Hugo Chavez, Lenin, and “What is to be Done”

simon_bolivarVenezuela’s most recent political embarrassment, Hugo Chavez, wants to present Obama with one of Lenin’s tomes at their next meeting. Apparently he’s been in a Rip van Winkle like slumber for the last 20 years, and no one has bothered to inform him about the demise of Lenin’s reputation along with the very bad joke he played on the Russian people known as Communism. Well, the right wing in the US worked itself into a furious lather when the Prez had the common decency to shake Chavez’ hand, so here’s a golden opportunity for him to redeem himself. An appropriate return gift comes to mind. How about “Lenin’s Tomb,” by David Remnick, or Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago,” or Medvedev’s “Let History Judge.” If he prefers a more subtle touch, he might give him something by Trotsky, a Bolshevik writer one can actually read without being bored to tears, or, if his tastes run to one-up-manship, perhaps a copy of the original “What is to be Done.”

The blogosphere has apparently already tired of Chavez’ antics. MSNBC, Fox, and the rest of the major news outlets picked up on this story, but, other than a few mentions here and there, bloggers are giving it the ho-hum treatment. It’s hard to blame them.

South America can never seem to catch a break. One never hears anything about her leaders unless they are abject, tyrannical, imbecile, or as in the case of Chavez, all three. Well, Venezuela has produced better men than Chavez in the past. No doubt she will in the future as well.

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