Tuesday, November 27, 2007
There is an interesting editorial over at Investor's Business Daily that alludes to a couple of points I made when considering the recent lesson in etiquette publicly administered to Hugo Chavez by the King of Spain.
One of them is that Hugo Chavez does not behave like a truly powerful man, but more like a child trying to see what he can get away with. Although I was thinking about him in an international context, it seems that his weakness extends even beyond the fact that his entire foreign policy is based on civilized nations doing nothing when confronted by his barbarism, threats, and meddling.
Apparently, Chavez may now have problems at home. Chavez, it seems, has threatened to help overthrow the government of neighboring Columbia, since being fired as "mediator" for talks between Columbia and rebels holding hostages.
"You seek continental domination" Uribe said, and "a Marxist FARC government" to replace Colombia's elected one. He also pointed out that it was prime time for Chavez to be trying this, with the Venezuelan's public support at home flagging just one week before a constitutional referendum to grant him absolute power.And about that "flagging support"....
What better way to make Venezuelans forget their problems than to whip up populist sentiment against Colombia. It also is noteworthy that he's rousing military support against the neighboring state, something he may really find use for as rebellion grows at home.
Prompted by the good example of intolerance for childishness set by the King, I said of Chavez that, "For a lunatic like Chavez to hold any measure of power is possible only because so many tolerate him." Not to underestimate the power of having the apparatus of the state at one's disposal as Chavez does, but it seems that perhaps the King has helped a few people here and there grow spines:
Weekend polls showed that ever since the king of Spain publicly told him to "shut up" in Chile two weeks ago, support for Chavez's move to seize absolute power in Venezuela has fallen below 50%.I suspect that the widespread dissemination of the King's good example has struck a nerve, and it is gratifying to see a little intolerance down there. But Chavez has already had his thugs open fire on the students.
Student protests have engulfed Caracas and other towns in protest against his dictatorship. Chavez has denounced them as "rich spoiled brats." But in reality, they often are a pivotal political force, particularly since they include young people from Marxist and lower-class backgrounds. [bold added]
A little more intolerance from abroad would be really nice right about now.