President Maduro of Venezuela may want to shoot that little “Hugo bird” who speaks to him from time to time. Can you blame Maduro if he grabs the little bird by the neck and strangles him?
According to The NY Times, the people of Venezuela are not really into Maduro. On the contrary, they miss Hugo, or at least “the Hugo of their dreams”:
“Prices are soaring, the country is plagued by electrical blackouts, some neighborhoods go days without water, and protests tangle the already stifling traffic. To top it all off, the cheap beer that helps people let off steam at many a weekend party has suddenly become scarce, too.
Nearly seven months after the death of Hugo Chávez, the country’s longtime leftist president and father figure, there is a growing sense that things are falling apart.”
To be fair, Venezuela’s problems were “Made by Hugo” all the way. It was Chavez’ policies, from reckless spending to a horrible case of cronyism and corruption, that brought the country to this situation.
In other words, it did not start with Maduro but life is not fair specially when you hitch your wagon to a corrupt man like Hugo Chavez.
The problems in the country are rather severe and I am not talking about a shortage of toilet paper:
“Inflation in the first eight months of this year was more than triple the rate in the same period last year. When measured over the 12 months that ended in August, it exceeded 45 percent.
A government indicator that measures the scarcity of basic goods is close to its highest level in more than five years.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending President Maduro, a man who was “questionably” elected earlier this year after Chavez was officially pronounced dead.
All of these difficulties in the nation raise a legitimate question: Will Maduro survive?
My opinion is that he won’t, no matter how many times he expels US diplomats or tells us that he had visions of Hugo.
Maduro probably wishes that they had kept Hugo connected to that life machine a bit longer.
Frankly, the end of Maduro is coming and it won’t be pretty. I just hope that someone at the Obama White House is on top of events in Latin America. Venezuela could come apart soon and Washington needs to be alert.
P.S. You can hear our chat about Colombia, Venezuela and other US-Latin America stories here.