ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Hugo Chavez: A Tribute

A tribute to Chavez and his Venezuela based on a visit to the country in 2011.

Hugo Chavez Frias’ life came to an end on 5 March 2013. One hopes that the same will not be said about the Bolivarian Revolution which Chavez had inaugurated in 1998, when he was installed as president of Venezuela with 56% of the popular vote.

Prior to 1998, Venezuela, like the rest of Latin America, or indeed the developing world, had been buffeted by the conflicting demands of resource redistribution among the poor masses, and the threats to leave the country by propertied classes and foreign investors should the state fail to protect their interests. But unlike the rest of Latin America, Venezuela did not collapse under the weight of foreign debt in the 1970s. As the fourth largest oil exporter in the world and the third biggest source of US oil imports, Venezuela was in an exceptionally strong position in economic terms. However, the oil bounty enriched only a few (mainly white) elite groups in society and did not trickle down to the masses of urban and rural poor.

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