I don’t like bullies. I don’t care for military things. I don’t even dig people who are full of themselves and constantly making things “about them.” But as ye dear readers probably know, I’m an admirer of Hugo Chavez. I don’t love everything he does, I don’t even trust him 100%, but still, he is the champion underdog on the international scene.
I’ll explain further. Over the past decades, plenty of Latin American presidents have come and gone, and during their tenure they’ve licked the boots of the United States governments, bending over and filling their pockets with the money of multinational corporations, while the masses have remained poor and in many cases, gotten poorer. Upon further reflection, it’s probably hard to go against the whims of the United States and those companies, if you piss them off you risk loosing their investment, their assistance… you lose that lifeline… it’s a big risk.
But in 1998, Hugo Chavez came along, in his red beret and military uniforms, and he swept into office. And since that day, the wealthy of Venezuela, the multinationals, and yes… a large segment of the middle class in Venezuela, have hated him. And I mean hate. HATE HATe. I’ve spoken to some who would take up arms against him, and well – some did a few years ago. They don’t like how he’s friendly to the hated leaders of the world, like Castro. Myself, I wish he wasn’t such a strong supporter of Zimbabwe’s president, but like I said, it’s not that I love all his decisions – but I love the spirit of defiance. And defy he continues to do.
So now there are elections, and as much as some powerful people would like to see the upper class take to the polls and vote him out. It hasn’t happened. Not to mention the fact that they boycotted the vote to begin with, with doesn’t help when you want to get elected. And they cry corruption, which hey – could be possible. But you know, with all those international observers saying the vote is legit, it becomes harder and harder to accuse the big guy of rigging the election.
Anyway I’m glad we’ve got a Chavez in this world. Later on, he might do some questionable stuff. I also fear he won’t step down once his term is up. But then again, that kind of stuff happens indirectly in most democracies anyway (you know, somehow staying in power forever). And I have to say, the Venezuelan governments initiatives to help poor communities of the united states by offering cheap heating oil is impressive. I’ve heard the reports that in the Bronx it’s already happening… if you work for the government of Newark or Detroit, or whatever city full of struggling people, call Citgo and get your community involved in this deal, it’s something the world could use a little more of — compassion.