Hugo Chávez’s stature is growing in Latin America and in the world because he is seen as courageous leader who is daring to say No to the United States and to dream of Latin America that isn’t dominated by American power.
- John Pilger sings the praises of Hugo Chávez in an article in the Guardian. He writes, “Chávez is, of course, a threat, especially to the United States. Like the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, who based their revolution on the English co-operative moment, and the moderate Allende in Chile, he offers the threat of an alternative way of developing a decent society: in other words, the threat of a good example in a continent where the majority of humanity has long suffered a Washington-designed peonage.”
- I think he is wrong. It might true that Hugo Chávez is offering Venezuela and Latin America a choice, which it has never really had which is the choice to develop in another way, but that does not mean that the criticisms against Chávez are unwarranted and that he is a great man.
- In a world where too often countries in Latin America and in Africa are forced to adopt harsh policies to receive foreign aids, it is important for them to have choices other than neo-liberalization especially when it is clear that civil society and governance are not strong in those countries.
- However, I think that those who support Hugo Chávez believe that the end justifies the means and that as long as Chávez defies America and offers countries a way to develop other than by using the Washington consensus, he is great. Means are important and are everything for a leader such as Chávez who speaks so passionately about social justice and who denounces the United States for being unjust and duplicitous.
- Hugo Chávez would be a notable and worthy adversary to the United States if in fact, he practiced what he preached and in fact, there wasn’t something heinous and reckless in his criticisms of America. It is one thing to criticize America, but it is another thing to demonize it and to blame it for all the ills of the world.
- The problem with Chávez is not what he believes, but rather who he is, just another dictator who adopted social justice as a cause as a way to remain a power. Hugo Chávez isn’t Che Guevera. Che Guevera believed in his cause enough in his cause not only to leave everything behind including a life of relative wealth to fight for it and to die for it. Even if I do not agree with Che Guevara’s ideology (Marxism), I understand those who admire his idealism and his courage. Hugo Chávez has none of those qualities. His sole goal is power.
- We had have seen this movie too many times to buy the Chavez’s act and to believe that there can be such a thing as benevolent dictatorship.