The death of President Hugo Chávez, of Venezuela was a deep disappointment for his many fans in Latin America and the US. But don’t be surprised to hear the usual anti-Chávez, pro-imperialist blather from the mainstream press. I have already heard that Chávez “left Venezuela worse than it was when he took power,” from NPR. I also hear that Chávez ran off US Oil Companies and their “new technology” by making too many demands on them.
I’m sure we will hear the same tired old anti-nationalism, anti-leftism of the mainstream US press. Anything else will be hard to find. But Chávez won several elections which demonstrated that the poorer classes in Venezuela preferred his nationalist attitude of using the country’s resources for the local people themselves instead of trading all of it for a pittance for the “magical wiz-bang technology” that dazzles and amazes so many tech-nerds in the US.
The people there have made it clear they do not want to be subjugated by the US or the local middle class which did all they could to derail Chávez’s presidency. The US government also tried everything it could muster to foment a coup or to simply vote out the president.
Chávez was not so much a socialist as he was a nationalist and I believe he gave the poorer classes a taste of the liberation that is possible when they assert their rights. Since his presidency, people in Latin America have supported nationalist, democratic socialists across the continent (and subcontinent of Central America).
This all falls short of socialist revolution, but the people in that part of the world have stood up to imperialism for the first time since the Nicaraguan Revolution.
From Granma International;
Death of President Hugo Chávez
CARACAS, March 5 (AVN).—Hugo Rafael Chávez, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, died in the hours of this Tuesday afternoon. The announcement was made by Vice President Nicolás Maduro.
Maduro called on the Venezuelan people to confront the lamentable death of the President of the Republic “with much strength, courage and integrity.”
“We have to be more united than ever, the greatest discipline, the greatest collaboration, the greatest brotherhood and sisterhood. We are going to grow, we are going to be the worthy sons and daughters of the giant of a man that he was and how Comandante Hugo Chávez will always be in our memory. The victory of today is the unity of the people and peace,” Maduro affirmed on national radio and television.