Marching in Caracas, Venezuela, here. Politically, it’s interesting to watch the happenings in our economic trading partners from the south. I read an article recently that compared Chavez to loads of terrible dictators of the past, and why he was different in his approach. Where traditional dictators visibly oppress with force, isolate themselves and do their best to coddle western nations (if they can get away with it), Hurricane Hugo changes the rules.
Venezuela presents itself as a Democracy, and Chavez claims authority by the people, no matter how rigged the elections were. He publicly decries America and President Bush, while making friendly visits to Middle Eastern Mullahs and Islamist leaders.
But will that work? It’s pretty obvious that, by allowing this to happen without actively suppressing it, that there is a large portion of the population that does not want him there. And protests like this are only going to bring that fact to international attention. That along is not proof that Hugo isn’t legitimately the head of state, but exit polls in the last election had Hugo losing pretty badly.
Honestly, I think the only thing that keeps him in power is the oil economy that he can fall back on. And the main problem there is us. I mean the U.S., as we buy most of the oil.