Years of popular discontent with the Venezuelan government allowed Hugo Chávez to win the presidential election in 1998. Since then Venezuela has undergone dramatic changes and deviated sharply from the dominant two-party system that had previously governed the nation. Chávez’s polemical new policies have affected virtually all aspects of Venezuelan life and are founded on his interpretations of the revered South American “Liberator,” Simón Bolívar. By drawing upon the legacy of Bolívar, Chávez has been successful in exciting the masses and adding a sense of legitimacy to his “revolutionary” movement. This research will examine the correlation between these two historical figures by analyzing the histories and documents of both Chávez and Bolívar. The goals of which are to discover how closely the ideologies and actions of President Hugo Chávez coincide with those of his historical predecessor Simón Bolívar and to demonstrate how the Chávez government has appropriated the myth of Bolívar to gain legitimacy and maintain popular support in Venezuela.
"How Bolivarian is the Bolivarian Revolution: Hugo Chávez and the Appropriation of History,"
McNair Scholars Research Journal:
1, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarworks.boisestate.edu/mcnair_journal/vol5/iss1/7
Dr. Errol Jones