Venezuela: No bread, but they’ll build a circus
Mary O’Grady points out how Chavez’s Inflation Bites His Successor Nicolás Maduro needs a circus because there is no bread in Venezuela.
With the bolivar collapsing and prices spiraling higher, the government alleged this month that its No. 1 adversary, former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, is linked to a prostitution ring that was using minors in the state of Miranda, where he is governor.
Lest that not be enough to turn Venezuela’s socially conservative working-classes against the popular Mr. Capriles, a leading congressman from the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) used gutter talk on the floor of the national assembly to accuse the governor of homosexuality.
Don’t suppose for a minute that this mudslinging is merely about destroying Mr. Capriles. The ruling chavistas, led by President Nicolás Maduro, need a circus because there is no bread—and that’s not a metaphor. At times in Venezuela, there really is no bread. Earlier this year there was, for a time, no toilet paper. Mr. Maduro knows he is in trouble.
Indeed he is, so, lacking bread, Maduro’s coming up with a circus:
The 1,600-acre park will include a 35,000-seat baseball stadium and a 55,000-seat soccer stadium, as well as many other expensive features, including a bus depot, a symphony hall, bike trails, and a 100-acre plaza (ostensibly for Fidelesque gatherings of “the people”). To top it off, the park will also house the campus of the new Bolivarian University. It will be the largest park in Venezuela.
Multiple-prize-winning British architect Sir Richard Rogers has agreed to design this eighth wonder of the modern world, the first in human history to combine a bus depot, bike trails, university, stadiums, and a concert hall as window-dressing for a huge plaza in which a dictator can berate hundreds of thousands of his subjects in the tropical heat.
As for the “Pharaonic” theme, my guess is that Maduro can’t throw bread to the crowds as the Roman emperors did, so he had to settle for an Egyptian theme.
Which may come back and bite him in the a**, if he lasts that long. After all, Diosdado has plans.