Hugo Chavez’s massive ego was heard deflating around the world. His bid to abolish term limits, and place hand-picked regional and local leaders was defeated by enough of a margin to foil his imperialist plans. After nearly ten years of listening to the man embarrass them on the world stage through his ignorant ranting and his ill-advised alliances, the Venezuelans had finally had enough and with the time they had had left used the power of the vote and put a well defined limit on his time left in office. The King of Spain’s well timed ‘Shut Up’ that was heard around the globe was the final insult to a proud nation.
It is not that Chavez didn’t do some good things for his people. He worked hard at redistributing the country’s wealth so that all could enjoy it, but his fatal flaw in all this was the fact that no country can survive alone in today’s global economy. The country that Chavez vilified and reviled the most was and is its greatest investor and customer, the US of A. The old adage, don’t bite the hand that feeds you, applies here. The US of A understands that the entire game of saving face and perception is very important, but Chavez was courting dangerous people in his bid to be the big dog on the block. His courtship of Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been the match made in ego heaven. Makes you wonder who wears the pants in the relationship. Then his love affair with Fidel Castro, if that had continued, would the Venezuelans have ended up in bone crushing poverty, like Cuba? Cut off from the world? Their borders locked down?
Politics is a game that requires finesse, patience, intelligence, team-building skills, ruthlessness, and when all else fails a really big stick. Sure, Venezuela’s oil helps our economy, but we’ve made due without it before and we can do it again. We’ll be inconvenienced. Chavez really can’t hurt us the way he thinks he can. However, if we take our business interests out of the country and others follow, Venezuela will be crippled.
It’s good that democracy makes short work of wanna be kings.