Hugo Chavez died yesterday. The president/dictator who came to power in 1999, took a country with vast amounts of oil, a healthy economic status and a politically free society and turned it into a struggling nation whose repressed citizens face both food and oil shortages.
Oil shortages. Venezuela sits on top of one of the world’s largest oil reserves and yet this country imports and rations oil. So what has Hugo been doing with all the oil? Well, it seems that he’s been giving a lot of it to perhaps the only American who will mourn his passing; Joseph P. Kennedy II. Son of Robert, nephew of Ted and John.
Maybe it’s me, but Joe Kennedy kinda pisses me off. Many of you across the country may not be familiar with the ads for Citizens Energy Corp, which feature Kennedy talking about how great Hugo Chavez seemed to be in the philanthropy department, but in the Northeast they are infamous.
Kennedy founded the non-profit CEC in 1979 and it is chiefly known for delivering free fuel to homeowners having trouble heating their homes in the winter. Do they do good work? Yes they do. But the problem I have with it comes from the commercials we’ve been seeing over the past several years. In these ads, Kennedy tells a sob story of a hard luck family shivering in their home. In fact, they would have probably frozen to death if it wasn’t for Venezuelan president and all-around sweetheart Hugo Chavez. Kennedy appears in the ads and narrates the story of how every US oil company turned down his requests for help and ONLY Hugo Chavez was kind enough to save this family.
In fact, Chavez has basically kept the charity sustained since 2005, so Kennedy has been extremely grateful to the dictator. But it just rubs me the wrong way. While I realize that A LOT of oil used in this country comes from Venezuela, seeing a freakin’ Kennedy kiss the ass of a man who has killed, tortured and starved his own people, so that he can stay in power… well it pretty much makes me want to puke.
Here is the latest “it’ll just break your heart” ad from Citizens Energy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v85_tB4SAoE
Please. This is revolting. And every year the sob story got sobbier and the praise for Chavez got more inflated. Whether Kennedy still holds aspirations of a political future is at best a guess, but you would think that these ads praising the leader of a corrupt and tyrannical government, would not create warm and fuzzy feelings towards him at election time.
Now his snuggie-mate is dead. Is there a special wing in hell for despots? We can only hope it’s a little hotter there. And the new question is who will be the next leader of Venezuela? The death of Chavez changes the political balance not only in his country but in Latin America, where his influence was widely felt. A new election should be held in 30 days according to the Constitution, however there are now grumblings about that interpretation and in the meantime Vice President Nicolás Maduro, the man who Chavez designated as the man to be his successor, will rule the land. Anybody want to take bets on when that election is scheduled?
We will also wait and see if the new president and Mr. Kennedy form a new alliance. Chavez was willing to give oil for the price of having a Kennedy pucker up and bend over for him. What will Kennedy do if the new president asks for a little more in return?
Historically, quite a few tyrants and evil-doers (that phrase is the only thing I will ever thank George Bush for) have died or been killed in the recent past. Now too Hugo Chavez. And in the words of the immortal Freddie Mercury… another one bites the dust.
Now blow away.