Castro’s Clone
Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, although democratically elected, has turned out to be
Castro’s clone.  He is rapidly changing Venezuela into a Cuban satellite parroting Castro
in every way.  As Castro modeled Cuba along the Marxist/Socialist lines of the former
Soviet Union, so Chavez is modeling Venezuela along the same lines.  And he is doing it
with thousands of Cubans who have infiltrated every area of government, armed forces
and security police.  Thousands of Cuban health care workers, sports trainers and
educators are muscling Venezuelan physicians and professors out of leadership, and these
Cuban transplants have no way to defect because Chavez has instituted Cuban legal
jurisdiction over any Cubans living in Venezuela.
Although democratically elected, Chavez has grabbed power in every way possible –
now controlling the legislature, the judiciary and the military.  Trade unions and
universities are feeling pressure to toe the party line or face the consequences.  For
example, thousands of oil workers were fired because they did not agree with Chavez’
policies.  Chavez has also passed Cuban-style gag laws which are subverting freedom of
expression.  The only institution which Chavez has not been able to bully is the Church –
although he has tried.  Business is running scared because Chavez has already begun to
confiscate private lands – large cattle ranches which he characterizes as “ociosos” –
inactive.  Classic Marxism/Socialism always blames private property as the root of all
evil.
Although Castro’s Marxist/Socialist government has ruled Cuba for over forty years,
every basic commodity is rationed – most noticeably food.  And it is impossible to exist
solely on government rations.  So you can imagine Castro is overjoyed with his
Venezuelan clone who is subsidizing his wretched economy with 80,000 barrels of oil
daily – and other giveaways.
Latin American universities have long been hotbeds of Marxist/Socialist ideas.  There has
always been a kind of romanticism associated with Castro-style revolution. 
Marxist/Socialist romantics in Venezuela are now experiencing first-hand what Cubans
have long endured under Castro’s iron hand.  It’s Chavez’ way or the highway (or jail),
and thousands will chose the highway and leave everything just like the thousands who
have left behind their Cuban workers’ paradise.
Sadly, it looks like Bolivia will soon have another Castro clone leading the nation,        
Evo Morales. Again the Marxist/Socialist romantics will rejoice, but like the
Cuban/Venezuelan people have discovered, there is lot of difference between the empty
promises of better living standards by doing away with evils of capitalism -- and the
reality that poverty only increases under a Marxist dictatorship.  Rather than the rich
capitalists, it is now the rich sycophants who scurry around obeying their master’s wishes
– Castro and Chavez – military leaders and party apparatchiks who live off the
exploitation of their people in the name of socialism. As long as they bow to the wishes
of the dictator, they have plenty.  But try to disagree, and they end up with nothing – or
worse.
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