I don’t want to do a whole Chavez thing. There are others far better qualified. But I did want to make one point, addressed at my liberal colleagues and friends, many of whom are offering up variations of Chris Hayes’ assessment of Hugo Chavez as “complicated” — not the best dude in the world, but not the worst either.
First, it’s true that as a dictator, Chavez was far less prolific than the paradigmatic cases. He didn’t have nearly the body-bag counts of Hitler, Stalin, or even Franco. Second, it’s true that Chavez made a show of giving alms to the poor.
So there. If that’s your standard for considering an authoritarian thug “complicated”, then Hugo Chavez was complicated.
But let’s bracket off both both the violence question