VENEZUELA: Nobody Here But Us Vipers

To Caracas, a sedate colonial capital only a generation ago, Venezuela's oil boom has brought skyscrapers, gadgets, gewgaws and plenty of loose cash. Rubbing elbows with barefooted paupers, thousands of new-rich eagerly seek the things that money can buy. Last week in El Nacional, Editorial Writer Manuel Rodriguez Cárdenas scorched buyers & sellers alike with a searing blast of angry rhetoric:

"We have a weakness: that of being rich . . . Writers with a sense of duty warn of the disaster we are headed for through our bragging folly, and shortsightedness; but no one pays any attention. The whirligig...

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