Monday, November 16, 2009

Chavez to Zap the Clouds

Just a short note about a press report coming out of Reuters today concerning Venezuela's number one son, Hugo Chavez:

CARACAS, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez says he will join a team of Cuban scientists on flights to "bomb clouds" to create rain amid a severe drought that has aroused public anger due to water and electricity rationing. Chavez, who has asked Venezuelans to take three-minute showers to save water, said the Cubans had arrived in Venezuela and were preparing to fly specially equipped aircraft above the Orinoco river. "I'm going in a plane; any cloud that crosses me, I'll zap it so that it rains," Chavez said...

The idea of Hugo Chavez as Thor, zapping the clouds, just seems so comical.  Who says megalomania can't be funny?  I wonder if there aren't environmental issues associated with this seemingly outdated "man conquers nature" heavy handedness?


  1. The Miami Herald recently ran an editorial on how Chavez's shenanigans are making things go from bad to worse in Venezuela, and how he never misses a chance to blame someone else (

    "There is a direct correlation between Mr. Chávez's oversized regional ambitions and the gradual impoverishment of basic services. He has gone on an arms-buying spree around the world, purchasing $4 billion in weaponry from Russia alone in recent years, meanwhile neglecting maintenance of the infrastructure that provides water and electricity.
    "At the moment, the president seems content to vent his own frustration on the very people who are suffering from his misguided policies. 'Some people sing in the bath for half an hour,' he told a recent cabinet session, broadcast live. 'What kind of communism is that? Three minutes is more than enough!' "

    Apparently though, the sacrifice of 3-minute "communist showers" does not apply to Chavez himself, who requested $145,000 in soap, shampoo, and other bathroom products in the 2010 budget ( ):

    "According to an Oct. 28 El Nuevo Herald report, Chávez's 2010 government budget includes a more than 600% increase in the president's spending budget, which will rise to $2.2 billion. The new budget includes $264,000 for clothing, $18,500 for shoes, $145,000 for soap, shampoo and other bathroom products. At a time when Venezuela's economy will fall by about 2 percent this year and the country has Latin America's highest inflation rate, few Venezuelans find the news of Chávez's personal expenses amusing."

    Meanwhile, Pajammas Media
    ( ) reports:
    "In his Lineas Dominicales (Sunday Lines), Chávez announced the delivery of apartments in Portuguesa at $83,000, half of capitalist market prices, as part of a subsidized housing project that will charge a 4.5 percent interest rate over 30 years... One must wonder how many residents of the Caracas barrios — who have long been without water and electricity due to continuing infrastructure problems — will be able to buy the new apartments at $83,000, even with 4.5 percent interest rates."

    All these charades play out against the backdrop of possible war with Colombia -itself a charade, a vain attempt to distract Venezuelans from their disastrous domestic situation. For though Chavez may be crazy, he's not stupid. The scrawny 78,000-man Venezuelan armed forces would be no match for the better trained, battle-hardened 230,000 Colombian regulars. Besides, Venezuela’s oil fields and refineries make for huge bombing targets. The Colombian Air Force could thus quickly cripple Venezuela’s economy. Above all, Chavez is a survivor. He knows he would not survive a major Colombian onslaught.

    So the charades continue, though fewer and fewer Venezuelans find them amusing anymore.

  2. $264,000 in clothes? $145,000 in toiletries? Well, I mean, I know a strongman wants to look good and smell nice for his people but... who would have thought? Doesn't he wear the same red shirt all the time? Maybe this stuff is more expensive than I thought. A little like Castro's satin suits, specially tailored abroad - in ascetic olive green, of course, lest we forget we're revolutionaries!