When I look at news about Venezuela today it's kind of jaw-dropping.
It is difficult to find meat in Venezuela. The restaurants have supplies, but the grocers do not. Shortages didn't exist in the country until the price-fixing by the government. How has this helped people?
The opposition is protesting Chavez's refusal to renew the license for RCTV, possibly the most popular television channel in Venezuela. Since the station allows a lot of opposition fellows to voice their opinions, they are out for good. The station will now be taken over by the government. No surprises here people, move along. Because the opposition was protesting this unfair censorship yesterday, Chavez is blaming outside interests for causing the protest. Oh, if only you could see me rolling my eyes. Does he really think the only reason his people protest this censorship is because evil foreigners are spurring them on? Apparently the idea of freedom of speech falls between the cracks in his brain.
Next, because Danny Glover supports Chavez, the Venezuelan government is going to give him $20 Million for two films. Hello? Queen Elizabeth? Are you listening? Are you going to give Helen Mirren twenty million dollars? I think it would only be fair. Besides, don't you feel the need to keep up with the Chavezes?
Now, on to other types of leaders. Chavez is asking the Pope for an apology. He also blames the Pope for Catholicism losing followers. Don't worry Benedict XVI, you aren't the first Pope Chavez has shown disrespect. It's not personal. Chavez is very anti-Catholic.
The Venezuelan Bolivar, which exchanged at the rate of 682 per U.S. dollar on this day in the year 2000 currently trades at the official rate of 2,147 Bs = $1 USD. Since Chavez imposed and exchange control Jan 23rd, 2003, it's not possible for Venezuelans to convert their Bs to dollars to save themselves from inflation. The parallel market is the only place for most Venezuelans to get foreign currency of any kind. The parallel market (a polite name for the black market) price is even more unaffordable for Venezuelans. 4,200 Bs for one single USD. For a country which relies mostly on imports, I can't see how this has helped many Venezuelans, either.
Chavez carries out his land reform ideas by allowing squatters to go burn down fields of sugar can and threaten, hurt, or even kill land owners. His is not a peaceful government. He said one time his government would never fire upon the people. He broke that vow years ago. He has no problem at all with terrorizing people, and seems to feel wealthy people deserve to be terrorized. Unless, of course, they are newly wealthy friends of his. Their wealth is perfectly okay with him. For a man who hates wealth, he sure wears a fancy watch and writes with an expensive pen. He has great chefs and lovely suits. Maybe once he was genuinely not in love with money. Maybe once he hated corruption. They are no longer hated by him, but now embraced.
Will anyone come along and try to put Humpty Dumpty back together again? Will there be a legacy of love for Venezuela to replace this legacy of hatred?
Will little old ladies be allowed to bang on their pots and pans again? Will there be a President who doesn't fill people with hatred for college education? How far will it go? Will everyone (except his friends and family) have to be as poor as the squatters before he is happy?