As political propaganda films go, Oliver Stone's sycophantic pean to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, South of the Border, is an unmitigated failure.
Chavez has undermined democracy and the rule of law in his country. In the tradition of modern tyrants everywhere, he has shut down media outlets that show the slightest opposition to his regime. He has packed the civil service with apparatchiks and made loyalty to his own political brand the key metric for hiring and firing. And he has utterly wrecked the Venezuelan economy, including even the oil industry from which he sucks out cash to finance his Bolivarian revolution.
For all this, Chavez is not direct military threat to the USA. Russian-bought T-72 tanks with Venezuelan markings will not be rolling into Washington anytime in the conceivable future. The threat has been indirect, as a Castro-lite regime attempts to influence the development of a wider South American socialist bloc of countries.
Oliver Stone's flick overlooks Chavez' failings and presents him and other Latin American socialist leaders as visionaries and heroes. But nobody is buying it; least of all, the people Chavez keeps under his boot.
The Christian Science Monitor reports that "Despite round-the-clock promotion on...More >>