El autócrata pierde apoyo internacional / Demetrio Boersner

The Autocrat Loses International Support

During his period of greatest success—the year 2005—president Hugo Chávez briefly managed to capture broad and significant international support.

The initial success of the missions, the demoralization of the opposition, the anti-Bush vituperations so pleasing to so many ears, and the extravagant programs of help for South America and the Caribbean all provoked a transitory enthusiasm, or at least sympathy, not just from radicals but also from certain moderates in diverse countries of the world.

Lately, however, evidence has multiplied of the distancing of progressive international forces away from a leader who is visibly exceeding the limits of any rational diplomatic conduct. That distancing grows when one confronts the evidence of the flagrant contrast between his arrogant discourse and his clamorous failures in running the country. His alliance, not merely verbal, with the theocratic fascism of Iran is seen with concern and rejection, even by his best presumed "friends" abroad.

At the beginning of this week, the French president Jacques Chirac thoroughly praised, as is deserved, the leaders of the democratic left in Brazil, Uruguay and Chile for their contributions to a constructive transformation of the world order and, on the other hand, he made no mention of the Venezuelan president. Overall, in France the conviction is growing that Chavismo is a contradictory phenomenon, with ingenuous fascist ingredients ("fascisme naif").

In England, the influence of the Venezuelan government promoted the subscription of a pro-Chavista document—rejecting the critical comments Blair made against the Venezuelan leader—on the part of the Labour delegates in the British Parliament. The Labour fraction of the Parliament is made up of 353 M.P.s, of whom only 78 (22 percent) added their signature. In part, these 78 reflect an extremist faction influenced by Trotskyism. The majority of Labour, being social democratic, refuses to support Hugo Chávez's regime.

Likewise in Latin America, the spokesmen of the rational democratic left begin to openly express their criticism of Chavismo. At the beginning of the week the Chilean president Ricardo Lagos not only praised his colleagues from Brazil and Uruguay as constructive progressives, but he even contrasted them explicitly with Hugo Chávez, whose obsessive and harmful antagonism in his dealings with the United States he reproached.

Throughout the world the democratic and sensible left is turning against the authoritarianism and the totalitarian friendships of the Venezuelan leader. More and more, the international support for Chavismo will remain limited to circles of unconditional and well-identified Ramonets including, unfortunately, a certain ambassador from Spain.

{ Demetrio Boersner, TalCual, 3 March 2006 }

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