It's been hard to keep track of where world leaders fall on America's naughty and nice list since, I don't know, forever? Yesterday's foe is today's friend (or, as it's more likely to be these days, yesterday's friends are today's foes).
And so it's been tough for me to figure out how I should see Venezuela's socialist president, Hugo Chavez. It would help if I could trust (or understand, or even find) our current administration's foreign policy strategy, but, well... yeah.
So instead I'm stuck coming to my own conclusion:
So, as you can see, it's been tough. The guy's done some bad things, but he's done some good things, too. But now, now it turns out that Chevez has finally gone too far:
"As of today, I want the National Guard to stop the beer trucks and take them to the nearest command post. No more trucks," he said in a televised speech. [...] The crowd had cheered him enthusiastically earlier in his speech, but his beer decree was met with a lukewarm response and scattered applause.
That's it, right on my naughty list!
Okay, after reading a little more, I realize that Chevez wants to get these trucks off the streets because some of the drivers are illegally selling the beer right off the back of them in the country's poorest neighborhoods.
I suppose that that's a pretty noble reason for removing the trucks, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of the drivers who are legally delivering the beer to bars are also stopped. Then what? The beers wouldn't get to the bars and bar owners would have to resort to brewing their own beer fresh and bar patrons wouldn't have access to bland mass-produced beers and that would be.... not so bad.
Dang, now I'm right back where I started.
[I love how quickly the crowd went from "enthusiastic" to "lukewarm" when he mentioned taking their beer away. "Woo-hoo! Yea! Eh. Huh?"]