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Venezuelan President Chavez dies of cancer at 58

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RIP Hugo Chavez. You will be missed by your friends and foes.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Although a staunch opponent to the West, he did bring a lot of social change and benefit to the Venezuelan people and I'm sure he will be missed by many.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

While the death of anybody at such a young age is sad and tragic, I am happy that Venezuela is shot of this guy. He has run his country into the ground economically (which should be difficult with such an oil rich country). He has perverted democracy and the constitution. He was, however, immensely popular with the people - they will be better off without him.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

RIP Hugo Chavez. You will be missed by your friends and foes.

Is this supposed to be some kind of joke? The guy was a thug and a dictator.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

58 is too young to die.

What are the chances this will plunge Venezuela into political chaos?

Hearing again today from the crazies in the Venezuelan left wing that the US somehow manufactured the fatal cancer, I'm guessing it will.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

RIP

I actually met him once a few years ago when he came to Tokyo. Didn't have a clue what he was saying, but he had such a great atmosphere about him.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

What can you say? You reap what you sow.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@some14

You will be missed by your friends and foes.

Definitely NOT by his foes, that you can rest assured. In fact, his foes are probably rejoicing.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

All I can say is hurray. The fact that he wrapped himself in populist rhetoric and embraced anti-Americanism as a policy does nothing to disguise he unbroken record of failure. Adios Hugo. Don't go away mad. Just go away.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

he did bring a lot of social change and benefit to the Venezuelan people

Really? Sure he reduced poverty with oil money, but so did his Latin neighbors and by more. Under Cha'vez, Venuzuela's infrastructure suffered, hospitals were underfunded and crime soared. He squandered a fantastic opportunity to improve his country, but did the opposite.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

All I can say is hurray. The fact that he wrapped himself in populist rhetoric and embraced anti-Americanism as a policy does nothing to disguise he unbroken record of failure. Adios Hugo. Don't go away mad. Just go away.

You sound like a typical North American jerk. I hope, your children (if you have) will dance right on your grave.

Rest in Peace, Comandante Chavez.......

-11 ( +8 / -19 )

I never liked Chavez or what he stood for, but that is an ugly way to go, and wouldn't wish it on anyone. At least his suffering is over now. Rest in peace.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Another tyrant and dictator is gone, who's next ? Truly, regardless whatever their believes may be, they would not outlast freedom, liberty, and human dignity. History has shown that they manipulate the mass for their egoistic gains through division, control (media) under the banner of social justice; thus turning the countries to social injustice societies.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@2020hindsights Very true that crime soared under his rule, valuable oil money was not used for much needed capital investment and infrastructure growth was negligible.

Like you mentioned, I was mainly commending his poverty reducing schemes, eg. the vast public housing and water works projects undertaken by him, fairly extensive internal fiscal transfers, large rural incentive-based education programs, etc. Admittedly, considering the level of income Venezuela makes from oil, there should probably have been more done, however many programs he introduced have been adopted throughout South America and other parts of the world due to their effectiveness, most notably the education programs in Brazil.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Well, I for one hope that the next leader will be much better for everyone and improve Venezuela for its people.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Like him or loathe him, it is always said when someone loses a husband, father, brother, or any loved one to this horrible disease. Therefore may he rest in peace.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@techno

You sound like a typical North American jerk. I hope, your children (if you have) will dance right on your grave.

Rest in Peace, Comandante Chavez.......

How is he a jerk for voicing his opinion?? Many people hated Chavez, he was a lightning rod and he had Absolutely no tact when he would speak to people, in particular his foes, always insulting and inflammatory, has nothing to do with being American. If you liked and respected Chavez, that is your absolute prerogative, but also realize his rhetoric also made him a lot of enemies. North America has nothing to do with it.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

So some people love Chavez and others...well are not very sad that he supposedly died today in Venezuela(most of my amigos from Venezuela do not believe this OFFICIAL news, they tell me they think he was already dead last December while in Cuba, and that most likely his body is still somewhere in Cuba, not yet in Venezuela) but whether he died today, or last December, the Venezuelan CONSTITUTION clearly says a TIME LIMIT, maybe it was 90 days?? By when the winner of a PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION must be in power, etc...which Hugo Chavez COULD NOT do, so his Chavistas put in the vice president Maduro, who now had to admit that Chavez is dead, so back to...MORE ELECTIONS. RIP??

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Anyone can give out money to get the support of others. A real leader wouldn't demand your freedom in exchange, though. If he "loved" the people so much he wouldn't have demanded that.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I have found myself upset by this during the last few weeks of reporting his situation. He really did display such determination to keep living his life as though he would survive.

His last few weeks, he must have deteriorated very quickly, which would have been very hard for his family and friends around him.

Hopefully, with the high standard of medical and personal care he was getting, his last weeks, days and hours were not ones of suffering for him. I hope he died peacefully.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I disliked Chavez's policies, but he was also a fellow human being and it is shameful the gloat or celebrate his death.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Even if he was wrong and caused several problems to his country, dying of cancer is always a sad, painful thing. I hope he didn't have suffered and that Venezuela gets forward.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@El

So some people love Chavez and others...well are not very sad that he supposedly died today in Venezuela(most of my amigos from Venezuela do not believe this OFFICIAL news, they tell me they think he was already dead last December while in Cuba, and that most likely his body is still somewhere in Cuba, not yet in Venezuela)

Very interesting. While I'm not a conspiratorest, there is always a possibility that, that could have happened. Because it is often difficult to get actual and accurate news out of most communist countries. They never told the world what kind of cancer Chavez had, why? He was a public figure and the people should have known, they had the right.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I cannot believe it!!!! chavez first and not Fidel?????

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Good, finally there can be hope for the country. More early would have been better.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

A great day for Venezuela. Ding Dong, the Dictator is dead! The world became a slightly better place today with his passing.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

A thorn in the side of the USA, he stopped progress. The people cry in the streets, I will not miss him,he was a bad fish. RIP.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Hopefully Venezuela will be better off now, but cud go the other way to.............

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Molenir and T-Mack

I think it is a new beginning for Valenzuela and the people. They deserve better and while this new guy is a clown, hopefully, in the next election, they can get a leader that can really lead the people and properly uplift the poor and deal with the out of control crime rate.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Probably for the best really. I mean, this was a man who used the countrys oil wealth to create free education, free health care, housing and any other number of benefits for the people of Venezula. Quite obviously he was a nut case and should of siphoned the profits to America and his own bank account.

God bless you Chavez, a man who cared for his people. You don't get many of those these days. RIP.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

He was a bad man because.............

He was opposed to the privatisation of his countries natural resources and hugely helped those in poverty and vulnerable people. Since he was elected in 1999, unemployment has halved, GDP per capita more than doubled, infant mortality reduced from 20/1,000 to 13/1,000 and extreme poverty has fallen by two thirds. Not many governments, if any, have achieved so much in so little time. RIP Chavez.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

And final posting....

Rest in peace, Comandante. Defying the dictates of neoliberalism, your country and people chose democracy, electing you through thick and thin. May your legacy continue in enduring social equality and rights for Venezuelans and Latin Americans.

Descanse en paz, Comandante. Desafiando los dictados del neoliberalismo, su país y pueblo optaron por la democracia, eligiendole contra viento y marea. Que su legado siga en forma de más igualdad social y derechos para los venezolanos y los latinoamericanos.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

I am really saddened by his early death. He was a man I always respected for his courage and all the good things he did for Venezuela and the world. R.I.P.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

The US despised him, the majority of Venezuelans did not. How dare they support a socialist we don't approve of? What they need is a US sponsored scumbag like Pinochet in Chile. Allande was a socialist and Pinochet was a ( put your own noun here, I'd love to hear Thatcher's ). Let's just hope that the next Venezuelan leader has a view which is more in tune with people outside Venezuela.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

SimonB: Rest in peace, Comandante. Defying the dictates of neoliberalism, your country and people chose democracy, electing you through thick and thin. May your legacy continue in enduring social equality and rights for Venezuelans and Latin Americans.

How are you going to fit all of that on a t-shirt?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Probably for the best really. I mean, this was a man who used the countrys oil wealth to create free education, free health care, housing and any other number of benefits for the people of Venezula.

Sure he used oil money for handouts, but meanwhile roads and hospitals fall into a state of disrepair. Crime rises. Inflation soars (hovering around 30%).

Quite obviously he was a nut case and should of siphoned the profits to America and his own bank account.

Considering the net worth of the Cha'vez family is $2 billion, who says he didn't?

He was a bad man because.............

He was opposed to the privatisation of his countries natural resources

Yes. Quite the opposite. He nationalized oil and so that he can control the oil money. Not necessarily a bad thing but what the profits were spent on has remained a state secret.

State takeovers of farms cut agricultural output.

and hugely helped those in poverty and vulnerable people. Since he was elected in 1999, unemployment has halved, GDP per capita more than doubled, infant mortality reduced from 20/1,000 to 13/1,000 and extreme poverty has fallen by two thirds. Not many governments, if any, have achieved so much in so little time. RIP Chavez.

Umm, except Peru and Brazil, their neighbors.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The US despised him, the majority of Venezuelans did not

Or the contrary ? I mean foreigners loved the way he was talking back to big multinational capitalism, and for that there are never enough people doing it and well, we are getting him on our back. Now, for his compatriots, he was the average populist pushing up his country with the unique goal of climbing up himself (with his clan). It's surely relative as his people had known better before and not all have the education (general and political) to get the whole picture. No doubt that he has his crowd of worshipers but... how many people didn't dare, or even feared, complaining about him ? Remember Fujimori , how everybody looooved him as long as he was in power. Then when he was down, even his wife was against him. So wait a little.

siphoned the profits to America and his own bank account.

America ? He was not stupid. Switzerland ? Caiman Islands ? We should ask Imelda Marcos and Baby Doc Duvalier.

Not many governments, if any, have achieved so much in so little time.

No government ever achieved that. All the credits are due to hard-working Venezuelians that are getting the fruits of decades of hard work and a good regional economy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Correction : "we are NOT getting him on our back"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@simond

That's totally not true.

The people chose democracy, but are the majority of the Valenzuelans better off? Definitely not, in fact, you could say that the country is sharply devided. country ranked 126 of 144 in a study by the World Economic Forum. Heavy inflation of 26% Infrastructure and sanitation is getting worse. Chavez mismanaged Venezuela’s oil wealth. Since the government effectively took control of the national oil company in 2004, it has become much less efficient and production is 25 percent lower than when Chavez took office. 4th highest murder rate in the world. Political oppositions are often threatened and attacked, people being jailed often for no reason. Political freedoms were seriously eroding under Chavez. Chavez decided to withdraw from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The country is less prosperous, freedom of speech not tolerated, especially if it involves criticizing Chavez. Media was bullied and intimidated often not to speak negative of Chavez failed policies. Yes, there are people that like him, I understand, but if you take off your blinders and look at that country, these are undisputed facts, a country that is rich in oil and that has been so mismanaged, the country should have been a modern 1st world nation, it makes you wonder, what happened the last 14 years of Hugo Chavez's presidency. I wish the best for the Valenzuelan people, but I think with Chavez gone, it opens up new and better opportunities for the people to elect a leader that would help that country and give them real freedom and the right to choose their leader and destiny.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

He was the noble and heroic representative of the poor. Let his memory be blessed.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

"He was the noble and heroic representative of the poor."

Heh, with an estimated personal net worth of 2 billion dollars.....

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Nobody is perfect, but I will never forget how he GAVE away free HEATING OIL to the poor in the USA! Look it up! He gave free heating oil to the folk in the poorest areas of Boston etc...when will we hear of EXXON MOBILE etc..helping the poor??

0 ( +6 / -6 )

There is some excellent commentary on Chavez and Venezuela on BBC World Service. They obviously were anticipating this and have some top reportage happening now.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Steve Fabricant,

You are quite right.

There is some excellent commentary on Chavez at the BBC site.

Here are two articles worth reading:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-21682247

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-21682064

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Thumbs-down for pointing out the fact that Chavez came from a poor background yet somehow died a billionaire, with a career as a Colonel and army lecturer in a banana republik ....?

You gotta love the hypocrisy from the radical left.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Great post, SimondB. RIP Chavez.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

bass4funk: Since the government effectively took control of the national oil company in 2004, it has become much less efficient and production is 25 percent lower than when Chavez took office. 4th highest murder rate in the world. Political oppositions are often threatened and attacked, people being jailed often for no reason. Political freedoms were seriously eroding under Chavez. Chavez decided to withdraw from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Sure, but he gave some cool speeches where he insulted the US, and for a few brief moments it made me feel pretty good. That's a lot more important to me that the average plight of Venezuelans.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Good riddance.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@superlib

Sure, but he gave some cool speeches where he insulted the US, and for a few brief moments it made me feel pretty good. That's a lot more important to me that the average plight of Venezuelans.

Well, and that's all Chavez had, an inflammatory mouth, and that's all Chavez had in regards to the US. He couldn't do anything, or better yet, would never have attempted to do anything else. Chavez wasn't that stupid to rowse up the US also knowing that if we would have boycotted Citgo, Valenzuela would have been in an even worst economic state than it already is. So the only thing he had in the end was his mouth. Chavez was ALL talk and I think now that he's out of the picture, that country can hopefully get a REAL leader that actually cares about the people of Valenzuela and less about their ego. That's more what the US cares about in the long run. But now I feel pretty good for Valenzuela.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@madverts

Thumbs-down for pointing out the fact that Chavez came from a poor background yet somehow died a billionaire, with a career as a Colonel and army lecturer in a banana republik ....?

You gotta love the hypocrisy from the radical left.

I've noticed that as well. How does a man, a former soldier who is supposedly a champion of the poor become a billionaire? Funny, how all these radical far left leaders manage to acquire huge sums of cash and the very people they swear to protect are squandering and suffering. You lefties hate Capitalism and big corporations, but when communist leaders have billions in the bank and their people are starving, you guys praise these leaders. I just don't get that. Yes, it's total hypocrisy at its worst from the left.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"he gave some cool speeches where he insulted the US, and for a few brief moments it made me feel pretty good"

lol

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nobody is perfect, but I will never forget how he GAVE away free HEATING OIL to the poor in the USA! Look it up! He gave free heating oil to the folk in the poorest areas of Boston etc...when will we hear of EXXON MOBILE etc..helping the poor??

A cynical publicity stunt. About free oil, I'll bet Cuba are anxious to keep getting free oil from Venezuela now that Castro's buddy is gone.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You lefties hate Capitalism and big corporations, but when communist leaders have billions in the bank and their people are starving, you guys praise these leaders. I just don't get that. Yes, it's total hypocrisy at its worst from the left.

Could you please cite proofs for the billionaire claim?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Billionaire or not, he wont be spending any of it now...better to be a live dog, than a dead lion...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@YGHome

http://nbclatino.com/2012/12/05/forbes-most-powerful-carlos-slim-hugo-chavez-enrique-pena-nieto-make-the-list/

You won't even make this list if you have a salary under $200,000

But, you are most certainly welcome.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@bass4funk

The source that you cite is a small article in nbclatino.com from May 2012, which speaks about Latinos included in Forbes list of powerful people. The article says that there are five, with the late Hugo Chavez being the 48th in the list. That is all. No more details are given, except for the following sentence: "While he won a fourth term and six more years to develop some of the world's largest proven oil reserves, Chavez also continues to fight pelvic cancer".

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Hugo Chavez was a Venezuelan politician who had a net worth of $1 billion at the time of his death on March 5th 2013. A 2010 report from Criminal Justice International Associates (CJIA), a global risk assessment and threat mitigation firm estimated that the Chavez family assets totaled between $1 and $2 billion USD.

http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-politicians/hugo-chavez-net-worth/

Heh, some frickin' "noble and heroic representative of the poor".....

Still loving the thumbs down in exchange of the truth. Chavez may be dead but social Denial lives on.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery -Winston Churchill

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@YGHOME

Yes, and as I stated, you can't even make it, if you are below $200,000 range. You can believe what you want, but acts are, he was a billionaire and accumulated or rather fattened his pockets and made himself rich, a former soldier and also getting rich off those oil reserves. The point is, Chavez did some good things, but not necessarily for the reasons many people would like to believe. Of course, he wanted to cement his popularity especially with the poor which he did, he fed some of the poor, but tell me, you liberals never see the bigger picture. Did the crime rate go down, NO! Do the media and the politicians have freedom and desent in that country? NO! Is the infrastructure in Valenzuela up to date? NO! This was the fundamental problem with Chavez also you guys are looking at short-term, NOT long term of the overall consequences that crippled Valenzuela.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Madverts, the website of the Criminal Justice International Associates,

http://www.cjiausa.org

does not appear like that of a serious and credible firm or institution. Accusations can be made, but accusations are not facts. Comparing between Hugo Chavez and Winston Churchill, the worth of the former is million times greater than that of the latter. No, I do not refer to personal assets but to contribution to mankind.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"does not appear like that of a serious and credible firm or institution."

There are plenty of other media sources that are reporting on Chavez's alleged fortune amassed in power. Are you seriously going to argue he didn't pump the well once in power in true socialist Denial? Really, you son't need to convince me further.

"Comparing between Hugo Chavez and Winston Churchill"

Who compared them? I gave Sir Winston's quote as the perfect example of what the scourge of socialism is - you've proved it yourself indelibly by claiming the man was a "noble and heroic representative of the poor".....it's as pathetic as claiming Arafat was a "noble and heroic representative of the Palestinians" when he snuffed it with still unknown hoards of cash.....

"No, I do not refer to personal assets but to contribution to mankind."

Ah, so as long as you give the bird to the US and throw some scraps to uneducated local people to make them love you it's OK in your opinion to amass wealth on the back of the people...?

I gotcha.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Madverts, thank you for your elaborate post. One of the things you said is

---throw some scraps to uneducated local people to make them love you---

Well, the point is that Hugo Chavez has helped many people to get better education. Some information about this can be found in the website venezuelanalysis.com. You would disagree with this website, but if you look at the list of authors you will see that these are serious people (though with views different from yours). By the way, it was not me who thumbed down your last post: It turns out that this thread is still being read, and someone apart of me has thought that you were wrong.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Well, the point is that Hugo Chavez has helped many people to get better education.

Yes and no. Chavez closed down three television channels and 32 radio stations he didn't like by revoking their licenses. Not exactly free speech.

During the last election Chavez filled the airwaves with advertisements extolling the government’s purported achievements using dubious statistics. In contrast, election rules confined his opposition, Mr Capriles, to three minutes of broadcast time a day.

Not exactly fair but these rules were implemented by Chavez to give himself an unfair advantage.

Behind the propaganda, Venezuela’s ugly reality is that of a corrupt, cynical and incompetent regime.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thumbs down without retorts I consider as thumbs up YG, as there are clearly posters not wanting to have the fact their leftist hero chavez used his position to fill his pockets out of the revolution while the people continued live in squallor. It's 101 socialst Denial.

"Well, the point is that Hugo Chavez has helped many people to get better education."

Possibly, not everything some dictators do are bad, even Hitler or Saddam Hussein go down in the history books with positives, obviously outweighed by the negatives.

Chavez started as a moderate and went quickly downhill as his socialist nonsense began the downward economic spiral such movements always achieve. The fact is there is no helping people that won't help themselves, socialism due tu human nature itself is always doomed to fail.

Chavez was swept to power because of countrywide disatisfaction of ripe corruption, yet he went on to ruin the economy, give himself dictatorial powers and amass a huge personal fortune - whatever the exact amount in dispute.

To be fair I think Sir Winston's quote is particularly scathing, but particularly true if you're a realist.

Franklin's quote on helping the poor would be a gentler let down, but I realise for some that envy and the inherent sharing of misery are easy that getting off your backside and making your lot better.

I read today they are planning to have St Hugo stuffed, pretty ironic to say the least as he's been stuffing the Venezualans for long enough...!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"Behind the propaganda, Venezuela’s ugly reality is that of a corrupt, cynical and incompetent regime."

Well said.

We have one in France doing the same thing right now, except our enlightened brand of euro leftists abandoned any sense of discretion years ago and now dine openely on caviar and champagne.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Funny, how all these radical far left leaders manage to acquire huge sums of cash and the very people they swear to protect are squandering and suffering.

Just one in a long line of Socialists that use the plight of the poor to live a life of luxury.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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