But I can at least say that I never agreed with (or understood) Chavez's constant and often disingenuous demonization and/or scapegoating of the US. I do understand that the US has (directly or indirectly) done a lot of evil in South and Central America (see School of the Americas, for one). I understand that this intervention continues today, at the behest of multi-national corporations based in the US, under the guise of so-called free trade agreements, by the exploitation of the poor and indigenous people in those countries. Thus I totally agree that Latino people have plenty of legitimate grievances against the US government, corporations, and a largely complacent populace; but conscientious Latinos can just be angry about the reality (it's bad enough, I think) without fabricating one (as Chavez often did).
I'm sure that in the wake of Chavez's death, folks will have much to say about him and his policies. Some will say that his revolution helped no one and ultimately failed everyone. This is no more evident, they will say, than in his proudly touted health care systems which couldn't save even him. Meanwhile, a few others in the US will continue to celebrate what they regarded as great achievements in social justice and human rights.
For my own part, as we push our civil discourse forward, I simply wish to challenge us. We ought to consider:
Even if Chavez's policies failed, are ours faring much better? Is Capitalism doing more good for more people in the US than Chavez's attempts at socialism did for the people of Venezuela? If we understand the reality of wealth inequality in America today, then to both questions we must answer a resounding no.
RIP Hugo Chavez (1954-1913)