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The Passing Show

March 7, 2013

Hugo Chávez is dead. Like so many other leaders who dominated their nations’ political space, he will probably leave a vacuum in Venezuela. And someone once notoriously said that the earth shakes when a big tree falls.

Chavez achieved attention by picturing the US as a bully to whom he and Venezuela under him would stand up, even though the United States bought much of its oil. Like friend Fidel Castro in nearby Cuba that has suffered the privations of Uncle Sam’s economic blockade for more than half a century.

He achieved the reputation of being a friend of the underprivileged in realms far away. But it was a show that lasted quite a short while. Now that Fidel is old and infirm and it’s many years since we have seen a rifle in his hands, or a microphone in front of him, we need someone else to speak up, and prove that we will not tolerate a unipolar world, after all. Ahmedi-Nejad looks passe. Kim Jong Un hardly promises – he has no style, gangnam or otherwise, no panache, no wit, just an inscrutable small time bully playing with dangerous fireworks.


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  1. I am sorry to rain on the funeral cortege of Hugo, but he was a poseur, bully and a tyrant who bakrupted one of the richest countries in the world and silenced dissent. A telling comment on his rule is the fact that he had to go to impoverished Cuba (without the gazillions in petroleum revenues) for his treatment whereas it could have been made available in Venezuela itself had he not destroyed the economy. What can he claim credit for except meaningless spats with the USA and thousands of wannabe beauty queens – surely he didnt father all of them? Good riddance. Give me Fidel any day.

  2. Balchan permalink

    There were some brave souls who stood up to the US bullies, mainly from Latin America. This list is now almost at an end.

    • Anti-Americanism is the first resort of scoundrels and tyrants who fail their own people. The list is long: Fidel Castro, Kim Il Sung and sons and grandsons, Nasser, Indira Gandhi, Hugo Chavez, Indian Left, Many African dictators, Iranian Leadership post-Shah, et al. It is ironic that without the “enemy” they viscerally hated they would have been ousted by their own people. On the other hand, there were those who had issues with America but their opposition was not mere polemics: Mao, Ho Chi Minh. Their opposition was principled and not an effort to hold on to power which is why China and Vietnam have made much progress, far beyond what Chavez’s Venezuela can hope to make in the next few decades despite its oil wealth. Let us not in the time honoured Hindu tradition let death make a saint out of a sinner.

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