Hugo Chavez


Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is dead.

The commentary particularly from the well-fed north of course is abysmal. it is more dead than El Presidente Hugo.

Typical was the Globe oped by John Graham, former Canadian ambassador. He rips  Chavez from stem to stern.

Then at the end of the article he admits that Chavez, this awful dictator,  disappeared illiteracy, made education free and made health care universally accessible. Oh,yes, he also closed the gap between wealth and poverty and “improved the quality of life for millions at the bottom levels of society..”

Graham also tosses in “he imparted to these millions a sense of dignity….”

Is that all?

American papers of course were worse.Chvaez was basically Hitler incarnate.

Everybody knows Chavez’s faults…his bombast, his top down style of governance.

But talk about a leader actually governing for the poor.Was that Reagan, the Bushes or Clinton or the mean-spirited Harper? Not at all. all bought and paid for by the plutocrats.

What really pissed Americans was Chavez understanding that their neo-colonial rule in Latin America was coming to an end. Typically they supported a coup on behalf of wealth and power and the breaking of unions, an Uncle Sam staple in that part of the world.To no avail, the people demanded Chavez’s return and they voted him back again and again. They knew something the well-fed arm chair critics in the North didn’t. The man cared deeply for them.

Chavez was one among many in Latin America who resisted US hegemony.Count them— Lula in Brazil, Morales in Bolivia,Correa in Ecuador and on the list goes.

A new breed of “justice for the poor” presidents had arrived. Chavez was among the first.He used  Venezuela’s oil wealth to raise up his country’s poorest.

Sounds almost Christian.


1 Comment »

  1. 1
    wmgrace Says:

    Chavez realized that having a power elite who controlled the petroleum industry was not working for the common good of the Venezuelan nation. While the elite built its wealth and influence (power and control) in the country, the majority languished in poverty without the necessities of life. They were cut-off and disengaged from the political process in their own country. Chavez believed that the wealth generated by the nation’s natural resources, should be put to work for the benefit of the entire citizenry – not just a few. For this reason he nationalized the petroleum industry. The incredible results are described in Ted’s post.

    This killed the cozy deal between the wealthy elite and the US government who had benefitted from a cheap source of oil. And of course the US retaliated by funding a military coup which ultimately failed. The point is that his achievements occurred against a back-drop of fierce American resistance – both overt and covert. Look at it this way; unlimited financial resources of the US, cooperation of the displaced power elite, years of expertise in overthrowing Latin American governments and many more advantages. In spite of this he succeeded.

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