Fidel's Heir - The Influence of Hugo Chávez

Por Venezuela Real - 17 de Junio, 2008, 20:49, Categoría: Imagen gobierno / Chávez

Jon Lee Anderson
The NewYorker
June 23, 2008

Venezuela’s oil money has brought better living standards for the country’s poorest citizens. It has also given Chávez the means to buy influence with his neighbors, usually at the expense of the United States

A few years ago, when Hugo Chávez, the President of Venezuela, said that he wanted a new jet to replace the nearly thirty-year-old Boeing bequeathed to him by his predecessor, his critics raised an outcry. But Chávez went ahead with his plans. His new plane, which cost sixty-five million dollars, is a gleaming white Airbus A-319, with a white leather interior, seating for sixty passengers, and a private compartment. The folding seat-back trays have gold-colored hinges, and there is plenty of legroom.

Chávez has spent more than a year altogether on trips abroad since taking office, in February, 1999, and so the jet is a kind of second home. His seat bears an embossed leather Presidential seal. Paintings of nineteenth-century Latin-American independence heroes hang on the walls, including a prominent one of Simón Bolívar, known as El Libertador. Bolívar led military campaigns to free large parts of South America from Spanish rule, and in 1819 he helped create a vast nation called Gran Colombia, which encompassed the present-day republics of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama. But political rivalries and internecine warfare frustrated Bolívar’s dream of a United States of South America, and Gran Colombia fell apart soon after his death, in 1830.


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