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Hugo Chavez: words and deeds of an autocrat

By Aleksander Boyd

London 09.10.05 | The chavista assemblyman Luis Tascon, whose database makes McCarthyism look like the work of retarded people, has been receiving all sorts of very public reprimands by Venezuela's Supremo, a.k.a. Hugo Chavez. The leader maximus picked up the phone the other day to tell Tascon off due to some comments of the latter regarding the dismissal of anchorman Walter Martinez. Quite telling the greeting of Mario Silva "como esta comandante...".

But the deeds and words of Chavez the autocrat did not stop there. In his dominical charade, he whipped democratically elected assemblyman Luis Tascon, saying such things as:

"Tascon estas equivocao' hermano, reflexiona, te lo digo aqui delante de todo el pais..."


"Think Tascon for you're wrong, I'm telling you here before the country..."

Tascon, displaying the verbal incontinence so characteristic of chavistas, did make some "politically incorrect" comments about private property that were 'analysed' by Chavez's 'media team', and again Fidelito lashed him:

"... unos comentarios que no reflejan, que no reflejan el criterio que yo estoy manejando como lider de este proceso. Entonces ustedes los diputados de la revolucion, los gobernadores, nadie puede estar tomando decisiones por si mismo, este es un proceso y ante los ataques del adversario la respuesta es la unidad y la contundencia. ¿Que si vamos a rescatar una empresa abandonada? Ningun gobernador puede estar tomando decisiones por si mismo, no señor..."[bold added]

Hence governors can take not decisions for themselves, right? Well, erm, no unless, of course, the governor happens to be Hugo Chavez's father. Some animals are more equal than others remember?

Do readers need translation? In any civilised and democratic country such gross displays of power before the cameras would be unthinkable, but in Venezuela the revolution is being televised. However the anus maximus' take on what deputies, governors, ministers and other revolutionary figures can or can not do goes beyond the simple issue of abusing Tascon. For it is rather clear that in Chavez's view no one may actually take any decision upon any matter considered revolutionary such as expropriation of private property, gagging criticism from the press, breaking existing contracts, etc. unless he approves it. And that is precisely why I keep saying that in Venezuela the only word worth listening is that of Hugo Chavez, the country's caudillo. Ergo any entity willing to do serious business in that banana republic should be well advised to seek the approval of the only person that can effectively approve things, for it has been clearly stated by himself that no one else may decide on anything.

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