Devendra Banhart On Hugo Chávez


“I don’t know a single person that lives in Venezuela that supports (Hugo) Chávez, and I know plenty of people that live here that are all about him,” he says. “They think he’s a wonderful guy, the underdog that socked it to America. To them, he’s a superhero. But I don’t know a single person living in Venezuela that has anything good to say about the guy. What has he changed?”

—Devendra Banhart, issue #96 of MAGNET

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  1. Everton Lourenço
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    it makes really clear that Devendra only knows people from Venezuela’s higher social classes

  2. Posted March 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    I always wondered why he’d chosen to live in the US rather than in Venezuela despite the improvements in the lives of the majority of Venezuelans brought about by Chavez’s policies. He’s just another celebrity-obsessed fashionhead, no matter how unconventionally “quirky” he presents himself. What has Chavez changed, dear Devendra? Just for a start, according to UN statistics, his policies have cut poverty in half, extreme poverty by more than half. All Venezuelans now have free healthcare and free education from preschool through doctoral programs, in line with the more advanced countries of the world (not including the US, obviously). And that’s just for a start. He has brought greater cooperation between Latin American governments than has ever existed. Seems young Devendra limits what information gets in his head.

  3. Posted March 15, 2013 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    In 2012, an average of 44 people were killed in Venezuela every day. This is the result of a growing crime wave that has engulfed Venezuela in the last decade. While Chávez was busy becoming an international icon, he did very little to improve actual infrastructure in the country, such as roads, bridges, highways, schools and hospitals. He also created a cult of personality around himself. Chávez is an updated, postmodern, oil-rich version of the classic 19th century caudillos who ruled Venezuela up into the early years of the 20th century.

    The Venezuelan government under Chávez spent millions & millions of dollars marketing itself abroad between 1999-2012, trying to portray itself as a progressive movement. But actuality, Chavismo is a militaristic, autocratic movement that is now working to ensure Chávez is seen as a Saint after his death.

  4. Sofia
    Posted April 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I laugh at anyone who thinks Chavez improved Venezuela. I laugh at how people choose to ignore the severe human rights violations that occured under Chavez’s presidency and that WILL occur under Maduro’s. Chavez “helped” the poor by using a backwards form of socialism that ignores basic economics. Rather what Chavez did do in Venezuela is cripple the economy and make it one of the most dangerous places in the entire world. Make me pick between Eritrea and Caracas and I’ll answer in two seconds: Eritrea. In Maduro’s 1 month presidency over 4,200 people have died due to violence. UGH YES CHAVEZ AND MADURO ARE AMAZING! GIVE ME SOME OF THAT. If Chavez really helped a lot of people how come during his presidency there was shortages of basic foods such as bread? Venezuela should be showering in money because of its oil yet there are still shortages in food? Makes sense. I can go on for ages but take a walk down a street of Caracas Deang and tell me how you feel while you’re being disemboweled by an under payed cop who is desperate for the small sum of money you have in your pockets.
    Viva Chavez and all of his ineptitudes.
    GP couldn’t have said it better.

    PS Don’t forget that before Chavez the Bolivar was valued higher than the US dollar. You probably read this and laughed because it seems so improbable now.