In Memoriam: Hugo Chavez 1954 – 2013

(10 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Hugo Chavez photo imagesqtbnANd9GcQKVr6bXWlFx7SxZgpgP_zps07654e05.jpg Popular Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez succumbed to cancer today in a hospital in Caracas ending his 14 years as the leader of the oil rich South American country.

The flamboyant 58-year-old had undergone four operations in Cuba for a cancer that was first detected in his pelvic region in mid-2011. His last surgery was on December 11 and he had not been seen in public since. [..]

Chavez easily won a new six-year term at an election in October and his death will devastate millions of supporters who adored his charismatic style, anti-U.S. rhetoric and oil-financed policies that brought subsidized food and free health clinics to long-neglected slums.

Pres. Chavez was certainly controversial but it was through his economic and social policies that Venezuela reduced the poverty level from a low of 55.44% in 1998 to 26 percent at the end of 2008. Extreme poverty fell by 72%. He increased access to health care and education. In 2003, he made food security a priority by opening a nation wide chain of supermarkets and setting price ceilings for basic staple foods.

Pres. Chavez’ human rights record was somewhat mixed:

In the 1999 Venezuelan constitution, 116 of 300 articles were concerned with human rights; these included increased protections for indigenous peoples and women, and established the rights of the public to education, housing, healthcare, and food. It called for dramatic democratic reforms such as ability to recall politicians from office by popular referendum, increased requirements for government transparency, and numerous other requirements to increase localized, participatory democracy, in favor of centralized administration. It gave citizens the right to timely and impartial information, community access to media, and a right to participate in acts of civil disobedience.

However, as recently as 2010, Amnesty International has criticized the Chávez administration for targeting critics following several politically motivated arrests. Freedom House lists Venezuela as being “partly free” in its 2011 Freedom in the World annual report, noting a recent decline in civil liberties. A 2010 Organization of American States report found concerns with freedom of expression, human rights abuses, authoritarianism, press freedom, threats to democracy, as well as erosion of separation of powers, the economic infrastructure and ability of the president to appoint judges to federal courts.

Born Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías into a working-class family in Sabaneta, Barinas, he is survived by two ex-wives, Nancy Colmenares and Marisabel Rodríguez, and four children – Hugo Rafael, María Gabriela and Rosa Virginia by his first wife and Rosinés by his second.

Blessed Be. The Wheel Turns


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    • TMC on March 6, 2013 at 1:26 am

    May the Goddess guide him on his journey to the Summerlands. May his family, his friends and the world find Peace.

    • Xanthe on March 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    fear-mongering, Commie calling, they’re after our freedoms – diary.

    This morning on Morning Joe –  yes, I was weak and wanted to see what Mika was wearing – both Sean Penn and Oliver Stone were scorned and sneered at because they both had something other than glee to express at Chavez’ death.  Sean Penn was thankful to President Chavez because he helped him when Penn was in Haiti trying to get some aid to that population.  Joe, of course, with his golden healthcare and neverending pension, and big bucks for the pablum passing for commentary, was naturally incensed at “Hollywood” types.  (DC types should not cast stones.)    

    No mention made about the CIA coup in Venezuela which was thwarted.  

    He was elected four times by the population – the people of Venezuela.  

    It’s complicated surely and worth a lot of research and time to write a thorough comment – (or another diary) but you con’t get the reforms Chavez made for the decades long repression of the Venezuelian poor (wretchedly poor) by playing neo-Socialist.   Or writing posts on a blog –  or  strongly worded letter to the editor.  He acted against the media which was controlled by the aristocrats and their military arm of Venezuela.  Tricky that.  Think really controlled, even more than our kittens playing journalists.

    How many countries had Chavez bombed?  How many wars had he begun for the enrichment of the elities of the military-industrial class?  How many countries destabilized?  

    Of course, Joe and DC speak from the dazzling heights of our freedoms (which are each day being trampled on).  But no matter – we’re No. 1 in military power anyway.  Not to mention citizens imprisoned.

  1. Why?  Because he made decisions that benefited the PEOPLE!  And he stuck to his guns.  There had been attempts to down him in many ways . . . . but NOT by the PEOPLE!  The Venezuelans used sugar beets for fuel and whatever profits were made from the export of oil was spent on the country of Venezuela, and its PEOPLE.  Despite whatever faults anyone would find in him, he did, in fact, attempt to LIVE democratically.

    Most, if not all, of the problems Latin American countries have experienced for so many years have all been at our behest, i.e., coups, mysterious killings, the Iran Contra, and on and on.  Finally, these countries are standing up against the U.S. and saying “NO” to whatever demands we may or do make upon them.  “They,” these countries are becoming stronger in so many ways and their economies are surviving.  

    Cindy Sheehan has a wonderful tribute to him here!  In Loving Memory:  Hugo Chavez . … !

  2.  from the past l-o-o-o-ng decade was when Chavez told the UN, “This place smells like sulfur.”

    My first favorite was, of course, the Iraqi shoe incident.

    Glory be to gawd and dappled things.  And Ugo.  The world is a lesser place.

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