(Dat last one is Castro with David Rockefeller, btw.)
Hugo Chavez was an authoritarian bully, a narcotrafficker, a thief and a buffoon. He was also elected–if somewhat dubiously at times, also repeatedly and by large margins.
He wasn’t a totalitarian mass-murderer, a mass-jailer and a mass-torturer who outlawed all political opposition under penalty of torture-chamber and firing squad and came within a hair of igniting a worldwide nuclear war.
Venezuela has the highest (street) crime rate in the Hemisphere. A notorious trait of genuinely totalitarian states is their sparse street crime. Indeed all “people-people” visitors to Castro’s fiefdom mention how safe they always feel on Havana’s streets. Nobody gets mugged (in the usual sense) in Pyongyang. Iron-curtain-era Moscow, Prague and East Berlin were equally “safe.”
As evident this week Hugo Chavez never amassed even a teeeeeeeeeeeenzy fraction of Fidel Castro’s celebrity, tycoon and politician fan-base. OK, so Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Michael Moore, Joe Kennedy, Jose Serrano have all expressed admiration for Chavez upon his passing. Big deal!
I refrain from clogging three fourths of Babalu’s bandwidth listing Fidel Castro’s A-list celebrity, tycoon and politician fan-base. You can find the list in my books (pero que tipo mas DESCARA’O!)
The Republican National Committee jumped on Dem. Rep. Jose Serrano for his recent tweet regarding the dead Chavez. Well, if the RNC applied the same standard to denouncing Democratic affection for a live Fidel Castro they’d have time for nothing else. In fact they could start with Republicans themselves such as Jeff Flake and Richard Lugar.
When Hugo Chavez visited New York in 2006 for his UN gig he was roundly denounced by Democrats Schumer, Pelosi, even–get THIS!–Charlie Rangel. No banquets were held in his honor.
When Fidel Castro visited he was “The Toast of Manhattan!” Wined and dined from Council on Foreign Relations to The Wall Street Journal with dozens of The Beautiful People lining up for his autograph. The mass-murderer was not only the man “to see” but the one to be seen with.
Chavez was a cheap chump and clown. Maybe if he’d twice come withing a hair of incinerating New York, he’d have acquired the proper cachet’–and the city’s elite would now be paying him the proper respect.