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Adios, Hugo!

March 7, 2013 by  

Adios, Hugo!
Hugo Chavez died on Tuesday.

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?”

–Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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  • Opal the Gem

    Love it Ben.

    • Marty S.

      Hey libs face it he was a dictator and would have had any one of you killed if you were in opposition to him.

  • cawmun cents

    I wonder if he (Hugo) partied with Dennis Rodman too?
    Oh well,I guess I will have to chalk it up to another thing I dont give a golly gosh darn about.

    • Warrior

      I hope Dennis is performing the “eulogy”. I really don’t think sean could keep it “together”.

      • 45caliber

        But the press LOVES people who cry at funerals!

  • Brad n TX

    As always, pretty funny stuff

  • http://mozilla robert e. lee

    one communist dik-tater down; but the most heinous one is still breathing good air, a real American needs.

  • By George

    Sad, very sad! I won’t be able to attend the funeral but I sent a nice note saying I approved.

  • Karolyn

    Why poke fun at only democrats? Elites are elites, no matter what their party.

    • Jonathan

      True. However, few Republicans are breaking down sobbing over Chavez’ death like the Hollywood socialists and liberal Democrats.

    • eddie47d

      He made reference to Chavez having 2 billion stashed away. I have no idea at this time if that is true or not and yes that would make him a shameful Elite. Yet your Republican cohorts didn’t blink an eye when it was found out that Murbarak had $30 billion stashed away in Egypt. You were so sad to see him go even though he probably received his wealth from the American taxpayer. $4 billion a year can add up fairly fast. The bottom line is that the Conservatives have their cruel patsies who they also prop up and fawn over.

    • 45caliber

      I’m not poking fun at Demos! I’m talking about liberal/progressives. And I mean every word of it!

  • Bill

    Good riddance to a murdering socialist thief

  • ibcamn

    One question;why are we flying the American flag at half mast today?? it for Hugo the [expletive deleted]

    okay two questions!

    • Francesco Marximillian

      What – you didn’t know??? The big [expletive deleted] lost one of his comrades…

  • rendarsmith

    Ask any Venezuelan how great Hugo was. I’ve even the sweetest of Venezuelan women become enraged when talking about Hugo…

    • http://Hotmail John Christensen

      When he (HC) was voted in each time by a large % of the population, there was no large % of questionable votes as there was in the US. When he was elected for the first time, 50% of his people were in poverty. When he died, only 25% were in poverty. In that same period, the US poverty rate more than doubled. He may have had faults but name a US President that did not. Don’t just believe the propaganda from the US bs machine. How many thousands of US military died because Bush lied about WMD?

  • Michael Graham

    This has needed to be finished a long time ago. The history books will read that “no one could have gone to Vinezuela but Obama” remaniscent of the saying of Nixon and China. Although the latter was a good thing for the USA back in the day, the Obama reference is bemoaning the sad state of affairs of our beloved country now. At what temperature does the soul burn, Chavez could shed some light on that subject now because the tactics that were applauded by the liberal left up here, will surely meet with disapproval in hell as satan hates competition.

    • 45caliber

      I have no idea at what temperature a soul burns but I’ll bet the fat on his will splutter!

  • Jonathan

    While I am not one to normally rejoice at the death of anyone, even a cruel and evil man such as Chavez, I breathed a sigh of relief when I read this. Which was followed by the tightening of my chest at the following thought:

    Who will fill his shoes?

    God help Venezuela if the wrong person takes the reigns of power there.

    • nc

      Jonathan, why would God(?) step in and help Venezuela now when he didn’t step in and help them before Hugo? Is God(?) just learning about South American politics as explained to him by Ben Crystal? None of us are perfect including Hugo and Ben!

      • 45caliber

        None of us are perfect … but some are less perfect than others. In fact, some are a LONG way from being perfect! And I’m not even a judge.

      • 3blenders

        Heavy philosophy going on here… Answer: We were sent to Earth to learn to distinguish between good and evil. We were all given Free Agency, to choose between good and evil. God in general does not interfere. He knows everything that’s going on. He sends prophets to teach us and guide us. And we are entitled, each of us, to pray and receive personal revelation.

        For the people in Venezuela, they have chosen not to stand up against a despot like HC. We Americans have chosen to elect Obama. The crisis that we are in is our own fault, because of our own evil / poor decisions. Now, in order to get out of the crisis, autocratic leadership is required. We don’t like it?

        Remember, Power to the People and Praise to God. We all are given gifts and talents of freedom. If we don’t use it we will lose it. God inspires us through the Power of the Holy Ghost. But the Holy Ghost is only heard by those that actually listen and do. There is a worthiness factor.

        And according to HIS WILL, we need to do His Will, in order that His Will be done. We need to do it. He does nothing else… We need to get a grip on our actions and DO GOOD, just like as if HE WOULD DO….meaning ‘doing His Will’.

        I hope this little seminar Religious Faith 101 makes sense. Best Wishes!

        Thanks for considering it. Yes, I am a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and thankful for it!

      • Jonathan

        I’m simply saying that as bad as things were under Chavez, they could be worse. Does “Kim Jung Un” mean anything to you? God can work in the lives and hearts of anybody. However, the fact that you put that question mark behind God each time you referred to Him in your response means that you believe there is no God. Considering you are just a pair of letters on a computer screen, I have more evidence that He exists than I have evidence that you exist, so perhaps I should address you as nc(?)

      • Vicki

        nc says:
        “onathan, why would God(?) step in and help Venezuela now when he didn’t step in and help them before Hugo? Is God(?) just learning about South American politics as explained to him by Ben Crystal?”

        God can not step in without violating the promise and gift that is free will. God can only help those who ask for his help. And even then God chooses how the prayer will be answered.

    • 45caliber


      The vice president there is already doing his best to mimic his hero. He’s blaming the US for giving Chevez cancer in the first place. And he is attempting to arrest all his possible opponents before any election.

      • eddie47d

        First comment deleted but what you say still isn’t true Caliber!

      • 45caliber


        Well, if it isn’t true what I said here, I’m sorry. All I’m doing is repeating what I see in the news. Of course, I tend to read the British news since they don’t edit it when it comes to the US as the MSM does here.

  • Hedgehog

    Why Adios Hugo? A diablo Hugo or vaya con el diablo Hugo would be more appropriate!

    • Mr Diesel

      My thought exactly. Why “Go with God” instead of the devil?

  • pat

    The dancing monkey has danced his last ,Next, the Castro bros to feel the blast.

  • STEVE E.

    Hugo Chavez is dead and is in hell now. Good things come to those that wait.

    • 45caliber

      Agreed. Now for a few more …

      • eddie47d

        Mark hit the nail on the head Caliber so continue to wallow in your ignorance about what was or wasn’t accomplished before Chavez. The past presidents of Venezuela made millions from the oil companies and kept their boot “on the neck” of its people. American companies kept the wealth and the citizens of Venezuela lived in squalor. I didn’t like Chavez extending his term in office or censoring the press so I don’t morn his loss. I also don’t don’t like oil companies living high on the hog and giving millions to corrupt governments. If we learn our lessons this wouldn’t be going on in Nigeria either but oil companies and dictators get away with it all the time.

  • vietnamvet1971

    Sounds like the current Evil man in our WH.

  • eddie47d

    You are too funny Ben Crystal in thinking the USA has the best healthcare system in the world. Its all about money, Taj Mahal hospitals and CEO salaries not health. I have no use for Hugo Chavez but Cuba does have a fairly good system in providing healthcare. I hate to inform you Ben but Chavez has had cancer for a few years now. I also hate to inform you that thousands of Americans get cancer and they also die even with “the best” cures. Now go back to dancing on a dead mans grave and sorry for ruining your party!

  • mark

    More proof of how little Ben knows about history. Compared to mass murdering dictators of the right in Latin America who the United States embraced and supported enthusiastically all throughout the Cold War, tyrants like Augusto Pinochet of Chile, Castillo Armas and Rios Montt of Guatemala, the Argentine generals 1976-1983, the Brazilian Generals 1964-1989, Jimenez Perez of Venezuela, Hernandez Martinez and Roberto D’Aubisson of El Salvador, Papa Doc Duvalier of Haiti, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Gerardo Machado and Fulgencio Batista of Cuba, the Somazas and the mercenary Contras of Nicaragua, – Hugo Chavez was a boyscout. I am no great admirer of his dictatorial moves against the press and his opponents, but he killed no one. The United States on the other hand along with its vicious mass-murdering allies during the Cold War killed over 600,000 Latin Americans, most of them innocent civilians whose only crimes were trying to create more just and democratic societies.

    The CIA and the U.S.-run School of the Americas in particular helped train and support the murderous dead squads, paramilitaries and genocidal militaries that slaughtered campesinos, students, union leaders, socialists, workers, left-leaning activists and virtually anyone with a left-of-center political orientation throughout the 20th century. These U.S.-supported dead squad victims included raped and murdered American priests and nuns. In 14 years of power, Hugo Chavez, in constrast, killed no one. One of the good things that PLD provides is a forum that opposes U.S. imperialist miitary interventions around the world and I certainly salute Bob Livingston there. The U.S. has repeatedly, illegally and immorally intervened militarily in Latin America to protect American corporate interests and crush and annihilate all leftist dissent and democratic aspirations. Chavez for all his faults was the only leader in modern Venezualan history to try to do something to alleviate the immense poverty of the majority of his nation’s population. His was the only goverment that tried to do something for the 60% of Venezuela’s population that was poor rather than just serve the interests of wealthy elites and foreign investors as most U.S-applauded Venezuelan gov’ts have done in the past.. For this and his anti-American statements (many, but not all of them, justified) he has been vilified by the American right and their corporate sponsors. Big suprise, there. But Chavez remained enormously popular in his own country where he helped uplift millions from poverty with his vast social programs. He was by no means perfect. and a very poor economic manager. He has a strong authoritarian streak and illegally shut down opposition media. He changed the Constitution so he could keep running for the presidency in violation of the spirit of term limits inhernet in earlier Venezuelan constitutions. But he went to his grave lacking the rivers of blood on his hands of so many Latin American dictators whom Washington embraced possessed in spades. Unfortunately the U.S. record in Latin America is a shameful one of always backing mass-murdering conservative dictators versus left-leaing democrats. We can only work to reverse this trend though it is difficutlt given the growing corporate control of our own nation and globalized capital’s supreme position in the world system.

    • Patriot

      …and somehow, this makes it all ok to keep supporting guys like this. Always the answer of both liberals AND conservatives. ‘WELL! LOOK AT WHAT THE OTHER SIDE USED TO DO’. Lame. I appreciate your historical knowledge and the presentation of facts here. That is rare. Most that would agree with you on this board don’t bother with accurate references. But I am again saddened to see that yet again, because the other guy did it, it somehow negates the evil the current guy does.
      When this finally ends, we will begin to solve our problems. Until then, please, continue to squabble over ideology.

      • nobodysfool

        Patriot, even tho you admired the comments by Mark, above, I would have to see some citations to believe that all of it is factual. One thing he did was leave out one of the worst dictators, Fidel Castro, for instance. Why not include him on the list? Is he in love with him or something or just looks upon him as a benevolent grandpa to the starving Cubans who left by the boatloads a few years ago. And Mark says of Chavez “He was by no means perfect. and a very poor economic manager.” I would say he was an excellent economic manager, FOR HIMSELF!!! He amassed over $2 billion of the people’s money FOR HIMSELF. How, exactly, does that make him admirable in any way?? Liberals are always blinded by truth. Who is to say that Chavez is not responsible for the deaths of many Venezuelans who were put out of their jobs, their homes, and left to beg or starve? No blood on his hands? How about the blood of his country that at one time had such high inflation that no one could pay for a bill of groceries, much less for other items necessary to life. I’ll bet Mark buys all his gasoline at Citgo, so as to benefit his Hero Hugo.


      • mark

        I’m not just talking about what “the other side” used to do. I’m talking about what the United States and American transnational corporations STILL DO today – back repressive, murderous regimes, that ensure their continuing profits. For nearly fifty years their excuse was that they opposed communism and now it is that they are opposing terrorism but it is the same manipulative canard, the same hucksters game to beef up profits and call anyone who dares challenge the globalist capitalist system, a villain and/or a communist. And the poor keep dying as the profits keep pouring in. You apparently admire this system, I despise it and salute Chavez, who was no hero do be sure, for a least challenging it and driving the giant oil monopolies out of his land. Chavez was a disappointment, but on his worse day, he was better than the elitist global capitalist who call the shots in their own giant terror game.

        • Patriot

          Oh, I agree with your sentiment. I disagree, however, with your notion that this is capitalism. This is not capitalism. This is corporatism. It is fascism. I own a small business. That is capitalism. The business owners and frachisees in this country that have chosen to create wealth and jobs and provide both to their country and their community is capitalism. You have confused capitalism with the evil that the most powerful “leaders” in the world engage by bedding down with those that would buy their influence with their massive corporate influence. Which is still quite far from a dictatorship under which the sentiments expressed by the people on this message board may actually cost us all our lives. My point to you originally is that the current Criminal in Chief is just as guilty as the previous Criminal in Chief, as the previous, and on and on down the line. Not corrupted by free market capitalism, but by elitist corporatism at its very worst. There is NOTHING to admire about a dictator that steals property and the very lives of his people in order to line his own pockets. And that includes the thieves and liars that run our own country.
          In this nation, unlike the regime under which the serfs of Venezuela lived, you can choose not to do business with BP, or WALMART, or Apple, or Google, or any number of companies that have purchased guarantees of their influence in our government. I am willing to bet that you have such staunch viewpoints of the evils of capitalism, but own an iphone, use google, and drive a car everyday. And I am further willing to bet that the EVIL capitalist nation in which we live provides you with the highest possible standard of living in the world. Again, I will personally buy you a plane ticket to Cuba, or Venezuela so that you can live in a world that you feel is more in line with your sense of values. I have been to 27 different countries around the world. And as vile and corrupt, and as selfish as America is, I would live no where else.

  • 45caliber

    He was friends with Penn? How much more liberal can he be??

  • Flashy

    Well..another crass, non substantive, far fetched and factually wrong accounting by Ben. no surprise. As I’ve said in the past, he should sue the school giving him a degree for failing to educate him in the basic ‘how to think” portion of the curriculum.

    Whatever the views one has of Chavez, there are few points which are irrefutable if one was honest. He has done much for the masses in his country, and the crowds who are showing their mourning are real. he won elections fair and square with international observers present (observers which the GOP this past election were outraged at being asked to have present since it question the honesty of election officials in GOP enclaves…hmmm). He was eulogized by every leader in S America. When Katrina hit the US and Bush II / Brownie ignored the emergency … Chavez stepped up and offered immediate aid and assiatance in money, supllies, manpower. Bush II rejected the offers and continued the bumbling response. When heating oil prices spiked and supplies were ‘low” during a particularly hard winter, Chavez ordered Citgo to supply subsidized oil to the poor and elderly freezing in the hard hit areas. Bush II and the neo cons thought so much of this effort they attempted to have a special surcharge placed on the oil being delivered.

    Hate him, admire him. But one cannot ignore the impact he had, the efforts he made to enhance the life of the poor and the middle class, and the fact he was popular and fairly won elections. Big Oil, multi national corporations, and wealthy landowners were against him. Is it any wonder ben would diss Chavez given that opposition? one also has to wonder why Ben chose to outright lie and fake the claims Chavez’s passing is mourned by Democrats and liberals.

    You have no class Mr. Crystal … no class. But ten, you probably think of that as being a positive given the trash you constantly spew out.

    • 45caliber


      How would you know what “class” is? To a lib, like you, class is mimicking you.

      (I chickened out on putting “To a lib, like you, class is one dog licking another dog’s behind.)

      • Flashy

        45…if you think what Crystal wrote had even an iota of class..then you don’t know what “class’ is …

      • 45caliber


        Crystal wasn’t writing about class. He was writing satire. That’s one reason I question your class. As far as I’m concerned, everyone is the SAME class – human – although I do have some doubts about a few people being fully human.

      • eddie47d

        Satire my arse! He presents it as fact and few think differently! No wonder you all are so confused.

    • F.Lettera

      All I can say is, if someone like ‘Flashy’ is saying bad things about Ben, then I have to
      cheer and say Ben has hit a lib in his nerve, Go Ben!!!

      • Flashy

        Pray tell….what good is there about Crystal’s usual crass, low class, misinformation filled articles ?

      • eddie47d

        That is why it it so easy to expose those that are cold and crass even when the articles are full of dispicable behavior and outright lies. Lettera proves that gullibility so well!

      • Vicki

        Flashy says:
        “Pray tell….what good is there about Crystal’s usual crass, low class, misinformation filled articles ?”

        And Flashy reads and comments on it. Interesting.

    • Patriot

      Yep, Flashy, you are right. How DARE anyone not appreciate his confiscation of private property and his unilateral decisions to take services and resources and give it to someone else! Freedom IS totally overrated, and it is clear the only fair way to do things is to have one guy decide what is best for everyone, then forcibly take things from a private entity and give it to others. Yeah, that IS the ticket! Why haven’t we seen this all along? Oh! And not to mention his jailing and murder of those that disagreed with his policies! What an amazing and forward thinking idea! I think we should get cracking on finding our own Philosopher King in this country and abolish the congress, the balance of power, the rule of law, private property, individual liberty, protection from unwarranted search and seizure, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and everything else so that one man, one all powerful man can make all of those decisions for us! What a GREAT and NOBLE idea!
      The people of Germany loved Hitler too. The people of North Korea love their dictator as well. The idea that somehow what he did to his country, his people, and the businesses there was JUST FINE because they voted for him and loved him does NOT make it ok. It just means that his propaganda machine and his all powerful tyrannical reach was effective in destroying most of the freewill of his own people.

      Since your beloved ideas are too slow in the making in this country because of that AWFUL, VILE GOP, why haven’t you moved to Cuba? Or Venezuela?? I don’t understand! Living with a Mastermind as your all powerful leader is SO great!
      Ill send you a plane ticket.

      • mark

        Private property in Venezuela?! What a joke! Yeah after the elites stole all the land and and resources from the indigenous and the mixed-race campesinos at the point of a gun over centuries, now suddenly it is their sacred private property, robbed through violence and racism. And if a government tries to give a little of it back, tries to restore some small measure of social justice to the impoverished masses of Venezuela, they are of course criminals and socialists. It’s a wonderful upside down moral world you live in – in which thieves are heroes – and those who try to retrieve their stolen property – are criminals and communists. You obviously know nothing about the tragic history of Venezuela but rather a bunch of right-wing talking points from Fox Noise and extremist blogs and talk radio. Go to a library and check out a few books on Venezuelan history. Then you might learn something – then you might understand why Chavez, for all his faults, was so wildly popular among the Venezuelan poor and working class.

        • Patriot

          Mark, I do appreciate your intelligence and your debate is more well articulated here than most. However, the paradise under the beautiful and compassionate Chavez that you paint us here is far from the reality of a nation that is third only to North Korea and Cuba for repression and poverty. I do know something about the history of that nation, and to say that because Chavez had merely picked up where those that had orginally brutalized the nation had left off, then returned very small bits of what was stolen to small groups of people in front of the TV cameras, only cemented him as the typical dictator. Kim Jong Un does the same thing. So did Mao. So did Polpot. So did Adolf Hitler.
          Funny thing. You seem to support a form of ‘government; that has created poverty and repression in every single nation in history that has tried it. Again, I would ask that rather than attempting to force those ideas upon this nation, please, just find your way to one that makes more sense to you. As screwed up as this one is, this website hasnt been blocked from us to use, nor have any police kicked in our doors for posting our beliefs here. Not so much in the socialist/communist nations that so bedazzled a young Hugo Chavez.

      • Flashy

        ” How DARE anyone not appreciate his confiscation of private property and his unilateral decisions to take services and resources and give it to someone else!” <– patriot

        Hmmm..and this affected you how? And you will kindly explain the hundreds of thousands of mourners in the capital square? What 'private property" did he confiscate? Care to give a profile of the properties confiscated? Small landowners? peasant farms? just what exactly?

        Services and resources…would you care to detail the class divide, the division of wealth, the exact 'services and resources" he 'took" and gave to someone else?

        Im not saying pro or con about Chavez. i note the hundreds of thousands packing the capital, i note the number of S American leaders and their messages. Ii note his volunteered help to the US when Bush II failed in protecting this Nation. And I note that no one has come up with anything where he did this nation harm…


        • Patriot

          really?? Flashy? SERIOUSLY?? You challenge me to support my comments in regards to what a DICTATOR has done in his country?? Here is a VERY small slice of the history of this DICTATOR in action:

          Unsurprisingly, Venezuela increasingly began to resemble some of the authoritarian states Chavez admired. The Heritage Foundation’s 2013 Index of Economic Freedom ranked the nation as one of the most repressed in the world. Only Zimbabwe, North Korea and Cuba ranked lower. Chavez’s government also seized TV stations, numerous banks, the assets of 60 oil service companies, 32 sugar plantations, and foreign-owned cement plants, that refused to be nationalized. All privately held oil production was effectively nationalized in 2007 as well.

          Crime soared. Caracas became one of the most dangerous cities in the world, and Venezuela’s 2009 murder rate topped that of war-torn Iraq, and Mexico’s cartel-inspired carnage. By 2012, Venezuela’s national murder rate was one of the highest in the world. Chronic food shortages and power outages as well mounting debt — leading to a 33 percent currency devaluation last month, Venezuela’s fifth in a decade — has turned the nation into one of the Western Hemisphere’s worst economic basket cases.

          None of this should surprise. A year after he won reelection in 2006, Chavez held a constitutional referendum whose chief purpose was the elimination of presidential term-limits. When voters defeated it, he repeated the process a year later and succeeded in eliminating them. He won another term in 2012, after lying and declaring himself cancer free. Two months later, he went back to Cuba. He was never heard from again.

          Chavez characterized his repressive regime as “21st-century socialism.” In reality, in bore a striking resemblance to the repressive regime of Fidel Castro, a man he idolized, and whose nation he kept propped up with cheap oil in return for the training of his private army of enforcers, known as the Bolivarian Circles. Chavez’s regime, in turn, has been largely propped up by China, which has subsidized Venezuela with $36 billion in loans that are being repaid in oil, not cash. And as of last September, the state-run oil company in a nation sitting on some of the largest oil reserves in the world is now paying its debt by issuing bonds–aka IOUs.

          Thus, despite his bravado, his charisma, and a host of other dubious qualities that endeared him to leftists, Hugo Chavez was little more than a self-aggrandizing authoritarian thug. His grandiose schemes did little to alleviate the country’s economic woes. Yet he leaves behind a hand-picked successor in Vice President Nicolas Maduro, and enough of a political apparatus that the constitutionally mandated election required to take place in 30 days will likely be nothing more than a formality, officially instating Maduro as president.

          Henrique Capriles, a charismatic opposition candidate who lost the October election to Chavez, may mount a challenge, but it is unrealistic to expect him to coordinate a viable election campaign in the space of a month in a nation where “Chavistas” have all but eliminated opposition media.

          Chavez is dead. Sadly, the authoritarianism he nurtured will likely live on.

          Most of the time, Flashy, I believe that you comment so ignorantly here because you have very little else going on in your life. That is not meant to be an insult. I never mean disrespect. But you have so very little to offer in terms of intelligent debate, and so very much to offer in terms of arrogance, ignorance, and anger.

      • 45caliber


        Where on earth did you get the idea that the “government” down there wanted to give some of it back to the poor?

      • eddie47d

        That is all he has done Caliber is spend it on the poor. Where in the heck have you been!

      • Vigilant

        Flashy says, “And I note that no one has come up with anything where he did this nation harm…”

        Patriot, thank you for the wealth of details. Ben also covered it pretty well. For Flashy to make that entirely false statement makes one wonder if he has any reading ability at all.

  • Ken

    And I just know that when he gets to Hell, there will be a huge fight over who gets to shove the pineapple up where the sun don’t shine every night, and who gets to yank it out in the morning.

    • Flashy

      Ken: Out of curiosity…and for kicks and giggles…why do you assume he is going to “hell”…in the christian sense of the word…

      • 45caliber

        In answer to your question to Ken, go to the local bookstore – any of them. Ask for a book called “the Bible”. Take it home and read it carefully. Several times, preferably. You just may be able to answer your own question that way – and you might even find a new way of life for yourself too.

      • Flashy

        45 … Fair to middlin’ book of fiction and myth by several authors.

        now…are you suggesting the christian religion decides who goes to their heaven and who goes to their hell based upon political views and ideologies?

      • Thomas

        Flashy, regarding bible fiction… in a country like the USA every person is entitled to practice their religion freely. It’s called religious freedom. It applies also to you, the agnostic or athiest, if you will. Let’s be respectful. You may not want to take the ‘reading the bible’ and ‘praying to God’ challenge to find out what it is really like to know… That is your business. But I can tell you, when things are not going too well for you some day, reconsider. God is real, according to my own experience. And it is not worth it to discuss it here any further. He is the ultimate judge, not us people.

        And true, to the rest of us, who is to say whether Hugo Chavez is going to hell or not? It is not a very kind Christian thing to do, to wish someone to hell, or determine that someone would surely need to go there. Remember, Jesus taught that we should not judge. How can we? We don’t have enough information. I always say “wouldn’t it be ironic if Hitler himself gets to heaven because he was not evil, just mentally ill”?….. just kidding….hahahaha, imagine that! But think about it, a former Russian Rabiator, they exhumed him and did an autopsy on his remains and found traces of a drug that causes insanity… Who are we to judge anyone? I am still opposing communism and all affiliated despots.

        Best wishes.

      • Flashy

        Thomas..I have never said my religious belief system, whether it be atheist, agnostic or other. As an aside, interesting that without asking, most of the American Taliban membership posting here assume one of the first two. That alone makes a telling statement.

        Another interesting item I’ve noted…many of the so-called ‘christians’ posting today are cheering the passing of Chavez and wishing him to their hell. I have to ask…does what one believe politically predestine one in the christian religion?

        Without specifying what he has done to deserve being sent to their “hell”, it is indeed very telling …

        • 3blenders

          I remember the story of the woman brought to Jesus with accusers suggesting to stone her because of her sins. Jesus said that who is without guilt or sin himself may throw the first stone. That is true Christianity. All else mentioned here is just reflecting the weakness of all or lack of understanding, including my own. I never see a leading member of the 12 Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS (Mormons) make such insensitive comments here online, arguing about religion, faith, politics, hell and insults expressed… I wonder why?

          I have to admit, that I too am glad that the Hugo chapter has finally come to an end. He probably suffered much. And that I do not wish on anyone. I had cancer myself at a point of my life. It is not pleasant. Hopefully the people in Venezuela will choose their future wisely, realizing that the power is within themselves to choose their own future.

          As to your faith, I am sorry, I should not have assumed… As to the term ‘HELL’, frankly, we do not believe such a place exists for the general masses. It does exist for extreme cases, such as for people who had pure knowledge of God and turned against Him explicitly and purposely, denying the Holy Ghost after they KNEW, like having seen Jesus. Most people have not. Murder is one other one of causes that will likely in most cases cause the remaining soul (aka spirit of a person) anguish in pain and regrets, thus ‘hell’.

          I believe in a resurrection, just like Jesus resurrected and united spirit and flesh into immortality, after he died, 3 days later. And I believe that there will be a great judgement day for everyone where he or she will be held accountable for his/her desires and deeds, all according to what they have known and where enabled too. A man in ignorance cannot be judged for the things he didn’t know. Where much is given, much is expected…. that kind of a thing.

          And that brings me to the end. I am a hypocrite myself, I know much, but have difficulties to do everything I know. And that is exactly also the reason of why most people in this chat room express themselves beneath their potential, either lack of knowledge or understanding, or plain ignorance. If we only knew our true potential as spirits, sons and daughters of Heavenly Father, brothers and sisters,… how sad it is how we treat each other…

          Best Wishes

          • Bob666

            Yo 3B,
            Well spoken as a humble man.

        • Bob666

          Yo Flash,
          Yes, the “christians” don’t aways walk the talk on this site. Hugo is dead and like Osama, Muammar & Sadam. The world will probabbly be better with out him, but the only one of these three that I was happy to see go away was Osama, but many of our friends of faith have shown their dark side over this one.

      • cawmun cents

        Just so you can be aware Flashy,

        I make no assumptions of Hugo’s direction.
        My God freely forgives everyone who asks.
        He is made manifest in the flesh in the form of Jesus Christ.
        All love to the former Mr. Chavez, and may he rest in peace eternally through the power of God,through belief and salvation that comes from Jesus Christ.Amen.

        That being said,there are a few things that need pointing to in relation to this prayer.
        That being that to abide in Him is the way you show that you truly believe.
        It is not a full requirement,although it is made into a bit of a test of loyalty by those who follow Christs teachings,and is a form of showing devotion to those beliefs by making your intentions known to others,that they not suffer the consequences of their own decisions and faulty spiritual failings,to a God who must provide justice to everyone.
        If there were any other way of dispersing justice except to hold everyone faulty for their own discretions,then you can be sure that a loving God would do so.
        But providing a way of atoning for those indiscretions,by giving His only flesh and body Son that cme into this plane of reality as a perfect sacrifice is how He can do this evenly for everyone.
        Only acceptance of His sacrifice is necessary.
        Did Hugo accept His sacrifice?
        Only God knows.
        But being bound by duty to have evidence to that condition is suspect to say the least,considering his(Hugo’s)actions would not normally lead one to believe that he was reliant upon Christ for his consequences to be aquitted.
        So we have an impasse.
        For we do not know.
        I pray that the man had what it takes for eternal salvation,do you?

        • 3blenders

          I applaud your reply. Thank you!. I would like to add, whether anyone and/or all or none believe it, it is a mute discussion. It is what it is. And the truth is not subjective to one’s opinion. It is what it is. And none can change it.

          However, that said, everyone should feel invited to search for the answers that involve hell, judgement, resurrection, God, yes, even Hugo Chavez’s toll…. And the answer unmistakeably always comes through trial of faith. And that starts through prayer.

          Pray, even if that means you need to apply the hope to receive an answer from a God that you don’t know actually exists. But be persistent in that faith. If humbly and reverently and willingly asked, an answer shall be given. It has never failed me. And make no mistake, it is not a loud answer, it is a quiet but soothing beautiful silent whisper.

          Happiness, peace and assurance of the Love of God will follow. And it will lift your heart and consume your soul in gratitude to our God who has created us and given us this opportunity to live on earth so we can all learn to choose between good and evil.

          And that is where Cawmun cents’ explanation for the plan of salvation, the forgiveness of our sins, comes into play, through the Son, Jesus Christ.

          And to add, the plan of salvation is fundamental to the necessity that we all learn to choose between good and evil, that we practice our free agency, use it wisely, and then choose. And part of that is that we choose who we want to be our leader, be it Hugo, Barack, Adolf, and Joseph. Consistent with the plan of salvation, every man and woman is held accountable for their own actions, desires, and choices, aka judgement day. In other words, all choices yield consequences.

      • Flashy

        Uh huh …yep…will give it the attention warranted.

        Not a trick question… what color is black? Seriously, not a trick question.

        if such is beyond your understanding, what is “five” ? When you reach the elevl where you understand the questions…not necessarily the answers…I would venture you would see myth and fable for what it is, instead of creation of a deity to explain existence here and when.

        And i’m still perplexed why, of any religion represented on this board, christians always feel a need to ‘enlighten” and insist their beliefs are the ‘true one and only”. Which carries over to society and the insistence by the American Taliban that christians force their beliefs onto the rest. I still await anyone who can answer how a ‘devout believer” in JC insisting their moral religious code be placed paramount above all others is any different than a member of the Afghan Taliban.

        • 3blenders

          here in the USA, your concerns are no concerns, since we express our right of religious freedom. In other words, you are entitled to speak and share, and propagate. If you are none-Christian, such as perhaps a Muslim, or other, or atheist, you have the freedom to express. But rest assured, those that believe otherwise, will with certainty express their free will in contradiction to yours. This is our freedom right, and I love it.

          Nobody is saying that non-Christian believes are false or evil. This is for you to determine by yourself and for yourself, and for God to judge. And the rest is all about bearing witness and testimony of our Faith in Christ, because we have experience with it. And therefore we can safely say we know our Faith in Christ to be true. And the invitation to you and all others who don’t believe in Christ stands to ask God Himself if He would not also perhaps to help all who humbly ask in faith and hope to receive equal convictions.

          And that said, I am glad I don’t live in Iran. A hit squad would already have come to my door, most likely. Perhaps that is little ignorant of me to suggest. But at least that belief has been indoctrinated in us, thinking now that Iran does not permit religious freedom and the right of free speech and freedom of expression. The freedom of religion is very important to us. And you may belief whatever you like. But expect to be countered once you offend our God and our Faith!

          Don’t you love it, the American Freedom. May God help us to preserve it!

      • Flashy

        3Blenders..this all began when someone of the christian faith wished Chavez to hell…based upon what reasoning no one has come up with other than he had different political beliefs than they.

        Now you state “Nobody is saying that non-Christian believes are false or evil. This is for you to determine by yourself and for yourself, and for God to judge”

        Ummmmm…do you see a problem with this claim? Which ‘god’ is to “judge” ? yours, mine, another? By saying “God’ will judge, you just erased the claim no one is saying any other belief is false. Whatever. The christian hang up on insisting “their way” is the only way, and all others must kowtow to it is so egotistical, so high and mighty is its very essence of the American Taliban and the opposition to having their moral code emplaced in our laws.

        “But expect to be countered once you offend our God and our Faith!” Ummmm, and just what is the difference between this and what the Afghan Taliban say?

        • 3blenders

          Flashy, it appears to me that you are just arguing to make yourself feel better. But behind the scene you might actually just be an empty searcher like many others. So I suggest, let’s not twist each others’ words in favor of a good argument. As I said, it is what it is and no man can proof the truth based on opinion. This is religion. And the truth shall be witnessed by those that humble themselves to God and ask Him and believe that they shall receive, all pertaining to Hugo, Adolf, their whereabouts, and everyone else’ future eternal destination.

          This whole topic is a disgrace to the American Freedom and our believes. I can’t raise my hand in hurray and keep my flag at half mast because I am saddened and respectfully honoring the evil that Hugo created. Hugo Chavez was a known dictator. He died, Finally!, not that I am happy about how he died. Nobody deserves that. But I am glad he is dead. And from time to time it is favorable that one man or a few bad apples die that an entire peoples may be saved from tyranny. Hopefully the Venezuelans will seize their opportunity to be free. Hopefully the US people will seize theirs.

          And him being sent to hell, that is a ridiculous thing anyway, since no man’s wishing to hell of anyone is going to be considered by the GOD to which we command ourselves to be judged at some point in time, hopefully later than sooner. Why would you lower yourself even to argue over such flawed and ignorant statements that clearly come from people that have faults. And they shall not be judged by us either. Judge yourself!

          It was interesting to read here about many good people. I am impressed with the many people who stand up for what they believe, even you. And if it where not for the arguing and the dissecting and twisting of words, I would give you more respect.

          The argument about God, as I said in other responses, is as mute as it is anywhere, when discussing it with people who are not earnestly interested in testing the principal of prayer and faith. You don’t want to, and so be it. Why arguing over it?

          I am done with these ‘no-where-leading’ discussions about Hugo Chavez’s eternal whereabouts, be it hell or heaven, based on Christianity, Muslim, or Jewish, and any other distinguishing faith or denomination out there in our beautiful world. Hopefully people will look for peace. And we will all be judged according to our desires and actions.

          I don’t favor communism. I love the United States of American and our Constitution. Me and my house believe in Jesus Christ. May Hugo Chavez receive his reward according to his deeds.

          Best of luck to you!


      • 45caliber


        I keep hearing that “myth” etc. a lot from people like you. But so far I keep hearing about proof that simply emphasis exactly how correct it really is.

        And it isn’t the Christian religion that decides – it’s God that decides. Or Jesus if you prefer. But it isn’t that hard to determine what the decision will be. After all, if you disobey the laws given by God, then you really can’t expect to go to heaven, can you? That’s another thing that many people seem to misunderstand.

      • Vicki

        Flashy writes:
        ” I still await anyone who can answer how a ‘devout believer” in JC insisting their moral religious code be placed paramount above all others is any different than a member of the Afghan Taliban.”

        Easy. We don’t cut off the heads of the “non-believer”.

        I bet Flashy will not bother to remember that is question has been answered.

      • eddie47d

        The thing is Vicki its always the wrong person answering and seldom the person asked. Too many damn cowards for me who blow hot air and then run with their tails between their legs. Thanks for your efforts.


    I believe we should be benevolent to the Venezuelan people and send them a radical replacement for their deceased dictator, ie: Michael Moore. He could become a billionaire, instead of a millionaire, while stealing from the poor down there, instead of America.

    • eddie47d

      It was the oil company that “stole from the poor” and left the impoverished even poorer Jukebox! A few presidential cronies did get rich along the way but that hardly helped the country.

      • 45caliber


        What “oil company”? There isn’t an oil company down there unless all my info is wrong. It is all owned and run by the government. And since Chavez was head of the government, he got all the profits.

      • eddie47d

        Where you been Caliber. Several oil companies were planted in that country. Most operated from Margarita Island and lived in some fancy digs. They didn’t play fair and were either kicked out or nationalized. By the way how do you think he paid for all the public housing and kept gas at .11 a gallon.

        • Patriot

          Funny. I keep seeing here how it was so great that he oppressed the oil companies, and took all their money, so gas was in abundance. But….I thought that to the liberal mindset, all oil was evil, even if the oil companies are forced to produce everything for free. So paying for ‘all of the public housing’ is ok when it is oil money? I wonder when I will start seeing consistency in ideas over stupidity in ideologies…..*shakes head*

    • 45caliber

      Please, no! Not that I like Moore but I don’t dislike the people down there that much. If we send him down there, let him live like the rest of them there after paying their “fair” share to their government.


    Hope he rots

  • rocketride

    Until I heard that he had cancer, I’d always thought that it would be the tertiary syphilis, already obviously eating away at his brain, that would get him. There always was more than a little of the Idi Amin style of [expletive deleted] crazy about ol’ Hugo.

  • Bob666

    Ben proves that even a blind hog can root out a meal in the forrest trys hard enough.

  • Fed up!

    We can only pray the same happens to our Dictator want a be!

    • eddie47d

      Some people do pray for an end to life on their death bed yet FedUp wants to use Prayer in wishing dying on a person who should have alot of life in him. There’s always a few of you!

    • mark

      You can tell this is a conservative, Christian blog with so many posters praying for the horrible cancer death of others, including our own President. Yes, you are following in the footsteps of Jesus who always called for Christians to celebrate and cheer the suffering and painful deaths of others. This after all is what right-wing Christianity is all about. If Jesus were to come back again, right-wing Christians would be the first to joyfully, exultantly hammer the nails into His flesh and hoist Him up on a crucifix. After all, He tried to help the poor, so we must murder Him and pray for all His supporters deaths.

      • moonbeam

        “You can tell this is a conservative, Christian blog with so many posters praying for the horrible cancer death of others…”

        I don’t see anything on here that says this is a Christian blog. Christians and believers of many religions and walks of life come here. However, true Christians don’t pray for bad things to happen to people. Anyone who does that and professes to be a Christian is a LIAR.

        I’m a Christian. When I say I’d love to see piglosi on a chain gang cracking rocks out in the hot Arizona sun, I’m not on my knees praying for this to happen. Expressing this opinion is cathartic for me and that’s where it ends.

      • Duncan Kellie

        Jesus absolutely did not come to “help” the poor as stated above. Any help that He offered to humans was not to bring them into socialism but to bring them into His wonderful Kingdom.

        Socialist ideology distorts the motives of God in Christ into helping the poor to live comfortably and equitably in this life only. This world has amply sufficient resources to sustain its own poor without lumping the task onto Jesus whose mission was totally different.

        As far as the Bible is concerned, endlessly feeding the poor is irrelevant because sin has already obliterated the future of mankind. Jesus is not operating an earthly food program.
        If humanity collectively were not a basketcase God would have applied operated a food program and fixed it all up. Not so simple. What the brilliant creator God cannot fix outside of the Cross of Jesus, let not Adamic man think that he can!

        Feeding the poor and healing the sick is the means to God’s end for us, not some sort of socialist agenda as an end in itself.

        Jesus said “The poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have with you always”, (ie anyone who does not have Me will automatically be poor. (As God defines poor) … and you are always producing “poor” babies.
        People will cease “being poor” when they allow me to save them).
        The poor are quite capable of feeding those poor that they bring into a world, that they acknowledge is already filled with misery and dangers.

        “My Spirit will not strive with man forever. (ie I’m not going to hang around forever while you fill what is left of the future with fallen sinful Adamic humans and their unrighteous deeds, there is a limit to my gift of grace).

        All humans are on the earth by the will of their parents and no other. Their parents alone, decided that their children should exist – not God.
        After the fall of man God did not “will” the earth to to be filled with fallen, unhappy, sinful, God rejecting people.

        Jesus came to us to rescue us from this fallen, corrupt, social world by imparting Himself to us as transforming Life.
        He said “I am come that they might have abundant Life.”
        He came to bring us Life to remedy our sinful condition.

        God is Life. He is the River of Life, He is the Tree of Life.
        The Tree of Life is Spiritual food from God.
        Eating from the Tree of Life was and still is, God’s original purpose for man.
        Propagation after salvation then has complete meaning and satisfies the God who created the original man and woman.

        Propagation before salvation has no meaning because of the inevitable transmission of sin to the next generations.
        There can never be a perfect social kingdom where sin operates.

        God provided “Himself” as real food and drink, He did not just provide bread and water for man’s physical existence alone.
        Through the Bible God shows us that heavenly food and drink are even more important than the earthly food and drink to sustain man outwardly physically and inwardly spiritually.

        The well known Biblical scripture John 3:16 made famous by Evangelist Billy Graham reveals God’s true mission to earth dwellers.
        “For God so loved the world that He gave His only born Son that whosoever believes into Him should not perish
        (Perish because of his inherent sinfulness)
        but have everlasting life. (Despite His sinfulness)
        (Plus all the other everlasting benefits and pleasures that go with that new Life).

        Jesus’ mission was not that of a socialist whose purported mission is to feed people with the result that they could breed more (sinners) in order for Jesus to compassionately feed them. This viewpoint is not Biblical and is cyclic nonsense.
        As pointed out, there are sufficient resources for people to grow and distribute food without divine involvement.

        The compassion of Jesus is that He came into a lost social cause to offer a means (that would satisfy His Father) of rescuing as many as possible.
        Rescue is offered to those who acknowledge that they are socially lost because of sin and acknowledge God as their Creator / Redeemer.

        Jesus’ sacrifice did the impossibly heavy lifting for us at the Cross and not at the bakery.

        His life which is sinless, and sin destroying, is given to those who want righteous contact with their Creator in whose image we were made.

        The Word of God is described as FOOD for the hungry – He does not provide spiritual food for mockers, despisers and God haters. {Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word uttered from the mouth of God).

        Perpetual social disorder and inequities indicate sin and death.
        (But God said, I will never leave you nor forsake you).
        unlike the massive social storms created by Stalin Hitler Mao (others too… ad infinitum ad nauseum).

        During the famous loaves and fishes miracles Jesus was motivated out of compassion BECAUSE the poor had made themselves hungry by following and listening to His Words of Life.
        It was their inner hunger to listen to His message and follow Him all day, that roused His compassion to feed them.
        It was not some ideology that moved Him to compassion. Human eyes have not yet seen His heavenly provision described as “feasts” prepared for those who love and follow Him.

        His feeding of the thousands was a means to an end.
        That end is offered to all on earth.
        That end is to rescue and save all people or those who accept Him.

        The Creator of the Cosmos desires to save the poor, the rich, the good and surprisingly, the evil from the righteous judgement of His Father. He does this by becoming our substitute sacrifice. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might thereby be made righteous and thus qualify for entry into His Father’s sinless future Kingdom…

        The default future for those who reject the “bread” of the loving caring God, who endured the Cross for our sake, is to be created in His image, and to be without Him forever.

        Praise His lovely glorious name for ever!

      • Matrix

        Thank you Duncan!

        The psychotic liberal always brings up what Jesus would do if…..

        If Jesus was alive today, would he embrace a culture of violence, racism, ignorance, greed, sloth, gluttony, pride, envy and wrath such as the black culture?

        If Jesus were alive today, would he embrace a Bi-sexual, drug abusing racist fraud such as the obomination?

        Would Jesus go throughout Wall Street, Jewish Temples, Mosque and the White House and just sit back as they murder, rape and pillage his innocent flock?

        If Jesus were alive today, could he embrace the communist liberal that demands he does not belong in school, city, state, country or anywhere…that God is dead and that man rules!

        Liberals that have voted for the obamanation, and embrace every perverted imbalance in man such as nambla, homosexuality, child molesters, Satanism, drug abuse, the democratic cult, Islam and hatred for all that is good?

        Would Jesus consider himself one of these “liberals”?

        We will all find out one day, but for now, I say we fight against this demented evil trash and pray that Jesus will back those who fight this insane evil!

        “Evil can only survive if good people let it”!

        Don’t let it!!!

        • Bob666

          Yo Matrix,
          There are a lot of things in life I know about and many that I don’t. But I’m pretty sire that If Jesus was alive today, would he would not embrace you.

  • nobodysfool

    Ben, you wrote “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.” Just wondering why you tacked on oBlamer’s name at the end of the sentence? He easily fits into every category you mentioned!! Great article! Good riddance to one more dictator, the world is momentarily a safer place.

    • 45caliber

      I thought Oblama’s name was tacked on last because he was the worst of the lot.

  • Chris

    Or.. In his absolute disgust with U.S. Foreign Policy and it’s tendency to dominate and usurp every nation’s resource base (mainly oil-rich nations), decided to clamp down on his Own and become one of the few nations south of Equador to maintain Soverignty from U.S. Dictatorship. Unfortunately, in doing so, he made key Internal mistakes along the way.

  • Newspooner

    A communist by any other name is still a communist. And any former Massachusetts Congressman who praises him is also a communist.

  • Dad

    He had all the traits that the liberals admittedly admire.

  • moonbeam

    What ever Chavez was there are plenty of Americans who are thankful for the free and/or discounted heating oil he provided for them. This was a program put together by one of Bobby Kennedy’s sons some time ago to provide poor families with oil to heat their homes. Many would have gone without heat during the cold winters if not for that program. Out of all the bad things we’ve heard about him, count this as one of the good things.

    • Vigilant

      It was often said of Mussolini, “at least the trains ran on time.”

      • speedle

        And Hitler loved dogs too. Geez Moonbeam, get some perspective. The guy was a terrible tyrant. Who cares if he was nice to his mother.

  • Dick Caruthers

    A very good description.of a monster Ben!

  • pissed of & liberal

    People need to stop buying into everything they hear particually about foriegn leaders. Hugo Chavez was human and by defanition had flaws but the fact is most of what has been said about him in the main stream media and this article are either exagerations if not flat out lies. Despite what the corperate media will tell you Chavez was not a dictator he was DEMOCRATICALLY ELECETED on FOUR seperate occasions and survived an atempt to recall him in 2004(?) and was so popular that when a U.S backed coup occured in 2002 one of the reasons he was able reasume power was because public outrage made it difficult for the plotters to consalidate.Furthermore research shows that during his riegn extreme poverty went down and education was made more avalible.Oh and by the way he didn’t ” steal ” anything the oil that comes out of Venezuala is the soveriegn property of the Venezualen people who were not benifetting from the emmense wealth it provided because for DECADES the corrupt Venezualen elite allowed foriegn corperations to rape the land in exchange for a piece of the pie. And before anyone starts whining ” well of course he was a dictator because he abolished term limits ” allow me to point out that the decision was brought to the people and they apoved it with over FIFTY PERCENT saying yes. He also used the ” stolen ” oil money to empower poor sectors of the countrey and to biuld a healthcare system basiclly from the ground up. Yes there is a realtivily high crime rate and inflation but let me just say that if those occured in a capatilist countrey it wouldn’t recive HALF the attention it does in a socialist nation. Was Hugo Chavez a polarizing figure? undoubtably BUT he was not a tyrant, not a lunatic, and sertanly not a monster like Mr Caruthers likes to pretend he was simply a presedent trying to do the best he could. And let be close by saying this, the fact that people who live in a countrey tha supposedly promotes LIFE as a ” enalienable right ” can cheer for a leaders death just because so-called journalists tell them to is ABSOULATLY DISGUSTING!

    • Patriot

      As usual, the typical post from someone identifying himself as liberal is either blissfully ignorant of, or flat out denying fact in order to bolster his position. There is just too much information out there on what a tyrannical nightmare this guy was to his people. Again, I invite anyone that would love to live under such a government to let me know, and I will provide them a plane ticket. Just please, stop trying to implement this kind of anti-liberty evil in MY government.

    • speedle

      P Od and Liberal, I am trying to think of a way to say this………………………………………………………………in a kind and considerate manner………………………………..Sorry, I just can’t do it. You are an unmitigated moron, and an embarrassment to the concept of the informed citizen. There, I feel much better now.

    • http://google gary gerke

      You are the problem the USA faces today. You have been brainwashed by the substandard education system that has crippled the thinking of Americans today.

      Hugo Chavez, was a Communist monster that killed thousands and turned a wonderful country into a mini Russia mirroring Stalin’s illustrious rein. I’m sure you believe BO has been a great president!

      • Bob666

        Yo Gary,
        While I do agree with you that the world will not miss Hugo, I do take exception with you your statement:

        “Hugo Chavez, was a Communist monster that killed thousands and turned a wonderful country into a mini Russia mirroring Stalin’s illustrious rein”

        Venezuela was another example of a poor Banana republic before Hugo and while he did not use the resources in the best intreset of all of it’s citizens, he did make an effort to provide for many of it’s poor.

        His problem in idelogy was feeding a man for a day rather that teaching him how to fish for a lifetime and using Venezuela’s oil as a barginging chip with countries like Cuba and Iran.

        • pissed of & liberal

          Hundereds of thousands of Venezuelans lined up to catch a glimpse of Chavez’s corpse and RT has been covering the proceding since they began. leaders and representitives from over 50 differnt countreys went to pay respect. Russian pres,Putan said ” He has joinded the reanks of latin american heros like simon bolivar, fider castro and che guevara “. Either to day or tomarrow people will be gathering in mannhatten to hold a canddelight vidule. several latin american leaders currently reside over goverments based to variant extents by the bolivarian revolution. YOU may not miss him and that’s fine but you do NOT speak for the world sir.

          • Bob666

            Yo Pissed,
            Step back and take a couple of deep breaths. In a round of bouth way, I agree with you. But, he could have done far more for his people had he provided the international business community confidance to come to Venezuela and set up shop and provide jobs with a free market.

            If you look at it rationally, he did far less than he could have done for his people if he had kept his ego in check.

          • pissed of & liberal

            The ” free market ” is a myth. in a regulated market the goverment sets restrictions which impede the maximazation of profits. in a unregulated market larger corperations can cut corners and use the extra funds to buy small to midsize buesness therby suffing out teh compatition the ” free market ” suposedly thrives on. Givin the alternitive represented by Venezuela in the 50′s Chavez did the best he could he planned the economy around his people’s needs not profits.

      • pissed of & liberal

        I based my comments on foriegn analysis and U.N sponcerd reports. i’m not the problem YOU are for allowing yourself to be brainwashed by the media who recive ther funding by the same parasites who crashed our economy.

    • Patriot

      Hundreds of thousands lined up to mourn Kim Jon Il as well. Does that mean he wasn’t a monstrous, murdering, evil dictator? Again, please people, if you want to live under the iron thumb of a despot, I will help you relocate- personally. Just stop trying to turn MY country into a Kingdom rather than a republic.

      • pissed of & liberal

        That mourning period you’re refering to is traditional in the Korean culture and to answer your queston i think that the stories told about him have been exagerated just like with everyother leader washington does not like. remember when the U.S media is slamming a foriegn leader it’s because the goverment tells them to and they’re telling them to because that leader is a threat to the statous qou.

        • Patriot

          SO! The news stories regarding Kim Jon Il as well as Kim Jong Un threatening to ‘wipe South Korea from the face of the Earth in nuclear fire” and from Kim Jong Un to destory America with nuclear missles must be just propaganda created by our own evil capitalist White House…..But…wait…does the media report the truth or not?

          • Bob666

            Yo Patriot,
            Do you feel like you have draw blood yet beating your head against a rock?

          • Patriot

            Haha! Bob, I believe that even the stupid deserve a chance to be educated. But I do see your point. :)

          • Bob666

            Yo Patriot,
            I believe the facts and truth on American Health care is really somewhere between you and the pissed off guy. While we have always been on the cutting edge on techknowlegy, our cost per patient have always been far more that twice that of other industrialized countries and we are the only one not providing health care for all citizens in the G8.

            That would be OK if our mortailty rates were lower, but the are amoung the highest.

          • pissed of & liberal

            The U.S media spues sensationalistic garbage and willingly tows the party line to ensure ther connections to the elites.

    • Patriot

      Those terrible things that give people incentives to start businesses and create jobs?? NO!! OH GOD PLEASE NO!
      You mean those HORRIBLE people that want to make money to create the highest standard of living in the WORLD? Oh PLEASE SAVE US FROM PROFITS! Those bastards! Wanting to create wealth? THAT IS HORRIBLE! I mean, even the most selfish person that creates wealth also creates that despicable BY PRODUCT of his own wealth by….oh no…..this is just too horrible to say, but I have to… .INCOME FOR OTHER PEOPLE! AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH! SAVE US FROM THE VILE FREE MARKET!

      So instead we put into place ‘regulations’ that actually benefit the largest corporations in the world by buying government sponsorship to MAXIMIZE their profits by eliminating competition through regulation…..Yeah! That is a GREAT idea! NO ONE gets wealthy this way……except for the corrupt government bureaucrats that have no accountability and get nice fat salaries by leaving the public service jobs they are in and heading straight to the corporations they helped ‘regulate’.

      Yeah, that is a FAR better idea than free market competition. You are a genius! Lets ALL go live under Castro….or Chavez…or Mao….or Hitler…..or Stalin…..or Kim Jong Un…..or Polpot…..they all hated the free market too!……But wait…those countries went broke and have the lowest standards of living in the world…BUT! At least it’s….’fair’? somehow?


      • pissed of & liberal

        Answer me one queston if you will. which is more importent, usuing your nations wealth to build skyscrapers or to build a healthcare system?

        • Patriot

          Ours was the greatest, most innovative and successful health care system in the world. Government intervention and regulation began to destory that in the early 1970′s. As the appetite for the government to regulate and meddle in the private industry of medicine grew, so did the costs and the rules in regards to whom got treated and for how much. Then the government got involved with the drug companies in an attempt to ‘regulate them’ into being ‘fair’ to everyone in the 1980′s. And the one very affordable cost of drugs hit the stratosphere as government guarantees and price controls further ruined the entire industry. ‘Big Pharma’ was CREATED by government regulation.
          What made ours the most innovative, creative, and effective system in the world in the first place? Investment by private enterprise. What brought people, scientists, and doctors from all over the world to the U.S. for it’s medical system? Private enterprise. Now that it is in it’s final death throes, innovation has slowed, investment is drying up, and it is no longer attracting the best and brightest as they go into private practice or into alternate sciences. Why? Because no one works for free, and the promise of creating a higher standard of living for themselves and the community motivates EVERYONE.
          Again, I would like to point out the living conditions in the countries you love so much, under the despotic tyrants that you seem to admire.
          And again, since those conditions are so appealing to you, I will happily purchase a plane ticket for you, one way of course, in order for you to live the dream of having ‘free’ health care under the thumb of a tyrant.
          Oh…sorry….Those aren’t really tyrants. Our press creates lies to make them all look bad. I apologize.
          Why don’t you ACTUALLY do some of that ‘research’ you love to spout off about. You may just find that in the entire history of the world, that lovely socialized system of government meddling has destroyed every single nation in which it has been tried WITHOUT exception.
          Something tells me that just like everyone that believes in some ridiculous notion of utopia, you will ignore those facts in favor of the fantasy.

          • pissed of & liberal

            Well my mistake why not just go ahead and sell our healthcare system to the walmart family!

          • Patriot

            You really are dense, aren’t you? So wrapped up in anger and hatred for a system you clearly do not understand to the point where you cannot even fathom that you could be wrong, or misinformed, or missing something. Your answer to problems is clearly bigger and more intrusive government – which, by the way, automatically means the destruction of individual liberty. Again, I invite you to look at every nation of the world that has traded their freedom for despotic government. Have a close look at their standard of living. Pay particular attention to what happened to their economic systems. Observe further the massive rise in poverty, hunger, and homelessness. The criminals now in charge of THIS country believe, for some unfathomable reason, that they can attempt it AGAIN and this time get it RIGHT. It cannot work. It has never worked.
            Plato attempted to create such a society in his work ‘Republic’. Even he became frustrated as his fantasy – perfect world – crumbled. Why? Well as Aristotle would later write, such systems do not exist in nature. There is no such thing as outcome equality in any natural system, and to attempt to force it simply causes collapse.

            Bob – I never said our system wasn’t without it’s faults. But there is something that I am sure of, and that is add government to a system, and it will become more expensive, less efficient, and more wasteful than it ever was before. I am further sure that in all of those wonderful nations with their outstanding ‘free healthcare’ people came to the United States when they were very sick. Why? Because our expensive system created innovation and results that they could not get in Britain, or Germany, or Canada.

          • pissed of & liberal

            I don’t hate the system because i DON’T understand it i hate the system BECAUSE i understand it. BECAUSE i see it for it is a system that it is a built on greed,shelfishness and ego. a system that advocates destroying the very planet we live on in the name of profit.a system that thrives on pitting brother against brother sister against sister. a system that for over two hundered and fifty years thrived on the backs of slaves. a system that is rittled with hypocracey. a system that has corrupted a once proud political system. it is YOU that is dense. YOU are the one who does not get it. YOU buy into the propaganda that all you have to do is work hard let your boss exploit you for now and soon you’ll be in the land of milk and honey. all your leaders have to do is say ” just a little longer ” and you plow along and let them suck a little more of your blood. your like one of those teenagers who falls into a cult. you have [had]SO MUCH POTENTIAL your generation could have changed the WORLD but you let the revolutionary ferver that was building within you to be misdirected the rage that could have ended the eternel war that cpaitilism needs to survive you turn against immergrents trying to support ther families. the hate you should feel towards the corperations that crashed your nations econamy and finace the politicions who erode it’ libertys you turn against racial and religious minorities. wher you should be stamping out the notion that ” money is speech ” you instead try to stamp out the notion of a women controlling ther own bodies..EVERY SINGLE piece of legislation that will contribute to the fall of america happend on YOUR generations watch, reganomics, the defence of marrige act, the patriot act,the ndaa, and what did you do to stop them? NOTHING! YOU set back and allowed these disgusting acts to be passed. YOU have hade DECADES to change the system into one that would NEVER pass ANY OF those acts but you choose not to do ANYTHING and the WORST part is despite all of that despite all the good YOU WILLINGLY FAILED to do you still have the GAUL to refer to yourself as ” Patriot ‘ you’re not a patrion you’re a joke.

          • Patriot

            Ok. I had to stop laughing before I could actually reply to this.
            Most people that I disagree with aren’t fools. We just disagree. Generally speaking I appreciate good debate with intelligent people. I truly revere good debate with educated people with experience and actual knowledge of the subjects of which we discuss.
            I also do not like to make vast and general assumptions about the quality of the knowledge and/or experience in the possession of the person with whom I am having the discussion.
            In this case, it is clear that you are uneducated. That is very obvious. You have no idea what capitalism is, nor do you have a clear understanding of the mechanics or implementations of it. You have zero understanding of history of our nation, or the principals and philosophy upon which it was founded. I will begrudgingly attempt to educate you here but I generally do not waste my time with ignorant fools.
            Further, I do not like to give details about my own background, education, profession, or success in this life, but you have said some TRULY stupid things here and I am going to give you the thrashing that you, like any child, deserve.
            I am educated, first of all. I have studied the history of the founding of this nation. I have also studied philosophy – which, child, isn’t some ancient Greek guys hanging around and contemplating the air. It is the cornerstone of societies of all kinds. Including ours. Plato tried to build his perfect society in “Republic’. In his perfect world, society was broken into classes due what the leaders – the “Philosopher Kings’ decided that were best suited to the skills or intellect of the individual. In other words, they had a Chavez, or a Mao, or a Hitler, or a Stalin that would decide what was best for everyone because somehow, they were uniquely qualified to make those choices. They embraced a philosphy called The Noble Lie – which basically was a falsehood that the Kings would tell the parents of children that said there was either silver, or bronze, or gold in the veins of their child which the Gods had placed there in order to determine how best that child would serve the community. They had everything taken care of for them. Health care, what they could wear, what they were allowed to say, what was best to eat.
            Ultimately, Plato realized that human desire and free will would destroy this society. No matter how hard he tried to take everything account to control, it was impossible. The ‘Philosopher Kings’ became hungry with power. They began to create law that suited their own purposes rather than the purposes of the community. Some believe Plato left his book unfinished in frustration, realizing that his perfect Republic was simply not possible.
            It was Aristotle that realized that the main problem in attempting the kind of control that Plato had tried was that such a system is not found anywhere in nature. It was impossible to force an unnatural system on creatures of nature. It was Aristotle that gave birth to an idea that 1500 years later John Locke would write of in his book “A Treatise on Government’ that when human beings are born of and unto nature, they are all born with rights that, since are natural, cannot be disputed.
            Over the centuries, books of philosophy have been written that attempted to create a society of perfect control by some sort of a Mastermind that knows what is best for everyone. The word UTOPIA comes from a book by Sir Tomas More in which a fictional King (named Utopus) creates another ‘perfect’ society on an island where everything is taken care of. Where everyone wore the same clothes, where everyone could take whatever his neighbor had provided that it was more than his neighbor needed. Again, it was realized that such a system cannot work.
            Two idiots that smoked far too much opium wrote a book that you would probably love called ‘The Communist Manifesto’. It is yet another tall tale of a perfect society – a worker’s paradise’ where everyone’s outcome in life is equal. Where everything is provided. Where everything that is created, crafted, grown, or sewn is the property of the State, and will be handed out – again –by someone that knows better than everyone else.
            What makes this piece of crap different, is that in their little fantasy story, Marx and Engels wrote that in order to achieve this, ALL power would be given to the State masterminds. Military, economic, and social, so that through the force of the military, they would be able to confiscate the property, and even the children (families were just too close to being akin to their own inner power structure). Once these all powerful masterminds of the State had all of the money, wealth, and power in the country, they would then step down and give it all back to the people…..Uh huh….right.
            Thomas Jefferson had a classical education and began studying philosophy at the age of 9. He read the works of More, Plato, Aristotle, and many more, and realized that indeed, the natural order of the world is individual sovereignty, and personal liberty. He recognized that no matter how intelligent men could be, they could be as corrupt, and greedy, and selfish as any king or despot (look it up) and that power required checks and balances as well as the consent of the governed. Our system was designed to prevent those in powerful from becoming too powerful. It’s specific intent was to keep those that would legislate moored to as set of rules that could be changed, but only with a massive consensus of the people. The People, believed Jefferson, were the ultimate masters of their own destiny, whose outcomes would not be decided by kings, despots, or tyrants, but by their own hands.
            Further, Jefferson realized that in a market, free of intrusion form government or king, even the most selfish, greedy people would – as a byproduct of their quest for wealth – would create jobs, industry and more wealth for more people. A free market would create by it’s own merit the highest standard of living the world has ever seen. And it has.
            The model created by Marx and Engels has been tried many times now. And every SINGLE time has collapsed due to the fact that such control, such ‘fairness’ such ‘equality of outcome’ is simply not possible. The Soviet Union died a hard, horrible death when they ran out of other people’s wealth to plunder (except for the ‘leaders’ they were rich and comfortable – illegal under communist systems ) and the people of the nation fell into poverty and starvation.
            Cuba – has the 2nd lowest standard of living in the civilized world. North Korea, THE WORST standard of living on the planet. And your favorite – Venezuela, the fourth lowest standard of living, right next to Zimbabwe. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Clearly, those systems are FAR more ‘fair’ than the free market of the United States.
            I laugh that you say you understand the system that you loathe so much. When it is so incredibly clear you have no understanding of it at all. You cannot tell the difference between corporatism and capitalism. You cannot tell where government and business start or stop. You post this dramatic ( and completely inane ) rant about ‘pitting brother against brother and sister against sister’ – but…WHERE?? You obviously have a very poor opinion of your fellow man. You also mention 250 years of slavery. When I look around I see massively prosperous people that – at least for now – have the CHOICE to work where they work, live where they live, eat what they eat. Yours is the rant of the village idiot. The angry teenager that feels no one should be allowed to be more prosperous than someone else.
            Let me help you make some distinctions.
            The local beauty shop where your mom gets her hair done is likely owned by a local entrepreneur that has put all of their savings and heart and soul into opening their little shop. Hair stylists then rent space in that shop and create a living for themselves, and provide a service to the people of the community.
            THAT is Capitalism.
            The medium sized business owner that imports textiles and turns them into baskets and towels and chair covers, then creates relationships with stores across the country in which to sell them is a Capitalist. This person has created jobs, purchased health care, purchased equipment, leases office space, and has contributed vastly to the economy. THIS is that VILE and EVIL Capitalism that you despise so much. Capitalism is creation. It is the purest form of the creation of stability in economic conditions in a free market the world has ever seen. Even CHINA has HAD to engage in capitalism in order to survive. China was among the worst of those nations in terms of standard of living until they allowed free market Capitalists into their country to create and grow.

            Now, child, you also took shots at me.
            I am a 10th grade high school drop out that started my first business when I was 24. It failed miserably, but I created yet another one, and then another. Never taking a single dime in assistance from the government, my parents, or anyone else. At the time, my library card was my prized possession because there was nothing I could not learn from books. I continued to self-educate and created another business when I was 33. For the past 13 years that business has grown and thrived. I have employed numerous people which has brought income and housing and health care to many families. I have continued to improved my standard of living and over the years have given back to my community. I have donated to veterans organizations, cancer funds, and Foster Children’s programs.
            I decided that I needed to be educated and went back to school, getting my degree in Constitutional History. I studied psychology and philosophy, all because I was tired of allowing the criminals that run my country to feed me their propaganda and keep me docile and unarmed. I have visited more than 25 countries all over the world and have seen their cultures and people in action. I now have three successful businesses and have contributed to my community and my country in ways that you are not capable of understanding, nor duplicating.
            Don’t you DARE to EVER call my sense of patriotism a ‘Joke’, child. You are an undereducated imbecile that has not the slightest idea of the history of your own stupid and borrowed ideas. GET an EDUCATION before you come at ME or ANYONE else with your spewed line of collectivist garbage. You aren’t even qualified to clean the dog s**t in my back yard much less attack my accomplishments, contributions, or patriotism. So sit down now, little child, and let the adults talk.

          • pissed of & liberal

            First of all. Cuba has among the highest infant mortality rate in the hemasphire,free healthcare,100% literacy rate and some of the finest schools in the americas.
            Secondly. it does not matter how educated you claim to be because you obviously you never learned the difference between knowledge and wisdom.
            Third. you are a conservitive therfore by defanition a joke. your ideaology is based on hypocracy.
            Fourth. as a rule of thumb anytime a leader is slammed in the media particually one as shallow and profit driven as the U.S media it is because that leader is a threat not to democracey but to the status quo. that goes for Chavez.Castro,Guevarra and all the other great revolutionarys
            And in conclusion as you have proven yourself to be in love with your own ignorence if you don’t respond to this and never contact me again that would serve me just fine as ther are surley more rational people to talk to.

          • Patriot

            [comment has been edited]
            The picture you paint of Cuba, and the reality are two completely different things. How about an account from someone from Cuba?
            Or is that just a planted story by the media as well?


            By José R. Alvarez

            After 40 years, the economic Standard of Living in Cuba is less than 1% of what it was in the decade of the 50′s.

            As a Cuban who has lived during the last forty years in the ‘North’, working among ‘Americans’, I have run into many situations where friends and acquaintances, once they get to know I was born and raised in Cuba, ask me about ‘how things are in Cuba’, a theme that seems to have universal interest. Many seem to want to confirm reports that appear sporadically in the press and television, and which for whatever reasons have captured their attention. Those who are up in years still remember the October 1962 episode, some have heard about the Bay of Pigs, and considerably fewer know about the ‘balseros’. Many have had great interest in the Elian Gonzalez case.

            Depending on the kind of questions, my answers have focused on the issues around the tyrannical repression and on the monumental economic failure of communism, particularly as it relates to the daily procurement of food. That is, the use of rationing cards, etc. As I go into details, many become somewhat incredulous, since it is nearly impossible for them to understand circumstances so far and foreign from their daily lives existing a mere 90 miles from the richest and most powerful nation on the world.

            During the last few years, my focus has been towards numbers, since there is no question those are well understood in this country particularly as they relate to individual income and results from investments. For example, I explain to them that a teacher or an engineer in today’s Cuba earn respectively approximately 210 and 350 cuban pesos. And that, furthermore, when one uses the ongoing monetary exchange rate of 25 cuban pesos for one dollar, those cuban peso salaries represent $8.40 and $14.00 on a monthly basis. Their reactions to those numbers represent generally significant surprise; then they proceed to mentally figure out the real standard of living in Cuba, since the purchasing power of the dollar is a universal unit used to define the relative position of standards of living throughout the world. A favorite measurement among those who travel widely, is to ask what is the price of a ‘big mac’ in the different countries, as an appropriate tool for comparison.

            More recently, I have gone on to more clearly define for those who ask me, the net change in the standard of living in Cuba that has taken place from the mid 50′s to the mid 90′s. This of course would be the result of the atrocious destruction of the country caused by the communists’ failed economic policies and government. To arrive at this, more refined understanding, it is necessary to introduce two incontrovertible facts, readily available in reference books. The first is the fact that in the 50′s, cuban pesos and dollars circulated freely in Cuba, on a par basis. This means that if a cuban traveled to the US with cuban pesos, he could exchange them into dollars one for one, and use those dollars normally. And of course, this helps to directly compare the standards of living in Cuba and the US at that moment in history. The second fact is the change in inflation index during the same period, that is, from the 50′s to the 90′s. That number is approximately 6.4. Which simply means that if something cost $1.00 in the 50′s, the same article would cost $6.40 in the 90′s. For example, a gallon of milk in the US today costs $2.80. The same gallon would have sold for $0.44 in 1955.

            With this information, a comparison of the change in the standard of living in Cuba becomes quite easy and understandable for a great many people: for example, the same teacher that today earns the equivalent of $8.40 monthly would have earned $1.31 monthly in the 50′s, and the same engineer would have earned $2.19 monthly. Since it has been solidly demonstrated that the corresponding salaries were in reality 150 and 300 cuban pesos, and that at that time cuban pesos and dollars were of equivalent worth, then we can see that those $1.31 and $2.19 today represent less than 1% of the salaries in the 50′s.

            The combined effect of the devaluation of the cuban peso against the dollar and of inflation during the last 40 years: 25 x 6.4, that is, 160 has been devastating. A peasant in the fields, a worker in a factory, would have to earn 160 times more in cuban pesos today just to keep up to par with where he was in the living standard he had in the 50′s. And this of course assumes that the cuban economy would be able to supply against such demand, something we know is impossible in an inefficient, tyrannical communist system.

            Such is the horrible reality of economic life in Cuba. The standard of living is less than 1% of what it was before the communist revolution. It is sufficient only to read a few letters from the island country today to agree that such brutal impoverishment is the terrible representation of daily life in Cuba.

            Many of my ‘American’ friends, of course, experience an infinite difficulty accepting these facts that they clearly understand. Many would mention ‘free public health’ and ‘free housing’. So, what can we add to answer those questions…? Simply that those who know, understand that the ‘famous’ public health system in Cuba is a hygienic disaster, lacking in the most basic medicines, facilities and resources. And that housing includes innumerable families forced to live sharing run-down homes. Not to mention public transportation, electric power, the so called telephone system, water supplies and sewers… Of course, the concept that there are ‘free’ things in this world has gotten out of favor with those who use our God-given reasoning. Simply stated, ‘free’ things supplied by the government are no more that one of the ‘slogans’ of communism for those who do not want to accept that man is individually and basically responsible for his own life in this world.

          • pissed of & liberal

            Miami is FULL of right-wing cubans who make it ther mission to spread disinformation about the goverment everthing i know about Cuba is from neutral U.N observers and wikipedia. oh wait don’t tell me your one of those who thinks that the U.N’s mission is to destroy America aren’t you?

          • Patriot

            No, I don’t believe the UN is here to destroy America.
            Sounds like you are the paranoid one here, bonehead. That is pretty evident. The funny thing is that you truly believe that any claim that the quality of life in any of these communist/socialist dictatorships isn’t less than wonderful has to be the creation of some right wing conspiracy to make them look bad.

            You have essentially told me all I need to know about your experience and intelligence. In essence, you posses neither.

            I will say this again, but you stlil won’t hear it, so it really is just me burning daylight. But whether your want to believe it or not, these are the FACTS about your beloved ‘Great Revolutionaries’

            Those that your leadership you cherish so, are RICH. You know, that thing you loathe so much? WEALTHY. Living in luxurious mansions with limousines, private chefs, massive bank accounts, and yes, you’ll REALLY love this: Investments in the U.S. stock market. They take vacations to wherever they wish to go in the world. They have stockpiled the wealth they have plundered from their own nation for their own selfish use. They travel to OTHER countries to get health care because their ‘Free’ system is so badly managed that they would ONLY trust the health of the serfs from which their wealth they have stolen to it. They own yachts and Ferraris. They dine with wealthy bankers and capitalists from all over the world. They live at a FAR higher standard than those of their people.

            And again, since you love this style of life so much, this whole standard of living, when you are ready to move to Cuba to enjoy their paradise, let me know. I will pay for your plane ticket.

          • pissed of & liberal

            Mark Twain either said or wrote ” It’s easier to fool someone then to convince them they’ve been fooled ” you are living proof of that all someone has to do is make something up and as long as that person has a different ideaology then you you belive it. and for the record i was repeating something from a e-mail sent to me by Bob Livingston as a result of my subscription to this site so if you think the idea is that of a ” bonehead ” tell that to him.

          • Bob666

            Yo Pissed,

            “Miami is FULL of right-wing Cubans who make it ther mission to spread disinformation about the goverment everthing i know about Cuba is from neutral U.N observers and wikipedia. oh wait don’t tell me your one of those who thinks that the U.N’s mission is to destroy America aren’t you”

            Two things:

            I was born and have lived in Florida about 50% of my life over a very long time (before and after Castro). I have many, many friends, business associates and neighbors who are expatriated Cubans and many are from well- to -do families who were property owners in Pre Fidel Cuba and many who are recent immigrants who grew up under Fidel.

            Cuba is like many south American countries and is the longest standing communist country in Central America and the Caribbean. The positives under Castro was basic medical care that covered the whole population and one of the highest literacy rates in the world. But Cuba’s economy has never been self sufficient and their standard of living ranks among the lowest in central & south America.

            For future reference, you would have far more credibility if you reference something other than Wikipedia for your source as most colleges and universities do not accept it as a credible source of information.

            Try using this source as it is very acurate and will help you make better arguments in the future.


          • Patriot

            I was hoping to get a reply in before bonehead boy could.
            He is just going to accuse you of being a shill for the vast conspiracy against the paradise of communism because of the brainwashing you have received here.

          • Bob666

            Yo Patriot,
            I do admire his energy for debate, if he gathers some facts and substance, he might give you a run for the money.

          • Patriot

            Bob, I always appreciate intelligent debate. Based on what I have seen from him thus far, it would take a lot more than accurate research to challenge my 10 year old son.
            While I can understand that there are perfectly happy people living under the iron boot of despotic tyrants all over the world, my beef has always been with attempting to change the Land of the Free into the Land of the Slave.
            For example, Michael Moore is quite wealthy (perish the thought) and can afford to live in Cuba, or China, or North Korea, or Zimbabwe, or Venezuela should he so choose. He obviously loathes the principles of the American foundation, so what the hell keeps him here when he reveres the sociopolitical structures of the aforementioned countries. Since he loves those ideas so much, rather than destroy what was created here, doesn’t it make sense that he go there? At least in the name of the ‘fairness’ that seems to be his religion.

            In any case, you and have not always agreed, but I have always appreciated your clean and intelligent presentation.

            Haben Sie einen schonen Tag!

          • Bob666

            Yo Patriot,
            As my dear old dad once said; it takes all kinds to make the world. I have come to appreciate the structure of your comments as well and they are often in line with mine.

            A good day to you as well (lived in Salzburg, Austria as a kid)

          • pissed of & liberal

            I don’t use Wikipedia as a source rather as a springbord. And by-the-way Cuba like many southern and central american countries had a very tiny group that sold ther countries resources to the U.S and left the rest of the population to rot these pre-castro landowning friends of yours were almost certainly of this class and therfore don’t really have a incentive to be impartial. as for the younger immergrints Cuba has had economic trouble recently but you can’t expect anything less after being subjest to a U.S blocade for fifty years and i belive this is the reason for the majority of recent immergration.

          • Bob666

            Yo Pissed,
            “And by-the-way Cuba like many southern and central american countries had a very tiny group that sold ther countries resources to the U.S and left the rest of the population to rot these pre-castro landowning friends of yours were almost certainly of this class and therfore don’t really have a incentive to be impartial”

            You are correct on that statement and that is why American Forien Policy has failed most of the time in the last 100 years in central & south America. The older Cubans here still support the ban on travel and trade with Cuba, while the younger more recent imigrants will agree that only the people of Cuba have suffered, not the government.

            But keep in mind that previous to 1900, central and south America was colonized by most of Europe. We were just the first to gain independance.

            While I don’t always agree with you, I enjoy the exchange.

          • Patriot

            Two things:
            If the leadership in Cuba has allowed US embargo’s to keep the people of the country poor, then that alone makes my entire case. That wonderful, paradise with it’s benevolent government and kind and fair leader allowed it’s people to languish for almost 50 years. That is fine leadership to be sure.
            Number two, based on the model of redistribution that is communism, it is very likely that if sanctions were lifted and trade were opened between the US and Cuba, the government would still benefit the most and her people the least.

            Again, I still cannot understand why anyone that loves that model so much would remain here in a country they clearly hate. It makes ZERO sense.

          • pissed of & liberal

            I don’t hate America I hate Capitilism and despite what people like you seem to think there is a difference. and out of curiousity how would YOU get past 50 years of sanctions?

          • Patriot

            Something that I find interesting.
            I have acutally visited the collapsed countries that were once communist ‘paradise’. I have been to most of the Eastern Bloc countries in Europe.
            Pissed of ( of?) and Liberal INSISTS that our only reference is that which is fed to us, and that there is really a FAR better life out there under the Iron Fist of Communist nations run by despotic leaders.
            So far, of all of the countries I have seen that survived, then finally rid themselves of the communist plauge, not ONE of them isn’t in complete and utter economic ruin. There are some that finally, after being free of the ‘workers paradise’ where ‘everything is fair’ you can see faint signs of economic recovery….ironically, under their new capitalist systems.
            I was in Prague and Brno ( in the former Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic ) in August of last year. The decayed, cramped apartments where 6 families would share two rooms at the end of a hall, seperated by a water closet are still there. Only now they are used as cheap hotels. The roads are cracked and potholed. The neighborhoods are a scattered ruin. The pace of the people is always very slow, as if they had been sleeping their whole lives and are now just beginning to wake up.
            This isn’t propaganda. I have seen it. I will be back in Prague in May. I have been to Romania, and Serbia, and Slovakia, and Slovenia…All a total ruin that is now just starting to come to life under the free market.
            Pissed of lives in a fantasy. I will be going to South America in June. Yet another region where, gee whiz, they have good schools and fine free health care, and 90% of the population live in ruined neighborhoods abandoned when the communists and socialists came promising freedom in a paradise of fairness. I have seen them working all day in factories and fields, and coming home to their cardboard boxes.
            Yeah, Pissed of sure is onto something. I can’t wait for the paradise of socialism finishes consuming my country so that it resembles the ones that I have seen all over the world.

            He accused me of lack of wisdom. Perhaps. But I have experienced what it is that he believes in, and the people of those countries tell me a completely different story.

          • pissed of & liberal

            Let’ get this out into the open . ” paradise ” is a myth and i feel the need to point out that YOU’RE the one throwing that word around not me. socialist america will not be perfect however it will do a much better job of tending to the basic needs of a larger percentage of the population then capitilism ever has or will. and if you were as serious a debate lover as you claim you are then obnoxious sarcasm would be beneth you.

          • Patriot

            Pissed, you get my sarcastic tone because it was you that came here saying that we are all so stupid that we are brainwashed by our media and a massive conspiracy to cover up the great success of despotic leadership in a socio-communist system. You further threw around that anyone that is conservative is immoral and incapable of patriotism, and you have also called me personally a ‘joke’.
            If you wish to be treated with respect and dignity, I would suggest that you stop underestimating the intellect and experience of those who would disagree with you and begin treating them with the idea that it may be remotely possible that what they have to say is relevant.

            I have also come to you, demonstrating through statistic, historical precedent, and personal observation from having actually visited countries that have had the kind of government that you believe is best forced upon the people of this country, that the socialist model has failed in every country that has ever tried it. The only thing that socialism does for the minority – the poor – is create MORE poor from the majority. That is PROVEN.
            Socialist systems have been in place in America now for more than a half century, but more so in the past 20 years. For the most part, poverty in America had maintained the same percentage of the population for the better part of the 20th century. It is currently around 16%.
            So taking from 84% of those selfish, greedy capitalists in order to make it ‘fair’ for a mere 16% of the population sounds fair to you? That sounds like it is ‘taking care’ of people to you?
            There are many factors in poverty. Did you know that intelligence is a high factor in poverty? Income and intelligence have been found to be related. Charles Murray compared the earnings of 733 full sibling pairs with differing intelligence quotients (IQ’s). He referred to the sample as utopian in that the sampled pairs were raised in families with virtually no illegitimacy, divorce or poverty. The average earnings of sampled individuals with an IQ of under 75 was $11,000, compared to $16,000 for those with an IQ between 75 and 90, $23,000 for those with an IQ between 90 and 110, $27,000 for those with an IQ between 110 and 125, and $38,000 for those with an IQ above 125. So do you think that you can force people through expensive, overreaching government programs not to be stupid too?
            Currently, only 16.4% of the people this nation don’t have health insurance. Again I ask, does that mean that to make it right, we should force the 84% of the people that do have it to pay for the minority?
            Socialist programs create poverty. They always have. Taking money from those that have it and redistributing it by force of law has proved to mean less money in the treasury. That is a statistical fact. Ask the people of England how well raising taxes on the rich has worked out. Or how about the people of France – one of the most socialist nations on earth ( and they are dead and flat broke as a result ).
            Socialism creates MORE poor people. Socialism creates a government that has little care for the rights of the individual and instead is unilaterally given the power to decide what rights to give to the collective.
            Socialism is NOT a recent idea. I have given you examples of it as far back as Plato who created a socialist utopia almost 2400 years ago. This is why I gave you the history lesson. It has NEVER worked.
            Capitalism is by no means perfect. But the by product of wealthy individuals, is more wealth in the form of jobs, innovation, competition, and motivation to create more of it. The idea that you can somehow regulate greed and ambition and selfishness is inane.
            So again, I implore you, please stop trying to take a system that built the most powerful and generous nation in the world, and destroy it with ideas that have failed in every nation that has ever attempted them. If you love socialism so much, you are welcome in the most socialist of all nations in the world.
            If this country sickens you so much, then please, you are free to relocate to one more suited to you. Just stop attempting to force everyone else to comply with socialist notion. It isn’t going to work here any better than it has worked anywhere else.

          • pissed of & liberal

            That’s anouther problem i have with you you talk like you’re a expert on socialism and then point to something completley the opposite as proof. if you were such an expert you would know that socialism is the lower level of communism where the ineqqualitys of capitilism still exists but is nessacery to reach Marxs ultimite goal of communism and a classless sociaty. and if you were such a expert on Plato you’d know that he and Marx agree on NOTHING. Marxism places the working class in power where as Plato as per the Republic places power in the hands of ” philosopher kings “. Marxists belive in a classless sociaty wher as Plato preaches a strict social hiearchy below the philosopher kings are the Auxiliaries ” who perform the functions of soldiers,police, and civil servants. it is they who will put the directions of the rulers into effect. ” below them are a nameless class ” who contain the workers of all kinds-farmers,craftsmen,traders,etc. all whoproduce the material necessities of life. the division between these three classes will be strict ;in fact Platosays that the ” justice ” or well-being of the society depends on each person performing his ownproper function and NOT interfering with other. ” Marx belived in ” from each according to his ability to each according to his need ” Plato assigned you to your class by the level of education you recived. see the diffence? and to answer your queston, YES healthcare should be considerd a human right and it should be avalible to everyone free of charge. and i will say this one more time America does not sicken me capitilism sickens. please get it right.

          • Patriot

            You have done some research!
            Good for you.
            First, I wasn’t equating Plato’s ideas with Marxism. I was saying that the idea of a perfect society has been around for a long time.
            There is also a parallel between the Philosopher Kings and your beloved ‘Great Revolutionaries’ in that they decide what is best for everyone as if they are uniquely qualified to do so. Where Plato became frustrated was in the fact that all men are corruptible and so such a person could not fairly and equally decide what is best for that very reason.
            It was Aristotle that found the folly in all of it, realizing that creating classes, or attempting to equalize everyone was not possible due to the fact that in nature there is no such hierarchy.
            And that too is where Marx failed. People will always have desire. It is human to want more, to wish to achieve more. Attempting to regulate that and ensure that each creates what he needs via his ability is also impossible to regulate. It has never worked. And that is something you continue to ignore.
            Further, the capitalism that you purport to hate so much in America is something different, as I had also pointed out in earlier posts. America is a CORPORATIST nation these days, which is closer to fascism that capitalism. Again, I remind you of the example I gave of the small business owner in your neighborhood that has created what he needs from his own ability. That is the free market system that was intended, not this over regulated government sponsored corporate nightmare.
            As I had also said in an earlier post, even communist China had to allow free market capitalists to do business in their country because their entire economic structure was collapsing. They had an army they couldn’t feed, clothe, or arm. They had cities that were crumbling and decaying. What changed? Capitalism created business, which created wealth, which created more business, and the cycle continues. It is said that by 2030 China will be the number one economy in the world, and our pseudo socialist corporatist country will have fallen to number two and will continue to fall.
            Our nation was built on the idea that we all have the same shot at it. And we do. That is why a mere 16% of our people are living below the poverty line compared to 28% in Venezuela.
            You cannot eradicate it. But in the attempt to do so, you can destroy freedoms and wealth, and liberty, and business, and the well being of the majority – all to attempt to control the poverty of the minority.
            There will also be wealthy people and poor people. The one thing that you cannot count on always being there is a middle class. In the attempt to make everything fair the money of the majority is confiscated and spent. Our own middle class is disappearing as a result of our corporatist government trying to control the uncontrollable.
            I appreciate the debate. At this point it is nice to see some basis for your ideas rather than nothing but conjecture based on your hatred of ‘income desparity’.
            So here is the question for you:
            Do I not deserve my wealth when there are others that aren’t as wealthy? How much of my own money that I earn should I be allowed to keep?

            I am interested in your reply.

          • pissed of & liberal

            The idea of Marxism is that wealth belongs to those who create it meaning the workers. here’s an example the wealth created in a coal mine would be divided among the actual miners and the only way to get a percentage of that wealth is to become a miner for the private ownership of natural resorces would be illegal. so to answer your queston you would be allowed to keep whatever is left of your paycheck after you pay taxes but since Marxism envolves raising the minimum wage the average worker would be left with more then they would under capitilism. hope that helps.

          • pissed of & liberal

            Me to. at least you’re polite when disagreeing with people.

    • Patriot

      You know, maybe political analysis isn’t your strong suit….
      I KNIOW! Let’s have a spelling contest.

      • pissed of & liberal

        I have NEVER claimed perfect spelling but i try to make up for it by actually RESEARCHING a leader BEFORE badmouthing him instead of just execting the republican line of ” he wasn’t a capitilist therfore he was evil “

      • Kevin

        Patriot ….I enjoyed reading your Posts.

  • Toy

    Where’s his money going?

  • dan

    what’s not to be happy about…Fidel’s next and Barry will attract Drones like he attracts flies

  • black as coal

    its funny how when someone does not want to play the usa lapdog he is considered a terrorist and a dictator. the greatest leader of all times HUGO CHAVES!!!! BETTER THAN YOUR LEADER ” OBAMA”.

    • pissed of & liberal

      So true!

  • Tommy cunningham

    Hugo was great, the people loved him and voted him in! Oh I forgot, Hitler was voted into power also………..

    • pissed of & liberal

      As was Ronald Reagen what’s your point?

      • pissed of & liberal

        I’m sorry i didn’t understand that what?


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