CARACAS, VENEZUELA – For the last couple of years, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has been a dead man walking.
Now, he’s a dead man carried by thousands of mourners who turned out in Caracas to say goodbye to the man they just elected to another term as president.
He took over Venezuela in 1999 at the ballot box when he failed to take over the country in a coup. In the last 13 years, he convinced the people of his country that he was a populist while amassing a personal fortune estimated to be at least $1 billion.
And while there’s legitimate weeping throughout the country, there are Venezuelans in the United States who hope Chavez’s death will be the start of a return to true democracy for their country.
We reached out to the Venezuelan consulate in Houston, but it’s closed for the next several days as the nation gets about the business of burying Chavez.
But Venezuelans aren’t the only folks sad to see Hugo go. Iran has declared a day of mourning for their departed amigo.
Director Oliver Stone is shedding platitudes for ‘a great hero’ that he says will ‘live forever in history.’
And actor Sean Penn wants everyone to know that the United States lost a friend we didn’t know we had.
Actors and dictators must share a different definition of friend.