NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

March 20, 2013

Who was Hugo Chavez? Here's who

To the editor:

Hugo Chavez, the late president of Venezuela, was certainly not perfect and was like most of us a complex human being, capable of great things and not-so-great things. Your editorial (March 13) shows a very small, limited, narrow view.

He rose from poverty and had a mixed ancestry of indigenous, African and Spanish, and to quote a published article “despised a power structure dominated by European elites” and maintained a visceral connection to the poor and downtrodden. To those addicted to convention and keeping the power and the money in the hands of the powerful and the rich and stacking the decks in those directions (sound familiar, fellow Americans?), they will of course have issues with him and his methods.

I believe he endeavored to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. Many of us will remember his courageous appearance at the United Nations in 2006 saying “the hegemonic pretensions of the American empire are placing at risk the very survival of the human species” — can anyone in their right mind and respectful of science argue with this?

And of course accurately (in my view) calling former President George W. Bush (who had just gotten up with the beloved Colin Powell — remember all the maps and drawings, and so many “bought it” — and others trying to convince the world of the presence of all those weapons of mass destruction and our need to wage war on Iraq) “the devil.”

How many deaths were Bush and his decisions directly responsible for? All of us can do the numbers on “Americans” (approximately 5,000), but how many others, and why do those lives seem to matter less? Wasn’t Chavez more patriotic than any of us, willing to stand up to an imperialistic American despot, having the courage and wisdom to tell it like it is? Did any other leaders here or abroad show similar vision and conviction?

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans