To many poor Venezuelan’s, the death of Hugo Chavez marks the end of an era; someone who stood up for them and their plight. To other Venezuelans, it marks the return of democracy to Venezuela. Chavez was a controversial figure often referring to the US derogatorily. Some inside Chavez’ inner circle even suggested that Chavez’ cancer was caused by foul play, as ridiculous as that allegation is. The Government announced a Shiva, 7 days of mourning for the fallen president. Chavez was born in 1954 to parents who were both school teachers. In 1975 he graduated from the Venezuelan Military Academy. Nothing speaks louder about who Chavez was, than his attempt to lead a coup in 1992 against President Carlos Andres Perez. For that failed coup, he received two years in prison. When he was released in 1994 he relaunched his party as the Movement of the Fifth Republic. He was elected President four years later, in 1998. If Chavez was such a hero as Oliver Stone seemed to think, why wouldn’t he have attempted to become President using the Democratic process as opposed to circumventing it. His rise to power and layover in prison was not unlike Hitler’s rise to power. Venezuela is not supposed to be a third world dictatorship, it’s supposed to be a democracy and he chose violence over democracy. His relationship with Iran, North Korea and Cuba also explains who the man was. Although uncertainty remains about the future of Venezuela, it won’t be worse off than the fourteen years of attempted consolidation and control and subjugation of his enemies. Make no mistake, while he certainly spoke for the poor and downtrodden, in reality he did nothing to help their plight. Inequality may have been reduced under Chavez but not by raising up the poor but instead, by bringing down the middle class. Venezuela’s overall growth has been less than many other Latin American countries. His successfully used oil money to further his Socialist agenda and buy their loyalty. But in the end, he was a failed leader, with bad policies, who left his country worse off from where it started. To the Venezuelan people, we can only hope they choose a more pragmatic leader with a clearer vision.