Hugo Chavez Is Still Dead

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The dictator of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, departed this vale of tears today, the 60th anniversary of the death of Joe Stalin.  Chavez effectively destroyed his political opposition and ruled as a tyrant.  Go here to read the 2011 report by Human Rights Watch on Venezuela which explains why I call Chavez a dictator.  Because he mouthed anti-American platitudes, called himself a socialist and cozied up to repressive regimes like Iran and North Korea, he did not lack for defenders in this country:

Chavez’ Vice President is playing from Chavez’ playbook thus far:

Shortly before announcing that Hugo Chávez died, Venezuela’s government resorted to one of the late president’s favorite ploys to try to unite his supporters: allege a conspiracy by the U.S. to destabilize the country.

Vice President Nicolás Maduro kicked out two U.S. military attachés for allegedly plotting against Venezuela and even suggested that Washington may have been behind Mr. Chávez’s cancer.

Chavez leaves his country poorer than when he assumed power and much less free.  Economically he was a disaster for Venezuela because while he was a master at taking and keeping political power in Venezuela, he was completely clueless as to how to have a prosperous economy.    Little surprise that he was wildly popular among Leftists around the globe.


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  1. The best analogue might be Juan Domingo Peron.

    At the time Chavez was first elected, the historian Mark Falcoff said he was a consequence of two features of Venezuela’s common life: 1. the cupidity of its political class (“scandals start at $50 million) and 2. a misapprehension on the part of people from every social stratum about what makes a country prosperous. He said you travel around Venezuela and you hear it again and again: they think of prosperity as derived from natural resource endowments and not skills and entrepreneurship.

  2. After King Juan Carlos told Chavez to shut up that soundbite became the most
    popular ringtone in Spain.

    Thanks for the memories, Hugo.

  3. Hugo Chavez was definitely passionate about social justice, but I don’t think he choose the best road to reach that goal. On the long run, socialism has always been detrimental to the nations it was supposed to help. Also, I don’t understand why Chavez hated America with such intensity. By the way, I noticed that countries whose leaders hate America are most of the times countries where atrocities are commited on a regular basis…

  4. Penn is of course not alone, as TWO time Pulitzer prize winner Eugene Robinson expressed what a great guy the former dictator was. For those unfamiliar with what the term useful idiot means, there you go.

    It’s not sufficient to laugh off this buffoonery. People like Robinson, Penn, Moore and others provide an air of legitimacy to these thugs. They don’t just ignore the suffering of the masses under these dictators, they lie and suggest that Chavez made things better. Even Walter Duranty weeps from beyond the grave at their naivety.

  5. “What has Chávez bequeathed his fellow Venezuelans? The hard facts are unmistakable: The oil-rich South American country is in shambles. It has one of the world’s highest rates of inflation, largest fiscal deficits, and fastest growing debts. Despite a boom in oil prices, the country’s infrastructure is in disrepair—power outages and rolling blackouts are common—and it is more dependent on crude exports than when Chávez arrived. Venezuela is the only member of OPEC that suffers from shortages of staples such as flour, milk, and sugar. Crime and violence skyrocketed during Chávez’s years. On an average weekend, more people are killed in Caracas than in Baghdad and Kabul combined. (In 2009, there were 19,133 murders in Venezuela, more than four times the number of a decade earlier.) When the grisly statistics failed to improve, the Venezuelan government simply stopped publishing the figures.”

    William J. Dobson, Slate: “How his economically disastrous, politically effective ideology will haunt the country he ruined.”

  6. Oh, how I could go on about this knucklehead! Venezuela should be a prosperous country and desirable to live in. Instead, it is a third world dump.

    I have pointed out before that my wife is from Colombia, who is Venezuela’s neighbor to its west. The countries share a long border. Chavez was a supporter of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (the FARC, who John F. Kerry (John FARC Kerry) apologized for in 2003), the worst narcoterrorist bunch in the Western Hemisphere. Colombian intelligence found hard evidence of Chavez’ support for the FARC and they captured FARC members on the lam in Venezuela. Chavez gave the FARC aid and comfort on the Venezuelan side of the border.

    Latin American politics is made up of a long history of bad ideologies, bad decisions and bad people who seized power. All too often, some tinpot like Chavez comes along and blames the United States for all of their problems, and this nonsense works. It works with the poor of the nation. it works with the overeducated and stupid Left that exists in every Latin American country. To far too many, Castro is still a demigod.

    Since I despise the Left in the USA, I will not waste time and space commenting about Sean Penn, Michael Moore, etc. These fools never want to move to Havana or Caracas. I wish they would move there.

    Chavez’ cult of personality will die with him. He made many enemies and those enemies will take aim at Chavez’ supporters. Chavez tried to turn Simon Bolivar into a god. Bolivar was an adept military leader, but he was a lousy politician and Latin America – even South America – is far too diverse to ever be ruled as a single nation.

    Venezuelans will be better off without him. The Catholic Church has survived another tinpot caudillo bully. Perhaps now the Archdiocese of Caracas can start up its television station again. Chavez shut it down. Colombia will be better off without him. The Western Hemisphere will be better off without him.

    The Castro brothers’ days are numbered, too and the world will be better off without them as well.

  7. Shanna, you should not be taken in by the empty words of caudillos like Chavez. Chavez cared nothing for the poor. He needed poor people to stick with him to stay in power. Chavez wanted to turn Venezuela into another Cuba and he may have succeeded had he lived. We don’t need another Communist outpost in the Western Hemisphere.

  8. Thank you PF for the first hand information.

    “Bolivar was an adept military leader, but he was a lousy politician and Latin America – even South America – is far too diverse to ever be ruled as a single nation.”

    True PF. Bolivar had some elements of greatness in him, but when I compare him to George Washington I thank God, that in His mercy he gave us the man from Mount Vernon. Bolivar’s quotation near the end of his life sums up his career:

    “All who have served the Revolution have plowed the sea.”

  9. “Acting Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro says Hugo Chavez’s body to be permanently displayed.”

    This reminds me of a joke they used to tell in the old Soviet Union. Two men are going by Lenin’s preserved body in its glass display case. One man whispers to the other, “He is just like us, dead but not buried.”

  10. Yeah, right, it will be “permanently displayed” until the Chavistas are ejected from power. It will not happen immediately, but the cult of personality will die as surely as the blabbermouth who just recently assumed “cuarto” temperature.

    Displaying a decaying body in a city near the Equator – almost as brilliant as believing in Karl Marx. Venezuelans will prefer to keep their beer cold.

    The oil money that went to support leftists in Ecuador and Honduras will be cut off. The cut rate oil that supports the Castro “hermanos” will be cut off. The cheap heating oil that Joe Kennedy brags about each winter will be cut off. Not today, not tomorrow, but soon.

    I believe most other Latin Americans (outside of Venezuela) hated Chavez’ guts. Alvaro Uribe was frequently prodded by Chavez, and had Uribe decided to do it, the Colombian Army would have gone marching into downtown Caracas. (You see, the Colombians have US military equipment and training, while Chavez paid top dollar for Russian junk – the same stuff the US chewed up and spit out in the Iraq wars).

    Venezuelans will not want to be stooges for the Castros and Mahmoud Dinnerjacket from Iran much longer. They like Polar Beer and baseball and Sabado Gigante on Univision. Lots of them want to go to Miami – and stay (like countless other Latin Americans – and my wife is Latina, so I can say that).

  11. The Cult of Personality is essential to a politics bereft of true charity. True charity recognizes Deus caritas est, and that makes all the difference between a just government and a Utopian dictatorship. Too much of the current President’s popularity is based on mere personality. Moreover, the sycophantic mainstream media’s adulation of him is a creepy approximation of a Cult of Personality. I hope God may have mercy on Mr. Chavez’s soul and lead our foreign and domestic enemies to conversion before it is too late for them and for our country.

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