Since the death of Hugo Chavez a war of words has erupted in Venezuela and abroad for control over the definition of his legacy. Was Chavez an authoritarian thug? Was he a bold and authentic representative of the world’s exploited and downtrodden? As Thor Halvorssen of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation explains, it is beyond question that human rights and liberal democracy suffered under Chavez’s rule. And while it remains to be seen whether after his death the situation will improve or further slide into authoritarianism, Halvorssen argues, what can be definitely counted on is that partisan hacks will continue to engage in a full-throttle defense of El Comandante, truth be damned.
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