From “A Polarizing Figure Who Led a Movement” by Simon Romero
“Hugo Chávez, who died on Tuesday at 58, rose from poverty in a dirt-floor adobe house to unrivaled influence in Venezuela as its president, consolidating power and wielding the country’s oil reserves as a tool for his Socialist-inspired change. He was a dreamer with a common touch and enormous ambition. He maintained an almost visceral connection with the poor, tapping into their resentments, while strutting like the strongman in a caudillo novel. His followers called him Comandante.”
Questions for Consideration
What was the legacy that Hugo Chávez has left behind? Why is he such a polarizing figure? How is Venezuela better or worse off after Chávez’ reign? What can we learn from his social-welfare programs that can serve as a model here? Why do some scholars conclude that Venezuela might be “the most democratic country in the Western Hemisphere”?
Want to learn more?
- Hugo Chávez, The Passing of a Political Tsunami
- Obituary: Hugo Chávez – socialist showman who transformed Venezuela
- Ex-Pats: Chávez’s Death Liberates Venezuelans
- Hugo Chávez, Undefeated
- Hugo Chávez’s cheering section
- On the Legacy of Hugo Chávez
- After Hugo Chavez: four challenges facing Venezuela’s new leader
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