I was interested to read Ray Fleming's take on Hugo Chavez in your Sunday paper and compare it with last week's comments by Hugh Ash. As someone who once lived and worked in Venezuela during Chavez's rule and was married to a Venezuelan I can tell you from sad experience Mr. Ash has the more accurate measure of him. Chavez was a ruthless tyrant who bought and kept power by using his country's oil wealth. Without it, he would have been just another banana republic gangster. At least one of your writers has the knowledge to see him for what he really was.

John Clayton
Palma de Mallorca