After Chavez: there are many flavours to the left in Latin America | The Observer

The Latin American left has itself many different ingredients. All of these lefts (and a few centres and rights) were at Hugo Chávez’s funeral, some with genuine tears in their eyes, some concerned with making gestures for their domestic gallery, or to ensure the free oil keeps on coming, or perhaps with the secret satisfaction of seeing the corpse of an old enemy go by.

Let’s start with the main oil widow: Cuba. The island is the last American bastion of the old Soviet Union and the cold war. As in North Korea, in Cuba they have opted for a family succession that will end only when the Castro brothers die. Chávez used to call Fidel “father”; it was to his father that he turned when he fell ill; and now we are witnessing the trauma of a father having to bury his own son, despite the so-called miracles of Cuban medicine.

Cuba is a dogmatic extreme for which, after 10 years of penury due to the fall of the Soviet bloc, Chávez’s arrival in power in 1999 meant manna from heaven. Cuba receives so much free oil from Venezuela that it can resell some to other Caribbean islands.

via | The Observer.


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