Venezuelans watched on TV in suburban Miami as their country’s vice president announced the 58-year-old leftist head of the oil-rich Latin American nation had died. Chavez, though cancer-stricken in recent years, had led Venezuela for more than 14 years, espousing his brand of socialism while battling what he called U.S. hegemony in the region.
Many in Florida’s large Venezuelan community are stridently anti-Chavez.
At El Arepazo, a popular Venezuelan restaurant in the Miami suburb of Doral, one person cheered, but the rest watched quietly and refrained from any celebration. An hour later, people began arriving with Venezuelan flags, cheering and crying out joyfully. Beneath the jubilation, though, was worry about what happens next.
Though Chavez left a socialist movement in firm control in Venezuela, some question how new leadership will be formed there.
“Although we might all be united here celebration today, we don’t know what the future holds,” said Francisco Gamez, 18, who showed up at El Arepazo in a track suit adorned with the Venezuelan flag. FULL ARTICLE
By Kari Rea
“He wants Obama to do one thing: Call him,” Rodman told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week.” “He said, ‘If you can, Dennis – I don’t want [to] do war. I don’t want to do war.’ He said that to me.”
The athlete also offered Kim some diplomatic advice for potential future talks with President Obama.
“[Kim] loves basketball. And I said the same thing, I said, ‘Obama loves basketball.’ Let’s start there,” Rodman said.
Rodman’s comments come just days after the basketball star shocked the world with an unexpected trip to Pyongyang, North Korea, becoming the first known American to publicly meet with the mysterious Kim since he assumed command of the totalitarian nation after the death of his father, Kim Jong-Il in 2011.
The young leader has defied U.N. sanctions by continuing to develop North Korea’s nuclear arms and missile program, which he says is aimed at the U.S.
Kim is often regarded as one of the world’s most oppressive leaders, presiding over prison camps and allowing millions of his own people to starve.
Rodman likely now has more firsthand impressions of Kim than any other American. He offered some insight to Kim’s personality this morning.
“He loves power. He loves control,” Rodman said, of his new “friend.” “But guess what? He doesn’t want war. That’s one thing he doesn’t want.”