In Venezuela, it’s Chavez o’clock

JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images It must be every power-hungry leader’s dream to be able to control the hands of time. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez gave a botched attempt at this feat last week when he advanced his previously-announced plan to turn to country’s clocks back half an hour. Yes, he admitted, this might sound a bit ...

599081_070926_chavez_05.jpg
599081_070926_chavez_05.jpg

JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images

It must be every power-hungry leader's dream to be able to control the hands of time. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez gave a botched attempt at this feat last week when he advanced his previously-announced plan to turn to country's clocks back half an hour. Yes, he admitted, this might sound a bit nutty:

I don't care if they call me crazy, the new time will go ahead, let them call me whatever they want. I'm not to blame. I received a recommendation and said I liked the idea.

JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images

It must be every power-hungry leader’s dream to be able to control the hands of time. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez gave a botched attempt at this feat last week when he advanced his previously-announced plan to turn to country’s clocks back half an hour. Yes, he admitted, this might sound a bit nutty:

I don’t care if they call me crazy, the new time will go ahead, let them call me whatever they want. I’m not to blame. I received a recommendation and said I liked the idea.

Unfortunately, the erratic South American leader didn’t turn out to be as effective an implementer as he was a timekeeper. Without a proper public campaign to explain what the heck was going on, Chávez confused even himself when he initially told the populace they needed to move their clocks forward instead of back. So the plan was postponed until January, citing a need to complete a couple necessary bureaucratic steps with international organizations before they could proceed. And why the awkward half hour? It’s a way to prove that Venezuela doesn’t need to follow the “scheme of hourly divisions dictated by the imperial United States.” If successful, the country will join the ranks of those who are in half-hour increments off from Greenwich Mean Time: Afghanistan, Iran, and Burma. Way to stick it to the man, Hugo.

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