Hugo Chávez

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Person.png Hugo Chávez   Sourcewatch WikiquoteRdf-icon.png
(politician)
Hugo Chavez.jpg
BornHugo Rafael Chávez Frías
28 July 1954
Sabaneta, Venezuela
Died5 March 2013 (Age 58)
Caracas, Venezuela
NationalityVenezuela
Alma materMilitary Academy of Venezuela
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Children • Rosa Virginia María Gabriela
• Hugo Rafael
SpouseNancy Colmenares
Founder ofUnited Socialist Party of Venezuela
PartyFifth Republic Movement,  United Socialist Party
64th President of Venezuela

Employment.png President of Venezuela Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
14 April 2002 - 5 March 2013
DeputyNicolás Maduro

Employment.png President of Venezuela Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
2 February 1999 - 12 April 2002

Employment.png De facto

In office
24 March 2007 - 5 March 2013

Hugo Chávez was a Venezuelan politician who served as the 64th President of Venezuela from 1999 to 2013. He was also leader of the Fifth Republic Movement from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when it merged with several other parties to form the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), which he led until 2012. Craig Murray summarised Chávez' "revolutionary politics" with the statement that they were founded on the tenets that "people ought not to be starving in dreadful slums in the world’s most oil rich state" and "the CIA ought not to control Venezuela".[1]


Bolivarianismo

In 1992 Hugo Chávez, a career army officer, had helped lead a military revolt, 3 years after the Caracazo, at which thousands of demonstrators were murdered. The revolt failed and landed him in jail even as it catapulted him to hero status. He was seen by many, especially among the growing number of impoverished Venezuelans, as an outsider who could put an end to the political classes’ bacchanal of corruption, scandal and debt. Released from prison in 1994, Chávez won the presidency in a landslide vote in 1998. He hadn’t yet publicly declared himself a socialist. But Venezuela’s traditional rulers, of both main parties, saw his embrace of Bolivarianismo – after Simón Bolívar, to signal a vague programme of domestic reform and anti-imperialism – as a threat. The country’s old elite may have lost control of the executive with Chávez’s election, but the civil service, judiciary, bureaucracy and state oil industry, along with some sectors of the military, remained intact and autonomous, serving as vectors of reaction. For the first five years of his tenure, Chávez was forced into rearguard action. In April 2002, he survived a Washington-blessed coup; he was returned to office after two days, largely thanks to the protests of thousands of his supporters. A few months later, the country’s business elite, in an effort to pre-empt Chavista efforts to use profits from oil exports to fund social programmes, called an owners’ strike, and petroleum production was shut down. GDP fell by an estimated 27 per cent and Chávez’s popularity plummeted. But by early 2003 the strike had unravelled and Chávez was able to put oil money into his ambitious health, education and housing initiatives. The opposition’s last real bid to oust Chávez was a recall vote in August 2004. Having regained his standing, Chávez won that election with 58 per cent of the vote. In the regional elections that followed, his hodgepodge coalition of leftist parties took 20 out of 22 state governorships and 270 out of 337 municipalities. Two years later, in 2006, Chávez was re-elected again, carrying every state with more than 62 per cent of the national vote.[2]

"The Devil's Recipe"

"The Devil's Recipe"

On 20 September 2006 Chávez made a profound speech at the UN General Assembly, where he said George W. Bush's address the previous day could be described as "The Devil's Recipe":

"Yesterday the devil came here, in this very place, it still smells of sulphur".[3]

Death

He reportedly died of a heart attack whilst recovering from extended respiratory and other complications following several bouts of surgery and chemo-therapy to treat cancerous tumours in Cuba. The circumstances surrounding both his cancer and subsequent treatment provide reasonable grounds for suspecting that he was murdered.[4]

28 July 1954|5 March 2013| 

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References