Tuesday, February 27, 2007

All is not Well at 4o’clock

(Picture from the monthly newsletter of Docencia Participativa, the government-affiliated educational institute in Venezuela)

So how is Venezuelan socialism working out? About as well as socialism did last century.

"Chavez is committing the same mistakes as his predecessors,'' said Medina-Smith, whose work on capital flight won him the central bank's top economic study award in 2004. ``These policies never have worked. Why should they work this time?''

If you believe that socialism has simply never been “applied properly”, then I guess you can feel somewhat hopeful looking at Venezuela today, but the rest of the world (and the nation’s economic figures) tell a different story.

And like any dictator-to-be, Chavez will need plenty of scapegoats to blame for his government’s failure. Obviously, America will be at the top of the list, but supporters of his regime have brought back history’s favorite whipping boy: the Jews.

Chavez in a Christmas Eve speech last month said: "The world has enough for all. But it turned out that some minorities, descendants of those who crucified Christ, descendants of those who threw Bolivar out of here and also crucified him in their own way in Santa Marta, there in Colombia, a minority took the world's riches for themselves.

Historian Manuel Caballero, one of the promoters of Saturday's condemnation, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that he was worried about a possible "radicalization" of Chavez's government.

He called the remarks a "fairly clear allusion" against Jews and said the same tendency was seen in Chavez's former adviser, Argentine Norberto Ceresole, who was known for his openly anti-Semitic views. Chavez maintained close ties with Ceresole before his election to the presidency in 1998 but later distanced himself."

While any movement is going to have racists and anti-Semites, this type of scapegoating perpetuated by Chavez and some of his supporters is illusory of totalitarian regimes throughout time. Dictators can not admire wrong doing or defeat, and thus, create or find people to blame their shortcomings upon.

I also don’t buy the argument that Chavez has aligned himself with groups like Hezbollah and Ahmadenejad’s government in Iran simply because they also appose the United States. If that was his intention, he could easily align with folks like North Korea. But the fact is they share a common bond: a need to control their nation’s oil reserves to fuel their campaigns, and a need to hate someone when it inevitably fails.

(Heads up to Dean’s World and Harry’s Place)


jams o donnell said...

Hmm how easy to go back and use the Jews as a scapegoat.

UI have little time for Chavez's posturing.His stupid stunts (Fidel on his phone-in for example). Worse is his willingness to sidle up to any tinpot dictator in some stupid game of anti american solidarity (Yes I know Bush, Blair et al have sidled up to some pretty bad ones themselves but it doesn't make it right) overshadows anything else.

Roland Dodds said...

Agreed Jams. Although it is easy to put down Bush, it does not make it a good political stance when directing a nation.