New York gets busy in September. Streets are often closed because of presidential motorcades and people would crowd the streets to see presidents passing by amidst tight security. Of all the presidents, four people stood out in as far as pulling the masses on to the streets is concerned.
They would be the American President, Gadaffi, Ahmednajad and Hugo Chavez. They would also attract the most demonstrations outside the UN apart from China. Of all the four presidents, Only Hugo Chavez would go to the General Assembly on foot without the motorcade pomp and visibly armed security.
Meanwhile, thousands of people would rally behind him singing and chanting Hugo! Hugo! Hugo! He would then walk down to where demonstrators on various ills around the world ranging from Tibet, Iran, and Zimbabwe to climate change to mention but a few, congregate. All over a sudden, silence will engulf the demonstrators, and then a wave and a kiss from Hugo to the protestors would be received by a wild response of Hugo!Hugo!Hugo. This is how I remember Hugu Chavez, when I saw him for the first time.
As I go through the headlines now flooding most cables today, I think of him as a man who was loved by the poor and the marginalized. I think of a man who was toppled by the army and brought back to power by the masses within two days. Am not surprised that Countries such as Argentina have declared three days of national mourning whilst Cuba is grieving and grappling with life without Hugo. I hear a few other countries are pondering on the same.
The job of a president though enviable is the most funniest. They are never alone. The ever presence of security means they don’t have private life. Everything gets done for them including opening doors, and pulling out chairs. Before they know it, they get cut off from the people who voted them into office and the real world and suck themselves into the government machinery where they push varying interests for other people but it seems to me, that Hugo Chavez was different.
He never forgot his people, he lived with them ate their food and fought their battles .This is were leaders should be;on the side of the people and that’s why Venezuela, Latin America and the socialist community at large is in deep mourning on the passing of a valiant man. RIP Hugo Chavez