Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Returns the conquering hero

The subtitle for this post could be the Venezuelan saying:

Por la boca muere el pez

The fish dies from his mouth, meaning that from too much eating, eating anything on sight, and by extension from talking too much (keeping the mouth open too often). this is what is happening in Venezuela as I can really this delicious gossip: Chavez announced last Sunday that Oliver Stone was had started directing a movie on the 2002 events just to be untold yesterday by Oliver stone himself saying that there was no such project.

Of course I am not going to go into the details of this gossip, but rather use it to illustrate the pompousness, (and despair?) of Chavez returning from his latest foray as the self styled savior of the world through the Bolivarian revolution (such things cannot be made up, you know....)

The latest foreign trip of Chavez, richly detailed through these humble pages, saw Chavez under the gilded domes of the Vatican in the hopes of telling the Pope how he was achieving poverty eradication just to be handed the word as a wise Benedictus decided to leave everything on writing least his voluble guest would have him say things that never even crossed his mind.

Then on, after only a meeting with an old reconstructed Italian Commie as Prodi and Berlusconi were too busy on other matters, Chavez flew to Vienna. There he had the great thrill to go from Vatican non entity to official trouble maker (though Evo gave him a good run for his money). Fortunately he held a rally full of raised hands and red flags reminding us of rallies held by a previous Austrian over 60 years ago. A wasted trip again, but with the satisfaction of wasting the trip to a few mores, and public adulation at last.

Off to London. Things were a little bit different there. The local mayor was as sycophantic as it could be wished. The packaged tour included suitable mass rallies of adulatory (and desperate?) selected crowds to which Chavez had no option but to announce that the Bolivarian banana Revolution was the hope and salvation of the XXI century. They swallowed it all. But Labor real big wigs were not impressed and stayed clear. BBC and co. in general were less, much less than ecstatic and forget about Tories or the Alliance.

Off to Algeria where to this moment I have no idea what he did there. I suppose that it was some OPEC matter. No one to manipulate anyone there.

For the last leg it was Libya. Unfortunately the savoir of the world got a big slap of the face as Venezuela got into the official shit list of the US while Muhammar got out and was even, supreme irony form State who sometimes has its timing right, shown as an example on how to behave to Chavez. Any adulatory mass rally that might have held up in Tripoli must have tastes as sour grapes...

Thus, the conquering hero came back home from what was basically a private trip paid luxuriously at tax payer expenses, without ANYTHING to show for except considerable newspapers coverage of the bemused or critical style. And a few memorable images such as lefties saluting Nazi style in Vienna and Chavez bringing his body guards inside the Pope’s office (well, disguised as military aide de camp, as incongruous, crass and tasteless in a papal office as body guards). Not to mention appropriately being compared to Bush by a BBC journalist.

Chavez had his Sunday show where he minimized some of the trip occurrences. But true to his irrepressible self he tried to get some compensatory moments. One was to send salacious, homophobic allusions to one of his ex defense minister that indicated a few hours before that Venezuela was in no shape to defend itself and that the US did not even need to land in Venezuela to neutralize it completely. Something that any savvy blogger could argue without much trouble, by the way. And to finish in a flurry of sparks, that Oliver Stone announcement promptly refuted. Why, oh why, use an US movie maker to glorify himself against the US? Reminds me of the fake story that Oxford was going to give Chavez an honoris causa doctorate during his visit, another fast refuted announcement. Was Oliver a compensation for his failed Oxford dissertation?

One must wonder what is going on. Has Chavez ended up surrounded by the worst sycophants of the lot? Are they now shamelessly manipulating him? Has he become deranged through some form of mythomania? Or, simply, have they realized that Chavez core following is stupid enough to swallow everything whole? I personally prefer not to chose which explanation fulfills the diagnostic as all are equally offensive to my feeble intellect.

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