Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | January 18, 2011

Chavez: More American Idol than Che Guevarra

Chavez has dedicated an entire decade to promoting himself. The world talks about him—whether you like his politics or not. Chavez understands he needs the world talking about him and hence why he makes flaming statements—like when he stepped up to the podium at the United Nations and said it smelled like sulphur because George W. Bush had just exited the room. Such comments get people to look up, and have likely been ochestrated in Chavez’s mind for months.

I came upon a piece written by Venezuelan journalist Alberto Barrera Tyszka in El Tiempo. He makes a good point: Hugo Chavez would have made a good entertainer. Maybe a world-class telenovela star.

According to Barrera Tyszka, Chavez constructs his autobiography everyday. He is self-referential; he speaks about his childhood, either remembering an episode not exactly how others say it happened or inventing an anecdote. He dances. He sings. He recites poetry.  Like the protagonist in telenovelas, Chavez rose from poverty and attains vengeance, fortune and happiness. Hugo Chavez has more in common with American Idol than with Che Guevarra.

I’m excited to read a biography of Hugo Chavez, written by Barrera Tyszka and his wife, Cristina Marcano. Publisher’s Weekly, in general, praises the book as non-biased. The writers excerpted Chavez’s diaries as well as included an interview with Herma Marksman, a professor and Chavez’s lover for nine years. Maybe it’ll explain, Who is this loud-mouthed authoritarian socialist in Venezuela? Take note: Amazon suggests if you buy this biography, you may also like to read about Adolf Hitler.

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