Cha Cha Chavez
EQ: What caused Hugo Chavez to be considered the "#1 Public Enemy" of the United States?
Early Life of Hugo
- Born in Sabaneta, Venezuela, on July 28, 1954
- Born into poverty and moved in with his Grandmother early on
- Described his grandmother as "a pure human being... pure love, pure kindness."
- Attended the Venezuelan Military Academy
- Participated in an effort to overthrow the government in 1992
"humility, poverty, pain, sometimes not having anything to eat", and the injustices of this world."
Life in the Military
- Had a lot of free time early on.
- At one point he found in an abandoned car riddled with bullet holes a stash of Marxist literature that apparently had belonged to insurgents many years before.
- These books further convinced Chávez of the need for a leftist government in Venezuela
- At the same time, he was becoming increasingly critical of the corruption in both the army and in the civilian government
- In 1977, he founded a revolutionary movement within the armed forces, in the hope that he could one day introduce a leftist government to Venezuela: the Venezuelan People's Liberation Army
- Formed the Bolivarian Revolutionary Army-200
- Put in Jail in 1992 for attempting to overthrow the government which led to the death of 18 people
- Traveled the country gaining support for his cause
- Elected President in 1999
- Quickly created a new constitution
- Changed name of country to Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
- His efforts to tighten his hold on the state-run oil company in 2002 stirred up controversy and led to numerous protests, where 20 people were killed and he found himself removed from power briefly in April 2002 by military leaders
- 2004 Referendum to Remove Chavez failed and it is reported officially that the voting was not tainted.
- Hugo Chavez lost power when he died in March of 2013
"Ten years ago we came to massacre the people. Now we are going to fill them with love. Go and comb the land, search out and destroy poverty and death. We are going to fill them with love instead of lead.
Negatives of Chavez's Rule
- During Chávez's administration, homicide rates more than tripled, with one NGO finding the rate to have nearly quadrupled.
- Reporters Without Borders noted that "Venezuela is now among the region’s worst press freedom offenders."
- Inflation in Venezuela rose 3%
- Violent crime rates were the highest in the world at the time
- In the 2002 coup attempt against Chavez where he was temporarily removed from power, Chavez believes that the U.S., specifically the Bush administration, was behind the coup
- Chávez also objected to the war in Iraq, stating his belief that the United States had abused its powers by initiating the military effort
- Very hostile to the U.S. and sold oil to Cuba which angered the U.S.
- In 2006, he helped create the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, a socialist free-trade organization joined by Fidel Castro, president of Cuba, and Evo Morales, president of Bolivia.
- The U.S. despised Chavez because of his Leftist views and ways of running his country as well as Chavez supporting enemies of the U.S.
A Poem of Quotes - Hugo Chavez
“Yesterday, the devil came here,
“Right here. Right here.
And it smells of sulfur still today…”
“I am convinced that the path,
to a new, better and possible world
is not capitalism, the path is socialism.”
“I have said it already,
Capitalism leads us straight to hell.”
“I hereby accuse the North American empire,
of being the biggest menace to our planet.”
“We must confront the privileged elite
who have destroyed a large part of the world.”
“There is no turning back.”
"Long live the Unity of Latin America.”