Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hugo Chavez tightens grip on Venezuela


In a country renowned for its youth music program (covered on the drama blog Aug 2), the actions of Hugo Chavez, bypassing constitutional referendum to seize more power in Veneuzuela seems ironic indeed. The Washington Post has an editorial discussing his antics on p A20 today, titled “Power Grab: Hugo Chavez launches a new attack on his country’s freedoms”, link here. It will be interesting to see his bent on nationalization further affects oil markets. The Post draws an interesting comparison to Bolivia.

Most other coups and dictatorships in Latin American, as detailed in Naomi Klein’s huge book “The Shock Doctrine” about “catastrophe capitalism”, have been of the right-wing variety. It is true that authoritarian systems, particularly on the left wing side, can pretend that they can meet basic needs and some sort of forced stability. Chavez says he will imprison distributors for failing to sell “items of necessity.” And, yes, there is this music program, that has produced conductor Gustavo Dudamel. There are good things. And at what cost to freedom.

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