Hugo Chavez: what the media are saying

Left Foot Forward looks at the media's reaction to the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Left Foot Forward looks at the media’s reaction to the death of Hugo Chavez

The death of Hugo Chavez is “a body blow for the poor and the oppressed, throughout Latin America and the wider world”, writes George Galloway in today’s Independent.

Meanwhile, fellow Independent Voices writer Owen Jones has penned an article claiming that Hugo Chavez “demonstrated that it is possible to resist the neo-liberal dogma that holds sway over much of humanity”.

The BBC reports that Hugo Chavez has left the Venezuelan economy in a muddle. “So every Venezuelan now has a more equal slice of the cake. The trouble is, that cake has not been getting much bigger.”

“In the ranking of dictators, Hugo Chávez is in the welterweight class,” writes David Pryce-Jones in the Spectator.

The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has given “free rein to fears that Cuba will plunge into an economic abyss again if Caracas halts its subsidies estimated at well above the massive aid that the Soviet Union once provided to Havana”, reports the Miami Herald.

According to the editorial of the same paper, Hugo Chávez leaves behind “a country in far worse condition than it was when he became president, its future clouded by rivals for succession in a constitutional crisis of his Bolivarian party’s making and an economy in chaos”.

“Hugo Chávez strikes me as a familiar type of Latin American caudillo whose career would probably end in tears – his own or other people’s,” writes Michael White in the Guardian.

“With the death of Hugo Chavez, Cuba also lost the longed for great political leader after the slow public demise of Fidel Castro,” reports Isaac Risco in Cuba’s Havana Times.

State-run Islamic Republic of Iran News Network TV said Chavez was “a stubborn enemy of American imperialism in Latin America.”

Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz says that Chavez’s foreign policy was “one big provocation”.

Earlier today we looked at the mixed legacy Chavez leaves behind.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today. 

33 Responses to “Hugo Chavez: what the media are saying”

  1. Paul Garner

    What would Galloway know about championing the poor and oppressed? He’s just a cynical, selfish opportunist whose interests begin and end at his own front door.

  2. Mick

    poor little Chavez, the rich, brutal and completely obsessive killer that he was.

    That people in the Left can honour him is disgusting and shows just how close to the NF our mainstream leftists are. The Left claim allsorts of Nick Griffin, but look at them.

    Indeed, remember when 23 Labour MPs signed an early day motion prasising castro, with Harman saying he as a ‘hero of the Left’?



    ‘P*** off Mr. Chips’:

  3. Mick

    And as a previous article here says, ‘Under Chavez Venezuela forged some pretty unsavory alliances – including the Castro dictatorship in Cuba and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Chavez was also an opponent of the Arab Spring, supporting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi until the end and siding with Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.’

    Opposition to Arab Spring was good. yet their placement of the fact Chavez destroyed the economy to give cash to people who were scarecely raised out of poverty due to the knock-on effect is in the ‘good’ pile.

  4. Dr Talent

    Thought I’d pop by to see if this blog had closed down yet. No! The Trade Union dollar must still be flowing…………… but a nice surprise………. a new image for the blog. So much better than that deeply heavy purple…………

  5. Newsbot9

    Ah yes, making excuses for Griffin now? There’s a reason he keeps losing lawsuits. So, no, not “claims”…

  6. Newsbot9

    So you thought you’d come be a bigot. That’s nice.

  7. Newsbot9

    Of course you oppose democracy. And keep screaming at anyone who doesn’t immediately adopt the position of starving the poor!

    There’s plenty to criticise without your fantasies.

  8. Mick

    No, the Left make excuses for themselves. And Griffin didn’t actually go to jail did he, much unlike Chris Huhne could be set to, or Lord Rennard or other PC maniacs who could be quite at home on this board.

  9. Mick

    Chavez stood in staged elections, but that’s democracy enough for anarchists like you.

    The only way a mutualist could win an election on his own would be if he was the only one in it.

  10. Newsbot9

    As I said, you’re making excuses for a criminal, then attempting to deny it. And right, some right wing LibDems are in trouble…that reflects on your right.

    And of course you’d welcome fellow trolls here, to back you up.

  11. Newsbot9

    No, your single-state plan is YOURS. Even Chavez’s opponents admit that his elections was free and fair, and international organisations have certified them as such. The words “free and fair” are the ones you fear and hate, because they can lead to people with Unapproved Views being elected!

  12. Mick

    And the Left are lower than Griffin – they lie and glorify their disgusting heroes, as this link in the sidebar proves:

    “Best of the web

    Don’t forget there’s a dark side to Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela – James Bloodworth, The Independent”

    The Left need to be REMINDED their evil peers have a ‘dark side’. How laughably sick is that?!

  13. Mick

    Like in Zimbabwe, the ‘opposition’ say what they have to to remain safe. And rigged elections have been proved by academics there:

    Plus Bloomberg have a say, praising Chavez’s corrupt rule as a good ‘Third Way elected autocrat’ regime, much like the Soviet Union! (Yup, they said that.):

    And finally, as you say the Left may not win an election now, it just proves what a busted flush Chavez and his socialists actually would have been with real democracy.

    But then, being an anarchist, you have sympathy with people who can’t win legitimately. Which is why there’s no so much violence with your lot. Pity poor Newsbot.

  14. Newsbot9

    Your support for a criminal? Sick. Keep calling anyone not your sort of criminal disgusting!

  15. Newsbot9

    Yes, keep thinking I need to be pitied like you. Keep talking up your anti-democratic plans. In a democracy, power can be peacefully handed over – anethma to you!

    Keep trying to overthrow any government you feel isn’t ideologically correct.

  16. Mick

    And the Left know all about that.

  17. Newsbot9

    Yes, we keep exposing it in your right all the time.

  18. Mick

    Oh poor Newsbot. Calm down dear and take a leaf from our Prime Minster’s book. He is, of course, in charge after having years of departmental experience whilst mutualists only rave from over there in the distance.

    Newsbot’s well aware in reality that under our democracy power is indeed peaceably transferred. Chavez’s prisoners, now citizens again, can enjoy that prospect as we do.

    Unless, mutualists and other anarchists see an ‘opening’ over there to keep the oppression going.

  19. Newsbot9

    Why would I take a lesson from an incompetent self-serving loser? His experience is folding towels.

    And keep saying what “I” know. You’re trying to bring transfer of power to an end, of course. Keep on talking up your plans for Britain.

  20. Mick

    And because you keep inventing it, you always have plentiful supply!

    Calm down dear. Lie back and think of Cameron.

  21. Mick

    ‘Why would I take a lesson from an incompetent self-serving loser? ‘

    Oh Newsbot, you do raise a laugh before bed. A loser who’s PM and had plenty of Treasury experience, unlike Newsbot. I would say people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but I daresay Newsie hasn’t even got one of those.

    And nice Anarchist insights from Newsbot – wanting the corrupt regime of Chavez gone means that I want to ban all parties I don’t like.

  22. Newsbot9

    So you’re for sexual harassment as well as chanting a mantra vs reality. The invention is yours.

  23. Newsbot9

    Ah yes, that’s why the economy is collapsing, it’s “experience”. And you’re then one trying to nuke the greenhouse.

    And right, you want democratic parties gone. Thanks for admitting it!

  24. Mick

    You may want to harass poor David Cameron, the thought never came to the minds of anyone else.

  25. Mick

    Chavez was never democratic in the Western sense. Same with Mugabe and pals, hence Newsbot’s confusion.

    and for Newsbot’s next splurge of vomit……..

  26. Newsbot9

    Yes, I’m sure none of your minds came up with that.

  27. Newsbot9

    Right right. Never mind the fair elections, because he’s on the left you don’t believe in him. Your Pal mugabe, now…

    And no, I won’t clean your vomit up.

  28. Mick

    Newsbot doesn’t believe our elections are ever fair, which is why he wants to abolish the electoral system.

    Then he defends a Marxist with a vote-rigging heritage.

    Anarchists – They can’t win properly, so they back cheating.

  29. Newsbot9

    Yes, keep lying. Thanks for outlining YOUR goals to overthrow free and fair elections.

  30. ann bennett

    what a surprise to find anti left comments from mostly American supporting citizens ,lets not forget the billions of American dollars going to covert ops to destabilize latin America .

    the idea of a left buidup in any country is abhorrent to the capitalists. Having visited cuba and equadore last year .what I found was a genuine love of their leaders ,and a very real improvement in living standards ,free education , good homes, food on the table ,health care that’s universal , that is what these so called dictators have given poor people, freedom is relative, if you can’t feed , clothe or shelter your family .we have no idea of real poverty, so back of , or at least try and be a bit more understanding of the struggle to wipe out capitalism and its self destruct and waste of human potential, and do read your history , there are valuable lessons to be gained from latin America .

  31. Chimes RBE

    How do arseholes like this get to know so much about places in which they have never lived?

  32. Michael Noonan

    All too predictably there have been claims by some politicians and journalists,
    that the late Hugo Chavez was a tyrant and a demagogue, who led his nation
    astray and who was a menace to democracy. Though it’s a strange tyrant, who won
    a succession of free elections in his nation, and who has had literally
    millions of tearful fellow countrymen and women file past his casket, when it
    laid in state in a military academy in Caracas. Chavez was
    demonised because of his principled radical politics and the threat he posed to
    United States hegemony in Latin America. Chavez was elected through the
    democratic process, he remained in power though the same means, and Venezuela remained a vigorous democracy through all his years in power. So to attack him for
    abusing the very intuitions he used to exercise power, and which he left
    functioning and intact, is so much hypocrisy. Indeed it’s just a plain lie.
    Indeed the only recent threat to Venezuelan democracy was the botched coup, in
    2002, organised by some disgruntled rightists, to topple Chavez, which was said
    to have had American or even CIA backing, but which fell apart at the seams
    when an outraged public realised what was happening, and what the actual agenda
    was. During his years in power he used Venezuela’s oil wealth to create
    educational opportunities, medical care, and welfare systems for the poor and
    working class of Venezuela, that never existed in the previous history of that
    nation. A nation which was ruled by tiny, wealthy elite, one would call them oligarchs
    today, and where a huge gap existed between the superrich and the vast majority
    of the people. He was indeed one of those rare, seminal politicians, who was a
    game-changer; who ushered in sweeping reforms that will affect his nation, and
    indeed neighbouring nations, in Latin America, for generations to come. Indeed
    you could say of him that he put his country on the map, in geopolitical terms.
    I doubt if many people had heard of, or at least taken cognizance of,
    Venezuela, prior to his becoming the president. Indeed I doubt if few people,
    outside that nation, had even heard of a Venezuelan leader or politician (with
    the possible exception of Simon Bolivar himself) prior to Mr Chavez becoming
    president. For that alone, even if one cared to discount his policies and
    programmes, he has performed an immense service to his own nation and people.
    He was a genuine socialist and man of the people, who has created a positive
    and lasting legacy for his nation. (In dramatic contrast to the tepid milk and
    water policies of Blair’s New Labour experiment, which was always more about
    spin than substance; which has fizzled out in a fug of smoke, and which even
    his own party has dismissed and rejected). His brave, radical policies – in
    both domestic and foreign affairs; together with his genial, extrovert,
    rumbustious personality – will make him an iconic figure in Venezuelan and
    Latin American history.

Leave a Reply