That doesn’t matter. It gets crazier daily.
Do others notice or care?
Venezuelans lack food, toilet paper and other basic necessities. Violent crime is rampant. But their intensely brilliant leaders have found great solutions.
To refer to Venezuela as an economic basket case insults baskets everywhere. The economy is massively controlled, yet planning is a big mystery to Government officials. The Bolivar has been devalued officially, again, as through inflation at about fifty percent annually were not enough to screw the economy and Venezuelans dependent upon it. There is internet censorship and violent crime is endemic, as are power outages and shortages of food and toilet paper.
Perhaps the recent brain spasm of el Presidente Maduro (replacement for the late lamented el Presidente el Thugo Chávez) — a new Ministry of Supreme Happiness — will help the little people; at least it has provided some chuckles. In any event, few voters seem to care about their pesky little difficulties, as long as they get their “free stuff,” while the opposition seems to be clueless.
Another solution: The enlightened statists of Venezuela under el Presidente Maduro “plan” to construct a massive new Hugo Chávez park.
Thus far, there have been no reports that the ghost of El Thugo will grant personally guided tours. But he may.
Extending over 250 hectares (617 acres), the park revolves around the Rinconada hippodrome, a horse racetrack built in the 50s by Californian architect Arthur Froehlich that, with the surrounding gardens designed by Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle-Marx, was once emblematic of the oil-rich nation’s wealth. It also incorporates an existing museum and a performance arts centre, making it the largest metropolitan park in Latin America.
Originally commissioned as a much-needed transportation hub, the park morphed into the larger complex after local authorities and the Rogers team realised that Caraquenians, who often spend more than two hours in traffic to get into the city centre, needed outdoor space for recreation as much as they needed transportation.
“President Chávez had asked us for a new bus terminal, but upon identifying the site, we realised it could be a larger project encompassing parks and stadiums and serving a community that had previously been neglected,” said Jorge Rodríguez, the mayor of the Libertador municipality where the park is being built. “After his death, we decided the park should bear his name.” [Emphasis added.]
According to an article at Mail Guardian, “Africa’s best read,”
Criss-crossed by motorways and dotted with futuristic buildings, Caracas was once recognised as a beacon of Latin American modernism. Today, the Venezuelan capital is known mostly for its soaring crime levels and traffic-clogged streets.
But as British architect Richard Rogers and his team begin construction on the Hugo Chávez park in the south of the city, many hope the metropolis of four million people will see a return to better times. [Emphasis added.]
“Cities go through cycles,” said Simon Smithson, a partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners and head of the practice’s Latin American projects. “I would like to hope this has a knock-on effect.”
The Hugh Chávez Park should go far toward solving Venezuela’s basic problems. Merely naming it after el Thugo should help substantially.
It seems a bit like North Korea’s grand new ski resort, courtesy of Dear Leader Kim Chi-un.
Few ordinary North Koreans can afford to eat or enjoy other similarly frivolous activities. However, they might enjoy learning to ski, yet another great solution from the Benign Dear Leader who recently had his uncle Jang Song-thaek and many members of his extended family executed and, a few weeks thereafter, visited children at an orphanage.
North Korea’s ski resort might attract a few foreign tourists. Few foreign tourists are likely to descend upon Venezuela to enjoy the new Hugo Chavez Park. Well, perhaps a few avid “adventure tourists” might go to enjoy escaping from local thieves and murders. Sir Winston Churchill did once comment that “there is nothing in life as exhilarating as being shot at without result.” However, even they might well be deterred by the petty inconveniences of air travel.
I left for a short holiday to Margarita and truly, it is an awesome experience. Not for the adventure, good food, beautiful scenery, but for the lousy service, the degraded infrastructure, the lack of basic items such as milk…. So there, a little summary.
I won’t reprint more, lest it upset those with sensitive digestive tracts.
U.S. Foreign “policy”
Here’s a satirical video about Secretary Kerry’s recent visit to Israel to tell them that he is on their side, really.
The White House is very sensitive to any disparagement of Secretary Kerry and, of course, President Obama.
Fortunately, Obama Administration idiocy breeds satire, among the most effective modes of attack.
President Obama is intensely ideological in all that he says and does. He believes in the religion of Climate Change, bases many of His policies on that belief and disparages those who don’t.
Foreign “policy?” Here’s a link to an article by Michael Ledeen at PJ Media that attempts to explain His “policy” toward Iranian nukes, among other opportunities to strut brilliantly on the world stage.
Appeasers believe that if you keep on throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will become a vegetarian. —Heywood Campbell Broun.
Obama is actually easy to understand, although plenty of smart people keep trying to find other explanations. Of late, Peter Foster, Lee Smith and Mike Doran have been hard at it, looking for new ways to explain Obama’s Iran policy. Lee Smith argues that Obama’s a “realist,” and that his guru is Harvard’s Professor Walt. He suggests that Obama views the Middle East in old-fashioned balance-of-power terms, and accepts Iran as a major player with whom we must come to terms. Mr. Doran doesn’t think Obama really cares if Iran gets the bomb, and has been bluffing all along, and Mr. Foster thinks Obama doesn’t really care if the sanctions break down, since if Iran makes lots of money via deals with the P5+1 countries, they will be very reluctant to go back into the misery of the sanctions regime, thus making a final deal more likely. He quotes Wendy Sherman to that effect.
I agree with Doran and Foster, but I think their focus is too narrow. Iran policy isn’t a singular effort, it’s part of a pattern. Obama sympathizes with the regime’s ideology, he agrees that our past actions justify branding us the “Great Satan,” and he wants to make everything right with the mullahs. He doesn’t see the regime’s enmity toward America as a fixed principle, as their raison d’etre, and he has undertaken to change it. He has been secretly negotiating with them all along, convinced by his ideology that it will all work out. So he doesn’t fear a nuclear Iran any more than I fear a nuclear Britain, France or Israel.
There’s nothing like fantasy to keep Him happy.
Will President Obama visit the new Hugo Chávez Park? Will He ski at Kim Chi-un’s new resort? President Obama and His lovely family deserve another of their infrequent vacations. So, for that matter, do we, from Him.