Festive Left Friday Blogging: Chavecito at his best

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Just another typical Chavecito moment–comforting a child displaced by heavy rains and flooding in Caracas. This is what Chavecito is best at…looking out for his people in their hour of need:

The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, will not be attending the 20th Ibero-American summit, having decided not to travel to Argentina in order to attend to the flooding problems in his country, according to official sources.

Instead, it is expected that foreign minister Nicolás Maduro will head up the Venezuelan delegation to the summit of Latin American heads of state, gathered under the slogan “Education for Social Inclusion”.

Other leaders not attending are Evo Morales, of Bolivia; Daniel Ortega, of Nicaragua; and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, of Spain.

The Venezuelan opposition, which launched all manner of speculations surrounding the presidential visit to Argentina, remains without a response to the decision taken by the president.

Translation mine.

This isn’t the first time heavy rains around December have caused catastrophic flooding in Venezuela. Around the time Venezuelans voted to ratify their new constitution in 1999, the skies opened up…and stayed open, to tragic effect. Thousands were swept to their death in mudslides on the coast of Vargas state. It was, quite possibly, Chavecito’s finest hour as he directed his troops to evacuate displaced people from the stricken region. In fact, he himself was there for the evacuation; no mere figurehead, he led the charge hands-on. One of my favorite photos of him from that time shows him in a similar pose to the picture at the top–in uniform, holding a child. He’s lifting a little girl to safety from a lifeboat. Another shows him outdoors, giving his troops their orders; the young men’s eyes are glued to him. (I can’t find them online, but you can see them in Bart Jones’s bio, ¡Hugo!. Highly recommended reading, BTW.)

That last paragraph is killer, too. The oppos were calling for protest marches–against Chavecito, as usual–even as the flooding was taking place. In the end, the demos were cancelled, and all their mouthing off is now doubly for nothing. Chavecito is doing more for the flood victims than all of them combined ever will. And that’s entirely in character for both parties, which is why Chavecito is president and the opposition’s so-called leaders are not.

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