Hugo Chavez: Love Him or Loathe Him? Essay

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Hugo Chavez: Love Him or Loathe Him? Last week an incendiary press release exploded into the global headlines. A man by the name of Hugo Chavez ventured the claim that he had become an important target of assassination. Even more alarming, he proceeded to identify his assassin. It was none other than George W. Bush. "We have enough evidence," said Chavez, "that if anything happens to me, the person responsible will be the President of the United States" (“Defying U.S., Venezuela’s Chavez Embrace Socialism”). Who is Hugo Chavez? And why would he have the audacity to regard himself as a threat -- indeed, a lethal threat -- to the most powerful country on earth? And does he really believe he is so dangerous in the eyes of the…show more content…
Bush. Chavez' increasingly harsh rhetoric against America has earned him the distinction among some as the most controversial leader in the Western Hemisphere. But that is how sympathizers of the United States view Hugo Chavez. At home, and in many Caribbean and South American nations, Chavez is regarded as the region's most celebrated hero -- indeed, as peerless in his quest for social justice and indefatigable in his resolve to stand against First-World arrogance. As an avowed socialist, a political persuasion he made explicit only recently, Chavez appeals to the great masses of poor within his own country. He is the champion of the disenfranchised and the impoverished, both in his own country and wherever large classes of people are exploited by rich elites. It does not deter him that such a stance alienates his capitalist neighbor to the north or the smaller numbers of wealthy citizens within his own country. He will stand on principle. It has come to the point in this conflict where Chavez is either loved or loathed. The very mention of his name divides people into radically opposing camps. That is unfortunate. So much of what Chavez stands for is good and right. Even -- or perhaps especially -- Americans should acknowledge this, for we are a people who celebrate equality among humans as an inalienable right. Nor would it be too much of a stretch to

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