I was saddened, though not surprised, when the long-time popular president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, passed away on Tuesday, March 5. It was expected: he had been undergoing treatments for cancer for a long time.
The CIA, and its mentors and minions in the Establishment, are (predictably) delighted, and are clearly looking for ways to restore their pro-Big Oil, pro-rich, anti-poor ways in Venezuela. Chavez has been an effective thorn in their side for the better part of fifteen years, during which he managed to attract hostility from pretty much all sides in Washington.
Hugo Chavez was first elected in 1998, running against the
corruption that had deeply infected both major parties in Venezuela. He
promised reforms that favored the poorer classes of people, and,
interestingly enough, partially succeeded. Some statistics indicate
that during his years, he reduced the poverty rate from 48% to under
30%. This, of course, challenged the elites of Venezuela who had firm
connections -- and obligations -- to the multi-national corporations and
interests that operate out of New York and Washington. Over the years, mutual antagonisms increased.
He aroused the ire of the Cheney-Bush neo-conservatives when he referred to American empire as the great problem, and George W. Bush as "the devil," in a speech at the United Nations in 2005.
In that same year, he angered Pat Robertson, the televangelist who speaks for Jesus to the Religious Right. Reverend Robertson thoughtfully urged that "we" ought to send in "our" covert operatives to assassinate him.
All this was, of course, late in the game. It was known in 2003 that agents of the FBI and the CIA were actively working on plans to assassinate him.
Which was, of course, also late in the game, since there had been a nearly-successful coup attempt against him in 2002 which followed the usual CIA pattern that has been followed, often successfully, since the CIA's inception (and before that, by the CIA's mother organization, the OSS, that flourished during World War II). The basic recipe is: Stir up trouble, inflame the press, fund the opposition, control or split the security apparatus, hope for the worst, use the chaos, and claim, or deny, responsibility.
In the run-up to the presidential election of 2012, a spate of anti-Chavez stories appeared in the U.S. media, painting him as marxist, or pro-extremist, or pro-Muslim, or too-sick-to-govern, or threatening violence to, or from, his well-connected opponents. Despite all this, he won re-election handily.
But Chavez hardly survived to his re-inauguration, and power passed to his vice-president. Whereupon the "serious" media (Fox, CBS) groused that his successor was "hand-picked" (Aren't vice-presidential candidates usually "hand-picked"? I'm thinking of Joe Biden and Paul Ryan here) -- and the tabloid media of Matt Drudge and the Right imagined "Hell's A-Burning" almost before his soul could have left his body.
One could wonder if the US media, whether left or right, was genuinely concerned about violence, or were more interested in fomenting it. Given their recent track record regarding Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, I think I can guess.
I am at the point where, if the CIA-media promotes or likes somebody, I doubt them; and if they demonize somebody else, I figure that that person has offended them, which is probably a good sign.
Which brings me to Mahmood Ahmadinejad, president of Iran, who has certainly been demonized by the CIA-media. Upon the death of Chavez, Ahmadinejad gave it as his opinion that Hugo Chavez would return alongside Jesus and the Mahdi at the Second Coming.
Well, I don't suppose that Ahmadinejad or the Muslims can speak too authoritatively about who will be returning with Christ; but neither do I much believe in the authoritative judgments of Pat Robertson or the CIA.
Meanwhile, Hugo Chavez, rest in peace. Your people found reason to love you, and your detractors are, well, your detractors.