Dictatorship on fire at Amuay

Many people criticize some of us when we use the term dictatorship to characterize the Chavez regime (I personally started using it in all propriety since the enabling law of 2010).  Of course, people are still in the mind frame of XX century dictatorships.  Times have changed.  With clever abuse of the media and understanding on how to make things "legal" dictatorships have assumed a new facet.  Now their objective is not controlling the daily life of people and killing scores of opponents.  Now they satisfy themselves by making sure a small "elite" stays in office through manipulated but still sort of real elections.  These "elites" are then allowed to plunder the state coffers, which was the point all along.  Let's say that absolute power has been replaced by absolute plunder.

The Amuay refinery is still burning this morning as I type this note.  But that is not the news.  What are the news today is really Chavez visit yesterday.  In that visit he bragged that he wanted to get closer to the fire, where even experts did not dare to go. We never got those images.  He declared that the explosion was not due to a leak or lack of maintenance. Even though the going on fire did not allow for any examination of the wreckage yet. He said that it was impossible that folks smelled gas on Friday even though the reports to that effect are too many to count and found their way even in the New York Times today. He warned the media on "speculation" and took plenty of time to try to humiliate publicly a Colombian journalist that dared to contradict his words.  He said that the show must go on, a tremendously telling subconscious betrayal. Etc...

In short, he behaved like a banana republic dictator, of the XIX century no less.