Hugo Chavez Is Dead (1 Viewer)

dapperdan

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I just read that Hugo Chavez is dead.

It may have been an alergic reaction to polonium-210.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world...525790-afdd-11e0-90e1-c12867691ae6_print.html

Hugo Chavez, passionate but polarizing Venezuelan president, dead at 58
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who went from a young conspiratorial soldier who dreamed of revolution to the fiery anti-U.S. leader of one of the world’s great oil powers, died March 5 in Caracas of complications from an unspecified cancer in his pelvic area.
 

lapaz

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Hopefully Venezuelans will elect a decent leader and return to the first world. That country has lots of potential that Chavez has nearly destroyed. They need to develop a first world economy by leveraging their oil wealth to educate and attract business.
 

Galbreath34

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Venezuela was a **** pot of corruption before him, but it's hard to praise him much given how unstable their economy has been despite trying control just about everything in the entire economy and having a lot of oil wealth. I kind of wonder what follows. If they can keep elections going without going back to a military government, that'd at least be some lasting good, though I'm doubtful that'll happen. I pretty much expect within a few years some strongman will run things again with window dressing elections at best.
 

blackadder

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Hopefully Venezuelans will elect a decent leader and return to the first world. That country has lots of potential that Chavez has nearly destroyed. They need to develop a first world economy by leveraging their oil wealth to educate and attract business.
Most importantly, they better elect someone who knows how to take orders and run Venezuela for the best benefit of the United States....
 

Galbreath34

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Speaking of aging leaders on the outs with the US, I really wish we'd get around to normalizing relations with Cuba before he dies. It'd be symbolically more significant. We've got normal relations with Vietnam and China, and surely Cuba belongs more in that cold war bucket than Iran or North Korea.
 

LSSpam

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Speaking of aging leaders on the outs with the US, I really wish we'd get around to normalizing relations with Cuba before he dies. It'd be symbolically more significant. We've got normal relations with Vietnam and China, and surely Cuba belongs more in that cold war bucket than Iran or North Korea.
I agree. The isolation of Cuba has more to do with Florida and primary/presidential elections then it has to do with foreign policy. It's nonsensical otherwise.

I understand what Castro did, I get the feeling against him, but at this point it's not national security, and it's not even really punishing "him", you're punishing people in Cuba who had nothing to do with it.
 

Galbreath34

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Some no doubt have had troubles that way, and a few decades ago the CIA often had a lot to do with that. Most though actually have stable democracies, whether or not we care for their choices at the polls.
 

TulsaSaint

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A rather different evaluation of Chávez from a history professor at NYU who also writes for The Nation. An excerpt:

On the Legacy of Hugo Chávez
Greg Grandin, March 5, 2013

I’m what they call a useful idiot when it comes to Hugo Chávez, if only because rank-and-file social organizations that to me seem worthy of support in Venezuela continued to support him until the end. My impressionistic sense is that this support breaks down roughly in half, between voters who think their lives and their families’ lives are better off because of Chávez’s massive expansion of state services, including healthcare and education, despite real problems of crime, corruption, shortages and inflation.

The other half of Chávez’s electoral majority is made up of organized citizens involved in one or the other of the country’s many grassroots organizations. Chávez’s social base was diverse and heterodox, what social scientists in the 1990s began to celebrate as “new social movements,” distinct from established trade unions and peasant organizations vertically linked to—and subordinated to—political parties or populist leaders: neighborhood councils; urban and rural homesteaders, feminists, gay and lesbian rights organizations, economic justice activists, environmental coalitions; breakaway unions and the like. It’s these organizations, in Venezuela and elsewhere throughout the region, that have over the last few decades done heroic work in democratizing society, in giving citizens venues to survive the extremes of neoliberalism and to fight against further depredations, turning Latin America into one of the last global bastion of the Enlightenment left.

Chávez’s detractors see this mobilized sector of the population much the way Mitt Romney saw 47 percent of the US electorate not as citizens but parasites, moochers sucking on the oil-rent teat. Those who accept that Chávez enjoyed majority support disparaged that support as emotional enthrallment. Voters, wrote one critic, see their own vulnerability in their leader and are entranced. Another talked about Chávez’s “magical realist” hold over his followers.

One anecdote alone should be enough to give the lie to the idea that poor Venezuelans voted for Chávez because they were fascinated by the baubles they dangled in front of them. During the 2006 presidential campaign, the signature pledge of Chávez’s opponent was to give 3,000,000 poor Venezuelans a black credit card (black as in the color of oil) from which they could withdraw up to $450 in cash a month, which would have drained over $16 billion dollars a year from the national treasury (call it neoliberal populism: give to the poor just enough to bankrupt the government and force the defunding of services). Over the years, there’s been a lot of heavy theoretically breathing by US academics about the miasma oil wealth creates in countries like Venezuela, lulling citizens into a dreamlike state that renders them into passive spectators. But in this election at least, Venezuelans managed to see through the mist. Chávez won with over 62 percent of the vote.

Let’s set aside for a moment the question of whether Chavismo’s social-welfare programs will endure now that Chávez is gone and shelve the left-wing hope that out of rank-and-file activism a new, sustainable way of organizing society will emerge. The participatory democracy that took place in barrios, in workplaces and in the countryside over the last fourteen years was a value in itself, even if it doesn’t lead to a better world.

On the Legacy of Hugo Chávez | The Nation
 

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