By Aleksander Boyd
London 20.05.06 | The past two weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster. From The Times publishing opinions of a Venezuelan dissident to the demented accusations uttered by London's Mayor one knows when the supreme caudillo is hurting just by analysing the behaviour of his minions and the reaction of individuals otherwise known as supporters of his wretched revolution.
On Monday this week the BBC, I can't stress enough the significance of it, opened up to our point of view. The BBC, let us not forget, co-produced the fiction docudrama The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, which is in great part responsible for the negative perception that many around the world have against Venezuelan opposition. Whilst Chavez was being feted by a group of communist non-entities I was trashing in live radio and television the sheer ignorance of those brave, or stupid, enough to debate Venezuelan issues, with a Venezuelan who happens to be one of the best informed around. One John Rees, a British Trotskyist politician leader of George Galloway's Respect party, even dared to say that I was not representative of the people who voted Chavez into office. Perhaps he is...
But it got better for the proper ridiculing of the tinpot dictator came from people considered to be moderate leftists, such as Andrew Neil from The Daily Politics show. Neil made Labour MP Colin Burgon, one of the main cheerleaders of Hugo Chavez in Britain, look as the useful idiot he is. Probably in one of the greatest TV embarrasments of a politico, Neil just nailed Burgon, who was incapable of uttering half coherent replies to questions such as "is Hugo Chavez a democrat?... It's always good to judge a man for the company he keeps, what about his comments vis-a-vis Robert Mugabe?" The best thing Burgon could come up with, as peace studies 'Venezuela pundit' Julia Buxton, was a pathetic argument about context. Indeed in what context did Chavez say that Robert Mugabe was a "true freedom fighter"? Was it in the same context whereby he granted the Zimbabwean butcher with a replica of the Liberator's sword whilst his repressive apparatus was jailing, torturing and killing people? Or was it before the FAO audience in Rome last year?
Red Ken on the other side of town had instructed his security staff to stop a group of 8 Venezuelans living in Britain, one of whom has been granted political asylum, from entering the City Hall. What a crass move. Livingstone, as Burgon, is simply trying to get on the Chavez bandwagon in order to muster some support from the radical left and, more importantly of course, get involved in some subsidised-by-Venezuela oil scheme. However they grossly miscalculated the consequences of embracing a man fast becoming the world's biggest pariah, and surely they shall pay the political cost.
It was in Sao Paulo that I first heard this remark and was deeply moved by it. The first Congress of Liberal Democracy had gathered an extraordinary group of individuals from all over the Americas and let me tell you, Fidel Castro and his Venezuelan and Bolivian lapdogs stand no chance of imposing more misery upon a +500 million people continent. The game is afoot, the signs are everywhere. The radicalisation, if that's at all possible, of Chavez's savage discourse has produced an evident change of perception in the media, which nowadays portrays more and more his autocratic and militaristic nature. Even the BBC and the NYT have turned its backs on him. What one can see and hear, whether in the Americas or Europe, is that there is widespread discontentment and preoccupation with respect to the deranged revolution Chavez is meant to be spearheading.
Energy is a matter of concern in North America where Chavez's constant threats of disrupting the oil supply, as if he could afford to, and rattling of markets have produced a backlash even among democrats who now see their political survival in peril.
Interference, meddling, funding of radical destabilising groups, support to narcoterrorists, alliance with dictators and financial clout have got South American neighbours on a watch. The Brazilian military is meant to be reinforcing its presence in the border with Bolivia in case Morales decides to cut gas supply to Sao Paulo. Colombians are sitting on crucial information vis-a-vis the FARC-Chavez marriage of convenience, which undoubtedly they shall release should the caudillo decide to rev up support for Uribe's political opponents and guerrilla enemies. Peruvians are totally disgusted for the same reason, to the point that Humala will lose to Garcia, someting no one expected before Chavez decided to hurl abuse at Garcia. Lopez Obrador was also given the kiss of death. Free trade and progress continues to be the north of Chileans, ergo no chance of an alliance with Venezuela. Former President of Uruguay Luis Alberto Lacalle expressed to me his astonishment of Brazil's position in MERCOSUR, stating that the one thing he most admired from Brazil was its foreign policy, thus he could not understand why Lula gave Chavez entrance to MERCOSUR. Kirchner has taken Argentina to a grey area, lacking the relevance that it once had in the world stage it is sadly becoming a non happening place.
But the South American people are as alive, entrepreneurial and money-driven as ever. These intrinsic characteristics and the resolute disposition to live in freedom make totalitarianism or communism inviable. It's in our nature to oppose Chavez-like figures. Both Castro and Chavez have been able to pull their acts owing to a set of unique geographical and financial conditions that do not exist in other Latin American countries. Their expansion plan is doomed, regardless of beliefs held by barking moonbats in Britain.
Venezuela will be free again, sooner than what many think. I never thought I would hear people shout "Venezuela Libre," but having heard it strengthened my commitment to oppose Hugo Chavez. As Alejandro Peņa Esclusa brilliantly stated "we [Venezuelans] owe it to the peoples of the Americas due to the grievances that Hugo Chavez's regime may have caused."
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