Media around the world have devoted a great deal of coverage to the death of Hugo Chavez, who passed away last Tuesday after losing his fight against cancer. His legacy as the President of the "Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela" needs to be seen in the light of a long tradition of populism in Latin American history.
Hugo Chavez, a fiery populist who declared a socialist revolution in his native country and crusaded against the USA's imperial influence, passed away on March 5. During more than 14 years in office, Chávez routinely challenged the status quo at home and internationally. Some enlightened observers might wonder why the man the media vilifies is showered with love and adulation despite his perceived transgressions. While I cannot speak for the Venezuelan people, I have some theories as to why Hugo Chávez means so much to millions of world citizens.
It has been more than 60 days of uncertainty in Venezuela, since President Hugo Chavez had a fourth surgery on Dec. 12 in Havana, as part of his ongoing battle against Cancer . The Venezuelan authorities has been limited when informing about Chavez's health. However, they claim the President has been in meetings with cabinet members and signing decrees in Cuba. Yet there haven't been any photos, telephone calls or video appearances of him -- unusual of the omnipresent dignitary.