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Hugo Chavez was reported dead Tuesday. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer Communist dictator. Chavez understood that technology, and specifically controlling technology through politics, is power. To that end, he announced his intent to fundamentally transform his nation. He then proceeded to do so while holding Venezuela’s economy hostage, nationalizing major infrastructure and industry while making incursions into regional banking. Through it all, he treated his critics and opponents with such brutality that several times his opposition rose up against him. Once, those opponents even managed a brief coup that saw the swearing in of a new president, only to be put down by legions of adoring, loyal sycophants who were content to allow Chavez to run their lives.

Does this sound at all familiar yet?

Hours after he was sworn in as president of Venezuela – after campaigning as a candidate of the people – Chavez decreed a referendum on rewriting Venezuela’s constitution. Three months later, that referendum passed with overwhelming Venezuelan support. The following summer, Chavez supporters won a supermajority of the country’s constitutional assembly, allowing him, in the words of Politico, to “draft [a] document tailored to his wishes.” The new constitution was voted in that December, creating a “Bolivarian Republic.”

In 2002, Chavez’ goons shot 19 protesters who demanded the president’s resignation. A coup was attempted, but Chavez was rescued by Army forces loyal to him. A few months later, various business, political and labor organizations attempted a strike to break Chavez’ hold on the state-run oil industry. They failed. Two years later, in response to a referendum asking whether Chavez should immediately step down, Venezuelans voted overwhelmingly to keep Chavez in office. Four months later, Chavez signed an agreement strengthening his ties to Cuba’s Communist dictatorship.

In 2006, Chavez called then-president George W. Bush “the devil” in a speech in the U.N., muttering something about smelling brimstone where Bush had been standing. That December he was again re-elected to a six-year term (a term he lengthened with his new constitution back in 1999). Feeling invincible after winning with yet another healthy majority of the vote, Chavez publicly announced his intention to transform his Bolivarian republic into a socialist regime.

In 2007, Chavez was granted “sweeping powers to legislate by decree,” officially making him the nation’s dictator. He immediately nationalized the country’s major electric and communications companies and ordered the takeover of foreign oil interests. Despite some voter pushback to his initiatives, Chavez ordered the nationalization of the country’s cement industry the following year. He then announced his intention to nationalize the Bank of Venezuela.

Also in 2008, Chavez ordered the United States ambassador out of the country. In 2009, he won voter approval to eliminate term limits. Venezuela’s dictator was poised to remain in office for as long as he liked. But in 2010, Chavez lost his supermajority in Venezuela’s congress. He was granted another 18 months’ dictatorial powers by the outgoing lawmakers. Despite repeated health problems, he won yet another six-year term in 2012. Only his death finally unseated him.

The story of Hugo Chavez is one that parallels Barack Hussein Obama’s disastrous but popular rule over the American people. Obama, too, ran as a candidate of the people. Obama, too, announced his intention to “fundamentally transform” the United States – a nation of which his racist wife was never proud before her husband’s rise to power. Once elected, Obama proceeded to implement policies that have done nothing but harm this nation’s economy.

Whether it was standing in the way of the Keystone pipeline or vilifying business owners at every turn, Obama’s economic outlook has been clearly socialist and clearly harmful. He nationalized a sixth to a seventh of the United States economy with Obamacare, all while lying about how much the plan would cost and how much control the plan would exert over individuals’ medical decisions. He proclaimed that “you didn’t build that” in a sneering declaration of contempt for individual effort.

Then it got scary.

Eric Holder recently made a breathtaking admission. A president who never met a drone strike he could not condone now sits poised to use drones to kill American citizens on American soil without due process. The very thing liberals called ridiculous, the very threat they dismissed as conservative hand-wringing over the impossible, is now a reality. Obama’s rogue Justice Department, which refuses to prosecute blacks because Holder is a racist, believes Obama can kill anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Remember that this takes place against a landscape in which Obama is trying to take your firearms from you. State governments are beating Obama to the punch. In New York, all modern semi-automatic firearms are effectively banned, and ammunition sales will be subject to background checks that will establish de facto lists of gun owners. Other states are poised to follow New York’s lead. Meanwhile, walking gaffe machine Joe Biden continues to tell Americans ridiculous, dangerous, illegal things he thinks they should do with the double-barreled shotguns that gibbering idiot would grudgingly allow them.

Remember, too, that Obama’s Department of Homeland Security – which has classified anyone who might vote against Obama as a potential domestic terrorist – has just purchased 2,700 armored vehicles and is stockpiling more than a billion rounds of hollow-point ammunition. Make no mistake: These vehicles and this ammo have no military application. They exist solely for domestic pacification.

Seeing any parallels yet?

A dictator who wants to transform his nation into a socialist utopia. A dictator who deals with opposition with autocratic finality. A dictator who is not afraid to turn military weapons on his own people. A dictator who wants broad fiat powers to enact whatever changes he desires, whenever he wants them. A dictator who enjoys popular support despite his repeated failures. Do these words describe Hugo Chavez or Barack Hussein Obama? There’s no way to tell the difference, is there?

The only good news is that one of them is roasting in Hell.

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