Skip to comments.Roger Cohen: Of Oil and Death (Hugo Chavez)
Posted on 11/29/2007 2:23:40 AM PST by america4vr
It was a fascist general in 1930s Spain who coined the phrase "Viva la muerte!" - "Long live death!" Essentially meaningless, the words captured the blind cult of soil, blood and savagery that coursed through European fascism, in its Francoist and other forms.
President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela hates "fascists;" they are central to his repertoire of insults. But he has not hesitated to deploy the imagery of death to bolster his leftist brand of petro-authoritarianism, now operating under the ludicrous banner of "Fatherland, Socialism or Death!"
The slogan looks almost quaint in its anachronism. Chávez would no doubt claim Cuban revolutionary, rather than Spanish fascist, roots for it (Fidel Castro also invoked fatherland and finality). The bottom line is this: Latin America's oil-gilded caudillo is getting serious about ruling for life, just like Franco and Castro.
I might add Vladimir Putin to that list. Like the Russian leader, Chávez has already used gushing oil revenue, a pliant judiciary, subservient institutions and the galvanizing appeal of vitriolic anti-Americanism to concoct a 21st-century, gulag-free authoritarianism.
Venezuelans will vote Sunday in a referendum that would remove all limits on presidential re-election, grant Chávez direct control over foreign currency reserves, allow him to censor the media under "a state of emergency" declarable at his discretion, expand his powers to expropriate private property, and create the second formally "socialist" nation in the Western hemisphere alongside Fidel's.
"The measures amount to a constitutional coup," said Teodoro Petkoff, who edits an opposition newspaper. Certainly, they would prod Venezuela from an oppressive rule comparable to that of Mexico under its once impregnable Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) toward the dictatorial absolutism of Cuba.
Unlike other votes during Chávez's nine years in power, the referendum is not a foregone conclusion.
(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...
In a very short time, they will understand he is not sharing the wealth, but rather sharing the poverty.
Venezuelans struggle to find milk, chicken, sugar in spite of oil wealth
I believe “Viva la Muerta” was a battlecry of the Spanish Foreign Legion [Franco’s troops], and was in use way before the 1930s.