Over the coming days and weeks, plenty will be said on Chavez. Some analysis will be fair and well researched; other accounts will pass through the distorting lens of Western interests. As the case of Suharto demonstrates, this lens can play optical tricks, indeed millions can be wiped from the record.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced on 5 March that the controversial figure and President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is dead. Having battled with cancer since 2011, news of the death of the 58 year old will not have surprised many yet Chavez's sudden departure has led to questions of what will happen next.
The Chavez regime has its problems; including crime, corruption and the unremitting hostility of the United States. Perhaps the biggest problem is the health of Chavez himself. If his cancer were to return, there is no succession plan. But last night in the balmy Venezuelan night air, as the city of Caracas erupted with joy around us, there could be no doubt that the poor of Venezuela saw a victory for Chavez as a victory for themselves.