One Trick Monkey

The whole world is talking about the verbal slap down perpetrated on Venezuela’s wannabe dictator by Spain’s king at the Ibero-American Summit in Santiago, Chile. It appears that most of the world is siding with the King since regardless of one’s political affiliations and beliefs, chavez’s rude and ridiculous tirade—one of the many he is well known for—was deemed out of place and disrespectful by the world community. For most of us, chavez’s boorish behavior comes as no surprise and only serves to exemplify the type of person he is: a crude and impulsive demagogue with large amounts of cash at his disposal attempting to buy himself legitimacy.
But alas, money can only buy you so much legitimacy on the world’s political stage—the rest requires an articulate tongue and sufficient diplomatic skills to achieve your goals without alienating the entire world. As we have seen over the years with chavez, he neither possesses the diplomacy, nor the articulacy to speak about anything without looking like a thug. He may believe he is channeling the shoe-banging Khrushchev, or perhaps emulating the derisive style of his mentor, castro, but both of those tyrants chose the time and place for their tirades with care and foresight, and tempered their rhetoric when the situation required a more gentle approach. chavez, however, is a one trick monkey with only one act in his repertoire. Whether he is meeting with a hostile diplomat, or with girl scouts, he cues up the same vitriolic song and plays it as loud as he can.
Many may disagree with me, but I do not think that chavez is necessarily unintelligent. I do not believe that anyone can reach the levels of power he has reached and be as obtuse as he appears. Nevertheless, I believe his obvious faults have more to do with a psychological deficiency, rather than one of intelligence.
The thirst for power and control that chavez has exhibited is undeniable; the man has consistently and methodically made the required changes in Venezuelan law and society to ensure his continued reign. But there is something else he craves, beyond the power and wealth, which he cannot just reach out and expropriate: Legitimacy. He wants desperately to be respected and looked at as more than just a thug by the world’s leaders. He wants to be considered a statesman, a Bolivarianesque liberator, a revolutionary thinker. However, he does not posses the skills to be statesman-like, and his revolutionary rhetoric, which is old and tired, has no consequence in the small but powerful circles of political power in this world. Unable to achieve hero status among the political elite, he resorts to the only method he knows; crude and provocative statements. He figures they worked for him in the past, they should work for him now. Unfortunately for him, it takes more than churlish behavior and shoe-banging on a podium to elicit respect from world leaders.
At the Ibero-American Summit, the world at large got a taste of what the political elite have known all along: chavez is nothing more than a one trick monkey, incapable of articulating a point, and quite capable of sticking his boot in his mouth. He seeks his place among the influential leaders of the day, but even the ones that have ignored his counterfeit revolution and the suffering it has caused the Venezuelan people, have a limit to their patience. Respect and legitimacy may be chavez’s most inner desire, but until he learns to play a new song, it will forever evade him. Fortunately for the Venezuelan people, it appears that for all the cleverness that got him this far, his psychological weaknesses and deep seeded inferiority complex will in the end, be his downfall.

9 thoughts on “One Trick Monkey”

  1. I agree and disagree, primo. I agree that Chavez longs for respect and legitimacy. However, while he may possess some cognitive ability, instead of studying economics, science, history, etc., and becoming enlightened, Hugo chose to employ his limited intellect and personality to manipulate his way to the top. Hitler did it. Mao did it. Castro did it. Charlie Manson gave it the ol’ college try but miscalculated along the way. Charlie wasn’t as smart as he thought he was. That’s Hugo’s problem as well. We are fortunate Hugo is not one quarter as smart as he thinks he is. One day soon Hugo’s mouth will get his whole face in trouble…

  2. The last thing I want to do, Tomas, is to imply that chavez is some kind of genius for reaching the level of power he has achieved. On the contrary, he has aptly illustrated how he has no ability to discuss a political point intelligently without demagoguery. However, he knows how to manipulate the masses and has been quite adept at maneuvering himself into a lifetime position of power. I have to believe that if he were a total moron, the law of averages would have taken him out long before he reached any level of power.
    Nevertheless, my point was to illustrate how his buffoonery is driven more by his psychological shortcomings than it is by his lack of intellect. And I am more concerned with us writing him off as some kind of clown, intellectually incapable of doing harm, when in essence he is a clown with just barely enough intellect to do a lot of harm.
    Otherwise, he is nothing more than a monkey that is smart enough to mimic what other despots have done, but not smart enough to come up with his own ideas.

  3. Isn’t there an old proverb that says,”One monkey don’t stop no show”?
    I was delighted with the King of Spain’s response.
    He had the guts to do what everyone there was probably already thinking and what NO ONE in the U.N. had the courage to do last year.
    Chavez is a boor. He was WAY overdue for a slapdown.

  4. Chavez: a man of average intellect at best who found the right connections and brown-nosed his way to the top. It doesn’t take someone of even above-average intelligence to say exactly what the masses want to hear, as Chavez has illustrated.

  5. It’s a fallacy and a mistake to see or approach Chavez (or Castro) as a single, individual entity. No matter how brilliant or how evil any one man may be, he CANNOT take and maintain complete control of a whole country without LOTS of help, support and complicity (direct or indirect) from LOTS of people.
    A man like Chavez or Castro is never THE problem, but rather the person who managed to harness and utilize the REAL problem to his advantage. The real problem is much bigger, wider and more complex. It’s a kind of sickness in the society in question, and a Chavez or a Castro is simply the most obvious sign or symptom of the disease. That sickness was already there in Cuba before 1959, in latent form, just as it was there in Venezuela before Chavez became president. Everybody in the society was not infected, but too many were, enough to tip the balance toward disaster.
    It’s not only simplistic but childish to keep talking as if one man, or that man and a small group around him, somehow managed to turn everything upside down and screw a whole country of supposedly innocent and unsuspecting people. There were PLENTY of people who were anything but innocent–if there hadn’t been enough of them, the immunity of the body (or country) would not have been overcome, and the disease would not have taken over. Think about it.

  6. Asombra, you are correct that it takes more than one man to inflict the kind of damage thugs like castro and chavez have inflicted. And you are correct that they are nothing but opportunists taking advantage of situations already in place. However, no movement, good or bad, is succesful without effective leadership.
    Like any battle, the most effective way to inflict damage on your enemy is to take out its leadership. Taking out chavez may not solve all of Venezuela’s problems at once, but it will slam the brakes on his 21st century socialist movement. No matter how big the body is, without a head, it cannot function effectively.
    That is why, in my opinion, it is important to to expose thuggish leaders like castro and chavez.

  7. I agree with you, Alberto; taking out the head is obviously necessary and useful, but the head is not the whole problem and never was. True healing and recuperation will require a LOT more “cleaning up” than that, but yes, things have to start somewhere.

  8. You make a valid point, Asombra, and the scary issue here is that when we do take out the head, are we ready to clean up the loose ends? If we aren’t, we can see another situation like Nicaragua. A country that fought valiantly to rid itself of communist oppression, only to fall prey to a sanitized and repackaged daniel ortega a short few years later. Why? Because they didn’t educate, and they didn’t eradicate the scourge that is communism.

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