I doubt there are many leftists in the world who do not get real joy from the way Hugo Chavez tweaks GW Bush and the Neo-conservatives tails. If anyone has exposed President Bush for the small minded political minnow that he is it is the President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez. As Greg Palast wrote ‘The Family Bush can fix Florida. They can fix Ohio. But it’s just driving them crazy that they can’t fix the vote in Venezuela.”[and remove Chavez]
The Bush family and the US Neo-conservatives hatred of Chavez is not simply about oil and the fact that Hugo governs democratically a country that is sitting on top of 1.36 trillion barrels of crude oil, five times the reserves of Saudi Arabia. But that Chavez believes Venezuela’s huge supply of oil must be in the hands of the Venezuelan people not the US Government and the multi national corporations it represents. The Bush administration also cannot abide the progressive message that another world beyond neo-conservative free market globalization is possible that Chavez example is sending around the globe.
Venezuela has been awash with oil money for some time, but the difference between Hugo Chavez and his predecessors as President of Venezuela is that whilst in the past the ruling and middle classes benefited from the oil wealth whilst workers lived in ignorance and abject poverty. Today the fruits of the nations oil wealth are channeled to the masses and provide free schooling and health care for all the citizens of Venezuela.
That the Venezuelan middle class Media rages daily against Chavez decision to provide the economically poor the aforementioned social benefits plus the means to build decent homes, simply demonstrates just how dehumanized these ruling classes elements have become. That Hugo Chavez ignores these lackeys of big capital and turns to the masses for support encourages other South American socialists to do likewise; and create social programs that benefit the masses not the great satan to the north.
I don’t agree with everything President Chavez does and whilst agreeing with many of the propositions within the recent referendum, I feel it was a mistake to include certain more contentious issues amongst them. I am against an extension of the Presidential term beyond two periods in office. Not because I doubt the democratic credentials of Hugo Chavez, but two terms in office is enough for any President to serve and if after 12 years in office President Chavez has not brought forth a worthy successor who will gain the support of the Venezuelan masses then in truth he has partially failed in his task to liberate the masses.
We must not allow the USAs attitude to Hugo Chavez to warp our judgment, to date the left should view the the powerful figure of Chavez as a necessary negative. For surly history has taught us certain lessons when it comes to ‘great leaders’; thus the sooner Hugo Chavez recognizes that a successful revolution is one in which the masses are dominant not a single leader the better for all. For it is a political fact of life when a politician is given unlimited power he and the bureaucracy that serves him will in time slip into authoritarian or dictatorial rule. We should also consider that when the going gets tough as it undoubtedly will, the masses will be more likely to defend their Bolivarian Revolution than that of Hugo Chavez Bolivarian Revolution.
Having said that it is not for the USA to become involved in the internal affairs of any independent nation, and the people of Venezuela have shown in last Sundays ballot that they take their democratic responsibilities seriously. More to the point Hugo Chavez has acted like a true democrat and accepted the will of the people without criticism, which makes it possible for all democrats to cry out Viva the Workers, Viva Hugo Chavez, Viva Democracy!