March 7, 2013 by Ben Crystal
I’m still trying to make sense of it. Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, darling of the American left, has passed away. Today, Democrats from San Francisco to Midtown Manhattan struggle to come to terms with their grief and disbelief. How can there be justice in the universe if a people’s hero like Chavez has been taken from us so soon?
He did everything right. He stole private property for supposed redistribution and used it to build a personal fortune estimated to be as high as $2 billion. He nationalized Venezuela’s oil industry, simultaneously sticking it to the evil “big oil” companies who spent hundreds of millions of dollars to extract the crude from beneath Venezuelan feet and thumbing his nose at the United States. He crushed opposition by any means necessary, including repeated crackdowns on media that failed to toe his Stalinist line. He demonized freedom and free nations, all the while grinding a once bright and thriving Latin American country into another monotonous and fearful police state. He palled around with all the right people, making bromantic gestures to murderous islamofascist tyrants, terrorist-backing lunatics, communist despots, Hollywood morons and even President Barack Obama.
Despite all his successes in turning Venezuela into the American liberal’s idea of Shangri-La, Chavez developed cancer. Even then, he did everything right. Rather than fly to the United States to receive the very best treatment regimens available (courtesy of a system anathematic to his ideal), Chavez stuck to his socialist guns. He flew to Venezuela’s sister-in-socialism, Cuba, and availed himself of the many modern medical miracles proffered by multimillionaire war profiteer Michael Moore’s favorite healthcare system. (I wonder if they did the bloodletting with leeches?)
Chavez stepped on his people’s necks. He stole everything within reach. He murdered dissent, dismembered freedom of the press and buried personal property rights in the “people’s” backyard. In about a decade, Chavez built exactly the country today’s American Democrats consider the real “shining city on a hill.” He was even friends with Sean Penn, for crying out loud.
Despite it all, he’s gone. The ultimate expression of Obamacare couldn’t save him. All that’s left to do is mourn. Some will publicly bemoan their sadness, such as the people gathering in San Francisco. Others, like the Democratic Party mouthpiece New York Times, will pen adoring eulogies praising the despot’s “energy.” And I will miss the parrot. That bird was the smartest liberal I ever saw.
Vaya con Dios, Hugo. Tell Adolf, Josef and Mao I said: “Hot enough for ya?”