Venezuelan prez Hugo Chavez today postponed a scheme to secure his place in the pantheon of classic comedy Latin American despots by shifting back his country's clocks half an hour, Reuters reports.
Chavez rather gamely admitted that his cunning plan, slated for activation today and which "would allow children to wake up for school in daylight instead of before sunrise", might be considered in some quarters "crazy", but decided to go ahead anyway with just eight days' notice. He announced that the move would liberate the nation from the shackles of Yankee imperialist hourly divisions - a slur likely to earn him a congratulatory exploding cigar from the CIA, we suspect.
Naturally, there was no advance publicity campaign to herald the realignment to four-and-a-half hours behind Greenwich Mean Time, and Chavez himself got a bit mixed up in announcing the masterplan when he "told Venezuelans to move their clocks forward, when really the measure requires them to be turned back".
Mercifully, good sense prevailed, and the change has been rescheduled for January to allow the oil-rich nation to "complete the necessary bureaucratic steps with international organizations". ®