Venezuela needs a Tony Blair
By Aleksander Boyd
London 07.05.05 | Much to the chagrin of some labour MPs and leftist critics Tony Blair did it again. In a historical vote the leader of the Labour Party conducted his lot to an unprecedented third victory. I remember vividly the headline of one of London's tabloids with respect to W's re-election "how can 59 million people be so dumb?" Well it seems that the majority of the electorate in Britain, as a matter of fact 35.2% of it, is equally dumb should one take the recent results as reference. Blair's victory point to some rather obvious facts. Regardless of the nonsensical debate about the illegality of the Iraq war it was "the economy stupid" which carried more weight in the minds of voters. The UK economic indexes today are Europe's envy and under no circumstances can these be attributed to leftist economic policies. On the contrary Blair has acted and behaved as a proper right-winger, that is why Tories have not been able to undo his grip to power.
As a foreign citizen living in the UK I can vouch for Blair's performance. I do not know how life was during Tory rule, however I can honestly say that if this system represents socialism it is worth pursuing. There is an important current of thinking amongst leftist 'intellectuals' that Blair is a sold out; his open market views and unilateral actions make him an unworthy representative of their political philosophy. One thing is certain though, he's to English politics what Michael Jordan was to basketball; i.e. he can pretty much win the game on his own.
The political establishment of Venezuela in its entirety has characterised itself for having being parked in the left side of the divide. To express publicly simpathies for ideological beliefs associated with the right can cast a damaging and long lasting shadow upon whomever dares to do so. Hugo Chavez's experiment is meant to represent that utopic concept in which a society where everyone is equally poor is the ideal. Lacking socially, financially and politically successful examples to model his revolution on, it occured to Chavez that Castro's 'system of governance' was indeed the one that needed be implemented in Venezuela. In such system only the partei leaders can enjoy a life of luxury, the rest of the population is to be made equally poor and political opponents are to be castigated in repressive and inhuman fashion, the primary goal being to instill and install fear in order to neutralise them. The failure of the said model however can not be obviated, after 46 years in power Castro has only accomplished one thing: to bankrupt Cuba. If one adds to that the more than 40.000 people that have been killed for opposing Castro's dictatorship then it becomes clear that a leader seeking to impose such a barbaric model must be toppled as soon as possible. I have always imagined Castro wallowing in his misery after Russia cut him loose and all of a sudden this 'heavenly $$aviour' embodied in that stateless pariah known as Chavez appeared to oxigenate him.
It is amazing to see how Chavez's international apologists have no qualms in declaring utmost admiration for Fidel Castro. Without compunctions of mind they declare open war to capitalism and its flag nation, read the USA, condemning any and all dissenting voices. However they do cherish the freedom of capitalist societies; they do enjoy the legal framework that allows them to vent their anger without fear of reprisal; and of course none of them seems to be prepared to trade their comfortable life conditions in 'hostile environments' for those more egalitarian of communist Cuba. It is the supremest act of hypocrisy.
To be frank, prior to my involvement in activism against Chavez, I never gave a second thought to the importance of defining one's political tendency. But as things have dramatically changed in my country I can declare today that if Chavez and Castro, and those paid sycophants who lobby for them in the international arena, are true representatives of what the left means then I could not possibly be further away from them towards the right; as extreme, vindictive and discriminative as they are. Furthermore I can only wish for a Blair-like figure to appear in the political fray of Venezuela, which is sadly composed of "shades of gray". There aren't true opponents to Chavez neither true reformers or right wing patriarcal figures; what the majority of the Venezuelan politicos are thinking about is how to get rid of Chavez to continue with the business of administering the mercantilist state.
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