During the forty or so years that preceded Hugo Chávez’s seizing of power, Venezuela had the most stable democracy in Latin America, as well as the fastest-growing economy and the highest standard of living in the region. Since Chávez took power in 1999, however, things have changed radically. Venezuela today can no longer be seen as a democracy, and rather than attracting immigrants as it once did, the country is provoking its own citizens to flee. Nevertheless, the vast majority of contemporary references to Venezuela and to Chávez’s rule are laudatory.
In The Revolutionary Has No Clothes: Hugo Chávez’s Bolivarian Farce, A. C. Clark corrects this warped take on Chávez and his “Bolivarian Revolution” in Venezuela, and skewers the absurdly admiring portraits of Chávez that have been painted by panegyrists from Noam Chomsky to Sean Penn. Clark analyzes Chávez’s embarrassing public displays, perilous policy platforms, and close relationships with rogue states, revealing Chávez for what he truly is: a dangerous buffoon who is leading a once prosperous nation down a path to ruin. More shockingly, Clark exposes Chávez’s ambitions for waging asymmetrical warfare against the United States and casts light on Venezuela’s insidious lobbying network within U.S. borders.
The Revolutionary Has No Clothes is the definitive portrait of a depraved head of state and a disturbing chronicle of Venezuela’s decline from a thriving democracy to an autocratically ruled bully-state.