A friend emailed this just now: Getting Real About Chavez
For a long time, I’ve defended Hugo Chavez. I thought that he was fighting a worthy battle against greed and corruption, against years of foreign domination and cronyism. I thought he was trying to improve the lives of poor people, while establishing a strong economy, an independent and self-respecting nation, and a vibrant democracy.
But now, after watching events unfold in the past few months, I’m ready to admit that I was mistaken.
Like many of those who lean left, I figured that Chavez’s megalomaniacal governing qualities were a bit unnerving, but not anything serious to be worried about. In retrospect, I realize that I was willing to overlook his authoritarian tendencies because of one main thing: his avowed commitment to social justice issues and his dedication to ending poverty.
I applaud Jeb Koogler’s realization, and his publicly posting that he was wrong in his assessment of Chavez’s true nature.
As for the cult of personality, Jeb says,
Chavez appears to be establishing a cult of personality
it’s not just appearances, it’s a fact:
Sadly, one of Koogler’s commenters misses the point entirely on Venezuela’s decline, by calling Venezuela a banana republic. Venezuela is now well on its way to being a banana republic, after being one of Latin America’s industrialized countries.
And that is the tragedy.