When the history of this mess comes to be written, Chavez will go down as the luckiest autocrat the world has ever seen. Most autocrats have to go through all kinds of trouble to purge their adversaries from the state, they have to resort to all kinds of draconian repression to demobilize them. But not Chavez. Lucky guy, he faces the Amazing Self-Purging, Self-Demobilizing opposition.
Need to get dissidents out of the military?! It’s no problem, they’ll pick out a nice square in the East of town and camp out there, where everyone can see them! Need to get your opponents out of the main state owned oil company? Never worry, they’ll do it themselves! Need to demobilize their supporters so you can keep on having elections without having to worry that they’ll vote against you? Just leave it to their leaders…they’ll cry fraud and take themselves out of the game!