Saturday, August 27, 2005

Bring Me the Head of Hugo Chavez

From The Whiskey Bar...[Hyperlink to post title]

"Maybe Pat thought he could shake something loose with a little fascist hatemongering -- or at least draw attention to the fact that America's fourth-largest supplier of oil is run by a charismatic, enormously popular leader who (gasp!) builds health clinics for the poor and (horror!) distributes land to tenant farmers, even as he (shudder) promotes workers' cooperatives, and (outrage!) squeezes taxes out of giant oil companies.

"The irony here is that Chavez's brand of Huey Long-style socialism is being paid for by the enormous windfall revenues now being pumped out by the county's oil industry -- which in turn are a product, at least in part, of the insatiable U.S. thirst for imported crude. No wonder the Venezuelan oligarchy (the same creole elite that has owned Latin America since the conquest) hates his guts. Instead of looting the oil El Dorado for their benefit, he's milking it for the benefit of the country's impoverished mestizo majority. (And if some of that loot has also found it's way into Hugo's offshore bank accounts, or those of his political and military cronies, well ol' Huey would have understood. Populists aren't required to take a vow of poverty after all.)"

"But how Robertson's own interests fit into the picture is not clear. In this case Pat may be following his ideological obsessions, not his financial ones. He certainly isn't the first Southern ultraconservative to show a sentimental weakness for Latin American-style fascism. I remember, for example, Jesse Helms's father-son relationship with Roberto D'Aubusson -- the Salvdoran death squad leader who ordered the hit on Archbishop Oscar Romero. Let's hope Lucifer gives Jesse a few extra pokes in his fat white ass for that one."

Lots more, actually, concluding with this:

"Bottom line: Thanks to soaring oil prices, Chavez has managed to escape the trap that usually awaits leftist Third World leaders who won't dance to the IMF's tune or kowtow to the global superpower, but who also don't want to make the great leap forward into Stalinist repression and communal poverty. For the moment at least, he doesn't have to worry about capital flight, or economic strangulation or "structural adjustments." Not as long as he's got his hands on the spigot that keeps the go juice flowing."

No comments: