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Showing posts from March, 2013

Hugo Chavez, Rest in Peace

I have this vivid image in my mind of Hugo Chavez pushing through various handlers of assorted powerful people in order to get on stage at the UN General Assembly and recommend Noam Chomsky's latest book. I picture a boyish gaze as he famously hands Barack Obama a copy of "The Open Veins of Latin America." Chavez was drunk on ideas. I remember the feeling of radicalization. The difference being, of course, when I began to give heed to such ideas my main concerns were rent and beer money. Chavez was the leader of one of the most oil-rich nations in the world.

I met Alan Woods, who was an informal adviser of sorts to Chavez, a few years ago in Italy. I was there for a organizational congress (we were part of the same political tendency), and had a chance to hear him talk a few times about Chavez. He would mention all the achievements of course, but he'd always temper them with an aside like, "well, Chavez is no Marxist..." I took that to mean he's still l…