The election of Hugo Chavez as president of Venezuela in 1998 was the beginning of a left-wing revolution that was to transform Latin America over the next decade. Explain what happened in this transformation. Do you think this statement is an accurate assessment of recent events in Latin America, or is it an exaggeration?

When Hugo Chavez became the President of Venezuela in 1998, the country was facing economic crisis due to fall in oil prices as Venezuela’s economy was mostly dependent on oil. His aim was to liberate his country from the influence of US and create a network of countries which wanted the same. Due to his actions military ties with USA were broken and he supported Cuba.
Transformations happened under his presidency:

  • Large part of economy was taken under state’s control
  • Nationalisation of oil companies in 2007 followed by telecommunication and gold industry in 2011.
  • The country became 5th largest exporter of oil
  • To reduce the poverty there was a Bolivar plan of 2000 with this programme the country’s population under poverty was 54% in 1998 it got reduced to 28% in 2008.

The election of Hugo Chavez s President started a new trend in the Latin America as this enabled the country’s resources to be shared among the people of respective countries and enabled modernisation to take place. S aimed by Hugo, Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas was created to enhance cooperation among states of Latin America in 2004. After this Union of South American Nation was formed in 2008 and series of measures were taken to reduce the influence of USA in Latin America like Bank of South was established in 2009. This all started after Hugo became the President of Venezuela and the left-wing revolution transformed Latin America.

Question for UPSC Mains:
The election of Hugo Chavez as president of Venezuela in 1998 was the beginning of a left-wing revolution that was to transform Latin America over the next decade. Explain what happened in this transformation. Do you think this statement is an accurate assessment of recent events in Latin America, or is it an exaggeration?

Published: March 21, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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