Oh, good: Cult of Chavez still going strong in Venezuela

posted at 3:31 pm on August 23, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

After the longstanding dictatorial, socialist reign of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez finally came to end with his death earlier this year, his lieutenant quickly seized upon Chavez’s legacy and virtual sainthood to legitimize his own campaign to fill the dead strongman’s vacancy. His campaign was all Chavez, all the time, and he went to rhetorical extremes in an attempt to turn the popular dismay over Chavez’s death into enthusiasm for his obviously natural succession.

Evidently, he has no current plans for governing any differently, either. The Financial Times reports:

With the help of the omnipresent posters and slogans – “Chávez lives, the fight continues!” – the former president’s grip over politics and daily life in Venezuela appears to be as strong as ever.

The propaganda and imagery that buttressed the late paratrooper’s anti-capitalist crusade since he was first elected in 1998 serve a different purpose: assuring his immortality.

“Chávez is a source of legitimacy for [his successor, Nicolás Maduro. The revolution can continue with a Chávez that is dead, because for the people he is still very much present,” says Maryclen Stelling, a sociologist sympathetic to Chávez’s “Bolivarian revolution”. …

Mr Maduro built his popularity on Chávez’s legacy, which the socialist leader anointed him to continue. But he is in many ways hostage to it. Even dead, unofficial popularity polls give Chávez an advantage of almost 15 points over Mr Maduro. …

He campaigned on the basis that his predecessor spoke to him in the form of a little bird. Last week, he admitted that he regularly sleeps in the mausoleum where the comandante’s remains are kept for inspiration.

How… nice? And not at all creepy?

Maduro isn’t succeeding at peddling Chavismo even remotely as successfully or popularly as Chavez was; granted, he’s only been in office a few months, but governing and shoring up support based on a dead man’s cult of personality does not sound like a wise long-term political strategy to me. Unfortunately for the Venezuelan people, effective governance is something they very sorely need.

Also: Opposition leader Henrique Capriles’ quest to challenge the legitimacy of last spring’s election and demand a recount of the votes? It’s going about as well as you’d expect in a country where the rule of law and an impartial justice system mean precisely nothing.


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Watch what the left does with Obama, even as he destroys opportunity, wealth, and liberty. He will be worshiped with hushed praise.

Murphy9 on August 23, 2013 at 3:38 PM

You think that’s bad? Try asking some old Russians about Stalin or Lenin. It’s pretty scary.

happytobehere on August 23, 2013 at 3:40 PM

obama in the US of Zimbabwe, like

Mugabe in Zimbabwe, like

Putin in Russia

They all won the same, especially obama in 2012.

Schadenfreude on August 23, 2013 at 3:41 PM

doubtful Murphy9, Obama will replace Carter as the worst president ever. As soon as normal order returns the economy will respond accordingly. Obama will be scorned for years to come by all but blacks.

DanMan on August 23, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Venezuela’s Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed opposition leader Henrique Capriles’ lawsuit seeking the nullification of April presidential election results and alleging voter irregularities and levied a $1,500 fine against him for “offensive and disrespectful allegations” against the court and other officials.

The court also asked public prosecutors to make a “detailed analysis” of whether criminal charges should be filed against Capriles for having made unfounded favoritism charges against government officials.

Our future?

aquaviva on August 23, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Estupendo.

You spelled estupido incorrectly.

Lanceman on August 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM

The cult of BO will out shine them all. He is a god to his followers.
Maybe the end times are near and God is just thinning the herd a bit with the false idol and putting other gods before him bit.

Dr. Frank Enstine on August 23, 2013 at 3:47 PM

doubtful Murphy9, Obama will replace Carter as the worst president ever. As soon as normal order returns the economy will respond accordingly. Obama will be scorned for years to come by all but blacks.

DanMan on August 23, 2013 at 3:44 PM

There is not a single liberal I know that thinks Carter was bad. They range from him being alright to the best president this country ever had. BO will go down in history as the greatest president of all time and most likely the greatest leader the world has ever known. Yes, liberalism is a mental illness.

Dr. Frank Enstine on August 23, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles’ quest to challenge the legitimacy of last spring’s election and demand a recount of the votes? It’s going about as well as you’d expect in a country where the rule of law and an impartial justice system mean precisely nothing.

Why bring Eric Holder into it?

Deafdog on August 23, 2013 at 3:54 PM

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canopfor on August 23, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Another icon of the left.

Bishop on August 23, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Our future?

aquaviva on August 23, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Yes. It is. Plan accordingly.

Doomberg on August 23, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Dr. Frank Enstine on August 23, 2013 at 3:51 PM

I guess I was speaking from personal experience doc. As a kid I cluelessly voted for Carter. For over 30 years he has held that distinction for me. Then Obama came along. I never felt Carter hated me like I do with this guy.

DanMan on August 23, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Call this racist but I don`t care. Are they all stupid down in Latin America?! Why can`t they see the HORRIBLE choices they keep making?!

ThePrez on August 23, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Why bring Eric Holder into it?

Deafdog on August 23, 2013 at 3:54 PM

:)

Schadenfreude on August 23, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Call this racist but I don`t care. Are they all stupid down in Latin America?! Why can`t they see the HORRIBLE choices they keep making?!

ThePrez on August 23, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Same reason they do it here…handouts. Bigger and better handouts.

NJ Red on August 23, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Call this racist but I don`t care. Are they all stupid down in Latin America?! Why can`t they see the HORRIBLE choices they keep making?!

ThePrez on August 23, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Hmmm, not racist, since they are mostly technically white. Different ethnicity…

Anyway, I’ve been down to Venezuela a couple times in the late 70′s and early 80′s when it was still a democracy, one of the few in Latin America. The people I ran into were very proud of that fact. However, when you have that level of poverty and the difference between the haves and the have-nots (as in no middle class) is that pronounced it is easy to stir up emotions and work towards getting the support of the lowest common denominator, like the ignorant, uneducated and dirt poor folks (sound familiar?)

Caracas is a mile high city surrounded by mountains. The city itself is pretty modern, with modern department stores, boutiques, salons, etc. At night, the surrounding hills are all lit up with the same type of light(s); very pretty. Then, I find out that the light(s) are all from light bulbs that the people have unofficially tapped into the grid somehow. They live in their hovels dug into the hillsides, made from wood, cardboard, what have you.

They walk down to the city to work, panhandle, whatever, and look through the glass windows of the stores at things they can never have. Quite sad.

yubley on August 23, 2013 at 4:36 PM

If the economy keeps going in the Chavez direction, they will have a revolution soon-a revolution which will do some good.

thuja on August 23, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Call this racist but I don`t care. Are they all stupid down in Latin America?! Why can`t they see the HORRIBLE choices they keep making?!

ThePrez on August 23, 2013 at 4:14 PM

And those that escape, bring that mentality with them. Whether it’s from south of the border or from our own leftist strongholds like CA where people flee to red states and infect them with the same CA philosophy.

freedomfirst on August 24, 2013 at 12:47 AM