Former Congressman Connie Mack (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding the death of Hugo Chavez.  

"For years Hugo Chavez used fear, demagoguery and force to destroy the freedom, hopes and dreams of the Venezuelan people. He formed military and economic alliances with some of the world’s staunchest enemies of the United States. He snuffed out a free press and meaningful dissent. He nationalized businesses and stole the wealth of his countrymen. And he attempted to plunge all of Latin America into a new and lasting era of despotism and tyranny.

Today, we do not mourn the death of Hugo Chavez, but instead, we celebrate the possibility that Venezuela can be born anew as a free, secure and prosperous democracy and that Latin America can embark on a new and peaceful path in the world.

The Venezuelan people are entitled to free and fair elections as quickly as possible so that they can begin to turn the corner on the dark legacy that was Hugo Chavez."