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Farewell Comrade Chavez!

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Chris Ford
Chris Ford

 Farewell Comrade Hugo Chavez!

Dead at 58. My working class maternal grandfather died at the same age as him.

I still mourn the grandfather I lost so young. The Venezuelan people no doubt will feel similarly about their late president long after today.

Chavez was a true socialist hero! 

He made education and health care free for all Venezuelans. El Presidente improved the housing of Venezuela's poor. He ensured that all household workers were paid by the state for raising their families. Through these means, he liberated millions of Venezuelans from a life of poverty and despair.

El Commandante Chavez also presided over a booming economy. Even though beset by inflation and corruption, the unemployment rate in that country fell by half after he assumed power in 1998. Currently its unemployment rate sits at around 7 percent but way down from its 1997 peak of 14 percent. Its GDP growth rate stood at around 1.19 percent in 2012. El Comandante assured that the Venezuelan people would obtain a more than proportionate share of the nation's oil wealth.

Chavez achieved all these things during an era when neo-liberalism has been in the ascendant.

For his socialism and anti-imperialism, the US sought to overthrow him in 2003. However, thankfully for Chavez and more for Venezuela, this US-backed coup failed. They couldn't turn Chavez into a Salvador Allende - an ousted, dead president - if they tried!

Today, though, Chavez is dead of natural causes.

He is mourned by me and other democratic socialists (and indeed socialists of all traditions) the world over!

Even though he Chavez is dead, his memory will live on!

RIP Hugo! 


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