Good Time Chavez Died Today

He was bigger in life.

Some gotta win, some gotta lose.
Good time Charlie got the blues
Good time Chavez got the blues

hugo_chavezNo, He didn’t lose the election.  He rigged that. He didn’t lose his power, or his macho — well, until he died.

Hugo Chavez died March 5, 2013 of cancer.  He was 58 years old.

Good time Chavez gotta lose.

So what about Hugo Chavez.

hugo_chavez_2

Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, Promoter Artisan, ( 28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013) was the President of Venezuela, having held that position from 1999 until his death in 2013. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela(PSUV). Following his own political ideology of Bolivarianism and “socialism of the 21st century”, he focused on implementing socialist reforms in the country as a part of a social project known as the Bolivarian Revolution, which has seen the implementation of a new constitution, participatory democratic councils, the nationalization of several key industries, increased government funding of health care and education, and significant reductions in poverty, according to government figures [a government which is controlled by Chavez]. [Wikipedia, revised]

‘Born in 1954, the second son of two school teachers in the village of Sabaneta, the young Chavez was interested in becoming a baseball star, not a politician.  He joined the military at 17, apparently in order to be moved to Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, where he could be viewed by talent scouts.

Lacking major league skills, he ended up staying with the military and was deployed to fight a rag-tag rebel army. After hearing suspected rebels being tortured – allegedly beaten with baseball bats covered in wet cloths and speaking with his brother, a Marxist professor, Chavez apparently had an epiphany.

He co-founded a group known as the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement, named after Venezuela’s independence hero Simon Bolivar, and began organising soldiers to take over the government.’

He was the leader of a failed coup e’tat in 1992.

There are lots of Promoters — maybe ten or so percent of the population, and life is never dull around them. In a word, they are men and women of action. When a Promoter is present, things begin to happen: the lights come on, the music plays, the games begin. Clever and full of fun, Promoters live with a theatrical flourish which makes even the most routine events seem exciting. Not that they waste much time on routine events. In work and in play, Promoters demand new activities and new challenges. Bold and daring at heart, and ever-optimistic that things will go their way, Promoters will take tremendous risks to get what they want, and seem exhilarated by walking close to the edge of disaster. Because of this, they make the very best trouble-spot administrators and negotiators, and they can be outstanding entrepreneurs, able to swing deals and kick-start enterprises in a way no other type can. [Please Understand Me II]

Then there was ‘El otro Chávez‘: The Other Chavez

‘Herma Marksman, who spent nearly 10 years of her life as “the other woman” at the side of Hugo Chavez, as the military man plotted his way to power in the ’80s and 90′s, still recalls her ex-lover as “sweet” and “kind,” but when it comes to his current rule over Venezuela, the ex-mistress uses words like “totalitarian” and “fascist dictatorship.”

The professor of history, who’s written two books about Chavez’s politics, had told the London Times: “He is imposing a fascist dictatorship. A totalitarian regime is coming because he doesn’t believe in democratic institutions. Hugo controls all the powers.”

Marksman, whose home was used by Chavez to plan his coup against the Venezuelan government, says the two once shared a dream of “a prosperous Venezuela where justice would reign”.

“We were preparing for the time when we would be in government,” Marksman has written. “We wanted to establish a state in which the law was respected, to abolish corruption, to develop our basic industries and to do a real restructuring of the education system. None of that has happened.

“If anything, there has been a turning for the worse. Today there is more injustice, and no sign of that group of democrats who voiced, and accepted, different opinions. We live under an autocrat who does not respect the separation of powers. There is a chief justice who does not act, a financial comptroller who does not control, an ombudsman who only defends government interests. So where is the Bolivarian project?”

Chavez’ populist “Bolivarian revolution” has propelled the Venezuelan president into the spotlight and made him one of the leading voices of anti-Americanism around the world. It is a voice backed up by billions of dollars from Venezuela’s vast oil riches.

“Is Chavez another Fidel Castro?” asked Alberto Garrido, a Caracas political scientist. “Is he a 19th-century caudillo? Or is he a Peron with oil? Venezuelans debate this continuously, and all we know for certain is that the Chavez phenomenon is different from everything that has gone before.”


Hugo Chavez

Opposition leaders argue that Chavez’s championing of the poor and his much-publicized welfare program are a facade and that little has been done to improve the nation’s infrastructure or to root out fraud and ineptitude in government. Venezuela’s police force has been blamed by human rights groups for much of the nation’s violence and Caracas, the capital, has the world’s highest murder rate per capita.

“In Venezuela they say we have no good presidents or bad presidents,” said Julio Borges, an opposition candidate in December’s election. “We have presidents who either benefit from high oil prices or suffer from low oil prices. Chavez had the luck to be a president with high oil revenues, but he’s like a man who wins the lottery and at the end he spends it all and turns out more broke than before.”

Chavez has been using his luck to buy influence domestically and internationally.

During a visit to Cuba, Chavez told Castro, “Capitalism leads us straight to hell, Fidel, I think you were always right: It’s socialism or death.”

Well it is death for Chavez, now.  The question is where will Venezuela go?

It’s been a long time gone.

openquoteThere is no turning back.closedquote — Hugo Chavez

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