Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) issued the following statement on the death of Venezuelan dictator, Hugo Chavez:

“Hugo Chavez was a tyrant who forced the people of Venezuela to live in fear.  His death dents the alliance of anti-U.S. leftist leaders in South America.  Good riddance to this dictator. 

“Venezuela once had a strong democratic tradition and was close to the United States.  Chavez’s death sets the stage for fresh elections.  While not guaranteed, closer U.S. relations with his key country in our Hemisphere are now possible.”