Chavez blames Bush


Huge unseasonable rainfall has triggered disastrous flooding and mudslides in several parts of Venezuela, at a cost of about 80 lives now, and rising. Tens of thousands of people remain homeless, their homes washed away by mud and rocks that thunder down from high, steep mountains sliding down oil—rich soil.

The country's government has known about this hazard for years, since the gargantuan mudslides devastated Vargas province in 1999, at a cost of 30,000 lives. Supposedly the regime has spent a billion dollars in aid to reinforce the hillsides and re—channel rain—laden waterways. And as surely as nature's force, it's been largely stolen in Hugo Chavez's government, leaving the land and people more exposed than ever. The corruption has been humongous.

What's Chavez's explanation for this new crisis? Blame Bush. Which is about par for him. What's new is Venezuela's newspapers are starting to get a little sick of it. Teodoro Petkoff, the respected Chavez critic from the left is particularly incensed about Chavez's knee—jerk blaming of Bush to cover up his own failings as a leader. He writes a scathing editorial in his newspaper, Tal Cual, called 'Eureka! Blame Bush!' translated here. Petkoff lays out further evidence of Chavez's corruption here, and blogger Miguel Octavio explains it from the beginning here.

A.M. Mora y Leon 02 15 05