FT article tries to pass off Moises Naim as even handed regarding Hugo Chavez

Unsurprisingly this deceptive article is by Andres Schipani

The headline reads: “TV portrayal of Chávez provokes anger in Venezuela”.


Moisés Naím, a former Venezuelan trade minister who created the show for Sony Pictures Television, defends the series, saying “this is not a biopic, this is not a biography, this is fiction”. Chávez was a worthy subject as he was “arguably the most talented politician we’ve had”.

He continues: “He seduced a country, a continent . . . Alongside Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, he belongs to the trilogy of Latin American leaders who acquired global fame.

“But we also have to show that — as he concentrated power — he created a model that obviously has much to do with the catastrophe Venezuela is living today. That will irritate the government.”

Mr Naím added: “The populist’s strategy is to obtain power by polarising. They defenestrate the media, create external enemies and internal foes who are not just political rivals but mortal enemies simply for thinking differently. This applies to Chávez who started it 18 years ago, and to Trump who is doing it now.”

The citation of Naim is so vague that a casual reader might be fooled into thinking he was once a minster under Chavez who later turned against him.

Naim, was a minister under the government that perpetrated the infamous Caracazo massacre a decade before Chavez first took office, part of the discredited old order that Chavez swept aside through a string of electoral victories that began in 1998. In 2003 – in the New York Times – Naim wrote that the Chavez government “has become a nightmare for its people and a threat not just to its neighbors but to the United States and even Europe.

In short, Naim is a hysterical Chavez critic from way back.

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