The death of Hugo Chávez on the 5th of March sent shock waves all over the world. The reaction was, of course, completely polarised. While floods of Venezuelans took to the streets of Caracas to mourn their beloved comandante, other Venezuelans were dancing in the streets of Miami.
It was the coverage of the Spanish media that left me feeling angry and upset but at the same time not in the least bit surprised. The day after he died, I switched my TV onto “la Sexta” the most unbiased of the Spanish mainstream channels (and when I say the most unbiased, I mean least fascist) to see what they had to say about his death and the legacy that he had left behind. I was appalled. The programme “El Rojo Viva”, a panel show made up mainly of journalists ad politicians who debate current affairs had 5 guests, one of which, was pro Chávez. The poor guy didn’t stand a chance. And what was even worse was that they kept playing one single montage of Chávez over and over. And yes, you guessed it, it was one of those montages that had been very conveniently edited, with most things taken well out of context and so portraying him as some crazy loon of a dictator who the world was clearly better off without. After calming down, I realised that this was a clear demonstration of how the media and the west are just as scared of a dead Chávez as a living one. After all, he had just won his 4th presidential election in Venezuela, which has one of the “most fair and democratic election processes in the world” according to various sources, if you choose to look past mainstream media that is.
In Venezuela, voters touch a computer screen to cast their vote and then receive a paper receipt, which they verify and deposit in a ballot box. Most of the paper ballots are compared with the electronic tally. This system makes vote-rigging nearly impossible: to steal the vote would require hacking the computers and then stuffing the ballot boxes to match the rigged vote.
To quote from Spanish journalist Pablo Iglesias; “to the capitalist west, a living Chávez is dangerous, but a dead Chávez is invincible”.
There’s so much more to be said about Chávez, so much that so often falls on deaf ears. So I won’t give you a history of his 14 year rule and list of everything that he has done for the socialist movement not only in Venezuela but in Latin America, but what I will say, is this: Do not believe what our media tells us about Hugo Chávez. Yes, this man wasn’t perfect nor was he a miracle worker but he gave the power back to his people. Do some research before you jump on the “Chavez was a dictator” bandwagon. Western media and governments lie about him and manipulate information because they are scared of him and other leaders who have the gall to stand up to capitalist countries like the U.S and Britain, depriving them of their own country’s natural resources in order to develop themselves and nationalise what is rightfully theirs. How dare Chavez kick out the IMF and give Cuba discounted prices on oil? Please inform yourselves, because I’m sick of hearing Chávez called a dictator by people who have nothing to base their views on but a few montages or manipulated news reports from pro capitalist western media, who clearly, have no agenda at all. It’s time to wake up.
¡Hasta la victoria, Comandante!