Events this week showed that in the pantheon of heroes for America’s liberal elite Hugo Chavez was a pathetic D-lister. The Venezuelan buffoon never amassed even a teeeeeenzy fraction of Fidel Castro’s U.S. celebrity, tycoon and politician fan-base. OK, so Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Michael Moore, Joe Kennedy, Rep. Jose Serrano all expressed admiration for Chavez upon his passing. Big deal!
Listing Fidel Castro's A-list celebrity, tycoon and politician fan-base would waste half of Townhall’s bandwith, on something easily found here.
The Republican National Committee scolded Democratic Rep. Serrano for his affectionate tweet to the dead Chavez. Good for them. But if the RNC applied the same standard to scolding Democratic affection for a live Fidel Castro they'd have time for nothing else. In fact, the RNC could start with some Republicans themselves, such as notorious Castro water-carrier Senator Jeff Flake.
Hugo Chavez was an authoritarian bully, a narcotrafficker, a thief and a buffoon. He wasn't a totalitarian mass-murderer, a mass-jailer and a mass-torturer who outlawed all political opposition under penalty of torture-chamber and firing squad and came within a hair of igniting a worldwide nuclear war, aimed first at destroying the U.S.
Despite his bluster and monkeyshines, this last point was never in Hugo Chavez’ bucket list. Indeed it was the last thing he wanted. Shusssssh -- keep this under your hat but the U.S. is -- by far -- the biggest customer for Venezuelan oil. Hugo Chavez was our fourth largest oil supplier.
Three years into power Castro had already murdered more political prisoners (out of a population of 6.5 million) than Hitler murdered (out of a population of 65 million) in his first six years. Ten years into power Castro had jailed and tortured at a higher rate than Stalin during his Great Terror. Fidel Castro’s lifelong dream is to destroy the U.S.--and came within a hair of it.
So given his teeeenzy attainments (by Castroite standards) in mass-murder, mass-torture, mass-terror and Anti-Americanism, its small surprise that Hugo Chavez amassed only a teeeeeenzy fraction of Castro’s affection from American liberals.
“VIVA FIDEL!”— “VIVA CHE GUEVARA!” yelled a beaming nominee for America’s dominant political party (Democrat, Jesse Jackson) in 1984, while arm in arm with the man who craved to nuke his nation.
Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.