Now that Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, has died, it has finally become respectable in at least some quarters of the US to print favorable articles about him. This opinion piece by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, former president of Brasil is one of them. Another excellent article by Jon Lee Anderson appeared in the New Yorker. Both described the genuine warmth and caring that Chavez embodied, his strengths as a leader for the very poor in his country, his real achievements and his dreams for Latin America. He was instrumental in bringing together countries of the continent.
In the US (and I might add also among some PAN people in Mexico) he was viewed with, at best, hostility. Often a bogeyman for US policies, the US really has no one to blame but itself for his turning on our country. What a shame. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the US has supported and supports far more villainous and far less humane leaders than Chavez. I don't know if our country is capable of opening its eyes by itself. Certainly Obama has not provided the hoped-for leadership in enlightening Americans, at least as far as Latin America is concerned. As a Latin American pointed out not long ago, Obama's neglectful attitude towards the south may turn out to be a blessing.