The Happy Arab News Service

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Discover the Real Jesus

Hugo Chavez has celebrated his re-election in Venezuela by announcing that the transitional period is over and a new era has arrived. Telecoms, refineries and electricity industries are all earmarked for the next stage of nationalization. Chavez revealed his intentions to refuse renewing the broadcasting license of the largest opposition-run television channel. Central Bank is going to lose its autonomy. Provincial governors will lose much of theirs too. The bar on the indefinite re-election of the president is going to be removed of course. More is in stock.

Basically Chavez is not going to be messing with political procedures to push through his radical program because, as he explained, he would ask the Assembly, now under a total control of his supporters, to pass a law that will enable Chavez to rule by decree. He promised that a new package of socialist reforms he is preparing will be much more radical than that of 2001 which provoked a failed military coup against his presidency.

At a ceremony to swear in the new government held on January 8th, Chavez gave a clue to what it's all about and surprised many, including London's Economist, by announcing that he is no pussy mussy socialist but a full scale hardcore communist. The Economist reports:

. . . Behind Mr Chávez as he spoke was a 10-metre-high close-up of his own face and hands, reminiscent of a bishop blessing his flock. Along with the mounting personality cult is a change of language. The president sneered at those, including Catholic church leaders, who have wondered aloud what his much-trumpeted plan for “21st century socialism” really consists of.

The bishops, he said, should read Marx, Lenin and the Bible (!!! NB). “Christ was an authentic communist, anti-imperialist and enemy of the oligarchy (!!! NB),” he said. He added that he himself had been a “communist” since at least 2002 (at the time he claimed to want to “improve capitalism”.) It is the first time that he has publicly assumed that description. He signed off with a slogan (“fatherland or death, we shall prevail”) coined by his friend, Cuba's Communist president, Fidel Castro.


One can only keep laughing when reading this because the Economist published a special report on Venezuela not so long ago in which it urged the US to be less confrontational with Chavez. In fact the Economist repeatedly commented on Chavez's 21st century socialism, demonstrating this subtle and nuanced approach so characteristic of the European political thinking. Specifically, as the Economist argued, there is no communism there, and Chavez may be a nasty guy, but this hardly makes him a communist dictator. The Economist deplored the Yankees' love for oversimplifications and their inability to perceive subtleties.

Now, when the gloves are off, suddenly the Economist went surprisingly low profile on what the Yankees and Chavez's neighbors should do about this raving idiot. Just when all of them are in the most dire need for a good advise, the embarrassed Economist has switched from generously throwing out free advises all around to strictly bare reporting on anything related to Venezuela. One just can't help noticing that while George Bush and his team are certainly no geniuses, it is the highly sophisticated and refined Economist who ended looking a total idiot.


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Proclaimed un monstruooo muy monstruoso at 11:58 PM