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Hugo Chavez does Hugo Chavez

By Aleksander Boyd

London 11.04.06 | Exactly four years ago, a motley crue group of useless politicos, military and union bosses saw fit to remove Hugo Chavez from Venezuela's presidency. What followed was a tragicomedy in which the various actors demonstrated their Venezolanity, understood as the characteristic lack of common sense of the ruling political class of Venezuela. Many hypotheses were born that fatidic day, each side of the divide has picked one, or two, and hasn't stopped running with it since. The one of the coup led by Pedro Carmona -although the term as commonly defined is a misnomer; the one of Chavez's resignation -as announced by then highest ranking military officer Lucas Rincon Romero; the one about the CIA being behind the plot -unsubstantiated to this day; and some more.

The fact that Hugo Chavez is, four years on, in a stronger position internally suggest a) that his opponents, deprived of leadership, purpose and support, have not been able to put up a half decent fight, b) that the political results owed to his ability to control and distribute oil income have been greatly underestimated, c) that democracy and its institutions are somewhat vague concepts that most Venezuelans do not consider worth fighting for, d) that the pool of social resentment into which Chavez has tapped contains more reserves than initially appraised, e) that the newcomers are ill prepared to meet an extraordinarily powerful demagogic gladiator, that keeps on winning.

Hugo Chavez has only one enemy: Hugo Chavez. To an extent none of the initiatives implemented by the opposition to unseat him have met the expected outcome, more due to the cunning ability of the incumbent to utilise democratic institutions for its advantage than anything else. For instance, there was widespread consensus in 2002 that an oil strike that would diminish the country's income would have caused any rational president to resign; or a recall referendum would demonstrate that the majority wanted to see the back of him. Chavez did not care about the economic consequences of his action though for he admitted in 2004 that he wanted to provoke the strike with the televised dismissals of PDVSA directors. Regarding the recall; what can it be said? A constitutional right introduced in the constitution only to be turned against those who dared exercising it? Time and again Venezuelans dismiss Chavez and repeatedly he just cruises over his enemies, the reason being the conviction that they are dealing with more or less the average politico rather than with a five hundred pound gorilla, armed to the teeth, swimming in oil money, befriended by the worse scum of this earth and eager to break the law if it means crushing, heretofore politically, his enemies. Make no mistake though, if the crushing ever gets to the literal sense he won't break a sweat, and probably will head to the nearest TV cameraman, as he did in 1992 and 2002.

To his disgrace the revolutionary Bolivarian ship is in the doldrums, upon reaching international waters. Not because of the opposition but rather owing to Hugo Chavez, his terrorist friends and the rogue regimes he associates himself with. Who is to be blamed for this if not him? Who adviced him about the benefits of hiding Wladimiro Montesinos? Who told him that granting Venezuelan citizenship and protection to Rodrigo Granda was good for his project? How about the disgusting sycophancy with respect to the world's longest ruling dictator? And his open votes to support the nuclear race of Iran?

In my mind there's no doubt about the nature of Hugo Chavez, if I know one thing is that democratic rules and constitutional precepts do not apply to him. Rule of Law, separation of powers, political debate, are issues that entertain constituents of functioning societies, alas Venezuela's ceased to be one long time ago. It is therefore fitting to expect for his demise that shall come sooner or later and will be self-inflicted and, equally, it is an absolute waste of time and energy to try to appease or engage him, for fanatics suffering from galloping megalomania and a self-imposed mission of world liberation are incapable of accepting that they may be on the wrong, thus dialogue becomes futile.

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