Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Aleksander Boyd on Chavez

The 1998 presidential race: Hugo Chavez first democratic victory came about in December 1998; however his career in politics started well before that in the army. After more than 10 years of conspiration Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Chavez launched with a number of military companions a coup d’etat against a democratically elected administration on 4 February 1992 . Rampant corruption and purported neoliberal policies implemented by then president Carlos Andres Perez have been cited by Hugo Chavez as the reasons for his attempt. One policy had caused slum dwellers to react violently; an increase in gasoline prices, which caused transport fares to surge overnight. The many deaths –exact figure unknown until this day- caused by the implementation of a military contingency plan (Plan Avila) to placate the rioting mobs in Caracas on 27 February 1989 was the trigger for the putschists to accelerate the bid to gain power by unlawful means. A poorly designed plan coupled with utterly inefficient leaders in charge of perpetrating it resulted in a fiasco. But despite his failure Chavez’s political persona was catapulted to stardom thanks to the media; his brief televised address to the nation, negotiated upon betrayal of his companions while hiding in Caracas ’ Museo Militar from where he was conducting the coup, turned him instantly into an icon. At the time there was consensus on the need to change the establishment, and Venezuelans for the most part, being only too prone for quick fixes, thought that the military adventure spearheaded by Chavez was not only commendable but a realistic solution to the country’s many social and political problems[...]

The rest can be found here.

It is, unfortunately, incomplete. My hope is Boyd sees it through to the end.