Venezuelans get free education to the highest levels and quality healthcare, subsidized food and housing, land reform, respect for indigenous rights, job training, micro credit, affordable electricity and cooking gas, gasoline at 7 cents a gallon, and other social, economic, and political benefits.
Americans get force-fed austerity, growing poverty, high unemployment, unaddressed homelessness and hunger, and a government beholden solely to business and privileged elitism.
Venezuela's far from perfect. Major problems remain. Positive steps are taken to overcome them. Under Chavez, great strides have been made.
America is polar opposite. Class war rages. Wealth is redistributed up. Business and super-rich elites benefit at the expense of most others. Social benefits are on the chopping block for elimination.
For growing millions, America isn't fit to live in. Bipartisan complicity plans much worse ahead. Venezuelans are governed by officials who care. Chavez leads them.
He's struggling to recover from his fourth cancer surgery in 18 months. He hopes to be cancer-free. He overcame earlier post-operative problems.
On January 4, Granma International called his condition "complicated by (a severe) pulmonary infection." Venezuelan Communication and Information Minister Ernesto Villegas confirmed it.
On national television, his official communique said the following: