Thursday, August 31, 2006

No one is all bad...

I'm no fan of Hugo Chavez. He tried in 1992 to stage a coup before getting elected President in 1998. That doesn't really establish your democratic bona fides does it? If you can't become pres of your chosen country by military force then give elected politics a go? So it's really depressing to hear self-described British or Finnish (and presumably many other nationality) left-wingers lauding him because he regularly tells the US where to go but for not too much else.

I'm sure he has done a lot in office to redistribute some of Venezuela's oil wealth to the poorest sections of society, but then goes and spoils all that by having a foreign policy that seems based on solely on "my enemy's enemy is my friend", but that could more accurately described as: "my enemy's enemy is totalitarian, human-rights-abusing, illiberal thug but - hey-ho! - who cares?". That has long been a feature of the US foreign policy that he never tires of criticising. From his famous sucking up to that well known defender of the best traditions of the European enlightenment - Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus (see above top-right) - via our chums in Tehran, to that pin-up boy of human rights activists everywhere, Bashar al-Assad of Syria, there doesn't seem to be any unpleasant dictator that Chavez won't dance a jig with if they're also dissing America.

But before anyone asks me for a paypal link to donate into the, I'm sure, already bulging CIA account entitled "for doing what we used to do so well - ousting Latin American lefty leaders" it must be said no one is all bad. The Mayor of Caracas who is a key Chavez supporter has announced he is seizing a number of golf courses in the city to redevelop them as low cost housing. Some say its part of a populist campaign in the run-up to the next presidential election in Venezuela, but perhaps Hugo is like me and just really, really hates golf.

Thanks to Mike for alerting me to the BBC story.


tfk said...

Likewise the proposed redevelopment of golf courses for low-cost housing made me smile. Populist genius.

Oh, and "unpleasent" is not a word.

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Spelling corrected - thank you. Remember though, I went to a comp, so despite my at times shoddy spelling, I'm keepin' it far more real than you bro'.

Anonymous said...

Toby I don't think that going to a comp is a good excuse for poor spelling. I can also confirm that TFK is keeping it real.