The Hudson Institute’s panel discussion on the future of Venezuela featured four males, all White, with a packed audience of more than 120 people in downtown Washington. Only 5 people in the audience were Black, 6 were non-White.
During the discussion, Luis Rubio, political analyst, said what distinguished Chavez from other influence peddlers was his “unlimited purse” the he filled with the country’s oil money. Pedro Bureli, Managing Partner at B&V Consulting, went on to characterize Chavez as offering his supporters “faulty promises” and his country’s “patronage with no check and balances.”
When asked by POH why so many African-Venezuelans supported Chavez and what his group would do to meet their needs, Bureli would not even strongly acknowledge that such a voting block exists, calling it a “faux issue.” He did add that the focus should be on a Chavez ally, the Cuban government. “Black Cubans,” he said, “are underrepresented throughout the government apparatus.”