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The Dictator and the Wannabe
Saturday, December 02, 2006   By: Juan Paxety

An important weekend for both

This weekend is an important one for Latin American dictatorships.  On the one hand, Cuba is holding a military parade. It's not much different than past military parades except for one thing - it may be fidel's last.  The government says a recovering fidel will attend to celebrate a belated birthday and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landing of the original 82 revolutionaries back in 1956. On January 9, 1959, as fidel seized power, he promised free elections.  He's ignored that promise since.

On the other hand, a man who aspires to fidel's level of power but still must subject himself to elections, hugo chavez, faces the voters.  The BBC publishes a long article on what kind of leader Chavez is. It's an interesting read, as the BBC gathered together writers with different viewpoints. One of the columnists is Daniel Dunquenal, long linked from this site at Venezuela News and Views. Daniel writes: His military origins ... make him view all political adversaries as enemies that must be crushed.

But since then he has been drifting, becoming a leftist leader whose goal is to ensure the succession to Fidel Castro, to become the iconic image of the Latin America Left.

Chavez has revealed himself a purely political leader. The hands-on approach, monitoring whether the law and his orders, are fulfilled is not for him.

Chavez does not care much if the results are up to expectations or if they represent the will of the people. The only results that matter are those deriving from the politics of the "Bolivarian revolution" which aims to ensure its staying power over the decades, with Chavez in charge.

Chavez only worries about appearing as the only viable leader of the so-called revolution. His main concern has been to set the agenda alone, all the time, preferably every Sunday through his talk show Alo Presidente.

He has been very successful at this, even if along the way he has left a stupendous catalogue of promises made, but ignored.

Read the whole thing.



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