After effusively praising Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez on Twitter as a leader "committed to empowering the powerless" on Tuesday minutes after learning of his passing, Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) praised Chavez again as a "truly revolutionary leader" and someone who lifted up the poor.
Serrano said he met Chavez when he invited him to his district, and Chavez gave people in his district who "were struggling economically" home heating oil at a discount "provided the savings were reinvested in programs that benefited the underserved and underprivileged."
"I am proud to report that we have benefited from that program ever since, with millions invested in our community through this program and through a grant program he set up," Serrano said of taking the dictator's oil.
Serrano then said Chavez won reelection because he carried out the will of the people, describing him as someone whose "core belief was in the dignity and common humanity of all people in Venezuela and in the world."
Ignoring Chavez's human rights violations, murders, property theft, and restrictions on the press, Serrano said Chavez "believed that the government of the country should be used to empower the masses, not the few," and he "understood democracy and basic human desires for a dignified life."
"His legacy in his nation, and in the hemisphere, will be assured as the people he inspired continue to strive for a better life for the poor and downtrodden," he said of the tyrant.