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The long slide: is Hugo Chávez losing his touch?

“Ah, you’re Irish,” he said to me. “So, are you in the IRA?”

There was a dream-like quality to the scene. The blistering sun, the audience of government officials in red T-shirts nodding solemnly, the group of village women supporters waist-deep in the ocean blowing kisses to the president, the TV cameras zooming in on my perspiring face.

I was transcribing the harangue into my notebook but at one point I paused – he was back to Columbus – and jotted down an observation. Losing it? The thought struck me hard. Was Hugo Chávez, the sublimely gifted communicator who put Latin American revolution back on the world’s agenda, losing it? Not his marbles, for clearly the man was rational and intelligent, but was he losing his political touch?

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Photograph: Sven Creutzmann/Getty Images


0 thoughts on “The long slide: is Hugo Chávez losing his touch?

  1. The “first failure at the polls” the author refers to was a very, very narrow loss – probably with a lot of help from U.S. operatives.

    In fact, Hugo Chavez has tackled an enormous and complex task – not just ruling Venezuela but reforming its government and economy AND helping other Latin American nations with their de facto independence from Corporate America, even while fighting off an army of media whores, the CIA, the Vichy Colombians and on and on.

    Frankly, I think the guy’s doing a great job. So great, in fact, that I’m using my campaign for public office to support Chavez. I also created a new website –

    If Hugo Chavez loses, it will be with a lot of help from George Bush, Inc. – and his loss will be a loss for all of us, for George W. Bush and hs cronies are the enemy, not Hugo.

    David BLomstrom

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