Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Was Dr. Evil?

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The President of Venezuela died on Tuesday, and every major media outlet has jumped on the idea that Hugo Chávez was the #1 enemy of the United States.

Their evidence? He nationalized Venezuelan oil, and gave the money to the poor. “Nationalized” meant that big oil companies got to keep 70% of the profits from the oil pumped out of Venezuela. Chávez upped the royalties paid by big oil companies BP, EXXON, Shell, and Chevron to 16.6% rather than 1%. Chávez took that money and “showered the poor” with jobs and social programs, such as allowing them to buy land.

The rich and powerful didn’t like Robin Hood, either.

I’m reminded that these same “credible” news sources – NYT, CNN, ABC, FOX, etc. — that we rely on for information also said that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction (a term the Bush Administration invented), that they were working on developing a nuclear bomb, and that the leader was just like Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, etc.

After a while, all the hysteria just sounds like background noise. Why buy the hype?

If you’d like another view of the Chavez Presidency and legacy, a great place to start is with this excellent article by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a non-profit news watchdog who has never fallen victim to a White House press release or a CIA stunt.

Not only is it a clear-eyed assessment of Chavez’s rule, but also beautifully breaks down the corporate media bias – and each example has links to back it up.

Another good article is by the renowned journalist, Greg Palast, who reports for the BBC and the Guardian.

Right now, Palast is offering his investigative report on Hugo Chavez as a free download. Check it out!

What is now a post script, because the announcement came hours before Chavez’s death, Venezuela’s Vice President announced on Tuesday that two U.S. Embassy workers were being expelled from Venezuela for meeting with the military to plan a coup. Only one Embassy worker has been identified: David DelMonaco.

And, here’s video from Venezuela.

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