Hugo Chavez


What caused the tensions between Venezuela under Hugo Chavez and the United States?

Biographical Profile

Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela in December 1998 and ruled for 14 years until he died on March 5, 2013. He was influential and very charismatic to his followers. Some of his followers turned for him for support and inspiration. Chavez attended Venezuela's Military Academy after high school, and found an interest in military sciences and politics making him knowledgeable in these areas. On February 4, 1992 Hugo Chavez made a risky attempt to go against President Carlos Andres Perez by organizing a military coup, but because it was unsuccessful, he was put into prison until 1994. After he was released from prison, he created a new political party called the Fifth Republican Movement, which gained followers from the poor and working class who were the a large portion of the population of Venezuela. Because of his influence, he was able to win the elections of 1998. Chavez was able to revise the Constitution of 1961 by saying it did not give enough power to the people. His objective in doing this was to weaken the other branches of the government and give himself a majority of the power. He packed his National Assembly with his followers, and tried to control the media. As president he began to make sure that the government had control over the oil supply of Venezuela. He was very against the United States, and the tensions between Venezuela and the United States were always there. Chavez sold oil to Cuba, who also has poor relations with the United States. He also was against some of the United States' decisions, such as entering the war in Iraq. Chavez was forced to resign in 2002 after strikes in regard to oil companies, but in 2004 he was allowed to finish his term as president. After this he created a social reform that was similar to the Soviet's idea of collectivization. At the beginning of his third term in 2007, he announced his plan to nationalize Venezuela and control the media and large industries. He was re-elected in 2012 for his fourth term, but he was unable to finish it because of his death on March 5, 2013 from health issues.
Hugo Chávez's 14 years as Venezuelan president

Video Description

Hugo Chavez uses his dictatorial qualities to convince the people that the United States is against Venezuela. The United States and Venezuela have never had the best relationship with one another, especially when Chavez became president of Venezuela. His speeches use many persuasive words and his charisma is apparent, as seen in the video. He makes jokes about President George W. Bush in his speeches, convincing the people that he is an "evil imperialist". Throughout the video in his speeches, he talks about the weaknesses of United States' government structure and the people in it, and he convinces the Venezuelan people that their country is better. The viewer can see that the people in the video are holding signs that support Chavez and go against the United States. This emphasizes the tensions between the two countries. Because Chavez continuously points out the weaknesses of the United States through his speeches and propaganda, the people of Venezuela believe him because he was a strong dictator who knew how to manipulate the people into believing him with his public speaking skills and his personality.

Journal Entry

Dear Journal,

I am starting to believe that my leadership skills are influencing the people of Venezuela. They finally realize why the tensions between the United States and our country are the way they are. It is not because of us, but because of the United States' approach towards problems. I am able to address this through my speeches, and they are able to laugh at my jokes. I think what makes this easier is the fact that I control the media, so I can control what they can or cannot see. This makes my job easier because I am able to convince the people of Venezuela that I am right, even if I'm wrong, and they won't question me as much if at all. I also believe that by doing this I can improve our own country, too, without any disruptions. I think if I continue saying that I am going to do things for the people that they will believe it, and then I can control them that way. I have to continue convincing the people that the United States is not a friend of ours, and that they are wrong. I've done this through my speeches, and people really seem to enjoy them because I am able to make them laugh. Being personable with them makes it easier to convince them.

Hugo Chavez