Monday, 19 November 2007


I am not talking about the goblin-like cartoon character from 90s TV phone-in games, oh no. I am of course talking about Hugo Chavez, the sort of socialist leader of Venezuela. Watching a programme on him has reminded me of my intense problem with the entire situation.

He's a man who sort of helps the poor, which is admirable, for sure. But there are still people who die in the barrios of the country, and some of the people who don't die are 'protected' by armed men in balaclavas. While people die, or live through intimidation, the rich are getting richer - which is something I thought socialists stood against.

He manages his country like a dictator, with 'spontaneous' demonstrations in his honour, as well as taking over public TV stations for hours a week to spout thinly veiled propaganda.

Worst of all, he's installed his friends and family in government positions and his country is the 2nd most corrupt in the World. Even more so than Zimbabwe.

On top of all this his Bush-bashing is passée to the point of embarrassing. But that's something of a personal point of my own, I fear.

He talks about saving the poor - giving them free healthcare and education. And to some extent he's began to achieve this goal. But at what cost, I always wonder?

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