Populist leaders have always been a scary mixture of good and bad. Chavez’s attempt to gain even more power for himself is scary as is enlarged public ownership of business. However, his championing of the cause of the poor is admirable. The proposed constitution would have shortened the workday from eight hours to six, created a social security fund for millions of informal laborers, and promoted communal councils where residents decide how to spend government funds.
You have to have some respect for a man who can say he may have been too ambitious in asking voters to let him stand indefinitely for re-election and endorse a huge leap to a socialist state. I have not heard that from our own over-reaching president.
One can be heartened to see democracy working in more of Latin America.