Probably not. This is Hugo country. Other than the doctrinaire lefties, these are the neighborhoods that are his base of power. Rob from Pedro to pay Pablo and you will always get Pablo's vote, and he does. Chavez is an embarrassment to many, but there are more neighborhoods like this in Latin America than is healthy. Without those sprawling tin roofs there would be no Hugo Chavez.
What happens in Latin America matters.
Old Allies Abandon Chávez as Constitution Vote Nears
By Juan Forero
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, November 29, 2007; Page A01
CUMANA, Venezuela -- Few associates had been as loyal to President Hugo Chávez as the governor of the coastal state of Sucre, Ramón Martínez. And few are now more determined to defeat Chávez as he campaigns for constitutional changes that, if approved by voters on Sunday, could extend his presidency for life.
Chávez, 53 and in his ninth tumultuous year in office, was until recently predicted to win a referendum that would permit him to run for 8office indefinitely, appoint governors to federal districts he would create, and control the purse strings of one of the world's major oil-producing countries.
But Martínezand a handful of others who once were prominent pillars in the Chávez machine, have defected, saying approval of 69 constitutional changes would effectively turn Venezuela into a dictatorship run at the whim of one man. They have been derided by Chávez as traitors, but their unimpeachable leftist credentials have given momentum to a movement that pollsters say may deliver Chávez his first electoral defeat...
Chavez vows no ties with Colombia BBC
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez says he will have "no type of relationship" with the Colombian government while it is headed by President Alvaro Uribe.
"I could not, out of dignity," Mr Chavez told supporters in the town of Tachira in western Venezuela.
The Venezuelan government announced on Tuesday it was withdrawing its ambassador to Colombia.
The feud between neighbours and trading partners began when Mr Uribe stopped Mr Chavez mediating with Colombian rebels.
In response, Mr Chavez said he would freeze Venezuela's bilateral ties with its neighbour and close trading partner.
Speaking to supporters on Wednesday, Mr Chavez was forthright in his criticism of his Colombian counterpart.
"While President Uribe is president of Colombia I will have no type of relationship with him or with the government in Colombia," he said.
Mr Uribe was a president "capable of such barefaced lies, [who] disrespects another president that he has called a friend, one that he called on for help".
Mr Chavez accused Mr Uribe - a close US ally - of being a "pawn of the empire".
Relations between the two men seemed close in August - despite their apparent ideological differences - when Mr Uribe enlisted Mr Chavez's help in trying to arrange an exchange of prisoners with rebel-held hostages.
But last week Mr Uribe ended Mr Chavez's involvement, saying it was because the Venezuelan leader had directly contacted Colombia's army chief despite being told not to do so.
Earlier, Mr Uribe appeared to try to calm the situation, saying presidents should put aside their "angers" and "vanities" to get on with their work.