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The Dictator Chavez « Dangerous Dan
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Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world


The Dictator Chavez

Filed under: Politics,World — Dangerous Dan @ 11:30 pm

Hugo Chavez is continuing his dictatorial ways in Venezuela. One of a tyrant’s favorite things to do is to continually reshape his country’s symbols and institutions to his liking. By restructuring the institutions, he makes the machinery of government loyal to him. By remaking the symbols, he makes the people loyal to him as their national consciousness becomes slowly based not on their nation, but on their leader. What it means to be X is dependent on the man who creates what it means to be X.

All the great tyrants have done this: Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, even Napoleon. Chavez is following in their noble tracks by redesigning Venezuela’s flag. He’s making the horse run left instead of right (not a coincidence, I’m sure) and has added a bow and arrow to represent Venezuela’s indigenous people as well as a machete to represent the labor of workers. Oh, and he added an eighth star because Simon Bolivar originally wanted it (another tyrant trick: favorably compare yourself to some past national hero).

Among his other changes to national symbols and names: renamed the legislature the National Assembly, renamed the Supreme Court the Supreme Court of Justice, and renamed the country itself the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

But dictator techniques don’t end there. Chavez also declares that his leadership is a revolution marking a new era in Venezuela: the Fifth Republic. Think Third Reich here or something similar. At least one lackey lawmaker says all the changes Chavez is making are justified because “Chavez’s ‘revolutionary’ process should be accompanied by a new set of national icons.” If you ever take over a country and want to become a good autocrat, always declare that you’re so goshdarn important that you’re personally ushering in a new epoch in history.

Seriously… is there a book of rules for this sort of thing? Maybe “Tyranny for Dummies”? ‘Cause dictators all seem to do so many of the same things. Perhaps they’re just tips that get passed around and Castro told them to Chavez. I’m sure Chavez has in turn told them to new Bolivian President Evo Morales and that’s a cause of concern for Bolivia.


  1. This violates the rules of a good flag. (Although the story makes it look like this is more of a coat of arms than a flag since Venezuela’s flag does not have a horse on it.) If it is a flag, it would violate the too many stars rule and the do not put any weapons on your flag rule and possibly the no graven images on your flag rule.

    Comment by Pete The Elder — 3/15/2006 @ 3:58 pm

  2. You have obviously never visited this country and learnt everything from the US media.
    If you had any idea how poor the populace is compared to the capitalist scumbags who hold onto the spoils of oil wealth then you might have an idea about what is going on.

    I think you should watch The Revolution Will Not Be Televised to get a closer look at what is actually going on.

    You’ve simply been duped by the propaganda machine, just like anyone who watches the tripe churned out by the US and UK mainstream media like these features

    BTW it’s good to hear that Chavez is going to be launching and international investigation into 9/11.

    Comment by ebod — 3/31/2006 @ 7:44 am

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