There is an egregious double standard practiced in the recounting of the death last week of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. He is portrayed as a Latin American Robin Hood, while his subversion of human rights and a free press are minimized. His economic policies resulted in food shortages in his oil-rich nation and an astronomically high inflation rate.
Yet, incredibly, he is eulogized as the people's savior.
Among his closest allies were great subverters of human rights, including Fidel Castro of Cuba and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. If Chavez were right-wing, I don't doubt the media would call him a dictator, as they did with Chile's Augusto Pinochet.
Although Chavez is typically demonized in the U.S., his record commands respect. He was democratically elected president four times. He encouraged local participatory democracy by creating more than 30,000 communal councils in charge of their own neighborhoods.