Skip to comments.Chávez Drunk with Power
Posted on 12/15/2002 10:49:39 PM PST by marron
(04:37 PM) Miquilena: Chávez Drunk with Power
Bogotá.- Ex-Minister of Justice and the Interior, Luis Miquilena, declared that President Hugo Chavez "has become drunk with power" and "does not know how to govern in a democracy", according to Efe [news service].
The only possible way out for the situation in Venezuela is to hold "early elections before the country explodes. And the truth is that we are not very far from that happening", said Miquilena in an interview published today by the Colombian magazine Cambio.
"We have maintained yesterday, today, tomorrow, and always, that the only way out must be institutional. We are working in this direction", he added.
"But the clumsiness and lack of vision with which the government has managed the conflict has brought us to this situation", said Miquilena.
He recalled that a week ago "you could see the light at the end of the tunnel", as "the government showed the intention of discussing elections".
Miquilena indicated that he was in contact with President Chávez two weeks ago, when he asked him "to think, to recover his hold on reality and stop fantasizing about the country".
He added that if the chief of state "goes on like he is, any kind of agreement will be impossible. We need to move away from this cross-road now. There are no banks, and no taxes being collected, and there aren't going to be any", he emphasized.
Miquilena recognized that he once believed that Chávez "was prepared to govern, (...) but I was wrong. I believed he was, but he wasn't".
He explained that when he met the president he thought that this was "the chance to make all of these dreams of a more just Venezuela, reality. When I saw what was going on in the government, I left. I have to repent for my mistake with Chávez, because the real Chávez I only met once he was in power".
The ex-minister assured that he did not believe that Chávez had enriched himself personally in power, "but people around him have. This makes him, if not an accomplice, at least responsable, because he did nothing to prevent it".
"He is an intelligent man, but he is not capable of governing in a democracy. He has become drunk, dizzy, with power", said Miquilena.
His mentor, Luis Miquilena, who taught him politics when he wasn't thinking past just his first coup attempt, and who also then became his first Vice President, and Minister of Interior & Justice, and Head of the Commission that wrote the new Constitution of 1999, is an elderly gentleman who lives around the corner from where I stay there in Atamira Plaza, and had first come out vigorously against him this past spring. In fact, a week ago last Saturday, he was on TV again denouncing him.
That tells me Hugo Chavez either changed along the way or fooled everyone all along, either way he's not today what most folks who voted for him thought he was going to be.
BTW, speaking of prominent folks deserting Chavez, for anyone new to these Venezuela threads, be sure to also see the heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force, etc., that have recently left him here...
BTW#2, good recent released scholarly primer on Venezuela politics and Chavez (in english) here...
It doesn't include his Cubanization, terrorism and drug running shenanigans, that have driven the top military out, but it's a good start.