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[ 138 ] March 5, 2013 |

So apparently Hugo Chavez is dead. Discuss.

If you get your breaking news from LGM… well, you probably just shouldn’t get your breaking news from LGM.


Comments (138)

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  1. Murc says:

    At this point, we can all agree Castro is some sort of witch, right?

  2. Carbon Man says:

    We’ll meet again,
    Don’t know where,don’t know when.
    But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

    • somethingblue says:

      Pancakes for all!

    • JazzBumpa says:


      No irony here.


    • cpinva says:

      not to be nit picky or anything, but………………

      “Good riddance. Good fucking riddance. Someone should throw a party.”

      unlike a certain, recent US president (who’s been “disappeared” by his purported political party), chavez never dragged his country into not one, but two, count ’em, two unnecessary, unpaid for wars, costing a trillion dollars+, and 10’s of 1,000’s of lives lost/ruined. he also didn’t totally, for reasons known only to him and his obscenely wealthy friends, completely trash his country’s economy

      chavez wasn’t liked by everyone, who is? apparently, enough venezuelans did (and they’re the only ones that mattered) to continue freely electing him. btw, marx & hagel had little, if anything, to do with soviet/chinese style communism, long dead before that even got started. but you knew that, right? you, um, did know that, right?

      • wengler says:

        You make enough poor people and they get the idea that they can vote you out forever, they will.

        Republicans should learn this, but their response so far has been to prevent poor people from voting.

      • Timb says:

        Much like any egomaniacal nationalist/populist who threatens international extractive industries, the Right only notices the bad.

    • wengler says:

      It’s a good thing no one ever dies from cancer in the US…

  3. Malaclypse says:

    Fransisco Franco is still dead. And Jennie is still a very, very sad little troll.

  4. Paulk says:

    Jeez, LG&M has the saddest excuse for trolls. Very pathetic. Get it together guys.

    • trolls? There’s more than one?

      • elm says:

        There are at least three: Dagchester; carbon man (and various other nyms) who is JenBob; and Speak Truth (and various other nyms) who is, perhaps?, Veritas. These last two revealed themselves as different trolls when one congratulated Erik for renouncing violence against the pipeline thingy and the other threatened to report Erik to his boss for advocating violence. I’m not sure who belongs to which alternate nym, though, but most of the time it doesn’t seem to make a difference.

        • IM says:

          is the first the reactionary catholic?

          • elm says:

            Yes. It’s theoretically possible carbon man and speak truth are the same guy and he’s taking different positions on some issues. But Dagney/Winchester/Dagchester/Chesternut is definitely distinct. He’s also the most entertaining and the only one that it is possible to have a conversation (albeit a bizarre one) with.

            I may even be willing to say that Dagchester isn’t a troll, just a very wrong person sincerely trying to discuss his political opinions on a website where everyone disagrees with him. This is probably too charitable to him, though.

          • redwoods says:

            Yes, he’s creepy, isn’t he!

        • Uncle Kvetch says:

          These last two revealed themselves as different trolls when one congratulated Erik for renouncing violence against the pipeline thingy and the other threatened to report Erik to his boss for advocating violence.

          I continue to believe the Carbon Man and Speak Truth are the same person. I don’t find it hard to believe that the same troll posted two completely contradictory comments within the space of an hour. After all, when the whole point of the exercise is just one long cry of “MOMMY, YOU’RE NOT WATCHING ME!” who cares about consistency?

  5. Jeremy says:

    Are there are unbiased overviews of Chavez’s deeds? My impression was that he was a populist in the good and bad sense, but I can’t really find anything to back that up.

  6. Carbon Man says:

    We’ll meet again,
    Don’t know where,don’t know when.
    But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

    • Murc says:

      I’d like to remind you that this is a Farley thread, not a Loomis one, and he will probably be lowering the boom pretty soon.

      • Robert Farley says:

        Boom lowered. But if all y’all could manage to not engage the troll (who, I am relentlessly forced to remind you, probably doesn’t give a flying fuck about politics, Latin America, Chavez, or anything beyond inciting a reaction from you), my life would be much easier.

        • wengler says:

          Sounds good.

        • cpinva says:

          sorry. why don’t you just get his IP, find out who he is, out him here, and we can all send him odd, sort of vaguely, but not directly, threatening emails? ones where we hint that his employer might be receiving information, possibly detrimental to his continued employment by said employer.

          it could be fun. maybe send him a large envelope, filled with pancakes and cheap syrup? leave an empty bottle of syrup in his bed, godfather style.

        • Rarely Posts says:

          OK. I wish you could come to this thread fresh, without realizing you had lowered the boom. I had no idea, and I was wondering what the heck he was doing quoting the same lines over and over — it was like he had passed into complete Dadaism. I also didn’t understand why people were responding to him, but since it’s LGM, I assumed that they just couldn’t help themselves.

          • Sargon says:

            I actually think that a better policy would be to edit not only the troll’s posts, but also the posts of everyone who replies to the troll in that thread. Completely sandblast the troll thread, in a way. Might actually even help encourage people to not reply?

  7. Jon says:

    Maduro will have to autogolpe to stay in power, or, if he gets elected he’ll be the Bush I to Chavez’s Reagan and take the blame for everything they’ve been putting off handling. Either way, I don’t expect the oil markets will be happy.

    Anyway, I always thought Chavez was all hat and no cattle, though, he had one of the best lines ever about Shrub at the UN.

    I hope Latin America continues to develop and the one concept of Chavismo that should stick is that the natural resources there ought to benefit all the people, but moving beyond the intellectually lazy demonizing of the entire US might be nice.

  8. wengler says:

    In the US, Chavez was more symbolic of resistance to US power in Latin America than anything else. It will be interesting to see if someone else takes up that mantle whether it is Chavez’s successor or Correa in Ecuador or Morales in Bolivia.

    In a sense, Chavez was a lightning rod that protected other leftist movements in the entire region. Who knows if Lula would’ve been as effective if there was no Chavez or that an indigenous leader could’ve even been elected in Bolivia like Morales?

    He was more of a mixed bag domestically, but his struggles highlight the difficulty of fundamentally rewiring the foundations of a country. The whole defense structure was based on a US model and had to be entirely replaced. The oil industry likewise was controlled by the ruling class. Outsiders claimed he was ripping Venezuelan society apart, when all he was doing was exposing its fissures.

    It will be interesting to see what comes next. He didn’t set up his government well to survive him.

  9. Karen says:

    I have been reading El Pais and CNN en espanol to practice my Spanish, and both have had extensive coverage of Chavez since the October election. My favorite piece WS an interview in which Chavez claimed Obama would endorse Chavez if Obama were Venezuelan. It ended with Chavez saying “estaria una Chavista. Estoy seguro.” I encourage anyone who reads Spanish to find the interview.

  10. Matt says:

    Does someone want to put together a Malaysian kickstarter to get Josh Trevino’s thoughts on this matter?

  11. Mike Schilling says:

    What will happen to Venezuelan baseball now that Chavez is no longer around to invent it?

  12. Major Kong says:

    I never liked him, but I never understood our collective freakout about him either.

  13. Data Tutashkhia says:

    Sad, but on the scale of things one person is never all that important. Latin America has been experiencing a political and economic renaissance for at least a decade now, and he was just a manifestation of that. ¡Viva la Revolución!

    • Sad, but on the scale of things one person is never all that important.


      While I agree, in general, with the ‘arc of history’ argument, are you sure you want to say that people like MLK, Lincoln, JFK, RFK, and others were not consequential?

      • Data Tutashkhia says:

        Why, yes. In a different environment most of the ‘great people’ (especially in politics) would’ve been but harmless cranks. And in the environments they operated, should they have died in infancy, someone else would’ve likely taken that place, doing the same thing, more or less. Perhaps even better.

        As Russians say: свято место пусто не бывает: nature abhors a vacuum.

        • No, I don’t disagree. But in the right environment, certain people also become prime movers.

          I don’t agree that someone would have taken their places, because singular talents are singular. Yes, the arc of history would have continue moving without them. But not as quickly or in the ways they influenced.

          Gandhi? Mandela? Would either of those regimes have ended as expeditiously or as peacefully without those particular people? I don’t think that’s an argument you want to make.

          • Data Tutashkhia says:

            I remember a sci-fi novel I read, where the hero travels in time and kills young Hitler. When he come back, he sees some other name in history books, people in death camps were electrocuted instead of being poisoned by gas, but the rest is more or less the same.

            So, SA apartheid would’ve ended without Mandela, maybe earlier (if, say, someone better was somehow eclipsed, pushed away by him) or maybe later, with more violence or less violence, it seems equally possible. Why assume that these particular individuals produced the best outcome possible?

            I’ll concede, it’s a bit different with science: Newton discovered the law of gravity; had he died young, it would’ve happened a few years of decades later. But even so, ideas are in the air. When the time comes, there are usually several people working on the same problem; the difference is often only a matter of days or weeks.

            • Hanspeter says:

              I remember a sci-fi novel I read, where the hero travels in time and kills young Hitler. When he come back, he sees some other name in history books, people in death camps were electrocuted instead of being poisoned by gas, but the rest is more or less the same.

              Sure it was a young Hitler?

            • JohnTh says:

              Stephen Fry wrote a similar book (Making History) where the protagonist goes back in time and prevents Hitler’s birth. When he returns to the present things are a lot worse, as the mantle of ‘crual right-wing dictator of Germany who gains strength from demonising Jews’ turned out a hole in history that needed filling, but this time round it got filled by someone less erratic than Hitler who didn’t, for example, declare war on the US befroe finishing off the Soviet Union, meaning that the Nazi regime prospered.

              Backto the OP, my sense would be that a CHavez successor with a somewhat smaller Bolivar complex might provide substantially less financial support to left-leaning LatAm governments? As far as I can tell all that stuff was driven by Chavez himself, and the next man up might have more pressing uses for the money at home.

            • so, you’re arguing that one person may be important, but in negative ways, so it doesn’t count?

              Also, using fiction to illustrate your point isn’t terribly supportive.

              IN any case, looking at actual history, I think the case can be made that American civil rights as well as South African, were moved in significant ways by the people in question; it wouldn’t necessarily be more rapidly, but in both questions certainly with far less violence.

              If you think there was someone in either case who would have served the same role, do you have someone in mind? Because they would have to be an actual person, you know.

              • mpowell says:

                This is an argument that some people make seriously. It’s not a bad argument and it’s really a tough thing to say one way or the other for certain. I don’t agree with it, but I understand the view

                On the other hand, if the defense of your position is, “well, in this one book of fiction I read…” I don’t think you are being very convincing. There is a difference between proposing an argument and simply restating your position.

                • Data Tutashkhia says:

                  I don’t need a defense. I’m not trying to convince, only to explain.

                • Data Tutashkhia says:

                  …in fact, it’s quite alright that most people do believe that ‘great men’ make history. It takes all kinds. If I convinced everyone in the world to be as fatalistic as I am, that’d be a much more boring world, probably. No more Hugos. I don’t want that.

              • Data Tutashkhia says:

                Zomibie, I don’t understand your first paragraph, sorry.

                With Mandela, it’s very obvious, actually. The dismantlement of apartheid was engineered by the de Klerk’s government. If not Mandela, they would’ve picked some other ANC guy to transfer the power to, under negotiated conditions. Simple as that.

                With Lincoln, if he didn’t exist, someone else would’ve been elected president in 1860. Things could turn out differently, of course, but with 700,000 killed in this timeline one would have to try real hard to make it any more unpleasant. And slavery couldn’t survive much longer anyway.

                See, what’s odd here is that in the case of Mandela apartheid was negotiated away, and in the case of Lincoln slavery was abolished by a very bloody war, and, despite the opposite methods, paths to progress, they both are considered ‘great men’. Weird.

  14. I would have linked to Too Much Joy’s song “Hugo”, but there is no YouTuber of it. Also, it is about Hugo Burnham from Gang of Four, not Hugo Chavez, but since they never mention his last name, it would be cool.

    However, I can post the lyrics:

    Another hero has failed me
    He’s a guest VJ on MTV
    Jack’s in his corset, Janie’s in her vest
    Lou’s hawking scooters and American Express

    Guys quote Michael Stipe in bars
    to pick up girls who own their cars
    While we renounced what we once loved
    to prove that we can rise above


    Hugo, Hugo
    Hugo doesn’t have these faults
    Hugo Hugo
    He is pure and he is good

    Don’t believe it when you’re told
    “Hope I die before I get sold”
    Every great band should be shot
    Before they make their Combat Rock


    Hugo Hugo
    He won’t ever let me down
    Hugo Hugo
    He is pure and he is good

  15. IM says:

    Juan Peron II or Eva Peron II. take your pick.

    Oh what a circus! Oh what a show!
    Argentina has gone to town
    Over the death of an actress called Eva Peron
    We’ve all gone crazy
    Mourning all day and mourning all night
    Falling over ourselves to get all of the misery right

    She had her moments–she had some style
    The best show in town was the crowd
    Outside the Casa Rosada crying, “Eva Peron”
    But that’s all gone now
    As soon as the smoke from the funeral clears
    We’re all going to see how she did nothing for years!

    That’s a pretty bad state for a state to be in
    Instead of government we had a stage
    Instead of ideas a prima donna’s rage
    Instead of help we were given a crowd
    She didn’t say much but she said it loud

    And now:

    You let down your people Evita
    You were supposed to have been immortal
    That’s all they wanted
    Not much to ask for
    But in the end you could not deliver

  16. Loud Liberal says:

    Viva el espíritu de Chávez, al servicio del pueblo y el enemigo del neo-fascismo.

  17. Halloween Jack says:

    We’ll never get that sequel to The Hunchback of Notre Dame now, will we?

  18. Juan Cole draws a pretty good bead on Chavez.

  19. Speak Truth says:

    Hugo is dead.

    Good riddance. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving human being.

    He’s burning now…

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