Hugo Chavez is lying stricken in a hospital bed in Cuba and his aides have admitted that his condition is worsening. Meanwhile, cohorts of Chavez relatives are reported to have flown to Havana, perhaps to say a last goodbye. So it looks as if the “commandante” will soon pass on.
Chavez is a divisive figure: a big chunk of Venezuelans hate him with a passion. Unusually for a Latin American leader, he has become equally polarising abroad, where he’s seen either as a saviour of the poor, or deranged autocrat.