Written By: - Date published: 11:21 am, March 6th, 2013 - 230 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, International, us politics - Tags: anti-imperialism, anti-neoliberalism, hugo chavez, venezuela
Chavez was too young to die, but he is a significant figure in South American politics
Chavez has been a controversial figure in Venezuela. The full story has yet to be written of his contribution to his country and his impact on the left and world politics.
Wikipedia has already been updated, and begins thus:
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈuɣo rafaˈel ˈtʃaβes ˈfɾi.as]; 28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013) was the President of Venezuela, having held that position from 1999 until his death in 2013. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Following his own political ideology of Bolivarianism and “Socialism for the 21st Century“, he has focused on implementing socialist reforms in the country as a part of a social project known as the Bolivarian Revolution, which has seen the implementation of a new constitution, participatory democratic councils, the nationalization of several key industries, increased government funding of health care and education, and significant reductions in poverty, according to government figures.
A little further down the page it says:
Chávez describes his policies to be anti-imperialist, and he is a vocal critic of neoliberalism and laissez-faire capitalism. More generally, Chávez has been a prominent adversary of the United States’ foreign policy. Allying himself strongly with the Communist governments of Fidel and then Raúl Castro in Cuba and the Socialist governments of Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, his presidency is seen as a part of the socialist “pink tide” sweeping Latin America. He has supported Latin American and Caribbean cooperation and was instrumental in setting up the pan-regional Union of South American Nations, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, the Bank of the South, and the regional television network TeleSur. Chávez is a highly controversial and divisive figure both at home and abroad.
Condolences to those close to him, and to Venezuelan people.
His life is to be celebrated to the ways in which he stood up to US imperialism, and neoliberalism. I will leave it to others to decide how successful he was in achieving his left wing aims.