Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Dead Dictator

In 1996, I had the opportunity to travel to the nation of Venezuela. Pictured above is the view from our hotel room on Margarita Island. It is a beautiful country with a friendly people, warm climate, multitude of tourist sites and potential for economic growth. In 1999, its government was taken over by a cancer named Hugo Chavez and today, cancer has taken the life of the cancer.

In the years Hugo Chavez has been the President of Venezuela, he yanked the country in the direction of Socialism, while at the same time, disregarding the individual, private business and a free press. If an individual or political party disagreed with him, they were considered an enemy of the state and their safety and freedom were at risk. Private companies were at risk in Venezuela, as with a very simple process, Hugo Chavez was able to force a governmental takeover. In controlling the government, Chavez unabashedly practiced nepotism and profiteering off the people of Venezuela. Furthermore, his governmental control of the oil industry, one of the top world producers of crude, over-inflated its prices, having a deleterious effect on the economies of its consumers.

With his death, there will be no more of his combative revolutionary rhetoric, and no more of his aggressive movements and language against the United States. The nation of Venezuela is at a crossroads. While Vice President Nicholas Maduro, the handpicked successor of Chavez, will likely share his leadership style and ideology, the Venezuelan people have a chance to wake up from their Socialist trance imposed on them by Hugo Chavez for nearly 14 years, and decide the path and fate of their country with the death of a dictator who is burning in hell. It also remains to be seen the role the United States will play in Venezuela's leadership transition. Only time will tell.

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