Ruining Venezuela his way

John’s post about Venezuela under Hugo Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro brought to mind this post by Ben Cohen at Commentary and, especially, this great line from an opposition leader:

If Chavez was Frank Sinatra, then Maduro is the guy in the karaoke bar singing an out of tune version of My Way.

As Cohen explains:

The point here is not that Chavez was a preferable alternative to Maduro; as Roger Noriega correctly points out in the New York Post, Chavez’s “divisive, illegitimate regime polarized society and devastated the economy.”

It’s that the uncharismatic, foul-tempered Maduro has, during the seven months that he’s been in power, exposed the totalitarian tendencies implicit in the ideology of chavismo, with the result that he’s fast losing support among those segments of Venezuelan society, like the three million Venezuelans now living in extreme poverty, who regarded Chavez as a savior not so long ago.

Cohen believes that “the prospect of a bloody denouement cannot be ruled out.” In that event, where will the Obama administration stand? Probably on the sidelines, at best.


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