Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hugo Chavez Faces Political Crisis As Allies Desert Him

Hugo Chavez Of Venezuela

From The Telegraph:

President Hugo Chavez, the "socialist revolutionary" leading a global campaign against America's "empire", is facing a political crisis in Venezuela where crucial elections are approaching and old allies have turned against him.

Mr Chavez, a devoted admirer of Fidel Castro, has forged an anti-American front with leaders ranging from President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.

At home, however, Mr Chavez is in trouble. State elections are due in November and Venezuela's opposition, which now includes former followers of South America's standard-bearer for socialism, is expected to perform well.

Read more ....

My Comment: When historians look at Chavez in the future they will see a man who came to power to not only satisfy his own ego of becoming the leader of Venezuela, but they will also see a man whose goal was to help the poor of Venezuela. But even with having oil deposits that at todays prices are worth approximately 10 trillion dollars, his report card is mixed on his attempt to provide the goods and services to Venezuela's poor.

Even though he has been given this golden opportunity by the people of Venezuela, after 10 years of rule the future does not look bright. The oil industry .... like Iran's .... functions because of the technology and infrastructure that was placed there by previous multinational oil companies. No investment, no upgrading, no use of new technologies .... has resulted with Venezuela (and Iran's) experiencing a decline in it's production and output. If there is a price drop in oil .... which probably will occur sooner than what people think .... this will have a devastating effect on Venezuela.

Inflation .... an economic condition that always hurts the poor the worse, is now present in double digits. Poverty and unemployment is now rising. Price controls have also had their predictable impact .... a shortage of the basic commodities on grocery shelves.

Closing down TV stations, muzzling the free press, throwing union leaders into jail .... limiting people's freedom, these actions also always lead to suffering and hardship for all.

Hugo Chavez will try his best to stay in power .... and like most tyrants who control the state apparatus he will probably succeed. But after 10 years in power there are many others who now want to rule. They are not going to make his job easy.

Will this destabilize the region .... the answer is yes. Will Venezuela's problems impact other countries .... the answer to this question is also yes. Countries like Ecuador, Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia .... they are now dependent on Venezuela's handouts. If these handouts stop .... it will destabilize everyone.

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