Hugo the Columnist debuts

Hugo Chavez, following in the footsteps of “Blogger Fidel” Castro, today debuted a new newspaper column which will be regularly syndicated in several Venezuelan papers. With a translation assist from FP Web Developer Blaine Sheldon, here are some highlights from Chavez’s first effort. He starts with a baseball metaphor: The hardest lines I gave as ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
589248_090122_chavez5.jpg
589248_090122_chavez5.jpg

Hugo Chavez, following in the footsteps of "Blogger Fidel" Castro, today debuted a new newspaper column which will be regularly syndicated in several Venezuelan papers. With a translation assist from FP Web Developer Blaine Sheldon, here are some highlights from Chavez's first effort. He starts with a baseball metaphor:

The hardest lines I gave as a baseball player were always to the right side.

Now, on the field of politics and revolution, these lines that today begin, will go to all sides with the equal force.

Hugo Chavez, following in the footsteps of “Blogger Fidel” Castro, today debuted a new newspaper column which will be regularly syndicated in several Venezuelan papers. With a translation assist from FP Web Developer Blaine Sheldon, here are some highlights from Chavez’s first effort. He starts with a baseball metaphor:

The hardest lines I gave as a baseball player were always to the right side.
Now, on the field of politics and revolution, these lines that today begin, will go to all sides with the equal force.
Only now they go with the force of ideas, of conviction, of patriotic passion.

Barack Obama’s inaguration doesn’t seem to have dampened Chavez’s enthusiasm for Yanqui-bashing:

The other road, in which the colonial Yankee sympathizers want to take us, would condemn our country to disability, to smallness, to a historic tomb; it is the road of capitalism and its political expression: the “bourgeois democracy.”
We, the independents, go forward with the oath to which our leader Simon Bolivar made in Monte Sacro, August 15, 1805. We, the patriots, have a project, we carry a flag…
Them, the colonialists, do not have an oath, they have no project, no flag. Or, better said, as we have seen in diverse activities of the Yankeee sympathizers, their flag backwards and upside down, of seven stars and not of eight as the mandate of Bolivar in Angostura, says everything—they represent the opposite of the country, they are the antithesis, they are the anti-Venezuela, they are the anti-Bolivar. They are the negation. They are the anti-homeland.

All of this is leading up to an appeal to voters to support a February 15 referendum that would allow him to extend his term as president:

Those who want the country, come with me!
Those that come with me will have the country!

In truth, nothing in the column departs much from the familiar tropes of Chavez’s rhetoric. Though it’s possible that like Castro, he will soon tackle more esoteric subjects. In any event, his debut was still better than Bono’s.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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