I don't know. Over at Mark Shea's blog, there're a couple posts about Mr. Chavez. For some reason, the focus is on Matt Drudge and the Evil Conservatives I'm sure there are some who are cheering his death, and we probably shouldn't cheer that anyone has died. I guess we ought to pray for him like we pray for anyone.
But truth be told, it's easy to pray for him. What was he to me? Several on Mark's blog point out that Chavez was well loved in his country. Of course Russians wept when Stalin died. And Chinese still venerate the memory of Chairman Mao. So the love of the people doesn't seem to equate good living.
From what I can tell, and given the attitudes of those in the West who celebrate Chavez, I'll guess he was a petty dictator who gained immense wealth and power by catering to the masses with bread and circuses, and keeping their minds off their problems by continually stirring up hatred toward other countries (like ours). Of course in some corners of the Catholic blogosphere, that's a feather in his cap. It certainly was for a large swath of American progressives who have always known of the eternal evil of America.
But despite it all, I didn't really suffer under him. He didn't do anything to me. He didn't hurt me, help me, or mean anything to me. He was one of those cheerleaders hoping for my country's decline. Too many in his country testified to brutal totalitarian tactics that Americans only think we suffer under but don't. He cozied up to our enemies, those proud and open in their desire to slaughter and kill us. But in the end, I still didn't really get hurt by anything he did.
So I can pray for him all I want. It doesn't cost me a cent. But what does it matter? Personally, I will pray only so far as I say I hope he is in the hands of a loving, merciful and just God. Beyond that, not so much. It's not my job to forgive him. It's not my job to defend him. I can say I saw what he did and that it was bad. Even evil. Catholic though I am, I'm not ready to believe all evil ends at the exit sign of 1600 Pennsylvania. So personally, I don't care that he's dead. My guess is the world will be no worse off because of his passing, and there might even be some in the long run who are better off.
Perhaps that makes me a bad Catholic, but it's how I feel.