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Now, Venezuela's Chavez says, "Golf is a bourgeois sport

Posted By: Staff

Caracas (Venezuela), Aug.13 (ANI): Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has already identified the United States as the "Yankee Devil", but now he has turned his attention to a still more infuriating 'Yankee' target-golf.

According to The Independent, Chavez is trying to shut down some of his country's best-known golf courses. He told a television program on Sunday that "Golf is a bourgeois sport."

The two latest courses to be targeted are in Maracay, close to the capital Caracas, and the coastal resort of Caraballeda.

If they are closed, no fewer than nine courses will have been shut down since the campaign began in 2006, Julio Torres, head of the Venezuela Golf Federation, told The New York Times this week.

Most of them, it so happens, are in oil-producing regions, and therefore, linked with an industry once demonised by Chavez for its links with the political opposition, and by extension with those "damned Yanquis".

The courses occupy pricey land that could be used for housing. For Chavez, they are as good a symbol as any of the social divisions in Venezuela - manicured fairways and greens used by the affluent few, juxtaposed with the slums and overcrowding that are the lot of the impoverished majority.

Health advocates might also argue he has a point when he denounces the use of golf carts as a sign of laziness.

"I respect all sports, but "do you mean to tell me this is a people's sport? It is not," Chavez said during the television program.As far as Chavez is concerned, golf is the favoured pursuit of those irredeemable champions of the bourgeois elite, the men who have occupied the White House.Every recent US president has played the game. John F Kennedy is said to have owned the most graceful swing. Bill Clinton loved to give himself mulligans, or do-over shots, while the elder Bush played at madcap speed, in what became known as "goofy golf". President Obama has kept up the tradition, though his handicap is reported to be a distinctly modest 16 to 24. (ANI)

Story first published: Thursday, August 13, 2009, 11:57 [IST]
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