Saturday, March 28, 2009
Hugo Chavez: doomed caudillo
The New Republic had a rather long but very interesting piece on Venezuela's Hugo Chavez this week. The argument is that however much Chavez may consider himself a man of the laft, a socialist or even a MArxit, he more closely resembles a rightist adherent to the "great man " theory of history promoted by Thomas Carlyle. The good news for the rest of the hemisphere (and eventually for Venezuela's residents) is that this is the kind of power that usually crumbles under pressure, and Chavez is facing a lot of pressure just now, with the decline in oil prices, the mismanagement of the Venezuelan oil business that usually follows outright nationalization, and the fact that so many opponents of his regime are students.