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Hugo Chavez dies aged 58. Dictator or savior ?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Hydrix, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Hydrix

    Hydrix Member

    The news of his death, whilst obviously saddening, hasn't come as much of a shock to me. I think it was only a matter of time as he has had a lengthy battle with cancer, and one that he did not seem to be winning. Earlier today I heard reports that the following hours would be the most challenging he would face, and sadly he did not survive them.

    What I'm interested to get is peoples view points towards Chavez. There seem to be 2 very strong view points. One that think Chavez is a dictator. And one that he is a savior.

    I've spent time in Venezuela, and first hand experienced the poverty that is day to day life for many Venezuelans. Through this and talks with friends who are also Venezuelan it seems that many believe that the freedom of the country is at a higher level than before Chavez came to power, and that the "corrupt" country is seeing lower levels of corruption than before too. Chavez pumped money into health and education programmes, but some felt that their future, and the future of Venezuela was not being taken into consideration. Were the US annoyed or afraid of his links with Castro/ Cuba and the surrounding regions? Or was it that Big Oil didn't like him, and so that's what gets trickled down to Americans through the media?

    What are your thoughts?

    Hugo Chavez. Dictator or savior?
  2. erich37

    erich37 Well-Known Member

    this is a must see:
    an Oliver Stone production: "South of the Border"

    wickedstangs and Hydrix like this.
  3. Hydrix

    Hydrix Member

  4. Lucas

    Lucas Well-Known Member

    Dictator, I was living in Venezuela when he was trying to gain power years ago and actually had paid people to randomly shoot at protestors in the streets, we saw them in the media, after that we remember seeing the media headquaters being raided by the local police. We decided it was time to leave the country.

    I actually know people who right now do absolutely nothing and earn about $10,000 per month or so by supporting Chavez and working for his government. Friend of a friend. And I mean, hell, who wouldn't support someone that gave you almost 10k a month for free.

    Those that do not support the government have no access to credit cards or milk sometimes if I remember correctly. I could go digging with some friends but honestly I'd rather not, it's a very sad situation. Taking away from some and giving it to others is never the solution.
  5. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    I think neither term is accurate nor what the scope of history will show.

    He was elected and the election were declared generally fair in comparison with international norms. That means he is not a dictator by any definition.

    As far as savior, this also is not the case. However, history may end up showing him as part of a greater movement with some other latin american countries who have thrown off (at least partially) control by the USA and the Multi-national oil companies and returned SOME of it back to the people.

    I abhor the old "banana republic" and oil company control of these countries and hope to see a trend of their people - ALL THEIR PEOPLE - benefitting from their natural resources and labors. This was certainly not the case before Chavez (and still is not, but some would say the trend was better).....

    You can point out the bad things, but it's hard to argue with this:
    "During the past decade under Chavez, the income poverty rate in Venezuela has dropped by more than half, from 54% of households below poverty level in the first half of 2003, down to 26% at the end of 2008. "Extreme poverty" has fallen even more - by 72%"
    RastaLulz likes this.
  6. Brad L

    Brad L Well-Known Member

    I would have preferred he recover and then immediately retire.
  7. Rho Delta

    Rho Delta Well-Known Member

    Good riddance.
  8. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    I think he died of Karma.
    HWS, erich37, DRE and 1 other person like this.
  9. Lucas

    Lucas Well-Known Member

    What source is this from? I have not heard any type of info like these from local friends there. Although I do agree he wasn't exactly a dictator per se, he was quiet close to it.
  10. Jason

    Jason Well-Known Member

    Just like Castro he was a charlatan. They talk about socialism but they're not socialists, though Chavez did initiate some needed reforms. They are dictators (for lack of a better word) that keep their own people under their thumbs and by no means live the lifestyles they're promoting.

    He certainly was no savior, at least not for the majority of his people (who tried to oust him more than once), where he took the country from a democracy to more of a dictatorship, centralizing power in the CA and granting himself more autocratic powers, gave rise to antisemitic rhetoric in his government, had a poor human rights record, and where the rate of crime and corruption more than doubled (or, according to OVV, quadrupled) during his administration, regardless of his views on foreign policy.
  11. Fred Sherman

    Fred Sherman Well-Known Member

    Good riddance to bad rubbish
  12. D.O.A.

    D.O.A. Well-Known Member

    like his buddy castro it was more along the lines of I rule until I'm dead.
    For a dictator to just go away, happy in retirement with someone else doing "his" work, is a very rare thing indeed.
  13. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

  14. FreshFroot

    FreshFroot Well-Known Member

    I guess the real question is who will take power next and will things still be the same?
  15. swatme

    swatme Well-Known Member

    too bad for venezuelan...
    this these times,
    they should elect a young energetic leader.
    just what the next pope should be, elect a young energetic pope who can walk and run by himself.
  16. dutchbb

    dutchbb Well-Known Member

    Politicians aren't saviors, they are the source of most of our misery. No exception here.
    yavuz and John like this.
  17. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member


    Lots of info there about bad and good. I don't think you should use your friends as a source of stats for historical sake. The people who were the "1%" who ran the place up until him - they don't like him (of course). The poor do.

    Just for arguments sake, whose side do you think The Lord (if he exists) is on? The poor? Or the big landowners and big oil companies?

    Again, not claiming he is a saint or savior, but cutting poverty and land reforms and spreading the oil wealth are all good things, IMHO.
  18. Biker

    Biker Well-Known Member

    Considering Transparency International ranks Venezuela as one of the most corrupt countries in South America, your Wiki data is extremely suspect.
    SchmitzIT likes this.
  19. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    As my first answer clearly said, he was neither a sinner or a saint. But the WP article is fairly factual. Here's an article saying what I am talking about - a MIXED legacy:

    Believe me, it was corrupt WAY before Chavez.

    He came through for the poor....which were over 50% of the population! You can pooh-pooh that, but it's true by any measurement. They re-elected him and are crying over his death.

    Also, in my industry (heating), when oil prices went up high people in New England were freezing (the poor). The non-profits went to ALL the American and British and Dutch oil companies for some relief. NO was the answer. Chavez gave vast discounts and free oil to the poor of New England.

    A mixed legacy.

    This is always hard to do, but I try to stand far back and look at how history will treat him - as opposed to taking the opinion that the Oil Companies and our (somewhat imperialist) governments tell us.

    He left the country in a mess. He did not organize it well. But there is no disputing that MILLIONS of poor people are not dying as young and not suffering as much. I guess it depends where your values are?
  20. Cal

    Cal Well-Known Member

    Dictator. Hopefully Venezuela will stand up for themselves this time as the government decides whether Chavez's self appointed successor takes office....or if they actually follow their own constitution allowing the next party leader to take office. I would like to see democracy restored in Venezuela and a good relationship with the US and the rest of the world. As someone else said...good riddance to him.

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