Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (born July 28, 1954) was the Socialist dictator of Venezuela. First elected in 1998, he held fraudulent elections in 2006 that enabled him to maintain his authoritarian power. His disastrous socialist policies caused mass poverty in his oil rich country, causing thousands to flee. Although he forced his subjects to purchase healthcare, he himself used a superior privatised healthcare system though not even this was enough to save him from dying of cancer in 2013.
Chavez was also an outspoken critic of neoliberal globalization and was very critical of American style capitalism. Chavez supported drug-trafficking and the sex trade. A Christian fanatic, he exhibited signs of a Messianic Complex, believing that God would remove all obstacles to his plans to "infect other countries with socialism" in his own words. He considered Jesus to be the world's first socialist and described his two biggest inspirations as Jesus and Noam Chomsky. Described by the mother of his child as "a typically narcissistic dictator" he was derisively referred to by his people as "Ego Chavez" and "der Narziss von Caracas".
Although worshipped by Western socialists, Chavez was harshly criticized in the American media when he called former President Bush the devil at the UN General Assembly. He also recommended to all people in the world that they read "Hegemony or Survival" by Noam Chomsky, his favourite author.
- Hugo Chávez Britannica Online
- Profile: Hugo Chavez BBC News
- Venezuela's President Chavez wins hearts and minds in London
- Capitalism Is Savagery. ZNet
- US behind Bolivia crisis - Chavez BBC News
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