Hugo Chavez

By Tristan Ness

Essential Question

Does Hugo Chavez deserve the title of "tyrant"? Why or why not?
Hugo Chavez was born in Sabaneta, Venezuela on the 28th of July, 1954. He attended a military academy and he served as an officer in the Venezuelan army before participating in an attempt to overthrow the current government. After his success with the movement, he stepped up and took power as president. He then focused on securing control of the state-run oil company, which led to protests, controversy, and the straining of relations with other countries. Afterwards, he was briefly removed from power, but easily reasserted control. Chavez used his power and resources to supply Cuba and resist an anti-narcotics movement in Colombia. Later, he helped to create the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, a socialist free trade organization. Hugo Chavez died on March 5, 2013 after battling cancer for years.
Hugo Chávez's 14 years as Venezuelan president
This video provides an image of how Hugo Chavez ruled his country. He was not a vicious tyrant, but simply an economic competitor with the United States and a fierce patriot as well. While America saw him as the enemy, his own people saw him as their king. A wise and just ruler who would make the right decisions not for himself, but for them. Although his government was not the democracy that America adores so fanatically, it was not a blackened, bloodstained regime either. Chavez may have aided those the US deemed their enemy, but that does not mean that he was an evil, tyrannical fiend. Hugo Chavez did not force his way into power, he was voted in by an overwhelming majority. Even so, it cannot be overlooked that Chavez was openly opposed to United States foreign policy, which he saw as forced conscription and imperialism. This caused much political tension between the two countries and is the main cause for the differing points of view of each country. Even though he had complete power as president, he did not use this power to harm his people in any way whatsoever and so cannot be considered inherently evil.

Undecided

In Heaven or Hades,

Up high or down low,

Where in the world would Hugo Chavez go?

From the title of "dictator",

You'd think that he must

Be down with the Devil

Turning to dust,

But you might be mistaken

I think you would find

That history's got

Something else in mind.

His people adored him

The crowds, they would cheer.

They walked around freely

With no sense of fear.

Sure he would be

Outspoken at times

As to what he thought

Of the US's crimes.

But simply stating

An opinion does not

Call for a man

To be condemned to rot.

As any leader,

He made some mistakes,

But the happiness of his people

Was not the kind one fakes.

Though we would condemn him

And say: "He should pay"

History is undecided

As to what it shall say.