Book: Cowboy In Caracas: A North American's Memoir of Venezuela's Democratic Revolution
• "More of an adventure story than a polemic, this book is a must for anyone who wishes to discover the human stories behind Hugo Chavez's rise to power and the emergence of Venezuela as the revolutionary center of the early 21st century. Suitable for the general reader, students, academics and opinion formers alike, the book smashes through the lazy journalistic stereotypes and disinformation campaigns of the corporate media. It opens a window to the Venezuela they would prefer you didn't see." – Calvin Tucker
"Reviled by some, applauded by millions, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is waging a "peaceful revolution" destined to change the economic and political landscape of South America. Battling powerful oligarchic and foreign commercial interests, Chavez pursues the Bolivarian dream of Latin American integration and the redistribution of wealth to oppressed native populations.
Detractors of Chavez have called him a 'hyena,' a 'thug,' and 'communist;' Donal Rumsfeld referred to him as 'Hitler' in disguise. Almost everything reported about him in the U.S. and Venezuelan media has been and continues to be negative or unbalanced. Little exposure is given to is noble ideas or to the positive policies he is enacting on behalf of Venezuela's working poor.
'Cowboy In Caracas' is a long over-due work which attempts to set the record straight on the Chavez administration. Written by Charles Hardy, a former missionary assigned to the slums of Caracas, the book is a 20-year long expose of distortions, omissions and outright lies perpetrated on behalf of the 'kleptocracy' which has been pulling the political strings in Venezuela. The major villians in the collusion against Chavez include the PDVSA (the state oil company), big business, labor, the Catholic church, and the national media. To this list one may add the Bush administraton, hic, hrough seciua interest groups and CIA activity is reported to be candestinely supporting the opposition.
During his tenure Chavez has won every election and referendum by landslide margins. He has oposed every kind of government censorship and has adopted a constitution extending participatory democracy across all racial and economic lines. An attempted coup against him in 2002 backfired when the general population rioted and demanded that he be restoreds to power. [see the DVD "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," DVD-RWNBT, elsewhere on this website/catalog]
'Cowboy In Caracas' is an excellent starting point for learning about the Chavez government and the evolution of Venezuela's democratic revolution. The book is a strong reminder for Americans that when money and power are involved, truth often suffers. Additional information on the book and the political views of Charles Hardy may be found by visiting www.cowboyincaracas.com.
Why, then, asks Hardy, is the Bush administration so intent on ousting a highly-popular democratically-elected leader of another nation?
The answer, for Hardy, lies in power and economics. For those determined to preserve the status quo, he stakes are high – loss of political influence and a farewell to direct control over Venezuela's huge oil reserves. And should Chavez succeed in exporting his Bolivarian concepts to neighboring states, the entire U.S., imperialistic operation in Latin America could be in jeopardy. [we saw on September 11. 1973 in Santiago, Chile, that the U.S. will use a coup d'etat to overthrow and kill a democratically-elected President, when the U.S. government sees it as a threat to U.S. corporate interests and geopolitical interests in another country.
Chavez can be abrasive, blunt and impulsive. Opposition leaders have referred to him as a national embarrassment. But Hardy reports that for most, Chavez is a national hero. After five centuries of racism and economic oppression, the general population looks to him as its best shot for implementing long over-due social reforms. More importantly, decisions affecting the social and economic future of Venezuela are now being determined by the country's own citizens, not by outsiders.
The feeling of the working masses of Venezuela is that, even if Chavez goes, his ideas will survive. And those ideas are popular globally. In a recent address o the U.N. General Assembly George Bush only received a short, lukewarm applause, while Chavez received a twenty-minute standing ovation. In the court of world opinion, it is clear who is considered to be a thug."
– review by Joseph Varszegi
• "I highly recommend 'Cowboy In Caracas' for people who want to understand the vast changes in Venezuela and the hope the 'Bolivarian Revolution' offers for the construction of that better world we often talk about...it is a book well worth giving as a gift to someone who would like to know the truth about Venezuela."
– Chuck Kaufman, interim cvoordinator, Venezuela Solidarity Network