(Frontpage) -- Massive and bloody anti-government protests have been roiling Venezuela for more than a month – provoked by an out-of-control murder rate, food shortages, and myriad instances of inept governance. But that didn’t stop a rogues’ gallery of Latin leftists, including Cuban President Raul Castro, from turning up in Caracas to honor the late Hugo Chávez on the first anniversary of the Venezuelan leader’s death.
Security forces and pro-government militias have responded with a vengeance against the protesters, leaving at least 21 dead and hundreds injured. Most were students.
The tear gas, rubber bullets and Chavista thugs on motorcycles, however, were out of sight and mind for Castro and fellow leftists, including Bolivian President Evo Morales and his Nicaraguan counterpart Daniel Ortega. Like Castro, they enjoyed Chávez’s oil largess over the years. Chávez had promoted himself as the savior of Venezuela’s poor yet gave away billions of dollars of their oil wealth as a way to expand his influence and build alliances against the United States. The firebrand socialist, famous for his colorful anti-American broadsides, died a year ago of cancer, on March 5th, at age 58.
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