By Rory Carroll
The inside of tale of Hugo Chavez’s rule and complicated legacy
Few leaders in our time were as divisive and enigmatic because the past due Hugo Chavez. In Comandante, acclaimed journalist Rory Carroll tells the interior tale of Chavez’s existence, his time as Venezuela’s president, and his legacy. in keeping with interviews with ministers, aides, courtiers, and voters, this intimate piece of reportage chronicles a special test in strength that veers between enlightenment, tyranny, comedy, and farce. Carroll additionally investigates the virtually spiritual devotion of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans who seemed Chavez as a savior and the loathing of these who branded him as a dictator. In attractive prose that blends the lyricism and strangeness of magical realism with the brutal, grotesque fact of authoritarianism, Comandante bargains a cautionary story for our occasions.
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Additional resources for Comandante: Hugo Chávez's Venezuela
To invite approximately this and that, yet fairly it used to be to teach he may well. an illustration of energy. ” Lameda’s spouse, who entered the room at this a part of the interview, shuddered at point out of the telephone. “It was once a decade in the past, and that i can nonetheless be mindful the hoop tone. ” It had pricked the general’s satisfaction to put up so completely to a former lieutenant colonel, and he took shelter in impudence. Chávez as soon as known as him whilst he was once in Chile negotiating an $850 million mortgage to assert he had left the rustic with out permission and will go back instantly. Lameda refused. The president took this as an affront to his authority and quoted Bolívar: “To name your self a pacesetter and never act like one is the peak of wretchedness. ” Lameda responded that, for his half, “I am the president of PDVSA, and i'm now not wretched. ” a pal engraved the alternate on a plaque that sat on his table. relatives among the 2 males deteriorated. “He spotted I didn’t use phrases like ‘compatriot’ and didn’t chortle at issues that have been alleged to be humorous yet weren’t. I’m very obvious; I can’t disguise my emotions. He acknowledged: ‘Lameda, you don’t take up the revolution. ’ I acknowledged i used to be a technocrat and didn’t are looking to supply political statements. ” vacation trips provided no respite from the starting to be stress. within the fall of 2001, Lameda got a decision from #1. His middle sank. “Chávez requested the place i used to be. I acknowledged, ‘My president, i'll be targeted. i'm on vacation, sitting on a bench on the Dolphin Mall in Miami contrary Victoria’s mystery, the place my spouse is procuring lingerie. ’” The comandante hung up, then rang day after today to reserve Lameda’s quick go back for an pressing assembly. “It used to be the 11th of September. Fifteen mins later i used to be observing a aircraft hit the dual Towers. Getting again used to be a nightmare, yet I stuck the final flight prior to the airport close. I said instantly to the palace. i used to be left ready, then an aide advised me the president now not had to see me, that i may pass domestic. ” The comandante venerated Guaicaipuro with pomp and rite that December by way of relocating the warrior chief’s symbolic continues to be to affix Simón Bolívar’s within the nationwide Pantheon. He moved the opposite Guaicaipuro, slowly and with no glory, to irrelevance. Allies within the oil corporation have been confused to go away. the govt received in poor health strength businesses opposed to his recommendation. The comandante ordered Lameda to fireside a colleague on suspicion of plotting his assassination. The comandante ordered him to donate $1 million of oil earnings to Bolivia’s competition and glowered while Lameda refused, mentioning laws. Nicknames mocking his visual appeal started to floor in nation media: Conehead; Bullethead; Egghead. Giordani, the making plans minister, again to the assault, ambushing the overall in conferences, withholding stories, contradicting PDVSA estimates. Lameda flailed again. Giordani, via all bills a guy of non-public honesty, couldn't be accused of corruption. as a substitute, Lameda gave Chávez a personal file making varied allegations approximately his tormentor: Giordani were born within the Dominican Republic; Giordani used to be a Cuban secret agent; Giordani led a shadowy socialist cabal referred to as the Garibaldi staff.