Years ago I noticed in an office in Caracas a small poster that mocked how the perfect European should be. Indeed Britons know very little about good cuisine, which also explains the celebrity status granted to chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver; for it's not hard to gain recognition in the land of the fish and chips than say in France, Italy or Spain. Additionally this is a country where eating is just a process whereby anything serves the purpose of ridding the body of that most annoying feeling known as hunger. Therefore we have Pret-a-Mangers -with its pretty disgusting sandwiches- and the American haute cuisine powerhouses -Starbucks, McDonald, Kentucky Fried, Pizza Hut et al laughing all the way to the bank. Thus a few clever men, those that grow up eating proper food, realized that the conditions were there; they must have thought "what better than to combine the rather limited variety of crap under one roof and have the mass of sandwich-eaters storm through the doors?" Mind you Tesco would have had an extraordinarily difficult time gaining new business in the Basque country, Tuscany or Bordeaux, however in Britain it was just a walk in the park.
So how does Tesco's success compare to Hugo Chavez's? Although in completely different settings, the Venezuelan dictator also found a niche, a country that provided excellent conditions for someone valiant enough to conduct an absolute take over. Chavez, as the few men who noticed that proper food is not a priority for the majority of Britons, launched his political assault and encountered very little resistance. In the days when the opposition -which does not even deserve to be called as such- rule Venezuela he attempted his coup d'etat, only to be turned instantly into an icon by the very same administration he was trying to oust. In fact, had those in charge not been so incredibly clumsy, Chavez would most probably be today paying for his crimes in jail. Instead he rules Venezuela like no other figure had done since the beginning of last century.
Ultimately success depends as much in the vision, courage and actions of certain individuals as in a variety of factors outside conscious control.