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Buen apetito, Ken!

By Rafael Hidalgo

Dear Ken,

Iíve just found out that you and a few pals are going to have lunch with your mate Hugo Chavez, who happens to be the President of Venezuela. I found this rather odd because I thought, silly me, that if Hugo comes to town for an official visit then he should be meeting the Queen, or the Prime Minister or at least some of the Ministers of the cabinet. But apparently he wonít be. I guess it has something to do with him calling the PM the ďHitlerís main allyĒ, but hey, what do I know?

And if the visit is not official Ė rather a private one to visit his political allies Ė then you wouldnít be using taxpayers money to host a banquet or promote his visit, would you?

Anyway, once he is here, I think you should ask for his advice in a lot of areas, so you can bring to the citizens of London all the marvelous things that you say are happening through the Bolivarian revolution.

Take crime for instance. You may ask Hugo how he managed to tackle the huge crime rates in Venezuela. He will explain how when he came into power, there were 3,500 murders a year in Venezuela and after seven years of revolution there are now only 10,000 (yes, ten thousand) Venezuelans murdered every year. Amazing, isnít it?

Interested in housing? Just ask Hugo how his government has managed to build fewer houses than any other previous administration, in spite of having much more money and time. Awesome!

Want to make poverty history? Just ask Hugo. After seven years of historical highs in oil revenues, there are now more Venezuelans living in poverty. This shows you how much Hugo loves the poor.

Letís talk economics. Hugo can explain how it is possible to achieve an average growth close to zero in spite of having the highest oil income in the history of the country. Not to mention high unemployment and high inflation rates. All at the same time!

Hugo can also advise on how to deal with the unions. You see, Hugo has had the leader of possibly the largest Venezuelan union (CTV) in prison, sentenced for 16 years, because he dared to lead a strike against the revolution. (Everyone knows that workers have the right to strike against evil corporations but never ever against the revolution.) Of course, to put someone in prison when you want to you need to either make the Parliament pass the bills that suit or you control the judges. But donít worry. Good old Hugo can tell you how to do both of those. Heís done it all!

He also can explain how he deals with journalists (you know, those guys who get offended just because you call them Nazis or something). You see, he has passed a law (well, he didnít do it himself but his very own parliament did following his orders, as usual) to control what they can say or write. And he doesnít mind all those free press associations, journalists and media tycoons protesting about it and saying they will take legal action against the bill. The friends that he has appointed at the Supreme Court (those who cheered him loudly in his last visit) will never make a decision against Hugo.

I am sure that if you manage to bring all these marvels to London, the grateful Londoners will re-elect you as many times as you want (you see, Hugo is already planning to be President until 2021, as he mentioned in his Sunday TV show) but just in case you want to be absolutely sure, well you guessed it, just ask Hugo!

Hugo and his friends on the Electoral Council have managed to develop a voting system where everybody (and I mean everybody) can vote but no one can actually count the votes! The trick is to have a lot of very expensive lottery machines and very expensive software but never ever let anyone count the ballots. Wise isnít it?

This is how Hugo has won all those elections that you have mentioned in your article supporting him. Yes, the one that was later published on the GLAís webpages. (I know some people criticized you for this but never mind, letís put the GLA to the service of the revolution!)

Follow his advice and you will always win elections, no matter what. Guaranteed!

Yours sincerely

Rafael Hidalgo

PS. If you really impress him, you may even get the same medal that Robert Mugabe got: the precious Bolivar sword.

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