Bitching Brew

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Why is the US so inept in its public dealings with Chavez?

A rhetorical question? Not at all, but it is a question I'm unable to answer. Offer your suggestions if you wish.

This morning, both the Independent and the Guardian carry intriguing interviews with Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan President. (Speaking as a Guardian reader, I think the Independent's piece is better. However, be mindful of the bias.) I'm neither a socialist nor a great admirer of the Chavez philosophy (populism, essentially), but I've believed for quite some time that the man is being unfairly demonised by the US government. Not a word was said about those. Chavez appears to have a rant a day in his belly - why does the US feel the urge to respond in kind? And to be fair, he hasn't started any wars. There are many issues of concern in Venezuela, but far fewer now than there were under the previous disgusting regimes. It's far from the most obnoxious country in the world. In the long run, Chavez's investment in education will bring great benefit to his country, regardless of the economic model it ends up following.

Remember this little incident, folks? Or this one? Learn. Some. Lessons. Demonising the current hero of South America is not earning you brownie points with the citizens of that continent. Cop yourselves on.

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