After a battle with cancer Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez passed away today.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- President Hugo Chavez, the fiery populist who declared a socialist revolution in Venezuela, crusaded against U.S. influence and championed a leftist revival across Latin America, died Tuesday at age 58 after a nearly two-year bout with cancer.
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.
During more than 14 years in office, Chavez routinely challenged the status quo at home and internationally. He polarized Venezuelans with his confrontational and domineering style, yet was also a masterful communicator and strategist who tapped into Venezuelan nationalism to win broad support, particularly among the poor.
With characteristic deference to liberal ideas NBC's Headline announcing Chavez death reads, "The charismatic leftist leader, who dominated his country with sweeping political change, dies after a long battle with cancer."
Venezuela Blames America for Chavez' Death
Earlier today before announcing Chavez' death, Vice President Nicolás Maduro kicked out two U.S. military attaches for allegedly plotting against Venezuela and suggesting Washington may have been behind Mr. Chávez's cancer. Some bloggers have resorted to mocking the claims of the Venezuelan dictator's VP that Chavez' cancer was something that came from 'the Americans.' Maduro, also accused the U.S. of trying to create an 'anti-Venezuela climate.':
"Behind all of [the plots] are the enemies of the fatherland," Mr. Maduro said on state television according to The Wall Street Journal.
Anti-American, Yet an Obama Supporter
Chavez has long opposed the American way and has repeatedly spoken out against us dating back to the years of the Bush administration:
“The United States empire is on its way down and it will be finished in the near future, inshallah," [inshallah is an Arabic phrase for "God willing."]
"The imperialists see extremists everywhere. No, we aren't extremists. What's happening is the world is waking up." Chavez claimed many in the world now subscribe to the battle cry: "Yankee empire, go home!"
However, though Chavez appeared to dislike American ideals he was an outspoken supporter of Obama,
"If I were American, I'd vote for Obama." The Venezuelan leader called Obama "a good guy" and said if the U.S. president were a Venezuelan, "I think ... he'd vote for Chavez."
The verse below is a fitting one for Mr. Chavez, who was an anti-American espousing ideas that opposed everything we stand for as a nation. Life is short and evil men soon perish...
"I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found." - Psalm 37:35,36
Cross-posted on my blog politicalfireball.wordpress.com