You can call them Chávez acolytes, you can call them Bolivarians, just don’t call them pro-Maduro. As Venezuela’s economy and institutions continue to deteriorate, long-running rifts within the country’s socialist left are becoming more apparent. Nowhere is this more evident than among a growing group of supporters of late former President Hugo Chávez who accuse the current president, Nicolás … Read more Chávez Yes, Maduro No. The Growing Split in Venezuela.
Over the last few weeks, Venezuela has found itself engulfed in protests against current President Nicolás Maduro’s administration. While the student movement has spearheaded this uprising, many Venezuelans have taken to the streets to voice their grievances against the country’s high levels of violent crime, inflation, and the increasing scarcity of basic goods. As protests … Read more Venezuela’s Escalating Protests, Violence and Political Instability: The Legacy of Chávez
In a recent opinion piece, Venezuelan-American author Eva Golinger proclaimed the late Hugo Chávez was “a maker of dreams.” Chávez, she says, dreamt of eradicating poverty, and made those dreams come true. Much of what has been written—including by people critical of his legacy—repeats the same conclusion: Chávez improved the lives of the poor. Sadly, … Read more Did Chávez Help the Poor?
Click here to view an expanded version of the slideshow. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’ body is being moved today from the Military Academy of Caracas to the city’s military museum, marking the end of a nine-day open casket service that has drawn thousands of the late president’s followers to the capital city. The lines of … Read more AQ Slideshow: Venezuelans Wait Hours to View Chávez
Click here to view an expanded version of the slideshow. Throughout the day on Wednesday, enormous crowds took to the streets of Caracas to join the president’s procession from the hospital in which he died to the military academy. The impressive procession traversed eight kilometers of the capital city and lasted seven hours, flooding major … Read more AQ Slideshow: Venezuelans Pay Their Respects to Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez engineered an electoral budget boom on steroids to win the 2012 presidential election. His economic strategy resulted in a significant appreciation of the real exchange rate, an increase in imports to a historical peak, and a considerable increase in public wages. Facing a strong contender in Henrique Capriles—and the limits to his campaign … Read more The Economic Reality Facing Nicolás Maduro
While President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela remains in Cuba recovering from his fourth cancer surgery on the island, millions of his supporters delivered a solid political victory for his party in the country’s regional elections on December 16. Of the 23 governorships that exist in Venezuela, the Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (United Socialist Party—PSUV) … Read more Venezuela’s Regional Elections and the Implications for the Opposition
After much speculation President Hugo Chávez announced on December 8 that his cancer was back (for the second time in a year), and that he now had a person in mind to succeed him—Nicolás Maduro, the minister of foreign affairs who was elevated to vice president in October 2012. Designating Maduro as the official successor … Read more Maduro is No Chávez, For Now
After Hugo Chávez convincingly won re-election on Sunday, the margin of victory—over 1.5 million votes, totaling over 10 percentage points—has stunned members of Venezuela’s opposition, leaving them searching for answers. Some pointed to the Consejo Nacional Electoral (National Electoral Council—CNE), which is controlled by chavistas and turned a blind eye to government abuses. Others pointed … Read more The Challenges Ahead for Hugo Chávez
Late last week, Venezuelan presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski released a video with his final appeal to voters. Looking straight at the camera, the former governor of Miranda state addressed the fears that prevent some Venezuelans from supporting him fully: being fired from government jobs; being passed over for a social program; or being banned … Read more Electoral Legitimacy and Security Ahead of Venezuela’s Presidential Election
Regimes that seek to limit civilian and political opposition have found a new tool in controlling their messaging: state-owned media. This comes despite the fact that state media—like many means of communication—should serve the interests of all citizens and provide information free of commercial, state or political influence. According to a 2009 report by the … Read more State-Owned Media and the Public Interest
After years of being rudderless, Venezuela’s opposition to Hugo Chávez finally has a leader. Miranda Governor Henrique Capriles Radonski soundly defeated four other candidates on February 12 to become the opposition’s sole presidential candidate for October’s presidential election. That he did so without providing details on his vision makes his victory all the more remarkable. … Read more Capriles Radonski and His Vision for Venezuela
Election year in Venezuela kicks off on February 12 with the governor of the state of Miranda, Henrique Capriles Radonski, comfortably leading in the polls and projected to win the opposition primary. He will face the campaign machine of President Hugo Chávez or “El Comandante,” which is marching ahead with the well-oiled efficiency of a … Read more Venezuela’s Military: A Factor in the Upcoming Election?
When more than 200 soldiers stormed the house of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on June 28, rousted him out of bed, and gave him a one-way ticket to Costa Rica, Latin America had a gut-wrenching sense of déjà vu. In the first successful military coup since the Cold War, the region’s long nightmare with de … Read more Dispatches: The Coup In Honduras
Elections invariably offer an opportunity to assess the health and quality of the democratic process in the countries where they are held. When they occur in neighboring states over roughly the same time period, however, observers are given a rare chance to move beyond isolated snapshots and assess the state of democracy in an entire region. Such an opportunity occurred from 2005 to 2006, when Latin America experienced 12 presidential elections, many of them closely fought, over a 14-month period.