tried over the years to ignore US
politics in this blog essentially because this is a blog about Venezuela and I learned early on that even
mentioning the US and its
politics would simply drive discussion away from Venezuela.
But I can’t help to
comment, as we await to learn that Barack Obama has been elected President of
the US, how much opinion of
most Venezuelans on the US
race is molded by the political division and tension in Venezuela.
Venezuelans who are to the
left of Obama in their local politics have suddenly and miraculously become US
That’s what Chavez does to
You would think that Obama
has been wearing a red shirt and boasted the sponsorship of Chavez’ PSUV, the
way that people have been justifying their opposition to the Democratic
It is as if Juan Barreto
was running, rather than a well educated Harvard lawyer who has been a Senator
for a few years, rather that some mediocre military officer who staged a coup
and gave some rambling view of what he will do.
But over the last few
days, I have been frowned upon as I tried to argue a simple point: That Obama
is no Chavez, that thinking Obama maybe a Chavez is simply being narrow minded
and trying to project Chavez onto Obama is truly silly and shows in some way
how superficial political decisions may be, which in the end may explain how
popular Chavez is.
Quite ironical when you
think about it!!
Whether you like Obama or
McCain, you can’t ignore the record of each of them as part of US politics.
They have both been mavericks, out of the mainstream and maybe that is the
reason why they are there today. But both are part of the US system, with
a high respect of the rule of law and democracy, neither of which are of
importance to our almighty leader. Just think about how the US has reacted to
the recent financial crisis and you realize why the US is where it is,
decisions were made to solve the problem which go against the ideology of those
making it, but seemed to be the best at the time. While others lingered and
were wishy-washy, the US
acted. Whether it will work or not seems to be besides the point, on the way
changes have already been made.
The world is likely to
react more positively to an Obama victory, which I feel is going to be a
positive. My bet Chavez will be the one of the first , if not the first, world
leaders to blast Obama. In fact, we can make it a contest: How long do you
think will elapse between an Obama presidency begins and Chavez blasts him
irresponsibly? (Prize: Any book from the NYT fiction or non-fiction book)
Because in the end what
the recent credit/financial/panic crisis has shown is that the world is indeed
globalized, whether we like it or not. It is Asian stocks that have dropped the
most because of the subprime crisis. It is European banks that have failed
first because of the subprime crisis. It is Venezeula’s sovereign debt that
has dropped sharply because of that same crisis.
Which only point us to the
obvious: The main difference between Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez right off the
bat, will be that while Chavez has spent ten years trying to be President of
only a fraction of Venezuelans, Barack Obama will try to embrace and convince
those that are against him or not on his side, much like he has tried to do all
The point is that this is
not about “WE” or “THEM”, this is simply about
“US”. But Venezuelan politics seems to have been reduced to the
former empty argument for generations to come.
In the end, the best
candidate, win or lose, would have been the one to do best for the citizens of
the US and in this case, because of its influence, the world. Hopefully, the
choice of Obama, which seems inevitable at this point, will be best.
But you can be sure that
in the worst possible scenarios, neither McCain nor Obama will be as divisive,
abusive and destructive as that very shameful and uniquely Venezuelan creation
called Hugo Chavez.
Barack Obama is no
uneducated, two-bit, unethical, messianic soldier, nor does the US have fragile
institutions. And that my friends makes a big difference!