It didn’t just happen overnight. It didn’t start after Hugo Chávez’s death. It was a long time coming.
Essential reading by Joel Hirst: Venezuela’s Ongoing 25 Year Coup
25 years ago – all the people of Venezuela have known since is Hugo Chavez. Chavez in the morning, Chavez at night. Chavez in the soup and on the ricebags and stamped across the ever-scarcer toilet paper. Dressed mostly in red – until the occasional blue became necessary to bury a political rival. Then back to red. The visage of the man fattening out before the ever-watchful eyes of the cameras as his grip upon power solidified; until he swelled with disease that seemed to mirror the bloated, infirm county he refused to release from his wicked grasp. His every absence a source of controversy; his every word a promise and a threat. He seemed to stand across the very top of the continent – calling all the people unto himself as some sort of mestizo messiah of the poor and the destitute and the angry and the jealous. And come they did; from Argentina and Chile and Brazil and Mexico, more powerful countries but without so great a leader. They came out of fear lest he find in them an enemy and seek their downfall. They came for opportunity; because they too had hate in their hearts. They came for handouts; they came to take advantage. All that Hugo Chavez really cared about was that they came – to pay homage to him, that poor boy from that mud house in the Venezuelan Great Plains.
It was a great party indeed, for those who like that sort of thing – until the morning-time; because national hangovers are an awful thing.
Read the whole thing.