Ever since childhood, I have had a secret loathing of the naivety and gullibility of a lot of latin Americans and South Americans. It seems that with no effort, any snake-oil salesman, corrupt politician on the make, or dim-witted rabble-rouser can almost instantaneously summon up a great crowd in Brasil, Venezuela or Argentina and lead them off on some stupid escapade. Hugo Chavez is a recent example, but the 20th century was littered with them.
What marks these buffoons out is the Ghaddaffi-like estrangement from the world of facts. Very often their public statements read like the more esoteric gibberings from the hippy era of acid-produced incoherence, un-sullied by knowledge or judgement. The fact that they often become President of a whole nation calls into question many things, but most importantly the sanity and judgement of the voters. Chavez may be a favela boy made good, but there must be men of vastly greater wit, learning and judgement still in the favela who would benefit Venezuela by their occupation of high office. The big question is, will Venezuelans ever choose one?