Hugo Chávez's Social Revolution

1048 Words5 Pages
The 1998 presidential elections in Venezuela put Hugo Chávez, the leader of the 1992 failed coup, on the place of the president. After being pardoned in 1994, he embarked on an aggressive populist campaign. He was constantly comparing himself to Bolivar, promising help to the poorest masses and positioning himself in opposition to the US-influenced free-market economy. He promised to produce a great, peaceful and democratic social revolution. However, after his victory in the elections, Chávez’s social revolution was anything but peaceful. Shortly after taking the office, he started rewriting the constitution. The new constitution was approved in a referendum in December 1999, granting him new and wide-ranging powers. In 2001 he introduced a package of new decree laws, and it resulted in angry protests, and was followed by a massive and violent strike in April 2002. It culminated in a coup d’état, which was run by military leaders, most probably…show more content…
He introduced price controls on basic goods, such as food. On the one hand, that was the move to allow families to purchase the same amount of food with the same amount of money despite the inflation. On the other hand, it caused food shortages of basic necessities, such as milk and sugar. In addition, in 2010, Chavez announced a significant devaluation of their currency, known as bolivar fuerte. By that move he wanted to boost revenue from oil exports and to limit unnecessary imports. However, the move had negative effects on citizens, as it created price increases and huge inflation. In addition, strict currency controls were established in order to stop the money leaving the country. That meant that Venezuelans who traveled abroad were allowed only to have $2,500 on credit card and $500 cash annually. By that, some citizens felt trapped within their own borders (Brewer-Carias,
Open Document