[Marxism] C.A. Montaner: "Why Chávez seeks a clash with the U.S."

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Mar 22 09:06:36 MST 2005

Actually, Chavez has been doing everything he can to
AVOID a conflict with the U.S. That's precisely why the
Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Ali Rodriguez, met with the
US Ambassador to Venezuela, and why Venezualan leaders
have been making eloquent calls for an improvement of 
relations with Washington:

Posted on Tue, Mar. 22, 2005	

Why Chávez seeks a clash with the U.S.


It's obvious that Hugo Chávez is looking for a
confrontation with the United States. He constantly insults
President Bush, makes vulgar sexual allusions about
Condoleezza Rice, threatens to suspend the supply of crude
oil to the United States and wastes not a single chance to
associate with the enemies of Washington, be they Iran or
Moammar Gadhafi.

At the same time, Chávez funds and helps all subversive
movements in Latin America, from Evo Morales' MAS, which is
sniping at Bolivia's precarious democracy, to Colombia's
communist narco-guerrillas.

Why the irresponsible behavior? It's obvious: Chávez needs
a powerful enemy abroad to galvanize his own forces. The
chavista leadership -- a gaggle of geese -- is an
ill-conceived mishmash of communists, military men lacking
in prestige, hot-headed radicals, Cold War zombies like
Vice President José Vicente Rangel, and flunkies from the
new and official economic class that feeds from the
million-dollar oil revenues.

These folks have no ideological spine, no discipline.
Neither do their supporters, who are attracted to the polls
only through the coarsest populism, for the price of a few
alms. They are not militants but clients. They are grateful

Besides, Chávez needs to project his image abroad, and he
believes that he must prepare himself to take up the role
of David vs. Goliath -- splendidly performed by Fidel
Castro during half a century of Caribbean tragedy -- as
soon as el comandante chooses to die and pass him the torch
of anti-imperialism in the midst of a lively wake.

But beyond the instrumental nature of his anti-Americanism,
Chávez has decided to speed up the pace toward the Cuban
model, that ''sea of happiness,'' as he calls it. And the
reason for this is also easy to understand: While chavismo
is merely a torrent of hollow verbiage, an endless stream
of spit aimed at people who entertain themselves with his
Sunday program Hello, President!, Marxism-Leninism is a
perfectly articulated system of beliefs and government.

It has a utopia, a vision of reality, a diagnosis, a code
of ethics and some objectives. It also has a method to
manage the state. It is a very useful off-the-rack
dictatorship, suitable for chieftains who wish to
perpetuate themselves in power.

The problem is that that type of societal organization has
failed always, everywhere and under every circumstance. It
failed in Russia and Germany, North Korea and Nicaragua,
Mongolia, Yugoslavia and in every historic, geographic,
cultural, ethnic or political microenvironment where it was
planted. It flopped among Slavic, Germanic, Scandinavian,
Latin, Turkmenian and Asian people.

It fizzled in Byzantine-Christian, Protestant, Catholic,
Buddhist, Islamic and Confucian societies. In huge states
and in tiny enclaves. In nations with a plethora of natural
riches and in others blessed with excellent human capital.

Simply put, the theoretical proposition -- Marxism -- was
twaddle, and the practice of government -- Leninism -- an
enormous and unproductive prison that inevitably led to
material backwardness, the cruelest abuses and widespread

And China? China stopped being Marxist, reestablished
private property and, instead of waging war on the First
World, now sells it housewares. That's why it prospers. It
is still an atrocious tyranny but eventually, guided
indirectly by the great Western powers, it will abandon the
single-party standard and discover political pluralism,
democracy and human rights, as Taiwan and South Korea
already have.

Most Venezuelans, with the exception of the top leadership,
share this analysis. According to the most reliable
surveys, only six percent of them admire Cuba as a valid
reference model and 85 percent oppose a reproduction of the
Cuban model in Venezuela.

However, the path that Chávez has found to skirt that
little obstacle is the path of confrontation with the
United States. He assumes that a crisis against Washington,
implying the risk (real or invented) of a U.S. Marine
landing, will serve as an excuse to brand as traitors to
the homeland all those who refuse to defend the revolution.

Within that climate of induced collective hysteria, the
caudillo, the armed forces, the homeland and his own party
will form a monolithic unit in whose name any crime may be
committed and any adversary may be destroyed.

This Chávez-designed strategy of confrontation is so
obvious that it becomes impossible to ignore, which forces
democratic nations to ask: Is it reasonable to allow
ourselves to be dragged by this adventurer into a whirlpool
of conflicts and confrontations that can only lead to a
violent end, probably within the borders of Venezuela

It is true that Chávez struts through the world carrying a
bulging checkbook that he manages mindlessly, but is it
worth the trouble, or is it morally justifiable, to access
that dangerous dynamic by selling him weapons and warships,
or to join him in his chimerical plans to create great,
multinational, public enterprises into which he'll sink
billions of much-needed dollars?

These are questions that require swift answers. The crisis

©2005 Firmas Press

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