Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Hugo Chavez, political philosopher

Hugo Chavez may be the most important man in the world. He has succeeded in instituting a substantial amount of reform in Venezuela to benefit the poor, including for the first time encouraging the poor to become involved in the political process and take control of their own lives. His program of land reform is particularly impressive, and should serve as a model for other countries. He is now proposing a sort of South American OPEC, combining the power of the state-owned oil companies of Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, and Trinidad. In fact, Hugo Chavez has this odd idea that like-minded Latin American countries can do better working together than allowing themselves to be individually exploited by multinationals and the intrigues of the American government. Venezuela was the only Latin American country to refuse to join even the 'lite' version of the Free Trade Area of the Americas insisted on by Brazil. The ideas of Hugo Chavez pose the greatest threat to the continued colonial domination of Latin America by American capital, and you have to wonder how much longer he will be allowed to live.