preview

Hugo Chavez and Venezuela Essay

Good Essays
Venezuela’s political prospects changed in 1999 when Hugo Chavez became president.

Starting his presidency, Chavez created a new constitution for Venezuela, and the country’s

name was changed to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Since then, the country had a

total change as it underwent a system of socialism, as the oil company and many other private

businesses were nationalized. In this socialist system, revenues generated from the oil industry

were invested in social programs to help the country’s poorer population. On the other hand,

Chavez confiscated many properties from those of the middle and upper class, transferring

them to state ownership, and also created animosity with other nations, defying them in many
…show more content…
dollar in

February (“Venezuela More Equal, Less Stable”). Critics say Chavez was an economy destroyer

as he nationalized most companies while interfering in others, thereby scaring off and reducing

foreign investment (“The Many Ways to See Chavez”).

Similarly, oil specialists in Venezuela were fired by Chavez and replaced by his

followers, the party loyalists. Foreign oil contracts were completely changed or were cancelled,

making investment in Venezuela a risky business for international firms (“The Many Ways to

See Chavez”). Kathryn Rooney Vera of the investment banking firm Bulltick Capital reported to

CNN that “These factors have really led to shortages in basic staples. Venezuelans, for example,

have suffered from a lack of, in some cases, baby diapers, or flour, or corn meal ... so this is just

an example of the distortions in the economy that have been a result of Chavismo." Such is also

the case according to a report issued by The Human Rights Watch, which claimed that Chavez

was stifling the ability of journalists, human rights defenders, and other Venezuelans to exercise

their fundamental rights (“Enemy of Human Rights”).

It is not only Venezuelans and critics who see Chavez as an evil person, but

economists feel the same way about him. The Economist’s Victor Alvarez, a former Minister of

basic
Get Access