Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Chavez' revenge?

It was extremely surprising to read the newspapers around the world last Monday morning, all of which highlighted the results of the referendum in Venezuela, through which the Venezuelan voters voted against reforms to the Constitution promoted by President Hugo Chavez. Those reforms were mainly targeted to perpetuate Chavez as the President and to modify labor and property laws that would turn Venezuela into a socialist state. But it was even more impressive to see Chavez serenely admitting his defeat before the mass media, even congratulating his opposition and the Venezuelans for the exemplary elections day that was lived in their country last weekend. His pantomime was so well planned and executed, that it even led people around the world to believe that Chavez was a real democrat and a good and honest leader for Venezuela.

It was very hard to believe that a president known for his habits of insulting leaders around the world and for being an individual who doesn't seem to know anything about diplomacy would suddenly have such sort of positive change in his attitudes. It was really odd to see a president who systematically bans freedom of speech in his country to humbly accept a defeat and congratulate his most hated foes for their victory. It was strange, strange, strange.

A newspaper confirmed today what I thought: all those attitudes were only part of Chavez' circus. That was just the kind of attitude that he wanted to show to the international community: a good, democratic, moderate president that has been unfairly tagged by some foreign governments as an autocratic and repressive dictator. But of course, the Venezuelan president had an ace under his sleeve, and as soon as he lost international attention regarding the referendum that took place last week, he switched to his normal dictator hat and warned his opposition: '[the opposition's victory] was a sh*tty victory. Our defeat, if you want to call it that way, is a defeat full of bravery and dignity. Hit us, Empire (the United States), we haven't moved a single millimeter. Well, we'll move, we're going forward'.

Just in case there were still any doubts about his addiction to power and his dictatorial style, he threatened his foes: 'Be prepared, as a new offensive will be coming soon with the proposal [to perpetuate him in power and to turn Venezuela into a socialist state], the same one [which was turned down in the referendum], or transformed, or simplified'.

Venezuela had a great victory last weekend in the referendum. They let the world know that the Venezuelans want a real democracy in their country, not an individual ruling for life like they have in Cuba. The Venezuelans are really looking forward to the economical, social and political integration of their country to the international community in order to have a modern and progressive State. But their main hurdle to achieve those goals is ruling their country right now, and he will do all in his reach to take Venezuela in the opposite way. At the end of the day, the more problems the Venezuelan nation has to cope with, the easier it is for him to shine as a great, almighty leader, especially among the poor majority of the population.

Photo: EFE


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