Capital C is for Car-acas

The next time one of your knuckle-draggin’, Hummer-drivin’, right-leanin’, petrovore colleagues starts whining at the watercooler about the repressive regime of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, tell him it’s time to get a grip   –or better yet, just STFU.  Because Venezuela is the only country Lunghu knows of where the most fundamental of citizens’ rights  –the “right” to drive an automobile–  is legally protected.  Take that, Saudi Arabia!

This civic right is so sacrosanct that Venezuela …

where gasoline is almost free … troublesome highway rules are rarely imposed [and] testing of drunk drivers is virtually unknown … has suspended a bus driver from the roads for a year in the first case of a suspended license in the nation.  Ramon Parra, 41, [was] driving at excessive speed in a large, overladen passenger bus that was missing one of its rear wheels.

“It is important to emphasize that this is a totally new act; for the first time in Venezuela we are suspending a driving license, for 12 consecutive months,” national police chief Luis Fernandez told reporters.

That’s right, this was the first driver’s license EVER suspended ANYWHERE in Venezuela — in its entire history!   Venezuela’s first law allowing authorities to suspend drivers’ licenses was introduced in 2008 [by that repressive Chavez regime] but had not been used until now.

So why did the Chavez government wait three years before suspending a driver’s license?   Cynics might claim that Chavez was too busy suspending the TV broadcasting licenses of his political adversaries to bother with mere motorists, but Lunghu knows that El Presidente has been distracted by personal matters:  he’s been very concerned about the health of faraway friends.

... happier days.

However, even in troubled times, Venezuela has a lot going for it.  Let’s review:

  • majestic mountains, mighty rivers, and tranquil beaches
  • beautiful women
  • wildly diverse flora and fauna
  • 12-month beisbol season
  • bountiful oil reserves
  • extensive mineral deposits
  • high-quality rum, chocolate, and coffee

Of course, there are also the negatives:

  • widespread poverty
  • skewed social class structure
  • persistent violent crime
  • deeply-embedded gun culture
  • machismo (see above)
  • hot, humid climate
  • voracious insects, poisonous snakes, ferocious jaguars, pestilential jungle diseases

All in all, this sounds like just the sort of place you’d want to call home –if you happen to be a Texan.  That must explain why US oilmen seem to have a recurrent urge to incite regime change in Simon Bolivar‘s homeland.   Or maybe it’s something else … like the “association” to which both they and Venezuela’s business elite belong.


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