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The Life and Career of Hugo Chavez

(The Verge) – One of the most prominent and controversial leaders in South America died yesterday at age 58. Hugo Chavez has been under much scrutiny for the past 14 years of his position as President of Venezuela. With many policies resembling communism, it was easy for him to not be liked by many people in government and many Latin American people. He also was a severe advocate against American Foreign Policy making him quite unpopular in the United States. As a politician, there were also things that Chavez implemented that were quite admirable. He had a lot to do with the startup of the Union of South American Nations and the Bank of the South.
In the 1998 election Hugo Chavez ran against former mayor of Chacao, Irene Saez. For most of the campaign Saez was in the lead. The main thing to bring Chavez ahead in the polls was his promise of social and economic reform. Since Saez came from the richest district in Caracas, Chavez won the votes of many of the poor and working class people. His charisma is really what made him ultimately win the election. He seemed so strong and truly loved Venezuela and the people who resided there. After he officially won Chavez declared, “The resurrection of Venezuela has begun, and nothing and no one can stop it” (Jones, 2007). At the time this is something that the people of Venezuela needed to hear.

Hugo Chavez, the controversial leader of Venezuela died yesterday at the age of 58. Image taken from:

During his presidency, Chavez did many things that were not appreciated by the people of Venezuela. There were actually instances of anti-Semitism that resulted in Chavez becoming more and more unpopular. He made numerous derogatory comments regarding Jewish people which ultimately resulted in many of the Jewish population leaving Venezuela during his rule. There were also many concerns about human rights when it came to women and indigenous people in Venezuela. Also during Chavez’s administration, homicide rates had risen at an alarming rate. The number of homicides increased from 6,000 in 1999 to 19,000 in 2011 (The Boston Globe, 2012).
Hugo Chavez came out on June 30th, 2011 to confirm that he was recovering from an operation to remove an abscessed tumor with cancerous cells. Although this is a serious infection, the vice president, Elias Jaua, claimed that there was nothing to worry about and Chavez would remain in total power. After many ups and downs after his initial announcement of his cancer, he unfortunately passed away on March 5th, 2013. According to the constitution, a presidential election must be held within 30 days and until then vice president Elias Jaua will serve as temporary president. Ultimately, when a politician passes it is a sad event. It is not time to dwell on the past or focus on the bad qualities. It is a time to celebrate the good.
Chavez, battling cancer since 2011, had been at the helm of the Venezuelan government since 1999. Image taken from:

One Reply to “The Life and Career of Hugo Chavez

  1. ^ Agree with the latter statement you make there; I only worry about Egypt now, we’re giving all this $ to aid them, but Morsi’s been outright about his hate of Israelis. Scary. (Hate is just scary in itself)

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