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Chavistas target golf

The New York Times’s Simon Romero reports that Hugo Chávez really doesn’t like golf, which means no one else in Venezuela is allowed to: After a brief tirade against the sport by the president on national television last month, pro-Chávez officials have moved in recent weeks to shut down two of the country’s best-known golf ...

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The New York Times’s Simon Romero reports that Hugo Chávez really doesn’t like golf, which means no one else in Venezuela is allowed to:

After a brief tirade against the sport by the president on national television last month, pro-Chávez officials have moved in recent weeks to shut down two of the country’s best-known golf courses, in Maracay, a city of military garrisons near here, and in the coastal city of Caraballeda.

“Let’s leave this clear,” Mr. Chávez said during a live broadcast of his Sunday television program. “Golf is a bourgeois sport,” he said, repeating the word “bourgeois” as if he were swallowing castor oil. Then he went on, mocking the use of golf carts as a practice illustrating the sport’s laziness.[…]

A housing shortage has also pushed the government’s hand, Mr. Chávez said last month, when he questioned why Maracay had so many slums while the golf course and the grounds of the state-owned Hotel Maracay, a decaying modernist gem built in the 1950s, stretch over about 74 acres of coveted real estate.

“Just so some little group of the bourgeois and the petit-bourgeois can go and play golf,” he said during his television program.[…]

“I respect all sports,” he said. “But there are sports and there are sports. Do you mean to tell me this is a people’s sport?”

He then answered the question: “It is not.”

I’m generally not a big fan of Chávez’s politics or economic policies, but I’m with him on this one. Golfers require entirely too much space to play their maddeningly boring sport. On the other hand, as Times blogger Robert Mackey points out, some of Chávez’s heroes might not like his principled anti-golf stance.

Flickr user:  R’eyes

 Twitter: @joshuakeating

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