Venezuela: choking on the poisonous legacy of Hugo Chavez
By Gerald Warner
- Venezuela: choking on the poisonous legacy of Hugo Chavez
- For Venezuela there are even harder times ahead.
- Venezuela’s crisis is political
The Great Bolivarian Revolution is going awfully well, don’t you think? The economy of Venezuela is not only a nostalgic reprise of how things used to be in eastern Europe, in the glorious days of reported escalating tractor construction and the exhaust pipes of Trabant cars pumping pollution into the atmosphere beyond the Berlin Wall, but also a consoling reminder to Greeks of the truth of the old adage: “There is always someone worse off than yourself.”
From around the time, in 2009, when the late, great Hugo Chavez appointed a Minister for Electricity Shortages – in oil-rich Venezuela – it became evident that this latest Marxist essay in pushing water uphill was rapidly heading towards the same outcome as all previous socialist revolutions. Chavez was the prime exemplar of the phenomenon that the free-market commentator Alvaro Vargas Llosa dubbed “The Return of the Latin American Idiot”, as several countries in that region re-embraced the revolutionary delusions of the 1960s and 1970s.
Suddenly, the rhetorically incontinent, economically illiterate Fidel Castro had company, as the kind of deluded fantasists who displayed Che Guevara posters on their bedroom walls came to power in the course of an emotional spasm that expelled market realism from countries such as Bolivia and Venezuela. When Chavez, known to his adoring followers in classic revolutionary style as the “Comandante”, died two years ago, his pseudo-religious cult was officially endorsed by the decision to embalm him like Lenin or Mao.
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