Op-Ed: R.I.P. Hugo Chavez — World warns Washington 'Hands off Venezuela'

Posted Mar 6, 2013 by Ruth Hull
As fears mount that Washington may try to overturn democracy in Venezuela, people around the world mourn the passing of Hugo Chavez. Everywhere the message rings out: Hands off Venezuela.
Hugo Chávez s Venezuela provided free heating oil to hundreds of thousands of needy Americans
Hugo Chávez's Venezuela provided free heating oil to hundreds of thousands of needy Americans
With the exception of George Washington and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, no American President has enjoyed the popularity Hugo Chavez received from his first Inauguration in Venezuela until his transition on March 5, 2013. While in office Hugo Chavez elevated the status of the people of Venezuela, provided them with health care and homes and put their interests first. Who wouldn’t love a President like that? But it is not just Venezuelans who are mourning the loss of this beloved leader. Hugo Chavez has been there for the people of the United States when our own Presidents have let us down.
Chavez was the first of all world leaders, including our (P)resident, to offer aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. When President Obama made the choice to let the people in the Northwest freeze due to his diversion of heating funds to Wall Street bankers, President Chavez stepped up to assist them by providing them the heating oil they needed for survival. So when the next crisis hits, who will be there for the American people? So far, President Obama has only been there for the Wall Street gang.
In election after election, the Venezuelan people risked gunfire from American-backed opposition forces to stand in line to give Chavez landslide victories in what President Jimmy Carter has called the best election system in the world. They know the value of a good President.
In 1999, when Hugo Chavez took office, the oil giants were ravaging the country and robbing the people. The vast majority of citizens were suffering from extreme poverty. Infant mortality was high. The bulk of the people were desolate and had very little for survival. Now, the Gross National Product has increased by about 250%. Chavez has cut the poverty rate by over 60%. The infant mortality rate has plummeted. In fact Venezuela is the world leader in the U.N. Human Development Goals.
Pictured here the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orhestra (UC Berkeley directed by Gustavo Dudamel, with the University Chorus, 11/30/2012) is an example of one of Chavez’s cultural outreaches. It is part of El Sistema, a program that draws children from below the poverty line and provides them with the opportunity and instruction necessary to realize their dreams.
While America’s President has failed to protect the American people from genetically modified foods, nuclear power and slave labor aspects of the WTO, Hugo Chavez has shown the kind of leadership Americans wish they had here. He has protected the Venezuelan food supply from Monsanto and stood firm against the WTO and other slave-labor creating free trade agreements. After Fukushima hit, he halted all nuclear power plant construction to protect his people from nuclear meltdowns. While Obama allowed the oil corporations and Wall Street to dictate government policy and throw the people out of their homes into the streets, Chavez had a different approach. Chavez ended the looting and the destruction of the country’s resources and returned to the people a percentage of oil profits and gave them back unused land for their homes. He assisted the people in cultivating their own resources, growing their own food and in obtaining the medical attention they needed. He opened up medical centers, across the country increasing the longevity of his people. For more information on Hugo Chavez’s people’s first government, read Cindy Sheehan’s, Revolution, A Love Story.” Then watch the documentary, the Revolution will not be Televised.
Putting people first did not sit well with the greedy mega-corporations and the American military complex. On behalf of the corporations, Congress has repeatedly voted funds for propaganda (paid for with your taxes) against Chavez but that propaganda has failed. There have been frequent attempts on his life throughout the years. In 2002, the CIA kidnapped Hugo Chavez and held him prisoner. The people of Venezuela flooded the streets and forced the U.S. Government to return their beloved leader. BBC journalist Greg Palast and others have documented the repeated attempts of the CIA and U.S. Government to do away with the man of the people. Read, Vaya con Dios, Hugo Chavez, mi Amigo and Fear of Chavez is Fear of Democracy. and watch The Assassination of Hugo Chavez.
A great source of information on Hugo Chavez is Greg Palast's site.
Given the frequent attempts on Chavez’s life by the U.S. Government on behalf of wealthy corporations, is it any wonder that Vice President Nicolas Maduro and people around the world suspect that the U.S. Government was responsible for the cancer that took the life of this hero? Scientists in labs give cancer to rats on a regular basis. When Jack Ruby was ready to tell who was responsible for the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, he suddenly got cancer and died. Then there were those radiation experiments that President Bill Clinton reportedly halted, that were performed by America’s Atomic Energy Commission (AKA Nuclear Regulatory Commission) injecting plutonium into people, causing cancer and other kinds of unnecessary deaths of unsuspecting American citizens. Of course, who could forget that the Anthrax that was mailed to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy came from a U.S. Military Base. Nicolas Maduro, American citizens and people of the world have more than enough reason to suspect the U.S. Government may indeed have intentionally caused the death of Hugo Chavez. Maduro is wise to expel American diplomats from his country.
The People of Venezuela are uniting against a return to the pre-Chavez poverty by standing firmly with President Nicolas Maduro as he continues to lead the country in the direction Hugo Chavez had begun with his revolution. Hugo Chavez personally selected President Maduro as his successor as he trusted him with his most precious possession: the people he loved and devoted his life to helping. Nicolas Maduro and his people won’t be standing alone.
Cindy Sheehan had this to say:
I am devastated that my dear friend, President Hugo Chavez lost his valiant battle with cancer today. His message was a true message of hope for everyone who struggles for economic justice and peace. The struggle will continue and the Bolivarian Revolution with never die--and neither will Chavez as long as we honor his memory and be half as brave as he was. Love live Chavez and long live the Bolivarian Revolution: I will never forget you and neither will history.
Six term Congresswoman, former Presidential candidate and international hero Cynthia McKinney directed her followers to the HOV Twitter Page as people around the world started repeating the call: Hands off Venezuela.
Also read: As Venezuela Prays for its Beloved Leader, Vultures Circle, Eager for Death and Profits