My Two Hundred Dinars: Chavez esta Muerto, Viva Chavez.

Posted on March 6, 2013

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S’up Hugo.

Hugo Chavez died this morning at the age of 58, after a battle with cancer that he would ultimately lose. The Venezuelan President had led the Bolivarian Revolution for the previous 14 years, and polarised like no other in Latin America’s recent history. To the West and his opponents, he was an egotistical self obsessed dictator who wasted oil money and quashed any opposition brutally. To millions throughout the world, he was the leader of the revolution against neo-liberalism, the man who took his country back and gave it to the people, the guy who introduced free health clinics in the neglected slums and charismatically protected Latin America from imperialism.

I may have only spent 3 weeks in Venezuela in 2008, but in those 3 weeks you could not avoid Chavez, whether it was the red-infused rallies held in the streets of Caracas, or the disputes and complaints by some of the people about his style. I am not joking when I say the opinion of him from the people I met was literally 50/50. My personal opinion of him at that time swayed really, I thought seeing his face everywhere was a bit too much, but couldn’t really argue with the pharmacies everywhere and the numbers regarding education. Since then, my opinion has improved immeasurably, the more I’ve read about the world. In a world where particular world powers can pick or choose whether someone is in charge, and countries that are coincidentally resource rich get invaded, occupied and plundered, it is quite amazing that he survived so long and was so popular to the end. Venezuela is one of the worlds biggest oil producers, and is on the doorstep of the States, so it really is a testament to the sheer immensity of Chavez that the country is still in the hands of its people.

A new election will be held, and the result will show whether the Bolivarian Revolution can continue without its charismatic figurehead.

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