Sharp piece – sprinkled with Hollywood quotes – by Rory on Politico. The money quote:
“Even so, his passing left the region, and the United States, dumbstruck. He had so dominated Latin America’s stage, and bashed the United States with such exuberance, that his death was like pulling the plug halfway through Evita.
Maduro is continuing the same ruinous policies of price and exchange rate controls, but he lacks the master’s talent for distraction. He cannot blend folksy humor with personal anecdotes and ideological thunder. When he blames CIA sabotage for power cuts, and expels yet more U.S. diplomats—reliable Chávez chestnuts—few pay heed. It’s like a tired repeat of an old movie, of which Chávez, for better or worse, was always the star.”
11 thoughts on “Rory Carroll on why Chávez mattered”
Great piece by Mr.Carroll. Tip of the hat to him.
As always, heady prose, beautifully written, Mr. Carroll.
Absolutely spot on on the cinematographic contrast between Chávez and Maduro. Maduro is a version of Titanic where the band refuses to get on board due to lack of dollars, there’s not enough toilet paper, where passengers have to bribe waiters to get milk and nobody, not even the captain, knows how much fuel is left.
Best thing I’ve read all week!
He left everyone dumbstruck, but over a year since his disappearance, and I am struck at how infrequently his name comes up in normal conversation. Almost never. The signs are fading, and not being replaced, as is the graffiti. And many of the talented writers he attracted to Venezuela, like this one, have moved along too. Now it is just an unadorned, unheroic and prosaic mess.
“Instead, his tearful vice president, Nicolás Maduro, told a stunned nation on March 5 that the comandante had succumbed to cancer in a Caracas hospital at just 58 years old.”
Well no one was stunned by that. Frankly, they couldn’t have faked Chavez’s state for much longer.
Sorry for the double posting, but this paragraph is pure gold, and perfectly describes many of the accusations Chavez made:
“He could turn any occasion into a show. As the Guardian’s Caracas correspondent several years ago, I once asked him about abolishing term limits, and found myself pilloried on live TV as a vassal of British imperialism, European vice and genocidal impulses.”
Stupid Latin Americans fall for the same ol’ demagogues, even after getting repeatedly fucked in their asses by the same strongmen. First came Juan Peron, then Salvador Allende and Alvarado, and then the Kircheners and Chavez. We can all expect a similar cycle unraveling in the near future.
“Hey, I have a great idea: I’m a gonna go to a blog written by Latin Americans about Latin America and read mostly by Latin Americans and frame my political opinion so as to insult all Latin Americans!”
The derp is strong with this one…
written mostly by people living abroad, read mostly by people abroad…
So what? That’s clear but that doesn’t do anything to the point.
Had that Korean written that in Spanish to a public living in Venezuela, the response would have been more full of outrage.
Let’s remember how North Koreans live now. The guy is from South Korea, but he is simply lucky others helped his country. Even if he were from Canada: no one stands alone.
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