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Hugo Chavez's Delirium

By Tomas Sancio | Venezuelan Politics

16.05.05 | I was so surprised with President Chávez's words this Sunday that I had to look them up in the pro-government press to see if El Universal or Globovision were making things up. This actually was not the case.

Chávez seems quite upset and what you can read from the article seems to stress this point further. Basically, the President is saying that the MVR infighting (and practically all of the other local issues) is due to attacks from the United States. In the recent years, Chávez has paid special attention to making sure that his words walk the fine line between reality and ridicule. However, today he slipped badly to the latter side.

For example, let's talk about the spat between the two Caracas Mayors, Freddy Bernal and Juan Barreto. As far as I can recall, their main issue was about Juan Barreto's frustration over Bernal's incapability of keeping his municipality clean from garbage, among other responsibilities. Whatever the true issue, it's really hard to believe that a new special task force of the US Marines dropped in at wee hours of the night to pollute Caracas and create issues between the two Mayors.

Another example is the ongoing battle between the Governer of Guarico, Eduardo Manuitt (PPT) and Iris Varela (MVR) and others. I always thought it was about people being killed in that state by the police and Congress investigating those cases. I never imagined that the United States could be involved here. What did they do? Shoot and hide the people to frame the Governer? The PPT never mentioned that.

He also mentions that the United States is still planning on killing him. Since it wouldn't be the first time an American (as in the United States of America) government kills a foreign leader, his theory has credibility among some people. However, those people need to look up when was the last time the United States did such a thing and whether it would make sense for them to do it with Venezuela, since they're receiving 60% of our country's exports and the Venezuelan Vice-President constantly reminds the world of how good an oil supplier Venezuela is.

What really caps the lack of credibility from his story is the following paragraph from the Aporrea article:

"In his (Chávez's) opinion, the imperialism is going to try to weaken and divide the political parties for later, when they don't win, try to make the difference small and "say that there was a fraud and un-stabilize the country".

It's hard to guess what he was thinking when he said those words. Last August, there was a Presidential Recall and the opposition said that the results were bunk, even delivering a hefty report. What happened? Nothing. Everybody went on to their business and there was no "instability" in the country. If those were the most important elections of the past years (given the power that the President has), why would Chávez think that this year's Municipality elections would prove a threat to the country? Does he really think that people will buy that?

The government has a problem now. It made such an expensive effort to bury the opposition (added to the opposition's own failings), that it actually succeeded in making it irrelevant. Given that last year's leaders are pretty much mum and that the non-politicians (TV stations and businessmen) are actually playing ball, there is no one in Venezuela to blame.

The whole effort today is to say that the United States is guilty of all of the country's shortcomings. That strategy works fine in an isolated country like Cuba but not in Venezuela. Who knows? We may see Chávez wanting to bring back the good old days of 2002.

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