|Here's what I would have said to Hugo Chavez, had I seen him at the last
(this is the last thing I'll post of this nature, because the man is now dead and gone).
Thank you, President Chavez.
You were not a living saint, but who is?
(besides which, most saints, when they were alive, were bloody annoying to everyone who knew them).
You made some choices I might not have made...but I wasn't running a country under siege and under external attack, so there's limits to what I can or should say about that...legitimate limits.
You gave a voice(the community councils and the democracy-from-below structure of your great party)to those who had had no voice...and that is the reason you were denouced by so many of those who call themselves not only conservatives and centrists but also so many who call themselves "liberals".
You used the wealth generated by the resources of your country, not to buy mansions, expensive cars, expensive food, expensive wines, expensive sexual partners and everything else that could be turned into something to be sold for top dollar(as those who denounced and still denounce you think all wealth SHOULD rightfully be used, by the lucky few), but to provide for the people of your country food, shelter, clothing, education for all, dignity for the living, care for the sick and a gentle passage out of this world for those whose time had come. For this, the groups I listed in the last sentence of the previous paragraph will NEVER forgive you-they will do all they can to destroy what you built, because what you built was a foundation of the truth...the truth that those with great quantities of money(gathered by whatever means)are not the ONLY people who deserve to live.
You made it possible for the Rainbow majority of people, in your country and in many others, to begin saving themselves from the misery of their own conditions and to hold once again in their souls the vision of a world far different and far better than the one most of us are trapped in now...and that is an even greater reason why you will die reviled in most of the great centers of wealth, media, and political and military power-because, where they live by destroying dreams of anything other than accumulating possessions, you showed that the many could live for the dream of a life where all TRULY live, not just survive.
For all of that, for your courage, for your strength in times of personal pain, for your insistence on carrying on when under attack from those who would destroy you and your country, thanks. Your body will soon be at rest, but you will live on.
You will live on in the hearts, the minds, the joy, the rage, the strength, and the will of the poorest, hungriest, most beautiful children of the Earth...the children your enemies want to kill in their youth, emotionally if not physically...the children who will, if given the chance, if not crushed by the hatred and fears of the worst of their elders, make the world we need...the children on whose future life depends.
Thank you for showing those children the path they will now take-the path to a world where they can live, not just struggle to live until they die
Hasta La Victoria Siempre. Be at peace.