Chavez--insecure, narcissistic, needs adulation


The language could be from a Vanity Fair profile of any number of highly strung celebrities. The subject is described as insecure, malignantly narcissistic and driven by a need for adulation. Behind the public displays of arrogance and petulance lurks a fear of not being liked.

Barbara Streisand? Paris Hilton? Step forward Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, as depicted in a psychological profile commissioned by the US air force.

According to this analysis, the regional rivalry between Washington and Caracas is less about oil, geopolitics and ideology and more about Mr Chávez's desire to feel good about himself.

"The arrogant certainty conveyed in his public pronouncements is very appealing to his followers. But under this grandiose facade, as is typical with narcissistic personalities, is extreme insecurity," wrote Dr Jerrold Post, the director of the Political Psychology programme at George Washington University and a veteran CIA analyst.


I think it is a pretty apt analogy. I would have added paranoid to his list of "qualities." He may be just paranoid enough to create some real enemies.


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