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Why anyone would feel the need to give props to recently departed Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez seems beyond explanation, but it’s certainly all the rage this past week for folks on the left.
Suddenly this inept, dictatorial politician is eulogized as a conquering hero, a champion of the poor, a standard-bearer for all that is right and good.
But while Chávez promised utopia, he left behind chaos. While he proclaimed economic freedom, he pillaged, stole and destroyed his nation’s businesses. While he prospered, the masses suffered.
Consider his record:
• Chávez destroyed the free market system in Venezuela, tying his nation’s fortunes to one commodity;
• He bullied adversaries, rigged elections and set out to rewrite the constitution;
• He leveled the playing field, but only by destroying the bar by which the standards were set; and
• He left behind a currency gasping for air as it plummets in value.
And that doesn’t even take into account the crime rate; even those on the left can’t deny this failure. Venezuela is a country ravaged by violence and murder—one of the worst on this planet.
One writer on the left admitted Chávez was “no saint” and had “amassed a troubling record when it came to protecting human rights and basic democratic freedoms.” But, we must assume, those aren’t so important to the left; remember this was the man who called President Bush the “devil” at the 2006 opening session of the UN General Assembly. That alone ranks him among the royalty adored by the left. And then there’s the fact that he promoted the foundational socialistic principles so many on the left adore—and desire for our country to adopt.
Those who embrace Chávez the leader turn a blind eye to his atrocious abuse of human, political and social rights.
Or maybe they just don’t care. And that’s what is really scary.