Chavez's Imperialist Dreams
Once again we see a hijacking of Socialism by professional revolutionaries. From Lenin onwards to Castro we continuously witness the lack of respect Socialist leaders show towards those they purportedly represent. They would today cringe at an equivalent Paris Commune. We shouldn't be surprised with Chavez though-he has long said Castro is his hero and just when did Castro ever involve the workers in his struggle? He led a guerilla army from the jungle and emerged victorious into the cities. The trade unions were never really active participants in his revolution to overthrow the American puppets that ruled Cuba (though of course they did have a role, though secondary in nature).
Of course, we should take little credence when Venezuela's landed classes speak of democracy. The democracy they speak of has done nothing for the masses. The rich and upper-classes took all the oil riches and milions live in abject poverty. Now somewhat disenfranchised, they suddenly speak of democracy. I have no time for them, but I also feel Chavez has ended up the other side of the coin.
Democracy at grass roots level is essential in socialism. Theory is clear on this, but history has shown how the masses are disregarded by the powers that be. Now Chavez feels he can rule by decree. He forgets that he should rule for all Venezuelans, rich or poor. Some will never accept him (witness their attempted coup) but they are still citizens. He should win by doing good, by showing that his actions are for the good of the majority but he is corrupt, power crazy and makes friends with war-mongers and fundamentalists like Ahmadinejad. If he lived in Iran, Chavez would have long been executed for being an enemy of Islam, but they put their differences aside because of their common enemy, the Great Satan....mind you if he made friends with war-mongers and fundamentalsts like Bush I'll be complaining just as much. He should disavow all such bastards, but he is proving to be one as well.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I'm sure Castro never intended to be a dictator, and I think Chavez is the same, but both felt the burden of responsibility and both feel they know better than anyone else. They have become deities, the Dalai Lama's of Socialism. Both are actually the best friends of unfettered capitalism, and enemies of the workers. After all, when capitalist argue about the evils of Socialism, they need show no further than Havana, and in the near future, Caracas.
Chavez must be opposed by the very people he purports to represent. I don't know about aligning themselves with his ideological opponents for they will use the poor as they have always done. However, such a grassroots movement will weaken the socialist arguments as we end up in the usual socialist scenario-endless bickering and arguing. But so be it, never forget that the real enemy are those who ignore the workers, and Chavez will surely do that sooner rather than later. A Socialist he might well be, but the devil lies within.