He believes that we’re poor because they are rich and vice versa, that history is a successful conspiracy of evil against good, where they always win and we always lose (he is always among the poor victims and the noble losers). He has no objection to surfing through cyberspace and being on-line, while at the same time-without realizing the contradiction-loathing consumerism. When he speaks of culture he boasts, “What I know I learned from life, not from books, so my culture isn’t academic, but pragmatic.” Who is he? He is the Latin-American Idiot.
Mario Vargas Llosa, first paragraph of the foreword to Guide to the Perfect Latin American Idiot by Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, Carlos Alberto Montaner and Alvaro Vargas Llosa (2001), which is essential reading in the current pontificate.
Tensions are mounting in Central America as Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez masses troops on the border with Columbia and tells his military to “prepare for war”.
The Venezuelan ambassador to Bogota, Gustavo Marquez, said that the seriousness of the situation could not be overstated and that “there is a pre-war situation in the entire region”.
Diplomatic relations between the South American neighbours are frozen and on Saturday President Chavez escalated the war of words with President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia by saying there was no chance of dialogue.
While those who are committed Chavez fans, convinced that he wants only what is best for his people and the region, may accept his claim that this escalation is necessary because Columbia has invited the US to set up military bases in their country, which Chavez sees as presaging a US invasion of Venezuela, most will see this as evidence that Chavez is seeking to establish a national enemy in order to distract his people’s attention from the economic problems the Chavez regime has inflicted on them. His ability to use Venezuelan oil revenues to buy support at home and abroad is suffering because his government-run oil companies have failed to invest in infrastructure and thus have experienced declining output over the last several years. Continue Reading