Friday, November 21, 2014


When the late Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez came into power in 1998, he saw in his movement an answer to capitalism and a solution to Latin America's soaring inequalities. Chávez's aspirations were clearly global, and he even had the gumption to list "preserving life on the planet and saving the human species" as part of his 2012 election platform.

For a while, it seemed as if all of Latin America would catch the chavista wave. But though voters in Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, and Nicaragua elected governments that shared Venezuela's ideology and outlook, the wave seemed to die down toward the end of the 2000s.

Now, it seems to be rising in the unlikeliest of places: Spain.

Read the rest for a good rundown on the extensive links between Venezuela and the new kids on the block in Spain. And then pray for us if they win. I'm not too concerned, though. I see this a bit like the Beppe Grillo phenomenon in Italy: a seemingly lifechanging phenomenon that fizzles as soon as they find themselves elected and people realize they're not as different to the others as they claimed while campaigning.