Hugo Chavez Success And Failures Essay

Length: 11 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Literature - Latin-American Type: Essay Paper: #96489235 Related Topics: Hunger Games, Peacekeeping, Politicians, International Monetary Fund
Excerpt from Essay :

International Politics

Political Leaders In Latin America: Hugo Chavez And Lula

Who is Hugo Chavez and Lula

Hugo Chavez was born on 28 July 1954 in Sabaneta, Venezuela. Chavez attended Venezuelan military academy and took up service as an army officer prior active participation in efforts of the overthrowing government in 1992. His actions led to a two-year sentence in prison after arrest. In 1999, Chavez was named president of Venezuela. Within the early days of his presidency, he developed new constitution in the nation that was inclusive of changes of the capital name to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Chavez engaged in a critical focus of efforts towards gaining ultimate control of state-run oil companies. However, this was stirred with controversy and translated into protests and strained relations between Venezuela and the U.S. As well as subsequent nations. Chavez has a brief comment on the removal from power (Clairmont, 2002).

On the other hand, Lula took service for two terms for the presidency and left on 2011. The farewell speech given expressed that he was burdened with having to prove that he was in a position of handling the presidency irrespective of the humble beginnings. He shifted the blame of failure to workers' class that failed the country's progress and implementation of policy. Since the start of the political career, Lula continues to change various elements of his initial ideas while moderating his positions (Flynn, 2005). Other than drastically convening social change, he fronted that the past government chose to pursue reformist strategies and passed new retirement, labor, judicial and tax legislation while initiating the discussion for university reform. Minimal reforms were implemented in his regime. Most of the Worker's Party orientations disagree with the increment of moderation focusing on the subsequent ages and the dissident opinions therein.

Chavez's presidency faced countless challenges within domestic and foreign fronts. The efforts of his government to tighten the hold to state-run oil firms in the year 2002 triggered civil controversy. This was followed by numerous protests and led to the removal from power by military leaders. Such protests took place even after he returned to power, and a referendum was held to determine whether Chavez was a suitable candidate for the presidency. The referendum election was carried out in 2004, and the vast majority settled on letting Chavez finishes his office tenure.

Lula has put in place a number of social programs on his development agenda within the campaign period and in the election pledges. The leading program in Lula's agenda was the campaign on eradicating hunger and following the strategic projects that were established in under Fernando Henrique Cardoso's administration (Stubblefield, 1971). However, the expansion went onto the strategic Fome Zero campaign. The program brought together various programs with the aim of ending hunger across Brazil. The water cisterns creation for the semi-arid regions of Brazil named Sertao and the actions of countering teenage pregnancy. This led to the strengthening of family agriculture and efficient distribution of minimum cash amount of cash to poor populations among other measures (Encamacion, 2003).

Chavez was popular for his dogmatic and outspoken nature throughout presidency and refusal to hold back his opinions and criticisms. In the end, he insulted church officials, oil executives among other world leaders. He is particularly quoted for his hostility with United States government, as he believed that it was responsible for the 2002 coup opposing his rule. Chavez objected the war in Iraq adding that the United States was in abuse of powers through the initiation of the military effort. He termed President George W. Bush as an evil imperialist (Clairmont, 2002).

The Venezuela and United States relations became more strained. After assuming office, Chavez was involved in the sale of oil to Cuba, who was an adversary to the United States while resisting U.S. plans to inhibit narcotics trafficking from nearby Colombia. Chavez helped guerrilla forces from neighboring countries. Increasingly, his presidency marked Chavez's threat to curtail supply of oil to United States in case there were attempts of removing him from power. However, he donated heating oil for purposes of helping Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina victims (Encamacion, 2002). However, the destruction rendered numerous facilities inculpable of fuel processing. Chavez made a discovery of his food. The concept became a precession of the generation of a new ministry addressing eradication of hunger and social development. The merger lowered the bureaucratic complexity and administrative costs for the families that were involved as well as program administration (Flynn, 2005). Fome Zero was comprised of government budget and donations from international organizations and private sector. Bolsa Familia initiative has received praise from international players for the vast achievements irrespective of the internal criticism that accuse it turning into an electoral weapon (Encamacion, 2003).

Hugo Chavez and Lula as politicians

As Chavez and other senior MBR-200 members served time in prison, the relationship he had with Herma Marksman broke in 1993. She became a subsequent critic to Chavez. Rafael Caldera from centrist National Convergence Party became president through elections. Immediately assuming power, he freed Chavez and his colleagues as part of the imprisoned MBR-200 members. This was part of his pre-election promise. However, Caldera imposed on them a conditioned that they were not viable returnees to military as they were marked as potential organizers of subsequent coups. Chavez drove around a 100-day tour to the countryside as he promoted his Bolivarian case on social revolution after being mobbed by accepting crowds due to his release (Golinger, 2006). As he lived in small military pension and donations of supporters, he processed to have financial support to his three children and mother irrespective of divorcing Nancy Colmenares during the period (Encamacion, 2002). He met Marisabel Rodriguez in one of his country tours, which gave birth to a daughter before becoming second wife. Together with other projects such as Bolsa Familia and Former Zero, the administration of Lula has flagship programs aimed at Growth Acceleration Program. The concept has a hefty budget and is Lula administration's investment program. The system was aimed at strengthening Brazil's infrastructure and consequently stimulating the private sector while creating more jobs. The urban and social infrastructure sector has encountered schedules of receiving funds (Stubblefield, 1971).

Even as poverty levels increased by close to 17.65% from 1980, the economic development was not felt among the people. The homicide and petty crime rates doubled from previous records of 1986, which were mostly in Caracas (Cole, 2007). The grouping was engaged in dropping of living standards and the widespread dissatisfaction of representative democratic systems from Venezuela. This amounted to gaps that emerged from rulers and the ruled parties favoring emergence of populist leadership (Encamacion, 2002).

In the reign of Lula, Brazil has become the eighth-largest economy in the world with a population of more than 20 million. The status allowed it to rise from acute poverty, and the Rio de Janeiro capital has hosted several international and Olympic games. While Lula assumed more strength through the 2002 elections, fear for drastic measures as well as comparisons to Hugo Chavez increased internal market speculation. The outcomes were that there was market hysteria that contributed to a decline in value of real credit rating and a subsequent downgrade of the economy.

Oil products formed a keystone for Venezuelan economy for the presidential period of Chavez. Chavez acquired a reputation of prices hawked by OPEC while pushing at stringent enforcement for production quotas, as well as highly targeted oil prices. The state revenue collections from oil incomes increased from a minimum total income of 51% in 2000 to 57% in 2006. Oil exports grew by 12% to 89% in 2006 from 77% in 1997 (Encamacion, 2002). The oil dependence became one of the principle problems that the Chavez government faced. The World Bank explained that the economy of Venezuela was extremely vulnerable to alterations of oil prices within 2012 where 96% of the exports in the country nearly halved those of fiscal revenue on oil production (Cole, 2007).

From the start of the beginning of the first term, Lula's cabinet followed through in leading the previous strategies government and renewed the agreements with International Monetary Fund while signing another with Argentina that cancelled its 2001 deals. Lula's government attained satisfactory basic budget surplus through the initial two years while requiring…

Sources Used in Documents:


Clairmont, F.F. (2002). Hugo Chavez: The Fall and Rise. Economic and Political Weekly, 37(19), 1797-1799.

Cole, N.S. (2007). Hugo Chavez and President Bush's Credibility Gap: The Struggle against Us Democracy Promotion. International Political Science Review / Revue internationale de science politique, 28(4), 493-507.

Corrales, J. (2011). Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chavez and the Political Economy of Revolution in Venezuela. New York: Brookings Institution Press

Encamacion, O.G. (2002). Lula's Big Win. World Policy Journal, Vol. 19, No. 4 (Winter, 2002/2003), pp. 73-77

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