Since taking office in February 1999, Chavez has been Washington’s number one Latin American enemy.
He worries US officials for good reason. He’s a powerful threat. He represents a good example. Venezuela’s social democracy shames America’s. Bolivarianism works.
So does its political system. Elections are open, free and fair. US electoral politics lack legitimacy. Democracy is moribund. Candidates are pre-selected. Big money owns them. Key outcomes are predetermined. Duopoly power runs everything.
On October 7, Venezuelans again head to the polls. Chavez seeks reelection. He remains overwhelmingly popular. Washington dreads the idea of having him around for another six years.
Anti-Chavista rhetoric and accusations are heating up. So far it hasn’t matched former New York Times Caracas correspondent Simon Romero.
On August 22, 2010, he headlined “Venezuela, More Deadly Than Iraq, Wonders Why.” He outrageously reported more 2009 violent deaths under Chavez than in Iraq’s war-torn cities. He claimed “Venezuelans have absorbed such grim statistics for years.”
No respectable publication should run these type columns. Venezuela is no war zone. Until becoming The Times Brazil correspondent, Romero misreported there for years.
After succeeding him in Caracas, so does William Neuman. More on him below.
A Times profile said Chavez replaced Castro as America’s main regional bete noire. He’s Washington’s “leading (Latin American) opponent….”
Spurious accusations followed. Among others they include drug trafficking, collaborating with Colombian “rebels,” human rights violations, alleged electoral fraud, state-sponsored and other forms of violence, authoritarianism, communication “hegemony,” and petro-diplomacy for selling oil to America’s enemies.