Hugo Chavez

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Hugo Chavez was "resoundingly reelected" as Venezuela's president on Sunday, December 3, 2006, "setting the scene for a promised 'deepening' of his socialist revolution and a broader role as leftist lightning rod on the world stage," Chris Kraul reported in the Los Angeles Times. "Chavez, who was imprisoned after a failed coup attempt in 1992, was first elected in 1998 and reelected in 2000. He withstood a recall vote in 2004."

"Chavez, who pledges to revise his nation's constitution to allow him to serve indefinitely, may try to fill the leadership void created in July [2006] by the illness of Cuba's Fidel Castro, supporters say," Kraul wrote.


Background

Known for his equally vociferous support for the landless poor and opposition to the rich elite within Venezulan society, Chavez was briefly overthrown in 2002 by a U.S. sponsored coup made up of military and corporate interests, who were driven from power by mass unrest demanding the return of Chavez.

On August 15, 2004, Chavez's continued control of the country was set to a referendum vote. Chavez won handily in an election that was verified as clean by the Carter Center and other international monitors. The coalition of opposition parties, chief critic of Chavez, has called the results a "fraud", and vowed to overturn them. A record 8.5 million votes were cast.

Chavez has threatened to cut off oil exports to the US if the Bush Administration does not stop interfering in his country, and has called George W. Bush a "pendejo" (asshole) for his support of the Hatian Coup which overthrew the democraticaly elected President Aristide.

In August, 2005, the American right-wing Christian preacher Pat Robertson called for the United States to assassinate Chavez. When this provoked a firestorm of condemnation, Robertson first claimed he was misquoted, then simply stated that he was frustrated Chavez "thought the U.S. would try to kill him." The Bush administration distanced itself from Robertson but did not denounce his statement.

Chavez has since announced that any attempt on his life would be the work of George W. Bush, and offered to sell oil to the poor of America at cheap rates.

Note: The preceding may have been copied from the Wikipedia.

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Articles & Commentary

Books

  • Nikolas Kozloff, Hugo Chávez: Oil, Politics, and the Challenge to the United States (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2006).
  • Brian Nelson, The Silence and the Scorpion: The Coup Against Chavez and the Making of Modern Venezuela (Nation Books, May 2009). Critical review by Gregory Wilpert.
  • Gregory Wilpert, Changing Venezuela: The History and Policies of the Chavez Government (2007).
  • Gregory Wilpert, The Rise and Fall of Hugo Chavez: Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Venezuela (2006).
  • Gregory Wilpert, Coup Against Chavez in Venezuela: The Best International Reports of What Really Happened in April 2002 (2003).
  • Richard Gott, Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution (Verso, 2005).
  • Richard Gott, In the Shadow of the Liberator: The Impact of Hugo Chávez on Venezuela and Latin America (Verso, 2001).
  • Eva Golinger, Bush vs. Chávez: Washington’s War on Venezuela (Monthly Review Press, 2007).