So, Hugo Chavez has now ordered his government to expel any foreign national in Venezuela who criticizes him or his government of oligarchic, socialist sycophants. Unfortunately, I am not in Venezuela to take advantage of such an expulsion, so I am relegated to such criticisms on the sidelines.
Now, the problem that Hugo Chavez has is that he is a despotic demagogue who sees himself as Central and South Americaâ€™s new Simon Bolivar or Che Guevara. Please note that both Bolivar and Guevara are, indeed, dead and that their revolutions are arguably responsible for most of the current suffering of the common people of modern Central and South America. Chavez, however, seeks to resurrect the failed ideals these men forced upon the peoples of Central and South America, thereby ensuring that they will be set back yet another century in progress from where they already are.
Instead of turning Venezuelaâ€™s remarkable oil wealth toward developing Venezuelaâ€™s economy, infrastructure, educational system, and relationships with world powers-thereby potentially making Venezuela into South Americaâ€™s first superpower-he plans to take that oil wealth and focus it on defending his country from an American invasion that is not coming and on redistributing the wealth of the rich who work to the poor who, while they do need the money, will have no way to spend it because of the countryâ€™s poor economy, infrastructure, educational system, and relationships with some world powers, like the US, for example.
Of course, in order to accomplish these tasks, Chavez has suspended the right to criticize him, his government, or anyone who supports his government. He has also moved toward suspending personal property rights, the right of private citizens to make money from their own businesses, the right to free press, and a host of other liberties that at least Americans take for granted on a day-to-day basis.
Now, so far I have been kind in my criticism of an egomaniacal, despotic, totalitarian dictator simply because I wanted to communicate the real problems with his utopian vision that the rich are bad and should be punished to support the poor except then there will be no rich and everyone will be poor. I think the Bolsheviks, Leninists, and Stalinist already tried that idea and failed, but I suspect that Chavez must have missed that history because of his countryâ€™s poor educational system which cannot afford to teach its students history, let alone the truth.
In the end, Chavez is just another generation of South American despot whose only positive point is that he has learned from previous generations of despots how to take and retain power in a more civil fashion than coups and civil wars. In the end, Chavez, like all of the generations of South American despots before him, will likely flee for his life into exile–perhaps it would be better of someone assassinated him before that–when the people he promised utopia to rebel when that utopia fails to arrive. Then, I suspect, heâ€™ll wish for a little criticism of the people who tossed him out.
By the way, Chavez is damned ugly too.