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TOPIC: hugo chavez

This Happened

This Happened—December 6: A Venezuela Military Man Is The New Face Of Latin America's Left

Founder of the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200 (MBR-200) in the early 1980s, Hugo Chavez went on to be elected president of Venezuela in late 1998, serving until his death in 2013.

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The Pure Folly Of 'Food Nationalism' In Argentina

Argentine food production is doing fine and needs no 'progressive' state intervention to assure supplies.


BUENOS AIRES — Argentine President Alberto Fernández, defending his recent decision to confiscate the soy firm Vicentín, repeatedly cited "food sovereignty." It's a term self-styled progressives coined some years back that, as of yet, has no clear definition. Now might be the time to try to find one.

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Venezuela: The Hard Part About Overthrowing Maduro

The opposition has so far failed to provoke a military uprising against President Nicolás Maduro, and for now, can only count on an angry but tired population.


CARACAS — As Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaidó asked supporters on May Day to continue street protests against the government of President Nicolás Maduro, on Caracas's famed Altamira junction, a resilient group of protesters were throwing rocks and shouting at the soldiers firing tear gas at them from the Francisco de Mirando air base.

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Castro, Chávez And The True Origins Of Autocracy

Did adverse conditions force such Latin American strongmen Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro to clamp down, or did they hide their authoritarian designs from the start?

LIMA — What leads a regime to take the radical path? Is it preordained, or do events radicalize governments? In Cuba and Venezuela, two governing systems mostly closely adhering to communism's core ideology, the original revolutionary leaders never actually set out to create communist states.

In 1959, when Fidel Castro led a guerrilla campaign to oust the conservative regime of Fulgencio Batista, and after his triumphal entry into Havana, Cuba's new leader clearly stated that his was not a communist revolution. In 1998, Hugo Chávez likewise told the Univisión reporter Jorge Ramos that he believed the Cuban regime was a dictatorship, and separately assured the Peruvian television presenter Jaime Bayly that he was not leading a socialist movement.

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Benjamin Witte

Ortega And Maduro, Burdens Of A Shared Destiny

Just hours before outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama's emotional farewell address in Chicago, another head of state was taking center stage down in steamy Central America to let just the opposite be known: He's still very much here, with no plans to leave power anytime soon.

Daniel Ortega, the long-serving leader of Nicaragua, first came to power through a 1979 revolution that overthrew the U.S.-backed Somoza family dictatorship. He headed the country's junta government (1979-1985) before serving as president until 1990. Two more terms followed, starting in 2007, and on Tuesday, Ortega was sworn in for yet another five-year period, the Nicaraguan daily El Nuevo Diario reported.

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Argentina: 'Squatting' For Maximo Kirchner To Keep Swanky Office

BUENOS AIRES — A battle over prized parliamentary office space for Maximo Kirchner, son of former Argentine presidents Néstor and Cristina Kirchner, has become a symbol of the defeated Kirchner forces' bid to hold on to the last remnants of power.

The younger Kirchner won a seat in the December general elections, but his leftist Victory Front party lost to a conservative majority in the election that now wants him out of the spacious office digs, Argentine daily Clarín reports. So to avoid the 38-year-old Kirchner being turfed out, allies in the legislature began sleeping in the office and blocking its entrance, in a "squatting" style action, Clarin reports. Not untypical of the Kirchnerist rank and file, and more so its leftist or youth wing the Cámpora, headed by the young Kirchner, who was once tipped as a possible successor in his own right to his presidential parents. Last fall's general election saw Cristina Kirchner's handpicked successor Daniel Scioli defeated by Mauricio Macri for the presidency.

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eyes on the U.S.

Hey Donald Trump, Hugo Chavez Would Be So Proud

A Latin American take on the rise of the Republican frontrunner finds a similar freedom with the facts and exploitation of the dispirited working class as the late Venezuelan strongman.


SANTIAGO — The notion of a so-called incursion of Latin migrants "invading" the United States through its southern frontier to steal jobs and undermine security sounds like electoral drama cooked up by a rabble-rousing candidate. Trumped up, you might say, in this case by Donald Trump, the real estate magnate shaking up the polls leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

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Uriel Ortiz Soto

In Venezuela, The Maduro Reign Is Doomed

Political repression is one thing, but if store shelves are empty, the so-called "revolution" is destined to crumble.


BOGOTA — Hunger and misery spell the end of every revolution. The sufferers, for the sake of survival, will seek whatever means are avaible to break the chains that bind them.

It is one thing for a government to be oppressive, repressive and contemptuous of basic rights. Unpleasant as such conditions are, they are tolerable for many. What can't be accepted is a scarcity of basic goods in shops and supermarkets. That's when regimes crumble. And that, right now, is the story in the Venezuela of President Nicolás Maduro.

In spite of his boastful talk about the "Bolivarian Revolution," which Maduro barely understands, Venezuelans are looking for a way to rid themselves of a government whose ignorance and thievery have effectively wasted, or compromised for years to come, the country's formidable oil revenues — money that will be very difficult to recover.

We Colombians should appreciate the precarious state in which our neighbors and relatives have been living in recent years. We are bound by ties of freedom, blood and love, and separated only by a border.

Venezuela's geopolitical situation began to deteriorate in the early years of the reign of Hugo Chávez (1999-2013) as he sought to rebuild Venezuela on "Bolivarian" foundations. Honestly, not even Chávez believed in the future of his program, and it wasn't long before his policies provoked dissent in the political class that has been at the helm of Venezuelan democracy and public life since independence in the 19th century.

The petrodollars that served the socialist regime also began to cause disruption across Latin America. Wherever the caudillo went, he arrived with a briefcase full of the oil money that has helped forge such entities as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, ALBA, as it's known in Spanish.

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Cristina de La Torre

The Odd Evolution Of Gustavo Petro, Former Marxist And Mayor Of Bogota

Is this the rise of another Hugo Chavez for Latin America?


BOGOTA Gustavo Petro, a former Marxist guerrilla who is now the socialist mayor of Bogota, has little apparent interest in following Machiavelli's counsel that ideas be adapted to circumstances. Instead he prefers twisting reality to the demands of his own temperament, and confides more in the mobilizing potential of an initial idea than the hard work involved in giving that idea body and consistency.

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Daniel Salgar Antolínez

Hunger For Breakfast? Venezuela Facing Deep Shortages

A year after the death of President Hugo Chávez, food and consumer shortages are spreading through Caracas along with protests. Blame over-regulation or capitalistic hoarding?

CARACAS – "There's chicken in the Bicentenario!" ran the rumor around the capital one recent morning - referring to a well-known chain of big-box retailers. In one Bicentenario branch in the Plaza Venezuela people were practically rioting to get chicken, a staple product turned "scarcity" in Caracas.

But for those looking to stock up, there were few left that day, and only two per shopper could be purchased.

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