It's official: Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has died. In case you wonder; I was just finishing a small effort of my own to make Latin America a better place, writing a legal document to combat the dictatorship era criminal defamation laws we have in Panama.
Chavez, the most outspoken, most democratic and most flamboyant leader to have presided over a Latin American country, hasn't even been buried yet, but the usual extreme right-wing clique is already rejoicing in his passing away.
They are the people who believe Latin American countries should be governed by members of the Narco-Financial Complex, such as Alvaro Uribe, Roberto Micheletti, or our own Ricardo Martinelli, who take their orders from the cartels, the laundromats and the State Department. They are - or want to be - members of the Latin American oligarchic families; the most despicable human specimen I have ever come across anywhere in the world. And believe me, I've been around.
They are the petty gringos who think Venezuela should be just like them, going on foreign wars, killing hundreds of thousands of people around the globe, locking up and torturing dissenters, execute the mentally disabled and anyone else on the president's kill list, give all the money to bankers and spend the rest on military hardware instead of on people - all while consuming massive amounts of food so they can revel in their obesity and donate some money against famine down South.
They are the people who believe that we should indeed preserve those dictatorship era laws - and introduce new ones - so that they can silence us, lock us up, expel us - whatever it takes to protect their criminal rackets. Chavez in Venezuela always made me feel a little bit safer. At least change was possible after all. There would, if all else failed, be a place to go to should these fascists win.
I won't bother to answer their bile with facts. Their vitriol doesn't dignify a reply. It's a sad day for Latin America and for those who want a better world anywhere.
Instead, let's remember Hugo Chavez for whom he really was. A larger-than-life leader, but also a human, with brilliance and flaws, with victories and defeat. And I can't, right now, think of a better way to remember him than by posting that great documentary here, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, whose makers came closer to Chavez than many and got to live through one of the most gripping episodes of his presidency. Enjoy.