About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Chavez. Again.

As everybody that follows Latin America knows by now, Hugo Chavez has pulled off another electoral victory.  He's wielded the power of incumbency in a centralized economic state like a pro and benefited from the loyalty of increased state sponsored projects - not something that any incumbent can disitance themselves from.  I think, however, that he did himself and Venezuela a disservice on two fronts.

1) By choosing to run again he provokes a reaction that will dramatically seek to overturn his policies - which would undermine his entire project.  He also stifles a second tier of leadership that could replace him and creates another personalist regime in Latin America - and those are hit and miss on the legacy front.

2) Getting to the top required flinging a lot of mud - and he's going to have to work over time to clean that up.  For a comparison of Chavez to Mitt Romney, see this short commentary by the NY Magazine.

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