If you are not watching Hugo Chavez's evolve "democratically" into dictator from your modern, electronic ring-side seat, start now. Keep in mind while watching events unfold, Lord Bolingbroke's famous statement: "History is philosophy teaching by example."
South of us, the "Americas" oscillate between total disaster and complete disaster. Overwhelmingly Roman Catholic for centuries and 100% tribalistic prior to Catholicism, these "Americans" find that they can rise only to the level of rearranging the deck chairs on their national Titanics. Not that that bothers them. Given the profound appearance of weakness by the United States since World War II, Central and South Americans find so-called "strong men" much more admirable, since those Nazis up and died. The Americas, as everyone notes, are in a state of left drift.
The ring-side seat, however, is the match between Hugo Chavez and human liberty, which follows Venezuela's nearly five decades of democratic history.: