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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Venezuela: Latin America’s Iran

Published: January 23, 2009
Section: Opinions

the_hoot_1-23-09final_page_04_image_0001Have you noticed that all the failed revolutions of the 20th century have shared the common foe, the United States of America?

Why would a revolution that promises freedom and happiness want to be enemies with a nation that sets an example of governance and freedom?

I believe that the failed revolutions share this common enemy because they need a scapegoat to blame their incompetence, corruption and uttermost failure.

The goal of a communist revolution is to radically change people’s individualistic behavior, to work for the common good and to stop depending on the capitalist market. So why blame America’s embargo for the failure of the Cuban Revolution? The embargo is the real revolution. What an irony, what hypocrisy.

The same is occurring in Venezuela today. President Chavez has been able to finance his nonsense revolution thanks to the record oil prices of the past ten years. These petro-dollars have allowed his regime to portray the image of a healthy and triumphant revolution. However, money cannot buy good management, and when problems arise, Chavez tends to blame the problems on –you guessed it- the United States of America, the biggest customer of Venezuela. What an irony, what hypocrisy.

The best word to define this so-called revolution is, “deception.”

There is no revolution in Venezuela ladies and gentleman, wake up. In fact, as thousands of local industries have gone bankrupt with the government’s economic policies, Venezuela has become more dependent on imports in the years of Chavez. At the same time, while the country sinks in crime and corruption, the “revolutionaries” (who believe that being rich is bad) are in the prime of their lives, building new mansions and buying luxury cars and yachts. What an irony, what hypocrisy.

A famous phrase goes “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” and that has created the alliance between Venezuela and Iran. The commercial relations have increased in the last years between the two countries, and there is even a direct flight between Caracas and Tehran. A couple weeks ago, a shipment was being held in Turkey because it contained lab equipment capable of producing explosives. What a wonderful trade is developing between the two countries (Venezuela supports the FARC and Iran supports Hezbollah and Hamas).

The past ten years have been great for Chavez to be the bad boy on the block, but with the falling price-per-barrel things will get rough. And what is worse, Chavez does not have Bush anymore to blame for the problems of the revolution, he has a Democratic African-American that promises change, even with Iran.

So, what can Chavez’s regime do, or who can it blame for the financial crisis affecting the country (that is not dependent on the capitalist market, remember)? Well, timing could not have been better. A few days after the war in Gaza began, the government decided to expel the Israeli Ambassador, and cut all ties with Israel. But that was not enough to show support for Hamas. The Palestinian flag was raised inside and outside the National Assembly, where the senators wore shamaghs (Arab scarf) and chanted: Free Palestine! Demonstrations were also organized against Israel where flags were burned, and objects were thrown at the embassy. And finally, Chavez personally said that the State of Israel was a killer government committing genocide, and that it represented the killing hand of America. Chavez has become a hero in Gaza and in Lebanon, and a Kuwaiti MP even called for the Arab League to be moved to Venezuela because he proved to be more Arab than some Arabs.

In the past, Venezuela has called Colombia “the Israel of Latin America” for the continuing battle it keeps against the guerrilla…If that is the case, it seems clear today that Venezuela represents the Iran of Latin America. And actually, the Foreign Ministry of Israel reacted to these events by noting that every country must decide if it is on the side fighting terrorism or the side supporting it.

It is in the interest of Chavez’s regime that Obama maintains the same policy as the Bush administration towards Venezuela, as it would allow it to keep blaming the government’s failures on the United States and “the interference of the C.I.A. on foreign issues.” In fact, Chavez has already said that Obama already seems like “more of the same” and that Venezuela will keep fighting the imperialism whether the president is black or white. But just in case Obama adopts a more flexible policy towards Venezuela, Chavez has already set in motion the events to blame the state of Israel for the world’s problems.