Chavez death: Venezuelans in U.S. hopeful of change

Longtime president dies at 58
Associated Press
Mar 6, 2013

 

Cheering Venezuelans in the U.S. waved their country's flag and expressed hope Tuesday that change would come to their homeland after the death of long-ruling populist President Hugo Chavez.

"He's gone!" dozens in a largely anti-Chavez community chanted after word spread of the death of the 58-year-old leftist. Many said they were rejoicing after nearly a decade and a half of socialist rule heavily concentrated in the hands of Chavez.

"We are not celebrating death," Ana San Jorge, 37, said amid a jubilant crowd in the Miami suburb of Doral. "We are celebrating the opening of a new door, of hope and change."

Wearing caps and T-shirts in Venezuela's colors of yellow, blue and red, many expressed cautious optimism and concern after the announcement of the death.

"Although we might all be united here celebrating today, we don't know what the future holds," said Francisco Gamez, 18, at El Arepazo, a popular Venezuelan restaurant in Doral.

Chavez, though cancer-stricken in recent years, had led the oil-rich Latin American nation for years while espousing a fiery brand of socialism and bickering with a succession of U.S. governments over what he called Washington's hegemony in the region.

Many in Florida's large Venezuelan community and other such pockets around the U.S. are stridently anti-Chavez and had fled their home country in response to the policies his government instituted.

Doral has the largest concentration of Venezuelans living in the U.S. They transformed what was a quiet suburb near Miami's airport into a bustling city affectionately known as "Doralzuela."

El Arepazo is at the heart of the community and sells arepas, corn flour patties stuffed with fresh cheese and other fillings. Hundreds of Venezuelans gathered at the restaurant with family and friends to watch news broadcasts covering the death.

Doral Mayor Luigi Boria said 30 police officers were assigned to monitor reaction, but said all was under control late Tuesday.

An estimated 189,219 Venezuelan immigrants live in the United States, according to U.S. Census figures. In addition to Florida, there are sizable Venezuelan communities in Los Angeles and New York.

A large number of professionals and others left their country beginning after Chavez became president in 1999. Many did not agree with his socialist government, became frightened of soaring crime or simply sought better fortunes abroad.

At Mil Jugos restaurant in downtown Santa Ana, in Southern California's Orange County, the Briceno family rejoiced. Daughter Norah Briceno left her country 14 years ago after struggling economically under Chavez despite a master's degree in finance and a popular restaurant. She sold her business to a friend and opened an identical restaurant in California.

"When Chavez won, if you weren't with the Chavez revolution, you were out and you barely had enough money to eat," she said. "Finally, he's died. He's the reason we had to leave home and we're all here."

Her mother, Solange Briceno, is nervous about her son who remains with his family in Venezuela. The 73-year-old called him Tuesday in between serving customers steaming cachapas — Venezuelan sweet corn pancakes.

"I am very worried," she said.

In Washington, President Barack Obama said in statement the Chavez's death marks a challenging time for Venezuela. He said the U.S. is committed to promoting democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law.

Chavez's inner circle has long claimed the U.S. government was behind a failed a 2002 attempt to overthrow him, and he has frequently played the anti-American card to stir up support.

Others, meanwhile, mourned Chavez's death.

Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II recalled that Chavez and the people of Venezuela donated 200 million gallons of heating oil to Citizens Energy, which distributes oil to lower income families in 25 states and Washington, D.C.

Kennedy, who heads Citizens Energy, said Chavez cared about the poor. A nephew of President John F. Kennedy, he said his prayers go out to Chavez's family and the Venezuelan people.

____

Associated Press writers Gillian Flaccus in Santa Ana, Calif., Claudia Torrens in New York, and Steve LeBlanc in Boston contributed to this report.

 

Comments

Contango

Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II "...said his prayers go out to Chavez's family and the Venezuelan people."

Members of the wealthy Kennedy crime family should care; inflation is outa control and food is scare in VE thanks to this loudmouthed dictatorial leftist nut ball.

Hopefully, Fidel and Raul will join him soon.

Huron_1969

Unfortunately they have sucsession plans to continue the tiarant dictatorships. The only hope is if they involve Dennis Rodman, in which case they'd self destruct

The Big Dog's back

As usual you have no qualified source for your bullspit.

Contango

"Venezuela Food Shortage: Lack Of Imported Foods Created By A Decrease In Dollars Allotted By Government" :

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/20...

Are you in mourning Puppy?

mikel

will owens-corning get the factory back that chavez stole from them in the "interest" of the venezuelan gov't?

Contango

One thing ya gotta say for Mr. Chavez, he kept up the country's credit rating.

"If you liked the 692 percent bond return Hugo Chavez delivered during his 14 years as Venezuelan president, Fidelity Investments and Schroder Investment Management Co. say you have nothing to fear from his successor."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/20...

Centauri

http://guardianlv.com/2013/02/hu...

This alternative news source reported the death on February 27.

Centauri

http://readersupportednews.org/n...

"For the eighth straight year, Venezuela's state oil company is donating free heating oil to hundreds of thousands of needy Americans."

"In 2005, a pair of devastating hurricanes, Katrina and Rita, led to dwindling oil supplies and skyrocketing fuel costs. Some of the poorest and most vulnerable Americans, including many elderly people on fixed incomes, found themselves having to choose between heating their homes or providing food, clothing or medicine for themselves and their families. Since that first winter, CITGO has provided 227 million gallons of free heating oil worth an estimated $465 million to an average of 153,000 US households each year. Some 252 Native American communities and 245 homeless shelters have also benefited from the program."

Huron_1969

Are you buying the divide and conquer propaganda ?

Centauri

I invite debate, dialogue and opinions that differ from my own. I also invite posted links that are different from the links that I post. The American news media does a good job of dividing the American people. Please feel free to post any news sources.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/A...
"The Venezuelan government reversed course Wednesday, announcing that its US oil subsidiary would continue to provide free home heating oil to poor Americans two days after the government announced that the program had been suspended."

Huron_1969

Chavez has a long history of abusing his powers in order to achieve his version of socialism. When challenged he frequently had the protester jailed. Protest more and the family goes to jail as well. His speeches were frequently anti- American. I agree with many others this guy was playing political games and the free oil donations was part of his propaganda

Fromthe419

Dear Venezuela,
We are very sorry to hear of the loss of your dictator. If you need someone to replace him, you can have ours.
Sincerely,
The United States of America

mikeylikesit

oh yeah!

The Big Dog's back

Bush is available isn't he?

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

Keep drinking the Kool-Aid. Your idiotic comments are amusing.

Huron_1969

and if you call now, we will throw in Dennis Rodman at no extra charge!

Now The Rest of...

Chavez would be a perfect democrat, already brain dead and big on goverment handouts to keep power. Maybe Bozo Biden can succeed him, his socialist policies would fit right in and that's about the closest he will ever come to being a president.

The Big Dog's back

Price of gas in Venezuela, 18 cents a gallon.

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

Venezuela is subsidizing over 90 percent of what gas really costs and over 1/3 of production goes to meet the subsidy. Only the rich Hummer owners benefit from this subsidy. The poor have to use public transportation. Next.

The Big Dog's back

So there are that many rich Hummer owners in that Socialist country?

Now The Rest of...

Big Dog, $1705 Cleveland to Caracas Venezuela ONE WAY, you can leave this afternoon to live in your socialist paradise. The $3.60 you pay for gas to get to the airport is the some of the highest sustained prices thanks to you messiah, hard to blame Bush now isn't it. Maybe obozo can fly you down with him on AF#1 if he can arrange a round of golf on the taxpayer tab. Enjoy you $.18 a gallon gas, that's if you can afford a car. Adios amigo...

Erie County Resident

Maybe poochie could borrow his mom's minivan for the road trip.