SEIU 1199 Hosts Vigil for Venezuelan Dictator Hugo Chavez

SEIU Local 1199 celebrated the life of Hugo Chavez, socialist dictator of Venezuela, with a candlelight vigil through New York on Friday.

SEIU 1199 Celebrates Hugo Chavez with Candlelight Vigil

The Local 1199 chapter of the Service Employees International Union is hosting a candlelight vigil for Hugo Chavez in coordination with The Bolivarian Circle of New York. They started the march in their own personal offices and ending at the statue of Simon Bolivar: (Note, the event has been updated to delete this information, but another article citing this text can be found here)

A Celebration and procession for the life of our comrade Hugo Chávez extraordinary human and revolutionary. Your energy, love and example will not be forgotten. … Join us and spread the word, show your solidarity and support in memory of President Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution … Bring candles will walk to the statue of the Liberator Simon Bolivar in Central Park.

For the SEIU to be so publicly supporting the late president of Venezuela shows that their roots to socialism truly run deep. Unfortunately, Chavez’ policies ultimately hurt the people of Venezuela, and restricted their freedom. RNC spokeswoman Alexandra Franceschi had this to say about Hugo Chavez:

“Chavez systematically cracked down on the basic freedom and liberties of Venezuelans, nationalized private industries, and befriended anti-American dictators like Castro, Ahmadinejad, and Assad. Americans should stand together with the freedom loving people of Venezuela as they hope for a peaceful transition to a democracy, instead of praising the former dictator.”

By endorsing and commemorating Chavez’ life and actions, the SEIU is showing how out-of-touch they really are with today’s workers, and how little they actually understand the consequences of the policies they propose. As we’ve shown again and again, policies the SEIU promotes such as the minimum wage ultimately hurt workers more than they help.

The wrong-headed ideals of Chavez have done little to promote life for the workers of Venezuela, and have often resulted in fewer personal liberties and less freedom. The SEIU would do well to avoid his example.

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