Hugo Chavez has Died

As I noted this morning,

I can’t help but think, given the general lack of transparency that has permeated this situation, that releasing information of this type means that Chavez is even worse off than just having a respiratory infection.  This, of course, leads one to wonder how much longer he will last.

Well, according to CNN, Chavez died today.  No details at the moment.

FILED UNDER: Latin America, Quick Takes, World Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Anderson says:

    Cue “the CIA did it” in 3 … 2 …

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Aaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwww……….

  3. Sean Penn, Michael Moore, and Joe Kennedy II hardest hit.

  4. Andre Kenji says:

    One less.

  5. Ben Wolf says:

    An interesting man who will be the focus of intense historical debate. I expect his death won’t derail the regional nationalism which has developed through resistance to U.S. efforts to treat the Western Hemisphere as its own territory.

  6. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “Sean Penn, Michael Moore, and Joe Kennedy II hardest hit. ”

    Well, yeah. Them and the millions of poor folk Chavez helped by uprooting the rule of the plutocrats and redistributing some of the country’s wealth out of the hands of the oligarchs and into those of the people.

  7. CSK says:

    I wonder if all the journalists he imprisoned for the crime of “insulting the president” will be released now.

  8. tps says:

    Rest in hell Hugo.

  9. Andre Kenji says:

    Chavez only looks good because the traditional Venezuelan parties are horrible.

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Add “wr” to the list of “people hardest hit” by the passing of The Great Socialist Who Became A Billionaire While “Serving His People.”

    As Bob Owens put it, Hugo is now the best kind of socialist.

  11. Andre Kenji says:

    1-) I can´t imagine a State leader that travels to a foreign country(Specially a country under an embargo like Cuba) to treat cancer. It´s a matter of national pride.

    2-) The big problem of Venezuela is that the economy is very dependent of oil exports. The money from oil should be used to improve agriculture and manufacturing, and Chavez did not manage to make significant improvements on that.

    3-) The real lesson here: even if you are a Conservative you should enact policies that fight inequality and that take care of the poor.. If you don´t, it´ll appears something like Chavez to try to do that, and it will be infinitely worse.

  12. bill says:

    at least they got what they voted for, wonder how low the next guy will drag them down?

  13. Hugo Chavez was certainly sincere and passionate about social justice, but I don’t think that he took the best road to achieve his goal. On the long run, socialism has always been detrimental to the people it was supposed to help. Besides that, I don’t understand why Chavez hated the US so much. By the way, I noticed that countries whose leaders hate America are usually countries where atrocities are commited on a regular basis…

  14. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Shanna Carson: By the way, I noticed that countries whose leaders hate America are usually countries where atrocities are commited on a regular basis…

    I think that, in part, anti-Americanism gives those leaders a certain amount of credibility and indulgence from the left. Likewise, pro-Americanism tends to curry favor from the right.

  15. wr says:

    @Shanna Carson: “Besides that, I don’t understand why Chavez hated the US so much.”

    Well, the fact that the Bush administration helped plan and execute a military coup against him probably helped.

    But even before that, the US has a century-old habit of meddling in the internal affairs of Latin American countries, overthrowing democratically elected governments they don’t like and installing puppet dicatorships. You might want to read up a little on the history of Chile, El Salvador and Nicaragua and you’ll see why there might be a little hostility from a left-leaning government down there.

  16. Andre Kenji says:

    @Shanna Carson: I don´t think that Chavez was strictly “Anti-American”. He made some cheap rhetorical punches against the United States because that´s something easy to do.In fact, anyone that can understand Spanish will note that his tirades are much more sarcastic than anything else, and that´s why he concentrated his attacks on Bush, and simply gave to Obama a book about Eduardo Galeano. Galeano´s book, a classic among the Latin America left that scholars thinks that´s inaccurate, works with the idea that Latin America was exploited by the Europeans and the United States.

    In Latin America there is the view that the countries in the region should seek a Foreign Policy that´s independent from the United States – people say that their country should not quit selling goods to a country just because the United States does not like their leader. Simon Bolivar(there is a Colombian comedy show that always shows Chavez with Bolivar´s ghost behind him, in part because Chavez spoke about him all the time) tried to create a confederation of Latin American States.

    I also think that there is too petit burgoyse disdain for the United States in Latin America, not antiamericanism per se.

  17. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: Well, the fact that the Bush administration helped plan and execute a military coup against him probably helped.

    Good lord, just when I think you’ve gotten as stupid as humanly possible, you descend to new depths.

    1) It wasn’t a coup, it was an attempted coup. The way to tell the difference is that Chavez remained in power.

    2) I forget — was it Halliburton who organized the coup attempt and BlackWater who poisoned him, or was it the other way around?

    For all the investigating, all that was uncovered was that some of the coup instigators had met with US officials. No proof that they discussed their planned coup was ever found, and no direct support from the US was ever uncovered.

    In the end, Chavez took control of a country with huge oil reserves (as in, “lots of wealth”) and made the people even poorer while making himself a billionaire. For all his lofty rhetoric and fervent declarations of support for “the people,” he was just another thug who exploited his people for his own gain.

    Good riddance.

  18. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “In the end, Chavez took control of a country with huge oil reserves (as in, “lots of wealth”) and made the people even poorer while making himself a billionaire.”

    As always, you have no idea what you’re talking about. While Chavez’s rule was definitely a mixed bag, the people living on less than $2 a day dropped from 35% of the population to 11% over three years.

    He made the billionaires poorer, that’s for sure, and the oil companies. Which are the only ones toadies like you care about.

    Oh, and I love your reasoning — Chavez shouldn’t have hated the US, because the coup they helped plan and fund turned out to be a failure. As always, you show an understanding of human nature matched by the average banana slug.

  19. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: Oh, and I love your reasoning — Chavez shouldn’t have hated the US, because the coup they helped plan and fund turned out to be a failure.

    You keep asserting that as a fact, when it’s not much more than left-wing fever ravings.

    And don’t be dissing slugs… there are a lot of UCSC fans out there, as well as Bill Amend fans too. Those are two groups you don’t want to piss off.