Hugo Chavez is dead. One CNN apologist, at least trying to be courteous, said, “We don’t agree with their socialist ideas.”
“Why did he go to Cuba?” asked another, forgetting that Cuban medicine was subsidized for years by the Soviet Union and the plentiful Cuban doctors are still widely respected.
During the ’50s the Cubans had the healthiest children in the hemisphere.
One Republican American congressional leader commented on the death, “good riddance.” That kind of crassness is embarrassing and discourteous in any death.
In spite of American attitudes, Chavez was a champion of the poor. Poverty in Venezuela declined by more than 50 percent during his rule. Chavez encouraged participatory democracy by starting 30,000 communal councils in various communities. He used Venezuelan oil for social and regional redevelopment, rather than selling it only to Standard Oil. He pushed for participatory democracy, opening many new polling places in poor neighborhoods, in contrast to Yellowstone County’s closure of polling places in all Billings neighborhoods.