I found Hugo Chavez conflicting. In a strange way, he was extraordinarily easy to like, but of course many people -- both good and bad -- who rise to prominence can be that way. Chavez was larger than life. He was very engaging.
Take, for example, the Fed's willingness to purchase toxic real estate assets -- using your money to acquire securities which are now shunned by the market. Or take the Bank of England's efforts to shove easy money at banks making corporate loans. What happened to good old-fashioned faith in markets?
Hugo Chavez defied this history of power relations in the hemisphere. And for that defiance elite voices will vilify him, but a far larger number of people will see him as a hero.
President Hugo Chavez's death, while not unexpected, brings an uncertain future to a country that he ruled with an iron fist. It also may present a great opportunity for American diplomacy in Venezuela and Latin America.
Hugo Chavez is dead -- but he is no hero. Even as his supporters pour into the streets to mourn their fallen idol, the damage he caused to Venezuela is incalculable.
With Hugo Chavez having now passed, the question of who will inherit his legacy as the vanguard of 21st century socialism in Latin America is foremost in the minds of many.
As Chavez is now laid to rest, the one thing I am certain of is that the mainstream American media will once again fail to accurately and fairly capture the positives and negatives of this complicated leader.
Like most people, to me the name Hugo Chavez means only one thing: Citgo gasoline. I'm not sophisticated enough to know if he was such a bad guy as le...
Venezuelans have spent that decade struggling under the yoke of high unemployment, rampant inflation and crippling shortages of everything from rice to flour to coffee. It has left Chávez in the awkward position of blaming Venezuela's hobbled private sector for the failure of his own socialist policies.
If the president-elect is temporarily absent, Cabello is able to govern for a maximum of 180 days, and if the president-elect is permanently absent, Cabello must call a new election within 30 days. Why has Venezuela ignored these constitutional procedures?
The Recife airport was a place for embraces. I met many people there who have supported me for years in my efforts to travel outside the national borders. There were flowers, gifts and even a group of people insulting me which, I confess, I really enjoyed.
You simply can't logically and empirically connect "socialism" to our country's economic/social/political system's reality, a reality that we can see and measure.
As the first images of Hugo Chavez emerge after a two-month media blackout, the issue of post-Chavez Venezuela takes center stage once again. The bottom line is that without its chief protagonist, Chavismo will ultimately wither away over time.
Last week the New York Times did something it has never done before -- in its "Room for Debate" section it offered differing views on Venezuela.
He may not speak the seductive language of 21st century socialism, but Mexico's newly elected president Enrique Peña Nieto is well poised to fill the void of regional leadership arising from the impending departure of Venezuela's Hugo Chávez.
Hugo Chavez retaining power in Venezuela could be just what the doctor ordered for the recovery of the American housing market. Despite his absence due to health issues, his presence still looms large.