I’m not going to sit here and pretend there are two sides to the man. I’m not going to say I’m sorry a man who reduced one of the most resource-rich countries in the Western Hemisphere to a running joke should be mourned. And I can’t pretend I won’t shake my head at all the gullible Americans who will be said over this.
All I will say is that I hope Venezuela can strike out for a better future.
Update: The main defense of Chavez seems to be that poverty fell. But Venezuela was one of the most corrupt crime-ridden countries in the world. Other nations have reduced poverty as dramatically without the corruption and oppression. So spare me the eulogies.
It’s easy to bring down poverty — temporarily and superficially — in a tightly-controlled kleptocracy. As long as you don’t care about the long term future, you can spend a few years enjoying the plunder before the system collapses.
Chavez, incidentally, was speculated to have a personal fortune of a couple billion.