I got started down the tangled and fascinating road suggested by the title of this post following the death of Hugo Chavez. I read a number of articles putting Chávez in a more nuanced light than was evidenced in the US press. One of the things I read was a piece by Gabriel García Márquez written in 1999. So I wandered among articles about Chávez and Garcia Márquez and couldn't stop. I HOPE I can put it all to good and interesting on this blog, though not all in this post.
Yesterday Venezuela held its presidential elections to replace Chávez. The NY Times did manage to put the announcement of the elections on the front page, but beneath the fold. Here is the article. I supposed it could be worse. Of course it mostly dealt with US-Venezuela issues, and problems facing President-elect Nicolás Maduro and the narrow victory and the challenge his main opponent Henrique Capriles Radonski is making. Capriles is I beliefe considered by the US to be more pro-US.
And below I have translated some of an article in La Jornada which is Mexican and leftist (by US standards). It was the main front page news. I have to say that within Latin America, Chavez was not seen as the devil incarnate and had in fact made some strong alliances with countries besides Cuba.
Congratulations from Castro, Evo [Morales] and Putin for Nicolás Maduro.
For the president of Bolivia, the triumph entails furthermore the political validity of regional organizations allied with the principals of antiimperialism and the sovereignty of Chavez's revolution.
La Habana. Cuban President Raúl Castro congratulated Nicolás Maduro for his triumph....
Maduro's triumph is a relief for Cuba which during the 14 years of the Chavez governement established a strategic alliance with Caracas with 30 joint businesses in sectors from fish transportation and repair of ports and railroads to agriculture and the production of nickel and steel.
The opposing candidate, Henrique Capriles, opposed the strategic alliance between La Habana and Carracas and had promised to submit to review the agreements of cooperation with Cuba, principally dealing with the economy and petroleum if he won the presidency.
"This decisive victory and your loyalty to the people assure the contiuation of the Bolivian revolution and the geuine integration of our America," Castro said in the first reaction from La Habana after Sunday's elections.
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, also congratulated Maduro...and said that he hoped to maintain the good relations with a country where Moscow had significant investments in the petroleum sector.
The ties between Moscow and Caracas were strenthend under Chávez, and the Russians hope that Maduro will continue to protect their energy interests and their arms agreements.
Russia has invested billions of dollars in petroleum projects [in Venezuela] and has offered credit to Caracas for the purchase of arms.
Meanwhile, Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, called Maduro's Victory a triumph for the people and a continuation of the Bolivarian [Simón Bolivar] Revolution in Latin America.
In a press conference...[Morales] congratulated Maduro and the Venezuelan people for deciding to continue the process of change initiated by Chávez.
Morales said that the triumph of the governing party entailed the continuing validity of regional organizations alined with the antiimperialist and soverign principles of Chávez´s reolution, such as the Alianza Bolivariana [for Simón Bolivar] for the Peoples of Our America, The Community of Latinamerican and Caribbean States and the Union of South American Nations.
On Twitter, The Argentine president, Cristina Fernández, congratulated Maduro...."Remembrance and gratitude forever for our friend and compañero Hugo Chávez. In his name and in the name of the Venezuelan people, friendship, respect for the democracy and peace...."
Chavez was closely allied with Fernández and her deceased spouse and predecessor Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007). Venezuela helped Buenos Aires financially when it was left without access to the internacional capital market and in addition is one of the principal providers of petroleum and gas for Argentine which went through an energy crisis. Buenes Aires also helps Caracas with the exportation of food and technology transfer.
The Uruguayan president, José Mujica will travel to Venezuela to attend the installation of the new government according to sources close to the Presidency cited today in La República.
In Panamá, agents of the National Police strengthened the surroundings of the Venezuelan wmbassy after the announcement of the results of the elections....
[This was done] after sympathizers of Henrique Capriles tried to enter on Sunday night by force and in the midst of shouts of presumed "fraud"....
Some 1,254 Venezuelans living in Panamá are eligible to vote according to the embassy.
You can see two pictures relevant to the election here. Just scroll down a bit.
You'll notice there's not a word about the US.