Why Did Washington Hate Hugo Chavez?

Eva Golinger, winner of the International Award for Journalism in Mexico (2009), named “La Novia de Venezuela” by President Hugo Chávez, is an Attorney and Writer from New York, living in Caracas, Venezuela since 2005 and author of the best-selling books, “The Chávez Code: Cracking US Intervention in Venezuela” (2006 Olive Branch Press), “Bush vs. Chávez: Washington’s War on Venezuela” (2007, Monthly Review Press), “The Empire’s Web: Encyclopedia of Interventionism and Subversion”, “La Mirada del Imperio sobre el 4F: Los Documentos Desclasificados de Washington sobre la rebelión militar del 4 de febrero de 1992” and “La Agresión Permanente: USAID, NED y CIA”. Since 2003, Eva, a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and CUNY Law School in New York, has been investigating, analyzing and writing about US intervention in Venezuela using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain information about US Government efforts to undermine progressive movements in Latin America. Her first book, The Chávez Code, has been translated and published in 8 languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Farsi & Turkish) and is presently being made into a feature film.

"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> Chavez’s death was devastating for Venezuelans. Despite knowing about his illness, most Venezuelans thought he would win the battle against cancer like so many other battles he won before. The reaction was a collective cry of deep despair and sadness, but also of love, profound love for this person, this man who gave every last breath he had to making his country a better place for all. Ten days of mourning were officially declared in the country and Chavez’s casket was placed for millions to pay respects to before the final funeral occurred. People spent up to 36 hours waiting in line to say goodbye to Chavez at the Military Academy where his political consciousness came to life, and where his casket was placed temporarily after his shocking death. Then, on the tenth day, a mass parade of people accompanied Chavez’s funeral procession to the hilltop “Cuartel de la Montaña” (Barracks of the Mountain) across from the presidential palace Miraflores in Caracas, where he was laid to rest in a strikingly beautiful tomb called “The Four Elements”. The Cuartel de la Montaña is where Chavez launched his political career in February 1992 during an attempted military rebellion against a corrupt and murderous neo-liberal president. He failed at that attempt and went to prison, but his message and charisma reached millions, who joined his movement that later led to his election as president in 1998. Chavez’s tomb site, “The Four Elements”, includes his casket resting on top of a beautifully sculpted lilypad on fresh water and clean earth. It sits in the open air with a burning eternal flame. Still to this day hundreds of Venezuelans visit the site, hoping for a chance to be close to their beloved president.

MW: Chavez was an inspirational and charismatic leader who was able to push through progressive policies that benefited the majority of people. Will the Bolivarian Revolution continue under current Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro or has there been a shift in direction?Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. Whitney’s story on declining wages for working class Americans appears in the June issue of CounterPunch magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]. 

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