There was a time, not long ago, when bloggers such as your truly were frantically exposing the turpitude, the sheer corruption, the conflict of interests, and the galloping fascism of chavismo: a cult based on an untenable premise, which has it that its supreme leader, Hugo Chavez, is absolutely infallible. To chavistas, the Venezuelan caudillo can do no wrong. Simple. He is, in fact, beyond criticism, embodiment of some saintly figure.
However, rational people from around the world, are, at last, waking up to the reality of our maligned country. These days it is a known and accepted fact that Hugo’s regime exerts wholesale and systematic violations of civil, political and human rights. Similarly, nearly all of the world’s most reputed multilateral institutions -such as the UN, the EU, the Inter American Court of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization, INTERPOL, etc.- have strongly condemned the abuses that take place on a recurring basis in Venezuela.
Within chavismo though, this is but exemplification of a conspiracy of universal proportions against Hugo Chavez. While such simplistic explanation suffices chavista minds, everyone else has noticed that there’s something rotten in Chavezland. Take for instance this article published by The New York Times “Oliver Stone’s Latin America“, about the latest chavista attempt at presenting Hugo Chavez as a misunderstood saviour of the downtrodden -conveniently brushing aside any hint of criticism. Considering the film’s script writers it’s little wonder why it won’t become Hollywood’s next blockbuster: in 2005, I ridiculed Tariq Ali’s sheer ignorance on Venezuela during a BBC debate, and this is unlikely to have changed as he continues to drink from the same ‘fountain of truth’; as per Mark Weisbrot I guess other bloggers, and respected economists, have exposed his false views vis-a-vis Hugo Chavez. Moreover, word in Washington is that Weisbrot got more than $100,000 from the Chavez regime for his contribution to Stone’s docu-drama.
This article comes after a BBC interview, in which little Hugo found himself in the awkward position of actually having to field some uncomfortable questions made by Stephen Sackur. As I have argued elsewhere, there’s no need to continue blogging about Hugo Chavez’s latest derangement, for nowadays the world’s media is doing a stellar job at it.
The bit in the article that caught my attention though, was this:
Instead Mr. Stone relies heavily on the account of Gregory Wilpert, who witnessed some of the exchange of gunfire and is described as an American academic. But Mr. Wilpert is also the husband of Mr. Chávez’s consul-general in New York, Carol Delgado, and a longtime editor and president of the board of a Web site, Venezuelanalysis.com, set up with donations from the Venezuelan government, affiliations that Mr. Stone does not disclose.
For years I have been following the activities of Gregory Wilpert, arguing that he was nothing more than a paid propagandist, for I was convinced that, unless some benefit was derived, no one with a right mind would risk reputation defending Chavez so passionately, as Wilpert has done. Then I found out that the site he edits was registered and set up by Chavez’s Consul in San Francisco, and it was further revealed to me that Wilpert was married to a chavista: Chavez’s Consul in New York. I got to admit, some fanatics, Wilpert included, did write to me to say that my expose of Wilpert’s connections meant nothing. I guess now that it has been printed in the New York Times I can feel vindicated.