As a former foreign correspondent for the Associated Press who spent eight years in Venezuela, one of the most arresting things to me about Hugo Chávez is how the mass media generally depicts him as a buffoon, at best, or some kind of brutal dictator and evil monster. When Chávez visited London, for instance, one daily ran a front-page photo showing Chávez seemingly giving a fascist salute.
Now Chávez is sure to give more ammunition to his critics as he moves to eliminate limits on the number of times he can run for president. A new vote on the proposal, already defeated as part of a national referendum a year ago, could come as early as February 2009. Continue reading