Breaking: Hugo Chavez is dead; Update: Democratic rep mourns; Update: So does Jimmy Carter

posted at 5:21 pm on March 5, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Well, that’s that: Chavez’s lieutenants have been insisting for months that the Venezuelan president would be making a full recovery from his cancer-related operations and that Venezuelans had no cause for alarm — but they’ve been getting notably less vociferous about the whole thing recently, and that charade is officially over. The Associated Press is reporting that the longtime socialist-Marxist leader died on Tuesday afternoon:

Vice President Nicolas Maduro, surrounded by other government officials, announced the death in a national television broadcast. He said Chavez died at 4:25 p.m. local time. …

Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba in June 2011 to remove what he said was a baseball-size tumor from his pelvic region, and the cancer returned repeatedly over the next 18 months despite more surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. He kept secret key details of his illness, including the type of cancer and the precise location of the tumors. …

Two months after his last re-election in October, Chavez returned to Cuba again for cancer surgery, blowing a kiss to his country as he boarded the plane. He was never seen again in public. …

After a 10-week absence marked by opposition protests over the lack of information about the president’s health and growing unease among the president’s “Chavista” supporters, the government released photographs of Chavez on Feb. 15 and three days later announced that the president had returned to Venezuela to be treated at a military hospital in Caracas.

Update: So, what’s next for Venezuela now that their corrupt, destructive, America-hating, socialist leader is no more? Either Vice President Nicolas Maduro or National Assembly leader Diosdado Cabello will become interim president for thirty days while the country engineers a special election — and without Chavez to figurehead his “Chavismo” movement, the outcome isn’t necessarily a sure thing.

[A]lthough his cronies and their Cuban handlers are maneuvering to hold on to power, a Chavista succession is neither stable nor sustainable. With more audacious leadership among Venezuela’s democrats and intelligent solidarity from abroad, Chávez’s legacy might be buried with him.

The foundations of Chavismo are being shaken by an impending socioeconomic meltdown, a faltering oil sector, bitter in-fighting in his own movement, complicity with drug-trafficking and terrorism, rampant street crime, the inept performance by Chávez’s anointed successor, and growing popular rejection of Cuban interference, corrupt institutions, and rigged elections. Beset by these challenges and with Chávez no longer at the top of the ballot, the regime will use every advantage to engineer a victory in a special election to choose a new president.

Update (AP): Speaking of Maduro, he’s a low-rent anti-American populist crank from the same mold as his former boss. If you thought that Chavez shoving off might make way for detente between the U.S. and Venezuela, think again:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was infected with cancer by “imperialist” enemies, his No. 2 alleged on Tuesday, adding that the socialist leader was suffering his hardest moments since an operation three months ago…

“We have no doubt that commander Chavez was attacked with this illness,” Maduro said, repeating a charge first made by Chavez himself that the cancer was an attack by “imperialist” foes in the United States in league with domestic enemies.

“The old enemies of our fatherland looked for a way to harm his health,” Maduro said, comparing it with allegations that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who died in 2004, may have been poisoned by Israeli agents.

Read this old Hitchens piece from 2010 about seeing Chavez’s crankery up close. Even his lackey Sean Penn couldn’t break through the wall of paranoia, which included skepticism about the moon landing.

Update (AP): The main plot right now is Chavez’s death and the subplot is creepily affectionate reminiscences from some of his fellow travelers on the left. (John Sexton notes on Twitter that Chavez ultimately proved too tyrannical even for Noam Chomsky.) Soon, though, as the shock of the news about his demise recedes, those two will reverse positions. Here’s your early leader for useful idiot of the day. He’s a congressman, of course:

Update (AP): No surprise here:

Update (AP): David Frum points to this piece from a few years ago estimating that the Man of the People had amassed a private fortune of $2 billion.

Update (AP): Michael Moynihan’s acidic obit at Newsweek is the one you’ll want to read. As he reminds us, there was no monster Chavez wasn’t willing to hug in the name of anti-American camaraderie. He was a proud supporter of Saddam, Mugabe, Qaddafi, and of course Bashar Assad, not because they overlapped much philosophically beyond authoritarianism but because they were all antagonists of the United States. That was Chavez’s core shtick — anti-colonialist vaudeville at the expense of the west’s superpower.

Update (AP): You outdid yourself on this one, Jimbo. I want to say “unbelievable,” but no, it’s quite believable.

Statement From Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on the Death of Hugo Chavez

Rosalynn and I extend our condolences to the family of Hugo Chávez Frías. We met Hugo Chávez when he was campaigning for president in 1998 and The Carter Center was invited to observe elections for the first time in Venezuela. We returned often, for the 2000 elections, and then to facilitate dialogue during the political conflict of 2002-2004. We came to know a man who expressed a vision to bring profound changes to his country to benefit especially those people who had felt neglected and marginalized. Although we have not agreed with all of the methods followed by his government, we have never doubted Hugo Chávez’s commitment to improving the lives of millions of his fellow countrymen.

President Chávez will be remembered for his bold assertion of autonomy and independence for Latin American governments and for his formidable communication skills and personal connection with supporters in his country and abroad to whom he gave hope and empowerment. During his 14-year tenure, Chávez joined other leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean to create new forms of integration. Venezuelan poverty rates were cut in half, and millions received identification documents for the first time allowing them to participate more effectively in their country’s economic and political life.

At the same time, we recognize the divisions created in the drive towards change in Venezuela and the need for national healing. We hope that as Venezuelans mourn the passing of President Chávez and recall his positive legacies — especially the gains made for the poor and vulnerable — the political leaders will move the country forward by building a new consensus that ensures equal opportunities for all Venezuelans to participate in every aspect of national life.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 6

Adios, caudillo.

Mr. D on March 5, 2013 at 5:22 PM

FYI:

Chávez was never sworn in for this term, so Diosdado Cabello (a Chávez ally and President of the National Assembly), will act as President until a new election can be called.

Nicolás Maduro, Chávez’s Vice President, will almost certainly run for President. He’s already out there blaming the U.S. for Hugorilla’s cancer. Henrique Capriles, the opposition candidate in last year’s election, will probably also run.

steebo77 on March 5, 2013 at 5:22 PM

I hope the ants began to eat him alive.

Schadenfreude on March 5, 2013 at 5:23 PM

his legacy will be Peron’s, devastation, decay, corruption and death.

rob verdi on March 5, 2013 at 5:23 PM

meh. slow news day.

Flapjackmaka on March 5, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Sadly, Bobo the Fascist Parrot was put down soon after so he could join his master on his journey into the Netherworld.

Bishop on March 5, 2013 at 5:23 PM

*sniff* Hmm, do I smell sulfur? I wonder why?

Good Solid B-Plus on March 5, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Don’t blame Cuban health care. Michael Moore

fourdeucer on March 5, 2013 at 5:23 PM

julio chavez is still dead.

renalin on March 5, 2013 at 5:24 PM

his legacy will be Peron’s, devastation, decay, corruption and death.

rob verdi on March 5, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Yet the Peronistas still control Argentina.

steebo77 on March 5, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Maybe that’s why there are no White House tours. They are in mourning.

earlgrey133 on March 5, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Who’s next?

KCB on March 5, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Irony of them all, Michael Moore’s ‘beloved’ Cuban health’care’ system didn’t save him.

Now for the Castro brothers and the other dictators around the world. May you all join him, soon, you charlatanic thugs.

Schadenfreude on March 5, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Ding-dong, the prick is dead…

Archivarix on March 5, 2013 at 5:25 PM

I’m chilling the champagne as we speak.

JimLennon on March 5, 2013 at 5:25 PM

And watch Obama make a hash of what follows after.

sharrukin on March 5, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Hey,Death.
I’ll bet you can get a good rate on a direct flight from Caracas to Havana.
.
(And there’s no TSA to deal with, poking around the hooded, black robe)

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on March 5, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Bolivar! that AP article sure shows their love for the guy

DanMan on March 5, 2013 at 5:25 PM

It’s about damned time.

Philly on March 5, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Guys, what are the talking points here? Surely there must be a way we can dump on Obama on that subject, no?

Durandal on March 5, 2013 at 5:25 PM

“The devil came here yesterday,” Chavez said. “And it smells of sulfur still today.”

Curtiss on March 5, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Ocommie, Sean Penn – Hardest hit.

FlaMurph on March 5, 2013 at 5:26 PM

So how did that Cuban healthcare work out for you, pendejo? Vayate para el infierno, maricon.

princetrumpet on March 5, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Cancer is a helluva disease, great and small fall into its gaping maw.

RedRedRice on March 5, 2013 at 5:26 PM

And watch Obama make a hash of what follows after.

sharrukin on March 5, 2013 at 5:25 PM

I predict Obama offers assistance to his cabinet as the pro American opposition is trying to ramp up.

DanMan on March 5, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Nicolás Maduro, Chávez’s Vice President, will almost certainly run for President. He’s already out there blaming the U.S. for Hugorilla’s cancer. Henrique Capriles, the opposition candidate in last year’s election, will probably also run.

steebo77 on March 5, 2013 at 5:22 PM

The hope I have is that if things degenerate into a three way race between Maduro, Cabello, and Capriles, Capriles might be able to eke out a win. Maduro alone will benefit from the sympathy vote, plus he’ll have the advantage of being the one counting the votes.

Doomberg on March 5, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Chavez is dead? Gee I hope the White House staff can dig through the couch cushions or something and scrape up enough money to send a nice card saying we approve.

Lily on March 5, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Well,…..bye.

portlandon on March 5, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Sean Penn rumored to be on suicide watch ..
hey .. did Boston ever get their free heating oil ?

CaveatEmpty on March 5, 2013 at 5:27 PM

I hereby accuse the North American empire of being the biggest menace to our planet.

Hugo Chavez

El_Terrible on March 5, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Good bye, good luck….enjoy hell.

I am convinced Castro is going to outlive every communist on this planet. Or maybe he died years ago which is why we never see him anymore, just his nitwit brother.

William Eaton on March 5, 2013 at 5:27 PM

The sum total of the value of humanity just increased a bit.

86 on March 5, 2013 at 5:27 PM

A taste of the Maduro v. Capriles election that is to come:

“I came to the US to see my nieces, you lot go to Cuba to take orders from the Castro brothers and give away Venezuelans’ money, traitors!”, opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski tweeted on 4 March. Capriles added, “What most hurts you Nicolás is that you and your combo travel with Venezuelans’ money. I paid my own trip”.

Capriles was responding to Vice-President Nicolás Maduro’s public allegations that Capriles was in New York to “conspire against Venezuela” by meeting bankers, Republican politicians and possibly even the US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roberta Jacobson. Maduro said that the Venezuelan government was monitoring all of Capriles’ movements while abroad and could pinpoint him right down to his Manhattan street location.

steebo77 on March 5, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Is this just another stunt?

Am I the only one wondering?

dogsoldier on March 5, 2013 at 5:28 PM

So I looked around…

Nope, does not matter to me one way or another.

It’s almost like we should mind our own business.

fatlibertarianinokc on March 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I have to think that God has a special place set aside for those like chevez. And it doesn’t have clouds or harps. As chevez said after Bush spoke at the un, he could smell sulfur, well chevez, may as long as God sees fit, you do smell sulfur!

And many many many more like you chevez have the same fate!
L

letget on March 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Yea!!

annoyinglittletwerp on March 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM

He got his wish -

President for LIFE!</strong>

Wander on March 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I predict Obama offers assistance to his cabinet as the pro American opposition is trying to ramp up.

DanMan on March 5, 2013 at 5:27 PM

I just hope we aren’t looking at a ‘Latin Spring’.

sharrukin on March 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I wonder if Obama will cry at his funeral?

William Eaton on March 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I sure hope President Obama doesn’t resign and go there to run the country as a Dictator.

RickinNH on March 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Durandal on March 5, 2013 at 5:25 PM

snagged another one! who’s got the list?

DanMan on March 5, 2013 at 5:30 PM

“That’s why Pat Robertson, the spiritual adviser of Mr. Bush, is calling for my assassination. That would be much cheaper than an invasion,”

Hugo Chavez

… he was right??????
/

El_Terrible on March 5, 2013 at 5:30 PM

BTW, will bho send someone or go himself to the ‘funeral’ from the US?
L

letget on March 5, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Another dictator stands before God…good luck with that.

royzer on March 5, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Breaking News! First Photo Of Hugo Chavez’s Dead Body Released!

Resist We Much on March 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM

LOL…how long have you been sitting on that..?

d1carter on March 5, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Enjoy! There is plenty o stench of sulfur ahead for you vermin. Maggot Brain.

Bmore on March 5, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Sean Penn rumored to be on suicide watch ..
hey .. did Boston ever get their free heating oil ?

CaveatEmpty on March 5, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Yes, they’ve been getting it for a while now. Joe Kennedy II’s doing. Joe regularly praises Chavez in his TV and Radio ads.

http://www.citizensenergy.com/main/Home.html

JOE-4-OIL

Del Dolemonte on March 5, 2013 at 5:32 PM

I bet he’s smelling Sulfur NOW.

portlandon on March 5, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Adios, amigo! And don’t come back!

Stoic Patriot on March 5, 2013 at 5:32 PM

I blame it on the sequester.. I can see it now. Chavex lives if we don’t have to make the cuts….

freddyfrank81 on March 5, 2013 at 5:32 PM

snagged another one! who’s got the list?

DanMan on March 5, 2013 at 5:30 PM

I do. Added. Thanks. ; )

Bmore on March 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

LOL…how long have you been sitting on that..?

d1carter on March 5, 2013 at 5:31 PM

I just did it. :-)

Resist We Much on March 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

I just hope we aren’t looking at a ‘Latin Spring’.

sharrukin on March 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I think a Latin Spring already happened. Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Argentina all followed Chavez…. Hopefully the pendulum starts swinging away from Socialism.

El_Terrible on March 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

The hope I have is that if things degenerate into a three way race between Maduro, Cabello, and Capriles, Capriles might be able to eke out a win. Maduro alone will benefit from the sympathy vote, plus he’ll have the advantage of being the one counting the votes.

Doomberg on March 5, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Infighting on the PSUV side would be great. I just hope the MUD can keep their act together and stay united behind one candidate. So far it doesn’t look like María Corina Machado, Pablo Pérez Álvarez, or any other prominent opposition politician is going to stand against Capriles.

steebo77 on March 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

And no dead pool winnah, croaking so soon after Bonnie Franklin. Darn.

Bob's Kid on March 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

There is a lot of anti-Cuban sentiment in Venezuela. If Cuba gets cut off, that could be an end to the Cold War in the Western Hemisphere. If that is the case, I hope we see a Latin American Jaguar alongside the Asian Tiger.

Sekhmet on March 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Heh…Heh…Heh.

Burn in hell, cabron.

Solaratov on March 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Poor Joe Kennedy…beat me to it Del

DanMan on March 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

The AP obit was pretty darn lengthy.

tru2tx on March 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

classic wolfie-
he has to bring up that chavez called W the devil but that he loved obama

nice wolfie, nice…

cmsinaz on March 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Now he’s REALLY smelling sulfur.

ddrintn on March 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM

I wonder what the response will be from the WH? Deep down Obama seemed to really like Chavez and what he stood for, however he couldn’t publicly get close to him.

Tater Salad on March 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Move over Ted Kennedy, you’re getting a new bunk mate in hell.

Raquel Pinkbullet on March 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM

I sure hope President Obama doesn’t resign and go there to run the country as a Dictator.

Nope. In his respect and honor of Hugo, Barry will now run this country as a Dictator.

Besides, Venezuela is too small for Barry’s ego.

hawkeye54 on March 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Perfect fit, right after DBear, ; )

Bmore on March 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM

which administration official will be heading to his funeral?

Sherriff Joe or Kerry?

cmsinaz on March 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Talk about anti-climatic…

segasagez on March 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Sean Penn hardest hit.

Good Lt on March 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM

And no dead pool winnah, croaking so soon after Bonnie Franklin. Darn.

Bob’s Kid on March 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Bonnie Franklin was an uber-leftist who was probably a fan of Chavez.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 5, 2013 at 5:35 PM

I also hope Iran loses an ally after this.

El_Terrible on March 5, 2013 at 5:35 PM

omg RWM….I am so laughing!!!

CoffeeLover on March 5, 2013 at 5:35 PM

*sniff* Hmm, do I smell sulfur? I wonder why?

[Good Solid B-Plus on March 5, 2013 at 5:23 PM]

It a normal consequence of adding fresh fuel to that fire.

Dusty on March 5, 2013 at 5:35 PM

I am sure Daily Kos will have a memorial diary for him for all the communists, I mean “progressives”, to leave their condolences and memories of man who inspired them to be what they are.

Will MSNBC have a video tribute tonight? They will cry, they will laugh, and they will remember a hero of the cause.

William Eaton on March 5, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Cuban medical care was outstanding…..Just like all libs have assured us.

Sean Penn hardest hit.

Raquel Pinkbullet on March 5, 2013 at 5:35 PM

drudge. too much

can_con on March 5, 2013 at 5:35 PM

I think a Latin Spring already happened. Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Argentina all followed Chavez…. Hopefully the pendulum starts swinging away from Socialism.

El_Terrible on March 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Socialism tends not to go away unless it’s forced out, so I would suspect it will be a rocky road for them.

sharrukin on March 5, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Is this just another stunt?

Am I the only one wondering?

dogsoldier on March 5, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Not likely. The regime tried to keep up the facade that Chávez was alive and well for months, even to the point of issuing obviously photoshopped pictures of Chávez the other week. For whatever reason, the jig was up.

steebo77 on March 5, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Bishop, so glad you’re back. Your snark was very much missed.

Schadenfreude on March 5, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Move over Ted Kennedy, you’re getting a new bunk mate in hell.

Raquel Pinkbullet on March 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM

FIFY

HumpBot Salvation on March 5, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Breaking News! First Photo Of Hugo Chavez’s Dead Body Released!

Resist We Much on March 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Holy cow – I LOL’d!

22044 on March 5, 2013 at 5:36 PM

CoffeeLover on March 5, 2013 at 5:35 PM

2nd that

cmsinaz on March 5, 2013 at 5:37 PM

And no dead pool winnah, croaking so soon after Bonnie Franklin. Darn.

Bob’s Kid on March 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Somebody did pick a winner…

An “I Dzhugashvili” picked March 5… wonder what made him think of this day.

Gingotts on March 5, 2013 at 5:37 PM

He didn’t suffer nearly enough. I wish he could’ve lived long enough to see Venezuelans dragging his body through the streets.

Mark1971 on March 5, 2013 at 5:37 PM

I sure hope President Obama doesn’t resign and go there to run the country as a Dictator.

[RickinNH on March 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM]

Well, keep an eye on his bio at his publisher’s website and let us know if it changes … again!

Dusty on March 5, 2013 at 5:38 PM

The day just got a whole lot better.

rbj on March 5, 2013 at 5:38 PM

man it sure seems like cnn is celebrating this man’s life

big screen chavez 1954-2013, like he’s a celebrity…
cripe

cmsinaz on March 5, 2013 at 5:38 PM

I’m sure Obama will give a stirring memorial speech. Amigos, remember?

bluealice on March 5, 2013 at 5:38 PM

The Associated Press is reporting that the longtime socialist-Marxist leader died on Tuesday afternoon:

Seriously folks, if you read the entire post of the AP By FRANK BAJAK, it almost reads like a glorified admiration of this pos. I’m sure Danny Glover and Sean Penn will be in perpetual mourning.

Rovin on March 5, 2013 at 5:39 PM

I want part of the tissue concession at his funeral. I’ll make a fortune selling to Obama voters.

meci on March 5, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Will MSNBC have a video tribute tonight? They will cry, they will laugh, and they will remember a hero of the cause.

William Eaton on March 5, 2013 at 5:35 PM

guaranteed, show the picture of giving dear leader his favorite book

cmsinaz on March 5, 2013 at 5:39 PM

I hope the ants began to eat him alive.

Schadenfreude on March 5, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Sounds like the kind of cheap remark a South American dictator would make.
Perhaps your sly tribute to his colorful oratorical style?
Long Live Hyperbole!
Rameras en paro!

verbaluce on March 5, 2013 at 5:39 PM

You know what Obama needs? He needs one of those red berets that Chavez liked to wear. He could put his little OFA logo on it.

Curtiss on March 5, 2013 at 5:39 PM

I actually think he died back in January, when it was reported he was brain dead, and in fact maybe died before that, and now Venezuela is simply making up a story about “sudden respiratory problems” and his “recent” death. They propped him up as alive as long as possible so he could sign as many forged decrees as possible to expand the power of his successors.

I fully expect full on civil war soon.

Raquel Pinkbullet on March 5, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Resist We Much on March 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Thanks for the laughs. You have more gumption than all of DC, together.

Schadenfreude on March 5, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Joseph Stalin died sixty years ago..

Joseph Stalin
Iosif Vissarionovič Stalin was the de facto leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Wikipedia
Born: December 18, 1878, Gori
Died: March 5, 1953, Kuntsevo Dacha
Full name: Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili
Height: 5′ 6″ (1.68 m)
Spouse: Nadezhda Alliluyeva (m. 1919–1932), Ekaterina Svanidze (m. 1906–1907)
Children: Svetlana Alliluyeva, Vasily Dzhugashvili, Yakov Dzhuga

CoffeeLover on March 5, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Well, Ill-noise just got another voter

BobK on March 5, 2013 at 5:40 PM

awesome news =D party time!!

on a serious note, let’s pray for venezuela to have a much better leader.

Sachiko on March 5, 2013 at 5:40 PM

verbaluce on March 5, 2013 at 5:39 PM

You, of all the people, should know that I despise none more than dictators. Just be glad that you are free.

Schadenfreude on March 5, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 6