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Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias (1954-2013) was the democratically elected Democratic Socialist President of Venezuela. He was elected three times between 1998 and 2006 with approximately two thirds of the vote in elections deemed free and fair by the international community.
After taking power in 1998, he used Venezuelan oil wealth to significantly raise the standard of living for poor Venezuelans. He gave them access to universal healthcare, education, and affordable housing, something that wasn't available under previous regimes. Venezuelans also enjoy more civil liberties under He had a constitutional referendum and allowed the Venezuelan people to vote on a new constitution. Chavez has described himself as a Democratic Socialist.
Criticism in Western mediaEdit
Chavez was also an outspoken critic of neoliberal globalization and he is very critical of American style capitalism. Because of this, he was considered a threat to American corporate interests and has been branded a dictator in the Mainstream Media.
This shows that to be a dictator in the American Mainstream has nothing to do with how cruel and barbaric you are but has more to do with how well you obey your Western Masters. In the same way, other governments that are against the United States, such as communist governments, could have been demonized by the American media, since a movement towards those governmental and economic systems would threaten the power of the elite. As a result, there is an incentive to make communism/socialism look as horrible and oppressive as possible.
Even with human rights abuses under communism, capitalism has its fair share of human rights abuses, such as the animalistic treatment of workers during the Industrial Revolution. In the United States, we are taught that communist countries are evil dictatorships because of their single-party systems. We never learn that they only formed those types of governments to prevent counter-revolutions that would bring back plutocracy.
Chavez was harshly criticized in the American media when he called President Bush the devil at the UN General Assembly. He also recommened to all people in the world that they read "Hegemony or Survival" by Noam Chomsky, his favorite author.
- 'Between the powerful and the weak all freedom is oppressed. Only the rule of law sets you free.' That's why the only way to save the world is through socialism, a democratic socialism."