Chavez prioritizes popular needs. He cut poverty in half. Extreme poverty fell over 70%. Economic growth in 2011 was 4.8%. In 2012, it was 5.5%. Forecasts estimate 6% in 2013.
Inflation fell dramatically. It dropped from 28.2% in 2010 to 18% now. It's still way too high. Responsible policies will drop it further.
Tribune editors made Venezuela sound like America. Doing it showed their true colors. They're scoundrels and duplicitous liars.
Newsmax is ideologically on the right-wing lunatic fringe. Christopher Ruddy runs it. Supportive investors include former CIA director William Casey's family members and billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife.
On January 8, it headlined "Reich: Castro Brothers Will Control Venezuela After Chavez."
Reich is an undicted war criminal. He was implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal. He was Reagan's Venezuelan ambassador. He was GW Bush's Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere affairs.
His deplorable record was so contentious, it took a recess appointment to install him. Doing so avoided congressional opposition.
He, Elliot Abrams, John Negoponte, Oliver North, and likeminded scoundrels were discredited for intervening lawlessly in Central America. They're assassins, not diplomats.
Reich is militantly anti-Chavez and Castro. He claims Fidel and Raul run Venezuela. They "make all important decisions."
They're "dismantl(ing) democratic institutions." They "beg(an) by targeting "the electoral process and the judiciary, then the freedom of the press."
Reich abhors truth. It's hard imagining anyone believes him. His record speaks for itself. He heads Otto Reich Associates. It does international consulting. He belongs in prison, not business.
A late December Wall Street Journal propaganda video headlined "Strongman: Hugo Chavez and His Legacy."
It discussed his health, a possible successor, and whether Bolivarian "21st century socialism" can survive without him.
On January 6, the Journal updated a January 4 article headlined "Chavez's Appointed Heir Prepares for Battle." It stressed what it said earlier.
Maduro isn't up to the challenge. He's an unknown. He's regarded more for his loyalty than ideology or skills. His charisma doesn't match Chavez. His ability to enlist support will be tested.