The death of Hugo Chavez is a very bittersweet deal for me. It’s sweet because no matter how many people the news will show weeping in the streets, it doesn’t change the fact that one less tyrant makes the world a better place. His death leaves a bitter taste with me though, because many of those lamenting his death and weeping in the streets will be doing it right here, on main street America. I’m sure professors on college campuses throughout America will be forcing their students to wear black armbands, socialist groups like Acorn will be crying and tearing at their clothes in the street and MSNBC will fly their flags at half-staff just like Citgo.
What’s all this rumpus about some peanut-headed guy from a third world country? Why is he such a big deal? He’s a big deal because he’s the perfect example of what the left upholds as righteous. He’s also a perfect example of somebody who had too much power and violated the rights of Venezuelans if they disagreed with his regime. Venezuela in the late 20th century was the perfect example of a banana republic. The first time one regime succeeded another without violence was in 1969. The vast majority of Venezuela’s leaders have military titles because that was how politics worked down there for more than two centuries. (In fact, I have a letter of marque somewhere around here that licenses me to attack the ships of Venezuela’s enemies signed by Simon Bolivar….. It doesn’t matter that the man’s been dead since 1830, the license is still valid. That’s the mentality of these dictators we’re dealing with, “My head is SO big that my legacy will live on throughout the ages” type of thing. I mean, the guy’s full name was: Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte y Blanco, for God’s sake! Seriously, only a dedicated megalomaniac would have a name that big, and he’s given ME the legal power to attack enemy ships which I would HAPPILY do but I digress….)
Simon blah, blah, blah, blah Bolivar
Anyway, Chavez was elected after his predecessor had a country with failing banks and skyrocketing inflation and things got really nasty. The two things this predecessor ((Rafael Caldera) did that would be significant is to open up the exploration of Venezuela’s natural resources to foreign companies to help stabilize their economy and pardon several members of a failed military coup back in 1992 who then organized into a political party under Hugo Chavez. Chavez was elected democratically in 1999. “But how can you call someone who was democratically elected a dictator???” Don’t be so naïve. An elected person or body of persons can trample a man’s rights as easily as a king or an emperor. Hitler was democratically elected as chancellor of Germany so put that in your pipe and smoke it. So there’s a long, completely unnecessary history lesson to give you some background on where Chavez comes from. I’ll get to explaining why I despised him next.
As I said, Chavez was elected to power and one of the first things he does is ally himself with the “pink tide” of communist and quasi-communist nations in South America like Castro, Morales and Ortega, ALL of which have long track records of human rights abuses, heavily regulated free speech, aggression towards their own citizens as well as their neighbors, etc. All the things we loved to hate about the reds back in the day. This shows what kind of person he sees HIMSELF as. Then, he goes on a bender of “wealth redistribution”. There were countless programs aimed at lifting up the poor and lowering the rich to make a strong middle class, including “nationalizing” (or theft as it’s usually called) of Venezuela’s main oil companies. As is what usually happens in wealth redistribution, instead of a strong middle class, Venezuela ended up with a very few super rich people, (himself included) the middle class shrank to damn near nothing and a massive population of the lower class. Why? Because this shit NEVER works. As long as humans walk this earth you will always have some that want to take from another. That’s why socialism, communism, spreading wealth around, etc. is only really spreading one thing: LIES. Anyway, Chavez goes on with helping build a TV network called TeleSur so he can broadcast whatever he thinks is appropriate to further his own agenda and sends anybody in the press who criticizes him to prison. He starts selling arms to places that are on par with oppressing its citizens such as Iran. He makes G-Dub’s famous “axis of evil” and becomes a hero for those who hate Bush here in the States. The Hollywood left like Sean Penn and Danny Glover begin migrating dwon to Caracas to smoke cigars and kiss his ass. Then he decides to have another election. And if this doesn’t tell you how full of himself this guy is, nothing will. He decides to have a public vote on whether he should be El Presidente for LIFE. Yeah, cuz somebody who only has the best interests of his people at heart would want to rule over them for the rest of his life, right? The people voted “NO”, and to my surprise, he was okay with that. And to be “fair” that’s not the only “good” thing he did. He also reduced people living in poverty (less than a dollar a day) from 50% to 28%. The problem is, he lowered millions of middle class people and small business owners to a level just above that poverty line. So much for “spreading the wealth”.
“We used to own an oil company!”
Hugo Chavez represents everything that’s wrong with big government: You always end up giving them more power for “the good of all.” “You’re just peasants! You can’t possibly know what’s good for you without our help!” Unfortunately, Chavez’s legacy will live on for years to come because all we’ll see on the Today Show is the outpouring of grief the state-run Venezuelan media wants us to see. He’ll be put on pedestals and there will be statues made of him. We’ll hear of all the “good” he did by lowering the poverty rate and taking over control of Venezuela’s fuel industry. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan people will continue to languish economically and his political opposition will languish in prisons. His death will bring sympathy from statists the world over and therefore, his policies will continue as long as they can until they ultimately fail….. and they will. Chavez will remain a hero to many. But to a people who have the determination to remain free, (Like myself) Chavez is a warning of what big government, wealth distribution and political power really does to ambitious individuals with big heads and to those they wish to rule. We need to heed that warning before some banana republic wannabe tries to set up the same thing in Washington.