Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Book Recommendation - The Silence and the Scorpion

This is a fine book, documenting the 'coup' in 2002 that failed against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. It tells a very sad story, and it sure does not make me feel good about the future of Venezuela.
But it makes me think a lot more about Venezuela than I used to; once I would have thought Venezuela would have been fine had the coup succeeded. Now I do not.
Moreover, it makes it clear that, at least in 2002, Venezuela had a military that cared about the constitution, far more than any of the politicians involved. I suspect that Chavez has fixed that problem. It is clear that Chavez had, and has, an almost breathtaking contempt for human rights and rule of law, but the book makes it seem most of his opposition was not a lot better.
It is SO hard to build a civil society. Especially hard when a rich country ceases to be a rich country, as Nelson so well documents.


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