“I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place,” Stone posted to Twitter last week. The journalists and broadcasters who were jailed or shut down for criticism of Chavez might disagree with the “hero” moniker.
Like many tin-pot tyrants, Chavez deflected attention from his own failings by conjuring up for his people an intractable enemy. For Chavez, the enemy was “imperialism” in general and the United States in particular. George W. Bush was the devil; Chavez once commented that he smelled sulfur after a Bush speech at the United Nations. At Chavez’s funeral, Ahmadinejad praised his “anti-imperialism” and kissed his coffin.
That coffin was empty. Chavez’s body will be preserved and placed on display, rather like a cut-rate Lenin.
We suspect that Venezuelans will have much less patience with “Chavismo” than Russians did with Leninism. Eventually, they will tear down the edifice that Chavez build to his own glory and start again. Sic semper tyrannis.