Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Good Riddance to Hugo Chavez

The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez should be a cause for celebration among free people everywhere.  Venezuelans should rejoice that a strongman who redistributed wealth from productive makers to lazy takers can no longer impair their economy.  Enumerating the positive consequences of this event is easy.

Iran no longer has a Latin American partner that can facilitate its strategic breakouts.  The personal relationship between Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad facilitated the latter's inclination to show off what little military technology his country possessed.

Cuba's Communist Castro brothers have lost their last true soul brother in the Southern Hemisphere.  If Cuba's free health care system couldn't help a head of state dying of cancer, it won't be any more beneficial for an average Jose.  Whoops, there goes that selling point for Havana.  Maybe Bolivia and Ecuador can make the Castros' day by sending them some tropical fruit.  

The U.S. now has a golden opportunity to shape Latin American attitudes by re-engaging new Venezuelan leadership.  Foggy Bottom needs to be reviewing bios of Venezuela's loyal opposition to determine who can work productively with the outside world.