16 May 2006

Chavez's useful idiot

I confess that the title is stolen from this post by Andrew Ian Dodge. Only one letter is missing, since I would like to focus on one specific useful idiot who published a eulogy to Chavez here.

The text in question reminds me some compositions schoolchildren in Soviet Union were writing on subjects like "Why socialism is good and capitalism is bad?". So, yes, Chavez invests some of the petrodollars in health care, education and basic foodstuffs for the less fortunate, which is good.

Does it make him a socialist (and let's leave aside the question of whether socialism is good or bad for one's digestion)? No, he is still a demagogue populist of the sort that Latin America dutifully produced for the last two hundred years, and it will not come as a surprise if he becomes a regular caudillo. He already hinted broadly enough that his desire is to rule for another 25 years, and his behavior with the opposition has not passed unnoticed by the observers.

So what does our Useful Idiot (UI) discover?

These victories were achieved despite a private media largely controlled by opponents of the government.

Not any more, and Chavez took care of the tiniest voice of dissent forcefully enough.

Yet Chavez's visit has been met with absurd claims from rightwing activists that he is some kind of dictator.

Surely his best friends Fidel and Mugabe will vouch that he is not a dictator?

Now an extraordinary in its naivete (stupidity?) passage from the UI's article:

By chance, a TV crew was in the presidential palace when the military coup of April 2002 against Chavez took place. It captured minute by minute the events that unfolded. Anti-Chavez gunmen, in league with the coup organisers, opened fire on a pro-Chavez demonstration. As guns are commonplace in Venezuela, some in the crowd returned fire. US television stations manipulated these images by editing out the gunfire aimed at the pro- Chavez crowd to claim that anti-Chavez demonstrators had been attacked.

No nonsense, here, what? So simple, all in black in white - I can see Red Ken sitting on the floor looking up with admiration at Chavez telling the tale and dutifully absorbing the whole tall story.

Today Venezuela is being opposed largely on the basis of lies.

Could be, but the problem is that Venezuela is ruled on the basis of lies as well. I know that for a person with B&W vision this could be too difficult to comprehend.

It is the duty of all people who support progress, justice and democracy to stand with Venezuela.

Excellent composition, student Livingstone. Here is your red cravat.

And stop drooling on Hugo's lap.