Hugo Chavez

By: Asa Palker


The former army paratrooper first came into his role as a leader in 1992 as the leader of a failed coup. Six years later he caused a massive shift in Venezualan politics, riding a wave of popular outrage at the traditional political elite to win the presidency. Since then he has won a series of elections and referendums, including one in 2009 which abolished term limits for all elected officials, including the president. His supporters claim that he is for the poor, his haters say that he abuses Venezuela and steals money from the oil rich country. None of this was ever proven but it does seem to be a very realistic idea. After all the years of hard work and ruling of this country, he was diagnosed with cancer, and died in 2013. Even though he was not a necessarily a ruthless leader, he never intentionally hurt his own people or others, he did steal from them and exploit their countries wealth for his own benefit.
Chavez: Man Of The People Or Communist Autocrat?
Some of the smartest political analysts currently writing about Venezuela are defining Hugo Chavez's regime as a "procedural democracy" or a "hybrid regime", but definitely not a clear cut dictatorship. This means Chavez shows tendencies of both a dictatorship and a democracy, but this is just all speculation. The facts say otherwise, that this was a clear cut dictatorship. There are no negotiations with the opposition, die-hard loyalists of Chavez are in all top positions, civic institutions lack autonomy, there are no checks and balances, the law only penalizes opponents, the constitution is often changed, the electoral field is uneven, opposition is bad-mouthed by the president, the private media is closed or harassed, and the military is bought. These are all signs of a dictatorship that got over looked because Chavez is a likable guy who isn't as ruthless as "dictators" in the past.
"Chavez likes money, He takes it from his own soil, Luckily his country is rich off oil!

Chavez hates term limits, So he abolished them all, Just to put his face on the wall,

Chavez died of cancer, It was very unkind, I bet he wishes he could hit rewind" (Palker)

Was Chavez's regime a dictatorship or a democracy?