Most people will shrug their shoulders when they hear that President Chavez has died. That is because they have been sucked in by Western Media reports about how Chavez was ‘ruining’ Venezuela and that he was responsible for the curtailing of freedom in his country. The rich most certainly had less reason to love this populist leader. They still have a great deal of influence in this South American country and they are gathering their forces for a U-turn in Venezuelan politics.
The poor and many middle class citizens had much to thank him for, in the form of a fairer economy, with a rise in the living standards for those at the bottom along with increased hope for a better future. He had many enemies who fought hard to return to the ‘good old days’ of rampant corruption and grinding poverty for a large section of Venezuelan people. The poor are going to miss him and now they will see a possible return of the industrialists and their cohorts. Much of what Chavez had accomplished is in danger of being overturned.
His opponents at the last election will come out swinging and a campaign of fear will be mounted to return the establishment to their ‘rightful’ place. We shall all look back at Chavez’s time in office’ some with anger but many with a feeling that ‘just this once,’ the ordinary people of Venezuela had hope for a while.
Call it ‘class warfare’ if you lost out but maybe it was something different---a chance to create a more decent society, albeit one that did not suit the ‘old guard.’ I can hear them rubbing their hands with glee, from way down in the South Pacific. You will be missed, Mr President.