Tag Archives: Hugo Chávez

From Fidel Castro to Hugo Chavez: with great power comes truly great paranoia – Telegraph

From Fidel Castro to Hugo Chavez: with great power comes truly great paranoia – Telegraph.

From Fidel Castro to Hugo Chavez: with great power comes truly great paranoia

Plainly lunatic ideas can take on serious importance when no one contradicts you.

8:10PM GMT 29 Dec 2011

I have been reading Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s comments about his cancer. It is, apparently, an assassination attempt by America. I wonder if that’s what happened to me last week. I had the norovirus and spent Christmas in bed. I had put it down to bad luck. But maybe there was something more sinister at work. While you wouldn’t call me a dictator as such, maybe there are people out there who want to stop me writing…

When you’re a totalitarian, nothing is ever as straightforward as falling ill. This week, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the president of Argentina, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Dilma Rousseff, the president of Brazil, has had cancer, as has her predecessor Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva. And Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo. These South American leaders are all democrats, however. And not one has attributed their cancer to anything other than the fact that people do, unfortunately, get cancer.

Dictators, though, think differently. Dictators live in a bubble of paranoia. So when Hugo Chávez was diagnosed with cancer last June, he considered it not an act of God or poor luck, but imperialist aggression. An assassination attempt, in fact, by the US. “It’s very difficult to explain, even with the law of probabilities, what has been happening to some of us in Latin America,” he said in a speech this week. “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years? I’m just sharing my thoughts, but it’s very, very, very strange.”


But it’s not just dictators who suffer. Few leaders have ever been more paranoid than Richard Nixon. “Never forget,” he told Henry Kissinger and Alexander Haig in a taped conversation in 1972, “the press is the enemy, the press is the enemy. The establishment is the enemy, the professors are the enemy, the professors are the enemy. Write that on a blackboard 100 times.”


Read the full story here: The Telegraph


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