Working to provoke discussion and provide up-to-date information and analysis on US-Venezuelan relations, politics, policies, and culture.

Chavez as Castro? It's not that simple in Venezuela

Alarm bells are sounding in Washington, on Wall Street and around the world over President Hugo Chavez's latest moves to consolidate his Bolivarian Revolution in oil-rich Venezuela. He is — we are told — shutting down a television station, creating a single-party state, nationalizing key industries including some major oil projects, threatening perpetual re-election and vowing to impose "21st century socialism."

On the surface, it seems to Chavez's critics that he is finally doing what they have long predicted — creating a totalitarian state in the image of his mentor, Fidel Castro. But the situation in Venezuela is a little more complex than what many in the media and the establishment make it out to be. Take, for example, Chavez's decision not to renew the license of RCTV television network when it expires in May.

At first blush, this would certainly seem to be reason for alarm — a government shutting down a television station because it doesn't like its editorial bent. But RCTV is not exactly your average television station. In April 2002, it promoted and participated in a coup against Chavez in which a democratically elected president was overthrown by military rebels and disappeared for two days until large street protests and a counter-coup returned him to power.

Go to the full article here.


Post a Comment

<< Home