"Venezuelans today are less poor than" earlier, admitted Tyszka and Macano. "But they are also far more dependent on the state, and more susceptible to a propaganda machine that attributes this 'miracle' to Mr. Chavez.".
Chavez is head of state. His policy initiatives benefit everyone. He's Bolivarianism's public face. Chavismo matters. It's institutionalized.
It works. He cut poverty, increased employment, lowered inflation, bettered the lives of millions, and made Venezuela prosperous. Its economy is one of the region's most successful. Lifting all boats responsibly works that way.
Venezuelans want it no other way. Tyszka and Macano call his leadership "authoritarian" and "messianic." Proof they claim is Venezuelans saying "We are all Chavez."
He's progressive, populist and caring. Venezuelans love him for what he is and what he's done. Doing so doesn't reflect personality cultism. It's real. Western leaders can't imagine it.
Times editors deplore it. So do Tyszka and Macano. He'll "leave behind a country plagued by problems," they claim. Americans wish they had similar ones.
Don't expect Times editors or contributors to explain. According to Tyszka and Macano, "absence might be just what Hugo Chavez needs to save him from his own failure. Myths survive only when they rise above the miseries of reality."