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Hugo Chavez dies; US Rep praises man ‘committed to empowering the powerless’

By Doug Powers  •  March 5, 2013 08:10 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died. Sean Penn is expected to check himself in for grief counseling very soon.

At least one U.S. congressman is also in mourning for Chavez. New York Rep. Jose Serrano praised the anti-U.S. socialist leader — the same one who was an eHarmony.com match with Iran on 28 of the 29 dimensions of compatibility (Ahmadinejad doesn’t like parrots):

This Los Angeles Times headline agrees: President Hugo Chavez, hero to Venezuela’s poor, is dead

Considering Chavez tightly controlled the media, waged a war on the free press and unilaterally shut down TV and radio stations that were critical of him, the collective media swoon today gave the MSM an opportunity to demonstrate a sizable measure of self-loathing.

This is who they’re praising:

Human Rights Watch’s last major report on Venezuela, released in September 2008, documented how democratic institutions and human rights guarantees had suffered during the first decade of Chávez’s presidency. Since then, the human rights situation in the country has become even more precarious.

While many Venezuelans continue to criticize the government, the prospect of facing reprisals – in the form of arbitrary or abusive state action – has undercut the ability of judges to adjudicate politically sensitive cases, and forced journalists and rights defenders to weigh the consequences of disseminating information and opinions critical of the government.

And what’s a “nobody should have too much money” socialist leader without a big dose of hypocrisy? Hugo Chavez once said “being rich is bad, it’s inhuman.” He also claimed “capitalism leads us straight to hell.” The kicker: Chavez was worth anywhere between one and two billion dollars. Wow — I can’t help but wonder how much money he could have accumulated if he had been a capitalist.

Also, naturally, Jimmy Carter mourns.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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