It’s hard to understand the tears flowing from the crowds mourning the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Born and raised in freedom, I abhorred the authoritarian and often brutal nature of his regime. In his fourteen years as the nation’s ruler, he managed to strong-arm his often atrocious policies while bolstering anti-American sentiment within his nation and with like-minded governments around the world. Even though his death from cancer is no surprise, what comes next for this nation and how it affects us may be.
His naturally combative persona was legendary among world leaders. Indeed, his bombastic personality created almost a cult following among his people, whose adoration Chavez enjoyed immensely. Vice President Nicolas Maduro will now replace Chavez until a constitutionally mandated election will be held within 30 days.
Maduro will likely face opposition from Henrique Capriles—a former presidential candidate. Yet no matter who wins, America stands to lose. This nation has made friends with our enemies—with known ties to Hezbollah and Iran. Add to this the reality of uber-reliance on oil revenues in an exceedingly volatile market, high inflation, currency devaluation, and some of the worst homicide rates in the world this is a formula for angst and unrest.
And who better to blame for their woes, than capitalist Americans? Even though Chavez has died, the anti-American foment he created has not. Stay tuned for developments in this nation and don’t be surprised if the news isn’t good for America.
Photo Credit: Ecos del Sur: Hugo Chávez no irá a toma de posesión en Venezuela