'Revolutionary Tourists' Buy Chavez's Logic

The New York Times has an article about naive Westerners going over to Venezuela to get a taste of the Chavez "revolution." The kids’ general impression of Chavez’s agenda is favorable, despite Chavez’s little idiosyncrasies like his suppression of the press, election fixing, and other elements of his rule that strike the kids as "a little bit Maoist."

"Hey Mom, it’s me. Yeah, it’s real nice here in Venezuela, once you get used to the Maoism."

Now see if you can spot the problem here. These "revolutionary tourists" go all the way to Venezuela to research the true conditions there under Chavez. According to the article, their tour consists of visiting select government-run programs and government-financed media outlets, meeting high-ranking government officials and other Chavez supporters, watching pro-Chavez documentaries, and touring neighborhoods known to be supportive of Chavez. Then they tell the New York Times that they’ve seen for themselves the wonderful nature of the Bolivarian revolution.

At least the students’ youthful idealism can somewhat explain them buying into Chavez’s ridiculous potemkin village. What’s Harry Belafonte’s excuse?

All pretenses to socialism aside, I bet local vendors are making a killing selling Che Guevara T-shirts to these people.