Hugo Chavez has finally succumbed to cancer. Normally when I write a post heading highlighting someone’s death, I add a “RIP” to the post title. That seemed inappropriate here, given that my very first thought when I read that was dead was “Good Riddance” — hence the “GR” in the post caption.
Chavez was a dreadful man from first to last. He destroyed any vestige of civil rights that Venezuelan citizens once had, he threw himself (and his country’s oil) in the open arms of the world’s worst actors, and he actively encouraged antisemitism within Venezuela’s borders. He also tried to destabilize Latin America as a whole and bring it into his totalitarian, anti-American, antisemitic orbit.
Given all the marks in the “con” column of his life’s achievement, and the total absence of any marks in the “pro” column, I’m not at all sorry he died. I’m only sorry he didn’t die sooner. Nature shouldn’t have taken so long in purging the earth of his presence.
And proving that my vindictiveness hasn’t been fully spent reviling Chavez, let me add that I wish Nature would hurry up when it comes to hastening the passing of such other evildoers as Castro, Jong-Un, and Ahmadinejad and his Ayatollahs. It’s entirely possible that, were they to meet their Maker (or just decompose in the ground) their replacements would be even worse. However, what one hopes is that a dictator’s passing creates a tiny window of space and hope within which people of good will can act to save those of their fellow citizens straining under the yoke of a totalitarian dictatorship.
Please note that I am not asking that these leaders be assassinated or that we wage war against them. Chavez died of natural causes. The others should too . . . only very quickly.