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Hugo Chávez left a legacy of ruin and hatred

Wednesday, 6 March, 2013

The Venezuelan despot, Hugo Chávez, spent much of his time stoking class hatred and abusing his control of the judiciary to persecute and jail his political opponents. He seized millions of hectares of farmland and hundreds of businesses, with little or no compensation. The result was that Venezuela became an even more oil-dependent economy, which instead of the “endogenous development” promised by the so-called Bolivarian Revolution, increasingly relied on imports of the most basic foodstuffs that were once produced domestically. Meanwhile, Chávez, his clan and his corrupt cronies, the Boligarchs, amassed huge fortunes. Without a hint of irony in his tribute, President Michael D Higgins of Ireland said: “President Chavez achieved a great deal during his term in office, particularly in the area of social development and poverty reduction.” Oliver Stone and Sean Penn were said to be equally grief stricken.

Hugo Chávez lavished praise and aid on ideological allies such as Bashar al-Assad, Robert Mugabe and Muammar Gaddafi. The dead despot’s generosity was worth billions each year to the Castro tyranny in Cuba and was vital in helping its economy recover from the depression that followed the collapse of its last patron, the Soviet Union. Subsidies to the autocratic government of Daniel Ortega are estimated to be worth around eight percent of Nicaragua’s GDP. The best obituary for the man’s wretched misrule is provided by Bloomberg: “Chavez the Popular Autocrat Leaves a Legacy of Ruin.”


Comments (2)

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  1. I have to agree. Hugo Chavez was certainly sincere about social justice, but I don’t believe he choose the best road to achieve his goal. Historically, socialism has always been detrimental to the nations it was supposed to help. I also don’t understand why Chavez hated the US 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 daily basis…

  2. Henry Barth says:

    See also the new biography, reviewed in the currrent LITERARY REVIEW:

    http://www.literaryreview.co.uk/sweeney_03_13.php

    “Tyranny is one of the most successful political forms the world has ever seen, and it continually mutates to prey upon the host, humanity. Hugo Chávez lies stricken with cancer in a hospital bed in Havana, but he has bequeathed a great curse upon Venezuela: a murder rate worse than Iraq’s, a broken society, a superheating economy and tons of Kalashnikovs in the barrios. It’s pretty dire given the wealth of oil gold Chávez has squandered.”

    (more)