I know, I know, I keep bringing this up, but new examples keep poping up.
In the US and elsewhere, Chávez is often depicted as a manipulative and paranoid 'populist.' The idea here is that he follows a familiar pattern of social spending and antagonistic (though baseless) rhetoric. According to this analysis, Chávez has been so effective in uniting a solid majority of the population in large part through constituting 'the people' as opposed to 'the oligarchy' (Venezuelan old money) and 'the Empire' (the United States). He then ostensibly tells 'the people' that they are perpetually under attack from these looming and united dangers. Hence anything he does is justified.
Which, our friends in the State Department and the New York Times tell us, is hogwash. The sentiment is repeated ad nauseum by oppos here in Venezuela, who constantly chant 'We're not coup-mongers, we're (insert issue or identity group here)"
Unfortunately for them, however, they keep shoving their feet in their mouth.
Example du jour: Manuel Rosales, of Un Nuevo Tiempo and governor of Zulia (richest state in VZ) fame, is in Washington D.C. holding meetings with Thomas Shannon (assistant secretary of state for Latin American affairs), asking for the US to 'exert international pressure against the constitutional reform in Venezuela."
I mean, seriously, it really seems like the oppos here WANT to fail.
Either that, or maybe that Chávez guy isn't so crazy for thinking the interests of the rich and of the US government are working against him...