November 8, 2006

Ché Guevara with Oil

The psychological profile of Bolívar continues. "Confident of his power to the point of being manipulative, sometimes unforgiving, excessively self-focused. I also see parallels there." The psychiatrist finally sums up his thoughts on the matter: "I see two men who refuse to be deterred." But Chávez, he adds, has a far more pronounced, leftist political concept, which has developed into an independent system of government. "What should I call it...?" Chirinos searches for the right expression.

Narcissism-Leninism, perhaps?

Chirinos isn't sure whether he likes the expression. But he does offer a professional caveat. "The term narcissism describes an illness -- and Hugo Chávez is certainly not ill, in the clinical sense."

There is a soft rustling noise coming from a small waterfall in the psychiatrist's treatment room. Soft music -- Frank Sinatra's "My Way" -- comes from hidden loudspeakers. Everything seems geared toward keeping things calm.

Chirinos says his goodbyes. "I've spent a long time thinking about which current politician Hugo Chávez could possibly resemble. This sense of mission, this certainty dispelling all contradictions, this Biblical language with its division into God and Satan, absolute good and endless evil. I can only think of one man: George W. Bush."

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