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BBC is reporting that Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, has died of a respiratory infection after battling cancer.

BBC:

Last May, he said he had recovered from an unspecified cancer, after undergoing surgery and chemotherapy in 2011 and a further operation in February 2012.

However, in December 2012, he announced he needed further cancer surgery in Cuba, and named his Vice-President, Nicolas Maduro, as his preferred successor should the need arise.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 02:23:46 PM PST

  •  Is there any clear successor to him? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, Larsstephens

    I see he named a successor but do they have the political clout to take over? Or is the situation in Venezuela going to turn violent as the power vacuum is filled? Love him or hate him Chavez was a force to reckon with in Venezuela, his death it going to change things.

    You can't assassinate the character of any of modern conservative. You'd have to find where it was buried, dig it up, resurrect it, then kill it. And killing a zombie isn't really assassination, is it?

    by ontheleftcoast on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 02:33:08 PM PST

  •  Not a big surprise (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, dinotrac, Catte Nappe, Larsstephens, FG

    given recent news. The strange theater around his illness had subsided a bit in recent days, with the government being more forthcoming with information. To me that indicated they were accepting the inevitable.

    I just tried to get three venezuelan news sites and could get through to any of them. He was president for 14 years, so a whole generation there must be pretty shocked. Saw a recent poll in which 60% of venezuelans thought he would be just fine.

    That's about his support level, too. So this means new elections in Venezuela. His VP, from what I've read, has some backchannel relations with the US, so I would expect the bluster to subside if he manages to take over. but of course, with Chavez out of the picture, the question is how much this will shake things up.

  •  Wouldn't expect much change, especially in that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, FG

    the reports from the government are blaming his death on his "enemies", saying that they gave him cancer.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by absdoggy on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 02:44:09 PM PST

  •  R.I.P. Presidente Chavez. (8+ / 0-)

    condolences to his family, friends and nation.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 02:45:57 PM PST

  •  My All-Time Favorite Chavez Speech (5+ / 0-)

    The Devil came here yesterday

    "Life is tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid." --John Wayne

    by Sonofasailor on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 02:50:39 PM PST

  •  An Autocratic Relic of a ByGone Era (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, eowynsdottir, FG

    From the '50s through the '80s...people had the choice (well, not really) between a US-backed fascist dictator or a Soviet-backed Marxist dictator.  Bottom line was, you were getting a dictator with a lifetime appointment who would throw opponents into prisons (or the sea) and use national resources to finance guerrilla wars in neighboring countries.  Pinochet, Castro, Juan Peron, Daniel Ortega....six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    True democracy is finally taking root in this region of the world.  Brazil, Colombia, Chile...all are diversifying their economies, reconciling with old enemies, and relishing in peaceful transitions of power decided by elections.

    Chavez's Venezuela has been a drag on that progress.

    Chavez may not have been a major part of the Cold War 'trade one dictator for another' era of Central & South American politics, but that is clearly what he aspired to.  He cracked down on free speech, abolished term limits, massively expanded executive power. On the international stage, he backed FARC terrorists in Colombia and became a cheerleader for the likes of dictators crushing popular dissent in Iran, Libya, and Syria.

    Where the region goes from here I don't know, but I hope the era of the personality cult is at an end.

    Follow Me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/ZeddRebel

    by TarantinoDork on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:08:32 PM PST

    •  I do not mean this adversarially (0+ / 0-)

      because I don't know THAT much about Venezuela, but wasn't he democratically elected, or is this another case of "I throw my enemies in jail and gerrymander and now I'm the winner?"

      If he was democratically elected then he's just a socialist.

      "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

      by sujigu on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:52:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I suspect that we also saw the death (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus

    of the Bolivarian revolution today as well. Chavez was the revolution. We will now see a return to Party politics as per usual. I suspect that the guy he beat in the last election ail win the next one. Maduro isn't going to be the President for long. Venezuela was a personal fiefdom more than anything else.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:14:42 PM PST

  •  Condolences & peace to all those who loved and (0+ / 0-)

    respected Mr. Hugo Chavez.

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