It is getting a little tiring to write about Hugo Chavez and his Government. How irresponsible can he be? Today he said he would turn on the tanks and the Sukhoi jet fighters if Colombia violates Venezuela’s sovereignty and gave Coca Cola two weeks to give up some land it owns in the west of Caracas.
First of al, there is no need to threaten another country when all its Minister of Defense has said is to repeat that it will pursue guerrillas wherever they may be, without mentioning country’s names. Because in the end, Chavez is only bragging. Last time, he “turned on” the tanks, they went nowhere, as the deploprable state of Venezuela’s highways made it impossible to move them. Moreover, the military refused to move anything and the major highway of the country was blocked by protesters that same day.
But in the end, Colombia’s military is much better trained that Venezuela’s and has been engaged for years in its own war. Venezuela’s military has problems holding a parade, as uniforms come unglued and vehicles burn. So, Chavez is once again talking to the gallery, but should threa carefully should the Colombians take him as his word.
Coc Cola is on the other hand screwed. There are no private property rights in Venezuela anymore. Whatever whim Chavez may have, whether a legally built Mall or a parking lot, he decides what to take away and if the owner of Polar “se pone comico” (he gets funny, like going to Court or something like that) Chavez will also take it over and pay with worthless paper, in his own words.
Because Chavez has interpreted the recent referendum victory as carte blanche to carry forward his personal supposedly socialist project, despite the fact that the results of the Dec. 2nd. 2007, referendum should still stand. But Chavez is no democrat and he has long forgotten that the “people” rejected that same project at the time.
And to get an idea about the autocrat’s frame of mind, he no longer uses Bolivar, Zamora or other heroes of the Venezuelan independence. What for? Why use those references when you have him: Hugo Chavez, the hero (?) of so many epic episodes (?) of Venezuela’s history.
Thus, in his latest hair brained scheme, Chavez proposes a chain of Restaurant Chavez, Mac Chavez, so that Venezuelans can eat at a reasonable price with wine and candles (his words)
So, Chavez not only wants to intervene now in every facet of Venezuelan’s life, but he now wants to use his own name for the projects in a clear sign that we will see more and more traits of a cult of personalty as we go forward.
It is all about Chavez, not socialism or any other project.
But the worst part is the passivity of those that are against Chavez. Not of the so called opposition, but of the every day Venezuelan who watches this alarmed but feels powerless to do anything about it.
And expect more in the upcoming days, it is clear that pushing his project forward is more important for Chavez than implementing measures that would help alleviate the upcoming economic crisis that all Venezuelans, but mostly the poor, are going to feel.
(P.S. I am an avid Coca Cola drinker, I will take to the streets if I have to do without that!)