As Venezuela Prays for its Beloved Leader, Vultures Circle, Eager for Death and Profits
As Venezuela Prays for its Beloved Leader, Vultures Circle, Eager for Death and Profits
By Ruth Hull
Very few leaders, anywhere, have enjoyed the kind of love and popular support Hugo Chavez receives from the people of Venezuela. Outside of George Washington and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, no American President has enjoyed the popularity of Hugo Chavez, who has won elections by margins American Presidents only dream of receiving.
Hugo Chavez and the people of Venezuela have a common enemy: vultures in the form of rich corporate opponents. These vultures were there before Chavez took office. The people can remember when the corporate thieves looted the country’s resources and robbed the people into poverty. Now, these opponents are taking advantage of Chavez’s weakened condition following surgery and are spreading false rumors of death, eager to undo the people’s vote of 2012, a vote that clearly showed that the people of Venezuela want no part of the opposition’s form of government ever again. With Chavez in the hospital, these vultures are trying to frighten the people and stress out the ailing leader in the hopes that he will die or that the false rumors will manifest in reality. The opposition believes a new election will allow them to rip away the people’s property and resources for their own agenda. It is hard enough to recover from surgery without the strain of knowing that people you love will suffer greatly if you don’t recover fast enough. The opposition’s ruthless misconduct could actually be endangering Hugo Chavez’s very life. Without conscience, the opposition awaits death as it plans the demise of the people’s government, their fortunes and their resources.
Who is Hugo Chavez, this great President who has won the hearts of the Venezuelan people, young and old?
In 1999, when Hugo Chavez took office, the country was suffering from extreme poverty. Infant mortality was high. The bulk of the people were poverty stricken and had very little. Now, the Gross National Product has increased by about 250%. Chavez has cut the poverty rate by over 60%. The infant mortality rate has been almost cut in half.
Much of the reason for the pre-Chavez poverty was that rich oil giants were savaging the resources and giving nothing back to the people. Chavez ended the looting and gave the people a percentage of the profits obtained from the people’s own resources. International corporations had acquired unused property that was sitting vacant while people went homeless. (Sound familiar?) Chavez gave the unused business property back to the people. He assisted the people in cultivating their own resourses, growing their own food and in getting the medical attention they needed. He opened up medical centers for the people to be treated, raising the longevity of the people of Venezuela. While longevity is leveling off in the United States, it has dramatically increased since Hugo Chavez took office.
Chavez has treated the people like his brothers and sisters, celebrating with them at all possible opportunities, reading to their children, and making the interests of the people the key factor in setting government policies. Their suffering has been his suffering and their joys, his joys.
Americans looking at the Chavez government wonder where we went wrong and why our leaders don’t listen to us the way Chavez listens to his people. As Chavez lies in his hospital bed recovering from cancer surgery, the people of his country pray for him as they would for a father or a brother or sister.
It hasn’t been an easy road for Hugo Chavez and his people in a world where corporate interests are treated as paramount to those of the people. Greedy oil executives, opposing Chavez’s reforms, had their chauffeurs drive them to formal protests as citizens watched stunned at the ridiculous site of rich men marching around with signs disparaging the poor and downtrodden.
Despite interference from the World Trade Organization (responsible for destroying the standard of living in countries around the world that have been affiliated with that organization), Chavez stood up against free trade and against the WTO. He put his people first, ahead of corporations and ahead of greed. He received death threats. There were frequent attempts on his life orchestrated by foreign powers.
In 2002, Hugo Chavez was kidnapped by powerful foreign interests (as in people associated with George W. Bush). One of those connected to the kidnapping was Henrique Capriles, the man who was soundly defeated by the people of Venezuela in the 2012 re-election of Hugo Chavez. Hugo Chavez was taken to an island and only released after the people took to the streets and refused to settle for anything less than the return of their beloved leader.
Greg Palast has said, “Fear of Chavez is Fear of Democracy.” He is correct. In that article, he compared Hugo Chavez to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR is the leader attributed with pulling America out of the great depression. We currently have no leader who is willing to do what it takes to pull America out of its current depression. But Hugo Chavez has been there for the American people when George W. Bush and Barack Obama have fallen short and let the people down. When Hurricane Katrina hit, George W. Bush was AWOL (just like in the Alabama National Guard). But Hugo Chavez decided to fill in for Bush and was the first world leader to offer aid to the people of New Orleans. In recent winters, Barack Obama has been content to let the people in the colder regions of the United States freeze to death. Hugo Chavez doesn’t want Americans to die from neglect and has provided heating oil to Americans to assist with the cold winters.
Hugo Chavez has been a guiding light for the world, showing us that there can be leaders who put people first. He has shown the world that the people are more important than corporate greed. He has shown that the government should serve the people and not vice versa.
When Fukushima showed the dangers of nuclear power and America’s EPA hid the truth about the extensive fallout in the United States, it was Hugo Chavez who cared enough about the safety of his own people to tell them the truth and to freeze all nuclear projects in Venezuela. In contrast, our own President Barack Obama pushed for the building of new Fukushima-style reactors in the United States and temporarily fled our country with his family for South America when Fukushima’s plume first hit the United States. Is it any wonder that Hugo Chavez has a much higher popularity rating in his country than Barack Obama has in ours?
While criticizing the inaccurate election process in the United States, Jimmy Carter praised the election process in Venezuela.
“As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world,” Mr. Carter said, noting the Carter Center’s extensive work monitoring elections around the globe.
So while the people of Venezuela pray for the recovery of their friend, their brother, their example and their leader, the hateful forces of the opposition are intentionally and maliciously spreading false rumors and endangering Chavez’s life by pressuring him to return for a symbolic inauguration before he can fully recover. If the stress or pressure of any of this causes any further complications to the health of Venezuela’s beloved leader, the opposition, including Henrique Capriles, Julio Borges and Tomas Guanipa, can expect to be held accountable in the eyes of the People of Venezuela and the world.
Venezuela’s People’s National Assembly has united behind Hugo Chavez in selecting his friend and ally Diosdado Cabello as its Assembly leader. Cabello and Vice President Nicolas Maduro (Chavez’s choice for his successor) are working together to maintain Chavez’s government and his reforms until he can rejoin his revolution.
Under the Venezuelan Constitution, as shown and read by Vice President Maduro, the Venezuelan Supreme Court can swear in President Chavez at a later date and a different location than where and when they had intended the Inauguration. This flexibility will likely remove some of the pressure interfering with his recovery. Stress is never good when a person is fighting not just for his health but for the protection of his people.
On Thursday, January 10th, 2013, the People of Venezuela will be rallying in support of President Chavez, sending him a clear message that they are with him, eagerly awaiting his return. People around the world will be joining them in spirit and prayer. The world needs more heroes and it can’t afford to lose the few leaders who actually care. Viva Chavez.
The author is the chairman of a liberal Democratic organization that is working to move the country towards its true base, the people. She has organized major human rights events and worked with some of the most liberal leaders in America. Her career has included work as a criminal defense attorney, a licensed private investigator, an educator and a writer.
Posted on January 20, 2013, in Communist, Government, International affairs, politics and tagged Barack Obama, Chavez, George W. Bush, Greg Palast, Hugo Chávez, news, United States, Venezuela. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.