Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hugo Chavez, R.I.P. (1954-2013)

"He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again."

Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2

And so ends the extraordinary life of Hugo Chavez. 

 Prior to his 14 year tenure as president of Venezuela, the country was a mess.  Although rich in oil reserves, most of the natural resources of the country were used to enrich a small elite while the population suffered.  After taking power and making constitutional reforms, Chavez was able to provide universal education, universal medical care, and a functioning social safety net.  The quality of life for most Venezuelans improved dramatically. 

Upon learning of Chavez's death, thousands of mourners poured into the streets of Caracas, expressing their grief over the loss of a man who had become something of a father figure to the South American nation.  The American media wants to hear nothing of it.  Most American and British news reports continue to focus on a single narrative--that Chavez was a "polarizing" figure.  Whenever reporters on the ground begin to mention the great love and admiration the overwhelming majority of Venezuelans felt for Chavez, the American reporter would immediately cut them off and distract them with more nonsense about how a small group of Venezuelan ex patriots disagreed with his policies.  The purpose of this is to discredit Chavez and the tremendous success of his movement.  

Chavez had the audacity to reject American imperial power and claim that the natural resources of Venezuela should be used for the benefit of Venezuelans instead of multinational oil cartels based in the United States and Britain.  Although we couldn't find it in the American press, Al Jazeera and RT News reported that several world leaders, including Ban Ki Moon, the president of Argentina, and many other countries expressed their sadness and praised Chavez for his accomplishments in bettering the lives of millions of average Venezuelans.  RT News reported that the majority of the nations of the world--excluding the U.S. and Britain--saw Chavez and his Bolivar Revolution as a success.  

There is no formal conspiracy by the American media to condemn Chavez.  People aren't meeting in backrooms to smear his name.  It is just that the American and British media select journalists who support the corporate interests of their respective countries.  Even NPR, which is supposedly liberal, offered nothing but anti-Chavez propaganda.  The sad truth is that to have learned anything useful about Hugo Chavez, you had to go to Google News, type in "Hugo Chavez," and research several international and independent sources of media to find fair coverage of his life.  The American media doesn't hire journalists who support leftists or those who have opinions which significantly deviate from the interests of their corporate owned masters and sponsors.

The "Polarizing" Death of Chavez

World Mourns Chavez as Hero