Hugo Chavez's take on his revolution's successes and failures

The Venezuelan leader, who is in Cuba for treatment, reflected recently on more than a decade in office.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks during a meeting with his cabinet at his office at Miraflores Palace in Caracas August 6, 2011. Chavez has returned to Cuba for a second session of chemotherapy to treat a cancer that has forced him to slow his pace ahead of a re-election bid next year.

In the interview of Hugo Chavez by Jose Vicente Rangel, shown over the weekend, but taped on Thursday, the Venezuelan president attempts to describe the successes and failures of his presidency. In so doing, President Chavez shows how tired and failed his revolution and his presidency are. The “successes” are mostly old or in the end, failures, while the failures are mostly old too, remembrances of his most heroic days.

The successes:

- A Constituent Assembly that opened the doors to the new Constitution and Socialism

Well this happened long ago (11 years to be precise) and he is changing history. The new Constitution, which he just ignores and violates lately, did not open the door to socialism; it had nothing to do with socialism.

- Taking over PDVSA, the state oil company

Again this happened eight years ago and so far all he has managed to do is reduce the company’s ability to function, destroy its human and technological capabilities, and reduce production.

- Socialism

Again, he said we were entering into socialism long ago (2005?), but has yet to define it or implement it. Socialism is not taking over companies and destroying them, nor taking over farms and abandoning them. Socialism is not having a president wear fancy watches and buying armored Bentleys to take him around. Socialism is not the creation of a wealthy “bolibourgeois class” that lives off the government importing everything or the financial transactions it invents.

Thus, in his successes, nothing is recent, nothing is real, just smoke and mirrors of old political “victories.”

The failures:

- Having an “orthodox” economic policy during the first few years of his government

Well, that is also old, but if he thinks the non-orthodox policies have been good, he should look at July’s CPI, a 2.7 percent increase, amounting to a 25 percent increase for the last 12 months, and 4.8 percent increase in food prices in July alone.

- Lack of efficiency of his government

The only constant in his failures, twelve years of consistent inefficiency.

- Having respected military hierarchy up until 2003

Once again, something that happened long ago. Nothing would have changed if he had done it earlier, just the destruction of institutions would have been accelerated.

Without desiring it, Chavez has defined, in both what he thinks were successes and failures, how tired his empty revolution is. He draws on a distant past. He cites nothing from the last six years, except the continued ineffectiveness of his government.

--- Miguel Octavio, a Venezuelan, is not a fan of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. You can read his blog here.

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