Published On: Wed, Jan 2nd, 2013

Hugo Chavez

"Will the Bolivarian socialist revolution die with its leader, President Hugo Chavez?" This is the question looming over Venezuela today.

Chavez revolution became internationally famed for its belligerent anti-Americanism. Even USA President Obama, who outstretched a hand of friendship on several occasions, was consistently rejected and addressed with the derogatory racial slur, "Negrito of the White House."

No matter what issue, America's enemies automatically became Chavez's friends, from the recluse dictator Kim Jung -Il of North Korea, Iran’s president Ahmadinejad with his outlandish anti-Semitic stances, to bizarre bloody tyrants like Assad of Syria and Gaddaffi of Libya. The Castro regime of Cuba is Chavez' shining example and blood brother in a Don Quixote struggle against the megalomaniac windmills in the leaders’ convoluted mind.

At home, Chavez built a huge entitlement economy, labeled as the Bolivarian Revolution and financed by a constant stream of ever growing oil revenues, at the expense of national productivity in manufacturing and agriculture. Hugo Chavez metamorphosed from a ruthless killer/ army coup leader into the Robin Hood-hero of the poor and uneducated masses.

During this Chavisto period, Venezuela--- once one of South America's great centers of learning and education--- embraced fierce anti-intellectualism. More than 28,000 oil engineers were removed from their jobs and kicked out of the country, in the process crippling oil production and refinery. Especially targeted by Chavez and his Libyan buddy Gaddaffi were the Jewish communities of Caracas and Maracaibo. At Chavez inauguration of 1999 still about 22,000 members large, it dwindled today to less than a few thousand after a near non-stop barrage of harassments and intimidations of their businesses, schools, synagogues and children.

On an even more shadowy side, Venezuela quickly acquired the reputation of world's largest cocaine exporter, overtaking Colombia, and in the process, Caracas became the murder capital of the world with about 3500 homicides a year (or around 70/ 100,000 inhabitants) dwarfing the drug wars in Mexico ( 15/ 100,000). Random killings in the streets of Caracas by roving gangs now outnumber those in the war torn city of Baghdad, Iraq. Abductions for ransom grew 20 times in 10 years. Chavez’ Venezuela today is reputed for having one of the highest corruption indexes in the world.

Chavez dictatorship quelled most opposition, muzzled the press, jailed or exiled dissidents and blocked most Venezuelans from foreign travel through rigid currency export and exchange restrictions. Even an oncologist, who dared to speak out openly about Chavez' cancer diagnosis-- a carefully guarded state secret--- had to flee for his life.

With the increase of the dictator's terror grew the Chavez personality cult. Huge billboards plastered on every available wall throughout the country are blaring out, loud provocative revolutionary propaganda. And every Sunday, radio and television broadcasts were dominated by three or four hour long rambling speeches of the ultimate, eternal and near divine leader, imitating Chavez’ role model. Fidel Castro.

And today, this Bolivarian demi god is on his deathbed, in spite of all blatant State denials. The truth can no longer remain concealed, this dictator, Hugo Chavez, turned Venezuela into a failed state. It could take years before law, order and prosperity returns and in the meantime, Venezuela's best and brightest will set up a new life in exile elsewhere.

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