Barack Obama allows Hugo Chavez a moment at the Fifth

Summit of the Americas in Trinidad, April, 2009.



Diario de Cuyo, Argentina

Hugo Chavez and Barack Obama: A Common Electoral Challenge


Hugo Chávez and Barack Obama have one battle in common: end-of-year elections. Both are preparing for them in grand form and at a time when their opponents are struggling to coalesce around a single candidate.


By Ricardo Trotti*



Translated By Anthony Figueroa


January 18, 2012


Argentina - Diario de Cuyo - Original Article (Spanish)

At a campaign fundraiser at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, President Obama impersonates the singer Al Green, Jan. 19.


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Both Chávez and Obama have begun setting up obstacles for their opponents - obstacles that are typical for the electoral process.


Chávez announced on Friday that Venezuela will close its Miami consulate in retaliation for the U.S. State Department's decision to expel Consul Livia Acosta Noguera, after the Univisión TV network revealed that Noguera had conspired with cyber-terrorists to spy on U.S. nuclear plants while she visited to Mexico.


The expulsion gave Chávez a good excuse to make his Friday announcement. In fact, this strategy comes in handy, because South Florida is home to thousands of native Venezuelans, and the closure of the consulate eliminates any chance of votes in the area being counted. In the October elections, Chávez has effectively diminished voting from abroad.


On the other hand, Obama knows that candidate Mitt Romney, having already won primaries in New Hampshire and Iowa and apparently headed to victories in South Carolina and Florida over the next two weeks, is a very strong candidate. So Obama has begun attacking him - and attacking him hard, for the same things critics in Romney's own party have: for buying out crumbling companies, reorganizing them by firing employees, and then selling the remains to the highest bidder. It is really quite a feast for the Occupy Wall Street movement.


But Obama doesn't stop there. Knowing that the economy will reign in this year's election, he has begun blaming others for his own inefficiency, asking Congressional Republicans to authorize a reorganization of the federal government by merging agencies in an effort to improve efficiency. And one wonders: Why did he wait until almost the end of his term to reduce the bureaucracy that actually rose during his first three years in office?


Chávez's Image


Meanwhile, Venezuela President Hugo Chávez is facing tough criticism from The Economist.  This revered publication published a report in which the Chávez Administration is ranked second on the world's "misery index." Elaborated in its findings are mentions of inflation, unemployment, a lack of financial investment, the waste of oil revenue and the punishment of free enterprise.


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No one really understands how a country as wealthy as Venezuela, with its tremendous oil revenue, can waste such a historic opportunity for growth. 


The Chávez Administration can't simply shift blame to what occurred in the past, nor can it blame the opposition, especially after more than a decade of monopolizing every government institution and the passage of legislation by lawmakers allied with Chavez.


Nor can it blame imperialism, since the U.S. is one of the countries that would benefit most from a better balance of trade.


Chávez alone is responsible for this squandered opportunity.


*Ricardo Trotti is a journalist and artist born in Argentina's Cordoba Province. He has worked out of his Miami studio since 1993.




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