Hugo Chavez’s Black Cloud
From the November 8th Edition of the Harvard Independent
By Frances Martel
Hugo Chavez has always been, first and foremost, a self-effacing entertainer. He will do anything—from butcher classic Roberto Carlos songs to speak English (!)—to get a chuckle out of his audience with the condition that, of course, he gets the last laugh, and his typically embarrassing comedy acts often demand the use of force to elicit a positive audience response. Between his weekly televised comedy acts, his mostly-irrational paranoia against the United States, and his brutal repression of college dissidents denouncing human rights violations, Chavez seems to be the chromosomally deficient lovechild of Mao Tze Tung, Michael Moore, and Andrew “Dice” Clay. The illegitimate Venezuela coup leader is up to his tricks again, blaming his latest illness on American biological warfare.
In what appeared to be a Fidel Castro-style bout of senility, Chavez accused the United States last week of chemical warfare against his person in an anniversary speech for the National Institute of Women (“Inamujer” in Chavez newspeak) in Caracas. In yet another “Mouse that Roared” attempted to get the United States to care about him enough to know he isn’t the leader of Peru, Chavez colorfully described how he contracted the “bronchitis from the North” on his trip to Cienfuegos, Cuba that prevented him from completing his most important executive duty—hosting his own Latino variety show Aló Presidente (ironically employing a bastardization of the English word “hello” in the title)—he claimed that “all of the sudden a black cloud came and fell over me completely. It came from the north; I think they sent it. The cloud came, came and it fell on me.” He expressed certainty, however, that the love of the Venezuelan woman, apparently now an Indigenous Revolutionary People’s Democratic Bolivarian Pan-American insert-meaningless-leftist-catchphrase-here ideal—would cure him. It appears that bronchitis is not a disease of the lungs, but a disease of the soul.
“I am now sure that, out of this act, I will come out nice and cured, because sometimes one is just lacking love, flowers, hugs, and kisses, and here I get so many kisses, so many hugs and flowers, that I’m sure I will be cured,” he expressed emphatically.
Leaving doubts about whether Inamujer is actually a subunit of the Bolivarian Revolutionary bureaucratic apparatus or Chavez’s personal harem, the despot’s blind faith in hug-and-kiss boo-boo curing medicine should come to his beloved fans and bitter enemies as no surprise. It is just the typical conclusion he would derive from his totalitarian mindset—things are real and factual so long as he agrees with them. Should people disagree with him, he removes them. When national television network RCTV piped up against Chavez’s proposed constitutional amendment to eliminate term limits, and thus establish himself permanently as Venezuela’s despot, Chavez pulled the plug on the entire network. RCTV has since been returned to the air in an attempt to assuage university student protests in the country. In an expression of love to the courageous Venezuelan woman, Chavez had opposition actress Fabiola Colmenares fired from her Venevisión post and has indirectly caused the deaths of protesters like 21-year-old Zulia University student Flavia Sapía. His actions against his own people, particularly against college students like Sapía and other student leaders, have generated such high levels of civil protest in Venezuela that the nation is now practically ungovernable.
Luckily for Venezuela, the student opposition seems to have learned from the mistakes of every other student opposition group in history, from the anti-Batista Revolutionary Directorate assaults in 1950s Cuba to the anti-communist Tiananmen Square protests in China that ended in the deaths of thousands of Chinese students. The students are using the media for their safety, with prominent leaders like Yon Goicochea getting their name out so as to make their assassinations too much of a liability for Chavez to bear. In fact, more than any disease Chavez may have contracted from being 90 miles from his bitter enemy, the black cloud hanging over him is one he himself has created. For someone who has ruled his nation with an iron fist and has complete control of Parliament, Chavez has very little grasp of what is going on in his nation. His people are against him, and, unlike in his godfather’s Caribbean isle, the Venezuelans are rebelling way earlier than the Cuban freedom fighters, making Chavez’s lack of power consolidation a major flaw.
Of course, none of this is any fault of Chavez himself. Any so-called “student freedom struggle” is just a Yankee conspiracy to re-colonize the pan-American state and force-feed its resources to the dying imperialist state. How else can you explain the massive Venezuelan “freedom” protests in New York, the core of this modern-day Rome? How else to you explain why students like Yon Goicochea would ever want freedom of expression in a land where are always free to express your love for Hugo Chavez? I guess we’ll have to tune into the next episode of Aló Presidente to find out!