not.

Let's not forget that he, a guest in the United States on diplomatic business, took it upon himself to call George W. Bush, in so many words, the Devil. His latest tirade, "Go to hell, gringos! Go home!," should alarm even those favorably inclined to his Bolivarian Revolution. I understand: no one wants the United States poking around in their backyard. However, launching a reign-by-decree is nothing short of totalitarianism. I understand that the examples of Arbenz in Guatemala and Allende in Chile have left a bad taste in many South American mouths. Nevertheless, Chavez' latest power grab should alarm them too. He wants an enabling act, to force his revolution down the throats of his people. In other words, he wants to be a petty strongman dictator.

Perhaps commentators should recall another Enabling Act, one passed in 1933. How did that end?

Let's then think: should we go home?


At 12:49 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

technically, he wasn't a guest in the US because UN complex is extraterritorial :)

At 12:51 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Smith said...

True, but he did likely have to pass through New York, which is - last I checked - U.S. soil.


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