Hugo Chavez jumps the shark


The President of Venezuela has just praised Robert Mugabe, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and, wait for it, Idi Amin – even if he was a cannibal.

Oh, and Carlos the Jackal too. Can’t forget him. Selfless fighters against imperialism, all of them.

Lordy, what a lunatic blowhard Chavez has turned out to be. Inflation is soaring in Venezuela (something which is entirely the fault of capitalism, you understand) and they and Columbia are close at war. Sounds like things are going just great there.

  • Dave Riley

    Inflation?:Venezuela’s accumulated inflation during the first six months of this year was 10.8%, a significant decrease from the 15.1% accumulated inflation during the first six months of last year, according to Venezuela’s National Statistics Institute (INE) and the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV). Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in this Third World country,remained constant at 7.7%.In the US it si currently 10.2%.

    War with Columbia?As of 2008, the U.S. has provided nearly $1.3 billion to Colombia through Plan Colombia’s nonmilitary aid programs. Colombia has been one of the largest recipients of US military aid for well over a decade and the largest in the western hemisphere.  Yet torture, massacres, “disappearances” and killings of non-combatants are widespread and collusion between the armed forces and paramilitary groups continues to this day. In 2006, US assistance to Colombia amounted to an estimated $728 million, approximately 80% of which was military and police assistance. At the moment the  is building seven new military basis in the country, and para military groups infiltrate across the Venezuelan border to sabotage the Venezuelan economy and assassinate Chavez supporters. I don’t think there is going to be a war until the US either resolves its Afghanistan and Iraq commitments or an opportunity presents itself to actively intervene — like Iraq — in a Venezuelan crisis (a la Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, etc).

    According to the BBC the President of Venezuela has just praised.… Well that’s most interesting I must say. Chavez was addressing an international meeting of socialist parties among which is my own represented this weekend . So I’ll be most interested in hearing what President Chavez actually did say. Maybe it’s like Michael Moore’s meeting with Hugo Chavez (according to Moore).

    (something which is entirely the fault of capitalism, you understand): Venezuela is not a socialist country. It is fortunate that the main industry — petroleum — is nationalised but most other sectors are in private hands including the mass media. While the revolution has a lot of support among the military, the police force is  overwhelmingly hostile to the government and corrupt. Several provinces are led by opposition governors, but Chavez remains the most popular leader in the Western Hemisphere  — drowning the percentage  vote that Obama received in the US presidential race for instance. So the “lunatic blowhard” has fooled a good proportion of the 27 million people who live there and he continues to fool a good proportion of the international community, among which I number myself.

    Honestly Bob — I’ve never known you to have the slightest knowledge let alone interest in  the process underway in Venezuela. Which is all fine, but if you are going to shoot your mouth off about a  country which your government  is aggressively hostile to I suggest you do some homework first rather than rely on 250 words of BBC speak.I fear you are embracing a comfortable xenophobia when it comes to anywhere on the planet that the people stand up in ways and means you don’t agree with (such that you’d prefer them, perhaps, not to stand up at all without first seeking your counsel  ).

    • Inflation to be higher than Venezuela government estimate of 26%

      The inflation rate, which was 31 percent last year and remains the highest in Latin America, is a threat to President Hugo Chavez’s popularity and could be a factor in parliamentary elections next year. Inflation soared 20.7 percent in the first 10 months of this year, and experts say it will likely climb above the government’s forecast of 26 percent by the end of the year.

      Inflation chart

      Chavez steps up Colombia war talk

      Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has urged his armed forces to be prepared for possible war with Colombia amid growing diplomatic and border tensions.

      I think he’s just another loudmouth on his way to becoming a dictator while his country suffers. You make a strong case for supporting him. In his early days I did support him, quite a lot, look at old posts here. But he increasingly grabs power for himself (the militias answerable only to him are a deeply troubling sign) as the condition of the country worsens. In other words, I think he’s incompetent.

  • Dave Riley

    We run Three brigades to Venezuela each year. You’d be most welcome to join it as we’ve often had Canadians in the brigade.
    Join the 2010 `May Day’ solidarity brigade to Venezuela!April 24 – May 2, 2010

    Registrations close February 1, 2010

    The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network’s brigades to Venezuela are a once-in-a-lifetime experience – the opportunity to see first-hand an unfolding revolution that is not only radically transforming the lives of Venezuelans, but is challenging the greed, exploitation and destructiveness of global capitalism by showing that a better world is possible.

    Join the AVSN’s “May Day” solidarity brigade, to run from April 24 to May 2, 2010, and visit worker-run factories and cooperatives; free, high-quality public health and education programs; Indigenous controlled programs of sustainable economic development and environmental repair; and community controlled TV and radio stations.

    Observe “popular power” at work in Venezuela’s new communal councils, and speak to a wide range of grassroots organisations, community activists, trade unions and government representatives about the radical changes being implemented by the Venezuelan people.

    And join millions of Venezuelans to hear President Hugo Chavez address the May Day rally in the capital city, Caracas, on international workers’ day, May 1st.

    The 2010 May Day brigade is the 10th solidarity tour to Venezuela organised by the AVSN. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to witness the remarkable Bolivarian revolution.

    Reports and photos from previous AVSN brigades are posted at We are also happy to put you in touch with people who have participated in AVSN brigades, if you would like to find out more.

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