A Look At Hugo Chavez
A former Venezuela-based foreign correspondent, David Paulin, explains one reason why Hugo Chavez is so virulently anti-American as he sits atop the only OPEC member state in the Western Hemisphere.
Hugo Chavez’s bizarre anti-American rant at the United Nations has got Americans asking, “What makes Chavez tick?”
To understand him, stop thinking of oil-producing Venezuela as a Latin American country. Think of it as a dysfunctional Middle Eastern petro-state. Doing that is the key to understanding Chavez and Venezuela.
Chavez is not alone in his thinking, which can be considered a manifestation of outward hatred diverted from internal failings.
Chavez’s anti-Americanism, moreover, achieves the recognition he never could attain by providing mundane things such as decent public services, crime control, and serious anti-poverty programs. It’s no wonder that Chavez gets along so well with oil-rich Middle Eastern thugs, who also are adept at the blame game, as they accuse Israel, America, or whatever they can come up with to excuse their dysfunction.
No wonder so many Third World delegates in the U.N. applauded Chavez's anti-American rant. They, like Chavez, find it easier to blame America than to accept responsibility for their personal and collective failures.
Yet while Chavez is enjoying his increasing celebrity status abroad, this appears not to be the case at home in Venezuela.
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