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If there were a Populist Politicians’ Handbook it would need but two chapters. Chapter one would be titled “Class Warfare.” Chapter two: “Anti-Americanism.” Chavez has learned both chapters by heart.
In 2000, Chavez became the first foreign head of state to visit Iraq since the 1991 Gulf war, in spite of U.S. opposition. A short time later he made a high-profile visit to Cuba.
Following 9/11, Chavez accused the U.S. of “fighting terror with terror” in Afghanistan. That same year he accused the U.S. of being behind the failed coup to oust him, and of backing the traitors in an attempt to take over the nation’s petroleum industry. In response to the ouster of Haiti’s Jean Bertrand Aristide in 2004, Chavez called George W. Bush a “prick.” He has accused the U.S. of attempting to assassinate him so many times that the international press no longer pays attention to his crying wolf.
Chavez likes to boast that “We have invaded the United States, but with our oil.” Other times he has threatened to cut off oil exports to the U.S. in favor of Chinese, Iranian, and Russian markets.
How real is this threat, not just to the U.S., but to the rest of Latin America? The former army colonel recently announced his intent to export his “Bolivarian revolution” to the world. He has repeatedly expressed his intent to revive Simon Bolivar’s “Greater Colombia,” which in the early 19th century united Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela, and has made large territorial claims on Guyana. The Economist reports that Chavez recently declared himself to be a “Fidelista, a follower, that is, of Cuba’s president Fidel Castro, his closest ally.”
Chavez also plans to double the size of the army reserve as “an honorable answer to President Bush’s intention of being the master of the world.” From Russia, Venezuela is buying 50 advanced MiG-29 fighters, 40 helicopter gunships and 100,000 AK-47 assault rifles, in addition to recent arms purchases from Spain and Brazil.p> Epilogue br> In 1958, a bloodless coup removed Gen. Marcos Perez Jimenez, Venezuela’s last dictator, from power, thus beginning the nation’s four decades as a political democracy. Chavistas insist their leader is a democrat, not a dictator, proudly noting that the president has won three elections in the past five years. Yet Chavez only ran for election after twice failing to overthrow the government in bloody coups in which some 120 people were killed. /p>
Armed militias, secret police, a stacked judiciary, control of the nation’s wealth, curbs on free speech, torture of opposition, harassment of journalists…this is what passes for democracy in Venezuela today.
Like the Man of La Mancha, President Hugo Chavez is waging the last great battle between socialism and capitalism. History is not on Hugo’s side.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?