The day after Hugo Chavez died, I walked to the train station after work. Outside the station there were about 25 people standing around. Some were waving the Venezuelan flag. Some held pictures of Hugo Chavez. And a few had signs like “We love you Hugo.” One woman appeared to be crying. I walked by this group thinking to myself are you people out of your minds?
Venezuela was an oil rich – driving economy before Hurricane Hugo hit the country. Since 1999, Venezuela has been on a steep and slippery slope. Picking up speed as it slid into the abyss. Today, the country is in a literal shambles. It has one of the highest inflation rates in South America, the highest murder rate on the continent, mountains of debt and food shortages. The infrastructure of the country is crumbling. Businesses are confiscated (then often self-destruct). Land and assets are “redistributed.” Human liberties and freedoms are squelched. Newspapers print what they are told. Political repression is the norm and freedom takes a back seat to ideology. With this track record, I have to wonder how anyone can lament the passing of this era.