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Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Cowboy in Caracas
A North American's Memoir of Venezuela's Democratic Revolution

by Charles Hardy



(Click for Amazon book review)

    Click on a participant to pop-up their full list of quotations
    from Cowboy in Caracas, by Charlie Hardy (number of quotes indicated):
  • Charlie Hardy (3)
  • Condoleezza Rice (1)
  • George W. Bush (1)
    OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

This book is about Venezuela under Hugo Chavez, written by the 2014 Democratic Senate nominee for Wyoming, Charlie Hardy. Hardy never had a chance against incumbent Republican Mike Enzi in red-state Wyoming, so the Democrats were free to nominate a member of the religious left--Hardy served as a pastor in Venezuela--who could make an interesting statement. This book is definitely an interesting statement.

Hugo Chavez was the president of Venezuela from 1999 to 2013. Most famously, President Chavez denounced President Bush at the United Nations in 2006, calling Bush "the devil" who "talks as if he owns the world." Venezuela has a lot of oil; hence Chavez made an appearance as a topic in the 2008 presidential race. Because Chavez associated with Communist Cuba's Castro, one's opinion of Chavez became a litmus test for conservative foreign policy. Chavez might still be a litmus test, but he died in 2013.

Hardy's view is that Chavez was a duly-elected president who represented the barrios-dwellers of Venezuela's big cities. Because the Venezuelan power elites (including the press and the oil industry) could only be damaged by income equality and raising up millions of poor Venezuelans, Chavez was demonized in the U.S., the U.N., and other power centers.

Hardy's sympathetic view of Chavez is in opposition to those in the corporate power centers and political power centers in America too, which makes Hardy an outsider to mainstream American politics. But if you're interested is hearing the other side of the story, this is it -- a real American who really lived in Venezuela during Chavez' rise to power, and can tell the story in terms understandable to Americans. A must-read for those interested in Latin American politics, in justification of Noam Chomsky's view of U.S. policy in Latin America, or in understanding Cuba and its coming post-Castro relationship with the U.S.

-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, Nov. 2014
 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Foreign Policy
    Charlie Hardy: I support peaceful revolution; Chavez is not a dictator.
Government Reform
    Charlie Hardy: US needs participatory--not just representative--democracy.
War & Peace
    Charlie Hardy: 1989: ran rescue mission as pastor in Venezuelan revolution.
    Condoleezza Rice: Chavez elected democratically but governed undemocratically.
    George W. Bush: OpEd: Fought Venezuela's Chavez to protect oil wealth.


The above quotations are from Cowboy in Caracas
A North American's Memoir of Venezuela's Democratic Revolution

by Charles Hardy
.

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