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The Death of a Despot

How can anyone still defend Hugo Chávez?

by
Jaime Daremblum

Bio

March 6, 2013 - 4:30 pm
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In a different era, he might have been called a fascist. After all, Hugo Chávez was an anti-Semitic demagogue and chauvinistic nationalist who hated Israel, hated the United States, hated democracy, and favored state control of the economy. A onetime paratrooper and failed coup leader, Chávez aggressively militarized Venezuelan society, creating pro-government citizen brigades to serve as his own praetorian guard and arming them with Russian-made assault rifles. He threatened neighboring countries and constantly warned of looming foreign invasions. He promulgated wild conspiracy theories about Jews and Americans. He befriended the most reactionary and fascistic governments on earth, including the theocracy in Iran, the gangster regime in Russia, and the racist Mugabe dictatorship in Zimbabwe.

And yet, through it all, Chávez remained a folk hero to Western leftists and “progressives,” who either ignored or excused his bigotry, his militarism, and his trampling of democracy. Many admirers have mourned his death by casting the Venezuelan radical as a champion of the poor who did what was necessary to transform a corrupt and unjust social order. In an article posted on the website of The Nation, NYU professor Greg Grandin acknowledged that Chávez “packed the courts, hounded the corporate media, legislated by decree, and pretty much did away with any effective system of institutional checks or balances.” However, in Grandin’s view, all of that was justified: “The biggest problem Venezuela faced during his rule was not that Chávez was authoritarian but that he wasn’t authoritarian enough. It wasn’t too much control that was the problem but too little.”

In other words: Chávez had to destroy Venezuela in order to save it.

There are many ways to measure the destruction. First, there is the economic toll: Venezuela is suffering from food shortages, goods shortages, electricity shortages, and 22 percent inflation. The state-run oil firm PDVSA has seen its debt load increase by 150 percent since 2007. The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom says that even Communist Cuba respects property rights more than Venezuela does. And the South American nation might well be headed for a sovereign default.

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From the article:

In an article posted on the website of The Nation, NYU professor Greg Grandin acknowledged that Chávez “packed the courts, hounded the corporate media, legislated by decree, and pretty much did away with any effective system of institutional checks or balances.” However, in Grandin’s view, all of that was justified: “The biggest problem Venezuela faced during his rule was not that Chávez was authoritarian but that he wasn’t authoritarian enough. It wasn’t too much control that was the problem but too little.”

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Well well - insert Obama at each place where 'Chavez' is found - and insert USA where 'Venezuela' is found and what do you have? I suppose the good Professor sees Obama in the same light. "...all of this was justified" he says. The means justify the ends eh Prof?

What a maroon!

These IDIOTS teach our children.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (21)
All Comments   (21)
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Have you seen the latest? His minions have now decided to embalm him and put him on display, just like Lenin.

I wonder if this was Chavez' wish or whether his Party has decided this fate for his body? Lenin wanted to be buried but his successors decided that they wanted his body on display....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The big mistake that big-government "conservatives" have always made is to think that no one cherishes his/her families. Of course, like many sociopaths, "conservative" politicians may not care about their own families any more than they care about you and me. If conservatism means anything, it means recognizing that there are actually human beings out there -- not many in DC, of course -- but real live people in fly-over-land who actually love their moms and dads, their kids and even their kittens. This is not a joke.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You may not be joking, but who are these conservtives you are talking about that dont think their are real people in flyover country. If anything that is more of a problem for leftists, who dont recognize flyyover country exists until election time, and tend to view people as special groups to be pandered to, or bribed with handouts, rather than real individuals.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
God picked the wrong tyrant!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"...Chávez remained a folk hero to Western leftists and “progressives,” who either ignored or excused his bigotry, his militarism, and his trampling of democracy..."

This what Progressives live for so why are you surprised?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"...hated Israel, hated the United States, hated democracy, and favored state control of the economy."

Are we talking about Hugo or Barry here?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"And yet, through it all, Chávez remained a folk hero to Western leftists and “progressives,” who either ignored or excused his bigotry, his militarism, and his trampling of democracy."

Wrong. They embraced those aspects of his politics. They share them. To the extent they were quiet about them is due to their realization that it would be extremely unpopular with the unwashed in the US.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In this era, when viewed through clear eyes, Chavez was an evil damned fascist. Our current President is cut from the same cloth.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I witnessed Mugabe's ruining of the Zimbabwe economy and recognized Chavez as following a similar path of total economic destruction. Venezuela has gotten off lightly - Mugabe is still alive.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In a different era, he might have been called a fascist. /blockquote>

In a different era, our President would be accurately seen as a fascist.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Gullible Kennedies,Chaves got them cheap! But they were on the same train anyway.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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