Hugo Chavez is in a bad way and might not be long for this world. Only those who approve of Chavez’s particular brand of moral idiocy and his unique capacity to annihilate the Venezuelan economy could possibly feel badly about this, and we know what that makes those people. I suppose that it is worth noting that once upon a time, Michael Moore—who certainly approves of moral idiocy and the destruction of economies via the implementation of socialist economic policies—once made a movie about how Cuban health care might be preferable to the health care found in the United States; Chavez has received lots and lots (and lots) of treatment in Cuba. Maybe future editions of the movie ought to be received with a postscript—Cuban health care appears to have all but killed a head of state who was exceedingly friendly to the Castro brothers. Irony, thou art a cruel mistress.
Chavez may be beyond saving at this point, and is certainly does not deserve to recover from his health woes, but it wouldn’t be the world’s worst idea for the United States to offer to try to help him out via a public statement to the effect that Chavez would be welcome to come to the United States and go to any hospital he wants in order to combat the ailments a just Deity has visited on him. I put forward this idea for the following reasons:
- It makes the United States look kind and merciful;
- Looking kind and merciful will do more to improve our soft power than have any number of “resets” the Obama administration has tried;
- Chavez and his regime will be flummoxed by the offer from a public relations standpoint, and …
- There is absolutely no way that Chavez will accept the offer.
Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I count this as a win-win. The United States can make it look as though it is willing to help Chavez out, thus winning points for its humanitarian gesture. Chavez will likely refuse the generosity of the United States, look churlish as a consequence, and then will likely soon join the bleeding choir invisible. About the only way that this might—emphasis on the word “might”—go wrong is if Chavez accepts the offer, comes to the United States, kicks the bucket, and then a public relations campaign begins blaming the United States for (perhaps deliberately) causing Hugo Chavez to have an eternal meeting with Beelzebub. But I count the chances of that happening as very low indeed. And even if it does happen, how successful would any such public relations campaign be? I mean, would you buy a story claiming that Hugo Chavez was within kissing distance of Death, so the United States invited him to our shores to make sure that both sides puckered up and smooched? Even some Chavistas might have problems taking such a claim seriously.
So what is the United States waiting for? President Obama should loudly and publicly invite Hugo Chavez to take advantage of our advanced medical care, watch him and his regime sputter out a rejection of the offer, bask in the public relations coup that follows, and then pop popcorn and let nature take its course.
What’s not to love about this plan?